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Checking in on day 1 was Fast. We arrived at 10 and were on ship by 10:30. No lines – we went right up to the waiting area and were the first to board the ship when they started we saw a welcome Key members sign but that was all. No one knew of a special waiting area – they just told us to sit with everyone else and wait. (No biggie). This was at port of Miami on Allure of the Seas. Didn’t help with any special security lines – but that terminal is so streamlined you don’t need it anyway. They may have let some Star Class on first but didn’t notice but we did have priority over everyone else even wheelchairs access. Heard some complaints about "we were here first" but whatever I guess that's what we paid for. Carry Ons: Went to Amber Theater to drop off carry ons. They did not provide any internet access at this point or wrist bands or Sea Pass Cards. I saw the list of names – only a few pages so couldn’t have been more than 100 people. Stopped at Schooner bar to have a cocktail to kill some time since lunch doesn’t start till 11:30 – watched all the people coming on ship through the promenade. Very busy – my tip go anywhere else first. It’s like people wouldn’t leave the promenade when they boarded like they forgot the ship has 18 floors and many places to disperse. I could only imagine what the Windjammer would have looked like for lunch on Day 1 which brings me to chops. Lunch: Lunch at Chops was great. About 1 hour not 2 like some mentioned. Yes menu was a tad smaller than the regular lunch menu which is displayed outside the restaurant- but doubt we would have ordered anything else. Steaks were fantastic! After lunch we went back to our room (12:50) – our carryon was waiting for us on the couch. Rooms ready at 1 no early access for Key Holders but we managed to be in at 12:50. In the room was all the Key information - and how to access the internet. Shows: Shows were great and yes you still need reservations for majority of them even with the Key (they do scan cards to check) but we were able to arrive almost 5min before the show started walk past the stand by line and go right to our reserved section which was first level dead center second section back. Great seats. We’ve sat front row before and you miss so much – too close. Now anyone with reservations can also walk past the standby line as well but they don’t actually have reserved seats. It’s still first come first serve and saw many trying to get Into our section but they have Key staff protecting those seats till they release them few minutes before show starts. That was nice not having to rush to the shows early or worry about seats. Internet: Internet was not fast like at home but probably the fastest you can get at sea like they say. We put phones in Airplane mode and used WiFi for calls and FaceTime with the kids while we were away. No issues at all. Quality was good – not the best but hey, your out in the ocean. Tried one night to stream a Netflix show. Took a while to get going and started off bad quality and got a little better. Ended up not watching anything. Don’t really watch stuff on vacation anyway so just sat on balcony till I was too tired to look at the ocean anymore. Things like Music streaming and Facebook were fast and the music came in handy for our Impromptu Solarium parties in the pool. They should have added us to the Cruise Planner – think we had the old folks going better than the main pool area. But that’s another story. Activities: So they give you Key hours for select activities throughout your cruise. We didn’t use any of them though. But we did see what they looked like at the Key times. For example Flowrider was always 8-9am. And maybe we saw 5 people on line. Not sure about everyday what it looked like on all lines though. Also keep in mind – this is NOT a private hour for just you. It’s for all key members. Saw some commenting on comparing it to the private lessons for cost making it a no brainer. Wrong – that lesson is expensive and actually does get you a private hour. In any event with or without the Key – none of the lines we saw were longer than 10 people at any given time on any activity. I’m sure we missed some peak times that may have been longer though. Priority Ports and Tenders Not sure the Key helped on Allure. Every port we stopped at we just went right down the elevator to 2 and got right off. No lines ever at any port and we did get off when we first arrived. Maybe tenders would be helpful with the Key but our itinerary didn’t call for any tenders. Getting back on the ship was fast and easy too (no need for the Key) I don’t think you get priority anyway getting back on. Last day. We had to have any bags packed and outside the door by 11pm night before and tagged with Key tags. Next morning we took our time since we had nowhere to go anyway (2:30pm flight) Went to the MDR for breakfast. Fantastic menu. Had breakfast about 1.5hours then were told to go by the Champagne Room to get off with Key people. A staff member told us Key members left already? Huh? We were told we could go when we were ready. We walked off ourselves and when we crossed the bridge from ship to the terminal they were taking Key guests and suite guests to the “shorter” line. Still a line though for the elevators. After that it was a fast out the door. Not sure how the other line was. Chaos I’m sure. Then our bags were in a special area for pickup. And that’s that. The terminal needs work with the incoming and outgoing traffic though. It’s all mixed together. People coming and going (complete chaos) Overall Value: Good for some not for others. We were getting the internet already anyway so at the time we got the Key at $19.99 pp per day (Internet was $15 pp per day) So for us it was good. Some shows I found you could just walk right in on and get a seat. Not many “bad” seats to begin with. It’s not like your sitting in MSG or MetLife Stadium with 10,000+ people. For us getting on ship first was nice and the final breakfast was nice – even though anyone can eat in the MDR except Key gets an hour longer and on a separate seating area with a special menu. Priority ports were useless for us. On board activities were useless for us (and not really needed anyway) short lines to begin with either way. I also think they need to be a bit more organized with the program. Not everyone on ship (staff) knew what it was. Overall I would say if your already getting Voom and if it’s only $5 more per day then go for it. If you don’t need the internet then I think it’s very overpriced for what you get. I mean I can’t justify that money just for a Chops lunch and getting on the ship maybe 1 hour sooner than most others did. Even shows you’ll get great seats if you show up with a reservation maybe 15-20min earlier. A few clarifications in what I’ve seen on the forums prior: The Key – is per person per day for length of cruise -Must be purchase by everyone over 6 years old in room Internet – each member gets their own access code (you can use on as many devices as you want but must sign out of one before using the next) Flow rider- the one hour reserved slot is one hour for all key guest. You don’t get your own hour. I saw some people trying to justify the cost of a personal lesson to the key. Yes with a lesson you get more personal time but the key hours are shared with key members. So don’t think that’s an hour just for you only. And yes the add a Key sticker to your card And off topic but I don't see what the big deal is with Sorrentos Pizza. People say its fantastic but we live in Northern NJ and were have some of the best Pizza places. I guess if your from down south or somewhere that doesn't make pizza very good - then maybe? To me it was like eating a frozen Pizza - same with Sabor Mexican - eh. Ok but nothing special - wouldn't pay for that again.

Allure of the Seas: The Key Review

Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by TristateS

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
Checking in on day 1 was Fast. We arrived at 10 and were on ship by 10:30. No lines – we went right up to the waiting area and were the first to board the ship when they started we saw a welcome Key members sign but that was all. No one knew of a special waiting area – they just told us to sit with everyone else and wait. (No biggie). This was at port of Miami on Allure of the Seas. Didn’t help with any special security lines – but that terminal is so streamlined you don’t need it anyway. They may have let some Star Class on first but didn’t notice but we did have priority over everyone else even wheelchairs access. Heard some complaints about "we were here first" but whatever I guess that's what we paid for.

Carry Ons:

Went to Amber Theater to drop off carry ons. They did not provide any internet access at this point or wrist bands or Sea Pass Cards. I saw the list of names – only a few pages so couldn’t have been more than 100 people.

Stopped at Schooner bar to have a cocktail to kill some time since lunch doesn’t start till 11:30 – watched all the people coming on ship through the promenade. Very busy – my tip go anywhere else first. It’s like people wouldn’t leave the promenade when they boarded like they forgot the ship has 18 floors and many places to disperse. I could only imagine what the Windjammer would have looked like for lunch on Day 1 which brings me to chops.

Lunch:

Lunch at Chops was great. About 1 hour not 2 like some mentioned. Yes menu was a tad smaller than the regular lunch menu which is displayed outside the restaurant- but doubt we would have ordered anything else. Steaks were fantastic!

After lunch we went back to our room (12:50) – our carryon was waiting for us on the couch. Rooms ready at 1 no early access for Key Holders but we managed to be in at 12:50. In the room was all the Key information - and how to access the internet.

Shows:

Shows were great and yes you still need reservations for majority of them even with the Key (they do scan cards to check) but we were able to arrive almost 5min before the show started walk past the stand by line and go right to our reserved section which was first level dead center second section back. Great seats. We’ve sat front row before and you miss so much – too close. Now anyone with reservations can also walk past the standby line as well but they don’t actually have reserved seats. It’s still first come first serve and saw many trying to get Into our section but they have Key staff protecting those seats till they release them few minutes before show starts. That was nice not having to rush to the shows early or worry about seats.

Internet:

Internet was not fast like at home but probably the fastest you can get at sea like they say. We put phones in Airplane mode and used WiFi for calls and FaceTime with the kids while we were away. No issues at all. Quality was good – not the best but hey, your out in the ocean. Tried one night to stream a Netflix show. Took a while to get going and started off bad quality and got a little better. Ended up not watching anything. Don’t really watch stuff on vacation anyway so just sat on balcony till I was too tired to look at the ocean anymore. Things like Music streaming and Facebook were fast and the music came in handy for our Impromptu Solarium parties in the pool. They should have added us to the Cruise Planner – think we had the old folks going better than the main pool area. But that’s another story.

Activities:

So they give you Key hours for select activities throughout your cruise. We didn’t use any of them though. But we did see what they looked like at the Key times. For example Flowrider was always 8-9am. And maybe we saw 5 people on line. Not sure about everyday what it looked like on all lines though. Also keep in mind – this is NOT a private hour for just you. It’s for all key members. Saw some commenting on comparing it to the private lessons for cost making it a no brainer. Wrong – that lesson is expensive and actually does get you a private hour. In any event with or without the Key – none of the lines we saw were longer than 10 people at any given time on any activity. I’m sure we missed some peak times that may have been longer though.

Priority Ports and Tenders

Not sure the Key helped on Allure. Every port we stopped at we just went right down the elevator to 2 and got right off. No lines ever at any port and we did get off when we first arrived. Maybe tenders would be helpful with the Key but our itinerary didn’t call for any tenders. Getting back on the ship was fast and easy too (no need for the Key) I don’t think you get priority anyway getting back on.

Last day.

We had to have any bags packed and outside the door by 11pm night before and tagged with Key tags. Next morning we took our time since we had nowhere to go anyway (2:30pm flight) Went to the MDR for breakfast. Fantastic menu. Had breakfast about 1.5hours then were told to go by the Champagne Room to get off with Key people. A staff member told us Key members left already? Huh? We were told we could go when we were ready. We walked off ourselves and when we crossed the bridge from ship to the terminal they were taking Key guests and suite guests to the “shorter” line. Still a line though for the elevators. After that it was a fast out the door. Not sure how the other line was. Chaos I’m sure. Then our bags were in a special area for pickup. And that’s that. The terminal needs work with the incoming and outgoing traffic though. It’s all mixed together. People coming and going (complete chaos)

Overall Value:

Good for some not for others. We were getting the internet already anyway so at the time we got the Key at $19.99 pp per day (Internet was $15 pp per day) So for us it was good. Some shows I found you could just walk right in on and get a seat. Not many “bad” seats to begin with. It’s not like your sitting in MSG or MetLife Stadium with 10,000+ people. For us getting on ship first was nice and the final breakfast was nice – even though anyone can eat in the MDR except Key gets an hour longer and on a separate seating area with a special menu. Priority ports were useless for us. On board activities were useless for us (and not really needed anyway) short lines to begin with either way. I also think they need to be a bit more organized with the program. Not everyone on ship (staff) knew what it was. Overall I would say if your already getting Voom and if it’s only $5 more per day then go for it. If you don’t need the internet then I think it’s very overpriced for what you get. I mean I can’t justify that money just for a Chops lunch and getting on the ship maybe 1 hour sooner than most others did. Even shows you’ll get great seats if you show up with a reservation maybe 15-20min earlier.

A few clarifications in what I’ve seen on the forums prior:

The Key – is per person per day for length of cruise -Must be purchase by everyone over 6 years old in room

Internet – each member gets their own access code (you can use on as many devices as you want but must sign out of one before using the next)

Flow rider- the one hour reserved slot is one hour for all key guest. You don’t get your own hour. I saw some people trying to justify the cost of a personal lesson to the key. Yes with a lesson you get more personal time but the key hours are shared with key members. So don’t think that’s an hour just for you only.

And yes the add a Key sticker to your card

And off topic but I don't see what the big deal is with Sorrentos Pizza. People say its fantastic but we live in Northern NJ and were have some of the best Pizza places. I guess if your from down south or somewhere that doesn't make pizza very good - then maybe? To me it was like eating a frozen Pizza - same with Sabor Mexican - eh. Ok but nothing special - wouldn't pay for that again.
TristateS’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 6D 14544
Perfect as always. We always get a balcony room - It's nice to walk out early in the morning or late at night and just sit outside with a coffee or cocktail. Room attendant was great - cleaned room twice a day. Really no negatives except they could use maybe larger safes in the room - not big enough for a laptop or even an iPad (about the size of a shoebox)
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Labadee
    Just watch out for the Orange shirt guys up the hill towards the back. They are very pushy and have ruthless sell tactics. I know they need one because they are a poor country but if they weren't so push people might actually look around without feeling uncomfortable or pressured. Loved everything else - beautiful water. Food buffet was OK (very long lines) So stock up - not like windjammer where you can just easily go back up and grab something else. We hung out by nellies beach - good swimming. The other side was very rocky. And plenty of chairs if your somewhat early enough - don't let anyone tell you they cost money (except for the special covered chairs) they are free. Some may want a tip to move chairs or get you a spot.
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  • San Juan
    Wish our stop was longer - beautiful town. We walked from the Ship to the forts, the cemetery and even down to La Perla. Not a very touristy area but we liked it (a lot of damage from Irma though) We had breakfast at La Tortuga - fantastic. Eggs, Bacon and tried some of the best Empanadas ever. Delicious.
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  • St. Maarten
    Been here before so this time we went to Maho Beach by the Airport and hung out at Sunset bar and watched some planes lading then did some shopping back by the ports. Fun watching people get blown back into the beach from Jet Blasts.
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