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Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
662 Reviews

Is "The Key" worth it?

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review by Erica Hazzard

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jul 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony

Our family of 4, 2 kids aged 10 and 12, recently returned from our 1 week Alaskan cruise. We found "The Key" package worth the extra money. The one issue at the start of the cruise was rectified the first day. The original tickets we printed had "the Key" insignia on it, but we had a cabin upgrade and the new tickets did not have them on. The ticket agent wrote "Key customers" by hand. It got us into the embarkation line. We were on the ship at 11:15 where we were greeted by an assistant cruise director who directed us to the dining room for lunch. Before we entered we received the envelope with a sheet outlining "the Key" special activities for the week and wifi password, but only for my son. I then registered my family for iFly, and North Star, all by 11:50. If my kids were older than 13, we could have registered for the "escape room". Our carryons were checked and were in our rooms at 1. We ate a "Chops Menu Lunch" in the dining room, which was good but similar to dinner in the dining room. The key cards were in our rooms at one, but again, only my son's card had "the Key" insignia on it. I went to the Guest Services desk where a staff member quickly took my key cards, and returned them with a "key" sticker on them. She called IT and by 4:30 we all had our wifi passwords. We used "the Key" for all the shows where we sat in a designated area in the balcony. We went to the one "the Key" designated times for rock wall, Flow Rider, and bumper cars. Our kids went over and over again, really the lineups consisted of a dozen other kids with "the Key". Each time the bumper cars ran, "the Key" members were able to go on 1 ride by skipping the line that wrapped around the SeaPlex. The second or third night at 10 pm room service came to deliver a fruit plate from "the Key". Nice gesture, but we were all in bed. We used the early departure option once at port and it worked well. On the final morning breakfast in the dining room was unhurried. In summary, "the Key" is worth it if you have people who would use the activities. "The Key" allows you sign up for iFly and North Star before others, participate in the rock wall, bumper cars and Flow Rider without a line once or twice during the week, have great seats in shows without going very early. If you are part of a rewards level or suite level, these perks may not be worth it. We also bought the "wow" band, that replaced your room key. I would not get the if I had "the Key" again, as you had to bring your key card anyways to show "the Key" insignia. "The Key" definitely improved our cruise experience.

Erica Hazzard's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Whale Watching

This was one of the larger boats, but there was an indoor and outdoor section. A graduate student of marine biology gave an interesting presentation during the cruise. We saw whales, sea lions, otters, and bald eagles. Bus drivers to and from boat and Glacier Park were informative

View All 906 Whale Watching Reviews
Bicycle Tour

Great bike ride for families. Beautify scenery. Wished it was longer! Saw salmon spawining.

View All 38 Bicycle Tour Reviews

We reserved online. This is the only bike company that has bikes at the pier. Other companies you have to walk 1-2 km into town. Girl in the morning was a bit dismissive of my husband until he showed her the email from her boss stating that we had rented bikes. Lady receiving bikes in afternoon was much more helpful. We were told for the next year there is major construction along the ocean view road, we were redirected.

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Erica Hazzard
1 Reviews Written
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