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About gambit57

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Disney, Princess, RCI

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  1. No, it's not the money. It's the not wanting to keep gear that depreciates if I'm never gonna use it. Takes up space. It's been so long, I've forgotten if crop ever made me feel hindered. But, if it did, it might just have been old sensor tech. When I first posted, I was thinking sell FF to be ready for crop gear when the a6500 successor comes out. But, it's good to hear people are finding that they still like having both formats on hand. I'll try that for a while then.
  2. We're hitting that busy part of the life cycle. Kid about to hit middle school, which makes it harder to take vacations during the school year. About to move with a much larger mortgage, meaning another big reason trips are less likely. I originally moved to the Sony mirrorless A7iii because we got tired of lugging a full frame (Nikon) dslr w/ pro grade lenses around. It helped, but it's still a brick. I really only take the A7iii out on trips, but on our most recent one, I think it only came out a couple of times. Just no time to edit RAW anymore either. However, looking back on our past (edited) photos of our trips plus the photo books we made gives us a ton of joy. So, for... ahem... "reasons" some of you may have heard about... I got a RX100 vi and 18-105mm f/4 lens today with an a6500 body expected tomorrow or the day after. I was thinking of just going with the p&s or the crop mirrorless with just that one lens. Selling the other one. Especially considering the photobook part, do you guys think either of those options will be fine? Was thinking of dumping the a7iii and 24-70 f/2.8 G Master. I also have a 70-200 f/4, but was debating keeping it in case I want a long zoom on the a6500. On the FF, we just use the 24-70 about 95% of the time though. If Sony comes out with an awesome a6500 replacement, I'd consider upgrading the body.
  3. I'm assuming it's the a6000? Fantastic camera. It does get a bit more complex when you can change lenses, but it also allows you to do a lot more. The sensor on the a6000 is a lot bigger than the sensor on a phone or cheap point and shoot. This means your photo file has more data in it. More detail typically. If things look "off", you can adjust things so that they look the way you want more than you could with a file from that cheap point and shoot. Some people don't wanna go through that effort though, which is why I say you just use the camera on your phone. If forced to choose, I'd pick a cheap Canon point and shoot as I like how it makes the color of people turn out over how Sony does it. Sony has more pleasing colors (to me) for most scenic landscapes than Canon IMO.
  4. I'm hardly a Norwegian cheerleader, but every line has its pros and cons. I say you gotta go for it. I'm much more of a "traditional" cruiser, but I had a wonderful time on my Norwegian cruise. It wasn't perfect, but what cruise is? Ultimately, what matters most is whether I had a good time and I did. It's definitely worth trying. You really won't know until you try it yourself. There are so many variables, and so many things you don't even realize you like or prefer until you actually experience it. You really can't get too much of a recommendation beyond some basics.
  5. I thought the Bliss was a fabulous ship. Plus, I'm not very fond of the Western Carib.
  6. I dunno what the system forces you to do, but give yourself at least 2 hours. I asked to rush the dishes twice even though I know none of my reservations were later than 5:30 (we normally eat at that time anyways). Once in a specialty restaurant, once in a MDR. I should have done it at the beginning of the specialty restaurant, but they did rush when I finally asked. The MDR was still pretty slow even when I asked. Had a crappy waitress in Le Bistro and I bet even if I did ask, she wouldn't have bothered to rush.
  7. I have to double check, but I think I had a reservation at 5:15 or 5:30. You tell them to rush, they can rush. I also asked to rush once in a MDR, but they didn't rush like they did in Q. I tried Q, Le Bistro, and Teppenyaki on the Bliss. Food quality was great on Q and Teppenyaki. Maybe not the most authentic of BBQ, but it tasted good so that's all I really care about. Portions were HUGE, which also made me feel better. Le Bistro definitely wasn't worth it to me. They offer higher end dishes, but the quality is only maybe as good as the complimentary French stuff on other lines (including the "higher end" items). My Teppenyaki food was fabulous, but the other chef was cooking the same food and it looked noticeably different and the people he was serving didn't look like they were having as fun a time. I think I lucked out and got a great chef vs a mediocre one. Service was great on Teppenyaki, but I think that's due to the nature of seating there. 1 chef for a group right in front of him, with a waiter also set right there. Q was a little slow until we asked them to push the dishes. Then, daughter started feeling sick (2nd cruise in a row; she needs to stop touching everything she passes) and when they noticed, they really jumped up and were outstanding. Had a bad waitress in Le Bistro, but other servers stepped in during her extended absences towards the end and they were great. Very hit and miss on service, which, at roughly $25/person, is unacceptable.
  8. If you have a fairly recent higher end phone (like an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy... say, within the past 2-3 years old or newer), I'd just stick with that. Perhaps consider getting one of those lenses that attach maybe. The cameras on the new phones are incredible for most use cases now. Point and shoots don't get good until you get into the $400-$1000 range. At that point, you may as well consider either upgrading to the newest and best iPhone/Android or look into interchangeable lens cameras. I'd much rather just use the camera on my iPhone 7 than your typical $200-300 point and shoot. For sure, DW's iPhone X would be a way better phone than either of those two. The lenses on high end smartphones are pretty good and their photo processing software is amazing at this point. If you insist on a point and shoot, I prefer the Sonys. Even an older RX100. Canon would be my other choice for a cheap point and shoot. It'll be slow to trigger the shutter (smartphones are way faster), but the colors and stuff look pretty decent on even a cheap ELPH.
  9. Our primary bag is a Peak Design Everyday backpack 20L (the smaller one). It fit a full frame Nikon D750 with f/2.8 24-70mm lens attached + f/2.8 70-200mm with room on top. It was tight though. Switched to mirrorless and even with a f/2.8 24-70 attached, it fits much better. Very configurable, but with giant lenses like the 2.8s, you basically split the bag into 3 sections inside. However, it's NOT light. It's actually pretty heavy IMO. When packed to the gills, since it expands up top, it can leave space for water to get in if it rains. The straps, because they're designed to allow the Capture clip to attach, are thin, barely padded, and quite uncomfortable if you carry heavy gear (like full frame and 2.8 lenses). They're also attached too closely together. It's a pretty sweaty and uncomfortable bag if you do any kind of hiking or moving around at all. They have great customer service though. However, I don't expect it to become a great product until the 3rd version comes out (they haven't even designed a version 2 yet fwiw). So, why do we use it? Cuz it looks freaking fantastic. And I love the Capture clip. It also doesn't scream camera bag. Other manufacturers claim that, but it's pretty obvious that their "stealth" bags are clearly camera bags. They're increasingly popular though so you can't really hide the fact you're wearing a camera bag from anyone who's into cameras at all. We also have a ThinkTank Speed Freak and a variety of Lowepro bags. I'm not thrilled with ThinkTank at all. The back of mine frayed on its first trip/use, which was only 7 days long. No velcro. Just rubbing against cargo shorts and jeans. Customer Service department was useless. I generally like the construction, but at the prices they charge, I can't say that they're worth it. I'm FAR more pleased with my various LowePro bags and they're a tiny fraction of the cost of a comparable ThinkTank. On a budget, I'd say get a LowePro. I'd still recommend the Peak Design, but understand it's limitations (it's heavy, the straps are uncomfortable, and it makes you pretty sweaty). I wish Osprey would make a camera bag.
  10. I think that matched what we had for Alaska. Havana was first. Jersey Boys was later. Definitely book Jersey Boys. They did a great job. Havana was... meh.
  11. I'd be upset only because I would NOT have any clothes for SF weather. I don't get the cheers, but I wouldn't be upset about it either. Other than worrying about being cold. I mean, packing for LA and Mexico is a LOT different than packing for SF. I'm not sure if I'd have a pair of long pants on me for that trip.
  12. The Nikon 18-55 VR kit lens is not bad either actually. Super light. Still, if I had to choose btw the a6000 and d3500, I'd take the Sony. I say that as a long time Nikon user who's only just switched to Sony.
  13. Absolutely. It's not completely apples to apples. But can anything really be when you're comparing cruise lines? There are always going to be differences. I didn't get a special Disney deal. I got multiple quotes. They were all the same except for how much on board credit they would kick in. It was on the Fantasy. "Newer", but didn't have the newest changes in the kids areas. Yes, the Bliss is brand new. I'm well aware that time of year matters too. Conversely, it was a Balcony cabin on Disney vs just an Ocean View for Norwegian. I could have chosen a different Norwegian ship (the Pearl was following us) and got a much better room for a better price. I could have gotten a cheaper Disney room, and gotten a cheaper price. You can argue what ifs all day long. Still, at the end of the day, I went on a Disney cruise for the exact same price as a Norwegian cruise. Disney is in the same general class as Norwegian. It's not like comparing Norwegian to Seabourn or something. The OP was asking about dining. The specialty dining, on Norwegian's brand new ship, in my opinion, and just my opinion only (well, along with the people I sailed with), was that the specialty dining was nothing special. Disney's standard main dining room stuff was better. I only brought up price because the default response tends to be "well, Disney costs more" so I just mentioned it to say, no, Disney doesn't necessarily cost more.
  14. I have the Hero 5. Battery life is always an issue. I wanna say it's about 2 hours per battery? For 8 hours, you'd need a huge memory card (like 128 GB +) and rig it so it's always charging. Or just stitch together a few time lapse videos. On a time lapse, no way anyone would notice when you stopped to change batteries or memory cards.
  15. I don't think Specialty Dining is so great that you'll regret skipping them. MDR food is perfectly fine. The buffet isn't bad either. There's not as much stuff as the ads suggest, but I thought it was on par with MDR quality. Compared to other lines, in just my personal opinion, the buffet is better than most other lines but the MDR is worse than most other lines. Perfectly adequate food tho. I always found at least 1 item I enjoyed.
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