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About TheOldBear

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  1. I recently acquired an Olympus OMD M1 mark 2 and its companion superzoom travel lens - 12-200 f/3.5 to f/6.3. Like the Tamron, it is relatively slow at the long end, and Pinnochio zooms to twice its length when zoomed to the long end. [makes me miss the internal zoom of my old FZ-50] On the other hand, it is weather sealed, so rain and mild splashes should not bother the combo.
  2. My 'final payment' date is May first - we will evaluate the situation mid April and see if we are going ahead, or rescheduling. At worst, we will not be able to transfer the travel insurance to a new cruise (need to check what rules are in effect in April).
  3. We got a full bottle of P.A. last year - and perhaps our senses are getting duller, but we finished the bottle while unpacking and stowing the cabin.
  4. Previous discussions for Alaska have neglected wide angle lenses in favor of some more extreme telephoto options. A wide angle lens [24 to 35 mm 'full frame' equivalent] might be useful for interior [on ship and on land] pictures and for stitching panorama shots. Many photographers will use a modest wide angle lens for their 'walking around' lens. Your 18mm kit lens likely is similar to the angle of view of a full frame 28mm [or my MFT kit zoom14-42mm] lens. A prime [fixed focal length] lens might be much more compact, and be brighter [f/1.8] instead of a kit zoom at f/3.5 or so. For SLR mounts, you may find that the size/weight/price increases radically for prime lenses wider than 24mm - very few of them will be optimized for smaller than full frame coverage.
  5. If the announced restrictions are in still in place by final payment date, we will likely cancel and get our deposit refunded or look at 2022.
  6. It’s one of the few spaces on the ship exclusive to Princess and Queens ‘Grill’ passengers. In addition to the terrace, that list includes (on deck 7) one bar, their assigned restaurant and a ‘concierge lounge’ somewhere on deck 10. The rest of the ship’s public areas are open to all - no “ship within a ship” isolation.
  7. And somewhere between the P900 super zoom and Sony RX-10 series are the Panasonic FZ 1000 and 1000 mark 2 cameras They use the same larger sensor size as the Sony, extensive video features and a nice [Leica branded] lens. Much cheaper than the RX-10 series in general. [note that some later RX-10's have some degree of weather sealing - the FZ1000 does not claim any] I think if I had the space [and budget] a P9000 + some larger sensor or more compact camera would be nice.
  8. Our final payment date is 1 May, for a 12 September sailing. Much can change between now and the final payment date - and if these regulations are still in placeI would be looking at cancelation [just loose the insurance premium if that could not be re-purposed for another sailing]. My Policy contains a covered Sickness or Injury involving an Insured, Traveling Companion or Business Partner, or Family Member of an Insured or Traveling Companion which necessitates Medical Treatment at the time of cancellation and results in medically imposed restrictions, as certified by a Legally Qualified Physician, which prevents an Insured’s participation in the Covered Trip; an Insured or Traveling Companion being hijacked, quarantined, required to serve on a jury (notice of jury duty must be received after the Effective Date) served with a court order to appear as a witness in a legal action in which an Insured or Traveling Companion is not a party (except law enforcement officers); So I may be covered if turned away before boarding - I will need to clarify this with the carrier [TravelInsured]
  9. It is a b2b cruise - but [if its like 2019] as an 'in transit' passenger you are already checked in, and need not attend the safety drill. Be very aware of the back on board time. In 2017 the ship's Winchester tour got back in time for lunch [too early] In 2019 we elected a couple of DIY days for the before and after Hamburg Sundays, both times staying local. For next year, I'm going to look at the logistics for Portsmouth - If that doesn't work out, we'll sleep in and have a pub lunch at the Dancing Man 🙂
  10. A weissbeir - if its not raining at the Terrace bar.
  11. I wonder if it makes a difference if the ship is 'zeroed out' in Vancouver? Same ship, but different cruises? I'm thinking of the ways the QM2 combines New England/Canada sailing with Southampton transatlantics to produce 'grand voyages' - when QM2 arrives in Brooklyn, it is always 'zeroed out'.
  12. We have done two transatlantic round trips so far, with a third planned for next year. Assuming that things will be similar to past practice, your passport will gain an electronic stamp so on the eastbound d leg, so the ship arrives ‘cleared’ in Southampton. In transit passengers can walk off without further paperwork. The classic transatlantic saying is “nothing to do, and not enough time in the day to do it”. We check the program for lectures and other activities of interest. You may also be on a theme cruise with several speakers and presentations on the theme. Our eastbound crossing will one again feature Anthony Inglass with the English National Symphony - we’ve also been onboard for Space Week. Formal nights were confusingly renamed to ‘gala’ nights a few years back, but are still ‘black tie’ in most public areas. Even the non formal nights are ‘jacket required’ dressier than most mainstream lines. There are likely three formal nights on each crossing - with a theme (mostly for the Queens Room) for two of the three.
  13. We were a bit disappointed in the ship’s tour to Winchester, as we could easily spent a few more hours sightseeing, but instead we were back onboard before lunch was finished. There are some posts on this forum, and over in the “ports of call” section from John Bull with information about arranging transportation for do it yourself tours. We have two Southampton stops on next year’s cruise. Probably the first one we will try to meetup with Facebook friends in The Dancing Man for lunch and a pint or two. The second visit is on a Saturday and we may try a DIY to Portsmouth and some of the historic sites.
  14. Bring an umbrella 😉 The weather is not predictable this far in advance, but on the eastbound and westbound crossings you will likely be sailing into and out of many small weather systems. The ship has a substantial reserve of speed to allow the Captain to route around major systems [tropical storms] or at least choose a favorable course through them. A couple of weather related points from our 2017 round trip [M217B] On the last sea day before Southampton, it was warm, sunny with little wind over the deck - so opening the Boardwalk was announced. Just before the scheduled opening time, you could see a line of thunderstorms forming with no simple way to avoid it. When the rain arrived, I decided to head down to the Kings Court for lunch . It was intermittently rainy in Southampton, and I was glad to have an umbrella on our ship's tour to Winchester [nice, but too short. We were back on board before the end of lunchtime]. I have some nice photos of double rainbows over Southampton taken mostly from the Observation deck below the bridge. On the westbound leg, we encountered a tropical storm remnant, with 'force 11' winds. The captain put the wind on the bow, and sailing was smooth despite waves occasionally covering windows in the Golden Lion. The Terrace pool area was sheltered, and I sat reading at the bar for a while. I did see folks using the pool and hot tubs there. There were even some folks waking the promenade deck despite all the doors from deck 7 being secured.
  15. In Brooklyn, the ship must be “zeroed out” with all passengers off, before embarkation can commence. Passengers in transit that do not want to visit NYC are provided with a lounge in the terminal. After a short wait, they can go right on board.
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