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Celebrity Reflection January 14 to 21 2017


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After the Segway ride it was 4pm and while Carol went to our room I went out on a photo safari nearby to see some of the buildings.

 

All of the non-zoom pics in this review were taken on the Canon 6D for the photographers among you.

 

The Berkeley Shore hotel undergoing renovation

 

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Working on learning more about cameras! What lens? You listed earlier your camera body was EOS rebel T3i.

 

I am interested in the Cannon 10 - 22 lens and its capability.

 

-------

 

Also, what a great story about being a drummer on Royal Caribbean.

 

We are planning to eat at Seaside on our next trip to Fort Lauderdale when we get on Silhouette!!! I am with you on crab from your Silhouette trip report!

Edited by shipshape sam
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This is Carol, aka Deck Chair Queen, checking in, too late for the cyber muffins perhaps? I just wanted to add that touring Miami Beach's Art Deco district was a bucket list item for me and it more than met up to my expectations. So amazing a preservation job of a district and style that would otherwise have disappeared, and I'm told it's the only twentieth century historic district in the US. There are so many styles of deco and modern - even our hotel was from the classic fifties Miami Modern swank architect Morris Lapidus, which was thrilling for me. The lobby had been beautifully recreated (the photo with all the chrome domes on the wall). All this, beautiful weather, stone crab, and a cruise to follow? It's too good to be true!

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This is Carol, aka Deck Chair Queen, checking in, too late for the cyber muffins perhaps? I just wanted to add that touring Miami Beach's Art Deco district was a bucket list item for me and it more than met up to my expectations. So amazing a preservation job of a district and style that would otherwise have disappeared, and I'm told it's the only twentieth century historic district in the US. There are so many styles of deco and modern - even our hotel was from the classic fifties Miami Modern swank architect Morris Lapidus, which was thrilling for me. The lobby had been beautifully recreated (the photo with all the chrome domes on the wall). All this, beautiful weather, stone crab, and a cruise to follow? It's too good to be true!

 

 

How far is the Art Deco district from the Miami cruiseport?

We are on a B2B and this sounds like a fun activity for the turnaround day.

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This is Carol, aka Deck Chair Queen, checking in, too late for the cyber muffins perhaps? I just wanted to add that touring Miami Beach's Art Deco district was a bucket list item for me and it more than met up to my expectations. So amazing a preservation job of a district and style that would otherwise have disappeared, and I'm told it's the only twentieth century historic district in the US. There are so many styles of deco and modern - even our hotel was from the classic fifties Miami Modern swank architect Morris Lapidus, which was thrilling for me. The lobby had been beautifully recreated (the photo with all the chrome domes on the wall). All this, beautiful weather, stone crab, and a cruise to follow? It's too good to be true!

 

 

The pictures for sure have my interest in trying to tour the district. Stone crabs too! :) Were they just cooked or on ice?

 

Maybe a reason to come again to take and sell some pics! It would be a business trip for sure...:) The pictures are great PR for Miami.

Edited by shipshape sam
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Norris, I'm so pleased to see you're composing another of your grand journals! And hello Carol!

 

I have a couple of new liqueurs to experiment with while I read. Perhaps tonight I'll concoct something with this bottle of DECC (citrus and clove). Another night I'll find a good use for my ROOT Liqueur (mint, cardamom, and anise). But if it stays this bone-biting cold, I may declare "To heck with it!" and mix some Praline Liqueur with hot cocoa and call it good.

 

Anticipating a fine vicarious experience,

Ed

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This is Carol, aka Deck Chair Queen, checking in, too late for the cyber muffins perhaps? I just wanted to add that touring Miami Beach's Art Deco district was a bucket list item for me and it more than met up to my expectations. So amazing a preservation job of a district and style that would otherwise have disappeared, and I'm told it's the only twentieth century historic district in the US. There are so many styles of deco and modern - even our hotel was from the classic fifties Miami Modern swank architect Morris Lapidus, which was thrilling for me. The lobby had been beautifully recreated (the photo with all the chrome domes on the wall). All this, beautiful weather, stone crab, and a cruise to follow? It's too good to be true!

 

I was thinking I'd like to see the Art Deco Distric... Now know I have to do that! THANK YOU Carol for giving me a great reason to go to Miami!

Gabrielle

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How far is the Art Deco district from the Miami cruiseport?

We are on a B2B and this sounds like a fun activity for the turnaround day.

 

Norris here, just returned from my first day back at work and I can answer this question by saying 20 minutes in a cab at a cost of $31 incl tip.

 

Well worth a detour if you ask me and in fact I was so taken with the exterior style of the buildings that I wouldn't say it out of the realms of possibility that one day we will have a weekend of Art Deco in South Beach and go there for that one purpose ( and to eat crabs.) We walked into one hotel-The National, around the corner from the Ritz and the interior blew my socks off (they were a pair of those Argyle ones and a good fit and I later saw a homeless guy wearing them). Alas for I had only one camera with me and it had a zoom lens on it for spotting eagles and that's useless for a hotel lobby photo shoot. A wide angle is needed.

 

Something odd and funny came to mind when I mentioned homeless guy and socks.... I was sitting outside the hotel in the dark at 5 am on Sunday morning and some young 20 somethings came by and one saw my shiny black shoes and said "did you just find those shoes man?" No, I've had these for years..."Somebody just stole my shoes man"....and he went on his way. Bizarre.

 

Norris

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I was thinking I'd like to see the Art Deco Distric... Now know I have to do that! THANK YOU Carol for giving me a great reason to go to Miami!

Gabrielle

 

Gabrielle, you ain't seen nothin' yet as at the end of the review there is a glut of fabulous vintage buildings photos.

 

Stay tuned as I also have many photos of one of the most beautiful ships on the sea and yummy food and beautiful islands and exciting shows. I was kept busy as Deck Chair Queen will attest.

 

Norris

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Working on learning more about cameras! What lens? You listed earlier your camera body was EOS rebel T3i.

 

I am interested in the Cannon 10 - 22 lens and its capability.

-------

 

Also, what a great story about being a drummer on Royal Caribbean.

 

We are planning to eat at Seaside on our next trip to Fort Lauderdale when we get on Silhouette!!! I am with you on crab from your Silhouette trip report!

 

At some point I will dig up some photos of me in my Song of Norway days....

 

The Canon EFS (crop sensor) 10 to 22mm lens was the lens mostly used in my

reviews from January 2013 onwards until this cruise. The crop sensor lenses can't be used on a Full Frame camera. The FF camera I used-Canon 6D has a sensor 1.6 times bigger than the T3i and so it gathers more light. It has a useable ISO (sensitivity to light) of 12,800 and beyond and is great for shooting in the dark which I love to do-before the sun comes up and way after it sets. It has no flash.

I never use flash so this FF camera is ideal for me. I have been reading up on photography for a year or so via Youtube and have learned a lot from a very enthusiastic and down to earth British guy called Mike Browne

 

https://www.photographycourses.biz

 

Click on videos and start learning more. He's a Nikon user but a camera is a camera. I just chose Canon and so am committed to the brand. I have no complaints with the equipment so I can never blame a bad photo on the gear.

I used L lenses which are the Canon Professional grade and their entry level Full Frame camera the 6D. Better cameras exist but at twice the price (which is currently $1499 on Amazon but cheaper elsewhere.( but no company can ever match the service of Amazon in my opinion)

 

This was my first photo cruise where I decided NOT to use auto on the camera and not to shoot small Jpeg files so the cameras were set to Aperture Priority and recorded in RAW format which means that I can rescue a poorly thought out photo in Lightroom. My favorite car is my old BMW which has a stick shift and I have to work the gears and clutch to make it go and get the best from it-in other words it makes me think, listen to the engine, look at the revs, feel the point of maximum torque -in short be involved with the gearbox and engine. In the wintertime (now) it sits in a garage in Michigan, longing for Spring and I drive an automatic where I don't have to be engaged and the passion I have for driving is greatly reduced. I am going from A to B.

 

So this was my most enjoyable photo adventure to date as each time I had to lift the camera to my eye I had to do some calculations and think about Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO before pressing the shutter button. So I got an instant rush when I took a good photo. If it was less than stellar then I fixed it in Lightroom which I am a champion of and recommend heartily.

 

On the ship I often had both cameras hanging from my neck-the T3i and a 55 to 250mm zoom, which because it is a crop sensor lens paired with a crop sensor camera actually is an 88 to 400mm range zoom) and the 6D with either a 24 to 70mm L lens or most often (interiors, food and architecture pics)a 16mm to 35mm L lens. The 10 to 22 mm EFS lens actually gives you 16mm to 35.2mm zoom.

 

Anyone not into cameras will be reaching for the Advil by now so I'll stop.

 

Hope this helps get you to click on Mike Browne's site where he explains everything better than I ever can.

 

You mention eating at Seaside restaurant- do you mean Sea Level at the Marriott Harbor Beach in Ft Lauderdale? Order the crab salsa and smile!

 

Norris

 

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This is Carol, aka Deck Chair Queen, checking in, too late for the cyber muffins perhaps? I just wanted to add that touring Miami Beach's Art Deco district was a bucket list item for me and it more than met up to my expectations. So amazing a preservation job of a district and style that would otherwise have disappeared, and I'm told it's the only twentieth century historic district in the US. There are so many styles of deco and modern - even our hotel was from the classic fifties Miami Modern swank architect Morris Lapidus, which was thrilling for me. The lobby had been beautifully recreated (the photo with all the chrome domes on the wall). All this, beautiful weather, stone crab, and a cruise to follow? It's too good to be true!

Hi Carol,

I totally agree with you about the Art Deco district in Miami Beach. As a buildings geek I was in heaven wandering around all those fabulously restored masterpieces. Most cities may have an occasional Streamline Moderne building still standing, but to see block after block of all sorts of Art Deco designs was just incredible. If you're interested, here's a link to some of the photos I took of the buildings in South Beach:

Edited by Jasperdo
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Stay tuned as I also have many photos of one of the most beautiful ships on the sea and yummy food and beautiful islands and exciting shows. I was kept busy as Deck Chair Queen will attest.

 

Norris

 

So pleased that it sounds like you really enjoyed it. I've just completed my post-cruise survey and just about the only negative I could come up with was some of the the piped electronic music in various places around the ship - I started a collective moan about it (not much encouragement needed!) in one elevator ride :D Sounded like music to 'end it all' with to me. However, I enjoyed all of the live music. Otherwise, a 5 star experience, and I'm really looking forward to your take.

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Well 19 hours passed in the time I spent trying to upload a 10 minute Segway video to Youtube ( I had it trying to upload for the 11 hours I was out of the house today at work)...so I gave up on it.

 

Instead I uploaded a video from the memory card from my Sony camcorder and that was fun (not) as iMovie decided it "had a headache" and wanted to invite it's Mother over for the weekend. But I persevered and got a 2 minute clip of Joe's Stone Crab as I am hungry and think it's about time we see some food in this review. Don't you?

 

I sent the Joe's clips over to Youtube only to see it uploading "South Beach Segway " so Joe's sits on my computer waiting it's turn. Youtube says it will be ready in a jiffy....1 hr 52 minutes so to hell with it! I'll press on with photos of crab claws and then we can all go home and get some sleep.

 

I hope you are onboard with that or it's twiddle your thumbs time and time is of the essence!

 

Crab ahoy in my next post, if I live that long.

 

Norris

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Norris!

 

I was combing through the X forums today and happened to see your handle, a tad curious for what might be in store for another Norris post - and I couldn't be more excited.

 

Before you think I'm some crazy stalker, allow me to explain ... I'm a bit of a X fan-boy (although I haven't tried Princess yet ... maybe once I reach Elite with X, I'll start checking out the competition) and was really captivated with your Silhouette review last year. It just so happened that my partner, and our two friends were sailing on the Silhouette about a month after you did, so your review was a perfectly timed pre-cruise thread. We all followed along, captivated by your in-depth review and loved it. We ended up meeting another couple on the ship who had been following along your review and we all talked about how it really got us super excited for our cruise (not that we weren't already).

 

Fast forward to today ...

I was on the Reflection the week before you, for the Eastern Caribbean trip, taking my parents on their first ever cruise (they loved it!). It was my first time on the Reflection, and I really loved the improvements over the rest of the class, especially the Sunset bar!

 

It also happens that I'm headed back on the Reflection in about 45 days for a Western Caribbean sailing with a huge group of friends, about 12 of us in all. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to see you doing a review of, once again, the very cruise that we're booked on, only a few weeks before we're going -- another great pre-cruise thread!

 

I'm curious to see how you found your second X sailing and very curious to find out if there was another visit to the Future Cruise office at some point during your sailing.

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Well I left the computer on last night for 8 hours uploading video to Youtube but have nothing to show for it so as planned we'll go to our first vacation dinner....

 

I had searched TripAdvisor for somewhere to eat before our trip and when I mentioned Joe's Stone Crab to Carol her eyes lit up and her head spun 360 degrees. Cartoon-chase bongos sounded, I swear. She was excited at the words Stone Crab.

 

We left the hotel and asked one of the doormen to get us a cab. They park across the street. "Why don't you take our limo?" they said. OK.

I was expecting a Mercedes sedan, an E Class or such. A large maybe 16 passenger Mercedes thing pulled up. Overkill. We climbed in anyway and 15 minutes later were dropped at Joe's.

 

The outdoor dining patio looked very inviting as the weather was lovely but the greeter told us it didn't feature the full menu and we wanted to see that. Formally dressed waiters were everywhere as we were led through one huge dining room after another until we came to a 4 top near a window and were seated. I'd guess that the rooms could hold 700 people or more. They also have "Joe's Take-Away" next door.

 

Our server was Joan a witty down to Earth professional who knows her menu.

 

Let's look at what came to the table....

 

My shrimp cocktail

 

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Yes it tasted as good as it looks and was the perfect accompaniment to my bottle of Stella Artois (they had no Guinness) and selections from the varied fresh bread basket.

 

Carol loves her salads so this is her lettuce wedge

 

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I ordered one of my favorite dishes which is Steak Frites, cooked medium

 

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When it came to her claws Carol had several size options, large, jumbo etc "Or there's Colossal" said Joan. That's what came to the table-at "Market Price" which is similar to Airport Pricing but Carol is a believer in "you get what you pay for" and "dammit I'm in Miami, I'm starving and I want my crab". She eschewed the Joe's bibs that some customers were wearing as she knows how to cleanly eat these beasts and doesn't want to be reminded of her childhood days in a highchair.

 

Stone Crab claws of the Gods

 

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She of course shared a bite or two with me and all I can say is ______ (speechless)

 

By now the room was starting to fill and became louder but we were nearing the end of our meal and had happy tummies it didn't matter. The waiter ratio to customers is quite high and they are all friendly and eager to help. It's a well run machine, a money spinner that delivers good food combined with all you could ask for in service and attentiveness without the slightest pretence or stuffiness.

 

For dessert there was no need to ask Carol what she craved-Key Lime Pie!

 

No need for green coloring in this Key Lime Pie

 

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I made do (LOL) with the caramel and Bourbon Bread Pudding with ice cream and edible flower....

 

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Wow wow wow, what a fine meal. With a $40 tip for Joan's stellar service we paid $250 but the experience was worth the spend.

 

After I had a cigarette on the sidewalk outside, watching Porsches, Teslas, Hondas and Lamborghini's pulling in for the valet parking I hailed a passing cab who took us on a high speed ride back to the hotel.

 

We had been up since 3.30 a.m in Chicago and to us it wasn't ridiculous to turn in for the night....at 8 p.m!

 

Outside the Atlantic washed up on the beach, over and over again. A magical sound and off we went into deep dark caverns of sleep....

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Joining in the fun, and what fun it is! Having just done a long review myself, I have to say I'm super impressed with how much you've accomplished already. Way to go! Can't wait for more!

 

Lori thanks for finding me here!

 

We would be on the ship by now if it wasn't for my issues uploading video to Youtube. I already have over 300 videos there so it's not a new experience for me but I have left my laptop uploading for up to 11 hours at a time and still nothing.

 

I want the video to go with the narrative and the photos and my only solution at this time is to chat with Apple and let them look into my computer remotely. The charge about $30 for the help but I'll try it, although it has taken up to two hours in the past fixing iMovie.

 

Pressing on...

 

Norris

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Well I got up early enough to allow me 6 hours on the computer to work on the review but those hours alas have been spent in a labyrinth of computer fixes.

Carol helped me find my issues discussed on Google and I am not the only one with major upload to Youtube problems but we tried some and one seems to work but it has taken 5 hours or so.

 

I have to go to work but am optimistic that I'll be able to get some video up and running and leave the nightmare behind later tonight or early next morning.

 

So-more later with fingers crossed!

 

Norris

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How far is the Art Deco district from the Miami cruiseport?

We are on a B2B and this sounds like a fun activity for the turnaround day.

Karen

It isn't far but you would need a taxi to get there. I have walked across the bridge to South beach but the sidewalk disappears half way there, by which time you are too far across to go back. you need to go out of the port and across the MacAthur Causeway which runs parallel to the way the ship leaves the port most of the way. Get out of taxi at either Washington St or Ocean Drive and wander about. You have plenty of time to do that.

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Following along. We leave on the Reflection for our first ever cruise February 4th. I really enjoy your writing style. I can't wait to see some pictures of the ship! :)

Edited by pkdjtrav
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At some point I will dig up some photos of me in my Song of Norway days....

 

The Canon EFS (crop sensor) 10 to 22mm lens was the lens mostly used in my

reviews from January 2013 onwards until this cruise. The crop sensor lenses can't be used on a Full Frame camera. The FF camera I used-Canon 6D has a sensor 1.6 times bigger than the T3i and so it gathers more light. It has a useable ISO (sensitivity to light) of 12,800 and beyond and is great for shooting in the dark which I love to do-before the sun comes up and way after it sets. It has no flash.

I never use flash so this FF camera is ideal for me. I have been reading up on photography for a year or so via Youtube and have learned a lot from a very enthusiastic and down to earth British guy called Mike Browne

 

https://www.photographycourses.biz

 

Click on videos and start learning more. He's a Nikon user but a camera is a camera. I just chose Canon and so am committed to the brand. I have no complaints with the equipment so I can never blame a bad photo on the gear.

I used L lenses which are the Canon Professional grade and their entry level Full Frame camera the 6D. Better cameras exist but at twice the price (which is currently $1499 on Amazon but cheaper elsewhere.( but no company can ever match the service of Amazon in my opinion)

 

This was my first photo cruise where I decided NOT to use auto on the camera and not to shoot small Jpeg files so the cameras were set to Aperture Priority and recorded in RAW format which means that I can rescue a poorly thought out photo in Lightroom. My favorite car is my old BMW which has a stick shift and I have to work the gears and clutch to make it go and get the best from it-in other words it makes me think, listen to the engine, look at the revs, feel the point of maximum torque -in short be involved with the gearbox and engine. In the wintertime (now) it sits in a garage in Michigan, longing for Spring and I drive an automatic where I don't have to be engaged and the passion I have for driving is greatly reduced. I am going from A to B.

 

So this was my most enjoyable photo adventure to date as each time I had to lift the camera to my eye I had to do some calculations and think about Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO before pressing the shutter button. So I got an instant rush when I took a good photo. If it was less than stellar then I fixed it in Lightroom which I am a champion of and recommend heartily.

 

On the ship I often had both cameras hanging from my neck-the T3i and a 55 to 250mm zoom, which because it is a crop sensor lens paired with a crop sensor camera actually is an 88 to 400mm range zoom) and the 6D with either a 24 to 70mm L lens or most often (interiors, food and architecture pics)a 16mm to 35mm L lens. The 10 to 22 mm EFS lens actually gives you 16mm to 35.2mm zoom.

 

Anyone not into cameras will be reaching for the Advil by now so I'll stop.

 

Hope this helps get you to click on Mike Browne's site where he explains everything better than I ever can.

 

You mention eating at Seaside restaurant- do you mean Sea Level at the Marriott Harbor Beach in Ft Lauderdale? Order the crab salsa and smile!

 

Norris

 

 

Thanks for the photo information and link!

 

Yes, I meant Sea Level. We go to NW Florida a lot and close to a beach called Seaside Beach. Your picture from previous cruise has me committed to trying!

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Hey, Norris, very happy to see another review from you. Best wishes for success with your tech problems. Meanwhile, I'm waiting with bated breath for the next installment...

Cheers from the Aussie contingent.

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