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About chipmaster

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    In the air, new gig & now flying ~ 350K miles/year
  • Interests
    Between honey to do, dad to do, Moore's Law to do, and vacations to do no time for anything else
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Haven't taken a cruise line I didn't like! So many ships so little vacation time :(
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Yet to sample them all, so I can't decide
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:

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  1. Insurance is exactly that, there to cover when things happen. Unintended things like illness and emergency procedures in far-way lands can get very expensive and depending on the place may require payment before treatment. There you either got cash/cash-transfer or most places do expect credit, better have enough on the CC for these. If you got good insurance then you like can get some if not all of it covered except the deductible if it is indeed a medical coverage / accident etc. But claims can take months or longer if they were't pre-approved. And of course all those with personal health insurance think carefully before you vote this coming election as choice could be gone!
  2. Cameras P&S have come a long ways since the last Kodak ( a reason they went bankrupt ), almost any P&S made in the last couple years can be better. Also as another poster mentioned any highend smartphone is better too, LOL, but w/o the flexibility of reach on a zoom. As to why blurry, 1) the scratch and shooting into direct sun light can cause glare and haze look that could be a possibility 2) the stabilizing falied, 3) the lens is dirty or inner elements, with a extending zoom, perhaps with lots of use dust or other stuff got in. Cameras are so cheap if it is going bad/went bad electronics these days are throwaway, so wasteful but the way of the modern Moore's Law world, LOL
  3. All about the ports ports ports, with such a large group be assured it will result in many different opinions of what is best. I'd likely not put a European based line as a top consideration, but any large American line IMHO is the most important. Don't matter how great the meal on the ship is, if the port's are memorable it'll all be a waste, who cares about on board if you don't get Rome for example 🙂 Make a list then see what people's desire is if you are doing it democratically. I planned such a cruise for 5-75 year range across four families a few years ago, in the end I took everyone's input then weight them and then it was pure analysis paralysis, LOL. Let me remind you once you get the port/cruise decided, good luck with the tours and port planning, that will be even more fun.
  4. Buffet when you want a quick snack and a wide choice, dining for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner is usually a long winded affair. No question the food is better by a country mile, but you wait and wait and wait. Clearly the good of sitdown you really have to make an effort to go gluttonous, as it is frightening even for me when I go to the buffet, LOL
  5. These were fun loving and liking fine dining, entertainment, they were very unimpressed with the set stage shows nor optional upgrade eating and to be honest the upsell eating and entertainment is very average compared to any medium sized US city, might be even below what you can find, but for value good, for quality terrible, so if you judge by that you could say you get better eats, experience, shows in almost any local hometown or nearby big city then on a ship, of course not the ports and value, but if value isn't part of the measurement totally agreed with them.
  6. Alaska: Princess, they have a dominate presence with some many sailings you should find a schedule and port lineup that works for you. In the summer princess Alaska is still great fun, with multiple ports, what will make it fun is what you got lined up for the young and old that is jointly fun in Port. Tropics: As you noted a RCCL mega ship, all about fun in the sun.
  7. Everyone can find something they like, not true: We've taken a couple familes with us on what we thought would be a vacation they like, they both came back more sure cruising wasn't for them and no fun, LOL
  8. We have done a couple cruise from the Med, agreed a great way to see a different city/port every day. I'd say the best line is the one that does the most ports you want with the sailing you want. I think all the mainstream lines are pretty close, some more party like, some more full of formal image, some about ship amenities, but if you pick Europe it is PORTS, PORTS, PORTS. Like others suggested we did one that started in Venice and ended in Barcelona ( Grand Med ), with stops in Athens, Naples, Mykonos, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Rome, Florence, Naples. Was crazy amazing but a terrible tradeoff as a day in Rome, Naples ( Amalfi ), Istanbul was so hurried and just wet our appetite, but nothing is ideal. Our second focused on the Greek Islands and had allowed a little more exposure, but also less variety. Hardest thing is the port tradeoffs.
  9. Believe it or not the more exposure the better, you need to shock your immune system to make it familiar with the germs / virus and for your immune, that after all is the whole premise with flue and immunization shots isn't it. If you live in isolation once exposed you could and more likely than not get really ill as your body goes into shock response. I'll take the elevator versus stairs, I exercise a lot, but on a cruise even with exercise getting your intake and burn to match makes taking the stairs for that little extra burn desirable.
  10. My 2cents on sleeping it is very personal, starts with your personal habits and then how your body cycles do with change. For a few years now do a 12-14 hour flight changing time zones between US and China, do this by flying out Saturday, land Sunday ( Local ) night, work M-F then fly out Friday and land Friday. Work Sunday-Thursday in US from 4pm to about 2am, then on Saturday fly back to far east. As noted before starts with eating and exercises, I never sleep on the plane, and then crash when I arrive, not sick once in more than three years. BTW I'd used to get sick but also exercise and eat less disciplined. Always here about people who can't sleep or wake up and take days or more to flip time zones, If you got to flip every week, you go cold turkey and at least for me never sleep on the plane, read a lot of books and also saw every movie worth seeting, read mostly standing up, sitting not so good for your circulation and health.
  11. Will be a sad over response, my sail in/outs were epic, will miss it if they cancel it
  12. Flooding was epic, all us cruisers flying and vacationing causing climate change Just a little rain when we were there this July
  13. Thanks for the suggestion, I've noodled that and at the time sad cash baby! There are always multiple solutions and what one picks is very personal, if you can defended it and the choice of risk versus risk/work then it works for you. BTW I travel a lot and fully appreciate backup. I have two ATM cards and 3 CC, never carry all of them together, nor my passport ( now ain't that another fun topic with many positions. ) When actually traveling point to point passport/cc/atm usually in my backpack with 2x laptop, and of course wallet with cash/atm/cc. Do you want to know my data backup for photos and computer, LOL
  14. As noted I did my research on companies and had my preference, they took cash only at the time. Kind of like choosing where you want to eat, you have choices, and then you have "your" choice. I was the owner, it was my responsibility to take care of it. I could have burdened my father/mother, and mother inlaw and brother in law. As I said I took ownership, if I distributed it would now be their burden and expectation. Cash, or maybe they should also look at tour guides and tours too, where does it stop, stops with the owner. To often in life we don't take ownership. Worked out just fine with me owning it, tour and guides were great, as was the vacation for my parents and inlaws.
  15. I travel a lot to China, and they are really ahead of the game. You are SOL if you don't have WeChat Pay or AliPay and need a square of toilet paper, literally SOL. https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-mobile-payment-boom-changes-how-people-shop-borrow-even-panhandle-1515000570
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