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Everything posted by chipmaster

  1. For those who sit on any side of this debate, do you feel your behavior / attitude is at all linked to what you are wearing? Some I think haven't yet gotten out of their sleep wear, sometimes what I see at breakfast buffet and even other meals, and believe it or not many times if I was to observe carefully I'd swear their was a correlation between dress and behavior, POTUS is breaking that trend though, LOL
  2. Any site catering to hardware about taking pictures that doesn't fcus on phones will soon cease to exist as an independent entitiy. Even DPReview isn't standalone. But it has been a wonderful 20 year run to digital imagery, now innovation is chasing the next big thing yet to be discovered. The largest market for cameras is around phones and that is where the innovation, money and investment is as well as revenue and profits. There will/is still a every shrinking nich market in classical ILC and DSLR but will end up like HiFi. 40 years ago most mid-class families had a turn-table some receiver and speakers, but that market went away as will soon ILC/DSLR to hobbiest and specialist catering to the very very high end sports/action, photojournalists, portrati/wedding and of course us hobbiest. Not the end of the world but innovation rate will slow and prices will climb making it more exclusive.
  3. How did you pick Alaska? Perhaps start with that to build your list of activities and desires, as the previous poster said w/o knowing your interests, budget, level of adventure what is my best might be your worst nighmare and break the bank too. But since you asked: Ketchikan: Private fish charter, then walked the town for sighseeing and a little shopping, LOL Juneau: Mendenhall glacier hike and tour of vistor center DIY after private whale watching tour. Skagway: Direct booker helicopter -dog sledding then walk around the town and more shoppoing, argh.
  4. Woof woof, all you can do is reach out to TA and Carnival and see what are your options. If it was me, I'd get a sitter. We've had dogs and cats for decades, as much as they are part of our family they are just a dog and cat, they were still there when we came home. You can't put your vacations on hold because of a dog or cat, kids, well that is something else entirely, LOL
  5. Haven't taken celebrity but the small boat tour if it is the one where they pick you up off the ship and return you in port is worthwhile. You get very close to the shores, closer to the glacier and if there is wildlife much closer than the big ship, well worth it! As to helicopter tours they are similar to the privates from the vendors and any other ship. Very pricey but unique view/landing on glacier and if you do the dog sled, prepare for cancellation, due to weather one of the most canceled tours.
  6. I always love to see group/families deck out for Formal Night, makes for great pictures and sets the tone/spirit for dinner. When my kids were little the boys complained, my girl loved it, I tolerated it, LOL. But when we look back at some of the dinner pictures or set pictures brings back smiles. The kids seemed to also understand it was a little bit different that night. Now they complain a bit just like when they were little but we all enjoy getting dressed up. Agreed if others want to show up in jeans and t-shirt no big deal to me or my group. Food, service, my table atmosphere didn't change one bit. I'd have a different thought if some came to my kids wedding dressed like I see some at Formal night, they just might get seated in the back corner with the kiddos, LOL
  7. Sorry As=AS=Alaskan Airlines, they rock of all the US carriers, sadly only works well for those on the West coast and sadly their loyalty program while great has lost AA/DL due to their expansion.
  8. - SW at least a decade ago had some of the most spirited and fun GA/FA as they grew. Now that they are big and a force in industry that fun and spirited GA/FA seems much muted and almost at the level of say As service/spirit. If you book out of East coast expect two segments; one to the west-coast then on to Paradise. Expect the cattle car experience freefor all boarding but they now do allowing buying early boarding. At least bag check is free for what that is worth. Given a choice I'd take As over SW anytime and even pay a bit more for the As experience. PS. I know one roadwarrior who swears SW is the last airline he'd fly due to safety. Not that they aren't safe but they fly their airplanes hard, they run a tight gate boarding to shave minutes, there pilots taxi as fast as they can to squeeze minutes, they look everywhere to save time to squeeze one - two more flights/plane/day than the others. Works the plane/team and drive fast at the edge of the envelop. I can't claim to have seen any safety bad choices, but he has claimed to experienced it.
  9. I am always interested in what people do, what are some great stories, problems etc. etc. and if they happen to share info, I'm an engineer and seek to understand. We are all different yet at the core all the same. Someone who volunteers they are VP of blah blah blah. My natural response, sounds cool, how big is your span. I've know of VPs who have a few people but scope and impact could be billions or impact billions of people and VPs who have a title and manage a business that if it went away nobody would know or care, both are interesting and the person could have interesting stories. But to reality, I often talk to people on planes, sometimes on vacation, almost never at dinner, that is protected time with family and spouse, it is why I'm cruising.
  10. We do costco, never had a problem canceling for Christmas, frees up a valuable car for the late planners, LOL. My status also has a few perks for anything I book direct
  11. My rule of thumb vacations on a ship if it doesn't mirror somewhat fun/leisure at home or land-based it is forced un-natural and won't end well. We don't play games at home, but did have fun doing cards and some borrowed games on the ship, YMMV. Meals, always made a point to have go-out formal meals at home, and really enjoy the three sit-downs on a cruise, actually the highlight now as they are "adults." You didn't mention plans in port. I find those initiate the glue that makes days on the ship tighter, pick a great excursion builds the following days, pick the wrong one and things can tend to have everyone go their own ways. Shows are YMMV as are music bands, again comes down to their and your joint interest. They as they got older have opted out of the nightime shows due to interest, forcing can be counterproductive. Kids run the cycle of life, remember when you were a young adult, don't worry they will come back, it's the circle of life.
  12. Congratulations on 20, waited a long time before taking the kids plunge, LOL. I've sailed with two young kids, then three kids and then Adults and kid-adults, LOL. My prospective maybe was cruise was always a "family" vacation never a couples thing. As others have said if I'm flying, I'd bite the bullet and do a week on a bigger ship. They have full range of activities and clubs. You hopefully know your kids well, they likely won't be in the same club ( check the rules, there are NO exceptions to allow siblings if they are not in the right age range ). As to clubs, my kids varied in their enjoyment or even desire to go to clubs and it had nothing to do with their ability to be out going or social. My most social and open hated it, my most passive and quiet loved it. Go figure drop into a group of strangers that would have happened. Regardless we always enjoyed our times. As to ports, always did some thing all together; beach, dolphin, snorkeling, sail, etc. etc. how this goes also depends on their and your thoughts on fun or couples time. My personal thought, if you are planning on having the ship be your 7x12 day care, you could be disappointed. I have never brought kids expecting it to be that, it was always more like 7x24 amusement park family time. Some meals and hours away most meals and time together. I know everyone's thoughts about cruise-vacation are different here.
  13. Sadly I can't think of one thing as it has gone to the masses, things have evolved to attract more and monetize everything. I'll take dining even though anytime dining was seen as a good thing the reality, everything from service, food experience has become like flying, lots of technology but you need to spend a lot more for the same experience, but a lot less to go with the masses, LOL
  14. The variety of passengers never cease to amazing me. Sometimes the most entertainment is siting in the lounge, LOL Of course the Bears and Dolphins were also treats. Most of the time I was too busy to be staring for hours out.
  15. First thing is are there cancellation fees or exchange, if not ASAP as nothing to lose. If you have status at Hotel/Air you got some more flexibility, as well as if you are using points. For most things like cruises; book as soon as I know that is what my vacation will be, Hotels: probably 3 months out start looking and pricing, expect for things like sporting events where I'll do it one year out. All my hotels are points so book year out and cancel if I don't need it. Airfare: Points ASAP once available, reality is supply is pretty good even in peak summer, do it usually 3 months out except for Thanksgiving / Christmas / NY if I must travel at peak time, that is usually 6 months out. Car: Once I know as no cancellation fee.
  16. RT out of Vancouver, also Vancouver with Gardens and Whistler IMHO is pretty nice, but also agree City by the Bay is awesome. Surprised you aren't finding Princess cruises RT that does GB, Hubbard, College Fjord. I'd say Tracy Arm and Icy are the least impressive, still pretty but just less so.
  17. Whale watching, or youngsters she was 8 loved the wind blowing in the air, and of course the whales were fun. Make sure they have their own set of binoculars to look for whales ;D Believe or not the hike at Mendenhall is very doable and the Falls as a goal a fun one for the little ones. No question if you spring for the helicopter / dog, holding the puppies and the ride will be priceless. Things that didn't go well, long sightseing stuff; she opted out of fishing ( personally think she would have loved hooking them ), we didn't do the train ride. Might consider depending on time to move your heli to Skagway and do the Hike at Mendenhall and whale watch there?
  18. we took taxi, they took Euros, ATMs are in port, I'd not using anything but a Bank ATM. In old city almost every vendor took ATM, ticket office was CC and local currency only. Got CC, you'll be good. We survived the day not changing or using any local currency, YMMV
  19. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187870-d1547281-Reviews-Hotel_Canal_Grande-Venice_Veneto.html
  20. Best is so subjective, always amazed at those chowing down at the buffet, of course they look like that is just a catch before more chowing in the dining room. For me "best" is more about beating expectations, I've come away happy on all my cruises and also disappointed. Discussion about "best" cruise line almost like debating best business class food on an airplane. On average probably some merit to the ranking to the individual, I guess if you are the "average" joe with the "average" taste and preference go for the surveys, but in the end that is why those who really are into it need to sample themselves and ask was the cost worth it? I never pick a cruise vacation for the food, all about the locations. If I want food I go to a land based joint
  21. CC seems to be too focused on drinks LOL. For wife and I, drop our stuff at cabin, pick up the activities sheet, explore the ship. If it is near meal time, likely wander to the dining room, avoid the buffet at all cost. Check out the excursions if we haven't finalized them. Then return to our tiny inside cabin, herd the cats to the lounge for catch time.
  22. On of the things we planners agonize is tours, weather, deck/side of the ship..... The reality if you are doing a roundtrip whatever side you get you get the other going back or in / out as the other ones noted. Got to ask why you choose such a big round trip to SF and not Seattle or one way? You aren't getting Glacier Bay, which I think is a bit of an oversight.
  23. Ah if I only could share the details behind integrated fuse out, CPU fusing and some of your errors in extrapolations. But TSMC and AMD are also struggling with similar big-die issues on their 7nm process. BTW nothing from Intel is 10nm yet, but coming soon.....
  24. You go to Alaska to see something unique. I loved the glacier landing and scenic flying. You find me raving about the dogsledding but IMHO on a tight hard budget I'd skip the dog sledding, its short, a gimick and can be had for cheaper elsewhere. Don't discount whale watching as something to consider and add the scenic flying/heli and glacier landing. A hike at Mendenhall gets you a beautiful lake and waterfall and close to a glacier. if you do the right cruise you get Glacier Bay or Hubbard so you also get amazing close views.
  25. Twice is pretty pricey, there are tours that do dog sledding on cart wheels, the other way to think, book independent in the first port, and thru the line in the second. I think they still allow cancellations w/o fees if they can backfill the tour or 24 hours notice, YMMV
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