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twangster

Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019

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53 minutes ago, twangster said:

On this cruise I'm using two Sony cameras.  My Rx100VI and A7III.

How are you liking the RX100 VI? I had read about it not long ago, seems they traded some aperture and low-light performance for a much-improved zoom lens (basically triple what you got in the V). Photos still look really good, have you found the camera still really good overall (and worth the very high price)?

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3 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

How are you liking the RX100 VI? I had read about it not long ago, seems they traded some aperture and low-light performance for a much-improved zoom lens (basically triple what you got in the V). Photos still look really good, have you found the camera still really good overall (and worth the very high price)?

Still loving it and I just picked up an underwater housing for it as I try to step up my scuba diving pictures.

It's a smaller sensor compared to the full frame A7 and it doesn't have the low light performance of the A7 but it blows away the iPhone XR in low light.  The 200mm zoom range is awesome and the real reason I kept it.  I only brought my wide angle for my A7 so the RX is used for all shots that require zoom.  Most of all I like the portability since I can bring with me everywhere and I don't stand out.

Being a smaller sensor I have be heavy handed applying noise reduction in dark scenes like the 70s party but I can live with that.

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2 hours ago, FloridaCruiseGirl1210 said:

I am dying to get the Sony Rx100VI as a vlogging camera... literal goals.

Don’t spend your money yet! The newer model just came out.
 

https://m.dpreview.com/news/6780284613/sony-reveals-cyber-shot-dsc-rx100-vii-super-compact-with-90-fps-bursts-and-mic-socket

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12 minutes ago, emsff02 said:

Read about this as well. Sony is actually marketing this to a degree as a vlogging camera, since you can plug in an external mic and they will be selling a version of the camera that includes a mounting grip.

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2 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Read about this as well. Sony is actually marketing this to a degree as a vlogging camera, since you can plug in an external mic and they will be selling a version of the camera that includes a mounting grip.

This does look like it would be great for vloggers. While I enjoy photography as a hobby I really don’t have an interest in blogging, so I will be sticking with my DSLR for now.

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When I talk about Empress not feeling small that comes from spaces like the forward elevator lobby that has spaces like this:

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One deck down.

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Even the computer area has awesome views of the sea.

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The Centrum is unique to the fleet.

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The generous spaces can be found around deck 5 and guest services.

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Of course no ship is complete without shops.

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Also not pictured is Port Merchants with tobacco and alcohol.

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A somewhat "hidden" feature are the forward public decks on 7 & 8.

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The bow is open with no helipad.  This area exists on all ships but for the most part we don't see it as it's covered with a helipad.  

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The stairs are open and free to use.  They lead to this open public deck 7 space.  Note the staircase on the far left.

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Deck 7 view forward.

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Going up one more level to deck 8 you can see the bridge on deck 9.

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This also provides a nice view forward.

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Some people never find these public decks and they do have OV cabins that are right there so if you book a forward facing OV cabin be aware this space in front of your window is open to the public. 

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Day 6 - Sea Day

Noted a Diamond only breakfast area in the MDR

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Voom results this morning.

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Voom history for this sailing.

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Our progress so far...

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I tried to use the new Royal app to look at a something in a future cruise. Empress isn't supported in the app but I wanted to look at a future cruise that is supported in the app.  I couldn't get past this screen while on Empress.  

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There is no moving this past this 'link a cruise' page unless you connect your phone to a VPN service, then the Royal app functions like it does when you are at home looking at future cruises.

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Flat seas this morning making for smooth sailing as we make our way back to Miami for turn around day.  

Chops breakfast available in the morning but only from 7am to 8am.

Consecutive cruiser letter was in my cabin last night.  Meeting point is deck 5 Schooner Bar at 9:30am.

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14 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Read about this as well. Sony is actually marketing this to a degree as a vlogging camera, since you can plug in an external mic and they will be selling a version of the camera that includes a mounting grip.

ooh that's super helpful! Since most of my vlogging is theme park based I got an external mic to prevent copyright claims...

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Day 6 Galley Tour

While waiting for other guests to arrive at the galley tour I asked Louis what the guest count was on this sailing.  Somewhere around 1,790 he thought.  With a capacity of 1,840 that's pretty good, 97% of capacity.  Doing the math, if 540 are C&A members that means 1,250 are first time on Royal.

I haven't been in the MDR yet on this voyage so I grabbed a picture.

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Our guide today is one of the Sous Chefs, Jeyanej

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Gotta love all the windows in the MDR

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Empress has a series of galleys on decks 2 through 5.  Deck 2 is a cold galley, deck 3 through 5 are hot galleys.

Here on deck 5 this little slice of heaven is the area within galley for Chops.

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Fish prep area

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Order up!   Omelettes ready to go to the table.

All eggs are fresh, no powdered scrambled eggs are used.

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Down a deck into the bakery.  If you weren't hungry you would be walking in here, it smells so good.

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Behind the scenes crew staircase, down to the deck 3 galley.

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Even the crew only areas haven't escaped Perfect Day marketing.

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Luggage carts used on embark/debark day stored away getting ready for tomorrow's onslaught.

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Down in deck 2 galley we found the chef responsible for those yummy sandwiches in the Windjammer.

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Seasoning and spice and everything nice.

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Cold stores.  These range from deep freeze to thawing rooms to get items ready to be cooked.  Meats in one, seafood in another, vegetables in another, and so on.

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Beverage stores.  Beer anyone?

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Vegetable prep area.

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Meat prep.

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Pies being prepped, lot's of them.

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Lobster night tonight so trays and trays of lobster are being readied.

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Our chef talks about the process of preparing the lobster for cooking later today.

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Water tight door down on deck 2.

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Note to self, don't tamper with the water tight door.

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Hmmm.  Maybe for guests who share the drink package?

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Space is at a premium.  More luggage carts stowed.

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9 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

3.  I thought you weren't doing any of the tours ?  Did Louis shame you into going ?

Since he signed me up I thought I might as well take the tours.  You learn little things with every tour.

Now I don't have to take them next time.

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Day 6 - Bridge Tour

On our final sea day back to Miami the C&A bridge tour was offered.

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Empress has variable pitch propellors.  Shaft speed is controlled by the engine room and is mostly fixed.  Ship speed is controlled by varying the pitch of the propellors.  I had noted our wake seemed to indicate we weren't using both propellors equally.  This voyage doesn't require both to maintain schedule so we often run on one drive while the other propellor is trimmed to minimize drag.  This is more efficient.  If more speed was required they would call on both equally.

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Really enjoying the pics.  It really does feel like a bigger ship with all those big open areas.  I found all the windows helped a lot on makes.  Thanks so much for the galley tour... So interesting!  And the flag ceremony is one of my favorite things on the ship... Especially in the centrums!  Jane

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