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twangster

The Magic of Majesty. August 2019 and then again in October

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Voom has been problematic on this cruise.  While Majesty does have the newer O3b it's been somewhat frustrating at times with slow speeds and frequent disconnects.  Same laptop used in August, very different results all over the ship.

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I went to see the Voom specialist a couple of times.  The excuses provided ranged from absurd to insulting.  However on his screen that he kept referencing I noted the maximum throughput he kept on stating as proof that everything is fine was only 37Mbps.   Back in August the IT manager told me they had 120Mbps down. 

So it seems they have cut the bandwidth commitment to the ship to save money resulting in slower speeds for everyone.  I guess with these Majesty cruises being so inexpensive they have had to cut expenses to remain profitable and Voom was trimmed towards that goal.  

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

Voom has been problematic on this cruise.  While Majesty does have the newer O3b it's been somewhat frustrating at times with slow speeds and frequent disconnects.  Same laptop used in August, very different results all over the ship.

 

I went to see the Voom specialist a couple of times.  The excuses provided ranged from absurd to insulting.  However on his screen that he kept referencing I noted the maximum throughput he kept on stating as proof that everything is fine was only 37Mbps.   Back in August the IT manager told me they had 120Mbps down. 

So it seems they have cut the bandwidth commitment to the ship to save money resulting in slower speeds for everyone.  I guess with these Majesty cruises being so inexpensive they have had to cut expenses to remain profitable and Voom was trimmed towards that goal.  

Does this affect your ability to work on the ship? 

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Day 6 Update

Back in Port Everglades for the start of cruise #2.

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Voom is back to normal today and I was able to stream this morning! 

Consecutive cruisers met in the Schooner Bar at 9:45am.  We were escorted off and down to see CBP.  We caught the tail end of departing guests so we had to wait briefly in the terminal.  By 10:45am we were back on board. 

The Voom system hasn't reset yet for the new cruise so I can't validate if the platform is back to normal for this cruise but I sure hope sure as it was very slow doing anything last cruise.

This cruise was supposed to be my Cuba cruise combined with additional OBC from a cancelled chart cruise so I splurged for the Deluxe beverage package.  Last cruise I averaged around $23 per day in beverage purchases that combined with Diamond happy hour was enough to satisfy my libations but it will be nice to upgrade from the Diamond drink menu this cruise.  

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Day 6, or Day 1 Cruise #2

Discovered an oddity on Majesty - gender based elevators.

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Oddly they share a single call button.  It took awhile for the male elevator to reach my floor.

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Last night I saw a terrible thing.  Unless you are back to back!

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With all of my new best friends on board it was time to depart.

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We pulled away from the pier and stopped.  It was odd, why aren't we moving? 

Apparently they had lowered a lifeboat from the side of the ship that was against the pier before we docked this morning, so before we could leave we had to retrieve that life boat.  I've never seen this before.  

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With that done we began our sail away.

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Day 7 - Sea Day

Lazy day as we slowwwwwwly make our way down to Key West for tomorrow.  

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The 6.5 knots on the map channel felt like we were sitting still at times.  The next cruise is one night shorter but the same stops so I suspect we'll have a more direct velocity next week.  

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Flag of Nations in the Centrum with 63 crew countries represented.

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Day... Something?  Eight I think.  Key West.

Not the base pier, but not the primary Mallory Square pier either, but we have a later departure so maybe that plays into it.

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As work ground to a halt a Mojito in Boleros seemed in order.

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Then out of nowhere a sunset threatened my bar time right as sail away was also occurring.

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Not bad.

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And then we sailed away.

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Something I may have failed to mention...  I got a new phone.  All of my pictures for these recent cruises have been from my phone.

Since I last sailed Majesty in August with my full camera gear I boarded this time absent of some of my regular camera gear (this wasn't a bucket list cruise for me).

One of the new features my iPhone 11 Max Pro includes is a new "Night" mode for taking pictures in darker scenes.  It doesn't replace my "real" camera gear but in situations with little motion it seemed promising so I was goofing around with it today, or should I say tonight because it was after the sun had set.  Well after.

The pictures that follow are largely untouched, they are what the phone produced on it's own.

With the sun well down as we sailed through the channel from Key West into the sea.  Night mode on:

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The same picture with night mode turned off.

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A few minutes later with night mode on and me resting the phone on a hand railing to keep it as steady as my several drinks allowed me to:

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The light on the side of the bow is a dead give away that it was actually dark. 

Same scene with night mode off (yes it was that dark to the eye): 

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The sun was well down by this point, the remains of the day where the sun had set were to the naked eye still visible.

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Same scene, Night mode off:

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To be honest I'm quite impressed.  You do have to think about motion and the subject of your pictures remaining very still, but all in all the "Night" mode results are very good.

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So now that you've tried out night mode, I have a challenge for you, if you feel like taking the time and indulging a fanboi... 😉 

It was shown in a YouTube video that you can actually do some basic astrophotography with it, as long as you mount the phone on a tripod and max out the shot duration to 28 seconds. Night mode only works with the regular "wide" (26mm equivalent) lens, so you wouldn't be able to capture the Milky Way like you can with your 13mm big glass (if it's even visible any more at this time of year); but I'm curious what you can capture from the ship, assuming you have a tripod mount for the camera and a mini-tripod or something else that can truly stabilize it for that kind of shot.

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5 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

So now that you've tried out night mode, I have a challenge for you, if you feel like taking the time and indulging a fanboi... 😉 

It was shown in a YouTube video that you can actually do some basic astrophotography with it, as long as you mount the phone on a tripod and max out the shot duration to 28 seconds. Night mode only works with the regular "wide" (26mm equivalent) lens, so you wouldn't be able to capture the Milky Way like you can with your 13mm big glass (if it's even visible any more at this time of year); but I'm curious what you can capture from the ship, assuming you have a tripod mount for the camera and a mini-tripod or something else that can truly stabilize it for that kind of shot.

Phase of the moon isn't in my favor on this trip or certain sporting events and the drink package have conspired against me many nights plus the milky way center has headed South but I did bring a small tripod to see what it can do.  Will let you know if the opportunity presents itself.

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Day 9, Sea Day

On our way to Nassau so we slowly sailed up the Florida coast and made the right turn into the Bahamas.

Oktoberfest is being celebrated on board.

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WJ specials for the event.

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Navigator sailed past tonight.

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Top Tier event

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The internet had been struggling all day but around this time it went out completely. 

Since it was Thursday they had the NFL game.  Oddly the ALCS MLB playoff game was not televised.  A guy at the Schooner Bar was having a meltdown.  "This is America!  How can you not have the game man!  Football?  There is a whole year left to watch that sport!  Baseball is America's pastime!  It's the World series right now!  Turn off the football!"  The other sports channel had cricket.  Poor bartenders didn't know what to say.  With the internet out there were no game updates to provide.  It was a scope worthy tirade but the internet was out and I didn't want to exacerbate the meltdown.

Football game over and it was time for a late night snack.  Glimpse of internet but the MLB app showed 3-1 then postponed so it seemed was the game was suspended.  Must have been the weather.

Pastrami version of a Kümmelweck in the Compass Deli as a late night snack.  Yumm.

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Day 10, Nassau

Last day of cruise #2.  I have to change cabins tomorrow and that means packing, but first a spectacular sunrise with very calm water as we approached Nassau in the distance.

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Pilot on board we continued...

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Loving this 13mm ultra wide angle lens on the iPhone 11.  

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Here is a panoramic taken with the 13mm wide angle.

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I was hoping the sun would just be rising as we entered port but our timing was off.  It was hard shooting straight into the sun. 

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Not bad for a phone camera.

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Last night at the Sky Bar I noted the cigar options on board.

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The lifeboat maintenance continues.  They are replacing the cables and drive motors that raise and lower the lifeboats.

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Last turn around day this crane was working more forward.  This time they are lifting the new drive system in an aft lifeboat area.  This is an example of the increased cost of maintaining older ships. 

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Seventeen B2B cruisers this time.  Off the ship for ~ 20 minutes.  Last cruise we had to go all the way down to the CBP area that everyone departing uses.  This time a CBP officer came up to us in area where you get scanned onto the ship basically at the bottom of the gangway.    

New cabin tour!

Standard ocean view on deck 5.  Definitely smaller than the spacious ocean view I've had for the last two cruises.

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I came down and met my new cabin attendant last night.  He made a point of doing my cabin first and it was ready as soon as we reboarded.

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Older and smaller TV.

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Hmmm.  Went to buy Voom on board and it reported "A problem with my account".  Went to guest services and my account is marked as cash, no credit card on file.  I know I used my card during check in, I've never done a cash account.  

Weirdly my laptop is still logged into Voom and working from last cruise.  However I want Voom to stream the ball game to tonight.  Guess I'm heading back to GS with my credit card.  :35_thinking:

The wonders of Royal IT.

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Dentist convention on board, roughly 600 (partial charter) .  No major impact other than watching people walk around with convention type name badges.  The main theater had a private event but it was in the afternoon when there was no other theater use going on so zero impact.  

With 600 dental related guests the C&A top tier numbers are way down so the Diamond nightly event has been smaller.    Since it's a four night cruise there won't be a top tier event and the bridge and galley tours offered for the five nighters are also absent but I knew that booking it so no harm there.   

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45 minutes ago, twangster said:

Dentist convention on board, roughly 600 (partial charter) .  No major impact other than watching people walk around with convention type name badges. 

Free checkup and cleaning for every non-dentist passenger on board? 😂

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