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To Go Pro or not to Go Pro...

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We are booked for the Oasis next month and I've been thinking about buying a Go Pro.  I would like to be able to take it on our excursions and around the ship to take videos and pictures so I don't have to worry about ruining my phone with the water.  Even though both my husband and I work in the IT field....we are not "photo/video editing, techy" people.  LOL Something that would be easy enough to learn but have quality images and a good battery.  I've looked online and there are just so many!    I have seen prices between $17 to $500.   Don't want to spend too much money on something that is just for fun and a few times a year. 

What are your experiences? What are some key elements I should notice?

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I always take my GoPro with me as I think the quality of the videos are very high and the photos can be very good too.

In saying that there are some downsides. First would be the low light. GoPro, much like many camera phones do not perform well in low light. Secondly is the microphone, the microphone on most GoPros I've had (I can't speak of the Hero 8 as I don't own one) are fair to poor. They pick up wind and when the camera is in its housing and connected to something like a grip it picks up every vibration. So when you move your grip on the pole that is picked up by the mic

The sound issues can we mitigated by buying a 3rd party housing and mic but GoPro made that difficult in the last iterations of the camera by blocking external mics and creating a "solution" which was a $50 adaptor to allow them to work again

With all that though I have worked these roadblocks by purchasing some good mounts and the like, I am completely indoctrinated in to GoPros eco system and would not be without mine

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We bought my wife a go-pro on Black Friday about three years ago and paid ~$200 or so.  We've taken it on several cruises to include multiple snorkeling trips.  While there's newer and better models out there it still works great for our purposes.  She's not concerned about the audio just reasonable quality while snorkeling and the like.  The suggestion above is accurate if you're really concerned about great audio, but for what you're describing even picking up last year's model should be more than sufficient for what you're wanting.

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I think you shouldn't get a GoPro.

Two reasons: I believe they sound cooler than they are in practicality, and you said...

3 hours ago, SassMaster said:

we are not "photo/video editing, techy" people

Video editing is a big part of using a GoPro (in my experience).

You might instead opt for a water proof case for your phone.  Perhaps one of these: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2019/06/03/best-waterproof-cases-your-phone-use-perfect-day-cococay

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As my Go Pro Silver gets long in the tooth I have considered replacing it.  The biggest issue I've had with it is the really poor user interface.  It's a PITA to use and navigate.  

As I consider alternatives it seems the Go Pro has still held onto the awkward interface in some form as they moved forward.  This is based on reviews I read so I'm leaning away from Go Pro for this reason.

The other thing that I didn't like was their app.  It required an internet connection.  They were trying to build their own ecosystem and being the king of the hill back in the day they did things in a vacuum without considering their customers.  No internet?  Can't sign into their cloud and therefore can't use the app.  That pretty much makes them cruise ship and foreign travel unfriendly. 

I don't know if they ever got over their own egos or not and fixed that but I gave up on their app and just use the camera standalone.  

As I look to replace it I am looking at other brands.


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I think of my overall use of such devices. I have always been a 'techie', especially when it comes to electronics. I had video camcorders back in the days of VHS when the whole outfit took a small duffel bag to carry around and most new innovations since.

I just checked my backup drive (a Terabyte plus these days) to find almost 100,000 photos and videos.

I have had all kinds of grand ideas about editing and creating videos, slideshows and such. Most never happen. Probably my most notable collection of photos have been those I inherited or borrowed from family members, scanned, and created a collection of ancestors.

Occasionally I browse a bit and say "Oh, I remember that!"

We all have grand ideas that our photos and videos will be invaluable and we will be the next Sydney Pollock. Mostly, unless you do it for a living, all that expense and time lies in the digital nether somewhere and seldom if ever seen again.

A few good photos are great mementos. A few might be 'print worthy' and end up framed on a wall somewhere or at least shared on FB or with friends.

But honestly, I would seriously consider the value of spending hundreds of dollars on something that produces something that more often than not, is seldom if ever used.

Phones have gotten where they produce very good photos for the average user and is probably all you will need.

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I also contemplated with the right device for my first cruise last week.

We settled with the DJI Osmo Pocket which we absolutely LOVED over the go pro.

Extremely small and records in 4K resolution with a small touch screen you're able to view digitally what you're recording or taking pictures of.

We bought the DJI water proof case with it and never had a problem.

If you have not purchased or decided on the go pro, i'd give DJI Osmo Pocket a google.

I basically just youtubed everything to get a feel for it before the purchase.


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I have the gopro hero 8 black; the gopro software sucks for editing, I purchased Corel Videostudio and use it for editing.  Videostudio is on my desktop computer, so I just store the image files on my laptop till i get home.  I purchased mine for our upcoming Alaska cruisetour, but have been practicing using it at home and during our car club shows and cruises as well as one extended weekend vacation.  I plan on taking it on the Harmony next month.  I don't get the ships internet so any editing will wait till I get home.  I also will take my DLSR and laptop.

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I love my GoPro.  I bought the base model Hero about two years ago for around $150.  It has now replaced a much more expensive (and larger) Sony camcorder I always used while on vacation.  Sure the Sony had a zoom and better audio, but I also had to lug around a bag to store it in.  The GoPro fits in my pocket and takes equally good pictures and video while being much tougher and waterproof.

When I get home, I transfer everything straight to my computer (don't use the GoPro app, just a large SD card and reader).  I then dump the video straight onto a Bluray disc if I want to watch it away from my computer.  Simple, high quality, raw vacation video.  Truth is I get way more footage now that it fits in my pocket.

We returned today from Mariner and the Space Center.  I have over two hours of video from the long weekend.  Already enjoying watching the kids on the Flowrider, water slides, Sky Pad, Coco Cay, and more.  I highly recommend a GoPro as long as it has a preview screen on the back (my first one didn't).  No need to spend a fortune on the top of the line model, but I also wouldn't recommend buying a "knock off" since they don't typically have a proven track record or warranty.

Good luck with whatever you decide!


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After our sailing in August, we bit the bullet and bought a Hero 7. I've liked so far. Video quality is decent and it is easy (for me) to operate. I've figured out most of the accessories, but still testing things and figuring out how best to utilize it.

I really don't utilize the GoPro software for editing, mainly because I use Adobe Premier for editing.

Ultimately, you have to decide if you can get the footage you want (or hope for) by means other than GoPro. Kinda like a lot of cruise purchases: will you get what you want out of it?

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