I last cruised about 20 years ago, well before widespread mobile phone and email usage. Though, I was still quite surprised to see many teens talking and texting on their cells all day, every day. And I suspect their parents will also be surprised when the roaming fees hit. And speaking of fees, I found Royal Caribbean’s Internet rates pretty reasonable – maxing out at 55 cents a minute. I prepaid $38 for 90 minutes of usage (~$0.42/min). Which was more than enough time to delete junkmail and keep an eye on Techmeme in the Internet Cafe with ocean view or via WiFi on my iPhone. (The iPhone doesn’t currently allow you to simultaneously disable GPRS/EDGE while enabling WiFi. Though it looks like I could prevent roaming, I played it safe by popping the SIM once we set sail.)
On the pool deck, I saw a woman reading a Kindle… and wondered if she’d also be comfortable bringing it to the beaches of Mexico. (A common topic this week?) However, between dips in the sea, I did notice a sunbather near us listening to a Sirius Stiletto. I wonder if she had satellite reception, or was strictly playing recorded content? Underwater, I encountered two separate snorkelers with digital (?) cameras in clear plastic enclosures. Overall, I was pleased with my choice of paperback book technology (3x) – didn’t matter if they got wet, sandy, or were stolen from my beach chair while submerged.
Post-vacation: At home yesterday, I tried out Animoto for the first time (more on that later) using photos culled from my small digical cam, iPhone, and a disposable waterproof Kodak. Here’s the abreviated 30 second clip. (Unfortunately, about half of the pics I shot with the disposable camera were lost – a good reminder why I left film behind years ago. Though I was pleased that Ritz could “develop” the pics only onto CD and for just $10 in an hour.)
And as of this AM, to increase my efficiency as I ramp back up, I’ve removed about 20% of feed subscriptions from Google Reader – any site providing only abstracts is history. Most of those publications are quite good, but time is valuable and the important news will land elsewhere.