Category: news

My Next Cruise: Vision of the Seas to Cozumel

My Next Cruise: Vision of the Seas to Cozumel

It’s cruise time…well, almost! It’s been a few months, but I’m excited to announce I have my next cruise all lined up for February of 2018!

The last ship I was on, the Oasis of the Seas, is one of Royal Caribbean’s largest. On this cruise, I’m dialing it back a little and sailing one of their smaller and older ships, the Vision of the Seas. Vision has been around since 1997, making her only 5 years newer than the Majesty of the Seas which I sailed on back in February of 2017.  This is a 4-night cruise departing from Galveston, TX and sailing to Cozumel, and then back.  This will be my first time sailing out of Galveston, which is only a few hours drive from where I live here in Austin.

Cozumel is one of my favorite cruise ports; the water is beautiful and crystal clear, and the people there are wonderful and friendly. I’ll be cruising with another one of my dear friends who has never cruised before, so it will be fun to introduce him to this fabulous form of vacationing.

There will be lots more coming on this cruise, so stay tuned!

I Ordered A New iPhone, and It’s Not The iPhone X

I Ordered A New iPhone, and It’s Not The iPhone X

It’s Friday, September 15th, and I’m excited!

Apple announced two fabulous new iPhones at their event the other day, the 8 being an upgrade from the 7, and the X being a completely new design. Many folks have been going nuts over the X, but not I.

The iPhone X is pretty… it’s very pretty… but it’s a little bit too different for me to be as excited. 

My biggest hesitation is the heavy dependence on facial recognition: I’m just not sold on it being the new standard in authentication, but I have an open mind. My mind is more open than my wallet, though. I’m looking forward to it’s execution, and seeing how it works as a mass-market thing. I know it’s the direction these things are going, so at some point I’ll be adopting it, but I’m not ready to do so just yet.

The camera improvements are impressive on the iPhone X…for the non-photographer. For those unaware, I’m a photographer. I won’t ever be taking a selfie in which I want to achieve lighting similar to that which I’d use external studio lighting for…using my phone. If I want to take a studio-type of picture, I’m going to use studio-type equipment. It’s nice and convenient to have that functionality, but it’s not the tool I’d choose for that particular shot. 

The price is also a factor as well… I’m not interested in paying that much more for something I’m not that excited about.

These are just my thoughts… It’s a nice phone, and I’m sure whatever follows it will be even better, but it’s not the right tool for me right now.  I’m looking forward to receiving my new iPhone 8 Plus in the coming weeks.

It Was Bound To Happen Sometime…

It Was Bound To Happen Sometime…

As much as I hate saying it, my credit card information was compromised today. Some charges were made, and thankfully I’ve already handled it and spoken with the card issuer who assures me I won’t be responsible for the fraudulent charges. Unfortunately, things like this can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime, but there are things we can do to try an minimize our risk.

I made a video over on my YouTube channel talking about what happened, and shared a few suggestions to keep your risk as low as possible. Whether you have 2 or 20 credit cards, it’s good to be mindful of ways to be safe about them.  Check out the video below to find out what happened.

My Guest Appearance on the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

My Guest Appearance on the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

There are many things I love about taking cruises, but there are also three things I really don’t like:  Getting off a cruise, having to wait until the next one, and the worst being the whole “having to pay for them” thing!  It’d be nice to be able to cruise for free (someday, right? #goals), but thankfully credit card points can help ease the burden, if even just a little bit.  This week, I was graciously invited by my good friend Matt Hochberg over at the Royal Caribbean Blog to cohost his latest podcast episode in which we talk about the Royal Caribbean Credit Card and its points and perks, as well as a few other options.

You can check out the podcast episode here:

You can also check out past episodes of Matt’s podcast here:

Matt has a lot of great info there – I highly recommend checking out the content.   He also does Facebook Live sessions on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and Periscope live streams on other days of the week.

I’ve been dabbling in the credit card points and miles game for a while, and have certainly learned a lot in the process. I’ll be putting together some content about that in the coming weeks here and on my YouTube channel, so be on the lookout for that as well.


Taking Photography To Another Level

Taking Photography To Another Level

I picked this baby up on eBay since I’d been wanting to get back into film photography. It’s a Canon EOS 1n, a professional-grade film camera. It works with (almost) all of my existing lenses, so it seemed like a good fit. I just shot my first roll of Kodak Ektar 100 and can’t wait to get it developed.  I should have thought this through a little better, since this camera is…well… a bit… heavy.

It’s a boat anchor!

I’m going to have to get creative with carrying this when I go traveling, but after trying “smaller form factor” cameras and not liking them for being too small, I’ll make it happen.

The camera was a joy to shoot with, I’m looking forward to taking more great pictures in the future.

Do you have any suggestions or tips for getting back into film photography? Please feel free to leave comments below. Thanks!


I Flew A Plane For The First Time

I Flew A Plane For The First Time

Yes, you read that correctly. I didn’t just fly in the plane, I flew the plane!

I’ve always enjoyed playing flight simulator games, and have done so since the early days of the first versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator on Windows 95! Fast forward to today, and I’ve been a big fan of a simulator called X-Plane on my Mac. It’s so realistic, the company who makes it offers a professional version or use in actual pilot training.

One of my friends from work, who also shares an interest in flying, suggested I do a “discovery flight” which is exactly as its name implies: a way to “discover” if flying is something you want to get involved with. So, yesterday I did just that.

It was incredible.

I put a video together for my YouTube channel talking about the experience, which I’d love for you to check out below:

I also uploaded a full unedited version on my YouTube channel  if you’d like to experience the entire journey for yourself. The audio isn’t great, because I didn’t have a way to record the onboard audio at the time, and I had only one camera feed. Still, you can get a feel for what it was like!

I wanted send a quick shout out and thanks to my friend Nate for the suggestion to do this in the first place, and for taking some great pictures while I was flying:

I wanted to send a special thank you to Mike and the gang at Above & Beyond Aviation, for giving an incredible and unforgettable experience! Since they also offer flight training, I know where I’m going if I decide to pursue my pilot’s license.

If you have any interest in aviation, be sure to sign up for a discovery flight at your local airport! It’s definitely a great experience, and one I highly recommend!

Iamjohnbamber…dot com: My Blog’s New Home

Iamjohnbamber…dot com: My Blog’s New Home

Notice anything different?

I’ll give you a hint: Practically everything is different, except for the content that’s been here.

I’ve decided to move my blog over to a new website, and change things up a bit.  Earlier this year, I wrote a post called “Going Public: My Social Media Update” in which I talked about unifying my various usernames on different forms of social media.  I now have the name “iamjohnbamber” on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, Google+, and now (where it should have been all along), my blog!

I’ve gone for a simpler design as far as the site goes, but there is more happening behind the scenes that will help my blog be visible to more people. To those who have signed up on the old site, I thank you for doing so. Your signup is still valid over here. If you’re interested in signing up to receive my blogs via e-mail, you can always sign up here at this link.

As always, if you enjoy my content and like what I have to say, please share my blog with your family and friends and encourage them to sign up to my e-mail list. I don’t do the spam thing, I just do the “good content and fun stuff” thing.

What’s the address? Just like all of my social media handles, it’s

Welcome to my new blog!



Can I Ask A Quick Favor?

Can I Ask A Quick Favor?

I promise, it’s quick, and will cost you nothing. You’ll be done before you know it.  It’ll actually take you longer to read this (hopefully short) post than actually do what I’m asking. 

If you couldn’t tell, I’ve dusted off my blog over the last few months and have gotten back into it. I really enjoy it; I love creating content. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to only make YouTube videos, or only write blogs, so I’m doing both. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about or make videos about, so I’m creating my content on just about anything that comes to mind. I have many interests, and am using that as my basis for creating whatever it is I’m creating.

I’m creating this content because I deeply enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with anyone who wants to read about them or watch my videos. That being said, I want to make sure that I’m getting as much exposure as I can, and sharing my material with as many people as possible. The truth is, I can’t do that alone. 

All I ask is that you share my blog and YouTube channel with your friends and family; anyone you think might enjoy what I have to say. I cover a wide range of topics: Taking cruises, Photography Equipment, Life Experiences, Weight Loss, Product and App reviews, just to name a few. One of the reasons I love having a wide variety of material, is it will give my readers and subscribers a chance to see things they may not be familiar with or aware of. 

So, that’s it. I’d be eternally grateful if you could share this post on your social media network of choice, and encourage your friends and families to do the same if you like what I’ve got here on my blog and YouTube channel.  You can find me on all forms of Social Media with the name iamjohnbamber – I couldn’t think of anything else to use, but since this is all about things that interest me why not just be…well…me!

Crashed My Drone, and Got It Repaired… It wasn’t easy.

Crashed My Drone, and Got It Repaired… It wasn’t easy.

I crashed my drone… almost a month ago. I sent it in for repair, and rather than it being a simple process that took far long than I was expecting. Check out the videos detailing the whole process!

Once I got the drone back and all is well, I took it out for some long-awaited flying: