Day 1 – Airport and Hotel

Quito Airport was impressive. Immigration and customs was quick and painless. We were met by Celebrity Cruises staff right after we picked up our luggage and they put us in a bus to the airport.

The bus from the airport to the hotel

I think it was because of CV protocols, we were in this bus by ourselves. Ecuador wasn’t requiring pre flight CV testing for arrivals if you are fully vaccinated, so I think Celebrity was being cautious until they could get us to the hotel and do the pre-cruise testing.

We got our welcome drink (which was very good and we got an extra for the road) and information for pre-cruise CV testing on arrival to the hotel. Since everyone comes from the airport in small groups, it is very organized and crowd free getting to your room.

We were treated to a light show at the hotel. A thunderstorm moved through with lots of lightning, and being in the mountains the thunder reverberated making it even more dramatic.

I discovered the next day that there was actually a tornado associated with this storm. I do have to say Quito puts on quite the arrival show for visitors 😜.

Thanksgiving Cruise Scuba Diving

I finally got a scuba diving video edited and uploaded. This is a hodgepodge of different dive sites in Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and Grand Cayman.

Out of the sites, I think I enjoyed Curaçao the most. It was a group of only 4 people from the ship, and the two dives had interesting and different scenery.

Grand Cayman was next – the first site had the depth and the second site had the ‘swim throughs’ which was the first time I had done that.

It was also the first time with the Insta360 and I learned a couple of lessons:

  1. Remember the desiccant packs for the dive. I lost a lot of video due to fogging of the dive case.
  2. Don’t scratch the plastic dive case (darn coral).
  3. Keep one side of the camera towards what you want to video. The stitching is good, but still visible.
  4. Use a color card under water so the colors can be corrected easily.
  5. Use a hand across the lens to mark where something interesting occurred so it can easily be found in post.

Editing the 360 video in Final Cut Pro was easy once I figured it out. The stabilization and the panning ability are a breeze. Color correction is still an art that master I must.

Trans-Atlantic Cruise 2016

This is a video of our trans-Atlanic cruise on the Viking Star in September of 2016.

We started in Bergen, Norway and ended up in Montreal, Quebec. It was fun, althought the ship seemed to have just a few too many people for its public spaces. Things like having to wait 45 minutes for seating in the main dining room one evening, not everyone being able to get on the shore excursions because of ‘issues’.

One thing I remember was the rough seas we hit after the port in the Faroe islands was cancelled because of high winds. It is covered at the 3:50 mark in the video. The saving grace on that one is the smooth sailing we had after the storm through Iceland and Greenland and all the way to Montreal.