Edited To Add: Attached a couple of videos to the post.
There was a time, not so long ago, when the idea of a cruise held little or no appeal. I don’t know if it’s the advancing age, a mellowing of the brain, or the call of the sea, but this year we booked our first cruise. It was a “Let’s go see what that’s all about, and see if it’s something we are interested in.“
So, how did we do. Patience, grasshopper. In good time you will learn what we have learned, see what we have seen, but alas, you won’t be able to eat what we have eaten. For those who might have missed them, I did a few updates as we were partaking in the adventure (HERE, HERE, and HERE). Those photos were taken, and shared, with my Droid X. A capable, but not excellent machine.
This recounting makes use of photos taken with my more capable gear. Here we go.
Our cruise left from Seattle, WA, on September 16. That means we flew out of Denver on September 15, flying Air Alaska to Sea-Tac Airport. I mention it because as we flew over the northwest portion of this country, we flew over many fires, some which had been raging for many weeks.
As it happened, we were sitting next to a lady who was a dispatcher for fire-fighting crews (she was flying back home for a break). We talked about how bad the fires were around the West, and we recounted our own bout with wildfire (Waldo Canyon Fire).
The few pictures I snapped were of the most visually striking fires . . . we overflew many smaller ones. But, we were on vacation. We eventually landed, and made our way to our hotel, where we met our traveling companions, Melisa’s sister and her husband (not Melisa’s husband, who was already with her, but Melisa’s sister’s husband). Punctuation be hard!!
The next morning, a Princess Cruises bus took us to the dock. Due to the expertise of our traveling companions (they had taken this cruise before), we were on the ship fairly early, and ahead of most of the other passengers. The first order of business was to hit the buffet . . . while it was still relatively uncrowded. Relatively being the operative word.
Regardless, after a nice meal, I grabbed my camera and set about exploring the ship.
By the way, the buffet is under the center area there . . . and if you look under the left passageway . . .
I guess it was a good idea to eat before everyone was on-board.
Under this level (by the main pool, there’s the pizza place (fresh-baked, made to order) . . . right next to the hamburger and fries place, also made to order. Food and drink is not scarce on the ship, and by design you are always within 50 feet of one or the other, or both.
It turns out the Oosterdam (Holland America Cruise Lines) was docked at the same peer. Their passengers looked at our ship, thinking “Saps!!” as we did the same.
I continued my walkabout . . .
I should mention . . . lots of stuff is free on the boat, but there is also lots of stuff that costs money. I will address my impressions of all that at the end of the series on the cruise. For now, I continue on my tour.
By the way, I have a new program, DxO’s Viewpoint, which allows the user to “straighten” the distortion generated by wide angle lenses. Photoshop has similar manual tools, but this works easily and interactively . . . here’s the same photo adjusted to remove the distortion.
Anyway, I continued with my tour (there are a few more photos in the SmugMug Gallery – HERE – for them who be interested).
There are a couple of panoramas, and they are best viewed in SmugMug. Each should be linked directly to the larger version in the album. Click on the picture to open a new window onto the SmugMug album, but if that does not work (WordPress has a bad habit of losing links), right-click on the link in the caption, and open it in a new window.
I’ve never sailed on a big ship before. The high vantage point gives one a different perspective on the surroundings.
The last shot I took was that of Mt. Baker (I think) .
I had been shooting it all along, but it was just a vague outline in the haze. The setting sun gave me a chance to get one decent photo of it. Or, semi-decent, depending on your standards.
As the sun set, we got ready to go eat our dinner, then snack, then coffee with snacks, and then some additional snacks, and finally, bedtime.
The next day was a full sailing day. Our destination, Ketchikan, Alaska. I spent the day eating, and listening to people yell out “Whale!”
It was unnerving to look up, only to see a bunch of people staring at me. But sometimes there were actual whales. I did get one good shot (above), but mostly I got a number of the following . . .
What looked like puffs of smoke on the water. Could have been a whale, or some squid practicing their white ink release . . . most people assumed whale. I like the idea of a white-out squid.
You will notice there was a near fog, which also made photographing stuff not worthwhile. I ate, and snacked, and ate, and had snacks with coffee. And I read John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War (read about it HERE, but realize it has spoilers).
Near sunset the skies cleared . . .
By the way, I mentioned DxO’s Viewpoint. Here is the original of the shot above.
I happen to think the program is pretty good at doing what it advertises. I used it on many of the photo I processed, mostly to tweak minor keystoning.
Notice the relatively calm seas. Outside of one day, that was the norm for the extent of the cruise, and even then it was not that bad. The weather also cooperated, with the Captain remarking we’ve had the best weather of the past six weeks.
I had forgotten to include a couple of videos I shot when leaving Seattle. Here they are:
Next up, in Part II . . . Ketchikan!
As usual, thanks for visiting, and for them who be interested, there are a total of 92 photos in the SmugMug Album (HERE).
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.