Creating a Lasting Memory of Your Cruise Photos

What To Do with All Those Pictures? Part 3

Despite this digital age, I do like to have a hard copy of pictures, so I put together a photo book. When I’m feeling nostalgic, I can peruse the book and remember the wonderful times I have had while traveling.

Making a Photo Book

I use Apple’s photo book app, but there are many others available. My friend Ginzy creates Shutterfly books all the time, for momentous events as well as everyday happenings. She frequently finds coupons for substantial discounts. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Ada uses, which allows her to share the link for others to view or even order if they want a printed book.

At home, I review my photos on my larger and better desktop screen. Sometimes I try to do one location a day, because this can be a slow process. It helps to have reviewed and rated them (5-stars are the best for me) during the cruise. For the book, I choose the photos that best tell the story of my trip. Over the years I have learned that I would rather have large pictures than pages with a lot of smaller photos, so I end up with bigger books or fewer photos.

Once I have finished selecting the photos I want to consider for use, I start creating my book. Because I think linearly, I tend to organize by location and date. But I use some pages to capture themes. This works well for photos from around the ship. On a previous Alaska cruise on the Amsterdam, I had a page with seven photos – one for the elevator carpet for each day of the week.

Another consideration is whether you want to just use photos, perhaps with short headlines or cutline descriptions, or include more text to help describe the trip. Sometimes a cutline below the photo is enough. But if I want to identify people or relate an interesting story, I need more space. So I have some pages or sections of pages with text blocks. My trip diary (or in this case, blog) is a helpful source here.

Then I write the book title and text. Being a former newspaper editor, I continually proofread and send the final copy to one of my sisters (who could have been an editor).

The process would go faster if I didn’t take the time to pull every photo (usually around 300) into Photoshop to tweak the quality. I might adjust the lighting, straighten the photo or crop it, for example. Then I swap each photo for the improved version. You can see why it takes me so long to finish the final product. By skipping this step, it would probably cut the project time in half, and truth be told, I might not notice the difference. Fortunately, I enjoy the photo editing.

Once the photo book is finished, my work still has a final step or two. I add the keyword “book photo” to each photo that is in the book. I won’t delete those photos, in case I decide later to reprint the book.

Finally, I go through the non-book photos, perhaps deleting three fourths as well as my poor-quality 1-stars. I put all the keepers into one folder or event for the trip.

A word about using photos others have taken: When I traveled to Hawaii in 2016 with my sisters, I downloaded all of our photos on my laptop and drew from them all for the book. I use keywords to indicate who took each photo. I don’t credit each photo in the book, but I credit each of us on the back cover. If I want to use a photo someone else took, I always ask first and offer to credit it. It’s probably a holdover from my newspaper days.

Quality photo books are not cheap, but it’s just a rounding error in the cost of the trip. So I consider it one of my trip expenses.

Making a Video

I don’t have much experience making videos beyond viewing my photos as a slideshow. But if you read my Jan. 27 blog, you saw a link to the great videos Michael and Cheri made from the 2017 Grand Asia cruise. The link is

I asked Michael to share what apps he used to create his videos and how he made the map animation for each segment of the cruise. Here’s his reply:

For Animations I use Hash Animation Master and for Video Editing I use Pinnacle Studio.

Ahh the maps. It took some work to figure them out.  Here are my steps.

  1. In Google Earth Pro create a path between 2 points

  2. Create a tour between those 2 points

  3. From the Tools menu choose Movie Maker and make 2 movies of the tour.  One with the path line turned on, one with the path line turned off.

  4. Import both movies into the Video Editing software.  Place the movie with the line Turned On above the movie with the Line Turned Off.

  5. Crop the Line Turned On movie to 100%, then over the time of the clip reduce the cropping to zero.  The Line Turned on movie will slowly be exposed giving the illusion of a moving line.

I would love to hear your comments about how you share and preserve your travel photos. I’m sure there are tips and shortcuts I haven’t tried.