View Full Version : Castaway Cay Camcorder Curse

09-29-2001, 06:41 PM

I wanted to share with ya'll something that happened to make my camcorder fail on the last day of the cruise and make it end up back up in the shop when we got back.

When we got off the boat on Castaway Cay I noticed that my lens and eyepiece had fogged up a little bit to blur the view. I wiped the cap off not thinking about it much. However, my deduction has led me to believe that the inside of the camcorder was just as fogged and had a major malfunction. From that point on I had no camcorder for the rest of my trip. THANKFULLY the digital camera portion of the camcorder still worked and I took a TON of pictures to make up for not having a camcorder anymore.

PLEASE make sure your camera, camcorder adjusts correctly from a cool air-conditioned environment (the boat) and a warm humid outside (the island). Be careful out there.

09-29-2001, 06:45 PM
How do you make it adjust correctly?

09-29-2001, 08:34 PM
You can't actually 'adjust' your camera to adapt to the different environments, but you can safeguard against it. Just keep a couple of packs of silica gel inside your camera bag (you know - those funny little white packets that say "Do not eat" on them...) Also, limit your use of the camera in damp and/or humid areas. Keep 'er dry!!

Additionally, most camcorders have a 'dew' warning, which causes the word 'dew' to be displayed in the viewfinder when moisture has accumulated in the camera. If this happens, you want to open the tape bay (the area where you insert the tape), and leave it open in a dry area, such as in your cabin... all you can do then is wait for the camera to dry out, and it'll be good to go again.

pursuethekingdom - This is a very good point to bring up. It happens more frequently than people might think, and if not treated properly, can leave you without a videocamera for days.

Thanks for the thread...


09-29-2001, 08:39 PM
The same thing happened to us when we stayed at the Atlantis this August. It killed me to not be able to videotape that beautiful resort. That info about opening the tape area is great...wish I knew about that then!

09-29-2001, 09:09 PM
Let me elaborate on this just a bit, just to make sure people understand what to do. This problem can be a heartbreaker, especially for those who love to take tons of video.

Ok, you hit the 'eject' button to pop out your tape when you change it, right? Well, just take the tape out and then leave the camera open. Try to put your camera underneath a fan if you can, to facilitate drying. Wait at least 3-4 hours before testing it. If it is still moist, give it overnight to recover.
Again, keep it under a fan if you can, or at least in a dry place. Even pay attention to it's proximity to your bathroom - shower steam can complicate matters. And, even if you don't experience this problem, as preventive maintenance it is a good idea to leave the tape bay open at night just to 'ventilate' the camera. Can't be too careful! A lifetime of memories is riding on the performance of your camera, so you should understand how to care 'fer it!!


09-29-2001, 09:45 PM
Your advice is worth it's weight in Gold.

I am sooooo thanksful that castaway cay was on the last day of the trip to save fromt he heartache of not having video from the first 3 days of the 4 night cruise.

I am anxious to get it back after being serviced. Again I am glad I bought the extended warrenty from Best Buy. They said it would take 2-3 weeks before it will be done. I am frustrated I have to wait that long to view my video.

Thanks again

09-30-2001, 12:08 AM
.....I tried this and it worked. On my 7 daycruise last year we had a brand new video camera and this "DEW" message limited my usage on the 1st morning when I woke up. I had tried to go onto the verandah to video the wide open sea but my camera shut itself off. I read the manual and it suggested to do the above and it worked after several hours.

BUT...... to prevent this from happening, I wrapped the camera up in a heavy (DCL beach towels) and then inserted it into my camera bag, this kept the camera from getting to cold inside the room. The before I turned the camera on, I took the towl wrapped camera outside waited just a few minutes and unwrapped it and it worked everytime.

09-30-2001, 02:16 AM
Excellent tip, HappyGilmore. If you can simply discipline yourself to wrapping your camera up tight with a few inches of terry cloth every night, you can likely avoid this whole unpleasant scenario. But again, DON'T be indifferent about it, if your video is important to you... this problem WILL occur, if not avoided properly. An ounce of prevention is worth 26 and a half pounds of cure!!!

Maybe even 27. :)

You now KNOW what you must do. If you choose to accept your mission, your tapes will NOT self-destruct. Videotaping your cruise? MissionPossible!


09-30-2001, 02:38 PM
Do you think this is likely to happen in climate conditions like...say...next week's? And what excactly is causing the dew/fogging? The ship being very cool and outdoors being very warm?? Or is it something unique to Castaway? It doesn't sound like anyone experienced this on shipboard days.


09-30-2001, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by Wiggle

Do you think this is likely to happen in climate conditions like...say...next week's? And what excactly is causing the dew/fogging?

The indoors of the ship is kept very cool... very well air-conditioned. The air outdoors is very warm and very humid. Any surface that is indoor-room-temperature will be a cool surface on which moisture in the outdoor air will cool upon contact and turn from vapor into fog/dew. You will become quite aware of this also if you wear glasses.

09-30-2001, 09:44 PM
I wonder if that's what happened to my camcorder. It worked on the first couple of days of the cruise, while we were on board, but as soon as we docked in St. Maarten, I tried to videotape out on deck and it wouldn't turn on. I never was able to get it to power on after that. Even after we were home for a few weeks, it wouldn't turn on. I took the camera into the shop and haven't heard back from them yet. I couldn't open it up to take the videotape out because the camera needs to be powered on in order to eject. I couldn't get ANY power (and I tried new battery packs as well as a new lithium battery).

09-30-2001, 10:14 PM
So glad to read this post - wish I knew before we left. We just returned from the 9/22 and it happened to me a number of times on and off the ship. I was upset because it is a fairly new camera and I thought it was defective. I missed alot of memorable moments. Fortunately after a number of hours I was able to utilize the camera again. But it kept happening on and off and I had no idea why. Thank you!

10-01-2001, 08:32 AM
opened the camera and removed the tape. I let it dry out a few minutes and it was fine after that. We had a veranda and got so I would set it outside on a chair a few minutes opened with the film out prior to any filming we would do. This also seemed to help..smjj

Mike Bartenhagen
11-24-2001, 09:20 AM
Does anyone know if you can have a similar problem with a digital still camera?

11-24-2001, 12:39 PM
My son used his digital camera and had no problems.

11-24-2001, 04:47 PM
This is a great thread with great advice - something we encountered in Malaysia two years ago for the first time!

However, you have to have your camcorder with you to have the problem in the first place - halfway across and two miles above the Atlantic Ocean, on the way to our 7 day Magic cruise, DH announced that he left the camcorder in the dining room at home - no fogging problems for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh well - we'll just have to go again to capture the memories on tape!

04-05-2002, 10:42 PM

04-05-2002, 10:54 PM
Our camera did the same thing the first time we cruised. The cabin was really cold and the weather outside was very hot. We thought out camera broke. We couldn't even eject our tape. Hubby went out and bought a new video camera and we forgot about the old one. A few months later I came across the old camera and turned it on to see if it I could eject the tape. It has worked great ever since. So now we have 2 camera's (haha). When we cruise now we wrap our camera up in a towel and leave it in the bag in the closet when we are not taking picture's. This has worked fine for us since.

10-06-2002, 12:29 PM
I hadn't seen this topic in a while and I thought it important to share again.

10-06-2002, 01:32 PM
Hey folks, just to let you know that this can happen with still cameras also (the film kind). Although you won't get the "dew" warning. Usually this will clear up a little quicker with stills than with video because you don't have quite the mechanism issues to deal with. But here are some suggestions from a professional photog friend of mine. Keep something that insulates the camera around it when sitting for long periods in cold temps. Much like the beach towel idea mentioned earlier. In air conditioning even a good quality camera bag will help but under about 60 degrees he suggest a styrofoam cooler! He claims he can even keep his in the car in Michigan winters - I haven't tried it but baby that's cold! Then when heading outside don't take lens caps off or change lenses for at least 5 minutes - longer for longer cold air exposure and the greater the difference between warm/cold.


10-06-2002, 05:14 PM
Fogging of the lens definitely happens with still digital cameras. Check out this pic I took soon after coming outside from indoors. The lens fogged up immediately.



10-06-2002, 06:23 PM
Wow - I had no idea about this - Thanks for the warning -

I would have really freaked out if this would have happened to me because I wouldn't have known why!

I will be prepared now -