Thanks for the quick fix!
It has fixed 1) and now at least the zooms are transitioning correctly i.e. in/out and left/right.
However, 2) above still has an issue: the destination pano frame isn't correct when the source pano and dest pano differ in north pan values.
Pano 1: North Pan of 180 and Pan of -180
Pano 2: North Pan of 270 and Pan of -270
Transitioning from Pano 1 to Pano 2 has the correct zoom motion (in my case sideways), however the destination transition frame is Pano's 2 North Pan frame as if it were left at 0. After the transition is done, Pano 2 is pointing in the correct direction. This results in a "pop-up" of sorts.
I think something is wrong with the start and end UVs being used for the morphing for panos that don't agree on the north-pan.