Holland America’s free digital workshops: Thank them for the increased use of photos in recent blogs

microsoft classroom-3

By Tim O’Keefe

While many cruise lines offer computer classes, Holland America operates at a higher level. By partnering with Microsoft Windows, HAL is the first to offer a free digital program at sea. Other cruise lines usually charge $20 a session, and their classrooms and instructors are of varying quality.

The workshops are available on all HAL ships. On the Maasdam, which is a typical setup, our PC lab is connected to a wireless network and outfitted with 16 new 17-inch Sony laptops with the latest Windows software . Frank Barcelona, the “techspert” during my 35-day cruise, has been well-trained by Microsoft.

Frank not only knows the programs inside out, he is current on the latest developments throughout much of the digital world. A patient and methodical teacher, Frank has turned my days-at-sea into an unexpectedly enriching and productive time.He focuses on the practical applications of Microsoft Live for tweaking, storing and sharing photos of our trip, which keeps his 20-seat classroom packed and sometimes has standing
passengers lining the sides of the room

.microsoft classroom-1 microsoft classroom-7
Thanks to Frank, I discover the wonders of Microsoft Live Writer, a program intended specifically for blog posts. Now my layout as well as writing are done offline, to be uploaded into my normal blog post templates whenever I go online. This has made the process easier and faster. Having to paste photos into the template using the ship’s sometimes slow Internet speed is incredibly frustrating and sometimes doesn’t work. With Live Writer, the page is complete before I ever sign on.  Microsoft Live is available for free download at microsoft.com.

This class also is going to make life easier when we return home. I’ve hesitated to upgrade to Windows 7 after fighting with the maddening quirks of Vista. After a few days, I realize I’m using Windows 7, which seems as user friendly as XP.  Moreover, Frank says that with some versions of Windows 7 you can even go into XP mode to work with particular programs.

The Microsoft Windows classes are another way HAL distinguishes itself, providing useful activities on either days-at-sea or in port, since different classes are offered four to six times a day, with an hour set aside for Frank’s help on our projects. The schedule makes Frank one of the busiest people on the Maasdam.

microsoft classroom-2
Large flat screen monitors make it easy to follow course instructions

What the classes cover:
Offered from morning until early evening. the classes last for an hour followed by a 60-minute break.

  • Edit your cruise photos
  • Turn your cruise photos and videos into a slide show
  • Getting your photos out of the camera and into the computer
  • Advanced editing of your cruise photos
  • Sharing your cruise photos via email and the Internet
  • PC safety and maintenance
  • Learn fun ways of staying connected with instant messaging and webcams
  • Learn the basics of staying connected through social networking
  • Understanding the basics of your digital camera
  • Learn what PC is right for your lifestyle and how to find the best offers
  • See how Windows 7 can simplify your PC and your life

HAL’s Digital Classroom program sure beats the belly flop contests offered on some other cruise lines.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

,

5 Responses to Holland America’s free digital workshops: Thank them for the increased use of photos in recent blogs

  1. Dean Suhr December 8, 2010 at 8:48 pm #

    Sounds like a good program for the complete novice, but it also sounds like a great big Microsoft commercial. What is Microsoft is not the only (or best) way? How about smart phones and iPads?

  2. Steve December 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    I have an upcoming HAcruise coming up. I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks for the tip!

  3. sandiesing December 23, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    I wish other cruise lines would jump in on this. Many of us would rather learn something new with technology equipments. Holland America is a class cruise line for doing it free.

  4. Lydia Moschetto June 28, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    I recently took a Holland America cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam and had a really terrific time. I took one of the digital classes and unfortunately I did not know about it until the last day of my cruise. It was geared toward photography. The instructor told me I could find editing information on line but I cannot find it. Is it possible to send me information where I could locate such information. I already have the printout on panoramic, add captions, photo fuse and such. Are there any others. Please let me know.
    Thank you so much.
    Lydia Moschetto

    • Cynthia Boal Janssens June 30, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

      Sorry, but we do not have this information.

Leave a Reply

All of the content (with the exception of the cruise news) is lovingly hand written by our travel writers.
If you wish to use this content, please contact us.

Work on a Cruise Ship - Other Industry Information

Advertise with us

About AllThingsCruise - For The Media - Privacy Policy - Contact Us - Home
© All Rights Reserved. All Things Cruise

Check your travel agent's references by asking them to fill out a form here and you will get the report: AllisonTaylor.com
Microphone Windscreens - Shirt and athletic gear for Crossfit, runners, and other serious athletes.
CLOSE
CLOSE