Day 15, At Sea, Enroute to Nuka Hiva
While Judy was at Tai Chi, I decided to attend one of the Digital Workshops that are offered on all Holland America Ships. There are 4 sessions per day, usually at 9:30 and 10:30 and repeated at 2:30 and 3:30. Claudia, the Digital Workshop Host, is also available for individual Q and A once a day – hours posted in the daily “When and Where”.
The session I attended was titled “Collaborate with OneNote”. One Note is a very useful program that is part of the Microsoft Office Suite and is also available as a stand-alone program. I use it to keep my tour confirmations, receipts, travel emails, etc all in one place. It will also synchronize everything across all your platforms, so if you keep you tour confirmations in One Note on your laptop, the same documents will also be available on your iPhone or iPad or wherever else you are running a copy of One Note.
I have been using One Note for years, and am familiar with the program. As expected the digital workshop class was geared towards first time users. I was more interested in learning about the workshops structure and facilities, but I always learn something new in any computer class I have ever attended regardless of how basic it may appear on the surface.
I hadn’t originally planned to attend today, but I walk by the Digital Classroom every morning on my way to the casino. There is always a queue, and this morning I decided to stop by around the time the class started to see if there were any seats available. This morning at 8:45 AM, 45 minutes before the scheduled start time, there were already a few people lined up. When I stopped back at 9:28, there were about 20 people in line. I headed to the back of the line and was a little surprised to find about 25 workstations available. With so many workstations, it’s not clear to me why people were lining up so early, especially when there were only a couple of places to sit while you were waiting.
The classroom is very bright, well ventilated with a large (probably around 27 in), modern touch screen monitors at each of the 25 or so work stations. There is a large 55-60 inch monitor at the front of the room with another on the side wall and they both display the instructors work station. Each workstation has a full-sized keyboard and mouse.
I won’t expand on the details of the One Note class here, but I found it very well presented, at the level appropriate to the intended audience, with ample opportunity to ask questions. I was very favorably impressed and would recommend these classes to anyone who wants to learn something more about the topics scheduled.
Claudia was very friendly, approachable and quite knowledgeable about the subject matter. She was skilled at explaining what could be very complex in an easy to understand manner.
The Crow’s nest Sit and Stitch attracts anywhere from 6-10 people from 10 AM to around 11:30 or so. People are always coming and going. I get there around 10 am and knock off a few rows before heading down to Texas Hold’em at 10:30.
Lunch by the pool
If you were in the shade today, it was pleasant, but if you were laying in the sun, it got hot pretty quickly. Many sun lovers were taking advantage of the intense rays and were staying cool with frequent dips in the pool.
I had the grilled catfish with mixed vegetables while Judy had another of her favorite custom-made Turkey Panini Sandwiches.
I didn’t place in the morning Texas Hold’em game, but I won the afternoon game – we did only have 6 people rather than 10, but a win’s a win!
Go Pro Vacation Workshop
Judy and I stopped by the Go Pro Vacation workshop in the Piano Bar after lunch. The Photo Staff was there demonstrating all the wonderful features of the HERO 5. It is a very nice camera but we have a Go Pro 1 and 3 and while they are very useful for certain applications we don’t use the ones we have that much right now.
There was a Fashion Show scheduled for the Ocean Bar at 2:00 PM. One of our tablemates, Margaret, was scheduled to be one of the models, so Table 303 would of course arrive in force. A DJ and an MC warmed up the crowd before the show which started promptly at 2 PM. The bar was not well lit, but a good time was had by all.
Margaret explained later that since she was a model she had the opportunity to buy the $80,000 sapphire and diamond earrings one of the other models wearing for only $40,000! She decided to take a pass.
Table 303 is becoming a regular fixture at the 5 PM pub trivia. We have a good time, but rarely beat the average score let along compete with some of the best teams who seem to get perfect scores with regularity. Everyone is donating their Grand Activity Vouchers to me which I am saving up to buy a car at the end of the cruise.
Dinner with Helen Wilding
Helen Wilding was our dinner guest this evening. She is a wonderful conversationalist and we all enjoyed learning more about her background and how she got started in the cruise ship entertainment business.
Note: More and more people are inviting entertainers to dinner, so sometimes it can be difficult to find an opening on their schedules.
The HAL singers and dancers took center stage tonight with another wonderful show called “Variations.”
They performed songs from a variety of genres – Opera, Pop, Rock as well as many classics. This cast is especially talented, and we are looking forward to seeing them again and again over the rest of the cruise.
One of the guest lecturers scheduled an “Evening of Star Observation” at the Seaview Pool at 11:00 PM. We were looking forward to seeing the Southern Cross so we hurried to the Seaview Pool a few minutes before 11 PM. There were about 75 people assembled facing the southern sky. The deck lights remained on making it difficult but not impossible to see the stars. At first, I wondered why they didn’t douse the lights to facilitate viewing, but as I thought about all the people who would then be stumbling around amongst other people and deck chairs I realized that leaving the lights on was the correct decision.
The Guest Lecturer was able to shout over the crowd and using gestures and a laser pointer he pointed out the Southern Cross and a few other celestial highlights.
I will try going to a higher public deck some evening and may be able to find a spot with less ambient light. During my Navy days, we would routinely “darken ship” every evening. There were some nights where the night sky was breathtaking, and we could see the stars without any pollution of ambient light.
We were pleased to discover that Judy’s iPhone app called “SkyView” worked on the ship without being connected to the internet. We had to set the location manually – Tahiti was the closest option, but that proved to be close enough and the app was able to highlight the Southern Cross and other celestial features. As with anything new, please try apps out at home before you leave on your cruise. Trying to learn a new app at 11:00 PM at the Seaview Pool can cause unnecessary stress.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized