The Digital Workshop blog has moved

8 Jun

Thanks for visiting the ship’s website!  We haven’t shut down our blog operations, but rather we have moved all of our efforts into one main blog.  This is to ensure that the experience for you, the guest, is one that is slightly easier because of more frequent posts, fresher content, and knowing that everything is in one great place.  The URL for the new website is:

At this site you’ll find new content, great feedback from all of our Techsperts, as well as useful links like Handout Downloads, and great information from Windows.

Thank you all for your support and for following along with the Digital Workshop.



21 May


Do you ever want to sum up how great a trip was  all in one Photo? Now you can using Microsoft Research Auto Collage.

Auto Collage is a great way to combine a group of pictures(Cruise Photos, Birthday Parties, Weddings) with a few simple clicks of the Mouse.

The first step would be to download the trial version. Download Trial Version

After the program is installed you are only three clicks away .


Pick a folder from your Navigation window.  auto 02 

Press a the Create Button,auto coll01 and in a few minutes AutoCollage presents you with a unique memento to print or email to your family and friends.

Auto coll





Download a free 30 day trial version of AutoCollage 2008 at:



Take some photos!



20 Apr

Over the next 30 days the MS ROTTERDAM will set sail from Ft. Lauderdale and head towards Peru. I’m sure we can learn a few things and take some great photos along the way!

Map picture

During our voyage I will be covering the following topics:

  1. Creating Collages
  2. Using windows live Photo Gallery (Photo Stitching)  to get great shots!
  3. Backing up photos while traveling abroad
  4. How to share photos with
  5. Fun with Photo FUSE!-Windows Live Photo Gallery



Stay Tuned,

Aiden Dillon

– Techspert- MS Rotterdam.

Hello San Diego, Good By Rotterdam

2 Apr


As I write this blog, the Rotterdam is sailing towards San Diego after a month in the beautiful South Seas. What a trip. Great weather and outstanding ports of call. I will enclose some of the pictures taken by our guests during the month of May 2011.

I must also regretfully inform you that this will be my last blog from the Rotterdam for a while as I am headed home for vacation. Aiden Dillon will be taking over from me and will, I am sure,  provide you with some great information about the next several voyages.


Until next time:

Frank Barcelona Techspert, for the Holland America Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft aboard the MS Rotterdam.

Sailing Towards Cook Island

18 Mar

Hello again from the Rotterdam. We are one sea day away from beautiful Cook Island. Interesting facts about this place are; Although Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, they have the status of Cook Islands nationals, which is not given to all New Zealand citizens! Here are some paradise pictures for you;

1187896-View_From_My_Room-Cook_IslandsSONY DSCAitutaki-Cook-IslandsAitutaki-Lagoon-Cook-IslandsAitutaki-overwater-view3beautiful-cook-islandcook-island-delightcook-islands12Cook-Islands44cook-islands-cok103Cook-Islands-Crown-Beach-Beachhendrie-peter-boat-at-one-foot-island-cook-islandsphotomurals-cook-islands-8-884TD8OD00ZTuttle One Foot Island Cook Islands South Pacific 96x4windsurf

Internet Explorer 9 is available for you.

Check out the great new features in IE 9. Its faster, more secure and easier to use than ever before. You can download it off the site.

Until Next Time;

Frank Barcelona Techspert for the Holland America Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft aboard the MS Rotterdam.

Test Post

17 Mar

sssssFanning Island Snip 8

South America by Rotterdam

16 Feb


Well we are officially 1/2 way through our South American Voyage. Today finds us in Lima Peru (the port of Callo). So far this month we have been to Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama. A great trip as you will see from the attached pictures.


Windows Live Mail

Traveling with Windows Live Mail can be rewarding. You can check all of your email addresses in one place and work off-line to save expenditures on the internet.  Windows Live Mail also gives you a preview panel which lets you check out an email message before you open it. This saves you from accidentally letting a virus into your computer. This email program is a part of the free Windows Live Essentials suite of products which can be found at

Frank Barcelona, Techspert for the Holland America Digital Workshop, powered by Microsoft aboard the MS Rotterdam.

Polynesia Memories

1 Feb


As I write this blog, the Rotterdam is traveling back to San Diego from a one month tour of Hawaii and French Polynesia. As a friend just told me, some of the most beautiful places on earth.

I will enclose some of the outstanding pictures that our guests took during the various stops we made.


Upgrade to Windows 7 Premium when you get a new Netbook!

Many of you buy netbooks to travel with. As you may know, they come with a version of Windows 7 called Starter. Upgrading to the next version of Windows 7 (Premium) gives you with many more useful features, such as:

The ability to create Home Group networks

The ability to record movies and TV shows on your netbook for viewing while in route to your next cruise

and many more features that can make your user experience more rewarding.

Check out this new offer at your local retailer! Normally the “Anytime Upgrade” to Windows 7 Premium is $79.99 but until April 1st 2011 you can purchase this upgrade for $19.99!!! Just buy it at the same time you buy your new Netbook and remember that this offer is for a limited time only…

Until next time;

Frank Barcelona Techspert, for the Holland America Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft aboard the MS Rotterdam. 

Hawaiian Happenings

9 Jan

Well, here we are cruising in Hawaii. What a wonderful way to spend the winter months! Here are some of the pictures we have taken so far, I hope that you will enjoy them.



Photo Fuse  introduces an easy-to-use and innovative tool for combining portions of photos. The most popular use will, no doubt, be getting group shots with everyone having a beautiful smile. Take a number of photos of a similar scene and highlight them. Click on “create” and then choose “photo fuse” and  the same area from each photo is presented in the “Which do you like best?” box. All you need to do is click the chosen image and the program maps that part into the combined picture. Take a look at these examples:


Now take a look at the finished product—a near perfect picture of this group.


Great group

I hope that you will have fun using this innovative new feature of Windows Live Essentials for 2011.

Until next time,

Frank Barcelona Techspert for the Holland America Digital Workshop, powered by Microsoft Windows, aboard the Ms, Rotterdam.

Rangiroa Movie Making!

25 Dec

Take a look at my latest production using Windows Live Movie Maker 2011.  I made this video after we visited Rangiroa, French Polynesia on our 30 day Hawaii/South Pacific cruise.  If you haven’t check out Windows Live Movie Maker yet, you’re overdue!  Download it for free along with Windows Live Photo Gallery at  Enjoy!!

-techspert ryan