Archive | December, 2013

Helping Out the Locals

31 Dec

Hi there folks,


Kristin here, writing from the Digital Workshop of the Noordam heading towards Key West, Florida wanting to bring you a little information on what we as crew sometimes do on our time off the ship.  One of my favorite and most rewarding activities to do off the ship is to be able to volunteer my time to help some of the local environmental charities that our ships go to on some ports of call.  Many of these ports of call have amazing natural resources that guests come on a cruise to experience and I believe it is only right that we should help where we can to help support these beautiful and amazing places.  As well as helping out the local environments it is also a wonderful way to bond with fellow crew member as well as get to know the locals of the places we visit whom we wouldn’t have normally met.  Here are some pictures from two such volunteering activities from Sitka, Alaska and the beautiful Caribbean island of Bonaire.  In Sitka myself and others volunteered at the Sitka Raptor Center which is a rehabilitation and education center for native Alaskan birds. There, we helped to clear out the walking trail which visitors can take as they stroll through their grounds.  In Bonaire we helped to clean a small stretch of beach on the East Coast of the country where, unluckily for Bonaire, it presides on a current  that brings in tons of plastic from South America and deposits it on their beautiful beaches. We picked up over 138 bags of garbage and plastic there in only one hour, its was a great feeling but also rather a sad sight. This garbage and plastic is especially hazardous for the endangered turtles or other species that come to nest on the shores as many of them think plastic bags are the jellyfish that they eat or we were even told that the garbage even sometimes covers the turtle nests and doesn’t allow for the turtles emerge, basically suffocating them.  Volunteering is just such a great way to be able to enhance your travel experience as well as getting to know the land and culture that your traveling through.


Cheers from the Noordam,







Resize Your Pictures with Photo Gallery!

19 Dec

Let’s say you want to send a number of photos from your latest Holland America Line cruise to a friend as attachments.  However, your new digital camera takes such high quality pictures that the resulting file size of some of  your images is very large. As such, you may end up with a rather bloated email that is hard to both send and receive.  Or, as is often the case, you may be limited in how many photos that you can attach by an overall attachment size limit set by an email service provider.

One solution would be to resize the pictures prior to sending them as attachments and Microsoft’s Photo Gallery makes that process a snap!

First, within Photo Gallery, find the thumbnail (the small version of the picture you see in the gallery view) that you want to resize and right-click on it.  A small menu will appear that includes the Resize option.  Then simply left-click on Resize.

Right click on the photo & left-click on Resize

Next, the Resize menu will appear and provide you with a number of file size choices.  Medium and large are good options for email attachments.  However, you should be aware that by resizing the picture you are sacrificing image quality for a smaller file size.

Select your file size and Save!

Finally, hit the Resize and Save button. This will create a new resized version of the photo with a modified filename and place it in the same directory as the original unless you choose Browse to save it in an alternate location such as your desktop.  It should be noted that your resized creation is a new file and that your original remains untouched and unmodified.

By resizing your pictures before sending them as attachments you can reduce the size of the email message and potentially send more of your cruise photos without hitting an overall size limit set by an email service provider.

You can find the latest version of Photo Gallery by going to

And, to find out more about this and other amazing features of this easy to use photo-editing software, be sure to visit us in the Digital Workshop Powered by Windows on your next Holland America Line cruise.

John Roberts – ms Niew Amsterdam