Archive | April, 2016

Spotlight on 2016 World Cruise Ports

25 Apr

Hi there folks,


Kristin again, writing from the beautiful Amsterdam about to enter the final port of call of the  2016 World Cruise, Fort Lauderdale.  Yes that’s right, we have come full circle and are back in Florida having circumnavigated the globe in 115 days.  I can’t believe how fast time has flown by…in fact, lets turn around and go back the other way for another 115 days! Wait, no, we can’t do that….to many hour forwards.

But what an amazing and rewarding experience this has been. As I reflect back on the wondrous ports of call, the delightful guests and crew I have met and worked with, I can’t be anything but appreciative and grateful for these past 4 months and these once in a lifetime experiences.

In this post I wanted to share with you just a few of these remarkable locations that the Amsterdam has taken us to. And who knows, maybe this will inspire you to book one of these World Cruises on our beautiful ship and experience more of our incredible  world.  Just be sure to bring your computer and other Windows devices so that you can be able to learn how to use them to their full potential in the Digital Workshop.


Kristin Viotto

Happy Travels

2017 World Cruise


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Moorea, French Polynesia              Sydney Opera House



Borobodour, Indonesia                              Hong Kong



Hoi An, Vietnam                            Jurong Bird Park, Singapore


IMG_9062         IMG_9077

Yala National Park,               Colombo, Sri Lanka

      Sri Lanka                       

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Camels in the Arabian Desert             Burj Khalifa, Dubai


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Muscat, Oman                                  Petra, Jordan


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Suez Canal, Egypt                    Greek Food, Katakolon, Greece


IMG_9450 Stitch IMG_9468 Stitch

El Campo, Siena, Italy           Views of the Tuscan landscape


My Favorite Travel Apps

17 Apr

Hi there folks,

Kristin here, writing from the Digital Workshop of the Amsterdam, as we wind down the end of the 2016 Grand World Voyage.  We are currently on day 102 of our 115 day itinerary and are docking in Livorno, Italy. Livorno is the cruise ship gateway to magnificent Florence, which is  rated number 4 of World’s Top 10 Cities by Travel and Leisure.

Throughout this cruise, I have met many other congenial people, like myself, who have a passion for travel. There isn’t one among us who doesn’t have their own travel tips that they swear have gotten them out of some sticky situations or have helped them to better experience the destinations that they are visiting.  I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite travel apps that I use during my sea going ship contracts as well as apps/services that I like to use while traveling on vacation.


1.) XE Currency


The XE Currency App allows me to always make sure that when I make a purchase I am aware of the cost in dollars.  When your traveling by cruise ship to many different countries the exchange rates can get a little jumbled in your head, this in turn, might cause quite a surprise the next time you look at your credit card statement. I love that you can input many different currencies at one time which makes it easier if you are going to places where your not always able to stay connected to data or wifi.  Just make sure you input all the different currencies before you leave the ship.

xe full screen


2.) World Clock

world clock title

When traveling abroad for either a short or long period of time, at some point, you might need to call home.  Unless you want to accidentally wake someone up at their 4am, it’s always good to double check that your time calculations in your head are correct.  This app will let you know that current time of many different cities in different time zones. Never wake anyone up again!

world clock full screen


3.) Tripadvisor

tripadvisor title

I love to use TripAdvisor to get the most out of the destination.  Whether its looking for great restaurants or garnering opinions about hotels that I am interested in staying at.  Additionally, there are also useful links to blogs and others articles that might give you some further ideas about how best experience the city and its environs.  I’ve gotten many helpful hints from this service over the years on good tours as well as transportation tips.

Tripadvisor full screen


4.) Translator

Translator title

Every international travel is, at some point, going to come across a sign, menu, newspaper or person that they need to understand.  The Translator App from Microsoft can help you do just that.  The app has the ability to translate from pictures you take with you smartphone camera and translate them into one of 22 different languages right then and there.  You can also type text and translate that into over 51 different languages.  Voice translation, text to speech and the ability to save translations offline are also some of the features you will find with this app.  One neat addition is also a Word of the Day feature if you pin the app to your start screen, it’s a little mini language lesson!

Translator full screen



Uber title

Uber’s motto is “Everyone’s Personal Driver” and these personal drivers are currently in 407 cities worldwide.  I love Uber because sometimes you can just not find a cab and with this click of a button you are able to get a ride.  Not only is it usually a better deal than the traditional cab fare but your able to meet a local of the area and potentially have a nice little chat while they drive you to your end destination.  If its half an hour until all aboard time and you can’t find a cab open your Uber App to make sure you don’t miss the boat.  The only issue is that in order to use this app you must be connected to data or wifi. Can’t find a cab or open up your Uber?….start walking/running.


Uber full screen


Now these are just a few of my favorite apps that you can download from the Windows Store that will hopefully allow your next vacation to go more smoothly.  Always keep checking back on the windows store to see new apps arriving all the time!


Until next time folks,


Kristin Viotto

Techspert of the MS Amsterdam

Happy Travels