Hipsters populate a typical Apple Store similar to iLounge
Celebrity Teams With Apple
Celebrity Cruises just announced a new feature for their newest Solstice-class ships, a special area specifically to highlight computer products from Apple. Dubbed the "Celebrity iLounge" - a name similar to iPhone and iPod, there will be three main areas: a network of new and "contemporary" MacBook workstations where guests can check their e-mail, "retain their social media connections," or print boarding passes; a retail store featuring the latest MacBooks, iPods and accessories; and an enrichment center where instructors will offer classes and tips on using Macs or iPods.
It is always fun to watch cruise lines "compete." Sometimes I wonder if any cruise line ever has a truly original idea. Well, now here was one; Holland America formed a strategic alliance with Microsoft to feature their products on all Holland America ships just last year. If you sail on the Eurodam, or several other Holland America ships, you can take classes taught by actual Microsoft employees using Windows 7 PC computers to make movies, create web sites and edit pictures. The "Microsoft Digital Workshop" will be fleet-wide on Holland America soon.
It was one of the better moves Holland America has made in a long time, from the perspective of technophiles like me, because it gives a cohesive solution to what had previously been a somewhat hodgepodge approach to the line's Internet access offerings which had varied too much from ship to ship.
The Celebrity iLounge will also have instructors to show people how to edit movies, design web sites and edit photos. The difference is that all of the classes will be offered on Apple computers with instructors who have all received 125 hours of training in these different programs.
Now, I personally find the Solstice iLounge idea appealing - they are beautiful ships; stylish and modernistic - just like the new MacBooks - and given the relaxed atmosphere of a cruise I would relish spending a few hours getting to know Macs a little better. But I am not your average cruiser and Apple products normally appeal to the artistic college crowd, particularly photographers, musicians, videographers and some web designers. Not exactly the Celebrity Cruises demographic.
So, I have to wonder about an Apple iLounge on a cruise ship where the average passenger is close to age 50. I have been in cruise ship computer classes, and they are typically populated by seniors who just want to email digital pictures to their grandkids.
These people will be lost on a Mac - they barely know how to use the PC computers they have at home. How do I know? According to figures provided by Global Market Share Statistics, as of late 2008 Windows still has 90% of the market, and the remaining 10% of people, known to populate Apple stores, tend to be under 30.
That will be a challenge for those specially trained Apple instructors who will probably spend most of their time showing people how to access the Internet on a Mac. Macs don't have Internet Explorer - you need to look for a program called Safari.
I have to admit that while the marketing certainly seems to work, the characterization of Apple as the "hip" computer and PC as the "un-cool" does chap my hide. You have probably seen the same "Hi, I'm a PC - Hi, I'm a Mac" commercials I have seen. The "PC" in the commercial is a Dilbert who can't help tripping over his own shoelaces, while the "Mac" is a cool "hipster."
In a press release Celebrity claims the press dubbed the iLounge idea as "a hipster haven" and "a nifty app for tech junkies." Hipster? Isn't that kind of an unhip word? Along the lines of "groovy" and that one word that even as a five-year-old had me hiding my reddened face when my mom used it - "nifty." As a technophile, (I don‘t really care for the word "junkie" to connote anything cool) if I am faced with a room full of Macs when I go to check my email I am going to be cursing the slow mouse with no right click and the odd-looking browser.
I predict these ships will be installing an additional bank of PC computers soon enough - perhaps to "compare" the "hipster factor" of the Mac vs. the PC - just like the Apple commercials.
new feature articles
Are Restrictive Pricing Policies The Path To The End of Cruise Travel Agents?
Last week Holland America joined the ranks of some cruise lines implementing a restrictive “flat pricing” policy for travel agents selling their cruises.
Seabourn One-week Sale
Until Friday, 27 different cruises departing between June and August, 2010, are on sale - limited to new bookings only.
Holy Land Cruises for 2010/2011
See world history on a Holy Land cruise. Recomendations for 2011 and even 2010 last minute bargains.
Fuel Surcharges Getting Closer
The price of oil is rising steadily and cruise lines could reinstate fuel surcharges at any time without warning.
More Magic from Disney Dream
Disney takes cruise interaction to new levels with video magic.
Read about CruiseMates
NEW YORK TIMES:
"Many sites that offer reviews are selling cruises, which raises questions about impartiality. An exceptions is CruiseMates."
"The Web's best site for articles, advice, or chatting with Cruise People. Self-financed and run independently of the industry, so their opinions are impartial"
NEW CRUISEMATES CRUISES!
Chef Matt Sigel's Cruise with CruiseMates
Join Chef Matt Sigel's on Norwegian Epic, Halloween Cruise, Oct 30, 2010
Travel from Miami to Costa Maya, Roatan Honduras and Cozumel - 7-days
Let's Get Lei'd 5.0
We're doing yet again - for the fifth time (because these cruises do so well) - We are going to Hawaii on a Princess ship, this time the mega-Sapphire Princess. We sail from Los Angeles and return to the same. Eight days at sea and five beautiful ports of call - four of them in Hawaii, plus Ensenada. February 26, 2011.
Allure of the Seas
Join your CruiseMates on the newest world's biggest cruise ship on January 23rd, 2011, on the sister ship to Oasis of the Seas slated to debut in early December of 2010. We have great prices and plenty of onboard fun in store for you!