Even though I don’t encounter Mac computers very often, I could have used a class like Cunard Line’s extremely popular Apple iStudy courses. Now available fleetwide since the recent opening of the Apple Learning Center on board Queen Victoria, the centers offer the latest iMac machines for confidence-boosting seminars and workshops that aim to familiarize guests with the latest technology in a fun and interactive way. The iStudy program has been a feature of flagship Queen Mary 2 since October 2011, while Queen Elizabeth has had an Apple centre on board since her introduction in 2010. The workshops have proved a particularly strong draw on Queen Mary 2’s Transatlantic Crossings between New York and Southampton, with many guests bringing along their own iPads to use during the sessions.
The iStudy program on all three ships aims to take advantage of today's technology and present computer-based learning in an accessible and non-intimidating way. All Guest Computer Services Managers have been trained on the latest Apple technology to offer Apple courses to interested guests. In addition, the sessions offer a great way for Windows users to test-drive Apple programs and to compare Windows and Apple software side-by-side. That’s very appealing to Mac novices like me!
Designed exclusively for Cunard, the Apple iStudy program offers three levels of learning:
• First Steps provides hands-on learning for basic computer skills, both Mac and Windows, as well as an introduction to many of Apple’s iLife applications.In addition, the top Grand Duplex Suites in the Queens Grill accommodation category on all three ships have been fitted with iPads for their guests to download the newspaper of their choice and use to browse the Internet.
• Next Steps covers more creative or advanced topics. With workshops on photo editing, building a family tree, DVD and movie-making courses, guests are able to edit photos and videos of their voyage when they return home.
• iStudy Seminars provide a taster on all aspects of new technology, from Facebook to iPads.
Course creator and trainer of iStudy Presenters Richie Litchfield tells us, “All the seminars and workshops are fronted by specially trained presenters to make learning fun, in a positive and relaxing environment. There is something for everyone, from the beginner to the more advanced, and our aim is for guests to walk out of the iStudy feeling enriched and more confident.”
Aboard Queen Elizabeth, Cunard also features an iRange store as an Authorized Apple Reseller at sea. Guests can experiment with the latest Apple devices at their leisure, and Apple trained staff are available to give specialist advice on all the products offered for sale on board, including iPods (Shuffle, Nano, and Touch), iPad 2, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, as well as accessories such as cases, bags, sleeves, and speakers. It is hoped that these iRange Stores will also be opened on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria in the future.
Image Courtesy of Cunard Line