Back in 2007, when Clyde and I took a cruise to Alaska, my Apple devices -- at the time, an iPhone and a MacBook -- puzzled everyone on board. Signing onto the ship's wifi network actually required Internet Explorer for Windows. Even in 2010, on our European cruise, my iPad drew stares (where, once again, the onboard wifi system assumed all passengers would be Windows users).
This year, though, the couple we met from Canada were snapping vacation photos on their digital camera and sharing them with us -- on their Pad. In the Navigator's Lounge, a pair of elderly ladies were checking email and sending virtual post cards to the family -- on matching iPads. At the Lido Buffet, a retired gentleman was reading the Wall Street Journal -- on his iPad. And back home, of course, my own Mom was following our progress across the globe on an iPad of her own.
Everywhere we went, people had tablets in hand, including many Kindle Classics and more Kindle fires than I would have expected. But the vast majority of folks were toting iPads. (A young man in the Atrium was one of very few using a laptop. It was a shiny, aluminum MacBook Air.)
What's more: fellow cruisers were, for the first time I can recall, complaining about Holland America's "Techspert Sessions," all of which were "powered by Microsoft Windows." The Techsperts came prepared to tout the power of Microsoft Windows Live for emailing, sharing photos, and blogging … but the audience came with questions about emailing, sharing photos, or blogging from their iPads.
"Kid kept talking about Windows," one salty old sea dog said. "Who uses Windows?"
From the looks of it: fewer people than ever before.