A Wake Up Call

March 17, 2008 -

John Heald

Having finished the Welcome Aboard Show I returned to the cabin tired but content. The show had gone well and I actually felt that my voice was a little better and that Mr. Bell may not have had such an influence on the show as the last time………more about him later.

So it was that I returned to the cabin and while drinking a cup of monkey tea wrote a few e-mails and by 12:30am I was in my bed and snoring away …………….the last thought was that last week was behind me and this week was going to be incident free.


I was having a wonderful dream……………I was playing for the Miami Heat against the Kentucky basketball team. We were winning and I was slam-dunking, pick and rolling and my three point game was red hot………..we were winning and the crowd were chanting my name. The team was made up of me, George Hamilton, Shaq and for some bizarre reason and I am not joking here…….. this is my actual dream……….also playing were the small guy from the program Different Strokes…….the one that used to say “Watchya talking about Willis?”………..and ……….wait for it………….Jack Nicholson………………I think I need help.

Anyway, the dream was getting good as I was all over the court and dribbling well……..something I normally do when I sleep anyway. So, I am in the middle of this dream when the buzzer goes……was it the shot clock……….it was only after the buzzer kept sounding that I awoke from my dream and realized it was the telephone………….the digital clock showed 3:05 am……….this wasn’t going to be good.

It wasn’t………………………………………..I will tell you why later in this blog.

So, good morning. It’s 10:33 am. I just finished the Morning Show and before my Cozumel travel talk I thought I would say hello. The weather is exactly where it was last week with the sun hot, the sky blue, the sea calm and the sun cream out in force. There are some Spring Breakers this week but mostly it is families with younger children and the Camp Carnival staff is very busy indeed.

I do have a little bit of good news regarding Mr. Bell. I woke up this morning and he seems to have become board hanging out with my eye. I can close it now fully on my own without hanging a Lexus from my eyelid.

How about this for an unusual request.

Guest: __________ Ref: 002721400A

Owner: (KN) Kua Anant Ngamkamolrat
Cabin: ________ Booking#: __________

 Added-Changed: 03/15/08 – 03/15/08

1063 – Diet request

Guest called from the cabin requesting to speak to the Chef. Purser asked him what she could help him with. Guest said he was in training for the USA TRIATHLON TEAM and needs to eat 8,000 calories a day and needed help as he could not find the right foods. Purser tasked Maitre’D Ken to contact guest for follow up.

8,000 CALORIES A DAY

That’s the equivalent of 2 pounds of butter, 20 slices of bread, 12 eggs, 28 potatoes, one Yak and 89 MARS bars. On that basis………………………… I am an Olympic Triathlete!

Heidi has had her haircut………..short……….not too short but shorter than usual. She is admiring it as we speak in the mirror and even though I prefer her hair long I have made the right noises of admiration. Before she had it cut she discussed with me her opinion that my view that women should have long hair was “old fashioned and macho.” I agreed……..but what’s wrong with that?

I like women who look like women………..Jessica Simpson from all angles looks like a woman………Kate Moss could from many angles be a boy. Anyway, I have just been told that tomorrow in Cozumel I am having my haircut. This appointment was made with out my blessing or knowledge so at 10 am I have to go to the Spa and have someone called Serge cut my hair.

I hate having my hair cut………I despise it…………I would rather spend a day in a Turkish prison than have some man play with my hair for an hour gossiping my ear off about who is with who while listening to Cher’s greatest hits. Then the final act of horror comes when I pay the $30 plus a tip for a haircut that lasted in an hour, featured creams and locations being rubbed into me and at the end of the whole operation my hair looks exactly the same as it did when I went in there.

What I really want to do is go to the crew barber who will use a hedge trimmer on me and in 5 minutes I am done. I may not have found out that Brad Pitt is having an affair with Johnny Depp (allegedly), I may not have had learnt that you shouldn’t wear pink with blue but it will have cost me $5 and my hair will just be……….short……….which surely is the purpose of having it cut in the first place.

Still, this is a pointless conversation as her Majesty has spoken so tomorrow I will go and see Serge……………he does have nice legs though.

Here are today’s random photos:

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The Captain’s Party

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Dancing the night away

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Mike & Michelle Richardson- Bloggers- Great smiles, even though the airline lost their luggage

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John and his crooked smile with Mr. Happy from Canada

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John with a Canadian Mounty, George Hicks

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Heidi and the 2 Doctors. Dr. Dave and Dr. Caroline are husband and wife and have been looking after John. They are both brilliant Doctors who have saved lives on board…….unsung heroes.

Let’s get on with some Q and A.

Here we go.

MARIA………………..I am glad to hear you love the blog so much which in turn keeps me wanting to write to you and the thousands of daily readers. You asked about Elegant Night dress for your husband and if he should wear a Tuxedo or Business suit. Well, most of our male guests will wear a business suit although one in ten still wear a Tuxedo. Whichever he decides to wear he will not look out of place and if he has one and does not get chance to put it on much…………go for the Tuxedo. Hope this helps and I hope you have a fantastic cruise in July. Cheers.

LAMB KNUCKLES…………Thank you for beautiful words on the word Freedom which were written from the heart I could tell. I am now starting to work hard on the Bloggers 2009 cruise and we will definitely be doing some sort of charity event pre cruise. I hope to have more details very soon. Thank you for sending your best wishes to everyone at the blog and we all return them to you and your family of lambs as well. Cheers.

JENNIFER HAMMOND……………Here is the link to the web cam for you and Ruth. Enjoy. www.infocruise.it/infocarnival

ROBIN IN NEW YORK……………DH if you are reading this please take pity on the lovely Robin. She needs to fly south for the winter next year and join her friends on their annual migration to the land of Fantasy and Blog. Please consider this request and be rewarded with fun and free drinks. What do you say mate?

JOSEPH KYLE………….Thank you for booking the bloggers cruise and I promise you will have a wonderful time. Indeed as you said in your posting that the blog community has become like a family. We receive anywhere from 50-70,000 slaps a week and this varies from people who read once a week and never post to people who read every day and post every day. This makes for a great family of friends which I am glad you are a part of mate. My best to you and to your family and I will see you next year.

CRAIG…………..You quoted my all time hero in Winston Churchill and I am honoured that you did so in my name. Thank you for sharing his beautiful words and for adding your own as well…………..we shall fight them on the beaches. Thanks mate.

KATHIE KAPERINO……………I will have to Google Paula Dean but she sounds like a lot of fun………Spotted Dick Southern style…….does that come with grits? Thanks Kathie and I hope all is well with you and your family.

US NAVY – 1972 – 1981………..Jon, we salute you and those like you now and we salute you always.

DRIVER NC…………….Thanks for the information on New Orleans and we are looking forward to seeing the city again. STEPHANIE will be e-mailing you the subscription for Carnival Currents magazine. Thank you for your kind words and Heidi and I sent our best to you both.

LISA K……………………Yes, they were the greatest generation. It also was indeed a rollercoaster of a week but that’s part of the cruise experience and also having this blog thingy allows me to share it with you. Thank you for all your kind words, especially the fun you mentioned with Eric Clapton and the Spotted Dick. I hope you continue the blog thingy. Cheers.

KRIS AND CATHLEEN…Thank you for your sympathies for the lady who passed away, it was truly a shock and the kind words of everyone on the blog thingy has meant so much. I will be the Cruise Director when you sail on the Carnival Splendor and it will be an honor to see you with us. If you have any questions, I remain at your service.

BARB R…………………..Than you so much for booking the Bloggers Cruise. That is wonderful news and I promise you will not regret cruising with the finest groups of people I have ever met. There are many people who read this blog thingy who cannot come and I hope we will be able to share some stories that will make them feel like they were there with us. I am glad you are enjoying the blog and thank you again for everything.

MARK CHAMBLISS……Robert and Suzann had a wonderful time and it really was great to see them in their usual seats. I wish I had been there with you mate and hopefully one day, we can sit down, have a Diet Coke and a good laugh. Heidi sends her best to Catie and I will pass on her regards to James. Please write soon. Cheers mate.

LATITUDE 20………….I am so happy to read that you have discovered the blog thingy. Please take your time to read from the beginning and I think you will see that the blog has changed a bit over the last year. As a military family man yourself, I appreciate so much the beautiful words you have written about Mr. Gaylord and others like him. The story of the two ladies who cruised was truly inspirational. Thank you so much for taking the time to post which I hope will be the first of many. Thank you again.

CHARLOTTE………….Congratulations on booking the Bloggers Cruise and we will be holding some pre-cruise activities including working to make it a better place to live for the people who need that most. It will be great to meet you and thank you so much for the kind get well messages. They are truly welcome here on the blog thingy. Cheers.

RIKKI BOYCE……….I see you are a Gordon Ramsey fan, like my wife. Your other ideas are also excellent. I also laughed a lot at your whom the bell tolls reference…….very funny. Hope all is well with you mate. Cheers.

BIG MIKE………..…..I knew I had failed microwave cooking class when I tried to boil an egg in it…….bugger. Write soon mate.

MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISEBUTSTARTINGABLOGOFMYOWNCALLEDMUSINGSOFJUSTJOHN….…I just looked at your first blog mate. It’s fantastic. I wish you much success. I know it will be very successful and hopefully your wife will log on to this one and post.

GAYLE FROM CHICAGO………Thank you for saying you are addicted to the blog and I know you will have a fantastic time here on the Carnival Freedom. I am sorry I can’t be with you, so please keep reading the blog thingy, hopefully that will keep you going until you cruise. Have a wonderful voyage. My best to you and your family.

BORIS AND DEANA……………I asked Heidi and she thinks the best thing for you to do is to stay at the hotel you have booked and use that as a travel point. Holland is a small country and was recently carpeted. No, seriously, from your hotel in Amsterdam to Alkmaar and the world famous cheese market takes 45 minutes. To the Keukenhof will take about 1 hour. I would not advise renting a car and tours to these major locations can be arranged, I am sure from your hotel. If you need anything else, please let us know. Heidi says you will love this hotel as it is quite old with a lot of character right on one of the major squares with shopping areas, Vondelpark and Rijksmuseum just around the corner.

STEPHANIE MARTIN…………..Very funny Stephanie, I apologize on the kids’ behalf for making their favorite teacher laugh. See you 118 days and thanks for the great post today. Say hello to the kids.

JAKE SILVERBERG……………Thanks mate. The photos are fantastic. How is grandma?

INMN253……Great idea to have Kevin involved in the Bloggers Cruise kitchen. Nearer the time I will discuss with him what we can do. A private cooking class may be fantastic. Kevin? Thanks Pat and it’s great to see you post on the blog. Thank you also for your kinds words for Barb, we will all look after her.

VICKIE…………………………..I will do my very best to see you on the 22nd. Listen out for a page, have a safe journey.

PAULA BAKER…………………Beautiful words, I appreciate them so very much. See you both soon. Cheers.

LINDA HERNACKI…………….So we discovered that Rick Pitino is a basketball coach and I am sure a gentleman of such skill and positive thinking would not have been happy to here his Godson speak like he did. Heidi and I are off on the Emerald Princess next Tuesday after a weekend in Miami and then straight home to the UK for 3 days with the family before our European Road Trip for the Carnival Splendor. How is Mike? Please send him our best and Linda it is always to wonderful to talk to you.

PEGGY………………..Thanks for the information on Rick Pitino. I hope somehow he gets to hear how rude his Godson was. Not just to me but to so many others and he was not the only one. You will be here soon and I hope that you and the doc have a wonderful cruise. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I thank you so much for being so kind, it means so much to me.

SOUTHERN DREAMS………..Congratulations on booking the Carnival Valor and have a wonderful time with your Prince. Heidi sends her very best to you and I look forward to the next time we are all back together again.

FLIP FLOP CRUISE QUEEN…Words like those you posted are so special and thank you for being such a special person yourself.

TERRI 910………………………..You were correct. I spelled the man’s name wrong…….it is Pitino. I am sure Mr. Pitino is a wonderful man and his Godson is not a representative of the Coaches’ principles on life. Spring Break is always a fun time but I can understand why some people like yourselves prefer not to be on board during these unique celebrations. Thanks Terri, wishing you all the best.

RICKAKASEANCONNERYLOOKALIKE…….I am glad this blog thingy gave you a chance to vent and you said some of the things I wish I could have said. Thank you for speaking for me and I imagine you saying everything you did in that soft Scottish accent that you and Sean possess. Good night mate and all the best to you and your family.

DARON……………………………Thank you for reading the blog during the last month and when you cruise the Spring Breakers should be a distant memory. Have a fantastic time and please let me know if I can help you with anything at all. Cheers.

JETSKIER…………………………Very funny. I spoke to the lady with the green hair on my live afternoon show and she really was quite upset that she looked Shrekish. Heidi said she should ketchup in her hair which apparently is a Dutch cure. I am surprised she didn’t ask for mayonnaise as well. Thanks for the laughs. Cheers Dave.

LEE RAYBURN…………………..I have to say, as rude as uncaring as it may seem, I was glad that Kentucky lost to Georgia. However, I wish you Tennessee team much success in the future. I loved the cheerleader reference that was very funny. Thanks mate.

JOHN H……………………………As I was just saying to Lee, I did a little dance of joy when I saw Kentucky lost. I know this is very small minded of me but after the way those kids verbally abused so many different crewmembers I had to say, it made me happy. Thanks mate and I hope you and the family are well.

ROBERT…………………………..Glad you liked the ketchup reference mate and you know how wonderful it was to have you both here. See you soon on the Carnival Splendor.

PC…………………………………..I am glad you are reading the blog and how wonderful that you are getting married on the Carnival Valor during your May cruise. Having gotten engaged on the Carnival Valor as well, it seems like this ship will have ever-lasting memories through your journey of life. Wishing you a wonderful day and if there is anything I can do for you please let me know.

Cheers.

PRINCESS ELAINE……..Thanks for your support Princess and I am sure there are many great students at the University of Kentucky. Unfortunately, the ones I met were definitely not ambassadors of their school. Thank you for all your kind words and one day your Prince will come. Heidi and I send you our best.

That’s all for now. More tomorrow starting with Dan B.

So, back to last night.

The phone rang waking me from my dream of being the next Michael Jordan and as I rubbed my one good eye the digital alarm clock seemed to be taking great satisfaction in telling me it was 3:05 am.

I answered with that voice that seems to inhabit our bodies during the night ready for times like this when we are woken suddenly……..”Hello, Cruise Director” I heard someone who sounded like the butler from Hart to Hart ………remember that program…………this is Jonathan and Jennifer Hart and when they met it was murder……………anyway the voice on the other end of the phone was that of Luigi the ship’s staff captain and chief security officer …………….as soon as I heard his voice my bottom cheeks closed together quicker than Praying Mantis catching a fly………………………………was the ship in difficulty………….had we been invaded by creatures from the Planet Stapelface……….what was wrong?

Well, actually it was something quite awkward and potentially a little worrying. The parents of a 23 year old had not seen her since 7 pm………….they were worried…………..and had now officially reported her missing. This had happened at 2 am and for the last hour the security personal had walked the ship trying to find her. The only lounge with lots of people in it was the Dance Club and the DJ had stopped the music and had asked on the microphone if this young lady was here…………….nothing.

So, now it was my turn.

Putting on my sweat pants and T-shirt I said good-bye to Heidi who upon realizing I was buggering off immediately claimed the bed as her own adopting the starfish position.

It was very strange walking to the Purser’s Office at 3:10 am. The ship was quieter than a shop in Paris that sells only soap………….there was nobody around.

I met with Luigi and the chief security guard and the chief purser and then moved the investigation to the next level. Now before I describe what I did I should say that these protocols are set out in the SMS procedures. SMS stands for Safety Management System which is a set of rules and regulations that are enforced and managed by Carnival Corporation within the guidelines set by United States Coast Guard and International maritime laws. We have protocols for everything, including missing persons at sea.

Obviously, we take these types of events very seriously. They are rare and unusual events but, of course, it was time to make sure nothing had happened to this young lady and there was only one way to do that. So, at 3:18 am guests and crew awoke to this announcement on the emergency PA system.

“Good Morning everyone……….please accept my apologies straight away for waking you……..also, please do not worry there is nothing wrong but I do need to find a young lady who has been missing for the last few hours.” ___________ if you can hear me I need you to pick up a telephone and call me on 7777. Your parents and family are worried about you and we just need to make sure you are OK………you can also call your own cabin if you want to and speak to your Mum. Please call us straight away.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen, please go back to sleep and as now I know many of you will be worried I will let you know quickly if we find her.”

We did.

I let the guests know with this quick announcement

“Just to let you know __________ has been found and is safe and well……..please go back to sleep and I thank you so much for your understanding.”

Within a few moments of the announcement a very sheepish young lady called the Information Desk to tell us she was OK………she was in another cabin ………………..with a friend

We immediately sent a security team to collect her and a few minutes later a young lady with eyes as big as saucepans was reunited with her parents. The reunion started with relief and then obviously anger took over as it was obvious that excessive alcohol had led this young lady astray and into the arms of her new best friend whose cabin she had passed out in.

I sat and mediated with everyone. We needed to make sure that she was OK and had gone to this person’s cabin of her own free will………….she was and she did, She looked totally bemused and scared and it was just when Dad started to get really upset at her and used words like “embarrassment to the family” that I new it was time for everyone to go to bed.

We walked the family to the cabin. The staff Captain and I had a quiet word with Dad suggesting that someone watch over her tonight as she was still under the influence of alcohol……….he agreed, of course. I arranged to meet with them later today and at 4:15 am I was back in the cabin. I took off my sweat pants and T-shirt, moved the Starfish over to her side of the bed using a block and tackle and went back to sleep……………except …………..I couldn’t …………. not straight away.

I lay there thinking about this young lady and how she had put herself and her family in this very awkward position………….I wondered if the family would ever forgive her…………I wondered if she would forgive herself………….I wondered if we would get any complaints about my early morning announcements…………I wondered if Uma Thurman liked would like to…………..then I feel asleep.

This afternoon I met with the young lady and her family. She looked different ………..younger………..and definitely she had woken up and smelt the coffee. The first words out of her mouth were “I am so sorry”……………….and the tears flowed.

We spoke for some time. She had known exactly what she was doing but the alcohol had resulted in her passing out. She realized what a terrible burden she had brought on her family which included her grandparents who were also onboard. She promised never to do it again………….I told her to promise herself that and her family and then to move on and enjoy family time, drink soda and be home at midnight……………….she promised she would………………….and you know what……………I believe her.

This was a kid who made a mistake…………yep…………it affected many people and brought hours of worry for her family………..but it was a mistake and hopefully one day she will learn from this and that will eventually make her a better person.

So, the story that could have turned out so differently had a happy ending

Except:

Guest: _________ Ref: 002721472A Owner: (JEAZ) Jessica Zanolari
Cabin: ____ Booking#: __________ Added-Changed: 03/15/08 – 03/16/08

Mr _________ came down at the desk wanting to complain about the Cruise Director’s announcement for the missing guest. Mr __________ stated that it was ridiculous that he should be woken at 3:30am. Purser explained that the guest was missing and the family were worried. Guest stated that he did not care and the family should be better parents. He then requested a one-day refund for the inconvenience because he had not been able to get back to sleep after the Cruise Director woke him. Purser said his comments would be forwarded to Guest Relations and to the Cruise Director. Cruise Director tasked to speak to guest and letter of apology sent.

3,515 guests………………one complaint…………………..not bad …………….. didn’t send him a full day refund but did send him the rest of my supply of Nyquil……………..hopefully he will sleep well tonight. As I hope do we all.

Goodnight

Your Friends

John and Heidi

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.

77 Responses to A Wake Up Call

  1. Teresa and Paul B. says:

    John,

    I have always felt there is a time to cut the apron strings and let your child learn their own lessons in life. Sounds like those parents need to do the same thing. Wow – – that young lady is 23 years old! She feels bad enough getting drunk, but having your parents put out an “all points bulletin” on a cruise ship? Yikes! Poor girl.

  2. Darlene says:

    Dear John,

    Those calls at 3:00 a.m. are NEVER a good thing! I remember a time or 2 that I caused my parents a few hours of worry. I also remember a few hours of worry that my own son caused me. It makes it easier to be sympathetic to the parents and family. I’m so glad that the young lady was found safe.

    Vickie Kaperino is EXACTLY on, with recommending Paula Dean! Yep, she would fit right in!

    Why is it that we always dream of those things that we know just aren’t possible? Often my dreams involve me running. I won’t discuss how many years it has been since I have been able to run, but wow, what a wonderful feeling to be able to at least run, in my dreams! Strange, huh?

    Looking forward to information on the pre-bloggers cruise charity events! We will be there a couple of days prior to cruise! WooHooooo!

    It sounds like Mr. Bell is tiring of your company. Hopefully he will pack all his bags and head back to France soon!

  3. Tell Heidi her hair is so cute. She looks good with that cut. Thanks for the web site for the web cam.
    Flat Joey will surely enjoy seeing the ship again.
    Take care of Mr. Bell.
    Jennifer

  4. "BIG" ED says:

    John, if on the 2009 bloggers cruise any of my Princesses go missing just check Kevin’s cabin. Except if it’s Princess Laura then just look under the piano in the piano bar.

    King Edward The Big
    Of The Evil Krewe

  5. Princess Elaine says:

    John,
    There’s always SOMEONE, one Fruit Loop short of the cereal bowl that has to complain. I’m glad the girl has seemed to learn her lesson.
    Glad to hear that Mr. Bell may be on his way back to gay Paree. Need to see a pic of Heidi with the new “do”
    Please tell Alan I still think about him and looking forward to meeting him.
    Best to Roberto & Stephanie.
    Elaine

  6. vicki says:

    Will listen out for the page, Thanks.

    Thank God the young lady who was “missing” was ok, could have been much worse.

    Getting really excied now and I have a million thing to do. Of ourse John will pack in 1/2 hour, I hate men sometimes.

    Take care and best to you and Heidi.

  7. Gayle from Chicago says:

    I can only imagine the fear this family faced- well that’s not true, I know it too. This week will be my fourth Carnival Cruise with a teenager. Here is what I do to get my son to come home by “curfew” I threaten to come out looking for him in my pajama’s and no makeup. I tell him I will go to the Lido deck, cruise by the casino and stop in each of the clubs saying I am “Nick’s mommy” anyone know where my 18 year old is?
    By the way your dream sounds a lot more fun then mine – its always the day of finals in college and not only can I not find the books I don’t even remember where the class is….So glad the Bells is getting better – it usually does. Will miss you on the Freedom but force myself to have a good time. Keep blogging you should write a book!

  8. Lauren says:

    23 years old!?!? Sounds like it’s time to grow up. Legally she has been an adult for 5 years. When I was 23 I was married with my first child on the way…..

  9. Kathie says:

    John, I realized today why I keep in touch with you. It is your “voice”. The peace that it brings. Saturday I came to this epiphany when my wonderful husband Dan was reading storybooks to my grandson after the storms here in Atlanta.

    I was somewhat stressed from thinking we had these tender lives to protect and still fighting the good fight with my head infection that indeed knows when bad weather approaches! (It seems that a mad Frenchman is in my head cussing something about Paula Dean serving grits with deep fried spotted dick)

    ….anyway, his voice and storytelling sent me straight to dreamland. Peace……which is what your blog and “voice” always seems to do for me. Most days I would run for Chocolate but the past year I have run for the blog. My hips thank-you.

    There is no doubt that the family of the missing daughter who became invisable found reassurance in your voice. So I for one, would appreciate your “voice” looking out for any guest on your watch and never remark that it was an inconvience to be awakend for that purpose. The “what if’s had to be a deathgrip for her parents.

    Perhaps the annoyed guest didn’t have a lovely Dutch starfish to curl up to and for that I feel sorry for him…….Think he was a Kentucky fan? Double whammy. Maybe I could send Dan to read him a bedtime story?

    Sweet dreams,

    Kathie (Kaperino)

  10. Teresa C. says:

    I do feel for this young lady and her parents; however, I can not think of a better way to learn a lesson. You vacation with your family, you get drunk, you go to your new best friends room, you’re reported missing, an announcement for the WHOLE ship is made, you call “sheepishly” saying your ok. Embarrassment seems to work wonders. I’m glad it worked out for the best. I’m thinking Mr. Bell feels as though he as over-stayed his welcome. Heidi, cute hair.

  11. terri910 says:

    Why do some people seem to be missing the “empathy” gene?

  12. GregB says:

    There’s always one person who is more important than anyone else… just ask ’em and they’ll be happy to inform you of that fact.

    Thank God the girl was alright and nothing worse occurred.

    More good news on the Bells front! Huzzah!! Do you think it’s the acupuncture or facial exercises or both??? Whatever is the source of the improvement, keep it up!!!

    Heidi does indeed look quite lovely in her new hair cut. Good for her.

    Wonderful pictures! You’ve just got to love folks who can keep their smiles in spite of unforeseen difficulties. Mike and Michelle look like fantastic folks, indeed.

    Keep those smiles coming, my friend… They are sorely needed out here!!

    Ciao!

    GregB

  13. so glad you are feeling better mate! very happy to hear it…

    and hoping all the green drinks on board today don’t cause you any more problems in the middle of the night. really, asking for a refund for being awakened for a missing person is just tacky if i do say so myself. wonder how he would have felt if it had been his child? hmmm…

    smiles, bonnie and prince charlie

  14. BigMike says:

    John,
    Go to the crew barber and tell Heidi that you got into a fight with a lawn mower, that’s what I tell people when I get it cut really short. I can understand why that particular guest was upset, I also do not have the ability to get back to sleep very easily when I am awaken in the wee hours of the morning. But to ask for a day’s refund… come on. What if the girl had fallen overboard??? Good thing you made the announcement.
    _BigMike
    Head of Blogger Security

  15. PeterAndShannan says:

    Hi John,

    Good to hear that everything turned out well for the girl and her family. I guess there always has to be someone to complain about something, and that man obviously had no ability to put himself in that family’s shoes. It really could have been a lot worse of a situation, and most of the other passengers were probably relieved to hear the updated announcement.

    It’s funny about your dream. You know, I haven’t had such vivid and active dreams for a long time, up until we got back from our cruise. I’m always on a ship now, in my dreams. There aren’t any celebrity guests in them, but we can’t have everything. 🙂

    If that pic of Heidi with the doctors is with her new haircut, I really like it. I have long hair myself, but her cut works for her. Looks good.

    Here’s to a calmer week, and to a farewell to Mr. Bell at last, I hope.

    Shannan

  16. Carol Schoenberger says:

    Hi John & Heidi (I love short hair too!),

    John I’m glad you’re feeling better – except for 3:00 a.m. wake-up calls. Speaking of 3:00 a.m., everytime I feel out a comment card I request clocks in the cabins. So far I haven’t seen any. Will this ever become a reality?

    I’m glad that young lady was ok and that her parents cared so much, but she is 23 and should know better, and her parents should also loosen the strings. But then again, if she is on the cruise with her parents and grandparents, she should definitely know that she was doing something they would not approve of. Did that make sense?

    Back to work, for now, enjoy the rest of the day.

    Carol

  17. Ruth Jamison says:

    John,
    Sounds like you had an interesting night…just not enough sleep. I really can appreciate all the effort that Carnival takes to locate young people who are missing. As a parent who has been on many cruises with a young adult, there is nothing worse than worrying about where they are.
    Hope the week goes well for you. Glad Mr.Bell is improving. Please post a picture of Heidi with her new hair style.

    Ruth

  18. Trade Winds (Bob) says:

    John, Please respond

    I have a request that perhaps you may be able to facilitate. My son would like to have the opportunity to interview/job shadow the Cruise Director on the Carnival Legend for a high school careers assignment. Eric is a great student and would view this as a serious endeavor. We are booked on the 30 March 2008 cruise. Could you help us arrange this, or give us an idea how we may proceed?

    Many thanks,

    Trade winds (Bob)

  19. PC says:

    Thanks so much for the well wishes. we are certainly excited about the coming wedding. By the sounds of things we will have Chris Jefferson as our director again this May, we found him hilarious but not in your face, so certainly excited about that too. This will just complete the full circle of engagement / wedding. 30 + guests additionally, and believe it or not, every single one of them will be first time cruisers. Hopefully not their last.

    Quick question, might be silly, bu how exactly does one go about submitting letters to the CD? Would it just be through the pursers desk. Being new last time, we had no idea this was possible, but now we do thanks to the blog.

    Apparently the complaint came from somebody without children. I’m in a business where I’m sure as you can attest to, there are just people in this world who arent happy unless they are complaining.

  20. Jason says:

    Mr. Bell should be referred to as Monsieur Bell or M. le Bell – a tad more accurate.

  21. Ruth Jamison says:

    Stephanie Martin,
    I just figured out that you will be on the July 13th sailing of the Splendor. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait. I have been looking over the shore excursions that they will be offering. Gosh, the ones in Germany are really going to be long if you want to go into Berlin. We are still debating that one. We will be traveling with a ten year old and a seven year old. Do not really want to leave them in Camp Carnival that long and yet I know they could not maintain on a fourteen hour excursion. Still kind of up in the air on that one.
    Anyway, I am looking forward to meeting other blog family members when we get to the ship. It is going to be nice to put a face with a name.

    Have a great week!
    Ruth

  22. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    As angry as I am certain this young lady’s parents were, I know they were more relieved to know that she was safe.

    It is one of those “parent” moments when they rush to their child (regardless of age), give them a huge hug and then say the silliest thing….”I am going to kill you!!”

    We have not been there yet, but since we do have children, I am sure our time is coming.

    One quick correct, the Colonel is my brother in law (David’s sibling) not our son. I am older than dirt, but not old enough to have a 44 year old son!
    But we are indeed proud none the less.

    DJ would love to have a fuss made over him, so I thank you in advance for thinking of him. David is only home on the weekends (since he travels so much) and I believe it is the hardest on DJ. He really misses his Dad when he is gone. I can tell when DJ really gets stressed, because now he walks in the room and says “I need a cruise!”

    I hope you and Heidi get a chance to rest and relax some once this cruise is over. You both have definately earned it.

    Please know that Alan is always in our thoughts.
    Hope you get to spend some time with him soon.

    Linda (Lady in Waiting) The Domestically Challenged “Goddess” of the Evil Krewe!!!

  23. John D. says:

    John,
    Wow $30 for a hair cut…. That would drive me batty too…. You should get some clippers and have Heidi learn to cut it. Buzz buzz here and buzz buzz there and before you know it Bobs your uncle and your done….

    John I had a question for you. Not that this would have helped with your situation last night. I would like to know if Carnival has ever thought of having a curfew. I have been on 10 cruises with Carnival and a lot of them have been during the first week of April which spring break is for are schools (K – 12th grade). There has been a lot of younger kids similar to what you have this week. I can remember being out at like 1:00 in the morning passing by groups of kids I would guess were between the ages of 12 – 15. I always wonder what their parents are doing right now. I just can’t think of any reason a kid of that age should be out without a parent. I would think like a 12:00 curfew would be a good thing and keep a lot of kids out of trouble. It would also cut down on the running up and down the hall knocking on the doors. What do you think and have you ever tried anything like that????

    Thanks for your words, glad to hear you are getting a little relief from Mr. Bells…

    John

  24. cruzinsal says:

    Oh my Gawd!!
    Ed I am still laughing!

    John, if you check Kevins cabin and still don’t find the Princesses then look in the kitchen. Kevin has been recruting us to do secret sous chef duty to get one over on Anthony Bourdain. ~chuckling~

  25. TXLADYDI says:

    Tell Heidi, the new cut is great! Very becoming on her.

    I have a 23yo daughter, she and her sister have given us our share of scares. Think I would have done the same as her parents, cause if she wasn’t on the ship, then we need to pull out all the troops and try to find her, right? Glad it was a false alert. Our solution is, phone or text us if you aren’t going to be home overnight.

    Have a good St. Paddy’s Day,
    Diane

  26. Robert says:

    john you did the right thing if someone dont care about fellow guest safety shame on them, glad to hear that mr bell is on the way out, thanks for putting up with him last week and the week before, you did so good.

    Just to give you a full update we did book both ends air and cabin for the spendlor i cant wait it should be a great birthday, thanks suzann. see you in dover england

    vicki have fun on the freedom you will make sure you tell ron and ken we said hi, they are waiting for you and know that you and randy group will be coming aboard.

  27. Ruth Jamison says:

    John,
    Paula Dean would definately be a good match to offer some cooking demonstrations. I love to watch her on television. She puts butter in absolutely everything! I think that would be worth taking a look at for a future cruise.
    Oh, I found the picture with Heidi’s hair. It looks really cute!
    Ruth

  28. Julie C says:

    Johnnie,
    First of all, WOW! It is crazy to hear about the ins and outs of the things that happen on cruises. It is oh so interesting as well. I also wanted to note something else. It is good to hear that Mr. Bell is beginning to get the hint and go away, but I learned something this weekend. You see, I am going to a Naturopathic Institute (natural health medicine) and this past weekend we discussed Nutrition. Now I am sure you have had so many people giving you their insight, so I hope another won’t hurt. We talked about how Bell’s Palsy can be associated with a Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) deficiency. This may not be your problem, but when someone is deficient, they get pain in the face, pins and needles type feelings, burning pains, etc. My professor just noted how it could be related to Bell’s Palsy-but is not the only reason for this. B12 is a vitamin that is often difficult for the body to absorb, but in the presence of calcium it is much easier to absorb it. So things like tofu or the herb kelp are very helpful. Raw milk would be a good choice too, but face it, how do you get that on a cruise ship? Thank you for allowing me to share that with you and I hope and pray you continue to heal.

    A question you may not be fond of answering – how old are you? 28 maybe? =]

    Which ship was it you said you were going to next?
    Good luck on your ventures.

    -Julie

  29. dwa76 says:

    Hi John/Heidi:
    How classless by the passenger demanding a one day refund. It never gets old and you never know what you’re going to hear.
    I am glad that she was found safely and that it wasn’t a major issue. Its terrible but sadly it takes a major event like this for people to sometimes change their ways.
    Nice to hear that the accupuncture is starting to pay off. I will keep hoping for your continued improvement.
    Looking forward to continuing the conversation as you cross the pond soon.
    Thanks for another great blog today!
    David

  30. Marc G says:

    John,

    Sounds like she was having a good ole time, and she is an adult, if they knew she was out partying, let her learn her lesson and be done with it.

    But I agree that she should have or at least her “friend” let someone know where she was.

    But either way, you’re going to get people like this all the time.

    -Marc G

  31. Monkey tea? I looked that up and it looks really interesting, love trying new things and I do enjoy a good cup of tea too, might try to get my Kevin to get some. So how dose it tast, is it close to Earl Grey?
    Hope you get through your hair cut fast, I have not had my hair cut in ……. 12 years …. I think, it is about an inch or 2 from my knees so I guess I qualify for long lady like hair, I know my Kevind loves my hair and that is the most important part.

    I am glad that young lady was found quickly and I am sure she will never forget this and yes will make her think more, I do hope she can enjoy the rest of her cruise too. If all you got was one complaint over a missing person I really wonder about anyone who dose not care about another life… the Nyquil was a nice touch.
    Loved the pictures too, wishing you a quiet peacful week.

    all the best to you and Heidi

    the one
    and only 1
    Heidi-Beth

  32. Nico R says:

    Glad to hear the passenger is OK!

  33. Jim [jleq] says:

    Like most everybody else here/on the ship, so glad all turned out with the young lady. And, like everyone else here, I wish it hadn’t happened…that you had a quiet final cruise before your vacation. So happy BP [it’s never going to be British Petrolum, is it] is tiring with you. Maybe its being awakened at 3am will be the “final straw” as far as it’s concerned

  34. Kathleen (Bucket Lady) says:

    John,

    As a parent who’s hair has turned grey from raising children all I can say is: It’s all part of growing up and all you can hope for is that a good lesson was learned and someday,,,,oh,,someday,,,,,it will be their turn!!
    I am watching my daughters raise their children how and it is great to sit back and see history repeat itself. This is what I have lived for. *LOL*

    Take care dear friend, Kathleen

  35. Jim [jleq] says:

    Almost forgot…maybe I should change my name to “triathelete in training” What do you think.

  36. belle907 says:

    I am wondering if it is possible to be able to get our passports stamped in each of the Baltic ports this summer. Is this something that could be done easily?

    Glad to hear the young lady was found safe. It doesn’t matter what age a child is, a parent will worry and want to find them if they are missing. This is especially true on a ship in the middle of the ocean.

  37. Linda (The Mouse) says:

    I am so glad that the missing passenger was found OK; unfortunately there have been incidents in the news where passengers have actually gone overboard so I can definitely understand why an announcement was made in all of the cabins.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all…especially to Ken in the dining room!! I bought the picture of myself and the leprechaun when I was onboard the Freedom last St. Patty’s Day.

    So, John what happened the other night that my Orlando Magic beat your Miami Heat again????? And then to top it off Orlando’s (Isleworth’s) Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill with a brilliant shot on the last hole.

    Good luck with your haircut!!!

    I guess you will be in the doghouse quite a bit this week with Heidi in the packing business once again….

    I am also glad to hear that perhaps Mr. Bells is slowly departing….

    Have a great week.

    Linda

  38. John so glad you are doing better. we were on the 3/1 cruise when you started with bell. we were with the group that had their wedding on Saturday.
    this was our 3rd cruise with you & ken . when i saw you both on saturday i knew it was going to be another best cruise. you were such a trooper to continue working after your illness occured.you will stay in our prayers . thanks for the fantastic work you do. phyl

  39. Mark says:

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day

    I’m back ……{and there was much rejoicing} ….. I am pleased to report that the parents thoroughly enjoyed their first cruise aboard Carnival Sensation….kudos to Tory Secoy (“Woo Hoo”) and all the staff that made it a memorable and sensational experience….

    One minor hiccup ….errr not really a hiccup but rather a somewhat humorous Spring Break occurrence…. At the formal dinner in the main dining room our table mates left prior to dessert and just as the dining room staff show started I turned and noticed a tall young chap sitting at our table 3 ½ sheets to the wind…..he started having a conversation with me about being a trader… sans a job…. wondering if I had any business contacts……apparently ours wasn’t the only table he visited …..Security escorted the gentleman out and I’m sure had a meaningful discussion with him……I did see the same chap at the karaoke later that evening …..

    Oh and I have procured a “Climb This” T-Shirt and baseball cap……. Too cool……Great job Lance on the graphic….

    Hope that Mr. Bell will disembark soon but if USCBP has anything to do with it ….it may take a while to say arriva derche

  40. Bob Hickly says:

    John;

    You must admit; your job never gets boring. Also your might try telling Heidi she looks good with long hair, short hair or no hair. Remember you get more with honey than you do with vinegar.

    Bob

  41. Sandra says:

    HI JOHN
    23 years old,wow……that must have been sooooommmme embarassing,something to tell her friends when she gets home,

    John when are the Carnival Miracle and Pride getting their large LCD Movie screens on the Lido deck????

  42. Esther Vallins says:

    Just to let you know, the kid from “Different Strokes” is Gary Coleman 🙂 (and I only know that because his character is in the musical, “Avenue Q”)

    Hope you enjoy your last week on the Freedom! Is your cruise on the Emerald Princess a vacation then?

  43. lucinda miller says:

    John

    Thanks for your answer to my last question. Our new baby will be only 3 months by the time we cruise, so looks like we may have to find a sitter. We are already raising 3 of our other grandchildren ages 4, 7 and 9. They cruised with us this past january and will do so again this coming January. They absolutely love to cruise. It would probably be too much for me to manage the baby plus these 3 and my husband who is now disabled and requires the use of a scooter. Cruising is the one thing my husband looks forward to.

    I am glad to hear you are feeling better. Where do i go to find the web cam for the Freedom.

    Lucinda

  44. Debbie Vissers says:

    John, I just remembered something I wanted to ask you about. Remember a couple of weeks ago (March 1-8) when a honeymooning couple missed the ship in Conzumel….well you had promised that once they caught up with the ship in Grand Cayman, you’d have them on your show. Did I miss this or did you forget? I was just wondering what their story was. My guess is they were going on Mexico time which is one hour behind ship time.
    Oh and as for the 23 year old that went missing….I’m glad she was okay. I’d be just like her parents if it had been my daughter. It took me a few days to be able to let my almost 17 year old daughter out of my sight on the ship without worrying.

  45. jetskier says:

    To be 23 again. I was already out of the US Marine Corps three years after serving three years by that age. I had joined at 17 years of age.

    Glad everything turned out okay. Me and my wife have had to escort young ladies on two different cruises whom we did not know back to the ship because of over indulgence. Hopefully when my two daughter’s get up in age, there will be someone out there to look out for them when they get stupid.

    A side note, you are going to have to do something about the low fares that are just too good to pass up. Usually I dont sail during my jetski repair season but the temptations was just too great. So we will be going on the Fantasy April 10th for the sixth time within a year and a half.

    Dave

  46. thebloggerfkamissingthesmokefreeparadise says:

    John –

    If I had a doctor who looked like Dr. Caroline, I would be sick as often as I could.

    When you have a chance, visit my blog again – I am actually doing this task as a form of therapy. If you find me imitating your style, just remember that imitation is the sincerest form of stealing.

    JustJon

  47. John H says:

    John, your story brought back memories. We were on the Festivale on our first Carnival cruise in August, 1986. My wife woke me at 245AM one morning to tell me our youngest son – who was 11 at the time – had not returned to the cabin and had not checked in for several hours. So there I was getting dressed at 245AM to go looking for him. I quickly found him at the information desk lobby sitting there talking with some of his new found friends. And just like the people in your story, I was both relieved and unhappy. But we still laugh about that story 22 years later.

  48. Mike & Loretta Brown says:

    John,

    No matter how many people complain, I understand that no matter what the age of this young lady was, you folks did what you had to do to find her. I am SURE that your upset guest would have wanted that,AND MORE, and faster that you reacted in this case. I am glad to here that Carnival is doing so much to look out for their passengers!

  49. CruisinSue says:

    John

    It is great to hear that Mr. Bells seems to be leaving you at last. That’s exciting news. I think Heidi has a really cute cut. It is very becoming on her.
    I found a solution for our parking dilemna at the Port of Miami and I do appreciate the info you provided.
    I am so excited today since I booked on the Liberty, 2009, Northern Europe itinerary. I realize it is over a year, but I can use the whole year for the excitement to build. I will ask later about the CD for that cruise, since I am sure the schedule isn’t available yet.
    Until next time, take care of yourself and Heidi. Give her my best.

    Gloria aka Sue

  50. Ed Milan says:

    John
    So glad to hear you are getting the upper hand on Mr Bell. Waking all the passengers at 3 AM wow what a desicion to have to make, that is why I love all your info on this blog it has been an enlighting 12 months.
    Tell Heidi her hair cut looks great, really not that much shorter.
    How is Alan doing
    Best to you and Heidi
    Papanh

  51. Jake Silverberg says:

    Hello , John
    Saw the words ERIC CLAPTON as I was skimming dowb from the text to see my reply , and ERIC CLAPTON is my FAVORITE gutarist ever!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I like his blues / rock style of playing and I love all classic rock , and I will see him in MAY in a city near FT.LUADERDALE.
    Anyway She is fabulouse , thanks for asking … ( :
    She is currentl booked on the HOLLAND newer NOORDAM , and is being just the great old (or young ) BUETIFUL GMA , as me and my cousuns and sister call her aboard cruises.

    from , JAKE S. ( :

  52. LambKnuckles says:

    John,

    My daughter will be 20 on our next cruise… she’ll turn 20 on board, and we already have been discussing a plan to check in with each other. (We have a planned time to check in or leave a message if we’re going to be in late or not at all.) I don’t blame that family a bit!!! Good for them!! They love that girl enough to be sure she’s safe and on board. God forbid if they didn’t do everything they could and the worst happened! Wake me anytime!! A put me in front of anyone who wants to complain! But then you may have to call security… nevermind, you’ll be more tactful!

    Heidi’s hair in that picture is OUTSTANDING!!! Now, I am one who likes long hair and when I cut mine, I always seem to let it grow long again… But, she’s a doll and you know it!!! Now we can’t wait to see your new style!!!

    As a Bayou Bloggin’ Krewe-ser, I’m excited that plans have begun for the pre-night event!! HOORAY!!! You know, we’ve got a great Krewe attending your Blogger’s Cruise!! You’re going to love us!!! ‘Cause we already LOVE YOU!!!

    Your dreams… they are GREAT!! I have silly ones, but not as often and not nearly as fulfilling!!! Keep sharing!!!

    John, you’re just wonderful… admit it… WONDERFUL!!! Of course you exceed our expectations!! And you stay ahead of us so you can keep exceeding them!! Plus, it sounds like you may be on the down hill side away from Mr. Bell.. that shall not be mentioned… A silent HOORAY goes out to you!!!

    Till your next blog… you are always on my mind…
    Lambie

  53. rickakaseanconnerylookalike says:

    Greetings John…
    Glad miss 23yr old was found ok…. Myself being a parent have been there & done that.
    Our daughter melanie is 33, married & a mum…. yes we have a beautiful 3yr old grandaughter….
    Now…. did i tell you… that she has been living & working in Paris since 1998…… (God bless web cams…) We get to see her twice a year which is great but never enuff…. They come for a month & we go to France for a month
    I know…. Paris….. dam….. why couldn’t she have gone to New York… Liverpool…….. Brighton……. even Poland…… or Kentucky……. Did i just say kentucky….? scratch that.
    Glad to hear that Monsieur Bell & Co. is slackin up on you…. hopefully for ever…..
    BTW……. Heidi…. your lookin GOOD girl…. nice hair cut..

    Gotta run John…… Gonna kiss the cat & put the wiff out…….
    Will be looking forward to see Todd on the 29th…
    Have a good rest…… Cheers to you & Mrs. H
    Richard

  54. Karen R. says:

    I did it! We went away for 10 days and it only took me 4 days to catch up on everything! I have to say it has been highly entertaining. I think I might have to invest in a splatter guard for my computer also. I had my wonderful husband laughing with me about the 3 elegantly dressed young men greeting the Captain. He was turning red from laughing so hard! (My secret plan is to get him laughing about the things you write on the blog thingy…then he will start reading…and then he will book us for the Blogger’s Cruise.)

    John, I am glad you seem to be divorcing from Mr. Bell. Hopefully soon, it will be a distant memory.

    I missed so much while gone. I wish to add all my prayers and thoughts to SusanB and Maria. Also, to the family of the lady who passed on during last weeks cruise.

    Well, now that I have caught up, I can look forward to keeping up with everything and won’t need to post a summary of 10 days worth of comments! Hope this week is easier for you John. I can imagine how much you are looking forward to your cruise. Please take the time to rest and enjoy your time with Heidi.

    Karen

  55. Ray McTeague says:

    John, standard operating procedures are a necessity and thankfully corporate has the SMS in place to guide staff when/where any unfortunate issue arises…you my friend command a greater element, a moral compass, regardless of policy you put all 3000+ guests safety and satisfaction first. Policy and procedure can’t emote compassion and caring evidenced by anyone who’s sailed with you. Thankfully the one guest who couldn’t return to sleep is a proud member of the Complainers and PIA’s Club who’s membership is fortunately less than 1/10 of 1 percent. Hat’s off to the Club who (unknowingly) bring smiles and laughter to us each blog!
    Cheers, Ray
    P.S. love the new look (Heidi’s not yours)

  56. Cindy56 says:

    Glad to hear that the young lady was found OK. Hope that teaches her a good lesson.

    Love your hair, Heidi.

    John, sounds like Mr. Bell has had enough of you and will be leaving soon.

    Cheers,
    Cindy 🙂

  57. Dale Edwards says:

    Hi John;

    Glad to hear that your recovery from Mr. Bell’s attack is moving in the right direction. I’m sure that you didn’t need the early morning wake up call –

    The first night of the first cruise our son accompanied us on, (he was staying in the cabin next door to ours with his grandmother), he was probably 8 or 9 years old at the time. He decides in the middle of the night that he can’t sleep, so he comes knocking on our cabin door and falls asleep in our cabin. Unbeknownst to us, he didn’t shut his cabin door when he left, so it starts swinging back and forth with the rocking of the ship. Eventually, grandma wakes up and realizes that he’s gone. So, and whatever wee hour of the morning, we get the frantic call from grandma screaming into the phone telling us that she has lost our son. So, needless to say, the events of that night necessitated some new ground rules. Aren’t you glad you weren’t our CD and she didn’t call you?

    Anyway, another question maybe you could answer. A lady on the CC message board is looking for Catholic Mass for the Sundays during our cruise to the Mediterranean on Carnival Freedom (leaving Rome on 5/10) – Does the ship offer any religious services? Or, do they have a list of churches in the port where people might attend should they so desire?

    Hope your week is more entertaining than dramatic for the rest of the week.

  58. Eva says:

    Hi John,
    First please notice I made it here tonight slightly before midnight, and the delay today was decidedly happier……I booked two more cruises!!!
    I read your description of the weather today on board, and OH I WAS SO THERE!
    Here we are having lightning and thunder, small pea size hail, etc etc, and welcome to Oklahoma in the spring…..So if you and Heidi don’t mind I will just stay right over there with y’all even if only in my dreams!
    I read a comment above that a blogger has obtained their Climb This gear and I hope to do that soon, I emailed Lance as requested and he must be inundated!!!
    If I have it before my next cruise on Ecstasy (IN 42 DAYS thank-you-very-much!!) you shall have a photo of said gear in full display on the funnel deck!!
    So glad to hear that your eye is overcoming the not-to-be-mentioned and hoping the rest of your poor face follows along!
    Love to you and Heidi,
    Eva

  59. Flip Flop Cruise Queen says:

    John,
    Your “bottom cheeks closed together quicker than a Praying Mantis catching a fly,” “invaded by creatures from planet stapleface”. . . how do you possibly think up these things??? You never cease to amaze me! As for the young lady–I am so glad to hear that she is ok. I can put myself in the parent’s shoes. . . when one of your children is missing, no matter what the age, an instant terror takes over your body. When they are found, there is instant relief, but then comes the anger. Whether from what they did, or because they scared you so much, but you are so glad that they are ok. How insensitive of someone to be so angry because their precious sleep was disturbed! Someones life could have been at stake. I hope the man who did the complaining ends up with several kids of his own. Maybe then he will realize the urgent nature of what was happening and the reason it was necessary to broadcast into every cabin in an effort to locate this girl.
    TELL HEIDI THAT HER HAIRCUT IS VERY CUTE, and I’m sure easier to take care of!
    Can’t wait for tomorrows blog for some more laughs!! Happy Dreaming!! Why is it that dreams always seem to get interupted in the best parts?
    Sheryl

  60. Brad says:

    John,

    My wife and I will be sailing on the Freedom May 10, 2008. This will be our 4th cruise and 2nd with Carnival.Our first Carnival cruise was with you on the Liberty in July 2006.

    Can you tell me if you wil be on the May 10 sailing? I was also wondering the dining room we will be assigned if we choose the 8:15 sitting and the dinning room assigned for the 8:30 sitting. We will choose the dinner sitting that offers the dinning room closest to our cabin. Thanks.

    PS My wife had Bells 4 years ago. The only medicine that worked for her was time and patience.

  61. Marlene Dovell says:

    John:

    So very good to hear that Mr. Bells is tiring of your busy schedule and especially getting up in the middle of the night, that he’s decided to leave. Great news!

    Also it is great to know of all of y’all’s concern for the temporarily missing gal. Gives me some assurance when I bring my older grandchildren on a cruise that if, God forbid, they don’t report in when they’re supposed to, someone would help me hunt them down and keep me from hog-tying them.

    Heidi looks great, as always. Thanks for the pics and your funny blogs.

    Marlene

  62. Jane says:

    Hi John,
    So glad you are feeling better. Can’t seem to get the triathalon guy out of my mind. 8,000 calories a day shouldn’t be a problem on a cruise ship. I am just jealous though as I have been dieting for 3 months…1200 calories a day. Sigh…But we sail in less than 2 weeks and I plan to hit 8,000 with one buffet and several pina coladas!! Dream big, I say!

  63. shelly says:

    Hi John.
    Oh my goodness. If that would have been my daughter I would have done the same thing. If I was on that cruise I would have wanted to help you look. The last thing on my mind would be to get angry with you for the announcement. That mean person has never been in that situation before. About being a bad parent…come on… she is 23 yrs old. What can you do? She’s grown now. I’m sure she’ll think about it before she does anything like that again.
    If I’m correct, Heidi’s hair is shorter in the picture with the Dr’s. It looks great on her. Let her know for me. I honestly think she should keep it like that.
    I hope you don’t have to make anymore announcements a three am…have a great week.

  64. lisa wiggs says:

    So glad Mr. Bell may be leaving you soon. Looks like the acupuncture worked! Take care of yourself.

  65. jeanette says:

    So glad to hear Mr. Hells Bells is getting bored at your place. Bout time he/she take up residence someplace else, don’t you think?

    Hope all is well your way,,,,,,,,,,,,til we meet again!

    Jeanette
    Bucket Lady

  66. Kathy Kroll says:

    Tell that moron that complained to read your blog! We’ll set him straight!
    Glad that girl is ok ! Hope she was “old enough” to be “found” in another cabin!! What happened to that person ???
    Oh my god, I hear Jack Jones singing the “Love Boat” theme in my head…..time to go!

    Kathy and Paul

  67. dminx says:

    Heidi: You’re hair looks lovely. We are all assuming the picture with the doctors is AFTER the haircut. If not then a picture should be posted again so we can all say how great it still looks 🙂

    John: I was utterly shocked at the balls on the guy to complain about being woken up by the PA for a missing passenger. How utterly rude. I still am shaking my head at how rude. Sometimes the balls that people have just utterly amaze me, where the heck did they grow up? It just baffles me.

    We had a scare when we were on the Bloggers cruise. We had 6 in our group and had stated that we would meet at 4:30 in one of the cabins. We got to the cabin, no Michele. So we went to dinner assuming that she would meet us there. No Michele. This is totally unlike her. She says she is going to be somewhere she is there and pissy if you are not. We decided we would give her until 6pm and then call to report her missing. Well. 6pm came so I headed out of the Posh Dinning room to call and report her. Of course I go straight through the dining room and she goes around, so I don’t see her. She then came out to show herself up right as I was calling to report we had searched for her. She had written us a note that she was going to the bloggers Q&A session BUT she had also ordered some towels and the crew had put the towels right on top of her note in the cabin to us so we never found it. And of course where she put the note we wouldn’t have thought to pick up because she put the note on top of her luggage and the towels went on top on the note and luggage. Needless to say it was an amusing experience that did not end up in her having to get paged by youself!

    And lastly. Thank you. Thank you for sharing all of the ups and downs with us. It is awesome and I enjoy it greatly.

    Deanna

  68. Jennifer Ferguson says:

    Dear John,
    I just wanted to Thank You for taking time out of your busy day and writing your blogs – I have had the best time counting down the days to my Cruise on Victory this Easter Sunday by reading about everything that happen on the ship! I really wish you were the Cruise Director for our ship – I hope Mr. Bell buggers off soon – until then take care, try and rest and RELAX!
    Thanks Again – Jenn

  69. Longin2cruise says:

    Hi John,

    Please answer.

    I’m going to do something I don’t normally do………….GRIPE about Carnival. I have had a spa cabin booked on the Splendor transatlantic for several months now. At the time I booked there was nothing in the description of spa staterooms that said they were all non smoking. I just happened to be browsing & dreaming today & noticed a statement that ALL spa staterooms were non smoking. Now perhaps I shouldn’t smoke, but I do & I surely don’t plan to spend 16 days someplace where I can’t smoke. If Carnival wants to provide non smoking cabins, that’s fine but they should have been up front about it in the beginning, not made the rule after people have already booked these cabins. I called my TA & I’m on a wait list for another balcony cabin. Hopefully one will come open, but if not I’ll not be onboard Splendor for the TA.

  70. PaulS says:

    I howled with laughter at your description of the University of Kentucky fans. University of Louisville fans usually have the same opinions of Kentucky fans as you have.
    I just wanted to let you know that your blog was mentioned on one of the radio stations in Louisville this afternoon. Someone sent the announcer a link to the Kentucky Fried Chaos blog and he mentioned how entertaining it was.

  71. mjbearit says:

    John,
    We just got off the Spirit last week as our first cruise. My wife and I had a blast! I’m not real big on a lot of the organized events, I like to read and people watch (thank God for Audio Books, I can do both at the same time!). While watching and listening to some of the people on our cruise and observing the utter disregard some of them have for the crew members who work so hard to pamper them, and then reading through your blog it just makes me embaressed for these people. I never really thought about the crew on a cruise ship until I got on one, and I have a new found respect for all of the people in this industry who toil, often thanklessly, only to have it thrown back in their faces so often by these knuckle-draggers! Thanks for all you, and everyone at CCL does, for all of us. I know you hear complaints often enough, but I wanted to be sure you heard some thanks too! I think it takes a special kind of person to work in your industry, I could certainly never do it! Every 10 minutes there would be a “man-overboard” call!
    Mike

  72. dminx says:

    Ah well. I finally have the video of the kids up.
    http://www.mcs3.net/
    Click on kids
    Then click on the bottom picture – it is really a video of them going up the stairs. It was darker then I like 🙁
    If you feel like perusing on the webpage you can as well. We have our Carnival Cruise pics up there as well as our other trips we have taken.
    Deanna

  73. rhonda says:

    John:

    Just had to tell my 10 year old returned to school today. I am pretty sure everyone in her class knows who you are now. Of all the things we did on vacation, your entertainment was her favorite. She said she told stories of you, and of course of “Willie Banger’s” underwear.

    We are already looking to book a cruise next year, hoping you’ll be there.

    Glad to hear Mr Bell is leaving.

  74. "BIG" ED says:

    Longin2cruise

    I don’t like the sounds of that. It’s a foot in the door to start it all over the ships. Are you allowed to smoke on your private balcony in the Spa cabins? I wonder if the adults only “Serenity area” by the spa is also non-smoking?

    Big ED

  75. Luis & Maria Torres says:

    John,

    First agree with you on the cheap haircuts versus the expensive ones. Glad the younf lady was found and no harm was done. I am confident she learned her lesson, what I do not understand is the inconsiderate individual calling to complain about being woken up so early. What if it was his child, grandchild, nephew, niece. You are at the high seas and the best thing to do is wake the folks up before you go to plan B and that is to stop the ship (I guess). I have come to realize that people are never happy, we will find something to complain about. But glad it was just one and I hope you stop being a “Pirate” and get your eye back. “Corned Beef and Cabbage Time”, take care.

    Luis

  76. Susan B says:

    John,
    I am feeling better and glad to hear you are too!!!
    I must also put in my two cents worth and say I think Carnival should have Cheif Kevin cooking on the bloggers cruise, and if we can’t have him, I would love to have Paula Dean cooking!
    Although I have not been well enough to be posting on your blog, I have not missed one of them!
    Hedi-love your hair!!! Please do a blog soon!!
    Princess Susan

  77. I don’t like the sounds of that. It’s a foot in the door to start it all over the ships. Are you allowed to smoke on your private balcony in the Spa cabins? I wonder if the adults only “Serenity area” by the spa is also non-smoking?

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