Don't Mention the War

February 24, 2009 -

John Heald

Just before I start today’s blog can you believe that someone bought my bobblehead of eBay for $47?………………………And I just found out who got it…..tell you that later. OK, do you remember the days when you came back from the mall with a new and shiny electrical appliance? And found it had been sold without a plug. You then had to go back out and find a plug, buy it and hope that you had the knowledge to wire the thing to the thingy you just bought. Nowadays, though, thanks men with beards any domestic appliance with a flexible cable must be fitted with a plug and the plug must be fitted with a fuse link that conforms to some standard and removing it is illegal and will result in a SWAT team bursting through your door. That’s a different SWAT team to the FBI SWAT team who will burst through your door if you dare show a DVD to a group of more than four people without permission. Anyway, you now come back from the shops to find that your shiny new toy has a plug. But that, unfortunately, the product itself hasn’t actually been built. Regular readers of the blog will know that when it comes to gadgets and DIY, I am totally crap. Last Christmas I bought some pretty outdoor lights for the garden. Except I didn’t. What I actually bought was a box full of pieces that could be turned into some outdoor lights for the garden. By anyone with a simple degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from Cal Tech. Of course, there were some poor-quality instructions which explained that all you needed to assemble your quality product is to have fingers like cocktail sticks and six and a half thousand tools that you do not own. It was truly and genuinely extraordinary to find how little had been done at the factory. Of course I commend any company that can maximize its profits and quench the thirst of its shareholders. This is all excellent and makes the world go round, but implying on the box that the customer is buying a garden heater when in fact he’s buying a box of pieces: that’s flirting with fraud. How long before Ikea sells you a tree in Finland and a saw? Anyway………………you are probably wondering why I am talking about this ……………. well………………let me show you why.

Guest: Mrs __________ Ref: 836005170A Cabin: _____ Booking#: _______ Added-Changed: 02/24/09 – 02/24/09 TV DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND Guest stooped by the desk and asked to speak to a manager. GSO told Mrs______ that she would be available to help. Guest stated that she found the TV in her stateroom difficult to operate and that the TV on her last cruise on Holland America was easier. When asked for more detail guest said that the channels were not in number order and that the remote control had too many buttons on it. Guest refused assistance and walked away saying out loud so other guests heard “the people on this ship are unbelievable.”

I think the guest is a little confused although when I checked her age I did expect her to be older but she is 51 years old. The strange thing is that the TV’s have a good chance of being the same make and design on Holland America as they are on Carnival ships. Anyway, let’s move to the follow on from this comment from the same guest.

Guest: Mrs. _______ Ref: 836005170B Cabin: ____ Booking#: _____ Added-Changed: 02/24/09 – 02/24/09 Mrs._________- returned to the desk demanding to speak to a manager. GSS was called and spoke to guest with me. Guest said that the complimentary shower gel in the cabin is for men only because it smells strong. GSS stated that it was a gel for both ladies and men. Guest then started raising her voice saying that the TV, the gel and the food were all better on Holland America and she wants compensation. GSS apologized and asked for more details on the food. Mrs.________ said that the mashed potatoes were lumpy and that the soup she was served was cold. GSS said that she would document her comments and contact her later today. Note: from Pablo, Maitre’D Mrs.__________ ordered the strawberry soup from the menu last night and shouted at the waiter because it was cold. Guest was shown on the menu that it says that it is cold soup. Guest was very rude to waiter.

Brilliant. I am sure this saga will continue and I of course will let you know all about the new adventures of Mrs. Sony Coldsoup as and when they happen. OK, its time to answer some of your questions.

Bill Heck Asked: John Please Reply My wife Marjorie and I are not aligned with any of the three blogger subsets, I am just a blogger and a Heald fan, we had a great time. The groups had some functions, and that is great, good for them, I had plenty to do and plenty of refreshments. Between the drinks Carnival served at the various parties and the wine package I bought we were in good spirits. This was the most function packed cruise I have been on and it was great. I might apply for the Evil Krewe for blogger 4 in December. I think Ed said he was going on this one. The dining room seating was in a state of flux, as Rodney reports. Didn’t bother me, we sat at four different tables, three of the tables I now realize were for the blogger subsets, but it didn’t mean I didn’t sit there. I wondered what the message was on top of the table placard, cruise mates, and another night there was a sign on the table of some kind, but we used it for a placemat for our wine bottle. One woman we started to sit with got a little cranky. Now, I figure it was because of the subset issue. We found another assigned table, sat there anyway and ate with two couples that were from another subset than what the table was labeled for that we had met earlier. Cindy from PA. You know, this gives me a headache. We did meet different folks at the dinners and enjoyed the time comparing life experiences and of course Carnival experiences. I like to find out what others did during the day in case we are missing some good fun and we enjoyed the freestyle blogger seating. By now you have figured out my opinion that the table assignments are not a big deal. Your initial decision to make the blogger tables freestyle is the true course. You know, on a cruise we never want to hear the word no. So, “no you can’t sit there” rubs some folks the wrong way. Like Rodney. I missed the woman showing off her hooters, and she dropped her panties as well? LOL Amazing. We are John Heald Bloggers at dinner. All for fun, Fun for all. By the way, the photo of two big smiling men and one little woman looks good in the mouse pad. Thanks. Whatever you decide for the next Bloggers Cruise will be fine with me. As long as you don’t require ID. Just think how many tables we could sit at on a nine day. What do you think? Regards, Bill Heck

John Says: Hello Bill Thanks for taking the time to write. I can tell you that I will think long and hard before having an open sitting experience at the next bloggers cruise. It did not work out as I would have liked but I can understand why that happened. Anyway, we learn by our mistakes don’t we? I have received lots of comments about this and I apologize to anyone who may have been on the receiving end of another bloggers moment of moodiness and I truly think next time we will go with assigned seating. It’s always great to hear from you and I hope we shall meet again on the Carnival Dream Cheers John

Patti&Wayne Asked: Dear John, PLEASE REPLY… We just returned from a wonderful week on the Splendor. It was our 10th and first as VIP’s. Unfortunately, Ft Lauderdale did not offer the best organization for VIP’s so it was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe we have just been spoiled by how streamlined embarkation is in Miami! Of course as soon as we stepped aboard, all the shortcomings disappeared, the ship is everything we had hoped for. Only thing missing was you. I do have a question for you…we are a couple of weeks from booking our next cruise on the Dream. We are bringing the rest of our family (7 in total including my husband and myself). Do we have to forego the benefits of our VIP status in order to stay together as a group or can we all go through the VIP process? If you could please let us know we would greatly appreciate it. By the way, Goose was great….entertainment was the BEST and we got to spend some time with Ken. (the man never ages!!!) Thanks for keeping us laughing!!! Patti

John Says: Hello Patti and Wayne I have to admit that having recently experienced the debarkation and embarkation process in both Lauderdale and Miami, I agree that Miami comes out on top. Still, the people of the Fort Lauderdale port together with Carnival are working hard to improve the facilities and the process of getting on and off the ship. The VIP privileges will apply just to you and your husband but I would still use them. Let them board the normal way and you can meet them on the vessel and be ready to give them the grand tour. I am sure the family will understand, after all, you have worked hard to achieve Platinum status and it would be a shame not to use the benefits. I am so happy that you had such a great experience on the Carnival Splendor and you are right……..Ken never gets older………just uglier …… I miss him very much. Let me know if you have any questions about the Carnival Dream and I will be happy to answer them for you. My best to you and all the family John

Larry&Connie Asked: John, What a great interview. Don’t know if we could do 107 days, but are thinking about taking the Carnival Dream when it comes across the pond to the U.S.A. for the first time. We’ll do the 12 day in Europe then over to N.Y.C. 28 days in all. Are you going to bring it over? I know you’re planning another bloggers cruise on the Dream. What are the dates? Maybe we can do that also. Larry & Connie

John Says: Hello Larry and Connie Being onboard a ship for 107 days takes a special kind of person but there seems to be many who enjoy the incomparable experience of a world cruise. I will be on the Carnival Dream for the inaugural events and maybe coming across on the TA with Heidi and The Thingy. It would be amazing to write about that experience for the blog thingy. Still, let’s see what happens and as soon as my plans are confirmed I will let you know. It is confirmed that we will be holding two more Bloggers cruises on Nov. 15 from NYC and Dec.3 from Port Canaveral. It would be great if you could both join me and the bloggers and if you have any other questions I remain at your service. Doing the Med and the crossing to New York will be a brilliant experience………….I hope you get to do it. Cheers John

Lorelei Asked: John – Please Reply What a wonderful interview. We are looking forward to our upcoming cruise on the Valor and your article trigger a thought about St Patrick’s Day. We will be onboard the Valor for St Patrick’s Day and I was wondering if you have any special activities planned? Might help in our packing of green items. Thanks – Lori

John Says: Hello Lori Yes, the activity that is typically associated with St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional Irish one called “Getting Drunk.” ……….no, seriously we will have a Paddy’s Day party, encourage everyone to wear green and we sometimes serve green beer as well. It will be a great way to celebrate this special day. We also have a Scottish/Irish celebration. That’s where everyone gets drunk but nobody wants to pay for it Cheers John

Melissa Asked: John (reply if you want) When are we going to get an update on the Dream? Haven’t had anything for a month, I am going into withdrawals Do we have to wait for April to get anything new (pics would be great!) Thanks John

John Says: Melissa Sorry to hear about your withdrawals. Let me see what I can do. I will be visiting in April but I am sure we can rustle up a few photos before then. Leave this with me. Best Wishes John

Jake Silverberg Asked: Hello John, Wow! The Carnival Valor is my second favorite ship in the fleet. Spectacular ship I must say after sailing in 2006. The seaside theater is a fun addition to an elegant ship. David Tancock met up with me onboard the Carnival Fascination. He’s a very kind man, & told me about you two on another ship working together, and I certainly knew that to Brits would be Excellent on the ship working together. If there is any way you could describe me to David by…perhaps saying…”Remember the boy from the Fascination who you talked to for quiet a while about me, and gave a 2 carat gold plastic trophy to for knowing EVERYTHING about the fleet”…? I would LOVE that SO much! He met my mother, and we where talking about how I want to become captain, and I told him about my “attempt to visit the bridge when…I ran into Captain Vapoli”. I hope you enjoy the Valor as much as I did, and The food has really been the best to me when cruising with carnival, my favorite line ever!!!! I have voted for your blog on http://www.bestblogsatsea.com & tuely love the site! PLEASE REPLY if there is any opportunity for an interview, or a little hello to David, just anything because He is such a hard working ACD, & I give him luck, and credibility to becoming an official CD like you. PLEASE REPLY JAKE S. ( :

John Says: Hello Jake Thanks so much for the kind words about David. He is a great chap and I just showed him your comment and indeed he remembers you and how much you knew about ships and Carnival Cruise Lines. I see your blog is doing very well and why don’t you start working on an interview for me. I want to post an interview with newly promoted CD Butch Begovitch who is rapidly becoming a firm favourite with Carnival guests. Why don’t you start working on 10 questions and I will post them and his answers. Good luck mate John

linda alvarado Asked: Dear John, Please respond. I too love the food on all the Carnival ships, but sometimes I remember how fun the dinners were at night many years ago when they would salute the different nations with food and song or dance from those nations. Is there any chance that some of the ships might go back to that type of dinner theme? I realize how very busy all the restaurant staff are and how excellent they are at what they do, but I do remember how fun those days were and how everyone seemed to get into the fun of the evening and become more like family. Thanks! Linda

John Says: Hello Linda I think you will see more and more of this coming back Linda. Certainly last week when I ate in the guest dining room the waiters performed songs in Italian and danced to music from the Caribbean and Brittney Aguilera. Our dining room entertainment is a very important part of your experience and I agree with you that we need to do as much in there as we can, regardless if the waiters are busy or not. My current favorite song they perform is that’s Amore……………it’s priceless. Thanks Linda and if you have a follow up question or need anything else, please let me know Best Wishes John

cruisinggrandma Asked: John please reply. My husband’s 70th birthday is on Friday 27 February and we sail on the 28th on the Glory, our 10th Yeah! I know I could get a cake or decorate the cabin but that has all been done over the last 9 cruises for either me or him because we have been trying to go twice a year since 2003 (our first trip on the Glory with you). October and February each year, you see our anniversary and my birthday are on the same day in October and of course his birthday is February. Do you have any suggestions? Cruising Grandma

John Says: Hello Cruising Grandma I need you to start putting together a collage of photos celebrating his 70 years. Stick them on a piece of cardboard and the pack that secretly. Then, leave this for the CD Butch at the Guest Services Desk and I will make sure he shows this at one of his morning shows on the big screen. I know that will be a huge surprise. What do you think? Cheers John

Christy Richardson Asked: We are trying to book a room on the conquest for April 12. I was looking at the available rooms and there are some strange shaped ones available on Deck 2 Aft. I believe they are 2475, 2477, 2472. Are there problems with these three rooms? With only two months out, I would guess that if they are as large as they seem and no one has booked them yet, there may be a problem. Can anyone tell me about them? Thanks

John Says: Hello Christy These rooms are as you said on the aft part of deck 2. They are all category 6B ocean view cabins and being on the aft they have great views and are indeed a slightly different shape to other cabins. They are very roomy and will make a great home for your seven-day cruise. Let me know if you need anything else Cheers John

Linda Asked: JOHNPLEASEREPLYURGENT John, I too am disappointed that Carnival is not planning to have ANY presence in Europe in 2010. Couldn’t there be at least one ship in the Med, perhaps alternating between the previous two itineraries? I hear that other guests have expressed the desire for Carnival to look at not making it a total pullout and I’d like to add my vote as the Greek Isles was our 2010 plan. Linda

John Says:Hello Linda I know many people are disappointed that Carnival is not placing a ship in Europe next year, myself included. However, prudence states that with the economy as unstable as a three-legged donkey we place all our fleet closer to home. Your idea is a great one though and don’t forget we still have a few cabins available on the Carnival Dream for her Med cruises this year. Let’s see what happens over the next few months and I join you in the hope that a Carnival ship will be back in Europe once again. My apologies for the disappointment and I hope to see you soon Best Wishes John

OK. That’s all for today. I have another 10 to answer tomorrow. Let’s get straight over to Jaime who has a wonderful story to tell in today’s Dear John letter

February 23, 2009

Dear John, Today, no one had the right to use common retort “it is not the end of the world” because on February 23, 2009, the Carnival Splendor reached this very location – the END OF THE WORLD… the southernmost tip of South America. I think I now know exactly how Christopher Columbus felt when he thought the Earth was flat, and he was going to fall off the edge. It was rocky and thrilling and exciting, we went in a big circle around the highly anticipated “Cape Horn” for over two hours of scenic viewing. Unlike Columbus we were able to capture amazing photos, and then… continue sailing.

Before I made my way up to deck five forward to take part in the viewing of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, I was warned by my fellow crewmembers that it was not only cold, but freezing, bone chilling and painfully arctic. I bundled up in my warmest swimsuit, er sweatshirt, rather and went up to find out that it was no colder than any Michigan winter. I think the dancers were just cold because they have no body fat. It was beautiful watching us approach the cape… Everyone celebrated in their own way: Our own Columbian, Owen could not handle the cold, so he went inside. Scotty was drinking matè. The Canadians decided to take their shirts off, as you will see below.

Dirk our naturalist on board and Goose our Cruise Director on board were on the bridge making announcements about exactly what we were observing. It was interesting to notice that the waves were coming toward the ship rather than from the sides. Among other the sites were the Chilean flag flying high, a lighthouse to guide ships in and mark the territory, and a memorial commemorating the albatross that have fallen to a soggy death at this southernmost tip of South America.

These albatross have an eight-foot wingspan and looked quite impressive from the ship. Dirk did inform us that these birds often follow the ship when visiting these parts. Our piano man Greg actually saved the life of one of these albatross which decided it would be a good idea to land and go for a swim on Lido deck 9 aft for two hours. Greg rescued the bird, and without considering the possibility of getting lice, picked it up with his bare hands and set it free to fly up, up and away back to his family and avoid becoming the newest ingredient on the Carnival Classics menu.

Eventually I made my way up to the bridge and learned that we were facing 17-foot swells and winds of more than 30 miles per hour. It was quite exciting on the bridge because a variety of different alerts and sirens were going off since we were experiencing some rather intense sea conditions. Personally, after hearing the rumors of the sea conditions when sailing in these parts, I was expecting a roller coaster ride comparable to the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. Instead, I got something more closely resembling treadmill workout with a 5% incline.

Nonetheless, the white capped waves, soaring birds, and coworkers making silly decisions truly made this a once in a lifetime experience. You can leave it up to the members of the entertainment department to take their shirts off while visiting the closest spot to the Antarctic. Others chose to take a swim in the hot tub. But the most exiting of all were those who were brave enough to take tender boat #16 to the actual Cape Horn to get their seaman’s book, their pictures, and their bodies stamped.

My dear friend Enzo, the safety officer was among the officers and photo team members that were courageous (or psychotic) enough to make this voyage. They wanted to set foot on this land to visit the flag and the lighthouse. They attempted to dock in multiple areas around the horn, yet the rocks and extremely rough waters prevented them from doing so. They were able to get close enough to shore to be thrown the stamp that they were longing to receive. As the tender returned to the ship, the captain cleared the port side of the bridge so that he could be visible to and have radio communication with the members of his crew that were brave enough to take this adventure. Captain Pagano wanted to personally contribute to their safe return home. The captain helped to guide them in and, in conjunction with the safe steering skills of our safety officer, all crewmembers returned back to the ship unharmed with both remarkable pictures and exhilarating stories.

Today was a great day. It really made this entire voyage worth while. I realize I continue to say this almost every day. But honestly I continue to be a part of more amazing experiences every time I wake up and discover what is in store. Tomorrow, we visit Ushuaia and the plans for a wonderful tour of this location are already in the works… img_0153

Cape Horn as seen from the Carnival Splendor

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Cape Horn as seen from the Carnival Splendor

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One of the Albatross near the ship.

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A picture taken from the Tender Boat from one of our Splendor Photographers.

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The dancers who decided to take their shirts off in celebration of visiting Cape Horn!

Talk to you then!

All the best,

Your friend,

Jaime

Wow, what amazing photos and what an incredible journey the ship is having. I am not going to make any jokes about Jaime being “around the horn” ……….that’s too obvious. Anyway, thanks Jaime again and let’s add some more photos here. These were sent to me my Dance Captain Claire who went up in a helicopter over Brazil when the ship was docked there…………….have a look at these stunning shots. brazil_rio_de_janeiro_021409_dsc1355

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I think you will agree with me that these are astonishing photos taken by Claire and our top fleet photographer Radu whose work is legendary. I hope you enjoyed them. OK, it’s been a busy day. Last night the ship was passing through some large swells as we head to St. Thomas. At one point we were close to canceling the show as performing complicated dance routines on a stage that is pitching and rolling can be very dangerous. However, around 20 minutes before showtime the seas calmed and all was well.

Today started off cloudy but the sun broke through and now we have a beautiful day. There is nothing better than seeing a Carnival Lido Deck full of people swimming, sun worshiping and enjoying the games, music and concerts while sipping on a Margacolada thingy. Today was also the first time in I don’t know how long that I hosted a travel talk about the Caribbean and not the European ports. However, I started well and after 10 minutes I was in full flow. Unfortunately after full flow comes automatic and that became a big problem when during my travel talk for St. Maarten I started talking about the concerns of renting a gondola and that the place not to be missed on this small Caribbean island was Pompeii …………………….bugger.

Before the travel talk I hosted my first Morning Show. I love doing these and today we featured the regular dedications of birthdays, anniversaries, etc. and two very special ones. This leads me into welcoming back a regular feature to the blog thingy the “In Their Own Words” section where I let you read the letters guests send. Here are today’s two special ones. letter2-feb24 letter2page2-feb24

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Two letters. Both acknowledging the men and women from two different wars who fought to protect all we sometimes take for granted. How terrific that Amy took the time to not only mention her husband recently returned from Iraq but also her son who has been pulled from pillar to post as he and his grandmother keep the home fires burning. And then we have our WWII and D-Day hero Harold. I have seen Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers and both epics share battlefield glory with unqualified respect for the soldiers who earn it.

Anyway, I read his letter out on the show and then later during my travel talk I asked if he was here. He was. I invited the audience to thank him for his service and 600 plus people in the lounge did so by giving him a standing ovation. After the talk I saw loads of guests shake the 84-year-old man’s hand and many had their photo taken with him. I felt proud to be on the vessel with him and pleased that I had shared his story with everyone………….that was until about an hour ago.

From: VALOR GUEST SERVICES

Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 1:50 PM

To: VALOR CRUISE DIRECTOR

Cc: VALOR ASSISTANT CRUISE DIRECTOR

Subject: Cabin – ### – Wants to talk to the cruise director with regards to mentioning the war Good Day John, Mr _________stopped by the desk and requested if you can contact him as he is upset that you spoke about the war at your show this morning. Guest is from Germany. Regards, Gauri Gurav Guest Services Associate | Carnival Valor

What an idiot………..me, not him. I totally forgot that we had 70-plus Germans onboard and while I didn’t actually mention Germany’s part in the war this morning I can see why he would have been upset…………as Basil Fawlty said ……..don’t mention the war …………. anyway, I spoke the guest just now and he is very upset. I apologized and told him how bad I felt but I also said that I wasn’t celebrating the victory of the Allies but that a survivor of those terrible times. He is still upset and told me he would be writing a letter to Carnival’s HQ.

Hopefully the bottle of wine and fruit basket I will send him will calm him a little. Strange isn’t it but I just wrote that and realized that I hadn’t sent anything to Harold’s cabin so I just took care of that and sent him the same as I sent the gentleman who is upset. It seems that some wounds never heal and I may have opened one again today………………das bugger. Yesterday while backstage for the show I jumped over a piece of scenery backstage. It wasn’t a very big piece of scenery as you can imagine, but even so I only just made it. And when I landed I was out of breath. And my ankle hurt. This was all very disappointing. For 44 years I have jumped over things without a moment’s thought, but from now on, I shall have to give the maneuver some serious thought and planning. One day soon, though I won’t know it at the time, I will jump over a piece of scenery for the last time.

It’s the same story with rumpy pumpy. Everyone has rumpy pumpy at some point without knowing that they’ll never do it again. I think, if they did, they’d put a bit more effort into the final performance. Maybe that’s what John Entwistle of the rock band The Who was up to in that Las Vegas hotel room. Maybe he realized his ticker was on the blink and decided to go out in a blizzard with a bright-orange hooker. I sometimes wonder what I’ve done already for the last time. Drove my Polar Bear killing Range Rover? Told a joke that makes 1,000 people laugh? Upset a German? It always fills me with great sadness and a resolve that I must never, ever, allow myself to be bored. Life is too short, and my time left too precious. That’s why I hate the theater.

A guest was telling me today that he was just in the UK and watched Macbeth at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. He said it was extremely good. But it was Shakespeare, and he’s second only to Sex and the City. He bores me. At no point will Portia crash a police car into a helicopter, and Shylock will not end up falling from the top floor of the Nakatomi Tower to the sounds of Henry shouting Yippie Kiyae Mother $#@^%$ And, unlike with a film, or a TV show, or a dreary drinks party, you can’t just leave when the boredom descends like an itchy blanket. You are imprisoned by the etiquette of theater. You can’t even commit suicide without attracting a chorus of sssshhhhhss as you splash arterial blood all over the orchestra pit.

This is why I hate meetings and the meeting bug that seems to be sweeping the corporate world has also infected the ships as well. Honestly, it’s hard to get anything done these days because we have to have meetings about what to do when before we used to … well ……………just do it. This is why I shall not be going to meetings any more. I’ve never been a fan them, but now, as the summer of middle age begins to fade and small pieces of scenery become too big, I can no longer tolerate the interminable long-winded speeches and the dreary job justification. In the past I could sit on my hands and bite my tongue and count the seconds, knowing that soon I’d be released into the fresh air.

But these days I just don’t have the time to waste. So watch out Carnival. Invite me to another meeting with the advance warning that I’m filled with a sometimes uncontrollable urge to throttle a vice president and goose the lady taking the meetings minutes before kidnapping our President and CEO Gerry Cahill and threatening him with a pair of my underwear, demanding the next time he buys a bobblehead from eBay he pays more than $47 for it.

Goodnight

Your friends

John, Heidi and The Thingy

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47 Responses to Don't Mention the War

  1. Linda Hernacki says:

    No way, Gerry Cahill did not buy it, did he? I almost got it for $11.05 until bidding went crazy! I want one, please, please, pretty please!! Linda

  2. dwa76 says:

    Hi John!
    Are you going to autograph the $47 bobblehead? Did you see the link on the one I sent you earlier?
    Great blog today and its great that you have another complainer passenger about the gel, tv, etc. You’ve got your hands full again.
    Loved Jaime’s letter and pictures. The one taken by thr crew in the lifeboat is amazing.
    I hope corporate office/HQ won’t be upset with Mr. Germany’s letter on the way.
    I agree about the meetings. Its just too much sometimes.
    Take care and hi to Heidi/Thingy!
    David

  3. Hello John
    Glad to see that you are back to your CD self.
    and that 1% of Mrs Coldsoup! DUH! COld Soup…
    as far as the Bobblehead WAS IT REALLY MR CAHILL?
    tELL lINDA hERNAKI THERE IS ANOTHER ONE ON eBAY CURRENTLY @ $9.99 AND NO it is not OURS~
    GREAT PIX from Jamie and Cape Horn
    Take Care
    The Tuckers
    Arnold & Elizabeth

  4. nanetteali says:

    Gerry Cahill bought the bobble head?? Why didn’t he just asked for one ?? LOL unbelivable… let’s see who buys the set of gifts from the cruise now on ebay… Mickey?? HA!! BTW John if I were you I would not blame the failed jump on age. My grandmother was able to do that until she was 90. I won’t say anything else…. I’m your same age and I’m not ready to stop doing anything so stop talking like you are some decrepit old man because you are far from it. Consider this a …..how do you call it bollocking, soap box, regano, scolding??
    Anyway love you ;)
    Nanni

    Jaime!!!!
    Great blog!! You know that you put the words to the story that Bill’s pics were telling. Yesterday we were seeing the pics and my husband had a lot of questions and I keep telling him ask Jaime… she is reading.. but he didn’t. It’s incredible as you were telling the history I was remembering Bills’ pics. WOW!! The go together like a puzzle. BTW I saw today’s pictures in Ushuaia SPECTACULAR!! So much beauty in the world!! I keep thinking what I am doing here?? I want to see the world. I hope you got out to see such incredible beauty today. Can’t wait for the story.

  5. John & cindy says:

    WOW. Gerry Cahill bought it? I still have an extra. Who wants it?

  6. "BIG" ED says:

    John, tell Gerry Cahill if he wants the gifts all he has to do is join us on the Bloggers Cruises. Plus if he did come to a BC and had a Q&A with the Bloggers we could tell him all he needs to know.

    Ask Mrs. Sony Coldsoup why she left HAL. Maybe they put her on the DO NOT BOOK LIST.

    Glad to see the blog back to the almost old format. With “In Their Own Words” that we can’t read and half of it missing on the edge.

    BIG ED

  7. Yeay!!!

    I loved when I did the D’aIta inteview, this is going to be fantastic once again!!
    I will work on them, and send it to you, + stephanie tommarow.
    From, JAKE S. ( ;

  8. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    Wow and to think I gave my other two away.
    One to a dear friend Marlene (who I have never met but is already a dear friend that I met through Big Ed’s Evil Krewe) and the other to a dear friend that we met on the Imagination last year when we all sailed together.

    Something tells me I got the better deal knowing how happy I made these two ladies who love you so much.

    Great pictures from the Splendor.

    Hi to Greg who saved the albatros….he is a jewel. We loved sailing with him on the Splendor last November.

    Time for some more pain meds….

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  9. Lauren in Oregon says:

    Still not understanding why you should apologize for wanting to celebrate a wonderful gentlemen. Never apologize for doing the right thing. I’ve had it to here with all this ‘PC’ crap.

  10. LisaK says:

    I LOVED Jaime’s letter today. It gave me goosebumps to read about the experience of sailing around the horn. I hope someday I can travel that itinerary…it sounds and looks incredible. Great photos from Jaime and Claire.

    Take care John…enjoying hearing the crazy goings on from the CD perspective. :)

    The Kilmartins

  11. retirementman says:

    I guess Mr. Cahill is just like us, a little crazy. LOL
    Good evening John. You know the story about the guest that complained about the TV, well I thought that was crazy. Then she come downs and makes herself totally a nutjob by complaing about gel and the soup which if she had read the menu properly she would have noticed that it was a cold soup. Where do you get these people? Do people realize that when they pay good money to go on a cruise, the idea is to RELAX and ENJOY where they are at. Continue your cruise my friend and when do we see another video? Good night and happy dreams

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  12. Canuck Cruiser says:

    John,
    We left out of Fort Lauderdale two weeks ago for our Miracle cruise. I cannot express how pleased we were with the VIP service from the embarkation staff. I have gone out of Miami as well in the last year and despite the fact that Miami has a new facility…………Fort Lauderdale staff were courteous and efficient and we were on the ship having lunch by 11:45 am!!! I’m sure they would like the same VIP lounge as Miami but this did not take away from the smoothest embarkation we have had in 8 cruises. I’m sorry I did not get any names of the staff in Fort Lauderdale but please pass on our “WELL DONE LADIES and GENTLEMEN” to them.
    Keep up the great job John and we’ll talk more later.

    B&D from Canada

  13. Lance & Ilda says:

    John,

    When reading Jaimie’s comments, I again, was reminded of John Cleese, making his way through the crowded stadium, with a serving tray hanging ’round his neck containing a large, dead seabird and yelling at the top of his voice… “ALBATROSS! GET YOUR ALBATROSS HERE! ALBATROSS! Great stuff! Funny how John Cleese moments seem to be piling up here. I vote that Carnival hire John Cleese as a special guest Cruise Director!

    While on the subject of meetings. Our small company was purchased by a large (10 Billion) corporation last year. Prior to our acquisition, we were able to function in a very straight forward manner and get our jobs done. Now, we have meeting after meeting and conference call after conference call, each one more baffling and frustrating than the last. During all of these interruptions, no one works and nothing gets done, so they set up more meetings and conference calls to address the problem of poor work performance and slow sales. I can tell you what the answer is… STOP all the meaningless meetings and conference calls and let us all get some %$#@*&^! work done!!

    Corporate America just doesn’t seem to get it. They keep following the same failed M/O, over and over again. Decade after decade. It’s not reigning in people and bottling them up. The answer is to let people do what comes naturally. Allow them to imagine and play and flourish. Only when they are allowed to do that, will true, creative and meaningful solutions to the tough problems facing our business world today begin to emerge. America is now at a crossroads. We are on the tail end of the Alfred E. Neuman (what, ME worry?) era. We can either rebound and soar like an Albatross, or become extinct like the Do Do Bird.

    Unfortunately, corporate America seems to fit the Do Do bird profile perfectly.

    To close with a line in response to “Don’t Mention the War”, I will quote Basil Fawlty… “Oh, your German! I’m sorry, I thought there was something wrong with you!”

    Your friend,

    Lance.

  14. kiciaski says:

    Dear John,

    I like reading your complaint letters from the guests because they make me feel so much smarter. I can’t believe people are so stupid ( well maybe I can). The war happened and can’t be reversed. It was a good thing to commend Mr. Baumgarten for what he did and you should stand by that.

    Can’t wait to see your morning show in person soon.

    Linda

  15. Catrin says:

    Hey John…

    Check this out…

    http://cgi.ebay.com/JOHN-HEALD-BOBBLEHEAD-LANYARD-MOUSEPAD-BAG-CARNIVAL_W0QQitemZ140303428240QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item140303428240&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

    Looks like someone else is taking advantage of your Celebrity Status.. and auctioning off not only the bobblehead, but the mousepad, bag etc…. (BTW, what great gifts you gave out!).

    We knew it would be a matter of time.
    It already has a $9.99 bid!

    Catrin

  16. Melissa D. says:

    John, (please reply)
    I have just recently discovered your blog thingy and have quickly become a huge fan and avid reader! My husband and I along with another couple will be on our first cruise this May on the Carnival Legend. It will be our 10th anniversary and our friend’s honeymoon they never had. I was wondering if you know who the cruise director will be? I am excited that you will soon be visiting the same western carribean ports that we will visit. I look forward to any information or recommendations you may have. Best to you and Heidi and Thingy!
    Melissa

  17. kiciaski says:

    John,

    I forgot to ask but you’re still going to be on the Carnival Valor for the 3/22 cruise aren’t you?

    Linda

  18. Mark Brass says:

    Please reply.

    Hi John, hope you are not too upset with me for teasing you about your spelling or more aptly, your typing mistakes – but I couldn’t resist. You don’t seem to be the kind of guy that doesn’t mind a bit of ribbing!

    I wanted to take a moment to comment on the beautiful pictures taken at the Cape Horn and was wondering what a great thing it would be to have a fleet photographer or one of your Photography folks present a talk on Photo composition, lighting, and all that good stuff.

    The one thing I was really disappointed about in my first cruise was my poor picture taking ability. I have read a number of blogs on taking good pictures…but to no avail. I may have to buy some of those photos in the Photo Gallery during my next cruise.

    Pictures are indeed worth thousand words or at least the money you paid for your cruise and worth a ton of memories.

    Thanks John for your blog, really a lift me-upper after a long day at work in the “real world”.

  19. Tom & Jane says:

    hey,, linda hernacki
    we got two
    wanna buy one?

  20. Ned Rifken says:

    John! I am constantly amazed at what appears on the blog, your comment about “dreary job justification” made me fall off my chair!

    I’ve never met you, but if you do show up on the Spirit this summer, and I’m lucky enough to be there, just can’t wait to shake your hand. Honestly, and I have no agenda here, you’re just a great writer and humorist, that’s why the blog is a hit! Take care, and good luck with the “Thingy.” Carnival’s (only) “Ambassador of Swing.” – NR

  21. traveller123 says:

    Jamie, just want to thank you for your daily blog from the Splendor. You are doing a great job. I can’t wait to get on board next week (on March 3rd) in Valparaiso. Hopefully I get to meet you. And even though I’m Canadian, I intend to keep my shirt on!

    Kerry

  22. Mary C says:

    Thanks John for keeping us right there with you on the Valor via your brilliant blog thingy. You are a genius to have the delightful Jaime reported from one of the greatest adventures in cruising. Thanks again and stay safe on board. No more jumping thingys.
    Mary C

  23. Hi John,

    Pictures from Ushuaia are up.

    I also had the opportunity to talk with Jaime tonight and I must say that I was quite impressed. I wish her nothing but the best in her career. If I ever said or thought anything negative about her, I take it back.

    Film at 11. Maybe not but at least some more bobble head pictures are posted toward the end of Page2 of Ushuaia.

  24. cindy56 says:

    JOHN, PLEASE REPLY

    Could you please find out if there are hair dryers in the cabins on the Carnival Sensation after their retrofit? I can’t remember how to check that kind of stuff out on carnival’s website.

    Thanks John!

  25. dude! how funny about the bobble head on ebay! i was laughing so hard!!!

    smiles, bonnie and prince charlie

  26. Chad Cid says:

    First, great blog, I’ve only been following for a week, and I’m making my way from the start, but I’m already hooked.

    Second, I can understand being upset if you feel your country is being insulted, however it sounds as though you were merely celebrating a spectacular gentleman.

    I would expect someone from Germany would appreciate that the freedom and prosperity the country currently enjoys is a direct result of the American, British, and Canadian men who took part in D-Day. I had a close friend in college who was German. He said the war wasn’t discussed as often in his country as it is here. However when he met my Grandfather, who was a World War II veteran, he shook his hand and thanked him for helping free his country from the darkest era of its existence. It was an amazing and touching moment so I hope you don’t second guess yourself too much.

  27. Linda Hernacki says:

    Yes to Tom & Jane! How much?

  28. Rick H. says:

    John:

    Strawbery soup – YUM! (Although I don’t think it would be nearly as good if served warm…)

    Don’t feel bad about paying tribute to Dr. Baumgarten and all others who have served us through difficult times. Mr. German Guest should realize that you are merely honoring someone for serving, and surviving, during a trying period. You weren’t demeaning anyone, nor were you shouting “we won” or “we beat you” from the rooftops.

    Thanks as always for sharing your adventures with us.

    Regards to you, Heidi, and Thingy,
    Rick H.

    ps to Jaime: Thanks for the ongoing commentary about the SA adventure. I wish I could have been there! (Maybe someday…)

  29. Ray Czenszak says:

    John ( please respond)
    Wow! as I read about Jaime’s Splendor adventures around the Cape Horn and see the pictures, I am so disappointed Jeanne and I where unable to book the Trip.
    My question is will this be a future itinerary for Carnival ships.
    We loved the Baltic Cruise on Splendor and Jaime was a Fantasy host and I am sure this trip was a true Gem with her.
    She is truly following in John Heald’s foot steps.
    Jeanne and I are counting the days till our New Years Eve celebration on Carnival Miracle and seventh Carnival Cruise.
    My hope is we get to do this around the Cape Horn trip in the future on Carnival, maybe with you John.
    That would be a blast, but who knows.
    We would Love to do a fourth Cruise with you.
    Maybe if we get Married on a Carnival Cruise we can pick another trip with you.
    All the Best to you Heidi and The Thingy.
    Ray and Jeanne

  30. Andre says:

    Seems as though everytime I came up the back elevators last week, you were either in a meeting in the Paris Lounge or the Eagle Lounge. Good thing for that Rapsberry, eh?

  31. Jeri R Green says:

    John, Great blog – as usual. I also really enjoy Jamies writing about the Splendor and her adventures. How marvelour that the swimming albatross was saved!
    Regarding embarkation: We too sailed out of Ft Lauderdale recently (Feb. 9th) and agree with Canuck Cruiser that the VIP sevice was fantastic. Everyone was polite, efficient, helpful and upbeat. Unfortunately we have never had the same kind of experience in Miami. In fact, we don’t wish to sail from there again.
    Of course, the embarkation in Tampa is also excellent and we especially like the valet parking. How we wish all the ports could do this. Jeri

  32. Tom & Jane says:

    Linda H

    YOU PAY SHIPPING COST
    PLUS $.oo

    so thats FREE

  33. Tom & Jane says:

    ARE YOU THE
    LINDA M HERNACKI

    FROM MELBOURNE FL ???
    MY E-MAIL
    carnivaltom@yahoo.com

  34. Host Mach from Cruise Critic says:

    Hehehheee… Gerry has good taste… I would never let go of my bobble head. It has a place of honor among my other Carnival memorabilia.

    God bless both Harold and Michael for their sacrifice and dedication to their Country. It’s a shame that your German passenger can’t take your tribute in the way it was meant.

    The pictures, John, the PICTURES!! They’re AMAZING!! You can feel the bitting cold and the anger of the sea. Fantastic!!! Thank you for those.

    It’s good to see the Blog the way we all enjoyed it… tales from the ship, In Their Own Words and a personal glimpse into life on board. Great stuff!!

    Please tell Heidi and the Thingy I send along my howdies and offer my thanks to all the folks who work so hard to make this blog what it is… brilliant.

    Ciao!!

    Host Mach

  35. Carol Schoenberger says:

    Dear John,

    Still the best CD on the 7 Seas! I love the strawberry soup, it’s like melted ice cream – perhaps Mrs. ColdSoup can’t read. I loved Jaime’s photos. I just saw photos from a woman at work who went to Antartica. She took a video of this one little penguin who was walking on the rocks. And she said it was warmer than NY has been lately.

    How’s Heidi & little Thingy? Give her my regards.

    Can’t wait to hear more about the Dream. Remember, next time you see her and take pictures, take one of Lido Deck Cabin #10272 please.

    Take care,
    Carol

  36. Cheryl Donofrio says:

    Dear John, Heidi, and Thingy,

    I loved your blog today. The only problem is, I have never been able to read the letters. The only thing I could see today was “D Day”. Everything else was white. I got the gist of what was going on by your comments afterward. I think that guest was being oversensitive. After all, no one else complained, did they?

    I agree with Big Ed about the soup lady. Maybe she WAS blacklisted by HAL. Hee hee. Besides, as someone else said, who would want warm strawberry soup? Bleah.

    Jaime’s pictures and commentary were wonderful. The next time CCL goes to South America, they should use that picture of the ship sailing around the horn in their advertising and/or brochure.

    John – please reply. Is it really true that Carnival suite passengers get NO other perks besides a nicer room? I was really surprised to hear that yesterday when I asked. I know on other lines they get butler service, priority tender tickets, etc, similar to VIP perks. I was told yesterday that they only get priority embarkation. Hmm. Thank you for your reply.

    Your Friend,
    Cheryl D.

  37. Ivana says:

    Gerry purchased your bubble head on e-Bay? Holly Molly! He should have that for free ;o)
    Cannot wait for a Dream update.

  38. Rob says:

    John,
    What a great blog today. When you were in dry dock I didn’t visit much. But todays blog had me wanting to visit some of these places, which is what I look forward to so much. Especially the stories of our great neighbors on the ship.

    Keep up the good work.

    Rob

  39. Rob says:

    Ah, a classic Basil Fawlty reference. “Don’t mention the war”, then John Cleese proceeds to do a Nazi goose-step in front of the German diners. One of the silliest episodes of that short-lived series.

  40. Roger Tollerud says:

    John
    God bless those who have served and those who currently serve—Freedom isn’t Free!!!
    Roger T

  41. Rositer11-Carnival lifer says:

    John Love the blogs when you are CD. They are amaizing. Please thank the gentlemen who served our country for those of us in blog land. As for Mr. Germany well he needs to understand his country wasnt what it is today. Some pretty terrible things were going on and they were different times then. Thank you for thanking those men, sorry Mr. Germany.

  42. John –

    1. Please tell Mrs. Sony Coldsoup not to order the Orange Soup either – for that matter, warn her about the vichysoisse too.

    2. I told Mrs MTSFP the story of Mr. Cahill’s purchase and she called him a cheapskate.

    3. When are we going to see a “John Heald Memento Shop”? Sell bobbleheads, tee shirts, et cetera with the profits going to charity. Imagine what an autographed ultrasound picture of Thingy might bring :)

    Enjoy being a CD – its better than being a floppy disk.

    Jon

  43. Hi John!
    OMG LOL! Who the ‘hey’ is auctioning off the “John Heald Bloggers’ Cruise” swag? Well, I am not parting with my two bobbleheads — can’t they are on the girls’ desks. They got a kick out of them.

    Now, I will have to interview Gerry when I see him in March about this Ebay Carnival swag fetish — what would you like me to ask him?

    Best,
    Anita

  44. cruisinggrandma says:

    Ok John I’m going to try to get those pictures together.

  45. Kaperino says:

    John thanks for the awesome blog and your captivating outlook on life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

    While the corporate world seeks retrospective of a more consumer oriented world, and the whiners and complainers are done with their day, they have little to show for it.

    Thankfully people like you , Harold, his wife, Michael and Amy have actually been productive and used their lives to enhance other’s lives.

    Unfortunately “She knows not what She’s done” and “Get the Point Doomkoff” spend their days on the dark side.

    Jamie and the photographers from the Splendor did a great job on the blog. Thank-you.

    Sadly, I too have no Bobblehead John to worship…..but I am not complaining, nor buying on e-bay.

    Fondly,

    Kathie ( Kap )

  46. Mike Brown says:

    John,

    I can see the next meeting or complaint letter that you are going to have, it is going to be from Gerry Cahill accusing him of buying a John Bobble Head!

    I have to agree with you and the others about meetings. I worked for our State for about 3 1/2 years and we had a boss who lived for meetings. We would have meetings to discuss when to have what meeting. Then we would have a meeting to discuss why nothing was getting done! Could it be Meetings???

    Jamie has been remarkable with her reporting and pictures of the trip! Please keep it up Jamie!

    Also congratulations to the two fine veterans that you mentioned on board. Maybe you should tell your upset guest that one of the reasons he is free to cruise today is because of folks like them! Some people just live to complain and get fruit baskets!

    I’m with Anita! My bobbles are here to stay! Unless you will send me a fruit basket and chanpaine if I sell it to Gerry Cahill!

    Love to Heidi and the Thingy! Hope all is well at the appointment!

    Take care!

    Mike B.

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