August 6, 2012 -
There is a book called “Women Are from Mars and Men Are from Uranus” or something like that and, judging from what’s happened here on the Carnival Breeze in the last four days, the author of this book was sodding well right. Within hours of the ship sailing from Barcelona on Thursday, a guest from Canada had contacted the guest services desk and had requested immediate debarkation as he and his partner had decided they hated each other. Now, obviously, he had to wait until the following day when we were in Marseilles before he got off the ship as we were at sea. Luckily, we had one open cabin for the night as some guests had missed the ship in Barcelona and would rejoin us in Marseilles and so, after four years of being together, he buggered off back to Toronto leaving his partner on her own to cruise without him for 11 days. What a true shame.
When Calvyn (“Janet,” if you were on last cruise. We called him Janet as someone wrote in that Calvyn looked like Janet Reno) and I host my morning shows on the ship, we sometimes get letters from men who have done something terrible and use the show to apologise live for their misgivings. Last cruise, we had one from a chap from Indiana who had almost missed the ship in Livorno (I wrote about them on Facebook and how they only just made it back) because against his wife’s wishes, he had rented a car to drive themselves to Florence. All went well until before they started on the journey back to the ship and as his Hertz contract stipulated he filled the car with gas but unfortunately did not read the signs or understood that the car was a diesel one and they filled it up with regular gas which meant the return journey lasted about three minutes with the car jumping around like a 16-year-old with a twitchy foot learning to drive until eventually it stopped completely on a busy road.
The police became involved and I have seen the police in Florence…oh, my. They all wear smart uniforms with mirrored sun glasses, shiny leather boots and pristine white pants that look more like tights…in fact, they look like actors from a 70’s rumpy pumpy movie rather than police officers. The whole incident cost them 575 Euros in costs and the tow truck. Ouch. They only just made it back with minutes to spare and having guests cheer them as they ran down the pier didn’t help either. The husband decided to apologise and use me to do so and Janet and I called them on the morning show and viewers who may be reading this now will remember that Mrs. Indiana was not exactly all warm and cuddly. We chatted, I apologized on his behalf and read his letter of guilty as charged live on air but she was not happy telling me that she had never wanted to rent a car but to take a tour!! She was still angry, I could tell, because the welcome I received from her just on the telephone was as cold as a polar bear’s dangly bits. Well, I sent them some chocolate strawberries and champagne but something tells me that this man who was here on his 10th wedding anniversary was getting less rumpy pumpy than a castrated Benedictine monk.
That was an apology that needed to happen. However, as I write, there are millions of men around the world who are saying “sorry” to a woman but what they are saying sorry for…they have no idea. I have learned that with Heidi, there is an art to saying sorry. I have had to say sorry many times because I didn’t empty the dishwasher before I went to bed. Now men, listen to Uncle John here when I tell you how to say sorry if you do something like this. Pretend you are a vet. Talk to your wife as if the dog she has loved for many years has had to be put to sleep. Say sorry with a quiet intensity showing that you truly understand what a complete and utter bastard you are for leaving the pots and pans in the dishwasher overnight…it works…so next time, men, that you need to say “sorry”…become a vet.
Time for today’s Q and A…here we go.
Does someone have to speak foreign languages for all those people who are now on the Carnival Breeze? Also, will you be on the Carnival Breeze at the end of March? Love to read your blog and Facebook.
Yes, indeed, we have most languages covered at the guest services desk so help is always available. It’s harder when it comes to entertainment, though, as we have all our shows and activities in English so it’s a challenge for sure. I am working on my 2013 schedule soon but I have a feeling I will not be on the Carnival Breeze come March next year. I hope you will be though because she is a brilliant ship. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.
Robert Potash asked:
For those who have not sailed out of Miami before, beware, it is a different world. Being from the Midwest, we are accustomed to people at least being civil toward one another. In Miami, people tend to be very rude and in a hurry. Even at the hotel where we stayed, not only did other guests not hold the door open for one another, hotel employees didn’t either. We couldn’t wait to get out of Miami and onto the Carnival Valor! What we found is the same nasty people from Miami were also on the ship, as well! Great cruise but the pre-cruise experience was a nightmare.
Hello Robert Potash.
Thanks for taking the time to write about this and I am sorry your pre-cruise experience was not pleasant at all. There is little I can say about that but I can say that I am glad you had fun on your cruise and I hope that we will see you again soon.
Michael Brewer asked:
We were at a hotel last weekend. Had driven in and car was in parking lot. Left around five one day to go to dinner. I suppose I’ve been reading too much about chair hogs and seen too much of it on the ships, around the pools, in the theatre, etc., because as we were walking toward the car the thought popped into my head to leave a towel in the space to “reserve” it for myself! Of course, I didn’t but…it got me to wondering…obviously, no one would ever think they could save a parking place like that. Why is a pool chair any different?
Hello Michael Brewer
This comment has arrived at the perfect time because I am sure by now you will have read that we have taken a giant step in making sure we eradicate seat saving on the open decks. We have started on the Carnival Breeze and it’s going quite well and we’re looking at expanding to other ships in our fleet.
Pat Call asked:
We will be on the Carnival Breeze Oct 25. During the overnight in Venice, will Carnival have a shuttle to get to town (St Marks)? We are in a spa cabin Deck 11 – what dining room will we be assigned to? The ship looks fantastic from what you and Mr. Radu have posted. Keep the pictures coming.
Thanks for your help.
Hello Pat Call
There are private shuttles to Venice at a cost of $17 each way and they leave right next to the ship. But most people will take the vaporetto which is six euros each way. I will give a full talk on board about Venice and how to get there, so please don’t worry. We don’t assign dining rooms by cabins but rather if you have requested late sitting, early sitting or Your Time Dining, you will have information on your key card when you arrive. I am so glad you have been enjoying the photos and the blog updates and I promise you will love this brilliant ship. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Cally Robbins asked:
Recently I had surgery on my leg which resulted in having a metal plate and nine screws attached. How do I help speed up the metal detector process for all involved that won’t leave people groaning every time I get pulled aside for setting off the metal detector? Answer needed NOW!
Hello Cally Robbins
I am sorry to hear about your surgery and I hope you are getting around OK now. Please can you carry a letter from your doctor with you stating that you have had this surgery as this will really help move things along for you. I am sorry for the delay in my answering you and please let me know if you need anything else.
Gary Burton asked:
Not sure about the underpants – but whatever gets you going, I guess!! A quick question for you – we are considering a cruise in August at which point our new baby girl will be exactly five months and three weeks. I read somewhere that the policy is a minimum of six months. Will we still be able to cruise with you on the Breeze? Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Hello Gary Burton
Sorry about my underpants and I promise the sight of me in them gets nobody going. The minimum age for sailing is six months, with transatlantic crossings and Hawaii and South American cruises, which the requirement is 12 months. I hope this helps you decide and I hope we will see you all soon. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
Best wishes to all.
Colin Clarke asked:
Just reading up about the Carnival Breeze as we have booked the transatlantic in November. Came across your blog and if I’m right in thinking, we met you on the Carnival Triumph a few years ago whilst doing an eastern and western Caribbean back-to-back cruises out of Miami. Jane and I have great memories of Carnival then as Jane was taken ill on board and transferred to a hospital in Miami on arrival there. We missed the sailing east that day but rejoined the Triumph in San Juan to continue our cruise. The company’s staff, the ship’s doctor and cabin staff were amazing upon our return where daily, we received flowers, canapés, and chocolate strawberries in our cabin. Are you sailing on the transatlantic? If so, we look forward to meeting you once again.
Hello Colin Clarke
Yes, indeed, I will be here with you and I sincerely hope that the trans-Atlantic is a cruise that you will truly enjoy. I hope also that your good lady is doing well and please send her my warmest regards. I will see you both soon and please let me know if there is anything you need.
Jim Keating asked:
My son is a celiac and must eat gluten-free meals. We were on the Carnival Fascination and approached the hostess in our dining room the first night onboard and told her of his requirements. Very simple, no wheat or gluten. Her lack of English and lack of intelligence was obvious and could have meant serious medical problems for my son. I explained twice to her what we wanted and she just still was a clueless woman from a third world country and so I lost patience and demanded to speak to the captain who was obviously too busy to see me!!! Later we got to speak to the restaurant manager who also seemed uneducated about celiac medical problems and we spent the entire cruise in fear of something happening to him. Carnival must not care then about its passengers that have special needs. I have since written to the Celiac Disease Foundation complaining about this! You can, I am sure, expect to hear from them!!!!
Hello Jim Keating
Please allow me to start by saying I am very sorry for the stress you were under during the cruise. I am sure that must have been hard and I do hope that you managed to all have some fun times together, as well. Carnival truly does care about all our guests who have special needs and, in fact, we have a program in place for guests who have gluten-free needs. I wonder if you had alerted our special needs desk in Miami nor informed your travel agent that your son had this concern. That is always what we suggest because we can be prepared for this, the dining room is informed and special foods are prepared. I am sorry that you found the hostess lacking and I should also point out that the captain has nothing to do with preparing meals and the maître d was indeed the right man to speak to. Please accept my apologies and please do contact our guest access services desk before the cruise so that we can give your son the attention he deserves.
Kathy & Michael Reynolds asked:
I was hoping you’d do us a favor. My husband and I participated in The Chef’s Table on the Carnival Liberty (June 2 cruise). We had a fantastic time, and really appreciated the effort the chef and crew went to make the experience special. I wanted to send the chef a note before we left the ship but had no note paper, and neither did guest services. Could you please send our thanks to the chef and his staff? We really were impressed with the creativity the chef applied to his dishes, and the great care the staff took in serving us. Thanks so much!
P.S. It seems to me a great idea to have Carnival cards/note paper available at guest services for this kind of purpose! I’m sure I’m not the first person who wanted to send a personal note of thanks!
P.P.S. You helped us get The Chef’s Table reservation, so thanks to you, too!
Hello Kathy and Michael Reynolds.
I am shocked that the guest services desk had no paper to give you and I will bring this to their immediate attention. I will indeed be glad to send your very kind words to the chef and his crew for this brilliant Chef’s Table experience and you are so very kind to take the time to write about it. I hope we see you again soon and if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.
Kenneth and Linda Heaverin asked:
We noticed a woman on your post said that she did not like the lady cruise director on the Carnival Pride. If that lady was Jaime, I would love to tell that woman that she is full of it. Jaime is one of your best cruise directors. We are going on the Carnival Dream in October with our whole family. We would love to have her meet our family as she gives everything she has to make everyone happy. We know this because we have been on 23 cruises and we think Butch and Jaime are the best. We know the others are good but they aren’t Butch and Jaime. Please let me know that you got this and hope to see you some day.
Ken and Linda Heaverin
Hello Ken and Linda Heaverin
Thanks so much for this lovely post in praise of Jaime and Butch who are, as you said, two of our finest CD’s. Opinions are always going to be divided on who is a great cruise director but Jaime and Butch are among the best around. Thanks again and I hope I see you both one day soon.
Debra Wilson asked:
Just wanted to tell you thank you for getting our Chef’s Table reservations! We appreciate you so much. We are happy Carnival cruisers…our upcoming cruise will be our ninth for us in just two years. Keep on being you, don’t worry about the naysayers.
Hello Debra Wilson
That’s wonderful news and I am happy to have helped. Thanks so much for your loyalty and I remain here if and when you need me. Thanks for the very kind words of support.
Clint Hutchinson asked:
Thought you might like this: I wrote this story and in it I used all of Carnival’s ships. If you or Carnival would like to use it, that would be fine, but would like a little recognition. The ships names will be capitalized.
While laying in the SUNSHINE with a cool BREEZE blowing thru the trees, I had a DREAM about a cruise that took you to a FANTASY world where people had the FREEDOM to use their IMAGINATION, where all the ports of call were like PARADISE calling you to your DESTINY, where in this MAGIC world kings and queens have ELATION and PRIDE over the SPLENDOR of the kingdom, also in this land there is a LEGEND of a SPIRIT who gives INSPIRATION to fulfill your FASCINATION of travel. These ships of today allow you the LIBERTY to witness the MIRACLE and experience the VICTORY of technology and the VALOR of its captains. The TRIUMPH of their CONQUEST gives you the GLORY and SENSATION of ECSTASY.
Hope you like it.
Hello Clint Hutchinson
Yes, I do like it very much and I am sure many others reading this will enjoy it, as well. As always, thanks so much for your contributions here and on Facebook and I hope we meet one day soon.
That’s all for today and, as always, thanks so much for all your comments and questions. We will continue now with someone who is quite simply big, sexy and a brilliant cruise director.
Josh Waitzman Bio:
I was born one miserably cold Chicago day, January 5, 1977, and still reside there as does my entire family and friends. The ironic thing about my position is that I come from a family of teachers, lawyers, and doctors, and have the privilege of “playing” out at sea and being the black sheep of the group (you know there’s always one). I can confidently say though that my career choice didn’t come as easily to me as it did the rest of the Waitzman clan…
I fell in love with cruising and being out at sea when I was 14 years old. My parents took myself, my younger brother, and two younger sisters on a cruise down to the western Caribbean. I loved the experience of being on the ship, and when I somehow managed to sneak into the disco one night with a group of 18-year-old girls, unfortunately, it was my mother who walked in, busted me, and threw me out! It was at that exact moment where I learned how to play blackjack in the casino…
Later on in life, I attended Illinois State University. It was there where I joined and became a social chair and house manager for Sigma Chi fraternity, took all sorts of theater and drama classes, and went through the other monotonous daily routines of college life. While on paper I was a business major, deep down in my heart, I knew that the corporate world just wasn’t for me. I never could have imagined that the skills I acquired then would be essential for my inevitable career later on…
After school, while trying to start a “real” life, I spent five years as an executive pension and employee benefit recruiter, bought a house, and got married (and divorced… long story). That entire time, for the mere fun of it, I was hosting karaoke shows at night for a friend who owned a DJ and Karaoke company. It was then where I realized how much I enjoyed hosting, performing, and being in front of a crowd. Still, I never had any idea of what my future held until I went on another cruise with the family in February of 2004 and my grandmother mentioned that since I was a natural performer and love being at sea so much, I should work on cruise ships (or “big boats” as she called them). It was shortly afterwards where I applied to Carnival and was thrust into my first positions at sea as a karaoke and social host on the Holiday in the spring of 2004. It was only at that point where I had an epiphany of what I TRULY wanted to do with my life….
Since the Holiday five years ago, I’ve had the honor of doing contracts as part of the entertainment staff on the Carnival Destiny and Carnival Elation, and as an assistant cruise director on the Carnival Elation, Carnival Victory, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Ecstasy, and Carnival Freedom. I have taken over as cruise director on the Carnival Elation and Carnival Miracle, Carnival Imagination and am currently at the helm on the Carnival Glory.
My grandmother has since passed away, but I’ll always remember her saying that if you sincerely love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life… well, if that’s true, I haven’t worked in a very long time. I honestly believe that I have the best position in the world, and I am honored to be able to work for this company. Ultimately, I am looking forward to many more years (and “big boats”) to come!
Thanks, Josh. I know for many Josh is exactly what you think a great CD should be and his name is one I see usually followed by the words fun, sincere and fantastic. So well done, Josh, and I hope all of you reading this get to sail with him one day soon.
From: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2012 7:55 PM
To: BREEZE CRUISE DIRECTOR; BREEZE MEDIA COORDINATOR
Cc: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES
Subject: Gsts unhappy with Vatican being closed
Mr and Mrs_________ approached me regarding the Vatican being closed because it is Sunday. Guests are asking for a refund of their train transportation (38 Euros) because they were not told. I explained that you mentioned this in your talk, John, but they very upset and are requesting an immediate meeting with you.
Thank you and best regards,
Guest Services Associate, Carnival Breeze
Carnival Cruise Lines
And so I sat here this morning, in my underpants, and called the guests and yes, it was indeed my fault that the Vatican Museum was closed on a Sunday. I listened to them tell me how, “The only reason we came on this cruise was to see the Vatican” — words I have heard multiple times over my many years at sea. “The only reason we took this cruise was to see _____” (insert port name here).
But I did have sympathy from them as they had flown all the way from Minnesota and even though I had explained during my travel talk and over the PA system and even though every other guest seemed to understand and they did not…..I still felt sorry for them. I can’t refund their locally purchased train tickets but I will do what I can to make them feel better even though they called me “a terrible communicator.” The fact is that I did tell the guests that the Vatican Museum was closed and it appears everyone heard except these two guests. You know, as long as I have done this job, I am still shocked sometimes at what the cruise line is blamed for and the fact that the Pope takes Sundays off is in their mind, my fault ……not his. Oh, FFS!
I have had two interruptions during the shows this cruise. Firstly, we had a lady fall down some stairs in the showroom just as I was introducing the Divas show and thanks to the wonderful medical staff and their rapid response and care, she is doing fine now and back enjoying the cruise. Then last night I had another disruption. When I was first a young slim and sexy cruise director back in 1847, I wasn’t sure how to deal with hecklers. I was a recently promoted bar waiter who was now a cruise director with the comedic timing of an eight-year-old and really didn’t know how to handle the people who insisted on being part of the show. Was I supposed to ignore them? Did I have to keep taking them on until they lay on the showroom floor weeping and conceding defeat like a French soldier? Could I simply ask them to leave the lounge and call security, or would that be admitting that I was still actually a bar waiter?
I remember speaking to Gary Hunter, my mentor and still the best CD at sea, and I remember him saying that after an initial exchange, you can never win, and it’s unfair on the rest of the audience if you don’t do something. Some of our comedians have stock lines. The very funny Al Ernst has “I’m sorry, I don’t know how to deal with you. I’m a comic not a proctologist.” Or Billy Connolly’s classic: “The last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.” There are other stages of getting rid of the heckler most of which a cruise director cannot do but our comedians at the Punchliner Comedy Club’s uncensored show can. They usually involve:
- Implying the heckler is drunk
- Implying the heckler is childish
- Implying the heckler is an idiot
- Implying the heckler is ugly
- Sexual insults, usually based on the heckler having a small gentlemen’s sausage.
So back to my situation which was far more complicated. This particular situation did not involve heckling at all but during a performance of Hasbro, The Game Show, and in the front row was a family from Israel who, for some reason, were having their own show. By that I mean they were talking as though Black Sabbath was on stage and they were trying to talk over Ozzy Osborne wailing Iron Man through 300 mega speakers. It was disrupting the whole show and the rest of the audience were getting upset and telling them “sssshhhhhhhhhh” and worse!
Now, I guess it’s because they didn’t speak English and were bored and somewhat infuriated that the fat bloke on stage was not speaking in Hebrew and I can understand how frustrating it must be for our international guests this cruise who have no idea what I am talking about. I politely asked them using the international language of “finger to lips” and a polite “please be quiet” but it was ignored. And so for the first time in a long time I had to stop the show, walk down the steps and speak to one of the parents knowing that he probably did not understand what I was saying but the fact that I had stopped the show would hopefully be a clear signal. It was, because all eight stood up and left giving me looks that said I was not their best mate. I felt very guilty about having to do this and, of course, I would feel bored as well if I had to sit through a show that was performed in a language I didn’t understand. But the fact was that they were disturbing the show for all the other people in the theater and so after polite requests to please be quiet, I had no choice but to ask them to leave………right?
Let’s move on. There is still a lot of buzz in the British press about the Queen agreeing to take part in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and how it must have been Prince Harry and Prince William who persuaded her to do so. They are also calling the Queen “the best Bond girl ever.” Well, let’s hope that the Queen’s career is not hurt by this because it never seems to do any actress that has ever played a Bond girl any good at all. You would think that having the part of a James Bond girl would be a career launch pad more explosive than my arse after a huge bowl of chicken curry.
Have you heard, for instance, of Olga Kurylenko? Well, since she was the Bond girl in the movie Quantum of Solace, her name was in all the papers for a few weeks and then as it happens with Bond girls, she disappears and is currently working behind the men’s underpants counter at a JC Penney in Atlanta. Uncle Google tells me that 23 actresses have slipped out of 007’s bed over the years but the number who have gone on be mega stars can be counted on the hand of a Saudi Arabian thief.
Let’s start at the beginning with Dr. No and Ursula Andress, who stepped out of the sea and straight into a million men’s fantasies. The bikini. The knife. The hair. I was only nine when I saw that movie but when I saw her stunning body rise out of the sea, it has been burned in my brain forever. You’d imagine that having made such an impact, Ms. Andress would go on to become the next hot thing. OK…..name a hit movie she was in……..no, you can’t ask Uncle Google…….. nope …………. you can’t, can you?
Next we got Daniela Bianchi, who cropped up as a sexy secretary in From Russia with Love. And then what? Does she work at Home Depot or did she marry the King of Botswana? Nobody knows. Yes, Diana Rigg bucked the trend after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the same, I suppose, could be said of Honor Blackman, who played Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. But this, I’m afraid, simply encouraged a million more girls to try for the role only to find their 15 minutes of fame lasted for less than 12. Maryam D’Abo, Carey Lowell, Talisa Soto, Izabella Scorupco. They arrived. They screamed a lot. They had some rumpy pumpy. And for all I know they’re now selling Amway products door to door.
And back to the Olympics and that bit with the Queen. Oh, how I wish it had been Sean Connery or Roger Moore in that role. Daniel Craig is I guess handsome and brooding but I want my Bond back. He was what every man is inspired to be……but not anymore. In Casino Royale, Bond fell in love……in love…….what a load of bollocks and the move began with James explaining how much he loved Vespa, his girlfriend, played by…….ummmmm…..….see……I have no idea. This is not what Bond should be saying. The movie should have started with a bit of random killing before we find Bond in bed with a girl who he had met a few minutes earlier. Hearing his Omega watch go beep which meant his Queen and country needed him, he would haul himself from under the sheets, look at the long-legged beauty with no name and say, “My darling, you were brilliant last night. But I am James Bond and I must go now because I have to blow up evil H82’s oil rig before returning to have rumpy pumpy with your sister.”
But today’s Bond is nothing like that. Bond is all about gadgets, explosions, wisecracks and improbably large men who’ve had their hands replaced with a hook. Even Bond’s cars are crap. He would also have a machine gun in the front and the back and if things got really tough, he could turn the car into a submarine or as in a previous Bond movie…….flick a switch and turn the car invisible. In the latest movie, he had bugger all gadgets and weaponry in the car …… nothing …………. except an Eyepod connection, climate control and a cup holder.
In fact, there were no gadgets………none. I want a laser in his thingy. I want the shoe that can make cappuccino and I want one of those watches that using magnetism can unzip Pussy Galore’s dress without even touching her. Then there is rumpy pumpy the centerpiece of all Bond movies. Sean, Roger, Pierce and the other two all had rumpy pumpy on tap. Daniel Craig had it once……once……in two sodding movies. Was this film based on my life story then?
He flew on Virgin Airways where according to the movie he discovers his favorite drink ………. Vodka Martini …….shaken……not stirred……….NO!…..Bond discovered this in Harry’s Bar in Venice or the Savoy Hotel in London, it wasn’t invented by a flight attendant called Calvyn.
But the one thing that I hate about Daniel Craig’s Bond, the one thing that as a true Bond fan makes me weep, was that in the last two Bond movies he looked totally disheveled, tired and was cut and bruised and bleeding. Bollocks! Bond cannot be damaged. Even if he were to fall out of a plane and into the spinning blades of a helicopter, he should emerge with nothing more than a slightly disarranged tie knot. Still, you have to hand it to the young Princess Harry and William for persuading their grandmother to take part in the movie. I am sure they would have been able to secure a leading role in many a movie for their mother, Princess Diana, and now that they apparently have the movie producing bug, they are working on a leading role for their stepmother ……..in War Horse 2.
P.S. Click here for today’s Fun Times PDFs, direct from your Carnival Imagination.