July 29, 2013 -
So as everyone else is still talking about Prince George……so will I. And just in case Prince William reads this blog (why wouldn’t he?), I thought that as George reaches a week old, I would give Will some advice. Yes, he will be surrounded by butlers and nannies and queens and servants but they won’t tell him the most important thing about being a father. And that is Mr. Prince……. now that your wife has had a baby, you can never ever be in pain ever, ever again. You see Willy, my daughter is now four years old and since she came in to our life, no matter what illness I have, it doesn’t matter anymore.
William, sir, you could catch a severe cold, have explosive diarrhea while flying your helicopter, huge stomach cramps at a royal banquet at Buckingham Palace resulting in you projectile vomiting over President Obama, trapping your royal sausage in the zipper of your trousers or bitten in the arse by one of your grandmother’s corgis, nothing will, according to your duchess of a wife, be as bad as giving birth. “Oh, William,” Duchess Kate will say, “I see you have cut three fingers off while trying to put our IKEA crib together. But stop complaining will you, I gave birth and nothing is more painful than that. So get that crib made and stop moaning.”
Having been through the wonders and the utter terror of child birth, I do understand that it’s painful. And I remember Heidi being in a bit of pain and that she was making loud grunting noises like one of those lady tennis players that was in Wimbledon a few weeks ago. Then as the contractions grew, her moans became howls. Was my wife turning into a werewolf? Kye was born in a strange position which Heidi did, if I remember rightly, blame me for. Her head was facing up instead of down or down instead of up……I can’t remember which. I had my back firmly to the show and as much as I wanted to help Heidi through the pain, I was going to be no bloody good having a quick look downstairs, and immediately fainting. So, William, mate, from today on, any time you’re ill, sick or in pain, The Duchess of Cambridge, your beautiful wife will tell you it’s nothing and that only she knows real pain after she pushed an eight-pound future king through a mouse hole.
William, listen to Uncle John here. Kate will tell have told you she wanted you in the hospital for your support and because she wants you to hold her hand and to be there to witness the birth of what will be the most important thing in your life. That’s not the reason, oh no. She wants you there so she can milk it forever and ever, especially when you’re complaining about being a king and having to host a banquet with a cold and a headache.
Kate will tell you, William, that men will never understand the pain of child birth. Well, Prince William, just tell her that she has never been kicked in the bollocks……..now that’s real pain.
That being said, I wish Prince George a wonderful, happy life and if he wants, I give him my blessing to marry my daughter.
Time for today’s Q and A…………..off we go.
Ian Tully asks:
Can you make a special table reservation for me? We sail on Carnival Dream on 8/17 and have always been put in the back of the dining hall and never given a good table with a view of where the action is. This time we want a table in the middle so we can actually see the dances and parades. The cabin numbers (there are four of us so we need a table of four) are 6388 and 2428 under the names of Tully and Loetstein. We cruised with you on the Carnival Magic in the Med!
Hello Ian Tully,
It is funny that so many people who write to me describe a table request for “where the action is.” This always makes me think that Bruce Willis is going to come storming in shouting “Yippie kay-yay m*********er” before machine gunning his way to a chocolate melting cake. Anyway, I will ask the maître d to do his best for you and I know he will do all he can. I wish all of you a brilliant cruise and enjoy this wonderful ship. Best wishes.
Linda Krause asks:
Hi John! I just wanted to let you know of a very special employee Carnival has. My Carnival PVP is Carlos Saravia. I first contacted him in April 2007 for our first cruise we were taking with a group. I was full of questions, and he’s the most patient person I’ve ever met! Today I called him to make a payment on our 10th cruise coming up in October. I mentioned to him that I would have loved to be on the first Carnival Triumph cruise this week after her problems, just so I could meet YOU. (I understood you were going to be in Galveston for her return). He said had I ever cruised with you, and I said no, but I’d love to, because I read your blogs consistently, and I think you are absolutely hilarious. He said he had the pleasure of cruising with you a while back, and it was the best time he’d ever had, that you were absolutely AMAZING. I took my sister on our second cruise (she’s been emailing you! her name is Terri Hunley) and we got her so hooked we can’t go without her anymore!! She’s been on the last eight cruises with us, sometimes alone, sometimes taking a daughter, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, friend…and in October, our 86 year old mother is rooming with her. But I digress…I was talking about Carlos. If I have questions, comments, concerns or WHATEVER, he calmly explains things to me, and acts like he genuinely enjoys my stupidity! haha He’s a really big asset to Carnival, and I just wanted to put forth the praise I think he deserves. Anybody that can put up with my sister and me for about 6 years and still be sane is a wonderful man! When somebody says “You’re going again? I might try this. Who should I call?” I give them Carlos’ name and number. We had originally booked a cruise this past April, but had to cancel when Triumph had her problems. We rescheduled the cruise (and hotel reservations, and parking reservations) for two weeks later, then had to cancel again due to dry-docking, or whatever they decided to do to her. But that didn’t deter us in the least! We don’t like cruising in the summer (kids and too hot), so we planned for a back-to-back in October. We leave October 21 and are so excited we can’t stand it!! Hope you had a visit with your girls. By the way, Kye is absolutely adorable!! You’re a lucky man!! Thanks for listening.
Hello Linda Krause says:
May I start by saying how sorry I am that we have forced you to change your plans because of what happened on the Carnival Triumph, a ship I hope you get to sail on very soon. Then, I want to thank you so much for your kind words and I hope also that one day, we will get to sail together. Until then I do hope you will continue to enjoy my blogs. Most importantly, though, are your words for Carlos and what a wonderful employee he is. I will make sure he sees this and I know he will be so proud as will his supervisor who I will also send this to. So I am here for you and if there is anything at all I can do for you before you sail in October I will be here. I wish you the most fantastic cruise. Best wishes.
I have sailed with Carnival earlier this year and had a blast and this coming January 4. I will be taking another cruise on Carnival Dream. We will be visiting Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay, and Costa Maya. I saw one excursion in Cozumel that was swimming with the dolphins and I thought this would be a great excursion to propose to my girlfriend. I found out the place was called Dolphinaris and I saw that the dolphins can be used in the proposal. I chatted online with one of their booking employees and they told me that if I’m traveling with Carnival, then I need to set it up with Carnival and they would help set up the excursion. Do you know who I should contact for help to make this happen? Thank you for your time and I enjoy reading your blog!
I had no idea about this and that dolphins could be used in a wedding proposal or dare I say a wedding……porpoise-al……get it?……….a porpoi…………never mind. I have passed on your email address to our wedding department and asked that they research this and then contact you. I hope that this is something we can do for you as it sounds truly special. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you and, until then, I wish you both all the very best. Best wishes.
Sharon Gunn asks:
John, I am in charge of organizing our Cruise Critic meet and greet on the Carnival Imagination from Miami on 8/5/13. I need a room for about 20 people and after debate we have chosen to do this on 8/6/13 after the ship leaves Key West. We need a room for two hours from 2:30pm to 4:30pm with bar staff to serve drinks purchased with each of our cards. I read that you give door prizes and would like to know if you can send these to our party. How will we all know where this is going to be? Will you tell me or will someone tell me once I am on the ship? I am the group leader and my cabin is E107. Thanks, John
Hello Sharon Gunn,
I am happy to help you arrange this and I have written to the ship asking them to help reserve a lounge for you on or around the time you requested. We can never guarantee the time as there may be other groups and or activities scheduled but please don’t worry, we will make sure you have somewhere to meet. I will ask the groups coordinator on board to contact you plus we will put the location in the Fun times so everyone can see. I will also have two trophies and two bottles of champagne sent as prizes for you to raffle. Have a wonderful time. Best wishes.
Elizabeth Paschall asks:
My family and I (when I say family, I’m talking about aunts, uncles, cousins…everyone..) are planning on going on a cruise June 2014 out of New Orleans but those cruise dates still aren’t up. We are trying to plan ahead because we are going for my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary. We’ve looked for months and still nothing. We are a year away now and we just want to know how long until it is posted. We’ve called Carnival, left messages and we have heard nothing. Please help!! Thanks.
Hello Elizabeth Paschall,
I apologise for the delay but I am sure you have now seen we have published the dates through 2014. I hope this means that you and the family are ready to book and to celebrate this fantastic milestone of your grandparents. If there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know won’t you? Have a brilliant time. Best wishes.
Heald, why do you never cover any of the big stories. You never mentioned the couple that went overboard on the Carnival Spirit and you never mentioned the kid that had to be airlifted by US Coast Guard on the Carnival Sensation. Ignore the real stories, Heald, but tell us more please why don’t you about your underpants.
I have answered countless queries both here on the blog and on my Facebook page about a wide range of topics, so to say that I don’t focus on the “big stories” is simply not true. I hope you continue to read the blog and look forward to welcoming you on board soon. Best wishes.
Laurie Rhodes asks:
Hey, John, you crack me up! Had to subscribe to your blog to keep my day fresh. Thanks for entertaining me at work and for making people look at me like I’m crazy too for laughing at my monitor (although not in my undies!!). I was wondering if the spa has any specials for special days, i.e……birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I will be turning 40 (OMGosh Aug. 25 on Carnival Valor) this cruise and have yet to try the spa on Carnival but would love to give it a try! Been tossing around the steakhouse idea for my birthday or doing a spa visit. Spa just feels a little selfish. Thanks for keeping me entertained!
Hello Laurie Rhodes,
Thanks so much. It is nice for me to see that my silliness is appreciated by some and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog. The spa does not have birthday specials but check our port day specials where prices are reduced on selected items and I think you certainly deserve some pampering. There is the special hot stones massage which everyone raves about so I hope that this is something you can do. If you get a chance, please join me on facebook.com/johnheald and let me know your cabin number the day before you sail so I can send you a little something to help celebrate. Have a brilliant cruise and go on….take some spa time….you deserve it. Best wishes.
Brian Morgan asks:
We just returned from an excellent cruise aboard the Carnival Valor… what an itinerary! Last year we sailed back-to-back on the Carnival Freedom. It was an excellent couple weeks except the big production shows were a repeat during week two (to be expected). We are trying to decide on a Caribbean itinerary for next year and hope you can help. The week we are considering, the Carnival Conquest is available but we have seen most of the ports she’ll visit. The same week, the Carnival Freedom sails to ports we’ve not yet experienced. Do you have any idea when the shows change for Carnival Freedom? We’ve obviously seen the shows twice and are hoping there is a schedule change prior to next summer. They were “Ticket to Ride,” “Jump, Jive & Wail” and “The Big Easy.” All were great but we’re hoping there will be something different next year. Thanks in advance.
Hello Brian Morgan,
I am so glad you had fun on the Carnival Valor and enjoyed such wonderful ports. Carnival Freedom is due for dry dock in April next year and while I have no details as to what will happen, I can say that there is a chance she will receive new shows. This is not definite but I see that there are plans to do so and I promise to confirm this as soon as I can. Thanks for thinking of booking again and I hope we see you soon. Best wishes.
And that’s all for today. The beards continue to work on the re-design of the blog but, as you can see, it’s not quite ready yet and so I didn’t want to be away from you all any longer. So there will be three blogs this week and then there will be a small break while the beards complete their work and while I take a break from the Carnival Legend.
There have been some changes made to the CD schedule for the rest of the year and here then is the revised schedule up to December 2013.
My thanks to Ryan, the metrosexual extraordinaire, for allowing me to share this with you and I will have the 2014 schedule for the first half of the year soon, including what I will be doing. My thanks also to the wonderful work my colleagues continue to do in their role as cruise directors and my thanks to the readers of this blog for supporting them.
As planned, I will be leaving from Dover on August 8 to spend 12 days with Heidi and Kye before I return to the Carnival Legend on August 20. During those 12 days away I am pleased to say that my chair will be taken by Brent Loyer who covered here for me in June when I had to go to the Carnival Triumph.
It’s not an easy voyage to be a CD on the Baltic. There are the complications of St. Petersburg and other ports which he will be expected to give full information on. I can tell you the highlights of some other ports in the same time it takes to fry an egg……..but these ports are a whole other story.
But I have no doubts Brent will do a brilliant job as he always does.
OK, time for me to go to the crew deck on deck 4 forward because we have a punch bag or boxing bag for the crew to use and I am going to give it some action now. I used to do Tae Kwon Do when I was in my teens and actually did quite well at it and I used to spar with my mate Danny, who was a semi-pro boxer. Obviously, these days I can’t kick like I use to and I am about as agile as a dead hamster. It has though been a long time since I felt the need to punch the bag but its best I do.
You see just before I came up to the cabin to write the last part of this blog, I was standing at the back of the show lounge chatting to guests at the end of the Jazz Hot show when this “guest” came up and without saying anything else rubbed my stomach vigorously and said, “When is your baby due?”
He then laughed and laughed and so did his wife and off they walked down the promenade. This is not the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last time for sure. And normally it never gets to me but today…….for some reason, it did. Maybe it’s my cold that still lingers on. Maybe it’s because I have been going flat out here since April with no real vacation. But regardless of the reason, this rubbing of the stomach really upset me. So, I think I may go and hit the bag for a while. Or order room service and simply eat my emotions.