November 3, 2015 -
Tonight, I shall head to the cinema — or the “pictures,” as we used to say back when I snuck into naughty films such as Kentucky Fried Movie. I am going to see the new Bond movie “Spectre” and this may be the last time I ever pay to see a movie from what used to be the greatest franchise of all time. The last two Bond movies have been, in my opinion, absolute rubbish. They were so far removed from the Bond movies that I grew up on that I am quite nervous about heading out to see this new one and will know in the first few minutes of the movie if it is going to be exciting, a true homage to the genre or as exciting as watching a yak called Dave hump a yak called Sally with Kenny G music playing in the background. Spectre will hopefully start 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 will leap from under the sheets, look at the long-legged beauty with no name and say, “My darling, you were amazing last night. But I am James Bond and I must go now because I have to blow up an oil rig before returning to have rumpy pumpy with your sister.”
Gadgets………..there has to be gadgets. In the last two movies, there were sod all gadgets ……… none. I want the pen that can blow up a tank ………I want the shoe that can make a 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 it whenever they wanted ………..in his Bond movies, Daniel Craig had it once…………once…………well, based on that, I guess I have a chance to play Bond.
But the one thing that got on my nerves more than anything…………….the one thing that, as a true Bond fan, made me want to scream out loud at the cinema and shove an entire box of caramel popcorn up the director’s arse…………..was that, throughout the movie, Bond was disheveled, look tired and was cut and bruised and bleeding. Oh, FFS. That is so wrong, wrong, wrong. Bond cannot be damaged. Even if he were to fall out of a plane with no parachute and into the spinning blades of a helicopter, he should emerge with nothing more than a slightly disarranged tie knot. But this is today’s PC Bond. Like me, he is now a dinosaur. Bond must be asexual, a touchy feely kale-eating broccoli-blending non-smoking secret agent. They say that this will be Daniel Craig’s last movie as Bond. I vote for Jason Stratham to play him next but the way of today’s world means he is more likely to be played by Taylor Swift.
Time for today’s Q and A…………….here we go.
Debbie Halley asks:
We just returned from a Princess Alaska cruise. On Princess, they have a program like Carnival’s Bottomless Bubbles. It includes soda, juice, smoothies (non-alcoholic) and milkshakes. It costs $8.05 a day including grats. Is there anyway Carnival might look into this? Both lines owned by same company, correct? This would be awesome.
Hello Debbie Halley
I hope you had a wonderful time on Princess. They are a superb cruise line. I actually wrote about the possibilities of having such a program on my facebook.com/johnheald page and 3,000-plus people wrote that they would like to see this too. So, I have spoken to our VP of beverage operations about this and he and the beards will be giving it serious consideration. I will keep you informed and I hope we see you sail with us soon. Best wishes.
Randalyn Fox asks:
Re: room safe opening. Just got back from a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Freedom. We have always used our Sail & Sign for the safe. It says not to. The purpose of the safe is to lock away our credit card and driver’s license. We used the Sail & Sign anyway, however, especially with two unrelated people, only one has access to the safe. I feel this is a problem and we were better off with a combination safe.
Hello Randalyn Fox
I know that when it comes to the older style safes, people do have to be a little creative with which card they use to open it. You will be pleased to know that the majority of our fleet have the newer number combination safes and they are certainly more practical. Thanks for taking the time to write and I am here if you have any other questions. Best wishes.
Trevor Reynolds asks:
URGENT!!! We are getting on the Liberty this week. We are big football fans and will be in the sports bar all day watching pre game and then the live games. I read on another cruise web page about a couple on the Miracle who asked the bartender if room service would provide service at the bar and they were told no. Why???????????? My partner and me won’t be eating on the Lido so how do we get lunch??? We will tip the usual $2 or more so why the hell cann this be done????? I will not be happy if the answer remains no. THIS IS A DEAL BREAKER! HEALD!!
Hello Trevor Reynolds
I did check with the ships just so I had my information correct and indeed we are only able to deliver room service to the cabins and not public lounges and bars. I hope one of you can pop up to Lido and grabs something and bring it back to the sports bar so you can enjoy the game and continuing grazing. Please let me know if I can help further. Best wishes
Hi John: I love reading your funny Facebook posts and questions but often wonder if anyone actually reads the replies. With thousands of replies are they actually being tallied and used? I’ve stopped replying most times because it seems a waste of my time as I doubt my opinion makes a difference….unless you do in fact have someone reading each one.
Thanks so much for the kind words and I am so glad you enjoy my writing. The answers are read very carefully and more and more the senior beards here make decisions and changes on what answers are given to the questions you ask. So, yes, your opinion is so important. I hope then that you keep posting and if there is ever anything I can do for you, please do ask me. Best wishes.
Mandi asks: Is there a Fun Times app? We lose so many copies, seems like it would be simple to develop.
We do indeed have an App called Fun Hub and it is live now on the Carnival Breeze and soon to be on other ships. It does, among many other great things, allow you to download the Fun Times to your phone or tablet. Please do ask me if you have any questions either here or on my facebook.com/johnheald page. Best wishes.
Sandra Duran asks: I loved the luggage express program that was available for my Alaska cruise from Seattle last year and was disappointed to see that it was not available in New York. Why the limited availability? It was the best $20 I ever spent.
Hello Sandra Duran
Luggage Express is indeed a wonderful addition but, unfortunately, the airports/airlines in the New York area will not allow us to offer this. I hope we see you cruise again soon and I am here if you have any other questions. Best wishes.
Colin Redwood asks:
John, we are back from our Journeys cruise with you. Wow, John, how can I ever repay you for what you did for my grandfather and grandmother, Bruce and Catherine, on their 60 years of marriage? Special thanks to Igor, our waiter, and our cabin steward, Wayan, both of whom were top notch. The gifts you sent and the special letter from the captain was something they will always treasure. Thank you, John, you are one of a kind and now I have seen myself why everyone says you are the funniest person Carnival has because your shows had me in tears. Thank you, John, the Redwood family will never forget you.
Hello Colin Redwood
Thank you sincerely for the very kind words and I am so glad you all had the best of times. I will pass on your kind words to the ships and Igor and Wayan will both be thrilled. I hope we see you all again soon and send my very best wishes for many more happy and healthy years to your grandparents. Best wishes.
Linda Gaskins asks: My family and I are going on our third Carnival cruise, April 9, 2016, on an eight-day Southern Cruise from Miami on the Carnival Breeze to Aruba, La Romana, Grand Turk, and Curacao. Can you tell me who the cruise director for activities will be? We had a fabulous cruise director on our last cruise. Thank you. Linda Gaskins
Hello Linda Gaskins
Thanks for writing and for cruising with us again. We are close to finalising the cruise director schedule for 2016 and, once I have it, I will post it here for you. Thanks and if you have any other questions, please do ask me. Best wishes.
And that’s all for today, there will be more soon and each day on my Facebook.com/johnheald page which, thanks to your great support, now has 103,000 likes and over a million post clicks per week.
Right, it is very gratifying to see that as we continue to put new shows, features and choices of evening fun and entertainment to enjoy on board that the old staple of piano bar entertainment remains as popular as ever. And with that in mind, here is the latest piano bar schedule for you highlighting who will be providing those sing-a-longs and nightly fun around the piano.
10/18/2015 – 12/19/2015 – Gregg Akkerman
10/4/2015 -10/31/2015 -Jonathan Thompson
10/31/2015- 12/6/2015 -William Brawner
12/6/2015- 2/6/2016 – Kenneth Giordano
10/25/2015- 2/7/2016 -Matias Nahuel Sanchez
10/19/2015 – 12/14/2015 – Brandon McLean
12/14/2015 -1/22/2016 – Leon Novembre Jr
10/8/2015 12/ – 3/2015 – Zdrazko Spassov
12/3/2015- 2/1/2016 – Milburn Dumas
10/11/2015 – 12/5/2015 – Kenneth Giordano
12/5/2015 – 2/6/2016 – Reynold Senn
9/17/2015 – 11/12/2015 – Tom Grable
11/12/2015 – 1/7/2016 – Christopher Porcelli
7/11/2015 – 11/16/2015 – Anthony Ward
11/16/2015 -1/9/2016 – Roger Concepcion
1/9/2016- 3/5/2016 – Patrick Duffy
10/3/2015 -11/28/2015 – Elizabeth Setzer
11/28/2015- 1/23/2016 – Scott Casey
9/3/2015 -11/19/2015 -Timothy Lyles
11/19/2015 -1/10/2016 – Mark Skowronek
1/10/2016 – 3/6/2016 – Michael O’Quinn
9/28/2015 – 12/14/2015 – Hailey Morgan Wiebe
12/14/2015 – 1/18/2016 – Daniel Christopher Schnatter
9/15/2015 – 12/1/2015 – Daniel David
12/1/2015 -12/20/2015- Christine Hetfield
12/20/2015 -1/18/2016- Barry Henricus Meijer
1/18/2016 – 2/17/2016 – Timothy Lyles
8/30/2015 1-1/15/2015- Natalie Carboni
11/15/2015 – 1/10/2016 – Jorge Ramirez
1/10/2016 -3/6/2016 – Hailey Morgan Wiebe
8/16/2015 – 11/1/2015 – Greg Alcock
11/1/2015 – 12/13/2015 – Michael O’Quinn
12/13/2015 – 2/21/2016 – Greg Alcock
10/17/2015 -12/13/2015 – Benjamin Tyler Gentry
12/13/2015 – 2/13/2016 – Mark Johnson
9/28/2015 – 1/14/2016 – Robert Berhalter
1/14/2016 -3/10/2016 – Gustavo Garcia
10/23/2015 – 12/6/2015 – Todd Fugate
10/8/2015 – 12/3/2015 – Gustavo Garcia
12/3/2015 – 2/4/2016 – Martin Aucoin
10/14/2015- 12/9/2015 – Craig Quiter
9/6/2015 – 11/22/2015 – Christine Hetfield
11/22/2015 – 1/17/2016 – David Currier
1/17/2016 – 3/6/2016 – Jorge Ramirez
10/10/2015 – 1/24/2016 – Agustin Villarin
1/24/2016 – 3/26/2016 – Christine Hetfield
9/26/2015 – 12/10/2015 – Barry Henricus Meijer
2/6/2016 – 3/21/2016 – Martin Lucas Vince
9/19/2015 – 11/14/2015 – Mark Johnson
11/14/2015 – 1/9/2016 – Robert Crucilla
8/22/2015 -11/5/2015 – David Lovett
11/5/2015 -12/7/2015 – Stephen Dooks
12/7/2015 -2/11/2016 – Peter James Thompson
2/11/2016- 3/6/2016 – Lacey Troutman
There you go and my thanks to all of these brilliant entertainers who provide so many great nights for so many of you. Please let me know who you will enjoy and who you feel deserves special recognition or if you have any comments about the entertainment we provide there.
There was a fascinating question on my Facebook page the other day based on a post from a guest who had been very upset that one of the piano bar entertainers had sung a song called “Why Don’t We Get Drunk And Screw” stating it was offensive and should have been performed only after midnight and we should have given the piano bar an “adults only” rating as we do for the Punchliner comedy shows. I asked the readers of my facebook.com/johnheald page if they agreed and, out of the 3,500 answers, most said they did not find the song offensive and that the piano bar should remain an adults only bar giving the entertainer the freedom to sing what they want when they want.
Now while I do not agree at all that we should ban children all the time from the piano bar — how can a proud family cruise line do that? However, we once, some years ago, flirted with the idea of making the piano bar adults only after 10pm and having a note in the Fun Times saying that the piano bar, I believe, should be a place where families could be together but I do think after 10pm we need to give serious thought to really emphasising that the entertainment and, let’s face it, the behavior of some of the guests who sit around the piano can become ……… ummmm ………. adult.
What about the piano bar entertainers? I wonder what they want and maybe Laura who runs the piano bar entertainers Facebook page can ask them indeed what they want? I guess “bedtime” for today’s youth has changed somewhat since I was their age when I was in bed by 8pm, ready for a full day down the mines or cleaning chimneys at 5 am ………we were so poor we lived in a shoe box in the middle of road …… sorry……..I went into Monty Python mode there. Seriously, though, whenever I visit any of our bars or walk around the ship after 10pm, I can’t help but ask myself was it right for children as young as 10 to be up that late. I am not saying it isn’t, I am just asking you, I guess.
But things have changed since I was a lad. Of course, I grew up and celebrated my teens in the eighties. Being a teen was different then. In the UK, we were obsessed with bleached denim, jazz-funk and Top Gun. Everyone was into cuddly aliens like ET and we all wanted to move to Miami where, according to what we watched on TV, we would have been shot in the face in a matter of minutes by Crockett and Tubbs. We didn’t pierce our faces with a staple gun nor did we ever have the chance to go on a cruise and enjoy what the kids of today get to experience … the lucky bastards. So anyway, let’s see what the beards decide about the piano bars when I talk to them about this in the days ahead and, of course, I will keep you informed.
Now, I am not sure if I have written about this before, so excuse me if it was in one of my earliest blogs. However, back on the Carnival Glory in 2005, I was walking through the main lounge before a show. As I walked toward the stage, I was quickly surrounded by a group of approximately 10 kids aged 14 – 17. I wasn’t even remotely bothered when the swarm of children first approached. I figured they were just being friendly and wanting to say hi to the cruise director. But, no. What they wanted to know most of all was if I had prizes for them …”Give us solid gold ships on a stick,” they said, while pulling on my suit jacket. I asked them politely to leave me alone because I had to start the show. I walked away. I even walked away a bit more. But they kept coming……….then one lad started to pull on my tie, causing the others in his “gang” to laugh. Seeing that the others were enjoying this entertainment, he continued by poking me in the stomach, calling me “fat man.” And so, figuring that these kids were simply up to no good, I really laid into them explaining firmly and decisively right in their faces (and with more than a little finger wagging, I have to admit) that it’d be best if they went back to Camp Carnival to play with the other children.
I realized I was in a tricky spot ……….that’s because I have reached the age where I am no longer able to tell how old a child is. The boy could have been 17. Or he could have been seven. And if he did turn out to be seven, I figured I could be in a spot as there were 100 plus guests already seated for the show that would start in 30 minutes time…
So, weirdly, I was standing there, tearing into this kid and, instead of worrying about being the names he was calling me, I was actually thinking: “Bloody hell, I’m going to get in trouble here if I am not careful.” So, I very politely I told them to leave and after a few more bits of name calling and bad language ……..they did. Immediately, I was surrounded by guests telling me they had witnessed the whole incident and they would all be “on my side.” Now, I should have called security but they had all left and I had no idea of their names and, besides………I had also been in the wrong for stopping the one kid pulling my tie and poking me viciously in the stomach by ripping them a new one (and then some). I never saw the kids again and I regret losing my cool but, for some reason, this hooligan had put me over the edge. But I guess I should have been used to it and, as adults, nothing seems to surprise us any more when it comes to some of today’s teens — be it tattoos, bad behavior or sticking safety pins through their noses………. nothing shocks us anymore.
I will tell you one thing. Kye won’t be smoking, drinking or be allowed out of the house until she is 53 years old and, if anyone knows where I can buy a chastity belt, please let me know.