May 16, 2016 -
Good morning from Livorno, the gateway to Florence, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Tuscany and Cinqwitera……..Cincerterra………Cinveteare…..Oh FFS, something in Italian that translates to The 5 Villages. It’s a sunny but still rather chilly with a high temperature of 60 degrees celsiheit.
I have a very, very busy day with two film crews following me around all day. They are from the UK and are from a travel channel and from a show called Hunk Station. This is a late night TV show on Sky TV and they will watch me make a Guy’s burger, mix a cocktail at the Alchemy Bar, pedal on the SKYRIDE and interview me about my life at sea and I will do all of that naked. I will let you know when it airs as I know you will not want to miss that.
OK, Ok, that’s bollocks of course. But I do have TV crews with me all day for our travel agent channel . Now at around 4pm local time which is 10:00am EST I will also try to do a live Facebook thing as well if indeed I can figure out what to do to make that happen as Peter the Hair and his group have all buggered off. More and more people are recognising me from Facebook and its more uncommon for people not to recognise me now it seems. This is wonderful and I am humbled and honoured every time they a guest says hello and every time they ask for a photo. However, there is a slight drawback as well, let me explain.
If you are Leonardo De Crapio or Tom Cruise or some moody famous person and someone disturbs your meal by saying, “I don’t mean to bother you,” you can tell them to sod off.
The most that will happen is that the person will never watch one of your movies again. Now, I can’t do that. If someone disturbs my meal with the usual, “Don’t mean to bother you,” then, despite the fact that there are times that I want to say, “Can you come back after I have finished shoving a huge fork full of food down my throat?,” I can’t. That’s because the guest will write to Christine Duffy and request I be tied down onto the deck, naked, and a box of hungry fire ants emptied over my dangly bits. Such was the case in Marsailles yesterday. I was on Lido, the ship was quiet with most guests ashore and so I went to to get some lunch from the brilliant Seafood Shack here on your Carnival Vista. Taking my bowl of clam chowder ( no potato) I found a quiet table, sat down and raised a spoon full of beautiful piping hot soup towards my gob, when there he was……..and there it was: “Sorry to bother you but can I have a photo?”
This is always nice to hear. It shows that despite not being a proper CD anymore and thanks top social media, people still enjoy me and want to preserve a photo memory of the chubby ugly Brit that made them laugh or helped them with a table reservation or sent them something to mark a special anniversary or just simply enjoyed my writing.
So I put my spoon down, stood up, shook his hand and after doing so, the guest asked another guest who was at another table to take the photo for him and handed him his eye phone. But the guest didn’t know which button to press and when the guest explained what to do, the other guest took the photo but he had in fact taken a photo of his own thumb which was covering the lens…….so we did it all over again.
Anyway, photo over, I had to ask if he liked our new flag ship. Now this is a question that can go either two ways. Yes, or no. Most of the time, it’s the former, thank goodness. And indeed, when I asked this chap he said yes, he did love the Carnival Vista . Phew. But then came that word that every one in any kind of customer service dreads…….. and it’s the word “but.” Now I like a good butt, especially Megan’s, however, drop one “t” and the hairs on my arse stand on end.
And sure enough, this chap had a “but” and so with the Seafood Shack soup calling my name, I asked him what was wrong. This “but” was different though and it was another example that, for whatever reason, people like to tell me things that are absolutely none of my business. Such was the case here. You see this chap had come on vacation with another family. Both families were from Colorado. The two husbands worked together and the kids were the same age. And while they enjoyed their company for a few hours at home and at parties, etc., coming on vacation with them had been, and I quote, “a big mistake, John.”
He began to tell me that they had been in Barcelona for two days before the cruise and how their friend’s kids had begun to get on their nerves, that the wife was a miserable woman who hated everything and never stopped complaining.
She had been rude to a waiter in the dining room last night to the point where he was concerned that the waiter might have actually had tears his eyes. He worked with the husband and they were friends but anytime they suggested something to do, the friend would say, “No, let’s do this instead” and he had also not bought his share of cocktails. He then told me that everyone else was ashore in Marseilles and that he had “pretended to have a headache “so he didn’t have to go with them.
What was funny was he said the last bit in a whisper in case his friend might be hiding under the table. And all the time, I just kept thinking, “Why, why are you telling me this?” Did he expect me to talk to them, to disembark them, to have them whacked? So that was my lunch. I listened to how one family was vacationing with the “family from hell” and how next time they cruise, they would do so on their own.
Twenty minutes later, he left having confessed his soul to me and with a photo of me, his therapist on his eye phone. Meanwhile, my Clam Chowder sat cold and congealed and as appetising as eating one of Judge Judy’s thighs. I now had a meeting to go to about our first Norwegian cruise and so that was that and I buggered off.
I am doing well on my diet yet I know I am still way overweight, yet there is an upside to this. I am now going to eat every single meal I have on the Carnival Vista on Lido Deck. That’s because I know I will always get, the “Sorry to bother you” and while I shall have to listen to guests’ positive and sometimes negative comments and while I shall have to stand waiting for people to figure out how to turn their cameras on, I shall do so losing weight.
OK, time to get back on camera and now we are off to the Liquid Lounge to film the cast in rehearsals for the new magical and mysterious show we call FLICK which will debut this week here this cruise. The cast will of course have their rehearsal gear on an and that means their arses will be festooned with words like “Love Pink” on their designer track jogging bottoms? Since when was it OK to advertise things on your arse anyway?
And this “Love Pink ” they are all wearing …….I don’t get it……none of it is on anything pink …… it’s on black or white clothes or any colour in the world…….but not on bloody pink. Isn’t that like serving you a Guy’s Burger with “I Heart Cows” written on the plate
Cheers, have a brilliant day and wish you were here