I was talking with a fellow cruise director a few days ago and as we chatted on the satellite phone — me in Dover, UK, and my colleague just waking up in the western Caribbean — he told me about the difficulties he had recently gone through, thanks to Tropical Storm Chantal. It wasn’t the storm that had caused him difficulties — no, it was a couple of guests who went beyond the usual disappointment that every guest feels when a change of itinerary occurs and became abusive and angry. This is, as the great Welsh, hip-gyrating Tom Jones says, “not unusual.” Not only on Carnival but on every other cruise line in the world………maybe with the exception of P&O because Brits never complain about anything in public. But seriously, on every ship that is affected by Mother Nature, there are people who do not and will not understand that the cruise lines make these changes to avoid ……..ummmmm………….how do I put it ………. ummmmm……ummmmm……oh, yes, I know…………..DEATH! (more…)
Want to see how a creamy pastry got me in trouble? Then read on.
From: LEGEND GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2013 2:44 PM
To: LEGEND CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: LEGEND GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR; LEGEND GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; LEGEND GUEST SERVICES
Subject: **** – comments made by CD
Mr. _______ asked that you contact him, John. He was at your travel talk this morning, John, and was unhappy to hear a joke you made about the Mafia in Italy. Guest is of American/Italian family and would like you to speak with him. Thank you and kind regards.
Guest Services Associate, Carnival Legend
Carnival Cruise Lines (more…)
So far, touch wood, things are going well here on Carnival Breeze. Today we are in Malaga, Spain and the weather is a bit cloudy and there have been a passing shower or two but overall the cruise is going well. However, as I have said before here on the blog, trans-Atlantic cruises tend to include a few guests who by tradition will be a bit grumpy and who will find things wrong because for them, finding things that are wrong is their favourite activity on board. It is important to note that they are the minority and 98 percent of the guests will have a brilliant time. I should add the price of a 16-day cruise is brilliant value for money, with wonderful food, entertainment and activities all included in the price. Anyway, let me give you an example of what I mean about being grumpy, have a read of this.
So here I am back in the cruise director chair again which up until this morning was brilliantly occupied by Butch Begovitch who will return to be the permanent CD here after the crossing. He has left the ship in good order and really has left me with no major headaches…… except one. You see we have a new staff member who is going to require some “counseling,” as tofu eaters would call it.
July 25, 2012 -
John Heald -
So during the show last night, I took some people from the audience for some pre-show fun before the Divas revue. It included a young couple who, when I asked for their names and where they were from, they replied they were from Denver, Colorado. I then shocked myself by instead of saying, “Are you having fun?” or “What’s your favourite port so far?” or “Bugger me your wife is gorgeous, are they real?” I went straight into the, “I am so sorry, how dreadful, it’s awful, I hope they cut his bollocks off and shove 50,000 volts through his arse.”
July 11, 2012 -
John Heald -
So, Wimbledon is over for another year and no, we have three weeks of rest before London hosts the Olympic Games where our opening ceremony will consist of a double decker bus, David Beckham in a pair of Speedos and that other British institution Simon Cowell introducing some Bollywood dancers. Yep, compared to the opening ceremony China gave us four years ago, this will look like it has been produced by the London Retired Ladies Knitting Association. (more…)
On Friday, I will fly home for two nights to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. I made a promise to her after missing her first and second birthdays that I would not miss another and thanks to the beards, I will head home on Friday and providing Ryan Air doesn’t fly me into a mountain or poison me with their in-flight sandwiches, I will return Sunday morning to the ship.
There are many ways in which you can tell you are getting old. The forest of hair in your nose and ears for example or those weird noises I make now as I get out of a chair or off a sofa ………. aggghoooo. However, these past few days I have experienced two situations that make me think that 47 is the new 73. Firstly, while at home last week a friend called me at 9:30pm and asked: “I didn’t wake you, did I?” Bloody hell! Is that what people think of me? Do they believe that I have just had a cup of cocoa and am in bed asleep, dreaming of a nice retirement home in the country at 9:30 at night? I felt like telling this friend who called that actually I was in the middle of “a little action,” but he would rather than think I meant some rumpy pumpy that a “little action” referred to a good bowel movement.
I remember when the mail used to be fun. Not email, not the offer of a larger thingy which, by the way, I decided to apply for and for my $45 I received a magnifying glass…..no, I mean real mail, the stuff the mailman brings. You know, back before e-mail, when I would receive a birthday card and check. Or even better, a birthday card with a check. There was nothing better than opening that white square envelope knowing that inside there would be money. It was such a letdown when it was just a card except when it was from my Uncle Norman who I knew was a cheap bastard and that the card would be as empty as Frenchman’s soap dish. Mail used to be exciting because every day was a new opportunity. You never knew what you were going to get. A handwritten letter, an invitation – maybe there would be a postcard from a friend on a Carnival cruise. Now, the only postcards that arrive have ads on them. Do I want a pizza? New decking? I have been used to getting emails for a larger gentleman’s sausage via email but yesterday I actually got a got a card in the mail offering me a bigger one and the handwriting on it looked very much like Heidi’s.
As you may know, I was in Miami two weeks ago sorting Carnival Breeze stuff out with the beards and while there I decided I wanted to go for a really good meal to say thanks to my assistant Calvyn for all his hard work. We had eaten for most of the week at restaurants that pretty much all look the same, smell the same and whose food all tastes the same. So taking a break from Tony Chili’s and Ruby Roma’s, we headed to Miami Beach for a proper dinner at a very upscale restaurant. It is considered the most popular place in town and the place to be seen and the place for the rich and the tanned. I knew it may not be easy to get into but considering Calvyn and I were heading there at 6 pm and most of the Miami “faces” don’t even get out of bed before 8 pm as it would be very uncool to be seen eating dinner before 10 pm.