The title of a blog I wrote last week was “Smoking…..the last word.” Obviously, that title meant nothing because here I am, sitting in my underpants, talking to you about it again. I realise that along with politics, religion, reasons to dislike the French, and if I would look good covered in whipped cream and chocolate, that smoking is a subject that stirs the soul and divides opinions. But I have an inbox with over 200 comments alone on the subject of smoking. I will as you will see in today’s Q and A, be accused of “covering up the issue” and “sweeping it under the carpet” which, of course, is not true because, embarrassingly, I have not swept anything anywhere well….. ever. I also realise that I am in a no-win situation if I continue to discuss this here or on my Facebook page but after the new rules were announced and then another line (the one with graffiti over their bows) announced the same, I am afraid I have bugger all choice. But before I do, let’s go back in time. (more…)

‘SHIP LIFE’

July 22, 2014 -

John Heald -

62 Comments

My regular cabin steward and friend, Ketut, is currently on vacation but in reality he is in rehab for spending the last three months having to wash my underpants……….by hand. His replacement is Ariel from the Philippines. He really is a wonderful guy, full of life and always sings when he is cleaning my cabin. A few days ago, I noticed he wasn’t singing. I asked him why?  Life on a ship can be lonely, very lonely and sometimes the crew tends to keep their troubles to themselves or is too busy in their work to find time to talk about what’s on their mind. They are encouraged to always to talk to someone whether it is their department head or someone from our human resources department but the fact is many do not………It’s hard to explain why….it’s just ship life. (more…)

Bar Fight!

July 18, 2014 -

John Heald -

56 Comments

On the last day of each cruise, I hold a Behind the Scenes Q&A. This where I give the audience the microphone and they can ask any question they want and, as senior cruise director and brand ambassador, I try and give the answers and have fun doing so. Each week I am guaranteed that four questions will always be asked and, 99% of the time, I am right. Those questions are: (more…)

Smoking — the last word.

July 15, 2014 -

John Heald -

115 Comments

So I have not had much time to talk about Alaska this week with all that’s been happening. It is, of course, all about the scenery and the things that live in it. I have mentioned many times on my blog since being on the Carnival Miracle how excited my good friend Michelle, our naturalist, gets when she sees, smells or talks about any of God’s creatures great and small. And certainly on an Alaskan cruise there is plenty of opportunity to see them in their natural habitat as the place is teeming with whales, porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles, bears, birds and more. (more…)

Song of America

July 8, 2014 -

John Heald -

199 Comments

It was an awful start to our day in Seattle for me and far more awful for the person that at 7 am this morning, just like it happens on land-side jobs each and every day, I had to tell was no longer employed by Carnival Cruise Lines. This is really the part of my job that I absolutely detest.  Now, obviously, I cannot go into detail but I can tell you that this person has had plenty of chances, probably more than he deserved, and I was determined to change this person……but I failed. When you relieve a person from a job on land, they pack a box, call a cab and go home. On a ship, it’s very different. You have to pack, not a box, but one or two suitcases and you don’t hop in a cab….. you have to fly home… sometimes and in this case……a flight which will last this person many hours. That’s a sodding long time to reflect on what’s transpired. (more…)

The People I Met Last Cruise

July 1, 2014 -

John Heald -

67 Comments

This past week I have been talking about Mrs. Robinson and her daughter on Facebook and had forgotten to tell you about some other people who were with us this past cruise. Yep, they were at my travel talk, they were in the dining room and apparently according to the shore excursion manager, they were on the Best of Juneau tour. Who am I talking about? The answer is Star Trek officers dressed in full original costumes, gold, blue and “you’re completely ***** red.”  Yes, indeed, last cruise we had four diehard Trekkies on the ship and if you’re reading this I salute you with that Spock thingy salute. I really hope you had fun. They reminded me of a charter cruise I will never forget. No, not that charter where I hid in my cabin for seven days while herds of guests stalked the corridors all wearing “I have lost 50 pounds — ask me how” badges trying to find my fat arse and shove a selection of teas up it. (more…)

IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW….AGAIN

June 27, 2014 -

John Heald -

49 Comments

This past week, a gentleman posted on Facebook that, because the captain had decided that the winds were too strong for Carnival Liberty to safely dock in Roatan, it was……….drum roll please …………….”the cruise from hell.” Now while I have sympathy for anyone who misses a port, is it really the “cruise from hell?” ……..The worst vacation of their lives? Has this family never had massive arguments because no one remembered to pack the toothbrushes? Have their children not gotten car sick and vomited all over the rental car? Have the kids never fallen over while riding their bikes and spent two weeks screaming as Mum picks gravel out of their knees? Did they all remember their passports? Are none of the children so embarrassed by their parents’ summer outfits as their Dad wears the briefest of Speedos on the beach? Is the air-conditioning working perfectly in every car they have rented and every hotel bedroom they have stayed in? Did nobody get lazy about the sun cream because it was a bit cloudy and then blister like purple bubble wrap? Has Dad never drunk a few too many and spent rather too long talking to the lady on Lido in the G string and with breasts the size of beach balls? Has a camera has been lost? Or an eyephone dropped in a hot tub or maybe Mum and Dad want some rumpy pumpy in the tiny hotel room just for once………you little bastards ………….. it isn’t too much to ask. Can’t you just go and play on your own for a bit like other children?  (more…)

So it’s Tuesday, June 24, 2014, and I am sitting here in my underpants while the ship is docked in Victoria, BC, writing to you. Those underpants are quite baggy now because, yesterday, I finally reached the mark I have been working so hard on for the last seven months. Yep, I lost two pounds………..OK, two pounds plus another 50 pounds.  Yep, I have, as of today’s weight check, lost 52 pounds! Yipeee! Only another 50 to go. Oh FFS. (more…)

John Heald…….Headhunter

June 17, 2014 -

John Heald -

34 Comments

Motivating my flaccid arse to go to the Carnival Miracle’s gym is hard enough even though my cabin is on deck 8 and the gym is right above me on Deck 9. Sometimes the wait for the elevator is so frustrating. As a fat chap, I can feel at ease with myself in most walks of life but in a gym there is no disguising it. There are mirrors everywhere that shout, “Hey, you fat bastard about time you spent some time here.”  And that’s what the guests who use the gym are saying — “Look at our chubby CD.” Proof positive of this was yesterday when, on one of the exercise bikes, a male guest dripping with sweat stood next to me rubbed my stomach in a circular motion and said, “You have to start somewhere.” I nodded and smiled and had thoughts about tying his dangly bits to a weight and dropping it off Deck 9 of the atrium. (more…)

Teachers, Breeze and Simon

June 13, 2014 -

John Heald -

55 Comments

So here we are, well into the school holidays with 481 guests under the age of 21. But it’s not the kids I want to talk about, it’s those that teach them because it’s their holiday time, too. As I sit here in my underpants writing to you, Carnival Miracle is sailing through the extraordinary beauty that is Tracy Arm Fjord and I can’t help but think about (more…)

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