A night in Venice

March 5, 2007 -

John Heald

Met with my entertainment staff today to plan the cruise ahead. I have a wonderful staff of Stephanie, Gary, Lloyd, Mouna, Shawn and Adele. I must not forget my wife and Assistant Cruise Director Heidi – without her I am as useful as a hairbrush would be to Britney Spears.

After the meeting we began the embarkation process. It’s always good for me to walk around on embarkation day as many guests do not know me yet so I can blend in and see the guests boarding. This did not work very well as the first group of guests I saw came running over to hug me and shouting how wonderful it was to have me as a cruise Director again and they had planned their trip just to return to see me.

When something like this happens it really shows what an impact you can have on someone’s vacation. The fact that they have chosen their vacation based on what ship I am on is a humbling experience. I should point out that being hugged by a group of guests who have just endured a 13-hour trans-Atlantic flight is also a very “interesting ” experience!

Seriously though, I have guests return to see me every week and I am so very grateful to each and everyone of them, especially people like Robert and Suzann Schneider who have chosen their vacation around my schedule for the last 15 years. I have no words to express my gratitude to the Schneiders and many others like them.

Venice at NightThe first night of the cruise is an overnight call in Venice. As such, it was rather quiet evening with everyone out exploring the city so Roger, Heidi and I met up with our friends Harry and Nadia Salmon who were staying in town.

We had a wonderful meal in a Venetian restaurant called Gaterpados which is Italian for “How Much!” Nadia is an expert guide in Venice and she led us all on a relaxing walk through the canal side streets of the most romantic city in the world. Roger insisted on having a gelato (ice cream) even though he had just finished dinner so Nadia took us to a fantastic shop just a few minutes from St Marks Square where we feasted on a single scoop of ice cream except Roger who had something called a “Tuutcha ” which translates into a triple scoop of ice cream and comes with a free roll of toilet paper!

We said goodbye to Danny and Nadia who were returning to England. If anyone visits England’s famous Tower of London make sure you stop by a the local Hot Dog Stand located next to the main entrance. Its run by Harry and is called “Harry the Hotdog” and if you say you have read this blog you get a free hot dog…they are the best!

Anyway, back to the ship and preparation begins for my travel talk the next day in which I will provide information on all the ports of call. Rhodes, Athens and Katakolon in Greece, Izmir in Turkey and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

If anyone reading this blog has never been to Europe and in particular these ports, I urge you to please come and visit me. The history and spectacular sights await your discovery and it will be a huge honor to be your guide and cruise director. So, as I walk out on stage now to tell 3,000 people what incomparable places they are about to visit, I hope that one day YOU will be on the other side of the curtain.

Showtime…will write more soon

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.