You've Got Mail

March 31, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Day to you from the good ship Freedom.

It is 11:40pm local time and I just returned from the show. Before I start with my story of the day let me answer one or two questions that have been left on the blog thingy.

CSPICE – I have passed your words of kindness onto everyone here who knows you and they return theirs to you. I know what you mean about forgetting that you are not onboard a ship. Many times I have said good morning to people while walking down a street as if I was on the ship still.
MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – I know a lot of people feel the same way but I am happy to tell you that there are many more smoke free areas on our ships than ever before. The only lounges where smoking is allowed are the dance club, casino bar and piano bar with cigar smoking only allowed in the cigar bar itself. The Swingtime lounge where John and Diane play is also NON SMOKING you will be happy to hear. See you soon and please keep reading the blog.
Mary and Randy – Welcome to the Carnival family. I will see you in December and I promise you an unforgettable time onboard. Make sure you say hi.
Quentintodger – I am not sure what you mean by docking in an Asian Port. Carnival I am sure is looking at docking its vessels all over the world one day. Who would have ever thought we would be in Europe but here we are. I hope if we do that you are aboard.By the way, your online name Quentintodger is very strange. Are you on the witness protection program or are you inside a Secret Agent Society?

Today we were docked by 9:00am in Istanbul, Turkey. The alarm was set for 7:30am but for some reason I woke at 6:00am and couldn’t get back to sleep. It’s sad to say but routine has taken over my mornings when the first thing I do is check e-mails. We should kiss our loved ones, stretch, make coffee, exercise, walk the dog, etc., but because my cabin and office are adjoined what’s the first thing I do – check e-mail. E-mail has changed the way we communicate everywhere and not always for the better. I find myself emailing department heads who live next door to me on the ship . I am determined to stop this and start a brand new exciting concept in communication called “TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER.”

Anyway, I will return to the subject of e mail in a moment. Today was the worst weather we have had since we started cruising. It rained on and off all day. I went to the area of Istanbul where all the tours drop their guests off for shopping. I spoke to many passengers all of which were in good spirits. I want to say a big hello to some young people who read this blog everyday who are from Canada. I forgot your names but I do remember the name of your 10 month old daughter Chloe. She is our youngest guest onboard and is so beautiful. It was nice to talk to you both and I hope you continue to have a great cruise and hopefully make Chloe a baby brother!

The carpet industry is huge in Turkey and most of our tours feature a 20 minute carpet education where the art of making these amazing coverings are shown up close. The art of the weave has not changed in hundreds of years and is fascinating to see.

I was with Heidi and we decided to have a traditional Turkish Shish Kebab for lunch. She was very happy for me to eat this spicy delight then,but as I write this blog here happiness has changed to a look of disgust and a hunt for the air freshener.

So,here is a tip for guests sailing on the Freedom going to Istanbul. A highlight: sailing away from Istanbul past the illuminated Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia and hearing the call for prayers is a must not miss event. 

Back to e-mail. The positives of course out way the negatives and this definitely applies to the crew. Did you know that Carnival has a Crew Internet service onboard all of our ships. This enables our crew to stay in constant contact with their families, friends, girlfriends and wives (obviously being careful if they have both) and has become such a great way for them to stay in touch. Take my fantastic Cabin Steward Spongee who is from Thailand. He e-mails his brother who is a Trainee Commander in the Thai Navy every day as telephoning is never possible. Then there is me. Now I am about to embarrass my Mum and Dad but hey, it won’t be the first time. I ask my Mum and Dad to send me a photo of my Mum’s home cooking every day. It brings a smile to my face and makes me feel closer to home. So, here is today’s photo of my Dad eating Lamb Chops, Cauliflower Cheese, Chips (that’s French Fries to my American Bloggers),Grilled Tomatoes (That’s Tomatoes to my American Bloggers:)) and he is adding mint sauce! If anyone of the now 78,005 bloggers want to pop round for dinner you are most welcome.

Dad enjoying Mum’s cooking

To sum up then, e-mail is a pain, causes extra work, becomes the first thing we check in the mornings and if we have one of those blueberry things it can take over our lives completely. However, e-mail has allowed the crew aboard the good ship Freedom to say I Love You to people thousands of miles away, allowed Spongee to speak to his Trainee Commander Brother on a navy boat in Thailand and allowed me to show you that my Mum’s cooking is the best in the world !

Time for bed, I have to pop next door and talk to the Hotel Director about tomorrow’s special functions………….actually, can’t be bothered to get up, I’ll send him an email instead.

Goodnight bloggers

Your friend


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.