Mr. Bo Jangles

April 29, 2007 -

John Heald

Hello Everyone – are you still there?

Sorry again that the weekend has come and gone with no postings but I will make up for it with some extra ones this next few days.

What a stunning day in Livorno we were blessed with today. The temperature was 74 degrees and there was hardly a cloud in the sky, so today were we really “Under The Tuscan Sun.”

Heidi and I continued to prepare for the first Grand Med cruise by meeting with all the department heads and discussing schedules and various things to make sure it all goes smoothly. This resulted in there being no time to disembark the ship today. In fact, I have not been ashore since Naples so hopefully in Shivi ta veck ear  (spelt phonetically) Heidi and I may have a brief moment to go for lunch or dinner.

One of the biggest things we have to organize is the tender service in Cannes, France. Tendering anywhere is always a challenge and especially in a port like Cannes where everyone is ready to leave the ship at the same time. The Carnival Freedom arrives at 9 am and it takes us about two hours and 30 minutes to get everyone ashore. This involves a lot of planning from my side and a touch of patience from the guests, which most have but a very small percentage do not!!

Talking of Cannes, here is a photo of the beach in front of the world famous Martinez Hotel with the ship on the horizon (Heidi took this one, if it was my photo I would have concentrated more on the people on the beach some of which have, for some strange reason, forgotten to put their bikinis on ).

Picture of Cannes, France (by Heidi:))

Can I also just quickly show you a personal photo of my Dad’s office at home? He is a big collector of photos from the various ships that I have started from new as well as steam locomotives and he has a special collection of decks of cards. I have no reason to post this blog except to show you how proud my Dad is of his collection and I guess having your own blog thingy has its privileges. Actually, if you zoom in on one of the photos you can see why the photo of the Carnival Destiny sailing out of New York in 1996 has a special place in the collection and in my heart.

Dad’s Office

I had better get on with the Q and A which because the site has not been…ummmmmmmmm……….re shoed ( or is it booted ) or something may be shorter than usual because some of the posted comments are not stuck on the thing yet……….I am truly out of my depth here with this computer talk.

OK, here we go

GARY’S MUM – hello Mum. Gary (one of our entertainment hosts ) is doing very well and you should really be very proud of him. He is definitely in the right business and if he puts his total dedication into the job he could be a cruise director very soon. I know he loves his Mum very much and I was very upset that he had no called home for some time. This will never happen again and both Heidi and I have reminded him how important this is. He is very happy and is really looking forward to seeing his loved one very soon. I know they have been apart for sometime, but tomorrow in Rome he and Fred will be together again 🙂
RICH – Great idea about introducing the engineering team. I will be doing this within the next few days and posting some photos as well. You asked why a ship is called a SHE, here is why.
A ship is called ‘she’ because there is always a great deal of ‘bustle’ around her.; There is usually a gang of men about; She has a ‘waist’ and ‘stays’; It takes a lot of paint to keep her looking good; It is not the initial expense that ‘breaks’ you, it is the ‘upkeep’; She can be all ‘decked’ out; It takes an experienced man to handle ‘her’ correctly; And without a man at the helm, she is absolutely uncontrollable; She shows her ‘topsides’; Hides her ‘bottom’; And, when coming into port, ALWAYS HEADS FOR THE ‘BUOYS’.
That is why a ship is called “SHE”……………………………….Heidi has just read this and is not happy !
You asked how much she cost – $500 million…..and she is stunning!  From a distance she looks like Angelina Jolie.
She has beautiful and clean white skin………………Just like Angelina
She has a well shaped bow………………….just like Angelina
Heads turn when ever she enters a port…………..just like Angelina
She has a huge pair of thrusters………………just ..OK, Heidi says I have to stop now.
JAMIE IN TEXAS – The Cigar with John will be a nightly activity I promise and I will even bring the cigars. Hope that was the push you needed to book the cruise. See you soon…….I hope.
BIG ED – I am not sure which of my blogs will be up first after the weekend so let me make sure that I will not let you down and I will be the CD on the 26th when you cruise. I am so very sorry I could not make the bloggers cruise that week but circumstances took over. Regardless, I have a booth reserved for us on both cruises and we will have a BIG time together. As for the concerns, you have about getting a reply to logging on to the BLOGGERS CRUISE I have been advised that you check your JUNK E-MAIL  BOX………..I guess I have been thrown in your trash. Please take me out…..it smells. Love to Mrs. BIG ED.
FRED AND CHRIS – It will not be long before August is here and you are both exploring Europe with us. Please send a reminder to me a few days before you sail and I will pull those strings as best I can. Thank you for reading the blog thing from the beginning and maybe together we might even win an award.
PATRICK TYE – Can you post your mailing address in Kuwait and I will pop a CD in the post to you. How are things over there, I would love to visit one day. Please keep reading the blog and write soon.
SUSAN JORDAN – So your boyfriend has booked you a balcony cabin and three extra days in Rome. He sounds like a real stud muffin and all that’s missing Is a ring on your finger. What a shame you will not be sailing to any romantic cities, somewhere with lots of little boats that sail under gorgeous bridges and through enchanting canals while the man navigating the boat by pushing a big stick up and down sings Italian love arias to you both, giving your boyfriend a chance to kneel next to you and say ” Susan, I Love You Now and for Ever, Will You Marry Me.” What a shame …………..oh……….wait a minute……………we do go to such a place…………………….VENICE………………………..no pressure then! Looking forward to seeing you.
GARY – There are many restaurants in Rome which are simply awesome. Bars and cafés spill out into the streets as Al Fresco eating remains very popular. Most Romans do not eat dinner before 8 pm with most eating around 9 – 9:30 pm.
I am always cautious about recommending places to eat because it comes down to personal choice, however you cannot go wrong on the VIA VENETO. These pavement and indoor restaurants are the best and Heidi and I ate at the one outside the Hotel Excelsior which was amazing. The entrees consist of traditional Italian treats. Heidi said the lasagna verde was historic, and I had the tagliatelle alla Bolognese. Finish off with a delicious Italian dessert such as dolce della mamma, a gelato favorite topped with zabaglione and chocolate sauce.mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm –
 I just had an espresso 🙁
Anyway, let me know where you end up and we can post any recommendations on the blog thingy.
So endeth the Q & A

Last night I introduced a special man on to the small stage in our Habana Bar. I had been talking to him since the start of the cruise and he became one of the characters of the week. This wonderful man was an old Vaudevillian performer who had danced in movies and shows all over the world. He proudly told me he had four lines in the movie HOLIDAY INN with Fred Astaire and also featured as a featured tap dancer in the movie The Band Wagon.
Hearing this, I asked him if he would like to dance for us and he said he would love to with the Gavin Ahearn Jazz Trio.
So, last night he danced for us to MR BO JANGLES, his feet glided across the floor and as the audience applauded and cheered a smile as big as the ship itself spread across his face. Just for a minute, I think he was back on the film set dancing with Mr. Astaire himself.  I should have brought a camera but I quickly grabbed a cell phone and used it to take this photo which does not do him justice………………..but anyway, here is the one and only Sidney Neller (age 94) treading the boards one more time.

The one and only Sidney Neller


 
See you all soon and again sorry for the delay in posting………………hope you are all still readingYour friends

John and Heidi

I Must Learn to Speak Italian

April 28, 2007 -

John Heald

Hello everyone. Sorry the blog is so late, my fault and it won’t happen again………it was just one of those days.

So, how are you ?

I hope you are better than me because I am firmly in the living quarters usually reserved for canines (the dog house).

It is Heidi’s birthday today and I bought her a beautiful card from a little shop in Naples. It had a photo of a big cake and a lots of balloons and a fireworks in the background. I bought it quickly as I had only a few minutes to be ashore. This morning all was well when I gave Heidi here card and gift (Chanel perfume and diamond earrings ). Then, she sat down and re-read her cards as women often do and discovered some words inside that she wanted translated. She asked Luigi our Staff Captain and discovered that the poem inside the card contained the words “Felice Divorzio”……….which means……………Happy Divorce.

I sit here now with a piece of Heidi’s shoe extruding from a certain part of my lower body and feeling pretty stupid.  At least if I ever make a mistake like this again and I am in Italy, I will know which card to buy .

Excitement is in the air as I know many of you have been logging on to the BLOGGERS CRUISE link thingy. It was a really hard choice as to what week to do this and there were many factors that we had to consider. However, it seems we made the right one as many people seem to be wanting to cruise and I have been, still am and always will be humbled by the response this blog and subsequent cruise has created. I spent all last night thinking of so many different activities and events that I want to host and as soon as I get them approved I will let you know what they are.

I never want this blog to be a sales tool but I am going to be a bit selfish and say, PLEASE BOOK QUICKLY..IT IS GOING TO BE A VERY MEMORABLE WEEK.

I also see that someone has nominated me and the gang for some blogging awards. If I win, I will take a photo of me wearing just a gold thong with a rose between my teeth holding a sign that says.. “I Don’t Love You Any More Angelina” …………promise! 

Time for the Q & A

DAVID – You did indeed suggest the Pod Cast and it was your suggestion that set the ball rolling. Is there anything you would like to hear on the first one? I was thinking one of the Morning Shows or indeed an audio version of the Q&A. What do you think mate? Please let me know.
NNAETTEALIA – I do have a VCR and cannot wait to see this video. I think I might cry when I see how much bigger I am. See you in June. Heidi here, the chocolate strawberries will be waiting. I do look after him but today he is in trouble, did he tell you about my divorce card? Looking forward to seeing you soon. Heidi.

John here, YES I DID TELL THE BLOG PEOPLE and I am very sorry my little nest of vipers!
Enough of the domestic.

BIG ED – I would explain the joke to Heidi Ed but as I am not exactly in her good books I am sure the suggestion of her being blond and not getting your WIDE reference would only lead to more pain for my derriere. You are also correct that the original date for the cruise was 2007 which is of course is incorrect. More about that in a moment. My best to Mrs. Big Ed and your web site gets better and better. Talk to you again in a moment.
TERRI910 – I have no words to describe how I feel knowing that many thousands of people have clicked on a photo of me lying in bed. I have a feeling that BIG ED has it as his screen saver. Because of this, Heidi is not allowed near the blog without complete supervision as I do not want any more pornographic photos of me plastered throughout cyberspace. I will introduce the odd guest blogger but I will make sure that it remains my personal site and does not stray into the realms of a normal corporate blog. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
ANN MARIE – I am going to introduce as you suggested a guest star on this blog thingy now and then, included will be a waiter or a steward who you can ask whatever questions you like. With regard to tipping, what questions do you have as maybe I can help? Please keep reading and I will look forward to hearing from you soon.
HERE IS AN ANSWER TO A QUESTION ASKED TO BOB DICKINSON AND ANSWERED BY HIM
Still have our home on Beech Mountain. We love it there. We still own the lots on either side-but I’m not sure I recall Mark.
KATHY AND PAUL – Poor Doogie……………if he wants somewhere to stay while you are onboard he can come and stay with me, as I am already in a dog house. The weather is beautiful and temperatures are definitely meaning you should pack shorts and t shirts. See you very soon.
MELISSA – Glad Heidi took care of your wishes and I will buy her another dinner and maybe upgrade to large fries as well. I am glad you are enjoying the blog and maybe we will see each other on the blog cruise next year.
BARBARA – Have a great time on the Leg End and thank you for the birthday wishes for Heidi. I do have a busy schedule but I still love my job very much and, with Heidi by my side, I am good for a few more blogs yet. Let me know what you think of the Leg End and my best regards to Jim and the family.
KERSPLOTT – I wish Heidi had been on the crossing as well. I must be honest that the first crossing from Rome to Florida in 2006 was not my finest hour. I do not think I planned the activities and schedules very well and there was a lot of room for improvement. These improvements were made by the time we did the crossing again and I am now comfortable in saying that we offer a great selection of activities and entertainment. As for the BLOGGERS CRUISE you are correct when you say it will be selling quickly and if it is as popular as we hope it will be there will be another one very soon. Heidi sends her best and promises to be there with us for this Bloggers Cruise as I hope you and all the blog people thingies will be. Wishing you health and happiness.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – A little birdie told me you are one of the first to book the BLOGGERS CRUISE and as Executive P.I.S.S.E.R. you and bonnie Prince Charlie are both in for a man sized hug when I see y’all. Heidi and I will see you soon.
LINDA AND MIKE THE NAIL – I still am flabbergasted that Heidi posted that photo. It was taken when we were staying in a guest cabin before ours was ready when the ship was being built. I was watching a DVD of a movie or something when Heidi produced the camera. Of course at the time I had no idea I would be blogged to Australia and back a few months later.
I have been diabetic for nearly two years and I agree it is a complete bore. However, it was my own fault and I am determined to make the best of it and monitor my levels very carefully. My dad has been great in helping me and Mum always makes sure I take my pills when I talk to her on the phone and Heidi………well .she is just Heidi and her help is immeasurable. The BLOGGERS CRUISE IS ON JANUARY 19 an I hope I see you and the Handyman’s names on the list.
ANN MARIE – I cannot thank you enough for your nomination. As I mentioned above I am sure I will not win and if I do the special photo I mentioned will be posted on this blog thingy. Seriously, though, you are too kind and as I know I repeat a hundred times a blog I am overwhelmed that so many people take their valuable time to read and respond to my daily mutterings. As requested, the web site has been “BLINGED UP” and you can click on a thing to my right and it does something or other and takes you to another thing where you can click on a box thing to vote for me or something. Thanks Anne, I owe you.
HUGH JORDAN – Hugh, I will answer your question regarding what I do in my off time in a moment. Thanks for reading the blog thingy.
TERRI910 – Heidi and I will be happy to come to your Cruise Critic meeting. I suggest we meet at 1:30 pm in the 70’s Dance Club. If this is OK with you I will put a mention of this in the Carnival Capers. Let me know. As for the prize for the Bloggers Award, I heard it could be one of the following
1. A CHANCE TO ACT OUT “LAST TANGO IN PARIS ” WITH ANGELINA JOLIE
2. A BRAND NEW ASTON MARTIN DB9 VOLANTE
3. A CHANCE TO SHARE A BOOTH WITH BIG ED.
If it is number 1 or 2 please vote for me. If the prize is number 3 please vote for www.anothercruisedirectorsblogfromanothercruiselinewhocopieseverythingjohndoesandsmellsofoldfish.com
ANDREAS – Hello, hope this blog finds you well. Strange that you should ask about why cruises with our sister companies does not count to your Platinum Membership.This very question was asked today to Bob Dickinson in his last Q & A. The answer is quite simple that at the time of writing, our computer systems have not been able to talk to each other and therefore they are not able to connect your bookings together. However, this may change one day.  Until then, maybe your next cruise could be on the BLOGGERS CRUISE in January. Looking forward to welcoming you on board very soon.
LEE SAUER – Holland America has a proud heritage and I am proud to be associated with this company and its traditions. As part of THE WORLD’S LEADING CRUISE LINES they do offer as you suggest a wonderful style of cruising. How wonderful that at the age of 90, Mum is still able to travel and even more wonderful is the fact that you still travel with her. I have no idea who the cruise director is on the ship you are going on but please say hello from me to them……….we are all part of the same club. Have a great cruise and let me know how Mum enjoyed herself when you get home.
BIG ED – As promised here I am again and please let me apologize that I could not book the 26. Unfortunately that particular week I must be back in the UK for a family obligation and therefore I had to go with the 19. PLEASE TELL MRE BIG ED THAT I WILL PERSONALLY ASSURE HER THAT SHE WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH OCHO RIOS AND I WILL BE HER GUIDE. And BIG ED, you and I are destined to be on stage together! I am sorry if I let you down with the date but hopefully we can sort it out and you change to the BLOGGERS CRUISE. I remain, your mate always.
JO AND DAVE – I will, of course, be on the BLOGGERS CRUISE and will be involved with you morning, noon and night. I do not know if I can get you double points on the Platinum Club Card but I am working on lots of benefits! Please come and sail and it will be a cruise to remember.
EBBIE – the announcement was made and a gift sent to them from you. I hope they had a great time. When you sail, let’s chat and we will see what we can do to celebrate the “Big 5-0.” Looking forward to seeing you and your friend very soon.
SNOOPY – I know, I feel very bad but I will make sure I will sail with my mate BIG ED if not on the 19th on the 26th. There was a lot of reasons why, but the major thing is I will get to meet him and sit in the booth with my new best mate.
Best regards to Charlie Brown.

I have been very busy today preparing for our first Grand Med cruise. To get you and me in the mood for the coming blogs, here are a few photos to enjoy.

  1. BARCELONA – GAUDI SAGRADA FAMILIA
    BARCELONA - GAUDI SAGRADA FAMILIA
  2. TAORMINA,  SICILY
    TAORMINA, SICILY TAORMINA, SICILY
  3. MONACCO, MONTE CARLO
    MONACCO, MONTE CARLO

Hugh Jordan asked what we like to do in our down time ashore? Heidi and I tend to jut go home and spend time with the family and really just do normal things that you cannot do on a cruise ship. Even though the food is amazing onboard it is nice to choose what you will eat rather than knowing already what is on the menu. I also miss driving as much as anything else. I love just driving through the British countryside with the window open and occasionally treating myself to a cigar………naughty…..but nice.

On another subject, I just received a photo I wanted to share with. This photo was sent by a good friend Mr. Rodney Dofort who is in charge of the Carnival Corporation’s casinos. The photo shows me and Captain Marco Nogara presenting a lady with a large cheque (spelled correctly) representing the amount she won on the Megacash Slot Machine which has a linked jackpot between all our ships.

Here it is:

Me and Captain Marco Nogara presenting a lady with a large cheque (spelled correctly) representing the amount she won on the Megacash Slot Machine
 

That was one happy lady.

Our casinos onboard are so friendly and so many guests remark that unlike other land based casinos, they never feel intimidated due to the friendly and fun international dealers we employ.

Now, for a bit of news. On Monday I will be posting the new itinerary for the Carnival Splendor which will be “hot of the presses,” I promise you it is well worth tuning in because it is FANTASTIC!

I just returned from a little get together for Heidi’s birthday with a few of the staff. Bob Dickinson and his beautiful wife Jodi stopped by which was very gracious of them both and we had a wonderful evening. We had photos taken with many guests some of whom are bloggers. I cannot wait to get you all together in January.

Hopefully Heidi has forgotten the fact that I wished her a “happy divorce” this morning and I can remove myself from living with the hounds!

Life is strange……………..think about it………………….what is a girl’s best friend……………………….DIAMONDS……………while a Man’s best friend…………………. IS A DOG………..That sums it up right there.

Goodnight

Your friends

John and Heidi.

Hello From Katakolon, Greece

Just before I start someone had asked for photos of the crew so I thought you might like this one of all the crew taken while we were still in the Venice shipyard.

Inaugural Crew aboard the Carnival Freedom

The weather was fine today but the smell was not. No, you do not need glasses, I did say smell. There are natural gas reserves in this area of Greece and today those reserves were being…….well………less than reserved. The sea smelled like it had eaten 1 million eggs for breakfast and was giving our guests the resulting good news.

Apart from the slight aroma in the air, it was a beautiful day. It was also a landmark day as we were in port with another big cruise liner for the first time this season, Princess Cruises’ Emerald Princess. That meant 6,000 guests were ashore in Katakolon, which considering the town’s population is only 11,000, shows you how the town’s restaurant and shop owners were jumping up and down for joy and rubbing their hands with glee.

The temperature was in the mid-60s today — a little cooler than the previous ports but still a wonderful day as many guests headed to Olympia. Olympia is not only famous for the stadium and Temple of Zeus but also for the stunning collection of statues that were found during the excavations. Here are two that stood out for me at the Olympia Museum. The one of Zeus is PG-13!

Picture from the Olympia Museum Picture of Zeus at the Olympia Museum

This will be a shorter blog than usual because I will not be hosting the Q & A session today, however, I will reply to your questions tomorrow I promise.

Oh, and by the way, Heidi and I had very strong words this morning concerning a certain picture that she posted of me in bed watching a DVD. So, payback will be just around the corner! At least she showed you the one where I have the covers over me.

So, before we talk about the exciting news about the bloggers cruise, here is a little something I thought I would share from this cruise.

As you know from a blog a few days ago we had a couple who missed the vessel in Izmir who I can (with their kind permission) unveil as Mr. and Mrs. Leong from …are you ready for it…………….a town called………………………..BORING, OREGON.

Now their cruise has been nothing like BORING and I had a chance to chat with them today over a cup of coffee. Here, is their story. The Leongs decided on Monday morning over breakfast that they would get off the ship and try and get to Ephesus. They had a cab drive them for an hour to the site and they enjoyed the famous Grand Walk, The Old Wells, The Great Band Room and Emperor Hadrian’s Library. They had asked the driver to come back at 2:30 pm which would mean they would have been back at the ship by 3:30 pm. No problem as the ship sails at 4:00 pm.

Unfortunately, they both had made a bit of a boo-boo (is that a word?). The night before we had asked the guests to turn their watches one hour forward and they had both turned their watches one hour BACK. So, the driver had been told to come back at 2:00 pm and arrived a little late at 2:15 pm, which, of course, was actually 3:15 pm. They eventually arrived at the ship at 4:35 pm and we had sailed at 4:15 pm having waited as long as we could.

Now, you are probably thinking why did they both change their watches the wrong way? I asked the same question and here is the answer from Mrs. Leong: “IT WAS HIS FAULT, I SAID IT WAS FORWARD BUT HE SAID, ‘NO ITS BACK.’ I SAID LET’S GO BACK TO THE CABIN AND CHECK THE CAPERS AND NOTE THAT IS LEFT ON THE PILLOW. BUT HE SAID, ‘NO, LET’S JUST GO!'”

So, no shocker then — it was the man’s fault.

That is, unfortunately, not the end of the story as you will now discover. Having realized they had missed the ship they asked a port official for help who eventually found our ship’s agent. They arranged a hotel in Izmir……..cost……….100 euros. The problem was the only room available had two single beds (it was their anniversary cruise) and they both had a sleepless night.

The next morning they awoke at 5 am for the flight – yes a flight – to Istanbul…………total cost 277 euros. Then at the airport a taxi to the ship cost another 30 euros. They arrived at the ship and were met by our staff who welcomed them . They got to the gangway, Mr. Leong reached into his pocket to get his Sail & Sign Card which is used as the boarding pass out of his wallet and………………..he had left it in the taxi! Luckily, just as he thought the ground would swallow him up, his luck changed when the port security officer walked up to the gangway with his wallet in his hand, the taxi driver had turned it with everything intact.

The couple have had quite an adventure and they really don’t want to get off the ship. They admitted that they were feeling a little down as the money they had spent on flights and hotels had been budgeted for other things. I felt really sad and had actually planned to bring them on stage tonight for a bit of fun. But I didn’t have the heart so I paid for them to have dinner at the Supper Club tonight instead.

Right now, fasten your seat belts because here is the news you have all been waiting for.

ANGELINA JOLIE WANTS ME REALLY BADLY!

Oh, and

JANUARY 19, 2008, WILL BE THE FIRST ANNUAL BLOG THINGY CRUISE

There was a lot of discussion about what, when and where to do this but we finally decided on the Carnival Freedom on the January 19 sailing to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios Jamaica.

What will happen on this cruise?

Well, now that I have finally got the date I will start to plan some very special things including:

  • WELCOME ABOARD PARTY …………………… (I WILL PAY FOR THE DRINKS)
  • A GOODY BAG FOR EACH GUEST…..NOT SURE WHAT WILL BE IN THE BAGS JUST YET, BUT YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED
  • Q & A SESSION
  • SPECIAL ACTIVITIES FOR EVERYONE

These are just some of the things that I have planned but there will be lots more.

I hope you will all join Heidi and I (and possibly some special guest stars) for what I know will be the BEST BLOG CRUISE IN THE WORLD…………….EVER.

Click on the thing up there for more information.

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON

Your friends

John and Heidi

The Bloggers Cruise

April 26, 2007 -

John Heald

Hello to you all. I hope this blog thingy finds you all well as we sail from Istanbul through the Dardanelles to Athens, Greece.

It was mostly a nice day as the sun fought a battle with the clouds with the sun winning on points. Music Unlimited played a live Beatles concert on deck and people were dancing and having fun in the sun/clouds.

I had a busy day. Here is today’s schedule

WEDNESDAY 25 APRIL
7 am    Alarm Goes Off
7:01am    Heidi says “turn that light out”
7:30am    Have showered and put the suit on
7:30am    Check my sugar level
7:35am – 8:00am  Check e-mails while eating breakfast – banana and cracker with light cream cheese – cup of tea.
8:00am    Heidi joins me and we prepare the Carnival Capers and schedules for the following day
8:30am    We send the Capers to the print shop.
8:30am – 9:00am  Read through letters left by guests for the morning show
9:00am    Leave the cabin to meet Carnival President and CEO Bob Dickinson for brief meeting regarding the Morning Show
9:00am    Told to put the toilet seat down
9:00am    Meet with Bob in the lobby
9:15am    Studio sound check, etc
930am – 10:30am  Morning Show Live featuring myself and special guest Bob Dickinson.
10;30am – 11:00am  Read through e-mails and prepare travel talk
11:00am – 11:40am  Travel talk for Athens, Katakolon, Tuscany, Florence and Pisa
11;40am – 12;20pm  Q & A session for above locations
12:20pm    Make a PA announcement for activities and department specials
12:25pm – 12:50pm  Lunch in the Entertainers Mess. I had a spring roll followed by two eggs over easy and two pieces of wheat toast.
12;50pm   Go to the Viennese Coffee shop for a Skinny Cappuccino with a shot of sugar free caramel
1:00pm – 1:45pm  Meeting with department heads to discuss crew activities
1:45pm – 2:30pm  Return to cabin – catch up with Heidi and review e-mails and phone calls
2:30pm  – 3:30pm  Host the Marriage Show
3:30pm – 4:30pm  Paper work, phone calls and a quick chat with Mum and dad back in the U.K.
4;30pm – 5:30pm  Attend Cruise Critic Cocktail Party
5:30pm – 6:30pm  E-mails start to come in thick and fast as Miami office opens
6:30pm – 7:00pm  Shower and change for shows
7:00pm – 8:00pm  Host Jump, Jive and Wail – for late sitting before dinner
8:00pm – 8:30pm  Dinner – roast lamb and vegetables and a Caesar salad.
8:30pm – 9:00pm  Meeting with entertainment staff
9:00pm – 10:00pm  Host Jump, Jive and Wail – early sitting
10:00pm – Midnight  Blog
Midnight   Bed

Who would be a Cruise Director…………………………………………………..me!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Roll Up For The One and Only Q & A Session

LINDA HERNACKI – Can you send me a photo of your headboard? I e-mailed the Carnival Glory with your details and they will make sure your luggage is delivered to the correct cabin for you so no need to worry. I will have answers about the Bloggers Cruise after my conference call tomorrow and will post the news immediately afterwards. I really want to include Cozumel and Jamaica as ports of call so let us see what we can do. Best to you and Mike and his New Yankee Workshop.
JO AND DAVE – yep, that is why he is called Wee Jimmy. We worked together on the Carnival Triumph and then the Carnival Glory and he was so much fun to have as a comedy partner. I will never drink that tea again unless I have a jet pack to blast myself to the bathroom. See you soon and all the best.
DANIEL AND MARINA – You will soon be here, it looks like the weather will be great and the entertainment lineup is amazing. Thanks for the link on the T.V. and I will be studying that later tonight. Heidi has indeed now seen that she can watch Dithering Housewives so I now need something else as a get out of jail card. Travel safe and see you soon.
BIG ED – I maybe grey but so far I am not losing any hair although maybe the Prep H can be used as hair colour (spelled the correct way). Your Web site is looking fantastic and I am sure the latest photos will be added as well. I am going to promote you to SENIOR NARRATOR OVERSEEING TRANSCRIPTS ( S.N.O.T. ). Congratulations and my best to Mrs. Big Ed.
TERRI910 – I totally understand your point of view about the Platinum Club rewards scheme. I think we have to find a fair way to make sure everyone benefits and hopefully that will be forthcoming soon. I agree that a three-day cruise should count towards your rewards and I will gather everyone together to put everyone’s point across. Please keep reading the blog and I will chat with you soon. Your two cents are worth billions as are all the bloggers views.
PAM – I am so happy that you enjoyed Wee Jimmy and his staff. I think he could go on to be one of the best ever and smallest Cruise Directors. Please keep reading the blog thingy.
ESSEXMAN – There is no denying that August is a very busy month in the Med and our ship will be full. However, we organize our tours, meal times and shows to avoid as many line as we can. Do you have any specific concerns? Please let me know if you do. See you in August mate.
BARB D – It is great to hear that you and your family will be joining us soon on the Carnival Freedom. Unfortunately, we have to be a bit strict about the age of the kids we allow into Club O2 but you have nothing to be concerned about. The program is under the guidance of Jessen and Paula who will make sure that your daughter has a great time with friends her own age. In fact, you may see little of her during the cruise. Your 20-year-old daughter will probably be uncomfortable anyway with the 15-year-olds and she will be making friends of her own leaving you and your hubby to be …………romantic!
As for the tour in Rome, the exclusive tour is available for when you disembark and can be booked onboard. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.
BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE – I had a conference call just now about Pod Casting and I will write more once I have finished the Q & A – which will be in a few hours ! See you soon
CAROL SCHILLEREFF – After those comments all I can do is SMILE FROM EAR TO EAR.
LULU – Or you could say the male version of your name is JOHNJOHN – do you get it ? I am sure I can help you out with your dining reservation and the least I can do is ask. Please e-mail me your full names and cabin number when you can. Look forward to hearing from you soon.
DON IN KENTUCKY – If you sailed with me on the Fantasy you probably remember a slimmer darker haired model than the one here on the Freedom. I was also driving a different model as well but that’s a story for another day. Your question about what happens if you miss the vessel is a good one. On the bottom of each Carnival Capers is a phone number of an agency who takes care of the ship’s needs when in port. The company is always local and close to the port so they will be there should you need help. I advise all guests to always carry the Carnival Capers ashore with them. My best regards to you Don and I hope to see you soon……after my diet.
TXGIRL – My sadness at not meeting you is only matched by the casino manager’s happiness that you spent so much time in his area. I am glad you liked the gifts and it was the least I could do for someone who has followed me around the cruising world as you have done. My best to you and the family.
INEZ – I cannot thank you enough for your kind words and also for whoever your cruise director was during that terrible day in November. I also hope we meet again very soon.
RICHARD – Life boat drill is held at 8 pm in between dinner sittings. Heidi and I would be honored to attend your meet and greet on the first sea day. May I suggest a time of 5:30 pm for the first one during embarkation day and a good meeting place would be the piano bar called Scott’s. Look forward to hearing from you and please drop me a note about the meet and greet as I do not want to forget.
LEE SAUER  We welcome you to the bloggers club. Please do not worry that your loyalty lies with someone else, I am not upset ( Heidi pass me a tissue). Seriously, do not be shy, let the world know which of the Carnival family member you are loyal too. Maybe one day, you can come over and have a look at Today’s Carnival. Regardless, I hope you keep reading and I will still hope that one day we can meet in person. Cheers.
ROZ HARRY – if your friend is bored on the days at sea, I will personally kiss our Vice President Roger Blum on the mouth for 30 seconds while wearing a mini skirt! See you soon and I promise you a cruise to remember.
VACATION MARY – MERCIE BUCKETS MON AMIE. JE SUIS HAPPIEA VOUS ON LA BOAT IS. SEE YOU IN SET (seven for those who do not speak fluent French like me) days.
NINA – Firstly I have very fond memories of your husband. What a sport he is and I guess he has one of those faces that says ‘Pick me please.” Congratulations to your son and his wife to be, the photos look amazing. I hope the DVD gives you endless happiness and laughter and most importantly ………………………..what’s a cootie?
WWWW – the seat is down mate and as I put it down I thought of you…hurry up and get here.
CLEO AND GARATH – I know that your first cruise is nearly here and you are a little nervous so let me assure you that as you put it “you have not bitten of more than you can chew.” In fact, once bitten you will be infected with the Carnival cruising bug forever. Let’s get started with your questions.

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      1. Many people catch the train from Rome to Civitavecchia. When you get off the train you have a 15-minute walk down the Promenade to the port (you will see the ship). Once at the gates of the pier, there is a free shuttle bus that will drive you and the luggage to the ship leaving behind any of your kids who you might be fed up with after with them across the Atlantic!
      2. Children do attend formal dinners and if possible we ask that they do not wear shorts, apart from that whatever they want. There is a Camp Carnival party and dinner especially for the kids which they will love.
      3. I always recommend that you book the Supper Club and Spa upon boarding to get the times and treatments you want.
        SPA – 1199
        SUPPER CLUB – 1078 OR 1079
      4. Congratulations to your son on his achievements on being a discus champion. I am sure if I ask we can get permission for him to throw one at Olympia and he can train in our huge Gym (he can’t throw anything but the equipment is amazing ). You will have to ask someone else for directions to the gym as I have no idea where it is.  Please relax and don’t worry about a thing as every little thing gona be alright mon, don’t worry — about a thing, cause …sorry I turned into Bob Marley there. Let me know if I can help further. See you soon and best to the kids.

GEORGE AND LINDA – We will soon be having a guest blog with someone who was and is very much involved in the concept of the Platinum Club Concierge Service. Let’s see what she has to say as you bring up some very good points. I did send an e-mail to Dino and he has told me that he will look after your request. I hope George is well and soon you will be in Rome and we can finally meet. See you then.
CAT MAMA – as requested, more photos here for you of Bob Dickinson, Carnival’s president and CEO. and little old me hosting today’s morning show. Thanks for reading the blog thingy.
Bob Dickinson and I at the Morning Show Bob Dickinson and I at the Morning Show
KAY DUCKWORTH – There seems to be some confusion about the e-mail everyone received about the change from our Rhodes call to Marmaris. This applies only to voyages in 2008. I am so glad you are reading the blog everyday and please keep reading. MANY OTHERS HAVE ASKED WHAT I KNOW ABOUT THIS PORT AND THE ANSWER AT THE MOMENT IS NOTHING, HOWEVER I WILL BE LEARNING ALL ABOUT IT SOON AND WILL SHARE MY THOUGHTS WITH YOU SOON
GIOVANNA – You sound very excited and you should be, it is going to be a great cruise. I think with an eight-year-old daughter it is better to eat at early sitting – 6 pm or 6:30 pm so that you can all eat as a family and then each can do what they want to.  I hope you bring the family to see the shows, they will LOVE them. See you all in June.
LINDA – Hello, Heidi here, John just went to the show and I saw this comment so I thought I would write and say hello. I did miss him very much but also the break did me good and it was nice to see the family. John is really enjoying reading the comments and although it takes up to three hours a day from his spare time I know he is enjoying it. It is a small world after all and I hope it is small enough that we see each other soon. Heidi.
BIG ED – Heidi here. I am worried that you and John seem to have a very close relationship. Big Ed and Big John, that sounds like two hit men. I will smile wide if John ever picks his BIG ED UNDERWEAR up from the floor. I really like all the photos, here is one of John that he will be mad at me when he sees that I have posted it.
johninbed.jpg
NANETTEALI – I think you and I are going to be great friends. I can’t wait to see this video of John 15 years ago. I will swap you some chocolate covered strawberries if you let me see it. Your new best friend Heidi.
TERRI 910 – Hi Terri, it’s Heidi here. You are correct that all our tours include the entrance fees to all the sights that are mentioned and in your tour’s case that means the Virgin Mary House and Ephesus. John and did this tour and it is remarkable. I know you will feel the same.
GLORIA – CAPRIS ARE FINE and are accepted in all the religious buildings you will visit so you can relax in the knowledge that you are not offending anyone. I am happy that I am here to answer this question as John has zero fashion sense. He and his best mates Alan and Danny are known thought their hometown for this as all of the are still wearing things their Mum’s bought them 20 years ago. I have know decided to be this blog’s fashion consultant.
MELISSA CLARY – Thanks for your comments. I will make sure John passes on your wishes to your friends live on his next morning show and I have just sent them a bottle of champagne with your compliments. I will pass on your thanks to John for his blog, don’t tell him I said so but I am very proud of him.
JAN IN WA – I apologize that the thought of my husband in a G String scared you and you have every right to be so. I am sorry to say that a G String is not enough and in fact John wears a G rope made out of the same rope that is used to tie up the ship . Sleep well!
LUV 2 CRUISE – I see Heidi has been filling in for me while I was at the show and she will not let me see what she has written, should I be worried? In answer to your question you can indeed do Florence on your own and still visit the Academia Museum to see The Statue Of David. As for the gondolas, we will try and put less people in a gondola as we usually put four in one and we can balance this out as we have done many times before. Have a chat with me or any of the shore excursion team when you get here. Thanks for the nice comments and I will be thinking of you at 5:30 am having to read my silly blog thingy.
JERRY CALVERT – Ocean cabin. Smart move ! You will not regret it !
LINDA HERNACKI – For some reason I cannot open the picture of me when I was 27. Big Ed, can you help? I have not lavished Heidi with too many gifts as it is her birthday on Saturday so she will have to wait. Give my best to Mike the Mallet.
KATHY – I hope and pray that Heidi and I get to be lovers for 48 years like you and your man. Let’s have a photo together this time so we can post it on the blog. See you very soon.
SEWING NUT – Congratulations on climbing the Pisa tower something I have never been able to do. Why didn’t they install an elevator when they built it?
NUMBER 12 – hello from me Number 2! I am sorry to say that we do not offer a wine program as you mentioned however, what a good idea. Is it something you think guests would enjoy? I will say though that our wine list is second to none and I know you will find what you are looking for. The casino will just take U.S. dollars. Looking forward to seeing you in June. All the best from Number 2.
BARRY R – Your wish is my command. I will certainly pass on your wishes and a bottle of best Champagne 9 (well, the best I can afford) will also be delivered to mark their special day. New Zealand sounds amazing and Heidi and I hope to visit someday.
MIKE…LYNCH – with the greatest respect to my friends at Cruise Critic, I am sorry to report that they are wrong. All our scheduled stops at Izmir and Istanbul are going ahead as planned. They are fantastic ports and as you say they will be very much a highlight of your cruise. See you soon mate AND MY BEST TO MAUREEN.
NANCI NURSE – Drop me a line when you arrive with what age of men you would like to meet and I will arrange a get together for singles of your age. John needs a nurse……………..maid. Looking forward to meeting you, Heidi
MARK AND SHELLEY – Any photos of anyone that looks like Angelina are most welcome (except by Heidi ). The Med is a little unpredictable but most days it is as flat as a 15-day-old can of diet soda. There is always a chance that sailing from Italy to Greece (Naples to Rhodes) that the sea may chop up a bit but not that you would notice too much. The cruise is going well and we have “diet soda seas.” Thank and see you soon.
JACKIE…………….CARESS – I remember that well as she was slapping the button like it had just told her that her husband had been found walking Angelina Jolie on deck. I am glad you like the Bedtime Story and as I mentioned before, it is one of my favorite things to perform. News on the bloggers cruise coming very soon.
COLLEEN VITO – Your offer of a bagel is truly wonderful and I thank you so very much. I will toast it upon your arrival. As for not embarrassing you I am afraid you are too late as your friend from Texas has already planned with me how we will celebrate you turning forty. She bribed me……………..with 2 bagels !
JIM – Now I know about the cruise you and your group are taking on the Carnival Freedom and the great cause it is for.   I will do my very best to make sure I am there. My best to you and the family.
ANN MARIE – You are welcome, please keep reading and best from us both.
PAULETTE’S MUM – NOT ! 🙂
CHRIS – Video is in the works and very soon we hope to make this a multi-media site. I have no idea what that means but it will happen. Watch this space.
SHIP BOUND TOM – Great to hear from you and I am happy to pass your comments onto the hotel director and housekeeping manager and indeed to Fery himself. I also salute his hard work, he is one of the best.  Amalfi is stunning and I am happy to hear that you loved it so much. Please keep reading and writing back and I hope you will be shipbound again very soon. Best from Heidi and I.
BELLA – Stand by for the restaurant information as I am getting expert advice from a friend who lives in Rome. ………….Heidi and I like La Burger Kingo. I will follow up tomorrow so look out for an answer in the next blog.
JASON – tonight, all 150,000 of us are thinking of you and your wife who has closed off the avenue of pleasure that is cruising. What can I do to change her mind?
NATHAN – sorry we did not get to have a cigar together but I am glad you liked the shows especially the cellist. I am sorry to say Andrew Skrimshaw does not have a CD but is in the process of getting one. When it is ready he will place orders through his Web site which when ready I will post on the blog. I too felt your pain at the sad death of the eight brave Canadian soldiers. They and you are in my thoughts.
CAROL – Sounds like you loved your cruise on the Carnival Valor with Josh and Ed Rocks. Mother Nature can influence what we do onboard as you witnessed with Tropical Storm Gamma. Congratulations on your anniversary cruise and I wish I could be there to celebrate with you. Drop me a line before you sail as I may have a surprise waiting for you.
NYC CRUISER – Thanks for mentioning other cruise directors. Trevor is now on the Fascination and Josh and Mark have both unfortunately moved on. I hope also that we sail with each other one day, sooner rather than later.

YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE – Q AND A IS OVER – TIME TO DIP THE FINGERS IN COLD WATER.

Today’s blog is about ………………………………..THE BLOG

BREAKING NEWS……………………….As you can see there is a link to my right to a on line form thingy to get the ball rolling about our first-ever INAUGURAL BLOGGERS CRUISE

Who would have thought that in just two months 170,000 hit thingies have been made on this little blog. To celebrate, I would like to  invite all of you for a special “Bloggers Cruise.” 
Special rates are currently being calculated but to give you all a little head start in planning your cruise I thought I would let you know that things are moving quickly. So, complete the form and as soon as the rates and details are ready, you will be the first to receive them and the first to be able to book……….ssshhhhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone.
We’re looking at a number of special events such as a special Bloggers Party and get togethers and, most importantly, we can all finally get to meet and hopefully become the best of friends.  I plan on hand picking the best entertainment to compliment our brilliant shows Ticket to Ride, Jump, Jive and Wail and the Big Easy. I am truly honored by the interest this blog has created. Heidi and I hope to see you all soon for what I promise will be A CRUISE TO REMEMBER.

Now, on another note, I think it is time we consider introduce some guest bloggers.
I promise you a blog at least every 48 hours but maybe we should include some “guest star bloggers” to help on specific subjects.
Let me know what you think and what subjects within the Industry you would like them to chat with you about. Please do not worry, I am not going anywhere but maybe you deserve to hear from others.
I am already organizing a guest blogger on the subject of the Platinum Club benefits and that should appear soon. Anyway, let me know. Also, today we discussed this PODCAST thing and we hope to have the morning show I did with Bob on PODCAST soon.
If you will excuse me I will go to bed now. It is very late and I am so excited that we finally have this bloggers cruise going…………..all we need now is for you to come and join me. If we can get 100 or more I will buy you all bloggers T Shirts.
Maybe Angelina will sail………………….hope springs eternal.

Goodnight, your friends
John and Heidi

A Tale of Two Sheiks

April 25, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Day To You From Istanbul.

It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shinning and there are no garments on the bathroom floor because the Mrs. is coming back today.

So, I need to start on today’s blog because we have things to do when she comes back. …………………stop it, I know what you are thinking (especially Big Ed) but I am talking about sorting the mountain of paperwork which seems to have made its home on my desk.

And now, pray silence for the Q & A Session.

MIKI176 – Hello, Michelle and I am glad you had a safe journey home from your April 7 cruise. Your praise about the Pisa tours are well noted and I have passed them on to our shore excursion department. I have done the same for your stateroom steward and dining room staff and I have also posted your comments on our crew notice boards. I am very proud to work alongside such great people. I am glad you liked the Bedtime Story, it has proven to be my signature piece and I still love doing it even after all these years. I hope to write a book one day as I still have lots of stories to tell. Until the next time we meet Heidi and I send our best regards to you and your family.
JERY CALVERT – The average square footage is 185 square feet  – nice cabin but why not treat yourself to an ocean view! Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
JO MYERLY – The best way for you to see Florence and Pisa is to take the aptly named FLORENCE AND PISA TOUR. This will take you first to Pisa for a two-hour tour including the tower and cathedral (you do not climb unless you want to………….400 steps ). Then we have lunch included at a great restaurant then it is a one-hour journey to Florence where you will have free time to shop at the Ponte Vecchio bridge. It is our most popular Livorno Tour.
As for the airport the first bus does leave for the ship at 9:30am and I think you will find many improvements now at the airport itself. Bring some Euros for a cup of coffee. See you soon and my best to Dave.
JOHN AND LISA – Congratulations on becoming a Platinum Club Member, I hope you enjoy all the wonderful benefits that go with it and just think in 490 cruises time we name a ship after you! I must admit that sometimes I do find it hard to sit and blog but the rewards are knowing that I am able to help so many people. Heidi is due back in about an hour and I will pass on your kind regards. See you both soon and please keep reading the blog thingy.
ANN MARIE – Did you just GAFAW over your screen.? I did this one time with a can of Diet Coke when I opened an e-mail that said 25,000 had read the blog thing in just one week! Please keep reading and hopefully we can keep laughing together. Now, go and clean your computer screen.
ANETTEALI – Buenos Nachos. Gracias para el blogo commento abouto myo bedtime Story O. This is a thing I do with three guests on stage and often it results in a great deal of physical abuse for me. As I mentioned above, it is my favorite show to perform. I cannot believe that you still have videos of Michael Andrew and I. If you ever come and sail please bring them with you as I would love to see them. Mucho Gusto and keepo bloogero reado…youro amigo Juanito.
KERSPLOTT – What a fantastic cruise you have planned on the Carnival Freedom, 28 days will be sensational and I hope it brings as many memories as the last trans-Atlantic cruise did. The 6 clock changes are fantastic but not so much fun going the other way. I am still waiting patiently for the Splendor itinerary and I am sure you will not be disappointed when you see it! Have a wonderful summer in Alaska and I hope to visit your beautiful part of the world very soon.

BREAKING NEWS…………………….Janet (jkeller527 Cruise Critic . WE FOUND YOUR RINGS…………THEY WERE STILL IN THE SAFE TUCKED IN THE FAR CORNER. THEY WILL BE SENT TO THE MIAMI OFFICE AND THEN ONTO YOU. NOW, HOW ABOUT THAT FOR THE POWER OF THE BLOG! Hope this cheers you up and I am very happy that you will have them back soon.

LINDA HERNACKI – Thanks for saying I am young, Linda.  I certainly do not feel it at the moment. Delivering a new ship is always a challenge and I have been going since February 10 and I must admit to being a little tired. The book will come one day and I am sure there will be many more stories to tell. Carnival Triumph is a great ship and I promise you a great time sailing the Caribbean. Heidi will be home soon and as you quite rightly say I have missed her very much. Thanks for the information on the Freedom run on 2/23/08 and you are indeed correct that it is the Eastern Caribbean run that it will be doing. Best to you and Mike the Saw.
INEZ – There are cruises you never forget and as I mentioned in a previous blog “You’ll Never Walk Alone.  The cruise you are referring to was one that I will never forget as you say neither will you. How wonderful then that we got to meet in April last year for the Carnival Liberty’s trans-Atlantic. I am truly humbled by your words of kindness and the memories I have of the tribute show will be everlasting. I sincerely hope we get to see each other very soon.
ALAN AND CHRIS – What great news that in September you will take your first Carnival cruise here in the Med. It will be a vacation to remember and if you need any information or suggestions me and the bloggers will be happy to help. You also ask if you will get the Red Sox and having checked with the doctor onboard he said not to worry if you do as he can give you some cream for it  🙂  See you soon.
CINDY AND BOOOOOB – Guess what, in six days you will be here. Have a safe flight and please leave me a note when you get onboard . See you soon.
BUSTER6195 – Hello mate and congratulations on choosing the best of the Naples tours with your exploration of Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri. Please note that if you do book your tours online and then hear something that you would rather do you can indeed change it. Come along to the adventure talks and see what wonderful tours we have for you to enjoy. I am having a conference call on Thursday to discuss the Bloggers Cruise.
DAVID – I was very interested in the podcast suggestion. I know Frank in the office is looking into this as a source of adding to the blog thingy. Lets have a chat about this when you sail as I agree That it sounds fun although I must admit to not really understanding how it works. Thanks mate and see you soon.
LINDSAY – Congratulations on choosing the Carnival Miracle (remember to give her the full name):
The Carnival Miracle was the last of our award-winning Spirit-class of ships and she will be sailing to some fantastic ports including Grand Turk and St.Thomas. You must try the supper club and do not miss the shows including the spectacular Ticket To Ride. The cruise director will be Brent who is a great entertainer and I know you will have a brilliant time. Please let me know if you need any further information or advice.
DOMINICK AND LINDA – Diabetes is a pain but I only have myself to blame (that rhymes). Anyway, not to worry and I am keeping good control on my sugar levels. I cannot believe you are already packing for the 12-day cruise in October, but as you asked there are two formal nights on the first and last sea days. It will be here before you know it. See you soon and best to you both.
BIG ED – Hello D.O.M.A.S.S. and thank you for my cyber-celebrity status which has a lot to do with you. For this reason I need a chief reporter and photographer (C.R.A.P.) to follow my celebrity status and therefore I proudly offer you the position. Best to Mrs. Ed.
MIKE – Thanks for reading the blog thingy and I hope you enjoyed your cruise on the Carnival Pride. The best way to secure a job as entertainment staff is to obtain some microphone experience and inter action skills. For further information check out www.carnivalentertainment.com which has full job descriptions and contact information. Good Luck
SEWING NUT – Hope you did not drop a stitch typing that great information for HIJEAN. Thanks for sharing and this is what this blog thingy is all about.
KIM NOTTINGHAM – is Nottingham your last name or is that where you are from? Anyway, for your back to back cruises the menus will probably be the same as the ones I posted with a slight change here or there. This means you will have tough choices ahead and as I have tried EVERYTHING on the menu (except the desserts) please let me know if you need any help deciding.
CE’S AT SEA – Great name for a group by the way. I promise to give a shout out to your illustrious leader and yes please remind me. Here are the answers to your questions.

1. The Laundry detergent we use is TIDE, it comes in a red box and says it is hypoallergenic, whatever that means. You can also do laundry the way I do by throwing your clothes on the floor in a corner of the bedroom and the next day as if by magic it is clean.
2. We have lots of private car tours in the Med because some people prefer not to tour with other people. This can be a fun way to do it so contact me onboard when you get here for further information. Unfortunately there will not be time to drive from Spain to France but remember we are in Cannes the next day.
3. Lets chat together onboard about the fluffy ones who want a Gondola ride, we can make it work for you.

See you all soon and please keep reading.
VIKKI AND MAT – welcome to the land called blog. I received your e mail so please keep reading and a warm welcome from all of us.
MEHYDER – You are too kind. I don’t like to ask but I do hope that I will be able to sail one day on the QM2 and as for the TV show I think it could only benefit the cruise industry to have a weekly hour long show just for them whether it is presented by me or not. Let us see what the future brings.
BARBARA AND JIM – Congratulations on getting the Carnival Leg End in Tampa, it has been and always will be one of my favorite ships. I know Ron well and please send him my best. Please ask to speak to the hotel director Shanaz when you board.  She is a great friend and colleague and please give her my best and ask her “HOW IS COLIN.” I loved the story about the couple from Michigan and it proves that the cruise industry provides such great opportunities to meet new friends. Let me know what you think of the ship and write soon.
PAULETTES MUM – You asked what is my favorite show on the Carnival ships. That is a difficult question to answer but I must go with: ROCK DOWN BROADWAY and TICKET TO RIDE. My best to your daughters and please keep reading this blog thingy. By the way, I once danced in Rock Down Broadway wearing a G String !
MTSFP – I am sure your Essex is not much different to my beloved home town and we must discuss this when you sail.Thank you so much for your kind words about the blog and you are correct it does feel like one big family of bloggers.Thanks mate and see you soon.
JILL NEWMARK – Your kind words about the purser’s Office and especially Elisa have been passed on. I hope you continue to read the blog and I am happy that you feel like you are already aboard. Hopefully, you will be here one day for real.
PATRICK TYE – Email me your address mate and I will e mail you a cd…………also check out www.gavinahearn.com.
NEIL MAXWELL – I would love to do an interview for your Website but these sorts of requests have to be coordinated through our public relations department. Please allow me to get back to you and good luck with the website.
GEORGE AND LINDA – I have sent a message to Dino and I am sure he will be able to look after you both. I am sure it will be 24 fantastic days aboard the ship. See you soon.
SUE – You see Sue, I had this image in my mind that your daughter was still at school not married with a family of her own. However, I think it is fantastic that you and her get to spend some Mum and daughter time together on the Carnival Freedom. I agree with you that the best way to see Dubrovnik is to take the Best Of Dubrovnik Tour, it will show you why this is a highlight stop for many of our guests. See you both soon.

Heidi has just called, she is leaving the airport and will be here in 20 minutes….one last check to see if I left anything on the bathroom floor.

And she is home and sends her best to everyone. I have not seen her for seven days and even though I have to finish this blog  thingy it is time for a little romance…………………….back in five minutes!

And here I am. Seriously though it is wonderful to have my best friend back and I am a much happier person for it.

I wanted today to tell you the story of two sheiks. By sheik, of course, I mean Arab royalty of which over the years two have sailed on our ships.

The first – we will call him “Sheik 1″ sailed with me on the Sensation back in the early nineties. My mate Roger Blum was the hotel manager and we talk about this story all the time. Sheikh 1 had booked all the suites on verandah Deck for himself, his staff, his security and his..ummmmmmmmm…………entertainers !!!! He obviously did not like variety in his entertainment as all were blonde, tall and aged 21 -25 years old. Anyway, he spent all his days in the Casino or having massages and both the spa manager and the casino manager had smiles the size of his wallet. We were a few hours away from entering the port of San Juan when Roger called me. Sheikh 1 had instructed his staff to find a restaurant in San Juan that served Arabic food and Roger and I were tasked to find one.

I knew a friend who had some shops in San Juan and he was Lebanese and I thought he might know somewhere so I gave him a call. Indeed, he did find somewhere and called the owner who on hearing who would be dining there tonight promptly wished he had been wearing brown pants! So, Roger and I assured the Prince’s staff that we had found a great restaurant and all would be well. We arrived in San Juan and a fleet of limousines and buses pulled up. There was a total of 30 people from the Sheik’s staff and ummmmmmmmm……….entertainment and myself, Roger and a few others.

Now Roger and I had never been to this restaurant and really had no clue what to expect but our hearts sank and our bottom cheeks clenched together when we arrived. Have you ever seen the series Cops on TV? You know when they arrest people coming out of a shady bar who are dressed in vests with no sleeves. Welcome to the restaurant we had chosen for a member of the oldest and richest family in Arabia to eat at. It was a $%^& house…….plain and simple. Roger and I both thought we would soon be buried up to our necks in the Sahara desert with various animals taking turns to eat us alive. As we entered the restaurant there was a lot of bowing and scraping as the prince took his seat. He seemed OK so far but his staff were in their minds wishing they could cut off parts of our bodies and feed them to their various hunting birds we knew they had back home.

So the food came and so far the Sheikh had not spoken a word but the dim surroundings and furniture that had seen much better days did not seem to have ruined his appetite. Then, suddenly, he clapped his hands and one of the girls stood up, a staff member put in a tape and then the belly dancing started. Now this girl was fantastic as everything wiggled and jiggled in time to the music, in fact as she danced she nearly tripped over Roger’s tongue!

After dinner a small (and I mean this in a nice way) height-challenged man started doing tricks and running around bumping into things and generally looking like he had forgot to take his medication. Turns out, he was the court jester! The prince stood up and that was the signal to leave. He never asked for the bill of course leaving his staff to take of an amount he would earn in one second as the oil continues to flow in his back garden. We returned to the ship and he spent the rest of the cruise as he had done before in the casino and being…ummmmm……entertained. It was a night Roger and I would never forget.

Here is Sheik story number 2. This was in 1999 aboard the Carnival Triumph. We had a charter by a company called MUSICHANDLESTADT. This is a massive TV show in Germany and the entire ship was full of German guests who had paid to see the stars who were sailing. Also sailing was Sheik 2. He was onboard as the next week the show was switching to Dubai and would take place in the prince’s luxury six-star hotel.

On the formal night the wonderful Captain Angel Los,  a master at hospitality, invited the Sheik and some of the German stars to dinner in his dining room. I was also invited and I sat next to Sheik 2. The conversation was strained as the Sheik was very shy and his bodyguards waited outside to make sure none of us attacked him with a toothpick! Nothing was being said, some did not speak English and although the Sheik did he was quiet and seemed to be drinking a lot, not whisky, not wine but milk.

I looked at him and said, ” Sir, you seem to love milk, are you a MILK SHEIK?” Everyone stopped eating and looked at me as if to say – what did you say? The Sheik leaned back in his chair and a huge belly laugh echoed around the dining room and, of course, seeing that he was comfortable everyone else took the cue and started to laugh, as well. From that day forth he wanted to be known as MILK SHEIK and everyone on his staff was ordered to call him that. He then insisted on eating with us every night and we became the best of friends. I still e-mail him know and then and I have an invitation to his hotel. I have never gone but one day I must go and visit my mate the Milk Sheik.

Athens tomorrow and here is what you will see when you sail:

Pictures of Athens Pictures of Athens

Time for Heidi and I to take a walk on deck

Goodnight

Your friends

John and Heidi

That's Why They Call Him "Wee Jimmy"

April 24, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning.  I hope this blog finds you all well as we sail away from Izmir, Turkey. A very sunny day but also very windy as well in fact the wind has been with us for two straight days now (Heidi may say the wind has been with me for much longer than that).

We had a life boat rehearsal drill for all the crew today at 10 am after most of the guests were ashore exploring Ephesus. I then had a meeting with the Shore Excursion Manager and the Tour Operator followed by a very exciting trip to the local supermarket where I tried to find out what sugar free was in Turkish – it’s SEKERSIZ by the way.

We have just sailed from Izmir leaving behind a couple who obviously enjoyed the port of Izmir so much that they are still there. The couple who will remain ” nameless ” for now failed to arrive even though we waited as long as we can, I wonder where they are?

And here is the answer. The Chief Purser informs me that they had in fact thought the ship sailed at 6 pm even though everything in print and spoken word from me says 3:30 pm back on board. Luckily, in each port we have an agency who takes care of all the ships needs and they will assist the guests with their journey to Istanbul tomorrow to meet the vessel……………………………………….and with their permission maybe a photo will appear in the blog !

And now the moment you have all been waiting for as I type out on one finger the Q & A.

TONYA – I hope you are enjoying your time living in Spain and we salute your husband as her serves his country in the United States Navy. I am sure it will be a special cruise and I will ask the captain if he will give permission for your husband to visit the bridge. I must inform you however that this is very hard to do these days and we operate under very strict security guidelines as you mentioned. Regardless, I will make sure that you and your husband have a fantastic cruise and I will make sure we do something special for him. See you in September.
GLORIA – Your training regime does sound much more energetic than the one Mr. Freidman and I are doing. In fact, I am training now at my desk and eating some cashews. Thank you for your kind words about the blog and I am sure Carnival are enjoying as I am the number of hit thingies on the site. It will not be long before you are climbing the Dubrovnik City walls, exploring Pompeii and climbing mount Etna so if I were you and would sit down and prepare yourself by eating a large piece of apple pie and a double scoop of ice cream. See you soon.
NATE’S MUM – I love the Caribbean and as listed in a previous blog my favorite ports are Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico. I have never had the pleasure of cruising Alaska but as Bob Dickinson was telling us today, he is taking his children and grandchildren there as it is a vacation that the different generations can enjoy. Therefore, try Alaska on the beautiful Carnival Spirit and then maybe next year come to Europe on the Carnival Freedom. See you soon and Nate sends his love.
ANETTEALI – Gracias para el huggo de Puerto rico. San Juan is muy bueno con mucho bueno señoritas y mucho bueno comida (food). Rapido and you will be hereo abordo with me o. Un grande huggo para you o nader hug o para el husbando 🙂
RICHARD – please tell your Mum not to worry. We will provide a fridge for her. Please have her contact Carnival Cruise Lines’ Guest Access Services Desk at 305 599 2600 and tell them your cabin number and sailing date and they will make sure all is ready for her. This is very common, so all will be well. I hope she enjoys her cruise on the Carnival Destiny and let me know if I can be of any other assistance.
BIG ED – I really wanted to change my hair colour (spelled the correct way) but Heidi seems to think that it makes me look distinguished as opposed to 300 years old. How are you mate ? There are more photos on your blog to add to the files. Best to Mrs. Big Ed.
MR AND MRS SMITH – sorry but my screen is not showing the name of the person who asked about the digital photos onboard so you are going to be MR and MRS SMITH. The gallery will place all your photos onto a disk for you but they cannot empty it as that would mean using a computer and with so many it may not be adaptable so you may want to think about bringing another chip thingy. How many have you done. Please send my best to Mr. Smith.
RICHARD – I
LOVE TO TEACH – Thanks for the kind words and as a teacher and a waitress I am sure you will be ready for some relaxation. May I suggest the Spa Special which is  A FULL BODY SCRUB, MASSAGE AND FACIAL ALL FOR ONLY $99. As far as the activities are concerned I have many favorites but mostly I love the shows that involve audience participation. Please do not miss the Marriage Show, The Talent Show and the Single’s Dance Classes. It will I promise be the best vacation of your life.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – As usual you and Bonnie Prince Charlie raise a good point about the longer cruises and your Platinum membership which I shall bring to the attention of the right people as it makes great sense. Hopefully I will get a positive response and your Southerndreams will be happy ones. See yallllllllllllllllllllllll later.
LINDA AND MIKE THE BUILDER – Did you get to call anyone about your missing tags yet? In answer to your questions about my cabin, you are correct in your assumption that Heidi and I are lucky enough to have a nice cabin. I also have an office but I mostly work from my cabin so I don’t have to put clothes on before sitting and blogging and making announcements  🙂
The cabin is quite big with a separate bedroom to the living room but it soon gets very small when you have 5 months of clothes and personal effects. Heidi has all the cupboard space and I have been relegated to one coat hanger! We also have a luxury that I cannot do without. a bath tub with a Jacuzzi. If I have time each day I have a 10 minute soak and enjoy the relaxing feeling of the Jacuzzi……………………..Oh, apparently I do not have a Jacuzzi I have been told. So where do all the bubbles come from then?
Best to you both and see you soon
BELLA – a couples massage is $242 on a port day and $292 on a sea day and it is FANTASTIC! See you in June 9 — not for a massage, I mean on the ship ).
MARION – Have a great time in the UK, can I ask a HUGE favor, can you get me a magazine called WHAT’S ON T.V. – it costs a pound. In return I will send you champagne – how does that sound? See you in a few days.
DAVID – The backstage tour can be arranged directly with me onboard mate. You did indeed see a can of Diet Coke on the desk (product placement). I am looking forward to seeing you and the group soon.
BOB AND MARY – welcome back. I hope you had a great time on the Carnival Liberty last year and are excited to be on the Carnival Freedom for our trip to Istanbul and Turkey. The gift shop will have Venetian masks and I hope they have one that you will like. They will not put them out on the cruise you are on but if you ask the shop manager I am sure he will be able to help you.
With regard to your question about Rome Tours, it is impossible to do a full day and night tour and come back to the ship first. May I suggest that after a full day touring Rome and with an early debarkation the following morning you may want to think about just one or the other………….for me, as beautiful as Rome at night I do think that the day tour with entrance to the Vatican is the one to do. Please let me know if you need any specific information. See you soon.
JAMES – We do have videos on the building of the ship and I am not sure if they are available for purchase but I will check and let you know. Please remind me if I do not answer within 7 blog thingies. Cheers.
VACATION MARY – There are very few tables for two onboard but if you would like one that I will see what I can do. I need your last name and cabin number ASAP and I will speak to my mate Ken. Thanks for the kind words about the blog and I will keep going as long as I can. I do hope that you all do not mind me writing the things I do. Like any job there are good, bad, happy and sad things that happen every day so I feel I must represent all of them in the things I write. See you in a few days and please let me know your details.
MARK AND SHELLEY – Actually, as Shelley looks like Angelina I will address the reply directly to her………….sigh. Anyway, back from the world of dreams, I have forwarded the e-mail to Bob and I am sure he will let me know if indeed his house is still near to where you lived. Please feel free to post a photo of yourself (Shelley, not Mark). See you both in June.
AUSSIEJAZZ – thinking of you on ANZAC day !
MARION REYNO – 50 pounds for a trans-Atlantic – and on the Carmania. Just interested to know if there was a cruise director, do you remember?
HIJEAN – Thanks for letting me call you this, I much prefer it to MEANJEAN or BLUEJEAN. As far as your question on which tour to take in Cannes, that is easy…two words………………….MONTE CARLO, the second smallest country in the world. Let’s have a chat when you come onboard as there will be plenty of time. See you then.
BIG ED – Not only are you my Director of New Ideas, Head of Security Chief Secretary and Marketing Manager but now you are my drug supplier as well with the offer of Preparation H. Actually and because you asked, well you didn’t but I will tell you anyway I am a little……um……………….backed up at the moment so maybe “the H” will come in handy. I am currently therefore cruise director of Carnival’s new ship the CONSTIPATION, the ship that never moves. I am kidding of course as the CONSTIPATION has not come out yet. I think it is time to watch a very scary Horror Film!
MAISTRAZO – Thanks for the kind words mate, you have no idea how happy I am to know so many of you are enjoying the blog. I did find the repeat of Desperate Housewives but I am keeping it a secret so that the next time I mess up I have a get out of jail free card. Please keep reading.

I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce the entertainment staff onboard who along with myself will be hosting all of the activities. Here is a sunset photo of them.

Picture of the Entertainment Staff

They are a great bunch and I assure you that you will get to know them all and enjoy their sense of fun. Here they are

  • Stephanie Meads ~ Richmond Virginia, USA ………..”I like Red Wine “. See you soon for the best vacation ever.
  • Lloyd Goldstone ~ Durban, South Africa ………….” Look forward to meeting you, I’ll be here all week….please try the fish”
  • Shawn Hale ~ Atlanta, Georgia ………” Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans”
  • Adele Hall ~ Liverpool, England ……….” Can’t wait to see you on this Exciting, awesome Super fun Mega Liner”. I am much better than any of the other Entertainment Staff so come to everything I do.
  • Gary Brierley ~ Manchester, England ………. ” Hey everybody, Come and join us on the newest addition to the Carnival Fleet, If you see me and say ” Hey Gary ” and give me a hug I will buy you a drink !

Do you remember when you were a kid?  What was the family vacation like. I am sure like me you never got to go on a cruise and look what facilities they get when they do. Here are a few photos of the 15 – 17 year olds CLUB O2 and  Camp Carnival. Oh, to be young again.

Club O2 Club O2
Camp Carnival Camp Carnival Camp Carnival

Tonight we held our Past Guest reception which along with the normal entertainment we had the proud addition of Bob Dickinson who came along and gave a special welcome to the 1,400 guests who were back with us again. Here are some photos of Bob, myself and the Captain.

Bob Dickinson, President and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines Bob and Me on stage Captain D’Aita and Me

So, what should we chat about tonight?

When you work aboard a ship in a close community practical jokes are very commonplace and I thought I would share two with you tonight. They may not have anything to do with your cruise but it is certainly part of life onboard and I hope you will allow me to share these with you.

The first one goes back to the mid 1990’s and involves an old mate called Lewis Nixon. Lewis is a brilliant comedian and used to work with me on board the Fantasy and Ecstasy. Lewis and I had a running battle to see who could create the most elaborate practical joke. He once had every thing from my cabin taken out, the bed, the wardrobe, all my clothes, I mean everything. So, revenge needed to be had and pretty quickly. I knew which flight Lewis was leaving on and his booking number so I called the Airline (PAN AM  – shows you how long ago this was) and pretended to be Lewis. I told their guests satisfaction department that I  (Lewis) was suffering from a very bad gastro illness and needed to be sat on the very back row and could I please have instead of the meal DRIED MUSLIX.

So, Lewis boarded the plane and was immediately seated on the back of the plane. The flight attendant was very nice to the point of giving Lewis his own roll of toilet paper and, of course, he was extra mad when instead of being asked if he wanted the chicken or the beef he was given a bowl of cereal! Still, he got his own back on me when we rehearsed a full 20 minutes of comedy where I was going to be a ventriloquist and he and another entertainer Gaetano would be the puppets. We practiced and practiced for days and it was a really funny bit. Showtime came and I went out and the crowd were expectantly waiting for a great show. I welcomed everyone and then said “Please Welcome To the Stage My Puppets.” Applause from the audience and then……………………………..nothing……………………nothing, I said it again thinking they had missed their cue to appear from backstage………………still nothing………the audience fell silent……………..it was just me on stage in the spotlight with 800 people starring at me………….still nothing………..and then as the realization hit me that I had been set up a voice similar to Mr. Nixon’s shouted from the back of the room……………….boooooo, you suck, get off the stage, we want the show, we want the show, 800 people joined in and my evening was complete !

The second joke was a wonderful but very simple joke I played on my mate Ralph “Wee Jimmy” Valente, the now brilliant cruise director of the Carnival Glory and one day I hope all my blogging friends get to sail with him. Ralph had tried a few harmless jokes on me which had mostly backfired so I decided to teach him a lesson. I had the carpenter take off his cabin door while Ralph was on stage. He turned the peephole around. This meant that Ralph could not see out but everyone could see in! Ralph did not discover this for days and wondered why every time he left his cabin there was a line of people outside. I won’t tell you what they saw through the peep hole but it was no big thing and now we now why they call him “Wee Jimmy!”

And on that note I am off to bed. Tomorrow Heidi returns so it is time to tidy the cabin and retrieve the various items I have discarded onto the cabin floor.

Goodnight

Your friends

John and Heidi

Sleepless at Sea

April 23, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning…..how are you ? Here we are again in the land of blog together. I feel drained today having had one of those nights where sleep feels as far away as sharing a Jacuzzi with Angelina Jolie while Brad Pitt serves me Fish and Chips.

Anyway, no time to complain as it is already 6:30 am and a very busy day is ahead. Yesterday, Carnival Freedom was at sea and the sea was really not happy with the world and decided to move around in large swells which caused the ship to roll every know and then in a gentle motion. Most people seemed not to be affected because the Lido deck was doing a roaring trade in FOOD and the formal night dinner was very popular with guests as they dove into Lobster or Prime Rib.

One thing that passengers may not realize is when the ship moves one of the things that may be effected most are the shows. “A ship is not Broadway” as a wise man once said and how correct he was. There are times (rare that they be) that we have to cancel the shows because of the moving of the vessel and the consequent danger to the dancers who could sustain injury. Imagine jumping in the air as they do and find that at the moment of landing the floor has moved to the left!

Anyway, last night was one of those nights and at 6:00 pm I talked to our Dance Captain Ian and we discussed what to do, it was touch and go.

Then, at 7:45pm, just 45 minutes before Showtime, the sea suddenly said “OK, I am in a better mood and I think I will have a nap “…..and it did and the shows went on as scheduled. The show last night was AMAZING. Ticket to Ride is the Beatles tribute show and the audience loved every minute of it especially the second sitting who stood as ONE to sing Let It Be and Hey Dude (sorry Jude)…………………I think Bob was singing louder than anyone and I saw, I think, a president who knew that Carnival still had the BEST ENTERTAINMENT AT SEA.

The cast consists of 16 dancers, two singers, two backstage managers, seven backstage hands, one lighting technician and one sound technician plus a separate technician for the other lounges and entertainment areas. They come from six different countries,: The UK, U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Russia & New Zealand. The cast stays together for nine months and then a new cast will join the ship. During this time they become very close which is no surprise as unlike on land you never say goodnight, see you tomorrow as everyone is always together. For this reason people tend to fall in love much quicker on ships than on land. The bit where you say, “See you next week and let’s get together” never happens as again you are always together and for this reason relationships are formed at warp speed.This is a good thing for the most part but sometimes the moving in together so quickly can result in the relationship ending as quickly as it started.

Today, we are in Rhodes, Greece and apart from a three-minute sprinkle of rain (or “liquid sunshine, mon” as they say in Jamaica ) it was a beautiful day and the ship was empty by 1 pm with only 57 people out of 3,000 opting not to get off the ship. There are on every cruise on every ship people who never disembark and I guess they are the ones who just love the ship and the relative peace that can be found while everyone is ashore ………….or they simply just can’t find the gangway!
Time for Q & A…..and also an apology as I found a load of questions that I had not answered from the Doghouse Blog thing, so again sorry for the delay.

MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – And there is me thinking that you and I were from Essex U.K and now I find out your Essex is in Vermont! I wonder if they have anything in common, hopefully when you sail we will have time for a cigar. We do use dance instructors for the trans-Atlantic crossings and maybe if your interested you should check out www.carnivalentertainment.com for information, etc. It is one of my ambitions to do a crossing on the QM2 or QE2 and I have asked my PA if they can book me passage. Hope to see you soon mate and thanks for your continued support of the blog.
KENA AND DAVID – Thanks for confirming what I think is a good combination of some shows before and some after dinner as it seems to be working. You also mentioned about the 500 guests who went to Sorrento, Capri, etc., and that same time. We actually split them up in two groups with one group going to Capri first and another Pompeii. Saying that, Capri is a very small island and although it is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see it is always busy. Please keep writing and sorry I took so long to reply.
ED MILAN – I am glad you like the blog and thanks for the compliments. I am going to ask FRANK or ROBERTO who work in Miami on the technical side of this blog to find out exactly where the CARNIVAL FREEDOM will be sailing to on February 23. I am also happy to hear that your favorite Caribbean port is also Jamaica as you are correct when you say that sometimes it gets bad press only when it deserves so much good said about it and its people. I will get back to you re: the route and sorry for the delay in writing.
LINDA AND GEORGE – I investigated your question about lamb served in the dining room and have attached the menus that include lamb as a main course. If you love lamb chops you must try the ones from the supper club, they are…well mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.Here are the menus featuring lamb.
Menu with Lamb 1
Menu with Lamb 2  
Menu with Lamb 3  
BARBARA PHARO – I hope you get to have your gondola ride and I am very much looking forward to welcoming you onboard. Thanks for the support on the blog thingy and see you soon.
SHIRLEY – Thank you for your kind words and suggestions about show time. I have added two early shows between Istanbul and Athens with the remaining ones after dinner. This seems to be good for everyone and I hope you will find it works for you as well. If you want you can stay at both shows and I will have dinner brought to you  🙂 I hope you are indeed ready to get off your diet because the CHOCOLATE MELTING CAKE IS WAITING! See you soon.
KAREN STEWART – I have just finished the schedules for the first GRAND MED cruise (Venice, Dubrovnik, etc.) and because of the later port times I have to host shows ONLY AFTER DINNER for the late sitting as the time in port is longer. However, the port times are mostly shorter on the Greece and Turkey run so as I noticed attendance at the second show was 50% less by the middle of the cruise I have adapted a few shows to be presented before dinner but with no loss of time in port. Like you I need naps now and I also miss the Midnight Specials with people like; MALCOLM KENNEDY, EDDIE CAPONE, HAPPY COLE AND AL ERNST ETC.
Again, sorry for the delay in the reply and see you soon.
CHRIS IN TN – Hello mate and congratulations on marring a blond. Do you ever tell blond jokes? Thank you for remembering Heidi and I from the Victory back in 2002.That feels so long ago and I am humbled by your generous comments. We will be on the Freedom again next year…..I mean the CARNIVAL FREEDOM and as soon as I know my dates I will let you know. Thanks for reading my incoherent ramblings and I hope Heidi and I can meet with you and your blonde bombshell very soon.
WENDY – Your vote has been counted and you won 9 well mostly ). Thanks for your comment and sorry for the delay in the reply blog thing.
SUE GROHOL – Your daughter is a very lucky young lady to have cruised so many times ( unless she is not 14 like I am thinking and in fact she is my age or older and then what I just said does not make any sense so its best I shut up now ). The shows on the crossing will all be late shows as with seven straight sea days you do get to stay in bed for as long as you want. The only negative aspect is that we have to change the clocks one hour forward – SIX TIMES ! Anyway, it will be great to have you here and I look forward to our fun time together.
SHARON – Again sorry that it has been a few days in getting back to you but I did not see that so many folks had blogged back. I agree with what you said about the drink, dinner, show scenario and again I think on the Freedom you will be very happy with the mixture we have. As for a little about myself, actually at the bottom of this blog are the answers as requested by a bloggerist to what I like and don’t like. Hope you and family are well and I hope to see you soon.
MEAN JEAN – Thank you for the explanation of why you are called MEANJEAN. I think I am going to change to HIJEAN ( HYGEINE ). I appreciate your feedback as well about the shows and you are correct when you say that “You do not have to drive ” when you take a cruise. So, please let it be known at work that to me and the 155,000 bloggers you are henceforth to be called HIJEAN.
BIG ED – You and I have a lot in common mate as the Porterhouse is indeed a MAN’S STEAK. I will take a photo to add to your collection. Best to Mrs. ED and see you soon.
MARY – I am happy that the family liked seeing Ayr’s photo on the blog and they are correct when the say their Aunty is “COOL. ” I will post another of her again soon.
Stingray 310 – Do you really think I should write a book? Maybe its is something we can do in the future. I remember the cruise after 9/11 well and the spirit shown among the guests was unforgettable. A big “hello” to KUKI and the gang from that memorable week. I hope our schedules do work out so we can do it all over again.
RICHARD – I am sorry to report that you are about to get “THAT LOOK” because we do not have Dr Pepper onboard. I know when you tell her that you will get that stare that sends beads of cold sweat down my back when I get it for leaving underwear on the floor. On a happier note we do have COKE products and hopefully amongst them is one she will enjoy. Hope you survive and if you do, see you soon. PS – STAY CLEAR OF THAT DOG THAT NEARLY ATTACKED YOU BUT GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN THE DOG AND THE MRS WITH NO DR PEPPER, I THINK I WOULD TAKE MY CHANCES WITH FIDO!
KATHY – When you get onboard go straight to the CHIC DINING ROOM and check your table is what you want. If not, ask KEN or DINO for a table change and I will let them know to help you out. See you in may.
CHRISTINE AND BERNIE – Thank you for the message of condolence for Joanne. I know it came as quite a shock to the people who had sailed that cruise to learn of his passing. I have passed your thanks on to Ken and I am glad that your friend Althea had such a nice surprise. I am hoping that the itinerary of the Splendor will be announced soon and I can then pass it on to all of you. Thanks and please keep reading the blog.
MEHYDER – Thank you for your comments on the show times and they are noted. I am sure September feels a long time away but before you know it you will be here. See you than and my best regards to you and your family.
BIG ED – The comments about the places of worship are well noted and a great idea which I will make sure is standard practice. Thanks mate, and that’s you promoted again to DIRECTOR OF NEW IDEAS AND SECURITY SECRETARY CHEF.
SUE – Sounds like you have your seven days of trans-Atlantic “fun” already planned. I will add a few activities for the times when you are not eating, sleeping, gambling, eating, hot tubbing, eating, drinking, shopping, eating and dancing. It will be a seven-day cruise to FUNWHERE.
LINDA – I am sorry to hear you got the wrong tags for your cruise on the Glory. As I do not have your address I will need your booking number or can I suggest you call CARNIVAL directly and ask for ORANGE TAGS to be sent. Personally though you should not stress as you can easily change them upon arrival. Please have Mike put the drill down and let me know a booking number so I can help further. Don’t worry, all will be well.
BELLA – The couples massage is $220 for two people and it is, I am told, divine. I am not much into massages, creams and lotions, I prefer soap on a rope! However, the spa treatments are divine – let me know if you want me to book for you before you cruise (does not matter what ship). Thanks for reading the blog.
VICKI – I will pass the message onto Robert and Suzann as you requested. They are eating in the supper club tonight !
CARLO – Actually a free cruise is part of the package we offer for Ministers to sail so I hopefully we will see an increase as I know it means a lot to some people to be able to worship while onboard. Hope you are enjoying the blog and see you soon.
KENA AND DAVID – I can only imagine how much fun it must be to be at the Kentucky Derby for the pre-race celebrations and the race itself. The fireworks video is a great idea and I have already passed the idea onto ANDREW WICKS who works in our Audio Visual Department and hopefully we can get together with Zambelle as the display would look great on the big screen. Sorry about the extra pounds but the chocolate cake is heaven in a bowl (or so they say as I am not allowed it) 🙁
As I mentioned above Capri is always busy but we do divide our tours between the various locations so they are never to many of our people there at one time. Thanks for all your comments and see you soon.
JOYCE – First of all, on behalf of all in blog land, we salute the amazing work you do with the kids who need that extra attention and compassion that you obviously provide them with. Secondly, please do not worry about the mushroom allergy you have. Our staff handle concerns like this every day and all you need to do is to tell your maitre d’ when you arrive onboard. There will be a dining room reservation inquiry time listed in the Carnival Capers and you can meet the maitre d’ there. Also, every time you order something just remind your waiter to check with the chef to make sure there are no mushroom ingredients included. Most importantly please do not worry as this is very common and our friendly staff will assist you as they do many others each and every week. I am allergic to penicillin and coconut. Heidi is allergic to underwear on the floor, it makes her face go read and her arms pick up things and throw them at me……..strange one that. Let me know if I can be of any further help.
DOUG – Please do not skip the shows. The only thing that is possibly slightly PG – 13 would be the shows with the dancers that do include some ‘skimpy ‘ costumes but nothing bad. As for Camp Carnival, it is fantastic and will leave you to relax while your kids enjoy the times of their lives. Looking forward to seeing you very soon.
JERRY – Your training methods are to be applauded by all as I am doing now. Eating as much as you can before boarding makes perfect sense and it is a regime that I have adopted over the years and it has worked for me, If you need a training partner then I volunteer BIG ED and myself ! See you in June.
JIM – Unfortunately we can only do early shows on a few occasions as the ports of Cannes, Venice and Livorno are all late ports. The weather in June will be perfect for you to cruise so I hope you are looking forward to it and Heidi and I will be ready to welcome you home.
CINDY – It is always a pleasure to welcome travel agents to the blog. I will be here on the Carnival Freedom in October but as yet I am unsure about February but will let you know as soon as I can. Thank you for all your support and see you soon.
WWWWW – welcome back from your spring break. Yesterday – April 22 we were at sea all day and as I said above the sea was a little choppy. With regard to Herculaneum and Pompeii you can indeed do both tours with one in the morning and another in the afternoon with a nice break for lunch in between. If you do not fancy dinner in the dining room one night we have alternative dining every evening from 6 – 9 pm. This includes special selections, a carvery, salads and nightly specials and of course 24 hour a day Pizza with or without Mushroom 🙂  Keep reading the blog and see you soon.
ANDY – I love the TEA and TANGO idea and tomorrow (it’s 12:30 am) will discuss this with the musicians to see if they can provide the music. You are very kind to provide everyone with the details of the mask shop so thanks on their behalf. We do have another brilliant lobby duo who play music for dancing every night until 1 am so I know they at least will know one tango. Don’t worry about the Queen’s English as I understand she does not read this blog…………………yet.
SHEREE – please don’t worry about me with this blog thing. I hope it is something that our parent lines take up as well as what better way to get information about a cruise than to ask someone who is actually there. Now to the tours. I checked and none of the tours are sold out and I am not sure why it saying that online and will find the reason tomorrow. Naples is a beautiful town and the area around is simply stunning. Now, I do not want to influence you, but honestly we do not come to these areas for beaches and quite honestly the beaches cannot compare to those in the Caribbean and therefore please think seriously about seeing the real reason we call at this port. I suggest Sorrento with Pompeii as a combination, they are two highlights of most people’s trip. Remember also that you have a sea day between Naples and Venice so you can catch up on sleep and do nothing at all. These ports are not like the Caribbean where a quick trip around the island followed by shopping or beach time is the norm. These ports are full of history, culture and a chance to step back in time with the Carnival Freedom as your time machine. Still unsure? Then wait until you get onboard and come to my Adventure Talks which I host before each port and afterwards at the Q & A session we can design a package just for you. See you then and get ready for some time traveling.
ESSEX MAN – Smoking is allowed on the starboard side of the outside decks mate so you will not be met by the “smoke police.”  While 90% of the public areas are non-smoking there are still a few bastions of pleasure available. BLOGGER CRUISE INFORMATION WILL BE FORTHCOMING – PROMISE.

AND FINALLY……………………..QUESTIONS POSTED BY FRANK FAIRCLOUGH WHO POSTED THESE FOR ME TO ANSWER ( SORRY ITS BEEN SO LONG BUT I JUST NOTICED THESE ON AN OLD BLOG AND I NEVER DID ANSWER THEM ).

Why you want to know these I will never know but here goes…….sorry I cut and paste but I couldn’t be asked to type them all out again

FRANK FAIRCLOUGH
Myself and my wife cruised with you last year on the Liberty and thought you were brilliant.. Anyway, although we saw you on stage we never got to know the real John so I thought the people reading your blog would like to know the answers to these questions.
WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY AND HOW OLD ARE YOU     
I was born on January 22nd 1965  – that makes me %$, sorry &!, bugger I just cant bring myself to write it !
WHEN DID YOU START WORKING FOR CARNIVAL CRUISES
I started as a bar waiter (the worst they ever had) in June 1987
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST SHIP AS A CRUISE DIRECTOR
My first ship was the TSS Carnivale in 1990
WHO HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR CARREER AS A CRUISE DIRECTOR
Wow, that is a tough one. I think there are quite a few from the people in the office who first gave me the chance (Roger, Brendan) to  Gary Hunter who trained me. In more recent times, It has been Heidi who always keeps me on the straight and narrow and most importantly mum and dad who have always been there for me as I traveled the world. Mum tapes all my favorite TV programs that I miss and I know Dad prints each blog out and is keeping them in a file. My Dad looks after all our finances, etc. while we are away and they has always been a major influence on my life .
WE ALL READ HOW DIFFICULT THE CRUISE OF SEPTEMBER 11TH WAS – ARE THERE ANY OTHERS THAT STAND OUT AS DIFFICULT OR CHALLENGING.
Each cruise has its own challenges and you never know what is going to happen. It may look routine but each cruise is always difficult. I do have one or two that stand out but I think I will save them for a later date !
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DRINK
I do not drink alcohol at all and have not for 11 years. Now I know what you are thinking but that’s not the reason. I never really liked it and I always feel that if there was ever an emergency onboard that the most important person to the guests is the Cruise Director so he or she must always have a clear head. So, my favorite drink is my Mum’s good old Cuppa Tea.
WHAT BOOK IS BY YOUR BEDSIDE
A Novel by Ex SAS soldier Andy McNab called CRISIS FOUR and the Auto Biography of Richard Branson – chairman Of Virgin Atlantic.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO THAT YOU HAVE NOT YET DONE WITHIN THE CRUISE INDUSTRY
OK, I paused here for ten minutes to think about this one and considering it is 1:30 am I hope these answers make sense.

1. I WOULD LIKE TO HOST A TALK SHOW WITH GUESTS FROM THE TRAVEL AND CRUISE INDUSTRY – CRUISE TV – MAYBE ON THE TRAVEL CHANNEL OR SIMILAR. THERE ARE ENOUGH PEOPLE WHO LOVE CRUISES WHO WOULD WATCH – ANY BLOGGERS AGREE
2. AS STATED ABOVE, I WOULD LOVE TO DO A TRANS-ATLANTIC ON A CUNARD SHIP – THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT THAT I AM SURE
3. MOSTLY, I WANT TO CONTINUE FOR AS LONG AS I CAN MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH – YOU CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF THAT.

FINALLY, IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE FAMOUS IN THE WORLD ALIVE OR DEAD WHICH FOUR WOULD YOU CHOOSE
Frank – this one is easy:

WINSTON CHURCHILL – MY PERSONAL HERO
JOHN CLEESE – MY COMEDY HERO
MARGARET THATCHER – MY POLITICAL HERO
ANGELINA JOLIE –  IF THE OTHER THREE CAN’T MAKE IT – OH WELL.

On that note, I am off to bed for hopefully a better nights sleep than last night.

Goodnight

Your friends

John and Heidi

Good Morning from the Carnival Freedom.

I know a lot of people read this blog but I had no idea the Big Boss Did ! Yep, he does.
Yesterday in my blog “All Creatures Great and Small” I mentioned that some guests were disappointed that there was no Priest sailing and hence no Sunday Service.

This morning, I opened my emails and here is the first one I read.

From: FREEDOM PURSERS
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 6:53 PM
To: FREEDOM PURSERS; FREEDOM CHIEF PURSER; FREEDOM GROUPS COORDINATOR
Cc: FREEDOM CRUISE DIRECTOR; FREEDOM ASSISTANT CRUISE DIRECTOR
Subject: Catholic Minister offering services onboard
Good Evening,
Please be advised that Father  Campbell called from cabin ____ asking for the cruise director. He advised me that he wanted to offered to conduct a  Catholic service for Sunday..
Best regards
Phillipa Aiken

This I am sure will make our guests very happy and proves that you never know who is reading your blog !

On we go with Q and A.

FRANCO AND LYNN – So many questions, so little time. I guess with a name like Franco he is indeed going back to the old country and I am sure you will
Be impressed if it is your first visit, Rome is a one of a kind. With regard to your question about Carnival vacation Club I am sorry to report that we do not have a representative on the Carnival Freedom. May I suggest you contact them before you sail if you have any questions or concerns. Once onboard you will find that as you so eloquently put it ” I am not de man ” but I will try and be ” the man ” ( Heidi would like that as well ) for anything you may need. Most people with tri band cell phones use them while in Europe. Check with your provider to find out the cost of calls but usually they are pretty reasonable. You can also by a SIM card from one of the Italian Phone Companies and if people call you on that number then all incoming calls will be free. Try I TIM or VODAPHONE – they have a great catch phrase on their T.V. advertising said in English but spoken by an Italian – ” CANA YOUA HERA MI KNOWA “- note: Important that you move your right hand up and down while saying it.
As for a restaurant near the Spanish Steps I am sorry to report that I have not eaten in that area but I am sure a fellow blogger has grazed in that area and will follow up with an answer. See you soon and CIAO
PAUL F PIETRANGELO – Heidi and send our deepest sympathies at the passing of your wife’s mother. We will be thinking of you just as you and many others will be thinking of Louise and her family. One of the best things about doing this blog ahs been the sincerity that people have shown towards each other. I often wonder when I sit down to write them if I should not include the sad stories but they are as part of life here on the Carnival Freedom and guests always want to share them with me and I in turn with you. Maybe, I should stop writing the, see, I am second guessing myself again. What do you and others think? Thanks again for writing back and you and Mrs. Pietrangelo will remain in our thoughts.
NICOLE – What great news to discover that you will be hosting a group of 60 on the Carnival Freedom in September and yes, we will be here. We also have a great Groups Coordinator called CHARLENE who will also be on hand to help and assist in anyway she can. I look forward to meeting your group. See you soon.
SYRAH – I was horrified to learn of the terrible robbery that you and Katherine suffered. Can you tell us what happened and the name of the hotel so that others reading this can be warned. Heidi and I will of course send you another DVD of the show. Please also let Katherine know that I posted her address on a previous blog so that others can write to her. Again, sorry to hear of your terrible ordeal and please let me know any details that you feel may benefit other readers. Heidi and I send you our best regards and hope you are both ok.
BIG ED – As grown men we must come out of shells and stand up to our wives and be brave and say ” If I want my underwear on the floor, then dam it I will “. We are not scared of them anymore and should not be shy in standing in front of them and proudly proclaiming ” I Love Angelina Jolie ” and ” The toilet seat will remain in the up position for as long as I want “. Let’s stick together, let us not be of faint heart and together we shall overcome………………………..you go first !
DAISY – When you come onboard we will provide you with a shopping map for each and every port so make sure you take it ashore with you. The one for Venice will have all the details about the mask store. I am glad you are both excited and leave me a not once onboard and I will see what I can do about getting you on a Galley Tour.
DR. GUIDO SPECKLEHUMP – Doctor, it is a pleasure to hear from you. We would welcome you all aboard any Carnival ship and I am sure you and your surgical enhancement team will have a vacation that is a “cut above the rest “. As for Big Ed, only he and Mrs. Big Ed can answer that. Would you be available to fly to the U.K. Doctor as my mate Alan could do with your help.
LINDA AND MIKE THE HAMMER – I am also on pills Linda and make sure I am always very careful as there is temptation everywhere onboard. I am very lucky to have found Heidi and I know that there is nothing that Angelina has that Heidi does not………………..well, maybe a couple of things! Thanks for reading the blog everyday it means the world to us.
JEFF AND LEAH – So you are the ones who tried to smuggle out your Stateroom Steward :). Your wonderful comments about last cruise have been forwarded to the relevant department heads and I am so happy that you had such a great time. I am in total agreement with you about the tours you took, they are indeed spectacular especially Ephesus. I hope you get some new luggage quickly so that you can pack and join us again on another carnival Cruise adventure. Until then, our best wishes to you both.
BARBARA AND JIM – There is indeed a lot of sadness in the world and I thank you once again for your kind words and I am so sorry my blog thingy made you cry – again. I will contact the family who los their son and see if indeed they would mind posting an address. I will let you know. Keep the countdown going and I will see you very soon.
SALLY BARCLAYS – Thanks for reading the blog every day. I hope that one day you get to watch the ship dock in your home port. I am sure you and Lorraine will have a wonderful time doing it together as there is no better place for  friends to have a reunion than on a Carnival Cruise. May I suggest the Carnival Freedom in January for a seven day Caribbean Cruise to Cozumel, Jamaica and Grand Cayman, three of my favorite ports of call. Hope to see you soon.
JILL NEWMARK – .Thank you for your posting about your friend Margaret who has had difficulties getting to the ship. Rest assured that our Purser’s are taking great care of her and hopefully all will be well from now on. I hope indeed you do decide to sail on the Carnival Freedom very soon.
NANETTEALI – Gracias para el blogo. Mi amigo el burro Alan Adkins hablar mucha basura so mio es in the doo doo. Hasta luego, your amigo Juanito!
Just read your news that I may see Angelina in Cannes for the film festival. Mucho excitedo !
BIG ED – The Volante will be great, preferably in Black with Angelina Jolie in the front seat ! There will be room for you in the boot ( trunk ).
The Volante
MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – Thank you for your comments on how wonderful the shore side employees of Carnival are and it is obvious why many departments are constantly winning Industry Awards. On to the subject of the Trans Atlantic. We will have three formal nights in the 14 day cruise and the menu will be rotated on a 12 day basis which means two of the popular menus will be repeated…………….remember that you can order each and every night one of the following items just in case you prefer something a bit more ” simple ” for dinner ( try the ribs …….mmmmmmmmmmmmmm )
Sirloin steak
Barbecue spare ribs
Jumbo mega cheeseburger
And of course……………………..The Naughty Chocolate Melting Cake .
My friend Danny just cruised and he ate the Ribs every night ( as well as another main course ) !! I hope Mrs. Missingthesmokefreeparadise will persuade you to come and sail………………………if for no other reason but the ribs and melting chocolate cake.
BELLA – Heidi and I were married in December 2004 in The Grand Hotel Amsterdam. It was a wonderful blue skied day and although cold you could not have asked for a better day……………….unless Angelina Jolie had been a bridesmaid. Heidi and I certainly are able to find a happy medium between our working and social lives but it is not always easy.
Now as for restaurants in Rome, I do not know of any myself but I will get some recommendations for you and post them ASAP. I also do not expect the Spa to be up and running for internet bookings by then so just drop me a note on this blog thingy and I will take care of the booking for you. See you in June.
NATE’S MOM………………I do not think you have anything to worry about Mum. Nate is a good looking kid and already has a some interested parties hoping to become his friend. He is safe and well and I am keeping an eye on him for you…………today, he had clean socks and underwear and ate all his vegetables. Let me know if there are any messages for him. Best Wishes to you and the family.
JODI……………………..I should know what the replacement gift is going to be very soon.
BREAKING NEWS: In addition to the gifts Carnival will give the following discounts on cruises for Platinum members.
25 CRUISES – 25%
50 CRUISES -50%
100 CRUISES – 100%
500 CRUISES – YOUR OWN SHIP:)
So, great discounts and lots more to come……..it really does pay to become Platinum.
All the best Jodi and see you soon.
DAVID – as far as the Galley tour is concerned can you kindly contact your agent who in turn will contact Carnival. I can sneak a few people in but 70, well that’s hard to sneak ! I can arrange a backstage tour for you which I know you will all find very interesting so let me know if you want that once aboard. I am sure you and the Dentists are aching to come and cruise and are just filling in time before you do ( dental humor ).
ALISON – thanks for reading every blog and I hope you are enjoying them. I am sure we can arrange a galley tour for you so once again I ask that you leave me a note once onboard .Hope you enjoyed your Princess cruises but it will be great to welcome you home.
LOVETOTEACH – I checked with the Camp carnival staff and your son will be able to go into the 6 – 8 group if you and he wish. He may feel more comfortable in the lower age group but you can see what is best for him. I will leave you now to grade papers. God Bless the teachers of the world !
JTODINMANN – The captain’s table is usually made up of guests whom the company believe deserve the privilege of eating with the Captain. They could be frequent cruises, VIPs’ or sometimes and on rare occasions randomly invited guests. Don’t say that I said this but when I first started at carnival as a Wine Steward it was amazing as I served the Captain’s table that every week the VIPs’ were beautiful young women……….ssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhh, don’t say I told you.

Also in the old days, we could take passengers everywhere around the ship but sadly but understandably those days are gone. This is obviously for security reasons and for the safety of the crew as well. However, if there are areas you would like photographed, ask and I shall see what can be done. Here for starters is a photo of me, typing this blog at 10:27pm on Saturday April 21.Let me know what else you would like and I will see if it is possible. Cheers.
Picture of me with the blog:)

LINDA AND MIKE THE PLUMBER – I do miss Heidi very much, SHE IS BACK IN THREE DAYS FLYING INTO ISTANBUL:) The Carnival Triumph could be a possibility for the bloggers cruise along with the Imagination and the Carnival Freedom. After me and for some strange reason Heidi’s favorite hunk is the bloke who played Johnny Cash, Joking Feenix or something although she also likes Richard Gere. You suggested I fill the room with flowers for her return but instead I have filled the room with various pairs of socks and underwear….always the same. The Carnival Glory is a great ship and you must try the Supper Club and the not to be missed show is called ROCK DOWN BROADWAY. I am sure we will blog together before then. Bye for now.
ANNMARIE – Thanks for the compliments on the blog. Let me know what you would like photos of and I will oblige if possible. Cheers.
BONNIE AND YOUR PRINCE CHARLIE – How about some Spotted Dick ?
TERRI – you are correct about Rome, it is an exuberant place and attending a mass in St.Peters Square is a life changing experience. We do play the Newly Wed Game here and it will be interesting to see what you and your hubby really know about each other. We have spiced up the questions a little bit though. My mate Alan and his wife Alison played last year and scored 0 which exactly what Alan got for the rest of the cruise ! See you soon and pleas keep reading.

Today, I witnessed a Master at Work……………………..Carnival’s President and C.E.O Mr. Bob Dickinson. He hosted a Q and A session for the 1400 Repeat Guests in our theatre and his charm, expertise and sheer knowledge of the business he obviously loves with such passion was there for all to see. It did not matter if they were compliments, concerns, suggestions or just plain complaints each question was met with caring and concerned answers.

Now, you maybe thinking that this is an employee who is just saying this to be nice to the boss but honestly, I am not and it is obvious why he is so respected in the industry.

He was so good in fact, he could easily bee a Cruise Director……………………..now there is an idea……….JOB SWAP.I will be President and Bob can be the cruise Director………………right, that is settled then and now as President, here is a photo of my first decree.

My first decree if I were President of Carnival

Last night, I met two wonderful Honeymooners at the Welcome Aboard Show. They are both from Texas and were so much fun. They had met just 4 months ago, fell in love and married straight away. They then paid for 30 family and friends to join them on the Carnival Freedom……………….The audience fell in love with them both and they enjoyed the show and her husband told me to hurry up because he could not wait to get to the cabin ! They stole the show .Here is a photo of the newly weds

MR AND MRS WOODRUFF……………………………..did I mention they are both 86 years old !

Mr. and Mrs. Woodruff

So, it is never too late to find love and lets all raise a glass to Mr. and Mrs. Woodruff and wish them many years of happiness and joy………………….I haven’t seen them since the show….typical honeymooners, always in their cabin 🙂

Goodnight

Your friends

John and Heidi

All Creatures Great and Small

April 20, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning One and All:

It’s 9:45 am today in the beautiful port of Naples. It was a busy morning.  Due to heavy ferry traffic, we were delayed coming in by 20 minutes. This puts tremendous pressure on our department as we are responsible for the debarkation of 1,800 people who booked tours as it is imperative that all 18,00 disembark within one hour of the ship’s arrival.

Our tour process involves giving each guest a sticker with their bus number on it and making sure they are with their families on the same bus. There were lines — and that is something I hate to see — but within 45 minutes everyone was stickered and on their way off the ship.

The temperature today is expected to rise to 75 degrees F (23 degrees C) which makes for a perfect day to explore this stunning area.

I had another wonderful letter this morning from the avid readers “the Blogger Sisters” and also Katharine and Clayton, I will be sending a little surprise to their cabin later today.

And now, time for the daily Q and A:

CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Thank you for your kind words on the MSNBC article. I hope Angelina does read it and realizes what she is missing. I am really hoping we can do a Caribbean Bloggers Cruise and I continue to work on this with the folks in the office. I also want to visit the Turks and Caicos and Half Moon Cay as I hear they are two TOP Caribbean destinations. So, watch this space and I hope to have news soon. Until then, thanks for reading the blog thingy.
SHARON – My words about Heidi were straight from the heart and I must admit again to being a bit “of a moody old sod ” without her here. Drop me a line when you sail and your wish to see the galley will come true but sssshhhhhhhhhhh don’t tell anyone.
BIG ED – I know for a fact that many of the top management read this blog whenever they can. I agree with you 100% about lines onboard……….I hate them with a passion. Now, there are always going to be lines at any location where 3,000 plus people move from A to B at the same time and this applies to ships, hotels, stadiums, etc.However, I think that the future may include the ability to pre-purchase spa appointments, supper club bookings and other amenities online (like we can do now with shore excursions). I will pass this on and I hope this blog can be used to help improve our product. As for paying for ideas – interesting idea but if we do have a bloggers cruise I will make sure we have a special party and I will buy the drinks.
I had a dream last night that I was president of Carnival…………I really did…………………!!!!!!!
Also, sorry you are in the “dog house” about the chocolate pudding that you have made your wallpaper on your computer. To get yourself out of the hound house may I suggest you quickly replace the chocolate pudding with a new wallpaper as attached
Wallpaper 1 Wallpaper 2
DEBRAH HEHN – Firstly, let me say how thrilled I am that you are bringing your family on the Carnival Freedom. Secondly, your daughters birthday will be spent in Dubrovnik which is a fairy tale town. May I suggest that you take the family on the Best Of Dubrovnik Tour. This will feature a trip through the beautiful countryside, a visit to the village of Tafdat which is quaint and so pretty and then up into the hills for a refreshment stop in the mountains by a beautiful water mill. Then it is into the old town which is like stepping into a Hans Christen Andersen book. Take the kids for an ice cream – they are so yummy and enjoy a day with the family. Then, order a cake for your daughter and the wait staff will sing a special “Happy Birthday” to her at dinner. Please bring the kids to the shows and let them enjoy Camp carnival where new friends will be made. Thanks for your kind words about the blog and I am glad to here you had a good laugh today. See you all soon.
LINDA AND MIKE THE MECHANIC – I truly do remember reading your letter on the morning show and the rose episode. My sympathies at the loss of your first husband and also I am happy that you found Mike who obviously loves you very much. My sense of humor is one reason Heidi fell for me, along with the fact that I was with Alan who is so ugly she had to pick me. I think you will like the new range of Platinum Club gifts which hopefully I can let you know about soon. The Carnival Triumph does indeed leave out of Miami and is still one of the best ships in the fleet …don’t know why……it just has a special something about it. I hope we get together soon so Heidi and I get to see you and Mike can repair my coffee machine. Keep reading the blog and the best to you both.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – I was once visiting a friend of mine called Peter Edwards who lived in Georgia. He served me something called “chitlins.” I had no idea what it was and they smelled and tasted awful. Being the typical Englishman I didn’t want to embarrass me or him by saying, “What the hell is this?” so I just sat there and ate as much as I could while making small talk with Peter and his family. After 10 minutes, they all started to smile and then laugh and when I was told what it was….well……lets just say they were all lucky that I did not refill the pot right there and then. Your videos are great and I will take the time to watch them all when I can. Please keep reading and writing.
MATT – I will let you know about Splendor tomorrow. I hope to release some breaking news ASAP. As I mentioned in my reply to El Grande Eduardo, I totally agree that if there is a way to cut down on lines then we should find it. I will get back to you very soon regarding the Carnival Splendor.
KATHY HADOULIS – I had no idea that the Platinum Club benefits are applicable on our sister companies ships. How fantastic is that. But why would you cruise anywhere else? I am sure meeting family you have never met in Rhodes, Greece, will be a very emotional moment for you all. I look forward to meeting you and to find out how the family reunion went. See you soon.
COLEEN O’LEARY – What a wonderful story. You and Richard meeting on the Mardi Gras, falling in love and 20 years later celebrating with your beautiful family.  Your anniversary is worthy of a blog dedicated to you alone. I promise that I will do everything I can to make this voyage aboard the Freedom as special as the cruise you took 20 something years ago where you met the man who correctly stated that you would be together forever. Heidi and I will see you soon. I will keep blogging as long as I can.
MAXWELL1100 – I will be on the Carnival Freedom for your cruise and look forward to seeing you then. As for currency exchange. We do have facilities onboard.  However, bear in mind that we are not a bank and it would be wrong of me not to tell you that a better rate can be found from your bank before you sail or from an ATM machine ashore. Let me know if you need any more information. And see you soon.
JO AND DAVE – I am happy that we got the caffeine thing sorted and a fresh can will be opened when you order and poured directly into the glass for you. Now to the toilets, Europeans to tend to be able to “hold it in.” On the tours, we have planned this year you will find that we have vastly improved this. If you would like to read more about where the best toilets are in Europe may I suggest you read a book called TOILETS OF EUROPE BY I.P. FREELEY. I will keep my fingers (and my legs) crossed that you have a great cruise. Let me know if you need any further help.
ARLIN GUESS – It was great having you onboard and my regards to your husband as he continues his military life in Germany. Please be careful driving the car while watching me as I do not want to be the cause of an accident. Kids today, DVD entertainment in the car. When I was a kid I used to amuse myself by making faces at the car behind and flicking boogers onto the back of my dad’s head and see if they would stick…………..they did ! Anyway, stay well and please send my best regards to your entire family.
NANCI – welcome to the Carnival Family. I have asked Roger from our head office to pass your comment about the Carnival cruise directors on to the entire fleet, it will mean so much to them. I have great memories of the Carnival Leg End and you will discover another wonderful cruise director there called Brent. Please pass on my regards to him and I wish you a happy and fun vacation.
ROBOCOP – That’s all I need. A crime-fighting man of action such as yourself saying my wife looks good! You are right, of course, and I look forward to your e-mail. My best to you and your wife and hope things are well.
SUE GROHOL – Your comments are well noted regarding the Platinum Gifts. We are working hard to come up with the best solution and maybe your gift shop voucher is the way to go. There are great minds at work regarding this as it is very important to us here at Carnival. See you on the TRANSATLANTIC CRUISE. We have SEVEN straight sea days – anything particular you would like activity wise? See you soon and I will let you know the status of the Platinum Gifts as soon as possible.
JERRY FRIEDMAN – I enjoyed your writing about Rebecca, do you have any more? With regard to Venice. you are correct that there are two times listed For departure. This depends as to if we call at Dubrovnik before or after Venice. Just to make sure you know what you are doing, here is the itinerary for your particular cruise. It won’t be long now!

Wed, Jun, 06 Rome – dep @ 7pm   
Thu, Jun, 07 Naples – 7am-6pm   
Fri, Jun, 08 – at sea       
Sat, Jun, 09 Venice – arr @ 2pm   
Sun, Jun, 10 Venice – dep @ 3pm   
Mon, Jun, 11 Dubrovnik – 10am-7pm   
Tue, Jun, 12 – at sea       
Wed, Jun, 13 Messina – 7am-5pm   
Thu, Jun, 14  – at sea       
Fri, Jun, 15 Barcelona – 7am-5pm   
Sat, Jun, 16 Cannes – 9am-8pm   
Sun, Jun, 17 Livorno – 7am-7pm 

CAROLE – I think that is the way we are going to go. Some earlier shows and some later shows. As to why the president of this other cruise line was onboard……will have to ask Roger Blum and get back to you. Best wishes to you until then.
JUNE BEAL – ALOHA ……….to you in Hawaii. The sun is arranged. Temperatures will be an average of 70 degrees and little white fluffy clouds will disapissatate (new official word from the Weather Channel) leading to blue skies and a happy vacation for all. See you very soon.
PATRICK TYE – I have a CD for you. Now, how do I get it to you. Do you feel comfortable adding your address to this blog thingy?
MICHELE – I am so sorry you did not get your Sail & Sign Statement.. I am addressing this immediately. I am informed however that a copy will be mailed to you however as I stated in my debarkation talk it should have been with you by 5 am. Please accept my apologies. Hope you had a great cruise.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Do you know I have never been aboard the CARNIVAL VALOR to see the Bronx Bar. I am glad the blog is making you laugh.  Oh, how I could eat a New York bagel right now. You said you are about to book the Imagination 5 day – BOOK IT
DANO – It is going to be a great run and I hear the Turks and Caicos is the BEST of the new Caribbean locations. This maybe the ship I will host a bloggers cruise on so send me your review. As for the snow do not worry
Because with global warming and the weird weather, it will probably be 80 degrees in New York in November. Have a great cruise on the Imagination and I admit that I am a great Yankees fan, they are my favorite team and hopefully can go all the way and win the Super Bowl this year!…………..LET’S GO HEAT !
ANN MARIE – You are correct that the Q and A session does take so much time and if it does start affecting my job then I will stop. I am glad you rediscovered the blog and please keep reading. Best Wishes to you and your family.
ALBERT GREENSTEIN – what a good question, “How many ships does Carnival Corporation have currently sailing. The answer…………….drum roll please………………………….are you ready………..you will be amazed………………………actually, I have no clue.
However I know someone who probably does, so over to my PA who will I am sure be able to tell you and I and the other 143,999 people. I have a feeling we will be amazed!

Can I quickly take this opportunity to say a big “hello” to all my friends who I know and many I do not know who are such an important part to your cruise enjoyment. I am talking, of course, about the thousands of CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES SHORESIDE EMPLOYEES. I know a few read this site and I want to thank all of you on behalf of the guests and crew.

I.GHEKDITOFF – Another relation of Sergei, I think. I realized that instead of typing the word STUDYING I typed the word STUDDING which is an ancient Dutch art. Van Gogh was attempting to put a stud in his ear and look what happened.
As for my mate Alan he is a great guy and very brave having been in Afghanistan and Iraq with the Royal Marines. We have had so many fun times together and if I ever got myself in trouble as a teenager you can bet Alan was involved. Would you like an example…………………….Yes I hear 144,000 of you shout as one voice..O.K, a quick Alan Adkins story then.

Alan and I were on holiday in Majorca, Spain. We were only 18 and it was our first real ” boys” vacation ever. The first day by the pool Alan was eyeing up the beautiful women ( and I think it was the men, but that’s a story for another day ) when a lovely young lady came over and started talking to us. Her name was Bridgette (she was French).  She was not a pretty girl but that did not matter as Alan is no oil painting and the two started getting on well. She asked Alan what he did for a living and I expected him to say what he did – “he was in the Marines, but no, he says WE ARE BOTH VETS. She did not understand, so Alan then says – WE ARE ANIMAL DOCTORS……….she now understood and seemed very impressed. I just chuckled and got on reading my book and enjoying the sun.  Now, fast forward two days. Alan is getting on famously with his new French friend who it turns out is staying with her Mum and dad and younger sister. So, there we were laying in our usual spot by the pool when all of a sudden I here a very loud French shriek ” Alannnnnnn, Alannnnnnnnnn “. Looking up, I see Bridgette and her young sister walking towards us holding   “A PUPPY!” ( Please read the next bit out loud using a French accent ). ” Alannnnnnnnn,” says Bridgette, “We av found a petite dog and he as cut his leg, heeelp him ” Her sister, Melissa who was only 14 is crying as she holds one of the many stray dogs that inhabit Spain.

( back to the French accent )   “Alannnnnnnnnnn, Johnny, please help this little thing as you are both animal doctors. To make matters worse, the dog is looking at me as if to say, “Listen, can you help me because I just want to get back to lying in the sun and do nothing and this kid is screaming in my ear.”

Alan, looks at me and says, “John will take care of him, he is the dog specialist” and then takes the dog from the very young Melissa and gives him to me. “Come on girls,” says Alan, “let John do what he has to and we will check on him later.” With that, he leads the girls off for an ice cream leaving me and my new best friend Spot (“El Spotto” as we are in Spain) just standing there.

Now, I could have just put El Spotto on the floor and said (adios) but the animal lover in me (if it had been a cat it would have been a different story) said that I had to do something. I carried El Spotto to the front desk and asked if there was an animal shelter nearby. They made a call and one hour later a lady from the shelter came and Took El Spotto away for medical treatment and hopefully to find a new home.

When I saw Alan and his the Frenchies later I explained that I had given El Spotto medical treatment and he was now a happy little doggy. I received big smiles and Mercies from everyone and I was a hero. Since then, I have had my revenge on Alan and maybe one day I will tell you how. I wonder what happened to El Spotto?

Did you know that back in the early 1990s we had a COUGAR that lived onboard? Master Magician and friend Rand Woodbury had Geo the Cougar as part of his amazing magic show. It lived in a special area on one of the open decks on the Celebration. The idea of the show was to change a beautiful dancer into Geo the Cougar. It was the highlight of the show.

After the miracle change, Rand would take Geo out of his cage and walk him around the stage on a long chain lead. During one show, Geo broke free, jumped off the stage and ran through the 800 people in the audience and out of the show room with Rand in hot pursuit. For some reason the guests thought that this was just part of the show and applauded and stood in a wonderful ovation oblivious to the fact that a 300-pound cougar was loose and looking for dinner! Rand got hold of him and told me afterwards that Geo was more scared than the audience.

Right now, I am going to take an hour away from the computer and take a walk into Naples and maybe indulge myself in the traditional Italian art form of eating a Pizza…………back soon.

The Pizza never happened 🙁 I got off the ship, bought a newspaper and was going to sit at the pizzeria that Heidi and I usually go to but I felt sort of strange so I came back……….what a big softie!

Met some guests as I walked down the pier who were from Minnesota. They were relishing the sun as they said it was still cold when they left. They had been to Pompeii and could not believe how amazing it was. They then said they were concerned because what could possibly top this………I replied with one word ”EPHESUS ” and they are excited all over again. They also asked why we do not have a priest onboard.

This is a question I get asked a lot — “Why no priest, why no Rabbi?” For many people, being able to worship while on vacation is very important and I think we need to look at improving this service wherever possible, especially on longer cruises.
However, there is a problem we encounter with this. Finding a priest or rabbi to leave their parish or temple to come on a cruise is difficult. The ones that will are few and far between and there is certainly not enough to cover our entire fleet. As mentioned, we will be looking closely at this and we hopefully can improve the situation.

It is 10 pm and I am now getting ready for the Welcome Aboard Show. I have Deep Purple’s “Highway Star ” playing and I am thinking ahead to the show. This is such an important night for me as first impressions are so important. I find myself missing Heidi the most after a show. I hate coming back to any empty cabin.

And finally, I want to say that we reached another landmark today, 150,000 smacks or hits or whatever they are called on the blog thingy…..thank you.

I can only dream that Angelina is one of them.

Goodnight

Your Friends

John and Heidi

Sorry the last blog was so late. I have been extra busy without Heidi.

I woke up this morning at 5:15 am ready to start our debarkation process and found myself doing an impression of Heidi…”pick that up of the floor,” etc. It is very strange not having her here.

We began debarkation on time at 6 am and by 9 am we were done with 3000 people on their long journey home.
 
It is now 1 pm and we already have 1,000 new guests onboard. These guest include people who have been reading the blog thingy who have already left notes at the desk to say hello……how great is that ! They are:

Mr and Mrs. Robert Schneider – Robert and Suzann have cruise over 30 times with me and I value our friendship very much. Welcome home to them both.
Mr. and Mrs. Sara and Ray Mond – They are on their first Carnival Cruise and are here celebrating their first anniversary having met each other in their early twenties.  After losing touch, they found each other again and are here to celebrate their one-year anniversary. I will be calling them on the Morning Show.
Mr. and Mrs. Molars – They left me a note say they had come over here three days ago and have been enjoying Rome and are very excited to be onboard.

All have been reading the blog and I will do my best to make sure the Molars, Monds and the Schneiders have a wonderful time.
HERE IS TODAY’S Q & A

BREAKING NEWS  FROM MY P.A.
REGARDING THE QUESTION ABOUT CUNARD SHIPS CROSSING THE ATLANTIC TOGETHER AND IF IT HAD HAPPENED BEFORE.

QE2 and QM2 sailed from NY to Southampton together 3 years ago

Regards from your PA

So, there you have it. After days of intensive research the mystery P.A. has come through with the answer  – anyone else want to test his  – or her – vast knowledge of the cruise ship world? Let me know.

By the way, it is one of my dreams to do a trans-Atlantic voyage on a Cunard ship, it is one of the “must-do” events in the cruise world we live in.

ANDY – You must be a poet, a writer or a professor of English as your writing is a joy to behold. I must agree with you that sailing into Venice is a most remarkable event. Seeing 110,000 tons of modern-day architecture sail past the stunning and historical buildings and churches of Venice is simply breathtaking. Your recommendation of the mask retailer is also spot on. She provided and made the masks for the Tom Cruise movie “Eyes Wide Shut.” We will be holding our own Venetian mask Party on board and, as I believe I have mentioned before, it is a very special and popular event. So, here we are on the completed white swan you saw last year and next cruise we will return to Venice for the first time since we sailed on March 4. I sincerely look forward to meeting you, as does Heidi, and I will ask that her photo be placed on the blog entrance. If the computer boys accidentally post Angelina Jolie’s picture there instead, it is not my fault! All the best and thanks for reading the blog and posting your comments.
KEVIN AND LAURA – Do you remember a few blogs ago I told you about Kevin and Laura who watched their first Grandson be born live from a web cam onto their computer onboard the Freedom? Here they are! Kevin and Laura…………………….How is Stephen, would it be possible to post a photo of him? Heidi and I consider ourselves unofficial godparents and were proud to be part of the birth (but glad I was not actually there – dreading that bit).Please stay in touch and all of us bloggers send you and the family our best wishes.
BIG ED – I have never been told that my thingy has helped anyone in a positive way before ……………well there was this one girl. Anyway, thanks for taking care of Sergei and I check your blog all the time, it looks great. As for the MSNBC news clip, I thank Anita so very much and I am proud that it has been featured on such an important site. Write soon mate.
KATHY HADOULIS – Is that a Greek name ? Thanks for the praise on the Platinum Club membership. We are indeed very proud of it and I am glad you are spreading the word. As for the soup, I think I will stick to chicken. Write soon and my best regards.
BUSTER6195 – You will be happy to know that there is one step before Platinum and that is gold card membership that is awarded after your first cruise. As your first Carnival cruise is fast approaching, once you finish that cruise, you’ll be considered a gold card member. How about a Caribbean cruise with me next year? Your thoughts on Rome are interesting and we are developing a new selection of tours in the Italian countryside which much closer to the ship. Saying that, Rome is just over an hour away and is one of the most incomparable cities in the world and not to visit it would be a shame. If you choose to stay onboard there will be lots of entertainment, movies and live music to keep you happy. See you very soon and please keep reading the blog thingy.
BIG ED – I am indeed thinking of floating the blog on the stock exchange and will give every reader 1 million complimentary shares which in a year should be worth about…nothing. I am flabbergasted and bamboozled (lets all use that word at least once today) at the 141,000 hit things that have happened in such a short space of time thanks to people like you.
RICHCROW – regarding your request to be waving on the big screen, please if you contact any of the group onboard please have them leave me a message so I can assist them with their request. What is the name of the group? I will wait to hear from them.
DOUG NEWMAN – I did indeed send you a “test” email, did you get it yet? Do you know, I have never sailed on any other ship except when I am working on Carnival. Heidi and I are thinking of sailing on Princess in November to see what another member of our family does. Thaks for your kind and meaningful words about Virginia and please let me know if you got my e-mail. Thanks mate
BIG ED – Please buy some new glasses 🙂
SUSAN JORDAN – You are the second person who has mentioned Captain Volpi and I am glad you felt so safe during Hurricane Ernesto. May 25 will be here before you know and so will you! Thaks for reading my daily rubbish and I will keep going as long as I can with the daily blogs. See you soon.
SUSAN JORDAN – Regarding your questions on toilets. There are numerous toilet stops on all the tours. Most are free but in Turkey they charge 0.50 Euro cents. No need to bring paper money as toilet paper is provided 🙂
LORRAINE AND BOB TAYLOR – I hope you had a great time on the Carnival Liberty. This reminds me, some of the ships in the cruising world have similar names as you know. I must remind my fellow cruise directors to always use the world CARNIVAL before mentioning the name of the ship…we should be proud to give the ship her full name.
Anyway, back your question. The bedtime story is one of my favorite things to do and providing I feel the audience will appreciate it I will always perform it. I am sure your adult grandkids will enjoy it immensely. I look forward to welcoming you all onboard soon.
BOB & EMILY MEANS – Bob, I sincerely apologize that I did not schedule a Win A Cruise Bingo. Scheduling is very tight on these European runs and I did not really see a space where I could hold it. So far, the Freedom is the only ship with a ….separate………….thing (don’t know the word for what this is) but I know there are plans to get this up and running on other ships soon. Let me know when you will be on the Carnival Pride (note full name used) and I will let you know who will be the cruise director. Feel free to write a book anytime. Cheers.
ERIN – I am thinking of doing exactly what you suggested and writing one blog with just the answers to the questions and another with the blog thingy itself. This has morphed into something bigger than anyone thought it would ever be (I mean the blog, not me personally) and the boffins at Carnival HQ are working on new ideas all the time. It is like I am James Bond and Roberto and Frank in the office are my Q’s. The only difference is, I am ugly, don’t look good in a tux, and as yet do not drive an Aston Martin (still waiting for that one). Still, I married Dr. No (Heidi, do you feel romantic tonight…..NO) and could be the new James Bond villan………”BLOGFINGER.” Thaks for reading Erin and I hope you continue to do so…the names Heald, John Heald.
LUVS2CRUISE – Thanks for your comments about the Camp Carnival dinner and you are correct the timing makes no sense. I think this should not be a problem anymore because all of our first sittings start at 5:45pm now. However, I will pass this onto someone who schedules Camp Carnival and make sure they schedule accordingly. Thank you again for bringing it to my attention and you are correct Todd is amazing. I will return with any new information ASAP.
LULU – I remember the Baltic cruise very well on the Carnival Leg End. There is good news and bad news regarding the “young Scottish gentlemen” you mentioned was on that cruise with us. The Bad News is that we will never work together again. This is because he kept wearing a kilt and kept dropping stuff and kept bending over to pick it up and showing me……..well you get the picture (and it was a large picture at that). Seriously, we will never work together again because Ralph ” Wee Jimmy” Valente is now a Cruise Director in his own right and aboard the Carnival Glory sailing out of Port Canaveral. If you are looking for a Caribbean cruise that I know will feature great ports, great crew and a very funny cruise director then look no further than the Carnival Glory. I am very proud of ” Wee Jimmy ” and I know that he will be a huge star (by that I mean a large gassy object).  Thanks for reading the blog thingy and Heidi and I send our best to you.
CHRIS AND STEPHANNIE – What wonderful news to hear your comments about the rebirth of Cozumel. Ladies and gentlemen. Go To Cozumel. Go to Cozumel on a Carnival ship and see the joyous smile on the faces of the people who lost everything and are so dependant on the support of cruise ship guests. Check out carnival.com  for the ships that call there and as Chris says it is back to its best.
LINDA AND HER TOOLBOX KING – I again apologize for not posting yesterday. I have to type everything myself and then send it via e mail to Miami where the guys at the computer place (don’t know the correct words) put it on a thing and place it on a page via the net blog hard drive floppy processor thing. Heidi and I do not get to see American Idol over here but I am well aware of Simon Cowell and his antics.  I wish there was a show where you could be chosen to be the next Jay Leno or David Letterman. I am not for one minute saying I am anywhere near their standard but boy, would I love to have a go. Hope you enjoy this blog and best to you both.

In one hour, I will be holding my Welcome Aboard talk. This features all the relevant information that guests should know and, as always, I will try and make it as fun as I can. I must admit to feeling very tired today. I did not sleep well. Not sure if it is Heidi not being here but I am feeling tired now, so I will take a pause and go and get some coffee. I will be right back.

Ok, I am back, did you miss me? I know have my coffee – actually it’s a skinny cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso. No sugar for me (I am diabetic) and I am ready to keep writing.

I wanted to tell you today about something that happened in the middle of last cruise, I was going to tell you earlier but world events took over and it did not seem important.

I receive about 30 – 40 letters a day. Most of them are dedications for a loved ones special day, birthday wishes and letters of praise for the crew. Occasionally I get letters asking for favors and to help with shipboard concerns and then there are letters like the one I want to chat with you about. I apologize to any readers of this blog who were sailing last cruise as you have already shared in this story with me as I spoke to the guest on one of the morning shows.

During the Welcome Aboard show I had a lady on stage who I had randomly picked. Her name was Louise and she was from Lakeland, Fla.  I remember she was very shy and we had a great laugh about her husband who when I asked if he was going to be romantic this cruise, she replied, “I hope not, I have a headache.” She was a great sport and we played the game and off she and the other seven people went. I saw her the next day at our formal night parties and again she laughed with me and said other guests were asking how her headache was. I did not see her for days after that and it was not until I read a letter out at the morning show that I realized she had more reasons not to laugh than most of us. Her husband Matt wrote to me with news I could not believe.

Their son, Brandon had been killed while serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq just seven months ago.. Her other son Matt Jr was due to leave for his first operational duty in Iraq in three weeks time in May. He wanted me to know that he was amazed that she had said “yes” when I asked her to come on stage and even more amazed when she laughed and cracked jokes in front of 1,500 people.

I spoke to her on the phone, live for all to hear. She thanked me for making her laugh and her only regret was that her son Matt Jr was not able to be on the ship with them as planned as his unit was preparing for active service. (I gave them DVD’s of all the shows so Matt Jr could see his Mum and everything else he had missed). She then said that laughter was a great tonic and thanked me again for the fun she had had on stage

What do you say to that?  This was one time where I had no words.

Many guests came up to me and left me notes asking for her cabin number as they wanted to pay their respects. Some were serving military and some were just Mums who wanted to speak to her. I am sure after the TV program that many did indeed speak to her now that they new her circumstances.

You never know what you are going to get when you pick people to come on stage. Some are funny, some are shy, some are, well, just ordinary. Then there is Louise, a Mum who lost her son in a distant land while serving his country. Louise whose son Matt, Jr. is off to do the same job in the same dangerous place and Louise who through it all has been a wife, a mother and on the Carnival Freedom while taking what must be a much-needed vacation, Louise became an inspiration to us all……………………………even if she did have a headache 🙂
Goodnight

Your friends,

Angelina Jolie

John and Angelina  – I mean Heidi

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.