Good evening all and thanks for clicking on this blog thingy again. Welcome also to the new readers who are accidentally stumbling on to this site will searching for something else. For some strange reason when you type “photos of a stud” into a search engine it takes you to my website !

This has also become an international website as I see we have readers from New Zealand, the U.K., Germany and even such exotic locations as Dubai and New Jersey!

Can I please take a moment to say thank you for the positive comments about yesterday’s blog . It was a difficult decision as to write it or not but your comments have assured me it was, so my sincere thanks for the reassurance.

Today we were in Katakolon, Greece and the guests woke up to a mostly sunny day with a morning low of 9 degrees Celsius and a high of 17 degrees Celcius by 1:00pm.
The crew were up and ready to serve our guests by 5:30am with the serving of our Continental breakfast and of course we must pay tribute the team of night housekeeping staff who work all night while everyone is asleep cleaning all the public lounges and corridors.

Let’s chat about the crew for a bit. Last night we held a party for the crew on the aft part of Lido Deck. This was the first time we had the opportunity to do this since the inaugural sailing of the Freedom and last night we wanted to say a big thank you to all of them and give them a chance to let their hair down. This involves, music, cocktails and a fantastic spread of food. Now, serving food to 1200 crew is a huge job and one of the hardest decisions is what do you serve crew from 5o plus countries to make sure they all like it. The answer……………………………MEXICAN! Yep, as we sailed from Greece the crew dined on fajitas, nachos and those long things called Jimmy Chunders or something. We also served the crew a new cocktail invented by our Bar Manager which consists of Prune Juice and Tequila and is called the Mexican Road Runner🙂 There was music and a chance to dance. It was exactly what the crew needed, as well as a well deserved reward.

Outside of the crew parties there are many facilities on each of our ships that the crew can enjoy such as:

A Crew Gymnasium (well, so they say but I have never been able to find it)
A Crew Lounge
Crew Internet

Most impressively is a wonderful addition to our ships in recent years called the Crew Training Center. This is staffed by crewmembers who sole responsibility is to the personal and professional development of our crew. This is done by the teaching of hospitality classes, management courses and the ability for the crew to all have computer lessons. Crew can also learn other languages as well as other courses that enhance the lives of the crew. They also conduct various Carnival College programs for job specific training. This was the brainchild of my old (very old) mate Juan Carlos Trueba (he’s Irish) and his wonderful team and of course Senior Vice President of Air/Sea Operations and Corporate Training  Roberta Jacoby who together have won industry awards. Here’s an example of one the awards received! The continued investment of every crewmember is vital to the continuing success of this great company.

When I first joined the company in June 1986 as a bar waiter it was a much different story. My training lasted five minutes and basically consisted of “here is a tray, here is a menu, now go over there and serve those guests some drinks.” The first embarkation day I thought I had done brilliantly as I raced around the ship serving Fun Ship Special drinks. I was sure I would get a big pat on the back for working so hard until someone I realized that they were not free and I was expected to collect $3 each for them! I was lucky to keep my job.

Right now, I’m off to the Talent Show and will write more when I get back.

And what a show…………..sometimes at a Talent Show the talent can be…………umm………………………..ordinary but tonight it was brilliant. I also had a cute kid help MC the show with me tonight called Davis Meeks. As you can see from the photo he was wearing my blazer that was rather big for him. He was one of those kids who you know one day is going to be a heartbreaker. I then performed my signature Bedtime Story which even after all these years continues to be so popular thanks to the guests I get on stage with me.

My new assistant MC :) My new assistant MC :) 

After the show Heidi and I took a walk out on deck as we try and do every night. This is often the most wonderful time to be on a cruise ship. It’s sad, though, I hardly see anyone else doing it these days. I encourage all of you to take a stroll every night around Deck 11 outside. There are no buffets, there is no music but there is a sense of peace and fulfillment when you hold hands with the one you love and take in the sea air. Do it every night and you will sleep well I promise.

Tonight as we walked the deck we passed a couple who were standing by the railing. They waved me other and introduced themselves as Mr. and Mrs. Long.
The lady, whose name was Penny, and her husband, Alan, will be celebrating their 46th wedding anniversary on Friday. Penny said that she had met Alan when they made music together in a local orchestra  and that this was their first cruise. We chatted for a minute or so when Penny said that this cruise had brought her and her husband closer together and that they had gone through a rough patch but that this cruise had rejuvenated them. As we left them there by the railings I looked back at saw not a couple celebrating their 46th wedding anniversary but Alan and Penny, two teenagers falling in love for the very first time……………..I looked at Heidi, she looked at me, we smiled, held hands and as we walked along the deck Heidi turned and said………………………………you left your underwear on the bathroom floor again!

Goodnight

Your Friends

John and 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.