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.