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

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.