Good Afternoon.

I feel so bad for the guests today…………it’s raining……………it rained this morning as we entered Venice and it’s still raining now. As a Cruise Director you do your best to control everything onboard but even though there is nothing I can do to change the weather, it still makes me sad to se the disappointment on peoples faces, especially  as Venice is so looked forward to by so many people.
All I can do is try to persuade the people that Venice is still a romantic and charming place even in the rain and hope people still get off the vessel. For those that stay onboard I have organized extra activities and events………………we shall see how the day goes. I will keep you informed.

I had a wonderful Morning Show today with some very interesting letters, especially the one from Mr. and Mrs. Helmut . They wrote to tell me how they met and I asked if I could add this to the blog today and they agreed.

Mr. Helmut ( Al ) worked for the Unites States Coastguard aboard a Cutter based out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. During a routine patrol they spotted a small Yacht called the  ” Away Mission ” ( apparently a Star Trek reference ) in distress. The Coast Guard Cutter went alongside to render assistance and there they found three people who reported that the yacht had lost power and they had been drifting for over an hour.

Al was sent aboard to see if he could repair the damage and it was while aboard he met Sally. Sally says that she fell for him immediately although in her letter she says ” It was not that he was handsome or even his uniform, it was just that at that moment he was my knight in shining amour and for all I knew he had saved my life “.

Later, after the boat had been towed back to San Juan the Cutter went straight back out again and Sally thought she would never see her Knight again. Skip forward now THREE YEARS LATER. Having been so impressed with Al and with the love of the sea in her blood, Sally joined the Coastguard at the age of 24.She was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia and as she boarded her first assignment, guess who was Captain of her boat…………….yep…………………..Angelina Jolie……………….sorry, got confused……………….it was of course Al. “It was Destiny” Sally says and three years later they were married and have been now for 12 years and have two beautiful children Barclay and Sandra and as promised I have to mention her Cat called Molar who is staying at a Travel Lodge for cats who she misses very much.

I love letters like this and you have to say that there are times when you really have to believe that some people are meant to be together.

Talking of that, saw this cartoon today and thought it may represent Heidi and I in a few years time 🙂

 Heidi and I in a few years

Lets do a few bits of Q and A……………it’s now 1:40pm……………………still  raining 🙁

Starting with a follow up on the guest who asked about Sushi on the Carnival Destiny….here is your answer direct from their Chief Purser Marcus.
no sushi bar …however we do have it at a lunch time on the lido desk as part of taste of the nations.
So, there you go, at least you will get to have some Sushi at lunch time.
Also, for the guest who was asking about a groups Coordinator called Jeanne – Marie I am sorry to say that she no longer works for Carnival. She left to get married and we understand she lives in Toronto now. I am sorry I could not help further.
Now, for the guest who wanted recommendations on tours in Panama and Costa Rica. Here are the recommendations from the Shore Excursion Manager and Cruise Director on the Carnival Liberty.
I think that in Panama the best tour is the one that the guest has already mentioned  as it gives a great overview of the scenery and history and is also the one that gets the most positive feedback from the guests. In Costa Rica. It very much depends on the guest’s mobility level. The coffee plantation tour is great but very similar to the plantation tours in Jamaica that they may have done previously if repeat guests. Other recommendations would be the Sloth Sanctuary and Canoe adventure, which is a little more physical as you paddle a canoe through the rainforest before visiting the cute and cuddly sloth’s which are native to Costa Rica, a great opportunity to see some of the native flora, fauna and wildlife. Alternatively the Rainforest Aerial Tram tour is really neat as you get to see the rainforest from above the treetops via cable car.
Hope this helps a little.
Cheers
James
HAYLEY AND THE TWINS
As requested here a few photos of medieval Lucca and some facts.
 Medieval Lucca  Medieval Lucca Medieval Lucca
Did you know that Puccini (that’s who the statue is) smoked 80 cigarettes a day until he died at 66!  That’s 29200 a year…. If he smoked from the age of 16 that’s 1,460,000 in his lifetime! Lucca is also the city of 99 churches and only 8000 people live in between the walls….. AND people pilgrimage to Lucca (that’s the church pictured) to touch a wooden statue of Jesus feet… his feet are a different colour than his head because of it.
KEVIN – I hope we get to meet you and your mysterious blond very soon as well. You are correct that Heidi and I do have a great life together. I guess soon we will have to stop cruising and live a ” normal life ” but we will never forget the wonderful experiences we have had together.
KAY – I am so happy that you appreciated and enjoyed the bloggers reasons on why to cruise. If you decide to take a cruise then I suggest first, you pick a ship and then choose your ports. Also, you have to decide what length of cruise you want to take. May I suggest a 5 day cruise to start. Check out the Carnival Web Site
www.carnival.com and let us all know what you decide to do. You will make new friends I am sure and have the time of your life.
CHRIS AND STEPHANIE – I am glad you liked the cruise news daily article and I am happy also that we are all getting some press coverage. I would like to thanks Vance Gulikson and ALI BELLO in our press office for all they have done and also their secretary and junior assistant Jennifer. I am not sure about March 08 yet but as soon as I know my schedule, I will let you know. Cheers.
CHERYL – I remember that cruise so well. The Mayor Of Pisa told us the day before that he was stopping all tourists from visiting the Tower of Pisa to allow the Tour Of Italy bike race to go around Miracle Square. This will not be happening this year so I assure you that you will get to see this famous landmark. I also hope that you persuade your Hubby to come on the Carnival Splendor as that to will be a great cruise. See you in a few days and please leave me a note when you are onboard.

UPDATE:…………………3:20PM………………..STILL RAINING

LORRAINE BRIDGES – I have a feeling that this is not the real Lorraine. If it was then you would not be calling my mate Alan ‘intelligent and red blooded “. Here to prove that is a picture of Alan Adkins who if you want to see him in the flesh can be found every night at the Cliff Pub in Southend On Sea Essex. 
Alan Adkins
GACRUISER – more brilliant reasons to cruise and I know like you, many people have withdrawal symptoms after returning from a cruise vacation. Thank you and thanks to everyone as I think we have successfully turned Kay away from land based vacations to joining us all at sea. Thanks again and please keep reading this blog thingy.
MARY AND MOE – Do you need help with your blog addiction? If so call 1800 UNBLOGME and a trained professional will be there to take your call 🙂 I am really excited to hear that you will be on the Bloggers Cruise and I can confirm I will be on the Carnival Splendor next year in September. Great times are ahead. See you soon.
JEFF AND KELLY – Yes, I will be on the Carnival Splendor but only if you are there as well. That special cruise from Dover to Rome will be very special, is that the one you are thinking of.? Let me know if you need more information. Please keep reading this blog thingy.
JAN – Please allow me a few hours to check on your question on SKYPE phoning from your laptop. This is a little out of me field of knowledge but I know a man who will be able to answer ……..back to you soon.
Here is your answer and I am sorry its not a positive one. Skype is blocked due the band width it takes up

3:45pm……………………………..still raining, but much less

LINDA AND MIKE THE BRICK – Sorry about the late blog. Yesterday I worked 17 hours straight and by the time I had posted the blog to the office it was too late to get it up on the site thing because the logistical department had to push the red button but the hard drive had flopped and then the warp drive was returned to the giga thing and because of that there was to many Rams and Sheep or something and then it was bedtime. So, you get to today and more information will follow on the blog cruise on the Splendor. Hope you are both well.
PAM – I am sure your boss is very jealous about the number of cruises you have taken and he can see why from your top ten list of reasons you love it so very much. What a great idea to look up your Grandmother’s friend in London and I am sure it will be a vacation to remember. As for an offer of a gift from Office Depot, I will swap you a bottle of champagne for a decent roller ball 🙂

4:10PM……………………STOPPED RAINING AT LAST

ALAN AND CHRIS – I am so excited that your first Carnival Cruise will be with me on the Carnival Freedom. You have asked about the Supper Club and what makes it so special. It is without doubt one of the best examples of Today’s Carnival and each cruise 1000 people will pass through it’s doors and sample the finest food at sea. The Supper Club is a restaurant that can be found on all our Spirit and Conquest Class ships and Make your cruise that more special with a fine dining experience. Enjoy culinary delights exclusively prepared for your dining pleasure while listening to the soft melodies of the in a candlelight atmosphere and elegant ambiance.  Traditional chef servers and sommeliers will tend to your every need providing the full experience of fine service.  Select from a perfect 14-ounce New York
strip loin, 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, 9-ounce of Filet Mignon or a succulent lobster tail,  just to name a few…………………OH, THE BEST BIT………….ONLY $30 PER PERSON. It is a must do event……………………I hope you decide to eat together in this restaurant and for anyone sailing on the Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Leg End, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty or the Carnival Freedom there is no higher recommendation.

I am so hungry now I am going to pause and have a snack………….LET ME CALL ROOM SERVICE…………………….HEIDI

OK, one BLT later ( Heidi

SEWING NUT – and pampered you shall be. See you in August.
NINA FRANKLIN – I have passed your comments on the photos to the relevant department for consideration. There are constant new forms of technology that are being considered to improve all aspects of onboard facilities and I like your suggestion a lot. Let’s see what happens and I will get back to you shortly. Thanks for reading the blog thingy.

7:00PM……………………………..raining again.
So, we just had to cancel 400 people of their Gondola tour. With it raining so hard I could not really expect people to get soaked in an open Gondola………it is a real shame and I feel very sad for the people. I hope the weather improves tomorrow, these guests deserve to see some Sun.

The weather being bad also means that the overall enjoyment of a port is effected and that also is a real shame.

Because of the bad weather I scheduled more activities and movies but many people still got of the ship and went to explore Venice at night. I was hoping to post some photos but I will wait until next time when hopefully the weather is a little better.

I just finished another interview this time with Paul Motter from www.cruisemates.com. It was a great interview and I thank him for his time and interest in the blog thingy.

Lets talk about something fun, and what better to get smiles back on our faces than a story from the old days of cruising. For this, our time machine takes us back to
The Fantasy in 1990. I was a social host, a young, skinny, 22 year old social host who had been chosen to be on the start up team of the Fantasy and boy was I excited.
I traveled down to Miami from Gainesville Florida with my mentor and Cruise Director Gary Hunter who, as I mentioned before was and still is one of the finest people I have ever met and the best CD I have ever seen.
Also in the car was another great friend Tim Harkelroad who is a brilliant ventriloquist, comedian and all round entertainer. We had left Gainesville at around 6:00pm and after a few hours of driving Tim said he was hungry.
Tim has a very healthy appetite and demanded refueling so Gary pulled his Bronco over to a place called Bobby Rabinos Rib factory. Tim jumped out leaving Gary and I to chat about life and, if my memory serves me right, basketball which was his one true love.
So, Tim returned with a huge bag of ribs and we set off. Gary was driving, with Tim in the front seat and me in the back. It was dark as we traveled down the road which I think is called Crocodile Alley or Alligator Avenue or something. Well, I had not been hungry but as Tim devoured his ribs the sweet smell of the barbecue sauce was intoxicating and gave in to  my hunger urges and asked Tim for a rib.
Tim’s huge hand reached back and passed me a rib, and then 5 minutes later another and then another. Now, I was very much the JUNIOR in this band of brothers and did not want to talk out of place but these ribs were the worst I had ever had. There was little or no meat on them and all I could taste was a bit of the sauce. Still I said nothing and then from the darkness of the front of the truck came a giggle from Tim and then from Gary and then both started laughing hysterically. Being a naïve young Englishman I had no idea why……………..until it dawned on me………………………I had been chewing on the bones of the ribs that Tim had already eaten.

I miss seeing Gary and Tim…….both are great people and we had some wonderful times together.

It is now very late and I am going to take off all my clothes and dance naked around Lido Deck in praise and homage to Mother nature whom, I hope, will look upon my nude offerings with grace and favor and send the sun to shine tomorrow.

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.