Good evening from the majestic Mediterranean Sea.

It is Wednesday 9 May and I am writing today’s blog at 8 pm. It has been a hectic day for me but I am sure a very restful one for the guests. The seas were a little choppy this morning but the day has been bright, hot and sunny. Once again, the open decks were full of sun worshippers, beautiful ladies in bikinis, ladies who should not be wearing bikinis, men with toned muscular bodies wearing Speedos and men who looked like Buddha in Speedos (I hope that’s not offensive – to Buddha, I mean ).

Yesterday, as mentioned we were in Messina and here are some photos of Taormina taken by Heidi who went on a tour inspection

Pictures of Taormina Picture of Taormina

What else has happened………..ah yes, we bloggers got a great write-up on Cruise Critic.  Here is the attachment to the piece written by Doug Newman who I know reads this blog. He is a very talented writer and I thank him for his wonderful words about the blog thingy. Here is the thing that takes you there by pushing the mouse on it….or something like that:

http://www.cruisecritic.com/features/articles.cfm?ID=461

Let’s have a chat about the Carnival Splendor. Tomorrow, May 10, is apparently the day when you can all book a cruise for next year. There seems to be a lot of questions from the blogosphere about this ship and it certainly seems to have created a bit of a excitement and also you are all asking if I will be onboard……….answer, once and for all………….YES…………..God willing, Heidi and I will be there. So, tomorrow, May 10 , you can call  any travel  agent or  1-800-CARNIVAL to book your ride to the Baltic of the Med onboard the Carnival Splendor.  Very soon I will be be able to release some details about the  massive new 21,000-square-foot spa and other features that  will make the Carnival Splendor a truly amazing vacation choice. I am going …….are you?

Now, do not forget that next year Carnival will have 2 ships in Europe as the Carnival Freedom will return in May for a season of Grand Med and Med/Turkey/Greek cruises, so you are now all spoiled for choice.

To complete the Carnival commercial, there are also many new and exciting Caribbean cruises as well and of course Alaska and Hawaii. How the heck are you supposed to decide what to take………………..well………….that’s what I am here for so spread the word and let me be your guide.

Ok,time for the daily Q & A brought to you by Diet Coke, the best diet soda in the world (trying for a sponsor and free Diet Coke) and by Aston Martin, the makers of the finest sports cars driven by movie stars, musicians and cruise directors.

BILL – You are correct in your praise for Ken our maitre ‘d.  I love the clip you have placed of him on (or in) YouTube. His voice and personality make him a true master of his work. You are also correct in your summary of the various cruise boards and again its great that everyone is allowed a free and clear chance to express their opinion, except the man who said I was a cheap Robin Leach and the man who called me Sperm of The Devil and the lady who on one of the boards said she expected her cruise director to be handsome and sophisticated and not a “Benny Hill clone” and the man who posted a thing saying my blog was self-gratifying or the person who said cruise directors are failed entertainers.  Apart from them………..everyone is entitled to an opinion! Thanks again Bill for all your promotions on your Web site, I hope you are well and we will see each other soon.
MR PETE – I know Carnival pays a lot of attention to what is said on the various cruise opinion web sites. Although there is, as you said, a lot of statements that are “personal,” there are many more that are invaluable to us, constructive criticism is worth so much. You asked if I knew Dave Armor, who was a cruise director for Carnival for many years, the answer is yes and his passing was a very sad for me, the company and indeed the entire industry. He was a true gentlemen and had one of those personalities that would adhere himself to each and every passenger without him really ever having to try. He was funny, sincere and, above all, a man who really loved his job and the industry he worked in. He is missed every day by the guests and crew who knew him. Thank you for allowing me to mention him on this blog…………………………I miss the old tinker.
FORGOTTEN THE NAME – of the guest who asked where two waiters they had on the Carnival Glory are now working. Chon is on the Carnival Liberty and Chris is home on vacation at the moment. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
LINDA – Your tour time is fine and you will have plenty of time to enjoy Venice. So. From now on I will call you Polcatski, as you are Polish, you love cats and umm, you love to ski. Three weeks tomorrow you will be in Rome and we will be waiting for you. Have a safe flight.
LYNN AND MIKE – I have let the cruise director James know that you are coming. Please drop him a not at the information desk and write these words “John said to let you know we are aboard.”  Carnival Liberty is a great ship and I know you will have the most wonderful time. I hope my tour recommendations were helpful and I hope to meet you on the Bloggers Cruise.
SHEREE – You asked how strenuous the Barcelona by Bike tour is……….simple answer…………..if I can do it, anyone can. There are no hills, not fast sections, no forced pace and no saddles on the bikes 🙂 Seriously, it is  a great excursion and a wonderful way to see Gaudi’s Cathedral and the other famous Barcelona landmarks. Let me know if you need any further help.
NANCINURSE – Thanks for your question about Dubrovnik. Just before we talk about the tour you mentioned here is a photo of beautiful Dubrovnik. I have not taken the Three Island Yacht Cruise but Heidi has and she says it was wonderful. However, she prefers the Best Of Dubrovnik tour as it gives you a much broader overview of this incomparable country and then leaves you a lot of free time to explore the Old Town itself. I hope this has been of some help and let me know if you have any further need of help. Now, as for the temperature it will be hot but not humid like the Caribbean. Temperatures should be around the mid 80s. See you in July.
SUSAN JORDAN – So lets get this correct. You and your new wife want to know if you can mail home from the ship with postmarks from foreign ports to show your ex-wife where you are and with whom……….I find that quite sick and, to be honest, I cannot possibly charge you for the stamps…….I will pay for them 🙂 You can, of course, purchase stamps for every port from our Information Desk………………….I will send her one as well. There is a place in Grand Cayman called Hell – there really is. It is called this because of the large black coral formations that rise out of the water and when Sir Francis Drake discovered the islands he called it HELL. It is still called this today and there is a post office there that carries the post mark HELL. Years ago, I used to buy a postcard there every week and postmark it Hell and write to my ex-girlfriend, “I have been to Hell, wish you were here.”
See you soon.
CSPICE – Welcome to the family and congratulations on your job on the Carnival Liberty. Working at sea is a unique experience and the best advice I can give you is the only stupid question will be the one you do not ask. Enjoy each and every moment, remember to stay in touch with your family as much as possible. Please let me know if you need any specific information and on behalf of all the bloggers and myself, welcome aboard.
JACK EVANS – I have passed your message to Ken and he sends his best to you, mate. Thank you also for your kind words to Heidi and I and we both wish you a great cruise on the Carnival Liberty. As for the Carnival Splendor, I have a feeling this is going to be one popular ship. Please keep reading the blog thingy.
ANDREAS GOEDDE – It is interesting as you mentioned that some of the cruise lines have similar names for their new ships, Liberty, Splendor, Freedom etc. I have no idea if they are copying us or even us them, what I do know is that we have the name Carnival in front of all of our ships including the Fantasy Class now as well. We also started with Destiny, then Conquest so Freedom and Splendor were obvious names that followed. Just for fun, let us list the Carnival prefix Ships.
CARNIVAL FANTASY
CARNIVAL ECSTASY
CARNIVAL SENSATION
CARNIVAL IMAGINATION
CARNIVAL ELATION
CARNIVAL INSPIRATION
CARNIVAL PARADISE
CARNIVAL DESTINY
CARNIVAL TRIUMPH
CARNIVAL VICTORY
CARNIVAL SPIRIT
CARNIVAL PRIDE
CARNIVAL LEG END
CARNIVAL CONQUEST
CARNIVAL GLORY
CARNIVAL MIRACLE
CARNIVAL VALOR
CARNIVAL LIBERTY
CARNIVAL FREEDOM
Looks good doesn’t it? Anyway Andy, lets see what the future holds for names. I suggested the Constipation but it hasn’t come out yet!
BUSTER – Looking forward to seeing you on the 13th. As for the supper club, may I recommend Istanbul night for the supper club, it is the perfect finish to an inspiring day. Let me know when you get onboard by leaving a note at the information desk. See you soon.
BILL EDGAR – I am sure that we can find somewhere on the ship for you to practice. Let me know when you are onboard and I will arrange a room for you. You are obviously a master musician and it will be easy for me to find somewhere for you to play as we have a wide range of areas designed for this.
BIG ED – and after everything else, you are now my agent as well. I guess my limited fame has not reached the personal vacation planners, so let me take this chance to say hello to all of them especially Laurie Pandzik…Hello, I am John.
There, Ed thanks again for looking after me and you are now my  Gifted Special Trainer, Researching, Investigating & Nurturing Giant (G.S.T.R.I.N.G.).
JENNIFER – Don’t try and resist. You know the sight of me dressed as a French Maid will only result in the end of your relationship with your new husband so it will be probably best if I just send you the Chocolate Covered Strawberries instead of delivering them myself. If you do book a honeymoon cruise I promise you it will be the perfect start to what will be I am sure the perfect marriage.

No guest blogger today but more will follow. Soon, we will have our beautiful Senior Vice president of Sales and Marketing Vicki Freed grace our humble blog thingy and we will ask her about the amazing Platinum Club program

Also, next week, we will have Roger Blum, vice president of cruise programming, blog with us about the award winning fleetwide entertainment and his 35 years in the industry

Now, on to the most important part of today’s blog. ANGELINA.

I have decided as mentioned yesterday to pursue and stalk her a little into becoming the godmother of the Carnival Splendor. Therefore, I am going to call her agent and offer her a Solid Gold Plastic Trophy, A Photo Of Me In Bed and just when she is undecided, I will pull out the trump card and offer her…………..dinner with me at the supper club…………..how can she refuse.

Dear Carnival,

On behalf of all the people who have smashed their mouse on this blog thingy 219,000 times as of today, we the people all demand that the beautiful goddess Angelina Jolie be crowned Godmother of the Carnival Splendor.

John Heald
Chief Blogger

P.s. – If cabins are a problem she can share mine.

Heidi asked me to tell you that she discovered a new delight today, the Hot Stone Massage at the spa. The cast had bought her the treatment for her birthday and she wants me to tell all of you that it is the most amazing, most relaxing, most rejuvenating experience she has ever had……..except eight years ago in a hammock in Jamaica but that’s another story (albeit a short one).

Let’s see if she is so relaxed that she fails to notice my underwear is on her pillow and the toilet seat is not in her favorite position.

I just returned from the show and, as usual, it earned a massive ovation and the entire audience singing a long to When The Saints Go Marching In. After the show, I stood at the doors to the lounge chatting to people when I met a Mr. Stanley Woods from Ontario, Canada. Stanley and I chatted for some time as he told me who much he enjoyed the shows. He said the music and the atmosphere at all the shows had given him such a thrill and wanted to thank me and the entertainers for making his cruise. Nothing remarkable about that I hear you say and you would be correct if Mr. Stanley Woods was not…………….blind.

He told me he has been blind (for 42 years, following an illness) and explained to me how the music and the description of the costumes given to him by his wife Doris enabled him to enjoy the show as much as anyone. He was also quick to point out how accommodating the crew had been and how courteous most of the guests were when they saw his white aid stick. He did say MOST as he said there were a few people who pushed past him when getting on and off the ship, ” I think because maybe I walk slow,” he said. He also told me how much he missed his guide dog ” Brandy ” but he did not feel she could make the nine-hour flight as she is getting old.

The last thing he said was again how much he enjoyed the shows and that this cruise had been the best vacation he had ever had and that even though he was blind he saw things he had never seen before.

I sometimes take the shows and the places we visit for granted. If that should ever happen again, I shall try and remember Stanley Woods who probably enjoyed them more than anyone.

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.