A Feel Sorry for John Blog Thingy

May 14, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning One and All…………..and can I start by getting a collective  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH from all of you because I do not feel well. It started last night during our Carnival Legends guest talent show when I felt a bit yuckish and this morning I have woken to start the debarkation process and feel pretty sorry for myself. My throat feels like someone has given the roof my mouth the good news with a pointed stick, and my head feels like Paris Hilton is living in it.

So, in between announcements for guests to disembark the ship, I am sitting here writing this blog and feeling pretty sorry for myself. Heidi says I am a big baby and that its “just a cold ” so I thought I would ask all my blog friends for tea and sympathy this morning.

Yesterday in Livorno guests explored Florence, Pisa and Tuscany with the added addition of beautiful sunshine. Therefore, the final score was;
RAIN 1
SUNSHINE 11

Here are two photos taken yesterday by one of our entertainment staff members Jamie. The first is of Pisa and the tower and the second of the Cathedral at Pisa

Pictures from Pisa Pictures from Pisa

Overall. I think last cruise went well. I have to improve some things regarding transportation which is provided by the various port authorities and together we must improve the system in Venice, Dubrovnik and Barcelona. Apart from that, I was very satisfied with what was our first Grand Med cruise of the season and I am sure the guests had a great time.

We are back to our Greece and Turkey cruise this week and I see from the passenger list that we have again many international Guests onboard including 100 Japanese, 500 from Hong Kong, 45 from Korea, 137 from Australia and 1 from Idaho!

OK, I am ready to start today’s Q & A which is sponsored by BY WINDEX, THE BEST THING TO USE WHEN YOU SNEEZE ALL OVER YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN AND BY EX LAX, IF YOU HAVE A COUGH TAKE EX LAX, THEN YOU WILL BE AFRAID TO COUGH.

ZYDECOCRUISER – Great news, you are booked on the Carnival Splendor. This is going to be such a great ship and I am looking forward to seeing you mate. The ship is going to feature many new concepts for us at Carnival and soon I will be featuring a lot of these features on this blog thingy. See you soon and thanks for booking.
KATHY KROLL – You booked, too! Wow, this is going to be quite a bloggers get-together on the Carnival Splendor. Kathy, as I am writing this you are just a few hours away from boarding the ship and I am very much looking forward to meeting you AND Paul.
JO AND DAVE – That’s three for the Carnival Splendor and you booked back-to-back cruises, as well. What a fantastic way to celebrate your 43rd wedding anniversary. Dover is not to far from London and I am sure we will be organizing tours there. Or, you can come and have tea at my house. As for your Platinum question, I will chase that up right now as I have yet to hear back from the people in charge. I am honored that you have chosen to cruise with me again
LINDA – And another who has booked the Carnival Splendor. The ship is actually being built in Genoa, Italy not Venice and I am sure we will sail directly to Dover, UK straight from there with no guests, but I am not sure yet. Looking forward to seeing you on the Carnival Freedom soon and we can chat more about the Carnival Splendor. I am very happy you booked especially and thank you for your kind words. It will be a very special cruise.
KERSPLOTT – That’s two more people booked on the Carnival Splendor and I am (excuse me, just sneezed) very happy to hear that you will be joining me. I will do my best to have Penny Mathisen perform on the Carnival Splendor. You are right, she is fantastic and she has the voice of an angel. Now, regarding Amsterdam, I will make sure we have a tour to Alsmeer which is the largest single story building in the world and the home of the International Flower Auction. It is amazing and if you love flowers and gardening you will be in heaven. Let me know if you need anything else and again, thanks for booking.
The TAYLORS – I am very excited that for your 25th Anniversary next year that you have booked the Carnival Splendor. Even better is that in a months time you and the entire family will be here on the Carnival Freedom. I am glad the kids like the blog thingy………….hello kids…………..and find it better than the boring reading they have to do for homework! Kids, here is a question for you and if you post the right answer, I will leave a prize in your cabin. In Izmir you will be visiting Ephesus. What famous Greek Goddess has a statue there which inspired a famous company to name their clothing and shoe company. See you soon, and let’s see if the kids can work this out…….I have no idea how old they are so maybe that was too easy or too difficult so just in case, let me cover ages.
1 + 1 =
If a train leaves the platform at 11:32pm and travels and 45 miles an hour what time does it take to dig a hole before the man got on the train to the square of right angle on the hippopotamus.
LINDA AND HER HUSBAND – Princess are indeed part of the family and I am sure your fifth cruise with them will be a wonderful experience. Heidi and I are taking a Princess cruise in November. Now, you say you have never sailed Carnival before but would like to in Europe. OK, then book the Carnival Splendor, go on, I will be there to look after you and I promise you it will be a cruise that will far exceed your expectations. If you have any questions or concerns before you do, please drop me a line on this blog thingy and I will be here to assist you. Best regards to you and your husband with no name:)
KAY – What you have done (to answer your question) is to book your first ever cruise on the brand new, sensational Carnival Splendor. What a first cruise you will have and Heidi and I will be so proud to make sure that between now and sailing time that we answer all your questions as will your fellow bloggerists. You are just a year away from the time of your life ! See you soon.
NANCINURSE – You said you have three days to explore Rome before the cruise starts and that is fantastic as there is so much to see. The Hilton can arrange tours for you at the hotel as we have a Carnival representative there who if needed can arrange what you need. The Vatican is about a 45 minute ride by taxi from where you are staying and I am not sure but I think the Hilton also has a bus that can (for a few euros) take you into Rome. As far as what to see, there is so much, but here are my top five favorites.
1. THE VATICAN
2.THE COLOSEUM
3.THE CATACOMBS
4. THE TRIVI FOUNTAIN
5. VIA VENETO – FULL OF RESTARAUNTS AND NIGHTLIFE
Have a fantastic time and enjoy your time with the St.Peter’s excavation team. See you soon.
BIG ED – I have asked our technical department to see if indeed we can refresh the web cams a bit quicker. It was a great sight though to see the QM2 and us docked bow to bow. I had no idea Mrs. Big Ed would not fly………..is she scared of flying? Why not sail the QM2 on a trans-Atlantic cruise and drive from Southampton to Dover and join the Carnival Splendor and then sail and afterwards drive back to Southampton and take the QM2 back to New York? See, I have it all worked out for you !
INGRID Z – Thank you for your kind words about the blog. I am happy to hear that you find it fun and inspiring………sorry, had to stop to blow my nose. right in the middle of writing to you………you must feel very special. Let me answer your questions now. There are just two formal nights on a 12-day cruise on the first and last sea days. You then ask if heidi and I have been to the perfume factory during our visit to Cannes………………we have and I have to tell you……………it STINKS !
Seriously, it is an amazing place and you even get to make your own perfume so I think it might be something that you and Lillian your daughter really enjoy. When Heidi and I went I made a perfume called ‘ Sperm of the Devil ‘ ………….available form all good gas stations. Please let me know if you have any other concerns and Heidi and I are looking forward to seeing you.
Heidi has told me at this point that she wears a perfume called Bulgari should they be reading this and want to sponsor a blog page. Sorry heidi, Aston Martin are first.
Aston Martin
 ASTON MARTIN, ALL CRUISE DIRECTORS SHOULD DRIVE ONE………………………………………….PLEASE
AMY BENDEKOVITS – I am so glad you had a great cruise on the Carnival Leg End and your mention of how friendly the crew were is also wonderful to hear. You asked where Carnival buys it furniture from? Most of the furniture is from different suppliers that our Architect Joe Farcus uses to complement the ship’s design. Most of the chairs come from Holland (Heidi is proud) and we have to great friends who have supplied us with these chairs for some years. I would tell you their names but the spelling is quite difficult so maybe my PA can e-mail me the correct spelling. Is there a special piece of furniture you would like to know about Amy? If so, please let me know and I will try and find out its history. Hope you can sail again soon and thanks for reading this blog thingy.
BIG ED – Thanks again mate for your kind words to Kay especially about the Carnival Capers. If you and Pat ever decide on a career change then you should be cruise directors. What do you do for a living?
DOUG – You are on the front page of the blog about your article about the blog which I am talking about on my blog!  It was very nice of you to write and again thanks so much for the fantastic article.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – Great comments mate and I am glad your son liked the Speedo references. Thank you for the kind mention of the two crew members who made your cruise special on the Leg End. I have passed their names onto the hotel director there. You are correct that Mr. Stanley Woods was indeed a special and inspirational man. His volley of praise was extraordinary and his happiness was infectious. Carnival takes huge pride in the way we are able to look after guests with special needs. We have a dedicated department ashore for this and all the ships have constant training programs to assist the crew in the correct and proper ways to best give these guests the best cruise possible. My regards to you and your family and please keep reading the blog.
JONATHAN HALL – May 25th will soon be here and how brilliant it will be for Austin to turn 14 while we are in Dubrovnik. Thank you for your kind words and please make sure you leave me a note at the Information Desk when you board to remind me of Austin’s birthday. See you in 12 days.
SHARON – Apple and Custard…………..mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Heidi is very excited. Most important is that you have a good flight and leave me a note at the information desk when you get onboard. See you soon.
NUMBER 12
Here are the answers to your questions.
1. We only tender in one port which is Cannes. The first tender for guests will be at 9:30 am and you will be ashore by 9:45 am. All other ports will allow you to go ashore as and when you want.
2. You can purchase wine throughout Italy but most shops will not ship for you. Many guests buy wine and pack it into their suitcases because you can not put it into your carry-ons anymore. Another option is to mail it home from the airport, there is a big post office in the terminal.
3. The weight limit in the Gondola is unofficially 250 pounds however on our organized tours we are able to adjust that when needed so do not worry.
4. We do have Poker in the Casino so I hope it is your lucky week.
See you in July and let me know if I can help further.
JODI – I totally understand that you cannot sail in the Med due to work commitments but the fact that you have booked the Carnival Splendor for her first Caribbean cruise is great news as well. The “SPA CABINS” are going to be just outstanding and I will be posting some information ASAP. Now casino cabins, that’s an idea and how about a cabin in the dining room . Big Ed and could have a bed with wheels on it so the crew can just push us around the various food outlets…..MEALS ON WHEELS. Many people have booked the bloggers cruise and if there are any cabins left I hope you can change your cruise over as it would be marvelous to have you onboard. I will be blogging for some time to come so please keep reading.
BIG ED – Thank you for the description of where you are from by the use of the “hand.” You live at the base of my thumb as you say and it must be beautiful because it is very green at the moment so you actually live in Snotville! Thanks for the key to hell. See you there. Now, as for Aston Martin – the best car in the world – I agree that I should keep mentioning it so they end up giving me one. Then you and I can cruise the streets of Michigan and pick up hot chicks. What do you say?
SHELEE – Your husband is a redneck you say, how about telling an Englishman what makes a redneck. Please send my best regards to your travel agent and thank her for booking the Carnival Splendor. What date are you sailing for your first-ever cruise on the Carnival Sensation? Please let me know.
BONNIE AND PRINCHE CHARLES – The seat is down (for now). I wish it were that simple to get Angelina Jolie to be godmother just by offering her a solid gold plastic trophy. I might have to upgrade her to a trophy and a chocolate covered strawberry. If I can get Aston Martin to provide me with a car then I can pick her up in that. Heidi says she can take care of Brad for a while. I am hoping that someone reading this blog from Carnival’s HQ is putting together a proposal to make this happen. Heidi suggested Paris Hilton or Britney Spears be the godmother but I explained that there has to be champagne In the bottle when it smashes against the bow.
ANDY – I have posted this question to Vicki and knowing her as I do I am sure she will be back with an answer very soon. Thank you for offering me a vice president position but for now I belong onboard however maybe one day I can be based on land, I know that is what heidi would like as well. Thank you for the kind words about the blog and stand by for an answer from Vicki.
BILL – I have also added your question to Vicki’s inbox. I wonder what she will say about Angelina? The Internet question is a great idea and I am sure very soon we will have all the answers when she hosts a guest blog. She is the best in the industry and one of the main reasons that Carnival’s sales force and marketing departments have won so many awards. Thanks for writing again mate.
ADAM – Heidi’s birthday on April 28th. Sorry I missed yours so a happy belated birthday to you.
VICKI AND MATT – We do not have a link to the Spa treatments onboard yet but we will soon as it is a must. The hot stones treatment is I am told amazing, lots of little stones massaged into your body or for me and Big Ed, just one big rock. Thaks you for your promotional advertisement for Carnival and we are so proud to hear how loyal you are to us. I hope you find another crew member who is as excellent as Suleymann was and just as good looking………….oh wait a minute, there is one…..me!
Thanks again and please keep reading the blog thingy.
HIJEAN – As you are allergic to Kiwis I will lock them all away for your cruise of 6/30. Naughty Kiwis. The lamb shank is not on the menu yet but will be one day soon. It will not be long before the fun begins so see you soon.
NANETTE – Buenos tacos mi amigo. I am so sorry you had a bad day at school. I know I used to give my teachers a tough time so I hope that things get better very quickly for you. We do play Phantom of the Opera on the big screen and it is as you say a perfect movie to watch under the stars. Heidi sends her best and we both hope you have a better day at work today. See you soon.
MAYLEE – You are correct, there will be lots on bloggers on the June 6 cruise. I hope you will all leave a note for me at the information desk so I can chat with you all. Have a wonderful pre cruise trip in Europe and we will see you soon.
KENA AND DAVID – Thank you so much for the Kentucky Derby information. I did see the Queen on the BBC news and she looked like she was having a great time. Her Majesty has always had a passion for horses as has Prince Charles but enough about Camilla! Sorry, about that. Anyway, in answer to your question about where heidi and I have been in the States I am sorry to say that we really have not traveled much. You see, after a long contract, a vacation for us is just going home and being with family and friends. However, if this is a personal invitation to come to Kentucky then I except. I too hope that the weather is good in Venice for you and I am sure it will be a cruise to remember. Thank you so much for reading the blog thingy everyday.
MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – Thank you for the correction on my nautical terms, I shall consult you before I attempt any more as you are an ex-Navy man. It must be wonderful for you to be on a ship and relax instead of working under what be tense conditions. Joe Elvis is one of the many talented musicians to come out of the Philippines. It seems the country breeds music into them at a very young age and Joe is a shining example of how good they are. How nice of you to give them your tie. Little gestures like that mean so much to the crew and I thank you for making his day. I am looking forward to meeting you and we can chat about your Navy days. See you soon mate.
KERSPLOTT – Bonjour mes enfants. What a wonderful sight it must be to see the Carnival Spirit sail the Gastineau Channel. As for your comments about Donovan, well he and I are old friends and I have actually been to his house in Ocho Rios. He truly is one of those people who sum up the Jamaican catch phrase “no problem, mon” because nothing is ever a problem for him.
Montserrat is the perfect choice for your visit to Barcelona, it really is one of the most peaceful places on earth. I appreciate you reading the blog thing and your wonderful comments so very much. Please KEEP reading.  427 DAYS AND COUNTING
GLENN AND LEANNE – A Chinese Boomerang – you throw it but it comes back the Wong way 🙂
BILL – You are nearly correct. The Carnival Splendor plans have been posted but unfortunately your cabin does not connect to Angelina Jolie’s but to mine. I will leave something on the bathroom floor for you.

OK, I am back. I left for 24 hours because my cold turned into something else. After debarkation I realized that as I was typing the blog that something was not right and just after that I was proved correct. I knew I was going to be sick, I must have eaten something (I had some fresh fish ashore in Livorno that probably was as fresh as a marathon runner’s sock) and sure enough a few moments later I was speaking to the God Of Porcelain. I started to feel hot and cold and shivery (new word) and, of course, I had to do my Welcome Aboard Travel talk in a few hours time. How I got through it, I will never know, although it is the first time I have ever performed on stage by sitting on a stool, I was that weak. I apologized to the whole audience as I felt they would see for certain that I was out of sorts but everyone was very kind. I always start of the talk by randomly interviewing a few people in the audience to see where they are from, etc. I interviewed one lady and it turned out to be one of our great blog friends Cruising Canuck and she had, as promised, brought me a Tim Horton’s doughnut………….something tells me Heidi had better eat that. Seeing a friendly face on the front row helped me get through it and I really do not know how I did and sure enough straight after the talk the toilet and I became best friends again.

It is now Monday lunchtime and I have been sick all night but I feel much better today although my stomach does not know what has happened and is making some very strange sounds. My head is still pounding away but the nausea has gone and I just ate something for the first time in 24 hours. Heidi made me some dry toast, why?  If I want to see if I am better I should be eating a cheeseburger and some ribs not dry toast. Hopefully I will feel better tonight for the Welcome Aboard Show as I have never missed one in 20 years and I don’t intend to start now.

So, all in all it was quite a day and one of the results of this was the lateness of this blog thing for which I apologize and of course I will post an extra one to make up for it.

One more thing, I was not sure I should tell you this but if I do not then I am sure other bloggers who are onboard this week will be sure to write about it online, As I sat on my stool, with a temperature of 100 degrees, feeling sick, my head about to explode a lady on the front row waved me over. I though she had a question so I said that if anyone had questions that the staff would remain afterwards buy she insisted. So, I stood up and as I did the audience began to snigger and the lady then confirmed why this day would be one to forget……….my fly was open…………………………wide open……………………..as the audience laughed and as the nausea built I said on the microphone ” Don’t worry folks, the mouth of the cave is open but the beast is asleep ”

This blog is dedicated to all the mothers as yesterday was Mothers Day. I could have done with my Mum being here yesterday as Heidi made me clean up my own mess in the bathroom.

I will write another blog very soon

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.