Blondes have more fun

May 15, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Evening……it’s me …..back from the bathroom and feeling 80% back to normal so I thought I would sit down at the computer and have a little blogging time with you. It was another beautiful day in Naples today and the temperature was up to 80 degrees, perfect for exploring Sorrento, Pompeii and Amalfi.

I stayed on board today and tried to rest ready for tonight’s show.

This morning, I received a call from Wayne our shore excursion manager that as we were pulling into Naples that the 150 guests from Hong Kong were all on the open deck doing the morning exercise where you wave your arms around (I think its called Tai Chi). Anyway, he said it looked remarkable as they were all doing it in unison.

I have received letters and gifts from bloggers TERRI910, TOM AND MARY LOVE, SHARON SOLIE AND KATHY HADOULIS whom I called just now and welcomed them all onboard and thanked them for the doughnuts, coffee, sugar free mints and a Canadian Sweatshirt (for Heidi).  How wonderful they are and how grateful I am that no only did they find the time to read the blog thingy but brought Heidi and I things as well. Heidi says it is very rude to ask for gifts and that she would never do so………………………I would though, so please can I have

1. SUGAR FREE CHOCOLATE
2. A COPY OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY MAGAZINE
3. AN ASTON MARTIN DB9 VOLANTE

Tomorrow, we have a roll call of bloggers meeting at 2 pm and I will host a Q&A and we can all have a chat together. Speaking of which, I know many of you have booked the blogger’s cruise which is going to be brilliant. I am working on lots of “surprises” for this and hopefully more of you will have a chance to come as well as I know cabins are now very limited.

I had better get started with today’s Q&A and I am sorry that I have been a little behind with these.

To start, here are the answers to some questions as asked to our chief engineer by a blogger whose name I have misplaced, my apologies.

Would you mind answering these follow up questions for the guests from the website. Many thanks 🙂
How many gallons (or liters) fuel does the Freedom use in a cruise: 
An average of 1,500 Metric Tons. (1,500,000 liters or 400,000 gallons). 

How many gallons of water are processed each day :
We produce onboard an average of 550 Metric-Tons / day ( 550,000 liters / day or 145,000 gals. / day).
The average daily consumption is 1,050 Metric-Tons. (1,050,000 liters or 280,000 gls.)

My thanks to the Chief Engineer Gastone for this information and I know I can always count on him for information. We always say here onboard that if you are going to do something properly to give it a “Good Gastoneing.” Chief engineers as I have said before are some of the biggest unsung heroes on cruise ships.

BIG ED – Now you are doing comedy as well. It looks like I finally found someone who can take over my job, do the shows, make people laugh and share my underwear.
JIM AND JANE – I will pass your comments on to Vicki about the Platinum Card benefits as I am sure she will find them very interesting. I will let you know what she says. Keep the Diet Coke cold and drop me a line when you get onboard. See you soon and get ready for a wonderful cruise.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – Welcome to blog land on behalf of Heidi and I and the thousands of daily readers. So far we have had 235,000 thumps on the web blog thingy and now we have you and the half a twain as well, so welcome. I loved the name HEALD’S COLLEGE OF CARNIVALOUS KNOWLEDGE” and, as you suggested, I am thinking about making this blog thingy into a book. Please keep reading and I do hope that you will sail on one of our Fun Ships very soon.
DEBRAH HEHN – Great story, you were a Gow and now you are a Hen. Thanks for the explanation and If you have any more please share them with us all.
RPS – Thanks for the kind words about the blog and I guess if people are talking about it on another cruise line then we must be doing ok. I assure you that my mate AL ERNST will be on the bloggers cruise. Best to Suzann and see you on the Carnival Splendor.
RENEE – there are going to be many bloggers on the cruise with you and I am excited to meet you all. I am glad that you enjoy the blog and when you said that you felt like “a little kid that just got her teen idol’s signature” after I replied to your question I want you to know that you made me feel like a pop star. Heidi ……………….just read this…………………and said ……..yea…………….MEATLOAF!

Back in a minute, just going to put the lid up. Ok, I’m back. Now, although I mentioned to Mike M that he could leave his kids with Camp Carnival rather than take them to Florence and Pisa, I can tell you that many parents each and every week take their children with them. I guess it is just personal choice depending on your kids ability to handle a 10-hour tour with some time on the bus. I do not think you made a mistake booking it because I am sure you thought this through and then you read my blog thingy and now you are second guessing yourself. Whatever you decide, I am sure it will be the right thing and I look forward to meeting your family soon.

DOUGNEWMAN – Great photo Doug. All those ships in Barcelona did make for a very busy day and it was perfect proof that Europe is now a major destination and as someone said “the new Caribbean.” Thanks for the lunch invitation and I will meet you for sure. Can we have a Nathan’s Hot Dog ?
SUSETTE……………………I am glad you had two fantastic cruises on the QE2 but I am sorry to hear you did not enjoy the entertainment there and thanks for recommendation that I should be their cruise director. I know you cruised with me on the Carnival Triumph and that seems a long time ago. Heidi and I have been married for nearly three years and thank you for your kind and thoughtful words about us both. I hope you will sail with us again soon.
TIM ( PAM’S B/F) – Congratulations on booking the bloggers cruise and I am very excited about it. You asked about employment as a night auditor/purser. May I suggest that you read the employment section on www.carnival.com and on there is a link to who to write to regarding a purser or accounting position. Meanwhile, if you have any job specific questions, please let me know. See you in January. it’s going to be great !
MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – the sunshine is back !
BIG ED – mate, I have spent the last 24 hours on bended knee in close conversation with my friend Tom the Toilet (yes I have named him) and I hope not see any more of Tom for some time. I do not want to go into too much detail but you are correct that sometimes a suction toilet system is good although I disagree that you should sit down and flush at the same time otherwise Big Ed may lose his family jewels. You would then be called ………ok, I have been told to stop by Heidi but I think you get the picture.
JOHN – What a great name. Thank you for your kind words and I am glad you have discovered this blog thingy. I hope you will keep reading and hopefully one day you will be able to come and witness the fun first-hand.
FUNITURE BLOGGER – To the guest who asked who designed our chairs, my PA has taken time out from filing and making the coffee to tell me the designers name is MR BLEIJENBERG and he is not just a wonderful designer but one of the most fun people you will ever meet. I have not seen him for some time but if he reads this blog or if my PA can take time away from organizing my social calendar I would like to pass on my best to him and his wife.
VALERIE PHILIPS – Congratulations on winning bingo here on the Carnival Freedom and I am glad to hear you are spending your winnings on another cruise with me on the Carnival Splendor. Your sister is from Devon in the UK which is one of my favorite places to visit when I am home. I am glad you like my “British humor” so here is a Devon joke just for you:
TWO COWS ARE STANDING IN A FIELD, ONE SAYS TO THE OTHER “ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT MAD COW DISEASE?” THE OTHER COW SAYS “I HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT, I’M A SHEEP ” .
ANGIE – Sounds like you had a lot of fun with Wee Jimmy although I am not sure you deserved to see him in a bathing costume. I hope Heidi and I get to see you again soon and thanks for your continuing support of Carnival.
BIG HEAD – Heidi here and thanks for the drink recipe which I will try tomorrow night (formal night). I have a feeling you and John are going to become great friends and maybe you can teach him some BATHROOM manners.
CAROL VOSS – May 25 is just a few days away and I know how excited you must be. Please let me know which night you want to go to the supper club and I will book for you. Please keep reading the blog thingy and I will await your advice.
CHAZON – Fantastic news that you have decided to join us on the Carnival Splendor. Sounds like you converted your future wife to cruising following your trip on the Holiday. Did you meet the cruise director? You can request a dinner seating through your agent or directly with Carnival whenever you want to. Hope to hear from you very soon.
EBBIE – I will promise to make your first trip out of the United States the most special time especially as you will be celebrating the “big 50.” Thank you for your kind offer of a New York bagel, Heidi is embarrassed to ask for a cinnamon bagel so I am doing it for her and can I have a regular plain old bagel please. Drop a note to me when you arrive at the Information Desk and I will give you a call. See you soon. Any chance of a diet root beer?
ZSOLT – I am sure I join all my fellow bloggers in wishing your Mum all the best and we all hope she gets better very soon. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for you to leave the ship in Barcelona and watch your Mum put into an ambulance, I to am sorry that I did not get to say goodbye to you both. Your wonderful and kind words about our staff onboard and ashore are gratefully received and I have sent them to the people concerned. I wish you much happiness and if you can post your mailing address in Hungary I would like to send you a DVD of the cruise and some of the places you and Mum missed. Please write soon and again, we are all thinking about Mum and wish her a good health.

Just got back from the Welcome Aboard Show and, although I was certainly “running on empty,” the great audience and the characters I choose to come on stage got me through it. Here are a few photos of last nights show.

Pictures from the Welcome Aboard Show Pictures from the Welcome Aboard Show Pictures from the Welcome Aboard Show

In one of the Q &As above we mentioned the QE2. As also mentioned in a previous blog our esteemed Maitre D Ken Byrne used to be a waiter on that ship back in the 1970s. He shared this story with me and I thought I would pass it on to you. While Ken was working in the famous Queens Grille Restaurant aboard the flagship of Cunard he had a friend, another waiter called Harry Macintyre aka “Scottie” known as he came from Scotland.

Scottie was a little five-foot nothing waiter who Ken describes as “the best waiter I have ever worked with.” The QE2 was on its world cruise and there are passengers who had been on board for the whole time, some 200-plus days. One of these was a very important member of the Saudi Royal Family. Scottie had been serving him all cruise long and they had become great friends. As the majestic ocean liner returned to its home port of Southampton and the final stop of the cruise Scottie had been telling Ken and his other waiter friends that he hoped he would receive a “royal family size tip.” So the last night came and Scottie served him expectantly salivating at the thought of what he was about to receive……………….the meal was over……………….the Prince said his goodbyes and gave him ………nothing.

Scottie could not believe it as they relaxed in the Pig and Whistle — the famous Crew Bar on the QE2.  Poor old Scottie was the laughing stock. The following morning the ship arrived in Southampton and the guests all left. Scottie was later called by the executive officer to come immediately to the gangway. This was unheard of and Scottie thought he must be in trouble. He arrived to the gangway and was met by the executive officer and other important members of the Cunard ship. But that was not the only think on the pier, for there gleaming in the sunshine, on the pier, was a car, not just any car, but a ROLLS ROYCE CORNICHE with a simple note under the windshield wiper that said, “SCOTTIE, THANK YOU FOR EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE” signed by the Royal Prince.

This became a famous story in the folklore of the ship and the photo of the car, Scottie and the ship still feature onboard and this was also featured on a TV program that ran in the U.K. called “Whickers World.”

If nothing else it shows that you never know what is going to happen and also hope springs eternal that one day somebody may tip me an ………..ASTON MARTIN.

It’s now the sea day before Rhodes and the med is still, the sun is shining and it is a perfect day for our guests to relax.

I am off to the Mellow Yellow Meeting now with Heidi. I just finished my travel talk and the following Q & A. These are done live on the microphone so everyone can hear each question as many times the questions are exactly the same. These sessions always produce the unexpected and today was no exception. Here, word for word, as witnessed by Heidi and 150 guests including some blogger friends who are sailing is the question of the day asked by a Sophie from San Diego, California.

“ I have blonde hair, is it dangerous for me to walk around in Istanbul?  Now, I had a choice of answers here but I decided to be nice and ask her what she meant. She said she had heard that young blonde women were often “kidnapped “ in Turkey and sent to……….and this is the best bit, she meant to say Harems but she said….HARLEMS…………..I could not resist and once again and regardless of the warning shot I got from Heidi’s “don’t you dare face.” I said “,It may be better to wear a hat or a head scarf.” She thanked me and left, with Heidi, who is blonde, running after her to tell her I was joking.

Moments like this are just priceless.

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.