Well, that went quick. It’s now 10 pm and it’s an early night for me as I have to get up at 4:30 am to make my 8 am flight back to Rome.

I had a wonderful but very busy day. It started off with a 9:30 am breakfast with my mate Alan at our favorite waterfront/mudfront (depending on the tide café) called the Waters Edge. They have simply the best breakfasts in the world. Should you bloggers ever travel to Southend On Sea, Essex, U.K. then you must go to the Arches which is a row of cafes and in particular the Waters Edge Cafe. The owners are Steve and Ady Halfreck and also the chef (whose name is CHEF) are great people and if any of the 270,000 readers go there and mention my name you get a free sausage! Anyway, here is a photo of Alan Adkins’ breakfast. I had a slice of toast!


I didn’t think that there would be an automatic segue into anything about cruising on today’s blog thingy but incredibly there is, even though I am at home and it’s not for a positive reason. While I was with Alan this morning I went with him to a local travel agent so that Alan could finalize his trip for him and his family to Euro Disney next week as it is a school holiday.

While I was there, I thought I would ask someone for a Carnival Cruise Lines brochure. I approached one of the TRAVEL EXECUTIVES as her desk nameplate stated and I saw her name was Sarah. Now, Sarah looked young – and I mean very young. In fact, the pair of underwear I was wearing was older than she was! Anyway, I politely asked if I could have a look at a brochure for Carnival Cruise Lines. I got no response – Sarah looked as if I had just asked her to explain the existence of perpetual motion or to quote the Gettysburg Address.

Sarah looked lost and said in her polite way, “What?” I said it again, “Carnival Cruise Lines.”

Sara this time said, we don’t have any information on that but we do have P&O. Now, although they are an exceptional cruise line and a very important part of the Carnival family, I was very annoyed that she would not help me with my Carnival brochure request. Alan had finished with his Paris Disney booking and was now next to me and could see me getting upset with Sarah and he was loving every minute.  Then Sara added the icing to the cake. “You don’t want to go on a cruise,” she said.  “That’s for old people. How about Sandals resorts?”

Here, we entered the realm of mixed emotion. I was taken aback that even though my hair is the same color as Kenny Rogers that Sarah thought I was too old to go on a cruise. Then reality set in. I said “Isn’t cruising for all ages?” I then asked her if she had been on a cruise and, of course, it was no shock that she said “No.” Anyway, she reluctantly gave me a P&O brochure and I left her to go back to her MTV world.
I don’t blame Sarah, I don’t blame anyone. I know Carnival has an incredible group of people working in the UK who market our product and many Brits are sailing on our ships, but not enough. With people like Sarah working in the business, it will be tough to make that change. Maybe therefore, if only in a small way, this blog if read by people from my home country can get the word out that cruising on Carnival, P&O or any of our affiliated lines will provide people of all ages with a brilliant holiday. I want to shout this from the rooftops and I am going to assist the brilliant Lynn Narraway and her team in the UK in anyway I can.
Funny isn’t it, when we left the travel agency I looked at Alan and I said “Well, what did you think of that?” expecting my mate to be on my side and as a frequent Carnival cruiser to be as upset as I was.  Alan looked at me and said “Sarah……………….cute, very cute.”
So, an early night and then back to Heidi and the ship. I have 78 comments to reply to over the next 48 hours so I will get those answers posted as soon as I can.
Great news, our blog thingy has reached more than 270,000 smashes and is number 34 on the WordPress list of blogs. Not bad considering that’s 34 out of 1,001,843. You are all 34 in a million people and I am proud to call you all friends.
Thanks to Mum and Dad for a wonderful two days, I will miss you both very much.
Your Friends
John and Heidi and John’s Mum and Dad

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.