Bloody Rain (excuse my French)

Sorry, forgot to say “hello” first.

Hello.

OK, bloody weather. We have been to Venice twice since we sailed in March and both times the rain has spoiled the evening. We had great weather for the entrance but by 5 pm the heavens opened as Mother Nature relieved herself right on top of Venice, like it needs more water.

Today (Tuesday) was better. Cloudy and only 66 degrees but at least Mother Nature decided to cross her legs for a few hours.

The mask sail away party was great but I think because of the weather some worried about buying masks. But the few hundred who did had a fantastic time, as ever. Our new “Romeo and Juliet” contest is hilarious!

What else? Oh, yeah, I know what I wanted to tell you. I have officially asked for a Belly Dancer for the ship due to popular demand from this blog. I saw a copy of the Costa “Today” program this morning and see that they have one so we should as well and have made an official request. I will let you know what the answer is but hopefully Blog Power will prevail.

Then, there is the “blog book.” I have a PA already and now my publisher Roger Blum is working on this project. I am seriously shocked as to so many people asking for this and I hope it is something we can do. Roger is also responsible for publishing great books like:

HOW TO MAKE MONEY BY ROBIN BANKS

4 MILES TO THE NEAREST TOILET BY WILLY MAKEIT

THE SCOTTISH ATHLETIC SUPPORTER BY JOCK STRAP

So, I think our book should be in good hands.

We have a group on board this cruise who are all from New York and are all serving firefighters and police officers. They are traveling as part of the Italian-American Association group and are having a wonderful time. A lady in the group told me yesterday during my Morning Show that she and her husband were looking forward to going to Messina. I asked why and she replied she was going to check on her roots. I told her that we had excellent hair stylists on board…………..she didn’t laugh  🙁

After I had explained the joke I wished her well. She is also a blog reader (Karen and Paul Scilatchi) and I promised I would say hello on today’s blog and pay tribute to her husband – a New York Police Officer – and their entire group. I am sure few people need vacations more than these so I hope they are having a wonderful time.

Still not raining, it’s 7:55 pm and the clouds are getting dark.

Time for a few Q&A’s.

SHARON – Sharon, you have every right to be excited. This will be your first trip ever abroad and your first cruise so be as excited as you like. If you want to (as you say) come up and give me a big hug then go right ahead. I do not charge for hugs so have as many as you like. Have a safe flight over here and get ready for the best time of your life. Leave me a note at the pursers’ information desk when you get onboard. See you soon.
HYACINTH 1 – Welcome home to Hornchurch Mrs. Bucket. It was great meeting you and the rest of the Mellow Yellows and, of course, Dad. Every time I saw Dad he seemed to have an even bigger smile on his face than the last time and I am so happy to hear that despite having bad knees and being in his wheelchair most of the time he was always happy and laughing. I have passed your thanks to Toni and Benito from the dining room. You are correct, it does take all sorts but that’s the fun of this job, meeting and dealing with all walks of life. I hope you will come and cruise again sometime soon and until then I hope you keep reading the blog thingy. Heidi and I send our best to you all.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – Thank you for your kind words for Maddy, the little four-year-old whom, at the time of this writing, has yet to be found. Her parents are refusing to leave Portugal where they were on vacation until she is returned to them. I understand that many blog readers have been following the link think I put on the last blog. The more people who have her photo in their minds the better. Thank you again mate and hope to hear from you again soon.
ROBOCOP – Good to hear from you Jim and thank you for your link to your new Web site. I will be checking it out after I have finished this blog. Tracey Stuart is onboard and it is great to see her. I also hope you can join us on the Bloggers Cruise, I think it will be a very memorable seven days. Hope to see you in January.
BELLA – Good news and bad news. The bad………..Oceans 13 is not available yet for ships and hotels and will not be until the end of June. Good news, I have the maid’s uniform ready! Leave me a note with your cabin number and I will deliver something with a French — ooh, la la. See you in a few days.
DEBBIE MANG – So, the packing is finished. Did you remember to pack my Aston Martin DB9? You are staying at a beautiful hotel, The Visconti Palace. There will be Carnival representatives there and they will help you book tours. I would also suggest you have a walk around the Spanish Steps and Trivi Fountain area yourself as both are reasonably close to your hotel. So far, carnival has no plans to be in the Far East but things change every day so I am sure one day the Carnival brand will span the world. Our sister company Princess already cruises to Asia (I think), maybe my PA can help answer this one. So, see you in a few days, then on the Carnival Splendor and then………………who knows? I do know that I am so amazed that you and so many others have decided to book your vacations based on which ship I am on…………I have no words.
MR. PETE – thank you for your kind words about Maddy. I am sure her parents must be feeling guilty as you mentioned and I am sure also that everyone of us like you wish and pray for her safe return.
TERRI 910 – What an amazing posting and it could not have been read by me at a better time. I just got sent a posting from an on-line cruise site by a couple on the same cruise who said so many negative things. They rated the shows as “awful” but then stated they saw no shows at all? Also, they mentioned that the entire staff was rude and unhelpful. Along with this attachment came an e-mail from a lovely lady called Teri whom having read this was “nervous” about her forthcoming cruise. This made me so upset and, if I can be honest, a little angry. I respect these on-line cruise sites very much and the right to an opinion but it is amazing that you and others on this blog can say that it was a fantastic experience but one couple feels that they had the worst time and now try to stamp their opinion on others by saying “do not cruise” with a particular line. Terri, (another Terri) if you are reading this, please come with an open mind and find out for yourself why 99% of people who cruised and filled out the comment and review card the same week said that they had enjoyed their cruise.
We make mistakes, there are many things we could do better and, of course, that includes me especially. But please make up your own minds and come onboard ready to have the best time and you what……………….you will.
Sorry to vent, please send my best to Larry and I am sorry I missed what I am sure was a show stealing performance as Frank Sinatra.
LINDA THE MOUSE – I have not seen the Disney ship yet in the Med but I know she is out here somewhere. Please also send my best to your fellow cast member and I look forward to meeting her on the Carnival Splendor.
SHARON – I too am sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye but glad you got to say “cheerio” to Heidi. I am very blessed to have such a special, beautiful lady who takes care of me. I could never be the person I am today without her and I could never replace her………………………..maybe just for 10 minutes with Angelina.. It was a particular pleasure to meet the Mellow Yellows and I am glad I got to spend time with your group. I am so happy to hear that the cruise was so enjoyable for you and I hope we all get mellow and yellow again very soon. Are any of you coming on the bloggers cruise?
CARL AND BARB THE BEAR – The chances of baby photos are very slim but maybe, just maybe I can find one of me WITH clothes on. I had a nice break and sorry there was such a big gap in postings. Please keep reading and my best to your teddy Bear Carl.
MRS. HOT STUFF – Congratulations on being pregnant again. That is wonderful news and I am sure the new baby will get to experience his or her first cruise before long. Heidi and I are trying for a baby (every Thursday) and she send her best to you and Mr. Hot Stuff. Please keep reading and let us know when the happy day arrives.
NATE’S MOM – How do you spell Sperm Of the Devil in Chinese? I have no idea but I think that is what my friend was trying to say to me. I hope you are well and Nate is doing a great job, and is a big hit with the girls.
MICHELLE MAN – There is nothing sad about writing to me on this blog thingy so tell my near neighbor to apologize or I will come over to his house and have my mate Alan’s very large dog Helmut poo in his front garden! I am excited to meet everyone in your group and please try and get them all to read this blog before they sail. My regards to Thorpe Bay and stop by the Cliff Pub and have Alan buy you a drink on me.
SUE GROHOL – I loved the story about the man thinking Carnival was only for young people. The tour that you mentioned is not offered the cruise of the trans-Atlantic as it will be a national holiday while we are there. I am very sorry. As I have said I think before, in addition to carrying the most families, Carnival carries more people over 55 than any other cruise line. Oh well, hopefully we can all educate people that cruising is for everyone regardless of age. Thank you for your ideas on the activities for the crossing and I will incorporate them into the schedules, not sure about the “Are You Smarter than the Cruise Director?” as I think that’s a gimme! See you in October and I am looking forward to getting to know you all.
KATHY KROLL – I have found your address Kathy and will e-mail you later today for your postal address. I sent you a coffee table book and some photos and I am so sorry they did not get to you so I will make sure you get them via the mail. Glad you had a good flight and sounds like you had more legroom on your flight than I did. I hope to have Carnival upgrade me to business class next time so I can see how the other half lives. Glad you had such a great time on the cruise and I will see you next year.
JTODDINMAN – You asked about why when you are on our Caribbean ships that the network televisions stations came out of Colorado. I have no idea, so I have asked Roger Blum to see if he can tell me and I will post the answer forthwith. I would ask my PA but he/she has no time to watch television as he/she is busy filing and working on this blog thingy.
As for the Platinum gifts I can tell you that this is in the works and a new list of benefits will be issued shortly and as soon as it is, I will make sure you all know. Thanks for writing and hope to see you soon.  Here is the answer from Roger and it’s pretty straightforward.
Unfortunately, this is the only signal that we’re authorized to receive. We realize that this isn’t ideal for most of the country, but it’s Colorado or nothing.
My thanks to Roger who is currently busy hiring me a belly dancer 🙂
MRS KL – Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that Jess. I had a letter from Jess and her husband last week, sorry the name didn’t click and they are still buzzing after their cruise. He really was romantic in the end. I try and find one such couple every cruise as apart from me every man needs help being more romantic. OK…..me as well but never on Thursdays! See you soon AND MY BEST TO New Jersey.
SCOTT AND KIM – Thanks for allowing me a chance to get your questions answered. This blog thingy has been live for 80 days and some of the questions have fallen through the cracks, it’s mostly Heidi’s fault…….you just can’t get the staff these days!
Anyway, I will book a table for you on June 10 at the Supper Club at 6:30 pm. As for the bike tour in Dubrovnik, it’s a fun tour which gets amazing feedback. Croatian countryside is stunning and I highly recommend this tour if you like both bikes and beauty. See you in a week and have a safe flight.
BIG ED – There you are, I had seen anything slapped on the blog by you for a bit. Like Broadway shows, if it works, let it run. Although maybe the premise is the same each show is very different and the whole point is to make the guest the star. I have a feeling that Big Ed will be a star in his own right when you and I perform our Chippendales routine. How is Mrs. Big Ed’s flight phobia? Your photo site is looking fantastic and I will be sending more photos very soon. You were right about the chef; he did need to remove the door when Alan and I left after eating that huge breakfast. Alan of course never pays for anything so it was once again down to me. The only time he paid for anything was when we went to Amsterdam. Alan is coming on the bloggers cruise and I think you and he will become friends as of course will you and I. The porterhouse steak was just for you and I am just like Mrs. Big Ed and you are like Heidi. I have to have my steak well done. Heidi on the other hand has her steak rare and when she cuts it open it looks like the opening scene from Saving Private Ryan. As for the bloggers cruise, I did offer to do your laundry and that along with a chance to perform with me on stage should make Mrs. Big Ed pick up the phone and book now.
STEVE.GARROD – Glad you liked the book mate and I am really happy your cruise was one you enjoyed so much. I send my best to you as does Heidi and also to all our friends at Holland America. Please stay in touch.
NANNETTEALI – Buenos Deaz Senyora. Haveo a safeo flighto. I haveo a bigo hugo waiting for you when you arrivo hereo.El suno riso at sincko o clocko. Grassyarse for the DVDo and mucho funo is waiting for youo hereo.
MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISEBUTLEARNINGTO LOVETHENEARLYSMOKEFREECARNIVALFREEDOM –  LFTTNSCF – Your points are eloquently written and I have to say I can totally understand where you are coming from. The world is definitely changing away from smoking and Carnival as always is adapting ahead of the game. I am not in a position to comment as to why the Paradise did not work from a company prospective except I do know that it was hard to attract family and group bookings. If one person in a family or a group smoked then that would mean the Paradise was not the ship for them and they would book elsewhere. I had a look back at the number of smoking lounges on the Carnival Destiny in 1996 and there were nine, plus you could smoke all along the Promenade Deck. Today on the Carnival Freedom we have just four smoking areas and the promenade is smoke free. I am sure more changes will happen in the future and as always Carnival will research what our guests want and try their best to appease everyone. Most importantly, your comments about Carnival and how many happy cruisers we carry every week was a joy to read and I am sure that all the office personal who will also be reading it will have the same warm feeling as I do, so thank you so much for that. Please keep sticking comments on to the page thing and I hope we meet very soon. By the way, you asked if I could give up cigars for a world cruise with Angelina, for that, I would give up food, cigars, even Thursdays!
DAVID FROM BARBADOS – That’s even more unfair. You got to hold the hand of the girl from Abba. I can only dream of holding the hand of the beautiful Angelina, but one day she will be mine. So, you are going to book your next Carnival cruise, are you? If you need any advice I am your man, or, as you are from Barbados I should say I am your mon. Thank you for mentioning Aston Martin. It has been a few days since I mentioned the best car in the world and I needed to remind them (and Carnival’s president) that they should give me one for all the free advertising I am giving them. We send our best to Barbados and wish we were there with you.
BARB FROM MINNESOTA – hello Barb. I have a friend who is an assistant cruise director called Butch who is from Minnesota and he was telling me about the state fair and how food is served on sticks. I tried a corn dog last week thanks to a wonderfully kind blogger who brought me one. Can I have food on a stick, please? Now, you asked about tipping the crew which is very kind of you. Tipping is automatically placed on your Sail & Sign Card and paid to the dining room staff and your stateroom steward toward the end of the cruise. If you feel they deserve more by the cruise end then, of course, that would be most gracious of you but the amounts that are left on your card is based on the industry standard. Of course, you also have the right to have these amounts taken off if you feel you would rather give cash.
If you need the amounts, these can be found on the Carnival website. I am very much looking forward to seeing you very soon.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – Please send a big get well soon wish to Prince Charlie after his fall and also congratulations on booking your Carnival Miracle Christmas cruise. What a wonderful way to enjoy the holidays with your family.
JAMES EMM – hello mate, I did get the address and the DVD will be mailed from Mimi at the end of this week. Hope you enjoy it.
PAUL F.PIETRANGELO – I’m happy to hear you are on the road of continued recovery mate and I am happy to report that there is indeed a selection of beers that are non-alcoholic which include Buckler and O’Douls. There is also a red, white and Zinfandel selection of non- alcoholic wines so hopefully you will be able to enjoy these. Thank you again for your great comments about the blog and I continue to be surprised at is popularity. I AM HERE SHOULD YOU REQUIRE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS ANSWERED.

Here endeth today’s q and A.

The rain has again followed the ship from Venice to Dubrovnik where we are today. It’s a bit like the cartoon where the man is walking around with the black rain cloud over his head. I sent Gary and Lloyd out to St. Marks Square yesterday to make sure our guests were all OK and here are some photos of them. In one of them, Gary is holding a drawing of his lost pigeon called Flipper. Gary was asking guests if they had seen him.

 Gary and Lloyd in St. Marks Square Gary and Lloyd in St. Marks Square Gary and Lloyd in St. Marks Square

It’s not raining now but its only 66 degrees and I have advised people to wear a light jacket today. I just had to cancel all the water-based tours including the Kayak and yacht trips because of the weather. It’s just been a bad weather few days but again I feel personally responsible for the guests’ disappointment.

Today, in Dubrovnik I arranged for 50 children to come on board next cruise to tour the vessel. These children are from a local orphanage and all have physical challenges. We will perform a part of the show for them and then some will be able to go down the slide on Lido and we will have a party lunch on Lido Deck. I met with the people from the orphanage today to arrange this and thanks to the Igor the tour operator here for his help in getting this done. I am sure it will be wonderful for them and I will take some photos of course.

Now, I am going to reveal something to you all. Something so shocking that some of you may never speak to me again. I feel that this forum is the right place to admit a major mistake I made in my life which I have felt guilty about for the last 15 years. I am embarrassed, I am ashamed and I need to come and out and admit to you all my grave misjudgment. After this, I expect the number of people who read this blog thingy to drastically diminish. OK, here it is…….I suggest you sit down…….because it will shock you all and change the way you feel about me……………stop beating about the bush John and just say it………..OK……………..it’s time……………………….I have to report, that I, John Heald……………………

MADE A MOVIE WITH MARY KATE AND ASHLEY OLSEN.
Here it is.

The Movie I was in with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

It was shot aboard the Sensation and I played the part of the handsome and sexy cruise director. OK, I played the part of the cruise director. I had a speaking part and got paid $50 and every now and then someone brings this up. The latest was yesterday, when it was played on my morning show without me knowing and thanks to a blogger called Catherine Booth who brought this video who gave it to Heidi and of course the clip was then played for the whole ship to see.

I therefore felt I should come clean and confess now.
Ok, it is now 4 pm and so far the rain has stayed away since 11 am so I hope people have enjoyed their time ashore. Meanwhile, I have to go to a show rehearsal and thought I would leave you with one more photo, its of me at 6 months old…as requested by various bloggers…….why, I have no idea.

John Heald, 6 months old

I still have the hat

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.