Good Afternoon from Rome where it’s another sunny day. Today, the Vatican Museum is closed as it is a Holy Friday celebrating Sts. Peter and Paul. The Pope is giving Mass this morning and some 8,000 people are expected in St. Peters square.

I have to talk to you quickly about something a guest said to Stephanie, one of the entertainment staff yesterday. After the travel talk she saw Stephanie and said ” Why was the cruise director talking about the Pope – doesn’t he know he died?”

Today, I want to start by slapping on three more photos from Heidi’s collection.

1. This is a beautiful photo of the “Walk Of Life” at Ephesus with Hadrian’s Grand Library in the back ground

This is a beautiful photo of the “Walk Of Life” at Ephesus with Hadrian’s Grand Library in the back ground

2. The second photo is of Ephesus again. Note the lights and rigging which were being set for a concert which is being played tonight (Friday) by a full 52 piece orchestra from Germany.

The second photo is of Ephesus again. Note the lights and rigging which were being set for a concert which is being played tonight (Friday) by a full 52 piece orchestra from Germany.

3. Finally for today and also from Ephesus is the statue of the Goddess Nike. Look carefully and you can see where the Nike symbol comes from

Finally for today and also from Ephesus is the statue of the Goddess Nike. Look carefully and you can see where the Nike symbol comes from

More photos later.

Today, I have a full staff meeting to discuss various events and procedures and also to say goodbye to various staff members whose contract is completed and tomorrow will be heading off on a well-deserved vacation. I have lots of paperwork and hopefully I will get this done quickly so that I can take Heidi out to dinner ashore tonight, if not it’s a first class, non-stop trip to the Dog House for me.

I think the guests have had a great time this cruise. The only area that has been a concern was the heat in Turkey and Greece but that aside I am very satisfied with the cruise but as always there are always areas we can improve on and we must do so.

Sorry, just stopped blogging for an hour as I see on the news that a car bomb has been discovered in London and defused……………what a world we live in.

OK, back to the blog and now I present a gentlemen called Steve Williams who is Carnival’s director of medical services and responsible for all the nurses and doctors on board our ships. I asked him some questions and here are his answers.

Steve Williams

Can you tell us about your medical background and your career with Carnival leading to your current position? I trained as a nurse in the UK at St Mary’s Hospital in London. I have been a nurse for 21 years. I worked in Accident & Emergency before moving to the US. I have worked mainly in trauma and emergency departments. My previous work was as Director of Nursing for Mount Sinai Medical Center, Emergency Department on Miami Beach, where I also worked as Chief Flight Nurse for the Lifeflight Critical Care Transport program, where we flew a Sikorsky S – 76 helicopter. I joined Carnival in October 1999, and now am responsible for coordinating the work of the shipboard physicians and nurses, hiring and scheduling and the logistics involved in managing medical centers on 22 ships. I work with our Medical Director Dr. Art Diskin, and our Senior Fleet Physician Dr. John Bradberry.

How many Doctors and Nurses are currently employed throughout the fleet? Please can you tell us a little about their demographics and qualifications you look for in both positions? We have a total of 24 senior physicians, and 28 ship’s physicians, who rotate through the ships on contracts that range from four- six months. We have approximately 90 registered nurses working for us at any given time. All our physicians and nurses have to had emergency and critical care experience, and are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Most of our physicians and nurses come from the UK, South Africa, Europe or Australia and New Zealand. Our infirmaries exceed the CLIA/ACEP guidelines and are designed to treat and stabilize most emergent medical conditions until we can get the patient to the hospital.

The old image of a ship’s doctor is long gone although it still has a certain “romantic image “about it. Obviously you cannot discuss individual cases but can you tell us something about the diversity of today’s “doctor onboard.” Our medical teams deal with everything from seasickness and colds and flu, to heart attacks and traumatic injuries from falls or accidents, such as moped and Jet Ski accidents. One minute they may be advising a mother on how to treat symptoms of a sore throat in a child, the next running to a call about an unconscious guest, or helping to manage a patient in an emergency situation.

Let’s chat about the nurses who are often the unsung heroes onboard. What is a typical day like for a cruise ship nurse? Our nursing staff typically works long hours, often times many hours more than they are scheduled to work. As well as the very varied clinical cases, there is a lot of paperwork involved, because of US Coastguard and CDC regulations. There is emergency equipment and supplies to check, reports and medical records to copy, endless copying and scanning…..Then some of our staff are also involved in on board and shipboard activities, such as training staff, or working with a shoreside clinic or charity. They really are the core and backbone of our shipboard medical centers, and we are very fortunate to have an amazingly talented, hardworking and compassionate group of nurses.
Now, onto the dreaded word…………………….Norwalk Virus. There seems to be a perception that this can only occur on a cruise ship. Can you give us your perspective on this and what cruise ship guests should do to try and prevent this from happening to them? Now we call it Noro, the citizens of Norwalk, Connecticut got a little ticked off at continually being associated with diarrhea and vomiting! It is the most common cause of gastro-enteritis or “stomach flu” in the world. Probably 30 – 40 million shoreside cases a year in the US alone. If guests frequently wash their hands, especially before eating, smoking (if they really cannot give up), putting on make up or touching their mouths for any reason, we would have far less cases. Folks also need to understand that the alcohol-based hand gels are also pretty ineffective in killing Noro, because they evaporate before they can kill the virus. We are in the process of trialing a new disposable hand wipe, which we believe will be far more effective than the alcohol based gels.

OK, as always we finish with a couple of personal “lighthearted ” questions. What’s your favorite Doctor/Nurse/Medical Joke? A young woman, who has a bit of a lisp, goes to the doctor with a case of bronchitis. During the medical exam he takes his stethoscope out of his coat pocket, and places the listening piece on her back, the other end in his ears, leans forward and says to her… “Big Breaths”…. She blushes, and says,…. “Yesth, and I am only sixthteen”

If you had to treat one of these people for an upper thigh injury, who would you choose

Angelina Jolie
Pamela Andersen
Hale Berry
Tom Cruise
John Heald

I have to say that Angelina Jolie would certainly be a pleasure to look after, although you would always be very good for a laugh…!!!!

My thanks to Steve and we pay tribute to all ships doctors and nurses who have treated and saved so many guests………….THANK YOU ALL.

I hope you are enjoying the guest interviews, many more will follow.

Yesterday’s anagrams were pretty easy but incase you were having trouble, here are the answers.




Here are today’s




And with much fanfare we herald the arrival of today’s Q & A

LUV 2 CRUISE – What wonderful words when you said “I am still glowing after my cruise.” I think this glow also has something to do with your husband and once again I thank him for all he did to make sure the cruise was a special one for all. I will make sure I add to my talk the fact that clothes do shrink on a cruise and even more so this cruise from the weather being so hot, there has been a lot of “sweating” going on this week. Anyway, Heidi and I send our best to you both and hope you are having a yabba dabba doo time.
STACY – It seems to me that both you and Big Ed have come up with great names for the new Carnival Splendor’s spa. It seems that in the event of a draw the decision will be made by deciding who looks the best for the spa’s promotional photos. This will include.
Stacy and Ed wrapped in a towel by the entrance of the spa
Stacy and Ed covered in oils and creams
Stacy and Ed using all the keep fit equipment
So it is obvious therefore that the winner is…………………………………………….BIG ED.
BIG ED – I’m Spartacus!
LINDA HERNACKI – Of course you will get a signed photo and a book. Please let us know when your grandson arrives and we wish him, his parents and of course his grandparents many happy times ahead. I hope Daniel is as good at changing light bulbs as his granddad. Let us know the news.
IVANA – Thank you so much on behalf of Alan and I for the Prague information which will prove so very useful. I especially enjoyed the food and pub recommendations which I shall pay special attention to. You must be very proud of your hometown and I will be sure to take some photos and put them on the blog. Thanks again, I owe you one so let me know if you need anything.
MTSFPBLFTTNSFCF – I am glad you liked the story about my over friendly Russian friend, who by the way was found fast asleep in one of the public bathrooms last night at 2 am……I say asleep……..more sleep induced by his favorite tipple. He has become famous this cruise and really is harmless. I understand how smoke can bring on asthma for many people and I know your wife is concerned. As far as the ship is concerned there is no smoking in any restraint or theater and if you stay out of the casino, cigar bar and disco you will not come into contact with any smoke. I am at your service as your friend and as cruise director should require any help. My best to you and your wife…Heidi still needs a mask, especially as I am eating some pistachios.
BARB AND HER BEAR – It is always great to hear from you both and your comments are so kind as always. The young kids from Istanbul really enjoyed their time onboard and I hope we can do it again before too long. People do think that I can control the weather, it’s only a few out of 3,000 but they never cease to amaze me. I am sure your grand kids must really appreciate you sending them so many postcards and photos of all the amazing and historic places you have visited. Again, thank you so much for your kind words which mean so much to Heidi and I.
RONANOKE HOO – I remember very well the tour which arrived late from Panama and as you said it was good that it was a Carnival organized tour so we knew where you all were.
You asked about the dress code for the mosques in Turkey for ladies. Ladies must have their shoulders covered when entering the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. If you are wearing shorts they should be on or over your knees please. However, there will be no need to cover your head. Remember that everyone must remove their shoes and therefore we recommend that your wear socks if you do not want to walk around barefooted. Now, apart from the taking your shoes off, the same applies to the Vatican and is one of the many similarities between the two religions.
The Private Vatican Tour is one of the most amazing things I have ever done as you explore the areas of the Vatican that nobody else gets to see……….the Pope’s Cars and Carriages, the Private Chambers and art collections and of course the highlight is being alone ion the Sistine Chapel. There is nothing else like it. See you in a few days and let me know if you need anything else.
MARK CHAMBLISS – I have a feeling that you need to be on stage with me as its time to make you a star. See you in January on the Bloggers Cruise and I look forward to seeing you and your family……………..It will be a brilliant cruise and I cannot wait to spend valuable time with my friends from cruise critic and cruise Mates. Keep reading the blog thingy until then and I am glad you got a call from Vicki, she is one of a kind.
LOVE TO TEACH – The weather was 12 degrees above the normal monthly average in Athens this week. I hope it is a bit cooler but do come prepared with a sun hat and lots of sunscreen with a high SPF factor. Twelve days and counting and we will get to meet each other……..hope you have a safe flight and if you need anything before you travel I remain at your service.
ELVIRA AND ALEXANDER – Congratulations on writing one of the most beautiful postings I have read on the blog so far and in perfect English. I remember you both very well and remember you dancing so beautifully at the talent show and also showing the ship your photos on the morning show. You have written so many wonderful things that I don’t know where to start but I will say thank you to all the crew you mentioned especially Darko, Dino and the dancers who you loved so much. All of us who are going to the Carnival Splendor as crew or as guests are so looking forward to St. Petersburg or Peter as you said it is known and hopefully we can see you there one time so we can meet again. I am sure all the bloggers enjoyed reading your letter and we thank you so much for taking the time to do so. I wish you and Alexander much happiness as does Heidi. Spasiba my friends.
ESSEXMAN – For you, I would happily sign a copy of anything as would Heidi and even Alan will sign an old pair of his Y Fronts.
J – JOHN – hello J -John, its John here John and yes there will be lots of Johns on the Carnival Splendor John. Great to hear your friends have now booked the ship as well and Ken will be here and Heidi some of the time. I have never been to Arizona but if you invite me then indeed I may. Stay cool and write soon.
LISA AND ELAINE – Glad you enjoyed the story about my Russian friend. The T-shirts will be ready within the next few days. Watch this space.
COLEEN O’LEARY. – Just to confirm that I will make supper club reservations as follows:
Table for two on July 14 at 8 pm.
Table for four on July 21 at 8 pm
Heidi is e-mailing the supper club as we speak. Look forward to meeting you all.
SWEETSUNSHINE – Welcome to my blog thingy, I am glad you found the site. I see that you are sailing on the Carnival Splendor and until then please let me know if you have any questions on the ship or ports of call, etc. and I will be happy to help and answer them.

That’s all the time I have for Q&A for today, otherwise I will be in the doghouse for not taking Heidi out for dinner.

Today, we received a care package from NANCI KOPERSKI. It contained a beautiful card, Heidi thinks it has been hand made and delicious sugar-free chocolate, a wonderful CD and vanilla shower gels. Nanci, from Heidi and I a very big thank you. Getting packages like that is such a nice surprise and we really appreciate it!!

I am also very privileged to have had an article written about the blog by our Cruise Critic friends.

Here is the link:

I am looking forward to meeting all my Cruise Critic friends very soon. It was a brilliant article and thanks again.



For the first time, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate voyages to South America with 14- to 18-day departures featuring extended visits to magnificent destinations in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile and Peru aboard the new 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor beginning in January 2009.

Representing a new class of “Fun Ship,” the 3,006-passenger SuperLiner will offer a host of innovations including a luxurious 21,000-square-foot health club and the line’s first spa staterooms and suites.

Carnival Splendor will operate three special South America departures in 2009 — a 17-day, six-port cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jan. 31-Feb. 17; a 14-day, six-port voyage from Buenos Aires to Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile, Feb. 17-March 3, and an 18-day, six-port South America/Mexican Riviera cruise from Santiago (Valparaiso) to San Francisco March 3-21.

Carnival Splendor will become the first Carnival “Fun Ship” to operate a South American itinerary when it embarks on a 17-day, six-port cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires Jan. 31 – Feb. 17, 2009. The voyage, which will sail across two hemispheres with the crossing of the equator, will feature visits to the tropical islands of Dominica and Barbados as well as day-long calls at four spectacular Brazilian ports — Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, each of which offers a rich history with architecture dating back to mid-16th century, along with gorgeous beaches, outstanding restaurants and shops, and unique cultural experiences.

Following this voyage, Carnival Splendor will sail on a 14-day, six-port “Cape Horn/Strait of Magellan” cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago (Valparaiso) Feb. 17 – March 3, 2009. The voyage begins with an overnight call in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital, then visits the charming cities of Montevideo, Uruguay; and Puerto Madryn, Argentina, followed by scenic cruising of historic Cape Horn – South America’s southernmost point. The voyage continues with a visit to Ushuaia, Argentina, a charming fishing village in the territory of Tierra del Fuego home to unique sub-Antarctic forests; another day of scenic cruising of Cape Horn/Beagle Island, and a call at Punta Arenas, Chile, which lies at the entrance to the Straits of Magellan and is considered the gateway to Antarctica. Highlighting this voyage is a day-long cruise of Chile’s majestic fjords and a visit to Puerto Montt, Chile, founded by German colonists in 1853 and boasts sparkling lakes and lush mountainous landscape.

Carnival Splendor will then operate an 18-day “Andes, Peru and Mexican Riviera” cruise from Santiago (Valparaiso) to San Francisco March 3-21, 2009. Prior to crossing the equator, Carnival Splendor will visit Arica, Chile, nestled in the Andes Mountains and founded in 1570, with exquisite collections of pre-Columbian artifacts; Lima (Callao), Peru, whose historic city center was declared a Word Heritage Site by UNESCO; Manta (Quito), Ecuador, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in 1534 and featuring the Monastery and Church of San Francisco, one of the oldest religious structures in the New World. The voyage concludes with visits to the popular destinations of Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Long Beach, Calif., before arriving in San Francisco.

The first in a new series, as well as the largest Carnival Cruise Lines ship ever constructed, Carnival Splendor will feature an innovative new design introducing a host of guest-driven features that will usher in an exciting new era in “Fun Ship” vacations, highlighted by a luxurious 21,000-square-foot spa.

Adjacent to the elegant and modern facility will be 68 spa staterooms and suites, which will be accessible by a private elevator and offer exclusive privileges and amenities for guests. Also featured within the spa will be the line’s first thalassotherapy pool covered by a glass dome and an elaborate thermal suite, with four rooms offering varying degrees of warmth and coolness.

Other features include a 5,500-square-foot children’s play area – the largest in the “Fun Ship” fleet – as well as a water spray park and a mid-ship pool covered by a sliding Sky Dome. The line’s signature amenities such as cell phone and Wi-Fi service, a reservations-only supper club and the Carnival Seaside Theatre – a massive LED screen displaying movies, concerts and other programming – will also be featured.

Prior to its new South America program, Carnival Splendor will launch the line’s first-ever Northern Europe cruise program from London (Dover) July 13, 2008, followed by a series of voyages to the Mediterranean and Greek Isles through October 17, 2008.

Carnival Splendor will then sail on a transatlantic voyage from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Fort Lauderdale, positioning the vessel for a series of seven-day Caribbean cruises from that port beginning November 22, 2008. The ship will then sail on the three South America voyages, then reposition to Long Beach to launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises beginning March 29, 2009, continuing the line’s expansion of its West Coast operations.


So, it looks like the Carnival Splendor will have one of the most exciting inaugural seasons of any ship in the world as she travels the world.

The only thing missing is you and ……………………………..Angelina Jolie.

However, I just can’t stop thinking about Catherine Zeta Jones.

Your friends,

John and Heidi

Thinking of Another Women

June 29, 2007 -

John Heald





Oh what a beautiful morning, do you know why…’s only 84 degrees today and its so much cooler than the rest of the cruise I advised everyone to wear a thick coat when they left to explore Pisa and Florence.

So, that’s where I am today, Livorno and 2,200 people are on organized tours and have left for what I know will be a very happy day. The other 1,000 guests will be off on their own including one group of 12 people who told me something about their day. They are all going to Tuscany to spend eight hours learning how to cook Italian style.

Apparently, this day will include lessons and instruction in Italian cuisine held at a big house in Sienna, Tuscany. The group has both men and ladies in it and all seem very excited…….my question, is this something you think we should offer as a tour? I mean, honestly, do you really need lessons in this? It’s easy, you take the pizza out of the box, open the microwave, turn the thing on…………when it goes PING you take it out and eat it. The only difficult thing is making sure you don’t drop it on the way from the kitchen to the TV………….let me know if you think I should add this tour please.

Talking of Tuscany, the new movies I have been showing this week have been so very popular with the biggest attendance for Top Gun and Casino Royale although Jaws on Classic Music night was very well attended. When the music starts, you know the……bom bom bom bom ……..bombombombombombombom….. (how many of you just sang that by the way) we turned the music up really loud and even though you most people had seen this movie it was funny to see everyone jump at the same time when the shark strikes its prey.

I did have a problem during the night we showed Casino Royale though. I had planned to start the movie at 7:45pm and repeat it at 10:45pm. However it was so hot on deck, the transformers or something that sounds like that were affected by the heat and caused a surge………listen, the thing blew up and the techs had to put in new things which caused a 40 minute delayed start to both movies. One of the staff went to explain to the guests on the mic and once again 350 people said no problem and two or three….well……you know the rest. Have you seen though the final scene in the movie where the house on the Venice canal collapses – it is brilliantly made and overall I think the movie was super stuff and after my misgivings at the casting of Daniel Craig, I think he was tremendous……but a complete ba%$#@D for crashing a brand new Aston Martin.

Also, a record today…………..TEN PEOPLE MISSED THE SHIP IN LIVORNO. We have since heard from most of them and they missed the train back to Florence. They will now have to get to Rome to meet us tomorrow. Seeing these places by taking the train is a good way to explore but you always run the risk of a train strike or as in this case, a cancellation of the train due to mechanical faults. We waited as long as we could and luckily they took our Carnival Capers with them that contain an emergency contact number on the front page so they could call.

Unfortunately, with the next train not for another hour and with a one-hour journey time we could not wait……………so, it’s a night in a hotel for them then. I will call them later tonight as I have got to know one couple well. A follow up story will follow…………..what a stupid sentence that was……of course it will………what an idiot I am….and I am talking to myself and typing what I am saying………….help.

OK, what else – I have been having a look through Heidi’s photos and found lots more I have not slapped on the blog before so here we go with four of my favorites.

1. This is a photo of the donkey that took Heidi up to Lindos, which is part of the Lindos Tour in Rhodes, Greece. For those who cannot walk the 400 steps, here is a way to go up on an ass. For some reason the donkeys ran away when they saw me.

This is a photo of the donkey that took Heidi up to Lindos, which is part of the Lindos Tour in Rhodes, Greece.

2. Here are some photos of the reward that awaits you after the donkey ride or climb. This is the view from the top and marvel at the amazing Temple Of Athena atop the Acropolis

This is the view from the top and marvel at the amazing Temple Of Athena atop the Acropolis

This is the view from the top and marvel at the amazing Temple Of Athena atop the Acropolis

This is the view from the top and marvel at the amazing Temple Of Athena atop the Acropolis

3. Finally for today, here are two photos from Ephesus. The first is of the Amphitheater and shows you the sheer size of this amazing structure built in 5 B.C. and then we have the Hadrians Library. Wow.

The Amphitheater at Ephesus

The Hadrians Library

That’s it for now. By the way, hope you like the new way we are slapping the photos on the blog thingy.

I would like to introduce you to Mr. Natko Nincevic who is our Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Natko over the last 20 years and have watched him reach his current position thanks to his tremendous knowledge of the industry. I asked a him a few questions and here are his answers.

Mr. Natko Nincevic

1. Natko, please can you tell us something about your Career in the cruise industry from the beginning to your current position.

I first joined Carnival in 1978 in the position of Assistant Maitre d’ Hotel on the most beautiful ship, the TSS Carnivale. In 1981 I left the company and went to Montreal to further my experience in the hotel industry, including the Trust House Forte and Hilton. In 1984 I returned to Carnival and joined the line’s newest ship, the MS Tropicale, in the position of F&B Manager. In 1990, Everette Phillips, at the time General Manager of Carnival’s Catering Division, offered me a job in the office as Director of F&B for the fleet. In 1993 I was promoted to VP food & beverage followed by promotion to VP Hotel Operations in 1997 and in 2000 to SR VP Hotel Ops a position, which I presently hold.

2. As Senior Vice President for Hotel Operations you have a very responsible position. Can you tell us for what areas of the operations you are responsible for and how many staff you have working ashore?

Hotel Operations’ group consist of food and beverage, housekeeping, pursers, Camp Carnival/youth and teen staff, and most recent addition tour operations and entertainment; shore side support departments: hotel purchasing, hotel commerce, shipboard human resources, special services operations (Bon Voyage), logistics and warehousing. There approximately 200 staff working in the office to support shipboard operations.

3. Natko, one of the most spectacular success stories in recent times have been the addition of the Supper Clubs on our Spirit and Conquest class ships. Please can you tell us how this came about and why you think that they have become the most talked about restaurants at sea?

Supper Club: at the time of design of Carnival Spirit, there was the location which Joe Farcus designed a small restaurant originally meant to be a pasta place. In those days prime steakhouse restaurants were quite popular, i.e., Morton’s and Capital Grille. Actually we approached a leading steakhouse to co-brand but they wouldn’t entertain our offer. We said good we can do our steakhouse better than you and the rest is history.

4.Obviously, I have to ask you to please tell us what your favorite dishes are in the Supper Club, so off you go, appetizers through dessert please.

It’s difficult to pick a favorite dish when they are all good; however, today’s pick would be lobster bisque, New York steak and of course flourless chocolate cake

I know that you are very proud to have been born in Croatia. You must therefore be so proud to see the Carnival flag flying high and proud in Dubrovnik, which has become a firm favorite with our guests. Can you tell us how that feels and also just how far the country has come and how.

Croatia is a great centuries-old country and Dubrovnik is a very special place. To see the Carnival flag in Dubrovnik it’s a great feeling, especially since I was involved in planning that itinerary.

5. Finally, as you are responsible for so many crew, please can you find a position onboard for these famous people.

ANGELINA JOLIE – supper club hostess

GEORGE BUSH – bossun

BILL CLINTON – social host

PARIS HILTON – crew bar tender

Thank you Natko, we all appreciate your time so very much

Let’s do the answers to yesterday’s anagrams.


Here are today’s




They were easy today.

OK, we are off and running with today’s Q & A

PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – As always Paul, you write with such fluency and sincerity, we all appreciate it very much. I am happy to hear that your son will be sailing with his new wife on the Carnival Victory. Please can you remind me nearer the time (yes, I will still be blogging then), as I would like to send them something special? I am glad also you are enjoying the guest interviews and it was a special honor for me to interview Carlo Marlow from Cunard. As requested I will take some more photos of Heidi and I, we never seem to have time to take some together. Hope you are doing well and we both send our regards.
BILL – ZYDECOCRUISER – Vicki’s interview will be posted to at the end of the week Bill. I am continuing with the written blog thingies until we get the audio files started when we will also do as you suggested and have someone else type the blog. The reason I am going to do this is so that I will be able to add more blog have heard of voice recognition devices that do the typing for you. My only concern with all these gadgets is that for some strange reason I tend to write better when I am typing it myself. Strange that. ROBERTO AND FRANK…HAVE A LOOK AT THIS LINK THINGY AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK /……
Thanks for your interest and concern Bill and hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy. By the way I am listening to Brian Jack and a track called Going Home – very cool
KEVIN – Now you have piqued my curiosity…………what do you do for a living? ….you say it has something to do with what a man does every 30 minutes……………….OK, let me think………………nope, no clue……………let me know and if a condition of you getting a job on a cruise ship is that I can use your Aston Martin then YOU ARE HIRED!
You asked if they put something in the water to make people addicted to cruising? That may be the answer but I think it also has to do with the fact that it is like no other vacation in the world and it continues to get more and more people addicted every day. The only known cure is to take more cruises. I can’t wait to hear your answer and I hope you put me out of my misery soon. All the best mate…………………Heidi says I annoy her every 30 minutes but I don’t see how that can relate to a job unless you plan on marrying me.
CAPTAIN CHUCK – Those were very interesting stats Captain and bearing those in mind I think I should continue with the written blog and have audio as an option. It was indeed a shame that the kids from Istanbul were not able to have their photos taken. When we were told this it made me feel even more glad that we did indeed arrange this to happen. It was a day of days for them and hopefully we can do it for others less fortunate than us soon. Thanks Captain, all the best.
JTODDINMAN – You asked about the fly on entertainers. Well, in the Caribbean they do hop from ship to ship. Well, they don’t actually hop the fly but in Europe we have hired our acts all from the U.K. and although one or two may fly to another Carnival family vessel most return home. I will be hosting a Q & A with Chris Prideaux who is in charge of the entertainment hiring as well as cruise directors soon and I am sure he will have some further insights to this.
I will be passing on your wonderful ideas on advertising to our marketing department and let us see what they have to say.
One thing that I have been thinking about is a live chat………………..ROBERTO / FRANK – IS THAT POSSIBLE – A LIVE Q & A CAFÉ – MAYBE WHEN I AM HOME?
Anyway, thanks for taking the time and I personally love the idea of a newspaper clipping earning you a gift onboard – maybe you could suggest this as well to you travel agent………..or as you have so many brilliant ideas, open one yourself:)………..I think it deserves looking at and promise to let you know what was said by the powers that be. Write soon and watch this space.
BOB POLAND……………………Great to hear you enjoyed the interview with Carol Marlow, it was so kind of her to take the time to do so. How fantastic that you are sailing on the QM2 to New York, it is something that I really want to so and Carol has invited Heidi and I to do so and hopefully one day I will be able to go.
You are also correct that Anita is a brilliant writer and she and her daughters have had a brilliant time here and also and more importantly we have become great friends. The caricature I hope will be made into T Shirts and that should be very soon. Thanks to Anita and many thanks to you, have a fabulous time on the QM2.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Indeed, The QE2 will be missed but the future is just around the corner with The Queen Victoria on her way soon. We did a cruise around the UK on the Carnival Leg End in 2002 calling at Ireland and Scotland and it was amazing. I hope one day we can do it again soon…..with you onboard.
Hope you are well Carol and Heidi and I send our best to you.
SHEREE – By the time you read this you will be here so …..WELCOME ABOARD.
LINDA HERNACKI – the caricature of me was a little flattering to say the least. I have very few dark hairs left on my head, most are white now and also my waist was a little slimmer in the photo…just a bit though. It’s Thursday today so keep them crossed…..the fingers that is.
Best to you and Mike and his garden of bulbs.
DAISY – What great news. I am sure you had a good time on your Disney cruise but you have to give us a try. Now, you said you are just a few hours away from Mobile, Alabama so have you considered a shorter cruise on the very Fun Ship Holiday. She may be our oldest ship but you will be assured of the most fun you have ever had. Also, how about a seven-day cruise out of Florida? Let me be your guide so I expect a deluge of questions from you……it’s what I am here for. Hope to hear from you soon Daisy.
SOUTHERN DREAMS – How are the leaves.
CAT MAMA 044 – We need to talk about Angelina and we will do so a little later. I am happy that you are still enjoying the blog and as long as there are readers I will keep blogging for as long as I can. I am now wearing boxers…………….I have no fight in me and I have no support………….I mean, I really don’t have any support.
BIG ED – I saw the transfer you did of the photo and it was so well done. Take the bloggers cruise and you and Mrs. Big Ed get free T-Shirts and a pair of my old briefs to use to wash your car……..or do you drive a truck? T-Shirts should be ready soon. Thanks for your advice for James. I have to say that if we had a cabin next door to each other I am sure there would be a lot of creaking and moaning….what do you think? Hopefully, we would never flush the toilets at the same time, I can only imagine what would happen. As far as I know the winner of the Name the Spa Contest will be announced in August.
As for the Bodacious Spa……..even if you don’t win the contest and you book the Bloggers Cruise I will name a lounge or bar after you on board the Carnival Freedom. Big Ed’s Restraint Bar and Grill………………….come on, what are you waiting for?
Yes, thanks to Interactive Marketing Team for helping with the new layout of the photos……cheers.
Please apologize to Mrs. Big Ed and tell her to forget the belly dancer however if needed I will perform one myself for her. As for there never having been any photos of a Small Ed as a baby, how about;
Any chance?
KEN CANTRELL – OK, I understand now. Yes , your plans should be OK and I hope the military plane is available to get you home. Let me know if I can help with anything else mate.
VICKI AND MATT TILL – Heidi here, just want to say thank you for the offer of a gas mask. This low carb diet is causing havoc and this is a small cabin where the windows do not open. Express mail please
R D C ETTE DEBBIE – Thanks for the heads up on Paris Hilton. I know very little about her except she seems to have been in jail and is now out and the entire world is reacting as if they had discovered the identity of my PA 007 was Elvis.
I have to talk to you about AJ later in this blog but I will keep Paris in mind….the woman…..not the place where you find the Leaning Eiffel Tower.
Head and I send our best back to you as well.
JAMES EMM – James – you asked about noise in the aft cabins on ships and that it has been mentioned that you should never book a cabin located at the aft part of the vessel. While this may be true on older and on lower decks I assure you that a deck 8 aft cabin on the Carnival Glory will be just perfect.
Remember, when a ship – any ship – is moving through the ocean you are going to hear the odd creak and moan and not just from the honeymooners in the next cabin but from the ship itself. So, don’t worry about a thing and as for the blog I will continue to offer a written blog and soon an option of an audio one as well.
Thanks mate and let me know if I can help with anything else.
ESSEXMAN……………..ROBERTO/ FRANK/ CHRISTINE……………Essexman has suggested selling the caricature onboard. What do you think?
I love the suggestion of the money going to the orphanage …lots to think about. We will be opening an online shop soon………selling t-shirts and briefs (second hand). I just made a cup of tea; all that is missing is a Hob Knob. Hope all is well at home mate and the floods don’t return. I wish I looked as skinny in real life as in the caricature but I am working on it. I think though when I have lost the weight we should celebrate with a fry up down the arches.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – hello, This is Heidi. I am glad you liked the blog that I sent. I will send another one soon. I know it is not as good or as funny as John’s but I want you to hear my side of the story, especially about his change of underwear which I am mad at him for sharing with the world! Anyway, look out for another blog over the weekend.
OK, I guess that’s me back in the Dog House. I agree with you that Carol’s table on the QE2 would be incomparable and anything with Mr. Churchill and you can count me in.
As for the Cigar Bar………… does get a bit smoky at times however there are many non-smokers who frequent the lounge just to hear Gavin and the trio play every night. They will be on the Bloggers Cruise and I hope you will enjoy them with me, it is as you said, a great place to hang out. Even MTSFPBLFTTNSFCF will be joining me.
I send my best to you and your 1/2 a partner and hopefully I will be out of the dog house by the time I write next.
LFTTNSFCF – I loved the caricature as well and I am trying to see what I can do to make copies, I will let you know. Not long and you will soon be here, I will still call you LFTTNSFCF even whne I have a coffee with you. Thanks for your kind words mate.
ALAN AND CHRIS – Can you let me know exactly what date you are cruising so I can start recommending some tours for you dependant on what itinerary you sailing on. Please don’t worry about bothering me with questions; it is after all what this blog thingy is all about. Hope to hear from you soon and I will wear Red Socks in your honour (spelt correctly) when I see you.
G COURINGTON – I am glad you are taking a few days in Rome before you sail. You asked about romantic restaurants in Rome. Well, Heidi and I love the Via Veneto area. We have eaten in the Excelsior Hotel’s pavemant restaurant and it was amazing. I also recommend a restaurant called Rivadestra Home Restaurant. It is on the west bank and is real home cooking Italian style – we loved it. I know my PA 007 has some friends who have just been to Rome and I wonder if PA 007 can recommend a restaurant accordingly. So, more information will follow from PA so stand by for more top recommendations. I will get back to you soon.
Now, I have just seen the tours you are interested in. Let me stick them here and I will make comments next to them.
Traditional Konavle & Wine Tasting Dubrovnik, Croatia Sunday, October 21, 2007 – NO, ALTHOUGH OK, I WOULD SUGGEST THE BETTER AND CHEAPER TOURS OF BEST OF DUBROVNIK OR THE COUNTRY HOME.
The Colors of the French Riviera Cannes, France Friday, October 26, 2007 – SIMPLY THE BEST AGAIN…..NICE, EZE, MONACO
Beautiful Tuscany Livorno, Italy Saturday, October 27, 2007 – OUTSTANDING TOUR – HOWEVER DID YOU WANT TO SEE THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA?
So many things to consider but the only tours I suggest you book on line are the Champagne and Gondola and Colours Of the French Riviera as both these may sell out. For all the others, have a good think and come to my talk onboard and we can chat afterwards. All the best until then and write if you need more help.
MIKE – You asked if I will be the cruise director in February. At this time I have no idea what my schedule is in February and March but hopefully I will be with you. If not, I assure you and your friends that you will love Todd who although ugly will be a brilliant asset to your cruise. He is a brilliant CD and you will not be disappointed. However, hope springs eternal and I hope we meet in February. All the best to you and the friends who are sailing with you.
ROSCOE P COLTRANE – The Chinese lady you put in jail last night, she wasn’t holding a Mahjong Board was she. I think you should arrest Big Ed for “First Degree Refusal To Sail On The Bloggers Cruise.”
Stay safe and I will send you the information on the bar in Atlanta on the next blog. Don’t know about Roscoe as ship’s Godmother but Heidi would like the dog, what was it called in the show?
MR. GARY SMITH ESQ – ladies and gents, let me introduce an old friend of mine from the U.K. Gary and I have not seen each other for six or seven years, maybe more but our families have been friends for many years. How the heck did you find this blog and when are you going to take a cruise? Say hi to Tanya, Claire, the kids, Mum and Dad and Mr. Bullock and keep reading and I am sure the 400,000 readers will now be pestering you for stories about me however, remember I know lots about you as well! All the best, give my Mum and dad a call and they will give you my number. F.A.V.
LINDA THE MOUSE – How wonderful that you have carried on a new friendship with the people you met on your March cruise, I hope you will stay friends forever. Once again, that happens on ships and only on a ship………………, eat your heart out.
My ears were burning but it was, as you said, due to the ridiculous temperatures in Athens which reached way over 100 degrees. Let me know how your friend enjoyed her cruise. Thanks for reading the blog thingy and stay cool.
JO WADE – You asked “does the thought of you drowning someone make you fall asleep “………………ummmmmmmmmm…….NO. Does it you and if so why and who are you drowning? I try not to think about anything liquid when I am in bed. My ex girlfriend and I once bought a Water Bed but then we drifted apart!
Your reservation has been made as requested. Bon Appetit………………see you soon.
TERRI910 – Thank you for your photo of Katakolon as well, it is a small but oh so charming place. I will be posting lots more photos so I hope you continue to enjoy them as I enjoy your comments and support of the blog.
BRYAN – Thanks Bryan. All the reasons you listed are the main reasons I continue to right this blog and as I sit here at 1:04 am it gives me the energy and excitement to continue. So, thanks mate and please do keep reading.
S DOVER – The weather is indeed uncontrollable as most – well nearly most people seem to understand. I am sure that luck will indeed continue when you sail next year on the Carnival Splendor. My regards to you both and I look forward to meeting you in sunny Dover U.K. which you may have been named after………have you checked?
NANETTEALI – After reading your beautiful words I will not try and demean them with my bad Spanish but instead will say how touched I was by what you wrote and I send my warmest and deepest regards to you and your family as indeed does Heidi. We miss you.
DORTHE CALIMBAS – And, to save me writing it again, Dorthe the words I just wrote above apply to you as well. There really is no need to thank me, it’s my job and I am proud, so proud to be able to help all the readers and entertain them as well. Keep laughing and if your co workers ask why, let them see what they are missing. All the best to you and your family.
KAYENTAJANE…………….:) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :)…………..BLOGGING ON AS REQUESTED.
JO MYERLY – You mentioned you watched the QVC Shopping Channel while you read the blog. That’s very interesting s I was once offered a job by someone from that channel. Actually, here are some more honest to goodness jobs I have been offered from people who have seen me on ships.
Anyway, I am still here, blogging away. Thanks Jo, have you ever bought anything from QVC?
NATE’S MOM – Be proud of your son, he has done a great job and I and all the girls will miss him. I hope you will keep reading the blog and let me know what ship he goes to next and I will keep an eye on him for you. Please keep reading the blog and I send you my best wishes for a great time with Nate when he gets home.
WENDY – I am glad you enjoyed reading Terry Thornton’s comments. He has a very important position and I will let you know when we can send questions into him on a special “Ask Terry” session………stand by for that. Thank you for supporting the blog and your kind words.


One of my favorite shows to host are The Morning Shows. I average approximately 150 letters a cruise from guests. Most are dedications celebrating birthdays, anniversaries etc and occasionally I receive very special letters indeed. Here is such one that I have had permission to share with you from the guest. This is a special lady who I also interviewed on the show and I don’t think there was anyone onboard happier than this lady… was a cruise vacation she will never forget and as you will read in her words, one that she never thought she would ever get to do.


Shelly French Letter

Shelley French

Shelley French letter

Shelly French Letter

And now, I have to confess my sins…………………………Bloggers, please forgive me because I have I have been unfaithful………………I have cheated……………….I have strayed off the path………………….I have done the unthinkable against the one I love…………………………I couldn’t help myself…………..I was weak………and I am sorry………………………………..what did I do………………………………I had thoughts that I should not have had…………………….and now I must come clean and tell you all about my indiscretions……………………………I am so sorry AJ……………………..I watched two movies with CATHERINE ZETA JONES…….ENTRAPMENT AND CHICAGO…………………and now, I can’t stop thinking about her.

I must remain on the pathway of righteousness knowing that AJ is the right choice to be Godmother of the CS ……………..but…………….now I ………….I have these nagging thoughts……………Catherine is British…………..she is beautiful and…………………stop it John, stop it NOW.

AJ, is the one………isn’t she?


Your friends

John and Heidi

From Russia With Love

June 27, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning Everyone.Today we are in Katakolon and the temperature has cooled down since yesterday in Athens. It’s only 98 degrees today compared to 102 yesterday in Athens. Here is a quick photo from the bow of the ship of the tiny village of Katakolon.

Katakolon, Greece

Last night, I spoke to a lot of people who said the heat was unbearable on the Acropolis, some were adamant that we should have canceled the tour and given refunds. There are times when you just can’t win — it’s too cold, it’s raining and now it’s too hot. Sorry to grumble but it can be a little frustrating as I really can’t control the weather.

However, all of our ports continue to be so popular and 99.9% of the people tell us that they think that cruising through Europe has been one of the very best vacations they have ever had. One of the things I continue to point out is that just how busy these top tourist sites are and to expect large amounts of people. That aside, the feeling of exploring the Vatican, following the Walk Of Life at Ephesus, seeing the incomparable Segada De la Familia in Barcelona, witnessing how time stood still at Pompeii and so much more make these European voyages an historic and unforgettable experience.

OK, let me introduce you to a very important part of the Carnival team. Among his many responsibilities he is responsible for deciding the itineraries of the vessels from a marketing point of view. Where should we send the ships is, of course, so vital, so I thought we should have a chat with my good friend and Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Planning, Mr. Terry Thornton.

Terry Thorton

1. Terry, please can you tell us about your career in the industry and what your in your current position you are responsible for?

I started in the cruise business in 1977…yes, 30 years ago. I’ve worked with several different cruise lines including the startups of two new small ship lines (Sea Goddess and Windstar). I’ve been with Carnival now about 20 years working in the Marketing Department. Currently, I work with the Strategic Marketing and Revenue Management teams. In addition, the entire Sales and Marketing teams work closely together to help make Carnival the most successful company in the industry.

2. You have one of the most important decisions to make within the company as you decide where our ships go. I know being as humble as you are that you will say it also has a lot to do with others as well but ultimately, can you tell us how and why you decide which ports a ship will call at.

There are two very important things to consider in selecting ports of call. It is very helpful if the ports have established a strong consumer appeal (high marquis value). In addition, ports must deliver a wide variety of interesting excursions and activities for our guests…and all within a safe and secure environment

3. Some guests have been asking about Aruba and why we no longer call there. Could you explain the complexities of reaching this beautiful port of call?

We made the very difficult decision to stop visiting Aruba at the beginning of 2007. Aruba is a very good port of call and our guests enjoyed the experience. Unfortunately, Aruba is located at the southernmost part of the Caribbean. For our 7-day cruises, it is only reachable on our ship that sails from San Juan (Carnival Destiny). We decided to replace Aruba on this itinerary to offer some new ports that offer our guests some new Southern Caribbean options. We try to refresh these itineraries every so often to give our guests new port to visit. In addition, this change resulted in a significant fuel savings.

4. The 386,000 readers have been raving about Grand Turk. Why was this an undiscovered port for so long and what is it about this port that has made it so popular.

Grand Turk did not have any significant facilities for tourism until Carnival Corporation & plc assisted the local government with this new development. The port and all the nearby facilities were custom built for cruise guests. It features beautiful beaches, a huge swimming pool. A Margaritaville bar and a wide range of excursions. In addition, the pier is very close to all the activities making it very convenient for guests to explore.

5. Can you tell us your three favorite ports in the Caribbean and why and the three ports that we do not call at around the world that would be on your own personal wish list.

My personal favorite Caribbean ports are too many to list just three. I really love the region and all it has offer. I’m also excited about the potential for the region to provide even more appealing excursions, activities and other new features as we work together with the destinations to meet the needs of our Carnival guests.

In term of a future personal wish list, I would love to have a Carnival ship visit the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. While not on our schedule at the moment, you never know where we may go a few years down the road. These are very exciting times at Carnival. Our highly successful Europe cruises are proof positive that the Carnival guests are ready for these great new cruising opportunities…Fun Ship style.

Thank you Terry. Maybe we can do a follow up with Terry later next month so bloggers can ask some specific questions. Hold them for now Ladies and Gents and I will ask for them in a few weeks time.

The answers for yesterdays Q & A are.




Here are today’s anagrams




And on we go with the Q & A for today.

ROBERT – Glad you liked the photo of me and Fatima the Belly Dancer, boy did she have some moves but, strangely enough there was only one person in the photo with a belly and it wasn’t here. As the Carnival Splendor gets closer I will be happy to help all of you out with suggestions on what do before, during and after your cruise. No diet root beer yet but I understand as bringing anything in liquid form on a plane is virtually impossible. Strange that Europeans have not embraced root beer yet. Send my best to Suzaan and hope to hear from you soon mate.
BRYAN – To be “I am Glad’s” from me. Firstly that you had a great Carnival Glory cruise and enjoyed Wee Jimmy the CD and my friend and secondly because you have discovered this blog thingy, even if by accident. I will be hoping that you continue to read this site and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.
MRS MTSFP – Are you suggesting that I make spelling and grammatical errors? See, I remembered the question mark. I think the answer is that when I get this recording device I will record a voice file that can be slapped onto the web thing plus some poor sod in the office will type it out and present it on screen as it is now. That way, we get the best of both worlds and I can post more blog thingies and my fingers will start to get some feeling back in them.
The articles that Heidi threw away were incinerated by a team wearing hazmat suits although one pair burst into flames all on its own.
Write soon and my best to Mr. MTSFPBLFTTNSFCF.
JO MYERLY – I know tendering can be a pain but Cannes actually according to our guest surveys, Cannes is our third most popular port on the Grand Med run after Venice and Dubrovnik. I understand that most people prefer written postings as to vocal ones so as mentioned I will offer both starting soon. I just need to find away that enables me to post more and also saves me some wear and tare on the fingers. I am happy that you could open the one with the Belly Dancer, she reminded me of Angelina. Hope all is well in your world. What program are you watching on TV while reading this blog?
STORMIN NORMAN – I did indeed pass on your regards to Duncan and the many crew around the fleet who have had the unique privilege of having you onboard. What we did for those kids was a small act of kindness but it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever been part of. It is always great to hear from you my friend and I hope to do so more often. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.
VICKI – George the Greek as mentioned is one of the most famous characters in the fleet; there is nobody like him. Sorry, I made you cry with the story of the children from Istanbul………don’t tell anyone but I cried to.
I have tried the low-carb rolls and they are good, however, for me, its all or nothing. If I can’t have real bread then its nothing and if I can’t have an Aston Martin then I may never drive a car again. Thanks Vicki and see you soon.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – It’s OK, you can mention the word bagel, even though reading about it is as close as I can get to one at the moment. You are correct with the Dame Judi Dench anagram; did you work out the others? As stated above I will indeed continue in written form as I know many people cannot have audio on at work. Therefore tell Simon Legree (your boss) he has nothing to worry about…..except maybe ………………his last name. OK, get back to work and look out for a top ten list soon. All the best Carol.
SHARON423 – Congratulations on getting your tickets for your Carnival Freedom cruise. You asked about a 10 am flight and if you would make the airport in time. The answer is no… will have to walk home. Kidding…………………this is a common flight home and we have many guests who take this. You will depart the ship at 6:30 am, be at the airport at 7:30 am and have plenty of time to spare. I look forward therefore to meeting you onboard and if there is anything else you need beforehand, please let me know.
NANETTEALI – Please tell your son a big hello from me and next time he sails he can “hang out ” with me. Give my regards to beautiful Puerto Rico. I miss………let me switch to Spanish…………………………..Mi misso mucho El San Juan Hotelo para el besto foodo in Puerto Rico O.Especiallyo el Negro Beano Soupo.mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Heidi abler my bottomo is much smellio afterwardso, though…………………..O. Adios mi amigo.
KEVIN – Thanks for the photos mate and just for that I will show reruns the whole crossing of all your favorite shows……….and we can have a coffee and chat about boxers……the shorts that is……….not Tyson and friends.
ADIAS.ANGEL – You requested both audio and visual blogs so that is what we will provide. Roberto and Frank from the office are sending me the tools for this and as soon as I receive it will start to slap on both. Regardless, I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy and hope to hear from you soon.
DAVID – I am glad you booked the tours you did as they are some of our very best. You also asked about Naples and if you can walk their on your own. The answer is yes. Naples town center is a few blocks from the ship. The reason we start the tours early as you mentioned is that the best that this area has to offer is not Naples itself (with respect) it is Sorrento, Pompeii and Capri. These places are much further away and you need to take a tour from the ship or privately organized by yourself before hand. There will be taxis but they are not guides and you really should have a guide with you. Now, if you are jet lagged, remember we have an afternoon tour to Pompeii as well as a full tour of Naples both of which will allow you to have some extra time in bed. Hope this helps and if you need anything else I am here for you.
JO WADE – I read your techniques for dealing with stress, in fact I read them twice and have just woken up from a 20-minute nap which was induced by your beautiful words. Usually, when someone has a complaint that is unfounded I just picture them naked. However, I will now try your technique and just fall asleep in the middle of listening to them. Thank you for taking the time to write and I am now picturing myself lying on a beach, there is nobody else around, its just me……………… a full rack of barbecue spare ribs, an extra large helping of curried baked beans and Angelina Jolie gently fanning me with a pair of my boxer shorts and in the distance, I can just see my Aston Martin Vanquish, its black paint shinning in the sunlight and slowly I open my eyes to caress Angelina’s soft skin and then………………I open them and standing there is a 4 foot tall Chinese woman screaming at me and as I run down the beach she is throwing Mahjong bricks at me and my car …………..WAKE UP …ITS JUST A DREAM………………. I think I will stick to picturing people naked.
SHARON R – I need to have a serious chat with your soccer mad daughter about David Beckham. He is a great footballer but who needs David when she can play football with me. Tell her we will have a kick about together on the ship. A lot of people mistake me for David anyway.
I am glad you liked the cooking demonstrations on Disney Cruise Lines and you will be glad to know we have them here as well. They are held in our Supper Club and are a fantastic view behind the scenes of what happens once we order from the menu. I know you will enjoy it. We also have a wine tasting and a galley tour as well so I think we have all the things you seem to enjoy. My best to you and tell your daughter I can bend it like Beckham.
DEB ROWE – Bon Appetite, let us know what you order and how it was.
LOO LOO – Noticed I spelt Lu Lu the English way there. You shall have your podcast. I have no idea how that works but Roberto does and is working on this as we speak. I have never been called “deliciously funny” before……….what flavor am I? Enjoy your walks and bike rides and I hope you also enjoy the continuing blog stories.
KATHY KROLL – know that there were books in the cabin but I had sent you a special edition of the book and had signed the inside for you as had Heidi. We will do so again and somehow we will make sure you get it. I know airfare to London is expensive. Try also calling Carnival and if you want you can try a cheaper hub like Amsterdam, Frankfurt etc and then get a Easy Jet or Ryan Air flight (very cheap) to London……….just a thought. Keep me informed and I am here as always to lend assistance where I can.
A CRUISE BY ANY OTHER NAME – I want to thank you for this comment you posted.
I am slowly reading the blog from the beginning and I do enjoy it. Your enthusiasm has actually made me consider a Carnival cruise where I never had before. You certainly make me want to visit the Med and all its treasures.
I have read a lot of comments like this over the last few months and hearing that my simple words have helped people decide to take a cruise and especially a Carnival cruise whereas before they would not have done, well, lets just say my smile is from ear to ear.
So thank you and I will keep blogging in written form and I hope that when you do decide to take a Carnival cruise you will allow me to assist in deciding what is best for you. Keep in touch and thanks so much.
LEASA – Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for the kids from Istanbul. I have been thinking about them a lot. We are also doing the same for some children in Dubrovnik next cruise. Hopefully, I can take some photos of these children for all to see. I am investigating Anthony’s whereabouts for you and if I am successful I will let you know. Making an audio blog should be easy and then a very much quicker typist. I use two fingers so you can imagine how long this takes. We will provide a written copy so bloggers can choose. Thanks again for your beautiful words.
STACY – Mummy, do not worry, I will make sure you have a written blog so that you can keep eyes and ears on your soon to be three year old as well. Roberto, any idea as to why some folks cant enlarge the photos?
Please keep reading and watching!
JANFRWA – Welcome home Janet and I am happy to hear you had such a great cruise. I agreed with you in a previous blog when I said that the only thing I would change on this incredible run of ports would be to add a sea day at the end of the cruise, it certainly would help guests unwind (is that a real word)?
I know we are going to be doing some pod casting very soon and as mentioned there will always be written copy as well as I want to make sure everyone is happy.
My regards to you and Roscoe P Coltrane and hope you cruise again very, very soon.
HEIDI – BETH – How thoughtful of you to think of the school in Belize by bringing clothes for the children at the Church School. This make you a special envoy, just like my Dad and I am certain that your kind gifts will be greeted with thanks and big smiles. The words you posted were beautiful and I thank you for sharing them with us all. Let us know what happens and Heidi and I send you our best.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – It is good to know that you are OK with me posting your very personal and beautifully written comments, we all wish you continued health and happiness. You ask, can I belly dance……………..well, if that means when I dance does my belly move, the answer is definitely yes!
Cheers mate and write soon please.
IVANA – Hello Mrs. Susanek ……… be. Your wedding day will soon be here and how brilliant that your wedding night will be sent sailing the Caribbean Sea from St.Thomas to St. Maarten. The seas will be calm but if the ship is rocking, we will know why. I will keep writing the blog as you requested but something tells me as the wedding day approaches you may be too busy to read it. As for your hometown of Prague, I have never been but my mate Alan and I intend to go later this year for a few nights away. What should we see? Hope you and Mr. Susanek are both well and hope to hear from you soon.
LINDA HERNACKI – Heidi is here and promises to blog again soon. Thank you also for your kind comments and I am sure you and Mike the mechanic will be Counting down the days until November. There are still plenty of bulbs to be changed. See you then.
I&MsMOM – May I thank you as well for your kind words of gratitude. Those children had the time of their lives. I wish you could have been here to see it.
BIG ED For you I will blog in Video, Audio, VHS, Betamax, 8 Track, Dolby, MP3, Eye Pod, or carrier pigeon. The problem with the photos has been noted and Roberto is working to improve the. …well, something or other………anyway, it’s going to be better. If Mrs. Big Ed says I am just like you then I am in good company and the Three Amigos, you me and Alan are made from the same mold……although ours is a bigger mold. Come on the Bloggers Cruise and I will have the belly dancer (Fatima) perform a private dance in your cabin (while Mrs. Big Ed is entertained by Alan). What do you think?
JOHN FROM MOUNT HOLLY – How are you mate? Congratulations, you got all three anagrams correct. Did you try today’s yet? When I met you and Leona onboard I was struck by how close you were and it was obvious that you relationship was very special as is mine with Heidi, so yes, we have a lot in common. I have two days to rest and then it will be Thursday again and lets see if the boxers have worked their magic. We send our best to you both and wish you were here.
J – JOHN – I am not sure you needed to change your name; you can never have enough John’s on a ship. Now I feel silly hearing how hot it is in Arizona………….is it a dry or humid heat? I am not surprised not too many Brits visit, Mad Dogs an Englishman Who Goes Out In The Midday Sun…..Noel Coward.
Heidi and I are very excited that you have done this and I hope she will still be onboard to meet up with you again. I certainly will be and I promise you it will be a cruise to remember. Please let me know as and when you need the advice you mentioned and until then please keep reading the blog.
ESSEXMAN – Thanks mate, I appreciate your kind words about the children. I used to go to a care home with my Mum, Dad and Sister every Tuesday in the summer school holidays and it was always very rewarding as we helped entertain the old folks there. Have you had any flooding there, I hear it’s been pretty bad?
MATT AND VIKKI – Mat, you should start your own blog as you have some great stories. I will hire you as a Maitre D and Vicki as Heidi’s PA which would basically mean they go shopping together. You have made my day by saying I am of average build, although a visit to the Optician may well be needed. Hope you are both doing well and please keep sending in the comments.
LUV CRUISIN – Personally, I would do a jeep tour on Cozumel and save the Dolphin Swim (it is a proper swim) fro Dolphin Cove in Jamaica. These are two amazing tours and I think you and your daughter will enjoy some exciting and memorable times together. Not long now and you will find yourself swimming with these amazing creatures, there is nothing like it. Afterwards, you can go to Dunn’s River falls.
Just to get you in the mood:
Pictures from Jamaica
Pictures from Jamaica
Pictures from Jamaica
BIG ED – looking at the photo you have posted of me from 1992, I ask myself where the years have gone. I now have grey hair and that shirt I was wearing wouldn’t fit around my ankle. Oh, well, there may be snow on the roof but there is fire in the furnace……………………well at least on Thursdays.
Thanks BIG ED.
Mrs. Big Ed, do you have any photos of Big Ed before he was Big Ed when he was Little Ed or even Baby Ed?
BOB HICKLY – Now that is very strange. I just quoted Noel Coward’s same passage a few minutes ago and here you are quoting the same one. Cue the spooky music. I will continue writing the blogs mate and posting when I can audio versions as well as I want everyone to be happy. I have considered a book and hopefully at the end of the year we can put the best of these blogs into book forma long with some new additions. Thanks also for your very kind words and I hope you enjoy your retirement even when you are doing as your wife tells you. Enjoy reading the blogs and hope you will post more comments soon.
KAREN TESSIER – It sounds like a great photo you have as your starting thing picture thing….I don’t know the official wording for it. It makes us all at Carnival feel good to know that people appreciate what we do and I promise you more wonderful memories when you cruise in August.
SEWING NUT – Reading it is then. It seems that the overwhelming choice is to continue with written blogs so as the Beatles said “Let It Be.” Glad to hear you have caught up with the blogs and thanks for slapping on a comment…we missed you.
BOB MEANS – And you are wonderful for being so kind with your words mate. It was an honour (spelt correctly) to have the kids onboard and we hope to do the same in Croatia next week. All the best from Heidi and I.
GIRLDOC – Happy to hear that the information I sent you on Barbados was helpful and I know you will enjoy that tour, it is a fun way to see a beautiful island. It’s my pleasure to provide the blogs and I am thrilled that you find them so entertaining.
BIG ED – As requested, here is a photo of me receiving the photo of AJ and me on the morning show.
a photo of me receiving the photo of AJ and me on the morning show
SCOTT – Thanks for the input as to why some photos appear better than others. Roberto has noted this and we should not have any more difficulties. I miss working alongside Weeeee Jimmy as we really played off each other well and he is a great friend. What can I do to persuade you to join me on the bloggers cruise?
TAZMAN – Your answers are correct mate……..well done. Did you get today’s. you mentioned your driver will be picking you up at 9:30am, which is fine. You will be the last group to leave so its perfect timing. See you soon and let me know if you need anything else before your cruise starts. Cheers until then.
LFTTNSMFCF – Now I am not sure if you are being serious about wearing a surgical mask when visiting Europe because of the smoke but if you are I should point out that like the U.S. smoking in public places is forbidden in Italy and France so you will have no problems there. Heidi is asking for a mask for herself but that has nothing to do with the smoke but is with regards to my no carb diet.
Glad I could help Mrs. MTSFP and see you in October.
LISA AND ELAINE – Thank you for your comments and yep, you are right you have to realize that if 3,000 people are having a great time there is always going to be one who will find something that they feel should be better or different. That was certainly the case with the magic show and the fact that the guest was disturbed by it due to his religious beliefs which of course I respect fully. Now, as for Ocho Rios, don’t worry about walking. There are magnificent tours that involve just a little or none and we can chat about them closer to the bloggers cruise. T-shirts are being made as we speak. All the best and I look forward to seeing you in January.
SHARON R – The Barcelona Neu Camp tour is amazing and your football (soccer) mad daughter will be in heaven as she walks through the dressing rooms, the trophy room and on to the pitch where the likes of Ronaldinhio, Eto, Messi, Henri etc have trod. The tour also has a complete overview of Barcelona itself so everybody should be happy. Thank you for the diet advice. I am being very careful what I eat as subitol is starting to have an effect on me…..I will not go into more details. Give my regards to your daughter and tell her Steven Gerrard from Liverpool is the best player in the world.

That’s it for today’s Q and A………………………………………..more tomorrow.

Yesterday evening I sat with Todd (cruise director I mentioned in yesterday’s blog) in the cigar bar and we chatted about these amazing ports and some of the things he had seen while on the tours. During the conversation we were also listening to the Gavin Ahern Jazz Trio who are simply brilliant. Anyway, a guest approached me and without saying hello, good evening or sorry to interrupt you sat down in the chair opposite and started to talk.

Now, you have to remember that in my job there is no such thing as a day off. My social and working life are one in the same and as soon as I am in a public area I am on duty. I stopped therefore my conversation with Todd and listened to the guest. The first thing that was obvious was he was very, very drunk. I knew this because he was speaking English but it was coming out as Klingon.

I truly had no idea what he was talking about and then it dawned on me as it did Todd. This man was Russian, who was drunk, who was trying to speak English and instead sounded like a cassette tape that was being played on ” very slow mode “. I asked him if he was ok and his response was………to reach over and kiss me ………….he would not stop trying to hug and kiss me. I looked for Todd for help but he was to busy laughing. The man was so loud now that the band had stopped and the whole room was watching………..I stood up to leave and he followed me………he did………he followed me……..his big arms open wide to give me my next taste of Russian Love.

By now, the bartender (Thanks, Alex) had called security and as I waited for them to arrive I continued to play kiss chase with this man. Then when I thought it couldn’t get any worse I hear music…………from Gavin and the trio…………and they are now playing the Theme From Benny Hill………… know, the music when he is chasing or being chased by girls………..which would have been fine except I wasn’t being chased by pretty girls in stockings and nurses uniforms…………..I was being chased by Ivor Drunkagallonofvodkaov .

As I ran to the other side of the room he suddenly lost interest in me and then started trying to hug a very good looking lady who was sitting with a group of people and she was not happy and told him to go away in perfect English, but Ivor was oblivious that his ambition to share his love with fellow passengers and me was unwanted. I became a bit concerned when the man the lady that Ivor was now trying to kiss stood up and put himself between Ivor and the lady. So, once again, I gave all to the job and shouted from across the room in what Todd describes as a ” very feminine voice ” oh, oh, oh …………come and get me.”

Seeing my Richard Simmons impression Ivor returned his attention to me and with his arms open wide he started toward me again.

Then, just as I thought he would try and grab me by the Kremlins, security turned up. Ivor recognized that his fun was over and allowed himself to be escorted away from the bar and toward our conference room that is just around the corner from the cigar bar. I called our Russian-speaking purser Christine who when I described what had happened knew exactly what guest I was talking about and his cabin number. He was escorted to his cabin and told by Christine to remain there, which he did as there were no other reports or sightings of an Ivor throughout the night.

Sitting on the other side of this blog, I am sure there are skeptics among you who (and understandably so) are thinking some of these stories are made up…………………….they are not……….really………….you can’t make stuff like this up. I wish you could have seen the whole thing………..Benny Hill would have been proud.

And anyway, I would never kiss a man

I would never kiss a man

Well…………..maybe just once


Your friends

John and Heidi

Elizabeth, Mary, Victoria and Carol

June 25, 2007 -

John Heald

Good morning from Athens which has broken the record for temperatures this season with a huge 100 degrees F / 39 C. I hope everyone has listened to my advice and prepared themselves for the heat as I can only imagine how hot it is on the Acropolis.I have had a friend and colleague sailing this cruise. His name is Todd Wittmer and he will be the cruise director on the Carnival Freedom next year once I leave to go to the Carnival Splendor.

He has been on all the tours in all the ports and like me and everyone else who comes to these ports he has been struck by just how different European cruising is.

Todd will be returning to the Carnival Liberty next week and I am certain that he will do a fantastic job. His only problem is that he is not as good looking as me and therefore I know a lot of the ladies (and one or two men) will be disappointed that I am not still on board.

Last night we had a fantastic young (20-year-old) magician named Paul Dabek and he really impressed me and the audience who really gave him a huge ovation. After the show I was told by one of the backstage managers there was a man waiting at the front of the stage to see me. Approaching the man I knew straight away that he was not happy about something and my instincts were right.

Now this is a difficult one to explain and I am going to have to be real careful. Let me start by saying again that this is just one person’s opinion that I am sharing with you and the reason I am is because I want this blog to be (as I have said before) not just about the great and the good but also to report what guests are not happy with.

This guest was not happy. He told me that he thought the show was very unsuitable for his 12-year-old daughter. I was surprised by this as the show contained no bad language or innuendos, not even a “showgirl” costume. The problem was that he thought some of the “magic was celebrating Satan.” Now, this took me by surprise however it was not the first time I had heard this as a similar event had taken place on the Carnival Glory a few years ago concerning the magic show.

That experience led me to believe that this gentleman was of the same religious group as the man I had met on the Carnival Glory so I asked him and confirmed my thinking was correct.

I immediately apologized for any offence caused and stated that none of the magic was real and indeed it was just as it says in the Capers, an Illusion. He said that his daughter had been traumatized by the “girl having swords in her” and that this should never be allowed on a cruise ship. So, I apologized again and then we sat down and I went through all the remaining shows to make sure that there was not going to be anything that he would also consider unsuitable. Unfortunately he had already decided not to bring his family to any of our review shows as he had the Caper heading that said there would be “show girl ” costuming. We shook hands and he left.

Now, here is the difficult bit. I cannot mention the religious persuasion of this guest and I cannot criticize his beliefs and convictions, they are his choice and he is entitled to them. However, it was a shame to hear that unlike the 300 children and teens that are sailing this week that have enjoyed the shows including the magic show, one 12-year-old will not be given the chance to see them.

Time for the answers to the last blog’s (Sultans of Istanbul) anagrams.





Here are today’s:




Here is a follow up from yesterday’s blog:

Starting with a request from a blogger for a tour in Barbados that does not involve enclosed coaches.

Here is the fantastic “4×4 Safari & Paradise Beach” tour which I understand is one of the most popular tours in Barbados.

Here is the fantastic “4×4 Safari & Paradise Beach” tour which I understand is one of the most popular tours in Barbados. Here is the fantastic “4×4 Safari & Paradise Beach” tour which I understand is one of the most popular tours in Barbados.

It certainly looks a lot of fun.

Here we go with a few questions answered. These are not from the Young Sultans blog, which I will do tomorrow.

R-D-C-ette Debbie – Thank you for your comments about free style dining, which you seem a big fan of.
I don’t know if you have read previous blogs where many people sent in their comments and it does seem that people either love it or hate it.
I think it is safe to say that Carnival will remain with its present system which has proved and continues to prove so very popular.
I hope the next Carnival cruise you take, you get a chance to try the Supper Club, because after that I think you will say, you have eaten the best food at sea.
However, disappointingly, they don’t serve baked beans.
Bye for now and carry on camping.
Essexman – You are a real man for smoking a Bolivar cigar as they truly are a very strong and fully bodied example of Cuba’s best.
Can you imagine anchoring (is that a word) the Carnival Splendor off Southend pier? I can just picture asking 3,000 Americans and Canadians to eat a plate of Cockles……….these are sea chitlins. Heidi and I send our best and next time we are home, I will buy you a Rossi’s ice cream.
Hotcopfan – Are you getting married to a hot cop? I see that you are getting married during your Carnival Freedom cruise in April 2008, in the port of St. Thomas. You asked about U.S. Customs, however, you only proceed through a customs check upon your return to Miami. Why did you ask this, are you considering smuggling something in your mother-in-law’s suitcase? You may exit the ship as early as you wish, as there are no customs or immigration checks as the ship is coming directly from another U.S. territory, San Juan, Puerto Rico. I truly hope, I am the cruise director for this special occasion, and I am sure it will be a special day for you and your hot cop. Please let me know if I can be of any further help and if your husband-to-be needs any advice on what to do on his honeymoon night, I will ask my PA 007.
Kencantrell – I am glad that you are enjoying the blog so much and with regards to your question about debarking in Rome one day early, I can tell you this is not a problem. Just let us know and we will make all the arrangements. You mentioned you are going to catch a “military hob” out of Naples. May I ask what this means and where you are going? Thanks for reading the blog thingy and hope to hear from you soon.
Bill zydecocruiser – Thank you for your help with this, Bill. The web cams are a great asset and we can only improve on their abilities which Roger Blum, I know, is working hard on. Very interesting that you mention that there is no Fish & Chips on the Carnival Splendor. I know the Supper Club is in a different position, however, I am not sure exactly where. The Carnival Splendor will be the second of this class, the first one being built for Costa. I am not sure which one or where the Supper Club is located, so I will kindly ask my PA 007 to answer this.
Don’t worry, I am sure you will have your fried oysters, I love them too, especially on Thursday nights.
Sherriff Rosco P. Coltrane – Congratulations mate, on your promotion. We are all very proud of you. I am glad you are transferring to the day shift and please be careful. Your friend always, Boss Hog.
Linda Hernacki – Hello Linda, Thursdays, Mondays and Saturdays are going fine, although, now I am wearing boxers it’s one reason to take them off, which makes me very happy. Hope you and Mike are well.
Stix132 – Now I believe, you are truly addicted to the blog if you are watching me on the big screen from half way around the world via the web cam.
I guess all I can do is to continue to feed your addiction and the only cure is for you to cruise with me soon. Maybe you should cruise for Thanksgiving and you can go Cold Turkey.
Mrs.missingthesmokefreeparadise – Pisa is fantastic but is not non-smoking. 🙂 The Pisa and winery tour is new and is proving to be so popular and always sells out. However, it does not include the tower entrance and the climb of the 400+ steps. What you can do is take the Pisa with Tower entrance tour in the morning and then the Wines of Tuscany tour in the afternoon.
With regards to the Private Vatican tour, this is not always available and depends totally on permission from the Vatican itself. I did check and it is not available on 10/29/07. FYI, the Vatican IS non-smoking.
Hope you and Mr. MTSFPBLFTTNSFCF are well and enjoying the blog. It’s always great to hear from you both.

That’s the end of the Q & A for today. A longer one will be posted soon.

Now, I would like to introduce you to a very special and esteemed guest blogger.

Ladies and gentleman, would you please give a very warm welcome to a lady who has reached the top of her profession and is taking her valuable time to chat with us.


1. Carol, could you tell us something about your career in the Cruise Ship industry and how you reached the esteemed position you find yourself in today?

I started in the travel – tour operating sector, then hotels, and documentary film making – subject matters cultural or geographical. I joined the cruise industry in 1997 as MD of Swan Hellenic, a niche, upscale cultural cruise line owned then by our group. Then, after spells with P+O Cruises and Princess Cruises, I arrived with Cunard and am also now Chair of the UK Passenger Shipping Association.

2. Before we talk about the past let’s chat about the exciting future with the launch of the Queen Victoria. Please can you tell us about the ship and what you think she will offer to the Cunard brand?

Queen Victoria will be a truly classic Cunarder, and I suspect will go down in the history books as one of the finest vessels to wear that distinctive ‘black’ and red livery. Elegance and grandeur, traditional ocean liner interior, with double and triple height spaces, the legendary Cunard Grills experience (the finest accommodation and dining at sea) enhanced still further with a beautiful al fresco dining courtyard, the first theatre at sea with West End style private boxes, and a wonderful 2 deck library with 6000 books, connected with a stylish spiral staircase…you know it was Cunard that placed the first ever library on a ship? Bothnia in 1874… Sorry I’m getting carried away here..but Queen Victoria will be very Cunard and very special.

3. Will the Queen Victoria sail the same routes as her predecessor?

Her maiden voyage will be a new itinerary for Cunard – Christmas Markets voyage to northern Europe. It sold out in a matter of hours! She also undertakes her first world voyage in her first year… You know it was Cunard that ‘invented’ world cruising in 1922…Cunard’s Laconia was the first ship to take passengers all around the world for pleasure…She’ll then offer ex Southampton, England voyages to the Baltic, fjords and the Mediterranean, before heading down to the Med in August for some ‘liner’ voyages between Rome/Barcelona/Venice with some fascinating way ports in between.

4. Now to the pending sale and retirement of the QE2. I saw your interview on Sky News and you were dignified and professional as you always are however I am sure there must have been a touch of sadness hidden behind your calm exterior. The QE2 is one of those rare things that always made me proud to be British. What do you think it is about this ship (even with all the launches of giant vessels every year) that continues to make the QE2 the most famous ship in the world?

QE2. Well, what can I say… She is an iconic ship – a legend in her own lifetime Launched in 1967 when it was said by the analysts that ocean liner travel was dead and she would be mothballed in 6 months because all would fly instead .. Well how wrong they were – she’s still here and the pride of the airline industry Concorde, is not. She has carried over 2.5 million people and traveled over 5.5 million nautical miles. She has just undertaken her 25th world circumnavigation and has played host to royalty, celebrities, politicians and luminaries. And she still draws crowds of well wishers everywhere she goes. On board she is steeped in stories of the past, played out for all her guests to see through pictures, historic memorabilia and of course her wonderful officers and crew, many of whom have been with the ship for years. So, yes it was certainly a poignant day last Monday, but we all knew it would come one day and I and my colleagues take great comfort in knowing that she and her history will be preserved for future generations in such a first rate way. And I can always pop over and see her if I get lonely!

5. What are the plans to say goodbye to her. Is there a last special crossing or pier side event that will allow her many loyal customers to say goodbye?

We will certainly say goodbye to her in a fitting way. We have planned 4 special voyages – a Round Britain, so she can visit all those ports of her home country to say farewell, a pair of final transatlantics, to be taken in tandem with Queen Mary 2 as an escort of honour, so she can bid farewell to her North American friends and New York, her American home and then of course her final voyage – Southampton to Dubai which will be like no other! Our farewell from Southampton for her will be extraordinary, you can rest assured.

6. The QM2 will now take up the mantle of being “arguably the most famous cruise ship in operation.” She is a magnificent vessel and you must be so proud of her and the facilities onboard. Please can you tell us about your THREE favorite features on the ship and why you think that a Queen Mary 2 cruise is such an amazing experience.

And on to our wonderful flagship, Queen Mary 2. I love traveling on this ship. She has an ambiance all her own, and having now taken several transatlantic cruises can safely say there is nothing quite like it – that feeling of voyaging across the open ocean, as our forefathers did so many years ago, and yet having all the luxuries you would expect in the 21st century – it really is magnificent. So what 3 features would I highlight from the ship? Well, the Queen’s Room ballroom has to be one, when she’s all decked up for our Royal Ascot Ball. It’s a stunning sight – and then when you add to that all our guests dressed in their finery for the ball I am transported back in time to those days of the Golden Age of ocean travel in the 20s and 30s – wonderful! Then I would have to mention the Britannia restaurant – a double height restaurant designed in the style of the old transatlantic liners – enter down the curved staircase into that room and you feel a million dollars! And you are greeted by the sight of a huge tapestry showing a Cunard liner leaving port ready for a voyage with streamers and celebrations – a colourful tribute to what ocean travel is all about. And for number 3 I would pick enjoying the show in the planetarium – the only one at sea. It’s fascinating to me to see up into the stars and to do that whilst on board this glorious liner is something else.

7. If you could host a dinner table on the last transatlantic cruise of the QE2 and you could invite 4 guests from the past or living who would they be and why?

My dinner table. Ok so one of my guests has to be Sir Samuel Cunard. I am fascinated to know why that extraordinary man, so successful with his various different businesses, decided to tender for the risky venture of operating the first scheduled steamship service across the Atlantic to carry the mail, when he was already in his 50s and when by rights he should have been retiring in his native Nova Scotia to enjoy the fruits of his labours. He also had a real social conscience, active in his local area to help the poor and was therefore highly regarded at home so why take on this venture, move to UK and disrupt what was a very successful life? I’d love to ask him that and then be able to tell him just how successful his venture had been 168 years later, and arrange to show him round Queen Mary 2- our latest flagship to show him that his first ship Britannia would fit into the Queen’s Room! Second guest would be Charles Dickens who travelled on Britannia in 1842 and described his cabin as ‘a preposterous box’ and the salon as ‘a hearse with windows.’ I would invite him up to our Queens Grill accommodation on QE2 and for a show in the Grand Lounge and then see what his comments were after enjoying some afternoon tea served by our waiters in their white gloves! Third guest would be Sir Winston Churchill who sailed with Cunard during the war to visit President Roosevelt several times and said that Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth shortened the 2nd World War by a year by acting as troop carriers taking 15000 American GIs at a time over to Europe on their high speed dashes (they were able to travel faster than the U boats send out to destroy them). My last guest would be Helen Mirren to see if she enjoyed ‘living like a Queen’ on board!

8. During the christening and dedication of the Queen Mary 2 you had the privilege of meeting Queen Elizabeth. Can you tell us about that experience and………………….did you practice your curtsey in front of a mirror before meeting her?

Well my predecessor Pam Conover was President when Queen Mary 2 was christened, although I was lucky enough to attend. However, I did meet HRH The Queen on another occasion up at Buckingham Palace when yes I did attempt a curtsy which I think turned out ok as I’m fairly short so didn’t have far to go!

Carol, we are all privileged to have read your comments and thoughts and as we reach 400,000 readers I know this blog will become one of the most popular. We all wish you continued success and I am sure there are many reading this who are thinking now about sailing on what surely is, a totally incomparable experience. Thanks again…………………………………… the way, does a Cunard cruise director get a complimentary Aston Martin?

So, that is one of many guest blogs that will be featured over the coming weeks. I hope you enjoy them. I have to run to the show now but just before I go…………………….

I had a chat with Anita Dunham-Potter yesterday. You may remember her from the brilliant piece she wrote about this blog thingy on the MSNBC web site. She and her two beautiful daughters are sailing this cruise and are having a fantastic time. Well, she has been a massive supporter of the Angelina Jolie Project and look what she brought me.

A gift from Anita Dunham-Potter

A huge thank you for this Anita. I want to hang this at home in our living room. Heidi suggests using it as a dart board.

Good Night

Your friends,

John and Heidi

The Young Sultans of Istanbul

June 25, 2007 -

John Heald

Hello from the beautiful city of Constantinople or Istanbul as it is known today. It was another hot one with the gauge touching 90 degrees again but compared to yesterday in Ephesus it was the Antarctica.Talking of Ephesus, look at this photo that one of the ship’s photographers took of the Grand Library yesterday……………….you HAVE to come and experience this amazing place yourself next year on the Carnival Freedom. Have a look at this:


Oh, and I am not sure if I have posted this photo before but if I have it’s worth doing so again.

Oh, and I am not sure if I have posted this photo before but if I have it’s worth doing so again. Oh, and I am not sure if I have posted this photo before but if I have it’s worth doing so again.

Well this will be a very long blog so again I apologize that I may only get to post one blog thingy over the weekend but due to my busy schedule and the fact that I have 25 pages containing 70 plus comments and questions to answer I am sure you will understand.

Talking of the blog, I have a couple of bits of news and also I need your advice please.

1. Thanks to Frank and Roberto in the Miami office there is a device on its way to me that may cut down on the typing that is involved in preparing the blogs. Basically it is a recording device that will allow me to record the blog and then somehow it will be up loaded or sideways loaded or something like that to the office in Miami. Then the blog would be placed as an audio file on the blog page. My question is: Would you all prefer an audio file or written or both. Please let me know as I want to do what is best for all of you.

2. Very soon bloggers t-shirts will be available to buy online. I am not going to give you any further information about this now but as so many of you asked for them they are on the way and yes BIG ED in your kinda size (and mine).

And, as of today (Saturday) we have 386,000 slaps on the blog…………………………………….thank you so much.

Highlights of the coming week include:

1. Q and A session with Steve Williams – Director of Carnival’s Medical Department

2. Q and A session with Mrs. Vicki Freed – Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing

3. A very special guest star

4. And, of course, a photo of my very first pair of boxer shorts:(

It was a very busy day for me and Heidi today but certainly one of the most rewarding, I will tell you all about it later.

What else? No more news yet on the guest we disembarked on a medical emergency and everything on board is going well.
The ship has its quarterly internal environmental audit this cruise and the entire ship’s company is being tested to make sure Carnival continues to be at the forefront in the protection of your oceans and seas. Have you ever read this notice which appears in every cabin on every ship and in the daily Carnival Capers?

Carnival Cruise Lines Environmental Compliance Hotline
For all concerns related to Carnival please contact 1-305-406-5863 (International); 1-888-290-5105 (North America)
or 4ENV (4368) from your ship phone

Environmental Compliance web site –
“Carnival’s Goal Is To Be The Industry Leader For Environmental Excellence”

Each ship has an environmental officer on board and we have a large back-up team in the office in Miami…….in fact, let me make a note to include one of them as a guest blogger sometime soon.

Oh, and yes, I need to tell you about a lady who had me laughing yesterday evening during the show. I was introducing the guest entertainer and having fun with the audience when I noticed this lady on the third row stand up and wave her arms madly in the air at me. I stopped…………..mid joke and asked her if she was ok?………………….big mistake. The lady shouted (in a very strong New York accent) “Turn the lights up as I can’t find my husband,” oblivious to the fact that the show had started and that 1000 people were being entertained. So, I obliged and I asked the lady for the name of her husband to which she replied “Morris”. So, being the caring guy that I am, I asked over the microphone if there was a Morris in the lounge. To my left and in the balcony I saw a man half-heartedly waving at me.

Asking if he was Morris he nodded and his wife waved for him to come down during which time I made a few playful comments. However, Morris was going nowhere and refused to move and his wife was not a happy bunny. She waved again and he shook his head remaining firm in his convictions and kept his butt glued to his balcony seat. By now, the audience are all laughing quietly to themselves and I am trying to get the happy couple together again when Morris’s wife looks up at him, and shouts “Please yourself then” and sits down………………no apology for interrupting the show and certainly showing no care that 1000 people are now laughing hysterically at the situation that just unfolded. I should have tried harder to bring them together, I should have been an envoy of peace and built a bridge of troubled water but instead I laughed with everyone else and asked if Judge Judy was in the room.

Let me start with today’s trivia question and first of all the answers to the anagrams were:

MADELEINE ARISON – THE BEAUTIFUL WIFE OF CARNIVAL CORPORATION’S CHAIRMAN AND CEO. MICKY ARISON (except. I spelt it wrong as her name has 3 E’s ) so I apologize to all of you and especially Madeline…………….Oops I Did It Again ………..I mean Madeleine.

The second one is

Here are today’s anagrams all with Carnival connections.




Here is today’s Q and A………………………….hang in there, it’s a long one.

DOUGNEWMAN AT SEA – Hello Doug and many thanks for the information on the old Jubilee. I appreciate your dedication to the blog cause.
Roberto – do you have any idea why Doug can not open any of the photos I am posting and is anyone else having any problems?
I agree mate, I really should sail on the QE2 before she finishes her service. I may have a chance to do a trans-Atlantic in March or April so hopefully then one of my cruising dreams will come true.
I think by the time you have read this you will have had your lunch on the Carnival Victory……….how was it?
Hope to hear from you soon and again thanks as always for the expert information.
LISA AND ELAINE – If your brother can help with the AJ quest that would be so fantastic. Please thank him for me in advance and as I have said before with everyone working together this will happen. I was speaking to my PA 007 yesterday via email (he has just returned from a camping holiday) and even PA 007 reminded me we still have 13 months so the quest will continue. As for “going commando” I am sorry to report my army is not up to the fight. I will report more on the boxer situation very soon. Thanks again for the help and all the best.
SGT. ROCK – Greg, thank you so much for the coin which is sitting here on my desk as we speak. I did “Google” some information but your explanation has shown me the importance of your gift. I shall treasure it forever and thank you for your kindness and your service. I am glad you enjoyed the laughs and Mr. Stout was fantastic wasn’t he. I remain at your service should you need my help and I hope that we get to meet again soon.
LYNN – Your message to Gabriel has been passed and I will see you in August
JO KYLE – Great to hear from you mate and I have been thinking of your “Pole Cat” reference every day – it was the ” saying of the week .” As for sitting in the balcony on the Carnival Ecstasy I don’t think that will matter, you have a face that says pick me!
The cruise director on the Ecstasy will be Goose Newman, a great lad from North Carolina.
You asked about Alaska and which ship will give you the best views and extended shore packages. Well I know that the Carnival Spirit has a fantastic itinerary and the pre or post cruise land tours are second to none. I highly suggest you think about the Carnival Spirit and I know you will have loads of fun. If you sail, I will make sure that the cruise director finds you because you are a natural on stage. If you need any further information on the Carnival Spirit’s cruise options please let me know mate.
It was so much fun and I hope we get to sail together again soon.
KATHY KROLL – Please send my best to Joan and I am happy she got the champagne, I will send you the bill soon 🙂 Best to Paul as well and it will be your turn again soon to cruise.
CANUCK CRUISER – I would love to see the photo of the poor sod who has been burdened with looking like me. Within a few days there will be an e mail address for people to send photos etc. Let me know about your supper club reservation and I promise it will be a beautiful anniversary cruise.
I will indeed post sometime soon the “silly question” list and please keep reading the blog thingy for more information. Looking forward to seeing the photo of my double and until then, all the best to you and Brad.
JAMES EMM – It would do so mate only in my (and Heidi’s) dreams. The “brief war” is over.
NANETTEALI – Thank you for the wonderful review of your recent cruise and I am sure all the bloggers enjoyed your views and experiences that you shared. I had forgotten to mention the announcement I made while munching on a canoli – I hate to think what my sugar level was that day as I didn’t have the courage to check it after eating a canoli. I am sorry I forgot to mention your son. I was so busy meeting you and your beautiful daughter I forgot about him. It is a shame that he did not come to the bloggers party. Anyway, I consider you a great friend and thank you for your generosity and for reminding me what I looked like 15 years ago. I hope to see you soon and until then we will keep in touch through this blog thingy. I have passed on your best to Gary, Heidi, Tina and Luis for you. Mucho Grasyarse en asta la waygo my amego para see em prey.
JIMNI – I have done as requested and many thanks for being so kind .Your behind the scenes view of Alaska was excellent and I am sure very helpful to these bloggers who may be considering a cruise on the Carnival Spirit. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.


ROBERT – Congratulations on booking the Carnival Splendor and I know you and Suzanne will have a great time. International flights into London will land at either Heathrow (code LHW) or Gatwick (code LGW). The nearest airport to Dover is Gatwick with a time of approx 1 hour 30 minutes to the port. Heathrow is further away and will take approximately 2 hours. However, both will have to take you via the M25 which is the circular road around London and there are always bottlenecks.
As for places to stay, I know Carnival is working on hotels and I understand these will be published very soon including the Crowne Plaza near Victoria Station. It may be better to go through Carnival so we can arrange ground transportation as well to and from the airports. More information will arrive on this soon and of course I will share it with you all. Thanks as always mate and see you next year on the Bloggers Cruise.
BOB HICKLY – Heidi says doubling it would not be a problem 🙂
JOHN AND SUSAN FROM FRISCO – What can I say but thank you for making my night so much better with your kind comments. I truly look forward to meeting you in May and until then please keep reading the laughs and I will do my best to keep you smiling.
PAUL.F. PIETRANGELO – I read your first words of this posting and saw that you said “you do not have to put this on your blog” and now I truly hope that you forgive me for letting this slip through the screening system. I am sure though that all the bloggers will join me not in sympathy for your illness but in happiness and praise for your recovery and your positive outlook on life which is I am sure, the reason you are well and able to take another cruise. Your extended blog family wishes you well and we all hope you have many more cruises ahead of you with your family.
LUV2CRUISE – Leona, I knew I would find a soul mate and how fantastic that it should be John from Mount Holly. It would be advisable never to get in an elevator with us. Hope you are both well and where ere you be let your wind blow free…………………My Dad does.
RDC- ETTE DEBBIE – Tomorrow is the big switch over to boxers and I remain very nervous about the whole thing. Heidi thinks she has thrown all my old briefs away but I have a secret pair hidden away for special occasions………..ssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
VICKI – I am trying the low carb thing and so far its going well although as mentioned above there are side effects. I really miss bread, it is my favorite. I will as requested keep the blog going for as long as possible so please keep enjoying it. See you soon.
JTODDINMAN……………….Roberto, can we do a PDF file on this blog site. It seems like a great idea, what do you think?
My Mum would never let me eat beans when I lived at home, I wonder why? Thanks again for your contributions to the blog and keep the ideas coming. My best to you and your family.
DIVETRASH – Sorry Heidi nearly ruined your monitor by revealing my public display of environmental contamination. I was so embarrassed and still am. My Mum would have been horrified but Dad would have been so proud. I also love hearing that you and others are enjoying the blog so much, it is my inspiration to keep going. Thanks again Laura and congratulations on getting one of the anagrams correct.
CAPTAIN CHUCK – I wondered if people would understand the last title of my blog thingy but I can see that you indeed did. It was embarrassing but the guest’s comeback was so brilliant it softened the blow, so to speak. My Dad always says “In Church and Chapel, let it rattle”……………….so I did.
Thanks Captain and glad to hear all your transportation is booked. Relax, it will be cruising time soon.
CYNSCRUISIN – Congratulations on choosing the Carnival Elation and its great itinerary. I wish Heidi and I could be with you although I promise you will have a great time. You asked about unusual forms of additional tipping. Well, it would be wrong of me if I did not mention that, first and foremost, money is the most popular form of gratuity. Obviously the standard amounts are taken off your Sail and Sign account and paid to the crew on the last day and if you feel that they deserve more then please feel free to give as you desire.
However, saying that, I also know that some guests have clubbed together as a table and bought for their waiter things like t-shirts and clothing as well as the odd waiter getting a watch etc. It does not have to be a gift that costs money either. I know many waiters and state room stewards love to hear from guests after they leave so again feel free to ask for their address and send them a Christmas card or the odd letter with a family photo enclosed.
The other form of reward is to always write their name on the guest survey card which you receive at the end of the cruise.
I hope this has been of some help and please let me know if I can help you or your clients further. My best regards until then……………………………..OH YES, I FORGOT…………….IT IS CUSTOMARY TO TIP THE CRUISE DIRECTOR AN ASTON – Heidi sends a Woo Hoo back…………………me, I am just sad to say goodbye to an old friend…………….my briefs.
JANFR WA – Hello my friends and welcome back home. What a fantastic review and full of so much useful information that I know other bloggers will immerse themselves in. There is so much I could say about you two but in fact I want to mention the guy who was not onboard, Randy. He is in our thoughts and I know he will return home safe to you very soon and we salute him for serving his country in the field of battle.
Heidi sends her best to you and I hope that you and Phil will stay in touch via the blog. Again, thank you for the brilliant review and hope we do it all over again very soon.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – A wise man once said that 3 and 4 day cruises were designed to get people “pregnant on cruising ” and, indeed, he is correct. If your nephew has never cruised, may I recommend a 3 or 4 day cruise with the Carnival Imagination or Carnival Fascination 4 day – two great choices. Have a look at both on and let me know which one you are considering and I will advise accordingly. Thanks Carol, you should be a travel agent!
LISA – You said in your posting that there was “no need to reply” but how can I not after reading comments like this. I am glad I have you laughing so much but as for being “The Best Thing To Happen To Carnival” I think people would disagree placing the Warm Chocolate Pudding and 24 hour pizza way ahead of me.
I will continue using guest bloggers including other cruise directors and department heads as that seems very popular. All the best and keep laughing.
IVANA – You must be getting very excited about your wedding cruise on the Carnival Valor next year. I wish I could be there with you both, maybe as a bridesmaid?
Anyway, don’t worry about not making the Bloggers Cruise as there will be one in 2009. I have no specific details yet but as soon as I do I will let everyone know and by then you may be able to spend it as n 1-year anniversary vacation. If you have any questions about the Carnival Valor or the ports of call, please let me know.
Not long now and you will be walking down that aisle…………..what will your married name be?
KATHIE ( KAPERINO) – Thank you for saying a prayer for Heidi and I in St. Peters, we both feel blessed.
So, welcome home and I know exactly what you mean about jet lag, it really is a dreadful feeling. How the heck am I going to manage 9 hours in economy class wearing boxer shorts………
Your kind words about my abilities as a cruise director were overwhelming and I am humbled by them. Heidi and I send our warmest regards to you, Dan, Jason and Jeff and hope we can all reunite together again very soon. I would say that you are “the wind beneath my wings ” but under the circumstances of my current diet I won’t.
Stay in touch please via this blog thingy and again, many thanks.
SHARON R – Smart choice not to have your son bring a guitar half way around the world. These days airlines are charging ridiculous amounts for excess baggage and I am sure the guitar would sit in the corner of the cabin unused. Have a wonderful pre-cruise in London and as you asked and if possible could I ask you for TOP GEAR MAGAZINE (it’s the only way I will ever get to my Aston Martin through the photos inside). I will pay you upon arrival, oh and Heidi is asking for OK magazine please.
Now, as for your daughter, I am sure she will meet loads of new friends and if you want I can help with this once you are onboard. If you need any help on what to do in London, please let me know and see you in August, oh………………..any chance of bringing me a tin of baked beans ?
COLEEN O’LEARY – I do remember your posting from one of the early blogs about you and your husband meeting on the Mardi Gras twenty something years ago. How fantastic therefore that you are spending your 20th anniversary on the Carnival Freedom with Heidi and I.
You asked about the differences between the Posh and the Chic dining room. There is really no difference except the Posh is bigger, that’s all. They both have windows and serve the same menu and have the same fun and professional service. As for the supper club, please send me your cabin number on one of the next blogs you reply to and I will make sure you get the best table for two on the second formal night.
See you in a few weeks for what will be an anniversary to remember.
ERIC R THAYER – You are a VIP and a platinum member and don’t you forget it. Your wife is not so she must wait at the end of the line while you are carried onboard by 6 dancers clad only in delicately placed orange peel………………….OK, back to reality. As a platinum member you are allowed one guest to check in with you and to use the benefits that come with this exclusive card…………………………….sorry:) Have a great time on the Carnival Liberty and please let me know if there is anything you need.
SOUTHERN DREAMS – I am glad you found my embarrassment amusing. I shall be joining you to have my abilities after eating beans help your paint dry!
Best to you and the Prince.
HOTLANTA – I hope you get to read this before flying out here and then you will read my wishes for a safe flight and please leave me a note when you arrive.
See you soon.
KAREN TESSIER – I think we may have had some problems with the photos on the last blog (my windy blog) and Roberto will be checking this out today for us. The weather continues to get hotter and definitely Izmir and I think Athens tomorrow will be record setters with temperatures in the high 90’s. I am advising guests to drink lots of water and to bring a sun hat and plenty of sun cream.
Sorry to hear about the passport situation. I wonder why it is taking so long. I am sure it will be here in time and ready for your cruise. Let me know when they arrive and I will see you soon……………………..try the photos again and see if you can open them now.
KAYENTAJANE – I love that “Blog On” it makes me feel like a really hip dude blogger cool cat.
The guest who complained about the TV programs is still upset and says had he known we would not have had American shows in Europe he would have recorded them if indeed he cruised at all. I have really tried to appease him and have offered to have a friend from the office tape his favorite program, “America’s Got Talent ” and we are going to mail him the DVD.
Big Ed, have you read what I just read, a $1 offer for you to take the Bloggers Cruise…………………….I will double that.
I am glad you enjoyed the interviews and there will be many more next week. Thanks again and please keep reading the blog and it’s only one year and two weeks to the Carnival Splendor.
COOLIEOMOM – Welcome home Terri and can I say how great it was to meet you and the family. Thank you for your great review and your recommendations which are going to be very useful to future European cruisers.
I asked the captain about the Baltic sea conditions as you requested and you can tell Nana that she has nothing to be worried about. The captain advises that under normal sea conditions the Baltic is just like the Mediterranean and I am sure that as Nana brought perfect weather to the Carnival Freedom that she will do the same on the Carnival Splendor. Thank you especially for your high praise of the Carnival tours which I am happy to see you shared with everyone. I am glad Emily liked her solid gold ship and I am sorry about the wait ashore for tenders in Cannes. There are very few places to sit ashore and we have to improve on this should the situation we encountered ever happen again.
So, I will keep bloging while you do the laundry. My best to you and the family and see you soon I hope.
KEVIN – Talking to you, the owner of my dream car is as close as I will ever get to having an Aston Martin so thank you for the treat. I am working on AJ and also working on another Bloggers Cruise ASAP. I look forward to seeing the photo of the Aston, I need a new screen saver as I am no longer allowed to have the one of AJ in the shower. Hope to hear from you soon mate and for a drive myself you can have my cabin on the trans-Atlantic.
EMF – Good questions and the answer is I do not know. Is there an extra sailing from the shipyard in Venice to Dover, U.K. ? I have not heard of one just yet but rest assured that my PA 007 is on the case and as soon as anything is discussed it will be leaked onto this blog. Then, 2009 and your question about how many ships in Europe…………….answer, don’t know. I can tell you that Europe is highly successful for Carnival and I am sure that we will continue to fly the Carnival flag here. Again, PA007 will sneak around the corridors of power and see what can be divulged. Keep checking the blog thingy for special breaking news. Cheers until then.
MATT AND VIKKI TILL – Very, very funny. I have no idea how it got there, amazing. I am sure as a probation officer you must come across some great characters and I am sure you are a great influence on their lives and it must be also a very rewarding job.
If you want to be a cruise director let me know and you can come and do your training on here……………………the only qualification you need……………… must wear boxer shorts and know how to play Mahjong. All the best and thanks for the great posting and the brilliant stories.
LINDA HERNACKI – The carb diet is hard but it seems to be working. The only problem is the side effects that Heidi will tell you are not pleasant. See you and Mike the Bulbman soon and lets hope your predictions of tiny feet are correct………………….and if they are I am sure it will be because I switched to boxers.
BIG ED – THANK YOU MATE………………….Now, how about that $2 offer to take the Bloggers Cruise……………………does Mrs. Big Ed like rum because if she does, trust me she will have a great time. We can even go horse riding together ! They have a horse called Mr. Big Ed Mon. Listen to the left shoulder.
FAMIGLIA BAUSCH – Saturday will be here soon and we will all be off on our Grand Med cruise together. You asked how many formal nights there are? The answer is 2, the first and last sea days are formal which are day 3 and day 9 of your cruise. Have a safe journey and I look forward to meeting your entire family. Leave me a note when you are onboard at the Information Desk please.
LEASA – Thank you for the follow up about your stateroom steward on the Carnival Glory. I have checked with personnel and we have three George’s from South Africa so maybe I can narrow this down knowing now what ship he was on and when. I will get back to you soon on this and if you do not hear from me by the end of the week please send me a reminder slap on the blog thingy. I congratulate you on your family and I hope one day to be a proud father. As nervous as I am about it I love kids and I hope to have my own soon, if for no other reason that to be able to rest on Thursdays. All the best and I will write soon.
SHEREE – I do remember the poster of Farah Fawcett in the red swimsuit and I also had one of a beautiful girl and a ……………never mind.
If you find a wine you like you can bring it on board but unfortunately not into the dining room. We do have a great menu with lots of local cheap wines as well as an incomparable award winning list of spectacular wines.
I am sure you and your daughter are anxious to get here now so have a safe journey. The weather is going to be beautiful and I look forward to meeting you both. I promise there will be no ………..fluffing. Have a safe flight and leave me a note when you get here.
GCOURINGTON – What a great question……………here it is again so everyone will understand my answer.
If you could walk into the chairman’s office and not risk losing your job what would you suggest to him or her about changes to the Western European cruise?
If I could change just one thing it would be the addition of another sea day. I think the last three days are very port intensive and a sea day at the end of the cruise would do everyone the power of good and the ability to relax and get ready for the journey ahead. Barcelona, Cannes and Livorno are three fantastic ports so I have no idea which port I would sacrifice but certainly a sea day at the end of the cruise would be ideal.
Now, if I had three wishes in the chairman’s office it would be.
Please keep a Carnival ship in Europe
Please give my PA 007 a raise
Please make a bigger bathrobe
Oh and deliver the bathrobe and the raise in my new Aston Martin and have Angelina in the front seat.
Hope that answered your question and let me know if you have any more.
GIRLDOC – You asked about a great tour in Barbados. I have not been there for some time so let me check with our excursion department and also Dave from Barbados may be able to help so stand by.
New interviews are on the way this week including a very special one. Hope you and the family are well and I will get back to you soon.
CINDY 56 – I have not done any puffies today……………well not in the last few minutes anyway. OK, your question has been passed to Roberta and I will send you her answer as soon as I can and you will indeed see Heidi and I in March. Back to you soon.
DEBBIE IN LOUISIANA – Heidi and I look forward to seeing you in a few days. Please leave me a note all about your brother-in-law and sister and I will be happy to do something special for them. The note should be left at the Information Desk. Have a safe flight and see you soon.
CYNTHIA IN BAMA – Is that Alabama?
Ron is indeed still here and I will pass on your message, I am sure it will make him laugh. The piano bars are famous on our ships. I know many guests including Robert Schneider who posted on this blog today love to sit and have fun there as well as meet many new friends. As and when you decide to book a cruise, please let me know which you are considering and I will be happy to tell you who the piano bar entertainer is. Meanwhile, let me see where Wally and Brad are and I will let you know ASAP.
I will let you know what Ron has to say when I ask him where Alice is.
KEVIN – Thank you for your comments on your Carnival Inspiration cruise. I am sorry you didn’t see much of the cruise director but I can understand your fascination and that of your kids with the Maitre D, George The Greek. He is one of Carnival’s true characters and has devoted many years to making an impact on his guests as Ken does here on the Carnival Freedom. It is wonderful to hear and I have forwarded this to George who I am sure will be thrilled to read it. He really is special. Hope to hear more about your cruise experiences soon.

OK, I am going to stop there. I know there are a few more questions to answer from the last blog and I promise to answer them tomorrow. It’s very late here and I just finished a very busy day including:


Why did I just tell you this………………………………not for sympathy but because it does not matter………………it really does not because Heidi and I are so lucky to have what we have.

Yesterday, we were reminded about this up close and personal.

The ship had arranged for 40 orphaned children from Turkey to spend the morning on the ship. They arrived around 11:00am and when they came on they looked a sad group of children with very little sparkle in their eyes. They were aged from 4 years to 15 years. Some had terrible disabilities and most looked like they had the weight of the world on their young shoulders.

The walked onto the ship with their guardians helping them and we escorted them to the disco, where they were met by loud music, Fun Ship Freddy (our mascot) and loads of soda pop, food, cake, presents, toys and gifts……………………. They were shy at first but as Heidi and I and the staff walked and talked to them they began to smile and giggle. One young man who had lost both his arms seemed to be in awe of the 500 TV screens in the disco and was even more so when we wrote his name on the screens.

Then, one by one, they started to laugh and dance and the sparkle that was missing when they arrived slowly began to brighten.

Then, it was up to Lido deck for some fun on the huge slide, burgers and chips for all and then we gave them bags and bags of clothes which the crew had provided on a “clothes drive.” As they left they were grinning from ear to ear and my friend whose name I had written on the screens said “thank you” in perfect English reducing Heidi to tears……………………ok, and me.

I want to say thank you to Duncan the hotel director, Charlene our groups coordinator, and all the crew who helped make this a day of days for these special kids.

Now, I wish I could have posted photos from this event or told you their names but I cannot. You see, these are very special kids and are in hiding from very bad people. I was asked therefore not to take photos or publish names should someone see where they are. I wanted to know more about them but learnt very little except that they had a wonderful time and even just for a few hours, they were normal kids, doing normal kid things. They, however, probably felt like Sultans.

So, that’s is it for another blog. I don’t think there is anything else…………………..oh, actually there is. Guess what I found yesterday, much to Heidi’s disgust?

I found a ……………………….well, see for yourself.

Yep, my very own belly dancer.

Yep, my very own belly dancer.

I love my job.


Your friends

John and Heidi

Many bloggers have asked me how I got work on ships and how that was for me etc. So, I thought my second blog will be dedicated to my start at Carnival Cruise Lines.

I am sitting here in the entertainment staff office, the computer in our cabin is totally John’s now and I have no music or t.v. to listen to, while I am writing this and still no PA …………everybody aaaaaahhhhhh…..

I started working for Carnival in November of 1996, pfff, that makes me feel old now…but anyway, prior to that, I had met John in March of 1996, finished my exams, passed them all, except for some random subject which was called D-Base……our scores in Holland go from 0 – 10 with 10 of course being the best and 6 meaning you pass, well, I scored a 1. My teacher and I soon came to the conclusion that a re-exam would not really make any difference, so we left it that way. I suppose the only thing correct on my exam sheet was the spelling of my name. I have never been good with numbers (except for anniversaries and birthdays J), languages were always my favorite along with all the theories on marketing and management. (I scored a 9 for my final Dutch and final English exams, an 8 for German and all other subjects were sevens.) So anyway, after John and I met, he went back to the ship he was working on at that time. When we met he told me all about what he did etc. and of course I thought, wow, that sounds great, but at the same time I thought, yeah right, you are a cruise director…a male Julie….

We kept in contact and we saw each other again in May, when he came to visit me again in Holland. We both soon knew that this was “meant to be” as they say and plans were made to see each other again, this time on the ship the Fascination of which he was the cruise director at that time. He told me to bring along a friend so when he would be working, I would have someone to hang out with. So I brought my dad.

We flew to Miami from Amsterdam, then on to Puerto Rico. It was our first time to the U.S.A. so an experience for us both.

I knew that nobody would have expected me to bring my dad along and John definitely didn’t expect that, but soon after those two met, his shock of my changed into a wonderful friendship between these two men. (My dad passed away totally unexpected in 2005.

I am sure you all understand, this is a very sensitive subject, so this is all I will write about that, but it explains my stories about visiting my mum and me not mentioning my dad in the visits to Holland.)

I got to meet all the staff on board the Fascination and I was made feel at home very quickly. Everything was so impressive, nothing that I ever expected it to be. My dad became good friends with Captain Angelo Los and the staff captain, Claudio Cupisti, at the time (who is now a captain as well) and we got to see incredible places like Aruba, wow, the beaches are beautiful, we played tennis, swam in the blue sea. It was like a dream.

After 2 cruises, my dad and I were supposed to go back to Holland, but John persuaded me to stay and my dad went back to my mum and I stayed on board for the next 7 (!) weeks. After a few weeks, I was getting anxious to start doing something as this was probably my first vacation during which I wasn’t working. Every other vacation before I used to work at the Flower Auction and make flower and plant arrangements. I have always said, that one day I will have my own little flower shop. Until I moved to the UK, and the prices for flowers and plants are out of this world and therefore people hardly have any fresh flowers in the house. Well, except for John and Heidi Heald, as I will make flower arrangements from a cheap bunch of flowers and then go into the garden or the woods and “help myself” to some branches and leaves and finish it that way…. But we are moving from the subject….

I started showing interest in helping John out with his paperwork, started looking around the ship to see what job I would like to do etc.

Then in November 1996, I started on the Carnival Destiny, then the biggest ship in the world, as a youth staff member in Camp Carnival.

Not really a choice that I thought I would ever make, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Camp Carnival is such an amazing program for the children, they are never bored as there are activities organized for them from hour to hour. They can have lunch with the staff if you are on tour and even dinner on some evenings. I worked as a youth staff on the Destiny and the Imagination and then moved to a new job, which was called an international rep@sea. With 2 other girls on board the Sensation we translated the Capers (our daily program), the tour descriptions etc.

We would hold a Welcome Aboard meeting for the international guests and escort them on tours. We had a desk where they could come and see us if they had any questions. I took care of the Dutch and German guests. It was hard work, but a lot of fun. Now we have international pursers who take care of out international guests.

After doing that for a few contracts, I started working as a groups host, now called groups coordinator. The groups host position came under the entertainment department, just like the int. rep@sea position, so I was already working “for John” from the beginning. (myself really being the boss, of course). When the groups host position was no longer and I wanted to stay within the entertainment department, I worked as a social host for a while and then moved on to assistant cruise director.

So, it’s been 11 years now in November and I think if you can work and live with your other half in such an enclosed space (no, we don’t have a suite with Jacuzzi) then you are definitely meant to be together.

We have met so many wonderful people from all over the world over the last 11 years that we have been together, we have thousands of photos, lots of letters and uncountable memories. We’ve had the possibility to share cruising with friends and family members and seen so much of the world. It has sometimes been hard not to see the family as much as we would have wanted to, not having a garden, not having a Monday morning and Friday afternoon, but it has all been worth it.

The wonderful thing about bringing out new ships is that you get to see a lot of people that we have worked with on different ships that now work in the office in Miami and then it’s like a big reunion when we all get together in Italy.

I have met many bloggers since John started writing and it is so nice to put faces to the names that we read on the screen.

If anyone has any questions or suggestions for my 3rd blog, I am happy to include them.

Your friend on the Carnival Freedom.


Where Ere You Be Let Your Wind Blow Free

June 21, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning from Rhodes in Greece or Καλημέρα – Kaliméra as they say in Greek ( I am feeling very International today ).We arrived thirty minutes late today due the medical emergency and apart from the odd grumble everyone has been totally understanding. The guest we took ashore continues to do well but remains in the intensive care ward in Italy and we continue to think about him.

I will pause now as Heidi has insisted that I step away from the computer and go for a walk to get some fresh air so, as resistance is futile (Star Trek reference), I will obey. Back soon.

Ok, I am back and good grief it was hot. I have been out of the Caribbean for some time and today was as hot as I can remember for some time with temperatures reaching 94 degrees and there was no breeze.

Here are a few photos of Rhodes old town.

Rhodes old town Rhodes old town Rhodes old town

This morning started with the usual Morning Show on TV and today’s mixed bag of goodies included a letter from someone called Rosa Tevez who is from California. Rosa just graduated as an emergency nurse and starts work after the cruise. Rosa by the way is 60 years old and just completed 4 years at University in a program specially for something she called “returning students.”

Also, there was a letter from a guest who was not happy and we return here to that old favorite subject – T.V. This time a guest wrote directly to the Captain saying how disappointed he was that this AMERICAN SHIP did not get American T.V. I won’t repeat myself here as we discussed why we don’t get the main network channels in Europe on a previous blog some months ago. However, I spoke to the guest who said his travel agent had assured him that he would get to see his favorite programs and specifically one called America’s Got Talent.

Apparently the episode this week is from Chicago and that is where the guest is from and there was a chance his work colleague would have been featured in it. I told him that his travel agent was incorrect and that we would not be able to see the program. I will stop the story there as the ending is not pretty and my point of bringing this up is this: I hope sites like this can be useful to guests who have specific questions about the ship or destination they are sailing on or visiting. Sometimes it is easy to say “Yes”………I should know, it took me years to realise that the word NO even existed. However, if unsure, contact someone like me and a site like this. Wouldn’t it be great if every ship in the fleet had a direct site where guests could ask questions before they sail and hear from the horse’s mouth what is and is not available.

Just a thought.

Now, let me introduce you to Roberta Jacoby. Roberta is a great friend of mine and a great favorite with everyone at Carnival. She has recently celebrated her 30th year with Carnival. Here is her story.

1. Roberta, can you tell us about your history with Carnival and how you were hired and how long you have worked with us? I was working for a small cruise line in their group department for just a couple of months when our supervisor told us she was having lunch with the reservations director at Carnival. She came back from that lunch and said she was moving to Carnival, and that we could all go with her… we did! There were four of us, and since I was the most junior, I was put into the newly formed air/sea department. By the way, that reservations director was Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation’s Chairman. He was desperately trying to find qualified employees in time for the launch of Carnival’s second ship, the Carnivale. I was so lucky to have him as my first boss at Carnival.

2. Your job title is Senior Vice President of Air/Sea and Corporate Training. Please can you explain a little about what your daily work load entails.
I have two very distinct “hats.” Air/Sea encompasses all air, hotel, car, transportation arrangements that a guest may need in order to sail on one of our ships. Because of the volume of business, we are one of the largest single entity “travel” purchasers of many of the airlines and other vendors. We also handle Carnival’s corporate and crew travel like a large travel agency. In addition, the air/sea department has always handled documentation for all guests, and we have just launched edocs for those guests that prefer this option. Just one thing to add, when there is a delay of a ship because of a storm or the day the Mississippi River was blocked off……can you imagine the effort it takes to make all of the necessary changes to take care of guests with last minute airline changes? The air/sea department is always “on call” and ALWAYS rises to the occasion when needed.

Corporate training is actually a fairly “new” department at Carnival, just over 10 years old. The company wanted one vision and common goal for all of our employees. We started small with trainers sailing from ship to ship, and over the past 10 years have developed crew training centers onboard our ships. It allows us to be at the crew’s disposal and coordinate with THEIR schedules. The crew training center is also a place for the crew to come to use resources for further learning in all sorts of subjects. Through the training efforts, we started a crew comment card, much like the guest comment card, that allows us to understand the crew’s likes and dislikes, and to gain a better understanding. We have found that the correlation between happy crew and satisfied guests is tied together like glue. I have to brag a bit here and mention here that our training department has won 3 very prestigious training awards in the past 2 years. I am so proud of our training team, both shoreside and shipboard, for the incredible accomplishments that have been made.

3. Do you know how many flights carnival books a year and how many people work in your department.

We ticket almost 400,000 tickets a year.

We don’t have as many employees as you would think it takes to run the volumes that we do, but many of our programs are automated……for the air/sea department, we have almost 100 employees.

For corporate training, we have two trainers on every ship, and 8 people in the Miami office.

4. How have you seen the airlines change over the years?

With the airline industry trying to stay afloat after 9/11, we saw all sorts of cut backs from amenities to schedules. The flights are packed, and the ability to get seats confirmed is much more difficult. All of us have been faced with new rules and regulations, new taxes, less luggage allowances, smaller carry on allowances, charge for food, etc. The internet has also made a huge impact on how the airlines source their business.

5. Carnival’s onboard training has become such an important factor to the cruise line’s continuing success. Can you tell us something about the program?

We have so many different programs running simultaneously, many in hospitality and management, some language based training, regulatory training, etc. One program that we are running now is a management training for middle managers onboard. It is an intensive 4 week course that is “co facilitated” by shipboard management. We also are the “first face” that the crew sees when they first arrive as we deliver the orientation to make them feel welcome and give them valuable information that will help them get settled. Shoreside, we have similar programs that are relevant for our employees. Relevancy and fun are two key elements that we try to incorporate into every training. We even produce our own videos to supplement the learning.



I know I should say Hillary Clinton, however, I just saw Oceans 13 with my family for Fathers Day, and I have to say that looking at George Clooney for 9 hours would be a treat! Although, John Heald would be a close second…..

Here is Roberta with Carnival’s Chairman and CEO. Micky Arison celebrating Roberta’s 30 years of service

Here is Roberta with Carnival’s Chairman and CEO. Micky Arison celebrating Roberta’s 30 years of service

For my 20 years of service in August I have been told I am getting a Mahjong board.

Today, I am going to get going with the Q and A as in one hour I am on stage and I need to get this going.

First though, let me set today’s Trivia Question.




Darlene Love, the actress who played Danny Glover’s wife in all three movies was an entertainer on some of our Carnival ships. She has an amazing voice and has just completed a hugely successful run in the musical Hairspray on Broadway.

The answer to Roger Blum’s question – what TV mini-series was filmed on a Carnival ship that starred Telly Savalas, Shelly Winters, Stella Stevens, James Coco, Chad Everette, Louis Jourdan, and others is:

The French Atlantic Affair.

The answer to the question – what singer songwriter performed at Kathie Lee Gifford’s charity event on the Carnival Destiny is:

Marvin Hamlisch

Ok, off we go.

JOHN FROM MOUNT HOLLY – Sorry to hear your trophies were broken mate. I will mail you a replacement as soon as I can ( I have your address ). Thanks for the insight into sending champagne and you not drinking. I wish you would have told me onboard and I would have replaced it for you. I am glad you are staying in touch because you gave so much John to the cruise. Heidi and I send you our best and can’t wait until we sail with you again. Look out for new trophies soon.
ROCHELLE – Thank you so much for your wonderful comments about the blog. I wish you a very happy cruise to Alaska with Princess and hope that like your previous cruises it brings you many happy moments and fond memories. The blog will continue as long as you and others are on the other end of the web thing to read it.
Thanks again Rochelle.
MATT AND VIKI TILL – Matt, it sounds like you need to remind Viki who the boss is and stand up and say ‘”I wear the pants in this family.” If it works, let me know and I will have a go but if you end up as I think you will with a Mahjong set sticking out of part of your body I will join you back in the dog house. Looking forward to the next installment because yes, I did give in about the boxers and actually get my first pair this coming weekend when Heidi goes shopping in Athens. So, if you stand up to Viki then maybe I will re start the battle to return to more comfortable underwear. You first though………………… Matt a police officer?
JERRY CALVERT – I understand now Gerry. Carnival can book you into one of our recommended hotels for the period between the two cruises. I suggest either the Hilton at the airport or the Visconti Palace in the center of Rome. Please call either your agent or Carnival direct and they can assist you with pricing.. With regard to the bags………..there is no holding area at the terminal that both ships use, however I am sure our ground agent can assist with this. Please let me know what your agent or Carnival says as I am very interested.
What a fantastic vacation that will be. A 12 day cruise on the Carnival Freedom and a Transatlantic on the Carnival Splendor.
It feels very strange writing that………………….I mean having 2 ships in Europe………………brilliant.
Thanks mate and I hope that you know I am here should you need anything at all.
KIM – welcome back from your cruise here on the Carnival Freedom. I am so happy that you had a great time and your comments about the shows and Ken in the dining room are truly appreciated.
A group of friends turning 30 sounds like a great reason to take a cruise and I am here should you or your friends want any advice on what ship to book etc. Maybe you can all join us on the Bloggers cruise in January. It will be a great way to chase away the winter blues. Thanks again and I am glad you had such a great time. MARY HAD A VERY LARGE SHEEP!
Heidi and I send our congratulations to your parents on their anniversary of 40 years and I hope I see you all again very soon.
CHRISTY – The guest we took off in Barcelona flew home by air ambulance a few days ago and although still very ill is expected to make a full recovery. Thank you for your concern, I am sure knowing that so many people were thinking of them helped them through that difficult time. If I here anything else I will let you know but often once home we tend not to get any follow up on their condition.
I am so happy that you had a great time and please keep reading the blog thingy until the next time you cruise.
MARIA JOSE ABAD – Buenos Nachos Maria. Please do not worry about not speaking English. We have lots of staff who speak Spanish and everything is written in Spanish for you including the daily activities and food menus. For the kids we have Camp Carnival staff who are from Peru and speak fluent Spanish so the kids will be having a great time.
I also speak fluent Spanish as I will now for you.
Mucho grasyarse para de blo reado. Bien Vanedo abordo in Augusto para el bweno tea empo…………add e os Maria ……..mucho bess a mear para todos familia.
See …………….perfect Spanish. See you in August and I promise you will have a wonderful time.
SHERIFF ROSCOE P COLTRANE – I wish everyone could meet the Sheriff, who, actually is a police officer in Georgia. You and your wife are wonderful people and it was an honour to meet you and please stay safe working the night shift. Bloggers, how about a big hand for Roscoe for protecting the citizens of Georgia.
I may need that Get Out Of Jail Free Card when I visit Georgia and thank you also for offering a space in the cells for any guest that gets out of hand.
Look forward to hearing from you soon mate.
IVANA – Thank you so much for reading the blog. If you ever do have any questions I will be happy to help you and until then please keep reading and I hope you continue to find it entertaining as you seem to now. Thanks again and hope to see you soon.
LISA MARIE AND SEAN – Nothing else matters in this blog more than the deepest sympathy that Heidi and I and all the bloggers send you at the loss of your niece Lauren while you were here on the cruise. We are thinking of you tonight.
CAPTAIN CHUCK – I agree that a hole-in-one is a once in a lifetime event and he was only 18!
As for the people who complained about arriving late into Rhodes, well, it was only 6 cabins out of 3300 people so I guess that shows you just how much in the minority they were.
You said that the latest blog gave you a break from work that was well needed and that in turn makes me feel so good as well knowing that the extra hours I put into this makes a difference to people’s lives if just for a few moments then I shall keep going and going.
So thanks Captain and as always I look forward to your next posting to be slapped on my blog thingy.
BILL P – 17 cruises with Carnival, that is fantastic! I see you are heading out in October on the Carnival Triumph to Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk. I have never been to these places before but I know lots of people who have and are going every week so if I can help, please let me know. Thank you for your support of Carnival and it is because of you and so many others that Carnival can continue to call itself The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line.
DORTHE CALIMBAS – You were nearly right on both counts but the correct answers are above. Thank you for playing along and let’s see if you can get today’s anagram. All the best Dorthe.
LINDA THE MOUSE – I hope your friend did find you some mementos from your favorite mouse shops and sorry that you did not get enough shopping time on some of the tours – we were just trying to save you money:) The briefs vs boxers battle is over and Heidi has won……………….what a shocker……………and as of this weekend my life changes forever. Hope your friend had a great cruise and thanks as always for your kind comments.
BIG ED – I knew I could count on your support. You and Alan Adkins are one in the same except Alan (like me) lost the battle and has been forced to the dark side (boxers).
BIG ED, listen to your left shoulder and please sail on the Bloggers cruise, if not then Sheriff Coltrane will offer you the right to remain silent.
SUSAN AND RALPH – I would love to see those photos of the QM2 and the Queen Mary. Please can you send them to Big Ed’s site and I will view them from there or can you mail me copies to
John Heald – Cruise Director
Many thanks and once again it was great to meet you both………………………have you mailed the check?
ESSEXMAN – Put the cap back on ! What cigar was it that you smoked? I think we should start a new blog called “Cruise to Southend” and lets see if we can get ships to stop at the end of the pier……………what do you think mate?
TERRI910 – The guest who wanted compensation for our late arrival into Rhodes was indeed a special person and I wish I could have turned into Basil Fawlty
And told them what I really think, but I did not………………………………one day maybe I will though.
Thank you for your detailed description of the Dardanelles and indeed it is both a spectacular and sentimental area for many people. The monument you mentioned is just one of four monuments paying tribute to the soilders who died in WWI. There is the Turkish one that you mentioned, one dedicated to the French and one to the British. The last monument and the biggest is dedicated to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who suffered the most casualties. This is specifically remembered on ANZAC DAY.ANZAC Day is commemorated by Australia and New Zealand on 25 April every year to remember members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who in the Battle of Gallipoli landed at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.
If you read back to the blog of April 25th you will see that we had a very early morning service for the many Australian and New Zealand guests we had on board.
I do not make an announcement about this as we pass as it is at 8:00am in the morning but I do place something in the Capers and advise the guests the night before.
Thank you for reminding us all about this special place, Terri, and as always thanks so much for your comments. All the best.
FengShuiBBTurtle – Now there is a great name. A turtle that likes their shell in exactly the right place.
I am happy to hear that you had such a great time on the Carnival Glory with Heidi and I back in 2005 and even happier to hear that you will be joining us again in August for some European cruising. Please can you bring the photos with you so I can see them and please also leave a note at the information desk when you get on board. See you very soon.
KATHY KROLL – Either the sea air or just plain old selfishness Kathy. Still, these folks are very much the minority thank goodness and there is (as this blog has shown) so much compassion and caring that sometimes because the odd person is rude we forget about that. I am sorry you met some rude guests during your cruise but we won’t let them spoil our vacations will we, bloggers.
SOUTHERN DREAMS – you are now in charge of making Big Ed see that he must cruise in January. Sheriff Coltrane will even give him a police escort through Georgia as well as the offers already standing). BIG ED…….we need you.
ASHLEA ( HOLLAISH ) – Hello girls and of course I remember you both from last cruise. Did you know that so many guests were saying HOLLAISH to me and even some of the Entertainment Staff are still using it now…………….that was a HOLLAISH SHOW etc. Let me see if we still have copies of the show and if we do I will let you know and you can send me a mailing address. Keep reading the blog thingy and on the next one I will let you know if I could find a copy. I hope you and your family are well and I am happy to hear you had such a fantastic time.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – Great post mate (is post the correct word) and I see exactly where you are going with the home port comment. Deciding what home port a ship is given is probably one of the most important decisions that is made when deciding the itinerary of a ship and of course having a ship like the Fantasy sail on different cruises to allow back to back cruises may also be something to consider. I think the current 4 and 5 day cruises though are so popular that this may not be changing in the future. The shorter cruises are perfect for that quick break and are also popular with first time cruisers as well as repeat guests.
Ok, you asked about Cozumel. There is so much to do there and the tours are magnificent. I highly recommend taking THE ECHO JEEP ADVENTURE. This is one of those tours not too many people know about. You drive the jeeps through jungle and forest and then onto a beautiful unspoilt beach well on the other side of the island. It really is a completely different world to the now busy tourist main street with shops, bars and restaurants.
Then, if you were to go a second time to Cozumel then maybe you could rent your own jeep and travel the same route and drive all over the other side of the island stopping at the beaches along the way. ………especially the one by the lighthouse!
That is my favorite side of Cozumel and hopefully that has helped you out. There is so much to do there and on the next blog I am going to write about trips across to the mainland of Mexico.
I am glad you liked the guest blog about Cherie and there are more guest blogs on the way. I will be writing to Steve Williams who is in charge of the fleet’s doctors and nurses and we will indeed get some medical insights.
Cheers mate and as always thanks again for your support to the blog.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – Heidi has just read your blog and as much as she respects you she says my mind is made up and its boxers or nothing………..I would prefer the nothing.
How are you Paul. I have been thinking about you since you told me about your stroke. I hope this blog finds you well and Heidi and I remain at your service should there be anything we can do for you. You called yourself the Italian Stallion, I am more like the British Ass at the moment………….still it is Thursday.
KEVIN – You have an Aston Martin Vanquish S…………………….wow. I got to drive one once for an hour and it was amazing. I loved the flappy paddle gear box and the noise of the V12 engine meant that I never had the radio on. If I come to New York I would be honoured to take it for a spin as you invited……….HEIDI, WE ARE GOING TO NEW YORK………………..NOW………………………..I KNOW WE ARE AT SEA………………….WE CAN SWIM.
I am hoping that when I get home I will have the chance to hire one for a few days. By the way, have you ever seen a program called Top Gear on BBC America? It’s one of my favorite programs and one of the presenters (Jeremy Clarkson) is a huge Aston fan……………………….One day, my dream will come true.
I am so happy that you are a blog reader and if you need any cruise advice, please let me know, especially since you are booking the Carnival Splendor.
DEB ROWE – To answer your question about traveling from Rome to the port of Civi (can’t be bothered to type the whole word – but if I had I wouldn’t have had to do this explanation thing…………you idiot)…………sorry, back to the answer. Yes, there are regular train services from Rome to the port and it will take about 50 minutes or less if you get the “fast train” with the fewer stops. Once at the station in Civi you can get a taxi but they will want you to pay them “off the meter” as it is such a short trip so expect to pay 20 euros. However, if you have wheels on your suitcases and you can manage between you then it’s a 20-minute walk to the gates of the pier and then there is a free shuttle bus to the ship.
Hope this helps Deb and if you are still unsure, let me know and I will be happy to assist you further. See you soon.
NUMBER12 – 9:30am, by then I promise you will be ashore………………what does number 12 stand for. Looking forward to meeting you.
R – D – C- -ette – Debbie – Debbie, I think we should combine camping and cruising and instead of selling cabins we can sell places to pitch your tents.
Now, as for Thanksgiving, Heidi and I are still intending to do the crossing and stay through November. This will only change if I get too tired which I hope will not happen. I feel really good and even though I have been out 5 months already I love my job with a passion. I have no idea if the boxers thing will make a difference but if it does, I will never hear the end of it. Please Carry On Camping and more importantly Carry on Cruising. Look forward to hearing from you very soon.
LEASA – Thank you for the comments and the joke. I have no words to describe the admiration I have for you and the fact that even though you are blind your sense of humour is such that it is clear for others to see that you are indeed a special person. I have to remember that your computer is reading this for you on a vocal program so what happens if I spell things rongley or if I ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….pause for a long time?
Seriously though, I wish I was there to give you a big hug and thank you for being such a special person. Now, l will investigate about the stateroom steward you enjoyed called Anthony. I wish you knew his last name but don’t worry I am sure I can find out something about him as I know you were worried about his son who you say was ill. Can you tell me the month and year you sailed?
Thanks also for passing on congratulations to Damian your Personal Vacation Planner at Carnival and I will make sure his boss gets to read what you had to say.
I am not sure who will be the Cruise Director on the Carnival Liberty next year but I will make sure whoever it is takes care of you personally. Hope to hear from you soon.
My best to George who is wearing your lingerie.
I truly hope we get to meet one day.
LINDA HERNACKI – Thursdays and Mondays…………..and she is talking about Saturday mornings now…………..HELP !!
Wee Jimmy is Ralph’s nick name. His mother is Scottish and his father Italian. That means his top half is Scottish – he never buys a drink and his bottom half is Italian……..well you can guess the rest.
I promise to do my best to be there for you and my mate Mike in November, Linda, as I want to meet you both very much. Heidi and I send our best to you.
NINA FRANKLIN – Congratulations…………wow, I never thought anyone would get Roger’s question correct. You are the only one so far though.
I have never noticed the Carnival Elation in the chase scene of Gone in 60 Seconds. I remember a ship in a movie with Eddie Murphy based in Miami but I cannot remember the name.
Heidi loves the idea of boxers with the Statue of David on the outside……………………………I give up. Next she will be trying to get rid of me going to bed with my socks on.
Thanks Nina and I appreciate your support of the blog very much.
HEIDI – BETH – Thanks for paying homage to the QE2 and as you said I am sure the Queen Victoria will have many amazing features. I have no idea about size, passenger capacity or any of the special features it will have but as soon as my PA007 gets back from his camping trip then maybe they can pass on some of the features that we can all look forward to. I know the QE2 has many loyal customers and I am sure they will enjoy the Queen Vic as we will call her and of course the already incomparable QM2.
Please remind me a week before you sail and send me the boys’ last names and a gift will be waiting. I send you and the family all the best until then.
LFTTNSFCF – Your comments today are, as always, so wonderfully written. A cruise ship offers up so many adventures and I can understand people’s curiosity when something “different or unusual” occurs. I guess it’s the fact that yesterday, as the stretcher carrying the guest to the Coast Guard boat came down the gangway steps the cameras of the onlookers went off as though Angelina Jolie herself was there. I guess I don’t understand why someone would want that particular photo as part of their holiday collection.
Your story about the hurricane is an important one for everyone to read. The safest place for a ship during a storm is at sea. With today’s modern tracking systems a ship can see the route a storm is taking days in advance and can then take the necessary steps to “run away.”
You asked about e mail. Roberto in the office is busy setting up an e mail address for me and then I can communicate with you through that so I can help you out further.
Also, Roberto and I are working on lots of other things that will really enhance the site. The bottom line is that I want this blog to set a trend so that others follow as it is a great customer service tool and a great way to have fun with the people who cruise with you.
Look forward to hearing from you soon and send my best to Mrs MTSFPBLFTTNSFCF.
STORMIN NORMAN – What a fantastic idea. Roberto, how can we do this? Can I have the ticking clock? I already have a PA who is a computer genius so I am halfway there. Thanks Norman, I will do this if it can be done mate. Hope you are well ……….Ausie, Ausie, Ausie.
NANETTEALI – Miss you lots. Glad you got home safely.
BIG ED – How about a FREE tour in Jamaica?
R – D – C- ETTE – DEBBIE – Thanks for this Debbie………….brilliant. I am sure all the bloggers have now found this and can see where the ship is at all times. You are a *
JERRY CALVERT – We do have some tables of 10 mate. Let me know when you are sailing and I will see if I can reserve one for you and your party.
I & MSMOM – I really appreciate your insight to train travel in Italy as do all the bloggers I am sure. There are as you say good sides and bad sides to this and certainly the random strikes that have occurred have been the biggest concern recently. However, it is still a viable way of transporting yourself from city to city and hopefully you will avoid any of the lightning strikes. Please feel free to post a website that will help find out about these strikes, we would all find it most useful. Thanks again and I appreciate your support and the comments that you slap on my blog 🙂
SHARON R – If you really are interested in becoming a cruise ship doctor please let me know and I will point you in the right direction. Please tell your son that Club 02 here is fantastic. This cruise we have 100 plus teens who are taking part in every event and activity…………..he will have a blast. We don’t have too many bingos here but I am sure your daughter will enjoy them. However I hope she will meet new friends at Camp carnival and if she does she will have even more fun. Let me know when onboard if I can help with this. When are you sailing?
I send my best to you and the family and instead of boxers can I have a can of diet root beer?………………..sad isn’t it.
ESSEXMAN – For me mate the battle is lost. Let there be no more talk of boxers or briefs as I have lost the will and the spirit to continue. I am a beaten man and I lay down to the powers of the invincible army that is my wife. I haven’t had a drink for 11 years but after this……………….mines a pint of Fosters.

That’s the end of today’s Q and A.

We are heading for Izmir and weather of 97 degrees. I am off to bed because it is Thursday and also one of the last days I am able to wear the underwear I love. Before they are incinerated I will take them out on one last adventure as we journey to the bathroom floor together.

Hello everyone, this is Heidi here.

John refuses to put this next bit in his blog but I have told him he must. He said to write it myself then so I am.

John is on a diet of no carbs at the moment and it is affecting him in a very unpleasant way.

Today, in Rhodes we were walking off the ship via the deck 6 guest corridor as John had to drop something under a guest cabin door. We were walking down the corridor together when I had to stop to tie up my shoe lace. John had not seen me and kept walking, thinking I was right behind him and that the corridor was empty with everyone off the ship John let out . .. John , I don’t know how to say this without being rude . . . he fluffed, pumped, he let out a gaseous explosion.

The only thing was I was not behind him but the guest coming out of cabin 6314 was.

He looked at me, looked at John who had turned around expecting to see me and just smiled, shook his head, put his room service tray in the corridor and closed the door but not before saying these words

” Where ere you be, let your wind blow free.”

Thank you Heidi for sharing our most private moments and thank you Mr. Jack Hamer from cabin 6314 for having such a wonderful sense of humour. I sent him a bottle of champagne tonight…………….and………………….just for a laugh……………………..a huge plate of baked beans………………..I really did.

Time for bed, oh no, it’s Thursday………!

Your friends,

John and Heidi


June 20, 2007 -

John Heald

I apologize that there has been a few days between blogs. I meant to finish this yesterday but as you will see it has been an unusual day

This blog was started on Tuesday but finished on Wednesday AND WRITTEN IN REAL TIME – I SOUND LIKE JACK BAUER FROM 24

What a beautiful day……but boy, it was hot especially in Pompeii where guests told me it was well over 90 degrees.

So, Good Evening. It is 7:02 pm as I start this blog and hopefully I will finish it before I go to the show at 10:45 pm. We have 3,304 guests onboard this week and amongst them are lots of Dutch, German and a big group from Mexico. All in all a good mixture of guests and many of them are traveling with Carnival for the second or more time because 1,600 of them are repeat guests.

Nothing unusual happened today ashore but as I mentioned last week in Barcelona we had to take a guest ashore at 4 am for emergency medical treatment. I am happy to report that the guest was able to be flown home today for treatment in their home state of Arizona. We continue to think about them.

Have you noticed that Heidi has got blog fever? Well, she has, and I think that this is great although I just don’t want hers to become more popular than mine and it will when she starts talking about toilet seat positions, things on the bathroom floor, etc. Still, at least I am standing firm on the underwear front and I shall not be moved!

Today, I want to introduce you to Cherie Weinstein who is vice president of group sales and administration for Carnival Cruise Lines. Some of you had asked some questions about groups so I thought rather than me waffle on about something I know little about (wouldn’t be the first time I hear you cry) I would pose a few questions to this lovely lady and we could all learn something about what is such an important line of business for any cruise line.

Please welcome to the stage the one and only Cherie.

Cherie Weinstein

1. Cherie, I know you have been with Carnival for some time now. Can you tell us a little about how you started and when? Micky Arison hired me away from Costa Cruises in 1974 when Carnival had one ship, the Mardi Gras. At that time, Costa was the world’s largest cruise line with company’s various ships in Europe and cruising between Europe and South America. I had been handling group bookings for one of Costa’s ships and Micky hired me to work on groups for Carnival. By the way, since I’ve been here for 33 years this month — don’t forget to mention that I started when I was 3 years old!

2. You are now vice president of group sales and administration. How many staff work within your department? We have just over 500 employees, based in Miami HQ, in our Colorado Springs call center office and South Florida based tele-workers, who work from their homes.

3. Can you tell us some facts about how much group business Carnival handles each year? For example, what percentage of guests do we book as groups? Roughly one third of Carnival’s total business is group business. This includes everything from a group of eight staterooms/16 guests up to full ship charters of 3,000+ guests.

4. How many people need to travel to be considered a group and what the benefits of booking as one are? A group consists of 16 or more guests in a minimum of eight staterooms. Typically the group will qualify for an extra discount and some number of Fun Points which can be used to provide the group guests with on board “goodies” such as a cocktail party, a group photograph, on board credit, etc. The amount of discount and the Fun Points vary by sailing date and depend on the overall availability of the sailing, how well it is selling, what groups are already booked, and so on. Of course the “soft” benefits of booking as a group are traveling with your friends and/or family or with people who share common interests. A perfect example is your “bloggers cruise” where all of your loyal readers will be coming together to sail with you and to discuss the points of your blog and perhaps share their own secrets and techniques for blogging. For others, traveling with an escorted group gives a level of security in knowing that there will be a travel agent escort who will be leading the way and looking out for the group’s needs and wants. One thing that makes Carnival’s ships so great for groups is that there are so many options for having fun. A group that has wide range of interests can find lots of things on board and ashore to satisfy those varied interests.

5. Over the years you must have been responsible for booking very “interesting “groups. Is there one or two that are most memorable and if so why? Hmmmmmm….Probably our most interesting groups are those that buy out (charter) the entire ship for a full cruise. Because when a company takes over the entire ship, there are changes that can be made in the ship’s activities and events. One of our most memorable full ship charters was our first “Bare Necessities” cruise. Bare Necessities operates clothing optional cruises, so our first charter with them was an eye-opener!! I remember our account manager who escorted the group telling me about the Captain’s Welcome Aboard party. We had informed all the guests in advance that out of respect for the Captain, clothing WOULD be required for this event. But the clothing was minimal and in many cases see through….. As the guests approached, the Captain kept repeating…. “Oh my!”

Then there was the Harley Davidson charter of the Carnivale when, as part of a Mystery at Sea program during the charter, a Harley motorcycle was thrown overboard! Of course this was back in the late 70’s when public understanding of environmental factors wasn’t nearly as strong as it is today. (How many of your readers remember throwing streamers and balloon releases from the pools upon sailing?)

You mentioned the Coca Cola charter in 1988 aboard the Jubilee — I can’t answer your trivia question about the movie premiere, but I do remember the terrific concert by Kenny Loggins in Nassau!

Thank You Cherie, who, I might add is not very good at blowing her own trumpet so I will do it for her by saying that Cherie is one of those people who have made Carnival what it is today and during her 33 years with Carnival has risen to the top of her profession and we all thank her for her dedication……..applause, applause.

OK, from the vice president to the president and CEO, Mr. Bob Dickinson who has asked me to drop this statement onto the blog. This is for the young man who hit a hole in one the other day and whose dad, I know, reads this blog.

Here you go, this is for Leland Stoddard III

Congratulations on your hole in one! At age 17, you have done what most golfers strive to accomplish in their lifetime, but never succeed.

Thank you Bob and thank you also for sending me these photos of the Carnival Splendor funnel being floated into the Genoa shipyard.

Splendor Funnel Splendor Funnel

Seeing this makes me think its only one year until I will be in the shipyard again.

OK, time for you know what……..yep……………put the wife out, sit down with your cat and enjoy today’s Q & A.

BILL P – Correct sir, as soon as I read that Cyndi Lauper’s bodyguard was Capt. Lou Albano I immediately remembered that name so many thanks for this. What does the P stand for in your last name? Have we met?
CAPT.CHUCK – Good evening Captain. Thank you for your vote of confidence about advising the guests that the ship may be moved due to the weather in Cannes. It certainly made sense to do so although it did open me up to the one man who was extremely vocal in his “if you knew before we should have gone to another port”comment. I should point out that “just going to another port ” is easier said then done. There are so many logistics and planning involved in this and not least with Europe as busy as it is now, is there space at a pier for us at short notice? You asked me to be specific about the Aston Martin. I have three toy ones already and they were much appreciated and I enjoy lying on the floor, pushing them around the carpet and making engine noises. I want the real thing and have started a box into which goes all our loose change and odd notes towards the purchase of an Aston Martin Vanquish or Aston Martin DB9 Volante. The box is going well but I had to dip into it today to buy some hemorrhoid cream or “Di Itchi Pilei” cream as it is known in Italy. It is a dream, it is a long way off but one day I will be listening to the real noise of the V12 engine. Thank you most of all for sending your best to Jason, he will appreciate it I know. All the best until the next time.
JTODDINMAN – Thank you for mentioning Roberto who is so important to the maintenance and up keep of this blog thingy along with Frank, Christine and many others. I have not forgotten your question about the Platinum Card upgrade purchase and I am waiting for a response from the right people and that should be very soon. I loved the analogy of me being “The Carnival Bunny” although and just mentioned it to Heidi who as we speak is trying to put a 9-volt battery where it shouldn’t go! GET OFF. So, thanks as always and if you keep reading the blog I will keep writing them.
TIM (PAMS B/F) – Writing that makes me go aahhhhhhhhhhh. Very funny, “the little swimmers.” I want a family very much but the thought of that flap that you get at the front of boxers makes me feel uncomfortable even without wearing them. This has happened by the way because Alan Adkins’s wife Alison told Heidi that she made Alan throw away all his Y Fronts (briefs) and as soon as he started wearing boxers along came Katie their daughter followed by William. Therefore, the pressure is now on. It will be Thursday soon so let us see what happens.
Now, everyone is asking about the Aston Martin so yes, if it is the DB9 it would be the Volante ( convertible )…………………hope springs eternal. Hope you and your best friend are well and speak to you soon.
ESSEXMAN – I can picture you now, standing in your garden shed, surrounded by all your tools and old bits and pieces, puffing on something that has been rolled on the thigh of a beautiful Cuban Senyourita (spelt incorrectly) reflecting on what a great Dad you are…………because you are. Please do not worry about me, I am feeling good and the blog is so important to so many people that I will strive to continue to the best of my ability. With regard to your other comment, I must tell you that I am dead against this boxer short thing, give me Marks and Spencer’s any day. Thank you for your kind words towards Jason. This family of bloggers is so special. Regards to you and the home county. Cheers mate.


OK, I am back. I will fill you in later as to what happened. Let me continue with Q & A for now please.

CAROL SCHOENBERGER – First of all you are correct that the wrestler guy was Lou Albano and yes he did wear the elastic band round his beard, not his mustache (idiot that I am). I don’t know about your sister or nephew but your sales pitch for Carnival makes me want to take a cruise so thank you very much, Sarah, take a lesson from Carol.
Let me know what your Nephew decides to do and if he needs any advice send him a link thing of this blog thing and I will answer any questions he may have. Glad you liked the photos and I will of course keep them coming. All the best carol and again, many thanks
JENN & MEYER – I AM SMILING AS YOU SAID I SHOULD Jenn but the thought of Boxers turns the frown upside down. The battle continues. Brief Wars. Have a great day and please keep reading the blog thingy.
VIKI AND MATT – Thanks for nothing Viki. Your story has Heidi jumping around the cabin going “see, see, so that’s done it.” My brief days are over. Your sister got pregnant and it’s because of boxer shorts………………………good grief. Brief Wars……..The Return Of The Fruit of the Loom. Matt………….help please.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – Big Ed, did you read Bonnie and Prince Charlie’s comments? They are also offering to do your laundry if you do indeed book the Bloggers Cruise. Plus, my mate Alan Adkins has offered to wash your back for you as well. Put those things together and the free supper club dinner and I don’t think you can refuse. Tell Prince Charles to put you on his private plane and get you here to Europe for a cruise. We will wait for you Bonnie.
LINDA THE MOUSE – There are some things in life you regret forever. One such thing for me is EVER MENTIONING THIS BOXERS THING. I have not had one vote for the Y Fronts that I have enjoyed for so many years. Even my friend Linda the Mouse has come out in favor of Heidi. Me and my big………………………………..mouth. The MOUSE SHIP was in with us today in Naples Linda and I thought of you. The mouse was on the gangway taking photos with the 1 billion children as they lined up at the gangway. They had made MM all Italian as he was wearing Speedos, had 33 gold chains around his neck and drinking a glass of Chianti.
Thanks as always for your comments even though the result is not going in my favor.
MILLIE S – Hello Millie. I do not remember typing your name in before but if I have I am sorry. It is great to hear from you and I am sure your sister and you are very excited about your upcoming cruise especially as it is a single girl’s vacation! If you have any questions before hand please let me know and who knows, you may not be single by the end of the 14 days!
Hope you are enjoying the blog.
R-D-C-ETTE DEBBIE – Having read your comments I am in firm belief that you need to go camping or better yet take a cruise. Any combination of Mahjong or Majohn sends me into cold sweats as I remember her that cannot be named. The only other thought I had was that as you mentioned Aston Martin that Aston may be a great name for a boy or a girl…………what do you think? Heidi has already told e she wants Lucy for a girl and if we had a boy it would be Kifihecklinger which is Dutch for Bob. You sent your friend a very expensive bottle of champagne and a portrait photo of the ship which I know she enjoyed. Keep the comments coming and thanks for your kind support of the blog………………..please, no more Majohn……I have goose bumps again. Thank you for your kind words to Jason whom I know will appreciate them so very much. Thanks for reading the blog every day and hope you sail with us soon.
BIG ED – Heidi says thank you. Just FYI, Briefs or Boxers…………………..Alan and I want to know.
JIMINI – And Ladies and gents, here is the first correct answer to yesterday’s trivia question. TERRACES IN THE GROVE WAS INDEED ON THE JUBILEE. Congratulations. I was just talking about the 2008 transatlantic with Chris Prideaux in the office in Miami. We have already started to plan the events etc. Chris was thinking about this in the shower………I was thinking about Angelina. I guess he is more dedicated than I am. Anyway, we have some great things planned. You asked about touring in Rome, Naples and ending in Venice. I suggest the train rather than you hiring a car. The Italian railway system is better than most in Europe and it is certainly the cheapest way to see everything. Have any bloggers done a rail trip to these destinations? If so, please let JIMINI know your thoughts for his after cruise vacation. Remember, Carnival can take care of your accommodation while in Rome and in Venice and if you are on a budget, consider staying outside the main island, it is much cheaper. Well done again on the trivia answer and please write in again soon and thanks for the support!


Which famous Singer/Songwriter/Composer performed at a gala dinner onboard the Carnival Destiny along side Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin during an inaugural charity function?

CYNSCRUISIN – I just goggled Angelina Jolie For Godmother and you are correct……………wow, there are articles on the top of the page from the blog. I can only hope that she is reading it as we speak. Thank you for all your hard work as a cruise sales agent and I wonder if you have seen the blog hosted by my wonderfully talented friend Vicki Freed who is our senior vice president of sales and marketing. Her blog is specifically for those people who are agents and directly involved in the business. Here is her link which I know you will enjoy www. Thank you for your kind words about the blog and I appreciate all you do for us here at Carnival.
PAUL.F.PIETRANGELO – Hello Paul, great to hear from you. Let us talk tendering first of all as you requested. Tendering is used when a port has either no dock or has limited space for only one or two vessels. In most cases, ships will use either their own tenders or lifeboats or the port of call will provide boats and sometimes a ship will use a mixture of both. The boats will then come alongside the ship and passengers are transferred ashore. The same system is used on the return. The journey time is often less than 15 minutes and sometimes as short as just a few minutes; this depends on the port you are tendering into. The most important thing for guests to remember is to be a little bit patient with tendering as often there may be some waiting time at both ends. Apart from that, it is a simple and easy way to get ashore. Now, more importantly, what can I say about the words you have written for Jason. They are obviously from the heart and I am sure that when you read this Jason you will see how people who you have never met before are thinking about you now and will continue to do so. Paul, thank you…….so much.
CATMAMA44 – My PA is on vacation at the moment having left yesterday to go camping in Yellowstone Park. PA loves to rough it under the stars and hike up mountains, etc. etc. As soon as PA 007 returns to their cubicle I will see if they can get an update on the South America thing for you and the other bloggers. Your note for Jason will be so welcome to him and his family. Thank you so much and I hope to hear more from you soon.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – I saw the letter you wrote about AJ being GM of the CS to CCL. (How about that for a short sentence). Thank you so very much for doing that, it was very thoughtful. I know I have the support of the big bosses (importance, not size) of the office and of course people like you. It was a surprise for me as well when I heard from PA 007 that the QE2 was being sold. I have no idea how they got that information before the rest of us but you are correct, it was a shock. I will be writing more about the QE2 in a moment. Loved your comments as per usual except the one that mentioned………………………boxers 🙁 All the best Carol AND Heidi sends her best as well.
LEASA – Hello Leasa. I hope this blog today finds you well. I must admit to feeling a little overcome when I read that due to being sight impaired you have a voice reader that reads out everything I type. John Heald is so good looking and sexy, he is a stud muffin and Brad Pitt has fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down…………….sorry, just playing with the voice recorder……it’s the kid in me. OK, let me answer your questions. Your husband is having another beer…..that’s his seventh and he left the toilet seat up……………sorry, I won’t do that again. OK, here are your questions answered.
1. You mentioned that you can see light and if the kayak tour featuring the bioluminescent creatures would be good for you. That is a hard one to answer. Let me say that the light these creatures provide illuminates the whole area and is quite amazing. Therefore, if you can manage to get into the kayak, which I am sure your husband will help you to as will the tour operators then yes, I think you should give it a try………….it may be a special night for you. I hope so.
What is that smell, I think Geoff has eaten beans again
Sorry………… more, promise.
2. Heidi has been on many dolphin tours and says that the best she had was in Antigua so either there or Tortola will be a wonderful experience for you, this time I am positive. There is something magical about dolphins; they can sense people in a way that I am not gifted enough to describe. This is one tour I really think you must take.
Geoff is watching the Playboy Channel again……………….right, that is enough John
3. Ocho Rios – I think you must try with Geoff’s help to experience the Dunn’s River Falls. Just to wade into the water at the bottom and feel and hear the power of this awesome experience. They also have a great place called Dolphin Cove so if you do not get the chance to swim and encounter these majestic creatures in the other ports, then you can do it here and still visit the waterfalls.
Thank you for your questions and if you need any more information please let me know.
Geoff loves you very much.
LINDA HERNACKI – I thought you were my friend. It is now looking like I have no choice but to move to the dark side and wear boxers. Thanks Linda and maybe Mike the Bulb can be on my side.



NATE’S MOM – Thank You on behalf of Jason and the family.
ANN – Now I feel like I am being ganged up on with this boxer thing. What an idiot I am for bringing it up. OK, I just told Heidi I will give them a try but at the first feeling of ……….lack of support……it is back to the briefs. I cannot believe we are talking about this on a cruise blog thingy. The warm weather has been ordered for your Carnival Splendor cruise next year and you have every right to be excited as the Baltic is an amazing place to discover. Not long now and until then, please keep reading the blog thingy.
NUMBER 12 – You asked about Cannes and if as stated in Cruise Critic people do get off first in Cannes. The brochure states that we arrive at 9 am however it is possible sometimes that we get in early at 8 am. If this is the case, the first hour is given to the 2,000 guests that do purchase tours but those guests who do not start disembarking no later than 30 minutes after our arrival time at 9:30 am. If therefore you are going to book a private tour or want to explore on your own, then I suggest that 9:30 am should be the time you should think about starting your journey. I hop this is OK and let me know your thoughts. Thanks and I hope to see you soon.
SUSAN AND RALPH – The white flag of surrender is being raised…I give up…….boxers it is………….and people think I am the boss…………….yea right.
I thought Ralph would have jumped to support me………………Ralph, where are you?
CAPTAIN CHUCK – You and Heidi and my Mum have something in common, yep, check lists. They both (as you do) right everything down where as I tend to just HOPE. People really do leave things onboard and actually forgetting to empty the room safe is the most common. Therefore, I do tell guests to right themselves a reminder to empty the safe the morning of debarkation. Have you ever forgotten your wife Captain? I have, and that is a story for another day.
VIKKI AND MATT – The Lethal Weapon movies were great, but so far nobody has the correct answer as to what connection to Carnival there is.
Any ideas?
KATHY KROLL – Kathy, good morning. Yep, the QE2 was indeed 40 years old and I will have a final chat with her in a moment. I did indeed send the Freedom Book to you via Barcelona Mail. If you do not get it by the end of this week, please let me know and I will have someone from Miami send it to you. I think your book and champagne was enjoyed by someone as it was probably sent to the wrong cabin……………..blame Heidi. Thanks as always for your comments that you slap on the blog and only 390 days to the Carnival Splendor.
LINDA HERNACKI – Morning Linda. I am sorry but the only “making of video” we have is in Italian which is a shame. However, I promise that there will be one made in English for the Carnival Splendor and we will make it available to everyone. My best to Mike and his bulbs and of course to you.
TAZMAN – So, you saw your new home did you? Well, you will have a much better view on the 25th………from inside! You asked about the pier number which I can tell you is 2. This is our home for the rest of the season while docked in Civvi. Embarkation starts at 11 am so depending on where you are coming from I would recommend that is the time you get here. When you have checked in, guests are invited to Lido Deck for early lunch as cabins are not ready until 1 pm. Our housekeeping staff does an amazing job in preparing the entire ship including 1,000 plus cabins in just three hours. I will be ship shape and ready to give you and your family a wonderful vacation and see you very soon.
KATHYB – The thing I am starting to see from this blog thingy is that people are starting to share their “silly cruise ship ” stories as well. This makes me feel good because for a moment I thought they were all just happening on this ship. That was a very funny one about your Uncle Kathy…..not that you have an uncle called Kathy, I just meant……your Uncle…………Kathy. The guests were indeed charged for the bathrobes however, I think that was the least of their concerns at the time. Thank you Uncle Kathy for writing in again and for enjoying the blog.
CATHY. NYC – What a dreadful story. Companies like the one you booked to get to the ship are unfortunately common place here in Italy and yours is another example and a pretty bad one at that. I can only imagine how you must have felt and you only made the ship with 30 minutes to spare. Thank you for sharing your story and it is another example where on vacation you should really have the chance to relax before you get to the vessel and as Cathy says, using the cruise lines transportation maybe the way to go. There are good private firms but from what I have seen myself and from reading peoples comments, for every good company there are many more bad ones. Thank Cathy, I am sure people reading this will appreciate the time you took to share your story as of course do I. Hope to see you again soon………….April 19 was a long time ago……come again please.
DOUGNEWMANATSEA – Oh, how I would love to sail on the QE2 before she goes and you and Mrs. Slocum are correct, it is a must do. I am going to look carefully at the dates and then I will see when I can visit or maybe even sail. You were correct with the Terraces in the Grove being on the Jubilee and yes it was “very green.” I am going to check again with PA007 about the name of the Jubilee now so we can clear this mystery up. Please let us know how the lunch on June 30 goes on the Carnival Victory. I have not been onboard her since 2000 but I have very fond memories of her. Congratulations on yet another great review and I truly hope that one day we will get you on a ship with me so you can write a review about our cruise together. Cheers mate.
LISA AND ELAINE – Yep, before you know it we will all be blogging together in January. You asked about Ocho Rios and what to do. I am planning a custom tour for that cruise specifically where I can come with you that will include Dunns River Falls, the stunning rain forest and some typical Jamaican food. Give me some time to put this together and I will make sure it is a special day for you both. Please keep reading the blog thingy and I will get back to you all soon. Start packing!
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF A TWAIN – Your “dream” cruise was brilliantly written and maybe one day that dream will come true. I especially like the idea of beautiful women carrying you off the gangway in a sedan chair. Mrs. Eiffel Tower has now gone into the memory banks and without her knowing it she made me and many others laugh so I thank her very much…………but hope she never reads this blog.
Interesting that you have considered doing a back-to-back cruise on the Fantasy. I did some checking and this is not very common so I guess that is why each cruise calls at Cozumel. As you really want to cruise the Mississippi twice, may I suggest you do and then let me tell you about some great things that Cozumel offers. You really need two days to do everything and I can tell you about some very special places that not too many people go to. This blog is a powerful tool as you say however we have not got to the point of being able to change a ship’s itinerary……………..not yet anyway.
Heidi had told me about AJ being the daughter of Jon Voight and quite frankly I am prepared to invite her entire family (which according to the press is growing everyday).
I will wait for another posting from you and let’s see if we can get you on that back-to-back Carnival Fantasy cruise. Cheers.
BOB – I want boxers that say……Welcome to Burger King……Home of the Whopper.
GIRLDOC – Sorry that your eyes hurt after reading the blog but happy to hear they made you smile and laugh. You need to see a doctor for those eyes………are you one? Thank you also for the kind comments about me and I am glad that we have sailed together a few times. Have a great time on the Carnival Destiny and, of course, please keep reading the blog thingy………………….and see a doctor……look in the mirror 🙂
BIG ED – Alan and Elton have a lot in common and it’s not that they are both amazing singers and performers whose music will span generations to come. Sounds like you are tired from reading all the Blogs mate. Did I understand that you are banned from the computer at weekends by Mrs. Big Ed? I thought you were the boss. Thank you for all you are doing with the photos, the site looks amazing.
HEIDI – BETH – Your kids will love wee Jimmy because he is still a kid at heart himself, all be it a big one! I will make sure that they get a trophy so please can you post their names and I will make sure a surprise is waiting for them. Thanks Heidi – Beth and the other Heidi sends her best to you as do I.
ESSEX MAN – I only know rude Essex girl jokes as obviously do you so I guess we will have to meet in person and join Alan for a drink at The Cliff Pub and swap jokes. Had a craving for a crumpet today. Hope all is well back home.
BOB POLAND – Thank you for the Pirates Of Penzance reference and I do appreciate so much your kind words about the blog. I never sit down with a plan when I write these and I end up just typing what has happened and any thoughts that may be swimming around my head. I am glad that I make you laugh and sorry that sometimes you find the stories sad but that is true life on the seven seas. Again, your support and gracious words are uplifting, many thanks mate.
BIG ED – The time-lapse idea has been done before and you are correct, it is brilliant to see. I am going to make sure that one is done for the Carnival Splendor and a video made available for all bloggers to view. As for booking spa and supper club on line, that is definitely in the works and until then I will be your on-line booking machine, so bloggers, let me know what you need and it will be booked via this blog thingy. More great photos on their way later this week. I see you are not answering the “are you coming on the bloggers cruise?” question. You now have every one as your personal servants to wash and clean for you so I await a positive response from you and Mrs. Big Ed.
ZSOLT JURAK – I am so disappointed that the DVD is not with you. As you mentioned that the post is terrible I will send another via DHL. You asked about if I will be in the Caribbean but I will not until the bloggers cruise in January. I appreciate so much the time you take to read the blog and we continue to wish Mum all the best. I will DHL another DVD to you ASAP. See you soon I hope.
GREG – You asked about booking transportation to the ship from Rome and if you want to do this I suggest you go to and click on shore excursions or simply just call carnival and we will arrange everything for you mate. I am sorry you are so concerned and amongst the horror stories that the bloggers have written are some positive ones as well but there is certainly a good feeling when allowing the largest cruise company in the world to arrange everything for you. Please let me know if I can help further.
DAVID FROM BARBADOS – I am glad you liked the photos of the ship in the yard, I have more that will follow on a later blog. Sorry about the typos it has been a very busy few days. This blog however will be free of mistakes. I wish I was on the beach in Barbados then you could spell check it for me MON. Take it easy and hope to hear from you very soon mon.
SHAR – How great to hear from somebody who sailed on the Mardi Gras back in the 1980’s. I am also very happy that you are enjoying the blog so much. You asked about currency exchange on the ship. We do have an exchange desk and we change dollars to euros and back again with a minimum of $50. Now, remember we are not a bank and, to be honest, the better rates of exchange are ashore. If you have an ATM card then use that from one of the hundreds of machines around the ports of call excluding those in Turkey. In Turkey shops and markets will accept the US dollar but not in Greece and Italy. I am sure your group will have a wonderful time and I am here should you need anything at all. Please keep reading the blog thingy and I will look out for your group if you tell me the group name.
KATHY HADOULIS – Congratulations on choosing a back-to-back cruise on Carnival Glory. You asked about changing cabins but if your agent has done this correctly you should not have to do this. I also see you are asking about the cost of this and again I suggest you call your travel agent who will assist you. I am sorry I cannot help you with pricing as that is a little out of my field of expertise…… is a very small field. I will however remain at your service should anything else be needed before you cruise. All the best.

Now, just before I finish Q & A, my mate Roger Blum has caught up with the blogs and has answered some of the questions I could not.

Here he is.

Hi John,

Sorry, I fell behind on answering some of your blog questions, but I just returned from a five-day cruise on the Fantasy (great cruise!). I realize your PA 007 answers quicker, but your PA must have a lot more free time than most of us.

Regarding adding the ship’s location to the web cam, we’re in touch with the software designer to see if it is possible. It’s certainly a good suggestion, so we’re trying.

Regarding sailing the Chilean fjords, this is one part of the globe that I have not sailed, but have always wanted to. I hope your PA is correct, and that one day Carnival will sail around South America. I would love to go!

Regarding changing shows, we continuously maintain and update shows throughout the fleet. Currently there is a show change taking place on the Fantasy. Recently we have made show changes on the Sensation, Fascination, Holiday, Ecstasy, Imagination, and Paradise. Later this year we will change the Inspiration, and next year we plan to make changes on the Triumph and Victory.

Regarding wildlife footage, we haven’t secured anything from the BBC, but we found another source of fantastic background video for the Seaside Theatres. It’s just going out to the ships this week.

Regarding the Scarecrow and Mrs. King, I have been onboard for quite a few movie and TV filmings, but I wasn’t aware of that one. In any case, here’s another trivia question for your readers – what TV mini-series was filmed on a Carnival ship that stared Telly Savalas, Shelly Winters, Stella Stevens, James Coco, Chad Everette, Louis Jourdan, and others?

Best regards,


As you know, Roger used to work onboard the ships as hotel director and it is a real shame that I don’t have any photos of him from way back then………oh………….hold on…………………………..I do !

Here they are – Roger is second from the right with the sexy moustache.

Roger is second from the right with the sexy moustache.

Here is a young Roger from the Mardi Gras taken in 1927

Here is a young Roger from the Mardi Gras taken in 1927

And on that note we end today’s Q & A.

So, a gentleman was taken very ill and thanks to the diligence of our medical staff he was well enough to be taken off the ship in a small Coast Guard cutter which came out to meet us. We had docked in Salerno and as usual a crowd of curious on lookers had lined the open decks to get a view. I can only imagine how that man must have felt being taken off on a stretcher looking up at hundreds of strangers taking photos and video shots of his misfortune. I realize that this is the age we live in but personally, I find it all a little upsetting. The good news is today, Wednesday that the guest has come through the emergency surgery they needed and is now in a special unit at a hospital somewhere in Italy. His wife is with him and as always on these occasions we are all thinking about him.

The entire operation took an hour with a deviation in our course. This means that at full speed we will arrive approximately 45 minutes late into Rhodes tomorrow. I told the guests this at the talk and everyone was fine about this except one couple who shouted “will we get compensation?” I knew better than to challenge them with 1,500 people in the room for my talk and I said I would speak to them afterwards. They did come to see me and said they felt it was unfair that their time in port should be shortened through no fault of their own. I said that surely 45 minutes was not too a higher price to pay to save someone’s life but this couple from Switzerland disagreed. Realizing I was never going to win this one, I thanked them for their comments and moved on.

So, time to say goodbye to the QE2. As I mentioned yesterday, PA 007 broke the news to me before anyone else had heard it and just as I was finishing the last blog. Therefore, I really did not have time to chat about it much. I have never sailed or even stepped foot on her and now I probably never will. She completed 800 transatlantic crossings and sailed round the world so many times. My memory of her though will always be of this beautiful and regal ocean liner carrying troops to battle during the Falklands Conflict. I remember military personnel lining the decks that are usually lined with the rich and famous there army boots replacing the high heels of the jet set and as they waved goodbye I thought that if you have to go to war, that’s the way to go. The QE2 served her country proud during those weeks of battle and brought most (but not all) of the same young men home to Southampton, her decks ablaze with Union Jack flags and proud but battle hardened men stretching to get a glimpse of her loved one. A few weeks, later she was back in service doing what she did best, taking people on a journey across the Atlantic in comfort and luxury that will forever remain in the memory of those who got to walk her decks.

I watched an interview on the news yesterday given by Cunard’s President and Managing Director Carol Marlow. She gave a great interview and spoke about how this was a great thing for the ship and indeed she is right. I am sure the people of Dubai will cherish the ship in a very special way. However, as she was talking I got the sense that she was a little sad to see the grand dame of the oceans leave. I am sure Carol will never see this blog but I hope she knows that the sadness that she did her best not to show is shared by many, who like all us bloggers will miss the QE2 very much.

Thank you all and another blog will be with you tomorrow

Your friends,

John and Heidi

Heidi's First Response to Comments

June 18, 2007 -

John Heald

LUV2CRUISE & JOHN FROM MOUNT HOLLY – Leona & John, of course I would come and say goodbye to you both. It’s always strange to leave before the cruise is really over, but it just worked out that way that I flew home from Pisa. Looking forward to seeing you on the Bloggers Cruise!

ROCHELLE – I have decided to write a blog each cruise as I need to be able to rectify John’s mistakes on the numbers concerning our marriage, etc…:)

He is definitely taking good care of me;I can’t wish for a more thoughtful and caring man than he is. I think you should cruise on the Carnival Splendor and before embarking in the UK spend some time in Holland. There are many direct flights to Amsterdam from the U.S. so that won’t be a problem. If you ever decide to visit Holland let me know and I will give you some tips of where to go and where not to go.

WENDY – Mum’s cooking is the best, especially now I can request what to have for dinner. When my brother and I were younger, we would eat what was on the table, she didn’t take requests then, so things change once you leave home. My brother is a good cook, as well, we both learned from my mum and when John and I are at home. Sometimes I will still call her in the middle of preparing dinner to ask her quickly how to do certain things; some things you just can’t learn from a cookbook. Thank you for your comments — it’s nice to hear from a “mom” from California.

HEIDI – BETH – Wow, what a beautiful name! I only have one name, not even a middle name. Always meant to ask my parents why that happened as my brother has three names — some things just aren’t fair…….I am sure you will enjoy your cruise on the Carnival Glory. John and I have very happy memories from that ship. It’s funny how you just remember more from one ship or the other. Let us know what it was like!

PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – Hello Sir. I feel like I have to call you Sir, with a name like that, wow!
There is as much hope of John slowing down as our desk ever being tidy or me not finding any underwear on the bathroom floor, so the answer to your question has to be no…. Ciao for now!

PAM – It seems like your brother has been around the world a bit and now, living in Hong Kong, he could be John’s sister’s neighbor. She moved there for work and her family is joining her in August. Austria is probably my favorite country in the world. I went there with mum, dad and brother from the moment I was born. Skiing and summer holidays, climbing mountains with my dad, me secured by him on a rope.

He was a great mountain climber. We would have backpacks on with our lunches in it, which always included a Milka chocolate bar and an orange drink in a plastic bottle in the shape of an orange. Wonderful memories! Looking forward to seeing you on the Bloggers Cruise and yes, you will get to meet Alan. He really is a sweetheart and takes a lot of abuse from John…..poor thing. The only time he really got his own back on John was at our wedding when he was John’s best man and he had “freedom of speech” in his best man’s speech. That time, John couldn’t get back at him as all the family and friends were present J

DOUGNEWMANATSEA – Hello Doug from Nieuw-Nederland! Thank you making the effort to send me a message in Dutch. It’s perfect, thank you. On the subject of Herring: Last week, the first fishing boat came in to the harbor with the first “Nieuwe Haring” (new herring), which is always a big moment. Celebrities in Holland all come together and then they auction of the first barrel of herring. Especially for you, here are some more facts:

The ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ (Dutch New) is the first herring that is caught in season, usually in May. As soon as the herring has a minimum of 16% fat, it may hit the market as ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’. But there are other demands. The herring must be gutted, ripened, salted and filleted in the traditional Dutch way. During gutting, the gills, intestines and throat of the herring are removed. The pancreas remains as it helps the herring ripen. Herring is caught nearly all year long, but not all herring can be called ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ or ‘maatjesharing’ (young herring).

I hope you get the opportunity soon to try this delicacy.

MARIJ VAN DINTER – Kijk er naar uit om jullie aan boord te mogen begroeten. Wel gezellig, zo’n stel Brabanders! Heb jij de Hollandse Nieuwe al geprobeerd? Wat is dat toch lekker zeg….Geen zorgen hoor over je Nederlands, zoek me maar op als jullie iets willen weten over de toers enz. enz. daar ben ik voor.

En ja, hij bedoelde saucijsengbroodjes, heeeeeerlijk! Alvast een goeie reis naar Rome! Haudoe he. (is dat goed??)

SHARONR – Hello Sharon, it’s indeed hard to slow John down, he doesn’t want to let anybody down by not responding to their comments, but I wonder how long he will be able to and still do his job on board and keep the guests on board entertained and informed. There are more and more comments each day…..Looking forward to meeting you on board.

LOOKINGFORWARDTOTHENEEARLYSMOKEFREE-CARNIVALFREEDOM – I am sorry I disappointed you by not reporting on the state of our cabin…I thought that by now all of our blogging friends realized that the state of our cabin will never be neat and tidy. It’s quite amazing how much mess he manages to make in such a small place. Picking up after him is a daily cardio workout for me, so the gym is not really necessaryJ  132 days now I think (I am writing this on June 18)

NUMBER12 – Hello number 12. If your dining sitting is at 6:30 pm, then you will enjoy your daily dinner in the Posh Dining Room, located in the aft of the ship on decks 3 and 4. I highly recommend the melting chocolate cake as a dessert (every night!)

R-D-C-ETTEDEBBIE – Nutella on a pancake/crepe is also very nice! Actually, just sticking your finger in the pot and licking the chocolate of your finger is good, too….

I was happy to share my saying goodbye idea with everybody. It’s the only way to do it when you say goodbye to someone you love. California is also on my list of “places I would still like to visit,” not just for the wine….Hope you enjoyed your camping trip.

KATHY KROLL – Hello Kathy and Paul. We didn’t get to have a cup of coffee together, but on the Carnival Splendor I will definitely make time for that, I promise.

Organizing 1,800 guests leaving the ship in various ports to go on tour is hard work, but always gives you a good feeling when once it’s done.

John is thrilled, but so am I. We might have been together for over 10 years, but we still act like we just met yesterday. I think if you can work and live together in such small surroundings, you are meant for each other. Coffee is on me on the Carnival Splendor!

SONJA BONISCH – Lieve Son, bedankt voor het lezen van onze blog. Zo blijf je tenminste bij van onze belevenissen nu we elkaar zo weinig zien. Dikke kus voor Daan!

Lieve groeten voor jou en Jan.

BLESS1045 – Thank you for the nice comments about my mum. My mum is turning 65 this year and I wish I had the same beautiful skin as her. Unfortunately I don’t…she looks really good for her age and I make sure I tell her every time I see her. I will write a blog once a cruise, so watch out for the next one, thank for reading all the blogs.

LINDA HERNACKI – Hello Linda & Handyman Mike. John and I both love children, so we hope to have a family sometime soon. My brother has three children and John’s sister has two, so we are used to little ones in the family. It seems that your children keep you busy as well, with all the grandchildren. I hope everything goes well with your daughter’s delivery, let me know if it is a boy or a girl and his or her name.

DRIEK & TIL – Ha die oom en tante. Ja, de foto’s waren goed gelukt, alleen jammer dat ik bij ome Taxi en ome Vleeshandel geen foto’s had gemaakt, want die zijn nu jaloers en daar word ik nu dus noooooit meer uitgenodigd…

Nou ja, de bunch en de heerlijke tong met warme vruchtjes heb ik in ieder geval “in de pocket.”  Tot schrijfs maar weer.

DEBBIE IN LOUISIANA – Hello Debbie. Welcome to John’s blog world. As for your question, on non-formal nights, a pair of slacks and a polo shirt is just fine; the first of the two formal nights is the most formal, as it’s the Captains Gala. You will be invited for the Captain’s Cocktail Party, then you go for dinner and after that you will be able to enjoy one of our wonderful shows on board. Make sure you come and say hello to us!

EVA – Your comment came through loud and clear. Maybe I might not be working on the Carnival Splendor, but believe me, I will be sailing a lot! So the chance of meeting each other is rather big. I hope we will meet, until then take care.

BARB & CARL THE BEARS – Hello Bear Friends. Thank you for all the candy we received from you both. I will make sure that Zuzana receives her candy tomorrow. You two are too sweet. Thank you for the nice comment about the photo on the blog heading. I never like the way I look on photos, but this one got my permission, could have been worse, John could have posted on of me in bed…:)

Goodbye to the Queen of the Seven Seas

June 18, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning……………….It is now 5:45am and I am here with Heidi preparing to start debarkation in Rome. The sun is already shining and it looks like it will be a beautiful day. I found it hard to get out of bed today and I feel quite tired. Heidi and I have now been working flat out since February 10th and I guess it is catching up on me today. So, as I stiffle a big yawn and in between disembarking the guests I will attempt to catch up on some questions and also have a bit of fun with you all as well.

Oh, by the way, talking of February which was when Heidi and I arrived in the shipyard, here are some photos that I thought you would enjoy. These photos are of the ship a few months before it was ready to sail and also some of the Cunard ship Queen Victoria which was being built alongside us. I have been wondering when to post these. But as you will see from below today is the perfect day.

Queen Victoria side by side with the Carnival Freedom The bulbous bow of the Queen Victoria Queen Victoria in dry dock
Carnival Freedom February 2007 Queen Victoria February 2007 Victoriana Lounge (Main Show Lounge) on the Carnival Freedom
Casino on the Carnival Freedom without the tables Promenade Deck of the Carnival Freedom under construction The disco dance floor
John’s favorite bar The Habana Cigar Bar Seaside Theatre without the big screen Slide wrapped up for the winter
Queen Victoria as seen from the Carnival Freedom The Gym….Allegedly The rope and mooring deck
One of the propeller shafts of the Queen Victoria And now both Carnival Freedom’s lifeboats delivered from Holland
A resting place for the seagulls Queen Victoria bow at night John and Heidi’s House
Queen Victoria on her way to sea trials Another ship under construction, don’t know which one

Last night the cast held a party backstage to say goodbye to Heather our Senior Entertainment Technician who is responsible for the backstage operations during the shows. Heather will be missed and as I know her family are blog readers I wanted to make sure they knew how proud they should be of her work here. We will miss her.

This morning, we are at our new terminal in Civitavecchia and things are going a little slower than usual but that is to be expected. I said goosbye to as many of the BLOGGERS as I vould but I missed some so I hope they got the messages I left on their voice mails. I enjoyed meeting you all and wish my job allowed me more time to spend with you and I hope you all continue to read the blog thingy until we meet again.

I spoke to my mate Alan yesterday who is loving all the attention he is getting on the blog. He and his family are sailing in August so I will make sure we take lots of photos of him in his Speedos. As we chatted yesterday Alan was give me a good ” bollocking ” which means he was not happy about me discussing with thousands of people that he used to have a van with The A Team Stripe down the side. I apologized and told him it could have been worse if I told everyone about the time he was coming home from an office party on the train……………..he asked me not to mention it, so I won’t……….for now.

Back on board we have been debarking guests for about 1 hour and 45 minutes ( shows you how long it has taken me to type the little I have ) and we have 1200 guests off the vessel.
I read stories all the time about private transportation that arrives late and some not at all. This is the case this morning with a group of 42 from a group called ………actually, maybe I should not mention the travel agency as they are a very large organization and I do not want to be sued. So, this group have been waiting outside on the pier since 6:30am, I know because they are right outside my window. I asked a staff member to go over and talk to them and they have people within the group with 9:45am flights. It is now 7:44am and if the bus does not come soon, I think they may have problems making the flight. The Group Leader is trying to call the bus company but from what I understand, she is having no joy.
The problem is that we don’t have spare buses for people just to hop on. All the buses we use have to pre ordered and therefore at this point there is little we can do. I hope the bus comes.
Now, some of you may be thinking that this is John’s way of telling us to buy Carnival transportation but honestly it is not. All I am saying is that the sort of thing that is happening to this group is common wheras the gentlemen who is charge of our transportation Perry is the king of his world and provides a 100% service.
So, please be careful and make sure you research the company you are using. Most are excellent, some definatley are not………………..the bus is still not here.

Heidi just called me on the radio and said the group leader is now really desperate. We are all trying to get hold of the bus company she has used ( I would love to publish the name but I cannot ) but we are getting a voice mail message.

On a lighter note and just before I start the Q and A, I wanted to let you know about a guest who last night did something that is common place. She packed all her clothes, put her suitcase outside the door as required and woke up this morning ……………with nothing to wear except her nightdress. Now, you would have expected her to call someone to help her but she decided to walk ashore with her husband who also had nothing to wear except what he slept in wearing bathrobes.
Guests walking of in bathrobes have no place to hide and they might as well hang a big sign round their necks saying ” we left nothing out to wear, please laugh at us “………………………and everyone did. Heidi escorted them off the vessel and I asked if I could mention them in the blog – they had no idea what I was talking about but they were happy to share their embaressment if it would help others and as heidi gave them the blog page adress thingy, I know they are reading this.

Therefore, good morning to Mr and Mrs Margret and Harold Chambers who are home now and had to change into their clothes in the terminal bathrobes. Harold was apprently dressed only in the bathrobe when he disembarked but got through customs because he had NOTHING TO DECLARE. Thanks to you both for adding to this fun cruise.

Just received a care package from Carl and Barb, my favorite Bears. I received some sugar free chocolates, Heidi got some starburst and most importantly I got a matchbox DB7 car. Thank you so much for your generosity, I am truly touched by this. I also got 11 other letters from bloggers and past cruisers so I guess slapping on my address was a good idea. I will reply to you all via the blog ASAP, but thank you so much.

Here is today’s trivia question.

Ok, its off we go with today’s Q and A.

JO MYERLY – Yes Jo, the Eiffel Tower lady was indeed a trip but she unfortunatley blamed me saying that I had called it this and spoke about it during my Cannes Travel Talk. I apologized and said I was sorry if I had mislead her…………….sometimes it is better to admit defeat before the battle starts. I hope she enjyed her trip to the Leaning Tower Of Eiffel, we all make mistakes, it is what makes the world so much fun, wouldn’t it be boring if everything was perfect all the time?
Hope you are well Jo and talk to you soon.
ROCHELLE – That is very interesting. So RCCL had saved all the clothes that people leave behind for guests with missing luggage. I am not sure our guests leave too much behind but it certainly it is a good idea. I am going to make a call to the Pursers and Houskepping now and see how many items are left.
Ok, we do have some items but not enough to start handing out clothes to guests with missing luggage. However, I think it is a good idea and maybe we can pool our resources from around the fleet. Thank you Rochelle and I will let you know how this goes. Hope you keep reading the blog thingy and all the best.
HEIDI – BETH – I am glad you like the blog so much and Heidi really likes your name. There is as you have seen always something going on here that will make you smile or sometimes laugh out loud. Then, there are situations that make you ver sad indeed………………..thats life on a cruise ship.
The best thing about your comment was that you mentioned Aston Martin and asked if there is room on the ship to drive one……………..yes – round the jogging track although that might be difficult because I have never been able to find the jogging track.
I am sure you are excited about your Carnival Glory trip and if I can help in anyway before hand please let me know.
BOB HICKLY – And of course I rember you and your group, how could I not as you and the entire group were so much fun, all the time. You must be exhausted. I am happy to hear that you are cruising with me in April next year and I hopw we can have just as much fun as we did a few weeks ago. Please say hello to all the family from Heidi and I and don’t worry about my Alabama friend, it is people like her that brighten my day. Missing you all here very much. Yaba Daba Doo.
STORMIN NORMAN – I had heard about Lorraine Artz the passenger who was Godmother of the Royal Princess from PA 007. Apparently she did a great job and PA 007 reported that Mrs Artz was resplendent in a beautiful dress by top designer T.A. Too ( Honk Kong’s top designer ) and as she stood a breast of the vessel the bottle smashed first time which is the main thing. Congratulatioons to princess and congratulations to Lorraine who must be so proud. She has spent as you said 4,100 days at sea and to thank her Princess gave her this honour……..and as a special gift………………….they gave her a free cruise!
Hope all is well Norman and Ausie, Ausie, Ausie.
DOUGNEWMANATSEA – The sun story is brilliant and proves yest again that the tourist is the best source of comedy in the world. I will pass your thaks to PA 007 who does indeed have some great sources but I am concerned that soon PA’s boss – M – will indeed that instead of doing what PA is supposed to time is being spent in clandestine operations for me. I have this image of PA turning up for work back in Miami in the corner cubicle wearing all black and a black balaclava.
I am sorry you cannot open any of the Grand Turk photos but thank you for correcting me on the name of the Holland America ship. I was told by the chap that took them that it vws the Prinsendam but after research you are correct that it is indeed The Oosterdam.
I would love to sail on a Holland America ship and you are correct Mr Arison did buy them first and even though some people were concerned that Carnival would change the lines tradition and style all Mr Arison did was make sure they were elevated into a postion of strength thanks to marketing and of course providing them with new vessels in which to keep those traditions front and center at least that is what I think but when the decision was made to buy Holland America I could not attend the board meeting as I was having my hemeroids seen to, otherwise I would have been there.
When are you on the Carnival Victory? Hope to hear from you soon and if you have any more missions for PA 007 – let me know.
JERRY CALVERT – Thanks for the comments and Carnival is as you say working very hard to make sure that the piers in Cozumel are indeed rebuilt after the dreadufl hurricane damage they endured. With regard to your TransAtlantic information, can you be a liitle more specific on what details you need help with and I will be more than happy to make sure you get the right information. Looking forward to hearing from you.
ESSEXMAN – You forgot Pater Pans Playground and Alan’s favorite Leigh Tip. Your three serious suggestions are spot on especialy Colchester being the oldest town in England. Sometimes we take the micky out of Essex but it is a beautiful county. Heidi sends her best to you and asks if you know any Essex Girl Jokes?
HIJEAN – If you were here, I would kiss you ( on the cheek ) and then have you tel;l this story on stage tonight. I am sure that when we sail that we will have people with missing luggage and maybe your comments will reasure them that our onboard staff will do their best to make sure the airlines work hard to get the missing bags here. I am going to forward your comments to the Pursers to let them know that their efforts are appreciated. I hope things improve in the airline industry and with the ever increasing costs, smaller seats, long lines, extra security and the chance of arriving with no bags, those little bags of peanuts they give us should be little bags of lobsters and caviar.
So, thank you for this and all the support you give the blog thingy.
R – D- C-ETTE DEBBIE – The weather this cruise was much better apart from the rough seas in Cannes so the guests were very lucky. I have no idea how I will manage without Heidi next year on the Carnival Splendor. She will obviously visit me as much as possible and we will see how it goes. Thank you for thinking of me and Heidi and your kind thoughts help me get through the busy day ahead.
JUDY MICHAELS – It is a small world is it not that just at the start of this blog I was typing how a group had booked a bus to pick them up and that it was nearley two hours late, and then I read your comments. I am sorry that you went through the misery of being stung for $186 dollars when your transport did not arrive and hopefully people will indeed be wary of the perils of private transportation here in Italy and indeed other destinations.
I am so glad you enjoyed the cruise and I thank you and your family for spending your valuable time on the vessel with us and I hope the overall memory will be one of fun and great exploration rather than the issues we just discussed. Until the next time, please keep reading the blog thingy.
LINDA HERNACKI – As always Linda your comments brighten my day. Thursdays indeed may not be enough and I am looking at the possible adition of Monday afternoons as well, I will keep you posted.
When you said that the bloggers were extended family for Heidi and I ayou are indeed correct and I am sure that whatever happens in our lives we will be sharing it all, the good and the bad with you all. Best to you and Mike the Head Of Bulb Exchange.
Essexman – Smart man !
THERESA TAYLOR – Larry would not take my call. Oh well, there will be other oppertunities to make AJ see that this is one chance she should take to be by my side……………………and of course to be Godmother of the CS. With your support and others on this blog I will not give up the Quest For The Holy Jolie.
Hope to see you soon Theresa.
VIKKI – Look for Heidi’s next blog which is due soon and she will be telling you all about the joys of Herring. Personaly, I like my fish to come in newspaper and accomponied by chips and not with the head still on and a pair of eyes staring at me saying ” you bas%$#@ ” for eating me.
Where is Mat?
FREDDY BEACH – Great Name. October will be here before you know it and yes, you are considering a great tour and one I love…………Mount Etna at 2900.
Up you go to the bottom crater by bus, then its all on a cable car and from there the 20 minute ride to the top. Once there you get in a Unimog 4 wheel drive truck and down into the top crater you go. You will need a coat, there will be snow on the ground and all I can say is WOW…………..this is an amazing indescribable place. There you will be, standing atop a live volcanoe……………………..incomparable.
So Freedy, book it now because this is one tour that does indeed always sell out.Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
JAMES NOLAN – Good Morning Iraq. This is indeed an honour ( spelt correctly ) to have you grace our website from where you are. How fantastic that you enjoyed your cruise so much, it feels like you were just here and now you are back serving your country. We all salute you kames and hope you stay safe. Please let us know when you can how you are doing.
SEWINGNUT – How is my wollen G String coming along. Crossfire was a game………… know what, Mum, please can you take a photo of my crossfire game please………………….one will be here on the next blog. Until then, get sewing, winter will soon be here and I refuse to wear these boxer shorts as heidi wants. It is always great to hear from you.
QE2 To Leave Cunard Fleet And Be Sold To Dubai World To Begin A New Life At The Palm
June 18, 2007
Cunard Line today announced the sale of QE2 to Dubai World, in a US$100 million deal which will turn the iconic liner into a first-class tourism destination at The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.
QE2 will be delivered to Dubai World in November 2008, where she will cease her role as an ocean-going passenger vessel and be refurbished and adapted for her new home. From 2009, the vessel will be berthed at a specially-constructed pier to create a luxury floating hotel, retail and entertainment destination at The Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest man-made island.
The ship, which was launched by Her Majesty The Queen in September 1967, 40 years ago this year, is the longest-serving ship in Cunard’s 168-year history, and was their longest-serving flagship. Since she came into service in 1969, she has undertaken 25 world cruises, has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and has carried more than 2.5 million passengers.
QE2 has been purchased by Istithmar, the investment arm of Dubai World, a wholly owned company of the Government of Dubai. Nakheel, developer of The Palm Jumeirah, is also a Dubai World company
Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard, said:”We are delighted that when her legendary career as an ocean liner ends there will continue to be a permanent home for her that will enable future generations to continue to experience fully both the ship and her history.”
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, said:
“QE2 is without a doubt one of the wonders of the maritime world, and is easily the most famous serving liner in the world today. I am delighted we will be able to create a home for her on the newest wonder of the world, The Palm Jumeirah.”
“QE2 at The Palm Jumeirah will become one of the must-see experiences of Dubai and of the Middle East. We are investing in creating a truly global tourism destination.”
“Dubai is a maritime nation and we understand the rich heritage of QE2. She is coming to a home where she will be cherished.”
Istithmar said its refurbishment programme will aim to recreate QE2’s original interior décor and fittings. QE2 at The Palm Jumeirah will also include a museum celebrating the rich history of the ship.

So, now you know why I decided to print the photos of the Queen Victoria being constructed in the Marghera Ship Yard outside of Venice.
As one grand old Queen leaves us another takes her place. So it is goodbye to probably the most famous Cruise Ship in the world ( still afloat ) and hello to a new addition and one who I am sure will take her place with regal dignaty beside her fellow royal The Queen Mary 2.

I wonder if there will be a third Queen soon. I obviously have no way of knowing but I am sure the brilliant minds at Carnival Coperation are already thinking of adding a third Queen to the fleet of this famous line………………………….I wonder what Queen she will be named after…………………….Maybe Queen Elizabeth 3, how about Queen Vamilla…………..oh no, forget that ……………………………what other Queens…………………………………….ah yes……………………………perfect………………………..Queen Elton John………………………….he can be the Godmother as well.

I have to go and do some proper work now and host my Welcome Aboard Talk…………………….wish you were here.

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.