Run Away

June 4, 2007 -

John Heald

The weather is up and down like an elevator this cruise. Today, at sea out of nowhere came 50-knot winds resulting in 14° C (57° F) temperatures and a Mediterranean Sea that looked as mad as a Chinese lady with no mah jong game.

 The sea is a little rough today. The sea is a little rough today. The sea is a little rough today.

The photo of the container ship is brilliant; it is also heading to Barcelona. I hope it’s carrying Aston Martin’s and one accidentally falls off.

Most guests are indoors enjoying the extra activities and shows and I am sure there are some are feeling the effects of the seas but hopefully not too many. 

It is now 7 pm and I just had to cancel the TICKET TO RIDE SHOW because of the rough weather. It is really hard for the dancers to perform in a ship that is moving up and down and side to side plus from a safety point of view it can be dangerous and possibly career-ending should an incident occur.

In the shows place I am playing movies in the main theatre including The Da Vinci Code and the new James Bond movie. I will also be hosting a spicy version of the Newlywed game and as the evening progresses we will add more events as and when needed.

I also added an extra afternoon show on the televisions as many people were in their cabins anyway. I had 44 dedication letters to read out plus I took loads of phone calls and it was, as always, a lot of fun.

One man I who called into the show, a Mr. Norman Oates told me that in 1976 he was onboard a Costa (Sitmar) ship and the weather was so rough he got violently ill and as he was being sick, he got LOCKJAW AS WELL…………………just what you want to hear when you feel ill. I am sure the many viewers felt much better after hearing that unfortunate story. What a visual.

We will now perform our Ticket to Ride Show tomorrow night and move tomorrow’s show to the last night of the cruise. I just called Ken the Maitre d tells me that 70 percent of the dining room have not shown up for the early sitting dinners…………………….I am not surprised as the Captain told me the wind speed was up to 50 knots this afternoon and we are at full speed to get to Barcelona on time.  Whenever the ship rocks like this, which is very rare in Europe), I always feel sorry for the older people who may already have walking difficulties. I hope they are all OK.

Then you have the people who have been drinking all night who just walk in a straight line  🙂

I will continue this later as I need to have a walk around and check out the lounges etc. Back soon.

OK, I’m back. The ship is very quiet even though things have calmed down a little bit. Second sitting is quiet — a five-course dinner is not at the top of everyone’s list of things to do at the moment. I will have a wander around the lounges in a moment and then have some fun on stage. I hope some people come along to watch.

I have time for a bit of Q & A

LINDA AND GEORGE – How has the weather been in Rome? I am sure regardless you are enjoying the enchanted city and the sights that make it so special. Please let me know if you need my help arranging your group photo, just drop me a note in at the purser information desk when you get onboard. It is still very rough seas here so I hope things calm down soon. I look forward to seeing you on June 6. Until then, have a great time in Rome.
NANNETTEALI – We could do with some Puerto Rican sunshine but even more we could do with some flat-as-a-pancake seas. It is interesting that you enjoy the freestyle dining. I think though once you meet your tablemates and your wonderful dining room servers you will want to eat in the dining room as often as you can. Remember though that you can eat on Lido deck and at our incomparable supper club so you have a lot of dining choices. Don’t worry about missing the blog while you are onboard because we will have some real life experiences to share together. See you in a few days. Buenos Knotches mia amigo.
JO MYERLY – I have changed my mind about the rain dance instead I will be sacrificing my body to Poseidon, the God of the Seas. This will involve me dancing with a large feather and pouring hot chocolate fudge over myself. At this point and for the sake of the guests I would do anything to get the seas calmer. Once again another great example here of “opinions” with your love of the Carnival style of dining. Remember bloggers, you can always have a look at the menu of the day which is always posted outside of the dining room so you can see what is for dinner and if you prefer having seen it you can enjoy some casual dining on Lido. You must try our Mongolian Wok which is open for lunch and dinner. The comment you made about making friends at dinner is a massive part of the overall fun factor that can only be found on a cruise. I hope you meet some great new friends on your next cruise. Thanks again Jo and see you soon.
KERSPLOTT – I remember those two young men, Roman and Christian, so very well. How funny that the two kids I choose on stage were those two, it was the first time the Romans and Christians had been friends for centuries. I see that you are another big fan of our dining system. Again, it seems the “meeting new friends” aspect is the main reason that people love it so very much. The calendar will tick over fast now and before you know it the Carnival Splendor will be ready and waiting for you and of course you can come round for tea and crumpets first at our house. You will be most welcome. 406 days and counting.
CATHY NYC – That is the worse thing about a vacation. As soon as we get back to our normal everyday living it can feel an eternity away as you say is how you are feeling. It is hard to keep your cool sometimes but I have learned over the years that complaints — no matter how unbelievable they may be — are never personal and I always challenge myself to try and turn a complaint around and get the complainer to enjoy their vacation. This normally is not that difficult but with my friend from the East I think I have met my match and as you will see later in this blog thingy I am about to raise the white flag and surrender. You asked about sending me a photo, just add it to the comment reply and it will be sent to me. I hope that in the busy days to come and especially if you are having a bad day you can recall some of the fun and laughter we shared on the Carnival Freedom and that these memories will get you through the slings and arrows of the day. All the best.
KICIASKI – I will be arranging a bloggers get together for half way into the cruise so we will definitely have a chance to meet.
SHERIFF ROSCO.P COLTRANE – Does that make me Boss Hog? I did not know about the anniversary of the Normandy Landings; I will be sure to mention this so please could you remind me once you are onboard in case I forget. As a police officer I know the stress that you go through each and every day so I will do my best to dismiss some of that stress through laughter and fun during your cruise. Please also leave me a nice note about your wife so we can dedicate her birthday, belated as it may be. To answer your question, the only port we tender into is Cannes. It is a very quick and organized system though and we will have all the guests ashore very quickly. I look forward to seeing you in a few days. Have a safe trip.
HOTLANTA – I love the reference to southern hospitality when talking about our dining room servers. There is certainly is a benefit to having them know exactly what you like and do not rather than having to tell a different server every evening. Thanks for all your comments which I always enjoy reading, keep them coming please. 
CINDY BRUCE – Two peas in a pod …………I guess we are destined to be friends then. Seriously, I do want this blog to be exactly as you described it, “AN OPEN BOOK.” The moment that stops the blog itself will stop. I never wanted this to be just about “come and cruise” but also about life, fun, and the good and the bad of every day life here on the ocean. I hope you will keep reading and hope to see you soon. Only five more days to Thursday!
KATHY KROLL – I know how you feel about flying economy. Hopefully one day Carnival will treat me to first class. I hate the look I get as I walk down the aisle of the plane as people think, “don’t put him next to me.” I also think some people look at me and think if we crash I could use him as a flotation device!  Thanks for taking photos of the Morning Show and sorry you froze it off taking them  🙂 See you in 406 days.
INGRID Z – Another check in the plus column for our dining style here at Carnival. It is very interesting reading everyone’s opinions. I am now the world’s expert in mah jong and I look forward to getting our games delivered to the vessel so I can challenge the entire ship to a game. Not long now and you and the graduate girl will be here sharing in what will be a wonderful vacation adventure.
GARY MATTOX – And so you shall meet other bloggers.  It seems that the June 6 voyage will be a mini-bloggers cruise. Please leave me a note at the purser information desk sometime so we can chat. Have a safe flight here and get ready for a wonderful time.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – The stapler is heading in your direction, DUCK. I have not mentioned the 24-hour pizzeria much but you are correct that it is another great place to meet new friends late at night over slice of pepperoni and you must try the calzone. It won’t be long before the key is in the wardrobe again! DUCK
CARL AND BARB THE BIG CUDDLY TEDDY BEAR – An Aston Martin DB7 just for me……………..:)    You really are too kind and I am humbled by the fact that you have taken the time to send this package to Heidi and I. I will take a photo of it as soon as it gets here and post it on the blog thingy. I am in your debt and you have our eternal thanks.

OK, TIME TO GO AND HOST THE NEWLYWED GAME……BACK SOON. 

OK, I am back……………..I had 200 people there and although it was a small and tired crowd it went well and we had a good time …except for the poor man who ….well…….ummmmm……was ………not well in the fifth row…………….sawdust is a marvelous thing.

I also made a big mistake in yesterday’s blog thingy when I said the new P&O ship the VENTURA will be sailing from spring 2009. It will of course be sailing in spring 2008…………..thanks to my PA for pointing out my mistake……..still, that’s what I pay him/her for!
Back to the Q & A

SUE GROHOL – Sue, what a great story. Happy kids equal happy parents and that is not just achieved by putting the kids in Camp Carnival but as you mentioned enjoying as a family the dining times together. This especially applies when you had a waiter like you did in Milhay. See you in five months when new memories will be created.
ROCHELLE – I promise not to tell your boss that you are reading the blog thingy instead of working. If he tells you off let me know and I will send BIG ED round to make him an offer he can’t refuse. It seems that you and your sister have indeed found the perfect formula for dining and it is great to see that sisters like you respect each others wishes. If you are suffering from CWS now may I recommend the Bloggers Cruise as a remedy? I also hope that Heidi and I get to see you and your sister soon and until then keep reading the blog and tell your boss to do the same  🙂
SOUTHERNDREAMS – It may only be four minutes but it’s a ride on the most comfortable vehicle in town. I may not be an Aston martin but I can go from zero – 60 in four minutes. OK, I think I just crossed that fine line I was talking about. As for my Chinese friend, more to follow in a minute. My best to you and His Royal Highness, The Prince of Charles.
BOB – Brilliant posting and a great advert for both CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES AND PRINCESS CRUISE LINES AS WELL. Life is all about choices and here in your posting you have given reasons to try both and then make your own mind up. Personal choice is what life is all about and as long as you decide for yourself and not through what others say then you will be happy. I am sure that executives from princess and carnival who read this will be happy that the winner is…………..CRUISING……………..THE BEST VACATION EXPERIENCE IN THE WORLD. 
LISA – The largest table we have is a table for 10. Please go to the Chic dining room as soon as you board and tell the maitre’d what you would like and I am sure we can accommodate two tables close together for you. Let me know if I can help further and enjoy your special reunion cruise. See you in a few days.
I & MsMOM – You asked how I find the time to do slap on so many blogs. I admit it is trying. It is now 12:15 am and my eyes are beginning to burn plus I have a 7 am start tomorrow upon our arrival in Barcelona. The reason I keep going is simple. I know from everyone’s comments that it means a lot to so many people and therefore I feel that I must keep going. The Carnival Splendor will be a super experience and the Baltic has qualities and charms second to none. See you in 441 days and please keep reading until then.
BETSY- Welcome to the blog and what a wonderful time you had on the Carnival Glory. Wee Jimmy, the cruise director, is a star now and one day will be Carnival’s best. He and I are great friends even though he is ugly and smells of old socks. Here is his address if you want to get ion touch with him as you requested.
RALPH “WEE JIMMY” VALENTE
CRUISE DIRECTOR – M/S CARNIVAL GLORY
C/O CHRIS PRIDEAUX – DIRECTOR OF ENTERTAINMENT
3665, N.W. 87TH AVENUE
MIAMI, FLORIDA 33178
Thank you so much for your so very kind words about the blog and I am glad you get to share in the laughter with us all. Long may it continue.
LOOKINGFORWARDTOTHENEARLEYSMOKEFREECARNIVALFREEDOMTRANSATLANTICCRUISE– I have added more words to your title as you can see. Glad you are out of the doghouse and maybe you can share a Thursday night experience with me….well, not, with me but with the Mrs. No mah jong set yet and I wish this was a Candid Camera moment but I have a feeling the only program I will be on will be China’s Most Wanted! In reference to another posting you made, she certainly does not love me anymore.
ANDY AND STEPHANIE M – You chose a great time to ask a question about motion sickness. Normally I would say that the Mediterranean is as flat as a can of Diet Coke that has been opened for a week. However, tonight we are rocking and rolling more than I can ever remember in the three seasons we have been sailing here. However, this is a very strange and unique anomaly, that’s not how you spell it, I mean anomaly, that’s not right either. It’s a strange thing – that’s better. When you get here I make sure you will have no problems and the Deck 10 cabin will not cause you any concerns and the views are amazing. I am glad you are blog fans and as you are sailing in a few days I hope you will and I will become friends. See you soon.
CINDY 56 – I can assure you that as my mah jong friend prodded me with her finger I was thinking that I wished I had a camera so I could post a photo of this. The problem was she was so tiny that her probing finger only just reached my stomach. In fact, if she had been just three inches smaller we would have become REALLY GOOD FRIENDS! You asked about the pronunciation of my last name. It is pronounced HEALD………OK, THAT WAS OF NO HELP……LET’S TRY “HE-ALD.” It’s Old Saxon English and means “man who should drive Aston martin and bathe naked with woman called Angelina.” I have let my parents down by not living up to my family name. Can anyone help? I hope to see you in March and please keep reading until then.
KATHIE – I am saying a prayer to the God Of Lost Luggage SAM SONITE that yours arrives safe and sound to the ship. Euros are indeed “pretty” but the weak dollar I am sorry to say they will not stay pretty for very long. Try changing the dollar to sterling………..OUCH. Now, you asked about lobster night. This is on the third day of the cruise, the first sea day which is formal night. Also, lobster is available every night in the supper club. You mentioned that some of your Cruise Critic friends may want to sit together in the dining room. Try and gather the cabin numbers together and go and see the Maitre’ D in the Chic dining room during embarkation and he will do his best to accommodate you. Thank you for bringing the sugar-free chocolate.  I am already licking my lips in appreciation and anticipation. NOW, WHAT ARE GRITS? See you soon and have a safe flight.
SHEREE – Let’s chat about your post cruise tours and hotel when you get here. I can tell you that you will be at your hotel by 10 am on the day you disembark. I will work everything out for you. Please leave me a note when you board and if you have a mah jong set that’s you can spare I would gladly swap it for chocolate-covered strawberries. See you in July and please let me know if I can help further.
EBBIE – Get ready, the fun is just around the corner. Have a safe trip.
MARIANNE – What are your friends names, let me know and I will send them something from you. Glad you are enjoying the blog. Write soon.
JIMNI – Our TRANSATLANTIC cruises do indeed have ballroom dance instructors as well as bridge Instructors, arts and crafts lessons and, of course, the usual fun mix of activities, shows and events. I will be on the April crossing and it will be a memorable 14 days. See you soon.
SUSAN B – Maddy is on my mind all the time. I hope that someone has her, maybe someone who does not have a child of their own and therefore at least she is being cared for. Somebody must have or will see her so I hope that the public continue to keep her image in their mind; it may be the only way she is reunited with her Mum and Dad. There is more coming soon about “The Great wall Of China” and thank you so much for the comments about the shows. I am indeed so proud to be associated with such quality performances. My best to you and your family.
STACY – I see that during your time with Disney you came across your own share of “Mrs. Mah Jongs.” They are priceless are they not? I remember the inaugural season of the Carnival Triumph with much fondness and your compliments toward me are received with a certain amount of blushing. The next time I will be in the Caribbean will be on the Carnival Freedom in January. Will I see you then? Congratulations on booking the Carnival Splendor. You and your family will not be disappointed. Thanks for sharing your stories with us all and I hope you are enjoying the blog.
THAIS AND FABIAN – I will try typing in perfect Dutch. Harslecher bedankt fur das Mahjong Game. Ich bin zo blei. Ich will jai gaseen staraks und noo ich will poopa. Doeeeeeeeeeeee.
ROBERT SCHNEIDER – Anytime mate, after so many cruises you deserve all the accolades I can give you and Suzanne.
NATE’S MOM – I have a feeling you are right and I may be inundated with mah jong games. Right now I would settle for one, but I think it may be too late as you are about to read. Has Nate called you recently?
CRAIG NELSON – Good questions, let me answer them for you.
1. Wi-Fi ………The ship is completely Wi-Fi friendly and you can use it throughout the vessel except in my bathroom which for some reason cause the computer to get a virus.
2. Temperature in Turkey and Greece are going to be around 70 – 85 degrees and therefore summer clothes are a must. However, a light water proof jacket is also advisable.
3. At the time of writing no cruise line has canceled any stops in Izmir or Istanbul. We are continuing to monitor the situation which at this moment is calm and normal and we do not expect any further concerns. Therefore get ready to witness two incredible and unique ports.
See you soon mate.
KELLIE O’LEARY – no need to apologize about celebrating only 500 days until your cruise. I hope you have a party at 400, 300, 200, 100 and 50. The crossing is a wonderful experience and I am sure the Irish in you will find reasons to celebrate each and every day of the cruise. You asked about the weather on a crossing. This can always be a little unpredictable but the seas have always been calm on the three crossings I have done and the sun shines with temperatures around 55 degrees during the day. Let’s hope you bring the luck of the Irish with you and it we have great weather. See you in 499 days.
MJS – Many thanks for your posting and I am glad to be of service. It sounds like you enjoyed your Holland America cruise on the most part. They have an amazing tradition in the industry and I always hear wonderful things about their ships. I see that you are looking for your next cruise and mentioned 2009. At the moment I have know new information on any new itineraries but as soon as I do I will let you know hot off the press. As for my favorites, I have many and I think we should try and be a little more specific before I suggest a ship. Therefore, please see below my top three favorite areas to cruise and then you let me know which one you would like more information on.
1. EUROPE
2. WESTERN CARIBBEAN
3. ALASKA
Three very different but exciting places to cruise.
All the things you enjoyed on Holland America you will find on one of our ships and with no disrespect and using your own quote, I do not think you will find Carnival’s shows “cheesy,” as you mentioned. It sounds to me like a Spirit-class ship may be for you but first, let me know what areas of the world you would like to cruise to and then we will go from there. Hope to hear from you soon.

Another Q & A is complete.
CONGRATULATIONS BY THE WAY, WE NOW HAVE RECORDED OVER 300,000 HIT THINGS AND ONCE AGAIN WE WERE IN THE TOP 20 OF BLOG THINGIES OUT OF 1, 110,000 ( yep over 1 million ). The number one blog is PET’S DOING STUPID TRICKS……………..still at least we beat some famous people and we are THE MOST POPULAR CRUISE LINE BLOG IN THE WORLD,  but I don’t think I can ever be as popular as a cocker spaniel on a skateboard !
Also, for any Brits reading this blog and following on from the “it’s difficult to get a brochure ” conversation I have spoken to Lynn in the UK office and she has asked me to post this website which will help all of you find the right information — www.carnivalcruise.co.uk
Here’s also the telephone number to order brochures: + 44 870 7270448

Also, here is a cutting from today’s Sunday newspapers which gives specific information on the Carnival Splendor.

 Carnival Splendor UK Ad
Talking of the Carnival Splendor, here is a photo of its bow section in the Italian shipyard.

 Carnival Splendor
 
 

I hope they have remembered the Jacuzzi and the Lazy Boy for my cabin this time.
Ok, here is the last chapter in the story of my Chinese friend who now seems to have fitted a GPS tracking device to me as she seems to be able to find me wherever I am. Tonight, I walked out on stage to host my late night Newlywed Game and there she was, waiting at the bottom of the steps. Now, when you walk from behind the curtain your mind is set only on the show you are about to do and your opening lines are always the ones that set the tone for the show. So, Mrs. Knee High was the last thing on my mind as I walked onto stage but there she was, standing by the foot of the stage chairs and I new from her face that she was not about to start singing If You Are Happy and You Know It. I had an experience like this last year when I walked out on stage to find a man asking for free photos but that’s another story.
So, the moment I walked out, there she was and she started to walk up the steps onto the stage. I excused myself over the microphone and went down the steps and met her halfway……..and then, she hugged me and said, never mind the Mahjong or the seat saving and that I was a wonderful, kind and slightly sexy man.
That of course is as we say where I come from ” a load of old bollo^%$ ”
She started her finger pointing again and said that her group of friends had all been seasick and she wanted compensation, or as she put it “money for sick day.” I said I would talk to her after the show and I think she would have still been there now if not for the booing and sit down shouts she received from the guests waiting for the show to start. She sat down on the front row, muttering words in Chinese which probably had something to do with me being part of the devil’s antimony.
So, I did the show and then I did something shameless. I said goodnight, the audience applauded and then…………………….I ran away……………..yep…………for the first ever time, I ran like a scared rabbit………….through the curtain…………up three flights of stairs……….into my cabin……………locked the door…………….and hid like a child watching a monster movie……………in this case GODZILLA.
I am ashamed of myself but for my own sanity and to stop my stomach being probed by that long fingernail I ran away from Mrs. Knee High.
I expected her to go to the purser information desk but it is now 1 am and, as of yet, nothing.
I am sure she will find me again tomorrow and I think I am ready to face the anger that is Mrs. Knee High head on. I am brave, resolute and as though I walk through the valley of death I shall fear no evil!……………………………….probably though, I shall run away again.
It’s very late
Time for bed
Goodnight
Your Friends
John, Heidi and Mrs. Knee High

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.