A Good Day

July 31, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Afternoon.I have finally found time to sit and do a little blogging after a busy day with the morning show, travel talk, marriage show etc etc. I also just finished an on camera interview about the blog and the Carnival Freedom’s venture into the Mediterranean for an NBC station in Miami (Channel 6, I think ). We filmed it outside on the open decks and it was wonderful, me standing there in my woolen blazer, shirt and tie while the 92 degree sun turned me into a big blob of sweat…………oh well, anything for the Public Relations Department. If anyone is from Miami and you see the interview, please let me know how it looks.

So, the good news…………..not one comment about the tender and shuttle service in Dubrovnik yesterday……………….not one, and that has made me very happy. We all worked hard to make it as easy as possible for the guests to get ashore in this beautiful port and compared to the last time there was a massive improvement. Now, if I could only do the same with Venice.

However, amongst all the back-slapping about yesterdays triumph, an old and ugly monster raised its head…………..here it is……………I don’t mean the guest is an old and ugly monster, I mean the problem is………..as you will see.

2293 – Too many deck chairs are reservedMrs. Hoffman came to the Purser’s Desk expressing her disappointment with the fact that she could not use the deck chairs. She said that she had an injury to her leg and all that she wanted was to have a seat on the deck chair and have her lunch yesterday but all the beach chairs had some stuff like towels and clothes on them but there were no guests around. Finally, when she found a beach chair with nothing on it, she was told by a gentleman sitting on the next chair that ‘his friend is coming soon so she will have to get off the chair when he comes back from lunch. Mrs. Hoffman said that this was not acceptable as 75% of the beach chairs are reserved by guests and the rest are being used. Purser apologized to Mrs. Hoffman and explained that we are trying to enforce the policy for the guests not to reserve the deck chairs and we also have it in the Capers. Mrs. Hoffman said that this was not enough as most of the guests do not read the Capers but we should have our housekeeping staff go around the deck and collect any stuff left on the chairs if nobody is using them so the guests would realize that they can not save the deck chairs. Mrs. Hoffman said that maybe the Cruise Director can make some announcements at the shows or in the morning shows and enforce the policy and he should be up there with his staff making sure people did listen.
Purser advised that her suggestions will be forwarded to Housekeeping and Cruise Director. Mrs. Hoffman said that it better be done as “she will not be happy” if tomorrow during the sea day she can not find a chair.

Now, this is a problem on every ship. In fact I know we have discussed this before on the blog thingy back in May but now, as the weather invites people to the outside decks this old problem is back again.

Let me tell you what we do here at the moment.

1. Written statements advising guests that saving of chairs is not allowed with consideration to other guests.

2. Announcement made at the beginning of the cruise by me.

That’s it. Short of doing what Mrs. Hoffman wants and having staff patrol the decks all day, every day, I am not sure how this will ever get better. I was speaking to the Cruise Director on the Emerald Princess and she told me that they have the same issue there as well. I will keep on trying but the best way we can alleviate this is to hope that guests are more considerate to others.

Overall, as we reach midway into the cruise I feel most people are very happy and enjoying the perfect weather. The ship has glided through the water on what has been the most perfect sea conditions we have had so far, everyday has been just beautiful.

Here are today’s photos, which should be available to be viewed by everyone as Roberto Potter has worked his magic.





Here are today’s letters from IN THEIR OWN WORDS



I would also like you to read this one. I read their letter out on the morning show and as you will see, their story is both fun and inspirational. Here are Anne and Dan Conesti.


I had to have them as part of the Marriage Show and their story brought both tears and laughter. As you will see from the letter, they were married 63 years ago after a one week whirlwind romance. The reason for this was that Dan had to go to France to serve at the height of World War II with the infantry. They did not see each other for 2-1/2 years. During this time they wrote each other every week and Anne kept every letter in a box. After the war ended and Dan came home she sealed the box and marked it “NOT TO BE OPENED UNTIL 2000” and then forgot about it.

I asked her why she did this and she said “I thought I would be dead by then and I wanted the kids to have some memories.” Of course, 2000 has come and gone and Anne is very much alive and has since labeled the box “do not open until 2020″……………..that’s the spirit.

So, 63 years married and they are here with all the family and I am going to send them to the Supper Club tomorrow for a romantic dinner for two on me.

Time for the Q and A……………………but, before I do. I want to thank all of you for your kind words regarding the incident I had with Mrs. Stern. I did give her this blog address so she could see my public apology. For this reason and because I want to move on, I will not be commenting on this incident anymore, but again, thank each and everyone of you for your kind words of support…………….where would I be without you all.

So, here we go, let me answer some questions.

PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – First of all I want to say hello, how are you. Secondly, I see that you mentioned your cruise in February and your comment saying how disappointed you are that I may not be there to finally meet you. I have to say that I will really try to be there. As yet though my 2008 schedule is undecided.
I am glad to know that you to found the love of your life straight away and I am eternally grateful that I was able to find Heidi. I am also glad you liked the t-shirts and I promise you one day I will shake your hand as we meet personally. As always we send our best wishes to you and all your family.
MARY AND MOE – Thank you for being addicted to the blog. I hope it’s a healthy addiction and if it is I will keep feeding your habit. Thank you for the wonderful words and Heidi and I send you our best.
SUSAN B – I have told Heidi to write more blogs and when she gets time on the computer, she promises to do so. However, I know she appreciates your kind words. Look out for a new blog from Heidi later this cruise.
You asked about the Supper Club and I think the middle of the cruise is the perfect time. Let me know if I can help you with a reservation.
You need 10 cruises to qualify for a Platinum Card and hopefully when you cruise with me on the Carnival Splendor next year you will be close to holding that shiny card in your hand. Thank you for your offer to bring me some Jelly Beans which I would appreciate very much as my personal jet pack is running low on fuel.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
DAVID DODELL – We just spoke on the phone and looking forward to shaking your hand at the backstage tour.
VICKI – Hope you had a nice weekend. We didn’t see anybody famous at Harry’s although another guest did take a photo of me, which upset the waiter as photos are not allowed. I am glad you liked the t-shirts, I hope you are going to buy one, so strangers can come up to you and say: “Who is John, and what’s so special about his thingy?” Personally, I would buy the one with Heidi’s name on it as she is more famous than I am.
SHELLY P – Hello Shelly. The current age groups are 2-5, 6-8, 9-11 and 12-14.
Unfortunately, as you can see, the youngest will be in a different group to the 14 year old some of the time, however, they will be together for some activities and regardless, both will make new friends and have so much fun. You asked about 2-way radios, they work perfectly on board and many families use them. Thank you for enjoying the blog so much and we will see you in August. Let me know if you need any more information concerning Camp Carnival.
GRACE – Grace, the tour that you have booked, although not run through the ship itself, is conducted by the same tour operator we use in Rome. When you arrive at the airport Carnival staff will be there with Carnival Freedom signs. Please follow them to the buses and there you will be able to book your tour at the desk. Your luggage will go on a truck with luggage of other Carnival guests. The bus will do the tour, you will have a guide on board, then you will be brought to the ship and your luggage will be brought to your cabin. Enjoy the tour and if you have any questions, I will be here to help you.
TOM AND JANE – I will indeed pass on the recipe for the Wild Mushroom Cream Soup. Heidi and I have never had this, but it sounds nice.
I will get PA 007 on the case. Thank you for ordering your t-shirts, I am truly honoured.
Look out for the recipe in the days ahead.
TROLLEYGIRL – Your Supper Club Reservation has been confirmed.
The $30 charge is per person for the dinner. No gratuity is automatically added and is left to your discretion.
The service is wonderful and the steaks are the best ever. Have a wonderful cruise and please keep reading the blog thingy.
SHELEE – Of course I remember you, and I am so excited to hear that you have booked the Carnival Sensation and the Carnival Spirit for its 12-day cruise to Hawaii. What a wonderful way for your parents to celebrate 50 years of married happiness.
I have never been to Hawaii, however, I will ask my colleague Shawn, who is on the Carnival Spirit now and has done this cruise many times, for her advice. Before I do, please let me know what sort of things you would like to do i.e. active tours or sightseeing tours. I look forward to hearing from you and I am glad you are enjoying the blog.
SUE GROHOL – Welcome back Sue, we missed you and I hope you enjoyed the time with your daughter as well as your high school reunion. You asked if the Angels & Demons tour will be running on Sunday, October the 28th. As this moment in time the answer is yes and let me know also if you need my help with your flight concerns. Glad you are enjoying the blog and the t- shirts and hopefully I will get to see you wear it in October. The Angels and Demons tour is excellent so I know you will enjoy it. Congratulations to your daughter, you must be so proud of her. All the best Sue.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – Hello Paul, it would be interesting for Heidi to interview me, although I am not sure it would be such a good idea as she knows everything about me. There will be some very interesting interviews coming up this week, which I hope you will enjoy. Thanks mate.
MRS.MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – You have shattered my illusion. There is me thinking that the odd cigar I enjoy was rolled on the thigh of a stunning Angelina look-a-like. Instead, you tell me that the thighs are probably the size of Cuba itself. This may be the reason I need to stop smoking. Maybe one day, I will be missing the Paradise.
CAPTAIN CHUCK – Great idea, I wish my jet pack had been working but unfortunately I have run out of fuel. Therefore, I hope bloggers will take great pity on me and ignore my wife and send me more fuel in the shape of Sugar Free Jelly Beans. Maybe you could wrap them in a surgical mask for Heidi. It really was nice to meet the couple from the Emerald Princess and it was strange to hear that they were sailing on another ship after they were so nice. I am sure your Alaska cruise will be here before you know it and you will have another 1500 photos to load on to your computer. How are things at home? Heidi and I send you our best.
DEBBY CARPENTER – I see you still don’t have your passport, don’t worry, it will be here soon.
You asked if there will be Carnival Staff at the Cicerone Hotel. Yes, there will be and they will organize your transfer to the ship. As for your daughter and her desire to get a tattoo in Venice, after asking a few people from my staff, the only place they know where you can get a tattoo would be in Barcelona. If not I can draw something on her arm with a Sharpie. Hope your passport comes soon and best from us both.
LISA AND ELAINE – The temperature of the water in Jamaica is always very warm and some of the water is as blue and as clear as I have ever seen it.
It is one of the reasons why I love this island so much. Thank you for your kind words and see you soon.
RONS ANGEL – It is so nice to hear that you are making your own mind up and thinking of giving Carnival Cruise Lines a try. I am honoured that you have decided to do this based on the service I provide in this blog. When you are ready to book your cruise please let me know and hopefully we can arrange for you and I to meet. Thanks mate, you made my day.
SHERIFF ROSCOE P. COLTRANE – Sheriff, have you been drinking the moonshine again? You and I could and should be family though and one day I would love to ride in the police car with you so we can sing the COPS theme song together. Thank you for making me smile. My best to you both mate.
CLEO AND GARTH COOPER – G’day! Thank you for taking the time to write and let me answer your questions.
1. You asked about the tour to Capri and the fact that it does not go to the Blue Grotto. The reason for this is that the cave itself is only accessible during very low tide and you need to take a small motorboat to go into the cave itself. Now, I have never done this, however, I can tell you that many people I have spoken to always tell me how disappointed they were, but that’s just their opinion.
2. You also asked about Anacapri, which is indeed visited on the Island Of Capri Tour along with the beautiful Villa San Michele.
The Island Of Capri Tour is marvelous and will give you plenty of free time and if you do decide to go on your own you can disembark the ship at your leisure and walk to the jetfoil station. The boats leave at various times during the day and I do suggest you check the time table very carefully to allow yourself plenty of time to return to the ship.
3. You asked if your son could throw a discus at Olympia. My suggestion is yes, just do it, they may ask you not to afterwards but in Greece it is often better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
Heidi and I will be on the cruise and we both look forward to meeting you and your family.
ROBERT – The Bloggers cruise will have a pre-registration form so I will know who is on board to see me. I expect this to be many of the guests, however, hopefully doing it this way will allow me to see who needs special attention. You asked about Todd, he will be taking over for me some time in November, I am just not sure yet when. I am working on making this cruise the most special that you and Suzann have ever had.
KATHY KROLL – Hello Kathy, hope you are well. When you were on the Liberty last August, Europe was at the start of its popularity as a cruise ship destination.
This season, I have seen even more ships and I am sure this trend will continue in 2008. I hope that you are excited about the Carnival Splendor and I do not expect the Baltic to be as busy as the Grand Med cruise. Of course we will remember you, and both Heidi and I send you our kindest regards.
MARIJ VAN DINTER – Welkom thuis! We hopen dat jullie een fantastische reis hebben gehad en eentje waar je op terug kunt kijken. Bedankt voor alle tijdschriften die jullie nog voor mij achtergelaten hebben!!!!! John maakt zich niet meer druk om de dame in kwestie…je maakt zo iedere keer weer wat nieuws mee toch.
Groeten aan de familie.
RUTH JAMESON – The meal sounds fantastic and after reading your posting I feel very hungry, the appetizer sounds delicious. Please go ahead and order the t-shirts, they are not reserved just for people who are on the Bloggers cruise.
Here is Heidi. Hello Ruth, how wonderful to hear that you went to the Flower Auction when you visited Amsterdam in 1971. You asked if the tulips will be blooming on my Amsterdam cruise in July next year. I am afraid not. The best time to see the tulips is in May and the beginning of June. We are going to have a tour to the Flower Auction. I am sure you won’t recognize it after all those years.
You asked for an address to send me a card which is so thoughtful and here it is:
– Thank you for asking for Heidi’s recommendation for a good tour in Athens with not too much walking up hill. All the tours go to the Acropolis and it just depends whether you choose one that goes inside or a panoramic visit. If you decide to take a tour that goes inside the Acropolis, Heidi reminds you that there are 30+ steps to climb before you reach the Parthenon. We both suggest that you wait until you are on board, see how you feel after a few days, before deciding what to book.
We are both here, should you be needing any further help.
MEDCRUISER – Thanks for discovering the blog thingy and I am happy you have done so. Your kind words of appreciation concerning your recent cruise have been passed to the Captain and crew and posted on our boards for everyone to read. You are very kind and we are all so pleased that you had such a great time.
I am also so privileged that my blog is the first that you have ever followed………………..I am grateful.
I will keep blogging as often as I can and if you should require any further help please know that I will be here for you. Looking forward then to the next time we cruise together and my best wishes to you and your family.
BOB POLAND – If you enjoyed the carrot cake recipe, I think you may like whets coming in a few moments. Thanks mate for your kind words and let me know how the cake comes out.
DEBORAH HEHN – Hello Deborah. You asked about the back-on-board times in the ports of call. Well, this is always 30 minutes before the ship sailing time. Therefore in Livorno for example we sail at 7:00pm so the back-on-board time for all guests is 6:30pm. We are always on a tight schedule in Europe so we encourage guests to always be on time. Hope this helps and a reminder to always carry your Carnival Capers with you as it contains the scheduled arrival and departure times as well as an emergency contact number should you miss the ship and need directions on which way to swim:)
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – next time you cruise I promise a big screen Trek movie, maybe even the new one that is due out next year. The sugar free jelly beans have pushed my jet pack to warp speed and caused me a few Klingons.
Always great to hear from you and glad you are part of the Bloggers Federation.
That is all the time I have tonight as I must get to the show. Tonight, we have a beautiful lady singing gorgeous Italian arias and some wonderful Lloyd Webber music, as well as Ave Maria and Danny Boy. Her voice comes straight from above and I wish you were all here to hear the amazing Penny Mathisen.

Just wanted to say that I know I did not reply above to some of you who made comments about the incident in St Marks Square and please (as I said at the start of the Q and A) I just want to move on as I know the lady in question may be reading the blog. I will answer all your questions and comments as of the next blog I promise but again, thank you to everyone for once again taking your valuable time to slap on your thoughts.

Yesterday, I was asked for a recipe for carrot cake and PA 007 was able to gather that from the files.

I then asked PA 007 for the recipe to the Warming Chocolate Melting cake thing and really I did not think PA would be able to get it, but, I WAS WRONG.

So, it’s time to unleash someone who has started calling their computer Miss Moneypenny, someone who knows no fear (except the boss M ever finding out what he really gets up to) and someone who looks good in rented bowling shoes and a Simpson’s t-shirt……………..we don’t know their real name…………..all we know is…………..It’s PA 007.



PA 007

Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

1 lb Black chocolate
1 lb Unsalted Butter
10 ea Eggs Whole
4 oz Sugar granulated
5.5 oz Flour H &R


  • Melt the chocolate & butter
  • Mix the eggs & sugar and whisk for few minutes, add the flour
  • Add the egg mix to the melted chocolate and mix
  • Pour the mix in a greased mould.
  • Bake directly in the oven at 200 C° for 12 minutes

Note: – Please make sure that the eggs are at room temperature and chocolate is warm enough while making the mixture

Thanks PA 007, enjoy train spotting……………………….the perfect cover !

Got to run to the show, but very quickly, let me introduce you to a honeymoon couple named Andre and Tina.

They were in the marriage show with me and we had a lot of fun acting out a romantic movie scene. This had started because Tina told me that Andre’s mum was on the ship sharing their honeymoon with them and living in the cabin next door. The obvious jokes applied to that statement but Tina also said that he really was a mummy’s boy.

Anyway, on stage we were acting out this adventure which required Tina to collapse on the stage pretending to be unconsciousness while here husband came to the rescue.

The problem was Tina was wearing the smallest ……………um……………..well I was going to say skirt but I have belts that are longer ……………so, when she fell on the floor……..you could see…………………..well I could anyway………………………….well, you know.

So, being the gentlemen I am I took off my jacket and placed it over her ……………embarrassment………………..here is the photo.

So, being the gentlemen I am I took off my jacket and placed it over her ……………embarrassment………………..here is the photo.

So, being the gentlemen I am I took off my jacket and placed it over her ……………embarrassment………………..here is the photo.


So, Tina is another reason to keep dieting.

It has been a long day and its showtime now. Just before I go, I have had a long day but it has been a good one with lots of laughs and compliments from guests which I needed to hear.

For me though, the highlight was meeting Anne and Dan who have been married for 63 years. Dan went to war and did not see his new wife for over 2 years but their love stayed strong. I sit here typing, hoping that Heidi and I will be together for 63 years as well.

They had to overcome a world at war and separation from each other. Yet today, on stage and on Anne’s 82 birthday they were like honeymooners all over again and I was honoured to be in their presence.


Your Friends

John and Heidi


July 29, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Afternoon from Dubrovnik, Croatia.The good news, the tender operation was wonderful today even if I do say so myself. It is now 5:30pm and we only have 200 people left ashore and there has been no lines that lasted more than 10 minutes for a tender and the same for the shuttle buses.

I made lots of changes from last time and unlike Venice where I am still not happy with the service we provide, I am sure that today there will be nothing but happy faces and smiles of joy as happy memories of Dubrovnik and its majesty remain with our guests for a long time to come.

Time to follow up with regard to the incident I told you in yesterday’s blog, you know, the lady who screamed at me about my cigar even though I was off the ship, in St. Marks Square, and she was 40 feet away from me or more…………………and…………………..who I was rude to.

Anyway, I didn’t sleep well as I was so mad at myself for being rude back to her and after she said crew had no right to be in St.Marks and I had ruined her cruise, I said ” Am I Bothered “…………………..IDIOT !

So, last night Heidi and Charlie who were with me were on the lookout for this lady but they did not need to be because the Purser’s called me to say there was a guest trying to contact me, a Mrs. Charlene Stern of cabin 8297 who wanted to speak to the Captain and I together.

Sure enough, I called and yes, it was the lady. I asked if we could meet and she said that she would. Expecting the worst I met her in the lobby with her husband in attendance and sat down. Before I had a chance to say anything she said that she deserved a public apology and again said that she felt crew should not be allowed to be in the same areas as guests and that this would never have happened on another cruise line………..NOTE: I know of course that this is not true so I won’t even waste your time or mine writing the name of the cruise line here on the blog.

I explained that crew had every right to be ashore and I apologized for saying “I was not bothered ” but also defended myself saying that she had no right to shout across a café at me like that and indeed the management had felt the same way because they had asked her to refrain from doing so.

I asked Mrs. Stern what I could do to make her happy and she gave me a list of things that might make her smile again such as a free tour in Barcelona or a discount off her cruise. I explained that this was not going to happen but I did again apologize and also sent a fruit basket and some wine to her cabin and offered her dinner in the Supper Club which seemed to appease her. She also asked for a “PUBLIC APOLOGY ” from me not for being rude, which seemed not to even upset her as she never mentioned it, but for smoking my cigar.

I told Mrs. Stern about this blog and gave her the address plus I will print her a copy of today’s blog where she will note how sorry I am, not for smoking my cigar in an area where it was allowed, but for being rude to her……………..Mrs. Stern, I apologize for my rudeness and I hope you will enjoy the rest of the cruise.

Today, I had no chance to go ashore as I was busy with the tenders but at 1:00pm I went to have lunch with Heidi on Lido where we met a wonderful family from a place called Cave Spring in Georgia, population 975.

They were so overwhelmed by the cruise, the food, the service and the ports, well let’s just say that this family were having the time of their lives. They had just gotten back from the Best of Dubrovnik Tour and they showed me the souvenirs they had bought including a wooden cross for his mother who is 94 years old and still plays the church organ…………..OOPS………………..sorry………….forget to mention their names……………….the Casey family…mum, dad and three kids.

I was intrigued about what life was like in a town that had only 975 residents and amongst the things that Mr. O’ Brien told me was that he owned a supermarket, he was also the town’s fire chief and sat on the council as well. Now there is a man who needs a vacation.

I asked why he had decided to take this cruise and he told me that his family had sailed on the Holiday from Mobile last year and had enjoyed it so much that they wanted to come and cruise again. He also said that he wanted his three kids to experience life outside of Cave Spring and so here they are in Europe and having the time of their lives……………a great story and one I loved hearing.

I did a bit of Goggling (spelt correctly) and eventually found a photo of the main street of Cave Spring………..here it is……………and I want to go there.

did a bit of Goggling (spelt correctly) and eventually found a photo of the main street of Cave Spring………..here it is……………and I want to go there.

Here are today’s other photos taken as we sailed from Venice by Heidi.

Here are today’s other photos taken as we sailed from Venice by Heidi.

Here are today’s other photos taken as we sailed from Venice by Heidi.

Here are today’s other photos taken as we sailed from Venice by Heidi.

Here are today’s other photos taken as we sailed from Venice by Heidi.

And now, today’s letters for the “IN THEIR OWN WORDS SECTION”





Just to comment on the one about buying fake goods. It is indeed illegal to purchase and sell them across Italy however I have to say that in Naples and Pisa I have never seen anyone being stopped for selling or buying. However, in Venice, we have had multiple incidents where people have been fined for purchasing fake handbags etc which is why I always warn against it.

Hooray, hooray its time for the Q and A.

So here I go while the sun still lingers – typing away with two bloody fingers.

MTSFPBLFTTNSFCF – Is it only 93 days to the crossing…………I better get my skates on then and get things organized. The tours for Rome will all be available onboard and as for the exclusive view of the Vatican you are correct that it is a ‘must see.’ I will tell you what, let me talk to the shore excursion department and I will list all the tours that will be available to book on board so that it is nice and clear for you mate. Stand by for that as it does get confusing because each day is different at the Vatican because of the non-regular opening hours. We will have a golf tour in Spain (Malaga) as well for you to look forward to.
I am sure your computer will work and we can blog to each other even though we will be only a few decks apart………….a little sad………..but it has to be done. Most of all, I am looking forward to shaking your hand, in of course, a NON-smoking bar. I am, by the way, looking forward to hearing your honest opinion of my incident with Mrs. Stern.
Wishing you and Mrs. MTSFP all the best.
LISA AND ELAINE – Glad you like the t-shirts so much and I am sure you will look the height of fashion wearing one. Is nobody worried that people are going to come up to you and say “Who the heck is John and what’s so good about his thingy?”
I am looking forward to seeing you on the Bloggers cruise and I am doing my best to get Big Ed to come as well but he is proving a tough nut to crack. As for meeting PA 007, well you will meet PA oo7 but you won’t know you have 🙂 Thanks for the kind words about Heidi and we return those words to you and your family.
THE BEARS – BARB AND CAROL – Thank you so much for thinking about us both, you are true friends. I am looking forward to seeing you on January 19th for the Bloggers cruise. I am getting Roberto to sail and also asking Chris and Roger to come as well…………it’s going to be a wonderful week.
LINDA HERNACKI – It is hard keeping my sugar level between 5 and 7 which is where I like it to be but the no carb diet is certainly helping me lose weight despite the unpleasant side effects that Heidi and many others have to endure. I look forward to seeing you and Mike the Bulb in your t-shirts, I wonder if I will get a free one?
BJ BEAR – Your mum and stepdad are great people and I am happy to meet a third bear. Congratulations on the news that you are expecting a little cub and also on your thinking to do a Carnival Liberty cruise. Unfortunately, the baby will be charged as a third adult in the cabin unless Carnival is planning some child specials for that month. May I suggest that you call a Carnival Personal Vacation Planner for the latest deals etc. Then, if you can, would you let me know what he/she says so I can follow up some more for you. Do you know if it’s a man bear or a girly bear? By the way, do you all hibernate for the winter? Look forward to hearing from you soon. Many congratulations.
KAREN TESSIER – Sorry to hear about your broken ankle but I am sure that will not stop you from enjoying your European vacation next month.
If it is still painful have a chat with Heidi or I on board and we will help you chose the tours that would be suitable for you. Cabin 7205 is a forward cabin with an ocean view which backs on to the outside terrace on deck 7. This means you can walk out of your cabin, take 5 steps and have the largest balcony on the ship.
I have passed on your congratulations to Heidi and she is really happy that you enjoyed her blog and pictures. I congratulate you on the sterling work you do as a hospice nurse and I am sure you and your 6 friends will have a wonderful time on the Carnival Conquest. See you very soon.
LYNN AND MIKE SAGARA – Hello guys, you asked about the Bloggers cruise which you have booked and how we will know who has booked this as part of the Bloggers group. The majority of the ship will be full of Bloggers and nearer the time there will be a registration form posted here on the blog and mailed to every guest who is sailing to register for the big bag of free stuff, which will include a special edition t-shirt.
I am glad you like the t-shirts on the website, thank you for buying one.
Yes, the Grand Hotel is a beautiful and interesting place. In Holland you have the possibility to marry in church or in a town hall (registry office), most town halls in the small villages are very nice and special. The Grand, of course, has a special meaning as the Dutch Queen, Queen Beatrix got married there. Thank you for showing interest in our special day.
JOHN FRIEDMANN – John, I know deep down that your test results following your biopsy will give cause for nothing but celebration. Positive thought multiplied thousand of times by all of us here is now heading your way and I know I will see you on August 29th for a wonderful cruise vacation which you will take in good health.
You also asked about the webcam on Lido deck. It must have been in a bad position as, unless we are in port, the Lido deck is always full of people enjoying the sun, live music, games and movies. It should be repositioned now so all should be well. Once again, we are thinking of you.
CINDY56 – The t-shirts are for everyone not just the people booked on the Bloggers cruise. I am not sure if I will be back on the Freedom in March but hopefully we will meet some day soon. I am very happy to hear you enjoyed the interview with Heidi and I am indeed a very lucky man. All the best to you and your mum and your mum’s best friend.
HEIDI-BETH & KEVIN – Hello you three and thank you for your kind words about Heidi’s interview. I also see you like the t-shirts and I hope to see all three of you wearing one soon. All the best.
DOUGNEWMANATSEA – The Seabourn Cruise is a bit of a pipe dream although I can see a bloggers/friends reunited cruise happening sometime in the future and yes of course you are invited. I can understand your desire to cruise the Queen Elizabeth II before she is retired and we all look forward to reading your review. Wishing you a happy day. Cheers mate.
I&MSMON – I am glad you liked PA 007’s carrot cake recipe. If anybody else wants a recipe then please let me know and I will make sure that PA 007 supplies it for you. The t-shirts are great, aren’t they and Roberto and his team deserve a standing ovation and a free t-shirt.
Heidi says she is happy to hear that you enjoyed her interview and your kind comments towards us both are so lovely. Our kind regards to you and your family and please keep reading the blog-thingy.
NANETTEALI – Your comment in Spanish was fantastic and I think only Big Ed and I understood. I really wish I had taken the time to learn Spanish and Italian and one day I will. I see from your last comment that you found my black lacy g-string. I had wondered where that was? I need it back so I can put it in Big Ed’s cabin when he is on the Bloggers cruise. I look forward to seeing a photo of you and the kids in your blog t-shirts and a grande besmmier para usted.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – The problem with offering free internet time on the Bloggers cruise is, there are over 1,000 of you registered so far (we think).
So, that unfortunately will not be plausible. However, I am sure everyone will be happy with a goody bag that we will give each blogger plus we will be doing live blogs while we are all on board together. I am so looking forward to meeting you and I am learning to bow for when I meet your Prince.
KEVIN – I can just imagine now you and your Aston Martin doing tours of Miami for our bloggers. If I am not mistaken the Aston Martin Vanquish has a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds and the only thing that is faster would be me after eating a packet of sugar free Jelly Beans. I totally agree about single cruisers and the charges they face. This seems to be an industry wide standard and please allow me to investigate what can be done.
One day soon we will sit and talk about the Vanquish S and you can tell me how it feels to drive such a beast. All the best mate.
IVANA – By the time you read this you should have received your pay check enabling you to buy the bloggers t-shirts. I am a little embarrassed though that you are spending your hard earnt money on a t-shirt that has Heidi’s and my name on it. Please don’t be sad that you are not on the Bloggers cruise there will be another one and this time I think we will do it on a shorter 5 day cruise to allow more people to come. Enjoy Harry Potter’s last adventure and thank you for saying that the blog is the best thingy ever. My kindest regards.
CARL HARMON – I am so lucky to have Heidi however, there are times when she does not feel lucky to have me and those times are sponsored by Russell Stover Sugar Free Jelly Beans. Thank you for your kindness.
FRANK C – Thank you for your kind words about the blog and I was happy to make your Supper Club reservations for you.
So I see you have a Porsche in the driveway, what model? I cannot believe you have sent me a case of New Orleans diet root beer. I am very much looking forward to this and it will be a special treat which I will enjoy. One day I hope we get to enjoy one together and talk about our passion for cars. Heidi and I send our best to you and Jennifer.
JO MYERLY – I am so excited to hear that you have booked the Bloggers cruise. I have no words to express my gratitude that I will now get a chance to meet you. I admit I did used to watch a late night shopping channel in the UK, called Auction World, but I am getting help for it. Congratulations and many thanks to you and Dave.
JIMNI – I wish my Dad had taught me that song when I was younger. However, I shall pass it down to generations of Healds to come.
BRYAN – I do the same when I write Bryan, I tend to answer my own questions as I go. However, I have never done an interview for the blog as such so maybe PA 007 can set some questions for me soon. Glad you had a chuckle at the last blog and hope there are many more chuckles to come.
TAMMY AND MIKE FROM NY – This is an easy one to answer. Yes, you can go ashore first, have a few hours in Cannes and eat lunch and all the afternoon tours including the Nice and Eze tour meet on the pier so you do not have to come back to the vessel. Hope this helps and you picked an excellent tour by the way………you must try the muscles in Cannes by the way………..not a muscle in a can……………muscles from Cannes. See you soon.
A CRUISE BY ANY OTHER NAME – Roberto, the request is to have the photos “captioned” I am not sure what she means – do you? I am sure if we can, we will……….let me get back to you as I want to make you happy.
BILL – ZYDECOCRUISER – AHHHHHHHHH , Bill wants the recipe for the warm melting chocolate cake. Let me put PA 007 on a mission……..stand by.

Ok, time to stop and I will continue tomorrow.

I thought I would show you that next week once again, we have quite the international ship with 1347 guests who are not from America. Here is the breakdown.

Austria 4
Aruba 20
Armenia 1
Australia 56
Belize 2
Belgium 11
Brazil 4
Canada QUEBEC 37
Canada 304
Czech Republic 1
Cayman Island 15
Croatia 3
Colombia 5
Chile 8
Costa Rica 2
Ecuador 1
Dominican Rep.
El Salvador
France 134
Gibraltar 4
Germany 33
Guatemala 5
Iran 9
India 2
Ireland 4
Israel 3
Italy 67
Korea 17
Luxembourg 4
Jamaica 1
Japan 6
Mexico 16
Monaco 2
Martinique 9
Macau 1
Malta 33
Netherlands 47
New Zealand 21
New Caledonia 1
Nigeria 2
Puerto Rico
Philippines 2
Poland 5
Portugal 11
Russia 33
Switzerland 2
Spain 109
South Africa 2
Trinidad 14
Ukraine 2
United Kingdom 262
Vietnam 1
Venezuela 5
TOT INTL. 1347

You will notice that we have 134 French people sailing so I have to be on my best behavior and avoid any French jokes. I decided to learn more about the French as I think I have been educated to make fun of them all the time without truly understanding their culture. I must learn to see that they are wonderful people who love the British. To achieve this re-education I decided to use the new version of the French equivalent of Googel called Le Googel You just type in the subject you’re interested in, and Le Googel refuses to look it up for you.

OK, maybe I need more time, forgive and forget John (talking to myself again).

Maybe I have ATCOCS SYNDROME. It could be possible that I need a vacation on a Carnival Ship instead of working here all the time. Talking to yourself is indeed one of the symptoms and I must be careful.

I do not want to end up like Norman Oates who had not cruised on a Carnival ship for a long time and decided to go to Las Vegas instead of a cruise and was arrested because the ATCOCS took over and he thought he was on a Carnival cruise and everything was included in the price. He refused to pay for the shows, the food and the activities and when he woke up in the morning and opened his hotel bedroom window he really did think he was in Venice on the Carnival Freedom and did not realize he was in a manufactured model of the real thing. He was led away buy security and he was he was heard to say “I know George Clooney, you’re next. Oceans 15”

Please everyone, keep an eye yourselves and see if you are developing early symptoms……….if you are, please call a travel professional.

One footnote before I go off (to do the show, that was not a reference to the jelly beans again).

I spoke to the lady tonight (letter posted in In Their own Words) who wanted us to pay for her transportation from the ship to St Marks Square and back again because the t-shirt she bought had a stain on it. I asked her why it was our responsibility and this was her exact, word for word answer: “You should have told the passengers that buying t-shirts from the shop I went to was not a good idea because there merchandise was not trustworthy.”

I replied “Which shop did you buy it from?”

She said “I can’t remember.”

I sent her a Carnival t-shirt today, not because hers was ruined but because of the wonderful laugh she gave me.




Am I Bothered?…Yes, Now I Am.

July 29, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning from still hot and sunny Venice.Remember how happy I was about the shuttle bus situation in Venice and the huge pat on the back I gave myself? Well ….forget about it. Today, due to the fact that there are two ships on turnaround (this means they are debarking and embarking guests here) I was told we would have only two buses….Oh joy. The Emerald Princess, The Aurora (P & O) and the Royal Caribbean something of the seas are here and all the buses are being used by us all. Hopefully the guests will be ok with the 15 minute walk from Piazza Roma to the vessel otherwise there may be a bit of a wait.

I spoke to the Operator and Agent this morning at 8:00am when Heidi reported a large line of 150 people waiting for a bus and then was told the news. The line did go down quickly but at one point there was a 30 minute wait and that, in my
mind, is not acceptable. I find these sorts of things so frustrating, I just want things to be perfect and I know they can be but once again I have hit this roadblock. Anyway, I will have extra staff at the Vaparetto Station and hopefully, as I said, most people will walk back. It is the height of the season and you can tell just how busy Europe is now and how popular. I remember the first season on the Carnival Liberty and I can remember in most ports we hardly saw another ship but, I can tell you this year it is obvious that Europe is the place to be.

It’s hot, and I really find it strange that still we get people who seem surprised about that. I guess Europe to some still has that image of fog and rain but the Mediterranean is as humid as anywhere at the height of summer. I have recently put this fact sheet together for guests. This is based on counteracting the comments we get now and then and I have seen these reduced since Heidi and I devised this sheet two cruises ago. It is now placed inside the Carnival Capers on the first day and has some very useful information.

Here is a copy for your approval.


Cruising the Mediterranean conjures up visions of exciting experiences ashore. The history, culture, great shopping and delicious food – combined with the charm of the inhabitants make Europe an incredibly diverse destination.

The reality of countries that we will visit is very exciting.

The following, however, are a few things to keep in mind during your visit:

As we are in the peak of the tourist season in the Mediterranean, please be aware that you will indeed encounter considerable crowds and long lines at the tour venues ( especially in Capri and the Amalfi Coast (Naples), Athens, Venice, Istanbul and Rome, Vatican ). Extensive traffic may be found en route to the attractions and delays may happen. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

* Ongoing restoration work is often carried out at the venues.

* While the transportation used for shore excursions (motor coaches and vans) does have air-conditioning, the standard for Europe is not the same as that for North America or onboard the ship. Therefore, you may find that the air-conditioning feels less cool than that onboard or of that to which you are accustomed at home – especially if the temperatures in port are high and the sun is shining.

* The ship’s organized tours are guided: all tours included English speaking guides. If you don’t understand your Tour Guide (they may have a marked accent) during a ship’s organized tour, please ask them to repeat. They really want you to have a good time and they are eager to show you their country.

* Taxis: always agree on the fare before getting in the taxi. For long distance trips, please allow plenty of time to return to the ship by the back on board time. You will find the back on board time on the front page of the Carnival Caper.

* The weather can change during the course of the day and the sun can be very strong. We suggest that you always bring ashore with you a hat, sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and that you wear light, casual clothing and comfortable, low-heeled walking shoes.

Please always carry extra water with you ashore.

Here are today’s photos







In today’s In Their Own Words Section, you will find one of those letters that makes you go ……. “are you kidding me ” ……. Here it is:

In Their Own Words

So, she bought a t shirt, it’s stained, it’s my fault and we have to pay for her
to exchange it…….. You have to smile.

Here are some more:

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words
In Their Own Words
Better get on with the Q and A as I am WAY behind.

PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – And it is nice to start with you sir. The Bloggers T Shirts are for everyone and will be available for purchase via the website www.carnivalfuntees.com . Roberto is also putting a direct link on the blog page soon and this will make them easy to buy. There will be a special edition shirt for the Bloggers Cruise but these are for anyone who wants to buy them., I wonder how many will be bought? I hope you didn’t scare Amy Lynn with your laughing, which story had you amused so much? I hope all is well with you and the family and thank you for buying a shirt, at least I know someone is.
BIG ED – que ? OK, I translated what Nanetteali said in Spanish and it reads. >>>>>>>>I think Big Ed should book the Bloggers Cruise and not sail on the one after that. He needs his draws washing, he won’t get a booth and John will buy him a huge porterhouse steak while Mrs. Big Ed gets a massage. If he does not go John will
eat Five bags of jelly beans and visit his cabin.
KEN – Glad you finally got your question through the long journey in Cyber Space, it must be exhausted. Let me answer your question about disembarking the ship on the 17th. You can disembark at anytime you like and if you have to be at the airport as you said by 6:00am then I suggest you leave the ship at 4:45am. Do you have private transportation? If not, then you will need to let me know during the cruise and we will arrange a taxi for you which will cost about 100 euros. You also asked for a restaurant for the night before in Rome. Well,
not knowing what you love to eat, the best advice I can give you is to head for Via Veneto. This is the major thoroughfare in Rome and has the best selection of restaurants and cafes and is a wonderful place to sit and watch the world go by, especially the ladies -.sshhhhhhhh, don’t tell Heidi. Anyway, let me know if you need anything else and I will see you onboard.
BRYAN – the jelly beans I think were supposed to be eaten a few at a time however I ignored that and the results were Vesuvius like! I wish you had BEAN here to experience it for yourself 🙂
PATRICK A RANALLI – I SEE THAT YOU OWN A Parasailing Club and I must admit it something that you would have to pay me lots of money to do although I would guess you would need a pretty powerful boat to get someone like me in the air. Anyway, my wife loves that sort of thing as do many people I know but I cannot
imagine what people would find to complain about that high up in the air! Your reservation as I mentioned is confirmed and I sincerely look forward to meeting you in a few weeks. Have fun in the sun in Florida and maybe one day and after eating a few jelly beans I can get up in the air. Cheers.
NANETTEALI – Send more Jelly Beans. Pour Favor mucho gaso beano grasyarse.
HEIDI – BETH AND KEVIN – Thanks to all three of you 🙂 for the PASTA diet which made me smile. My no carbs diet is going ok but boy it was hard last night with all the pasta and pasties that adorn every restaurant – still I was a good lad and I hope to keep it going. I just miss my jelly beans. Heidi and I send our best to all four of you and hope to see you soon.
INEZ – Glad to hear the blogs make you laugh and thanks also for the reminder that 99.99% of Southerners have a wonderful sense of humour and are pleasant and lovely people. I guess there must be a lot of changes between New Jersey and North Carolina but I am sure you now have the best of both worlds. Please keep reading the blog and my best to you and the family.
THE CHADS – In Ocho Rios you can experience all of the wish list you mentioned. There is a special place called DOLPHIN COVE where you can swim and encounter the beautiful creature that is the Dolphin. It is simply gorgeous there and you can also combine this with a trip to Dunn’s River Falls which is a MUST SEE. You also mentioned a desire to go horseback riding which is again available along the beaches of Jamaica from a place called Chuka Cove. Part of the tour involves bareback (the horse, not you) in the ocean and is quite
incomparable. There then are two choices for Jamaica and although sometimes it can get a bad rap I promise you that if you go to the right places with the right people you will see why I and thousands of visitors think it is such a vibrant and fun place to visit on your cruise. Let me know your thoughts and my best to all the Chads.
JO MYERLY – Jo, I checked with Gareth the Casino Manager and he has no problem with you putting $20,000 down on one roll of the crap table dice and if it brings you luck, yes, by all means take off your bra, we appreciate the support:)
TAMMIE – See, you could be a Cruise Director as you said what I wanted to say….but bit my tongue instead. How about that letter today where the guest wanted me to exchange a shirt she bought???…what a job I have …..how lucky I am to meet such individual people….said with just a small touch of sarcasm. Hope all is well Tammie and thanks for reading the blog thingy.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Hell Carol, how are you today? I had no idea you were a Treki so thanks for the Klingon. Good Luck. I met a lady in the welcome aboard show this week who I swear was a Ferengi!
I join you in remembering those people who lost their lives in the Alaska plane crash you mentioned as I am sure do all the bloggers….we shall remember them today.
You know, when I listed the ships I had worked on I totally forgot about those I worked on in the Bar Department. It seems so long ago. Anyway, yes, I worked on the Holiday (my first ever ship), the Jubilee and the Celebration all as Bar Waiter, Wine Steward (I was awful) and Assistant Bar Manager….those were the days. The letters I receive are priceless and this blog allows me to share the good, the bad and the …. Well …. let’s be nice and say … different with all of you. The sugar free beans are all finished much to Heidi’s joy but hopefully others will take pity on my needs and replenish my personal jet pack and send me some.To finish, more Star Trek. You have been and always shall be my friend ….all the best Carol.
MILLIE S – Millie, the answer to your question on if you can make it to the ship and then do the Rome By Night tour — YES. However, I would not be a good CD if I did not mention that you will have landed that day, already done a tour that morning and then have to go through check-in etc. You will be tired. Please, just bear that in mind. I am not trying to talk you out of what is a great tour but two tours in 24 hours after you have just flown Trans Atlantic may be too much and remember we have a 25% cancellation policy. Have a think
about it and remember you can see how you feel when you arrive to the ship and book then if you want to. Just a thought. I will be here if you need further advice and suggestions.
RUTH JAMISON – Thank you for the plug of the Rome By Night Tour I was just mentioning to Millie. You are right, it is a wonderful experience but now and then we have cruises where it just does not sell. The experience you had describes it perfectly though and I am sure that others reading your commentary
will be encouraged to book it. What did you have for dinner? Thanks again Ruth and my best to you and the family.
DWA 76 – Thanks mate, I am glad you enjoyed the blog thingy today and the joke. I never tell ” joke jokes ” on stage but as you enjoyed the last one, here is one more of my favorites although Heidi does not understand why.
A husband and wife went to counseling after 15 years of marriage. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the 15 years they had been married. She went on and on and on – neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of unmet needs she had endured over the course of their marriage.
Finally, after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and, after asking the wife to stand, he embraced and kissed her passionately. The woman shut up and quietly sat down as though in a daze.
The therapist turned to the husband and said, “This is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you do this?”
The husband thought for a moment and replied, “Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I golf.”
Anyway, the lady who missed the ship in Capri rejoined yesterday in Naples and had a happy reunion (I hope) with her family. She said she was waiting for her son and that he forgot he was supposed to meet her…Families!
Hope all is well mate and hope you enjoyed today’s joke.
RAY McTEAGUE – I remember the rescue you spoke about very well Ray. It was on the Carnival Destiny. The Canadian Coast Guard ship could not get alongside because of the swells so yes, we called in a helicopter and the rescue was made and the guest received the medical attention he needed. I salute all the fine
men and women of the Coast Guard service from all over the world who continue to protect those in peril on the sea.
I am happy to hear you enjoyed seeing the card on the blog. Receiving cards is something that means so much to Heidi and anytime we get one it adds such a personal touch to the blog. We received a lot last cruise and hope this lovely trend continues. Thanks again mate and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
FENG SHUI TURTLE – A new inventory of scrap books will be coming in Barcelona and we will have lots for the following cruise so we will make sure you get one. Please though, if you feel that you are a kind and giving person, please bestow a large bag of sugar free jelly beans upon me. Eating them allows me to meet more people by propelling myself quickly around the ship using my personal jet pack….although…for some strange reason the people I do meet do not want to be around me for too long.
Thank you for the slapping on the reason you have your screen name. Heidi loves turtles and I am sure you and her will become great friends. See you next cruise and you will also meet my ugly best mate Alan Adkins.
DON AND LAURA – Konnicichiwa to you both as well. Bloggers, here we have two people reading this humble blog thingy in Japan while serving their country in the United States Air Force…..how about one or two of you dropping them a line on this blog to say hello. I am so sorry I will not see you in December but I am sure one day we will meet and I will proudly get to shake your hand.

I am going to stop there as I have two shows to host tonight and I need to meet with a group of guests from Malta who have asked to have photos with me and the Captain but before I go, there are one or two things we need to discuss.

First of all, there will be no guest interview today as I have not had time to get them together but there will be some special ones very soon I promise.

Last night Heidi and I went out for dinner. I have started to realize that we need to spend more time together especially since the blog came into being and most of my free time is spent exercising my two fingers on the keyboard. So, last night we went for dinner to Harry’s and I shall say no more about that for now. However, afterwards we were strolling through St. Marks Square where we met two other crew members, Charlie the Musical Director and his wife Wendy who is the Youth Director. We sat with them at one on the outside cafes where a classical quartet was playing beautiful music. Just a side note before I continue. There is a cover charge of 5 euros per person to sit down and listen to the music and that’s before you order anything and then, please be aware that it is very expensive as you will see. Heidi ordered a Bacardi and Diet Coke, Wendy had a glass of red wine (house), Charlie had a beer and I a glass of mineral water – cost – 49 euros.
Anyway, we had invited them to sit with us so I paid which was fine…that’s just a sub note to the story.

Then within a space of twenty minutes I was witness to both sides of the tourist abroad.

I have many bad habits, and I know smoking the odd cigar is one of them. I don’t drink and although I am overweight I don’t eat to excess (much), but when the mood takes me I find a cigar relaxes me completely. Anyway, it was 12;15am by the time I had sat down and there were few people sitting. I am very careful never to smoke if other people are around but tonight the scene looked set for me and my Trinidad Rubosto that a beautiful Cuban Sinjourita had rolled on her tanned thigh. We were going to be best friends. There was only a dozen other couples sitting outside and the nearest was 20
feet away. Now at this point I am sure I am going to upset my great friends who miss the Carnival Paradise but I am sure they will understand that this was outside, in a designated smoking bar and there was nobody any where near me and any smoke that I did exhale would dissipate in the night air.

So, there I sat, cigar in hand, the quartet playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto number 21, my beautiful wife at my side….apart from the 340 euros I had just spent for a plate of Risotto, all was well…then….a shout from across the other side of the Café..not the person 20 feet away but the furthest table which must have been 40 feet away from us…….CRUISE
DIRECTOR – CRUISE DIRECTOR…….I knew the bellow was for me but I ignored it just for a second…..and then looked over…….CRUISE DIRECTOR……came the voice which was now louder than a piano, a cello, a violin and a double
bass……..do you mind putting that disgusting thing out…….I could feel the heat rising from Heidi and Charlie as well and could sense the other people around the Café were now looking at me and at the large fog horn voice that was emanating from such a small lady…….normally, I would have put it out…….I never want to offend people especially from the ship. What were the chances of me offending someone who had to, of course, be on the ship and who recognized me.

Anyway, I took one last big puff of my cigar and blew the smoke which the wind took in the opposite direction of where the lady was sitting and was about to put the cigar out which by the way cost more than I can afford and as my hand
moved towards the ash tray……..the manager came over and told the lady to be quiet and not shout as she was disturbing the music…..now, I think that was what he said because the lady and the two other people got up and started walking away.

As they walked past me the lady came towards me and said these exact words: “Crew members should not be allowed in the same place as passengers and you have ruined my night.” I stood to apologize but, the look on her face changed
my mind and I am sorry to say I just said . . .”Am I bothered?” and sat down.

Now, you cannot imagine how difficult it was for me to admit to all of you and all the top people at Carnival that I said that but sometimes you know what .,,, you have to be a human being and this time I am sorry to say I WAS RUDE….I feel bad now, no actually, I feel awful now and I have Heidi and Wendy and Charlie scoruing the ship looking for her so I can apologize.

It was not the fact that I had been asked to put my cigar out, or had been shouted at 40 feet from across the most famous square in the world or that she interrupted the music for all of us or that I was trying to be a big man in front of my wife. It was simply that she thought that we as crewmembers on our time off had no right to be in that most special of places and should have been locked in our rooms hanging upside down like a troglodyte….that’s what made me mad…I regret it deeply now, but at the time….to see the astonished look on her face…it felt good.

So, it was a feeling of mixed emotion as we walked back to the Vaporetto and Heidi knew that I was mad at myself. Then as we walked, another couple was walking towards us and as they did so a big smile came across the man and the
lady’s faces ….John….a hand extended as I shook theirs…..it’s great to see you we think you are the best Cruise Director we have ever seen….I have never been so happy to hear a compliment ……..”Have you had a nice evening?” I asked …….Yes they said….we chatted about Venice for a minute or so and, as I said goodnight, I invited them to my show the following evening “OH, well we would love to John,” they said, “but we’re on the Emerald Princess!”

So, as I write this blog, I do so feeling so angry at myself for lowering myself to the lady’s level of impoliteness and I hope I get to say sorry in person.

I wasn’t at the time….but now…..I am Bothered.


Your friends
John and Heidi

It's a Mad, Mad World

July 27, 2007 -

John Heald

Good MorningThe Mediterranean Sea is like a duck pond this morning and it should be a beautiful entrance into Venice. It is now 8:53 am and I was very lazy this morning and had an extra 45 minutes in bed. In 30 minutes I will be leaving for the Morning Show. I started this show on the Carnival Legend and it has changed so much since then. I used to have different department heads as guests each morning but it seemed to be turning into more of a QVC Shopping network then a morning entertainment show. That’s when the dedication show took over and now, as I have mentioned, I receive 50 letters a day, sometimes much more. Like the blog, I try and answer every letter on air and the show usually last 45 minutes to an hour. I also host live phone ins (that cannot be a word) and we have a lot of fun with that as well. Yesterday’s show however did produce a bit of problem when for the first ever time, someone used bad language live on air.

I had received a letter from guest Patrick Kennedy who was writing to wish his wife Ester a happy birthday. I obviously do not have time to call every cabin I get a letter from but I did this time because the letter stated that Ester had a crush on my accent (you know the annoying English one): so I gave the cabin a call.

I dialed 7212 as the letter said ……..four rings……………thinking I was not going to get an answer ………when……………………”Yes” came the grouchy-sounding answer….. “Oh Good Morning,” I said, “Is that Patrick?”…………..”Who?”…………”.Patrick,” I said……”No,” was the direct answer……

Now, I should have realized then but like an idiot I said……………..”That’s not Patrick, married to Ester”……………. “No it is not — You have the wrong Fu&%*&%$ number”………..CLICK.

So, a good start, only 9:50 am and I had already been told to ……….go away. Of course, I apologized to everyone and made sure it was edited out of the show which is repeated after being shown live. I decided live on air though to find out what had happened and called the Chief Purser to find out what there cabin number was………….he had written 7244, his cabin number is……..7221………..he had written the wrong cabin and the cabin he had written, that I woke up at 9:50 am was actually occupied by a Mr. Fernley or…………..Mr. Grumpy as he is now known.

Here are today’s photos.





I wanted to post the interview for today here. It’s a brief one but has some very interesting points. Here is Marcin who is our housekeeping manager and has delivered a lot of the new vessels with me. He is from Poland and has a wonderful and calm way about him. We have not edited his answers at all as I think the way he writes expresses his personality perfectly.


1. Can you tell us about your career with Carnival Cruise Lines so far, where you are from and about your family? I start to work on the ships in 1997 as a hotel steward then I want to all position in housekeeping department and I joined the company in 2001 on Carnival Spirit as an asst h/k mgr II. Then I was part of the opening team on Conquest where I get my promotion to senior asst. h/k mgr. In 2003 I was promoted to Housekeeping Mgr and send to Queen Mary 2 as a part of opening team. Then I was working on Victory, Glory, Liberty, start-up team on Freedom and I’m schedule to open Carnival Splendor. As you know I’m from Poland, my wife Izabela is working with me on the ship as Asst Bar Mgr I meet her on Carnival Victory 2004. We have two years old daughter name Nicola.. And we are working on second one ha ha …..

2. What are the main duties of a Housekeeping Manager for Carnival Cruise Lines? Housekeeping Mgr is responsible for the overall supervision and operation of the housekeeping department. Supervision of housekeeping operation, including all guest staterooms, all guest areas including the open decks, all crew areas, laundries and I train and develop housekeeping personnel every day.

3. How many Housekeeping Staff do we have on board and from how many different countries? Total of 224 crewmembers from 42 different countries.

4. On a typical Carnival Freedom European cruise, how many bags and suitcases do you move from A to B during embarkation and debarkation?

And how long does this take?

Luggage operation on embarkation day starts at 1 pm and finish around 6:30 pm with 75 working crew. Disembarkation luggage starts at 10 pm and normally finishes at 1:30 am then we are back at 4 am to disembark all luggage, which normally takes two hours. We are handling around 10,000 bags in each operation so during one day my crew has to embark and disembark 20,000 bags.

5. On average, how many cabins is a Stateroom Steward responsible for? Please can you also tell us how long it takes to make up one cabin?

Average stateroom steward is responsible for 25 rooms. They spend 20 minutes in each room but all of them have asst stateroom stewards which are helping them with cleaning of the restrooms and balcony.

6. Everybody loves the Carnival towel animals. How are the Stateroom Stewards trained in making these, what is your favorite and which one is the most difficult to make?

We have a book as you know but most of them are learning for another steward. The most difficult is to make a rabbit face — the rest is piece of cake for them.

7. Many guests leave things behind in their cabins. What are some of the more unusual items that have been left? Most of the guests are forgetting to take all of they stuff just last embarkation. One cabin forgot to take all souvenirs from each and every port. I have found false teeth on two times, I do not understand how you can leave without your teeth.

8. Do guests ever try and steal the towels? And if so, how many do you think we lose a cruise? Yes they do! Not only towels but luggage mats, ice buckets, duvet, pillows……Few times life jackets so they can use for they private boat. We are loosing items for $2,000 a cruise.

Thank you Marcin and I am sure there will be some comments about the last question !

Do you remember the story from yesterday about the lady who interrupted my show because she had lost her friend Nada? Well here is a follow up from that and another letter for today’s IN THEIR OWN WORDS.



I have just had a great idea, let’s do some Q & A

TON AND ANGELIQUE – Hello to you both in Holland. I see that you are trying to understand what this scrapbook thing is all about. Heidi has told me that there really is no Dutch word so let me try and explain that it is collecting photos and memories and placing them into a book. Now, that is probably a very simple explanation and I am sure others can explain better than me but as far as I understand, that is basically what it is all about. Maybe someone else can help? You asked when I will be back on the Carnival Freedom and the answer is January 5. I will be there until the end of the Bloggers Cruise and after that, I have no idea yet. Heidi and I send our best to you und viel liefs und kunuffles.Oh, Heidi just said its like a Veredeld foto album ????????????………..mit photo und allus.
MATTIE – Hello and thank you for posting your very first comment on the blog thingy. You asked about Circle C which will be the new name for our 12 – 14 year old program. This is part of Camp Carnival and it has recently been revamped to allow for the new type of fun that 12 – 14 year olds want to do these days. There are many exciting activities which include games. discos, computer games, etc. etc. and parents can leave their children with the knowledge that they will be safe, in the charge of experienced staff and most importantly they will be having fun and meeting new friends. Is there something specific you would like to know that I did not mention? If so, please post your second comment and I will be here to help.
Here is the answer – I just got from the Photo Department.
The concept of ordering photos from your TV has been tried in the past and it was not successful however we are looking at ways to improve the photo finding experience
FRANK C – Your Supper Club reservation has been made………………try the lobster.
I will make sure there are scrapbooks here for you and maybe we can indeed trade for some diet root beer or an Aston Martin. Sorry I didn’t see your last post but I am really glad you are enjoying the blog so much. Cheers mate.
SHEILA – Thank you for really kind words it was my pleasure to try and make Lucy feel special – which she is. I am sure it must be hard to make your own bed after the amazing service of your stateroom steward. I hope you had a great Holiday and please have a cup of tea for me and send my best to Lucy.
JO MYERLY – I am sorry you don’t like Ocho Rios, I really wish you would give it another try though…………did you ever climb the Falls or go to the rain forest? If you book the Bloggers Cruise I will personally give you and your husband a massage……………I am really good.
WILL – Welcome back to sunny Manchester. I can’t believe how badly parts of England have been flooded, I feel so bad for the people who have had their homes ruined by something as simple as rain! On a much brighter note I am sure you have many memories of your cruise and thank you for your kind comments on the shows and the staff. Please send my best to your family and next time I am in Manchester I will pop over and see you.
DAVE MYERLY – Thanks mate for the wonderful posting on your knowledge of the Navy ships you have been involved in over the years. It seems you must have many stories to tell and you must be so proud of what you have achieved. You asked if I can interview someone who is in charge of the upgrade projects and find out what they do, I can indeed and I will ask ROGER BLUM to put me in the right direction of someone who can help. Thanks for the great idea Dave and all the best mate.
VICKI – I am hoping to be on the Carnival Splendor for at least some of the South American Cruises so I am sure I have a good chance of seeing you there. I am glad you are taking the precautions of cruising as much as possible as you must be aware that ATCOCS SYNDROME can creep up on you at anytime. Take the case of Mr. George Hicks who had not cruised with Carnival for some time and then went on another cruise line which shall remain nameless. He was taken off the vessel because he decided to repaint the bow of the ship by adding letters Not Carnival Line. As he was escorted of the ship he even asked if he would win a solid gold plastic trophy for his artwork. So, I am glad you will not be like George Hicks and watch out all of you for those early warning signs of Atcocks which can include using the word “fun ” in every sentence and asking your wife or husband to make a rabbit out of a towel and your underwear. All the best Vicki and enjoy your cruises.
DWA76 – It’s not every day that my bottom has been accused of nearly getting someone fired so thank you for the compliment. Seriously, and not to keep going on a bout it but those beans are nasty and vicious things. PLEASE SEND ME MORE. I dream of having an Aston Martin for 30 days but the chances are about as real of finding me modeling Calvin Klein underwear on the front cover of Vogue magazine. Oh, well, a boy can dream and thanks mate for being such a great supporter of my H A A M (Hire An Aston Martin) campaign but something tells me it will be my usual compact car from Hertz. Lets keep campaigning and if I do get one for the month of December I will give you a solid gold plastic trophy and a signed pair of briefs for being my campaign manager. Cheers.
SHARON R – I am sorry that your original comment was lost in blog land. That seems to be happening so much these days as pieces of mail keep getting sent to the wrong place. Here is a perfect example. I keep getting offers on my e-mail to buy Viagra. Now, everyone knows that I don’t need that and it is strange because my Dad keeps getting the same offer as well so it must be another Heald family who needs…….help. Anyway, I delete them after I have sent them to my mate Alan Adkins who needs all the help he can get. Your supper club reservation is confirmed…………………….try the Sushi Platter starter.
Let’s answer your other questions.
1. You asked about your mother-in-law and what she may be able to do giving her walking difficulties in Livorno. That’s an easy one. PISA BY TROLLEY. She really should see the tower and the Trolley allows you to see all of Pisa including the tower, cathedral and the village itself with little walking as you are aboard a trolley. She will love this.
2.You asked about buying tickets through one cabin which yes, you may do. Just buy them through one cabin and hand the tickets to whoever is going on the tour. As long as the family come into the lounge together to get your bus stickers you will always be on the same bus together. The tickets do not have any names on them so it does not matter who has them. Remember, if you are unsure as what tour to buy then wait until you are here with us and listen to my talks and then decide.
3.I think the best for Mum before you get onboard is just do things on your own. The tours are very long and maybe after flying she may be tired. You can always take a hop on hop off style bus or maybe just take a cab to the Vatican or walk depending how close your hotel is. I think, giving her difficulties that you mentioned this may be the best way to go.
I know Heidi answered these for you already yesterday but I just wanted to make sure you saw them. All the best and I will see you soon………can I have some jellybeans.
ANNA REED – It’s my friend from Canada A. I do indeed remember our telephone conversation at the morning show and it was a lot of fun so thank you very much A.
You asked for the recipe for the Carrot Cake from the Café and I have asked the Chef who said he had to get permission from the office which I understand. I then had to ask the office and it’s a classified recipe etc etc……..so you know what………..I knew there was only one person who could discover the secret ingredient without going through weeks of red tape………………..some say he was related to the God Of Sun………Georgeus Hamiltonus……..some say he eats nothing but Spinach and that he sleeps upside down hanging from a wooden beam……………….all we know is…………………its PA 007 and his faithful friend Tim.
Here is what he discovered.
John, here is the Chef’s recipe which we use for Carrot Cake onboard. This is a secret recipe and is not meant for publication. Going back to my cubicle now.
Serves: 8

225 Gram Butter (8 oz)
225 Gram Light soft brown sugar (8 oz)
4 Eggs, separated
1/2 Orange, zest only
4 Teaspoon Lemon juice
175 Gram Self-raising flour (6 oz)
1 Teaspoon Baking powder
50 Gram Ground almonds (2 oz)
125 Gram Walnut pieces, chopped (4 1/2 oz)
350 Gram Young carrots, peeled and grated (12 oz)
225 Gram Creamed cheese (8 oz) & 2 table spoons of Honey

Pre-heat oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas 4. Grease and line a deep 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, then stir in the orange zest and 3 teaspoons of the lemon juice. Sift in the flour and baking powder, then stir in 100g (3 1/2 oz) of the walnuts.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the cake mixture with the carrots. Pour into the prepared tin and hollow the centre slightly. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Cover top with foil after 1 hour if it starts to brown. Leave to cool slightly, then turn out onto a wire rack and remove the lining paper. Leave to cool.

To make the topping, beat together the cheese, honey and remaining lemon juice and spread over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the topping with the remaining walnuts.

This blog has just given its first cooking lesson………….good grief……………and it’s all thanks to PA 007. Let us know Anna how this turns out and send me a piece A.
PAMELA LITWACK – I am glad to hear you both are safe and well after your traumatic flight on Alitalia. I must admit, they have never been my favorite airline and this is not an opinion sponsored or agreed to by anyone else at Carnival but they have some of the rudest most arrogant staff I have ever met. It seems you experienced the same with no working entertainment system, broken seats and I know asking for water gets the same reaction as if you had asked for a bag of lobsters. Anyway, please except my apologies as you did book your flight through Carnival but obviously we have no authority over them but I will make sure our Air and Sea department hear of your troubles. On a better note, thank you for your kind comments about the cruise and calling me the BIG DADDY of Cruise Directors made me feel wonderful….old…….but fantastic. I hope we get to sail with each other again very soon and I send my best to you and the family.
SHERRIF ROSCOE P COLTRANE – Whatch ya goin do, watchya going to do when they come for you, bad boys, bad boys. How are you mate, you may never be the ship’s Godfather but you can be mine!
BIG ED – Sorry about that. Yes, I guess I seem to be responsible for some computer screens being ruined from people laughing various liquids over them and also the ruining of underwear. I do not think I can shoulder that much burden. If you come on the Bloggers Cruise I will provide free Depends for the entire cruise and even wear a pair on formal night.
MOERM 4 – Lets start with the scrapbooks which you asked if they would be available fleet wide ………..answer YES. In fact they should already be so and Chris Prideaux is working on implementing classes on most of our five-, seven-, eight- and 12-day cruises.
Now, as for the question about accessing photos on your TV which was mentioned on the Carnival Currents magazine, I have asked someone for further information on this which I should have very soon. Please allow me 24 hours and I will be back to you shortly with an answer, seems like a GREAT idea to me. I will write more soon and wish you all the best until then.
CAPTAIN CHUCK – I laughed at your comment about the Griswald family in comparison to the guest who was upset at me because the Vatican was closed……..thank you for the smiles Captain. For you, I will make sure that Alaska is open and ready to give you what I am sure must be such a needed vacation. How is dad coping with all this therapy? Please would you send my best regards to him and let him know he is in my thoughts? Thanks Captain and I look forward to your next posting.
NANETTEALI – Right, after that posting I need Spanish lessons. I am getting it translated so stand by. Heidi and I miss you and your family. I willo writo soono esta nacho en el grande HUGO para Usted.i PUT A PHOTO ON TODAY’S BLOG OF THE jellybeans which I hope more bloggers will send me as you cant get them here. They taste great and provide hours of fun in the bath.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF………………You are all individuals……………YES , WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS
She turned me into a newt……………….I got better
Release Woger
the guest isn’t singing Oh what a beautiful morning when I bring them their breakfast, I think Oh yes, there another one who snuffed it in the middle of the night -this is a hotel not the Burma Railway.
OK,enough Python and Cleese quotes for today.
I will check into the Marx Brothers movie you requested and if we can get permission to show it, of course I will mate. Hope all is well with you and your other half and no more Python/Cleese jokes I promise……………………………………ok, maybe one more.
KATHIE – I would hate to be the reason your son does not get a college education ……….but…………what the heck……….spend his college fund………come cruising………….and I will hire your son as my assistant. That sounds fair does it not? You really want to be careful as you to are showing signs of ATCOCS SYNDROME and that may be dangerous so seek the advice of a travel professional or a Carnival PVP, and always read the label. If not, well you could end up like poor old Norman Bearcroft who had not been on a Carnival cruise for seven months. He was at another vacation resort that will remain nameless and had to be removed from the park after threatening the mouse with big ears that Fun Ship Freddy was going to kick his butt and then on one of the attractions he was arrested for sneaking into a restricted area and swapped the music so instead of thousands of kids coming off the attraction singing it’s a Small World they were all singing Carnival’s Got The Fun. So, yes call your PVP and use your sea miles card and get help……………..now.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – The reason we wanted to drive on the wrong side of the road was so we could be different to the French. The French have launched their own version of Google called Quaero. You just type in the subject you’re interested in, and Quaero refuses to look it up for you. When are you going home? One day we will get to hear each other’s accent for real, I can’t wait.

OK that’s enough for today. I have nearly caught up but will start with more questions tomorrow.

The last few cruises I have been angry at myself at the shuttle bus service here in Venice and I have chopped and changed and fiddled with ideas on how to improve it and finally…………today, I think I have found the right system. I won’t bore you with the details but there was never more than a 10-minute wait and never more than 50 people waiting in line. One of the small details which will help is I finally got permission to have big Carnival signs placed at the Vaporetto Station Piazzale Roma, this took a vote in parliament but really will help. Also, as people had a hard time finding the buses coming back I have dressed the shuttle bus staff in Carnival attire including green hats with the words “Carnival Crew” on them so this I know will help. I have changed the timings as well and this I am sure will elevate any other complaints. It took some time but I am confident the system is better than anyone’s now…………….I will let you know.

So, we are in Venice tonight and the Emerald Princess is here with us again which means a lot of people in Venice tonight. Heidi and I are going out for dinner and are in two different minds where to go. Heidi wants to go to Harry’s Bar again but myself and Mr. Visa are not happy with that idea at all. I was thinking of a small Pizzeria called Piovano’s. It has wonderful seafood and the bacalar (that is probably spelt wrong) which is dried codfish is fantastic. It’s cheap but the problem is Piovano’s is well………..rude. It’s like an Italian version of Fawlty Towers with the two waiters who are so flippant and obtuse its hilarious…….in fact they are so rude, if you close your eyes you could be in Paris. Anyway, the argument is continuing and I am sure I will come out as the loser……………again.

Just a quick chat about the BLOGGERS CRUISE.

After our conference call I would like to tell you some of the things that will be happening on the January 19 cruise.


This will include a T-shirt, A Special Calendar (I will come back to that), a camera and other bloggers gifts which for now will remain a surprise.


While I will be hosting the Welcome Aboard Show, Talent Show and Morning Shows, there will be another Cruise Director onboard who will be taking charge of the day-to-day aspects of running the ship and hosting the other events and shows. This will allow me to be with you all as much as possible and we will have:


And much, much more.

Now, to the calendar. This will feature photos from the blog for each month as well as some exclusive ones as well……………….maybe……………….just maybe………….even a photo of PA 007. I thought it may be nice to add highlights from this year’s blogs so far so around October time I will be asking for you to vote on your top 10 blog stories………………yes, I know there are 12 months but two will be written by surprise guests.

I have to hold a few things in reserve but if you can and if time allows, please come onboard and I promise you a week that you will never forget and one where I know we will all become best friends forever.

Europe is the place to be. I say this as I look out of my window and see three other ships here with us and sometimes I have to remember how lucky Heidi and I are to be here…………………sorry, I got all soppy there………pull yourself together and talk about jelly beans or something. I know, I will finish with more letter from today’s morning show…………some people meet in strange places as you are about to see.


It’s a mad, mad world

Off for dinner and yep……….you guessed it…….Harry’s Bar it is. I am having the 60 Euro chicken curry and shortness of breath for desert.


Your Broke Friends

John and Heidi

All Colours (Spelt Correctly) and Sizes

July 27, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning – How are you?

It is 8:05 am here and I woke around 7 am and even though I had not set my alarm until 8 am I could not get back to sleep so much to Heidi’s joy I decided to get up and do some work. ………….Heidi was happy because me leaving the bed meant that she could do her starfish impression with legs and arms and elbows all over the place. I did an hour of paper work although I don’t know why we call it paperwork anymore as it’s all done on this computer and there are no signs of paper anywhere. Now that’s done I can settle down and catch up on some blogging……………oh……..but first time to check the old sugar level…………hold on.

OK, that’s done and the level is fine – 5.8. The British scale is different to the American scale so I don’t really know what that is.

The welcome aboard show never ceases to amaze. Last night, just 10 minutes into the show I was interrupted by this lady you will see in the photograph below.

She came over to the side of the stage and as I was in mid flow she waved her hands about saying “I can’t find my friend.” I asked her friend’s name which she said was EVA and I called her name over the microphone. The lounge was packed with 1,500 people waiting for the show to continue but it was going nowhere as the lady said, “say her name louder, she is deaf”…….so I had the whole audience shout EVA at the top of their voice but Eva remained invisible. OK, on with the show thought I but the lady would not have it and asked me “Where is she?”………..that was it……….I had been nice to up to then but of course now, she was all mine. I asked her for more details on Eva………”she doesn’t speak good English” snapped the other half of my new double act. I asked her where she was from……….”She is Russian but lives in New York” said the new Assistant Cruise Director and she added “she is not very bright either”………so, by now this was going nowhere and I needed to move on with the show. I told the lady to have a seat and let’s see if she arrives later in the show…………but Oprah would have none of it and stayed at the front of the stage. I then told the audience that if anyone saw a deaf and not-too-bright Russian lady to please let me know. I continued the show and the audience were in hysterics as now the lady just stood at the front of the stage for another 10 minutes until finally giving up and taking her seat………the story will, I am sure continue today. Here are the photos of the lady with lots of hair.



Here are today’s photos which today we return to crew saying welcome aboard…………enjoy.

1.THAILAND – This is Sasi our First Purser “sawasdee- ka koh- tawn- rab soo – rua- samran – Carnival Freedom – ka”

2. RUSSIAN – This is Katia from Housekeeping “privet dobro pozalovat’ na bort

3. St.Georges Cathedral in Venice

4.The Blue Grotto at Capri

Here also are today’s entries for the “In Their Own Words Section.” We had to close the slide today as it was too windy – as you will see.



Off to work. Morning Show, Travel Talk, Meeting, Game Show, two Parties, two shows and a blog…………….C U Soon.

Q & A Hip Hip Hooray

I want to start with a belated answer to the folks who were asking for the information on the tours for the Mexican Riviera. These have been sent to me by the Cruise Director on the Carnival Pride Tina Noble. Here she is (I think I must be the only CD who hasn’t swung down that zip line…….I wonder why?) and my thanks to her for taking the time to put this package together.
Extreme Canopy – Puerta Vallarta
This is not your average Canopy tour; you won’t be doing any tree top to tree top on this tour ….. oh no, you will be zip lining Mountain top to mountain top.
Imagine distances longer and taller than any cruise ship! This is what you’ll be experiencing. This is an ultimate outdoor adventure. To get to where the adventure begins, you will enjoy a power boat ride, you will then be carried on the back of a truck up the mountains and then this will be followed by a mule ride where you will zig zag on a trail to the top of a mountain where the Zip Lining shall begin.
There are some immense distances and you will repel through water falls, you will get completely wet on this excursion, top to toe. Change of clothing is needed and sneakers must be worn. Lockers are provided
A jam packed adrenaline junky excursion, it is the best excursion that I have ever encountered!
Rhythms of the Night – Puerta Vallarta
You will be going to the Bay of Callitas. This excursion will include a restful and scenic boat ride where you will enjoy a great sunset. (Pending sunset time).
You will have a very nice welcome as you arrive. There will be torch lit (at dusk onwards) paths to walk along to get to the delicious buffet dinner.
You can have, bar b q beef, chicken & fish. There will be an open bar. If you want wine with your dinner, you can do! After dinner you will walk on another torch lit path adjacent to the ocean and this will take you to the amphitheatre area. You will see an amazing local native show, the best way to describe it, is ….EXOTIC! Absolutely great, a beautiful performance! The setting of the Amphitheatre is special. After the show, you walk back on the torch lit paths and back onto the boat, back to the ship. On the boat ride back there will be party music playing and an open bar will still be available. A Great tour for families, the romantics, the singles and anyone else. A really enjoyable evening excursion.
Shopping, Beach & Lunch – Mazatlan
This is a very popular tour as you get to enjoy a variety of possibilities.
You are placed into a comfortable and pre paid taxi and you get taken to
Mexican Folkloric Show which you will enjoy in a local amphitheatre.
You will then explore the Grounds of the Golden Zone, a very famous area in Mazatlan. You will be able to indulge in the resort strip and visit the best and recommended stores. You will get to enjoy both at your own leisure. Your Shore Excursion ticket will also enable you to have access to 1 particular hotel resort. Your taxi driver will show you the location of the hotel, which will be located in the heart of the down town area. You will be able to use the facilities at the Hotel, there will be access to the beach, a buffet lunch is included and 2 Complimentary drinks. All of this is all at your own leisure
Sierra Madre Tour – Mazatlan
On this tour you will get to see the most amount of interests and attractions out of all the excursions we have on offer. You will be making a day of it, if you take this tour, it is absolutely worth it!
You will be on a comfortable air conditioned bus. The 1st stop will be to an area where they make bricks, you can find out the full process, very interesting and these bricks are used in the modern world today! The next stop will be an Arts and Crafts stop, where everything is done by hand.
Then you shall get back on the bus and you will be going to a town called Concorda.
Here you will get to see the Colonial Church which is over 300 years old, magnificent! A refreshment drink will be served.
You will then hop back on the AC bus and then you will visit Copola Village, up in the mountains, you are at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains. You will be taking a step back into time, this is a Spanish, Gold mining village. You will get to see a church that is over 400 years old. Lunch is included, it is a delicious Mexican lunch.
The desert is the best, the Famous Banana Pie – Absolutely yummy!
Back onto the Bus and you shall then leave Sierra Madre Mountains and then you head back to the Famous Golden Zone and you will have 1 hour to shop until you drop and see the resort strip!
This is an all rounded and an all day excursion – EXCELLENT!!
Sea Trek Helmet Dive – Cabo San Lucas
You will be going 15-20 ft beneath the water. You get to walk along the bottom of the ocean bed very close to a coral reef wall. You will be wearing a self contained helmet weighing about 51 lbs out of the water and pretty much weightless in the water. Ladies I have good news, on this under water tour, your hair will not get wet.
It is very similar to walking on the moon, so if you have had that experience before, then you can have a similar experience on the bed of the ocean wave! A new adventure and a cool experience.
B.O.B. Underwater Adventure – Cabo san Lucas
This is a motor underwater adventure. Firstly you get taken on a catamaran out to Crystal Waters of Chileno Bay. A briefing will be conducted and then the Dive masters will escort you in small groups beneath the Sea of Cortez on these underwater motorized scooters. You will be effortlessly exploring the fascinating marine life as you ride your BOB scooter underwater!
Afterwards, you get to snorkel, swim or relax with a complimentary snack & drink.
The Fish take a look at you rather then you looking at the fish – funny stuff!!
OKTEACH_61 AKA SONDRA HEAVERIN – Hello Sondra, your cabin is more spacious as the regular balcony cabin and has a sitting area. Your cabin is wonderful and will really enhance your stay on board. Don’t worry about the questions, that’s what I am here for. I am happy to help, if you have any more questions please let me know. OR just ask Big Ed.
UNCLE DOUG – Congratulations on being a Platinum guest now! I bet you saw lots of changes over the years, since you sailed on board the Mardi Gras. Hopefully Carnival will stay in Europe forever and gives you the opportunity to cruise once you retire. Until then, keep reading the blog thingy.
BIG ED – Big Ed, as you seem to know so much about the ship, how can we sail on the Bloggers Cruise without you? I will make you the official Assistant to the Cruise Director, I even give you a name tag (a Big One). Thank you for helping out Sondra.
RUTH JAMISON – Ruth, I bet cruising has changed since 1982. The Lido restaurant is now open almost 24 hours a day. With the wonderful addition of the deli, the 24-hour pizzeria, The Grille and our great Wok station where you are able to mix and match your own vegetables, meats and sauce and have one of the staff members cook it for you. Delicious! My favorite is the Szechuan sauce (not Heidi’s though….) I know what you mean with the “nightmare” in the bazaar. So many people would make you dizzy and one hour inside surely is enough.
VICKI – I suppose you have taken care of your ATCOCS suffering. It sounds like you will be just fine for the next year or so. You mentioned the fact that some people were not so friendly while you were standing in line at the Purser’s Office and the way they behaved away from home.
I have to say, I think the same when sometimes you see a guests spill a whole mug of coffee and they just walk on and don’t even pick it up or notify a staff member. I am sure you understand that our housekeeping department has its work cut out for them every cruise with over 3,000 guests on board. Oh well. Let’s just hope you win that lottery so you will be able to keep your fellow guests “in line” during the South American cruise on board the Carnival Splendor. Enjoy your vacation on the “Fun Ship” Holiday.
DWA 76 – Thank you for your support on getting me to trial run an Aston. I don’t think I can get a better spokesperson on my behalf than you would be. I will let you know when I am in Miami next and we’ll walk in together…
SWEET SUNSHINE – Hello Sweet Sunshine. How old is the baby? We have wonderful Camp Carnival staff on board, who would love to look after the baby at night.
Maybe we can convince you to sail on the Bloggers Cruise…it’s still a few months away.
The address for us on the ship is, Heidi has written a letter to Johnsons to see if she can buy in bulk (no idea why she would do that)
– That’s another promise I will make you if you book the bloggers cruise……….you can have all my briefs that I am forbidden to use now. I await your kind response
THE BEARS, BARB & CARL – Actually, I love the beans, can I have more please as they provide me with hours of fun and every time it happens……..I think of you both 🙂
SHARON R – Sharon, don’t worry; I received all your questions so here we go:
1. Your Supper Club reservation has been made…….enjoy the crepes!
2. We have a “Pisa by Trolley ” tour, which is fantastic. You will go to Pisa by motorcoach and then around Miracle Square by trolley, so there is very little walking. If you have any more detailed questions, please let me know.
3. You can buy all tour tickets through one cabin, that is no problem. When you receive the tour tickets on board, they will have the name of the person who purchased them printed on them. Once you are on board, you may switch the tickets, that’s no problem. There are a few restrictions; for tours that visit special places for which we pre book the entrance fees like the Accademia in Florence where the Statue of David is kept or the entrance tickets to climb the tower of Pisa. Apart from those kind of tours there is no problem at all to switch to any other tour on board, as long as that tour is still available.
4. The best tour to do without much walking involved would be “Easy Rome,” or buy tickets for a Hop On/Hop Off bus, which are the double decker buses that just drive around the city.
5. You are going to have a great time watching Les Miserables in the West End. You have the Hop On/Hop Off buses in London too, but three must see places are: 1. Buckingham Palace (you can actually go inside and tour the palace) 2. St. Paul’s Cathedral 3. The Tower Bridge and the Crown Jewels.
Heidi is a big fan of Gordon Ramsay and she used to watch Hell’s Kitchen all the time. I personally just like to eat the food, to me it doesn’t matter how or by who it was made. I hope the above helps you out a bit.
LINDA HERNACKI – Thank you for your concern Linda but honestly I am fine and feeling good. I guess everyone has an off day now and then all though I do my best never to let it show although those jellybeans are not helping. Heidi looks after me and together we are enjoying our work and the blog thingy and all the interesting guests I meet make the job so much more interesting………sometimes though, they do get to me if only just for a bit. I hope you and Mike are doing well and we both thank you for your kind words and thank you for voting for Jason, you are correct he is AMAZING.
BRYAN – hello mate and I hope you are well. The Fantasy-class ships are still so very popular and I know for many people the three and four-day cruises were the start of people’s love affair with this wonderful style of vacation. The new upgrades will really add to this already massively popular class of ship and I will make sure I post photos of the changes as soon as they are completed. My best to ya’lllllllll and your family.
MRS MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – It seems like you have so many ideas of what you want to do in Rome but I have to tell you this. If it is in your budget you must, I repeat must take the Exclusive & Private View of the Vatican if you can. This is such a unique experience and as you highlighted being able to be in the chapel, talk and see nobody else there and take photos will I am sure be something you never forget. Honestly, take this tour if you can, it’s unforgettable. You also asked about the Tower Entrance at Pisa and yes, if you do buy the entrance you climb all 400-plus steps to the top where the view is………….OK. I did it and was so tired by the time I got to the top, the only view I wanted was an elevator. It is also slightly claustrophobic so you may want to think about that as well. The problem is that you can’t just turn around half way as the staircase is very narrow and unless you are at the back of the line you will have to squeeze past everyone else. Quite honestly though, unless you know you are going to reach the top, I personally would not do it. On the Italian countryside tour the meal is a full Italian lunch of antipasto, pasta, etc all enjoyed in beautiful surroundings. There are going to be evening tours on the 28th but not full day tours of Rome. Quite simply, if you want my advice based on what I have seen and done it is this. Come to the ship on the 28th and relax onboard.
The 29th, take the Private and Exclusive View of the Vatican tour then, come back and enjoy the slow cruise back home. Please let me know if this makes sense to you and if I can help further.
LFTTNSFCL – Is it not called the British Open? I thought it was but then what do I know about golf mate………the purpose of the game as far as I know is to get the lowest score possible……so…………stay at home and shoot a 0. I just replied to Mrs. MTSFPBLFTTNSFCF about Rome and I hope you can persuade her to take the Vatican tour. I have been privileged to see many things as a CD but this tour is on my top three list and I have no doubts it will be on yours as well. I have already added your name to assist me in the evaluation of the dancers before they leave so you can again fall in love with their talents. Please can you bring me one of those surgical masks in case Mrs. Spittle returns? You asked about the cabins and indeed they are all WI-FI FRIENDLY so you can e-mail etc without having to past through the Cigar bar to get to our Internet Café. I am sure we will be blogging together anyway as I am very much looking forward to seeing you both. I hope you have a smoke free weekend and I remain at your service.
HEIDI – BETH AND KEVIN – The scrapbook thing is getting so popular that yes, we need to add something from the blog and I will indeed work on that as an idea. I spoke to Chris Prideaux who is working to get classes out to the fleet post haste and again, I will work on a bloggers add on thing. Kevin, buy her a scrapbook…………….you should feel lucky, I have to buy Heidi dinner tomorrow in Venice at Harry’s Bar……you can start a scrapbook of my bankruptcy. Best to you both from us both.
DAVE AND BARB – I have to admit that sometimes holding my tongue is difficult but I realize that most of the time people just want to vent and if I need to be their human pin cushion then so be it………..most of the time it is never personal. You asked about the laundry services onboard. We do offer a full press, wash and dry clean service as well as launderettes for public washing (this is where Heidi washes my boxers which by the way I still hate) and we also offer a service where you fill a bag we provide you with as much washing as you can fit in which is washed, folded and returned the next day for just $15. This is a great service and if you don’t fill the bag up please call me as I can add a few pairs of my underwear to save Heidi doing it.
You mentioned also that you live in a town called East Liverpool, Ohio. This makes you Scousers (people from Liverpool), it means you love the Beatles and say “calm down” a lot. Great to hear from you and if you need any other questions answered please let me know.
JOHN STEERS – Hello mate and it is great to hear from you, I hope things are well for you in Port Canaveral. I am not sure when Todd is taking over from me as Cruise Director. I want to see how long I can keep going as I have already been out for 6 months without a break (well, two days). Todd is a brilliant CD and I think he will indeed be the Cruise Director on your February cruise. However, you never know what will happen and regardless I send you my best and thank you for all the people you help and I know entertain during your dedicated work at the port. Cheers mate.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – Bugger, sorry for the incorrect spelling. I meant to say MIDSHIP not MISHAP…….sometimes my fingers just go off on their own (so does another part of my body thanks to the jellybeans) and that one got through spell check as well, sorry.
Ricardo is indeed from Brazil where as you correctly stated they speak Portuguese. I promase thare well bee know moore spalling mastakes and iff you sea anyy plase lat mi now.
– The problem is mate that unless you book through the agent sponsoring the Grand Ole Opry cruise the performances of the said stars are not usually open to the rest of the ship.
Mrs. Big Ed………one last reminder.
MIKE AND MAUREEN LYNCH – Your supper club reservation is booked as requested………..try the Lamb Chops. Thank you for being such loyal bloggers and I sincerely look forward to meeting you in September as does Heidi. Please write if you need anything else.
LEASA – I learnt a new word today, grits – girl raised in the south. Please do not feel the need to apologize for the rude behavior of one person who certainly does not typify the great state of North Carolina. I never tar everyone with the same brush and I appreciate everyone has an opinion, that’s all it is. Much of the time a guests comment can only help us improve and we as a company invite these comments……..although saying I don’t speak American….well, there was little I could do with that comment except quote Mr. Cleese which I see your son enjoys as much as I do. Enjoy your cruise in February and I truly hope you will continue to read the blog thingy.
CINDY COURINGTON – Hello Cindy. I am glad you finally were able to admit in public that you were addicted to scrapbooking so I can understand your excitement at seeing the new scrapbook which is slowly making its way fleet wide. How wonderful that you have been keep scrapbooks since you sailed on the T.S.S. Carnival back in 1981, I am sure they must bring you so many happy memories. I wish I had kept scrapbooks from all my adventures…..although, now I am married some of the memories would have to be shredded! I look forward to seeing you in October when I hope you will have many more new and exciting memories to add to another scrapbook thingy.
PAM – I am so happy that you enjoyed the interview with Pam Conover from Seabourn. They are indeed an incomparable cruise line and of course sailing on one of their ships must be truly inspiring. Here is their web site thing www.seabourn.com. I have not heard of a cruise line called Capitol I am sorry to say but I do know that if you have ideas like you stated for us please feel free to add them on a posting and slap onto the blog. Please send my best to Tim and you and Heidi should have a contest to see who gets the fresh air spray out the quickest. My Mum is the champion at that though especially after my Dad has eaten Brussels sprouts! I think you should consider a Seabourn cruise, I know I am.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – I am glad the visual of my bottom propelling the ship at warp speed towards the City Of Love made you laugh but trust me, Heidi was not laughing. In fact she is now calling herself MISSING THE GAS FREE CABIN on the e-mail. Seabourn does I admit cost a little more than you average cruise but every penny you spend is rewarded by the finest service set in what must be an incomparable atmosphere. The line has no-class system and I am sure that people of all social standings mingle with each other on a ship that is small enough to allow new friends to be made and big enough to allow for the personal and romantic private time that we all need now and then. Certainly, a person such as yourself would I know enjoy everything about this special cruising experience. Please stay well and I leave you with best wishes from Heidi and I.
JTODDINMAN – You are now the official Poet Laureate of this blog thingy and thanks to your poem I will never again attempt one as mine is a feeble effort compared to your crowning achievement. Thank you for making me smile and I am there are more poems in you so I expect another very soon. Thank you so much and I hope Big Ed will continue to think about cruising on the Bloggers Adventure.
DOUGNEWMANATSEA – I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the interview with Pam Conover who is obviously one of the most respected people in our industry and it was a true honor to interview her.
After I wrote about having a Bloggers Cruise on Seabourn, I think you may be correct that it may be a little to different to the one we will have on the Carnival Freedom in January. Although, saying that, it would be perfect for a group of friends and avid cruisers to get together and spend some great time with each other. I could host a Bloggers Reunion Cruise, sort of a FRIENDS REUNITED – what do you say? Thank you mate for all your insight, I know everyone (especially PA 007 who like me is a big fan of yours) thanks you so very much and we look forward to your next posting.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – I to am happy your screen protector was in position as I did not want to be blamed for another burst of liquid hitting it full on after you read about my jellybean incident. Carol, please do not feel bad about not being able to cruise on the bloggers getaway in January, there will be other times I promise. I did speak to the grandmother again, you know the one who was upset at the “grinding” style of dance her granddaughter was doing at our Club O2 and she continued to blame us for her behavior although, I have to admit that the girl in question (Brooke) did apologize to Jessen our Teen Director and said she was very old-fashioned. I can totally understand this, it must be so strange for her to see her dancing like this, I myself was shocked but I am told this is what the kids do today. Things have changed I guess for grandma, safe sex in her day was moving the bed away from the wall so you didn’t bang your head………YES, IT’S GIVE AN OLD JOKE A HOME WEEK. Thanks for voting for our man Jason and thank you also for everything you do for Heidi and I. See you soon.
PAULETTE’S MUM – Nee Hi. Sounds like you had a great time in China but I am also happy you missed cruising. Bob Dickinson is indeed on the Carnival Spirit as we speak and I am sure he is relaxing and reading the new Harry Potter Book. By the way, I found some copies in Rome and we now have some in the ship’s library. I send my best Paulette as I do to you Mum.
MARGE RIBAS – I remember my TV friend from the crossing on the Carnival Liberty very well. All he wanted was American TV from day one and I really did my best to help him out with videos etc, but………………oh well, never mind. I am excited you will be sailing soon and my best mate Alan will also be joining us. You will love the itinerary and I hope you will leave me a note when you get onboard to say hello. Have a safe journey and if you need anything please let me know.
RUTH JAMISON – Your best regards have been passed to the great chefs at the Mongolian Buffet here on the Carnival Freedom. Which sauce did you try? I love the Schezuan best but it, like the jellybeans, does not like me and it is another reason for Heidi to turn into a quick drawer artist as she fires of double rounds of air freshener. I hope your husband enjoys the blogs as well and I thank you so much for being as you said “CARNIVAL PEOPLE”………that makes you my kind of people.
ADIAS.ANGEL – I am happy to hear that having scrapbook thingies have made you and so many others happy. I will try and work on some bloggers additions so that you can add them to your collection. Thank for the hug, I needed that and I send you one right back.
RIKKI BOYCE – You asked about the trans-Atlantic cruise and what activities you may expect fro the seven sea days. Here are just a few of the highlights.
And so much more…………….not sure about Tai Chi classes but I can offer Mahjong classes. I promise it will be a wonderful time and the most relaxing and fun days you have ever had at sea. I look forward to seeing you again very soon and send my best to you and your family.
LAUREN – I remember Mr Yu very well and he was as you said so much fun. Living on a ship is so much fun but as the interview below will tell you it does take a special relationship to handle the trials and tribulations of what happens here every day. Thank you for the Jay Leno reference, I hope he does read my blog one day and invite me to cover his vacation 🙂 I hope you would all watch. Thanks Lauren, I am so happy that you don’t think I look like Gomer Pyle – Goooooooooooooolllllllllllyyyyyy.
BILL – ZYDECOCRUISER – I am officially changing your screen name to BILL – FOOD, FOOD AND MORE FOOD AND A BIT OF ZYDECO.
TOM POTTER – You are correct of course. Scrapbooking and arts and crafts are so very popular and would make a welcome addition to a ship’s activities roster. Now, there is one problem of putting extra staff on to teach this…………..cabins! It is hard for people to understand that just adding more staff is so difficult. Every department works on a budget and every cabin is taken………….I mean every crew cabin and to add two extra staff means that maybe we have to rob Peter to pay Paul. However, we have staff onboard who can be trained in these fields and Chris Prideaux in the office is making this a priority to have this across the fleet soon. This may take a few months but I promise you Tom and Peggy that you will be very happy with the results.
Heidi sends a big hello back and yes Peggy I know now that there is a laxative in sugar free candy and so does the Chief Plumber Luigi as well 🙂 Have a wonderful time on the Carnival Miracle.


Now, it is time for a special interview from a lady who needs no introduction.



1. Before you met John what jobs did you have and what did you know about cruising?

Wow, where do I start….I worked at the Flower Auction in Holland where 75% off the world’s flowers are sold during every school holiday from when I was about 13 years old. I was still doing that at busy times like Easter and Christmas after I met John, before I left Holland to work on the ship. There, I used to make plants and flower arrangements which was a lot of fun, even though it was very hot sometimes during the summer in a green house and the hours were anything but short. I used to get on my bike at 5:30am, arrived in Aalsmeer at 6 am, had a shower and went to work until 4 pm and sometimes later, but we always had such fun people to work with that it didn’t matter. Other jobs were in a butcher’s, a bar at a flower show during the weekends with a friend of mine…until I got to the more serious stuff and trained as Store Manager for a Supermarket Chain. I was the first female Store Manager and got my photo in the newspaper and everything as they had to design a uniform for me as there were no other female managers. I really enjoyed my job but the reward for working 6 days a week, from 6 am until 9 pm just weren’t there, so I went back to school and studied more Management & Marketing. I might not use much of my marketing background now, but that doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what job you do, as long as you enjoy it.

2. The night you met John, was it love at first sight? Actually, it was…..although….and now you will all laugh….I thought he was Italian…..(John knows, so this won’t come as a shock to him) His hair was jet black when we met, bringing out the Carnival Destiny changed that in 10 months…..He was also a little – no wait, a lot drunk and he was buying the whole bar drinks……………but yes, love at first sight.

3. When you first walked on the gangway with your dad on the Carnival Fascination, what were your first thoughts? I could not believe the size of this ship, it was massive. We were made to feel at home by everybody, from the Captain to John’s staff at the time.

The shows, the food, the staff, the ports it was all just wonderful and the photos we have are a precious memory.

4. The first ship you worked on was the Carnival Destiny which then was the largest ship in the world, what memories do you have of that experience. Vacation was over!!!! There was work to be done. The Youth Director Denny and myself were responsible for getting Camp Carnival ready for our first guests to board in NY. I had no idea what needed to be done before a department like that was up and running. I remember a trampoline we had put together, it was three levels and called The Space Maze……I managed to pull myself in the middle part making it dust free and all of a sudden I felt so seasick…I will spare you the details, but let’s just say, I couldn’t get myself out of the maze quick enough….so I could start cleaning all over again…YUCK. We crossed the Atlantic in November, so you can imagine for someone like me that wasn’t used to being at sea, it was a bit of an eye opener. After that day, I have never (knock on wood) been seasick again.

5. Being the wife of the Cruise Director must be lot of fun, however, what is, if any, the most frustrating part of living on a cruise ship? I always say to John, I could never be married to a movie star or famous musician. The amount of attention John gets when we walk from A to B is unbelievable. Of course, it’s the job and you know to expect this, but sometimes when we are ashore and have a conversation about private things, it’s sometimes hard to smile when people come up to you and interrupt your conversation whilst having lunch. John is amazing and always has time for everybody, I learnt over the years that it is just the way he is and that is why, I think, makes him the best in the business (don’t let John read this).

6. One a personal note, what are John’s strengths? One of his strengths, I mentioned in the questions above. He also has an amazing memory and he always puts others first.

7. What is John’s most annoying habit? Apart from leaving his underwear on the floor, he just cannot make it to the washing basket for some reason (although our cabin really isn’t that big), he is probably the most “untidy” person I have ever met. When I sit at the desk in our cabin, I always tidy the desk up first before I can do anything, he leaves cupboard doors open, leaves tops off everything he touches….I now just throw tops of deodorant etc. away, so it won’t frustrate me. But in his defense, I have to say, that I am probably the worst to live with, in that perspective. I can not concentrate with a mess around me, if there are things that need to be done I want to do them “now” and not later, John is much more relaxed with those things which sometimes drives me mad, but if that’s the worst thing ………I think I’m alright.

8. Apart from family, what do you miss most about living on land? I miss driving, I miss cooking, I miss having animals around me, just simple things really, which we enjoy double when we are at home.

9. Why is John so obsessed with Aston Martin? John absolutely loves fast cars. Always has. Apart from being James Bond’s car, I suppose it’s an English thing with the Aston Martin. At least I don’t have to think of a Christmas present this year. I will rent him one for a few days…..shhhh…

10. How are you handling John spending all this extra time on the blog? I have to admit, since he started with the blog, there is not much free time available anymore. Don’t forget he still has the Entertainment Department to run, do all his Travel Talks, do his Morning T.V. Shows etc. etc. I sometimes tell him to take it easy, but with John it’s all or nothing, he never does anything “just a little bit” but always goes for it, in anything he does.

11. What would your dream vacation be (not cruising)? My dream vacation….how long would I get???? My dream vacation would be in no specific place, as long as it involves the following: John and not many other people around, unless they are giving me a spa treatment, bringing me a drink or food……

12. Finally, why did you make John switch from briefs to boxers? Where as John likes to discuss his underwear with all of you, I am a bit more private and leave it at that.

Thank Heidi, all I can say is……………………I AM A LUCKY MAN

Thanks to PA 007 for setting the questions.


Here they are.




You can order different colours, sixes (up to XXXXL Ed) and of course add your own names on the back. Tank tops are also available. These will be available from the blog in the next few days and will be a limited edition of 500,000……….although I expect to sell 9…………..10, if I buy one myself.

There will be special additions for the bloggers cruise and more information on that will be with you on the next few blogs.

If we sell 200 shirts, I promise to post a photo of me, like you have never seen before……nobody has seen this photo……not even Heidi!

By the way, I get no money myself for the shirts, I promise, it’s just the thought of all the hard work that went into buying them, designing them, etc ….well I would hate to see that go to waste.

It is now 12:40 am and I must go to bed but before I do…………….This evening it was the Captain’s Cocktail party and formal night. I was introducing the Captain when something shocking happened………….a lady guest…………….in her 60s…………..kissed the Captain on the mouth…………………he had no chance to escape and just stood there as this lady drooled over him like ……………..a big drooling thing in sequins…………..she was obviously sponsored by the free drinks we had been serving. After releasing her vice like grip and unlocking her lips from the Captain’s face she looked for another victim……the Captain looked for help and assistance…………both received nothing except the sight of my back as I ran away……………the sugar free jellybeans propelling me to safety.


Your friends,

John and Heidi

Heidi's Blog Number Four

July 26, 2007 -

John Heald

As John writes about our daily adventures during the cruise, there is not much for me left to say about that, he covers just about everything….So, I thought I share some of my favorite memories with you…

As I am working closely with the Shore Excursion Department on board, I thought I share 2 of my favorite tours with you, but the other side of the world instead of Europe.

1. Swimming with the dolphins……
For anyone who has ever done this, you know exactly what I am talking about. It’s an experience of a lifetime. I swam with dolphins in Cozumel, in Playa del Carmen and in Ocho Rios and every time it was just wonderful. The dolphins are so sensitive and careful that you feel very relaxed when you get out of the water. For any cruisers who read this and think about doing this, most of the time we also offer “Dolphin Experience” tours, where you stand on a platform and touch the dolphins and get educated about them, but I think it’s worth paying the extra money and actually get in the water and play with them while you feed them, hold on to their fins while they pull you through the water or even let them push through the water with their noses on your feet.
They normally take photos as well, which of course you can’t leave without.
2. Horseback riding in St. Lucia….
On our Millennium cruise on board the Carnival Triumph, John’s mum and dad and his sister Suzanne and her husband Paul were on board with us. The Millennium party was amazing. It all took place on the Lido deck with the band playing and John emceeing the whole evening.
There was not a place on deck where guests were not dancing, it was a fantastic party! Someone in our family (I won’t tell who) had the bright idea to book the horseback riding tour in St. Lucia THE DAY AFTER…..
This tour departed from the pier at 8:00am!!!!!!
Now, do I need to say more??? I absolutely LOVE horses and grew up with my own Shetland Pony, but that morning through some strange reason, my head felt different than any other morning and all I wanted to do was hug the horse and go to sleep on his back….Anyway, the sights were beautiful and we went through the water and once again, it was a day I will never forget.
I won’t tell you about my horseback riding experience in Jamaica, although I love this country with all my heart….the spiders there HAVE TO GO……can someone arrange that for me????
3. A personal (not CCL) tour….
My first time to the city of New York……
Sailing on what was at the time biggest ship in the world, the Carnival Destiny, in 1996 we arrived in New York and I was in awe of everything. What a way to arrive to the U.S.A for the first time in your life….
I remember standing on deck with my friend Denny, who was the Youth Director at the time, covered in thick clothes as it was COLD!
The sky was blue and the sun was out and the photos I took that day are amazing, as you can understand. In our home, we have a blown up photo of John and myself on the bow of the ship with the Statue Of Liberty behind us and of course we have one with the Twin Towers on the background…..a photo that has more meaning now than ever.
Well, we arrived at the pier and as we pulled up I saw a police car on the pier and a few men pulling something out of the water….it was a body.
I could not believe my eyes. It was then covered by some sort of plastic blanket. Wow, Welcome To America!!!

There are so many more great memories, after all it’s been over 10 years that I have been working for Carnival Cruise Lines, I started in November of 1996. I will save some for another time.

Now, over to the comments:

It’s always nice to hear from you (two) and your name obviously catches my eye when reading the comments. You will absolutely love Wee Jimmy.
Ask him how Mr. Robinson is doing when you see him, he might even let you meet him (his teddy bear, and while I am writing this, I know he will probably never speak to me again….) Enjoy your cruise!
Hello Ed. With regards to the wedding photo, I am sure John’s mum taught him to sit up straight…… especially as we were sitting on the exact same chairs that my Queen and her fiancé were sitting on their wedding day. The hotel “The Grand” used to be Amsterdam’s town hall, before it was a hotel and the top table and chairs are still the same as then…..
07262007now.jpg Now
Council Chamber:
Restored to its majestic glory from when it was the Council Chamber of the former City Hall, with wood paneling and glimpses of the city’s illustrious past evident throughout the chamber. The same table the Aldermen and the Burgomaster already used in 1926 is now used as the head table for any function. The chamber was the setting for the marriage of Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands who was married here in 1966.
The whole room has a special “feel” to it, the carpet and floor creek and you feel special just walking through the door.
If you would like to take a tour from Cannes to the Southend pier, I will personally arrange that for you…now problem 🙂 🙂 🙂
Hello Mark. I will start my blog with announcing that it’s me from now on. I am not allowed to make any more refrigerator comments, so I won’t as otherwise I will be in the dog house myself….Don’t bother going to Southend to walk on the pier right now, summer has not yet arrived in the U.K. It breaks my heart to see those poor people on the news, knee high in the water with all their belongings floating around them. Maybe I should send some Dutch engineers over to help built dykes and dams……
Thank you for the comments on my wedding gown. To tell you the truth, I had to drop 2 sizes to fit the dress. I saw it in a magazine, probably a year before the wedding, of course when I went to the store to see if they actually had it, the lady made numerous phone calls and she had it sent over from a store on the other side of Holland. It was the collection of the year before, so she wasn’t able to order my size. When it arrived, it was a size 36 and at the time, I was closer to a 40…so…..she urged me to try on other dresses, but I only wanted that one and got it, against my mum’s and sister in law Sandra’s advice… I lost the weight and it fit me perfectly on the day. It is still hanging in my wardrobe at home and when I look at it, it still puts a smile on my face.
When we worked on the Glory, Wee Jimmy was one of the Social Hosts, I now work with another Asst. Cruise Director. Her name is Stephanie and she is great. We have worked together since the Glory as well and she came to this ship as a newly promoted Asst. Cruise Director. There is so much to do on this ship that we share the responsibilities and where I work closely with John, she looks after the activities along with the Social Hosts. It works out well that way.
No news yet on AJ as Godmother…….we’ll keep you posted.
Congratulations are in order as you became a Grandma again, to Joshua Daniel. What beautiful names. I hope mum and son are doing well.
Keep writing, but I understand if you are busy with the new arrival in the family…
Hello Ethel. Thank you for your nice comments re the blog. I hope you like the photos I have attached this time. Keep reading!
I am glad you like the little “inside” information there. Our wedding album is really amazing, but has the size of a wall paper book….so, not easy to travel with. It’s safely kept at my mum’s.
Thank you for reading my blog thingy too.
Hello Aussie Chic! Of course I reply to your comment, even though you won’t be offended…..   🙂 Hope to meet you one day, so we can talk about Aussie land.
While I am writing this, you are in the process of traveling to the ship.
Can’t wait to meet you. ……….Just called you in your cabin and THANK YOU AGAIN (you will probably read this when you will be home again) for the root beer. You have no idea how happy you made John
Hello Sir! Thank you for all your nice words. You asked if we ever have any real private time for ourselves. I will be honest to you, not much…
But, that’s the job and therefore, when we go home (on vacation) we don’t do much, but see family and just relax. We can then spend a whole Sunday with just the newspapers around us (ALL of them, as John goes and gets them all and every single gossip magazine for me) and not talk for hours. It’s nice sometimes not to “have” to say anything. It might sound strange to you, but if you work on the ship you are always “on.”
Our time we spend together is when we go ashore in the ports and have a bite to eat or watch some of our favorite T.V. series. We both love 24 and The Sopranos and John absolutely loves The West Wing.
The real “us time” will have to wait until we get home… I like your slang term for going to bed by the way!
What a shame Esmee to hear that you cancelled your cruise…..It would have been great to have met you after all those years. Remind us closer to the time of your group’s name and we will definitely “show them some love.” John and I will be on the Splendor next year, so maybe you can book a cruise for next year! I know some great places in Amsterdam…..will I be able to persuade you??? Keep reading the blog.
Our Cabin Steward is wonderful. He is from Indonesia and used to work in a hotel there that was run by a Dutch couple, so he speaks a bit of Dutch too. He definitely has his job cut out for him, with John leaving all his stuff laying around. 🙂
Stephanie is sitting next to me at the moment and she had to explain “sitting here in Podunk,” but now I know what that means….learn something every day. I will arrange for grass seeds to be put on the stage the cruise before you get on, so you can watch grass grow while waiting for me to call your number. Deal?
Hello Vikki. I bet I will still be looking at my wedding photos as well in 17 years. It’s just such a nice memory. I am happy to share John with ya’ll!
Thank you for your nice words. It is busy, but we do it together, and as I say myself…we are a good team! John probably looked as if he was in shock at the wedding photo as the lady was reading out some things we had told her about the other. We both wrote a little something about one another and about our “witnesses.” In Holland you don’t have bridesmaids and a best man, etc. but you need two witnesses each to be able to get married. John had Alan and his dad and I had my brother Piet and my dad. We then had to write a little something about them all and the lady who married us read that out in Dutch and in English, which was quite emotional as you probably understand. We had left the Carnival Destiny by October 1997. I think we left in September of that year, so your Cruise Director would have been Greg Kneale. He is British as well, but no longer works for the company. Keep reading the blog thingy!
Hello Nancy. My dad always told me, you can do anything you want, as long as you put your mind to it. Believe me, when I held a microphone in my hand for the first time with over a thousand people in the room, I had to really think hard of him telling me that and did the job. And every time you do something of which you thought that you never could, it makes you feel great and motivates to go on. Having John always telling me the same helps too, I supports me 200% in anything I do, which makes me a very lucky girl.
Hello Bear Friends. Talking about bears, did you ever get to see the baby polar bear called KNUT?? He was born in the Berlin Zoo. Now I have to attach a photo …….sorry, can’t resist…. He even made the front cover of Vanity Fair… Until we meet on the Spendor…keep reading the blog!
Born at the “Zoologischer Garten Berlin” on 5 December 2006  is a captive-born polar bear that was the subject of international popularity and controversy. After being rejected by his mother at birth, he was raised by zoo keepers and has since become a popular tourist attraction and commercial success.
The Baltic Inaugural AND the 2nd leg of the South America Cruise AND your favorite cabin. I always wonder which deck our guests prefer.
Close to the restaurant, close to the pool, close to the show lounge….
Can you tell me your cabin number and why you chose that one?
I am just interested. Thank you for reading my blog thingies.
Thank you for your nice words Bill. The summer is dreadful in the UK, isn’t it? You might have been right, it might have been July or August when I did that walk when my ears almost fell of from the cold….
Luckily the floods don’t come down to Southend, let’s spare a thought for all the Brits without water and electricity or without their home at the moment.
Hello Mr. Big Ed. The ship’s launderette is at the aft of the ship on deck 8. (opposite cabin 8351) Your cabin is closer to the front on the port side, so you need to walk aft on the starboard side opposite cabin number………..
Hello Terri and Larry. If you stay on board in port there will be water in the pool:), the bars will be open, but the casino and the gifts shops will be closed. I am not sure what activities are being done on the ship as every ship has it’s own activity program, but I am sure you don’t have to be bored whilst on board in the port. Enjoy your cruise!
Kathy and Paul, thank you for your lovely comments. It’s too funny that everyone has commented on the way John looks on that photo. Maybe I should have chosen another one. Congratulations on 35 years this December! We’ll celebrate 4 years this December…
Of course we will meet on the Bloggers Cruise. We’ll do all sorts of fun stuff and definitely get time to have a coffee!! See you in January.
Hello Paul. Yes, we have dominos on board along with all kinds of other games. We even have MAH JONG….  🙂 🙂 🙂 (COULDN’T RESIST)
See you and your wife in October.

Well, that’s it for now from me. Another cruise has started and many bloggers are on board and brought us all kinds of treats which is very exciting. Thank you from me, for all your lovely words, presents, comments and for reading our stories….


Sale Away

July 25, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning.

Just thought I would write a few words before I go off to the bridge for our crew-only lifeboat drill which starts in a few minutes. Lifeboat drills are on going and the ship’s Safety Office has constant training classes as, of course, safety is any ship’s primary concern.

I have to admit though, I am not really in the mood. I had one of those nights where sleep avoided me until the wee small hours. I guess it was because I had been banished to the sofa thanks to Mr. Russell Stover and his magic jellybeans. Anyway, I do feel a bit lethargic this morning. After the drill Heidi is insisting that we take a walk and go out in Naples for some fresh air. How fresh that will be will depend on the jellybeans and the fact that there has been a garbage collectors strike for sometime now in the city center.

I have already had cards and gifts from Nancinurse who is onboard along with The Johnson 4, Kurt and Dave and I am sure many more. I know I said this yesterday but I cannot thank you all enough for sending cards to Heidi and I. It means so much and, well, just wanted to say thanks. I got another Aston Martin yesterday as well, something called Hot Wheels, it’s brilliant….although…….my office chair has wheels on it and well…….with those jelly beans I think I could give an Aston Martin a run for its money…………..OK, I won’t mention them again as Heidi says ” that’s enough.”

Right, off to the bridge for boat drill………actually………….I just gave the signal…………….seven blasts of my whistle followed by one long blast…….dam those jelly beans are good.

OK, here I am back from boat drill which lasted an hour or so. This ship’s crew is so dedicated to safety and the ship’s command seemed very happy with the results. We have special squads whose duty it is to carry out various tasks, here are some of them.

1. We have a Sierra Team whose job it is to provide stretcher assistance should anyone need medical assistance.

2. We have the BRIGHTSTAR team whose if paged, no that there is someone who needs immediate and urgent medical attention. This of course involves the two ship’s doctors and five nurses.

3. Then there is the Special Needs Team. In case of an emergency these crewmembers will go to the various cabins we have documented as people with walking, sight, hearing or other challenges and assist them to the Muster Stations.

Then, of course, there are the most important crewmembers who are the fire squads. If there ever going to be an emergency (touchwood) it will probably be fire which as I mentioned in a previous blog is the most dangerous aspect of an emergency onboard. These squads are the first to be on the scene of a fire and their training is and practice sessions are so very important. In a future blog, I will have a guest interview with one of the vice presidents in the office who is involved in planning the safety operations fleetwide.

Let’s have a look at some photos which I have not slapped on before. Heidi took these two weeks ago when she went to Capri. I hope you enjoy them.





Here are two letters for the “In their own words” section:



Lets start some Q and A…………yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

DORTHE CALIMBAS – Heidi and I have a lovely house in Essex, U.K. which is 60 miles to the south east of London. In fact, when the Carnival Splendor sails out of Dover, UK, I will only be an hour or so away from home which will mean hopefully I can see Mum and Dad every 12 days and Heidi can do my washing for me. I see that you have British friends so you know the word fanny has a completely different meaning on both sides of the pond. Hope all is well with you and please keep reading the blog which now has had 475,000 punches.
BOB HICKLY – Thanks mate, I must admit that after the guest telling me he did not understand me and I should speak better English I have purposely been trying to sound the ends of my words more precisely and over stating each word. However, you are correct, my Spanish and Dutch need serious help. Let’s have a test, I will now write two sentences in both Spanish and Dutch and let’s see if anyone can translate them correctly.
1. SPANISH………………..Mi culo esta mucho caliente
2. DUTCH………………….Mij cuncha is so heet von der jelly beans
Perfect Dutch and Spanish right there. Cheers Bob and please write soon.
A CRUISE BY ANY OTHER NAME – A great idea indeed, an interview with a port agent will be forth coming as you are correct when you say they must have some excellent inside knowledge.
LINDA HERNACKI – I know a lot of you miss the weekends with no blogs but as you can see I am trying to make up for it with as many as I can within the weekday period. Sorry you have so much rain, just like back home in the U.K. where floods continue to prove to be a problem. Heidi is well and in fact will be posting her comments later today. Still no news on A.J. but I have not given up hope but I may change gears and make a move for Miss CZJ, I am giving it to the end of August though. Hope you and Mike are well, Heidi and I as always send you our best.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – Thanks mate, I hope Southern Dreams weren’t upset at me for slapping on the John Cleese speech which I did to prove that there are subtle and fun differences between our two countries even though we speak the same language…………well, sort of. Thanks for the excellent link Mark and I hope you and the other half are both well and thank you for your kind support.
LFTTNSFCF – All I know mate is that I really have been self-conscious about my accent since my friend from North Carolina told me I was incomprehensible. Anyway, I have many great friends from the South and yes I do have problems sometimes with what they say but at least they speak slowly so you have more time to understand. I am working on my English though and walk around saying ‘HOW NOW BROWN COW ‘……………..hopefully this will help.
Did it work 🙂 ?

Off for a walk in Naples now as ordered by she who must be obeyed………………back soon.

Here I am, back again.

We went for a walk and had lunch in a little Pizzeria type place by the ship. You know, when you are on a no carb diet, the last place you want to have lunch in is Italy. Opening the menu I was attacked by 40 different pizzas, calzones and the fresh bread shouted “eat me” from the table……..I put temptation behind me though and had some Mozzarella and meats while Heidi ate a HUGE plate of pasta…………..life is not fair………….the story will continue later.

Let’s get back to the Q & A

DAWN – I was brought up by my Mum and Dad to be kind and polite and I do get annoyed when I say hello to guests and one or two just ignore me, I mean, its one word “hello” it’s hardly the Gettysburg Address. I am looking forward to saying “welcome onboard” to you and your family very soon Dawn…….STAY AWAY FROM Alan Adkins, he’s trouble.
BRYAN – I am glad you enjoyed the Cleese speech; he is such an inspiration to me. Talking of soccer I guess David Beckham is going to change the face of soccer single handed in the States. I hope he does but I can never see it being as popular as Baseball, Football and the N.B.A………….LET’S GO HEAT! Hope all is well in Canada and have a Tim Horton’s doughnut for me.
LUV2CRUISE – I know I have made the big time when because you are laughing so hard the dog comes in to have a look at what you are doing. Thank you for the invite to drink some “Blubber,” I am afraid to ask but have to, what is it? I send my best regards to you and your dog…….what kind of dog is it?
KIM – Well spotted. Yes, Gary was not in the photo as he was on vacation but has returned now. He and the entertainment staff provide so much fun at all the activities, I am very proud of them. Ken and Jogi will indeed be on the Carnival Splendor which will enhance everyone’s dining experience so very much. As the time of your cruise gets nearer, please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. And enjoy the two solid gold trophies you won, but don’t put them to near the sun or heating as real gold melts you know 🙂
TOM AND JANE RADFORD – I have sent the elevator to you, should take you straight to the Supper Club. You asked if I can remember all the ships I have worked on………..yes, here we go.
I never got to even set foot on the Festivale or Tropicale but I can tell you they were wonderful ships. I am so glad you are enjoying the blog and your kind words mean a lot to me so thank you.
BILL – ZYDECOCRUISER – I just laughed very hard when I realized I had mistakenly put that I loved PEP Boy sandwiches instead of PO Boy………what an idiot, although Jack seems nice. Great photo and here we are, together again, talking about food………….what a shocker.
PATRICK A RANALLI – Your supper club reservation has been confirmed…………..try the Rib Eye Chop. See you very soon.
THE CHADS – It is good to hear from you again after a long time away.
You asked a really important question about the Bloggers Cruise. You mentioned that your invoice does not have any mention of you being part of the Bloggers Group and you are correct but please do not worry. Weeks before you board, everyone who has booked because of this blog thingy will be asked to complete a simple link thing from the blog plus receive an e-mail from Carnival where you will register and then be eligible to receive the big bag of free stuff.
Roberto is working on this at the moment and more details will follow so I promise you will not miss out on anything. You also asked about shore excursions which yes, you can book on line before you sail and that might not be a bad idea. What are you interested in doing……………let me know please and I will also be letting you know which tours Heidi and I will be doing so you can book those if you wish. Have fun catching up on the blog thingies and welcome back.
ROBERT BOLES – What a great note of tribute to one of my colleagues Mr Jeff Bronson which I have passed to his boss Chris Prideaux who I know is already a big fan of Jeff’s am sure as a Navy man the experiences you enjoyed on a ship are vastly different to the ones you seem to have enjoyed so much on your Cruises. I will indeed be on the Carnival Splendor for your cruise and it will be a proud moment when I shake your hand. All the best mate to you and your family.
GRACE – Thank you for your kind words and I am glad the Cleese speech was one you enjoyed so much. Now, as for the tour, I am a little confused. Please can you send me the tour name you are doing, your last name and the date you are sailing and I will confirm all the details to you. Please do not worry as I am here to help you. I look forward to seeing your next posting so I can assist with your plans.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – I want to start with the sentence you wrote that suggested you may write too much on your postings. Please never think that, I love reading everyone’s thoughts, stories and comments as it is what makes this blog unique. Thank you for the story which shows yet again that tourists are great sources of humor. You asked how many people amongst the crew are Italian. On here, we have 51 which includes all the Deck and Engine Officers and support staff as well as other various crewmembers. Of course, the Captain is Italian as well. You also asked how many languages Heidi and I speak so let me list them for you.
As always Paul our best wishes to you and your family.
DEB ROWE – Here is some English accent for you………………..awight darlin, how are ya, lookin forward to seein ya soon love.
LISA AND ELAINE – How are your internet connections? Am I coming in loud and clear?
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – I am glad you liked the photo of Fish and Chips and please tell your partner if he takes you to the Supper Club on your next cruise I will pay for the wine! Happy to hear your screen is free of liquid that is usually covering it after you laugh at the blog, wish I had a screen guard after having that lady spittle all over me the other day. As always, all the best from us both Carol.
TAMMIE – You just made me laugh. I wish I could have said to the man who said I didn’t speak English “you are a nutter” as you suggested but I doubt that would have been part of the acceptable face of Carnival hospitality. I will try it next time though so if you see me flipping burgers next week you will know why. Cheers Tammie and thanks for the laughs.
SHELLY P – I would love to have a Monty Python film marathon on the big screen but it would probably be just me and you watching it. We are the knights who say …………….nigh! Your cousins are washing dishes as we speak 🙂
GIRLDOC – Then again, my statement that it would just be Shelly and I watching the Python movie may have been made to quickly as I see you are also a Python fan. You asked if I was going to be on the Carnival Splendor for its cruise to South America because you want to book. I am not sure is the answer but maybe. I am waiting to see what my schedule will be but there is a good chance. Either way, it will be a wonderful cruise so book now. One day, everything you see before you will be yours………………what ……..the curtains!
VIKKI – Nowiunderstandwhyyourneverwrite-yourfullnameitwouldbeimpossibletoreadanddont-worryaboutthemanwhosaidicouldntspeakenglishitswaterofaducks-backalthoughatthetimehereallypissedmeoff
Best to Matt.
LUV2CRUISE – Its great to hear from you and your words of kindness toward Heidi and I are really appreciated. When you are in the hospitality business like us you have to except that as you said, you cannot please all the people all the time. We certainly do our best and the tiny percentage of people we don’t………well it will not be from us not doing our best. We will be doing random blogs while on vacation as I know so many people are enjoying it but there may not be as many though, especially when the soccer is on or Heidi has cooked my favorite meal. Thank you again for your kind words that really mean so very much and please keep reading the blog thingy.
MARY – The good news is that the Rome at Night tour will be available on October 28 so it will be a wonderful experience for you and you will be able to book this tour once onboard. I am sure your late husband loved strong tea like me, my dad makes a weak cup but my Mum likes it strong like me. The Dutch tradition of dunking the tea bag in twice is very strange as you might as well be drinking water. I will be seeing you in October and if you have any further questions, I will be here for you. By the way the corkage charge in the dining room is $10. All the best and thank you for reading the blog.
SUSAN AND RALPH – You are welcome. I am so sorry the Scrap Books were not available during your cruise; I guess I did not realize their popularity as quick as I should have. I think hearing lots of different accents is part of the fun of cruising, anyway, that’s my opinion. Thank you Susan for your wonderful and fun posting and what exit are you from in Jersey?
DUANE AND LINDA – I remember you well and I am very happy that I will see that big new smile on the Carnival Splendor next year. You will have a lot to smile about I promise.
DENISE AND GARO – Our pools are salt water and do have the correct chlorine levels required by United States Public Health. Hope this helps and I am here should you or hubby require anything else.
HEIDI – BETH AND KEVIN – Thanks to all THREE of you for the posting. I see Mr Cleese has an international following and one day I truly hope I can meet him. If we put him in a dress and had him as the Godmother of the Carnival Splendor do you think anyone would notice?
You also mentioned another weakness of mine, Scottish Shortbread, another Off Limits item at the moment………….Walkers are the best and if you ever see them in the Supermarkets you must give them a try. Thank you for acknowledging the hard work of the chief pursers who do indeed deserve the recognition. Hope things are well with the three of you and hope to hear from you all soon.
PEABODY – I just booked your Supper Club reservation for the Carnival Conquest as you asked. Enjoy and try the Crab Cakes. Please can you give the CD Mark Price my best and tell him he owes me 5 pounds. Have a great cruise.
LONGING2CRUISE – Laughter is needed as you said more than ever in today’s world and I hope now and then this blog thingy provides it for you. All the best and many thanks for the kind words of support.
MILLIE S – Some of the tours on the second day we are in Rome (the day after embarkation) are different because we have to make sure you are back onboard in time before we sail. That is why some of the tours we usually run will not be available on the transatlantic crossing. However, let me get back to you as I will now investigate exactly what tours we are running. You can book the Rome at Night tour once you are onboard. Stand by; I will be right back to you on the next blog.
And here I am with the tours we offer in Rome on the crossing:
Highlights & Regular Vatican
Rome at Its Best
Easy Rome
An Exclusive View of the Vatican
Italian Countryside
Rome and Catacombs
Rome on Your Own
Explore Rome
Vatican and St Peters
DWA 76 – da da da da dda dd da da…………..I am coming to see you as I would love to see where JR lived and Lucy Ewing………….or , like Bobby, was that just a dream:)
LUV CRUSIN – Only 200 and something days to go before you are here. You asked when Todd will be her and the answer is, I am not sure. I have to see how long I can keep going but he will definitely be here from early December until April. He is a great a CD and you will love him even though he is ugly. If you want to see the web cam, here is the link. http://www.carnival.com/cms/static_templates/promos/freedom/default.aspx – just click on the word web cam.
I hope you are enjoying the blog and I will give you a wave from the big screen.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – Thank you so much for the kilt joke. I miss Malcolm very much as do many of us. ROGER BLUM……….PLEASE CAN YOU TELL US YOUR FAVORITE MALCOLM MEMORY PLEASE.
SOUTHERN DREAMS – yep, the Grand Ole Opry. From what I hear they are wonderful cruises and a load of fun. If you do go you may bump into Big Ed? Hope you two are well, are there any leaves left?
1ABRLN – I did confirm your Supper Club and will see what your dining reservation is and let you know ASAP. Rude children are not just to be found in America. In the U.K. we have a new phenomena of teens hanging out together all wearing what we call “HODDIES,” which some people find very intimidating. Anyway, I am sure your daughter will have a wonderful time and with your Cruise Critic friends by your side you will have a fun, car free cruise I promise. I will check on the dining room reservation soon. All the best Amy and see you soon.
NORA – Of course. The dining room waiters will not only read the menus to you but also describe in detail each and every dish. This is part of our training in assisting sight-impaired guests so we will be happy to help and we will also give you the menus for the entire cruise so you can decide ahead of time if you wish. I am happy that you all have the technology that allows you to enjoy this blog and I am truly privileged that you take the time to enjoy it. Please send my best to all the girls and I remain at your service and I remain your friend.

OK, I am going to stop there. I will start with OK TEACH from the Where were you in 82 blog and of course I have not started yet on the 40 postings from the Seabourn and Scrapbook blog but I PROMISE to do so tomorrow.

Let’s get on with today’s interview and a very special guest. I have been friends with this gentleman for some time. He worked for Carnival and was a major part of our success. He then went on to work for the Steiner Corporation who, provide the amazing and pampering treatments on ships across the industry. So, here he is, Mr. Glenn Fusfield.

1. Glenn, can you tell us about your career in the cruise industry to where you are now. I have been fortunate to be working in (or with) the cruise industry for 20 years. After a successful beginning of my career in the land based sector of the hospitality industry, I moved to Carnival Cruise Lines in 1987 as an Operations Supervisor. When I left Carnival after 13 years for my new role as Chief Operating Officer of Steiner Leisure Ltd, I was Vice President, Hotel Operations. A very difficult choice was made to leave Carnival having such a great job within such a fantastic organization. However, the level of responsibility being offered to me to join another fabulous company with great leadership was just too compelling and still allowed me to remain a part of the cruise industry, as we are the world’s largest provider of spa services in the maritime industry.

2. Steiner is without doubt the industry leader for onboard Spa treatments, how did the company start and how many ships worldwide are your services offered on. The lineage of Steiner dates back to the 1930’s as a leading hair salon operator in England. The company entered the maritime industry approx 30 years ago doing the salon operations on transatlantic cruises….today we operate spas on over 130 vessels. This year we are on pace to do over 2.5 million services at sea.

3. Your staff are highly trained professionals and so wonderful in what they do. How many employees do you have at sea and where are they recruited from and trained. We recruit from over 30 countries and as of today have over 2,100 staff members working in our spas at sea.

4. We are all very excited about the Cloud 9 Spa on the new Carnival Splendor. What can you tell us about why this will be one of the grandest and best equipped Spa’s anywhere? The Carnival Splendor and the Cloud 9 Spa will be the first spa/facility of its kind dedicated to the North American cruise market. With dedicated spa suites and over 21,000 square feet of luxury spa facilities including a thalassotherapy pool, an elaborate thermal suite, 2 VIP suites and 17 fully outfitted spa treatment rooms, the spa experience on board may be unsurpassed.

5. I have taken a lot of bookings from guests on this blog for reserved treatments across the fleet. Are there any plans to offer online booking services? The plan is to have pre-booking on line by 2008. Resources are being dedicated by both Carnival and Steiner to make this a reality and an enhanced guest service feature.

6. What are your personal favorite treatments and why. I am all for a great couples massage (what could be wrong with that experience?) a strong deep tissue massage (I prefer therapeutic massage over a caress) and to kick back a receive a Royal Shave with the hot towels and all….

7. The ships now offer this amazing Teeth Whitening service. For those bloggers who are not aware of this can you tell us how it works. Within the spa environment, it’s also about beauty….people who want to look better now have instant teeth whitening available to them in the spas on board Carnival ships. We use GoSmile teeth whitening products and their patented teeth whitening service on board… in 30 minutes we can have your teeth 4-6 shades whiter at a very reasonable cost.

8. I found the gym (by accident) the other day and it is magnificent. What fitness services do you offer to guests? I too stumble upon the gym every now and then… in addition to your top of the line cardio and strength machines we offer a multitude of classes including yoga, Pilates, all levels of aerobics, spinning classes and a variety of personal training approaches. On the Carnival Splendor you will see gravity reformers to improve range of motion as well as Tai Chi. Additionally, we are developing many other programs that reach our core fitness philosophy of Movement, Strength and Flexibility.

9. Have you ever considered serving food in the Gym – Ribs, Burgers Etc.? We tried, but the staff keeps eating it all….especially the potato chips….

10. Glenn, if you could choose three famous ladies to be the first to use the new Cloud 9 Spa and advertise the amazing facilities who would they be? Vicki Freed, no better sales person to pitch the facility….My wife who is awaiting her inaugural invitation and Cameron Diaz who would just love our Elemis Body Sculpting and Colon Cleanse treatment.

Thanks Glenn, I would like to volunteer my friend PA 007 who would love a Colon Cleansing treatment.

Cruising is all about relaxing and I truly hope that each and everyone of you consider a massage or specialty treatment………………go on, pampered yourself, you deserve it.

I never wanted this Blog to be a direct sales tool but every now and then things like this come a long.

Carnival’s One Day Sale

Tomorrow, I will be posting the first views of our Bloggers T-Shirts and more information on the Bloggers Cruise so maybe now, you should use the sale and book…………..I would love to see you.

Good news. This cruise, even though we have 3,498 guests onboard we have only 51 pieces of missing luggage. Now, I know that will not help those people who have missing luggage but it is a huge improvement on last week’s 150. I hope this is a sign of better days ahead.

We left a lady behind in Capri. She had taken our “Pompeii, Sorrento & Capri” tour and somehow she got separated from her family, her son, who is in his thirties and his wife. The jet boat waited for 20 minutes and she did not board so it left for the ship leaving poor Mrs. Rose Benedetti behind. The ship had to sail and after speaking to her son he said, “She does this all the time, let’s just go.” Now, I have to be careful here and do not wish to comment too much but I cannot understand how unconcerned her son was. Anyway, we are making arrangements for Rose to meet us in Venice and her son seems to be ok with that. By the way, she was shopping….her son said “It’s not unusual.” Thanks Tom (Jones).

It’s time to say Good night but I want to put this English / American thing to rest with this true story.

An American soldier was in London recovering after an injury and wanted to take a tour on an English double decker bus. He boarded the bus and could not find a seat when he saw a very proper English lady who had her poodle dog on the seat next to her. The American soldier said: “My leg is hurting, please can you move your dog so I can sit down?” The English lady said:” NO, I will not move my dog because my dog is better than you Americans.” The American soldier did not get mad, he just picked up the dog, opened the bus window, threw the dog out of the window and sat down.

An Englishman seated behind him tapped him on the shoulder and said:” You Americans do everything the wrong way round. You drive on the wrong side of the road, you eat with the fork in the wrong hand and just now, you threw the wrong bitch out of the window.”

Good night.

Your friends,

John & Heidi

Scrapbooks and Seabourn

July 24, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning

I don’t like writing this blog…………..it’s not the blog itself but the time I am doing it……it is 5:30 am. I went to bed last night at midnight after a long day of appraisals (I will come back to that) and then e-mails and writing the blog that will be posted before this called Where Were You in 82.

The e-mail marathon included some friendly banter with PA 007. I do this every now and then to lighten his daily grind of sitting in his cubicle. Yesterday we were telling jokes about the French and he was telling me all about his new best friend, his Dog and sniffing partner “Tim.” PA was telling me that he even dresses Tim up with a tweed waistcoat (as did Sherlock Homes) although he lived in cold and damp London and not in Miami where its 90 degrees…………poor Tim. Anyway, PA 007 did tell me that things have gone quiet as to who PA 007 is as there is no way to win the office pool because nobody knows. PA’s boss M is on vacation hiking in Montana so the heat is off. Let’s see what scent PA007 and his hound can pick up next.

Appraisals, as I am sure most of you who have had to do these they are never easy. Yesterday I did the appraisals for all 16 dancers, our two singers and all the entertainment staff. I started at 9 am and finished at 4 pm. The ship was docked in Civi so this was the best time for me to do it.

I decided to do the appraisals in one of the public lounges. I do this because I never like to conduct business in our cabin. Why? Well, that’s our home for months on end and Heidi works very hard to make it feel like a home for me so I never try and do anything meeting wise here.

I do have an office but it’s a little small for this and a little “stuffy ” so I decided to hold the appraisals in one of the public lounges. There I sat for hours holding the appraisals and all was going well……………..until………………….she saw me and locked onto me like a torpedo.

There was not even the “I am sorry to bother you” opening statement but instead she interrupted our Dance captain Ian who was in full flow talking to the dancer we were appraising and opened her salvo with a booming ……..”this is ridiculous”………..I excused myself and calmly asked the lady to step away with me.

Ten minutes later I returned to the appraisals, feeling older, my head ringing from the tongue lashing I had just received and worst of all…..covered in her spittle. This is one lady who needs to have a sneeze guard covering her face because every time she spoke, small tracer pieces of spit would fly out of her mouth. They though were only the beginning because after a volley tracer bullets of spittle had been fired at me this would be followed by the cluster spittle bomb which flew past my head landing on the back of the large leather chair we were sitting in………………at least I wouldn’t need a shower later

Oh, yes, I forgot……..what was ridiculous, what had this lady’s head spinning 360 degrees, what had turned this lady into a mad dog frothing at the mouth ready to poke my eyes out with a blunt spoon……………….The Casino Was Closed……….she wanted to gamble, she couldn’t because we were in port and it is illegal to open the casino and henceforth and once again I was the Sperm Of The Devil and the cure for her madness was to cover me in phlegm and if an axe had been at hand I am sure it would now be buried in my jacksie (English word, I suggest you Google it). Still, that’s part of my job to listen to her rantings and I respect her as a paying guest who had every right to be upset………………………..mad old bat.

Yesterday, a blogger asked what was happening during the dry docks of the eight Fantasy-class ships. I though I would slap this press release on (thanks Roger) which goes into some more detail about what will happen.


MIAMI (March 29, 2007) – Expansive children’s water parks, a new design style and features for the pool areas, and the creation of the Serenity adults only deck area will be part of a dramatic transformation of the open decks of Carnival Cruise Lines’ eight Fantasy-class ships.

The new features are just part of Carnival’s $250 million “Evolutions of Fun” program, the cruise industry’s most ambitious ship refurbishment and product enhancement initiative, which focuses on the line’s eight Fantasy-class vessels. These “extreme makeovers” are part of an overall initiative to upgrade all of the unique guest-pleasing features and design style of the Fantasy-class vessels in addition to providing guests with new and exciting shipboard amenities.

“The Fantasy-class vessels are the most successful series of cruise ships ever introduced, as well as the industry leader in three- to five-day vacations, carrying nearly 1.6 million guests annually,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. “‘Evolutions of Fun’ represents a multi-million-dollar investment designed to build upon these vessels’ tremendous appeal with vacationers by incorporating a host of new and exciting facilities and features,” he added.

The expanded outdoor recreation areas will initially be incorporated onto the 2,052-passenger Inspiration and Imagination during upcoming month-long dry docks this fall and added to other “Fantasy-class” ships in 2008 and 2009 during scheduled dry-dock periods.

The updated pool and deck areas on the Inspiration and Imagination are just one component of extensive ship-wide refurbishments to these vessels that initially began in 2005 and include renovations to virtually every guest area. Among the new features are fully remodeled staterooms and suites including new bathrooms, flat-screen televisions in staterooms and select public areas, atrium lobby bars, updated sound and lighting systems in various lounges and clubs, coffee bars, nine-hole miniature golf courses, new art and photo galleries, New York-style delis in the Lido restaurants, and purpose-built conference facilities.

More Family-Friendly Areas, Updated Spas, Entertainment Venues

With Carnival expected to carry a record 575,000 kids this year, particular emphasis is being placed on family friendly amenities, with new and expanded play areas, part of the line’s top-rated “Camp Carnival” program, and new facilities for the “Club O2” teen program. Custom-designed spaces geared toward 12- to 14-year olds are also planned and more than 50 interconnecting staterooms are being added to several Fantasy-class ships – perfect for large families or family gatherings.

The “Evolutions of Fun” initiative is also responding to the changing needs of health-conscious consumers with a complete overhaul of 12,000-square-foot spa facilities. The spa makeovers include new private treatment rooms, state-of-the art exercise equipment and a host of cosmetic enhancements.

The addition of new sound and lighting systems in the main show lounges takes Carnival’s legendary revues to another level, with several new dazzling productions that make maximum use of video projections, pyrotechnics, lasers and elaborate sets and costumes.

Fantasy-class Fleet Makeovers Well Underway

Many aspects of the “Evolutions of Fun” enhancements have already been completed on the Fantasy, Ecstasy and Fascination and partially executed on the Sensation, Elation and Paradise. By 2009, the entire Fantasy-class fleet will be completed including the fabulous new transformation of open deck areas.

Other upgrades, incorporated fleetwide, include the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system, with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high-quality linens and pillows, a variety of cuisine enhancements, as well as “Wi-Fi” Internet access in virtually all public areas, and cellular phone service.

“Carnival has always recognized the need to be a pacesetter in the overall vacation industry. With our extensive research in consumer vacation preferences, we’re able to anticipate vacation trends and tailor our product to the needs and desires of our guests, who are the driving force behind this initiative,” Dickinson said. “‘Evolutions of Fun’ is just the latest example of our commitment to guest satisfaction and our continued efforts at making the ‘Fun Ship’ vacation experience the best it can be,” he added.

The big screens on the Lido deck are not part of the makeover but I hope one day that all the ships have them. These are very exciting times for this class of ship and remember they will now be called Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Ecstasy etc, etc. If any of you need any information about a Carnival Fantasy class ship, please let me know.

Here are today’s photos which are a little different. We will return to the port photos later in the week but today and maybe tomorrow I want to show you some of the crew. Each crewmembers photo has their name and also what they do onboard as well as the words “welcome onboard” in their own language. Enjoy.

1. Dino – Maitre D who is from Croatia.

1. Dino - Maitre D who is from Croatia.

Dobro dosli na brod

2. Fey – State room Steward who is from Indonesia

2. Fey - State room Steward who is from Indonesia

Hallo, Selemat datang

3. Amol – Sous Chef from India

3. Amol - Sous Chef from India

“Apka jahaaj pe swagat hai”

4.Ricardo – Assistant Shore Excursion Manager

4.Ricardo - Assistant Shore Excursion Manager

“Ola’ seja bem vindo abordo”

5. Stephanie – Assistant Cruise Director – Virginia

5. Stephanie - Assistant Cruise Director - Virginia

” Hi Y’allllllllllllllllllll “

Let’s chat about the scrapbooks. I have asked our Bon Voyage department to make these available to guests to purchase via the web site. This should be ready to go in a few days and as soon as they are I will let you know. Here is the link thing that you will need to hit or punch when you are ready to buy. http://www.carnival.com/BonVoyage/Default.aspx They will have both Caribbean and European ones available so I hope you enjoy scrapping. I will let you know when they are ready.

Here are today’ selection from “In Their Own Words”

“In Their Own Words”

“In Their Own Words”

“In Their Own Words”

“In Their Own Words”

My two fingers are in the air, poised and ready to prance and skip across the keyboard as I start today’s Q & A

TAMI STARR – How are you, great to see your posting again. As I mentioned above the Scrap Books will be ready on line soon, very soon. I am so sorry we did not have them onboard when you cruised but we have begun to see how popular they are and therefore are getting them out to the fleet as quick as we can. I will let you all know when these are ready and all the best until then.
JANFRWA – I understand Big Brother 8 is taking your attention from the blog. Do you know that I was supposed to go on Big Brother 1. One of the producers from Endimol productions had sailed on the Carnival Triumph and sent me letters and faxes (remember faxes?) asking me to take part. I seriously considered it but Heidi who was from Holland where the program originated and had seen the program and told me it was dreadful and not to do it…………so I didn’t.
It will be nice to meet Miss Mayor on the Carnival Splendor and I am sure she will have a great time. Thank you for your kind words about the blog and I look forward to reuniting with you all next year. Heidi sends her kind regards.
RUTH JAMISON – Hello to you and the family. The jellyfish in Katakolon seem to be there every week and in fact I must take a photo of them for the blog thingy next cruise. The scrap booking thing is the subject de jour (you can tell it’s only 6:30am, I am speaking French) and I am sure in the weeks to come it will become a huge and popular hit on all the ships. This time next year I will be preparing the Carnival Splendor for its inaugural cruise and that means it won’t be long until wee see you again. I will say a big hello to the jellyfish from your kids. Please keep reading the blog thingy.
SONDRA HEAVERIN – Another huge scrapbooking fan who will be excited to hear that we are selling them on all the ships and soon via the website. I see you asking for information on your cabin features, please can you tell me what your cabin number will be and on what ship and I will send you the relevant information. Let me know so I can get back to you ASAP. You can even glue my reply in the scrapbook.
SUSAN B – Hello Susan and I have marked you down as another big SB (using the abbreviation now) fan. You asked about the sketch and cartoon artist we used to have on Promenade Deck on some of the ships. I remember these lovely Korean gentlemen well and they were so talented. Unfortunately that concession is no longer with us although maybe it is worth considering again someday. Now, you were also concerned about not having to climb lots of stairs to get to the Supper Club here on the Carnival Freedom. You can avoid them completely you will be glad to hear by taking the elevator directly from the mishap area on any deck to Deck 10. If you would like me to make a reservation for you I will be happy to do so. I will see you on the Bloggers cruise where I hope we will have a SB instructor available. All the best.
CATMAMA044 – Welcome back and I hope you had a good week’s vacation. Where did you go?
Working on a ship this big means that you never know what is waiting for you around the corner and the young man who used such bad language to Heidi was just another of our cruise Ship Adventures. I have to say though that if he had been a few years older I may have gotten myself in a whole world of trouble, nobody speaks to Heidi like that…me, well I can take it but to speak like that to a lady……….unbelievable. I realize that many of the thousands of blog fans will not be able to come on the bloggers cruise because of prior commitments but I hope the next one will be planned far enough in advance that everyone can indeed come along. I think we should start planning that very soon. Of course we will raise a glass to you and everyone as indeed I am doing now with my cup of P G Tips Tea. Let me know when you are ready to book the Supper Club and of course I will book for you. Thanks again for taking the time to read all the blogs you missed.
RIKKI BOYCE – Sorry for the misspelling of Tigger, I spelt Pooh correctly though. As far as the parents of the young man with the bad mouth, well, I guess I expected more from them because….well…….they are parents and I am ever the optimist. Oh well, live and learn. Hope all is well with you mate.
ADIAS.ANGEL – The SB’s are selling like hot cakes and cost $23.99 for the Album plus $11 for the extra refill – whatever that is. I think the idea will be to have an expert on hand to assist with the gluing and sticking and whatever else needs to be done and it looks like we need to do this ASAP while this hobby is as popular as it is. Chris Prideaux is working on this now and the idea will be to have someone trained in this on every ship ASAP. I will keep you updated as to when this project gets underway. Hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy.
DOTTIE – What an interesting post Dottie and I am sorry that we lost you to RCI 10 years ago. I understand that change is sometimes needed so therefore I think its time for you to come and discover Today’s Carnival which I think you will find is vastly different to the one you knew 10 years ago. So, I am going to ask you to bombard me with questions and comments so that I can show you why you should consider taking a Carnival cruise again. You mentioned Europe and certainly a Baltic or Grand Med adventure next year on the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Splendor will open new and brilliant doors to the world of Carnival Cruise Lines today. So, I expect you to use me and let me show you what you have been missing. By the way, I will never bring back the male Nightgown contest as I can’t run fast enough anymore. From looking at your cruises, I think we were on the Carnival Destiny together and it is time we met again. I am standing by to show you a whole new world of vacation fun.
DWA 76 – David, you made me smile with the words ” CARNIVAL SHOULD BUY YOU AN ASTON MARTIN ” Now, you and I know this will never happen but maybe for typing my fingers to the bone they could Hire me one for my vacation from December 1-31. Just in case someone at Carnival is actually reading this and decides to have a collection for me you can hire one through http://www.astonexperience.co.uk/ Life really is about dreams. I am glad you appreciated PA 007’S information on The World and yes, I think you are correct, it does seem as though your boss got lucky by not making an investment. Your kind words are indeed uplifting and as we head for 500,000 readers I continue to be thankful to all of you for taking the time to read my words. Thanks mate.
JTODDINMAN – Let’s talk about tipping then and I will try and answer all your questions within the next few minutes. As you are aware, tips are placed onto each guests sail and sign card at the start of each cruise for the following positions.
Lido Alternative Dining – $1.00
These amounts are based on a per guest per day.
Now, each stateroom steward has an assistant as does the waiter and they are responsible for paying a portion of the tips to them. These amounts are paid to the crew every week so that’s why you always here the word “thank you” echoing around the guest corridors and the dining rooms on the last night of the cruise. Remember, if you receive exceptional service and you want to give extra monies to the crew then indeed you can do so. Also, in the very rare occasion that you should find yourself unhappy with the service you can remove the gratuities from your Sail and Sign card via the Information Desk……..but I am positive you never will as the service provided by these excellent crew is something we are so proud of.
I hope this helps you understand the policy and if there is anything else you need I remain at your service.
DAVE SOREFF – Hello mate and yes, your memory serves you well I do indeed worship the king of comedy Mr. John Cleese. It’s great to hear from you (remember everyone that Dave used to work in a duo on the ships with me way back when) and I am sure you are having a great time in Alaska. You and Doug know too many of my secrets and I guess I will have to bribe you with more Cleese comedy classics to make sure you don’t post anymore. I send my best to you and your partner and if you see Doug ask him to play Jersey Girl by Springsteen, it was always my favorite song you guys played. Take mate and here is some Classic Cleese FROM Fawlty Towers. This is not politically correct these days but his antics can brighten the darkest room.
Here is an extract (as best I can remember) from an Episode called The Germans. Basily (Cleese) is suffering from concussion and is confused that there are German guests staying in his hotel. If only I could have a small percentage of his wit…………….anyway (and with no disrespect meant to any German Bloggers) here is Basil at his best.
Basil: Don’t mention the war. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it. So it’s all forgotten now and let’s hear no more about it. So that’s two egg mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Herman Goering and four Colditz salads….no, wait a minute…I got confused because everyone keeps mentioning the war.

German: Will you stop mentioning the war?

Basil: You started it.

German: We did not start it.

Basil: Yes you did, you invaded Poland…
– I am glad you liked the Cleese speech and hopefully you liked the one above. Welcome back and first of all I received the photos of the Male Nightgown Contest you sent. Very funny, but unfortunately the CD in the photo is Greg Kneal, not me. We were always getting mixed up because we had similar accents and facially we were quite similar except he is really ugly. Anyway, it was very interesting looking at them and I have passed them on to Greg who now lives in Mexico. You mentioned the people who I write have complained and if it gets me down. Well, honestly, yes, sometimes but I want to make one thing as clear as I cam. The only reason I post the letters of complaint I get are to show all sides of my job. I receive anywhere from 20 – 100 letters a day for 12 days and it would be wrong if I only talked about the positives. However, out of 50 letters a day, maybe one or two at the most have something negative to say. Maybe I should not show everyone the negative letters that I occasionally get but again, I do so because this blog has to cover all aspects of my job and life onboard if it is to continue. I really think you should consider being a Travel Agent and when you are ready maybe I can help. I am sure your sister and family are having a great time on the Carnival Pride and as always Carol, I smile when I see your name on a posting. All the best from us both.
BIG ED – I promise I will never give you a hard time to understand my accent. I think though that you must come and hear it for yourself on January 19. I am waiting for your answer.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – I think we are finding a whole new generation of Cleese fans and I am sorry that your computer is covered in tea after you laughed out loud. Your computer was covered in tea and I was covered in this ladies spittle…………I would have preferred the tea, mate. It seems you are enjoying the blog and I am so happy that you are also finding the stories amusing as so often life is. Cheers mate and keep reading the blog, more laughs are just around the corner.
RICHARD DEMEIJER – Heidi and I send you our deepest sympathies at the passing of your Mother. Please know that you are in our thoughts and during this difficult time if there is anything you can think of that you may need I will be here for you. I do hope that in the days ahead that some of the memories you have of your cruise last week here on the Carnival Freedom may, if only for a moment, bring a smile to you and lift the cloud of sadness that must be with you at this time. Please stay in touch and again all of us send our thoughts of sympathy to you and your family.
NANETTEALI – Your English is one thousand times better than my Spanish. It seems to me that you are in the early stages of ATCOCS syndrome which means you need to get help now. If not, you may become like Mr Whitmore – Smith who had cruised on Carnival many times but decided to go on another line. He was thrown off the ship (which will remain nameless) after painting over the Big X on the smokestack with the red and blue paint of Carnival Colors.
You always make me smile mi amor and as always Heidi and I send you our verity best. Buenos Diaz.
RUTH JAMISON – Welcome back and I am so pleased to hear that your recent cruise on the ship was so fantastic. I think I will hire you as a spokesperson for Fun as the words you taught your family to live by could do with being spread further a field. There are one or two guests who stay in hotels, come on cruises and live their own lives in a negative bubble but I know they are few and far between and that as our comment cards state each and every week, 99% of people say they enjoyed the cruise. How come though, it’s the 1% who always wants to be heard? Anyway, welcome home and I hope you will keep reading the blog thingy until the next time you cruise.
MJS – I honestly do not think I have an accent, maybe a slight English Estuary one but certainly I have never had anyone tell me that they cannot understand me before although I must admit, a drunk Scotsman may be a bit harder to comprehend. Let me write this next bit in English using my Essex accent and see if you understand……………..here we go.
I luv John Cleese as well don’t ya just fink he is bloody marvelous and if some geezer can’t understand me accent, well,….. am I bovered ?
Let me know if you understood me and all the best.
SAILINGWENCH – You are welcome. Anytime you have question, please do not hesitate to write to me.
DOUGNEWMANATSEA – I knew about the John Cleese speech from years ago. He actually performed it back last year in the Royal Albert Hall during a charity event called: The Secret Policeman’s Ball.” I am not sure if he wrote it but he performed it as only Cleese can.
As for the article about ResidenSea I am checking with PA 007 to make sure we did not break the law in posting the statement……….if I go to jail will you bail me out?
CRUISEMARY – You are welcome and I am sure that the Supper Club will be one of the highlights of your cruise. I will see you all in September and I am here between now and then should you need anything else. See you soon.
VICKI – Congratulations on booking the Carnival Splendor for what I know will be a fantastic Carnival Caribbean Experience. I was getting worried about you also suffering from ATCOCS SYNDROME and that can be dangerous. Take the case of Mrs. Betty Lawrence who didn’t know she was suffering from this affliction until she went on a ship ( that shall remain nameless ) and was disembarked mid cruise when she took FREESTYLE DINING literally and ran around the dining room naked shouting ” Norwegians smell of Herring. ”
Therefore, I am glad you booked the cruise, it is the only known cure. Please let me know should you need any help with tours etc.
DIVETRASH – I just e-mailed my mate Chris on the Carnival Valor and I am sure he is turning even more red as we speak. The British accent has always faired me well and if anything, I think I have become Americanized over the years by saying things like Garbage instead of Rubbish etc, etc. Thank you for your thoughts and I will be Googling Mr Dave Barry to discover more. I LOVE THE Jersey accent. In fact, I love Jersey people and their honest straight ahead outlook on life. I also love salt-water taffy and Stewarts Root beer, yep, it’s all about food.
I will promise to have a guest interview with Ron our Piano Bar player as soon as possible. Thanks mate.
CINDY 56 – A posting that like so many others I feel rejuvenated after reading. Having grown up around people from England and in your case people from Liverpool (scourers) as we call them you are familiar with the various accents in the U.K. The guest from North Carolina did indeed have quite the Southern accent but as my friends from SOUTHERN DREAMS who are as we speaking watching leaves fall will tell you, we understand each other perfectly. So, thank you for the rejuvenation and I thank you for the time you take to read the blog thingy.
RUS AND NINA FRANKLIN – and, after reading your posting, it is obvious you speak the language of fun …fluently. Thank you for making me laugh, I needed that. I owe you one.
JAYNEEN CASBARRO – I do get letters that cover every human emotion. Laughter, tears, anger, joy, celebration, tragedy and more. I feel very privileged that people seem to want to write to me sometimes spilling their innermost thoughts. I am glad you enjoy the blog and the letters and I will keep them coming. Thank again and all the best.

That is enough for today, more Q & A tomorrow.

Now it is time for the Guest Interview.

We are very privileged today to introduce one of the most respected individuals in the cruise industry, Pamela Conover, president of Seabourn Cruise Line.


1. Pam, thank you for taking the time to speak to us today. Can you tell us something about your career so far? It’s been quite a voyage, John. I first got involved with cruise ships as a banker. I worked at Citibank helping shipping companies finance their fleet expansions. It’s ironic that one of the projects I worked on was putting Seabourn and Carnival Corporation together, and now I’m president of Seabourn, for the second time! I also served as president the Greek company Epirotiki Line and of Cunard Line Limited, which included both Seabourn and Cunard, during the building and launch of Queen Mary 2. Then I went back to Carnival’s corporate office to head up the section that’s called shared services, looking for advantages that can benefit all the Carnival family of cruise brands.

2. Before we get into the specifics of what Seabourn is all about can you describe a Seabourn Cruise Vacation to all of us using just ten words or less? I’ll try: Seabourn is about – big suites, small ships, great places and sincere, personalized service. I think that’s ten.

3. You currently have three stunning ships in the fleet, The Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend. Where are the ships deployed at the moment? All three of Seabourn’s yachts are sailing in Europe at the moment. Seabourn Pride is up in Scandinavia, exploring St. Petersburg, the Baltic and the Norwegian fjords. Seabourn Spirit and Legend are in the Mediterranean. Legend is cruising the Riviera and Spain, France and Italy. Spirit is over in the eastern part, sailing from Venice east to the Greek Isles, Turkey and the Black Sea.

4. I have spoken to so many people who have cruised with Seabourn who just rave about the exceptional personalized service and the amazing suites. Can you take us for a look inside and describe the cabins and the service that has guests so enchanted. Everyone who sails on Seabourn is in an ocean-view suite. There are just 104 suites on each ship. They are large and comfortable, with a separate seating area and either a five-foot picture window or a double sliding glass door that opens onto a step-out balcony. When you come in, your suite stewardess will greet you with a glass of chilled champagne (there’s another chilled bottle waiting, too), and a selection of designer soaps for you to choose. Each suite has a bar and fridge stocked to your request with wines and spirits plus beers, water and sodas. One of the best things about Seabourn is the incredible attention to detail. So in the marble bathroom, you’ll find a menu of luxurious therapeutic bubble baths, and if you want, your suite stewardess will draw the bath and prepare it for you-complete with flower petals scattered on the foam! We call that Pure Pampering, because… well, because that’s what it is.

5. Lets talk about my favorite aspect of cruising. it should be entertainment……………….but it’s……..FOOD. Can you open up the menu and describe the dining experiences on a Seabourn vacation. When a Seabourn yacht docks, it is quite often the best restaurant in town. Our main restaurant is just that, a place that can seat everyone on board, so you choose when, where and with whom you dine. If you meet some nice people in the lounge before dinner, you simply ask the maitre d’ to seat you together and he will do that. The menus are designed by Charlie Palmer, who is one of America’s most honored and successful chefs. The food is mostly prepared a la minute, meaning it’s cooked to order, as it is in the best restaurants ashore. The menus have a lot of variety. Charlie is renowned for creating bold flavors with fresh ingredients and playful presentations. His desserts are amazing, too. My favorite is the crèmes brulées en parade, which is a “parade” of three different flavors, like dark chocolate caramel, white chocolate mint and milk chocolate with orange. There’s always something to appeal to everyone, even vegetarians, but if you want something that’s not on the menu, it’s usually not a problem. If they have the ingredients on board, they’ll be happy to make something special for you. Besides the Restaurant, we also have other options. The Veranda Café is all the way up in the back of the ship, and has seating both indoors and out. They serve wonderful buffets for breakfast and lunch, and at night, it becomes Restaurant 2, and they serve these amazing tasting menus that feature maybe 12 or 15 small plates, each one just a bite or two, that add up to a feast of different flavors and sensations. It’s very modern and very popular, and there’s no extra charge. Some nights we do a barbecue dinner on deck for everyone, or a grill lunch or dinner up at the Sky Bar, which is very popular. On Seabourn, you can also order from the restaurant menu and have your dinner served in your suite. That’s really a nice touch, for a couple or two.

6. I understand that work has started on the new SEABOURN ODYSSEY. I am sure you are very excited about your new addition to the family. When will she be ready for delivery and what can we look forward to once onboard. Seabourn Odyssey will enter service in mid-2009. She is going to be almost three times the size of our current yachts, but that’s still a small ship by today’s standards! She will only carry twice as many guests, so there will be an amazing amount of space for even grander suites and lots of fun public areas for guests to enjoy. We are also keeping the same ratio of hospitality staff to guests, so we will be able to maintain the personalized style of service that is Seabourn’s hallmark. What we will gain is more deck space, with pools, spas and areas for lounging and activities – plus more variety of dining venues. But the ship will still feel intimate and yacht-like, because the relaxed social atmosphere on board is what makes Seabourn Seabourn. We will have a lot of the best features of our Seabourn sisters, like the fold-out water sports marina at the back of the ship.

7. Having read all about your ships and the cruise experience I am sure there may be people who are tempted to experience a Seabourn cruise for themselves. Is there, in your opinion, such a thing as a typical Seabourn Guest? What Seabourn guests all share is a passion for the best things in life. People who love good food and wine, who like to see new and unusual places and who like to meet interesting new people are happy on a Seabourn yacht. Seabourn yachts are really a way of traveling in a certain style. They are less about the bells and whistles of the ship and more about the destination, the service and the company you keep. Most of our itineraries are pretty port-intensive. In the Mediterranean, for instance, it’s pretty much a port a day. So the ship becomes the social setting for evenings, like a floating country club where you gather to talk about the things you saw and did today with like-minded companions. And like a club, the staff gets to know you quickly and can anticipate your desires almost before you realize them. The complimentary open bars also add to the club-like feeling on board.

8. I would like to take a trip back with you to 2004 and the launch of the Queen Mary 2. I watched the ceremony on television ( my invitation got lost in the mail…..again ) and I truly thought your speech was majestic and considering you had one of the most important and influential icons of our time standing on your left (and the Queen was there as well)……you showed no nerves at all. So, can you describe the feelings and emotions of that special day?

Well, John, I cannot pretend that I wasn’t nervous beforehand. But I kept thinking about all the people who had worked so hard and so long to make her real. Because QM2 is more than a dream come true. She is, literally, the result of thousands upon thousands of dreams. I thought of all of the minds that imagined the endless list of details, and all of the hands that brought this or that skill to the myriad tasks that added up to this amazing entity. And of all of the people who were on board right at that moment, who will make her come alive every day and night for years and years. So then my part seemed really easy, just to welcome her into the history of Cunard, and express what it meant to all of us to see her there.

9. I am sure you must have traveled and cruised so many times to so many destinations. What are therefore your top three ports that you have visited on a ship? I guess I’d have to say there are three different kinds of ports that I love to visit. I love to go back to a favorite city after being away for awhile. Last spring I sailed on Seabourn Pride to Barcelona, and it reinforced to me the way you can always find something new, even in a place you’ve been many times. And then I love to visit a city for the first time that I have always wanted to see. That delicious sense of anticipation when you enter Hong Kong harbor or the canals of Venice for the first time. And the third type of port I love is the one I’ve never heard of, where I don’t know what to expect and so it’s like Christmas morning, unwrapping your gifts with no idea what delights you’ll uncover. On Seabourn, we always try to include a few of those surprises, like Le Lavandou in France or Kotor, Montenegro, just to keep the juices flowing.

10. Do your ships have Cruise Directors? If not, would you like one for a week as I think we should hold a Seabourn Bloggers cruise on the new Odyssey. We do, actually, John. But I think a bloggers’ cruise would be great. Maybe we can stir up enough interest to make it a full-ship charter. That way, you can design the itinerary, the onboard activities…we’ll even fly your custom-designed flag! Lots of people do it. Oprah Winfrey chartered one of our ships for her friend’s 70th birthday party. She said it was the most fun she’d ever had.

I think you will agree with me that this interview shows a lady who has so much passion for the sea and the cruise ships that sail on it. I don’t know about you but a bloggers cruise on a Seabourn ship………mmmmmmmmmmmm………something to think about.

Please join me in thanking her.

Back to reality.

Not a great start to today’s cruise………….whose fault is that………Mr Computer……….that’s who.

I cannot even begin to explain what happened but I can tell you that something didn’t work properly which resulted in the cabin keys not holding the security photo and therefore we had to take them all again which has resulted in a much slower embarkation process than usual. This means in one hour time I will be holding my welcome aboard talk and the first think I will have to do is lift their spirits a bit after the wait……..I am sure it will be fine. Going back to the English and American differences again I must say this. Americans are much more relaxed and able to laugh at themselves then most British people. There is something that makes us Brits unable to laugh at ourselves and this definitely spills over to audience participation events onboard. It is very rare that a British guest will volunteer for anything audience participation wise while my friends from the U.S.A. and Canada are always willing to volunteer. We all do speak the same language though and I hope the language of fun and laughter is spoken by more and more people because in the world we live in, we certainly need it.

I have no idea why I am writing this but it is true. A blogger sent me a big bag of something called Russell Stover Sugar Free Jelly Beans and during the last two hours I have been eating them non-stop. A huge mistake, they have affected me like nothing I have ever eaten before. Heidi is walking around with a can of OUST spray in each hand like John Wayne at the OK Corral and I just called the captain to tell him not to bother turning the engines on…………Just tie me to the back of the ship, dip my bottom in the sea and we will be in Venice in an hour.

I Love Jelly beans – send me more!


John and Heidi – who is really NOT happy.

Where Were You in '82?

July 24, 2007 -

John Heald

Hello from Civi and while the rains fall and floods rise back in the UK, here in Italy the sun continues to light up each and every day.It is nice to be blogging again after not having any posted over the weekend so thank you for your patience. Roberto had a great time on the Fascination and is now as I write posting the first of today’s blogs.

This cruise is coming to an end and tomorrow we will disembark everyone and a new adventure will begin for another 3,300 guests as we sail the Grand Mediterranean. This blog thingy continues to get great praise from various press outlets as is the amazing new funshipisland web site which is attracting many slaps……..have you tried it yet?

We just received our mail which comes onboard every time we get to Rome and I want to say thank you to everyone who is sending cards and gifts. Today, we received 19 cards/letters from bloggers and seven packages of gifts including another Aston Martin (toy) some sugar-free candy and other goodies. Heidi and I will be replying to each and everyone of you by return post and the cards mean so much to Heidi and I and are now decorating the cabin walls………………thank you all.

I cannot believe how popular this Scrap Booking is …………….first of all, is this one word or two? Anyway, I just spoke to Chris Prideaux from our head office who is arranging for classes to be taught to a group of staff members who will in turn travel the fleet teaching our staff who to hold Scrap Book classes on board every ship. I guess my first comment of “all you have to do is glue the thing into the book” was written by someone who was ignorant to just how popular and how much time and effort goes into making your book look fantastic. We sold out of the books in one day here……………….I had no idea!

I want to have a chat with you about teens some more. Let us start with the 12- to 14-year-olds. I mentioned yesterday that the things kids this age want to do these days is completely different to even a few years ago without going back to when Alan Adkins and I were 14 when an exciting day out was going Train Spotting or in Alan’s case being the only boy in an all-girl orchestra (he played the triangle). Today, it’s all changed and we as a company have recognized that and are in the process of changing our activities and concept of what this age group want to do on a vacation. It is going to be a great concept that will make the kids and the parents happy and I will be able to tell you more about that very soon.

Let’s talk about the older teens. Club O2 is our dedicated area for teens aged 15 – 17 and is immensely popular across the fleet. We are very proud of the work which Zack Miller has put into this project and he has hired superb teen directors who make sure that the teens have an awesome vacation. Each day and night activities are held for the teens and it is a great place for them to just “hang” and “chill”………..I just learned those words by the way. Here is an example of some of the activities that the teens enjoy on a sea day.

12.00pm Random Cards Club O2
Play, Hold ‘Em, Black Jack, Skip-Bo, Phase 10, Uno … Whatever.
1.00pm Dress the Contestant Club O2
2.00pm Water Wars-BOTS FINALE Deck 12 Fwd
3.15pm Amazing Race Club O2
Digital Camera is a must
4.00pm 360 Sys-Team Link Tourney Club O2
AND Guitar Hero II Pro Face Off! Club O2
9.30pm Club O2 Wall of Fame Club O2
The chance of leaving your foot prints on board the Freedom
10.00pm Stunner Shades Party! Club O2
12.00am FIFA O7 Tournament Club O2

Now, most of the above may as well be written in Mongolian because I have no idea what a lot of it means but I do know that Jessen, the Club O2 Director does a great job entertaining the 200 teens we have during the summer……..what the heck is Sys-team link tourney ?

So, each evening there is a disco/dance/rap/drum and bass/MC Hammer/rave/dance thing which the teens love and I guess even the way kids dance today has changed as you will see below from this comment.

A grandmother whose 16-year-old daughter was a regular at the club this cruise asked to speak to me this morning. She was horrified to have gone into the club to check on her granddaughter who she saw her dancing with another teen. I asked her what was wrong with that and she replied that she was “smooching and grinding” and that we should not allow this. I apologized and told her that I would investigate her concerns and call her back.

I spoke to Jessen the Club O2 Director because, quite frankly, I had an idea what smooching was and I was sure that had not changed since Alan Adkins would smooch with Penny Long (or anyone for that matter) but I truly had no bloody clue what “grinding” was. So, Jessen explained that this was the way teens danced these days, very close and in a way that well, I guess is best described as “grinding.”

I returned the call to Grandma and explained that “grinding ” was a national pastime and tried to make light of it but she was not happy and told me that she would not be sending her granddaughter there anymore.

Telling her that this was not necessary would have been the wrong thing to do as I could see that she was deeply concerned about it but I did ask her to address this with her granddaughter and discuss the situation with her.

She was not blaming us for allowing her granddaughter to dance in such a way but I think it was just the shock to see her do so. I will be very interested in seeing if she returns to the club tonight for another grinding session……………the granddaughter I mean………..not the grandmother.

You will be glad to see that a Carnival employee is doing so fantastically in the “America’s Got Talent” show on NBC. Here is some information for you to get excited about.

Again, this press release is not official until tomorrow but thanks to PA 007 for sending me this information as only PA 007 can.


MIAMI (July 24, 2007) – Vocalist Jason Pritchett proves that not only does America have talent, but so does Carnival Cruise Lines’ entertainment cast. Pritchett, the lead male production show singer on the cruise ship Carnival Spirit, is a current top 20 finalist on the NBC hit TV show “America’s Got Talent.”

Pritchett, of Kansas City, Mo., performs lead male vocals during two lavish and exhilarating production shows each week on board the 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit, which is currently operating seven-day Alaska cruises through mid-September. The two high-energy revues named “SRO” (Standing Room Only) and “High Spirits,” combine the vocal artistry of Pritchett and female lead singer Stephanie Bell, with a cast of highly talented dancers, elaborate sets and costumes, and show-stopping special effects.

“We strive to find truly talented vocal performers for our production shows, which are a highlight of the cruise vacation experience,” said Roger Blum, Carnival’s VP of Cruise Programming. “Jason certainly personifies the exceptional talent our guests can look forward to when sailing with us, and all of his friends here at Carnival are cheering him on.”

Following its Alaska season, the Carnival Spirit will shift to San Diego to operate a series of eight-day Mexican Riviera cruises through spring 2008. Pritchett is scheduled to perform on the Carnival Spirit through September.

“America’s Got Talent,” produced by FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell’s SYCO TV, airs Tuesdays at 8 pm EDT on NBC.

You will be happy to know that PA 007 has moved into thinking they are Sherlock Holmes, because I was informed today that PA 007 has bought a dog. It is a bloodhound who is named TIM. Tim will now assist PA 007 in all investigations. (who’s a clever dog?)

Here are today’s photo selections.

1. The Gardens at Ana Capri.

1. The Gradens at Ana Capri.

2. The Hippodrome outside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

2. The Hippodrome outside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

3. A closer look at the plynth

3. A closer look at the plynth

4. A Bald Head and the Blue Mosque

4. A Bald Head and the Blue Mosque

5. The Blue Mosque

5. The Blue Mosque

6. And another

6. And another

7. Inside the Blue Mosque

7. Inside the Blue Mosque

Here are the letters from today’s “IN THEIR OWN WORDS”




Get comfortable for today’s Q & A.

RUSS 879 – Hello Julie. Although your story is a sad one indeed I want to concentrate on your coming cruise on August 5. I have made the Supper Club reservation as you requested on Saturday August 11th at 7:30pm – THE SECOND SEA DAY. Please remind me once you are onboard that it is your son’s birthday on the 15th and I will do everything I can to make it a very special day for him. I am sure that you miss your husband every day and being on vacation without him must be so difficult. I just want you to know that the staff and I will do everything we can to make this vacation so special for you and as a single mother also make sure you get lots of rest and relaxation. My deepest and most sincere sympathies at your loss and I will be here to make sure this will be the best vacation you have ever had.
STINGRAY310 – Congratulations on booking the beautiful Carnival Valor for your next cruise in October. I totally understand that you are unable to attend the Bloggers Cruise but hopefully the next one will be better suited to your schedule. Let’s chat about some of your comments. You asked about the possibility of a pod cast and indeed that is something we can now do. I have no idea how but we can. I have been sent a thing that will allow me to record a blog and uplink it on a thing so you can download it on your thing, or something. I have been experimenting with this for the last few days and I think I am ready to go so stand by for this very soon. You also asked for a guest blog from another cruise director, guess what, you got your wish as you will see below. Please let me know about when you want you your Supper Club reservation made and I will of course be happy to do so. Thank you so much for all the great comments and I will be here should you need anything.
DENNIS EVANS – Talking of Supper Clubs, your reservation has also been made for September 7th, table for 7 at 7:00pm…….should be a lucky meal.
SHERRIF ROSCO P. COLTRANE – Tell Bubba to get ready as I am sending him a cell mate. It must be strange to see someone else is staying in the cabin you were in during your cruise, a bit like someone is in your home.
Every time I see a police officer on the TV I think of you and the service you give to the public each and every day. Be safe and keep singing the Theme From Cops. All the best mate.
FENG SHUI TURTLE – What happened, you were in the middle of a great story and then we were all left with……” bum, bum, bum “…………where did go ?
NORA – Hello Ladies or, as you call yourselves “The Three Blind Mice.”
Being legally blind must lead to many challenges in life so here at Carnival we are committed to making those challenges so much easier while you are on vacation. You asked about what we have in Braille. I am happy to tell you that our full in cabin directory is available in Braille and I produce a daily run down of activities, events and shows which plays on the cabin television for you and yes, the remote control has Braille functions on it. We have provided first class training to all our staff on the best ways to assist sight-impaired guests. This training was given to us by a sight-impaired gentleman who really gave us inside knowledge on what to do to assure guests a first class vacation experience.
I see that you have sailed with RCCL and Princess and I think it is time for you to sail with us here at Carnival. Therefore, please use me as your Travel Agent and I will make sure that you and the other two mice have a vacation like never before. Just interested, does someone read my blogs to you or like my other sight impaired friend, do you have a computer that reads it out to you?
Thank you so much for your kind words and please keep reading the blog thingy and let’s get you booked on a Carnival cruise.
DAWN – Your Supper Club reservation has been confirmed, try the carpaccio.
POPCORNGAL – Thank you for the fishing advice, however, I am sorry to tell you all the guest caught while fishing from his cabin window was a deck hand called Pierre who was not impressed to receive a hook in his poop deck. You asked about the bloggers T-shirts and hopefully, by Wednesday of this week, I will be posting all the information on how to order. To see that so many people want a shirt makes me very grateful and humbled. Giant medium size will be available plus Omar the Tent Maker is designing a special one for Big Ed and myself. Thank you for the great comments, enjoy your popcorn.
THE WAYWARD TRAVELLER – I was totally oblivious to the obvious powers of scrapbooking and I have been corrected by you and other good bloggers who have managed to educate me. I truly thought that scrapbooking was something that five-year-olds did or like my friend Alan Adkins still does now as he collects pictures of Big Ed’s underwear. Thank you for the links and it seems to me that I need to jump on the scrapbook bandwagon as soon as possible as it really is so popular. Maybe in the future we will have a scrapbook cruise. Thank you for your kind comments and have a scrappy day.
IVERNON – I will indeed be keeping a Q & A session in every blog, even if your husband thinks we are having an internet romance. I will keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny however, every Thursday I will need my battery changing. Tell your husband hello and I will see you in our secret place soon. Wear the red one.
RANDY – Who is Annie? Can I contact her for you? Do you have a message for her? I hate to see a man cry.
NICO R – Thank you for reading the blog all this time and I appreciate your kind comments so much. You asked about the Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration and what upgrades they are receiving during dry dock. That’s a great question and I will ask ROGER BLUM to please send me as many details as he can. I know there were plans to add big screens on the Lido decks so let’s see if that is still the case. As soon as Roger replies, I will let you all know. When you get the information from me then you can have a chat with Mum before you decide what cruise to take. If of course you have any questions I will be here to assist you before you book. Thank you so much for your comments and my best to you both.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – By the time you read this you will now that a good old Irishman won the British Open Golf Tournament. What a shame to hear that one of the reasons you decided to give up teaching was the language used by the kids today. I am very happy my Dad retired before this became the problem it is now in the U.K as well as around the world. I truly could not believe the words that were coming out of his mouth and the fact that he received no punishment from is parents is even more puzzling but from what I can see is to be expected these days. Don’t worry about not taking the Bloggers Cruise. We picked the date at random and the next one will be chosen with a bit more care and attention to guests needs. Regardless, one day we shall meet and that day will be a truly memorable one. I am glad you enjoyed the interview with Kirk. He is stationed in California and is a true and dedicated representative of what makes Carnival the World’s Most Popular Cruise Line. All the best Paul, it is always great to hear from you.
DAVE MYERLY – I did not get the cartoon yet, I am sure Roberto will send it to me shortly. You asked about the Supper Club and if there is a mandatory tip on the food. The answer is no, tipping is made purely at your discretion except on wines and beverages where the usual 15 % applies. Supper Club is an amazing experience and without being too repetitive you really must give it a try. My best to you and Jo.
NATE’S MOM – When people tell me they laughed out loud at the blog, it gives me such a great feeling. Many thanks.
MRS. MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – A brilliant posting as usual, stay tuned for a Harry Potter update in a few moments.
BIG ED – Ed, if your wife does not like Ocho Rios, how about this? Don’t get off the ship in Ocho Rios; instead I will pay for a complete day of pampering for her at the Spa. She will have a hot stones massage, a fully body massage followed by lunch and a rejuvenating facial and her hair restyled. While she is doing this you and I can go in to Ocho Rios, eat jerk chicken and smoke a palm tree. What do you think? I have a new concern. The cruise after the bloggers cruise has 1,000 guests from the Grand Ole Opry group sailing. Although these guests are a lot of fun, they bring on their own entertainment which will mean I will not be able to do most of my stuff on stage. I am not sure if I even will be the cruise director, we are waiting to see what their needs are.
So, therefore, tell Mrs. Big Ed, she gets hundreds of dollars worth of free spa treatments, if you take this cruise. Everyone wants you to sail so what do you think?
Big Ed, the ball is back in your court and I do believe it’s is advantage to me.
JR – THE BLOGGER FORMERLY KNOW AS THE LONG TALL TEXAN – Hello JR, have you ever been to Southfork? I always wanted to go. Sounds to me like your mate went to Cornwall at the right time as some of the area, like much of the UK is covered in water. I also hope we can meet one day, I will take you to Loo (I have one in my cabin) and you can take me to see where JR lived. I am just talking about Dallas with my wife Heidi, it’s not called South Fork, so please let me know that I am right…as usual. By the way, what was the name of the small girl with the blonde hair? I used to call her the poisoned dwarf, terrible but true. All the best mate, and I look forward to next week’s episode. ………DA DA DA DA…..DADA DA DA DA.
SUSAN AND RALPH – I am going to make sure that yes, the scrapbooks from the Carnival Freedom and other ships can indeed be ordered from the blog. I am working on this as we speak, as is Roberto. Unfortunately the days of throwing bratty kids overboard have long gone but I was tempted in giving him a free tour of the propellers. I will let you know as soon as I hear anything about the scrapbooks.
1ABLRN – Your Supper Club reservation has been booked……..try the lobster bisque. Please can you send me your surname and cabin number? Sounds like your flight from Rio was quite an adventure and I hope your flight here is rather more enjoyable. There is no hope on the 25 pounds, especially as that is the size of the porterhouse steak you will be ordering in the Supper Club. Have a safe flight, see you soon.
KIM PARKER – The online scrapbook is being looked at as we speak and I will do anything that I can to make these available. All the best and watch this space.
MRS. MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – So far, all our Vatican tours are running as normal on October the 28. However, this could change at the last minute as has happened before. Which of the tours are you interested in because I want to check personally with the tour operator so I can provide you with the right information. Hopefully, it will be good news.

That’s enough Q & A for today, as I have a 5:30am start for debarkation.

This morning I received a complaint from a guest about a train strike yesterday in Livorno, Florence, Tuscany and Pisa. We had heard rumors of this the day before through our Ship’s Agent and I had warned the guests at the Debarkation Talk and through various announcements. Sure enough, this morning at 10 am, the strike started and there were no trains running in this region for 24 hours.

It seemed that everyone had been prepared for this except for Mrs #$#@#$# (I won’t write her name as she is not a happy person) who really let me have it with both barrels this evening saying that Carnival should have provided free transportation back from Florence. Obviously, the point of this part of the blog is not to show this lady’s strange opinion but more to alert you all that lighting strikes are commonplace in this part of the world. By the way, this was the same lady who believed I should have bought her daughter a free copy of the Harry Potter book which I did in fact find in a bookstore in Civitavecchia in English which is now sitting in our library ready for next cruise.

I would like to introduce you to Todd Wittmer who will be the Cruise Director on the Carnival Freedom Next year. Here is his interview which I am sure you will enjoy.


1. Todd, what can you tell us about yourself. Where are you from and what career path led you to where you are today.

Traveling is a bit in my blood I think. I was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania and spent the majority of my youth in Annapolis, Maryland. I later attended Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina receiving a degree in Criminal Justice. After college I became very active and interested in physical fitness earning 4 training certifications and attending School at California State University Fullerton for a second degree in Kinesiology. I was enrolled in the masters program for Sports Psychology at CSUF when I was hired as a Fitness Director for a major fitness corporation in Southern California.

I love getting to know people on a personal level and sharing in their achievements and celebrations. My passion takes this to the next level of being able to motivate, entertain and enlighten through public speaking. To touch a group of people and share personal triumphs and challenges while connecting with them and learning and understanding their stories is a blessing I have always been drawn to. At the age of 27 I went on my first cruise with my family for Memorial Day weekend. A short 3 day cruise out of San Pedro California. As soon as I stepped on the ship I felt a magic that I can not explain and 3 weeks later I applied to Carnival and was hired as a Social Host in April of 1999! I walked onto my first ship as a team member on my birthday May 7th, a magical day and the start of a new life which I will always cherish. Eight years later I am honored to be in this position, this career path has been a dream come true.

2. What ships have you worked on as Cruise Director and which so far has been your favorite and why.

Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Pride, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Liberty! I have spent four contracts on the Carnival Conquest which makes it a very special ship full of great memories! However, I was honored by CCL with the opportunity to take out a new ship which was The Carnival Miracle – for that reason it will always be my favorite and my proudest achievement! It would be hard for me to pick a favorite ship in reference to only the layout, entertainment, lounges and amenities as I love all the ships in the Carnival family! I have worked on 11 Carnival ships and they all have their own personalities! I think that is what makes this cruise line such a great company to be associated with.

3. You are currently on the Carnival Liberty which sails amongst other places to Panama and Costa Rica. What are your personal favorite tours in these two exciting ports of call.In Costa Rica it is all about Adventure: Canopy / Zip lines, Aerial Trams and Whitewater Rafting! I love the excitement of being in a beautiful country and trying something new! I also love any tour which includes the Adventure Canal often known as the “Amazon of Costa Rica”. A Riverboat takes you through a series of waterways, channels and lakes as you travel though the heart of a rain forest in search of Howler and Spider Monkeys, Iguanas, Sloths, Cayman and Crocodiles. Also over 300 species of beautiful birds inhabit the area and the countless flora and fauna on the coast line make this a beautiful and exciting tour. Love it!

Panama is mainly about the Panama Canal, considered by some the 8th wonder of the world! The Carnival Liberty offers a great chance to visit this incredible and historic location which is on the top of so many guests “to see” list as part of their life goals! The Carnival Liberty offers excursions into the Panama Canal by ferry through two of the locks, or numerous excursions that will visit the observation area of the Gatun locks to learn the history and see 1st hand this engineering masterpiece in action. A very memorable experience for me was my second journey through the Panama Canal when I had my dad by my side as he fulfilled a desire to travel in his father’s footsteps.

4. What do you enjoy most about being a Cruise Director

Most importantly that I wake up everyday and look forward to going to work. I am living a dream for so many different reasons and I am both grateful and excited to be able to work in a profession I am passionate about. A simple calculation really from a Cruise Director’s point of View! People + Travel + Fun = I love my Job!

5. What do you enjoy the least about being a Cruise Director

The position of Cruise Director is really what you make of it or put into it! Starting off in the company as a social host I loved the constant interaction and fun factor every activity had with it. A Cruise Director is responsible for so much when it comes to the overall cruising experience that it becomes very easy to get caught behind the scenes or in the office with additional responsibilities and requirements. It is very important to make time each day for yourself as well as the guests and come out to play… so to speak. What do I least enjoy about being a Cruise director? Running out of hours in the day!

6. Next year, you will be the Cruise Director of the Carnival Freedom in Europe. Having just sailed here what was your impression of the ship and the ports.

Nothing short of amazing! The itinerary is beautiful. Some of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world are visited and I am so excited to go back. I will mention more of the ports in the next few questions, however wanted to focus this answer on a location as deserving as any other port of call, that being the Carnival Freedom itself. I was very impressed with this magnificent ship and the mix of traditional Carnival luxuries with some new and exciting additions that provide that little extra for just the right touch. My favorites: The mini golf course surrounding the funnel, the cozy blankets to cuddle up with as you watch a movie under the stars on the Jumbo Screen Seaside Theater, and the great layout of the 70’s dance club. Club O2 for the 15 to 17 year olds was one of the coolest lounges I have seen and of course the Victoriana main show lounge made me feel right at home.

7. What were the top three sights for you from all the places you saw.

To pick only three top sites from all the amazing places the Carnival Freedom visits is a bit difficult. Without a doubt my first two choices would be Rome and Venice, both of these locations are truly magical. I would have believed that my third choice was Athens, Greece, and it was amazing but after traveling to the ancient ruins of Ephesus in Izmir, Turkey I was speechless.

8. What are you most looking forward to about being in Europe.

It’s a little silly actually! Growing up I was always fascinated by the Greek and Roman empires, also by the mythology and by the history of the European culture. Not to mention the countless movies that portray these incredibly beautiful, adventurous and romantic places. Traveling to Rome for the first time was a bit overwhelming as I stood looking at the Coliseum with my jaw on the ground. I went on a tour of Rome by bus and soaked up every piece of information possible from the guide. As soon as the tour was over I went and revisited everything running around the city on foot for a good five hours as I could not get enough and I thought maybe this would be my only chance to stand in history. Surprisingly enough this was the excitement of how I met each port of call that we visited. This is an amazing itinerary and I know the thing I am most looking forward to next season is sharing my excitement and stories for these tremendous places that so many people will be seeing for the first and last time. I look forward to acting as a guide and a friend in helping people have the best possible vacation while at the same time loving everyday I have a chance to adapt and share in this amazing culture. This is by far my best experience to date!

9. Which Cruise Director do you look up in the fleet that has been to Europe and taught you all you will know that will make your time so successful. What is John’s name.

Yes, I am so glad you asked! John Cleese has always been an inspiration of mine. A comedic genius, a true gentleman and a scholar. Wait was he a cruise director?

10.And finally…………………………if you were not a Cruise Director and you could do any job in the world, what would you do.

Is this a wish list? My dream job? When is Jay or David stepping down? I would love to be a talk show host in a live audience theater! Wait, maybe I want to be a professional golfer, that would be pretty cool. No, actually, I got it! I want Jimmy Buffet’s job – Surf, Sun & Fun! Who wouldn’t want to go to work barefoot?

Thanks Todd. Congratulations also to Todd on being voted the second best looking CD in the fleet…………………….maybe he will beat me next year……..I doubt it though.

What were you doing in 1982? Well, for those of you who were cruising on the Carnivale, here is what your Capers would have looked like:



The cruise director was a very special man called Malcolm Kennedy. I am not blessed with words to describe just what an icon this man was.

I have never met anyone with a funnier mind or anyone who had such a huge repertoire of jokes. He was from Bonnie, Scotland and to this day he remains one of the greatest Cruise Directors and one of the most inspirational people this company has ever known. He was “old school” and today I want to end this blog with a passage from one of his skits.

I was traveling cross-country and stopped in a small town at a motel. I knocked on the door, and the lady opened the door in her nightdress… which is a funny place to have a door. I said, I’d like to stay here for the night. She said well, stay there. And she shut the door. I knocked again and she said a room for the night would be fifteen dollars. I said I’ll pay fifteen dollars with pleasure. She said, with pleasure, it’d be twenty! She said do you have a good memory for faces? I said yes. She said good, we have no mirror for shaving. She said you’ll have to make your own bed. I said no problem. She said here’s a hammer and nails.

I was dating a young woman who turned out to be a witch. I know she was a witch, because I was driving her home one night, she touched my knee and I turned into a parking lot…

Malcolm was lost to us a few years ago and this blog is dedicated to him.

We miss you Malcolm and we never did find out if you wore anything under that kilt…….still, no big thing. :))

Good Night,

Your friends,

John and Heidi

English Lessons

July 22, 2007 -

John Heald

Did you have a nice weekend?

The reason I ask is I really miss weekends at home, buying the Sunday Newspapers and reading them while Heidi or my Mum cooks the Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding. You see, on a ship there is no such thing as a weekend. Everyday is the same and sometimes it is hard to remember if it is Saturday or Tuesday but for some strange reason, I always know when it is Thursday. So, today is Saturday and the beginning of your weekend and a day at sea for us. I have to admit it has been a tough cruise for quite a few reasons. Here are some of them.

1. The number of International guests is very high. Even though we provide all the information in the various languages that we can we still have a lot of shortfalls in this area.  My opinion of course and not one that may be shared by others. I think we can learn a lot from our sister company Costa Cruises who carry many International guests and I shall try and ask them for some advice. Now, this may be me being slightly paranoid and I am sure they (the International, non-English speaking guests) have had a great time but I do feel I could do better in finding ways to entertain them and provide more information in their own languages.

2. We had some entertainment issues this cruise as well as I reported in a previous blog with the act that had no luggage and the replacement act who did not make his flight. Ninety percent of the guests were OK with the last minute change but as always the 10 percent who were not were very vocal. The shows though have been received very well. In reference to point number one, I am arranging for as much visual entertainment as possible as the count of 1800 International guests seems as though it will be the same for the remainder of the summer.

3. Now, I have not written this before as I have never felt the need to but I do today. I think more than anything that this cruise has been tough because for some reason, a lot of the passengers don’t seem happy. By this, I don’t mean that they are not happy with the ship or the cruise….they just don’t seem happy people in their own lives. Example….I cannot tell you how many times I have walked past someone and said “good morning” and received no response or even a nod of the head.  Obviously, this is applies to just a very small percentage of guests but you do tend to think about them and worry as to why. We have also had guests complain about….other guests this week and the most common one is those not traveling with children who are upset that children are ….well….doing things children do.

Many, many, many guests (I know that is terrible English) have stopped me and said this was the BEST CRUISE EVER but for some strange reason I have a feeling there are some people onboard who are just not…happy people …I hope I am wrong.Time to be positive

Look at this.


This was made for me by Sam and now sits proudly on my desk.

Can I also say a quick hello to all the bloggers who were cruising this week and I hope they will all write in and share their experiences.

Here are today’s photos which are all from onboard…enjoy.







Here are three letters for the “IN THEIR OWN WORDS” section. The first one I slapped on is just to show you what strange letters and requests I get, please note it contains bad language. The second is a really nice letter and the third is from two 14-year-olds who wrote me five letters asking to be allowed into the disco with the older teens.




It’s time for some Q and A….at this point some of you will scroll down to the next bit so goodbye, see you in a minute and we will miss you  :(For those of you who are staying, here we go.

Lets start with a follow up regarding a ship called THE WORLD. Someone was asking about the ship and if it was a success. I of course had no idea so I picked up the Red Phone and called in our Super Spy, PA 007.  Here is what he discovered.

Residensea’s “the World” developers failed financially and the unit owners had to take control of the ship and pay all the operating costs. Our thanks to PA 007 who has gone back into hiding until the next time we need his super cruise powers.

DAVE AND BARB – Your booking has been confirmed… try the Veal Chop! I miss certain things about the Carnivale as well especially the size of the ship, which allowed me to get to meet so many more guests. However, we have come a long way and I the fact that you have been sailing since the days of the Carnivale shows the support you have for the company. I will see you in October and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and the Cruise Critic group.
MAXINE – I am really glad that you have found the blog especially as you have cruised with me before. I am also sorry that we just missed each other on the Carnival Liberty. It looks like that might happen again as you asked where I will be in December and the answer is at home. I will leave the Carnival Freedom some time in November after what will have been nine straight months onboard. I was upset to hear that you always try and call Carnival to find out who the Cruise Director will be before you book and can’t seem to get an answer. This blog should be able to change that so from now on if you or anyone else needs to know who the CD will be on a cruise you are taking please let me know. You asked about Donald Cameron. For those who have never cruised with Donald before….well all I can say is….watch out! This is a guest who has cruised probably 100 times. He is 5 ft nothing, has red hair and is as Scottish as a Haggis and loves the ladies. I think I should tell a Donald Cameron story sometime so watch out for that in days to come. Please read the blog as much as time will allow Maxine and I truly hope you find it fun and informative.
KATHIE – I am so sorry to hear that you are still suffering from ATCOCS SYNDROME (Addicted To Cruising On Carnival Ships).  It seems like the cures I offered have not worked and I am very upset with Pierre as usually having this small and smelly French person beat you with an onion usually works. I have to get you cured soon otherwise you will be showing signs of stage three of the illness which has resulted in past sufferers doing very strange things. Take the case of Mrs. Sheila Edwards who had suffered from ATCOCS for some years. She thought she was cured and went on another cruise line instead, I cannot say which one. On the first day at sea the full symptoms returned and she was found drilling a hole in the ice rink to go fishing and on formal night she was seen to be running up and down Promenade Deck naked shouting ” You haven’t got the fun, you haven’t got the fun “. She was finally removed from the ship when she was found to be dangling over the side of the ship writing these words on the Bow. Rubbish Carnival Impersonator. Therefore, you need help and the only cure that’s left is for you to please book that Carnival Splendor cruise that you seem to want so much or even the bloggers cruise. So, pause, have a think and if you want my suggestion, book the BLOGGERS CRUISE, its nearer and if you don’t you could end up like Sheila Edwards, sitting in a dark corner somewhere cuddling a solid gold plastic trophy. GET HELP…NOW.
SHELLYP – Good to hear from you especially as you have a question. You asked about if carnival has the refillable cups or if indeed we have coupons for sodas. Actually, neither. We have what is called a Fountain Fun card which allows guests unlimited Sodas for one price. It is a great deal and there are special prices for adults and children. Now, you are going to ask me how much, in fact they are about to change and I will let you know what they are very soon but they will be of great value if you are a soda drinker. Please let me know if you need further help in planning for your group to sail and please also keep reading the blog thingy.
NANETTEALI – Grasyarse mucho mi amore and for those who don’t speak fluent Spanish like you and I do, many thanks for such sweet words. I am not sure I have ever had anyone say they are addicted to me before but I am truly flattered. Meeting people like you and your family brings Heidi and I great joy and is without doubt one of the highlights of the job. Back to Spanish. Buenos Nachos, much hugo para youo – asta lavista moochachcto.
DAWN – We will indeed cash travelers checks onboard at the Exchange Desk on Promenade Deck 5 and also remember to bring your ATM card as well if you need Euros while ashore. In Turkey even though they have their own currency ‘Lire,” the stores prefer US Dollars or Euros so my advice is do not buy any of the local currency. Hope this helps Dawn and you will love the shopping, especially in Istanbul.
LISA AND ELAINE – Welcome back from the rural areas you have been visiting that have no Internet Connection….were exactly is that? Anyway, I am glad that you slapped on a comment and let me answer your question.You asked about the Bloggers T-Shirts and yes they are nearly ready. I will be presenting them on a special Bloggers Cruise Blog Thingy in the coming week and there will be special ones for the Bloggers cruise plus great ones that you will be able to buy on line via this blog site page thing. So, look out for that. So, welcome back and glad you have found the blog again and thank you so much for the kind words that you slapped on. See you in 180 days.
SUSAN AND RALPH – Will do…and many thanks 🙂
ROBERT – I enjoyed the review mate about the Carnival Freedom, it was very positive and the constructive words of what we can do better were very useful indeed. I wish I had some Jersey Tomatoes although the ones in Sorrento and Napoli are pretty good as well. I have not had a diet root beer for 9 months   🙁 All the best mate and I look forward to seeing you and Suzann in your usual spot.
KICIASKI – Welcome home George and Linda. Having you onboard for 24 days was so fantastic. My only regret is that the pressures of the job did not allow me to spend more personal time with you both. The one thing I noticed was that you were always together, a sign of just how much you love each other…Heidi and I both saw this and we both hope that we can be like you. I still have no direct information on the naming ceremony of the Carnival Splendor but I am sure that guests who have booked the inaugural cruise will be able to see the ceremony and the moment when AJ kisses and hugs me and says ” lets go to my cabin “. I will of course let you know. You mentioned also that you had read on Cruise Critic that the dining rooms on the Carnival Splendor will serve buffet’s only…I think we have entered the realms of fantasy here but I am checking and will let you know ASAP but I very much doubt it. Ken and Jogi will indeed be the Maitre D’s and I think you will recognize a lot of faces from the Carnival Freedom on the Carnival Splendor. So, go back to the washing but know that we miss you both and thank you for all your kindness.
LINDA THE MOUSE – I am sorry that the scapbooks were not available when you cruised as they are as you said really nice. Let me see if I can arrange for them to be sold online and maybe here from the blog. I will let you know. I do not think I will ever get used to boxer shorts and I have a secret supply of briefs for when Heidi is not looking…like now. I will get back to you on the Scrapbook thing. All the best to you and the mice.
MRSMISSINGTHE SMOKEFREEPARADISE – Harry Potter Mania has indeed swept the world making J.K. Rowling a multi trillionaires. I personally have never read a Harry Potter book, have you or Mr. Missingthesmokefreeparadise? I saw on the news kids lining the streets, waiting for the book shops to open and although that is rather radical, I do think it’s brilliant that kids today who live in a world of computer games like Storm, Deathkill Kung Fu, Transvestites, sorry, that should be Transformers, that reading is still enjoyed by so many. I wonder if people will line the block when I write my book…probably not.
IVANA…. Since writing the remark about scrap booking, I have learned that indeed scrap book workshops are very popular. So much so that I have asked for these to be included in the plans for next year and for the Transatlantic crossing of this ship in November. The Carnival Valor has beautiful Caribbean scrapbooks which are now available fleet wide. I hope you enjoy it even Heidi has one and I have started a scrapbook full of photos of my old favorite pairs of underwear and photos of Angelina Jolie. Heidi says it’s not scrap booking, it’s stalking. All the best Ivan.
RUSS AND NINA FRANKLIN – Hello both of you and thank you for letting me know you read the blog from beginning to end. I apologize that your wife is obsessed, as you state, with the blog which I see is true as you say she copies everything to a word document, prints them, takes them to work, reads them at her desk and tells everyone else about them. I am horrified to learn she even reads them in bed, so it appears that you and I are pretty much the same. I am Thursdays, what day are you? Congratulations on booking the Carnival Pride next week, I am sure your bank manager is wondering where all the money is going, I think we have another ADCOCKS SYNDROME sufferer. See you in January and I will have a special hug for your wife and a “I am so sorry handshake” for you.
TOM AND JANE RATCHFORD – It was my pleasure and I will pass your message on to Jude via an e-mail to his Maitre ‘D. Best to you both.
TIM KRIEBEL – I guess I am responsible for yet another person who has ATCOCS SYNDROME. According to you, she has had this since she cruised with me on the Carnival Ecstasy on 1992 and today you have booked cruises 15 and 16. As you have guessed, constantly cruising with Carnival is the only know cure (except being beaten over the head with an onion by Pierre the smelly Frenchman) so, thank you for looking after your wife.  Yes, Michael Andrew, the “nerd” who roamed the ship and later transformed himself into an unbelievable singer. Michael is still a great friend of mine and has moved on to great things, check out his website: http://www.michaelandrew/.com I miss him. I am sorry I may not be with you in November, although, that is not for definite and Tim, Carnival is proud to continue its support of all serving and retired military personnel.
Again, I apologize for causing your wife ATCOCS SYNDROME. As long as you keep cruising, she will be fine.
BILL ZYDECOCRUISER – I guess I made a mistake, it’s Po Boy, not Pep Boy. What’s a Pep Boy? Did you see the photos of Fish & Chips today? I put those there, just for you. If you want, I can mail you a fried oyster. Thank you for all the links. Heidi and I really miss New Orleans. We used to wander through River Walk, there was a restaurant at the end, don’t remember the name, but we loved it. Send our best to the Big Easy.
DAVE AND BARB – The trans-Atlantic, in answer to your question, will have a different show every night. I have already planned every entertainer, this will include:
Penny Mathisen – a brilliant vocalist who will sing a fantastic selection of international music.
Goronway Thom – the funniest juggler/comedian, ever.
Mel Mellers – whose comedy and magic will have you in stitches.
Al Ernst – Carnival’s 471st funniest comedian
Of course, starring our brilliant cast in Big Easy, Jump, Jive and Wail and Ticket To Ride.
There will be other special variety acts which I will keep as a surprise. Here on the Carnival Freedom we do not confiscate liquor that has been purchased in the ports of call, however, if you do buy wine, there is a corkage charge if you take it in to the dining room. Thank you also for the information on LANE BRYANT, does Big Ed shop there? If so, can you pick me up a pair of drawers? We will see you very soon.
HEIDI – BETH – Wow, another scrapbook fan and yes, they are available on the Carnival Glory with the new Caribbean photos etc. As I just mentioned it seems classes on how to use them are very popular and it was my ignorance that thought it was just a case of gluing them into a book. The letters in the IN THEIR OWN WORDS SECTION are a real chance for me to give you an insight to the requests, advice and complaints I get every day. I actually counted them this cruise and now, on day 10 I have received 254 letters. Thank you for your kind words towards Heidi and I was very shocked that a child so young could use such language. Anyway, it is great to hear from you and I appreciate your lovely words so very much.
JOYCE – I have confirmed your Supper Club reservations you requested…try the Prime Rib. Looking forward to seeing you.
TAMMIE – She is having fun, will send you a scrap book back to the office so you can show everyone shore side.
DOCTOR RICK – Hello Doc. What kind of Doctor are you? Yes, Howard, he is truly one of a kind and from your story, which I found fascinating; I can only hope that if I live to be 90, I am like the man in your story and Howard. Thanks for letting me know. I don’t remember typing your name in before, so I thank you for reading the blog thingy.
KEVIN – I am waiting to hear what you intend to do and for which cruise line. I was also disappointed to hear that you are not coming on the bloggers cruise but I understand that a family wedding is more important. Can’t wait to see photos of the car, as I have a feeling the photos of your Aston Martin will be as close as I ever get to see one for real. Maybe you should become a NY taxi driver using the Aston, I am sure you would make loads of money. Please let me know if you hear any news on your new job and every time you press the START button, think of me.
CRUISER MARY – Your Supper Club reservation has been confirmed…try the Trio Of Chocolate desert. Looking forward to seeing you in September.
DOROTHE CALIMBAS – Kids today. That’s all Heidi and I could say after hearing the words from someone so young. I know, when Heidi and I have kids, we will hopefully raise them the right way. Thank you for your concern. It’s always great to hear from you.
DIANE – How fantastic to hear that you and your husband enjoyed your Grand Med cruise so much. The scrapbooks are indeed brand new and just arrived and on your next cruise on the Carnival Legend they will be available, so enjoy! My best to you and your husband, hope to see you again soon.
JUDY – Have you ever thought about becoming a weather girl? :)) It never ceases to amaze me that some people are so surprised that we have sunshine in Europe although this may not be the case in England at the moment. Talking of that, anybody heard from Essex Man? Anyway Judy, thanks again for the laugh and all the best.
BONNY AND PRINCE CHARLIE – And you are correct. The parents of the children who were misbehaving and swore at Heidi were so unconcerned, it was quite remarkable. I expected the children to be chastised but no, nothing. Thank you for the visual of Charlie peeing by the side of the road, that is definitely one for televisions video bloopers. Are you heading home now?
BRYAN – Bryan, just in case you missed the ones above, you will be happy to hear that the new scrapbooks are available fleet wide.

That’s enough Q & A for today, more tomorrow.

I would like now to introduce our guest interview for today. This is our Chief Purser, Margherita Castagliuolo. Her last name by the way, means Tequila, in Italian. Therefore, her name is Margherita Tequila.

So, here she is and there is a very interesting question about lost luggage.

Chief Purser, Margherita Castagliuolo

1. Can you tell us something about you. Where were you born and tell us
something about your life at sea.
I was born on a beautiful island called Ischia, it is located in the Golf of Naples Italy. My childhood was fantastic, to be born in such a gorgeous place was a real blessing. I was also surrounded by many caring friends and family members. Life at sea! Well? my secret passion! The sea was the thing I have loved the most since I was very young and my dream was to travel. I guess I have combined the two things and started my new life at sea. I have been with Carnival Cruise Lines for almost 10 years, this proves that I took the right decision. I enjoy working for “my” company.

2. So, what exactly does a Chief Purser do and what are you daily responsibilities.  Manage the Department and Operation to ensure company service, administration, and guest and internal guest relation standards are met. Ensuring that all guest inquiries and comments are followed up and resolved in a timely manner. Make sure that full assistance is provided at the front desk and that guest expectations are exceeded whenever possible. Encourage and support office accord that facilitates developing the full potential of the Team. Responsible for customs and immigration documentation, ship manifests for clearance inward and outward in all ports. Liaise with Port Officials, Port Agents. Ensure compliance with port papers and documents as required by all ports visited. Responsible for the crew office personnel, ensure that proper service is provided to the crew and that crew customs and immigration requirements are met. Responsible for the groups coordinator and groups functions onboard. And ….much more! I could write forever.

3. One of your jobs is the clearance of the vessel in each port through Customs and Immigration. Can you explain exactly how this is done and what paper work is needed to accomplish this? In order to clear the ship we must comply with the requirements of the different ports of call. Most of the ports will request electronic Guest and Crew lists along with the nationality lists to be sent 48 to 72 hours prior to the scheduled arrival time. Some ports might require additional pre-clearance paperwork while most of them request that we present the rest of the paperwork upon arrival. There is a long list of paperwork to be presented upon arrival and the list changes according to the different requirements of the port visited. As soon as we get into port I meet the ship’s agents and the local authorities at the gangway. I escort them to the designated clearance room where they check the paperwork prepared before giving the final clearance. The officers on the bridge are notified as well as security at the gangway as soon as the clearance is received, only at this point Guests and Crew are allowed to get off the ship? it is time to enjoy the port.

4. Our Information Desk is open 24 hours a day. Please can you tell us how many Pursers work here on the Carnival Freedom and what is a typical day like for them and what are some of the duties they perform? We have 23 pursers onboard the Carnival Freedom they all work very hard to try to exceed guests expectations. They work on average 6 to 8 hours at the front desk however there is much more going on behind the scenes. The back office is the place where they follow-up on our guests concerns and try to resolve the several issues that are brought to their attention. They also have additional side duties to take care of throughout the cruise, these duties are fairly shared in between all of them. Some additional duties: Lost Luggage follow-up, Translations, assist large groups with special requirements, Port papers and Port Requirements, Organize the debark process, provide assistance to our international guests in 9 different languages, currency exchange….and more! Duties vary from day to day but their main goal is always the same …to make sure that every guest enjoys their vacation.  We also have 3 pursers assigned to assist crewmembers and provide the port authorities with the crew paperwork required.

5. What languages can we converse in through the Purser’s Office. Please list them? There are 9 official languages advertised on the Carnival Freedom – Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Korean. However we also have pursers that speak additional languages. Unfortunately I only speak three of those 😉

6. Now, we have to talk about lost luggage which all the thousands of readers are interested in. What does a Purser do once a guest reports their luggage missing. Can you describe the follow up and what goes on behind the scenes? Behind the scenes there is more work involved than anyone can imagine. We have 4 pursers constantly following up on lost luggage. They first ask the guests to fill in a lost luggage report, while they do so they try to obtain any additional information that could help to locate the missing luggage. These reports are recorded in our onboard system and also forwarded to our main office and ship’s agents in the different ports of call. During the cruise the 4 pursers are constantly on the phone in contact with the different airlines trying to obtain updates and informing the airlines of the location of the ship as well as of the future ports of call where the luggage could be shipped to.  Hard work especially taking in consideration that most of the employees in the lost and found units rarely speak English and most of the communication is in Italian, Spanish, German or French. Whenever the luggage is located and the airlines advise the pursers that the bags will be sent to the next port of call the pursers immediately contact the port agent to dispatch a truck to the airport to collect the luggage and deliver it to the ship. If the pursers do not receive satisfactory information from the airlines on the location of the bags they ask the port agents to personally go to the lost and found of the different airports to try to obtain additional information. There have been several occasions when the pursers went personally to the airport hoping to find some luggage for our guests. Of course the Guests are advised daily of the updates received.

7. We have had 155 pieces of missing luggage this cruise. How many have the airlines recovered so far? – 115 so far. We received 19 pieces in Rome, 6 in Naples, 31 in Rhodes, 36 in Istanbul, 23 in Athens.

8. Before you got promoted as Chief Purser, when you worked behind the desk, what was the most interesting / funniest request you have ever had? A guest asked me to change his cabin since he had paid for an ocean view cabin but he could only see a building from his window. It was embarkation day and the building the guest was mentioning was the terminal / check-in building… which “disappears” after departure.

9. You are very lucky to be living on board with your long time partner, Staff Captain Luigi De Angelis. You just came back from vacation in the Naples area, what did you do to relax? I could have not asked for a better vacation. I spent most of it on my island, Ischia. The weather was fantastic and we had time to enjoyed the beaches, the gorgeous thermal gardens and thermal springs. However, I really missed being on the ship so I went to the airport in Naples every day to see if I could help with any missing luggage. 🙂

10. Which of these three famous people would be the best Chief Purser you think, and why?
– Paris Hilton
– P. Diddy
– Bill Clinton – Bill, he has wonderful interpersonal skills and knows how to speak to people,,,,, he would not be a Chief Purser immediately, he would have to be an Intern.

Today, I had yet another example of “you ain’t seen nothing yet”. Following my Q&A for the debarkation process, Heidi and I were approached by a gentleman who asked us a question about the shuttle bus service that goes from the ship to the entrance of the port in Civitavecchia. I explained it again (I had covered this very clearly in my talk) and the man looked me in the eye and said: ” You know, you need to learn to get rid of your accent as people do not understand you as you do not speak American “. Both Heidi and I giggled and smiled and at the same time we both realized that this man was serious….He really thought I didn’t speak American.  I asked the guest if he was serious and he said “Yes,” and then I said, “Could you explain what you mean?” He then told me that American was very different to English and my accent was too strong for him to understand. The guest was from North Carolina and he seemed very frustrated stating that he had not understood me at all during the last ten days. I apologized to Mr. Linton and he also told me that he felt the ship should have an American Cruise Director. He left with the information I had given with the addition of a soft American accent. Later I was finding myself second guessing again. Did I really have a strong accent or was this a one off? Certainly it’s not something I have ever heard a guest say to me before.  Now, as I am writing this, I find myself a bit angry that my English skills should be put into question. I could argue this point, but instead I will leave it in the hands of the Master Mr. John Cleese who penned this famous speech which I share now with you all, not in ridicule or to make any political statement, but purely in fun with the hope that Mr. Linton will read it and realize we invented the bloody language.

To the Citizens of the United States of America

In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminum, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix  -ize will be replaced by the suffix  -ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).

Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell- checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday, and instead it will be known as Everybody Drinks Tea Day.

You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.

Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.

You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; Tea shall be served Hot not Cold and lessons be given at all schools in the correct way to make it.

Fags are Cigarettes and we won’t discuss the word Fanny.

John Cleese

Cheerio (Yaaaaa’l )

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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.