Carnival Legend

July 16, 2007 -

John Heald

Good morning, it’s 8:34am and here is the news.

We are currently spending the day at sea. The ship’s course is taking us toward the Island of Rhodes, Greece and the temperature outside is already 79 degrees.

Last night, we left Naples and instead of heading straight out to sea the Captain took us on a scenic cruise along the coastline in Naples. We cruise passed the beautiful glistening motor yachts that sat in the harbor — their owners sitting on the teak decks, sipping martinis. I was on the bridge and I looked at these stunning craft through powerful binoculars and as I did I couldn’t believe my eyes, bloody hell, it’s George Hamilton……..again, sitting on the deck of his yacht with a supermodel sitting there with him…………..I think he is stalking me………him and his tan.

I hosted the Welcome Aboard Show last night and as usual there were many characters to choose from including a lady who for some strange reason had her cabin key attached to a dog leash………….here are some photos.

WELCOME ABOARD PHOTOS

WELCOME ABOARD PHOTOS

WELCOME ABOARD PHOTOS

As I think I mentioned we have so many international Guests this week from so many different places and I hope that they all understand the information and fun that I am trying to provide. Incidentally, we do provide written and spoken information at our Information Desk in the following languages.

SPANISH
DUTCH
GERMAN
FRENCH 🙁
ITALIAN
KOREAN
RUSSIAN
PORTUGUESE
AMERICAN

So, we have got the bases covered and of course I speak all the languages fluently except French.

We also set a record this cruise …………….not a good one though………………we have 120 pieces of luggage lost by the airlines. We are doing our best to liaise with them and try and find it but as always that is not easy. It is strange that some (not all) guests blame Carnival for this but obviously we have no jurisdiction on what they do. However, I totally sympathies with the guests because as I have said many times on the blogs, there is nothing more disappointing and frustrating than losing your luggage at the start of your vacation. As always, I hope that the luggage all comes tomorrow in Rhodes.

Here are a few pieces of incidental news as well.

PA OO7 SENT ME THIS LINK. NOW, THIS IS NOT BREAKING NEWS BUT I THANK HIM ANYWAY BECAUSE AS USUAL I WOULD HAVE BEEN UNAWARE OF THIS.

Here is a link line or thing to an NBC show called “Americas Got Talent” (I remember that name because a guest said I had ruined his cruise a few weeks ago because we were not showing it) that features a Carnival singer called Jason who has made it to the last 20.

http://www.nbc.com/Americas_Got_Talent/video/#cat=new

As you can see he is amazing. Good luck, Jason.

I want to thank Frank in the office for putting my blog thingy back on the front-page and for setting up something called a “sponsored link.” I have no idea what that is but it sounds good….here is what it looks like.

07162007sponsoredlink.jpg

I see rave reviews from many of you about funshipisland.com and that is great to hear and I am sure all the folks who worked so hard on this project appreciate the vote of thanks.

ALSO WE HAVE BEEN REASSIGNED TO THE FRONT PAGE OF CARNIVAL’S WEB PAGE………………YIPEEEEEEEEEEEE

How about some photos. I hope you enjoy today’s selection.

1. NAPLES…………..THE VIEW FROM ABOVE THE CITY

NAPLES…………..THE VIEW FROM ABOVE THE CITY

NAPLES…………..THE VIEW FROM ABOVE THE CITY

NAPLES…………..THE VIEW FROM ABOVE THE CITY

NAPLES…………..THE VIEW FROM ABOVE THE CITY

NAPLES…………..THE VIEW FROM ABOVE THE CITY

2. VENICE……………TAKEN BY A FRIEND AS WE SAILED AWAY

VENICE……………TAKEN BY A FRIEND AS WE SAILED AWAY

3. A TYPICAL VENETIAN SCENE

A TYPICAL VENETIAN SCENE

Here are the answers to yesterday’s anagrams

DARK GRUNT – GRAND TURK
SCANDAL MAY SIN – CAYMAN ISLANDS
NAIL TOE – ELATION

And today’s

Bid Knobs Icon
Critics Reed Our
Fence Hinge Ire

HERE ARE TODAY’S LETTERS FROM THE “IN THEIR OWN WORDS ” SECTION. THE FIRST TWO ARE ABOUT LOST LUGGAGE AND THE THIRD WRITTEN BY A TEN-YEAR-OLD BOY.

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

I guess you know what time it is so let’s get on with it.

DWA 76 – Thanks for the kind comments mate and I am especially glad you are enjoying all the photos. I was indeed very proud to interview Mr. Cahill and as a stockbroker I am sure you can see that the company’s future is assured with Gerry at the helm. If you are missing the sea as you say, come and cruise so we can talk about the market 🙂 Hope to hear from you soon.
KATE – I have great memories of a dry dock we had in Baltimore and a great place we used to go every night. It was a square by the water with lots of bars and cafes. Anyway, hope somewhere in the future you will indeed see the Carnival smokestack in Baltimore again. Let me know if I can be of any assistance and please keep reading the blog thingy.
SHELLY P – Hello Shells (don’t mind if I call you that do you)? How wonderful that your in-laws have paid for all of you to have a cruise here on the Carnival Freedom…………if they have any money left can they buy me an Aston Martin? You asked about a room for a party. This indeed can be arranged once onboard so when you get here, leave me a note and I will give you a call to arrange a room. You can have a cash bar or pay for a one-hour open bar and also have food served if you wish. You may also just need a room to meet for an hour which I can also arrange as well. May I suggest that you follow this with dinner at our Supper Club which will really make it that extra memorable evening? If you decide to do this let me know and I will make the bookings for you. You also asked about a cake for your son’s birthday. These can be ordered through the Maitre D at anytime and the waiters will also sing happy birthday at the table. Lots of options for you to think about and of course, write me a letter once on board so I can wish everyone greetings at the Morning Show live on television and the big screen. See you all soon.
ROSIE – I know it can be strange at first traveling as a single guest but rest assured you will not be alone. We will have a singles meet and greet on the second evening of the cruise in the Scott’s Piano bar where I am sure you will meet lots of new friends. You asked about the nail technicians at the spa and yes they are experienced in the treatment you mentioned. Therefore, I will see you in a few weeks and please drop me a note at the Information Desk to let me know you are here. I know you will have a brilliant cruise.
JTODDINMAN – Once again, my apologies for making you laugh so much that you spit your Diet Coke on the keyboard at work when you read the poem about Big Ed and hopefully the key board is not in spitting distance as here is another.
Will he be on the Bloggers cruise in January next year?
Will he be stuck in that booth will drinking his evening beer?
Surely he cannot say no to this so stop and take a pause
An remember if you do say yes
Heidi will wash your draws.
There, another cleansing of Diet Coke is required hopefully. Indeed, I will be interviewing Shanaz for next week’s blog and she is a great lady who I am sure will pass on some special insight into her life onboard and your idea of the oddest gifts received is one that I shall work on, great idea. Go clean the key board and we will talk soon.
DOUGNEWMAN AT SEA – Always great to read your comments Doug and I really did feel guilty about not answering all the comments on that last blog but as you can see my two fingers are back working overtime again. With regard to Mr. Cohen. I have to tell you that I publish these letters with everyone’s permission as they are read out publicly as well on the television. The idea of presenting these letters is so that everyone can see the wonderful world of opinion and Mr. Cohen expressed his and although I may not agree I still want everyone to see what happens onboard, including the negative comments. Now, as far as the lecture program, this is already in the works for the trans-Atlantic crossing and maybe next year we will consider them for our regular European season. I am sure Big Ed is grateful for your well written insights into Seabourn and you have inspired me to maybe interview someone from the cruise line so that the bloggers and myself can learn some more about this one of a kind operation. I am glad you liked the interview with Mr. Cahill and I have a feeling you will like the one that appears at the end of today’s blog. It is always great to hear from you and hope to do so again very soon.
BONNIE AND PRINCE CHARLIE – There will be an extra large helping of chocolate melting cake ready for the prince for your three Carnival Freedom cruises. I have a feeling that you may find watching Charlie eat the cakes to be slightly more interesting than watching the leaves change color. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – How are you Paul? Let me start by returning to the subject of the strobe lighting and its possible effect on epilepsy sufferers. Our experts in the office have assured me that the strobe lighting we use in the shows are minimal and will not trigger an attack. I have to say that in the many years I have been involved in the shows I have never seen such a thing happen. Hopefully therefore, you will comforted by this and will therefore attend all the shows when you sail the next time. Have a wonderful time in Toronto and Heidi and I wish you a very happy 33rd wedding anniversary and I also look forward to meeting you soon.
KEVIN – Congratulations on your interview for a sous chef position. Wow, I guess you really must have heard the call of the sea. What ship is it for? Don’t be shy about writing the name of another line as I really am interested. As for the Aston, I think you should keep it if you can. You will miss driving, trust me and when you get to dry land it will be so great to jump into the car, press the start button and away you go 0 – 60 in 4.8 seconds something that maybe I will achieve on Miami’s I-95 when you drive down to the bloggers cruise. Let me know more about the job, I am intrigued.
LINDA HERNACKI – The diet is going well although I dream of a big piece of fresh bread with loads of butter and a big plate of chips (French fries). Don’t worry too much about Mr Cohen’s letter as I just wanted people to see that there are a few (very few) people that are not happy with what we do and I respect his opinion although obviously I do not agree with it. So, you saw your grandson and family. I am sure you are taking lots of photos and soon I hope to be seeing those pictures myself when I see you. You asked where we were married. The ceremony was held in Amsterdam at The Hotel The Grand in a very special room where the Queen of Holland was married. It is traditional in a Dutch wedding to be seated for most of the ceremony. It is a very personal service where the minister talks about how you met and reads letters from family etc. It was something very special that I will never forget………especially the bill. So, enjoy the time with your family and as always I send my best to you and Mike.
JENN – I am glad you took the time to ask questions so let me answer them as best I can.
1. You asked how I am loosing weight. It’s simple…….I am eating no carbs at all. No bread, rice, pasta, sauces, sugar. It is really a hard way to lose weigh especially as it effects me in a way that is ummmmmmmmm………………..not pleasing on the nose. However, it appears to be working.
2. How is the blog structured you ask? Well, I start by printing out the questions and comments from the previous blog and just go from there. I really don’t make notes and just write what I think. Occasional something works that you want to keep in such as the “In Their own Words” section and the photos which seem to be popular. Apart from that, I just make it up as I go along and let my two fingers do the typing.
3. Here is a huge dollop (good British word invented by father who used to put a big dollop of syrup on his Yorkshire Pudding) of positive energy to you from Heidi and I for your forthcoming job interview. Look your boss in the eye and think positive thoughts and if you get nervous picture him naked. Good luck and please let me know how you get on.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
LFTTNSFCF – 54 comments to answer today, hence the abbreviation. It was an excellent Thursday night and hopefully there will be something to show for my hard work and endeavor. I just said the French words to one of the pursers who is from Quebec, she is suing me for sexual harassment………….thanks mate 🙂
LORIDIEM – It will not be long before you get here. I am though a little confused that your daughter is getting married on the ship. Is there a priest sailing with you? Have you reserved a room through Carnival already? The reason I am asking this is that some people do come onboard still thinking that the captain can legally wed people which unfortunately these days they cannot. They do carry out a beautiful renewal of vows ceremony though. Anyway, let me know what is happening and I will help you arrange everything. As for the Supper Club, it will be not problem to make the booking for you but I do suggest you let me do this for you ASAP. I recommend the second sea day at 7 pm. Write soon please and I promise you will have a brilliant cruise.
A CRUISE BY ANY OTHER NAME – I am happy to hear you found the information on the tours helpful and I agree, you must see Pompeii. If there is anything else I can do, please let me know. Until then, please keep reading the blog thingy.
SUSAN B – Firstly, lets talk about you and the electric scooter and its accessibility on tenders. The simple fact is this. YOU CAN AND WILL BE ALLOWED TO TAKE THIS ONTO THE TENDER. The only thing is, that you may need to walk, if you can down five steps onto the tender itself if you can and we can then put the scooter on after you. If this is not possible, then we can put the scooter on the tender and assist you aboard by using a regular wheel chair. The bottom line is we will do what ever is needed to make sure that in a port of call where tenders are used that you get to enjoy time ashore. Let me know how this sounds and which you think the best option for you is. Thank you also for saying I should be paid by each word I type. That would be fantastic however I think the shareholders would have something to say about that. Most importantly I thank you for being a faithful blog reader and please know that is so important to me and more so than money………OK, that bit was total rubbish………..but it is really important to me……….and so is getting paid………but not as important as knowing I am helping people…..although if I get paid for doing this I could help more and for longer………….but I should do this from the kindness of my heart……….who am I kidding…….I deserve a dollar a word……….no you don’t, this should be done as an act of charity…………charity my $#@!……..pay me………SORRY Susan, I just had an argument with myself and you just happened to be there when it happened 🙂 I look forward to hearing from you and please know that we are all here to help you.
POPCORNGAL – You sound like you are from a beautiful area and maybe one day I will come and visit. Thank you for thanking Roberto for fixing the photos as you requested……..he is a genius and hopefully next month he will be visiting me onboard. I am sure you will have a great cruise on the Carnival Miracle and Heidi and I send our best to you both.
LONGING2CRUISE – Thank you for your comments and I am beginning to see that Mr. Cohen’s letter has caused quite a stir both here and on the other cruise web things. I agree with you whole-heartedly that each line has its own distinct signature. When Carnival purchased Holland America I remember everyone saying that the line would never be the same again, things would change for the worse, etc etc. The same was said with the purchase of Cunard, Princess, Costa etc…………..and what happened…………………..nothing, the product remained the same but they just made more money thanks to the investment that Carnival made. Therefore, Mr. Cohen likes Holland America and I am happy to hear that as its in the family and I hope more than anything he will be happy there as life is too short not to be happy, especially on vacation. Thank you again for your sincere words and as a faithful Carnival cruiser I hope you will be taking a ride in our Chevy one more time soon. All the best.
MRS.MTSFP – I thought about you today, really I did. We were in Rhodes, Greece today and I see that the art of smoking in public areas is alive and well here unlike France (they need to make bathing a rule) Italy and Spain. I don’t think you or I will have much room in the Aston together but it will be fun trying. We can put Big Ed in the back. Hope all is well in smoke free land and see you real soon.
PA DUTCHMAN – let me know if you need help with your dining assignment and I will make sure Ken is your maitre d. It is great being a Platinum member isn’t it?
NANCY LIEDEL – Yep, I know what you mean. The gentlemen who passed away in his sleep last cruise did so after having seen so many places with his family. I obviously cannot pass on to many details but I can tell you that they had cruised many times before and although the wife (Annie) was very sad she did say that he would have wanted this…………..It is a strange world but sometimes things happen for the best……..Annie seemed to think so anyway.
DWA76 – Mr Beckham has indeed landed and with him the circus that surrounds his every move ….oh yes and Skinny Spice is there as well. I mean this with no disrespect to Victoria but that is one lady who desperately needs to eat a bowl of pasta with a big topping of French fries. Anyway, I hope that David can bring soccer to the fore in America and maybe then we people talk about football it will be the real football and not the one where…..well….only one person uses his foot and everyone uses their hands. Now, as for the lecture series I think that on specific Carnival itineraries that these may be an excellent addition and Chris Prideaux is working on that very subject as we speak. I am not sure of the current figures but I know we are a few thousand short of 450,000 which means I do hope that we will hit 500,000 by the end of August and that will be thanks to people like you so thanks mate and please keep reading.
VICKI – Good to hear you have seen the movie hairspray. How was John Travolta? Carnival is indeed promoting the movie with each ship giving away loads of prizes, teaching the dance from the movie and a lot more besides. Please write a review of the movie as I am sure we would all love to hear what you thought. Glad you are enjoying the blog and Heidi and I send our kind regards to you and your family.
GLORIA – It’s horses for courses as my Dad always says and you are right that hopefully Mr Cohen will enjoy his Holland America cruise more than the one he just experienced on the Carnival Freedom. The funny thing is we do actually have arts and crafts lessons on our trans-Atlantic and Hawaii cruises and they are actually very popular so I guess in some way he has a valid point. I more interested in your wonderful words of how much you enjoy the excitement that the Carnival brand offers and that makes me very happy indeed……I won’t sign you up for the “Sun Visor Class” then. Take care and please write soon.
HEIDI – BETH AND KEVIN – I have passed your thanks onto Cyrus and it is because of people like he and Natko that our food is off the very high standard it is today and as you can see, they are not satisfied yet and expect more developments and improvements very soon. I am back on the front page again but I knew that you would never forget me and for that I am so thankful. All the best until next time from us both.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – I have to admit that Mr. Cohen’s letter was a real example of the 100-plus letters I receive every 24 hours. I will continue to post the good and the bad and the bad will be posted so all can see that we have areas where we must improve and for you to see what my job is all about which is this blog thingies main purpose. My goodness, shoes with secret compartments for money, what will QVC think of next? I personally keep my money in the front of my underwear as it would have to be one desperate pick pocket who would have the courage to boldly go where no man has gone before………….although it is not so easy now to do this thanks to boxers! Thanks for the tip, though, Carol and anything you can do to protect your money from these clever thieves should be considered even if it means having to take your show off when you want to buy something although its even worse for me as I have to put my hand down the front…well…….you get the picture…………Did you get the other anagram, the answers are above if you didn’t……..OH, I see that you did. How much money will it cost me for you NOT to post the photos of the Male Nightgown Contest…..such painful memories………..cheers Carol, keep the postings coming please.
TIM – PAM’S B/F – Congratulations on booking the Carnival Splendor’s first leg of her South American journey. I hope to see you there and hopefully Carnival will decide on that very soon. You asked for the mailing address for people to send things (Aston Martins, etc) to the ship. Here it is. Thanks again and I really hope we get to spend those two fantastic weeks together on the Carnival Splendor.
MV CARNIVAL FREEDOM
JOHN HEALD – SENIOR HANDSOME AND FUNNY CRUISE DIRECTOR
CEMAR CIVITAVECCHIA
LUNGOPORTO GRAMSCI N.19
00053 CIVITAVECCHIA (ROMA) – ITALIA
Talking of that can I use this time to say a big thank you to Essex man who I received a card from this cruise along with a review from a British magazine on the Carnival Freedom. I have also received many letters, cards and gifts over the last few weeks and have replied to most by a letter or phone call. I can tell you that getting mail through the post is so special and Heidi especially appreciates it so very much.
DAVID – How brilliant to hear from another cruise line employee. Are you able to tell us what line you work for and what you do? I often wonder if any other crew read this blog thingy (especially other cruise directors) so if you are OK David we are ok with you mentioning which line as it would be great to hear from you. I see that you did work for Holland America and I thank you for giving us the latest scoop on the pay restaurants the line offers. I truly hope you let us know what you do and until then I send you my best regards.
DORTHE CALIMBAS – You are the second blogger to say that if you had a choice you would “go on a cruise” as Annie’s husband did so peacefully last week. My Dad always says “don’t wish your time away ” and I certainly don’t want to wish yours away Dorthe but I can understand exactly what you mean.The good news is that we are on the front page of the Carnival web page so you can stop hyperventilating now as all is well, as I hope you are.
IVANA – Thank you for recruiting others to cruise with you for the big wedding cruise. I know it’s a very stressful time so having friends around you will hopefully make it less so. Again, remember if there is anything I can do for you including advice for the honeymoon night please let me know.
BIG ED – See, even esteemed cruise ship writers like Mr. Doug Newman are writing to you……….you have made the Big time Big Ed. You then advised me to not quit my day job but as my Dad always say “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it” so I think the least you can do is scribe an attempt of poetry yourself. Here is another one about you in the meantime.
HE HAS READ THE BLOG FROM THE START
HE NEVER STOPS UNLESS HIS WIFE WANTS TO GO TO K MART
BUT WILL HE COME ON THE BLOGGERS CRUISE AND WIN SOME FREE ART
OR WILL HE STAY AT HOME AND LET RIP WITH A BIG ED FA&*
Your turn.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – Your wonderful words can only be followed by a great big thank you and I hope indeed I did make his last days happy. Thank mate.
GIRLDOC – How do you know Shanaz? Anyway, her interview will be coming next week and I will also be holding one with the ship’s doctor as you requested. Rum for breakfast, are you a pirate? Write soon.
JO MYERLY – You have certainly wetted my appetite for the Carnival Splendor’s South American cruise and we will see if Roger Blum and Chris Prideaux want me to be the CD. The Carnival Splendor will have a retractable roof over the main pool deck so in bad weather we can still watch the movies on the big screen. What movies can we play with a South American theme…..any ideas? As soon as I know if I will be the CD I will of course let you know AND UNTIL THEN THANKS AS ALWAYS FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF THE BLOG THINGY.
SHELLYP – My two fingers are getting a bit tired but we have a long way to go tonight so they are on overtime and apart from the odd break where they take a trip to my nose they are working hard. We have many ways to celebrate an anniversary on the ship including having your cabin decorated, private parties, having a cake delivered at dinner and the waiters singing and of course a dedication from me live on the big screen. All the cruise directors are supposed to be doing live morning shows so these celebrations can be arranged regardless of what Carnival ship you are on. I have seen may celebrations before so please let me know if there is anything specific I can help you with. Until then I hope you enjoy reading the blog thingy. Oh, by the way, there is a letter above from a 10-year-old who was celebrating being born……….how cool is that.
JABEE – I am glad to know you are enjoying the blog and I am sorry but I won’t be on the New Years cruise on the Carnival Freedom. I made a promise to Heidi that we would not let her mum celebrate a new year on her own so I will be with Heidi in Holland and at my mum and dads for Christmas. I can tell you that being on a ship for New Year is amazing and I know the CD Todd will make it the best party at sea. I was indeed very proud to have one of the first interviews with Mr Cahill and we are all excited that he is our new leader and you are correct, it will be very exciting to see what happens next. I hope that one thing is that you will continue to read the blog. All the best J.B.
BARB HARMON – More votes of thanks for the Chocolate Warming Cake and Cyrus which I have just passed on to him….I have a crowbar standing by. I do actually give talks on the ports of calls already and after speaking to Mr. Cohen I discovered he wanted talks based on pure history and the politics that each country followed which obviously I did not cover……….his suggestions have been noted. I am sure that on one of the three back to back to back cruises that you will be on during your South American experience will include some guest lecturers. Regardless, it will be the cruise of a lifetime which I hope to share with you.
MTSFPBLFTTNSFCF – I decided to give you your full title although my two fingers are on full automatic at the moment. The fire place……….yep..well spotted. The lounge I broadcast the Morning Show from is called the Drawing Room and is a lovely intimate place with ……..yep……………….a fireplace. Now, considering having a candle onboard can result in you being locked in the brig I also find it strange that we have……..a fireplace….obviously the fire is not real but even so……..well…..you know. By the way, the Drawing Room is non smoking 🙂
BILL – ZYDECOCRUISER – I see what you mean, yep it looks like Fish and Chips will be replaced by something called a Rotisserie on the Carnival Splendor. Actually, I was a little embarrassed to ask what that would serve so I am glad you posted the answer as chicken and steak. I am sure if you ask they can do your fried oysters, if not, let me know and I will have the chef make us some specially. I have passed your recipe to Cyrus, let’s see what he says. Thanks mate and also thanks for making me hungry and as its midnight here the only thing to eat in the cabin is cheese…………..Heidi won’t be happy.
SAILINGWENCH – Thank you for discovering the blog and for taking your valuable time to read all the past additions. I think this is blog 104, am I right bloggers? Let me start by answering your question about your sister. Firstly, I am glad she has come through the chemo sessions and we are all thinking of her. Please do not worry about check in on the Carnival Liberty. As soon as you get to check in, go straight to the front desk that says “TICKET PICK UP” and ask for a wheel chair. This will be immediately provided for you and assistance will be given by the embarkation staff to get you onboard with as much ease for your sister as possible. Now, let’s talk Popcorn, yep, it is available from the Lido Deck during all the big screen movies and concerts. It costs $1 a bag ……I am currently trying to get the charge dropped but its there and it tastes wonderful…..or so Heidi tells me as that avenue of pleasure like so many others has been closed off. Thank you for saying I look like Mr Incredible but I have a feeling the mantle “The Fridge” is here to stay for a bit. My best to you and your sister and please send the Captain and crew of the Carnival Liberty my best.
SUSETTE LOWENSTEIN – All I have to say is………..THANK YOU …………it’s 12:10 am and you just refueled me………..cheers 🙂
KIM – What a brilliant revue of the glorious Grand Med ports of call you slapped on the blog. It sounds to me as though you have so many memories you will cherish forever. I did meet with Mr Cohen although I have to say he did most of the talking 🙂 However, as I have said already on today’s blog I respect his position and as my Dad always says “It takes all sorts to be saved, happy and free.” I agree whole-heartedly about the vaporetto’s needing a maximum capacity as they really don’t seem to control that at all and it can be quite claustrophobic at times. Anyway, its back to them for me and Heidi ……..no more water taxis and my Tony Soprano suit is back in the wardrobe. Thanks Kim for all the kind words and I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the cruise so much and until the next one please keep reading the blog.
SARI BOLNICK – You said in your posting “how lucky we are to have had you as the cruise director on our Carnival Glory cruise.” Well, I consider my luck to have just increased dramatically now you have discovered the blog. The greatest pleasure of this job I do is to try and make people laugh and when they do, well, there is no greater feeling. Please keep reading the blog now you have found it and my thanks to your travel agent for pointing you towards it. Heidi and I send our best to you and your family.
DEBBIE CARPENTER – Don’t be shocked that I answered your questions on the last blog as I truly do try to answer everyone’s comments as often as I can. Please also don’t worry about your daughter being on a different deck to you when you cruise in August. There is no safer vacation environment than on a cruise ship and I am sure she will have the time of her life. Now, you asked for my opinion to help resolve your and your husband’s difference of opinion regarding the Carnival Splendor cruise to Russia and Holland etc or that to Greece /Turkey. Ask your husband this: If he walked into his bedroom tonight and found Angelina Jolie or Catherine Zeta Jones waiting for him and one had to leave which one would it be?………………….tough one ………..Anyway, there is in my opinion no correct answer as both are stunning and somewhere special to explore…………………….the two different cruises are great as well! Seriously, you will love the Greece/Turkey cruise and it will just leave you wanting more……………just like AJ or CZJ would. Hope this helps and my best to you all.
TOM FIVEK – Thanks for the New Jersey Exit update. I have a good friend called Robert Schneider who works on the Jersey Turnpike and he does a wonderful job keeping that place going. He is also an avid cruiser with over 40 Carnival cruises under his belt and I guess he needs them with the stress that his job can bring. I will check with the bar manager and make sure Dubonet is fully stocked in the bars. See you soon mate.
JOHN TROVATO – Sorry I didn’t get to inform the guests about Troy the young man you saw us take ashore. I found out on debarkation morning that he had come through his medical procedure well and he is now at a hospital back in the USA. I hope you enjoyed the cruise and please let me know if you need anything and please also enjoy the blogs.
NANCI NURSE – Please can someone let me know if the web cam is working now as I am showing that it is. Nanci, any update?
MIKE L – Hello Mike, and welcome to the blog thingy. I am sorry you did not get through on the Morning Show but I am very happy that you enjoyed it so much. I see that you enjoyed the cruise very much but you also mentioned some concerns which if you feel I can help you with I am here. The blog is also here not just for the Carnival Freedom but for advice from myself and other cruises on all the carnival family of ships. Please keep reading and I hope to hear from you very soon.
MARLENE – Don’t be disappointed. The DJ will play 70’s music in every hour of his mix plus we have one early evening happy hour where we dedicate two hours to this era of music. I will see you and your friends soon and please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you before you get here.
CROWN GOLFER – There you are, I thought you may have been flooded out. Talking of water, you asked about coins for the laundry machines. You need US quarters which are available for change onboard. See you in a few days and please drop me a note to let me know you are here.

And with that, we end today’s Q & A and my two fingers (Freddie and Frank) are very happy………………………… Should I be concerned that I just named two of my fingers?

As usual this blog has been writing over the whole weekend period and now we are sailing from Rhodes to Izmir and the ship is bouncing all over the place like a drunken Kangaroo. The wind speed outside is showing 60 kmh and its coming right across our bow. I would think a lot of people are being rocked to sleep tonight.

As you saw from today’s “In their own words” section there was a mention of the people who have lost their luggage. We had some bags arrive today in Rhodes but we still have many that our pursers are working with the airlines to find. It is not just on long haul flights that this can happen either. Today, our fly on entertainer Richard Gauntlet who is a comedy juggler arrived with no bags and because his bags were lost on the short flight from London to Greece it meant he had no props and therefore no show. So, that was me then rushing around reorganizing the show for tonight and trying to trace his bags so he can perform later in the cruise.

One other note from today. Heidi and I took our usual stroll into Rhodes today and we are always used to seeing tourists being……….well……..tourists. Today though, a new one for us. For one reason or another there are many real fur shops in Rhodes…..loads of them…………don’t ask me who is going to buy a fur coat when it is 100 degrees outside but anyway, there are lots of these shops. Well, Heidi and I are heading to our favorite restaurant when as we pass one of the fur shops we hear some screaming and very bad words indeed coming from outside of one of the fur shops. There in the door way are two very angry ladies screaming abuse at the poor shopkeeper about the virtues of selling fur. A small group had now gathered outside the shop and as the swear words got louder and the shaking of the fists more angry more and more people joined to watch the show. I pulled my baseball cap down incase any of the crowd watching were from the ship but everyone was too interested in watching the “fur fly” than to care if I was there. The ladies were clearly getting angrier and angrier and swearing at the man and telling him “animals are living things” etc, etc. Now, I am not going to get into the rights and wrongs of the fur trade but it did cross my mind that the owner was probably having a nice coffee and trying to sell his goods and now he was part of a Greek tragedy being played out live in the main square of Rhodes Old Town. Heidi and I were still watching the show when the police arrived and tried to calm things down. I have no idea what happened as Heidi nudged me in the ribs and pointed to the lady on the left who had turned to face the crowd and talk to the police officer……………..it was then that I saw she was wearing a Carnival I.D. and money holder round her neck….the ones we sell in the gift shop………….and with that………………….we walked………………very quickly away………………..and didn’t look back.

I have not heard any reports of anyone being arrested or has anyone made a complaint onboard but I do sympathies with the ladies as it was obvious that seeing these fur coats etc really must have upset them…………as for the shopkeeper….after today…………….he will probably sell his stock and open a 7-11…it is much safer.

And now it gives me great pleasure tinged with a little sadness to present today’s guest. I thought about writing a long introduction when I realized that I only needed two words and they are…………………………………

BOB DICKINSON.

Bob Dickinson

Bob,

This is a difficult request to ask for as saying goodbye is never easy but I think it would be nice if you could possibly answer these questions for the blog.

Many thanks.

John

Before we look back, let’s look forward. How do you intend to spend your retirement and what are you most excited about doing?

The primary thing I am going to be working on involves chronic homelessness in Miami, and the Camillus House, which is a facility for the homeless. Our goal is for Miami to be the first major city in the country to have virtually no homeless walking around. I am extremely excited about this project, which is going to take several years. As part of it, we need to raise $88 million, including $40 million from the private sector. We’ve raised $16 million of that so far, so we are at 40 percent of the goal. Although I’ve been extensively involved in the homeless issue in Miami for a number of years, this is the biggest project I have ever undertaken and it is extremely exciting and meaningful to me.

It is my belief that there is a major difference between success and significance. In the first part of people’s lives they typically focus on their career and achieving success. But the second piece in the continuum of life is giving back. That will be the focus of my energies going forward.

Now, shifting gears to a more light-natured aspect of my retirement plans, my wife Jodi and I have bought into a yacht with some other owners and we expect to really enjoy that and have a lot of fun with it. The yacht is currently in the Med, and in the winter it will be in the Caribbean.

Also, we have a home in the North Carolina Mountains which Jodi has just essentially re-built. We are very much looking forward to spending more time there and enjoying it.

I will also continue to be involved in all of the organizations and events in South Florida that have I am very passionate about including the United Way, serving on the board of St. Thomas University, and being extensively involved in the Miami Wine and Food.

But I am most excited about walking the streets of Miami one day in the future with city leaders and looking at what we have achieved for the homeless. We have designed our initiative in such a way that other cities can replicate what we’ve accomplished. We’ve created an institute for homeless studies, if you will, that will allow other markets to tap into our learning and experiences so that they do not have to reinvent the wheel.

And, of course, I have four grown children and nine grandchildren that I treasure spending time with, as well as my beautiful, active young wife who shares my love for food, wine and travel.

As far as your career at Carnival Cruise Lines, what are you most proud of?

This one is easy. . . I am most proud of where Carnival is today. This year we’ll provide 3.6 million people with terrific cruise vacations while providing jobs, careers and opportunities for 34,000 employees. We will contribute significant profits to Carnival Corporation, which makes shareholders happy, and the vast majority of our business will be sold through travel agents which makes them happy.

Carnival tracks a satisfaction rate in excess of 97 percent which is amazingly high and something all of us involved with this company can take great pride in.

You are one of the most comfortable and sincere public speakers I have ever met. Did you enjoy the public speaking and live Q & A sessions that you have hosted so many times and what is a memorable question you have been asked?

Remember, you don’t need to hold back now….

I have absolutely enjoyed and relished public speaking and the many live question and answer sessions I’ve been a part of over the years. Yes -that’s one of the things I’ll miss, although I may still have an opportunity from time to time. I am continuing my role on the Carnival Corp & plc board of directors so I should still have opportunities to talk with people on the ships and I’ll continue to be connected to the cruise industry.

In the early years on Carnival’s ships, people used to ask if the bath towels were washcloths . . . . which was fairly annoying.

Your two books “Selling the Sea” have been very successful. Do you have any plans to continue writing?

I actually wrote three books. I also have one called “The Complete 21st Century Travel & Hospitality Marketing Textbook,” which features articles written by 64 different travel and business leaders. Anyway, I do not presently plan to continue with the book writing but who knows.

Simple question, why is Carnival Cruise Lines the “World’s Most Popular Cruise Line?”

More people vacation with Carnival than any other cruise line because we provide exceptional cruise vacations at affordable prices and proudly cater to a broad section of the traveling public. People from all walks of life are welcome on Carnival and it creates a richer, more interesting and more rewarding shipboard environment than anywhere else. Our service, food, activities and entertainment are first rate which accounts for the high satisfaction ratings. Also, we have grown to be the largest cruise line through the exceptional professionalism, enthusiasm and spirit of our officers, staff. crew and shoreside teams. Without all of the extraordinary people who I have been so privileged to work with at Carnival, we’d be dead in the water.

Do you have a message for the thousands of guests who have sailed and will continue to sail on our Fun Ships and who read this blog?

Consumers drive our product. The views, opinions and needs of our customers directly determine changes in every aspect of our operation so the more feedback and interaction we have with our guests, travel agent partners and all of our external audiences gives us even greater opportunities to get it right. Gerry Cahill and Carnival’s excellent shoreside and shipboard teams will be moving Carnival to the next level so your blog-thingy readers have a lot of good things to look forward.

I know you are heading off to Alaska soon on the Carnival Spirit with your entire family. What are you looking forward to?

We leave on July 18. There are 19 of us ranging in age from 1-1/2 to 76. We are really looking forward to it. My grandchildren love Camp Carnival and of course there’s something to do for everyone. We’re going to celebrate my birthday during the cruise.

Will you be packing up your own desk and walking down to your car with everything in a cardboard box?

Actually, I’ve already packed up my office and moved to a different one and – yes – in cardboard boxes. Sorry – I didn’t arrange a photo for you.

I am sure that there will be many accolades, parties and tributes paid to you over the next few months. However, if you could choose your own entertainment for your farewell party, what famous musical guest would you invite and why.

I’d pick Elton John. He’s one of those extraordinarily talented and enduring musicians whose work spans all generations.

I am sure you have met many famous and influential people in your career. When you look back, who will be the most memorable and why?

Clearly that would be you, John. Considering your legendary reputation for unbridled flatulence, unapologetic deferral to your wife on your underwear selection, and that – to my knowledge – you are the only Carnival employee in the company’s history who a guest has referred to as “the sperm of the devil” – well – that makes you – ummm – pretty memorable.

In ten words or less, how would you describe your career at Carnival Cruise Lines?

In three words — blessed and gratifying.

So, today’s blog is dedicated to Bob Dickinson, a true Carnival Legend and a man who didn’t wait for his ship to come in…………………..he swam out to it.

Goodnight.

Your friends,

John and Heidi

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.