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.

VENICE AT ITS BEST

VENICE AT ITS BEST

VENICE AT ITS BEST

VENICE AT ITS BEST

Here are today’s letters from IN THEIR OWN WORDS

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

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.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

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:
MV CARNIVAL FREEDOM
HEIDI AND JOHN HEALD – CRUISE DIRECTOR
CEMAR CIVITAVECCHIA
LUNGOPORTO GRAMSCI N.19
00053 CIVITAVECCHIA (ROMA) – ITALIA
DAWN
– 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.

JOHN , HERE IS THE RECEIPE WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY HOWEVER IT WILL BE GOING IN THE NEW CARNIVAL COOK BOOK WHICH WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM ALL THE SHIPS SOON……………..HERE IS A FIRST HAND LOOK. CAN YOU SEND ME A CAKE, I HAVE NEVER HAD IT.

OFF TO A TRAIN SPOTTING CONVENTION SO MAY BE OUT OF TOUCH FOR A FEW DAYS

PA 007

Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

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

METHOD:

  • 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.

WHY DO I LOOK SO UPSET………………………….MY JACKET COVERS HER ENTIRE BODY, THATS WHY!

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.

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.