Welcome to Rhodes, Greece where there are seven cruise ships docked here at the old town. The only one from our family is the AIDA, the rest are ships that I am not familiar with which are part of smaller Greek lines. Heidi is downstairs in the main lounge organizing the debarkation of the tours and I though I would therefore start today’s blog thingy.Yesterday was a long day and night and I didn’t get to bed until 12:30 am which because we are put the clocks forward one hour it meant that by the time my head touched the pillow it was 1:30 am. Anyway, it was a tale of two sittings fro the shows last night. Most of the 1st show’s audience were made up of American and Canadian guests whose response to the New Orleans tribute show The Big Easy was enthusiastic and resulted in a prolonged standing ovation and rampant singing of the finales “When The Saints Go Marching In.”

Now, the second sitting (and just a note for my friend, no, I am not whining again) was made up of our International guests who of course still enjoyed the show but their response was….. …..well………..more measured and refined. This has got me thinking, I wonder how Costa Cruises manages to entertain guests from so many countries. I wonder if I could interview someone from there, let me see what can be done.

Now, onto another subject and that is everyone’s favorite………..smoking. The three smoking bars and lounges we have are much busier than usual and that is obviously again due to the International count being so high. Last night, I was in the cigar bar and every seat and corner was taken, most unusual for that time of night. I was talking to a Russian guest called Vasily who I saw smoking a big Cuban cigar. We got talking (he spoke perfect English) and he told me that he owned a …………….are you ready……………a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut franchise in Moscow.

Apparently KFC is more popular than pizza there by the way. Anyway, we chatted for a while and he told me the amazing fact that 6 in ten people smoke in Russia. Now, I do not know what the ratio is in the States, Canada or the UK but that does seem very high. Anyway, Vasily told me that he and his wife and son were having the greatest time and though the ship and the show were spectacular. It was a real feel good conversation and it was just what I needed.

Rogair from Paris is so famous that kids are having photos with him and trying to talk Fenchglish, he is having the time of his life…………thank goodness as I was worried that joke may backfire.

The only negative note last night was when a large group of Italians accosted me at the formal party and really were very rude. They complained that the announcements and shows were not in Italian. There was the usual hand waving and gestures which is part of the Italian way of speaking of course and eventually they left. The strange thing was, they complained to me in English!

Here are today’s photos which Heidi took during a solo shopping trip. She came back with some great photos but it cost me a fortune as she bought a bag by a company called MiuMiu……bloody hell, it’s the same price as an Aston Martin ! Anyway, here are the most expensive photos in the world.

1. THE CARNIVAL FREEDOM IN RHODES, GREECE

1. THE CARNIVAL FREEDOM IN RHODES, GREECE

2. RHODES OLD TOWN………WISH SHE HAD BOUGH A SPONGE INSTEAD OF THE BAG

2. RHODES OLD TOWN………WISH SHE HAD BOUGH A SPONGE INSTEAD OF THE BAG

3. RHODES OLD TOWN PART 2

3. RHODES OLD TOWN PART 2

4. A BUSY DAY IN PORT WITH SEVEN SHIPS IN.

4. A BUSY DAY IN PORT WITH SEVEN SHIPS IN.

5. HEIDI’S MASTERPIECE AND THE PRICE OF A BAG

5. HEIDI’S MASTERPIECE AND THE PRICE OF A BAG

Here are today’s letters including two from Kids Corner, one of which has turned me into a Godzilla like creature capable of devouring whole cruise ships. Also, one from Fueng Turtle, an avid blogger who has lost her luggage……….I am doing my best to look after her.

Kids Corner

Kids Corner

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

Q & A time.

BIG ED – Morning mate. I have not had time to look at the replies to yesterday’s blog thingy but hopefully now word is out that you are cruising on the Bloggers Cruise. Therefore, I have to ask, what changed your mind? Yes, you are correct that Roberto has now made an easy to complete link thingy for the Supper Club. This means you just complete it, press submit and Roberto will send it to me and I will make the reservations through the fleet. It basically saves time for me in writing out extra e-mails…………basically, I am lazy. Now, as for Spa reservations, that may need more time and its hard for me to make appointments because I know so little about massages, facials etc……….I still use soap on a rope. Anyway, there are no restrictions on where this blog can go next and as long as I can provide a service for the guests I am happy.
DEBRA HEHN – Sorry Debbie, just grinning a bit because I see that after writing to just above about using the Supper Club form etc the next posting I read is one from you asking for……………a supper club reservation. If people prefer to do it this way, that’s fine, whatever you all feel is best for you. Debra, your reservation in the supper club has been confirmed………….try the French Onion Soup. Thanks Debra and I will see you soon.
STEVE J. GARROD – hello mate. I will be as requested hosting an interview with someone from Holland America Line very soon. Your web site looks great. Hope things are going well for you over there and our best regards to you and everyone at HAL.
HEIDI – BETH AND THE 7 PIXELS – I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the interviews with the Cruise Directors, there is another coming up in a moment. The reason I am doing these guest spots is so that guests can see who will be on the ship when they cruise and get a feel for the Cruise Director before boarding. I have read on Cruise Critic recently that some people say the do not care who the CD is and that a CD makes no difference to their cruise. That is understandable but I know for a lot of people a good CD can indeed be the difference between a good cruise and a great cruise……….anybody agree? So, our best to you and your ever-growing family and I hope the three of you will see the two of us soon.
INDYGIRL – Thank you for catching up on the blogs and also for your kind words about the 500,000 slaps. Now, I know that when you have enjoyed cruising as much as you have and then you invite friends for the next one who have NEVER cruised before, it can be a little nerve-racking. It is natural that you want them to have the best time and welcome them to your world of carnival fun vacations. Therefore, in answer to your question about suggestions on what to do, let me say this. I do recommend the Carnival Freedom in the Caribbean as you mentioned. Both the Eastern and Western Caribbean are fantastic so have a look at the www.carnival.com website, click on Carnival Freedom and see what ports you like best. You mentioned that you are in your 20s so I think the Western Caribbean of Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica will be the most fun for you. Again, have a read through and start asking me questions if that helps at all. I hope to be onboard in March and if I am I look forward to meeting you and your friends who will be, like you, hooked on cruising with Carnival. I remain at your service. Cheers.
LEASA – Thank you so much for your kind words but I am sorry I made you cry with Jess’s story. She is one person I intend to stay in contact with for as long as I can as she really did touch my heart. I am also happy to know that you have promised to keep reading the blog for as long as possible and knowledge like that keeps me going during the long lonely days at the keyboard. You asked if I am spending enough time with Heidi. Probably not……………but I will make sure I do in the days to come because I have no wish or desire to back in the dog house again. Anyway, thanks for the posting and your kind words mean a lot to us both.
LINDA HERNACKI – How are you both? It seems a lot of people are buying Bloggers T Shirts and I am so grateful, not because I am getting a single penny for them, really I am not but because it means people really do love this blog thingy enough to spend their hard-earned money on something with my name on it. You asked me how much sleep I get every night. Well, sometimes it’s as little as five hours and sometimes as much as seven or eight hours, it just depends on the circumstances. If I have eaten the Jelly Beans I get very little sleep as the couch really is not that comfortable. The diet is going OK and as always I thank you for your unconditional support of the blog thingy and your friendship towards Heidi and me. My best to Mike and his bulbs.
TOM AND JANE – Thank you so much for buying the T Shirts and I am truly amazed at how popular they are. I will put some Fish and Chips in an envelope and mail it to you. …………I really wish I could. You have to come to the Carnival Splendor and spend a few days in the UK first and try real British Fish and Chips. Before the days of Public Health you used to get your fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. I especially enjoyed this as a lad if mine were wrapped in Page 3 of the SUN Newspaper……..suggest you Google that one. I am truly appreciative of your kind words and as requested, I will keep on blogging.
JABEE – Congratulations on booking the New Year’s cruise on the Carnival Freedom. Unfortunately I will be on vacation on that time but please know that celebrating New Year’s Eve on board a Carnival ship is an unforgettable way to bring in the New Year.
You asked me about a Cruise Critic meet and greet at 11:00am on Sunday morning. I think that is a very good time to meet and may I suggest you contact the Groups Coordinator whose name is Charlene on embarkation day and ask for a lounge to meet. This will not be a problem and is free of charge. I suggest you meet in the piano bar which is called Scott’s. Todd will be your Cruise Director and he will provide you with the best cruise ever. I hope you and your Cruise Critic friends are well and Happy New Year.
JO MYERLY – You asked for a recommendation in Naples except Pompeii which you have done. This is an easy question to answer, I would spend some time in Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. These are beautiful areas, the shopping is wonderful and you leave feeling very romantic. Dave will be happy :)) I love the island of Capri, but I think Sorrento is the way to go. Hope this helps and the best to you both.
KICIASKI – Hello Linda & George. You are absolutely correct that Jess is a very special girl and I shall never forget her. Thank you for the information that Mah jong can cause seizures. Certainly I nearly had one trying to find the damn board. Thank you for this, it really made me smile. I still look out on the front row and expect to see you and George there.
KEVIN – Sounds like the pizza classes were fun. I have been thinking about adding a pizza class to one of the tours in Naples which along with our new cooking tour in the south of France would be a great addition. Thank you again for the beautiful story about Brian. It touched a lot of people. Thank you Kevin and this is the first posting we have not mentioned the word Aston Martin……………….oops! I do see that you mentioned you have send me some refueling for my jet pack. I am very excited to hear this and as soon as it is recharged I will dedicate the first explosion to you. I still do not know my schedule for the rest of the year, although I do know I will be joining the Carnival Splendor in May and will remain on board through to December. After that, who knows? You asked about AJ or CZJ. No news on AJ at the moment and I am going to give it a few more days and Carnival people are following up on our request. I hear nothing, then of course I shall use the power of the blog which is enough to persuade Carnival that the gorgeous Catherine is the right choice. If she says: “No,” third choice is my friend Alan in a dress. Thank you for sending the jet fuel and all the best.
UNCLE DOUG – Thank you for your suggestions for who should play who in JOHN’S HEALD’S BLOG – THE MOVIE. I particularly liked the role of Steve Martin to play PA007. It’s very interesting that everyone is guessing that PA 007 is a “he.” I am not saying “he” isn’t or that “she” is, but certainly Steve Martin would be a good choice, although he is a little pale, compared to the real PA 007. I am glad that Fish & Chips has made the transition across the Atlantic Ocean. It’s certainly one of my old time favorite foods. I used to have two gold fish. I called them “Number one” and “Number two”, so if one died, I’d still have two. My best to you in Texas.
BIG ED – Great movie cast list, Heidi is extremely happy with you choosing AJ to play her. Does that mean tonight I get to sleep with Angelina Jolie? Now you have PA 007 played by something or someone called Monk, who or what is a Monk? I know a monk is someone who lives in a monastery and is celibate and has taken a vow of silence. I have to tell you that none of these apply to the real PA 007, although, I can picture PA 007 dressed as a monk. Great cast list and all we need to do now is bankroll the movie. As the assistant to the Cruise Director, that is your job.
SUSAN B – Very funny. Brad Pitt, I really like that one, Angelina Jolie? That’s twice she has been chosen to play Heidi. The only one you are way out on is Alan, Tom Cruise is far too handsome or so Heidi says. I am very sorry that your dad has decided along with your husband that they are too cheap to go to the Supper Club. I agree that the food is brilliant in the dining room, but you will be celebrating your 25th anniversary and a visit to the Supper Club would really make it extra special. Tell you what, book the Supper Club and I will pay for two bottles of champagne for you to celebrate with. What do you say? Heidi has been very busy at work and helping me with my thingy and my blog :)) However, she promises she will write another blog soon.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – It seems to me that because of my blog your computer has been in the wars. It seems to be pelted with liquids as you laugh, spray and spill. It has been a little frustration so far, knowing that half the ship does not understand me, but I am doing my best to try and involve them as much as I can. I am glad you are enjoying the photos and the interviews with the Cruise Directors and as requested, I will be hosting an interview with the CD of the Imagination soon. You mentioned your sister’s trip on the Carnival Pride and I will be featuring the Cruise Director of that ship very soon. Thank you for your recommendation on the
MISLAMOYA Tour. I am sure this is one that the CD will recommend also. Thank you also for your recommendation for another big screen movie. I can see John Cleese wearing those stockings and suspenders in my mind and it’s making me smile. More interviews will be forthcoming, including some with the people that you mentioned. The great thing about this blog is that so far, the ideas to keep it interesting are still flowing. I just read your choices for the bloggers movie cast and Heidi is very happy at your choice of Heidi Klum. Apparently, Heidi says she is married to a seal……..very strange. My best regards to you as always and also my deepest sympathies to your computer.
CANUCK CRUISER – Your Supper Club reservation has been confirmed and I am sure it would be very special. You asked about formal nights on the 8-day cruise and yes, there are eight formal nights on the first and the second-to-last sea days. This means the night you have booked your Supper Club reservation is a Non-formal night. One day I will indeed send a list of my favorite questions I have been asked. I think these are pretty much generic questions as a lot of Cruise Directors report being asked similar questions. Very interesting that you should say ditch AJ and go for CZJ because she is more talented. I agree CZJ is very talented although AJ has a couple of things that really make her stand out. I wish you could have seen the look Heidi just gave me. Thank you very much for all your kind words and a special thank you for mentioning Alan and as you have called him Sr. Alan, the ugly. You obviously have met him. Hope all is well in Canada and thank you for slapping on a great posting.
NICO R – Hello Nico. I am glad you are enjoying the blog thingy. You asked if Carnival offers contract terms that are less than 6-9 months as I see that you are interested in working on board during summer recess from University. This depends on what position you are looking to hold on board so why don’t you send me some more information and let me see if I can help you. It’s very interesting what you told me about the cruise line that rhymes with boil (very funny) and I was surprised to say the least. Here at Carnival, tips are place on your Sail & Sign card and at the end of your cruise they are paid directly to your waiter and stateroom steward.
They will then give a percentage to their assistants. Within the dining room and the housekeeping department, tips are not pooled. I believe this is the best way and it seems that crewmembers prefer this as well. Why base what you earn on the service someone else gives, makes no sense.
Hope all is well with you at University and I will await your info.
DWA 76 – Hello Mate. It is fun having Alan here and also great to hear from you. Risa was on the Celebration for a long time and I am sure she would have been your Cruise Director when you were on board. Glad you are enjoying the blog and you correct, the Carnival Splendor is a real beauty.
I&MsMom – Yep, Carnival Splendor, your new home awaits you. She is going to be beautiful and a new class of ship for us which is always very exciting. See you in Dover and make sure you have Fish & Chips before you board.
BILL(ZYDECO CRUISER) – You asked if both sides of the Carnival Splendor are going to look the same? Have you been at the Bushwackers again? Tell you what, sail on the Carnival Splendor and I will take you ashore in Dover and buy you Fish & Chips. Let me know as soon as you can about the Fantasy. Once again, we have ended up talking about food. What a shocker.
JEFF STEVENSON – Boy, did you pick the wrong week to read the blog. Please don’t worry, everybody will love your show and I am sure that you will really enjoy performing on board. It will be interesting if afterwards you can slap on a posting saying how you enjoyed your time performing on this ship. See you in Athens mate and maybe during the flight you could learn French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Arabic and American.
POET LAUREATE JTODDINMAN – Another masterpiece, especially the line “And John will wear the pants.” How long have you had this talent? Have you considered writing a book of love sonnets? Seriously, I know you must put a lot of work into these and we are all very grateful.
BIG ED IS COMING ON THE BLOGGERS CRUISE HIP HIP HIP HOORAY
HE WILL SAIL WITH HEIDI, ME AND MY MATE ALAN
THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH BOTH OF US HERE, IS HOW MUCH THE SHIP WILL WEIGH
HEIDI WILL DO THE WASHING, EVEN BIG ED’S DRAWERS
SHE MAY WEAR A SURGICAL MASK BUT IT’S ALL FOR A VERY GOOD CAUSE
IVANA – Glad you enjoyed the interview with Chris from the Carnival Valor and for your congratulations on reaching half a million. I particularly enjoyed seeing you have chosen George Clooney to play me and Heidi was thrilled at your choice of Charlize Theron to play her. Now, as for the others, I see you have chosen someone called America Ferrara as PA 007. I need more information as again, I do not know who this is. As for Alan to be played by Al Pacino, maybe you need to go more towards Ernest Borgnine. Congratulations on getting your t-shirt, I am very grateful and Heidi and I send our warmest regards to you.
MILLIE S – Yes, we were able to find Sammy’s brother who will be highlighted towards the end of this blog. I see you want to book the Rome on your Own tour. What date is this for? Can you let me know, I just want to make sure it’s available and if you are having problems booking it via the internet, I will be able to help you out. We are in Rome on the 28 and 29, I just need to make sure which one applies. Look forward to hearing from you Millie and it won’t be long before we see each other.
DAVE MYERLY – You asked why there are so many Europeans on the cruise. Unlike the USA, Canada and the U.K., most Europeans take their vacations in August. This particularly applies to the French, Spanish and Italians. Obviously, this particular cruise which features Greek and Turkish ports is very popular unlike the Grand Med cruise, which features mostly Italian, French and Spanish ports. Hope this answers your question. Cheers mate.
LOIS GRABASTERNSKI (WE HAVE GONE FROM BOW TO STERN) – Thanks for the kind words. Big Ed has booked the bloggers cruise, now it’s your turn.
VICKI – I found your money in the casino and unfortunately on my way to mailing it back to you I spent it on Jelly Beans.
MRSMISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – I knew I could count on you for a sophisticated cast of cool characters for the movie. I prefer Hugh Grant to Hugh Laurie and Heidi would like to send a big hug to you for your choice of Scarlett Johansson to play her. James Earl Jones is the perfect choice for Big Ed, the only one you are off on is Alan’s………Daniel Craig, he is not. I notice none of your characters smoke which is perfect. Say hello to MTSFPBLTNSMCF. Cheers.
GIRL DOC – What a fantastic schedule of cruises you have. Let me get back to you at the end of this week and I will let you know how the single events have gone.
NANETTEALI – Ola Seneora. El perfecto casto. Muchos graci ares para Heidi who is mucho happyo foro youo chooseo Reneo Zellweggero to play her. Hope you and the family are well and I smile every time I write your name.
KEVIN AND HEIDI-BETH AND THE 7 PIXELS – Oops, it seems to me like Heidi and Beth are suffering from ATCOCS syndrome. Therefore, you need to book the Carnival Inspiration otherwise you could end up like poor Mr. Norman Palfreman who had not cruised on Carnival for over a year. He went on a ship which will remain nameless and on the first evening was found swapping the letters RCI around to CRI. When asked by ship’s security what he was doing, he proudly shouted: “Carnival Rules the Industry.” Security threatened to disembark him and he replied: “You can’t do that, I know John Heald.” He was immediately taken off the vessel.
So, Kevin, book the ship quickly or see a travel professional. Always read the label, side effects may include uncontrollable flatulence.
LISA BISTI – Welcome home from the July 24 sailing and it was a pleasure to read your lovely letter out in the morning show. My goodness, you took a lot of photos and I am sure you will have many happy memories when you look at them. You are not the first person to comment on how dreadful Rome airport is. I have experienced this myself but you are home safe now and I really appreciate your kind words. Take a look at the last few blogs and I hope this will encourage you to keep reading until your next cruise. I remain at your service.
JAMES EMM – You really do have an early flight after disembarking the Carnival Glory. It will be touch and go, however, you may just make it. Make sure you ask for Early Flight Debark at the information desk a few days before the end of the cruise. This will have you leaving the vessel as soon as permission is given by the authorities. If however you can, you may want to consider changing it. Hope this helps. All the best.

I want to stop there but will continue tomorrow.

Can I say a big thank you to my friend and colleague Roberto for the new banner on the blog representing my 20 years of service which deserves an Aston Martin Vanquish or DB9. I am not fussy although a black one would be wonderful……….sorry, lost the plot there. Back to Roberto……and I thought it was time you met him…..here he is and again my thanks for all he does to support this blog thingy of mine.

Roberto

Now, let’s have a chat with the Cruise Director of the Carnival Glory, my mate and a rising star Ralph “Wee Jimmy” Valente.

Ralph “Wee Jimmy” Valente

Ralph “Wee Jimmy” Valente

1. Please can you tell us about your career with Carnival so far? How did you start and when?

In 1999 (8 years ago), I was hired by Carnival Cruise Lines as a DJ, yet when I arrived at the ship they were in need of a Social Host . A Scot looking forwards to sunny tropical weather. Back then, my ship was the “Jubilee” and the Social Hosts were also Groups Co-coordinators, Backstage Managers, Karaoke Hosts and Activities Hosts; so that gave me a true understanding of the overall job that I was to later to fulfill as a well-rounded Cruise Director (around the waist, LOL!). A huge part of getting to where I am today comes from a lot of supportive friends in the Carnival family, from Cruise Directors & the Carnival office. A special thanks in my career goes to John Heald, Heidi, Mark Price and Lenka. I have been a fully-fledged Cruise Director now for 2 months but I still wear diapers.

2. What ship are you currently on and what is its itinerary?

I am on vacation at the moment but I’m looking forward to being onboard the Carnival Glory as of August 18, 2007. (I can’t wait to see you there).

The itinerary on the 7-Day Western Caribbean from Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL

The Carnival Glory “Fun Ship” cruise departs from Port Canaveral and spends seven wonderful days cruising the Western Caribbean. With stops in The Bahamas, Mexico and Belize, this is one cruise vacation you’ll never forget.

ARRIVAL DEPARTURE

Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL 4:00pm
Fun Day At Sea
Cozumel, Mexico 10:00am 7:00pm
Belize 8:00am 5:00pm
Costa Maya, Mexico 8:00am 5:00pm
Fun Day At Sea
Nassau, Bahamas 10:00am 4:00pm
Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL 7:00am

The itinerary on the 7-Day Eastern Caribbean from Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL

Join me on the Carnival Glory and set sail for seven fun-filled days to the amazing islands of the Eastern Caribbean.

ARRIVAL DEPARTURE

Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL 4:00pm
Nassau, Bahamas 8:30am 2:00pm
Fun Day At Sea
St. Thomas, USVI 10:00am 8:00pm
St. Maarten, NA 8:00am 6:00pm
Fun Day At Sea
Fun Day At Sea
Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL 7:00am

3.Please can you pick two excursions from each port and tell us why you recommend them so much?

Belize

Cave tubing – Awesome tour that is really a genuine great family experience that is fun, adventurous and unique, good for everyone. It is one of those tours that never really appealed to me, but hundreds of guests go with us every week and they all kept telling me to go……so eventually I did and loved it, one of the best days out I have ever had!!!

Barrier Reef Snorkel at Turneffe with Beach break – Honestly, I’m not normally much of a water bunny, but as Belize has the world’s second largest barrier reef I figured I may as well give it a go – and what an experience! The water was crystal clear and so alive with color and fish everywhere; I saw Stingrays and a little turtle as well. Great fun on the boat ride back, with rum punch which made me feel like Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean!!! Johnny Depp eat your heart out! “How much did the pirate pay for his new earrings? A buck an ear (Buccaneer)”

Cozumel

Dolphin Swim – In the 8 years I have been with Carnival this is one of my highlights, I had my photo taken which still sits on my desk; dolphins are just so intelligent and fun and you can’t stop smiling when you are in the water with them. They are so playful and everyone loves them, they really bring out the inner child in you although one of them thought I was an inner tube. If you get the chance to do this….do it; you will love it! I took my Mum on this tour and she will never forget it.

ATV Jungle Adventure – This is more my thing, getting totally dirty! I thought this would be a tame ‘safe’ boring guided tour; totally not! You get to really fly through the forest on these machines and try to keep up with the guide. My advice, don’t wear white & expect to look like a Panda Bear when you remove your goggles, don’t forget your camera (the before and after photos are great).

Costa Maya

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins – It is great doing fun things in the ports like dolphins, ATV’s, etc but at the same time I really like to see what the ports are really about. Seeing the Mayan ruins is so interesting, representing the country’s history, its heritage and learn about its cultural past. When you go on the ruins tours, of which there are a lot in Mexico, you really start to gain an appreciation for what they did and achieved and learn about their past. No adrenaline rushes here, but I would definitely recommend it, if you get the chance to go and see one Mayan ruin during your cruise.

Xtreme Speed Boat – You know they say boys never grow up, they just get more expensive toys; I want one of these boats, you get to drive a two person speedboat around, like it was the ultimate thrill speeding over the waves, flying over turquoise waters, it makes you feel very 007…..Bond…James Bond!! This will really keep you shaken, not stirred!

St Thomas

BOSS Underwater Adventure – You really have to see this to believe it; it is the dumbest I have ever felt in my life, yet so much fun, I actually think you see more fish on this tour than any snorkel tour because they all come up to you thinking “What the heck is that?!!” Loads of fun and has the great advantage that, as it uses compressed air and there are loads of bubbles, you can even make your own bubbles and nobody really knows!

Skyride to Paradise Point – This one is not really a tour as such, it is a ride to the top of Paradise Point and it has the most amazing views of the ship and the islands off the coast. There is a great bar and restaurant up there, but honestly, what I like best is just going up there to watch the sunset, sometimes, like in every job you work hard, you get tired. You start taking everything for granted, but when I sit up there and look over the Caribbean I really realize just how lucky I am and what a great lifestyle I have. It is a place that really just makes you feel happy to be alive (Tip: Ask at the bar for a Bushwacker or two).

St Maarten

America‘s Cup Regatta – My Grandfather was in the Royal Navy and my Father was in the Merchant Navy, so you know I started life as a seaman, and this tour makes me realize that I still am. It is loads of fun whether you sail every day or have never sailed before, I have taken all the staff out on this as it is such a good team building tour, you can be really active and grind the main sails (or like me) just take it easy manning the Poop Deck and being the Barman. You get to race actual America’s Cup yachts in the Caribbean, how cool is that?!! “Awesome” is the only word that truly describes this tour.

Butterfly Farm & Marigot – You get to see St Maarten as they do on the Island tour, so you can see the French side of the Island and visit the capital: Marigot. They have amazing patisseries there that do the best cakes and pastries anywhere — Mmmmmm, cakes. Then they take you to the butterfly farm, but it is so interesting there, they show you loads of different butterflies. You actually get to see them hatch and even with an average camera you’ll get the best photos that really impress your friends, it is a great surprise!

Nassau

Stingray Adventure & Beach Break . After boarding a Motor-powered boat to a beautiful Cay you will get to watch the feeding program before an interactive meeting with the stingrays face to face and skin to scale as they swim around you. When I went in the water I have to admit I screamed at first, but there really is nothing to be afraid of. I then managed to do my famous Baywatch impression on the beach part of the tour.

Discover Atlantis & Historical Harbor Cruise – Nassau is the capital city as well as the cultural, commercial and financial heart of the Bahamas. You get to see some of the most famous properties along the way to Atlantis. We were escorted on a 45-minute guided walking tour through the spectacular “Atlantis Dig,” home to tens of thousands of the world’s most exotic fish and sea creatures as well as the ancient artifacts of Atlantis. There is a hands-on part of the tour – really cool! I got to touch a Starfish and a Sea Cucumber. “What do you call a fish with no eyes?…..Fsh”

4.What are your favorite activities or events that you host and why?

I enjoy hosting the spectacular stage shows onboard as I am proud to be work alongside such an array of talented performers; comedians, dancers, singers, musicians and technicians that know no limits. Also, I love being able to have fun with people who like to have fun.

5. Fill in the blank please……………..People should sail on the Fun Ship Carnival Glory because…with a wide diversity of ports, adventures & entertainment with organized activities from sunrise to the “wee” hours of the morning, there is always something for everyone of any age.

6. What do you enjoy most about being a Cruise Director?

The most rewarding thing for me would is making people laugh and creating memories of a lifetime. When I get to talk to the guests and joke with them and hear a real laugh come out. I see tired, stressed people come onboard from traveling, working and everyday life at the Welcome Aboard show, then moments later, when I’m out and about talking to people I see all of their tension from the first night disappear, and you know they’ve really got away from it all due to the smiles on their faces.

7. Share your favorite story with us that involve our guests and your job?

Rather than share this moment from my perspective, let me show you the best experience I’ve had as a Cruise Director, expressed by a guest.

“Dear Sir,
> My family and I have grown accustomed to the tremendous value a cruise
>aboard a Carnival ship represents and have come to expect a series of
>wonderful memories with each embarkation. In attempting to define
>Carnival’s “secret” as to how they are able to consistently deliver a
>Superior product, one thought stands above all else.
>
> EFFORT!
>
> Each of the folks at Carnival willingly gives “Max Effort” to deliver a
>great vacation! At the point where unavoidable, unforeseen conflicts arise,
>never will it be as a result of a lack of effort and within seconds of it’s
>recognition, it is resolved. This commendable mindset is the baseline from
>which each of our cruises begins.
>
> Occasionally, an individual exceeds these lofty expectations. Carnival
>Glory’s Cruise Director, Wee Jimmy (Ralph Valente,) is such a person. As
>though he was in my living room, Wee Jimmy delivered during his briefings,
>all the requisite information in an entertaining manner. He is a natural!
>Specifically, his delivery of the Homeland Security
> “One person in Three is suspicious” routine that we’ve all heard
>numerous times was on par with the best efforts of Jackie Gleason! While
>this is good and continues the finest traditions of Carnival Cruise Lines,
>it doesn’t reflect the motivation behind the Email.
>
> My son is autistic and doesn’t communicate very much at all. When he
>indicated a desire to meet Wee Jimmy, an effort to reach out to him was
>made. Realizing the nature of Wee Jimmy’s responsibilities and time
>constraints, our expectations were understandably low. This turned out to
>be a mistaken assumption. Wee Jimmy took time from his busy day to meet our
>son, take pictures and find common ground upon which to communicate. My
>son’s response to Wee Jimmy could best be described as fantastic! This made
>what was already a wonderful cruise into an event that will live in our
>hearts forever!
>
> Ralph Valente, (Wee Jimmy) is a “Top Shelf” man with admirable
>character and is an asset fitting exceedingly well with the high standards
>CCL holds. His efforts are worthy of a high placed nod of approval and are
>appreciated by a grateful family!
>
> Respectfully yours,
>*Name removed

8. List your three favorite ports you have visited?

St. Thomas USVI / ALL Mexican Ports “tequila!” (Carnival Glory)
Juneau, Alaska / Maui, Hawaii (Carnival Spirit)
St. Petersburg, Russia / Port Glasgow, Scotland (Carnival Legend)

Sorry, I couldn’t decide on just three, 6-close enough!

9. Name 3 ports you would really like to see that you have never been to?

Venice, Italy (Carnival Freedom),
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Carnival Splendor),
Boston (Carnival Triumph, Victory)

10. Finally, if you could introduce on stage any star, alive or not who would it be and why?

Star Singer/Legend-Frank Sinatra, class, cool and character – one cool cat… Star comedian-Billy Connelly-the funniest comedian ever – oh, and he’s Scottish! Movie star-Sean Connery (Oh, did I mention he’s Scottish). The Loch Ness Monster-because I want my water wings back so I can go on the Barrier Reef Water tour!

Thank you Wee Jimmy. I gave him that name by the way based on a comic character from the U.K. called Wee Jimmy Krankie. It stuck and even Wee Jimmy’s Mum calls him this now. Here is a photo of us together on stage……………a time I will always Cherish. People ask if he actually wears anything under his Kilt but I have no idea and honestly I am not bothered………..I am sure its no big thing 🙂 Here is a photo of Wee Jimmy and I and thanks to Stormin Norman for sending it to me.

Ralph “Wee Jimmy” Valente

Do you remember the young man whose Grandma left his dog Sammy on the plane and who has been crying ever since. Well, as I said we found Sammy and Mum, if you are reading this, please let your son see these photos of Sammy. We are looking after him until you tell me the address you want him flown first class to. Here is Sammy who says he misses you all.

SAMMY AND ME

SAMMY AND ME

SAMMY AND HIS ASTON MARTIN

SAMMY AND HIS ASTON MARTIN

SAMMY LEARNING TO POOP IN THE RIGHT PLACE AND NOT IN MY SHOE

SAMMY LEARNING TO POOP IN THE RIGHT PLACE AND NOT IN MY SHOE

I just wanted to also show you this e-mail which I just received. After this I will keep the communication between jess and I private but her Aunty told me it was ok to post this.

From: Jessica
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2007 1:33PM
To: FREEDOM CRUISE DIRECTOR;

Subject: Hello John

Hello John I am home again. My mummy and daddy liked the joke very much and they laughed and I told them you were very funny and everything

I am looking at the photos tomorrow because there are lots and lots and some of you

Will you write to me please because I am your friend

Jess

I have written and as long as she wants me to, I will be her friend

OK, showtime and before I go, there is one more photo I need to show you…………………….it’s of me, from 1993 a young stud of a Cruise Director.

a young stud of a Cruise Director

Look at that jacket………………………what was I thinking?

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.