From: FREEDOM PURSERS
Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2007 8:11 AM
To: FREEDOM CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: FREEDOM PURSERS; FREEDOM CHIEF PURSER; FREEDOM HOTEL DIRECTOR
Subject: Upset with Cruise Director
Good Morning John,Please note the following,
6177 – Upset with cruise directorMr. _________ stopped by Purser’s Desk informing Purser that he and his wife have were very angry at John the cruise director. Purser asked why and was told that last night that some other passengers had seen a meteor in the sky and that it was very good and close. Guest wanted to know why Cruise Director had not informed the passengers about this. Purser asked what time this had been at and Mr. _________ said he thinks at 11:30pm – Midnight. Purser explained that we cannot make announcements at this time of night as many guests are asleep but Mr, ________ said the cruise Director should have told guests before so everyone knew. Guest also said he was upset with cruise director as he made no effort to speak French properly or entertain in French. Please note that guest speaks perfect English but his wife speaks none. Purser apologized and tasked to the cruise director to contact the guest.

Good Morning………………well, I just thought I would share my morning with you so far. So, please add astronomer and physicist to my job description as I should have known that a big meteor would be above the ship at 11:30pm last night. Of course, had I had known I would have been outside to view it myself but I did not know, hence my French friend did not get to see it. Still, I shall call and apologize later today although the apology will be in English and not French………….I have a feeling that this time no matter what I say he will still not be happy and he will continue to think Je Suis Un Idiot.

We are in our last Greek port Katakolon and this afternoon we will start returning the guests passports after we sail. One thing I did warn the guests about (due to the fact that I knew before hand unlike my lack of knowledge that huge chunk of burning rock would come hurtling through the sky last night) was about the Jelly Fish (not Jelly Beans) that are numerous in this area. Sure enough, I heard this morning that a young lad was stung already this morning as he swam in the public beach area near the ship. He is fine and the Nurse gave him some cream, etc. but I will have to make sure I step up this warning as it seems that there are even more here than the last time. Therefore, I will make sure I fortify this warning as much as I can. If you can’t get cream for a sting I thought you had to ………..well……….go pee pee on it, is that true……………….or for Mr. ______ Letourneau…………that would be Wee Wee…………see, I can speak French.

Security has been busy this week dealing with some very noisy young kids. They have been running up and down the corridors and I have made a general appeal for parents to please make sure that they do not do this during the later hours of the day. I know this applies to a very, very small percentage of the children onboard but it never ceases to amaze me how some parents allow their kids to roam around the ship at midnight and onwards, some as young as 12 years old. Surely they should be asleep or at least with Mum and Dad or even on Lido deck looking at a gigantic bloody Meteor that my crystal ball had told me would be visible at 11:43pm on the port side of the ship…………I know this unattended kid thing has been spoken about before but it still amazes me.

On a happier note, 99% of the kids this week have been amazing and the Kids Corner contests that I have been running have been very popular. Here, are some drawings of my friend Alan Adkins. I had described him through this photo and asked the kids to draw Alan for me.

Alan Adkins

I had 23 paintings and each child got a prize. Here are some of my favorites.

Alan Adkins

Alan Adkins

Alan Adkins

Alan Adkins

Alan Adkins

Here are today’s photos all of Olympia, the home of the Olympics.

Olympia, the home of the Olympics

Olympia, the home of the Olympics

Also, here is another from the Carnival Spirit Alaska collection.

Carnival Spirit Alaska collection

And here are letters from today’s IN THEIR OWN WORDS section.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

IN THEIR OWN WORDS
IN THEIR OWN WORDS

IN THEIR OWN WORDS
IN THEIR OWN WORDS

So, to the Q and A which starts with the last few from the blog titled “Highlighting the Imagination” and then the rest from the blog titled Holland, America and Turkey.

PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – It is always good to start with a friend so a big hello to you Paul. Thank you for your understanding that occasionally, very occasionally I may not be able to answer every question, comment and posting but this will be a rare occurrence. You asked if the stateroom stewards can show your lovely wife how to make the Swan towel animal so you can use that design at your son’s forthcoming wedding. The answer is of course yes. This will be done at the demonstration which is held at the end of the cruise on every ship and also I am sure if you ask your personal steward he or she will be happy to help. Thank you for saying that I should win the Seatrade Insider award, that is very kind of you but my chances of winning are as slim as a Meteor thundering its way across the sky right above the ship…………..it will never happen 🙂 So Paul, as always in closing I send my best regards as does Heidi.
BIG ED – Hello Ed, nope that was not a Rolex you saw me wearing in the old photo of me. It was a TIMEX and boy that was one ugly watch but it went well with the ugly tie, ugly suit and ugly man. I am really looking forward to our time together and I am putting some amazing entertainment together so bring those Depends with you as you will be laughing for seven straight days. Any requests?
TREESA5021 – You mentioned you will be here in 50 days and would I be here. You bet I will be. You have as much chance of getting rid of me as seeing a large flaming piece of planetary rock flying through the night sky. If you have any questions, please let me know and as always I will be here for you.
CATMAMA044 – I do hope your Father In law is better as I was so sorry to learn that he had been in the hospital. I was however glad to know that the blog thingy has been some sort of escape for you and I hope that continues. Heidi and I send you and your family the best and hope you have better weeks ahead. Please let me know how things are going.
KATHY KROLL – Yep, that was me in those old photos. I hat looking at those as I know I have let myself go over the years. Thank you for listing your favorite ports which were honestly no surprise as Venice and Istanbul seem to be everyone’s favorites. Say hello to Paul and I am glad you are still reading this blog thingy.
CAPTAIN CHUCK – Welcome back Captain and I am glad Dad is back home with you. I am sure that fact alone will be a great comfort to him and in turn will aid his recovery. We continue to think about him and I am happy to hear that the blog is giving you some respite from the trials and tribulations you have been suffering. Good advice you have given yourself though,………………say no to a Turkish bath……………I would rather kiss a Skunk’s bottom and the chances of me having another are as slim as knowing that a Meteorite will fly across the night sky and everyone who is French won’t get to see it. All the best Captain, we are thinking about you.
FRANK C – So far mate the weather and sea conditions look sunny and calm for your upcoming cruise. I will update you as time gets closer but I do not foresee any changes……do expect a large chunk of moon rock to narrowly miss the earth at 4:03pm on Friday. Have a safe flight and I remain here for you should you need any last minute questions answered.
GREG BALDASARRI – Hello Greg. I am sure you have been very busy watching the markets move around and in between and some how finding the time to read my blog thingies for which I am very thankful. Yes, Istanbul remains as radiant and as mysterious as ever and is a firm favorite with our guests here. We so far have not located the missing earring but I hope if it is found someone will do the right thing and hand it in. Thanks for taking the time to slap on this posting mate and I wish you a great day.
NANETTEALI – Please wish Cristian and Viviana happy school days and of course I send my best wishes to you as you continue your great work. I wish I was there to see you as I am sure you are all the kids’ favorite teacher. One day soon we will see each other again and hopefully it will be in the beautiful Old Town of San Juan. Buenos nachos.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – I will never forget Fatima as she left a permanent impression on me….of her huge thighs and fists…never again. I suggest you let the Prince have one sometime, I want to welcome him into my world. Hope you are both well.
ANN MARIE – I wondered where you had been. Thank you again for your nomination and I am so happy you have rejoined me here on my thingy. We just reached 500,000 slaps and as of today we have 520,000 slaps so yes, things are going well ……unless you count me not informing a guest of a 1 in a million phenomena when Superman’s home world decided to sweep across the night sky. I hope you are having a great summer and welcome home to the blog.
DAVE AND BARB – I changed your reservation as you requested as there will be just two major formal nights on the Trans-Atlantic crossing. Hope all is well with you both and before long you will be enjoying a Porterhouse steak in the fantastic Sun King restaurant. I wish I had had some jellybeans in my jet pack when Fatima was bathing me, I could have turned the Turkish bath into a Turkish Jacuzzi.
BARB AND CARL – I wanted to say thank you for recognizing the great interview with Stein from HAL. Couldn’t you just tell that he is so passionate about his job, the industry and of course the great cruise line that is Holland America. He was also the perfect advert for the Norwegian Tourist Board and I for one want to go and eat Herring right now. I am very glad you are so supportive of the blog and long may that continue.
DIVETRASH – Yes, I wish I had known what Exit Only was in Turkish but its too late now and I am happy to hear that you both found such merriment in my misfortune. I wanted to leave but that was not so easy with 400 pounds of Turkish delight on top of me plus I was connected to the main water system a 40-foot long hose.
I am glad you are developing a crush on me, Fatima certainly wanted to get to me better but she will never be on my Christmas card list. Anyway, that’s the last Turkish Bath I will ever have but I am glad you are enjoying the blog. Cheers Laura.
LOIS GRABASNOWSKI – Good luck with the Marlin and let me know how it goes if for no other reason then to have more fun with your name. Hope to hear from you very soon .
HEIDI – BETH AND KEVIN AND THE SEVEN PIXELS – I will never listen to Alan again. The only thing that got me through my own version of Midnight Express was knowing that he was being IRRIGATED as well. We are much closer after sharing that experience. I am glad you are enjoying all the kids stuff and I hope you enjoy their interpretations of Alan. I will finish with my best to you and the other nine in your family.
BRYAN – You asked what ships wee Jimmy and I have worked together on. We started on the Carnival Triumph and also he delivered the Carnival Glory and Carnival Leg End with me as Social Host. We had some very fun times together and I will share some of those moments with you very soon. I am glad your sister is looking forward to building a bear; it’s a great family activity. Please keep reading the blog thingy and all the best.
COOLOEIMOM – Goodness, I am so sorry to hear that your husband’s job is being outsourced to India, This happened to a friend of mine recently in the UK and it seems to be a very unfortunate trend. I love your idea about FAQ and I will be discussing this later with Roberto. It does seem that I do repeat myself a bit but I do not mind as I know it’s hard to look back and try to find the information. Therefore, as you so brilliant suggest, a FAQ section will surely be helpful. Thank you so much for this great suggestion and I will get right to work on this. Cheers Terri.
THE CHADS – I see you all had a good laugh at my Turkish encounter of the worst kind. I blame Alan and revenge will be sweet. I will talk more about the Godmother thing later but no, it’s not Mrs. Big Ed although that would have been nice. I also thought the idea of getting t-shirts made saying I have Missed My Luggage etc would be a good thing to do and I have sent the idea to ROGER BLUM to see if he can get this going. Anyway, keep reading and maybe I will drop a few clues soon as to who PA 007 thought should be Godmother. My best to you and all the Chads.
SUSAN B – Yep, Heidi was laughing very hard at my Bath experience and now she wants to try bathing me in the same way…….no chance. I hope a few of my blogger friends have sent me a few Jelly Beans for my Jetpack; they are desperately needed as I am running on empty. Thank you for asking what Heidi likes and she just loves greeting cards and any kind of beauty cream stuff……..what’s wrong with soap?
It is so interesting that you think PA007 is a woman………I am not saying anything about that but one day……….we will reveal all. All I know is he/she is invaluable to this blog thingy. I hope you are well and your kindness is so wonderful. Thank you on behalf of us all.
MISSINGYOU – Thank you for being so kind about me deserving an Aston Martin. It would be nice……….but that’s what dreams are all about. I will indeed ask the Bar Waiter if he remembers this young lady you are anxious to contact. Do you remember his name as the staff rotates to different bars and I really don’t know which waiter you are talking about? Can you describe him? I will await your e-mail and I hope your dream of finding this lady comes true.
DOUGNEWMAN AT SEA – I wondered when I would here from you again and here you are. I hope to try a cruise on all the sister lines and I would especially look forward to a Holland America cruise following the interview with Stein. How have you been? When are you off on your next adventure? Hope to hear from you again very soon. All the best mate.
MRS MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – Thanks for your posting and let me explain. There will be two official formal nights onboard plus two, elegant casual nights. The two formal nights will have complimentary drinks and hors d’ oeuvres before dinner and feature two of our huge and lavish production review shows, There will also be a big Halloween Night for these guests who have indeed brought costumes. I have to tell you though that on the previous two trans-Atlantic crossings I have done; there have been very few (less than 50) people who brought costumes with them. This does not spoil our celebration of the event though as we will decorate and celebrate accordingly. One thing I can promise you without fear of being proven wrong. There will not be one person who will be able to say they are bored during the seven days at sea. Not on my watch. So, as plans continue and you have any other suggestions I would appreciate you letting me know what you would like to see……….in a smoke free environment of course.
KIM – You will have a great climb of the Leaning Tower of Pisa all 294 of them……………..do you want to borrow my jetpack? I am glad you got the tour you wanted and if you need anything further let me know please. See you all very soon.
LUV2 CRUISE – It makes my tired fingers feel a little better when I hear you have been laughing so hard………….thank you.
SUE GROHOL – I think we will stick with two formal nights on the trans-Atlantic crossing with the elegant casual addition and of course some Halloween fun. The first formal night will indeed be on October 31. I have so many ideas for activities that as I just said to Mrs. MTSFP nobody will have time to be bored. So, get ready for the most relaxing and fun cruise and remember the clocks go back one hour 6 times during the voyage. Hope you are well and enjoying the blog thingy.
KEVIN – Please just send me the details and just mark the posting PERSONAL. Roberto will not post this and instead send it directly to me. Let me know the details and I will see what can be done. We are indeed working on a FAQ list and this will be up very soon. I will be here for you mate so let me know how I can help.
CLEO AND GARTH – First of all your booking is confirmed at the Supper Club for September 30 which is not a formal night but is the night we leave Katakolon. Thanks for letting me know about the problems you have dialing the numbers to hire a tuxedo etc. I have forward your concerns on to the right people however ret assured you can hire one onboard as and when you arrive from our Formalities shop on deck 5.You did a good thing pre ordering your tours on line. You obviously did this because you new what you wanted so please don’t start second guessing yourself. However, if you arrive onboard and after hearing my talk you can always exchange the tour with no penalty. The only sad news is that we will have only highlights of the World Cup Rugby as the satellite stations we receive will not be broadcasting them but you will see the highlights of course. Anyway, don’t worry England will win again. So, relax, get packing and remember I am here as needed. All the best to you and everyone in Aussieland.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Thank you for the kind offers Carol. All is well here but an extra bag of Jelly Beans will go along way to get my jet pack up and running. I would love to see the old photos of me and my staff…can’t wait.
As always your comments about Stein, Holland America, The Carnival Valor and of course the Turkish bath incident are right on the money. I know how busy you are so again let me say thank you for taking so much time out of your day to read the blog thingy. I hope your computer has had a dry day and please write soon.
JAMIE AND KEVIN – Of course I remember you both and after your comments we canceled our Turkish bath tour. The one I went to was on impulse and it was a huge mistake and that huge mistake had a name………Fatima……….I can see her face now and it makes my bottom pucker up. Let me follow up on your comment to Guest relations, can you just remind me of your last name please on the next posting and I will see what I can do for you both. Until then, take showers….no more baths for us.
BILL (ZYDECOCRUISER) – Food, yes, food……it’s all we ever talk about. I will be posting a photo of a Wally very soon so you can see one from where I live but your links are on the right track. Now, I had dinner some hours ago but here I go again, looking for snacks and guess whose fault that is. Any news on your Carnival Fantasy cruise cabin number yet mate?
LISA AND ELAINE – I am so sorry you have been so sick. I hope this blog today finds you on the road to recovery and that somehow it’s made you smile. Please let me know and Heidi and I are thinking about you.
CATHERINE EBERT – Catherine, I am so sorry I have not replied to you but honestly I never saw any of your postings. Please forgive me. I truly do try and answer every comment whenever possible and somehow I guess I missed yours, I certainly did not do that on purpose nor do I show any favoritism to other bloggers.
You asked what my favorite port was on the Greek cruise and I have to say I love Rhodes and of course Istanbul, as I know will you. You mentioned Ephesus and that is for most people the highlight and you will not believe your eyes when you see this city caught in time for yourself. As your cruise gets nearer, please let me know if you have any questions and again my apologies for ignoring you. All the best.

That concludes today’s Q and A…………..more tomorrow.

I just wanted to confirm that every one of you who requested a Supper Club reservation last week has had their reservations confirmed as requested. You will be receiving a confirmation on the first day you board your respective vessels. There seemed to be some concern from one or two that this information may be too public but I assure it is secure and obviously if you prefer you can still slap on a request direct to the blog if you prefer. I will be making these bookings for you each and every week so please feel free to complete the link thingy and book your table at the best restaurants at sea.

Here is today’s guest interview and we feature another beautiful ship and another great Cruise Director. Today, it is the turn of BIG TEX who is on the Carnival Fantasy. Here he is and enjoy his interview.

Big Tex

1 – My name is Jeremy Mayes, but everyone calls me Big Tex. Which I think is strange, since I’m from New Jersey…not really. It’s pretty self-explanatory. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Not to mention I’m 6ft 3in and just touch over three bills (hence the big part). I’ve been with Carnival a little over five years, and I’ve been a Cruise Director for just over a year. Coming to work at Carnival was just a side effect of my restlessness. As a college graduation gift, my Mom took me on a cruise. It was the Celebration out of Galveston and I remember the Cruise Director was Matt Goodwin. He looked like he was having so much fun, plus it looked like a job I would be good at. Realizing that job options were limited in my chosen field (Radio, Television and Film), I applied at Carnival and was hired a month later (that’s the short version; it’s pretty long story and you have better things to do than read it…).

2 – I’m currently serving in the capacity of Cruise Director onboard the Fantasy. The ship sails year-round from New Orleans on four and five-day cruises. The five-day cruise calls on Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, while the four-day calls only on Cozumel.

3 – My two favorite tours for Costa Maya are the Mayan Culture Experience and the Off-Road Jeep Tour. The Mayan Culture Experience is a great supplement to any Mayan Ruins tour. If for no other reason because many people think that the Mayans just fell off the face of the earth one day. This couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, the present day Mayans in southern Mexico tell a completely different story. You actually get a feeling for what daily life was like for the Mayans. You also understand what the slow decline of their culture was all about. The Off-Road Jeep Tour gives you a chance to see the natural beauty of Costa Maya. It’s a relatively new port of call which lends itself so much more to the exquisite beauty of raw nature. Plus, what could be more fun than bumpin’ & jumpin’ in a Jeep with your friends, and don’t forget about the Mexican BBQ on the beach.

In Cozumel, my favorite tours are the Jungle ATV Adventure and Xcaret. The Jungle ATV Adventure is awesome! You get muddy and dirty while riding through the rainforest in Cozumel. Along the way, you spend time looking at Mayan Ruins and listening to some amazing stories from excellent, entertaining and friendly guides.

Xcaret is what I imagine the Garden of Eden must have looked like. It’s green and beautiful. There are little coves and beaches where you can steel away private moments with that special someone. There are animals and flowers and if that’s not enough, you can float down the underground river. Plus, the restaurants on-site are delicious!

4 – I think my favorite event is the Mardi Gras Party. Its two hours of craziness, up close and personal with our guests. We go from lounge to lounge, meeting and listening to the entertainers, having competitions, throwing beads, singing, dancing and much, much more. However, if you ever have the chance to do the party with me, just be prepared and bring your earplugs. I learned long ago that I wouldn’t be a rock star, but for those two hours I get the chance. If you can handle my rendition of Crocodile Rock or Sweet Home Alabama, you can handle anything.

5 – People should sail on the Carnival Fantasy because of all the ships I’ve had the privilege to serve on, the crew here are the friendliest, most hard-working group I’ve ever known. I think most of that is due to our guests. The folks who sail with us are laid-back and have that southern hospitality which makes you want give them your all. Also, you get to spend time in the Big Easy (one of America’s biggest party cities) before and after your cruise.

6 – The thing I love most about my job is the people. I get to work with so many wonderful people. Not just our guests, but the crew as well. I get to work with my favorite person in the whole world (and the prettiest dancer I’ve ever seen) my wife, Kimberley. I’ve been fortunate enough to not only have a job that I love, but I’ve also made friends for life. And more than anything, I’ve been able to see the world and experience so many different nationalities and cultures that I never would have, had I stayed in the suburbs all my life.

7 – My favorite story happens to be one that was shared with me not more than a few months ago. During one of the shows, I pick a lucky (or unlucky) lady to sing to. The lady that I chose that voyage stopped me as she was disembarking on the last morning of the cruise. She said she wanted to thank me for my song. I simply said your welcome and that it was nothing. She then began to explain to me that her husband had died one year ago. This cruise had been a gift from her family and friends to help cheer her up and get her moving back in the right direction. She had been so sad onboard without her husband, until the night I sang to her. She felt like her husband had been singing to her through me. She gave me a big hug and continued on her way. It was then, more than any other time, that I realized what I do is more than just a job. I don’t know why people are here, but it doesn’t matter. This could be someone’s 100th cruise, or the only one they’ll take in a lifetime. It’s my responsibility to give my best and my all EVERY day.

8 – My three favorite ports of call are St. Johns (because nothing goes better with fresh seafood than an Alexander Keith’s Honey Brown Ale), Cozumel (because there’s SO much to do and enjoy) and Acapulco (because of a restaurant in cliffs called Su Casa which provides an awesome view and their giant water park).

9 – I would love to visit Rome, Rhodes and Barcelona. Come to think of it, can I have John’s ship?

10 – If I could introduce anyone on stage, it would be the Fabulous John Heald. WHAT?!? I’m not getting brownie points for this??? Oh, well in that case, it would have to be Willie Nelson. He’s one of America’s greatest musical influences, not merely as a singer, but as a songwriter as well. Not to mention he takes up about 10% of my I-pod library.

Big Tex is a newly promoted Cruise Director but is part of the future of this great cruise line and I wish him much success.

I am still very excited about PA 007’S idea about a possible Godmother for the Carnival Splendor. We are going to discuss this some more and hopefully by the end of the month we can present the idea to all of you for your approval………it really is a terrific idea from the bowling, trainspotting slightly nerdy spy…………. I am dying to tell you ………….but not yet.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has voted for me in the Seatrade Insider contest and once again I am lost for words as to how humbled and so very grateful I am. I hope I win…………………not just for me but for Heidi, Roberto, Alan Adkins, Roger, Chris, Vance and PA007 and most of all for you because this is all about us and the fun we have together every time we meet in blog land.

Will I win?………..who knows…………probably not…………..there is more chance of me predicting a Meteor will be screaming its way across the sky. I have told my friend from France that it may be visible tonight. I also told him what numbers are going to win the lottery, the Boston Red Sox will win the Super Bowl, Richard Simmons will be the Godmother of the Carnival Splendor and that at 9:14pm this evening there will be a Whale visible from the portside and it will be singing Whale song………just for him……….in French.

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.