Here I am again and I hope you are having a nice weekend. We are in Naples today and the long hot summer continues. I do believe it’s been five weeks since we last saw any rain and I do not think that trend is going to continue.

There have been some terrible forest fires this year here in Europe and even as I am writing there is a very bad one developing in Greece near Athens and of course only just recently there was a terrible one in Dubrovnik which was put out just before it reached the old town itself.

However, that is nothing of course compared with what the Caribbean is bracing itself for, as Hurricane Dean gets stronger and stronger. It has already caused a lot of damage in Martinique and St. Lucia and of course, it is now heading for Jamaica and the Yucatan Peninsula. Let us all hope that damage is limited and there is no further loss of life………….we are thinking of all our friends in the Caribbean.

There is of course a lot that is involved when a Hurricane knocks at the door and ships need to change itineraries. Carnival has set up a Situation Room for this and other emergencies. It is full of high tech communication devices with the vessel, weather satellite and a huge coffee machine.

When a ship needs to change an itinerary the first thing Carnival has to do is secure dock space at the alternative ports of call management have chosen. Remember, its not just Carnival that changes its vessels routes, it is all the lines and there are only a certain amount of spaces available in each port.

Once a new and safe itinerary has been chosen and docking space secured, the next thing we have to do is inform the guests. Do you remember a chap called Terry Thornton who we did a guest interview with a few weeks ago? Well, he is the man who ultimately draughts the letter and decides where the vessels will go. Terry, then e-mails the letter to each ship and the Captain signs it and then the letter is sent to each and every cabin or handed out during embarkation if it is at the beginning of the voyage.

When itinerary changes happen the Cruise Director has such an important job as he or she has to announce the change and make sure that everyone understands the reasons for doing it. Then, I always have an open Q and A session in the main lounge where guests can ask their questions and others can hear. When changes happen everyone usually understands but as always there are one or two people who will try and exploit the situation. I remember Hurricane Jean in 2003 or 2004, can’t remember but I was on the Carnival Glory and we could not get back to our home Port of Port Canaveral because the hurricane was heading straight for it and therefore our 7 day cruise turned into a 10 day cruise because after the storm had passed through it had caused damage to the port itself.

Anyway, I held the Q and A to keep guests informed and everyone was so wonderful and understanding……………..except one man who said………..and I will never forget………Carnival is responsible to get me home as I have to catch my flight because I have a very important business meeting……….well, before I had chance to reply I just remember the rest of the room laughing, booing and telling him to …….well you know.

So, spare a thought for my friends, colleagues and of course the Guests on these ships

Carnival Triumph August 18 departure – The ship will visit San Juan, St. Thomas, Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

Carnival Imagination August 18 departure – The ship will visit Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

Carnival Inspiration August 18 departure – The ship will visit Nassau and Freeport.

Holiday August 18 departure – The ship will visit Freeport and Key West.

Carnival Legend August 19 departure – The ship will visit Key West, Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk.

Carnival Valor August 19 departure – The ship will visit Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

Carnival Conquest August 19 departure – The ship will visit Grand Cayman and Cozumel as scheduled, but the call in Montego Bay will be cancelled.

So, as I write this blog thingy today and we sail away from Naples I remember how lucky we are in Europe not suffer from the dreaded Hurricane season.

Here are three beautiful photos taken by Entertainment Staff member Jamie of the shoreline of Capri……..enjoy.



Now, have a look at this one. This is a Yacht called Rising Sun and was docked next to us today. The founder of Oracle owns it. Apparently, it is the third largest yacht in the world

Rising Sun

Here is a photo of me in my early years. This was taken in 1989 on the Holiday. Here I am on the beach with a friend called Doug Boyd who was a musician and sang in a group called Lifeboat Party……………I have nothing further to say.

John, the early years

Here are some cards I received from my blogger friends. Receiving these cards mean so much to us both and I wish I could show you all the ones I get. Here though are just a few.




As I said, I wish I could post them all but I choose these three from the top of the pile. I also want to thank Mrs. Jamison again who I received another beautiful card from and also the mysterious Blogger who sent me a box of assorted boxer shorts……..I do not know who you are but thank you……..I particularly liked the ones that said Welcome to Burger King……….Home of the Whopper.

It is a very strange feeling when mysterious people send you gifts……………if only someone would send me an Aston Martin.

Time for some Q and A. Today, we will start with the last remaining from the Grand Design and then we will continue with those from the blog called ” Highlighting the Carnival Destiny.

Here we go.

IVANA – It does seem that my interview with Joe Farcus was very popular indeed. Coming up next week we have more special guest stars and more shipboard personal. The crew really did enjoy their Harry Potter party and one day soon I will have to have a read of the books and see what all the fuss is about. I enjoyed Thursday very much if only for a short time:) Wishing you all the best.
TAMMIE – Don’t worry about your nervous laugh. Everyone has a little idiosincracy about them when they are nervous. My Mum is the same and she tends to laugh no matter what the circumstances, I wish I could be like her. Talking of laughter, I hope the blog continues to provide some for you every now and then and I hope you will continue to read it.
DWA76 – Another Joe Farcus fan and that’s great to see. You also asked if think about people taking photos of me and looking at them when they get home. Sometimes, I do think that but I tend to think about the guests who do not like me and think I am a bad person………..that’s just the way I am I guess. However, when I read comments like yours I know I am in the right business and hopefully guests will continue to enjoy me as their Cruise Director.
Thanks mate for your ongoing support of the blog thingy.
RIKKI BOYCE – A fantastic posting and very, very funny. I have never actually been onboard the Carnival Miracle but I have heard that it has some unique lounges and public spaces and from your description, I guess that is indeed true. It also seems like you have had a great experience with a Greek merchant ………do you have his address? No, seriously, of course, like anywhere there are people who are nice and there are people who do not know the words customer service. I have to say that we get more negative comments about service ashore concerning Greece more than anywhere so it is nice to hear that you had a positive experience.
I agree that trying to say please, thank you etc in a local language certainly helps but with regard to the newspaper vender who refused to give me my change I wish I had known some other….less polite words in Greek. Looking forward to seeing you in October.
JO MYERLY – There will be plenty of Scrapbooks for all I promise but I will put one aside when the new stock arrives. Bribery is not needed………well, maybe a little bit. See you in a few days.
MILLIE S – The young Honeymooner I had on stage who pushed up her………ummmmmmmm……….thingies…….was a real chracter. She really had no clue what she was doing and of course that was my invitation to have some fun.
You asked about the Rome on your own tour and indeed it will be running on October 29th so go ahead and book. If you have any further questions about Rome or the TA cruise, please let me know.
LISA WIGGS – Glad to hear you liked the animals that are made at the Teddy Bear workshop. Being a kid at heart is a good thing so I know you will enjoy this. If there are any new additions to the animal family I will of course let you know. Best wishes to you and the family and your teddy bears.
THE BEARS, CARL AND BARB – Well you have a lot to do with my broken nose and me being back in the dog house. Thanks to you and your kind gift of two bags of jelly Beans my jet pack is completely refueled and Heidi is following my every move with the air freshener. ………thank you.
Your vote for Alaska has been noted and it is so far as popular as the Caribbean for a bloggers cruise destination. It will be a tough choice to make.
Thank you again for your kind gifts……you are very special bears and one day I hope to give you both a big bear hug.
LISA AND ELAINE – Sorry, I got the days wrong. I guess I will see you in 155 days and not 70…………sorry. I am glad that you did though enjoy the interview with Joe Farcus and you are correct……….he has an amazing mind. So see you in 68 days and all the best until then.
BIG ED – Tell Mrs. Big Ed that I have looked under every bed on every ship and I cannot find her shoes. I feel therefore that I have let you down and will indeed buy Mrs Big Ed a new pair for the Bloggers cruise and when we get to Barcelona this cruise I will go to Las Paylesso and get some for her.
Big Ed and John were walking through the woods attracted the attention of a vicious-looking bear. The bear noticed them, and started to walk toward them.
Big Ed immediately opened his backpack, pulling out a pair of sneakers, and started putting them on. John looked at him and said, “You’re crazy! You’ll never be able to outrun that bear!”
“Oh, I know that. Bears are much faster than humans. I have no hope of ever being able to outrun a bear.”
“If you know that, why are you changing shoes?”
“Well, the way I figure it,” Big Ed replied, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you.”
A CRUISE BY ANY OTHER NAME – That’s another big YES for a Alaska Bloggers Cruise and even a suggestion of a Back to Back at that…….very interesting. This week we seem to have much quieter kids so far and last night both Camp Carnival and Club O2 were busy which is a good sign because if they are involved with our activities then they won’t be patrolling the corridors. Having naughty kids walk the plank may be a bit extreme but there were one or two onboard last cruise who deserved a clip round the ear……………maybe we should employee Fatima as a Teen Security Guard……….that would be one quite bunch of kids. Thank you again for taking the time to read and slap on a posting here on this continuing blog thingy.
DWA76 – I think I need to send you more choices for a screen saver. The thought of you waking up, turning on your computer and seeing me having just woken up on your computer is……well……….how about this instead as a screen saver.
Anyway, hopefully you will delete that photo, my hair looks like I had just taken a crash helmet off. Thanks though for everything you contribute to this blog thingy, long may it continue.
NANETTE – How are you? It was great to hear that the hurricane moved away from your beautiful island. Now we must think of the people in the western Caribbean. You asked what was so tough about delivering the Carnival Destiny. It was nothing specific but just a challenge as it was at the time the largest cruise ship in the world and there were some teething problems during the start up. I was working 17-18 hour days and one morning I just woke up, looked in the mirror and there I was, they grey man. Oh well, Heidi finds it sexy and so does a friend of mine called Norman, but that’s another story. So, fingers crossed, you stay hurricane free and regardless, you will be in our thoughts.
CAPTAIN CHUCK – What a wonderful story about your flying days. Thank you for sharing it. I have never had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of an airplane and I guess with today’s security regulations, I never will. Have a wonderful time in Alaska and send my best to the Captain and Crew.
FRANK C – The root beer has been a lifeline. I cannot remember the last time I had any and it is not to be found anywhere in Europe. There will be a return gift to you when you arrive next cruise. I loved your story about the luggage and it seems to be an ongoing problem. This week we had 86 pieces missing yesterday and some came today in Naples, we are still missing 62 pieces. I hope you and your luggage arrive safely and many, many thanks again for the root beer.
CARL HARMON – Thank you for your kind words about Carnival and the information desk. They really do work hard to find lost luggage. They tell me that some airlines, who I will not name, are dreadful communicators which makes it even more difficult. Alaska continues to be a popular choice for the next bloggers cruise. I will see what happens. My regards to you and the other bears. Oh, I see mummy bear has just posted, so let me talk to her. Josh’s drawing of me surfing was a delight and is now waiting to be pinned on my wall of shame at home. Thank you again for the wonderful jelly beans which, although gave me a broken nose, have given me hours of enjoyment and I am certainly getting around the ship much quicker. I will be posting my mum’s recipe for the cheese scones in the next couple of days. They are beautiful, especially when they are still warm and the butter melts…..mmmm.
NANETTE – My nose is fine, just a little bruise, however, thanks to Heidi and her air freshener I smell like a rose garden. Uno biggo huggo fromo Heidio.
DIVETRASH – I just left you a message on your answering machine. Did you get it? Congratulations on booking the bloggers cruise. I see that your boyfriend did not want to go and you are a little worried you will be all on your own. That will not happen. One thing is for certain, you will make so many new friends that you may forget about your boyfriend all together……….just kidding but I do mean it when I say that this will be a cruise which will exceed your expectations, you have my word. I am sure many other bloggers will add their thoughts. Thank you for booking the cruise, I am truly grateful.
ARNOLD AND ELIZABETH TUCKER – Yes, well spotted, I meant to say photos of Rome and Alaska……..ooops. The last photo was of course taking in Alaska and not in the Vatican. I am glad you are enjoying the photos and it won’t be long before you are here taking many of your own. Ken, Heidi and I are looking forward to seeing you and I will make sure that you are put in Ken’s dining room. He is going on vacation at the end of this cruise and will return just before the TA starts. When you are on the cruise I will print out the daily blogs and put them in the library, so you can keep up to date. See you very soon, all the best.
JIMNI – Mum’s scone recipe will be with you shortly and following that others which make her in my opinion the best British chef in the world. Alaska’s popularity continues and I am seriously considering it, along with the Caribbean for the next bloggers cruise in 2009. All the best mate.
KEVIN – You see Laura, I knew it would not be too long before I heard from a blogger that you should not worry about cruising on your own. Kevin is your first knight in shining armour. You are correct, I have not tasked superspy PA 007 on a mission recently, however, I am going to ask them to keep their ear to the ground for any information on new ship orders, new itineraries and the most popular one, Carnival’s 2009 European schedule which is top secret at the moment. I will be unleashing PA 007 talents very soon. I loved your story from your teenage years. I am glad I am not alone. I also was very sorry to hear about your speeding ticket and maybe you should give me your Aston Martin to make sure you don’t get another. I can’t wait to shake you by the hand and you can tell me what it is like to drive the finest automobile in the world.
CATHERINE EBERT – Ahhhhh, I see, your husband IS a chiropractor. Heidi just said: “Can he come and do my back and neck right now?” He could make a lot of money on here, looking after Heidi and the dancers. See you in 34 days and instead of a French chiropractor, I will leave a French maid in your cabin. Is that ok?
LINDA HERNACKI – My bruised nose was indeed the result of a jelly bean exploding as I reached 0-60 in my office chair in 10 seconds. Unfortunately in 8 seconds the cabin stops and me and the wall became good friends. Yes, those pictures of me from the old days remind me of how I used to be but I am happy with myself, especially on my new diet. I did indeed get my bloggers t-shirts, in fact, there will be a photo at the bottom of this blog thingy with me wearing it. Thank you to you and Mike for such continuing kind words, we really are great friends even though we have never met.
JO MYERLY – I am being very careful blowing my nose, although thanks to the jelly beans I am able to produce the same noise from both ends. I am so happy that your t-shirts arrived and I am looking forward to see you wearing them in a few days time. Don’t forget to leave me a note at the information desk when you arrive.
LINDA HERNACKI – Thanks for the information Linda. This is a great idea and I think Carnival Liberty or Carnival Legend may be a good choice, Alaska still remains very popular as well.
NATE’S MOM – Thank you for your brilliant story about the caring people at Carnival and there help during your time of need. Sometimes on message boards and blogs we tend to concentrate on the negatives but every now and then it is important to remember the wonderful and caring people that work for Carnival on land and at sea. Thank you for the kind reminder and as always all the best. Thank you also for saying that I look thinner in the recent photos holding the jelly beans, you just made my day.
SHERYL PELTON – Thank you for thinking of me, you are too kind. I just wanted to make sure that you knew we had Coke products here and not Pepsi although actually in Europe it is Pepsi that tends to be very rare altogether. Most restaurants and café’s in Italy for example serve diet Coke or Cola Light as it is called over here. You will be here soon, and I look forward to sharing a diet pepsi with you. Have a safe flight and thanks again.
ARNOLD AND ELIXABETH TUCKER – And your 4 cents worth was worth 4 million ……………..thank you and I just forwarded this to the Chief Purser who I am sure ………really needed to hear that.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – Well, it was great to finally put a face to the name and thank you so much for the beautiful card which Heidi has placed on the wall next to the many others we have received from Bloggers. You are handsome man says Heidi and you and your lovely wife look very much in love. Please make sure that you let me know how your tests go as Heidi and I are concerned but we are sure all will be well. Thank you again for the wonderful card and please know we are thinking about you.
CRUISING SUE – I am glad to hear you enjoyed the interview with Cruise Director Steve Knisley who you cruised with recently. His Idol show sounds like a lot of fun. We will see you here in October and I am looking forward to performing the Bedtime Story for you and more importantly, meeting you in person. Until then, I hope the blog keeps you entertained and informed. Wishing you all the best.
KIM – Last cruise I did indeed become the “lost and found” department, although, I really don’t mind helping. It is difficult losing your luggage, however, I just wish some people would understand that sometimes there really is little we can do, except call the airlines 3 or 4 times a day. I see you, like many others, are a big Ken Byrne fan and rightfully so, he is a wonderful man and a brilliant singer. Did I have a funky DJ name? Not then, but if I was to DJ now, I would call myself DJ Jelly Bean and would play songs by Fart Garfunkel. All the best Kim, see you soon.
SHELLEY HESSON – I am glad you are enjoying the blog. I was indeed on the Carnival Imagination on 1998 and yes, I did talk about crocheted goods during my shopping talk. That is how my Scottish Grandmother used to say it and I have continued to as well. I am very excited to hear that you will be sailing with Heidi and I on September the 10th and if you leave me a note at the information desk with some details about your friend I will be more than happy to do something special on her birthday. I see you have a British boyfriend and he is an HP sauce fan so yes, a smuggled bottle would be welcome. No need to thank me for the blog, it has become part of my life now and I am very happy that it brings so much pleasure to so many people.
SUSAN B – Single cruisers are indeed special ones as you said and thank you for the kind words to Laura, I am sure she appreciates it. I see you are another big fan of Alaska and maybe we will have a Bloggers cruise there, who knows? However, nothing will be more important than seeing your lovely daughter graduate from high school and many congratulations on her being ranked first in her class……..her and I have something in common……………….we both went to school. Personally, I think you should see her graduate. I say this only because I have been on board with people who have chosen to cruise and then when they are not there for a special day, well, let’s just say they are upset. Great to hear that you loved the Carnival Destiny so much and remember, after 10 cruises you get your Platinum card. If you need more information about that, please let me know and I am indeed breathing through my mouth…………my nose hurts.
POET LAUREATE – How can I retire when you are singing my praise through poetry. I loved the line ” and his briefs now qualify as nuclear decay “…….how well you know me. I thank you again and I hope we see each other soon so I can get you to sign these poems.
THE CHADS – Very funny. I guess I do look like MR T from the A Team with my Sommilier tasting cup around my neck. Those were strange days because I really new nothing about wine but enjoyed the days where I could have fun with the guests. I guess that’s why Carnival changed me to the entertainment department. Thank you for your kind words about the luggage. We do try very hard to help and it is nice to see and read that many of you understand that it is not the fault of the vessel. I hope you and all the Chads are well and please keep reading the blog thingy.
ALICE – I will indeed say hello to your friends and I have arranged to send them some champagne from you as well. Good luck with the house hunting and I am sure they will be surprised to hear from you.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – I am glad you liked the picture Josh drew of me, I think he was 11 years old.he certainly has talent though. Thank you also for your support of single cruising, I am sure Divetrash appreciates what you have slapped on the blog today. I know that flying to Alaska is not everyone’s cup of tea and I promise to look at the whole picture before choosing the time and destination and vessel. I am glad also you enjoyed the interview with Steve and like many others you seem to have fond memories of the Carnival Destiny. I also have those memories but they are very much a blur as it really was a lot of work to get it ready for guests. Thanks for asking, yep, Alan had a great time and I enjoyed having him here with me…….as I will you one day soon. Until then, I continue to send my best wishes to you and the family.
ALAN WILSON – Thank you Alan for your expert advice and comment. I wish I could make your posting into a big sign and place as a poster outside the Information Desk. I am an avid reader of your publication and am grateful that you have taken the time to read and comment on this blog. Many thanks.
CATMAMAO44 – Thanks for ordering the T Shirts, and I totally understand why your husband does not want to wear a shirt describing to the whole world that he has seen my thingy. I thank you none the less and really hope we can have our photos taken together in our shirts together soon…………hopefully this time all your luggage will come with you.
RUTH JAMISON – I am really sorry to hear of your luggage woes and I have to admit that in my personal opinion and not one shared by any one associated with Carnival Cruise Lines ( in case the lawyers are reading this ) I think Alitalia are the worst airline to deal with. I will leave it at that in case I get myself in trouble. You really should send them your phone bill but if past experience is anything to go on, well don’t expect miracles. On a lighter note, I am really glad you liked the photos and my best to your husband whom I know enjoys the photos very much. Thank you for the cards and they make such a a difference to our lives, it’s the personal things like that which we enjoy so much…………………….and the gifts:) Thank you again and I hope to hear from you soon.

OK. I am going to stop there. I still have a few more questions and comments to answer from the Carnival Destiny Blog starting with GIRLDOC and then continuing with those posted on the one highlighting the Carnival Pride and Jeff Bronson.

Talking of which, here is the next Cruise Director to feature in our guest interview spot. Here is Mr Paul Santley from Liverpool and the Carnival Triumph.

Mr Paul Santley

Mr Paul Santley

1. Please can you tell us about your career with Carnival so far. How did you start and when? I Started with Carnival in 1998 after working at the holiday Center’s in the UK and have been Cruise Director for nearly 7 years

2. What ship are you currently on and what is it’s itinerary? The Carnival Triumph. We go to Cozumel ( Mexico ) Grand Cayman & Jamaica on a 7 day Western Cruise and Half Moon Cay, ( Bahamas ) Puerto Rico, St Thomas & Grand Turk on a 7 day Western Cruise

3.Please can you pick two excursions from each port and tell us why you recommend them so much? Cozumel Passion Island. It’s a Fabulous beautiful private getaway. Plus The Sail Snorkel & Beach Party WOW what a great fun filled day.

Grand Cayman Stingray City. Real fun day with the Stingrays also The Ray Runner Fun on your own boat plus the stingrays.

Jamaica Duns River Falls and Dolphin Cove you can combine the 2 Climb the falls and play with the dolphins.

St Thomas St Johns Trunk bay and snorkel It’s just beautiful you’ll have a great day also Sea trek helmet dive yes walking on the sea bed a whole different world.

San Juan. Rain Forest up you go to the different levels of the rain forest very good orientation. Night horseback riding it’s so tranquil and relaxing.

Grand Turk. The Aqua Boats are great take your own boat out through the beautiful waters and the snorkeling the water is fabulous also island bus The Guana If you like sight seeing then it’s for you just jump off have a look around then pick up the next one.

4.What are your favorite activities or events that you host and why? The Welcome Aboard Show. Every week is a new cruise and guests ready to have a great time it’s nice to be able to start the fun of for them.

5. Fill in the blank please……………..People should sail on Carnival Triumph because Its FUNtastic !!!!!!!

6. What do you enjoy most about being a Cruise Director? Being part of a team and helping to give as many people as much Fun as possible

7. Share your favorite story with us that involve our guests and your job? I was on the Alaska cruises a few years ago and it was such a beautiful night at about 1:00am I was relaxing on the lounger on the outside decks, I must have fallen asleep because at about 7:00am an elderly lady happened to walk by as I was waking up. She recognized me and said what are you doing here I told her ( for some fun ) that I didn’t have a cabin as we were fully booked and I gave mine up to a guest to stay in. Straight away she went down to the Pursers desk and demanded they find one for me Ha Ha. We laughed about it afterwards.

8. List your three favorite ports you have visited? St Maarten. Cozumel. Skagway ( Alaska )

9. Name three ports you would really like to see that you have never been to? Bermuda. Sydney & The Moon

10. Finally, if you could introduce on stage any star, alive or not who would it be and why? John Heald. So I could have the night off.

Thank Paul and I hope some of you get to sail with Scouser sometime, he is a real gentlemen and has a very sharp wit. Of course, The Carnival Triumph is one of my favorite ships and always will be. Heidi and I have many happy memories there.

So, I see many of you got your bloggers T Shirts, well here are two photos of mine.

John and the shirt

John and the shirt

I have to say that I am going to demand money back on my T Shirt, it does not work. As you can see from the photo above, it says I can see my thingy……but I can’t. What a rip off.

OK, its time for the Welcome Aboard show and like Paul, it is one of my favorite things to do as it is so unpredicatable. Tonight, while I am on stage I will though be thinking of the people of Jamiaca who look like they are about to take a hit from Hurricane Dean. I have many friends there and I hope that it stays out to sea and avoids them. Please think about them tonight.

Why do they give hurricanes such great names…………..they should give them more suitable names like:





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.