Good Evening everyone and I hope you are having a pleasant Sunday……..boy do I miss my Sundays. The newspapers, the football on TV, roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and spotted dick.Today, we were in Barcelona and the weather is still hot and sunny……..Have you seen the terrible fires in Greece? The one area that concerns me is the fire that is out of control and is just a mile or so away from the Ancient Village of Olympia. We are keeping a close eye on the situation as we are of course expected to go there this coming cruise.

Back to today and the morning started off with a port manning drill. What is that I hear you shout in unison? Well, for years cruise ships of all lines never really thought what would happen in an emergency if the ship was tied up against the pier either in homeport or at one of the ports of call. Nowadays however it is the law that we must have a structured plan to know what to do in order to get guests off the vessel using the gangways or other emergency exits if in case of a fire or other unpleasant situation. So today, we carried out this important drill as again nothing is more important than safety……….nothing.

Barcelona is one of those European cities that, unlike London, closes pretty much on a Sunday. Most of the shops are closed with the exception of the tourist souvenir shops. La Rambla, which is Barcelona’s major thoroughfare, is still bustling with street performers and today Heidi and me or is it Heidi and I took a walk down La Rambla.

Once again, on or off the ship I am the Cruise Director and as usual I was stopped a few times for a cheery hello and a photo and a complaint from a guest that indeed some of the shops were closed and that nobody informed them………even though I did, in my talk, on the TV’s and in writing in the Carnival Capers. Anyway, things were going well until we made the huge mistake of having a sit down for a drink and snack. Let me start with the good stuff……………the food. Heidi and I have been going to the same Tapas Bar since we discovered it back in April. It is called………….get ready for a brilliant name…………….TAPAS ………yep, that’s what the sign says……….just TAPAS…..what fantastic marketing. The restaurant is very small, maybe, 30 tables and is located next to the Starbucks half way up La Rambla. The reason we like it is because of the wonderful Spanish omelets they serve full of red, green and yellow peppers a really rich cheese, mushrooms and chorizo sausage……..excellent choice for me as I omit the now carb thingy. Heidi had ordered a tapas selection, we were relaxed, I was reading The Daily Telegraph (British) newspaper, birds were singing, the waiter was not rude (unusual for Barcelona………Fawlty Towers reference there ) I had not spilled anything on my shirt, the was a nice breeze from the air conditioning that was not only cooling us down but was helping to disguise the last particles of sugar free jellybeans that I had shared with everyone………….all was well………………….UNTIL…………………….”Can we join you?”……..”What?” ……I looked up from the article I was reading to find a lady and gentlemen plunking themselves down at our table………….Hello, I said…………….we want to talk to you………came the reply……….OH, I said, sensing they didn’t want to ask my opinion on the Spanish omelet…………….well let me introduce my wife Heidi (thinking this might alert them to the fact that we were enjoying a romantic lunch together………….well, as romantic as reading a newspaper and ignoring your wife can be.)

“We know who she is,” came the curt reply……………..I could see Heidi’s blood rising at that rude retort and before I could say anything Heidi got there first………..Oh, well I don’t know you both she said in a soft voice …………..what’s your names………..we are the &%$#@ said the lady, we are from Fort Lauderdale…………I was about to say something along the lines of ….Oh, I love Fort Lauderdale but Mrs. M was having none of it and continued………..we saw you come in here and we want to complain……. That was it then and I sat back in my chair, took a sip of Diet Coke and let Mrs. M unload both barrels on me for ten minutes or so.

Now, you are going to ask what her complaint was about….it really wasn’t one thing but a list………here are the ones I remember.

HAVING TO PAY FOR TRANSPORTATION (SHUTTLE BUSSES)………..OTHER LINES DO NOT CHARGE

NO RELIGIOUS SERVICE………….unlike Holland America

NO BRIDGE INSTRUCTOR…………..as above

DIDN’T LIKE THE SHOWS ………Holland America’s were more geared to people her age ……….she was in her 70’s

FOOD WAS TOO RICH…………….she prefers……..yep you guessed it

CABIN WAS TOO SMALL……………she has paid for an inside cabin on deck 1 by the way……….guess whose cabins were bigger?

AND MY FAVORITE…………”I HAVEN’T SPOKEN TO ONE CREW MEMBER WHO SPEAKS ENGLISH”

That was that…….and after her 10 minutes of shock and awe I asked her what she would like me to do……..her answer came back in a quick fire staccato……..compensation. I took her cabin number and said I would talk to the Chief Purser when I returned and would be in touch with her. The Chief Purser and I have since called her and her grievances have been documented.

There are three things that I need to tell you………….oh and by the way, this sort of thing is still very unusual and as always I remind you that 99.9% of our guests have a great time…….anyway, here they are.

1. This couple had followed me into the restaurant and sat down without being invited……..that takes a lot of ……something.

2. Halfway through her list of concerns, my omelet arrived as did Heidi’s Tapas…………we both said “bugger it” and started eating. The waiter hovered to ask Mrs. M if her and Mr M would like something but realizing that he didn’t speak good enough English he ran away……….quickly.

When she had finished, she stood up to go, I stood and offered my hand to be polite which she ignored and as they turned to walk away……………..Mr M looked back at me and looked almost apologetic as he obediently followed his wife out of the restaurant………………..There are very, very rare times when honestly, I don’t like my job very much and today unfortunately was one of those times

Here are today’s photos which really are a mixed bunch but I hope you will enjoy them.

1. This is a shot of all the teens from Club O2 who we took to the famous Barcelona Soccer Stadium “The Nou Camp ”

1. This is a shot of all the teens from Club O2 who we took to the famous Barcelona Soccer Stadium “The Nou Camp “

2. Let’s go to Montserrat

2. Let’s go to Montserrat

3. Inside the Cathedral

3. Inside the Cathedral

4. The famous Black Madonna

4. The famous Black Madonna

5. What a beautiful place

5. What a beautiful place

Here are the 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

In Their Own Words

Let’s push on with the Q and A starting with the blog about the Carnival Miracle and then hopefully some from the blog called “Are We having Pun Yet.”

MATT – Yes mate, what a real shame that Costa Maya is as was Cozumel was after hurricane Wilma. The resort depends on the cruise industry and even if the shops and facilities can be repaired in double quick time I doubt the pier will be ready for a long time……….I hope I am wrong and it is indeed very, very sad. Matt, you asked if I got your comments…..are you waiting for an answer from me for something? Please let me know?
KEVIN AND HEIDI AND BETH – I just spoke to Ralph the Cruise Director and he has confirmed that the Carnival Glory will call at Progresso now instead of poor old Costa Maya. Progresso is a fun place and if you need any advice on what to do please let me know. I hope the three of you are well and can you send me your cabin number please. You are also correct in your praise of Shahnaz and yes she is indeed right at the top of her game. Glad also that you liked the photos of the Queen Mary, she too is quite a lady. Cheers.
I & MSMOM – Your thoughtful words about Costa Maya’s plight were said with obvious sadness. I am sure they will bounce back but how long that takes, who knows? We will all continue to think about them I am sure. Thank you also for your kind words about the blog thingy and I am still enjoying writing this each and every day. My warmest regards to you.
BRUCE BERRY – You found me Bruce and so your computer skills are intact. Welcome back from your July 24 cruise and to hear you say “WE WILL BE CARNIVAL TRAVELERS FOR LIFE” has made me and everyone associated with the cruise line very happy. If there is anything I can do to help you decide which cruise you want to take next, please let me know. I am glad you enjoyed my shows and one thing is for certain, I also wish I could be in the public eye even more, but unfortunately the job these days is so much more than just being on stage. Your comments have made me very happy and I hope you will continue to read this blog-thingy.
JOHN STEERS – Hello! How are things in Port Canaveral? I am glad you are still enjoying working for Carnival and as always, I thank you for all your help with the guests who face walking challenges. As for the blog, I assure you everything I write is indeed true and as you said “You can’t make this up.” Please keep reading and my best to everybody down there.
THE BEARS, BARB AND CARL – My mum will be sending me her amazing recipe for Chicken Curry. It will appear on a blog next week. It seems that Mother Nature is as mad as Mrs. M was these last few days. Wild fires in Europe, hurricanes in the Caribbean and Mexico and, of course, the weather conditions you described from Hurricane Erin. Heidi sends her best to you even though you are the reason she walks around with the air freshener spray in her pocket (Oust).
LUV TO CRUISE – I am glad you enjoyed the interview with Brent and I am sure your January cruise will be an exciting adventure. Having a balcony cabin is indeed a very special luxury which, if you have, you should enjoy each and every night watching the sunset and if you can, the sunrise. Happy sailing!
LEASA – You indeed will enjoy Todd on the Carnival Liberty and I am sorry I couldn’t be there with you. Thank you also for your kind words for the people of Costa Maya. I am sorry I am hogging the computer and I will tell Heidi how much you would enjoy another blog from her. Cheers.
INDYGIRL – Thank you also for thinking of the people of Costa Maya. You are very kind to take the time to write those wonderful words.
LOIS GREATSKIBOOT – You have a source for Spotted Dick? Wow, that’s amazing, can you send me some? Thank you very much for your kind words. That was the last picture ever taking of me on the beach. Heidi sends a big hello back to you and if I did behave you would be reading a blank piece of paper.
It’s always great to hear from you and I still have 50 more abbreviations of your name…. Take care.
BILL ZYDECOCRUISER – I thought you should know that we play the cd’s you sent us during our bingo sessions, it really gets everyone in the mood. I have not heard if there is a possibility of Costa Maya building a temporary tender docking facility. I am not sure if that is even possible based on the damage. Certainly, it would take some time to rebuild the shopping area and get it back to its former glory. Have a go at the scones, I promise you will not be disappointed and the Chicken Curry recipe will be forthcoming. How funny you mentioned Brussels sprouts. These are very popular in the U.K… My dad loves them, although I wouldn’t recommend sharing a small room with him afterwards. Once again, we talk about food; we were destined to be friends.
UNCLE DOUG – How great to hear that you saw the Carnival Fantasy’s smoke stack during your stay in New Orleans. I am sure this sight is a joy for all the people of the Big Easy. I am sure all the people, like your good self, who have recently been to Costa Maya, will share your sadness at the devastation caused by the wrath of Dean. You are correct of course, as always, Carnival will do everything they can to assist with the rebuilding. Thank you for your concern and I will keep you all updated with any news I have.
CINDY 56 – Wendell’s ceremony was very special and hopefully he now rests peacefully. Costa Maya did indeed take over from Cozumel after hurricane Wilma devastated that island. Let’s hope, this is the last major storm of the season. Heidi and I send our best to you.
THE CHADS – Thank you for completing the registration form for the bloggers cruise, you need to add the reservation number. I hope you do get a chance to make my mum’s scones, they are simply delicious. A charity cookbook for the bloggers cruise is also a wonderful idea, I am sure Bill Zydecocruiser will have a few recipes to offer. I hope you are all well and slapping on this posting has made me very hungry.
MARLENE – Marlene, I hope you get to read this before you fly here. I am very excited to see what gift you have for Heidi and I and please make sure you leave me your cabin number at the information desk when you arrive. Have a safe flight.
LYNN AND MIKE SAGARA – It is truly wonderful to feel the compassion everyone has for Costa Maya. I wonder if ROGER BLUM can find some way to pass all these goodwill messages to the tourism office there. It was interesting to read about your desire to help with charity fund raising while you are on a cruise and I wonder if you saw the upcoming events on my last blog which will be held to raise money to find a cure for breast cancer. I am excited to be part of that challenge. Thank you for your lovely posting and my continued best wishes.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – I am glad you are enjoying all the photos and I especially want to say thank you for your kind words also for the people of Costa Maya. The Cruise Director you are thinking off, I think, was Rand Woodbury. He was and still is a master magician and yes, he did have wild animals at one point including a 300-pound cougar called GIO. I will pass on to my mum that you loved her scones. You must try her Chicken Curry, the recipe will follow. As always Carol, we wish you much happiness.
IVANA – Funny you should mention Samantha Brown, as Heidi is a big fan and me…………I am just jealous. I would love to be a travel reporter for the cruise industry. Wouldn’t it be great to have a live T.V. blog or a fly on the wall documentary?….except on the bathroom wall…..Thank you also for mentioning Costa Maya. You are very kind. See you soon.
SOUTHERN DREAMS – I am glad the surgery went well but I am sorry to hear that maybe you will need radiation. Without racing ahead, may I just tell you that whatever happens I will always be here for you and each time I type your name it will be done with much positive thought and hope for continued health. Keep smiling :)) and I am going to dedicate a joke to you every time I mention your name. Here is the one for today.
A couple of drinkin’ buddies, who are airplane mechanics, are in the hangar at Atlanta airport; it’s fogged in and they have nothing to do.
One of them says to the other, “Hey, have you got anything to drink?”
The other one says, “Nah, but I hear you can drink jet fuel, and that it will kinda give you a buzz.”
So they drink it, get smashed and have a great time; like only drinkin’ buddies can do.
The following morning, one of them gets up and is surprised he feels good, in fact, he feels great – NO hangover!
The phone rings, it’s his buddy.
The buddy says, “Hey, how do you feel?”
He said, “I feel great!”
“I feel great too! You don’t have a hangover?”
“No – that jet fuel is great stuff – no hangover – we ought to do this more often.”
“Yeah, we could, but there’s just one thing…..”
“What’s that?”
“Well, that’s what I called to tell you. For goodness-sakes don’t fart, I’m calling you from Miami.”
DWA76 – Sad it is, to see Costa Maya in such a terrible state. I am glad you enjoyed the interview with Brent and hopefully one day you will sail on a Carnival ship out of New York City. It is an unforgettable feeling. You asked if I can do anything about the dollar and how weak it is. Obviously, going to London is more expensive for Americans these days and the euro is catching up. Unfortunately, I am paid in U.S. dollars and I certainly hope that the dollar can find its strength from somewhere. The dollar is strong against the Turkish Lira; in fact, I know a place where you can get a great Turkish bath for just $10. Let me know if you want the address. Thanks for everything mate; it always brings a smile to my face to see your name slapped on the blog.
RIKKI BOYZE – I have to admit, I was surprised also that it took this long for the company lawyers to ask for a disclaimer. Although I really do not think I say anything that would cause Carnival Corporation concern, I know I do tend to speak without thinking sometimes, so I am happy to cover them with those few words. If anything happens, I have a brilliant lawyer who will protect me. He is half-Japanese and half-Jewish and his law practice is called So Sue Mi. I am glad the Carnival Miracle won you back to cruising; she is one of our most beautiful ships. I have never been on board but I have heard of the famous pink flying saucers in the dining room. Wishing you all the best.
RUTH JAMISON – Welcome back to the blog and I am glad you caught up. I see you are a fan of Rod Stewart’s song “Sailing,” have you heard the song of the same title by Christopher Cross? You have my taste buds salivating at the thought of what you mind be sending me…….you are too kind. Wishing you a wonderful day and all the best from Heidi.
BIG ED – Thank you for helping edit the blog. You truly are becoming the assistant to the Cruise Director. Well, as for the Vote For John campaign, if I do win the award I promise it will be shared with each and every person who has made this blog what it is today. Thanks mate.
KEVIN – Congratulations on reaching nearly 6,000 slaps on your blog. This is a brilliant total and I am sure it will continue to grow. Thank you for driving the Aston while wearing the bloggers t-shirt, you have no idea how jealous I am, but grateful at the same time. Everyone tells me that the Diamond Princess is a truly magnificent vessel. I am going to ask, the next time we are in Venice, if I can visit the Emerald Princess. I have never been on a Princess ship before and I would love to write a blog article about her. Hopefully, someone from Princess will read this posting and allow this to happen. I am glad you enjoyed the scones, my mum will be so happy. Thanks mate and I haven’t forgotten you.
SUSETTE LOEWENSTEIN – Thank you for showing me what Cunard has written about my Queen Victoria blog. Seeing my name on their website was a huge thrill and I am deeply honored. Thank you for passing it on to me, for which I am also very grateful. All the best.
LFTTNSFCF – YEP, it’s a disclaimer and I added a touch of humor to make it more palatable. I know they just want to protect themselves and I understand why. Sometimes, I am a naughty boy. Hope all is well with you and the Mrs. MTSFP and as always, it’s great to see your name on the blog thingy.
LISA AND ELAINE – Thank you so much. You echo the words for everyone in wishing Southern Dreams well. I am not sure about Jack Daniels being the cure, but we certainly will be thinking of her each and every day. I see you are a survivor and you are still cruising and that is so brilliant to hear. Thank you for your compassion Elaine and thank you for being there for your blogger friend.
PEGGY P – You are welcome and I have passed your thanks on to Chris Prideaux. Enjoy the arts & crafts.
CRUISE FAN NAN – At the moment, there are many new deployments of ships happening in the fleet. I am sure that everyone will miss the Carnival Victory from Miami, but it will be a major asset to San Juan and the southern Caribbean. I have not heard any rumors about the Carnival Triumph moving to Mobile and I will ask PA 007 to keep their eyes and ears open in case anything should happen. The super spy is on the case and will let me know any news.
Steve Knisley will indeed be the Cruise Director on the Carnival Liberty during your sailing. Thanks for reading the blog-thingy and all the best.
WILLIAM – DALLAS, TX – We warmly welcome you William to this blog-thingy. As a lover of ships, you are in the right place with the right people and I also thank my friends at Cunard for passing on the blog’s information. William, if you have any stories to share with us, we would welcome them. If you have any questions to ask, please do so and mostly, please enjoy the fun and every day life along with me of working on board a cruise ship. Cheers mate.
LINDA HERNACKI – I am so happy you enjoyed the photos of the Queen Mary II. I wish I could have been there to see it for myself. Alan Atkins is still on board, however, he leaves tomorrow and I will miss having fun with him. Wish Mike well in his new job and I am sure he is very happy working for Hilton hotels…….has he seen Paris? I have been to Costa Maya many times and I know how hard the people of this small resort to get it where it was and I am sure they will do so again. Linda, have a wonderful weekend and thank you for slapping on another posting.
LV2CRUISE – I am glad your husband enjoyed the puns, I promise there will be no more as I could here the groans from here. Heidi and I have a good size cabin, as you asked what our living accommodation is like. It has a separate living area office and bedroom and our two greatest luxuries, a bathtub and a 42″ plasma T.V. which I have to have on as much as possible, showing the news……………I am a big newsperson. I have to know what’s going on in the world. As for closet space, Heidi has four closets and I have one hanger. Cheers.
MEDCRUISER – Ok, sorry, no more puns, promise………..after this one.
Just as a surgeon was finishing up an operation the patient wakes up, sits up and demands to know what is going on. “I’m about to close,” the surgeon says. The patient grabs his hand and says, “Oh, no you’re not! I’ll close my own incision.” The doctor hands him the needle and says, “Suture self.”
What do you call a mushroom that runs into a bar and buys a round of drinks for everyone? I guess that would be a Fun Guy.
Sorry 🙂
KAREN R – Alan Adkins decided to stay a few extra days, I guess he is a glutton for punishment. Thank you for complimenting Shahnaz who is a brilliant Hotel Director and as loyal an employee as Carnival could wish to have.
As for the Queen Mary 2, well I hope one day to be able to visit her and also have the total privilege of writing a blog about this grand lady liner.
Now, as for the Puns…….well I don’t know what came over me but I was feeling a little “punnish” and the result I am sure were groans from around the world. I hope you are well and I do hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingies.
GREG BALDASARRI – You can call me friend……..because that is what we indeed are. Thank you for mentioning my friends Marsha and Hans. They were truly in awe of the Queen Mary and their description summed up perfectly the grand liners presence in Hamburg. Indeed, it truly must have been something the Germans felt so passionate about as they lined the streets and the port hoping to catch a glimpse of the beautiful lady………..The Queen Mary………not my friend Marsh although she too is beautiful.
Greg, I hope my daily mutterings will continue to provide you with fun and also to allow our blog friendship to grow from strength to strength.
DAVE AND BARB – What a site that must be as the proud and gallant sailors stand at attention as they sail away to protect our freedom. I certainly would stop the car to pay tribute to those brave men and women.
Obviously seeing a cruise ship leave is completely different but it was great to hear that the Queen Mary 2 can still command respect and attention as happened in Germany. I hope I get to sail past your house so you can wave and throw sugar free jellybeans at me. Many thanks for the posting and all the best.
KATHY KROLL – I am sure once your are standing you still possess the grace and agility that is obvious from the photos on your blog. The Queens Room on the Queen Victoria is full of magic………there is honestly something special about it…….as unfinished as it was it already cast a spell over me and I can imagine watching Heidi glide over the floor while I eat cucumber sandwiches and drink tea. I hope your dream of sailing on her and the Carnival Splendor do come true………..one day. All the best Kathy and best to the Bodyguard.
BILL ZYDECOCRUISER – You said that was Micky Arison in the photo of the Queen Mary……….well spotted and well spotted Hans my mate who took the photo…………personally I was more interested in the HUGE PRETZEL he was eating. Thaks for the food link and I think we should open a Zydeco restaurant and serve those Pretzels.

OK, I am going to stop there and continue with Mr Bob Poland’s comment tomorrow.

George Solano

George Solano

Let’s continue with an interview from the Cruise Director on the Carnival Imagination Mr. George Solano. Here is his interview and I will chat about him in moment.

1. Please can you tell us about your career with Carnival so far? How did you start and when?
Started in 1992 as A Fly-on Comedian and I’ve been a cruise director for 6 years

2. What ship are you currently on and what is its itinerary?
Carnival Imagination which operates four- and five-day cruises from Miami. Five-day cruises departing Mondays visit Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios; five-day cruises departing Saturdays call at Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay & Nassau; four-day cruises departing Thursdays feature Key West and Calica

3. Please can you pick two excursions from each port and tell us why you recommend them so much?
Grand Cayman – Atlantis Submarine – The Marine life in Grand Cayman is amazing due to all the shipwrecks.

Sea Trek – It’s my one of my favorites because I never had the guts to scuba dive and is the closest I can get to it. The coral is amazing.

Ocho Rios Jamaica – Bob Marley Tour – all my life I have been a Marley fan, it’s about an hour bus ride, with several stops to really admire how beautiful Jamaica truly is, once you arrive at his state, you learn everything about his life and what inspire him to write all those songs we never get tired of listening to, I even met a few of his cousins and heard some amazing stories (I did come back a little hungry J ) it was truly an experience for me.

Dolphin Cove- Dolphin Swim – An other one of my favorites as a child of the 70’s I grew up watching Flipper so I always wanted to swim with them. It’s everything you imagine and more. The dolphin performs for you, the highlight is when you and the dolphin pose for a picture, after you’re finished with tour, you also get to enjoy all the amenities the park has to offer from Beaches, walking trails, shark show, aviary Etc. It’s a great experience for the entire family.

Key west- Bike tour – very laid back; don’t have to be in shape; all flat terrain and you’ll see over 100 points of interest, including the southernmost point. Plus you learn quite a bit about the Civil War.

Calica – Mayan ruins Of Tulum – I have always been fascinated by The Mayan Indians culture, Tulum was built next to the Caribbean Sea, you’ll visit the Temple of the Frescos my personal favorite because of the detailed Carved figures of original paintings and writings, you also have a chance to climb the towering cliff for amazing breathtaking views of the Caribbean sea, is a once in a lifetime experience.

Xcaret – an archeological park, with underground rivers and cenotes, as well as an Aviary. It also has a replica of all the Mayan Pyramids and a museum of Mayan cities and much more great fun for all ages.

Grand Turk- Is a new port of call for us, I’ve been going out and enjoying a different excursion every call. My favorite so far is the Guana Loop you ride along an air-conditioned bus it has several stops where you have the option of getting off and walk around and truly explore the island, the buses come by every 15 minutes so you can spend as long or little time as wish.

Half Moon Cay is our very own private island – I Love it!!! Is one of the most beautiful and relaxing ports of call. Parasailing – is the one I recommend the most you’re up 200 feet in the air, amazing views of the island and the ship!!

Aqua Boats _ Jet skiing at its best It rocks!!

Nassau -Discover Atlantis and Historical Harbor tour- It takes you on a harbor cruise – you’ll see and learn about many historical points of interest, once you arrive at Paradise Island your guide will take you on a walking tour of Atlantis, you will visit the “Atlantis Dig,” home to thousands of the world most exotic fish and sea creatures as well as the ancient artifacts of Atlantis.

Catamaran Snorkel – you’ll go to Athol Island – for amazing snorkeling,

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

Welcome aboard show – no two shows are ever alike and it sets the tone for your cruise. Newlywed not so newlywed show is another because I love improving and I always get to throw in some of my comedy bits!

5. Fill in the blank please……………..People should sail on the Carnival Imagination because……………………………..??????????? People should sail on the Carnival Imagination because we boast an extremely friendly crew and we have tons of fun. The entertainment on board is outstanding and because we’re the coolest.. that’s right, I said it! 🙂

6. What do you enjoy most about being a Cruise Director? I love getting up every day and making people laugh. Entertaining guests is my absolute most favorite thing to do and I feel extremely lucky each and every day to be able to do what I love. And oh yeah, the pay isn’t bad either. 🙂

7. Share your favorite story with us that involve our guests and your job? I don’t think I have a favorite story but I can say that at times, people come up to you and share a little bit of their life story with you. Some have just lost someone close, some are very ill, some are just going through a rough patch. For these people to come up to me and tell me that I’ve made a difference, that I’ve made their vacation, that I’ve made them laugh every day of the cruise.. there’s no feeling in the world like it.

8. List your three favorite ports you have visited? Jamaica, Aruba & Cozumel

9. Name three ports you would really like to see that you have never been to? Argentina, Peru & Brazil (hint hint!)

10. Finally, if you could introduce on stage any star, alive or not who would it be and why? Hands down – Richard Pryor. He has inspired me beyond words to become a stand up comic and has been an extreme influence in my life.

THANK YOU GEORGE.

He and I go way back and we were always playing tricks on each other when he was a fly on entertainer onboard the Carnival Imagination with me. One time, seconds before I went on stage he blew pepper in my face so I spent the first few minutes of the show sneezing over the front row.

I got my own back many times and my favorite was when I had pre planned with the audience that after George had told his first joke to do something special. So, out comes George, he tells his first joke and then at once and in unison (same thing I know) all 800 stood up booed and walked out of the lounge…………George just stood there ………..his mouth open…eventually they came back and the show carried on because I had one more surprise for him

George is originally from Colombia, South America and does this joke about the name Jose being popular….anyway the punch line is that if the presenter of The Price Is Right was to say Jose Rodriguez come on day a thousand people would rush the stage…….well………..they did……….when he said it I had planned for 50 men and women to all run up on the stage and start hugging and kissing George……….one lady tried to take his shirt of……………ah, those were the days. George is now one of our finest Cruise Directors and there is nobody who cares about the guests cruise experience than my mate Jorge……………..mi amigo.

I want to talk about John Horner a guest who is sailing here with his wife Jess and their daughters Jasmin and Summer……….beautiful names. I got to know John early on this cruise and we have had some great conversations. John is from the UK like me and is from Manchester which is in the North of the country. Why am I mentioning John………..well, it is simple. John was in the British Military and was injured last year when his convoy was hit by a roadside explosive device in Basara, Iraq. He has a great sense of humour and has loved every bit of the cruise. He has come to all the shows and told me this was the best vacation he has ever had. He won a trophy for taking part in the newly wed and Not So newlywed game, and this evening after the Carnival Legends show we smoked a cigar together. He talked about the love of his family, his passion for the charity work he does and how his military career is still so important to him changed as it is now as he fights for his country from behind a desk. Mostly though, he just told jokes, praised the staff and crew of the vessel. We spent a great 30 minutes together talking as men do and then he got up to leave……..which is not as easy as it used to be as John lost his left leg ….. As I helped him lean onto his crutches he shook my hand and told me that nothing had made him laugh as much as the Talent Show and bedtime story and thank you for the best time ever. As I walked back to the cabin I suddenly realised that the Tapas Bar incident with the angry Mrs. M did not matter anymore….I do love my job, I really do and tonight it took a man like John Horner to remind me……………thanks mate.

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.