Wild Willy

September 18, 2007 -

John Heald

It’s Tuesday at 2:45 pm and I have just a few minutes until my marriage show at 3:15 pm so I thought I would blog a little……..I am trying to remember what I did before I was enveloped into this world of the blogosphere but you know what……………..I just can’t remember.

Let me start with some great news and that is the guest who we disembarked for a medical emergency in Dubrovnik came out of intensive care this morning and hopefully within the next two weeks will be able to fly home. Once again we congratulate the wonderful medical staff here and I hope the guest continues to make a speedy recovery.

Anyway, I forgot to tell you some great news from the start of this cruise and I was reminded of this just now by a letter from a guest who had just gotten their luggage back. Anyway, this cruise we had only 28 missing bags at the start of the cruise and as of now we have only 8 outstanding……………seems things are getting better.

This morning started with a department head meeting followed by the Florence/Pisa and Debarkation talk and this afternoon I have the Marriage show and an afternoon show as well………….another busy day. The early show for second sitting (before dinner) has been well received and I have not heard any comments from guests to say they don’t like……….that however cannot be said about this delightful person:

Guest: Mrs Ref: 002712974A Owner: __________
Cabin: _____ Booking#:

______– Upset with Cruise Director and Smoking policy

Purser got a call from Mrs. who informed Purser that she had just heard the cruise directors announcement for guests to wash hands as often as they can. Mrs——- felt that the cruise director was treating her like a schoolgirl and she would wash her hands only when she wanted to. Purser explained that cruise director was helping the Infirmary because we did not want anybody to get sick which is happening on other ships in Europe and that washing hands was the best way. Mrs———- said that she was on vacation and that she could do what she wanted when she wanted and she did not want her day ruined by this announcement. Mrs———then said that she was being treated like bad person because there was nowhere to smoke on the ship and that she had paid the same price as others and she should be able to smoke when and where she wants to. Purser explained the smoking policy but guest shouted to tell the cruise director to contact her immediately and walked from the desk while the Purser was speaking.
Cruise Director informed and he will call the guest for follow up.

As of now I have not spoken to the guest and even when I do I am not sure what I am going to say. I truly understand that we have many areas we can improve on and also that guests have the right to find fault in some things that I say and do. However, making one or two announcements about washing hands that will result in guests not getting the dreaded noro bug…………….I don’t know how she can find fault with that…………….sometimes I really don’t know why I bother and I feel like saying OK, don’t wash your hands, get sick, spend 24 hours confined to your stateroom howling at the toilet……..see if I give a Brad Pitt (rhyming slang)…..but of course………I do care and I shall call, apologize and try to explain the virtues of my actions………….I feel tired today.

Here are today’s photos. I just got these in from Alarnya, one of the dancers from New Zealand and I thought I would share them with you……………..I know we left Dubrovnik some days ago but have a look at these.












I had better get on with some Q and A………starting with those from the blog called It Came From outer Space.

BONNIE – It seems that you are determined to sail in October and following all you have been through I am so very proud of you. Have you completed all the treatments and are there any special arrangements you will need me to make for you? Anyway, I am so glad that you are coming and I wish you could have been here to see the On Deck For The Cure gathering………it was inspirational. Best to Charlie and see you soon.
KEVIN AND HEIDI AND BETH – Hello you three and welcome home from what sounds like a great cruise. We missed you on the blog thingy and I am happy to hear that wee Jimmy impressed you…………..in that dress especially. I have forwarded your comments back to the Carnival Glory team so that they can see just how much you enjoyed the service and I know that your dining room staff of Ana and Carlos will appreciate this very much. How did the three of you get on in one cabin? Anyway, have fun reading the last few blogs that you may have missed and I hope to hear from you very soon. Welcome home.
GREG BALDASARRI – Brave words Young Skywalker……………….I fear the force will not be with the Spurs this year and that Messers Shaq and Wade will indeed inflict great punishment upon your boys and leave Tim looking like a Duncan Doughnut. Now, back to the Professor who feels that the ship will meet its maker thanks to the little green men from outer space. He truly believes that this was the reason the Titanic is sleeping with the fishes but I have to say …………..it was very strange listening to him but he stands by his words……………..its been a strange week. I know you must miss your Mum and I am sure you must have some wonderful memories of your time together which I hope you cherish. Thanks Greg and look forward to your upcoming Carnival Conquest cruise.
VICKI – Thanks Vicki and I am well on the road to recovery instead of being on the road to the bathroom which I traveled many times in the last few days. I have never seen the famous Green Flash sunset but we will keep taking photos to hopefully spot one. Hope all is well with you and thanks for reading the blog thingy.
M@ & RT – You asked about the mudslide which caused the Sorrento Road to be closed and if this is a usual event. This is actually the first time I have heard of this in the three seasons I have been here in Europe. We have had train strikes, fishing boats blocking the entrance to ports, bust strikes and erupting Volcanoes but never a mudslide. Kite flying…………….I have never seen it done……………can we do it from the back of the ship?……………….I have no idea…………..ROGER BLUM………have you ever seen this ?…………………..we will get back to you on this one mate. How right you are ……….there are always stories to tell here and that is why this blog is such a great tool to be able to share them with everyone. Hope you are enjoying them and all the best.
NANETTEALI – Don’t worry Nanni, the aliens have taken me away yet and if they do I shall ask them to take me to San Juan. Muchos Hugos.
BIG ED – The spice girls will be:
This means we need one more………….any suggestions?
CATHERINE EBERT – By the time you read this Catherine you will be on the way here. I am sure you will have a wonderful flight and please make sure you leave me a note when you are onboard. See you soon.
JULIE GANTT – Man whole cover indeed! Thanks though for the lovely words for Greg and I am happy to see that your friend won her battle. There are though many other battles ahead for many people which is why I am determined to keep On Deck for the Cure part of the schedule for as long as we can. Thanks Julie and please keep reading the blog thingy.
DAVE SOREFF – I did meet James the CD on the Emerald Princess and in fact I will be writing the review about the ship in the next few days. I was very impressed with the vessel and I hope my review does it justice. Tell Doug to put her down and email us. Cheers mate.
TOM AND JANE – Thanks Tom and thanks Jane for the kind words. It really is great to see so many people reading the blog thingy and I hope you continue to do so. See you soon and my best to you both.
KAYENTAJANE – you just made me smile…………many thanks.
NICO R – Hello mate and thanks for slapping on a post, its been a while. The Titanic story was indeed one to remember and is proof positive that it takes all sorts. With regard to you working onboard, did you ever hear from Chris Unstead? Please let me know mate. I see that you have booked a cruise on the Carnival Pride, a beautiful ship and one I know will provide you with a brilliant cruise. Please let me know if you need anything at all and all the best.
SUSAN B – You can tell Mr Cheap that when he cruises with me hew ill also get a free bottle of champagne as well. I am excited to hear that your friend from Cruise Critic enjoyed his Carnival Freedom cruise so much and I would be honoured if you let me know when he writes about the blog etc. Thank you for your kind words about the company and our parent company Princess Cruises as well……………..you are too kind…………..he is too cheap………..you are too kind 🙂 Seriously, please send my best to your entire family and I very much looking forward to meeting you all.
KEVIN – Congratulations on your blog reaching 6000 slaps, that is fantastic. I will chase my friends up about your resume and also please do not forget to tell me a few days before you sail on the Miracle and let me know the cabin number. Bearing in mind your past history and all I have read I do not think you have any choice but to go for……………….ASTON MARTIN DB9 VOLANTE…………..BLACK WITH BLACK LEATHER……………………what do you think?
M @ &RT – You asked about Fatima and what she did…………It pains me to relive this but I suggest you click on this link.
http://johnheald.wordpress.com/2007/08/11/holland-america-turkey-and-the-greeks/ I suggest you read this in the accompaniment of a large scotch! ………….enjoy.
DAVID STARK – I hope you get this message before you fly to join us for the next cruise. Just wanted to say “Have a safe flight” and Heidi is salivating at the thought of Canadian Syrup. You asked about restaurants in Rome for a truly romantic experience. I really suggest you head for Via Veneto which has a wonderful selection of restaurants, including the very romantic hotel and restaurant Excelsior. Please leave me a note when you get on board and we will see you very soon.
THE BEARS – CARL AND BARB – Just a quick note to say hello to you both and ask how you are feeling. We are both fine and Heidi is very happy to hear you are enjoying her photos so much. Looking forward to your next posting. Our kindest regards to you both.
DWA76 – Having the trots (or as my dad calls it “the wild googlies”) certainly is a good way to lose weight. I am glad you enjoyed the pictures of the Carnival Freedom and knowing this, I will post more soon. How’s things with you mate? Thank you for being such a great supporter of the blog.
BIG ED – It’s amazing how seeing a beautiful girl has suddenly inspired you to have a haircut. Watch out that Mrs. Big Ed doesn’t pick up the scissors and give you a Bobbit. You wouldn’t be Big Ed then…. You and I are getting in so much trouble on the bloggers cruise, can’t wait.
OKTEACH – You asked when the formal nights are on the TA cruise. It’s on Wednesday October 31 and on Thursday November 8. Have a look at this and tell me therefore, when you would like to make your Supper Club reservation. As for the Cruise Critic meet and greet, I suggest you do this after sailing from Rome as the first day is very busy and involves different travel schedules for everyone. If this is ok with you, let me know how many people you expect and we will reserve a lounge for you. Looking forward to hearing from you.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – Yes, Shimaila shows the diversity of our wonderful crew and I am not surprised you want a haircut. I laughed when I heard your report on your Spa experience and can you imagine some of the blog material that could be found in the Spa? Take care and my best to your other half.

We now move on to comments from “Preston Bircher Reports.”

M@&RT – By now, you would have seen my reply to your previous comment and I was happy to hear of your memories of meeting Preston and his mum on your Carnival Liberty cruise. I am not sure if I can give you a free couples massage, but how about a nice cold bottle of champagne for a canoli? You also asked about the size of our bathroom, which is a little bigger than most cabins which I was very happy with during my recent illness. You offered to bring me something from Arizona and Heidi would love a mug with your state mentioned on it and some good old Arizona spicy sauce would not go amiss. It’s amazing to hear that you have an English pub in Arizona and that they serve Spotted Dick. I have now found the two perfect reasons to visit Arizona, to see you and to enjoy my favorite desert. See you both soon.
SUSAN – Thank you for your comments, there will be another report from Preston in the weeks ahead. Please continue to enjoy the blog.
BIG ED – Are you?
MARY BUETOW – I am glad you enjoyed Preston’s report and I am very excited to see the new Carnival Inspiration. All the best to you.
KIM – I see you are a Carnival Inspiration fan and that is great to hear. I am sure though you will love the new and improved version just as much and we are excited to welcome her back to the family. Watch this space for more reports.
J TODDINMAN – We’ve missed you and your new masterpiece is my new favorite. My favorite line was “However hitting his target would take great skill.” We have all missed you very much and your poem was right on the money and felt like you had been there during my heave ho period. Hope you have been well and welcome back.
KEVIN – After his last posting we need to see if we can still call him Big Ed.
VIKKI AND MATT TILL – I promise you love the new Carnival Inspiration. Although she will have many new features, she will retain many of the original fittings that made her such a favorite ship for so many people.
Hope you are both well.
ERIC DeGRAVE – You are welcome and we will send more pictures very soon.
RAY CZENSZAK – There is no doubt from seeing the cruises you have been on and the future ones that you booked that you are indeed a loyal Carnival fan. As I have been saying to others you have nothing to fear and the Carnival Inspiration will continue to provide so many people with a wonderful vacation and will, no doubt, retain her popularity. Hope to see you on the Carnival Splendor and please let me know if you have any questions about the cruise to Buenos Aires. All the best.
OCEAN ANGEL – I am glad you have been enjoying the blog. I was sorry to hear that you have been on the Carnival Fantasy 3 times yet do not have a repeat guest pin. Unfortunately, on the shorter cruises we do not have a past guest function, however, let me see what I can find out and if they were ever made, I will make sure you will get one. If you have not heard back from me within 10 days, please ask me again, just in case I forget. I am so happy you are enjoying the blog.

OK, time to stop. I know I am way behind on answering the comments and questions but sea days are always so busy here but I will catch up……………….I promise.

I had a cup of coffee with Tara today (your saw her photo in yesterday’s blog) and she told me how liberating having On Deck for the Cure has been for her. Henceforth, she has not put her wig back on and is walking freely around the vessel bald as the day she was born. Tara has also said that she has meet many Breast Cancer survivors following the walk and has drawn inspiration from their stories, their battles and, most importantly, their survival. I have given her my private e mail address and she has promised to send me daily updates when she is home and begins her treatment again and I will keep you all informed as to how she is doing…………………..she had a little cry when I gave her a copy of the DVD showing us all walking and the musical tribute we played for her. We then had a laugh as two complete strangers came up and said “can we have a photo”……….of course I said standing up…………..no said the lady…………not with you………we want one with her…………..Tara’s face shone……….it was a priceless moment.

The seas are rougher than usual and I am uncertain if we can perform the shows this evening. It is very difficult for the dancers to perform on a moving ship as it is but when the seas are rough it can be very dangerous. On the Conquest, Spirit and Destiny class ships they perform in front of a deep orchestra pit and the sudden pitch of the vessel could result in a performer falling or worse falling into the pit………………….both could result in a career ending injury. It is now 6:30 pm and I am meeting with the Dance Captain Ian to see if he feels it is OK to perform the shows. Ultimately it is his decision which I respect and support fully. The last thing I want to do is to say “you will do the shows” and then something happens that injures a dancer……………..I would never forgive myself.

The Captain has told me that the weather will remain windy and the seas choppy until 2 am when we get closer to land and therefore it is decision time……………I am off to meet Ian and let you know what we decide to do in a moment.

OK, I am back……………did you miss me? Well, Ian has decided that the cast can perform the shows providing it does not get any worse and if it does we will have to stop the performance. So, as the show starts in 15 minutes I need to wrap up today’s blog thingy so I can get backstage and be there to support the cast and in case we need to stop the show…………………it really is quite rocky and bumpy now.

In closing I want to tell you about the time when we had a guest performer in the middle of one of the production shows. I was reminded about him by a blogger yesterday and you will have seen me mention his name……the infamous Wild Willy. His name is known around the fleet and he cruises all the time. He is one of the Carnival “regulars.” He is flamboyant, extravert and honestly he can be a pain in the……………….neck. Wild Willy, a title he calls himself because he says he is related to Jessie James won the lottery in the late 1990’s. How much?……..well some say millions…………but nobody really knows. One thing is for certain; he spends nothing onboard and is always on the look out for something for nothing. Wild Willy’s biggest problem is…………….women and it is a constant battle in keeping him in order. He is harmless but does like to be around the young ladies even though he is in his eighties himself.

Anyway, last year on the Carnival Liberty the cast were performing a show called Rock Down Broadway and during the number dedicated to the band Abba and in particular the number “Dancing Queen,” Wild Willy decided he would join the show. So, up the steps he walked, in a pair of shorts, a shirt that is usually worn by someone you see getting arrested in front of a trailer in the TV show Cops and to the amusement of the audience he started to dance.

Now, while the audience is laughing, we are all dashing to the stage fearing that this 80-something-year-old man may fall into the Orchestra Pit and seriously hurt himself and others. The backstage manager ran out and I also sprinted (OK, walked fast) from the back of the theatre and picked him up and carried him off stage, his legs kicking at air in protest. Walking to the back of the theatre he received the mixed emotions of applause from some (mostly those with alcoholic beverages in front of them) and looks of disgust from others. The backstage manager ran back to the show leaving me to chastise old Wild Thing about the dangers of what he had done and informed him that if repeated he may be asked to leave the vessel…………it was then that I noticed that in all the excitement Wild Willy’s …………….. ummmmmm …………. Willy ………….. ummmm……….had …….ummmm…..caused a yellow puddle to form at our feet……………………….oh joy……………….he looked at me and said……….”oh, I had better go and change” and with that he left leaving me to say to myself “John, urine the wrong job.”

Wild Willy eventually calmed down and for a few days he was OK……………until he repeated his previous problem on a tour bus going to Pisa………………………. he is a character OK and I am not surprised other bloggers mentioned him. I have not seen him since last year but I am sure one day I will see him walk up the gangway again as the wild thing returns.

Off to the show


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.