Not In My House

September 20, 2007 -

John Heald

The Gulf of Lion (French: Golfe du Lion) is a wide embayment of the Mediterranean coastline of Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence in France, reaching from the border with Catalonia in the west to Toulon……………….and last night the Lion had toothache because it was roaring its head off creating force 9 winds and some pretty big swells. This resulted in the ship doing an impression of a rollercoaster as we ducked and dived effortless through the swells until about 3 am when the Lion obviously saw an emergency dentist and was able to calm down a bit. Luckily, we got through the show without having to stop it and the cast performed admirably……………I was very proud of them.I went for my morning cup of tea in the lobby around 8:30am and the guests gave mixed reaction to the nights bumping and grinding…………the ship………I mean the ship moving around…………..stop it !

Some people get seasick and that’s natural I guess but some found it exhilarating that we were sailing through rough seas. Anyway, I was talking to one guest who was really happy with everything and was in full flow praising the friendly crew when I he was interrupted by a lady who did not look happy……………..someone had definitely taken the jam out of her doughnut. She was wearing a gold shimmering track suit with matching hat and her finger with a diamond the size of my head waggled in my face “I want to talk to you” said Mrs. Goldfinger………….”one moment I am just finishing with this guest,” said I…………..turning back to the guest I was about to continue our conversation when he said “that’s OK, I have to get ready for my tour.”………and he walked away……leaving me with Mrs. Goldfinger. This is how the conversation went…………….sorry but I can’t be asked to do the speech mark things………..here we go.

JOHN………….Yes, can I help you

Mrs. Goldfinger………..I want to complain.

John…………OK, complain away and let me see if I can help you

Mrs. Goldfinger…………I don’t like this ship

John…………..I am so sorry to hear that ………..may I ask why

Mrs. Goldfinger………..The food is no good, the shows are boring and there is nothing to do.

John………..OK, I am sorry to hear that……….have you enjoyed anything

Mrs.Goldfinger………….NO

John………….How about the ports

Mrs Goldfinger……….I didn’t come here for the ports I came to cruise

John……….OK, lets sit down and discuss what it is you do not like and let me get one of the Purser’s to record everything. I will be right back.

I then walk 15 paces to the front desk and one of the Pursers to join me. Joanne walks around an we walk toward Mrs. Goldfinger who has been joined by an man……….dressed head to toe in a black track suit with a logo saying “The Villages, Florida” across the chest.

John……….Hello Sir, Is this your wife.

Mr. Goldfinger…………Yes.

John……….OK, would you like to join us as we discuss what you are not happy with.

Mr. Goldfinger…………Oh ignore her, she could complain for America at the Olympics………come on let’s go ashore.

And with that Mr and Mrs. Goldfinger walk away leaving me Joanne laughing and me shaking my head, holding a cold cup of tea.

Today in Barcelona we were joined by Jonathan Blackburn who is a theatrical and entertainment agent based in London. He has provided us with all the wonderful singers, musicians, comedians and variety acts we have had this season. We will be meeting all day tomorrow to plan who will be entertaining guests on the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Splendor next year………any requests?

Here are today’s photos which I hope you enjoy. They were taken this week by Entertainment Staff member Gary during his trip to Pompeii……………………oh yes, there is a photo also of the a hat…………not just any hat…….THE HAT!

Pompeii

Pompeii

Pompeii

THE Hat

Here are today’s letters from the 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

Time for the Q and A starting with the ones from A Blog for Tara

A CRUISE BY ANY OTHER NAME – Hello J.R. and how’s the price of oil today? Let me answer some questions for you. You asked about the Carnival pools and if they are open for 24 hours. The answer is no. Each ship keeps one pool open until midnight however due to safety concerns and the fact that we have to empty the pools we need to have them closed at some point each day. Then you asked about a place that is dark on the open decks so the heavens can be seen. There is always one area where this is possible, usually at the forward part of the ship. However, we must have the lights on most of the vessel so we can be seen. Even in the day and age of modern radar and detection equipment the best way to avoid a collision is to be lit up like a Christmas tree. This does not apply to parts of the front section of the vessel as bright lights can reflect back into the bridge making navigation difficult. Therefore the front of a cruise ship is often the best way to see the stars. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. Cheers J.R.
NANETTE – Nani, I will let you know nearer the time and will put a visitors pass in for you to visit the ship. I am sure we will sail together again one more time. Sorry about wearing the blazer for the walk on deck but I had run straight from my Marriage Show plus I had given away my T Shirt to the lady in the electric wheelchair in the photo………. Adios ….mucho hugos.
PARIS, TEXAS – Welcome home and it is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your cruise so much. Of course I remember our brief conversation and I will now have a look for myself at the wonders of Paris, Texas and your own Eiffel Tower….do you consider your self Texan or French. Do you eat frog legs? Do you say Bonjour……ya’llllllllllllll. It sounds like a fascinating place and thank you for sharing its history with us all. Welcome to the world of blog which as of today has 670,000 readers. Thanks and stay in touch please.
LINDA HERNACKI – I want you to know that Carter has been in my thoughts since I read your posting Linda and I would be grateful if you could keep us informed as to his progress. I am sure he is in good hands and that the doctors at the Arnold Palmer hospital (is there a golf course on the roof?) will have the little chap back to playing and shouting for his Grandma very soon. I know how desperately you want me to be here in November and I am going to make a final decision when I will take vacation by October 1. I appreciate so very much that you want to sail with me and the feeling is I assure you mutual…..I want to sail with me to……………I mean I want to sail with you as well. Let’s see how the next few days go and then I will let you know. The book is a definite fact for the future and PA 007 is going to be my publisher! Most importantly please give Carter and his parents our best wishes and those of the thousands of readers to the blog thingy.
RUSS AND NINA FRANKLIN – Heidi wants to order the harmony seat now ……………..that’s my Christmas present sorted then. I was glad that the Walk on Deck for Breast Cancer was so successful and I am hoping that we get respelled very soon so we can do it all over again. Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts and my best to you both.
THE BEARS – CARL AND BARB – I saw the photos of your beautiful new grand bear and that is one beautiful baby. Will you please wish the family our very best and I hope the new cub brings you many years of joy and happiness……………..what a life he will have with grandparents like you. Congratulations and enjoy these special times.
KAREN TESSIER/EDMONSON – When you read a review like the one you just slapped on it makes my day. First of all, welcome home and thank you for acknowledging the dining room staff and of course the origination and quality of our shore excursion program. I know that there are times when having 3,000 people onboard can feel like there are 4,000 people onboard and these are areas we must try and improve on but hearing you say that you never felt that there were this many onboard…….well that is music to my ears. Keep working on your Platinum status and also please keep reading the blog thingy as I hope it will keep you going until the next time you walk up the gangway. Thanks again for your wonderful posting and welcome to the blog thingy.
RAY CZENSZAK – Ray, there is no need to thank me for the blog dedicated to Tara and the many ladies like her who have and unfortunately will still, face many battles ahead. The real thank and praise should go to people like your Jeanne who has walked thirty-five miles each and every year for four years to support breast cancer research. The next time she does a walk like that would you please let us know so I can sponsor her and I am sure there will be many more on this site who will do the same. Please pass on our best wishes and sincere praise for all she has done. Thank you mate for sharing your special lady with us all.
DEBORAH ROSATO – You and your group will soon be here and I am sure you must be very excited. You mentioned your meet and greet at 5’pm on the first day but unfortunately I will not be able to come as I am on stage at 4:30pm – 5:15pm for the Welcome Aboard Talk followed by the Q and A. However, I suggest that you have a second meet and greet on the first or second sea day and if you drop me a note at the Information Desk upon boarding I will arrange a lounge for you. Is this a Cruise Critic or cruise mates group of family and friends etc? Thank you so much for the kind words about the blog and if it does as you suggest offer a new level of customer service then it makes all this typing worthwhile. I will see you in a few weeks and let me know please if there is anything that you may require. Cheers.
LEASA – I wanted to say a big hello to your Mum and tell her that as a cancer survivor it is her that needs applauding not me. The Walk on Deck for the Cure is now as important to me as any show or activity and I will make sure it continues to be a focal point of each cruise for as long as I can. Thank you also for your kind words to Southern Dreams and please send Mum a big hug from us both. I am so glad you found the John Cleese book on audio and how wonderful that this support from the Library of Congress is there for sight-impaired people. John Cleese is tall, skinny, has typical English features which include a strong jaw line and a stiff upper lip. I am not sure if anyone has described me to you so close your eyes and picture the most handsome, debonair man you can with soft silky dark hair and the muscle tone of an Olympic athlete……………have you got that in your mind …………………good…………………..now think of the exact opposite and that’s me. I will be adding on a new PODCAST / AUDIO FILE very soon for you all to enjoy and my best to you until then.
LFTTHSFCF – Congratulations on the wonderful charity golf tournament you have been involved in ………….you should be very proud. Maybe I should do some sponsored Jelly Bean eating or if every blogger sponsored me $1,000 maybe I would go back for round two with Fatima. Have the tickets come yet and did you see the press release about the Halloween activities? The dream will soon be a reality…………….not long now.
MARILYN VISCHIO – I WILL INDEED BE YOUR Cruise Director next year on the Carnival Freedom as we head back to Europe. I love those crossings……………….except the 6 times we move the clocks one hour ahead. Still that is a small price to pay fro our voyage to Europe. Thank you for the kind words about the Walk on the Deck for Breast cancer and we will indeed be doing this again on the crossing next year. See you then and let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
GREY KITT N – Hello little grey kitten ………………….. ahhhhhhhhhh. Now, I just wrote that and then the thought popped into my head that you may be a 300 pound body builder but I will take the chance that you are not and say……………..aaahhhhhh again……………..aaahhhhhhhh. What a beautiful thing you did for your friend by sending her those beautiful gifts during her chemotherapies and how fantastic that you would like to do the same for Tara the lady I featured in the blog. I just contacted her and she was so overjoyed to hear that so many people were thinking about her and that you want to send her a Becky Bracelet. Tara said that she will be writing a post on the blog as soon as he gets home and I have given her Roberto’s e-mail so she can send in her address so we will be in touch. Thank you for being such a special person and I applaud all that you do. Thank little kitten…………..aaaaaaahhhhhhhh.
THE POET LAUREATE – Thank you once again for another poem and especially one that refers to the special Walk On Deck. You continue to be such a great supporter of the blog thingy and we all thank you for that and all your poems.
She started writing poems and suddenly she was a hit
Words of beauty and joy would flow when at the computer she would sit
From jellybeans to Fatima she has written from a far
And that is why for all of us jtoddinman is a star.
INEZ – Heidi says you are welcome.
JULIE GRANT – As I just mentioned Tara was overjoyed when she read all the comments that everyone has been posting and I know that it has made a huge difference to her knowing so many people both onboard and on this blog thingy are supporting her and everyone else who faces the slings and arrows that lay ahead. So thank you Julie for being one of those special people and my best regards to you.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – So far, no space ship sightings have been recorded but I thought I saw an ugly monster from the planet Zog yesterday. It was huge, had scary red eyes and a terrible smell was coming out of its rear end………..I was about to call Mr S and tell him he was correct when I realised I was looking at myself in the mirror this morning………….jelly beans and late nights do not go together. Talking of scary monsters, Halloween will be a wonderful fleetwide event and I will make sure all the cruise directors take photos of the events so I can slap them on the blog thingy. Thank you Carol ……….my phaser is set on heavy stun and my warp drive is on factor 5 ………..Heidi is not happy.
DWA 76 – I know I should not let people get to me like my friend who wrote that the photo of the Carnival Triumph is not real……………I mean, does he really think I would post something that is not real on a site that has nearly 700,000 readers. I respect everyone’s opinion but sometimes ……………….well………………you know.
I am glad you enjoyed the blog thingy and I hope that you are also enjoying today’s. Cheers mate and many thanks for the constant support.
LOIS THANKSFORTHEKINDWORDSSKI – Hope you are enjoying your hide away vacation in Kentucky. A man from Kentucky walks into a bar and orders a beer Bartender says “have you got any ID? The man from Kentucky says “About what?” That joke was old to me by friend Carl Falconberry from Louisville. Heidi says a big hello back and most importantly thank you so very much for the kind words you shared with us all.

NOW WE MOVE TO COMMENTS FROM THE BLOG ABOUT STEWARDESS MERYLN

JO MYERLY – I knew she had been your stateroom stewardess so I hoped you would be the first to place on a posting and there you go…….you did. She is a wonderful lady is our Merlyn and she is the opitimee…the impatami, the apatamee…..she is a great example of what makes Carnival Cruise Lines’ crew the best in the business. I have passed on your kind regards and she was THRILLED. Thanks to you and Dave whom I picture now in your bloogers shirts sitting in the Victoriana Lounge.
MAMAW G – Here are the demographics you requested for the cruise of September 22nd…………..your cruise.
GUESTS ONBOARD – 2,988
INTERNATIONAL GUESTS – 754…………MOSTLY FROM AUSTRALIA, THE U.K. AND MEXICO.
GUESTS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE………..27
NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO WILL FIND SOMETHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT…………T.B.A.
Now you asked if Mr and Mrs Kurtz meant to miss the ship in Venice and after speaking to them I assure you they did not, especially as it cost them a few hundred Euros in hotel and travel expenses. Don’t worry, I will not let you miss the vessel. See you very soon and have a safe flight here.
DWA 76 – What a great idea and after reading your posting Heidi has presented her with a Carnival Scrapbook………….Heidi said her smile lit up the port side of the ship…………………that is thanks to you mate.

NOW THE COMMENTS FROM THE BLOG CALLED SUNSET PART 2

PEANUTS – You asked how long it takes for a package to reach us here on the Carnival Freedom? Sometimes it gets from the states and Canada within 12 days but I know some people who have been kind enough to send packages that have yet to arrive. How kind of you to ask if you can send packages to the address at the side of the blog thingy which indeed you can and really though it is not necessary…………………….but if you do please include food. I am glad that you and so many others are enjoying the sunset photos and there will be many more to come…………..Gary and Heidi will make sure of that.
CRUISERANNE – You are welcome and how wonderfully you described your feelings when watching a sunset………especially the word “languid” ………….I am going to use that word as much as I can in the future. Have a languid night ……..see, I told you…….and thanks for reading the blog thingy.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – wishing you many, many more sunsets together.
SAMOU – Right, lets answer your questions then. How many big production shows are held on the Carnival Freedom you ask?…………….The answer is 3. They are called The Big Easy, Jump, Jive and Wail and Ticket To Ride. We compliment these with the finest variety entertainers at sea and I know you will find the shows to be one of the best parts of your cruise.
You then asked what tour I suggest you take in Rome when you disembark. Well, for me the answer to that one is not so easy. In my opinion you have to see the Vatican but that is unfortunately closed on a Sunday which of course the 28th is. Therefore, I suggest you take The Best Of Rome which will include all the other major sites including the Coliseum, The Trivi Fountain etc. After the tour the bus will drop you in the center of Rome or at the airport. Can you tell me the name of the Hotel you have booked and when you do I will advise you of the best way to get there after the tour has finished. I hope you are excited at the prospect of your forthcoming cruise and I am here should you need anything further. Cheers.
GREG AND CINDY COURINGTON – I wouldn’t bother packing huge Halloween costumes on your cruise of October 16th as I know Trans Atlantic flying limits the ability to pack too much these days. If enough people want to “play” we will of course have a pre-Halloween event and I promise that will be lots of fun. Not long to count now……….see you soon.
MARILYN VISCHIO – Glad you are enjoying the photos and there will be more sunset ones very soon.
TERRI910 – Hello Terri. You asked how many guests aged under 18 the Carnival Freedom carried during its August cruising when the school holiday’s were in full swing. I just checked my records and during the last cruise in July through to the first cruise in September the ship carried 2189 guests under 18………………….that’s over three 12-day cruises. The demographics have certainly changed now though as we have just 20 something guests aged under 18. I am glad to hear that you are now considering a 2008 Baltic cruise on the Carnival Splendor. You asked a few questions so let me answer them as best I can.
WEATHER IN THE BALTIC – Well, it this year is anything to go on it is going to be hot. St.Petersburg had record temperatures but even at normal levels the ports will all be blessed with sunshine and temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees during July and August. I do remember on the Carnival Legends cruise to the Baltic thinking how hot it was and how surprised I was.
DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE GUESTS – I expect this to be the same as here on the Carnival Freedom perhaps with a few less children………… Obviously, we have to wait and see and I will also try and get some information from reservations regarding this as soon as I can. I hope you will seriously consider this wonderful adventure and I remain at your service should you need any further prompting…………go on………………book a cruise………….it is going to be a wonderful adventure.

OK, I have to stop there and will continue later tonight with more Q and A.

I am so sorry I did not post a blog yesterday, I just ran out of hours and that drives me absolutely mad. Anyway, I will make sure I catch up on all the questions tomorrow so that we can get up to date. Once again, my apologies for yesterday.

Today, I received a plaque marking my 20 years with this great company plus a diamond pin…………………I wanted to share them with you so here they are.

Today, I received a plaque marking my 20 years with this great company plus a diamond pin…………………I wanted to share them with you so here they are.

Today, I received a plaque marking my 20 years with this great company plus a diamond pin…………………I wanted to share them with you so here they are.

Today, I received a plaque marking my 20 years with this great company plus a diamond pin…………………I wanted to share them with you so here they are.

We are now just about to leave the port of Cannes and yet again we have two missing guests……………..Mr and Mrs. Crocket. They have 10 minutes to get here.

Happy Birthday to the Queen Elizabeth 2. Here is the correspondence I received from Ms Carol Marlow, Cunard’s President and Managing Director.

Happy Birthday QE2!

We have had a great day here on QE2 in Greenock, the place of her birth, with over 200 visitors to the ship, many of whom who worked on the ship when she was built, and local dignitaries, and we had a great fly past by the Red Arrows….and then 3 cheers throughout the ship at 14.28 to commemorate the time that Her Majesty named the ship back in 1967. Wonderful!

What a wonderful way to say happy birthday to a ship who will forever be one of the most famous ships in the world. Let us raise a glass of something tonight and say “Happy Birthday.”

Nope, they didn’t make it…………….the Crockets…………..they will have to fly to Livorno tomorrow as we are sailing away.

I have to vent…………….I know I should not but I have to…………………and in advance I have to say that Carnival are going to be very happy that there is a disclaimer at the side of this blog thingy…………..they are going to need it.

Today, was a very busy day. Once the tender service was finished this morning (2,600 off in 2 hours, twenty minutes) I had a long meeting with Jonathan Blackburn who we hire much of our fly on entertainment through for the carnival Freedom and will do so next year from the Carnival Splendor as well. His acts are just amazing and he has such a variety of top entertainers on his books many of whom I know bloggers who have cruised this year with me have enjoyed so much.

Anyway, I digress. After an hour or so of scheduling I was hungry…………what a shocker I hear you cry. So, up to the Lido Deck we went for some grazing time. Most guests were off the ship enjoying Cannes so I was surprised to see so many people at the food service lines. It was then that I remembered we had 100 visitors onboard from Cannes who were here as Travel Agents inspecting the ship………………which we want them to do.

As Jonathan, Heidi and I were getting our food (I was ordering the spicy Mongolian Wok which is so spicy it hurts………twice) I heard a bit of a commotion across the other side of the Lido. There, standing at the salad bar was a tall French lady with blonde hair that had a large black stripe down the middle………she was shouting……………I mean screaming at one of our Indonesian service staff. Why ?……………..well he was trying to tell her that she was not allowed to smoke…………..he was being as polite as he could but she was having none of it………..waving her hands around pointing at the guest identification tag she was wearing. The waiter then said in English “no smoking” and again she shouted in fast and brittle French………………and do you know what she did……………and we could not believe our eyes………….she took one last drag, dropped the cigarette onto the marble floor and ground her heel into it to stub it out…………………………..I was fuming…………………I mean steam was coming out from all parts of my body, not just the usual places (jellybean reference )……………….this…………..this………………….thing had just done that with out a care in the world……………….what a complete and utter female canine.

She then picked up a plate and started helping herself to salad.

I then looked at the waiter who had gone to get some napkins from the line and was about to bend over to clean up Cruella Devilles’ ash ………………….I decided to act.

I knew Jonathan spoke fluent French as he lived in Nice for many years and grabbed his arm and pulled him along with me towards the scene of the crime. I gently maneuvered the waiter out of the way and took the napkins from his hand telling him many thanks and to go back to work. I then approached Cruella and tapped her on the shoulder…………..she looked round and said “wee”………………yep I thought, that’s what you are a lanky streak of wee……………..what I actually said was ………excuse me madam, please use this napkin and clean up your cigarette and ash………………..she then as expected said something in French which probably translated to “go away you ugly fat Englishmen.” I then waived Jonathan over and asked him to explain that unless who I was and that if she did not do as requested I would have her removed from the vessel immediately. Jonathan then translated in French what I had said but obviously he didn’t know how to say Cruise Director as those were the only words I understood. She looked at me and I looked at her …………there was then a standoff that John Wayne at the OK Corral would have been proud of …………until she snatched the napkin from my hand, walked over to the ash and cigarette, picked up the remains of the cigarette …………mopped up the ash………..and as she did so the various guests who had been watching started applauding and cheering……………….Cruella then turned on her heels and still holding the napkin in her hand walked away her hand raised in what was definitely not a message of love and as she did so she said something in French which Jonathan told me had something to do with miss kissing a certain part of her body………….and on our first date as well.

After this incident many guests told me how wonderful they thought I had been in making her do this and how dare she etc etc.

Why did I get so bothered by this? It would have been easy just to shrug my shoulders and walk away but it was the fact that she was so abusive to a staff member and as a visitor she thought that she had the right to do this. I have been here 8 months now and I think I am getting tired but bloody hell …………this is my home and I won’t have anyone abuse it or the people who work with me. How would she feel if I had done that in her house …………she would have probably set her dogs on me…………all 101 of them

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.