The End of the Rhodes

September 25, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning to you and yours as we sail from Naples, Italy to Rhodes, Greece with today’s day at sea in between. Last nights show went ok but once again the demographics have changed completely and with the greatest respect I can tell you that last night there were some old………old……….people in the audience…………..and they had brought their parents with them !

Why is it also that people who have absolutely no intention of laughing for the entire show always………always sit on the front row. Last night that was the case and there were two couples on the front row who spent the entire 50 minutes sneering at me? One of the ladies was wearing the biggest pair of glasses I have ever seen………..I think she is here to do some welding. At the end of the show the guests all stood and applauded except the four people who just ………sneered. The two men were so grumpy I have arranged for them to sit up in the balcony for all the other shows…………….just like the two men from the Muppet Show !

Anyway, after the show as is normal Heidi and I walk along Promenade to gauge the reaction from guests…………wow…………there was no reaction because everyone had obviously gone straight to bed………..the Lobby and Promenade was quiet …………….I guess everyone was very tired. I did meet a few guests who said they enjoyed the show and I was feeling really good until I saw Mr. and Mrs. Myrtle Beach…..I knew this because that’s how they introduced themselves. It went like this:

John………..”Good Evening”

MB………”We are from Myrtle Beach”

John………”That’s nice, are you having a good time”

MB……..Obviously not going to answer that question said “Why is there no where to play cards”

John………” There is ma’m, the Dynasty and Chic Rooms and tomorrow we will have cards, bridge score pads and board games in both locations all day ”

MB………”The ship is too big”

John…………Do you need me to show where the card rooms are?

MB………… realizing who I am said “are you the one from the stage”

John …………”Yes, that’s me, weren’t those people funny tonight”

MB…….”When does the real entertainment start?”

John………”In about 10 minutes in my cabin I hope” (looking at Heidi)

MB……….blank stare

John………”enjoy your card game, goodnight”

I then went to say goodnight to Heidi’s Mum who speaks very little English but still enjoyed the show more than Mr. and Mrs. Myrtle Beach.

Anyway, today is a new day and I must remember that 95% of the ship enjoyed the show last night……………..stop moaning John……..OK, I have stopped.

Its 9:09 am and I have my first morning show at 9:30 am so hopefully the rush for prune juice will be over…………stop moaning…………OK, I have stopped………….and there will be a few people watching. By the way, here is a shot of my last morning show with the advert for the blog thingy underneath.

johnheald.wordpress.com

Sometime today or tomorrow Heidi has instructed me that I need a haircut ………….I remember the good old days when I could make that choice for myself but that particular avenue of pleasure has been closed off. So, like an obedient Cocker Spaniel I shall do as I am told and head for the spa. I was reading one of Heidi’s glossy magazines about the rich and famous getting their haircuts on the beach in St. Tropez. They can just sit on their sun loungers and keep tanning while some famous hair designer a Madame Prunet cuts their hair………….there were then photos of all the famous folks who use her services and who was there in one of the photos……….yep……………….George Hamilton……………….I wanna be like George.

Let’s have a look at some photos taken by Heidi yesterday during her tour of Naples with her Mum.

Here they are

1. The beautiful old railway station of Naples.

1. The beautiful old railway station of Naples.

2. Two photos of the inside of the old station which is now a shopping area.

2. Two photos of the inside of the old station which is now a shopping area.

2. Two photos of the inside of the old station which is now a shopping area.

3. The incredible Royal Theatre.

3. The incredible Royal Theatre.

4. Another shot of the old railway station.

4. Another shot of the old railway station.

5. Neapolitan desserts…..not sugar free :((

6. Neapolitan desserts…..not sugar free :((

6. Coastline of Naples.

7. Coastline of Naples

7. Coastline of Naples

7. Vesuvius

9. Vesuvius

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

Before the Q and A starts here is the joke of the day

A couple of drinking’ buddies, who are airplane mechanics, are in the hangar at London Heathrow 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. Whatever you do, don’t fart, I’m calling you from Jamaica.”

Here we go with today’s Q & A starting with comments and questions from the blog called Don’t Worry Be Happy.

SOUTHERNDREAMS – Glad to hear you are laughing again and there will be much more laughter waiting for you here. See you both very soon.
NANETTE – My Spanish phrase book is coming in very handy here especially with 128 people on from Mexico and 103 from Dominica. Heidi is here with her Mum and having a great time together…………that makes me happy as they have both been through so much in the past few years. I am doing OK and thank you Nani for your compassion and everlasting friendship. See you in January and muchos hugos.
KEVIN – I am glad you took a shower………..I didn’t want to say anything but…………well just glad you did and so is the rest of Long Island. Congratulations on the great job with breakfast for 200. I struggle to boil one egg in the morning so I cannot imagine the complexities of preparing breakfast for 200.It must feel great when people take photos of you and your work because it is outstanding……….well done mate. What is the latest on the car………….any news? Heidi says thank you for the wonderful and kind words you wrote to her and we both look forward to that cup of tea together. Hope to hear from you soon and please…………………..keep taking showers.
THE BEARS, CARL AND BARB – I am glad you were able to laugh even though you are going through such a tough time at the moment. If laughter is as I believe a medicine then Dr. John will try his best to provide as much as he possibly can. I am sure Carl is looking after you and as you continue to see all the various specialists I hope you know that all of us are thinking of you.
We will see you in January and until then stay positive and know that we are all here for you. Just incase you need a dose of laughter medicine, this is just for you.

An American tourist in London was desperate to take a leak. After a long search he couldn’t find any public bathroom to relieve himself. So he went down one of the side streets to take care of business. Just as he was unzipping, a London police officer showed up.

“Look here, old chap, what are you doing?” the officer asked.

“I’m sorry,” the American replied, “but I really gotta take a leak.”

“You can’t do that here,” the officer told him. “Look, follow me.”

The police officer led him to a beautiful garden with lots of grass, pretty flowers, and manicured hedges. “Here,” said the policeman, “whiz away.”

The American tourist shrugged, did his business on the flowers. “Ahhh,” he said in relief. Then turning toward the officer, he said, “This is very nice of you. Is this British courtesy?”

“No,” replied the policeman. “It’s the French Embassy.”

HEIDI – BETH & KEVIN – Thanks for sharing your blog with us all and congratulations it looks great and your kind words about Wee Jimmy have been forwarded by me to him and the wee chap will be all smiles I am sure. Its great to see other people starting a blog thingy and I hope more people take the time to do so as well. So, congratulations and thanks for sharing the photos of the kids who obviously had the time of their lives on the Carnival Glory. All we need now is a photo of Mr. Robinson! Cheers, and my best to all of you.
DAVE AND BARB – I am so glad you liked the review of the Emerald Princess. She is a spectacular ship with top class amenities and I would highly recommend her. Heidi and I hope to sail in February on her and I will of course slap on a full review of everything we do and see. There are days when I get tired or a little down…………obviously I can never show that on stage or in the publics view but there occasions when this blog thingy allows me to express how I feel and for that I am very grateful. My best to you both and thanks for the kind words.
LFTTNSFCF – You can borrow one of my clubs mate! By the way, John and Diane are going to eat dinner with you one night they told me today…………..they are excited to see you……………..as am I
BIG ED – We will have a casual Friday mate and as a VIP you can wear what you want when you want or nothing at all….it really is no big thing. Your photo album is looking great by the way and as you asked for one of my Mum and Dad I though I would send this one as its one of my favorites. It was taken on the Carnival Ecstasy in 1992, the first time they ever cruised. As you can see Mum loved the sun and like me my Dad does not. Anyway, here it is:
John’s Mum and Dad
Now, you asked if I drink alcohol on vacation and the answer is nope, I do not. I haven’t had a drink in 12 years now. The fact that I stopped drinking because I didn’t feel I could do the job on the ship meant that I lost the taste for it so I never drank on land either. When I am on vacation I drink lots of Tea and water and one soda a day……………also not drinking helps me take care of my diabetes as well. Now, as for the spice girl thing it seems to be morphing into the Male Nightgown Contest all over again……………..help. Send my best to Mrs. Big Ed and thanks as always mate for everything.
MARILYN VISCHIO – The news I got from home was very sad and I will be monitoring the situation carefully so if needed I can be there to help. I don’t want to give any details but it involves some one very special to me.
Anyway, I am sure everything will be ok……………..positive thoughts and all that. I am glad you like the new format with the interviews posted separately and I know a lot of people are enjoying Gary’s sunset photos. I am glad you also enjoyed my review of the Emerald Princess. You have to see their adults-only deck, The Sanctuary, it is extraordinary and I can imagine that this is a trend that others will follow. I will be giving the ships senior officers a tour and there will be so much food offered……………..just to make them feel guilty. All the best and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy.
KAREN R – Thanks for all the happy thoughts and I was happy again to hear that your husband may be considering taking a Carnival cruise. If there are any questions you may have that I may answer and that may gently persuade you then please let me know. Until then be happy and my best to all of you.
TERRI 910 – Ah, the comment card question. I have posted it again so fellow bloggers know what we are talking about.
We always remember to fill out our Comment Cards at the end of our cruises, but I have a question about the wording on them. It seems as though, rather than rating services, personnel and areas from “poor” to “excellent”….the upper-end (“excellent”) rating always seems to be worded “Exceeded my expectations.”
The problem is that we have become accustomed to and expect excellence from Carnival. So, when asked, the most TRUTHFUL answer is “Met my expectations” but it doesn’t seem quite right not to give someone/something the highest rating, simply because you were expecting the best and received it.
Let me start by saying………..”I agree totally”……………the wording is confusing and as you say, it is hard to exceed someone’s expectations when they have cruised many times with us before and the reason they keep coming back is the knowledge of the wonderful product we provide. I also have to say that unfortunately the “met my expectations” is a fail mark based on the company’s marking system which is why you have the little speech given by cruise directors to mark the exceeded column only.
This, in my opinion has to change and hopefully we will return to a more simple structure of Poor, Good and Excellent……..those will give a better way of seeing what we can improve on. What do you all think? I really would like everyone’s comments on this please. Do you fill out the cards, what do you base your markings on…………please can I have your feedback? Thanks Terri and it will be interesting to see what everyone has to say. All the best.
RIKKI BOYCE – There will indeed be a welcome aboard get together on the 28th…………..I will let you all know when that will be and where. I am glad you like the blog so much and I promise to keep writing as long as I can. See you very soon.
LINDA HERNACKI – I just wanted to say a huge thank you Linda for the posting I just read. I do get down sometimes about my diabetes and years of unhealthy eating were I am sure to blame in my case. As I was just writing to another blogger, one of the great additions to writing this blog everyday is the fact that I can be myself and if I am having a bad day then I can tell my thousands of blog friends all about it. Thank you again for your understanding and by the end of this week I will have decided when Heidi and I will take a much needed rest and of course how the blog will continue over the time I am on vacation. My best as always to you both.
SHELLY P – That was a great story and I thank you for making me smile. One good story deserves another so here is one for you.

A cruise ship captain has to convince the passengers of his sinking ship to jump overboard. He has to use a different approach with each European. He tells the English it would be unsporting of them not to jump. He tells the French it would be the smart thing to do. He tells the Germans that it is an order. And he tells the Italians that jumping overboard is forbidden.

Thanks again Shelly and please feel free to share more stories with us all.

NICO R – I KNOW YOUR FAVORITE WAITER Rico very well and you are right to sing his praises as he is excellent and very funny. I hope indeed that one day your dream of working for Carnival comes true and thanks again for saying how much you enjoyed the last few thingies. Cheers mate
MARIE DROHAN – You asked if I will be the cruise director on the Carnival Freedom for the January 26 cruise. I am not certain at the moment as that is the cruise following on from the bloggers cruise and it will be Todd’s ship then. However, I will do my best to sail and regardless I know you will have a fantastic time. Hope to see you soon Marie.
IVANA – You will be here soon and you are right, Heidi and I do need a vacation and hopefully this will be sorted by the end of the week. I will see you when you are onboard soon though.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Gary is excited to be your personal photographer and I could always do with a secretary. Thank you mostly though for saying how much reading the blog makes your day……….you have no idea how much hearing that makes my day. I am going to send plans into the office for the naming ceremony for the Carnival Splendor as I really would like this to be a grand event with all the bells and whistles and instead of a big gala dinner …………fish and chips for everyone followed by lashings of hot Spotted Dick. Thanks Carol and hope to hear from you each and every day.
DAVE MYERLY – I CHECKED WITH THE Chef and the correct way for the chocolate cake to be is hot and a slightly runny center…..as in melting. Which way did you prefer it mate? How’s Jo?
LINDSEY B – I am glad you booked the Carnival Triumph, Lindsey. I know you were disappointed that you could not book the Carnival Liberty but you will love the CT …………it is one of my favorite ships. Heidi and I were there for 3 years and we always look back with such fond memories. She had a special something about her right from delivery and that special something is still there today as you will see.
You asked if I perform the Bedtime Story every week? It has become my signature dish and although different every week the main ingredients are the same and the result is hopefully lots of laughter and hero status for the performers. Anyway, I am glad you enjoyed it so much as I hope you are the blog.
DWA 76 – Sorry the boss is on your case mate and please tell him it is my fault. Maybe you should tell him about the blog so he knows what you are laughing about. I am glad you liked the happy blog and I hope you are enjoying today’s as much. Cheers mate.

WE NOW MOVE ON TO QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS FROM THE BLOG CALLED HUNGRY FOR AN EMERALD

ROBIN – I am sorry that your first cruise will not be with me but you will have a wonderful time I promise. I am glad you laughed at the “24” references on the last blog and if you have any questions about your forthcoming cruise I will be here for you. All the best.
SUSAN – Hello Susan. How are you and I hope you are reading this blog thing with a good cup of tea and a Hob Nob. ……(that’s a cookie for anyone going what the heck is a Hob Nob?) It is great to hear that Carnival and Princess have that special something that Royal Caribbean does not have. I am anxious to sail on the Emerald Princess and I should find out soon if I can indeed do this in February……..maybe we shall see each other then. I to was amazed at the food choices even though I got none myself and I am particularly interested in how the Anytime Dining works as that is not something I am familiar with. Anyway, thanks for the great posting and I am proud to hear that you enjoyed me as a CD so much and I truly look forward to seeing James work……he looks like he is a brilliant CD. So, have a Hob Nob for me and hope to see you soon.
SOUTHERN DREAMS – I know they did not feed me but luckily the Emerald Princess was so magnificent that most of the time my hunger pangs were swept aside by just how super the vessel was and how friendly the crew was to both of us. I am still overjoyed at the news that the doctor has given you permission to sail and we will be looking forward to saying hello to you and bowing before the Prince. See you soon and stay well
KEVIN – You know, it might be something to think about for the future ……….a bloggers cruise group on a Princess ship ……… mmmmmm …… something to think about. For now, I have to decide where and when we have the 2009 carnival bloggers cruise…….Alaska seems to be favorite but Caribbean may be the way to go. Back to the Emerald Princess and yes, Sabatini’s looks amazing and I really am looking forward to writing about………well food…….any kind of food……….as I got sod all last time I was there. Seriously, I thought everything about the ship looked so wonderfully thought out and I hope to reveal more of her secrets to everyone soon. Cheers mate…….what is happening on the car front
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – Hello Paul and it is good to hear from you. I am sorry that your last message got lost in the shuffle of cyber space thingy. How are you first of all, I hope this finds you well. You asked the question about people who miss the ship and if there is anyone to help them when they do so. The answer is yes. Carnival hires an agency in each and every port that one of our ships call at and it is their job to assist with things like guests missing the vessel as well as a host of other duties, as well. I will be interviewing one such agency very soon and will put that on a forthcoming blog. Thank you mate for the kind words and deeds for Tara, Heidi and myself and we are looking forward so very much to hopefully meeting you one day soon. I really enjoyed the tour of the Emerald Princess and although very hungry when I left, I left with a sense that the ship was truly special. So, stay in touch Paul and as always Heidi and I send our warmest and kindest regards to you and your family.
JOHN AND MICHELE LEWIS – Once again it is always wonderful to hear back from someone who has just returned from a cruise here on the Carnival Freedom and I am so happy that you had such a brilliant time. You asked if I could, on my next review, compare the Princess and Carnival products and how they differ. I think that may be something I can do once I have sailed on a Princess ship, something I hopefully will realize next year. You also asked about when Carnival Corporation takes on another family member how they differentiate between the lines. I remember many years ago that when Carnival Corporation took over Holland America that there was fear and trepidation that the line’s history and heritage would be gone forever…………..but what changed …………….nothing……………well, except that the line was rejuvenated with the building of new vessels and apart from some subtle behind the scenes changes the product on board………..remained the same………..in fact it improved. This can now be said of Costa Cruises. Princess Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn, Cunard Line and other sister companies. There is without doubt something on the cruise menu to suit every taste and all committed to being the best cruise line in the business……………..the winner………………is you! So, after that advertisement (a pretty good one even though I do say so myself) I will indeed write a review once I have sailed on the Emerald Princess and hopefully this will help you decide what cruise to take in the future. Maybe I should open an online travel agency……………..mmmmmmmm. All the best to you both and thanks for allowing me a chance to chat about the family.
THE BEARS, CARL AND BARB – I am glad that the review of the Emerald Princess had you so excited and like me it seems you are a big lobster fan. The International Coffee shop was amazing ………..except I couldn’t actually taste anything. Maybe one day, we will all take a Princess cruise so we can experience all the food ourselves. After all, you bears have to stock up on food for the winter don’t you?
BIG ED – If there is a stampede for food, then its every man and woman for themselves. I can see us rushing to the buffets, by passing the silverware and just eating with the tongs!
LFTTNSFP – You would have liked the cigar bar on the Emerald Princess as it is completely enclosed and the smoke does not affect any other area. Something we can all learn form I think. ……….but no snacks 🙁
JO MYERLY – You are right of course. When the Emerald Senior Officers come on the Carnival Freedom I will lavish them with food and maybe they will feel a little guilty that I was left with just a Tic Tac. They were such nice people though and it will be an honour to show them the Carnival Freedom. Wish you were here to help me with the tour. How are you both?
SHARON AND JEFF – Hello both of you and it is great to see you posting again. It sounds like your Crown Princess cruise was truly special and I was wondering what impressed you most about the vessel. Who was the cruise director and what did you have when you ate at the Crown Grill. I still do not know for sure if I will be the cruise director on the Carnival Splendor’s South American cruise but I can tell you that you are correct, it is selling quickly. What cruise are you taking in England, I am interested to know. Sorry to ask so many questions………..the shoe is on the other foot here. I am so happy to hear that you love the blog so much and I truly appreciate your kind words. Please write soon.
ARNOLD AND ELIZABETH TUCKER – Sorry I made you drool over your computer by posting the menus from the Emerald Princess restaurants …………..there is certainly plenty to drool about. I hope your business trip to California went well and it was nice of you to mention the fact that you saw the Carnival Elation in San Diego. I am so sorry to hear that your son has not called. I am sure he will realize that he must and to realize a son must cherish every minute they have with Mum and Dad. Please let me know who things are now and we will see you soon.
GREG BALDASARRI – just in case you happen to read the blog while on the Carnival Conquest, I wanted to say I hope you are having a great time mate. Write when you get back please and have fun.
SCOTT – Thank, I am happy you enjoyed the tour of the Emerald Princess. Did I forget to name Andrew in the photo……………let me check …………………. bugger……………sorry Andrew, my fault and even though I only got a Diet Coke I did not mean to drop his name from the description…………sorry mate. I will review the full menu after I cruise next year and judging by the menu I can forget any kind of diet that week. Thanks for the kind words and for pointing out yet another mistake of mine …..bugger!
SAMOU – I know of the hotel you are staying in and I think it will suit you perfectly. You can indeed order a special cake once you are onboard from the Formalities shop located on promenade Deck 5. This can be delivered to your cabin or ordered at dinner. Thank you so much for mentioning my 20 years with Carnival award. This will be placed in my Dad’s office at home which already resembles a Carnival museum. See you very soon and I know you will have a wonderful time.
LISA AND ELAINE – Goodness me. If I made you want to take a Princess cruise because of my article then ……wow…….maybe I should consider writing reviews more often. As for writing for a travel magazine………..well, I don’t think my style would suit anything else but my own blog. “What style” I hear you cry? …………………..anyway, thanks so much for the compliments and I hope you do take a Princess cruise one day……………I know I can’t wait to experience it for myself. I hope you enjoyed feasting on sugar free jellybeans and I am sure that the Jewish faith will forgive your little indiscretion………whether the rest of the your family will with the pending after effects………….that is another matter. Wishing you and all members of the Jewish faith a happy Yom Kippur and thanks again for your support of the blog.
MARILYN VISCHIO – Well spotted…………boy, I am full of mistakes today. Yes, Sabatinis do indeed have meat dishes and they include:
CARVED CHOP OF PIEMONTESE VEAL
JUMBO SEA SCALLOPS SEASONED WITH PEPPER AND GALLIANO
SEA BASS WITH MUSTARD CRUST AND ASPARAGUS
STUFFED SUPREME OF CHICKEN
ANGUS BEEF COOKED IN A SUGAR FREE JELLY BEAN SAUCE
Sounds pretty good does it not? What would you have? Thanks for letting me slap these on and sorry I did not do this before. Thanks for taking the time to read the blog thingy and all the best.
NANCI BRENNAN – Just in case I do come to your house, what will we have for dinner? You never know, I may just pop over one day. Cheers.
NANETTEALI – I have not seen the Porthole magazine article yet but I know a copy is on the way to me. Thanks Nanni for the insight to the article and I am glad that you and the writer praise the shows here so much, we are truly proud of them. I will make sure that I keep in touch with you during the bloggers cruise and I will do my best to write in such a way as to make sure you feel like you are actually there Nani. We will see each other the week before and I wish you and the family much hugos as usual. How are the kids?
TERESA C – I agree with you Teresa. You and I would be in The Sanctuary the entire time……..why go ashore? This was one of the areas that impressed me so very much and I am sure it must be a huge draw to the passengers who want that extra peace and quiet, that extra luxurious feeling of tranquility……………yep………..that’s me. I am glad also that the blog allows for memories of your 2005 cruise to Venice to return and I remember us docking downtown for many reasons………….one of them being I got chastised by the Venetian Police because I had the big screen on too loud and they made me turn it off. Maybe it is time for new memories and a chance to sample The Sanctuary for yourself. All the best Teresa.
SHERRY NILES – Thanks for accidentally finding my blog. I have actually had a lot of people who have told me that it is hard to find the first time …………I must make it easier to do so. OK, you asked about the Pavarotti concert we played on the Seaside Theatre Big Screen during your recent cruise. It is a concert called “The Event” and was made in celebration of the World Soccer Cup held in Italy in 1990. This is when the world first got to hear his incomparable voice and the signature tune which every TV station in the world played before each game was of course “Nesun Dorma”…………….nobody sang that like Pavarotti. Here is a link thingy to the concert from Amazon …………http://www.amazon.com/Pavarotti-Event-World-Celebration. So, I hope you have a lot of fond memories of the cruise and please keep reading the blog thingy. I wish you and your family all the best.
ALAN AND CHRIS – I too am so sorry that we never actually met. One of the biggest problems I have is that time does not always allow for me to meet as many of the 3,000-plus guests who sail each cruise and now so much of any free time I may have had is spent here, slaving over a hot keyboard. I wore my Red Sox Baseball hat you gave me the other day when I went ashore and was ridiculed by a Yankees fan………………I pretended I that I was a huge Red Sox fan and that I knew that his Yankees were not as good but I looked a right idiot when he asked me who he thought our best pitching person was…………and when I said “ALONZO MOURNING” that he realized I was full of……………..that I knew nothing about baseball. I do know however that I love the hat and will wear it often……..especially when surrounded by friends from New York ……………..who is the best pitching person by the way? Now, you are not the first and you will not be the last to say that Rome is one of the most disorganized airports in Europe. Italians make great cars, great suits, great love……………but they don’t do organization…………….oh no…………..and the supreme example of this …………..Rome Airport. Guests sometimes complain that we get them off the ship too early but there is no such thing as “too early ” at Rome airport as you discovered. Anyway, on the bright side, you and your luggage are home safe and all that remains to be said is again a huge thank you to you for the hat and for the kind words and please send my best to my friends from Salem…………hopefully you will give them the address of this blog thingy. All the best mate.
CAPTAIN CHUCK – Hello captain and before we discuss dining options may I ask how Dad is doing as Heidi and I continue to hope he is making good progress. Now, as far as dining is concerned, Princess seems to have got it right by offering both anytime and set dining options. Hopefully, I will get to sail on the vessel soon and one of the first things I will look forward to seeing (apart from the food itself) is the Anytime Dining options and how they work. Glad you enjoyed the review so much and there will be other ship reviews forthcoming. Once again, all the best to you and the family
DIVETRASH – It looks like you have completed a lot of reading catching up on all the blog thingies. I am so glad you appreciated the interview with Xander our senior technician as he and people like him are often the unsung heroes in the theatre world so it was great to acknowledge him. Now, I have not read John Cleese’s second book “Life and How To Survive It” so if you do have a spare copy…………well that would be simply marvelous. How sorry I was to read about your sister and her new battle against cancer. Her fight is hopefully over now the surgery was successful but I can see how upset you are by your words of remembrance about your Mum and that fact that you lost her through cancer as well. You were quick to wish blessings upon SouthernDreams and Barb and Tara and we of course extend those wishes to you and your sister and know that we are all thinking of her and you during the tough times ahead. Welcome back and keep smiling…………..here is something to help you do just that………………….this is not an anti George Bush joke – it’s just one that was sent to me that I thought was really cute and hope it brightens your day.

George Bush and Dick Cheney were at a fancy Washington restaurant…

The waitress approaches their table to take their order. She is young and very attractive. She asks Cheney what he wants, and he replies: “I’ll have the heart-healthy salad.”
“Very good, sir,” she replies, and turning to Bush she asks, “And what do you want, Mr. President?”
Bush answers: “How about a quickie?” Taken aback, the waitress slaps him and says: “I’m shocked and disappointed in you. I thought your administration that was committed to high principles and morality. I’m sorry I voted for you.”
With that, the waitress departed in a huff. Cheney leans over to Bush, and says: “Mr. President, I believe that’s pronounced quiche.”

On that note, here endeth today’s Q and A and I will continue tomorrow with one from Nico R and Okteach and continue from there.

Tomorrow I will be posting a fantastic interview with Mr. Rick Meadows of Holland America Line. Rick has given us some wonderful insights into the world of sales and marketing along with his visions on the industry. I promise that this is something to look forward to. There will also be two interviews with Carnival crew members………………are you enjoying these?

I have two things to share with you before I go. One happy, one sad …………….. which do we do first …………..mmmmmmm.

OK, let’s have some fun. I want you to meet two great characters from the Welcome Aboard show. The first is Keith from Orlando. He was in the spoon game and pretended to speak no English………….the reason I have highlighted him though is that when we spoke afterwards he told me that he had such a great time on stage and that he had not laughed so much in ages. He then told me that last year he had lost his son in Afghanistan………….his son was not a soldier but worked for the Red Cross and that they had all cruised as a family back in 2004 on the Carnival Legend………………..this was their first vacation since that incident. We chatted and I told him that it was fate that I had picked him………………it was time to start laughing again…………even for just a while.

Here is Keith………………laughing.

Here is Keith………………laughing.

Here is Keith………………laughing.

Here is Keith………………laughing.

Then there was another chap……………..his name was Fred. I was only a few minutes into the show when he walked to the front of the stage and as I was in full throw interrupted me with the words “have you seen my wife?” ……………. well you can imagine the fun I could have had but I felt he was a little confused so rather than go straight into some comedy stuff I asked him his wife’s name… “Ethel,” he said and continued “We have been married for 56 years and any chance she gets she loses me”…………and on that note…………….let the fun begin. The audience were laughing a lot by now and then I asked if Ethel was in the room and she was……………….on the very back row of the balcony ………………as far away from Fred as she could get. “There she is,” I said ……….”how do I get up there?” cried Fred………………….seeing that Fred had his cabin key attached to one of those long bendy chains………………….well let’s just say we went for a walk as I led him all the way upstairs……………….what a sport he was……….what a couple!

Have a look.

Fred

Fred

Fred

We are in Rhodes today for our last ever call here. Unfortunately I don’t have time to get off the ship as I am here blogging. Heidi is ashore with Mum and will bring me back a gyro and some photos to share with you all…………….the photos that is……….not the gyro. I will miss this place and am sad that it is not part of our Itinerary today………….however………….this man is not going to miss it……………read this.

NOTES Mr. *&^%$ 002713338A

GENERAL
_____- wants to speak with Cruise Director about money ashore

Mr. & Mrs. *&^% came to the desk in order to state that none of the shops in Rhodes would take United States Dollars. The guests were very angry and said that the dollar is taken everywhere and when they were on Royal Caribbean last year the ports took dollars and everyone spoke English. Purser explained that the currency in Europe is the Euro but they would not listen and wanted to speak to the man on the television who said that they would take dollars everywhere. Purser asked if they meant john the cruise director and they said yes. Purser explained that John would not say that they take Dollars in Greece but guest insisted they speak to him and left the desk. Tasked to Cruise Director.

Well, that’s me off then……………goodbye Carnival ………….thanks for 20 great years………………I am off to work for Royal Caribbean who are so powerful they can get an entire country to swap from their own currency to the dollar just because one of their ship’s is in port……………….poor Mr. and Mrs. Dollar………………..still, they should be happy…………..I made a few phone calls. Istanbul now takes only dollars…………….everyone speaks English…………and…………….I moved the entire city to the left……….not even Royal Caribbean can do that!

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.