A Happy Ending

September 29, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning………….it is 7:40 am and I thought I would have a little blogging time before the wonders of the day start. We have just begun our passage through the Dardanelles formerly known as the Hellespont is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is a beautiful morning and the sea is calm and flat. The sun has risen and is already painting gorgeous shimmering patterns across the water. There is a gentle breeze blowing, it is a perfect day. She looked lovingly into his deep blue eyes her heart beating faster as he gently kissed her. His firm, strong hands reached down and caressed her………………………sorry……………….I lost it there for a moment and turned into Jackie Collins……..time for a cold shower………..back in a moment.

OK, I am back.

Just getting ready for the morning show. I have 44 letters to read out this morning and then go straight into my travel talk for Greece and Livorno so it will be a busy morning. Today’s show will be one of those where I have not had time to read them before I go live so it will be interesting to see what comes up. Anyway, I am off to the show and I will be back to the blog this afternoon after the travel talk and the Marriage Show.

Oh, quickly, before I go, I am in the doghouse this morning because I woke Heidi up by closing the bathroom door loudly, so as I am already in the doghouse here is the joke of the day…………….and it’s a blonde joke………..sorry Heidi.

A blonde walks into the police department looking for a job. The captain says they can’t just turn her away, and orders to desk officer to ask her a few questions as if doing an interview

Not having any idea what to ask her to disqualify her application, the officer asks, “What’s 2+2?”

“Ummm… 4!” the blonde says.

Dang, the officer thinks, so tries a harder one: “What’s the square root of 100?”

“Ummm… 10!” the blonde says.

“Good!” the officer says, deciding to switch from math to history. “OK, who killed Abraham Lincoln?”

“Ummm… I don’t know,” she admits.

“Well, you can go home and think about it,” he says, “and come back later and tell me what you’ve figured out.” He figures that’s the last he’ll see of her. The blonde goes home and calls up one of her friends, who asks her if she got the job.

“Not only did I get the job,” the blonde says, “but I’ve already been assigned to a murder case!”

That’s me finished then……………off to the show.

Good Afternoon. It is now 4:15 pm and it has been a busy day. The morning show was ……..well……….interesting. I arrived to the studio and found a “gift” waiting for me…………..it was a…………..well………….have a look for yourself.

Towel Man

Towel Man

The letters D and M refer to a gentlemen who was in the previous show called Richard Mann or Dick Mann as he called himself and some industrious guests had taken the time to make a model of him including pair of “happy underwear.” When the show was over I left Dick there and as far as I know, he is still there now………………….the thing’s people do.

It is amazing how something you say can be laughed at by 1,000 people but 1 person will take offense. Such a thing happened to me today. I had made reference two nights ago at our past guest party to the Carnival Splendor and the brilliant Baltic itinerary it will be undertaking. I explained the whole………….you know what………….let me just tell you word for word what I said.

“The Carnival Splendor will cruise to some of the most incredible ports any Carnival ship has ever visited. Sailing from Dover and the famous White Cliffs we visit the museums, windmills and canals of the Amsterdam. Then it is off to Denmark’s capital Copenhagen including a visit to the stunning Tivoli gardens and the world of Hans Christian Andersen. Then we sail to the historic and incomparable city of St. Petersburg, Russia as we marvel at the Hermitage and the Church of the Spilled Blood. We also call at Warnemunde, Germany, Helsinki, Finland and of course we save the best to last when we call at the most romantic city in the world, Cleveland, Ohio “……………….have never said this before and I have no idea why I said it this time but it was met with laughter across the room and I carried on.

This morning during my Q and A for Athens, Katakolon and Livorno one of the first questions I received was from a lady from guess where? ………………..yep, Cleveland. She told me and the 200 folks in the lounge that I was to stop speaking so negatively about Cleveland and that she thought I had been very rude. Well, I was stunned and couldn’t remember when I had said something about her beloved city and I had to ask her what she was referring to…………then when she reminded me I apologized……….I mean really apologized. I told her I had met no offense and that I was just trying to be silly…………I think she excepted my apology and I took her name and cabin number and will write her a personal letter tonight. It just shows you that you never know how people will take what you say………………..it’s a fine line this comedy thing.

Here are today’s photos taken by Heidi during her tour of Istanbul with Mum.

1. The Blue Mosque
1. The Blue Mosque
2.Inside the Blue Mosque. Notice the colour of the stained glass and tiles, this is the reason it is called The Blue Mosque
2.Inside the Blue Mosque. Notice the colour of the stained glass and tiles, this is the reason it is called The Blue Mosque
3. The entrance to the Grand Bazaar
3. The entrance to the Grand Bazaar
4. One of the 4,000 shops in the Grand Bazaar………anybody want to buy a lamp?
4. One of the 4,000 shops in the Grand Bazaar………anybody want to buy a lamp?
5. Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque
5. Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque
6. A busy day in Istanbul
6. A busy day in Istanbul
7. Heidi, her Mum and our Tour Operator and friend Karen.
7. Heidi, her Mum and our Tour Operator and friend Karen.
Here are the letters from today’s In Their Own Words Section …………….some really special ones today.

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

In Their Own Words

Time for the Q and A even though my two fingers have no feeling in them………..Oh, just wanted to say that Gary really appreciates all the wonderful comments you have written about his sunset photos. Gary is a talented lad and if he uses all the gifts he has been given he will be sitting in this chair one day soon.

We start today though with questions, thank you’s and questions from the blog called “To All of You.” To skip the Q&A, click here.

NICO R – Many thanks for the kind words mate. Hope all is well.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – How are you feeling? Everything is set here for you and after the dark days of the past few weeks I hope you are ready for some fun. See you soon and best to Charlie.
HEIDI & BETH & KEVIN – Heidi controls Thursdays, in fact she controls all the days that end in Y. Thanks for the kind words and it is a continuing pleasure to use the blog thingy to communicate with three great friends. Cheers.
PAULA BAKER – My goodness I am being spoiled today and now to hear that in the future you only want to cruise with me….well that’s so wonderful to hear. I just hope I can live up to your expectations. Please drop me a line when you get onboard and just in case we do not blog with each other again before the cruise………….let me say “have a safe journey and see you soon.”
ARNOLD AND ELIZABETH TUCKER – I received my Aston Martin you sent me in your dreams. It was a DB9, black and Heidi and I drove around Miami Beach in it. We were having a wonderful time until a very tanned George Hamilton drove past me in his Bentley Convertible with Catherine Zeta Jones in the front seat. Thanks again for such sincere words and I will indeed keep blogging as long as I can. My best to you both.
OKTEACH – I have indeed asked for the lounge at 11 am and I will make sure a bar waiter is there for you. Just to let you know that the group will miss the Venice, Dubrovnik and Messina talk, just wanted to point that out. Anyway, just confirm one more time in the next blog and all will be set. Cheers.
CAPTAIN CHUCK – No worries Captain. I know you have a lot of concerns at the moment and as always Heidi and I hope Dad is doing OK. Thanks for the words of congratulations Captain.
LFTTNSFCF – I would have been happy with a solid gold plastic trophy. However, the award is amazing and I am so grateful to everyone who voted for me. See you both soon.
SUSAN B – I am sorry I made you cry Susan and if I knew your address I would send you some tissues. Many thanks for the words of congratulations and I do hope that you continue to enjoy the blog. As for the money…………Carnival have always paid me what I am worth although I do wish they would pay me by the pound………….weight that is not currency. Wishing you continued happiness.
RAY – Heidi is off with Mum at the moment but I will make sure she sees your comments. You are correct of course and Heidi deserves all the praise for putting up with me in every way, shape and form …………..especially as I am on a sugar free diet…that takes a lot of putting up with. Thanks mate and if Heidi was here she would say dooeeeeeeeeeeeee.
DAVE AND BARB – It was worth the wait. Many thanks for such a nice statement though and hope you are both well.
SUSAN B – You asked if we can show Notting Hill on the big screen on the Bloggers Cruise………….not while I have breath in my body!……………………………..OK, I guess we can but if you need me while its playing I will be subjecting myself to Chinese Water Torture or washing Big Ed’s underwear…..two activities I would much rather do than watch that film……………..again!
BIG ED – How funny, we were just talking about you and here you are. You won’t have time to watch football mate as we have things to do. I also thought Notting Hill would have been write up your street. I can imagine you sitting in front of the big screen, crying as Julia leaves Hugh…………you big softy you.
J – JOHN – Is it still that warm mate? I bet your air conditioning bill is high! Anyway, it is still a place that I would love to visit but maybe in the winter…………..do you have a winter? Thanks for the nice words mate and I hope you stay cool. See you in July.
J & K WATTS – The space time continuum! Do I detect a Trekkie? Is it only 112 days to the Bloggers Cruise? Goodness me, I had better get my skates on, there is so much to do. Tell the Mrs. that the days will go quickly and hopefully the blog thingy will keep her going until you walk (or beam) onto the vessel on January 19th. My best to you both and I appreciated your lovely words very much.
RUTH JAMISON – Thanks Ruth and a special thank you for mentioning the word TEAM. It does indeed take lots of people lots of time to put this all together and I shall be rewarding each and everyone of them when we see each other with dinner…………on me ………………….. at Burger King. Do you know that Roberto and I have never met? He does so much for the blog thingy and thank you for allowing me the chance to mention him again. I am glad you find the blog and the photos therapeutic and I will keep the therapy going as long as I am able. My continuing best wishes to you and your family.
HOT STAR – Thanks so much for the Mazel Tov…………it was funny actually reading that because yesterday I had a craving for a New York bagel. When I was on the Carnival Destiny and Carnival Legend and Carnival Triumph we used to dock in New York at pier 20. Across the road from there is a shop called the New York Bagel Company. Every morning I would go and get bagels for the staff and as I left the little old man (I wish I could remember his name) would always say Mazel Tof to me when I left the shop………………..he would congratulate me on being on the “big ship” as he used to call it…………..I miss him but I miss his bagels more. I have mahjong, I have jelly beans, we have cards and bridge pads but what the heck is pinochle…..wasn’t he a general from Chile? Anyway, let me know what I can do for the group and we will see you all soon. Lockhiem…………spelt wrong I am sure but said with meaning.
DWA 76 – many thanks mate. I so look forward to shaking your hand one day soon.
DIEGO – 1ST OFFICER – Ruffiano!
LISA AND ELAINE – A very funny story. I get nervous flying with Virgin Airlines as they don’t go all the way. Hope you are both well and thanks for the good laugh.
DAYLE WITH A Y – Wow, I just read the selection of sugar free sweets and I am in heaven. Cola bottles, gummies and wine gums please and there will be gifts galore for you in exchange……………you are spooling me.OK, lets chat about your questions. Your stateroom stewardess will be Merlyn form the Philippines. She is fantastic and you will love her friendliness and smile. The waiter and assistant waiter …….well that’s a little more difficult as they work on a rotation basis and it is a little early to say who you will have. I will however find out next week sometime and let you know ASAP. How kind of you to think about the staff, you are very special people. I know Carnival has yet to sail into Victoria but you never know what the future holds especially with your sweet shop and a cricket field……………let me see what I can do. I will chat with you again before you sail and many thanks for everything.
SUZANNE 217 – What does the “S” stand for in my middle name you ask………..”Stephen.” Yep, I have two middle names unlike my Dad who is Nev William Arthur Booth James Heald…………..thanks Mum for just giving me the one middle name. Thanks for the kind words Suzanne, which is by the way my sister’s name.
INMN253 – Thanks to you for the words of congratulations on winning the ward. If you intend to take photos of Alan, Big Ed and I in thongs, may I suggest a wide angle lens…………..and a zoom lens for Alan. I can imagine how annoying the ringing of a cell phone is in a serious performance as its pretty annoying when I am just larking around on stage. How is everything in Minnesota…………I love the place especially that you serve every kind of food……………..on a stick. Hope all is well and my best regards to you and yours.
CINDY 56 – Tears of happiness………….well that’s OK then and therefore I am glad the blog thingy made you cry. I still love Old Spice (George Hamilton wears that by the way) but Heidi says it smells like my bottom after eating a whole bag of jelly beans. Therefore, that particular avenue of pleasure has been closed off (there are very few open) and now she has me wearing something by Channel………….what a rip off. Old Spice smells better and only costs 10 euros. The stuff Heidi has me wear costs 50 euros. When I put it on it smells like the inside of Frenchman’s sock after he has run a marathon…………..I prefer the smell of my bottom and Old Spice. However, she is the boss so what can I do. Anyway, I am glad you enjoy the blogs so much and I hope to keep the laughter going for as long as possible.
KIM PARKER – What wonderful and humbling words. Thank you so much for taking the time to write them and I do hope you will come back and see us again soon. My best to you all and we will see each other soon.
JACKIE SCHORMAN – I was very happy to hear that you and Bob arrived home safely and even happier to read that you so enjoyed your recent anniversary cruise. I remember reading your letter and in fact, if you go back to the blogs I wrote while you were onboard you will see that I actually posted your letter on the blog itself as part of the In Their Own Words Section. I think we should go ahead and plan the movie and get it into production straight away. I see that you are already planning your next cruise and if I can help you with this in anyway please let me know. Until then I wish you and Bob continued happiness and please keep reading the blog thingy.


A CRUISE BY ANY OTHER NAME – What a great way to start these comments by reading such vivacious words and ones I needed to hear. I was starting to second guess myself after reading a note from a brilliant writer from within the cruise industry that the blog had run its course. I was worried that he may be correct also when he said that by mentioning negative comments guests had made or their actions that this would deter people from sailing with us. However, from your comments I see that this is not the case and is in fact the opposite. How wonderful that having never cruised with Carnival that having read the blog you are now considering taking a cruise vacation with us. I was determined that this blog would pass on the truth about my life onboard and not just the rosy days and that is how I will continue. Many thanks for your gracious words which could not have come at a better time. My best to you and please come and sail.
LINDSEY B – The Carnival Freedom will return to Istanbul next season as will Carnival Splendor but the last two 12-day cruises this season will be Grand Med cruises. I am glad you enjoy the stories of happy and not so happy guests and the mixture is a very important part to the recipe of the blog which I hope you continue to enjoy. Thanks Lindsey and all the best.
GIRLDOC – I am not surprised you loved Dominica, it is a brilliant place and the river tubing sounds awesome (said in an American accent.) I to love Aruba, Curacao, etc but the logistics of getting there are not so easy. Aruba is a long way to go and on a seven-day cruise it involves having to leave from San Juan and going full speed all the way down just to get there. Obviously, with the rising price of fuel being a factor many Cruise Lines have stopped going all the way down South to these beautiful ports of call. However, I totally agree that some of the ports are overcrowded and that that feature on so many itineraries. Carnival is working very hard to deploy the ships to different locations and recently we have added Grand Turk to some of our ships itineraries and from what I hear it is stunning. Watch out for new locations coming your way soon and with Europe becoming more and more popular it is fast becoming “The New Caribbean.” So, thanks for your thoughts and let us see what the future holds. My best wishes Doc to you and the family.
JOHN AND SUSAN IN FRISCO – Thanks to you both for the support. Carnival has been nothing but supportive and apart from the disclaimer thingy which they had to do of course, the Corporation has stood by me 100%. The comments that the blog had run its course and that I spent to much time highlighting the negative were written by a wonderful travel writer from a major publication. It was because this person is so talented and that I enjoy his work that I started to think he may be right………but judging from everyone’s comments…………..he was not. Thanks again and your words of praise mean so much. Cheers.
LONGING2CRUISE – Welcome back from the Carnival Ecstasy and many thanks for your words of congratulations. So, how was the cruise? Did you meet Goose the Cruise Director? I would love to hear your comments and hope therefore you write soon. All the best and thanks again for everything.
BONNIE AND PRINCE CHARLIE – You are welcome, lighting a candle for you was something Heidi wanted to do. She also lit one for her Dad and Barb. So, you have your tickets and you will be here before you know it. As for matching thongs, well Alan and Ed are wearing matching ones or maybe they will just share one. I will see you both soon.
RICH HASKE – Thanks mate, how kind you are to say so. I agree that if they have the time Cruise Directors from other lines should write a blog as it is such a great communication tool and a wonderful way to have fun with cruising people like your good self. Thanks mate.
DAVE WHITTINGTON – I so enjoyed reading these words you wrote Dave…”The infusion of different cultures can do nothing but give a person a greater understanding of the world.” Thank you for reminding us all of that and, “till we meet again,” I wish you and your family joy and happiness. Cheers mate.
BIG ED – The poor man, he so wanted to go to Montana but the cook shot him. For those of you who think I have suddenly gone mad I am talking about ‘The Hunt for Red October.” Ed, I need suggestions for Alan thong, any ideas?
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Hope you enjoyed reading the last few blog thingies and thank you so much for taking the time to say congratulations to me on winning the award thingy. My spelling has never been that great, just ask my Dad the retired school master. Your personal photographer Gary sends his regards to you and he tells me that he will be adding further sunset photos to the blog shortly. I have passed on the idea of making sugar free cheesecake to both Heidi and my Mum. I really don’t have a sweet tooth which is lucky but I do miss Cheesecake so I am anxious to try it with Splendor as you mentioned …….thanks Chef Carol. I promise that by the end of the year we will know when the next bloggers cruise is and where we will go and I truly hope that yours is one of the first names I see on the list of bloggers who will be all together for that fun event. Thanks again Carol and I wish you a wonderful weekend.
TRAVELADY – I think that a place for the Cruise Critic group to meet has been arranged already for the cruise of the 16th. If not then I suggest you meet at 5:15pm on Lido Deck aft on embarkation day which will still allow you to come to the welcome aboard talk at 4:30pm. Then, for sea day 1 if you want a place and time to meet please let me know what time. I suggest the afternoon and I will await your advice. My best to you and all the CC people. See you soon.
SAMANTAH LLOYD – Hello Sam, of course I remember you and how wonderful to hear from you. For those who didn’t read Sam’s posting she was a dancer on the Carnival Destiny in 1996 and was one of the most beautiful performers I have ever seen. Sorry Sam, I had to introduce you there. I am so happy you found the blog thingy and I hope you are well. Are you still dancing, are you married what are you up to? Anyway, keep in touch and Heidi and I send our best to you. Please write soon.
– What a wonderful description of Montana, I think we will definitely visit the big sky one day soon. Your comments about Carnival and the whole team onboard and ashore were so nice and I thank you for taking the time to write them. See you soon both onboard and maybe knocking at your front door. Cheers.
DWA76 – It is so gratifying to hear that you believe the blog should continue. After reading the comments I did I did feel a little insecure about everything and therefore your comments are well timed. Thanks then mate and I also hope you get to see Istanbul with me as your guide. Cheers mate.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – I have marked Wednesday down on my calendar to remind myself to think of you as you await your results. I know you have already been through a lot following your stroke and I will do everything I can to make sure we keep you smiling and laughing. We will meet soon, both in good health, shake hands and continue our friendship. We are both thinking of you as all the bloggers.
ROCHELLE – It sounds like you had a wonderful time on the Golden Princess and your description of the food has my tastebuds tingling. I also had the impression that the crew was just terrific and very friendly so all of these things have Heidi and I so looking forward to our cruise on the Emerald Princess. Your insight into anytime dining was also very interesting and as I have never experienced it myself I am looking forward to seeing it at work first hand. I don’t know Billy the Cruise Director but I am sure he does a brilliant job. I wanted to say thank you also for the beautiful words you shared for Heidi and I which we return to you as well. Hopefully we will see each other soon and until then I send our warmest regards to you and the family.
RIKKI BOYCE – I am glad you are enjoying the stories of the Carnival Freedom and yes, I will keep writing as long as I can. You asked if the trans-Atlantic is full and yes, every cabin is taken for the October 28th cruise. Please do not be apprehensive about the ship feeling crowded. We will have 2,900 people onboard and the ship is so designed that the ebb and flow of people is just perfect. You will have a wonderful time I promise and there are many places to sit and relax. One such place is on deck 3 outside of the lobby. We have the chairs there and they are in the shade and as not many people go there it is a great place to watch the sea go by. If you have any other questions, please let me know. I will see you soon.
DIVETRASH – You are just what the doctor ordered. I am tired, of that there is no doubt and I think last week I did concentrate a little too much on some of the negatives. The French lady who stubbed her cigarette out on the floor really got to me. I read a comment from the gentlemen who said the blog had come to an end that I should not have spoken to the lady like that and probably she will not encourage her clients to cruise with us. Well, he maybe right but I was so mad that she treated the waiter like that coupled with the fact that I am a little tired…………well, you know what happened next. Anyway, vacation is just around the corner and I will blog from home (more about that later) and hopefully we can keep our happy band of people together. Thanks again for the uplifting words and Heidi and I send you our best regards.
LAUREN – I feel very privileged to be part of your breakfast. How I miss breakfast. I know it’s the most important meal of the day but onboard there is never time so it is a banana and a cup of tea on the run…………that then gives me the runs…….but that is another story. I hope to be part of your morning ritual for a long time to come Lauren. Cheers.
SUSETTE LOWENSTEIN – More wonderful words in praise of Turkey and that is great to hear. I know a lot of people have some misconceptions about Istanbul but we have had an incident free season there and in fact have had more problems with pick pockets in Italy than Turkey. Thank you also for keeping my spirits up through your kind words which I needed to hear. Thank you again and I do hope you continue to read and to enjoy the blog thingy. Cheers.
RUSS AND NINA FRANKLIN – You are the first person I believe, to quote Shakespeare word for word on this blog-thingy. Many thanks for those words of inspiration. However, it was not the great Bard’s words that inspired me, but your own as you mentioned all the places the blog has enabled you to travel to. The blog will change while I am on vacation and I will explain how shortly. Many thanks for all you have said and please stay cool down there in Arizona.
THE BEARS – BARB AND CARL – I am glad that work is getting easier for you now that your leg is healing. It seems the joke of the day section is so popular and I will keep the jokes coming. I think for many people, Ephesus and the house of the Virgin Mary are indeed highlights, they certainly were for me. It will be great to see you cruise again, however, selling the house is a little drastic. Heidi says a big Thank You and she is having such a wonderful time with her mum. We wish you continued health and happiness and our best to all the bears.
MRS MTSFCP – Just interested, why Alaska? I await your kind advise.
RUTH JAMISON – Thank you so much for such kind words and your perspective of the blog has cheered me up a lot. Many thanks Ruth and I agree with you, Istanbul is a super city. Cheers.
KAREN TESSIER-EDMONSON – Unfortunately, the port of Rhodes has indeed been cancelled for next year and will be replaced by the port of Marmaris, Turkey. I agree with you, it is a real shame as Rhodes is so superb and a highlight for many people. The reason we have stopped calling there is that the port is very small and with so many ships docking is extremely difficult. The good news is that guests will still be able to take tours to Rhodes by taking the fast ferry across. I am glad you had such a wonderful cruise. Can you remind me which ornament you are interested in and I will see if I can help you. Thanks again for your nice comments and we hope to see you again soon. Please keep reading the blog thingy.
MICHELLE MANN – My mum has been telling me how bad the weather is in Thorpe Bay, so I am not surprised you miss the Mediterranean weather. I am so excited to hear that you have just booked the Carnival Splendor, so we can be reunited again. The Carnival Splendor will have all pricing in dollars as here on the Carnival Freedom. We will be home soon, so don’t be surprised if we come around for a cup of tea. Nice and strong with 2 sweeteners please, all the best!
BIG ED – I cannot believe that ugly Alan is getting more hits on your blog than anything else. His fan club is growing which only makes me believe that there are some strange people out there. I will pass on this knowledge to Alan, who no doubt will celebrate as for most of his life he has been invisible to women.
ARNOLD AND ELIZABETH TUCKER – Heidi is having a wonderful time with her mum, thank you so much for asking. I am happy to hear that you think that the blog is still a good read and thank you so much for your kind support. You asked about a waiter called Blaze from Sri Lanka. I have not met Blaze, however, I have found out that he is currently working on board the Carnival Paradise and I have forwarded your kind words to the Maitre ‘D to pass on to Blaze. Thanks again to you both. All the best.
LV2CRUISE – I have always thought that the guest’s stories, good and bad are probably the most popular part of the blog. Therefore, it is good to know from your comments that I am right. Therefore, the stories will continue and I hope you enjoy them. Thanks again and all the best.
LANCE AND ILDA – Thank you so very much for mentioning my award. Certainly, we British do have a indifferent sense of humor. If only we could learn to laugh at ourselves. You mentioned all the greats, including Fawlty Towers, Monty Python and Benny Hill and to mention my name in the same sentence…….well, it’s humbling to say the least. The hear that the blog continues to bring you joy and happiness really does fill me with pride and for that I will be forever thankful. Kind regards to you both and long may the laughter continue.

That’s all for today and there will be more tomorrow.

OK, on to the subject of the vacation blog. I think I have discovered what exactly I am going to do. Yesterday I was told that the John Cleese blog has been sent to something called I Tunes for Eye Podding or something. Anyway, as the audio file is so popular I think I will use the technology to do audio blogs from home. These will be then sent to the office via the internet or carrier pigeon or something and then will be available in three different ways.

  1. audio – you just click on something and my voice will appear from your speaker
  2. a written transcript of my blog – typed by someone but not me……….hooray
  3. an eye pod thingy downgrade or something that looks like this
  4. Amazing, I don’t even have an eye pod.


So, these are my thoughts. However, one thing remains. Will you still all want to listen to what I do on vacation? I will answer your comments and questions and reminisce about life at sea………..will you want to hear and read about this? I will include guest bloggers and of course there will be a special photo blog as well from the launch of the Queen Victoria but………..well, please tell me your thoughts.

Hi bloggers – Roberto here. As you can see the blog is evolving everyday. Thank you all for the great feedback. A very special thank you to Stephanie and the Interactive Strategy Team for setting up the podcast. We look forward to John’s podcasts when he goes on vacation!

Now, back to today and we just left Athens leaving behind 4 ladies from one cabin who as yet have not been heard from. I hope they are OK and our agent is waiting on the pier for them. What a horrible feeling it must be to see the ship sailing away knowing that you will miss a whole evening of fun. The worst thing here in Athens is that there is no airport in Katakolon where we will be tomorrow. These ladies now have a 6-hour drive to look forward to. Hope they are OK.

So, that’s the last time in Athens for the season. I wonder how many people we have sent to the Acropolis this year?

Now, do you remember the blog of a few days ago where I had the gentlemen………….hold on……….the four ladies are on the pier, they have just arrived but we are already at the exit of the port so there is no going back. I will find out what happened and let you know tomorrow. Anyway, as I was saying. Do you remember the man who lost his wife at the Welcome Aboard Show? You know, the one I led around the room by holding on to the cord that holds his Sail and Sign card. Well, here is a letter from his wife. Have a read.

Special letter

Having received the letter I called the guest in private and we chatted for some time. As you saw from the letter they lost two children in a terrible car accident. Both were traveling to see their parents to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary when their car was involved hit by a drunk driver. …………….both died………….they were 30 and 35 years old. We spoke about life and their love of family and how they are helping raise their grandkids who lost their mothers so very young. I will give them some DVDs of the cruise and on the next sea day I am going to have a photo with them at their request. One can only imagine the mixed emotion they must be feeling as they celebrate 50 years together. Let’s all wish them Happy Anniversary and much happiness.

Now, also I want you to have a look at these two young people.

Marriage Show

Marriage Show

This is Sharon and Melvin Middleton and they have been married for 60 years…………..have a look. Sharon is English, Melvin is American. They met during World War II when Melvin was on furlough following the Normandy Beach landings. They fell in love. Problem was………..Melvin was 18, Sharon only 15. When the war was over Melvin returned to Oregon where they live now. He quickly returned to England to look for Sharon. He couldn’t find her and he was heartbroken. They had been writing every week but during the last few weeks Sharon’s letters had stopped coming. Melvin searched high and low for his beloved girl and asked everyone he could think of where she was. He said he was getting desperate when eventually after resigning himself that they would never see each other again he bumped into a friend from the British Army who he had served with who knew Sharon’s family. Anyway, he got the address and then jumped on a bus for the ride from the south coast to London where his girl was. Finding her family he found the reason why she had not written…………she was in a special London hospital and had been for one month. She had been working in a chemical factory when a huge fire broke out and she had breathed in toxic fumes. This had resulted in her being unconscious for a long time and she couldn’t write to her man on the other side of the world. Sharon then said that she had kept her ongoing affair with Melvin quiet because her father did not approve so nobody could let him know of her plight.

Finding the family who had moved to be closer to their daughter in hospital, Melvin begged her father to tell her which hospital she was in and rushed to her side. He did not leave it until she came out of hospital 3 weeks later and they were married 5 months after that. They both lived happily ever after

The End.

There were many tears shed when the audience heard this story at the Marriage Show…………..we all love a happy ending.


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John and Heidi

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