The International Language of Fun

October 7, 2007 -

John Heald

Murphy was not finished with me yet.

Good morning all,

I just want to inform all of you that we are experiencing again problems with the RF Network all over the ship pax and crew area. (Nobody can see any TV Channels around the ship). I am investigating right now to see where is the problem.Thank you and I will keep you informed.
Arthur Farcus
A.V. Manager
Carnival Freedom
Good morning from a television-less ship………….I know that is not a proper word but it is 8 am and I am writing this blog through squinting eyes. So, this means that we have no news, no entertainment and guests cannot use the interactive service which also means they cannot order tours through the system. I will monitor this and see how many calls we are getting to the Information Desk as obviously guests will think it is just their TV. …………..OK, I just called and so far only 4 calls so that means everyone is still pretty much asleep or have not turned on their TVs yet. I really don’t want to make an announcement at this hour so I will monitor the situation and see what we need to do. Anyway, got to go and do stuff so I will catch up with you all later.

Here I am………..did you miss me? So, the T.V. system was finally repaired at 9:50 am and I did a quick apology announcement on the PA system I had to do this because people were trying to tune into my Morning Show which eventually started 20 minutes late……….hopefully, that is the last we will see of Murphy and I hope he has buggered off back to Ireland.

Apart from this it has been a good day, very busy and lots of first time cruisers. Here are the demographics for this cruise.
GUESTS – 2,993
GUESTS UNDER 18 – 39
GUESTS WHO HAVE CRUISED WITH US BEFORE – 1,358

One of the most difficult things to do is to explain the process of getting ashore in Venice. It comes as a shock to many (as evident in today’s Q and A) that you can’t just take a taxi and go into St. Marks square. It seems some people do not realize the place is built on the water. Anyway, I explain the Vaporetto system as clear as I can but some people still seem confused so therefore I always make sure I am available after my talk to answer questions……………sometimes you get real gems like today and the conversation went like this.

Mrs. Confused…………..How do I get to St.Mark’s Square
John………..You need to take a Vaporetto or a ship-organized tour
Mrs. Confused……….We don’t need to do that because we hired a car on the internet
John………..OK, so you want to drive to Verona or Lido?
Mrs. Confused………No, we want to drive around Venice
John………..Well, that is not possible, you have to go by boat
Mrs. Confused……….Why
John………..Venice is built on the water
Mrs. Confused……….can we take the car on the ferry to Venice
John………..No, you cannot drive in Venice
Mrs. Confused….Why?
John……….there are no roads
Mrs. Confused……..we were not told this so why did Europcar hire us a car
John…………I guess because you can drive anywhere on the mainland and that is what they thought you would do
Mrs. Confused……….why did nobody tell us

At this point I asked Heidi to sit with the guests because it had reached the point where the other audience members were getting frustrated and I didn’t want the guest to appear………..well………silly…………….but I think it was too late.

Here are today’s photos taken by our roving photo and entertainment host Gary. Here are photos taken from the chair lift that takes you to the top of Capri.

Capri

Capri

Capri

Capri

Capri

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

In Their Own Words

Time for the joke of the day.

A couple goes for a meal at a Chinese restaurant and order the “Chicken Surprise.” The waiter brings the meal, served in a lidded cast iron pot. Just as the wife is about to serve herself, the lid of the pot rises lightly and she briefly sees two beady little eyes looking around before the lid slams back down.

“Good grief, did you see that?” she asks her husband.

He hasn’t, so she asks him to look in the pot. He reaches for it and again the lid rises, and he sees two little eyes looking around before it slams down. Rather perturbed, he calls the waiter over, explains what is happening, and demands an explanation.

“Please sir,” says the waiter, “what you order?”

The husband replies, “Chicken Surprise.”

“Ah, so sorry,” says the waiter, “I bring you Peeking Duck.”

Sorry about that one………..I can here thousands of you groaning at the same time.

OK, here we go with the Q and A, I am really behind with this so I will try and answer as many as I can. I also wanted to say thank you to all of you for your words of sympathetic and compassion at the passing of Captain Chuck’s father. I know he appreciates these words so very much. To skip the Q&A, click here.

DWA76 – I just wanted to say thanks David for saying the blog had become like a family and a caring one at that. I never dreamt it would blossom into this but it has indeed and that is because of people like you. I am glad you enjoyed the interview with Kuki. I seem to have done so many interviews this year. Anyway, thanks for all your kind words mate and I wish you a great weekend.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Sorry if one of your postings disappeared, maybe they have disappeared into the space time continuum (Star Trek again.) That was a wonderful posting and one that made me smile, especially the blowing bubbles section. I am glad that my blog helps you de stress that makes me feel good and I hope I can add many years to your life as you suggested through laughter. Carol, your postings are always so wonderfully written and we all thank you for sharing them with us.
The husband and wife go to a counselor after 15 years of marriage. The counselor asks them what the problem is and the wife goes into a tirade listing every problem they have ever had in the 15 years they’ve been married. She goes on and on and on.
Finally, the counselor gets up, goes around the desk, embraces the woman and kisses her passionately while cupping her behind with one hand and fondling one breast with the other. The woman shuts up and sits down in a daze, breathing rapidly, heart racing.
The counselor turns to the husband and says, “That is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you do that?”
The husband thinks for a moment and replies, “Well, I can get her here Monday and Wednesday, but Friday’s is my fishing day.”
That one was just for you Carol, I hope it had you smiling but not spraying anything over your poor computer. Heidi and I send you our continuing best wishes.
MATTHEW EDMUNDS – Thanks mate for the baseball scores. Not only was that useful for our guests but also for me. I see the Red Sox are doing well so I will keep wearing my hat with a B on it. I will be publishing the scores everyday until the World Series when America plays Finland ………or whoever. Thanks mate and I am beginning to understand the game now.
MICHELLE MANN – Thanks so much for the newspapers Michelle, they have proven very useful indeed. We will be home to look after Alan and hopefully have a cup of tea with you both. All the best and see you soon.
INEZ – Thank you so much for all your words of compassion. That was a beautiful posting. My dad’s office is the first thing that is shown to any visitors and yes, I guess he is proud of both his kids. Hope all is well with you and we wish you all the best.
JIMNI – Hello and thanks to you also for your kind words for Alan and your blogging friends. I enjoyed doing the interview with Kuki and I seem to have done so many interviews this year. Thanks again for being so very kind.
MYRA BUSHNELL – Yep, well spotted. Bill sent in a Caper from the Carnival Freedom that said “The Carnival Liberty” on it. I do not know where he got that from but I do know I am not sharing my spotted dick with him now. Myra, thank you for being so compassionate with your words for Alan, Paul and Captain Chuck…………what a wonderful family we have here on the blog thingy. I hope you are well and best regards from Heidi and I.
RUTH JAMISON – I will be there to say welcome aboard and have a big hug ready for you Ruth to show my appreciation for everything you have sent Heidi and I. See you on the Carnival Splendor next year………..it is going to be great.
ALAN AND CHRIS – Thanks to you both and I certainly do think that you were the first to introduce baseball to the blog. However, you certainly had nothing to do with Mr. Baseball who told me that I s&^k on his letter because we are not able to show the games here. Anyway, you have allowed me to open the blog to the world of baseball and until I get a better hat………..I am a Red Sox fan.
BILL – ZYDECOCRUISER – hello mate. You asked about Super bowl and I can tell you that on every Carnival ship this will be a big event. I am sure that a special area will be set up for the game on the carnival Fantasy and that all your favorite American food will be waiting ……….nachos, tacos etc. Who will be playing in the final do you think?
JULIE GANNT – thank you so much for the beautiful words to all our blogging friends
NANI – You are so kind to mention everyone that you did and I hope this blog finds all your family well and happy. It will be January soon and I will have a grande hugo for you.
KAREN TESSIER/EDMONSON – I am checking on the ornament you wanted tomorrow Karen and I will get back to you. I am sure we can work something out. All the best.
MARTIN JORDAN – Hello Martin. Heidi and I are still looking to move and Brentwood certainly is an area we are looking at. I am glad the blog is still bringing you joy and I hope that continues for a long time to come. We are in Venice today which reminds me so much of Southend. Hope you and the family are well and I hope to see you on another cruise very soon.
LINDA HERNACKI – Thank you for sharing a prayer for my mate Alan. He reads every blog and I know he appreciates everyone’s kind words so very much. We are indeed like a family and that is one of the things that I love most about this blog thingy. Thank you again for being our friend and Heidi and I think of you both often.
LEASA – Thank you so much for the posting……you are very kind.
LISA AND ELAINE – thank you both for those words.
JAMES EMM – I have forwarded your request to the Carnival Glory maitre D and I am sure they will grant your wish. I will confirm this very soon for you mate. All the best until then and Wee Jimmy is looking forward to seeing you.
TIM FAIRBANK – First of all I want to say how much fun it was to have you and the rest of the KZST group on the Carnival Freedom with us. You are all great people with an obvious love of life and I hope we all sail together again very soon. Thanks so much for the information on the giant towers. I was uncertain what they were as indeed was the ship’s command but now, thanks to you I can pass the correct information which I will be doing this cruise. As I do so I will be mentioning your name so that everyone knows that Professor Fairbank passed this on to all of us. Thanks again mate and I would ask that you kindly pass on my best wishes to all at KZST radio. See you soon.
JTODDINMAN – The baseball bat you kindly sent for me has become very popular both on the blog and on the vessel. Also, my Dad has told me that he wants to mount it and place it in his shrine/office when I get home. Anyway, the bottom line is that your gift was wonderful and to you and all the bloggers who have sent me jellybeans, cards, sugar-free things and other wonderful gifts I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I remember well the cruise with Stormin Norman on the Carnival Triumph and I will as you requested make sure that everyone will have plenty of advance warning to when the next bloggers cruise will be. Thanks again mate and also please keep the poems coming, I know Roberto will be very proud to see his name mentioned. I hope to hear from you very soon.
JOHN PFERSCHING – I was sorry to learn that you had missing luggage at the start of your recent Carnival Freedom cruise John. You were not alone and I will be mentioning more about missing bags on a blog thingy next week. I was though very proud to read that you enjoyed your cruise so very much and that we kept you laughing despite your bags being on a vacation on their own. Thank you for all you said and I hope that you will come and see us again very soon.
MONICA AND AL – I am so sorry but because of family commitments and the desperate need for some time off we will not be able to join you on your November cruise on the Carnival Freedom. Do not be perturbed though as your Cruise Director will be Todd Whittmer who will provide you with a fantastic vacation. Hopefully when we announce the next bloggers cruise you will be able to join us all on that one. Have a wonderful vacation and my sincere apologies that we cannot be with you.
JERRY CALVERT – Very funny………Holland America invades Carnival. Actually, I was on a HAL ship a few months ago and the guests were basically the same as our guests. I think the days of a “type specific” guest on most cruise lines have gone. However, there were some very old people on last cruise and they brought their grandparents with them. Thanks Jerry and thanks also for reading the blog………..I am honoured.
BIG ED – OK, now I understand the ring thing. I was confused but now I have seen the light. You can kiss my ring when I see you on the bloggers cruise………..I keep it in my back pocket 🙂 Thanks again for all you are doing for Alan………I spoke to home yesterday and he called you “his publisher.”………..I really look forward to you both meeting as you have so much in common.
A – NON – E – MOOSE – They can do their stuff on the Poop Deck. Sounds like a great idea and I hope my announcements did not make you feel too sad as you debarked the vessel. Say hello to the dogs and see you on the Poop Deck next time. All the best.
RUTH JAMISON – The ornament arrived in one piece and will be proudly displayed at Heidi’s Christmas centerpiece at home. Thank you again for your kindness. You asked about Barcelona. We have two more trips there and then the ship starts her TA cruise and I head home for some R & R and to look after my mate Alan. Thanks again Ruth and I will see you on the beautiful brand new Carnival Splendor. Our best to you and the family.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Just a quick note to say hello and thanks for another great posting. I have made the mistake of going to the kingdom of the mouse in the heat of summer one time………..and that mistake will never be repeated. I hope you had a great weekend Carol and one day you and I can watch the Bee Gees together on a Carnival Fun Ship big screen…………my favorite concert we play is the Earth, Wind and Fire one………its brilliant. Hope you are well and as always its great to hear from you.
STIX132 – I am happy to hear that you will be sharing my last cruise on the carnival Freedom before vacation when you arrive on October 16 I promise you I will pull out all the stops and provide you with the best vacation ever full of fun and laughter galore. Thanks for all your kind words for Alan and I look forward to seeing that special vintage Monty Python button. Have a safe journey and see you soon.
CANUCK CRUISER – AAAAAAHHHHH now that explains it. They have won 4 games and have not lost any…….I thought you meant ……… anyway….never mind………I just showed my lack of knowledge on American sports yet again. Thanks for the education and I hope the Cowboys have a 50 – 0 season or more………….did I just look silly again? The lady who wanted a Friends of Dorothy meeting is now fine and I checked in on her at the meeting this morning and was surprised to see about a dozen or so people in attendance. I am glad I was able to help. I discovered from her that the Dorothy refers to Dorothy from the Wizard Of Oz and the rainbow which is the symbol for gay and lesbian friends……….you learn something everyday. We do seem to have more requests fro private meetings of all sorts these days and we will try and help out everyone we can. Anyway, thanks for the posting and hope your Cowboys keep winning. Cheers
SOUTHERNDREAMS – It is 8 now.
A CRUISE BY ANY OTHER NAME – I must admit that I am indeed counting the number of days until vacation. Not so much because I want to get off the ship but I do need to see my parents and family and of course be there for Alan. I know how you feel about the Beauty and The Beast song, I feel like that when I hear the Small World thing ………help. I can understand why the mysterious guest wanted to correct the spelling in the Capers and I was grateful for it but it was the way they did it and the sarcastic comments at the bottom of his/her letters. I would have loved to have shaken someone’s hand to say thank you but that opportunity was taken away. Oh well. I will make sure I check the spalling of aveything I right fram noo oon. All the best and thanks for a wonderful posting.
LFTTNSFCF – hello Jon. If purgatory does exist I was there during my time at the Kingdom of the Mice. I am very uncertain as to where my loyalty should be when it comes to baseball. I have a Boston hat and a pair of red socks so I guess until my Yankee cap arrives then it is Boston for me. I also love Clam Chowder from Legal Seafood in Boston……..but the again I love Nathan’s Hot Dogs from the Big Apple……………I am so confused. Somebody help. Jon, see you soon mate.
PHIL INCORVIA – Here, as requested is our recipe for the Grand Marnier dessert you requested. Also, the address to mail things to Heidi and I is now at the side of this blog thingy. I apologize sincerely to your friends that I will not be with them for their cruise but they are correct when saying Todd will provide them with a wonderful vacation. Thank you so much for the wonderful words and here then is the recipe ………enjoy and thanks for everything.
Carnival’s Grand Marnier Soufflé
Our recipe serves four.
Ingredients
4 egg whites
120 g castor sugar
150 g custard mix
500ml hot water
150ml cold water
25ml Gran Marnier
Butter
Castor sugar
Icing sugar
Method
1. Mix custard with boiling water slowly allowing time to thicken.
2. Thicken to a dropping consistency the add Grand Marnier and leave to cool.
3. Butter inside of the ramekins and roll caster sugar.
4. Whip egg whites until fluffy and add sugar slowly.
5. Fold into cooled custard put in ramekins level with a spatula and cook at 180 degrees c for 10 minutes.
6. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
PAUL F.PIETRANGELO – Hello Paul, how are you today. I am so sorry but as yet I have not received anything from you Paul. I would not worry as I have not received anything from my friends the Schneider’s who mailed something weeks ago as well. I am sure it will be here soon. You must be feeling on top of the world after your recent good news from the doctor and I hope that you know that we all share that good news with you mate. Thanks for your prayers for Alan and rejoice in your new lease of life.
KEVIN – Congratulations on being asked to belong to the Chaine Des Rotisseurs association………how do you get those little things above the I and the O? Anyway, you must be very proud of this accomplishment and for those bloggers insure what all the fuss is about here is a link thingy that will describe some more about just why this is such an achievement for Kevin.
www.chainedesrotisseurs.net
So, well done mate and one day I promise I will sit down at your table and you can cook me your special of the day. Congratulations mate.
LISA AND ELAINE – The room does have a bath but if you allow me to share it with you after eating sugar free jelly beans then a Jacuzzi you shall have. The Bee Gees concert is a great event and one of our most popular and we are keeping it onboard for some time to come and therefore we can watch it on deck together. I want to say a big thank you for recognizing young Roberto who has made this blog thing the success it is today. That was very kind of you. Thanks also for thinking of Alan …….he appreciates it so much as do I. See you both soon and all the very best.
GLORIA – I continue to be overwhelmed at all the wonderful words that everyone is posting for Alan and Gloria you words will be of great comfort to him as they are to me. I just wanted to say a big thank you for writing them. Hope all is well with you and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.’
DIANE WHITE – It was very interesting reading your comments about your experience on Disney Cruise Line. Can you be more specific about what it was you did not enjoy? I have no wish or desire to point out their areas that need improving, I am just interested to see if there are things that we could change on our ships as well. I look forward to hearing from you again soon Diane and hope you are well.
GIRLDOC – The bat is ready to use should Fatima and her friends come calling. Cheers.
GREG BALDASARRI – Disney is an amazing place and I am sure that if I went at the right time of year and not having just done 9 months on a ship I would have enjoyed it more. Their organization is second to none and you have to marvel at everything they do but, it was just not for me. Also, I was a little embarrassed that I felt sick after every ride while small kids were shouting “let’s go again, let’s go again.” I think I will stick to my big chair and plasma screen. Hope all is good at home mate and lets hope also we get to spend some time together on one of our ship’s soon.

OK, I have to stop there and will start with a comment from Freddy Beach tomorrow. I am sorry I could post on Saturday but things got away from me. Tomorrow, Monday, Alan will go in for some exploratory surgery at London Hospital to see just what they need to do to remove the tumor. I will keep you updated.

So, here we are in Venice sharing the pier with the Costa Serena and the Emerald Princess…………. A wonderful advert for the Carnival family.

Today, we have a lot of people walking to the vaporetto station. I really did push people to walk if they could as the price of the shuttle bus has risen to $9 which for a 5-minute ride is in my opinion far too expensive. Getting ashore in Venice is not easy and we/I must do better in getting this right and for next season I hope I can……….I am not happy with the current way we do things.

This morning was very windy as we headed to Venice but now it is a beautiful day with crisp and clear blue skies, no wind and temperatures around 70 degrees………………a beautiful autumn day, how could anybody complain on a day like this. Except this man.

From: FREEDOM PURSERS
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2007 9:46 AM
To: FREEDOM HOTEL DIRECTOR; FREEDOM CRUISE DIRECTOR; FREEDOM HOUSEKEEPING; FREEDOM HOUSEKEEPING MANAGER
Cc: FREEDOM PURSERS; FREEDOM CHIEF PURSER
Subject: RE: Sport court & Waterslide closed

Good afternoon,Just FYI

There was a guest calling from the Open deck shouting at me that on all the other ships they were able to use the water slide even with the strong wind and he does not understand why they can not do it here. I explained him the safety reasons but he does not seem to be willing to listen. He then demanded I call John the Cruise Director but he was at his TV show. The guest then said he would use the slide regardless and hung up. I told security to accept the guest to try and use the slide.

Regards,

Daniela

When it is windy we close the slide. Walking up to that height in strong winds is dangerous and I cannot understand why the guests are so upset. Anyway, he did not leave a cabin number or a name so I hope he has calmed down a bit and is now enjoying the slide.

I have met some great characters over the last nine months who have shared the stage with me. Toward the top of the list will be gentlemen who I invited on stage with me this cruise in the Welcome Aboard Show.

You can see just why I choose him can’t you? He was so cute and spoke not one word of English. Now, when this happens I always make sure that I do not make the guest feel uncomfortable and rather than highlight the fact that he speaks no English I highlighted the fact that I spoke no Japanese. I was trying to communicate with him some of the things he could enjoy this week by acting them out ……….swimming ……eating………drinking………..and I was getting nothing back from him.

Then, I said the word dancing……..I did a little dance……………and his eyes lit up and the 88-year-old Japanese man started to dance with me. His feet did a little shuffle and he laughed and smiled and brought the house down.

I later found out the man’s name was Mr.Teiichi Obace from Japan and he is 88 years old………………. Here he is.

Mr.Teiichi Obace from Japan

Mr.Teiichi Obace from Japan

Mr.Teiichi Obace from Japan

Mr.Teiichi Obace from Japan

Mr.Teiichi Obace from Japan

Mr.Teiichi Obace from Japan

We danced and the audience laughed and applauded and once again the universal language of music, fun and laughter had saved the day.

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.