Oh Canada

October 10, 2007 -

John Heald

Do you want the good news or the band news? OK, the good news. The weather remained gorgeous today with the sun shining and giving us a nice temperature of 75 degrees.

Now the bad news.

As I mentioned we were tendering today as there was no room at the pier. Now, I sang my own praises last time about how well I had this organized and I woke up this morning feeling confident that this would be repeated and all would be well………..it wasn’t…………bugger !

It started of OK with us arriving on time into Dubrovnik. The arrival is gorgeous and the outer islands glistened as the sun shone on cleanest water in the Med. We arrived at 7 am and started the process of dropping the anchor and then lowering six of our lifeboats which we used for tenders. This is always a fascinating sight for our guests who as I watched from the bridge stood on their balconies in various states of undress taking photos.

As our lifeboats were lowered, we were joined by two tenders from Dubrovnik. Now, preparing for a tender operation is complicated both onboard and with the boats themselves. We have to lower the platforms and then hook up ropes to secure the tenders against those platforms to allow safe entrance onto the tender boats. This process takes about 30 minutes and at 7:30 am we started to have the 800 guests arrive to the lounge ready for the first departure of the Best of Dubrovnik tour.

The process in the lounge is the same except I have each sticker number the guests collect topped off at 40. Each of our tenders has a capacity for 80 so I need to bring the guests down in groups of 40 and 2 groups at a time. They are then distributed onto the 42 seater buses for the tour.

Anyway, things were going well, the tenders were tied up at both the forward and aft gangways, the guests were in the lounge ready, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and a little dolphin was frolicking by the bow while a small furry rabbit skipped around on the pier waiting to be shot and eaten ………………sorry, had to snap back into reality there. Anyway, we were all set.

I called down the first four groups and Heidi marshaled her staff and the operation began. The first few minutes were fine and everything in the garden was rosy and I remember thinking…………..good……………I am the man.

Then, Murphy returned brandishing his law and ready to shove it right up my aft gangway………………and he did.

Without warning the wind changed direction and suddenly the tenders were moving up and down as swells took them backwards and forwards crashing into the platforms. I watched as the crew on the platforms stopped an older lady (we have one or two of those onboard) from trying to get onboard………………the situation was not good and the only person who was going to be getting on the tender was an Olympic Long Jumper or a very athletic Kangaroo wearing Nikes.

The Captain came over and we assessed the situation and there was no choice ………..we had to stop the operation. So, the people who were waiting to get onto the tender were turned around by the staff and taken back to the lounge. After assessing the situation the Captain decided that the operation could continue from the starboard side of the vessel. This meant lowering the platforms, preparing them and the ropes and moving all the tenders to the over side of the ship. This operation went very quickly and was well organized by the Captain and his team but it still meant we had a 40-minute delay.

So, this meant that guests had been sitting in the lounge for 50 minutes and with other guests not on a tour wanting to go ashore………..the lounge got full………..very full and at one point we had 1,000 people waiting to disembark.

I made an announcement on the PA and apologized but also made no apology for thinking of guests safety and everyone was very good about being patient……………well of course when I say everyone we did have one or two comments but overall, everyone was totally understanding. Once we started the operation again the guests went ashore quickly and by 11:10 am we had disembarked 2,700 guests and there was never a wait of more than 10 minutes for a tender to return to the ship.

So, there you go, a little insight into what can happen and the continuing saga of Mr. Murphy doing his best to make my last two cruises as tough as possible ……………………..bugger !

Here are today’s photos taken by Gary our now fully professional photographer. When he is not taking photos of the rich and famous he often can be found moonlighting as an entertainment staff member and today, he was working on the pier in Dubrovnik. Here are his photos of the ship and the tenders.

photos of the ship and the tenders

photos of the ship and the tenders

photos of the ship and the tenders

photos of the ship and the tenders

photos of the ship and the tenders

photos of the ship and the tenders

photos of the ship and the tenders







A little girl walks in to the den one Sunday morning while her dad is reading the paper.
“Where does poo come from?” she asks.
The father, feeling a little perturbed that his 5 year old daughter is already asking difficult questions, thinks for a moment and says:
“Well you know we just ate breakfast?”
“Yes,” answers the girl.
“Well, the food goes into our tummies and our bodies take out all the good stuff, and then whatever is left over comes out of our bottoms when we go to the toilet, and that is poo.”
The little girl looks shocked, and stares at him with watery eyes, in stunned silence for a few seconds, and then asks, “And Tigger?”

Let’s do some Q and A……..here we go. To skip the Q&A, click here.

BIG ED – Isn’t the Web cam a marvelous invention? There you are in Michigan using the web cam on the Costa ship to look at the Carnival Freedom. It was wonderful to see all a Princess, Costa and Carnival ship together and not far away in the shipyard were new ships being built for Cunard and Holland America. The family reunion was nearly complete, we were just missing AIDA, Seabourn and our new Spanish partner whose name escapes me at the moment. We will have extra Web cameras up for the blog cruise positioned in your cabin and for the great thong race……….viewing figures will be in there thousands…..well…….dozens………OK, just you and me then.
VINKEVEEN – I am so sorry that we will not be there for the TA cruise but thank you so much for being so understanding. I really need a break and I need to be there for Alan as well as seeing Mum and Dad. I have added your names to the invitation list for the party and hopefully we will get to say hello and have some fun together. Heidi sends her best and see you very soon ……sorry again. We zien jullie op de 28e om half 8 in de Swingtime Lounge voor een borrel.
KICIASKI – Hello George and hello Linda. I wondered where you had been. Thank you for your kind words for Alan, I will give you an update on his condition soon. We will be in Florida in January, so maybe we will see you then. I hope you had a great time working at Disney during the food festival, I am sure it must have been very rewarding. The July 13 sailing will still be considered the inaugural sailing. The naming ceremony will still be held in Dover and you will not miss anything. The 4-day cruise beforehand will be mostly travel agents on board and I will make sure that the 13th is very special and it will be even more so having my good friends George and Linda in their usual spots. Thank you for being our friends and thank you for supporting the blog. See you soon.
LYNN – It is always great to hear from people like yourself who have been reading the blog since the beginning, yet are making their first posting now. You sound very excited to be here soon and please make sure that you leave me a special note about your mum so I can take care of her birthday celebrations. I will definitely make sure that we say hello to you and your Mother and Daughter group. Thank you so much for making the blog a regular call and I do hope that you continue to enjoy it. Get ready for a special cruise that you and mum will never forget.
LINDA (MOM OF DJ) – Welcome back from your Carnival Victory cruise. How wonderful for your son that he was entertained so much by the Club 02 Director Ria. I have made sure that your comments have been passed to Chris Prideaux, her boss; who I am sure will be pleased to hear your words of praise. Do you have any photos of DJ? Anyway, I am so glad that you had a wonderful family vacation and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. Say hello to DJ and I hope to meet him one day.
GLENDA AND JIM – Heidi was smiling from ear to ear when she heard what is on the way. She will probably now have more mugs than Starbucks themselves and to get one from a place we have never been like San Francisco is brilliant. She will also appreciate the soccer jersey which I am sure she will wear on vacation. We will see you on the bloggers cruise where we will have so much fun together.
ERNIE – I am so glad that I have found someone who remembers my old pal, Gary Hunter. I see you sailed with him in 1978 on board the Festivale. To me, Gary Hunter is what I strive to be……………the ultimate professional. Can’t wait to see you next year so we can chat about my mate Gary. You asked if I could possibly interview Mr. Micky Arison. It may be easier to interview the Pope or George Hamilton. Maybe as we reach one million, I can be brave enough to ask him. I am glad you are enjoying the blog and all the best.
CARLTON THE CRUISER – Thank you for the kind words for Mr. Rodriguez. I am sure he will enjoy the ride. Thank you Carlton.
SUSAN B – I have passed your pleeeeeeeease on to Heidi and I am sure we can squeeze one more blog out of her some time soon. My guess is, it will probably be called “packing.” Thank you Susan, there is more news on the way about Alan.
CATMAMA044 – Just a quick note to say Many thanks for welcoming Mr. Rodriguez on board, I am sure he appreciates this very much. Hope all is well.


BIG ED – Your story could become reality except the bit about the suite. However, I am sure you will have your audience with the Cruise Director and in fact, I think you will be very much part of our daily Q & A’s. How is Mrs. Big Ed, is she excited?
BILL ZYDECOCRUISER – There is more chance of me wearing Big Ed’s underwear as a hat than finding me dancing.
KEVIN – Thank you for asking about Heidi’s mum. She did have a wonderful time and you are the second person to ask for a Heidi blog and there will be one soon. The risotto sounds wonderful and one day I am sure we will be having dinner in your restaurant together. I will see you soon and will provide the cigars and the Jelly Beans. Take care mate.
GREG BALDASARRI – Thank you for saying “I dance like Fred Astaire.” I really don’t know what I was doing and as the days go on and I get more tired, it’s anyone’s guess what I do on stage. Thank you so very much for all of your kind words for your friend Alan. I will tell you more about him later. Thank you mate for being a great friend.
SUSAN B – Heidi always takes great care of me and I really do not know where I would be without her. She certainly deserves a long, long rest and she certainly does not deserve to see Big Ed and I in tiger-print thongs, not that you would see any of the print. Thank you for everything Susan, especially the words about Alan. All the best.
MICHELLE MANN – Michelle, I made some inquiries and you will need the letter. These days, getting into the United States is very tough. You will be required to have fingerprints taken, an eye photo and copies of your credit cards. These days, it is best not to take any chances. So, my advice is, have the letter. Hopefully, it will be easier to get into your house for a cup of tea. Put the kettle on, see you soon.
JULIE GANTT – I do one dance move and suddenly the expectations are that I have become John Travolta. Julie, I suggest you seek professional help as dreaming of me dancing in a thong is only one step away from the straight jacket. Thank you Julie and thanks for being so much fun.
LINDA HERNACKI – Hello Linda. Just as much as you enjoy starting your day by reading the blog thingy, I enjoy typing in your name. Thank you again for such kind words and maybe one day when we eventually meet I would do a little private dance, just for you. I hope Mike is well and I hope you know how much your support of the blog means to Heidi and I.
GRACE – OK, I have no idea where we are going to put all these mugs, but thank you so very much for mailing Heidi two more from your home town of San Antonio. Thank you so much and hopefully on the Bloggers cruise we can share a cup of coffee together.
CAPTAIN BILL – You asked about past cruisers, so let me give you a little information. During embarkation, you will be asked if you have cruised with Carnival before. If the answer is yes, you will receive an invitation to a one-hour cocktail reception on board. You will also receive a pin representing the ship you are sailing on. When you reach 10 cruises, you will be classified as a Platinum member. This is an amazing milestone and you will benefit then from a host of special gifts and privileges including priority embarkation and debarkation, private galley tour and complimentary in cabin gifts. If you speak to any Platinum members they will be sure to sing its praises. I still do have many audience participation events and they are still my favorite shows to host. I see you have done 23 cruises with us; do you have your Platinum card? I hope your next cruise will be with me, so I can shake your hand and say thank you for reading the blog. Our best to you and your family.
KANUCKCRUISER – Oh, I see, I thought you played that many games in a season…………oops. I am really looking forward, like you, to the creation of the private adult Serenity areas on the open decks and I can picture you and I having a peaceful chat about the Dallas Cowboys in this pocket of tranquility. Heidi says thank you for thinking of her and we really will relax, I promise. Hope things are well in Canada and the winter is staying away for now. Best wishes from us both.
TEACUP – I am glad you enjoyed the photos of Capri and I remember when we were there in May when you cruised, that indeed it was cloudy. Congratulations on booking the Carnival Miracle and I hope it will provide you with as much fun as you had here on the Carnival Freedom. Cheers.
JO MYERLY – I cannot believe that reservations know nothing about the Carnival Splendor July 2 cruise. Is anyone else having problems? I will ask about transfers from Milan to Genoa and will get back to you as soon as I have more information. You are correct, it is a great itinerary. More information will follow. Wish you were here.
CARL HARMON – Someone told me the Yankees had lost, is this true? Thank you for your prayers for Alan, they are needed and appreciated. Thank you mate.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – I am so disappointed that my joke did not cause your computer to receive its daily shower. Better luck next time. Glad you enjoyed the photos and my friend from Japan has become a cult hero this week. It won’t be long to your Carnival Imagination cruise and I am looking forward to hearing all about your adventures. Thanks for being such a great friend and I am look forward to sitting on Lido and watching Big Ed’s new video concert called “A thong for you” on the big screen. See you soon Carol.
MYRA BUSHNELL – I will post the latest news on Alan very shortly. Thank you for your prayer and I shall make sure that when he is well enough Alan sees yours and everyone else’s beautiful postings. Thank you so much Myra.
DWA76 – How are my Cowboys doing, did they win? I am not sure you could call what I did on stage dancing; it was more like moving my leg from side to side as though someone had put a rattlesnake down my pants. There is another joke there but I leave that one alone. Thanks as always for another great posting and I continue to look forward to the day where we finally meet.
DAVE MYERLY – Can’t do anything about other people’s handwriting Dave; however, Roberto has told me he will improve the lighting on the letters themselves. I haven’t forgotten about your interview request and it will be forthcoming, I promise. Hope you and Jo are well.
TERESA C – OK, let’s stop with the dancing thing. As Heidi will tell you, I am the worst dancer in the world, apart from Roger Blum. This was a one off and was only performed to try and communicate with my good friend from Japan. Sorry about your Cubs, I promise to cheer for them next year; however, I am afraid your Bulls are going to feel some Miami Heat. Mostly, I want to say thank you for praying for Alan. Many thanks and my best wishes to you and your family.
THE CARTERS FROM NEVADA – Considering this is the first time I have typed in your name, I was so astonished to see that you have sent Heidi a care package. She will be thrilled and we will let you know when it arrives. We look forward to seeing you on the Carnival Splendor next year. All the best till then.
MATT AND VIKKI TILL – You have nothing to worry about, first of all, the down is non-allergenic and if you want to, like Heidi’s mum, you can swap the comforter for a woolen blanket. Please don’t be nervous, I am here to help you and let me know if you need anything else, what so ever. Cheers.
KATHIE (KAPERINO) – Another brilliant poem and Kathie, I laughed at the thought of Fatima sharing a bath with Big Ed, Alan and myself. That bath would have to be a swimming pool. Thanks Kathie, I hope you keep enjoying the blog.
JO MYERLY – Which bit don’t you understand Jo? Let me know and I help you out.
RUTH JAMISON – Indeed, we are family. I look forward to shaking you husband’s hand, giving you a hug, not long now. Thanks for your prayers for Alan, see you very soon.
MARY AND MOE – Thank you for coming out into the open and say that you are addicted to the blog. I am so pleased to welcome you and I hope this will be the first of many postings. Thank you a billion times for booking the bloggers cruise and I see that you are also thinking of the Carnival Splendor Argentina cruise as well. I am not sure if I will be there for that one, but there is a chance. Many thanks for your thoughts and prayers for Alan. Welcome to the world of the blog thingy, see you soon.
LFTTNSFCF – Hello Jon. I passed your congratulations to Gary on his photos, he was really happy. I know I will not be with you for the Welcome Aboard show but I shall be passing your name and cabin to Todd, so do not be surprised when you are called upon to perform. Very much looking forward to shaking your hand, see you very soon mate.
TRAVELADY – 99% of the shops in the old town of Dubrovnik will be open on a Sunday. They know the ship is coming and the money it will bring, so they will be ready for you. The Ramparts will close at 3 pm on a Sunday and we have an organized tour that leaves early in the morning which is extraordinary. We will see you soon and thank you of thinking of my mate Alan. Have a safe journey.
LISA AND ELAINE – That is very, very funny ladies. Thank you so much for the laughs. Give me more.
TRAVIS AND MARY – How super that you have decided to book the Bloggers Cruise and I promise to make that one so very special. Thank you for your thoughts for Alan and Heidi and I are very much looking forward to our vacation. Heidi would love a Dallas Cowboy souvenir, preferably the quarterback. See you in January.
INEZ – It was a one off dance, never to be repeated except for on the Bloggers Cruise…………..maybe. Hope you enjoy the blog and Heidi and I send our kindest wishes to you.
WANMAN – I too hope we cruise together soon. You have had so many fantastic Cruise Directors in Mark Price, Todd Wittmer and the now retired Larry Garlutzo. Would you please let me know when you are cruising and the day of your sister’s birthday? I will also need your name and cabin number please. Thank you for you kind words and look forward to hearing from you soon.
JULIE GANTT – A perfect description of my dancing. Thanks for the laughs.
PHIL INCORVIA – You are more than welcome, now can you send me something to get me out of the doghouse?

That’s all for now and as always there will be more to follow tomorrow.

Now, on to Alan. I spoke with Alison just now who told me that his seven-hour operation went well. He is now in intensive care and hopefully will be back in his regular room. He has pipes and tubes everywhere but overall the doctors are happy. He will have another major operation in a few weeks time and I am glad I will be home for that. I will also ask the surgeon if he can do some plastic surgery while he is there 🙂

It is hard to be funny when you are thinking about things like this but the show must go on and today it did with a very busy day of shows, TV events and putting the finishing touches to the new past guest video which will be shown fleetwide.

This cruise has been very quiet so far when it comes to guest comments or complaints ………..until today when I saw this gem.

Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 3:55 PM
Hi John

Mrs. &*&^%$#@*& asking that the Cruise Director speak to her. She is very angry because she was expecting to hear me wish everyone from Canada a Happy Thanksgiving day and that we would be serving typical Canadian food. She says that the Cruise Director is racial against Canadians.

John, please call her. I tried to explain but she will only talk to you.

Thank you!



I am really mad that I forgot about this. Anyway, I did call the guest and she was very mad at me. She felt I was racist against Canadians and that if it had been American Thanksgiving that a lot of fuss would have been made etc. She had been told by her travel agent that we would have Maple Roasted Turkey and Smokey something stuffing and I think she said Chocolate Cream Pie.

Anyway, I apologized and earlier this evening I apologized publicly before each show and wished everyone from Canada a Happy Thanksgiving. The lady guest remains angry at me though and even though I have apologized publicly and personally she remains upset and that in turn upsets me. I also apologize to all the Canadians who read this blog for not wishing you Happy Thanksgiving, I am truly sorry.

Usually I finish with a cute or amusing story but with the tenders, Murphy, the entire country of Canada mad at me and of course Alan on my mind I think I will say goodbye now and start fresh again in the morning. Hope you understand.


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.