Britney Jeers

October 11, 2007 -

John Heald

The weather is changing as Mother Nature puts away her summer clothes here in the Mediterranean and is now wearing a light waterproof jacket and socks. Yep, at 7:30 am when we arrived today it was only 8 degrees and although it reached 67 degrees at noon there was a definite chill in the air. The weather had already taken a turn for the worse yesterday evening when for the first time I had to cancel the evening movies under the stars and move them indoors because of the heavy rain and lightning storms. Now it is raining cats and dogs and guests are returning very wet, for the first time I really feel that summer was over.

Another port has gone by without Heidi or I getting off the ship. There is still so much to do. I am preparing schedules and plans for the TA crossing so as much as possible is ready for Todd when he joins on the 25th of this month. Obviously, he will have the final say in what activities and events are held but I still feel obligated to have as much done as possible for when he walks up the gangway.

What else can I tell you? Oh yes, don’t go jumping into our main pool today because there ain’t know water in it. Unfortunately we have had to close the pool all day for maintenance and replace one or two tiles on the bottom. We try and do this on days like today when the weather is not so good and the majority of guests are ashore. Most people are understanding so hopefully this will not impact the guests too much.

Talking of guests:

Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 11:39 PM
Subject: ____ – Less CNN news on Lido
Good evening,
Please see below comments, FYI
Thanks and regards,

Pursers office
Following comment card received:
“Wonderful cruise, great service, very friendly workers… Lido deck could use LESS CNN NEWS! . Thank you!”

Now, here is an interesting point of view. Let me start by telling you that we only play the CNN news from 8 am – 10 am so they can watch the events of the world while eating their pancakes smothered in thick maple syrup before moving onto crisp bacon which is gently caressing the sides of two perfectly fried eggs cooked over easy and thick brown toast oozing with creamy pure butter…………………………sorry……………..I slipped into the realms of fantasy once again but I am back. Anyway, CNN is playing for those early hours and we never play the news after that and instead play movies, concerts, ambient footage and the live travel talks and events.

I just spoke to the guest and I knew already what he was going to say as I have heard this once or twice before. …………’s all bad news and we are on vacation………….we do not want to hear it. Interesting, what do you all think?…………..I would appreciate your thoughts on this. For now, I have replaced the CNN station with something a bit more light-hearted and fun…………CSPAN………………..kidding………….we are playing the Travel Channel now. What do you think……………….should we show the news?

This cruise the Big Screen has featured heavily…………here is a reminder why.

1. I was nearly arrested by Officer Armani for having the James Bond movie on to loud……………This was thanks to a complaint (allegedly) from a ship that can’t be named that we were docked next to, what a bunch of
Ridiculously Complaining Idiots.

2. A guest told me that the Tina Turner concert was inappropriate because Tina and her backup dancers were wearing “next to nothing” and dancing in a “sexual manner.”………………personally I think Tina is simply the best and wish she was my private dancer.

3. Too much bad news on the big screen……………..maybe this one is worthy of a comment. Let’s see what you all think.

Here are today’s photos which are a little bit of a Potpourri today

1. The Carnival Freedom in Venice. Look carefully in the background and you will see the snitch of the seas leaving. (Allegedly)

1. The Carnival Freedom in Venice. Look carefully in the background and you will see the snitch of the seas leaving. (Allegedly)

2. A Venetian mask shop

2. A Venetian mask shop

3. One of the many back streets of Venice, this one in the Burano area.

3. One of the many back streets of Venice, this one in the Burano area.

4. The moon on Venice night over looking the bridge.

4. The moon on Venice night over looking the bridge.

Here are today’s letters from the In Their Own Words Section

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

Here is the joke of the day.

God said, “Adam, I want you to do something for me.”
Adam said, “Gladly, what do you want me to do?”
God said, “Go down into that valley.”
Adam said, “What’s a valley?” God explained it to him.
Then God said, “Cross the river.”
Adam said, “What’s a river?” God explained that to him, and then said, “Go over to the hill.”
Adam said, “What is a hill?” So, God explained to Adam what a hill was. He told Adam, “On the other side of the hill you will find a cave.”
Adam said, “What’s a cave?”
After God explained, he said, “In the cave you will find a woman.”
Adam said, “What’s a woman?”
So God explained that to him, too. Then, God said, “I want you to reproduce.”
Adam said, “How do I do that?” God explained that to Adam as well. So, Adam goes down into the valley, across the river, and over the hill, into the cave, and finds the woman. Then, in about five minutes, he was back.
God, his patience wearing thin, said angrily, “What is it now?”
And Adam said, “What’s a headache?”

We should have sailed by now but we are waiting for 236 guests to return from the Mount Etna and Taormina tour. Apparently there was a serious accident involving a tanker truck which has spilled a load of fuel on the road and it is being cleaned up before traffic can pass. They should be here by 5:30 pm, one hour late…………I will keep you informed.

OK, its time for the Q and A…………….how the heck did I suddenly get 100 plus comments and questions? Anyway, I will try and answer as many as possible giving preference to those with actual questions. By the way, I printed every comment you have written a for Alan and Heidi is making a scrapbook for him. He is suffering today with severe headaches and is in a special Dark Room where he will have to remain for 24 hours…………….poor old sod. Hopefully, he will be strong enough for the next surgery due in three weeks or so and I will be there to remind him how ugly he is. Anyway, thanks so much, you are all dear friends who I consider such special people. I wish time allowed for me to reply to everyone of your comments for my mate but please know that I have read everyone of them and I know he will rejoice in the knowledge that so many people are thinking of him. To skip the Q&A, click here.

Right, much to the disgust of my two fingers, away we go.

NANI – I had to start with you today because I was so sad to read of the passing of your sister in law at such a young age. Please know that Heidi and I are thinking of you and that these thoughts are now shared by all your friends here on the blog. Our deepest sympathies to you and your family.
MATT EDMUNDS – Thanks for the package mate that Chris Prideaux did indeed receive and will be sending home to the UK for me, you are very kind. Thanks for the baseball updates and so far the men in the red socks seem to be doing well. What happened to the Yankee team? Enjoy the game and have a hot dog for me .All the best.
ADAM – Hopefully Mr. Murphy has buggered off to another ship and is as we speak making life difficult for another cruise director, preferably on the ship that said we were too loud. You asked when I was going on vacation and the answer is October 29th. Hopefully Murphy will be nowhere near me for the time I am ashore but somehow………..I doubt it. Hope all is well with you and thanks for reading the blog thingy.
MILLIE S – Hello Millie and I am so sorry that I did not see your request to attend the TA party on the 28th. I have now seen it though and your cabin has been added to the invitation list. See you soon and have a safe flight.
TOM AND JANE – I just wanted to applaud you for booking your 43rd Carnival cruise on the Carnival Sensation. You are both true supporters of this company and thanks to people like you we continue to proclaim the fact that we are The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line. Now, stop teasing me about buying me an Aston Martin but if you are going to buy me one………black please. I am so looking forward to seeing you on January 19 for the Bloggers Cruise and wish you both a funtastic cruise on the Carnival Sensation. Cheers.
SUE GROHOL – Your cabin has been added to the invitation list. It will be a great chance to have a few drinks and meet your fellow bloggers. See you soon and have a safe flight.
MARC G – Thanks for reading the blog mate and it’s great that you decided to slap on a posting. You asked if I will be the cruise director on your Nov. 24 Carnival Freedom cruise. I am sorry to report that I will not. As I sit here typing I have already completed nine months onboard and it is time for a break. However, I will be leaving the ship in the very capable hands of the brilliant Todd Wittmer whom I assure you will make your cruise vacation unforgettable apologize that we cannot be together but I am sure that will happen one day soon. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you meantime and until then I send you best wishes.
KATHIE…………the poem was very funny and I did see it, there should be a reply on yesterday’s blog thingy. Cheers.
GINA – I see from your posting that you will soon be sailing on the Carnival Pride. You asked if I have ever been on the vessel but actually………..I have not. It is one of the few that I have never been a Cruise Director on along with the Carnival Spirit, the Carnival Miracle, the Carnival Valor and the Carnival Conquest. I also hope that we sail with each other soon and I am happy to hear that the blog thingy is keeping you going until you walk up the gangway on the beautiful Carnival Pride. Our best wishes to you and the family.
CARO AND KEN LEPAIN – First of all, welcome home and I hope the journey was not to bad despite the madness that is Rome airport. I remember our conversation well about you being married 30 years on the 30th and am also happy to hear that our humble gold plastic trophy has brought you so much joy. Thank you so much for your kind comments and I hope it is not too long before you can sail with us again. Please keep in touch through the blog thingy and my best to you both.
LINDA HERNACKI – Hello Linda and thanks for asking about the package mailing details. I will be leaving on the evening of 28 October on the late flight and if you mail anything to the address at the side of the blog in the next few days it will reach Chris in Miami who will immediately mail it to me in the U.K. You are dear friends and I wish you both health and happiness ALWAYS.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – Hello Paul. You can call me anything you like as long as you know we are friends. I know these past few days have been happier ones for you following your great news from the doctor and I could not be happier for you. You asked if I could send some photos of the other Carnival Ships and indeed I can so look out for those in a few days time. Many thanks for all your kind words mate, you are a true friend. Wishing you continued health from us both.
LEASA – Thank you for the jokes Leasa and it is very appropriate! Anyway, thanks mostly for the kind words about Alan whom I am sure will be fit and well again soon ready to get his own back on me for the many times I have left him in the brown stuff. Thanks again for the laughs and hope all is well with you.
DAVE MYERLY – OK, I am know dribbling and drooling having opened the link thingy about the new range of Aston Martins for 2008…………….what do I have to do to get one. I am only $150,000 short?
CATHERINE EBERT – Welcome back home Catherine and Heidi and I also wish you were still here. Thank you for the wonderful work you do and I have to agree with you that I also do not think that the big screen was too loud. Hope to see you again soon and until then please keep reading the blog thingy.
LANCE AND ILDA – Thanks for the positive reinforcement for Alan and I am so happy for you that Mum is doing so well now following her surgery. I am glad the Red Sox are doing well and I will keep wearing the hat until they lose and then wear another teams. I am a true fan. Best to you all and please keep reading the blog thingy.
LFTTNSFCF – Does Todd smoke cigars I hear you ask? Yes is the answer but only if someone else pays. He is a tight sod he really is and if he had a twin they would be a Pair Of Tights. Thanks for thinking of me mate, it means so much. See you soon.
TERESA C – I remember the time on the Carnival Liberty that we had to turn the big screen off because of the noise in Venice. I could understand that as we were docked in a residential area but now, here, on the Carnival Freedom there was nothing around us except the other ship………….maybe we were disturbing their basket weaving classes. Thanks for the memories Teresa and hope all is well with you.
BIG MIKE – Thanks for the support mate and I shall team you up with Big Ed and you will both be my bodyguard team. What size thong do you wear?
Thanks again and consider yourself hired.
KEVIN – Hello mate and yes, I did receive the photos of the Aston and all I can say is WOW. What a beauty and you must enjoy driving her so much. Having now seen the car I have decided that we must indeed do a photo shoot with Big Ed on the bonnet and I can see that being snapped up by GQ Magazine, Autocar and maybe one or two ummmmmmmmm….specialist magazines. Thanks for the plug not to be thrown into the doghouse too much but that’s a long shot at best. Thanks for cheering me up with the photos of the car and hope one day we can go for a ride. Cheers mate.
SHERYL PELTON – OH, go on, give me a clue………..please.
BIG ED – Big Ed………………meet……………….Big Mike.
You asked about the Carnival Spirit being the same class as the new Queen Victoria. Although the ships look similar the Queen Victoria is a brand new design and both the exterior and interiors are different. I will be posting a report about my recent visit over the weekend which I hope you will enjoy. Cheers mate…………..and see, I never even mentioned the thong.
KEVROB – Your name has been added to the bloggers party and an invitation will magically appear in your cabin. You asked about requesting ships tours, can you be more specific and I will try and help you mate. Cheers.
ESMEE K – All is well. I have seen the memo and your meetings, parties and cabin deliveries are all set. Drop me a note when you get here and I will be certain to give your group a big hello. See you soon and have a safe flight.

We now move onto one or two questions from the blog called the Royal Family.

GREG BALDASARRI – What a good question. What will the gifted people at Cunard do to top the soon to be launched magnificence that is Queen Victoria? Answer, I have no idea but it is going to be fun finding out. I wonder if this blog thingy will be around in 2010? Hope all is well with you mate and thanks as always for another great posting.
BILL – ZYDECOCRUISER – Ah, now I understand your previous posting. The Carnival Pride will indeed be going into drydock in December and although no major structural or design changes are going to be taking place, there will be essential maintenance carried out in all the public rooms and of course the engine and technical areas. Tell you what, if you remind me I will make sure we get plenty of photos sent over from the vessel to slap on the blog. The pre- inaugural sailing of the Carnival Splendor should now be on sale and it looks like a great trip. Are you ready for the fish and chips? Hope all is well mate, what did you have for dinner?
DWA 76 – Hello mate, just wanted to say hi and thank you for your compliments about the Queen Elizabeth………I think she is going to be rather special. Hope you and the family are well mate.
EBB TIDE – I am sorry you didn’t let me know it was your birthday. I would have loved to have sent you a card etc. Oh well, please except a happy birthday belated as it is. I am glad you are over your jet lag and also thank you so much for your compliments about your cruise here on the Carnival Freedom. I will have a look at your blog in a moment and I am sure it will be a great read. Please stay in touch through this blog thingy and send my best to your family.
KERSPLOTT – Welcome back from your Carnival Victory cruise. How is the weather in Alaska now? It sounds like the Concorde Effect was alive and well when you saw the Queen Mary 2 docked alongside and I have shared those goose bumps many times. I was so happy to hear that Malcolm took the time to promote the blog and I have just sent him a thank you e-mail. Thank you also for eating a doughnut from Tim Horton’s on my behalf, was it good? Your thoughts for Heidi and I are very kind and we return them to you and your family as well. Welcome back and see you next year.
MATT – I just had to say a big hello and thank you for your first ever posting mate. You asked about the Pinnacle project. This was a plan to possibly build a massive ship, possibly the biggest in the world but those plans are for now on hold. Instead, and in my opinion the good news, is that we are building two ships at 130,000 tons called the Carnival Dream and the Carnival Magic. I do not have many details on these vessels yet but PA 007 will be on the case and will let me know as soon as any news is about to break. I am really happy you have discovered the blog thingy and hope you continue to enjoy it. Cheers.

Thanks all for now, more tomorrow.

So, let’s talk about our Carnival Legends show.

This show is performed fleetwide. It was conceived by our brilliant director of Production Entertainment, Kerry Stables.

The show features 10 guests who have auditioned at previous karaoke events and have been chosen to perform by audience response. They are then given something called a PMS 3 player, so they can rehearse the song. They are then fitted with costumes and rehearse with our cast of 16 dancers and 2 singers along with the live 10-piece orchestra and all the bells and whistles that together make this a spectacular event. Just so you know the stars they perform as, here is the list:


There are also one or two special guest stars. During the last few days it has been reported to me by my fellow cruise directors that something strange was happening and today I saw it for myself here on the Carnival Freedom.

Can you guess what I am going to say? We had big problems with ……….. Britney Spears.

Now, on this ship, at this time of year, with the average age on board the ship being what it is most people think Britney Spears is a type of plant or a fishing and hunting supply shop in Georgia.

Nope, that wasn’t the problem. When we announced the auditions for Britney, we had three ladies sign up. Each one sang and each one was booed and jeered by the 300 or so people who were watching. Now, I don’t quite understand why, I do not watch or read the gossip stations and magazines. These magazines are littered all over the cabin and the only time I find them useful is if we run out of toilet paper………………..that’s me in the doghouse.

Heidi has explained to me that Britney is in a world of trouble at the moment and has just lost the custody of her two boys.

This has obviously had an effect on the nation as we also received four written comments that we should not have Britney in the show……….I am shocked. I had no idea people took this so seriously and not just on this ship.

The guests who auditioned for Britney were so upset at the way they were received at the auditions that all three of them had refused a chance to perform, therefore Britney will not be appearing in the show this evening.

I thought about making her spot a “comedy highlight” and having a male guest perform the number but judging from the current climate, it seems that may not be a good idea.

When the show was conceived Britney was on the top of her game and was heading to be a true legend. That is now obviously not the case. It will be interesting therefore to find out from some of you who you would like to see added to the Legends list. Remember, it needs to be someone who is popular to as many generations as possible or whose music is internationally known.

Let me know who you think fits that bill and I will pass your suggestions along should a change be needed.

I hope Britney sorts her life out and I wonder if she knew the reaction she was getting here, I wonder if that would be a wake up call for her.

Anyway, Heidi has just read the comment about the gossip magazines and I had better say goodnight before she hits me Baby One More Time….


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.