The Power Of Love

October 14, 2007 -

John Heald

I cut my finger today…………I needed a stitch…………it hurts…………….I am a big baby…………..Heidi added that bit.

The worst thing is its one of my two typing fingers so I now have one finger for you………..pardon the expression.

I cut my finger on a piece of glass………..I accidentally dropped a photo frame (of Heidi and I at our wedding) that was sitting on the desk. In my hurry to pick up the pieces before the Mrs. arrived on the scene I cut my finger on a piece of glass deeply enough for the doctor to add a stitch. I would appreciate some sympathy because I got none from Heidi who was more concerned at the damage to the $20 photo frame I had broken. So here I am starting today’s blog at 1:30 pm with a stitched finger and back in the dog house………again.

So, good afternoon on this lovely Friday afternoon as I sit here to start the blog before I leave to host the Newly Wed game and then the 5 pm Afternoon Show. The weather is lovely once again and the sun is shining on this autumnal day…………typing with one finger is going to take forever.

Later today I will post my report about the visit I made to the Queen Victoria and also coming up next week we have more guest interviews to look forward to.

This morning I hosted the Livorno/Debarkation talk and as always the Q and A session afterwards provided me with the usual amount of merriment and today, a little bit of frustration as well…………..Let me explain.

One of the very first people to raise their hands was a gentlemen in his sixties or seventies and I knew straight away before he said a word that he would have something negative to say………………..and he did. Here is the conversation as best I remember it with me and Mr. Brooklyn ……….. that’s where he said he was from. Here we go.

Mr. Brooklyn……………..my name is ^%$# and I am from Brooklyn and I want to know why it so many of your crew do not speak English.

Groans from the audience and a few boos

John…………..Well, the crew are from 50 different countries and most of them speak very good English and to be in a public area or service area we require them to speak English. Have you a specific person you are referring to?

Mr. Brooklyn…………No it is everyone and nobody understand what I want when I tell them what to do for me.

Now, that statement was said with such venom that I found myself getting upset but even more importantly so were all the other guests …………in fact one gentlemen who was seated in the row behind stood up and snatched the microphone from Mr. Brooklyn’s hand and said “You are talking nonsense. I have been on 7 cruises and this crew all speak English and I think you should keep your opinions to yourself.” This was met with general applause from the guests.

Now, I could see things were getting out of hand so I came of stage and asked Mr. Brooklyn to wait for me until the end of the Q & A so that I could address his concerns personally.

The Q & A then continued and it was given a huge comical lift when a lady asked this gem.

“I am staying in Rome for two extra days. Can Carnival make an appointment for me to see the Pope?”……………..although I had a smorgasbord of comebacks on that one I just said……………..Let me call him and I will get back to you…………….at this afternoon’s show I will call her, pretend to be the pope and ask her to tea.

Then it was back to Mr. Brooklyn. I spoke to him for a few minutes and do you not what?……….I am not going to waste my time and certainly not yours by talking anymore about this man. Let me just say that he was one of the most bitter people I have ever met, so much so…………..I actually left feeling sorry for him.

I love the crew on this and all our ships and although their English may not be perfect they are without doubt the best in the business and I am proud to work alongside them all…………………….he really has got to me hasn’t he?……….I hate it when that happens. Here are two photos from today’s debarkation talk showing the standing ovation.

Photo of crew at debarkation talk

Photo of crew at debarkation talk

Here are some amazing photos of The Mount Etna at 2900 tour………………have a look at these.

The Mount Etna at 2900 tour

The Mount Etna at 2900 tour

The Mount Etna at 2900 tourThe Mount Etna at 2900 tour

The Mount Etna at 2900 tour

The Mount Etna at 2900 tour

The Mount Etna at 2900 tour

Here is Today’s In Their Own Words Section
In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

It’s the joke of the day.

A man went to a barber for a trim and a shave. While the barber was lathering the man up for his shave, the man told the barber that he always has a hard time getting a close shave on his cheeks.

The barber pulled a small wooden ball out of this cabinet drawer. “Place this ball between your cheek and gum on the right side and I can give you a close shave.”

The man did this, and the barber shaved the right side of his face.

“Wow!” exclaimed the man, “that is great! Smooth as a baby’s bottom!”

He put the ball in the left side of his mouth, in anticipation of the barber’s next move. Just then he gulped and gagged with an involuntary jerk. The ball was now stuck in the back of his mouth.

With muffled voice he asked, “Buh what happens if I accidentowy swawo du baw?”

The barber said, “Don’t worry about it. Here’s some water. Swallow it down and just bring it back tomorrow…that’s what the last guy did.”

Let’s do some Q & A………………with one finger I will answer as many as I can. The usual apology follows with me just answering questions. I have so many to catch up on plus I want to get this posted tonight so you have something over the weekend.

CAN I PLEASE SAY A COLLECTIVE THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU FOR ACKNOWLEDGING THE WONDERFUL WORK THAT ROBERTO HAS SHOWN HE DOES DURING HIS INTERVIEW. I KNOW YOU HAVE MADE HIM FEEL VERY PROUD………THANK YOU ALL.

Here we go. To skip Q&A, click here.

LINDA HERNACKI – I am sure your grandsons realize they have the best grandmother in the world, especially when they see those wonderful presents you buy them every time you cruise. Linda, I am still unsure as to what ships I will be on in April and May 2008 and as soon as I know my exact schedule I will of course make sure I tell you. Postage from Miami to the UK should take no more than seven days and Heidi and I look forward to corresponding with you over the holiday season. I hope Mike is well and give my best to your ever expanding family.
LISA AND ELAINE – I am not sure when I will be in your area but when I am I will be sure to let you know. Many thanks for the kind hospitality and you can hopefully show me a Gator or two. Best to you both.
WANMAN – I will be happy to help you celebrate your sister’s birthday and ask that you send me a reminder the week before your cruise on the Carnival Conquest. Many thanks for all your kind words and my best to you and the family.
TRACY – Hello Tracy. You asked what ship I will be on in 2008. Well, I will return for the bloggers cruise on January 19 and then after that I am uncertain. I will be sailing on a few of the Carnival ships assisting the younger Cruise Directors before returning to the Carnival Freedom. Then in May I will head to the shipyard to get the next vessel ready. Her name will be Carnival Splendor and she will be sailing in the Baltic and the Mediterranean from the United Kingdom………come and have some fish and chips. You obviously have joined the blog in the last few days so welcome. You asked who “Alan” is. He is my best mate and is very ugly. He is also undergoing major surgery at the moment and I am deeply concerned about him. As you can see, all the folks on the blog have been so kind in offering their sympathies etc as I see you did to. Thank you so much for that and welcome to the blog, I hope you enjoy it.
BIG ED – Mrs. Big Ed has asked me to suggest places to hide from you and I on the ship……………………..the gym?
MARY BOB FROM THE BOB FAMILY – I am so glad that you have written and I hope you all had a safe journey back home. How is “Carl Bob” doing after his accident in Rome? Does he have to have surgery? I am sure you will have a wonderful time on the Carnival Miracle for Thanksgiving and I have alerted the ship to the fact that 116 Bobs will be sailing. Thank you so much for all your kind comments and hope to sail with you again very soon. Cheers.
MICHELLE MANN – Sorry for the confusion Michelle. Immigration is more complicated now than ever so my suggestion is that you bring as much identification as possible and work on the idea that you can never have to much. Looking forward to tea and crumpets and let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Thanks so much for the cabin number and please remind me one more time the week before you sail. I will let you know the latest on Alan shortly and as always thank you so much for asking about him and your concern. Please let me know if your friend gets her audience with the Pope and I hope she has a great cruise. Thanks again Carol and see you soon.
CANUCK CRUISER – Thanks so much for the fabulous posting and all the sports information as well. I am glad my Red Sox are doing well still. OK, to answer your question on what to do in Key West I have two suggestions. Firstly, if you have never seen the town itself we have a wonderful Trolley Tour which shows you just why Key West is so popular. Also, once the tour is finished you should see the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum or just sit at one of the famous restaurants such as Sloppy Joe’s and watch the world go by. There are also wonderful snorkel tours to choose from as well as other eco-friendly excursions…….the choice is yours.
Now let me tell you everything I know about Calica ……………………….. there, did you enjoy that? Unfortunately I have never been but let me contact the Cruise Director on the Fascination and I will pass on his recommendations. Thanks again and my best to you and all my Canadian blogging friends.
JUST IN. Here are some recommendations from Trevor who is the Cruise Director on the Fascination. Here are his top tips for Calica
Caverns by Jeep & Beach Combo. Really unique I think, because Americans don’t really get to do this back at home. You can go underground into the caves and rivers (actually kind of eerie) but cool. You also get a stop at Xpu-Ha beach to relax for a while and pray to the Sun G-d RA!!!
Mayan Ruins of Tulum – No need to tell YOU about this. I’ve seen your travel talk before (although Brett’s “Fruit of Tulum” joke was always good for a laugh. You can also do a combo tour with Tulum and Xelha (natural aquarium formed by lagoons) and also relax, snorkel, swim or even a tube ride. So again, a nice combination tour.
Finally, one of my all time favorites was X-caret – an eco/archeological park (similar to a theme park) complete with natural pools and lagoons to swim in, an aquarium, a butterfly pavilion, an underground river. Bus comes back every hour on the hour
RIKKI BOYCE – Well spotted. In answer to your question the answer is yes, you do get one extra hour because of daylight savings times. Here are the clock changes for the TA cruise.
Sun, Oct, 28 Rome arr @ 1pm
Mon, Oct, 29 Rome dep @ 7pm
Tue, Oct, 30 Livorno 7am-8pm
Wed, Oct, 31 at sea 8am-6pm
Thu, Nov, 01 Malaga 1pm-8pm
Fri, Nov, 02 at sea One hour back
Sat, Nov, 03 Maderia 8am-6pm
Sun, Nov, 04 at sea
Mon, Nov, 05 at sea One hour back
Tue, Nov, 06 at sea One hour back
Wed, Nov, 07 at sea One hour back
Thu, Nov, 08 at sea One hour back
Fri, Nov, 09 at sea One hour back
Sat, Nov, 10 at sea One hour back – D S T
So basically, you are getting seven hours of cruising for free. How about that then. See you soon and let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
CARL AND BARB THE BEAR – How are you feeling Barb. I hope you are getting stronger every day and even though you have your own worries, you still have time to think others, how wonderful you are.
To answer your question ” is Roberto going to be on the bloggers cruise……….the answer is YES.” It would not be the same without him and he along with Vance who reads every blog before Roberto does what he does will be with us. I am also hoping to have Chris Prideaux and Roger Blum sail as well………….it should be quite an incredible experience. So, thanks for your kind words again and all your support of the blog thingy.
SOUTHERNDREAMS – See you soon!
DWA76 – Hello mate and as usual your kind words of support on so many levels are very much appreciated. I am glad you liked the photos and you asked the name of the ship on the right hand side of the Carnival Freedom while she was docked in Venice. Her name was The Snitch Of The Seas or The Jealous Of The Seas because we had a big screen and they don’t so they went running to officer Armani and said “It’s too loud, turn it down, we want to go to bed, its 8:30 pm” ………….got that off my chest then. Thanks mate and I hope you enjoy the photos today of Mount Etna. My best to you and the family.
JAMES EMM – I have asked Dino the Maitre D to take care of your table and I am sure he will be able to assist you. Drop me a line when you are onboard and I will look forward to speaking to you. Have a safe flight and see you soon mate.
NANI – Thinking of you………..always
LFTTNSFCF – Hello Jon. I wanted to say that you are correct when insisting Roberto be on the Bloggers cruise. He will be my side and will have the extra job of helping Big Ed in and out of his thong. All set for you her and maybe we can have Jon and Diane play for the Bloggers Party. Best to Mrs. MTSFP and see you soon.
MARY AND MOE – Having read your posting the first thing I wanted to do was to was to say that we should all salute the sterling work carried about by air traffic controllers everywhere, especially in a busy airport such as Miami. There work is never heralded and please thank him and his colleagues on our behalf. Thank you for asking what size Heidi takes……..she would take a size 12 or a medium……how kind of you to ask. I am so happy that you both enjoy the blog so much and I hope one day soon I can shake your husbands hand and say a big OLA to you both. Thanks again and Heidi is excited about her shirt.
IRENE R – Hello Irene. You asked if Roberto had ever taken a cruise with me but the strange thing is not only is the answer no, he has not…………..we have actually never met. This will be rectified next year when we sail together on the bloggers cruise and I shall look forward to that day very much. Why not come and join us?
ERIC – Just wanted to say welcome back from your Carnival liberty cruise. I am glad you enjoyed the art work and let me know your thoughts on the entertainment and all you enjoyed. Welcome back and I am sure your next cruise on the Carnival Valor will be even more special now that you are part of the elite Platinum club.
ALAN AND CHRIS – Thanks for the fun posting and even if Alan’s insurance does not cover plastic surgery I will pay for it myself out of my Aston Martin fund………….I would be doing the world a favor 🙂 I see you will be cruising the Med on the beautiful Costa Mediterranean and maybe we will be port together. Hopefully you will be still reading the blog thingy next year and you can remind me of your sailing date so we can see if indeed we are. Thanks again for your kind words and hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy.
RENEE – That was so very nice of you and thank you for taking the time to mention one of your colleagues. Hope you are well and thank you for everything you do at Carnival Cruise Lines.
ESMEE K – Wow, you are excited. I am glad the new Carnival Splendor brochure has gotten you this way and let me answer your question………….don’t get too excited now………………have a cup of tea ………….. calm down…………..OK, here we go.
You asked which of the ports Heidi and I have been to and the answer is all of them except the ones in South America. We have sailed the Grand Med and Greece and Turkey itineraries on the Carnival Liberty and here on the Carnival Freedom so we really have been lucky. In 2004 we sailed to the Baltic on the Carnival Legend so that means we got to see ports like St.Petersburg and Estonia. These ports are some I am particularly excited to go back and see. Are you thinking of joining us? If so, please know that I will be here should you need any help at all on which cruise is right for you. I hope today’s blog finds you well and Heidi and I send you our best.
PAUL AND TERESA B – Heidi and I read about the passing of Paul’s Dad. We send you our most sincere sympathies. He has been promoted to glory…………..something my Mum & Dad always say …………….and I hope that helps just a little bit. We are both thinking of you and your family tonight.
KATHY KROLL – Hello Kathy, I wondered where you had got to. Hope all is well with you and Paul. Thank you for the compliments on winning the award and for my mate Roberto. You have a lot of catching up to do on the blog and I hope you post again very soon.

That’s all for now. I will reply to all the comments on the blog called Brittney Jeers tomorrow and if I have missed an important question from anyone, please let me know.

This was a strange blog and one that I have found difficult to complete. I started writing it in Messina on Thursday, did a little bit more on Friday while at sea and here I am on Barcelona afternoon putting the finishing touches to it…………..I just seem to have been running around doing so much more than usual the last 48 hours. Let me list the projects I am working on now apart from the usual day to day responsibilities I have

1. Shooting a new past guest video which will be shown fleetwide and has to be ready by Monday………….it nearly is.
2. Preparing the trans-Atlantic Capers and schedules for Todd to approve when he arrives next cruise.
3. Writing a blog about the Queen Victoria – which is now posted and I was very pleased to have done……..what a ship.

Doesn’t sound like much but it really has thrown me behind a bit so I desperately want this blog posted ASAP as I know you are all waiting for it.

Before we chat about Barcelona, let me give you an update on my mate Alan. For the first time he was able to text me from hospital today. He has had meningitis following his surgery but that seems to be better today. He sent me a text saying that he only got his tumor after he started reading the blog so it was good to see he is staying positive. I will be home for his next surgery and I will keep you updated.

The bad news is that the surgeon refused to help with any plastic surgery. This means Alan will stay an ugly sod…………how ugly is he? I once saw a dog humping his leg………………the dog had its eyes closed.

So, today Heidi insisted that I get off the ship. I have not stepped foot ashore apart from my visit to the Queen Victoria and the boss said I had to go………………so trying to avoid being put back in with the dogs, so away we went. We had a wander down La Rambla the center of the city full of shops and Tapas Bars and lots of street performers who are dressed in strange attire………like this one.

Street Performer

She has a nice pair…………….sorry spelt that wrong……………..pear.

As we headed for Heidi’s favorite shoe shop “Las Payless” I was reminded once again that I am the Cruise Director both on and off the vessel.

Let me just say that today was Saturday and there were 1 billion people in town but once again my delicate frame was spotted by a guest wearing one of our tour stickers, Blue 9 which was the Highlights of Barcelona Tour……….here is the conversation.

MR. Blue 9……………You are the Social Director aren’t you?
Me………..Yes, how can I help you?
Mr. Blue 9………Yes, we are on the tour and are not very happy. There are too many people and it’s too hot.
Me……….Oh, I am sorry to hear that, it is Saturday and I did mention that in my travel information
Mr. Blue 9…………We don’t watch you, we prefer to play cards. Our biggest complaint is that there is nothing to see on the tour except historical buildings, churches and now we have to shop in this heat.
Me……….Well sir, that is the name of the tour. The Highlights and Shopping tour, did you read the description?
Mr. Blue 9………Yes but I thought it would be better than this
At this point I knew that unless I ended it there and then that we would still be there now. So I took his cabin number and name and one of the shore excursion managers will contact him and we see what needs to be done.
So, of we walked again and not five minutes later we were stopped by a guest but this time………….it was a meeting that……….well could not have been more of a contrast to the one a few minutes earlier.

I had spoke to these two people on the Afternoon show on Friday ………..here is their letter I read out.

Special Letter

Special Letter
Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery are very special people. They have been married for 54 years and as you can see from their letter they have a lot of kids and a big family. Mr. Montgomery is in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease………..he told me this live on the show and now as we met I could see that was true. I also saw though am man who had spent 36 years in the United States Coast Guard and even though his hand and body shook every other word he stood straight and true and his eyes still had a steely blue resolve in them. They wanted to thank me for making this vacation so special. Mrs. Montgomery has had a terrible illness as well for the last 15 years and she told me that this would be their last vacation together.

I said that they would be back next year but they both said no……….we know we are on “borrowed time” and we are having the best time ever.

As they spoke their hands reached for each others in a powerful display of love and everlasting friendship. As we said our goodbyes and walked away I knew without looking that Heidi would have tears in her eyes and I hoped nobody in La Rambla could see mine.

Tonight, I delivered DVD’s of the ports of call and all the show’s as well as returning their letter which I placed in a Carnival photo frame along of one of the ship signed by myself and the Captain.

I will never forget Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery………I hope they live the rest of their lives in peace and contentment……..whatever happens, I know they will always be their for each other and still as much in love today as they were 54 years ago.

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.