Foot In Mouth

October 17, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Evening from the beautiful South of France.

The season is over and there are many ways of seeing this is the case. First of all, we are the only ship here today and I am not just talking about cruise ships. Obviously the rich and famous have realized the weather is getting colder and the season is over as most of the mega yachts are gone…….where………I would guess the Caribbean but certainly today there are very few around. Even George Hamilton must be tanning elsewhere because I don’t see his yacht anywhere.

So, the sun was with us even though the temperature peaked at only 72 degrees. The tender operation went smoothly and compared to Dubrovnik……….well………….it’s like comparing a night of passion with Catherine Zeta Jones or …………well……me.

No time to go ashore today as blogging duties are required and of course helping Todd prepare everything for the ship’s return to the U.S.A. and in particular Miami. …………..funny…………I just used the delete button then……….I had written “ship’s return home” but then I decided that Europe is her home……….don’t know why…………just felt like this is the case……….look at me getting all sentimental.

I have just been reading some new additions to the fleet-wide safety drills that we hold for each and every guest. These are already in effect so I thought you might like to hear about them.

In the past we have asked guests to put their life jackets on and then proceed to their muster stations and once there we have you pay attention to the staff who then show you the correct and proper way to wear the lifejackets. This never made sense. Some people know how to put them on but many do not so now we will ask guests not to wear the lifejackets until at the muster stations and then show how to properly wear them during the drill.

After that, we will ask guests to take them off while all the other information about safety onboard is read out by the Cruise Director. This will, I am sure, be good news for those who have to hold their drills in very hot climates like Miami and Alaska!

You know, if I were to list a top ten things that get on my nerves the most……….somewhere on that list would be passengers who try to skip the drill or pay no attention to what’s happening.

Also on that list would be why it is I spend hundreds of dollars on lingerie for Heidi and she wears one of my t-shirts to go to bed and then when I look for that t-shirt I can’t find it because it’s under her pillow……………that’s me in the you know where again……………woof.

Here are some photos. These were taken by Jamie and are of Île Sainte-Marguerite, it is the island home to Fort Royal. This was the home to the famous Man in the Iron Mask……….the twin brother of a French King who looked like Leonardo De Cappio…….or something. Anyway, the island is located behind where the ship docks in Cannes.

Île Sainte-Marguerite

Île Sainte-Marguerite

Île Sainte-Marguerite

Île Sainte-Marguerite

Just one letter today from the In Their Own Words Section……………..but it is a special one.

In Their Own Words
In Their Own Words

Letters like this put so much into perspective and tonight Tom and Annette are dining at the Supper Club……..I am paying…….not Carnival………..me. I could have charged their meal but ……..well…….something told me I should pay……….it just makes me feel…well……….you understand. Think of them tonight please.

Here is the joke of the day.

Old man Murphy had worked down at the brewery for years, but one day he just wasn’t paying attention and he tripped on the walkway and fell over into the beer vat and drowned. The foreman thought it should be his job to inform the widow Murphy of her old man’s death. He showed up at the front door and rang the bell. When she came to the door, he said, “I’m sorry to tell you, but poor old Murphy passed away at work today when he fell into the vat and drowned.” She wept and covered her face with her apron and after a time, between sobs, she asked, “Tell me, did he suffer?” “I don’t think so,” said the foreman, “He got out three times to go to the men’s room.”

Here we go with today’s comments and questions.

As you can see, I have slapped on a lot of blogs in the last few days and once again I am up to 100 comments.

I will try and get through as many as I can today. Starting with the blog “Britney Jeers”. To skip the Q&A, click here.

GREG BALDASSARI – Hello mate. I sometimes forget to put my temperatures in Fahrenheit as well as Celsius. 8 degrees was 8 degrees Celsius……….it was bloody cold.
Venice is the most Northern port we go to and after a summer of high temperatures it was a shock to the system…..but for me a nice one as I love the cold. Cher would be a great replacement for Ms. Spears but unfortunately, she and Sonny already appear as special guest stars. Thanks Greg, it always gives me a thrill to see your name. Wish you all the best.
A CRUISE BY ANY OTHER NAME – What a great, idea Carly Simon. Out of all the ones you suggested, she would be my choice. Thank you for your information on the meteor shower, however, after what happened the last time, until I actually see huge lumps of rock plummeting towards the earth, there will be no announcement from me. Hope this finds you well and see you soon.
J TODDINMAN – Another classic. I lost the battle, my dad pulled rank and will be mounting the baseball bat for all to see……….I remain humbled by your gift. Thank you poet.
NICO R – Thanks mate.
KEVIN – Who is Christina Aguilera? Having typed this I realize I am showing my complete lack of knowledge for modern music. Anyway, I shall ask Heidi and see what she thinks. You asked if there was an inside joke you can play on the Cruise Director on the Carnival Miracle. His name is Brent and after everything he does you should say: “That’s John’s joke”……….and it really is. Cheers mate. Wishing you all the best and knock it down to third for me.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO – Hello mate, it’s great to hear from you again. Ahh, Tom Jones, that would certainly be a wonderful replacement for Britney. Heidi and I love Tom and so does my mum. Alan’s meningitis is passing and hopefully by the time you read this, he should be better. It sounds like you went through the same after your ordeal. I know Alan will appreciate your support even more knowing the fact that you have been through something similar. Wishing you continued health and happiness my friend.
SEAN – Michael Jackson………..mmmmmm, uhhhm, not sure how that would go over. The problem is, we tend to remember Michael now for the bad things and not the brilliant music that he has given us over the years. Still, it’s a great idea. I agree with you 100% about CNN, it is not my favorite news channel. The only reason we play CNN is that it contains the most North American news. Personally, I prefer BBC world or SKY and when I am in America, I watch FOX.
Anyway, for now, we have cancelled CNN on the big screen and instead play highlights of the shows and the Travel Channel. Thanks for all the suggestions, we both wish you well.
DANNY – Your vote has been cast and you won.
NANETTE – Hello Nani. I am sure the last few days have been very painful for you and the family. Heidi and I continue to think of you. I am glad I got to meet her on the Carnival Ecstasy many years ago. Through all your sadness I see that you still have time to think of Alan. What a special person you are. Muchos huggos.
ESMEEK – We will take care of your group and I will make sure I give them a big shout out. Can you have one of them leave me a note at the information desk and if there is anybody in particular you want me to say Hello to, let me know.
Ahh, Liza Minelli and Tina Turner. True legends and two great suggestions.
Wish you were here with us, all the best.
CARRIE FROM HEIDELBERG – I am glad you enjoyed the wonderful weather when you sailed with us in June and you will definitely notice a difference now. I am glad you enjoyed the concerts on the big screen and hopefully one day soon you will be back to watch more with us. So far, Celine Dion has had more votes than anyone for Britney’s replacement and I will let you all know the final result. Heidi and I send our best to you in Germany with a big “Auf Wiederhoren.”
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – I am glad you enjoyed the breakfast description, it was pure fantasy, probably like you, all I had was oatmeal. We do offer 24 hour news on the cabin TV’s and since taking CNN off the big screen, we have not had any comments asking where it is. I loved your suggestions for Britney’s replacement and another great vote for Tina, who is just behind Celine at the moment. Thank you for thinking of Alan. Thank you for being the fun person you are.
LINDA HERNACKI – Hello Linda. I guess the reason I call Alan ugly is because he is. It was his ugliness that stopped us getting any girls to come within 50 feet of us. I promise to post a photo of him when he is better and he will be. Thank you so much for mailing the package to Heidi and I. Heidi was thrilled to hear that you have a Dachshund called Rascal. Heidi’s favorite aunty has the same dog called Sara and she, like Rascal, is a big lump of fun. One day soon you can sit together and tell dog stories and I wish you and Mike the richest blessings.
LADY FATIMA – Ok, now I am scared.
BLUE MAX BOB – We agreed with you and CNN has been removed. You are also very correct, if a world news story occurs, I will put this on the big screen. Thanks very much for your input and thank you for reading the blog thingy.
LINDSEY B – Barry White, wouldn’t that be fantastic, although I can only imagine some of the attempts to copy his voice would be rather comical. Heidi thinks he was fantastic. Keep warm in Buffalo and see you soon.
GIRLDOG – I guess not too many people have the ability to tune things out like you do. It is for that reason that we have removed CNN. There has never been and there never will be a shortage of comments from guests that are amusing, to say the least. As requested, I will continue to share them with you. Hope all is well and thanks for your posting.
RUTH JAMISON – You are correct, we are counting down the days to our holidays. I am glad you enjoyed the photos and my description of breakfast. Maybe I should be a food writer…….mmmm, there is a thought. Thank you for saying how much you enjoy my morning shows and before you know it, I will be saying Good Morning Ruth on the Carnival Splendor.
My best to you and the family.
VIKKI AND MATT TILL – I am glad I gave you some Friday laughs and it would be nice one day for us to all have laughs together in person. Hope your Buckeyes are doing well and if I would have a Buckeye hat, they would do even better.
All the best to you both.
JOHN FRIEDMANN – CNN is still available in the cabins and I think John, we have found a happy medium by only playing it as and when a large story breaks. I loved your suggestion of Rod Stewart, he is one of my all time favorites, I promise to do something special for Heidi and have even considered super sizing her fries when I take her to McDonalds. Most importantly, I want to say a big thank you for your kind thoughts for Alan. It means the world to me. Cheers mate.
LINDA, MUM OF DJ – How fantastic to hear that you played the part of Gloria Estefan in the Carnival Legends show during your recent Carnival Victory cruise and thank you for your kind comments about the cast. I agree with you that Tina would be a wonderful replacement for Britney and she has now tied for first place with Celine. I am looking forward to seeing the photos of DJ and Heidi and I hope we get to meet your fantastic son one day soon.
MARC G – I have heard that laser tag is very popular on the Carnival Liberty and I understand that very soon it will be a fleet-wide addition. You will be happy to know that CNN, FOX (SKY) and other news stations are available 24 hours in the cabin but for now we will keep it off the big screen, unless something major develops. Now, as for your suggestions on Britney’s replacement, the best has to be Axel Rose. I can just imagine a retired gentleman from Florida singing “Welcome To The Jungle.” I am sure that will bring the house down.
Great posting Marc and many thanks.
LFTTNSFCF – How about that for a great idea. A Carnival Legends show featuring the orchestra musicians as Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong etc. We certainly have the most talented orchestra on board as you will see for yourself in 12 days time. The cigars are on me and Todd will be looking after you.
Finally, I know I am British but nothing beats BBC news, just my opinion. See you soon and best to Mrs. Missing the you-know-what.
PAT AND FRANK – I see you are missing the Mediterranean sunshine. Welcome back from your September Carnival Freedom cruise and it sounds like you had a fantastic time. Goodness, it sounds cold up there in Canada, try and stay warm. Heidi is thrilled that you have sent her two Starbucks mugs and we will look forward to drinking a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee from them. Hope to see you soon and thanks again for reading the blog.
DIVE TRASH – Can anybody tell me where the expression “Raining Cats and Dogs” comes from?
Anyway, a big hello to you in the town of Hulk Hogan New Jersey. It seems your idea of Cher and Barbara Streisand are very popular however, and please forgive me……….who the heck ……….is Gwen Stefani? See you on the Bloggers Cruise, not long now.
MIKE L – That’s a big pair of Speedo’s, however, I will have them specially made and hope to see you wearing them soon.
OKTEACH – Another vote for Celine Dion, however, I agree with you, the theme song from the ship beginning with “T” may not be the way to go, to be honest though, I don’t know any other songs she sings. Thanks for reading the blog and post again soon.
RUSS AND NINA FRANKLIN – I love the expression you used to describe Britney……..pop tart…….very funny.
Tina Turner has now taken the lead and I will let you know the final results. I am glad you enjoyed the Carnival Pride so much and I agree with whoever that comedian was, when he said about the whole ship being x-rated. Some of the art work is very risqué. However, it is a beautiful ship and one of our most popular. Thank you so much for the kind words for Heidi, myself and Alan and you both continue to be such wonderful supporters of the blog thingy.
TERRI 910 – And it’s neck and neck between the French Canadian lady with the funny teeth and Proud Mary. I promise, no Bruce Springsteen. The fact that you offered to light a candle for my mate Alan is remarkable and his family and I appreciate your kind gesture so much. Thank you for being such a great friend.
LADY JADE – Me too.
MYRA BUSHNELL – And Tina takes the lead. I have no idea who wrote the posting about Fatima but just the mention of the word has my bottom cheeks clenching together tighter than two Scotsmen. How was your horror night at Universal Studios, I hear those shows are wonderful. Let me know more. I would love to support the Jacksonville Jaguars but unfortunately, I don’t have a hat. Thank you for your continuing thoughts for my friend Alan and Heidi sends you her best.
TERESA AND PAUL B – As mentioned, Cher already makes a guest appearance. I totally agree with you about Britney, she could have had it all and it’s a real shame. We will see you soon and hopefully the blog will keep you going. All the best.
SHELLY P – You are so right, you can’t please all the people all the time. A lot of my time is spent putting our small fires and sometimes I really need to remind myself that the big picture shows everyone is having the most fantastic vacation when they cruise with us. Heidi sends you her best and thank you so much for thinking of Alan.
We return your best wishes to you and your family.
IVANA – Welcome back home and I hope you had a fantastic trip. Thank you for thinking of all your blogging friends on this posting and you mentioned both Tina and Celine so it’s still very close. Send us some information about your trip. We would love to here about the beautiful city of Prague. Welcome home.
KEVROB – It is such a shame that, since the world has changed, tours of the bridge and engine room are no longer allowed. Thank you for your posting and thank you for your service in the United States Navy.
KAREN TESSIER/EDMONSON – I did feel a little guilty after calling the ship that complained (allegedly) about the volume related to the big screen “the Snitch of the Seas”. This morning however, I woke up thinking………..am I bovvered?
I have not forgotten your Christmas ornament and the gift shop manager Justine has told me they will restock these in the coming days and as soon as they are here we will proceed. The wineries in Italy are amazing and we will add more soon.
KATHIE – Thanks for thinking of Alan and thank you for the kind words, all the best to you and your family.
MONICA AND AL – While we are here in Europe we have taken CNN off the big screen. I am sure this will be re-examined upon the ship’s return to the U.S. You asked about the time zones for the T.V. stations our ships show in the Caribbean. Now, this may seem strange but the national signal that goes to all the ships sailing in the Caribbean go through Denver, Colorado. I am not sure what time zone that is but the ABC and NBC stations go through there while the CBS station goes through Nashville, Tennessee. Hope this helps you and let me know if you need any more information. All the best.
RAYMOND CZENSZAK – Having seen the Carnival Legends show, I remember like you do, the warm reception Ms Spears received. How times have changed. You mentioned Celine, which puts her back in the lead. I hope you enjoy your Carnival Liberty cruise and I hope you will cruise with us again soon.
KATHIE – Your vote won.
JUDI – Thank you. Thinking of Alan is so very kind and I really hope your prayers will be answered. Thank you so much.
TOM AND JANE – I just read the article in the St. Petersburg Times. I had forgotten all about that one as I have done so many interviews in the past months. Thank you so much and I am so excited to receive my Aston Martin coffee mug. You are both great friends.
MARY KAY – I too am very sorry to hear that we will not be together on your December 8 Carnival Freedom cruise. You will have a wonderful time, I promise. I wish you both a very happy anniversary.
Please keep reading the blog thingy.
KATHY KROLL – Tom Jones. He is now in third place. Would Paul play him in the show?

WE NOW MOVE TO ONE OR TWO QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS FROM THE BLOG CALLED “THE QUEEN….REVISITED”

BIG ED – Thanks mate. I am always nervous after writing a ship review and words of congratulations from you mean the world. Thanks again.
SHERYL PELTON – Goodness, you are so kind. Thank you for saying how much you enjoyed the review of the Queen Victoria. Soon we will be on vacation and I do promise at least two blogs a week. Mostly, thank you for thinking of my friend Alan and also your kind words for Heidi and I. Many thanks, all the best.
KATHIE – I am not sure if “Gobsmacked ” will be well received by some of my friends from Cunard. However, hopefully they will see that it truly expressed how I felt. Hope you are enjoying the blog and best wishes.
M@&RT – Welcome back guys. Hope you had a wonderful time with us. We miss you here.
PEANUTS – I am sure the package will be here in Rome tomorrow and thank you so very much in advance. The Queen Victoria is truly stunning and I hope one day to sail on her as I am sure do many of the people who read this blog thingy.
NICO R – I will indeed be the Cruise Director on the 8-day Carnival Splendor cruise. The ports are fantastic and I hope we sail together for what will be a super experience. Cheers!
CARL HARMON – Go Red Socks! Did they win their second game?
LUIS TORRES – How was your Carnival Sensation cruise and may I say many congratulations on your 26th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, Heidi and I will be on vacation during your December cruise but I know you will have a fantastic time. We both send our best wishes to you and please keep reading the blog thingy.
JENN AND MEYER – I do not blame you for saying “One day I would love to sail on the Queen Victoria.” I hope that day becomes reality for you. You asked about what tours are friendly for your kids who are aged 2 and 4. The best tour I can suggest is the Camp Carnival tour. Their tour will include fun, playtime, naptime and as many chicken nuggets as they can eat. This will leave you to enjoy our wonderful excursion program. What do you think? Let me know and our best to the entire family.
CAPTAIN CHUCK – The library on the Queen Victoria was, without doubt, one of the highlights of my visit.
I hope things are settling down and you and the family continue to be in our thoughts.
DAVE AND MELANIE MYERS – Maybe one day your dream of stepping foot aboard the Cunard liner Queen Victoria will come true. I am glad you enjoyed the review and thank you so much for taking the time to read it.
All the best.
LORI ANN JEFFERS – Your thoughts on traveling alone on Carnival Cruise Lines and how safe you find it were so wonderful to read. In fact, your whole posting was a wonderful advert on what makes Carnival so many people’s first choice when it comes to taking a cruise. Thank you for spending time with us in Europe and I am glad your dream of seeing these magnificent places came true. So far, no news on the 2009 Europe cruises, however, as soon as I know, you will know I promise. Thank you again for those wonderful words and I hope to see you again very soon.
JIMNI – Welcome back and how nice that one of the first things you posted were your kind thoughts and prayers for Alan and Nanette. Hope to hear from you again and see you before you know it.
LESLEY – I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say “Your blog is over the top for Cunarders, we expect the best but do not gloat about it when we get it.” When Carnival Corporation invested its money with the purchase of Cunard we knew we were buying a magnificent company. I am proud to be part of Carnival Corporation which includes Cunard and having seen the incomparable Queen Victoria I really wanted to tell the world and the 800,000 bloggers how truly special this ship is. I apologize if in your opinion the blog was over the top, maybe you could educate me in advising what tone the blog should have taken. I just wanted the world to know how lucky we are. Some people reading this blog may never be lucky enough to cruise with Cunard and I therefore hope my blog is one way they can experience everything that is Cunard. I am sure you understand. Wishing you all the best and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
LAUREN – The mega suite was the only cabin that we were able to see and it was truly impressive. I am sure however all the staterooms are magnificent. The bathtub however was a scene stealer.
JULIE GANTT – Thank you, you are too kind.
CHRIS PLUMB – Welcome back home and I am really happy that you had such a wonderful time here on board. I have passed your congratulations to Gary and Ron and Heidi as well and I do hope that we get to sail with you again in the near future. All the best until then.
BIG ED – You are correct, we really have to play catch up with Princess as they now have the ability to book spa appointments on-line. I will give this all my attention. Cheers mate.

That’s all I have time for today, more of course to follow tomorrow.

To finish with today (I have a 5:30am start with debarkation tomorrow) lets chat about this cruise. The guests seem very happy and they have been very lucky with the weather, especially this time of year. The shows were brilliantly received and apart from the usual comments I think that once again the friendly crew of the good ship Carnival Freedom can be proud.

Today, I also completed the new Past Guest video that will now be sent to the office for editing etc. The theme I used was “Welcome Home” and hopefully you will all enjoy it……….it should be out to the fleet sometime soon. One of the things I did was to interview a wide demographic of guests and just have them “chat” about why they keep coming back to Carnival. Most people I interviewed listed the value for money, the friendly crew, the food and the entertainment.

A few people I interviewed however said something rather different and we will not be using their interviews……….here is a transcript of what was said by the first of those …………..the wonderful Carmen Tommasi.

“I have been on 18 Carnival Cruises and in November I am booked on the Carnival Spirit, in December I am doing Christmas and New Year on the Carnival Liberty and in February I am on Holland America for three weeks.. I am 77 years old and the reason I cruise so often is that it is cheaper for me to live on a cruise ship than in Sarasota. I get all the food I want and shows and someone to look after me. My family lives in New Jersey and are too busy to see me so I just cruise.”

The reason I won’t use her is not the fact that she has mentioned Holland America, they are family after all. It was also not the fact that she cruises to ummmmmm……save money, in fact that is a great point. The value of a Carnival cruise is obviously so good that she feels she can have a better quality of life onboard than in Sarasota.

Nope, the reason I won’t be using her is that the piece about her family not visiting her was said with such ………sadness……..that I really don’t think it portrays the happy image we are looking for, I actually felt quite sorry for her.

I have many happy memories of this cruise but the overriding two will be the couple I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery. Then there is the letter posted on today’s blog from Mrs. Masterson…………..both were so inspiring and hearing that we brought some laughter into lives which had been full of sadness………..well………..I am …….I think……….well…………you know.

I would liked to have finished the blog on that note but I cannot because…………..I messed up………..oh…….did I mess up and one guest is not happy with me at all.

Tonight, I took the Entertainment Staff to dinner at the Supper Club to thank them for all their hard work. What is it about this place that gets me into trouble…………….remember the man who threw his napkin at me?

Anyway, it was a nice evening right up until just before the main course when a guest waved me over for a photograph. The man was in his forties and the lady a lot older. As I posed with them both and the waitress took the photo, I looked at the man and said “I hope you and your Mother have had a great time……………..he looked at me and said, “That’s not my mother – this is my wife”…………………………………….oops !

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.