Tigger………and Poo!

January 12, 2008 -

John Heald

Last night I saw Zebras, Elephants and Tigers…………………..last night I went………..to the circus. 

Good Morning everyone. I am sitting here in my hotel room and the digital clock is telling me that it is 6:07 am and considering I did not get to bed until past midnight I guess my body is still as confused as a Frenchmen with a bar of soap. 

Heidi is somewhere under the covers doing her impression of a starfish and I am not looking forward to when she wakes up. This will be because of the vat of wine she drank last night………more about that later. 

So, back to the circus. We were due to meet some great friends for dinner last night and I had received a cryptic message from them saying they would be picking us early because they had “a surprise ” for me……………Now, when someone says something like this you spend time wondering if this is a good surprise like a ride in a Bentley, a photo of Uma Thurman’s bottom or a restaurant with the sign “all you can eat” outside. Then there is the bad type of surprise…………….being told you are going to take a yoga class…………..a photo of your ex girlfriends bottom or a restaurant that only serves French food. 

Luckily, the surprise was a good one…………in fact it was an excellent one because having read the previous weeks blog where I confessed to my boyhood dream of being a circus ringmaster they had purchased tickets for the greatest show in the world …………. Ringsting, Barnum and Baileys Circus …………..or something like this. 

The last time I went to a circus was 30 something years ago and oh my gosh how it has changed. The show really was outstanding and thoroughly modern with dancers, pyrotechnics, video effects and a huge cast of performers. It was held at the American Airlines Arena where the Miami Heat plays and by the way once they return from their not so happy road trip they will turn their season around. 

You may remember that I had expressed a desire to be a circus ringmaster. Maybe, 30 years ago but today…………….forget about it……………or as they say in New York………. forgedaboudid. The Ringmasters I remember were refined gentlemen with big deep booming voices dressed in a red Ascot Morning Suit complete with top hat.  

The Ringmaster in this show was young, good looking, in fact he was too good looking and needed to be given the good news with the ugly stick…………………anyway, not only was he right off the front page of GQ…………..you know, the sort of guy who is advertising underwear, wearing nothing but a Calvin Armani thingy and a smile ………..  However the biggest surprise was he was a singer……………..yep a singing Ringmaster ………..and they made him wear silver spangling jackets and spandex pants………so, I guess in today’s modern world there is as much chance of finding out that George Hamilton wears mascara as there is me being a ringmaster………………………bugger.

The highlight of the show for me was two guys who basically danced, 30 feet above us on a tightrope……………….with no net……………….incredible. There were elephants and horses and clowns and an annoying clown (the kids loved him) and then there were the tigers.

Now, having just read about that terrible incident in San Francisco where a tiger decided he was bored at the zoo and wanted to see Hollywood and jumped over a two foot wall only stopping to graze on passers by, the last thing you want to see is 10 tigers being led into the ring…………….I was very nervous as we were on the front row and I was concerned that Timmy the Tiger may look at me and mistake the four of us as………….two Gazelles, one Stag and a Bison (guess which one I am?)………………and think…………..oh, a buffet.

However, we survived and we watched the tigers dance, bow, jump and poo on each other……..the last bit was not planned but the kids seemed to enjoy that bit the most as it got the biggest laugh and applause of the night. In fact, the circus would save loads of money if they just got a bunch of animals, fed them Indian food a few hours before the show and just had them all poo. On a serious note I felt so sorry for the tigers……………….I am sure they are well cared for but these are animals who should be stalking their prey, tearing a Yak limb from limb not being made to dance and being fed a bit of meat on a stick as a reward…………..what a shame.

Anyway, the circus was incredible and a wonderful treat for Heidi and I. Then it was off to dinner at a restaurant I went to last time I was here……………..it is called Prime 112 and it is fantastic. If you are staying in Miami before a cruise book a table………..you will need to do this as early as possible because it is as popular as any establishment in Miami and if you do go please mention my name when you book. Just say John Heald sent you and they will of course have no bloody clue who I am and probably refuse to serve you…………..no, seriously, you have to try this place. 

I know all of you will want to know what I had ……………so…………………Heidi and I both started with the Crab Cakes, These are served on a bed of peppers and chilli and I have to say………………amazing……………truly amazing. For the main course Heidi had a Fillet Mignon and I had something called…………….a cowboy steak………………..I was recommended this by my mate and John Wayne himself would have loved it. It basically the best filet steak but cooked on the bone which allows the juices from the bone to ………..well………….I have no idea, I just know it was historic……………..you must try it.

These were served with all the trimmings including Brussels sprouts which are fantastic…………twice!!!! 

Now, there are some ideas that Chefs have that when you look at it on paper you think maybe they had just smoked a palm tree when they came up with it…………….one such idea leapt of the menu……………….fried Oreo Cookies……………………let me say that again………………..fried Oreo Cookies……………………”You have to try them” said my mate and I could tell by the look on his face I had to……………….he looked like he had just heard that Catherine Zeta Jones wanted to sit on his knee………………….I had never seen him so excited.  

Now obviously, being diabetic he knew I could only have a taste but sharing his excitement we ordered ………………..fried Oreo Cookies…………………..and……………….they were magic…………….served with vanilla ice cream…………………it was Oreo heaven and even though I had but just a bite of one……………it was a bite I will never forget,

So, spread the word…………….you want a great restaurant with a huge menu full of incomparable delights then go to Prime 112……………….tell them John sent you.

OK, time to get dressed and head for the office. Today I have two big meetings with various folks in the office about the bloggers cruise, the one for next year and my trip on the Imagination. We will be joined on both those cruises by our esteemed members of the press which is wonderful. I will also be chatting with some people about the Godmother for the Carnival Splendor.  

It is funny you know, I have always thought about big name stars for this. Angelina, Catherine, Uma and the list goes on. Then, I was thinking maybe we do not need someone from a movie set. Maybe we should have some one who has given a lot to the community………..someone who maybe is not at always heralded for the work they have done…………..I have no idea who this person is……………….yet.

One thing I am looking forward to about being back onboard is the ability to have a printer, print out all your comments and answer them……….I know I am repeating myself but again please forgive me for not doing so and very soon the blog will be back to its best.

It was a great night and Heidi enjoyed the food and the wine. In fact she enjoyed it so much that had another glass and then another. Now, when Heidi is a little tipsy she tends to find little faults in……………….me. Last night was no exception as before going to bed I received a first class bollocking on how I never turn lights out before leaving the house or going to bed……………….I was about to defend myself but was then treated to those little lady snores and the gentle smacking of the lips that told me she was out for the count, happy and content that just before sleep took over that she had relegated me to the doghouse and was probably now dreaming of me being eaten by a tiger.

Good Morning

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.