Pole Dancing

February 12, 2008 -

John Heald

I was dreaming of George Hamilton……………..I don’t know but I was…………….he and I were sitting on a yacht eating caviar surrounded by beautiful women…………..there were two gorgeous ladies standing at the bar…………….they started to………..and then the alarm went off……………..I woke up thinking that for a small alarm clock it was really loud………….I then realized it wasn’t the wake up John alarm……………..it was the General Emergency Alarm…………….it was 3:00am. I immediately called the bridge thinking that if there had been a problem then surely the Captain would have called me first before ordering guests and crew to the muster station……………….I was right…………….it was a false alarm. A computer had decided that it was bored and therefore thought it would be funny to scare the heck out of everyone…………..I quickly jumped on the PA system which really hurt………….no, seriously I quickly made an announcement apologizing and blamed Bill Gates……..sorry Bill.

The guests all went back to sleep and obviously they are a very forgiving group as so far (it’s 11:18am) we have had no comments about this incident. After the announcement I went back to sleep hoping the two girls at the bar would be waiting for me but alas………George had been greedy and the yacht had sailed without me.

It has been a busy but rewarding morning. I hosted the Morning Show which I had to start early as I had so many letters……….you should see the pile I have already for Valentine’s Day…at least 50-plus – it seems love really is in the air. Outside of being an entertainer, there is the manager side of the job to deal with. I have only been here a few days but I already need to take care of a few urgent issues.

1. I have a staff member who has a time-keeping problem. He has been late twice in three days and I will be counseling him later today. The problem is that he has so much potential. I believe that everyone deserves a chance and hopefully he will listen to my advice and take his chance immediately.

2. As I am sure I have mentioned on this blog before, relationships happen very quickly on board a ship because you are always together. Sometimes relationships work and sometimes they do not. The problem is that when a relationship on a cruise ship breaks down you still see each other every day…………..and that can cause problems and affect the working environment. I have one such situation here with a couple who have been together for three years but for whatever reason they now literally hate each other and it is affecting the department and the working environment. So, later today I will put my marriage guidance councilor hat on and try to help them resolve their issues……………….if not………………well for the good of the department one of them will need to leave and be placed on another vessel.

These concerns are dealt with very differently then if you were a manager facing them on land. Here, you are a manager, a brother, a dad and sometimes all at the same time. I hope I can help resolve the issues as they are normally excellent staff members.

Now, on to the subject of the world’s ugliest man…………..my mate Alan. Many of you have been asking how he is doing and I am excited to tell you he is doing brilliantly and every day he gets stronger and stronger………….looking at him now you would never know he had major surgery. I am hoping he and his wife Alison and their wonderful children Katie and William will be able to join me on the Carnival Splendor. Alan was very upset he could not join us on the Bloggers cruise as he was looking forward to meeting Big Ed and the crew. Anyway, he also wanted me to pass on his continuing thanks for your on-going get well messages……………thank you all.

Here are a few random photos featuring, amongst others, tonight’s performer Marcus Anthony who performs a Motown review show…….he is amazing and his Marvin Gaye medley has the whole audience singing along.

guests-dancing-in-the-isle.jpg

Marcus Anthony and guests dancing in the ailses

marcus-anthony.jpg

Marcus Anthony

marcus-anthony2.jpg

marcus-anthony3.jpg

marcus-dancing-with-one-of-the-guests.jpg

Marcus dancing with one of the guests

 john-with-the-backstage-managers-lizzie-and-kevin.jpg

John with the backstage managers, Lizzie and Kevin

michael-the-sound-technician.jpg

Michael the sound technician

the-dave-fulton-orchestra.jpg

The Dave Fulton Orchestra

tj-the-light-technician.jpg

TJ, the light technician

puerto-rico-by-night.jpg

Puerto Rico by night

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

letterfeb12.jpg 

letter2feb12.jpg 

letter3feb12.jpg 

letter4feb12.jpg

Let’s get on with today’s Q and A session returning to the remainder of those from the Magic Stick blog.

JAROBB………….Congratulations on being a Princess Cruises fan. I hope to see just why they are so popular for myself when Heidi and I cruise on the Emerald Princess in March. You asked an excellent question ……….do all the CD’s have a Heidi……well actually most do not and this means they certainly do not have it as easy as I do with her being here to look after so much and, of course, me. It was so wonderful to hear that you are a blog fan and that the everyday stories have you laughing out loud……..that sort of comment assures that I will continue to produce a new thingy everyday. Thanks for reading and thanks for slapping on a comment. Cheers.

PAULA BAKER……………….Hello Paula and Hello Nelson…………great name by the way Nelson………….anyway, thanks for the encouragement with the stick thingy and I hope all my hard work is rewarded soon. Thanks for laughing and I hope you are both well.

MYRA BUSHNELL………………..Indeed, smiling is infectious and I hope each and every day I infect someone with a little bit of happiness. It’s great to be able to write to you again and Heidi and I send you our best wishes.

JULIE GANTT……….You are correct of course………….I should consider myself lucky, especially when you consider my younger years with Alan . Adopting is something that we have yet to talk about, hopefully my 3 minutes of performing for the stick will pay off. Hope all is well with you and your family.

LINDA HERNACKI………….Any spiritual help would be most welcome Linda………….and thank you for always thinking of us both.

SCOTT…………..WOW, a Discovery Special all about me………..a man can dream. As for Platinum Benefits, well we have a new Senior Vice President of Sales the lovely Lynn Torrent, and I am sure she is going to make sure that our valued Platinum Guests are rewarded more than ever………….I will personally champion this mission. Thanks mate and thanks also for all the kind words.

DRIVERNC……………I remember the couple well. They had been married 58 years and he did indeed bang his arm as he walked up the stairs. He was fine and did not need any medical help. However, I also remember that even after 58 years of marriage, he and his wife had a wonderful sparkle in their eyes as bright as when they first met. Heidi and I should be so lucky. It was wonderful meeting you both on the Bloggers Cruise and I hope you have as many happy memories of it as we do. Cheers.

THE BEARS, CARL AND BARB………….Great to hear from you and it was also super news that you are well now. Wee Jimmy did look sad in the photo, I think this was because it was our goodbye photo and we both knew it would be many months before we see each other again. I am happy that you continue to read my daily offerings and Heidi and I send our warmest regards to you both.

MARK……… I am sure your Mum and Dad are thankful everyday that they kept trying otherwise they would not have little you. Thanks for the words of support mate and personally, I love the word plugging!

ELAINA……….It is always wonderful to welcome new people to the blog and therefore I give you a warm welcome to my thingy. I will make sure I add a photo of Mark Price to the blog soon. You are right to mention him as he is a superb Cruise Director. Please keep reading the blog and I hope it continues to provide you with fun, laughter and information. Cheers.

RAY MCTEAGUE………….Hello mate. I understand exactly where you are coming from…..I also hesitated before letting the world know that a stick is dictating (pardon the pun) what we do. However, for once I am not in the dog house and I am glad to hear that you are not there either. I am going to explore the world of Wheaties and see if is more enjoyable than All Bran and Shredded Wheat……………….it cannot possibly be any worse. Great to hear from you as always and best to your wife.

MCFROG 2………….I wanted to say thank you so much for saying you think I will be a good Dad. I certainly love kids…………..I went to school with them. I hope we are blessed with kids as super as Catie and please send my best to all your family.

CATHY SHORT………….Thank you………….it is exhausting though. Thanks also for taking the time to read the blog. Cheers.

TERRI 910…………Firstly let me apologize for the delay in replying to comments and questions. When I was home I needed to give myself a little rest and therefore the blog format changed somewhat. Anyway, I did see the posting about how unhappy you were about karaoke and the policy not to allow guests to use their own CD’s………….that’s compact discs not Cruise Directors. In the past we have had CD’s that have been damaged by our players and guests threatening the host with a pointed stick which is why this policy was introduced…………….however…………….I see no reason that if a guest understands that we are not responsible should your CD burst into flames then we should play the disc……………I will address this immediately and will ask that the policy change. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. All the best.

DEANNA……………..I am so sorry we didn’t get to meet personally but I am very happy that your first cruise has you hooked so much that you have booked two more…………..that makes me feel very honoured indeed. You will love the Carnival Triumph and as for the Carnival Splendor………I have a feeling this will be one special ship. See you then and all the best.

IVANA…………Thanks for the best wishes……everyday now has the possibility of being Thursday………help.

CRUISINGRANDMA………Your Mum sounds like my Mum…………thank you for offering to knit a little blanket and while you are doing it any chance of a pair of winter underwear…………size xxl? Thanks Grandma…………can I call you Grandma?

DEB………….a 149-page binder……….now that’s preparation. When I read that there was no information on Platinum Rewards on our web site I silently said to myself……………..it’s there, she just has not seen it……………….and you know what……………I was wrong and quite frankly…………….I am gobsmacked. You are correct, we should be blowing this trumpet loud and proud on the front page and it is not easy to find. However, with a little detective work I did find the link thingy…………here it is

http://www.carnival.com/CMS/static_templates/concierge.aspx

I hope you find this useful. Thanks for bringing this to my attention and all the best.

BETTYBOOPBIGKAHUNA…………….What, by the way, is a Kahuna and is yours really big? Anyway, it’s a great name and it’s wonderful to hear from you both. Amazingly I am not in the doghouse for sharing our “stick” life but that could change at any moment. Thanks for your nice words and thanks mostly for taking the time to write………….Heidi and I send our best to you both.

TOM AND JANE……………….Ahhhhhhh, my black Aston Martin. You know, I was reading an article today that the said the easiest car in the world to drive is a Mercedes S600. Apparently the controls are so easy and the car so intelligent a ten-year-old could drive it…………………but for me , it’s the Aston Martin. It’s wonderful to hear from you both and Heidi and I send you best wishes and hope we see each other again very soon. Thank you for everything.

On that note we will end the Q and A for today. My left hand index finger is throbbing now and the finger nail is turning black……..I look like Cruella De Ville.

As you know, I recently sailed on the Carnival Imagination and it seems that I was not the only one who was astonished at what I found. Here is a video link thingy on what a travel web thingy had to say……………..have a look.

http://www.traveltrade.com/index.htm;jsessionid=9E58094FA36323ADBCD086AD3B0C053A

I have not had time to tell you yet about the three large groups who are sailing this voyage. First, we have a large incentive group from Isuzu Commercial Trucks. There are 300 of them here and they include the top salesmen who have been awarded this cruise………………I am sure some of them are ladies so should I have said salespeople?………………..probably. They have daily meetings in the ship’s lounges as they discuss the ways to make Isuzu trucks the most successful in the world……….the only advice I have is choose a name that is easier to say. Anyway, they are having a wonderful time despite being forced to attend 8:00am meetings.

Then we have a group of 288 people who live and breath…………………Polka Music. This is one fun group and this afternoon I went to one of their performances in the International Lounge. I watched them dance and enjoy a style of music they obviously love so very much. I met many of the guests there, all of whom seemed to have a last name that ended in the letters “ski” and were harder to say than Isuzu.

I found my foot tapping to the music as its infectious style took hold……………..however…………..it had a sinister side……….it was being used to hypnotize me………to lower my defenses……………it worked……………..my guard was down………….it was then that I heard Mitch Lebrowski the group leader say………….”let’s get the Cruise Director John up here for the next dance”……..oh hell.

Now, for those newcomers who may not know this …………….I hate dancing……………I would rather kiss Judge Judy….with tongues, I would rather wipe my bottom with sandpaper ………….I would rather watch 100 back-to-back episodes of the most boring TV show in the world………it’s on PBS and shamefully it’s British………..”the Antiques Road show.”

This is a program watched by millions of people and features a bunch of people who have robbed their relatives, rummaged through cupboards to find something that hopefully will be worth a fortune. They then stand in line for hours to present their personal piece of crap to an “expert” who is usually older than the piece they are looking at. Then the game begins as the owner of the antique sits through 10 minutes of boring rubbish about where it was made, when and by whom…………they nod and smile with interest but they are really thinking………….hurry up and tell me how much it’s worth. Then, when the “expert” tells them that its worth $5 they always say “oh, I would never sell this, it’s a family air loom”……yea, right. Worst of all we watch it every week, expecting Grandma Smith to have discovered a Picasso or the Ark of the Covenant in her attic.

So, now you understand how much I hate dancing………….and as for Polka…………well that’s even worse. However, as soon as he said “lets get John up here to dance.” 200 people started applauding ………………….and that was me……………doing the Polka…………John Healdski………………looking a foolski and wishing I had gone to see the other group and learnt how to sell an Isuzu truck.

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.