Heidi's 30 Minutes of Luxury

February 16, 2008 -

John Heald

I new I had messed up big time last night during the Talent Show………….It was while I was talking to one of the performers who had just sang “Love Me Tender” to his wife and then presented her with a dozen roses…………I was in the middle of praising him when I realized……………..I had nothing for Heidi. ……………….I was a dead man. It was 11:00pm and the only thing open were the bars so unless I was going to wake up tomorrow and say Hello Heidi, I Love You, Happy Valentines Day and present her with a can of Fanta, I would have to think of something………………and quick.

I spent the next 30 minutes performing the bed time story and I must admit even with the hectic goings on that usually happens during this event, my mind was focused on just one thing……………………..tomorrow morning, the look of disappointment, the sadness and, later the chance to let me know that I forgot this special day and that will be me………….back with the Spaniels again.

As we lay in bed last night, my mind was all a fluster. We were both reading as we always do before we go to sleep………..unless of course the Magic Stick dictates 4 minutes of exercise. I was pretending to read my current book which is a novel by my favorite author Chris Ryan, and even though the hero was about to be blown up by a load of C4 explosives that were tied to his……umm….meat and two veg, I had no time for him…………….I had to come up with a plan. Meanwhile, Heidi was reading some magazine and occasionally made some comment about Victoria Beckham and her new hairstyle…………….I pretend to care but really she could have done a Britney and gone bald……….I didn’t care…………I was deep in the stuff usually seen attached to a fan and unless I thought of a cunning plan, the morning was inevitably going to bring together my bottom and her foot.

Heidi spent the next 5 minutes passing on important news from Hello magazine which usually would have had me drifting off to the land of nod……….but not today.

It was as she was telling me that Angelina Jolie was about to adopt the whole of Africa that I had a brain wave………..I told Heidi that I had forgotten to send an important e mail but she was more interested in looking at photos of some rap star’s house complete with a bed the size of Rhode Island…… I walked to the computer………..sat down………..and the begging began.

I rejoined Heidi who had stopped reading and was already buried beneath the covers blissfully unaware that I was living on Panic Street……………………..would my plan work?

I will tell you later.

But first.

Our Eastern itinerary concludes with two days at sea. I really like this aspect because it gives me time to schedule loads of activities, matinee comedy shows and of course allows the guests to relax a little after their three straight days in port. It’s a little hard to predict at this stage having been away for so long but I truly think that everyone has had a great time. The only challenge has been the number of large groups on board. They have pretty much done their own thing with daily meetings and evening gatherings and I hope that they have found time to enjoy the entertainment we offer. With so many large groups comes the other challenge in that they have blocked many of our lounges, which has at times resulted in some activities being canceled or diminished. One such event has been Karaoke, which we have had to run on a reduced schedule. Group business is so important to us, however, it certainly puts a strain on what we can do when so many lounges are blocked for their meetings.

Having no lounge for karaoke has meant that I have used it more on Lido Deck projecting the singer and the words on to the Seaside Theatre Big Screen…………………..this has worked really well and guests seem to enjoy it immensely.

Here are today’s random photos.

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Dancer Gabrielle preparing to go on stage

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Good luck to the new addition to the cast

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The DJ Shanon

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The bartender in the 70’s dance club

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The hardworking staff picking up the guest luggage in the corridors

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Here then are some more of your questions answered. Again, due to having so many, I am just going to answer those that have specific………….well………you know.

Here we go.

Oh, just before I start I want to say a big hello to one of the people who have joined us on the blog in recent days. Her name is Francine and she used to be a Chief Purser with us for many years before returning to her native Canada. She was and still is a great friend and always checked my spelling in the Capers………….she is now doing the same for the blog. Welcome Francine.
Just before I start, I have my usual bottle of water here …………Evian…………..spelt backwards…………..is Naïve…………..mmmm, is that a hidden message?

PEANUTS……………..The lady you remember from the Miracle was called Dorothy. She is the “self proclaimed” ship’s mother and is a frequent cruiser. She befriends all the crew and is possibly one of the most unique ladies I have ever met. I am sure one day some of you will have the pleasure of sailing with her. Hope that answers your question Joan and hope you enjoy today’s blog.

MYRA BUSHNELL……………Ah yes, I did say that we had three groups on board, the Isuzu and Polka groups and you are right I forgot the third. They are a group of people who love the organ…………..yes……………the organ. We have 170 people who listen and play this instrument and they have been enjoying concerts by world class players. We brought on 5 huge organs worth thousands of dollars and although I have not had time to listen to any of the concerts, the one we did for all guests to attend proved very popular. Thanks for all the kind words for Alan and as always your posting was a great read. All the best from us both.

MELODY……………I see that you have big plans for the second Bloggers cruise and yes, I will be there to attend your pajama party although sometimes I put them on the wrong way and the flap ends up on the front instead of the back……….oops. It sounds like you are all excited and I look forward to welcoming the Cruisemates friends and everyone aboard for what will be a great cruise vacation.

MARGIENJI……………I have good news. You asked if I will be on board for your March 15th cruise and the answer is indeed yes. It will be my last one before I board the Emerald Princess to explore all she has to offer. I promise you and your family will have a great time and please leave me a note at the Information Desk when you arrive so I can give you a call. I am glad you are enjoying my thingy and if there is anything I can do for you please let me know. See you soon.

CYNTHIA IN BAMA……………Go Bama Go………….I remember that from a movie called Crimson Tide. Anyway, you asked about making PA announcements inside the cabin as they are sometimes difficult to hear in the corridors. For every one person who requests this we have a dozen more who, if we do indeed make announcements inside the cabin, will be very vocal in their comments. However, you are indeed correct when you say that we need to utilize the TV’s more and have a dedicated channel for the Capers. Also, if there was a way the announcements could be displayed on the TV, like close captioning, then this also would be brilliant. I will discuss these ideas with everyone in the office and thank you so much for the pointers. Please keep reading the blog thingy and all the best.

MIKE L…………..You seemed surprised that we did not have any negative comments following the little hiccup with the computer that resulted in the General Emergency Alarm being sounded………………and I have to say nobody is more amazed than me. I expected to be a human pinjada, pinyada, pinyardha………..you know the things kids hit with sticks and presents fall out……….but miracles do happen because we got none…………………amazing. You are right, it could have been much worse and I may have needed Big Mike to protect me. Cheers.

CRUISIN GRANDMA………..I can’t call you grandma now I know how young you are. I pictured you in a rocking chair crutchating and drinking lemonade when all the time you are a young grandma sitting in a chair listening to Pee Daddy and drinking tequila. You asked how you slap on a photo of you and send it to me………..well………….let me ask Stephanie………………..STEPHANIE…HELP.
I look forward to seeing the photos soon. Have another tequila and see you soon.

PAUL F. PIETRANGELO…………I did indeed get the pins, Paul, and I shall treasure them always. You asked about the Carnival Splendor. Well, the delivery date or the date when we take the keys is scheduled around the 27th of June. Then around July 1st we will sail from Genoa to Dover in the U.K. We then have a three-day cruise to Amsterdam followed by our European season. Following the TransAtlantic crossing we will end up in Fort Lauderdale for some Caribbean cruising and then it will be the long and exciting voyage to California. I do hope that on one of those cruises our paths will finally cross. Until then, Heidi and I continue to send our best wishes to you.
THE PLAZ………………Indeed Michael we are all very excited about Circle C and I will be happy to give you some more details. Circle C will be the newly formed entertainment club for kids aged 12-14…………..actually I guess I should call them young people or teens rather than kids. This will be a separate program from Camp Carnival with dedicated staff members and a newly designed program with some brilliant new fun. Dependent on the class of vessel, these areas will be held in areas previously used as juice bars, card rooms and other lounges and you will see this program launched fleetwide in the very near future. I am going to be talking more about this soon with some of the folks in charge and we will take photos of some of the areas in question. Thanks for asking and thanks, as always, Michael for taking the time to read the blog thingy.

KRISTEN L……………..I wanted to say thanks for the great review of the Ecstasy and especially Captain Scala who is indeed one of a kind. I will make sure, as you mentioned Kirk, pass on how much you enjoyed him to Roger and Chris in the office. Welcome back and it’s great to hear that you had such a wonderful time.

LOIS DANCEAPOLKASKIWITHJOHNSKI……………….You asked if we are related……………well……….we are now. It was great to meet you and I look forward very much to our next adventure together.

SHELLY P………………Hello Shelly. Your question about Key West and the new alleged Customs and Border Protection Laws are news to me. I have asked someone in our PR department for clarification and certainly it is news to me. I can tell you that Carnival Corporation will not want to lose Key West as a port of call as it is so very popular. However, please allow me some time to investigate this and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Until then please keep reading the blog and my best regards to you.

RUTH JAMISON………….I am sorry that your previous comments have been lost in blogspace and sorry to also to hear about your loss of power although the way you described the resulting efforts with the grandkids sounded quite lovely………especially the muffin! Anyway, you asked about the shore excursions for the Carnival Splendor in the Baltic…………I was wondering when someone would ask that. Well, on April 4th I will be flying to Europe to view all the tours we will offer and, during this, I will be sending daily blogs and photos so you can all see for yourself what to do. I do know that there will be some amazing things to see and, as always, our tours will be the best and safest way to see them. So, I will be honoured to be your guide and look forward to sharing these experiences with you all. Best regards, Ruth, to you and the family.

EVA……………..Loved the edit………..cheers.

LUCKY COP………….Another apology to someone who has not had their questions answered so let me get to it. Firstly, congratulations on your forthcoming marriage which will take place in St.Thomas during your Carnival Freedom cruise in April.
You asked about having your hair done in the salon and what the earliest appointment is. Well, that’s up to you. Please tell me via my thingy what time you would like your hair done and I will make the appointment for you…..it is that simple. I see you asked for 7:30am and if that’s what you want just let me know. I am sure this will be a very special day for you and if there is anything else I can do to make it so, please let me know.

NANETTE…………..I got the names, Nani, and I will arrange the passes for you. See you soon.

STEVE…………Before I answer your question about what to do in Naples, may I officially welcome you from RCI to your newfound love of everything Carnival. I read your posting with a big smile similar to the final scene from Star Wars where Luke Skywalker is reunited with his Dad……….Darph Vader………….I’m Luke by the way just in case you wondered.
Anyway, back to Naples and what to do. Well, having done Pompeii, Capri and Vesuvius, I think it is time you tried Amalfi. It is one of those towns that dreams are made of as the multi-coloured houses cascade down the hillside. The shopping is wonderful and the food is incredible. Maybe you should add Sorrento to this as well…………they are both what Italy is all about. If you want something more challenging, you can take part in our new Garbage Collection Tour. This involves wandering around the suburbs of Naples and collecting the rubbish that has piled up during the rubbish collectors strike which has now been going many months.
So, the choice is yours…………..a visit to the romance of Amalfi or picking up 6 months worth of rotten pasta.
Regardless, it is great to have you with us and welcome home………………….use the force…………..not the climbing wall.

My goodness, I just saw the time and there is no way that this blog is going to get posted on Friday………….bugger. I am so sorry and will make sure I post more over the weekend including answering more questions.

I have noted that, for the most part, the feeling is that you are happy that I should not be the Cruise Director for the Bloggers cruise. Well, I have noted this and I promise I will not be. However, I do have a cunning plan to make this cruise even more special and which will allow me to spend every minute of the day with you…………….my friends.

So, what happened on Thursday morning? Ok, let me tell you.
I had set the alarm for 7:30am telling Heidi that I needed to get up early to complete some paper work. Well, when the alarm went off I was once again in the land of dreams without a care in the world. I was dreaming of George Hamilton and for some reason Chris Tucker the comedian………….I had watched a bit of Rush Hour 3 today so that’s why I guess…………anyway, they were having screwdrivers when for some reason they were arrested and had to complete community service painting our house in the UK……………….I think I need help analyzing these dreams you know………..why can’t I dream about Jessica Simpson?

Anyway, I left George and Chris slapping on the first coat of paint and, trying desperately not to wake sleeping beauty, I got dressed and went into the living room. I sat quietly by the computer reading the news on the BBC website and hoped that my friends would come through for me. Then, at 8:05am there was a knock on the door………………I answered and there was my friend Ken the maitre D and one of his assistants………………they had done it!

I quietly thanked them avoiding a right hook from Ken when I tried to tip him.

Once they left I added something to the delivery and went back into the bedroom. Usually I wake Heidi up in the most annoying way I can. This involves splashing cold water on her, dropping one of my discarded socks from the night before on her head or, if I really am feeling brave, she gets upgraded from sock class to underpants class and the smell of a sugar free jelly bean explosion, but this morning, however, it was slightly more pleasant.

I awoke with a gentle kiss on the cheek and then another. She half opened her eyes and was about to brace herself for incoming water, socks or a pair of boxer shorts when she saw her Valentine’s Day surprise.

On the tray was her favorite breakfast of croissants, and a Swiss cheese omelet. The smell of fresh coffee filled the bedroom and there on the tray sat a homemade card that I made on the computer the night before.

Now, breakfast in bed may not seem much to some but considering that we never have time to eat breakfast normally on board this was a very a special treat and I was Heidi’s superhero. Of course I took full advantage of the situation and instead of eating a bowl of Shredded Wheat, I had ordered eggs and bacon for myself……………and we sat in bed eating breakfast and for about 30 minutes all was wonderful. Then the phone rang, then it rang again and then someone knocked on the door and then I farted………..everything was back to normal.

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.