Smoking, driving and a pair of stockings

February 17, 2008 -

John Heald

Guest: Ms &&&^^^: 002719967AOwner: (BAAZ) Barbara ZahradnickyCabin: 8350Booking#: 4P43V1

Added-Changed: 02/15/08 – 02/15/08

8350 – Bed Sheets

Ms %^&* approached the Desk earlier tonight, stating that the Bed Sheets on her bed had been replaced, but not seeing that the Sheets fasten with Velcro, Mrs. Hanks caught her stockings on the Velcro strip and she says they are ruined. She expects Carnival to reimburse her the $4 that they cost. Purser apologized for the inconvenience and after looking at the stockings refunded the money as requested. No further action.

Guest: Mr *&^%$

Ref: 002719971A

Owner: (KN) Kua Anant Ngamkamolrat

Cabin: 1215

Booking#: 9R8C18

Added-Changed: 02/15/08 – 02/15/08

1215 – Smoking Policy

Mr %^&*&^%$#@ approached the 1st purser reporting that he was not happy with the smoking policy. The guest is from Russia and has a group of 12 onboard. He was unaware that he would not be allowed to smoke in the dining room and said that many people enjoy smoking between courses. He suggested the dining room be divided into two sections smoking and non smoking. Purser explained that all cruise ships have a non smoking policy in the dining rooms but guest stated that was not true and that he would take his group to another line . Advised Mr. %^&*(*&^%$ that his comments will be documented.

Good Morning on this bright and cheerful Saturday morning. Actually, its 5:38am and its as dark as a Tim Burton film outside. The Captain has just brought us along side our beautiful new terminal here in Miami and I thought I would start today’s blog. Heidi and I have a busy day which starts at 6:00am with a visit to Immigration. All crewmembers who have joined the vessel must report to Immigration after their first week onboard despite having already gone through two checks at the airport. Then we start the debarkation process and after that we have a big function onboard for 22 guests which I need to make sure goes well.

Oh, hold on…………Heidi has just called me from the Lobby as its time to go to Immigration………guess I had better get dressed then.

Ok, I am back. It is now 6:20am and I had another delight visit to Immigration and you know what…………she was very pleasant, even told me to ” have a good day”…………..I nearly fainted.

So, now we are preparing for the debarkation process to start and while Heidi marshals her troops I thought I would sit here and type a bit more until we start and I head down to the lobby again.

Lets return to the two comments we started with today. I have to be careful not to ridicule the lady with the damaged stockings but it is interesting that she was in bed wearing stockings and that she would be brave enough to carry them from deck 8 to deck 3 and ask for her $4 back, show them to the Purser and expect us to pay…………..and we did!……………..where do you buy stockings for $4………….not that I want to buy a pair for myself………….it’s just now I know what to get Heidi for her birthday.

Then we go to the next comment and our Russian friend Mr. MarlbroLightov. I will say that it’s been great to see so many Russian guests sailing with us both here and in Europe as they add a certain flair to proceedings. I am also not surprised that he wants to smoke as from what I have read smoking in Russia is very popular. However, I cannot agree with him on his suggestion of having one side smoking and one smoke free in the dining room. Many of you may remember when we used to do this years ago. In fact, I had the non smoking section as a junior wine steward onboard the Holiday. I was given this section by Chief Wine Steward Nuri Olgen as it was felt that non smokers drank less wine and therefore he always took the smoking section. Having worked in a dining room with a section smoking and one not I promise you it does not work, the smoke goes everywhere.

Agreeing to this would be like having a peeing section at one end of the swimming pool.

OK, I am off to the gangway to start debarkation……………….stay here as I will be back soon.

Here I am, back again. Debarkation went well. I need to change a few things and heidi who is the best and controlling the flow of guests has a list as long as Shaquille O’Neal’s…………….foot………………..of things she wants to change for next time. We started at 7:05am and finished at 10:25am. We took off 877 guests on our self assist program which as you know means they have all their own luggage with them. Then we proceeded with the tag numbers which is much smoother than using our old system of colour coded tags. Everyone seemed happy as they left and there were lots of photos and hugs and apart from Pastor Johnson who told me I was working in a ” den of iniquity”………whatever that means ………as he left I think 3000 guests left having had a great time.

One sad note from this morning. The couple whose marriage I had tried to help left separately with the man telling me that she was returning to her sisters house in Port St.Lucy ( I think he said ) and that nothing could save their marriage now……………….I guess I would have felt more sorry for him if he had not smelt like he had jumped in a vat of beer……………however, I did feel bad for them both. They arrived as a couple and were leaving separately and it will take a miracle for them to stay together………….I hope a miracle happens.

It’s now time to answer more questions and as always I have read every comment. Although time does not allow me to reply to everyone I want to say a big hello to the wonderful people who have done the same……………..simply written in to say ” hello ” and how much you enjoy the blog. You are all so very kind.

Here we go then.

DARLENE…………………I always like to say hello to new readers of the blog which you have told me you indeed are. I am glad you enjoyed reading about the Bloggers cruise and hopefully this will have you excited enough to join us for 2009 event on the Carnival Fantasy. Now, you asked what I am responsible for onboard. Well, a Carnival Cruise Director is responsible for all the entertainment onboard. This means scheduling music, dancing, activities and shows as well as performing and entertaining themselves. We are also responsible for promoting all the revenue outlets onboard and of course providing the guests with all the information on the ports of call and shipboard information. Here on the carnival Freedom I have 73 staff of dancers, entertainers, DJ’s , musicians, technicians and entertainment staff members. They come from all over the world and it is a privilege to work alongside them. I do indeed wear a lot of hats as you suggested and I hope you continue to enjoy my blogging hat. Welcome aboard and I hope to see you next year if not before.

NORA OF THE THREE BLIND MICE………………….Hello Nora. How nice to hear from you. You asked about safe beaches in both St.Thomas and St.Martin with good facilities. Well, I suggest the most famous beach in St.Thomas which is of course Magens Bay. It is the most popular with wonderful facilities including umbrellas and bathrooms etc. Then, in St.martin I would suggest one on the Dutch side called Divi Little Bay which also has everything you will need. We have organized excursions to both these locations so if safe is what you are looking for then there is no doubt this is the way to go. I hope this has been helpful and if you require anything further please let me know. Cheers and my best to the other two mice.

MTSFBLFTNSFCFYPNMTACSFCSBLFTT2009BC………………….I may have to just start calling you Jon ! You asked if I can reserve you a deck chair and I will indeed leave a pair of my underwear on your chair and one for Mrs. MTSFP as well. Hope you are both well and please get a shorter screen name 🙂

SANDRA………………..Cruising to Tahiti……….I agree that does sound amazing and I know Princess has a ship that sails to the South Pacific. Maybe one day you will see the carnival Smokestack there as well……….you never know. I am glad to see you love my thingy and thanks for taking the time to read it each day. Cheers.

SUSAN V…………….hello Susan and yes, you were correct that in St.Martin we did indeed have another vessel on out stern, the Caribbean Princess in fact. You mentioned St.John and the tours we offer there. Well there are many and most focus on what I consider some of the finest snorkeling in the Caribbean at Trunk Bay. We have the 5 Star St.John Tour, The Champagne Catamaran and the St.John Island tour. I do advise you use our excursions as this saves the hassle of taxis followed by the public ferry service. The seat saving policy which we re enforced has been very successful and comments from guests have been drastically reduced which is of course great news.

Thank you again for a wonderful posting and hope to see you soon.

DEBORAH ROSATO……….It seems like you have the start of a nice collection of Solid Gold Plastic Trophies and I am sure you will add to that collection when you cruise on the Carnival Valor in April. You asked which was the best beach tour in Roatan. Now, I have actually never been there so I asked my mate Chris Jeffersen the Cruise Director of the carnival Valor. He told me that although both beaches are superb his favorite and that of the guests is Tabyana Beach Day which apparently is paradise itself. If you have any specific follow up questions I am standing by at your service. Cheers.

DIANECRUZIN 2………………I have to admit that until I read your comment I had no idea we had stopped handing out the place mats with the picture of the ship on it. That is a real shame and maybe we can think about doing something else instead. I have forwarded your comment to the Maitre D on the Carnival Liberty whose name is Miguel…………he has a few stockpiled and if you ask for him he will make sure you get one……sssshhhhhh…..don’t tell anyone. Have fun and please keep reading the blog thingy.

ROBERT…………………I did chat with Ron who has promised to be with us for the Bloggers 2009 cruise. I have not seen the promotional video of the Carnival Dream yet but I will look out for it…………….I hope to be the CD on that ship but it maybe someone else’s turn. Anyway, I hope you are ok and I have been thinking about you and Suzaan after the loss of your family dog who I know meant so much to you both. See you in march mate.

LANCE AND ILDA………….What wonderful words…………I am humbled by them. So, you asked do I have a devious plan for the Bloggers Cruise if indeed I am not going to be the CD………………answer……………………oh yes.

That is all I can tell you right now but this plan allows me to spend so much more time with you all and still be ………..well…………me. I will tell you more soon. Until then thanks again for all those kind words and Heidi and I send our kindest regards to you both.

COLETTE SURETTE…………..As requested I sent a signed photo and a bottle of champagne on your behalf to your parents whom I hope had a wonderful cruise……………let me know and send them my kind regards.

KATHY KROLL………………I showed one of the dancers your comments about the dressing rooms etc when you were performing in Vegas and she could not believe they allowed smoking there. Seems times have really changed……………..come on over and put your shoes on again.

JIMNI……………..Hello Ann. You asked if Heidi and I will be part of the Newly Wed during the Bloggers 09 cruise. Well, I think that might be fun but you might as well rename the activity the John Ends Up In The Dog House Show ………….as that is sure to happen. Hope all is well Ann and please continue to enjoy the blogs.

CRUISINEAGLE………….I am so glad you enjoy the blog so much and reading that it keeps you going between cruises is especially nice to hear. You asked about snorkeling during your next cruise which is in fact the one I just returned from onboard the Carnival Imagination. The best snorkeling is without doubt in Grand Turk. There are many excursions to chose from but my suggestion is the Catamaran Snorkel tour which visits a stunning and vibrant reef. You will also love Half Moon Cay which also has a wide variety of snorkeling although once you see the vast white sandy beach you may decide you just want to lay in the sun and do……………………nothing. Have a brilliant cruise and enjoy the Evolutions Of Fun that have made the Carnival Imagination one of our most popular vessels.

MARK HAZLIP………………..Ok, what are my favorite excursions in San Juan, St.Thomas and St.martin……………mmmm………..ok, how about I give you my favorite two from each port. They are:

SAN JUAN
It has to be the Bioluminescence Kayak Tour. This takes you close to the rain forest area where you board two person open Kayaks. There is no rough water and they are very easy to handle. As soon as it gets dark you will see the lake is lit up through the millions……yes millions………..of tiny underwater orgasms that live under the water………………it is spectacular.

If you want a real taste of San Juan I suggest the Juan Carlos Flamenco Show which also includes a city tour.

ST .THOMAS
Finding two favorite tours to tell you about was tough as there are so many brilliant ones however here are two of the very best.

St.John Trunk Bay and Champagne Catamaran……………as previously mentioned in this blog thingy Trunk Bay has some of the finest snorkeling in the Caribbean and this catamaran is able to get you up close to the multi coloured reef which is full of every kind of marine life. On the way back the sails go up and you fly across the water as the drinks are served.

Magens Bay and Paradise Point……………This tour is so popular as it visits the most famous beach on the Island where you can swim and sunbath. Following that it’s a trip to Paradise point as the cable car takes you to the highest point in St.Thomas for spectacular photos, shopping and the world famous bushwhacker cocktails.

ST MARTIN
GOLDEN EAGLE CATAMARAN…………..This is my favorite tour of all on this itinerary. This huge boat fly’s you across the deep blue sea for more amazing snorkeling with turtles and their friends. If you are looking for Nemo………..he lives here. This tour has never not sold out and its reputation proceeds it.

THE EXPLORER ISLAND TOUR…………….This one is a bit more relaxed as you visit the two sides of the island in two different ways. The Dutch side by bus and the beautiful and stunning French side by boat……………..its the most popular way to see the very different sides of St.Martin.

On the Dutch side the people are Dutch and therefore are warm and friendly while on the French side the people are…………..well……….French.

I’m kidding………..both sides are stunning and the French capital Marigo is charming.
There you go, hope this helps mate and let me know if you need anything further.

TERRY DUNNING……………Thanks mate for enjoying the blog from the start and yes, I will be the CD for your Carnival Splendor cruise……..which I hope will be your best ever. If there is anything you need in preparation for this please let me know. Cheers.

SUZANNE……………..Yours is not an easy question to answer Suzann……….do we play TV programming on the big screen. You know, we do…….but have limited it to big sporting events such as Super bowl, World Championships Bowl series baseball thingy and Basketball Finals. I have never actually played a Formula One race up there or NASCAR for that matter. In the early stages of the big screen on the carnival Liberty I made the huge mistake of playing the American Idol final up there . As soon as I did I got requests for loads of other TV shows and in the end I had to say no more TV broadcasting. Remember, we do have a great selection of movies and concerts. Is there a particular reason you wanted to see the Formula One which by the way when its possible we do show in our Sports Bar. Let me know and my kind regards to you.

DAVE MORAN…………..You asked why do I never mention Ocean Village, is it the poor relation. ……………..no, absolutely not ! I guess I always think of them as part of the P & O success story and I should be thinking of them as a separate line. For those who do not know what Ocean Village is all about well I let me tell you. They are a cruise line that has become a massive hit in a short space of time. They carry mostly British guests in a relaxed style and from what I know the atmosphere onboard is superb. I will have to interview someone from Ocean Village soon and spread the news on why their ships are so popular. For now, visit http://www.oceanvillage-uk.com/

Thanks Dave for reminding me to focus on them and look out for more soon.

KARL……………Goedeavond von Miami. Hope all is well in Holland. You asked about the Carnival Splendor and the inaugural cruise of the 13th which you will be happy to know is still the official inaugural cruise. We will have done a 3 day from Dover before hand but the European season officially starts on the 13th. As for the naming ceremony, well details are still be decided but PA 007 is on the case and I expect news very soon.

Heidi says a big hello as do I and we will see you in July. Doooooeeeeee.

CAROLYN AND DON………….You are indeed correct the sugar free jam is gone and I thank you so very much for this very special treat. Thanks for thinking of me and we both send our best to you. See you soon.

JOHN FRIEDMAN……………It seems you have been and will be going to some of the most popular of the Caribbean Islands. St.Thomas is beautiful and despite my reservations on the downtown area with its barkers the shopping is superb. I really think you should consider Roatan, Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay. These ports are now some of our most popular and while I have not personally been to Roatan I have recently visited both Grand Turk and Half Moon and they were both simply stunning and I immediately promoted them to the top of my favorite Caribbean destination table. Hope this helps and as always let me know if you have a follow up question. Cheers.

RBGATES……………Prior to becoming addicted to your blog it would not have occurred to me to take a Carnival Cruise. I am rethinking that position!

I had to slap on those wonderful words which continue to give me the fuel to continue writing. If you do decide to cruise I hope you will join me or at least allow me to set the way for you. Thanks again and I am truly honoured ( spelt correctly ) by your kind words.

KEVIN…………..Heidi is nicht hier zo ich pragt Nedelands mit jou. Is alus gut? Ich hept Poopalater…….ich stinkt. Viel Plasier……..dooeeee.

I will buy you an Aston Martin gift if you can figure out what I just said.
How are you mate……………I think about you and your car a lot.

PAULA BAKER……………I am happy to hear you have had a good laugh and I would love to see the video. Here is our current postal address and we look forward to receiving the mail. Many thanks and keep laughing.

CARNIVAL FREEDOM
JOHN AND HEIDI HEALD
CREW # 109778 & # 230070
ENTERTAINMENT DEPARTMENT
PO BOX 025472
MIAMI, FLORIDA
33102-5351
U.S.A.

HEIDI, BETH AND KEVIN…………..hello you three, it has been a long time since I have written to you and my apologies for that. You asked where Wee Jimmy will be going next and the answer is ……….The Carnival Conquest. I totally understand why you are not able to come on the Bloggers cruise however I will miss not having the three of you there. I hope the blog will keep you going until the next time you are able to sail and Heidi and I send our best to all three of you.

CHERYL………….Thanks for an outstanding posting and reading that the blog thingy is one of the highlights of your day is so very special. I am sorry I will not be with you in October on the Carnival Freedom but I know you will have a brilliant time. Then you asked if I would reconsider not being the Cruise Director for the 09 Bloggers cruise as you are anxious to see my shows. Well, I promise I have found away to do both……….I won’t go into detail just yet but I promise that this way everyone will be happy. You also asked if we are re organizing our Past Guest party and indeed we are. This was one of the conversations we had during our conference last week. We had one radical idea which hopefully we can put into place very soon. Then to your question on Bermuda and if Carnival intends to do a ” real Bermuda cruise” and dock for 3 nights there as other lines do. At this point of time there are no plans to do this. Bermuda has a lot of ” internal politics” and I know we have to live by their rules. I will ask Terry in the office for his thoughts on this and get back to you soon. I am looking forward to meeting you in February 09 for what will be a wonderful fun time together.

DWA 76……………Your thoughts on St.Thomas are shared by many………..I hope someone listens mate. Cheers.

TOM M………………Hello mate. You asked for my schedule so here it is.

CARNIVAL FREEDOM UNTIL MARCH 22ND
MARCH 22ND – MARCH 25TH – HOTEL IN MIAMI
MARCH 25TH – JOIN EMERALD PRINCESS IN FORT LAUDERDALE
APRIL 1ST – DISEMBARK EMERALD PRINCESS IN ANTIGUA AND FLY TO UK
APRIL 2ND – ARRIVE IN LONDON
APRIL 3RD – FLY TO DENMARK TO BEGIN 18 DAY TRIP TO EUROPE TO VISIT CARNIVAL SPLENDOR
APRIL 19TH – FLY HOME TO UK
MAY 1ST – JOIN CARNIVAL FREEDOM TO ASSIST WITH FIRST 12 DAY MED CRUISE
MAY 12TH – JUNE 1ST – VACATION
JUNE 1ST – JOIN CARNIVAL SPLENDOR
Hope this helps. All the best.

CAROL SCHOENBERGER…………….That was so kind. Thanks:)

MONICA AND AL…………….The Carnival Triumph will indeed have a big screen fitted later this year. When is your cruise as I will find out the exact date. Hope you are both well.

That’s it for now and as always more tomorrow.

As I mentioned above I had a conference call with the folks in the office about the 09 Bloggers Cruise. One of the topics we discussed was our desire to hold a pre-cruise event in New Orleans which would involve some ” hands on ” charity work during the day and then a special event in the evening. I have this idea to provide a Carnival road show in the evening to benefit one of the local charities. We would bring our best entertainment and charge a fee for local people to enjoy a dinner and a great show…………………what do you think? We are checking into hotels etc for the Bloggers as well. It is in the early stages of planning so let me know what you think.

There are many dangerous things in the world and many dangerous places but going to school should not be one of them. I read with horror about the University shooting as did this guest who wrote me this letter on Thursday.

letter16.jpg

I did indeed mention these poor kids who went to school to learn about life and educate themselves in preparation for adult hood only to have their young lives cut tragically short.

Life is full of dangers and I faced one of the biggest dangers myself recently………………….driving in Miami on a road called I 95. Before I start please do not think I am knocking the people of Miami many of which are great friends. I am also certain that what I am about to describe is applicable to other U.S. Cities…………..I have not experienced driving there…………..but I have in Miami and in my opinion driving on I 95 is one of the most hazardous things I have ever done.

You see, us Brits have this image of the average American driver. They are wearing cowboy hats and boots and drive cars the size of a small African country. …………..I will always remember sitting at home with Dad watching Frank Cannon who drove a car longer than our street.

This image does not apply however to I95 where the pleasant amicable driver in the cowboy hat turns into a axe wielding maniac. This is mostly applicable when you try and turn off the I 95 when you exit suddenly appears. In the UK we are overly efficient and signs will tell you your exit is 89 miles ahead……………on I95 the sign tells you ” turn you idiot, it’s here .” Now, God forbid that you are in the wrong lane and you indicate to move over because the fierce creature that is gripping the steering wheel with its claws will not slow down and will not let you in. If you dare try and move over regardless you will be treated to a symphony of horn blowing and a varied number of hand gestures some of which to this day I do not understand. Thank goodness I am always in a rent a car and I have paid the $109 rental fee which with insurance comes out to $1090 plus taxes.

Still, it could be worse I could be in Naples, Italy where the only thing you need to drive there are brown pants.

Time for boat drill

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.