The Apology of the Seas

February 28, 2008 -

John Heald

I upset someone yesterday…………..well actually I probably upset many people yesterday but I only know for sure about one. I received a comment from someone who read the blog and was very upset…………..here is what they had to say.

I like reading your blogs, but I have to take offense to the comments about Royal’s ships. Yes I’m a loyal customer to them, but wouldn’t have a problem trying new things; however with the comments I’m for sure not going to try Carnival. I use the same rule of thumb as if I was buying something for my business that if a supplier is going to talk trash about another company I will not purchase from them. Say good-bye to a potential guest.

 

Hold on…………stop typing……………put down the mouse and step away from the keyboard……………….that’s right………….now…..breathe…….nice and slow…………..I am talking to you by the way………..that’s right ……… you ………. the blogger who is about to leap to my defense and pour scorn upon this poor chap………………before you do let me try and persuade you to re think…………….here’s why.

Let’s start with an apology. I would never, ever, purposely write a blog with the purpose to upset or belittle anyone………..except the French. Seriously, I send my sincerest apologies to the RCI fan whose name I have left out on purpose and who I apologize to publicly now.

I could defend myself by saying it’s just a bit of fun. I could remind you sir that recently a RCI Cruise Director called Carnival the “K Mart Of The Seas” ………. and there has been much much worse said about us at very high levels and if you have principles as strong as yours seem to be I though you should know this…………..but that is not the point. The point is that I upset you sir by my comments and that therefore deserves an apology.

Will I stop having fun about this?………..No………….probably not……………I have no doubt that RCI folks won’t either………..it’s the nature of the beast.

So, please forgive me and maybe one day you will reconsider coming on a Carnival cruise if for no other reason than I can shake your hand and apologize to you in person.

I know there are some people at RCI reading this blog and I send my best to all of them. I have some very good friends there, one who I have not seen for some time and every time I see a Judith Leiber bag I will think of her………….I expect she misses us as much as we miss her.

So, let’s move on and please don’t feel obligated to defend this situation……… I am not going to change…………but I hate the fact that I upset this person and may have lost Carnival a guest.

I did win one battle…………well………………sort of. Remember the lady who had very strong feelings because of the lack of African American entertainment staff onboard………….well………….I met with her this morning and I got her to agree that Marcus Anthony was fantastic and that she really enjoyed the show. She then gave me a five-minute lecture about racial equality and at the end of it I asked her a direct question………………..this is how it went.

JOHN………………On Monday you called me a racist which really hurt me. Do you really truly believe this?

GUEST……………I don’t think that you are no but clearly Carnival has issues with hiring African American people. You need to balance the books more ……………………..at this point she started talking about something called …………..something action…….a law in California where she is from.

JOHN…………..Madam, we can only hire the people who apply and when you look around the ship don’t you see how many different races and nationalities are represented?

GUEST…………..Yes but have a look at how many African Americans are onboard and you have very little entertainment for us

Well, at this point I felt we were going to go round in circles so I said.

JOHN………….Well madam, spread the word…………we want to hire talented African Americans………dancers, singers, comedians, staff.

On that note I reminded her that tomorrow night we have Marvin Bell an African American comedian performing ………this seemed to please her ……………. and before she left our meeting…………….she shook my hand.

I have read all your comments of support and once again I thank you all so very much for thinking of me. It was a difficult situation and I am still mad at myself for letting it get to me.

I left that meeting feeling much better than the last time we had met and although I may not have won her around completely at least she seemed to have realized that neither myself or Carnival are racist in any way, shape or form……………….I am however a Frenchist.

The guests were blessed with a perfect day of beautiful sunshine today. It was just one of those days with nothing but sun, no wind and there will be many red people returning to the ship today I am sure.

Heidi went shopping this morning to buy a new pair of something called Crocs. These are apparently shoes and are allegedly the most comfortable shoes in the world. She wanted me to go with her but I declined the invitation to walk around shops in 90 degrees of heat. So, off she went and returned just now with a pair of these Croc thingies………….they have huge holes in them…….and they cost $45………………$45 for unfinished shoes! I started to mention this but the look on her face told me that she was hot, tired and any further remarks would result in a pink Croc thingy visiting my bottom.

So, let’s instead slap on a few random photos

carnival-legends-on-the-seaside-theatre.jpg

Carnival Legends on the Seaside Theatre

carnival-legends-on-the-seaside-theatre2.jpg

recognize-this-song.jpg

Recignize this song?

the-answer.jpg

The answer….

midnight-and-everyone-is-having-fun.jpg

Midnight and everyone is having fun!

mouna-our-karaoke-host.jpg

Mouna, our karaoke host

my-nephew-luke-sitting-on-the-bridge-as-we-passed-the-volcanoes-stromboli-last-year.jpg

Me nephew Luke sitting on the bridge as we passed the Volcanoes Stromboli last year

Time for some Q and A. You know, I cannot remember a time when the blog thingy had so many comments which is just fantastic. The community sense is getting bigger all the time with people completely ignoring me and just talking amongst themselves which is just what I always dreamed this blog would become. The downside is of course that this means I cannot reply to every comment………..anyway…………..here are today’s selections……………….here we go.

KATHY B………………thanks for the report on your Carnival Valor cruise and it sounds like your Cozumel taxi ride was fun. I will as requested pass your remarks to Chris and Lauren and the trivia contest sounds fantastic…………I shall have to steal that idea. I am sure your son will cherish his medal for years to come and maybe I will be lucky enough to cruise with you all very soon. Cheers.

BILL – ZYDECOCRUISER……………I am completing the final stages of my schedule for the rest of the year Bill and I see you asked about the Carnival Splendor in South America. I have the bloggers cruise in February and therefore at this stage it looks unlikely that I will be able to be the CD for the first leg of this very special cruise. I know many people want to know who the CD will be and at this point we do not know for certain as soon as possible. Thanks Bill and I really look forward to the day when we sail together.

BELLE907…………….The July 13 cruise will indeed be very special, Belle, and I look forward to meeting you in person. I have decided that as so many Bloggers are cruising on the inaugural that we will have a special cocktail party to celebrate…….does that sound good?

PAULMEDIK……………I have asked for some photos of the balconies as you requested Paul and they should be with me soon. I know both styles of cabin well and if it were me I would go for the Cat 11 wrap aft cabin. For me, these are the best cabins and have the biggest balconies with the most amazing views……………you can’t beat it. A Q and A with a PVP is a good idea and when I do this then indeed I will chat with Lynn as you recommended. I am glad you are enjoying the blog and I will post the photos ASAP. Cheers.

MORT13ERS……………A huge sense of disappointment washed over me at the end of your fantastic posting. I am so glad that you and the family canceled your RCI cruise and have instead booked the Carnival Freedom after many years away from the “Fun Ship” experience. Your memories of Eddie Capone and the Male Nightgown contest are ones I share with you mate and I have to say you will be astounded at the changes we have made onboard since you left us. The fun is here waiting for you and if you can remind me a few days before you sail I would appreciate it very much. Welcome home and my disappointment is that I will not be here to share in your family vacation with you……………maybe next time. My best to you all.

VIKKI AND MAT TILL…………….You could never be nobodies and your valued support of Carnival and of this blog means everything to me. What cruises have you booked this year………..please let me know when you are sailing. Heidi and I send our best to you both and please except my apologies for not replying before.

CASSANDRA…………You asked about a young man who sang in the Talent Show when you were onboard. His name was Adam Mitchell and he has since applied for a position with Carnival. He was very popular and we all loved his performance and hopefully things will work out for him and he will join us very soon……………he was born to sing. Thanks Cassandra and all the best.

KEVIN THE ASTON MAN…………..Just wanted to say thanks again for the huge basket of goodies mate……….hope to see you soon.

ELVIRA AND ALEXANDER…………..I remember your wedding day very well and what a beautiful bride you were. I am so happy that you came all the way from Russia for your special day and it was an honour to share it with you. Sbasiba.

SHIRLEY CALES………………Shirley, you asked me about my part in the Olsen Twins movie shot onboard the Carnival Sensation. It was a truly memorable experience and in my humble opinion my role should have won me an Oscar. I modeled myself on Sean Connery, Jude Law and George Hamilton. The movie is available still if you have nothing better to watch and you can get it at all the usual places. It is called. The Olsen Twins: a Sensational Mystery ……………. unfortunately there is no photo of me on the cover. Let me know what you think. Cheers.

LINDA AND GEORGE…………….You asked about the naming ceremony and I know there are lots of comments and questions about this. The proposed date is July 10 in Dover and not in Italy for sure. I hope this helps your planning and we both look forward to seeing you onboard once again.

JPUBLIC………………It’s funny that you should mention the finale of the bedtime story. Like most comedy it based on real life experiences and this is no different with the ending based on my friends Alan and Paul skipping off into Hockley Woods together. Thanks for the fun posting and I look forward to your next one very much.

TERRI AND LARRY…………….Just wanted to make sure you saw my answer to your question in yesterday’s blog. Cheers.

DEANNA…………..Just in case you missed it above Adam has applied and we are trying to help him realize his dream to perform. I am so glad you like so many others enjoyed his talent show performance. Thanks for writing and all the best.

MELODY…………..I have not decided on if I will be sailing on the cruise after the Bloggers cruise as well. I have to see where my schedule takes me. It certainly would be great to do so if for no other reason than to relax a bit afterwards………….let’s see what happens. Thanks Melody and I must say Heidi just told me she loves your name.

PRINCESS ELAINE……………..You asked if there was anything I won’t share with you…………..well………..that depends if Heidi is watching what I type however……………at this stage of the blogs history…………..nope.

Cheers Princess and our best to you and the Royal Family.

BIG MIKE……………….I may need your help mate…………she is a big lass!

JOHN AND CINDY……………As always, I hate having to reply to these e-mails when I have to tell you that no I will not be the Cruise Director on the Carnival Freedom for your May 10 cruise. However……………..I will be on the ship as I am sailing to help Todd with the first cruise. This means I will get to see you and you can buy me a Diet Coke……….or visa versa. I hope that’s a little good news with the bad and regardless I promise you a brilliant experience. See you soon.

LINDA HERNACKI AND MANY OTHERS……………..Who have been asking about my cold? Well, the good news is my nose is clear of all liquids and boogers some of which were the size of Brussels sprouts…………..but not as tasty.

However, the cold is now on my chest and I have an annoying tight feeling and a cough which when you are doing shows can be so off putting. Anyway, it seems that I am sharing my ailment with many of you out there and some on board as well. Thank you all for your continuing concern.

SUSAN B…………………Please send my best to Mum.

CANUCK CRUISER…………..Hello B and D how are you? Thanks for all your kind words of support, they are most welcome. You asked who your cruise director will be on the Carnival Fascination. His name is Trevor Block and he has been with us for 10 years and is a firm favorite with many guests. I wish you much luck with your new business venture mate and thanks for saying hello you all the folks in the office and my mate Alan. Cheers.

NANNI……………Mucho bearos in el forresto. Hugos.

DEBORAH ROSATO…………..Hello Debs……….can I call you Debs? I am sorry to say that during the New Year cruise I will be with the family at home. This time of year is so important for me and over the holiday season I always try to be with Mum and Dad and with Heidi’s family as well. I am sure that soon our paths will cross though and they will be happy day Debs………can I call you Debs?

JOHN FRIEDMAN…………..thanks mate

JOHN LlANO……………..Oh John………what a great idea………..a special bar where every night before dinner our Platinum Members meet for a drink and a chat. I know this is done on many lines and I think it’s wonderful. I have never actually suggested this before and not that I carry any weight ……..well………I mean within the company………not personally of course because ……. Well ………I do…………..anyway, let me suggest this to Lynn Torrent our new and shiny Senior Vice President and let’s see what she has to say…………..I think it’s a great idea. See you on Saturday and please leave me a note at the Information Desk when you are onboard. Cheers.

LAMBKNUCKLES…………..I know you didn’t actually ask a question but I had to write…………I am sorry to tell you I think I ate your cousin tonight ……….I had a lamb shank for dinner…………….don’t hate me.

LAYNE MORRIS…………..I am so glad you enjoyed the bedtime story. Over the years it has become a “signature dish” …….sorry…….I have been watching Jamie Olivier again…………..anyway……….we do sell the DVDs at the end of the cruise but unfortunately we do not keep master copies past two weeks. I have heard there are a few excerpts of various skits of mine on Boobtube but I have not seen them myself. Let me know if you find any mate. Thanks for writing and I am glad you enjoyed the show.

MARK CHAMBLISS…………..I am sure I will see you onboard mate. If you can stop by the Information desk and let them know to tell me you are here. I know you are also waiting anxiously for the Bloggers pre cruise info and I hope to have more news on this very soon. Have fun at Cruise 360 and I wish I could be there with you all.

JOAN CARLOW……………Thank you for your wonderful review of your Carnival Freedom European adventure. I remember our conversation well about New Zealand and it’s a place I would love to visit again someday with Heidi. Anyway, you asked about a recommendation for the Eastern Caribbean and a ship that is similar to the Carnival Freedom. Well, you have lots of choices but I want to recommend the Carnival Valor or the Carnival Liberty. Both are the same class as Carnival Freedom and both have fantastic Eastern itineraries. Have a look at www.carnival.com and click on each ship to read all about it. Then, let me know if you have any follow up questions and I will be happy to answer them for you. Regardless of what ship you choose you will be assured of a fantastic time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

DEANNA…………Our laundry room does have an iron as they are not allowed in the cabins for obvious safety reasons. How you use an iron though is something I am afraid you will have to go to other people for advice on. Cheers.

OK, time to stop as it’s nearly talent show time.

I just wanted to say that I realize that I don’t always reply to every comment. If time allows me to I will but recently it has not. I have tried not to show any favoritism to anyone regardless of whom they are and please remember if you mark your posting at the top with PLEASE REPLY you are guaranteed a response for sure. Please keep posting. The comments breath new life into me and your help and support is rejuvenating during the difficult times………..thanks to you all………….OH……….PLEASE REPLY TO THIS 🙂

Julie Gantt suggested that Heidi be Captain……………….good grief…………..no way………..I love my wife more than any Aston Martin, I care for her more than any jelly bean …………but Heidi as Captain……………..no way………..here is why

Based on her driving abilities it would take her an hour to park the ship ………….there could be no ship on either side of her and………..I would have to stand at the stern and wave her in.

OK, its time for me to go do a show. I was in a good mood until about five minutes ago when I received an e-mail from our Miami office ………………. Marvin Bell our comedian missed his flight and therefore will not be joining us today in St. Martin……….I can only imagine what my African American friend will say about this……………………….bugger.

Off to the talent show and I will write more when I get back.

Here I am back again. Normally I would tell you about the talent show and it was a really great one with some very special people taking part. I would normally tell you about the bedtime story which was very funny this evening……………but I won’t………it does not matter.

During the show the Captain contacted me to say that we were diverting to St. Thomas where a U.S. Coast Guard boat would meet us to take a guest ashore who was “very, very ill” and needed immediate and urgent attention in a shore side hospital. I went to the bridge after the show to assist in the operation and was saddened to see that I knew the wife of this poor gentleman.

I can’t tell you the guest’s name………………I can’t tell you what his medical condition is ……………I can tell you that his wife was in the Welcome Aboard show with me. They have been married 51 years and were a lot of fun. The Captain and I had our photos taken with them on Elegant night and they were so happy and having so much fun……………..four days later…………I am watching him taken off the ship on a stretcher and onto a boat.

Nothing matters………………..not a joke about a ship’s name…………..the colour of someone’s skin…………nothing…………..it’s about life……..living, enjoying and cherishing………………………… every single moment.

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.