Advertising the fun…with no side effects

March 2, 2008 -

John Heald

It’s Sunday…………….time for a very quick and easy ready to eat TV dinner, small, diluted, tiny and short blog thingy……….

Some of the most frustrating parts of this job are the times you rely on others ………….such was the case this morning. I stood on stage yesterday at the debarkation talk and proclaimed to the world that our new and improved debarkation system was brilliant, easy and free of the discomforts of the past and here I am sitting her having just finished the debarkation of 3200 guests where during my announcements for each number to proceed ashore I had to use those dreaded words “I sincerely apologize.”

We had done everything as normal…………the guests were informed and everyone had listened to instructions and at 7:15am we started……………and then stopped………………and then started…………….and then stopped. I would call a number to come down to the gangway and only to have them wait in line in the lobby…………..it wasn’t our fault…………it was just one of those times when the Customs and Boarder Patrol Inspector wanted to see only so many guests at a time to pass through Immigration……..no warning was given that this would happen and therefore the system that I had said was quick and painless based on the last three weeks was in fact slow and painful.

Now, once again I realize that these ladies and gents have a hugely important job to do but I wish there could be a way that we are pre-warned about this and therefore I don’t look like I am talking out of my bottom.

So, I apologized not just over the PA system but also in the lobby as guests were leaving. As usual 99% of people were understanding but there were one or two who voiced there opinion but that is normal of course. Anyway, we usually start at 7 am and finish by 9:45 am………..today we started at 7:15 am and finished at 10:35 am………….those extra minutes mean a lot.

I have decided to adopt a disclaimer in my debarkation talk from now on………..I shall explain how brilliantly organized the onboard system is but then like those car commercials on the radio I shall inform guests at break neck speed that “terms and conditions apply subject to CBP the men and women with guns who if you have a problem with what they do go and shout at them not me and the staff and 8.9% interest.”

I love North American advertising…………British TV adverts are very different. For example, in the U.K. you are not allowed to slam another product like you can here. I really enjoy the ones where this happens……….car adverts are brilliant. In the U.K. you just have to say how great your car is……..’buy a Ford………it’s the best truck there is’……………in North America you get to say:

“If you are slightly mad, you know the sort that wakes up and says I’m a Squid and dribbles when he talks”…….then buy a Toyota…….for everyone else………..there’s Ford.”

Burger King and McDonald’s…………I love it when these giants of the fast food industry have a pop at each other…… “want beef that is made from a Yak testicle …then the Big Mac is for you”…………………you just can’t do this in the U.K.

However, my favorite are the disclaimers at the end of medicine adverts ………..these are just brilliant……….”Ask your Doctor about Healdasec the new pain relief for everything in the world…………side effects may include headaches, nausea, lock jaw, amputation and sex change “………………..

Seriously, I was listening to one last night for Stomach Acid and Heartburn and one of the side effects was “uncontrollable bowel movement in less than 5% of people.”……………..now I know that these medical companies have to do this but goodness me……..uncontrollable bowel movement………….what does that mean..?

Picture two guys playing tennis.

So Roger, how’s the heartburn

Fantastic Marv, I had 4 bowls of chili and drank a bottle of Tabasco sauce and I feel fantastic

Great news mate…your serve………hey…….weren’t you wearing white shorts in the first set

Oh, don’t worry about that..It’s just uncontrollable bowel movement

It is quite scary how I just went from debarkation to a man wearing brown shorts ………………I think I need help.

Here are the facts for this coming voyage

GUESTS – 3288
UNDER 21 – 266
NON U.S. CITIZENS/CANADIANS – 477
MOST REPRESENTED – French Canada = 140
U.K. = 56

Overall I think last week went really well. The audiences were the best so far and even with the delays of this morning I feel everyone was sad to leave ……….that’s what we want them to be so they will all want to come again as soon as possible. Of course one lady did not leave singing “Carnival’s Got The Fun”………………….. You know who I am talking about of course. I admit I hid from her this morning……….I just didn’t see the point of antagonizing her anymore……………I wonder if she is any happier on land in her everyday life………..I truly hope so………..nobody deserves to be as unhappy and as angry at the world as she was this last week……………………I know…………..I shouldn’t be bothered………..but I am…………I just don’t like the fact that someone hated what I do that much.

Random photo time.

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Team Waiter, Nayoman Sarinu, working hard for you on Lido Deck

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Karel & Welmon from Indonesia

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Welmon from Indonesia

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Bernard & Alfonso

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Cleaning the Victoriana Lounge

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Heidi on the phone

OK, let’s press on and see if I can catch up answering some of your questions. It was great to read all your own stories about your skiing adventures and of course so wonderful to read your best wishes and messages of support …….. thanks again to you all.…………….I only have time for a few today so ……………..here we go.

MARGIENJI…………..OK, I have reserved the Piano Bar for you at 2 pm for your Cruise Critic meeting on Sunday March 16. I will also make sure there is a mention of this in the Today at a Glance section in the Carnival Capers as well. I look forward to seeing you onboard and drop me a note sometime during the cruise so I can say hello. If my schedule allows I will pop by your meeting as well. Cheers.

MARK TWAIN AND A HALF…………If my Dad eats Brussels Sprouts in the U.K. the after shots will be felt in Alabama…………we chat about the best things don’t we mate? Say hello to your other half from Heidi and I.

DIVETRASH………….Let the New York – New Jersey rivalry begin…………who has the best Hot Dogs by the way? Laura, you will be happy to know I did confirm Ron will be the Piano Bar entertainer for the 09 Bloggers cruise. Heidi and I send our best to you.

KERSPLOTT…………You asked about the possibility of tours for those people on back-to-back Med and trans-Atlantic cruises in Rome. Indeed, we will have a comprehensive program for this allowing you to tour all the places that make Rome such an incomparable city. I will have more information on this and all the carnival Splendor tours in the weeks to come. Hope this helps and it is great to hear from you as always.

SOUTHERNDREAMS…………Just wanted to say welcome back from your Carnival Fascination cruise. I am happy to hear you enjoyed the crew so much and I have passed your compliments back to the vessel. My best to you and Prince Charlie.

JIMMIE………….Thanks for the invitation to meet you on the 17th. This may indeed be possible and if I can I will e-mail the Assistant Cruise Director Stephanie who is on the Carnival liberty to get a message to you. I need your cabin number mate please. Hope to see you soon.

JENN & MEYER…………..Thanks for the educational update and the correct spelling of Maitre’ D. I have an ex Chief Purser Francine who is a great friend e mailing me with my spelling mustakes so betwine har and yew eye sed be KO.
Thanks for taking the time to post and all the best from Heidi and I.

NANNI…………….I am sorry to hear you had a difficult week with the 35 kids but I know you have wonderful memories of your visit to the Carnival Freedom. You asked about the announcement where I thanked people for the McDonald’s ……….well……….for some reason I mentioned at my marriage show that I couldn’t get off the ship in San Juan that night and that I would miss the local cuisine……….McDonald’s…………well a few people decide to bring it back for me…………17 actually……….that’s right I had 17 assorted Big Macs and Quarter Pounders…………….next week I am going to say “I can’t get off the ship and usually I buy an Aston Martin?”…………I wonder if that will work? As always muchos hugos para usted ando todo la familyo.

KEVIN, HEIDI AND BETH………………I just wanted to say how pleased I was to hear that I will see the three of you next year. Great news and let me know if I can help with anything else. Cheers.

CINDY…………You know, I have never ever vacationed in Canada ………… thanks for the warm invitation……….now you have got me thinking. I love Canada and maybe that is indeed something to think about as I have only ever been on business. You are so kind to offer and maybe, just maybe I may take you up on the offer. Until then Heidi and I send our best to you and all the Canadian bloggers.

TERESA AND PAUL B…………..I know just how important hair dryers are. In her time Heidi has had big ones, small ones, turbo charged ones that generate more heat than Uma Thurman in a thong. So, yes, your cabin will indeed have a built in dryer……your worries are over. If you have any other questions or concerns I am here for you. Cheers.

SUSAN V…………I have a friend who just returned from the Smoky Mountains and they described it exactly as you did. In fact in Pigeon Forge there is a place called the Comedy Barn. This is a family theatre owned by a brilliant ex Carnival Cruise Director called David Fee. Some of the acts are ex Carnival entertainers as well and I have always wanted to go down there and see the show for myself. Thanks Susan and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy.

SANDRA………….How great to hear from you and of course I remember Maurice from your cruise last year. I will indeed be the Cruise Director when you sail on the Carnival Splendor and I look forward to hopefully providing you with much more of the laughter you say you enjoyed last year. Please keep reading the blog as soon I will be providing some more information on the Baltic tours. Cheers.

RICK…………AKA.SEAN CONNERY………..Hello Sean. Hopefully by now you will have seen my reply about Marcus Anthony and I will be happy to ask Ken to make sure you are in his dining room. Can you remind me the date of your cruise. I know you have probably told me recently by I just want to make sure. Please pass my best to your wife and thank her for having such a great sense of humour.

I seem to have this advertising thing in my mind now. By the way, how do you like the new Carnival TV commercials, we are getting some really positive feedback and I wondered what you all thought of them?

I just got back onboard after a quick trip ashore which included a whirl around the shops in Bayside which is a shopping and restaurant complex near the Port of Miami. During this hour of misery Heidi passed a shop that sold loads of designer thingies with various logos on them………..most of which were just rubbish………..a pair of Chanel flip flops……….$300………..for a pair of flip flops……….and people buy them because its got the Chanel logo on it……….I am sure if I stamped the Chanel logo on a dead slug and put it in the window………..someone would buy it,.

So, this has me thinking……………why are we not selling Carnival Logo stuff everywhere?

Put the Warming Chocolate Cake in a box, stick the Carnival logo on it and Publix wouldn’t know what’s hit it………..the list of things we could logo and sell is endless.

Hey, why stop at things………….lets build a huge lake in Vegas. Then, build a hotel that looks like a Carnival ship. Then give two decks to the casino and run the rest like a Carnival cruise with the shows, fantastic service and even a Captain…………wouldn’t it be stunning to see the Carnival smokestack dominating the Vegas skyline.

I would also like to mention that sometimes advertising can get on my nerves. Now, I have to be careful here because recently I have promised to try and refrain from having fun at another cruise lines expense …………. However …………….fate decided that this would not happen.

I just returned from Life Boat drill and as I stood on the Starboard side waiting to start I saw a lady leant over a deck 8 balcony close to the bridge. She saw me and smiled……………..I forced a smile back at her but it was indeed forced because she was wearing a RCI T-shirt………….I couldn’t believe this…………on the first day ……………she is wearing this.

Now, either she is oblivious to the fact that we do not own RCI or she just does not care or she does not think it would bother anyone………..maybe it doesn’t ………maybe it just bothers me. Anyway, with this in mind I think Carnival should revert to the style of advertising as mentioned above………..similar to Burger King and MacDonald’s………Ford and Toyota………….we should make a -Shirt with a huge photo of our smoke stack and underneath the words……… “Climb This!”

Time for the welcome aboard show.

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.