Cruelty to Zombies

March 4, 2008 -

John Heald

Good Morning, lets start by all singing Happy Birthday to the Carnival Freedom. One year ago today Kathy Ireland smashed the bottle against the side of the ship and this great ship sailed away…….Happy Birthday Carnival Freedom. I wonder if Kathy will be sending a card?

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Cozumel, Mexico. Birds are singing (in Spanish) the sea is calm, guests are snorkeling, swimming and shopping and I look like the Elephant Man. I woke up this morning with everything still the same except one Prednisone tablet has the same effect as eating four bags of sugar-free jelly beans. It also has given me more energy and I am debating whether or not to go for a 10-mile run or write a blog….I guess I’ll write a blog.

I am not going to go ashore today, just to protect my eye from the sun and I would rather rest to get ready for tomorrow’s day at sea. The most annoying thing is my speech, which although Heidi says does not sound very different; I am very self-conscious about. There are certain words that have me speaking with a heavy lisp as the left side of my mouth is as active as the garbage collectors in Naples, Italy who have been on strike for a year.

I also seem to have the ability to drool, something I have not done since …well….last week when I saw a photo of Jessica Simpson washing a Ferrari. Anyway, tomorrow will be a big challenge as I have a morning show, travel talk, marriage show and two evening shows to host.

This cruise we have 80 guests who are sailing with a Singles Group. They are of all different ages and of course they are all single. The youngest is in her early twenties and the oldest is 67…..they are all having fun and after talking to many of them last night at the Elegant Night party they are all looking for love…..judging by how much they are all drinking if they do find love I have a feeling they will be in no fit state to do anything about it.

I wanted to share this letter with you in keeping with my promise that I would share the good and the not so good thoughts of your fellow guests……have a read of this.

Letter 2

Now, let me start by saying that although my shows may contain some “suggestive ” material there is never any direct mention of “sex” as the person wrote and I never ever use bad language. As for the Divorce thing….well…..this was very interesting. During the show I was talking about the dedication TV programs I would be doing and as I was going through the list…birthdays, honeymoon, anniversaries, graduation, etc. etc. a man shouted out “divorce”… of we went in some friendly banter which included him telling the audience that while he was here in the sun his ex wife was freezing her butt off back home in Minnesota…….

Now, I can imagine that for many people Divorce must be a hurtful and shocking process to go through, even more so if there are kids involved however it was never my intention to even mention it but as usual when someone shouts something from the audience you respond. My only regret is that the person did not leave her cabin number or name on the letter so I can apologize in person to her.

It is amazing the things people tell me. This afternoon I spent some time with this family at their request and what wonderful people they are. Have a read of their letter.

Letter 1

One cannot imagine the horror of what they have been through. This is their first vacation together since that terrible day. They are such a great family and they spend their lives looking after others. I met with the daughter, Mum and Dad and the beautiful baby whose name is Tiffany…..the family are so very close as you would expect.

There were some tears shed as they described what a wonderful time they were having and so thankful for the gifts I had sent them yesterday. Meeting these folks made me realize that even though I may look and like I have run a 100-yard sprint in a 90-yard gym and talk like my tongue is made from a Camel’s scrotum, my problems and worries are nothing, zippo, nader, nichts, niente, bugger all compared to what some have been through. I have invited the family to our VIP party later in the cruise……it’s the least we could do.

Yesterday was quite a day and Mr. Murphy was still dropping his laws on me into the night as well…….by the way, I just tried to eat a banana while writing this and because the left side of my mouth is numb it just fell out a dropped over the key board……bugger……hold on.

Ok, I used my magic cleaner to get rid of the banana…its great stuff this magical cleaner…..all you do is shout “Heidi” and in a few minutes it’s gone…..there are side effects of course to using this product which include uncontrollable movement to the dog house.

Where was I ……ahhh yes. That chap Murphy. So, my day had started with my usual handsome features being turned it to someone who has been attacked with the ugly stick and I retired to my cabin early to rest as per doctor’s orders. At 8:45pm I got a call from the Entertainment Technician that we were having to stop the Big Easy show as for some unknown reason all the microphones had stopped working and the singers were silent…….bugger.

So, off I ran backstage….running when you are wearing a patch over one eye is about as recommended as telling Lorraina Bobbitt that you are leaving her for another woman while she is holding a large steak knife….it’s going to end in tears…yours….and your voice will be a lot higher as well. Thus it was as I ran to the backstage area and missed the last stair falling on my bottom……bugger.

I reached backstage and made an immediate announcement…the staff member on duty had already done this but I did again emphasizing that this was a technical problem and we should have it fixed soon……I won’t bother telling you what the problem was but something had blown up and the result was we had gone from the most technically brilliant show on the seven seas to a silent movie in a few moments.

I stood backstage and got everyone doing what needed to be done and after a the amplifier and wireless receiver thingy had been changed we re-set the stage and I introduced the show start asking for applause for a the cast who were so anxious to bring the show to them…….the rest of the show went like clockwork and a full standing ovation followed. I returned to the cabin… eye patch having every crewmember asking “What’s wrong?” and my bottom throbbing away from the fall……

The elevator door opened and one of the engineers waited to get in…he looked at my eye and before he had time to ask I said, “Heidi hit me” ……and walked to my cabin leaving a shocked looking engineer thing Heidi had given me a right hook.

I got back to the cabin with the Doctor’s words “Rest John, your body has an injury and needs time to heal,” ringing in my ears so I thought that’s what I had better do. I changed out of my Tuxedo (took two photos for last nights blog) and then took of my white tux shirt and changed into something more comfortable. Heidi and I sent the blog of to Stephanie and then…..I just sat there. I tried to watch TV for a bit with Heidi. She recently bought seasons 1 – 3 of Boston Legal and it is now her favorite program. I just couldn’t get into it….they were doing something about protecting Salmon in a courtroom and then someone wasn’t someone’s son…it was like Despicable Housewives without …well…nice bottoms.

However, the real reason I just couldn’t get in to it was because for some bizarre reason Captain Kirk appeared dressed in an Armani suit drinking scotch…..where was his tight fitting pants and why wasn’t he drinking his Romulan brandy. At one point this other lawyer was screaming at him and threatening to hit him…I shouted at him to use his phaser and have Scottie beam him up… was when one very trampy woman walked on to his terrace and tried to seduce him and I shouted “You won’t be the first man to boldly go there mate,” that Heidi threw an apple at me….normally I dodge these various flying objects but with only one good eye I just groped at air and the apple hit me right in the chest…..I left Captain Kirk and went to the bathroom to fight some Klingons.

Now, its 10:40pm….I am just getting ready for bed…I cannot remember the last time I went to bed this early unless the God that is “The Magic Stick” demanded it. Anyway, the phone rang and I could not believe my ears…..we had to stop the show again. So, I shoved my T- shirt on and me and my throbbing bottom, my sore chest from the lethal piece of fruit, my patched eye and my stupid lopsided face walked …walked this time backstage.

The first time we had ever stopped the show on the Carnival Freedom was two hours ago…..not bad considering that she is only a year old.

  This time the problem was the lighting controls which for some reason had blacked out all the lights…..not only does this make the show hard to see for the audience but with 18 cast members performing in front of a deep orchestra pit its also very dangerous. So…..same again……apology announcement….and after 10 minutes hard work by the tech team the board was “re-booted ” and off we went……the show received another standing ovation.

  I stayed backstage and kept an eye (get it? …”kept an eye” – ?) on the proceedings and then took myself back to the cabin and went to bed. I dreamt of Star Trek….Captain Kirk had been replaced by Captain George Hamilton….he had an all supermodel crew and I cannot begin to tell you what he was doing with his photon torpedo!

Here are a few Random photos taken by Heidi…oh and one from two new people on the blog and the couple I mentioned a few days ago.

Random Photos

Random Photos

Let’s get on with some Q and A… we go. To skip the Q&A, click here.

RIKKI BOYCE – Even to mentioned as the same sentence as David Beckham means this young lady is smart, intelligent and in urgent need of glasses. Thanks mate, hope all is well.
BOB HICKLY – The Shriners indeed do outstanding work and I am glad that you are acknowledging them. Thanks Bob for all your kind words and for reading this blog. Cheers!
BILL AND DEBBY – Your story is a perfect example of how colour and race should not matter. Thank you for mentioning our friend Malcolm in the Middle and every time I see the word Heinz, I shall think of you.
Best to you both, all 57 of you.
ED MILAN – Hearing that you enjoyed your cruise last week so very much is music to my ears. I passed the words of congratulations from your executive chef friend on our food to our Head Chef here on board. I am glad you enjoyed all the shows and I hope it’s not too long before we will see you again.
TBFMTSFPBLFT09BC0TCF – work that one out. Thanks for the update on my wedding vows and you are probably correct; the word shopping should definitely have been in there. I agree with everything you said and unfortunately these are words I wanted to say to this lady but never did. She had already made her mind up that I was a bad person and purposely did not hire people of colour. Your support has and always will be so appreciated. My best to your lovely wife.
JIMNI – You asked if I can have a gathering of bloggers when I join the ship in Funchal and certainly, we can do this toward the end of the cruise. It will be my honor and pleasure to organize this. I will send further details out nearer the time. The crew of the Carnival Freedom looks forward to meeting you. See you soon.
CRUISIN GRANDMA – Hello Grandma…….I saw the photo yesterday and you are a very good-looking grandma indeed. Still..I hope you allow me to continue to call you grandma. You know, I was talking on the Blog with Big Ed about how this thingy has become such a great community one that cares and shares with complete strangers. This is confirmed by you when you tell of how the stories of others and the things they share on this blog have kept you going through your cancer treatments. I also was humbled by the fact that laughter the blog provides has also seen you through. So Grandma…let that always be the case and I wish you continuing health and happiness and we will always be here for you.
PATTI AND WAYNE – By the time you read this I know you will be getting ready and packing for your cruise her on the Carnival Freedom. Please leave me a note when you get here and I will look forward to hopefully meeting you and shaking your hand. Have a safe journey here and see you very soon. Cheers.
MARTHA L – Indeed we will not disappoint. Your return to the world of cruising is great news and I know you and your family will have a fantastic time together on the Carnival Fascination. Please write when you get back and until then please keep reading the blog thingy.
RICK AKA SEAN CONNERY LOOK A LIKE – Please let me know when you are sailing and I will speak to Ken on your behalf. I am glad your wife is ok with my French humour. We loved Quebec when we sailed there on the Carnival Legend; it is one of our favorite places. Cheers Richard and see you soon.
HELENE DENIS – And we miss you too, come home soon.
BIG ED – A good question mate. I asked the doctor here on board and he confirmed that 24 weeks pregnancy is the cut off time for being allowed to sail. Hopefully Heidi will be with us on the Bloggers cruise. Please say hello to Mrs. Big Ed and thank her for her kind words.
ROBERT & SUZANN – See you in 4 days time in your usual seats.
MYRA BUSHNELL – I asked Heidi and she said that we have actually been there. It’s full of beautiful Dutch flowers and it takes about 1 hour to get there from Amsterdam, it’s an amazing exhibition and you will love it. If you have any other questions about your trip, please let us know. All the best.
PISMO JIM – Just wanted to welcome you with your first posting. I am really glad you have been enjoying the blog for so long and I hope this will be the first of many posts.
MOUNT SINAI CRUISER – You asked who the Cruise Director will be on your son’s first cruise on board the Carnival Destiny. This will be a young lady called Darcy Kniefel and I promise you will have a fantastic time. Please wish him Bon Voyage from us and if he hast time, send our kind regards to Darcy. Cheers!
SHARON DOVER – We can indeed take a poll nearer the time to see who is sailing on the July 13 Carnival Splendor cruise. Great idea Sharon.
BECKY – Heidi says, thank you for taking her side. I guess you women stick together :))
SHERI BOLCHOZ – The good news is, you will hear no noise from the Lido deck where your cabin is positioned. Don’t worry about not being able to swim as, if you fall overboard from your Kayak on the Bioluminescence Tour, the sharks will eat you before you drown ….. kidding, you will have a life vest on and float. Are you talking about your collection of solid gold plastic trophies or something else? Let me know. Looking forward to hearing from you very soon and I will remain at your service.
JEANNE MARIE – You asked about Dover. A taxi from the ship to Dover Castle will cost you approx. 10 Pounds, which is about $300…kidding, more like $20. I am not sure of the entrance fee; however, I am sure you can find out on line. Dover Castle is fantastic and I agree you should try and see it. Just remember you must be back on board no later than 4 pm. Unfortunately we have no packages to Paris; however you can take the Euro star train, the ferry from Dover to Calais and a train to Paris or fly from Heathrow. However, personally, I would see other parts of England before Paris. Then again, I would rather see a pile of elephant poo before I would Paris but that’s just me. I am here to help and please say a big hello to Ray. Cheers.
CINDY 56 – Still not sure on our finish date on the Carnival Splendor and a trip to Canada though would be amazing in the winter. As long as I don’t have to ski. Thank you again for your kindness. All the best.
LAMB KNUCKLES – Thanks for your thoughts and maybe I should get more serious and actually think about doing a Bloggers cruise on the Queen Mary out of New York. So far, 4 other bloggers said they would come. No lamb for me tonight for dinner. Heidi sends her best, so do I.
BIG ED – I agree mate, the world has gone mad. I bought my friend a huge slap of Cadbury’s whole nut chocolate and on the front of the bar it says in big letters “contains nuts.” How big is the Evil Crew for Carnival Fantasy??
DRIVERNC – Thanks for your support on the Vegas hotel idea. It’s good to dream.
JOY – Looking forward to seeing you on the Carnival Splendor, it will be nice to say Welcome Home.
CAMERON – I am glad you guys had such a wonderful time last week and sorry about the debarkation. Good luck in the coming year and if you have time try and read the blog now and then. Cheers mate.
DEANNA – So you would be interested in a Queen Mary 2 bloggers cruise would you? The more people tell me they are, I will get some rates and dates. Cheers.
SUSAN V – I shall have to try the Publix version of the warming chocolate cake. Thank you for joining my Facebook thingy. I really must pay some attention to it sometime. I always look forward to your postings and I hope you and your family are well.
SHELLY – Just wanted to say Thank You and wish you a wonderful week as well.
MIKE AND LORETTA BROWN – Thank you for the kind offer and one day we may be knocking on your door. Thank you for your kindness kind and one day I hope you can show us your neck of the woods.
MIKE ORELLO – I asked Heidi for her opinion and she suggested the following two hotels in Amsterdam. The Radisson SAS in a street called RUSLAND, close to everything you might be interested in. Also the Marriott near the Rijksmuseum/Leidseplein is great and just on the other side of the centre. Hope this helps, let us know if you need anything else.
LOIS VERYFUNNYPOSTINGSKI – That’s a great idea. A bloggers commercial. You are hired. Heidi and I miss you and send you our best.
CRUISING EAGLE – I will chase up my friends on the Carnival Elation and get the tour recommendations to you by the end of the week, my apologies for the delay. As you will have read, one of the guests we disembarked did pass away, the other is doing well. Thanks for you kind concern. I will write to you soon, cheers.
DANNY – We should be able to pick up ABC 3 days before the end of the trans-Atlantic crossing. So it will be touch and go if we receive satellite coverage. If we do, we will gladly have it played for you. Cheers mate.
SANDRA – I love French Canadians and as I just mentioned, our trips to Quebec have been some of the highlights of our cruising lives, now, your Paris cousins, that’s another story. Hope to see you soon.
PEGGY – The broadcasting of news on the Seaside Theatre big screen has received 1 or 2 negative comments. However, they are just 1 or 2 and the news is only played from 8 – 9 am every morning. The rest of the time we show activities, ambient footage, concerts and movies. Have fun on your cruise. I am very sorry I can’t be there with you and I got the hint and passed it on to Ken. Heidi and I send you our best.
UNCLE DOUG – Great idea, never been to Lake Tahoe, it sounds wonderful. I wonder if anybody high up at Carnival would take this seriously. Cheers mate.
JIMMIE KENNEDY – I was actually being serious and I am even more so now about a Queen Mary 2, 2010 New York bloggers cruise. Let me get my head around this and see what we can do. Cheers.
HEATHER JEFFREY – Please send a big hello to your beautiful daughter Hannah. It was a pleasure to have you on board and I hope Hannah remembers her uncle John. Hope to see you all again soon.
JEN – You just made my day. Thanks for wearing your Carnival shirt on a RCI shop. Cheers.
RICK AKA SEAN CONNERY LOOK A LIKE – I passed your request to Ken to eat in his dining room. I am sure he will do his very best to look after you. I see the “Climb This” t-shirt has another fan and I am now seriously thinking of having them made. Cheers.
PRINCESS ELAINE – Glad to hear I made you laugh and I agree, Nathan’s has brilliant hot dogs although Bill Zydecocruiser and Robert from New Jersey may disagree.
MARIA CONNIE COELHO – Welcome back from your Carnival Freedom cruise. I am glad you enjoyed your cruise so much and I hope that the laughter and fun you shared with us all will carry you through your battle with breast cancer. Hearing that has made me realize how important my job is in ways I could not normally think of. You have joined a great group of people here on the blog, all of which will now be thinking of you on March 7 when you have your surgery. I am sure when you check back in a couple of days you will see many of the bloggers have said how they are thinking of you. Take care and Heidi and I send our warmest regards to you and your daughter.
JASON BELL – Just post your comments mate and somebody will send them to me in private.
SHERIFF ROSCOE P. COLTRANE – The Cruise Director on the Carnival Glory will be Ryan Fitzgerald, a brilliant kid who I know you will absolutely love. I am sure the sheriff can have fun with him. Captain Salvatore Rassello will be the Captain and please remind me before you sail so I can send you a bottle of Moonshine. Good luck with your election, you always have my vote.
KEVIN AND HEIDI BETH – Why do people always say the grass is greener on the other side? I am afraid the lady in question who said they disembarked 3,500 guests in 15 minutes on an RCI ship had probably just smoked her own underwear. Anyway, we can always improve our systems of debarkation and we will continue to try and do so. I can’t believe you are a Doctor Who fan and I agree with you, Tom Baker was the best. With my current illness I look like a Darlek. Heidi and I send our best to the three of you.
DIVETRASH – I knew I can count on you. It seems I was right in thinking you would say Nathan’s. A friend of mine was going to have a Nathan’s hotdog recently but his wife made him eat a vegetarian one instead as it was healthier. He has promised to take me to Nathan’s one day and I will hold him to that as I have never had one. It sounds like you had a wonderful dinner with Kevin and I am happy for you that you were enjoying Ron at the piano during the bloggers cruise.
CHERYL – Thank you for being the first to wish Maria good luck with the surgery. I am sure there will be many more bloggers following you.
STEPHANIE MARTIN – I will have much more information on the tours for the Carnival Splendor toward the end of April so, stand by for that. I will be great to sail with you again. Our best to you and Frank.
SHERYL PELTON – Be careful what you wish for, we may be selling the “Climb This” t-shirts, you never know.
KEVIN – I think I would lock my door tonight as you may have some New Jersey folks coming over for dinner. Hope all is well and Heidi and I can not wait to finally meet you.
CRUISIN SUE – Thank you for your great post and the information on Pigeon Forge. I should be the Cruise Director on your November Carnival Splendor cruise and I will definitely see you in February with Big Ed and his evil crew.
SUSAN B – I know Lance could design such a shirt, maybe he can have them made and sell them to the rest of Big Ed’s crew. I am not sure if it would be politically correct to have Carnival make them. Please give him my best and thank you for all your kind words.
NANNI – Thank you for such kind words.
PAULA BAKER – Thank you and Heidi just smiled a big smile when she read the kind words you wrote about her. I am glad you continue to read the blog and I will continue for as often as I can.
BILLY JO – Yes, debarkation last cruise was not very good but it was a one off. Guests on self-assist carrying all their own luggage do get to disembark first. This week will be better, I am sure. Let me know if you have any other questions.
DUCKIE – Wine packages I know are very popular and this is something I suggested we start during our recent Carnival Cruise Director conference. It is a great idea and something we should be doing. Hopefully, it will be ready for your July 2 Carnival Splendor cruise. Until then, I remain at your service and send you my best regards.
ESTHER VALLINS – Hello Esther. Unfortunately, the master copy of all the shows from your cruise have already been deleted. I am so sorry. The cruise you sailed on the audiences were indeed remarkable. Thank you for sharing your valuable vacation time with us and I hope you have some great memories of our time together.
LUCAS DECOSTA – I am glad you are looking forward to your Carnival Splendor cruise. If you look above a few questions, you will see Heidi sending a few Amsterdam hotels to another blogger. As far as a great restaurant serving typical Dutch food, let me get back to you as Heidi is not here at the moment and I will make sure she replies to you. As for, hiring a bike, you can do this anywhere. The most famous company is YELLOW BIKES, just be careful with the tram tracks!
BILL ZYDECOCRUISER – Cannes is the only tender port and indeed being a Platinum guests will prove very useful. Cheers.

That’s it for now. Thank you to all of you who wished Maria all the best for her surgery. I know this will mean the world to her.

You know, I have no idea how many Blogs I have written….I know someone will be able to tell me (right, Stephanie?) and I also have no idea how many I have written since I left the Carnival Freedom to go on vacation until now…how many Steph?

The reason I mention this is because I have a feeling a may have touched on this next bit last year sometime….I apologize if I am repeating myself but the subject came up again this morning as well and it involved my “animals are people” friends from PETA.

I opened my e-mails this morning to find that last night he had gone to the Pursers office at 1:05 am to speak to me so I gave him a call. I now have one bad eye and one bad ear as well……he was furious …… here is the reason.

Random Photos

Random Photos

Random Photos

Random Photos

Random Photos

Random Photos

I had actually thought of the tours that were coming up in Cayman and Jamaica and would they present a problem for this gentleman…..I thought about the Stingrays but they are in their natural environment and also that we had another horsey tour in Jamaica but I had never considered he would be mad at the arcade.

The arcade games are very popular with all the kids and teens. We could try filling the room with inventions from the Science Museum, etc. but let’s face it the place would be empty. Kids these days want to play games like Halo 3, Transformers and Zombie Death Killers from Uranus.

I went down to the arcade today and kids were playing these machines hosing down monsters with a huge machine gun laughing hysterically as a zombies head fell off and rolled on to the floor and then David Beckham ran on to the screen and kicked the head into the back of the net ….. you get extra points for that.

I watched a young kid….no more than 10 years old play a game where you can actually blow up people with hand grenades and cut of an arm with an axe…..the look of sternness and concentration on his face was incredible as he saved the world again.

Now, the machine this particular gentleman had a problem with involves killing real animals…deer…wild hogs etc… this cruel?…..or is it just for fun? His opinion is that us having the game onboard is a disgrace and he wants it removed immediately. Obviously that is not going to happen but is he right……it’s a tough one. Anyway, I calmed him down….again…and tried to break the ice by admitting I had once burned a dung beetle alive with the sun’s rays and a magnifying glass….apparently PETA doesn’t care about the poor dung beetle as he said he forgave me.

When we were kids we played Monopoly, Buck A Roo, Crossfire and Clue and I guess these have been replaced with Halo, Assassin, Star Wars and Gran Turismo. The days of families sitting round the table playing cards have been replaced by families playing bowling and air guitar on the Wee Wee game thingy.

The argument is of course that electronic games offer no form of education unless you intend to spend your adult life driving a Porsche through the streets of Los Angeles at 200 mph being chased by the police and after lunch destroy an army from the planet Zog and after dinner have a quick walk through a grave yard to behead a few zombies.

Then again, did the games of old teach us anything? Are the world’s top police officers where they are today because of playing Clue and that Professor Plum gave Lady Marie the good news with a steak knife in the library?

Are Micky Arison, Donald Trump and Warren Buffet so successful in life because they were the Shoe in Monopoly and always won?

The fact is that maybe this guy is right….the games involving firing a bullet up Bambi’s bottom is not very nice but it is there because its part of today’s culture and if we replaced with an electronic version of solitaire the place would be empty.

I left the arcade thinking three things.

1. My opinion on this whole thing is undecided and I really hope that this guy doesn’t spontaneously combust during this cruise.

2. I left the arcade feeling pretty down……why?………….Well I was looking at the Zombie games and I realized that with my current Bells Thingy condition…..I looked like one of the Zombies

3. I also left realizing that if there was a game where you could pretend to be a Special Forces soldier and creep around Paris forcing French people to take a shower and if they refused fire a 50-caliber garlic and onion gun at them……I would be in there all day.


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.