That Was The Week That Was

March 8, 2008 -

John Heald

It’s debarkation morning and after last week’s delays the ship is emptying quicker than a room full of Frenchman who have just heard that McDonald’s have just launched the garlic and onion flavored “La Grand Mac” and that if you haven’t showered in a week you get free French Fries with it.

It’s great to keep the line moving and not have to use the words “I apologize” every time I make an announcement. Our friends from CBP (Customs and Boarder Patrol) seem to be as anxious to move things along this week as we are and all of this makes for a great last impression. I wanted to go down to the lobby and say some goodbyes but Heidi and the Doctor and Mum and dad and friends and PA 007 and thousands of you keep telling me to rest…………..so here I am resting…………well………..sitting here blogging …………wearing just my underpants………….and a patch over my left eye ………..very restful.

Just like that a comfortable day of debarkation has turned into another morning of me running around shouting “Bugger” at the top of my voice. We have not moved any guests from the last 30 minuets …… the Immigration Computers have all crashed…….nobody can be processed…………nobody can disembark. This apparently is also affecting every ship here in Miami…….that’s thousands of guests who are not allowed ashore. I will be back soon……….time to make announcements and use that “apology” word again and then down to the lobby……see you soon…………actually, I had better put some trousers on first.

OK, here I am. The delay lasted 45 minutes and that’s a long time. Of course most people were very understanding………I say most but, of course, there were the usual one or two, including one man and his wife who refused to wait………barged past our security……….shouting he was not waiting…………he was American…………….he actually pushed past the security guards and the Entertainment Staff calling them “Immigrants”……..what a disgusting moth!………………we called down to the CBP people to let them know and I hope he was a little more pleasant to them than us…………..if I had my way he would have had a close encounter with a Latex glove!

Anyway, we started again and finished at 10:35 am instead of 10 am as we should usually ………………. what a shame.

I woke up this morning and as has become tradition since Mr. Bell crapped on me I stood in front of the mirror hoping that my face would have changed from that of Quasimodo back to George Hamilton ………….needless to say the loud shout of “Bugger” tells you that George is a long way away and Quasi is still ringing them bells.

Never fear, my well is deep and I shall not be of despair………….now how funny is this …………just as I wrote these words it has started thundering, lightning and now raining ………..very hard.  It’s a typical Florida downpour and a sure sign that Mr. Bell has not finished with me yet.

Now, some people think that on debarkation day and once the guests are ashore that the crew can put their feet up, listen to some Barry Manilow and enjoy a few hours of down time…………..well…………nothing could be further from the truth.

Homeport days are the busiest days of the cruise for any ship and her crew. Let me list………in no particular order…..some of the things that will happen today while 3,300 guests are disembarking and our new guests are waiting to board.

1. First of all luggage. Today we have 94 luggage cages. This means that approximately 1,000 people have opted for our self assist program and will be taking off their own luggage. This leaves 94 cages with approximately 60 pieces in each cage. This means that we will disembark 2,820 pieces of luggage. This job id done from onboard by the housekeeping department who then work with a very interesting group of people called Stevedores. The luggage is placed onto the fork lift trucks and they are then driven at 300 miles an hour down the pier, into the terminal building where more Port Of Miami staff put them onto the correct carousel for collection. This process takes about 90 minutes.

2. Now, onboard the place where all the luggage is held overnight from the time they are collected from outside the guests cabins until we arrive in Miami is called “the Marshaling Area.” This is one of those terms we have used since I can remember and I am sure it goes way back in marine history. Now, the luggage needs to be out of this area as quickly as possible because we then need to have empty. Why? ……………..oh, just the matter of 27 huge 18 wheeler trucks that will be delivering all our supplies for this coming cruise. Fresh produce, frozen goods, beverages, meat, cheese, ice cream and, of course, most importantly …….toilet paper will all arrive today. Now, first of all each box, pallet and toilet roll is screened through a very tight security process for obvious reasons. Once this has been done then our provisions department will work outside on the pier inspecting each and every pallet to make sure that it is what has been ordered and that nothing has been spoiled during transportation. This is a huge job and takes many hours……………never a week goes by when we will say……nope………sorry………those apples are bad………sorry……that’s not good enough………send it back. Then, once the goods have been accepted, the goods are fork lifted into the “marshaling area” and then a big team of Carnival crew will then move everything into the huge storage areas, freezers, butchers shops and other areas.

3. This has to be done remember in the most organized way possible as not only are we now loading on all the provisions but watch out……….here comes another 6,000 pieces of luggage from today’s guests. The luggage is brought into the same area as all the provisions and then the housekeeping manager and his entire department will be moving the luggage by hand trolley…….yep…….as much as modern day ship’s have progressed we still load the luggage onto a hand cart and then the brilliant ladies and gents of the housekeeping department will eventually get the luggage to you. Imagine doing this job, pushing a cart loaded with luggage from the aft of the vessel to the front…………………it takes time…………..maybe by reading this the one or two people who throw their toys out their stroller because they have been onboard for an hour and don’t have their luggage will understand why.

4. Now, while this is going on of course the huge job of maintenance is in full swing. This job is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week operation, however, there are certain things that you can do on a homeport day that you cannot when the ship is in operation. For example, early this morning we drained all the water from the swimming pools (the pools are saltwater, if you didn’t know). And although we do this a few times a week to change the pool water, this morning we are doing it so our maintenance team can get to work. They will be going down into the pools to inspect all the tiles to make sure none are loose, none are rusty and then a full chemical cleaning is carried out………..its a big job and this is something done on a regular basis.

5. Then, the engineers are all working flat out. Specialist technicians come and check various aspects of the propulsion and electronic systems, the chief engineer will supervise the loading of thousands of tons of heavy fuel and the debarkation of the sludge that is left over. Then, of course, parts need to be replaced and this is the day that this is done and not because things are broken but because each moving part of the engines, generators and systems has to be wiped down, oiled and checked………today is a very important day for the chief and his great team.

6. Back in the cabins………..well………..magic happens here. The stateroom Stewards are now checking every single cabin ready for the new guests. Now……….notice I said checking……….not cleaning ………..that’s a whole other story. Before they clean anything a full list has to be checked………..are all the lights working, is the safe empty and open for the next guest, is the water , plumbing and sockets all working?……….Did the previous guests try and steal the mattress? Once this has been done then the deep cleaning, linen change and the little extras are all done ready so that at 1 pm every cabin is ready for its new owner. The housekeeping department is going flat out all day and is to be praised for the great job they do.

7. Back upstairs the chefs are preparing lunch for everyone who is joining plus the 1,200 crew. The waiters and the dining room team are deep cleaning the dining rooms and changing linen ………..the rest of the wait staff are up on Lido Deck serving lunch……..Lido is the first area people come as soon as they get here……….they are hungry……….they need to be fed……….and virtually the entire Food and Beverage department are making sure this happens in an efficient and fun way.

8. The gift shops also have 44 pallets of goods coming on today containing all the great gifts that people will be purchasing……this job is again done by hand. Gift shop staff will rarely see land in Miami.

9. Then there are the pursers…………where you start here? Well, there are mountains of paper work to complete……..Immigration and Customs……………everything that comes on and off the ship in an American Port has to be documented and checked and the proper work completed. The desk is open 24 hours a day and with all the extra work of an embarkation/debarkation day, the Information officers have a very busy day.

10. In fact there are very few staff who are not working……….dancers, casino and one or two other small departments but for most………..well it’s a very busy day.

Somehow, amongst all this hard work the crew finds time to have a quick break, and call their loved ones from the pier side phones and crew center.

Today……………is a very busy day.

I myself have a lot to do but nothing as hectic as the rest of the crew. Heidi and I have already made the schedules for the cruise and now we will start looking at any fine tuning we need to do. I have a full meeting with my staff members many of which are involved in the debarkation process and the welcoming of our new guests which starts at 11:30 am.

So, there you go…………just another day for the crew………………absolutely not, Barry Manilow will have to wait!

Talking of new guests and although as yet I do not have the exact count the next two weeks are going to be very busy. The expected count today will be around 3,450 including a lot of those lucky kids who have been congratulated for working hard at school and college will be rewarded with a 7-day Caribbean cruise armed with the family’s American Express Card and a libido the size of Texas…………………oh joy.

I will let you know the exact counts and demographics later but first……………here are today’s random photos.

Debarkation on the Carnival Freedom
Debarkation on the Carnival Freedom

The Carnival Triumph docked next to us.
The Carnival Triumph docked next to us.

The Carnival Triumph docked next to us.

Views of Miami from the Ship
Views of Miami from the Ship
Views of Miami from the ship

Here are today’s Letters in their own Words

in their own Words
in their own Words
in their own Words
in their own Words
in their own Words
in their own Words
in their own Words

Let’s start with some questions and comments. Not to repeat myself but as always I wanted to tell you how grateful I am to everyone for every single posting made.

Here we go:

LAUREN – The Carnival ships did indeed use to have topless decks. These have been phased out and are being replaced with the adults only Serenity decks. One of two people seems to miss them but the majority opinion is one of understanding. Thank you for your comment and I hope you and your family are well.
JILL WILLIAMS – Thank you for your fantastic posting and welcome back from your Carnival Freedom cruise last week. I remember the “Speedo group” and I also remember how super your friend was as Garth Brooks in the Carnival Legends show. Thank you for praising the staff and if you wish to do so further just drop me a posting with those you wish to praise and I will make sure the right people see it. Thank you Jill and I hope it will not be too long before we see you again. Until then, please keep reading the blog thingy.
BIG MIKE – The plane is on its way. It’s a solid gold plastic one, so it may have melted by the time it gets to you. I am ready to share a burger with you any time. Cheers mate.
MIKE RICHARDSON – Looking forward to receiving your note when you are on board and I cannot believe that as I am writing this you are watching me and the Olson twins. I look forward to hearing your review of my performance. See you soon mate.
ROMA – I never knew that Bustenhalter was the real word for bra and you are right, that is just as funny. Thank you for the get well wishes and I send my best regards to you.
PEANUTS – Reading your posting on how everyone helped you with your cause to provide a fun center at the children’s hospital was uplifting. The fact that everyone helped you and also asked people who do not even read the blog to help shows you and shows me what an amazing community of caring people this thingy has become. Thank you to you, thank you to Big Ed, thank you to everyone who make each day special for everyone associated with this thingy. Long may it continue.
BIG ED – Don’t worry about the Queen Mary 2, I think it would have been a wonderful idea, however, it may be better to look for a second Carnival cruise. Thank you for suggesting I should be a comedy writer. Indeed there is enough material here on board for something like that. A man can dream. Thanks again mate and as you can see from Peanuts’ posting, you have made a big difference to so many people.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Sorry about the splattering once again. I think I should by you a new computer as yours seems to be constantly covered in various liquids and that’s my fault. I am happy to provide information on Shore Excursions. Some people prefer to research these themselves, however, some people rely on me and I am happy to help. Thank you for the kind words Carol and the get well messages. Go use some Mr. Muscle and clean the computer screen. Hope to see you soon.
JIMNI – Thanks for the knock-knock joke……..very funny. Well, at this point, there is no news of who the Carnival Splendor Godmother will be. We are working on some very exciting possibilities and PA 007 will be spying for us and will let us know who has been granted this huge privilege. Thanks Ann and I will let you know as soon as I hear anything.
LINDA HERNACKI – You will love Steve Knisley. He is funny and very hands on. Please send him my kind regards and thank you as always to you and Mike for always being there for me.
KUKI – One thing we are going to be doing is having a big trans-Atlantic Bloggers Party and maybe some other events as well. Thank you for writing back to Cheryl D. and I am sure she will find the information you gave her very, very useful. I know that together the Bloggers Cruise 2009 will be one very special cruise. Thank you mate, I see you in a few weeks.
KATHIE – You are too kind by saying you would follow me anywhere. One thing is for certain, the way this Prednisone is affecting me you would be advised not to follow me to the bathroom. Kindest regards to you and your family.
GREG B – Thank you also for offering to help Cheryl D. and once again, the community spirit is shining through. I am glad you continue to enjoy all the blogs and this certainly has been an unusual week on so many fronts. Thanks mate, please pass on my best wishes to everyone at Cruise Critic.
TAMMIE – No red paint yet, however, there is still 24 hours to go. Just wanted to say thank you for being so kind with your get well messages. They are so much appreciated.
DMINX – Thanks for the great post. I am trying not to miss any of your questions. I think you are asking about improvements to the program and throughout the next few weeks I will be giving you little tidbits of what you might expect to see. There are some new and exciting things happening which I can’t really divulge until they are actually ready, just in case people from the other lines are reading this. We have the gyms open from 6 am – 10 pm. We cannot have them open 24 hours as they have to be cleaned and sanitized. I know the jogging track is not for everyone, however, hopefully the hours we have the gym open should be enough. Now, you asked about lamb. I actually love lamb; it is a very popular dish in the U.K. The reason I refer to not eating it is because one of our bloggers is called Lamb Knuckles and she loves all things lamb as do I, especially with gravy and roast potatoes. You then asked about work on board. If you are serious, may I suggest you log on to www.carnival.com/funjobs or www.carnivalentertainment.com for more information for being a Karaoke Host. Right now, I just want to thank you for your kind words and well wishes. It really is fantastic for you to take the time to write. If there is anything I can do for you or your family, please let me know. All the best from everyone here.
KARIN GADD – Welcome back from your cruise and I hope you had a terrific 50th birthday and anniversary celebration.  I am glad you enjoyed the shows and I remember your husband and his fantastic impression of Trigger the Horse in the Marriage Show. Your words of praise mean the world and I hope that this will be the first of many visits to the Blog thingy. My best to you and your faithful steed Trigger.
NANNI – I never realized AIDA did, in fact, allow nude sunbathing. No bueno mucho willyo everywhero. I promise you, you will never see that on the Carnival Freedom. Mucho huggos and Heidi sends her love to el kiddos!
COOLIOMOM – Thank you, chicken soup certainly can’t hurt. You asked about Scrapbooks. We indeed still have them on board, here and on every ship. The next time you sail you will also find that we have Scrapbooking classes available during each cruise. They are unfortunately, not yet available to purchase from the blog, however, I have not giving up hope to make this happen. Let me know if I can help you any further and thank you Terri for all your kind words and say hello to the kids.
DRIVERNC – Thank goodness that Heidi speaks German. She saved the day. The image however, of 2 naked Germans in their 60s is something that she will be waking up in a cold sweat about for years to come. We do not have a contest for guest photos, however, what a great idea. I am sure this is something we could do and it may encourage people to have their photos displayed on board. Great idea, let me see what I can do with it. If you would like to send some for me to post on my thingy, just let me know and Stephanie, who manages the blog, will assist you. Thanks Tony and a special thank you for the get well message.
SHIRLEY CALES – I have never seen anyone so excited about a video before. I should warn you that although my performance is of George Hamilton quality, it lasts for 5 seconds……….still, I think I stole the show. Let me know your review and after this I suggest you order my performance in the Elephant Man, in which I am currently starring. Thank you, hope all is well.
DWA76 – It is interesting that today, when I am feeling a little frustrated and down that you use the word “Alan.” Hearing his name makes me realize that what I have is like comparing a small hemorrhoid to the cauliflower Alan had growing in his head. Thanks for bringing me down to earth. He is doing great and nothing cam make me happier. I am glad you are enjoying the blog and long may that continue. Cheers mate.
MICHELLE – I had to look up the movie Goonies and the character Chunk and you are right, there is a resemblance……bugger. Thank you for the laughter and I am glad that we shared some with you as well. You said your face still hurts. Me and you both. It’s good to share.
JENNIFER HAMMOND – OK……sorry……thank you…….no need to shout…..OK……….laying down…..OK, I am lying…..
LINDA THE MOUSE – Linda, unfortunately, your favorite island tour in Cozumel is no more. Passion Island, after the hurricane can now be found in Peru. Seriously and very sadly, it was completely destroyed by the hurricane 3 years ago. However, we still offer the magnificent Fury catamaran and so many other new and exciting tours. My favorite is the Jeep tour on the main land which includes off road Jeeping and swimming in a huge cavern lagoon…….it’s extraordinary. The rebuilding of the dock is going well and the area where you will dock with the Carnival Inspiration will be right outside Carlos & Charlies. It’s within staggering distance. Hope this helps Linda and remember, the legal drinking age in Cozumel for mice is 7. Cheers.
JANE – What a very funny joke and one I am sure everybody enjoyed. I am glad you enjoyed the turtle farm in Grand Cayman, it is a great place with so much to offer. Thank you for the get well message, I now expect a joke from you every posting….no pressure.
CRAIG – I would tell the man from PETA what you said, however, I think it is better I stay out of his way. I have heard nothing from today, so for me, no news is good news. However, I agree with everything you said. It’s a shame not everyone thinks like you. Thanks mate, my best to you and your family.
JAKE SILVERBERG – Just like your father, I have always wanted to go on a Cunard Ocean Liner, however, as I just mentioned to Big Ed, I think we entered the realms of fantasy. I think everyone will be much happier if we stick to Carnival. Maybe one day soon I will get to experience the Queen Mary or the Queen Victoria for myself. Hope all is well with you and your family and I will see you all soon.
TATERS – Who needs Freud when we have you. A great quote, never to be forgotten. Cheers to you mate.
SUSAN IN PGH – If I take anymore of this Prednisone I will grow a tail. Thanks for your posting and where is PGH?
NICO R – One day maybe, my dream of becoming a comedy writer will come true but for now, my dream is not to have a face looking like a bag of spanners. Cheers Nico.
KATHY B – Another naked German story. What a sight this must have been for you as you stood on the Carnival Liberty and saw a “Wurstchen” (small sausage). Did you take any photos? How did you get those developed at Eckerd?  Thanks for sharing your story. It’s been a strange week.
TOM AND JANE – Yes, forget Cunard for the Bloggers Cruise. I see too many people are concerned. I don’t want to let anybody down. I really want to do Cunard myself and just thought about taking a few of you along with me. Just thought I’d mention, I wear the Aston Martin watch all the time and cannot thank you enough for your kindness. Thanks for your honest input and as always, Heidi and I send you our kindest regards.
JOHN H – Did you see the photo of Lance’s “Climb This” t-shirt? I am now going to work with him and see if we can work on getting them printed. I’ll stay in touch with you John H. ….all the best, John H.
GARY MACALLISTER – I make this four of the famous hoodys now heading Heidi’s way. No, we have never been to Montana, but I know Heidi would love to go there as one of her favorite movies about some horse that whispers was shot there. So, a hoody or sweatshirt to you and I, will be most welcome. Thank you for thinking of her and maybe we will see you one day on board. The address is at the bottom of the blog thingy, attn. Chris Prideaux. Thanks again.
RUSS AND NINA FRANKLIN – Thanks for the link thingy. Just what I needed. Indeed, in Europe, nude or partially clothed sunbathing is normal. Some of the comments I was getting in the beginning of the Carnival Liberty’s European season from guests were ones of disbelieve. Therefore, I always mention in ports like Cannes, St. Tropez, Rhodes, Capri and Cleveland, Ohio, that you may see one or two, or three, strange sides. Congratulations in advance on your three different cruises and I hope you will remember to remind me before your daughter and son in law are married on the Carnival Pride, so I can send them a little gift. Thanks to you both, hope to hear from you soon.
AMY AND SGT. JEFF BURNEY – I am so excited that your dad has just booked the Carnival Splendor. Although I cannot promise that I will be there, I will certainly do my best. I am sorry that Amy was in tears on leaving, I am sending her my white and green handkerchief to blow her nose into…….she might want to avoid the green bits. Where are you stationed at the moment? Are you going to be deployed again soon? Thanks again for the posting and I am so glad that you are taking the time to read the blog. Best to you both from Heidi and I.
BIG ED – You tell him, Russ, are you evil enough?
LAMB KNUCKLES – Hello Lambie. I am sorry to say, we were in the minority regarding the Queen Mary 2 Bloggers Cruise. Oh well, maybe we can just take a vacation and experience a historic Cunard experience for ourselves. I am glad there were no lambs on board this week especially with my friend here. Thanks for writing in and Heidi and I say a big hello to you and your family.
PAT – Thank you for slapping on your first ever posting. I am happy to read that you have so many great memories of your cruise on the Carnival Glory with Heidi, Wee Jimmy and I. Those were fun times. I am glad you are enjoying the blog and even though we will not be together, I know you will have a fantastic time. Your Cruise Director will by Ryan Fitzgerald, a great kid who I ask you to give my best regards to. Have a wonderful vacation and welcome home!
FLIP FLOP CRUISE QUEEN – Still no news from Maria, hopefully there will be some positive news soon. I am glad you enjoyed today’s blog and long may that continue.  Cheers.
SILVIA REDDOM – I am glad you have discovered the blog. Don’t worry about spell check; it’s certainly not my best friend either. Heidi and I will join the Carnival Freedom on her trans-Atlantic Cruise in Funchal, Portugal which means we will have 4 or 5 days together, including a Bloggers Cocktail Party. Thanks for your kind words, they all mean so much.
RICK AKA SEAN CONNERY LOOK A LIKE – Yes, you are right. The topless decks were very popular with the dancers and they more than most miss it. Thank you for the visual of you walking around playing shuffleboard. Thanks for the great laughs today in your posting; I especially enjoyed your Parisian reference. Best to you and all my friends in Canada.
GONEARETHEDAYSOFFTHESMOKEFREEPARADISEHOWEVER-JOHNANDMRSMISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISEWILLSOON-BEONTHEBLOGGERS2009CRUISEONTHECARNIVALFANTASY -Just a quick note to say thank you for your, as always, so entertaining posting. I have lots of things I will need you to terrorize the CD of the Carnival Liberty with so please remind me just before you sail. Hope all is well, I have not heard from your wife in a long time. Is she locked in the cellar? Cheers John.
MARK TWAIN AND A HALF – Heidi is very fair skinned and always puts on factor 7000 before venturing into the sun. She is very cautious of this as I am sure from your experiences, so are you. The famous soap box at Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park is still there and if you ever get chance to go, you will find it very entertaining. I am still going to try for a rating for 5 bottles of Windex and Heidi also wanted to say thank you for agreeing with her that Boston Legal is a great show. Thanks for a great posting and taking the time to write it. Our best to you and your other half.
DEBY – I have never heard of the word “moonbathing” before……very funny. Thanks for the kind words Deby and if the Curse of the Seas did indeed put a spell on me, I better put my “Climb This” T-shirt on as soon as possible to break it. Best to you and your family, please keep reading the blog thingy.
JEFF T – You are right Jeff, no more topless sunbathing on our ships. If there were people doing so during your Mediterranean cruise on the Carnival Freedom, it’s news to me. Very strange mate as I never heard anyone complain or any of the service staff mention that it was even happening. This season I shall take a personal interest and go up there every day to have a look at them both. Thanks mate for the update, hope you are enjoying the blog.
MADGE AND GEORGE BAILEY – I just wanted to wish you both a fantastic cruise on the Carnival Elation and for your get well messages. Have a great time and I remain at your service, should you need anything.
CRUISING SUE – Thanks for helping Jill with another way for her to fill out her comments after the cruise, that was very nice of you. I am also really happy that you appreciate the laughs I try and provide in my daily blog thingies. Feedback like this keeps me going. Have a wonderful weekend and hope to hear from you soon..
RAOUL RENAUD – I think you are the first to write to tell me you have booked an August 2009 Carnival Liberty cruise from Dover. Congratulations! You asked me if I can put you in contact with a family you met here on the Carnival Freedom from Canada……the Robertsons. This is very hard as giving people’s names and addresses away is something that we are really not allowed to do, however, if you knew which part of Canada they were from I am sure someone from the blog who lives in the area may be unofficially able to get their telephone number or address from the phone book and drop them a message simply to say: “Read John’s blog” and you could hook up this way. So, send me what you can and then all my Canadian friends will see if they can investigate for you….unofficially. Thanks ever so much for reading the blog and congratulations again for booking your cruise.
EXPAT KANUCK – I think you will find our new adult Serenity decks are going to be very popular, even though topless sunbathing will not be allowed. How is the weather in Russia? I bet nobody is topless there. Cheers mate.
KEITH LOVELL – Welcome to the blog and I am so glad to read that you had such a fantastic cruise last week. I am glad the kids enjoyed their medals and trophies. Thank you for the big bag of Chex Mix, which by the time Heidi gave it to me, was half empty. The words you have written about our program compared to Disney’s kids program is astonishing. Although there is no doubting Disney’s children’s program is incomparable, the way you described your kids enjoyment in Camp Carnival makes us all feel very proud. I have had many compliments about the morning shows but none greater than hearing that this morning you walked in to your kitchen and found your son pretending to me doing the morning show. I have no words. Thank you for deciding to come and cruise again and I hope we will see you and kids again very soon. Until then, keep reading the blog thingy and I wish you all happy memories of our 7 days together.
MICHELLE MANN – How are you over there in Thorpe Bay? There is nothing I would like more than a good Full English at the Arches and a cup of mum’s tea. It’s wonderful to hear that your son at just 14 will become a Carnival Platinum Card holder. I will make sure I will present him with a special gift when I see him. You asked if the Supper Club will be open, indeed it will and I will start taking reservations very soon. The ship will run as normal and will include one formal night. It will be a great 3 days and as long as you get through the Dartford Tunnel everything will be fine. Say hello to all your family and see you in July.
TERRI 910 – Just like the German couple, I am not able to keep my pecker up. I love the difference between English and American, don’t you? Thanks Terri. It’s always great to hear from you.
MARK – Naked airport screenings……now, there is a thought. There would certainly be nowhere to hide those dangerous tweezers. Thanks for the kind words and I shall keep the British stiff upper lip as long as I can. Thanks for being such a great friend.
JOHN D – I hope I can have a week where everyone just gets along as you suggested. Saying that, without these people, this blog thingy of mine would only be about my digestive system. Your points about my friend from PETA and Mrs. Turtleneck are inarguable and ones I wish I could have shared with both of them. Sometimes though, you just have to be the human punching back they are looking for. A great posting today John and I hope there will be many more from you as well. Cheers.
BETHC – I am so glad you have found the blog and congratulations to you and the family for booking your 3rd Carnival cruise on the Carnival Victory. The Cruise Director will be Malcolm Burn whose silly antics will have you all laughing out loud. The Camp Carnival facilities are all brand new following an extensive dry dock period. You also now have the addition of the giant big screen on Lido deck to enjoy movies and concerts under the stars. You asked for recommendations for an August cruise. Are you looking for Caribbean or further afield destinations? Let me know and I will point you in the right direction. Glad you are enjoying the blog, my best to the family.
PADUTCHMAN – I would love to put you and the man from PETA in a small room armed with two fluffy pillows and see what happens. Are you Dutch? Heidi is asking. Cheers!
TRADE WINDS (BOB) – I am so glad that while planning your Carnival cruise you came across my humble blog thingy. I am glad also that it keeps you laughing. Thanks very much for joining the 1.7 million readers. It’s great to have you on board.
RIKKI BOYCE – Thanks mate, maybe the information you provided about the turtle farm will be words that will help others realize there are two sides to every story. Thanks again mate.

That is all for today………….more of course tomorrow.

What a week it has been and yesterday (Friday) I hoped it would quite down a bit…….did it? ……….. nope.

I was not going to mention my friend from PETA again, I truly was not, however I have no choice as here is the icing on his particular cake. Now, after we sailed from Jamaica where I might add he found nothing wrong with the way the various spiders, snakes and wild pigs were being treated…………..obviously he never got to see a Jerk Pork Pit………..but anyway, once he was back onboard I though my troubles were over. We had no live animals onboard……….and let me tell you I was very thankful that there was no magic show that featured performing pigeons or Mongolian Slugs…………..anyway, I was at peace with myself that he would be able to enjoy the last day at sea……………but that would have been too much to ask………….here is the comment.

Guest _____ Ref: ________ Owner: (BALP) Barbara Plenca 
Cabin: _________ Added-Changed: 03/07/08 – 03/07/08

_________ – Note For John about Monkey Glass

Purser received the phone call from Mr. _________ stating he wanted to speak to John. Guest was told that he was on stage hosting the debarkation talk and could the Purser help. Mr. _________ was shouting and screaming about the use of a “Monkey Head” to drink alcohol from and he demanded John contact him immediately. Purser said she would advise John as soon as he was off stage. Please note this is the 9th time guest has had a comment for John and other departments. Purser left voice mail and e mail for CD. For follow up.

What can I say…………..now………….if you are uncertain as to what the heck he is talking about here is a photo of the “Monkey Head” glass.

Monkey Glass

 Monkey Glass

I called my friend from PETA and listened in amazement as he described that this thing was modeled on  a small monkey in Africa that has its head chopped off, it’s brain scooped out and eaten. Then the monkey’s skulls are used to drink some magic potion from……..and that is what caused him to rage at me one more time………………I was now a monkey killer…………..good grief!

This was my fifth conversation with him and up to now I had been understanding but this time it really got to me…………It’s a bloody coconut with a photo of a smiling little cute monkey on it……………I said……………..and that wound him up even more as he said he new exactly what iota was meant to be and he had been to Africa and seen this for himself. Apparently tourists from all over the world go there to try the delicacy of Monkey Brain and drink the stuff which he said is supposed to bring long life and cure disease. I then listened to the tail of one particular race of monkey who are hunted just for this and apparently they look just like the monkey on the coconut……………….once again I apologized and told him that this was not even close to what we even representing and this time there was no goodbye ……….he just slammed the phone down on me.

I have nothing else to say!

Overall, a great week for the guests. Beautiful weather, calm seas, great comments and I am sure that everyone had a brilliant time. If only debarkation had been smoother……………..again.

As for me, well it’s been a very interesting week. I was just thinking that maybe I need to get rid of my demons before the new guests embark the ship………so…………….if you will excuse me I am going to deck 10, take off my “Climb This” T-shirt, change my name to Johann, take off all my clothes, tie a German Sausage round my waist and soak up the sun.

I feel better already

Have a fun weekend

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.