Spring Break 2008

March 9, 2008 -

John Heald

So it starts again…………3,300 guests leave just as you get to know them and today at 5:05 pm we sailed again with a brand new group of guests and the adventure for them has just started.

Today we sail with 3,448 guests……..here is the breakdown.

TOTAL GUESTS – 3,448
GUESTS UNDER 21 – 227
GUESTS 21 – 25 – 455 (OH JOY)
NON U.S / CANADIAN – 309
MOST REPRESENTED – FRENCH CANADIAN – 111
MEXICO – 39

However, out of the 3,448 people actually 195 are not here. They missed the vessel because of the bad weather in the North and Midwest and the resulting flight cancellations. They will join us on Monday evening in San Juan and, as always, we will do our best to make them feel wanted and welcome………….I feel so very sorry for them missing out on the first two days of the cruise they were so looking forward to.

The weather improved today just as the Miami Heat came on the TV to play (I wish they would) and now as I sit here at 8:34 pm writing to you my main concern is the welcome aboard show.

OK, let me start by saying the next time I ever say on this blog that I am never going to mention a subject ever again I want you all to ignore that as you would ignore someone who says “Hello , I am from Paris , please put your head under my armpit and take a deep breath.” …………….

I am going to mention Mr. Bells again because I can’t help myself so just ignore the next time I say that I will………..OK, now I have totally confused you let’s talk about tonight. I am nervous………….last week I did the Welcome Aboard Show as………….myself……………and not a one eyed monster with a Hannibal Lector grin. They had seen me as I should be but tonight when the Musical Director announces “please welcome to the stage your Cruise Director Mr. John Heald,” thousands of guests will expect to see a good looking, easy-to-understand, soave George Hamilton type of guy and the sound of warm and pleasant applause will greet me.

Tonight, when I walk out instead of Mr. Hamilton they will see a large Cyclopes who sounds like Davey Jones from the Monkees……….with a lisp.

Instead of warm applause, I will no doubt be greeted with screams of terror as parents run from the lounge to lock their kids in their cabins while the rest reach for cloves of garlic and the nearest cross…………….. I am not looking forward to this at all.

Heidi is now moaning at me to get away from the computer and rest so I guess I had better do so otherwise I will be in the doghouse ……………wish me luck.

Well, here I am back again after the show and I will tell you about how it went in a minute. I can tell you that the Spring Breakers all though very well behaved so far are all completely blathered (good English word for very happy) and the parents’ American Express cards have been making Mr. Budweiser, Mr. Miller and Mr. Cosmopolitan very, very happy. Some came to the show but most are in the Disco dancing to Beeonse, D.J. Crapper and M.C. Fartalot and waving their hands about as though they are being bitten by a gang of Cayman Crab.

Over in the Karaoke Bar we appear to be castrating cats with a blunt spoon judging by the howling that I heard coming from the three girls on stage who Heidi told me were singing something by a group called The Scissor Sisters…….It was called “I don’t feel like dancing”……………well I didn’t feel like dancing or listening to the Feline Three so we decided to go to the cabin………….and here we are.

More about the Spring Breakers in a minute

I am not going to stay long because tonight we have to put our clocks forward one hour for daylight savings time so it’s already 1 am. I will say that the show went well. I explained close to the top of the show why my speech was a bit “funny” and that I had a touch of the Mr. Bells and then went on. The show went really well although my timing………..that’s comedy timing is affected by my speech difficulties and I can only see half the audience at a time. However overall…………everything went OK.

Here are some photos of what happened.

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Christopher, age 7, from Canada

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The Welcome Aboard show- note the man holding the bucket, which I had given to him as half way through he interrupted proceedings by saying he needed to pee.

OK, I will start on comments tomorrow but with the clock change it’s now 1:30 am.
See you tomorrow.

Good morning again. It’s Sunday morning and here I am sitting at the desk to say a quick hello. It’s 9 am however it’s really 8 am ……….and it feels like it. Mr. Bell has spent another night with me and when I looked in the mirror this morning I hoped he would have buggered off……….but nope………he likes cruising, so Mr. Bell stays.

In a few minutes I will be off to host the Morning Show and then a travel talk and then this afternoon I will answer a few comments and questions.

Just got back from the Morning Show and here are some of the letters that were featured in today’s In Their Own Words section.

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Time to answer some comments. Let me start by answering the bloggers’ question about what are the tours not to be missed in Panama and Costa Rica for their upcoming Carnival Liberty cruise.

Here they are:

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Posh train takes guests to Pacific side of the country – guests really like it. It also stops at Miraflores locks where they can see the Panama Canal.

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Fairly easy activity, guests like it, they can see the tropical forest and really enjoy it.

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Guests see two locks of Panama Canal on this tour. There are many others but these are some of the most popular.

Let’s answer some comments.

As I am really behind today and this Prednisone makes me feel like a sloth that has just drunk a bucket of Nyquil, I am going to answer just a few today.

So many of you continue to write to me offering your thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery and when that finally happens I will know it’s because of you all and your caring.

Here we go.

ANDREA IN TEXAS………………..Congratulations on slapping on your first comment. It’s great to hear from you. It’s also wonderful that your first ever cruise will be on the Carnival Conquest at the end of this month. You sound like Heidi when I read the words “telling me to rest.” I will, I promise. So, welcome to the blog thingy. Have a wonderful cruise and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you before you sail. Cheers.
DWA76……………………………….You are most welcome mate and you along with Sherri, Joko Joan and many others feel that acupuncture is something I should have. I am going to give it 2 more days and then in St. Thomas, if it is not any better I shall inflict dozens of spikes upon Mr. Bell and see if he buggers off that way. Thanks mate.
DIANE AND RICH SEXTON………It was great to hear that you both had such a great time on the Carnival Destiny. I was very happy to hear that young Darcy did a great job as Cruise Director. She is still new to the job and I am sure she would love to read these words of praise which I am forwarding to her now. Thanks again for your posting and I look forward to reading many more from you.
FLIP FLOP CRUISE QUEEN…….Thank you for praising Lance and his great T-shirt design. I am hoping Lance will have some made and we can post on the blog a way to contact him to purchase. We should hire him fulltime. Hope all is well with you and your flip flops………………by the way, you should listen to me say the word Flip Flop with a lisp, it sounds like Fwip Fwop.
MARK G…………………………….Great idea mate, send me a photo with you wearing it.
BIG ED……………………………..Any further news on Susan, mate?
JAMES SPEELMAN………………Yes mate, we had some problems with the webcam but everything should be working now. Let me know if you are still having problems, if so, I will send you a link. We are working on the T-shirts with Lance so watch this space. See you in July and the best from us both.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER……Thanks Carol. I am hoping, the week on the Emerald Princess will be relaxing and a little break for us both. We will be blogging every single day, however, the rest of the time we can get some rest as well. Thank you Dr. Carol and please take my temperature. All the best from Heidi and I.
LAUREN…………………………..Laughter is great medicine for us all and writing these blogs is somehow therapeutic for me. I hope you continue to enjoy it. Cheers.
CANUCK CRUISER…….I don’t know how I do it, sometimes it is hard when people say things like “you should have told me there would be crabs in the sea,” not to poke them in the eye, shake them or just pass out. Still, it’s what makes this job so interesting and so much fun. I am going to check out this Darwin Awards book you mentioned and yes, we should publish one just for the ships. All the best to you and the family.
JIMNI
……………………………….You asked me for the demographics of the trans-Atlantic crossing. I have checked and I can tell you the average age is 53, we have only 24 children and very few non-U.S. guests. We have a large group booking of an agency called Legendary Journeys and apart from that, the only thing I can tell you is that we will arrive in Portugal and have a bloggers party the day after. Let me know if there is anything else you need to know. See you soon. Cheers.
MYRA/MICKY’S PAL…………….Ouch! Did anybody tell you that crabs lived in Daytona Beach? You should have complained to the lifeguard. Heidi sends her best back to you as do I.
CINDY 56…………………………..You asked if we can make the letters we post a bit bigger. STEPHANIE, CAN WE DO THIS?? I am sure we can. Hopefully this week will be a little calmer than last cruise; however, the characters I met made it so entertaining. Thanks Cindy, my best to you and the family.
JANE………………………………..I was so sorry to hear that a pigeon crapped over your husband’s shirt while visiting the Statue of Liberty. Indeed, the Statue of Liberty was given to New York as a gift from France, although you would never think it as the Statue has only one hand raised in the air. I guess it hadn’t fully surrendered. Thanks for the great posting, stay away from the pigeons. Cheers.
CHERYL D……………………….I want to also say Thank You to both Kuki and Greg for helping you out. Heidi is teaching me many more funny German words and I will share some of them as time goes by. I am definitely going to have acupuncture and I am glad it was able to help your husband. Thank you for sharing this motivating story. Hope to see you both soon. All the best.
LINDA HERNACKI………………Hi Linda. I will let you know what is going to happen with these T-shirts and get back to you all soon. Thank you for your continuing caring and Heidi and I wish to see you both soon.
MICHELLE……………………….You will indeed meet Heidi and I on the last part of the trans-Atlantic Cruise in April. Don’t worry about the past guests party, I will enter you into the system and will make sure you will get your invitation. However, I need the last names of all the guests involved. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you and see you very soon.
MARK CHAMBLISS…………….I am sorry if I missed you on Saturday mate but it was a busy day for you as well as me, I am sure. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed cruise3sixty and Thank You for your wonderful support of Carnival Cruise Lines and mentioning us here at the blog thingy to the other Reps that you met. I was sorry to hear that because of a dirty porthole, one of the agents told you that because of that 1986 experience, she would never sail with Carnival again. How I wish she could see us today. Anyway, great to hear from you and look forward to your next report mate.
PEG………………….I have given every crab in Grand Cayman a pedicure. All will be well, see you soon.
CRAIG……………………………”Can you miss the ship in Marmaris and join in Izmir?” you asked. Yes, I guess you could. We would have to make arrangements ahead of time for you with immigration because you are covered on the ship’s blanket VISA which expires when the ship leaves. You might want to consider getting a Turkish VISA before you sail and if you do decide to do this, please let us know so we are not all running around looking for you when the ship is ready to sail. May I ask why you want to do this? Cheers mate, Merhaba!
TOM M………..Kissing a Dolphin mussed have given you a porpoise in life as you now have booked another cruise………..great stuff. Hope you are both well and hope you have just as much fun next year as you did on the Bloggers cruise. Cheers.
SANDRA………….We will do something with the T-Shirt for sure Sandra. Of much more importance is the speedy recovery of your husband who we are all now thinking of. I am sure it will not be long before you are both sitting on deck watching the big screen movies and loving the fun ship life together. Thinking of you both and hope to hear from you soon.
SPIDER………………Glad you love the blog and you should know you are the only Spider my wife likes. Cheers mate.
JON ………………..See, I already gave up one thing and that was typing your name instead of MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISEBUTLOOKINGFORWARDTOTHENEARLEYSMOKEFREECARNIVALFREEDOMANDTHE2009BLOGGERSCRUISE. Thanks for your concern mate and I know I should delegate………..that rhymes. However, you know how hard that is for me. If things do not improve then indeed it will come to pass that I give the baton to others. Thanks so much for everything that your post offered especially the words of kindness and concern. Please give my best to your lovely wife and mine sends hers to you as well.
P.LETTOTALE…………We realize that when people invest their money in one of our shore excursions that we need to make sure they are take special care of which is what I hope you experienced when you cruised with us on the Carnival Liberty. This has been and always will be the case as you will again see in August. I am sorry you had such a bad time with your RCI Cruise Director……………OK…………..that was a lie…………..actually………..it wasn’t……………OK …………….maybe a tiny one. What I mean is that Cruise Directors can and should make a difference to people’s vacation…………….they set the tone and if they set a negative one then, as you discovered, you remember that cruise for that reason alone. So, see you in August and please remember I am here should you need anything at all. My best to you and the family………….how bad was he?………sorry……none of my business……….oh go on………..tell me.
MICHELLE……………You are welcome and check with Ken at dining room reservations when you board for the table number etc. I will be onboard the 22nd until mid-afternoon as I have a meeting, etc., with some folks so I am sure I will see you……………I certainly hope so anyway. Not long now and you will be walking up the gangway. Cheers.
SUSAN V………….I am sure if you did wear Lance’s “Climb This” T-Shirt during your Carnival Valor cruise and a RCI guest did see you it would probably go over their heads…………however………….if there is a pitched street battle please remember that there are over one million of us plus Big Ed and Big Mike right behind you…………………go get ‘em. Let me know if you need help with Chris Jefferson material and thanks for another great posting. All the best from us both.
KATHY KROLL…………Knowing dancers as well as I do I can imagine the creaks and groans you hear every morning. People do not realize how much effort dancers put into shows and every crack, creak and rattle represents many hours of rehearsals, shows and ultimately huge applause for those efforts. Thanks for the kind words Kathy and hopefully things will only get better.
HEIDI – BETH………..I AM TRULY HOPING THAT Mr. Murphy buggers off this week and leaves me in peace. Thanks for the funny posting and I hope you three are well and having fun in Krewe. Cheers.
POPCORNGAL………………195 people missed the ship…………I wonder if some were from your snow affected area? Stay warm and eat popcorn. Cheers.
RICKAKASEANCONNERYLOOKALIKE…………I also love the Untouchables movie with Sean Connery. Have you ever seen an old Sci-Fi classic called Outland. He was fantastic in that. I am also sad I will not get to meet you in March but there will be one day I am sure when we do. Until then we have the blog thingy to chat through and I hope that will be for a long time to come.
SLICKABRINA……………..As always it gives me great pleasure to welcome a first time poster to the blog and its even more exciting to say how wonderful it is to see you just booked the Bloggers cruise in 2009. Thanks for saying how much fun the blog brings you and I will try my best to keep that happening on a daily basis. See you next year and my best to you and your family.
SUSETTE LOWENSTEIN……………….You asked how much longer I am on the Carnival Freedom? I am in fact only hear for this week and next leaving on the 22nd. I then have meetings in Miami and then on 25th march I have a 7-day cruise on the Emerald Princess to write about for the blog thingy. I then fly to Europe on the 31st and then on April 4th have a 19-day trip setting up the tours and ports for the Carnival Splendor. Then I have two weeks off come back to the Carnival Freedom for her first European cruise to assist with everything and help Todd the cruise director. Following 16 days onboard doing this I will have two weeks at home and then it is time to launch Carnival Splendor………………..I am exhausted just thinking about this. You wanted to book a last minute cruise,………….how about the 15th?……………too last minute? I hope you can and let me know if you need anything else that can help you decide. Cheers.
PAUL F. PIETRANGELO………………..Indeed Paul………..interesting does describe the week that was last cruise. Hopefully, this week will be slightly more…………..normal. You asked who your Cruise Director will be in January 2009 on the Carnival Valor. I wish at this point I could tell you but we are even still moving people about for May and June of this year so at this point I am not able to confirm. We are trying where possible to keep Cruise Directors on certain ships as familiarity helps produce a better product but this is not always possible. I will let you know Paul though as soon as I can………………I would say that I wish it were me…………..you know that of course. Thanks for all the kind words Paul and you remain a true gentlemen whom I hope to finally meet one day soon
NANNI……………..Just wanted to say that I will be thinking of you and the family when we arrive in San Juan tomorrow and the fun we had last time. Much Hugo.’
R.J. MOERTLE…………….I could not tell Paul who the Cruise Director will be in January 2009 but I can answer your question and tell you that the Cruise Director on your upcoming Carnival Triumph cruise will be Matt Ross. He has been with us for 10 years and is a firm favorite with many. I know you will have fun with him. With regard to your boarding pass for your airline ticket may I suggest you call Carnival and ask for the Air/Sea department so they can assist you or even better ask your Travel Agent to do so. Regardless you should have that information sent automatically nearer the time…………if you have any problems let me know. I hope you stay warm and the snow melts quickly and that you continue to enjoy the blog thingy.
JANET GUARDINO……………Thanks for the posting Janet and a special thank you for sharing your experiences with Mr. Bell. I am also taking the pills and looking at other options as well should I need them including acupuncture and heat treatment…..I hope they work as they did for you. I am mostly concerned about my speech which as you can imagine is most important in my job. I am glad you are well now and hope that one day soon I can write and tell you I am also. Thanks again and all the best to you and the family.
ANN WILSON………..What a sight that would be Ann………3.000 people lining the deck wearing “Climb This T-Shirts”…………I will see what we can do to at least get everyone a chance to buy one. Thanks Ann and hope all is well.
DUCHESS SANDY AND SIR LANCELOT…………Thanks for the hugs and loads more back to you and the folks at the round table. Cheers.
TERRI 910…………..OK, Heidi seems to be mustering huge support for me to sit down and do bugger all…………I promise I will rest soon…………if I don’t get better………….I will………….promise. Anyway, judging by your posting you could do the Ocho Rios travel talk yourself with ease. Thanks Terri and I hope you know how much your concern means to me. Thanks.
TOM AND JANE…………..Love the name of the new ship. You asked if I will be on the 2008 Bloggers Cruise………..did you mean 2009……….or did I miss some deep and hidden meaning? Thanks for being such great friends and write soon.
TIM KRIEBEL, MCPO, USN RETIRED……………..It is an honour (spelt correctly) just to type in those words “Sir” and we all salute your dedicated service. Also, you have probably made someone’s day……….or life…………by turning in a piece of jewelry that has so much value and as is normal so much sentimental value as well. I applaud you for doing this and will make sure our Guest Relations department sees it as well. Thank you Tim…………..for everything.
MICHELLE HILL………..Just wanted to say hello and hope the winter chill has dropped a bit…………John is a great name for a boy, a girl or a Cyclops with a lisp. Heidi and I send our best and please write soon.
JUDY……………..Just wanted to make sure you saw my reply telling you that your cruise director will be Chris Jefferson when you board the Carnival Valor. If you need to know anything else please let me know and I will be here for you. Cheers.
RIKKI BOYCE…………Thanks for the laugh mate…………I don’t think I will ever be able to eat Crab again.

That’s all I have time for today and as always thanks to you all for your comments………………..please keep them coming.

I know many of you are waiting for the Cruise Director schedule and I will post it soon but we are making constant changes. However, I know equally many of you are interested in the names of our Piano Bar entertainers and what ships they are on. The Piano Bar has become a signature bar on our ships and I know many of you head there for your nightly entertainment. With this in mind I would like to slap on the names of our current band of piano playing brothers. Here they are:

SP Peter Brenner

SE Larry MacConaghey
PR Laurie Anne Gardner
CQ Don Russell
FA Robert Crucilla
EC Angela Johnson
GL Mark Weiser
TI Conn Davis
LE Heather Schulte
CE Michael Smith
IS Milburn Dumas
EL Damian Brell
FD Ron Passalacqua
HO Richard Cantor
IM Steve Brisley
VA Duane Lewis
DE Peter Rossetti
PA Lorraine Ingle
FS Colin Kadey
LI Vince Strong
VI Robert Stiel
MI Jason Davis

Back to our friends on a break from college and partying, drinking and playing tonsil hockey interrupted occasionally by a bit of studying.

They have come on a cruise………….well………………to do the same……………without the annoyance of a bit of studying once a month.

Although spring break is a well known factor in North America there are still shocks in store for some who forget that this annual pilgrimage takes place.

This was noted when one of the staff members was told by some guests last night that they felt threatened by having so many onboard……………..threatened………….well, I guess I can understand a little that maybe – it was a bit of a shock but threatened……….nope…………..can’t agree with that one.

You see, I have no problem with them doing this and I think 99% of them are having a great time. They are happy, fun and yes, many will use Britney Spears as a role model.
However threatened……………..well let’s just say I didn’t walk around the Promenade Deck worried that a gang of cheerleaders are about to attack me with a kitchen knife.

I went out with a cheerleader once by the way…………..it was a disaster. She got in my car……………I put my arm a round her and went to kiss her.

She pushed me a way and in that annoying cheerleader voice she said
N.O.T.H.I.N.G…………..THAT IS WHAT YOU’RE GETTING FROM ME……………NOTHING

Sorry…………I digress.

So, what are we doing onboard to make sure we look after these creatures of the night? Well, security presence is increased. I.D checks at the doors of the nightclub are constant and nobody can enter without showing proper proof of age.

The first night is always the craziest as people just drink as much as they can…………that’s actually not a bad thing ………….because we don’t see them now until Tuesday as they hibernate under the bed clothes promising “I will never drink again.”

One or two maybe a little loud, one or two may have to pray into the God of porcelain every morning and cause a bit of a problem for the ship’s plumbers but none are here to cause trouble and all are here because they know they are also celebrating their lives in a safe and controlled environment.

Tonight, I was approached by young people who had seen the show and said how funny it was. The boys seemed to be from a less privileged background and had decided to spend the family money on a cruise. This meant that there was no money left over to buy the boys new pants that fit so they were wearing Dad’s instead which meant that their underwear was in full view at all times……………….

Heidi told me these are called baggies…………..and it was “fashion”…………….fashion………..how can advertising that you cannot afford pants that fit be fashion?…………how can showing you underwear be fashion?…………how can having the crack of your bottom on so much display that old ladies are putting quarters in there thinking it’s the slot tournament starting?

The girls were unable to afford clothes as well and as they could not pay for a skirt had decided to wear belts instead………just a belt.………if my father had caught me going out in a skirt like that he would have slapped the back of my legs with a porcupine…………..I said.

My problem is I have reached the age where I am no longer able to tell how old kids are. I had no idea if they were 18 or 8 …………I didn’t know whether to talk about “Nickelodeon” or….”Slappin’ My Bitch Up.”

I feel so old.

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.