Good Friday, Angry Wednesday

March 20, 2008 -

John Heald

I was wrong. When I went to bed last night the sea was as angry as Heather Mills is at only getting $48 million in her divorce settlement but this morning when I woke up and looked out the window it was as calm as a Rastafarian on his second palm tree.

So it was that the guests had a day of sunshine here in Grand Cayman and after a day at sea which I am sure a few guests may have spent in the bathroom more than the dining room it was wonderful to see the conditions today.

We safely tendered all the guests ashore and the operation went really well. Surprisingly the only other ship in port with us was one of those where a 10-year-old kid has been allowed to paint the bow and this meant that with just two ships it was a smooth operation.

Well, today the packing has begun and every five minutes I am being asked if I am ever going to wear that and listening to comments like this doesn’t fit you anymore I am giving it to charity. I just nod my head happy in the knowledge that the Jamaican Orphans will inherit my Versace ties and my old blazer and suit jacket which they can sew together and when it rains all 300 can shelter under them.

Heidi also suggested donating some of the hundreds of bags of sugar-free jelly beans I have been given to the orphanage but I explained that some of these kids are under-nourished and need to put on some weight …………..the last thing they need is to eat a bag of sugar free beans and lose 50 pounds.

I have though donated my DVD player, an Eye Pod that I was given and Heidi has donated loads of clothes so the kids should have fun rummaging through the boxes……………..they deserve everything and more.

I finally had time to open my mail today which had been forwarded to me by my Dad. One of the letters was a warning of non-payment. As I mentioned a few weeks ago the British Government has decided that my Range Rover has killed polar bears, melted icebergs and is the reason that world weather is so unpredictable.

Therefore, the Government and their special advisor Al Gore have decided to increase the road tax on all cars bigger than a Mini by 3 billion pounds. I had ignored the first letter but the second told me that I would be shot at dawn if I don’t pay up………….so I called today and paid ………………………… and you know what made me really mad……………..the call center was in India and they don’t even have Polar Bears there.

This brings me on to the more serious subject of the fuel we use for the ships. Of course, in all seriousness we have to protect the environment both as individuals and as a Corporation. Carnival is indeed at the forefront in this area, and today I was chatting with the Chief Engineer about how in recent years we have greatly improved our fuel efficiency across the fleet.

This discussion came during our Tier 3 Environmental meeting where the Senior Officers are tested on the strict protocols that are in place onboard. This included the proper separation of garbage, chemical storage and many more aspects that are part of Carnival’s commitment to the environment. We have an Environmental Officer on every one of our vessels and his/her job focuses only on protecting the world we live in.

As always I try and structure my blogs and here then is a perfect (not) segue from the environment ……………….to this.

Guest: _________

Ref: 002921473b

Owner: (JEAZ) Jessica Zanolari

Cabin: ____ Booking#: __________

Added-Changed: 03/15/08 – 03/16/08

Mr _________ arrived at the desk and wanted to state that he was very angry by the announcement the Cruise Director had made. Mr__________ said that not everyone onboard was Christian and he found it upsetting that a religious service was being planned at the cruise director had mention Easter on the public announcement station. Purser apologized and guest said he expected the cruise director to contact him.

Tasked to Cruise Director -e-mail sent.

I need to start this next section with the hope that nobody reading this will feel that I am starting a religious debate here………that I certainly do not want to happen. However, let me explain why this guest was upset. This Friday is a Holy Day in the Christian calendar being Good Friday. The announcement I had made had been that if there was anyone onboard was a Priest or a Pastor who felt they would like to hold an Interdenominational service to please make contact with me. I have, of course, made similar announcements at Passover and over important religious dates.

So it was that I was prepared for the gentlemen whom from the statement he had made was of the Jewish or maybe Muslim faith but I was wrong …………….he was of no faith………………and as an atheist he was as mad as heck that I ……..and I quote……….”was forcing religion down peoples throats .”

Well, I apologized and said that this was considered a best practice as many guests would appreciate some kind of service………..the guest would hear none of it and had a good old rant at me that religion was the root cause of all the world’s problems and that it had no place on a cruise ship. He eventually calmed down and before he hung up he actually apologized for shouting at me.

After our conversation I started questioning his comments……….was he right?…………I mean not about religion being the cause of all the world’s problems as that’s a discussion for blogs of a much higher standing than mine…………….I mean the bit about it having no place on a cruise ship…………………had that announcement I made angered others?

As many of you know, second guessing myself is along with perpetual gas one of my worst habits and this chap had me second guessing all day especially as since I made the announcement nobody has offered to conduct a service ……… something to think about anyway.

Here are today’s random photos.

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3 bartenders = 50 years of service to Carnival Cruise Lines

hard-at-work.jpg

Hard at work

champagne-anyone.jpg

Champagne anyone?

dolly-patchon.jpg

Dolly Patchon

Just one letter today from the In Their Own Words Section

march20letter1.jpg

Just a follow up to that. I do realize how popular American Idol is and it is shown on the cabin TV’s. However, the movies and concerts and our massively popular Karaoke Under The Stars are much more so and besides………….I am not putting Simon Cowell on the big screen………he can bugger off.

Time for another Cruise Director photo.

Today we start with Stuart Dunn who proudly hails from Australia. Like me, Stuart is a fitness fanatic and believe it or not he started his working life as a miner working deep underground in the gold mines. He then joined Carnival as a fitness instructor where his charming personality made him the perfect choice to be the great cruise director he is today. Here is Stuart who can currently be found working on the Carnival Elation.

stuart-dunn.jpg

Time for some Q and A.

GREG B…………………….I just wanted to say Thank You for mentioning young Butch. He has more energy than an Energizer Bunny on steroids. He worked with me for some time and I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed him so much. Just in case I forget, with all my traveling coming up, have a wonderful cruise and thanks as always for all your kind words. Cheers mate.

DJs MOMMA……………….Welcome to the blog thingy and I was happy to read that it has become part of your morning ritual. I see you are going on the Carnival Liberty and it appears you may have read one or two reviews that have you concerned. I promise you that this is a wonderful ship with a fantastic crew and for every one negative comment you may read on the boards, there are hundreds of people who had the time of their lives. Also, choosing the Carnival Splendor to celebrate your 40th birthday sounds like a wonderful idea and I will be telling you more about the ship in the weeks and months to come. Once again, welcome to the blog thingy and my best to you and your family.

NANNI…….Hello Nanni. How is life down in Puerto Rico? Heidi wanted to know if you like her hair short? Please say hello to your beautiful family and I hope you are all doing well. Miss you and hope to see you soon. Muchos huggos.

PAUL AND TERESA B…..Having read a little bit more about what you can and cannot do, I would highly recommend the Cozumel Shopping and Highlights tour. With your walking challenges this will give you a complete overview of Cozumel without too much walking and plenty of time for the great shopping you mentioned. Playa Mia Beach is also the perfect way to relax, swim, eat and drink with everything included in the price. Hope this helps, please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Cheers.

MARC G…………………..You asked how often the shows get switched around. Our big production shows last anywhere from three to five years before they are changed. Changing them is a big operation as it involves removing huge pieces of scenery and set pieces as well as writing, choreographing and producing new shows. This is usually done when a vessel is in dry dock as it would be impossible to do while the ship is in service. I have worked with Al a lot as he is a great friend. Each entertainer will usually visit most of the ships during one year as none are specifically assigned to one particular vessel. You also asked about big name acts. Although I must admit to never having heard of Lewis Black or the other guy you mentioned, we do not hire big name acts and although money is one of the reasons, we also try to hire acts that suit the demographics of the guests we have on board. Please never apologize for asking questions, that’s what I am here for. Cheers.

LINDA, MOM OF DJ…….Linda, Thank You very much for letting me know about the e-mail sent to Coach Pitino. The only reason I hope he has read it is that he and the members of the University of Kentucky can do their best to address the behavior that some of their students exhibited on board. Thank you Linda and as always, our best to you, DJ and the whole family.

ADAM GWIZDALA……….We do not have a pharmacist on board as all drugs are distributed directly by the Doctors and Nurses. Please say hello to everyone at Ferris State University and thanks mate for reading the blog today.

PETER AND SHANNAN…What a fantastic sign and I shared this with a few other people today. Thank you to you both and I hope you had a great day. Cheers.

KATHLEEN BUCKET LADY…I am glad I made you smile which in turn made me smile. Cheers.

SANDY……………No worries Sandy. I just wondered if they were here and sailing under different name and maybe they were in the Witness Protection Program. See you later in the summer. Cheers.

MARK………………………I am sorry to hear about your Pina Colada. I share in your loss. Thanks mate for the great posting, it was a joy to read. Cheers.

DEBBIE VISSERS……….Did you see my reply in yesterday’s blog? I hope so. Sorry if it was a late reply, I hope you are well.

BIG ED…………….There is no way I would mess with my Russian friend and if she was part of your Evil Krewe, she would be the Queen. I mean this with the greatest respect, this was one scary lady. I am glad you are looking for people from France to join us on the 2009 Bloggers Cruise as we will need someone to remind us how lucky we all are. Wish you were here mate and our best to Pat.

LINDA HERNACKI……….Yes Linda, that is the plan. Although things do change and at the moment nothing is set in stone. I will try and give you a definite answer by the beginning of June when I board the vessel. I know how much cruising with me means to you and Heidi and I feel the same and we will do everything to make it happen. Please send Mike our best regards.

KATHY KROLL…………..Glad you liked the photo and I hope you have many happy memories of your time on the Carnival Liberty. Best to you both.

SANDRA…………………Just wanted to say Thank You for the get well wishes. You are very kind. Cheers.

KATHY B…………………I am so glad that the blog brought you a moment’s relief from your hard day. These are the sort of reasons why I continue to write. Cheers.

CRUISING GRANDMA…..Sunburn is a terrible thing and since seeing Peter Edwards I have decided to add a quick sunburn warning in my Welcome Aboard talks the next time I am in the Caribbean and in Europe. Thank you Grandma, hope you are well and best to all the family.

SUZANN…………………I know you love Butch and you would be so proud if you could see him now. Have you bought a dog yet? Cheers.

SHERIFF ROSCO P. COLTRANE….Not long now, the Sheriff, Daisy Duke and Flash will be on board the Carnival Glory. Please remind me just before you sail and I will see if we can smuggle some Moonshine on board for you. Be safe. What you’re gonna do when they come for you…..bad boys, bad boys…

JOHN H………………….Thank you for your support for cruise ship Doctors, they are true professionals. Thanks again mate.

JAMES EMM……………You asked if I will be Cruise Director on the Carnival Splendor in January. There is a good chance but I can’t say for definite just yet. I hope to be able to tell everyone my 2009 schedule later in the summer. Thank you for saying you want to cruise with me again. I am truly honored. Cheers.

THE ALDRIDGE FAMILY…Yes, Heidi is quickly becoming the Minister of Tourism for Amsterdam. We do know of your hotel and it is in a very good position close to the flower market and all the attractions. As far as hiring a car, as we mentioned to a previous Blogger, driving in Amsterdam is not easy and parking is dreadful. We recommend you use public transportation which is excellent. The final question is very difficult to answer. Is the Red Light District safe? It is well policed, however, its very nature brings out some of the more unsavory people of the world. Just be careful. Hope this helps and we will see you in July……not in the Red Light District but on the Carnival Splendor.

JAKE SILVERBERG………Todd will return on April the 5th Jake, here on the Carnival Freedom. Darcy is now a Cruise Director on the Carnival Destiny. I am really looking forward to seeing you and hope you are having a good day. Cheers mate.

MARK TWAIN AND A HALF….You are correct mate, sorry I made a mistake, I forgot to mention the Carnival Fantasy. Sunburn is no fun and Peter Edwards was not a happy man. I felt really sorry for him. Glad you are enjoying the blog and please write soon.

PATT………………………….My goodness, that was quite an adventure in 2000 on board the Carnival Triumph. Thank you for mentioning the work of the ship’s Doctor and I particularly appreciate you using the word confidence to describe how you feel about them. I hope you and your family are all well and please send our best to them all. Cheers.

CHERI BOLCHOZ…………Ahh yes, the wonderful combination of drink and sun, I have seen it so many times. I thought it very funny, that as sick as your husband was, you made him go shopping. Now, I have asked for your Christmas ornaments and you will be happy to know that Justine, our Gift Shop Manager, has ordered one from all three ships. They are not in supply until September, which is nearer the Holiday Season and I promise you I won’t forget. Please send me a photo of the Fun Ship Freddy tattoo which I think is absolutely brilliant. Our best to you and Michael.

MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISEANDWONTGETSUNBURNTONTHECARNIVALLIBERTYORTHEBLOGGERSCRUISE…I just read your blog and I see you have over 50 hits which is fantastic. You have a unique writing style which I know people will enjoy. I wish you much success. Steve Knisley will indeed be your Cruise Director in May and I am sure he will help plan your surprise for John and Diane. Hopefully, the weather will improve and it will be warm enough for your wife to post. Best to you both.

BETTY BOOP1BIGKAHUNA……I cannot believe so many people have taken the time to say how much they like Heidi with short hair and nobody supported me……..bugger. A lot of the Cruise Directors, as you mentioned, have worked their way up to the position through the Entertainment Department. Some, however, have come from other areas. I want to thank you very much for your wonderful posting, especially the kind words to all the people you listed. Our very best to you both.

SUSAN V……………….Thank you so much for posting again. It is great to hear from you. I am glad you enjoyed the photo of Chris Jefferson. He really is a great guy. Please do not leave it too long before you post again. Cheers.

JIM (JLEQ)…………….Congratulations on booking the Bloggers cruise and I hope I see you there. Airfare permitting. It will be a pleasure to shake your hand and say Welcome Home. Cheers.

KEVIN………I have just elevated you to the Blog’s Official Celebrity Chef. The reason was the posting of your recipe for Spotted Dick. I hope every blogger tries it and eats it in my honor. I just spoke to PA 007 and even they are cooking some Spotted Dick tonight. Thank you mate and congratulations on your new title.

THOMAS……………….I am really glad you enjoyed everything from your recent Carnival Valor cruise. I am not sure which Cruise Director you mean, as we have never had a Cruise Director called Ian or Shawn. Let me put my thinking cap on and see if I can work out who you mean. Welcome home and I hope to cruise with you one day soon.

LATITUDE 20…………I am so sorry, I didn’t see your sign off name as Kathi………ooops. Please accept my apologies. I congratulate you therefore on being a Military Family Woman………there, that’s better. I appreciated the comments about the Carnival stock. I am also a shareholder and I am sure who read your posting will find it very interesting. Thank you again and I promise to always call you Kathi from now on. Thanks Bob and best to you and the family.

LINDA FROM MICHIGAN….I am so glad to read you had a wonderful time on the Crown Princess. Heidi and I are really looking forward to sharing our review of her sister, the Emerald. Thank you very much for also mentioning the wonderful work of the Ship’s Doctor. I am glad they are finally getting some praise. Please say Hello to Gary and I hope you are enjoying the blog thingy.

LAMB KNUCKLES………….I have never heard that vinegar was a cure for sunburn……………..wow, that’s something to remember. Wee Jimmy will indeed be your Cruise Director on the Carnival Conquest and you will love him so much that you will want to take him home with you, which is OK because he will fit in any suitcase. Please say hello to your sister and tell her Heidi says: “Heel veel groetjes van Heidi.” Thanks Lambie and hope to see you and the flock soon.

CAROL SCHOENBERGER….Since the Carnival Dream is being launched in the fall I think it is safe to assume it will not spend long in Europe and indeed head for the Caribbean. I know you would love for her to be cruising out of New York as would many others. I hope regardless of what ship it is that we get to cruise with each other very soon. Yes, Queen Beatrix will be the Godmother of the Eurodam. Still no news on Carnival Splendor’s Godmother. I hope to hear from PA 007 very soon. Thanks Carol and our best to you all.

KATHLEEN BUCKET LADY…………Thanks for the great Easter laughs………I have put them in my bucket. Please write soon. Cheers.

LEAH…………..I am so sorry that I will not be with you next week but I know you will have a fantastic time. The kids may indeed use the gym with the parents present and also the jogging track as well. If it’s just the treadmills they are using this will be fine as well. Have a fantastic cruise and I truly hope that it will be the first of many. Please also keep reading the blog thingy. Cheers.

RUTH JAMISON……….I am happy your husband was pleased with the 2009 schedule and hopefully now he will get to see all the sights he missed last time. Thanks for all the kind words and as always Heidi and I send our best regards to you both.

JEANETTE……….I am going to have a think and prepare a list of “bucket” suggestions for you…………..have you ever been swimming with dolphins? Let me know and it’s great that you are now blog thingy regulars. Cheers.

RUS AND NINA FRANKLIN……………….If I still have Monsieur bell with me when I get home I am going to that hospital as they serve Spotted Dick. I wonder if its as good as Kevins? Thanks for the link thingy and many thanks for being such great friends. Cheers.

J – JOHN…………..Sorry for making you re-wind the blog to discover what’s going on and I am glad you take the time to read whenever you can. I am glad Shaq is doing well………I met him once………just for a minute and he really is a huge gentlemen…….I mean he is a real gentlemen and was warm, friendly and it was an honor to meet him. You asked about hotels in Dover………well, if you are coming in early I really would recommend London as a starting point but if you want a hotel in Dover there are one or two average ones to choose from including a Holiday Inn. However, there is not an abundance of things to do so maybe consider, London or Canterbury. Let me know what you think. Cheers mate.

JOHN AND MICHELE LEWIS………………Thanks for catching up on the blog thingies. It was a crazy week but still not as crazy as years gone by as you mentioned. I hope you all had a good break and hopefully you will bring the family to cruise with me one day soon. Until then please keep reading and my best to you and the family.

RIKKI BOYCE……………….Does Carnival use secret shoppers………….I don’t know…………….it’s a secret. I am sure they must do. If you want to apply I would write to the office of the president and maybe offer your services as experienced cruisers…………but make sure you shop on the ship I am on please. I wish you much luck and thanks for the praise of the bathroom thing which is now fleet wide. Cheers.

CAROLYN AND DON……………I hope my parents are proud of me. They have always supported me that is for sure. Thanks for the so kind words which mean so much. Heidi says a big hello and we both send you our best regards.

IVANA…………….Can you tell Chris Jefferson to please stop stealing my jokes. Apart from that have a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Valor. Wish we could be with you. Cheers.

DWA76……………..Mrs. Russia and Fatima are two ladies I would love to see have a mud wrestling match. It would be like Alien vs. Predator. My money would be on Fatima. Cozumel is doing much better now after the hurricane and let’s hope Costa Maya will be ready soon for the return of the ships. Thanks David for being such a great friend. Cheers.

That’s all for today and thank to all of you for taking the time to post.

Well, I have just today and tomorrow and then its three nights in Miami and then we head onboard the Emerald Princess. I am not allowed to work on Friday and quite honestly as much as I respect and understand the laws of United States Immigration I do not understand this one. Because I am staying in Miami for three nights and not leaving the States within 24 hours I have to leave the vessel on a visa waiver extension. This means I have to transfer from the crew manifest onto the passenger manifest which means that it is illegal to work.

Therefore, I will not be able to host the Debarkation Talk, The Newlywed Game, The Afternoon TV Show or the evening shows either. Again, I respect and will comply to this law but I have to say I am not happy doing so and somehow I have to explain this to the guests onboard. Heidi also will not be able to work. James (Social Host) will be conducting a brief debarkation meeting and I have also made a video with all the relevant points of view………but it is not the same as doing it live.

Well, I do have a little bit of good news. As I mentioned Monsieur Bell left my eye yesterday and today I have for the first time in two and a half weeks had my eye open all day. I can manage to blink now although it is still a bit droopy. I put eye drops in three times a day and Heidi says I am a big baby saying it stings………….it does.

Today, for the first time I can move my lips a little to the left and I am starting to taste food again. I saw the Doctor and he said that he sees a huge improvement and suspects that by the end of next week I should be 90% back to normal. This is great news and hopefully one day in the near future I can tell you that Monsieur Bell is back in Paris enjoying the sweet smell of garlic. The only problem is that my eye hurts now. I have not used it for over 2 weeks and I patched it up again tonight for the show.

Thanks for all your kind thoughts and I am sure that this has helped in my ongoing recovery.

Tonight I am putting the Dolly Parton dress on. I look forward to this about as much as I would doing time in a French prison but I know the guests like it. Normally this show is on the last night but because of my immigration thingy I moved the shows around so people can take photos of me …..in a shiny sequined dress.

So, off I go and I should tell you that while I have been writing the sea conditions are once again starting to get rough and the information channel is showing 45-knot winds.

I think my atheist friend may have angered the boss…………so I am off ………… to search for two of every animal.

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.