Goodbye to Freedom- Hello to Splendor

March 22, 2008 -

John Heald

Heidi is in a mood and right now I would rather wrestle a lion on prednisone who has just found out that I had an affair with his wife Louise and shoved a cactus up its bottom ………………then be anywhere near my wife.

The reason…………packing…………..there is stuff everywhere and it’s all my fault. Well, actually it isn’t but, according to the Mrs., it is and therefore I have decided to retire to the computer and write a quick blog to you all.

Firstly let me apologize that this blog thing will not contain the usual photos and comments etc………….I just do not have the time but I do have a few minutes to tell you about my day.

Well, it’s been a frustrating one to say the least as I have not been able to host any activities or shows because of the Immigration status I mentioned yesterday. Instead I spent the day doing appraisals and in a few minutes I will begin the official handover of the department to the new cruise director Noortje.

This involves dozens of forms and invoices and …………. Zzzzzzzzzzz …………sorry……………I fell asleep just writing about it but it does need to be done and therefore this evening until the wee small hours I will be sitting here doing paperwork……..I would much rather be on stage ………..in fact I would rather watch a 24-hour Bold and The Beautiful marathon in French than do paperwork.

Seriously, I feel so guilty that the guests have not seen me today. They paid to see a CD for seven days and only saw me for six. The staff did a wonderful job of covering but………………well………….you know.

Stop whining John.

OK, Heidi just told me that I have too many chargers and adaptors and has thrown the bag at me and told me to sort them out……….I did …………..I threw them away……………….next !

I mentioned there were no photos today except these artist renderings of the Lido Deck, Aft Lounge and main Showroom onboard the Carnival Splendor.

Have a look at these.

splendor-teatro.jpg

Main Show Lounge

splendor-aftlounge.jpg

One of the lounges

ristorante.jpg

Dinning Room

splendor-magrodome.jpg

WOW!………………I have been excited about this vessel for a long time and these renditions have heightened my excitement as I am sure it has done yours. Notice the wonderful basketball team featured on the Big Screen…………….Lets Go Heat.
In the coming days I will be giving you more information about the Carnival Splendor…………………….many of you have booked……….and I am sure many more of you will.

Heidi has just said a very rude word in Dutch which translated means that I have something to do with the back section of a horse……………I was called this because one of the suitcases is so heavy she cant move it off the bed. It is of course my suitcase and therefore I am now a horses bottom…………or in Dutch a ……………………Paard Cuntje.

Today I was also shouted at by a guest. Earlier in the week I had upset the man who believes God is as real as the Easter Bunny and today I met with the wrath of two other guests.

Here is why.

Guest: __________Ref: 002721673A Owner: (LEOC) Leonardo Costa
Cabin: ____ Booking#: 3VS046 Added-Changed: 03/20/08 – 03/20/08

____ – No Jewish Service

Mr ———- came to the Information desk and said how angry she and other people of Jewish faith were that we had a Christian service but no Jewish one. Purser explained that another passenger had offered their services to do this. Guest said she wanted to speak to Cruise Director.

Purser called John who spoke to guest. Follow up tasked.

So, I spoke to the guest and explained that as it was Good Friday that a guest who was a Baptist Minister had offered to hold an Interdenominational service. I then asked the guest if he would like a lounge to hold a Sabbath service. Guest said yes but wanted me to supply a staff member to conduct it. I explained that we had nobody qualified to do this and this for some reason had the man raising his voice and telling me that on Holland America………….well you know the rest.
Anyway, I again offered a lounge and said I would make sure that an announcement was made asking if there was anyone who wanted to assist in the service……………..his last words were “don’t bother” and he put the phone down on me.

I was already miserable from facing a day of appraisals and no stage time without this guest being mad at me. This call was at 9:40 m and I thought that was that until……………………

Guest: Mr. Ref: 002721704A Owner: (DAOP) Damita Pongtipleak
Cabin: ____ Booking#: ______ Added-Changed: 03/20/08 – 03/20/08

____ – Complaint about Easter Service Guest approached the desk stating they had left the service for Easter as they were offended that the person holding it was preaching in an unprofessional way. Guest said they were Catholic and that this was not a real Easter service and the Minister was not a proper Priest. The lady was crying and Purser took them out from the desk. Guest said that this was the first time they had missed Mass on Easter and they were very sad and angry. Purser apologized and said she would let the Cruise Director know.

Cruise Director tasked for follow up and apology letter sent.

I checked with the staff member who had attended and he told me that there were about 150 people there and the service included readings from the Bible and a brief sermon and prayers.

I called the guest and listed as they told me the same as they had done the Purser. I apologized and asked them not to be upset and after a while they had calmed down and sort of understood.

So, on my count that’s three times I have upset guests just by trying to arrange a service for Easter…………….I wish I hadn’t bothered ……….. K…………that’s rubbish…………..150 people went and appreciated the efforts made………….but I wonder how many people were upset that I did……………………………and what’s worse………………I bet I don’t even get a chocolate egg!

I will print out all the comments from the last two blogs and read through them in the morning. If there are any that need an urgent reply I will do so over the weekend.

Apart from that and a few minor incidents it has been a great week. The guests were once again spoiled with wonderful weather and the comments have been excellent. Tomorrow the ship will sail with 3,560 guests, including 1000 children……………and a new CD.

Let’s recap the 6 weeks we have been here.

According to a particular gentleman, I offended all creatures great and small. I was told a was a racist by Mrs. Turtle Neck because the cast were too pale. I met a scary Russian lady who wanted to eat me for breakfast. I was told I had an American accent and met a man who thought the Captain should be greeted by calling him “Dog.”

I met many wonderful people from the University of Kentucky who were fun, intelligent and a great example that our future is in great hands ……………and I met a small few who were not and had the manners of the Lesser Spotted Mongolian Bog Beetle.

I met war heroes from yesterday and today who were the perfect definition of the ship’s name Freedom and how we must thank them always for ours. I spoke to a young lady who will never forget her cruise and will never again put her family in the position she did and hopefully the Wake Up call she received will be the start of her new life.

I met a couple who, despite having problems of their own beyond anything I can imagine, wanted to help me. I saw a pair of false teeth survive an incredible journey and still be able to eat a steak. I met couples in love and couples whose love has lasted for 65 years. I met happy people, sad people, angry people and thousands of people who said they had the time of their lives.

I had a close encounter with Monsieur Bell who had me looking like the Elephant Man and as depressed as I can ever remember. I laughed with people and I cried with the families whose little angels were taken from us.

Throughout all of this you have been with me and laughed and cried with me. The journey continues now as we leave the Carnival Freedom and start a new adventure on the Emerald Princess, home, Europe and finally The Carnival Splendor………….I hope you will continue to share the journey with me.

I will write tomorrow

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.