Heidi- Princess for a day

March 29, 2008 -

John Heald

She has put up with the packing, unpacking, and packing again. She has put up with me blogging when I should have been romancing. She has put up with my underwear on the floor, the toilet seat being in the wrong position and nursed me when Monsieur Bell came to stay………….so I decided that today Heidi deserved a bit of pampering and relaxation.

Good Morning everyone from the Emerald Princess who as I speak is docking in the port of St.Kitts. It is 8 am and Heidi is asleep still. I however was woken up by an alarm of a different sort as last night’s dinner decided to magically turn into a gaseous form……………… who needs an alarm clock when you had spicy prawns for dinner?

We ate in the regular dining room last night at anytime dining and again experienced no lines and the service and food continued to be first class. Heidi had a salad and fish while I also opted for lighter fare considering the hippopotamus I ate last night at the Crown Grille.

During dinner we were approached by Mr. and Mrs. Ziegler who recognized me from a recent Carnival Freedom cruise. This was their first Princess cruise and like me they were having a brilliant time. Mr. Ziegler asked me for some advice which I was happy to give him. We invited them to sit with us and listened to his story.

It turns out that in St. Thomas Mr. Ziegler had taken a taxi tour of the island………….one that is not organized by the vessel. During the tour they were at a place called Mountain Top and met a young lady who offered them a great prize of a video camera or lap top computer if they visited the resort where they worked. ………………..

I immediately recognized where this story was going. Anyway, they agreed and sure enough they arrived at the resort called Sapphire and were given drinks, etc. and after a while were subjected to a very hard and aggressive sell on time share. Luckily, Mr. Ziegler was smart enough to get out of there and when he said he wanted to leave the guys became somewhat hostile and said that they had to pay for the “free drinks ” and they were not entitled to any free gift.

Mr. Ziegler also told me that he saw a good dozen or so people at the resort who looked like the alcohol may have got the better of them.

Now I have heard this before and not just in St.Thomas and I actually take the time to warn guests. I have seen too many tears as people sober up and realize they have spent thousands of dollars on a time share they probably did not want.

Anyway, Mr. Ziegler asked if I thought he should document this and I suggested he do so at the Passenger Service Desk and I also promised him that I would mention this to James the CD here and also on my blog.

So, if a young man or lady approaches you in the islands with the promise of treasure and free drinks………….be warned………….those 7 Pina Coladas and the free camera made not by Samsung or Cannon but by Sumdung or Crapon……………………………… may cost you more than you realize.

After dinner we went to see the show called Boogie Shoes. This is a high energy show featuring the Emerald’s dynamic dancers and sensational singers. The show is based on the word “shoes” and contains all the music you would expect with a shoe or foot reference in the title. I particularly enjoyed the Amadeus section but my favorite number was “these boots were made for walking,” which really showed off the casts energy and dance talents.

The show is complemented by all the bells and whistles and as I looked around the packed theatre I saw young and old all clapping and cheering and really enjoying the performance. Heidi and I were invited backstage after the show to meet the Dance Captain Tracy Goble. Tracy is in charge of rehearsing her cast of 12 dancers and four singers. She has been blessed with a very talented group of entertainers and I congratulated her and every single one of them on a great show.

Here are a few photos of the cast.

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Cruise Director James and the cast

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John and James and the cast

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John and the Entertainment Technical Team

There are many areas of the ship I have not mentioned yet. The fantastic Shore Excursion program, the free popcorn served at the Movies under the Stars where tonight the teens will be playing Guitar Hero on the giant screen. There are Computer Classes at Sea, the Beautiful Chapel, Golf lessons and a Golf Simulator and much much more.

I met Joy the lady in charge of the youth program today. As I mentioned she is a cruise veteran having been with Princess for 18 years. We chatted about the challenges of making sure the kids had a great vacation. As we spoke the affection the kids felt for her was obvious when a family brought their son to the playroom and she was presented with a gift by this young 4 year old…………….it was a lovely cuddly stuffed rabbit…………the parents explained that he wanted her to have this rabbit as “aunty Joy” was nice…………………………now, that’s a sign of someone who has made a huge impression on someone so young and I am sure Joy will treasure her rabbit forever.

It had been an early morning with our Immigration call so after the show we took a walk on deck and then went for bed.
As I mentioned at the start of this blog thingy I had decided to give Heidi a special afternoon and what better place to do that then here on the Emerald Princess………………………….and what better place onboard than the Sanctuary.

Our double wide luxury sun bed had been reserved and as we prepared to relax I proved that those people who say that an insult is worse than physical pain are wrong…………..this proof came as I delivered a fun insult commenting that it was a good thing that we had a double wide sun lounger because of all the food she had eaten the last two days………………..the proof that pain is worse than any comment came as Heidi whacked me round the back of my head with a bottle of sun cream.

Anyway, there we lay …………..Heidi sipping on a glass of juice and me on a Diet Pepsi. I know I have blown the Sanctuary’s trumpet a blog or two ago but I must again comment on the young ladies and gentlemen who are there…………………….their welcoming smiles and discreet service are worth he $10 and that’s before they bring you drinks, food, cold towels and what ever your heart desires. Lunchtime came and Heidi’s day of luxury continued with a Tuna Salad delivered right to our doublewide and as she ate her salad I munched on the first healthy thing I had eaten in days……a cheeseburger.

After dinner Heidi moved to the sun and another bed while I went through my e mails on my raspberry. It had no service the day before and I now had 49 to reply to……………….bugger.

Three o’clock came and Heidi was excited to hear that I had booked her a back massage in one of the Cabanas at the Sanctuary followed by a Pedicure one deck down in the Emerald’s brilliant Spa.

Now, I have mentioned that I am not a massage type of guy and as for someone playing with my feet………………..well………………let’s just say I would find trying to make a living selling deodorant in Paris more relaxing………….. then having someone touch my plates of meat (cockney rhyming slang. )

However, Heidi loves that stuff and was thrilled that she now had a one hour session in the spa with some poor girl who obviously has a cheese fetish.

She returned from her two treatments absolutely glowing and showed me how I had spent my $75 by wiggling her toes which had been painted…………I am glad she had a good time but I could slapped on a bit of paint for half the price………………….anyway, this was her day so I smiled and said her feet looked beautiful.

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Kellean, from Ocho Rios Jamaica, taking care of Heidi’s feet…poor sod

The evening continued with us sitting on our balcony and watching the sunset and then the most beautiful rainbow suddenly formed as we entered a rain storm………………..it was ………………. well…………….rather than listen to my poor attempt at describing both these stunning things ……..let’s have a look at some photos.

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My wife was happy and that made me really happy as well …………….. except……………….$75 for a coat of paint……………..on a pair of feet?

Talking of balconies, we witnessed the guests just below us having their balcony set up for dinner…………..it looked stunning with a crisp white table cloth and all the trimmings. I asked Generoso the incomparable Senior Maitre’D about this program. He told me that a 4 course lobster dinner complete with butler service can be arranged for just $100 per couple……………….and if you prefer a champagne breakfast you can have this for $28 per person.

I can imagine all the George Hamiltons of this world romancing their ladies this way………………and I hope someone reading this blog thingy may decide that their partner is worthy of this perfect and stunning way to say………………”I Love You.”

I remember the time my best mate Alan tried to do something romantic. He had been dancing with this girl all night which in itself was a miracle for two reasons……………….one, a girl had met him and decided to stay and the fact after watching Alan dance which resembled someone getting the good news with a cattle prod she still seemed interested.

Now, I must comment that the dance club was dark with just the typical 1980’s strobe lighting up the dance floor, however Alan was in such a buoyant mood that a girl had actually talked and danced with him that he had not really read the ummmmm………….fine print. I was standing at the bar on my own…………………….no shocker there…………..but as Alan and his mystery date started a slow dance to Spandau Ballet’s “True “………….I suddenly saw Alan sprint to the bar and he said………………come on lets go……………..I was amazed that here was a decent looking lady who had met the world’s ugliest man and agreed to dance and from what I saw kiss him deeply ………….yet here was Alan leaving the club as quickly as he could.

Once outside we headed for the car and I asked him what had happened………………..now………………some of you more cynical people will be hoping that the lady he was dancing with was infact a man complete with meat and two vegetables ……………….. unfortunately not and who knows if that had been the case maybe

Alan would have stayed……………….however the reason Alan left so quickly is that he was only 18 and therefore did not have the £100 the lady required if indeed the evening was to continue ………………………. I tried not to laugh…………..but I could not help myself. Neither of us had been lucky in love…….Alan was about to say to this young lady “I Love You”………………instead he was heartbroken……………….I could tell………….I asked him if there was anything I could do to make him feel better………………..he looked at me and said…………………”Can I borrow £100?”

My time onboard is running out. Tomorrow the ship arrives in Barbados and at 2:30pm we will drive to the airport and take the Virgin flight back to London. I will write again in the morning before we go……………………….I don’t want to go……………………this has been an amazing experience and tomorrow I will reminisce as to why this ship has made a lasting impression on me and why I think this ship is surely one of the most fabulous cruise liners ……………………………….. in the world.

Cheers

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.