Farewell My Princess

March 30, 2008 -

John Heald

I shall miss the Piazza; it’s become my favorite place to blog. The waitress knows to bring me an espresso and a bottle of water without me having to ask and even though I cannot have one, the sight and smell of the doughnuts, pastries and toffee apples make for a great atmosphere to write in.

As I mentioned a few days ago the Piazza is a great place to people watch and now as I sit here at 9 am there is lots to see. Guests are asking where the gangway is and right now a couple is arguing just a few feet away from me on where to go.

The man is now having a finger waived in his face by his wife and they both seem oblivious to the fact that they are the center of attraction …………………. ok……………the wife has walked away and reluctantly Mr. Lost is following on behind still shouting at his wife……………..brilliant entertainment.

For the last 5 days I have tried my best not to flip the Cruise Director switch and stay as a passenger ……………….and I had succeeded until last night. After another wonderful meal in the dining room Heidi and I were sitting in the Explorers Lounge to see Martin the outstandingly funny Deputy Cruise Director host Liars Club when we saw two passengers squaring up to each other and I sensed that we were only moments away from a full on boxing match.

Let me introduce the contenders …………………………. let’s get ready to rumble

In the red corner wearing white pants and a blue shirt with pictures of bottles of Tabasco sauce on it weighing in at about 120 pounds and aged about 70 and sponsored by Gas X………please welcome ……….  the undisputed Floridian Condominium Champion …………Rooooooccccckkkkkyyyyyyyyyyy Lieberman.

In the blue corner wearing blue jeans and blue shirt weighing in at 250 pounds from Rude Town the undisputed disrespecter of age………………Mikee Ruuuuddddeeeeeeeeeeson.

So, here was a 70-plus man being threatened by a man in his 30’s…………….over an old favorite subject……….seat saving. It became clear that Rocky was trying to sit down with his wife in a big booth but Mike Rudeson it appeared was saving the entire booth which as we all know is not allowed.

Now, I had no intention of interfering until the Mr.Lieberman (I knew his name as he was wearing his ship card round his neck) explained that his wife was sight impaired and needed to sit near the front………….he said this using lots of please and thank yous and was rewarded with a “I Don’t care” from this obnoxious creature………….and then unbelievably…………he told Mr.Lieberman to go away and then called him a ……………ummm………….an opening found in a bottom…………….if you get my meaning.

That was enough for me…………..I looked around to see if any of the other passengers would do anything but most were looking at the floor pretending it was not happening. So, I flicked the CD button which is located on my left nipple and sprang into action.

I stood between them and started by doing something naughty………….Hello I said, my name is John and I am the Senior Vice President of Blogs for Carnival Corporation………………….that got their attention ………….now for some strange reason I found myself pointing at my Carnival 20-year pin I was wearing on my jacket……………as if that was some sort of proof that I wasn’t talking bollocks.

Anyway, I informed Mr Rudeson that his language would not be tollerated and that I had called security and they were on the way………..my nose grew an inch when I said that………………I also told him to allow the Liebermans to sit down or to leave the booth as seat saving was not allowed………………he asked for my name………….I gave it to him and he left by informing me that this was………… “poo from a bull.”

Mr. Lieberman and his wife thanked me and shook my hand warmly and I took my seat flicking my nipple as I did so returning myself to passenger mode.

So, it’s about over…………….Heidi is packing and I am staying away from her spinning head until it’s all done. In a few hours we will drive to Barbados Airport and Virgin Airways will take us home.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone here and I thought this may be the best forum to do that, so please excuse me while I write this letter.

Dear Captain,

Five days ago Heidi and I boarded the Emerald Princess for our first-ever cruise as passengers. From the moment we walked up the gangway we were astonished by the beauty of your vessel and the incomparable friendliness of the ship’s company. This friendliness comes from the top and the fine example you and your senior management set is I am sure seen by the crew who want to the follow your shining example.

I would like to say a special thank you to Martin, James and Generoso all of which are at the top of their profession and who have treated us so magnificently.

I know how proud you are of the Emerald Princess and we have both been equally as proud to have sailed with you and your team.

Sincerely,
John and Heidi Heald

So, that’s about it then. It’s been brilliant…………..the whole ship is just stunning especially the Sanctuary, Sabatini’s and the Crown Grill. However, what stole the show for me was something that I keep talking about and that was the friendliness of the crew……..they are outstanding.

It’s been an eye opener (and thank goodness I had two eyes to open now Monsieur Bell has buggered off) and I have to say that I hope that the cruise companies within Carnival Corporation will allow more interaction between each other.

I have learned a lot this week and hopefully I have managed to pass on some help to James and others as well. We are all individuals yet we are one family and there is so much we can learn from each other if we can knock down some of the barriers ……………. and that started here on the Emerald Princess these last five days.

There was a huge battle a few years ago between RCI and Carnival to acquire Princess/P & O Lines……….having sailed here now I can understand just why both wanted to win and why in a recent interview in the Miami Herald Carnival Corporation’s Chairman Mr. Micky Arison said that winning the battle was one of his greatest business accomplishments ………………..it’s clear to me now why.

I will write on Monday when I get home and next week watch out for two special interviews and a guest blog from the heart of Alaska.

Until then, it’s goodbye from the Emerald Princess and it’s time to fly Virgin……..let’s hope they go all the way!

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.