A Camp Blog

May 11, 2008 -

John Heald

Sunday…………a day for reading the papers, watching soccer and finally having a proper day doing bugger all…………which is a good job really as its 28 degrees here and with no air conditioning I have as much energy as the energizer bunny whose had his battery stolen…………what I wouldn’t give for some air conditioning. Good Morning and I hope this Sunday finds you well and once again a very happy Mother’s Day to you all. Heidi made good her promise to allow me an afternoon of watching football which I thoroughly enjoyed however having spent the morning reading about the poor people of Burma it was hard to celebrate when my team scored………..it is unbelievable that the joke of the Government are still blocking some of the foreign aid………….it makes me very sad.

It is said that the West has missiles that are so precise that they can hit any target no matter how small well surely there has never been a better time to use these and send one right up General Scru Yu’s bottom and in turn allow the world to help these desperate people.

Anyway, during the reading of the Sunday Papers which must have taken seven Brazilian rain forests to create, Heidi came out with her next vacation desire…………..she wants to go on a Safari.

I’ve never really seen the point of a safari. First of all, apart from the threat of being eaten by a Lion on the Adkins diet (and lets face it, if anyone looks like a grazing Bison it ‘s me) worst of all you have to live …………in a tent.

Now camping is OK if you are seven years old and playing Cowboys and Indians or if you are protesting about something…………but for vacation no way. I mentioned this to Heidi who replied that she wanted to get close to nature and my reply telling her to go stand in a field was met by yet another close encounter with a household object.

I look upon camping the same as barbecuing………now don’t get me wrong had a nice time with Alan and family (video will be posted later today) yet what’s the point of having your food covered in ash and dead flies when you have a cooker indoors?…………..no camping makes no sense to me especially if there is a snake wanting to share your sleeping bag with you and a scorpion having a nap in your Reeboks.

It was at this point that Heidi showed me the article from the newspaper travel section and she did so with a huge smirk of satisfaction on her face as if to say look at this smarty-pants.

Unfortunately the article did not show pictures of ragged old tents, sleeping bags and people pooing in a bucket instead the tents had shiny wooden floors, and flushing toilets, big soft beds laden with crisp white Egyptian cotton sheets and all the luxuries that would have you feel more like Clive of India then Tarzan. All of this comes with a private butler, a chef and there wasn’t a snake or a scorpion to be seen……………Heidi really wanted to do this and I knew I was in trouble and the possibility of spending next winter being chased by Larry the Lion was very real.

More on this in a moment.

109 comments so far……………..109 comments and opinions on the subject of anytime dining. First of all I want to thank each and every one of you for taking your valuable time to slap these on the blog thingy. I have just finished reading each and every one of them and it seems that opinion is very much divided. However, it all seems to me that the one thing each one has in common is that you all want choice………..the freedom to choose between assigned and anytime dining. ………and that is what will be offered on the Carnival Legend.

For me, choice is very important and I agree with all of you who say you would miss the fun of meeting new friends who you get to know better and better throughout the cruise and whom some, stay friends for life. I also agree that having the same waiter who understands your needs and as the cruise progresses anticipates those needs is something you all relish.

However, I also agree that you should have the choice to eat when you are hungry rather than when we tell you to. This definitely comes into play if you have taken a long excursion or want to enjoy more time in the sun or on the open decks.

Yep, choice………….it’s the future and the smart people at Carnival realise this and I have a feeling that everyone will eventually be happy with the outcome.

I will be discussing your comments with the big bosses on Monday and I will let you all know what was said……….and thanks again for getting involved.

Well, the Carnival Splendor is getting ready and I spoke to the Hotel Director Duncan and the Chief Purser Lui who are both already at the shipyard. They both say the ship is looking great and I will be joining them on June 2nd. The Captain is acquainting himself with some of the ports by sailing on a Costa vessel right now. When he returns I will post an interview with my friend Captain Georgio Pagano whom I know you will all enjoy meeting.

The Carnival Freedom has begun her first Grand med cruise and today she is in Naples…………I am sure the guests are having a wonderful time and I will catch up with Captain D’Aita in a few days and we will report on how things are going.

Also near to being launched is Holland America’s Eurodam and look out for a follow up with her Captain and an interview with another Blogging Captain of the Veendam very soon as well.

So, back to the Safari that Heidi was so desperately trying to get me to agree to go on. Now, the 10 day Safari was $4,000 per person and way out of our price range but that is a hard thing to argue with your wife when just the other day you had nervously suggested that you spend half that amount on a new Plasma and surround sound system.

It’s the animals she said piercing my defenses with her Spaniel eyes and extended bottom lip.
Here to we disagree. On TV we are always told to marvel at these beautiful creatures of the wild. Even the sight of a Gazelle having its head ripped off by a Leopard is still something that narrators like the BBC’s David Attenborough can make sound enjoyable and easy to watch.

However, I doubted that seeing this from an open top Land Rover and being splattered by Gary the Gazelle’s blood as the hungry Leopard chomps down well I would think this may be a bit more ……….real.

You see, Heidi has always looked at beasts of the wild as cute (if they are babies), elegant and graceful me…………I have always looked upon beasts as either dangerous things that bite, sting, poison and kill you or…………dinner.

Heidi though would hear none of it and off she went with her list of animals that we would see on a safari.

These included the usual subjects and she got very excited as this particular Safari guaranteed that amongst some of the animals you would see would be “monkey’s and baboons.” Heidi was of course thinking about the type that Tarzan had as a friend you remember……….I think its name was Cheetah who spoke five languages and could drive.

To me, when they say you will see Baboons I think of the ugly one who God obviously decided to have a bit of fun with and put its red arse on inside out. The other animal that delivers a huge OOOHHH and an AHHH from Heidi is the Meercat. She had seen that program called Meercat Manor which portrays this band of cute and cuddly things that Heidi would just love to hug and take to bed with her. Of course, she forgot the bit where one of the Meercats ate another Meercats baby………they don’t even do that in Desperate Housewives.

Heidi also showed me a photo from the newspaper of a night scene in the jungle where tourists were sitting round a torch lit area feeding on a huge and lavish meal being entertained by a local African tribe who probably were very nice people but had not taken a bath since they were nine……….I am not paying $4,000 and flying half way around the world for that, why should I…………Paris is just 30 minutes away.

However, despite all my arguments Heidi kept on about how after all upcoming hard word on the Carnival Splendor that this would be the vacation of a lifetime………..my arguments so far had proven pointless………….and then…………..I had a brilliant idea.

I showed Heidi a website……………..and the thought of going on a safari disappeared immediately.

Here it is: http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za/2002/november/baboon.htm

Instead of her spending her vacation with a spider the size of a small car…………we are going on the Ruby Princess inaugural and she can lie by the pool, sleep on a beautiful bed and not worry about being a Larry the Lion’s supper.

As George Peppard’s character used to say in the A Team “I love it when a plan comes together.”

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.