A Whose Who on Lido Deck Blog

May 12, 2008 -

John Heald

I met someone from Detroit today while I was waiting for my polar-bear-killing Range Rover to have a new headlamp bulb fitted. I noticed last night when driving home that the car had only one head light working and unless it was suffering from Bells Palsy I knew the lamp had gone. So, as I was waiting for the expert engineer to change a bulb I was sitting in the waiting room drinking something that was pretending to be coffee out of a paper cup when in walked my new friend from America.

I knew straight away that he was American but not only from his thick accent when he spoke to the receptionist but from the T-Shirt he was wearing…………it said………. “Detroit,” proclaim the T-shirts, “where the weak are killed and eaten.” On the back of the shirt was a big American flag with the words “Sorry we missed you” and a picture of a huge Magnum gun………..yep………he was American and that was the most honest T – Shirt I have ever seen.

He sat down to wait and me being me I decided rather than drink the rancid coffee I would chat to Captain America. We spoke for about ten minutes or so until the engineer brought my car round with a brand new headlamp bulb and a bill for $110………….I hope he likes hospital food.

During our conversation I learned that Captain America (I never did learn his name although I am sure it was something like Hank or Chuck) had married someone from the UK and actually lived not far from me. I asked him if he missed the States and indeed he did especially the food……………I told him that we have Burgers and Pizza in Essex but after a giggle he told me he mostly missed American sports. One thing he did say was that he felt very safe in the Essex countryside and he loved the fact that there was no crime.

He portrayed a very sad image of city life in Detroit and seemed to think that in England’s green and pleasant lands crime was non-existent…………….well, maybe it was once was but today I would say there is little difference between London and his hometown.

Just a few years ago gun crime in the UK was unheard off but today, it’s very different.
Today in parts of London that the tourists never see there is a chance of being hit by a hail of drug-fueled gunfire. It used to be car alarms that kept parts of London awake at night. Now its the distinctive sound of AK-47s and 9mm’s.

And things are going to get worse because the Sunday Newspaper’s claimed that former Irish paramilitaries are now selling their guns in pubs. Bloody Hell………does this mean I can go down my local The Cliff and order a diet coke, a cheese sandwich and an Uzi?

There is a problem and in 1990 eleven people were killed by gun crime in the UK ……..in 2007 it was eighty-one.

My American friend was correct of course…………Detroit has a much larger problem than London and the chances of getting shot in the UK are about the same as being struck by lightning at the same time you are collecting your Lottery winnings from a naked Jennifer Simpson………….however………..the way things are progressing I may have to design a T Shirt just like Captain Americas replacing the Stars and Stripes with the Union Jack.

Of course there is no safer environment than being onboard the ship. You won’t believe the number of parents I have spoken to over the years who not only love Carnival for the great value and superb product that it is but because it is the safest vacation environment possible for them and their children.

I want to thank you all for the wonderful comments about Alan. I am glad you finally got to meet him………..he is one of a kind.

That will be the last video for a while as I don’t want to get lazy and revert to posting those instead of the written word.

However, before I go………………I haven’t commented on the situation that took place on a ship a few weeks ago where the Captain got himself in a bit of a hot water because he requested over the PA system for the German guests to please not reserve the beach chairs on the open deck. Now, I have to be very careful here because I don’t want to get a bollocking from anyone or upset a certain member of the press with whom I am as popular with as pus-filled boil.

However, I see from certain e-mails and messages on the boards that this subject is still being vigorously debated.

The reason I am stirring the pot is that yesterday Carnival Cruise Lines reinforced its no seat saving policy with all onboard management being reminded of  the company’s policy and the Cruise Directors empowered to announce these measures at shows and over the PA system as well as in writing in the daily Carnival Capers. The Cruise Directors will stress that if a chair has a shoe, a towel, a book or a small goat on it and it is not occupied after a 30 minute period these items will be removed by ship staff and in the case of the goat taken to the galley and turned into a delicious curry……..this has been a long time coming and we must make sure these rules are enforced.
However, I do feel sorry fro the British Captain who was so publicly rebuked by some people on the World Wide Web thingy.

He was British after all (I think) and certainly he had that sarcastic British sense of humour. He probably made his comments having read the words of that brilliant group of philosophers Monty Python who once said…………………”They pinched the sunbeds and barged into the queues and frightened the children and if you weren’t at the buffet spot on seven, Fritz had wolfed all the sausages.”

Certainly from what I have seen on our ships it’s not just the Germans you have to worry about as everyone is at it. There are no shorts too big and no G String too small that can be used to save a sunbed. However…………..last year on the Carnival Freedom there was country who dominated the seat saving and it wasn’t Fritz and his family ………….. nope ………the worst of them all………………..were the Russians.

For those of you who have been reading the blog thingy for some time you will remember me being chased around the cigar bar by a Russian guest and his good friend Stoli……….you may remember some of the antics they got up to when demanding to be first off the ship and other such incidents.  I like Russians but what I didn’t like was the fact they would all reserve chairs in big groups at 7 am which for most of them was the time they went to bed.

I just spent two days in Russia and don’t get me wrong…………….St.Petersburg will be the highlight of the Baltic itinerary …………..however, the Russian people are a little different.

They’re either far too ugly or far too beautiful. There’s no middle ground. And like the Western world, no part of the body is immune from man-made enhancement. The Americans go for surf-white teeth; the Russians for alarming Special Forces tattoos and both the Russian woman and the Russian man seem to see anything wrong with breast enlargement.

I saw one Russian woman on the Carnival Freedom’s lido deck who had the body of a walnut and a chest that put the smoke stack in the shade.

However, where the Russians move into an easy lead is Lido Deck attire. For the men it’s the traditional Speedo which usually is a bright colour and worn by Russian men of any age, while the women seem to get their fashion pointers from internet porn sites. I haven’t yet seen anyone at the Mongolian Buffet on Lido in stockings and suspenders but it’s only a matter of time.

As easy to spot on Lido Deck as the Russians are the Brits are just as noticeable. When God made the British he designed them to take vacations in cold and damp places and not to venture into the sun where when exposed to anything but fog and rain we turn redder than Sergei’s Speedos.

Now they may not be as easy to spot as the Russians with their Spetnaz tattoos and their nipple tassels but if you see someone that looks like they have just come from a 5-minute session in a microwave……………you can bet your life…………….they are Brits.

Americans and Canadians also are easy to tell from the rest of the herd as they like to wear T-Shirts that proudly tell you where you have been before and of course the women all wear the sarong thingy accompanied by the pair of flip flops which must according to US and Canadian law be flowery by design.

Of course the North American lady can also be seen wearing sunglasses with huge gold hinges on them similar to those that can be found on the doors to the Great Ballroom at Buckingham Palace.

Then we get to the question of the American/Brit and Canadian teenagers who strut around with the words like “peachy, hot and party “on their bikini bottoms. This is unnerving. Try to read a book about Great Cunard Oceanliners when you’ve got a 17- year-old advertising her backside nine inches from your face. …………while I think about it we need to keep these ladies away from the Russians in their tight, revealing Speedos.

So, Lido Deck is a melting pot of different cultures all of which will have to obey the no seat saving policy which us Cruise Directors are now in charge of enforcing……………so it will be me this season who has to tell the Sergei, the Russian Speedo wearing ex special forces soldier who has just drunk a vat of vodka he can’t save a deck chair……………..with that in mind I am off down the Pub for a pint and a 9mm automatic.

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.