Meeting…..The Entertainment Staff

June 18, 2008 -

John Heald

The last few days there have been meetings…………..lots of them……………a few with actual real live people present but most of them conducted using the dreaded “conference call.”
I had one such call yesterday……………this is what happened

There were about a dozen or so people on the call expressing their opinion on a particular subject, and each of these opinions was completely different. Then someone said …….“Well, we’re outside the box here and at the end of the day we will not know what the result will be until we’ve run the venture  up the flagpole and seen which way the wind’s blowing…………….do you agree John?”

All eyes or ears in this conference call scenario we are on me, but as I drew breath to speak I realized that I hadn’t a bloody clue what they were talking about.

Ummm………I stuttered……..I am ………..umm not sure if I have an answer ….. ummm … this point the person confused me even more when they said “Its mission critical that we use blue sky thinking and that we’re proactive, not reactive, don’t you agree John?”

At this point rather than look completely dumb I just said “Sorry, I can’t hear you, the signal is really bad here in Italy, there’s bad weather what did you”…………..and I hung up.

Later on in the day, I rang the person who called the meeting and in less than a minute we had decided on a course of action. And then, when you get home, you wonder why it was necessary to have the meeting at all. So you can listen to someone in a power suit turning nouns into verbs and showing of the power phrases they learned at University?

I remember a colleague and I had to attend a meeting last year and by lunchtime we were split into “power teams” and “think tank break out session groups.”

Although the subject matter was very important I again felt suffocated by terminology I did not understand. At the school I went to we were taught who to make a pencil box and unarmed combat……… speak was not on the curriculum.

So, we developed a new scheme to make the afternoon session a bit more fun… We would give each other a band as we walked through the door and then we’d compete to see how many of their song titles we could lob into the conversation without anyone noticing.

I choose Deep Purple

I actually said: “We have to be the Highway Star of the industry and if there is Smoke On The Water then we must be the Speed King and do something quickly”………… And do you know what? …………….the people around the table all nodded.

My colleague had chosen Madonna for reasons I cannot put in writing……..however it was very scary that when he said “We are in the Holiday business and as long as we stay in Vogue and Get into the Groove then we will remain at the top.”

The problem with conference calls is that you need to have Jack Bauer’s computer genius Chloe to assist you to get on the call.

No matter, I dialed the number, entered the security pin I’d been given and was asked to state my name so I could be introduced……..then I had to press the pound key and I can never remember which bugger that is and I pressed the wrong one and ended up on a conference call in Bombay and spent the next 30 minutes giving my opinions on curry spice production.

Conference calls are though much better than regular meetings. They’re exactly like a normal meeting in that nothing happens and nothing gets done and everyone talks marketing talk but you don’t have to sit there, remembering not to fall asleep or how you are going to get Like a Virgin into the conversation.

You can just pour yourself another cup of tea and wander around the cabin in you underpants… At one point, I put the phone down and went for a pee and when I came back nobody had even noticed I had left.

I therefore have a new rule. When I am President and Chief of Everything only I will be allowed to speak at meetings……..and anyone who does not get all five Beatles songs I used in my opening statement…………is fired.

Well, apart from meetings I have got very little accomplished. Unfortunately along with the Public Address system tests and the Italian rap music the computer system had to switch off. This was due to the fact that the main terminal was overheating which in turn was due to the air conditioning being off for 48 hours. Apparently, computers need to be cool otherwise they explode and that isn’t good.

Therefore, here I am blogging again on my raspberry. Hopefully the system will be up soon and I can push on. Obviously, there is much to be done and without the computer it’s hard to achieve anything…………especially producing the Carnival Capers.

I remember the old days before Mr. Dell arrived and we CD’s would do something called “cut and paste.” This is where we use a typewriter and a tube of glue to produce a Carnival Caper. Some of you may still have copies of these classics.

The air conditioning is still being checked and balanced and we are told it should be turned on very soon…… and Mr. Dell certainly hope so.

I saw that many of you were disappointed by the lack of information on Carnival Dream. I apologize for this and I am bursting to give it to you but PA 007 has asked me to wait as there may be one or two date changes……….and as we want to give you breaking news we need it to be the correct breaking news. As I said……….hopefully over the weekend it will be on your computer screen.

Thanks for all the great comments about the interview with Ann from Aussie. She is a terrific lady and I am sure she read all your kind words with a great feeling of pride.

Tomorrow, watch out for a special interview with a man called Mike!

As for your comments on my dancing skills……….well………….lets just hope that video never makes it to YouTubebook…………….and no……….there will never be a repeat performance.

Now, I would like to remind you about the USA network Character Fantasy thingy.
June 21, on USA Network between 2 and 4 pm.  It’s interesting that will have segments during the movie between the 2 and 4 pm timeslot.  ……..I haven’t seen it so let me know what you all think.

It’s time to introduce the Entertainment Staff to you. These young ladies and gentlemen were chosen to be part of the start up team here on the Carnival Splendor because they are simply…………the best.

Have you seen the latest photos on the Eurodam blog?  This beautiful ship is nearly ready for delivery and will soon set sail for South Hampton.  Here’s the link, don’t miss out on the great photos:

Let’s meet the Carnival Splendor entertainment staff:


After spending four fabulous years at Michigan State University studying Community Relations and Psychology, Jaime packed up her nearly perfect GPA and her improvisational comedy theatrical background into an overweight suitcase and made it to the ship!

When she discovered that she was unable to become a pirate, she chose to apply for the next best possible career, as a Carnival Social Host! Jaime undertook this application process as she would any challenge, by creating a montage of her qualifications, including resumes, pictures and letters of recommendation explaining why she would be a perfect addition to the Carnival team!

At this time, this lovely young lady is enthusiastically beginning her second contract with Carnival Cruise Lines. She is very gracious to be on the inaugural team of the Carnival Splendor. As one of the few Americans on board, this Michigan native has always had dreams of traveling and meeting diverse groups of people, and she is grateful to have the opportunity to fulfill these wishes by working for Carnival!

Jaime loves to be busy at all times. Any time that she is not working, she can be found at the gym or finding some creative way to organize any disorder that dares to cross her path. Jaime is excited to undertake any adventure and challenge that comes her way with grace, honor and tenacity. Jaime has a great passion for helping others, and she hopes to continue assisting those around her while being a part of the flourishing Carnival Corporation. She greatly misses her friends and family and looks forward to their joining her on her beautiful new home =).


Lauren is one of the new members of the entertainment staff team on the Carnival Splendor, and is very eager and excited to learn, grow and explore while she is here. Lauren comes from Portland, Oregon in the United States with magna cum laude college degrees in history, psychology and education, and a Ph.D. in bathroom-sharing and pillow fights as she was in a sorority all throughout college.

She was actually inspired to come work on cruise ships after she took a cruise herself as a passenger. Encouraged by staff members that recognized her knack for creating fun wherever she went, and eager for a new adventure after four years of studying as well as craving to see parts of the world not covered solely by grass and cows, she came to work in January of 2007 on the Carnival Valor. She was invited just a little over a year later to join the Carnival Splendor on its inaugural run, and couldn’t be more grateful and thrilled at the amazing opportunity.

A former cheerleader, it is hard to miss her bubbly personality and gregarious attitude as she bounces throughout the ship. Lauren brings her creative nature to her job, continuously inventing and organizing new activities and games, and strives to create a warm, personal connection with both her coworkers and guests. A natural go-getter and self-motivated person, Lauren always aspires for more responsibility and hopes to be promoted within the company someday, and thus is never without her trusty red notebook taking notes on anything and everything!

Lauren is also recently engaged to a British musician named Andy who works for Carnival as well, and they are planning their nuptials for Autumn or Winter of 2009. And no, they will not be taking a cruise for their honeymoon. At home, Lauren has one younger sister, two massively overfed golden retriever dogs and thirteen best friends from college all vying for that maid of honor spot. Let the bribery begin!

Nicknamed Lauz or Lauzaa by her friends, Lauren also enjoys movies with a twist at the end, the color pink, big fluffy cozy blankets, drinking soda through a straw, argyle socks, playing with puppies, the cappuccinos in Italy, big earrings, dark chocolate, stepping on crunchy leaves, running on the treadmill so fast it feels like she’s flying, reducing-reusing-and-recycling, slightly burned popcorn, laughing really loudly unabashedly, playing Martha Stewart in the kitchen, new car smell, dancing in the corridors, and crocheting. Yes, crocheting. Lauren can’t wait to meet you!


Gary, currently age 23, comes from sunny Manchester in the UK. He has worked for Carnival now for three and a half years and worked on six of the ships in the fleet. This is the second time he has been fortunate enough to be part of an inaugural team. Most recently, he also helped with the Carnival Freedom inaugural last March.

Now for all of you who were enjoying the blog last year, Gary was also the person who took the beautiful photographs of the sunsets and local ports….. And yes, more will be coming this year as well.


Stephanie is the Assistant Cruise Director on the Carnival Splendor and comes all the way from Mechanicsville, Virginia. She has been with Carnival for six years and has been on eight Carnival ships.

Stephanie has been very lucky to participate in three start ups for Carnival. She was a social host on the Carnival Liberty and Assitant Cruise Director on the Carnival Freedom and Splendor. When on vacation she loves to go to the beach with her family and likes to shop shop shop.
Her ultimate dream is to be able to afford a double wide trailer.


Adele has been working for Carnival Cruise lines for nearly 3 years now and has had the opportunity to see many great places all over the world. Adele has worked on the Carnival Destiny, Carnival Ecstasy and had the opportunity to be part of the start up team for the Carnival Freedom and to be part of the inaugural and is now on the Carnival Splendor proudly once again being part of the start up team..

Adele comes from a small town called Southport in Liverpool and has been performing since she was young where she attended a Performing arts course at college and has got a National Diploma and a BTEC Diploma.

On Vacation Adele loves to catch up with her Family and friends. Adele loves the job but does miss a couple of things like good English food and family and friends.


James is 22 years old from Derbyshire, England. He has been with Carnival for 2 years having fun on the Carnival Imagination, Carnival Liberty, more recent the carnival Freedom and Now the Carnival Splendor! Prior to his ship life James used to be a “Redcoat” which is an entertainer at a holiday resort in the UK, whilst there James did many crazy things including presenting “Bob the builder” shows and more!! If you have met James you will know he has an unforgettable personality “Hiyaaaaaaaa!!!” is what he is waiting to greet you with onboard the Carnival Splendor.

Many of you will get to meet them in person here on the Carnival Splendor or will have met them on a previous cruise. Please join me in congratulating them.

Time to apologize to a K. Mitchenson who wrote this comment to Stephanie.

Stephanie…….please make sure John replies.

I am a huge fan but was disgruntled to read your remarks degrading the Fiat Panda which I have just bought my wife. You are not an auto critic and you should stick to cruise information and comedy.

Thank you
K. Mitchenson

I do apologize and also agree that I am not an auto critic and just used the Fiat Panda reference as it was the only Italian small car I could think of while talking about the huge Mercedes that collected me for my trip to the Costa Concordia. I have driven one last year in Trieste before delivering Carnival Freedom.

The Panda is a very small car, which means it has a very small engine, which means it is  absolutely hopeless on the motorway. As hopeless as I would be on Dancing with the  Stars.

Driving an underpowered car on the Italian highways is one of the most dangerous things a man can do. It’s up there with sticking your middle finger in the bottom of a sleeping Lion. The rest of Italy drive as though there was a rumor that there was no pasta left in the country and they are all rushing off to grab the last bag.

Anyway………I hope you and your Panda are very happy together and I apologize again for picking on the defenseless underpowered little creature.

Seriously……….please except my apologies.

Here are today’s random photos:

Starting to wash

Well, the French lost last night and there was much rejoicing by those with vowels at the end of their names. The Italians progress into the quarterfinals of Europe’s biggest soccer championship while the French return home. Work can now continue on the Carnival Splendor and in other shipyards across Italy while back at the stadium the dressing room where the French team played is being prepared for the Swedish who will use it for their match against Russia this evening….at least they won’t have to replace the soap.

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.