Dream a Little Dream

June 21, 2008 -

John Heald

Good Morning

I apologize to any of you who could not access the Carnival web sites or the blog yesterday. There were power failures in Miami yesterday which brought the thingy that serves the computer distributor through the router which in turn sends the direction to the manifold………look………something blew up and it was broken……now it’s working again.

This means that you need to take the time to press the return page button and have a look at yesterday’s blogs if you haven’t yet done so. Please also make sure that you view the video made by the Cunard crew. I have read the comments from some of you already and I can see that you agree with me that the video is totally brilliant.

“We Are Cunard”…………………I have a feeling that you will be hearing this phrase spoken a lot in the near future.

To access the video that has everyone talking click onto:
http://www.cunard.com/BannerClicks/BannerClick.asp?ID=201

Why am I so passionate about this film? Well, first of all it has the crew in the spotlight which they more than deserve. However, it was their smiles, their passion, their clear and present pride that they were part of something special that makes this video………simply brilliant.

Lets tell our friends, relatives and even people at work………..every company should see this…………..every factory, office and place of work should show this video as an example of what it means to love what you do and to be part of a winning team.

I am going to put this on my facespace – spacebook thingy page and I hope by now my friends at Cruise Critic and Cruise Mates have a link to it as well.

Please let me know what you thought of the film.

On with the blog and stand by for something SPECIAL in a moment…………..but first………….more on the writing of my travel talk.

Finland completely confused my bladder. Normally I can drink a couple of mugs of tea or coffee without needing to visit the bathroom, but up there among the moose it was so damn cold that I was in the bathroom for up to two hours at a time.

And I don’t want to lower the tone over your Saturday breakfast table, but it wasn’t only my bladder that shrank in the cold. This makes life difficult when you’re wearing winter underwear, and heavily padded waterproof overstrides…………..and you have an overhang…………….visibility was down to just a few inches!

We were there in April and I haven’t been as cold as I was the day we went to a lake in the countryside…………….it feels strange saying the word “cold” when its so hot in my cabin……………………anyway……………….back to Finland and I have just written my adventure talk for Helsinki and wanted to share some thoughts with you that I obviously will not be able to on stage.

This is the weird thing about Finland. On the surface it appears to be a monochrome and rather chilly version of Britain. There’s the same northern European efficiency, the same things make us laugh, and the town centers are full of vandals who like to pee in shop door ways………..in Britain you get fined for doing that…………..in Finland the punishment is you have to clean up your urine icicle………………………………… and then you get fined.

I was there 2 days and liked it a lot.

However, there are one or two facts that I won’t be putting in my travel talk that I would like to share with you. First of all there’s the bothersome business of reading the signs. There are no reference points. Finnish doesn’t seem to be a language that has evolved and is European potpourri of sounds and expression. If you ask me I’d say it was derived from the noises made by mooses.

I learned after a few days that the Finnish for “parking” is “parkering”, but this doesn’t work with other verbs. The Finnish for “talking,” for instance, is not “talkering.”

I also learned that if you say “drinkering” they will have no clue what you are talking about.

That’s because in the frozen north you need to drive for 500 miles to find a beer and when you get there you’ll be charged about $500. ……it is a very expensive country.

You might think everyone can talk English and of course most do but there are exceptions. I asked the lady behind the desk at our hotel where the bathroom was and she recoiled in such horror I began to think “rest room” might be Finnish for “I’m wearing no underwear, let’s have a sauna.”

Perhaps difficulty with communication is why the hotel room in which I stayed had a fold-out whiteboard nailed above the bed: so guests can use diagrams and cave drawings to explain to their girlfriends what they have in mind next.

As I said at the start of this blog it was cold………..very cold and at one point it reached -5c or -5f – cant remember which is which

This meant the pavements were encased in a sheet of ice. So to move around you have to develop an unusual gait with your legs open …………….I was Charlie Chaplin.

What you do is put your foot down and then wiggle your hips imperceptibly to ensure you have grip before taking your other foot off the ground. I call it the Elvis Pelvis and it works. I only fell over seven times…

This strange way of walkering may explain why there are no overweight people in Finland. Not one.

People think of Japan as the lovers of all things cell phone but they are in second place compared to Finland. Everyone has not one but two phones and as you would expect Nokia is king. There seems to be a new fashion as well and that is to allow the phone to freeze to your ear thus giving you the latest in hands free devices.

I had heard that Finland had the highest suicide rate in Europe………and I could see why. You are apparently in the modern world with your mobile phone and your pretty daughters but you spend all winter being frozen to death and with just two hours of daylight and all summer being eaten alive by mosquitoes the size of an SUV …………….. however………..its probably one of the most naturally beautiful places on God’s green earth………..you will love it.

It’s Saturday. I gave most of staff a day off. They have been working flat out and as this is Italy and on Sunday everything is closed it seemed sensible to give them today off. Heidi and I though need to keep working.

We have just finished the three day cruise capers, schedules and all that goes with it. It’s going to be a busy cruise but unfortunately I am going to get little or no stage time. Obviously we need to show off our new lavish shows in the evening but during the day all the lounges and public rooms are taken with seminars and meetings with all of our travel agent partners. ……………I understand this has to be done but it will be slightly frustrating that I cannot perform.

Now, someone asked if I could list all of the ships that Carnival Corporation has under construction…………….your wish is my command.

Wow, when you look at that list of new buildings you can see just why the future is so exciting and how Carnival Corporation has something for everyone… It’s great to see the Carnival Magic there………….the Ruby Princess ………… AIDALuna ………….. however. ……………the name that leaps off the list and makes you stand to attention…………..is……………….Queen Elizabeth!

Here are three photos of our lobby dance floor. We will feature a fantastic duo there each and every night for dancing until 1 am.

We are going to have the best public address system in the world here on the Carnival Splendor. I know this for sure because they have been testing it now for 8 straight days and it’s really getting on my nerves. This is my umpteenth new ship delivery and I know that testing of all systems is needed…………..but eight straight days of it?

Personally…………..I believe it is being done so the yard workers have some music to listen to while they argue with each other. They are all young and good looking and I am sure the ship would have been finished months ago if they hadn’t spent so much time doing their hair.

Italy’s youngsters complain, apparently, about having to live at home until they are 72 but that’s because they spend all their money on blue suits, brown shoes and Alfa Romeos rather than mortgages.

Of course, I can see that there are drawbacks to life in Italy. It must be annoying to have to post your letters in Switzerland if you want them to stand any chance of arriving, and I would quickly become bored with wondering if I was going to be killed on the autostrada every day.

Then there’s the problem of your wife. One day, you know with absolute certainty, you will come home from work to find that the ravishing beauty you married and said goodbye to that morning is waddling up the street dressed in a black sack and an Ozzy Osborne hair style under each arm.

Finally……….it’s time to do something dangerous and something that I am sure I may get a few phone calls about. I am also sure that the folks in Miami will be hiring Inspector Morse, Frank Cannon, Starsky and Hutch and Colombo to find out just who PA 007 really is.

The reason…………this e mail from our Super Spy………………………..news that is not supposed to break until next week.

Here it is.

Hi John

I’m sticking my neck out John but you can tell your blogger buddies that Carnival Dream will first operate three 12-day Grand Med cruises Sept-Oct 09 before heading to NYC where she will operate 2 8-day cruises from NYC before arriving at her homeport of Port Canaveral in early December. From there, she will sail on 7-day eastern and western Caribbean cruises. More information and official press release will be out soon.

Back to my cubicle
PA007

So…………how about that. Thanks to PA 007 we now know that the Carnival Dream will be sailing in the beautiful Med and then it’s off to the Big Apple which I know will excite the people of New York.

I am sure PA 007 will pass on anymore information as soon as she/he can and until then, please thank 007 for putting their neck on the chopping board.

Now, I know you will all be picking up the phone or playing with your mouse to try and book your Dream Voyage……….well…………you can’t…………until July 1………I have a feeling though that those tickets are going to be hotter than any Broadway show.

The phones will be ringing soon with calls from people in Miami with grand sounding titles………..all of which will probably be a little annoyed and determined to discover who leaked the news.

Their secret is safe with me and my lips are sealed and nothing ………….. nothing ………….will ever persuade me to reveal my source………………..unless they offer me an Aston Martin DB9 …………….then PA …………you’re on your own.

Goodnight
Your Friends
John, Heidi and PA 007

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.