July 8, 2008 -

John Heald

So, Wimbledon is over and now the world awaits for the Chinese to clean their sky of dirt and smog and prepare for the Olympics. As I may have mentioned in a previous blog …………I am not a huge fan. However, I love skiing…………..actually……………………I love watching skiing……………..actually I hate skiing but love watching others do it for me and that’s why I love the winter Olympics.

The Men’s Downhill and the Men’s Ski Jumping was always the highlight as some well spoken chap in the commentary booth, talked us through the brilliance of some tanned and muscular young man from Austria.

You’d marvel at how he made it look so easy, his skintight suit revealing every muscle and joint and you could easily tell whether he was a cavalier or a roundhead.
But let’s be honest, all of us, really, were waiting for the falls.

Oh golly…………….. the falls. They were the best accidents a man can have without actually exploding, and they always went on for hours, a tangle of flesh and tanned ego bouncing down the mountain until it crashed into the crowd in a colorful explosion of blood, Gore-Tex and snow.

And better still, you knew that after the paramedics had collected all of the limbs and hosed most of the blood off the piste, you were going to get it all over again in super-voyeur slow motion.

I used to watch Horse Eventing for the same reason. Not because we want to see some thoroughbred score a clean round but because we hope it will brake suddenly, sending some pompous young brat Called Hayley through the fence in an ear-splitting jangle of splintered wood and bone.

Skiing, however, has always been the best because the contestants are going so fast, and they are protected from the forces of nature by nothing more substantial than a big condom with a number on it. .

So, a single half-hour of skiing provided more hysterical laughs than a thousand granddads falling of their bikes into a river on America’s Funniest Videos.

So, as much as I hope the dedicated training these athletes have endured win those medals, I also hope we have one or two special moments like the skiers give us. Lets hope as the Bulgarian lady pole-vaulter springs toward the bar her pole snaps sending her flying through the air where she is hit by a hammer thrown by a blind Belgium hammer thrower who then stumbles onto the track causing the entire cast of the Men’s 10,000 meters to crash into each other ……….all except the slightly overweight competitor from the small island of Fiji who wins their country’s first-ever gold medal……………that’s an Olympics I would watch.

It was while I was chatting with esteemed USA TODAY writer Gene Sloan and his beautiful family that the Brightstar message rang clear and true over the PA system. The word “Brightstar” sends shivers down my spine as it means someone, somewhere, needs medical attention and needs it immediately. Such was the case last night.

Now, obviously I cannot discuss details but I can tell you that the guest was in need of assistance and while our unsung heroes of the ship’s medical department did what they do best, the captain turned the ship back south and we headed back to Spain. In fact it was Del Portivo, a Spanish City with excellent facilities. And so, at 1:30 am I stood on the bridge with the Captain to assist in the operation. A Spanish Coast Guard boat collected the guest and his Mother and they were transported quickly to the hospital. Meanwhile, we began our journey back north to France.

I mentioned the family this morning at the debarkation talk and I know the thoughts and prayers of everyone onboard are with the family. I will let you know as and when I can how he is doing…………………please think of him tonight.

The weather has gotten colder again but fortunately the Carnival Splendor has a magic button that when you press it the roof closes. Indeed, it was closed today and this gave the guests chance to sit and enjoy the movies, the live band in a comfortable temperature …………… very well spent.

Well, as I mentioned I gave my first debarkation talk this morning. Although the information I gave was clear and precise I think the audience were a little tired. This was probably due to the movement of the vessel with 35 knots of wind and us at full speed of 22 knots. Also, we gained an hour last night as well which meant that everyone was a little sleepy.

However, the crew was well received at the end when they all joined me on stage. Here is a video shot of me backstage and something of the crew as filmed by Tom.

So, overall I think we have done well this cruise. Yes, the TV system is as complicated as learning to speak an Asian language and still has more problems than your average guest on the Jerry Springer show. Yes, WaterWorks was out of order and yes, we had one or two service areas that we need to improve……………but for a first cruise……….I think we did brilliantly and everyone……………….at least the many I have spoken to have told me of their total satisfaction…………..lets see what the comment cards bring. Anyway, the crew has been amazing and their hard work and efforts should be applauded.

It seems like you all enjoyed the video of me and Emmit Lee Tuttweiler Jr performing. I hope to bring you many such videos during the next few weeks and my thanks to Emmit for sharing his talent with you. Emmit can be found performing at The Waffle House in Macon, Georgia on Thursday nights.

My goodness, have you seen Bill Zydeococruisers web site……………………….what fantastic photos. I have spoken to Bill this cruise and next week I hope time allows me to spend some more with him. Meanwhile, have a look at his amazing photos.…

Thanks Bill, it’s brilliant.

While I was having a meeting with the Captain and Senior Officers this morning to discuss how everything is going across the way in Japan the G8 leaders of the most important countries in the world…….and France…………were meeting to discuss something a little more important…….the world’s food shortage.

We are told that the Atlantic has fewer fish in it than Gerry Cahill’s backyard, so we have to import fish……. from China. And you may think this is fine. Your underwear comes from the Far East, and your mobile phone, so why should we not import our Snapper and Grouper from those industrious little fellows on the banks of the Yangtze?

I’ll tell you why. Because China’s population is growing, too, and soon they won’t be able to send us their fish because they will have been eaten before they get to the docks.

The G8 are saying that they can feed 6.5 billion people. But it will not be able to feed 7 billion or 8 billion. And certainly not if, Al Gore suggests, Canada stops growing food and turns over its prairies to the production of biodiesel.

Maybe my mate Al is right and my Range Rover is causing the world to warm, but we’ll never know because we will all have starved to death long before anyone gets the chance to find out.

Obviously, one solution is to burn the entire Amazon rainforest and turn this rich and fertile place into the world’s pantry. But unfortunately this is not possible because Sting and Bono will turn up on 60 Minutes with some pygmy who’s sewn a saucer into his bottom lip, arguing that the indigenous tribes are suffering because of the West’s greed. And never mind that the pygmy is wearing a New York Yankees shirt and Baseball cap.

Another solution is that we all become, with immediate effect, vegetarians. Sadly, however, this doesn’t work for people like me who only really enjoy eating something if it once had a face and legs.

I fear, too, that if we all became vegetablists, the world would face another major threat ………… pollution…………imagine the smell if everyone in the world just ate cabbage.

It all looks bleak. But don’t worry, because I have a suggestion. This idea came to me during our meeting this morning. I know I should have been listening to the Chief Engineer telling us all about the fuel he loaded on in Genoa but instead I was lost in my own little (or big) world of feeding the planet.

At the moment, we eat only a very small number of things. Cows. Pigs. Potatoes. Broccoli. And that’s about it. So what I propose is that we spice up our lives with a bit of variety.

The National Geographic Channel is forever finding weird and unusual creatures in the deepest parts of the ocean. The narrator tells us how they can see down there in the murky depths and how they have sex. He tells us where they live, how they raise their young and how their razor sharp teeth or poisonous spikey things kill their prey. But they never tell us the most important thing: what they would taste like cooked in a white wine sauce and accompanied by some sautéed potatoes.

Why not? Over the years, I have eaten shark, snake, crocodile, guillemot, whale, puffin and a whole moose. They all tasted like chicken, so it’s a fair bet donkeys, kangaroos, Meer cats, sloths and camels would, too.

This brings me on to the final solution. There are many people who are greatly concerned for the plight of endangered species such as the tiger, the panda and the blue whale. They work very hard to help keep these poor creatures teetering on the right side of extinction.

So how’s this for a plan? We start eating them. I believe that if enough people demanded blue whale for dinner, garnished with the ears of a leopard and the left wing of a juicy big golden eagle………………….. It wouldn’t take very long for the big food companies to move in. When there’s a dollar to be made, pandas will be having babies with the regularity of rabbits and you won’t be able to go to the cinema for all the tigers you’ll meet on the way.

It’s either this or, I’m afraid, we are going to have to start eating each other. If that happens……………….. I want Al Gore…………….with fries.

Your friends
John and Heidi and Al, mmmm

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.