The Day Before Tomorrow

July 9, 2008 -

John Heald

I met a kid yesterday………….not just any kid…………..but a kid called Thor. His Dad named him Thor because he didn’t want his son to be called any normal name……..Tom, Dick, Harry or John. So, he was named of the Norski God of Thunder …………Thor.

Thor is 8 years old and has autism………….and as his mother wrote in a letter to me…………….he has a special talent. So, on the morning show we spoke to Thor and tested his talent out live on TV………………………………and WOW.

I had ten people tell Thor their birthdate and year and Thor is able to calculate what day of the week each person was born on. So, I had random people call in and tell Thor ……….and he got 10 out of 10. Thor can also tell you what day of the week your birthday will be on for the next 50 years.

His Mum told me that he sits and reads Calendars……….they are his favorite thing. I was mesmerized not just by his ability but by his smile which was as wide as me.
Thor maybe be called “special” in some circles and it was obvious to me that this kid is indeed special and blessed in so many ways………..he made my cruise very very special.

So, I have started to write my speech………………..and I gave up……………..I sat here just trying to write and as easily as the words flow when I blog I am suffering from speech constipation…………nothing will come out.

I have my bullet points:

Welcome everyone
Thank the crew
Talk about the Royal Navy
Mention the special sparkling wine we are using
Thank my mum and dad
Introduce Mr. Cahill
Introduce the Priest
Introduce Myleene
Start the ceremony

But, its what to say…………should I try and be funny?……………….should I be serious?……………….should I …………you know what…………..I am just going to make it up when I get onto the stage. Honestly, I think that’s what I am going to do. Sometimes, spontiaity…….spontanaierty……….spntanairety………….making it up as you go along is the best way to go.

Preparations are now in full swing. It looks like the weather has won and even the Lovely Lisa my favorite weather girl told me this morning that the sun had buggered off on vacation leaving Mr. Wind and Mrs. Rain in charge. Therefore the dome is closed and all acoustics and planning are based on this. We are building a stage on Lido Deck and this is where I will preach my sermon from with Myleene, The Captain and Mr. Cahill seated next to me. Meanwhile the distinguished guests will “mingle” chatting about Hedge funds and Bentleys…………………..it will be a great party.

Here are some photos:

However, I must admit that I do not like parties……………..and my hatred for parties with large groups of people comes from Ugly Alan and I never being invited to any when we were on the hunt for the ladies and most of all from the time I worked in the city of London……………..the dreaded Christmas Office party.

When I was working in an office, starting in January every year, the staff would each save 1 pound a week for the annual yuletide knees-up.

By July they would have enough for the prawn cocktail and by September they were dizzy with anticipation about the first glass of Baileys. I never understood why.

I still don’t. The notion that you turn off your computer at 6 pm and at 6:01 pm are making merry with people you don’t like very much over a paper cup of Asti Spumante seems very odd to me.

They are not your friends or you would have seen them socially at some point during the year. So why think for a moment that the evening will be anything other than hell? Christmas these days is almost completely ruined by the office party. The streets become full of ordinary people who have suddenly lost the ability to walk in a straight line. And the atmosphere in every restaurant is firebombed by the table of 60 who order food not for its taste but its aerodynamic efficiency as they mix a plate of Lasagna with 15 Red Bull and Vodkas.

I remember I went to one last year while I was home. It was my mate Danny’s and he had made the mistake of allowing his party to be organized by a girl of 19. Never, ever let the firm’s party be organized by the most junior member of the team because their idea of a good night out — silly hats, rave music and lots of vomit — is likely to be far removed from yours.

You think you have nothing to talk about with the man who drives the forklift in the warehouse, but you have even less in common with the office juniors.

Your houseplants, for instance, are alive — but you can’t smoke any of them. There is more food in your fridge than booze. You hear your favourite songs when you’re in the lift and you have no desire to see the fat bloke from accounts photo copy his arse.

The second thing about the works party is rumpy pumpy.

Why? You sit opposite the ugly Becky for 48 weeks and find her as sexually attractive as Wart Hog. So how come, after three glasses of warm Asti Spumante, she suddenly becomes Angelina Jolie?

Anyway, as mentioned our party will be a little more civilized but if I have my way a whole lot of fun.

The guest list is a whose who of the cruise industry with the Presidents of Princess, Costa, P & O, Seabourn, Cunard, Carnival UK, AIDA, Holland America and of course our own President and CEO, Gerry Cahill. Looking on will be Mr. Micky Arison who know doubt must be very proud at the addition of another Carnival ship and the fact that all the sister companies are together to share in our special event. Come to think of it he may be concerned that having all the Presidents together may encourage some very jealous competitors to fly over the ceremony and drop one of their unused climbing walls on their heads while a drunken Norwegian sprays graffiti on the bow of the ship.

Back to today and I had to call on all my will power to be nice……………..we are in France…………near Paris…………and I had to host the plaque exchange ceremony. This was the fifth such event so far and the hardest. You know, many people probably think that I am cruel when I have one or two times maybe had a go at the Frenchies. Today, was another reason why.

First of all the party was scheduled for 11 am……………they arrived at 11:40 am ……………. with no apology.

Then, once proceedings started I welcomed them aboard in English and was ……………are you ready for this……………….heckled…………….yes…………….heckled by a lady in the second row of the forty guests present……………….”parlez Francais” shouted Madamme Le Rude……………at this point I had two choices……….ignore her…………..or use the only French I know which ummmmmm…………..basically translates into inviting her back to my cabin for some rumpy pumpy………….I decided to ignore her……………..only because she had been severely beaten by the ugly stick.

Anyway, we then moved on to the plaque presentation where normally we are presented with a gold or silver or wooden plaque by various dignitaries. The first was a representation of the town of La Havre …………..where the Captain was presented not with a plaque but with………… a book……………in French………..that had something to do with cheese and surrendering……………………..in French………………….sorry but that’s just pure arrogance……………….and…………….I am not kidding…………………I promise and swear this is true………………..it still had the price tag stuck to the back cover ………………… 24 euros…………….”sacra bleu”

Anyway, after the ceremony, I stood with the Captain shaking hands with everyone as they left. As the lady who had heckled me walked past she said something ………in French of course………………which basically was probably some kind of insult ……………… so…………….being the gracious host I extended my hand and hoping she didn’t speak any English I smiled……bowed my head slightly and said “Bugger Off ”

She did

And so now will I to write my speech.

Stephanie will now tell you how you can hopefully see the ceremony and I will report back live tomorrow with some video.

Hi Everyone,

We’re very excitied about sharing this splendid day with you. The festivities begin at around 1:30 pm local time, so 8:30 am EST. So all you early birds can visit John’s blog and tune in for our live blog coverage. Because of internet connectivity issues we won’t be streaming any video, but we will have live blogging with your interaction- you can submit questions, comments and vote on polls. We will have photos and videos posted throughout the day. The live blogging will be broadcast simultaneously on John’s blog and the Carnival Splendor’s online home at www.carnival.com/splendor. And if you can’t make it, don’t worry the session will be recorded so you can watch at anytime within the next few days. See you tomorrow!

Goodnight
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.