Here is the News

July 15, 2008 -

John Heald

One of the joys about traveling the world is a chance to see the local comedy show on TV. I am not talking about Friends dubbed in German with Jennifer Aniston’s voice having been replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. No, am talking about the funniest …well to me………show in the world …………………… local news.

I watched it here in Denmark today and it was the same as in Holland, the UK the USA and Canada………just great entertainment.

I want to make it plain at the outset that I do not have anything against the people who run these journalistic outposts. They operate on a tiny budget that means they can only respond to fires, and traffic jams. And that when there’s a helicopter involved, they’ll stand under it so they have to shout.

Then there are the pick’n’mix stories. There’s always an anchor lady with huge hair and teeth so white that when she smiles small animals are blinded. She will tell you something about the environment, a murder, a cute animal, possibly on a skateboard and a government official who may be gay.

So, why, you may be wondering do I tune in if these programmes make me so angry? Well, I love them. I love the gear-graunching mistakes. I remember once watching Channel Seven News in Miami with an anchor called Rick something who looked like a soap opera actor. It was during the time when the Carnival Ecstasy had that unfortunate fire just as she was leaving Miami. The fire was quickly dealt with and all was well. However Rick saw this as his chance to win a Pulitzer prize and referred to the situation as a “disaster “ and then kept calling the ship “a boat.” And using award-winning lines like “The Cruise from Hell” ……… great stuff!

So, today on Channel 1 the local news in Copenhagen featured a story about what I do not know. All I can tell you is that a man with white hair and deep blue eyes was standing by a fishing boat screaming at the reporter. You didn’t need to speak Danish to discover someone had taken all the jam out of his doughnut ……. he was not happy.

I watched enthralled and was reduced to fits of laughter when out of nowhere he produced a large dead fish, possibly a herring, and started to wave the unfortunate creature around his head still shouting and screaming. Eventually the reporter returned to a beautiful Danish anchor lady whose hair was so tall it almost touched the ceiling. She looked deadly serious as though the fish waving madman story was something of world wide importance……………she then cut to a story about a Moose………on a skate board.

Copenhagen can consider itself a lucky city. Today, it played host to the two newest cruise liners in the world…….The Eurodam and The Carnival Splendor.

Good Evening and I hope this blog finds you all well. Indeed, the two ships were here and although docked at different areas of the city I am sure Copenhagen was very proud that both ships were here. I had planned on visiting and writing about the Eurodam today but time did not allow. Instead I hosted a plaque exchange ceremony during which I contemplated various forms of killing myself such was the boredom. These things usually take 30 minutes during which various city and port officials munch on chicken drumsticks and sip fruity cocktails with little umbrellas in them. Then the Captain says a few words, then I do, and then a few of the dignitaries tell us how wonderful it is to have the ship here and how there city and port is the best in the world and that Carnival should ignore every other destination and have the entire fleet call there.

Today however, it was a little different. I had introduced someone representing the Government of Denmark and I knew we were in trouble when he reached into his suit pocket and pulled out an entire trees worth of notes. His speech on its own would have taken 20 minutes but unfortunately Mr. Boringsven spoke bugger all English so he would stop after each paragraph to allow a colleague to translate what he had said.

We learned about the city, its pollution reduction rates, its crime figures and various facts about the rise in tourism compared to other Scandinavian countries …………it was while he was talking about the expansion of the pier facilities planned for 2010 that I wondered if it would be possible to kill myself by using the tooth pick that I had just eaten a shrimp from.

Forty minutes later he finished …………….I thanked him and was just about to move on when he asked for the microphone back and did another five minutes ………….It was all I could do not to use the toothpick on him.

So, instead of seeing the Eurodam and finding out why so many people have said that she is Holland Americas finest ever vessel I spent the day with Mr. Boringsven and his mates.

Meanwhile 1,600 people were on tour seeing Tivoli Gardens, The Little Mermaid and the Royal Palaces……….feedback from the guests has been very positive.

While I was being bored to a toothpick stabbing death at the plaque exchange ceremony Entertainment Staff James, Lauren and Jaime went on tour. Here are some of their photos.

Oh, and as requested some final photos of the naming ceremony.

I just realized that I have not told you what I have organized for Warnemunde, Germany tomorrow. Well, once the 1,200 people who are booked on our private trains to Berlin return to the vessel at 8 pm we will start our Bier Festival on the Lido Deck. I have hired a German Ommpah Band and a local beer company will be bringing on kegs of draught beer which guests will have the opportunity to drink from souvenir stein glasses….half-liter glasses no less. Then…it’s time to eat.

Here is the menu.

Beer Festival

Cold

German Potato Salad

Cole Slaw

Mustard Cured Tomatoes

Dill Pickle

Mixed Greens

Bretzel & Sour Dough Baguette

Broiled Salmon on Weinkraut With Juniper Berries

Black Forest Bratwurst
Pork Sausage, Grilled Onions

Bavarian Leberkaese
German Meat Loaf, Fried Eggs

Weisswurst
German Veal & Pork Sausage , Pepper & Mace

Potato Pan Cakes

Sauerkraut

Desserts

Apple Struddle

Sour Cherry Struddle

Black Forest

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake

Apple Crumble Cake

Assorted Sweet Pizza’s

Sounds great and even if the weather is as miserable as it is at 7 pm when I write to you know we can close the roof and still enjoy a great party and a sausage or seven. I will take photos and maybe a video tomorrow as well.

The TV system is getting on my nerves now. I always promised that this blog would be one that shares the good the bad and the ugly with all of you. The interactive part is still behaving badly and the guys are working very hard to fix whatever it is that is broken.

I guess my point is that it worked brilliantly on Carnival Freedom and Carnival Liberty but we wanted a better system so we changed what worked……….and now it doesn’t. I am assured that the system will be repaired but I am bit frustrated at having to continually apologize to guests who can’t order movies or tours………….I will keep you informed.

I just returned from the Past Guest Party. We have 1,655 past guests this cruise so we are holding two parties in the main lounge. So, the winner of our invitation draw was Mr. Stanley Edward Rhodes………he won a dinner for two at the Supper Club. Stanley told us he was 92 and the last time he was in Germany was with the Infantry in World War II. Those simple words won him a standing ovation from 600 people and a hug from a lady who was seated near by. I couldn’t imagine a more deserving winner.

The guests are happy……….very happy ………..well………..most of them.

Guest: Ms ________ Ref: 002800988A Owner: (ZIMA) Amarins Zijnstra
Cabin: ______ Booking#: ________ Added-Changed: 07/14/08 – 07/15/08

Ms _________ came to the desk saying that how disappointed she was with the prize she had won at the Game Show contest in the Spectacular Spectacular Lounge. Ms _______ said that she had won the game and her prize of a gold trophy and a bottle of champagne were not acceptable. Guest states that she won a quiz game on Princess ship and was given a t shirt, $100 in cash and a free massage in the spa. Guest wants to speak to Cruise Director about her complaint. Tasked to Cruise Director who will contact the guest.

Wow…………..$100 in cash for winning a trivia quiz. Now I am not saying that she is not telling the truth but it seems strange to me that Princess are giving cash prizes outside of bingo. Anyway, I spoke to the guest and apologized that the prizes are the same fleetwide however I did give her an extra prize of a Carnival Splendor book signed by the Captain. She was not impressed.

And, I guess in someway I don’t blame her. People’s expectations are much higher these days. Television game shows have offered us the chance to win $1 million in cash, and if Simon Bowell likes you enough you can win a recording contract worth a lot more, it’s hard to see what’s next for the genre.

I am trying to think what prize I’d most like to win. Certainly I would like to be allowed to be Leader of the Free World for a day …….and mummify Al Gore in duct tape.

But these pale into insignificance alongside the prize being offered by a Russian television station. It is looking for contestants to take part in a competition where the prize is seven days on board the International Space Station.

It’s understood that Channel One has paid the cash-strapped Russian space agency $20.5m for putting someone up there. And to find out who that someone is, the 16 finalists will be filmed around the clock at the Star City cosmonaut base near Moscow to see how they cope with the physical and mental demands of space flight.

I shouldn’t worry too much about that, though. John Glenn went into orbit again when he was 107, so being fit shouldn’t be a problem. According to the reports I’ve read, the only thing you need to take part in the competition is a good grasp of English — presumably to make sure that no French people make the grade.

The funny thing is, though, that all of us would like to have $1 million… But for some extraordinary reason, by no means all of us would like to go into space.

I have read books by astronauts that once you’ve been up there and seen the world from space, you can’t help but wonder what on earth the environmentalists are on about. From 50 miles out, apparently, the Earth looks healthy, a vibrant blue pearl .More than this, though, you wonder why on earth the human race has spent the past million years fighting itself. National boundaries, apparently, are invisible……and if that was possible…..that would be the prize I would most like to win.

Good Night

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.