Here I am at 6:15 am ………….in Germany……………..blogging. Guten Morgen everyone from a very cold (12 degrees Celsius/53 degrees Fahrenheit) Warnemunde as Heidi and her team prepare to disembark 1,200 people on tour to Berlin. The railway station is just a few minutes walk from the ship and waiting there are two private trains to take the guests to the capital.

This is quite an operation as each has to be given a sticker as they leave through the terminal building. This sticker will state which carriage they are on as well as which bus and restaurant they will eat dinner at. Heidi as ever has marshaled this plan brilliantly and I am sure all will be well. All I have to is make an announcement on the open decks to make sure people leave on time. I hate making announcements this early but needs must. Of course, they are not made in the guest cabins so hopefully I will not disturb anyone who maybe sleeping.

Heidi has just reported that people are leaving the ship in shorts and t-shirts and are amazed that it’s so cold. I placed the weather forecast in the Caper, told them in my talk and this morning in my announcement. However, some seem to think they are touring the Caribbean rather than ……..ummmm……….the Baltic……….I think the clue was in the title.

It’s now 7:20 am and the good news is that everyone is safely on the trains to Berlin. I have staff members on the tours as well so I will be sure to post their reports which I am sure many of you will find useful.

Let’s also go back a few days to our trip to Lisbon and show you these beautiful photos taken by Miguel. Many of you know Miguel who is a maitre d on the Carnival Liberty and was with us during the first European season. He is Portuguese and took these photos while on vacation and having visited the ship.

These clock changes are really a challenge. We already moved our clocks and watches forward one hour last night and we have to do so again this evening and then we do it again on the 18th…………..that’s three times. The first clock change meant a few people went to bed earlier and there may have been less people at the shows and around the ship than usual………………however, after a long day in port and for many a long train ride I am sure it will be dinner and straight to bed tonight for many.

Let’s have a look at some of the letters I have received. They include a tribute, a fairytale and we start…………………with an old favorite.

Now for those of you who are old friends of the blog you will know that occasionally here in Europe I get the odd comment that the TV channels are not the ones that guests expect to see. In this case the lady who wrote the letter seems to not understand that we are in Europe and that our satellite does not pick up the USA networks. Anyway, I spoke to her about this and tried my best to explain the situation. She seemed more upset that we didn’t have the news stations and when I explained that we had CNN International and BBC news this made her even more upset. Anyway, after 10 minutes of discussion she seemed to accept the fact that she wouldn’t be getting the American channels and we departed as friends………….I think.

I am sure this will not be the last time this comment is made and with all due respect to the people who will make them………………..I just do not understand how or why in a foreign land they expect and demand their local channels…………………oh well.

So, tonight we have our beer festival complete with local beer and brass band and the German buffet…………I am very much looking forward to this event and hope the weather gets better. I will of course report back with photos etc. Meanwhile, I have 122 e-mails in my in box and lots of work to be done but Heidi has insisted we take a walk. I have not been off the ship for three weeks plus so today the boss has told me that we are going ashore.

So, I will be back soon.

Here I am, it’s now 5:15 pm and we had a walk around the beautiful old town of Warnemunde. We stopped for lunch and then walked along the little streets dotted with colorful German houses and the odd concrete block its chipped grey paint a stark reminder that this used to be East Germany.

I want to talk to you about my diet…………..I am doing my best but it has been hard and to be honest……………I have been naughty once or twice and strayed off the path of righteousness and had some fries…………with ketchup………..and some crusty bread.

However, with things starting ever so slowly to calm down here I have since the 12-day cruise started on Sunday renewed my efforts and hitting the salads hard.

However…….this has resulted in something that I need to share with you all …………………. and me doing this is another example of how I share everything with you……..my wonderful blogger friends.

Since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I have become totally paranoid about my health. I won’t even look at anything that has even a microscopic amount of sugar in it. I guess this paranoia comes from missing the signs that I was about to say goodbye to chocolate and spotted dick and for the rest of my life I would be shoving pills the size of cricket ball down my throat and say “Ouch, bugger” three times a day when I test my sugar levels by stabbing my finger. I had ignored the fact that I was as thirsty all the time and that my pee had a head on it………..like beer.

So now I think every lump, bump, cough, ache and pain is the onset of some terrible killer disease. I catch Ebola three times a week, and back in December, having discovered a nodule of something unpleasant near my left elbow, became fairly convinced I’d become the first person in human history to catch arm cancer. A few days earlier, I had managed — just — to shake off a nasty bout of Gout in my ear.

Of course, most of my ailments are designed so that I can lie on a sofa while my wife brings me eggs on toast and mugs of tea. I’ve never really thought I had anything really serious outside of the diabetes thingy, so I’ve never really known what it must be like to stare the Grim Reaper in the face and know that time’s up. The last two nights though, however, all that changed . . .

Now I want to make it absolutely plain before I go any further that I do not find bottoms or anything which comes out of them even remotely funny. I am not nine years old years old and I am not French. But there’s no way of saying what I’m about to say without being……….well…………… rude and disgusting. I’m sorry for that and if you are of a weak disposition I suggest you stop reading and log off.

What happened, you see, is that after my usual morning’s number twos, I noticed that the water in the bowl was red. Which meant of course that I had, without feeling any pain, passed a small amount of blood. ………………..Plainly, I had prostate cancer.

I am aware of this disease. I know that it is the most common form of cancer among men and it is likely to strike when the victim when they are about my age. I even know what colour wristband you should wear to show you support it……………………… blue.

I panicked……………I felt sick…………surely Mr. Murphy and his mate Monsieur Bells Palsy had not called on their mate to come and play. Now, a smart man would have gone immediately to see one of the ship’s doctors but me being me I didn’t. Now, before the diabetes set in the old me would have ignored this completely with the thinking that this only happened to others and the blood had been caused by a peanut scratching the sides. However, even though I wasn’t ready to face the Docs I knew something had to be done. I therefore turned to the internet and became Dr. John.

After about 30 minutes of surfing the “self diagnosis” sights it seemed that I had two choices……….see the doctor and before that…………..do something that I never thought I would have to do. So, armed with nothing but a well-oiled finger, went ahead and violated what for 43 years has been a strictly enforced one-way street.

I shall spare you the pain and the humiliation of this hideous mining expedition, but I feel duty-bound to explain that once I was in there, mincing about, I realised that I didn’t know what a prostate is, or what it feels like or where it is exactly……..so not only was I in this extremely difficult yoga type position but I was trying to read what was on the computer screen and hoping that Heidi didn’t walk in or even worse…….the cabin steward.

As I carried on potholing I discovered that a prostate is about the size of a Werthers Original candy, and that it lives “near” the rectum.

And eventually I did discover something in my bottom that fitted the description. But with knowledge gleaned solely from the CNN medical website and with nothing to hand except a soapy finger, I’m afraid I wasn’t able to say whether whatever I’d found was what was supposed to be there. The only evidence I had was the blood, and that really was enough.

I felt ……..well………….joking aside………………I felt awful, sick to the stomach and sat slumped in my office chair. I remember thinking that in 30 minutes time I had to host my Morning Show and that was the last thing I wanted to do. ……………honestly, words cannot describe how I felt. It was then that Heidi breezed into the cabin having returned from a meeting with the entertainment staff.

“Hello,” she said cheerily. “Have you been to the toilet yet, because all that beetroot we’ve been eating doesn’t half make it red?”

I stood up…………..and started to dance…………..there was no music………………..but there I was …………in the middle of the cabin…………..doing some weird Michael Flatley Riverdance impression…………………I had never been so happy but I promised myself I will learn what a prostrate is and have mine checked by someone other than myself…………..oh yes………………and I will never eat beetroot ever again.

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.