A Bright Day

August 4, 2008 -

John Heald

In 1994 I was a Cruise Director aboard the Carnival Sensation. That year was memorable for two reasons………….I was dumped by my fiancé at the time who left me for a long-haired drummer……………….and………….I met David Bright.

We became great friends…………….I mean David and I became great friends not me and the home-breaking ugly sod of a drummer who looked like he had a small family of mice living in his hair.

Let me tell you about David Bright. I met David as I said on the Sensation. He was a guest speaker for a large group of 1,000-plus people who were sailing from all over the world as part of the Crime Stoppers group. This dedicated group of people had gathered to share ways of bringing crime down around the world. One guest speaker was David. He was a senior detective from the UK and someone whose captivating stories from the podium were totally engaging. So, afterwards we had a chat and if you need evidence that it is indeed a small world, listen to this.

David was from my hometown. He knew my father …….not because he had been arrested by David I might add but because he was a teacher at his son’s school and there we were cruising round the Caribbean together.

So, of course we became friends and kept in contact through the years. David is a very humble man and will never tell you that he is one of the U.K’s most senior and most decorated police officers. He has solved many of the highest profile murder cases and solved many of the UK’s most serious crime.

There are a lot of bad people who are as we speak spending their lives behind bars because of David. He was recently given the M.B.E. by the Queen. The M.B.E. stands for Member of the British Empire and is a very prestigious and high honor.

David recently retired and now runs a successful private detective agency which has him traveling all over the world. He is a successful author with his book Catching Monsters become an instant best seller. He is also a police advisor on many BBC dramas which I am sure you will have seen on BBC America. He is also a gifted public speaker and a regular on P&O cruises.

This week David is on vacation here on the Carnival Splendor. However, after lots of coaxing and lots of free wine David said he would donate his time and host a lecture this afternoon. …………..and so he did………….and 400 plus people listened spellbound as I had in 1994 to his stories of crime and punishment. He held a Q & A session afterwards and received a standing ovation. Again, he was not paid to do this but it certainly was a huge asset to the sea day program.

And that has taught me that on longer cruises we should be doing things like this. Lectures on a sea day are probably the way to go and I am now convinced we should be doing this on a regular basis. I am going to ask for David again and also ask for others to come and lecture on subjects like, finance, photography and true-life heroism ……………….what do you think?

Anyway, my thanks to David and here are some photos of he and I from this afternoon.



Here are a few letters from today’s “In Their Own Words Section”

Sorry today’s blog will be a little shorter than usual but it’s been beyond hectic with lots of shows and activities and meetings. I just replied to dozens of people asking if the itinerary change I mentioned for this coming cruise will be the same for the remainder of the season. Let me just say that this cruise (August 6) is the only cruise where we change our Baltic run. Please keep the comments coming and I promise to answer each and every one of them.

I made a reference yesterday to some of today’s huge yachts being bigger than the cruise ships that were built in the 1980’s. Well, most of those Uba Yachts are currently moored in the most bonkers town in the world………… St. Tropez.

When I was last there I had never seen so much expensive hair in all my life. The Russians have more oil in their hair than you’d find in a Kazakhstan well. And their wives are as orange as …well………an orange.  But mostly, the whole place is crammed with people so bewitchingly beautiful that when I was there people stopped and stared at me……..an ugly person, in St. Tropez…………quick, lock up your daughters…

I remember when the Carnival Splendor called at nearby Monte Carlo for the first time a few weeks ago. The ship was full of dignitaries for the “first call party” ………….and wow………the names………… One chap introduced me to his companion and I’d nearly died of old age by the time he’d finished. “This is Princess di Contessa, de Le Pew, de Baroness de Luxembourg, Principessa de St.Stropez, Baroness of all . . . it went on for about a week. Until he said, “And this is John Heald”…………..it was though he had discovered some dog poo on his shoe.

Heidi loves the French Riviera and particularly St. Tropez because of the shopping. Mind you, if you set foot in any of the St. Tropez shops, you are made to feel smaller still because it is immediately apparent you are not Donald Trump, which means it’s immediately apparent you cannot afford to buy a single thing they have on offer. It’s all Herpès and Goochi and Versacke……….where anyone in St.Tropez buys essentials like toilet paper and hemorrhoid cream, God only knows.

Of course, you can buy a watch. Some even cost as little as $75,000. Mostly, though, they are much more than that because they all have 16 dials, a Swiss midget in the back winding all the cogs, an entire diamond mind in the bezel, a device that summons an Delta Force extraction team if you get kidnapped by pirates and a button that can tell you the phase of the moon and when Jupiter is passing Uranus……….of course wearing a watch like this makes you look like one of the planets I just mentioned ……and its not Jupiter.

We used to call this sort of thing the “millionaire lifestyle” but I suspect that to live a yacht filled life moored off St. Tropez in the summer and St. Kitts in the winter you probably need more than a million in the bank,……………….in fact…………I would suggest that you would need more numbers in your bank balance than you have in your account number. I would imagine though that this sort of lifestyle comes with the baggage of attending dozens of charity auctions where you will be expected to be the first person to stick there hand up to buy the signed pair of Richard Simmons underpants.

The strangest thing happened to me last night…………..a guest kissed me ……….. nothing unusual about that………….except the guests name was Albert.

I was standing at the back of the theatre innocently watching the Vroom Show when Albert came to stand next to me. He wanted a chat so we walked out into the lobby. He introduced himself as someone I had helped earlier in the cruise. Albert’s wife had been upset because their luggage had been lost by the airline and not only did they not have clothes but also some essential creams and shampoos.

She could not use the ones we sold onboard or that were part of the complimentary amenity kits in the cabin as she had sensitive skin etc. Anyway, they had written to me and Heidi and one of the dancers had given her some of their own, plus, I had managed to find another guest who had the same camera as they did and they loaned them their battery charger as well……………….anyway, they were very happy and thankful. So, as Albert finished saying how wonderful we had all been he shook my hand and then leaned forward……………and kissed me on the cheek. I had two choices here………….say thank you for the kiss and walk away……….or invite him back to my cabin…………………I said thank you and walked away.

I didn’t know what to think or how to feel.

Most men have pretty much finished making all the important decisions about the running and management of their lives by the time they’re 25. Women on the other hand are as changeable as the weather. One day their favorite singer’s Harry Connick Jr, the next it’s Pee Diddly.

Men just don’t do that. A chap’s favorite singer is Bruce Springsteen. Drunk and tearfully he told his mates that Bruce would be his man forever and to change his mind would be wrong. His favorite film will always be The Godfather …………where as a lady’s favorite will be the latest chick flick thingy that has hit the screens.

But then, occasionally, something new, something unplanned, comes along and upsets all the pieces on the board. Something like kissing. Men kissing other men. This seems to be something that has become more common all over the world.

For most blokes this is a no-brainer — we don’t kiss other men. We kiss girls, our mums, some dogs and occasionally double-page spreads in magazines. The last bloke most men kissed was their father and that stopped when they went to big school.

However, ever eager to help I have done some research on this today and here then, is my guide to men kissing other men.

The French: Frenchmen kiss. The French kiss (as opposed to “the french kiss”) is where one party, usually known as mon general, grasps the other party, aka mon brave, by the shoulders and kisses him on each cheek, after which you either get a medal or are shot for running away from battle..
Arabs kiss four times on one side, eight on the other. Italians kiss when someone’s about to be whacked

Drunks: drunk men kiss because they really, really, really love you. You’re their best mate in the whole world including the universe.

If you’ve decided you do fancy trying fraternal, same-sex kissing but are nervous, imagine your best male friend who hasn’t had a shave in a few days and then lightly kiss the outside of a coconut……or….do what many men do…. and just shake hands.

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.