Welcome Aboard

August 6, 2008 -

John Heald

Good Morning………from Dover………….its 5:50 am and its debarkation morning. I just looked at myself in the mirror and god am I ugly in the mornings. I have seen better looking boils on a baboon’s bottom than my face at 5:50 am.

Anyway, we are about to start debarkation so I thought I would say a quick good morning and while I help disembark 3,300 people let me leave you with these two press releases to look at.

CARNIVAL SENSATION TO RECEIVE FULL ‘EVOLUTIONS OF FUN’ UPGRADES DURING JANUARY 2009 DRY DOCK

New Features Include Expansive Aqua Park, Adults-Only Retreat, Resort-Style Main Pool Area, Nearly 1,000 Refurbished Staterooms

MIAMI (August 6, 2008 ) – Carnival Sensation will undergo a multi-million-dollar refurbishment that will include the installation of an expansive water park, an exclusive adults-only retreat and tropical-themed mid-ship pool area, as well as renovations to nearly 1,000 staterooms and cosmetic enhancements to a wide range of public rooms and areas.

The “extreme makeover,” which represents the next phase of the line’s “Evolutions of Fun” product enhancement initiative for the line’s eight Fantasy-class vessels, will take place during a scheduled 35-day dry dock in January 2009.

Carnival Sensation – which operates the line’s popular three- and four-day Bahamas cruise program from Port Canaveral, Fla. – will be the fourth Fantasy-class ship to receive the full “Evolutions of Fun” makeovers. Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination were completed late last year and Carnival Fantasy is scheduled to receive the upgrades during a scheduled dry dock this fall.

“With its attractive short cruise program and proximity to Central Florida attractions, the Carnival Sensation is already a popular vacation option and the ‘Evolutions of Fun’ upgrades will offer even more fun and exciting experiences for our guests,” said Ruben Rodriguez, Carnival’s executive vice president of marketing and guest experience.

New Water Park, Adults-Only Area, Tropical-Style Main Pool

Highlighting Carnival Sensation’s new “Evolutions of Fun” upgrades will be an expansive Carnival WaterWorks aqua park that is sure to appeal to guests of all ages. Located on Verandah Deck, the open-air facility includes a 300-foot-long spiral water slide – the longest at sea – along with twin 82-foot-long racing slides and various water spray apparatus.

The dry dock will also include an exclusive new adults-only retreat called “Serenity,” located aft on Promenade Deck. Designed as an oasis for relaxation and comfort, Serenity will offer magnificent ocean views along with plush chaise lounges and chairs with shade provided by colorful oversized umbrellas. Serenity guests can relax in two large whirlpools and enjoy a variety of icy cocktails and frozen drinks.

Another component of the “Evolutions of Fun” upgrades is a new resort-style pool located mid-ship on Lido Deck that will feature a tropical theme with thatched roofing, faux palm trees and striking umbrellas surrounding the facility. Comfortable deck chairs and a colorful tiled “beach” encircling the pool’s edge add to the ambiance.

Extensive Stateroom Upgrades, Other Enhancements

Carnival Sensation’s “Evolutions of Fun” upgrades also include extensive renovations to nearly 1,000 staterooms which will feature flat-screen televisions with an updated décor with new carpeting, wall coverings and light fixtures, as well as renovated bathrooms.

Carnival Sensation’s 35-day dry dock will also include cosmetic enhancements to virtually all public rooms and areas, including the Fantasy and Ecstasy main dining rooms, the poolside Seaview Bar & Grille, Touch of Class piano bar, Oak Room library, and Kaleidoscope dance club. Many of Carnival Sensation’s live music and dancing venues have already received new high-tech sound and lighting systems during a previous dry dock.

Other ‘Evolutions of Fun’ Enhancements

The new upgrades will complement the Carnival Sensation’s wide range of previously introduced enhancements that are part of the “Evolutions of Fun” program, including a nine-hole miniature golf course, renovated 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival facility, new art and photo galleries, an atrium lobby bar, and a 1,200-square-foot conference center.

A number of family friendly amenities – including expansive new facilities for children, tweens and teens, part of the line’s “Camp Carnival,” “Circle C” and “Club O2” programs, respectively – along with more than 50 interconnecting staterooms — have been added, as well.

For additional information and reservations on Carnival Sensation, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.
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Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is a proud member of the exclusive World’s Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, our member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together, we offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.

And this one

NEW 3,006-PASSENGER CARNIVAL SPLENDOR SHOWCASED IN ‘ON BOARD WITH CARNIVAL’ WEBISODE

MIAMI (August 6, 2008 ) – Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest “Fun Ship,” the 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor which debuted in Europe last month, is showcased in a new webisode airing on www.carnival.com/splendor  (click on “blog”).

The 3,006-passenger SuperLiner – the largest “Fun Ship” ever constructed – debuted July 2 and is currently operating the line’s first-ever Northern Europe cruise program.

Hosted by Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Guest Services Lynn Torrent, the new webisodes feature entertaining interviews with three longtime Carnival employees: Carnival Splendor Senior Cruise Director John Heald, who highlights the ship’s iconic elements such as the 21,000-square-foot “Cloud 9 Spa” and Seaside Theatre poolside LED screen; Senior Maitre d’ Ken Byrne, who details Carnival Splendor’s wide-ranging formal and casual dining options; and Vice President of Cruise Programming Roger Blum, who, as the producer of the ship’s production shows, offers unique insight into the lavish revues and numerous other entertainment choices.

The interviews, which were taped on board during the Carnival Splendor’s three-day preview cruise from Dover last month, are the newest additions to the “On Board with Carnival” series during which Torrent interviews members of Carnival’s management team in a relaxed talk show-like setting.
Representing a new class of ship for the line, Carnival Splendor offers a wide range of entertainment choices, from three high-energy revues – The Beat,” “Vroom,” and “Fiesta Latina” – presented in the 1,500-seat Spectacular Spectacular show lounge to the line’s legendary “Midnight Special” comedy show. A delicious array of culinary options, including full-service meals in the Gold Pearl and Black Pearl dining rooms, casual choices in The Lido poolside restaurant and gourmet cuisine in The Pinnacle supper club, are offered, as well.
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Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is a proud member of the exclusive World’s Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, our member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together, we offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.

Hello everyone, it’s now 5:15 pm. Sorry I was away so long but it’s been a busy day. Debarkation was ultra smooth and we were finished by 9:20 am. There have been though a few raised eyebrows and a few lost tempers by guests who did not want to part with their passports. Remember this voyage we have to collect all the non-E.U. ones before arrival in Tallinn. Anyway, a few people refused to give them up and that led to some banging of fists on counters and some naughty rude words being shouted at the embarkation staff but this was minimal………in fact the shouting and abuse came from one man…………he absolutely refused to give his American passport to us. We allowed him onboard and he will have to present himself to the officials when we arrive …………..how do you say “latex glove” in Estonian?

My welcome aboard talk went well though and once I explained the reason we collected the passports and how and when they would be returned everyone seems fine. Tomorrow we photo copy everyone’s and deliver the copy to the guests cabin ………..I will tell you about the return process tomorrow.

This cruise we have:
3,345 GUESTS
331 GUESTS UNDER 18
1,138 NON US / CANADIAN CITIZENS
709 BRITISH
106 MEXICAN
55 ISRAEL

I hope you don’t mind but I am running really late and therefore this blog will be a little shorter than usual………………although just before I vent about something I thought you might like a little video to be going on with. This is from today’s welcome aboard talk at 3:15 pm. Before I bore everyone with details on gangways and arrival and departure times etc I randomly chat with a few people from the audience.

Here is the video…………..in which, I speak French.

Here is the Environmental Officers bio……..you will see why I am featuring this so important young man in a moment ……………..and he is an Al Gore fan!

NAME: Gianni De Rubertis

DEPARTMENT AND POSITION Environmental Officer, Deck

HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED FOR CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
Since 1995 (13 years in September)

WHAT DOES YOUR JOB INVOLVE:
Knowing all the aspects (technical and otherwise) of the cruise ship’s operation; applicable international laws and local regulation; capability to work across different departments.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM
Procida Island, the smallest island in the Gulf of Naples. It’s a tourist destination located near by the most famous Capri island.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB
Implementing procedures that help the Company and the environment at the same times.
 
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY BACK HOME
My brother is lawyer, my sister is a housewife and my father is a retired chef.
I also have a nine year old niece and a 1 year old nephew.

WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT BEING IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY APART FROM FAMILY
The long and relaxing dining with my family, talking for hours, all gathered around a table.

FAVORITE THINGS
Football (soccer): Inter_Milan team

MOVIE
Gladiator

MUSIC
80’s

FOOD
Eggplant parmigiana and ricotta cheese-spinach pie.

IF YOU COULD MEET ANY FAMOUS PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO WOULD IT BE
Al Gore and the Pope.

IF YOU HAD TO DO ANOTHER JOB ON THE SHIP WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO AND WHY
Whilst I was at College, I’ve been managing a restaurant with my cousin. My brother and I are trying to open a “bed & breakfast” back home, as we like the hospitality. Then, my dream when I was younger was to run a nice 5 star hotel, so I would say Hotel Director.

Its 6:22 pm and as I look out of my window I can see the White Cliffs of Dover gleaming in the early evening sunshine, the English Channel has a pond like calmness and …ohh yes ……..there is a whole heap of garbage floating by…………and I am not surprised. I am sorry to say but much of the coastline in the UK is completely spoiled by people who feel that the beach and the sea should be a dumping ground for their garbage. I know this, I was born by the sea and until recently lived my entire life just a few hundred feet from it.

I have always had a passionate loathing for people who drop litter. Once, at a level crossing, the driver of the car in front emptied his ashtray out of the window and I became consumed with a sudden need to attach Ben Hur style spikes to my wheels and cut his car in half and then his legs.

Sadly, I didn’t have spikes sticking out of my wheels, so instead I scooped up all his cigarette butts and sweet papers and at the next set of red lights lobbed it all through his open window saying: “I think you dropped something.” ……………..I really did.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to find the people whose rubbish smothers the coastline, which is a pity because I have some questions. Like, for instance, how in the name of all that’s holy do you cretinous imbeciles manage to lose your bloody shoes when you’re out for a walk?

Then there’s all the discarded wiring; miles of it. This really is weird because if you’ve got to do some electrical work on a broken DVD player, what kind of idiot at the bottom of the evolutionary scale thinks “I know, I’ll stand in the sea to do that.” In the absence of culprits to question and then kill, I did a survey of which products are most favored by litterists.

In first place its full-fat Coca-Cola. And then we have disposable lighters and pieces of carpet……. which begs another question. I can understand that you might take a refreshing beverage and a lighter with you on a seaside walk, but why would anyone take a piece of carpet with them?

“Right kids. Have we got everything we need for our trip to the beach? Some shoes to lose. Dad’s Cigarettes. Drinks. Something electrical to mend. And oops, nearly forgot, a piece of carpet in case we turn into Muslims and need to pray.”

So what’s to be done? Well you can forget the notion of asking the government to clear up because it would just wrap everything in red tape and make it worse, and you can’t rely on environmentalists because they’re too busy throwing eggs at my Range Rover.

We at Carnival have done our bit. The Environmental Officer and I are very careful in educating guests and crew never to throw anything overboard. This is strictly adhered to by all cruise lines I am sure especially as the fines for doing so are massive and the president of the cruise line involved will be publicly flogged and given the good news with a cattle prod.

Seriously, we have a brilliant record now in the industry so why is it then that Carnival constantly provides crew members to help with “Beach Clean Up” sessions sponsored by our friends from the FCCA. I have been on these in the Bahamas, The Virgin Islands and Antigua and you would not believe the amount of garbage which the crew cleared.

So how’s this for an idea? Carmakers were told recently that when one of their products reaches the end of its life they are responsible for disposing of it properly. So why can’t that idea be widened? If you find a discarded Coke can, you take it back to Coke, which is then forced to pay you, I’d like to say $500, but 50 cents would probably do the trick. Well what’s wrong with glass? It’s made from sand, soda ash and limestone, which means it’s all completely natural. This means there’s no taste transition from the packaging to the product and that’s why Coke tastes better from a glass bottle than it does from a plastic one.

It turns out, however, the biggest problem with glass is that it can be used as a weapon when the pubs shut. Already, many pubs in England, Scotland, Germany and Holland have banned all glass bottles and now the European Union is thinking of making it law.

This is idiotic because those who go around at night smashing each other over the head with Heineken bottles and stabbing their enemies with bits of a Guinness bottle are the sort of idiots who are doing the littering. If therefore we switch to glass, they end up dead, and there is less litter on the beach. Everyone wins.

THE END

Goodnight
Your Friends
John and Heidi
ps – bloggers cruise news tomorrow

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.