So, it was with much sadness that I said goodbye to Mrs.S.Nob this morning and she obviously felt the same way as she told me one last time how disappointed she was with me and how the guests onboard had been “beneath” her. There was nothing left for me to say so I just wished her a safe journey home and hoped that she never reads my blog and discovers I have a donkey named after her………..On this note I received a comment from a blogger called Kevin……here it is.

“No offense John but I found your comments about “Mrs. S” posted on this forum to be inappropriate. This is a Carnival client, apparently on other brands as well. Whatever her issue, right or wrong, to publicly critique a paying customer on this blog is in extremely poor taste.

In this day and age of flexible court interpretation of the law, to post something like this is something I would not want to be on the hook for, or place my employer on either.

No offense John but I am not impressed with this cross marketing attempt at all. Honestly Cunard to me has lost the very essence that made it attractive for Micky Arison to buy. Same hull designs, same designers, same suppliers, same PR people for all the brands…Cunard has evolved into an upscale version of a Joe Farcus designed Carnival ship.

I applaud the initiative to potentially bring and keep more travelers in the Carnival family. Thank you, but no thank you.

Kevin”

Thanks for the kind words mate. I appreciate your comments and you may actually be right, however, at no time do I name this lady and I respect her identity without exception. However, she was a character and this is what this blog is all about. The good, the bad and the ugly……..I won’t let this be a blog where I say everything is great all the time…..it isn’t . This is proven here by posting your comment which I could have easily ignored. However, opinions are what makes this world a wonderful one and, although I disagree with everything you have said, I respect yours without exception.

As for Cunard…….well, we talk about that later…………oh, by the way, your writing style reminds me of someone I used to work with – have we met?

Is he right……should I not share with you these stories?………let me know.

As for Mrs S. Nob ………. She really does believe that she is king of the jungle…………….and in the world of nature the female usually is.

Only recently we were shown pictures in the newspapers of a lioness that had attacked another mother’s cub and then dragged its bloody carcass under a tree and eaten it.

Then you have the praying mantis. As we all know, the female celebrates a successful impregnation by biting the head off her lover.

Other examples include the Mills-McCartney, a curious one-legged animal that infests the male’s nest for a short period of time and then leaves with most of its contents.

And now comes news from the world of science that female chimpanzees in Senegal like nothing better than to rush about in the jungle murdering as many other primates as possible. In fact, to make the murdering easier, they’ve even learnt in recent decades how to make spears from branches.

Researchers are saying this proves that the origins of technology in humans came from the female of the species, and that therefore Winston Churchill must have been a woman.

Maybe so. But for me, what it shows is that in the big wide world of nature it’s the females that are the violent spouse beaters. And it’s not just praying mantises, chimps and lions either. We see girl power among golden hamsters, hyenas and many types of fish.

Indeed, Mrs Tuna will have rumpy pumpy with her mate and then it’s “Wham, bam, thank you man” as she immediately rushes off to find a new sexual partner, leaving the first to look after her eggs…………………..We see the same sort of thing during Spring Break.

So, good morning from a very cold and wet Dover. The English Channel treated us to a bumpy ride last night and this morning as I sit and look out of my window I can see one of the high speed ferries which run from Dover to Calais five times a day ploughing through the waves. For those of you who do not know where Calais is , its in France…………..for those who don’t know where France is…………………………France is a medium-sized foreign country situated in the continent of Europe.

It is an important member of the world community, though not nearly as important as it thinks. It is bounded by Germany, Spain, Switzerland and some smaller nations of no particular importance and with no decent shops. France is a very old country with many treasures, such as the Louvre and Euro Disney. Among its contributions to western civilization are champagne, Camembert cheese and the guillotine.

There will be another top tip on France in a moment.

Debarkation was slower than usual today and that’s all the fault of the British summer. The rain has been driving down this morning. Normally we are able to put down the luggage on the pier while we wait for space in the terminal. However, we certainly don’t want to get people’s luggage wet so we were a little slower this morning. The rain also affects everyone’s mood and certainly the feeling of having to go home and back to work was not helped by the wet weather this morning. Anyway, we started debarkation at 6:45am and finished at 9:45am………..about 40 minutes longer than usual.

Although we had a few “unique guests,” as always the majority were wonderful and all had a great time. We are now in a “routine” which always takes a few weeks and now I feel we have ironed out all the creases. Sometimes on the blog thingy I worry that anyone who reads what I write may think that all the Carnival guests are like Mrs.S.Nob. ………………well, they are not. 99.9% are fun loving people who walk off the vessel having had the time of their life. Each and every ship………..not just Carnival vessels, have “characters” sailing each cruise…………..and these characters are what adds a little hot sauce to our our daily diet of blog.

This cruise we have 3347 guests sailing and two things are noticeable straight away. Firstly, we have only 244 children onboard which is about 200 less than last voyage and I think this cruise may set a record in Europe for the most British guests we have carried on Carnival as we have 908 sailing. Here is the breakdown of non U.S. guests.

As you can see, we have one guest from France. For those of you who don’t know much about France let me give you another blog thingy top tip. France has a population of 56 million people. Fifty-two million of these drink and smoke (the other 4 million are small children). French men are very romantic, and want rumpy pumpy all the time. Men sometimes have girls’ names like Marie or Michel, and they kiss each other when they meet…………twice.

Now, let’s have a look at some photos from the Windmills and Edam tour from yesterday in Holland. This is a peaceful and easy tour for all to enjoy. You visit a place where there are 70 of the traditional Dutch windmills all in a row………….no cars……………just the windmills and a few sheep and goats and stunning Dutch countryside. Then it’s off to Edam where of course the cheese with the same name comes from. The village is small and full of little curiosity shops that sell……well……cheese as well as lots of nick nacks. Here are a few photos taken by Claire, our Dance Captain.

OK, I hope you are enjoying the Cruise Director interviews which are designed to give you an idea of who is on what ship and to find out a little about these great people before you sail. Hopefully, a Cruise Director will add a lot to your vacation and certainly at Carnival Cruise Lines………..we feel we have the best in the business.

Now, today, we are going to feature the first of our lady Cruise Directors. Here is the terrific Darcy E. Knievel shown here with her team of Entertainment Staff.

1. Can you tell us which ship you currently are on and when you are due to leave.

I am at home on the Carnival Destiny. At this point I am here through next year, taking a brief vacation in February and returning again.

2. Carnival Cruise Directors come from very diverse backgrounds. Some have entertainment experience, some, like me have none. Can you tell us about your background and how you ended up with the best job in the world.

Before coming to ships I was never very grounded, so I did a little bit of everything. I had originally studied to be a minister, then decided to run nightclubs. Being a Cruise Director seems to fall right in the middle.

3. Before we talk about some of your favorite parts of the job, lets talk about the areas behind the scenes……….the things guests never see. Tell us about what a Cruise Director does when he or she is not on the stage but keeps you just as busy.

In the interest of space I can give a brief rundown of what I did yesterday:

– Answered emails to a few colleagues, team members and one to my mom and dad.
– -Checked out the Olympic standings and the weather for the day ahead and the day to follow.
– Took a walk around to look at some of our improvements happening on the ship.
– Met with the Captain and the Senior Officers to review the ship, the cruise, our guests and crew.
– Met with a gentlemen who was interested in magic on ships.
– Met with a gentlemen who was on board to assist with our new Safety Initiative.
– Spoke with the Musical Director about a new themed music night and how it has been working – we had to do a little tweaking to get the timing just right.
– Completed my Caper for the day and sent it to be translated and printed.
– Went to the Staff Captain for a “special meeting” with one of my team who had some fun in the disco the night before (oops, a lesson learned).
– Met with my Asst. Cruise Director to dicuss what was coming up for him.
– Planned my Guest Safety Team Meeting
– Met with the stage technician company who is on board to make imporvements to our drops for the shows.
– Realized I had made a bad bet against a certain team in the Olympics and called the Youth Director to get face paint so I could display the Canadian flag across my face as I walked down the Promenade.

4. A Cruise Director is happiest when performing or being with guests. Can you tell us two activities or events that you would call your signature items…………events that make you stand out from the crowd.

Destiny Super Star- I love having guests be the star of the show! Everyone comes up to sing, but then I get a chance to chat with them and get to know them a little better. You would never believe what some people will say on stage!

Toga Party- what can I say? Who doesn’t love to don a bed sheet and do some dancing? This is one of my favorite new activities because it is a costume party where everyone can join in! It is always a good night to see folks out and about.

On Deck for the Cure (I needed three because they are all different but still favorites). This is a fundraiser we get to do on board for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. This is a cause very near to my heart (literally and figuratively). Each week I meet amazing people who walk because they know someone who is struggling with this, or because they have lost someone to this, or because they have survived through this. Amazing and incredible people.

5. What has been your most challenging moment as Cruise Director so far

Going through a hurricane. I will never forget my first hurricane as a Cruise Director. We had diversions every day and were trying to keep everything going and fun. I do not like to disappoint anyone, so to explain that we have to go to a different island, or that we have to stay at sea is always hard. I was up until all hours trying to reschedule new sea days, gathering information on a new port of call, and trying to be out and about to talk with everyone. Thank goodness the Captain was right on top of everything, and very patient in explaining to me exactly what was happening.

6. And, your most rewarding

There are so many rewarding times, most recently, we had a young man on board who was interested in sound and audio engineering; it was going to be his 18th birthday at the end of the cruise. He had become good friends with our on board sound technician and we got to give him the VIP treatment. He got a personal backstage tour, a visit to the lighting booth and then on the night of his birthday he got to watch the show from the sound booth to see how the show runs. We got a birthday cake for him for after the show. He was one of the nicest kids I have met and very appreciative. The next day I had a chance to meet up with his mother. She told me how thoughtful and wonderful my technician team was, and how special we had made her son’s first cruise. This was especially important to her as this was the first vacation they had taken as a family since his father had passed away last year. Being able to turn what could be a sadder time in to a special memory is just one of the things that keeps you going.

7. On your current ship can you tell us about your itinerary and can you recommend one ‘must do’ excursion from each port of call

The Carnival Destiny has an EXCELLENT run! We currently do 7 ports in 7 days (some folks might not count the home port, but I certainly do, San Juan is amazing!)

St. Thomas: So much to enjoy with the shopping and the beaches, but I like to spend an afternoon up top with the amazing view on the St. Thomas Skyride to Paradise Point. They have some nice shops to find souvenirs, a great restaurant and this wild drink called the Bushwhacker. New to me since I have started coming back to St. Thomas is the addition of a bird show they do up top as well. The bird that roller skates is the BEST!

Dominica: Very hard to pick just one tour on such a diverse and incredible island. Lazing down the river on a tube though is a great way to relax, but I also enjoy seeing the rainforest with the Wacky Rollers Rainforest Sensation.

Barbados: This is a great island to be spoiled on and the best way to do it is with the 5 Star Catamran Sail and Snorkel. You get to snorkel with massive turtles, spend some time at a beautiful beach, sail on a catmamaran in the bluest of waters and you are treated like royalty the whole way!

St. Lucia: With so many different things to see in St. Lucia I love the Land and Sea Combo to Soufriere. You get an amazing island tour with stops for photos, shopping and taking in the sights (the best stop is the view from up top, looking over the bay, you can see the ship and there is always an incredibly talented gentleman playing saxophone while you are there). Then you hop on a catamaran for a bite of lunch, swimming and cruising back through the bays.

Antigua: ATV Adventure – nothing helps to relieve a little stress like hopping on an ATV and tearing it up! I always get asked if the mud bothers me, I love it! Sure, I may come back a little dirty, but hop in the shower and it is like I spent the day at the spa – great mudbath!

St. Kitts: Scenic St. Kitts Sugar Cane Train is always my top pick of the day. The people in St. Kitts are just the nicest in the world and this is proven every time I have a chance to see them. So many people miss this island as it is the last day and they think they need to stay on and pack, but this is a not to be missed island, and the train takes you all the way around.

San Juan: San Juan City and Shopping Tour: This is a great way to get a taste of the city and enjoy some great shopping on land! If you are coming to see us PLEASE make sure you have a day or two at least to spend in San Juan, you don’t want to miss it.

8. Why, in your opinion is Carnival…………..the world’s most popular cruise line

I have to say it’s the fun… oh and the best looking smoke stacks!

9. Is there a ship in the fleet you would love to be Cruise Director of that you have yet to be so and what port of call would you like to visit that you have not so far in your career

I am really hoping to take over the Spirit one day. She travels to my home state of Alaska and I love to show off my home, the glaciers, wildlife and astounding views are breathtaking. She also travels to Hawaii, which I was lucky enough to have the chance to spend some time in as a wee youngster. It is the best of both worlds. Oh and San Diego! Fantastic!

10. Every CD has a story to tell from their time onboard. What’s your most recent funny, sad or inspirational story you can share with us

I was hosting the Love and Marriage show a while back, I had a couple that had been married for 48 years, they were sitting back to back on the stage and we were going back through the questions they had been asked and seeing how many questions they had matched up on. They weren’t doing very well matching each other and were playfully tiffing back and forth. When I asked them “On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your first kiss with your spouse?” The gentleman replied an “Impressive 10!” The lady replied a “2” When I asked her why a 2 she said she had kissed his best friend the night before and he was much better. At this point the gentleman, who had a prosthetic leg of sorts, popped his leg off and turned in his chair and “kicked” her with it. It took a while to get the leg back on, and I am still not sure how he got the darn thing off!

11. Finally………….pick a Cruise Director table ……………..you are hosting a table at dinner on board the Carnival Dream………what’s for dinner………..and who do you invite.

APPETIZER: Chilled Tropical Fruits

MAIN COURSE: Lobster Bisque, bowls and bowls of Lobster Bisue, perhaps served with a side of the Tiger Shrimp

DESSERT: Triple Fat Carrot Cake

SOMEONE FROM THE CRUISE INDUSTRY: Charo (she did a lot of cruises on that other boat… the “Love”ly one)

SOMEONE TO MAKE YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD: My friend Vicki, also known as Sister Mary Sunshine

YOUR FAVORITE ACTRESS: My niece Madison, she is the best Princess!

YOUR FAVORITE ACTOR: James Dean

YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIAN: Frank Sinatra

AND SOMEONE FROM HISTORY YOU WISHED YOU HAD MET: Ghandi, but he isn’t allowed to sit next to Vicki.

Thanks Darcy and congratulations on finding the middle ground between being a minister and a nightclub manager…..very funny. We all wish you much success and have lots of fun. Are you sailing with Darcy on the Carnival Destiny or with any of the Cruise Directors we have featured so far? If you are and you have a question, why not drop me a line and I will pass it along to them for you.

I wonder if Darcy has ever been to France? …….in case she hasn’t here is another Blog Thingy Top Tip……….France’s historical figures are Louis XIV, the Huguenots, Joan of Arc, Jacques Cousteau and Charles de Gaulle, who was President for many years and is now an airport. A tunnel connecting France to Britain beneath the English Channel has been opened in recent years to make it easier for the French government to run away to London during future invasions.

France has a large and diversified economy, second only to Germany’s in Europe, which is surprising because the French hardly work at all. If they are not spending four hours dawdling over lunch, they are on strike and blocking the roads with their trucks and tractors. France’s principal exports, in order of importance to the economy, are wine, nuclear weapons, perfume, guided missiles, champagne, guns, grenade launchers, land mines, tanks, attack aircraft, miscellaneous armaments and cheese.

France has more holidays than any other nation in the world. Among its 361 national holidays are: 197 Saints’ days, 37 National Liberation Days, 16 Declaration of Republic Days, 54 Return of Charles de Gaulle in triumph as if he won World War II single-handed Days, 18 Napoleon sent into Exile Days, 17 Napoleon Called Back from Exile Days, and 2 France is Great and the Rest of the World is Crap – Days………..It’s so strange writing this as I can see France from my cabin window and of course you can bet that someone French right now is writing about how pompous and arrogant us Brits are………at the end of the day its all done with a smile and big dollop of humor because at there is nothing that French wouldn’t do for the British and there is nothing the British wouldn’t do for the French………..and that’s what happens………we do nothing for each other.

The sun has come out though. It’s 11:43am and I am expecting a visitor today. His name may sound familiar to readers of the blog and to those who have sailed with Princess Cruises…………………..James Lay. He is there top CD and having seen him work when Heidi and I sailed on the Emerald Princess, I can tell you he is one of the very best in the industry as I am sure many of you will agree.

James is visiting us today for a few hours while he is on vacation and before he takes up the role of Cruise Director on the Ruby Princess which I understand is due for delivery in November. This will be James’s first time visiting a Carnival ship and during our visit I will be hoping to persuade him to start a blog about his experiences of delivering a new ship. Anyway, off to meet him in a moment, so I will be back soon.

OK, here I am.

Here’s a little video of James and I having a chat. You can here Heidi and James’ Aunty Nelly laughing in the background.

It was great to meet James and his wonderful Aunty Nelly. James and I have so much in common and not just food…………..James is so proud to be bringing out a new ship and loves being on stage. I can see why Princess values him so much and I am excited that he has agreed to write a blog about his experiences……………Good Luck mate and a big hug for Aunty Nelly.

Congratulations to the fine people of Alabama who today learnt that they will have the Carnival Fantasy sailing from Mobile next fall, complete with her new refit and Evolutions of Fun features.

I am sure they are all very excited as are we to sail from this great port.

So, I just got back from the welcome aboard talk. Here is a little video of the introduction of some of the guests.

As you can see, we have a very interesting group on this cruise.

Its going to be fun and you know what…………..you will be with me every step of the way through the wonders of our blog thingy.

Goodnight.
Your friends
John and Heidi

LOOK OUT FOR A SECOND BLOG LATE TONIGHT FEATURING A SPECIAL VISITOR TO THE QUEEN ELIZABETH 2ND

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.