If I were to see someone indulging in antisocial behavior, such as talking loudly in a library or urinating in a someone’s front yard, I would roll my eyes and quietly sigh. If it were something more serious, such as putting super glue on cans of prunes in a supermarket or holding a baby over a hotel balcony, I might even say something.

Strangely, however, when I spot someone dropping litter, I am overcome with a sometimes uncontrollable need to perform experiments on his head involving chainsaws and acid.

I felt like this today when I watched a man who was old enough to be my Dad, take something he had just bought from the gift shop out of the plastic bag and without a thought dropped the bag on the middle of the Promenade Deck. Now, it was only 9:20am and deck 5 was very quiet so he probably didn’t think anyone was behind him………..I was though………………and I picked up the bag and ran after him saying “excuse me sir, I think you dropped this.”………..he looked like a naughty boy caught with both hands in the cookie jar and he said “oh, thank you ” took the bag and walked off.

Good Morning everyone, I met this man on the way to the morning show and maybe I chased after him with his discarded plastic bag because I am in a strange mood………..Heidi said I am having a mid life crisis. I have been thinking about this a lot the last few days. I certainly seem to be letting the little things get to me……….the odd comment from a guest, things not going exactly the way I want them and the comment from the blogger Kevin……..is it correct of me to pass on the idiosyncrasies of the paying guest……………am I indeed having a mid life crisis………………let’s see by me publicly listing what’s on my mind.

As I sprint towards old age, there are many things which frighten me. All the hair on my head seems to be growing inwards and coming out of my nose. Why? …….what good is hair in the nose. Why is my brain saying ” hey, send John a load of hair to his nostrils so he can spend 30 minutes a day shouting a painful ” BUGGER ” every time he pulls one out. ………..oh, and why is the hair on my head grey and the hair cascading out of nose as dark as when I was 17 and listening to AC/DC dressed in leather pants. I sometimes wonder as head towards being 44 years old if I have done something for the last time, I mean, you never know and if its rumpy pumpy………………… should I put a bit more effort into it.

Anyway, casting my grumpiness aside I went on to host the first of the morning shows. The weather continues to be Baltic and by that I mean cool, dry and unlike my nose hairs………a little grey.

However, the guests are having fun. My travel talk was very busy and it seems the excursions are going to be busy again this cruise.

I have to tell you something that happened to me in November last year…………..I have not mentioned this to anyone………..except Heidi and Mum and Dad or more importantly anyone at Carnival as I was never certain that they would have liked this………….don’t worry………it’s nothing bad at all………..I am not ill…………well, apart from the diabetes………I am not joining the Moonies………and I have not suddenly liked to wear pink and listen to Liza Minnelli.

Last November I was contacted by a lady called Suzanne . She had been reading the blog and basically…….well………she felt my life and some of the stories were worthy of her writing a biography about me.

She has written biographies for politicians………she told me some names but I have to admit of not recognizing any ………..oh, she has written one about an astronaut who walked on the moon and somebody who was a Joint Chief something and how he now sails a yacht………..I am not going to mention her last name …..well………just in case I say something I shouldn’t.

At first I felt thrilled and rushed off to tell Heidi who immediately brought me crashing down to earth quicker than a rusty old Russian space thingy. I want you to stop and think about that for a moment she said and then she said some very wise words………….let me summaries them.

Imagine finding out that someone was going to write a whole book about you. They were going to talk to all your old friends and all your old enemies. They were going to meet up with your exes and find out what funny little noises you made at intimate moments and why one of them after dating you became a lesbian……….I did imagine it and it scared the crap out of me. Would he find out how on the Holiday when I was bar waiter I pretended to be the cousin of Prince Andrew to a beautiful dancer called Debbie……just so I could …..well, you know. Would they discover the time my best mate Alan and I had dinner in a Chinese Restaurant called The Half Moon and escaped without paying by eating most of the food and then discovering a beetle in our rice………..a beetle that Alan had brought into the restaurant in a matchbox.

How’s that sound? Frightening. Well, I thought about it and its made me feel very uneasy……….I think the medical term is “shitting myself”. I mean, we’ve all done things we’d rather stayed private.

But here was a person with a publishing deal who, in all probability, knew what websites I’d looked at and what brand of underwear I wore.

Then, yesterday, came joyous news. Having looked under every stone, the author sent me an e mail to say she’d stopped the project. The relief was immense. And rather short-lived. Because she followed this up by saying that basically………… “I was too boring.”

Well, I was furious. However, I’m forced to agree. It seems I was born, grew up, got a job on a ship and every day wrote a load of bollocks about life onboard. And that’s it. I am as boring as one of those French movies………..without the rumpy pumpy scenes. I am a sparrow among men. If you could look me up in a dictionary I’d be classified as “common or garden”. …………….the book it seemed would have sold less than ” Vanilla Ice……My Story “……….or ” Great French Lovers of the 21st Century “……….or ” Feeding the 5000 “………the story of how they ran out of food on the inaugural voyage of the Mall of the Seas.

Yep…………I was too boring ………………….And so I have decided to start a naked synchronized swimming team for men over 250 pounds………….that’s worthy of a book surely.

OK, here are today’s letters………………..in their own words

Today’s photos are actually some I forgot to post last week…………….actually………….i wasn’t even sure if I should post these. They were taken by the wonderful Jaime who visited Sachenhausen Concentration Camp last cruise. Like me she came away feeling distraught and wondering how this ever happened. It is a very popular excursion and one that everyone who takes it will never ever forget. The guides tell the harrowing stories of the terrors that the poor people faced , stories that will have grown men crying……………..like I did.

Anyway, here are the photos which I thought I should share with you.


The Work for Freedom Sign


Sachsenhausen


Instead of putting flowers on gravesites/remeberence sites, it is Jewish tradition to put stones down because when the Jews fled from Egypt there were no stones around, and rocks will last forever.


Holding Cell


Torture site


This memorial was right outside the actual gas chamber


Gas Chamber


Yartziet Candles in the shape of a star of David and the Hebrew is translated as Ydvor but I do not know what that means.


Another torture site/bunker


The external wall so no one can escape

OK, on a happier note I see many of you are commenting on the CD interviews which is wonderful. Today, i would like to highlight a gentlemen by the name of Carl……who spells his name with a K and therefore his stage name is Carl……..with a K.

Carl has just been promoted this last week to a fully badged Cruise Director and we all wish Carl many congratulations. Here is Carl with a K’s interview which I hope you will enjoy…………take it away Carl…………with a K

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

Carnival Liberty – and due to leave September 6th.

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.

I started off training to be a sports teacher but always had a love for entertainment in comedy shows as I was growing up. I loved the stage from an early age. I started at a famous resort in England- Butlins for 3 years learning the tricks of the trade: Singing, Dancing, Comedy, Presenting etc. Did a few clubs with my own singing and impersonations show and then got my first cruise contract in Europe from Cyprus in 2000, as a production singer. Did one more contract as a singer afterwards before applying to Carnival with whom I joined in Nov. 2001. Started off as a Social Host and worked my way up 2 and a half years to then become Assistant Cruise Director and then Acting Cruise Director last year to just getting promoted full time last week.

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.

My favorite part of the job is definitely being out with the guests and seeing everyone having fun. Behind the scenes there is a lot of administrative work as in charge of the entertainment dept- With this, especially on a ship, it is important to be there for the team- to help them professionally with anything and sometimes personally so it is a very all rounded position. A lot of time is spent providing the daily Capers and announcements, also cheduling the activities and shows, and basically being the hub for everyone to contact. The emailing system on the ship means we get from 50-75 emails a day with requests and projects to cover, so it can be pretty demanding. The love of the job though, and the benefits of the job, far outweighs these challenges.

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.

Events that stand out- I love to promote the music on the ship and I also love the personal touch with the guests so I get a huge kick out of singing and performing in each bar- however big and however small (Piano Bar- Back lounge- Promenade).
– I also enjoy the classics such as the Marriage show but LOVE our new style of Deck party with the Fun Hop before heading upstairs. As strange as it seems, I like the things away from the main stage just as much as being on the stage.
– Then I guess I love the TV shows daily as again it gives me a chance to be one on one with the guests when they call in and find out about the guests and their stories that we have on board.

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

I guess I have been lucky so far being fairly new to the position so there is nothing that really stands out. Of course wanting to make our guests happy is a goal but is not always possible, so there are requests and concerns that can’t be fully achieved. It is always a challenge when we miss a port or there are slight delays or things when the schedules don’t go according to plan for whatever reason. Luckily again for me I have worked with some amazing teams who have given me all the support to get through them.

6. And, your most rewarding

Meeting the people we have on board and making friends. There is no better feeling than to hear that people have had a good time. To see lounges packed and cheering watching the shows. To hear laughter during the events and to see people feeling sad to leave.

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.

I would have to say my fav ship so far – the Carnival Liberty is beautiful and a great team to work with. The itinerary is 7 day eastern Caribbean – Half Moon Cay- St Thomas- San Juan- Grand Turk.
7 day western Caribbean – Cozumel- Grand Cayman- Ocho Rios.

Eastern-
In Half Moon Cay-Snorkeling with the Stingrays- Fantastic, feels like you are really interacting with them and not just watching. Great Guides too!
St Thomas- (I am a big golf fan!! Great course here.) I love St John and a visit to Trunk Bay is a must!! Champagne Catamaran Tour
San Juan- Bacardi Rum Factory- Visiting the largest rum factory in the world- some tasting too!!
Grand Turk- Dune Buggies- Great fun

Western-
Cozumel – Big Fan of the Catamarans so sail and snorkel tour has everything- great clear waters and beach time- best way to travel
Grand Cayman- Stingrays are a must if you haven’t done it- I liked also the Shipwreck cove- great snorkeling!
Ocho Rios- of course the Dunns River Falls is a must too but try to see Dolphin Cove- great Dolphin tours but has a beach- Nature trails- Shark pool and lots more.

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

Carnival I believe is the most popular because I feel it appeals to everyone- There is so much to do or so little. Whatever you want you can do it- relax- party- get involved- relax by the pools. I think we have the best group of crew members anywhere and this is huge. The crew that I work with are genuinely the nicest group of people I have ever met!

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 LOVE the Carnival Liberty and feel extremely proud and privileged to be here in this position. I will be sad to leave it. I love the West Coast as well and I do think my fav ships are the Spirit class- The Pride I love and also the Miracle- having been privileged to bring it out new. I love the 7 day runs the most so that it gives me a chance to meet everyone. A stop off in either Puerta Vallarta or Cozumel is definitely top of my list.

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

Just last cruise we had a wonderful lady called Mary who sailed with one of the social hosts on the Carnival Freedom earlier and she recognized him. I got to know the family well and became friends throughout the cruise. She had beaten breast cancer twice and was a keen promoter of the Walk for the Cure event that we have on board. With her help and a very heartfelt letter which I read out on the TV she helped us get a record close to 400 participants. I was extremely proud and in fact think it is the proudest thing I do in my week’s work; every time I am able to promote the event it is just amazing.

Funny events in my last two months include a simple sneeze from the Captain whilst I was performing the Boat drill announcement made me lose my place..arrggghh – to me not being able to say the word ventrilaquist (don’t think I can spell it either!!) over the Tannoy!

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

APPETIZER – Garlic Mushrooms–Yum Yum

MAIN COURSE- Fish and chips (no that’s just the English in me!) mm.. Chicken Fajitas

DESSERT – Baked Alaska- Praying for it to added to the Staff Mess List!

SOMEONE FROM THE CRUISE INDUSTRY – YOU John of course!! Ha ha (bonus points??) and Wee Jimmy…Because I think he still owes me money!!

SOMEONE TO MAKE YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD – Lee Evans- Funniest Comedian I know- Very humble guy too!

YOUR FAVORITE ACTRESS – Sandra Bullock

YOUR FAVORITE ACTOR – Christian Bale

YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIAN – Michael Buble

AND SOMEONE FROM HISTORY YOU WISHED YOU HAD MET- Winston Churchill

Great job mate and I know many of you will be cruising on the Carnival Liberty soon and you will have a wonderful time with our newly promoted Carl with a K…….he is going to be one of the best.

So, as predicted in this little blog thingy there are two major pieces of news which will have the people of Mobile and New Orleans wanting to whisk our President Gerry Cayhill up in their arms and give him a big old hug…………….he likes that by the way.

Here’s why:




Pictured here at the press conference in New Orleans to announce Carnival Triumph being homeported there starting in 2009, is Carnival Cruise Lines’ Senior Vice President of Marketing Planning Terry Thornton; in the background from left to right is Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange and Lieutenant Governor for the State of Louisiana Mitch Landrieu.



Congratulations to both ports and I hope it shows Carnival’s commitment to bringing the ships as close to YOU as we can………..now…………are there any other requests for home ports…………lets hear them?

Well, its been a strange day and somewhat……… its been a strange blog. I felt old today and it was hard to get out of bed and looking in the mirror and seeing the hanging Gardens Of Babylon extruding from my nose didn’t help.

And although the guests are wonderful and so far apart from the lady with the ” doll sized husband ” who you can see in the video just posted……….they all seem normal, I have not had a good day.

The final straw came when I stubbed my toe on the corner of the bed………..it hurt like hell and to take the pain away I found myself punching the wardrobe door in frustration.

Well I seem to have broken one of my fingers. It’s bright blue, won’t move and looks like a burst sausage. How can this be? Bruce Willis finished off a whole skyscraper full of baddies without so much as tearing his vest, whereas I hit one Italian made wardrobe made out of cardboard and I come away a broken man. I am just going to go to bed and hide until tomorrow……………..oh, I have to do two shows first…………..bugger.

Goodnight
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.