Looking on the Bright Side

August 20, 2008 -

John Heald

Normal Service has been resumed.

Guest: M_________ Ref: 002803183A Owner: (SLSHEXMGR)
Cabin: _____ Booking#: _____ Added-Changed: 08/19/08 – 08/19/08


Mr__________ who is the group leader of a group from Hong Kong came to the desk very upset because he asked for chopsticks instead of silve rwear to be placed at dinner for his group. Guest said that he also wanted them at breakfast on the Lido deck. The guest became very upset as he said that he felt very angry that he should have to ask and that we should realize that Asian people do not eat like Americans. Purser apologized and said his comments would be passed to the Maitre D. Guest then said that he wanted to reserve seating at the shows for his 44 people. Purser said we have no seat saving allowed. Guest was again very upset and said that Carnival was not treating his group fairly.
Tasked to Maitre D and apology letter sent.

This is a new one on me and a very strange request. We frequently have guests from Asia sail and never before have they asked for chopsticks at mealtimes. I do not quite understand how a country that produces some of the most complicated electronic gadgets in the world can be totally baffled by a spoon………but anyway, we have a sushi bar onboard and plenty of chopsticks so these have been placed accordingly at their tables and available at all the stations on Lido Deck.

There, I feel better now and although Kevin may not agree I actually feel cleansed having shared that with you. Let me explain about yesterday later in the blog.

Good morning to you all and I hope you and your families are well and happy. Today, we are in Copenhagen, Denmark where the weather forecast predicted rain and gloom but the forecast was in fact as accurate as Dick Cheney is with a rifle because the sun shone and the temperature reached a balmy 68 degrees …………..perfect.

We had 1,567 guests on tours while the others walked and took the bus into town ……….oh one thing I just learned today………….apparently the local bus company has gotten wise to the fact that they will make more money if they take Euros ……… so ……….after refusing to do so for the first three voyages …………. today………….they did…………smart people the Danes.

As you will have seen on the blog, no day is exactly the same……..you never know what is going to come next…………take this e-mail for instance.

From: Jonny Allcock On Behalf Of travel
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:20 AM
Subject: FW: WILLIAMSON/PAUL 20AUG MAN – Flight to Copenhagen this morning cancelled by SK.
The SK540 at 10am out of Manchester has been cancelled.
Paul is at Manchester airport now and the best they can offer is the SK1542, departs Manchester 1350, arrives Copenhagen 1645 local time.
Can we double check – is the Splendor still departing from Copenhagen at 4pm please as if so there is no point him flying out of Manchester on that 1350 hrs flight ? If the ships departure time is delayed and not leaving until say 7pm then perhaps it is worth the risk?
Await your thoughts but as things stand right now it is highly unlikely Mr Williamson (guest ent Paul Dabek) will be able to make it to Denmark for this one night contract I am afraid.
Best wishes
Jonny Allcock

The acts that appear on all cruise lines are what are known as fly on entertainers. These ladies and gents fly from ship to ship providing great entertainment to thousands of cruise ship passengers.

However, they are at the mercy of the airlines and when planes are canceled or delayed they often miss the vessel. Now, surprisingly this is the first time I can remember an act missing the ship in Europe for a long time and of course he was flying my favorite line Easy Jet who make flying as Easy as it would be for Paris Hilton to understand quantum physics.

So, what to do………well, the Carnival Capers are printed and the guests are expecting a show. So, I have asked the cast to perform one of our lavish production shows called Fiesta Latina.

Now, you might imagine that this is easy…………you just pick up the phone and tell the cast………………do the show. But it’s not as easy as that. Firstly all the scenery has to be set up which in this case takes 5 guys 2 hours to do. Then there are the logistics of having the scenery set because tonight we also have the Past Guest receptions as well.

You also have to make sure the back stagehands are available and most importantly that the cast are ready to perform . …………….what do I mean by that. Well, Carnival has a very strict policy that does not allow any alcohol to be consumed by the cast on the day of a show………….and today, many of them went to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Now, while I do not expect anyone in this cast to drink to excess I was a little concerned. However, I managed to get hold of our wonderful Dance Captain Claire who made sure the message that tonight was a show night was passed onto everyone.

So, I have made announcements, I have made posters………..well, one of the staff has because I don’t know how to and the Maitre D’s will inform everyone at dinner. Paul Dabek, our magician will now fly into Germany and perform the following night.

I should also mention that I did check with the Captain if we could wait for him but buy the time he arrived at the vessel it would have been 6 pm which would have us late into Germany tomorrow…………..and as fantastic a magician as Paul is…………..no act is worth being late into port for………………….well, maybe the Rolling Stones……………..oh, talking of that I wanted to mention Cunard.

I saw lots of you had posted comments following my blog thingy about the Queen Elizabeth 2 and someone called Peter Bearcole slapped something on my Facespace Book page asking with the Queen Elizabeth 2 going, what was in my opinion the most important cruise ship in the world now.

Good question

Well, in the world of vacation giving vessels the Queen Mary 2 takes the prize. Imagine a band comprising Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and absolutely no sign of Sting…………… That’s what this vessel is like to cruiseshipheads………….people who like cars are called petrolheads so we are now cruiseshipheads.

So, Mr. Bearcole…………in my humble opinion The Queen Mary 2 is the ship that will have cruiseshipheads running to see when she is in port.

OK, let’s post some photos taken once again by Jaime on her trip to Copenhagen today. She accompanied the guests on the Copenhagen Highlights Tour………..here are her photos.

I also thought you would like to see some photos of Carnival executives at the press conferences in New Orleans and Mobile.

Here is some interesting news about the Carnival Elation


MIAMI (August 20, 2008 ) – Carnival Cruise Lines will deploy the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation on a new three- and four-day cruise schedule from San Diego beginning Feb. 12, 2009. The ship currently operates four- and five-day cruises from San Diego and will continue that program through the departure of Feb. 7, 2009.

On its new route, Carnival Elation will depart Thursdays on three-day cruises to Ensenada, providing a value-packed long weekend getaway. Four-day cruises will depart Sundays and visit two ports, Ensenada and Catalina Island.

Carnival has offered a similar, highly successful program from Southern California for a number of years, currently on the Carnival Paradise based in Long Beach, with those departures occurring on Fridays and Mondays.

“Between the two ships, consumers will have a choice of two very popular departure points, Long Beach and San Diego, as well as four different departure days each week to select from,” said Terry Thornton, Carnival’s senior vice president of marketing planning. “These will be the only ships in the Southern California market offering three and four-day cruises starting in 2009, and with short getaways currently a trend among North American consumers, combined with the inherent value of a cruise, these voyages represent an extremely desirable vacation choice,” he added.

Carnival, which is the West Coast’s largest, most popular cruise line, also offers longer length voyages from Southern California. The Carnival Pride operates seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach year-round (to be replaced by the new Carnival Splendor in March 2009) and the Carnival Spirit offers seasonal eight-day Mexican Riviera voyages from San Diego.

Myriad ‘Fun Ship’ Features
Part of Carnival’s highly successful Fantasy class, the 70,000-ton Carnival Elation features 12 lounges and bars, including a multi-level theater showcasing lavish revues, a 12,000-square-foot health and wellness center, full casino gambling, and a wide range of full-service and casual dining options.

Family-friendly amenities include organized programs for children in three age groups – “Camp Carnival” for ages 2-11, “Circle C” for 12- to 14-year-olds, and “Club O2” for older teens – all with facilities, activities and staff for each.
Carnival Elation also features three swimming pools, a 115-foot-long water slide, a one-eighth-mile jogging track and a variety of stateroom categories, each offering the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows. Cell phone service and ship-wide Wi-Fi access are available, as well.

Reservations are currently being accepted for the Carnival Elation’s new three- and four-day cruises from San Diego. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom, along with round-trip air supplements from a variety of North American gateways, are also available.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

Here are today’s letters for the in their Own Words Section

I met Rick Poblaski and his wife at the past guest party tonight and we had a chat. Rick looks great considering he was chasing an armed robbery suspect in Missouri. The bad guy turned the truck he was in into a weapon and drove it straight at Officer Rick’s car……….the next thing he remembers is waking up in hospital with a fractured skull, two broken legs and other serious internal injuries.

That was in February 2007. It is a miracle therefore that he is alive and here to celebrate life with us on the ship……………he and his wife will return to the cabin tonight to find some champagne and strawberries waiting for them ……………….. oh, and they caught the bad guy by the way……………….I am sure Sherriff Coltrane our regular blogging friend will be the first to pay his tributes to Rick.

In the UK those “America’s Best Police Car Chase” and “Cops” are huge hits and so different to car chases in the UK.

I remember one a few years ago. It involved seven police cars, a helicopter and three roadblocks. It all sounded very dramatic, but what made this particular pursuit especially noteworthy was that the police were after a 10mph John Deere tractor.

So why not simply jog alongside the John Deere, open the door and remove the keys from the ignition? Why bring in the airborne cavalry? Why seven police cars? Well, it’s simple. The spectacle of a rosy-cheeked slightly overweight British Bobby running alongside a tractor isn’t very Hollywood.

Whereas using tire-slashing stingers and patrol cars and a helicopter with a infer red heat seeking cameras and machine guns is sure to get the footage on one of those World’s Wildest Police Chase programmes.

I sometimes get the impression these days that the police force is actually a film production company and that pretty soon criminals will be advised that anything they say may be taken down and translated….. for the Japanese market. People being arrested shouldn’t bother with a lawyer…They’re better off calling an agent.

OK, time to enjoy the next installment from our Cruise Director interviews. Today, we feature Paul Santley who is a proud scouser. This means he comes from Liverpool which means he has a brilliant sense of humour which you will now discover.

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

Sensation. I Leave at the beginning of November 2008 Vacation

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 at the Butlins holiday centre’s in England back in 1977 and thought well I’ll try the cruise lines for a change

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.

Planning all the activities and mingling throughout the ship with the most important people onboard (The Guests)

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,

Welcome aboard Show just to share Fun & Laughter the best medicine in the world

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

Trying to buy new underwear last week from Wal-Mart they only had Small, Medium and XXL first 2 were too tight and the last one fit me like a Hula Hoop, an everyday challenge in the life of a Cruise Director

6. And, you’re most rewarding

Going back to Wal-Mart yesterday and finding they had Large in stock Yipeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

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

We go to the Bahamas Freeport & Nassau on 3 & 4 day Cruises I would recommend The Kayak in Freeport and the Dolphin Swim in Nassau a very good choice for both ports.

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

FUN no matter what age you are

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 would like to have been the Cruise Director on the Ark, with Noah as the Captain. Embarkation would have been so easy each guest would need just one photo between them. No ports of call just day’s & day’s & day’s at sea Ha!!!

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.

Walking along the Lido deck one evening the wind was blowing very strong. Just ahead of me was a very elegantly dressed elderly lady, all of a sudden a gust of wind blew the lady’s dress over head. As I ran over to save her embarrassment I noticed she was clinging on tightly to her hat. I said madam the wind blew your dress over your head and you grabbed your hat Why? Young man she said, everything under this dress is over 80 years old…… This Hat Is Brand New…………..Priceless

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 Spam in a tin

MAIN COURSE Spam out of a tin

DESERT Chocolate covered Spam







Thanks Paul, as you can see, Paul loves life and never takes anything too seriously…………the perfect recipe for a great Cruise Director.

And now…………an apology……………..from me to you.

Yesterday, I was miserable, moody and quite honestly I was a complete and utter bastard to Heidi for which I have apologized in words, flowers and a promise of lots of hugs. My moodiness was down to one or two things. Firstly……….the blog. Kevin’s comment really had me thinking that maybe the blog had reached its peak….was I relying on the odd guest …………by odd I mean……….one or two…………not that someone is odd………although one or two are ………. well ……… a little bit….odd.

Yesterday, for the first time since starting the blog I seriously considered stopping. I stared at the blank screen, the words wouldn’t come and when they did…………..well, you saw how depressing they were. Then there is the subject of 2009 and what to do before and after the bloggers cruise. Well, that’s when the argument started and that’s when my writing became as boring as watching reruns of C- SPAN.

I still have not decided what to do next year………..I think it may be Carnival Liberty in Europe and before that to visit some ships within the corporation to write about them for the blog………..anyway, I will let you know. The final straw to my grumpiness was when I stubbed my toe……….which resulted in a small dent in our wardrobe and a very bruised finger.

The hardest thing about being grumpy is as soon as you walk out of the door you have to be “Mr Happy ” and last night I had to call on all my experience to make sure I didn’t walk out on stage and tell everyone to bugger off.

However, after speaking to a friend this morning I feel much better…………..I have no idea what next year will bring, my finger hurts and I just spent $55 on some half dead roses……………however, I will continue to write the blog……….I will love my wife……….on Thursdays……….and I will give Carnival Corporation the benefit of the rest of my working years…………as my mate said to me this morning …………… Always look On The Bright Side Of Life.




A, 1 2 3 4

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best…

And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life…

If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing.

And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life…

For life is quite absurd
And death’s the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin – give the audience a grin
Enjoy it – it’s your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life’s a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the right side of life…
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the bright side of life…
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life…
(I mean – what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing – you’re going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life…

Thanks for your continuing friendship, for allowing me to share my good days and the occasional bad one with you all………. and for reading the blog which has just zoomed past 2,720,000.

Your friends always
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.