Raspberry Blog- Part 1

August 29, 2008 -

John Heald

The best news of the day so far is that for the first time in 11 days the sun is shining here in Amsterdam and nobody deserves it more than the guests this voyage. They have endured rain, grey skies, rain, cold wind and rain but today its 74 degrees and sunny.

Well, here I sit at the check-in/waiting area having already had my bag searched.
“Can I see your bag, sir?” said the lady with the iron-on security patch.

I wanted to say “I hope you can see it because it’s right in front of you.”

But instead, I said, “Yes.”

Why could she possibly want to see my bag? All I had in there was a change of clothes and two spare pair of underpants. …..one for tomorrow’s journey back to the ship and one in case I had an accident during my medical this afternoon. The doctor will I know require me to provide on stool and urine sample so to save time I will just give him the pair I am wearing now.

Anyway, Mrs. Van der Mallcop was searching through my bag when she let out on cry of “Jaaaaa”…….as she did so she held aloft my electric toothbrush like she was holding up the 2009 NBA trophy – just like the Miami Heat will do.

Bloody hell, my electric toothbrush had been mistaken for a weapon of some kind …… Well, it might be able to win the war against plaque but I doubt Braun has designed one to break into a cockpit, overpower two pilots, and demand the flight be re-routed to Toothekstan. Mrs. Van der Mallcop then waved a magic wand thingy over my brush and then handed it back to me wishing me a nice flight.

So, here I sit and once again I am feeling very strange having left Heidi all on her own to mind the shop. Saying goodbye is something that is never easy, especially when we have spent so much time together. However it’s only for one night and the real test will come in October.

This morning I think of my friends onboard the Caribbean ships, many of which may have to change itineraries due to Tropical Storm Bastard…..sorry, Gustav. Carnival has a state-of-the-art crisis and command center at its HQ in Miami. From here the latest weather conditions are monitored and decisions made to protect the ship, the guests and the crew…….nothing is more important.

Now, some of our ships have already had to change itineraries to avoid the bad weather. Here is a copy of the chart of the itinerary changes thus far

Being on a ship is the safest place during a storm. You can move a ship …………you can’t move an island or a city and there are many places that are in the current path of the Gustav in our thoughts.

So, here I am sitting on the plane. Just before I boarded I read my newspaper about the tragic story of a 33-year-old man who died of deep vain thrombosis after on 27-hour flight to New Zealand……I know my flight is on little shorter at 45 minutes but it’s still not the sort of thing you want to read before you fly. The good news is that the seatbelt fits much easier than it used to.

However, as always when I fly everything else is the same. I seem to be sharing the flight with on group of pensioners who have been sightseeing in Amsterdam. I took my seat, stood up to let the two old ladies sit next to me. They fussed around and then eventually sat down. Then, moments after I started typing this blog thingy she said “excuse me” – as only on British lady could – and I was soon standing up again as Mrs. Bucket went to the toilet. It’s now 25 minutes into the flight and she has been twice…….and she just ordered a glass of orange juice…..oh joy.

Flying as much as I do I have noticed that these days you can’t talk to the cabin stewardesses. They will either think you are either trying to take over the plane or chat them up and have you handcuffed to the seat and arrested for sexual harassment……..the same thing applies to the male stewards, as well.

Now, we reach the section of the blog where I have to say the “I promise this is true bit”
Sitting to the left of me are two 20-something ladies who had gone from holding hands to…..well, lets just say they were not shy.

Anyway, time to put the raspberry down as we prepare for take off. Normally I pay very close attention to the safety drill but that won’t be easy today with these two playing tonsil hockey next to me.

Your friend

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.