You're Fired…..I Nearly Said to Myself

September 20, 2008 -

John Heald

Professor Stephen Hawking knows almost as much as God – but ask him why women will spend a week’s wages on a pair of shoes or read Hello Magazine and watch the blank expression steal across his face.

I say this with the greatest respect but Heidi just walked in and told me she had been ashore in Barcelona today and bought a new pair of shoes……….that cost …………and you had better sit down here………………279 euros…………..that’s like…………ten billion dollars. Now, you would think for that price that they come with air conditioning and a satellite navigation system. Obviously the credit crunch means nothing and it’s not just Heidi………….it’s the world.

Do you remember the days when you rented a video for the evening and then sweated over the fine when you forgot to take it back? Now, everyday there’s a queue of people in Sam Goody spending $30 a pop on DVDs. You upgrade your phone when you don’t like the ring tone any more, and you buy disposable cameras like you used to buy disposable razors. There was always one thing though that made me chuckle when I was a Cruise Director in the Caribbean………………t-shirts that have a black and white print on them………….and that change to color when the sun comes out ………..and…………cost $25 a shirt.

I always used to think to myself……………why not go to the shop next door who are offering 3 t-shirts for $25 and that in rain, fog, sleet or snow are always in full colour. I once showed a t-shirt that changed colour in the sun. I held it over a U.V. light and the black and white print changed before everyone’s eyes………….oooohhhhhh………..they went. After the talk a lady asked me “will the t-shirt work in Ohio?”

I met someone famous we have on board this week……………..well…………….she told me she was famous……….and I admit……..some of my American entertainment staff seem to recognize her.

For the last five minutes I have been trying to decide if I should print her name but I have decided not to, only because Tara may be upset……………ooops.

Anyway, Tara was apparently in a reality program which she lost but it made her a household name …………for a few weeks.

Of course, I am talking about the Apprentice where “The Don” looks for a sidekick by setting a gaggle of wannabe “business people” some tasks, which they cock up. He sacks the one who’s cocked up the most and eventually hires the one who’s cocked up the least. It’s the kind of show that makes people like me – that is, people who are barely numerate and struggle with basic adding-up – think we could run business empires, since the candidates (handpicked from tens of thousands of applicants) seem stupid, delusional, charmless, spiteful or all four.

So, I met her last night and I have to say she was totally charming and very, very pretty. I have no idea who Mr. Trump hired but from what I saw …………he picked the wrong one.

It was while we were chatting that I also met another guest who did the one thing……….the one thing that automatically has me wanting to ignore them or tell them to bugger off.

Excuse me
Pardon Me
Sorry to bother you
Can I have a word
May I interrupt you for a moment

These are all opening gambits that will be rewarded with my undying attention and if you are lucky……….a hug.

However…………..if you want to be rewarded with by me inserting a cactus in you…………do what this guest did last night.

He saw that I was in the middle of a conversation and he stood just behind Tara and then slowly raised his first finger and wiggled it to and fro in a come here motion…………..and if that wasn’t bad enough he made a whistling noise with his lips.

Tara turned around…………and I took a deep breath………and continued talking to Tara and her husband…………..he did it again.

And I am sorry to say I couldn’t help myself and ran up to him panting with my hands held in front of my chest……….looked him in the eye………….and barked.

Now, I had gambled on the fact that he called me over like a dog and that I had therefore acted like one would pay off with a laugh……………..ummmm………….no.

I then spent the next few minutes listening to a very angry man complain about the volume of the show and the “near naked costumes.” If I had been his dog he would have probably sold me to a North Korean restaurant.

It’s amazing you know. The show ” Vroom ” was greeted tonight with two HUGE standing ovations and as I stood at the back of the room receiving accolade after accolade telling me it was the best show they had ever seen and how Carnival’s entertainment is the best in the industry………..my proud balloon was popped by one man………and his dog.

Good Morning…….here we are in Barcelona and while Heidi went shopping I started to prepare schedules etc for the next Grand Med cruise. The weather is warm and muggy again but it has been a great day for the guests who all seem very happy.

Here are some photos taken this time by our Dance Captain Claire of Gaudi’s Cathedral and the Barcelona skyline.

Great photos and I hope you all enjoy the ones we post everyday. However, I think you are about to see the photos of the week. Here they are and to find out who this is and what’s going on, you need to go to www.eurodamnews.com.

Have a look at these

Continuing congratulations to Holland America for their astonishing blog which I hope you all have a look at as often as you can.

Tomorrow, I will be slapping on a great interview with the effervescent cruise director of the Queen Victoria . Do not miss that as it is a wonderful window into the Cunard world which is already available through the www.wearecunard.com blog………..more on that tomorrow.

Well, we had two people who did not enjoy Barcelona so much as both were robbed……….by David Copperfield.

One was on the metro and another who was just walking around the La Rambla section. Both said……….they never felt a thing………….it was like magic………….one moment their wallet and purse were there…………the next minute they had vanished. I tell the guests verbally at my talk and in writing in the Capers to be extra vigilant in Barcelona but unfortunately these poor guests have lost money, credit cards and personal items.

We are doing what we can to help.

I want to give you an update on the situation with the shorts. Do you remember yesterday a guest accused someone of steeling his shorts from the guest laundry. He later saw the guest wearing them on Lido deck and demanded he be arrested.

Well today, this angry man called the Purser’s desk to tell us that he had …….ummmm………made a mistake and that his wife had sent them along with other stuff to the laundry in our fill-a-bag for $10 deal.

Thinking about this I have to give credit to the guest for admitting that he had made a mistake and that his demands of arrest and public flogging for the guest he thought had stolen them had been wrong………………I would have said nothing and hid in the closet for the rest of the cruise………………………I wonder if he sees the guest he accused of theft will he apologize? Anyway, the bottom line is that he and his shorts have been reunited and there is a happy ending to this story…………..which by the way, could only happen on a cruise ship.

I wanted to show you a comment and a reply from yesterday’s blog.

Uncle Doug

John, it is good to be back in the blogging world. Our area took a direct hit from hurricane Ike. The only good thing was that we were far enough inland to miss the storm surge. Right now I am blogging from our church shelter where we have been working since before the hurricane. Most of our area, while they still have homes, (many with trees through them) are still without power and may stay that way for a few more weeks.

It is great seeing Carnival committed to the Texas market. I am sure a lot would of made the drive to NOLA but having two ships local keeps the people excited about cruising. The only benefit of Ike is now my drive to the ship is 25 miles shorter.

Hello Doug
I think I speak for everyone when I say how glad we are to have you back and that all of you are safe and well. It must be so hard living as you are at the moment and the fact that you also took the time to write is quite humbling.

Thanks for the sincere words and yes, Carnival is indeed committed to Texas and I hope that you and your state have nothing but blue skies for the rest of the year.

Your friend
John

Doug…….we all hope the power returns soon and you can let us all know how you are doing……….your friends here will be waiting.

Lets get back to last night and my conversation with Tara and my terrible impression of a Spaniel………..should have done a Shiatsu.

After my bollocking………..oh, by the way, the music was not too loud and the costumes are certainly not as skimpy as some of the nipple patch bikinis the Russians have been wearing on Labido deck………I returned to talk to Tara. She had seen what had happened and after telling me about how she thought the show was amazing she told me about her “fame.” She told me that after she did the show that people would see her in the street and while many would shout hello and stop to ask for a photo etc there was the nasty side of the street where people called her names that I couldn’t even begin to put in print.

I can’t begin to understand what it must be like to be famous. Look at those people who turn up on American Idol every week saying that what they most want, what they really want more than anything else, is to be famous.

Now of course fame does have certain advantages . . . but there are obvious disadvantages too, such as for instance the fact that every time you go to a public bathroom people will whip out their camera-phones and try to take photographs of your gentlemen’s area.

I mean, I am not even close to being famous except when I am on the ship where people recognize you and because they do they feel they have the right to come up to me and tell me I am fat or ugly, or that you’re no good at your job.

Try to imagine what that feels like.

The last few paragraphs have all been leading to something that Heidi and Stephanie will tell you, I was actually considering stopping the blog thingy on Wednesday………….and never writing again.

I receive 200 comments or more per week and although we have had some in which bloggers have disagreed with me they have never been personal.

Until this week……….here are two highlights from the 5 very nasty comments I received.

” Your blog is pathetic and self pandering. Give it up now and get a gym membership.”

” Your description of your stay in Japan shows that you are, like most British people, a racist pig.”

There were two more about the hurricane that I won’t repeat but they said such deeply hurtful things about me and the company I work for that I went from wanting to meet these people and give them the good news with my cricket bat…………. to actually talking in depth to Heidi and Stephanie about stopping the blog…………..they really got to me.

Unlike Tara, I am not famous……. but like Tara I am human and sometimes I think people forget that.

Why then, if you read something you don’t like …….just press delete.

Anyway, that was then and this is now and thanks to words of wisdom from my beautiful wife Heidi and the Director of Blog Services Stephanie….. and a few friends …………I have decided to keep going.

I will continue to read each and every comment, positive or negative and not take it personally……. and ignore the hurtful few and respect their opinions and not get mad……………………….although my cricket bat is ready……… just in case.

Sorry to vent everyone but it was a tough few days.

Well, to finish with today I need to share this comment with you.

Guest: Mrs——— Ref: 002890950A
Cabin: Booking#: Added-Changed: 09/19/08 – 09/19/08

1007 – DANCERS COSTUMES UPSET GUEST

Purser received a call from Security department asking to document a comment from a Mrs______. She stated that the costumes in the show Vroom were of an adult nature and her husband was very embarrassed. Guest wanted to speak to the Cruise Director and had stopped Veejay Security Guard.
Purser took comments and e mailed Cruise Director.

This was sent to me at 5:00pm this afternoon upon departure from Barcelona. So, I called the guest and it was indeed the wife of the gentlemen I had spoken to and barked at last night. She told me that her husband was very embarassed at the costumes. I apologized and said that the Capers does state that they will be wearing “show girl” style costumes . The wife said that she had been OK with it but her husband had decided to leave and was now very upset. I asked if I could speak to him but she said “he is too upset to speak.” ……………I felt really bad. I know he could have and should have said excuse me instead of interrupting a conversation I was already having by wagging his finger and whistling at me to come over…………….I know I was having a bad day having read those nasty comments………but I should have been more professional and not bounded over there like Lassie.

I asked again if I could speak to him but she said he had nothing to say and that he would not be coming to the shows because the costumes had upset him so much. She did say that that they had enjoyed a wonderful cruise but her husband had not enjoyed the shows or my humour as it was too adult rated for him.

So, I have sent them some wine at dinner tonight with a note of apology. …………not for the costumes because honestly……..there is nothing risqué about them. The wine and apology are for my failure last night to rise above the bad day I was having…………what an idiot I am.

I should have respected this guest’s views more and not been argumentative………..I am truly sorry.

Heidi says I need male company……….she says that I have no male friends on board and I need to spend time with men having a conversation about who’d been for their number twos, what the number twos had looked like, what they’d smelt of, how much more there was to come, and whether any records for sheer tonnage had been set.

I need someone who is obsessed with bottoms, bosoms, farting and belching. ………………I wonder if my mate Alan fancies a cruise.

I know it’s been a strange blog today and I thank you for listening……………normal service has returned.

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.