Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

September 21, 2008 -

John Heald

There have been many very different comments to the notice that we are going to make the piano bar here on the Carnival Splendor non-smoking. Some have jumped for joy, some have said that they aren’t bothered, and some have been close to angry.

I will discuss this further, but it’s amazing isn’t it how different people have different reactions to one simple thing.

Let me give you an example. Prince William has recently landed a helicopter in his girlfriend Kate Middleton’s backyard. Oooh, there was a lot of complaining and writing of letters to newspapers by people with beards – why? The man’s a prince. All he did was borrow one of his grandmother’s helicopters to drop in on the on his girl who was obviously very impressed.

My mate Alan once rented a BMW for the day to guarantee himself some rumpy pumpy with a girl we nicknamed “crater face”…..imagine what old Will got when Kate saw him landing a bloody helicopter next to her rose bush……… by the way…. Alan got nothing.

Look at our members of Parliament, senators and governors, etc. They are bunch of people who go to bed at 10, only drink diet Dr Pepper, never try to look up their secretary’s skirts and have to resign if they even think about looking at some Latvian women on the Internet… in short, we’re going to be governed by bores and failures. Why is this good idea? No one says of their friends, “I chose them because they are all so kind to animals and they do good works.” We like people who like to laugh, to have fun, to break the rules once in a while

Trouble is, it’s hard to find people like that any more . . . you see, times are changing and we have to change with them.

Today, whenever I go to the cigar bar for something that has been rolled on the thigh of a voluptuous Cuban lady, I get looks of pure hatred and utter amazement from guests as though I am sitting there naked…… doing some basket weaving ……… henceforth ……I now never smoke in the cigar bar unless it is very, very late at night and nobody is there.

And this brings me to my hero.

Imagine if we had someone like Winston Churchill in power today. A cigar smoker. A big, big drinker. A man given to Herculean bouts of depression. Under a hailstorm of criticism, he wouldn’t last a week.

It’s the same for all of us. You can be ostracized by your neighbors for putting your refuse in the wrong-colored trash can, you can have your car vandalized if it has four-wheel drive, and slapping the back of your kid’s legs if after he has super-glued his sister’s face to the mail box and painted the family dog blue.

As a cruise director, I have to not smoke in public, sit up straight, watch what joke I say in case I offend anyone of any age, any sex, any religion, any creed, any color, any nationality, any height, any weight, of any……well……..thing . It’s hard. That’s why when I am on vacation, I smoke a cigar 24 hours and tell all the jokes I could never tell on the ship to my Mum and Dad…….they particularly like the one about the nun and the elephant.

I fear for our future. I worry that bad behavior is being erased from society, and that unless the trend can be reversed, somehow we’ll all have to go through life like those Stepford Wives………..robotic and all programmed to do the right thing all the time.

I yearn sometimes when I encounter man with perfect hair…..you know………the local news reader-type who has spent hours in front of the mirror maneuvering each hair into place like a drill sergeant before going on air to tell the viewers about a skateboarding hamster……………….

I just want to creep up behind him and go “woohoo” and using both my hands mess hair up so badly it looks like he has just rented a moped. You see, I don’t have perfect hair. My hair has a life of its own — last night I found it watching a movie on Lido deck drinking a pina colada.

And so we come back full circle to smoking and like it or not………..we have to follow the way of the world and limit the number of places you can smoke. However, for now, unlike hotels, bars, restaurants and vacation resorts, cruise ships still offer something for everyone………and that, these days, is something special.

By the way, I went ashore today in Cannes and, even though I was sitting in an open air part of the restaurant, I was told that although smoking cigarettes was allowed cigar smoking was not. Apparently though it was OK for my waiter not have had a shower since March……..2005.

So, let’s see what happens and I will let you know the honest feedback of our guests this coming cruise.

OK, I need to go meet with someone from Saudi Arabia…………….Mustafa Poo ……………. so while I do that you look at some great photos.

Entertainment Staff members on the tender ride over

Where the Cannes Film Festival is held

Pictures of the Shoreline

Oh, how French!

The French Flag

Thanks to Jaime for those great photos …………except the first one 🙂

Now, out of my window I see Ocean Village 2. This ship which is part of Carnival Corporation is full of British guests, some of whom I saw having a wonderful time ashore. They have a brilliant slogan…………”Ocean Village………..Cruises for people who don’t like cruises.” I have no idea about what happens onboard but their product is obviously massively popular and I will have to investigate some more and maybe pop onboard sometime.

Now, I am in Cannes, France, and that’s what I can see out of my office window.

Let’s have a look at what Chris “Bubba” Roberts can see out of his over there in Alaska.

That of course got a huge aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh from everyone so here is a photo that won’t

Good, now unless any of you need to be sick……………lets continue.

Good evening from Cannes, South of France where we tendered 3,000 guests to and from the ship today. The tendering operation here is very smooth, although there were a few delays because of the weather. When we arrived at 7:30 am it was raining very, very hard………still, I couldn’t complain because if God has decided that France needs a shower — who am I to disagree?

Anyway, the weather made the steps down to the floating platforms by which the tenders dock alongside very slippery and, regardless of how many times we wiped them, etc., they were hazardous. So, I decided to stop the operation and have them carpeted ………. yep ……………instantly carpeted and, thanks to our wonderful deck department, within 15 minutes the steps on both gangway were finished and the operation could continue.

The other fact that slowed things down a bit was because we could not use the upper open decks of the tenders. This reduced the capacity by up to 100 people. However, things went well and as is usual here in the Med by 11 am, the sun was shining again and everyone was enjoying their tours and exploration of this beautiful part of the world…………..well……………nearly everyone.


Mr. ________ came to the desk asking to speak to cruise director. Purser
informed that Mr. ________ can leave a note at the desk and we will pass it
on to the cruise director. Mr. ________ said he wanted to speak to him now.
Purser informed that the cruise director was dealing with the tender
process at the moment on the bridge. Purser offered assistance. Mr. ________ said that they were supposed to go on The Colors of the French Riviera tour and they had overslept yet nobody had called their cabin. Purser explained that we cannot call every cabin if guests do not show for the tour. Guest became very angry and said that we should have a list on the shore to see who is not there.
Note: Guest came to the desk at 11:05 am and their tour had left at 8 am
Purser sent file record to the cruise director and the Shore Excursion

Now, I am very sorry that they missed their tour and we did offer to send them on another one instead …………but…………to expect us to wake them up because they slept in ………. ummm……….well, that’s a little strange don’t you think? So, as demanded, I just met with the guest and explained that we have to send the tours on time and we can’t be responsible for waking guests up. I explained that the cabin has a wake-up call system from the telephone of they can ask for a call from room service.

Well, I think they sort of understood and all was well until he asked for a free tour to Florence tomorrow. I told him that I did not see that the circumstances allowed for this and I was treated to a man who despite getting an extra three hours of sleep ………was very, very cranky. Let’s see if a bottle of champagne helps his mood improve at dinner tonight.

Next week I hope to go and visit the Carnival Dream. I will be in Venice and she will be about two hours away in the shipyard. So, me and my camera will be off to see Carnival’s biggest ever vessel and until then, have a look at the new photos on

The Carnival Dream Media Gallery and dream a little Dream with me.

Next year is a very exciting one for Carnival Corporation. Not only do we have the Carnival Dream but also the Ruby Princess (due the end of this year), the AIDALuna ….. love that name……..and there are probably others I have forgotten, as well.

There is, of course, one other we must mention and that will be the Bugatti Veron and theBurj Al Arab Hotel of cruise vessels, a ship that James Bond would take Pussy Galore on to celebrate saving the world………..the Seabourn Odyssey. Here she is one year away from completion.

What a great photo and I have invited myself on the inaugural cruise. I will be the poorest, ugliest person there………….but I shall report back to all of you on what will be the most luxurious cruising event the world has seen for a long time………………..me on the Seabourn Odyssey……….that’s a bit like mixing Bailey’s with prune juice.

Before I go though a touch of seriousness is required. I want to say thank you to all of you for your support following the bad few days of last week. I have decided never to let the few get me down and as so many of you said I will listen to the masses and continue to blog……………and continue to enjoy life. With that in mind I am going to spend the next hour doing things I have never done before……….I am going to have a power hour of fun.

I am going to walk out on stage tonight for the show still dressed in my Dolly Parton costume …………….if someone doesn’t laugh at my joke, I am going to put their head between my voluptuous breasts and go ” bwwwwwwwwwwww” until they do.

Sorry the blog was a bit short tonight and tomorrow I will be featuring a great interview with a man who is a cruise director’s cruise director. See you then.

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.