And so I have upset two lovely lady guests………… you will see

Now, in my defense, when hosting the marriage show I always ask for all the honeymoon ladies to stand up. I then ask for four ladies who feel that, without exception, their marriage proposal was the most extraordinary or out of the ordinary. Well, probably half of the 15 put their hands up and I just picked the four who looked the most animated and excited. At no point, did I see that there was a lady standing whose partner was a lady and purposely ignore them……that’s preposterous.

However, I can see that this may have been what the ladies in question thought and the last thing I want to read is that someone left my show in tears ……….and not tears caused by laughter. So, having read the letter, I called the guests and we chatted and ….. well ……. they really do feel that I purposely didn’t choose them because they are a gay couple.

They also referred to the incident they wrote about in the dining room. I had to defend the waiter because no matter what they may say, they do not have requests that often for cake to be served to a gay couple and I can understand why the waiter may have been a little confused.

I apologized over and over again and I think by the time the call ended, they felt better and I will be including them both as they requested in the afternoon show tomorrow.

So, good morning from a day at sea and today’s blog will include, among other things, quite a few photos. I am really behind on posting these and let’s start with Stromboli.

For those friends of mine who have been reading the blog for some time, you will know that on the Grand Med cruises we pass by the active volcanic island of Stromboli, located at the end of the Straits of Messina. Well, I had been promoting this to the guests for a few days and usually I do so with the comfort and knowledge that they are going to see something as Stromboli is as I said……..very active.

Last night then the balconies and open decks were packed with paparazzi passengers ready to snap the exuberant sight of an erupting volcano and as we got closer I am sure the guests will have heard me shout “bugger” on the bridge………because that is what old Stromboli was doing…………..bugger all…………the only eruption was actually on the bridge and that was due to the two boiled eggs I had for breakfast.

So, there we were…….2,000 guests all on one side of the ship staring at a big dark lump of rock…..and just as the bow drew level with the center of Stromboli………this happened.

Those wonderful photos were taken by Dr. Jason Wolfe (MB, BS, MRCS) the ship’s senior physician and we thank him once again for doing so.

Well, the guests cheered each and every flare and this put them in a great mood for the Talent Show later that night………well…………nearly everyone.

Guest: Mrs. ___________ Ref: 002U04989A
Cabin: _______ Booking#: ________ Added-Changed: 09/30/08 – 09/30/08


Ms. _________ came to the purser’s desk with a carnival cares comment card that read the following;

“I want grits served for lunch like most hotels and other cruise lines I have been on. Why do you not have them. I was told I could not participate in the talent show because I wanted to read a passage from the scriptures. This is unacceptable and I am very upset!”

This was a tough call. Adele called me and said that the guest wanted to read various passages from the Bible and talk about “sin” before singing a gospel song. I came down to the lounge and spoke to the lady explaining that we would love her to sing the gospel song but that the talent show does is not the right forum to read passages from the Bible.

Now, I am not a scholar of the Old or New Testament, but I am pretty certain that at no point did Jesus call anyone a “knucklehead” and, apparently because of my refusal to allow this, I am “going to hell.” I explained that if I am going there it will probably because I farted during Father Snell’s sermon when I was 14 and one time during harvest celebrations, I stole a fruitcake that had been left with other food stuffs by the penitent form and ate it…………it was supposed to go to an orphanage.

I am sorry to say that the lady did not see the funny side of this or me and left …………….. however…………….we do have grits for lunch today…….yippee……… the way ………. what are grits?

So, let’s pause for more photos and to show you how far behind I am on posting them, here are a few from the beautiful island of Capri taken this cruise by Dance Captain Claire.

And here are a few of the many, many letters I have received this cruise in today’s In Their Own Words section.

And finally from today’s selection of photos we return to the chocolate box town of Dubrovnik and photos taken by Jaime and Lawrence and Brett, our brilliant lighting engineer. I thank them all.

OK, let’s catch up with part 3 of Chris “Bubba” Roberts Hawaiian Adventure.

The Hawaii Reposition Sea Day 4

So I got up this morning, turned on the TV, and we still have no reception. I am worried now because it’s Sunday and the football will be on soon. But it’s not the football that people are worried about this morning. Got a phone call from the pursers saying there was a guest who wanted to lead a religious service for everyone. I told them they needed to check with the hotel director. We don’t normally have a priest or chaplain on board. We try and have them during the High Holy days. But even then we can’t always staff all of the ships with them. About 20 minutes later I got another call from the pursers saying the same guest was not longer wanting to do the service. So I guess that’s another reason why we don’t have services……

It’s still kind of rough today…the wind just won’t let up. Last night we had a truckload of rain come down. Mother Nature just won’t seem to cooperate with us. But the sun is out….so Lido will still have people on it, but the upper decks will be empty as it is far too windy for any one to be up there.

My first activity this morning was “up close and personal, the ship life Q&A,” which I really enjoy hosting. It’s just an open forum where people can come in and ask questions about what it’s like to live and work on board. Normally we only have about 20 – 30 people….today there was like 150…standing room only. They had all the regular questions….how long are our contract, what are our cabins like, do we eat the same food, do we have married couples that work on board, how do you get a job working on the ship, etc., etc…they had a lot of questions about tipping today, which I found strange since it was only the fourth day of the cruise. We did almost an hour and 10 minutes of Q&A today. They all seemed to have enjoyed it and found it informative.

From there I went back stage for a Q&A of a different nature for our backstage tour. I was joined by our Dance Captain Tara, Sr. Tech Kevin & Backstage Manager Tim. We probably had about 150 + for the tour. More than I think I have ever seen for an activity like that. We split the people into two groups, and the dance captain and I took half into the dressing rooms and Tim and Kevin took the other half on stage. Then after everyone saw both sides we did another Q&A about the entertainment department.

Shortly after the backstage tour, I went back to my cabin to rejoice to the fact that the TV stations were starting to come in and we had football on. It’s was funny cause the game that was on was Green Bay vs. Tampa Bay. I as you know, am from Tampa, and our Dance Captain Tara is from Green Bay, so, of course, I called her right away to let her know that the game was on, and also that Tampa was winning ☺.

Today in my mailbox I got another envelope from a guest….this time it was a happy engagement card from someone who reads the blog. I will send them something nice tomorrow. It’s is really nice that everyone who comes on here who reads the blog has been so nice and supportive.

The best part of today was getting to do my matinee show. It was at 5 pm and it was standing room only for the show. I would guess about 400+ people were there. Myself and the band did about 10 more songs of Blues Brothers music and it was very well received. Singing with the live band is something I love the most about my job. If I could do it all the time I would. Left the lounge after the show and was met at my door by one of the security guards who had another bad weather advisory for me to sign. They do this to let us know that it’s gonna get rocky. Tonight we are supposed to have the deck party, so I went straight to the bridge to find out more as it was almost time to get set up for the party. The guys on the bridge gave me a “well, maybe” answer that it was going to rain.

Called the HD and food manager and asked what they wanted to do. I didn’t want to move everything up to the Lido and then have the party come to a grinding halt because of rain. We all agreed it would be best to postpone for one more day and hope that we have better weather tomorrow. So I scrambled to rearrange the schedule.

The show of the night was the Guest Talent show. We had seven acts in our show. Six of the seven were singing performance. One interesting act we had was a man who made balloon animals while dancing to swing music. The final act was awesome as they were a group of barber shoppers who performed a bit of doo-wop.

Overall it was a good day. The guests really seemed relaxed and are enjoying their time on board. Just one more day at sea and we’ll be in the islands. Can’t wait. That’s it for now. We’ll check back in tomorrow.

Thanks, Chris. It sounds like you are having fun and the guests are enjoying the crossing. ……do you know what grits are? Tune in tomorrow everyone for another Bubba adventure.

I am going to show you something very funny now. Do you remember my blog of a few days ago that mentioned the huge amounts of static electricity we were finding in the dance club?

Well, you may remember that I mentioned that the fleet’s senior DJ and my friend Shannon had touched a metal pole after walking across the dance floor and that I said the shock had been so great that he ended up looking like Don King ….. well ……. here he is.

So, I have upset a gay couple and an angry lady who wanted to spread the word ………… apart from those three and Mr.ABCNBCCBSFOX, everyone else has had a wonderful time so far. The weather has been perfect and the standing ovation the crew just received from the guests was testament to their exceptional service.

After the talk and, as normal, I held a Q&A session which was special because I was presented with an Hawaiian lei of ummm…nuts……….was told that I was the funniest cruise director a couple had ever seen on 29 cruises and was asked why we didn’t sell train tickets to Rome onboard the ship…………oh and yes………..there was one more thing…………I was told by a guest…….in public……..over the microphone ……. that she had laughed so hard at the bedtime story she had ………um….mmmm……had an accident and that I owed her a new pair………now that’s a compliment you never forget. This shows the genuine ups and downs that a cruise director will experience each and every day.

So, let me tell you about Blair Farish. I met Blair this morning on my way to get my morning cup of tea from the coffee bar………I am trying not to drink coffee at the moment and stick to my monkey tea. So, there I was dunking my tea bag into the hot water when I was welcomed with a cheery hello and a handshake and recognized him as a one of the guests that had joined me on stage for the welcome aboard show.

We had a lot of fun and I remember saying he looked like a professor and in fact I had encouraged everyone to call him just that……….The Professor………….and they did. Anyway, Blair asked if I could meet him later today as he had something for me and after the debarkation talk this morning I saw that Heidi was holding a book for me. It was from Blair…………it’s called………….The Clockwatcher. It tells the story of how in 1983 in the Canadian Rockies a small aircraft crashed, killing everyone except Blair.

His book is his own account of the horror of the fiery crash and the agonizing wait for rescue. He then tells how he survived despite being badly burned. He signed the book for me and, after I read it, I shall place it in the library here on the ship……you see, you never know who is onboard and you never would have known that as “The Professor” laughed and joked with the guests that first night that he had such a courageous story to tell.

It’s what makes this job so fascinating.

Now, let’s talk money.

During the inaugural three-day cruise of the Carnival Splendor, I was having dinner with some important people one of which was a banker and, as you can imagine, my watch immediately started going backwards and I had wished I had brought a book with me.

Time seemed to stand still, and as he droned on about mortgages and sub-prime markets in America, I began to wonder if I would be fired if I were to beat him unconscious with my lobster shell… Instead I ignored him and the rubbish he was talking about. What do you mean, trouble? Are you saying that because Mr. and Mrs. Smith from Chicago can’t afford to pay their mortgages, I’m in danger of losing my meager savings ………..what a load of old bollocks I said to myself and went back to dreaming about what damage I could do to him with a dessert spoon.

And I was thinking of Mr. Banker as I sat here in the cabin on Monday, watching the whole financial world on the brink of meltdown, I thought back to all the hard work I had done, all those Easy Jet nightmare flights and the 21 years I had spent at sea scrimping and saving in order to provide a better life for Heidi, my Mum and Dad……..and an Aston Martin for me.. And now, my savings were in danger of buggering off and my meager stock portfolio looked like being worth as much as a Betamax video player on EBay.

So, I did what most people do in a situation like this — and went to the bathroom.
Afterwards, I called my sister in Hong Kong who as you may know is a banker and does things with other peoples money.

This is how the conversation went.

John:   Hello Sue Drip………..I am really worried. Is my money safe, what should I do, do you have any advice?

Sue Drip:   You see, John, approximately $707 billion . . . of the $441 billion in notional exposure of the market’s super senior credit default swap portfolio represented derivatives written for financial I institutions, principally in Europe, for the purpose of providing
regulatory capital relief rather than risk mitigation. In exchange for a minimum guaranteed fee, the counterparties receive credit
protection with respect to diversified loan portfolios they own, thus improving their regulatory capital position.”

John: OK, bye.

No help there, then.

There is much finger pointing. Blame is flying everywhere. It’s the bankers. It’s capitalism. It’s the price of oil. It’s the Chinese. And, Al Gore, of course, blames global warming. We are told in these dark and difficult times, when people are eating their own pets and burning their children’s teddy bears just to stay warm, that the most important thing is the environment?

I would call my bank but even that isn’t easy anymore. Has anyone noticed that in this day and age you need to have a memory like someone from the Counter Terrorist Unit in 24?

You phone up some company – “What’s your password?” You revisit a website that you’ve forgot to tick “remember me” on. You pull out your chip ’n pin card in a shop and think “Well, there are only 9999 possibilities.” Soon our bloody refrigerators won’t open unless we can remember a 1,600-character, mixed-case password and we’ll all starve!

Anyway, because there is no safe haven for your money, you need to give it to someone else. That way, it becomes their problem. So, why not pay your income tax early? Need a new car? Why not buy one now? …………..and best of all why not give your money to Carnival by booking a cruise on the Carnival Dream or a trip to Alaska on the Carnival Spirit or to the Baltic on Carnival Liberty?

I have asked Carnival not to pay me for the rest of the year. I simply wouldn’t know where to put the cash. And so with that in mind, if you are the accountant at Carnival and you are reading this, the payment I would like for being the senior cruise director is for you to buy me a Bentley….GTC……a black one…..oh yes…..I want the license plate to read “THINGY.”

Oh, and the credit crunch is effecting every one………..even the Royal Family

Your friends
John and Heidi and H.M The McQueen

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.