Arnold With One Huge Ball

October 25, 2008 -

John Heald

Good Evening from Dallas. The home of the Cowboys, great steaks, JR, Miss Ellie and of course……….that great American Icon……….the Pick Up Truck.

I have never seen so many. I guess that’s because I have never been to the south before except Miami which I guess is South but feels nothing like Dallas…………which I have to say is friendly to the extreme. But, it’s the pick up truck thingy which I am enthralled about…………and here …………they are everywhere.

When you have a pick-up, you are not an IT engineer from Microsoft. You are a frontiersman who likes his beer cold, his deer raw and his music country-style. You can go to the woods at weekends with your other pick-up-driving friends and dream up plans to rid Washington of its liberal politicians. You have the military-style wheels. You have the military-style haircut. You have the guns. You even have the camouflage shirts.

I would love to sell the Range Rover and put a big good old boy pick up truck but of course driving that in the UK I would look as out of place as a huge slab of ugly rock on the deck of a cruise ship.

Yesterday I drove to a Radio Station called PowerKissCoastX or something to do an interview about the Beach Ball party ………….you can see a video of that tomorrow by the way here on the blog thingy.On the video you may notice that my answers are a little short. This is because Brittney the interviewer told me to look at the clock which ticked down from 60 seconds which is all each question and answer could last for. Well, by the time Brittney had asked the question I had only a few seconds to answer…………anyway, back to the driving thing.

With regard to driving in the USA, I have mostly driven in Miami where the average driver is the most aggressive creature on earth. If you wish to change lanes on the freeway, because, say, your turn-off is approaching, you can indicate all you like, but no one will slow down to let you in. 
They won’t speed up, either. They’ll just sit there until you remember you’re in a rental car and make the move anyway. Then you’ll get a selection of hand gestures that you never knew existed. I know of no city outside of Italy and France where motorists are so intolerant of one another. The slightest mistake causes at the very least a great deal of horn blowing and, at worst, a three-second burst from some kind of powerful automatic weapon. Everyone sits about three feet from your rear end; which, when you’re being followed by a 18 wheeler truck and you’re doing 70mph, and he has a machine gun next to his Big Gulp, and you need to turn left, and the person on your inside won’t let you in……………well let’s just say it can be very scary and of course you then have to explain to the nice man from Hertz why you are returning the rent a car with a brown stain on the drivers seat.

In Dallas, it was very different. The drivers seemed normal and they drove with respect to others and…………..they had discovered something the folks in Miami seem not to have found………..blinkers.

Wow, what a day. I have been making videos since 9:00am this morning and it has been most fulfilling. The day started with a big problem…………what to wear. I thought about going casual but then thought if Heidi was here she would tell me to dress “smart” so I did……………and ummmm……………when I saw what the crew from the video shoot, our friends from Arnold and the rest of the Carnival gang were all wearing I felt as out of place as Prince Charles at a lap dancing club.

Let me tell you about Big Dawg Pete, Stephanie (a very popular name in America it seems ) and the other chaps and lasses from Arnold Advertising Agency. They are brilliant. Now , I could try and talk the same language that they speak but as I don’t understand any of it I will say this. They understand Fun. They understand why you are loyal Carnival fans and they have taken that understanding of fun and turned it into something you can touch and feel………………a huge beach ball. With the greatest respect to what we have done before I love this concept. Gone are the commercials showing people sitting on deck sipping on a glass of champagne with their little finger sticking in the air, this is something new. Now, I will be honest and tell you I didn’t quite understand what a leviathan of a beach ball and down town Dallas had to do with a cruise on the Fun Ships. However, when I rounded the corner from the hotel today and saw this massive, giant ball and the hundreds of film extras trying to play “keep it uppy thingy” with it I did what everyone else I saw today did……………I laughed, I smiled and I reached for my camera, took photos and e mailed them to all my friends………….OK………..I e-mailed them to Heidi and Alan.

John emailing PA

I think the best way to describe this is that I watched the Director Noam Murro tell the cast of film extras what to do. Normally I would imagine he would have to say act…….smile…….you in the suit laugh when you see the ball and you guys in the boardroom talking bollocks, when you see the huge beach ball stop doing what you are doing and walk over to the window and have fun looking at it.

He didn’t need to.

He just said………………..”action”

And everyone smiled……….everyone laughed……………….everyone had fun……………..and that………………….is Carnival Cruise Lines.

This is going to be a huge success and my thanks to all at Carnival and of course the brilliant minds at The Arnold Agency………….read all about them at

I have never been with advertising and filmy types before but they made me feel as comfortable and as relaxed as a warm pink bubble bath.
 Well, tomorrow is going to be a very busy day. It starts at 9:00 am with coffee with the Bloggers and then I host this event and the final scenes for the commercial.

Please check in as many times as you can and enjoy something called “steaming video” and lots of other fun stuff and a live blog from me as well………………hope to see you all there.

Here is Jaime’s latest report from the Carnival Splendor and if you have time please pass on our thanks to her for all she does.

Dear John,

On the beautiful Carnival Splendor we are, as you say, “destination cruising.” Therefore, on sea days, most guests just want to relax, sleep in, and enjoy the brisk sea air. This being the case, guests don’t always necessarily KNOW that they want to participate in all of the fun-filled activities that we offer on board, but once they join in, they certainly have a good time. Today was action packed with bean bag toss, the world famous Hairy Chest Competition and my newest activity: “Can You Outwit a Camp Carnival Jr. Cruiser?” Which, of course, no one could, not because the questions are fixed or anything, but I just always happen to find the most intelligent eight-year-old on the planet Splendido, who matches wits against a guest over 30.

Among the highlights of the day was a group of guests screaming and arguing about whether they were in the forward or aft of the ship. Literally they were yelling at each other for over a minute when I delicately interrupted to ask if I could help them. They asked where they were, and I told them they were on deck nine forward, then immediately bolted at the speed of light away so I wouldn’t get my head eaten by the man eating shark of a husband that insisted he was near the aft elevators!

Since everyone seemed to enjoy the photos of the crew eating and sleeping areas, I decided to try and step it up a notch and capture some shots of the bridge on the newest ship in the fleet. Not just anyone has permission to go into this top secret safe area. At one time on the Carnival ships it is my understanding that bridge and engine tours were available for guests. Unfortunately, since 9-11 heightened security has made this privilege no longer an option.

Of course, after much smooth talking, smiling, and begging (without using $3 kisses of course), the Italians were ever so kind as to agree to allow me to photograph the main navigational component of the ship! Now, the entrance to the bridge is so secret that I had to be led there blindfolded, sworn to secrecy and promise my first born child if I told a soul that I had access to this VIP area. I am only sharing it with the bloggers, so don’t tell! You can see the photos below.

After my trip to the bridge, I was fortunate enough to join Lauren and her family for dinner in the fabulous Gold Pearl dining room! This restaurant is the epitome of class and sophistication, and, as frequent Carnival cruisers know, there is always a show to behold. Tonight was no exception.

I think the Assistant Waiter Federico was attempting to recreate the leaning tower of Pisa that we will visit in Livorno in a few days, because as his stack of eight dishes came crashing to the floor, all I could do was feel sorry for the poor fellow. No one was hurt, and no one got food spilled on them. In fact, the hostess was happy to see that it was me who was up close and personal with the fallen food as opposed to a guest. Dinner was delicious as expected and the four of us headed of to Fiesta Latina in the main lounge!

We will be in Athens tomorrow with tours beginning at 6:30am. SO I am off to go socialize of course.

Have a good night =)

There is someone famous staying in the Penthouse of the hotel. I know this because I met the lady General Manager just now who jumped into the elevator with me. She waved a magic key in front of the button that said PH and off we went. I said good afternoon and commented on the special key to which she replied “we have someone very famous arriving tonight.” Now I pointed out that I was already here but didn’t bother asking who was coming as I knew she would tell me to bugger off.

However, I made a few discreet inquiries with the door people and they were very happy to tell me that it was film actor Owen Wilson. Stephanie has just informed me that her and her co-workers also saw him last night at the nightclub in the hotel lobby.

Sadly, because of a few lunatics at the top end of the show business ladder — the ones who adopt dolphins and drink their own urine and have tantric sex with bits of furniture — we seem to have got it into our heads that all celebrities are completely bonkers……….. It’s not surprising though because already there is a group of paparazzi creatures gathering by the door hoping to catch a glimpse of him coming out of his limousine. I already feel sorry for him……………… many people want Fame………….but the price these days is very, very high…………..Just ask Mr. Wilson.

Last night I went to bed at 8:00pm. I didn’t feel well and a good nights sleep was definitely needed. I feel much better today though. Anyway, back to last night. Obviously going to bed at 8:00pm meant that I woke up at 1:00am and couldn’t get back to sleep. And so I turned to the TV. I tried watching something called MTV Cribs which seemed to be about a Rap Star who had a huge house and lashings of swimming pools and fast cars. He was also a very brave Rap Star as he had a huge gold medal hanging round his neck……………….it was bollocks. Then, as I was flicking I arrived at a channel showing a blast from my past.

The mustache………..the red Ferrari……..the Dobermans……………yep…………..Magnum PI……………….. What a show.

On the face of it he had the life I dreamt about as a teenager. He had a job looking after a multi-millionaire’s mansion in Hawaii but actually he did bugger all and just came and went as he pleased. I remember watching this and how it gave me an unrealistic sense of how easy life was going to be for me in later years. However, I had a very rude awakening when I went to a job seminar and found out that jobs in Hawaii that involved driving Ferrari’s and having rumpy pumpy with a different woman every day …………were in fact few and far between. I would have even started of at Rick’s bar or taken the job of cleaning the Dobermans poo of the manicured gardens if it got me in the door…………but nothing.

I also tried one of Magnum’s techniques. He would always say “sorry, I don’t get involved with female clients” and then in the next scene they would be having rumpy pumpy on the beach. I thought I would try that and when I met a girl who would actually talk to me I would profess absolutely no interest in them before lunging at them manically. This did not result in any rumpy pumpy but in a good swift kick in the Albert Halls.

I also loved his refrigerator that was stocked permanently with beer and of course I loved the way he could be trailing a dangerous criminal while wearing daisy duke shorts, a Hawaiian shirt that looked like Walt Disney had thrown up on it all while driving a bright red Ferrari……………….and the villain had no idea he was right behind him………………….brilliant.

Time to go…………..tomorrow will be a busy day. Stop by when you can.

Your friend
PS – I miss 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.