Hi Diy

November 25, 2008 -

John Heald

There is a book called “Women Are From Mars and Men Are from Uranus” or something like that……………………well, whoever wrote that bestseller was absolutely correct.

When I host my morning shows on the ship I always get at least two or three a week where men….who have done something terrible………..use me to apologize live on the show……..some are very sincere…………some are just pretending.

I often read these letters out and never get to know the outcome. I remember a cruise on the Carnival Splendor where a chap had spent all night in the casino and lost all the money they had budgeted for shopping, etc…………….his wife refused to let him in the cabin………….security was called…………and Uncle John had to mediate the problem by reading his letter of apology out on the show……………I have no idea what happened next.

That was an apology that needed to happen. However, as I write there are millions of men around the world who are saying “sorry” to a woman……………what they are saying sorry for………………….they have no idea.

I have learned that with Heidi there is an art to saying sorry. I had to say sorry this morning because I didn’t empty the dishwasher before I went to bed and the art of saying sorry was needed. This art is to pretend that I am vet……………and I have had to tell Heidi that the dog she has loved for many years has had to be put to sleep. I say sorry with a quiet intensity showing that I truly understand what a complete and utter bastard I am for leaving the pots and pans in the dishwasher overnight…….it works…….so next time men that you need to say “sorry,” become a vet.

I also had to say sorry this morning for not replacing the toilet roll. Women have the gene that allows them to do this and men do not. I will use the very last piece of paper on the roll and look down at the bare cardboard cylinder and simply hope it gets replaced soon…..sort of like a dog looking at his empty bowl. This does not just apply to toilet roll but all the goods in the house. I guess this comes from living at home where Mum took care of everything to working on a ship for 21 years where various stateroom stewards all called Ketut took care of my every need………….including replacing the toilet roll.

I am not used to having time off and today the only thing on my ajendor ……… agendar ……… agander………….the only thing I have to do is to write this blog thingy………….apart from that, I have bugger all to do. It’s early evening here and we have spent the day doing nothing. Heidi finally agreed that under her current state and because our house is ridiculously big for just two people she agreed that I would hire a cleaner. This goes against everything Heidi has been taught but because she gets tired quickly these days she finally agreed.

So, we now have a young Indonesian/Polish girl called Ketutski ……. kidding …… her name is Lizbeth and she is really pretty. She has beautiful red hair and a bottom ……… ummmmmm …………I mean she really does a great job cleaning. We are looking after her and when she left today she told us we were the nicest people she had worked for…….she will be helping us two days a week and I am happy that Heidi has decided to rest and let Lizbeth and her bottom come and help us.

Anyway, back to me doing bugger all. I can’t remember doing bugger all for a long time and, obviously, if a man has bugger all to do he is either going to watch TV or, even worse — and this is inevitable – he’s going to try to build something.

Now, as I have mentioned before here on the blog thingy I hate DIY. That’s because I am no good at it. I have the building skills of a penguin that is high as a kite and as I waddle around the workshop oblivious of what tool does what job, I couldn’t be more different than my Dad whose workshop looks like Steve’s from This Old House.

To me, DIY is like pain. The human mind is programmed in such a way that you can’t relive or recapture the agony of toothache or the discomfort of a bleeding hemmerroid. And it’s the same story with home improvements. You remember that the last set of cupboards you made fell down, taking the area’s power supply with them, but you can’t for the life of you remember what it felt like or why.

And so, many years later, with the court case settled and the village rebuilt, you think you ought to give it a go once more. You may be an Chef or a Cruise Director but at weekends you can easily turn your hand to a bit of carpentry and put up a cupboard with the same skill as Richard Simmons would show as starting power forward for the Miami Heat.

So today, I found myself with bugger all to do. I had watched one of those programs where someone was pregnant but didn’t know whether the father was her husband or her dog. Clue: if it barks . . .

Anyway, I don’t know how it happened but by lunchtime I was trying to put up some coving that Heidi had threatened to hire a professional builder for. This meant paying Bobski the Builderski hundreds of pounds……nope I could do this myself. I am brand ambassador and senior cruise director for the world’s most popular cruise line. I had spoken live on TV and performed in front of thousands of people……..surely I could put up a piece of coving. This is the stuff that goes round the ceiling and a piece had come down so I was going to put it back up again…………or was I?

Did you know it was made of plaster? And that if you try to nail it to the wall it just shatters into a million pieces? I didn’t and obviously I couldn’t ask my Dad as that would have made me a failure in his eyes. He is the master builder…….I am the Jedi trainee.

Asking Dad or anyone else would have been like pointing to a man’s private parts in a sauna and saying: “What’s that for?” You’re a man. You’re supposed to know. Heidi would have laughed……Alan would have laughed……….and my Dad would have fainted.

Suitably humiliated and after a massive bollocking from Heidi, I have vowed never to pick up any form of tool ever again………….now I have nothing to do again………….luckily I recorded the program I was watching earlier so in a few minutes I can see if the father was the husband or Spot.

Time for a one last look at the life of Big Tex.


I love my wife. We get along great. That’s a good thing, especially since she’s stuck with me at this point. I’m fairly confident that I’ll be with her until the day I die (although, if I ruin Christmas again this year, that day might come sooner than expected). But I’m constantly amazed at the “Oldyweds” I get at the Love and Marriage Game each cruise.

Today’s couple had been married for 62 years. 62 YEARS! You can kill someone and be out of prison in 10 or 20 years. I know this for a fact — I watch Law and Order.

Today’s couple, Vic and Irene, were every bit as much in love with one another today, as they were 62 years ago. They met at an American Legion Dance in December of 1945. They brought their kids, grandkids and great-grandkids on the cruise with them to celebrate the holidays.

Seeing the love those two shared, got me thinking about my own marriage. It also had me thinking about my own shortcomings as a husband. I spoke with Vic at length about what it really took to make his marriage work. His answer was simple, he told me that there is usually a solution to every problem that both people can be happy with. You just have to find out what that is.

At the risk of making this entry a little bit heavy, I’ve made some observations about myself and I’ve decided to share them with you. I am not the perfect husband and am, in fact, far from it. Oftentimes, I put the needs of myself or my job ahead of Kimberley’s.

Kimberley is patient with me, but that doesn’t make it OK. So, I’ve decided to be a better husband. I’ve decided this for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that I clearly will never do any better. But also, because one day, I’d like to say I’ve been married for 62 years. I’d like to bring my kids, grandkids and great grandkids on a cruise to celebrate the holidays. And, I would definitely like it if some 31-year old kid came to me for advice on how to make it work.

Which brings me back to Vic and Irene.

How have they made it last for all these years? Well, their answer to my final question today, pretty much sums it up.

Me: “What’s the one word or phrase that’s said the most in your bedroom?”

Vic: “Wow, that’s a hard one!”

Wait for it…

Not yet…

Irene: “Shut up and put it away!”

For those who’ve never met Kimberley, this is the woman who puts up with me.

The finale from Ticket To Ride.

Until tomorrow,


Tex, thanks mate for the brilliant look at your life and that of the new Carnival Fantasy and her Evolutions of Fun upgrades. We all look forward to sailing with you in February and wish you all the best. Maybe you can drop us a guest blog every now and then so we can keep up with your adventures.

In a few weeks time we will present another series of guest blogs featuring Christmas on the Carnival Glory. These insights will be written by the ship’s cruise director, Butch Begovitch, who many of you have sailed with recently. Butch will feature not only what it is like for the guests onboard but also the crew as they spend the holiday season away from their families. It should be a wonderful series of blogs and we all look forward to that.

In the next few days I will be featuring lots of guest interviews including one with the most famous cruise ship captain…………………….in the world.

I missed a few comments that needed replying to yesterday so here they are.

Bill Asked:
Glad to hear Ken will be on Splendor for the South America sailings. I’ll only be able to make the 2nd leg for the Around the Horn bit, since I can’t miss the Carnival Fantasy Bloggers Cruise out of New Orleans.
Accurate information about what visas/payments are necessary for US citizens on the South America cruises seems to be lacking. I do understand there are some reciprocity fees that US citizens are charged, since that is what the US charges for their visas.
For example, Chile has a reciprocity fee and it seems Argentina is going to implement one before the Splendor South America cruise.
One question I have is: Are these/will these be applicable to cruise ship passengers, and if so, is there a way to avoid a log jam of passengers trying to disembark in a port having to stop to pay a fee?
The next questions are obviously How Much and What Forms of Payment, When and Where?
I’m sure others on the 1st and 3rd legs will have the same or similar questions.
If you can find out and answer on the blog that would be great! Also, if the information could be made available on Carnival.Com and kept up to date?
Thanks John!
Regards to Heidi, and Little John Thingy. See you in February!

John Says:
Hello Bill
Always great to hear from you. These are very good questions and at this point I don’t know the answers but I know a man who does. Please give me 48 hours to get these answered for you and I will also make sure not only do I send them to you but that I put them on the Carnival.com website.
We should actually already have done this. My apologies to you and everyone else that this has not been the case. I will get back to you soon and we look forward to seeing your photos of your South America trip.

suefrmnarrowsburg Asked:
***John Please Reply***
It is so great to here what is happening at home with you and Heidi, and I agree with the others, take Heidi on a holiday if you can, it might be a while till the next one. My question John is: Do Ted and I need Passports or not? We are, of course will be on the bloggers cruise in Feb., and I have heard conflicting things. Our Carnival PVP says no, as long as we are cruising with Carnival, we do not absolutely need Passports. IF we do need them, we will have to apply
for them very soon, as we have never had passports before. I’m not sure of the dates
that we must have a passport by. Thanks John. Btw it was so great meeting you in Philly.
Love ya,
Sue M aka suefromnarrowsburg

Sue Asked:
Hi Sue,
It really depends on where your cruise is going. For Europe, a passport is a must. For Caribbean sailings, while we do encourage everyone to have a passport you can also provide a birth certificate – an original or a state-certified copy – along photo ID and that should be fine. Thanks for your kind words and Heidi and I are really enjoying this time together. See you in a few weeks. Best from us both, John

D.Conway Asked:
Dear John
May Day May Day Red Alert Please reply May Day
John I need help quick with all the confusion with the Blogger cruise from NY and Orlando there seems to be a mix up in dates as well can you tell me the right dates for the cruise in Orlando and the date I thought it was Dec 3 2009 so I been holding off in booking till it was confirm now it seem it is booking quicker then I had hope and now have to go to a higher class room to be able to have my wife and I and our daughter and her boyfriend in the same room I called to day to check pricing and for us to book a room now we will have to take a state room to be able to sail with you that mean a 700 dollar increase in price from when we first planed this is there any thing we can do. We so much want to sail with you on the Dream and on the right date. So the three things I need is
1. The right date and code for the blogger cruise out of Orlando.
2 what can we do about the price we was told it would be $1365 1st and 2nd and 636.32 3rd and 4th. In the area we wanted now it is full. now they say it will cost me $1673.62 1st and 2nd and 666.32 3rd and 4th
3 I plan to book on Dec 1 2008 but I need this information quick I give my cell phone number in hope some one can call me and help me out. I don’t want to postpone as we had to for the Freedom last year. John I know if you can’t work anything out for me I understand and will work something out to be on the ship but right now I will have to pay more even if I get 2 interior rooms.
I have enjoyed your blog since you began it and dream of meeting you for the first time on the Dream. I thank you for your words for us veterans and all the hard work you do to make thing happen in Carnival. My cell phone number is if some one can help me out I won’t forget it. Thank you again.

John Says:
Aka David and Diana
Hello David and Diana,
Sorry if there has been any confusion for the bloggers cruise dates on the Carnival Dream. Let me clear some things up:
1. We do have a bloggers cruise sailing from Port Canaveral on December 3.
2. I will pass this information to Stephanie who will forward your comments and request to someone of importance in reservations to see what we can do. I totally understand that you don’t want to cancel as you did on the Carnival Freedom last year.
We will be in touch with you soon and I salute you and all the veterans who proudly served their country. I truly hope we get to see each other soon.
Best Wishes,

Mr Derek Asked:
John – Please Respond.
You stated that you would be CD on the Valor till mid April. I’m looking at the 19april sailing (for my birthday). Will you still be on the Valor??(Baring a change in your schedule, which can’t be helped). Looking forward to seeing you “do your thing” on board.

John Says:

Mr. Derek,
This is an easy one to answer. See you on the Carnival Valor.
Cheers mate,

Theresa Asked:
First, cell phones I thoroughly despise especially in the workplace. As for, more importantly, cruisers who threaten cruise staff …how can a cruiser even think of threatening a person who makes them laugh, waits on them hand and foot, turns down their bed at night, makes towel animals, intervenes to diffuse an intense family discussion (kudos to a Triumph asst female CD when I saw the great way she gave a friend of mine a hug when she needed it most the most stressful night of any cruise – the night before debarkation), who when you’re travelling with a toddler cruiser tells you how well-behaved she was, to the very smart table arranger in the dining room who had the foresight to know that we were travelling for the first time with this said toddler, and we were assigned a table of our own (Destiny – mid-October 2008). Our dinners were so enjoyable because of this. I myself have done random acts of kindness locally when everything else in my life seems to be going wrong. It just makes a person feel good, be it the giver or the receiver! Have a wonderful day off with Heidi. I wish I could bet you a few British pounds that you won’t be able not to blog! Time will tell!

John Says:

Hello Theresa,
What wonderful words and your support for all the Carnival staff is just brilliant. Little things like giving someone a hug when they need it most are what makes our crew the best in the business. It wasn’t easy taking a day off on the Sunday and I hope you weren’t upset that I didn’t blog. See you soon.
All the best,

BigMike Asked:
Hey Big mate (or should I say getting smaller mate) it’s been a while. Have you started on the new ship (the Dream) yet? Read a while back that Heidi is pregnant, congrats. Anyways just checking in and I hope to get back to reading regularly again soon.

John Says:

Blog Security Chief
It’s been too long since I have written to you and I am glad you stopped by. The Carnival Dream will be with us in the autumn of 2009 and maybe I will get to see my chief of security there.
Cheers Mate,

John Says:

OLA! Muchos huggos, John

Bill Heck Asked:
Ah John
Please reply!
Sweet Heidi is feathering her nest and has your comfort and happiness a top priority. She is taking care of her man.
Vanilla is reputed to reduce stress, improve mood, and aid in weight loss. Wise choice Heidi. Aromatherapy. Besides, if the candles are lit, they will burn off the methane gas you apparently produce in copious amounts. Like the flares at the refinery.
After years of study and experience it is a theorem in my universe that men prefer everything to stay the same, same shoes, same ties, same living room arrangement, same favorites for supper. Please put things back so I can find them.
Women on the other hand prefer new, different, a change. Shopping provides new ideas. Maybe that chair would look better by the window; maybe that TV needs a less central location. How happy John will be when he gets home and finds the nice cushions I found for him. Gee, his socks would probably be better in this other drawer.
The Maldives sound like sand spits to me, and kind of like a busman’s holiday for you. The capitol is Male. Go figure.
It were me, a nice drive to the northern isles, say a few days in Edinburgh, visit a few castles, get to know each other again one on one, enjoy each others company.
You live in a wonderful place, have you seen all of the tourist attractions? Plays at the West End. Greek artifacts at the British Museum. We toured one time just picking out B&B at the I places. The summer palace at Brighton is worth the ride. The Roman village up north, not the baths at Bath, but the other ones. You get the drift.
It’s not real hard to travel with an infant. They are quite happy sleeping, eating, and loading up their nappies. One of the more beautiful things I’ve seen was on a flight to Tampa for a Legend Cruise this past September.
Across the aisle was an attractive woman with a small baby. Like you I thought; gosh, here we go, crying baby for two hours. There was never a cross sound, never a scream. The woman was loving, supplied the bottle as required to help the ears adjust, played some peek a boo type games, a trip to the lavatory for fresh pants (I guess), a nice nap, plenty of soothing touch, and just showed how sweet a baby can be in the arms of her mother. She was met at the baggage by her husband and three other children. Baby let out a cackle when she saw Dad and Dad swooped her up in the air and the family was together again.
We did get a nice cabin booked on the Dream for December 3, 2009 now we need the blogger code so we can be part of your group?
I filled out the form on the webpage for the February Blogger Cruise as well as gave the code to my pvp but never have had any confirmation, what should I do?
Cheers Mate

John Says:

Heidi and I have just shared your beautiful words together. They are full of happiness and joy just like our lives and thank you so much for taking the time to write them. There is so much of this beautiful country we have not seen, Scotland for example. So, maybe we will pack up the car for a few days and just go. I must admit, I am not looking forward to flying with the Thingy but like everything else, I am sure Heidi will take care of this.
Stephanie will provide you with the fare code for the bloggers cruise and I am so glad that you are joining us.
Cheers mate, John

Tina Asked:
John: (Please Reply)
I am planning a cruise on the Carnival Valor on April 5th. I am very happy to hear you will be the director.
I will introduce my family to you. Last cruise aboard the Freedom in March, I “forgot” to meet you personally. My question is: We are bringing along another family who has never cruised before. How does the Valor compare to the Freedom regarding size, decor, etc. I read and viewed everything on Carnival’s website but, I have been working hard to convince them to cruise for the first time and have really been selling them on Carnival instead of the “others”.
Thank you, Tina (and family)

John Says:

Hello Tina,
I am so happy that we will be together again. It is a wonderful ship and exactly the same in design as the Carnival Freedom. Everything you loved on the Carnival Freedom will be there for you to enjoy and for the family who are sailing for the first time, well, try and introduce them to the blog thingy and if they have any questions, I will be there for them. It may have been hard to convince them to take their first cruise; I promise it won’t be hard to convince them to take their second.


retirementman Asked:
Good evening John and Heidi. I agree with you John about the chair. I have a black leather one that as I settle in it I have everything I need to reach near me. The only person that I allow to sit in mine is my granddaughter Emily and once she gets in it I’m not allowed to get back into it until she goes home. I guess I just love her so much. You understand later if you have a daughter. You really like to hurt me don’t you John. Discussing about your time on the Valor and all the ports you will discuss with us really got to me. I’ve been hoping to meet you someday and I didn’t know you were going to be on the Valor. My wife and I had already booked a cruise on the Valor but it is on January 25. If I had known I would have booked it later to fit accordingly to meet you. Buggers. Last January I was on the Freedom and you were supposed to be there as the CD but then unfortunately you were taken away but you came back the day I left the ship. It just looks like you really don’t want to meet me. Oh well, I’ll keep on trying but after you become a daddy, I can see you’ll probably lesson your time as a CD. That’s alright my friend. I’ll still enjoy my times on the cruises even without every meeting you. LOL. Give that man from AIG royal hell. It’s your money and you’re not going to take it. It was a statement I saw on the TV the other day. It sure sounded great for your situation. Ciao John and say hello to your wife Heidi for me.
Paul F. Pietrangelo

John Says:

Hello Sir,
As always, I feel like I am writing to an old friend. I can imagine you sitting in your black leather chair and maybe I should put mine next yours, like those two chaps in the TV program Friends. You know, it seems like we are never meant to meet but with the new and special program which I can’t tell you anything about yet, next year I promise we will, I have already said too much and this message will self destruct in 5 minutes. My best to you and your family,

jetskier Asked:
Hi John,
Got something for you to look into in your spare time. Has Carnival invoked a new rule? There has been a report of someone on the Destiny and Holiday having all their charge privileges revoked. While everyone discussing it on Cruise Critic can understand having the liquor part cut off, cutting off their charge privileges prevents them from making personal purchases or buying soft drinks and such.
There also does not seem to be a mechanism in place to be able to find out why, for how long, a way to appeal the decision or to hear the other side of the story. They are basically left in the dark for the remainder of their cruise as to what they may have done. I am sure there is another side of these reports that we are not hearing.

John Says:

I know exactly what you are referring to and while I cannot discuss specifics, I can tell you that the cut off of all charges on passengers’ sail and sign card was done for a very good reason. This obviously is a very rare event however, we do reserve the right to stop people drinking to excesses that may cause them harm or others around them. This is not a “new rule” in fact, it is an old one but one we use very infrequently.
I am sure you understand I cannot talk about the person concerned and hope this will give you suffice explanation.
Thanks as always,

Gina Asked:
Hi John! (please reply)
I was wondering…I know that you have three bloggers cruises in the planning stages for next year, and I am not proposing a fourth, but can I make a suggestion? Can the 2010 bloggers cruise leave from somewhere on the west coast for us west coast cruisers. Maybe on the Splendor out of Long Beach?

John Says:

Hello Gina,
The simple answer is, we absolutely should be looking at doing a Bloggers Cruise for our many friends on the West Coast and I promise to give this my fullest attention. Watch this space.

I realize that the blog thingy is taking on a different angle while I am on land and obviously I do understand that people really want to read about what’s happening onboard. I am happy to say though that reading figures are still very strong ………..in fact we have rapidly approached 3.4 million views which is quite remarkable. I hope we will be at 4 million by the end of the spring.

Now, don’t forget that www.bestblogsatsea.com also contains the award-winning Holland America Eurodam news blog as well as blogs from Costa, AIDA, P&O, Cunard and Seabourn, please stop by for a read.

So, it turns out that the few weeks I will be cruise director aboard the Carnival Destiny will include one or two voyages featuring our Rock the Boat Charters. One of these will feature concerts by Mr. Freebird himself, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and, of course, this will be a lot of fun and give me lots to write to you about as well.

Remember also that I will be onboard the Carnival Valor in the spring so hopefully I will get to sail with some of you.

As for the two extra bloggers cruises on the Carnival Dream next year…….well they are already proving to be very popular and I hope many more of you will be joining us for this great adventure. I hope to be visiting the Carnival Dream shortly and send you some new photos of our brilliant leviathan. This would involve a day trip to the yard and then back the same day…….I hope to be arranging this very soon.

I will also be interviewing Jim Berra, our new CMO (chief marketing officer.) This talented gentleman, along with our award-winning marketing department, will be leading us forward and upward. I am sure his interview will make wonderful reading and you can look forward to that soon, as well.

It’s Thanksgiving Day on Thursday as you know and Heidi and I have decided to have our own Thanksgiving Day dinner here in the UK. So, it’s turkey and all the trimmings for us on Thursday as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day with all of you…………..and I shall have two helpings of turkey as I have to celebrate Canada’s Thanksgiving Day, as well.

Now, congratulations are in order as the two new world records held by Carnival Cruise Lines are now officially on the Guinness World Record website. Here are the link thingies.

Largest Inflatable Beach Ball

Largest Piñata

Well, as promised, here are some photos of Heidi and the Thingy…..and one of Alan as well




And to end with today here is a video message from Heidi…………….and the thingy.

I am the luckiest man in the world and couldn’t wish for anything else ……..unless Jessica Simpson is free tonight.

Your friends
John, Heidi and the Thingy

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.