A Commercial Success?

December 27, 2008 -

John Heald

Is it just me or is this dollop of days between Christmas and New Year ………. uummm ……….a bit weird? People sit around in a comatosed state of fatigue and flatulence. Their festive decorations already look as sad as Judge Judy in stockings and suspenders, and as you sit in your chair wearing your Christmas sweater you already know that yep …………. it’s leftover turkey again for dinner tonight.

Well, here’s something that’ll cheer you up. Let’s start planning Christmas 2009! Oh, why the sour face? Lots of people have it all boxed off already by now and some aren’t even mentally ill.

Yes, I know. It’s sick, isn’t it? The very idea of thinking about next Christmas when this year’s sprouts are still passing through the digestive system not is in my humble opinion ……………grotesque. Yet plenty do. Which is why, as we speak, there are people out buying reduced wrapping paper, slightly damaged cards, cut-price shirt-and-tie sets, just so that they can say smugly, around next August, “Oh. We’ve had Christmas done and dusted since last December.” ………before they climb into their Toyota Prius and drive home excited about the fact that there is tofu for dinner.

You could waste energy fantasizing about beating such people to a pulpy mass with a large joint of ham, but why bother? Probably best just to accept that Christmas now lasts for the best part of 12 months. January, of course, is taken up with sales and saying how glad we are that Christmas is all over. Talking about the sales……….why do we get screwed every year. We buy everything before Christmas and then discover that a few days later its a zillion dollars cheaper. The stores should if they were honest people put a huge sign in the shop window that says: “Ha! You see this thing you bought three days ago? Well now we are selling it for a third of the price, because you are a complete and utter idiot.”

The sheer inevitability of it makes me wonder why we don’t just put off Christmas and hand out our cut-price gifts today. I know that there may be religious issues with this one, but let’s face it – many of the people in this increasingly secular world are not into the festive period to give thanks for the birth of little baby Jesus. They are in it for the PlayStations, the iPods and the Nintendo Wee Wee’s.

Anyway, back to Christmas 2009. By late February, we have started taking down the dismal festive decorations. There’s a brief hiatus in March/April for Easter but we’re back on course by May when we’re selling unwanted Christmas gifts at local garage sales. By June/July, at least one relative will have said, “What are we doing for Christmas this year?” and by August, the children are asking, “How long is it until Christmas?” In September, the TV adverts for festive toys start; by October, glossy magazines are promising to “get you in shape for the party season.” On November 1, all shops start playing Christmas songs, your neighbor brings out his inflatable Santa again, and December is a constant loop of people saying, “All set for Christmas?”

So really, look on this as just the start of next Christmas. What are your plans, by the way? Well, this Christmas was mostly wonderful especially for my Mum and Dad who had the whole family together again. She worked very hard to produce a magnificent Christmas dinner which was devoured by all of us. Of course, Heidi and I have spent the last few days talking about how all our Christmases will be different from now on with the Thingy on the way. These conversations have been both exhilarating and if I am honest……….a little scary.

Of course, I have been humiliated as well these past few days as my niece and nephew and various other kids whose parent’s homes we have visited have proven that I am not a Guitar Hero and neither can I sing or kill a zombie with an axe. I have had other electronic problems as well. Yesterday I turned my computer on only to discover that it thought it was a piece of broccoli.

So I spent the next three hours on the phone to a man in New Delhi who had a set list of possible remedies, none of which made bugger all difference. I begged and begged for a technician to come round but the Internet provider doesn’t have any technicians who work over the holidays, only a room full of men in India, who think a wireless connection can be fixed by endlessly typing numbers into a laptop.

That night, the fury in your heart is so vibrant that it has become an all-consuming entity. A big jaggedy spike in your head. Sleep is impossible……………..how was I going to blog to the thousands of my friends who were waiting patiently for a dose of my daily rubbish?

All I could think about was what I would do to the boss of the Internet service provider if I were to encounter him in the street one day. Last night, in my mind, I spent two hours poking him in the chest asking how in the name of all that’s holy he ever thought a broken box in Essex could possibly be fixed by an uninterested man in India. And then I think I might have inserted a large turkey leg up his bottom and thrown him into a den of hungry lions. I also gave myself a buy one/get one free deal in my dream as the second turkey leg was inserted into the man who designed the Star Wars toy I bought my nephew for Christmas. Have you ever tried to get a toy out of the packaging? I have and there is nothing I would like more than for the chief executive of Toys R Us to come round to my house and show me how it is possible without cutting all his fingers off.

And then that was it. In my dreams I found myself with an unlimited supply of turkey legs ready to insert into the bottoms of those who had pissed me off these past months. banks. Why do you not equip your ATM cash machines with red flashing lights so that we discover they are out of service when we drive by? Not after we have gone to the trouble of parking our cars half a mile away and been mugged by a gang of glue sniffing teenagers on the way.

Oh, and let me start on the airports because I have a leg just for them. Why subject someone to a humiliating strip search when they are a blue-eyed six-year-old girl, or Tom Jones. It’s a waste of time for you and a waste of time for everyone in the line that results. If you know someone to be Tom Jones, then you know he is an elderly singer and not a crazed suicide bomber. So he can be waved through immediately, leaving you time to concentrate on the sweating man with wires poking out of his Reeboks.

Anyway……………..my computer still thinks it is a piece of broccoli and the man from India is still unable to help and so it is that I write to you from my parent’s house. This is fine except I have had to tell my seven-year-old nephew that if he promises not to disturb me until I have finished today’s blog I will reward him by allowing him to humiliate me yet again as I try to play Smoke On The Water on that bloody Air Guitar thingy …………… bugger.

OK, let’s get on with answering a few comments that were marked John Please Reply just before the holidays…………..once again my apologies for the delay.

Juan & Maria Asked:
John, please answer… A couple of times we used this system to asked you something and since we didn’t get an answer we mailed you a letter well over a month ago addressed to the “Fan Mail address” which appeared on the right hand side of the blog. We never heard from you. We are sailing from Port Everglades on the Splendor on 1/31/09 for 17 days several islands and then on to South America. We would like to know if we would again have the privilege (and fun, of course) to have you as our Cruise Director on that sailing. We even contacted Carnival by e-mail & by phone & their answer was that they wouldn’t know who the cruise directors would be for the cruises until a couple of weeks before the sailing!!! Their response didn’t convince us, so here we are again asking you the very same question. Please let us know. We would love to have you again onboard! Thank you. Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! Congratulations to you, Heidi & the family for the beautiful present the New Year will bring all of you! The baby!
Best wishes & warmest regards,
Juan & Maria Santana

John Says:
Hello Juan and Maria
Firstly please allow me to apologize for not responding to you earlier. I did not receive a letter and if I had I would have, of course, replied. I am sorry Carnival could not tell you who the cruise director would be for your cruise ………..they, of course, should be able to do this and I will investigate why they think they can’t. I realize that many people factor in who is going to be the cruise director when they decide which ship to sail on and there should be a better way for folks to find out. I actually published the cruise director schedule recently here on the blog. Actually, that gives me an idea. I will ask Stephanie who manages the blog to put a permanent link onto the blog on the right hand side so that there is a permanent reference to who will be on what ship. Obviously there may be a few changes along the way but this should help.

Now, to answer your question……………well I am so sorry but I will not be the cruise director on the amazing 17-day vacation you are about to undertake. I truly wish I could be with you but I will be hosting the bloggers cruise on the Carnival Fantasy. I want to wish you both a magnificent time and I know that it will be the voyage of a lifetime. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

Best Regards
John

Rodney (Cruising Crazees) 
Asked:
John Please Reply
Hello
My family and I have just returned from the Splendor and WOW what a ship. We had 18 of us on the ship and we really enjoyed every port of call. I do have a question for you and hope you can help me out. My wife and I had a thingy of our own on September 4th. We went on the cruise last week and we obviously could not bring the baby. Well by the end of our week my wife was suffering from missing the thingy so much. We knew we were booked on the February Bloggers cruise and knew it was close to the minimum age allowed on the cruise which I know now is 6 months. Which we miss by 3 weeks and a couple of days. On the ship we talked to the loyalty rep. and she informed us that she did not think that it would be a problem but check with our travel agent and have them contact Carnival to see if it would be. Well we came home and did just that and we are being told by whoever our travel agent spoke with that Carnival makes no exceptions. If the reasoning is liability I am willing to have my Pediatrician give a physical and sign that the baby is healthy enough to travel and my sister who is booked on the same cruise will be along and she has worked in the special care nursery as an LPN for the last 25 years. Please let me know if there is any string you can pull to get this done. Please email me at the address above your answer. Thanks
PS
I am the one in Philly with the Piñata that had to get his mom from the tent after the commercial shoot. Thanks again in advance if there is anything you can do.

John Says:
Hello Rodney.
I remember you and that hat very well from our Philly shoot and it was wonderful to meet you. I was glad to hear you had such a wonderful time on the Carnival Splendor and of course I can totally understand how much your wife will have missed your thingy and therefore how much you would like the baby to be with you both. I will talk to someone about this on Monday morning and will be in touch ASAP.

Please leave this with me and I send my best to you and all the family
John

tamara
tammyfischer Asked:
Hi John, I will be on the Splendor on Jan. 31st for the South America cruise and was hoping you would be on the ship. I last saw you on the Liberty several years ago, and I loved you are so funny. Do you remember Willie Banger?! Let me know if you won’t be on the Splendor what ship and sail dates next?
Thanks so much

John Says:
Hello Tamara
How wonderful that soon you will be experiencing the wonders of a South America cruise. Unfortunately I will not be with you. I will be hosting the Bloggers Cruise on the Carnival Fantasy and then in February, March and April I will be on the Carnival Valor. I then return home to be with Heidi for the birth of our thingy and then back on a ship in the summer followed by the inaugural of the Carnival Dream. I truly hope we can be together again soon and who knows…….maybe Willy will be with us. Have a brilliant time on the Carnival Splendor.
Cheers
John

The Woodbutcher
woodbutch Asked:
John – please reply
I deleted and can’t find your blog on which you listed the CD’s for early 2009.
We will be sailing on Valor leaving Apr 26. Can you tell me who the CD will be?? We are disappointed that you will not be there, as we sailed with you on Liberty in ‘06.
Too, I talked with your Customer Service and they had not a clue!! Seemed a bit odd to me.
Thanx and Merry Christmas to you and Heidi.
The Woodbutcher – Ike Weatherholtz
Falling Waters, WV
PS: I tried your Caribbean Chicken recipe and it was terrific.

John Says:
Hello Ike – love your screen name by the way.
I am sorry I can’t be with you on the Carnival Valor on April 26 but I will be at home with Heidi getting ready for the Thingy to arrive. Here is the cruise director schedule for you to see again and if you have any other questions please let me know. I agree that our customer service department should know who is the cruise director and I will make sure this information is kept current and on their desk. I hope you have a brilliant time and I am glad you liked Heidi’s chicken recipe…………..she is very happy to hear that.
My best to you and the family

John

cd-schedule-october-2008-april-20091

MX Mom & Dad
peltonsfam Asked:
JOHN — PLEASE RESPONDS……….
Dear John: WOW …….. We are looking forward to seeing the Dream’s update in April! We feel so fortunate to be booked on the Dream’s Transatlantic sailing 10/27/2009. We’ll get 16 nights on this glorious ship with “The Heroes Cruise” group. If anyone is interested in booking with our group of police, firefighters, EMT’s, nurses, doctors and their friends and family, contact Tami @ http://www.flyingdutchmentravel.com or call her at 800-248-7471. This will be one FUN GROUP on the beautiful FUN SHIP CARNIVAL DREAM!!!!!
Thank you very much for all the Dream videos!
‘Looking forward to introducing you to the group! Many of them have had to listen to our stories, more than once, about our adventures on the Carnival Freedom in 2007! Hahaha … Here’s to your leading the conga line and basking in the sun with the rest of us!!
We hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a healthy happy New Year!! Blessings to all of you and especially The Thingy!
Larry & Angie

John Says:
Hello Larry and Angie
As the time gets closer to the arrival of our Carnival Dream I am sure the excitement will mount. You will have a brilliant ship on which to host your group tributing the incomparable service of the men and women you will be honoring. I will bring you more news as it happens and I am positive you will have others who will wish to be part of your group. My best to you all.
Cheers
John

Brad
inthewaside Asked:
Hi John, (please reply)
Love the look of a lot of the Dream but I was curious…
Due to the centerpiece of the ship being an indoor/outdoor space and with SO many whirlpools onboard and around the Lanai area… Not to mention the balconies on Deck 1 (great concept by the way) it would seem that Carnival is targeting this ship for a warm weather destination year round?
I can’t very well see the Dream in its future ever being an Alaska or Canada/New England ship, or something that would regularly serve the Baltic region. Far too much seems centered around warm weather.
Second question is this – As their are Jacuzzis right on the Lanai Deck railings and balconies on Deck 1, will the maximum speed of this ship be drastically reduced (or is it already die to its size)? We all know inclement weather can happen anywhere and anytime, but faster speeds seem like they would subject the guests in these rooms to seas or waves that would at times render their balcony unusable. Has anything been thought up to combat this?
On a side note, I love your blog and can honestly tell you that the views of the Splendor and your coverage during the inaugural season is the specific reason that I have booked my first ever Carnival cruise, and that I did it on the Splendor next November 8, 2009. I look forward to seeing everything I’ve heard so much about and will be loving it all from my spa verandah!
A happy and joyous holiday season to you, Heidi and the thingy!
-Brad

John Says:
Hello Brad
Well, firstly let me thank you for reading the blog. When I read that because of my daily musings you had booked your first ever Carnival cruise I was overwhelmed with a feeling of pride …………so thank you for putting your faith in the blog and booking your first and I promise not your last Fun Ship experience.

Let me try and answer your questions. The Carnival Dream will in fact in her first few months undertake a varied type of voyages. She will sail through the calm seas of the western Mediterranean calling at ports such as Dubrovnik, Croatia and Barcelona, Spain. Then, it’s back to the States as she undertakes a trans-Atlantic crossing where the weather and sea conditions are at best unpredictable. Then, of course, she arrives in New York before heading to Florida to take up her regular Western and Eastern Caribbean cruising. So, as you can see she likely to encounter all styles of weather in her first few months. However, I think your assumptions are correct that she won’t be heading to Alaska anytime soon.

As for the cove balconies on deck 2…………..well, your question is a very good one. The ship will be able to travel at full speed and encounter all types of weather safely and securely. While the majority of the time these marvelous staterooms will provide an unprecedented view of the ocean should inclement weather suddenly arise then the crew will close the new “weatherproof” doors over the cabin protecting them from the high seas. This will be a rare occurrence and, of course, during the vigorous sea trial the ship will encounter in April this situation will be tested……..and tested again. I hope this answers your concerns and if you have anything else you feel I can help with please let me know.

Once again, thanks for residing the blog thingy and welcome to the world of Carnival
Cheers mate,
John

retirementman
retirementman2004 Asked:

Please Reply if possible
Hi John, the Dream is a very beautiful and exciting ship. Would you please tell me the exact date of the bloggers cruise in 2010 month and day so that I can now plan on setting my arrangements to be on that ship at that time and then finally I’ll have the opportunity to meet you.
Paul F. Pietrangelo

John Says:

Hello Paul
WOW. You mean we may actually get to meet. How wonderful that would be. The exact dates for the carnival Dream Bloggers Cruises are Nov. 15 and Dec. 3, 2009.
I hope there is a chance this will happen because we need to shake hands and cement our cyber space friendship.
As always I send my best to you and the family
John

cruzn buckeye
cruisecritic.com
cruisin2246 Asked:

WOW!!!! Thanks for the videos John! Looking forward to our cruise in 2010 on the Dream!
I have a question for you. I always buy t-shirts on every cruise. And while I realize that there are a few women’s styles/sizes there just aren’t enough. I always like the ones that show the ships and ports of call. But they are all men’s cuts. Which means narrower as they go down and long. I would love it if Carnival would add more women’s t-shirts! Could you look into this? Thanks!
Unfortunately, we will not be able to participate in the work event for the Feb. bloggers cruise. Our flights arrive too late. I am sorry to say that we will not be there on time.
Looking forward to the cruise though! Can’t wait to hear the info on the bloggers excursion in Coz!
Thanks again for the videos!
Hope Heidi and Thingy are doing well!
cruzn

John Says:
Hello Buckeye.
How are you?
You know, I would never have known this if you had not said anything at all. This seems an easy fix and I will be sending your wish to the company who provides the staff and merchandise for our onboard shops. I will let you know what they say. Great idea ……… got anymore?
My best to you and the family
John

Well, that concludes the outstanding questions awaiting reply. Please keep posting the comments and I will make sure I answer all that are marked for me to do so. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and thanks for putting up with my two days vacation. I will be posting a blog tomorrow (Sunday) as I have already had a day off this week. Thousands and thousands of you read the blog over the last few days despite the holidays and for that I am extremely grateful. Now, let’s see how the holidays fared for Butch and his crew onboard the Carnival Glory.

Here is the penultimate Butch blog.

Holiday Cheer

Last night a little bit of home came to me…….just when I was having a fleeting moment of missing my family this Christmas a very nice woman ran to me at the coffee bar on the promenade to ask me where I was from in Minnesota…….turns out, she is from my home town, we had a nice chat, I bought her and her husband a cup of coffee and not more than five minutes later, like a little bit of Christmas magic I ran into the parents of a girl I graduated high school with and they were so surprised to see me here. We caught up on the last 10 years since my school days and I left the promenade to go host the show with a little extra bounce in my step and amazement of what a small world this truly is.

I am sure that you are all busy with all of the holiday festivities back on land and trying to figure out how you will fit into your schedules all of the parties and invites to events this holiday season. It is the same here on board the ship. Today alone was packed with so many soirées to make appearances at.

My day started with a full dress rehearsal of our Holiday Show that will be performed on Christmas day. And I can’t say that the rehearsal went very well, a couple of kinks that need to be worked out, but you know what they say in the theater business….”Bad Dress Rehearsal, Great Show!” Then it was off the ship in St. Thomas to meet up with some friends from the Carnival Splendor for a little Christmas brunch. After working on ships for a long time I have made some true life long friends…….but, because of the way our business works, friends often finish contracts and move on to other ships………of course there is communicating through e-mails and phone calls, and on special days, like today, you might just meet up with another Carnival ship. Two dancers from the Splendor that are like brothers to me came over to the Glory this morning and patiently waited for my rehearsal to be over so we could go and catch up!

After an amazing day with old friends it was back to work, hosted the show, walked the promenade to see how the guests enjoyed their day, and off to holiday party number one. The purser’s desk threw a small gathering with lots of sweet treats and wine of course (it is just not Christmas without the vino)……..after mingling with the purser’s office for a few glasses of goodness, I was off to the Glory senior management party. The captain and the hotel director transformed the conference room into quite the holiday shindig; complete with DJ, holiday decorations and an amazing spread prepared by out executive chef complete with a huge assortment home made Christmas cookies, ice and fruit carvings…….and of course, an open bar. After socializing for an hour too long and some glasses of wine I was late to stop by the sports bar for the casino department’s get together……a quick hello and a picture with Santa Claus (the assistant casino manager who was enjoying her role a Kris Kringle) and off to bed!

As I lay in bed thinking why did I have that last glass of wine, I suddenly realized that with all of these parties I had almost forgot that tomorrow morning I will be hosting my department’s gift exchange and I forgot to order the breakfast food to be delivered back stage……….up out of bed, a couple of quick e-mails and all is well again. Tomorrow will another day of celebrations as it is Christmas Eve……better get my rest!

What a wonderfully expressive writer Butch is and you can see now I am sure just why he is one of our rising stars. We will have one more visit from Butch tomorrow.

Now, as I told you a few days ago, our friend Jaime has been thrown right into the deep end aboard the Carnival Pride. She was a young and adventurous assistant cruise director suddenly to find herself as a young and adventurous cruise director. So, I thought I would ask her to write me a Dear John letter describing her first few days in the big chair ……… here is what she had to say.

December 25, 2008

Dear John,

First of all Merry Christmas/Happy Chanukah/Happy Kwanza/Happy New Year to you Heidi, Thingy, Stephanie, Vance, Butch and all of the bloggers! This holiday week has held more holiday surprises then ever for me. I remember last year around the holiday season I was a social host on the Imagination, I was three months into my first contract with Carnival, and I joined the entertainment department in an Ocho Rios River Tubing adventure. It was tons of fun. Coming from Michigan, it was the first Christmas I could remember not being absolutely freezing! (They have a foot of snow right now, hahaha.)

This year is a bit different… I am still working for Carnival, but I am currently on the Carnival Pride in Mazatlan, Mexico sitting in the comfy, yet slightly squeaky cruise director chair. Now I realize this is quite an honor because this very chair that I am sitting in was recently filled with the buttocks of Carnival Cruise Directing legends Jeff Bronson, Mark Price and Dan Ghilarducci (no wonder it smells sorta like rotten cheese.) I am looking out my balcony window and thinking “what the heck am I going to say when I conduct the debarkation talk in two days” as well as “wow, that is a grassy mountain.” Even John Edward could not have predicted this one =).

Now, I wish I could say that I had made such an incredible impression in the company that I was promoted to cruise director more quickly that anyone ever before. Unfortunately, that is not exactly the case. I signed off the Splendor on November 29, with the intention of taking a two-month vacation and returning to the same ship on January 31 to take part of the South America run. About nine days into my vacation, I received an email from my boss in the office and he informed me that they had a “situation” on the Pride and they needed an ACTING assistant cruise director for a month. Since I had been working toward this promotion, I figured I would give up the holidays at home and sign on the Pride with these new challenges to undertake. After sailing on the Pride for 5 days, the Cruise Director Dan informed me that in a week his father would be going in for surgery and he may need me to take over for a few days as the acting CRUISE DIRECTOR!

Saying I was nervous as hell (I don’t know if I can say that word) would be the understatement of the year. I know that I have tons of fun and can handle doing my regular activities like Hairy Chest, conducting interviews and deck party. But having the entire ship listen and watch you during boat drill, Welcome Aboard, Travel Talk, Holiday Show AND doing run down announcements periodically throughout the day is slightly more pressure. Not to mention being the go-to person and running the entire department! Yes, I had seen John do it for a few months, but even though he did practically beg me to be his shadow while we were working together, I never could quite nail the English accent, and all of his weight-related jokes that he makes about himself would not go over nearly as well.

I figured it was only going to be for a few days, and I never say no to a challenge, unless, of course, it has the potential of causing bodily harm and/or may threaten the lives of small children. I told him I would do whatever I needed to in order for him to be able to be with his father for the operation.

Our seven-day plan of mission “Jaime sitting in the Big Smelly Chair” suddenly because a two-day handover, with little actual instruction or guidance. I have been “thrown to the wolves” so to speak, and that most definitely has the potential of causing bodily harm…. (Well that and the freakin’ dress shoes I now get to wear every night as acting cruise director!)

I have the support and help of the entire department – I have an absolutely incredible team. I could not be happier with such a positive, helpful and supportive department. All of the senior management on board is looking out for me and checking in with me as well. Also, since I was on the Splendor I know a lot of the people from head office and I get to share with them the good news and in return they are all offering assistance if needed. In addition, the cruise directors around the fleet have been emailing me and telling me I can call at any time with questions, concerns, or if I just want to take advantage of actually being able to make an outside call without paying exorbitantly high cellular phone rates! I have asked everyone a few questions here and there but we are making it by just fine here on the Carnival Pride.

Sitting in the big chair is actually a great feeling. It is much cushionier than the chairs in the cruise staff office! I must admit I have not been the funniest or most comfortable cruise director this week. I am taking one activity at a time… in fact I made a checklist of everything I have to do in the week, and I have just been crossing things off the list as I go along (I am sure John will roll his eyes and not be surprised by this anal-ness.) I have been trying to go out and talk to guests as much as possible because guest interaction is my favorite part of the job.

Unfortunately, Dan may not be returning for next cruise either, please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season. If that is the case, I will be more comfortable next week and I am already getting ready for the New Year celebration on board!

As far as I know have been told, I will still be on the Splendor during the South America run. But who knows, things can change at any time as I learned this week as acting cruise director on the Carnival Pride!

I look forward to keeping you posted with more updates during the South America run.
All the best =)

Jaime Deitsch
Cruise Director
Carnival Pride

the-entertainment-department-on-the-carnival-pride
The entertainment department on the Carnival Pride

the-balcony-view-of-the-cd-cabin-on-the-pride-over-looking-puerto-viarta
The balcony view of the cd cabin on the pride over looking Puerto Viarta

Thanks Jaime for taking the time to write. I know that your guests love having you as their CD and I know that everyone here is very proud of you. We all wish you continuing success and we look forward to your Dear John letters when you sail to South America on the Carnival Splendor.

Christmas Day was also a day when I helped put someone very special aboard the Carnival Imagination. I received an e-mail from PA 007 who was the duty officer in Miami. Yes…….we have duty officers and it was his/her turn this Christmas Day. So, as he sat there in his cubicle munching on a turkey sandwich he/she had purchased from Publix the day before his/her phone rang. On the other end was someone from reservations who had received a request from a very famous performer. This singing sensation wanted to sail on the Carnival Imagination the next day…………..and therefore special requirements were needed from the vessel.

And so PA 007 contacted me as every other bugger was ignoring him/her and I contacted my friend Miles, the hotel director who promised to make sure everything would be ready to welcome this very special and very famous VIP. So………who is it? ………. well …………I will tell you on tomorrow’s blog thingy…………and there will be a few photos for you to enjoy as well.

We spent yesterday with friends and family before going to the cinema last night. This is a Boxing Day (Dec 26) tradition and this year Heidi got to choose the movie.

She chose something called Australia starring Hugh Jackman and Gwyneth Paltrow. I can’t be bothered to tell you what the movie is about as most of the pitiful two hours were spent watching Hugh and Gwyneth humping each other like two Spaniels on speed ………. what a load of bollocks.

Well, it seems that our new commercials have been met with mixed emotion ………….. the perfect description of mixed emotion by the way is watching your mother in law drive of a cliff in your brand new Aston Martin. It seems that while many of you enjoyed the concept of bringing Carnival Style fun to the streets of North America some of you had a different opinion.

Those voices seemed to want more of the same. You know, the ones where we show ridiculously good looking people onboard sipping a cocktail and hammering down the water slide. The idea of the piñata commercial and the forthcoming beach ball commercial (which you can see here on the blog on Monday) is to get away from the old and in my humble opinion slightly saggy style of old and bring in the new. I can also tell you that these two commercials are merely the appetizer ……….. the main course is yet to be served…….and that is going to be……….well……….I can’t say anymore because it’s top secret and I don’t want the Envious of the Seas to get any ideas.

I read that some felt that there wasn’t enough reference to the commercials actually being ones for Carnival. You all loved the ships horn sounding but wanted more references to the ship………..and maybe you are right………..maybe we should have put a brief one second image of a ship bathed in Caribbean sunshine and the end of the commercial ………. but overall ………I really like them and I truly and honestly think they will work.

We want the first time cruiser to see the word fun………and associate that with Carnival Cruise Lines. Personally, I didn’t like the batch of commercials from a few years ago that had perfectly manicured ladies with perfect hair and perfect teeth sitting in the piano bar drinking a glass of champagne. Where were the ugly people? Where was the man with one tooth drinking a beer having the time of their life? I didn’t like the supermodel type they showed coming down the slide. Where was the huge guy (ME) whose shorts became a G-string as he shot down the slide and who would cause a small tsunami as he landed at the bottom? These are the real people who cruise Carnival………..they are me and you.

These new commercials show real people of all shapes and sizes and levels of ugliness having fun. It may not be onboard a ship……..but they are having fun…………..and I think what we are saying here is that these are the spirited people……..the people comfortable in their own skin. They are having fun breaking open the world’s largest piñata and playing with the world’s largest beach ball. Those are the people we want to walk up the gangways of our Fun Ships.

Now, I hope all of you know that I always speak my mind here on the blog thingy. I am never going to say I like something if I don’t…………and I hope you will do the same. Therefore, I invite you to be honest. I want to hear your comments. I want to know why so many of you enjoyed them and why a few of you thought differently. This is not just a request from me but a request from those with very important titles here at Carnival Cruise Lines.

So, over the next few days I hope the debate continues…..one thing is for sure. People never really expressed any kind of opinion about our past commercials but they are certainly speaking up about these two new ones……..and that in itself is absolutely brilliant.

In case you have not seen it yet………here is the piñata commercial and the beach ball one can be seen on Monday here on the blog thingy.

Click here to watch the Pinata commercial

Goodnight
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.

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