ANYONE who’s ever watched Dragon’s Den on BBC America knows the world is full of people with ridiculous ideas for making money. “Yes, Duncan. I’ve invented a pair of underpants which, at the touch of a button, can be turned into a food blender.”

Next . . .

“Thank you, Duncan. I need a million dollars to market a special tape which can tell whether the peanuts on a bar counter have too much urine on them because people touch them without washing their hands.”

Next . . .
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As I look around the ship today, it appears on the surface that as Monty Python once said “the credit crunch is only a flesh wound.” I know the industry is concerned about future bookings but here….and now…..it’s business as normal with the ship alive with guests enjoying life and good times.

One family enjoying all the ship has to offer are the Strutts from Oklahoma. They cruised with me on the Carnival Freedom in Europe and here they were singing the praises of a four-day Carnival cruise…..they drove here……….and forfeited a long weekend in Las Vegas to dos so. Why?……….Well, value for money and the fun for all atmosphere that can only be found on a Carnival ship.

It’s funny that they mentioned Las Vegas because as I was discussing with my friend Roger Blum, vp of cruise programming, the other day…..I have never been to the city in the desert. I never really fancied going. I don’t gamble…..well………..except when I fart in bed and pull the covers over Heidi’s head …….in this case I am gambling that wobbly bits will be still attached to my body afterwards.
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A Dream Job

January 29, 2009 -

John Heald

I will never forget the first time I saw the Fantasy. I was driving with Gary Hunter, the cruise director, from his house in Gainesville. I remember feeling sick the whole journey because the night before we had eaten something called chitterlings for dinner. Gary’s Mum had cooked it and I thought it tasted like crap. However, being a polite 24-year-old from good stock, I smiled and cleared my plate. And afterwards oh how they all laughed when they told me that I had eaten a pig bollocks.

Anyway, we were heading to the ship. Back then the CD and staff did not join the vessel in the shipyard as we do now. That’s because back then the ship would remain pierside in Miami for two weeks or so giving us time to prepare everything. As we came of the I-95 exit to the port we saw the huge smokestack and I remember we both shouted gave a big “wow” as we saw the ship that would start what was arguably the most successful class of cruise ships in the world. I had two very happy years there as social host and then eventually cruise director.

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Eight!

January 28, 2009 -

John Heald

The worry I have had about the impending arrival of the Thingy was firmly put into context yesterday. How can I worry about sleepless nights when in Bellflower, California, a mother is now running between eight cribs in her pajamas?

Not only has she had all her babies in five minutes, she didn’t even know she was having the last one, it just slipped out. Now she has decided to breast-feed her six boys and two girls, A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H. All those competitive mothers might as well stop here. No one is going to be able to keep up with the new mother whom doctors describe as “very strong”………….which surely is a huge understatement.
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Going to the Dogs

January 27, 2009 -

John Heald

Being a simple and relatively poor cruise director, I do not get to dine at ritzy, champagne-drenched, Michelin-starred exotic restaurants in sun-kissed, faraway places. Once, while preparing the European ports for the Carnival Liberty’s inaugural season I took Heidi to a “poncy” (www.urbandictionary.com) five-star place in Monte Carlo …………and I hated it.

The Hotel De something or other was full of women who looked like prostitutes and they were in the company of greasy little men who learned their English from baddies in James Bond films and who meet in bars at night to sell one another machine guns. The staff looked at us and after realizing we weren’t members of the machine gun club or anyone famous, they treated us with distain and total and utter rudeness. The only time our waiter smiled was when he gave us the bill……I truly believe he thought that I wouldn’t be able to afford it and that my arse would soon be either doing the washing up or getting a beating from one of the greasy men.
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A Blog Full of Valor

January 26, 2009 -

John Heald

Good afternoon from sunny Miami.

It appears to me that the country is still buzzing over the inauguration of President Obama. You know, I flew here to the States on the day of his inauguration and with jet lag and everything I never really got to see the whole thing. So, before I got ready for work this morning I watched it online and it was truly wonderful. I also got my first look at the First Children, accompanied by what looked like a really stern nanny with 1950s-style glasses. Behind them was the First Mother-in-Law who is moving into the White House as well. How many jokes are going to be made about that in the coming years? I hope she sits in a rocking chair on the porch, crocheting and making loud, rude comments about everyone in the Rose Garden. Finally, slightly late (how cool is that?), Obama emerged to greet his country. The place went ballistic………It doesn’t matter who you voted for you have to admit the guy has a certain rock star thing and you just can’t help getting excited by him.
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Hello everyone. I know many of you have been enjoying sharing the world cruise with James and the passengers and crew of the P and O ship Arcadia.

Well, I thought we might get to know him better and find out about his life at sea…..and so without further ado…..here is James Cusick.
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Blog Update, Heidi and TV Hell

January 24, 2009 -

John Heald

I hate watching myself on TV. I refuse to do it on the ship and if ever Heidi has my activities channel playing or the Morning Show reruns she will be greeted with a loud “turn the damn thing off “from me. However, yesterday, I was trapped. I had just finished a meeting when a senior Miami Carnival person decided to show some new Carnival arrivals some “John Heald action.”………….now for a minute I thought that he had somehow come across the time I was dating a dancer back in 1993 and had captured on video the time she made me dress up as a Roman Centurion. Luckily for everyone this was not the case and instead of watching some Rumpus Pumpus I had to watch an entire bedtime story that somehow made it onto You Tube.

I watched in horror as this fat ugly bastard waddled across the stage……….and I decided that the handsome and slightly overweight young man that exists in my mind is not actually the same person who I was watching claiming to be “John Heald.”
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Emergency 911

January 23, 2009 -

John Heald

All of sudden my life has gotten to be very strange. This morning I addressed a fantastic group of people of which I will tell you later but at 9 am, there I was doing an hour and half motivational and factual fun talk about the blog, life onboard and aspects of my life.

Next week I have got to meet some “competition winners” for lunch. I’ve never really done anything like this before. That’s a lie. I’ve had lunch before…….Just not with people who’ve entered a competition for the privilege. These people won a contest I organized on the Carnival Splendor for the Mustang and Classic Car Club group who sailed with me. They are all fans of the blog and the winners will be meeting me next week, having a tour of the Carnival offices and then off we go to lunch………… It’s a very dangerous sort of thing to agree to. It’s pretty much a lose/lose situation.
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Old Fart Day

January 22, 2009 -

John Heald

And so I woke up this morning in my room at the Intercontinental Hotel with the realization that I was a 44 year old man………………with hemorrhoids.

There are warning signs I am getting old. I have started making weird “old man” noises when I get up from sitting down and it’s not only the hair on my head that is grey. I am, however, still on my first marriage, haven’t actually lost any hair yet and I’m fit enough not to need a stair lift – so things aren’t all bad.

Last night while at the Heat basketball game (more about that later) someone really annoying told me that when you turned 40 you had to take a really hard look at your life and if you hadn’t got your act together, now was the time. When you get to 50, he said, if you still hadn’t got your act together it’s too late. So I’ve started writing a sort of five-year plan.
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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.