What’s for Dinner Mr. President?

January 21, 2009 -

John Heald

It seems that the Inauguration of President Barrack Obama went well and although I missed it live yesterday. Captain America decided to keep us informed by using the PA system on the plane to tell us that he was now officially President of the United States. ……..we can’t use our cell phones or electronic devices during take off and landing but the pilot has a 50-inch Sony Plasma in the cockpit.

Anyway, last night back at the hotel I caught up with the speech and all the hoopla and then suddenly, I began to feel quiet sorry for your new President.

After a long speech in freezing temperatures he then had to pretend to be nice to George W. Bush by saying “Thank you, sir, for all you have done, the country owes you a huge debt of gratitude”……………of course what he probably wanted to say was “Bugger off you silly sod and if I find there’s no toilet paper in the private residence there will be trouble.”

But, that’s not why I felt sorry for him………nope…………The first thing he had to do as the new President was to eat an inaugural luncheon attended by 200 hungry congressmen, judges and other dignitaries.

Halfway through the main course, I am sure he suddenly realized the enormity of the task that lies ahead of him. He no doubt reflected, with a weary belch, that this was not what he got into politics for. And when they finally plonked his desert in front of him, he will have been tempted to lean across to Vice-President Biden and whisper: “I can’t do this, Joe, you take it from here,” before bolting for the door marked rest rooms ready to give some shock and awe to the toilet bowl.

You see, I watched the news last night and Wolf Blister on CNN explained that the menu tied in with the Abraham Lincoln-themed festivities of the day. And so, obviously, they prepared a menu that began with many kilos of lobster, scallops, shrimps and black cod boiled in cream and vermouth, then ladled into pastry cases, glazed and baked into pies. Mmm, the joys of simple food. After the “fish stew” came a lovely, simple “Brace of American Birds with Sour Cherry Chutney and Molasses Sweet Potatoes,” served, like everything else, on replica china from the Lincoln Administration.

Again, I’ve looked up the recipe on the White House website where it says they cooked a pheasant breast that had been stuffed with, and I quote, “football-shaped patties” of a rice-and-canned-chicken-soup.

Bloody Hell…….. “football shaped?”………..I mean, he is the President of the Free World not a nine year old who if he eats his football shaped patties Mum says he can go skate boarding!

Wolf Blister then interviewed the Chef who started talking about how the pheasants were served with a dish of “molasses-whipped sweet potatoes,” involving these already very sweet vegetables being baked and then mashed with – wait for it – brown sugar, molasses, orange juice and maple syrup……..does that not sound like baby food? No wonder presidents do so much running. Any less than five miles a day and within a year Obama won’t even fit in the Oval Office……oh yes……….I nearly forgot after a meal that already had more sugar in it than your average wedding cake, President Obama was expected to eat an apple sponge cake served with vanilla ice cream and a cinnamon sauce with lashings of caramel sauce. The Chef of the White House will no doubt relish the thought of being able to cook again having spent the last eight years preparing Barbecue Ribs and a Bud.

As I lay on my hotel bed watching all this I wondered if the Chef may have been a Republican and realizing they don’t have a candidate to beat him in four years is going to make sure he gets diabetes and doesn’t run………I feel it is my duty to send him a few of my pills.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to put a sour commentary on this joyous day. I guess at the end of the day who cares what was served at lunch other that it was meant to honor (see, I even spelt it honor the American way) Abe Lincoln who led America through a perilous time ………….as of course will President Obama. I wish him well. There is huge expectation that he will save the world and watching him at that lunch yesterday and then those ball things last night I am sure I could see in eyes that he didn’t want to be there. He wanted to be at work, behind that desk, doing the things the rest of the world expect and demand of him………like giving France some free soap.

Well, it’s now 2:20 pm and whereas my life onboard as a cruise director is pretty much structured here on land it’s a little different.

For example, I am now supposed to be sitting in my underwear in the hotel writing the rest of this blog thingy. However, instead I am sitting in a posh hotel in Miami’s South Beach surrounded by the top producing travel agents and all of Carnival’s top executives. This group of people are called the Executive Forum………….and this morning I was invited to attend. The afternoon started with a special guest speaker ………. Nope ………that’s not enough of an introduction………….a brilliant and sincere public speaker ………..Coach Pat Riley. He spoke to the room on how his winning ways as a basketball coach have helped him through life…………and the room listened to each and every word. The standing ovation he received showed that each and every person had found something to take home with them that would help their business and improve their quality of life…………..he is an extraordinary man.

And now Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill is speaking and he will be followed by Executive Vice President of Marketing and Guest Experience Ruben Rodriguez and our new Chief Marketing Officer Jim Berra…………and maybe a little bit of me.

Here are some photos



I will report on what they have said this afternoon because a lot of what is being spoken about will ultimately improve your cruise experience….. am proud to be here and prouder to be able to put your points of view across.

And so, I can’t answer your questions today but I promise to do so tomorrow ………. without fail.

Here is a quick video from today’s Bloggers Cruise meeting. We have finalized everything and over the next few days I will highlight all you need to know…..and keeping some surprises for onboard.

OK, time to go and speak and I will be back tomorrow with apologies for this quick thingy today. Keep your comments coming, tell us what we can do for you. I am here to deliver and there has never been a better time to express them.

If there are any bloggers who live in Miami could I ask a favor? The Hotel Intercontinental charges $4.25 to was one pair of underwear………….can anyone do them for me?……a free cruise to anyone who does and you won’t need to come and collect them as the pair I wore yesterday can walk their themselves.


Your friends

John, Heidi and the Thingy………..whom I miss very much

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.