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.”

Spurred on by Heidi going to some weird pregnancy yoga thingy, I have decided to initiate my own New Year fitness regime. If successful, do not be surprised to see a load of DVDs and books out next Christmas. I could clean up, touring the country like some fat and mildly amusing aerobic instructor.

Problems would arise if the tour became very successful and I could sell anything and everything on eBay. Maybe my own poo would be a top Christmas seller – actually, there’s another idea for the project: “Celebrity Crapping. Roll up, roll up, come and get it while it’s hot. It’s the must-have purchase this Christmas.”

Following this successful campaign, flushed with cash, I would be forced to celebrate by buying a yacht and mooring it next to Tom Cruise so I could tell him his latest movie Valkyrie was a load of bollocks.

Seriously though, I imagine it must be difficult for a real famous person to write or say to camera anything about “fitness” (“fatness” more like). The moment you tackle any issue like this in print then I imagine you are deluged with requests for TV programs like “Celebrity Fat (sorry, Fit) Camp.” Following these will be the requests to present a show on ESPN3 about competitive eating competitions around the world. Then the theatrical agents will get involved: “We’re developing the Pavarotti story for American TV, would you consider the part of the young Luciano?

I have to be careful what I write in blogs of the future though because I received a comment from someone who said I sounded like I was suffering from “depression.” I am sure she meant well but I can assure her and everyone that I am not depressed. I want to make this clear…..I am not depressed……….I certainly don’t want Carnival Currents and to start every interview about John Heald with “Tears of the Clown” or “The Dark Side of the Loon” or “Senior CD Fat Man Not Funny Anymore.”

Bugger………I just thought……. this morning I cut myself shaving – Oh no……..I can imagine the Carnival Currents headline….. “Senior Cruise Director’s Suicide Bid…”

Here are some more questions answered………………………….here we go.

Tim and Diane Asked:

please reply
I wish to answer the question about the travel agent who would not book Carnival. We are cruise only travel agents and we have another answer to that question. The travel agent probably gets a bigger commission or has lots of group space. I wish I could talk to the person who asked that question. 90 percent of our bookings are under the Carnival group. Thanks and have a good trip to the colonies.
Hope you see that Princess Ruby guy and get your cigar thingy.

John Says:
Hello Tim and Diane
It’s great to hear from you as always. I know you are huge supporters of Princess Cruises and of Carnival and the industry as a whole. You make some great points there and I am sure that there may have been an explanation for why the TA in question refused to even think of putting the guests on a Carnival ship. The problem is as you know that some people still have a total lack of understanding on what a Carnival cruise is all about. They may have been on a cruise with us some 20 years ago when yes……..we may have been different to what we are now……or even worse, they have never experienced a Carnival voyage at all yet they have their own opinions based on bugger all fact……..and that makes me as mad as sleeping lion who has been awoken by a small meercat nibbling on his bottom.
Carnival is the biggest supporter of our travel agent partners and you and your colleagues are very much a part of why we continue to be the world’s most popular cruise line ………and you are both great friends and I look forward to seeing you both soon.

gacrusier Asked:

John Please reply
Hey John, sorry to hear about your travel troubles. I know it will be hard to leave Heidi and the thingy again. But April will be here before you know it. We booked the Miracle yesterday for Feb 1st – 8 day/Western and are very excited. This will be our 1st time on the Miracle and will miss not having the jumbotron on Lido to watch the Superbowl. My husband is a big Steelers fan and is so worried about not being able to see the game. Can you check and make sure that the game will be televised hopefully in the theater? Our booking number is #### if you think you might could surprise him with something special in our room! He is the best husband and dad and I would love for this trip to be even more special for him. He was such a great support to me when I went through breast cancer in 2002 and still is. He shaved his head the same day that I had to have mine shaved due to the chemo treatments. This will be our 6th cruise and we cruised with you and Heidi last year on the Freedom. I brought you the goodie bag with jelly beans and T-shirts from our hometown and the smiley face magnet. Tell Heidi hello from me and she will be in our prayers through these final months of her pregnancy and while you are away from her.
Also, can you tell me a little about our CD on this trip? I would like to bring him a goodie bag also.

John Says:

Hello Rhonda
Ahhhhhhhh the Super Bowl. The world championship game featuring two teams from….ummmm…….the same country. Anyway, joking aside I can promise you and your husband that the Carnival Miracle will indeed have all the pre game build up and of course a huge Super Bowl party. Unfortunately we wont get the game from American TV stations as its scrambled but don’t worry we will cover the game via Polish TV. The commentary will be in Polish but I am sure that won’t matter. You will I promise, enjoy the best two football commentators in the world Johun Mandenski and Alov Michaelski ……….OK, kidding. The game will be shown in full and will include special food and drink and of course a great atmosphere. I remember the gifts you brought me and thank you so much once again……especially the jelly beans which were enjoyed ……twice.
Please can you e-mail Stephanie with your cabin number before you sail and for all the help your loving husband gave you during your chemo treatment he deserves something special. Hope the Steelers win unless a blogger from Phoenix is reading this in which case. I hope the ummmmm……Phoenix………..thingies win.
Have a brilliant cruise.

Irene Garner Asked:

Dear John (please reply)
I think my last email (comment) to you was lost when your computer ate up your 2 hour blog. I did find the answers I was looking for by calling Carnival direct, but I do have another question. How hard would it be for a 62 year old widow woman like myself to get a job on board a cruise ship? Do they have an age limit for the people they hire? After reading your blogs every day and watching your recent video blog I find your enthusiasm for Carnival Cruise Lines just riveting. I’d love to be a part of such a great organization, and I’d be happy just working in the gift shop. I have a lot of experience dealing with the public and customer service. Where can I send a resume, or would I be wasting my time?
Thanks…Irene (hooked on cruising)

John Says:

Hello Irene.
I am sorry your last comment got lost, it was my fault I am sure……well…….Microsoft’s fault……but regardless I apologize. What a good question you ask. Now………..while Carnival has no age restrictions on working onboard………oh by that I mean a slightly older person……obviously if you are 11 years old you can’t be a waiter……but seriously, no there are no age restrictions. However, it would be remiss of me not to tell you that quite honestly it’s my opinion that working onboard the cruise vessels of today is a younger person’s game. You see, it’s not just the job you are hired to do but it is so much more. Safety drills, training and much more make some days long and challenging. There is also a very strict medical that all new hires have to pass. Now, please do not think I am trying to put you off and if you feel that regardless of what I have said and knowing that you will be sharing a small cabin with someone, if you want to progress with this please let me know and I will help you all that I can. I thank you for your passion and support that you obviously have for Carnival Cruise Lines and I hope we get to meet soon.
Best Regards

Tom & Jane Asked:

Please reply
hi john
will you be on the Valor, sailing on 03/29/2009?
We are booked, and taking our grand kids,
but they don’t know yet.
Tom & Jane

John Says:

Hello Tom and Jane
How are you both? There is a good chance I may be with you on the Carnival Valor. I am going to have my schedule confirmed next week and I hope to have some good news for you then. Your kids will have a wonderful surprise. The Diet Coke sounds wonderful as does the cigar………however I have been a good boy and not had one for some time.
I will let everyone know whets happening ASAP

Rositer11-Carnival lifer Asked:

John pleases reply.
I was just wondering which ships have the sea side theatre and which ones will get them and when they get them. My wife and I had our honeymoon on the Glory and it did not have the screen however we were told it would get it this year. My next question is when the full 2010 schedule will be out. I know we are only just starting 2009 however it will take us a while to save up, plus my wife will have 2 weeks vacation time by 2010. Thanks for all you do for us!!!!

John Says:

Hello Rositer 11-Carnival Lifer
I love your screen name……brilliant. By the end of this year most of the Destiny class will have the Seaside Theatre big screens as will the Conquest class and of course the Carnival Splendor already has one as will the Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic. The Carnival Glory will indeed be fitted with one during her dry dock period. The 2010 schedule is nearly ready to be unveiled. I think it is safe to say that it may be so earlier but with the economy as unstable as a drunken Flamingo we are taking extra time to put together the best options for everyone.
As soon as it is ready you will all be the first to know

PennyB Asked:

Hi John,
It’s me, PennyB from New Orleans.
I wanted to add my $.02 on photos. I love pictures and love all the ones all over the ship but… I also hate 8×10s. I don’t even have that size for my grandkids and they are more important then my cruise pics. I do have a few 5×7s but much prefer the 4×6s. I have albums from all the ships with name on it (4×6 size) and enjoy looking at them but please – give a choice.
Thanks Penny B
PS – I am a Christian and the Thingy will be dedicated. How wonderful of you to think of us like that………… are very special.

John Says:
Hello Penny
Your comments about our photos have been echoed by many others and I can assure you that they are being taken very seriously…….I am sure some interesting things will develop ………..oops – photo joke…… the future. I appreciate you taking the time to write and its comments like this that show us what the guests enjoy and where they feel we can improve.

Elaine Asked:

Hiya John,
Having cruised in the past with you & Heidi I am being told that I would once again have that honor on our upcoming March 29 Valor sailing. Is it true? Please say yes…. I would love to have you join us at our Meet n Greet (which hasn’t yet been decided where or when).
Of course, if you want to plan one for us (hint hint) we will be there!!!
P.S. How is Heidi feeling? I understand from other posts that she is not traveling with you this time…is that correct? Looking forward to hopefully once again cruising with you.

John Says:
Hello Elaine
Regardless if I will be there or not it will be my honor for me to arrange a meet and greet for you. Please let me know where and when you wish to do this and I shall make it so. Hopefully I will be meeting and mingling with you

Tracy Asked:

Hello John, This is my first post to your blog. I do have a question that I think only you can answer as I have gotten 2 different answers from carnival reps. On the Carnival Dream are the cove balconies standing room only? or is there chairs and a table. Thanks.

John Says:

Hello Tracy
Welcome to the blog. I have been on the cove balconies personally and I can promise you there is enough room for two chairs (which we will provide) to sit on and enjoy the fantastic view.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you

lou-anne Asked:

John, glad to know that even when half of the security guards of the US were in Washington yesterday that they continued to let people into the US. You are likely on board and settled in. Question, I understand a lot of the staff has rooms located below the cruising guests – just exactly where are you staying, I think most of us expect that you are in a suite – adjacent to the captions room and that you have a plush office through the suite door. And do you eat breakfast on the balcony. We are having more cold weather here in our part of the world – we can justify wearing gloves and hats – Just what is wrong with the people who wear winter clothes in Florida? We would gladly welcome a cruise – As the flu has gone through the school system and most work places – We have all experienced it and are certainly in need of a break. We are looking forward to hearing all about the bloggers cruise – May you enjoy the warmth of the sun as the rest of us northerners enjoy the warm of our furnaces.

John Says:

Hello Lou-Anne
I hope this finds you well and warm and free of the flu. Oh how I wish that when I was onboard I had a suite and got breakfast in bed. The crew cabins are spread over the entire ship with many on decks B,A,0,1,2,5 and 8. Many of our service crew share a cabin but there are never more than two per stateroom unlike the old days where the rooms were dormitory style with some having as many as eight per room. Nowadays the cabins all have TVs and DVD players etc, however, regardless of your position on board you spend very little time in there because of the busy work schedule. A cruise director’s cabin has a living room and office area with a separate bedroom and bathroom so I guess in a way it is a mini mini mini mini suite. The cruise directors do have balconies on the Spirit class ships which I must admit is very nice.
I hope this answers your questions and I hope we get to meet soon.

Cheryl K Asked:

John, Please Reply.
Well you are finally made it back to the states and I am trying to get ready for South America! Now since you are the fixer of all things and thingy’s and are eager to do so, here’s what would be great–to have my favorite waiter on the Splendor Thanksgiving cruise Romie (157) in Black Pearl be our waiter this time only in the dining room with Ken so I can hear him sing please–we are in Spa cabin ####. I think there are 5 of us attached to the same group. Ok that’s all–no other requests!
Wish I could be on the Blogger’s cruise but the Dream is a possibility. That is so exciting that you got to feel the baby kick before you left. In another month or so you will need to get Heidi to video her belly when the baby is moving because you can really see it! Best wishes to all. Thanks John!
Cheryl Killian

John Says:

Hello Cheryl
I will try and continue to be the fixer of things and pass on your request to the one and only Ken Byrne. I know Romie the waiter and can understand why you wish to have him serve you. I am sure I will be able to assist in making this wish come true.
I also hope that you do make it onto the Carnival Dream‘s bloggers cruise…………….its going to be very special.
Have a wonderful voyage to South America

OK, let’s talk about this coming bloggers cruise. I finalized the events and let me pass some of them on to you………… we go.

Welcome Aboard cocktail party – this will feature the introductions of … well ………… me ……………two special guests and of course a chance for all of us to meet and have fun which will be helped by the one hour complimentary drinks service

Dinner – The bloggers will have a special area of the dining room reserved for main sitting. It will be open sitting but we will have special tables reserved for the various families of Cruise Critic, Big Ed, Cruise Mates and those of us who do not belong to one of the families…….sounds like the mafia. I will have a table each night and I will be joined by invited guests. I have not decided the best way to do this yet but I will make it fair and fun……..not that watching me chew on a steak is fun……….but anyway ……dinner, I promise will be a fantastic experience. I do suggest though that once you choose your table that you remain there for the five days. Many of you will know that the experience of having the same waiter is what makes meal times so much fun. If you have any questions about this, please let me know.

Pajama Party – This has been organized by Kuki and the Cruise Mates group but he has invited everyone to come along and enjoy the fun. I will have him tell you about this maybe in the days ahead………I don’t have any pajamas so I will have to borrow someone’s or I will be naked.


Day 2
Early morning get together. This will be a chance to meet in the main lounge for an hour’s fun. We may have a Q&A and games or just chat…………..who knows. But one thing is for certain………you won’t want to miss this…….unless you would rather stay in bed for an hour which considering many of you will have been drinking at the pajama party the night before may be a strong possibility.

Tea Time
Obviously having 400 of you attend a private tea time will not allow me to meet and mingle with you all as I would like. Therefore we have broken this down to four groups, two on each of the sea days with an hour dedicated to each group. Again, there will be one for Cruise Mates, Cruise Critic and Big Ed and then one for those traveling with no affiliation to the five families. Each hour will include tea and goodies and some one on one time with old friends and me.

Elegant Night Photos
Before we go to dinner I will be available for photos with a special backdrop. I will also have a pen in hand ready to sign something if you wish……something that may have been placed in your cabin today as gift number two.

Elegant Night Dinner
Music and Dancing……..well for me Music……no dancing and of course we have to go and see the show.

Day 3 – Progreso
There is no organized tour here however I hope to go to Chitunitza ………. Chitunnizer ………. Shitunatzer……….the Mayan pyramids so some of you may wish to join me.

Dinner all together

Midnight – We proudly present the Bloggers Only Male Nightgown contest

Special gift delivered to cabin

Day 4 – Cozumel
Our private excursion to the beach in Cozumel. If you wish to go and have us provide transportation then I suggest you book no later than January 30th via Food and drinks and fun are provided and it’s going to be a great day.

Dinner all together
10:30pm – Private Bloggers only show featuring two of Carnival’s top entertainers …….. this is a private show and both entertainers have stories which I know will embarrass the heck out of me………oh joy.

Special gift delivered to cabin

Day 4 – Sea Day
9 am – 10 am- Press Q & A
We are proud to have some of the industries most respected travel writers joining us and they have agreed to make themselves available for a Q & A. This was a huge success last year and I encourage as many of you to attend this year as you can.

2:00pm – More Tea Times

4:00pm – 5:00 pm – Bloggers Talent Show

5:00pm – 6:00pm – Farwell Party featuring fun, complimentary cocktails and hors d’ ouerves and some sad goodbyes.

6:00pm- Farewell Dinner

These are some but not all of what we have planned and I am sure its going to be a wonderful experience.

Now, I just received an e mail from Big Ed and a similar one from Kuki and Host Mach who had some questions which I am sure others may want answered as well…………here they are.

When does the bus leave for the charity event? – This is still to be determined but I think we are aiming for 5 am…….sorry………8 am. I will confirm this next week.

What does the bus cost for those not on Carnival package? – For all the volunteers I have told my friends at Carnival that the transportation should be free and that is what I hope I will be confirming on Monday. I think it is unfair to ask you to pay $20 for a bus ride and then volunteer to make the city of New Orleans a better place. Again, I will confirm soon.

Where is the cocktail party? – At the Maison St. Charles Hotel

When is the cocktail part? – we are aiming for 5:30 pm………..I will confirm this ASAP.

What time does the bus leave the hotel for the port for those on Carnival package? – TBA – but will have this information very soon

Will there be any room on the bus for those not on the Carnival package and how much will it cost them? – We will have the answer to this on Tuesday, but should have transportation for everyone who said they needed transportation when they signed up via the form here on the blog.

Now, there will be a separate Carnival Capers delivered to everyone’s state room on the first evening plus we have a hospitality room for the entire cruise which will be manned by Stephanie, Stephanie (Meads), Tom, Tony and others. If you have any questions or concerns we will be there for you.

Anyway, that’s a brief outlook on what’s happening and of course the main difference between this bloggers cruise and the last one is that I won’t be the CD so I will have much more time outside of the planned activities just to be with you…… friends.

Now, over on I want to point you in the direction of the Queen Victoria’s world cruise which we are all able to share thanks to the ship’s Entertainment Director Alistair Greening. Have a look today at the amazing photos of this majestic liner transiting the Panama canal…….amazing.

Tomorrow there will be a Sunday blog extra as I post a wonderful interview with our friend James Cusick whose Arcadia blog you have been enjoying so much. This should be posted by 2 pm on Sunday so I hope you will stop by for a read.

On Monday I hope to give you a first look at one of our new commercials……stand by for that

Also, next week I will be posting an interview with a great friend of mine who has been chosen to be the Captain…………of the Carnival Dream. Look out for that one next week.

I am certainly going to do my best to make this bloggers cruise the best yet. I was hoping to bring James Dunn whose dance class was a big hit last year but his brilliant services are needed on the Carnival Freedom and in his place I will be joined by our old friend Stephanie Meads who will also be teaching a bloggers dance class…….country y’all style. I didn’t list that a moment ago and also I didn’t list Chef Kevin’s cooking class but they will be taking place and I will let you know on the bloggers Carnival Capers.

I am feeling the pressure to make this cruise a success but it can’t be anything like the pressure poor old President Obama must be feeling. Once again I am writing this blog while tuned to the news……this time its MSNBC and they are making him out to be a God among men…..poor sod. According to the news panel I am listening to The North Pole has begun to freeze over again, the financial crisis is at an end, the leaders of Israel and Hamas will soon be making public man love and my hemorrhoids will magically disappear.

Pretty soon, all the problems in Africa will be sorted as well because, apparently, this astonishing new leader has an amazing ability to stroll over oceans and turn desert into huge, sprawling fields of wheat. Pausing only to cure typhoid…… and all before lunch. I hope everyone remembers that all though he is obviously massively talented he is still just a man…..with a nose, two ears, one brain and maybe……..some Hemorrhoids of his own.

I also just heard on the news that OJ Simpson says he was framed………..And in other news, the Pope says he never misses an episode of Desperate Housewives, RCI says there were long lines to use their climbing walls and Judge Judy says she is going to be modeling G-strings for Victoria’s Secret.

To finish with today………….here is a video message from Heidi

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.