Movie Madness

February 5, 2009 -

News From Steph

So, last night I went to the movies……..alone………not something I would recommend because as I headed to my seat people were giving me very funny looks ……….maybe they thought I was a flasher or something. Anyway, armed with my bucket of Diet Coke and some Nachos el Grande which could have fed the five thousand I settled down to watch a movie called “The Wrestler.”

Now……I choose this movie for two reasons. Firstly, the cinema was not one of those giant multi-screen ones, instead the Canal Street movie theatre only shows four movies and therefore my choice was limited. I had already seen Slumdog Millionaire and I had not heard of the other two whose names escape me… that was me with an appointment to see Micky Rourke and his biceps.

I am not a film critic in any way, shape or form. I just know if I like a movie or not. I loved Slumdog Millionaire and I truly hope it wins the Best Film Oscar. I equally hope that Mickey Rourke lifts the Oscar for Best Actor. His performance as a broken-down wrestler who can’t let go of his glorious past is the best thing he’s done by many a mile. There are much better films, but this is an exceptional piece of acting, ……..all I can say is that there’s a touch of Rocky about Rourke in this film that is gruesome at times but is also unmissable.

Now, I didn’t just write this to tell you about the movie but it will come as no surprise as I got grumpy at the end of it……..let me explain why……it’s the film credits. No other business finds it necessary to tell you the name of every last person who had even the slightest involvement in making the product. When you buy, say, a car (and cars are really useful things, more useful than films) it doesn’t tell you on the side the name of the kid at the car plant who gets sent out for sandwiches at lunchtime, does it?

Yet the film game, sorry, “motion picture industry,” is so up itself that it thinks we want to know every last detail of who provided the food for the actors to eat and on what make of toilet paper they wiped their bottoms on. And the one thing I wanted to know last night was the name of one song from the soundtrack. This comes right at the end, in letters too quick and too small to read.

The other thing that bugs me about film credits is the way that after you’ve found out who changed the light bulbs but before you come to the name of who drove the truck that the portable toilets were delivered on there appears some poor sod called Assistant to Mr. Rourke, or Mr. Decrapaio, Mr. Clooney, whoever. It’s always Mr. Clooney’s suits by so-and-so as well, Mr. Pitt’s hair, Mr. Damon’s wardrobe and so on. Why does anyone need to know this…………..anyway, I found the song…….it was by a band called the Scorpions ……….I didn’t get this from the movie credits because I would still be there now ……… nope……Mr. Google helped me with that……….I wonder what the name of the person who assisted the person who designed that page is…….I wish someone would tell us.

On my way from the hotel to the cinema and back I passed two restaurants; Morton’s Steakhouse and a Benny Ha Ha’s or something like that…….a Chinese restaurant I think but I may be wong………it could have been Japanese……….but again………..I could be wong………I gave you two chances there to get that joke.

Anyway, such is the doom and gloom in the media, it’s a shock to see restaurants functioning pretty much as normal, even on a chilly Wednesday night in the Big Easy. In fact, it’s a surprise to find anyone out and about enjoying themselves at all. Shouldn’t there be cobwebs in the kitchen? Dust coating the bar? Tumbleweed blowing through the dining room? Why are all you people in here spending money? Shouldn’t you be at home eating cat food straight from the tin? Selling your pets for medical experiments and throwing Grandma on the fire just to keep warm……? You should, by rights, but you’re not……..You know why not? …….. because life goes on and that’s the news that isn’t being reported.

Let’s answer some questions marked “John, Please Reply.” ………………….here we go.

The Flying Dutchman Asked:
John Please Reply
Carnival Sensation is in dry-dock for her EOF enhancements. Is this also the time when her new balcony cabins get augmented? …and are there any conceptual renderings of the new and improved Carnival Sensation? Will all Fantasy class ships get this particular modification or is the Carnival Sensation sort of a test?
The Flying Dutchman

John Says:

Hello Flying Dutchman.
Great question. The Carnival Sensation will come out of dry dock with new balconies next week. She will be the only Fantasy class ship with these and I will make sure I highlight these and the ships other features very soon. She is going to look absolutely brilliant

Lynn in VA Asked:

Hi John,
Please Reply.
Thank you so much for your help!! I received the winter issue of Currents (they sent me 3-all basically with the same articles-do you know why there are three different ones)? I still didn’t get the fall 2008 issue, is it possible for you to request that again for me?
Also, I’d really appreciate if you could get the real phone # of the subscription department so I can check and see why we didn’t receive the fall 2008 and winter 2009 issues. In case you don’t remember my original question, posted on 1/12, (I know you see a lot of questions), here it is below.

I know this is not your area of expertise, but… I need help. We haven’t received our Currents magazine since summer 2008, so we’re missing fall and from the comments I’ve read on the blog recently it seems like there may be a winter out also. I know that our subscription has not run out (we cruised 3 times in 2008-had a great time on the Carnival Splendor transatlantic and really enjoyed Jamie)! I’ve called the customer service number listed and pressed two for brochures/DVD’s/subscriptions, but it just went to a reservations specialist. I’ve spoken to many people at phone numbers they believed would get me to Currents subscriptions, but none did.

I really look forward to reading Currents and would like to get the fall and winter issues.
Can you please find out the number for me to call? Numbers that don’t get me to subscriptions are: 1-888-225-4837, 1-800-929-6400, 1-800-227-6482, 1-800-327-7276, and 1-800-627-1912 (Current advertising-they couldn’t even get me in touch with subscriptions).
I appreciate any help you can give.

Also, do you know why Carnival isn’t doing the Cruise to Nowhere from Norfolk this June (we love them)?
We’ve never been to any art auctions (have done 13 Carnival cruises, with three more booked).

John Says:
Hello Lynn
I just spoke to the Currents folks and they will be mailing you a copy of the autumn edition and you are now fully enrolled as a subscriber and will therefore be receiving each and every copy of Carnival Currents. Please except my apologies for the delay and also for the confusion with the phone numbers. It appears they had a different mailing address for you which I won’t write here on the blog. Anyway, all has been sorted and you should without fail start to receive your Carnival Currents magazines. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Phil Imbesi Asked:

Please reply, no rush. My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Glory over Christmas and the CD Butch (who is amazing BTW) mentioned that they were neck-and-neck in the running for a company wide service award. (I believe it was the Crystal Eagle, or Falcon, or some other type of bird, I know it was Crystal) anyway, has that award been given out, I was wondering the outcome. My wife and I found the service on the Glory perfect. We’ve been rooting for them, and were just wondering how it came out.
Stephanie – please make sure that John sees this. Thanks!

John Says:

Hello Phil
I am very happy to read that you enjoyed the Carnival Glory so much and that Butch and his staff gave you all a vacation to remember. The Eagle Award is ongoing and the winner should be announced very soon. It is based on both the guest comment cards and the crews’ own views about life onboard. My sources tell me that this quarter the Carnival Glory has every chance of winning. I will let you know as soon as the results are announced.

My best to you and the Family

Bob and Donna Asked:

Donna and I are just back from the Western Caribbean on the Legend yesterday where we celebrated our 30th Anniversary. I promise to send a more detailed report to you on our first Carnival cruise later but wanted to say one thing immediately — BRILLIANT!!! Everyone was so warm and friendly. Dessi was our fabulous Maitre d’ and sends her regards. Jen was wonderful as Cruise Director. We had so much fun! You are correct, Carnival has the best people in the business. More later this week. Thanks again for everything.
Bob & Donna

John Says:

Hello Bob and Donna
I wanted to say thank you to you for taking the time to write about your experience on the Carnival Legend. Your comments are music to my ears and ones that I will forward to the Hotel Director Shahnaz. Dessi is one of a kind as is Jenn and I am so happy that you had such a brilliant time. Thanks again and my best regards to you both

Larry&Connie Asked:

John, Hope all is well in the (BIG EASY) Take it easy on the great food they have down there. It will keep you up at nights if your not use to it. I’d like to ask a question. My buddy & I (our wife’s don’t want to go) are planning to cruise around Australia & New Zealand. The trip is Sydney north to Perth (17 days) Perth south to New Zealand & back to Sydney (18 days) this trip is done twice a year (spring & fall) I want to know if Carnival will ever have this itinerary? I would rather cruise with the THE FUN SHIPS than be a NATION of WHY NOT. Yes, I have cruised them before. That’s why I hope Carnival has a cruise similar to it. Thanks John. Hope to here from you soon Larry

John Says:

Hello Larry and Connie
First of all let me say congratulations………on getting your wives to allow you to have 17 days vacation without them……you should write a self-help book for husbands. Anyway, the itinerary does have a wonderful sound to it and certainly Australia is a country that everyone should have on their bucket list. Carnival already has a sister company providing brilliantly fun vacations down under. Have a look at their web site on…………….you may recognize one of their vessels by the way. I would love to see a Carnival smokestack in Australia and all I can say at this point is never say never. Let me know if anything on the Web site interests you and if you do book with them rather than the whynotpayforasteak of the seas……..I may even send you a beer or twelve to say G’day mate

Mort13ers Asked:

John, Not that important but if you can please reply. I was thinking of this question as you had the Hotel manager with you, how do they determine when and who you sit with for dinner. Have a great time on the BC; I will admit I will be jealous, but only 62 days until my Freedom cruise My best to all the bloggers and to Heidi, think and you

John Says:

Hello Mort13ers
You ask a good question. When guests book a cruise the travel agent or the personal vacation planner or the Web site will ask you for your dinner seating preference…………….early (usually 6 pm) or late (usually 8:15 pm). Now the request is, of course, impossible to guarantee but we do our best to accommodate as many as we can. Then, once the bookings are made, the week before the cruise starts the maitre d’s and their assistants will assign a table to each guest. We try and keep family and friends together as well as trying to put people with others of a similar age. This of course is a big job and it’s amazing how successful we are at doing it. Now, there are times when people are not happy with their seating assignments or dining time and anytime this happens the maitre d’s will do their best to reassign the table. Consider this though …….on a Conquest class ship with 3300 guests onboard, the average number of guests who request a seating or table change is around 100 for a variety of reasons………..and that’s pretty good I think.

Now, don’t forget on the Carnival Legend and Carnival Liberty we offer anytime dining which has proven a successful addition to the assigned seating still in place on these ships and we will be adding this choice on other vessels this year. I hope this answers your questions and if you have a follow up please let me know.


Jetskier Asked:

Hey John,
Please Respond
When were you going to let us know that the Fantasy is going to be doing SEVEN-night sailings? I found this in a Mobile, AL newspaper. In May 2010, Carnival plans to add six temporary seven-day cruises to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel from Mobile.
Carnival plans to open the seven-day cruises for booking later this month, Vance Gulliksen (Carnival spokesman) said. That is great news. Roatan or Costa Maya would have been better than Jamaica though.

John Says:

Hello Dave
You are right……….the Fantasy’s seven-day cruises are latest fleet brochure but we haven’t done a full-blown press release since the cruises aren’t open for reservations just yet (however, a few media outlets, including the Mobile Register, have reported these exciting new departures). Reservations should be open soon I’m told.


Peanuts Asked:

Good Afternoon John (PLEASE REPLY)
My girl friend and I are hoping to plan a Panama Canal cruise for April 2010. Both of us and our spouses have been avid Carnival cruisers for many years so obviously we would prefer a Carnival ship. Can you possibly find out when Carnival is going to release the 2010 cruise schedule for the Panama Canal? Oh, her birthday is in April and their Wedding Anniversary is in May so they’re looking at celebrating both on board and we will be celebrating our 38th Anniversary in March. Help please. See you in December!

John Says:

Hello Peanuts
I know many of you are waiting for the 2010 fleet schedule to come out…….as am I. And I promise as soon as it does to post it right here on the blog thingy for you all to see …….I will try and get PA 007 to get me a “first look” at it. I hope among the voyages there is something that you and your girl friend will find exciting and on which to celebrate both birthday and anniversary. Please bear with me and I will pass on the news ASAP.
My best to you both


please respond!
Your bedtime story is so wonderfully unique! I have a copy of it from when we were on the Freedom with you and it makes me laugh every time I view it myself or show others! What I want to ask you is if you would consider doing a bedtime story for our sailing on the Dream in October when we are honoring firemen, policemen, nurses, teachers, paramedics, doctors, etc.? I know you aren’t going to be the cruise director, but will hang out with us and I think it would be a WONDERFUL thing for these fine folks to experience! What do you think??? Please say yes!
Thanks again for another wonderful blog!
Also, a HUGE thank you to Jaime! It is always so nice to hear from her. I agree, she should always be in the cruise director or assistant cruise director role as she does it so well.

John Says:
Hello Sheryl
I am glad you are enjoying Jaime’s blog. She is a great writer and I am so very proud of her. I will promise you this…….I will do something special for your group…………….some kind of show…….possibly the bedtime story………you will have to wait and see. Certainly nobody deserves to have fun more than the special group you are honoring.
Best regards to you all

Carol Asked:

Please Reply
Hi John, I was reading your blog and just happened to see that a nude group is cruising on the Legend in March? My husband and I are going to be on the Legend March 8. Is the cruise that they will be on? My husband says we will change our cruise to another date if they are. We would be very uncomfortable on their cruise.
I say to each his own…… but not in front of me.
Is this a joke or something?
Please reply ASAP.
Thank you,
Carol M

John Says:

Hello Carol
The Bare Necessities is a full-ship charter cruise departing the voyage right before yours so the only naked person you will see is your husband…….I can arrange a photo of me naked if you wish? Have a wonderful time and my best regards to you both

Amanda Asked:
Dear John, (please reply when you get a chance)
Let me start off by saying I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago when I booked our cruise and I think you are hilarious. The question I have for you is if the Carnival Elation has been upgraded and if not will it be done before Jan. 2010? We are celebrating our 10th Anniversary and bringing our kids and the waterslides look very fun (for them at least) Thank You for taking my question and I hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks, Amanda Baker

John Says:

Hello Amanda

I hope you are OK after your “stumble” and welcome to the blog. I’m going to have to check on the Carnival Elation’s Evolutions of Fun upgrades. I know that much of the first phase has been completed but need to find out whether the second phase, with the water park, adults only area and redesigned pool, will take place before your cruise. I know the ship and her crew will give you a memorable and fun experience. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Will be in touch.
My best to all the family

Stephen Smith Asked:

Please Reply,
Throughout your blog you have asked for feedback or ideas that might be well received by your guests. Recently you asked for input regarding 18-21 year olds. I suggest you hold a casino mixer and show them how to gamble (not using real money or chips during the event) As most the participants would be from the United States they haven’t had the opportunity to play in a real casino as the legal age to gamble is twenty-one. I believe this works for Carnival in two ways. First it gives this group a very relaxed environment to introduce themselves and they can come back and do it for real if they are so inclined with at least some knowledge under their belt.
The next idea has to do with the smoking policy. I was a fan of the Paradise when she was smoke free. However I understand the financial realities that at least statistically non-smokers don’t drink and/or gamble as much as those that do and both of those items are very profitable line items in Carnival’s balance sheet. So why not do the occasional non-smoking theme cruise. I suggest it be the first week a ship gets out of dry dock as it is less likely to have a smoker’s residue odor. By implementing this type of voyage a couple times a year you show you are listening to the non-smoker without alienating those that choose to inhale. I look forward to your feedback.
Stephen Smith

John Says:

Hello Stephen
Another wonderful idea and one I am sure many of the readers of the blog would agree with. I will certainly pass this to Roberta Jacoby, our senior vice president of operations and others at Carnival. I will say that there are many areas on our ships where smoking is forbidden and gone (mostly) are the days where you would have to walk through huge clouds of smoke as you went from one end of Promenade Deck to the other. And these areas will I am sure keep getting fewer as the worldwide policy of smoking restrictions continue. Please keep your ideas and comments coming Stephen as they are sol important to us at carnival

Jim McCormac Asked:

Hi John,
Will you be on the Splendor December 27th, 2009?
Best, Jim

John Says:

Hello Jim
I am sorry but no, I will not be with you on the Carnival Splendor for the New Years cruise. I am not sure yet who your cruise director will be but I will post the schedule very soon. I hope you have a great time and maybe one day we will be together onboard again.

Wes and Liz ,Manchester England Asked:

Hi John,
Your right England came to a grinding halt for two whole days because of what my mate in Ohio called a light dusting. We can’t cope because we don’t have the equipment; it doesn’t happen often enough to justify the government spending money on fleets of snowplows and everything else we would need to keep the country moving. Well that what boring Gordon Brown says. Hope Heidi was ok and able to get about. The south was worse hit than us up north. They had 6 inches, we only had five. Saw the comments from the snow joke blog about the Elation sailing to the Mexican Riviera. That was our first cruise with Carnival back in 2000. We have friends in LA and decided to kill two birds with one stone, visit our friends and take a cruise somewhere we hadn’t been before. We enjoyed it so much we did it again 3 years later. Can you reply on this one?

I know it’s probably too early to ask about the Dream’s inaugural, so I will!!
Any special plans in mind for the sailing especially on embarkation day. We are staying in Civitavecchia pre-cruise, will the ship be in port before the 21st. Will passengers be able to board earlier than normal? Maybe you should blast ‘Anchors Aweigh’ as we leave port; I certainly liked leaving Miami with the ships horns blasting. If you can’t answer any of these questions yet, don’t worry I will ask them again nearer the time.
Wes and Liz

John Says:

Hello my Mancunian friends.
I hope you are snow free now and that the country has started to run again after being blanketed in snow……….we survived the doodlebugs and the blitz but a drop of the white stuff and we are in the crapper….go figure. It is a little too early to ask about the Carnival Dream’s inaugural events. I am hoping that even though I am not the cruise director that they will allow me to host the naming ceremony and be part of its planning. I will let you know as soon as I know anything but I can tell you that very soon…….on all the ships …… you will be hearing Anchors Aweigh as you head off for another fun for all and all for fun Carnival vacation.

Stay warm and put the kettle on please

Melody Asked:

Maybe you can get some information for me regarding a future sailing. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the schedules of New Orleans sailings of the Triumph for the month of June 2010. I am planning a group sailing and we would like the Miami, Freeport, Nassau itinerary. If you could gather this information and bring it on the Bloggers Cruise, we would love to book it at that time. Also, my husband and I were married on August 3, 2008. We are available for your Newlywed Game on the Blogger’s Cruise.

John Says:

Hello Melody (lovely name)
I will see you in a few days but just incase you read this before the Bloggers Cruise I am sorry to say that at the time of writing I am still awaiting the 2010 schedule. I do promise though to make sure you all have it first here on the blog thingy. Have a safe flight and I will see you very soon….I will mention to the CD Big Tex who is hosting the Newlywed Game that you have volunteered

That’s all for today and please excuse me for the next six days. I won’t have time to answer any questions during the Bloggers Cruise so if you mark a comment for my reply it may take a little longer for me to do so. I will of course be blogging either in writing or in video each day during the voyage.

Now, the latest ship to come out of dry dock is the Carnival Conquest and here are some of the photos of the ship.


MIAMI (February 5, 2009 ) – The 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest resumed service this week from Galveston, Texas, following an extensive, multi-million-dollar renovation that included the addition of a new Circle “C” club for 12- to 14-year-olds and a massive LED screen on Lido Deck. Eighteen balconies were also added to existing ocean view staterooms.

The Camp Carnival and Club O2 facilities for children and teens, respectively, were also updated.

The 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest operates year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises departing Galveston every Sunday. In addition to seven-day western Caribbean cruises to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, the ship begins a new weeklong eastern Caribbean option Feb. 15, with calls at Key West, Freeport and Nassau. The Feb. 15 departure will be the first of 11 eastern Caribbean cruises this year.

“Carnival Conquest is already a popular cruise vacation option and with these new guest-pleasing features – along with an exciting eastern Caribbean itinerary – we’re making a terrific ‘Fun Ship’ even better,” said Roberta Jacoby, Carnival’s senior vice president of hotel operations.

Expansive Kid-Friendly Facilities

Carnival Conquest’s extensive renovation included the addition of a Circle “C” facility on Atlantic Deck 8, part of the line’s fleetwide program aimed at 12- to 14-year olds. The center includes a high-tech sound and lighting system, plasma screen TVs displaying movies and music videos, a touch-screen jukebox, and gaming pods with the latest video games and consoles.

In addition to the new Circle “C” center, the 4,200-square-foot Camp Carnival play area was remodeled with updated gaming stations, while the 1,800-square-foot Club O2 teen center now features new plasma TVs. Various cosmetic enhancements were made to both rooms, as well.

Carnival’s Seaside Theatre

Carnival Conquest is also the latest “Fun Ship” to feature the line’s popular “Carnival Seaside Theatre,” a massive 270-square-foot LED screen on Lido Deck displaying movies, concerts, sporting events, and other programming, including a “Morning Show” hosted by the ship’s cruise director. Utilizing the same technology featured in large stadiums and New York’s Times Square, the state-of-the-art entertainment system includes a 70,000-watt sound system, providing concert quality sound, even outdoors.

New Balconies, Other Enhancements

Eighteen staterooms on the Carnival Conquest that previously featured floor-to-ceiling windows have been retrofitted with private balconies, creating expansive 230-square-foot verandah staterooms. Including these accommodations, Carnival Conquest now has 573 total balcony staterooms – ideal for scenic Caribbean cruising.

Additionally, dozens of individual pieces of exercise equipment were replaced in the ship’s 14,500-square-foot Spa Carnival facility. Carnival Conquest is also the latest “Fun Ship” to offer bow-to-stern Wi-Fi access, enabling guests to use their laptop computers from any location on the ship, including their staterooms.

For additional information and reservations on the Carnival Conquest’s seven-day cruises from Galveston, or any other vessel in the “Fun Ship” fleet, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

I am going to ask the cruise director Wee Jimmy to send more next week including some of Circle C and the new balconies so look out for those. The Carnival Conquest is the latest ship to receive a dry dock period and this means that Galveston has a ship gleaming and ready to please……….it’s a great ship with a wonderful crew and I hope you all enjoy her.

Jaime is here with her Dear John letter.

February 4, 2009

Dear John,

The Carnival Splendor pulled into lovely Barbados before the sun arose. By the time everyone had awoken and prepared themselves for the day, they could only wonder what this beautiful Caribbean port had in store.

Rumors of a turtle farm, botanical gardens, and Harrison’s Cave were all hearsay, until we stepped off the ship, got a map and saw these locations among other options of how to spend our day. After making our way through the shops and fighting to avoid the aggressive excursion salesman, we had learned that the island of Barbados is famous for its green monkeys! Now these monkeys did sound quite unique! Personally, I have seen monkeys of many colors – but never green.

This day I had decided to get off the ship with the band members that entertain our guests each night in our back lounge – the extremely talented and good looking: “Elite.” Along with a few other musicians that tagged along. With all these possibilities of daily itineraries the seven of us had difficulty deciding so after much discussion, we chose to… walk through town and head to the beach! Beach days have always been my favorite. My mother and father, who honeymooned in Barbados nearly 28 years ago told me how beautiful and relaxing the white powder sand of Barbados was, so now was my opportunity to check it out for myself.

The rumors were true! Barbados is home to some of the most white, powdery, beautiful sand I had ever experienced. The water can only be described as – bluey, greenish, turquioisy, salty. As we lie on the beach and the sun beat down on us, the light wind was enough to make it fairly comfortable. We walked along the beach and met with other crew members, before heading out to feed our hungry bellies. During the walk we were fortunate enough to stumble upon not only our friends from the ship, but also a huge bridge with a rope that you could jump into the water from, AND lots of ladies with their boobs hanging low and wobbling to and fro. Most of them were somewhat burnt, and helped me to envision exactly what John refers to in his travel talk when he warns guests about draglines being alongside footprints in the sand.

As we walked along the shoreline near the marina, there were many fine dining establishment options. We heard a nice rhythm luring us in, and I am not quite sure how, but we ended up eating at none other a Carlos and Charlies knock off. This was not a good decision. The significantly overpriced Jamaican Jerk chicken salad I had for lunch was not a highlight of the Barbados experience, it took over an hour to be served, and was average tasting at best. The atmosphere that we were anticipating was a fun loving crowd looking to laugh and possibly dance. Instead we found a bunch of waitresses working on island time, and about 10 other patrons who would most likely be referring to their hemorrhoids when they hear the word “bump”… and the only thing they would “wine” about was the slow service!

After arriving back on the ship, the entertainment crew had a Pirate Deck Party to host. Owen our friendly Colombian had finally made it to the ship and he helped to contribute to our Pirate Party being a HUGE success! Between the make up, putting together of costumes and doing our hair it took hours to get ready. The guests had a GREAT time. We took tons of pictures, did some dancing, and crowned our King and Queen of the Pirates! Originally we had planned on Owen having to walk the plank to officially join the team, but because of the weather the pool was drained. Regardless the entire team, with the help of Elite, made this a night to remember.

The next three days we will spend at sea. We have our crossing the equator ceremony to look forward to and who knows what will happen!? The computers might suddenly all crash, the toilets might start flushing in the other direction, OR we might all suddenly transform into green monkeys and we would have to move back to Barbados. Whatever happens, we will find out together.

Until next time,
I wish you the best!

The View from deck ten overlooking Barbados

Boatyard Beach with the ship in the distance.

A Church downtown with the Barbados flag proudly flying high.

The Entertainment Staff all decked out for our Pirate Party (Goose, Lauren, Brad, Adele and Jaime) – Owen is on board even though he is not in the photo!!!

Jaime =)

Ahhhh, Barbados, what a brilliant place. Maybe Jaime will find love there and marry a local called Big Barry and they can live in a shack on the beach and live happily ever after, mon.

Well, the bloggers started to arrive today. I already had Big Ed and his wife Pat call me from their hotel and others will be arriving as the day goes on. Stephanie, Tom and Tony from the office arrived last night and of course Stephanie Meads has been here with me making sure everything is ready for all my friends. Some have driven, some have flown and all are very welcome…….I will start posting photos and videos of them all very soon. Here though is an interview with the…..Heather Huth from Beacon of Hope Resource Center who has arranged for us to help with the continuing work to get New Orleans back on its feet again

We have 100-plus people who have arrived for the Bloggers Cruise early so they can help with this special project and I am sure that the people of the Big Easy are eternally grateful…..although they may not be after they see my painting skills tomorrow. I know many people wanted to come on this second bloggers cruise but because of various reasons could not make it. I just wanted to say that we miss you and hopefully we will see you on one of the two Carnival Dream bloggers cruises later this year.

I have now been joined by the whole bloggers team from the Miami office and today we spent some time going over the cruise itself and making sure that everything was going to be perfect.

Between me and you though I am a bit nervous about the whole charity event tomorrow. Not from an organizational standpoint you understand but because when it comes to DIY I am totally and utterly crap…….ask Heidi. DIY is like pain. My mind is programmed in such a way that I can’t relive or recapture the agony breaking my wrist when I was three years old or the time when I was seven that I electrocuted myself while playing in my Dad’s shed.

And it’s the same story with home improvements. I remember that the last set of cupboards I made fall down, taking the area’s power supply with them, but I 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, I think I ought to give it a go once more. You may be a NASCAR driver or a cruise director but at weekends you can easily turn your hand to a bit of carpentry and put up a bookshelf. In the same way that Jesus spent his free time doing tax returns and online banking.

But tomorrow, there I will be, at the site surrounded by bloggers who have the same skills as Norm Turner from This Old House. Someone will hand me a tool and I will…being a man……..pretend to know exactly what to do with it. And I won’t be able to ask “what’s this for?” or “how does this work?“……..oh know…… Asking is like pointing to a man’s private parts in a Turkish sauna and saying: “What’s that for?” You’re a man. You’re supposed to know.

And as I write this I realize that there is little I can offer tomorrow. They will be asking for volunteers to help cook lunch…..not me because I am crap in the kitchen as well. You could give me the same ingredients that Gordon Ramsay uses and put me in the same kitchen with the same equipment, and even though we have exactly the same number of hands, fingers and noses I can absolutely guarantee that I’d end up with a plate full of over-salted, inedible poo.

Ahhhhhh……….I just thought….they mentioned gardening and helping with that …….. but then I just realized…..I am crap at that too. Last year I bought some plants with red flowers which stood tall and so erect that they seemed to have been fertilized with Viagra. After one day in the sunshine they had keeled over and nothing I tried will make them stand up again. I’ve watered them, not watered them, read them poetry, played them Whitney Houston records and shown them pictures of Angelina Jolie naked……. But it’s hopeless. And so, knowing that I am crap at DIY, cooking, painting and gardening I have decided that the only way I can be of help tomorrow is too walk around the site telling jokes about poo and hemorrhoids.

I want to finish today by showing you the winner of this year’s Rear of the Year award. This prestigious blog award goes to the person with the nicest bottom and is chosen by a panel of judges………..that would me by the way.

It was a lose run contest and I should mention that Christina Anguliraspears came third ….. Jennifer Lopez was in second place, despite looking like someone had shoved two watermelons down the back of her jeans.

But, the winner of the 2009 Blog Rear of the Year Award goes to….well, see for yourself


I think you will agree…….this is a backside to Dream about. Personally, I think I should have one it. You haven’t seen a bottom until you have seen mine festooned in a tight pair of leopard skin Speedos.

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.