Kid’s Today

February 16, 2009 -

John Heald

The laws and regulations of the world will soon state that you will be sentenced to life in a Turkish prison if you accidentally tread on a Mongolian Dung beetle, you will not be able to rumpy pumpy without the government’s permission or a few drinks with your friends after work. Cheese will have to be marked with a government health warning and you will be prevented from telling jokes about men, women, Muslims, Catholics, President Obama and the French.

The Teletubbies will only be allowed on television with a parental warning, in case children are enticed into Stinky Pinky’s world, you will not be allowed to get your dog to kill a rat — because it’s a wild animal — and smoking in your own home or car will be punishable by death. Yep………….the laws get stranger and more ludicrous each and everyday……However, as I sit here at breakfast on the Carnival Valor’s Lido Deck the law I wonder about the most is……………how should you discipline your child if he or she behaves like a total brat?

I say this because I have just watched a young eight- or nine-year-old boy take a huge chunk of melon and hurl it at his Mum hitting her squarely in the head. The fruiting was received because she dared suggest to Damien that he stop playing his portable Playstationendobox thing for a few minutes while he ate his breakfast. Now………..if I had thrown my melon at my Mum………not that we ever had melon…………I would have had a sore arse moments later and be sent to my room. The punishment for Damien was ………. well………….nothing. His Mum picked up the melon and told her son not to do that and carried on munching her toast.

Obviously watching this scenario I turned my thoughts to how we will discipline our Thingy. But I think not only is it right to chastise our offspring for willful disobedience but those parents that don’t should be punished themselves. I was chastised, not only at home, but at school when I was a child and through that I learned respect.

So, I have decided I will eat as much cheese as I like and if I had a dog I would reward it with a porterhouse steak whenever it rips a rat to pieces and if my Thingy throws a piece of melon at me when he or she is eight, well then shall do as my father did and discipline the Thingy accordingly.

Yesterday morning started early as once again I walked onboard my second home ……a Carnival ship. I would like to say the day went smoothly but of course that would be bollocks thanks to the Miami port security lady with the iron-on badge. I mentioned her a few weeks ago and here she was again. The only difference was that the last time she had been devouring a hot dog but she had moved onto one of those huge Mexican thingies ….. not sure what you call them…….burrito, tarico, crapito………..something like that.

Anyway, in front of me were crewmembers who had gotten off the ship in Miami for a few hours and were now returning to work? Yes…………we have to be secure ………… yes……………they have to have their bags checked…………..but no………….this does not have to be done by a 400-pound woman who made sure she finished her snack before the snack before the snack before lunch and no…………she does not need to speak to the crew as though they are less important than the last mouthful of mystery meat she was shoveling into her tunnel like mouth. Come on… ……….please…………treat the crew with a little bit of respect.

Once onboard I met up with the current cruise director of the Carnival Valor David Tancock. David has been an ACD for some time and this…………..is his chance to shine. David is from London and has a great personality as I have seen these last two days. I think me being here has him somewhat nervous as he has worn brown pants everyday so far but he has nothing to be nervous about. I have spent time with him this morning giving him some which will he will hopefully take under consideration. I remember my first few months and if I had been judged on what I achieved those first few weeks I would have been writing a blog about flipping buggers………..because I was total rubbish.

I gave David the same advice I had been given…………….just be yourself. Don’t try and copy another CD’s style…………..just be yourself. Anyway, I will keep you updated on David’s progress but right now he is doing a fine job and I will continue to help him.
I am making adjustments to the program ready for next cruise. Each CD will join a ship and always say to the current CD “I’m not going to change a thing.”……………that of course is total bollocks as every CD is different and will always think that they can do better by changing things around. I am only here for a few weeks and I will have to make some changes that will fit around the shows and activities. For example: David has his travel talk at 9:30 am as the previous CD the brilliant Chris Jefferson had. Now, this may have worked for Chris but I don’t think it works for David and it certainly won’t work for me.

Having a travel talk this early forces David to have to make his first announcement at 9 am which is far too early to be using the PA system. However, the Super Shopper, a lovely guy whom I know well, has his talk at 11 am. Now, as much as we value our ashore shopping program we value the guest experience ashore much more and the voice of the ship is the CD. Now……….Dave wanted to move his talk to 11 am and put the shopping talk at 9:30 am but was concerned at upsetting the apple cart. We have spoken and he now understands that he is the voice of the ship and all prime time talks must belong to him. That’s one change therefore that I will be making.

Oh, you can tell I didn’t bring this ship out from new because there is no plasma TV in the cabin and the office chair will only fit half of my arse in it so that’s something that I need to work on. Either I will have to lose 50 pounds from my buttocks or get a new office chair……………no guess which one is going to happen there then.

The ship itself looks amazing. I love the color scheme which is more subtle than the Carnival Freedom, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Splendor……..well………….as much as the Carnival Splendor became my new favorite ship I must admit that the pinkness of the lobby is about as subtle as me in the gym.

The Carnival Valor is full of earthy browns and neutral colors. The flag theme is done in a wonderfully classy way and over the next few days I will be taking some photos for you to have a look at. Let’s start today with the Lido Deck area. And it was a perfect day to take them as the sun shines and the sea is as calm as a sloth in a coma. The Carnival Valor has her big screen on lido deck and the poolside restaurant has all the usual food outlets including the Mongolian, Taste of the Nations, the deli, the grill and the Grand Buffet.

Where the Carnival Splendor has the upstairs Rotisaria………..the Rottiserea……….the Rotaryair………….the chicken on a spit thingy the Carnival Valor has the Fish & Chips which I have to admit I missed on the Carnival Splendor. However, the ship does have the chicken on a spit thingy on the forward outside line and it looks very popular as does the wonderful mac and cheese which has become a firm favorite. Where once stood the Chinese outlet on the starboard side of Lido on the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Liberty and which was a Mexican food outlet on the Carnival Splendor it has become a fantastic Pan Asian option here. I ate lunch there yesterday and the beef Thai curry was exquisite as were the soft noodles marinated in a spicy sauce.

It seems that we are letting the chefs cook their local dishes and there is nothing like having Thai food cooked by someone from Thailand……………nobody does that better. I hope that this will continue on other ships especially at our supper clubs. During the Carnival Splendor’s ongoing South American cruise the supper clubs have indeed hosted some special menu nights including an all-fish menu which was sold out with 80-plus people enjoying what I am told was an amazing dining experience. I will be pushing for this to continue. We have the talent here………..we really should be using it. If you are on the Carnival Valor you must try all the food outlets on Lido Deck. When I am at work and eating in the officers’ dining room or staff mess I forget the incredible variety of food that is available to our guests on the Holiday, Fantasy, Spirit, Destiny, Conquest and Splendor class vessels.

Make sure you tell your friends because maybe just maybe they don’t know what we offer with regard to casual breakfast, lunch and dinner dining. Or maybe they think of the old Carnival of the 1980s and early 1990s where variety was having cheese on your burger. Those days have gone and I defy anyone to show me a better value for money lido selection. Talking of that, it will be lunchtime soon so let me take a short break and leave you with some Lido Deck photos.

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OK………….Jaime…………..take it away.

February 14, 2009

Dear John,

Wow. Regardless of the fact that no individual declared their undying love to me this Valentine’s Day, I most certainly did fall in love… with the city of Rio! Despite the early morning, the cloudy skies, and the muggy climate, I genuinely enjoyed the day in Rio de Janeiro, and I feel privileged and blessed to have the chance to visit this town even if it was just for a day.

The morning began with tour distribution, which I had thought we had left behind when we completed our European cruising season. This morning made me especially miss Heidi, who had previously been in charge of this entire process. Adele, Owen and myself made her proud this morning with the help of our dancers and shore-ex staff by getting 1,300 guests of our guests off the ship in an organized and timely manner.

Goose had warned both guests and crew about the 80% chance of rain in the forecast. He certainly was not mistaken. Many of my fellow crewmembers awoke from their slumber early this morning to watch us sail into Rio, which is rumored to be a truly fabulous site. This have yet to discover if these rumors are true because it was too dark and cloudy to see anything at 6:30 am when we arrived in this amazing port of call.

I had purchased a ticket to join the crew tour to visit good ol’ Christ the Redeemer at Corcovado, and see a little bit of downtown Rio. Once tour distribution was complete I met the lovely tour guide, Christina who took us on a scenic drive though the city. We were able to see churches, the national museum of fine art – which was constructed in 1908 inspired by the Louvre. We had time for a snapshot of Sugarloaf, and drove by Copacabana. I was especially excited about visiting Copacabana that I broke into song as we passed. I was hoping to see Lola, but unfortunately she was not there. All I saw was some water and wet sand, but it was still exciting to visit a place that I learned about from my buddy Barry! Christina informed us that in the 30’s and 40’s Copa was THE PLACE to be. This was until Eponima took over as the newest happening, chic spot in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. I happened to like Eponima beach better because not only was it wet and sandy, it was wavy as well!

We drove past the Cavallas which is the poorer district where the average salary is about 415 Raels per month (about $200 US). Most of the residents of this area are blue-collar workers and hold service positions. It was intersecting to notice that at the foothills of this residential area were stores such as Gucci, Armani and Prada. After this scenic drive, we stopped for a photo stop at Eponima beach. There I was able to taste some traditional coconut water, which I didn’t particularly care for. But the salesman who cut the coconut put on a pretty impressive show with his extremely dangerous enormous butcher knife, he made it worth the $2 charge!

Next stop was the peak of famous Corcovado, which stands 2,300 ft high! We discovered that Corcovado means hunchback in Portuguese. At the top is the famous monument is the pinnacle of entire whole trip for some: The Christ the Redeemer statue which was placed there in 1921. We learned that people have been taking train rides to the top of this mountain since 1885, before the statue even existed. The train that brings guests to the top has been refurbished since then, the only thing that remains the same is the non-existent air conditioning system. At the conclusion of this steamy train ride lay before us 220 steps that appeared as if they were leading up to the heavens. Just as we approached the top, the clouds parted and the perfect amount of sunlight seemed to pour through. In the distance, angels sang out in chorus just like a scene from a movie. I looked to my right and gasped at the realization that the music that seemed to harmonize from the heavens was actually my friend Eduardo’s cell phone music. Nonetheless, the trek was worth it. I peered over the ledge and thanked my lucky stars that I had this opportunity to see Rio from this location. Neither words nor pictures can describe the feeling in my stomach standing at the top of Corcovado. It was pretty amazing.

Back on board, we are having a Carnival party tonight! We are all wearing our brightest colors. Latin Fiesta will be playing up on Lido and we will be having face painting, trolley decorating, hot hot hot dancing and lots of beads!!!!

Wish you could join us!

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Sincerely,
Jaime =)

Jaime, your writing gets better and better and you should consider a book ……….. entitled. Jaime…..My Life At Sea….. or ………Jaime……….My Hunt for the Man of the Dreams and then a sequel…..Jaime…………My Hunt For A Man……Any Man.

Seriously, thanks Jaime for another fantastic blog.

Now, the bloggers cruise featured many highlights and they were all captured by our Fun Ship Films video team. I don’t think I publicized this well enough as some of you have told me you were unaware and that is my fault for which I apologize. So, the master copies are on their way to the main office and I will let you know soon how they can be purchased.

Being a stand up comedian is one of the loneliest professions in the world. It’s just you, a microphone and thousands of eyes starring back at you…………just at you. My friends Lewis and Al have been doing this brilliantly for many years and, despite only having one joke between them, they do it better than anyone. Well, as I mentioned they taught the group leader of the Cruise Mates bloggers and my mate Kuki to be a stand up comedian and allowed him to open for Al Ernst’s midnight buffet………sorry, midnight show which started at……….ummmmm……11 pm. Here is Kuki to explain what happened.

A “Day on the Job” as a Shipboard Comedian

By Kuki, CruiseMates’ Cruise Director
February 16, 2009

Kuki, CruiseMates Cruise Director, takes on the challenge of becoming a professional standup comedian for one night.

Frankly I’m not much of a “Salute to Broadway” production show kind of guy. I have what used to be called a tin ear, I clap in time to music with the rhythmic attributes of the quintessential “white guy,” and my size 13 feet fail me now on a regular basis.

I do however love comedy, whether on land or at sea, and recently I got to hang out — one of the things comedians do best — with Al Ernst, and Lewis Nixon, two of the very best comedians anywhere, during the recent John Heald Bloggers cruise on the Carnival Fantasy.

To Read the Full Article Click Here

Congratulations Kuki, we all thought you were very funny and the next time you sail I think we will need to give you your own show.

Lets also congratulate Al Ernst Carnival’s 344th best comedian who I am so very proud to tell you has just signed a contract with cable TV……how about that…….yep …….for $44 a month he gets HBO, Showtime, the Weather Channel and Grits TV…….well done mate.

This afternoon I am going to watch the pool games, bingo and listen to the afternoon music selection. We do so much so well…………..yes I know that’s a big headed and slightly corporate statement but it’s the truth. Yes, we can do better all the time and there are things we do that infuriate me. One of those few things is the Brazilian rain forest that is left in the post box outside my cabin or laid on the pillow every night. On a five-day cruise on the Carnival Fantasy I had 29 flyers delivered……..29. That’s too much and I think we need to look at this carefully not just to save a few trees but to cut down on the “last minute sale”-type of advertising………………just my opinion.

However everything else is just brilliant and the value for money on a Carnival cruise is in the current climate simply unbeatable. This week I get to experience this from a passenger’s point of view and of course I will share my findings with you. There is something called an Early Saver deal going on at the moment. I know this from the lady and gentlemen who are onboard booking future cruises. Now, nobody has officially told me about this and that’s a shame because I would like to have advertised it here on the blog thingy. However, maybe Stephanie or Vance can find out something and place a link here because from what they were telling me it pretty amazing…so Vance, Stephanie …………..can we add something here please?

Hi Everyone,

Click here for information on the Early Saver Deal.

Thanks!
Stephanie

I already know that Heidi is going to be the perfect mother. I have seen perfect mothers before. My Mum, Heidi’s Mum and people like Linda, Mum of DJ, whose love for her kids could not be greater. Yet, after seeing the Damien, the melon-throwing menace earlier today and the behavior of one or two of the other 600 kids today I wonder how much discipline I will have to show the Thingy. And so I have drawn up a list of what I intend to do and hopefully some of you parents out there may find this useful.

Here we go:

• Give your child pocket money as early as you like but take a bit of it away for every crime they commit. If they are really naughty, dock a whole week’s payment — so they owe you. Then take a favorite toy into custody as security on the loan.

• If they won’t eat their greens, offer them unlimited chocolate, sweets, fries and burgers instead. Tell them you don’t want them growing as big or as clever as you.

• Every house should have a super nanny “naughty spot” where children are exiled for bad behavior. Make sure they can see everyone else enjoying themselves while they sit alone and if they have an angry fit while on the naught spot start dismembering their favorite teddy bear with a power drill.

• If they won’t get dressed in the morning, take them to school in their pajamas. Once should do it.

• Kiss them goodbye, then press your nose against the classroom window while blowing soppy kisses — and also waving their other favorite cuddly toy ………… Threaten to do the same each time that they are late getting ready for school. (This method works best with boys aged 15-plus).

• Tedious tasks such as cooking, cleaning or putting out the garbage seem glamorous to younger children. Feel no shame in taking advantage of their services.

• I am going to place money in shoes and piles of clothes and toys that are neatly stacked and put away. It is, after all, the way the world goes round.

• I am going to put all my valuables in a cupboard along with dangerous belongings. The children should be of the firm and unmovable belief that it also contains child-munching monsters and if they open it they will be cooked and eaten by goblins. You need to show the child a photo of an ugly scary goblin. If you can’t find one show them a photo of Judge Judy.

Goodnight
Your friends
John, Heidi and a very well behaved non-melon throwing 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.