Last week one of the bobbleheads that we gave to the bloggerss during the cruise on the Carnival Fantasy sold on eBay for an astounding $47. I had hinted that our President and Chief Executive Officer Gerry Cahill had sold some of his pet fish and used the money to buy it and that it was now sitting on his desk……………..looking at him.

Then it was revealed that this was in fact bollocks and that a lovely lady blog reader had snapped up this bargain. And now I am told that the bloggers T-shirt, mouse pad/photo frame and other wobbly heads have now found their way onto the auction site.

I am bemused by this. Why would anyone truly want a T-shirt or a mouse pad with my name and picture on it? Obviously putting your face or name on a T-shirt is OK if you are a superstar like Dwyane Wade, President Obama or Judge Judy………….but me …….. I am confused. The main reason the war against apartheid was won is that Nelson Mandela looks good on a T-shirt.

I mean it. Look at all a successful fighter like Che Guevera and you’ll note that he is a chiseled, romantic figurehead. Che Guevara worked well as a screen print, and as a result the rebels still hold power in Cuba. Yasser Arafat looked like he’d just stepped out of that bar in Star Wars and thus didn’t sell many T-shirts. Why do you suppose Northern Ireland is still part of the United Kingdom? Simple. The IRA was never going to win, because with Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams they were represented on the world stage by a ginger and a minger (

Potty Pol had a great name but because his face didn’t work on a T-shirt his efforts in Cambodia were always going to come to bugger all. And it’s the same story with Shining Path, the Tamil Tigers and Nazi Germany, for that matter. If Hitler had looked like Brad Pitt who knows what dreadful shape the world might be in today?

You see, in my position as brand ambassador I am aware that I am in some diluted way a replacement for Kathie Lee Gifford and while she was as beautiful as a sunrise over Kilimanjaro, I am as ugly as a gangrenous wound. I have always been ugly. This was confirmed when my friend’s dog started humping my leg and I looked down and noticed that it had its eyes closed. So thanks to those who are bidding for my T-shirt and bobblehead on eBay however once you have realized how ugly I am, you will stop……….. And bid on a pair of signed Tom Jones underpants instead.

And away we go on another seven days of fun. Here is who is sailing with me this voyage.

3,209 GUESTS
29 UK
Under 2 Years – 6
2-5 Years – 42
6-8 Years – 52
9-11 Years – 78
12-14 Years – 120
15-18 Years – 142
19-20 Years – 46

As you can see spring break has started with younger kids first and no doubt following on with the older kids later this month. It always amazes me that these young people get to vacation like this. I mean, when I was 14, we went camping in a field in Bogner Regeis and I had to poo in a bucket. Anyway, I hope they have a great time and I have already told a few of the younger ones to stop running down a corridor…………and they did.

Unfortunately the ship was really rocking last night and that is never a good thing on the first night. There were large swells and the movement of the ship sent many to bed too early and not to the show. I always feel sorry for the guests when this happens, especially after a long day of traveling. Anyway, although the show was not as full as normal I still met some unique characters and I wanted to share some with you.


Meet Carolyn from Macon, Georgia. She is here with eight other ladies all of whom went to high school together and have been friends ever since. Carolyn is a recent survivor of breast cancer and was such fun on stage. She told me that she lived each day as if it was her last and how much this cruise meant to her. She made us laugh and she made us cry and I will be doing everything I can to make this a cruise vacation she will never forget.

Each cruise I have a man celebrate his love for his wife by doing something silly every day on stage. Here then is Daniel who is a deputy sheriff from Port St. Lucie, Florida.

This week he is being a stud muffin, dancing, singing and being romantic and as you can tell from the look on his wife Claudia’s face………she has never seen him do anything like this before





And finally we have Katie and Sabrina………..two sisters who came on stage with me and had fun…………….no further words needed here………..they were just priceless.




One of our youngest readers is Jake Silverberg. I am not sure how old Jake is but he is a gifted writer and has started his own blog. Jake asked if he could interview a cruise director for his blog, so I put him in touch with Butch Begovitch on the Carnival Glory.

Here then is a photo of Butch and Jake’s superb interview.


Tell us a little about your self, and what ship you’re currently onboard. I just arrived back to the Carnival Glory after a six week vacation…….I had a great break, but it is nice to be back at work.

Where has Carnival taken you in your years onboard our “FUN SHIPS?” What does your job involve? I have been all over the world…….The Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, and Europe.

My job as a cruise director involves planning and implementing all of the on-board entertainment, including the shows, activities, and musical performances; hosting my own audience participation events, informing guests regarding the daily activities of the ship and ports of call; and managing a department of 65 people. Recently, my job has focused a lot more on safety as well. I now head a guest safety team committee and am in charge of all safety messages and announcements.

What’s the most rewarding part of your position? What would your #1 most memorable moment be from your fantastic job? The most rewarding part of my job is the fact that I get to be a part of so many people’s vacation memories, I get to help people let loose and enjoy themselves…… is a great feeling!

I don’t know if I can pinpoint a #1 memorable moment……I have a couple of………Being a part of the inaugural entertainment team on the Carnival Liberty (thank you John) , Having the opportunity to learn and work with Mr. Heald, and making life long friends are just a few of the things that come to mind.

What’s your favorite itinerary to cruise, and why? I really enjoyed cruising the Med a couple of years ago……..I don’t know if I have a favorite itinerary so much as some favorite ports of calls. I really am glad that I had a chance to visit Dubrovnik, Croatia a couple of years ago on the Carnival Liberty, a beautiful port on the Adriatic Sea that has to most picturesque coastline and a warm and welcoming people. Puerta Vallarta is my favorite Mexican port, there is just so mush to see and do. I also really enjoy St. Maarten, in my opinion they have the best beaches in the Caribbean.

What types of guests do you meet? I meet folks from all over the world, including guests who are just cruising for vacation, others who are cruising for celebrations. I have also been honored to meet many guests that I continue to run into again and again ………one of the most rewarding parts of my job is to see folks that are repeat cruisers.

What would you say to someone that has never cruised with Carnival before?
Get ready to have FUN! Carnival is the ultimate worry-free vacation.

What ship are you currently aboard? The Carnival Glory. We sail out of Port Canaveral, Fla. and rotate seven-day eastern and western Caribbean itineraries.

I understand you have recently been promoted. Please tell us a little about your your promotion. In the spring of 2006 I began “filling In” for full-time cruise directors around the fleet as what is called “acting cruise director.” In August of last year I was honored to receive a permanent promotion to full-time cruise director.

Thanks Jake and well done, mate.

So, the Carnival Splendor has arrived in her first Chilean port and here to tell you all about it is Jaime Zydeco………….new bride of our old friend Bill.

February 28, 2009

Dear John,

Our first Chilean port, where we were actually able to disembark guests was visited today. The tendering process into and out of Puerto Montt, went extremely smoothly; better than anticipated. Many of the staff members that contributed to the success of the tendering procedure this morning has prior experience with a similar process in Cannes, France that we visited during our itinerary last fall. We began the well-planned debarkation procedure before the sun rose at 7 am. We were using six of our own tenders which each carried 80 guests. We were simultaneously disembarking the guests on Carnival Tours from the main lounge, private tour groups from the Black Pearl dining room, as well as independent guests from the back lounge. Basically we had our hands full, but with all of the lounges covered and constant updates and reminders from Goose over the loud speaker, we managed to make the general clearance call at 10:30 am, everyone was happily off to enjoy the town… even Jim Eakins!

Apparently on their way off the ship, a couple guests were fined for attempting to bring fresh fruit with them. They happened to disregard the distributed written materials, as well as Goose’s multiple announcements and the Chilean authorities chose to charge them a fine that could be anywhere between zero and a million dollars. My advice to you, do not bring any open food to a South American port of call! Dirk our naturalist informed me that he has been on ships in the past that were forced to stop debarkation because of these matters!

Goose informed guests that the day may hold some rain in the near future, yet 42 hopeful crewmembers; myself included went off the ship at 12:15 pm to tentatively enjoy the Petrohue white water rafting tour that we had scheduled. During the hour-long bus ride to the river, I was speaking to Gerardo, our guide and he informed me that Puerto Montt is known as the city of roses. It has been around for approximately 150 years and the main religions are Catholic and Protestant. The beautiful churches that lined the down town area showed us just how important faith is to the residents of this location. Gerardo went onto inform us about Volcano Chatin had erupted in Chile last May. Even to this day it continues to burp out tiny eruptions. Good thing we arrived in the water and apparently that keeps us fairly safe from distant bubbling lava.

When the volcano first erupted the explosions were up to 30 km high. This volcano is different from many others, because as opposed to being cone-shaped it is more shaped like a crater. It has a 6 km perimeter and is 3 km wide. At this time, practically the entire city just beyond the bay area was gone. Luckily for the residents, the government had warned them to evacuate with due time to make it to safety. The ones that chose not to listen are the same ones who attempted to bring fruit off the ship!

While we went on our scenic drive toward the raft we stopped at a spot where we could take beautiful pictures of the surroundings. At this location they had a little café that was reminded me of a German bakery. They had the most delicious waffle cookies and blueberry cake. After sampling the desserts of my friends, I found that was hungry for something slightly more substantial than cake so I asked if they had a sandwich. In broken English the shop owner informed me they did have a salmon sandwich. This sounded somewhat odd to me; however I am always in favor of sampling the local cuisine. This food I ordered was marked with a $1,600 price, which luckily converted to four American dollars. The sandwich I was served was more along the lines of white bread covered in butter with small bits of salmon on it. I still ate it but it was very… moist!

Just as we arrived at the rafting location, the sun finally shown through the clouds, it is amazing how these incredible occurrences always seem to happen with perfect timing… just like finding love! Before I could jump in the raft I had to use the bathroom… now the guide had told me they had a huge bathroom in this location. He was right. It made me feel quite in touch with nature even more, by marking my territory in the Chilean wilderness.

The white water rafting ride was amazingly fun! These rapids were considered category three so it was the perfect challenge for us novice rafters. Thanks to Greg’s waterproof camera we have the photos to prove just how enjoyable the day was! Surprisingly, the water in Chile was not chilly! Our wonderful raft instructor Izzy, allowed us to go for a quick swim and drink the cleanest most refreshing water in the world. As we rode down the river we were fortunate to have the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. The sun stayed out just throughout our entire journey and it wasn’t until our bus ride back to the ship was complete that it started to lightly rain. What a great day we had.

This second cruise has two more sea days before we reach Valparaiso. I will greatly missed the guests that are going to be leaving us this day, Bill, Cheryl, Debbie, Jason and more have truly become a part of the Carnival Splendor family.

I am looking forward to seeing Kerry and everyone else that will be joining us in just a few short days!

The Photo Stop with the … Interesting sandwiches =)

A Scenic View Along our River Path

Team Elite Rafting in the Petrohue River.. Lawrence picked out raft color

All the best,
Jaime =)

Tendering is never easy but it sounds like Jaime and the gang did a wonderful job …………. Heidi would be proud. We are all enjoying your letters Jaime and we all hope you and Bill will be very happy.

It’s now 12:48 am and it’s time for bed. I enjoyed the show so much last night but coming back to an empty cabin is hard. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have the blog which allows me to share my experiences with thousands of people and that softens the loneliness ………..I miss Heidi very much.

Goodnight………..see you tomorrow

Good morning. The first thing I do in the morning is check e-mails…………OK, that’s a lie………the first think I do in the morning is ………well……….you know but the second thing I do in the mornings is check e-mail………..sad isn’t it? Anyway, I just checked my inbox thingy and have these two gems to share with you.

Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 3:01 AM

Hello John,

Mr. _________ came to the Guest Services Desk and informed me that he was very angry that there was no” Friends of Dorothy” meeting today. Guest was screaming and very upset. Can you call him to arrange meetings?

Thank you very much.

Kind Regards,
Guest Services Associate | Carnival Valor

Goodness me. The guest made this complaint at 3:01 am and I would hazard a guess that he may have been sponsored by Budweiser or Smirnoff. It’s a shame he got so upset because if he had just waited a day he would have seen that today we do indeed have a Friends of Dorothy meeting scheduled. Anyway………..I will call him……… fact if I wasn’t a cute and cuddly nice person I would call him now………’s 8.10 am. OK, I have a new batch of questions to answer. I am so sorry I have not replied to these earlier by the way.

Here we go.

Stingray310 Asked:
I just wanted to see if you had any tips for my brother and his current condition. He woke up last week and half of his face was numb. He was rushed to the emergency room because he thought he was having a stroke. They did a few tests on him and then told him he had the dreaded ‘Bells Palsy’ condition just as you had a few months ago. He says he is miserable and he really hopes it goes away soon. He said that himself and almost everyone else he talks to have never even heard of it, but thanks to you and your blog I was very familiar with the condition and he was very surprised that I knew about it. Of course when he told me you were the first person that I thought of and after seeing him he looks almost the same as many of your pictures you posted during your experience with it. Let me know if you have any tips that I can pass along to him.
It sounds like the Bloggers Cruise was an overwhelming success. I’m still hoping to be able to take one with you. It sounds like a lot of fun. Hopefully I can make the December 1, but if not maybe I can just take a 3rd cruise with you as cruise director and that may have to suffice for now.

John Says:
Hello Stingray
I know exactly how your brother feels. I was so worried when I woke up that morning and my first thought was also that I had had a minor stroke. Bells Palsy was and is horrible and the only advice I can give your brother is to stay positive. That’s not easy I know but it will bugger off. Mine went overnight. One day I looked like Quasimodo and the next morning……….well……..I was still an ugly sod but the BP had buggered off. Was it the steroids the doctor gave me, was it the acupuncture and the heat treatment……I don’t know but I would recommend he tries all of these. Please send him my best regards and please also keep me informed on his condition. I hope we do get to see each other on the Carnival Dream, maybe your brother to.
My best to you and all the family

The Bears – Barb & Carl Asked:
Hi John! (Please reply)
So glad you liked the quilt. I have a lot of hours and a lot of LOVE sewn into both yours & Heidi’s and Big Ed & Pat’s quilts. I sent Stephanie some photos last night (Carl told me you were looking for some).
I was wondering if you would do me a favor and say Hello to my very dear friend (actually more like a sister to me) Kathy. She helped me some with the quilts and is now saying that somebody (I guess that would be me) got her hooked on John’s Blog. She has recently started reading it, and says it is hilarious! Now, if there was some way I could get her on a cruise ship… I think I would have her hooked there too!
Carl and I just signed up for the Carnival Home Party…. Would you like to make a trip to Wisconsin?
LOVED the New Ship Smell commercial. It’s great!!! And the 80’s, that whole commercial was like traveling down memory lane. I watched way too much TV in those days. Yes…. Dallas, Falcon Crest… you could find me on the couch with my bowl of popcorn every Friday night!
I sure miss my home on the Fantasy…. can we go back and do it again??? What a great time we had!!!
Love to Heidi and the wee little Thingy!
Big Hugs to you too!
Princess Barb …the shy and quiet one!

John Says:
Hello Carl and Barb
Can you pass this on to Kathy for me?
Hello Kathy. I apologize that I have not written to you before but I wanted to say a huge thank you to you for the love and care you put into the quilt for Heidi and I. It is something we will treasure always. I hope one day you can sail with us and I can then say thank you in person. All the best – John
Thanks Carl and Barb, I am glad you liked the new commercial and indeed we did have a wonderful time on the Carnival Fantasy, didn’t we? I hope it’s not long until we see each other again.
Best Wishes

Kevin and Heidi-Beth Asked:
Hey John (please reply),
Just a couple of quick questions. We are considering a cruise on the Carnival Fascination out of Jacksonville next Feb. We really want to go to Half Moon Cay. Have you been there? Wanting to know what is really available on the island. Also, it appears that this would be the second trip after dry-dock in January. I have a friend who just got back from the Sensation last weekend, and she was not too impressed with the state of the ship so soon after it was back in service. She said that there were stills signs of the work that had been done, and a lot of cleaning that still needed to be done. I had also seen some comments about the Fantasy the first couple of trips after dry-dock. I am a little concerned about booking a trip this far in advance, and having a ship that is potentially not “ready” yet. Could you let us know what you have seen or heard about any of these issues.
Til next time

John Says:
Hello You Three
I can’t remember the last time I wrote to you, it’s been too long. Half Moon Cay is extraordinary and let me start by telling g you what it doesn’t have. There are no shops with people trying pull you inside, no loud bars and music, no commercial restaurants, no cars and no headaches. There is just virgin sand, beautiful tanzanite water and cabanas to relax in. There is wonderful snorkeling and a huge gazebo serving wonderful free food. It’s paradise. As for the ships that come out of dry dock……….well it would be true to say that once a ship sails after dry dock that problems and concerns that can be found from time to time. However, I assure you that both the ships you mentioned are now running normally and sailing with the amazing upgrades they received. Book……….that’s all I can say………..except I promise you will have a brilliant time………….all three of you

Amy Asked:
Dear John
First I am so sorry to hear about that couple’s son. I cannot imagine the helplessness that they were feeling. My prayers go out to them and their son. Hopefully they can all take a cruise with you as cruise director and their memory of the cruise that ended too soon will be replaced!
I tried to send this question the other day, but apparently I am not as internet savvy as I had thought and it did not post… So here I go again. We (my husband and I) have been on four Carnival cruises since our honeymoon, two of which we were lucky enough to cruise with you. You should have seen our faces when to our surprise we heard your voice on the loud speaker the first time on our second cruise with you. Anyway, we are taking our first “family” cruise in June with the girls and in wanting it to be as much family time as possible; I requested a table for four. My TA requested for me, but they said it wasn’t guaranteed. Do you have any suggestions on how to get a table for four? Should I go see the Maitre D upon arrival? I really appreciate any suggestions.

John Says:
Hello Amy
My apologies for not responding earlier and thanks so much for your tender words of kindness. Please let me know when you are sailing and on what ship as well as cabin numbers and I will see what I can do to get you your family time.
My best to you and all the family

Mark Brass Asked:
Please Reply John!
John, sounds like things went pretty smoothly. I know you Brits and us Canadians spell words properly, like colour, neighbour, labour, practise, etc etc but what is with and I quote: “It’s been a very bust morning. We had a burst pipe in a guest cabin…”
I mean really, John! All that talk about the three-hour marathon of hope that the young man was going to engage upon whilst you kept his parents busy with drinks, he lied to you by the way…but then you gleefully type on and replace the word “busy” with “bust”…where was your mind??? Okay, obviously the “t” and “y” are neighbours – and I could not pass up an opportunity to heckle. I would never do that in person because, I am Canadian, polite, always sorry, and easy fodder for any well spoken British or American CD…well at least on Carnival…I might get away with heckling on one of those as you say the “nationofwhynot” cruises! ; )

John Says:
Hello Mark
Bugger – guess that one got through spell check………..sorry. Knowing you are now spell checking my blog has made me try even harder naver too makke any bore spalling mastikes. Thangs fur boing sach a grate fiend

Julie Asked:
Dear John,
I am new to this blog and am so glad I found the link on Cruise Critic! Your postings are great! I was reading back to a posting from a few days ago where you directed someone else to applications for entertainment positions. I was wondering how one applies for a position as a registered nurse aboard the ship? Also, we are getting ready to sail with you on 3/22/09 for our honeymoon… Any suggestions on activities we shouldn’t miss? Thank you for your time and for the wonderful posts… I am having so much fun reading them!

John Says:
Hello Julie
Welcome to the blog and straight away let me congratulate you on the work you do as a nurse. They are unsung heroes for sure and that also applied to the nursing staff in our onboard medical centers. If you go to you will find a link called “Fun Jobs” which will give you all the information you need on possibly joining this great company. If you have any further questions please let me know. We shall see each other soon………….what must I not miss you ask. Well….everything. See all the shows ……. eat one night at our Scarlett’s Supper Club………take a romantic stroll on deck at night ……. and most importantly as its your honeymoon……….stay out of bed and get some rest.
See you in a few days and I hope you have a fantastic wedding day

Marsha Breen Asked:
John – Please reply:
We enjoyed meeting you in person on the Blogger’s Cruise and I hope that you and Heidi enjoy the “Daddy’s little thingy” onesie we brought you. I have a question. We are sailing with family and friends on the May 31 sailing of the Legend. I am trying to arrange for my son, who is on active duty with the Air Force, to join us on the ship as a “surprise” for the family. Since he will probably be staying in our cabin since a single supplement costs so much more, is it possible for my son to check-in separately from us? I was thinking it would be great fun for him to show up at dinnertime and surprise the family but wasn’t sure if this was possible or not. Thanks ahead of time for answering when you get the chance! Love reading the “guest services” complaints again. I’ve missed them!

John Says:
Hello Marsha
Marsha. Thanks again for the gift. I can’t wait to show Heidi. Now, I think that’s a wonderful idea about your son checking in separately and it being a surprise. I can definitely arrange this for you so please remind me a week before if you would. I salute him and hope he has a wonderful cruise vacation and I hope to see you again soon.

Jordan Asked:
John Please reply:
Please tell me you are for sure going to be the CD on the March 15 sailing?
My family is coming from Oklahoma and is excited to have you as a CD, especially my fiancée who is a first timer!

John Says:
Hello Jordan
Yes………..for sure! See you next soon

OK, that’s all for today and I will answer the next batch very soon. Please remember to mark your comments “John, Please Reply ” and I will do so as soon as I can.

Well, it’s 2 pm. I did my four-port travel talk to maybe 500 people this morning. They were the brave sailors because the ship really is pitching and rolling. However, the ones who were up and about were having fun and laughing at all my silly jokes. The sun has come out now and the grey clouds have disapissitated – yes that word is now in the Oxford Dictionary – and slowly but surely more and more people are venturing out to play. When the ship moves like this I immediately feel so sorry for the older people who have difficulty walking. Last cruise though I met a wonderful older couple at my Marriage Show and I thought you might like to see their story……….here it is

67 years married………we should be so lucky. I have already received an e mail from their son telling me they are home safe in Texas and as I promised, on their 70th anniversary I shall make sure I pay for them to come and celebrate that incredible milestone with Carnival Cruise Lines…………they are the spirited people we crave to have onboard.

Well, I am happy to tell you Heidi is doing very well health wise. She still has a very painful wrist with this Car Pool Tunnel thingy she has but apart from that Mother and Thingy is doing well. However…….I did receive an e-mail full of panic yesterday because when Heidi went out to take the garbage to the bins ………..she saw a rat!

And now she can’t sleep at night. Now, let’s put this into perspective. We live in the country ………….. there are lots of trees, babbling brooks and animals everywhere. She didn’t see the rat inside the house but at the end of the drive……….yet……..she is acting as though she saw that Jason bloke in the hockey mask hiding inside her closet.

And so the conversation has once again returned to immediately buying something that kill rats………..a dog.

I wrote before Heidi was with Thingy about her wish to have a designer dog. I also spoke of my distain about owning something that will grow to the size of a lifeboat and will cost $1 million a minute in food and satellite tracking devices. Small wonder that the people of the world in this current credit crunch climate are now replacing their dogs with pet fish.

I owned two goldfish when I was young. They were called number one and number two so if one died I would still have two………..but they died within a week of each other as did my hamster called George and my sister’s hamster called “Bless Him.”…………all our pets died as did our beloved family dog Ringo.

I became so fed up with all my pets being killed, in fact, that I eventually bought a couple of tortoises, which came with a hardened outer shell and a life expectancy of 2,000 years.

Sadly, however, and for reasons I don’t fully understand, given that they had a top speed of one mile a year, they managed to escape into a field of wheat that was then harvested. Even to this day, I open each packet of Rice Krispies with fear and trepidation.

So what, then, with my wealth of experience of the animal kingdom would I recommend if you don’t want a dog any more? Well not a cat, obviously — despicable animals, the four-legged equivalent of a 20-something girl dating a 50-something ugly sod of a man: pretty, well-groomed and clean but, fundamentally, only after your money.

You want something that loves you, something scary for thieves, something that doesn’t make too much of a mess and something, above all which costs almost nothing to buy and run. Well how about a rat? Rats get a lot of bad press. Sure, they did kill half the world’s population once but it wasn’t their fault. It was the fleas that lived on their backs and it was a long time ago.

Today’s rat can be taught to respond to its name, if you go for a male, it will clean up after itself and it will be very loving. And what’s more, you can use a rat’s back to grow yourself another ear.

I told Heidi this and her reply involved part of my body being fed to our new friend Roland the Rat…………bugger

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.