University Challenged

March 12, 2009 -

John Heald

Guest: Mr ___________–Ref: 836065611A
Cabin: _______ Booking#: ________ Added-Changed: 03/10/09 – 03/10/09

Guest came to the desk to complain about the University Challenge team activity because the team from University of Wisconsin had said the wrong answer but the staff member had said it was correct. Mr ________ said that he had done lots of checking on the internet and he had proof that the answer was not right. This meant that his team from the University of Georgia were the winners and should have the trophy. Guest then demanded that we refund him the $45 he spent on the ship Internet.
GSA tasked to Cruise Director

Oh Joy.

Well, I have nobody to blame but myself. I thought it might be a bit of fun to have our usually named Super Trivia team event changed to University Challenge. And it was ………. fun………with six teams from various universities and colleges taking part. The event was won by a team from the University of Wisconsin and all was well right up to the moment Mr. Brainbox decided to query one of the answers. I called student Brainbox a few minutes ago and woke him up…………well, it was 9:30 am…….and asked him what the problem was. I should have known this wasn’t going to go well when he started his reply with the word “dude” but I carried on regardless.

So, student Brainbox told me that what happened was “seriously uncool” and that the question that then other team answered was wrong. Now, at this point I should point out that the questions were obtained from the difficult version of Trivial Pursuit and with that in mind here is the question that was asked.

What is the world’s most popular surname? The card says the answer is “Muhammad.”
Student Brainbox told me he has irrefutable proof that the answer should be “Li”
I wanted to say ” Who really gives a #$%^”…….but instead I said “Oh…. how fascinating.” And what a mistake that was as he spent the next 10 minutes reading from his printed Internet findings the figures of the number of people who have the name Li compared to the recent world census carried out by …………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………. sorry, I fell asleep just typing that.

Boring the subject may have been but there was no doubting student Brainbox’s passion and I guess I was a little bit jealous of his academic skills. When I was at school in Essex, UK, academic success was not commonplace. If some kid did manage to pass an exam they’d be pictured in the local paper the Evening Echo, wearing a mortarboard and holding up a map of the world. The headline would invariably be something like: “Local girl is top of the swots.”

It was best not to wear your brain on your sleeve. I myself was loathe to raise my hand in class even when I knew the answer to the teacher’s question. I never told my friends that I was deliberately hiding my light under a bushel, partly because they would have beaten me with wet towels for being a nerd and partly because none of them knew what a bushel was. ……….. studying was for wimps. However, in my later years of education I started hanging out with Julian Fennel, Tony Lang and Colin Redwood. They had a different attitude to study. They seemed to see learning as cool – that it was OK to pass exams and get good essay grades – that brains were sexy.

Yet I have come full circle. This afternoon I met with Student Brainbox at his request and as he lectured me using words some of which contained three syllables I wanted to shove his bespectacled know-it-all face down the toilet……..I tried to tell him it was just a game …………just a bit of fun………….but he said that I was “recapitulating” and wasn’t listening. I didn’t think I was recapitulating ………..maybe it was the chili I had eaten at lunchtime.

And so, I sat and listened to this “human Google” for the next 20 minutes and pretend to enjoy looking at the facts and figures he presented me about the name Muhammad being more popular than Li ………….or was he Wong?

I offered to give the four members of his team trophies as well but this was not good enough………..he demanded a rematch as “the pride of the University of Georgia was at stake.” ………………………….pride ……………’s a trivia quiz.

And so, not having the winning team’s information I put out a general appeal over the PA for a representative of the University of Wisconsin to make them self-known. And unfortunately they did. After explaining the situation I was truly hoping that the team from Wisconsin would tell Student Brainbox to kiss their dairyair……..but they accepted and so on the last sea day there will be a rematch which I will be hosting myself and if it’s a tie with one question to go I shall ask “Supercalafragelisticexpialadocious” is a very long word …… do you spell it?

I hope Student Brainbox puts his hand up and says “Oohh……I know and he will spell…………….Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious correctly…………………..and I shall say” no mate, you just fell for the oldest school trick in the world……………the answer is “I T” ………………..recapitulation my arse.

I shall let you know who wins.

Here’s Jaime

March 10, 2009

Dear John,

This is it, the conclusion to the “South American adventure” part of the very first (and hopefully not the last) South American itinerary that the Carnival Cruise Lines has ever operated. After this we have only two ports left before returning to the United States! We visited Manta, Ecuador today. Upon arrival, it was obvious that we were within extremely close proximity to the equator because the intense heat and direct sunlight provided many of our guests with a complexion similar to that of a lobster served on formal night.

After our last day of tours and our monthly full crew boat drill completed, myself and some other members of the crew took the same route that the guests did for our lovely day in Manta. Right on the pier, welcoming us to the city was boats filled with tuna fisherman waving with open arms. The tuna they were catching were not baby chickens of the sea; they were the most enormous slimy smelly creatures that could not easily be recognized as “tuna.”

When the appeal of taking pictures of the fisherman wore off, and our bodies adjusted to the extreme humidity, those people who didn’t go out on organized tours either rode the complimentary shuttle to the entrance of the pier where they had options to relax on the blissful beach enjoy a cold drink and purchase some local crafts. Or they took the $10 hop on – hop off bus organized by Condor Travel to go see the hotel with internet access, visit an extensive traditional open Ecuadorian marketplace and finally experience a nice, air-conditioned mall.

Once we arrived at the arts and crafts market it was a great opportunity to buy straw “Panama hats” that are actually made here in Ecuador. These tightly woven hand made hats sell for up to $300 in the states, and can be purchased here for only $25! This in itself made the trip worthwhile! Other hand-made jewelry and crafts were at the market as well. In addition we had traditional live music playing such favorites as the Titanic theme song (I think they were mocking us!) As I walked around searching for the perfect accessories for my formal night attire, one of the men selling his goods expressed his interest in my Carnival Towel that I had brought in case we ended up at the beach. I greatly value and love my towel because it reminds me of my favorite place to work AND the place who provides all of my pay checks =).

This gentleman proposed to trade one of his beautiful pieces of jewelry for my ever-so-highly acclaimed towel. At first I didn’t want to give it up because as you know they are not only absorbent and classy but these towels are also a great way to clean up spilled beverages. After much haggling, I ended up getting a nice pearl necklace with a white shell in exchange for my navy blue irreplaceable, unique Carnival Towel. Good thing I am friends with the laundry manager who distributes the new towels ::wink::.

Also at the marketplace, Lawrence, our production singer, tried to refine his bartering skills by talking down the price of a locket necklace for his baby sister. When speaking turned out to be an unsuccessful method of price negotiation, he attempted to serenade the local vendor in exchange for a lower price. The woman clearly did not speak English, she looked scared, and wanted him to stop… so she lowered the cost of the locket from $25 to $20!

After we exhausted our monetary resources at the market place we pressed on to the next bus stop, the Manta Mall. On the drive over we saw very interesting buildings with bamboo scaffolding. I understand that they may have different building resources in the southern hemisphere, but it did not appear as if these homes under construction provided any shelter from any sort of precipitation that may pass through the city.

Good thing that their most fierce weather element is sunshine!

If there has one thing I have learned from visiting all of these foreign places it is: a mall is a mall is a mall… even though this one did contain significantly more incense and beads than I am used to. The vendors all accepted the US dollar as appropriate currency, so that was a nice change to our other recent ports. Some friends and I walked around the mall for a bit before enjoying our strawberry milkshakes and heading back to the ship. On the way back we saw the city’s tuna monument! Our wonderful guide Michelle told us all about Quito, the capital of Ecuador, which is only a one-hour flight away from Manta. Since Catholic is the main religion of this country, the capital city contains much of the Catholic heritage and history.

Back on board this evening we were crossing the imaginary line that separates the lower and upper hemisphere! Our equator crossing ceremony was a huge success with our emcee Goose, King Brad Neptune and Queen Jaime Neptune! All of the guests on board the Splendor at this time can happily consider themselves amongst a family of shellbacks.

You can look forward to my friend Susan’s report from Maccu Picchu in the coming days. She says it was absolutely remarkable.

The most enormous Tuna you have ever seen!!! Wonder what hormones this guy is taking?

A family at the handicrafts marketplace in downtown Manta.

Guests at the Equator crossing ceremony enjoying the Elite showband right before we crossed!

Queen Neptune, King Neptune, Lifeguard, Sailor Owen and Merman Lauren before the big Equator Crossing Ceremony!

Looking forward to sharing more soon!
=) Jaime

Great letter today Jaime and that was one big fish. I am very proud of the staff most of which I know. However, can we do an interview with the naturalist? I have heard so many great things about him……….why don’t you take a photo of him and ask him a few questions?………………we would love to know more. Thanks again, Jaime.
Time for another wonderful photo taken by the brilliant Geo featuring the Carnival Destiny in Dominica………………



As requested here is my Mum’s recipe for home made English scones

225g/8oz self raising flour
pinch of salt
55g/2oz butter
25g/1oz sultanas
25g/1oz caster sugar
150ml/5fl oz milk
1. Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Mix together the flour and salt and rub in the butter.
3. Stir in the sultanas, sugar and then the milk to get a soft dough.
4. Turn on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly. Pat out to a round 2cm/¾in thick. Use a 5cm/2in cutter to stamp out rounds and place on a baking sheet. Lightly knead together the rest of the dough and stamp out more scones to use it all up.
5. Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.
6. Cool on a wire rack and serve with butter and good jam and maybe some clotted cream.

Thanks, Mum. I am sure you wont be able to find clotted cream in North America so serve double thick cream instead and see if your local Publix or deli has some English jam.

Let me know if you make them and have one for me……….made with Splenda not sugar.

Someone asked yesterday or the day before for me to help them book tours for their Carnival Freedom voyage next month. Apparently they could not see the port mentioned when trying to book excursions and were worried that this port may have been canceled. Well, I can confirm that it has not and the ship will indeed call at Nassau……. here’s why you couldn’t book your tours online

“We checked a couple of real “live/active” bookings to see if they are able to view tours in Nassau, and the problem is that the port does now show up in the drop down menu when logged in. Last I spoke with tech support they said that they changed the logic in the backend to where the port would NOT show up if tours were not loaded. In this case, tours ARE loaded but the port is still not showing up. I will see if someone has any further input on this issue.”

Good, that’s cleared that up then.

I think that means the site is buggered so my friends in Miami will work diligently as they always do to fix the problem and I thank them for doing so in advance.

So, on we rock to Cozumel and I mean really rock. We have 40 – 50 knots of wind and the ship is really pitching and rolling which has counteracted the spring breakers’ drinking and they are now walking in a straight line. The first magic show with Rand Woodbury was packed tonight yet the 10:30 pm show was unusually empty. This was of course I am sure due to the movement of the ship and the fact that the students are mostly on the late sitting and they are either in the dance club, karaoke or piano bar or are hugging the god of porcelain as the pitching and rolling plays havoc with their young stomachs that are full of Slippery Nipples and Grey Geese.

Did you know that back in the early 1990s we had a COUGAR that lived onboard? Rand Woodbury had Geo the Cougar as part of his amazing magic show. It lived in a special area on one of the open decks on the Celebration. The idea of the show was to change a beautiful dancer into Geo the Cougar. It was the highlight of the show.

After the miracle change, Rand would take Geo out of his cage and walk him around the stage on a long chain lead. During one show, Geo broke free, jumped off the stage and ran through the 800 people in the audience and out of the show room with Rand in hot pursuit. For some reason the guests thought that this was just part of the show and applauded and stood in a wonderful ovation oblivious to the fact that a 300-pound cougar was loose and could have bitten a head clean off with one chomp! Rand got hold of him and told me afterwards that Geo was more scared than the audience …….. scared my arse.

Rand has a new show here on the Carnival Valor which you must not miss.

Today I spent most of my time with Captain Augustino Fazio making a safety video for future guests of the Carnival Valor. This had nothing to do with the abandon ship drill or the correct way to put on your lifejacket. It did however cover many of the hazards that we try and make guests aware of to avoid accidents on board. So, with the help of some of the ships crew I helped write, produce and direct this epic.

I decided to make the captain the star. Safety is our priority so who better to cement this fact than the master of the vessel and so we toured the ship with the camera team filming a brief eight-minute catalogue of areas where we want our guests to exercise caution and care. Here is what we covered.

1. Grasping the handrail firmly when using stairs as the ship is in motion.
2. Being aware that the open decks may be wet and thus slippery. This could be due to weather, the washing and cleaning of the decks, people dripping water from the poles and whirlpools or spillage of drinks.
3. Being careful when walking the decks that you do not tip over chairs or deck chairs
4. In the cabin please be aware of the threshold leading into and out of the bathroom
5. When opening balcony doors please be aware it may be windy and the door could close suddenly so please keep your hands and fingers away from the hinges.
6. When climbing the ladder to get into or out of the bunk beds please make sure the ladder is attached firmly

So, using the captain and some crew we started making this very important film. It’s going to be no more than eight minutes long and will play in the guest cabins ………. we all feel this is very important……have we forgotten anything? If we have please let me know as always your feedback is so important.

I will be answering your comments marked for my reply tomorrow and always I thank you for all the postings…………I wanted to say thanks to Lance and Ilda for the great post regarding the dark and sinister Royal Champions………they have some great points and really sum up what many in the industry feel. In case you didn’t see it………….here it is.

Lance & Ilda
March 11th, 2009 at 10:47 pm
Hhhm. Irrational behavior from a fan of the “Whatever of the Seas.” Seems the runner-up cruise line has to resort to paying folks (some of which have never sailed on RCCL) to post “Positive” reviews on the popular cruise websites. How gauche! Actually, I’m not all that surprised, given the amount of money they dumped into such a weird and out-of-touch series of television ads. The ads actually reminded me of the Terry Gilliam animations from the classic Monty Python series, minus the imagination and irreverence.
It’s funny. I was at the stylist today getting my haircut and she asked me how my vacation was. I told her about our incredible experience in New Orleans and our volunteer work at Westside Park and then I mentioned that it was Carnival that setup the volunteer experience and presented the organization with a check for $5,000. I then talked about our cruise along the Mississippi and on to Mexico. She then hit me with that tired old misconception, “Oh, Carnival? I would never cruise with them, they have a lot of drunk, party people on their boats and the food is terrible. Royal Caribbean is SO much better.”
Well John, I suppose you can guess what happened next. I related the fact that, not only is Carnival Cruise Lines the most popular in the world, they consistently out-rank RCCL in almost ALL categories by the most respected names in the cruise industry. I also gave her an education on the Carnival cuisine and the heritage of George Blanc and his culinary institute. I also told her of our own blogger chef, Kevin McVeigh and how he applauded the chef on the Carnival Fantasy on the quality of the food. She was in shock. I told her that what she was referring to was based on mostly rumors and tired old misconceptions.
I was also speaking from experience, as Ilda and I sailed on the “Boring of the Seas” once. That was enough. It couldn’t come close to our collective experiences aboard the many fine Carnival ships we’ve cruised upon. Besides, the food was mediocre at best.
So, if “The whatever of the seas” has to resort to an under-handed, viral marketing to try and create a “buzz” about their product, it means only one thing. They are running scared!
Here’s to you, my friend. Give our best to Heidi and the Thingy.
Lance & Ilda

Enough said!

I mentioned the other day that the P&O ship Arcadia was sailing the Orient and now it’s the turn of Alistair and Cunard’s majestic Queen Victoria to visit the land of the rising sun. There are some amazing photos and as always I invite you to read the ship’s adventures at

One of the great things I have enjoyed about being here on the Carnival Valor is being able to meet up with old friends. I have been in Europe these past few years and that has meant I have been working alongside a different group of entertainers chosen specifically for the European voyages. However, here on the Carnival Valor I have seen old friends I have known for years and who, like myself, have grown up with Carnival.

One such chap is here with me this week. He has never married. He’s not gay or hideous, he doesn’t have hemorrhoids, halitosis, a twitch, a facial mole that sprouts a dozen hairs or a deformed thingy. He doesn’t live with his mother and he isn’t French.

He is independently wealthy, attractive, funny, amusing, and popular. He always used to have a girlfriend and each of these relationships trundled along, as relationships will, to that point where commitments had to be undertaken, questions asked that involve diamonds, placement cards and singing hymns in church. And at that point, they were gently dumped.

The reason he could never sign up to the Marriage Club is because he fears that all women are only really after his wealth and the family silver, and his handmade Italian shirts. He always thought that the evolutionary purpose of every woman is to find a male, steal his sperm, fleece him, skin him and throw him back, a broken and shivering poor person. Yet, I see him now after a long time and now I see a man who has suddenly gotten old overnight. He no longer has a girlfriend and …….well…….he looks sort of sad. I know he plaid the field for many years and I am sure all that rumpy pumpy and stuff must have given him many evenings of ecstasy………but now………well, he’s 60 and alone ………….and fell so very sorry for him.

Being alone in the cabin is hard and thank goodness I have Heidi to go home to. Usually when write these silly blogs I have to do so in silence so I concentrate but lately the silence has been driving me mad. And so I have been writing to either the accompaniment of music or the TV. The last few days it’s been the TV and as I speak I am watching Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA. I have seen this at home in the UK but never the American version and it’s fascinating. Ramsay swears his way through some more biohazard bistros or at least I think he does because in the States his naughty words are bleeped out. The best thing about the Americans is that they aren’t afraid to fight back. How this hasn’t yet resulted in a frying pan to the face for the smug bastard …….. oooo sorry………….the smug beeeeeeeeeeppppppppp, I don’t know.

I have also forced to myself to watch Deal or No Deal so I can hurl abuse at the shows non autograph giving beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppppppp………………….beeeeeepppppppppppp host .I guess watching the show is a chance to enjoy some banker bashing ……………………………..and in these uncertain times it may be the only chance a lot of us get.

I look at all the young kids onboard and I think again how lucky they are to be sailing on this brilliant ship and I think of my holidays when I was their age. I mentioned that we used to go camping but one year we went to something called Butlins. There really is now North American equivalent of this center of fun for the working class. The entertainers that work their are very similar to our own entertainment staff and in fact many of you know James Dunn, the assistant cruise director on the Carnival Freedom, who was “a red coat “as they are called due to their red blazers….similar to what we wear.

My Mum and Dad’s best friends, the Edwards, went all the time and I remember going with them one year. Their kids used to cause chaos: there was a game where the kids would chase Captain Hook around, all good fun, but my mates would hide in the bushes, jump out and properly mug him.

It was a fantastic holiday, though – there were girls, fights, freedom, and you could get into the 9-13 disco. I loved it.

My first holiday abroad was to Ibiza in Spain, when I was 19. I went with my mate Alan, but we were quite naive and ended up in a family hotel, so pickings were slim. I was a mass of hypochondria back then. Alan got bitten by a dog, and later he shook my hand, and I got it into my head that I had rabies. So, everywhere I went, I carried a glass of water, to see if I was becoming afraid of it.

The dog story is true and let me therefore finish with a story about me and my mate Alan and our spring break adventure.

Alan and I were on holiday in Spain. We were only 19 and it was our first real “boys” vacation ever. The first day by the pool Alan was eyeing up the beautiful women (and I think it was the men, but that’s a story for another day) when a lovely young lady came over and started talking to us. Her name was Bridgette (she was French). She was not a pretty girl but that did not matter as Alan is no oil painting and the two started getting on well. She asked Alan what he did for a living and I expected him to say that he worked in a bank but no, he says WE ARE BOTH VETS. She did not understand, so Alan then says – WE ARE ANIMAL DOCTORS….she now understood and seemed very impressed.

I just chuckled and got on reading my book and enjoying the sun. Now, fast forward two days. Alan is getting on famously with his new French friend who it turns out is staying with her Mum and dad and younger sister. So, there we were laying in our usual spot by the pool when all of a sudden I here a very loud French shriek “Alannnnnnn, Alannnnnnnnnn.“ Looking up, I see Bridgette and her young sister walking towards us holding A PUPPY! (Please read the next bit out loud using a French accent).

“Alannnnnnnnn,” says Bridgette, “We av found a petite dog and he as cut his leg, heeelp him.” Her sister, Melissa, who was only 14, is crying as she holds one of the many stray dogs that inhabit Spain.

(Back to the French accent) “Alannnnnnnnnnn, Johnny, please help this little thing as you are both animal doctors.” To make matters worse, the dog is looking at me as if to say, “Por Vavor……..helpo meo woofo…”

Alan, looks at me and says, “John will take care of him, he is the dog specialist” and then takes the dog from the very young Melissa and gives him to me. “Come on girls,” says Alan, “let John do what he has to and we will check on him later.” With that, he leads the girls off for an ice cream, leaving me and my new best friend El Spotto just standing there.

Now, I could have just put El Spotto on the floor and said adios but the animal lover in me (if it had been a cat it would have been a different story) said that I had to do something. I carried El Spotto to the front desk and asked if there was an animal shelter nearby. They made a call and one hour later a lady from the shelter came and took El Spotto away for medical treatment and hopefully to find a new home……………..and charged me 50 pesos which was half my holiday money………Las Bugger

When I saw Alan and his Frenchies later I explained that I had given El Spotto medical treatment and he was now a happy little doggy. I received big smiles and Mercies from everyone and I was a hero. Alannnnnn meanwhile continued to date this French girl for the two weeks we were in Spain and that proved that not only did he not give a damn about leaving his best mate on his own……….it also proved he had no sense of smell.

Lets finish today with some exciting news for the people of Baltimore and the surrounding area who are getting so excited about the pending arrival of the Carnival Pride………………if the ship is the main course…………… is the appetizer


BALTIMORE – (March 12, 2009) — Looking for a fun time? The Inner Harbor is the place to be on April 25th from 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. when Fun City: Baltimore, sails into town. The event is compliments of Carnival Cruise Lines and will raise funds for Maryland Special Olympics. A full schedule of exciting free events, activities and attractions, including a world record giant beach ball, artistic sand sculptures, live hip-hop dance performances, 3-D chalk art and more, will make up nine “Fun Spots” which will be sprinkled around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The event is a celebration to mark the start-up of Baltimore’s first-ever year-round cruise service on the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride. The ship will arrive in Baltimore on Monday, April 27 and depart later that day on its first voyage from Charm City.

Other activities during Fun City: Baltimore will include a Carnival Fun Booth, Camp Carnival Kid Zone and an Interactive Aquarium. There will also be biodegradable balloon giveaways, photos opportunities, visits by Carnival’s mascot, “Fun Ship” Freddy and Fun Decoder cards which lead to several chances to win a free cruise, all while raising money for the Maryland Special Olympics.

Following is a rundown of events, all of which are free and open to the public:

•Carnival Fun Booth, located in front of the ESPN Zone near Pratt Street, will be an interactive booth where people can digitally record their own karaoke performance of popular songs and go on-line to obtain a free download.
•Located near the Fun Booth but closer to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, will be a beautifully crafted, detailed Sand Sculpture of the Carnival Pride created by award winning Master Sand Sculptor Chuck Feld.
•In the amphitheater, located between the Pratt and Light Street Pavilions, will be live performances by acrobatic teams, Motown-style singers, cruise directors and dancers from Carnival’s ships.
•Carnival’s huge Guinness Book of World Records Beach Ball will be located in McKeldin square and passers-by will have an opportunity to have their photo taken alongside it.
•3-D Chalk Art depicting Carnival Pride’s twister waterslide will be located on the corner of Pratt and Charles Streets. Extraordinarily talented chalk artist Michael W. Kirby will spend three to four days creating his fantastic, illusionary masterpiece to the delight of downtown workers who will have an opportunity to watch the transformation first-hand.
•Located in front of the Visitor Center will be free balloon giveaways and they’re biodegradable so they’re fun AND green!
•Kids of all ages will enjoy the Camp Carnival Kid Zone located near The West Shore Park. It will feature face painting, candy art machines, arts & crafts and games in addition to entertainment and fun music. Also, Carnival Water Wars, a game played with giant water balloons, will be available.
•Located at 111 South Calvert Street will be a special Interactive Aquarium where a vibrant, computer animated undersea universe of plant life and fish will react to the motion of passersby. Visitors can also dial a number on their cell phones to create their own, personalized fish and swim them around the tank. The Interactive Aquarium is already on display and will remain in place until April 27.
•An engaging, high-energy hip hop and acrobatic performance group will entertain visitors and those walking to the baseball game with performances in front of the new Hilton and across from Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
•Throughout the day, Carnival Cruise Ambassadors will be handing out FREE “Fun Decoder” cards where participants can register on-line for five chances to win a Carnival Cruise. The contest takes place from April 1-May 9 and for every person who registers, a $1 donation will go directly to the Maryland Special Olympics.

The Carnival Pride will operate a mix of six-, seven- and eight-day cruises from April 27 through September 6, 2009 then begin a year-round seven-day cruise program departing every Sunday. The ship will alternate weekly between an Exotic Eastern Caribbean itinerary calling at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; and Half Moon Cay and Freeport, The Bahamas, and a Bahamas/Florida itinerary which visits Port Canaveral (near Orlando), Fla; and Nassau and Freeport, The Bahamas. Each voyage also includes three days at sea.

Carnival is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world, with 22 “Fun Ships” operating voyages ranging from three to 16 days in length to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda and Europe. The line currently has two new ships scheduled to debut between now and 2011.

For additional information and reservations on the “Fun Ship” vacation experience, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line’s travel agent Internet portal,

Now, providing the Thingy does not make a really early appearance I will be there to help celebrate this special event with you all.

I miss the Carnival Splendor and I miss working with the great time there led by the irrepressible Captain Giorgio Pagano who made his acting debut in our recent commercial which is now playing………now when I say acting he probably did it in one take………………because he is a natural.
In case you haven’t seen it…………….here it is.


Get off my bridge……………………brilliant

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.