Alien vs. Predator

March 19, 2009 -

John Heald

By the time this is posted I will be on my way to Houston and then San Francisco…..it will be a long day and that will mean another pair of underwear lost to the Carnival cause.

It’s now 9:30 am and I am due to leave at 11 am via the tender to the pier and then onto the airport.

I have had a great time here on the Carnival Valor and it has reminded me just how much I love my job and how lucky I am to be able to entertain on a huge stage in front of 1,500 people.

Of course when you have 3,000 guests on board you are going to have every cross section of the general public and occasionally that means you may have an encounter with some very strange people.

Do you remember a few weeks ago I started a blog by saying that I had started the day by filling out a security report and that at the time I couldn’t tell you why?

Well…….now I can………and it’s a story that needs me to start it by swearing on the love of my wife, my Thingy, Jessica Simpson and my schoolboy crush Sally Poole………is absolutely one hundred percent the truth.

But first……..one last comment from this current Carnival Valor cruise.

From: VALOR GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 2:22 AM
To: VALOR CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: VALOR GUEST SERVICES; VALOR GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR; VALOR GUEST SERVICES MANAGER
Subject: Comment about comedian
Good morning Charlie
Please be informed that a guest came at the desk reported that last night they went to the late show with comedian ______________. Guest said that he spoke about men’s “private parts” and comments about size. Guest said this upset him very much and made him feel inadequate. I am not sure what he means by this so I ask him to write the word down. I showed the guest the Carnival Caper that states it is R Rated but guest says the comments made him have a bad honeymoon experience. Charlie, he wants to speak to you about this.
Thank you very much,
Guest Services Associate | Carnival Valor

At first……..and probably like you do now I thought this was a joke or some kind of “John’s leaving so lets play a trick on him” by $%……….but once again I swear this is the truth. I listened (and helped a little) as $% spoke to the guest via the speakerphone and indeed this honeymooner was indeed upset about the comment the comedian made. I can’t really say what that comment was but I can say that it was a throwaway line used by many a comedian when finding out the people on the front row are honeymooners and it’s a line that I have never heard anyone comment on before and always ends in hysterical laughter.

However, I think the comedian hit a little close to home and both $% and I apologized for the inadequate feeling it had given him and hopefully the fruit basket and Viagra …… sorry ………….champagne we sent him will help.

It would never bother me a comment like that and nothing would ever make me feel inadequate ……….not even a visibly aroused elephant.

And so this comment sets the tone for what you are about to read.

This goes back to my first cruise here on the Carnival Valor as CD which was February 22. It was elegant night and I was sitting in the cigar bar between captain’s cocktail parties with Gavin, the shore excursion manager, and Stephanie, the assistant cruise director. It was around 6:15 pm and we were busy going over my adventure talk for the following day regarding the ports of St. Martin and St. Thomas.

It was all very nice ………everyone was dressed elegantly………there was some Louis Prima playing in the background ……….I had my Diet Coke and was happy to once again be a cruise director. The only thing spoiling this ambience was the loud and obviously drunken conversation of two males in their mid-thirties a few feet away. They were both having a conversation as though instead of being just three feet apart they were on opposite end of the ship. One man had a mullet and another had long greasy hair that you could have cooked bacon on. Anyway, there I was trying to decide the slide order I would show the guests about the ports when I heard the conversation grow louder behind me……..this is word for word what was said between one guest and one of our lovely bar waitresses:

GUEST………..Are you from Thailand?
WAITRESS……………Yes, sir
GUEST………….Will you have sex with me?
No reply – waitress walks away
GUEST GRABS HER ARM…………….and says “I will pay you to have sex with me.” ……….Then he laughs and tries to give her his Sail & Sign card saying “Do you take this or would you prefer cash?” The waitress breaks free and walks quickly away.
The three of us are totally shocked and my first instinct was to go over to the guest, introduce myself and then use my cigar cutter on his thingy…….just one snip …………but my first thought was for the young lady who had been abused in such away. I walked over to the bar pantry and sure enough she was there sobbing her heart out. I gently asked her to confirm what I had heard and she seemed to be too scared to make a complaint ………..she didn’t want to get him or herself in trouble. But I was not going to let this greasy-haired troglodyte get away with this and after a few moments of reassurance she did indeed confirm that my hearing was 100% perfect.

So then I had a choice to make…………cigar cutter and size 11 patent leather shoes or call security………………I called security.

A few minutes later the assistant chief security arrived along with one security guard and we convoyed over to wear dog breath was sitting.

I introduced myself and explained what I had heard and that the chief security and staff captain would now need to talk to him. He stood up on and tried to square off at me but being big has its uses. OK, I may not be built for speed but I think he knew that between me and the two ex-Indian military security personnel he was never going to win that fight. And so, he started to say it was only a joke and that he didn’t mean it and ….I told him to be quiet and listen.

Now…….I was tired after New Orleans and Bloggers Cruises and flying and packing …..and missing Heidi……and I interrupted him and said “No sir, you gave up your rights when you abused one of our staff, right now you have the same rights as something that floats on its back at the bottom of a pond”……I just copied that from my statement by the way.

And so, the guest was led away followed by his mate mullet man who was uttering the words “lawsuit” and then turned to me and said “I am a US Citizen and you are the alien here”……………Alien……….I know I’m ugly……….but alien?!………..I was going to tell him he should probably spend his money having a haircut rather than hiring lawyer…… But I let it go.

So, the guest was warned and told that his bar signing card would be monitored and that any further reports of any bad behavior would result in him being removed from the ship and given a tour of the propellers………..OK………..not the propellers bit but he was told that the ship’s command would remove him in the port of call and report him to the authorities ashore.

And……….that was that. The bar waitress was given some time off and offered counseling and we all got on with our busy lives………..until 2 pm two days later while the ship was docked in St. Thomas.

I was busy blogging or doing something at the computer when my phone rang. It was the staff captain (second in command) who asked me to pop over to his office. Now, my first thought here was that one of my department had been caught doing something naughty but I wasn’t prepared for what followed. When I arrived, the staff captain looked troubled and I saw that he had been joined by the chief security officer…….something was not right…………who had done what?
The conversation went like this and I will try and type with an Italian accent
STAFF CAPTAIN……..eeee……….Johnny………..you zee…….we hava sexual arrasmenta against youa
JOHN…………..Bollocks
Staff Captain………….nooo is noa bollacks , I ama nota talking shita

OK, you get the drift. I couldn’t believe it………..sexual harassment ……… me ……. with whom?………when?………had someone made a complaint about me from years ago?……. had Sally Pool called to say that I had tied a mirror to my shoe to look up her skirt when I was 12?

Sexual harassment …….me………no way……..I was too tired……..

“Who?” I asked……..which crewmember is it?……….what did I say?……….what did I do?

The staff captain then made it even more of a concern when he told me that the complaint had come from a guest.

“Bloody hell,” I thought……………and my mind raced through the last few days and the spoon game and the lady whose blouse lifted up when she pulled the string too hard and the lady I had hugged at the cocktail party and………………..who the hell was it?

The staff captain told me then the ladies name…….and then showed me her A-PASS security photo………it was lady in her forties whom I had never seen before but according to the staff captain It had been alleged that I had been seen trying to force her into her cabin for some rumpy pumpy.

I had nothing to say……………..I just stood there………………my stomach churning
Then the staff captain said, “Someone had phoned the Miami office and asked for security department and had said that they had seen me.”

And then…………….and without warning……………..I suddenly became Columbo with a huge dollop of Inspector Morse.

It was him………….Greasy Head……….the guy that I had caught asking the waitress for ………..well……..you know.

So, the investigation began both onboard and by the head office in Miami led by my old friend and ex-New York state trooper……..well…….I can’t write his name but I have always called him Mr. Canoli…………because he is Italian, of course.

Anyway, an hour later I was called back and sure enough I was right. The guest who apparently I had begged to have rumpy pumpy with knew nothing about this and even said that she had cruised with me before and thought I was very funny, etc.

Mr. Canoli had discovered the cell phone used to phone in the complaint did indeed belong the passenger who had himself sexually harassed the bar waitress……..and this was his pathetic attempt at revenge.

I had been right………and after the staff captain had apologized and I had called Mr. Canoli to say thanks I turned to leave the office…….and stopping at the door entrance I turned……….and using my best Columbo impression I said ” ahhh, just one more fing.”

So, the guest was immediately disembarked under guard and his details handed to the local authorities where I truly hope he was given a very hard time by US Customs and he got to experience the touch the feel of latex.

I still cannot believe this happened……and of course I then had the embarrassment of having to face this lovely lady and her husband and apologize for the terrible questions she had to answer……..I spoiled them as much as I could for the remainder of the voyage.

This event also highlighted our shoreside security and surveillance department who never get any thanks or praise……….until now……..thanks, guys.

And then there is the bar waitress who as I write is serving guests and although doing so with a smile will always have this memory lurking in the back of her young mind.

And as for Mr. Greasy……..well……….I have a feeling that he is probably on some predator list somewhere………he is obviously a very disturbed man and I hope he seeks medical help…………..or gets arrested and spends a few years sharing a jail cell with a 350 pound man called Billy Bob who will play some banjo music while making Mr. Greasy Head his love muffin.

See you in San Francisco
Goodnight
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.