Gerry Makes You Feel Good

March 26, 2009 -

John Heald

So I feel a lot better today about the world we live in despite AIG fund managers making my savings hit the floor quicker than Paris Hilton’s underwear. I don’t want to seem indifferent to suffering, and I don’t want anyone to accuse me of minimizing the likely effect of the recession, because the coming months will very probably be a lot tougher – for millions of people – than the boom times we have all recently enjoyed.

But after listening to our president and CEO Gerry Cahill speak about the economy today and Carnival’s position within it all of us felt somewhat reassured. Gerry’s message could be translated into Whoa! Steady on people! This isn’t the plague. Pinch yourself. Are you still there? Got a pulse? Thought so. Look out of the window. Those aren’t zombies. They are men and women engaged in the normal business of getting and spending and wanting to go on vacation.

This isn’t some disaster movie about a virus from the planet Uranus that leaves its victims smelling of garlic and body odor and with the uncontrollable urge to be rude to everyone …………nope this is not Frenchyitus. It’s a recession, a downturn, a correction of a kind that is indispensable to any kind of human activity, and it does not require that we all go around under a special kind of credit-crunch cloud like the one that always followed the Coyote that used to chase the Roadrunner… It does not mean we have to cancel all parties and talk in hushed credit-crunch tones. It doesn’t mean we have to line our rooms with newspaper, get in the fetal position and live on dog food or eat the dog itself………… in fact said Gerry, it means the opposite.

Maybe the Queen of England needs to listen to Gerry………….. I read the other day that the credit crunch had affected the way Her Majesty spends her money. Sensitive to the mood of her subjects, she had decided not to lash out on any new dresses, but to recycle the old ones. Oh bollocks… Who is giving her economic advice these days ………….. Michael Jackson? Now is exactly the moment for the Queen – who has a billion or two – to buy dresses, now when the dressmakers of the world could do with a right royal tonic.

This is not the moment for her to have some poor sod crotchet the dress she wore when she had tea with Ronald Reagan into something she can wear to meet president Obama next month…………before you know it she will be shopping on line at JC Penney.
It is miserable for many that is for sure, but it is not so miserable that we have to cease all economic activity and become miserable sods. Some people genuinely seem to think we would be better off staying at home and growing our own vegetables and baking our own bread. This is bollocks.

But here’s the part that really gets my goat. I don’t have a goat, but feel like I should buy one just so it can get my goat. The banks’ one job is to look after our money — that’s it, it’s not like they’ve got anything else to do, is it? That’s what they do………………..look after money.

Stick it in a safe, sit a bloke next to the safe, fill up the ATM machine as and when. It can’t be hard, can it?

If I can figure it out, why does a bloke who gets a million dollar bonus at Christmas not realize any of this?

Banks look after money, full stop………………….in the end a bank that doesn’t have any money in it is just a building, the same way a climbing wall without anyone using it is………..just a wall.

What’s worse is we don’t hear the bloody end of it; it’s all over the television and the internet. It’s lucky the media doesn’t charge us $20 every time they tell us the world’s gone overdrawn like the banks do; otherwise we’d have even less money…

A deep recession may be upon us…………..but we have to spend money. But there is no need to go into mourning for capitalism, because capitalism will never go away, and there is nothing remotely impolite, in these circumstances, about spending money and being seen to spend money. In these times Gerry said that it would be easy to cut the marketing budget but he won’t do that………………because we need the world to know who we are and the fun we stand for.

He also said he wouldn’t cut the product, stating that we only had one chance to impress the new cruisers who will hopefully take a Carnival cruise and we want them to experience the best of everything. The 1,400 travel agents in the room listened to every word as he spoke how suddenly, overnight; the people of the world went from wanting to spend their money on luxury items to wanting affordable value which of course is exactly what the Carnival product stands for.

The new Carnival Elation itinerary………… Carnival Pride’s pending arrival to Baltimore…………….Carnival’s brilliant Cash Back offer…………the rejuvenation of the Fantasy class…………..Alaska cruises from Seattle……the Carnival Splendor homeporting in California…………..and of course the new Carnival Dream……….the present and the future is as bright and shiny as Richard Simmons workout clothes. Gerry told us that the fleet will soon receive table top magicians who wander the dining rooms and public lounges amazing us with their close up magic skills. And then there is G Force who are all ready on some of our vessels and their acrobatic skills and stunning dance moves are indescribable.

It was a fun afternoon and one that I am positive had the agents revitalized in the knowledge that the world’s most popular cruise line was brilliantly positioned to allow them to sell our affordable, value for money fun vacation to their clients………..our future guests……………….you.

Here are a few photos of this afternoon’s event.





In a few minutes I will be interviewing Jaime, Ken and some other crew members here on the ship and I will be posting those over the next few days.

Please excuse my brief blog today but I have a busy schedule and I promise I will make up for it tomorrow with loads of videos and your questions answered. Hope you understand.

OK, just a quick note about the Supper Club. It turns out I may have given you some incorrect information. The $30 does in fact include a gratuity all be it a minimal one. Think of this as the same as room service. It’s free and the servers are taken care of accordingly by Carnival, however it is always nice to give a few dollars if the service comes promptly and with a smile…………as I hope it always does. On the bill you receive from the supper club you will find a place for a gratuity to be added and if you have had exceptional service………..which again I hope you always receive………….so, it is included but if you wish to give something extra……… is appreciated.

My apologies for the wrong information……… learn something new every day.

So the two two-day cruises were a huge success and I am sure the captain and crew of the Carnival Splendor would love to get straight back to normal cruising after their 49-day voyage around South America and these two fun but very busy cruises. But they can’t.

Tomorrow VH1 which apparently is like MTV but without the word “pimp” in every show title is coming onboard to film John Mayer in concert. Now, I am sorry to say I know as much about this apparent singing sensation then I do about the reproductive system of the lesser spotted dung beetle. However, I do know that he is massively popular and has dated Jennifer Aniston and I can’t wait to welcome him on board.

There are other stars will attend such as Jordin Sparks who apparently is an Idol person, Gavin Rossdale, my mate Kevin from Grey’s ER and a few other surprises I’m told. Stephanie will be here with a video crew and we will film whatever we can for the blog ………………exciting, isn’t it?……………..personally I would rather be home in my chair watching the Miami Heat, eating a big bowl of chips and pestering my wife by flicking boogers at her……………..she hates that. But tonight we will be paparazzi waiting to catch a Winona Ryder shoplifting moment. What we will actually get is something mundane like John Mayer eating a croissant. Not very exciting, which is why we will have to be the new generation of paparazzi who try to make things happen by picking fights and “creating” situations.

I am sure if I was to ask someone who is worldwide famous, I mean properly famous, they would tell me that the single greatest gift God gave to a human being was anonymity. The ability to walk into a restaurant without being pointed at. The comfort blanket of being able to make a phone call safe in the knowledge that nobody else is listening — because nobody else cares about what you have to say.

Anonymity? Ask Angelina Jolie, or Brad Pitt, or Pee Diddly, and they’ll tell you that it’s more precious than any Bentley, mansion or a diamond encrusted Jacob watch.

Oh, you see all those silly, half-naked soap stars desperately trying to attract the attention of the paparazzi at a Waffle House. But if they were to really make it, if they really were to become a household name with a household face and a household love life, if we really were to find out what they have for their breakfast and where they are every minute of every single day, and what text messages are stored on their cell phone, they’d go absolutely nuts.

I’m not famous, but I do know a lot of people and that’s enough to make my life difficult on occasion. Chiefly because sometimes I forget myself and I think I am famous.

Do you remember the story from the Carnival Splendor last year? I had been signing photos, etc. for quite some time when someone else said: “Do you think I could have your signature?”

“Sure,” I replied, with a huge grin. So, snatching up the piece of paper he was holding, I wrote: “Hope you had fun, Cheers, John.”

“No,”said a puzzled bar waiter… “Could I please have your signature for the drinks you have bought?”

There is the famous story of a bit part actor from the Sopranos (he played Jackie’s son who was whacked for selling drugs) lying on a sun lounger, generally taking in some Caribbean rays, when he noticed the telltale glint of a paparazzi lens in the bushes. Angrily, he threw down my book and stomped over to express his displeasure.

Sadly, it was a wasted journey because when he had finished shouting and punching the photographer, the poor guy explained he hadn’t a clue who he was and had been photographing someone called Heidi Klum, whose bikini top had slipped down a little.

Can any one of these Madonna wannabes imagine what it would be like to be photographed every single time they walk out of the house, and how they would cope when the assistant in the local underwear shop telephones the newspapers to tell them what color G String they’ve just bought?

Anyway……….tonight I will become a paparazzi……………………..I am hoping Judge Judy shows up and we can get a “up skirt shot” as she gets out of her limo.

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.