Feeling Green

April 24, 2009 -

John Heald

I hope you enjoyed the photos of the Carnival Dream yesterday, doesn’t she look absolutely magnificent and how about that Twister Waterslide? …….. Extraordinary ……….unless you are like me a rather large person and get stuck half way down. I know we have a height restriction…………I wonder if we need to think about a width restriction as well.

Talking of the Carnival Dream, I spoke to her very excited Cruise Director Todd Whittmer yesterday. We are planning to meet up in the shipyard in early June so I can introduce him to his new home and meet some of the yard management. I will then head on over to the double naming ceremony for the two Costa ships. More about that soon. So, along with all the Carnival Dream talk and a fun conversation yesterday on the phone with my mate Adolfo, who provides Carnival Corporation ships with all the shore excursions at the Italian ports, I realized I missed Italy.

I guess my favorite Italian port is Naples. It may not have the beauty of Tuscany and it may not have the astonishing history of Rome but Naples……..well it has something special. If Bella Napoli was a woman she’d wear a skin-tight Versace dress, pole dancer high heel shoes and lipstick the color of Satan’s underpants. She’d walk up to you in a pizzeria, grab you between the legs and whisper something in your ear so rude that were it to be written down here on the blog thingy it would burst into flames. I strongly urge you to go there.

Yes, I always had to remind guests in my talks about pickpockets and bag snatchers on scooters and of course the drivers. I remember one drive that Heidi and I took to meet Adolfo at a restaurant. Confronted by a traffic jam our driver simply took to the wrong side of the road and accelerated hard. Or at least as hard as you can in a Fiat Thingyo. As we hurtled toward a head-on collision he seemed unconcerned and, pulling out an old Lionel Ritchie cassette, slotted it into the stereo. “I like Lionel. Do you like Lionel?” he turned around to ask me. “Hell yes!” I said, not wanting to upset him by dissing Lionel.
As we approached the oncoming traffic head-on, at speed, I figured he must know something I didn’t.

Maybe he’d somehow tip the taxi onto two wheels, Bond movie-style, and we’d pass unscathed through the gap. Or perhaps like “Convert-a-Car” in Wacky Races (do you know that cartoon or was it British) the Fiat would raise itself out of harm’s way on tripod legs. But neither of those things happened. Instead, Mr. Andretti parked his hand on the horn and flicked his headlights onto full beam.

The strategy worked. Without slackening his speed the other driver straddled the pavement with two wheels and made a third lane. Meanwhile, Mr. Andretti was already contemplating his next insanely dangerous maneuver. At the head of the jam he was confronted by a red light. He stopped, glanced quickly left and right and set off across four lanes of traffic, swerving deftly to avoid collisions.

Fifteen minutes later we arrived at our destination my hand bleeding from where Heidi had been gripping it ………it was a journey we will never forget.

As indeed we won’t forget Naples and I hope some of you having seen the photos of the Carnival Dream may think about joining the ship for a European adventure. I will be highlighting some of the other ports along the way as well and if you have any questions please let me know.

There was talk about hosting a three-day mini cruise but that it was decided not to do that so the inaugural cruise will indeed be the first 12-day Grand Med voyage. Now, I know many of you are going to ask me about the naming ceremony and when, where and who will be involved. I can tell you that this is very much under discussion and as soon as I know I will let you know as well. I am going to ask PA 007 to come out of hiding in his or her cubical soon and hopefully they can let us know what is happening. Regardless ……………..it’s going to be a special event and I will be there to share it all with you.

Talking of Heidi……………well, she is doing very well and apart from the pain of the Thingy’s head pushing down on her ……….ummmm………….lady garden…………..she is feeling really good and we are just playing the waiting game. Her cravings continue to change day by day and yesterday while I continued to eat green things she had a Micky Dee’s craving. And so that was me of to get her a Big Mac, fries and a vanilla milkshake.

McDonald’s is very different here to the UK and while the burgers taste the same the major difference between McEngland and McAmerica is size. For instance, in England our “jumbo, extra king super-large” beverage is your small. So when British people come to America and the server says: “Would you like something to drink?” And they say: “Yes.” “Would you like a large?” they say. “Yes” . . .they get a 44-ounce tub that they could bathe in!

So while Heidi munched on her McCraving I continued my diet. Now, I am going to tell you what I had and if any way this gets boring just post a comment that says “John, we don’t care” and I will stop. However, I must admit writing this to you is quite therapeutic ………….anyway………….for those who not interested look away now.

Breakfast – 1 boiled egg and two crisp bread
Lunch – whole meal bread cheese and tomato sandwich – no butter but light mayo and one granny smith apple
Afternoon snack – a piece of cheese and some celery
Dinner – Tuna steak and salad with a sugar fee Jell-O

So, I stopped taking my new pill Actos and so far my sugar levels have been OK. Let’s see how we do………….I am though quite hungry especially in the afternoons and my poo is the color of a Venetian canal.

I am though losing weight and quite proud of myself. Thanks to those who wrote words of support.

Time for some questions to be answered………..here we go.

Mike & Lori Asked:
John,
We are going to cruise Alaska on the Carnival Spirit on May 11, 2010 and was wondering if this is actually a good time to go. We haven’t booked the cruise yet so we can change our plans if we need to. Can you suggest some good excursions where we could see bear or other animals?
Thanks,
Mike & Lori

John Says:
Hello Mike and Lori
How fantastic that you have booked a voyage to Alaska, the Last Frontier. Now, I have never been lucky enough to cruise there but I am seriously thinking of maybe doing some next year as Cruise Director, we shall see. Now I checked with our friend Chris “Bubba ” Roberts the current CD on the Carnival Spirit and he told me that yes, it is a wonderful time to explore and there are very strong chances that you will see lots of wildlife…………….providing my Range Rover and Sarah Palin’s rifle haven’t killed them all. As far as the excursions Chris sent me these recommendations for you.
ALASKA BEAR ADVENTURE
• Take off by floatplane and enjoy a unique wildlife experience available only to a small number of visitors.
• Be given a narrative from your bush pilot as he takes you on an approximate 20 minute flight to a remote location in the Tongass National Forest noted for its salmon rich streams.
• See where few forest locations in North America offer the wildlife viewing opportunities found here.
• Landing and be met by an Alaskan naturalist, and be driven one mile by van along a forest road to the head, a quarter-mile guided hike along the improved trail leads to a viewing platform overlooking a beautiful salmon spawning stream.
• Watch for wildlife along the way as your guide identifies the rich variety of vegetation that flourishes in this rich rain-forest environment. In addition to black bears, Sitka black-tailed deer, bald eagles, minks, and martens frequent the area. Wildlife sightings are frequent; however, they cannot be guaranteed.
• Have a viewing platform where you look down on to fast moving rapids, an area where black bears gather to feed on runs of pink, coho and chum salmon, as they head upstream to spawn.
• See bald eagles perched in the surrounding trees waiting for the fish scraps left by the bears.
• Have interpretation by your naturalist/guide that will enhance this intimate natural experience.
WHALE WATCHING
Enjoy a 25-minute motor coach ride to scenic Auke Bay, where you’ll board a high-speed catamaran specifically designed for wildlife viewing.
On this beautiful excursion you will:
• Relax in the warm, comfortable cabin as you set out to explore Stephen’s Passage, a pristine marine wilderness bordered by snow-capped peaks and glaciers.
• Learn that Stephen’s Passage is the world-renowned summer feeding grounds of the humpback whale.
• Get up close and personal once whales have been sighted, your skilled captain will gently maneuver the vessel to allow exceptional viewing and photographic opportunities at a safe distance.
• Have the chance to see the whales join to form a cooperative feeding group, the vessel’s engines will then be silenced and an underwater hydrophone deployed so that you may even get to experience their incredible “singing”.
• Have the advantage throughout the cruise of a naturalist onboard who will explain the humpback whale’s behavior and habitat.
• Enjoy the peaceful ambiance of Alaska’s long evening glow and be treated to a delicious variety of appetizers, accompanied by complimentary beverages. There will also be a no-host bar with a selection of beer and wine.
• Be guaranteed by the operators on this excursion that you will see a whale. If not, you will receive a $100 cash refund ($50 refund per child) as you disembark. But don’t anticipate a refund; in the past nine years, whales have been sighted on every trip!
SEA OTTER AND WILDLIFE ADVENTURE
You will have the opportunity to observe sea otters, whales, sea lions, porpoises, harbor seals, brown bears, black-tailed deer, bald eagles, and a variety of marine birds.
On this excursion you will:
• Be provided an onboard naturalist who will explain the workings of this remarkable ecosystem.
• While cruising, you will also learn about the sea otter population recovery, following their near-extinction at the hands of Russian fur hunters in the early 1800’s.
• Learn the Sea Otter Express and her jet-driven sister ships are designed to navigate southeast Alaska’s narrow island passages, allowing for spectacular wildlife viewing at close range.
• Find your vessel features a warm and comfortable cabin with enclosed seating, large windows, a snack bar, and restrooms.
• Be guaranteed you will see a sea otter, a whale, or a bear. If not, you will receive a $100 cash refund ($50 refund per child) at the end of the voyage.
• Upon return to Sitka, you will be dropped off downtown, minutes from the main shopping district and St. Michael’s Cathedral. A ticket to the Cathedral is included in the price.
• There you go. Three fantastic wildlife tours and ones that Chris and others highly recommend. Don’t forget we also have dog sledging tours and stunning exploration by helicopter

If you have any other questions please let me know. Have a brilliant time.
Cheers
John

Frank and Bridie Rist Asked:
John Please Respond.
Hi John we had a question in regards to the Dream. We have booked for May of next year in an 11 Suite. We always travel in an 11 suite on our cruises. We most recently were on the Miracle and our suite had a single convertible sofa. Now we noticed that our cabin on the Dream has a Double convertible sofa……?? How does this work john? We are thinking of our sofa on the miracle and can’t see how this would become a double convertible sofa??
Thanks
Frank And Bridie

John Says:
Hello Frank and Bridie
I see you enjoy the “suite life.” Well your cabin on the Carnival Dream will be stunning and the sofas are indeed bigger and wider and do convert into a double bed. I will be visiting the ship in June and will make sure I have a look at one and explain further and if the furniture is in place I will take some photos for you as well. I do know that all the cabins on the ship are top class and I also know your suite will be the icing on your cruise cake.
Did you see the photos of the Carnival Dream in yesterday’s blog? Hope that whetted your appetite.
I remain at your service
Best wishes to you both
John

CLT-Bryce Asked:
John (please reply),
A few weeks ago you mentioned the possibility that you would be the CD on the Carnival Freedom sailing on 6/28/09. We are on the cruise just before that (6/20), so is there a chance you might be on that sailing as well? If not, is Todd staying on as CD until you arrive?
Speaking of CD’s in general, I sincerely hope that you are encouraging them to come up with their own original material. They have a tough job– I could never do what they do week in and week out– but it does get a bit old hearing the same old jokes every single cruise!
Thanks!

John Says:
Hello CLT – Bryce
I will indeed be on the Carnival Freedom starting sometime in June to take over from Todd. I am not 100% certain of the date but there is a very good chance that my first cruise will be the 20th, if not it will be the 28th. I will let you know for sure very soon. I am the first to realize that many of the cruise directors do indeed copy each other’s material. I know this because I have done it myself and have had many CD’s try and be me. Of course this never really works and we do indeed try to encourage the CD to be an individual and I think the current crop we have at the moment are some of the best we have had for many a year. Of course, there are going to be some jokes that find their way onto every ship and not just Carnival ones. I know for a fact that a CD on RCI sailed with me in 2007, never introduced himself and is now doing my bedtime story show on the Stoleyourshow Of The Seas.
I wonder if I can ask you and the bloggers a question. What do you look for in a cruise director, what are your priorities that make a perfect Cruise Director and who are your favorites currently working? I would be interested as senior CD to find out.
Thanks for opening up this very interesting discussion Bryce and my best regards to you and the family
John

Christy Asked:
Dear John (you can reply if you want),
I just wanted you to know that you are my hero! My husband and I sailed with you on the Glory about five years ago. When we got to St. Maarten, you made the funniest comment about the old naked French people! I loved it. It is not just the folks that battle monsters and slimy aliens that are heroes. Heroes are everyday people like yourself who give people joy. If there is anything in this world that we are lacking, it is happiness. You will also be a hero to Heidi and Thingy when THE time comes. You are a wonderful man, a wonderful CD and most of all, you will be a wonderful father! Thanks for giving us so much JOY!

John Says:
Hello Christy
I don’t know what to say except that I am so very humbled by your words.Thank you for making my day.
My best to you and your family
John

Christy Richardson Asked:
John,
You had asked me to send you a list of the folks on the Conquest that went above and beyond for our family, so here they are. There are a lot and I’m sure there are more but these are the ones that really went out of their way to make sure we were all very happy. They are also the reason we hope to be able to afford to go again in the fall of 2009 or spring of 2010 on the Conquest but this time to the Bahamas. I hope some of these people will still be on there then.
In the Monet dining Room we had the MAITRED Ante who made sure we were well taken care of as well as our wait team of Maliasa and Idewa. They had to put up with a lot getting our daughter’s foods and stuff, but they did well and even knew her likes and dislikes. There was also, Aysu the hostess, she took care of my daughter’s orders and we fell in love with her. Both of my daughters loved her and were so excited to see her each night. We all cried on the last night when we had to say goodbye to her. I hope to see her again on another Carnival Cruise.
At the Purser’s desk, we were helped by several people especially by two ladies Khrystina and Christine (may have mispelled). They helped us tremendously getting on and off the ships at all ports.
As I mentioned before we loved Chris Jefferson, but we also loved one of the Social hosts, Duncan. He was very funny. There was also the Karaoke guy, but he never said his name but he made a big deal out of my other daughter who is 7 when she got up by herself to do Karaoke. He made her feel like a star.
After Aysu, though, I think my the people who really helped us out a lot was the Camp Carnival Crew. Jen the Camp Carnival Director did her best to assure us that our kids would be okay, and made sure that everything was taken care of. Her crew of Dorothy, Bruno, Carolina, Ce, CeCe, Emilja, Mhaya, Doris, Cindy, Lindsay, and Olga were great and kept very good care of all of the kids. I know there were a lot but they did a very good job. Also, the Circle C director Nataly was so sweet. She kept all of those 12-14 yo entertained and busy. I know because we only saw my son at dinner times and other time to meet for food.
Thanks!

John Says:
Hello Christy
I appreciate so very much you taking the time to write and I will make sure that the people you took time to praise are thanked and rewarded accordingly. Your comments will also help us to continue to make sure that we work diligently to insure that our Camp Carnival programs are the most fun and the safest children’s areas afloat.
I remain at your service and once again send my best to you all
John

msqpon – Jo Myerly Asked:
Hi John, Hope you are feeling better by now and your sugar level is still normal. You must take better care of yourself my friend.
I wrote about the clock problem or really the lack of a clock problem on cruise ships several months ago on the blog. Turning on the television isn’t a solution. The volume on the TV is always too loud when you first turn it on. How do you pry the TV remote out of the husband’s fingers in the middle of the night? Do you wake him up? I think not.
I did solve the problem. I bought a small electric clock at Target. It has bright red numbers that are easy to read. It was under $10. I keep it in the suitcase so I don’t forget it. Problem solved.
Jo

John Says:
Hello Jo
Ah yes, the remote control problem. That’s a great point. Heidi hates the way I hoard it. Thank you also for the $10 clock solution which I am sure many people will find useful. I am indeed taking care of myself and now the diet has begun in earnest. I thank you and Dave as always for your kind support
Cheers
John

hug71 Asked:
Please reply. Thank you so much for responding back to me so quickly. I am so looking forward to being on the Dream on December 3rd and hope for the possibility of meeting you. I wanted to be part of the Bloggers group but couldn’t afford the extra as I am rooming alone. I know that I will meet some wonderful people on the ship as I did last December on my Glory cruise. By the way, have you ever attended Bruce Begovitch’s Crazy disco dance class? If not, you might want to go on the ship and go to it. It was absolutely hilarious. Best wishes to Heidi and the Thingy (again by the way, Jennifer is a great name if you have a girl)
Jen

John Says:
Hello Jen
I have seen Butch’s dance class many times when he worked with me as assistant cruise director. A few posts above we were talking about the CD’s being individuals and finding their own style ……..well that is something I know Butch has certainly done and I am very proud of him.
Please don’t worry about the Bloggers Cruise. I’m sure we’ll work something out.
Best wishes and let me know if there is anything else you need
John

SEMPER FI Asked:
John please reply
John,
congrats of finally graduating from DUMMIE UNIVERSITY…
It long over due that you finally take the “bull” by the horns and take back control of your life..
I am of course talking about your diet.
Truth be told on Christmas day last year I started my diet. At the time I weighed in at a plump 282 lbs and at 5′10” I was, hmmmmmm well I was FAT.
I gave up my beloved Pepsi and most carbs and as of today I am now down to 235 lbs on my way to 205 which is my goal by the Carnival Bloggers cruise. now sure I went thru a lil set back when Cindy and I cruised on the Carnival Freedom in March, I actually put on 7 lbs in 8 days which should speak to the quality and flavor of the food…lol
I also walk at least 1 mile a day and on days where the weather is bad or too cold I just use the stairs in the house. I walk up and down them 25 times 3 times a day…
Now the reason why I tell you this is ……………no I am not bragging … yes I am proud of my self that at age 55 I was able to make the MAJOR life change.,,,,,,,,, but I no longer take blood pressure medication or cholesterol medicine.
My doctor is in a state of shock over this.
This would be a guess on my part but I suspect that when you drop the extra baggage you will find your sugar issue just may go back to controlling itself………….
plus one other side benefit you will be around longer so you can work even longer to provide the cash that Heidi has already started spending to spoil the thingy lol
In any case my FRIEND if I can do it then I know that you can.
Ohhhhhhh almost forgot 1 other thing i set up when I stated this life change. I set up with a friend of mine who lives in California that if I ever had the urge to go back and have a Pepsi or not to follow my diet I would call him first. this worked for 2 reasons…. 1 the time zone difference He is 3 hours behind my time and since most of the urges came at night for me it was still early evening for him so I did not feel bad calling him.. and 2 he used to pull some nasty jokes on me so I now have my urges at 6 am my time and I call him lol of course that 3 am his time….. It’s called poetic justice……
In any event as always Cindy and I are here to help you succeed and if there is anything we can do to help. Just e-mail us or give a call……….. and don’t even think of using the 3 am gag as I will somehow get even……lol like replacing your preparation H with some good old Ben Gay cream lol that will get your attention……..
In any case we are in full support of your effort…
Oh by the way Cindy has made her official estimate on the birth of thingy after she saw Heidi on the Saturday video thing… she predicts that Heidi is going to give birth to a baby Girl and that she will be born on may the 9th sometime in the early evening…….. We shall see
Best of Luck to all 3 of you
Cindy N Bill

John Says:
Hello Cindy and Bill
Wow, what a great motivational posting and one that I will use to continue my fight against the flab. I know I can do it and for the last six days I have been very strict and intend to continue this until I know that I have lost enough weight. I thank you both for your advice and continuing friendship
Semper Fi
John

valerie Asked:
Dear John{please reply}
There is a lively bunch of people on the Cruise Critic roll call on the Transatlantic Carnival Dream crossing and a couple of us are interested in being assigned to the dining room that Ken will be in. Is there any way this is possible? We have a rear cabin. Does it ring true at all that you are usually assigned the dining room nearest to your cabin.
We sailed on the Inaugural Freedom cruise from Venice two years ago with your good self and Ken and it was one of the best cruises we have ever done.
Personally I would say that if Ken is teamed up with Jogi from India it would be simply super. We can “Dream”!!!!!!!
Hope everything is O.K. with Heidi and the baby and hope you are well soon you have to be fit when the time arrives. Could be the middle of the night.!!!!!
Hope to hear from you soon.
Val, Ontario.Canada.

John Says:
Hello Valerie
Sounds like quite a group you have organized for Carnival Dream and her TA cruise. Cabin assignments have very little to do with which dining room you are assigned especially now as we also have the anytime dining option for guests to choose from along with the regular assigned seating. I am not sure if Jogi will be there but Ken is definitely going and the other maître d will be the brilliant Miguel who many of you may remember from the Carnival Freedom and who is currently on the Carnival Splendor.
I am sure I will be able to help you with dining assignments nearer the time so please don’t worry.
Thanks for the kind words for Heidi and I and let’s chat in July again about your requests.
Cheers
John

That’s all for now.

It’s a very interesting topic that one about CD’s telling the same jokes and I wonder if any of you have also found this. As I said above it will be interesting for all of us along with Roger and Chris from our entertainment department to read who you think are at the top of their game.

I myself tried to be someone else when I first started. I tried to be a guy called Gary Hunter who to this day remains the best CD Carnival has ever had. He was a ventriloquist and his act would create both laughter and tears from the audience. He was Gainesville, Florida and when I first walked out onto the stage aboard the Carnivale I tried to be him ………and was about as popular as a fart in church.

I then learned to be myself which is one thing I now know is as important as anything when being a cruise director. Yes, I still “borrow” a few gags here and there but always have tried to come up with my own style. Anyway, who do you like and who do you think could do with some help? Let us know.

Here is a post I am sure you will all want to read from Mrs Burn………Malcolm’s Mum

John
Most of his connections/meds/wires/attachments have been removed and the best news is that he was moved from ICU to a room on the 14th floor
Those comments from the passengers on your blog were very sweet, thank you so much for forwarding them to us John. I am getting ready to head down to the hospital and will show them to Malcolm.
Most grateful,

Liz Burn

That’s wonderful news and your kind words I am sure have not only helped Malcolm through some difficult times but rejuvenated his Mum as well who has been by his side through some very dark and scary days. Thank you all.

Well as I sit and write to you from lovely sunny England the Carnival gang are in Baltimore ready to host this weekends events to welcome the Carnival Pride. I do feel guilty about not being there in my brand ambassador role but everyone has been very supportive. Stephanie Meads is there and has promised to send lots of photos so I hope to post some of those over the weekend. We even have a couple of photos from the event set up which have been posted here on Carnival’s news blog.
http://carnival-news.com/2009/04/24/fun-city-baltimore-event-takes-place-tomorrow/
If you are heading that way I hope you have fun and I am sorry I cannot be there with you all.
Well, I woke up this morning to find that one of the houses close to us has something new on the driveway…………..a one year old, dark blue, Aston Martin V8 Vantage. ………………..the bastard. Now I know it says in the bible “Though shalt not covet they neighbor’s Aston Martin” but look, if there’s somebody on your street who has an impossibly flashy car then it’s no good getting all uptight about it. Report them to the police. I have, I told them my neighbors are obviously drug dealers, sex traffickers or involved in some sort of unspeakable internet-based “business”……the SWAT team should be here any moment.
Well, as you may or probably not know this Saturday is the London Marathon. This started as a serious race but not anymore…….it is the largest marathon in the world and of course it means that my in box is once again full with e-mails that go something like this.

Dear bestest friends (I saw you once at a dinner party and now we are best mates?), apologies for the global (you’re not really sorry, are you? You’re just lazy). Just wanted you to know that I’m running the London marathon next month. I know! I wouldn’t have thought it possible either!!!!!!!!!! (It’s not that amazing. Not if more than 32,000 people manage to do it, some of whom are 97 and some of whom are have just one leg. And you’re probably going to walk most of it anyway. So stop with all the exclamation marks.)

I’ve been training hard for six months and I’m determined to make it to the finish line (obviously), not just for my own sense of achievement (here it comes), but for all those poor sick children battling (insert horrible disease here).

Cheers, guys, for all your support (I haven’t said I would yet)

Barry (who?)

Not only do these e-mails, and there are always at least 209 of them per marathon, make me feel a bit tight and give the impression that I don’t care about sick children.

I know what’s going to happen this weekend. I’ll be sitting in front of the telly accompanied by a huge dollop of self-loathing because I didn’t sponsor Barry. Or Val. Or Scoops. I’ll be lying there, examining my depressing pot belly and watching all you stinking, waving, gurning, smug do-gooders jog your way into a sense of achievement, of purpose, of shallow, sweaty, foil-wrapped group happiness. Except the few of you who will dehydrate and vomit over half of London. However, this year I will not feel as bad because in May I am sponsoring my sister who will be home from Hong Kong. She will be taking part in something called “Walk the Walk. Worldwide”

Walk the Walk is a grant making charity committed to raising funds for vital breast cancer causes. Every year thousands of women and men raise money for us by taking on one of our Power Walking challenges which include The Moonwalk London or Edinburgh and The Sun Walk Bristol or Newcastle. Well Suedrip is doing the walk through London. That’s 20 miles ……..at night. I am sponsoring her all the money I would usually spend on cigars and snacks………that’s a lot. And……..if the doctor says I can ……. next year……….I will be joining her. Don’t forget that this year Carnival will continue its support of the Susan Komen On The Deck for the Cure charity and hope like last year many of will show your support.

I want to finish today by talking about travelling as a single guest. I received this comment from Louise:

John
I am new to the blog and I enjoy it very much. I have decided to try Carnival for the first time based mostly on what I have read here about how single cruisers have a wonderful time on Carnival ships. This was not the case when I sailed last year on a ship not that was not a Carnival one. It was my first cruise since my husband of 46 year passed away. We had been on many cruises together (never on Carnival) and had sailed together to May places around the world. Eddie died in 2007 and in 2008 I took a cruise as a single person and it was so awful that I could not wait for it to be over. None of the other passengers spoke to me, there was no effort by the crew to introduce me to others and worst of all they sat me on my own at a table for two. I cried myself to sleep most nights. My question to you is that do Carnival sit their passengers who are travelling alone with others or is it the same as the cruise I experienced last year. I am thinking of taking a cruise on the Carnival Legend.
I see that you wife is expecting a child and I wish you a lot of joy and thank you for making me laugh every day
Jean
Hamilton, Ontario

John Says:
Hello Jean
Thank you for taking the time to write and I welcome you to the blog. I am sue it cannot have been easy writing those words as no doubt they brought back many happy memories of the cruises you shared with your beloved husband Eddie.
Let me start by talking about the dining. I found it dreadful that the cruise line put you at a table on your own – what were they thinking? I know from experience how hard it is to eat alone having done this a lot recently as for the first time Heidi (my wife) was not travelling with me. Solo dining is a lonely pursuit. I even found myself trying to pretend it didn’t matter and that dining alone was something that I wanted to do.
I would sit at the table with a tilt of the head that says, “The fat bloke you are looking at is a fascinating intellectual. Elsewhere are many, many girls I have shooed away with my rolled-up copy of the Miami Herald.”
Although I joke about this, I also promise you that this will not happen if you decide to come and try a cruise with us. You will be at a table with others and if you tell me you would like it, I will make sure you are at a table with other single people your age or any demographic you prefer. You will meet new friends and you will……….I promise….have fun.
So, let me be your guide and I am sure many others who have cruised as a single will post comments for you to read with all the fun facts you need to know from their experiences.
My deepest sympathies at the loss of your husband I will do all I can to help bring a smile to you each day here on the blog thingy and to make sure your next cruise the only tears you cry will be ones born through laughter
Best wishes
John

If any of you have been cruising as a single I would really appreciate you posting a quick note to Jean please.

How bloody ridiculous seating the poor lady on her own………..what were they thinking?

If you want to experience what it’s like to be stared at, don’t go to the extreme of auditioning for American Idol or walking down the street dressed as a baboon. Simply go to a restaurant on your own. I promise you it’s essentially the same feeling. The waitress smiles at you slightly too brightly and laughs at everything you say.

Other diners eye you suspiciously, or just ignore you. Younger children may actually point and laugh. The gap between ordering and getting your food stretches into centuries. But as soon as the food arrives you realize how pitifully few minutes it takes to actually eat a meal, without the distraction of conversation or laughter.

I hated it………………and I can only imagine how Jean must have felt.

OK, it’s nearly time for the weekend and I am going to ask you all for a huge massive Carnival Dream-sized favor. I wondered………….would you mind if I took the weekend off. I know I normally take Sundays off anyway but I really could do with asking your permission to have a weekend off. It’s not just because I have a very busy Saturday with the grocery shopping and other chores usually done by Heidi but it would also allow a weekend off for Stephanie and Vance, as well…….and as I have never taken a full weekend off they have not either. I truly hope you are not to upset about this and I promise a full six days of blog thingies next week.

For the rest of the year I shall be as close to being a vegetarian as I will ever get. I have been doing a lot of research (not with Dr Google) but about what supplements are good for diabetics to eat…….for example cinnamon tablets are apparently very good for people like me. I have also been researching the wonders of those who wear sandals and have beards and eat only green stuff.

Eating a plate of food that contains no animal product of any kind marks you down as a squirrel. Eating only vegetables is like deciding to talk using only consonants. You need vowels or you make no sense.

Of course there are certain weeds I like very much. Cauliflower and leeks particularly. But these are an accompaniment to food, useful only for filling up the plate and absorbing the gravy. The idea of eating only a cauliflower, without even so much as a cheese sauce, fills me with dread but I know I have to do it.

So, by the middle of the year I shall in all sense and purposes become a vegetarian. I will have tattoos and exotic piercings and become an anarchist. “Don’t mind me,” I will say when I come to your house for lunch. “I’ll just have the vegetables.” I will have lost weight but I shall be pale, and flaky, and unbelievably tedious to be around ……………… Vegiebugger.

See you on Monday………….wonder if the Thingy will be here by then?

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.