That's One Ugly Baby…..Oh Bugger….It's Me

April 30, 2009 -

John Heald

I loved my first bike. It was a second hand contraption called a “Chopper” and only one of the three gears worked, but it gave me one of life’s most precious gifts — freedom.

I took it with me to school and roamed free through the village of Eastwood where we lived with the wind in my hair and in my arse and a broad smile on my face. But then I grew up and got a moped and then fell in love with cars and never returned to the land of the bike.

For Heidi and thousands of her clog-wearing Dutch school friends, bike etiquette was very different to anywhere else in the world. You buy a bike — they are all the same color – orange – and when you reach your destination you leave it propped up against the nearest wall along with hundreds of other identical bikes. When your class ends you grab the nearest bike and off you go. This is repeated by every Dutch college student to this day and it’s a system that works to perfection.

I have I said never had a bike ever since, but it seems every other bugger has here in the UK and increasingly they have become an irritation.

I don’t want to sound like a miserable old sod, but why is it that cyclists think the long and winding road was built specifically and only for them?

I think it starts with the outfit — that absurd-looking helmet, and what’s the Lycra all about? No wonder there are so many accidents involving bikes because all of us car drivers are so busy laughing at bottoms that were never made for Lycra that we crash. As for bicycling clips …………well everyone ends up looking like something out of Star Wars with an incontinence problem. Then there’s the attitude: “I ride a bicycle therefore I am as green as Al Gore’s poo and car drivers are the sperm of the devil.”

The ludicrous costume I can deal with: what do I care if cyclists want to look like clowns. But their attitude leads to behavior that interferes with my day-to-day life. Like sailing through red lights without a care in the world. It may be that there is nothing coming and it is safe for them to do this, but that is hardly the point. What gives cyclists the right to flaunt the rules of the road (which, incidentally, I pay for)?

Then again, when they habitually ride the wrong way down one-way streets, weave irritatingly between cars in a traffic jam, ride on the sidewalk and smack the wing mirror of any driver impertinent enough to get in their way, what do you expect?

And if anyone doubts whether cyclists should be banned from the roads let me explain why I am on this anti-bike rant. This morning I was driving Heidi to the doctors for her weekly check up in my polar bear killing machine when a cyclist wobbled in front of me and I very nearly knocked him down. He was, of course, on his cell phone and smoking a cigarette. ……………….my case rests.

Here are today’s questions.

Frank & Bridie Asked:

John please respond

Hi john as you seen we are now forming a committee hear on the east coast of Florida to make sure you come on are dream cruise with Linda Hernacki and her husband Mike (something about a light bulb changer). We had our first meeting today and we all agreed with a unanimous vote that you need to be on the dream on the 5/29/10 cruise. I agree with her we would love to meet you it was also nice to meet someone who is a major cruise nut like us. We all plan on bugging you until we see you on board or here in central Florida.

BIGGER Fans Now

Frank and Bridie

John Says:

Hello Frank and Bridie

Thanks for becoming BIGGER fans and I see you and the Hernackis have formed a union. Well, at some point in the weeks ahead I will have to discuss with the office my 2010 schedule and I will certainly do my best to see if I can spend some time on the Carnival Dream and maybe, just maybe, I will be there when you all are. I look forward to some more bugging

Best wishes

John

Bill Russell Asked:

John, Please Reply

Below is my cruising history. Five cruises since 00. I have not got the Carnival Currents in years. How come?

Thanks,

Bill

11/22/2008 Carnival Freedom Exotic W. Caribbean 7439 8

11/13/2005 Carnival Valor Exotic Western Carib 7365 7

10/30/2004 Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean 7360 7

11/9/2002 Carnival Pride Exotic Western Carib 4178 7

11/12/2000 Carnival Fantasy Freeport & Nassau M126 4

John Says:

Hello Bill

All I can say is that I am so very sorry and it seems we have improved in getting our Carnival Currents magazine to the right people. I don’t have an answer as to why but I can promise that someone will be mailing the newest edition plus this years back copies to you immediately. Please let me know when they arrive and again my sincere apologies

Best Wishes

John

Alicia Asked:

Dear John,

I love reading your blog and had a question I thought others might have.

I’m set to sail 5/17 on the Imagination as a graduation present (PENN STATE 09!) to Cozumel and Key West; however, my boyfriend is freaking out about going to Mexico because of the swine flu.

Am I correct in think that if the situation becomes bad enough, Carnival would probably just send us to a different port or offer a refund? I think they’d have the sense not to send us into an unsafe area.

Please reply. Thank you!

Alicia

John Says:

Hello Alicia

Let’s start with the most important aspect of your comment and that is congratulations on your pending graduation from Penn State University. How brilliant that you will be spending this celebration on-board the Carnival Imagination with your boyfriend. Please do not worry………. The situation is being monitored closely and in a few moments I will include the latest news for you. However, at this time all the Mexican ports our ships call at have been canceled and where possible replaced with another destination. But regardless of where you sail, you will enjoy the sun, the fun, the food and the fantastic entertainment aboard the Carnival Imagination that will make this celebration of the end of your college life and the start of your next journey an unforgettable one. Please keep reading the blog for the latest news and if your boyfriend would like tips on how to propose to you whilst on-board the ship………..please let me know

Best to you both

John

Laura Asked:

Dear John (please reply if you can),

Haven’t seen anything from Carnival regarding the news of the swine flu outbreak coming out of Mexico. I was just wondering if Carnival is monitoring the situation since so many ships go to Mexico (both Riviera and Caribbean side). What is the procedure if things get worse? Will Carnival completely skip any Mexican ports all together? I will be sailing on the Valor May 17 and am sort of worried about losing the chance to visit Cozumel. Thanks!! Looking forward to when thingy makes his (or hers) entrance.

Laura

John Says:

Hello Laura

I am so sorry about the time lag in you posting this important question and me answering it. As you will no doubt know by now Carnival has indeed canceled all calls all the Mexican ports throughout the fleet through next week and we are constantly updating this information on carnival.com (right on the home page where you log in). I will be posting the latest news as soon as I have finished answering today’s questions. Please let me know if you have any other concerns and please also look forward to your Carnival Valor cruise…….it’s going to be fantastic

Best to you and your family

John

Meghan Asked:

Hi John,

Please reply

I am sailing on the Fantasy on May 11. I am very excited because I am visiting my sister Gabby (the dance captain)! I was wondering (because we are traveling to Mexico) what will happen if travel to Mexico will not be allowed due to the swine flu? What then and where would we go?

Thanks,

Meghan

John Says:

Hello Meghan

Let’s start by saying how proud you should be of your sister. She has a wonderful reputation as a dance captain and I am sure you must be so very proud of her. I can totally understand how concerned everyone but we are monitoring this situation closely and have canceled the Mexican ports of call for this week. We’ll be sure to provide additional information as soon as we have it. We are working closely with various government agencies and will be sure to post updated information as soon as it’s available. Please keep reading the blog for the latest news or check daily at www.carnival.com. Please send your sister my warmest regards and I hope you have a super time with her.

Cheers

John

Beatriz Asked:

Hi John (please reply!!!!)

This is Beatriz the operator from Miami HQ, I just wanted to share with you that I’ll be going on first ever cruise next week with my family (hubby and 2 kids, 5 and 2), on the Destiny, and I’m very excited!!=), and since you are the expert in having fun, I wanted to ask you if you could please tell of one activity that I must do. Since I don’t want to miss anything.

Enjoy the birth of your precious little blessing, and please don’t faint while you’re watching…..

Hugs and kisses.

You’re friend from the Miami HQ.

Beatriz G.

John Says:

Hello Beatriz

We were talking about you on the blog thingy the other day and we all are excited that you are going to get to experience your first ever cruise with your family. What not to miss. Well, I would have your camera with you morning, noon and night as there will be so many photo opportunities for you. Don’t miss any of the shows………go to them all. Also, you must watch a movie on the Seaside Theatre big screen one night and for information on the ports of call please attend the cruise director’s talk so you can decide what’s best to do for the family.

Try all the restaurants on the Lido Deck and get ready for little surprises on your bed every night compliments of your stateroom steward. Overall I think that you will be so very proud of the company you have worked so hard for after this experience and we all wish you a terrific time

My best to all the family

John

Brittany Asked:

PLEASE REPLY

Hi John, my name is Brittany. I’m a new reader to your blog and a fairly new cruiser. I’ll be going on my third cruise in May on the Conquest. I have two questions for you but first I want to say how much I admire you for all you do for the passengers of Carnival. I’ve worked in customer service and I know how hard it is to get the good with the bad. I love how, no matter what people say, you let the right people know what’s going on so that the issues get resolved. Not enough companies these days do that and they have no one like you!

So to my questions. 1. Our last cruise was in Jan. on the Fantasy. (Tex was an AMAZING CD and very cute by the way. I swear if he wasn’t married….anyway) We had a wonderful cruise, everything way great except the room steward. We had three in our room, all girls yet he never took the beds apart to make the two twins, even after he was asked. We decided not to let it get to us that he never took the beds apart, so me and my mom shared and my friend took the top, pull down. We also had problems getting towels and the correct forms in our room the last night. My question is, how do you suggest passengers handle things like this? We did call the pursers for the forms, tracked someone down for the towels, and stated our problems on the comment cards. We didn’t remove tips but is there something we should have done? Or did we do everything we could? I know its months later but it really did bother me and I’ve read on Cruise Critic a few stories of the same recently, but on different ships.

My second question is two. I’m starting my own travel blog and I wanted to know what advice you could give me, as far as how to get people to read it and what really to write about. I’m starting it more to write about cruising but I want to talk about travel in general. Any advice is helpful.

Thanks for reading,

Brittany

John Says:

Hello Brittany

Firstly please allow me to say thank you for the kind words. I certainly want this blog to continue to be fun, a little outrageous at times and a place where people can come together and be friends. Obviously the customer service aspect of the blog is also very important and I will continue to do the best I can in this regard.

I was disappointed to hear about the service you received from your stateroom steward. It’s so strange to read a comment like this because whereas we have room to improve in many areas, usually it’s our stateroom stewards that always have their praises sung.

Well, you ask a good question “What do I do if I am not happy?” Well, firstly you must report the situation to the guest service desk or the purser’s office as it used to be known. If a specific comment is made such as the service you received then I can assure you that the matter will be dealt with immediately and if the situation does not improve then further action may be taken. Now, I know you may think “Oh, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble” and that is understandable. However, let me say this. Each and every guest deserves the best service possible and that’s what we strive for. Please don’t feel bad though as many people find it hard to complain………although many of course do not…but regardless we take these comments seriously as it provides an opportunity for improvement.

I will also say this to you and all the bloggers. When the stateroom steward introduces him or herself to you on the first day don’t be shy. Tell them your expectations. Let them know about how you want the beds arranged, etc. Also remember that each deck has a floor supervisor who is in charge of that area of staterooms. If you have any concerns you can always let them know. I think most people who cruise Carnival will tell you that their stateroom steward has been one of the highlights of their vacation which makes me concerned that yours did not meet your expectations.

I was also pleased that you are starting your own travel blog. As for advice on this ………. well………just be yourself. Listen to your thoughts and transpose them to the screen. Remember people need you to be honest so if something goes wrong or you have an opinion …………….write it down and just be yourself. I wish you much success

Best wishes

John

CindyInPA Asked:

**John please reply about Todd Whittmer and the Dream*** Thanks

Hello John, Heidi and Thingy

Glad to hear that you are feeling pretty good Heidi. I am sure the two of you are getting quite excited about the arrival of you little bundle of joy!

I would like to take a minute and wish Princess Laura and Scott a speedy recovery from their car accident!

Also glad to hear that Linda, David, DJ, Carolyn & Don were all safe at Talladega on Sunday, I thought of them as soon as I saw Carl hit the wall. Your guardian angel was with you.

John, my son Cody did get to go to Baltimore on Saturday, unfortunately I didn’t get to go but he and Christina (his nurse) got down there at about 10:30 and stayed until about 5:00. She said it was nice and Cody enjoyed it too. She got some nice pics.

I have a question regarding the Dream and Todd Whittmer. I was wondering just how long he will be on the Dream? We are scheduled on a May 15 sailing and would love to still have him be on board. He was the first Cruise Director we ever had and he was terrific. So if we can’t have you it would be great to have him!

Thanks again for all the great blogs and all the laughs you have given us. Don’t ever feel like you are letting us down by taking time off! You deserve it, as does Stephanie and Vance! You ALL do a wonderful job and deserve much recognition.

Take Care

Cindy & Kevin Billet

John Says:

Hello Cindy

Thank you for the kind words for Heidi and I and also those for Scott and Laura. I will once again be asking my pal Big Ed to post the latest news today as I understand she is due to have surgery this morning.

I just watched the video that Linda posted and indeed it looked pretty horrific. I was also thinking that Linda should make a Supernanny type series………..she is a wonderful Mum.

I am so glad you enjoyed Todd. He is a great guy and a brilliant CD. There is a good chance he will still be on the Carnival Dream come May but the 2010 schedule is yet to be confirmed so as soon as it is I will of course let you know. I am so glad you continue to enjoy the blog and I hope you do so for a long time to come

Cheers

John

Erin W. Asked:

Dear John – Please Reply!!

I’m back from a wonderful vacation on the Glory – I saw Butch and the Glory gang! HE loved the hat – thanks so much for the suggestion! Also thanks a lot for the wonderful gift – it was much appreciated!! We are ready to book our next cruise for Sept, Oct and also Dec, Jan and I am wondering if you will be posting the CD schedule soon? I don’t want to miss out on the Early Saver, LOL

Thanks! – Erin W.

John Says:

Hello Erin

Welcome back and it sounds like you had a terrific time with Butch and the crew of the Carnival Glory. The new CD schedule is hold for a few more days while we wait for Chris to fully recover and return to the office and then as soon as it is I will be posting it here on the blog for everyone. Are you coming on the bloggers cruise on the Carnival Dream? Anyway, I will get the schedule posted as soon as I can. Thanks for taking care of Butch and hope to see you soon

Cheers

John

Missingthesmokefreeparadise Asked:

John – PLEASE REPLY

I find your reticence to learn to dance bewildering. Girls love men who can dance – trust me, I know.

When I was younger and more vertical than horizontal, all I could do was flail around and/or stand and sway.

As you know, over ten years ago I said yes and began my journey to becoming a dancer. The Mrs. and I took lessons in adult classes. Because of these lessons, we were able to “eat and dance” our way across the Caribbean on our first cruise in July 1999.

Since then, we have always enjoyed dancing on the cruises and at other events. Got tickets to a ball that needs bodies – no problem, give them to me and the Mrs. & I will attend. If you go back and look at the film of the piñata event, you will see the two of us twisting and twirling to the tunes of whoever the Jimmy Buffet cover band was.

So, my advice is “suck it up and please your woman” – either that or the next time we cruise together (or the first, depending on your thinking), I will steal your women and trip the lights fandango.

Dancingisforlovers (new screen name, I foresee)

John Says:

Hello Missingdancingwithmrsmissingthesmokefreeparadise

I have seen you dancing to John and Diane and as you glided across the dance floor I realized that you were the perfect husband. Dancing and me go together like the French and manners……………….enough said

Best to you both

John

Laurie Bendick Asked:

John (Please Reply)

We just sailed on the Prides last sailing out of Miami 4/18. It was great. One thing that I am confused about is the cruise director. He announced that he HAD TO retire after Cozumel port and would be working with Carnival anymore; I found this odd to change directors in the middle of the cruise. He said it was due to immigration. Is this normal?

John Says:

Hello Laurie

I guess we are talking about Mark Price who certainly did not have to retire. In fact Roger Blum and I tried all we could to get him to stay. I will say that he was a little burned out I think and certainly needed to get ashore. I should also say that he was also referring to the United States immigration law that sates that any crewmember disembarking in the United States and intending to stay there on vacation, etc. must not work after the vessel leaves the last port of call…….in this case Cozumel. So, I think there may have been a mixed message there and regardless I hope he had fun with you all his last cruise ………… did he? I wish him all the best and hope he finds happiness in whatever he does because he was a great cruise director.

I remain at your service

Best wishes

John

Matt T Asked:

Hey John (PLEASE REPLY),

Thinking of you, Heidi, and the Thingy, and I cannot imagine how excited you much be. It really is special that we have all been able to follow along with you all 9 months, and it really is just one of many things that have brought this blog together.

In regards to the hypnotist, we have once seen a great hypnotist on a Princess ship, and varied entertainment when possible always makes a cruise interesting.

Now I have a VERY important question for you, and any opinion/info/advice would be greatly

appreciated.

I am trying to plan a family cruise (5 cabins). I would like two cabins for us (2 adults and 2 older teenagers), one cabin for two seniors, and two cabins for some first time cruisers (2 adults and three kids 10 and under). We are looking at the Dream New Year’s sailing. I have been working hard to convince the to-be first time cruisers to come along with us and try cruising instead of their yearly holiday at a resort, and they have agreed as they know there would be something special about them trying out cruising with the family and celebrating several occasions whole onboard.

Their only requirement (which given the situation that they are first time cruisers with young kids and want to feel comfortable with the arrangements they made before they go) is that they get a decent sized room where they do not feel too cramped (because they are concerned that they will feel too cramped in cruise ship rooms) that is either big enough for the 5 of them (a suite) or that connects from the inside.

Unfortunately, they really do not want the deluxe ocean view room for five as they would prefer the little kids not to sleep on bunk beds and would like more room than 230 square feet for five people. This is where we run into the problem…

I have spoken to several people from Carnival (2 pvp’s, a supervisor, someone in revenue management where I was directed and left alone with not such a friendly person to say the least, in addition to my travel agent. I feel that Carnival is doing nothing to at least try to accommodate this first-time cruising family of 5. First, there is only one category of room that holds five. They said they would be willing to get a suite, but they do not hold five guests. They were willing to get a connecting ocean view with balcony (I was surprised to hear that one or two of those do exist), a connecting ocean view and ocean view, or connecting balconies (depending on the price as it is already an expensive sailing and that might be getting a little too expensive).

Carnival does not make many connecting rooms for three and 2 people (which makes sense from a business point of view but not for an accommodation point of view as there are many families of 5). The frustrating thing is that there are bunches of remaining ocean view staterooms for four and two people that connect. Carnival has insisted (and in the case when I spoke to someone in the rev. manag. dept., rudely insisted) that they will NOT accommodate the family of five in a two person 4 person room (which they can sometimes do as the pvps told me), despite the fact that a bunch are available. Every single bed must go sold.

It really unfortunately comes down to this. Hopefully Carnival will be able to accommodate my relatives in a four person 2 person room even though there are only three and 2 people (to try to show them that Carnival is willing to work with them). Yes, Carnival might be losing out on one single birth of quadruple occupancy (which might end up being limited in the future anyway which I know happens). I wish Carnival would look at it in the sense that they MIGHT lose one occupancy by letting 3 people in the 4 person ocean view room, but at the same time, the WILL be gaining FIVE additional future cruisers who I KNOW will have a good time and cruise Carnival again. From Carnival’s point of view, isn’t five better than one? Then next time, they will probably realize that they really don’t need to connect on the inside, and we will only have this problem to deal with once.

This is all it will take to get them to come along with us: finding them two rooms that connect (preferably ocean view). Since they do not make many categories for five and since there are not many connecting options for three and 2 but rather only good connecting options for 4 and 2, I am really hoping that one person at Carnival will sacrifice one birth/bed to accommodate 5 new cruisers and make them future cruisers. We are ready to book… just waiting to see if our whole family can cruise together.

Sorry if I repeated myself a little or for the post being a little lengthily… I just wanted to be as clear as possible. If you have any advice or info, my whole family really does appreciate it as it would allow us to take a family cruise together on the one date of the year we all can on the one ship that we all want to try.

Thanks SO much for your help John. Keep up the blogging… your the best.

-Matt (and family)

John Says:

Hello Matt

OK, where to start. How about with an apology for whoever it was you spoke to on the phone…… In a moment I am going to send your requests to someone who maybe able to help and or explain your options better than I. I do want to though say that the five berth (two bathroom) cabins are some of the largest family cabins at sea and having that second bathroom makes a huge difference. Remember the beds fold into the wall and ceiling and the large sofa can also be made into a bed………just a thought.

I don’t have the deck plans here with me so I won’t comment on the connecting rooms or the four person/two person situation you wrote about until I have spoken later today with someone in Miami. The bottom line is that we will do all we can to accommodate you so that you can all spend the New Years cruise together having fun on the Carnival Dream …….. as ship you must see.

So, please allow me a little time and I will make sure someone contacts you and or I will post the response on the blog. My best to you and all the family and thanks again for raising you concerns

John

That’s all for today and there will be of course more tomorrow. Please let me know if I can help you in anyway.

So, here is the latest Swine Flu update.

Miami – April 29, 2009 7:00PM

Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled port of call visits to Mexico for 11 of its ships that are currently operating voyages and had scheduled stops in Mexico.

Additionally, for the 15 ships departing between Thursday, April 30 and Monday, May 4 with itineraries including calls in Mexican ports, those schedules have been modified. In many instances, the modification simply involved substituting an alternate port. Click here to see the details on the modified itineraries.

Guests who do not wish to sail on a modified itinerary may opt to receive a refund in the form of a future cruise credit equal to the full amount paid for the voyage. The credit may be applied to an alternate sailing departing through the end of 2010. Compensation for missed ports/altered itineraries (where applicable) for guests who sail varies by itinerary.

With four and five-day cruises from Galveston and New Orleans that are being converted to seven-day voyages, those guests may opt to receive their refund in the form of a future cruise credit or money back.

For cruises departing after May 4, an update will be provided in the near future. Guests are encouraged to check carnival.com periodically for further updates.

MEASURES TO SUPPORT A HEALTHY CRUISE ENVIRONMENT

Carnival Cruise Lines is dedicated to the health and safety of all guests and crew. The recent emergence of swine flu has caused concern among public health authorities and the traveling public. Although there have been no suspected or confirmed reports of swine flu on any Carnival cruise ship, we have proactively taken increased health and safety measures as a matter of caution.

Carnival has developed an aggressive protocol to help prevent the introduction and/or spread of infectious diseases. All guests and embarking crew will be given a pre-boarding health questionnaire and medical staff will be available to conduct additional screening of guests, crew and visitors as necessary. Anyone who has an illness of international public health concern will not be permitted to sail.

Carnival maintains close coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and utilizes very stringent recommended sanitation protocols to minimize the possibility of viral transmission of infectious diseases. Our onboard medical centers have supplies of antiviral medications, personal protective equipment and appropriate diagnostic test kits, as recommended by the CDC.

For further information on swine influenza, visit the CDC’s web site at www.cdc.gov.

You have to feel for a young man called Brad Calabrese who is currently in his first week as cruise director on the Carnival Splendor which goes to three Mexican ports. Well, what a first week he is having and how wonderfully he is handling the people who are not best pleased that these ports have been canceled. As you can see from the above schedule one of the Mexican ports has been replaced with San Francisco and while undoubtedly most people are disappointed with the itinerary change, about 80 or so decided to voice their opinions as a group in the lobby. I have read on the Cruise Critic boards how many of the 80 hurled abuse at the poor guest service desk personnel and the security guards …….. why? ……….. why swear and curse and shout at a 22-year-old Brazilian purser or a security guard from India?

Do these people honestly think that insulting these people who have absolutely nothing to do with the decisions made by our head office will make things better? I have seen this time and time again during my 20-plus years and it never ceases to amaze me. Why is it that out of 3,000 people this small band of people feel that this is the road to take? …………. a road of abuse to people just doing their jobs. Obviously I understand that people are emotional and upset that the ports they expected to call at are canceled but who can 2,920 people take the news calmly and try to understand while 80 passengers have to be so very nasty.

I read that Brad came down to the lobby, escorted the guests into the main theater and spoke to them, listened to them and said he would pass their concerns to those in the office. You know what?…..If you want to shout, swear and scream……shout at the CD or the captain….or the hotel director. These men and women are at least paid to be in a position of responsibility. But please, swearing and threatening a young lady junior officer really, really makes me mad and in my opinion along with the equipment we provide them with, a pen, a notebook and a telephone we should also give them a cattle prod.

Anyway, whereas in the Caribbean we can at least try to find alternative ports — Belize, Nassau, Freeport, Grand Turk, etc. The alternative choices for the Mexican Riviera are …. well….bugger all. I am so sorry that we have had to make these changes and I want to say thank you to the 99% of passengers who took the news with dignity and understanding and apologize to the crew who had to face the abuse they did….and well done Brad.

I will see if I can get an update from him today.

I am not a handsome man. I know this, you know this and many women will tell you that the sight of me naked is enough to have them vomiting into the nearest receptacle.

However, my defence is that I was born this way. I was an ugly baby. I was so ugly in fact that my Mum sat me in a corner and fed me with a slingshot.

Whereas I had bugger all choice and had to be happy with what the good Lord gave me, manmade objects need not be built or designed anything but drop dead gorgeous. Right now, I’m looking at a photo of the Norwegian Epic and I’m sorry, but there’s no getting away from the big, all-consuming, overpowering fact that despite the fact that the rest of their fleet looks good, no one in their right mind will sail on such a thing. Because it looks like it’s been hosed down with a massive and sustained burst of fire from the ugly gun. I would at this point like to post a photo of the ship but I am sure that wouldn’t be proper so I shall just ask you to have a chat with Mr. Google and see for yourself.

There is no excuse for this. There are designers at NCL who can create a pretty car. But NCL obviously felt that when it came to the Epic, the NCL badge alone would be enough to carry the day. And therefore allowed the styling to be done by the president’s dog.

They are wrong. No one will buy an ugly sofa, no matter how comfortable or cheap it might be. And while women harbor the romance fiction notion that men find kindness, a good heart and a sense of humor important when looking for a spouse, the fact is that what we really want is a chest like the Alps, legs like of pure silk that go all the way to heaven and a face like Catherine Zeta Jones.

Some of the paintings Park West sell onboard are sensational. But if the subject matter is George Clooney’s scrotum, I would not be inclined to buy one, no matter how deft the brushwork, or how well the artist captures the natural light, because I would not find this attractive.

And look at animals. If I told you the Dobsonfly – the ugliest creature ever to walk the earth – was in danger of extinction, some of you wouldn’t have a problem with it. If, on the other hand, I showed you a picture of some cute little tiger cub that was about to be devoured by a Chinese person wanted its bones to make his penis bigger, you’d be on the first plane to Beijing ready to protest.

So, ugliness is something that I have a masters’ degree in and to prove the fact even more here is a photo of me when I was 8. I was playing the part of Robin Hood and as you see I am about to stab Julie Kirsting in the head with a knife while Tong Langster looks on in horror.

john-robin-hood

God I was ugly. Tony went on to be a fashion designer and is married to a man named Luke. As for Julie ………well she, like many other women refused to talk to me when later on in our school life I stuck a mirror on my shoe to see up her skirt.

One can only hope that the Thingy looks like Heidi and not me (see photo below)…. or the Norwegian Epic

john-baby

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.