Wii Wee

May 4, 2009 -

John Heald

I can’t go out on my own or with my friends unless Heidi comes with me……….just in case……….the Thingy burrows his or her way out through the love tunnel and says hi to the world. So………I resorted to murder.

Last night, I killed seven men. I slaughtered the first couple of chaps by blowing their heads clean from their bodies with a good old-fashioned double barrelled pump action shotgun, and then for the third one, who was nine-feet high and wearing body armor that was bristling with alien technology, I had to use a pulse cannon. The remaining four I used a mixture of knives, axes and a crossbow.

That’s the thing with console games: they offer perfect escapism. This weekend I have travelled to distant lands, driven a Lamborghini at 150 mph over a cliff, looked for the lost tribe of Ugabuga in an Amazon jungle emptied all manner of artillery into the bastard French and become a Shaolin Kung Fu master fighting alongside a fat panda. Yep ……. I quite like my Ninentostationplaybox360 thingy

Then yesterday, Alan my ugly friend came over and brought his Wii Wee game. I have I admit never seen the point of the Wee Wii

Now, after playing on an Alan’s one, I’ve changed my mind. ………….It is, in fact ……….. bollocks. For a start the graphics are childlike and wrong. It’s too “Disney” bright and the graphics are as flat as Kate Moss’s chest.

Here’s the real reason not to like it, though……………..it’s the games.

Wii Wee baseball, Wii Wee Tennis and Wii Wee bowling appear to be the most popular according to Alan, but what the hell sort of computer game are they? ……………I don’t get.

You can play tennis in real life, so what’s the point of replicating it on a bloody computer? You want to play golf? Then go outside and pick up a golfing stick, you lazy bugger. Proper computer games are the ones that let you do things you can’t actually do. I want to behead an ugly alien monster creature using my Samurai sword but I can hardly nip down to the shopping mall to have a go at that, can I? Okay, granted, I could go to where they film Judge Judy and find something not dissimilar, but you see my point.

I want to indulge myself in pure fantasy on a game console………….who the hell wants to do Wii Wee Aerobics? I want patrol the planet Youpayforsteakhere (or Uranus as its sometimes known) and using my phaser cannon kick some serious Royal Champion butt. Yes, I’m beyond terrible and wouldn’t even get as far as the first stage before being thrown to my death from the top of the climbing wall, but, hey, rather that than a Wii Wee game of tennis. I want to take control of a Splendormagicdream space warbird and go up against those bastards from the planet Epic who are the ugliest aliens in the universe. I want to use stealth technology and a huge photon torpedo in my quest to destroy the strange alien vessels known only by their mark………………..an X

And what did Alan suggest we play on his Wii Wee game? ………… Duck shooting.

“But the Wii keeps you fit,” said my mate.

You want exercise? Okay, what you need to do is this. Take the Wii to an actual, real-life bowling alley. Line yourself up carefully, with the Wii gripped firmly in your hand. Now, when you’re comfy, run full pelt down the lane as fast as you can. Then, when you get to the pins, use them to smash up the Wii. And then take the bits to the park and throw them at a duck………….Wii my arse.

Here come today’s questions.

Phil & Liz Asked:

Hello John & the gang,

John-please respond:

With the swine flu thing creating havoc with items, it occurred to me there is an issue with the sailings from Long Beach California to San Diego to Catalina and then to Ensenada. If you can’t go to Ensenada, what will be the non US port so that you don’t go amiss of the Jones Act?

Phil & Liz

John Says:

Hello Phil and Liz

The change in our Mexican calls is certainly something out of the ordinary and in some instances we have been making a service call only in a Mexican port with no one getting on or off and in other instances, such as the case you reference above, we will expect to be issued a notice of violation and will request mitigation based on these unusual circumstances. For ships such as the Carnival Splendor, which sails to three ports along Mexican Riviera, we’ve switched the calls for the May 3 voyage to San Francisco, Seattle and Victoria (the May 10 cruise will call at Victoria and Vancouver)………I like the sound of those itineraries by the way. Some people have asked here on the blog if we could take the Carnival Splendor to Hawaii which would be brilliant but this would turn a seven-day cruise into a 14-day voyage. So, at times like these there are many variables that do come into play but we are trying our best to find the best cruise for everyone under unusual circumstances. Thanks for the excellent question and if you need anything else I shall be here for you.

Best wishes

John

PennyB Asked:

Hi John, Heidi, and baby,

Heidi, hurry up if you want the April baby and diamonds! We still have a few more hours left! Good luck.

John, please reply. On the Freedom last fall (Med) we had a wonderful asst. maitre de whom we called “Chubbie” – real name was similar but spelled much differently. He did such a wonderful job. I’m wondering if he stayed on Freedom or has gone to another ship. He shared pictures of his family with us and took good care of our table. Please let me know where he is.

Thanks,

PennyB

PS – next year you’ll be showing pictures of your baby!

John Says:

Hello Penny B

It’s too late for an April Thingy so we are aiming for Mother’s Day….May 10. I am not sure who Chubbie is but please let me check and see if anyone currently onboard the Carnival Freedom knows who this person is and which ship he is currently on. He obviously made a wonderful impression on you and that’s great to hear. Thanks for the kind words and I will be back to you shortly with any information.

Best wishes

John

PENNY – just received the news that his real name is Csaba from Hungry and he is currently serving on the Carnival Triumph.

Cheers

John

Wendy Asked:

“Please Reply”

Dear John,

I e-mailed you a few weeks ago with a please reply but you missed it. That’s OK, because it was about our cruise on May 3rd on the Carnival Splendor. Guess what? We won’t be able to go, the virus is near us and if we get it we don’t want to infect the rest of the ship and crew. The change is just what I thought Carnival would plan and fine with me. I am proud of Carnival. As a stock holder I realise the lost financially but the health and well being of the crew and passengers has to be the priority. We will be rescheduling our trip. We are a little disappointed but this will be our 14th cruise 6th on Carnival and prefer to go and have fun rather than worrying about what if’s. We would have gone on May 3rd with the new schedule but because we are close to a possible victim have decided not to go.

Thank You Carnival!

Wendy

P.S. Max D. is the best personal reservationist!

John Says:

Hello Wendy

I was sorry to learn that you decided to postpone your cruise due to the current swine flu situation. I am sure you and the family were really looking forward to sailing on your sixth Carnival cruise. However, I was delighted to read of your praise for Carnival management and their handling of this difficult situation. As a share holder I am sure you realize the timing of this along with the credit crunch is proving to make challenging times even more so. Yet, as always Carnival decided to look after their passengers by giving them a choice to cruise now……or later and that as you said is something to stand up and applaud about.

I am sorry I missed your question last week and if it was one you would still like an answer for I remain here at your service.

I hope it’s not too long before you sail with us again

Best wishes

John

Mark Asked:

John please reply

I know you are soon going to be a very busy Dad. I’m sure you and Heidi are getting more excited with each day the big event gets closer. You will remember every minute and treasure the moment forever.

My question for you is this: We are sailing on the Liberty on May 23. It is a celebration cruise bringing two of our three sons and their girlfriends for a college graduation celebration trip. One graduated a year ago in May, and the other graduates next week. It is also my wife’s birthday on the 24th. This is the first time I can surprise her with a cake, since in some previous cruises we have cruised on my birthday. As you can see, we have a lot to celebrate.

If all that isn’t enough, my son is planning to propose to his girlfriend at some point on this cruise. I can’t think of a greater place for us to all enjoy that moment. She is a great girl, and we are really happy he wants to pop the question in our presence, much less on a Carnival cruise.

Which brings me to the question? I know in previous blogs you said Butch may be the cruise director soon on the Liberty. I see on the cd schedule that Steve is going off the day we get on. Will Butch be the cd, and how does my son or I go about arranging a chance at him doing a public proposal? My son has asked me if I could look into this. His girlfriend has always said if she was ever to get engaged, she would hope that it would be in public, around people so they could all enjoy it. What better place to do that, than in front of a shipful of cruisers. I have seen you and other cd’s arrange that on your ships on past cruises. It is always such a great highlight for the couple.

If you could point me in the right direction, or have a suggestion or two about how to go about this, I would truly be grateful.

Thanks for all you do to brighten everyone’s day with your blog. Even on a bad day, it almost always brings me to smile when reading your refreshing humorous take on the world. And believe me; I don’t ever want to be one of those guest complaint cards on your cruise.

Good luck over the next days. I hope you and Heidi don’t have to wait much longer.

John Says:

Hello Mark

How wonderful that all those special celebrations will be enjoyed as a family on the Carnival Liberty. I absolutely love it when I read about families coming together like yours is to enjoy the fun of a Carnival cruise.

You asked about Butch who is indeed going to be the cruise director for your family vacation. I am sure we can find the right time and place for a very public proposal.

So, what I need you to do is send me your cabin number and I will make sure you are contacted. You can then pass the information on to your son. This is in case we call and his girlfriend answers the phone. So, let me know your full name and cabin number and I will put the plan into motion.

I am glad you are enjoying the blog and I hope it brings a smile to your face each day. I look forward to hearing from you and I send my best wishes to you and all the family

John

Fraser Asked:

John,

Please Reply,

If 80 people gather on a street and yell and curse it usually involves the police and people getting arrested, its called disorderly conduct. I realize Carnival is a business but how much do the wonderful people on board have to put up with. They work tirelessly to make sure we have a wonderful time on our vacation and only deserve praise. If I had been there I would have told these people to “Bugger off” and be happy that Carnival cares enough to make the tough decision to suspend a port. Better to enjoy your vacation then to get sick

John you need to wear that white outfit for your bedtime story, imagine the laughs you would get with that. I have never cruised with you but have heard about your bedtime story, do you have this on video.

John give Brad a pat on the back, I work in customer service and there is never a reason to be treated that way and I am sure he handled it well.

Hopefully by the time you read this the thingy will no longer be the thingy but a Healthy Beautiful baby

My best to Heidi and the Thingy

Good Night,

Fraser

John Says:

Hello Fraser

Thanks for the fantastic words of support. I think you will agree with me that Brad and the staff of the Carnival Splendor handled this small group of unhappy people brilliantly and I am sure that at the end of the cruise the vast majority of guests disembarked with a happy and content feeling that comes from taking a Carnival cruise.

The bedtime story is something I guess that has become a trademark thingy of mine. I have never put the whole thing on the blog as it is different every time but due to the many requests I get for this to happen I promise that when I rejoin the Carnival Freedom in June I will put some of the highlights on the blog thingy. I hope one day you can cruise with me and see it live and in person.

Once again I thank you for the kind support of the crew and for the best wishes to Heidi and the Thingy.

I send my best wishes to you and the family

John

Luther Miller Asked:

John, I have been reading your blog for a few months now and have become an avid fan of yours and Carnival. I have been on 2 cruises (Carnival Sensation and Carnival Inspiration). We are due to sail on the Carnival Freedom on 5/23/09 and are getting really excited but are a little disappointed that you won’t be the CD. My question is this: My wife (Dang) is also a diabetic and as you know, needs to test her blood-sugar several times a day and she is worried about what to do with the needles. Do you have any suggestions? Our best to you, Heidi and Thingy.

John Says:

Hello Luther

I am so glad that you have discovered the blog and I am sorry though that I will not be the cruise director for your May 23 voyage. I see that your wife is, like me, diabetic and I want to assure you that she will be absolutely fine during the voyage. Please can you send me another post marked “John, please reply” a week before you sail including your state room number and I will make sure a “sharps container” is placed in the cabin for her to deposit her lancets in. The stateroom steward will then dispose of them accordingly. This is something that we do all the time so please don’t worry at all. If she has any other concerns I will be happy to help in any way I can.

Have a fantastic cruise and don’t forget to remind me before you sail

Best wishes

John

Randi Asked:

John – please reply:

It appears each Carnival ship is now doing a Walk for the Cure during each voyage.

Would you kindly suggest to the proper person that a group picture after the walk would be a wonderful idea? I know in our group we had several walking in memory of their mom’s and a picture (it should also be highlighted on the DVD) would be appreciated by many. Thanks for all you do (and Stephanie too)!

John Says:

Hello Randi

I am glad you took the time to acknowledge the On the Deck for the Cure walk we often hold on the ships. We do this when we receive the supplies of T-shirts and wrist bands. Over the past few years, Carnival has raised many thousands of dollars toward the continuing fight to find a cure for breast cancer. I have been onboard myself hosting this event and indeed at the end we always took a group photo. Here is one we took on the Carnival Freedom

ondeck

These should be taken after each walk and I will ask the fleet to make sure that if possible this be done as I agree with you…………..it makes for a very special memory.

Thanks for the reminder.

Best wishes to you and the family

John

Ducky Asked:

Hi John,

Somewhere in the bowels of the family photo archive is a picture of my 2 younger sisters wearing the same Robin Hood outfits for their ballet class?

Please respond. When I saw the itinerary change for the Splendor next week (San Francisco, Seattle and Victoria) I thought hey, that would be a great spring/summer cruise itinerary. I think you guys should keep it after the H1N1 (formally know as Swine Flu) scare has passed, at least for some sailings anyway.

Best of luck to you and Heidi and the imminent arrival of Thingy.

John Says:

Hello Ducky

Its quite scary looking back at photos of when I was young……………God I was ugly.

It will indeed be interesting to see how popular the itinerary you mentioned to Seattle, San Francisco and actually is. Certainly the Carnival Splendor is the right ship to undertake this voyage as I will be talking about a little later in today’s blog.

We all hope indeed that the swine flu itinerary changes will end and we can all get back to normal.

Thanes for the very kind words

Best wishes

John

Erin W. Asked:

John – Please Reply!

I completely understand about Chris and hope that he continues to do well and returns to work soon! Would it be possible to ask you to confirm the CD of 2 of the cruises that I would like to book this week? The other 2 can wait until the schedule comes out??

September 19th – Liberty

November 13th – Dream (I hope this one is you)

The bloggers cruise on the Dream is on my radar but it may conflict with another obligation – if so I would like to see the Dream while it is in a port close to me.

I indeed had fun with Butch (whom I now call Little Brother!) and the crew. In fact I would like to send them some of the pictures from last week. My question her is that I found the address to the Glory but it says that I need to put the crew number on the envelope…is this necessary if I have the first and last name and the position?

Thanks John – How much longer until the Thingy??

John Says:

Hello Erin

I just spoke to Chris Prideaux on the phone and he is progressing each and every day. He hopes to be back in the office by the end of this May and it will be great to have him home. At the time of writing the cruise director of the Carnival Liberty in September will be Butch although this may change depending on what happens. I will be able to confirm this by mid June. The cruise director for the Carnival Dream will be Todd Wittmer who has some fantastic new ideas and will be do a brilliant job there for sure.

I will be the cruise director on the Carnival Freedom in June to the end of August and maybe on another ship in October before the bloggers cruise……..I am not sure where yet.

I hope this helps and I will post the CD schedule as soon as Chris returns

Best wishes

John

Eric R Thayer Asked:

Please Reply:

John, does Carnival have an “Orange County Choppers” company motorcycle and if so, do you have any photos of it? If not, do you know if they are going to commission one to be built?

Eric

John Says:

Hello Eric

I have to admit something here mate and I say this with total respect and a huge dollop of apology…………but I haven’t a bloody clue what a Orange County Chopper Motorcycle is and why Carnival should have one. So please, can you send me a few details and help a thick Englishman help answer your question.

Many thanks mate

Cheers

John

Marge & George Ribas Asked:

Hi John,

I have been trying to send you a note on your blog but for some reason I can’t make it work.

My husband George & I along with our group of a total 24 will be sailing on the Spirit July 15, 2009 for a wonderful Alaskan Cruise.

This is our second cruise on the Spirit. I think it’s our 25 cruise with Carnival.

We would like to be seated together with a table of ten, and two tables of 6 as close together as we can get.

Do you think this is possible?

This is going to be our first cruise without you John in a very long time. I hope we have as much fun with the Spirit’s CD as we had with you. We were with you last year on the Splendor in the Baltic. All the best and much love to you and Heidi and The Thingy.

Hope you can help us out. Thank you ever so much.

Marge & George Ribas

John Says:

Hello Marge and George

I am glad you finally got through to me and I am sorry your previous posting asking for a reply got lost somewhere. Straight away I want to say a huge thank you for sailing 25 times with Carnival and I am sure you are just as excited for cruise number 26 to Alaska on the beautiful Carnival Spirit.

I will be honored to try and help you with your dining requests and therefore I would ask that two weeks before you sail you send me a reminder including all the stateroom numbers involved in your family group. I will then do my very best to make this happen for you.

I wish I could be there with you

Best wishes to you and all the family and I hope you have some amazing memories of our time in the Baltic together

John

That’s all for today. By the way, if any of you are waiting for information or a question to be answered that I said I would get back to you on and I haven’t………please remind me. I am answering 60 plus questions a week and I apologize if I have forgotten to follow up on any.

The comments have made for some fascinating reading recently and I especially wanted to say thanks for the support you showed for Brad the CD of the Carnival Splendor. I think you will all agree that he handled the situation brilliantly and he certainly deserves all the accolades.

I just wanted to mention one other very important thing regarding the Carnival Splendor. I did read some concern about the ship sailing to destinations with colder temperatures and that some were concerned that they would not be able to enjoy the days at sea because it would be too cold.

Well, if there is one ship you want in that situation it’s the Carnival Splendor. Why? Well, it is because of her retractable dome which is simply brilliant. I spent three months sailing the Baltic where temperatures can at times be…….ummmm………..Baltic. But that didn’t matter because with the press of a button the entire main pool……the whirlpools ……. the bars and outside dining areas are covered by a huge glass roof making it as warm and cuddly as …………………me.

Seriously, this was godsend at times and even though the temperatures were at times a little on the cool side, you could walk out onto deck 9 and 10 and the scene would be just like a sea day in the Caribbean with people enjoying the pool, the fun events and the live music and of course the Seaside Theatre Big Screen. So…….if you are booked on a cruise on the Carnival Splendor these next few weeks consider yourself blessed because you have the retractable dome allowing you to have the perfect day at sea.

As for Victoria and Seattle………..well, I thought you may enjoy a first look at some of the tours we are offering in these two wonderful ports of call

seattle-050109

seattle-050109-2

victoria-050109

victoria-050109-2

Carnival continues to monitor the situation on a daily basis and as always please check www.carnival.com for updates.

As always, if you have any concerns and need someone to talk to please let me know. Please also may I kindly remind you that we would love to read your reviews here on the blog as well? Your honest opinions will be so useful to all the top management who read the blog thingy and of course any items of praise will also be forwarded directly to those concerned. Thanks in advance

So, this week……. a little later than planned the focus (apart from the Thingy) will be on the two Bloggers Cruises on the Carnival Dream. then, on Friday I will write about some of the plans we have for these two voyages but just for know let me remind you of the dates and itineraries.

Well……..actually………I am going to let the beautiful and talented Stephanie Leavitt remind you because I have forgotten the dates. I have them written down on my note book but I can’t find it anywhere and it’s probably buried underneath the mountain of diapers which seem to be stored in my office ……..why here and not the nursery I don’t know and as Heidi’s hormones are up and down like Paris Hilton’s underwear I shan’t be asking. So, here is the lovely Stephanie to remind you about the two bloggers cruises.

Hi Everyone,

The dates for the two Carnival Dream blogger’s cruises are:

November 15, 2009 sailing from New York- 8 days to the Bahamas

December 3, 2009 sailing from Port Canaveral – 9 days to the Eastern Caribbean

Please be sure to book with code CPBL/PBL in order to be included on all the special events!

For more information click here.

Have a great day!

Stephanie

Thanks Stephanie. Now, I have some very special plans for these cruises more of which I will tell you about later this week. However, the attraction of sailing on the Carnival Dream is surely the biggest incentive to join this wonderful community and family of bloggers…….more details on this very soon.

We are still waiting as I said. Saturday morning saw us at the hospital for Heidi to have something called a “growth” scan. This was too measure the final growth of the Thingy which seems to be good. Before the scan started Heidi made sure she told the technician nurse person that we didn’t want any sex………sorry……..that’s what I am used to her saying……..what she actually said was that she didn’t want to know the sex of the Thingy.

And even though we didn’t see if the Thingy has a thingy we did see its face and apart from me telling you that the poor sod has my nose……..I am unable to put into sentiment what I felt. Then Heidi had to have a baby monitor on her for 30 minutes as the doctor tested the heartbeat and the number of times it moved. This was not too pleasant because every 10 minutes the nurse would come into the room……..look at the readout which looked like one of those polygraph test things and say “mmmm” or “OK,” …….. and despite our looks of eagerness she would then bugger off without telling us what the “mmmm” meant.

This made Heidi very nervous indeed because of course she didn’t know if anything was wrong. I was at the point of leaving the room to find Nurse MMMMMMM and demand she tell us what was happening when she and the doctor returned. They were very happy with everything. The Thingy had excellent heartbeat and the blood flow to something called the placenta was perfect and the recorded movements the Thingy had made during the 30 minutes of monitoring were excellent. The Doctor then went over the results of the scan and said that the Thingy would probably be around 7 pounds 4 ounces.

Heidi was much happier then as was I. All that was left was for Heidi to have her blood pressure checked which again was perfect and all was going well right up to the point when Heidi had to provide a urine test to check their was no protein in there. As she handed the specimen cup to the nurse I said, “Are you taking the piss?”…….and that was me in the doghouse.

Talking of toilets as I often do……..later that night we went to dinner with our friends Alison and Paul. Three times during the meal Heidi said she had to pee and, of course, each time Alison went with her…..I know this is an age-old question but why do women need to go to the bathroom……………together?

I am not going to try and bother to figure out why. I have asked Heidi and she said “We just talk” and apparently women will go to the bathroom and talk to women they have never met before while in there………a man would never do that.

A man must never make small talk with another man in the toilets. You may give a perceptible nod of the head…….but that’s it. It’s eyes front at all times and no peeking at another man’s thingy or even the man himself is allowed while standing at the urinals.

It is the law that a man must allow there to be one empty urinal between you and the other guy.

It is permissible to try and shoot down any stray objects on the rims of the urinal provided there are no other men in the area. However it is not acceptable to try and play soccer with the orange disinfectant balls……..that’s just childish.

Just before I finish I have to admit that I am in a bad mood because the Miami Heat lost and are out of the playoffs…….I have nothing more to say about this except I should have been at there and done something to put the Atlanta team off their game. Maybe I could have gotten into their dressing room………sneezed without covering my mouth because I was too busy talking on my cell phone…….. About how much I enjoyed my vacation in Mexico City.

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.