I hope I am not boring you with all this talk about the Thingy. It’s just that as he or she is supposed to be here on Sunday I get more and more nervous which coupled with my diet of chicken, vegetables and salad, means my arse is like a chewed orange and that I will be yet again waffling on about kids here on the blog. As I do, I picture in my mind many of the thousands of daily readers saying to themselves “Bugger this baby bollocks, I am scrolling down to the questions” although you probably wouldn’t use the words “bollocks and bugger,” would you?

Anyway, thanks to Skype I get to talk quite often with my sister Sue Drip who as you may know lives in Hong Kong.

This morning or this evening Hong Kong time I spoke to Suzanne and her two beautiful kids……my niece and nephew Luke and Isabel. As I spoke to them on the video Skype phone thingy I realized that I was going to have one of those kid things in a couple of days. I guess its all been a bit surreal up until now and I have therefore really tried to get my mindset correct in preparation for the Thingy’s arrival.

Speaking to my niece and nephew though made me realize I know absolutely bugger all about kids today……………I mean nothing …… zero ……….. niente ……… nader ………… nichts ……….dingdartayhnhjiuql (Mongolian for bugger all.)

Take school for instance………….when I was Luke’s age (8) at school, I learned all about coloring and dinosaurs and how to spell “Margret Thatcher” and my 4 times tables.
One times 4 is 4
2 times 4 is 8
3 times 4 is ummmmm……..wow look at those bumps on Sally Pool’s chest……I want to touch them.

It seems things have changed. In his first few years of schooling, my nephew has learned that trees are a man’s best friend and that the Brazilian rain forest is being murdered by McDonald’s. My sister tells me it would have been easier to get Luke to eat a dog turd than a Big Mac.

Then there is my mate Danny’s kid who told me she knows that baby seals are slaughtered for fun and, while she doesn’t know her six times table or the capital of Italy, she can give you chapter and verse on every single ingredient in a packet of cigarettes and exactly how each one will rip the very fabric from her tender nine-year-old lungs.

At this age, a child has a quest for knowledge that will never be matched in adult life. They will absorb information like a sponge, but so far as I can see, these days, the only information they’re actually given is eco-bollocks.

And it’s not just school, either. When I turned on the television 35 years ago, I had programs showing me how to make a robot from cereal packets, or a talking horse called Ed. Today, children have subliminal environmental cries for help in every single pop video and cartoon………….Dora the Explorer, my arse

My mind then has been wandering back to my childhood. I had a wonderful one. OK, my Mum and Dad were not exactly rolling in money. That was because my Dad was a teacher all his working life and because the governments of this world think teachers are not important they pay them bugger all………if I was prime minister I would pay them more than lawyers.

Anyway, I had a great childhood and my Mum and Dad always gave me everything I wanted and were always loving and fair………apart from the time my dad threw me out of the car because I was being a brat……..I kept saying “Are we there yet, are we there yet?” and when I was told we would not be having fish and chips for dinner I cried and screamed and kicked my legs on the back of my Dad’s seat in a proper kids tantrum ……. so my Dad stopped the car…….and told me to get out……….I did ……..he drove off ………. then one minute later reversed back to get me………I said sorry……..I got back into the car……..I was 17.

Another thing that happened at 17 was of course I learned to drive with my Dad in our Corsican blue Ford Cortina.

The first time I ever drove a car on the public road, I distinctly remember the high-pitched, howling sound my Dad made when I emerged for the first time onto an intersection. The problem being that I didn’t pull out when there was a gap in the traffic. Being 17, I pulled out when I figured I had been waiting long enough.

Quite how the truck missed us, I have no idea. Maybe it was deflected from its previous course by the ultrasonic noise waves being made by my Father.

I hope, God willing, that I will have the opportunity to teach the Thingy how to drive. The problem is that I learned to drive by watching my Dad. My Thingy, on the other hand, will no doubt learn to drive by racing her friends on the PlayStation 27. And out there in the silicon jungle, there’s no need to slow down for bends, or bumps, or bumps in the middle of bends or trucks or stop signs or the poooolice ….as they say in the south.

I also have a message for the makers of Gran Turismo and the other driving games. Replicating the exact handling characteristics of a particular car is very clever, but I’d also like to see some realism when those handling characteristics are exceeded. In other words, every crash should be followed by a time-consuming insurance battle in Judge Judy’s courtroom and if the child is found guilty it would result in a loss of the entire player’s pocket money.

OK……..enough waffling…..and for the seven bloggers who stayed with me …….. thanks.

Time for more questions…………….here we go.

Brittany Asked:
Dear John, Please reply.
Thank you for your advice on my questions before. My mom still bent out of shape about the room steward but she’ll get over it. Now instead of a request, I sort of have a favor to ask.
As I said, me and my mom will be on the Conquest on May 31. This is our mother/ daughter relax cruise. My mom works very hard everyday, 13 hour days, running a restaurant and she likes her vacations to be as stress free as possible. We are people who like to relax when we eat, not ones for small talk, not that we are rude by any means, we just are very hard at opening up to people right away. I guess shy is a good way to explain it, more me than my mom actually. So I wanted to know if it was possible if you could get us a table for 2 in the dining room. Our names are Brittany and Sheila Lowe and our cabin # . I would really appreciate if you could do this for us!
I hope your little bundle of Thingy joy comes soon. I couldn’t be there for the birth of my Godson but I promise I couldn’t love him more if I had him myself. I can’t wait until I actually experience child birth for myself (well, yes I can wait!) I hope Heidi is doing some libido exercise like hip rolls to help move things along. When you have the Thingy and pick a name I would love to make a name painting for you. I do name paintings and abstract paintings as a hobby. I would be honored to do one for you!
Thanks so much – Brittany

John Says:
Hello Brittany
Thanks for writing again and I am sorry that your Mum is still upset and hopefully your forthcoming cruise will be one where she can totally relax and enjoy the hospitality of our friendly crew. I understand that sometimes people don’t want to mix with others at dinner. It’s a shame that you will not get chance to meet new friends but certainly you should not worry that this may seem rude…….it truly does not. So, I will certainly ask the maitre d to do this for you and would ask that on May 20 you send me a reminder so that I can try and assist.
How wonderful those words of best wishes were for Heidi and I. She is exercising with something called a “birthing ball” and thanks so much for offering to make a name painting for us that would be so wonderful.
I look forward to hearing from you again to remind me and until then I send my best wishes to you and Mum

retirementman Asked:
Good evening John. I have to agree with you I think the original “Star Trek” was the best and “Kirk” was a stud and bedded every galactic woman in space. I have to problem with going to a barbershop or as you call it a “salon.” I’m totally bald and I love it. I have saved so much money from being bald and my wife loves it. Why don’t you try it, you might love it and I bet Heidi would?
Marylou and I are going on the Dream 23/01/2010 and could you tell me something about the different ports we are going to if you could. Cozumel, Isla Roatan, Costa Maya and Belize. Do they all have docks or do I have to tender?
Also I know I met you with Bee and Linda before our cruise began on the Valor but I was just wondering if you might be the CD on the Dream when I go on my cruise. Just meeting you was one thing but I hear that you do so much more when you are on the ship when you are working. Also I wanted to know if Ken would be the Maitre’D the week I’m there. Would it be possible to have Marylou and I placed where he would be working. When we on the Freedom we were placed in the upper section for dinner and we never really saw Ken do his thing. I know I’m asking a great deal of you John but could you try to assist me with all these things I’ve asked? If you can’t , don’t worry about it
One last thing, don’t worry anything about the birth of your child. It will be fantastic and both you and Heidi will be great parents. Ciao my friend.
Paul F. Pietrangelo

John Says:
Hello Paul
How great to hear from you. I am probably not going to have much choice in the future but to be bald. I already have a little thin patch in the middle of my head and I am sure with the stress of the Thingy I shall be joining you soon………when I am bald we could put our heads together and make an arse of ourselves…….sorry……old cruise director joke.
The ports you will be visiting on the Carnival Dream are excellent. The tender ports are Belize and Grand Cayman and in Cozumel and Isla Roatan the ship docks alongside the pier. The jungles and wildlife in Belize and Roatan make these two ports some of our most exciting and diverse in the Caribbean and the snorkelling in all the ports is astonishingly good.
In the next few weeks I am going to be writing in depth about all the ports that this ship will be calling at including those in Europe, the transatlantic crossing and the eastern and western Caribbean ports of call. This will feature on the blog and also on carnival.com as well on the Carnival Dream page. I actually discussed my 2010 schedule for the first few months of the year and will be talking about that shortly. However, it looks like I will miss you on the Carnival Dream which once again makes me sad. However, I will of course make sure you get to enjoy Ken’s hospitality and please send me a note a few weeks before you sail so we can arrange this for you.
So, look out for a full review of the ports soon including the top five shore excursions and tips on what to do…….oh and Paul……..you could never ask too much of me …… well, maybe asking me to run up and down Promenade Deck naked shouting “I love Paul” …………… but apart from that…………..I remain at your service
Best wishes to you and the family

Ron Asked:
Please Reply,
John, I was on the Paradise last week and something happened that really bothers me. I went to the gym to work out, stepped up on the elliptical trainer and promptly banged my head against the bulkhead. Due to the angle of the bow of the ship, all of the machines in that front row were way too close for anyone over about 5′9″ to use without hitting the overhead. When I reported this to the attendant, I was told “Yes, we know all about this, but they don’t listen to us. Put it on your comment card.” Well yes I did put it on, but it seems to me Carnival should have a better way of handling a safety issue, than to wait until someone reads the comment cards. If there is a way, the staff on the Paradise needs some better training in how to do it. And how to handle guests for that matter reporting issues.
On a lighter subject, I got my third Carnival thermos as a returning Platinum guest. While I’m grateful to get the gifts and all the other benefits, I would hope for a little more frequent change of items. Maybe they could have a different item for each ship to encourage guests to try a different ships!

John Says:
Hello Ron
First of all Ron I hope your head is OK after that nasty bump and please let me also apologize for the accident and the answer you received from the gym instructor. That is not what we expect and I promise this situation will be addressed. I have not heard this comment before but then again it’s been a long time since I have been on a Fantasy class ship or……….in a gym.
So, please again except my apologies and I will address this now. I will let you know what happens and I thank you for bringing this to my attention
Best wishes

Eric R Thayer Asked:
Please reply John,
John, in answer to your question from my original question; since about 2001, the American TV show “American Choppers” has shown a reality show, family business in NY that builds custom motorcycles. The show, and business has become extremely popular in this country. The weekly show mostly highlights the custom motorcycle builds, contracted by, and for major corporations. These motorcycles display the logos and “image” of the company/corporation, creating a “theme bike”, for that company and is usually used by that company for promotional, advertising purposes. The show airs regularly on the Learning Channel in the States (it used to be on the Discovery Channel). I could easily see “Carnival theme bike” perhaps displayed on the different Carnival ships on a rotating basis. Please take a look at the “Orange County Choppers” website to see the many different company bikes they have made over the years. It is quite vast, which is why I would be surprised if Carnival does not yet have one. I truly believe it would be a huge focus and photo op. for whatever ship it happened to be on.

John Says:
Hello Eric
I just got off the American Choppers Website and all I can say is ” Wow “……….you are absolutely right. We should have one of these. You know, we actually have motorbikes that feature in our Vroom shows onboard plus at least one or two others. We could get a Chopper made featuring the Carnival brand and logo and then after the shows place it somewhere on the ship for photos to be taken with guests. Plus, it would be very cool to have one of these driving around Miami and beyond advertising the brand. Maybe we could get our President and CEO Gerry Cahill to put his leathers on and come to work every day his Carnival chopper.
Seriously, it’s a great idea and one I shall put on the table. Thanks mate…..I appreciate the brilliant suggestion

Jeanette Asked:
Please reply–oh, try to, uhm, ok, read this please..
John, I would like to ask a few questions. The first is why does Carnival only really advertise in the US and not Canada. The only time I see the commercials is on the US channels. Does home office not notice the second largest country in the world with a population of over 30 million people who FREEZE our arse off in winter. They would get more travellers from Canada if the advertised here.
Second question is why doesn’t Carnival go to Half Moon Cay more often. That island is pure private paradise. I went there Sept 07 and did NOT want to leave. I was due to go back in Sept 08, but a wee storm by the name of Ike was going to be in the vicinity of the Liberty and Carnival, in their wisdom, decided 24 hours before sailing to alter our route. I was sad, but I LOVED the altered route and the ports of Belize and Roatan. More ships need to call at Belize and Roatan! I would like to see ships going to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao from Miami and not San Juan. I wish Carnival would do an 8, 9, or 10 day to some of the Southern islands from Miami or Fort Lauderdale. I also was in Key West and that place is amazing and do think more ships need to call there!!!!
Well, I could say more, but I’ve said enough! Here is hoping Heidi pops the wee one out soon so you know if you have a John Jr or Heidi Jr!

John Says:
Hello Jeanette
It’s a great question and one I know we are currently addressing. We absolutely understand the importance of the Canadian guests here at Carnival. In fact I am sure that if there were statistics available then they would more likely say that Carnival carries more Canadian guests then any other cruise line. We have a new head of sales in Canada ….. the aptly named Justin French……..poor sod. He is redefining what we do in Canada and how we get the word to all of you that Carnival offers the best vacation in the world. So, hopefully you’ll see more Carnival advertising soon. By the way, if you have any specific questions for Justin please let me know and I will be glad to get them answered for you.
Now, onto paradise… or Half Moon Cay as it’s called. Everything you say about this slice of heaven is true and our only regret is that we can’t stay longer than we do. The reason for this is because of the schedule……..we need to get the ship to its next port of ………and of course tendering which when the sun goes down is not an easy thing to do. Also, and we have found this from the ships that do have a full day call there, about 4 pm most people are already back onboard to get ready for dinner or just because after a few hours on the beach they are ready for some air conditioning and the comforts that the Carnival ship…….their home ………..offers.
As to why we don’t send more ships there? Well, we do share the island with our friends at Holland America and despite the island being large and having long sandy beaches, we don’t want it to be overcrowded. Therefore we do limit the number of ships that call there each day as well and this also is due to the tender service that needs to be provided for all the guests.
The other ports you mentioned are all getting more and more calls from the cruise ship industry. Carnival Dream for instance will call at Roatan and Belize. As for the ports like Aruba and Curacao….well this unfortunately involves sailing out of San Juan and therefore flying and of course heading all the way down there costs so much in fuel as the ship is literally at full speed continuously on a seven-day cruise.
However, you are correct. The ports you mentioned, especially Aruba are magnificent and I know Carnival would love to send more ships there…….and who knows…….we may just do that one day. If you have a follow up question, please let me know.
Thanks for the posting and a big thank you for all the kind words
Best wishes

JR Asked:

John Please Reply
Hi John,
My wife and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary on the May 16th Western sorry Eastern Carnival Glory cruise. We were advised today of the change and that is no big deal to us. This is our 4th cruise (3rd on Glory) and have always had a great time.
For some reason you guys keep talking about this guy Butch on Glory as a great CD and I was trying to find out if he will still be on our trip but can’t seem to get that CD thingy up. I am really hoping he is as a great CD makes a great cruise even better. Please let me know.
I enjoyed your adventure of getting a haircut. I’ve gone thru the same thing here until a year ago when I found one of those old cutters. It is so nice to go to a barber shop and it feels like a barber shop.
Best of luck to you and Heidi. I just can’t wait to see those pictures of GRANT when he decides to stick his head out.
God Bless,

John Says:
Hello JR
Da dar da dar da dar da da dar dar……..sorry ……….couldn’t help singing the Dallas theme
Thanks for being so positive about the changes we had to make when swine flu sneezed onto the industry. You will have a fantastic time I promise. Now Butch is a great CD but he will unfortunately be on the Carnival Liberty when you sail and he will be replaced by a chap called Ryan who is also a fantastic cruise director. He will make sure that you have a wonderful time. I would love to read a review of your cruise here on the blog when you return so I shall look forward to hearing from you then.
Best wishes to you and the family including Bobby, Sue Ellen and Miss Ellie and have a brilliant time on the Carnival Glory

Mark Twain and a Half Asked:
I am booked on the 5/31/09 sailing of Carnival Splendor. Our itinerary has been changed to Vancouver, Victoria, and Astoria (wherever the heck that is – is it in Oregon?). I see that you posted shore excursions for Victoria. Could you please do the same for Vancouver and Astoria? There is nothing on Carnival.com for Astoria, and Vancouver only lists airport transfers.
I have to decide by Thursday May 7 whether to keep this cruise or get a credit, so I need the info super-fast.
Thanks for your help!

John Says:
Hello Mark Twain and a Half
It’s been too long since I have written to you so I am glad to be doing so now. Once again I am so sorry that your itinerary has been changed and I hope that you will still have a brilliant time in these new ports of call. However, I see you needed the information yesterday and I am one day too late in answering you. I hope that you have been able to wait one extra day so I can show you the shore excursions we will be offering in Vancouver and Astoria.
Here they are

Astoria 050709

Astoria 050709- 2

Vancouver - POC 050609

So, let me know what you are going to do and if you have any questions about these ports of call I will be happy to help. Sorry for the delay in you posting your question and me answering it, I will try and do better in the future.
Best wishes

Robin in New York Asked:

John Please Respond:
I have dual good news in my family sailing on the Carnival Family. First up, my son and three of his friends are sailing on Carnival Miracle out of NYC on June 1. They are doing it as a celebration as they are all graduating from college with flying colors. It is his first cruise without Mom and Dad and he is understandably excited! I do pity that room Steward, though…four 22 year old sloppy young men in one cabin……I will be giving him my “I drive the Fun Bus” t-shirt from my House Party to wear. My question is, who is the current CD on that ship? He’s become a Cruise Critic addict like me and said there seems to be some question about it. He is tremendously excited about this trip, especially about the pool and Margaritaville in Grand Turk.
Also, my husband and I, along with three other couples, have just booked Star Princess to Alaska on July 19. I am just sooooo thrilled–any inside info about that ship you can give me? Never done Princess before, so I am psyched!
And…if Heidi won’t go to the Star Trek Movie with you, please fly me out to England and I will gladly be your movie date. I knew the minute I saw the title of this blog it would get to a discussion about the movie. It premieres here Friday and I cannot WAIT to see it!

John Says:
Hello Robin
How great to hear from you. I still picture you sitting at the dinner table when I met you on the Carnival Imagination. How wonderful that your son and his mates get to experience their first ever vacation without Mums and Dads on the Carnival Miracle. I shall make sure the stateroom steward is ready with extra toilet paper and some Tylenol. Their cruise director will be Brent who is a Canadian and a very cheeky young man who looks like he should be in a boy band. Please let him know and maybe you could have him drop over to the blog and check out whets happening here.
Congratulations on booking the Star Princess. She is a beautiful ship with four pools and lots of open deck space which is perfect to watch the Alaskan scenery from. The ship has a full service Japanese Spa, a huge casino and of course two of Princess Cruises icons ………… Sabatini’s Italian Restaurant and the Sterling Steak House…………..take my word for it……….you must have dinner in both places………..they are truly superb.
If you have any other questions please let me know and I will ask one of my friends at Princess to answer them for you. I will also ask you to wish your son a fantastic cruise and I hope to see you all soon
Best wishes to all and let’s go and see Star Trek together

Kari Kirkland Asked:
Hi John
**~please respond~**
per our conversation last time (about a month ago) I asked for information on how to decorate my room for my disabled vet ‘man-friend’. Well, I went to the AWESOME section on Carnival.com and found wonderful things….then the ~piggie flu~ came out and I was scared to confirm because I had no idea if we would sail or not…well WE ARE SAILING…on not a 5 day but a TOTALLY AWESOME 7 day to Grand Cayman & Montego Bay! WOW! Can you say HAPPY? Well, anyways…you wanted me to share my room number for Ecstasy (M85) (BTW, it shows him and his dad’s name, and me and his mom in the connecting room M89 because our Carnival person let us all get an upgrade that way…weird but great!!!) Man-Friend (the disabled vet that is my world) is ready to show off his legs but nervous that there will be stares but I told him….IT’S VACATION! Let em’ stare baby…it’s because your big & sexy! LOL!!!!! I am sending you a picture to Stephanie (the **greatest** blog helper everrrrrrrrr!) to post with this so everyone can WAVE and SAY HI to us on May 16th!
Thanks Mon’! (That was said in my best Jamaican!)

John Says:
Hello Kari
Great posting and I am so happy that something so positive has come out of the changes we had to make. You will love Montego Bay and if you have any questions about what to do there please let me know. I have asked the CD Steve Cassel to send your man a little gift from all of us for the service he has given and I look forward to reading your review when you return.
Have a great time …..irie mon ……..as they say in Jamaica

mickeyspal Asked:
Hi, John, (Please reply, or provide a comment on the following.)
I imagine you’ve seen the following which I excerpted from an online site called WND. The banned person in question is Michael Savage, a radio talk show host.
(Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she decided to publicize the list of 16 people banned since October to show the type of behavior Britain will not tolerate, according to U.K. news reports. Smith explained to Britain’s GMTV that she believed it was “important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it’s a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won’t be welcome in this country.”
“Coming to this country is a privilege,” she said. “If you can’t live by the rules that we live by, the standards and the values that we live by, we should exclude you from this country and, what’s more, now we will make public those people that we have excluded.”
Smith said the British government believes the people on the list have views or attitudes that could provoke violence.
“If people have so clearly overstepped the mark in terms of the way not just that they are talking but the sort of attitudes that they are expressing to the extent that we think that this is likely to cause or have the potential to cause violence or inter-community tension in this country, then actually I think the right thing is not to let them into the country in the first place. Not to open the stable door then try to close it later,” she said.
“It’s a privilege to come to this country. There are certain behaviors that mean you forfeit that privilege.”)
So, hadn’t you best watch what you say lest Ms. Smith ban you from your homeland? You do get a bit radical at times you know.
Is this a bit of an over reaction do you think, or do you believe it’s the right thing to do?
Just curious, and I do value your opinion.
Your pal, Myra

John Says:
Hello Myra
I am well aware of this ban which does include some very dangerous people including a family who call themselves People of God yet stand at the funerals of brave soldiers accusing them of being……..well……I can’t even write what they say…….the leader of this church is called Fred Phelps and he deserves to have a cattle prod shoved up his arse.
It must come as shock to be aggressively banned from visiting a country when you weren’t planning to anyway. You’re sitting there, having a cup of coffee, and the telephone rings. “Sorry,” says a voice that sounds like Hyacinth Bucket, “but you can’t come to the U.K.” “But I don’t want to go to the UK,” “Good,” says the voice. “Because you can’t. And neither can any Royal Champion.” Click.
This is what has happened to your “shock jock” Michael Savage with his inclusion on a list of people banned from the UK by Jacqui Smith who is our version of Hilary Clinton without the cheating cigar-smoking husband. He hasn’t been here for 20 years, and wasn’t planning on coming back. Why are we keeping people out, when they don’t want to come in? God knows. Easier, I suppose. Fewer appeals. Savage is now talking about suing the British Government for libel as they bundled him together with a bunch of even nastier people. He claims he has 10 million listeners (1 in 30 Americans? Seriously?) and is calling for them to boycott the UK.
I must be honest and say I haven’t really paid much attention to what it is that Michael says that has stopped him coming over here for some tea and crumpets but I am sure it must be pretty hateful for him to banned…….what I do know is that maybe I should be scared………not about being allowed back home………..but I think any chance I have of enjoying the view from the top of the Eifel Tower maybe over.
Best wishes mate

celia philipson Asked:
I read this morning on a cruise critic site about a Carnival ship out of Tampa being chartered by “Swingers”. Please tell me this is a joke or alternatively name the ship so I can avoid it forever more. A Carnival spokesperson is reported to have said “no general passengers will be aboard” but what about the poor crew having to look at naked people, (not all of whom are a pretty sight) around the pool and in the hot-tubs. It also mentions cabin doors can be left unlocked but not wide open, where does this leave the room-stewards? Quite apart from future passengers who do not want to occupy a cabin, sun bed or hot tub that has been used in unsavoury ways. I would be interested in other Bloggers opinions.
Hello Celia

John Says:
Hello Celia
The ship was indeed chartered by this group, meaning that they paid to book the entire ship and that no guests who were not affiliated with this organization sailed on this voyage. In fact, when we host such a charter the crew are voluntary in that they are given a choice as to whether they wish to work that voyage or not and there is always training and advice given to the crew on what to expect. Remember, this was a charter and no other guests outside of this group were onboard the Carnival Legend. So please don’t worry and please remember that not all you read on some of the various cruise boards may be true.
Thanks for giving me the chance to write about this and I am here if you need anything else answered
Best wishes to you and your family

Toni O’Bryan Asked:

John, (Please Respond)
Thank you so much for response about our family cruise.
See below
Toni O’Bryan Asked:
My husband and I are taking our 2 daughters on a cruise on the Inspiration on June 15, 2009. This is to celebrate their graduations from high school. My husband and I have both been on 2 cruises prior to this one, but we are concerned that they will not have much to do. They are 20 & 18. Could you give me some suggestions? Can they get into the clubs? I know that they can’t drink but dancing is that an option? Please let me know we really want this trip to be special for them. Hope Heidi is doing well and that thingy gets here safely.
Thanks Again,
Toni O’Bryan
Katy , Texas
John Says:

John Says:

Hello Toni
Oh my goodness. If only I had been lucky enough to sail on a cruise at their age. I promise you one thing your lucky kids will not be is bored. There will be many young adults of the same age and although both are too old to attend Club O2, which is designed for 15 – 17 year olds, they will for sure meet new friends in the dance club, out on Lido in the sun and at all the shows and activities. Now, maybe you are concerned because they maybe a little shy. If that is the case let me know and I can arrange for one of the entertainment staff to have a chat with them on-board and help break the ice. Please make sure you also spend some family time together but I have a feeling that they will be of enjoying a world of carnival fun on their own.
I send my best wishes to you all and have a fantastic cruise together

I would like it if you can to get someone to introduce themselves and give the girls an idea of all the wonderful things that Carnival has to offer. We have a port change due to the N1H1 virus so we are having two days in Grand Cayman. The girls are excited but if they had someone to show them around and explain all the things that they could do I think it would alleviate some of their “shyness” and they are defiantly shy. I think that this cruise might be the start of a long standing “Family Tradition” at least I hope so. I want so much for them and us to have a great family vacation seeing as this is only the 2nd vacation as a family we have ever been able to take. Thanks for your offer, and for thinking about their needs. We are counting down the days and can’t wait for our vacation. We are in cabins U155 & U153 Sailing out of Tampa on June 15th. Thanks again!
Toni O’Bryan
Katy, Texas

John Says:
Hello Toni
Don’t worry about anything. Of course we can have someone show the girls around on the first day and hopefully that will settle any worries they or you may have. It will be a wonderful vacation I promise and could I kindly request that you remind me seven days before your sailing date so I don’t forget to make the arrangements
Until then I send my best wishes to you and the family

Andrea Asked:
Hi John, (please reply)
I’m going to try and not say much about this because I’m sure you’ve heard a lot already. I was on the Splendor sailing that was redirected to San Fran. I got married on board and we had 21 of our closest family and friends sailing with us. I had sailed with carnival once before but most of our party were sailing for their first time ever. On my last cruise we had a wonderful time, that’s what made us have our wedding on board. I mean no disrespect to those that did or would have stayed on board. Most of my party got off in Long Beach. There are a lot of reasons that we made that decision. The biggest one being that we are very upset with how the Carnival Corporation handled the outbreak. The crew on the Splendor were very good for the most part and Brad took the time to come out and talk to my group (again sorry to Brad for the random people that decided to join my family and friends and point fingers and yell. They were definitely not with us and did not represent our thoughts and feelings). The World Health Organization (WHO) released an alert to not travel to Mexico on the 26th, the day we set sail. When asked, Carnival stated that everything is fine and that there were no cases of H1N1 Swine Influenza (suspected or confirmed) in any of our ports and that we were still going as scheduled. On the 27th the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released their alert stating unessential travel into Mexico should be avoided. Yet when asked again, Carnival still stated that there were no cases and everything was fine and we were still going. On the 28th in the late afternoon it was announced that we had to make a “quick stop in Cabo San Lucas for a Navigational Technical Error ” and then we’d be on our way again after “the Techs fixed the problem.” We stopped, and in about a half hour there was an announcement stating that they had been talking with Carnival’s head office and the CDC, and that “there are still no reported cases in any of our ports or on board any ship,” but that “[they] were going to turn around and would not be going to any Mexican ports of call.”
I am all for safety and keeping people healthy. The way that Carnival handled the whole situation still leaves me feeling extremely upset, dissatisfied and crushed. This was supposed to be my wedding/honeymoon wishes come true. Instead we were told that we would be given a whole $40 in port fees back and would instead sail to San Francisco. No one in my group had packed appropriate clothing for going somewhere cold and rainy. I know that people here and on other sites are saying that we should just be happy to be on board and that may work for those people and that’s great. We chose to sail as a nice, leisurely and entertaining way to get to Mexico. Not just to be on board.
I talked up this trip for just shy of two years to my family and friends and now everything went to hell in a hand basket. We are upset that Carnival told us all for days after the announcements that everything was fine and we were still going. If they had said on day one ‘listen, here’s what’s going on, the WHO released this alert so we’re going to wait here (in Long Beach) for the first night and see what’s up’ and then heard the alert from the CDC the next morning and announced to us while still in port ‘because of what’s going on we’re not going to go to Mexico, here are your options:
1.) Stay on board and we’ll be going to X & Y as ports instead, with a refund of $X.
2.) Get off here and get a full refund or credit for a future cruise equal to what you had booked here.’
We may have been upset and sad that we couldn’t go but at least we would have been treated fairly and given an option.
Anyways, enough from me. Sorry to bring all this to you John, I know that you’ve got a lot on your plate with the Thingy on the way shortly (Congrats again!) but no one that we’ve talked to at Carnival has seemed to care and I don’t know where else to go right now. I appreciate any help you can give me and my family.

John Says:
Hello Andrea
Let’s start by saying that I hope that overall your honeymoon cruise was enjoyable despite the sudden and unwanted changes that were forced upon us. Well, it was a difficult situation that is for sure and one that was constantly changing. Carnival and the entire cruise industry didn’t want to cancel the Mexican ports. In fact the announcements that you heard on the ship were correct. There were no cases of swine flu reported in Mexican coastal areas and we had every intention of calling there, however, various government agencies sent out advisories to avoid all non-essential travel advisory to Mexico. Now at that time the Carnival Splendor was in the middle of the Pacific and as you know, takes Mexico out of the equation and there is nowhere else to go on such sudden notice. And so the ship had to adapt and take the vessel back to California in time for the next voyage which we all understand is not something that pleased many people who live in that state.
Regardless of what I have written I can see how upset you are. I have therefore sent your posting to the director of our guest relations department. I will let them read over this and then contact you. Please allow a few days for this to happen and please also keep me informed so that I know what’s happened.
I truly hope that despite everything you have some wonderful memories of your honeymoon cruise and please stay in touch.
My apologies once again

James Sullivan Asked:
I want to let you know that I am an avid reader of your blog. When you first started it, I heard about it, and have read it everyday since. I have only sent one question, and that was regarding the incident with you and a guest named “Mary” back in 2004 on the Glory when your pants fell down on stage at one of the shows.
This September we will be on the Carnival Freedom, and that will be our 8th Carnival cruise. Not yet platinum, but getting closer every year, since we take two cruises a year.
We have tried a lot of the lines in including NCL, Princess, Thislineisboring Of The Seas, and last but not least Carnival. Words can’t tell you how much we look forward to “going home” twice a year. We look forward to them year round.
This year we leave on the Freedom on the September 12th sailing, and I have heard it might be either you or Todd as our cruise director. Either or is fine with us. We had Todd as our cd back on the Liberty a couple years ago, and he was brilliant. I have asked Todd on his Facebook page if he was going to be on that voyage, and he said he wasn’t for sure yet. I am also on your Facebook page, but you never update it.
Anyway hopefully either you or Todd will be the cd on the 9/12/09 voyage of the Freedom. Also I have heard that you send an autographed picture to your fans if requested, and they are delivered to the cabins. Is this wonderful perk only for Platinum members, or can us not quite platinum members get one of those pictures?
James Sullivan

John Says:
Hello James
It’s great that you have sent in a posting again mate and I am so proud to hear you are an avid blog fan. I also want to mention before I forget how sorry I am about never updating my Facebook thingy page. With the blog thingy taking up so much time I am sorry to say I never seem to get round to doing so but I will try harder.
Well, your comments about coming home are wonderful to read and I actually have some good news. You see, the cruise director on the Carnival Freedom during your cruise will not be Todd or myself but the one and only………Wee Jimmy. Now, I am not sure if you have heard of this five foot nothing ball of Scottish fun but as many a blogger will tell you he is absolutely hilarious…….you will love him. Now, as for the autographed photo ……well this is for anyone who may need one to use as a new dartboard so please remind me a week before you sail and I will be honoured to send you one.
Please let me know if there is anything else you need

Sharona Asked:
John – Please reply-
Hi John! Keep waiting…it will be worth it! I noticed in one of your replies that apparently Butch is going to be on the Liberty. So, will he be back on the Glory for our October 31st cruise, or will be have to “settle”?! We love Butch!

John Says:
Hello Sharona.
I love Butch as well but unfortunately he will be on the Carnival Liberty very soon. Instead you will have Ryan Fitzgerald as your cruise director who is absolutely wonderful, funny and personable. I think you may have a new love.
Best wishes to all

Frances Asked:
Dear John
We have just arrived back in Australia, having travelled in the US after disembarking the Splendor at the end of the wonderful South American tour … and it WAS wonderful, except for two aspects. The first of these was Carnival’s lack of planning for a 7-week cruise comprised mainly of older travellers – especially the failure to stock the library adequately, and the provision of only one paid lecturer (Dirk was excellent, but overworked).
The second, and most important, was the total incompetence of “The Boy Goose” as Cruise Director – the one thing which united the passengers as a group was discussing how dreadfully useless he was.
How wonderfully lucky Carnival is, in that Brad was Cruise Director when the Mexican cruise was abandoned last week. He, and the other entertainment staff, carried our three cruises, and deflected the ill-feeling caused by “The Goose” – we can imagine no-one better in this situation. Congratulations, Brad!
We don’t expect you to publish this message, but WOULD like some acknowledgement from you – it would make up for some of the sheer frustration, anger, discontent with Carnival, and dislike caused by Goose, not just to us, but to many, many, many other people. (We even wrote a poem, which began “To be a Goose, in Aussie slang, is to an idiot be ….!”). We can only hope that Carnival will, in other cases, consider the make-up of its complement of passengers, especially on longer cruises, and not impose such an incompetent Cruise Director on paying customers. Possibly “The Goose” might be effective on a 5-day chug-a-lug cruise, where people might be drunk enough often enough to not perceive his limited ability, but on a cruise like this he was the best advertisement anyone could have had to travel with another cruise line – ANY other cruise line.
Sorry to burden you with this, but this is the first chance we have had to share our feelings. Is there another way in which we could pass these opinions on to the Carnival hierarchy? We hope, too, that Brad gets the kudos he deserves (and the wonderful Jaime too!)
On a better note – we hope that you and Heidi are soon cuddling a healthy infant – we send blessings – you deserve everything wonderful!
We look forward to hearing back from you.
Frances & John

John Says:
Hello Frances
I wanted to thank you for your comments and for taking the long 20-hour flight there and back to Australia. I also wanted to comment on the library situation and apologize because you are absolutely correct. Even though we ordered many, many more books for this voyage it wasn’t nearly enough. Also, the library itself was not designed for a 49-day cruise and how we would have loved to have had a library like the one on the Queen Victoria which has 6,000 plus books spread over two levels and a full-time librarian. If we do such a voyage again this is an area we can and must improve on because as you said it was not good enough.
I think the voyage was a learning experience for all of us at Carnival and in Goose’s defense I will say that the planning and scheduling involved in such a voyage was massive which is why he may have not been as visible as he himself would have liked and he was chosen to be the cruise director of this voyage because of his enthusiasm and his organizational abilities and his fun personality. I was therefore surprised to read your comments.
The most important thing is that you say that you had a wonderful time and I also want to thank you for you observations. It was the first time Carnival has ever undertaken a voyage of this kind and we know that while it was a big success that there things we can do better next time. That’s why your comments are so important to us and if you have anymore specifics or a follow up to what I have written today I would be most grateful if you would post them.
If you could also kill every spider in Australia so I can bring Heidi to your wonderful country that would be just great
Best wishes and please write again soon

Tom Asked:
Hi John, please reply
I booked a cruise for 7 days to Mexico on 5/24/09. However, Carnival changed the itinerary to Astoria, Victoria, and Vancouver but Carnival has no detail about itinerary. Can you post it on Carnival’s web site or email it to me?

John Says:
Hello Tom
I just posted above the tours for both Vancouver and Astoria. Here are the exact cruise details with which day you are where………….if you know what I mean
5/17/09 Sun Splendor Long Beach 9:00 AM 5:30 PM
5/18/09 Mon Splendor “Fun Day” At Sea At Sea
5/19/09 Tue Splendor Astoria 3:00 PM 10:00 PM
5/20/09 Wed Splendor Victoria NOON MIDNIGHT
5/21/09 Thu Splendor Vancouver (Canada Place) 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
5/22/09 Fri Splendor “Fun Day” At Sea At Sea At Sea
5/23/09 Sat Splendor “Fun Day” At Sea At Sea At Sea
There you go mate and if you have any further questions please let me know
Best wishes for a brilliant cruise

Dconway Asked:
John please reply to this
Has any one started a baby pool on you yet if not I like to state saying may 8, 2:05 your time

John Says:
Hello Dconway
No baby pool has been started. But I am going with 5:15pm on Saturday May 9th – right in the middle of my soccer match…………….bugger
What do you think?

Michael Cornett Asked:
Dear John- Please Respond no hurry!!
John, as a member of the Emergency Medical Service’s “Paramedic.” When your beautiful wife is only four days away from giving birth you of all people have every right to call for an ambulance. Remember God forbid you wreck because your driving like a maniac to the hospital, the Thingy is still going to come. Do you want to be telling us you delivered the baby on the side of the road? I do not have personal experience with this but I have been told most labors start during a bad storm. I have also heard that right before labor she will go into what’s called a nesting pattern where no matter what you tell her she will be cleaning everything. It won’t be long. I do have a couple of questions for you. I am on the second sailing of the beautiful Carnival Dream and I tried to make reservations to the supper club one evening but on Carnival’s website the Dream is not available yet. Do you know when I will be able to book the Supper club? Do you want old trip reports/reviews? If you do where do I need to send them? May God Bless You and Yours.

John Says:
Hello Michael
Thanks for the words of advice. I was just worried that waiting for the paramedics may result in Heidi having the Thingy on the sofa……….and I just bought the sofa.
I was also concerned that I would be calling them for nothing which in the last case proved to be correct. I will use them the next time anything happens though so thanks again and thank you for all the brilliant work you do as a paramedic…we salute you.
The Carnival Dream supper club reservation page should be open in July/August so please try back then or if you have any difficulties let me know and I will arrange it for you. I would love to read your recent review so please just post them here as you normally do and Stephanie will put them up on the blog.
Thanks for very kind words.
Best wishes to you all

Meredith Asked:
Why are the cruisers on the 04/26/2009 sailing of the Splendor being given the shaft? Please see the letter I’ve sent directly to Carnival below.
Dear Carnival,
I would like to make share my thoughts regarding my recent experience onboard the infamous Carnival Splendor sailing on 04/26/2009.
I would like to give a huge thank you to every single crew and staff member onboard this ship for doing the best they could with the circumstances presented to them. While the entertainment and activities was lacking, I think Brad did the best he could to keep the guests happy. Thank you for finally showing movies on the movie screen instead of beach scenes all day!
There are so many crew members that deserve to be mentioned by name that I hope I get them all. Our waiters in the Gold Pearl, Ernesto and Peter, were among the best I’ve had, they were so great with the kids! Our cabin steward, Panya, in cabin —, ranks up there as well. In the casino, it was dealers Vlad and Viktor I looked for, supervisors John and Z (can’t remember his name, I tried to catch it, but never could!), and bar waiter Melvin, whom I also saw in our group cocktail party in the El Morocco on Saturday. Thanks to photographer Juanita from South Africa for helping me buy a camera for my mom, and for her sense of humor at the end of the week. And I could never leave out Ron Pass, one of the best I’ve seen in the Piano Bar.
Though my family and I were extremely upset to have our vacation modified so severely, we understood the decision and managed to make the best of the situation. On this cruise, however, it seems to be that those who were the least understanding, and the rudest of all, were the ones who were catered to. The vocal minority who demanded to be able to get off the ship in what should be an unacceptable manner (the language I heard them use was appalling) were catered to by being given a stop in Long Beach on Thursday. This turned our 8:30 call to San Francisco until a 1:30 call. So the one port of nearly 3,000 passengers was cut short by half a day because of 525.
There was also the scene I witnessed on the Lido deck around 8:00 pm Friday night. At 8:00, the pool closed, like always. I watched a “gentleman” get within 2 inches of the face of the poor crew member working the towel hut, yelling and screaming at him worse than I saw earlier in the week. We finally figured out what the deal was, and applauded when the crew member stood his ground and didn’t lose his temper once. However, I got up to go to the restroom 15 minutes later, and I was shocked to see the pool reopen. This gives off the impression that Carnival thinks it’s okay to treat crew members like dirt, because you’ll at least get your way. The decision to reopen the pool offended me more than the extra Long Beach stop.
I am also well aware of the contract, and was initially satisfied with the compensation (or lack thereof) Carnival was providing for the changed itinerary. Then I came home. We spoke to passengers on the Mariner of the Seas on the plane ride home and learned of their cabin credit, plus a refund of port charges, and we all know they at least got Cabo. We read the press release by Princess, taking their passengers to Catalina and San Diego, AND issuing a 50% future cruise credit in the amount of their cruise fare. As if that wasn’t shocking enough, to find out that future cruisers of the Splendor, who are actually getting advanced warning of their change, are getting treated pretty well. They are still getting 3 ports, upgrades from insides to balconies due to slashed fares, and onboard credit. Not to mention the advance warning of being able to pack appropriately for the weather (instead of having to spend vacation money on sweatshirts in the gift shop), or foregoing the trip altogether for a full refund. Meanwhile, those of us who were inconvenienced most of all, with just one cold port, no warning, and no options, get absolutely nothing. To me, it seems like since we were already on the ship and you had our money, why care about us since we were essentially stuck?
This is not the Carnival I’ve come to know and love. My expectations were absolutely exceeded while on the ship, and then fell like a rock upon my return home. The bad publicity Carnival is getting over this (and believe me, 3000+ people talk a LOT when they feel they’ve been wronged) seems hardly worth the hard line stance currently being taken in regards to compensation to passengers on this cruise. Why do Princess and Royal Caribbean show compassion for the affected vacations of their Mexican Riviera passengers that week, but Carnival doesn’t? Why do the future cruisers of the Splendor who know their fate beforehand get your sympathy, and we don’t?
I currently have three Carnival cruises booked, and for various specific reasons, will keep them that way. But despite being Platinum, I am hesitant to spend another $6,000+ on a vacation if this is the way I will be treated in the event of such a drastically altered itinerary with no options. I hope you will reconsider your position.

John Says:
Hello Meredith
Thank you so much for taking the time to write your observations to us here on the blog. Let’s start by thanking you for the kind words toward our crew members who as always perform exceptionally well and deliver outstanding service in such challenging circumstances. I am very proud of them.
I want to state that although I was not onboard during the incident when you witnessed a guest screaming at the pool attendant but I can absolutely promise you that Carnival certainly does not condone such actions. I am sure the pool was re-opened because of the requests of many, not one, and I always get so upset when I hear of guests treating non-officer positions this way. Some of us are paid to listen to upset guests but a pool attendant is just doing what he has been told to do by a supervisor and to be treated this way regardless of the circumstances is unforgivable.
Saying that I also want to say how sorry I am that your cruise was disrupted. I was just writing about this to another guest a few moments ago and as I said there it was a cruise where facts changed very quickly and changes had to be made quickly and without warning.
I cannot comment on what other cruise lines did because I don’t have the details but I can certainly understand guests’ disappointment when their itinerary is changed. The majority of Splendor guests made the most of it while it’s safe to say that some were more upset than others. You are a platinum guest and someone who loves Carnival and I want you to know that I will send your comments along to those who need to read it and I will make sure someone contacts you as soon as possible.
Please for now though except my apologies and as you said, “your expectations were exceeded onboard” and I promise they will be again when you step on-board your next carnival Fun Ship home.
Please let me know when someone has contacted you
Best wishes to you and the family

Stacey Asked:
John (please reply),
Left a comment a few days ago, asking for your help in locating one of my favorite Carnival crew members and haven’t seen a reply yet? Angela A. (I have her last name if you need it) from Romania, she was aboard the Valor (head bartender in the Sports Bar) 5/05 and then I heard she was aboard the Victory in 2007. So many people love to cruise with their favorite crew members…has anyone thought of having an optional database to track crew so people can sail with their favorites again?
My other question is when the CD database (the one you link to on your log) will be updated, as it’s only through 4/09.

John Says:
Hello Stacey
Stacey. Sorry for the delay, I replied yesterday
Let me know if you saw it
Best wishes

Ralf Asked:
Hi John,
(This time please do answer).
I am sailing on TA on DREAM. Meeting a Lady again US Citizen living in Italy , sorry to guess her age (above 75, my guess), not knowing her cabin yet us sailing on TA DREAM for No 4 TA cruise on Carnival. We would please like late seating inside Mr Ken Byrne’s dining room. Please do try to get Lady Wishes.
Her Name : Ms A
Me: R
(Please do not publish our request)
Thanks for your very unexpected very pleased answer. I did indeed have a wonderful cruise again. Guess why me coming back and back. and.?? Booked on DREAM on TA hope to meat you on Board.
Sorry telling again, but I had to book TA crossing on two
cruise lines. TA DREAM and Something ofnofreesteaksattheSeas. Tried all I could to get TA on OASIS something nottobookTAontheSeas, but no booking available. Why?????
I do hate to fly, but only on inbound flights, vacation being over. Always try to get outbound flights without having stopovers that is why I only “lost” my luggage (4 times on many many flights) on my way back home only. Always arriving back home trough airline services. Not to have to carry it by myself. I do think this is a good service.
Nothing ever got lost.
Hope you will soon be Dad

John Says:
Hello Ralf
Great to hear from you Ralf. Is this a blind date? I am very curious and so are the bloggers as well I think. How about a little more information?
I will be happy to help you. Please re-send the info two weeks before you sail and I will ask Ken to arrange everything
I hope you are well and please write soon
Best wishes

That’s all for today.

Before I wrap up today’s blog, I just wanted to say congratulations to Captain Donato and the crew of the Carnival Imagination who as you will see really deserve a huge ovation for rescuing three boaters off the coast of Miami. Here’s some information on this from the home office:

Earlier this morning, at approximately 9 a.m., Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,052-passenger cruise ship, Carnival Imagination, rescued three boaters whose vessel capsized approximately 14 miles north of the sea buoy near Miami in Biscayne Bay.

Carnival Imagination was en route to its homeport of Miami when officers on the ship’s bridge saw the capsized vessel. Captain Candeloro Donato immediately initiated rescue operations, positioning the vessel toward the capsized boat and lowering one of the Carnival Imagination’s rescue boats. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified, as well.

The three boaters were safely brought onto the Carnival Imagination’s rescue boat which stood by under instructions from the U.S. Coast Guard, which dispatched a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft to take them to Miami. The 70,000-ton Carnival Imagination, which is based year-round in Miami, was on last leg of a four-day cruise to Key West and Nassau that departed Monday and will depart on a three-day voyage to Nassau later this afternoon.



These three boaters probably owe their lives to Captain Donato and his crew who were ready to act.


I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for the wonderful words of kindness and best wishes as we reach the big day. I promise that this will be the last ever time I ask your permission but as the Thingy is due on Sunday I have a whole feast of things to do on Saturday. So, instead of one long blog I am going to post several short blogs from my Raspberry on both Saturday and Sunday.

These will be just a few sentences long and will give you a blow by blow record of what this weekend entails. I won’t be answering any questions tomorrow but Monday I will be back to normal blogging hopefully with photos of the Thingy.

By the way…………..may I kindly remind you that it takes 48 hours from me answering your questions from the time you posted them I usually answer 10 a day and will I promise get to yours as soon as I can. I answered a few more than usual today but still have around 15 or so outstanding and will answer another batch on Monday.

So, stop by a few times over the weekend for some rapid short fire blogs some hopefully containing the good news. I talked to the Thingy last night and told him or her not to come out on Saturday night between 4:30 pm and 7 pm as there is a soccer match I must not miss and also that he or she is forbidden to pop out on Sunday afternoon as I watch Manchester United beat Manchester City (sorry, Wes) so hopefully the little bugger has taken note.

Anyway, I am sure many of you have questions that need answering so please note that I will resume answering these on Monday and thanks again for the friendship we all have on this blog thingy which has been viewed by 4,156,000.

Well, I discussed my schedule yesterday with Roger and this is roughly what we have decided.


Then for 2010. Well, I will be the cruise director of the Carnival Dream sometime in February to cover for Todd when he takes a vacation. I do not have the exact dates yet but I will have them soon and post them here for you.

“The Holiday?” I hear you cry. Well, the Holiday was my first-ever ship back in 1987. I was a young 22-year-old bar waiter who shared a cabin with a Portuguese wine steward called Manuel Quentro. He showed me how to live onboard a ship and apart from the time I caught him peeing in the sink……..he was a great first cabin mate.

So, it seems fitting that as we say goodbye to the Holiday and she goes on to work for our Spanish sister company, Ibero Cruises. That I’ll be her last-ever cruise director. I have wonderful memories of the ship and I want to say goodbye. There is no supper club, no Seaside Theatre big screen but there is I promise going to be six weeks of brilliant fun. I also want to see if the huge booger I wiped under the CD’s desk is till there.

Maybe some of you will come and say goodbye with me. I am also going to try and organize a bit of a Carnival reunion with some of the acts that first worked with me there as well as some of the folks now in the office……….it should be fun.

Oh, just before I go, remember I was waiting for my new phone to arrive and the horrors of trying to guess when the package would get here? Well, it arrived………..at 7:35 am this morning when I was awoken from my dream about Angelina Jolie and a swimming pool filled with Jell-O by the UPS man………..bastard.

And my new phone is crap. They’re making phones only for 12-year-old girls who want something cool, or businessmen who want something enormous so they look impressive in departure lounges. There’s nothing for normal people. Nothing with a screen you can read.
Nothing for people whose fingers are finger-sized.
Nokia was high on my list as a replacement possibility. It’s mission statement – “Connecting people” – gave me hope that it might do just that. But no. It should be “connecting people, photographing them and annoying them with a vast range of mindless ringtones.”

And it was the same story with LG – “Life’s good,” Samsung – “Where imagination becomes reality.” I know have a Sony Ericsson, which claims to sell simple talk and text phones, but that’s like claiming the Bible is a book ………..about a man.

Time to have a Thingy……..I hope………but not while the soccer is on.



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.