May 19, 2009 -

John Heald

It’s time I came out of the closet………and what better place to do it then here on the blog thingy……………..after years in the wilderness I am now ready to admit…..that I ……… am ……a huge………….Michael Jackson fan.

OK, there I said it and I feel somewhat liberated having told you that. The reason that I have decided to tell you this is that the gloved one is due to hold two concerts here in London next week……….or at least that’s the plan. I loved his music; I loved Billy Jean and Black or White and Thriller still sounds brilliant turned up loud on the Range Rover’s speaker system. But………I am concerned. I watched a documentary last night made just a few weeks ago to highlight his comeback mega concerts at the London Arena……..and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t make it onto the stage.

He might be desperate to make money, but the man is so far down the road to Crazyville, he can barely crawl out from his sequined bed sheets in the morning, never mind entertain a crowd of 20,000 paying customers. Remember his 2005 trial (from which he emerged a free man with a cleared name)? He turned up one day in his PJs, having tried to avoid going to the court at all. Think about it: if Jackson is willing to dodge an event that could have put him in federal prison with murderers for 30 years and the chance to he would have to share his cell with a man called Bubba who would make him “Beat It,” how worried is he going to be about the consequences of a no-show at a pop concert? ……….my guess……….not worried one bloody bit.

From what I saw on TV I have to ask….is he even capable of performing? The show brought forth rumors of stage fright, paranoia, illness, prescription meds, and a cancelled American Idol performance. And then there was the evidence of his last public outing — at Earl’s Court in 2006 — during which he surrounded himself with a children’s choir and barely made it through an odd, heavily backed rendition of We are the World.

The question of how much Jackson really needs the money is also an interesting one. And Forbes magazine has estimated that, in spite of his borrowings, Jackson makes $75 million a year from the 300,000 songs he in part controls.

Yes, he has chosen some terrible business advisors in the past, and he has a habit of surrounding himself with complete and utter idiots, like Mike Tyson who surely is to investment banking what NCL are to ship design.

I hope I am wrong because as I said, I was a huge fan. In fact, as I am admitting everything to you I may as well come clean and tell you that my mate Alan and I went to see him in concert in 1992… Wembley Stadium… I was 27 years old and although I was a rocker influenced by the 80’s and 90’s heavy metal bands I was also a young cruise director and new that there was no better stage performer in the world than MJ.

Back then there were no strange associations between being young and liking Michael Jackson, and so it was that Alan and I stood with children, adults and everything in between to see him perform on his Dangerous world tour we were just two of millions of people across the planet who saw it.

He was cool back then, honestly… His face hadn’t melted beyond recognition. Terrible allegations had not surfaced about his liking for……….well…… know. I seem to recall him being catapulted on to the stage in an explosion of pyrotechnics. The costume changes were exceptional – sequins here, military outfits there – and, when he sang Heal the World; a giant globe appeared, surrounded by children from all over the planet. Apart from Alan wearing one glove and embarrassing himself and me by trying to moon walk during Thriller…….it was one of the greatest performances I have ever seen.

Once he had exited the stage into the air by means of a jet pack, the audience were in Neverland. Nobody had ever seen anything quite like it. But today such stunts are par for the course for performers on stadium tours, and it remains to be seen quite how Jackson at 50 will match up.

Still, if anybody can do it, I suppose that person is Wacko……I still wish we would have included him in our Carnival Legends show…..seeing a different guest each week trying to do the Jackson dance moves and grab his crotch would be priceless.

OK, it’s time to answer some questions but before we do I see that there are some comments about the pins we give away at the past guest parties……so before I answer today’s questions please let me address that here.

They were indeed popular with many guests but not with everyone and while there were many guests who appreciated receiving the pins and some who really didn’t see the benefit. We try to create programs and amenities that resonate with the largest portion of our guests so eliminating the pins wasn’t so much about costs – although costs obviously played a role – but rather re-allocating our assets to have the greatest impact on the largest portion of our guests.

There will be many who are disappointed about this and I can totally understand and that’s why I wanted to say sorry to those who were pin collectors. Please again accept our apologies and as this is such a big talking point on the boards I wonder if I can ask Host Mach and Kuki to add this to the thread thingies…………thanks guys and on we go with the questions.

Luther Miller Asked:
John (please reply)
I wrote to you a few weeks ago about my cruise on the Carnival Freedom on 5/23/09. I asked if you could have a sharps container place in my cabin (cabin —) so that my wife (Dang) can safely dispose of her used lancets. Dang and I appreciate your help. Thanks for all you do. Our best to the 3 of you.
Luther and Dang Miller

John Says:
Hello Luther
Your sharps container is all arranged and will be ready and waiting in the cabin. Please send my best to Dang and at anytime should she need help with anything at all please make sure you tell any of the ship’s company. Thank you for the kind wishes and have a wonderful cruise

Marsha Breen Asked:
First and foremost, we will never get tired of the “mushy” stuff when you speak of your daughter or the love you have for your wife. Don’t ever think that. I hope the “Daddy’s Little Thingy” onesie we gave you on the Blogger’s cruise will come in handy with little Kye.
Second, a question about Mexico….. I know that Carnival has gone through a lot lately with all the itinerary changes and trying to please the masses, but it seems that if the Holiday is able to return to Mexico prior to mid-June, then is it possible that the Legend could also return immediately since that ship has a day at sea instead of Cozumel and not a port change? I would understand not returning if they had swapped ports, but since they just added the day at sea; do you think it would be possible to return to Cozumel prior to mid-June???
Lastly, you asked me to email you prior to our May 31st Legend sailing to remind you to send something to our cabin to our son Patrick who is joining us on this cruise as a surprise to the rest of our family members who are cruising with us. He is currently serving in the Air Force and will be on leave to join us. He reads your blog with some of his fellow Airmen and I know that it brings a smile to his face every day. It has been so hard keeping this a secret from everyone but I am so anxious to see him again as I miss him so much and can’t wait to give him a big MOM hug!!! We will be in cabin —-. Thanks John!

John Says:
Hello Marsha
I will make sure I add a bit of “mushy stuff” every now and then but if it gets too “mushy” you must tell me. It is wonderful that we are able to return to the Mexican ports. The full schedule of when our vessels are returning to Mexico is posted at the following link thingy:
Now, as for your son I will indeed send him something to cheer him up. I am sure you are very proud of him as are we. Please shake his hand for me.
My best to you all and if I hear and news about a change I will let you know

Melissa Jurgensen Asked:
John please reply.
I know you won’t be able to get to this for a bit because you’ll be taking care of your beautiful ladies, BUT do you have any idea when your Blogger’s Cruises will be in 2010? I always need to give quite a bit of notice before scheduling a vacation at my office so I am trying to get an idea of when they will be.
Thanks John and congratulations!

John Says:
Hello Melissa
My beautiful ladies……..that sounds good. I am not sure when just yet but I am thinking of February or March for the 2010 bloggers cruise. I will be working on this soon and as I know many of you have to plan way in advance I will of course let you know as soon as I can.
Best wishes

Melissa Asked:
Dear John, Heidi, and Kye,
Please Respond
Congratulations on being a father! My son just turned 2 on May 16th so I know exactly what you are talking about in you blog. I hope you all settle into being a family of 3 now, things do change a lot. Also, thank you for your response to my question about things to do in the port of Tampa after the cruise. Now here is my question this time.
I am very excited that cruises will be returning to Mexico; however I do NOT understand why some of the cruises will not be resuming their original itinerary. I will be sailing on the Legend June 7th room — and our Mexico port was changed to a day at sea. Now, when this happened I did not complain even though the Valor who has the same itinerary received a stop in Key West instead. However, it seems to me that it would not be difficult for the Legend to return to Cozumel now. I fully understand why all cruises cannot be changed back to their original itinerary as some were completely changed or another port was offered. However, all we got was a “fun day at sea” so if you could please explain why the Legend will not be able to head back to Cozumel sooner I would really appreciate it. I have tried emailing Carnival and have received no response as of yet. Again thank you for response before and I still LOVE reading your blog.

John Says:
Hello Melissa
Thank you for the words of congratulations. I am thrilled of course and still learning how to be a good dad and a better husband. You ask a very good question and I will try to get you a more definitive answer. According to our web site, the Carnival Legend is scheduled to return to Cozumel on the June 21 departure from Tampa and from what I’ve been told there are no plans to return prior to that date.
If this changes I will let you know of course and regardless I truly hope you will have a great time on the Carnival Legend. I look forward to reading your review here on the blog thingy.
Best wishes

Mark Asked:
John Please Reply
Like many here have stated, I have laughed and cried…yes a grown man…cried as it brought back many memories of my son’s births. We are all so happy for you and Heidi.
John just a general question. I have noticed that Carnival’s shipbuilder and many of her ship’s captains are Italian. Italy has a rich nautical history as does many of the European nations, UK included. Do all of Carnival’s sister companies have many Italian captains? Is this just a coincidence? Not that it matters, the nationality of any of the crew from Captain to room steward – I am sure they are all chosen on their ability to do the job well. Just curious! : )

John Says:
Hello Mark
I really do not know what to say after reading your beautiful words……..except thank you. I often wonder if I manage to get my emotions across when I write a blog. I am not a professional writer in any way shape or form so hearing that many readers have been able to share the highs and lows with me and the mixed emotions have come through on the blog makes me feel very good indeed.
You ask a great question. Let’s start with Carnival Cruise Lines. We have 22 ships (23 if you count the Dream) and each and every captain is indeed Italian. It has always been that way since our founder Ted Arison established the company in 1972. As you said, Italy has a rich nautical history and Italians are some of the finest navigators in the world …………as they will often tell you.
Seriously though they are magnifico and although the official language on the bridge is English all our deck officers are Italian except a few who are from Croatia but whom speak Italian. When I say the official language on the bridge is English this means that for the sake of the voice recorders (similar to a black box on an aircraft) all maneuvers, commands and operational orders are given in English. Also, all of our chief engineers are Italian as well and once again apart from a few Croatian engineers the majority of the engine department are also from Italy. The other lines have a bit of a mixture. Princess for example has Italian and British captains. Holland America has Dutch and I believe some British captains as well whereas Costa is all Italian and Cunard of course has all British captains.
One thing that is very important to note at Carnival is that all our captains have worked their way through the ranks and most of them have done so at Carnival moving from cadet officer to second officer. Then to first officer and safety officer. Then to the second in command which we call the Staff Captain before finally becoming Master.
I hope this helps and if you have a follow up question please let me know
Best wishes to you and the family

Josh from NY Asked:

John (please reply… comments/questions/ideas),
I have not posted in awhile, but I would like to write to you for several reasons. First, I would like to congratulate you and Heidi and the birth of the beautiful Thingy Kye. I have never met you in person, and I still know that you and Heidi are going to be great parents for a great daughter.
When you get a chance, I have a few quick questions for you. First of all, I am trying to plan a cruise with several families… possibly for the Dream… towards the end of the year. One concern that we all have is regarding our teenagers (many of whom are between the ages of 18-21). I know that the younger kids will enjoy the camp carnival program, but we have recently been very disappointed with Carnival (in addition to other lines) who all have just completely left out and forgotten about this age group.
I know that they can do anything but drink. We all know that they can go to the nightclub and listen to the music and hang by the pool, but they are still fairly young, and they all have had trouble meeting others their age on recent cruises. Many of them have spent hours roaming the ship, and when they eventually met others, they found out that the others spent hours roaming around as well.
I remember you once saying that carnival was planning on making some meet and greets and gatherings for this age group and working on some sort of program, and hopefully some type of semi-program will be in place for the new Dream. It would be great to see new efforts and a new program on a new ship.
I have talked to several of our kids in this age group, and they said what many have mentioned before… maybe a scheduled meet-up after both dinner seatings on the first night with a dedicated staff member (maybe even the CD or ACD to give them an incentive to go). That way, these “older kids / young adults” would be able to meet others with a location and semi-host to get things going. They can get each others contact info and have friends for the entire cruise. Then maybe several times throughout the cruise, they can have some type of activity or another gathering or tournament with a staff member who would be appropriate for this age group… maybe there can be several “events” such as a cooking competition (something different that they can only do on a cruise) or any other type of competition and/or a nighttimes pool/hot tub party with some music playing outside.
Maybe even one set of pool games can be for the first 8 teens in this age group to come down. Then the next pool games can be for anyone or adults and these teens can then go off together after having participated in the games together and after having met. Just little things like this, so they and have an easier time meeting others and having fun.
*Also, do you know if Todd will be the CD of the Dream for all of December?
*Third/last/final question – the Dream will be making 4 stops on the Western itinerary. We all love hearing the reggae band by the pool, and I am hoping that Todd will maybe be able to schedule them to play (even for a few hours) on at least some of the port days. I know that bands are usually fortunately out there all day on sea days, but at the same time, we usually hardly ever see them on sea days. Since we have 4 ports, I am concerned that I will not be seeing much of the reggae band, and if this is true, this is something that would discourage me from booking this itinerary with 4 ports.
Thanks so much John for your help. I really appreciate, and I hope that you are enjoying the first few days as being a father… give Kye a big Hug for all of us bloggers.
-Josh from NY

John Says:
Hello Josh
Let me start by saying a big thank you to you for your kind wishes and I do hope you are correct and I will be a good Dad.
Our kids and teen program is probably the best at sea and we are very proud of the facilities that we offer. However, if there is one area that we must improve on it is as you said the 18-21 age groups. While many young people of that age do not need any help in making friends there are as you said those that absolutely do and that is why I will now request that your suggestion of an ice breaker led by a member of the entertainment staff is held across the fleet on the first night. Hopefully doing this will at least have those of that age meet and mingle with others. It is an excellent idea and one I have should have started some time ago. So, I am now going to talk to Roger and others in the office to work out the logistics of doing this. Please tell your family thank you for reminding me about this important subject. I will get back to you all about this soon.
Yes, Todd will be the CD of the Carnival Dream for all of December. I take it that you have cruised with him before and I am sure you have enjoyed his energy and fun. Live music on Lido Deck continues to be important and I can promise you that although we have the Seaside big screen theatre on Deck 9 that each and every day regardless of being in port or not you will find live music there. We now rotate all of our bands and musicians and this has proven to be very popular. Anyway, I think you will be very happy with what you hear up there.
If you have any follow up questions please let me know and thanks again for the reminder about this very important age group.
Best wishes

JAS1178 Asked:

John Please Reply –
Congratulations on the birth of Kye, she is gorgeous.
A rumor circulated recently that Carnival is discontinuing past guest pins. This surprised me as I was under the impression that Carnival was taking a serious look at its loyalty program.
Though this is a very small token, to me and my kids it is a cherished memento of our Fun Ship Vacation.
So, could you check to see if this really is being instituted fleetwide? If it is, would you share with those making the decision that it is noticed, and disappointing?
Oh, and John…my prayer for you is that Kye sleeps as well as my kids did. Both slept through the night from night number 2!

John Says:
Hello JAS1178
Thank you so much for the kind words. Well, as you will just have read we have indeed for now stopped giving away the pins to our past guests. I am so sorry that this is the case and I know like you said they were great mementos. I sincerely apologize to you and your kids but I hope you can understand.
My best wishes to you and all your family.

Jrmende63(Julie Mendenhall) Asked:
Please reply. I have two questions; firstly, what is Kye’s middle name?
And second:
Is Carnival doing away with the past guest pins? I have read on Cruise Critic that they are doing away with them. I really like those pins and collect them to put on my hat. I also read that you can get one that is similar to the past guest pin in the gift shops. I have never seen them in the shops onboard the ships. I would be willing to pay for them in the shops. I am just confused as to whether they are or are not being discontinued being given out at the past guest parties.
Kye is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I knew Heidi was in labour (see I spelled it the UK way!!) and was on pins and needles until I saw Kye was born. Please give a hug to Heidi and Kye for us. We are so happy for you!
Julie & Randall, Huger, SC

John Says:
Hello Julie
Thank you for sharing those lovely words for Kye, Heidi and I are very humbled. We decided not to give her a second name. It’s not really done in Holland and also Kye is such a different name that we really couldn’t think of anything to go with it……so she is simply “Kye Heald.”
Well, the pin topic is one that is obviously very important to many people and I know that I will have disappointed you by what I have written today. It was a tough decision to make but one that as much as I dislike is one that I understand. All I have to offer is an apology and my thanks again for being so caring towards my family.
I send my best wishes to you and yours

Lori Hawkins Asked:
Hi John,
Per your request, I am asking for a reply to my email at the top of my comment 🙂
I have been reading your blog and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the “thingy”. Everything happens for a reason, and you and Heidi not being acceptable to the adoption system there, is proof of that! You were blessed with your precious daughter and I you had me crying reading your touching story of Kye’s birth. Your daughter will be showing off her “Heald” characteristic for a long time to come 🙂 Congratulations to all of you on becoming a “family”. There is absolutely NOTHING better in the universe than this. Please do keep us informed of her progress… as well as yours and Heidi’s and don’t leave out the pictures.
I have the pleasure of going on the Carnival Splendor in a few weeks. I am one of the lucky ones that took advantage of the low resident pricing for the Swine Flu Canada Itinerary (changed from Mexico). As it turns out, we now have a Cruise Critic group going of over 80 passengers at last count… and the list keeps growing. I would really like to be able to get us an actual space/room for a Meet and Greet so that we can be assured of being able to fit somewhere together. This was not booked as a group, so no amenities for such available. I have contacted the Wedding department, per the instructions on the website, but they have informed me that we have to set up a Cocktail Party and pay upfront for a minimum of 20 guests. Since we are not related, and not an actual “group”, this really isn’t an option. I am a travel agent and have travelled on other cruise lines and have not had a problem requesting and getting a room to hold our Cruise Critic meet and greet at no charge(with no alcohol), but this has not been the case with Carnival. I was told that I should contact you and see if there is anything that you could possibly do for us since you are quite the arranger 🙂
Initially we had planned to just meet at the AFT bar, but since our group keeps growing, I fear that we will just not have the space we need.
I would appreciate anything that you could do for us and I thank you in advance for taking the time out of your new fatherhood role to find out and let me know.
Auntie Lori (yep.. Kye has another

John Says:
Hello Lori
My goodness what wonderful words and I thank you so much on behalf of Heidi and Kye for writing them. Of course we can give you a room. That will not be a problem and I will arrange for one to be reserved on the first sea day afternoon for you. Please tell your roll call to look at the today at a glance section in the sea day Carnival Capers and Brad will have added “Cruise Critic group meet.” There will be a private party sign outside for you and I am sure we can have a bar waiter or two swing by to your members can order drinks if they want and pay for them using their own Sail & Sign cards.
I hope this helps and I wish you a great cruise
Thanks again for being so kind

Now, let’s listen to Jaime.

May 18, 2009

Dear John,

Pulling away from Carnival’s private island, Half Moon Cay, seeing the bluest waters and whitest beaches of any port I have ever visited and watching the fiery orange and red sun vanish into the horizon has given me the perfect motivation to write John a letter. This port is filled with incredible memories from previous contracts. I visited Half Moon not only on the Carnival Splendor this past November, but also regularly during my contract on the Carnival Imagination. It was at this very location that I met John and Heidi at the sophisticated and fun Private Oasis; and in the evening, after setting sail from this very island John invited me to join him on the Carnival Splendor’s Inaugural Team. The rest was history.

Today I was thinking a lot about John and Heidi. Just how proud I am to know that he is now a father. How I am sure Heidi is already a wonderful mother because she takes care of John all day long and just how much I nearly threw up in my mouth when I saw John getting into that very same beautiful blue ocean in a bathing suit that could hardly be described as itsy, bitsy, teeny or weeny.

The last few cruises on the Pride have been nothing short of incredible. We have an amazingly talented and hard working team of entertainment staff. We are currently sailing on our third different itinerary, which means all the new Capers are nearly complete. Plus, I get along quite well with my supervisors. We have a great vibe going. It is a shame that I am going to be changing ships in the next few months….

Some may be thinking, “Silly Jaime, why the heck would you switch ships if you are having such a great time on the Pride?” Well, the truth of the matter is I want to share with you how honored and excited I am to have been invited to be part of the inaugural team of the Carnival Dream. I am truly looking forward to working with Todd, James and the rest of the entertainment department. Even though I have not worked with Todd in the past, I have heard nothing but incredible things from both guests and crew about how great he is to work for and sail with. I am so thankful that John used his persuasive expertise to explain to him that my experience during the Splendor start-up, could be put to good use on the new-newest Carnival ship. That and, I think John threatened to send Todd naked pictures of himself if he didn’t choose me to be part of the team… Thank you =)

In other exciting Carnival Pride news: This month is the entertainment departments turn to run the crew activities. Each month, one department is responsible for putting on a variety of extra curricular activities for their fellow crew members. So far within the month, we have held a Rockin’ Disco Under the Stars Party, a super fun Havana Party, Kirk’s favorite, The Stiletto and Mojito Party and my personal favorite: The Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament. Now at first I thought this was a silly idea, but when I walked away the winner, with a $60 cash prize in hand, my thinking was transformed and I thought it was a brilliant activity! This tournament was operated exactly how it sounds, crew members faced off head to head and the winner best 2 out of 3 rock, paper, or scissors, advanced to the next round. The final round consisted of a beautiful member of Spa Carnival, Natalie vs. myself. My winning may have been due to Kirk’s inability to properly understand how a bracket works, but nonetheless a great time was had by all.

As mentioned before we have an incredibly strong, hard working team on the Pride. All of which is headed by the long time Carnival Cruise Director Kirk Benning. Here is a short interview so you can get to know Kirk a little better. You may notice, he is a man of a few words, no wonder I like him so much!

Kirk Benning

San Diego, California

Riding my motorcycle. Spending quality time with people I care about.

How Long have you Worked for Carnival?
I began working for Carnival in 1990 as a disc jockey, became a cruise director in 1995, retired in 1998, and returned home to Carnival in 2007. Coming back has been the best decision I have made in years.

Favorite Travel Destination:
Lake Tahoe, it is the most beautiful place on Earth, and the scenery changes every single day. You can look out the window and never see the same thing twice.

Proudest Moment:
I am not exactly sure what my proudest moment is. I will get back to you once I decide what I want to be when I grow up.

If You Could Have Any Other Career in the World, What Would it Be?
I have held such a wide variety of jobs in my life, and I keep coming back to my dream job. Here I am.


The Carnival Pride as seen from Deck 10 Fwd

Cruise Director Kirk during the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament
Thank you everyone,
Looking forward to sharing more with you soon =)
All the best,
Jaime from the Pride (and Kirk too!!)

Another Jaime masterpiece and it seems she and Kirk are on top of making sure the Carnival Pride’s first season out of Baltimore is a very successful one. Jaime will be going to help Todd and his staff for a few weeks on the Carnival Dream but before that I am going to untwine her from Kirk’s clutches and she will be working with me for a few weeks on the Carnival Freedom. For those of you who do not know Kirk , he is a CD you must sail with. My thanks to them both and lets hope Jaime finds love this year …… in fact…..she already may have……I will leave that one for her next Dear John letter due next week.

Now, let me introduce you to Paul Saunders who has just returned from a cruise and I asked him if he would share his adventures through the lens of his camera. Paul is one of our brillinat PVP’s and I know many of you will have enjoyed his fun and corteous service. Anyway………..let’s start with San Juan……..hello Nanni…………..and enjoy some amazing shots of this beautiful city.










I love Puerto Rico from the sail in past the El Moro fortress to the charm of Old San Juan’s cobbled streets shops and restaurants. I am looking forward to returning there on the Carnival Dream.

Well, it is time to blow our own trumpet again….here is an article from the London Times.

The Sunday Times

So, your blog has won another award and I must say a huge thank you to everyone who takes their valuable time…..or their bosses’ valuable time if you read it at work…….to spend some time taking in my ramblings. Also, none of this would be possible without the help of Stephanie Leavitt. Now, she will ramble on and on about it being a team effort blah,blah,blah,blah. Well, maybe it is but she is the driving force behind what happens here and she must get the credit……lets giver her some. Also, I share this award with Vance Gulliksen who spell checks each and every blog and makes sure I say nothing that may offend anyone…….except Paris Hilton, NCL, RCI, Judge Judy, polar bears ….. or the French. Thanks to them and of course Tom, Peter, Tony and Jordan and the illusive but oh so supportive PA 007.

Also, have a look at this article written by one of the top travel writers in the UK and published in the Daily Mirror National newspaper

It seems I have a famous daughter. That was a great article and I thank Captain Greybeard for an article we will always treasure. Now I only need Gene Sloan of USA Today and Anita Dunham Potter of MSNBC and Trip Advisor to write about her and we will have a hat trick of articles.

I was obviously joking yesterday when I said that I would be President of P&O next year. Not only do they already have a brilliant leader already but if he was to get kidnapped by aliens I doubt my name is on the list to replace him. I say this only because I have already received a few comments asking if I was really going to be given the job ….. ummmmmm ……there is probably more chance of me performing Riverdance naked on the Carnival Dream’s Lido Deck than that happening so please don’t worry.

I have to go back to Michael Jackson as I am currently listening to his greatest hits album. As I was saying, there is no part of his life I didn’t envy way back when. I wanted his carousel and his go-kart track. I want to spend a couple of million every time I go shopping and not care because I have a billion in the bank. I want a four-wheel-drive car so long that when the back is in Los Angeles the front is in Utah. But most of all I want to be so far removed from even the merest smidgen of reality that I think it’s okay to do pretty much what I please.

Think. You could go on television and with a straight face — well, what’s left of it — say you’ve never had plastic surgery. I could dangle Kye off a balcony and work around wearing a mask and not give a shiny shite what anyone else thinks. If someone complains about him he can simply shower them with money until they bugger off.

So yes, as I watched that documentary, I was left in no doubt: George Clooney might be big, but Michael Jackson is five times bigger. He redefines the boundaries of celebrity and in a world that idolizes reality TV people that makes him seriously special. You could put him in the dictionary as a definition of extraordinary………….even though he is clearly as mad as rabid bat.

Well, Kye is doing well. I never thought anyone so small could produce some much poo. And boy, it stinks more than Paris in the middle of August. Heidi is the complete mother and I have no idea how she is managing to stay so calm and so in control. I spend many hours unable to sleep listening to Kye and last night at least twice I jumped out of bed and ran over to her Moses Basket because I could not hear her breathe. She is though very healthy and as complicated as the breast feeding thing is Heidi and Kye have it down perfectly and she sits and suckles between Heidi’s bosoms with easy…… lucky sod.

Heidi is tired, of that there is no doubt. Her muscles ache from pushing and yet she never complains………….and……..she doesn’t have any stretch marks……….but I do …….. bugger.

I want to thank you all once again for the wonderful kind words and the cards. I went to the PO Box today and collected cards and a teddy bear for the little one. I promise we will send thank you cards very soon. Kye just told me that she would like you to send her an Aston Martin please.

OK, I have to go because Stephanie Leavitt just called to remind me I have a conference call about the Carnival Dream Bloggers Cruises. I had forgotten. This call will feature lots of marketing speak such as “Well, we’re outside the box here with a new kind of ladder up venture and we can’t know what the result will be until we’ve run the flag up the flagpole and reached out to the people.”

Plainly I will want to argue with this, but as I draw a breath to speak I will realize that what was just said didn’t make any bloody sense. So, I shall pretend to be interested and understand when in reality I shall be dressed only in my mostly white underpants. Listening to Michael Jackson sing Billy Jean while trying to moon walk and grabbing my crutch.


Your friends
John, Heidi and Kye

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.