Baby Blues

May 20, 2009 -

John Heald

This morning was the first time since Heidi gave birth to Kye that she has left the house. She desperately needed some fresh air and instead of me taking the Range Rover to buy some cheese and nipple pads…….Heidi said she would go leaving me home on my own with Kye. She would only be gone 20 minutes but that thought was enough to feel a little tear………running down the inside of my leg.

Of course I was in a total panic and maybe Heidi was as well because she called me five times during the 35 minutes she was out of the house. I think she was expecting to find her sitting in the refrigerator or chomping on a dish washer tablet.

However…..these things do happen. Take the news here about a mother who had left their kids at home while she buggered off, not to do some shopping…….but for a vacation ….. in Spain.

She had arrived at the airport where she found she had lost her kids passports …… so she’d put them in a taxi and sent them home. What’s the world coming to?

Something must be done.

However, let’s stop and think for a moment. The children left behind were 13 and 14 and, while this may seem young to those of us of a forty-ish disposition, we have to face the fact that today 13 is the new 18.

If I’d been left at home alone when I was 13, I’d have been dead of hunger or electrocution within the hour. Come to think of it, if I were left at home aged 44 there’d be the same result in the same sort of time frame.

We might like to think of a 13-year-old as some newborn Bambi, all slimy and incapable with wobbly legs, but it’s not like that these days. I know……..I have seen some 13-year- olds on the ships that look like anything but 13.

It is quite amazing how that age group have changed. Just 10 or so years ago these kids wanted to go to Camp Carnival and decorate cookies and watch cartoons and play with G I Joes.

Today, many 13-year-olds can smoke 20 cigarettes a day, hot-wire a car, outrun the police, fight an entire army of aliens, drink a bottle of vodka without being sick and operate every mechanical and electrical device in the world… So……with that in mind…… They should have no trouble being left at home with a microwave and a can opener.

Certainly, most 13-year-olds are far better able to fend for themselves than most 90-year-olds. And governments have no problems about leaving them all by themselves for week after interminable week with no pension and no reliable means of reaching the toilet on time.

Can a 90-year-old program a television or understand microwavable food? Ummmm ……. nope.

Of course a 13-year-old cannot afford to pay for bills like heating and electricity ……. but at least he can use his lap top computer and hack into the power company’s accounts and adjust his bill to zero.

Of course, giving independence to the pre-teens may sound sad, horrific even, like a return to Dickensian times.

But if we accept they’re capable and socially active at 13, it might also get the government out of a hole. Because with the credit crunch the state may be unable to afford to pay pensions, parents could get support from their children by sending the ungrateful, mollycoddled spoiled little brats up some chimneys.

Anyway, nothing happened during the 35 minutes Kye was left with Daddy apart from a very big poo…..but I kept the bathroom door open while I was having it so I could always see her………I am a good Dad.

Time for some questions….here we go.

Frank and Bridie Rist Asked:
John Please reply,
OK so now that we know your schedule for the Dream next year we would love to set up a meeting sometime. Even if it is before or after your cruise seeing that we and Linda Hernacki live 10-15 minutes from the port.
P.S. John we will never be tired of hearing about Kye. You are a daddy to a beautiful girl and you should gloat and brag every chance you get!!!
Big Fans as always,
Frank and Bridie

John Says:
Hello Frank and Bridie
I think we may be a few days apart from me answering your question and me having posted the fact that I will be on the Carnival Dream from late January until the end of March. I think you are also sailing within that time frame are you not? If not then of course we can meet up before hand. Thanks for the kind words about Kye and I do hope to see you really soon
Best wishes

Geri & Jack Asked:
Hi John (please reply)
Big huge welcome to beautiful little Kye and congrats again to her happy parents.
John, I have two questions to ask you please.
1. We are soon approaching platinum status and we have only one pin in total – one from the Freedom (March 2009).
Will you please send us the pins below as we treasure them so much, before they run out:
Valor (2006)
Splendor (B2B Nov.2008)
Dream (B2B Nov. 2009)
2. We have never received the Carnival magazine and would love to have it.
Thank you for help in this. We will see you on the Bloggers cruise this Nov. We did not know about this cruise being a Blogger’s cruise and have airline status. We would really love to meet you sometime or where during the cruise. I especially love tea and would give anything to have tea with you and the bloggers. This would be nice for our 50th Anniversary cruise. Hoping to hear from you soon and thank you again. I love your blog and your new baby girl is beautiful.

John Says:
Hello Geri
Thank you also for the lovely words for my family, you are most kind.
I am so sorry that you have not been receiving the Carnival Currents magazine, as well as about the pins, but I will make sure (with Stephanie’s help) that you are immediately put on the mailing list and you should therefore get your first copy very soon. Mostly though I want to congratulate you on your near Platinum status and I know you will enjoy the brilliant rewards that come with it. I promise that we will have tea times every day on the bloggers cruises and as I am a great lover of tea we will have lots of time to chat.
I hope this helps and if there is anything else you need please let me know
Best wishes

“BIG” ED Asked:
John, just two very important items here. One we do want to see more pictures of our little niece. We want to watch here grow and change into the beautiful girl see will be.
Second you better be booking a TA to get both Heidi and Kye her for the bloggers cruise if your not going to fly them here. Do you think were coming on the bloggers cruise to see you. Since you will be on the Carnival Dream before the BC you don’t have to be on the plane when Heidi and Kye come across for the BC to join you. I will have my fingers on the cancel this cruise button waiting to see your answer to this.

John Says:
Hello Uncle Big Ed and Aunty Pat
As you and many others seem to be happy for me to continue to post the mushy stuff I will continue to do so. Most of the pictures of Kye are going to be the same because ……..well……all she does is …….ummmm………just sleep, and eat and if I was to put a photo of Heidi breast feeding the next photo you would see would be one of me …………… in hospital………having a pacifier removed from by bottom. Anyway, later this week I will send in some more photos.
Heidi and I are already in discussion regarding how to get her here for the next Bloggers Cruises. We had considered doing a TA on the Carnival Dream but 16 days away and then another month as well will be too much for a six month old. So we are talking about flying her and Heidi over. Ultimately it will be Heidi’s decision as she will be the one who has to look after her. Let’s see what happens. I can tell you that it is something she wants to do as she has so many people to thank…..including Uncle Big Ed and Aunty Pat
Best wishes

cruzn buckeye Asked:
Hi John! Please reply
Kye is such a cute little baby doll. I am very happy for you and Heidi!
Thanks for the pics of the Dream. However, I must say I feel like smacking myself! I had booked the Dream for Feb. 2010 due to the fact that I thought you would be bringing her out. I even started the roll call on cruise critic. When I read that you were not and since I prefer cruising in Sept., I changed the date from Feb. 27 to Sept. 11. This also saves me mucho bucks (500) and allowed me to get a particular balcony cabin that I love. Now I read that you WILL be on the Feb. cruise! Darn it anyhow! I know that someday you will be cruising from Europe again. I wanted my boyfriend to get to experience cruising with you as a CD before you made that change. Health issues prevent me from flying that far. I was looking forward to having you as a CD again also.
He and I were both on the Feb. blogger’s cruise…it was so much fun! He was the “I’m never leaving this ship!” new cruiser. I told him I have to get him on a cruise with you as the CD! Any chance that you will be on the Dream in Sept. 2010…will Todd need to take another vacation by then? Nothing against Todd but I was so looking forward to cruising with you again! Oh well, that’s what I get for changing my plans.

John Says:
Hello Cruzn buckeye
She is indeed a beautiful girl and I am so lucky to have two in my life now …three if you count Jessica Simpson.
I read that you changed your plans thinking that I would be the cruise director for the inaugural season of the Carnival Dream and I now feel very guilty that you thought I would be there. I did consider it but having been the cruise director for 10 new ships I thought this was the time to hand the reigns over to someone younger. When I made this choice I did so thinking that we would have a ship in Europe for the 2010 season which would have meant I would have been closer to home and family. But please don’t worry. First of all I have no idea what the rest of my 2010 schedule looks like past March and there maybe a chance that I may be on the Carnival Dream in September. Regardless, I promise that the ship and all her crew will be so very special you will be saying “John ……… John who?”
I truly hope we get to sail with each other again and until then I will be here should you need anything at all

PleasedtomeetthebabyKye Asked:
I am so pleased that your first three days of fatherhood. My most vivid memory of the return home of my first (and only) apple of my eye was screaming at the Mrs. “can’t you just get her to shut up” the first night.
You mentioned the difference between the NHS in England and the health care we get here in the US – one big difference is how quickly Heidi and Kye returned home. The Mrs and baby did not come home for three days post-birth. Personally, I think the nurse midwife way is better for most births – keep the obstetrician for the more serious cases. After all, women have been giving birth for generations with minimal assistance.
Now, onto my significant point – it strikes me that you have failed to consider your options completely. First, a Cunard cruise from Southampton to New York, then Amtrak from New York to Miami. No airplane travel involved.
Blessings to Kye, Heidi and especially to you.

John Says:
Hello Jon
How brilliant is that. You know, I had never thought of that. Maybe I can arrange this. I wonder if Cunard have a ship doing trans-Atlantic in November though. I am going to check. It would be great if they could be with me and I am already dreading the day I have to say goodbye.
Thanks mate for the great idea. Are you coming on the next bloggers cruise?
My best to you and Mrs MTSFP.


kiciaski Asked:
Hello John,
We’re so glad you’re going to be the CD on our Carnival Dream cruise on 2/13/09. That will make up for missing you on the Carnival Valor in March. Let us know when we should send in our requests of what we want answered about the Dream when you see her in June.
Hi Heidi and sounds like you’re doing a great job with Kye. Glad that John is helping out around the house so you have more time to devote to your new bundle of joy.
George and Linda

John Says:
Hello George and Linda
I have not written to you in a long time and I hope you are both well. It will be great to see you both and once I return from the visiting the ship in a few weeks I should be able to answer most of your questions so please start thinking about them and I will do my best to answer them on my return.
We both send you our best and yes………I really am helping around the house.
Best wishes

Marty Paul Asked:
“John, please reply”
John, I am new to this bloggy thing as you are to your new “Thingy”. First and foremost, congratulations to you and Heidi on your beautiful baby girl Kye. With regard to Kye, thanks for sharing your words and photos on your blog.
My girlfriend Jeanne and I are booked on the Oct 15th sailing of the Carnival Dream on the 12 day Grand Med cruise. Jeanne & I have been together for 5 years, so I am planning on “popping the question” on Captain Nogara’s gondola in Venice. Since he is a ship captain, the engagement may be the shortest in history, as he can also marry us on the spot. Also, the black & white striped shirt is good for officiating. Just kidding about the Capt Nogara part, put serious about proposing to Jeanne on a gondola ride at night in Venice.
If possible, could you notify the maitre de in Chef’s Art, as I will be booking a celebratory dinner there on the evening we sail from Venice. The Carnival Dream is going to be a beautiful ship and I am ecstatic to be sailing on one of her first few voyages!
Marty Paul
Houston, Texas

John Says:
Hello Marty
Welcome to the blog. I am so glad you found us and thank you so much for the kind words of congratulations. Proposing on a gondola means that you are officially……a stud muffin. The question is usually asked as the gondola goes under the Bridge of Sighs which is a bridge which legend has it will bring you untold happiness and love… although this could be bollocks.
Anyway, nearer the time, please remind me of your intentions and let’s see what I can do to help.
Best Wishes

Lon & Roxianne Asked:
John – Please Reply
Could you please help our group (Roll Call Legend 5/24/2009) to organize a get together? We would like either Sunday May 24th or Monday May 25th as some of the folks are 1st time cruisers who want to make friend for themselves and their children. Thanks!

John Says:
Hello Roxi and Lon
Of course, I would be happy to help. I would like to suggest the 25th as embarkation day is difficult as everyone arrives at different times, etc. So, please look in the first sea day Carnival Capers which will have “Cruise Critic Group Meet” in the today at a glance section. I will ask the ship to have a room available early afternoon.
Hope this is ok and I wish you all a wonderful time
Best wishes

Jrmende63 (Julie Mendenhall0 Asked:
John, (please reply)
Thank you so much for answering my question about the past guest pins. I have been told that the gift shops on the ships have gold pins shaped like ships with that ships name on it. Are these still going to be offered? I have not noticed them in the gift shops before, but I was not looking for them. Now hopefully they will still be there, as I really do think a lot of the pins and want to continue to collect them, even if they don’t look like the past guest ones. I don’t know if it makes a difference to
Carnival that we are really sad about these pins going away, but maybe they could sell the past guest pins in the gift shops? I know from the thread on Cruise critic that lots of people are sad to not be able to get one of those pins.
Now for not posting pics of Kye…YOU MUST!! We love your little daughter and consider her a part of our lives, just as you and Heidi are a part of our lives. Please continue to post about her and pics too!.
Thank you for taking the time to answer and listen to me. I know you are very busy and I appreciate all you do for us bloggers. I know the pins are such a tiny part in Carnivals eyes, but to us, me especially, they are a big part of my total cruise package. I am really proud of my cruise hat with all of my pins.

John Says:
Hello Julie
The pins you are referring to were not the ones that we used to hand out to the past guests so you didn’t miss them. Once again I am so sorry about the pins and you should be proud of your hat that displays all the ships you have cruised on. Anyway, I promise faithfully to keep the photos of Kye coming and I want to thank you so much for your very kind words.
Best wishes to you and the family

Susanne Sanders Asked:
“John, Please Respond”
I first sailed with you on the Imagination in December, 1995. It was my first cruise, and one that I will always remember! I will be sailing on my seventh Carnival cruise on May 31, on the Valor. I, like many others are now addicted to cruising. One of the things I enjoy most is sharing that experience with those new to cruising. It is so exciting to see and share all the excitement again and again. I have a couple of questions for you. Who will be our cruise director on this sailing? I will be bringing a co-worker along with me on this cruise, and was wondering if she would be able to attend the Captain’s Cocktail party with me? She is a great co-worker, and friend, and one who really deserves this cruise. She is really dedicated to her family, and is much deserving of some time for herself. Anything you can do to make this cruise special for her would really be appreciated. I am really excited to be able to introduce her to cruising, and very happy to share this with her. We have been planning this for the past two months, and can’t wait for it to begin. John, you made my first cruise memorable, and have me hooked! Congratulations on the arrival of your little girl. Thanks for sharing with us the stories and photos of Kye. She is a beautiful baby. (Keep a look-out for a special little gift
For a special little girl) Again, thanks for the fantastic memories you have provided for so many Carnival cruisers. You are a delightful gentleman! Our cabin # is —, sailing on the Valor on May 31, 2009. Anything you can do to make this special for my friend Charlotte would be wonderful!
Susanne S

John Says:
Hello Susanne
I love the Carnival Imagination. She has been and always will be my favorite ship. Heidi and I got engaged there and it has always had a special place in my heart. I am not sure if you have sailed on her since the ship had her evolutions of fun upgrade but she looks absolutely brilliant. Your cruise director during your Carnival Valor cruise will be Big Tex who is from Michigan…….sorry……….Texas. He is a wonderful CD and do not miss his “Dance” show. Also look out for his Assistant CD Gary who is a fellow Brit and very, very funny……..even though he is from Manchester.
Now, your friend sounds very special but I am not sure what you mean by “can she attend the Captain’s Cocktail Party?” as every guest is invited to this elegant night event. I am guessing you mean the “past guest party” and if that is the case please let me know and I will make sure she can attend. I am humbled that you have sent something for Kye………is it an Aston Martin? Seriously, thank you so much.
Best wishes

That’s all I was asked to answer today but I see I have a bunch more for tomorrow so once again I invite you to let me know if there is anything I can do for you. And thank you to all the people who continue to post comments and reviews here on the blog.

OK, I mentioned yesterday that Kye was featured in two national newspapers yesterday but that’s not all because she was also featured in the electronic version of our employee newsletter, eSeaview, which goes out to all 36,000 Carnival employees both shipboard and shoreside and is a combined effort of the corporate training and public relations departments. Here is yesterday’s feature which was brilliantly titled as you will see


So, the New Kids on the Block cruise was a massive success and I hoping Tim Cabral from Carnival will send me some behind the scenes shots soon.

I hope you enjoyed Paul’s photos of San Juan yesterday and today we will feature some of the shots our Personal Vacation Planner friend took while going ashore in St. Thomas. While shopping dominates there are so many places that will leave you just breathless ……and the snorkelling is some of the finest in the Caribbean. The sea is a deep blue and crystal clear, with thousands of fish lazing around – happy in the knowledge that they’ve struck it lucky. They get entertained by the amateur snorkelers (can you be a professional?) who float round the place, pointing and trying to speak to each other in bubbles – “Lkkkk is mpror fsh.”

But what a view. I remember the first time I took Heidi snorkelling in Trunk Bay on the Island of St.John’s U.S.V.I …….. Goodness me……that was in 1996. Anyway, his was the first time she had snorkelled and the look on her face when she spotted all the fish was priceless. We spent a sublime half-hour drifting past schools of trumpet fish, barracuda and multifarious, multicolored tropical things whose names I couldn’t tell you. Eventually, we waded back to shore and flopped down on the sand to spend time taking in the extraordinary view.

Travel beneath the waves – take an Atlantis submarine tour in St. Thomas, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and many other locations. The subs, which are specially designed for underwater sightseeing, descend to 120 feet then spend 45 minutes among the coral, fish and sunken wrecks. This is a special treat for non-swimmers and children….just don’t get drunk the night before like my mate Alan did. ……because if you want to vomit ………. there are no bathrooms and absolutely no escape……his poor wife’s purse.

This is something you will never forget …….. How many people can actually say that they went beneath the Caribbean waves in a submarine? However, you must also see the island and Paul did by taking our Best of St. Thomas excursion which features Blackbeard’s Castle, Magens Bay and much much more

Anyway……… are Paul’s brilliant shots of St. Thomas…………..have you been there on a Carnival cruise?




There will be more St. Thomas photos tomorrow and once again my thanks to Paul for sharing his cruise memories with us. It’s great to see the PVP’s taking so many cruises and expanding their already impressive knowledge of our product so when you call they can tell you even more about our great company through their first-hand experiences.

Here on the home front all is well. Heidi is very tired though as am I but help arrives today in the shape of Heidi’s Mum whose name is Ria. She will be flying in from Amsterdam today which by the way is the reason this blog will be posted later than usual as my writing will be interrupted by me playing taxi. I love Heidi’s Mum and she is a wonderful caring person. However, she speaks little or no English so as Heidi will be staying home with Kye our conversations during the journey should be interesting as my Dutch is crap.

I can only say “Hello, how are you?” and “That elephant has a huge penis.” “Di oliphant hept ein groter pimol” and “You smell, are you from Paris.”…….”Je stinkt, kom jaj uit Paris”…………so unless we see an elephant with a massive thingy or drive home via France……….. there will be little to say.

Seriously though I am so glad she is here not only to see her granddaughter but to look after Heidi. I have tried so hard but I can’t cook and do other stuff that I know would help her out. My Mum is washing Kye’s clothes and she has been a star so now with both Mum’s here hopefully Heidi can get a little rest. What she really needs is some sun and that’s why I hope to take her to Italy with me later this year.

OK, I am going now to get her but will return with the closing of today’s blog later tonight…………….I wonder if there any zoos nearby that have elephants.

Here I am and while Mum and daughter hug and cry and make clucking noises around Heidi I will apologize to you and to Stephanie and Vance for the lateness of today’s blog.

We had a great call yesterday about the 2009 Bloggers Cruises and also spoke about the 2010 voyage a little as well. So, I will be telling you some more about all of this tomorrow.

Anyway, things are going great with Kye and like most babies……..or so I am told ……. she farts a lot. Of course I love it when she does but while I am giggling like a seven-year-old Heidi is “tutting” and saying things like “Kye, that’s not very ladylike.” You see its only men that find farts hilarious. I have never ever seen a grown woman, when with a group of other women, break wind then waft the pungent eggy aroma toward her friends ………….this does not happen.

Only men and children and the Germans find farting funny.

I have farted in the spa and on stage. I have broken wind on the bridge and when I introduced Micky Arison and Coach Pat Riley on the Carnival Imagination I was so nervous I farted and had blow through.

But even though I find farting funny I am aware of the baby blues and that Heidi’s emotions may be a little scuwiff as we say here in the UK. I am still trying to do what I can around the house. The problem is that when I tell a funny joke…….which isn’t often …….the audience laugh and when at the end of a show like the bedtime story they applaud and even may stand up and give you an ovation……..but I get none of this at home and that’s not fair. For example I emptied the garbage bins this morning without being asked to and I told Heidi “Hey, I have just emptied the garbage bins”……..and I got bugger all response…………I said it again, “Heidi I have just emptied the garbage bins.” This time adding a “DA DAH” on the end…………nothing…….no applause…… well done ……… no standing ovation. How absolutely ridiculous is that?

However, this may be because I caught her trying to throw some of my clothes into the charity bag. Every week we have a lady come to the house who works for the Salvation Army. Mrs Gilson comes and collects clothes for the homeless people and we are always happy to help.

Except this time I saw her trying to give my lucky underpants away. I have joked many times about this but I have actually had a pair that I have considered lucky for many years. I always wear them for the Welcome Aboard show, Bedtime Story and I wore them for the night Kye was born. I am not joking……really I am not. These are not just underpants they are magical underpants and as the men reading this will admit ……. every man has a pair. Women do not understand. OK, they may be past their best and are unable to give you the support you once had but they are still……your lucky underpants.

Well, Heidi tried to give mine to the Salvation Army today. I was not happy. She got all emotional and teary saying that they looked old and worn, smelled bad and bacteria was growing inside…..and Heidi cried some more. This then was the end of my favorite pair of underwear and some large homeless man will no doubt soon be wearing them. I hope he finds them as lucky and as powerful as I have.

And if my Welcome Aboard and Bedtime Story shows suck…….you will now why………….because I do not have my lucky underpants on. I never thought I would let them go but Heidi’s baby blues signalled their demise………….they were my Superman

Underpants………..and Heidi was their kryptonite

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.