Google….My Arse

May 22, 2009 -

John Heald

One of the most annoying and frustrating aspects of working on stage and performing a show, activity or talk is hearing people in the audience talking……………..loudly. It throws of my comedy timing which is already as poor as a 50 year old Timex watch. I guess some passengers do not have the understanding that a live performance is different to watching television. You can talk back to the TV…………but live entertainment ………… well that’s very different.

I remember one such time when talking during a performance was taken to a new level. I was on the Carnival Splendor last year and was hosting my St. Petersburg, Russia and Tallin, Estonia travel talk. Now, with the greatest respect to my colleagues, hosting a travel talk about Nassau and hosting a travel talk about St. Petersburg are two very different animals. You can pretty much cover the history and places of interest that Nassau offers in 30 minutes. Whereas the Hermitage Museum alone took 15 minutes to talk bout and what with the tsars and the tsarinas and the Church of the Spilled Blood and the immigration laws and etc. etc. etc…………it was a talk that required my total concentration. So, there I was, a room full of 1,600 expectant knowledge hungry guests hanging on my every word when…………….from the middle of the theatre I hear ………………….. the unmistakable sound of static from one of those intolerable Motorola radios. The chap using it was on the fifth or sixth row, talking to his wife on her radio and guess where she was………………in the balcony section of the theatre. Well, obviously I had a bit of fun with him and even though it brought laughter to the room it threw me off my rhythm and made me realize that some people don’t understand when to be quiet……………………let me explain why I am talking about this. You see there are folks who lack spatial awareness and will crash into a pole while they’re walking…………..that does not affect the rest of us and……………is actually quite funny. But people who lack vocal volume awareness? They’re too busy shouting to notice and the rest of us just have to suffer. Take the movies…………there you are watching Angelina Jolie slip out of her stockings and suspenders when the vegetablist woman behind you starts talking to her partner about how sexist this movie is with a movie showing. Then you have the right to say: “sssshhhh………….if you don’t like it bugger off……………. and eat some tofu.”

But try shushing someone sitting next to you at a restaurant………..as I did today. Heidi told me to bugger off out of the house and enjoy lunch with my mate Danny.

She seemed to think that I was getting under her feet and fussing over Kye to much so that was me ………. expelled for an hour. So off we went and as I am on a diet I decided to meet Danny at a sushi place so I could have the Sushi stuff without the rice ………….. Timpancrapymispoomi or something like that. Anyway, I was munching on my raw fish quietly telling Danny how wonderful it was to be a Dad when a man and a woman sat down at the empty table next to us.

Immediately, they began a running commentary – first about the decor, then about the food. “It tastes fishy,” she screamed to her partner who was seated across the table. He wasn’t seated across the street………………………….. why was she shouting?

The two of them continued chatting as though they were at a heavy metal gig and Lemy and Motorhead were belting out Ace Of Spades. Everyone within a five-table radius was subjected to her thoughts on the spicy tuna. (Too spicy). Danny………….my mate ……………..is not one to mince his words and after the man started screaming at krakatoan levels about his new kitchen at home…………..Danny leaned over and said “Excuse me…………will you keep your voice down. I ain’t bovvered about your tuna or your kitchen and me and my mate can’t hear our selves fink.”

Now Danny is 6 feet 4 and as hard as an elephant’s thingy that has just been given the come and get me signal……………and so…………realizing that there was a chance of them wearing getting a closer look at a Californian Roll…….they spoke as if they were in a convent.

I wrote I think here in the blog thingy about my flight from London to San Francisco to film that “be a cruise director for the day” thing for the USA Network on the Carnival Paradise.

Apologies for telling the story again but it fits nicely into today’s theme.

I found myself trapped. I was on the aisle in a row for three of the American Airlines business class section and the other two seats were occupied by an attractive young woman who was in the “movie industry” and an actor who, for some reason, didn’t get on her nerves.

Listening to an overly animated actor flirt with a giggling film executive for hour after hour hours is my version of water boarding. He was performing a one man show. I’ve never seen someone make so much use of the tiny space.

He was mincing around, waving his arms, and everything he said was overly exaggerated and from what I have seen on TV the only place for him was one of those soap programs…you know…………..The Bold and the Restless…

At one point, during his monologue, she offers him a piece of gum. His response? “HELL YEAH!” Where could I go? Nowhere. What could I do? Nothing. I considered complaining to the flight attendants but she seemed to recognize this guy and flirted with him the entire flight.

I remember the breaking point for me was during the in flight lunch. Eating food that tastes like Yak poo is bad enough but listening to the woman laughing so hard she can’t catch her breath was too much and I remember thinking that I hoped she would choke on her vegetarian pasta. That would shut them up. But then I felt bad. There had to be other options. What I couldn’t understand is how he hadn’t taken a break from the chatter and she hadn’t imposed one. It was non-stop. Then the actor started showing off his accents. The British voice, which sounded more like a hillbilly from Arkansas, and his Italian which sounded Indian………..It was agony. How could there be no pause at all? From accents he moves into his opinions on actors, those who “rock” and those who “suck.”

It got so loud that the woman in the row in front of ours turned around. She gave me one of those looks that says: “Boy am I glad I don’t have your seat.”

Just then it hit me: it had turned from an audition into a way for this actor to get some rumpy pumpy. How do I know? Because she was getting to talk too. Every so often he’d ask her a question. I was the third wheel; an unwilling chaperone on the loudest first date in history. And since they had no comprehension that I was sitting with them, they made no efforts to tone it down or to hide the fact that when the plane landed that they were off for some horizontal entertainment.

Ideally, there would have been a mute button on the side of my head and when I switched it on, it would block out all outside noise. The only problem then is – I’d be forced to listen to my own thoughts which then were telling me “I hope we crash into a mountain.”

So, noise has been on my mind, on planes, on the stage and here at home. We had a visitor yesterday. I can’t say who it was because they may read the blog. It was one of Heidi’s friends and she has that annoying habit of getting as close as she can to you and speaking as though she is has a bull horn implanted inside her tunnel like mouth …………. and it doesn’t help that she has the breath that smells like the inside of a camel’s arse.

It was OK with me and Heidi. We are used to it and know not to breathe in while she is talking but when she saw beautiful Kye………she got so excited and as bent over her Moses Basket she roared ” Isn’t she beautifulllllllll.” Now Kye, who is a baby who only seems to cry when she wants to suckle on one of Heidi’s breasts…….as do I……let out a piercing high pitched howl. This was either because her tiny eardrums had burst from the volume of Mrs Tunnelmouth or because she had been subjected to breath that made Kye’s poo smell like Chanel No. 5.

So, I am now sitting in silence save the music of Jethro Tull and therefore I shall quietly whisper the answers to today’s questions…………….here we go.

Cheryl Donofrio Asked:
Hello John, Heidi, and Kye,
First of all, the picture of the 3 of you was beautiful. Thank you for that.
I too am a pin collector. I have every Carnival pin I’ve been given, and also the pins I purchased in the gift shops. Unfortunately, the pins in the gift shops are very poor quality, and not nearly as nice as the pins we got at the past guest parties. I really think Carnival should consider selling the same pins they used to give us either in the gift shops or online. Online would be even better, because people could get pins they missed out on because they were on their first cruise. They could even do “sets” of pins, as Disney does. If they don’t think people like pins, they should talk to someone who works at Disney World. Every time I go, I buy at least $100 worth of pins. And every place I go, I buy pins – if I can find them. I’ve gotten very selective – in NOLA before the bloggers’ cruise I only bought 4 or 5 new ones.
I’m just really glad I didn’t give my pin to the sales girl in the pierside gift shop in Progresso! (She asked for it, but I didn’t give it to her because I knew I couldn’t replace it.)
Michael Jackson is close to my age. I remember when I first heard the Jackson 5. He doesn’t look anything like he looked as a kid. That fact and his behavior has really creeped me out. He looks more like his sister Latoya than like himself. Sometimes I wonder I they’re not the same person. (You never see them together.)
JOHN PLEASE REPLY- Who will be the cruise director on the Carnival Triumph in October? We’ve got a small group on the Oct 10th sailing. Thank you for your wonderful blog.
Your Friend,
Cheryl D.

John Says:
Hello Cheryl
I think its safe to say that many people have confessed to loving these simple pins that we used to hand out and the amount of folks who were disappointed that we have stopped giving them took us all a little by surprise. I need you and everyone to know that while we have indeed stopped handing them out to past guests that your comments both here and on the cruise boards have been well noted. Therefore an order has come down from senior vice president level to try to get them into the gift shops as quickly as we can. And not just the ones specific to the ship but pins representing the entire fleet.
So, give me a few more days and I should have more news for all you pin lovers (of which I am one) the latest news. The cruise director for your Carnival Triumph cruise will be George Solano who as you may now is by far one of our funniest and the only cruise director in the fleet who was actually a stand up comedian before taking the job. So, thanks for the great blog and I send my best wishes to you and your family and if you need anything else let me know
Cheers
John

Meredith Asked:
Please reply!
Count me as another disappointed cruiser on the disappearance of the ship pins. I understand why it’s being done, but is there any way they can sell those pins in the gift shop for those of us who collect them?
And on the subject of past guest benefits – are there any plans to tweak any of the platinum benefits? I don’t know of ANYONE who actually eats the canapes – they’ve gone to waste with us every time. I just saw a picture of the new platinum gift, though – LOVE the new picture frame, can’t wait to get my first one in October!
Keep the baby pictures coming!

John Says:
Hello Meredith
It’s funny because I guess I should read the questions before writing about other stuff on the blog. I always write the other stuff first and then return to the questions last. Anyway, as you will see do have a new gift and I hope you all like the photo frame. There will be continuing work done to make sure our Platinum rewards continue to be the best and I promise to let you know more about that soon. Once again sorry for the loss of the pins and as I have said we are doing our best to get them in the gift shops as soon as we can
Hope this helps.
Best wishes
John

Dorothy Asked:
Please reply when you can.
I want to say congratulation on the little girl, she sure is a beauty.
My question is, who will be the captain of the Dream? I was on the Glory a couple of weeks ago and heard that the captain was heading to the Dream, is this true. We are booked for the December 3rd cruise, heard you would be on there with us. I’m going with a group, but not as bloggers, wish I was, it sounds like fun, never been on one, maybe one day.
Thanks for the pictures, please keep them coming,
hope to meet you one day.
God Bless

John Says:
Hello Dorothy
Thanks so much for the kind words and yes, Kye is beautiful……………….just like me.
The Carnival Dream’s master will be Captain Carlo Queirolo so you would have indeed met him on the Carnival Glory. He is a brilliant captain and in fact we delivered the Carnival Glory together. I will see you in December and I promise you will have a brilliant time. Here is the link thingy to an interview I did with the captain just after it was announced he would be master of the flagship. Hope you enjoy reading it
http://johnhealdsblog.com/2009/01/29/a-dream-job/
My best wishes to you and the family
John

Lori Hawkins Asked:
Hi John,
Thank you soooo very much for providing our group with a room. You have made alot of fans, including myself:)
I do not know the back office of Carnival, so I am not sure if you have the capability of just “looking me up” and finding out when my cruise is to arrange this room, so I thought that I would make it easy and tell you that it is the June 7th sailing of the Splendor out of Los Angeles. What a great itinerary, I might add. Is it at all possible to find out what time that will be in advance so that I can tell the 80+ going, for planning purposes? 11:30am?
I love that pic of your family.. look at that little bundle of love:) Keep posting pictures.
thank you again,
Lori

John Says:
Hello Lori
This has been arranged with Brad the CD and I once again wish you all a fantastic cruise on the Carnival Splendor. I will let you know what room as soon as Brad lets me know
Best wishes
John

Roma Asked:
Hi John – PLEASE REPLY,
Congratulations and welcome to your beautiful new daughter! How very special that she will share her birthday with her Opa. We wish you, Heidi and Kye all the best.
Now to my question… I will have the pleasure of sailing with you on the Dream in February. Joining us will be 500+ American throwball fans to celebrate the SuperDuper Bowl. This will be my family’s first Carnival cruise. Will such a large group reduce the number of usual entertainment activities such as kareoke, trivia, Battle of the Sexes etc?
I am hoping there will still be many activities daily that we can join in outside of the group. We don’t want to get lost in the shuttle. We are very excited about our trip and looking forward to meeting you.
Best Wishes,
Roma

John Says:
Hello Roma
Yes indeed. It is very special that our daughter now shares a birthday with Jopp her Opa which as you obviously know is Dutch for Grandpa. Thanks so much for those kind words.
Well it looks like we will have quite the Super Bowl party on the ship and I am sure watching the game on the big screen will be an event you will always remember. I promise you that all the activities and events will be planned and run as normal plus there will be lots of new areas that this amazing ship has to offer as well. Once we have all the events planed and the various entertainment areas ready I will be posting information about them all. It will be a wonderful cruise and one I promise you and your friends will always remember.
Best wishes to all
John

Terry Asked:
John:
PLEASE RESPOND:
No words I write will express how touched I was by the announcement of Kye’s arrival. You have a wonderful way of including your blog readers; your writings pull us in and make us a part of your life. While reading the announcement, I was laughing and crying so loud my husband came running to find out what was wrong! When I told him I was reading a birth announcement – he shook his head and said “I’ll never understand you”.
I have been reading and following your blog for quite some time (yes, I’ve been one of the lurkers who reads everything but never writes or responds.) Today I felt I finally had something to write about because I realized that even though I have cruised 13 times (5 with other cruise lines) before, during our next cruise we will be celebrating our first:
back-to-back
time touring Canada
cruise on the Triumph
This will be my first Platinum cruise (on the second leg of the back-to-back) with Carnival. My husband will make Platinum on the Spirit this December.
I have several questions that I hope you will be able to answer for me:
who will be our Cruise Director?
what nights are formal nights, Captain’s cocktail party, past guest reception?
is the piano bar smoke free – who will be playing?
will “anytime dining” be implemented on the Triumph by the time of our cruise?
will I be able to find/purchase DISTILLED water for a c-PAP machine?
Thank you in advance –
Terry
We are traveling on Carnival Triumph on August 29th and on September 3rd .

John Says:
Hello Terry
I was quite emotional when I wrote the blog about the arrival of our daughter and I was a little nervous that it may have been too detailed and personal for you all to appreciate and enjoy. Therefore it was great to read that so many were touched by what I wrote ………. thanks mate
It looks like you will have a lot to celebrate when you cruise on the Carnival Triumph and especially as you are going to enjoy back to back cruises and as a platinum guest. Let me answer your questions.
Who will be our cruise director? This will be George Solano who is so funny and his catch phrase of “I love you, man” said with his thick and cuddly Spanish accent will be something you will be saying for a long time afterwards.

What nights are formal nights, captain’s cocktail party, past guest reception? – The formal or elegant nights are as follows.
Canada/New England:
New York, NY ;
Fun Day At Sea ; – elegant night
Saint John, NB, Canada ; – past guest party after sailing
Halifax, NS, Canada ; – elegant night
Fun Day At Sea ; New York, NY

Is the piano bar smoke free – who will be playing?
The piano bar is, at the time of writing, not smoke free. It is one of only two live entertainment venues where we do allow smoking. The piano bar player shows TBA at the moment but if you would like to give me a gentle reminder in July I will let you know.

Will “anytime dining” be implemented on the Triumph by the time of our cruise?
The anytime dining is due to be launched on the Carnival Triumph in July so yes, it should indeed be up and running by the time you cruise. Once again, check back with me in late July and I will be more than happy to confirm this for you.

Will I be able to find/purchase DISTILLED water for a c-PAP machine?
Indeed you can. This is stocked at room service and can be ordered by dialing 8000 24 hours a day. However, if you would like me to prearrange some for you once again I will be happy to do so.
I am glad you have been enjoying the blog and once again many congratulations on reaching Platinum status
My best wishes to you all
John

Frank & Bridie Asked:
John please reply,
We very much want to continue to here about kye and all your doing with heidi and such. As for our cruise on the Dream for 2010. We are actually scheduled to go on May 29th, 2010 with Linda and the whole group. So one year from next friday. We are sorry to hear that you will not be our CD but meeting you before you go on at the end of January would most defentley make up for it. We would most defentley like to work something out before hand. I too found your farting sction funny as could be bridie of course was not so amused! her response, “men”
Big Fans as allways,
Frank and Bridie
John Please reply,
Woops forgot to say did you hear that the New NCL pathetic… err epic i ment is going to have the Blue Men group on it the fullshow… Does this mean they are now charging for the entertainment too??? On top of food also… WOW
Big fans as allways,
Frank and Bridie

John Says:
Hello Frank and Birdie.
Let’s start with the Norwegian subject and while their new ship may be as ugly as a baboon’s bottom I must say I am a wee bit jealous they have the Blue Man Group. I am a huge fan of theirs and I wish we could get them on Carnival. Saying that and agreeing with you, if they are going to charge for onboard entertainment…….well that is another matter all together.
I will make sure that we all get to meet with Linda and Mike while I am on the Carnival Dream. It will be wonderful to shake your hand
I hope you continue to enjoy the blog and my best to you both
John

Cheryl K Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY
OMG, you are back in rare form today! I truly laughed until I almost had to change my underwear over the farting thing and then Heidi crying over the underpants was priceless. You must send that in to Mastercard and I’ll bet they pick you for their next commercial! I remember the tears well. She will be better now that her Mum and your Mum are both there to fuss over her. It’s the raging hormone thing.
You are right about these 13 year olds now and it is very scary what they are capable of doing and comparing us at 18 to them at 13 is about right on. But that said, what is wrong with parents these days. I just can’t even imagine going on a vacation and leaving my children at home alone. Here the police were sent to a home to investigate a report of child abuse and found an 18 month old baby in a crawl space under a home unresponsive. This poor baby died and what drug could possibly screw up a mother’s mind so bad that she would do that to her own child? It is very depressing what is happening to children these days. Kye is so lucky to have been born to parents that want her and love her.
I LOVE the picture of Kye with the Carnival blanket—awwwwwwwwwww. What a cutie!
Ok, here is the response part. After doing the first successful cruise over Thanksgiving on the Splendor with my grandchildren which was so over the top (due in part to your lovely gift and Jaime’s enthusiasm)I don’t know what could possibly top that, I am again due to the wonderful rates taking them this time on the Valor on the 6-7-09 sailing. They are beyond excited as am I. I have read over the last few months on occasion that you were able to arrange back stage tours and I don’t know if you can do this for the girls or not but if so I would so appreciate it. The booking # for cabin — is —- and —- is —- and I think the kids (Lindsay, Paige & Christopher K) are listed in the –and I am in Cheryl K. If you can arrange this it would be wonderful since they were so into the shows on the Splendor and they would love to meet a dancer and see what goes on behind the scenes.
I promised after getting off the Splendor in Santiago that I would send a review and I still haven’t done that. The service, food, entertainment and crew on the Splendor was the best I have ever had and I love that ship–that’s it! After being on the Splendor for 31 days, I have been suffering from withdrawals since March 3rd. If the Valor is half as good it will be wonderful.
Congratulations to you, Heidi and Kye. A beautiful baby to a beautiful couple!

John Says:
Hello Cheryl K
It took me a few days to get used to the baby blues and I am doing my best to be a loving husband despite the fact that she threw away my favorite pair of underpants. Thank you so very much for the kind words at the start of the posting, it means a lot to us both.
Thank you for the wonderful review of the Carnival Splendor and I will make sure that the right people get to see it. I have also sent an e mail to Big Tex the CD and Gary the ACD who will be in contact to help your family have a glimpse backstage so expect a call from them once onboard. I am sure the Carnival Valor will exceed your expectations and I hope you will tell us all about it when you return
Best wishes for a brilliant vacation
John

tracy Asked:

john please reply this might be a crazy ? but when someone works on the ship can their child live on the ship also just curious. how is the family?

John Says:
Hello Tracy
Well, that certainly is not a crazy question at all. If I wanted to I could arrange for Heidi and Kye to live on the ship. It would be possible and I know that Carnival would make it happen for me. In fact, each and every crew member regardless of rank or position has the benefit of bringing their family on the ship for virtually free. The problem is there that the crew member still has to work and does not get to spend that much time with them. However, it is a wonderful benefit and one many crew take advantage of. The problem for Kye would be that she needs health visits and all the stuff that goes on with a new baby so it might be too early to consider this. However, it is my intention to have them with me as much as possible next year for sure and Heidi and I are already discussing how best to do this.
Thanks for the great question. Everyone here is well and I hope it’s the same case for you and your family as well
John

Aimee Asked:
John, reply if you wish
Just a thought for you. Typically children under the age of one travel by plane quite well. If you…I mean Heidi breastfeed her during take off and landing it will help prevent her ears from hurting from the pressure changes. I will soon have my degree in Child Development and have studied all this stuff:) Even a paci or bottle would work as well. Its a whole new ball game when they are older than 1 year old. Its because then they are more mobile and get frustrated sitting for long trips, I typically advise parents travelling with this age group to sit in a bulk head to give a bit of room, some planes will provide a crib type device as well. I would imagine that you probably travel first class, this will help as well if you can. Remember also that even if there are people that are bothered its part of life, kids have to go with us places, you do your best to entertain, try to plan around naps or sleeping schedule if possible and relax, I bet she would do way better than you think.
Aimee

John Says:
Hello Aimee
I just showed this to Heidi and she has printed your comment out. We did not know about the breast feeding before take off and landing and this was most useful information indeed. I think your imagine has strayed over to the realms of fantasy though because I am sorry to say I have never flown first class across the pond. I have though flown business class and I think if I could afford it that may well be the way to go for Heidi and Kye.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write and for thinking of us. You are very, very kind.
Best wishes
John

Brittany Asked:
Dear John,
Please Reply
Hi, its me again. First let me say, Congrats once again to you and Heidi on your wonderful Kye, she is beautiful! I sure do not mind you getting “mushy” and posting picks of her. Its expected! Years from now when she is an unruly teen you can look back on this and remember how little she was.
Anyway, you asked me to remind you about getting me and my mom a table for 2 in the dining room on the Conquest for May 31. I want to thank you for doing this for us! Mom is counting down the days until she is on the ship and on vacation.
Thanks so much again!
Brittany and Sheila Lowe
Room #
Booking#
p.s. I’m working on Kye’s picture. I’ll send it to you and Heidis’ P.O. Box soon as I’m done.

John Says:
Hello Brittany
Thanks so much for the words of congratulations. I am indeed a very lucky and some would say a very handsome man. Thanks for the reminder and a request has indeed been sent to the maitre d on the Carnival Conquest. Please let me know what fun you had when you get home and I can’t wait to see the picture.
Best wishes to you and Mum
John

Bill (Zydecocruiser) from ZydecoCruiser.com Asked:
John, Please Reply. Please Don’t Publish Cabin Number.
Hi John,
Congratulations on the addition of Kye to the Heald family.
Elizabeth and I will be on the May 27th sailing of Carnival Spirit, cabin . Please don’t send us any dirty diapers.
Pictures of the adventure will be found here, almost live:
http://www.zydecocruiser.com/CarnivalSpirit/Alaska/index.htm
Cheers!
Bill

John Says:
Hello Bill
Great to hear from you. No diapers but other stuff instead. As always we look forward to sharing your adventures through your web mpage thingy. Thanks for the kind words mate.
Cheersn and my best to Elizabeth
John

That’s all for today. There will be more on Monday starting with Mr. Bedwetter’s question ………………………and as always I am here if you need me.

I saw Southern Dreams (hello Empress Bee) had written a comment about the new platinum gift which is a picture frame. This is the first of the improvements to our platinum reward program and as I mentioned recently, Jim Berra, our chief marketing officer, is exactly the right man to make sure that our program is the best reward program in the industry. He listens to you and reads your comments here on the blog so please continue to post your thoughts and comments and if you need my help please mark it for my reply.

Time for today’s photos from Paul the PVP whose St. Thomas and Grand Turk pictures were fantastic. Today we return to Half Moon Cay. I know I recently put up a few photos of this but Paul’s are very special indeed and show just why every cruise fan should make this a must visit destination. Here is why

HMC_Beach_05

HMC_Fort_San_Salvador_03

HMC_I_Wish_I_Could_Stay_Here_Forever_Bar

I have so many of these to show you that I will be posting more over the next few blogs and once again thanks to Paul for sharing his talents and his memories

Great news. I heard from Malcolm Burn today and he is home in Seattle recuperating from what was a serious illness. However this bright and talented cruise director has set himself the goal of coming back to work by the end of summer which considering what he has been through is quite astonishing. We continue to wish him well

Then there is Chris Prideaux who also was in ICU for many a day. However, yesterday he walked into his office at our Miami HQ and sat behind his desk. It has been many, many weeks since he was able to do this and he won’t be back full time for a few more. But, it was great to speak to him yesterday and we are all very glad he is on his way back to full time work and full time health.

I also want to ask for your thoughts and prayers for a great friend of mine. Her name is Tay and she was a dancer with us at Carnival. She was a vibrant performer who lit up the stage. She left us to get married and start a family. We lost touch but recently we have been chatting via the Facebookspace thingy. Anyway, this young lady is today having surgery for ………well……….I guess I shouldn’t say but I do know that the next time we do the On Deck for the Cure I will be thinking of her.

I know she will beat it because I remember her sense of humor and determination to always get the best parts in the show and that determination will get her through I know. Tay reads the blog so please wish her well and I know you will be thinking of her ………… as am I.

Over the next few weeks I will start to tell you about some of the major projects that we are trying on certain test ships. They are very exciting and one in particular is going to be something you will all love so as soon as I can I will tell you all about it. I mentioned laser tag and its success on the Carnival Valor. Well this has led to us purchasing the attraction for other vessels which will start with the Carnival Imagination this coming weekend. It’s great fun for the whole family so make sure you give it a go.
Someone was asking if we are having the fish and chips outlet on the Carnival Dream. As I mentioned we are keeping our food and beverage operations secret for this ship a while longer but if you are ever on the Carnival Glory, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Valor or …………..I think………….Carnival Conquest…………..does the ship have fish and chips? …………..you must try it.

The restaurant is on deck 10 aft and one that you could easily miss. Their fish and chips are done British style……..ish…….with a bit of Caribbean flavor thrown in.

They also serve great tuna and other wonderful fish surprises. Can any dish be more English than fish and chips? Up north, it may be haddock, probably served with some bright green mushy peas. Down south, it’s usually cod, but wherever you find it, there are few things to beat the taste of fish steaming inside crunchy batter and chips doused in vinegar. The Cunard ships have the British pubs onboard and they………….do a fantastic fish and chips.

So, a few weeks ago a shiny red Mini drove slowly passed my house not once ……..but three times. On the roof of the car was a huge camera………….and after going outside to investigate I saw the sign on the side of the door that said “Google Street.” Now being thick I had no idea what this was but after asking ………….. ummmm ……… Google ………….it turns out that you can now look into everyone’s homes to see what they are having for dinner.

Do you have this in North America?……………Let me ask …….. ummm Google ………………….yes it appears you do. And having seen the results I don’t know if I am a fan or if I should be furious.

On the positive side there is the fact that about 15 minutes from me there is a huge house surrounded by huge walls and huger gates. On the other side of the walls and gates lives British pop star David Bowie. I’ve always wondered what was over his fence. It is an open secret in the neighbourhood which is his house. He has the sort of gates that bring a little bit of Dallas to Essex and a wall so high you can’t walk past and cast a casual glance into the front window. Now, thanks to Google Street View, not only have I hurdled the barricades to peek, I have also read the number plates of the cars parked behind his forbidding gates and see if his Dobermans have shat on his manicure lawns.

I’ve been looking at it quite a bit today and although it’s called Google Street View I am sure house breakers and burglars will be calling it call it…………Google Online Shopping. To be fair to burglars and other criminals, up to now they have had the thin end of the wedge as far as CCTV and other surveillance systems are concerned so I guess they were due some payback.

I have to admit I was so excited when I first saw our house on there that I screamed for Heidi to come and see.

“Look, look,” I said excitedly, “it’s our house.” Heidi stared, over my shoulder, at the computer screen. Even without turning to check her facial expression, I sensed that she was unimpressed. “You mean the house we’ve lived in for over a year – the exterior view of which we can enjoy at any time, simply by stepping outside?” said my Dutch wife.

There have been several complaints here in the UK and some images have been removed after protests from people unwittingly caught on camera. One man was upset to discover he’d been photographed leaving a sex shop in Soho. Some felt this was a terrible invasion of his privacy while others felt it served him right and that, if one chooses to frequent such places, one should accept the risk of being seen. My own reaction was: “Why would a man who had the time and technical ability to browse Google Street View need to go to a sex shop?” Just go to www.latvianwomen.com……………duh.

Anyway, for those bloggers who are now searching for my house view on Google Street, just look for the house with a Range Rover on the drive in the front of the house and in the back yard a washing line full of clothes covered in baby vomit ………..and a very large pair of white underpants with the logo “Welcome to Burger King……..home of the “Whopper” on the front……………that’s where we live.

Goodnight
Your friends
John, Heidi and Kye……….and two very proud ladies…Grandma Hilda Heald and Omar Ria Ten Brink

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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.

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