Loads of Mushy Stuff….Sorry

May 26, 2009 -

John Heald

For those of you who don’t care about babies and all things related to the little buggers …………NY advice is switch over to www.carnival.com or www.latvianwomeninsuspenders.com or www.bloodyhellwhatanuglyship.ncl …………… because I woke up this morning feel mushy and all sentimental and therefore I cannot help myself ……..I have to write about Kye……………sorry.

Even though Kye is less than two weeks old…….it also feels like we have been parents forever. We both long for a full night’s sleep, but realize that it may be a while before we achieve that. Kye is already going through so many changes – we can tell she is more mature than she was just a week ago. She has more awareness of her limbs and is starting to reach for things now and loves to hold onto your finger. She is much more alert – she can follow you with his eyes and ………..she could crap for Great Britain in the Olympics ………………….and win the gold.

In the last two weeks I have learned a great deal about babies – things I never knew before. So today’s post is going to be recalling some of the things I have learned since she was born:

1. Change a diaper – yes – I had managed to live over 43 years and never change one. While I am no expert yet I am getting the hang of it but I do smell permanently of piss.

2. Pooping – I had no ideas that babies, even newborns can strain so much when they poo. I thought because they are on a liquid diet and the poo is really runny it would come out easily. Not so. Many times Kye goes so red in the face she looks like the president of RCI when he was asked by the press to explain the Royal Champion fiasco ………. I will get better at the diaper thing and am slowly getting used to the permanent smell of piss and poo on my hands and clothes. It is obvious that others can smell it as well. Yesterday I was standing in line at the post office when the man behind me started to sniff and realizing that the smell of pee and poo were coming from me…….. he tapped me on the shoulder and said………..”Bonjour.”

3. Feeding – takes much longer than I expected. Heidi is breast feeding and this whole process can easily take an hour. Add in changing a diaper and can easily stretch to an hour and a half. It’s OK during the day because I am buys doing other things but at night I lay in bed listening to the slurping sounds emanating from Heidi’s breasts ……… reminding myself that just 9 months ago that used to be me.

4. Baby dreams – as I am sitting here writing Kye sleep next to me in her Moses Basket while I blog to you. Mum is having a little siesta and as Kye dreams it is curious to see the different facial expressions. Is she having vivid dreams similar to the we do as adults? I doubt she is having the same dream I did last night that involved Susan Boyle becoming prime minister of the UK. She won the semi final last night and should soon win the Britain Has Talent thingy contest outright. Anyway, last night I dreamed that we had an election and that the new Prime Minister of the UK is Susan Boyle. I know what you’re thinking. Who would replace Ms Boyle in Britain’s Got Talent? Well, it wouldn’t take too much backcombing to turn Gordon Brown our current PM into a pretty convincing look-alike. Both are Scottish though I doubt his voice is as good as hers. I imagine it would be extremely poignant to watch him sing I Dreamed a Dream ……….. the useless sod. I wonder what Kye is dreaming about……….lets hope it’s a happy dream full of teletubbies and Heidi’s breasts.

5. Teamwork – I don’t know how single parents do it because it feels like having a new baby is a huge amount of work for two people. This evening is a perfect example. Heidi made this delicious chicken Caesar salad for dinner. But when it came time to eat Kye wanted to be fed so I ate with Heidi’s Mum while Heidi fed our daughter. Then when she was finished I held her until she fell asleep in my arms……….that is one of the best parts …….. just watching Kye ………….my daughter ………fall asleep………it is still somewhat surreal…………….and still jaw droppingly brilliant.

Here she is with Grandpa Nev

IMG00176-20090519-1537

OK, for those of you who who skipped over that bit I am sorry for the mushy start and I hope you enjoyed www.latvianwomen.com instead. So, for those of you have been shouting “Oy……this is suppose to be a blog about the cruise industry……..get on with it” …….you will be happy to know that I am about to answer today’s questions ….here we go.

Traci L. Asked:

Hi John,

My family and I will be sailing on the Dream 1/23/10 through 1/30/10. We will be bringing my 4 and 6 year olds and I noticed there are really no excursions that the 4 year old can participate in. I was just wondering if she was aloud to come on the snorkelling excursions and just not snorkel or is she not allowed to come at all? I have always been very happy with Camp Carnival but I have never left the girls there when we were in port. Can I leave them there and get of the ship?

Traci L.-N.W. Florida

John Says:

Hello Traci L

I am glad to read you are bringing the family to experience a Carnival Dream vacation. That’s wonderful and your children will absolutely love the facilities this brand new ship has to offer them. There is no safer and more fun vacation spot for the family to enjoy anywhere. Now, when it comes to excursions obviously our tour operator partners won’t allow younger children of 4 on the majority of the activity tours such as snorkelling. However, yes…….you may take your child with you free of charge if you don’t mind he or she sitting on your lap and that one of you looks after them during your snorkel experience. I am not trying to persuade you not to do this but I would point out that for sure you will enjoy the excursion more if you don’t have to worry about your child.

Please also excuse me if I am way off the mark here and I only say this based on experience. Some parents feel a touch guilty about leaving their children with our Camp Carnival staff. Well, you shouldn’t. That is exactly what they are there for and while you are snorkelling with Nemo and his mates your kids will be watching Finding Nemo in Camp Carnival. So, have a think about it and of course should you need anything else I am here

Best wishes to you and all the family

John

Cruzin2some Asked:

Dear John Please Reply,

I have really enjoyed the pictures that the various people have sent you to use. I told our old PVP that I thought that Carnival should use the winners of the Carnival Currents photo contests to decorate the rooms with instead of the prints they currently use. They could also add some from the talented staff that Carnival has. These could be labelled and be used to promote future cruises. Nothing makes me want to travel to someplace more than seeing an incredible picture of that someone has taken. If you are going to decorate the rooms anyway you might as well get some promotional use out of the money spent.

James & Nancy

The Cruzin2some

P.S. Keep the photos coming! The Dream, Kye, and the destinations.

John Says:

Hello James and Nancy

You know, I have said the same thing………many times. I know we decorate the cabins with some lovely and sometimes some rather ummmm ……obscure art work but certainly some beautiful prints of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Alaska, Venice, etc. would certainly be something that I think everyone would enjoy. I shall mention this once again. Hope you enjoy today’s photos and I send my best wishes to you both

Cheers

John

mickeyspal Asked:

Hi, John,

PLEASE REPLY (first, not to me, but to Ann Henderson…see above Q/A).

Her real question was “how to get invited to the Captain’s table.” Not sure if you just missed it, or if it can’t be done.

PLEASE REPLY to me for the rest:

Kye is sooo cute! Is her name pronounced to rhyme with eye or key or ??? Just curious.

I’m glad you’re using your gym membership. Ours (we’ve had for two years) never gets used any more. We really need to change that! I’m beginning to feel inspired by your efforts, so don’t stop now.

Do you still get to hold the baby, or with three ladies around most of the time do they kind of “hog” the cuddle time? Don’t let them deprive you, dude!

Bet you’re already “itching” to get back on a ship, though. You’ll probably be torn between your two loves when you get back to work, but being you I know you’ll find a way to cope. Do they let babies live on board with their working parents?

Thanks for keeping us informed about what’s happening in your world as well as the world of Carnival. Big hugs to you, Heidi and Kye.

Your pal, Myra

John Says:

Hello Myra

An apology first to Ann whose captain’s table question I must have missed. Well, how do you get invited to a captain’s table? The answer is that it is easier to get Beyonce to run up and down Promenade Deck wearing nothing but a fig leaf shouting “John Heald is a stud muffin and I want him now.” First of all the captain’s have no say at all as to who sits there. They did in the past for sure. I know this because when I was a wine steward I used to serve Captain “C’s” table and each and every week he was surrounded by beautiful young women. Nowadays a memo is produced by the office. This will send through a list of VIP’s who are deemed so for many reasons. They could be travel agents who send us a lot of business. Or they could be the leaders of a big group or someone who is influential and needs schmoosing. This memo is sent to the hotel director who will then decide which of the VIP’s attend the captain’s table. I hope one day Ann that you can get invited but I don’t want to get your hopes up. However, if you feel that you deserve this opportunity please let me know and I will be glad to see what I can do.

The diet is actually relatively easy compared to forcing myself to go to the gym. I think mate that it will be easier once onboard where I only have to go a few flight of stairs up………..OK……..yes, I take the elevator…………but I know I must continue to try.

I am sure I would be permitted to have Heidi with me personally but as I will only be doing two-month contracts followed by six weeks or so at home then it won’t be so bad. As wonderful as a cruise ship is I don’t think its the right environment for Kye to grow up in ….I will make sure once she is a little older that she cruises often and I hope she has her Platinum card by the time she is three years old.

Thanks for the kind words and I just gave Kye a hug from you and all the bloggers

Best wishes

John

Michelle Asked:

John (respond if you think it is necessary)

First of all keep posting pictures of Kye she is such a cutie.

I want to thank you for acting so fast on my request. We did receive a call from Kay Merrill at Carnival. Really don’t understand their polices or reasons. Still unhappy, but at least some of our concerns were acknowledged.

I think it is great you are working out but you need to eat enough calories to keep up your metabolism. Start off slow and slowly build up.

Say Hello to Heidi and a kiss to Kye.

Tom & Michelle

John Says:

Hello Tom and Michelle

I am glad to hear that Kay did call you as I had requested. If you feel the subject needs more attention please let me know as I am here for the both of you?

My diet is going well and its chicken…………..again ………for dinner tonight.

Best wishes to you both and thanks for the words of support

John

cruzn buckeye Asked:

Hi John-Please reply

Great news about Chris and Malcolm. Also, I will be keeping Tay in my prayers. As Mach said, prayer is a very powerful thing. I know, because that is why I am here today able to enjoy cruising. I have had two brain tumors, not cancerous. One was the size of a flat orange. They were both removed in 2004. No recurrence as of my last mri last year. I had so many people praying for me, people that I did not even know. As family and friends spread the word, the prayers kept coming.

I remember as I was waiting for the car to be brought around after my first surgery, sitting there bald with staples in my head, two women walked into the lobby. One of the ladies stopped and put her hand on me and said a prayer. I believe that this prayer and many said myself and family and friends and so many people that I never even met, are the only reason I am here today, healthy and very happy.

John, the Grandmas look so very proud, as they should be, she is a pretty little angel.

Please don’t feel guilty about us changing our plans so we can join you on the February 27 Dream cruise. I am sure that the 100 dollars of extra laughs will more than make up for the change we made! Also, you said you were going to send us a few goodies to our stateroom. That is very sweet and much appreciated. At this point we have no idea what stateroom we will be in as we are booked in an OV guarantee cabin.

We also like the pins and hope that Carnival continues to have them, even if only in the gift shop. Another thing I would like to see in the gift shop is more regular size coffee mugs. I collect coffee mugs from every port and ship that I am on.

(I did forget to get the one from the Fantasy blogger cruise, dang it). I also suggested in a previous post of having more t-shirts in women’s sizes (not the itsy bitsy ones that are now in the ship gift shops or the men’s sizes). Has anyone looked into that? One more suggestion, sorry this post is so long, but with the Liberty’s new itinerary in which they are now in San Juan in the daytime, is it possible that more shore tours will be added? It would be really nice to see a beach type shore tour added for this port.

Thanks again for everything John! Keep those pics of your little one coming. We love them!

Edy (cruzn buckeye)

John Says:

Hello Edy

I cannot imagine how you must have felt going through that terrible surgery but I a sure that your positive outlook was one of the reasons you got through those dark days. Thanks so much for the kind words of support for everyone you mentioned, I know they appreciate it.

Let me know your state room number when you can……no rush……and once again I truly thank you and everyone else who decides to book their cruise based on the ship I am on. The Carnival Liberty’s new trip to San Juan (Hello Nanni) will as you said mean they will be there during daytime hours. This means that there will be new tours added including ones to the rain forest which is called El Nunc but probably spelt nothing like that. Our shore excursion team are working on this now and as soon as I get information on this I will post it for you along with any other new and exciting Puerto Rico tours.

I am glad you like the photos and will send more later this week and please never apologize for the length of a comment because we all love reading them

My best to you and the family and see you soon

John

Dorothy Asked:

John,

Thanks for the reply.

I email my TA about switching to the blogger cruise in December and have found out that the only available rooms left are standard balcony ones. I have a suite at this time, and would love to keep that extra space, since I have not been able to get a modified room for us and our disable son. We had a regular balcony at one time and it was a nightmare trying to get his chair in and out of that small doorway.

Do you know if there is any way that I can keep the suite without having to change everything around and still be able to join the bloggers.

Love the picture of the grandmas; now we know where the little ones really get her beautiful looks, they look so very happy.

Look forward to more wonderful pictures.

John Says:

Hello Dorothy

I totally understand why you would not want to give up your suite. The ones on the Carnival Dream are stunning and you should enjoy it to the fullest. Now, I am a little thick and therefore I am not sure I understand your question correctly. I think you are asking me to keep your original reservation but to be included in the blogger events. If this is correct please send me a quick reply so we can look into what we can do. Thanks so much for the kind words and Grandma Hilda and Omar Ria are so very proud of their new grandchild.

Best wishes to you and all of your family

John

cindy56 Asked:

JOHN PLEASE REPLY

This is not a cruise question. I can’t remember if Heidi has any siblings. Is Kye the first grandchild for Heidi’s mom?

Keep the pictures and news of you, Heidi & Kye coming!

John Says:

Hello Cindy

Well, Heidi has one brother who is called Pete. he is married to Sandra and they have three grand children named Max, Luc and Sartcha. I have one sister Sue Drip who is married to Paul and they have two children Luke and Isabelle. It’s hard getting everyone together being from two different countries as we are but for sure we will need everyone to come and see Kye so we are working on that now.

Thanks for asking the question and I will indeed keep the photos coming for sure.

Best wishes

John

Kathy Asked:

PLEASE REPLY to this one and the first one I sent you.

Hi John, (very good name, my brother’s name also). I have looked at the pictures of your beautiful daughter Kye and I have come to the conclusion that she should be a baby model. She is so much prettier then the Gerber Baby was and so much prettier then any babies that are modelling today; it was just a thought that I had. She could be just as famous as her dear dad is.

Could you tell me when the Carnival Magic is going to set sail and where she will be based permanently. Some of us on the West Coast of the US would like for Carnival to consider having a regular cruise from Los Angeles to Seattle or Vancouver BC, My brother and sister in law were on the Splendor during the flu outbreak and they loved that itinerary, they said that they would do that cruise again if Carnival would do it. He did say that they should add Astoria Oregon (where the Goonie’s and Kindergarten Cop movies were filmed), because it is a beautiful coastal town and Oregon would love to be part of the Carnival lines stopping ports. I have also seen where many people on Cruise Critic have also stated that they would do that cruise again, so can you pass it on to Carnival to consider that itinerary.

Please keep posting your family pictures, I really enjoy them John.

Take care and give Kye a hug from one of her new fans.

Kathy

John Says:

Hello Kathy

Kye……..a baby model………mmmm…….if it made her rich and got me my Aston Martin she could start tomorrow modelling diapers as she seems to enjoy using them so much. Seriously, thanks for the kind words and she is blessed with Heidi’s looks and not mine. If she did look like me she could model for Goodyear Tires I guess.

Well, the news on the Carnival Magic is still very much hush hush. She is due to sail in June 2011 and itinerary and homeports are still being discussed. We all realize that like the Carnival Dream the Carnival Magic is a ship that everyone is very excited about and rightfully so. I will tell you this though…….there are some exciting things planned for this ship and things that we have never ever done before on a Carnival vessel.

I hope you enjoyed the photo of Astoria in today’s blog and out of the adversity that was caused by the H1N1 changes we did indeed find that many people loved the new cruise and this certainly has been noted for the future.

I hope to see you on a Carnival cruise very soon and my best to all

John

Nuttycruisegirl Asked:

John or Steph, please reply…

First….Kye is beautiful! Well done! So happy for the both of you! I am in a state of funk that I am unable to go on another Bloggers cruise this year, we had such a great time in February. I would like to ask a favor…. (I know, along with the rest of the known world) Is there any way you can let me know who the Piano Bar player will be on Ecstasy Sept 5th? Right now it is Robert something…I’d love to know his last name and how long his contract is….The info is important to me, I may reschedule depending on it….Please help! Thanks so much!

Jennifer

John Says:

Hello Nutty Jennifer (sorry, couldn’t resist)

I appreciate you taking the time to say how beautiful our daughter is, that was very kind. I am always here to help and I promise to get you your answer on the piano bar player in the next 48 hours so please keep checking the blog. I am so glad you loved the last bloggers cruise. The next two should be great and then we are working on the 2010 bloggers cruise which I also think will be truly fantastic.

I hope to see you on one of those and my best regards to you and the family. I will post your answer very soon

John

That’s all for today. Thanks again for all the comments and I remain at your service should you need me. I went to empty our PO Box today and returned with 53 cards and packages for Kye. They included a coin collection from Canada, a bear from Harrods and beautiful poems and cards that have touched us deeply ……….Heidi will be sending thank you cards soon but for now we both want to say a huge thank you for these wonderful acts of kindness and friendship.

I also received a letter from a blogger about tendering concerns in Rhode Island which I promise to follow up on immediately. I also received one very nasty letter from a chap called Kevin that basically told me that my blog was crap, Carnival was crap and that I had not posted his negative comments. He is right, I didn’t. That was because it contained (as did his letter) some very nasty language and personal attacks on me and some Carnival executives.

Still, your letter did come in very useful mate as I needed to try out the new shredder I bought……..and I am happy to report………..it works brilliantly.

Now, a few days ago I was asked by some bloggers about why on some ships Carnival did not start returning to the Mexican ports immediately. Well, as promised here is the official answer which our Senior Vice President of Marketing Planning Terry Thornton was kind enough to answer.

Here is what he had to say.

When the CDC issued a travel warning recommending against non-essential travel to Mexico, we changed our itineraries and eliminated our Mexico calls for departures through about mid-June. At that time, we advised all existing bookings about the itinerary change and offered the opportunity to cancel without penalty. If the existing bookings did not elect to cancel, they made this decision based on the revised itinerary information we provided. In addition, all new bookings for the revised itineraries purchased the cruise based on the revised itinerary. We now want to provide all of our guests with the cruise itinerary that they selected.

Thank you Terry. And I am sure that what he had to say made perfect sense. However, if you have a follow up question as always I will do my best to help answer it.

Here is a great photo sent to me by Duncan, my mate and hotel director on the Carnival Splendor. It’s of the ship docked for the first time in Astoria, Oregon, which is being featured on the ship’s Canada/Pacific Northwest itinerary that runs through mid-June. Carnival Splendor is set to resume her Mexican Riviera itinerary with the departure of June 21.

Splendor 1

And as promised a few days ago here are some final photos of the port of the moment ………………beautiful Half Moon Cay as taken by Paul.

Half_Moon_Cay_IWishICouldStayHereForeverBar

Half_Moon_Cay_MistingStationSign

Half_Moon_Cay_OpenAirSafariTram

As you know Carnival has a fantastic cellular service while at sea that allows you to use your cell phone for in coming and out going calls 24 hours a day even at sea. Now, compared to the early days when guests would have to go the “radio room” and make a call through the high seas operator we have come along way. Those calls were dreadful and the audio was full of static and the voice on the other end usually sounded like a cat being put through a blender. Now though the signal is clear and true. It is always best to check with your service provider but it is a comfort to some and as important as a lifejacket to many.

Still, as long as people don’t start using them during shows it has so far caused little concern.

I was though horrified to read the news this morning that said airlines will soon allow mid-air cellular phone use. I read a report that said, “At last, certain flights on Emirates Airways are allowing passengers to officially get their calls and texts.”

Are people that busy that they can’t go a few hours without talking on the phone? And, if they are really that important, shouldn’t they be able to afford a private jet?

The first flight that authorized calls was between Dubai and Casablanca.

There was one main topic of conversation: How weird it was to be talking mid-flight. “We’ve taken off and I’m calling you from the plane! Isn’t that weird?”

I dread the thought of this. Please. Please. Please …….. do not allow this to happen. Anyone who has travelled on a long flight will know how insufferable it is with every one around talking loudly, the louder they talk the more important they think they are whilst awaiting take off. And often they have to be asked several times to shut down the phone. I hate that…….I hate it when the flight attendant says “Please turn off all cell phones and electronic devices” and everyone does…………except the short man in the cheap suit in 21D who is screaming down the phone to buy, buy, buy and that to move $200K from his overseas account in the Caymans……….and on the other end of the phone is his wife……….who had just called to see what he wanted for dinner.

He is probably going to be the same chap that ignores the command not to stand up to get your overhead bag until the captain turns off the seatbelt sign and the plane has come to a stop. 200 people will comply……………and one will not………and I think that the flight attendants should have the right to walk down the aisle to anyone who does this and give them the good news with a cattle prod.

I feel the same when I do the lifeboat drill onboard. There I am saying that this drill could save your life and is a mandatory command performance as per United States Coast Guard and everyone goes……except a handful.

Now, you may expect these people to be the young, virgin cruisers who are somewhat happy from spending embarkation drinking too many Fun Ship Specials.

Therefore it may surprise you when I say it is usually the experienced cruiser who after a few voyages sits on their balcony thinking that they don’t need to go….and they always look so offended when the stateroom stewards who check every cabin tell them that regardless of how many cruises they have been on………they must attend.

I am sure many are excited about being able to call from 30,000 feet …….and conversations will all be the same and you will be sitting next to the person making them.

1. “I only have two bars. I can’t hear you. I SAID: I CAN’T HEAR YOU

2. “We’re somewhere over the Atlantic. I don’t know where exactly. I’ll call you back when the clouds break and after I have had my chicken or beef or whatever the hell this meat is.”

3.”Yes, No. Yes. Uh-huh. Can’t talk. (Whispering) There’s someone sitting right next to me. He’s a fat bastard and British as well and is reading a disgusting magazine called Lativan Women Exposed.”

4.“Airport security took away my hemmerhoid cream. It was 4.2oz………and they are killing me and really itchy…….I shall have to try the packet of Hellman’s Mayonnaise they gave me with my mystery meat sandwich

5. I didn’t catch yesterday’s episode of Bold and the Restless. What did I miss? Go on – I have loads of time – what……she’s having rumpy pumpy with him……but that’s her brother.”

6. Husband on the plane talking to his wife on the ground……..“Are you ready? First take the printer out of the box. I’ll walk you through it. Now plug it in.”

7. “You’re dumping me Maurice? Now? While I’m stuck on a plane? What do you mean you don’t love me but you love Bob? When did this happen? But I’m pregnant!”

I think my own personal nightmare would be to have to sit next to someone strategizing about marketing manoeuvres on the phone for eight hours at 30,000 feet.

“Yes, we will have to ladder up and see how we can reach out for a thinking out of the box session and” ……..at that point I may just develop air rage and reach out myself and beat him over the head with my seat belt buckle.

And what about the pilot? Will he or she be chatting on his cell phone too? That’s a little unnerving. When they find the black-box recorder after the crash we’ll find out his last words were, “Hang on – I’m losing you……….can you hear me nooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww”

Goodnight

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.