Sharing Your Dream- Part 2

June 9, 2009 -

John Heald

I have had it with Yah bloody Hoo. This morning I opened the lap top dancer computer up to find Yahoo had deleted my password and I was locked out of my account and could not access all my photos of the Carnival Dream that I had e-mailed……..and it’s not the first time it has done this.

My internet savvy friends all of whom have beards (except Stephanie our blog director……she doesn’t have a beard……….but she does speak an alien computer language and she eats tofu) have been telling me to stop using Yahoo for my personal e-mails. The bearded ones tell me it’s out-dated and problematic. The general consensus is……. No one uses Yahoo any more. …………….. because it’s shit.

Nearly everyone I know is frustrated with the fact that I’m still on Yahoo and the question is always…………………. “Why won’t you switch?”

Here’s why. I don’t like change. I’ve been using Yahoo since the beginning of time and I’m just used to it. Also, on the few occasions where I have explored other options, they haven’t persuaded me that switching accounts would be worth it. People say Gmail is so much better. Really? Will it answer my e-mails for me? Will it make me feel grateful to be alive? Will it give me an Aston Martin or allow me access to Catherine Zeta Jones’s Bedroom?….Unless it has something exceptional to offer, I don’t see the point. Changing an e-mail account might be simple, but not for me. I went to Gmail, took one look at all the steps involved, and gave up. So another reason that Yahoo works so well for me is because on top of not liking change… I’m lazy sod.

I spoke to my mate Alan about this today. Now, he doesn’t have a beard but he does wear open toe sandals with long black socks and has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics………which is the same as walking around with a huge sign round his neck that says “Hello, my name is Alan ………… and I’m a nerd.” Anyway, I despite this he is I am afraid to admit a quite brilliant when it comes to computers and he is also one who has been trying to wean me off Yahoo for a long time. I told him what had happened today and he gave me a huge bollocking “It’s just amateur,” he said……..Amateur? That got my attention. Alan then said the image it has is that it’s not “web-savvy” at all and that it’s the e-mail address old people use.

This didn’t bother me as much as it should. Maybe because I’m old. And why do I have to be savvy in every area of life? I’m savvy when it comes to hemmerhoids and cruise ships …………. isn’t that enough?

While it’s true most of my friends have deserted Yahoo a long time ago, I feel a bond with the people who have remained. We’re part of the generation that listened to cassette tapes on a Sony Walkman. We had VCR’s. And landlines. We’re in a club. Then I can’t be bothered to change even though Yahoo sucks more than a factory full of vacuum cleaners.

Also, at what point did people decide that who we are is the e-mail address we use? On the colossal list of things that I worry about, this concern has never been on it. Is getting an e-mail from someone on G Mail or AOL that much sexier? Is that why girls vomit when they see me …………because they know I Yahoo?

One of the joys of being old is that it gives you an excuse to avoid change. But if you’re 80 being set in your ways is acceptable. At 44, not so much. Besides, it’s not that I’m against progress; it’s that I’m against change. I’m hoping that if I stick with Yahoo long enough, it will become hip again…………… Like leg warmers and Wham.

Time to answer today’s questions……………………here we go.

Tina Asked:
Hi John,
Quick question for you. There is a thread going on about the Cruise Director for the Dream and your name came up. It is said you will be there for a couple of weeks in 2010. Will it possibly be January 23, 2010?

John Says:
Hello Tina
This time the Cruise Critic thread is correct. I will be covering Todd’s vacation in January starting on the 23rd. I will remain there until the end of March. I hope I have the honour of sailing with you.
Best wishes
John

Eric Waterbury Asked:
John,
Please Respond.
Your blog is hilarious. I was wondering if you would be kind enough to tell me who is going to be the cruise director on the 8/8 Liberty sailing.
Thanks So Much!
Eric

John Says:
Hello Eric
Thanks for the compliment and hearing the blog makes you smile makes me smile as well. Your Cruise Director will be revealed in a few minutes as you will see. I can tell you that you’re in for a wonderful treat and I know you will enjoy his fantastic entertainment.
Please let us know about the fun you had when you return and in a few moments all will be revealed.
Best wishes
John

Toni O’Bryan Asked:
JOHN (PLEASE RESPOND)
Well you asked me to remind you of our trip so here is the info June 15 Inspiration —–
John Says:
Hello Toni
Thanks for the reminder and I will copy this to the Cruise Director Skippy who will have one of his staff contact you and take the girls on a tour. Have fun and please write when you get home
Best wishes to you and the family and many thanks for the wonderful kind words
John

Joyce geraci Asked:
John- please respond
Rumors abound about the Dream being behind schedule & not going to be ready for the TA crossing. Now I am unable to bring the cruise up on my Carnival site. What’s going on? Hoping it’s just Carnival working on the site. Gig & I really need this vacation. Please send us some reassurance.
Also I am feeling Kye withdrawl. Costa’s OK but Kye pictures are better.
Joyce

John Says:
Hello Joyce
This rumour was probably started by the same person who said that I had been abducted by aliens from the planet Afreesteakmyuranus. ……………..how do I say this politely ………. ummmm ……….the rumour is not true. I was going to say that the rumour was a load of bollocks but that would have been impolite. I was just on the ship. There is a lot of work to be done and it will be done ready for her three 12-day Mediterranean adventures before she starts her journey to New York. So, please don’t worry and before you know you and Gig will be experiencing a trans- Atlantic crossing and enjoying the best cruise vacation you have ever had. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
Best wishes to you both
John

Peg Dunbar Asked:
John, PLEASE RESPOND,
Congratulations to you and Heidi on your beautiful baby girl Kye. Kye is such a lucky little girl to have you and Heidi for parents. Many blessings to you and your family. You have taken to being a daddy very well. Spoiling Kye seems to be a very easy thing to do
Sounds like you are having a wonderful time in Italy, one of my favorite countries. The Dream sounds fabulous.
My husband said last year that since I was “dragging” him to Europe for our 45th anniversary cruise on the Splendor last September; that in 2010 I had to go with him on an Alaskan cruise. Our neighbors were going to go with us and we got to talking on Tuesday night that since the prices were so good right now as was the air fare we should check out what was available. My TA got us an amazing cruise and post land tour on the Spirit for the August 5th sailing to Alaska. We never book this late, so it really seems even more exciting since it is only two months away.
Can you tell me who the CD will be on the Spirit? Since we are taking a 5 day/4 night train from Anchorage to Fairbanks, what will we see and or do that we won’t do on the cruise? I do not want to do something on the cruise that we may be doing on our land trip. Any information you can give us would be appreciated.
Thanks John, you truly are one of the good guys and the best CD we have ever had.

John Says:
Hello Peg
Thank you so very much for those beautiful words of kindness and I am indeed loving being a Dad…..except when I am covered in poo. Congratulations on booking your Alaskan cruise. Your are right to say that the prices are indeed amazing and I hope your words encourage others to discover Carnival’s amazing deals to the Last Frontier that is Alaska.

Your CD will be Chris “Bubba ” Roberts and I am going to copy him on this and ask that he post when he has time………..his top three excursions in the ports of call you will be visiting on the Carnival Spirit. Chris is one of our very very best CD’s and with him as your guide you will be assured of a brilliant time.
So, let’s give Chris a few days to get this together and we will write soon.
Best wishes to you and the family
John

Diane Asked:
Hi John! (Please answer) Thanks for the update on our Dream… I will be celebrating my sixtieth birthday (old broad that I am, so never let anyone say Carnival is just for young people!) on the inaugural sailing September 21. I have always dreamed of spending my birthday in Italy and this was too perfect. I was wondering if you will at least be making a guest appearance on the first sailing.
In the meantime, waiting for more photos of Miss Kye and her lovely mommy… what a bright child to have selected SO well from here gene pool… my best to the family

John Says:
Hello Diane
First of all I just read that 60 is the new 30 ………….seriously. I really did so happy 30th birthday. And what a tremendous way to spend it…………in Europe…………..on the Carnival Dream. Unfortunately I cannot be with you but Todd will make sure you have the most fun you have ever had. Meanwhile……….if you or any other guest who is sailing to the Med and who has questions about the ports and excursions etc., please drop me a line here and I will be happy to help answer them.
I will make sure we have a Kye video over the weekend and many thanks for the lovely words of support
Best wishes
John


Mary H Asked:

John, Please reply.
You must be missing Heidi and baby Kye. Love all the photos, please keep them coming.
Now the Dream does not seem to be nearly finished yet. I believe on an earlier blog you had said that sea trials would be done in April but we heard nothing. I am booked on the back to back Oct 15 and Oct 27 transatlantic, lucky me, so it will be ready won’t it? Looking forward to seeing you when you board in Bermuda.
Any chance of Susan Boyle joining us on the Dream? Now a sea cruise would be a perfect way to recuperate.

John Says:
Hello Mary H
I can tell you that I missed Kye and Heidi beyond measure………lets just say that I missed them as much as if I had an Aston Martin DBS and then someone stole it………yep……I missed them that much.

Carnival Dream is as we speak preparing for further sea trials and all is well on board. I know my photos look like the ship is months and months from being ready to sail with guests but this is normal. It is amazing just how quickly the ceilings can be closed, the scaffolding taken down and the furniture and art work put in place. She will sail on time and you will have a brilliant time………………..I promise.

I may have gotten myself in a wee bit of hot water regarding Miss Susan Boyle. A few weeks ago I suggested that she would make a great godmother/performer for the Carnival Dream. It seems that a British national newspaper thought that this was a done deal and actually printed this in their newspaper The Sun yesterday. Well, I know of no plans for this to actually happen and judging by the wee ladies state of mind at the moment…….I doubt she would be able to do it.

I am amazed at how many of the world’s travel press read the blog……………..they must think “what a crap writer he is.” Oh well.

Hope to hear from you soon
Best wishes
John


Lisa P Asked:

Dear John, (please reply)
I know you’re very busy lately, but I was just wondering when the Cruise Director Schedule will be updated. My family and I will be on the Freedom June, 28th and I was wondering if Todd will still be there?

John Says:
Hello Lisa
Hello Lisa. The CD schedule will be updated in …….ummmm………about three minutes……….oh and as you will see……………your Cruise Director will be me. Sorry !
See you on board
Best wishes to you all
John


Kathy Asked:

Hi John,
Please Respond.
I have been thinking about something and that is I bet little Kye is missing her daddy right now and her daddy is missing Kye.
When I was onboard the Carnival Pride last October, the CD Jeff Bronson (who is the greatest at putting together a Halloween Haunted House) was leaving the Pride and so was his wife. I have been wondering about the both of them, I know that she is going to have a baby soon, but what ship is he on now. Jeff went above and beyond for me on that cruise and I would like to send both of them something for their new little one. Btw, I have also sent your little one something as well, since I found your address, so if you could tell me where to send this gift, I would greatly appreciate it.
Kathy

John Says:
Hello Kathy
This is perfect timing because we just heard that Jeff’s wife Julia just gave birth to a beautiful boy called Jeromino. Mum and baby are doing well and Jeff is scheduled to return to work soon. Please join me in wishing the family many congratulations.

You are so kind to think of Heidi and I. The address to send it to is our PO Box which is written to the right of the blog thingy. There really is no need to send anything but we appreciate your kindness so very much and Kye looks forward to opening her gift.

I remain at your service and my best wishes to you and your family
John

Elizabeth Gwin Asked:
Please Reply
I am so glad that you write this blog!!!
We had been on the Ecstasy, but didn’t like it at all. We wanted nothing ever more to do with Carnival. Then I found and started reading the blog. We just returned from the May 16 cruise on the Ecstasy which was Wonderful! If you weren’t writing this we wouldn’t have gone.
We are now booked on the July 12 sailing of the Conquest which I hope will be just as wonderful. Do you have suggestions?
I was surprised to learn that I sailed on the Mardi Gras…but then she was still the Empress of Canada. I sailed from Montreal to Southampton on a college tour. She was a wonderful ship. Since I did sail on the first Carnival ship I think that I should receive credit for an extra and early cruise.
Elizabeth

John Says:
Hello Elizabeth
You know, I have to admit that what with my Yahoo problems and the fact that I have a bit of a cold I really don’t feel like writing the blog thingy today. But then I read the comments and saw how everyone appreciates my daily musings and then I read that the blog had inspired you to return home to Carnival…………..and now I feel so rejuvenated…………..you all are my Gatorade.

I am so glad you had such a wonderful time on the Carnival Ecstasy and now you get to experience a Conquest class vessel. You must try our Supper Club. For $30 I promise you will find the finest food at sea and all set in the most luxurious and romantic way. If you are a meat lover you must try the porterhouse steak accompanied by a big dollop of wasabi mashed potatoes.

A five course dinner for $30……………………if it’s not the best meal you have ever had at sea tell me…..and I will pay for your dessert.

Then, watch a movie under the stars on the Seaside Theatre big screen and do not miss the shows including the brand new magic and illusion show which is proving to be a showstopper.

Hope this helps and between now and your sailing date please let me know if there is anything else you need
Best wishes to you all and thanks again for your wonderful words
John

That’s all for today. I am slowly catching up with your questions and should be up to date by the weekend. Please keep the comments coming remembering that they are not only read by me but
by most of the senior Carnival management.

Now, many of you have been asking for an updated CD schedule and even though I have been answering many “who will the CD be?” questions it is easier to have the schedule permanently affixed over on the right hand side of the blog. Well, its been a strange year so far what with the sudden resignation of Mark Price and the terrible illness suffered by our friend Malcolm Burn, whom I ham happy to say continues on the march to recovery. We have welcomed in some new permanent cruise directors and some of the vacancies and vacations have been filled by acting CD’s. However……………..one of the main reasons I could not publish the schedule was because of our mate and Carnival’s Director of Entertainment Chris Prideaux being rushed into ICU. He was under the doctor’s care for many weeks and has only just returned to work. …………..in fact …………….here he is………………..ladies and gentlemen lets welcome home Chris.

Greetings Bloggers All!

I’m writing this from the relative comfort of my office which means my doctors have allowed me to return to work! I would like to thank you for your thoughts and kind words of support while I’ve been away. It is indeed a wonderful thing to know that you have a great many people pulling for you when you’re down. As a gesture of thanks, I have attached the latest and greatest Cruise Director schedule which is guaranteed to bring you shivers of delight. May it serve you well in your time of need.

Chris

CD Schedule June - December 2009 CD Schedule

Thanks Chris and I am sure that everyone appreciates you taking the time to write. I also know that no other cruise line is prepared to publish their CD schedule and I think that as so many people want to know who their CD will be it shows that he or she can make such a difference to your cruise and that Carnival has some of the very best cruise directors in the industry.

I will ask my mates Host Mach and Kuki to post the schedule on the Cruise Critic and Cruise Mates boards and I kindly ask Stephanie to put down her tofu sandwich and glue the schedule permanently to the side of the blog thingy.

Thanks again Chris and its great to have you back.

Grand Turk is a fantastic port of call and one that gets constant positive feedback from our guests and from the crew as well. Carnival Corp has invested a great deal of time and money here and I hope that this great destination is on your must see list. Well there is now a brand new attraction that is also totally unique.

Have a look at this.

UNIQUE CONCH WORLD SHORE EXCURSION/TOURISM ATTRACTION OPENS IN GRAND TURK, TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS

MIAMI (June 9, 2009) —The Grand Turk Cruise Center, owned by Carnival Corporation & plc, has partnered with Cockburn Village & Farm, Ltd., to develop Conch World, a new eco-friendly attraction in Grand Turk, which welcomed its first guests, a group from the Carnival Pride, earlier today. Grand opening festivities are set for fall 2009.

Four years in the making, this unique million-dollar-plus tourism attraction consists of several brightly colored pink buildings that showcase the Queen conch, which is native to Grand Turk and plays a vital role in the health of coral reefs as it serves as a food source for lobsters, turtles, sharks, octopus and other marine animals.

Conch World is the only tourist facility devoted to the Queen conch located at a cruise destination and is only the second such facility in the world.

The guided tour begins with an entertaining video and then proceeds to other air-conditioned buildings where informative displays, pictures and dioramas explain conch lore and conch farming, an important part of the Caribbean’s economy.

The highlight of the attraction is the world famous trained conchs, Sally and Jerry, who love to venture out of their shells and have their pictures taken. Guests can also visit the Bare Naked Conch Café to savor the delicious farmed conch prepared in a variety of ways and the Pink Pearl Gift Shop which sells a variety of conch-related merchandise.

“The Caribbean is vital to the continued growth and success of the North American cruise industry and the Grand Turk Cruise Center and Carnival Corporation & plc are very pleased to support the development of this spectacular and unique attraction,” said Graham Davis, director of port operations and destination development for Carnival Corporation & plc. “In addition to serving as an example of responsible, sustainable tourism development, Conch World will have tangible economic benefits, including creating numerous job opportunities for the local community,” he said.

Added Chuck Hesse, CEO of the world’s only conch farm now headquartered on Grand Turk, “This facility is a celebration of a small animal that has made a huge contribution to the entire Caribbean. The conch’s high protein meat has been a staple in almost every island, its shell used for ornaments, mortar, pottery, and as a conch horn.”

Hesse noted that one in every 10,000 animals produces an exquisite pink pearl valuable enough to be part of the Crown Jewels of England.

Conch World is the first of a multi-phase development by the locally owned and operated company, Cockburn Village & Farm, Ltd. It will be followed by a commercial conch farm, Arawak Village, a modern facility with buildings resembling 1780’s Caribbean dwellings, along with beachfront eco-engineered residences.

Conch World is just the latest addition to Grand Turk, one of the Caribbean’s most unspoiled and laidback islands. The $60 million Grand Turk Cruise Center serves as a gateway to this unique destination and encompasses a state-of-the-art pier and a 13-acre complex offering a variety of retail shops, including the Caribbean’s largest “Margaritaville”-themed bar and restaurant.

For more information, visit www.Grandturkcc.com.

Sounds fascinating and I will try and get some photos of this very soon.

And so we return to your Carnival Dream. Yesterday we spoke about the lobby and how the music and staging will allow for a most wonderful place to meet new friends and dance with the one you love……………or lust.

However on the Carnival Dream the lobby will have some serious competition in the shape of the Ocean Plaza. Many of you will have experienced the piazzas in Italy with narrow cobbled streets, tiny hidden shops selling local crafts and tasty treats. You sit with your cappuccino and listen to some local Italian music played by someone from Nigeria and watch the world go by.

Well, during the day that is exactly how the Ocean Plaza and what the Ocean Plaza will be. There will be constant entertainment, a variety of live music and loads of fun and games. Seating is inside and outside as huge glass doors will open to allow Mr Al Fresco to introduce himself to you. As you watch the beautiful ocean go by you can enjoy a specialty coffee from our coffee shop and some complimentary nibbles such as tapas, mezza and spotted dick. Yep, we will have a Mediterranean cafe in the heart of the Ocean Plaza and if that’s not enough…………then visit our Italian gelato ice cream shop also situated in the Ocean Plaza and enjoy a real taste of Italy.

Italians take their ice cream as seriously as they do wearing brown shoes with a blue suit and Cyrus Marfatia, our vice president of food and beverage told me he will have only the finest gelato served in Ocean Plaza. I loved ice cream and gelato and before I was visited by Mr. Type 2 Diabetes I think the best is the tiny Gelato di San Crispino, near the Trevi Fountain in Rome ……….those were the days.

One of the other features near Ocean Plaza will be the over sized whirlpools which hang over the ship. Our intention is to keep them open until late and it will for sure be a feature that everyone will want to try. Then, at night while the music inside the Ocean Plaza has everyone dancing and enjoy a mojito from the bar…………the peace and tranquility of the open spaces and outside seating area that the Plaza offers will have couples holding hands and whispering I love you’s while sharing a large dish of double chocolate gelato.

For me though the fact that you can now walk the entire circumference of the ship outside on deck 5 is something very special indeed. So, the Ocean Plaza………….will I think be the heartbeat of the ship and for the first time we have a truly European indoor/outdoor Piazza experience ……………………….brilliant ………..as they say in Italian.

Here is a photo of the Ocean Plaza whirlpools which can be found on both port and starboard side of the ships.

DSC03552-The Ocean Plaza
The Ocean Plaza

DSC03538-The jacuzzi
The jacuzzi

Here are some more random photos:

DSC03524-Another view of the brilliant water park
Another view of the brilliant water park

DSC03547-Another view of the brilliant water park

DSC03542-The aft dining room
The aft dining room

DSC03543-The aft dining room
The aft dining room

DSC03529-A view of the new P&O Azura, due for delivery in 2010
A view of the new P&O Azura, due for delivery in 2010

I guess it’s easy looking at those for people to think that maybe the ship won’t be ready. But once again I say that you underestimate the amazing work of hundreds of Fincantieri workers who will have the ship looking stunning and doing so on time.

Tomorrow we will continue our Carnival Dream chat and include some photos of the cabins.

Oh, also tomorrow look out for an interview with Samantha Brown from Travel Channel who has returned from her Carnival Freedom cruise and will host a show about her experience that premieres this Saturday at 10 pm eastern time. I tried to think of some good questions and her answers are really great so join me for that tomorrow.

I will be on the Carnival Dream for the handover ceremony in mid-September and will be reporting from there with video and photos of the finished ship. I am actually going to start walking there now as I refuse to fly Ryan Air ever again. I would rather dip my thingy in syrup and put a nest of starved red ants down my underpants than fly with Ryan Scare.

Heidi and Kye will be coming as well ………….I can’t wait to show them ship.

Kye it seems does not like facial hair or beards. I’ve told her mother to lose the goatee, but will she listen…will she bollocks?

Seriously, Kye does not like it when I don’t shave and won’t cuddle me if she thinks I haven’t so I have had to forgone my vacation ritual of not shaving………….bugger.

In the last few days, Kye has taken to waking up at 3 am, taking a minute or two to ascertain that her audience is in place, and letting out a series of high-pitched squeaks. The first time she did this I was in a deep sleep and for a minute I thought I was back on the Carnival Destiny in the bedroom of my cabin ……………that’s because a certain hotel director and their partner used to make similar noises late at night.

Anyway, I digress. When Kye’s squeaks are met with silence (or an ‘Oh Lord, not again’) she gets upset that her best efforts are so woefully unappreciated. Thus an hour of crying, feeding, walking round the house, crying and feeding some more ensues. When she finally falls asleep again, she snores making sleep for his parents all but impossible.

Ceiling fans. A bit leftfield, this one, but our daughter seems to get a real kick out of the things. Is she laughing at the shoddy workmanship, or taking delight in the knowledge that she is part of a species that can invent something so simple and yet so ingenious and manifestly useful? Or is it because they’re shiny?

The weather has turned cold and rainy in my part of the world. It’s 10 degrees today ………. global warming my arse

I like seasons, and can’t imagine anything worse, weather-wise, than living in a country where you sweat from one day to the next, never experiencing the pleasure of a warm duvet on a cold night.

Still, my attitude has changed a bit with Kye’s arrival. Getting a baby ready to go outside is a pain at any time of year. Do we have a change of clothes, a pacifier, a spare pacifier for the inevitable moment when she spits pacifier number one on the floor, the changing mat, spare diapers, baby wipes, assorted cloths and creams, blankets, three strollers and the bloody kitchen sink, etc etc?

In the cold, you have to remember all that, and you have to dress your bundle of joy to resemble the Michelin man. Today when we went for a walk to the shops it was not only very cold but the wind was blowing at gale force. Kye was kitted out in full winter dress and I could barely get my arms round him. When she’s tucked into her stroller, all you see is a tiny face peeping out from the folds of a mountain of padded material.

All this takes forever, which means that if you aim to take advantage of a break in the clouds and a bit of blue sky and sunshine, it’s invariably pissing down by the time you actually step out of the door.

Kye seems a bit confused as well. She was born in the middle of a heat wave in the UK which lasted 4 days. She’s been used to lounging around in her jim jams but today Heidi had her kitted out like she was going on trip to the North Pole. And the worst thing? It’s June………I had better drive some more in my Range Rover and kill another Polar Bear because the way Heidi is going……..come the winter……….. Kye will be wearing one as a diaper!

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.