June 12, 2009 -

John Heald

I mentioned last week how my Ryan Air flight from Genoa to London was as organized and as luxurious as Phil Spector’s hair. It was horrid and this morning my spirits sank as my economy class ticket from London to Miami arrived via e-mail from Carnival’s travel office.

I sat in my chair staring at the word “Economy” wishing I’d gone into organized crime when I left school. It never occurred to me as a good career option – making people sleep with the fishes and making them offers they couldn’t refuse – but now it does. Because I’d have loads of (laundered) cash and I would be able to fly first class all the time.

Having loads of (laundered) cash hadn’t been an issue before. I had accepted life down the back, with the occasional upgrade to business. I have only once experienced a first-class epiphany on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Barbados to London. I got upgraded due to an over booking in Premium economy and I am sure when deciding who would get the Upper (First) Class seat they looked at me and thought. Right……that fat bastard won’t fit in an economy seat so we had better give him a bigger one…and that was me in first class.

They don’t actually have chairs more like semi-private cabins with flat beds and a flight attendant who doesn’t look like a she has run a 100-yard sprint in a 90-yard gym.

You get foie-gras canapés with your drink, not stale pretzels. Your chair has a custom eight-point massage system and the movies start when you want them to. Lunch was amazing. Everything is served on full-size crockery, with full-size cutlery, in full-size portions on a full-size table that unlike on other flights was impaled into my belly. It’s like having a meal in your own private restaurant. I remember I had rosemary-pesto rack of lamb. It arrived warm rather than hot, which was annoying. If I’d been an organized criminal, I would have complained. Although the bed is big enough for rumpy pumpy a hostess could peek over at any time – which would be off-putting, unless you’re into exhibitionism. I’m not, so it’s still the toilet or a private jet for me then.

Instead, I put on my beautifully tailored complimentary pajamas, asked my waitress – sorry, stewardess – to convert my presidential seat into a bed (complete with above-and-below quilts and not one but two man-size pillows) and went to sleep. It was the sleep of babies. Rich babies with enormous silver bloody spoons in their mouths. My only complaint ………………….. They didn’t let me steal the Bose headphones.

Thank God I am on a diet. United Airlines announced that extra-large passengers will have to purchase the seat next to them if they do not fit in the seat or can’t lower the armrest. This can lead to nothing but trouble. To begin with, what if you don’t think you’re that fat? You’re feeling good, turn up at the airport for your flight and suddenly the agent (who is probably three times heavier than you) informs you that you have to pay double? That’s 10 years of therapy right there.

There is just no practical way to execute this policy. What are they going to do, ask people to step on the scale where we put our luggage? Good luck getting any woman to do that.

And with this power in the hands of the airline staff, anything can happen.

Let’s say they’re having a bad day and feeling vengeful. Where you sit and whether or not you get on the flight often comes down to their mood. Or in my case, personality. I’ve been in situations where I suspect they tell me there are no aisle seats left just because I got on their nerves. What happens if I ask one question too many?

I can hear it now. “Sorry, looks like you’re too fat to fly.” …….and the passenger replies, “But’ I’m Kate Moss!”

Also, I’m wondering if they are given instructions on what to say? Because there really is no good way to deliver this news. In the south I bet they’re very polite about it. “May I suggest y’all purchase another seat because your girth exceeds the limit darlin’.” Whereas in New York, it’s well….a lawsuit waiting to happen.

There’s so much anxiety about travelling as it is, do we really need one more thing to worry about? At what point does a heavy passenger like me have to begin to consider they might not make it to their destination? Even if the airline staff lets them through, they can still be kicked off the flight if a passenger complains and there are no available extra seats for them to move to.

Why not make someone with poor parenting skills purchase another seat? Or someone who hasn’t bathed recently……. Maybe United should have sniffer dogs at the ticketing counter for that!

Enough of my flying woes………time for today’s questions…… we go…….oh just before I do a certain cruise line has been bombarding the Sky News channel with a commercial that’s on 30 times a day and its getting on my bloody nerves. So ……….. I just have to say………………nation of why not my arse.

That’s better…………….here we go.

pmcasey68 Asked:
I was wondering if you were going to be staying aboard the Dream for her first cruise? While I am sure that you will be busy if you are staying aboard, I was hoping to shake your hand and say thank you personally for the help you provide my family and I.

John Says:
Hello pmcasey
My plans for the Carnival Dream were originally to sail on the first European cruise. I then changed my mind as I felt it may be unfair to Todd who will be the ship’s CD and I didn’t want to get under his feet or interfere. However, it seems that this decision has disappointed many so I am reevaluating now and maybe I can stay until Venice. I will confirm this next week once I have spoken to Roger and Chris and others. It would be an honour to shake your hand mate and if there is anything you need please let me know
Best wishes

Bill Copper Asked:
Please Respond
We’re sailing on the Freedom this Sunday (June 14) and I was wondering if you know whether Lewis Nixon is going to be on board? It would be great to see him again. We’re of course disappointed that you won’t be our CD, but we’re sure we’ll have a great time in any case. We would LOVE to get an autographed picture (or any other reminder of you).
If it’s possible, we’re in cabins — and –.
Thanks so much,
The Coppers

John Says:
Hello Bill
I just checked with our office on this and unfortunately Lewis will be on the Carnival Glory next week. He and I are great friends and I know those who attended the Bloggers Cruise on the Carnival Fantasy this year loved his humour and the stories from my past which made me turn a few shades of red. You do have some funny guys during your voyage and I would appreciate it so much if you could take the time to tell me what you thought of the entertainment when you return home. You will have a wonderful time with Todd and James who are the very best and will be together on the Carnival Dream
Look out for a little something from me and have a great time mate
Best wishes

Susie Asked:
John, what we will be expecting on the Inaugural Cruise? Champagne, free drinks??

John Says:
Hello Susie
We typically don’t provide free drinks on an inaugural cruise however you will get a very special memento book in your cabin to take home with you which I hope you enjoy. You will also be the first group of guests ever to use the new Ocean Plaza, the Carnival WaterWorks aqua park, including the Twister water slides, as well as the first to sleep in your stateroom. This is a true inaugural cruise; there are no “mini” cruises before hand so that must make you feel very proud when you say you were the first to sail on the new Carnival Dream. Let me know if you have a follow up question and if not I wish you a brilliant time
Best wishes

Wench Cindi Asked:
John (please reply)
Ok I have something on my chest and I need to get it off.
I was just reading the dream 1 blog where you had an interview with that second rate CD.
I am sorry to all the Todd fans out there but I have cruised with him on 2 occasions the most recent was on the Carnival Freedom back in march. We were on and 8 day cruise and during the entire 8 days we saw him twice, once at the Past cruisers party, and a second time in the international lounge where he was giving one of the entertainment staff a good butt chewing (in public)about not having enough folks for the legends show.
During the cruise the ACD James did just about all the normal CD duties, now i certainly understand that Todd may have been busy, but for all 8 days???
I am sorry but John, I have to say that from the outside and not being privy to all the behind the scenes conversations, it would be my belief and if i may add the belief of many other bloggers that your beloved Carnival corp. has slapped you in the face..
You my friend are the top CD and having anyone other than John Heald bring out a new ship is well an embarrassment.
We realize that you have had this exclusive duty for many years but it is a ditty that you have earned.
We have sailed with 12 different CD’s over the past 15 years and all of them, in our opinion are more personable and exciting than Todd.
Now understand that we are not Todd bashing in any way, we are merely expressing our opinion about the new CD of the dream.
We feel that Carnival has made a decision that, while some will agree with and some who won’t, that is not in the best interest of the company.
To hand over the new Flag ship of the fleet and 600 million dollar investment to a CD that is not the TOP CD of the line is just plain wrong.
We understand that at sometime you will have to turn over the reigns to someone else and we understand that you are very busy with KYE and may not have the time that bringing a new ship out takes but we can name at least 3 other CD’s who again in our opinion would do a much better job.
In any case as i said above this is not a Todd bashing rather one platinum members opinion for what it is worth.
I realize that the decision has been made and right or wrong Carnival has to stick by it all I can say is that I don’t agree with it.
I will be on both of the bloggers cruises and maybe during one of them you and I can have a private chat over tea one morning as i am sure that there were behind the scenes politics that went into this decision.
OK i feel better now,
Please keep being yourself and I cant wait to have you back on the ships as I will be the first to book on any cruise that you are the CD of (already booked 2 cruises on freedom with you in July.
Looking forward to seeing you then.

John Says:
Hello Cindi
First of all I am glad you got that off your chest. There is no worse feeling in the world than having to keep things bottled up and while some may think that Stephanie and I only post the positive suggestions and comments on the blog thingy we truly don’t and if at anytime anyone has an issue they want to discuss. I will always do my best to listen and respond accordingly.

I think in this case its best that I say sorry to you first of all. As I have mentioned many times here the cruise director’s role is a busy one and has changed so very much over the years but…..and like Rosanne Barr…’s a very big but….a CD must regardless of how busy he or she is be visible on stage and off …….every day of the cruise. Now, there are times when we must give our Assistant Cruise Directors a chance to learn and the best way for that to happen is to allow them a chance to host various shows and events however ………if you only saw the CD twice during a cruise then that is not good enough.

I know that when I show this to Todd he will be distraught because he is a true professional and always takes to heart what people say. I also know he will say thank you to you for letting him know your true thoughts and this will motivate him to do better.

Now, with regards to the Carnival Dream. Well, when Roger and Chris and I spoke about whether or not I should be the cruise director I took two things into consideration. Firstly, I had decided that I would stay on the Carnival Liberty which as you may remember had been scheduled to stay in Europe from April to October. Europe is my first love when it comes to itineraries, not just for its beauty and history but of course I am so close to home.

Although it was the right decision to remove her from Europe this year and in 2010 nobody was more upset than me. Honestly, I even thought about going to work for Princess or P&O so that I could be near Heidi and Kye and still do the job I love. But I am a Carnival guy and I know that had I moved to one of our sister companies that I would have upset so many people. Secondly, it was thought by Roger, Chris and myself that having been the CD on the past three new ships and having been the CD on a total of nine new ships that quite frankly……..people were going to get tired of me and my jokes and my bedtime story, etc. and that change was needed. So, Todd was given the job and this was based on his results, his energy and his bottomless pit of new ideas … his fun hop and deck party are legendary.

So, that’s what happened. In my heart of hearts I wish I had said yes. Carnival Dream is going to be an incomparable ship…….well until the Carnival Magic arrives and there is no way anyone is going to be the CD of that ship except me! I wish Todd all the best and we are all positive he is going to be brilliant. I look forward to sharing that cup of tea with you. If anyone else ever wants to get something of their chest ………or wants to respond on this topic………..please do anytime you want to.

Kathy M. Asked:
Hi John,
Please Respond.
Kye is a beautiful baby and should be a baby model (if you put her to work now you will get the car you want. Just kidding).
As a person who has suffered from Depression most of my life. I think you were a little harsh in your remark about Susan Boyle. It is very hard to go from a person who has a quite life to an overnight sensation and then on top of that, having everyone tell her that she was going to win that competition, only to lose because so many thought she was going to win they did not vote. She had people heckling her, put her down for her looks and other things. I applaud Susan for even completing the competition, none of the other contestants were harassed like she was, so it finally got to her and for a week she did not eat or even sleep and that right there will play a toll on the human mind. So give her a break, enough people have put her through the wringer.
I love the pictures of the Dream, it amazes me how ships are built today. I know that they don’t do the beautiful and expensive wood like they use to, it is more fiberglass and plastic, but even so, it is still beautiful and I am excited to see the final pictures. On a website called Webshots, they had over 500 pictures of the Eurodam being built, even to the pictures of showing the crew passing furniture up the stairs for the cabins, it was amazing. I wish something like that could be put together for the Dream.

John Says:
Hello Kathy
If I thought Kye was my ticket to an Aston Martin I would have her modeling baby clothes, diapers and Carnival Cruise Lines today. Thanks for saying how beautiful she is, Heidi loves reading comments like that as do I.

Please forgive me if I wrote something that may have upset you. I certainly was not trying to attack Susan Boyle but in fact defend her. I agree with everything you said but I obviously didn’t get my point of view across……let me try again.

You see, one moment Susan was a lonely, homely spinster from a Scottish village, who never had a job and spent years looking after her elderly mother. Then suddenly she is a massive global hit with millions of views on YouTube, championed by Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore, stalked by the world’s media. There has never been a plainer example of “ordinary” people projecting their “ordinary” life onto someone who is perhaps even more “ordinary” than they are …….. the kind of people whom no one looks at twice in the street.

And then, inevitably, it all went wrong. Someone decided that a good nickname for Susan was “the hairy angel,” as though she were a freak show exhibit instead of a woman who, like millions of others in this country, doesn’t much bother with tweezers. Over a few short weeks the media decided they had had their fun with her and it was now time to give her a good kicking. And nobody had prepared her for that. Nobody had told her what the price of fame was and that is what upset me. I wish her nothing but happiness ….. which if you look at it was probably to an extent what she had before she sang on live TV.

The Eurodam blog was exceptionally done and to me it deserved to win the blog of the year award. Between now and her first sailing I will do my very best to post as many photos of her as I can accompanied by details of her public areas and entertainment spaces. I am so glad you are enjoying these photos and thank you again for taking the time to write.

I wish you much happiness

Senda Asked:
Please reply
Can you tell me who the CD will be on the Valor on August 23-30. That’s our next cruise (75 days away-but who’s counting?).
Love reading your blog…you’re so funny! )
Senda Shultz

John Says:
Hello Senda.
The CD for your Carnival Valor cruise will be Big Tex from Michigan …. sorry …. Texas. What a guy he is and his larger than life personality will be one of the highlights of the cruise. Look out also for Assistant Cruise Director Gary Brierly who I am sure will soon be given a chance of being a cruise director.

Have fun and please let me know if you need anything. I hope you continue to find the blog funny and hope you keep reading for some time to come.
Best wishes

Lilmatcat Asked:
Hi John,
Has Carnival announced who the Piano Player will be when the Dream comes out? And do you know who will be in the piano bar on the 12/3 sailing? Would love for Damian Brell to be on board! That would top off an already amazing cruise.

John Says:
Hello Lilmatcat
I know you and others are waiting for this announcement. I spoke yesterday to Rob King in the Miami office who ultimately will make this decision. I know Damian is a possibility as are about three others and I will certainly forward on your recommendation. I will let you know as soon as I can so watch this space.
Thanks for taking the time to write

John Says:
Diana Vuong
Hey John (please reply)
How are you doing? I totally believed in yahoo until last month. I had an email for TEN years and one day, out of the blue, i couldn’t log in. I contacted them 15 times for an answer with no luck. So i would suggest you back up all your addresses and print all your important emails… because i lost all that!
Anyway, i know you are a CD, but as a guest, why is it important that i know who the cruise director is for my ship? I’m sailing this weekend out of LA on the 14th on the splendor. It seems that many people are eager to know who their CD is and i want to know the benefits of that.
Also, reading the tickets and website ” cafes: coffees and pastries are fee based…” so does that mean drinks ( coffee, sodas) & pastries and such are not included in our dining and room service? Those items seem pretty standard in meal services.
We are celebrating two graduations on the ship and are there any complimentary services that i can arrange to have a cake for the two girls at dinner or something? It would be so special. Also, Can you please hook me up on an internet pkg so i read your blog while sailing?
Hope all is well John & I love reading your blog. You are so open, so real, and so inspirational!!

John Says:
Hello Diana
In the end I caved in. I know I said I hate change but Yahoo lost all my e-mails, my inbox, outbox and everything I had saved………they just vanished. I called Yahoo here in the UK and spoke to a chap in India who was about as helpful as fart in a space suit and so I over the next few days I will be telling Yahoo to bugger off and will look at G-string mail or whatever it’s called.

You ask a very good question……..why so many people care who the CD is. Now, I have an answer for that but with your kind permission I am not going to tell you what it is. I will eventually but I think it is such an important question that it needs answering first by as many people as possible. So Diana, lets have one of our now and then surveys.




It will be very interesting to see what people say here Diane and once we have all read the replies to the above questions I will let you know what I think. Hope that’s OK.

I mentioned the other day that your Carnival Dream will have the first piazza ever featured on one of our ships. It will be called Ocean Plaza and will feature a grand coffee shop and Italian gelato ice cream stand. As on all the Carnival ships the specialty coffees and pastries served here come with nominal charges as will the gelato shop as well. However, the ice cream on Lido deck remains complimentary as will the pastries, Danish, sandwiches, etc. from room service. Also being served at no charge from the Ocean Plaza will be the mezza, tapas and other specialty treats. We will also serve complimentary sushi on your Carnival Dream, as well.

We do have a bon voyage department who can arrange for a nominal fee a special cake for your family and that’s available through If you remind me a week or so before you sail I will send them a little graduation gift as well.

I hope this answers your questions and my best wishes to you all

Susan V Asked:
Hi John, Heidi & Kye:
I want to thank you for the wonderful pictures of the Dream. We are all excited about it and can’t wait to actually sail on her next year! I told my husband Scott that they were having a Gelato ice cream bar on it, he was excited after having the real thing in Italy last year, he loves it! Can’t wait!
John, Please Reply:
Thank you Chris for putting up the Cruise Director’s schedule for the rest of the year!
John, when I asked you earlier who the CD would be on the Glory in September, you told me Ryan Fitzgerald. I guess some changes were made because now the new schedule has James Charlton as the Cruise Director. I have never heard of him. I did a search for a picture, none. Could you give us a little background about him and if possible put a picture up also. It’s nice to know a little about our CD before cruising. We
enjoy getting to know our CD’s on board and look forward to meeting James.
Thanks again!
Susan & Scott

John Says:
Hello Susan V
Your husband should be excited as the gelato ice cream we will serve will be the very finest ……..let me know what he thinks. Yes, there have been one or two changes since you asked who your CD was because as you can see the irrepressible James Charlton will be the CD. James is…….well………James……and is a wild and crazy guy who has an infectious laugh and who everyone instantly loves. He has only been with us a short time but I think he will be a star of the future for sure.

I will be doing a round of interviews with the new CD’s very soon and will make sure I include James so you can find out a lot more about him.

My best to you both and look forward to that gelato

Dana Asked:
Hi John…
Please reply.
I love reading your blogs every day. Your information about Carnival and your family is delightful. I actually do have two questions.
1. My family (3 cabins worth on the Panorama deck in the Spa section) will be on the Dream for Christmas this year and I’ve been reading that some ships don’t decorate or play Christmas music. Is this true? We were looking forward to all the Christmas hoopla. 2. I looked at the advance reservation for the Supper Club you have posted and the Dream isn’t listed. Will it be once it sails?
Thank you and keep up the fantastic job…oh and keep the pictures coming.

John Says:
Hello Dana
It’s great to hear that you enjoy the blog so much and I hope that continues for a long time. We do absolutely make sure that the ship is decorated with all the trimmings including a big Christmas tree. We also feature a Christmas show that features traditional music such as Silent Night and even Santa makes an appearance. It will be a very special Christmas holiday for sure.

My guess is that we will have the Carnival Dream supper club reservations will be available from mid-August once the crew gets onboard. I will keep an eye on this and let you know as and when you can make your reservation.

She is going to be sensational and I know for you and your family Christmas 2009 will be the best ever.
Best wishes to you all

That’s all for today. I will answer the next group of questions on Monday.

And that leads me cap in hand to ask you for a favor. This weekend will be my last with my family for two months as next Friday I fly back to Miami and the Carnival Freedom. So, I am going to take the weekend off and will be back all guns blazing with a full blog on Monday …… I hope none of you are too upset about that. Next week I have an interview with the hotel director of the Carnival Dream and other department heads who will be lucky enough to be part of the start up team of your fabulous new Carnival fun ship.

You may have noticed that I have cut down the number of blogs about Kye. I did this only because the other blogs have been so busy and full already.

So, from now on I will give you a full Kye update on Fridays only. This will help me out because at the moment all she really does is sleep, eat, pee and poo……..rather like her Daddy. So from now on Fridays will be “Kye Day.”

You won’t believe what happened last night……you had all better sit down for this because its shocking …..totally shocking……Heidi wanted a night out with the girls, and she said I was left holding the baby. OK, she wasn’t drinking – the “girls” were a group of other mothers she had met at her pregnant Mummies class thingies. They were going for a Chinese meal and her “night” out would last approximately two hours. Nevertheless, this was clearly the selfish behaviour of a woman for whom the responsibilities of motherhood mean absolutely bugger all. I mean come on; it’s only been a month!

But I’m a good man and a loving father so I only tutted and sulked for an hour or so before Heidi left for her night of wanton debauchery and Kung Po chicken. Frankly, I was terrified. I was convinced that as soon as the door closed behind her Kye would start up an unholy din that wouldn’t end until she opened it again on her way in.

I’m not paranoid. I truly believe that Kye likes me quite a lot. But that doesn’t mean she wants to spend two hours alone with me. I figured my repertoire of funny faces and silly songs would keep her amused for about half an hour, after which the absence of Mummy would be noted, analyzed and acted upon – with a level four (on a scale of one to four) paddy.

In fact, I needn’t have worried. Kye was as good as gold. OK, let’s not over-do it. Kye was as good as, say, rusty iron. But that means she wasn’t really any worse than she is any other evening. Even though I have man breasts, I couldn’t feed her so Heidi had taken care of that before she left, but then she demanded constant entertainment for about 45 minutes, and then she got tired. When Kye gets tired, she doesn’t shut her eyes and go to sleep………….oh no…….. she keeps them open and howls. But eventually the effort of protesting about being tired gets too much……. and she nods off.

And this was the happy situation when his mother crept quietly through the door at the ungodly hour of 9:30 pm. Kye was snoring gently on my lap, and I was sitting there looking smug. And I kept that look up right until the point when Heidi said, “Well, if it went so well, I’ll be out again next week.” She only quieted my hysterical sobs and my dribbling by arranging to make her next night out sometime in 2014.

Here is a photo taken today just after I had been to collect three days worth of mail from our PO Box. Kye thanks you all so very much for the wondrous acts of kindness and the cards and gifts are appreciated more than my words can ever express……thank you cards are on their way.


Here are two more photos I want to share with you and they are the first photos I think of a special ship. This liner will have a name painted on her hull and not just any name …… for her name will be Queen Elizabeth.

DSC03545-Queen Elizabeth

She may not look like more than a lump of steel right now but over the next few months she will start to take shape and the world will no doubt start to talk about her. I will keep you updated as to her progress as often as I can.

I was reminded last night about something I forgot to tell you about that I saw on the Costa Pacifica ….and I was reminded by a group called ……the Chippendales. Yep….those oiled hunks who gyrated and stripped their way into the hearts and minds of housewives across the globe during the 80s and 90s, are back and currently on a world tour.

Now, before I get loads of questions about how I know this let me state here and now that I was not trawling Mr. Google looking for photos of naked men…….nope……I only do that on Mondays. The reason I know about the Chippendales is because they had a full-page advert in my newspaper. It showed “the guys” who are a new breed of Dales and are from the States, Kenya, Sweden, Italy, Australia and Malaysia…..truly an international group of Chips then…….but no French……..they have their own group…..La Stinkendales.

Anyway, I digress. One of the things I loved about Costa was entertainment had been scheduled in every lounge, all the time and that included late night in the disco. Now, the fact that I was in the disco will come as a shock to many of you who know my hatred of the places and realize the chances of me dancing are about the same as finding Judge Judy shopping at Victoria’s Secret’s.

However a friend of mine Mr. Hamilton changed all that. I had just gotten to my cabin and was sitting in my underpants e-mailing Heidi and Kye when he called my stateroom saying I had to come to the disco…… I did……..and I was glad.

Costa had two dancers there…….a male and a female……while the female was on her podium dancing in a sexy short skirt and blouse thingy the male dancer was without doubt the center of attention. He was tall and full of those things some men have call muscles and he was naked from the waist up. There was a lot of fuss going on around him and as I went to get a closer look I fell arse over tit……getting up from the disco floor I tried to discover what I had tripped over…….then realized I had tripped over Mrs. Hamilton’s tongue!

The two dancers then did a wonderful and quite seductive dance to a James Bond Medley and it was quite brilliant. I seemed to be the only one looking at the girl though because everyone else was looking at the male dancer…….even the Italian men who are apparently something called metrosexual were fascinated by him. Now for those of you who like me have no bloody clue what metreosexual means it apparently involves dressing and acting in such a way as not to be afraid of being in touch with your girly side.

You still love women but dress like Elton John. You are supposed to use moisturizer and trim nasal and ear hair daily. And the trimming of your ears and nose is not exclusive because apparently the metrosexual man is also supposed to head down to the pubic region and for a regime of trimming and moisturizing…….whatever happened to soap on a rope?

I’m told that the other area that makes a man metrosexual is that he is totally comfortable kissing other men………..especially in Italy. For most blokes this is a no-brainer — we don’t kiss other blokes. We kiss girls, our mums, some dogs and occasionally double-page spreads in rumpy pumpy magazines. The last bloke most men kissed was their father and that stopped when they went to big school. But now the world seems to be full of men kissing.

Before I started to work with Italian captains and officers if I had told any of my mates that I had kissed a man they would have immediately thought I was ……well……you know. When I was growing up the only time it was OK to kiss another man was if you were drunk. You see……..drunken men kiss because they really, really, really love you. You’re their best mate in the whole world including the universe. But in Italy ………. kissing another man is as natural as eating pasta and wearing brown shoes with a dark blue suit.

Anyway……….as I said the male dancer on the Costa Pacifica was getting all the attention and after the James Bond show he stood gyrating on a chair in a corner, waiting for the right time to unleash their magnificent biceps and pectorals on to the Italian passengers.

And then to the sound of pumping Euro beat music of he went. He spent a lot of time that night thrusting his hips into their air with his hands behind his head, which is how porn stars have rumpy pumpy, but not real people – if real people had rumpy pumpy like this, everyone would be laughing too much, the job would never get done and the human race would cease to exist. I must say their act was a little erotic but tastefully done and a hugely popular with the crowd which wasn’t just made up of Italians. But as I said …. it was Diego the Dancer who stole the show. He had a quiet confidence, a self-assured grin… that said you want me and I know it.

I am not sure any lady in the Costa nightclub would have truly wanted him though because they were probably thinking “He has better skin than me, and prettier eyes. If we ever met, he would probably just look at me and think: ‘She really needs to get her roots done, and spend some time in the gym.’”

The truth is that the women in the Costa Pacifica’s disco were far more likely to be aroused by a man with a sense of humour, a large belly, an English accent and reasonably clean underpants.

See you on Monday

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.