Master of Your Dream

June 21, 2009 -

John Heald

I know I am a little late writing about this but the Obamas became the owners of a Portuguese water dog, named Bo. Subsequently, the advent of the First Dog made heart-warming “And finally…” stories around the world’s TV news broadcasts.

Well, there we go. They’ve got the damn dog now and it gives me a chance to talk about the four legged things. On Friday night I enjoyed a quick dinner with some Roger and his beautiful wife Marie and their two fab kids.

Unfortunately we had one extra dinner companion ………a Cocker Spaniel called Shitter……..sorry………called Fisher.

They were looking after it for a friend……….It was a cute looking thing and as we walked around Lincoln Road a posh part of Miami’s famous South Beach district I saw that having a dog was, in this part of town as much a fashion accessories as Botox and tits like the alps.

We had only been walking a fewer yards when Fisher saw how much a bowl of pasta was at the restaurants on Lincoln road………and did a huge shite right there on the side walk. While Roger and Marie and I panicked and the kids laughed as only kids do when an any animal does a poo ……….the rest of the people on Lincoln road just walked on by… if it was the most normal thing ion the world.

Later, while we were having dinner I watched a man and his Doberman walk over to a patch of grass and take a crap right there in front of the open air dining establishments ……………and then the dog did one as well.

It’s the same at home in the UK. Every morning, on my three-minute stroll to buy a newspaper, I encounter at least three brand new turds, on my side of the street alone, glistening in the sun. When the snow was falling, and the street-cleaning guy couldn’t get through, there were layers of turd interleaved with the layers of frozen snow like some poo-flavored crème brulet. And the thaw brought hourly uncoverings of newly revealed hound crap, kept fresh by the sub-zero temperatures, the goodness sealed in, the scent released gradually over the days.

Anyway, it seems that your President is an animal lover………….or is he?

He was doing an interview was old POTUS to discuss Iran, the economy and health care, but what made all the headlines was a dead fly. During an interview on American television yesterday, Barrack Obama dispatched the creature with a deft swat and laconically observed Clint Eastwood style: “That was pretty impressive, wasn’t it? I got the sucker.” Cool or what? Can this man do no wrong? But the President should take care. This was a “make my day” moment for Mr. Obama……….and the fly did not feel lucky.

Now I realize I am way behind on answering questions so please forgive me and I promise to work extra hard these next few days in order to catch up …………….starting now………….here we go.

Joyce geraci Asked:

John-Please reply
Next summer I would like to take my granddaughter on a Mediterranean cruise to celebrate her graduation. I took my other GD on a land European tour for hers, but it was really quite hectic & tiring. Since Carnival no longer does the Med (boo-hoo) which line would you recommend? She will be 18 yrs. old, so we’d like activities geared to her age group. The itinerary on the Liberty was perfect for what we want to see. If you have a recommendation, could you either post it here or e-mail me.
Sorry this is so long, but I like to plan early.
Kiss Miss Kye for her Aunt Joyce!

John Says:

Hello Joyce
I have said many times how much I miss sailing in the Med and I hope that 2011 will be the year we return. I think it’s wonderful that you want to take your granddaughter on a cruise to see such places as Venice for herself. While Holland America and Costa sail to such places judging by the information you provide me here I have no doubt but to recommend Princess Cruises. They will have the Ruby Princess and the Emerald Princess sailing there in 2010 and I know their product very well. They have great facilities and your granddaughter will for sure make new friends from her age group. Why not have a look at the Princess website and then if you have any questions come on back to me here on the blog thingy and I will be happy to help answer them. Princess is a brilliant line and I know you will both enjoy immensely a Med voyage on one of their Grand class of ships.
Best wishes to you and the family

Carol and Terry Asked:

Please reply. We’ve just booked another Carnival cruise and can’t wait as we’ve loved every one we’ve been on (you’ve always been the cruise director. Unfortunately, you won’t be this time unless you’re on the Miracle in October). However, booking got me thinking about Platinum status. We’ve always done cruises that were 7 – 12 days long. Do the short cruises (2 -3 days) count toward the 10 cruises needed for Platinum status? It seems, if they do, that there could be two ways to achieve Platinum status–total number of cruises or a total of days sailed. Carnival could find a way (maybe something like a total of 60 or 70 0r some number for days sailed) to reward cruisers who take fewer but longer cruisers. Just a thought from a Carnival lover. Any chance for getting a change to Platinum status? Oh, keep those pictures of Kye coming. She’s so adorable.

John Says:

Hello Carol and Terry
Congratulations on booking your next Carnival cruise and even though I cannot be there with you I know that you will love the Carnival Miracle and her brilliantly friendly crew. Somewhat controversially the shorter cruises do count towards your Platinum status. I say controversial because some feel that this is not fare and those who take longer seven day cruises etc should be given extra rewards…….maybe they are right. But for now that’s the company policy but I know that this and many other aspects of our rewards program is being looked at by Jim Berra, our chief marketing officer. This is very much “on his desk” and I know he has but one goal and that is to make Carnival’s rewards program the best rewards program in the industry……..and he will. As soon as I hear of any changes I will let you know.
Meanwhile thanks so much for mentioning Kye whom I feel a long way from today ……. Father’s Day.
Best wishes to you both

Host Mach from Cruise Critic Asked:

John, please reply, my friend!!
Sometimes, regardless of what’s written, people follow their own path.
There’s yet another discussion going on about the dress code for the dining rooms. Everyone knows what it says at but the real world experience is VASTLY different. Many people are reporting that the dress in the dining room is no better than what we see at the Lido Deck buffet and I don’t doubt what they’re saying.
I recall last year when the dress code was ‘relaxed’. There was a great deal of objection to the more lax standards and there were many forecasts of exactly what people are reporting now. Are the Maitre d’s no longer enforcing the dress code at all?? If that’s the case, it’s a sad state of affairs, indeed.
Can you offer any wisdom??
Thanks a bunch, my friend!!!
Host Mach

John Says:

Hello Mach
First of all let me publicly thank you for all the help and support you give this blog thingy over at Cruise Critic. I know some doughnut called Kevin made some girly jealous remarks on the blog but like the cruise line he obviously works for I hope you chose to ignore it with the contempt it deserved.
I hope you saw my reply to the string about dress codes. I really don’t think that it is that big of a problem. I asked Manuel Costa the Senior Maitre D here on the Carnival Freedom about how many complaints he gets about what others wear at dinner and if he has to send any guests away from the dining room due to them wearing inappropriate dress. Manuel told me that he has been here 4 months and has never had one complaint from a guest about what another guest is wearing and that yes………he does occasionally have to remind one or two that they cannot enter with tank tops etc.
There is also the fact that occasionally guests do lose their luggage and thus are forced to wear what they traveled in………….something to remember. So, the Maitre D’s will continue to enforce the code and again……just my opinion…….but I just don’t understand how what another guest is wearing spoils the taste of my chocolate melting cake of somehow ruins the great service I have been receiving from the dining room staff. I wonder what others think.
Thanks again Mach and my best to Stitch and I think a 3 carat should do the trick

Sheryl Asked:

John please reply-
Thank you for replying to my question pertaining to being able to order a sugar free special occasion cake for my husband, who is a diabetic. We will be sailing on the Carnival Pride on August 29, 2009 and his birthday is August 31st. I’ll be on the lookout for it on Carnival’s website and/or at the Formalities shop on board.
Thanks again for all of your help!

John Says:

Hello Sheryl
This is definitely in the works Cheryl and I will make sure that as soon as this has been added to our Bon Voyage inventory I will let you know. No need to thank me. As a fellow diabetic I am definitely on the case.
Best wishes to you and the family

Susan V Asked:

Hi John, Heidi & Kye:
I hope you have a wonderful time judging the dance contest. Just be yourself and honesty is the best policy or follow what the other judges are saying if all else fells!
John Please Reply:
We had a wonderful Maitri D on the Celebration when she was in service by the name of Joseph. He sang, visited the tables every night and made our trip even more memorable. What ship is he on now?
I also want you to know I received in invitation from House Party to host a RCCL house party.
I actually laughed when I saw it and thought I guess they couldn’t come up with their own idea so let’s follow the best cruise line, Carnival!
Here is what was sent:
The opportunity you’ve been waiting for is finally here — the chance to host a Royal Caribbean Get Away From the Everyday House Party, sponsored by Cruise Planners/American Express!
In order to be considered for a host spot, you must meet the following requirements:
* You must crave an exhilarating, unparalleled vacation experience.
* You must be willing to leave your everyday stresses behind and relax.
* You must be open to new experiences and adventures — an essential element of the Royal Caribbean vacation.
Meet our prerequisites? Fantastic! You are well on your way to getting the party started as Royal Caribbean, together with Cruise Planners/American Express, brings the cruise vacation experience to you on August 8th, 2009. At the party you’ll discover your CruisitudeSM as you enjoy fun activities with friends and family.
It’s the perfect excuse for a summer bash — so get ready to get away from your everyday, as you join the citizens of the Nation of Why Not — a carefree, Royal Caribbean community at sea!
Thought you would get a laugh out of it. Guess what, I won’t be hosting their party. I only do Carnival parties!!!
Hope you have a safe trip to Miami and immigration is very kind to you!
Make sure you take lots of pictures of Kye with you to decorate your office with and show off your beautiful daughter!
Till next time…
Susan & Scott

Marsha Breen Asked:

John – please reply
I imagine I’m not the only one who got this email but I thought I would share it with you:
The opportunity you’ve been waiting for is finally here — the chance to host a Royal Caribbean Get Away From the Everyday House Party, sponsored by Cruise Planners/American Express!
In order to be considered for a host spot, you must meet the following requirements:
You must crave an exhilarating, unparalleled vacation experience.
You must be willing to leave your everyday stresses behind and relax.
You must be open to new experiences and adventures — an essential element of the Royal Caribbean vacation.
Meet our prerequisites? Fantastic! You are well on your way to getting the party started as Royal Caribbean, together with Cruise Planners/American Express, brings the cruise vacation experience to you on August 8th, 2009. At the party you’ll discover your CruisitudeSM as you enjoy fun activities with friends and family.
It’s the perfect excuse for a summer bash — so get ready to get away from your everyday, as you join the citizens of the Nation of Why Not — a carefree, Royal Caribbean community at sea! Spaces are limited.
Wow – can’t they even come up with their own “original” ideas????????

John Says:

Hello Susan and Scott and hello Marsha
They say that copying someone or something is the highest form of stealing ……. sorry ……flattery and I guess that’s how we have to look at this. It shouldn’t be surprising though as they have copied many of our marketing strategies and where we go they usually follow. The house party was successful for Carnival as I am sure it will be for fans of the Cantthinkofourownideas Of The Seas. They will receive a box full of party favors and treats just like we sent the Carnival fans………..however don’t be surprised if they charge if the box is delivered after midnight. The instructions will also be similar to Carnival’s House Party. There will be told to invite their friends over, enjoy fun and games and to provide food………the only difference is that like the steaks in the dining room………….they will have to pay to eat.
Thanks for the kind words for Kye and my best wishes to all three of you and your families


John: Please respond:
Just wondering if you ever received my personal email to your addie about 3 weeks ago- just before you left for this time away.
Hoping you can retrieve it and follow up. If not, I will send a new one. Please let me know.
Is Ken scheduled to be on the Dream with you at the end of Feb. 2010?

John Says:

Hello jspirit
I didn’t see any personal e-mails so please send a comment again and I promise to reply. Ken Byrne the most famous Maitre D in the world will indeed be on the Carnival Dream and I hope he will be with me during my tenure on board in February. I will no more about his schedule later this year and will let everyone know as he makes such a difference to the cruise experience. I also want to give a plug to the other Maitre d Miguel who is currently on the Carnival Splendor. He is so funny and has the most amazing warm and friendly personality. There is no doubt that the Carnival Dream will have two of the very best in the dining rooms.
Best wishes

Bmore Adam

Please reply!!!
Congrats on your beautiful new daughter!
I would have replied earlier to your question about if cruise directors make a big difference. But I just got off the Carnival Pride sailing on 6/6 and I’ve been trying to catch up on reading all your blog entries. A great cruise director absolutely can make a huge difference in your cruising experience.
I specifically remember sailing on the Carnival Glory in April of 2003 because you were the cruise director and Wee Jimmy or Ralph or whoever was your ACD. It was your last week as CD and you guys were hysterical. I know that my group of 10 people laughed whenever we saw you guys, whether during the morning show, on stage or just about the ship. That being said, I am sorry to say you two weren’t the funniest I’ve seen together.
That would go to CD Kirk and his wonderful ACD Jaime who were on the Pride last week. They were a total trip, and you never knew when one would be playing tricks on the other. The two of them were awesome together, but I know Jaime said that she was excited to be working with you again soon.
The other thing that was really funny was that the comedian Lewis Nixon was on the Pride last week. For some reason his Top Ten list was oddly similar to yours. I really don’t know why a comedian feels the need to steal a CD’s material. Do you?
By the way, Lewis says “Catch the Pigeon.”
Adam in Baltimore

John Says:

Hello Adam and thanks for the warm words of congratulations on Kye’s arrival in our world. I was so glad to read your comments about cruise directors and how they can indeed make a difference. Ralph or Wee Jimmy as he was known, was my Assistant CD when we were together on the Carnival Glory and I miss working with him very much.
I have a feeling that Lewis, Jaime and Kirk put you up to this but just in case they didn’t let me say this. Kirk and Jaime have been working very closely together and seem to have gotten something straight between them………meaning of course they have a brilliant rapport on stage. I think Jaime has been pumping Kirk for information on how to be a great cruise director which he is ……and she will be. So, they make a great team and are already being called the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of Carnival.
As for Lewis………..well I was going to say something cruel about him but I can’t. As you probably heard Lewis was mugged while disembarking the Carnival Pride in Baltimore. His attackers robbed him and left him on the pier bound and gagged…………..of course ………….it was someone else’s gag!……….Catch The Pigeon
Sounds like you had a great time Adam and that’s wonderful news
Hope to sail with you soon
Best wishes


Please reply as I can’t find an answer anywhere on the internet.
Inquiring minds want to know:
What defines a “class” of cruise ships?
Is that different for each cruise line?
Why are there some classes with only 1 or 2 ships in them?
At Carnival, how/who comes up with the names of the classes and names of the individual ships?
Thank you, 

John Says:

Hello Janet
These are all good questions. A “class” of ships refers to the build size and shape. For example one of the industry’s most successful classes of ships was and still is the 70,000-ton Fantasy class. This meant that when Carnival gave instructions to the shipyard to build the Fantasy they also gave instructions to build more exact replicas of that ship. So, the Fantasy was the first ship of that design to be built and because she was the first the following ships like the Ecstasy, Sensation and Imagination were exact replicas of the Fantasy’s hull – eight in total, actually. The class of ship is usually named after the first ship of that design. Carnival Spirit was the first of a new design and thus the Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend and Carnival Miracle are all part of the “Spirit” class of ships.
This is the same throughout the industry. For example Princess has the 109,000-ton Grand Princess and her sister ships of the same build are all part of the Grand class of vessels.
Sometimes, such as in the case of the Fantasy class a cruise line will order numerous hulls of the same design or in some cases just one or two. There is no standard reason for this except to say that the cruise lines have to adapt to changing markets and want to add new designs onboard so often this will involve producing a new class of vessel …………. such as your Carnival Dream.
As for the names………….well this is usually decided by the company’s president and his or her advisors. Actually this is not easy as many names within the industry have been used and duplicated once or even twice by other companies, including Carnival. Take the word Dream …………. it’s the perfect name for a ship…………….and it’s one that Disney have decided to use although I would think a ship filled with 1,800 kids and riddled with mice, ducks and chipmunks is more a nightmare than a dream.
Anyone have a good name suggestion for a Carnival ship?
Anyway Janet, I hope this answers your questions and if you have a follow up I will be here to help.
Best wishes


Hi John,
Please respond.
I was wondering as Carnival refurbishes it ships and builds new ones like the Dream and Magic, if they are also going to be making more of the cabins available for the handicapped. Currently only 20 to 31 cabins are available per ship out of hundreds of cabins, so it would seem to me that since more handicapped passengers are cruising or would like to cruise, Carnival would be making more cabins available to them. I know on the Splendor, there are only 2 balcony rooms that are handicapped, which totally surprised me; it would seem with a brand new ship they would have been more. I do know that Carnival leads the shipping industry with the most handicapped cabins (555 fleet wide), but I think that they need even more. As a handicapped person it was quite a job every time I got done using my scooter to have to take it apart to be able to put it in my room, then put it back together in the room to charge it, take it apart again the next morning, then put it back together outside of my room so I could use it. John, I will say that my room steward was fantastic to me; he would help me take it apart and put it back together. Never once did I have to ask him, he just did it, so when I was leaving, I left him a $50 tip because he earned it and more.
So, as a handicapped person who had to wait almost a year and a half until I could find a ship that had a handicapped room available, please put in a word to someone in the design area to add more handicapped rooms. I can guarantee that these rooms will always be full.
One final question, when the passengers fill out the questionnaire form at the end of the cruise and they say that all of those forms go in for a drawing for a free cruise, is that all of the questionnaires from just that cruise or all of questionnaires from all of the cruises for that year from that ship or is it one free cruise from all of the cruises for that year (fleet wide). The reason that I ask, it because it was kind of confusing when they talked about it.
I hope you have a nice flight to the states and I would like to welcome you back. Do you know when Heidi and Little Kye will finally be able to join dad at work. I think it is great that they will be able to travel with you, especially when Kye gets older and gets to see the world other then in school books. What better education for a child then actually seeing the places where history actually took place.
Thank you for answering all of my questions, and if you think I am asking too many, please just tell me.
Take Care, 

John Says:

Hello Kathy
First of all I want to thank you for mentioning that Carnival is the industry leader when it comes to providing staterooms for those with challenges like yourself. I am going to check now about the special needs cabins we have on our new class of ships and here back to you here on the blog thingy as soon as I get the information. I can promise you that Carnival continues to strive to make cruising more enjoyable for guests with physical challenges and that we depend on comments like this to keep us on our toes. We also give specific training to our service staff on how to give the very best and very specific service to anyone who has special needs and it appears from your comments that this training is paying off…………..and that’s great to hear.
The comment card drawing you mentioned involves the winners from every cruise on every ship during a one month period being put together and one name is drawn to see who wins the cruise. This means we give 12 cruises per year to 12 winners.
I am truly looking forward to the day when Kye and Heidi can travel with me ……………. hopefully that day isn’t too far away
I will be back with more information on the Carnival Dream’s handicapped cabins soon
best wishes to you and your family

That’s all for today ………the next ten will be answered tomorrow and even though I am behind please make sure you let me know if there is anything I can do for you by marking your comment John Please reply.

It’s great to be back on board the Carnival Freedom and after a busy Saturday waiting for my cabin and a late departure due to busy traffic in the port Captain D’Aita has us at full speed on our way down to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I spent the evening watching Todd’s welcome aboard show and marveling at what people do during the show from eating slices of pizza to talking to the person next to them so loudly that it disturbed those around them…….to some there is little difference between watching live entertainment and watching TV.

I didn’t sleep well as I had Robert on my mind. You know he was much like you. He loved Carnival with a true passion and like you he loved life and all things to do with the cruise industry. I have no idea how much money he spent cruising with me more than 40 times but I am beyond humbled that he did………..thank in advance for leaving your comments on the blog I wrote earlier today. Here is the obituary from his local paper.

CLIFFWOOD BEACH – ROBERT P. SCHNEIDER died Saturday, June 20, 2009 at Bayshore Community Hospital, Holmdel. He was 58.

Born in South Amboy, he resided in Keyport for many years before moving to Cliffwood Beach 17 years ago.
He was a Supervisor of Traffic Operations for the NJ Turnpike Authority in Woodbridge for over 30 years. He formerly worked as a Dispatcher for the Keyport Police Department and the NJ State Police.

Robert served the Keyport community as both a former member of the Board of Education and a former Councilman. He also worked as an umpire and referee for several Keyport High School sports programs, and was a die-hard Giants and Yankees fan. In addition, he loved cruising, and followed his favorite cruise director John at Carnival Cruise Lines.
He was a communicant of St. Joseph Church, Keyport.

He was predeceased by his parents, Paul and Emily Schultz Schneider.

Surviving are his wife, Suzann Fasano Schneider, and several cousins.

Funeral service will be held on Wednesday at AM in the Day Funeral Home, 361 Maple Place, Keyport, followed by a AM Mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph Church. Interment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery. Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday 2-4 & 7-9 PM. For information, directions or to send condolences to family, visit

Robert was booked on the Carnival Dream and I hope that his wife Suzann will still sail. If she does she will meet a very special man. A few months ago I announced here on the blog thingy that the position of Master of the Carnival Dream would be given to Captain Carlo Queirolo. And recently the Captain arrived in Monfalcone to see his new home and the ship that he will be responsible for. How does he feel? What are his responsibilities between now and the inaugural cruise? Well……..let’s find out as we continue our series of interviews with those who will be forever part of your Carnival Dream with a chat with her Master………Captain Carlo Queirolo.

1. Captain, I know we did an interview a few months ago but to refresh our memory and to welcome the many new readers to the blog can you tell us about tour life and your sea going career.

I started my ship’s life in 1977 on a cargo ship. Then, after spending two years in the Italian Navy, I worked on more cargo ships until 1983. Next I resumed my studies in a college in Genoa while working on a small private yacht. In 1985, I finally started as a Junior Officer on the beautiful TSS Festivale. My career in CCL went quite fast. In 1994 I was the Staff Captain in charge of the building of the Fascination in Finland. In 1996 I was promoted Captain on the M/S Ecstasy. After that, I was in charge of the building of the first two Azipod ships Elation and Paradise, then the new building of the Carnival Glory. The Carnival Dream is my 4th new ship building.

2. So, now you have finally seen your new command and your new home ……..what do you think of her.

She is huge, she is beautiful and she has a nice back (we call stern)

3. The ship is going on sea trials and I wondered if you could tell is what sort of tests will be carried out.

There will be many different tests. The two main ones are the propulsion system test which is when we will run the ship full speed for many hours and the crash stop test which is when we first run the engines full ahead (at maximum speed) and we then move to full astern to find out how long it takes, in time and distance, to stop the ship. Of course we will also be testing all equipments on board, especially the ones on the navigation bridge and in the engine room and while running full speed we will be looking for any possible cause of abnormal vibrations. We have a preliminary sea trial. Then the Dream will go to a dry dock in Trieste for the final painting of the hull after that we will depart again for our final sea trials.

4. Do you actually get to navigate the ship during these trials

Yes of course. To carry out all the tests, we will be at sea for 5 to 6 days.

5. Are there any new features on the bridge of the Carnival Dream or is it basically the same as other Carnival ships.

Yes, there are some differences. The main one is that all the navigation system is computerized. To dock the ship alongside I just watch a 42” plasma TV screen: amazing. The steering system is also more sophisticate than on the previous ships.

6. She is obviously our biggest ship yet. What are the challenges going to be from a navigational point of view.

Even if she is our biggest ship I do not feel there will be any major difference to maneuver it, except paying more attention of her size. As mentioned before, the main difference will be to park the ship watching a plasma screen, which will indicated all the necessary information. She is, as well, the ship with (I believe) the highest number of lifeboats: 30 + 2 rescue boats.

7.Once the seatrials are over what will your job entail while the ship is in the yard. What does a Captain do during the final days before the handover ceremony

I have to organize, together with our team, the entire ship. She must be ready for the beginning of September when all crew members would move on board. I must prepare all tests and certifications: LLOYDS,USCG,USPH and all charts and publications for the new ports and itinerary. The safety handbooks must also be ready as well as the inventory and distribution of keys, lockers, etc…

8. I remember when we delivered the Carnival Glory how proud you were…… do you feel about being the Master of the flag ship.

It is a great feeling on top of a big responsibility. But I promise to myself during those 3 months of work in Monfalcone that I will try to enjoy my work together with my team and reach Sept. 18th, date of the delivery, fresh, super happy and ready to welcome everybody on board the new flag ship.

9. You will be cruising in Europe for a few weeks and I know you must be very excited about that. What port are you most looking forward to going to and why.

All ports of our run in the GRANMED cruise are nice, but my dream is to be able to navigate close to my little village, which is? Yes right…Portofino!!!!!

10.And finally…..fill in the blanks please

Favourite Caribbean port ST.MAARTEN

The Captain who you looked up to the most as a young officer was ___CAPT.CARLO CHIARELLA__

The roughest sea conditions you can remember at sea____WAS AT FORCE 10 ON A CARGO SHIP ,ON THE NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN____

The most memorable person you have met while Captain, JOHN HEALD OF COURSE

And finally – if they were making a movie of your life which actor would play you
He should be George Clooney because he loves partying, like me. But I think that Dustin Hoffman would be more accurate for the role, because of my height.

Thanks Captain. We all wish you smooth seas and much happiness and I will see you in September. …..oh by the way…………….have you booked a cruise on the Carnival Dream yet? Everyone……..and I mean everyone… Carnival from Gerry Cahill on down is saying that this will be the best Carnival ship yet……….and in my opinion …………they are absolutely right.

As always in these hand over situations I can’t wait to get going as a CD again and start entertaining the guests and telling you all about some of the characters I am no doubt going to meet. Tomorrow, Jaime will arrive and we will plan for our first cruise which will be a six day to Key West, Grand Cayman and Jamaica……can’t wait.

I am sure many of the world’s rich and tanned are currently as we speak sitting in Venice at Harry’s bar drinking a Belini thingy and munching on a $90 plate of peacock scrotum risotto waiting for the arrival later tonight of the Seabourn Odyssey. The world’s most luxurious ship arrives in Venice to prepare for her forthcoming inaugural voyage and even though you and I can’t be there (bugger) we can share whets happening by checking in with Seabourn’s biggest Twitterer, the company’s president Pam Conover………… is her link thingy so why not pop over and immerse yourself in a world of luxury.

Well it’s nearly time for Wimbledon……….the greatest tennis tournament in the world. Todd has already received comments from guests asking if we will play the games on the big screen. Well, no we won’t…….maybe the finals but certainly not the rounds although they will be available in the sports bar and on the in-cabin TV’s.

Personally I couldn’t care less. If the weather’s halfway decent, we’re stuck with wall-to-wall coverage of the most boring game ever invented, played by the most boring athletes, watched by the most boring audience, interpreted by the most boring commentators.

And that’s when it’s at its best. It’s even worse if it rains……….and being England it will rain. Minute after minute after hour of buttock-clenching numbness with nothing happening except the occasional grunt. Strict codes of what is and isn’t acceptable to wear — and that just for the spectators. Blazered administrators with monikers such as “Bunny” and “The Major.” Players who have to sit down for a tea break every ten minutes. And the most exciting, mysterious aspect of the sport is the scoring system ……………….. advantage my arse.

I used to watch now and then to see if I could get a quick peep up Gabrielle Sabatini’s skirt or to watch John McEnroe throw his racket at the French referee ……not because he thought the ball was in……….because he was French.

What I hate most about the modern game though is the grunting the women players make as they hit the ball. Some players like Maria Sharapova emit a wail while hitting shots that seems to last longer than it takes the ball to reach the other side of the net. Sometimes her moans are loud enough to be heard back in Russia.

Why is it then that players like her and the Venus sisters need to make those ridiculous noises. I mean, look at the old players. You never heard Chris Evert or Stefi Graf make them…………..oh………actually……come to think of it ………….Martina Navratilova did grunt and moan once on Wimbledon’s center court………but that was because her opponent had smashed a volley that hit her …….. right in the bollocks.


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.