The Games Women Play

June 24, 2009 -

John Heald

So, there I was wandering aimlessly round the ship yesterday afternoon unable to go ashore in St. Thomas because US Immigration thought I might have an AK-47 in my underpants….. and I was bored……….really, really bored. And so I ended up in the video game arcade thingy and decided that as I couldn’t take my frustration out on the Whopper eating public of the Virgin Islands ………I would kill some Zombies instead.

As I entered the arcade I saw it was pretty quiet and apart from a few kids playing air hockey it was just me. So, I started releasing my boredom by doing some driving.

I was playing a game called Carmageddon in which you drive around a city at high speed, killing people for no reason.

Heidi can never understand why I play these games and want to drive a pretend Aston Martin DBS at high speeds through Los Angeles. Is it to shop? Why the hurry? Is it the sales? Is there a simply to-die-for Prada purse that would match my new dress and Jimmy Poo shoes?

I guess women would understand if that was the case and maybe if they made a women’s version of the game more ladies would play it.

Tell them the shop is about to close then they will happily drive down Rodeo Drive the wrong way at 150 mph, blasting old men on walkers out of the way with their rocket launcher. They will then pull up outside the shop…….. Has that bitch Jodie with the fake tan got her eyes on the same bag? Then nuke her. Blam!

Of course, some of the different skills of women would need to be rewarded with a modified points system. Sure, you’ve mastered the finger-tap clutch combination that allows you to corner at 90 mph to escape the filth — but can you apply lipstick while doing it?

And what about the massive martial arts sector? Is there a need for all this macho crap? So he’s got a big sword, is that a valid substitute for anything? Course not. It’s a cry for help. Why don’t we just talk? There now, isn’t that more sensible than all that jumping around and stabbing people? And every cunning girl knows that when a Ninja Samurai Warrior moves in to decapitate you, the best thing is not to try to kick him in the bollocks but to………….. hug him.

Some games may involve simply buying shoes. Others may focus on surviving a meal in a restaurant by avoiding the bread and persuading the waiter to let you have the starter-size goat’s cheese salad as a main. And while the women’s version of PlayStationXbog Tennis Arena thingy will, naturally, involve one or two games of tennis, the ultimate champion will be the player who despite being knocked out by a 12-year-old Latvian in the second round, secures a lucrative sportswear advertising contract, marries a pop star and launches her own range of lingerie.

I imagine that most of lady-driven games would involve battling a man through various game levels, collecting presents and cruises while preventing him from having rumpy pumpy with you by pressing the “headache” button. The final level, achievable will be, of course, marriage. ………………….Game Over.

Time for today’s questions……………here we go.

Cruzlovinmom Asked:
Hi John (respond if you’d like)
My husband and I just got back from our Carnival Glory cruise, and I just wanted to thank you for arranging our ‘table for two’ in the dining room. It was so nice to be able to have that time together, and the service we received was just terrific …the best we’ve ever had, and this was our tenth cruise! Our head waiter was named Dixie, and she and her assistant Mauro, as well as the beverage server Dede, did everything they could to make sure our dining experience went well. Even the maitre d’ (Paul) came by our table each night to make sure everything was to our satisfaction, and it certainly was. The entire trip was just a wonderful experience, and we had a great time! Thanks again!
Lisa

John Says:
Hello Lisa
Welcome back and I am so glad the table arrangements worked out and hopefully you enjoyed some special time together. I will make sure that the ship receives your comments and that the hotel director will pass on your words of praise for the brilliant dining room staff. It is great to hear that you had such a wonderful time and hope it is not too long before you are back on board a Fun Ship.
Best wishes
John

Des Asked:
Hi John
A reply would be appreciated.
We have booked our 4th Carnival cruise, not Platinum yet, with the Carnival Dream from New York on 15 November (Cabin # )
we subsequently found out that it is a Bloggers Cruise?
Kindly advise/inform what happens on a BC and how does one become involved with the special events etc??
As a recent follower of your Blog and enjoying your “extreme” sense of humor we would appreciate your completely “unbiased” response……right!!!
Best wishes
Des & Carol (Cape Town)

John Says:
Hello Des and Carol
I hope this e mail finds you well over there in South Africa. Are you getting excited about the World Cup next year? Yes, you are indeed sailing on the Bloggers Cruise on your Carnival Dream. The cruise will feature many special and bloggers only exclusive events and shows plus there will be some special and a chance to interact with me, some special guest stars and your fellow bloggers. I know a lot of people have booked this cruise and so nearer the time we will take a roll call her on the blog of those who wish to attend and who did not book using the blogger fare code. Even if I do say so myself……..they are fantastic voyages and I look forward to seeing you there.
Best wishes
John

Kenny Randolph Asked:
Hi John,
(please reply)
I wrote to you about 6 weeks ago regarding the cruise I am taking with my son to celebrate his graduation and birthday. I had asked you if you could arrange any behind the scenes type tours, like the bridge, engine room, backstage, etc… You asked me to remind you again a week before departure. Finally I get to remind you! The past six weeks have drug on forever and now we can’t wait to board the Inspiration in Tampa in 1 week! I won’t get anything done at work this week due to the anticipation.
I am completely addicted to your blog, I love hearing about the cruise industry, the stories you have accumulated and of course about your lovely family. I just find it amazing that you are so kind as to go out of your way to do all the things you do for your blogger fans. Carnival really does offer enough cool things to do that you don’t need to go out of your way to do more. But you do, and you seem to completely enjoy doing it.
We will be departing on the Inspiration on June 29, our booking number is — and our cabin number is M–. Anything you can do is greatly appreciated.
One more question. Is the operation of the ship based on the military style of rank etc? Does the crew salute the captain and higher ups? Or does it work some other way? Just wondered how such a big ship is handled with what appears to be such ease.
Keep up the good work!
Kenny Randolph

John Says:
Hello Kenny
I thank you mate for sending me this reminder and I will ask Skippy the CD to take you backstage, etc. Unfortunately the bridge and engine room are out of bounds these days which is so sad as they are amazing places to see. However, I will send your son a little something from me to say congratulations on his graduation.
Although the ship does have an order of seniority there are not military style requirements that require any saluting. Of course the captain and senior officers command respect from the crew but not to the extent of salutes. The order of seniority is as follows.
Master
Chief Engineer
Hotel Director
Staff Captain
Staff Chief Enginner
These are the most senior staff followed by positions such as ship’s doctor, guest services manager, food and beverage manager and housekeeping manager.
I want to thank you for saying how much you enjoy the blog thingy and I hope that continues for a long time to come
Have a great cruise and best wishes to you and your family
John

Carolyn and Don Asked:

John. PLEASE REPLY
I wonder if you or any of your bloggers can answer my question. Can anyone that has been on the cruise with ports in Costa Rica and Panama that can advise me if any of the tour buses have the capabilities to let you bring your scooter. My scooter comes apart and has 4 pieces if it is necessary in order to transport it on the tour buses. I know that one excursion says you cannot bring a wheelchair, but none of the rest of them has any info about handicap devices.
I do fairly well walking on the ship, but embarkation, debarkation, and tours are rough if I have to walk on hard surfaces and concrete. It’s going to be harder this trip as I am still having pain from the latest surgery on my foot.
Thanks for the help
Countess Carolyn… wishing I had ugly feet that didn’t hurt.
Heidi, if you’re reading this, give Kye a ((((HUG)))) and a snuggle from me.

John Says:
Hello Carolyn and Don
I spoke with the Shore Excursion Department here and there are buses with ramps in Panama. This means you can go on the Panama City Tour. However, if you can manage Carolyn and take the scooter apart other tours will become available. However, in Costa Rica they do not offer such facilities and you may need to take a regular wheelchair from the ship. Obviously the jungle tours may not be possible. I think the best thing is that we have a chat once you are onboard all together and find out what the best plan is for you. We will do our very best to make sure you get to see these two great ports.
I am very much looking forward to seeing you both
Best wishes and see you soon
John

Dave Carson Asked:
John: PLEASE REPLY –
On the Cruise Critic boards, the “Roll Call” thread for the October 3 sailing of Carnival Dream is alive with activity. As I write I see that there are already 262 pages of replies. It has been noted on this thread that Carnival’s itinerary lists an arrival time of 8:00 am on debarkation day (Oct.15). I called Carnival and the lady I spoke to assured me that 8:00 am was the correct arrival time. This seems very unlikely for several reasons and a number of us are relatively certain that the Dream will arrive at least two hours earlier than the itinerary indicates. A correct arrival and debarkation time is important to us when we choose an air line schedule or book private transfers to the airport, tours, hotels, etc.
You are on Carnival Freedom this week and will undoubtedly be discussing such matters with Todd, Dream’s CD. Could you get Miami to correct the arrival time on CCL’s posted itinerary? Additionally, could you give us the approximate time debarkation will begin and let us know if we will be offered “self assist” at debarkation?
Thanks so much!
Dave

John Says:
Hello Dave
Excellent questions and ones I will do my best to answer. Let’s start with the definite. Yes, self assist will be offered to disembarking guests in New York. Now, as for the times, well yes the official time of arrival is 8 am yet speaking to the captain this may be earlier…….or later…It is impossible to give a precise time. Let me explain. The advertised time is 8 am however a lot depends on the weather during the crossing and the traffic in the Hudson. Then of course this will be the first time that we will have docked the ship in New York and then you have the wait for Customs and Border Patrol to clear the ship. So, we advertise this 8 am time as an arrival and I would guest based on my many past experiences that guests will start to disembark an hour or so after. My advice is this. Please book a later flight as you can. That way you won’t have to keep looking at your watch and wondering if you make your flight. I hope this helps and if it does please can I ask that you post this on the thread thingy mate?
And if you have a follow up question please let me know
Best wishes to you and all my friends on Cruise Critic
John

Bill (Zydecocruiser) from ZydecoCruiser.com Asked:
John, Please reply…
I think someone else was asking about Chef Kevin, but not sure I saw a reply.
I remember that around BC2 there was a fire at his restaurant. Any updates on what he up to these days? Did the restaurant reopen?
Thanks,
Bill

John Says:
Hello Bill
I had an e mail from Kevin recently and he told me that his restaurant that he owns is back up and running after the serious fire that happened in February. I know he is part of Big Ed’s Evil Krewe so maybe Ed has the name of it as I can’t remember. I know many of the New York bloggers would love to visit.
Best wishes to you and Elizabeth
John

DavidK Asked:
John,
We had a great cruise onboard the 4/26 sailing of the Valor. Our Room Steward Dean and Servers Carlos and Martin were fantastic. Tex was informative and visible and the staff handled the itinerary switch flawlessly. There does however seem to be an issue that I have been reading about in regards to Dining Times. This is also an issue we experienced firsthand.
On our sailing our cruise documents stated we had Late Seating “confirmed”. Upon boarding we were issued our Sign and sail cards and informed we had early seating. It was only after having to push the issue that we were provided with Late Seating.
Why is Carnival “confirming” these requests if they are not going to honor them?
We are sailing on Carnival Glory on 10/31 and have the “confirmed” Late Seating showing on our documents again and just want to know what Carnival’s policy is on this issue.
Also just wanted to suggest you go and visit Lobster Dave while in Ocho Rios. It will be the best plate of Lobster you will ever have.

John Says:
Hello David
Thanks so much for taking the time to write this great review. It was great to read about these wonderful crew members who made such a difference to your cruise. I will make sure that the ship gets to hear your words of praise.
I asked about the dining confirmation and it seems we did indeed make a mistake for which I must apologize. I think we had one or two glitches when we started this system but I am assured these have been fixed and all should be well. However, that doesn’t help you so please once again let me say sorry and I am glad you were able to get the dinner time you wanted.
Can you send me a comment a few days before you sail on the Carnival Glory and I will confirm your dining time is correct?
Thanks again for the great review
Best wishes
John

Vickie Greiner Asked:
Hi John,
My first Blogger’s cruise will be the 12/3 sailing on the Dream. I am looking forward to meeting you and sailing on Carnival’s new beauty.
I have a question, though. We have paid a higher rate to be included in Blogger’s activities. What type of things can we expect?
Secondly, some others have posted on Cruise Critic that they were already booked at the regular rate, but they are linking through here to be part of the Blogger’s group. Are those of us whom are paying an additional rate getting something extra than others? Please clarify.
Thanks and I hope you enjoyed the thrill of Father’s Day, even if you were separated from your little bundle of joy. Kye is adorable!

John Says:
Hello Vickie
It will be great to welcome you on board your Carnival Dream and the Bloggers will have a fantastic time together. You can expect lots of fun, private shows, exclusive gifts and a chance to meet all your new blogger friends. I will be bringing special guests with me and all in all I promise you loads of fun. Of course you will be experiencing the ship itself which will be incomparable. The gifts will only be sent to those who have paid the premium although due to the ship being sold out and some bloggers not being able to get the cabins they wanted I will indeed be opening the private shows to the few guests who are not booked through the bloggers fare. This cruise is a little more complicated than the past ones as it’s the inaugural Caribbean cruise of the ship and as I said, one or two people couldn’t book using the fare code. So, with the gifts, the private shows and daily activities I promise it will be a brilliant cruise
See you soon and thanks for the kind words for Kye whom I miss very much
Best wishes
John

Alex G. Asked:
John,
(Please reply)
First of all, I am truly sorry for the loss of your friend. I never met Robert even though I’m not that far from where he lived. My condolences to you and his family…
I just wanted to follow up on my recent cruise on the Carnival Triumph now that I’m finally caught up with your blogs. It’s no problem in your delays in responding. You’re a very busy man so it’s totally understandable. I was able to check your response onboard the Triumph so it worked out perfectly.
First off, my PVP, Chris Fosselman, is a great guy and was very helpful in answering all the pre-cruise questions I’ve had and also helped us out by adding someone else’s booking number to our table at dinner. If I know someone interested in booking a cruise I will refer them to him in no time.
I was quite impressed with the upgrades that the Triumph got. A lot more has changed than I have expected since my last time onboard two years ago. The food was spectacular as always and I was happy to have my warm chocolate melting cake again! Our room stewardess, Lesterene (if that’s how you spell it…) did a great job in taking care of us and keeping our stateroom clean.
We did have someone from the shore excursions desk call my room and I went up there to find a brochure of the shore excursions for St. John that went into great detail of what each activity did. We ended up doing a city tour which we boarded a transit bus and explored the nice city of St. John. Our bus driver, whose name I forgot, was very professional, very knowledgeable and very friendly throughout the tour and I highly recommend him to anyone wanting to do a bus tour around the city. In fact, we even tipped the guy even though he didn’t have a tip jar.
At first, I thought I would be bored going into Canada, as this was my first non-Caribbean cruise, but I’m glad I was wrong. I would be happy to return in the future… well when it’s a little warmer as it was a little chilly at times throughout the day. The weather was beautiful though and I’ll take cold weather over wet weather anytime. I heard I missed a week of rain in New Jersey and I’m glad I did. We’ve been getting a lot of rain in NJ lately the past two months. Probably more rain than the rainforest of Puerto Rico, El Yunque!
Anyway, back to the cruise, the cruise director, Jorge Solano, was truly excellent. In fact, he’s my favorite cruise director out of all the CDs I’ve had… (I still have yet to meet you and sail with you though…) He’s extremely funny and he made the wedding show very enjoyable. The contestants picked out were priceless! He said he has known you for 20 years and that he taught you how to be funny!
Jorge gave us a complimentary gift which we truly appreciated and I was amazed that he remembered giving the gift as soon as I mentioned my name to him out of the 2500+ guests onboard. We met up personally with him after the debark talk to thank him for the gift and for making the cruise enjoyable. I hope that he gets the recognition he deserves for I did mention him in my comment card.
Even though this was a four-day cruise (since I usually prefer longer voyages), I have to say that this was probably my favorite cruise. We took lots of pictures and video to remember as much as we can from this cruise. As always, I had a blast and I can’t wait until I book again. I also loved the fact that I didn’t have to worry about a flight post-cruise as this was my first cruise from close to home.
What also contributed to this great cruise was that my winnings in the casino paid off all the vacation spending I have done. The only thing I ended up paying for was the bus ride home. Every time I cruise with Carnival, they always exceed my expectations in many different ways. If it wasn’t for college I would so book a cruise on the Dream this fall when it comes to New York City. All these interviews, photos, and anticipation are making me want to see the grandest Carnival ship of them all!
Will you be on the Dream for the 2-day to nowhere out of NYC? My apologies if someone already asked you this question. I want to try to at least book that one. Although, with college expenses it may be very difficult for me. Plus, it’s over $100 than what I paid for this recent 4-day cruise. Although I can understand… being that this is a new ship… I’ll take the cheapest room possible in order to meet you. I talk to my friends all the time about you, your humor, and your blog and they find you very funny as well.
I saw that you posted this a few blogs back and here are my answers:
DOES WHO THE CRUISE DIRECTOR IS GOING TO BE ON A SHIP INFLUENCE YOUR BOOKING THAT CRUISE
No… The price of the cruise is what I really go after. I’m always checking for deals on carnival.com. I had a great deal on this recent cruise and even though I have sailed on the Triumph before, I wasn’t going to let this deal pass.
DO YOU THINK A CRUISE DIRECTOR CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE TO YOUR OVERALL CRUISE ENJOYMENT? IF YOU ANSWER YES…………..PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY
Absolutely. Whether it’s hosting shows in the lounge or interacting with guests on the promenade, their performance can really make a difference. What really makes certain CDs stand out are signature acts that each CD has. I want to see your Bedtime Story act next! I saw the video that Big Ed posted a while back with you on the Triumph and I cried in laughter.
Anyway, I hope everything’s going well on the Freedom. I wish I was there now heading to my birthplace, Puerto Rico. I hope Heidi and Kye are doing well. Take care my friend and smooth sailing for all of you!
Cheers,
Alex G.

John Says:
Hello Alex
Wow, what a brillinat review and one I know we all enjoyed reading. I will be passing this on to the ship and the office so they can bask in your words of praise. Now to answer your questions. I will indeed be on board for the two-day cruise from New York and it will be a thrilling experience for me to sail past this iconic city once again. I know it is a little more expensive than the cruise you just enjoyed but this will be a very special cruise on a very special ship. I hope you and your friends will be there. When I read that you all find the blog funny it gives me the encouragement to keep writing as much as I can and as often as I can.
The cruise directors can make a cruise very special and I see that George did. You said that you found my bedtime story funny which proves that George did not teach me how to be hilarious as he stated as he is about as funny as a hemorrhoid……….but is one of our very best CD’s and a great friend.
So welcome home and I hope I will see you in New York
My best wishes to you all
John

Melissa Asked:
(please reply)
John, (please reply if you can)
I am curious about the new Waterworks on the Dream. That “other” cruise line (you know the one – nickleanddimeoftheseas) has an area on some of its newer ships where toddlers that aren’t potty trained can go to splash in a water fun area. It isn’t really a pool for them but it’s like fountains and sprinklers and things like that. Is the Dream going to have an area like that? I have a three-year-old little boy who loves to swim and we are trying very hard to get the potty thing figured out before we cruise in Feb, BUT he is a boy and the concept is just not sinking in yet, I am afraid we will still not be potty trained and was hoping there would be somewhere for him to play too. Good luck back on ship and good luck to Heidi all alone at home with Kye!

John Says:
Hello Melissa
Yes indeed. We have this feature on the Carnival Splendor and will have it on your Carnival Dream. It will feature a splash pool and sprinklers and fountains and tiny cute baby slides. Your three year old will be in baby heaven. Don’t forget you and the other adults will get to enjoy the grown up water park with the twister slides and DrainPipe bowl will be amazing fun.
My best wishes to you all and thanks for the kind words for Kye
John

Cheri Bolchoz Asked:

John -(Urgent Please Reply)
Wanted to find out exactly what Carnival does on July 4th. It will be my 50th birthday that day. Can you find out from Trevor what the plans for July 4th on The Fascination will be? We will be in Nassau that day from 7am till 10pm. Will they have some kind of deck party that day for the 4th?
Don’t know if you got my other email, Please give Todd our best, best of luck to him on the Carnival Dream. We are booked for a back to back next Sept.
Take care & take care of Carnival Freedom, she is truly a great ship
Michael sends his best
Love
Cheri & Michael

John Says:
Hello Cheri and Michael
Celebrating July 4th on a ship is always a lot of fun. Unfortunately we can’t have fireworks for obvious reasons but there will be some kind of celebration on every ship. I am going to ask Trevor today exactly what he has planned. I know in the past the Bahamas has held a big fireworks celebration but I am not sure if they are doing it this year. I will check though and advise what’s happening. Regardless, it will be a special night. I will pass on your kind words for Todd and you will be so amazed when you see your Carnival Dream
Best wishes to all
John

Susan V Asked:

Hi John: It’s me again!
Please reply:
You responded to my last posting commenting on the RCCL party but forgot to answer my question about what ship is Joseph the Maitre’ D on. We loved him on the Celebration and hope he is still with Carnival.
I hope you enjoy your time on the Freedom and try to relax before taking over Saturday.
You didn’t do a Kye blog on Friday since you were traveling. We would still like to hear how she is doing and any milestones she has made. I know it’s hard being away but the time will fly by too!
We are very proud of you sticking with your diet. I too am dieting and know how hard it is. I didn’t realize how much I had gained since my cruise on the Valor last year when I saw the pictures from our cruise on the Imagination so it’s back on the diet for me!
Have a great day!

John Says:
Hello Susan
OOPS. Sorry, missed that bit. The Maitre D Joseph is currently serving on the Carnival Elation. I don’t think I have worked with him but he sounds truly superb at his job. You will be happy to know that Heidi is writing a blog for this Friday and she will include some photos of Kye. Thanks for those kind words and the support of me and my diet. It’s not easy is it?
Best wishes to you all
John

That’s all for today………………..more tomorrow.

A few days ago I was asked to confirm what the Welcome Home Credit was and so after some investigation by my friend Vance in PR here is the explanation and details.


The Welcome Home program was designed to provide an incentive for guests to book another “Fun Ship” cruise by providing a $50 discount per cabin when making a new Carnival cruise reservation. However, with the introduction of new Early Saver program – which offers substantial savings — up to 30% off –and comes with a rate protection guarantee, we have discontinued the Welcome Home promotion. The Welcome Home promotion will continue to be honored until August 9, 2009.

If any of you have any follow up questions on this please let me know.
Now, let’s talk about Sail & Sign Cards. I want you to know that after many of you wrote in saying that you were not fans of the new cards (especially the Platinum ones) that Carnival’s top people read the blog, listened and designed new cards. Now the old cards are being used and once those inventories are depleted the new ones will be used. Yesterday the ships were told that the new cards were being delivered to the vessels and as soon as they get here I will take some photos of them. This once again proves though that what you say here on the blog thingy is read very carefully by a lot of important people so please keep the suggestions and comments coming.

The rich and tanned require a “unique” travel experience, which isn’t easy, given that it’s not unique if everyone does it. Flying in the front of an aero plane does not make the journey pass any more quickly but at least you don’t have to spend 10 hours with your face in someone’s armpit. The jump in price from economy to first class is vast but there’s no doubt that if you can afford to……..it’s worth every penny. So does this apply on the sea, I wonder? Is it worth spending more on cruising on an uber-luxury ship? Are they really three times better than say Princess, Holland America or Carnival?

Well……..my friend and travel agent Harry Barr has been lucky enough to secure a visit on the Seabourn Odyssey which is currently in being shown off to the world in Italy The ship has had some completion issues which happen when you bring out a new ship or open a new hotel but despite this it seems the ship is truly sensational.

Here is what Harry said: “John, everywhere I walk on the ship I hear everyone saying that Seabourn has taken luxury to a new level and that statement has sort of become the unofficial catchphrase of the passengers and crew. The main dining area which they call the Restaurant is unbelievable.

It is two decks high and has beautiful white curtains that separate the area into smaller sections while the Restaurant 2 is designed in deep glossy reds and sensual blacks and features amazing tasting menus. Stepping onto this ship is like stepping onto your own private yacht filled with the most fabulous art deco fixtures. Like the style. I absolutely adore the looks, but most of all I love the sensation that you’re inside something that was designed to be the most luxurious in the world. I think, though, it’s more than that. I think that in these difficult and dark days and if you can afford to treat yourself.

It’s the best way to travel. The one thing that oozes from every weld and every fixture and fitting and overwhelms the start up concerns, is the unparalleled sense of occasion it affords. When you climb aboard it’s a bit like climbing into a hand tailored tuxedo. There’s a sense that you’re about to do something very special. Honestly John, you have to see this ship and so do your readers.”

Thanks Harry………you tease! I doubt I will ever get to see the ship but hope springs eternal. I have asked Harry to take some photos for me and send me them when he goes home to North Carolina and as soon as he does I will post them here……..I know we would all love to share in the ship that has “taken luxury to a new level.”

Now I imagine that while the Seabourn Odyssey was docked in Venice that she may have seen another ship sailing by……..and that ship was your Carnival Dream returning from her successful sea trials. Here are some photos taken by and featuring her Captain Carlo Queirolo soon after the ship returned to the yard.

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There will be more photos and updates from your Carnival Dream very soon including photos of the completed cabins. Yesterday we featured Melissa one of the entertainment staff who has been chosen to be part of the start up team and here is the ship’s assistant cruise director ………. Mr. James Dunn.

James Dunn
Asst. Cruise Director
Carnival Dream

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1. Can you tell us all about yourself, where you are from and where life’s journey has taken you so far?

My Name is James and I am very lucky to have been chosen to be Todd’s Asst. Cruise Director on the Carnival Dream. I am 23 years beautiful, from Derbyshire in England, and have been with Carnival for just over 3 years (which I still cant believe, its been so much fun so far, and gone so fast!)
Before my Fun ship life I worked at a holiday (or I’m sure many of you would say “vacation” resort!) in the south of England, called Butlins! Here the entertainment staff does an array of duties, from working kids clubs (the equivalent of Camp Carnival) to being a DJ in a night club, to dressing up as Bob the Builder and doing a show! – I was even on a TV documentary about the resort called “Redcoats”.
My Carnival career has taken me onboard the Carnival Imagination, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom, and I was lucky enough to be part of the inaugural team for the Carnival Splendor as Entertainment Staff too. Then a fabulous gentleman (you may of heard of him – John someone?) , promoted my (very wise man!) to Assistant Cruise Director, where I have been on the Carnival Liberty, and currently on my last cruise on the Carnival Freedom, where I even had the chance of covering as Cruise Director when Todd visited the Carnival Dream.

2. Congratulations on being chosen to be part of the Carnival Dream start up entertainment team. What are you most looking forward to

To be honest……… absolutely everything! Todd offered me the position about 4 months ago now, and we have been doing various preparations including putting the team together, rough drafts of the capers, and even testing new and different activities to do on some of the cruises including the Trans-Atlantic crossing, where we have 5 straight sea days! (Watch out for Elvis Games, Digital messaging, and a special Dating Game!)

3. What is the best part of your job?

Hard Question! I love many aspects of my job; there is the obvious like the travel and meeting amazing people along the way. But for me when someone walks of our gangway and thanks you for giving them a memorable vacation, and you get the tingling feeling all over, I’m not going to lie, it feels brill!

4. What’s your favorite activity to host and why..

Easy Question! Deck party and Talent Show, they are so much Fun.

We have a huge Family fun hop, separating the ship into three teams, each team compete on promenade with various activities, in some of the lounges then head up to Lido where they all battle it out with dances and competitions to see which team are the ultimate winners!

Talent Show is such a classic, but what I love about this is you never know who or what is going to sign up and participate. On the Freedom myself and Todd have been co-hosting it in preparation for the Dream, we have had musicians, singers, Jugglers, ballroom dancers and even a guest that sings with a banjo (which lasted for 12 minutes, when Todd thought he was finished, and said “give it up for” the guest told Todd to get of the stage – now that was funny! You really never know what will happen and it is always different, and individual to that specific cruise.

5. If someone asked you why you were chosen to be part of Todd’s start up team out of so many who applied, what would your answer be.

No one else would work with him!!! No not really I am so honored and privileged to be part of this experience, and to be Todd’s Asst. Cruise Director on the worlds newest Cruise Ship, Amazing!
I have worked with Todd twice as Entertainment staff, on the Liberty and Freedom, returning to the Freedom as Todd’s ACD has been great, we have so much fun with each other hosting the morning and afternoon shows together with the talents shows too, we really are dream team!!!
As for why I am going, maybe it’s all the coffee’s I buy him? (On his sail and sign number – which I’m not sure he is aware of, so I hope he doesn’t read this!)

6. What’s your favorite Caribbean port and why?

St.Maarten, San Juan – Puerto Rico, and Half moon Cay. Can I choose 3?

St.Maarten – A fabulous island, which is split into 2 sides, half Dutch and half French, beautiful beaches, beautiful people and lots of culture on both sides of the island, it’s just great (I also loved doing the Regatta cup excursion with the liberty entertainment team too!).

San Juan – We visit San Juan on the freedom once a month, this place literally glows by night, the cobbled hilly streets, filled with small shops restaurants and bars… There is one place in particular that make the best martini’s ever!!

Half Moon Cay – The best beach most exclusive island I have ever been to in the whole world, this place is so hard to explain, after waling way from that place you feel so honored to have been there! – Gorgeous

7. And which of the European ports are you most looking forward to…

mmmmmm…you and your questions John – my head hurts!!! Well I was very lucky to be with you for the first year of the Freedom and also the Splendor, so I have been to many of these ports before many times; my favorite was for sure Venice Venice Venice! This place is outstanding, and has so much history and amazement from the canals to St.Marks Square and the pigeons! (I used to love going out and finding our guests with the pigeons in St. Marks and interviewing them with our Fun Ship films dept.)
We are so luck on the Dream too, not only do we get to see Venice by night, we get to see it the following day as well… as we overnight there…bring it on!

It’s not just visiting these places, we have an electric entertainment team for the Dream, I am really excited to take the entertainment staff out in Europe and show them what I love, and see the bits that maybe I missed on the Splendor and Freedom…

8. Let’s find out about you.
Fill in the blanks

What’s your favorite ship –

Can I be greedy and choose 3? Well I am going to be anyway!!!

Liberty – the first time I worked with Todd, My fist “big ship” I worked on, I was like a kid in a candy shop so bright eyed… and that was the ship where I fell in love with my job and realized I wanted to do this for a long time!

Freedom – This ship has been like school for me! I have learnt so much on this ship, from two of the best cruise directors in the fleet, John and Todd… I have been Entertainment staff, ACD and even acted as Cruise Director, done 2 Trans Atlantic crossings and was featured on Samantha Brown’s Travel Channel show doing the supper club demonstration whilst being on the Freedom!!

Splendor – Being part of the inaugural team was of course an honor; I was only there for a short while, but what a privilege it was! We had such a special team, I still keep in touch with some of them around the fleet, Gary, Steph, Adele and Mouna…love ya! I can’t believe that was over a year ago… I can barely remember your corporate number John!!!

What’s your favorite movie?

After reading the above you will have learned that I don’t like to commit to one answer…. I love “Shrek”, “The Notebook”, “Mamma Mia”, and “Titanic” – ironic I know, but we all love it – don’t lie!

What’s your favorite show onboard?

Vroom – no matter what mood you are in happy, content, sleepy, or miserable you can not help but walk out of this show beaming from ear to ear! – I could watch it every day, absolutely fantastic!!

I’m really looking forward to seeing the brand new shows on The Dream, even the rumors about what is going to happen in them give me butterflies!

What’s your Dream

My dream is to grow up and be a Cruise Director, having the chance to fill in on the freedom was so cool… working with some of the best Cruise Directors over the couple of years has been such a great experience I have learned lots…and hope to continue learning on the Dream… after my first contract on the Dream who knows what Carnival has in store!!

I have known James for some time and I know that his dream of being a cruise director will one day, very soon…………come true.

I just wanted to touch on the dress code subject again. I read your comments carefully and I agree with everything you said that while jeans may be acceptable that a bathrobe is certainly not. I am not sure how the bathrobe thing came up so I wanted to say again that the dress codes are enforced to the letter by the dining room staff. I think the point I was trying to make was that now that we do allow jeans and a polo shirt that this should not spoil the dining experience of others. It is also important I think that I mention again that here on the Carnival Freedom at least 80% of the ship’s guests dressed elegantly on elegant night………and that was a joy to see. I welcome your comments on this.

Oh, by the way……..tomorrow we will have a very special guest blog from our man in London…….Cunard’s Chief Commercial Officer……..Mr.Peter Shanks……………do not miss it.

So, today the ship is in Antigua and as I write at 11:30 am there are only 209 guests onboard the ship. It’s a beautiful hot sunny day and guests are enjoying the 365 beaches…….one for every day of the year. I will write more about what to do on this beautiful island next time we are here. I didn’t go ashore today…….even though I am allowed. I have to write this blog plus start preparing schedules and programs for when I take over next cruise.
Jaime is here and is proving once again to be brilliant even though she is pining for her man ….. I have been very sympathetic though and this morning told her cheer up and that he was probably had rumpy pumpy with the entire spa team since she left…….she feels much better now.

I hope I don’t upset any of you with the odd little poke of fun at my mates…..the French. I say this because it was mentioned by someone that I was being unfair. I am so sorry if I did upset you and I will try not to mention them anymore………oh……except just to say that in the UK we are very close to France and therefore we get to see French TV which is I have to say…..a pile of La Merde.

The news is read by young ladies with their nipples poking through black lace. Their game shows feature contestants who are naked before the first commercial break. They tried to do Survivor in France but all the contestants started humping each other the moment they arrived on the island. It’s the only country where reality shows finish prematurely ….. because of syphilis.

Goodnight
Your friend
John

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.

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