Heidi Hi

June 26, 2009 -

John Heald

I don’t think I can start today’s blog without mentioning Michael Jackson whom I am now so sorry to say I poked fun at recently. Frailty is part of the human condition and Michael Jackson had more than his fair share of it. But I am going to remember him for his music.

He had the voice of an angel and he was a lion on the stage. The raw energy of his live performances had to be seen to be believed and I will never forget the Thriller concert my mate Alan and I went to all those years ago. It’s a great sadness that so many of his wonderful achievements will be eclipsed by the strangeness of his everyday life. The problem with celebrity is that is magnifies you, in the true sense of the word, so that all your talents and all your failings are equally visible. And God knows, when I think of my own faults, I wouldn’t like them to be enlarged.

His music has often featured in our shows from the early days on the Holiday with Thriller to the Carnival Ecstasy’s Pure Ecstasy show that featured the brilliant Smooth Criminal. Last night as the news broke I saw groups of people watching the news on the big screen and many ………… both young and old…………..were crying.

Whatever became of that talent, whatever damage fame wreaked on his life, my own guess is that the records are where we can continue to hear the real Michael Jackson …the lost boy inside, singing and dancing to his own private beat. …….love him or loathe him, Michael Jackson was part of the fabric of all our lives.

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

Ellen Held Asked:
John, please reply ASAP
My husband and I are both Platinum and have always enjoyed cruising on Carnival. This year we had decided to treat our children and their families to a cruise. We booked the Carnival Splendor for the week of June 14, as they wanted to go to the Mexican Riviera.
Unfortunately, as we all know several Mexican Riviera cruises were changed to the Pacific North West. That was fine with us, but then Carnival decided to lower the price of the cabins by less than half of what we paid. When I called up to try and get the lower price, I was told that they would not lower the price, and if I canceled I could get future cruise credit for my husband and I, my son’s family and my daughter’s family would get their own future cruise credit. We decided to cancel, since Carnival would not work with us, and since we all had plane fare booked, we still took a family vacation in California.
My credit card company was able to get all but the initial deposit of $2,000 back for me. Today, when I called the Guest Solutions Department, they told me I have to send in a copy of my credit card bill or get Transfer Cruise Credit forms from my children in order to get their cruise credit transferred back to me.
Because of identity theft concerns and the fact that I paid for all three cabins, I do not see the need to get my children involved or give out private information.
As the Carnival Ambassador, please tell me why they will not give me the full $2,000 cruise credit that I paid. By the way, Royal Caribbean gave full refunds to people that did not want to go to the PNW.
Can you please help us alleviate this problem without mom and dad having to ask their children to sign forms for us, or sending copies of our private credit card statements, when we were trying to give them a vacation of a lifetime?
Thank you for your help in this matter.
Ellen and Bob Held

John Says:
Hello Ellen and Bob
Thank you for taking the time to write. The last months were very difficult for the entire cruise industry as swine flu meant we all had to scramble to find new destinations to replace the canceled Mexican ports of call. As Platinum members your loyalty to Carnival is truly appreciated and rather than comment further on your particular concern I would like your kind permission to send this to a vice president in the Miami office to see what we can do to make you smile. As Brand Ambassador it is my duty to act on your behalf and I promise that I will make your concerns known. I would like you to allow me seven working days during which someone will contact you and if for some strange reason you do not receive any communication I would like you to let me know as well.
Thank you again for taking the time to write.
Best wishes to you and your family
John

Bobbi and James Asked:
John, please reply:
As you said you will be on the Carnival Dream in February and March 2010, I am looking at the Eastern Caribbean itinerary because we have not visited those ports before and most importantly, you will be the CD. I would sail on my birthday in early March, but it falls during the western part. Do you know how late you will be on this beautiful new ship in March? I am seriously considering booking now, before our cruise on the Carnival Conquest this September, when I could buy the certificates on board. Do you know, if I were to book now for the Carnival Dream, would I be able to apply the certificates I purchase on the Carnival Conquest on my Carnival Dream cruise, or apply them on another cruise later in 2010? I do hope you noticed I placed the full ship name in my post. I must admit to the biggest reason to booking the Carnival Dream is to experience you in person, not just here on the blog, although cruising on a new glorious ship would also be a good reason. I get so much enjoyment from here after a sometimes long and tiring day at the bank, working in customer service, thank you so much John. If I do half as good a job as you do, I should get a huge raise next year.
As always, my best to you and your beautiful girls. Perhaps they will be able to join you on the Carnival Dream.
Thanks again for all your hard work and the smiles you provide.
Bobbi

John Says:
Hello Bobbi
Thanks for considering booking your Carnival Dream next year. As you will have seen from all the videos and photos she is magnificent and a ship that is generating a lot of excitement. I will be on your Carnival Dream covering Todd’s vacation from late January to March 27th. If you decide to book you can indeed purchase the deposit certificate on the Carnival Conquest and I would suggest using them for a March Carnival Dream voyage with me. The Eastern Caribbean ports are some of the very best and we will have a great time together. I thank you and everyone else for calling her by her full name “Carnival Dream” and how brilliant that you also said how much you wanted to meet me in person. I truly hope that happens and I can’t think of a better place for that to happen. Thank you for the kind words for my family and I think you deserve that raise for sure. Let me know when you book and until then I send my best wishes to you and James.
John

Kenny Randolph Asked:
John, (please respond)
I replied a couple of nights ago to remind you that I will be sailing in 6 days. I leave on the Inspiration with my son to celebrate his graduation and birthday. We had asked about participating in any back stage activities or behind the scenes in the engine room, bridge or anywhere else that you think two guys might like. You indicated you would do something for us if I contacted you again a week before the sailing. Our cabin is M42.
Thank you so much!

John Says:
Hello Kenny
I have asked Skippy the Cruise Director to have someone take your son backstage as well as send you son a little gift from me
Have fun
Cheers
John

Bobbi and James Asked:
Please reply:
Please reference previous post from today.
Will you still be on the Carnival Dream Feb 27? This sailing date my husband’s birthday will be during that cruise.
Again, thanks,
Bobbi

John Says:
Hello Bobbi
Yes, just to confirm I will be onboard your Carnival Dream.
Hope to see you there.
John

jspirit Asked:
John: Please reply!
So glad we will be sailing with you again; this time on the Dream at the end of Feb. 2010!!! Hoping Ken will be there to. Wasn’t the Miguel that you mentioned the Maitre’D on the Miracle last year? If so – he was so funny!
OK- so regarding the new sugar-free cake option available for celebrations: for diabetics, sugar free is important but low carb is even more so. I know Carnival has offered a very delicious option of a low-carb sugar-free cheesecake. Is there any chance of them adding more low-carb desserts? Also in addition to the spa menus, could they add carb-counts?
John- you know what the maltitol in those sugar substitutes does to us when we least expect it! Low carbing is a much better way to go!

John Says:
Hello jspirit
Both Ken and I will be excited to welcome you onboard your Carnival Dream next year and yes…….Miguel as well who is both charming and as you said, very funny. It’s funny you should mention low carb deserts because I saw here on the Carnival Freedom yesterday that we now have low carb cheesecake and a low carb coconut cake at the coffee shop. I spoke to the chef about this and he told me that we are slowly adding more of these to our dining room menus and to the dessert station on Lido Deck. So, great timing and yes……..I know exactly what subitol and other sugar substitutes can do to my bottom……………and so does the ship’s plumber!
I will keep you informed as we add more of these low carb treats
Best wishes
John

cruisingeagle Asked:
John, please reply
Hi John,
My husband and I will be sailing on the Holiday, July 4. This will be our third Carnival cruise since March of this year. Carnival Fantasy March 16, Carnival Freedom May 31 and now the Holiday, July 4 (8th Carnival cruise). Yes, we are hooked on cruising. Plus we are already booked on the Carnival Triumph for June 5, 2010.
My question is can you please tell us the production shows that are on the Holiday? Also, does Carnival do anything special for July 4? I know a lot of the places along the beach in Alabama and Florida have fireworks but I would guess we will be too far from shore to see the fireworks when it is dark. Do you know approximately where the ship will be around 9 pm?
I have to admit that I am a little jealous that my son and daughter in law will be sailing with you this coming week, June 28. I know they will have a great time because we had a great time on the Carnival Freedom on the May 31 sailing.
Looking forward to seeing pictures of Kye.
Have a great day.
Cindy

John Says:
Hello Cindy
I am sure you are very excited about your forthcoming cruise on the Holiday and it’s your third already this year……that’s brilliant. The shows on the Holiday are called Shout which is an exciting rock n roll show and X-treme Country which features a brilliant fiddle player.
Each Carnival ship will feature a tribute to the 4th of July and will do our best to make sure it is a special day. However, our celebrations cannot include fireworks which I know is a main staple of the festivities on land. The Holiday will be at sea as you said and having checked with the vessel they will be too far out to sea to experience the fireworks you mentioned in Alabama and Florida. But don’t worry……..you will have the best time and I truly look forward to reading your review.
Can you ask your daughter to leave me a note when she gets on board with her state room number and a quick hello……that way I can say hello to her on the Morning Show and leave her a little something.
Thanks for all the kind words and have a super time on the Holiday
Best wishes to you and all the family
John

Michael Tomlinson Asked:
John, (Reply if you would like)
Thanks for sending my friends a gift. I am sure they will be surprised. I will let you know when I hear from them. I agree with you on the dress code. I enjoy being able to dress up on the two elegant nights, but I really do not care what other people are wearing at long as they are happy and not making others uneasy.

One additional comment about the past guest party. You had mentioned that they probably could not have it the following sea day because of the big show in the lounge. I checked the Carnival Capers and the next night the show consisted of The Hysterical Comedy of Carl Guerra so there was no big production number that night. Like I said though it was just a suggestion. There are probably a lot of things that would affect that decision but from what I have read on your blog, you seem to appreciate any comments and suggestions.

Thanks again for everything,
Mike Tomlinson

John Says:
Hello Mike
Thanks for the follow up on the past guest party and having realized that the past guest party was not held when it was due to the stage being set for a production show I decided to check with the ship. They were very interested by your comments and the hotel director is now looking at maybe changing the party time. He did say that attendance was about 75% of those who are invited which is actually quite high. However, they do realize that if you are on a tour then rushing back for the party is not the best of situations. In fact here on the Carnival Freedom the past guest party next cruise is held after sailing from Jamaica so I will have to see how that goes. There are always operational issues to consider but overall we have to do what is best for you the guest. And yes, please, I encourage you and everyone to keep the suggestions and comments coming…….they are invaluable.
The two elegant nights are here to say and having the choice whether to dress formally or not is something I think everyone appreciates.
Thanks mate and best wishes
John


Mark Asked:

John Please Reply
You may have answered already but when is the Magic slated to go to into production?

Also, there seems to be a trend to by some cruise lines to see who can outdo each other with the bigger is better and weirder is better concept…let’s see “thenationofwewanttopretendwearestillonland” and NCL with their “EPIC” that looks like a portion of the ship has slid forward over the bridge.

The Splendor, Dream and Magic all have seemed to try to retain the glory of cruise ship sailing – in other words while they strive to improve on passenger comfort and fun they haven’t made the ship more important than the destinations…that they indeed go hand in hand. A cruise vacation is still about the passenger, the ship and the destinations – is it not?

Anyways, I know it is difficult to say good bye to the Holiday, but at some point the other older ladies in Carnival’s fleet will be going to, but with a number of refurbishments that a number of them have undergone, that won’t be for awhile. Could you provide some insight on the pressures for cruise lines to be newer, bigger, better, and the most unique. My gawd, it has to stop somewhere – personally I don’t want to pay for stupid. Remember the huge fins on Cadillacs…sheesh! Now a stylish Carnival Funnel that is a different story 🙂

John Says:

Hello Mark
Carnival Magic is scheduled for delivery in June 2011. Where she will sail to and what her home port will be are still very much under discussion but as soon as I know you will know. I loved your comment and as biased as I am to Carnival I can truly say that after 20 plus at sea that your Carnival Dream is our most beautiful ship yet and her lines and her stern are simply stunning. I agree that bigger is not always better………just ask my wife…….but certainly the Dream class of ship will give us so many opportunities to think outside the cruise box and really set a new tone for “Fun Ship” cruising. Our smoke stack is an iconic feature recognized the world over. There certainly is no doubt when a Carnival ship is in port which cruise line the vessel belongs to and we will never change that……to do so would be a silly as slapping a big X on your funnel. Yes she is our biggest ship yet but the Carnival principle of fun has not changed since Ted Arison started the fleet with the Mardi Gras all those years ago
As for the Epic and the Mall of the Seas…..I wish them good luck and much success…… my arse.
Best wishes
John

Nancy & Doug – Columbus, GA Asked:
Hi John, Heidi & Kye!
Hope all of you are doing well! John, please reply when you can – forgive me for bringing up what is probably a very old subject from the blog, but we have been cruising for the past 2 months and I am seriously behind on your postings! In case it hasn’t been suggested already about the Carnival ships’ pins – how about the remaining ones being held by the Guest Relations Desk and having the Carnival past guests who REALLY want them going to ask for them? I say this because we are sailing on the Triumph in September (& the Fascination in February ‘10) and we are worried that the ship will not have any pins left by the time we sail! We have Carnival hats with all our 14 ships’ pins proudly presented, except for the Conquest, which for some reason; no pins were given out at the time. We would dearly love to have some Conquest pins, if any are available!
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the pins are coveted collector items for some of us loyal Carnival fans! Please don’t take them away!
We also wanted to let you in on an observation we have made in the past 2 months – Carnival cruises are quite simply, the best cruise value money can buy! We just completed our 2nd cruise on Celebrity (in northern Europe) and though the cruise was wonderful, and there’s really nothing wrong with Celebrity – it simply doesn’t measure up to its 5-star reputation! The food was not as good as what we’ve had on Carnival, the entertainment was so-so, the cabins were smaller – we just didn’t consider them worth the money they demand for their cruises! If Carnival had had the same itinerary, we would have chosen Carnival – hands down! This was our 39th cruise – I think we know a little about what we speak! Carnival is simply put – the best deal on water! We think your best trait is – consistency. With Carnival, you know what you are getting, you know what you’re going to do, you know what the day-to-day routines are and you know you are getting the most bang for your buck! Ok, so sometimes ports get changed for one reason or another – so what? Unless the problem is ship-specific, guess what people – other ships are going to have to change ports too! There is not a cruise ship captain on water who is going to put his passengers in harm’s way!
Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth about the pins and some of the other negative comments that have been made about Carnival. As long as we are able to continue cruising, we will be loyal fans of Carnival cruise lines!

All our best to Heidi & beautiful little Kye – you did good work John!

John Says:
Hello Nancy and Doug
And welcome back to the blog and please do not apologize for returning to the subject of the blog. I know how passionate everyone is about them and wearing them is considered a badge of honor by many of our loyal guests. Well, I can’t say much but I can say that all your comments here on the blog have been well noted and very soon I hope to be able to tell you all some news that should make everyone happy. Your post was excellent and I am glad you had a good time on Celebrity but I am very happy to know that you remain fans of the Carnival product and I hope that in 2011 we can have you sailing Europe with us once again. As I just mentioned in the answer to the last comment Carnival continues to add new and exciting features to our fleet but the principles of great value for money and fun remain at the core of what we do and who we are. I thank you so very much for this post and I hope it won’t be long before we see you back with us here on the Fun Ships and keep reading for the latest news on those pins.
Best wishes
John

Janet Asked:
John:
Please reply.
I hope the shops on the Dream will be larger than usual. We find that the inventory, variety and sizes of T-shirts etc in the shops onboard are lacking. We like to get shirts from each ship, but would like a bigger choice. I would probably spend more onboard for clothing if it was available. We’re not big drinkers so our money goes to pictures and other things.

John Says:
Hello Janet
You have brought up a great point and one that I still find frustrating as I have tried to get our concession partners to add bigger sizes on our logo wear. Right now XXL is the biggest size and I know many want this increased to XXXL and XXXXL. I also have to mention that I let my great friend down and Big Ed……..I have not given up on the bathrobes.
Your Carnival Dream has given up lots of real estate for the shops and I think you will be very happy with the new merchandise they will have to offer.
Best wishes
John

Cheri Bolchoz Asked:
John
Please reply
Hope all is well on Carnival Freedom. We just booked Carnival Dream Sept 21 2009. Cannot believe I talked Michael into the in Inaugural Cruise. Can hardly wait. Are you going to be there? We are so looking forward to meeting you & seeing Todd again. You will get to see all three of Michael’s Carnival tattoos in person.
Take care for now I have to go pack for my birthday cruise next week
Cheri & Michael

John Says:
Hello Cheri and Michael
Many, many congratulations on booking the inaugural cruise of your Carnival Dream. Did you see the video I posted of her sea trials? I unfortunately won’t be there unless someone tells me to be there. I will be there for the handover ceremony but I think it’s best to leave the inaugural cruise to Todd her CD as I don’t want to step on any toes. Still, you never know. The most important thing is you will be there and both you and Michael will experience just how brillinat this ship is going to be. I think it’s time we had a photo of the three tattoos again and please send me your birthday cruise details.
Best wishes and congratulations
John

Katherine Starkey Asked:

I am having such a problem getting help with my problems with Carnival. John, who can you refer me to for help?

John Says:
Hello Katherine
I am so sorry to hear this. Go ahead and send me your concerns and I will make sure they are looked at straight away. Just post them here on the blog and I will reply as soon as I see them
Don’t worry
John

Dave Carson Asked:
John PLEASE REPLY – –
I asked this question the other day and you were kind enough to reply. However you presumed that the October 3 sailing of Carnival Dream was a transatlantic crossing. It is not. Its itinerary is Rome to Rome. Therefore please allow me to post my questions again for this Mediterranean cruise which debarks at Civitavecchia on October 15:

On the above sailing of the Carnival Dream, 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 from the Cruise Critic Roll Call thread for this cruise are relatively certain that the Dream will arrive at least two hours earlier than the itinerary indicates (the previous port is Livorno). 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.
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
So very sorry mate. I was way off there and I was thinking November. In this case the story is much different mate. The ship actually arrives back into Civi at 5 am and debarkation is virtually immediate as there are no customs or immigration as you are coming from Livorno, another Italian port. The buses provided by CCL to the airport in Rome start running at 6 am so you can book accordingly. Most guests have international flights leaving from 10 am onwards and as with the Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom you should not have any concerns in making them. There is a self assist program which means you can disembark at any time you like however please note that taxis usually are not at the port until 6 am and they will charge 150 Euros approx to get to the airport. If you have any further questions about the debark process or transportation please let me know and I am so sorry for the previous incorrect info …… bugger!
Best wishes
John

That’s all for today…….amazingly I appear to have nearly caught up but still have more for tomorrow. If you have any questions please let me know and don’t forget to mark your comment “John Please Reply.”

I see many of you popped over to the Seabourn Twitter page to see the naming ceremony of the Seabourn Odyssey and it also seems that the press has been enthralled with this new and deeply luxurious vessel.

I thought you might like to see what our friends Gene Sloan and Anita Dunham Potter have had to say about her………..have a look

U.S. COVERAGE OF SEABOURN ODYSSEY’S INAUGURAL VOYAGE
Seabourn Odyssey hosted several U.S. journalists during her Inaugural Voyage June 22-24, 2009. Some of the journalists on board have already posted their stories about the new yacht – and they are glowing! Below is a sampling of press coverage that has appeared as of June 24, 2009.

In addition to the below, Travel + Leisure was also on board and is planning a feature story for the October issue, and ForbesLife is also planning a feature for an upcoming issue.

ExpertCruiser.com
http://www.expertcruiser.com/blog/odysseys-super-crew/

Anita Dunham Potter of ExpertCruiser.com, MSNBC.com and Tripso.com had this to say:
“Odyssey’s Super Crew”
Nobody ever said launching a new cruise ship was an easy job, but the crew of the Seabourn Odyssey have been put in a tough position — trying to launch a ship that was way behind schedule.
…..
I’ve been talking with a number of crew members and the more I learn about what they have accomplished in only three days time is nothing short of extraordinary.
…..
Looking into their eyes you can see they are weary from all the work. Still, despite all the stress, the crew remains amazingly optimistic and very accommodating. They are proud of the new ship and I am sure seasoned Seabourn guests will find the Odyssey an amazing addition to the fleet.
USAToday.com
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/cruises/item.aspx?type=blog&ak=68169125.blog

Gene Sloan of USA Today was on-board Seabourn Odyssey’s Inaugural, and had this to say:

The main restaurant of the ship… was able to pull off an exquisite fixed-menu dinner tonight that included everything from a salmon-and-caviar starter to the choice of a filet mignon with foie gras or a lovely lobster dish with risotto.

……

The Seabourn Odyssey is a stunner.
Similar in size and layout to rival Silversea’s bigger ships (Silver Whisper and Silver Shadow), the Odyssey boasts a far more stylish, sophisticated decor and design with several downright spectacular public areas. It is, quite simply, a game-changer for the luxury market.
TravelPulse.com
http://www.travelpulse.com/Resources/Editorial.aspx?n=57388
James Shillinglaw of TravelPulse.com had this to say:
Travel agents sailing on the vessel were nearly unanimous in their praise of the Seabourn Odyssey’s many new features, including larger and more varied cabins, more dining options, a larger spa, a larger pool deck (pictured), and unique public rooms such as Seabourn Square, a new lounge that acts as a library, coffee bar, Internet café and guest services area.

Get Away With Fran
http://blogs.townonline.com/travel_golden/

Journalist Fran Golden had this to say on her blog:

What we can see in the mostly completed ship is that the Odyssey is a contemporary stunner. Seabourn has had a reputation of being, well, a little old fashioned with its smaller ships. This ship, which triples the size of the others at 32,000 tons and carries 450 passengers (as opposed to 200 on the other ships) is anything but old fashioned.

Now, for those who did not see the video of your Carnival Dream yesterday here is another chance to see it

It seems from your comments that this has taken peoples excitement to a new level and I wanted to ask a favor of Host Mach at Cruise Critic and Kuki at Cruise Mates. Could you please post this video on the boards and allow all your readers to see this amazing video. Then, a favor for each and every one of you. Could you e-mail the link to one friend or maybe two. Even if these people have never been on a cruise before I would love them to see this majestic ship …………. let’s get the You Tube video thingy views sky high……………..thanks everyone.

Oh, by the way……..here is a quick update from Captain Carlo Queirolo………..written in his beautiful Italian accent

Hello John
I wanted to tell you my feelings from coming from sea trials. This was the preliminary sea trials and I was really impressed about the maneuverability of this huge ship and her stability. The test went very well and we’re going to do even more testing in the next sea trial. Now the ship remains in dry dock until Wednesday then second sea trial starts until Saturday.
Still I need to practice on maneuver my new lady because since she sticks out on her side with the new Promenade Deck and Lanai I have to do some maneuvering just looking at the plasma screens on the bridge.
When I told Carnival Corporation’s Chairman Micky Arison he told me I am very lucky because if I have a plasma TV on my bedroom wall I don’t need to leave the bedroom to park the ship.
I am really proud to be the first one to drive this beautiful ship, the most beautiful ship in our fleet
Ciao Bloggers, Ciao John
Carlo
P.S. I send you a photo of me holding up the Carnival Dream………….I am very strong

P6257602-Dream

Thanks Captain…….we all love these updates and we look forward to more next week. It must be extraordinary to dock a ship using TV cameras ……….I have a reversing camera in my polar bear killing Range Rover but Heidi still manages to hit the garbage containers when she reverses out of the drive.

You should feel proud Captain……….we are all very proud of you.

Things here are going well and the guests seem to be having a great time.

The weather has been good and we are in Nassau tomorrow. Jaime has been organizing the changes we need to make which are few. I have to admit that I can’t wait to be CD again and mostly so I can get on stage once more. I am so glad that Jaime is here as she is doing what Heidi has always done and that’s run the department allowing me to be out with the guests and be on stage.

I am under no illusion that I could not write this blog everyday and answer all the questions and be a good cruise director if I didn’t have a Heidi or a Jaime so hopefully as my time at sea continues I will have such a person so I can continue to do both. I am so looking forward to sharing the life of a cruise director with you once again and that starts on Sunday.

I promised myself and Heidi that I would not just stay onboard during port days but I would try new things. I often get accused of not trying new things……..but I do……I really do. Do try some things. Teeth-whitening strips, for instance. I presumed they would change my life. If I had white teeth, I’d be happy. People with white teeth are always smiling. But maybe they’re just showing off. I’ll never know because my teeth are still yellow — the strips were a waste of time and money, and I certainly don’t feel better just because I tried them.

Then there was the time I tried turning the blog into a TV comedy script: “Try it, try it — what have you got to lose?”’ Bugger all it seems as the TV Company was as interested in me as a Frenchman is in a bar of soap.

People love to say: “It’s better to have tried and failed.” But what’s wrong with not trying at all? When I think about all the things I haven’t tried, I’m grateful. I haven’t tried crack cocaine or bungee-jumping naked or tying a lump of cheese round my thingy and putting starved rat down my underpants.

But I am trying to go to the gym and that’s something I haven’t done for a very long time. Todd goes to the gym everyday and as a result is permanently broken in some way. His cabin bathroom cabinet looks like Harry Potter’s potion store. Whereas I, whose only exercise was blinking had no aches and pains. But now I have started to use the gym……my back aches, my ankles are swollen and yesterday as I was lifting a weight I farted and ruined a good pair of underpants.

But I am continue on my diet and continue when I can in the gym……and of course my reason for doing so is my daughter……..and here to talk about her is Heidi

Before Kye arrived, all I needed was the keys to the polar bear killing machine and my purse and I was out of the door…….well, that has changed.
Leaving the house now needs careful planning. First Kye needs to have a clean nappy (diaper) as madam does not like anything in it, even if it is as small as a French bar of soap (sorry, couldn’t help myself) then I need to make sure that our princess had enough to eat (drink) otherwise a car journey may be cut short for a pit stop, then there is ” The Bag “. The Bag is not just any bag, if I would like to be in the Yummy Mummy category, it needs to be fashionable, not too big but still carry all Kye’s necessities and mine. (yes, I still wear lipstick and it needs it’s space in The Bag).
So before Kye arrived I did some serious research and I found one that has all the above. In The Bag, there are nappies, cotton wool pads and a bottle of Evian to clean her bottom (yes, nothing but the best for our little girl), nappy bags to put the dirty nappies in, 2 changes of clothes in case she has an accident that is too big to cover up, a changing mat, a blanket, a little rabbit that she loves and not to forget….nursing pads, well, that is the polite word……those things are something you never thought of when the romantic ” we are having a baby ” words were uttered. They come in the same embarrassing group with, stitches, bleeding and hemmroids, nothing romantic about it. The only thing that I got spared from are stretch marks, thank God!
Then there is the pram with the frame that folds up, all I can say is that I am thankful for my Range Rover as it will never run out of space…..
The back of the car is definetely Kye’s space with a mirror so I can see her from the driver’s seat and blacked out windows so the sun won’t bother her and the built in dvd players to keep her occupied when she is a bit older and wants to ask “Are we there yet?”.
Henceforth the title of this mini blog from me today, we are not going anywhere and are just enjoying the sunshine in the garden and watch Wimbledon in John’s lazy boy chair thingy.

Both our lives have been changed dramatically but I know I can speak for both John and myself and we wouldn’t want it any other way. To be able to talk about “our family” and not just mean our brothers, sisters and parents is something that makes us very proud.

I am sure some of you feel sorry for us being at home without John but there are actually people that are pleased that John is not here, one of them being Clair, our great help with the housekeeping, she could probably skip every other week as the house just is a lot cleaner and tydier with John not in it (sorry John).
All joking aside, of course I miss him like crazy and it’s not the same here without him but I know where he is and what he is doing. I could be married to one of the brave men that go out to Afghanistan for months at the time and hoping for his safe return.
The most dangerous thing that can happen to John is that one of the Social Hosts puts normal sugar in his cappucino instead of Splenda…..
He is doing a job he loves which is very important, even though it would be nice to be able to drive to Dover and see him every week or just hop on the ship and sail with him…..hopefully one day a Carnival ship will come back to the UK, I loved being on board the Carnival Splendor, sailing into Dover, seeing the white cliffs glistering in the sunshine was great.

By the way, I just looked up to the tv and I always thought that men get more handsome with age, well, John McEnroe definetely hasn’t. He is one of the commentators during the Wimbledon tournament here in the U.K. I know John mentioned this the other day and the word “boring” was used but I thoroughly enjoy watching tennis. Having played myself for many years, I love the sport and think it’s the best sport to watch on tv. It works calming on me, like a spa treatment, no chanting of the crowd or screaming commentators, just nice and relaxed.
I agree with John that there are no characters left on the court, the Yannick Noah’s, the Pat Cashes,

the Andre Aggasi’s and the Boris Beckers…..ohh, the Boris Beckers….ohh, the Boris Beckers….sorry, don’t know what happened there. I have had a crush on Boris since he first won Wimbledon and he is definetely getting more and more handsome the older he gets. I read in OK magazine that he is getting married again soon to a Dutch girl….ohh, the Boris Beckers…… One day, John and I were shopping in the Bayside Mall in Miami when I saw Boris leaving the Nike Store. I couldn’t move and remember calling my dad. “Dad, Boris Becker is standing 20 meters away from me”. “Go up to him and say Hello” my Dad said…..I could only stare, that is what you call star struck.
I better stop right there, I am a mum now and need to act like one.

I wrote the above while Kye has been fast asleep. It has been pretty warm in the U.K. the last few days and it affects her a little and she sleeps more than usual which was perfect now so I could write this without being interrupted.

Thank you again for all the gifts and cards we are still receiving now, her nursery is too small for all her gifts, she is such a lucky girl. We are doing great, she is as good as gold and brings a smile to my face when I wake up in the morning.
I will finish with a photo and by telling you that Kye is now 9lb 2 oz (4100 grams) and 56 centimeters tall.

Your friends,
Heidi & Kye x

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Goodnight
Your friends
John, Heidi and Kye

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