Steaks, Bottoms and Heidi

July 3, 2009 -

John Heald

It’s a tough job this blogging thing and tonight it was extremely difficult as I had to force myself to go to the supper club…………..actually……..lets get one thing correct …………… we must all get used to calling them steak houses now………not supper clubs. The menu is the same and the service is still the best at sea but steak house seems to represent the product better ……………… steak house it is then.

Anyway, armed with my corporate sail and sign card (thanks Gerry for paying) I headed up to the steak house here on the Carnival Freedom which is called The Sun King ……. Steak House………… I could tell you all about the experience …………… tough life eh?

I’m on a diet as you know and have been trying to avoid red meat. Occasionally, however, I get gripped by a wish to display my inherent manliness………………I am, after all………………..male, and we are expected to prefer eating steak to anything else. Did you know, by the way, that March 14 each year has been designated International Steak and Rumpy Pumpy Day?………………….. It has. There is a website for it and everything. 

Anyway, I digress. Eating steak makes me feel more of a man than eating a plate of, say, tofu or quorn, and girls like it when you eat a great hunk of rib-eye. I remember, many years ago, taking a girl called Sarah out for dinner and trying to impress her with my sophistication and sensitivity by not ordering steak. She looked at my plate and said: “Salmon?………… Are you gay?” So proving to her that I was a real man I dusted my hands together, yelled “Yabadabadoo!” and slid down my pet dinosaur’s neck and ordered a steak instead.

Some people say that cooking steak requires no skill beyond what we were capable of a million years ago, when our knuckles still dragged on the floor and foreplay was a tap on the arse with a mammoth bone………..but they are wrong. Cooking the perfect steak is an art form and one that I am proud to say we have perfected in our Carnival steak houses.

How to have your steak cooked is half the battle. Many years ago I would say “well done.” This was what I was used to……………that’s how Mum had cooked our roast beef on a Sunday. But I soon realized this was terribly unfashionable, and started saying “medium.” Anyway, it almost never makes any difference to how the steak is cooked …….except at Prime 112 in Miami………….and in our steak houses on the ships.

Yep…………our steak selection is brilliant and the intense training our servers undergo means that if you order your Rib Eye medium well………it will be served medium well.

Anyway, I had crab cakes which were extraordinarily good and after my Caesar’s salad prepared at the table it was time for my Porterhouse steak cooked as I had asked ……….. and cooked as my Mum used to do……………well done.

And it tasted of proper, grass-grazed cow……………and it was a cow that did not die in vain.

I still don’t know how they do it either…………..crab cakes, lobster bisque, porterhouse steak and an unlimited choice of side dishes including the biblically brilliant wasabi mashed potatoes (an avenue closed of to me because of my diet) followed by luxurious deserts and coffee………all for $30…………let me say that bit again……………all for $30………..unbelievable. They also have other food ……fish, even ….. but I didn’t try any of that as I can still remember Sarah’s comment. The only thing I would change is the ambiance. A steak house ought to be fun. I’d change the somber classical, lovey dovey music, whack up the volume and crack out some dancing girls………. but then I guess that’s why anyone who is looking for advice on restaurants doesn’t come to me.

Cruising on a Spirit class or Conquest Class ship and not going to the Steak House is like going to Egypt and not seeing the pyramids…… must try it……………you really must.

If you would like to request a reservation online here is Stephanie………. I mean Cocoa to slap on the link thingy.

Hi Everyone,

If you’re booked on a cruise with a steakhouse (formerly known as the Supper Club) just log on to the “My Cruise” section of

See you soon!
The original on land Stephanie

Oh by the way…………never ever order a steak in France as they will serve you leg of horse or, worse, “onglet.”…………. which tastes the same as Judge Judy’s thigh.

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

David Asked:
John, thanks for all the information and the reply regarding the new Sign and Sail cards. Ms Laura (LadyJag) wrote to you and asked about the access to the coed sauna on the Dream and of course you came through with the answer. Well, is just happens that my wife and I are scheduled for the same room in question for a January sailing and we noticed (thanks to the schematic portion gratefully provided by Boris) that room 1201 has a bath tub or something else included. Can you shed any light as to what it is? We are also scheduled on the Dream for its second sailing in October (room –) but doubt the room steward will let us in to room 1201 for an early peek. By the way, you mentioned your desire for an Alaskan cruise, well we are booked for the Spirit in July and it will be our Milestone Cruise. Just thought I’d rub that in….

John Says:

Hello David
The Cloud Nine Spa cabins are proving very popular and are some of the best selling staterooms on your Carnival Dream. I will be happy to have my friend and yours Boris check your cabin out and tell you if that does indeed have a bath tub or a half bath ……… may be a dressing area. Regardless, Boris will find out. However, we will need a few days as he is on your Carnival Dream as she finishes her second round of sea trials. As soon as he gets back to e mail coverage I know he will check cabin 1201 out for you and let me know and I in turn will advise you.
I would love to cruise in Alaska…………….and I wish I could be there to help you celebrate your Milestone cruise and shake your hand and say thank you for all your support.
I will write soon.
Best wishes

Elizabeth Asked:

Please Reply.
How about doing a Bloggers Cruise from Galveston. Maybe on the refurbished Ecstasy?

John Says:

Hello Elizabeth
Just as I have never sailed to Alaska, I have never sailed from Galveston. We certainly had a brilliant Bloggers Cruise on the Carnival Fantasy so why not the Carnival Ecstasy. We need to decide quickly now as I know many of you want to book for 2010 and I will certainly ask the powers that be to consider the Carnival Ecstasy a ship I have not been onboard since 1994 when I was handsome, skinny, dating a dancer, drinking cognac and wearing a huge diamond ring…………what was I thinking……………….the dancer was pretty though……….and I enjoyed not buying clothes with two X’s on the label…………..I loved cognac with my cigar………the ring was ridiculous though but apart from that……..I miss those days………..God I’m old.
Thanks for the recommendation Elizabeth
Best wishes

Lisa Asked:

John, (Can you please comment or reply)
I’ve been reading some reviews from people who are trying CCL for the first time/or back from a long absence after being on other lines. The comment from them that is coming through each time is that the wait at the pier is long, over 1.5 hours.
Now, as a CCL cruiser, I didn’t think this was horrible; it just takes awhile to check everyone in. But as a CCL stockholder, I’m wondering if the other lines are doing something CCL could look into and improve on. Why are other lines wait times are shorter? Are they shorter, or do they keep the lines moving so it seems the wait is short?
I work in the corporate world and anything that increases efficiency and makes the customer happier is best for the bottom line. Is CCL missing out on an area that they could improve on?
Love your humor (spelled correctly) and it is great to hear you are back onboard in the job you were born for.

John Says:

Hello Lisa
Let’s start by recognizing that you have seen as have I that many people are returning to Carnival because they have realized that our brand of affordable value for money fun is the best in the cruise market. However, we are certainly not resting on our laurels and we know that we must improve in certain areas. I do know one of the places we are looking to improve in is the embarkation process which after all is the first impression of the cruise and the first representation of the Carnival product. I think it is safe to say that we have come along way here and I know our dynamic Vice President Vicky Rey is constantly working with her team to make this experience even better.
Are our lines longer than other cruise companies? Well……….I have no idea really and I am sure that others are better placed to comment. However, it doesn’t really matter as we have to be judged by our own achievements and not those of others. And so I promise you that as a share holder you should be confident in the knowledge that we will continue to get better in this and other areas……….we truly will.
If any of you have embarkation stories to share that are good or not……….we would love to read them.
Thank you Lisa and thanks also for the very kind words about the blog.
Best wishes

Stacey Asked:

John (Please reply),
Some talk over on Cruise Critic regarding each ship’s “90 Day Customs Inspection.” I know I for one got caught in the midst of that after our Valor cruise and it was a NIGHTMARE…people jam-packed from each floor of the stairways, outside the elevators, through the lobby and the entire length of the terminal. We ended up missing our 2:30 flight, thankfully I had my cell phone and got on with the airline and switched us to a later flight.
Anyway, my question is this…is it possible to inform passengers which sailings of which ships will be due for their 90 Day inspection? As then the people getting OFF the ship could plan accordingly and book later flights and the people getting ON the ship could plan on getting to the terminal later. It would alleviate MUCH frustration for passengers, and I’m assuming it would for staff and crew as well.
I’m wondering if you could check with Ryan on the Glory and see when their next inspection would be and if we’d be affected by that, or any other future inspections, on our 11/29/09 sailing.

John Says:

Hello Stacey
I know that when the United States Customs and Border Patrol decide to do their intense inspections it can cause long lines to disembark and in extreme cases like yours, missed flights. I truly wish we could publicize when these spot checks occur but of course no cruise line can. First of all they are never on a specific date………..we never know when they are going to do these inspections until they start…………and I am guessing that even if we did and we publicized the event it would get Carnival in a whole heap of trouble. I guess my point is the whole reason to do a spot check is that it’s on the spot rather than pre advertised. I do feel for you though and as someone who has to sit in a holding room for hours on end every time I enter the United States I know how frustrating this can be. However………..they are just doing their job I guess.
My apologies to anyone who has to endure these checks but please be patient with CBP and the cruise line staff.
Best Wishes

Jim Eakins Asked:

John, please respond,
One of our fellow cruisers was speaking to Carnival today (Customer Service) and they said that Carnival will no longer be mailing the traditional blue envelope packet for cruises after August 31st of this year.
Is this true? If so please have them mail our tickets, for our October cruise on the Dream, before 31 Aug.
Most of the packet contents were of limited use to us since we get our documents on-line but the almost indestructible luggage tags will be greatly missed. One wonders, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, if they might be available for a fee.
Playing devils advocate, one wonders how folks who book directly with Carnival and who do not have a home computer print out their luggage tags.
The loss of the tags will not mean the end of the world but for us it will be a bit of a pain in the you-know-what since we will have to drive over 100km to find a print shop that can laminate the tags that I will now have to print. That or I will have to purchase a laminator (also a 100+km drive). Some times it really does “suck” to live in the country but happily not very often.
So, what is the skinny? Are the mailed tickets really being killed? What does the August 31 cut-off date really mean: is the last day they will be sent out, period, even for those who have booked and paid for their cruise before that date, or is this cut-off date for new cruise bookings or for cruise bookings not yet paid in full?
Or is all of this simply a bad dream that will go away just as soon as you receive this missive? That’s French because I know you love French words.

John Says:

Hello Jim
I admit that this is the first I have heard about this and you maybe correct but I’ll have to check it out. I can tell you that we encourage people to check in online but I have not heard that we are going to do away with the paper trail all together.
My goodness…… sounds like you really live out in the sticks and as Heidi and I know living in the countryside is wonderful but does have its drawbacks as you described.
I will find out Jim as I am sure there are many others who will want to know if this is fact or fiction and I promise to let you know the answer very soon. Merci Beacoups for bringing this to my attention………………..missive my arse
Best wishes

The Baers Asked:

Please Respond-
I saw that from the comments above that you are going to be the CD of the Dream come next January and that there is a possibility that Heidi and Kye might be joining you. I was wondering if Ken Byrne the Maitre d will still be on the Dream at that time? We have a surprise for you in case you didn’t see our email we sent you and Heidi separate from the blog– we finally got to adopt Lyla but wait there is more– Lyla now has a baby sister too! We were blessed last November to get to foster another little girl Laynie and we have recently adopted both girls on June 3rd!
We took a celebration cruise immediately after (6/7/09) on the Carnival Victory but it just wasn’t the same celebrating this exciting event without you, Heidi, Stephanie, and Ken there. So we are anxiously waiting to know when Heidi and Kye will be joining so that we can book a real family cruise and visit with our extended family!
As soon as you know if you could let us know we will book just to see all of you again. We also have some gifts for Kye that I will be sending on to Heidi in the next week or so.
We were considering going on the Carnival Dream in October but then noticed you weren’t going to be there but instead will be on the Legend. We are still considering it but may wait to join you in January instead since the trip to Europe with a 10 month old and a 3 year old would be a lot of work.
Or we also considering doing a back to back with you on the Freedom this summer. How do back to back cruises work? Do we have to totally pack and get off the ship and then come back on? Just wondering.
Congratulations again on Miss Kye she is truly beautiful and you and Heidi are blessed. (As is Kye to have the two of you for parents)
I will await your answers.
Thank you,
Kim, Ken, Lyla and Laynie
p.s. We saved the bottle of champagne you gave us last year on the Splendor and toasted the Heald family at the Adoption Celebration. Thank you!

John Says:

Hello Kim, Ken, Lyla and Laynie
I didn’t see an email from you so this was a wonderful surprise. I know from having seen you on the various ships how much Lyla meant to you and now that the adoption has been confirmed you must be so thrilled and Lyla and her new sister Laynie now have wonderful, caring and giving parents. Heidi and I are so very happy for you as I am sure will the bloggers be.
I really hope that Heidi and Kye will be traveling with me next year on your Carnival Dream. It is something we are still discussing and hopefully my dream of us being together will come true. Ken will be there as well. I am not sure as to when he is going on vacation but I know he will try and be with me during the time I am on board.
You asked about back to back cruises. Well, most of the time you will remain in the same cabin and you do not need to go through the check in system twice. All you need to do is go outside into the terminal and re take your sail and sign card/ship ID photo. If you do have to move cabin we will help you all the way. I do hope you will book your Carnival Dream and I will have the chance to see you all again and Laynie for the first time.
Once again congratulations
Best wishes to you and all the family

Bill Says:

Hello John:
John, RSVP
We have had more days at sea, confirmed some things that you know about another line in Carnival Corporation. There truly are offerings for different demographics. We had a pleasant 12 days on Rotterdam VI and found the dam ship to be first class. Really quiet after 8 PM.
We are still profoundly Carnival customers even though we had a great time in the Baltic with the other line. I thought of you during the bier and sausage mit zowerkraut Lido deck party in Warnemunde. The oompa band is still lively.
We tend to appreciate the larger ships (Conquest class, Splendor, etc.) because it appears the higher revenue supports more variety in entertainment and food service. Your ability to create a sense of community and your heartfelt “Welcome Home” when we re-board was sorely missed. We also missed the morning show and the bedtime story. There were no Littles or Woodens on board either. Well, maybe one.
But why I write is a thought I had about diabetes. There are quite a few with this metabolic disorder, and quite a few like to cruise. Since you are learning to live the diabetic lifestyle, what a contribution you could make to increase Carnival’s compliance with diabetic needs. Like sharps containers for the cabin provided from the booking.
Low carbohydrate, exercise opportunities, sugar free menu alternatives, basic diabetic supplies, why not a menu for diabetic folks? You are much more creative than I and I am sure you can think of many important things that Carnival could do to make cruises safer for folks with diabetes and at little or no cost.
My wife and I raised a child with diabetes and can’t say that the diet requirements are any more expensive than fast, fried, high carb recipes. There are many health benefits to everyone to get a healthier diet, and it can be very appealing if done well.
Anyway, Kye is beautiful, must be Heidi’s genes. You are a lucky man, and you make your own way.
All the best to you and yours, though you are apart.
Your Friend
Bill Heck

We had a trip through hell flying back from Amsterdam, to London, to the States. I can see why you may be reluctant to expose your baby to this poor treatment. My wife was actually frisked in public in a very private manner three times before we got on the 767 to jump the p0nd. She said the Dutch were the best. They were almost strip searching the little kids. After all of the carry on was scanned three or more times at various security check points, it was still required to empty everything on the table, pockets, purse, wallet, carry on luggage, shoes, jewelry, etc. And then you can’t get a drink of water or go to the restroom because the security is right at the gate at Heathrow and you would have to go through that garbage again. Mama Mia. Maybe next time we fly to Canada on Icelandic.
It is hot here in Arkansas.

John Says:

Hello Bill
Thanks mate for the great review of our friends over at HAL. They have a terrific product and there Signature of Excellence is one they should be very proud of. Your review once again highlights the brilliant diversity of Carnival Corp and as glad as I am that you enjoyed your European experience on the Rotterdam V1 I am very happy to hear that you are Carnival fans through and through.
It is so funny that you mentioned the diabetics amongst us. During recent days I have been reading comments and advice from many here on the blog thingy who are type 1 and type 2 diabetic and having read what people have written and based on my own experiences ………….we can do more for you………sorry……….us.
While sharps containers are available immediately through your stateroom steward as is refrigeration for insulin there is no doubt that the menu choices are limited………….too limited. I therefore have decided that Carnival should lead the way in providing the best menus featuring low carb and low sugar alternatives. I want the diabetics out there to know that Carnival …………more than any other line……………will have options available in their restaurants. I am working on a proposal to present to our VP of Food and Beverage and others and if and when they approve the plan I will spread the sugar free word.
Sorry to hear about your experiences in the European airports…….although you haven’t lived until you have flown into or out of Russia.
My best wishes to you and the family

Kate Asked:

Dear John (please reply),
I really enjoy your blog! I hope all is well with you, Heidi, and Kye. She’s adorable!
My fiancé and I will be getting married on 9/19/09 and very shortly thereafter will be spending our honeymoon in Europe on the Dream Inaugural Cruise. I have a couple of questions…
1) Are there any plans to do any special events for this cruise since it is the Dream’s Inaugural?
2) I would really like to surprise my fiancé (then husband) with something special on the cruise… are there any special tours or events or anything I could set up for him before we sail? Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks so much. I look forward to all the stories you put up in this blog, especially the ones from your experiences as CD!
Hope you have a wonderful summer.

John Says:

Hello Kate
There are many who are reading this who are thinking what lucky people you are spending your honeymoon on the inaugural cruise on your Carnival Dream. Being the inaugural is special itself as you will be the first to experience the Ocean Plaza, the Water Park and all the new and exciting features that we are all excited to show you. There will be special shows and events that will also make this first cruise that extra bit special and the highlight for you newly weds will be sailing into Venice………..just make sure you are out of bed to enjoy all of this.
I suggest you take our evening Gondola ride in Venice and you must…………I mean you must …………..take the Capri and Sorrento tour from Naples…………what an incomparable way to spend your vacation
A week or so before you sail please send me your details so I can send you a honey moon gift. If you have anymore questions please let me know
Best wishes and congratulations in advance

Jeanette Asked:

John, please tell me which ship my fave maitre’d is on. His name is Aleksandr Kazakov. He was on the Triumph a while back, but I want to know if he’ll be making my week by being on the Splendor on the Sept 13th sailing!!!!
Yes, he is very memorable! Damn good looking, and could make an 80 year old turn her head!!!

John Says:

Hello Jeanette…………or can I call you Fuzzy Peach
I know Aleksandr and I think its time you had your eyes tested as I think you will find he is quite ugly.
Seriously though I am glad he made such a difference to your last cruise. I do not see his name on my shipboard personal list which probably means he is on vacation. I will though ask Miguel the current Maitre D on the Carnival Splendor if he is due to take over from him when he goes to your Carnival Dream. I promise to let you know very soon
Best wishes and get those eyes tested

Donna Asked:

Hi John,
I love your blog and look forward to reading it almost every day. My goodness, you have a great sense of British humor and seem to have captured the essence of the American cruiser. I always get a good laugh.
I’ve been a widow for 11 years. I raised two children from the ages of 11 and 13 on my own. I’ve been lucky enough to cruise on the Glory twice and then I took a cruise 2 years ago on the Miracle out of Tampa and met the most wonderful man ever. It’s a story we tell everyone we meet. Yes, there is romance at departure from the dock at 4 pm! Anyway, here we are still “dating” and have just booked our 3rd cruise together. Rather sudden if I might add, 1 week before sailing. Oh, how awesome it to be spontaneous.
Here’s my question, the day we sail from Tampa on the Legend July 5, is exactly 28 days before my big,…. crap…., never thought it would be here, 50th bday and I was wondering if Carnival can assist in my celebration. My brother and his family will be with us too. How can I go about arranging something?
Kye is beautiful as is your Heidi. Isn’t it wonderful to have someone to love? I never thought it would happen again. But, here I am, another cruise with the man I love…….
Thank you John. We hope to be on the Dream in February when you’re covering for Todd.

Deborah Rosato Asked:

Hi John,
It’s great hearing about the activities on the ship and reading the guests comments again. Welcome back to the CD role!!
Please respond:
I have a request from our very large CC group who will be traveling on the TA Dream Oct 27. We are planning various activities and would like to have a Martini tasting event. I have no idea how to arrange something like this and wanted to know if you could point me in the right direction. We would love it, if Jamie could host or join us, for this sipping activity
Please give Jamie a huge hug for me and my parents (George & Anita) we absolutely adore her!! And I can’t wait to see her on the Dream!
All my best to you, Heidi & Kye,
Deborah (Debs

John Says:

Hello Deborah
Thank you so much for saying those nice words about Kye, there is an update on her coming shortly. Can you give me an idea of how many people will be in your group? This will help me approach the groups department with the right information and we can arrange something for you. We will for sure have a martini tasting and design activity on the ship for everyone to attend but if you wanted a private activity I am sure we can help you. So, let’s start by finding out how many you expect and if there is a roll call leader (maybe you) it would be useful to have their name and booking number please. October will soon be here and you will be on your Carnival Dream.
Best wishes

That’s all for today. There will be more questions on Sunday. There will not be a blog tomorrow as it is July 4th and most of you will be celebrating your independence from those bastard British. Anyway, have a great Saturday and tune in Sunday if you can …… oh by the way. Happy Canada Day for yesterday………we celebrated here on board but I forgot to mention it here on the blog thingy.

OK, I have been talking a lot about Alaska and my desire to cruise there one day soon. Until then I will have to depend on hearing your stories about the Last Frontier and those of my mate Chris “Bubba” Roberts who has sent this special report.

July 2nd, 2009

Well the time is flying by here in Alaska. It’s hard to believe we are already almost halfway through the season. I am already starting to think about getting ready for Hawaii and my final sign off day. I am only 14 weeks and 2 days away from that, not that I am counting. I just know that because it’s 14 weeks and 6 days till my wedding. Soon I will be having a visitor from another cruise director, Stuart Dunn. He is going to come and sail with me for a few weeks in August to prepare him for next year as he will be replacing me on the Spirit for the next Alaska season. He will spend the two weeks familiarizing himself with Alaska and the Spirit. I have already spoke to Stu a couple of times and he is very excited to be coming. After our two weeks together he will be going on a vacation, then joining the Spirit again on Sept. 28, and take over from me on October 10.

This season in Alaska, I have had a chance to meet many of the bloggers who have come up for a cruise. It has just been a wonderful season. I finally got a chance to do something here that I tried to do all last season. I finally got to go dogsledding.


This is one of the dog camps on top of the Juneau Ice Field. There are several there over the summer. All of the dogs there are owned by professional mushers who send their dogs to these camps in the off season so that they can keep training to be prepared for the next big race in the winter. At this particular camp there were over two hundred dogs. The dogs were all very excited to see people and were barking constantly. In fact they didn’t stop barking until they were pulling the sleds. It’s what they live for, they love pulling the sleds.





I even got a chance to drive one of the sleds. Of course when I say drive, I really mean just hold on. What was more interesting than seeing the dogs and experience the sledding, was getting a chance to talk with the trainers who work at the camp with the dogs. They live on the ice field with the dogs for 7 days, then they get two days to come down from the mountain, then back up again. It would definitely be an interesting summer job, but not one for me.

Also had another opportunity to try something fun in Alaska….I went fishing a few times in Ketchikan. Myself, the hotel director, the shore ex manager, & the team leader went out on our own and some how we managed to catch something.




One very large king salmon and about 12 rock fish. It was a very successful outing. We are going to try again this next Ketchikan. Hopefully we can do better on the Salmon. I have always wanted to catch one of those giant Halibuts that Alaska is known for. But we’ll have to save that story for another time.

Thanks mate…………the dog thingy looks amazing and your report has made me want to cruise Alaska even more. I have never been able to do what you have Bubba ………. I feel like more than a little jealous. In fact, I feel like an 8-year old being handed an empty shoebox and a packet of crayons for Christmas while his friend next door is given the keys to an Aston Martin and a helicopter. Although saying that I wonder about where you piss and where to take a dump when you are being dragged along by hounds…………one would think there isn’t anywhere. You just wander out onto the ice with a toilet roll and a gun in case there is still a polar bear left that my Range Rover hasn’t killed. Where do you go Bubba? There’s nothing to shelter behind, no trees, obviously, just flat ice and snow. I guess you pick a spot, drop your pants and get on with it. As for taking a piss, well I can’t even imagine. It looks very cold indeed…… and that must have a less than flattering effect on the gentleman’s area of even the most steely nerved, testosterone-filled cruise director.

Anyway……….thanks again mate and we wish you and Julie continuing happiness during the last few months you spend with us as Cruise Director.

Very quickly and just to follow up in a question about an entertainment staff member called Chicken Little…………..his real name is George Roberts and he is currently spending his 21st birthday on the Carnival Imagination.

For the many of you who would love to experience of being in a ship yard watching a new cruise vessel born I encourage you to pop on over to Holland America’s sight where you will see stunning photos of the Niew Amsterdam………………like this

There is no doubt that Holland America really love to show off their new ships during construction. I am sure many of you remember the brilliant Eurodam blog that kept us up to date daily with what was happening. And they are doing so once again with their new vessel……………here is the link if you want more.

And talking of new ships, here is a spectacular photo of the uber-luxurious sparkling new Seabourn Odyssey in St. Tropez.

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Beautiful isn’t she? And she needs to be to fit into the St. Tropez lifestyle because it is the most bonkers town in all the world. Blue and white yachts can be seen skimming the waves with naked Latvian girls on the foredeck.

Superficially, it looks like any other Riviera resort but the people……………… bugger me. I have never seen so much expensive hair in all my life. Sure, the Russians have more oil in their hair than you’d find in a Kazakhstan well. And their wives are as orange as …….ummmm…………an orange. But mostly, the whole place is crammed with people so bewitchingly beautiful that even Angelina Jolie would feel like a zoo animal. But this being France means a woman will look like Bo Derek……….but smell like Bo Diddley.

It’s Friday…………… here is Heidi

Hello Bloggers,

It’s been a very hot week here in the U.K. with temperatures into the 90’s.
I absolutely loved watching lots of matches at Wimbledon and I am looking forward to a weekend of more great tennis and another Williams final.
Kye is doing great, the heat is getting to her a bit so I try and keep her as cool as possible.
We both had our 6 week check up the other day and we both “passed”. Kye now weighs 9lb 8oz and she is growing every day. She smiles a lot now and I can’t wait for John to come home so he can see it for himself.
Here is another photo of her in a little summer dress.

Have a great weekend!
Heidi & Kye


7 weeks old……….my daughter is seven weeks old………and yes……..I miss them both more than words can describe.

But I don’t miss comments like this.

Guest: Ms _________ Ref: 840006674A
Cabin: ——- Booking#: ________ Added-Changed: 07/02/09 – 07/02/09

Gst reported clothes missing from cabin. Description: 2 skirts – green and beige. Guest stated that her state room steward had stolen them and that she wanted him removed from work and that Carnival owed her $100 for the missing items. Guest said that they had been on the bed when she left for breakfast but not there when she came back. Ms——- was very loud and shouting at GSA.
GSA notified Security department, 

GST called GSA and advised that the clothes were hanging in the closet. Guest slammed phone down on GSA
Nothing further.

I guess the stateroom steward was nice enough to hang the two skirts up in the closet ……………….after he had worn them!

And then there is old chestnut

Guest: Mrs. ————–Ref: 849006377A 
Cabin: ——— Booking#: ________ Added-Changed: 07/02/09 – 07/03/09

10:00pm Gst came and reported that she had removed her children from the Ticket To Ride show because the costumes were not suitable for children as they were too revealing. Guest wanted to speak to John (Cruise Director) and GSA said she would ask him to contact her.

I am sure I could go back to a previous blog written from here on the Carnival Freedom in 2007 and find a similar comment. And honestly……….I personally don’t think the costumes are really that revealing. Yes, there is one tongue in cheek number ………….. OK……..that might not have been the best reference……………..lets say that there is one fun number where the dancers show a bit of bare-faced cheek……………but that’s it. I watched both shows and both received huge standing ovations and I certainly didn’t see people leaving in droves because there was a bottom or two on display………… would have been untreatable if it was my arse up there……………..oh well.

So I called the guest this morning and apologized. I explained that I made an announcement before the show stating that the performance did include “show girl” style costuming and that the same statement was written in the Carnival Capers. But Mrs. Nobottom said she had not heard or seen any such information……….deaf, dumb and blind……….I wanted to say………….but instead I just showed her the Carnival Capers while I continued to apologize. I asked her how old her children were and was amazed when she said 4 and 6. I mean………… kids of that age realize that there is an arse on stage?……………..are they thinking “Goodness me………..this number is a bit raunchy and I don’t really need to see that beautiful showgirl’s rear end…………..I think I will leave now before I am scarred for life……….come on Mummy ………..lets go to Camp Carnival and play with Fun ship Freddy…………at least his arse isn’t hanging out.”

Anyway……………I apologized and I think in the end I won her around and she left to go take her kids swimming……..on Lido Deck……….where the kids will have up close and personal views of many a sagging scrotum.

Overall I have enjoyed my first week back as cruise director. It is a job I love with a passion. I have learned once again that I miss Heidi not being here as my ACD and indeed as the boss of the department. However, Jaime has done a terrific job and has been a huge help. I hope she is learning from me as well. I can be a hard task master I know but I do this as I did with Butch, Wee Jimmy and many more because I want them to succeed and be Carnival’s best ever cruise director. I think Jaime will certainly be ready to take the big chair next year. I know also that to manage the blog and the job I need an assistant and hopefully Carnival will allow me this privilege……..I just couldn’t do both …………well.

I have also learned that I need to be a CD as much as I possibly can. While my Brand Ambassador role is one that I cherish I know that I will best serve Carnival as a cruise director and hopefully therefore the people in Miami will find a way for me to do both. So, I am going to suggest that I work a 2 month contract followed by a month at home. This way I get to be a cruise director for most of next year while still enjoying quality time at home with the family. In between I can carry out what ever Brand Ambassador jobs are required of me.

I have been thinking how long I can do this for…………..the cruise directing I mean. And the answer is………..I don’t know…………….for as long as I can is the only answer I can come up with for now. I am sure if I were to ask for an office position one would be given to me but for now………..all I want to do is entertain………oh……..and have some rumpy pumpy ………..but that’s another story.

So unless Gerry Cahill leaves to become Simon Cowell’s replacement on American Idol………and Carnival makes me president, I am afraid that you are stuck with me for a bit longer.

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend and I will see you all on Monday.

Your friend

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.