Dear John- From Jaime

July 12, 2009 -

John Heald

Good morning everyone. Here is a Sunday Dear John letter from Jaime the world’s best Assistant Cruise Director called Jaime.

I will be back with a very full and busy blog tomorrow

Dear Bloggers (not Dear John, because I see him everyday and he already knows all of the following),

Working with John has been absolutely great, been somewhat what of a challenge, not completely sucked.  Yes, Cheryl I have been kept extremely busy, but such is the life of a potentially future cruise director.  Plus, being busy has given me the incredible opportunity to save money; something that my wonderful parents can tell you has never been one of my areas of strength.  I am so fortunate to have the immense pleasure of working with one of the top 784 cruise directors in the industry. and when I say “working with” I use that term loosely because our relationship can more accurately be described as me getting harassed and ridiculed about nearly everything I say.  Not technically everything — more accurately I have been ridiculed mostly about my clothing, my speech patterns, my love life and my inability to concentrate on less than 4 things at one time.

I have learned a lot in the past few cruises, it is not easy jumping onto a new ship…  (I probably should not use ship and jumping in the same sentence), getting used to an unfamiliar itinerary, making relationships and getting to know 1,200 new crew members, while simultaneously attempting to soak in as much as possible about John’s brilliant style of entertainment and scheduling.   I am doing the best I can, undoubtedly making mistakes along the way but graciously accepting tips on how to improve, be a good leader and focus on one thing rather than taking on 12 projects simultaneously.

After spending the first few cruises on board attempting to wrap my head about exactly what I was doing here, I finally had the opportunity to get off in one of my all time favorite ports of call – Cozumel.  This was such a treat because I had not visited this area since my first contract on the Carnival Imagination a year and a half ago. Plus, the ship had not been to Cozumel for over two months because of the whole piggy, ET Phone Home thingy.

I remember this location well, I close my eyes and can envision Cozumel as a gorgeous sunny paradise with beautiful turquoise oceans and small rivers of La Choza sauce abundantly flowing.  As I disembarked the ship and set foot on the gangway my heart leaped with anticipation and excitement, finally having the opportunity to experience the positive memories of Cozumel once again, and creating new ones because I may have forgotten some of them for one reason or another ….  It was just like how I had remembered it, except for more nick naks and less English speakers.

One of the most challenging parts of my job is becoming familiarized with the tours that the guests are offered so that if I have to do a travel talk, or if a guest asks me for an opinion on a certain excursion I can give an accurate and honest assessment of what they will experience.  So even though it was my time to get off and enjoy the day, I instead opted to dedicate time to my craft and travel to the beautiful resort of Playa Mia.  Making the ultimate sacrifice of enjoying the delicious endless buffets of food, sampling the complimentary drinks and enjoying the pool and beach chairs that are all included in this wonderful tour… I would describe it as moderately painful at best.  Well, in all honesty, it was actually quite enjoyable. Until of course I returned to the ship and my skin matched the lobster that was being served for dinner.  The day was simply amazing, I even had the chance to try the wave runners, experience the exhilarating parasailing and have some fun with the snorkeling options that were all available at the resort.  I learned an important strategy when snorkeling… always bring two things with you whenever you snorkel.  #1) a snorkeling buddy #2) a knife… that way if you ever see a shark, you stab your buddy and SWIM AWAY as fast as you can.  Fortunately, no sharks were seen this day. Falling off wave runners, getting bruises that are pretty shades of purple and blue then being hurled 500 feet into the air attached to a rainbow colored parachute and string thingy while overlooking gorgeous waters and spotting the Carnival Freedom docked in the distance sounds like my idea of a perfect day.  It was nice to be back in Cozumel.

In our next port of call, Costa Rica, I didn’t need any lavish excursions to experience my thrills.  After a full day of office work, I was sitting in the main lounge watching the Talent Show Rehearsal, when the dance captain Mark rushed over to inform me that one of the dancers noticed grayish black smoke pouring out from under my cabin door.  I ran down three flights of stairs to deck 0 as fast as I possibly could, my heart was pounding, mostly because I had just run down 3 flights of stairs, and I have not been going to the gym as much as I used to.  I found the fire patrol officials in my cabin, saving the day as always.  All of my belongings smelled worse than Istanbul but thankfully my pictures, clothes and important memories all remained entirely intact.  Although I may have had a minor heart attack when Mark informed about the fire, all of the proper procedures were followed according to plan and this electrical issue was extinguished before it could become a problem.  Apparently the smoke detector went off, the bridge and fire patrol was notified, they rushed to the scene and saved the day.  I must confirm for you that all of my hair appliances were indeed unplugged!   The electrical officer and chief of refrigeration ended up taking my fridge in case that was the source of the problem.  Now, even though my sugar free vanilla pudding is ruined, I am incredibly thankful that myself, the ship and my brand new iPhone are all safe and sound.  All thanks to our heroes that live and work on board the Carnival Freedom.

In conclusion, I am having a great time here on board the new ship.  I am looking forward to exploring and experiencing these brilliant new ports next time we do this run as well as learning more from John.  Time to head off to one of my favorite activities of the cruise our Fun Hop and Rockin’ Under the Stars Deck Party.

I love my porthole!!!

Hope to see you on the Bloggers Cruises on the Carnival Dream!

The Carnival Freedom docked in Cozumel

The Carnival Freedom docked in Cozumel



The onboard fire patrol saving the day

The onboard fire patrol saving the day

=) Jaime D
Asst. Cruise Director
Carnival Freedom

Thanks to all

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.