I am not sure if you have ever seen the World’s Strongest Man event on ESPN ……have you? ………..well…you should………it’s one of the greatest sporting spectacles……….in the world.

Now ……….watching Usain Bolt run 100 meters in 9.22 seconds or the Dwyane Wade explode down the court to dunk the basketball is very enjoyable………but if you haven’t watched the World’s Strongest Man……..you have missed something very special.

Watching a man the size of the Carnival Pride hauling a 10-ton truck down a track and then carrying a Hummer’s wheel on his back before picking a barrel full of beer of the ground with his teeth………..without farting………..is absorbing and thrilling TV.

Indeed, these events – some of which may, admittedly, be figments of my imagination – are impressive feats, whereas hitting a ball with a bat or kicking it between some posts becomes interesting only within the specific contexts of specific sports. And the average kid would much prefer to gloat to his mates that his father was the “strongest man in the world” than a baseball thrower or a world champion cycle person thingy. Only being able to claim that your dad was “Spiderman,” “James Bond” or “Micky Arison” would be more appealing.

There are so many things to watch out for. It is surely only a matter of time before a contestant poos his pants live on TV under the physical pressure of lifting a stone slab or accidentally squeezes a spectator to death during an over-enthusiastic celebration.

And then there are the interviews between the events. With the exception of one Nordic contestant who dominated the competition in the nineties and whose brain seemed to have turned to muscle along with the rest of him, I don’t think there is a single sentence I’ve ever heard uttered by a WSM competitor that hasn’t made me think: wow!

The contestants have great names as well like American Derek Poundstone who said in an interview “I wear an XXXXXL or XXXXXXXXL. Trying to find jeans is the worst because my thigh is bigger than most people’s houses.” ………..bloody hell….can you imagine his thingy ……….I wish he was here on the Carnival Freedom because we need a new limbo pole!

It’s not pretty of course……….these chaps would never make it onto the front cover of GQ magazine. But then again Johnny Depp couldn’t pull a 747 down a runway with his bare hands could he?

You may wonder why I am rabbiting on about men with muscles the size of Rosanne Barr ……..well………it’s because many of you probably met one of the World’s Strongest men ………Mark Felix………..ex-bartender for Carnival Cruise Lines……..and a great mate of mine. Here he is.

Mark Felix - Stong Man

Mark Felix - Stong Man 2

Mark Felix - Stong Man 3

1. Let’s find out about you Felix or can I call you Fe? Can you tell us where you are from and how and when you started with Carnival Cruise Lines and what you did?

I’m originally from Grenada, I joined CCL in 1987 at the age of 18, the cruise ships were a great opportunity for us in the islands, and I stayed with CCL until 1997. I was a bartender.

2. What are your memories of those days as a bartender? What was your favorite part of the job?

The traveling and meting people, bringing out new ships, and seeing previous cruisers coming back years later.

3. I always remember you being a very fit guy but how did you decide to take it to the next level and get involved in the Strong Man contests?

By accident, actually. Being a big guy I made up numbers in a comp for a friend, (having never touched the equipment before) I came 3rd beating some of the best guys in Britain. I was hooked.

4. For those of us who don’t really understand what these contests are all about can you describe some of the events that these championships involve and which is your favorite and the one you hate the most.

Well, there’s many organizers and promoters worldwide I think the most well known is World’s Strongest Man, I’ve competed in this competition four times. My favorite events are the dead lift and Hercules hold because of my good grip. My least favorite would be anything overhead because of my long arms.

5. I have seen you on TV many times and have always been proud of you. Can you tell us about your greatest professional achievement so far?

That’s difficult. I came in 4th in China at World’s Strongest Man in 2006 and I hold the world record for the iron mind rolling thunder being the first person to break the 300 pound barrier. I’m also proud of my sponsors Met-Rx & Gold’s gym fitness that supports me in my training and competing.

6. You and I have the same physique. What is your daily training routine and do you do any bodyguard work, I may need you for the next Bloggers cruise.

Well John you know I learned it all from you. I train 6 days a week, circuits, cardio, weights, stamina, event training – and of course I can be your bodyguard anytime.

7. Now I want to talk to Denny. Can you tell us about your life at Carnival and what your favorite memories are and how you came to fall in love with Fe?

I was with CCL from 93-97 had the best job in Camp Carnival, would still be there now if we hadn’t wanted our own little campers. As for falling for Fe, when you least expect it, a bit like you and Heidi.

8. You now have a beautiful family and a very successful business, can you tell us about them both.

Thank you we have our 3 boys — Felden 10, Journey 6 and Medley 4. I’m a designer as well as being Fe’s P.A and the boy’s taxi driver, not enough hours in the day but I count my lucky stars.

9. Denny, you must be very proud of your husband……..but…….who’s the boss?

Do you really need to ask – Me of course! He doesn’t know what day it is half the time or where in the world he is.

10. Fe – what’s next for you. Where is your next tournament and what’s in you’re future.

Well, I’ve been busy this past month, I think I started in Boston, then Canada, followed by Poland and just back from Moscow. I’m home for a couple of weeks then I have the Giants live qualifier for the World’s Strongest Man in Poland so I’m busy training for that, hoping to secure another spot at World’s Strongest Man.

Denny was the youth director that brought out the Carnival Destiny with Heidi and I. Heidi worked with Denny back then as part of her youth staff team and they have been great friends ever since. So, if you watch the World’s Strongest Man and you see Mark Felix…………ex Carnival bartender………give him a cheer because he is part of our family……….I could take him though ………….the big girl.

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

David Asked:
Hi John – Please Reply
This is my first question since the birth of your beautiful daughter. Congrats!

I have 2 questions.

First we just missed sailing with you on the Liberty, and Splendor, by just a few weeks. We just got off the Freedom on 6/14, so we missed you by a week. Now we are booked on the Dream for 3/27/10. Are you going to be our CD, or are you going to keep trying to avoid sailing with us? 🙂

Second, we would love to take a tour of the galley. I have read online of some ships offering this, and some not. Do you know if the Dream offers this, and how can we set it up?

We love the blog, and enjoy the information and humor. I hope you always find a way to keep it going during your busy schedule!
David & Catherine

John Says:
Hello David and Catherine
It seems that we are never destined to sail with each other and I feel so rotten by telling you that I leave the Carnival Freedom………….on March 27………I can’t believe our luck………I am so sorry.

The company is evaluating the whole galley tour procedure at the moment. To be honest it seems that we do not have a clear and precise company policy on this at the moment. Let me explain. During the recent swine flu or H1PIG thingy we decided that it was probably best not to have hundreds of people traipsing through the galley so these tours were stopped. However the main scare seems to be over and while some ships have re-opened their galleys for tours some have not. For example, there is a galley tour on the Carnival Spirit but not here on the Carnival Freedom. In fact I wrote an e-mail about this to Cyrus Marfatia, our vice president of all things food, and asked him to clarify what we were going to do. That was yesterday (Tuesday) and I am waiting for an answer. As soon as I know I will post what’s going to happen here on the blog thingy.

I hope we can take you on your Carnival Dream and once again I am so very sorry I won’t be the CD when you sail…………regardless though you will have a brilliant time I promise
Best wishes to you both

Joyce Asked:
The new Dream web page is awesome! Thank all the techies involved in its creation. The only problem I have is having to wait 110 days to board her!

I wrote you earlier with a request for Med. info & you suggested Princess. After checking it out, along with other Med. cruises, I decided to give Costa a try.

Two BTB eastern & western Med. cruises on Costa will give us all the ports we wish to visit.

My question-please reply- is what is your opinion on Costa for an 18yr old girl & her Granny? I’ve sailed on Costa twice in the past (before falling in love with Carnival) & am ready to give it another try. Your opinion would be appreciated. I trust you to be objective.
Remember tomorrow is Kye Friday!

John Says:
Hello Joyce
I will pass on your words to Stephanie and Stephanie and Stephanie and the three other Stephanies for all their hard work that has resulted in the superb carnival.com/dream page …………….thanks for taking the time to mention it.

Your back to back cruise with Costa sounds extraordinary and that is one lucky granddaughter you have there. Costa is an exceptional line and no other cruise company is more at home in Europe than Costa Cruises. The European flavors you experience ashore will be repeated once you get back onboard. You will both love the food and the service and the fact that your fellow passengers are from all over the world. You will hear both the passengers and crew speak Italian, French, Spanish and English and if you wanted your granddaughter to have a truly international cruise experience complimented by the finest food and service……….then Costa was the right cruise line for you both.

Please let us know all about your experiences won’t you. Not too long now and your Carnival Dream will be here.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
Best wishes

Larry Asked:
Reply needed please. John, since we have only gone on 7 cruises with our 8th one coming up on the August 5th Northbound Alaska cruise, we have not achieved the coveted platinum status yet. However, we do have VIP status through our Carnival Vacation Club status.

Therefore, we receive the priority boarding as well as some of the other perks given the platinum status cruisers. I was wondering if the laundry service is included for the Vacation Club VIP cruisers.

John Says:
Hello Larry
Your seven cruises and the one more coming soon shows your loyalty to Carnival and for that I say a big thank you. You will love your Alaskan adventures but the only down side is you will have to wash your own underpants and socks as the laundry benefits are still two more cruises away. Do remember though that Carnival has this “fill a bag” bargain on all our ships. The stateroom stewards will give you an over sized paper bag which you stuff full of laundry. You leave it on your bed and the next day your laundry will be returned washed and pressed….. for only $15…………not bad.

I hope you have a brilliant time on the Carnival Spirit and I look forward to your review.
Best wishes

Faye Asked:
I am gearing up for my 10th Carnival cruise with a group of 20 going on the Spirit Alaska Aug 19-26. I am a Caribbean cruise, but promised my husband when he turned 60 (I thought the day would never come) that we would go to Alaska – and voila! Here it is. I know ‘another’ cruise line sponsors cruise critic meet & greets if the group gets to 25…we have a large group chatting on the board and want to do a little get together August 20 at the Fantail Bar, aft on the Lido Deck. We want to go to the travel lecture so though 1pm would be a good meeting time. Is there anything Carnival can put on for us? Ships on a stick, some drinks? We would be appreciative of anything.

Finally, I saw some pictures of guests with little blogger bobble heads of YOU – they are just adorable. Does one get those only if they go on your blogger cruise? I thought maybe that finally getting to VIP status; I would get something cute in my stateroom?

Oops, I lied – this is finally…my little grandson will turn 2 a few days before we sail. Any advice on how to keep him busy on sea days?
Thanks for your interesting and amusing blog…it is the only one I subscribe to.

John Says:
Hello Faye
I would be happy to arrange a Cruise Critic meet and greet for you and will arrange this with Chris “Bubba” Roberts, the cruise director, and our groups department. I have arranged this for many similar CC groups these past two years I have been writing the blog thingy. I am sure Chris will stop by and I am sure he can provide you with a few prizes as you mentioned. I will suggest that we go with 1 pm on the first sea day as the meeting time.

Your grandson has just turned 2 which means he has just got himself an all access pass to Camp Carnival and honestly…….I would let him enjoy his new playmates and the facilities and the watchful and caring staff all of which will mean he has a fun time while you have a stress free cruise.

Yes…….the bobble heads……I am still surprised that so many people wanted one of these on the last Bloggers Cruise but we did indeed run out of them and I banned Carnival from making anymore ……….they made me look fat! Although I cannot send you a bobble head I will be happy to send you something if you would kindly remind me a week or so before you sail. Look out for a “Cruise Critic” meet in the today at a glance section of the Capers and have a wonderful cruise.
Best to you all

Kevin Asked:
John, please reply
My wife and I have sailed exclusively on Carnival now for 5 Cruises. We can’t imagine cruising on any other ships. Last year, we decided to take our children and my parents. We spent 5 nights and 6 days on the Carnival Elation and had a blast. My dad had never taken a vacation where he didn’t drive and even he had a great time. Before I forget, please pass on a big “Hello Mate hope you’re having a cracker of a day” to CD Stewart Dunn… We still talk about him, he is great!
Unfortunately, my dad passed away in March so he won’t be with us. Despite our loss, we are honoring our promise to take a family cruise at least once a year. My wife, kids, mom and I are sailing on the Aug. 16th sailing with the Carnival Splendor. We can hardly wait!!

If possible, I’d like to ask a favor of you… Can you please confirm that my mom will be seated with us at early dining? We have requested this through our PVP but don’t feel very confident with his promises. He’s a great guy and all but we’ve experienced some issues with him which makes us a little unsure if he is following through with our requests. Also, we requested to be seated at a table alone. We agree that it’s nice to meet other people but we’ve had experiences where the people we sat with made it so uncomfortable that we actually ate on the lido for the entire cruise! The lido is great but not for 7 days!!

Thanks so much for your assistance to all of our requests. You provide a great service to the Carnival customers. My daughter Marissa is turning 10 the day before we set sail. She thinks it’s her birthday present to be on the cruise. Ever since she was a baby, she has been referred as the “Princess” well; she is the “Princess cruiser that sails Carnival Cruise Line” now…

John Says:
Hello Kevin and Kathryn
Let me start by sending you my deepest condolences at the loss of your father……….our thoughts are with you. I will be happy to help you with your dining request. I understand that at times like this you all need to have some family time together. Please can you send me the cabin numbers and the names of all who want to eat together and can you send this to me 10 days before you sail via the blog thingy. That way I will not forget. The maitre d Miguel will make sure you are looked after…..he is amazing.

I will pass on your best wishes to Stu who as you said is a bonza cruise director. My best to you all and a big hello to the CCL Princess

Brett Asked:
Hi John! I will be sailing on the Destiny next month with my girlfriend of 5 1/2 years. We actually met on a cruise and I find it fitting that I ask her to marry me on a cruise! Do you have any ideas or suggestions about how I should proceed with such a task? Have you every helped set up a proposal on board? I appreciate your help as I am having trouble thinking of the most memorable way to do so.
Best Regards,

John Says:
Hello Brett
It will be my pleasure to help you mate. What I need you to do is write your name and cabin number with the words “Marriage Proposal” on it and leave it as soon as you are onboard for the attention of the cruise director at the guest services desk. I will alert him to be on standby to help you propose to your lady live on stage. When are you sailing?
Let me know and we will tape this for you and you can watch it time and time again. And if she says no you can play it backwards and it will have a happy ending.
Looking forward to hearing from you
Best wishes

Melissa Asked:
John, (please reply)
OK, I appear to have had a comment disappear into internet heaven. I had asked about a place on the Carnival Dream for non-potty trained children to splash in the water and then I posted your response to me on a thread on Cruise Critic (link http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1015363&page=2) and it appears I started a small “discussion” about whether diapered children really had an area on the Carnival Splendor so I guess can you clarify/confirm for everyone whether or not the Carnival Splendor and the Carnival Dream really have an area/pool for diapered/non-potty trained children, apparently there is some confusion?

My second question is this, I was talking to my travel agent the other day regarding our Carnival Dream cruise Feb 13, 2010 and I have a couple of things if you could help me with (I know; remind you a week before we cruise) but I am also curious how many children will be aboard as my TA says this cruise is almost completely sold out and I know it is in the middle of the school year. I am hoping my 3yr old and 7 yr old will get to meet lots of new friends. Another thing is, would it be possible to request a dining room for our group, the last cruise we were on was on the Carnival Miracle and the only dining room there is in the aft of the ship and my husband and a friend of ours (that is going with us again) couldn’t handle the motion and eating all at the same time. They had to leave the dining room early most nights due to not feeling well, so we would really like to be assigned to the Crimson Dining Room, not the Crimson II Dining Room. Finally, I wonder if you could set something up for my 7yr old daughter with one of the showgirls (?). My daughter loves to dance and perform on stage for her dance recitals and I think she might really like to get to see what these girls have to do to get ready to go on stage for the big production shows. Again TIA for all your help. I love reading your blog and look forward to it everyday. Can’t wait for updates on Fridays from Heidi and Kye and hope they aren’t missing you too much.

John Says:
Hello Melissa
There is indeed a kid’s splash pool but this is for the younger children who are aged …… well …….old enough to splash about in a pool which I think most non-potty trained babies are not. Let me confirm if there is a minimum age……….but I don’t think so…………..I will confirm with Vance but as far as I know your three year old will be able to enjoy the splash pool.

I checked with reservations and the cruise of Feb 13 is indeed selling very well indeed. However no figures are available yet as to how many children are sailing. I can promise you this though for sure……….there will be kids onboard………….and your 3-year-old and 7-year-old will have an incredible time in the huge Camp Carnival complex and make some great new friends. I will confirm the count a few weeks before you sail. It will be my pleasure to arrange for your seven year old to meet one of your Carnival Dream dancers…………and yes…………….as my mind is like Swiss cheese and because they have the small matter of learning three new shows at the moment ……..please remind me a few weeks before you sail and I will ask Claire the dance captain to make it so.

Now, you mention group bookings in the dining room…….how many is this? If it is a large group I will go through our groups department however if it is just a family and friends group I will ask Ken the Maitre D to help me directly.

So let me know about the group and don’t forget to write to me before you sail so I can help you and your family. Thanks for the kind words and best wishes to you all.

Waiting4acruise Asked:
Please Reply.
I am surprised you have never been CD on the Conquest. It is a wonderful ship. I will be on the Conquest again for the September 20 2009 sailing as part of the Conquest Crazies Cruise Critic group. Rumor has it that you may be joining us on the cruise.

You have asked a while back if you cruise for a specific cruise director. The cruise directors on my 6 previous Carnival cruises have been wonderful.

On our last Conquest cruise we had a wonderful Assistant Maitre D. Her name is Slavica Dimitrieva. She passed our table and other tables at least twice every night. She remembered our names. She asked how our day was. She asked how our dinner was. Thursday we were eating lunch in the Lido deck. She stopped by to ask how our day went. She will be an excellent Maitre D. I am wondering if she has been promoted to Maitre D and will she be on our September 20 Conquest cruise?

John Says:
Hello tjrex
I know……..I have never set foot on the Carnival Conquest. I had just delivered the Carnival Legend and the brilliant and much missed Corey Schmidt was chosen to be her first cruise director. I will for sure be there one day soon.

I am sorry to say that Slavica has just recently retired from Carnival and is now at home with her family in Macedonia………..we will miss her.

Please let me know if you need anything else
Best wishes

Sara Asked:
Please respond! I just have this suggestion that I’ve thrown out to several people. I’ve posted it here, mentioned it to a maitre d, and even sent in a suggestion on the contact us section of carnival.com. Maybe this is not as brilliant an idea as I think it is, and if that’s the case you can shoot me straight and I’ll quit asking about it. Is there any way that carnival can start making a children’s birthday cake for sale in the shape of fun ship Freddy? My son asked for a fun ship Freddy party for his birthday this year, so we booked him a cruise on the fantasy out of New Orleans. We plan to have the room decorated and wanted to get a cake for the day of his birthday, but I can’t find anything that looks fun for kids! I think a cake shaped like Freddy would be so cool! I’m sure other people would buy them too! I sort of feel like I’m in a time crunch because our cruise leaves October 3rd with the bday on the 5th. If you think this is a ridiculous idea I’ll understand, but let me know if you think it’s doable or if you can put in a good word for it. Thanks so much!
PS. ~ Your new daughter is just gorgeous, and I appreciate that you share her with the world.

John Says:
Hello Sara
Let me start by saying thanks for the kind words about Kye whom I miss so very much. This is not a brilliant idea……..it’s a brilliant idea that we should have done years ago and I can’t believe that we never have. Tell you what……..I am going to get right on this. I just had sugar free cakes added to the bon voyage list and I am going to make sure we get a Fun Ship Freddy one done to……..and when I do………….yours will be free for coming up with the idea. Please also send me a reminder when you sail so I can send your son a birthday gift.
Thanks again and best wishes

That’s all for today and please remember to mark your letters John Please Reply if you need me to help you…………thanks for all the great comments.

And my thanks to Host Mach for sending me this great quote

Howdy Crazies! Greetings from the Splendor! So far we’re having a marvelous cruise. Jim and I agree this is the nicest cabin we’ve had on any ship, and the food so far easily surpasses our expectations. I just love the variety in the Lido. Our cabin steward and wait staff are great!

By the way, I just noticed that Heidi’s letter last Friday seems not to have been posted…….and it looks like it got lost somewhere in blog space. The photo of Kye was there but not Heidi’s letter ……….anyway she will send another one on Friday.

Carnival’s Vacation Protection Plan program has always been something we have been very proud of………well……..it just got even better.

Carnival Introduces Severe Weather and Job Loss Protection Under It’s Cruise Vacation Protection Plan – Press Release

Let’s read some letters from yesterday’s morning show.

July 15- Letter1

Letter 2 - July 15

Last letter- first page

Last letter- second to last page

Last Letter- last page

So here we are in Grand Cayman today and the tender operation is in full swing ……..and no ………I am not going to bang on again about Cayman not building a pier………it’s an old record and I doubt I will ever see one built in my lifetime.

The guests this week are having a lot of fun and once again the tours to stingray city are the most popular. You know, I can’t write the word stingray or talk about this creature on stage without thinking of Steve Irwin………the Crocodile Hunter.

I miss the exuberant, golden-haired, khaki-wearing and apparently fearless bloke and his exuberant cries of “Crikey!” and “Look at this beauty!” when he died I remember there were some men and women with beards who said that his death was the animal world taking its revenge, as if the stingray that killed him was part of a secret cell.

Anyway……….I miss his antics and I always think of him when I talk about the friendly stingrays of Grand Cayman where today 434 guests from the Carnival Freedom will be playing with these beautiful and majestic creatures of the sea and I am sure………at least one little lad ………….will be stroking a stingray and saying………..”crikey…….he’s a bit grumpy.” ……then again if it’s a bit grumpy ….he………is probably a she.

There is no doubt that these days we all need to laugh as much as possible and one place laughter was guaranteed was last night here on the Carnival Freedom. That’s because I had the pleasure of introducing long time Carnival favorite ……….the hysterically brilliant “Happy Cole.”

You know, we just took a poll amongst us cruise directors as to who was our top two favorite comedians and while I make no apologies by saying one of mine ………..was Happy Cole. If you see his name on a comedy billboard or in the Carnival Capers………..go………..go to his show armed with a huge box of tissues to wipe away the tears that will be running down your cheeks ………..and down the inside of your leg!

As a cruise director you always hope that when you walk out on stage and tell the audience that the entertainer you are about to introduce is a great comedian and guaranteed to make you laugh ……………that he or she actually will. You see, in the old days when we had only a few ships you knew every entertainer who had flown in to perform. These days with 22 ships and hundreds of entertainers you are going to always have someone who you personally have never seen before. This can be difficult because if you say “Please welcome to the stage the hilarious comedy of the incomparable John Smith”…….and John Smith turns out to be as funny as a bleeding hemorrhoid …………then you look like a total idiot for saying he or she was funny.

Now, thankfully that is a very, very rare thing at Carnival. However, there is a certain comfort in knowing that the chap waiting behind the curtain is as guaranteed to make the guests laugh until it hurts as it is guaranteed that Paris Hilton will be having rumpy pumpy tonight………..and like Paris……..Happy Cole is that guarantee………and he……… like Paris……… does it twice a night ………..three if you include the midnight R-rated show.

I haven’t seen Happy for four or five years and it was great to watch him in action. His insights into life and being a passenger on a cruise ship are extraordinary. Now, I don’t like to give plugs for products on this blog thingy of ours but I will say this……….if you like Carnival and you want to laugh…..pop on over to http://www.cdbaby.com/Search/aGFwcHkgY29sZQ%3d%3d/0 or type in Happy Cole in the search thingy……..his CD is simply hilarious and was recorded on a Carnival ship…………..let me know what you think

As for my other favorite……..well……..of course that has to go to Carnival’s 344th best comedian …………..my mate Al Ernst. You know, both Happy and Al are comedians but are very different. You could put Megan Fox and Judge Judy in stockings and suspenders and have them shimmy down a catwalk…………both would be popular………….but for very different reasons ……………… Happy is Megan……..Al is the Judge.

Seriously, I know many of the bloggers fell in love with Al during our past Bloggers Cruises and having Al waiting behind that curtain means that without fear or trepidation I can tell the audience they have the best walking out to entertain……….because they do.

Al’s outlook on life has a unique comedy appeal to it and by using self-deprecating humor and true life stories he wins the audience over immediately………he is a comfort blanket to them ……. and me.

But what makes Al that extra bit special is that he always goes that extra mile…….to the buffet ……….and that extra mile to talk to guests along the promenade and ashore…….something I wish more of our entertainers would do. Al has become a sort of talisman for Carnival as well. I mean, how many other comedians do you know who when the Carnival Destiny was eight hours delayed arriving to Boston in 1997 would stand on a chair, grab a bull horn and entertain 2,000 upset passengers who had been waiting in the terminal building………OK………….they threw fruit at him and shoved the bull horn up his bottom………but hey…….he tried……..no one else would have never had thought to do that.

Here is Al once again showing his loyalty to carnival and that he is prepared to have fun wherever he is.

Eseaview Newsletter

Al will be with me next cruise and if you are in need of a great laugh and want to find out more pop on over to www.alernst.com
It’s a great website and please drop by and say hello to the E Man.
So, let me ask you……….do you like our comedy shows onboard……….and who is your favorite comedian or comedienne? I would like to know and so would the Miami Office ………who makes your cruise vacation one that is filled with tears of laughter?

I have to be honest and tell you that I didn’t feel like laughing this morning. Heidi is of course busy with Kye and she will be writing an update on Friday complete with more photos. She is very busy being a Mum and therefore she asked me to help her with a concern. It appears that our credit card had been used to buy $1,040 worth of carpet cleaning equipment. Now I know that sometimes after eating a curry I don’t make it to the toilet on time but purchasing some industrial strength carpet cleaning equipment is a bit much to remove a little brown stain from the toilet mat.

So…..I had to call the bank……in the UK………which automatically transfers you to a call center.

It is rumored on a Cruise Critic thread thingy that not only will two in ten of us die while holding to be put through to a call center but that one in ten of us already has — i.e., they can’t tell the difference between sitting on the phone, paying 50 cents a minute to listen to Kenny Bloody G…… and hell.

What everyone needs to know about call centers is that there is only one person in the building you are holding for who can actually solve your problem. He will be a man….. usually called Mr. Patel and once you talk to him everything will be OK.

Usually, one only gets to talk to him after three months of to-ing, fro-ing, and screaming at various 17 year olds with half a ton of metal piercings in their head.

So what I have learned is that to make sure of finally getting through to an operative, you immediately say using your best Indian accent is “I need to speak to Mr. Patel…….it is his uncle here and I am having a big problem that is needing his attention.” They then put you right through to Mr. Patel who has already removed the charges for the industrial carpet cleaning equipment based on the fact that is outside my normal spending profile of hemorrhoid cream, diapers…………. and my annual subscription to Big Jugs magazine.

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.