TGIF

July 24, 2009 -

John Heald

Guest: Mrs. ________ Ref: 840098948A
Cabin: ——- Booking#: _______ Added-Changed: 07/22/09 – 07/22/09

SHOW TOO LOUD
Mrs.______ came to the GSD to say that she and her husband had left the show tonight because the volume was too loud. Guest was very upset and said that she should be compensated for missing the show. GSA said that she would pass the information to the cruise director and hotel director. Tasked to cruise director.


I know that there were many bad things about living in the past such as dinosaurs ready to eat you, crapping in a cave and no Diet Coke but there was one marvelous thing our smelly ancestors had that we’ve lost – a nice bit of peace and quiet.

If you were a peasant wandering through the forest, you might have terrible teeth and absolutely no sense that the Earth was round, but at least there wasn’t much noise. No car alarms, no pneumatic drills, no flight paths, dishwasher beep or elevator Muzak, no tss-tss-tss iPods or that bloody annoying Nokia ringtone… No screaming Italian tourists. Just some birds tweeting and the occasional chomping noise as a caveman have his head bitten off by a Megasorearse.

Not anymore. The soundtrack to modern life is getting louder and more persistent. Even here on the ship the fridge in my cabin beeps at me if I leave it open for more than three seconds. And when was the last time you could honestly say you sat down and read a book without some great, bellowing noise ruining your concentration – a truck reversing, a car alarm overreacting or some couple in the cabin next door having a massive session of rumpy pumpy……….lucky bastards.

Here on the ships we have become very conscious about the levels of sound in all our lounges and in the main theatre. Levels have been set that fall in accordance with company guidelines and are closely monitored by myself and the onboard technicians. Now, we do get a few comments about the levels of sound in the main show room especially during our big production shows.

However, experience has told me that before rushing off to apologize to this couple I need to check a few things out………and without patting myself on the back…….well…..OK……..maybe a little patting…………..I was right.

Before I met with the guests I looked at their details on the manifest and sure enough my fears were realized…….they were in their late seventies. So I already knew what was coming next and sure enough when I met them I asked them to show me exactly where they were sitting during the show…….and I was right again………..deck 3 …port side …….. right under one of the main speakers………oh and the man……..was wearing a hearing aid which I guess amplified the sound even more.

I had asked the sound technician to report on what DB (decibel level) he had run the show at and he told me it was between 95 and 100 DB. Now consider that a normal person talks at 60 DB and rock concert by someone like Motorhead or Throbbing Gristle runs around 150 DB ……..you can see that our shows run within proper parameters.

However………and as I explained to my new friends………..if you sit directly under a speaker and you have sensitive ears…………it’s going to be too loud. So, I ask all of you to remember this. When you sit down in our shows……….look up……………do you have a speaker over your head………….if the answer is yes and you are an older guest with hearing aids or you have sensitive hearing, may I kindly suggest you move to the center of the room or in the balcony where the sound will not be as direct ………or as loud.

Unfortunately my explanation was not well received by Mr. and Mrs. Ssshh who bizarrely demanded the sum of $80 compensation each from the guest services manager Anna and I.

Well, they didn’t get $80 but they did get an apology and a fruit basket from me and now as I sit here this Friday morning in my underpants there is peace and quiet. It’s 6:45 am and the phone won’t ring and the raspberry won’t beep for at least another two hours and the only sounds in my cabin are the click, click, click of the keyboard and the gentle “wooommmpppphhh” of my arse.

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

Clay Asked:
John: (Please reply)
We just got off the Legend 1 ½ hours ago and back home in Seminole, Fl. The VIP departure was tremendous as was the entire cruise. This was our 33rd cruise (13th on Carnival) with 4 cabins. Loved our suite and our huge balcony (Cat11). Again any cruise is a great cruise! But hope you take the following comments as constructive and hopefully make it better for those that follow. Overall the ship seems to be in need of a refurbish – broken furniture, worn paint and rust around the pool, etc. Also the area around the outside grill was terribly slippery (even with deck shoes or sneakers) when it had any moisture on it and I and many people almost fell down – one lady did and was hurt. No excuse for slippery areas around those grills.

Suggest some things need improvement in the Cruise Staff area. Nothing ran on time! Bingo, shows, activities, etc – and one scheduled sports trivia – no Cruise Staff even showed up. Never saw the CD staff or CD anywhere in the public areas chatting or visiting – only saw them or the CD herself at their scheduled hostings.

Casino – you guys are making $150/hr in rake on the PokerPro and we all felt that we were on an island away from Casino Staff and bar service. Had to go into the casino to find waiter many times and it would have been nice for the Manager to offer all of us a free drink once in awhile for all the rake we contributed (RCCL does that). Also my wife said Carnival has stopped giving a free drink to the bingo audience member who verifies the winner – assume Corporate must be trying to really save money. The may be the reason for the following too:

Finally and nit-picky – this is the 1st cruise in history that bar snacks were not offered anywhere. When asked the Purser’s Office they said it was stopped 2 months ago for Swine Flu. John that is one lame excuse – if so Carnival better take the casino chips off the tables, buttons off the elevators, and arm rest off the chairs (you get my point I hope). Seems more like a nickel and dime management saving tool than health issue. I’ll let you know if it is industry wide on my next 2 RCCL cruises.

Regards and thanks for Carnival for making a great family week.

John Says:
Hello Clay
Thanks so much for this great review. Safety is without doubt our number one concern and I was sorry therefore to read about the slip and fall incidents on the Carnival Legend. Marble does indeed get slippery through condensation and through people exiting the pools and whirlpools and not drying themselves off properly. Our staff are constantly mopping and drying these areas and I know we have the “watch your step” signs in place but………as always ………we can try to do better and I will make sure the ship’s command sees these comments and acts accordingly.

I have never in my 21 years heard of the free drink a bingo that you mentioned. That has not been something I have ever seen and maybe it was something one of the cruise directors was doing and is actually a good idea………..I will pass it around the fleet.

I can’t really comment on the free drinks in the casino. I do know that we have an Ocean Players Club that provides many different benefits to regular players but once again it is a well taken comment and one I shall be interested to hear the reply on from the casino manager.

I was though disappointed to read that you did not think that the cruise director or staff were visible enough and that in one case an activity went without anyone being there to host it. I appreciate you telling me and I will pass this along.

I am sorry but whoever told you about the bar snack was wrong as we are serving them at our casino bars and cigar bars. We had stopped them as mentioned as per CDC rules and regulations but they should have been put back into service. I will make sure they are.

I will be interested to read you reports from RCCL when you return from having to pay for a steak in the dining room and for room service after midnight……….it will be truly interesting to read which brand offers the true value for money……although I think I know the answer already.
Thanks again for the remarks and I wish you and your family happy cruising and hope to hear from you soon
Best wishes to you all.
John

Cruisin Cindy Asked:
John (please reply)
I have a question about the Carnival Dream.

While she looks super… why all the hype???

Let’s face it she is the same hull as the Conquest class of ships.

Yes she does have a different stern end but at the end of the day she is nothing more than a slightly stretched Conquest class ship.

The Carnival Freedom that you are currently serving on carries 3600 passengers. And at only 130,000 tons she is far from being the largest cruise liner.

While I understand that she is a NEW ship joining the Carnival Fleet I guess I am confused by all the hype…
The new world’s largest cruise ship is Oasis of the Seas, at 220,000 gross registered tons and currently under construction in Finland, is Oasis of the Seas. The ship will carry over 5000 passengers and rise 20 decks tall.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am very loyal to Carnival as my 22 cruises with you will show, again I am just confused as to all the hype.

Maybe you can help clear the confusion as usual.
See you in 2 weeks
Cindy

John Says:
Hello Cindy
That’s a great question……why all the hype? Well, bigger is not always better ………as my wife will tell you. That has never been the objective and if sailing with 5,000 plus guests and having electronic signs that tell you when a seat is available at one of the pay extra restaurants is what people want ……then yes……..the Oasis does deserve some hype. They do of course have some fabulous entertainment areas, it would be stupid to admit otherwise but when it comes to hyping (is that a word?) your Carnival Dream, I do so on her own merit and not based on a “yours is bigger than mine.”

Having visited the ship twice now I can testify that she looks and feels nothing like a Conquest class ship and there is nothing “slightly stretched” about her. She has a look all of her own and with the stern as you mentioned flowing from the all around open promenade makes her the sexiest ship with have ever built.

I think there is a lot of excitement also about the new spaces of the Ocean Plaza offering indoor/outdoor living as well as those huge oversized and overhanging whirlpools providing a totally new entertainment and relaxation area for our guests. The water park is the first to contain racing slides and we have many surprises that we have yet to announce.

However, I think the “hype” as you refer to is because there is a new ship arriving for Carnival and anytime that happens people get excited. There are lots of new aspects to your Carnival Dream for sure but there are many old favorites that we have kept because we know our guests love them.

I feel excited about every new ship……..I have delivered 11 of them from new and yet……and yet there is something special about this one and something that I am not blessed enough to be able to put into words. She is not the biggest……..but she certainly has something ………something……….well…….I guess the only way to find out is to book a cruise on the Carnival Dream, Cindy………and discover why me and so many, many people are as excited about her arrival.

Thank you so much for your loyalty and if you have a follow up question please let me know.
Best wishes
John

Jonathan Asked:
John – Please Reply
First, I want to tell you that your blog daily makes me smile, laugh, and generally long for my next Carnival Cruise Vacation. We also adore the Kye photos and stories, so keep those coming.

Unfortunately I am sitting here heartbroken over our most recent cruise. I don’t think this is the forum to detail the problems, but I walked away truly crushed. I have written a letter to the generic Miami address, but wonder, is there anyone I can talk to?

Normally the Monday after getting off a ship I am planning where we will go next time, but I sit here this time needing my faith in Carnival restored.

Thanks for brightening my Monday with your blog.

John Says:
Hello Jonathan
Thanks so much for the kind words about the blog. Its main objectives are to make you smile and to offer help as and when needed. I am so sad to learn that you are heartbroken because of something that happened on a recent cruise and I hope that you will take the time to write to me to let me know what happened and so I can see what we can do to put a smile on your face again and have you return home to Carnival.

Just post the comment but mark it as DO NOT POST and Stephanie will forward it to me.

Please write soon and my best wishes until then
John

John O. Asked:
Hey John!
Please reply…
I wrote to you in June and asked you to check to make sure the hotel director didn’t have a peanut allergy.
I have purchased the peanuts for the hotel director. I’ll pick up the chocolates right before we go (August 22nd, Glory, booking number ******). I might have gotten a little carried away. I found a vineyard in Virginia owned and run by Italians near Thomas Jefferson’s home called Barboursville Vineyards. I ordered a bottle for the Captain and a bottle for the Hotel Director. I see that the positions have turned over and that the new Hotel Director is not Italian so the Italian heritage connection would not have as much meaning. I guess I’ll give the other bottle to the Staff Captain and still give the peanuts to the Hotel Director. I hope the new Hotel Director doesn’t have a peanut allergy! I thought it would be a safe bet to give the Captain a bottle of wine since the last time I was in Italy it seemed as if every Italian was weaned on wine.

This does bring to mind another question. Since I was going to bring a bottle of wine with me, I’m now going to have 3 bottles in my possession when I board. Will security have a problem with this? I promise that it is for the officers!

I can’t wait to go on the cruise. My wife is lucky; she will be celebrating her birthday the day we board. Since my birthday is in March, all I get are the bills from Christmas.
Cheers
John O

John Says:
Hello John O
I can tell you that there are going to be some very happy senior officers on the Carnival Glory in August. The captain for your sailing will be Marco Nogara whom I had the honor of introducing the Carnival Liberty with a few years ago. The hotel director is from India and is called Anuj. He is a great chap and does not have a peanut allergy so he also will be a happy chappy. You can of course bring the wine onboard and I will copy the ship to make sure they are aware and once again allow me to say how kind you are to think of these people. I know you will have a fabulous time and I will make sure the officers mentioned return the favor you are bestowing upon them
Best wishes and have a wonderful cruise
John

Andrew Asked:
Please reply
Hi John,
Just felt the need to send you a quick note. I wrote quite a long joyous letter back in March detailing my cruise, extolling the virtues of the Valor and her staff, and proclaiming my total conversion from a Diamond RCCLer to a Carnival supporter.

Nothing I’ve read on this blog in the past months has done anything to change that. In fact I am a bigger supporter now than ever.

However, if you’ll humor me, I would give a small suggestion; specifically regarding the guest comment you posted today wherein the guest suggested that $30 was too much for the ’suppersteak clubhouse.’ I looked around myself, and it seems that $20/person is definitely available on RCCL, which may account for the passenger’s information. But that’s not really the issue, I noticed the other things in the note, ‘the guest said the food and service were good’, and that the guest ‘came by to comment.’ No mention of asking for free stuff or grouchiness or complaining, just a comment, and a compliment.

Occasionally, your responses are somewhat defensive and pointed when folks have complaints or comments about their cruise experience. You bend over backwards to give people the time of their lives and attempt to solve all the problems that come up, and doing that all day every day must wear on you after a while. This is just a friendly reminder that the kind of information provided by the guest above is invaluable to Carnival and allows them to stay ahead of the curve and continue to offer the best (imo) and most fun (without question) product on the seas.

Thank you for your continued hard work and cheer, countless readers of this blog are in a constant state of ‘cruise mode’ thanks to you.
Andrew C.

John Says:
Hello Andrew
Thank you for the great posting and I hope you won’t mind if I get a bit “defensive” again. I went back and read the blog you referred to and I think that the point I was trying to make was quite clear but in case it was a bit murky………let me try again.

The purpose of posting that comment was to allow me to highlight my belief………and remember this is my blog and my opinion only………that $30 is an amazing value for the food and service we offer in the steakhouses on our Spirit and Conquest class vessels and the Carnival Splendor.

Now, others may not agree and that is the wonderful world we live in where opinions create conversation and good old healthy and vibrant discussion. The guests comment was just a tool to allow me to talk about this belief……….that’s all.

I also try to talk about the times when we do things wrong as in yesterday’s blog and the incident at the omelets station and other times when I realize that yes….we could have done better.

I don’t think there is another blog like this one and therefore I have nothing to compare it to. There have been times when I have written something that has upset one or two and I am sure I will again. But I write from the heart and I write about a company that I feel offers stunning, jaw droppingly awesome value cruise vacations.

I am going to use the cut and paste thingy know and quote you……….”kind of information provided by the guest above is invaluable to Carnival and allows them to stay ahead of the curve and continue to offer the best (imo) and most fun (without question) product on the seas“……what wonderful words and I hope that if I ever say anything here or if Carnival slips up and does something to change what you have written that you and the thousands of daily readers will tell me.

Thanks so very much and it is an honor to have you take the time to write and I promise we will do all we can to keep you here and not on the Isitashiporisitashoppingmall of the Seas.

My best to you and all the family
John

MARY Asked:
Dear John, (please reply)
Speaking of the specialty restaurants, can you clear up something for me and so many others? It has been a hot discussion on the Princess board and no one seems to know the answer. You may have covered this in one of your blogs and I missed it. If so, I apologize.

Does the extra charge in the specialty restaurants include tips to the wait staff or is it only for the improved meal and dining experience? I personally had always thought that since the food was supposedly of a higher quality than in the main dining rooms (I personally love the food in the mdr) that that was what the charge was for and you tip your servers. Others feel that they are already part of the pool in the auto-tips so it is not necessary to tip again unless the service was superb and you wanted to tip extra (extra being the operative word here). I assume the concept is the same on all the cruise lines so being the expert that you are, I am asking you. Thank you in advance.
Mary

John Says:
Hello Mary
Thanks for taking the time to write. As far as the Carnival steakhouses go the price of $30 per person does indeed include the service charge however if you wish you may add an extra tip if you wish. All gratuities are shared between the servers who work at the steakhouse and I’m positive anyone who has eaten there will agree with me that the service is indeed excellent.

Now, I may have misread your posting as I am not sure if you were asking me to clarify the Carnival policy or indeed the policy on board the Princess ships. I do not know what Princess does but I can if you wish find out so please let me know if you would like me to do this.
Best wishes
John

Nicole Asked:
John – please reply 🙂 :
First, let me say I love reading the passenger stories, good and bad. Your writing style is engaging and fun, and it is helping me pass the time till our family’s 8-day cruise on Carnival Pride (Aug 29). I also love Heidi’s weekly updates and photos of your precious baby girl. They grow so fast; our “baby girl” is 17 and starting her final year of high school!!

The rumor about no more past guest cocktail parties has been making the Cruise Critic rounds since the info about the change in the Captain’s Welcome party hit the boards. It reminded me of that old game “password” where you whisper what you heard in someone’s ear and by the time it makes the rounds of the room; “I love you” has turned into “you eat doo-doo”. Thanks for setting it straight here – I am actually surprised that you hadn’t been asked about it earlier.

Our 15-year-old son will be turning 16 during our Pride cruise. Any suggestions for a family on a budget (yes, even cruising we are money conscious – we want to be able to cruise MORE!) on things we could do to make it a memorable day? We will be at sea, and I think it will be our first “cruise elegant” night. Would you believe I’ve talked him into a dress shirt and tie that night 🙂 ? (Seriously, this is a kid who lives in jeans and black band tees.)

Thanks, and keep the passenger stories coming in spades! 🙂

John Says:
Hello Nicole
Thanks so much for those kind words at the start of your posting and I am so glad you enjoy the blog so much.

The majority of what is written on the cruise boards is based on honest opinion and fact. However, as you said, sometimes there are a few of those thread thingies that are based on ……..well………nothing and are probably written by people who spend their entire life …….in an attic……..on the computer 24 hours a day……..naked.

Seriously though, I am not sure where they get their information or why they insist on causing people to panic over nothing and I am glad that occasionally I get to set the record straight here on the blog.

What a way for your son to turn 16……on board the brilliant Carnival Pride. Don’t worry about what he wears although it would be nice if he did dress up a bit for the family portrait you have taken that night. Now, at some point you have to embarrass him …… he is after all turning 16. I suggest you speak to the waiter the night before and arrange for them to sing happy birthday to him and if the budget stretches….why not all go up to the steakhouse…….as you will see I am a great fan and you will be as well I am sure.

You can also make sure you send me his name and cabin number a week before you sail so I can send him a birthday gift.
Until then I send my best wishes to you all
John

Mark Asked:
John Please Reply
“Carnival Unplugs Cruise Ship Internet Cafe, Adds “Facebook” For Cruising
Carnival Dream Funnel at Sea”
http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3332
John, will your blog be available on this service? Deceptive title eh? Unless you read the whole article, you might think Carnival was getting rid of their internet cafes.
So I knew it all along…it is Cruise Critic spreading vicious conspiracy theories ha ha ha – I jest but it is interesting how simple things on boards can get turned upside down and around. I have made a few incorrect statements but quickly recanted…thank God for Host Mach and other people on their toes 😉

I am actually double checking anything before I say it. The Carnival web page is quite good at providing factual information as does your blog.

I trust all is well at home with Heidi and Kye? While it is not easy being away from home, at least with today’s gadgetry you can get a sense of how things are going on. Head up…it won’t be long before you are home changing diapers!
Mark

John Says:
Hello Mark
I think its best I let Stephanie answer this one as I have no idea if our blog will be available on the Fun Hub thingy onboard your Carnival Dream. As for the internet cafes being “unplugged” well that is as true as the rumor that my screen saver is a photo of Judge Judy in a thong riding on top of a Donkey.

Stephanie – what can you tell us about the Fun Hub?

Just watch our video explaining the Fun Hub. Visit www.carnival.com/dream. Click on the “videos” tab and then the “Fun Hub” video.

Thanks Steph and thanks to you Mark for asking how things are at home…….all is well …………except we miss each other a lot.
Best wishes to you and your family
John

Peggy T. Asked:
Hey John Heald-
I’ve only just discovered this blog. I’m looking forward to reading your past entries. Hope you’re feeling better.
You must be so very busy with your regular job and then answer questions and writing this thingy.

I’m not sure this is where I should place my question, but here goes.

I’m cruising for the first time on the Triumph on the 23rd of this month (OMG, less than 72 hrs!)

I think it’s going to rain. I’m worried. I love the Ocean, read a lot, shy, can’t afford to lose money in the casinos or shop. I have little patience for kids that are not well behaved. Heavy drinkers make me uncomfortable. Crowds make me ansy. Can you suggest a place to hang out in case it rains? That won’t be that crowded and comfortable seating – other than the cabin, that is?

Thanks for your time and I appreciate any advice you can give me.
Peggy T.

John Says:
Hello Peggy
I have the perfect place for you so pack your favorite books and get ready for a relaxing time. The place that will be paradise for you is on deck 3 and is accessible via the main lobby. There you will find approximately 75 sun loungers in both shaded and sun filled areas. Now, for some reason not too many people tend to “chill” there and certainly not the kids. So, it’s a great place to do…..well……….whatever you want in peace and quiet which as I was saying at the start of the blog is invaluable these days.

I truly hope you have a brilliant time and let me know all about your cruise when you get home.
Best wishes
John

Julie Anne Asked:
Dear John (Please Reply),
Thank you for replying to my earlier post, but I think there was some confusion.

We are going on the Carnival FREEDOM in October, not the Carnival Dream (I wish). Is cabin 1001 on the FREEDOM an interior or an obstructed ocean view cabin?
I will remind you about the dining room arrangements closer to the trip. Thanks for your help!

As for the bet (that Mom makes it to Platinum)…well, since neither you nor I drink alcohol, I’m not sure it’s much of a bet for either of us.
Thanks again,
Julie Anne

John Says:
Hello Julie Ann
I am a bit thick. There is no point me trying to deny it…….I am not the sharpest tool in the shed……..I am not the brightest bulb on the tree………I don’t have all the dots on my dice ……. I don’t have both oars in the water……….sorry. I read your posting again and see that you wanted the information on cabin 1001 for the Carnival Freedom not your Carnival Dream……….double bugger.
Anyway, better late than never…………here is the correct information.

It is…..the highest sub-category of INSIDE cabins (4G) – as it does have a window, but not a view (obstructed by the deck). We used to sell those cabins as outside cabins but realized that well……that wasn’t what it was really so now they are actually sold as inside cabins.

Let me know if you have a follow up question.
Best wishes
John

That’s all for today and I will continue to answer more soon. Thanks for all the comments everyone and I continue to ask you to post your honest opinions and thoughts so that the healthy banter continue.

I am very proud of our friend Stephanie Leavitt. She has helped make this blog one of the top ten cruise industry blog thingies and even though she eats tofu and has five pens in her top pocket, her skills and endeavors have been rewarded. Stephanie has been promoted to Manager, Online Publishing. She will oversee web content- blogs, video and photographic content.

So please join me in wishing her many congratulations and now she is an Internet manager type it means of course………………she will have to grow a beard.

Well done Steph – we are all proud of you.

Now………here is our other great friend Vance from PR with another brilliantly written press release ……………..about Fun.

Carnival’s New ‘Behind the Fun’ Tours Offer Unique Insight Into Line’s Shipboard Operations

I spoke to Big Tex on the Carnival Valor today about this as he has been running it as a test for a few weeks. He told me that it sells out every cruise and is getting rave reviews. Now obviously we have to be very security conscious here and the guests are all screened with one of those metal detector wands before they enter the bridge and engine control room. However, this is a wonderful way to go behind the scenes and I also hope that it is a small step in eventually being able to fling wide the doors like the days of old and have an opportunity for everyone to visit the bridge. Anyway, this will be fleet wide soon and if any of you take this tour I would appreciate your feedback.

Let’s have a look at a great photo from our deck party last night.

Deck Party

It is always rewarding to see what other cruise lines are doing with their entertainment and I want you to pop over to Justin’s blog which he writes from the P & O ship Ventura. Here you will see some fantastic highlights of their atrium shows and activities …………..here is his link thingy.

http://www.justincohen.co.uk/

Boris is on vacation today so no Carnival Dream photos…….although……..I wanted you to see this extraordinary video of your Carnival Dream taken by a helicopter during sea trials. Here is the link thingy.

I know I have been “hyping” her a lot and when you look at that video …….. well ………… you can understand why.

It’s Friday……………..so here are my girls

Heidi and Kye

Hello Bloggers,

Here I am again with a little update from rainy England.
After the very hot weather of the past few weeks, there is thunder and lightning and heavy rain while I am writing this and apart from the lawn liking it, I don’t mind the hot weather coming back again soon.

My mum arrived in the UK and will be here with Kye and I for a couple of weeks. Of course she saw a big difference in Kye when she held her again and Kye is enjoying her cuddles with “Oma”, which is Dutch for grandma.

At least this way there is never confusion with John’s mum being Grandma and my mum being Oma. It’s funny how kids give them different names on their own accord. My brothers 3 children call my mum “Kleine Oma”, which means small grandma and my sister in law’s mum “Grote Oma” as her mum is taller than my mum….

It’s great having mum here, not only because we always have a nice time together and the days go by too quickly but this morning I was woken up with breakfast in bed……that was a real treat. I think Kye has a little sensor built in which tells her when to wake up and go to sleep. When I wake up in the morning and take a shower, she is still asleep and as soon as I am dressed, she wakes up. This morning she slept until I finished my breakfast, she is such a good girl!

She hasn’t been weighed this week so a weight update will have to wait till next Friday. We did do the baby massage again and as much as I would love to have a nice back massage right here, right now (!!) , she wouldn’t have it and let me know in a very loud way.

Kye also met her cousins Luke and Isabelle for the first time this week as my brother in law, Paul, is over with the children from Hong Kong. He left Suzanne at home working….clever man.

It now feels as John has been away forever…..Kye is 10 weeks old today but it feels like I haven’t seen John in 10 years…..I suppose having been together almost day and night for the last 13 years makes this being apart thingy a bit of a shock to the system. Everybody said, don’t worry the time will fly by, Kye will keep you so busy but Kye doesn’t really keep me busy Kye keeps me company and we have a wonderful time together. After the first few weeks getting used to having her around she is now just my little extension and it’s no effort at all to look after her and take her with me everywhere I go. Just like I couldn’t imagine life without John, it’s now “without John and Kye”.

I am reading in the many comments from bloggers who have just sailed with John on the Carnival Freedom that “all y’all” had a great time which is great to hear. He is having a bit of a man cold at the moment so if any of you will sail with him in the next few weeks please tell him to just “get over it”…..he is such a baby.

I asked my mum to take a photo of Kye and I together. I hope you like it.

Have a great weekend and till next week.

Heidi and Kye

I am not a baby…….I have a serious cold……..it may be swinebirdpigsarsplague flu ……………….how about some sympathy please……………baby my arse.

Heidi sends me photos of Kye every day and they make me so happy……….and ……… so sad…………..I love and miss them both very much.

I’ll tell you what though……….Kye is 10 weeks old and is more toilet trained than some of our guests ……………because………for the second time this cruise:

From: FREEDOM HOUSEKEEPING
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 11:44 AM
To: FREEDOM HOUSEKEEPING MANAGER; FREEDOM GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; FREEDOM GUEST SERVICES; FREEDOM HOTEL DIRECTOR; FREEDOM STAFF CAPTAIN; FREEDOM HOTEL ENGINEER; FREEDOM STAFF CHIEF ENGINEER; FREEDOM HOTEL ENGINE SHOP; FREEDOM ROOM SERVICE; FREEDOM CRUISE DIRECTOR; FREEDOM MEDICAL CENTER
Cc: FREEDOM HOUSEKEEPING
Subject: Main pool closed

Good morning,

Please be informed, main pool is closed due to vomit accident in the pool, after cleaning and sanitizing will be open again at aprox at 1:30 pm.

Thank you and best regards,

Mantas
Pools & Decks Supervisor
M/S Freedom

This time it was a 12-year-old kid who had “eaten too much ice cream” his mother said and then he went swimming. So because he puked up his vanilla, double chocolate, triple strawberry ice cream cone as per United States Public Health rules we have to dump the water and re fill again which takes about two hours. ……..the little bugger. It wasn’t the ice cream puke that was the problem……..it was the carrot and corn topping.

During these hectic days as a cruise director when for 15 hours a day I am “on the go” I often pause and look forward to the time when life is simply a rocking chair, a bit of ESPN, a nap and a rumpy pumpy dream. Right now though I spend most of my time on this bloody computer. It’s one big blur……..200 e-mails here, a need-a-bigger-penis spam thingy there, a quick Facebook, an eBay flutter, a Viagra advert, check the headlines, check the e-mail again, log off, log on…………..when will it end
Well never…………not even in old age. That’s because it appears that even Holland America are giving the older generation a chance to cybersurf thingy to keep the dribbling at bay. They have teamed up with Microsoft to provide Texpert classes and I have a guest here on the Carnival Freedom called Jacob who recently sailed on a HAL ship and who thought these classes were amazing. He tells me he can now use the internet and send e-mails and log onto www.latvianwomen.com……..he was disappointed we didn’t have similar lessons here……….maybe we should……..oh by the way ………..Jacob is 82 years old.

And so on this last day at sea before Nassau tomorrow I was hoping to wake up and see the sun……but I didn’t.

It’s been dry but the sun is nowhere to be seen……….there is it seems more chance of me dancing a naked tango with Regis Philbin then the guests getting a sun tan this cruise………and as I have said so many times…………that makes me feel sad and somewhat guilty.

It has also been a strange cruise although lasts nights Bedtime Story was hilarious and I will post some photos from it on the next blog. It has been though a cruise where people have wanted to talk to me in the strangest of ways. I had the very “happy” Southern Belle talk to me and touch my hair and last night after the show it got worse………I went to the cigar bar with my mate Al the comedian and Jaime’s ummmm……friend……and Cruise Director Kirk Benning. After a while I got the call of nature and that’s when it happened …… a guest wanted to have a conversation about what to do in Nassau……..at the urinal.

I couldn’t believe it……is it me or is this inappropriate. How could I concentrate on my flow and my shake when I am halving to talk about a bloody Dolphin Encounter at Atlantis? But as he was the guest and I am the cruise director……I pissed and I shook and I talked about Flipper and his mates.

Anyway, this event has forced me to give all you male guests who cruise with us a brief refresher course on toilet etiquette on cruise ships.

Let’s start with the urinal.

First, the basics. Men do not piss or poo in packs. You are not a girl. Position is important. If you arrive at an empty urinal, stand at the far left or far right, but never in the middle. This enables the next man to take the opposite extreme. If a third man arrives, he can take the middle slot, but it would be preferable if he abandoned the urinal altogether and went into a cubicle. Regardless of good intent, you should never hang around waiting for an ideal position – it may be mistaken for …..ummm….being George Michael.

Once in position, keep your eyes dead ahead at all times, even in the event of the captain sounding the General Emergency Alarm. If you have the misfortune to find yourself at the urinal at the same time as the cruise director, a simple “How are you?” will suffice. “What’s happening at the show tonight?” is too much. Other than that, there should be absolutely no talking. As for drying off, three shakes is diligence. Four is ummmm ……….. George Michael.

And so on to how to use one of our on board toilet cubicles. Unless you can’t get back to your cabin or here on the Freedom can’t make it to the main pool and you have to use one of the guest bathrooms…………never take a cubicle next to one that is already occupied.

Also, never make a toilet-paper seat cover. If the fact that it is girlie isn’t enough to dissuade you, consider the following findings from the University of Arizona: the average toilet seat has a mere 49 microbes of bacteria per square inch, whereas your desk has 20,691 per square inch. Which means eating your sandwich off the toilet seat is 400 times more hygienic than eating it at your desk, and your arse will survive.

Always leave the toilet bowl as you would like to find it, by which I mean wait to check it doesn’t need a double flush. As with the urinals, communication should be bugger all, even if the toilet paper has run out. Girls may warn each other, “Don’t go in there, I just used the last paper” – but with men, it is simply the next user’s misfortune.
Try to time your exit for when the rest of the bathroom is empty. On no account emerge proudly, passing comment to other passengers on how pleased you are with what just went on behind the closed door.

Oh, and lest you should be tempted to forget………….. always wash your hands.

Goodnight
Your friend
John

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