Living in the Real World

July 28, 2009 -

John Heald

One of the things I get asked a lot both here on the ships and via the blog is to arrange public on stage wedding proposals. While I am always happy to do this I have never quite understood why some men feel the need to do this in public. I have proposed three times to women in my life. The first time was via the mail when I wrote to Brooke Shields fan club address proclaiming my total love for her and asked her to marry me and that after the ceremony we move to our own Blue Lagoon. She never replied……..looking back though her non reply may have had something to do with the fact that the letter was written on a pair of my underwear.

The second time I proposed ……well……..that was a little more public as both sets of parents were there and I thought that was the chivalrous thing to do. She said “yes” but in the end things didn’t work out and one day she woke up, realized I was an ugly bastard and buggered off. She is now living in New York, happily married to a great guy who doesn’t fart and make her vomit when she sees him naked……..which is never good for a relationship.
As for Heidi…….well……I was so positive that when I asked her to marry me that she would say “NO, Nichtus, Buggernsie Offen Sie” that I decided to ask her alone………just the two of us …… in the cabin on the Imagination.

She was supposed to come back to the cabin from work at 11:30 pm. I had a rose……….laying on a silk sheet……..with the ring lying next to it……….I had her favourite song playing on the CD player…….the lights were dimmed……..I had my best underpants on………nothing else……..just my best underpants…..all was set…………11:30 pm came and went…………and she eventually arrived at 12:45 am having had decided to go to the crew lounge with her friends…………bastard.

By the time she got back to the cabin everything was ruined……….and it wasn’t only the rose that had wilted.

Anyway, I asked……..she said yes……….and then we went to sleep……..and that was that.

Looking back I wish I had done something more spectacular……Heidi deserved better. However, I would never have done it on stage. I have seen the majority of stage engagements end in smiles and tears of joy, however I have been there when things have gone tits up.

One such time was on the Carnival Liberty……..sailing into Venice. A chap had asked me to arrange something on deck and we did the whole thing projected onto the big screen as we sailed past the island of Lido just before the entrance to Venice itself………..well……………she said “no” …….and in front of the entire deck and live on the giant screen………she shook her head ……….. once ……..then twice…………….said “no”………..and ran away in tears……….and everyone looked at me………as though it was my fault………………….bugger.

Well, what do you say to someone who has spent all his money on a potato-sized diamond ………. gone to all the trouble to arrange a Med cruise and a Venetian proposal…………and in front of hundreds of people………….she says “No.” Well, there was little to say. I said how sorry we all felt and that he should sell the diamond a buy a Porsche. He walked away in tears………and there was bugger all I could do about it. I have no idea what happened the rest of the cruise. I called them and spoke briefly to the lady but she obviously felt uncomfortable and probably hid under the bed for the rest of the cruise. He was so in love with her and I guess she wasn’t. Maybe he had bad breath…..maybe he had a small thingy…..maybe ……..well, fill in the blank ……..I guess we will never know.

Anyway, because of this I am always nervous when I am asked to arrange a stage proposal and I did one last night at the show. The couple were so young……I mean he said he was 18 but looked like he was 12 and she looked even younger………..their wedding reception will be at Chuck E. Cheese.

Now……he asked her on bended knee and she said yes……..then during the obligatory crying he put the ring on her finger……..and then pulled another ring out of his pocket and when I asked on the microphone what this was………….he told me it was his engagement ring………. what?

A male engagement ring? This modern man thing is total bollocks. Today’s “men” exfoliate, moisturize and wax. They carry “man bags” and wear “mandals” and now, it seems, they are stretching their sticky little fingers towards that shiniest of feminine symbols…… the engagement ring …………..God help us all.

I guess it is a way to be visually marked as unavailable, in the same way that one might brand a cow’s arse…..and anyway I feel it is my duty to point out to any man who is thinking of getting married to look at the word engagement carefully……..and you will see the word “gag” right in the middle of it….and that my male blogging single friends…….. will sum up the rest of your life.
Time for today’s questions……….here we go.

Mark Asked:
John Please reply! : )
I just finished reading Carnival’s Premier issue of Funville Times.

What a great story about Bill Filomena who has cruised 41 times with Carnival in 18 months!

John, it strikes me that Carnival is positioned wonderfully to appeal to the baby boomers as well as the Gen Xers and the others. After all Carnival is the Fun ship.

I am wondering how far off is that we see more of the Bill’s? I worry and actually hope that Carnival leads the way in maintaining value for money cruises. I am nearly 50 and have raised 4 children. My wife and I have always had to watch the nickels and dimes – no as I get older, I have a bit more disposable income. No one owes me anything – but I truly want and envision taking a cruise with Carnival every year – maybe a second every year on one of Carnival’s sister lines!

S0 John please tell me that long term that Bob Dickinson and Micky Arison, don’t depart from this successful formula!

I know Carnival is in the business of the bottom line, but like the world of the mouse, you folks do make dreams come true. I wish everyone could experience one Carnival cruise in their lifetime. Wow what a wonderful retirement dream!

John Says:
Hello Mark.
What a brillinat way to start today’s Q and A so in case I forget let me say thank you. Also let me just mention that around two years ago Bob Dickinson retired and was replaced by our new President and C.E.O. Mr. Gerry Cahill who has done a terrific job continuing and improving upon the foundation that Bob set.

Well, the simple answer to your question is “yes.” You know when our founder Ted Arison (whose statue I have always felt should be built at the entrance to the Port of Miami) started Carnival Cruise Lines his belief was that cruising should be something that would appeal and be available to the masses……..not just the privileged. And so he founded this great company. Since then his son Micky has taken his father’s example and expanded on the dream and now we have a Carnival product that while enhanced with iconic features, fantastic food and extraordinary shows the foundations remain the same……..affordable fun for all.

I hope your dream of cruising twice a year every year comes true.
Best wishes to you and the family.

Beverly B. Asked:
Sorry to bother- know you are busy
Lot of questions on cruise critic about Inaugural 9/21/09- Carnival Dream.

Will they have the naming ceremony in Italy for our cruise?
Any specials for 1st sailing?
What is the earliest you can board?
Thanks for your help
Cheri B.
Kisses to Kye

John Says:
Hello Cheri
Thanks so much for letting me know about the thread thingy on Cruise Critic. I always appreciate the chance to provide all my friends there with the current and correct information. So, let me answer your questions.
The naming ceremony with the yet to be named godmother will in fact be in New York …..not Italy. Details and dates are still being worked on and I will let you know all I can as soon as I can.

The first sailing will be very special as you will be the first group of guests to get to see her. Unlike Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Splendor your Carnival Dream will not have had a travel agent cruise before the first inaugural. The ship will sail from the yard in Monfalcone without guests (except me) on the morning of the 17th and arrive ready to board guests on the morning of the 21st. During this time the crew will prepare for the inaugural cruise which starts on the 21st.

As for embarkation …well we aim to start this as we have done in the past in Europe starting at 10:30 am or sooner if we can. The ship will be ready and waiting and anyone who walks up that gangway on September 21st will be the luckiest and hopefully the most proud guests in the cruise industry…….I on the other hand will be a miserable sod as I will be walking off the gangway to fly home ……wishing no doubt that when I was asked if I wanted to be the CD on your Carnival Dream I had said “yes.”

Thanks Cherie. I hope you and the family are well and may I ask that you add the above to the thread thingy
Best wishes

Captain Dan Asked:
Hi John, (please reply)
We are cruising with you on the on the MS Freedom in ten days. Just want you to know that we follow your blog, and we love it. My wife Martha writes occasionally.

Still looking for that Bridge tour, LOL. Might have to sacrifice and send my parents on the galley tour instead.

My wife and I first cruised with Carnival twenty three years ago on the brand new beautiful MS Holiday on our honeymoon. After thirteen cruises with Carnival, we are honored to be with the most senior CD!

We would be honored to have our picture taken with you at the past guest party.

I am a HUGE fan of Carnival, and please take a look at “my Carnival”.

Our past Carnival cruises.

Look forward to meeting you.
Dan from Arkansas.
Delta Airlines Captain

John Says:
Hello Captain Dan
Please may I kindly ask that you drop me a note with your cabin number at the information or Guest Services Desk as it is now known when you board? I loved your website and I am sure every one of the bloggers did as well. I hope you will have many more memories to add when I see you next month. I promise to do all I can to make this cruise your very best yet.

See you soon and best wishes to all the family.

Barbara B. Asked:
I can only imagine being away from my new baby as long as you do. You certainly are a dedicated employee and daddy because we all know that she will only want designer clothes and shoes and only the best schools. Need more pictures.

John please reply
I apologize if you have gotten this before. I’m having computer problems.

I was writing about the loyalty program. If I take 1 three day cruise I get 1 point but if I take a 14 day cruise I still only get 1 point. The closer that I get to the elusive platinum level the more that it bothers me. I think you should get at least 2 points for a two week cruise. Even Valentine, my service dog has been on 5 cruises with the last 2 being 2 week cruises.

It’s time for a change I think. Any hope it could be soon?
John you are doing a great job and I can’t even Barbara B..

John Says:
Hello Barbara
Kye is already dripping in designer gear and whereas before I worked hard to afford nice things for Heidi and I ……..all my effort is now to provide the best life I possibly can for Kye …………. and my dream of owning an Aston Martin has disappeared forever.

I know many people feel like you that guests who book longer cruises should get more points towards Platinum status and they may be right. There are those however who say that taking a three-day or four-day cruise should count the same…..and they may be right to. This is something that our Chief Marketing Officer Jim Berra is currently looking at along with the entire rewards program and I know he will make sure that when and if changes are made that he insures that our program continues to be the best at sea.

Actually…it would be interesting to ask others their opinion on this….so I will. Bloggers – what do you think and what would you like to see. We have discussed before that the old thermos gift was outdated and we got that changed. So, what would you like to see………are you someone who thinks the points should be the same for a 7, 8 or longer cruise as three day…or not? I remind you that many important people who make decisions read the blog so if this is a subject where you would like your opinion heard………post away.

Barbara………one thing is for certain. Valentine deserves his own Platinum card and the next time you cruise please tell me and I will make sure that Valentine is our first four legged Platinum card holder.
Best wishes to all

Kathy Asked:
Hi John,
Please reply
You had a post today that I just have to answer to. I have copied and pasted it.

Ruth G. Asked:
I had posted a question on Wednesday and it’s now Friday night and still no answer and so I found your work e mail address which is on cruise critic. There is not much point in offering your customers a service if you are not going to answer them is there?

I am on the Carnival Glory and want a table for two as last time our table companions were hideous.
My details are:
Ruth and Al G.
October 24th sailing
Suite # – 7288
Want table for two by window – late sitting
Reply please when confirmed

This poster just infuriates me, they want this and they want that. If they took the time to read your blog, you have mentioned many times to allow 5 days for a reply because of the amount of emails that you receive.

Another point that ruffled my feathers is when she said that if you are going to offer a service and if you don’t fulfill that service why offer it. You offer these services because you care about US the passengers. There is not one other cruise line that I have seen anyone that works for them offer and do the things that you do, that is what makes you so special. If she wanted a table for two BY A WINDOW, then she should ask the head person of the dining room, but to demand that you do it for her just got to me. I could honestly see her asking for a table for two, but to demand it by a window just went too far.

Now to the reason that I was going to write to you. I do not know where to write to send a letter of commendation about the PVP that I have been working with. Her name is Nisha Hicks and John, she is like you, she cares about the passengers. We ran into a problem with a cruise that was coming up and I explained everything to her and she said “No Problem Kathy, this is what I am going to do for you.” Well to make a long story short, she saved the day and I just want someone to know at Carnival that they have a PVP that goes the extra mile for their passengers. So if you could send me someone’s name or pass this one to someone, I would greatly appreciate it.
Your Bloggy Thingy fan always
PS, please send a hug to Kye from one of her American aunties, and say HI to Heidi for me. Thanks

John Says:
Hello Kathy
Thanks for the support and I had better not say anything else after the ending of yesterday’s blog …………but again………thank you.

It was wonderful to read about Nisha and I have taken the liberty to send this to her direct supervisors and her department head. People like Nisha are what make Carnival what has and always will be…..the World’s Most Popular Cruise Line. This is also the case because people like you sail on our ships and their love of life and spirited personalities make this cruise line …… incomparable.
Thanks Kathy and I send my best wishes to you and the family

Cruisin’lovebirds Asked:
John Please Respond:
We are on the Triumph 9/19 and plan to bring Jorge Solano a little taste of Florida since he has a back ground from here. I might not be able to get Florida oranges on the plane. Any personality hints you can give me? We are celebrating our 32nd anniversary and so looking forward to this vacation. Janet

John Says:
Hello Janet
How kind. What George really needs is a new book of jokes as his are either stolen from me or as funny as setting fire to your own hair. If not that I can tell you that he has a secret fetish for hot sauces…….the spicier the better. Can you remind me a few days before you sail please? Have a great time.

Best wishes and thanks again for your kindness

Susanne Asked:
John or Stephanie please answer.
I see the recipe for the melting cake is on Carnival’s website and we really appreciate it:
8 oz semisweet chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
7 eggs, divided use
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter; cool 10 minutes. In separate bowl, mix four eggs with sugar. Whisk. Add flour and whisk. Add remaining three eggs. Add egg mixture to chocolate mixture. Pour in individual ramekins. Bake until just done, about 15-20 minutes (interior will be melting). Serve with vanilla ice cream.

My questions are what kind of flour (plain or self-rising) and how many individual servings does this make?
Your blog is so entertaining and so informative and everyone appreciates all of the time and effort you put into it and the assistance to all.

John Says:
Here is the answer from our Chef.

“You need to use plain flour and the receipe mentioned is for 8 – 10 portions”.

Many thanks Chef Harry

Patti & Wayne Asked:
Hello again from Boston. Can’t wait to see you on the Dream 2/6/2010! Quick question about disembarkation….we have an early flight leaving from Orlando(necessary) and were wondering if there is such a thing as VIP Self Assist….meaning, does our VIP status allow us to disembark ahead of the normal self-assist folks??? If not, does Carnival still offer the early flight disembark process? As time draws nearer, am getting more concerned about our necessary flight time as Port Canaveral is so far away from the airport!
Thanks and can’t wait to see you then.

John Says:
Hello Patti & Wayne
Just in case I have never mentioned this before………I love Boston. As a VIP you can disembark first using the self assist program which should start at approx 7 am – 7:30 am. If you don’t want this option you will put your luggage outside of your cabin door the last night of the cruise and you will be given tag number one which means you will be the first to disembark after the self assist guests have left the vessel. Is this OK? Please let me know if you have any follow up questions and I will do my best to help you.
Best wishes

Sarah M. Asked:
Hi John! I’m really enjoying reading your blog and just wanted to ask you a question.

We are going on our honeymoon cruise on the Conquest on 9/27 and we were wondering how we go about being contestants on the newlywed game. Just let me know if you can.

Thanks John! Hope you have a wonderful trip!
Sarah McGowan (soon-to-be Hathaway)

John Says:
Hello Sarah
Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage and if you can, please post a reminder a week or so before you sail so I can ask Chris the CD of the Carnival Conquest to help you be part of the game. Maybe I can find you a little gift as well.
Best wishes to you both

Carol S. Asked:
Dear John,
Again, you gave in to someone who complained. And about the rain – it’s only water, the clothes will dry. Did you remember to mention it rains a lot in the summer in the Caribbean? But only for short periods of time – and sometimes only in selected spots. When I was there with my nephew 10 years ago, we were at Paradise Point when the heavens opened up, but our vantage point showed that the ship and other areas were in bright sunlight.

Anyway, how are you feeling? You probably keep getting colds because you are in contact with loads of people who probably pass their bad germs to you. Like when my (former) friend greeted me at the airport before our trip on the Valor. He gives me a big hug & kiss and then tells me he has a cold. Well guess who got the worst cold ever halfway through the cruise, which turned into strep throat when I got home. But I hope you’re feeling good soon.

Speaking of the Valor, I never responded to the comments about children in the Piano Bars. Why take the children into the Piano Bar in the first place when there are wonderful age-appropriate facilities just for them? In 2005 on the Valor Ed Rocks was at the Piano Bar (His last cruise). His repertoire was a bit raunchy to say the least, but since there were no children there, it did not seem inappropriate. Truthfully I’ve heard far worse in the Dance Club – as far back as ‘87 on the Jubilee.

Carol Asked:
John, your idea of having dinner at Kevin’s restaurant sounds like a great idea. Have you heard from Kevin? Will he be on BC3? It may be a matter of logistics for some (me included), since the restaurant is on Long Island and not in the City. A car is definitely needed to get there. And since I don’t drive, I’ll have to bribe someone to take me there. Also, when were you thinking of doing it? Will you have any free days in NY? So keep us posted. I cannot wait to see you again.
Feel good, and my best to Heidi and your little Angel,

John Says:
Hello Carol
It seems like ages since I have written to you and as one of our long time bloggers it is always a pleasure when I do. The dance club on the Jubilee……..oh wow does that bring back memories. I must admit that like you and Miss Laura Divethingy and many others I could not understand why any parent would take their young children to a bar after midnight…….times really have changed.

I am waiting to put the plans together to see if we can have lunch or dinner with Kevin during my time in New York. I will be talking more about New York later this week and will include the dates I will be there as well. If we do go I know that we will make sure you come with us…….even if you have to ride in the trunk 🙂
Thanks so much for all the kind words and I hope to see you soon.
Best wishes

Jake S. Asked:
The ship is a dream! PLEASE REPLY,

“Will the Ship Have full court Basketball”?

John Says:
Hello Jake
Tell you what mate – let’s ask Boris shall we to take a photo of the sports deck and ask him to send the dimensions of the basketball court on your Carnival Dream. Your blog is fantastic Jake…….congratulations.
Your mate

That’s all for today…….except to say thank you to someone who was skeptical about Carnival and was a loyal RCI fan……so let’s see what the lovely Cindy had to say about her recent Carnival cruise:

The food on this cruise was our biggest and most pleasant surprise. In our opinion everything having to do with food or food service was top notch on the Splendor. My husband and I kept looking at each other and shaking our heads in disbelief, because we honestly could not get over how much better the food was – in taste, variety, quality, and presentation than what we’ve had on our recent cruises. We thought it was very evident that the Splendor was using much higher quality meat and seafood than our recent experiences on Royal Caribbean. It’s a little harder to compare the food to Princess since it’s been over 2 years since we cruised with them, but the dining room food seemed more similar to Princess than Royal Caribbean.

I thought the Splendor was clearly better than the other ships we’ve been on in the Lido. We’re really not buffet people, and usually spend most cruises trying to avoid eating there. We often struggle to find something to eat and end up filling our plates with junk we don’t really want. I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the variety in the Lido. The offerings were 2 different buffet lines with entrees, soups, salads, and a carving station, a huge dessert and fruit bar, a Deli where you can get custom made sandwiches, an Asian stir-fry station, a Burrito station, a Tandoori station, and a Rotisserie which offered chicken, potatoes, corn, and a variety of salads. Outside by the main pool is the Pizzeria which offers a large selection of pizzas and will do custom orders as well as calzones, and grills which are cook fresh hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and steak sandwiches.

The adults (and one teenager) ate at the Pinnacle on Tuesday night, and thought it was superb. The food was flavorful and plentiful, cooked perfectly, and presented beautifully. It was also a LOT of food! We conked out pretty early that night from over-eating!

Pricing – I’ve found cruise prices to be higher on Royal Caribbean than on Carnival or Princess. My family saved about $7,000 when we “jumped ship” from the Mariner to the Splendor for this cruise, and the price difference between the Voyager and the Conquest for next March (2010) was about $1,500 for the two of us when we made our reservation.

When Host Mach sent me this I was thrilled and I have shared it with all at the top at Carnival. So, thanks to Host Mach for letting me share this and thanks especially to Cindy whose words are hopefully echoing round the office of a certain Mr. Goldstein who as we speak is probably having to change his underwear.

I also want to apologize….of course the Celebration had past guest parties……I had totally forgotten about her last few years of sailing. I see that there are folks looking for them on eBay and I will begin the challenge to see if we can make pins to sell in the on board shops not only for the ships of today but the ones of yesterday as well…….my apologies again for the misinformation.

I have also decided……after much soul searching not to post any more comments from Ruth and Al. I have already written to them privately so they know this ahead of this blog. I see that their comments have some of you all worked up and I understand and appreciate your loyal support. However, I think its best that we move on and I will help them off the blog …..I think it’s better for all concerned. The blog thingy is a happy thingy and I just don’t think they are ……. so …………….let’s move on and thanks again for …well……you know.

Let’s pause for a few photos. In a moment we will have more live photos from your Carnival Dream however I thought today I thought you might like to see a few shots of the Carnival Freedom.

Here she is first docked in Tortola

Freedom In Tortola 1

Freedom In Tortola 1 Drive to the Beach

And now from yesterday in Key West

Freedom In Key West

And as the Carnival fleet gives you the opportunity to cruise the Caribbean and beyond its time to jump from the sunshine of the Keys to the dramatic scenery and snow that makes an Alaskan cruise adventure so special. Lets therefore check in with our friend Chris “Bubba” Roberts.

July 25, 2009

Greeting to all,

Had one of the most interesting envelopes delivered to me by the Guest Services office this week…..


This was professionally printed. Check out the return address. I thought it was pretty funny. Opened up the envelope and found this card in it.

Card 2

Card 3

Inside the card was a gift card from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I can’t even begin to tell you how touched I was. I of course sent these ladies a thank you note & a little something at dinner, but wanted to also send a public thank you to them over the blog as they had never cruised with me before, and only knew me through my small contributions. The network of people I have met through this site have been wonderful and it’s nice to be a part of. I want to thank John again for letting me be a part of it.

So I went out and tried something a little adventurous. In Sitka, I went on a new tour for this year called the Ocean Raft Adventure. This is a very small capacity tour. Only 6 people per departure load up on a sup’ed zodiac boat with huge jet boat engines. Now this is an open air vehicle and to make sure you stay dry and warm, the outfit you with special gear. Check out this latest in fashion…..

Card 4

It’s kind of a bouncy ride at time, so the seat are like horse saddles, but with big air cushions that you straddle.

Card 5

You take off from Sitka harbor and head out to some of the remote areas around Sitka sound. During the tour we saw puffins, eagles, sea otters, sea lions & whale. A white knuckle thrill ride combined with great nature sight seeing. Got some beautiful pics of Mt. Edgecomb which is the dormant volcano located just off of Sitka.

Card 6

The little brown dots in the water is a raft of sea otters. Such cute little guys.

Well the Salmon are beginning to run, that means the bears will be coming out more. We’ll even start our bear watching tours this week. I hope to get on one of these with Julie in the near future as last year she did not have a chance to go. When we do, I will be sure to check back in. Hard to believe there are only 8 cruises left in this years Alaska season. Only 11 weeks till the wedding!!!!! Thanks again to Sandra and Linda and thanks to all of you for reading and letting me be a part of the blog.

Be well,


Another great report and how kind of those wonderful bloggers to think of you like that. Chris only has a few more weeks left as CD and I hope he will find time to write us a farewell blog ….. we will miss you mate. And you must not miss Alaska off your cruise list……there are some great rates already published for Carnival Spirit 2010…….get them while they are hot……..or in this case ……..cold.

Let’s meet some guests from the Welcome Aboard Show.

Here is Lamar Washington and William Booth

Man In Red Hat

Old Man in Show

Lamar is in his late thirties and from Brooklyn New York. William is 84 and from Georgia. They don’t appear to have much in common do they apart from the fact that they were on stage with me. Well actually they do. Lamar is currently serving in the United States Navy and has done for 15 years. he has just returned from a carrier sailing in the Gulf………he is a chef onboard.

William served in the United States Navy for 28 years including serving as a gunner in WW II. Two very different generations but two men who have helped protect the very name that is written on the side of this ship………….Freedom.

OK, time for a Carnival Dream break starting with some photos of one of the most important pieces of equipment on the ship……..the cruise directors desk……which arrived on Monday (yesterday) and from where Todd will be scheduling all the new and exciting features that we haven’t told you about yet………and from where I will be sitting in my underpants blogging.

Cabin Desk

Cabin Desk 2

Cabin Desk 3

Cabin Desk 4

Now let’s have a look at your Carnival Dream


Dream 2

Dream 3

Dream 4

Dream 5

Dream 6

Dream 7

Dream 8

Dream 9

And here is an outside shot of a Cove Balcony

Cove cabin

And now on this blog of many photos, here are some great shots of your Carnival Dream Water Works Aqua Park

Waterworks 1

Waterworks 2

Waterworks 3

Waterworks 6

Waterworks 8

Waterworks 13

Waterworks 14

Waterworks 15

There will be more photos tomorrow.

Well, compared to last cruise the weather has been glorious so far and as I sit here in my you- know-whats, the sun is shining and the ship is heading to Grand Cayman.

I have a heck of a busy day today with the Morning Show, Travel Talk, Marriage Show, two elegant night parties and two shows. I then have to sign around 30 photos for the guests who wrote to the morning show and write the rest of this blog thingy. I will be honest with you ………….. all I feel like doing is closing my eyes as this bloody cold continues to take its toll on me and my sugar levels.

………”Wind your neck in John and stop bloody moaning,” I hear my friend Mr. Bentley saying and so my neck is in and I will stop moaning forthwith.

I have another blog family who have a cabin over the Dance Club and are hearing some vibration below. They wrote me a letter earlier today and I will be working with our Guest Services Manager to see what we can do to help them.

Apart from that……..The guests are having a great time. Empress Bee (Southern Dreams) is here along with Bonnie Prince Charlie and it was wonderful to sit and chat with them yesterday and I hope to see them later today as well.

All is well……… fact yesterday was simply amazing.
I spent the day laying in a hammock, sipping a Diet Coke and puffing on a Cuban cigar while a six-foot Latvian super model with mopped my brow and tickled me with a peacock feather. We were naked, because we were on a nude beach. I had a foot-long thingy that arrived only moments before in a cardboard box from UPS. Nora Titov my Latvian Supermodel was wearing only a naughty tattoo on her bottom and a pair of silver stilettos.
Just as I’m complimenting Nora Titov on her tattoo, a man with an even larger thingy offers her a massage. I’m rendered speechless by his impudence, but Nora coolly declines his offer says she is with me and tells him to buggerov offov.

We’re alone again. Things move fast. We go for a stroll along the beach, we look at the waves gently lapping the shore, I give her a massage and, inevitably, we kiss. Before I can catch my breath, she suggests going somewhere more private. Which is when the phone rings and it’s the staff captain reminding me that we have a safety inspection in five minutes. And with a flick of the mouse thingy……my Latvian model vanishes and my thingy goes back to what it has always been…..the size of a baby carrot.

Second Life – the 3-D virtual world is something one of the entertainment staff showed me a few days ago. Uncle Google tells me that it is had more than six million visitors and that 200,000 join each and every week… ………………..bloody hell.

In Second Life, you can buy virtual houses, cars, cappuccinos, computers, lap dances, books, George Foreman grills……..anything. You can dance, undress, giggle, urinate, gamble, poo, smoke a palm tree and spank Judge Judy………..oh yes………………and you can fly.

There is only one problem: it’s all virtual. As in not real. As in fantasy. Apart from the money: buying a virtual Aston Martin only costs a few real dollars, but Second Life’s currency, the Linden dollar, has already made several real people into real US-dollar millionaires.

Currently says Uncle Google about US $1.6m is spent in Second Life every 24 hours.

Even stranger, you can now go on vacation in it. There are Second Life tour operators, Second Life tourist information services, a Second Life Cruise program, where you can ask lots of questions about cruising.

If cruising and vacations are about escapism, then is it possible you could escape through your computer screen? Just think of it: no packing, no airport security, no lost luggage or lining up for anything and serious cost.

Well, I’ve just been on my first virtual vacation in Second Life, and I wouldn’t start not packing your suitcase just yet. My souvenirs will consist of a headache, some dark memories and a no virtual Heidi who is bound to be upset, because when she reads about my “virtual, but she’s still a person and you still had rumpy pumpy with her, you bastard” Latvian model……that will be me in the dog house.

Take my advice……don’t give up real cruises just yet….. You need them to escape the very strange world we live in.

And on that note I will say goodnight………..but not before I pop back to Second Life one more time……not because of Nora my Latvian girl but because for the first time in many years ………… I have a thingy I can actually see.

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.