Freedom Ends

August 22, 2009 -

John Heald

Like Superman, Batman is a superhero but he is different from the others. He doesn’t have any superpowers built in but instead uses gadgets and a secret cave, a bit like James Bond in Lycra. Most superheroes have something wrong with them. Peter Parker was bitten in the bollocks by a radioactive spider and acquired its thingies to become your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

He moaned at the time but he could have just as easily been bitten by a radioactive dung beetle, thus merely inheriting the power of floating on the surface of a pond or borrowing into a huge pile of elephant poo…….and in a fight with the Green Goblin that is next to useless.

I have often wondered what it must be like to be a super hero and how wonderful that must be………. but in truth I am far too selfish to cope with superpowers.

Think about it. Let’s say I am just sitting down to a wonderful meal with Heidi……..at ….ummmm……say…..Prime 112, my favorite shoreside steakhouse located on Ocean Drive, Miami (bit of free advertising may get me a free steak.) I am all romantic, Kye is asleep in her stroller and all is wonderful in the world………..but suddenly……………..just as my cowboy steak and sprouts arrive, your super senses start tingling because there’s a bus full of nuns hanging off a nearby bridge. What do you do? Hmmm. On the one hand perilous nuns, but on the other, well, that steak looks tempting and is cooked to perfection.

Sod it, you think, they’re only nuns. And that steak is a work of art.

You can’t hold down a proper job and be a superhero. That’s why Spider-Man and Superman both worked for newspapers. I like to imagine that Gene Sloan the brilliant cruise columnist for the USA Today is a superhero who has been bitten in the arse by a radioactive chameleon that gives him the power to morph into the shape of Anita Dunham Potter.

For this reason I keep clear of radiation, unless you count that which supposedly comes off my raspberry. Perhaps I’ll inherit its powers. It would mean I could mentally control Bluetooth and send e-mails with just a quick push of one of my hemorrhoids. But now I’m letting my imagination run away. Anyway, remember – with great power comes great responsibility………. and lets see the reason I am writing about super heroes and meet some real ones from my marriage show.

Marriage Show 2

On the right of me are Mr. and Mrs. Soletski – married 61 years and both survivors as children of the concentration camps.

On the left of me are Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell – married 59 years and Mr. Mitchell was a Green Beret in WWII
Heroes………true heroes.

There is no time to loose today so let’s get straight into a double dose of questions……..here we go.

Tom Asked:
Hi John –
I was looking into doing something special for my sister on my upcoming cruise this weekend on the Victory. We’re celebrating her birthday a few weeks early and I can’t find the website to buy things for our cabin. Do I need to wait and buy stuff onboard in Formalities? Thanks for any information. (I hate the new website…I can’t find anything)

Tom Perron, Carnival Victory, August 23, Cabin **** Booking Number ******

Also, is Wee Jimmy our CD? We had him as a Social Host along with Karl with a K back on the Miracle and thought it was great reading online how many of my past favorite social hosts are getting promoted. Good for them!

John Says:
Hello Tom
Sorry that you were having trouble seeing the website page that contains the bon voyage gifts. I hope you get to read this before you sail tomorrow. If you do please yes…..go to Formalities and they will be able to help you organize a surprise or two. Maybe you should consider having the cabin decorated with birthday greetings and order some chocolate covered strawberries and champagne to make the evening even more special. Carnival has over the years promoted the majority of its cruise directors from the position of entertainment staff and or assistant cruise director. Wee Jimmy is actually here with me and on Sunday will take over as the cruise director of the Carnival Freedom and it has been a lot of fun having him here with me. I think that the Cruise Director Wee Jimmy is so very talented, and has a wonderful personally…what a great character. Your CD will be long time veteran Lenny Halliday who is an old school CD meaning you will see a lot of him on stage and he still performs his own fantastic show. I hope you have fun and my apologies for the late reply so look out for a little gift from me.
Best wishes
John

Amy Fowler Asked:
Dear John— please reply
My fiancé and I will be sailing the Legend out of Tampa for our Honeymoon. I can’t wait! He… well, he is having cruiser remorse. He’s starting to regret booking the trip because we have cruised together twice before. He feels like our honeymoon won’t be special enough because it will be like a repeat vacation.

I’ve spent some time over on CruiseCritic.com, researching ways to make this trip special. We will certainly be sitting front row for the Newly Wed / Not-so-Newly Wed Game (that is a souvenir not to be missed if we can make it on the show). We also have a balcony booked for the very first time. I’m looking for other ideas to make this his dream honeymoon.

I basically begged to go on a cruise, and now I feel guilty because I think he is going to be disappointed.
Any suggestions on how to make this trip different than the others??? So he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out or repeating the other vacations?
Thanks in advance– and thank you for your wonderful blog!
Amy

John Says:
Hello Amy
Edible underwear.
Best wishes
John

Joking.
Hello Amy
Sorry……couldn’t resist the edible underwear joke. I bought Heidi a pair once but I ate them before I got home. Anyway…….I am sure that the staff of the Carnival Legend will make this a honeymoon you will never ever forget. Please book a meal in the steakhouse and that night take a walk on the deck, under the stars and remind yourselves just how much you love each other. The balcony will be perfect for a morning cup of coffee and a late night glass of champagne which if you remind me two weeks before you sail I will send you and…..I can’t promise……….but I will do my best to get you in the newly wed game which will be followed by divorce court.
Hope to hear from you soon
Best wishes to you both
John

Sheryl Asked:
John please reply
Hi John,
Just a quick question-
Can you tell me if any of the “Music….” bands will be on the Carnival Pride the week of 8/29/09? Would love to see my favorites, Music Boardwalk again. If not them, then who will it be?
Thanks for finding out for me!

John Says:
Hello Sheryl
The bands whose names start with “Music” are all from the Filipinos and are wonderful 4 piece groups that play a whole cross section of music. The band currently on the Carnival Pride is called Jafar Curry, a brand new American band who from what Danny the CD tells me are absolutely fantastic.

By the way………..Music Boardwalk are currently on the Carnival Destiny.
Let me know if you need anything else
Best wishes
John

Robert asked:
John Please Reply,
Not really a question but I comment I hope will not going overlooked so I am marking as please reply
if you want to find out who gave out your e-mail and started the John for Carnival President thread’s have Host Mach or another mod over there run an IP check of the user name (of who ever posted that info) and that way we can at least narrow down what city/state they are from and go from there….just a though
Hope all is well with the Family and yourself John,
Robert

John Says:
Hello Robert
Thanks for the information mate. I have considered doing this but honestly it only gets me tense. I don’t mind the John for President one …….in fact that’s quite flattering but about as probable as finding Judge Judy coming out with her own perfume. It did upset me though when someone posted my e-mail address and the consequent flood of e-mails I received, most of which asked for a free gift. But…………life is too short to worry about such things so I will just move on and spend my time taking care of my blogging friends like you mate.
Thanks again for your concern.
Best wishes
John

Kathy Asked:
Hi John,
Please Reply.
This is concerning the past guest pins. Carnival came up with another good marketing scheme and that is, they will sell more pins in the gift shops then by giving them to Platinum guests. If they sell 200 pins on a cruise and only give out let’s say 50 on each cruise, then they have made a profit on those pins.
Kathy

John Says:
Hello Kathy
That’s correct Kathy. We will make a small profit on the pins by selling them in the gift shop however we will be as you said giving them to our Platinum guests. I hope that you will soon be a Platinum guest and although we are selling the pins we are also selling our cruises and astonishing value which I am sure you will agree is far more important.

Please let me know if you have a follow up to this and my apologies if this decision has upset you. I remain at your service.
Best wishes
John

Michael Cornett Asked:
John please reply:
Good Early Morning John,
John a couple of days ago you was asked about the elegant nights on the Carnival Dreams inaugural voyage. You not only helped that person out but you also helped me out. As we will be on the OCT 3 sailing of the Carnival Dream. So thank you very much about putting my mind to rest about when we booked the steakhouse. During your answer to the question you also posted your favorite shore excursions for the Grand Mediterranean. I was overjoyed to see your pick for Dubrovnik. My wife and myself had already book the “County home in Konavle” but I have a few questions. John, can you please tell me about this shore excursion not what the Carnival web site says but someone who has been there, done that, and considers it their favorite. My second question is where I come from it is a required courtesy to bring some type of gift when someone opens up their home to you. What kind of gift should we bring to this family? My third and final questions are about tipping. Do you tip on this shore excursion? Are the tips included in the price? Since this is a family home I don’t want to just leave money on the table. How do I show this family appreciation for a great time without insulting them?
Thank you for all that you do for us. May God continue to Bless you and yours.
Michael

John Says:
Hello Micahel
Ahhhh the Country Home Tour in Knovale. This was always one of Heidi and my favorite tours….anywhere. It is a pure example of how they used to live and how they live now…..and you will see that there is very little difference. The home is situated deep in the heart of the Croatian countryside and has seen five generations live there. They have seen good times and bad times and the bedtimes of course meaning the early 90’s when civil war saw many thousands perish. The family were forced to run to the hills and the Bosnian forces actually overtook their home and it was only when the war ended that they were able to return. The family are virtually self sufficient as they have always been and they will show you how they grow their own vegetables and still use donkey power to press the olive oil that is made there.

After a tour of the countryside and gardens and the house itself you will sit down as a family and enjoy a traditional Croatian lunch remembering everything…and I mean everything is grown or raised right there. The family is also musicians and ……… well …………. actually ………hold on……….I am going to stop there because I don’t want to spoil the surprises. Let me just say this………..you will never forget this trip and the families’ amazing hospitality. It is so nice to offer to bring a gift but it really is not needed. Just the fact that you are visiting them and of course the money they take from us when you buy the excursion is more than thank you enough. Take a photo with them or just shake their hand. They have been through so much yet as you will see…….they are a family united ……….and oh yes………watch out for grandma and her bottle of potato vodka!
Enjoy the excursion and enjoy your Carnival Dream cruise
Best wishes
John

Lorraine Beggs Asked:
Hi John (Please reply)
Firstly, thanks for your reply on my previous message. I know you are a very busy man.
Some time ago I wrote asking about the celebrations of the maiden voyage of Carnival Dream (full name) and also if anything could be offered because we had to move ships 3 times. You asked for my thoughts. Here goes – perhaps a band playing on the pier as we sail away, fireworks(on the pier), being greeted with a glass of sparkling wine on entry to the ship. It’s not a lot but it was missing on Independence. I will say that as we checked in, all passengers received a backpack and there were gifts/goodies left in your stateroom every night (not complaining about these). It was purely the leaving that was flat.

I know you ask any other bloggers for their views but I have not seen any yet. You also said you would pass on my comments to head office about the extra day’s holidays we had to take. I just wondered if you had heard yet. I appreciate the offer of a bon voyage gift but I’m not sure that you would be able to track us down as we have booked both cabins as guaranteed outside category 6. Our names are Beggs and Brisbane.

I know you asked me to get back to you a couple of weeks before the cruise but given the amount of comments you are receiving I thought it might take a while to get to this. Also I know you will be on the ship on 21/09 but wondered, if there was somewhere bloggers could meet you before you leave. I am addicted to this blog and spend the first 1/2 hour every morning reading and giggling at it. I also think the videos on the website are a great idea and actually found myself quite emotional watching “The Dream becomes a reality”. Regardless of the outcome of this message I’m truly excited about being on this ship.

Look forward to seeing Kye’s next blog which I thought was brilliant. All the best.

John Says:
Hello Lorraine
Thanks for the suggestions and we are currently looking at what we can do to make an already special cruise even more so. I don’t have any details yet but as soon as I do I will let you know and I will forward yours on to the people at the top of the Carnival tree.

I am trying to arrange a meeting before the ship sails of all the bloggers and although I have to disembark before the ship sails I hope that we can do this sometime ion the mid afternoon. Again, I will let you all know what the arrangements are. I would like to send you that bon voyage gift but as neither Todd nor the staff is there yet please may I ask that you once again remind me on September 15. I will let you know what’s happening and thanks again for the suggestions and for your very kind words.
Best wishes
John

Ellen Asked:
John please reply
I have enjoyed your blog thingy so much. I read it as soon as it pops into my inbox everyday and it always makes me smile.

I have a question – I, and a group of Cruise Critic members are sailing on the Triumph out of NYC to New England and Canada on September 19th (booking # 69KJ78) and would like to arrange a meet and greet on Sunday the 20th at around 10:00 AM. How do I go about arranging a place to hold this? Should I wait until we board or is this something that could be reserved prior?

Any help you could give me would be most appreciated.

Also, I wanted to tell you that Kye is such a beautiful baby and I’m sure you miss her terribly. I’m so glad you’ll be seeing them both soon.

Take care and thank you again for this blog thingy and all the help you provide.
Ellen

John Says:
Hello Ellen
I am so glad that the blog makes you smile and I will continue to do my best to make that happen as often as I can. I will be happy to arrange this for you and please look out in the Carnival Capers where you will find the words “Cruise Critic meet” in the Today at a Glance section. I am sure you will all have a wonderful time and please send everyone on your roll call my best regards.

I do miss my girls very much and Monday will be a very special day.
Thanks so much for all the kind thoughts
Best wishes
John

KevinandPatty Asked:
msn
John
Please reply
I was glad to read that the past guest pins will be available again. I do understand that the platinum guest should be able to get them as a “perk”, and those that are not platinum will have to purchase them…that’s fine. We sail on the Carnival Freedom on 09/12/09 for our 9th cruise and is there another way to get the pins????
Kevin

John Says:
Hello Kevin and Patty
The pins will be for sale in the Gift Shops. I have thought about saying that I will get people who read the blog a pin but I am concerned that this will result in people contacting me only to get one and that’s something I don’t want to happen. However, I am sure if you were to mention to the CD onboard that you have 9 cruises with Carnival that he or she may be able to put one in your cabin.
I will alert wee Jimmy
Best wishes to you both
John

Tom-n-Cheryl Asked:
(Please Reply)
Hello again there John! We are looking forward to our repeat encounter with you on the 12/3/09 Dream sailing… can’t wait!

I would like to say, as I have before, that I enjoy reading your blog – you never cease to amaze me. Having said that, I must admit that I only read it periodically – thus my following question may have already been addressed. Nonetheless, here it goes:

I’m fully aware that Carnival has a new fellow devoted to refining the past guest program, and no doubt there’s not a shortage of “suggestions” from folks like yours truly! One thing which I have read time and time again on Cruise Critic is the desire among Platinum cruisers for a “Platinum Past Guest Party” – or similar get together. Any chance that something such as that, which to me at least appears an “easy” addition, is coming down the pike?
THANKS!
Tom

John Says:
Hello Tom
I understand that my ramblings are not an everyday read for everyone. In fact I still continue to be amazed that any bugger reads them at all. I also have been told in person by many guests that they would love a Platinum Guests only get together. I can tell you that this option is something that is being considered and its something that I believe should happen and happen as soon as possible. I am on your side Tom and will put all my weight behind making it happen……was going to do a weight joke there but it was too obvious.
I will keep you informed
Best wishes
John

Capt Fred Asked:
John Please Reply
I got to thinking. If you someday decide to go stuff shirt and join the suits in Miami (Along time from now I hope) who, if it happen today, would become Senior Cruise Director .Does it go to the next senior person behind you or is it a position that you must be appointed to .I guess what I’m asking is who is your Vice Senior Cruise Director.

John Says:
Hello Captain
That’s a great question. First of all I am not sure that I will ever join “the suits” in Miami although if the chap on Cruise Critic is to be believed I am the company’s next President. I may one day go to work for one of the UK corporations so I can be based in the UK and when and if that happens I guess the next Senior CD would be……. ummmm……. actually, I have no idea. I don’t have a vice……….apart from Megan Fox’s bottom……… but if I did I guess it would be Todd Wittmer. Tell you what…….who do you and the bloggers think is deserving of that title?
Thanks for posing the question Captain, let’s see what everyone thinks
Best wishes
John

Caryn Meltz Asked:
John – reply if you wish
I think your blog has run its course and you should stop. I come to it occasionally for information to cross reference what I read on Cruise Critic but it is now based on ridiculous non funny humor and therefore my advice is for you to stop before you lose all your readers. The general feeling on Cruise Critic is that the blog is not the vessel of information it needs to be.
Caryn

John Says:
Hello Caryn
I thank you for your opinion and while I respect it I can only point out that the viewing figures for the blog thingy have continued to rise with current readership around 50,000 plus per week. I do my very best to provide a mixture of fun and information but it is not something that is going to suit everyone. I understand if you are going to stop reading and if you decide to return with a question I will be here for you.
Best wishes
John

Louisiana Joe & Sue Asked:
John – Please pass on compliments.
We recently wrote thanking you and Carnival for the superb cruise we had when our son was married on the Carnival Fantasy. I am writing again because we are also in the “service industry” and believe that when someone does a good job they deserve positive feedback. And no, we are not buttering you up for a favor (that would be a sight I bet HAHA) and we don’t have any special request for a gift. Congrats on your dedication to improve your health.

Upon returning from our cruise July 30, we contacted our PVP Karla Mueller to book the November 10, 2020 cruise on the Carnival Glory out of New York. At the same time, we were submitting final payment on our Nov 10th cruise on the Fantasy, Booking #******. Since the original booking, we had upgraded and changed cabins twice. In the process, and in going over the events and paperwork we had received from Carnival, we discovered that there had been a miscommunication in the price of the cruise. I thought I had a $205 balance and was told that we had a $665 balance. The actual price of the cruise was the question. With that price difference, we were considering cancelling the cruise.

To make a long story short, Karla did her research and I provided the paperwork I had received from Carnival and we still had questions. Supervisor Sheila Laman became involved and we still had unanswered questions. After only a short period of time, we were able to come to an agreeable solution and we will be on the cruise. I want you to know that I was treated with great respect in all of our conversations and we are very pleased with the solution. While we started out the conversation in a disagreement of facts, your staff was attentive to my details and looking for a solution the entire time and speaking with kindness and solution oriented. In the end, we feel our cabin is better than we originally had at the agreed upon price.
Understand that the ship is almost sold out and your staff could have easily said for us to simply cancel the cruise because they could probably sell the cabin at a higher price now due to the demand.
We are very pleased with the outcome and more pleased to know that Carnival values their customers and truly believe in customer service and “Service First” with a smile.

In conclusion, thank you for fighting for the ship pins. We have our collection from 8 different Carnival ships and proudly display them. We are happy that the Platinum guests will continue to receive them. Thank you!

John Says:
Hello Joe and Sue
What a wonderful song of praise. It was truly a joy to read. We are doing everything we can to improve our guest service departments and I thank you for taking the time to write about them. I will make sure that their boss our VP Vicky Rey gets to read this and I know she will be just as thrilled and I am sure she will pass on her words of congratulations to all those involved.

I will continue to act as a go between for such issues and let me also say that I am glad that in a small way the pins were able to return to Platinum guests like yourself and ……….I will continue the battle to get them returned to everyone……eventually.

Thanks for your loyal support and I remain at your service
Best wishes to you both
John

Jinna White Asked:
John,
Please reply
My family and I sailed recently on the Freedom July 12th and like I mentioned in an earlier blog to you–it was by far one of our best vacations! It started out a little shaky when we arrived in our cabin but after that first day it was amazing! Since we returned I get up every morning with a cup of coffee and read your blog. I just want to say we thought you were amazing and some of the comments you get on this blog are ridiculous! They must pay you “big bucks” to put up with some of the “abuse” you get on here! I am sorry to disappoint you because I am not going to complain about the food or about the shows but I just have one “measly” question for you–We are planning another cruise next year and not sure where we want to go yet so I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on your favorite itinerary? I would like to thank you again for making our cruise as well as many many others’ cruises unforgettable!!! I look forward to hearing from you soon! Best Wishes, Jinna (Whitefamily)

John Says:
Hello Jinna
Thanks ……..I needed that………because someone just told me how much they disliked the blog so it was wonderful to hear how much you like it with your coffee. I am so glad that you had a brilliant time a few weeks ago here on the Carnival Freedom and let me try and answer your question on my favorite itinerary. It’s not that easy to answer because I have so many. You did a 6-day to Key West, Cayman and Jamaica. You there fore have to do a 7 days or longer voyage this time.
I want therefore to give you three options.
1. CARNIVAL LIBERTY
Miami, FL
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas;
Fun Day at Sea;
St. Thomas, USVI;
San Juan, Puerto Rico;
Grand Turk
Fun Day at Sea;
Miami, FL

2. CARNIVAL DREAM
Port Canaveral
Nassau;
Sea Day
St. Thomas/St. John, U.S.V.I.;
St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
Sea Day
Sea Day

3. CARNIVAL SPIRIT
Seattle, WA;
Fun Day at Sea;
Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord;
Skagway, AK;
Juneau, AK;
Ketchikan, AK;
Victoria, BC, Canada;
Seattle, WA

There you go. Three very different but equally brilliant itineraries and ones I hope excite you and your family. Have a think and of course if you have any questions please let me know
Best wishes to you and all the family
John

Barry Asked:
John, please reply.
Will the cruise director list for 2010 be out any time soon? I am booked on the Carnival Liberty for a Feb 27, 2010 sailing and really need to talk to the CD. I will be hosting a group of martial artists who will practicing with sticks (a Filipino art called Arnis or Escrima). I would like to make the CD aware of this so 1) people don’t freak out, 2) see if the CD can recommend the best place for us to do this, and 3) ask if the CD can post an announcement in case there are other martial artists on board who would like to join us. I am also posting announcements about this on martial arts sites because the person who will be leading it is one of the top masters in the world and well known in the martial arts community.

Thanks and we’re all looking forward to the cruise. I have four first-time cruisers with me and I expect they will be suitable impressed with the Carnival experience

John Says:
Hello Barry
We are currently working on the 2010 cruise director schedule but please don’t worry about that because we can take care of your concerns way before the day of your cruise. Your group sounds fascinating and I am sure we can find somewhere for you to practice but as it involves weapons I think we need to have a word with a few people first. I am going to ask someone from our groups department to contact you so we can pre-arrange a lounge for this to happen. Depending on how many in the group I may suggest that you have the conference room or indeed the main lounge stage if and when it is available. So, please stand by and I will have someone take care of your requests and clear you all to bring this weapon on board.
Best wishes
John

BIG ED KONEFE Asked:
John, PLEASE REPLY
I’m already platinum so thanks for the future pins. I had this idea for Carnival to think about. When a guest reaches Platinum their first Platinum gift for becoming Platinum should be the pins for their 9 previous cruises. The pins could be sent by Hdgt in Miami right to their home. This way the ships would not have to carry a supply to do this. All you would get in your cabin is a letter from Cahill thanking them for becoming Platinum and telling them they will be receiving their back pins at home soon.
BIG ED

John Says:
Hello Big Ed
You have given me many great suggestions over the years and apart from the one which said that you and I should start our synchronized swimming team …….they have all been brilliant. I am currently working on the bumper sticker idea. This one is also another brain wave and the pins would I know be very popular with the Platinum guests and to have them sent to their homes accompanied by a letter from Mr. Cahill would really be something.

So, I shall steal this idea like I do all of yours and claim it as my own.

Seriously, I will be sending this immediately up the line……….thanks mate and my best as always to you and Pat.
John

Steve P Asked:
Good Afternoon John:
Just a quick question regarding anytime dining. We have traveled with Carnival on 4 previous cruises and have always been slightly unhappy with the dining times offered. 6:15 was just slightly too early, for me and the 8:15 dining time simply ran too late for my wifes tastes (Picky picky… I know. ) So we ate far too many meals in the Lido deck. We have recently booked our first short cruise (5 days on the Fascination over Thanksgiving week). I was told by my PVP that the early seating for dinner was waitlisted, but no any worries, the Fascination would have anytime dining by then. So she left us as “unassigned by request”. Everything I have read since has stated that the Fascination would not have anytime dining until sometime in 2010? What should I believe? Can you shed any light on the matter? If anytime dining is NOT available what happens to those of us who are unassigned?
Thanks for your time, and thanks for the blog! Oh, and I apologize if I posted this in the wrong place.

John Says:
Hello Steve
Anytime dining does indeed give you the opportunity to eat when you want and for people who find 6 pm too early and 8:15 pm too late then the anytime option is perfect. Anytime dining is indeed expected to be placed on the Carnival Fascination at the start of November so it will be in place by the time Thanksgiving comes around. This means that you will be able to take that option if you wish. Please let me know if you need anything else and thanks for the kind words about the blog……..oh and yes……..you did post the question in the correct place.
Best wishes
John

Christina Asked:
(Please reply)Hello there! As always so good to read your blog. It has kept me in stitches many a time, as I sat in my underpants late at night. (I picture you on the other side of the screen sans pants)
I enjoy reading all of the info that comes from the questions of other passengers. It has helped me so much in planning our first family cruise. So I really want to applaud your efforts and going above and beyond the call of duty. And kudos for listening to Throbbing Gristle in a previous blog. Or did you not know that is a real band? You may remember them by the hit “Detachable P***s” I didn’t want to type the real word but it has to do with a little friend of yours.

But I digress. I tried to find the info on here but with no luck I come to you. I know there is a form I can fill out pertaining to special needs guests. But I do not have a printer or fax. My son is mildly autistic and does not do well in some situations. If avoided you would never know the difference. It was with much trepidation that we planned the cruise, but hearing how well Carnival did with its special needs passengers we choose this line. I will also be with my grandfather who has one leg. Seriously. Well he has a faux one. One with a running shoe and his water proof one. But he will need some help getting aboard too. I am sooo sorry for this long letter. But as time draws near (11-14-09) to leave, I realized that I have done nothing to prepare. Outside of booking 7 rooms and planning a wedding that is. So I feel awful that I have not addressed those needs first. If you could please help me figure out what can be done for them I would be forever in your debt. I do have some photos of Meghan Fox that might interest you. And I also do tattoos, so maybe I could do one for you. I was thinking of a cruise ship on your tummy. Much love and luck to you and yours.-C

John Says:
Hello Christina
Here I am again Christina in my underpants writing to you and everyone and I am happy to hear the blog brings you such joy. Its good to hear that you do find some information in the blog because as you may have read above it seems some feel its time to have the blog put down because there isn’t enough information and there is too much underpants humor…………I feel like saying “am I bothered though”………….but I won’t.

Please don’t worry. I am going to give your e-mail to our special needs department (I think they have a new name now but I can’t remember what) and ask them to contact you so you can get the help you need. I am sure your son will be just fine and you may want to chat with Linda, Mum of DJ who I know will be happy to give you any advice for your son to have a great cruise…..she is a champion.

Planning a wedding and a cruise must be very hectic so again, please don’t worry, all will be well and someone will be in touch very soon. Please though stay in touch with me here on the blog thingy as well.

A tattoo of a Carnival ship ……….on my tummy………now there’s a thought………you could fit the entire fleet there.
Best wishes to you and all the family
John

Amanda B Asked:
Dear Julio, [please reply :o)]
I traveled on the Carnival Freedom last week (8/1-8/9) and you were our wonderful cruise director. I just wanted to let you know that I had a blast on this vacation and I will never forget it. Although you and I never met face to face we had a great phone conversation on your afternoon show on sea day number four. Now do you remember me? I traveled with my Aunt (ant) and my cousin (Kayla-with a K). Anyways I just wanted to let you know that I was very disappointed that Jamie Frasier never came to my stateroom to sing to me, or my special gift never came either. Really, it is not a big deal but my youngest cousin that was traveling with us wanted me to inform you. It would have been cool to be serenaded by Jamie though… Anyways I just wanted to thank you for making my cruise awesome and allowing me time to speak to you on your show. It added a lot more memories for us as a family, and I hope to see you again in the future on Carnival ships.
-thank you, Amanda

John Says:
Hello Amanda
Thanks so much for the kind words and I am glad that you had such a fun time. The loud scream you are hearing is Jaime Frasier, our resident crooner, hitting a higher note than he usually does as my foot enters his bottom for not serenading you. My apologies on his behalf.

I am so glad that you had fun Amanda and I truly hope we will be all sailing together again very soon

Best wishes to you all
John

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That’s all for today. I am still behind but I am sure I will be able to catch up a bit when I am home. However, please allow me a few days to reply to your questions and please make sure you mark them JOHN PLEASE REPLY.

Now……..a little later than scheduled…………..here is Heidi and Kye.

Kye


Hello Everyone,

Another week over and one with enormous heat (90degrees) and little Kye getting more injections.

It is hot in the UK and when it gets hot in the UK people start moaning and it’s getting on my nerves……..”Oh, this heat is terrible, I can’t wait for some rain and the temperature to go down 10 degrees”. Shush!

Last year, the winter here was so cold, there was so much snow that we couldn’t cope. There wasn’t enough sand to spray on the road, schools were closed, roads were closed, people could take a day off work (unpaid) if they couldn’t make it to work by public transport, the whole country came to a stand still. Even a documentary was made ” The Big Freeze”……please!

Now, I might be mistaken but I remember growing up with winters like that EVERY year and I never got a day off school.

We went and had fun on the way, throwing snowballs at the teachers and eachother. Ice skating you were taught by an older sibling (in my case my brother, who just gave me an old wooden chair, put me behind it and said “Of you go!”.)

Winter was terrific! What had changed???

Everybody was praying for a nice summer, at least, and here we have it, a summer better than it has been for years and still it’s not good enough.

Am I winding myself up over this? I think since Kye arrived I am more laid back and take things as they come.

Anyway, poor Kye had to have 2 more injections this week and once again she screamed the place down and then fell asleep for hours. She had a temperature and rosie cheeks and wasn’t her usual smiley self.
I would leave the room and she’d cry, I would put her down and she would cry but today she is back to being Kye.

So, as it is her 14 weeks birthday, I bought her a Kick & Play gym. This is a mat with 2 arches above, squeeky bits, bells, music, lights etc. etc. and no, it doesn’t fit in with our neutral colour scheme but I don’t care.

I want one for myself! it’s so cool.
Luckily, Kye likes it too. After being a little overwhelmed at first she now starts to explore and makes funny noises doing it.

So here we are, Friday afternoon. I am happy with my cup of decaf coffee and biscuit and Kye in her new play gym, life can’t get any better….well, maybe on Monday morning when John returns home….
As you can see in the photo, I told Kye her Daddy is coming home soon and this is how she reacted.

Have a great weekend.
Heidi & Kye

And so I will be home with me girls on Monday morning. I have been told that I will be babysitting on Tuesday as Heidi is going to take a yoga class…..it was either baby-sit or……take a class with her. They do say that yoga is therapeutic and that putting one leg behind your ear and sticking your arse in the air relives stress…..well…..I have never done yoga or tried to get in the crapping dog position and doubt I ever could ………… and even if I did manage to get one of my legs behind my ear and thrust my arse out like a demented baboon…….. I doubt that the person behind me would appreciate the obvious effects that the strain of achieving this would have on my bottom.

Anyway……I can’t wait to see them again. I will admit that it’s been hard……probably harder than I have told you ………to be away from them. Its fine when I am busy on stage doing what I love….making people laugh. But coming home to an empty cabin …………. well that’s been very difficult indeed and there have been times when I felt truly lonely. But I must not and cannot complain. This is the life I have chosen and one which for the most part I love nearly as much as Megan Fox’s bottom.

And I will miss doing things like this

Marriage Show 1

I want to thank you for staying with me while I have been here on the Carnival Freedom. Knowing that you have thousands of people reading your silly mutterings every day does help when I am feeling down…….so once again a huge thank you for your support.

Here is my schedule for the next month or so

AUGUST 23RD – FLY HOME ON AMERICAN AIRLINES ECONOMY CLASS TO LONDON HEATHROW

SEPTEMBER 7TH – TAKE FERRY TO HOLLAND TO SHOW HEIDI’S FAMILY KYE

SEPTEMBER 10TH – BACK IN THE UK

SEPTEMBER 15TH – FLY TO TRIESTE TO BOARD YOUR CARNIVAL DREAM

SEPTEMBER 17TH – HAND OVER CEREMONY AND SAIL TO CIVITAVECHIA (NO GUESTS – JUST CREW)

SEPTEMBER 17TH – FLY HOME TO UK

SEPTEMBER 23RD – FLY TO MIAMI AND THEN TO TAMPA TO JOIN CARNIVAL LEGEND

I will be on the Carnival Legend for three weeks and then……well…..not sure but will give you my complete schedule for the rest of the year soon. I will be joined on the Carnival Dream by Stephanie and Peter and we will be filming some exclusive video for the blog and for carnival.com…….as we take a first look on film of your Carnival Dream.

And so, its time to ask that I hope you will stay with me as I continue to blog from home. There will questions answered everyday and as well as me telling you what’s happening in the world of Carnival there will be lots of stories about…..well……life itself. So, I hope some of you will join me and remember if you need anything at all to continue to please let me know.

I have learnt lots of things these past seven weeks I have been here. I know that I cannot be a CD and a blogger and not have an assistant to help me. Jaime has done well but she still has her regular assistant CD duties to do as well and it has been hard on her. That’s something I will need to address.

However…..one thing stands out from these past few weeks and that’s the fact that I have the best job in the world and there is nothing…..nothing that could make my job any more enjoyable…..except maybe a Bentley….oh and a raise…..oh and Megan Fox to be godmother of the Carnival Dream…..oh and for Carnival to provide me with new underpants to blog in…..they could give me a pair with the name of one of the ship’s on the front….I could have a pair that says “Conquest”…..or a pair that says “Pride”…..or even ” Magic”……but if I am realistic mine would say “Holiday” because that’s the smallest ship in the fleet…….but it doesn’t matter because I am going home…… and that means it’s time to take the thingy out of dry dock as Heidi and I embark……. on a three-minute cruise.

It’s been fun and I will see you on Tuesday.

Goodnight
Your friends
John, Heidi and Kye
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.