The Green Green Arse…Sorry…Grass Of Home

August 25, 2009 -

John Heald

“Bloody hell John you idiot it’s not going to fit,” Heidi shouted as the sweat dripped down my face.

“It has to, darling. Just one more inch.”

“I told you it wasn’t going to fit.”

“It is going to fit, light of my life. I’ve just got to….please let me keep trying ……..don’t give up on me now…………come on ….come on …………..oh bollocks”

“It isn’t.” “It… is!” I gave one last, desperate push and we both heard a cracking sound. Then a slight splintering sound like when Chuck Norris is breaks someone’s neck in a bad Kung Fu movie………………Then I started crying.

We were in a loading bay outside IKEA or, as I call it………….. IHELL. And I had just shoved an IKEA flat-pack wardrobe into the back of my Polar Bear killing machine Range Rover ……………. and somehow snapped the bottom of the wood………..bugger.

“I told you it wouldn’t fit.” Heidi told me “and now just because you refused to pay the £45 delivery charge we now have a broken wardrobe door you cheap bastard.”………..and that was me, 48 hours after being back in the bosom of my family I was back where I belonged…………in the sodding doghouse.

Having arrived home with thoughts of relaxing times in the Lazy Boy watching soccer interrupted only by meals and lashings of rumpy pumpy, I was greeted with the fact that Kye had too many clothes and things and needed a new wardrobe and so this morning the three of us went to IHELL. Many of you may not have ever been to one. It has Scandinavian style furniture but not at Scandinavian prices, practical furniture with impractical names. Thousands of square meters and forests of oak- and beech-based storage solutions await you and it’s far cheaper than shopping at a furniture store with an Italian-style name and where one chair will cost you about 1 billion dollars and is about as comfortable to sit on as a cactus.

But there is of course a draw back to the savings………you have to build the furniture yourself. …………….I hate IKEA. I don’t often use the word hate……….I usually say dislike or something similar …………….but IKEA……….I truly hate.

Along with cruise directors who call Carnival “K Mart” cruising on stage……….people who say they think my blog is the biggest piece of crap since an elephant ate 57 bars of Ex Lax yet keep reading it….oh and the French of course………IKEA has the ability to make me cry full man-tears.

It was hours or days or years ……..I have no idea because I lost the will to live………before we had decided which wardrobe would grace Kye’s nursery.

With its space-saving drawers, rolling rails and neutral oak colour, it had seemed like the perfect affordable solution to all my 4-month-old daughter’s storage needs. It was annoyingly called “the Christoffersson” which was probably named after some famous Swedish ………….. ummmmmm ………ummmmmmm………..bloody hell……..I can’t think of any famous Swedish people. In fact………..apart from Volvo I can’t think of anything famous that comes from Sweden……….so lets just say that Kye’s new wardrobe was named after someone called Christoffersson who as you all name was a famous Swedish thingyssen.

Anyway………so having decided what we wanted…..sorry… having decided what she wanted, Heidi wrote down the aisle number and carried on snaking through the snaking showrooms, like you have to unless you know the short cuts – which you shouldn’t because that means you’ve seen too much. I had to get out and I had to get out now. I had already seen three other couples divorcing, two children in full-on, back-on-floor, legs in the air tantrums, and one man hanging himself from a living room lamp while another was trying to flat pack his wife into a chest of drawers.

Through the bargain corner we went, buying some reasonably priced Mugs. Heidi went to get some photo frames and as she was browsing I bought three 99p ($0.50) toilet brushes (because they were 99p, not because we have a large house and besides as Heidi insists on buying economy toilet paper they are a darn sight more comfortable).

Then…… enter the devil’s armpit………..the warehouse thingy……. the place where all thoughts that you’re actually buying proper, finished furniture buggers off.

Among the mile-high piles of flat-pack fun, we found our Christoffersson in slot G17 and loaded it onto our cart. We struggled to the checkout Heidi pushing Kye in her Aston Martin priced stroller and me pushing a cart the size of the Carnival Fantasy and sweating like Ruth G at “how to be nice when asking for things contest.”

We then lined up for ever and after we paid I noticed the queue for the hot dog cafe was very long. I was hungry and IKEAHELL had brought my sugar level down……….I needed…….I wanted……..I demanded a hot dog

“I’ve got chocolate in the car,” said Heidi……….no I……hold on. Let me go to capitals here to show how I expressed myself………….”NO………I CAN’T GO TO IKEA WITHOUT GETTING MY HOT DOG,” I screamed…….while lightly dribbling on myself.

You have to have a hot dog at IKEAOFHELL…………It’s like going on your Carnival Dream and not going to the steakhouse………… I stood in line…………and got my hot dog………….it tasted like horse arse.

Then Heidi and I began to argue because when couples go to IKEABOLLOCKS…it’s the law.

Heidi wanted to pay for some delivery company to give us a delivery window between 3am and next year rather than try to squeeze the Christoffersson into the Range Rover.

I refused……..and extraordinary……..I won. As you know, it was a hollow victory. I wheeled the car to the trolley, because IKEA doesn’t allow you to do it the other way round. Oh no, you have to fight your way into a bay next to the exit and struggle and bundle and throw smaller items such as toilet brushes in the back while a line of other cars are waiting, the line of cars growing ever longer. Everyone’s waiting and shouting and crying. Then it’s an inch off fitting. One more shove. Splinter. ………bollocksen……as they say in Sweden.

So we took the Christoffersson to the delivery area, unspoken I-told-you-so’s hanging deafeningly in the air, and arranged for it to arrive on Thursday and hopefully my Dad who is a master with tools will be able to repair the crack that I put in it.

And then it will be instruction time and of course after I have finished putting Kye’s new closet together I will of course be on my knees muttering the IKEA prayer ……….”Dear Lord, I have finished building my daughters wardrobe and yet I have one big screw left over. I have sinned ….. Forgive me, Lord, for I have been to IKEA……..and it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle………….. Then it is for me to understand these bastard instructions.”

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

Stacey Welsh Asked:
Quick question…which ships have the aft pools as “adults only”, and which don’t? There is some confusion and controversy on that.

John Says:
Hello Stacey

There is indeed some confusion non this and not just on your end either but on mine as well. A few blogs ago I wrote that the whirlpools on the aft section of the Carnival Freedom and of course I was wrong. What I meant to write was that the aft POOLS and whirlpools were adults only and this pertains to all the Destiny, Conquest and Splendor class ships. I will check on the Spirit and Fantasy class ships and let you know the answer tomorrow. I hope you will forgive my previous error and please let me know if you need anything else.
Best wishes

Marilee Asked:
Another question for you. We sailed on the Spirit in 2006 (Mexico) and we had the BEST entertainment – a hypnotist. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. I’d like to add the info about him to my cruise scrapbook (yes, I’m one of THOSE people!!) – do you know his name? Is he still with Carnival? We liked him so well that we went BACK for the later show!
P.S. Thanks for the help with the ornaments!

John Says:
I am glad you liked the show that the hypnotists performed. It’s strange………people either don’t like these shows or …… you………think they are the best shows at sea. I still can’t decide which camp I am in. We have a few working for us at the moment, do you remember what he looked like……..his age etc. I think you maybe talking about Amard but I could be wrong and unfortunately we don’t keep records of who was on what ship that far back. Anything else you can do to describe him will help me tell you who he was and if he is still performing those great shows on the Fun Ships.
Here is the current list

Asad Mecci
Jac Rene Park
Puck (he does hypnotist and or comedy/magic shows)
Mark Maverick

I hope to hear from you soon.
Best wishes

Cheri Bolchoz Asked:
John (another reply to your reply)
How I believe most on Cruise Critic got disappointed about Carnival Dream Inaugural sailing is someone from the board emailed Carnival & got this response from Guest Solutions:

“No special festivity planned on board for your sailing. Generally a private ceremony is held days before the Inaugural sailing for the general public”

That is what the email said; I guess this would make anyone feel disappointed.

Most just want Acknowledgment of Carnival Dream’s 1st sailing. Which I know will happen.

Please do not frustrate yourself over this. Everything will fall into place.

I always did wonder how people got to the Captain’s table. Now I know.

By the way I did get your reply. I will have a head count for you by Mon or Tues if that is okay. We are presently at 43, but some have not had a chance to reply
Please have a good weekend, looking forward to more pics of Carnival Dream & of Kye
Thanks for all you do

John Says:
Hello Cheri
I can tell you that there is much discussion about what we can do to add a little something to the inaugural cruise. Don’t expect fireworks and free Cartier watches but I am doing my best to get everyone something that they can take home as a permanent memory of this extraordinary cruise. This is as I said being discussed amongst many of the senior vice presidents and as soon as I have any news I will let you know. Could I be so kind to ask that you post this on the thread thingy and that way everyone will know that we listening to what is being said? There is no rush for the roll call count. I won’t be able to tell anyone until early September as that’s when Todd and the staff arrive. I will make sure all is arranged for your roll call and I am positive that this will be the best cruise any of you have ever had.
I will see you soon
Best wishes

Brenda Asked:
(Please reply) John, I don’t want to seem rude in anyway as I am on the Maiden Voyage of the Dream but we were originally on the Liberty and the ship was canceled due to the economic conditions that Carnival is facing and we moved to the Dream because it has been my dream to go to Italy. I know that I will truly enjoy my time. I do enjoy Carnival. I am on the Riviera deck at the very back of the ship. Basically, last cabin. So yes. I want to say, I wanted something special for being on the Maiden voyage. So what that I get to stay in a room that has never been occupied. I guess that I wanted to feel special. I work very hard for my money and I am used to being able to pick a good placement on a ship and the most recent email that I received from Carnival was basically bull. Unfortunately, I am down in the cellars. But don’t worry, Carnival has called us twice to upgrade to another floor for about $450.00. How do you like that!

That is kicking the horse in the teeth. We cannot accommodate you for being prior guest but for about $950 – $10000 more, we can move you. What bull*&^%.

So if a few of us are a bit unhappy! John, please feel to comment as I am sure that a few of us will reply as I have booked my next cruise on RCCL!

John Says:
Hello Brenda.
Just before we start I would graciously like to point out that the decision to remove the Carnival Liberty from Europe was based on the economic conditions the world was facing….not just Carnival. Nobody was more disappointed about this than me so I can understand how you feel and while it was absolutely the right thing to do….we do apologize for the obvious inconvenience this caused you and others.

I still am not clear what it is that would have prevented you booking a cruise with another line as you still haven’t told me what you expected from Carnival. I am sure that you also realize that I am very disappointed that you booked your next cruise with RCI but I wish you and your family a wonderful time and I truly hope that you will come back to Carnival and the amazing value for money vacation experience that we offer. Your comments were not rude at all Brenda but written because you are obviously very upset. I am doing everything I can to make the sail away experience of your Carnival Dream a very special one……….I truly wish you were joining us.

Best wishes

Carol Asked:
John please reply
First I would like to say I apologize for my reaction to a post some months ago. I have always enjoy reading your blog thingy and find myself telling others about some of the funny things that happen to you.

We are sailing on the Carnival Glory Sept 5 and I am getting really excited. We sailed on her last year. At that time the maitre d was Mr V he was great. Our server was Hootie I can’t remember his assistants name but they were all great. I was wondering if Mr V and Hootie are still on the Glory? Hootie called us by name from the first night.

(I am not complaining) We sailed this spring on the Legend and the waiter never once called us by name. This was okay but I was so impressed that Hootie remembered the names of everyone at our table and used the every night.

I hope to see them on this cruise but if they are on another ship I would like for them to know we appreciated the wonderful job they did.

Kye is a beautiful baby and I know you can hardly wait to get to hold her in your arms again.

One last question we have booked the Tulum excursion in Cozumel. Does the ferry have life jackets on it? I can’t swim and have read that the ride on the ferry can be rough.

I guess I just want some reassurance that this is a safe ride and they are prepared for anything that could go wrong.

Once again I am sorry for the way I reacted to that particular blog (Do you remember the one I am talking about?) and thank you for the reply and thank you for not posting my letter and your reply on the blog.
Hope to sail with you one day.
Carol M

John Says:
Hello Carol
I am not sure what you said in your last post but nobody……….absolutely nobody………ever needs to apologize for saying what they feel here on this blog thingy. I have always said that this blog needs never to hide from emotion…….yours and mine……and while much of what I write is done so in jest there are times when the bloggers and I do express how we feel and the moment that stops ………..I will stop writing.

I was sorry to read that the waiter on the Carnival Legend did not acknowledge you by your name and compared to your experience on the Carnival Glory this was obviously a big let down. I can tell you that our onboard training departments participate in a training program that encourages and expects all crew members to call the guests by name. We know this can make such a difference and we see the results of this through the hospitality ratings we receive via the guest comment/review cards.

I have forwarded this to the Maitre D on the Carnival Glory and if Hootie is still there I will ask that he is assigned to your table.

The ferry that takes you to the main land of Mexico for the Tulum tour is more like a raft than a ferry and there are no actual life jackets but there will be people my size onboard and we make great flotation devices……………kidding. The boat is a modern hydrofoil and like all the boats we use for our excursions they have enough life jackets for each and every passenger and are subject to frequent safety inspections by representatives of Carnival Cruise Lines. All will be way. By the way………….did you know the Mayan Indians at Tulum were the first race of people ever to wear underwear……… was called Fruit of Tulum.

Have fun and best wishes to all

Amy B. Asked:
Dear John, please reply at your convenience.
My family will be on the October 18th sailing of the Carnival Splendor to celebrate my cousin’s wedding onboard the ship. I was wondering whether you’ve posted a profile or interview with her CD, “Goose” yet. I tried searching the archives, but no luck. If you’ve posted something, would you kindly tell me the date so I can look it up, and if not, would you consider introducing your blog readers to Goose sometime before October 18th?
Also, as a fellow Ricky Gervais fan, if you haven’t loaded his audio books onto your Eye Pod thingy yet, they are hilarious! He is to podcasting what you are to the blog. Seasons one, two, and the Podfather Trilogy are particularly funny. Be careful not to fall off the treadmill laughing.

Thank you, John, for allowing all of us cubicle-dwellers to live vicariously through you. You’re the salt of the earth. Best to Heidi & Kye.

John Says:
Hello Amy
I am a huge Gervais fan and I have indeed listened to his Podcasts and I know what you mean……..they are simply hilarious………..what a brilliant writer he is as is his partner Stephen Merchant.

I will over the next few weeks be posting bios and q and a’s with the CD’s starting today and very soon you will see and read just why Goose is so well liked by those guests currently cruising with him out on the beautiful Carnival Splendor. I will make sure his is posted well before you sail.

I hope Ricky brings you laughter and if I can provide a bit through this blog thing as well then I will be happy indeed.
My best to you and the family

Amy Asked:
JJ Flurett
John (please reply to the blog as a whole)
I’m sure this is a repeat but here is where the confusion lies on the “inaugural” sailing of the Dream – I am cutting/pasting from CC:

“John Says:
Hello Brandy
I just want to try and make this as clear as I possibly can. The inaugural cruise meaning the first ever-cruise of your Carnival Dream is September 21. Respectfully I cannot understand why anyone will be upset………..nothing has changed. Yes, the naming ceremony will be in New York but the first people to sleep in the staterooms, the first people to see the shows, the first people to relax and enjoy the Ocean Plaza, the first people to use the incredible water park, the first people to enjoy all the dining options and the first people to experience everything this stunning vessel has to offer…..will be you ….. On the inaugural cruise……….and again, why that would upset anyone is extraordinary to me. I couldn’t read the link as it needed me to join or something. But I hope you will post this response for me please.

There will be excitement, there will be a sense of history and there will be special events and it will be the best cruise any of you have ever had.

My best wishes to you and your family

Here is the first post that I had responded to:
Please reply.
John, I will be on the inaugural cruise. Anything special going on. I just noticed that Carnival is doing their inaugural ceremony when the Ship docks into New York. I was feeling pretty special being on the first sailing.

John Says:
Yes indeed the inaugural cruise is from New York and there will be lots of celebrations. The details are still being ironed out and remain hush hush…….but as soon as I know you will all know I promise. It will be a special cruise regardless and just sailing on your Carnival Dream passed New York’s iconic skyline will be a very memorable event.
Please keep reading the blog thingy for more details soon
Best wishes

There seems to be some confusion as to semantics if you ask me (but who cares what I think) about the term “inaugural” and you do seem to mix them about.
Please know I am still your favorite lurking fan.

John Says:
Hello Amy
I think much of this maybe as you said my fault. I think in the very early stages when I was replying to people’s questions I referred to the naming ceremony in New York as opposed to the proper inaugural cruise on September 21. Yes, the naming ceremony will be in New York but the first time the ship will carry guests will be on September 21.

I know I am repeating myself here but I am still not sure what expectations are for this………I still haven’t seen too much written saying “please give us this” which means I am asking our top people at Carnival to provide something that I hope will make for a special sail away experience based on what I hope will be something everyone will appreciate. I do agree that we must do something and that’s why I have taken the baton on this and hopefully won’t disappoint you all.

Having seen the ship already though I still stand by what I said in a previous answer “Yes, the naming ceremony will be in New York but the first people to sleep in the staterooms, the first people to see the shows, the first people to relax and enjoy the Ocean Plaza, the first people to use the incredible water park, the first people to enjoy all the dining options and the first people to experience everything this stunning vessel has to offer…..will be you ….. On the inaugural cruise……….and again, why that would upset anyone is extraordinary to me. ”

So, unless someone tells me otherwise I will fight your corner based on what I hope will make this brilliant experience even more so. Once again, I know this is being discussed on one of those thread thingies so please let everyone know that I am working on this for you all.
Thanks for remaining a blog thingy fan and I hope you always will be
Best wishes

John & Geraldine Asked:
Hi John – Reply please.
Re: Our 51st Anniversary Cruise
You mentioned to let you know closer to the cruise about our 2 Anniversaries party table seating arrangements please.

It is our 51st and my daughter’s 5th anniversary and if possible we asked if you could please arrange a window table for 4 if the matre’d says it is okay.

We are leaving on Aug 29 from FLL onboard Carnival Freedom and our cabin # is ******.

Thank you so much for helping us.
John & Geraldine Scott (soon platinum) &
Sharon & JM Lessard – their 2nd Carnival Cruise

John Says:
Hello John and Geraldine
Thanks for the reminder and I have asked Stephanie to pass this onto the maitre d on the ship. Have a wonderful time and best wishes to all on this your anniversary cruise …51 years…….Heidi and I should be so lucky.
Best wishes

Wendy Asked:
Dear John,
Please Reply
I just finished reading “An Apology to Southern Dreams” and had to jump way ahead to write this question. Always trying to catch up!

If those kids had been caught could they have been in any legal trouble in that they where on a ship and not on land? Not sure if I am asking this correctly but could they have been arrested as juveniles? I understand that Carnival can have them taken off at the first port of call and not allowed to cruise the line again. I was just wondering if they could also be in legal trouble. I would hope so. BRATS!!

John Says:
Hello Wendy
There are lots of scenarios that could have happened here. The ship’s command could have exerted their right to disembark the children and their families and of course if deemed serious enough we can contact the various law enforcement agencies. However, one thing is for certain. If they had been caught they would have been charged for the repairs and forced to apology ……. oh and if this had been a few years ago they would have gotten a clip round the ear from me as well. Hope you catch up with the blogs soon.
Best wishes

Eanette Asked:
John Please reply
I was reading the reply about the Glory and the seaside theatre to be installed. I will be on the Glory two weeks before it’s dry-dock at the end of January 2010 and was under the impression that it won’t be getting seaside theatre until the dry-dock. Your reply said by the time the person cruise 9/12 (sept 12 or perhaps Sept 2012?) it will have seaside theather. Please clear it up for me.
As for the Animal Rights activists, I really wish they would leave it at home. Yes, it isn’t necessarily the greatest to see dolphins in captivity, but the upside is they are well cared for and the activities they do keep them from getting bored (dolphins are very intelligent animals and the tricks keep them in good shape mentally)
Kye- as usual, a darling. May she have Heidi’s good looks and your charm and humor….

John Says:
Hello Eanette
Oh my goodness….did I say that…………I have been trying to find that post and apologize to whoever wrote that comment because I meant to say that the Carnival Glory will be getting the Seaside Theatre Big Screen as you said………during drydock next year. I think I probably read it as 2012 not September 12 – bugger. I apologize to anyone who may have read that. Thanks for setting the record straight and thanks for the kind words for Kye and Heidi……….she does have Heidi’s looks and not sure about the humour yet………but she certainly has my arse!

Best wishes and thanks again

That’s all for today. More tomorrow as I answer the next group marked “John, please reply.”

Time for a break.

I see there were many comments of praise for the interview with Micky Arison as posted by Ralph Grizzle. It was a brillinat article and just after I added my few words I was sent this photo of our chairman and CEO. You can see him………a beautiful sunset……..a gorgeous AIDA ship in the background………….and if you look closely enough you can see the pride in his eyes.

AIDAdiva Micky in Cannes August 24 2009

As I mentioned I will be posting some answers to questions I posed our cruise directors. I think this is a great way for you all to learn more about the people who I think can truly make a difference in your cruise experience. Anyway…………we will start now with a recent addition to our team but one who is proving so very popular………….he’s big and he’s sexy ………….and he calls him self Josh,……….or……………Big Sexy.


Josh BS

Josh BS hat 2

Josh CD

Josh Rose

1. Please tell us about yourself and your journey to the Cruise Director chair.

For the past 5 1/2 years, I’ve worked my way up the ranks starting as a karaoke and social host (Entertainment Staff), ACD for a few years while periodically taking over as CD, and have now have been acting CD on ships steadily since the beginning of the year. I have progressively grown both as a manager and entertainer and am now fulfilling my lifelong goal of becoming a Cruise Director… I’m just lucky it’s with the BEST company in the business!

2. What ship are you currently serving on.

The Carnival Miracle out of New York City.

3. Before we talk about you lets talk about the ship. What are you favorite areas of the vessel and what is it that makes your ship the best in the Carnival fleet.

The Miracle is the longest and narrowest ship in the fleet and the newest of the Spirit Class vessels. I’m proud to say that it has won an award for top guest and/or crew ratings on a handful of occasions through throughout the 5 years the ship has been in service. I think that speaks for itself and says a lot about the management team we have onboard. In terms of a favorite lounge, it would be one called Frankie & Johnnie’s. It holds about 150 people and houses an amazing four piece band from the Philippines who plays virtually every single night called “Music Unlimited.” It’s not the largest lounge, but it’s a very intimate setting and the best place on the ship to meet up with friends, grab a beverage and socialize.

4. Can you tell us about your itinerary and please pick your favorite shore excursion from each port and tell us why you like it so much.

Right now, the Miracle is doing 8 day cruises out of New York City and down to San Juan, P.R., St. Thomas and Grand Turk. The other run we do quite often goes to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau. In Puerto Rico, don’t miss out on the “Bioluminescent Bay Kayak Tour” (especially on a moon-lit night!), St. Thomas is known for its fabulous shopping, sight-seeing and sandy beaches and has many tours that do a little of everything, and in Grand Turk try the “Ultimate Snorkeling” or “Reef and rays” excursions that take you to some amazing sites. Half Moon Cay probably has the most spectacular beach I’ve ever been on, so give the “Horseback Riding” tour a whirl and watch these magnificent animals trot through the surf… I wish I could go, but they still haven’t found a horse big enough to hold me. I’ve watched many times though!

5. If someone were to ask you ” what does a Carnival Cruise Director do ” how would you reply?

We’re the face of the ship (I feel bad for the guests here…) and oversee the Entertainment Department and personnel, however, we are also in charge of guest safety onboard, marketing and promotions and guest satisfaction…. I like to say that we are responsible for putting a smile on people’s faces day in and out– as cheesy and cliché as that sounds.

6. What is your most favorite part of the job?

There’s no better feeling in the world than to make somebody laugh… On the other side of the gig, I love the management role and bringing teams together.

7. If we were to sail on a ship where you are the CD what would be the must not miss activity or show that you host?

While I think I do a heck of a “Love and Marriage” show and “Match Game,” you won’t want to miss any festivities during the “flashback” evening onboard… 70’s and 80’s TV Theme Challenge (name the themes to the best TV shows of all time), 70’s Boogie Night Fever (dance competitions with our 4-piece band), and an 80’s Party Extravaganza (air guitar, big hair and Michael Jackson dance off competitions). I’m a huge fan of the old game and TV shows, music, etc… I’ve also put together my own sports “game show” that all sports buffs cannot miss!! That was like 10 activities…. Sorry. I can’t narrow it down I have so many favorites…

8. What is the hardest and or most challenging part of the job of Carnival CD?

Giving 110% for months at a time, 24 hours a day, with a smile on your face can be difficult. People don’t realize that we’ve got our ups and downs and occasional bad days too. However, my grandmother told me once that if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life… if this is true though, that would mean I haven’t worked in a very long time. This really isn’t a “job” for me…

9. If you could sail on any other cruise ship (not Carnival) what ship would you like to sail on as a guest and why.

Since the question is a bit non-specific, and I like to be different, I’ll say the Titanic. I’ve always been fascinated with the story… I would make sure to bring my own inflatable raft though. : ) Since I haven’t invented a time machine just yet, I’ll just say any ship that goes to Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to go and never have…

10. Finally – please fill in the blanks
TIE– Jack Nicholson and Robert Dinero
TIE– Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman
Any kind of rock– classic, alternative, heavy… I’m a big fan of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, U2 and Metallica.
I’m a huge movie buff, so it would be hard to narrow it down to one. My DVD collection consists of over 1000 movies… If I had to narrow it down, I would have to say the Godfather trilogy.
This one is easy– my comedic inspirations are the late and great comedians/actors Chris Farley and George Carlin. I can still pop in any movie or show of theirs and lose it!
Jorge Solano. He’s on the Triumph now. He is my mentor and was the one to promote me a while back… Given that he was a stand-up comedian for years before becoming Cruise Director, I have learned a lot about stage presence and “working a crowd” by watching him. Most of what I know about the intricacies of cruise directing and managing come from working with him. A close second place– Lenny Halliday. He’s an inspiration to me given that he’s been in the business for SO long and is still going strong. You can really tell he still loves his job after all these years and the guests love him!
I would try to find myself…. I’ve got a horrible case of ADD and it would work wonders in keeping me occupied.

Thanks BS……..oops …….I don’t mean BS as in ………well you know…………I meant thanks Big Sexy……..and I am sure many are now looking forward to their cruise with you.

By the way…….tomorrow and the rest of the week look out for photos of the work ongoing in the state rooms on your Carnival Dream and as a bonus there will be two blogs tomorrow………a regular one from me and a photo blog with 24 photos of the entertainment areas of this brilliant ship…..and if you can’t wait until then stop by for the latest renderings.

It seems that the whole inaugural cruise thing with your Carnival Dream is the topic du jour and it is on my list of to do’s……..what I mean by this is it’s on my list of things to try and accomplish as soon as possible. Now, on the Carnival ladder of importance I am lower than a goblin’s thingy …….but with the power invested in me by you ………the loyal lovers of Carnival and blog readers extraordinaire….I will do my best to sit here each day………… my underpants …….. and bombard the important people with suggestions and ideas.

Here is what’s on my current top five list.

1. Making the September 21 cruise of your Carnival Dream extra special with a big sail away event and something given as a permanent memory.

2. Platinum Breakfast or Lunch……..I think this is something that we can do straight away. We don’t need to have a special area……..or special food…………we just reserve an area of the dining room for breakfast of lunch on a sea day and invite the Platinum cruisers. This should be hosted by the captain and or cruise director and it will be a wonderful way for you all to chat about your past cruise experiences and meet your fellow Platinumers…………yes that is a word.

3. XXXXL bathrobes – as Big Ed keeps telling me ……one size does not fit all and I have been promising him I would get something done about this. I haven’t………..but I haven’t given up.

4. My 2010 schedule and bloggers 2010. I know many of you are waiting for this and I have to get this out as quickly as possible

5. Carnival offers a great military discount program to our serving military men and women yet when these guests sail we are not told that they are onboard. I generally find out through letters of dedication at the Morning Show….and that’s not good enough. There should be a system where the ship is told who they are and their stateroom numbers. If anyone deserves some special recognition, it is them and a fruit basket, chocolate covered strawberries and a phone call from the CD is the least we can do…….and if the guests agree…….some sort of public recognition at one of the shows allowing the guests to say ………”welcome home”

Now, I will do my very best to get this done and eventually I am positive I will. It’s hard coming from a ship back ground into the world of shore side where “meetings” are the way of the world. Now I am not criticizing Carnival executives in any way as I know this is the way the corporate world turns. On a ship……….you get together………..once………….for a few minutes…………and decide what needs to be done and ummmmm…… it.

Now I know things are on a completely different scale in the world of cubicles and water coolers but bloody hell…….do we really need so many meetings? There are only 24 hours in one day and organizing a work-life balance structure can be difficult I am sure. But from what I have seen there are too many meetings, too many areas of authority and reports. Huge blocks of time are eaten up rehearsing and debriefing for meetings, dealing with possible personality clashes as well as doing the bloody job. I therefore am proposing that every company including Carnival hires a Senior Vice President of Getting Things Done Immediately………….and if it comes with a company Aston Martin………then I am the man for the job.

Finally and obviously the final word has to be about how wonderful it is to be home. I don’t think I can describe in words how it feels to see what an awesome mother Heidi has become and I know for sure I do not have the words to describe how it felt to push my daughter down the street with Heidi as a family…..I know for sure that I cannot describe how it feels to hold my daughter in my arms and see her smile…….at me…….her Dad………I can for sure tell you that even writing those last few words have the keys of my computer damp…………..from my tears.

John and Kye

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John, Heidi and Kye

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.