iBlogs And Other Gadgets

September 2, 2009 -

John Heald

The birds and the bees………..ahh yes………..that is supposed to be explained by your Dad during a conversation by the fire in slippers and smoking a pipe………yep…….that chat you’re supposed to have with your father about the time you first start noticing that girls don’t make you vomit any more ……………..well, I never had that chat and learned all about the birds and the bees from old copies of Penthouse magazine and from staring at Sally Poole’s breasts.

Now I’m 44 and by the time Kye is ready for her “chat” I will be 64 and anyway by the time Kye is 20 rumpy pumpy will have been banned because all that body heat will be the cause of global warming and the slaughter of a few Polar Bears.

So I am no help to you when it comes to the rumpy pumpy chat thingy but I can help you with something else Dads……………something that I know you need my help with.

This then Dads is the conversation you need to have.

“Son, I was meaning, ummmmm, to talk to you, if you have a minute. It’s about women. As you may have noticed, they’re different from us. There’s no easy way to tell you this, son…but women don’t like spending money on gadgets. As you know from our last little chat, your mummy and daddy lay down next to each other for three minutes and, nine months later, Sammy the Stork dropped you down the chimney. Well, one day it will be your turn to receive a visit from the stork. And if you haven’t indulged your enjoyment of gadgets by then, mark my words, my son, you never will. I’m glad we had this little chat.”

I wasted my teenage years trying to date proper girls when, if I’d been given the chat, I would have been happily accumulating all sorts of gadgets.

Before Heidi and I were married I did manage to buy a plasma TV but it wasn’t a Bang & Olufsen I wanted because I naively assumed I would be able to get one when I was a little older and a lot richer. So I bought one by a brand called Grundig which is Japanese for “total and utter crap.” I got a cell phone but not one with a built-in cappuccino machine. I never bought a remote-control helicopter or surround-sound cinema or an ice-cream maker or a nose hair trimmer from Sharper Image.

By saying “I do” to a tearful girl in a big white dress, I, like all men before me, kissed goodbye to my chances of acquiring new gadgets until death do us part. I will never know whether shooting people on PlayStation 3 is more enjoyable than shooting people on Xbox 360. They are both banned. Ditto phones, computers, cameras and personal music players.

“There’s nothing wrong with the one we’ve got,” is the motto of married life, unless we’re talking about dresses, shoes or handbags. It gets worse when that meddling stork arrives. Suddenly I found the only gadgets I was allowed to buy were strollers, baby seats and, shudder…………… breast pumps.

Then, the second he or she gets motor control, the baby joins the anti-gadget crusade. A top-spec Remington shaver I bought when I thought nobody was looking took a tumble down the stairs before I even had a chance to use it. My phone, the one without the tea maker, followed. The non-Bang & Olufsen has been drawn on with a knife (but there’s apparently still “nothing wrong with it”) and my iPod was found to be unwaterproof.

The one prized gadget I had managed to buy though was my Bose Wave radio. Five hundred dollars, I paid in St. Thomas for a bedside radio. The sort of madness only bachelors can get away with. I had snuck it in long before the stork. I don’t think I was even engaged. But it had been on borrowed time for months. And last week it met its maker, courtesy of an “accidental” milk spillage when a bottle of Heidi’s expressed breast milk meant that it would never wake me up again.

And so yesterday I decided to say bollocks and went out and bought a new 50 inch plasma TV. I still couldn’t afford the Bang & Olufsen but instead I bought a Samsung……..I didn’t tell Heidi. It just arrived. Accompanied by some Polish workmen who hung the TV on the wall and buggered off. As soon as the door closed I felt a sharp pain in my arse and found a size 7 ladies shoe hanging out of it. I have no idea how it got there……..Police officers are investigating as I write but please, unmarried men, take my word for it: enjoy your gadgets while you still can and please pass this down to your sons.

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

Marty Paul Asked:
JOHN, PLEASE REPLY.
Hi John,
Thank you for your blog (I’m hooked) and the posting of the photos of the beautiful Carnival Dream. My girlfriend & I will be on the Oct 15th sailing in the Med and can’t wait!

My question is with regard to another Carnival cruise/vessel. I was wondering what happened to the Carnival Glory’s 3 sailings to Quebec (aka “After the Glaciers”) from NYC in summer 2010.

Did Carnival cancel these sailings? Recently, I couldn’t find them on the website…am I missing something?
Thanks…
Marty Paul

John Says:
Hello Marty Paul
It makes me so happy when I read how much people enjoy the blog. I am particularly pleased this morning because its 7 am and I have been writing for 45 minutes already. I have a full day planned with Heidi and Kye and a list of jobs to do so it’s an early start for me and my underpants ………….so thanks again for the kind words.

I am sorry to report that yes you are correct; Carnival did postpone the three sailings you mentioned and that’s a shame. However, with current market conditions we really wanted to focus our efforts on our four- and five-day Canada sailings. Hopefully one day we will be able to run these voyages because I think they would really be superb. I went to Quebec on the Carnival Legend in 2002 and despite everyone speaking French and refusing to speak English there is no doubt what a stunningly beautiful city Quebec is. I hope though that you are excited about your Mediterranean cruise on your Carnival Dream. It is something that you will never forget and what better way to see places like Venice and Dubrovnik than on your Carnival Dream. If there is anything else I can do for you before you sail please let me know.
Best wishes to all
John

David Wyatt Asked:
John, please reply.
I have a question concerning the rank insignia of the Captain. Above his rank, on his sleeve of his black jacket, is what looks to be a crown, can you tell me what it signifies and do you know of a location on the web I can find information and especially pictures of the rank insignia used by the Carnival crew? I know I have seen it in previous cabin information books, I wish I had taken the book, (did I type that out loud?) I mean I wish I had taken more notice of what’s in the book. Perhaps you know of a location in which the books could be downloaded.
Thanks Again

John Says:
Hello Dave
That was funny……”I wish I had taken the book”……….you would not have been the first or been the last to do that. Yes, in the old days the book about the ship did have the rank and insignia of each officer and department head on board. You know, I must be honest and I can be because it’s my blog……..I miss the old style books. The old books had bios and photos of the captain and every department head on board and now………well………..now it seems to be more advertising than anything else………and while I understand that these commercials pay for the book it still has I think lost that personal touch.

I remember on the Carnival Destiny that Captain Gallo and I sat in the disco for four hours signing the inaugural books and taking photos…….it was brilliant. I did the same on the Carnival Triumph but by the time I brought out the Carnival Legend the book started changing. I just looked at the book for the Carnival Splendor and while there is a tiny photo of the Captain he is the only department head mentioned. Now don’t get me wrong, the books are still great an excellent read but…….well……….I think they used to be better……………just my opinion of course.

Now, as for the crown above the Captain’s insignia. I am not sure why they went with a crown. I am not sure if there is a specific reason for this but I will find out and who better to ask then the Master of your Carnival Dream Captain Carlo Queirolo. I will post his answer as soon as I receive it.

There is nothing at the moment about this on carnival.com but you know what………there should be and if you give me a few weeks I will ask one of the 343 Stephanies to put this information on the website.

Back with you soon.
Best wishes
John

Brian Asked:
John, Please Reply
I was wondering how the dining room entertainment is set up for the eat anytime arrangement? Do those that choose to eat in that dining room get to have the “hot, hot, hot dance”, along with the macaroni, etc?
If the waiters do perform, is it to the detriment of guests waiting on dinner, or is it only a select few waiters that dance/perform?

Also, if a guest requests traditional seating, can they attend the anytime seating (I’m not talking about the alternative dining on Lido, but the trial dining on the bigger ships)?
Just curious. Thanks!!!
Brian

John Says:
Hello Brian
That’s a great question and the answer is that while most of the anytime diners do see the dining room performances some may see it while eating the appetizer rather than dessert which is usually what happens. The shows are usually no more than 5 minutes so it does not affect the service in anyway and so far we have not seen any negative comments suggesting service is affected. You do though have to make a choice between assigned seating and anytime so unfortunately you cannot just go one night and use anytime if you have assigned seating.
I hope this helps answer your concerns and if you have a follow up please let me know
Best wishes
John

Margie Miller Asked:
John Please Reply
Hi John I am new to Carnival & have been reading your blog for about the last 3 weeks. Kye is exquisite & last week’s picture was so beautiful.

We will be going on The Dream in April but I know she will be in Pt. Canaveral before then. I know that some ships have tours or open ships for TA’s but I wondered if there was anything for non-TA’s? We live about an hour away & could make it on short notice!! I am not looking for anything free; we would certainly be willing to pay.
Thanks John

John Says:
Hello Margie
As always it is great to welcome new readers to the blog. So far we have had nearly 4.9 million readers since its conception two years ago and I bid you a warm welcome and thank you for those beautiful words about Kye.

While we do offer tours of the ship for travel agents we don’t do this for the public. I can imagine if we advertised this we would be flooded by requests and with 3,800 guests embarking for their cruise it would be far too many people to control. However……if you remind me when I am onboard in February when I am onboard I will see if I can get you onboard……I am sure it won’t be a problem.

So, remind me next year and I will hope to see you onboard your Carnival Dream.
Best wishes
John

Peg Dunbar Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY
What a great blog John, between horrible T-Shirts that people should know better to wear and a beautiful wedding. I am not surprised that someone has finally said something about those T-Shirts. They really are horrible. I will never understand why anyone would think it is appropriate to wear something like that and not have someone say something.

But your day ended with a beautiful wedding. I am so happy that Carnival could make the couple happy. They had to be so disappointed that their plans had been changed. But because of you and your staff all has ended well. They are so lucky to have Carnival on their side.
The pictures of the Dream are amazing. My question is, since she will be going to Europe in the fall, when will Carnival be going back in 2010? I would really like to go back to Europe but I refuse to sail any other line but Carnival, so whenever they go back I want to go too. I just cannot do it this year, we have traveled so much as it is and I am going to be booking the Carnival Ecstasy for the January 14th sailing. We go to Texas every winter and the church we go to are planning this cruise. I just got the information today and tomorrow I will book us. This is the first time we will be able to drive to the port, no air fair YEA. Three cruises in 14 months, amazing at least it is for us.

So, I hope you can give me some good information about Carnival going back to Europe in the fall of 2010.
Keep smiling John, you truly are one of the good guys.
My best to Heidi and Kye, who are anxiously waiting
For you to come home.

John Says:
Hello Peg
Every time I write about Europe so many wonderful memories return and I look back on my time on the Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Splendor and realize that when they sailed in Europe that those times were some of the happiest I have ever had during my 23 years at sea.

While I can confirm that sadly we will not have a ship in Europe during 2010 but I’m hoping 2011 may be a possibility but I personally love sailing from Europe and so do our guests, obviously. Fingers crossed.

I know what a loyal supporter of Carnival Cruise Lines you are and maybe one day we will both get our wish and sail together through Europe.
Let’s see what the future brings.

Best wishes to you and all your family.
John

Linda Stein Asked:
Hi John…please reply! My husband and I are going on the Miracle on November 4th. It will be our 2nd Carnival cruise. We were on Miracle last July out of New York and had a really good time. Miracle is such a pretty ship and the crew and staff are really great, friendly and helpful I can’t wait to get back to her. We’ll be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.

I’m not sure if you’re able to answer this but my question concerns excursions. When we went last July we were able to book excursions through the Carnival site months before sailing. However, this time, for our stops in St. Martin and St. Lucia there are only 8 and 9 choices available for our cruise. The full excursion lists show almost 30. Since this is only my 2nd Carnival cruise, is this normal? Someone on Cruise Critic suggested it might be because we’re on those islands on Saturday and Sunday. Does that make a difference?

Anyway, thanks in advance for your time. I just love reading your blog. I’m a lifelong anglophile and just love your take on things. Keep it up!

John Says:
Hello Linda
The Carnival Miracle has since her launch been, for whatever reason, a ship that has always come at the top of the fleet’s hospitality ratings that are given by you when you fill out your comment/review card.

Now normally the excursions we operate do not change due to a weekend call. The operators need to make money regardless of the day and I have not ever been on a ship where calls are made on a weekend and the tours are diminished. It maybe that there are lots of vessels in port that day or maybe that some tours are seasonal or most probably…….they just haven’t been placed on line. Regardless, let me find out. I will send a note now to our shore excursion department and post their answer ASAP so please keep reading the blog. Booking your tours online with Carnival before you sail is something more and more people are doing and it makes total sense to do so. You arrive onboard, already knowing what you and your family are going to do in port. Anyway, I will find out if there are more tours in St. Maarten and St. Lucia which we will be offering online and I will let you know very soon.
Best wishes and have a brilliant anniversary cruise……..and thanks for the very kind words about the blog.
Best wishes to you both
John

Mike Richardson Asked:
John,
PLEASE REPLY
I wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time on the Fantasy August 8th. The Maitre D, Jogi, went above and beyond taking care of our family. He mentioned that you had e-mailed him to let him know that we would be there. Thank you so much to you and to Jogi for taking care of us.

I’m also guessing you had something to do with the bottle of champagne and the fruit basket as well. Thank you for the gifts. While unnecessary, they were very much appreciated.

We enjoyed every bit of the Fantasy. The staff was very friendly; I felt every one of them knew us. We spent a lot of time in the karaoke bar with Christina, who was so much fun.

I also wanted to signal out one crew member in particular. I evidently dropped my sail and sign card in the disco and another passenger found it and tried to use it. When he tried to get a drink, the bartender Ross knew that he had my card. Security was alerted and he was taken care of appropriately. I just wanted you to know how much we appreciate people like Ross. I know you have many quality people, but I was hoping you might be able to do something special for Ross. He deserves it.

Once again, John thanks for everything you do for us.
Mike, Michelle, Blythe, Donny, Skyler, Shayla, Bubba, Barb, Niki, and Joe

John Says:
Hello Mike
I am glad you enjoyed the cruise Mike and no need to thank me for the fruit basket, etc. You have done a lot for me and have always been a big supporter of the blog so it was the least I could do. I loved reading your words of praise for the Carnival Fantasy, Jogi, Ross and the crew and I have forwarded them to the Hotel Director on the ship who will make sure they get to see them.

It just goes to show how watchful our staff has to be as on every ship there is always one guest who will try something deceitful like trying to buy a drink on your card. I am glad he was dealt with accordingly……maybe we should adopt the Saudi Arabian way of dealing with thieves …….. although then the guest may have difficulties applauding at the shows.

Thanks again Mike and my best to you and Michelle, Blythe, Donny, Skyler, Shayla, Bubba, Barb, Niki, and Joe
John

Medic123 Asked:
John (please reply)
Thank you for your wonderful blog. It has given me a great insight to Carnival, I wouldn’t have otherwise. We will be on our second cruise on Carnival Inspiration September 26. Our first Carnival cruise was almost 10 years age. During this time we have been devoted to Itsnowtoobigfor me of the seas. I am going to ask you for a favor. We will be traveling with a young lady that was my foster daughter for 6 years of her youth. During the adoption proceedings her mother decided she wanted her back (after not seeing her during these years). We have just got back together (her mother would not allow us to visit) and I have found out she has had a really hard life with her mother. I am giving her this cruise for her honeymoon and she begged us to go with her. This is her first vacation ever since she left us at 7 years old. I really want to make this special for her!! I have purchased many additions to help with that. If there is anything you can do or suggest to help me make this a memorial trip, I would eternally grateful. Thank you for everything you do!!! I hope you are home with your girls when you read this, since it is very obvious how much you miss them

John Says:
Hello Medic123
One of the things I try to accomplish as I sit here in my underpants writing this blog is to give an unprecedented insight into life on and off a ship and of course a insight into what makes Carnival the world’s most popular cruise line. And judging by your remarks it seems to have done exactly what I hoped it would.

We are honored that after sailing for some years on RCI that you have decided to come home to Carnival and what a heartfelt story you shared with us about your foster daughter. I will do all I can to make her feel special. Thank you for the kind words and I wish you and your family a wonderful time onboard the Carnival Inspiration.
Best wishes
John

Rickwebste Asked:
Dear John, (Please reply)
I posted this yesterday along with Celebrity’s policies but forgot to put (please reply), sorry. I love reading your blog. I work nights and read it when I come home while winding down for bed. My wife and I will be taking our next cruise on the Valor Oct 25, 2009. We will be celebrating our anniversary. From my understanding you can no longer tour the bridge. We would love to see the bridge. Is it possible for you to help us get a bridge tour? Also, I was talking this morning with our 5 year old English Bulldog (Buttercup). Buttercup is mad that mom and dad are taking another Carnival cruise without her. Is it possible to take Buttercup on a cruise with us? LOL. How could you turn down such a beautiful face (you can see her in her formal at http://www.engbulldogs.com). Thank you for your help and thank you for such a great blog.
Rick and Amy Webster
PS what would we do with the dog poo?

John Says:
Hello Rick and Amy
Poor old Buttercup. I know he will miss Mum and Dad very much but unfortunately only service dogs are allowed to sail on a Carnival ship. So unless Buttercup provides a service I am sorry to say he will have to go to Vegas instead.

Unfortunately we are not permitted to send the masses to the bridge anymore. However, we will have a special tour on the Carnival Valor called the Behind the Fun tour. This takes just 16 people only not only to the bridge but to other rarely seen locations like the engine control room. This is available for purchase at the shore excursion desk and if you are interested I suggest you buy this as soon as you board as it is immensely popular but available only as I said to 16 very lucky people.

If Buttercup was to sail you asked what you would do with the poo………….well………. when we have a service dog sail there is a little corner of the outside of deck 4 reserved just for this ……… the crew have nick named this area………Paris.

Have a wonderful anniversary cruise and my best to all three of you
John

Tom and Cheryl Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY
John – just referencing my (below) comment from 8/13. As I read in your blog today I erred by not having the “JOHN PLEASE REPLY” (only “Please Reply”) in place!! I was in a bit of a rush – we had a CRUISE to catch that afternoon!!! So here it goes again:
————————————————————–
Tom-n-Cheryl
August 13th, 2009 at 8:44 am
(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 and Cheryl
Thanks for re-posting this comment Tom and Cheryl because I happen to totally agree with you. ….we do need a Platinum get together of some kind. You may have read also that this is on my list of must do thingies before year’s end. So, it is my intention to push this idea hard to Jim our head of marketing and his department as I think this is something we need to do. My idea is to have a lunch and or breakfast rather than the normal cocktail party. The lunch could be attended by the Captain where possible and must be attended by the CD and other senior officers.

Anyway, I hope to have news on this very soon.
Thank you for your loyal support and best wishes to you both
John

That’s all for today, there will be of course more questions answered tomorrow.

I had a question asked of me the other day by blogger Tanya about the difficulties faced by her son (who has certain disabilities) while he was at Club O2. While our Camp Carnival staff are fully trained in child care and entertain children and teens there may be some room for improvement when it comes to helping and entertaining and most of all understanding children and teens with concerns such as autism etc. And so, with this in mind I want to let anyone who has such a person sailing with them that I have had the permission of the one of the two people in overall charge of Camp Carnival and Club O2 agree to something special.

All I ask is that you let me know via the blog thingy when someone you know who has a disability or challenges is due to sail. I will then put you in direct contact with Wendy who works in our Miami office and who will be able to communicate with you directly to work out the best ways for your child to enjoy the Camp Carnival, Circle C or Club O2 facilities. This will also give Wendy the chance to alert the vessel and make sure they are prepared for their arrival.

I would ask that someone (maybe Linda) puts this on the boards and I hope that by opening these lines of communication we can improve the quality of kids’ time onboard and that also of the parents. My thanks to Wendy and all the Camp Carnival shoreside team for allowing me to do this.

OK…….we were just talking about Europe again and I also wanted to talk a little about Venice in reply to this question.

Ramsey E Kelley Asked:
John – Please Reply

We will be on the maiden voyage of the Carnival Dream and are so excited. We have pre booked most of our excursions and in Venice we will be taking the Murano and Burano tour but wondered how we get to St Marks square and what else we should do. Also we have heard about Harry’s Bar for dinner, have you been there ?
Thanks for all you do for everyone
Ramsey

John Says:
Hello Ramsey
I am glad that you booked the Murano and Burano tour because both outer islands have so much to offer. What else to see you asked? Well……….we have to start with Piazza San Marco? When you get off the ship a Vaporetto or water bus will take you to St. Marks Square. The Vaporetto’s run from right by the bow on an infrequent schedule. The best place to catch one from is Piazza de Roma which is the main Vaporetto station. It’s about a 15 minute walk from where the ship docks or you can pay for a shuttle bus provided by the port authority to get you there……should cost around $5 or 5 Euros return while the Vaporetto will cost 7 Euros. They run pretty much all the time from Piazza De Roma and make sure you check the sign on the front of the boat (just like a bus) and look for the one that goes to Piazza San Marco. The journey time is about 30 minutes. It’s the same process coming back but remember after midnight they run only on the hour – so 1 am, 2 am, etc.

You have to see St. Marks Square though. Admire the pigeons, the tourists and the astronomical cappuccino prices but sitting there is a must…………you’re on vacation on the most fabulous cruise ship in the world, and today you’re in the most romantic city in the world. And the city’s sinking. So it may well not be here next time you come. That’s a good enough reason for a drink isn’t it? The place to go is Harry’s Bar (Calle Vallaresso, San Marco 1323; conveniently situated next to the vaporetto stop. Considering that it is one of the most famous bars in the world, birthplace of the Bellini and second home of Hemingway, you wouldn’t expect it to look like a rather downbeat railway waiting room, but it does. No matter, the aperitivi are worth the trip to Venice on their own……..providing someone else is paying. If you really want to indulge make sure you book a table way, way, way in advance. The food is extraordinary but you may have to sell your children for medical experiments in order to pay the bill. The risotto was world famous and they have now changed the recipe and from what I hear Chef Madalindita has produced something that the stars come there just to enjoy.

There are many places to eat in Venice and although they will not be as expensive as Harry’s, the food is still quite expensive and as Italians themselves will tell you…………..Venetian service can be found wanting at times.

But regardless of the fact that the service is poor, the food expensive, the canals smelling like a Frenchman’s armpit……there is no other city like it in the world and to cruise into and out of Venice on your Carnival Dream will be indeed ………………living La Dolce Vita.

Time to feature today’s Cruise Director and today we introduce the first of the girls.

So………please meet Jen Baxter.

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1. Please tell us about yourself and your journey to the Cruise Director chair.
Well…….I started off studying theatre at school, then went on the study drama in college. I did many touring shows across the UK and also worked as an entertainer for a UK based Holiday Company in Spain for 3 years. I started working with Carnival as a Social Host in 2001 on the Carnival Ecstasy, then moved from ship to ship before getting promoted to ACD then finally…….I got my full CD promotion last October!

2. What ship are you currently serving on?
I am currently on the Carnival Legend which does 7-day Caribbean cruises out of Tampa.

3. Before we talk about you let’s 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.
Well…..
I love the casino! The noise of the machines gives me a real buzz….and we have a fantastic soloist in there who plays all kinds of music.

I also really like it up on Deck 11 Fwd the sports Deck (not for the sports of course) It is very tranquil and you have the best views of the ocean from there, especially at night.

I would say that the Carnival Legend is the best ship in the fleet because in my opinion it is one of the friendliest ships I have every worked on, everyone says hello ALL the time. We also have a great home port (Tampa) and the itinerary is fabulous. We also have one of the BEST shows….”The Big Easy” it is a huge New Orleans celebration.

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.
We call at Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and Roatan.
Cayman: Anything with Stingrays……they are so cute, and they feel like velvet.
Cozumel: Sea Trek Helmet Dive – it is soooooooo much fun! You’re walking on the bottom of the ocean with a big space like helmet on…
Belize: Canopy Tour…this is the big zip lining tour, a real adventure tour. Lots of fun and thrills.
Roatan: I love the Gumbalimba Park….Pirates birds and monkeys! The monkeys are so cool, you can hold them and play with them.

5. If someone were to ask you “what does a Carnival Cruise Director do” how would you reply.
Works hard and plays hard!!!
I would say that I am in charge of making sure that people have a good time. My main responsibility is to be in charge of the Entertainment on board and I am also the information person who passes along any important information to the guests.

6. What is your most favorite part of the job.
I love it all……My favorites really are the marriage show, the Fun Hop and the Debark talk. Apart from that just getting to hang out and chat to people is great…..also getting to meet so many crew from so many nationalities.

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.
I truly love doing 2 things the most
1: The Marriage Show
2: The Fun Hop……I make people do silly dances from the UK….

8. What is the hardest and or most challenging part of the job of Carnival CD.
When people leave that you have become close to that is hard.

Whenever there is a hurricane or bad weather and we have to change itinerary at the last minute. Luckily this doesn’t happen that often.

However I do like a good challenge, I think it keeps you on your toes.

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.
I would sail on the Oriana (P & O) as my brother is a musician on there? I have cruised before a few times with him and had a ball

10. Finally – please fill in the blanks:

YOUR FAVOURITE ACTOR
At the moment I have to say Sean Penn

YOUR FAVOURITE ACTRESS
Hmmmmmm…..Judi Dench

WHATS ON YOUR EYE POD
Everything imaginable…….but my favourites to listen to are musicals….especially Wicked, Dreamgirls and Les Miserables

YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE
Tough call between “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Terms of Endearment.”

WHO MAKES YOU LAUGH
2 English comedians, Rickey Gervais and Peter Kay. On Carnival though there are a few people that truly are hilarious. George (Chicken) Roberts who is the ACD on the Imagination, and Chris Roberts the CD on the Spirit!

YOUR FAVOURITE CARNIVAL CRUISE DIRECTOR EXCLUDING YOURSELF AND ME ( JOHN ) AND WHY
Chris Roberts…….He makes me laugh……he has a great Blues Brothers show….he is a great public speaker…he loves Vegas like me…….and he also likes Les Miserables!!! We both know ALL the words and can sing the entire 3 hours!!!

IF YOU WERE INVISIBLE FOR A DAY WHAT WOULD YOU DO
Go to a Zoo and hang out with the animals…….or anything to do with dogs!

Great interview Jen……I know many of you have written here on the blog thingy about her energy and how she is always around in public areas. I will be getting to see her work on the Carnival Legend in October and I am very much looking forward to that.

Readers of the blog thingy from months past will know that occasionally I moan about the same stuff……..usually flying, Ryan Air, the French, my hemorrhoids which I have now named Jean Pierre, Jean Claude, Jean Luc and Bastard………..oh yes………and people who work in marketing and the ridiculous language they speak…………..and I am going to do that again now.

Yesterday I was on the phone with 343 Stephanie’s and other tofu lovers talking about your Carnival Dream naming ceremony which by the way is going to be incredible……oh and not just the ceremony because there will also be a………….oops……………sorry…………can’t tell you anymore just yet but Jim and his team have come up with something totally brilliant ……………. anyway as I was saying………. and all was going perfectly well until someone said “I think what we need here is something that will actively mirror this idea’s long-term creative niche, yeah?”

Now, these meetings have gotten to be such a great source of merriment for me that I now record them on my little recording thingy and as I sat at home……….in my underpants……..listening to this extraordinary language I realized once again that I had no bloody clue what anything they say means……….and that is starting to worry me because I think I am the only one at Carnival who doesn’t.

I mean……….take Jim Berra, our brilliant chief marketing officer. He is the best of the best and his recent addition to the company has proven to be invaluable………yet…………as smart a man as he is ………….he and his entire department seem to have lost the ability to speak English and instead speak the language of marketinglish.

Who invented these words? Is there a person somewhere whose job it is to pick words from a bag and pass them along to others? This can be the only explanation as to why, because yesterday ……..as soon as the telephone conference started one of the Stephanies said, “Just going to run these ideas into the sky and then water them through a thought box until they shout ‘teamwork’”………at which point I pressed mute on my phone and went for a poo.

However, when I returned seven minutes late things had taken on a new and sinister topic. The marketing people had paused while someone had been sent to retrieve some figures of a computer thingy and probably to have a nibble on their tofu sandwich and while they were waiting…….they were talking about what marketing and computer types talk about when they have some spare time……………and that of course is………..the bloody Eye Phone.

I don’t have one of these and I know that the Eye Phone has been a huge success, and no small part of that success is down to the rise of the application……..or app as the Stephanies and their colleagues were calling it yesterday — little floating stools of downloadable software ranging from currency converters to a pretend pint of beer.

They can do anything from turning your phone into a spirit level and making it sound like a light saber, all the way up to a device that measures exactly how much of a bloody idiot you look while wielding said spirit-leveling light-saber phone in public. So, after the call had finished I decided to ask Uncle Google to show me some genuine “apps” for the Eye Phone……they include.

The iFart — the phone makes a noise like a fart. It’s a fart made cool by putting the letter “i” in front of it. Popular with schoolboys and ummm…………people like me I guess. Still, I don’t need an app for that as I have an ass for that.

Take Me to My Car — it works like this: you get out of your car and the app pinpoints your location via GPS and then, later, it guides you back to your car. If you’re the sort of person who can’t find your way back to your own car, then frankly you and this (cr)app deserve each other.

Hold On! — a big button appears on the phone’s screen. You see how long you can hold it. That’s it.

Good iDea — find someone who’s bothered to download Hold On! or any number of equally mind-draining iPhone applications. Next, take their iPhone forcibly from them, and shove it right up where their light saber app don’t shine

Can I suggest another iPhone app? Here’s what it does: if anyone in your meeting says anything such as “lets ladder up and swankify this idea” or uses their phone to drink a pretend pint of beer, what you do is simply press a button on your iPhone and it remotely and silently lifts up a pair of my underpants that have been recently iFarted into and uses them to gag the person who is talking such bollocks………..yes…………….there should be an app for that.

Goodnight
Your friend
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.