Being Butch

September 14, 2009 -

John Heald

It feels like I haven’t written to you in ages. Maybe it’s because I was a head of myself last week finishing blogs the day before they were posted in order not to miss any because of my traveling to Holland…………but any way………I hope I find you all well, happy and non-constipated.

I’m writing this in my underpants and feeling 100 years old. While I was disembarking the ferry which returned us from Holland to the UK, I was holding Kye and also lugging a suitcase I did my back in and am now in a permanent crouch as if sitting on an imaginary toilet.

Obviously, it’s all because I’m not young any more. Once I would have shrugged off such an injury with Tylenol and a massage from a Latvian woman named Nora Bollockov. Now I need a Demerol to get out of bed and make old-person noises – “eeeeesh”/ “aaaah”/“bhoaah” – while lowering myself into chairs…………rumpy pumpy is completely impossible.

Anyway, I have been thinking these last few days about my upcoming month onboard the Carnival Legend as cruise director and some of the new things I wanted to try. One of the specific areas I have been second guessing myself about is the debarkation talk. The question I keep asking myself is do we at Carnival think our guests are incapable of doing anything for themselves. ………let me explain.

A few years ago a large group of entertainment staff, shore excursion staff and office personal as well as Heidi and I completed a three-week familiarization trip around Europe to set up the Carnival Liberty‘s European season. I have clear and present memories of being driven on a 52-seater coach from our hotel to the airport, when the tour operator started up in the usual tour guide, sing-songy way. “As we wind our way down to the airport, ladies and gentlemen, can I ask that you relax and take in your final sights of Barcelona, Spain” at which point 25 plus heads obediently turned sideways to look out of the window at a freeway. “And could everyone double check that they have their tickets AND passports with them,” (A mass delving into handbags and money belts, some people clasping their documentation tightly in their palms for the rest of the journey). “I’ll be telling you more as we get nearer the airport.”

And, bugger me, did she tell us. In a voice one might reserve for the a puppy, she told us the flight number, the check-in desk number and that once inside the airport we “should join the back of the queue and wait to check in our suitcases” as if we were a bunch of single-celled organisms who might otherwise have demanded boarding passes from the man selling ice cream. She led the way into the terminal with crocodile of leisure-suited Carnival employees following. Few thought to glance up at the departure board themselves. Why bother? We just followed orders, which is of course my point.

There are some who would say that they resent being told what to do. Don’t smoke, don’t eat too much salt, no right turn, keep your dog on a leash, correct change only, hold the handrail, watch your step, mind your head, don’t throw bulk objects into the toilet, don’t eat a sandwich while driving your car…… it is absolutely true that you can spend an entire day feeling scolded. Get off a plane and the flight attendant’s voice is nagging over the loudspeakers: “Remember to take all personal belongings with you.”

My car bollocks me – a nagging, irritating alarm – if I don’t fasten my seatbelt the second that I have switched on the engine. I have mentioned before about things that beep and how that beep is yet another way to tell me what to do……………..and the worst of all is that bloody dishwasher.

When it’s finished washing the mugs and plates it makes a beeping noise. And if I don’t empty it immediately (and it’s my job now since Kye arrived) it beeps again. And then again. How stupid is that? It means nodding off in front of the television, when you hear the electronic summons and, because you know it will go on until the end of time, you haul yourself out of your chair, pad into the kitchen, open the door and discover, as jets of superheated steam gush into your face, that the beeping was not, in fact, coming from the dishwasher at all.

So now you’re standing there, looking like Judge Judy after she has been dipped in acid, wondering what on earth had been making the infernal noise. It could be anything, because these days everything beeps. My Raspberry beeps when its battery is dying. Microwaves beep when your food is ready. …………….aggghhh!

I mean………… we really need to know all these things? How did my parents manage with nothing beeping at them?

And that brings me to my job as a cruise director.

I remember how I used to tell guests that drinking the water in Cozumel was “very silly”……and that if you did it would give you a “real run for your money.” But help was at hand. The bar department could sell bottles of water to save us from being able to poo through a straw. Like infants on a school trip, people immediately formed a lengthy queue for 40 minutes to buy water……..the idea of finding bottled water ashore obviously too complex.

But, here is where I start second guessing myself. Do you need to me (and other CD’s) to tell you not to drink the tap water in Mexico and other tropical locations……..or do most of our guests already know that and am I just wasting your time?

Now, I do think we need to provide basic information on the ports of call and what to do there as well as tell you why it is best to take a shore excursion…………and it is of course for so many reasons that I will talk about again one blog in the future.

But, the one area where I am really unsure is the debarkation talk. Now, to the best of my knowledge I think we cruise directors at Carnival are the last ones in the industry to provide this service. I know Princess have a taped five minute reel played on the TV’s and a flyer is sent to the cabins and I understand other lines do the same. My debarkation talk is 30 minutes long and if I am honest, its 10 minutes of information and 20 minutes of jokes and attempted humor. Yes, the parade of crew at the end is a great spectacle and having the captain say” arriverderchey ………..arrivadaachi…………arriveerd………saying goodbye is great.”

But………….do I need to pull you all out of the sun on that last day into the main lounge and tell you about immigration, luggage, customs, etc. etc………am I treating you all like puppies ………. do you need me to tell you or is a brief video and flyer, just like the other cruise lines utilize enough? What are your thoughts?

While you are thinking about this let me crack on with today’s questions……………here we go.

Barb Emmanouilidis Asked:
Hi John, (please please please reply)

Have you gotten any of the emails I have sent? Are they all lost in cyber space?

Kye is absolutely gorgeous, congrats (in case you haven’t received any of my previous posts.) I am so wanting to hear from you, it’s been too long.

John and I are sailing on the Freedom on Oct 18th, I read you will be on the Legend (wish I knew that sooner would have booked that instead to sail with you)…will Ralph (alias wee Jimmy) be the CD on the Freedom? Do our itineraries cross at any port; we’d love to see you. Will bring sugar free salt water taffy and Diet Stewarts root beer if we do meet in a port?!

Barb Emmanouilidis

John Says:
Hello Barb

I haven’t seen any postings from you Barb so I am so very sorry if they have been lost in space. It is a shame but unfortunately we don’t get to be in port with the Carnival Freedom. However, I do know that you will love sailing with Wee Jimmy who also loves taffy. I know this because my much missed friend Robert Schneider and his wife Suzann used to bring some to me every time they sailed and Wee Jimmy would scoff them all. I am glad you reminded me about the Fun Ship Freddy cake. I did suggest this but I have yet to hear anything so I will indeed follow up on this today. I am sure JoJo will have a brilliant time with Fun Ship Freddy.

Sorry I cannot be with you but I know you will have a brillinat time.

Best wishes to you and the family

Sara Jennings Asked:

Just wanted to check back with you. I emailed you about the fun ship Freddy birthday cake. We are sailing in 33 days!! (Oct. 3 -6, 2009) I haven’t seen the cake advertised yet so I assume it’s not ready yet. Do you think they will have them by the time we cruise? We are getting so excited! JoJo has been telling everybody about his funship freddy birthday party! Thanks so much!!

John Says:
Hello Sarah

Thanks for the reminder. I did manage to add sugar free cakes to the bon voyage gifts and I asked at the same time for a Freddy cake as well. Thanks for the reminder and I will chase this up.

Please remind me of your sailing date and ship.

Best wishes to all

Deborah Asked:

56 Days and counting until we are on the TA Dream…Our Cruise Critic Group called the “Transatlantic Dreamers” need a lounge on the first sea day, Oct 28, to hold our meet & greet and gift exchange. (We are all bringing a small gift representative of where we live)

Do you think that you could arrange for us to have a lounge for this meet up? Any time between the hours of 11am – 3pm – we would need about an hour maybe little longer as we have a group of about 100+. Also, is it possible to get a bar tender, we will drink and we will tip…? And is it possible to have this posted in the Capers – “Transatlantic Dreamers” meet up – xxxx Lounge xxxx Time. Please let me know..

In our group are a couple from the 2007 Freedom “Mellow Yellows” – remember that group?

On another note – have you confirmed joining the TA Dream in Bermuda? I know you motioned it a while back. I need to know, as this may affect my packing 🙂

All the best – Deborah (Debs)

John Says:
Hello Deborah

I have wonderful memories of the Mellow Yellow group and our gathering in the card room. It will be an honor to arrange this for you and I will send this now to the groups coordinator and cruise director of your Carnival Dream. I will ask them to provide bar service and for Todd to kindly put a note in the today at a glance section of the Carnival Capers as well. I hope you all have a brilliant time and it is still my intention to join the ship in Bermuda.

Have a fantastic time and my best to you all.

Beentravelin Asked:
Dear John (Please Respond),

We will be sailing on your…my… The Carnival Dream on May 1st 2010 and am soooooo looking forward to being on a new ship again (went on your sister company, Holland America’s Eurodam on its first Caribbean sailing).

My question is: What would be a good gift to give to “my” CD Todd. Does he enjoy cigars too? I’m pretty sure he drinks a little. Maybe a bottle of his favorite liquor? I’m sure you know him better than I and it would be a nice to have a little insight on this.

I know its way early, but I hope to have you contact Todd shortly before our cruise to set-up a CruiseCritic Meet and Greet.

Thanks so much for all you do for everyone onboard and here on the blog. You seem to wear a lot of hats these days. Don’t overdo it!

My love to You, Heidi and Kye.
Your “friend”,
Beentravelin (Robert Herrin)

John Says:
Hello Robert

I have the Eurodam on my bucket list of ships I want to sail on. I am sure you had a great time. It’s so kind of you to offer Todd a little gift but honestly it’s not necessary. However, just in case you ignore me and insist on doing so I will suggest that you bring him a shirt or baseball cap from hour local college or professional team. He is a huge sports fan and only smokes other people’s cigars as he is tighter than a pair of medium size underpants on me. He takes size large I would think. I am sure he will be more than happy to set up a CC meet and greet for you and please remind me in April next year and we will arrange this for you.

I take XXXXXXXXXXXL by the way……… underpants
Thanks for all the kind words

Best wishes

Janet Asked:

Please reply. I apologize if you have addressed this already, but I have been away for awhile and have not been able to read all the blogs I missed.

We have heard that the Dream will have a ceremony at the end of the TA in New York. Will this happen on the morning we arrive? We may not want to miss this… Luckily our flight leaves at night. Can you tell us about it and the timing?

John Says:
Hello Janet

The naming ceremony is indeed in NY New York. Unfortunately it looks like the event will be a late afternoon one due to the fact that we have to disembark all the guests and the ship’s crew will also have a full US Immigration inspection and United States Coastguard drill as well. I will try and give you more details as soon as I can. One thing I can tell you is that there will be full coverage including video here on the blog thingy. I know you will have a brilliant time on your Carnival Dream and as I just mentioned I hope to join you in Bermuda.

I remain at your service

Best wishes

TVLAGT Carrie Asked:
John–(Please reply)

I am a travel agent (not one of those older than dirt no fun to have dinner with agents!) who is hosting my first group aboard the Carnival Dream on October 3. I have been religiously following the blog and enjoy hearing about the adventures onboard as well seeing the progress made on the new ship. I have tried to search online to find the details of the thalassotherapy pool. Will there be a spa pass required for access? Is that only open to guests before or after a treatment?

John Says:
Hello Carrie

First of all I want to thank you for being such a supporter of Carnival Cruise Lines and for taking the time to read the blog thingy. Here’s what we said in our press materials: “Spanning the forward portion of two full decks with large picture windows providing panoramic views of the sea, “Cloud 9 Spa” is designed as an oceangoing oasis for relaxation and tranquility, with such innovations as a thalassotherapy pool, an elaborate thermal suite, and 17 private treatment rooms, including two VIP facilities for couples. Adjacent to the facility are 68 spa staterooms and suites – a first for Carnival – accessible by a private elevator and offering a variety of exclusive amenities and privileges.”

The t-pool has various jetted stations at different levels producing massage when you stand next to them. The pool is about 4 feet deep over all. It also has 4 spouts (one on each corner) that pour water down over you. There are tubular lounge sections to lie on with bubble jets underneath. It is warm and therapeutic and totally relaxing.

Now these facilities are available on a complimentary basis for those staying in a spa suite cabin however day passes can be purchased. Now the cost of this on the Carnival Splendor was $40 and I am pretty certain it’s the same on your Carnival Dream. Have a look at what is available by clicking onto this link thingy which we set up for the Carnival Splendor and which should be available online for your Carnival Dream very soon.

Please let me know if I can help further

Best wishes

Al Asked:
John Please reply.

I have been doing research but I can’t seem to find who is the Carnival Dream’s godmother.

Is that a secret or you can share it with us?

Thank you for your answer, I love your blog

John Says:
Hello Al

Good question. Well, I can tell you that it’s a big secret. I have our super spy PA 007 on the case but here are the names that I have been hearing




Seriously, I have no idea. I am sure they will tell me soon as I am supposed to be hosting the event and as I said; I have our internal spy looking into this and hope either way someone will tell me soon so I can tell you.

Thanks Al and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

Best wishes

Linda Hernacki Asked:

See John, being a CELEBRITY (and that is what you are to us) has its rewards! FREE Lunch! I had to laugh about the grapefruit diet. That is my best friend in the world Michele Maragni, who wrote to you, and you better take good care of her when she and her mom are on the Dec. 3rd bloggers cruise! Don’t forget ME either, you must remember to give Michele my bloggers package as you promised. Hope we can come visit you in January 2010 on the Dream with my family as you promised. You MUST take Kye on the Dream for her first taste of Carnival cruising! Please be sure to publish your itinerary for 2010 soon, and also where you will be the rest of this year too. Will you be back home in the UK for Christmas? I imagine you will be. You had mentioned a few months ago about moving. Where should we send Christmas gifts to this year? I want to send ours out by mid November at the latest, as I don’t know how long it will take to arrive in the UK. We will be on the Dream 12/26/2009-1/2/2010 and then the week of 5/29/2010 with my entire family (kids, grandkids etc.) which will include 5 grandkids, son and wife, daughter and husband and sons friends Bridie & Frank and their son. Can’t wait to see our DREAM come true! Kisses to KYE from Auntie Linda & Uncle Mike

John Says:
Hello Linda

I hope you saw the 2010 schedule I posted a few blogs ago which includes time on the Carnival Conquest, Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Pride. Hopefully you and Mike will be joining me for one of those. I have not forgotten the January meeting and it will be great to see you.

I will indeed be back home for Christmas and how kind, as you always are, to ask about Christmas cards. Our address remains the same as listed at the side of the blog thingy. I will make sure I give everything to Michele in December. I hope we get to see each other soon, it has been too long.

My best to you and Mike

Matt Edmunds Asked:
Please email or reply:

Hello john,

It’s matt again the lad that lost his son earlier this year and was trying to make the freedom before you got off.

Hers your link to five fishermen in Halifax!!

Also if you’re interested and craving Canada/Maine lobster shoot me your info and I’d be more than glad to ship some your way overnight! I live in NH which is one state over from Maine and Nova Scotia is less than 6 hr trip from me via the cat ferry out of Maine.

Let me know if interested wouldn’t have a problem getting you some good Canadian/main lobster!

Matt Edmunds

John Says:
Hello Matt

Oh you just sent my taste buds into overdrive and I wish I had one or two of those wonderful lobsters in front of me right now. Thanks for the link thingy and hope that one day I get to shake your hand in person. Maybe next year we can eat some lobster together….my treat.

Best wishes always

Rose Lamb Asked:
Hi John, Please reply!

I just discovered your blog a few months ago! I now start each day with a cup of coffee while reading your blog. Makes for a great start of the day!

I have a cruise booked on the Carnival Triumph for June 2010 and have just booked the Carnival Fantasy for the Sept. 28th sailing. We were able to catch a great price with the “Pack and Go” rate.

The best part of this “Pack and Go” deal is that my sister and family were able to book this cruise. They had a cruise booked for last December, but had to cancel it due to my brother in law’s diagnosis of pancreas cancer.

My reason for writing to you is that he will be borrowing someone’s scooter to use while on the ship. After reading your posting a while back of the kids damaging someone’s scooter, I am concerned. Is there anywhere that the scooter can be stored while not in use? He will not always need to use it. Or do you have any suggestions to safe keep it?

I don’t want anything to spoil this cruise for them, since this may be the last family vacation for them. We are still praying for a miracle!

John, you and your blog give Carnival such a personal touch. Just knowing someone is reading and addressing the issues and questions. Thank you for all you do!

I especially look forward to Fridays to see the picture of the beautiful Kye!!!

John Says:
Hello Rose

I usually start my day on the toilet and then me and my underpants write the daily blog so it’s wonderful to hear that you start your day by reading my silly musings. I wanted to start by sending our best wishes to your brother in law and our hopes for a full recovery. I am very happy to read that you will all be able to sail together and enjoy the Fun Ship experience.

Please don’t worry about the scooter incident I mentioned a few weeks ago. Although this was a terrible thing to happen (twice) to my good friend Empress Bee it was an isolated incident. Now, I would suggest that scooters be stored and batteries recharged in your cabin. Your personal scooter should be able to fit in a standard cabin: a 22-inch entry doorway unless he has Harley Davidson scooter. All will be well and if you have any problems or need help charging the battery please call the Guest Services Desk and they will be able to help you.

This will be a fantastic family cruise vacation and it won’t be your last………..we are as I said thinking of your brother in law.

Best wishes to all

Kim Risley Asked:
Dear John —>Message to John

Thanks for your help on the up sell department. But it didn’t work out. I did get a call but just couldn’t due to the amount that was being asked. A 9A was four dollars more then what we can part with at this time. There is always next cruise. 🙂 . So thanks so much for your help.

Sincerely Yours,
Kim Risley Carnival Valor, Sept. 6th
Personal comments for John.

John Says:
Hello Kim

I am sorry things did not work out and I am sure your cruise was brilliant. Please let me know the highlights etc. I remain at your service


Christy Asked:
Dear John (Please Reply),

I am sorry that people have been rude to you. Sadly, it is a reflection on society as a whole. We are now used to electronically relaying information; we sometimes forget that there is person at the other end receiving it. You are wonderful for what you do. I would long ago put on my pants and told everyone to “Bugger Off”. I do have a question but, I do not want anything for free 🙂 We are booked on the 9/12/09 Glory sailing. This will be my three year olds second carnival cruise! We have purchased the “French Beach Break” in St. Martine. We know that “European Style” bathing maybe observed but, we were wondering how common it really is? By the way, this is the second time we have cruised the Glory on this itinerary. You were our C/D back in 2005. A couple that we met on that cruise is joining us on this one. If only you were there, we could have a little reunion! Thank you so much for all that you do for us. Kye really is beautiful. I hope you are having a wonderful time with your girls!


John Says:
Hello Christy

I want to thank you so very much for the kind words of support but also apologize because as you can see I am answering your question the day after you boarded the Carnival Glory. I will answer your question anyway just in case you are reading this onboard the ship. You may very well see some ummm…………top bits while on the French Beach Break but while this is a probably the sight of bottom bits and anything that dangles is less of a possibility. However ………… be prepared to see things that you………….and I………..haven’t seen for a long time.

I wish I could have been there with you this week and I hope you all have (had) a brilliant time.

Best wishes to you all

Jane Smith Asked:
Hi John (please respond if you can)

My husband and I are booked on the Glory 10/31/09 booking # to celebrate our 24th anniversary. As I was filling in the information for the fun pass, I came across under my name, are you a past guest. Of course I said yes, since I am, guest #. It said that Carnival could not identify me. After hours on the phone with many different people, including my vacation planner at Carnival, someone finally found me. On my past cruises I never had a problem, but this time my date of birth was incorrect. No one I spoke to can tell me on how this could have happened. They could find my kids and my husband, and he has only been on cruises with me. Maybe it has to do with my name. Have you ever heard of this happening before? To be safe I am taking one of my old Carnival Sail & Sign Cards.

Hope your family is well.
Jane M. Smith

John Says:
Hello Jane

This is a great question and because I don’t know the answer and because I hate tofu and don’t have a beard I had to ask someone who does. ……… is their answer.

This happens quite a bit and usually the problem is with two users, husband and wife, using the same email address on One will register using their name and information, then either at some point decide they now want to see their partners information so they login and just change the information to the other person. The problem with this is that when the system runs its updates over night, it will assume that these are now the same person and merge the profiles into one eliminating the other number.

Not sure is that’s what happened in this case but she does have a new number and both profiles do have the same email address on them. Currently your husband Thomas has the email address above associated with his past guest number on To keep from happening in the future; each registered user should have their own separate e-mail address.

Now, I am not sure how practical each couple having a separate e-mail address is and to me the men and women with beards should be able to fix this thingy and I know they are now looking at doing this. Anyway, at least now you have been accepted as a loyal past Carnival guest.

I hope this helps and thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Best wishes to you both

Tucson Larry Asked:
Hello John, Please reply

I wanted to drop you a line. Our circumstances required us to cancel our trip on THE DREAM (about a month ago.) In the interim we have found a way to rebook the trip. I have opted to use my military discount and book an inside cabin (Susan really wanted to fish off the cove cabin balcony) I know that using the military option (lock and load) precludes us from being part of THE BLOGGERS CRUISE. We look forward to seeing you on board as well as Heidi and Kye (we hope) I am sure it will be a brilliant (very British) trip. The itinerary looks smashing (oops British) again. Tea party not withstanding (Not the current ones the first one) it is always great to see and greet our former rulers (could have been the French! Merde) and the cause of current state of confusion about which verb to use.

I would ask you a favor, if possible. Could you arrange for us to have the early seating / table for two? Eating too late gives me indigestion.

Susan & Larry Orenstein

John Says:
Hello Susan and Larry

Please don’t worry. I know that this bloggers cruise was arranged last minute and many had already booked using other rate codes. I will ask one of the 343 Stephanies to add you to the list so that you can attend all the events etc. Unfortunately Kye and Heidi will remain at home as it’s a little too early for her to fly TA. Also, may I ask you to send me a reminder at the start of November for the dining request and I will ask Ken to assist.

Thanks for all the kind words and see you soon

Best wishes

Marty Paul Asked:

Hello John. My girlfriend & I are booked on the Oct 15th sailing of the Carnival Dream in the Med. I am also a loyal “blogger” on the Cruise Critic roll-call for this sailing and we have quite a vibrant group (our group nickname is “Sogno, Sogno, Sogno” for the 3rd ever sailing of the Dream, Dream, Dream). A good question came up recently on the roll call- what live music will be offered on the lido deck while the ship is sailing in the Med? A steel band just doesn’t seem to fit. Also, will the ship offer the regular choice of “birra”, or since we’ll be sailing off of Italy, the bucket of beer will be replaced with the “secchio di vino”?

Marty Paul

John Says:
Hello Marty Paul

Great name for a group.

Carnival Dream Oct 15, 2009 sailing We will not have a calypso band on board until the ship reaches New York instead, we’ll offer a variety of music on Lido as nearly every group on board will be featured at some point during the cruise. As for the bar – all sales will be the same as on the present bar menu and that includes many international beers…….try the Boddingtons and Stella Artois!

Have a brilliant time and let me know if you need anything else.

Best wishes

Chris Virginia Asked:
John (reply if you can).

My family just got off the Carnival Pride on Saturday. What a WONDERFUL 8 days despite rough seas due to Hurricane Bill and Tropical Storm Danny.

And speaking of Danny, Dan was our cruise director. What a pleasure he and his team were! Their communication skills and energy were unsurpassed! They truly looked like they were enjoying us being on board.

Notably, the show band members were some of the most talented musicians I’ve heard yet anywhere (I’m a classically trained professional musician seated with a large national symphony so I think I have a point of reference on that.) Please forward on our kudos for a job very well done.

I was curious why I can’t find recipes from some of the dishes served on board. Most notably, the warm chocolate melting cake that has subsumed my wife and daughter since trying it for the first time. We are frequent cruisers, heretofore on other cruise lines, and have been totally sold on the Carnival experience. We’ll be back on board in a year’s time. If you could direct me to the recipe, I would greatly appreciate it.

John Says:
Hello Chris

This is great to hear and I will be featuring Dan shortly. I will be posting his bio later this week and also sending your words of congratulations to Chris Prideaux and Roger Blum whom the CD’s report to.

I love live music and Carnival is a huge supporter of this as well and once again the musical director will be honored to read your kind words.

As requested, here is the recipe for the world famous chocolate melting cake.

Chocolate Melting cake

Recipe By: Carnival Cruise Lines

Serving Size: 25 Preparation Time: 0:00

Categories: Desserts

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method

——– ———— ——————————–

2 pounds semisweet chocolate

2 pounds butter

19 1/2 each fresh eggs

1/2 pound sugar

2/3 pound flour

Melt Chocolate & Butter

Mix half egg & Sugar and whisk for few minutes & add flour. Then add the balance egg.

Add egg mixture to the melted chocolate mixture.

Pour the mixture in the ramekin cups.

Bake directly in the oven at 200 C° for 15 to 20 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream in 2 oz ramekin cups.

Hope you enjoy the blog and best wishes to all.

SallyOwl Asked:
John Please Reply

John, while you’re considering non-smoking areas, could you please consider access to computer rooms as well? I’m particularly thinking of the Carnival Splendor, but understand that it is not the only Carnival ship on which the only computer room access is through the Cigar Lounge. I’m happy for people to smoke there – that’s what it’s for! – but unhappy with the asthma that flares up when I have to walk through residual smoke to send an email – the smell of a good cigar is delightful, but it lingers. Are smokers the only ones who should use the computer rooms? Look forward to your answer ALMOST as much as we look forward to the weekly Kye photograph!

Still waiting on a response.

John Says:
Hello Sally

I think it would be silly for me not to say that putting a smoking bar in direct proximity to the internet cafe’s was not one of our best ever decisions. I know that for some guests this is extremely hard to accept and for that I need to say how sorry I am that you have to endure this. I will re-address this again with our Miami office and let you know as and when any changes are made. I hope you enjoyed Friday’s photos of Kye.

Best wishes

Steveo Asked:
Hello John, please reply;

I have seen several posts where people refer to their Platinum status, I don’t recall seeing anything concerning how many cruises with Carnival are required for Platinum status.

Your daily blogs are a welcome daily read for me, the first thing I do when I arrive home each night. My wife and I have just 68 more days until we leave on our next cruise on the Carnival Destiny. Your daily humor, (spelt correctly) keep me in the crusin’ mindset until our next day in the sun!

This will be my 2nd cruise with Carnival this year and my wife’s 3rd….hopefully not too much longer till we get to Platinum status!! I currently have 7 cruises with Carnival, Michelle my wife has 9.

Take care and enjoy the time with your new babe!

John Says:
Hello Steveo

You have no idea how great it is to read how much you enjoy reading the blog and I will do my best to keep you informed and do my best to bring a smile to your face as well. To answer your question, guests receive platinum status on their 10th sailing so the amazing benefits that come with it are just three cruises away for you. I hope you reach your goal very soon.

I remain at your service and send my best wishes to you and your wife

Well that’s all for today. I answered a double load again there but as you can see I am so far behind and again I will continue to do my best to answer as many as I can as often as I can so thanks for your continuing patience.

Well, it’s going to be a busy and exciting week and it will be a different kind of week for the blog thingy. As you know I will be heading to your Carnival Dream on Wednesday when I fly to Italy. I will be filming lots of video for and the blog and of course I will be taking you behind the scenes of this incomparable ship.


I will as I said be very busy and this will affect the kind of blogs I will be posting………here is the menu







I will fly home on Monday so there will be no blog then and we will be back to normal on Tuesday. So while my usual rantings and ravings will not be present I will be posting daily interviews and fun stuff as filmed by Peter the Hair and Stephanie Leavitt on their Flip camera thingies. I will also continue to answer at least 10 questions every day. I hope you enjoy the fun.

I then of course fly to the Carnival Legend on the 27th and of course away from the girls……I am not going to talk about that just yet. I will though now not be able to come to the Carnival Holiday for her last cruise and quite honestly I am not a happy bunny about this. I have brand ambassador duties which I know are very important but I really wanted to see those who like me wanted to say goodbye………my apologies.

OK, let’s move on and do the news.

Let’s start with Laser Tag, the game that has been a huge hit on the ships that the arena has been placed on. Well, I am glad to say that my friend Tim Cabral, who introduced this amazingly fun family attraction to Carnival Cruise Lines, has informed me that arenas has now been placed onboard four more ships: Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Legend, Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Inspiration. I hope you all take the time to have a go……..young and old……….you really have to have a go.

Now, as I always mention here on the blog thingy the world of Cunard is a very special world and a world that entices many famous people to enjoy the ambience and excitement of an historic Cunard liner voyage. Many of you enjoyed the James Taylor videos and recently a very famous movie director sailed on the Queen Mary 2……..Mr. Baz Luhrmann director of Moulin Rouge and Australia to name just two of his massive successes………… is what he had to say about the experience

Look at those names……..the names whose own magnificent careers have been enhanced by their time on the most magnificent ocean liners ………in the world. I really must sail with Cunard soon.

Well, in just two weeks time many of the blog readers will be embarking on their Carnival Dream for her first ever cruise with guests on board. I hope that the photos I have shown you and the videos that will be on the blog later this week have and will get you even more excited for the 21st to be here. I know I posted this photo on Friday but in case you missed it…… it is again …………… full glorious detail.


That was taken by our top photographer Radu and he will be sharing more with us soon. What a talented man he is….and what an extraordinary ship your Carnival Dream is…………have you booked yet?

OK, time to feature another of Carnival’s magnificent Cruise Directors…….my chum…… Butchy.

CD Butch2[1]


Butch Begovich

1. Please tell us about yourself and your journey to the Cruise Director chair.
I was born in Spokane, WA and grew up in Stillwater, MN.

I am a graduate of Simpson College in Indianola, IA where I studied Theater Arts and Corporate Communications. After graduating from college in 2002 I went on to work for Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY as an event coordinator and in 2003 for Appel Farm Arts and Music Center in Elmer, NJ as an Education Outreach Coordinator serving inner city schools in Camden County, NJ.

I Joined Carnival in March of 2004 as a Social Host on the Carnival Glory, that is where in my first contract I met the great John Heald.…..Later I was honored to be a part of the start up team on the Carnival Liberty in the summer of 2005 working under John. On the Liberty John promoted me to Assistant Cruise Director and in the spring of 2007 was promoted to Acting Cruise Director. I received my full CD promotion August of 2008 while back on the board the Glory.

2. What ship are you currently serving on.
I will be returning to the Carnival Liberty after my vacation (Sept. 5)

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.
Of course I love the main show lounge (The Venetian Palace) that is where I get to do most of the “fun” parts of my job. I also the love the promenade, that is where I get to interact with our guests one on one and I try to meet as many people in a single cruise as possible.

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

The Liberty rotates eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. Our western run takes us to Cozumel, Ocho Rios, and Grand Caymen. Our eastern run brings us to Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Grand Turk.

Although it is a very busy day for our team members because they all have to work ashore, Half Moon Cay, is the highlight of our Eastern run. It is a private island that we basically take over for the entire day and is what I would describe as absolute paradise. Our guests can relax on the beach, go parasailing, and even rent private cabanas with special services. This is also Carnival’s only port of call where our guests can eat ashore at no charge, use their sail and sign cards for beverages, and enjoy entertainment and even spa services all from our ships staff.

5. If someone were to ask you ” what does a Carnival Cruise Director do ” how would you reply
As I Cruise Director, I am in charge of all of the on board entertainment and programming. In addition to managing all of the full time entertainers I am the voice, the face and the brand of the ship.

6. What is your most favorite part of the job.
I love people and every week I get to meet so many amazing and interesting people from all over the world. Just sharing my experiences and reveling in other people’s lives is a constant enjoyment for me.

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.
My crazy disco dance class has become very popular throughout the years and is also my favorite event of each cruise.

8. What is the hardest and or most challenging part of the job of Carnival CD.
Time Management! I don’t think that many of our guests realize the amount of work and time that is put in behind the scenes in our jobs. In addition to the great things our guests see our cruise directors do, we also are responsible for managing a department, being apart of a number of different safety committees on board, and serving the Captain as an advisor in our weekly senior officers round table meetings. Juggling all of these things and still being visible, while finding time for yourself in the day, just to eat, reflect, read, or send a personal e-mail to your family is really hard…….and finding time to sleep……I struggle with that one!

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 have to pick one of our sister companies: Costa. They have been described to me as the “Carnival of Europe,” and a majority of their itineraries are based in the Mediterranean. I fell in love with the med a few years ago during the inaugurals of the Liberty and have been dreaming of returning there ever since.

10. Finally – please fill in the blanks

Ricky Gervais

Diane Lane

Everything Disco!

Farris Bulers Day Off

Ryan Fitzgerald, also a great Cruise Director. I handed over the Glory to him earlier this year and I have never had so much fun in my entire life!

I am a huge fan Stuart Dunn……a few years ago I had the opportunity to work with him when I was an assistant. He is committed to trying to new things, not afraid to fail, and is passionate about being the best that he can be always.

Find a quiet place and take a nap!


Words cannot describe how proud I am of Butch and he is someone who was destined to be a cruise director………..or a soap opera actor………….or a model…………we are all glad he decided to be a CD.

Thanks by the way to Stephanie who showed me that I have an entry now on the Wikithingy……… it is……..

Heidi meanwhile has returned from our trip to Holland and has bizarrely gone into some strange “we have too much stuff we have in the house and we have to get rid of it” mode …… or………. “John, I won’t have your crap in the house anymore so get rid of it……”………mode.

This happened once before except she never told me she was going to through stuff away and I returned home to what I thought was a house that had been burgled. She had thrown away my signed photo of the cast of a BBC program called Blakes Seven and of course lots of my favorite clothes. I had left these things in the attic…………where all men leave things to die……..but in a fit of cleaning Heidi had thrown it all away.

At least this time she had given me notice that the boxes of “needless crap” had to go. Now, three of these boxes contained the complete and entire episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation on VHS as well as the complete and entire collection of The A Team…….also on VHS. “I want to keep them, I still watch them,” I cried……Heidi said nothing…………she just looked at me as she does………and it was then I realized that we don’t have a VCR anymore …………………bugger.

So, I needed to get to rid of this stuff or I would be sleeping with Captain Jean Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise in the attic.

What to do though……… would be a shame to throw them away………..and then……….I had a brain wave…………….it was time to do something I had never done before………….go on Ebay.

Now, you would have had a better chance of finding condoms for sale at the Vatican gift shop then me exploring Ebay. Spending hours every day on the computer for blog and work purposes, the last thing I want to do is shop on the damn thing as well. I also realize that I am crap at anything on the computer outside of word pad and sending an e-mail and if it doesn’t contain the words Latvian or Megan’s bottom, I have no interest. I also knew that I wouldn’t know how to use the damn thing anyway.

But, I thought, how hard can it be to put 70 odd episodes of Star Trek up for sale…….. well let me tell you……….as hard as an elephant’s thingy after he has just seen Mrs. Elephant wearing a silk thong and suspenders…………that’s how hard.

Have you tried using the auction site recently? The E Bay and this thing called PayPal making selling and receiving payment, or buying and sending payment, a process so bloody complicated that you worry for your sanity. Posting an advert entails navigating more options than those on a Starbucks menu, and it also says I had to write in HTML code, which I have no bloody clue if my lap top has…………why can’t I just type in ……..I don’t know…………ummm………..writing?

Because I made too many errors, I pissed off Mr. EBay and my account was frozen. This meant that I had to identify who I was by spending three light years answering questions via an instant message system about who I was. Ebay it seems offers the most frustrating technological experience this side of trying to record an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on your microwave.

Frankly nailing my bollocks to a climbing wall is preferable to shopping on eBay.

I will try again though as someone somewhere must want to see Captain Picard beat the Borg and crush the Klingons. And if I do manage to figure out who to do it…..expect a pair of my underpants to be up for an Ebay auction………starting bid…….$99……… will find them under “Hazardous Materials.”

Ebay………… arse

Your friends
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.