All I Have To Do Is Dream

September 15, 2009 -

John Heald

I have to admit that I don’t feel very well today. I am having a bad diabetic day. My sugar levels are normal but I feel tired and have the same amount of energy as a dead squirrel.

Anyone who has diabetes will tell you there are days like these. I am not sure why. I have eaten healthy food and yet I feel listless, have hot and cold sweats and just want to crawl under the duvet, fart gently………and go to sleep.

I know that this is will pass and there will be other days like it. I don’t mind the headache or aching joints but not having the energy I usually have makes me very pissed off and quite emotional. Oh well. I hope I am feeling better by tomorrow as I am due to collect one of our director’s and my friend Chris Prideaux from Heathrow Airport tomorrow morning as we are due to fly to your Carnival Dream together.

I also wanted to mention a note that appeared on my Facebook thingy page. Now, I pay very little attention to my Facespace page and I know that’s wrong ………..but time etc etc does not allow it. However, I did notice the other day that I had 2,500 odd friends which of course is incredible. It’s also a miracle because when I was younger I had only a few and most of those were invisible and even my invisible friends used to tell me to bugger off.

The friends I did have were Alan and Danny and I don’t think any of us have friends like we did when we were young. Anyway, both Alan and Danny have remained my true friends and are there when I need them. Danny told me he had very few friends on his new Facespace page and I told him that I would send him some because you……….my blogger friends are the salt of the earth. However, I told him that this would cost him and indeed he has given his promise to give $1 per friend received from my Facebook page to a children’s charity which is very dear to my heart…..and because he has more money than Paris Hilton and better legs as well……… I agreed ………..I will make sure I give you a total of how much he will be donating.

Talking of children I wanted to post this very touching e mail I received.

Bill Lucas Wrote:

I apologize for sending you an e mail directly and I also admit that I pushed one of the employees on the Splendor to pass it on. I only did this because I know that you get lots of comments and didn’t want mine to disappear.

My son has Down syndrome and I contacted you to let the Camp Carnival staff know that Jacob was going to be attending.

Everyone says that I am a saint, the way I look after him. But I really am not, I am just a parent. It has been a tough few years. I am a single parent as my wife left us just after Jacob was born and I also have my daughter Sophie to look after as well.

I couldn’t imagine what it was like to live with a child who had Down’s syndrome. I could imagine only the dramatic bits and the difficulties, the passengers in public places turning away in shock and distaste so you can imagine how nervous I was about taking him to Camp Carnival. But I read your blog and your offer to help passengers who had children with special needs and you promised to help and you did. Jacob had a ball. And the staff who were aware that he was coming looked after him beyond my wildest dreams. Please would you thank the Camp staff for me and from the bottom of my heart I thank you also for persuading me to let Jacob go and telling the ship about us and for sending Jacob the gold trophy which he loves. I wish you and Heidi and Kye much joy and happiness.

Bill Lucas

John Says:
Hello Bill

Not sure what I can say here……but……I guess I have to be honest and open up to you about something. As you may or may not know Heidi is an older mother at 35 and I am a very old father at 44. Thus, she was tested for the possibility of her having a Down syndrome baby by inserting that huge needle into her……… was extraordinarily frightening for us both.

I remember the moment Kye was born. My heart was racing, my breathing shallow, I was covered in a sweat, and I thought for a moment that I might pass out or throw up. After a decent while I decided I would do neither. And I got up and went to the supermarket, for my wife was in hospital and was filled with a passion for fresh fruit.

What if she has Down syndrome? That was the sudden question that had overwhelmed me. My first child had just been born. I imagined a situation so terrible that it almost robbed me of consciousness.

Well, she didn’t. Kye was born and has no problems and Heidi and I were, if you’ll forgive the word……… blessed, and life has carried on in a new and extraordinary way.

I also realize now that if she had been born with Downs or any other concerns that I would have loved her as I do now………..unreservedly and without compromise. I also know that while you may not consider yourself a saint you certainly deserve much praise for bringing up two beautiful children on your own.

People often ask me why I continue to write this blog after two years……………well……… I hope they know why.

I will pass on your words of congratulations to the ship and the Miami office and I wish you all a wonderful life together.


Time to answer more questions …….here we go.

Kathy O’Rourke-Wendrick Asked:
Hi John——Please reply—–
I will be sailing on the Carnival Dream TA cruise. This is my first cruise on Carnival and my first TA.I cannot wait to see my spa cabin and rest of the new ship. It should still have the “new ship smell” Ok now the real reason for this post.

Do you know if Jamie will be an asst. Cruise Director on our sailing? The reason I ask is I live and work in her hometown of Farmington Hills, MI. If she wants me to bring something from home I would be glad to. I am a Recreation Supervisor the City. Please let me know. Thanks for the updates and pictures.
Thank You

John Says:
Hello Cathy

You have every right to be excited Cathy and as I sit here in my underpants writing this blog I too am excited to see your Carnival Dream tomorrow. Jaime unfortunately will not be there with you as she has decided to stay with Kirk as his ACD on the Carnival Pride. I know she will be disappointed that you won’t get to be together. I have passed on your e mail address to her though so you can chat. Have a brilliant crossing and I hope to see you in Bermuda
Best wishes

Bill Russell Asked:
Hi John, Please Reply
With a heavy heart we cancelled our cruise on Dec. 3.
Worried about the Swine Flu. Too bad we didn’t have more time to decide. But our final payment was due on Sept 19. After that we would have lost too much money. We had the insurance but thought that it gave you more leeway. It didn’t.

Hope to see you and Todd W. in years to come. It was to be a great cruise but……

John Says:
Hello Bill
I am so sorry to hear the news. I wish there was something I could do to change your mind. I hope the H1N1 thingy will not return but I do hope that you will and we will be waiting for you.
Best wishes to all and hope to see you soon

Billjenn Asked:
Dear Mr. Heald,
I certainly hope this is reaching you as I am pretty much blog incompetent. Took me forever to figure out how to post a reply or comment. Duhhh. Anyway….
We are on the 9/20 sailing of the Carnival Legend for our seventh Carnival cruise and 14th overall. We are crushed that we will miss you by a week but are sure that Jen Baxter will be awesome.

I’m always put back by those on this blog thingy asking you for special things on their cruise. I figure your cruise is special enough why try to mooch something else. Well, guess what? I’m gonna try.

On our 1/09 Spirit cruise Jennifer, the love of my life for 17 years and still not married, became obsessed with the “ship on a stick”. She figured that on her sixth Carnival cruise it was time to go on a quest. Suddenly, my sea days were filled with every possible trivia contest, bean bag toss, etc… Well, through my superior intellect (lol), I was able to get her two. Things were good and I could look forward to rumpy pumpy. She threatened otherwise if I didn’t pull through.

Cut to the chase, is there anyway you could have one of those darn trophies delivered to our cabin (4239)? Frankly, missing many of my preferred activities in pursuit of a token on sea days is a pain in my arse. I could potentially be looking forward to a rumpy pumpy cruise.
You and your family are awesome and, quite frankly, living what we call the American Dream. Here’s wishing calm seas to you and yours.
Bill A.
Norman, Oklahoma

John Says:
Hello Bill, A
Your posting made it to me safe and sound and thanks so much for taking the time to write. Jen Baxter is a great CD and you will love her energy and fun and maybe one day we will get to sail with each other. There is never a need for anyone to apologize for asking me to try and make their cruise that extra bit special and indeed I will do so for you and that little gold trophy will be delivered to you. I hope you attend all the activities that you mentioned and try and win one…….but just in case you don’t…………….Jennifer will have one regardless

Have a brilliant time
Best wishes to you both

TROY Asked:
John, please reply
Love the blog, keep up the good work. Also do you know who the cd will be on Jan. 24th, on the Carnival Splendor (hopefully you)? I think the news on the big screen should not be played anymore, especially when kids are taken into consideration, sports might be a better fit, especially racing (sorry had to plug my own agenda). Or maybe you could play news if it’s not too brutal, and then do special features on the destinations the ship is going to (this might be too big of a challenge though). Regarding humor during the drill, we sailed with x (hey, someone has to keep an eye on the competition) a couple of years ago, and yes, they tried, pretty successfully, to inject humor at the beginning, when they demonstrated how to put the lifejacket on, it helped to lighten the mood and was quit refreshing, as long as it’s not too over the top, and doesn’t take extra time (especially if it’s going on during sail off). Troy

John Says:
Hello Troy

Thanks for saying you enjoy the blog so much and I hope you continue to enjoy it. The cruise director in January on the Carnival Splendor has yet to be confirmed but the 2010 schedule will be completed very soon and I will let everyone know when it is and of course post it here on the blog. I think we gave decided that the news should not be played on the big screen unless of course it is a dramatic, worldwide event that we think everyone should see. I agree also that there is a place at the start and at the end of the drill for a touch of humor and I will be trying this for the first time next month on the Carnival Legend. As long as the seriousness of explaining how to save your life remains intact I think we can make this work. I will let you know how it goes.
Thanks again Troy and my best wishes to you and the family

Tim and Diane Asked:
John Please Reply.
Two things.
John I think that people on a cruise are there to get away from the daily nasty news and would much rather have something other than the news playing on the jumbo screen. If they want the news then tune in to CNN international on their cabin TV’s.

We are going to be in Halifax on the Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 in early November if you could tap that mass memory of yours and remember the name of the cheep lobster place you visited we would be very happy.
Thank you and keep the blogs coming.

John Says:
Hello Tim and Diane
How fantastic that you get to experience the Queen Mary 2 and a voyage to Halifax. Try the Five Fisherman or Murphy’s on the Water and I promise you will truly enjoy some of the finest lobster in the world………but don’t miss going to Peggy’s Cove either. I agree with you, it’s time to remove the news from the big screen. Have a great voyage and please if you have time pass on my best wishes to the Queen Mary 2’s Entertainment Director

Best wishes to you both

Lisa Asked:
Hi John,
Please reply
Love your blog. I found it recently & it has become a daily habit. Your job sounds fascinating, even the cranky people you deal with because then you have great stories to tell us.

My husband & I are sailing on the Splendor on October 11th for our 25th wedding anniversary. I’m so excited & can hardly wait. This will be our 3rd cruise. Our first was not Carnival, second was on Carnival & decided all future cruises would be Carnival. It’s like you always say, a great value. Also, Carnival has such delicious food!

We are taking our 17 y.o. son. He is our only child & now that he is a teenager we usually take one of his friends or cousins when we travel so he has someone to hang out with because at this age he doesn’t want to spend every moment with his parents. I don’t understand why! haha. This time we are taking my niece. She & my son are both seniors in high school & have been the best of friends since they were babies, which seems like just yesterday. (Cherish every moment with your beautiful Kye. She will be 17 in the blink of an eye & you will wonder where the time went. ) Back to my question. It is about Club O2. My son is 17, but my niece will turn 18 one month before the cruise which according to the age restrictions for Club O2 means my niece can’t go to the club. Are exceptions ever made to this rule? She is still in High School. I don’t know about other places, but here in Arizona High School is a mixture of 17 & 18 year olds. Is there someone I could email or contact to ask? I am sure Club 02 is a great way for teens to meet kids their own age, but if exceptions aren’t made I completely understand & we will all still have a great time.
Thank you John. I appreciate your time.

John Says:
Hello Lisa
Reading that following your first Carnival cruise, you and the family decided that you would only cruise the Fun Ships brings a smile to everyone who works at Carnival and I am sure your next cruise on the beautiful Carnival Splendor will be just as good. Usually we are quite strict about the age groups that can attend our Club O2 but in this case I will certainly ask the director on the ship to see if she will allow your niece to attend. However, as I said we do have to be someone strict with the age groups but let me check and let you know. Leave this with me and I will let you know what the outcome is as soon as possible.

Best wishes to you and the family

David Vigue Asked:
Hello John, (Please Reply)
As for the CNN on Lido Deck, I agree with you, how about changing to ESPN. Could be more fun for some who follow sports. My question is, we are going on Carnival Sensation in October with 2 of our Grandsons. When I was on it with you in April 95, the pools were “salt’ water. When I cruised on larger ships, i.e., Victory, Destiny, the pools were not salt water. Do they still use salt water in the pools on Sensation?

John Says:
Hello Dave
I agree Dave, sporting events such as NFL, NBA and cricket are much more guest friendly on the big screen and you can expect to see more sports on the big screen during finals etc. as well as things like Monday Night Football.

All our swimming pools are salt water pools Dave including the ones on the Carnival Sensation. Have a brilliant time with the family and please send us your review.
Best wishes to all

Jennifer Asked:
John (Please Respond),
I love your blog and even more I love your updates on the fabulous new Carnival Dream. I am looking at booking two of the incredible spa cabins next spring on the Dream and had a question. I know that the spa cabins are non-smoking, which isn’t a problem but does that mean that smokers are not allowed to book the cabins at all? I’m asking because my husband (like you!) enjoys the occasional cigar and my mom is a smoker, but never in the cabin. Would we be ok in these cabins if both are smoking elsewhere on the ship?

Thanks for a great blog, and congratulations on that pretty girl of yours!

Jennifer (who is offering up her hubby to you as a cigar buddy if your cruise directing plans include being on the Dream next April or May!)

John Says:
Hello Jennifer
Congratulations on thinking of sailing on your Carnival Dream and you must book the spa cabins. I will feature some photos of these after my trip this week and as long as you do not smoke in the cabins you can of course still enjoy a cigarette in one of the designated smoking areas. We actually have our guests sign a waiver assuring that they understand the Spa cabins are indeed strictly non smoking. I hope one day I can share some cigar time with your husband and I hope after reading this you book those cabins…………I promise you will not regret it.

Best wishes to all

Zannett Asked:
John, Please reply…
I noticed you were kind enough to provide another guest with the “schedule” of elegant nights for their cruise. We are sailing on the 12/3 Bloggers’ Cruise and I would like to know which night(s) you thought might be best to visit the steakhouse.

Didn’t want to miss elegant night in the MDR or any Blogger’s event that might be scheduled.
As always, thank you for all you do…even while on vacation.

John Says:
Hello Zannett
There will be fantastic events for “Bloggers” only every day of the cruise and I am currently putting finishing touches to the schedule. Here is the sailing schedule with elegant nights stated as well as my suggestions on a great night to visit the steakhouse.

Eastern Caribbean:
Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL;
Nassau, Bahamas; – ship leaves at 2:00pm so this will be Elegant Night 1
Fun Day at Sea;
St. Maarten, NA;
Fun Day at Sea; – Elegant Night 2
Fun Day at Sea;
Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL

If you book a 7 pm table you won’t miss any of the main blogger events.

Hope this helps and see you soon.

Best wishes

That’s all for today and please let me say a big thank you to everyone for taking the time to write all your comments. Well, I am of to your Carnival Dream and I will send a video update blog tomorrow. I won’t have time to answer any questions tomorrow but I will do so again on Thursday ………………more about that shortly.

Let’s meet today’s Cruise Director.

I first met this young lady on the Carnival Destiny when she was serving crapafrapacinos at the coffee bar. But her determination to follow a path she was meant to be walking has seen her become a very successful cruise director and a firm favorite with many………here is Risa Barnes.

1. Please tell us about yourself and your journey to the Cruise Director chair
LONG story short…I started with Carnival in 1996 as the very first Coffee Girl in the Café on the Way on the Carnival Destiny for its maiden voyage. I had never been on a cruise before, but 2 months earlier my mother cruised for the first time on the Carnival Fascination when it was out of Puerto Rico and had such a wonderful time that she brought me an application from the then Purser’s Info desk and after considering my options I sent out resumes and got hired. I truly believe I was the first US citizen to hold a position as a bar waitress and working many hours I proved myself so when I applied for a transfer to the Entertainment Dept (which I had originally applied for, but was not called back for) I was given the chance of a life time. I had a great time as Social Host, now Entertainment Staff Member, from 1997-1999 and was then promoted to Asst. Cruise Director in 1999. I worked hard and was given the opportunity to work as Acting Cruise Director in 2002. I worked even harder and was then given the chance to prove myself as Acting Cruise Director from early 2001 until late 2003. I finally achieved the full promotion to Cruise Director in November of 2003.

2. What ship are you currently serving on.
Carnival Fantasy with vacation soon then back to this lovely ship in November once it moves to Mobile, Alabama!

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.
My favorite areas on the Fantasy are the Cat’s Lounge because the band is wonderful and provides entertainment in the evenings for those that like to dance, but not necessarily to disco tunes. The band is friendly, fun and interactive with the crowds. The back lounge, the Forum is also a major hit here because we have a phenomenal Karaoke Hostess from the Philippines who is known as “Super Star” Cristina and while she holds this title many a guest that participate become honorary “Super Stars” themselves. She dances, sings and even gets people who do not sing to come back every night just to see what is going to happen next!

To answer the question…What makes the Fantasy the BEST ship in the Carnival fleet I have to say…the 5 Star Fun Patrol Team and the Overall team itself from Captain Cilento, who is everywhere ALL the time to the crew members who consistently keep things neat and clean. Our team on a day to day basis work, live, respect each other while having FUN every single day not matter what department or what country we are from which creates an atmosphere for the guest to enjoy, relax and take full advantage of their vacation time

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 do a 4, 5 & 5 Day Itinerary.
5 Day Monday thru Saturday with ports of Progreso and Cozumel
5 Day Saturday thru Thursday with ports of Progreso and Cozumel
4 Day Thursday thru Monday with the port of call Cozumel
Shore Excursions:
5 Day cruises – PROGRESO #1 Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins where you can actually experience one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World while learning about the Mayan history and culture

5 Day cruises – COZUMEL there are a couple such as the Deluxe Sail, Snorkle & Beach Party which is a great snorkeling adventure off a Fury Catamaran over a great reef sight, followed by a day at a beach resort with open bar and beach time AND the Cozumel Jeep & Snorkel at Punta Sur which is an adventurous day of driving Wrangler Jeeps, having some off roading fun then snorkeling on the beach with refreshments and snacks!

5. If someone were to ask you ” what does a Carnival Cruise Director do ” how would you reply.
We do EVERYTHING we possibly can to make sure that every single person that comes onboard any Carnival Ship has the ultimate vacation experience and leaves waiting to get home and book their next cruise and at the same time making sure safety, environmental and health issues are addressed and followed to the T each and every day.

6. What is your most favorite part of the job.
My favorite part of the job is interacting with as many guests one on one that I can while at the same time making sure over 2,500 guests have a wonderful experience and feel special, taken care of and relaxed. The little things in life make such a difference and helping anyone take their mind off the hassles and stresses of everyday life is such a boost.

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.
Forever and Ever the Love & Marriage aka Newlywed Not So Newlywed is my FAVORITE event and is always a hit with not only the guests that come to watch or get involved on stage, but also for those that are in the crowd or even miss it and see it on the TV. This event is SO different each and every time that it is not only challenge to keep it fresh and fun, but is always different, exciting and full of crazy fun facts that entertain everyone.

8. What is the hardest and or most challenging part of the job of Carnival CD.
I believe keeping the energy and excitement for the staff ongoing 7 days a week for 6-8 months at a time can be challenging at times especially when you get young kids who may not be used to working continuously and focused on the fact that we are here to make sure every guests is relaxed, pampered and entertained for the duration of their cruise. It is truly a different lifestyle to be onboard a ship and responsible for the happiness of so many people that have saved, planed and are expecting the best vacation experience ever. While at the same time making sure that all our safety issues and initiatives are focused on, the Capers are prepared and correct for each and every concession and activity daily and that my immediate staff are happy, healthy and performing to the utmost of their abilities.

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 think I would enjoy a cruise on a Seabourn where it is much smaller and like a personal sail boat OR a ship that goes to Asia where I could enjoy exotic locations and cuisines!

10. Finally – please fill in the blanks

I LOVE Christian Slater’s voice, Brad Pitt’s boy next door looks and George Clooney’s sophistication. Sorry I couldn’t just pick one!

Lucille Ball for her everlasting laughs and zest for all of life’s FUN moments and Sandra Bullock for being a beautiful, strong woman who isn’t scared to be funny and goofy in today’s world.

EVERYTHING…I actually had a fellow team member down load their mix of oldies, modern, Latin, country, bar mix, techno, movie sound tracks and more along with my favorite cd’s including Michael Buble, Josh Kelly, Cowboy Mouth, Hootie, Sinatra, Cat Stevens, Anne Murray…just a jumble of whatever I can get and what I do is hit Shuffle and just enjoy it all.

Bed of Roses, Untamed Heart & City of Angels…I love and hate the heart felt romantic movies.

Family – My baby brother Rich
Work – Felipe Couto (now Acting Cruise Director) and Hennie Van Heerden my current Assistant Cruise Director…nothing better than working with someone that can make you laugh or smile especially when it’s been a long and trying day.
Comedians – Russell Peters who is off the cuff and a personal friend and well known comedian Diane Ford.

I would have to say Chris Roberts…he helped me so much when I was working my way up by giving me direction, support and a positive spirit that I will always have a special place in my heart for him. He also pushed me to prove I knew what I was doing and to have the continued confidence even when things were bleak to know I would achieve my goals and dreams as long as I continued to believe in myself and ENJOY the JOB!

I would relax in the forward Jacuzzi and just watch every single moment with amazement and humor.

I will get to see Risa work next year when I cover the Carnival Fantasy for a few weeks and it will be so great to see just how far she has come. Congratulations Risa.

And so it’s time to go and see her and oh how I wish you were coming with me. I am so very excited to see your Carnival Dream and having been three times from her very early stages in the yard I am thrilled that I now have the opportunity to see her ready to thrill, amaze and provide huge dollops of fun for thousands of people like you.

I know some of you are sailing during her brief European season and I wish you all a brilliant time. I know some of you are sailing on her trans-Atlantic cruise and are so looking forward to enjoying 16 amazing days as she heads to the Big Apple. Then some of you are sailing her out of New York which will be an experience and a site that is incomparable and having done this myself onboard the Carnival Destiny and Carnival Triumph is an experience which will be everlasting.

And of course many of you will be joining me on the bloggers cruise and that is going to be a sensational voyage and one that after my return from Italy will be something I will discuss further. And from then many of you will be sailing on either her eastern or western Caribbean cruises from her home in Port Canaveral.

During the next five days I hope to bring you closer to your Carnival Dream and as I mentioned yesterday although my blogs will be shorter due to my work load there will be video segments each and every day. It’s going to be brilliant.

Now, on the 16th and 17th I have functions to attend before the ship sails without passengers down to Civitavecchia to start her first cruise on the 21st. These functions include the handover ceremony, the shipyard luncheon and dinner in the steakhouse with Carnival executives and various bearded people…….oh by the way, expect some video action of me eating there so you can all see what’s happening.

Anyway, what the hell do I wear for this? Sorry for the use of the word hell but I feel like that with this fatigue thingy and nobody has told me if I should wear suits, a blazer, a tuxedo or come dressed as Roman Gladiator with my arse hanging out.

When I was younger and pre being a cruise director I very rarely got invited to a formal occasion. Then I went to work in the city of London and that meant that I did have to go to some posh occasions. I couldn’t afford a tuxedo of my own so that meant that I had to hire one for the weekend from our local shop called Ravens and then always had to spend Monday morning explaining to the man that it was covered in vomit when I rented it. And that, no, despite the strong smell of chlorine and the fact it was only 6 inches long, it had most definitely not been in a swimming pool.

Back in those days, you couldn’t go anywhere without going home first to get changed. There is a favorite restaurant of mine in Southend where we live called The Boatyard…..and oh boy …. how things have changed there. Not so long ago they would turn you away if you weren’t wearing a tie. Gentlemen were required to wear jackets……now they will let you in wearing nice jeans and if you wanted………a tutu.

Now, I know that I am bordering on touching on a very sensitive subject here so let me just clarify my own personal opinion here. I think we need to give suggestions on dress code onboard during regular cruises. We offer an elegant night and that should not include shorts, wife bashers (is that the right term for those sleeveless T-shirt thingies) and spandex. However, if a chap across the dining room is wearing a nice pair of jeans……..well he won’t affect my enjoyment of my meal…………just my opinion.

Oh, and having been to a few steakhouses in North America I see that despite being expensive and quite posh that they also allow jeans. I went to one when we were filming that big beach ball commercial and it sort of went together……….Dallas, steak and jeans……so here is a question for you………should we allow a smart casual dress code including jeans in our steakhouses …………….. myself and the folks at Carnival would like to know so please slap on a answer.

There are times when a dress code is needed and there are times when it is not. For example, I have been to friends who have hosted those bloody dinner parties and who send out an invitation ………..that contains a dress code…………..telling your guests who are also your supposed friends what they must wear. …………..what a load of bollocks.

That would be like forcing them not to smoke, or insisting that all the vegetablists eat meat. If you are a host, then it is your duty to make sure that your guests have as nice a time as possible. That means letting them wear and do and eat whatever takes their fancy. If I invite you round to my house, it’s because I want to spend an evening in your company. And I don’t care what you wear. Army boots and a jockstrap? Fine. Naked? That’s fine too……..especially if you are Megan Fox.

However………….there are times when it is nice to know what to wear especially if important people are going to be there. On Wednesday night I will be eating dinner with our President and CEO Gerry Cahill and Carnival Corporation & plc’s Chairman and CEO Micky Arison.

This is a huge honor for me and one that I am very excited about but what the hell do I wear?

If I wear a suit and everyone else is dressed casually I will be perceived as a kiss arse and if I decide to wear casual attire and show up in my extra stretch jeans designed by Omar The Tent Maker and a T-shirt with more X’s in the label than a Latvian porno movie……no doubt Mr. Arison and Mr. Cahill will be clad in Georgio Versace suits………and I will be sent below stairs in disgrace and have to eat a yak scrotum sandwich for dinner.

It’s a dilemma. I asked Heidi. She said…….and I quote “Why not call Gerry before you eat dinner and ask him what he is wearing”……..hold on……let me say that again……..I asked Heidi. She said ……..and, I quote, “Why not call Gerry before you eat dinner and ask him what he is wearing.”

Oh yes, I can see that now can’t you. “Hello Gerry, it’s John……..John ………..John Heald ………… senior cruise director……………you know…the blogger…………..yes, the fat one. Sorry to bother you in your penthouse suit Gerry but I wondered what you were going to wear for dinner tonight and oh yes………….could I borrow some toilet paper, I flew Ryan Air today and there chicken sandwich has given me the shits.”

Anyway, after lots of thought and based on the fact that I have been invited because I about to reach five million hits on the blog thingy I have decided to be myself…….yep………….that means I will be eating dinner in my underpants and only my underpants………..and if Mr. Arison and Mr. Cahill want to join me…………they are most welcome.

See you on your Carnival Dream and just before I go let’s see her one more time with photos of the cast, the captain, the crew and the ship and the shipyard through the amazing lens of Radu, our senior photographer.















ship_dream_guest _elevators_091409_DSC1611












Can’t wait to see her………….have you booked yet?

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.