A Web Of Fear

September 29, 2009 -

John Heald

I had not time to unpack before writing yesterday’s blog…….but after doing so you probably heard me scream ‘BUGGER’…………..let me explain.

As you know I hate to fly…..not just the bit in the plane but the aftermath……….the baggage reclaim hall. This isn’t because I don’t like crowds or trolleys or people in flip-flops and shorts ………….No, I’m scared my bags won’t turn up.

Okay, so in fear terms it’s hardly up there with telling Mike Tyson he has the penis the size of a baby carrot or the fear Phil Spector feels every time he drops the soap in the shower……….but it’s my fear and it never goes away.
I don’t like it because I don’t understand how it works. Think about how you see your suitcase bump past a check-in person and then don’t see it again until it is belched out of a conveyor monster at the other end.
Where does it go in between? The system of belts drives and moving parts backstage at an airport must be more complicated then the propulsion system here on the Carnival Legend. Your bag somehow (sometimes) gets to the right place despite being dumped where there are a million near-identical other bags being kicked and thrown onto a million near-identical planes. I often put my Raspberry down and can’t find it so thank God I’m not in charge. Really, it’s a wonder that more suitcases don’t go missing and that every time you’re at the airport you don’t pass Naomi Campbell screaming at some poor bloke because her Louis Vuitton bitch bag hasn’t turned up.

I get that the logistics involved must be complex so why is the thing at the end of the whole baggage process just a start-stop, clogged-up, articulated rubber belt that someone has sarcastically chosen to call a carousel? It’s not a carousel, is it? The word carousel suggests something with up-and-down horses and music, with perhaps Mary Poppins hovering above with her umbrella. The thing at the airport is like the tongue of some great squat creature that lives below the hall randomly belching luggage out.

There has to be a better method of collecting luggage. Too many cases and the thing locks up and has to be restarted by a sweaty man. Too few and there is a sea of faces staring forlornly at the pair of escaped underpants going round and round that nobody will ever pick up because of sheer embarrassment.

I don’t know about you but every time this hellish machine grinds to a halt I want to vault onto the thing, climb down the hole and see what is going on. I don’t dare, though, for two reasons: a) I’d be taken to airport prison and shot and b) because I’m scared of what I might find.

I imagine it’s like a hellish mine, full of men wearing Naomi Campbell’s underwear and smoking my cigars……yes…….my cigars……the ones that were stolen from my Samsonite ……….. whether by bastard Brits at Heathrow or by some tosser from Tampa Airport of a sodding Stevedore from the Port of Tampa……..yep, one box of the finest cigars money could buy – value $250. If they had been confiscated by customs I would have accepted that. But they weren’t. They were stolen…..stolen by someone who is now smoking my masterpieces. My case was locked with the usual three code lock thingy but was opened easier then Paris Hilton’s legs. The only compensation is the knowledge that I had wrapped the box of cigars in my underpants and that means he or she is also catching diphtheria!

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

Jay (Cruise Addict) Asked:
Hi John,
(Please Reply)

I posted a comment about a week ago and I must not have done it correctly as it never posted on the blog, or maybe I got bounced, though I wouldn’t know why. But any way here goes.

I have been enjoying your “Blog Thingy” for the past four months or so and just wanted to let you know what a positive part of my and many others day you are.

Your stories about events and strange happenings on board truly keep the excitement up for those of us who are awaiting upcoming cruises.

I especially like reading about “your girls” Heidi & Kye.
I know very well the feelings of leaving your wife and baby girl for long periods of time.

Having been in the U.S. Army for 14 years, I too had to watch my daughter grow up via pictures and phone calls from God knows where.

I’m happy to read that Heidi & you “keep the home fires burning” through your absence. She appears to be just the one for you.

Though my marriage to my daughter’s mother did not survive my military career, my relationship with my daughter did, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Now, I am hoping you could help me out with something.

My “new” wife and I will be sailing on the Valor on November 15th to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Aside from the “Steakhouse” (still like Supper Club better), which we are planning to visit on our actual anniversary (the 20th), what can I surprise her with, for not a whole lot of money, that would really make her feel special?

John, my wife means the world to me, as Heidi does to you, but with the economy being as it is there is little extra monies to go around.

This does not change the fact that my wife deserves the very best I can give her. She made me believe in love again, and gave me a new life that I thought I had lost forever. There is no way I could ever repay her for that, but I sure can try.

So, whatever suggestion you can give me would be great, and I am thankful for your help.

Thanks Again, John.
Jay (Cruise Addict)

John Says:
Hello Jay
Thanks for saying how much you enjoy the blog and thank you also for your 14 years of service in the Army. I know how difficult is for me to be away from Kye and Heidi for the few weeks I am away and cannot imagine how hard it is for you and the family when you are away for long periods of time and in difficult and dangerous circumstances. Next year Heidi and Kye will be able to sail with me which of course is something which will make my time onboard that much more pleasant.

I am glad that you and your new wife are going to be celebrating on the Carnival Valor and may I suggest that the evening of your trip to the steakhouse that you order a rose from the Formalities shop and also write a dedication letter for the Cruise Director to read out at his Morning Show. Just tell her………….well……………I am sure you don’t need my help with that. I will also send something to your cabin as well if you remind me by posting a comment please on October 25 with a kind reminder.

Thanks again for taking the time to read the blog
Best wishes

Mark W. Boyer Asked:

Hello John (Please Reply)
First I wanted to say thanks you for the lunch time entertainment Your Blog brings me. You say so many things that make me laugh.

I wrote to you about 5 weeks ago about a suggestion for a night on the Carnival Freedom to eat at the Steakhouse for supper. Thanks I already prebooked that reservation.
Also at that time I was requesting assistance with main dining room seating and you said to write back closer to our sail date, so here 12 days before we sail. Is it possible to try and be seated on the main floor of the dining room at a small table for 2 in the middle of the room not under the balconies? My wife and I have been seated there in the past and enjoy very much.

Also could you please suggest a beach on our stops that would be a little private or more adult less children? Our sailing is going to Cozumel, Costa Rica, and Panama.

We are disappointed that we will not be entertained by John Heald Cruise director this trip but through this blog we have got to know Wee Jimmy a little and are looking forward to meeting him..
Thanks again for all the time sitting alone in your underpants.
Mark Boyer

John Says:
Hello Mark
By now you are onboard the Carnival Freedom and this is a prime example of how far behind I am in replying to comments. I took the liberty of e-mailing the ship asking to help you with your reservation and hopefully they received this and were able to assist you. I am going to ask Ralph (Wee Jimmy) to make sure all is well and talk to you about beaches etc. Have a great time and sorry for the late reply.

Best wishes

JAS1178 Asked:

Regarding your debark talk…We always attend even 5 cruises later. Most of the time it is for the humor, giveaways, and the Employee of the Month presentation. It adds finality to the vacation.

On one cruise (I believe due to a CD handoff), all that was offered was the Video Debark Talk…I remember even noting this on the comment card that this was a disappointment.

One other thing that seems to have disappeared from the debark talk is the “preview” of the Fun Ship Films where they took and edited it down to a 3 minute song. Ultimately it was just an advertisement for the video, BUT it also added to that finality of your vacation. (Kind of like the last evening of Camp…) It always brought some laughs, images of the “characters” of the cruise, and always had up leaving the room with a smile….thinking about booking our next Fun Ship Cruise (after of course we purchased our Video).

So my question…were we just lucky on our first 3 cruises that we had the edited video as part of the debark? Was this fleetwide? Was it discontinued…or just something that some ships were doing?

Looking forward to seeing you 10/11!!! Do you know if Legend will have the behind the fun tour by then?

Thank you for the daily dose of FUN from your blog.

John Says:
Hello Jonathan
Thanks for the comments and certainly your points are very valid. There are many other aspects to the debarkation talk apart from how to get off the ship etc including the employee of the month presentation which I know guests enjoy. I always have the highlights of the cruise video played at the end of the debarkation talk and it does wrap up nicely the whole cruise. It’s not a fleet wide requirement for CD’s to do this. I know many do and some don’t and thats a shame. I am going to send your comment to all the Cruise Directors to see if they can indeed implement this into the cruise either at the debarkation talk or on the cabin televisions.

The Behind the Fun tour has started here and typically sells out so please book it on the day you arrive. Unfortunately it does run into the debarkation talk as we hold it on the last day starting at 9:30 am. I am looking at the whole debark talk situation to see what impact it would have if we were to just make a video………but your comments certainly have lots of merit to keep it going.

See you soon
Best wishes

Dorothy Asked:
Please reply

I was looking at the drawing contest for the Carnival Dream and there are some really nice ones. I got to thinking why doesn’t Carnival have 2 Godchildren, one from the contest and the other from St. Jude Children Hospital. These kids are going through a rough time and I believe that at least one of them should also be Carnival Dream waterslide Godchild. I don’t know how you would pick the child, but one should be there on the Carnival Dream with the other child. I probably feel so strong about this because when my son was in the hospital years ago, we spent 3 months there and meet all kinds of kids, the ones that I mostly remember are the ones who had cancer, they were so brave and so young. I hope Carnival will think about this, I wish every child in the contest good luck.

Love the pictures of our Ladies, they are very beautiful.

John Says:
Hello Dorothy
Thank you for this and first of all I hope that your son is healthy and happy following his 3 months in hospital. I am sure this was a difficult time for you and the family, I hope those days are now far behind you. I think I am right in saying that there are some children in the final voting who have some association with St. Jude’s Hospital. In a few moments I will be asking one of the 343 Stephanies to post the finalists and explain how the voting works.

Thank you for your compassion and kindness and my best wishes to you and the family.

Jay (Cruiseoholic) Asked:

Hi John,

This will mark the first time I’ve written on your blog thingy, but likely not my last. I genuinely enjoy your sense of humour (I’m Canadian, thus I know how to spell words like that correctly:) and truly look forward to your daily musings about life in general and Carnival information.

Anyway… couple of things:

1. How about offering an invite to the debarkation talk in the theatre to all guests who are brand new to Carnival, but allow past guests to opt out of the talk and have access to a video instead?

2. We (my husband, two teen sons and I) are booked on our second Carnival cruise, the Carnival Valor in April of 2010. Our first Carnival cruise was on the Carnival Splendor this past April, and both my sons declared it to be the absolute BEST vacation of their lives. When I asked them the reason for this, they stated that Ashley, the O2 Club camp director, was the most amazing counselor and made the whole trip totally fun for them. When I finally met her on the last night to give her our thanks and an extra tip, I realized why they thought she was so awesome – that young lady is GORGEOUS, almost in a Megan Fox bottom kind of way!! No wonder all the boys in the O2 Club paid very close attention to everything she had to say, and every teen girl paid very close attention to all the boys, and as a result it was an incredibly well-behaved group of teens on that cruise!! My boys were wondering if it would be possible to find out if Ashley will be sailing on the Carnival Valor for our cruise next Easter.

3. My husband and I are planning to try dinner in one of the supper clubs on the Carnival Valor, but I’m unclear on how the tipping works for the staff in those venues. I assume they are not part of the bigger tipping pool? And if I’m correct in that assumption, what would be the best way (and amount) to tip them to show our appreciation for their efforts? Do we give them cash at the end of the meal? Does the extra tip have to go on our on-board account? Just need a little clarity on this topic.

Thanks for keeping me laughing on a daily basis, and best wishes to you and your lovely girls.


John Says:
Hello Celine
Thanks for the posting and I am truly appreciating everyone’s thoughts on the debarkation talk and I will let you know what I decide to do. Regardless I have to find a way to get the information across and at the same time not be so forceful in demanding that guests come out of the sun to attend. I will keep you informed.

What fantastic words you have written about Ashley who it seems made such a difference to your son’s cruise experience. I checked with the lady in Miami who takes care of their schedule and she has not confirmed it for next year just yet. However if you remind me in December I will be able to tell you if Ashley will be onboard or if not who your Club O2 Director will be.

There is a nominal fee of $30 per guest for the steakhouse experience. The fee the servers’ gratuity and additional gratuities are optional and may be extended in cash or to your Sail & Sign account, at your discretion. We have some new appetizers that we tested on your Carnival Dream that will be added to all the steakhouses soon and I will be telling you about them in a future blog thingy.

I am so glad that the blog keeps you laughing and I hope you continue to enjoy it for a long time to come.
Best wishes

Barbara Butler Asked:
John please reply:

I hope your back is feeling better, that land based work is difficult.

I am writing to remind you that I am bringing my service dog Valentine onboard The Carnival Dream October 15. When I sailed on the Carnival Pride in May I met and spoke with Jamie. She said to let her know and she would personally be sure that all of Valentine’s potty needs were ready. (She knows how I worry). If you could remind her of this I would it would really be appreciated. Jamie’s help while on the Carnival Pride was indispensible. We will be in cabin 8433.

On another note you mentioned a few blogs ago that you would get Valentine issued her very own Platinum card for this trip. That would be interesting indeed. She has expensive tastes so she will need a large shipboard credit. Ha Ha!!

David and I are looking forward to see you when you come onboard in Bermuda. Tell Heidi and Kye hello for us and bring tons of pictures. We will be bringing something for Kye for you to take home.

See you soon, on the ALL NEW CARNIVAL DREAM!!!!!!!!!!

John Says:
Hello Barbara
I am glad you took the time to write me a reminder so that I can have everything ready for Valentine’s trans-Atlantic cruise. Jaime won’t be onboard but my friend and brilliant Assistant Cruise Director James Dunn will be and I am sending him and the Hotel Director your information. I hope to see you both and I know it will be a superb experience for you both.
Thanks for the kind words
Best to all

Tricee Asked:
Dear John….please reply so that I know you received this message. My husband and I really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for all that you do for us and the wonderful Carnival family.

Previously, I have written you and you responded for me to remind you closer to the date. I am booked on the Carnival Dream for October the 3rd. There is between 100 and 150 of us that have met and communicate via the cruise critic message boards. We would like to have an official Carnival meet and greet for our group on the first day at sea, Monday October the 5th. The name of our group is the Back of the Bus Dream Team. Please provide bar service so that we can purchase drinks during the event. We would like to reserve the space for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in the afternoon. We do not want it to interfere with any major ship board events, like behind the scenes tour, slot tournaments, etc. Also we would like to have one of the ship’s photographers take a group picture of us. Please post the event in the Carnival Capers along with the specific time for the photography session. I will send Todd a copy of this via face book. Thanks again for all you do.

Tricee….secretary for the Back of the Bus Dream Team

John Says:
Hello Tricee

I am pretty sure that two or three other people from this Cruise Critic group have already contacted me about a meet and greet but just in case this is a different one I will ask the ship to reserve a room as you requested. I hope you all have a great time and wish I could be there with you. Look out for a mention in the Capers.
Best wishes to all

Bill (Zydecocruiser) from ZydecoCruiser.com Asked:
John, Please Reply

Hi John,

You might as well allow jeans in the steakhouse, because that is all I have ever worn there. -)

I would draw the line at sawdust and peanut shells on the floor, however!

I understand that your intentions are to board Carnival Dream in Bermuda, however, should that not materialize, would it be ok if Elizabeth and I left some “stuff” with the purser, sorry, guest services, for you?

Elizabeth and I will be on the Oct 15 and Oct 27 sailings of Carnival Dream – wink wink, nudge, nudge – and I once again will be posting way to many pictures from the cruises.

Which leads to another question. I assume sometime during the Transatlantic we will lose Internet connectivity. Can I find out in advance approximately when that will happen and when it will be restored so I can try to plan ahead?



p.s. YES, we are booked on Carnival Dream and will book Carnival Magic if, and when, the European sailings and/or the sailings from New Orleans are opened. 😉

John Says:
Hello Bill
At the time of writing it is still my intention to join you all in Bermuda but as you know my schedule is up and down like a my underwear after I have eaten a spicy curry…………….I hope I will be able to see you and all my friends on your Carnival Dream TA voyage. I have done quite a few crossings and cannot remember ever losing the internet connection so I am sure me saying that means this time we will. Seriously, I did check with the Internet Cafe manager here on the Carnival Legend who said that this should not happen. We do lose TV for a few days but internet should be OK which of course allows us to enjoy the amazing photos you always take. Please tell Elizabeth that if I don’t make it to please yes…….leave what she has for me at the Guest Services Desk and please tell her how grateful I am.

As for the Carnival Magic in 2011…………..I am excited to tell you that it looks like she will be sailing to %*^$#@!@#$%^&*(*&^%$#@!^%$# ………………..can you break that code?

Best wishes to you both

That’s all for today, I will answer as many as I can this week to try and catch up.

Time for today’s news and it is news about the life boat drill. Well, actually it’s not called that anymore because starting next week the fleet will be calling guests to the Safety Briefing. There are some wording differences in the announcement the cruise directors make which will also include not just information on the abandon ship procedures but also other ways to keep our guests safe such as accident prevention.

The other major change this coming month across the fleet is that guests will no longer need to wear their life jackets or take them to the muster stations. You will still be shown the correct and proper way to wear them but there is no longer any need to go to the cabins to collect them anymore. I will let you know how this is received next cruise.

Also in the news is that voting has begun to find the young lady……yes they are all girls……. who has been chosen to christen the brilliant water works on your Carnival Dream. Here is one of the 343 Stephanie’s to tell you more.

Voting Opens for Grand Prize Winner in Carnival’s “Virtual Book of Dreams” Children’s Essay and Drawing Contest

Sounds fantastic and I hope all of you will take the time to vote. I will be there to host the event and it will be covered of course on the blog. Tomorrow, I will give you details on when I will be in New York and a special bloggers land based event that I will be hosting. The December blog cruise now has 140 bookings. I know this is less than usual but it was a last minute thing and at an unusual time compared to previous voyages. Saying that it is being held onboard your Carnival Dream and there are still a few cabins available if you would like to join us. I promise it will be a voyage full of fun, friendship and the first thing we are going to do is all go down that slide together……..yep………all of us. Come and join us if you can……………it would be an honor to say “welcome aboard.”

Let’s stop by and visit someone who is currently serving on your Carnival Dream. This is Acting Cruise Director Danny G who recently was the CD of the Carnival Pride and is now on your Carnival Dream setting up the Fun Hub. Here he is.


1. Please tell us about yourself and your journey to the Cruise Director chair.
I started with Carnival in 2002 as a DJ.  My very first ship was the Carnival Inspiration out of New Orleans doing a 7 day cruise during Spring Break.  I had no idea what to expect coming to work on a cruise ship. But that first night in the Dance Club showed me that I had found my new place.  After a few contracts I started to look at the possibility of working my way up to CD.  Jeff Bronson (Bronsooon) helped me become a Social Host and I have not looked back.

2. What ship are you currently serving on.
Currently I am working in the office for few days on the Fun Hub project before heading to the Dream to help deliver it.  I recently came off of the Carnival Pride out of Baltimore.

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.
Hmm…  I will use the Pride as my ship.  My favorite place would be Beauties Dance Club.  Once a DJ always a DJ.  I love the double level look at feel.  It is one of the dance clubs that even though smoking is allowed, it is not in your face.  My second favorite would be David’s Steak House.  YUM!!!!  Beautiful décor (minus David’s frontal, LOL!), great food and wonderful service.

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.
When I left the Pride is was doing a 7 day run, going to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

My favorite excursion in Grand Turk is the Flowrider.  Nothing like trying to boogie board on two inches of water moving toward you at 34 mph.

In Half Moon Cay, my favorite is Parasailing.  It is a breath taking beach and you get a unique perspective while in the air.

Finally Nassau.  I have been to Nassau numerous times during my tenure with Carnival and I think my favorite tour would be the Atlantis Aquaventure.  Nothing like going down a water slide and ending in an area that has sharks on both sides!

5. If someone were to ask you “What does a Carnival Cruise Director do ” how would you reply.
Loud mouth with a microphone…  All kidding aside, the job is quite varied.  It is Entertainment, Management, Marketing, Safety, Social Worker and Party Planner all wrapped up into one.

6. What is your most favorite part of the job.
I really enjoy the guest interaction, on stage and off stage.  Some guests are just a surprise waiting to happen!

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 have two favorites.  One is “The Quest” (thanks Kirk!) and the other is the staff -run improv comedy “Cruise Line Is It”.

8. What is the hardest and or most challenging part of the job of Carnival CD.
I think the most challenging thing for me is the constant juggling of the different roles.  We wear many hats for the job and the time it takes in each one of these roles is always varied.

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 love to sail on the Yachts of Seabourn.  I want to try a small ship going to exotic islands!

10. Finally – please fill in the blanks.

Morgan Freeman

Everything (DJ background).  Old school rap – Sugar Hill Gang to Andrea Bocelli

Cars! – I’m happier then a tornado in a trailer park!

John Daily

Hmm….. I have worked with several CD’s over the years and each one has made their mark.  I think the three that I think have affected me personally would Todd Wittmer, Jeff Bronson and Jorge Solano.  Todd was a great influence on my interactions with the guests.  Jeff was the original person to help me become a social host and start working my way up.  Jorge is just funny and can say things to the guests that I wish I could pull off!

Thanks Danny and I am sure you will all see Danny as a full time CD with Carnival very soon.

Well, here I am, back on the Carnival Leg End and boy, have I been missing out. I had forgotten just how gorgeous the Spirit class ships are. I had forgotten how superb the quality of the Finnish ships are and I had forgotten what it’s like to cruise on a ship with just 2,200 people onboard. You know, I have spent the last eight years on either Destiny, Conquest or Splendor class ships and of course just returned from your Carnival Dream. While these ships provide unique spaces and variety I know some lament the passing of the “smaller cruise ship.” Well, lament no more because after being here for just two days I am realizing that the Carnival Legend and her sister ships really do offer a smaller ship feel but with wide open spaces and most of the amenities of the newer vessels of today.

I had forgotten about the ample seating on seats that are (excluding Satchmo’s Lounge which have wooden benches and if you have hemorrhoids are to be avoided) the most comfortable in the fleet. The flow of traffic along the two promenades on decks 2 and 3 are also brilliant and of course the decor of this ship is simple gorgeous.

For those of you who have never been on a Spirit class ship or specifically on the Carnival Legend …………..here are lots of photos to entice you to do so.











Obviously I am bored already. Yep, that didn’t take long, did it? Everyone has been really nice to me and I have a lovely balcony cabin and am being treated as if I was important or something. I don’t know too many people here. So many new faces but I do have a great friend in Guna the Hotel Director who started around the same time as me with the company and whose story is one I will be highlighting later this week. I have been walking around the ship and all the crew seems to know that I am here and there are lots of “Hello Mr. John” and “Hello sirs.” I know I have mentioned this before but since I started writing the blog thingy and took the Brand Ambassador role I seem to be ……..ummmm………..I am not sure how to describe it……………..differently is all I can say………….it’s a little unsettling.

I said now that I was bored………….that’s probably not the right word to use. Let me explain. I watched the CD here on the Carnival Leg End last night at the Welcome Aboard Show. Her name is Jen Baxter and she is superb. Her energy and obvious love of what she does shone through. She told me how nervous she was knowing I was in the audience but it didn’t show at all and she had the audience in the palm of her tiny hands (she is only 3 feet tall) right from the start. But……….as I sat there I once again wanted to jump up on stage………….grab the mic and do what I so miss…………entertain. But I have to wait another five days before that happens.

Being the “grey man” enables me to see things that normally as a CD I wouldn’t see and that includes things that we do wrong. Take yesterday morning for instance. I watched the Shopping Specialist host her talk about shopping ashore. She spoke very well and was very confident on stage. However, her talk started at 9:30 am and was supposed to finish at 10:25 am leaving bingo to start at 10:30 am. Well, she went 10 minutes over which meant that bingo started late ………. and that drives me crazy.

If the Carnival Capers states an event starts at 10:30am then it must….pure and simple. However, that wasn’t the worst part. After the talk had finished she had the guests walk out of the lounge and stand in a line at her desk to collect a discount form. This meant that there were 200 guests all standing in line for upwards of 40 minutes. Now, I realize that shopping is important but why couldn’t she hand these forms out at the talk or leave them at the table at the entrance to the lounge. Why make the guests stand in line. Anyway, this has already been addressed and will not happen again. It’s good to see these things as usually at 9:30 am I would be blogging to you in my underpants. I am not picking on the lady who hosted the shopping talk…….as I said ……….. she was very good. But as I have said many times I never want this blog to pretend that everything we do is perfect………because it isn’t and that’s why I will always share the good, the bad and the ugly with you.

Talking of the good I will be chatting with you tomorrow about my first time experience of Anytime Dining……and I have to say I was very surprised………………more about that tomorrow.

The weather so far has been glorious with the ocean as smooth as Megan Fox’s bottom and the sun has followed the Carnival Leg End’s journey here to Grand Cayman. Unfortunately the cruise has been twinged with sadness as we had to arrive as early as possible as a 68-year-old male guest needed immediate and urgent medical attention ashore. So we arrived at 2:30 am and took the guest off by tender and we all send him and his family our thoughts and prayers.

We are here in Grand Cayman with the Carnival Destiny and Carnival Valor………later on I am going to pop upstairs and take some photos of the three Carnival smokestacks ………… amazing to think that Carnival Cruise Line has delivered 8,500 guests to the Cayman Islands today ……… that’s a heck of a lot of money they are spending ashore……..shame they won’t spend some of it building a bloody pier!

Obviously I am not going ashore and probably won’t be able too much during my short time here. Carnival have been very kind in agreeing to provide me with a personal assistant who can help me with the CD office stuff such as Capers and e-mails leaving me to be on stage as much as possible and of course to blog and answer questions. Unfortunately Stephanie Meads is now an acting Cruise Director and will in fact be taking over from me when I leave the Carnival Leg End. Jaime is back on Kirk…sorry…..back on the Carnival Pride with Kirk and I will miss having her as my assistant. And so the hunt is on for a new ACD to travel with me and hopefully get here soon as we have a new Capers program which people with beards may understand but I have no comprehension of and if they don’t get here the guests will have their Capers scribbled on a post it note……………I miss Heidi not only as my wife but as the best ACD I have ever had.
Talking of Heidi one of my biggest worries about leaving her is her total and utter fear of ………… spiders.

In the early years of us being together I used to call Heidi to come to where I was in the house and have one nestling in my hand, so that I could delight in watching her run away in blind panic. She has a “girl phobia” of spiders, so I often leave realistic toy ones in her side of the bed just to get my own back from making me watch Sex and the Sodding City. I then began to realize that like my hatred of the French….Heidi truly is deathly afraid of spiders and my joking stopped.

And this may not be a good time for me to be away…….here’s why.

BRITONS have been warned to expect a creepy crawly invasion in the next few weeks.

Nature boffins say that spiders, daddy longlegs and other insects will be thriving after a warm, dry summer. Wildlife charity boss Matt Shardlow said a reasonably warm year with no cold snaps created a bumper summer for spiders. He said people will start seeing “lots of fantastic spiders in houses and gardens.”

Heidi’s spider phobia is a huge problem whenever we go traveling. Sadly, my favorite destinations of places we have never been together tend to be spider-heavy. One of the worst is Australia, where you are constantly warned to check your boots before putting them on and to give the toilet a once-over before sitting down. The fact that Heidi even knows that this is a possibility means we will never get to see life Down Under.

When we travel she makes me do spider patrol in our hotel room, she can never truly relax – even when asleep she has a terror of spiders creeping over her……..This came from us watching a Bond film, Dr. No I think it was that might be responsible for that particular fear
If at home we find a spider it’s me that has to deal with the things while Heidi runs away quicker than French soldier. I favor the use of a strong vacuum cleaner and give them one final exhilarating roller coaster ride up to the big spider’s web in the sky. The problem with this is that Heidi then find it difficult to use the vacuum again, as she knows that their hideously decaying dead bodies are inside it.

I have told Heidi that actually it is cruel to vacuum up spiders. I think I should be coaxing them into a glass using a piece of a paper for a lid. I could then release them but Heidi screams at me that this would let them run free outside to breed more of their evil kind who will return to wreak revenge.

Obviously I am not there and Heidi just has to be brave. I have taught her how to suck them up with the vacuum cleaner and she is also armed with a large broom and has a baseball bat by the side of the bed. For the big ones though she is armed with the ultimate anti spider weapon …… a pair of my underpants that haven’t been washed for two months………..all she has to do is throw them over the 8 legged bastard……………..and it will move no more.

Your friend

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.