A Glowing Report

October 5, 2009 -

John Heald

I once dreamt of turning this blog thingy into a TV show. I even met with an “agent” from California who promised much and delivered bugger all. I know they were wild dreams, wilder in fact than the ones I have about me, a bucket full of baby oil, and Megan Fox’s bottom but I truly felt that a sitcom based on a modern day cruise ship would have made for great TV. Maybe it could have been up there with the great TV shows of our time. Brideshead Revisited, The Sopranos, The West Wing, Friends, Seinfeld and Baywatch………..yes Baywatch.

And now we can watch the extraordinary and fascinating story of running down some beaches in swimwear over the full 90 minutes of widescreen Dolby thingy……….as they are now making Baywatch……..the bloody movie. I am sure the scriptwriters have hundreds of ideas for lifeguard-based plot-twists literally coming out of their arses.

But, should they, for inexplicable reasons, occasionally run short of reasons to get the entire cast repeatedly to jump into the sea, come out, and then jump back in again, might I suggest that they establish, very early on in the story, that all the female lifeguards had rumpy pumpy with David Letterman.
I wonder if Bill Clinton (who he once called the Commander in Briefs) and countless other victims of Letterman’s rumpy pumpy watched with some sort of satisfaction in Dave admittedly “creepy” behavior.

While they may have been gloating and while others may have been shocked, I watched when he told his audience that he had “sex with women who work for me “………….and his audience applauded…………they applauded and laughed and…………. then applauded again.

I have often as I said dreamt of having my own TV show and maybe what I have to do to get one is to be like Dave. So at the end of the cruise I will stand before the guests at the debarkation talk and admit that I had rumpy pumpy with all the dancers, the entire Spa department and that I was having rumpy pumpy on the bridge last Cozumel…….. And it was while it was happening my arse accidentally hit the thrusters causing the Carnival Legend to touch (inappropriately) the Enchantment of the Seas…..maybe if I admit to this and more………….I will get my TV show.

Uncle Doug Asked:
John, please reply.

Our group cruise on the 10/15/2009 sailing on the Holiday will be here very soon. (About 3 weeks by the time you see this) This is the booking that grew out of our Fun for All Sunday. Judy Osgood a rookie cruiser and our now official group leader came to our cruise party and before long was calling with questions and putting together this group cruise. Of course being a rookie she used an online TA instead of going through the Carnival group department. Rookie mistake but not bad for the first time. She sent this early seating dinner seating request to the TA who “promised” her it would be taken care of. Of course the TA added that if not it could be taken care of after boarding. I know that works for seating’s of 2, 4 and maybe 8 but would be a nightmare for 32. So I told her I knew a guy that had all the right connections on Carnival ships that could make it happen. If it is not too much of a problem could you pass this on to the Maitre di on the Holiday. I will copy and paste Judy’s seating request so I hope it display’s ok. All are for early seating in the same dining room. The booking numbers are noted.

Judy has kept this group pumped and ready to go. Even with a 7 hour drive to Mobile from east Texas she kept them all together setting up roommates and car pools. If you have anything left in your bag of treats could you maybe do something for Judy Osgood cabin M122.

Thanks,
Uncle Doug

John Says:
Hello Uncle Doug
I am glad that I saw this posting in time and I will now forward your request to the Maitre D on the Holiday. I will kindly ask that he seat the people together as requested and try and keep the group in the same area of the dining room. We will certainly do our best for you. I wish you all a brilliant cruise.
Best wishes
John

Brady Steele Asked:

John,
My wife and I are sailing on our sixth cruise on the Elation out of Mobile 10/2010. I was wondering if you knew when the 2010 CD schedule was going to be out. We took a trip on the holiday and had a great CD that always said “Hee Ha Ha” and for the life of me I cannot remember his name.

John Says:
Hello Brady
It fills me with sadness to have to tell you that the Cruise Director you are referring to is the late and very great Dave Armor who passed away a few years ago. He was a character, someone who truly had a joke for every occasion. We miss him very much.

The 2010 schedule will be published very soon here on the blog thingy and I hope whoever your CD is he or she will give you as many wonderful memories as Dave did for you…………and so many others.
Best wishes
John

Lizabeth Brasells Asked:

Dear John (please reply),
My daughter, her best friend and I will be sailing Oct. 3 on the new Carnival Dream. At this point there are no words to express our anticipation! Ali, my daughter, just graduated this past May with high honors from high school. She has been home schooled her entire life and her dream has been to go to Italy for several years. She has worked hard in school and a side job and has saved and purchased cruise tickets for herself, her best friend, Lily, and her mom – me 🙂 in order to live out her dream on the Dream. I wondered if you could ask the Captain if he would leave her a small note of congratulations on her school accomplishments one day during our voyage on the Dream. I know she would be thrilled!
Thanks, John!
Lizabeth

John Says:
Hello Lizabeth
So yesterday you bordered your Carnival Dream and by now am sure you are in awe of this incomparable vessel. I have asked the ship to do as you requested.
Have a fantastic time
Best wishes to you all
John

Rick and Maureen D. Asked:
Hi John Please reply,

We are going to sail with you on the Dream Nov. 15th and can’t wait! We want to get some information about the Glory. My daughter is engaged and wants to get married on the ship in N.Y. Deidre and her future husband Ken would like to look at the ship before she gives me the final ok. How can we do that? I am a TA and I did get to do a ship inspection of the Miracle two years ago. Does each ship have a wedding planner? Any information would be a great help. Thank you in advance

John Says:
Hello Rick and Maureen
I am sure you are very excited about your Carnival Dream cruise which will be here very soon. While under the current security regulations it is very hard to get visitors onboard a ship I know that our wedding coordinator in Miami will be able to provide you with all the information you need and help make this a very special day for your daughter and future son in law. I am going to have someone e mail you as soon as possible and start helping with the planning etc. Please also let me know if I can be of any help.
My best wishes to you and all the family
John

Brian Asked:
PLEASE REPLY!!

Love the video blogs of the new Carnival Dream!! What a magnificent ship it is. Keep them coming. I’ll keep this short since we all know you are a very busy man these days.

Would fist like to thank you for the information on the Elegant Night you gave to me and I was able (on my own but thank you for the offer to help) to change the night in the Sun King Steakhouse to a different night so we could enjoy both.

Now for my question; we are flying in on the day of the cruise with the flight landing at 1:38 pm at Fort Lauderdale with the Carnival Freedom leaving at 4:00 pm. Understanding this is cutting it a little close, which is more reliable to help “guarantee” us to get to the boat on time, especially if our plane would be running a little late: taking a taxi or the Carnival shuttle?

Thanks in advance for your reply and best wishes to you and your family.

John Says:
Hello Brian
I am glad you have been enjoying the videos and there will be more from the Carnival Legend soon and then lots of your Carnival Dream video footage from the events in New York.

With regard to the transportation from Fort Lauderdale airport to the vessel, I would just take the shuttle providing your flight is on time. Embarkation continues right up until 4:00pm so I do not think you will have any concerns.

Have a brilliant cruise and I hope to read all about it here on the blog thingy
Thanks for the kind wishes for my family which I return to you and yours.
John

Justin Asked:
Dear Julio, PLEASE REPLY

Hola John. How are you doing? I kinda lost reading your blog, as school started and I no long had all the time I wanted to come on your blog. I see that you have boarded the Dream, is it nicer than all of the other ships?

Anyways, I’m going to get myself back to reading your blog if I have the time. But you replied to me once on here about the subject of your Bedtime Stories. I replied again asking if you had any new information, but I didn’t find you replying me, although I could have missed it. So yeah, is there anyway I can still get a copy of your Bedtime Stories?

Also do you have the Warm Chocolate Melting cake in a small portion? Because I don’t really think my parents will bake it for 25 servings.

Thanks in advance for the help!

Your friend,
Justin

John Says:
Hello Justin
I hope all is well at school and remember………studying is not as important as reading my blog ……….so flush the school books down the toilet and read the blog everyday. I am pretty certain I did reply to your original post and in it I think I said that I would be working on making DVDs of the Bedtime Story available on the blog. I haven’t forgotten about this and during my next four weeks here on the Carnival Legend I will see what we can do about this. Seriously ……….study hard because if you don’t…………you could find yourself being a Cruise Director!

Cheers Mate
Julio

Michael Asked:

John, Please Reply!

In a previous blog you had mentioned that you were planning on posting pictures of the category 9A Aft Wrap-around balconies on the one and only Carnival Dream….I was wondering if I had missed the blog with those pictures…? I haven’t seen them yet. You see, my wife and I are booked in one of these rooms for our honeymoon (part II) next May, and I can’t wait until then to see what these rooms look like!

If they were posted previously and I missed them, I’m sorry.

I wish I had your job; the Carnival Dream is absolutely fabulous!

Thanks so much –
Michael in Seattle WA

John Says:
Hello Michael
I did post some photos of these gorgeous cabins from the outside looking up from the stern but I didn’t get chance to photograph them from the inside. I will though copy this to the Hotel Director on your Carnival Dream and ask him to have a photographer do so.

These cabins are some of our most popular on the Destiny, Conquest and Splendor class ships although they have new competition in the cove balconies and deluxe family cabins. Look out for these photos very soon
Best wishes to all
John

PennyB Asked:

Hi John,
It’s me, PennyB from New Orleans, and now Lafayette.

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written but my life has been topsy-turvy since the Bloggers cruise. The main thing is that I moved from the Big Easy to Lafayette, LA, to be closer to my daughter’s family. Lafayette is actually in the heart of Acadiana, home of French speaking Cajuns. I know your feeling for the French but you know these people settled here after leaving France & Canada. They really are wonderful and I’m busy settling in. Not too busy to keep up with the blog, beautiful Kye, and of course cruising!

My latest adventure was a 5 day on the Fantasy (back to New Orleans) with my friend Ruth (another Blogger). We had a wonderful time and had Kevin Noonan as our CD and Hennie as ACD. Both did a fabulous job. We really enjoyed the new “walk-about” that was held on Promenade for the Captain’s meet. The staff walked up and down, conversing with everyone in a casual manner. Drinks were $1 off – not free- but I don’t drink much anyway so that was no problem. We spoke about the new Dream and also our next cruise on the Holiday in November, saying good-bye to one, and hello to the other as we’ll also make the Dream in Dec. Our Maitre’d was a new one – Jogi. He told us he has done new ships with you but since he just got this promotion he really has to work on doing his best. He also was really nice, personable, and quite the looker too. Lots of “eye candy” on this trip for us old ladies!!!

We spoke with Noonan about not being able to access the Blog without paying and he offered to print it for us. So…. 48 pages later, we had a copy of Thursday’s blog, pictures and all. Such a nice gesture on his part and really appreciated although we didn’t really expect all 48 pages.

My question – please reply John/Stephanie – if we are attending the Antigua and Tortola Blogger’s tours, should we sign up as usual on the Carnival site, or is there a special code/sign up we need to use?

Thanks for all you do. See you soon on the high seas.

John Says:
Hello Penny B
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for this wonderful report on your recent Carnival Fantasy cruise. It was especially nice to read about my mate Noonan and his staff. I also wish someone ………….just once……….would refer to me as “eye candy” ………….. anyone …………. someone ……………even a man.

Anyway, it will be great to see you on your Carnival Dream and with regard to the tours that we have arranged for the bloggers, here is one of the 343 Stephanies to remind everyone about them

Hello bloggers. Below are links to the shore excursions. Enjoy. Steph
Best of Antigua
Antigua: Sunday Dec 06
• Departure time 12:30pm

Best of Tortola
Tortola: Monday Dec 07
• Departure time 8:30am

Thanks Stephanie. So, as you can see you can book online or on board, regardless, I hope you will be joining me and your friends as we explore Antigua and Tortola.

I hope all is well in your new home.
Best wishes to all and see you soon

John

Frank & Bridie Asked:
John Please reply,

We will be cruising the Dream in June. This will be the first cruise on Carnival for our 6 year old. We recently took him on a short 4 day Disney cruise which he liked; however, their kids club bombed with him and after the 1st night he refused to go back. Part of the problem was that things tended to be Princess focused. The other problem was that it was almost too structured. They HAD to participate in a whole group activity, instead of just playing while I understand that most kids enjoy or take an interest to this style, our son does much better with Free Play and not following a specific thing at one time, making school interesting. But especially since this is his vacation too, we want him to have fun and not feel like he is being made to participate in activities he doesn’t want to do. So I’m sure as you can tell our question is will this be an issue at Camp Carnival? Will they let him just go play and do his own thing when he wants? I’m sure this has come up before where kids would rather play than do an activity.

The other question is our 5 y.o. is a very picky eater and only will eat certain things. We are working with him to try to get him to eat better but its tuff at times. Will we be able to set up with them that he will only eat these certain things if he goes to eat with camp carnival?

I’m sure here in another 5 years you and Heidi might be getting phone calls from teachers or dealing with a picky eater also.

Thanks,
Big Fans as Always,
Frank And Bridie

John Says:
Hello Frank and Bridie
Thanks for taking the time to write and the good news is that while we do have structured activities your son, if he prefers “free play” then that is absolutely fine too. We also include lots of free play time within the schedule as well so I am very sure he will have a brilliant time at Camp Carnival.

The Camp Carnival dinners include pizza, chicken nuggets, French fries and vegetable thingies. If this menu is not something that he will enjoy please let me know and I will see what alternative items are available.
Please don’t worry as we will make sure you both have a great time safe and content in the knowledge that your son is as well.

Best wishes to all
John

Geri & Jack Asked:
Hi John – please reply

Loved the pictures of Captain Carlo Queirolo and his Officers. Thank you. He has so much personality and a real down to earth friendly man. He posed with everyone at the recent Captain’s Welcome on our recent cruise and had everyone in stitches. I have several pics of him and his passengers and ourselves.

He is one of the reasons we picked the Carnival Dream to sail on because of his expertise, friendliness and sense of humor (correctly spelled) and the beautiful ship also, of course.

Please say hello to Captain Carlo for us. Congratulate him and welcome to him on the new Carnival Dream – we cannot wait to meet and greet him once again on our B2B NYC Nov. Dream cruises.

From a previous sailing family also (White Star Line in Scotland),
Geri & Jack Scott
(9 CCL cruises and counting big time)

John Says:
Hello Gerri and Jack
I am glad you enjoyed the photos of Captain Queirolo and everything you wrote about him is absolutely true and are some of the reasons he was chosen to be the Captain of our flag ship.

I have passed on your greetings and I am sure he will be ready to give you a personal greeting when you sail. By the way…………….I always was better at soccer than him.
Best wishes
John

Beauxdammit Asked:
Mr Heald. For your comment and reply

As the proud parents of a career U.S. Navy man currently serving his sixth tour in Iraq, we are offended by Carnival’s use of “Anchors Away” as a marketing tool in their most recent series of commercials. The use of the long identified anthem of the U.S. Navy as part of a sort of cheesy commercial should be discontinued and some more appropriate music applied. This is one of many reasons we do not sail with your cruise line and why we do not read your blog.

John Says:
Hello Beauxdammit
First of all please allow me to thank your son for his service to his country and I hope he remains safe and well. I was somewhat surprised to receive this comment which I was not sure whether to post on the blog or not. You see, I made a promise to myself and the bloggers that I would respect those who thought my blog was not for them but refrain from posting comments that said so. However, I decided to post this one out of respect for your son and to also let you know that certainly no offense was meant by the use of this music. I have been playing this on departure from home ports of call on and off for 20 years. It became a signature piece for the sail away and I must tell you that I never received a comment from anyone serving or retired from the Navy stating they found this offensive. However, while I will be honest and tell you that I am not aware of any intention of changing the music I do want to apologize and say that certainly no offense was meant. Also, may I kindly remind you that Carnival Cruise Lines offers wonderful discounts to all military personnel?

Thank you for expressing your opinion and although you state you are not fans of my blog, I hope you take the time to read my reply for no more important reason than to wish your son a safe deployment.
Best wishes
John

That’s all for today. More questions will be answered tomorrow and thanks to everyone for writing and posting their comments. I have to say I was surprised about the comment regarding the Anchors Aweigh music. I think I mentioned a few months ago that I wanted to bring the playing of this music back as it used to stir the should as we left our home port………….guess I won’t be doing that now as I had no idea that it was upsetting the folks from the Navy to whom I apologize.

Lets do the news and we start with saying “good morning” to one very luck lady. As you may know there is a slot machine called Megacash which is linked between most of the Carnival Corporation ships. This of course allows the jackpot to be the highest on the seven seas and I myself have been on the Carnival Triumph when it has hit and twice since we started this brilliant slot game the jackpot has exceeded 1 million dollars. Last night it was a smaller ship, the gorgeous Island Princess that made a lady very happy indeed. In fact reports are that she was so exuberant that she took off all her clothes and started to do an Irish jig. OK, that bit might not be true but was is true is that she won $485,525……………lucky git.

We wish her many congratulations and someone still needs to win the Carnival Diamond Edition Stud Poker Royal Flush Jackpot…………which stands at $176,774……….which if anyone reading this should win…………I should point out…………is exactly the same amount as an Aston Martin DB9.

OK, this next bit is going to be very, very difficult for me to write but I need to talk to you about Kye.

As you will have seen there was no photo of her this last Friday. Now, don’t worry, she is fine…….but unfortunately for the time being I am going to stop posting photos of her. You see, last week her photo turned up on a website which had nothing to do with the blog, Carnival or indeed anything to do with Carnival or my blog.

Her photos were on a website. I won’t name it but it was a shared board space face thingy and someone sent me the page with every single photo of Kye that I posted on the blog there for …well…………………anyone to look at. I am sure this was done innocently but ………. Well ……….you can imagine it got the alarm bells ringing. I didn’t even think about this. I didn’t even know that people could go on my blog and copy the photos. I didn’t think about this because I know that everyone who reads it has nothing but kindness in their hearts for Kye and would never……….well………….you know.
However, after much soul searching and upon the advice of many, I have decided not to post photos of my daughter until one of the 343 Stephanies can find a way for them to be protected and therefore I can safely send them to her aunties and uncles in blog world. I hope that I can do this soon………….and I hope understand………and that you forgive me.

So, last week the ship had that incident where we gave a hug to the Enchantment of the Seas (notice I am still being nice to them) and the guests who were on last week were wonderful about the whole situation. Only one couple out of 2,400 felt that they should be compensated for this incident as it had “ruined their cruise.” While we are certainly sorry for this happening I fail to see that with no damage to any guest areas or closure of any guest facilities how this could have ruined their vacation and how out of 2,400 guests they were the only ones who felt that it was so. Although…………….from what the Chief Purser………bugger…………..still can’t get used to the new title…………….from what the Guest Services Manager tells me………..every time they approached the Guest Services Desk demanding compensation, it was done so late at night and that their complaints were usually sponsored by Budweiser.

The strange thing is that on this cruise we have no comments about the incident than last week with absolutely nobody concerned about the state of the vessel since we gave the RCI ship a little hug. Obviously if anyone had said anything we would have said that the ship has passed two rigorous inspections since. These inspections were given by United States Coast Guard, Lloyds and our own Carnival safety team.

Well, as ever, I left the cabin last night wondering if I would remember what to say and do in the Welcome Aboard Show after a few weeks of not entertaining. It went quite well and I will tell you about some of the characters I met.

First we have Ray Ray……..yep……….that’s his name. Ray Ray. We all thought he was joking but he showed us all his ID and of course explained that his parents had a fun sense of humor. Ray Ray has been married to his wife Tracy Tracy for 52 52 years and his parents sense of humor has been handed down to man everyone onboard is now calling Ray Ray.

3

Next up is Mr. Fu Yi Chang who flew all the way from Shanghai, China to see his sister who he has not actually seen for an amazing 37 years. That’s because he hasn’t been able to get a visa from China to visit in all that time. Yet, this man who is in his 70s and speaks no English was so willing to be in the show with me. His sister Chi who now lives in Virginia came on stage and translated everything for me. He was fabulous and in instant star and………..in case I got his name Wong……….I called him “Bob”………and now so are all the guests…………….brilliant.

2

It did though take me a few minutes to get used to the stage and the lounge itself, which on the Carnival Legend is called the Follies Lounge.

It’s got a different feel to the lounges I have been used to working on the Conquest and Splendor class these past 5 years or so. It’s smaller, obviously, but it’s also more intimate and I quite enjoyed being closer to the audience. Anyway, I think it went well and before I tell you about the people I met, let’s have a look and see who is sailing on the Carnival Legend on cruise LE7100409.

GUEST COUNT – 2,343
INTERNATIONAL GUESTS
CANADA – 61
UK – 39
NETHERLANDS – 24
PERU – 21
KID COUNT –
AGE GROUP TOTALS
Under 2 Years 10
2-5 Years 27
6-8 Years 41
9-11 Years 51
12-14 Years 55
15-17 Years 42
18-20 Years 27

Well, in a few moments I will be telling you about the first of our guest comments from the ship’s incident report and before I do let me tell any of our new readers something about these. First of all while we do many things right, we have some areas where we can always improve and occasionally I will be telling you about those here on the blog. Then, there are the comments that guests make which are……………….ummmmmm…………….different. Now, I want you to know that I never show the guests names but these comments are part of my life onboard and show what happens behind the scenes which has always been the basic ingredient of the blog. I say this because I know there are one or two folks who may think that this is inappropriate. Anyway, these comments are never made up and as you will see now………….some are very, very entertaining………..like this one.

Guest: ………Ref: 828820132A
Cabin: Booking#: _______ Added-Changed: 10/04/09 – 10/04/09

*** NOISY NEIGHBOURS

Ms _______-contacted the GSD to advise of the noise coming from cabin 7***. She said they were having sex and was very loud and that she couldn’t sleep. GSA apologized for this and informed security would be called and sent to the cabin. Ms Flaherty asked if she could have a new cabin as this was the second time they had done this since leaving Tampa. GSA apologized and advised we were sailing full. Guest thanked and hung up.

Well, the first words that come to mind are…………”lucky bastards”…………and I am not sure that we have the right to send a security guard to the cabin…..can you imagine.

Security: Knock Knock
Guest: Who pant pant gasp gasp is it?
Security: Patel the Security Guard
Guest: Yes?
Security: Please can you have love making quietly.
Guest: What?
Security: Please stop penetrating with so much vigor as your passion is disturbing your fellow guests.
Guest: Oh, ok………will do my best.
Security: Please tell your wife as well.
Guest: OK, I will call her when I have finished.

We also received one or two comments about flies. Unfortunately they are common place this time of year in the ports of call and thus we tend to have some who hitch a ride onboard cruise ships. We have the various fly traps out now and hopefully this will help.

Well, here I sit, in my underpants on this bright and cheerful Monday morning……….it’s 6:40am and my underpants are covered in sodding glitter. In fact, my toes are also glitterized and my face looks like I just put my head between a pole dancer’s breasts and gone “flubberwobbaflubbawuba.” That’s because my predecessor and wonderful Cruise Director Jen Baxter used glitter everyday to brighten up her already sunny personality. She puts glitter over her whole body before going on stage and now……….apparently…………so do I.

This is what the lovely Jen was using on herself – every day – every hour.

IMG00314-20091005-1401

Honestly, the bloody stuff is everywhere and today I have a Hazmat team coming in to shampoo the carpets, the sofa, the walls………. and me.

My first inkling of my glitter problem was at 3:00am this morning when I woke up for a pee and tiptoed in the dark into the bathroom……………and screamed in terror as in my hand was a glowing, glittering in the dark…………. thingy.

In a state of bewilderment trying to figure out was happening, my mind immediately went back to 1994 on the Sensation……….I was dating a Russian casino dealer and……….as I stood there holding my small glow worm in my hand…………I suddenly panicked………….oh my God ………was she from Chernobyl?

Goodnight
Your friend
John

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.