Interview With A Vampire

October 13, 2009 -

John Heald

It’s hard this cruise not to let the Goth group dominate my thoughts and therefore the blog. However, their sheer presence means that they have been turning the heads of both guests and crew and I feel I have no choice but to start today’s thingy by burring my teeth into this subject one more time.

I want to start my saying that I met many of the “Gothies” tonight at the Captain’s celebration and most were……………. despite the outrageousness of their attire …………. extremely lovely people despite being stared at every single minute of the day by their fellow guests……………. many non-street wise guests looked on as if it were a freak show.

Their costumes (if that is the right word – attire maybe?) ranged from corsets to long flowing dresses complete with gothic accessories. They displayed their body art with pride and while I could admire the intricate work of the tattoo artists I winched with pain and some of the body piercings. One man had a 5 inch nail through his top lip ………… while a stunningly beautiful young lady had a similar piece of ironmongery through her eye lid. Their skin was as white as a Vanilla Ice rap song.

During the Captain’s celebration I spoke to some of them about what Goth was all about. It seems it’s a way of life, a culture, a fashion and a lifestyle. I spoke to one very lovely 26 year old called Cassandra who is a graduate of Florida State University and now works as a Human Resources Director for a large and very well known computer company in St. Petersburg.

One thing I had to ask her was about the obvious link to Vampires……..and she said “Oh, Vampires are hot, they are sexy” and this was live on the video we were making of the elegant night celebrations.

Hot? Sexy? I just don’t understand. I mean this young lady was, despite her unfortunate accident with a staple gun, beautiful and the Brad Clooney’s of the world would have been knocking on her coffin for sure. Yet………..to her……….there was something about the undead that got her pulses racing. To her and her fellow Gothic’s she sees them lustful, irresistible and exciting. Since that interview I have tried to think of any vampires that would have fallen into the “hot and sexy” category……….ummm………Christopher Lee…………Peter Cushing?

I then remembered one …………ahh yes. A certain special agent………..in the Lost Boys. I know there were other chiseled male model types in that movie but it’s Keifer Sutherland who I remember. I guess then that Jack Bauer was actually a vampire before he began torturing terrorists and trying to single-handedly save the American people in 24. This may explain why Bauer never eats, drinks or takes a crap as he tracks down Mohammed El Bastard. It was a great movie……..despite Jack Bauer having a mullet.

Anyway, I found most of the Goth group absolutely charming as I am sure did every one of their fellow guests who took the time to talk to them. However………and I say this because it’s my blog and respecting the fact that they are paying guests………….I spoke with two from the group who were …….ummmmm……….absolutely bats. And I mean……..that’s what they were…….bats.

These two truly believed they were vampires. Both had fangs………not fake fangs that can be bought in a shop that sells fake dog poo and whoopee cushions………..oh no……….these were their real teeth……….that had been taken to a point and sharpened. They had also had black contact lenses in which along with their white powdered faces really made them look…….well……….like vampires. It was all quite surreal……..there I was…..in the lobby………talking to two vampires. The man……..well he had gone one step further and had bat wings sticking out of his long flowing cloak…………yep………these two guests …………were bats………….totally bats.

I left Count and Countess Wackula and watched the other non-Goth guests stare at the assembled group. Again, I felt sorry for them ……..but then again……..I guess they are used to it and…………I would hazard a guess……….that they enjoy being the center of attention. As I said………they are all lovely people ………..but having met Count and Countess Wackula…………I am glad that garlic is hanging on my cabin door.

Here are my new friends……….Count and Countess Wackula

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James Sullivan Asked:
Dear John, (PLEASE REPLY)
I have been reading your blog since it started, and I have even written a couple times, the most recent I informed you of my sailing on the Carnival Freedom on 9/12 and requested your autograph picture, but obviously you were busy with the Dream, and going back to work, and needless to say, I didn’t get a picture. Not a problem though. I forgive you!

I wanted to write you today and jump in on the smoking bandwagon. My Freedom cruise was my 8th Carnival cruise, 11 cruise total. I am in the process of booking two more Carnival cruises for 2010, and if I had more money, and more time off work, I would book many more cruises in 2010. I base my decision to cruise Carnival for many reasons including price, ships, on-board activities, and many other reasons factor in my addiction to Carnival cruises. Last year, the group I always travel with on cruises decided they wanted to give the “Crap of the Seas” a try, so we did. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed, and never plan on returning to the “Crap of the Seas”. There are many reasons why I won’t sail them again, but one of the main ones is I couldn’t smoke in my cabin. Yes I smoke, I know it’s gross, I know it’s not healthy, and it’s starting to feel like a witch hunt by some people to burn the smokers down type attitude. Now I respect smoking rules, I respect people that don’t like to be around smoke, and I am a polite smoker that is very considerate of non smokers. That being said, I want to commend you on your reply to Tim regarding the smoking policy on the Dream. You handled that letter with grace, and professionalism. But… I might add that Carnival is walking a thin line as far as alienating smokers. Like I said earlier, I respect non smokers, and I have respect for them, but I also have respect for smokers, and the general thought is smokers are being shunned and pushed away (slowly) from Carnival Ships. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand and agree with the need for smoking and non smoking sections, but like you said last month on a smoking post that a few years ago, many locations that allowed smoking are now are non smoking, and the amount of smoking areas are being phased down to next to nothing. I take cruises with 10 people, twice a year, and of those 10, I am the only smoker. I am constantly asking them about “smoke in the casino”, and “smoke in the piano bar”, and not once have they said it bothered them in that area. I feel that Carnival does a fine job with ventilation, and to continue to minimize smoking areas is making the smokers feel like they aren’t welcome on Carnival ships. Maybe I am wrong, but that’s how it is starting to feel to me.

Also you commented in your reply to Tim that land based casino’s are 100% smoke free. Well that is the truth in my home state, but my home state’s casinos that were forced to go smoke free last year are all but closing because the “smoker’s” are migrating to neighboring states that have land based casino’s that weren’t stupid enough to make their casino’s smoke free. In return, my home state’s casino’s are laying off staff, minimizing hours, and losing hundreds of millions of dollars this year from taxes, because a large amount of patrons are going elsewhere so they can smoke.

Now I am not one of those pushy, hateful, aggressive smokers that only think about smoking, but I am a smoker that still enjoys lighting up a cigarette in a smoking area without wasting 15 minutes going to 3 different decks, walking half the ship to find a small area to smoke in. When it comes to that, I will return to land based vacation that still allow a larger selection of places to smoke.

Keep up the good work, and hopefully one day I will be lucky enough again to be on a ship you are the Cruise Director, and we can share a cigar together!

On a lighter note, when I found you that neither you nor Todd would be the Cruise Director on the Freedom, I asked you how Wee Jimmy was as a Cruise Director. Well after being on the Freedom, I must say that he is ‘BRILLIANT” Cruise Director. We enjoyed him so much, but everyone in our group still rate you and Todd as the best and Wee Jimmy a close second!
James

John Says:
Hello James

I am so disappointed you didn’t get the photo. I had asked Wee Jimmy to send you one. Did you get the champagne? I want thank you for that wonderfully written posting. It was full of passion and respect for others and it made for compelling reading. I am a cigar smoker myself as you may know and like you I am totally respectful towards others feelings and I truly only enjoy my cigar if I am 100% certain that it will not disturb anyone else.

I think I have said a few times here on the blog that the smoking subject is one that will fuel divided opinions and somehow Carnival has to do their best to make sure that the opinions of both non smokers and smokers are represented onboard. The world is it seems turning its back on smoking, why, even Italy, France, Spain and my local pub in the UK are all non smoking. When I was on the Carnival Splendor last year I went to a coffee shop in Amsterdam and although it was OK to smoke marijuana, I was ejected for daring to smoke a cigar.

I know that there are fewer places onboard our ships to smoke but there are still places where you can sit, have a cocktail and enjoy a cigarette or a cigar and compared to land based resorts, casinos, restaurants and bars………this it seems is a luxury.

I don’t think we can ever win here. There will always be those who want the entire ship to be smoke free and there will be those who want more places onboard to smoke. And in between is Carnival Cruise Lines………..trying to make everyone happy…………and as you can see……….that is not an easy thing to do.

I encourage more bloggers to express their opinions on this subject as the blog is read by far more important people than me and as I always say…………the comments you post on this blog influences the opinion of those at the top.

Thanks again and I am so sorry you never got your photo. Maybe one day you will cruise with me and we can have our photo taken together.
Best wishes
John

Robert Asked:
John please reply,

what, if anything for someone on anytime dining is in place for someone to say go to eat at 5:30 and then go back at 9:30 to eat again? Not saying I want to just wondering. Also I prefer the regular dining as opposed to anytime dining because I like to get to know my dining team and table mates, and in turn I would like them to get to know me.

Thanks John,
Robert

John Says:
Hello Robert
The Anytime Dining starts at 5:45pm and continues until 9:30pm. Can you eat twice? The official company line is absolutely no! But………I bet you could if you wanted to. Just put on a fake moustache or a pair of bat wings and you are in.

Anytime dining is becoming more and more popular but there are still those like yourself who prefer assigned seating. Choice……..it’s a wonderful thing.
Best wishes
John

Sheshasmomma Asked:
Dear John,
(Please reply)

I had posted a few days ago but I’m stuck in Your comment is awaiting moderation world. Hope my Rumpy Pumpy and Nun talk didn’t get me into trouble…..hee heee.

Anyway I love your blog, it’s my nightly giggle well sometimes I snort but let’s keep that between us. Tonight tho I shed a little tear when you wrote about your dinner alone looking at photos of your beautiful little girl. Don’t know if I could be away from my family, my heart goes out to you.

I know this new dinning thing is great for some but not for our group 39 sailing on the Inspiration out of Tampa on Jan 2 2010. Looks like it’s going to be a really full ship. Some of us got early dinning and some are on a waiting list for early dinning. What are the odds of us all getting that early dining? We have 4 kids with sever nut allergies traveling with us. 3 people who have diabetes and then there is me with the basil allergy married into a family of Italians, you’d think I ripped out their hearts when I told them that one. With all these issues it’s just easier and a whole lot safer to tell them once and not have to explain our selves every night. You should see to looks I get when I say I’m allergic to basil. Also easier to rip my husband from the Black Jack if we have a set time, I won’t get “come on babe one more hand”….he heee…snort. We are having a family reunion of sorts; we even have some families flying in from Italy, cool right. Can’t wait to see some of them after 17 years and meet their children for the first time. I hope the staff is ready for some LOUD Italians.

Also does the Inspiration still do a Captain’s meet and greet type thing?

John you have a great night and stay safe in all your travels.

John Says:
Hello Shehasmomma

Sorry it took so long to get your comment posted, moderated and replied to and trust me, it had nothing to do with your rumpy pumpy comments. I am so glad you enjoy the blog so much and that it makes you giggle and thanks also for those kind words of support for me.

I think I replied to you now I come to think of it offering you help with your table assignments and help with the dietary requests. Please remember to remind one month before you sail and I will do my best to help you. There will be a Captain’s Celebration and a Fun Farewell as well. The ship is ready for you and the loud Italians and I know you will have a wonderful time.
Best wishes to you all
John

Steveo Asked:
John, please respond at your convenience

Another great blog, you always have me laughing…from watching you on the Carnival Dream barreling down the water slide to today’s loser comments for dining alone, I often feel that way, due to my frequent business travels, where I am always dining alone.

My question concerns the Carnival Destiny, my wife and I are anxiously awaiting our Nov. 7th cruise, just 38 days away. The Carnival website shows it as the only Destiny class ship, while reading reviews of the Carnival Destiny on Cruise Critic they state that it is one of 5 Destiny class ships. I see that the Carnival Triumph and the Carnival Victory are the same length and gross tonnage, were these once considered Destiny class at one time?

John Says:
Hello Steveo

Yep, dining alone is never easy although Hooters makes it a little more enjoyable.
As far as I know the Destiny class is the Carnival Destiny, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory. I am not sure why this has been listed as different as I cannot think of any differences in the ships at all. Does anyone else have any clue………..

FROM VANCE: THE DESTINY AND TRIUMPH/VICTORY ARE ESSENTIALLY SIMILAR, HOWEVER TRIUMPH/VICTORY HAVE AN EXTRA DECK OF CABINS, HENCE THEIR CAPACITY IS 2,758 VERSUS 2,642 FOR DESTINY.

I will check with the bearded ones at Carnival but having delivered both Carnival Destiny and Carnival Triumph I am flummoxed as to why they would be listed on our website as a different class of ships. I will investigate.

Thanks for the kind words about the blog.
Best wishes
John

Stephen Smith Asked:
Please Reply
John,

It has been awhile since I have posted a comment, but I continue to be an avid reader and supporter of your blog. In one of your recent postings, you stated Carnival was redoing its life boat drills. I believe you said they were to be renamed Safety …somethings. I am sorry but I can’t remember the exact term. In any case may I suggest that as part of the safety briefing the subject of kids and running around the ship be addressed? I in no way want to take away from the children having fun, but I have seen so many near misses in which kids were running blindly, oblivious to their surroundings, and nearly took out a whole bunch of other guests. I would also suggest that the parents be reminded to impress upon their kids how important it is to follow this rule. Everyone is out to have fun and while Carnival ships have excellent medical facilities I doubt anyone really wants to experience their services first hand due to a preventable accident.

One last thought. Several months ago you asked for comments regarding Carnival’s end of cruise comment cards. I responded with my thoughts and you replied indicating agreement with some of my suggestions. Are there any updates from corporate headquarters as to whether any changes are going to be made or are we going to live on with “exceeded my expectations” forever?
Stephen Smith

John Says:
Hello Stephen

Yes you are correct. The new title is Safety Briefing and the basic changes are that guests will no longer have to go to their staterooms and collect their life jackets for the drill. Each guest will still be required to attend and their muster station designation is now printed on the guest’s Sail and Sign Card. In fact, we will be starting this here on the Carnival Legend this coming Sunday and I will let you know how it goes. The briefing also includes some additional information about taking care of walking across the open decks which can be slippery sometimes. This water comes from people getting in and out of the pools and hot tubs and we want people to be aware of this hazard.

I personally always mention the no running law during my drill announcements and I will encourage all the CD’s to do the same. However, kids get excited and it is something that is virtually impossible to eradicate. What we must do is stop them doing it when we (the crew) see them running and we are all empowered by senior management to do this.

I had a serious conversation about comment (review) cards this morning with the Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations Roberta Jacoby. It’s a coincidence therefore that you should bring this subject up again. Both of us agree that the current wording of “exceeded expectations” etc is antiquated and does not allow for a true report on what guests have experienced during their cruise. This project is ongoing and there will be changes coming…………..trust me………nobody dislikes the “exceeded thingy” more than me.

I will report back on the new Safety Briefing next week here on the blog thingy.
Best wishes
John

Lisa McGrath Asked:
John please reply:

My husband and I (married 23 years) would like to participate in the newlywed game. We are travelling on the Valor on Dec 27 with our 3 children and significant others. Not sure if this can be accommodated but would love it if possible.
Thanks
Lisa

John Says:
Hello Lisa

Please can you send me a reminder a few weeks before you sail and I will do my best to make you request happen.
Best wishes
John

Laura Asked:
John (please reply if you can),

Having just gotten off the Carnival Elation and enjoying my 2nd past guest party, I had a thought come to me as I was watching the beginning of the video presentation about the history of Carnival. Is it weird for you to see your face on a screen as big as the one that shows movies on the Lido Deck? Do you just fast forward through that part and give your guests the “live” show instead?

Also, I thought I read in one of your replies to a comment that you are going to be the CD on the Carnival Spirit. When will that be? I would sooo love to sail with you but you need to come here to the West Coast. Thanks!

John Says:
Hello Laura

I hate watching myself on TV and to see myself on the big screen makes me realize that I am indeed one ugly sod. It’s even worse when I am on the ship and the video plays. I wish I could fast forward that bit but I have to suffer and hope the audience are vomiting.

I will indeed be on the Carnival Spirit from early November to mid December and I hope to see you and many more of my blogging friends there.
Best wishes
John

Steve Asked:
Please Reply
John,

First of all I would like to thank you for the wonderful cruise my wife and I had with you on the Carnival Freedom (July 18-26), it was our favorite cruise by miles. This was my third cruise and my wife’s fifth. The reason this was our favorite cruise was because of you, we thought you were hilarious and made every single part of that cruise perfect. This was like our honeymoon, the reason why I say “like” was we actually took one right after our wedding to Jamaica, but it rained cats and dogs all day, every single day. So we considered that cruise our honeymoon. We had a blast. Just wanted to let you know. Now to my question to you… We loved that itinerary to the eastern Caribbean, we saw that the Carnival Dream (awesome ship) was going to the same places but adding Grand Turk and dropping Nassau. The only problem is it looks like its only doing 1 sailing for this itinerary. Do you know if they will be offering any more sailings for this particular itinerary? This would be our perfect cruise if they offer more sailings. Would like to thank you again and offer our personal congrats to you and your wife on your beautiful baby.
Thank you so much
Steve

John Says:
Hello Steve

I am so glad to hear that after the soggy honeymoon you both had that the cruise on the Carnival Freedom was a special one. Thanks so much for taking the time to say so.

Carnival Dream will indeed only be doing the Eastern Caribbean cruise you mentioned one time but we have lots of other vessels in the fleet that will sail to Grand Turk. Have a look at carnival.com/funships and browse the menu of brilliant itineraries. Your Carnival Dream is a fantastic ship and regardless of her ports you really should experience her if you can.

Thanks again for all your kind words and I hope you keep reading the blog thingy.
Best wishes to you both
John

Julie Asked:
John please reply.

Hi there. My husband and I are cruising on the October 18th cruise out of Norfolk, VA to the Bahamas’ on the Triumph. We would really like to get on the Newlywed game. This is our 5th anniversary. Any help you are able to provide will be GREATLY appreciated.
Thanks so much!
Julie

John Says:
Hello Julie

I have sent your request to Senior Jorge Solano the CD and I know he will do his best to help you. Have a wonderful anniversary cruise.
Best wishes
John

That’s all for today…………..50,000 plus read the blog last week and I am desperately trying to get caught up with the questions. For any new readers may I kindly inform you that if you need a question or comment answered to please mark you’re posting’s “John Please Reply?”……………and I will reply here on the blog thingy.

Let’s do the news and we start by catching up with our friend Jaime who is back on the Carnival Pride working closely with the Cruise Director Kirk Benning. Here is the news then from Baltimore in her latest Dear John letter.

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October 11th, 2009

Dear John,

I have been back on board the Carnival Pride for 2 cruises now, and I could not be happier. My vacation was absolutely incredible. I spent just enough time with mother and father in California and had the chance to catch up with my closest friends in Michigan. I was able to attend a Tigers game, I laughed and giggled as my friends and I reflected on college memories, and I even made time to receive first place in a 5k! My friend Dana inspired me to sign up, and I conceded since it was for a good cause, so after months (ok fine, days) of training we arrived at the race early on a chilly Sunday Michigan morning. We ran our 3.1 miles and I received first place!!… in my age group. No one needs to know that my age group only consisted of 10 people. Nevertheless, I was quite proud; I took pictures with the Cruise Director and Assistant Cruise Director of the race with a huge smile gleaming across my face.

As wonderful as vacation was, I am so glad to be back to work. These past two cruises have reminded me just how much I love my job. I have spent a significant amount of time doing what I like best, which is hanging out in public areas just talking to the guests about where they are from, why they are here and just life in general. You hear the best stories that way! For example, at the Welcome Aboard Show, many cruise directors make a joke about couples celebrating different special occasions such as honeymoons, graduations, birthdays or a divorce… This week, I actually met a couple that WAS INDEED celebrating their divorce being final! A lady decided to share with me, not only their reason for cruising, but also that her recent ex-husband was using the same slot machine all cruise long. During the evening of the Captain’s Celebration he walked away from his machine to take a photo with the Captain. This lady sat down at his machine in order to save his spot… and just when he was out of earshot, she hit the $10,000 jackpot!!! I hope that picture with the Captain was well worth it, because now that the divorce was final, all of that $10,000 goes to the lovely ex wife!

This past week was certainly a challenge. The Carnival Pride proudly hosted the national conference for CruiseOne and CruisesInc, two of the largest travel agent corporations in the nation. Therefore, disembarking our ship today was more than 450 travel agents from across the country, as well as representatives from Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity just to name a few. On board this week also was President and CEO Gerry Cahill, in conjunction with other big wigs from Carnival’s office! It is always a pleasure to have these people on board, but to be honest; it does make the crew a little nervous.

The crew took deep breaths and did what we do best: provided a fun a memorable vacation for our guests. Overall, the voyage went extremely well. Each day the huge group had all sorts of different seminars, classes and of course cocktail parties! I was requested to conduct activities at a reception that was hosted by Norwegian cruise line. Even though I was informed not to make it “too fun” because it was Norwegian and not Carnival, this and the other gatherings were all very successful. All of the agents and corporate officials seemed extremely happy and all of the preparation that goes into hosting this group of colossal importance most definitely paid off.

It is great to be back to work, and I love sailing out of Baltimore. The guests are absolutely incredible. We have had the best fly on entertainers one could ask for. This week for example, we had Carl Strong, Dana Tison AND Kim Harrison all on board. If you ever have the chance to see any of their shows, consider yourself extremely lucky! Plus, you know it is a great itinerary when you get to see the theme parks and big scary fish at Atlantis all in the same vacation!

Right now, I am focusing on making the best vacations possible for all of our guests that come on board. In conjunction I am preparing for when Kirk goes to the cruise director conference in a few weeks, when I get to take over and sit in the “big chair”… even though I am doing that right now while typing this letter… I will have a different name tag at that time =)!

Looking forward to sailing with you soon,

All the best!
Your Friend,

Jaime Deitsch
Assistant Cruise Director
Carnival Pride

Thanks Jaime. I know that you and Kirk and the rest of the Carnival Pride team are doing a wonderful job and I have seen that the guest comments are excellent and their appreciation of Carnival placing a ship in Baltimore is obvious. I hope you and Kirk are Happy and I look forward to seeing you Jaime in New York ……..as will the bloggers who I hope will come to our top secret breakfast event on November 7.

I started today’s blog at 8 am. It’s now 10:15am and here we are in beautiful Grand Cayman. The sea is calm and the sun is shining and guests are being ferried ashore in tenders because ……..blah blah……… build a bloody pier…….blah blah. Anyway, the guests are off swimming with stingrays and paying exorbitant prices for a hot dog at Seven Mile Beach. It is a fantastic destination and even though I find the locals somewhat flippant……….there is no doubt that an excursion to Stingray City is something that everyone should try and do. The very name conjures up a land-based attraction where you pay an entrance fee, fondle a few flatfish and buy an overpriced hot dog on your way out. But the city is a sandbar in the middle of Grand Cayman’s North Sound. Here, shoals of rays congregate in the knowledge that Carnival guests will come out to mingle, shake their wings and offer them finger-food.

Heidi and I went when we were on the Carnival Triumph. I remember stepping into the water and the Rays were around us within seconds, nuzzling, rubbing and probing for those bits of squid which we had paid to feed them and which they knew we must have. It is a watery kind of cocktail party, where the ocean going creatures – from the stingrays to one particular cruise director, as big as barn doors.

It was a strange sensation to be goosed like that in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. The underwater view was even more alarming, with swirling grey wings, ugly gill holes and almost human mouths searching for tit bits. Fortunately, they were used to being handled. “For one piece of squid they’ll come to you. For two, they’ll let you hold them,” I remember our guide saying…………..and they did. This is why a visit to Stingray City is a tour I promote with passion onboard. Yes, I do wish that they would build a bloody pier but, there is no doubt that Grand Cayman is a top destination and a swim with the stingrays is a top of the ladder excursion that everyone should experience.

By the way, while its beautiful weather in the Western Caribbean it’s not looking all that good in the Mexican Riviera where they are keeping a very close eye on a tropical storm. It hasn’t been great weather in Europe either and I was told that your Carnival Dream missed Monte Carlo yesterday as the port was closed due to very high winds.

It seems that the guests this week are a wonderful group. However, I do have one dilemma that I will be addressing later today. Here it is.

Letter

Before I comment on this I must point out that this is the only negative comment we have received about the group from the guests. And, I must say that although there dress sense and body art is somewhat unusual and slightly bizarre, I don’t think that they can be called devil worshippers. I certainly haven’t witnessed anyone sacrificing a goat during karaoke ………but, I can understand who they may be misconstrued. I so, I will meet with the guest and try to reassure and educate him as to what his fellow guests are all about. This may be tricky but I will do my best and………I will let you know what happens.

I had lots of letters for my first Morning Show……….and here is another one I wanted to share with you.

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Needless to say I am taking extra care of this brave young man and later in the cruise I will introduce him at one of the shows and give his fellow guests a chance to thank him and say “Welcome Home.”

So yesterday I was approached by a guest who wants to propose to his girlfriend. When I say “help” I mean organize the whole bloody thing……….even buying the ring. Yep……he doesn’t have the ring or any bloody clue what he is going to do. So, in between the shows I went to the shops on board and had the Gift Shop Manager Mark help him choose a ring ………I won’t say how much he spent because that would be rude. I will say however that the guy must be hung like a Mongolian Yak……….because she ain’t going to be marrying him for his wallet.

Anyway, ring purchased I said I needed 24 hours to organize the proposal. She (I won’t name them yet in case it all goes tits up and she says “no”) has no clue that this is coming. They have been dating for only 4 months after meeting on an internet dating thingy. And so that was me, shows to host, blogs to write and a proposal to organize.

My mate Alan took his girlfriend of several years to Paris. She was desperate to get married, and he knew it. So he wined and dined her, whispered sweet nothings, then marched her to the top of the Eiffel Tower. There, he dropped to one knee and she took a very deep breath……….he tied his shoelace and marched her back down again, smirking. Such was her sense of anticipation, she burst into tears and only then, next to the souvenir stand, did he ask for her hand in marriage.

I thought about doing something similar for them……something funny…….a buildup ……….the anticipation…………..and then bugger all. But, as I don’t know them I have decided to organize something less cruel…………. tradition and beauty are what’s required here. So, he is going to take her up on deck 11 at sunset. There will be a table set up with champagne (cheap git only wanted Asti) and I suggested that he does his speech, go for a walk together around the open decks, go for a gourmet dinner at the steakhouse then brace yourself for months and months of questions about napkins and flowers and gift lists. Then my final suggestion was a couple’s massage the following morning which she will love and he will need when he realizes what a terrible mistake he has made.

I will let you know what happens.

This got me thinking. I will miss our anniversary……..bugger. I will be on the bloggers cruise from December 3-11. We got married on December 6. Oh……I am so in the doghouse. I then thought………right…………I will book a romantic pre-Christmas night in a top English country hotel complete with roaring fires, and all the trimmings. And then suddenly I remembered Kye and how antiquated we are in the UK when it comes to kids ………these hotels treat you as if you have an especially virulent form of swine flu simply because you have a baby strapped to your chest.

Oh well………….looks like it’s a Chinese takeaway and once Kye is asleep……….I will paint my face with white powder……….put my fangs in and my bat wings on and chase Heidi around the bedroom in my PVC underpants…………………..now that’s romance.

Goodnight
Your friend
Count Bollocks

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.