Grand Rainman

October 20, 2009 -

John Heald

So last night I opened a cupboard in the cabin looking for some copy paper when I came across something Jen Baxter, the glittering cruise director had left in there……..it was a Wee Wee game thingy. I plugged it in ………actually that’s a lie……….I called someone to plug it in as anything with a plug on leaves me scratching my head like Paris Hilton at a celibacy conference. Once it was working I was hoping to find a game in which I could drive an Aston Martin through the streets of Los Angeles stopping only to blow the heads off a few Zombies with my newly acquired double action pump laser rifle rocket grenade launcher cannon thingy.

But once again the word “bugger” could be heard around the ship as I discovered the only game she had left me…………was something called Wee Wee Fit!

For those bloggers who like me are technically frustrated let me explain about this pheneominan…….ferhernomanien…..this thing and quote you some stuff from Uncle Google. The Nintendo Wii has sold more than 5 million consoles since its launch in December 2006. It is a hardware/software package that enables you to play games and solve puzzles on a TV screen.

If that sounds like something (oh and this is me again not Mr. Google) from the days of Space Invaders and Pac Man, you don’t play hunching over a console pressing buttons ………………. you play by actively doing (more or less) what you would if you were you playing the game for real. It’s virtual reality, in other words. Therefore, people becoming so engrossed in a game of tennis or a sword fight that they punch through the TV itself and end up in hospital.

That explanation was bollocks……..let me try again. So……. if you’re playing the golf game……you swing the wireless control as if it were a golf club, and then watch your ball disappear off down the fairway on screen. Or you hurl your bowling ball into a flock of pins. Or you shadow box as your computer-animated self smacks an opponent (who looks remarkably like Mike Tyson) around a boxing ring.

Does that make any sense or are you staring at this blog like a French person in soap factory. I have to admit, it is very Star Trek and it does make you say “Bloody hell, what will they think of next?”…..OK, you probably wouldn’t say “Bloody hell” but you get the point.

Anyway, once the game was plugged in my assistant Craig showed me how to use a mat thingy that came with it………yes……….a mat thingy. It probably has some kind of fancy name but to me……..it was a mat thingy. Embedded in the mat thingy in is a pressure-sensitive balance board about the size of weighing scales. In fact, what the Wee Wee does is to weigh you straight away. You then add in your height and age onto the screen and the computer then works out your body mass index. Mine is apparently somewhere between Wart Hog and Elephant.

The machine computes my “Wee age.” It is 65 my actual age is 44………….. Bugger.

I am then told by a seductive female computer that I have to choose a “Mii,” an icon to represent myself on screen. I go for a perky little chap with a side part and pot belly. He introduces himself. In Japanese………..bugger……….I spend the next ten minutes trying to figure out how to choose an English speaking Mii thingy.

Once that mission was accomplished I select an on-screen tutor, wondering if it’s morally or legally OK to have thoughts of rumpy pumpy with a computer-generated fitness instructor.

She greets me with what I take to be a provocative pose but in reality she is probably thinking. “‘Hello, you fat bastard’,” For the next 20 minutes I submit myself to a series of always grueling, never exciting, often humiliating exertions. I try some skiing and remember why I hated this in real life. There is yoga and as I am not a flamingo I ignored …… there is hurdling which would have resulted in a groin strain all be it a small one and then just as I was about to say “bollocks” and pack the thing away…….I discovered something else………………walking a tightrope slung between two skyscrapers. This was quite extraordinary. You have to walk gingerly across the mat thingy knowing one false step and your Mii person will plummet to his death. It was nearly one hundred percent realistic……if only, as you wobble from one foot to the other …….a little brown stain would appear in my Mii mate’s pants……………..now that’s reality.

Let’s do some questions……..here we go

Lesley Nyborg Asked:
Dear John, (Please Respond)

I have a question that I can’t seem to get a clear answer to. I’m selling the Liberty on 10/31/09 with my husband and my sister and her husband.

My sister has been asked to attend a medical conference in Miami the day of disembarkation. I know that Carnival does self-disembarkation but sis had a really bum knee. She is going to have to have knee replacement surgery sometime in the next 6 months. Anyway she cannot negotiate the stairs with her luggage with her bad knee. Do you think the ship’s personnel will let her take the elevator? I seem to remember that most of the time people have to take their luggage down the stairs. Also, I was wondering the earliest that she could get off the ship. I’ve told her to pack lightly.

I sailed with you once; actually it was on the Liberty in the Med. May of 2006. My daughter was “Britney Spears” in the Legends show. I hope to sail again with you in the future.
Thank you for any information you can give for my sister.
Lesley

John Says:
Hello Lesley

First of all thanks for the concern you have shown for your sister and of course she can use the elevators. I am not sure where the information came from that you can only use the stairs as that is certainly not correct. She can bring her luggage to the forward elevators and down to deck 3 as soon as the self assist debarkation starts and this will be announced by Chris Jefferson the Cruise Director on the Carnival Conquest.

I hope like me you have wonderful memories of our time in the Med and hopefully we can cruise together again soon.
Have a brilliant cruise
Best wishes
John

Michael Ocker Asked:
John please reply:

I am writing to applauded you efforts to honor the military members on the recent cruise. As a prior military man who served in the Gulf War in 1991 I would have been proud to stand on the stage to show my military pride. People need to remember that our military is 100% volunteer, it is not there decision where they go that decision is made by the President of the United States any bad feeling about the Iraqi and Afghan. Wars should be made towards our President, not the people who volunteer to defend our great nation. Again I applaud you for honoring our military during your show. In the future you need to tell anti-military people to bugger off.

We are sailing on Fascination October 31, 2009

John Says:
Hello Michael

And I applaud your service and your thoughts written in your posting. I will continue to acknowledge these brave men and women each and every cruise. Have a brilliant time on the Carnival Fascination.
Best wishes
John

Geri & Jack Asked:
Hi John,

I have a question for you. Would Carnival permit the two of us to attend the inauguration of the Carnival Dream whilst in New York? We will be in NYC that day and we are cruising Back to Back on her the next two days. This would be a Dream for us after 14 cruises, 9 on Carnival and we will receive Platinum after the second Back to Back cruise, hopefully on the new Magic, God willing.

I can understand if you say no but it is just a thought in case they were thinking of inviting some cruisers from that cruise. It would be a thrill of a lifetime.

Thank you for listening.

All the best to you and your wonderful family,
Bye for now…off to the Splendor this Sunday Oct. 11

John Says:
Hello Geri and Jack

I wish I could say yes to you and the many, many people who have asked me. Unfortunately the guest list is chosen by marketing and sales and every seat in the dining room is taken with industry officials and travel agents. However, I am hosting a bloggers breakfast on the 7th in New York, can you come to that? Please accept my apologies for letting you down.
Best wishes and I hope you had a brilliant time on the Carnival Splendor.
John

Bruce P Asked:
Dear John, Please respond

I sent this back on Sept 8th but it must have gotten lost in cyberspace.

I just got back from a great cruise on the Carnival FASCINATION. This was my wife and my self’s 6th cruise and was the best one ever. The crew was great and our cabin (Cabin E193) steward Gabby was the best one we ever had, every time I opened the cabin door he was right there. Ready to be of service for whatever was needed. Our head waiter (table 287) was also excellent and provided close attention to our needs.

This ship had a great group of passengers most everyone was considerate of other people. The CD Felipe was good and funny. The crew would go out of their way to help all of the passengers.

I did have one problem and that was with the people in the cabin next to us. They had three kids the oldest was about 10 years old and the youngest looked to be about 5. They had 2 cabins and left the kids by their selves in one and the parents stayed in a cabin about 6 doors door the hall. The parents would go to the shows and other stuff and leave these kids by themselves unsupervised from after dinner until after 1 am. I am a retire police officer and on dry land this would have been child neglect. I know on a ship things are more relaxed but who should I report this to? The cabin must have been trashed by the kids I looked in on them to make sure everyone was ok; they were being kids jumping on the beds, banging on the walls screaming and yelling. I don’t blame the kids but I do blame bad parents.

I have only been reading your blog since August but I have found that it is addicting. Keep up the Good work.
Thanks
Bruce

John Says:
Hello Bruce

I am sorry that your first attempt at posting this got mislaid so let’s try and help you out now. First of all I would like to say thank you for taking the time to write those wonderful words of praise for the crew of the Carnival Fascination. I have sent them on to the ship and I know the Hotel Director will pass them on to the people mentioned. I am hearing great things from many about the CD Felipe.

The subject you also mentioned of leaving the kids in the cabin is a tricky one. Just as hotels don’t have rules or the means to patrol this I know how frustrating it can be for those living in a nearby room or cabin. I should probably not be to judgmental but I have to say that I find parents who leave kids as young as 5 and 10 alone in a cabin to be …….well………questionable at least and at worst……..reckless. I hope that if they disturbed you that you would let us know. I think in this situation we would have had the right to tell the parents that they should not be doing this if the children are disturbing other guests. As I said, it’s a tricky one.

I thank you again for a great report and I hope you will continue to find the blog enjoyable
My best wishes to you and your family.
John

Elinor Asked:
Hi John (Please respond),

I posted the message below a while ago and am afraid that it was lost somewhere in cyberspace. I’m posting again and hopefully it will go through. Also I forgot to give you the details. My party of 5 will be in cabins 8282 and 8286 on 12/3 cruise on the Carnival Dream. Please please please if there is anything you can do for securing the early dining time I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks again!
___________________________________
Hi John (Please respond),
I am so excited to be sailing on Carnival Dream on December 3. And since I can’t wait I’ve been checking your blog religiously to get the latest scoop on all things Carnival Dream. However, I am also worrying a lot because this will be my first cruise with my baby. He will be 18 months old when we cruise. I was wondering if you could help me with securing an early dining time for my family of 5. I am currently waitlisted for the early dining time and am worried because my baby will certainly not make it to the late seating. He will either be extremely cranky if we eat at 8pm or asleep. I would really appreciate anything you could do to accommodate us.
Thanks again!
Elinor

John Says:
Hello Elinor

I hope you saw my reply on this a few blogs ago. I am so sorry that it took so long to reply to but I am still some way behind in answering all the questions marked for my reply. I have and will again send this information off to Ken my mate and the Maitre D of your Carnival Dream and he will do his very best to assist you and your family.

Thanks for including the cabin numbers this time and best wishes to you all.
John

Fraser asked:
Hello John, Please Reply.

Sorry this is so long, I could have gone on for ever.

Just got back from my 8 day Carnival Freedom cruise and wanted to give you a review.
Overall I had a wonderful time; Wee Jimmy was Hilarious and want to thank him again for the seats at the Big Easy Show.

All the production shows were amazing the Big Easy and the Ticket to Ride were both absolutely amazing shows, the cast was wonderful.

My family and I Met wee Jimmy after the captains Gala and they had a wonderful conversation my parents being from Scotland and all, my father was also wearing a Rangers Tie (Wee Jimmy’s Team). He invited us to come to the Big Easy 15 min early and had the front row reserved for us. Show was fantastic. You have also mention Happy Cole before on the blog, he did his adult show after the Big Easy and he was hilarious, keep booking him he is great.

The crew was fantastic always Happy and wanting to take care of every need (except for one which I will mention later) I want to thank the Hotel Dir?? I think that was her title. I was at the coffee shop getting a piece of the Chocolate cake and was talking about being sad that we were now on our way back to Ft. Lauderdale, this was just after leaving Panama, she bought my cake for me. What a wonderful gesture and shows just what wonderful crew carnival has?

My room Steward Youstin and Server Dennis were both great and always happy to help and take care of our needs.

I spent a lot of time in the casino and the dealers were great especially Oggy and Andres, they remembered me from day 1 and I always looked out for what tables they were on. Of course I am not going to talk about the money I won 🙂

I loved Cozumel as always the Tulum ruins are amazing. Costa Rica and Panama, I could do without. Costa Rica was nice but not much to do without an excursion; I took the rain forest canals and banana Plantation. The Banana Plantation was a letdown as we really did not see much; the rain forest canal was nice but as it was so hot did not see a lot of wildlife. Now for Panama nothing to do without an excursion and they were all so expensive that we did not do anything here, If I could recommend adding a cheap excursion just to go to the canal and back.

I did take the behind the fun tour with my Father and we both thought it was amazing and worth the money. I loved seeing these areas of the ship and the information we received was great. The tour guide was great, I think her name was Lilly, If I could recommend one thing it would be to add a border to the pictures that we receive with the ship name and the behind the fun logo, don’t get me wrong the picture with the captain at the wheel was great but if it had a little border with the ship name it would be much better.

Before I talk about the opportunities I wanted to mention that I received a past guest pin with my invitation to the past guest party, now prior to getting this I looked in the store and they did not have the pins and when I asked at the guest service desk, they knew nothing about the pins being discontinued.

The two areas that I have to mention that can use improving is the past guest party and the farewell party. For the past guest party I think it is bad timing to have at 3:00PM in the afternoon I personally did not go as I was at the pool and would have to get changed and then would have several hours before dinner, I would suggest moving the part back to about 5:00PM this would be a much more convenient time and would not make guest chose between the past guest party or spending the afternoon at the pool. As for the farewell party I did discuss my concerns with the asst food and beverage mgr ASDI? The bar waiters would not bring drinks that were requested. I know I asked several for a 4 beers as there were 4 of us at my table. I must have asked 3 or 4 but none of them came back with our drinks, there was a table next to us that was getting an entire tray of drinks at one shot but we could not get 4 beers. I went and got my own drinks and then when another member of my group tried to get another round she was told she could only have 1 drink at a time, she was told by this manager to sit down and a server would be right over, they never came. I discussed this all with the manager as we were not able to get more than 2 drinks but others were falling down drunk leaving the party. The manager did nothing to resolve issue and did not appear to be concerned. He did take my cabin and folio number but I received nothing, I letter acknowledging the shortfall with an apology would have been nice, or an offer of buying a round of drinks since we were not able to get them at the farewell party.

Overall I had a wonderful time on the Carnival Freedom, she is a beautiful ship with a mostly a wonderful crew. I cannot wait till I am again boarding another carnival ship.

John as always my best to you, your wife and beautiful Kye. Thank You for the great and wonderful voice of Carnival.
Fraser

John Says:
Hello Fraser

Thank you so very much for this wonderful review and as always when I receive praise like this I will forward them to the ship and make sure that all mentioned are shown that a guest has taken the time to write about them.

I apologize for the service you received at the Farewell Party and I know that the Hotel Director Jose will be immediately looking into this situation as it is not good enough. I will also make sure he sees the remarks on the past guest party as well. I must admit that my personal preference would not to be holding this in the afternoon.

Thank you for the feedback. It may sound a bit like corporate bollocks but it really isn’t when I say how important information is like this.

Thank you again for the brilliant review and I am so glad your cruise on the Carnival Freedom with Wee Jimmy and the team was so memorable.

Best wishes
John

Ratcruizers Asked:
Hi, John! (Please Reply)

I am a virgin when it comes to this “Blog Thingy”, so here goes!!

My family (husband-Tom, son-Nick, Mom-Emma and myself) will be sailing our Carnival Dream on 11/15/09. We decided to book this cruise back in June after searching for a cruise that would be both fun for Nick (who is almost 11 yrs. old but has some learning disabilities) and enjoyable for my 82-yr. old mother. I stumbled upon the Carnival Dream because of the water slides and the fact that the ship is “brand-new”. Although my family has sailed many times, we have never had the pleasure to sail with Carnival. (My Mom sailed Carnival once so we used her Past Guest discount—every penny counts these days.) So…….having never sailed Carnival I didn’t know that you or your blog existed until about 2 weeks ago when I started researching the maiden voyage of the Carnival Dream. Since that time I have spent many long nights reading your blogs, watching your videos on YouTube, and generally falling in love with your crazy personality. We became addicted to watching the webcams as the Carnival Dream sailed the Mediterranean last week. (By the way, what’s up with those cams? Haven’t seen anything since last weekend?!!)

Well, imagine my excitement when I found out that you, in fact, would be accompanying us during our 8 days of sailing. I just couldn’t believe our good fortune!! 🙂 However, my excitement was short lived 🙁 when later I read that I needed to use the PBL code on the booking to be included in all the fun activities and get-togethers you have planned for the bloggers. I don’t normally have the nerve to do this but figured there was no harm in asking. Is there anything you could do (short of us crashing the party??…only kidding!) To enable us to be part of this fun and mingle with some of the other bloggers? Hopefully you can work your magic for us. It would ABSOLUTELY make our vacation memorable and sooooooooo much better!!

Thank you for keeping us so well informed through your “blog thingy”. Can’t wait to meet you in 40 DAYS!!
Dianne R.
Cabin 7340

John Says:
Hello Dianne R

Welcome dear virgin and thank you for discovering the world of my thingy. Thank you for those wonderful words and for a first ever posting I have to say…….it was brilliant. Well, I was supposed to sail on the 15th but due to circumstances beyond my control I have had to retreat from this plan quicker than the French army.

However, I will be hosting a bloggers cocktail party on the 15th onboard sometime in the afternoon and will then disembark before the ship sails. I will post details about this soon. Now, let me tell you that you could not have booked a better ship for you and your family than your Carnival Dream……..I promise. Also, you mentioned your son has some learning concerns. If therefore you can think of any way that I can help him enjoy his time even more onboard, please let me know.

I hope to see you soon and you have now officially lost your blog thingy virginity.
Best wishes to you all
John

Collin Asked:
Hi John, please reply………..

I am a relatively new fan of your blog and I appreciate the tremendous amount of time required for our reading enjoyment. Ok, enough sucking up! As it seems you will be leaving the Legend as we board, “missed it by that much”, we will have to catch up to you another sailing one day. We will be sailing B2B on the Ecstasy this month first, however, and am wondering if it is required to participate in both life boat drills while keeping the same cabin for both cruises. If not, then are we required to remain in our cabin or are we free to wander about unaccosted?

Thanks,
Collin

John Says:
Hello Collin

Good sucking up mate but unfortunately that does not get you out of attending both Safety Briefings. However, you will have just read that the drill does not require you to wear your life jacket anymore and the new wording is a little shorter than last time.

Have a great back to back cruise and please give my best to the CD Steve Cassel…….you are going to love him.
Best wishes
John

Linda Fernley Asked:
John (please respond)

My husband and I just returned from our first ever Carnival cruise on the Elation. While we certainly had a good experience and were impressed that despite what we had heard Carnival’s food was as good as that on RCCL and Celebrity the standard of English spoken by the crew was extremely poor. For example, our waiter was very nice but could not carry on a full conversation which was annoying. Why does Carnival not employ crew who speak English if their main customer base is the United States?

John Says:
Hello Linda

I am glad that you enjoyed your first Carnival cruise and you saw that despite what a few scaremongers will say our food is as good and may I say better than most other lines and value for money wise is at the top of the tree.

I was surprised to read your comment about the crew not speaking English as this is not something we read very often. All our crew is hired only if their English speaking skills meet a specific standard and that standard is even higher for that crew who work in guest service areas such as the dining room.

I hope you are thinking about joining us again on another Carnival cruise and thank you for your comments.
Best wishes
John

That’s all for today. More tomorrow and as always I say a big thank you for all your comments.

Well, I mentioned that I had an uneasy feeling about last week’s cruise and I guess after being a CD for so long I have a good feel for this. Let’s do some comparisons from my first week to the cruise just gone…….remember marks are out of 100.

OCTOBER 4TH CRUISE OCTOBER 11TH CRUISE
FRIENDLINESS AND HOSPITALITY 92 FRIENDLINESS AND HOSPITALITY 90
REVIEW SHOWS – 89 REVIEW SHOWS – 89
QUALITY OF FOOD – 92 QUALITY OF FOOD – 88
CRUISE DIRECTOR – 93 CRUISE DIRECTOR – 89

Those are just some of the differences. Now, the Carnival Legend has always been one of the highest rated ships in the fleet and while the ratings are still some of the highest out of all the ships last cruise we all wonder why they dropped. We serve the same food, put on the same shows etc yet it is interesting and somewhat puzzling as to why it changes from week to week and does so on every ship.

Although, should it be puzzling? Different people like different things and of course that is never more relevant than when it comes to judging the cruise director. I know for example that last week there was a group onboard who didn’t like me, my jokes or anything about the shows. They were a religious group and they also didn’t like the fact that we had the Goth group sailing………..and they blamed me……….and that’s fine.

I will say though that it’s great to see…………and you know I hate blowing my own trumpet …….. that even at 44 I can still get the best CD ratings in the fleet and so can the other old timers like Steve Cassel and Lenny Halliday……….but Todd, Butch, Solano, Kirk, Ryan and the rest of the young whipper snappers are biting at my heels.

One last thing on this subject……….it’s not the 989 people who said you exceeded their expectations that you think about………it’s not the 201 people who say you met their expectations you remember……….nope, it’s the 33 people who left saying I had “opportunity for improvement” and I know that I upset them because I said something that they didn’t like ………….and that’s never easy to deal with………..even after 23 years.

As I have mentioned before I get some very interesting letters to read at the morning show. I wanted to scan one to you for today’s blog but the scanner is broken and the only one working is in the casino and as its 8:20 am and I am sitting here in my underpants I thought it be best I type out the content.

Anyway……we shall call the lady who wrote this letter Adriane ……..because that is her name. The letter starts by her telling me how she loved the welcome aboard show and how she heard me say that I would read out letters of dedication and celebration………well Adriane’s was different……because she was celebrating divorce from a man called Daniel.

Now, that would have been enough information but she wanted me and the ship to know why she got divorced. Basically, to paraphrase her three pages she discovered that while she was serving her country in the US Army in Iraq her beloved had painstakingly photographed and then hidden away all her belongings so he could convince the girl he went on to cheat with that he was living the single life in his bachelor pad. He later used the photos on his phone to put everything back in its rightful place. Ingenious you might think………………..if he hadn’t forgotten to erase the pictures.

She got her final divorce papers and immediately booked a cruise with her Mum and sister. What a brilliant story and Daniel………you are a complete and utter bastard.

I will read this letter out on the afternoon show and make sure some goodies are sent………….I hope she finds true love………I hope Daniel gets whooping cough.

So last night at the captain’s celebrations I met many of the Cruise Critic Strangers and Vampires…………bugger that not it………..Nuns and Hookers……..nope that’s not right either………..OK got it………Saints and Sinners and tonight I will stop by their private party. They are a fun bunch for sure.

OK, time for videos and photos and a word from Anita. Let’s start with a video commercial for Holland America…….it’s in Dutch but don’t worry about that, I will translate later.

Have a look first.

Great shots of the beautiful Eurodam and a fantastically simple commercial for Holland America Line. Except………it’s not………it’s a commercial for ING which is a Dutch bank. In it the two actors talk about how they want a Dutch bank with international standards and commitment to their customers etc, etc. However, I wonder if anyone was actually listening……..or were they……like me………just looking at the ship and thinking……..wow!

Now……….here is part one of your favorite photos of your Carnival ships. One of the 343 Stephanies has placed this on a revolving thingy and I thank her so much for taking the time to do so. There are some great shots here and I hope you enjoy them.

Ship-Photos

Do you have photos. Does anyone have photos they want to share of their cruise or Heidi and I or anything Carnival related….if you do please send them to the Stephanies and we will see if we can put part 2 up on the blog next week. Thanks again to everyone who sent photos in this time.

I think one of the greatest aspects of taking a Carnival cruise is that unlike the old days when a flight to south Florida was the only way to get on a ship and into the Caribbean you can now drive……..to a varied selection of home ports.

It appears that the industries top writers agree as well……….as you will see when you click on this link thingy from our great friend Anita Dunham Potter

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33350286/ns/travel-cruising/

Isn’t she a brilliant writer? I love her easy-on-the-eyes style and did you know that we both have something in common ……..yep………although she is the professional and I am the amateur…….we both write while sitting at the computer……..in our underpants ………I wonder if the other greats like Dan Brown, Gene Sloan and John Grisham do as well.

Tomorrow there will be a special report from Peter Shanks the President and Managing Director of Cunard. It is a wonderfully written report on the Queen Mary 2’s voyage around Great Britain and I look forward to sharing this with you on Wednesday.

Here is something that will probably make you smile………..and it comes from our incident report.

Guest: Mrs. ——-Ref: 828158311A
Cabin: Booking#: ______ Added-Changed: 10/18/09 – 10/19/09

C Guest found ants in his bed.

Guest called the GSD from his cabin and said that there were ants in his bed. GSA immediately called Housekeeping. Supervisor Maksim called later to say guest had no ants in the bed but they were pieces of black fluff from the socks he had worn in bed.

Nothing further.

I have nothing to say about that………..except as we are talking about fluff……….do you know that the reason belly-button fluff is always blue? I have been digging fluff out of my belly button for years………and it’s always blue. It is amazing because I normally wear white underpants, and I’m pretty sure white underpants don’t have any blue dye in them………….do they?

Well, the weather here in Grand Cayman is dreadful. Its overcast and the sky is as grey as the hairs on my bottom. I hope it brightens up but the forecast says we are going to have more of the same in Cozumel tomorrow…………bugger.

Well I forgot to tell you about the boat drill on Sunday. Well, across the fleet we all stared the new drill which is now called a Safety Briefing. The main change is that guests do not need to collect their life jackets from their staterooms. Instead, they go straight to the muster station and there they are shown the correct and proper way to wear the life vests.

Usually the crew help direct the guests to the correct muster station by looking at the letter on their life jacket. Obviously they cannot do this anymore so instead we have printed the Muster Station location on each guest’s Sail and Sign Cards. All went smoothly as I had made sure that in my announcement that guests should have their Sail and Sign card in their hands so that if they asked a crew member where to go……the information would be literally……..at hand.

The only thing I need to change is to add something in the Carnival Capers and make an earlier announcement that guests do not need to collect their life jackets. This is because past guests had already collected them and were on their way to the muster stations wearing them when I made the first announcement about the drill.

Apart from that……feedback from the guests was excellent. The people with beards at Carnival have for some strange reason dismissed my idea of starting the safety briefing by showing a video clip of Gene Hackman circa The Poseidon Adventure demonstrating how to shout “Get them to safety” while sacrificing himself in a wall of boiling steam. ………..don’t know why they didn’t like that idea.

Well the weather has gone from miserable to downright nasty. As I write, huge flashes of lighting are crackling over the ship and the rain is pouring down on us and the Disney Magic. I have organized a whole afternoon of activities, music and a big screen movie in the lounge and the team will do our best to provide some rest bite and fun from this bastard weather. We have lost many of the tours because of rough seas and high winds and as of now, at 11:45 am we only have 600 out of 2,300 guests ashore. As I said, we will do our best to brighten their day but I know how disappointed they are. They were looking forward to a day at the beach and a chance to interact with Sally the Stingray and her friends……but……….Mother Nature has seen to that. I know it’s not my fault but whenever this happens I feel so bad for the guests…………and although I will do whatever I can to cheer them up…….I feel as useless as a one legged man in an arse kicking contest.

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.