Party Time With Some Bouncy Bouncy

December 16, 2009 -

John Heald

Yesterday I went to London to meet with the most prestigious travel writer in the British Press ………….Mr. Frank Barrett who is the Travel Editor of the Sunday Mail Newspaper …………….. think USA Today’s Gene Sloan but with a Prince Charles type of accent.

I was invited to have lunch with him and his colleagues to discuss an article on Carnival Cruise Lines, me and the blog. I also tried to promote the suggestion that the article feature a photo of me dressed as Santa surrounded by Latvian women dressed in Santa hats….only in Santa hats …. Mr. Barrett told me told me to bugger off and contact the Daily Mirror or The Sun for that one.

Anyway, the article should be good and I will tell you more about it later. The Lunch was excellent and the conversation lively and fun. It was held in a rather posh London restaurant a top of a tall building with amazing views of London and as we chatted and I nibbled on some fluffy goats cheese (personally I would rather have eaten my own hair), I couldn’t help but notice the large groups of city types…… suits………..holding their Raspberries…..drinking champagne …………..and wearing silly hats………yep……………the office Christmas party was in full swing.

I know I will sound grumpy here but I honestly do like Christmas and especially this year with Kye having her first experience of the 25th.

Naturally there are some things I don’t like. I don’t, for instance, like it when a 16 year old girl tries to spritz you with Chanel’s latest perfume the moment you walk through the door of a department store. But mostly I get on well with Christmas. I find it wonderful to give presents. I like turkey curry in February. The Great Escape is always worth watching. I don’t have any relatives who wet themselves during lunch. I love the fact that like today it’s below freezing which in turn gives me a chance to say “Global warming my arse.”

That said, there is one feature of Christmas that fills me with such fear and such dread that I genuinely shiver whenever it is mentioned. It is the hemorrhoid on the turkey’s bottom, the mold on the smoked salmon. It is . . . the Office Party. When I worked in London many years ago my co workers………starting in January every year, would each save £1 ($2) a week for the annual yuletide piss-up.

By July they would have enough for the shrimp cocktail and by September they were dizzy with anticipation about the first pint of beer. I never understood why. I still don’t. The notion that you turn off your computer at 6 pm and at 6:01 pm are making merry with people you don’t like very much over a paper cup of Heineken seems odd.

They are not your friends or you would have seen them socially at some point during the year. So why think for a moment that the evening will be anything other than hell? Christmas these days is almost completely ruined by the office party.

Take my lunch yesterday for example. We were in a restaurant which as I said was posh. The entrees cost $25 – $55. Yet, there was no sign of the credit crunch as wankers ……….. sorry …….. bankers ………..downed bucket fulls of Moetperignonkrug champagne.

This would mean that the streets of London would later that afternoon become full of ordinary people who have suddenly lost the ability to walk in a straight line. And the atmosphere in every restaurant is buggered by the table of 60 who order food not for its taste but its aerodynamic efficiency.

It was obvious that this party had been organized by the most junior member of the team because their idea of an office party was basically lots of vomit and silly hats.

You think you have nothing to talk about with the man who drives the forklift in the warehouse, but you have even less in common with the office juniors.

The second thing about the office party is of course rumpy pumpy. The glossy magazines will of course be full of “true life stories” about Mary Sue from reservations who had one too many glasses of Baileys and ended up having rumpy pumpy with Brian from accounting……. despite the fact that Brian is as ugly as a cruise ship named Epic and has breath that would make a camel want to smell it’s own scrotum.

Why? You sit opposite these people for years and it never once occurs to you that you would like to see them naked. So how come, after one warm wine, she only needs to put on a paper hat to become Megan Fox?

This Friday Carnival’s Vice Presidents and Senior Management will have their Christmas party which will probably involve drinking Pinot Grigio served at room temperature while standing between the office water cooler and the photo copier and wearing the same clothes they have worn all year though perhaps with a “fun” bit of tinsel in their hair. The highlight will be the distribution of the secret Santa gifts which will include one poor sod having a gift bought for them by Tim our Vice President of Public Relations ………….which will mean that they will receive something that needs batteries and was purchased from The Adult Toy Emporium.

We will be talking about Christmas on the ships later but for now it’s time to crack on with today’s Q and A…………….here we go.

Jeanette Asked:
Please reply

John, the pics of the new pier at Isla Roatan is awesome. I wonder, where is he chairlift to the beach located? I think it’s amazing that they built a lift to get people to the beach! How far is it away from the pier that was used before Mahogany Bay pier opened up. I see there are building around the pier, so yipeee shopping!!!!

The new Carnival Thingy–Any idea on a name for the new bouncy baby ship?

PS: can you tell me where my fave maitre’d is going to be in January? You know who, Alex K, otherwise known as a hot Lithuanian. He is, as far as I know as if Dec 1, on the Liberty still…If he is on the ship then I hope we’ll be in that dining room, I need some eye candy! My friend is platinum and our reservations are linked for dinner (we each have separate cabins), so I hope we can get a good table, a round table in the center main floor would be nice!!

Hopefully your first Xmas with Kye will be magical, but do remember, she’ll likely enjoy the wrapping more than the items that is wrapped!!!!

John Says:
Hello Jeanette

I am so glad that you have been enjoying the photos of Isla Roatan and our new Mahogany Bay facility and in fact we have some more for you shortly. There is indeed lots of shopping there including a Diamonds International and some great restaurants. It’s about a five- to 10-minute walk from the old pier and the ski lift to the beach is of course a very special addition.

The new ship has not been given a name yet so for now we shall call her the Carnival Thingy and as for your favourite Maitre D you are correct he is on the Carnival Liberty so hopefully you enjoyed eating in his dining room. I am so sorry that I am late in my reply and I hope you had a brilliant time.
Best wishes to all

Kathy Roxo Asked:

I am a little flabbergasted right now because I keep trying to post blog comments and they never end up in the comment section (they always says “your comment is awaiting moderation” and then I never see them appear in the actual comments section). I hope that this works finally and maybe one of the 343 Stephanie’s can tell me what I might have been / am doing wrong!

I am a long time reader of your blog thingy but I just began posting (or at least trying to post) recently and I cannot even begin to tell you how much joy it brings me to read your blog every day. I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do (while I am still in my underwear of course) is check my email to see if you have posted a new blog for the day yet!

My family and I sailed with you on the Carnival Freedom a couple years ago and out of the 6 Carnival cruises (we would never dream of sailing on a different cruise line) the Freedom cruise was by far the best. We have been trying to schedule a time to sail with you again however, we usually have to sail at specific times of the year in order to work around our schedules and since our Freedom cruise our schedules never seem to coincide with your schedule as cruise director however, I am sure it will happen again, hopefully sooner as opposed to later!

I think it should be noted however, that the passion, joy, commitment, and dedication that you bring to the position of cruise director is absolutely amazing. For example, when we sailed with you on the Freedom, a certain Mr. Bells Palsy had visited you and despite that you did not miss one show or one joke and I cannot begin to commend you enough for a job exceptionally well done!

The menu you have listed here looks absolutely heavenly, I am extremely jealous of the people who are cruising on Thanksgiving this year! As for the people falling asleep around you, maybe they are readers of your blog thingy and have seen your previous pictures of men sleeping next to you (not in your cabin of course 🙂 and they want to be some of the privileged few who make a cameo on your blog!

On to more pressing issues 🙂 I had a favor to ask of you. My family and I are once again cruising on the Carnival Freedom sailing on January 2nd 2010 from Ft. Lauderdale FL. There are six of us travelling as a group and this is our 6th Carnival cruise together, our experiences on Carnival always surpass what we expect however one thing always leaves us wanting more and that is our dining experience.

We always choose and get late seating as we never want to miss time at the ports of call or dinner in the dining room and we always are seated simply with our party of 6! These aspects of our dining are always wonderful and we hope that they will continue again this year however our table assignment in the dining room and our dining staff have been somewhat disappointing.

You see John, we always seem to be seated in the way back of the dining room where we can never see the entertainment and excitement that is happening in the main area of the dining room and out of our 6 cruises, we have never actually laid eyes on our Maitre D! This is disappointing to us because we hear all the fun that others are having in the dining room and we feel like we are simply being stuffed back in the back of the dining room with dining staff who seem about as happy to be there as we are. I have seen other dining team members dancing on tables, singing, and even dancing with some of their diner guests but our dining staff never seems to be as exciting as many of the others. We always leave the dining room (with full, satisfied tummies of course) but feeling like we have missed a vital and exciting part of our experience. So, I was wondering if it might be possible for you to help us be seated with our party of 6 at a table in the centre of all the action this year so that we do not miss a beat.

I hate to ask you for favors John, as I know that they take up your time and I would rather you be spending it talking to Heidi and Kye as opposed to helping me with my silly request but I knew that if anyone could help enhance our dining room experience then it would be you John and more importantly, I knew that if you knew this was how we felt about our dining experience then you would WANT to help!

I look forward to your response and I hope that you know how much you are appreciate, respected, and looked up to as not only a cruise director and brand ambassador, but also as a person, father, husband and friend and I think I speak for more than myself when I say THANK YOU JOHN, from the bottom of my heart for all you do every day!

I look forward to your response (as long as my comment actually posts this time)!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Kathy Roxo 🙂

John Says:
Hello Kathy

I am pretty sure that by now you will have seen that I replied to you a week or so ago. I once again apologize for the time it takes to get comments approved as the 343 Stephanie’s have a lot to look at before they slap them on the blog thingy. You were not doing anything wrong, it just takes time that’s all.

What a great post though and my memories of Mr. Bells Palsy are ones of standing on stage, holding my face back with one hand so I could talk into the microphone and hoped people could understand this Quasimodo type character on stage. Thank you for the wonderful words that shows me my efforts were not in vain.

As I mentioned in my previous reply I have already sent an e mail to the Maitre D of the Carnival Freedom and he will do his best to make sure you have the table you requested.
I hope you all have a brilliant time.
Best wishes

Tom and Janet Hecker Asked:
Pls reply

John, we sailed with you Oct 10, 2006 on the Liberty and won the free dinner as pass guest. Thank you so very much. My first cruise was on the Festivale 5/31/1980. We have sent a picture of us boarding the Festivale as required to get it on our past history account. I have been working on this for 2 months or more and now no one will return emails. Can you help us get this list in our past cruise history?
Thank you again.
Tom and Janet Hecker

John Says:
Hello Tom and Janet

I am sure you have great memories from your cruise on the TSS Festivale and your most recent cruise on the Carnival Freedom. I have sent your information to our CARE team who will work on adding your Festivale cruise to your past guest profile. I will ask someone to contact you once this is done
Best wishes

Larry Meador Asked:
John, please reply

I am so excited to have our 8th cruise booked. The three of us will be taking the Miracle out of Fort Lauderdale on April 5th, 2010. However, my wife, being the consummate planner, is already concerned that she will not receive her past guest pins. We have all of our previous pins for the Spirit, Conquest, Glory, Elation, Sensation, Fantasy, and our most recent addition the Celebration (thanks to E-Bay). The Celebration was our first cruise, so we didn’t get one on that voyage (even though that was where the addiction was born…)

I know there was much talk regarding the pins previously, and even some talk about the pins being for sale in the gift shop for those that had not obtained the coveted platinum status.
Can you clarify for me how we will be able to obtain our past guest pins for our upcoming cruise? I know it seems trivial, but we are quite proud of Carnival Cruise Lines being our ONLY cruise line. My wife wants us to go on each and every ship…. (p.s. This will be my 10 year old son’s 7th cruise….)

Many thanks for all you do, and please realize how much you are appreciated by your fans. I hope you get so see your girls soon!

John Says:
Hello Larry

Congratulations on booking your next cruise on the Carnival Miracle and I know your Cruise Director Malcolm and all the team will make sure you have the best cruise ever. The past guest pins are being handed out to our guests with Platinum status however they are for sale to everyone in the onboard shops. These are already in stock and I am waiting to hear that the ships also have pins from across the fleet as I think that is something everyone will appreciate.

Your ten year old is one lucky young man and if you remind me a month before you sail I will send him a little bon voyage gift.

Best wishes to all.

Princess Lori Asked:
John, please reply if you have time.

Oh….I can’t believe the total number of views for your Blog Thingy – over 5 mill. I remember when you hit 1 mill. Congrats to you, all the Stephanies and everyone at Carnival for making this possible! Have fun on the Carnival Dream this week with all the Bloggers!

John Says:
Hello Princess Lori

Wow……… very gracious of you. I also remember that one million mark and to think that in less than 3 years we have hit 5,600,000 is quite extraordinary and very, very humbling.

I wish you could have been with us on the bloggers cruise.
Best wishes and hope to see you soon.

Cruzin2some Asked:
Dear John,

My wife Nancy and I are taking our three (3) kids and their spouses and our two (2) grandkids on a cruise in 2011. We are going to go to either the Caribbean or Mexican Riviera. Still tossing that one around. My question is for these two destinations does Carnival require or suggest that all passengers have Passports? I thought it was suppose to be that after the first of January this year that all passengers leaving the US would need to have a passport. I have read in several places that this is not necessarily the case. I figured I would go to the “Ultimate College of Travel Knowledge.” What say you?
The Cruzin2some
James & Nancy Enslow

John Says:
Hello James and Nancy

First of all please allow me to offer my assistance as you continue to decide to sail on a ship to the Mexican Riviera or the Caribbean. If there is anything you need to know I am at your service.

The answer is that we strongly recommend that guests get their passports for cruises and hopefully this will give you ample opportunity to organize them for the family.

Best wishes to all

Pete Asked:
Hi John (please reply),

I’ve read online that another Carnival ship, this time the Carnival Splendor, hit a RCCL vessel… Didn’t read anything about it on the blog…since it’s the 2nd time in a few weeks I thought you might react to that 🙂 I also heard they had to medivac the Captain of the Splendor 2 days after the incident, any info about that?

John Says:
Hello Pete

There was indeed a little scrape between the Carnival Splendor and the Radiance of the Seas a few weeks ago. Damage was very minor and neither ship needed to delay or change their itinerary. The Captain was not medivaced but did need to go ashore for some treatment but the two incidents were not related. Captain Rassello is now at home on vacation and will return to continue his duties as Captain very soon.

Thanks for allowing me the chance to set the record straight.
Best wishes

Roni Asked:
Please respond!

Dear John:
I love your blog. I find humor in everyday occurrences as well and I love how descriptive you are. I was laughing and crying while reading this blog.

Well, my name is Roni and I am cruising on the 12/19 Dream cruise. This cruise truly is a dream as I was in a really bad car accident and have treated myself, my mother, and my autistic 12 year old sister to the cruise of a lifetime. I was able to afford a suite for them.
Unfortunately, my birthday is the 23rd (always forgotten during the holiday season) and I’m gluten free so birthday cakes are out of the question. I was just wondering if you had anything special, maybe hidden in your bag of tricks, that might make this the best birthday and cruise ever for me and the girls.
Thanks for your time,

John Says:
Hello Roni

Thanks for the kind words about the blog and I am so happy to know that it makes you smile. How wonderful that despite the horrific accident you were involved in that you have booked a suite for your Mum and your sister and I know this will truly bring a smile to their faces when they see their stateroom.

I would love to send you something but I will have to get one of the 343 Stephanies to e-mail you as I do not know your last name or state room number. Hopefully you will reply in time for me to be able to send you something.

Hope you all have a wonderful time
Best wishes

Fred Asked:

John, we are now 18 days out from our Christmas Cruise on the Dream, I wrote you earlier about my Canadian French party coming on board. Our cabin is 8287, my niece (whose birthday is on the 24th if you could do something cool for her, she is becoming a teen!) is in 8283. The other two cabins are unassigned at this point (and they are the least English capable, being older folks). I have the booking numbers for them if you could use that…

John Says:
Hello Fred

Despite your love of frogs legs I hope you all have a brilliant cruise mon ami and look out for a birthday gift for your niece. I will also ask for French Carnival Capers for the cabins.
Bon voyage and mon derriere scheder du fromage

Lloyd Fernley Asked:
John, please reply

I was just reading the cruise boards on Cruise Critic and I saw a comment and some replies that said Carnival does not offer anything for the Jewish guests during the holiday season. My family and I will be sailing for the holidays on the Valor and I would like to know why nothing is done for your passengers who are of the Jewish Faith. Also, can you tell me the age requirements for your Club O2 teenage camp?
Thank you

John Says:
Hello Lloyd

Well let’s start with the Club O2 question to which the answer is 15 – 17 years of old. It is a great facility and one that means you can relax safe in the knowledge that your teenagers are having fun and meeting new friends.

Unfortunately the person who states that we do not do anything for the guests of the Jewish faith during the holiday season is talking rubbish………..again. Each ship will have a sunset Menorah candle lighting service as we celebrate Chanukah with our Jewish passengers. There will also be a Christmas show performed by the cast and featuring the children and a visit by Santa. recently we have added the Dreidel Song to the show, once again acknowledging the Jewish passengers.

I hope you all have a wonderful cruise and enjoy this special time together.
Best wishes

Dan Coffman Asked:
Pls reply

I would like to know why I was not invited to this cruise because I am one of John’s Bloggers. We were actually on the cruise but did not know about the blogger invite. Room 6202, Dec 3-12, 2009. I am very disappointed in Carnival about the cruise and not being invited to this blogger event

John Says:
Hello Dan

I know you only posted this comment yesterday but I wanted to love you to the top of the answer pile so I could reply. The bloggers cruise was as you said held last week on your Carnival Dream where 183 people attended the private events etc. These people all pre-registered for this and the gifts via the blog. I posted the need to do this many, many times and so I apologize if you missed it. I hope you had a wonderful cruise and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog. Please let me know if you have a follow up to this.
Best wishes

That’s all for today. Time for the news.

And as we were talking about the Bloggers Cruise I want to share a photo of the private function we held for Big Ed and his Evil Krewe. We were meant to have Nani there so we could hand her the school supplies that her Krewe friends had brought with them but as you know we couldn’t dock in San Juan……….bugger. Those supplies are now on there way to her. Anyway, here is the photo and once again you will have a good view of the now infamous toilet cake.

You will see that there is a tall, very pretty lady with her arm round Mrs Big Ed or Pat as she is sometimes known. This lady is one of our most frequent commentators on the blog thingy ……… Linda Mom of DJ.

I mention her because she most graciously has given the sum of $500 to the St Jude Children’s Hospital which as you know is the charity that Carnival Cruise Lines is so honoured (spelt correctly) to be working with. Linda did not though make the donation in her name but in the name of Captain Queirolo and the Carnival Dream crew. How extraordinary! Actually……….it wasn’t because anyone who knows Linda will tell you that this is the sort of thing she does all the time and that thinking of others has always come before thinking of herself.

So thank you Linda for your kindness and you have made a difference to the lives of those children this Christmas just as you have made such a immeasurable amount of difference to the life of your precious son DJ.

Oh one more thing………… were a fantastic Britney Spears in the Legends show!

Now, I want to apologize to the blogger who asked about docking a Carnival ship in the port of Hamilton and St. Georges in Bermuda. I had said that I would investigate this matter but I seem to have given you false hope. I know this because I received an e-mail from our super spy PA 007 who wrote to me from his or her cubicle. He or she was quick to tell me that I was talking ” “bollocks” or actually because he or she is from America he spelt the word “bollocks” “bullocks” but never mind………..anyway PA 007 told me that these two ports can only take smaller ships with Holland America’s Veendam being the largest. Henceforth that is why the Carnival ships …………..when we do call there……………dock where they do.

Thanks again PA 007 for correcting my bullocks.

Well, Mahogany Bay is now fully functional and the Isla Roatan officially welcomed your Carnival Dream. Amongst the honoured (spelt correctly) guests attending the first call festvities were Carnival Corporation’s Giora Israel and your Carnival Dream Captain Carlo Queirolo. However, the most special guest was the President of Honduras Roberto Micheletti whose presence showed just how important the cruise ship business is to the country.

Here are some photos taken once again by our friend Radu.

Tomorrow, I will have some great photos of the Carnival Ecstasy and her new balcony cabins.

As I said, yesterday I had lunch with the travel editor of the Daily Mail He has recently returned from a visit to the Mall of the Seas and a cruise on the Seabourn Spirit that he said was excellent.

However, the last time he cruised on a Carnival ship was in 1994 on the Carnival Sensation. I told him that this was too long and so I have arranged for him to come and sail with me on his Carnival Dream and he has agreed to do so and write about his experiences. The Mail on Sunday is read by three million people and I told him that figure would rise if a photo of me and those Latvian women were to be published.

Anyway……… is a link thingy all about Frank.

On Monday our President and CEO Gerry Cahill held a town hall style meeting for all our Carnival shoreside employees during which he gave a state of the business talk, thanked them for their loyalty and hard work and presented each one with a Rolex watch……….OK…… Rolex ……….but his speech was very well received as was the video of our slide escapades. Gerry also paid some very nice compliments about the naming ceremony and in particular my little cameo with my extra large bottle of champagne. In case you missed that portion of it……… it is again and my thanks to Gerry for the very kind words. The video will be featured in tomorrow’s blog.

I should have written about this next subject last week during the bloggers cruise but alas I forgot.

It was great to see so many familiar faces last week yet there was one missing…..and that was the always happy, always grinning face that has been sat on the second row of the theatre for 50 plus cruises with me…….the face of Robert Schneider who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. Robert loved Carnival and loved the bloggers cruises especially. Robert……we missed you mate.

Here’s Heidi

Hello everyone. I just wanted to say hello and say that apart from having to wash John’s underpants it is fantastic to have him at home. Thank you so much for the gifts and cards and the amazing surprise from Big Ed and his friends and I am really lost for words and I wish I could have been there to thank you all in person. Thank you all.

I know that John was worried that Kye would be shy around him because he has not seen her for so long. For the first few seconds she was but as soon as she heard his voice she smiled that huge smile and giggled hysterically when he sang her bouncy bouncy song.

John mentioned that he used to sing it to her on the phone. Also I had recorded him singing it on a video which I would play to her everyday on the computer.

The first time Heidi listened and watched it her chin went “wobbly.” Now, many of hearings later it always gives her lots of excitement. It has become her song and a stand-in for when Daddy is being a Cruise Director. The video ends after about five minutes, “That’s all now, Kye. It won’t be long before I’m home. Love you lots,” John’s voice says. Kye laughs and I hope that Kye doesn’t notice my tears.

You know how nervous I have been about posting photos of Kye but could not resist showing you this one.

Your friends
Heidi, Kye and John

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.

50 Responses to Party Time With Some Bouncy Bouncy

  1. Frank & Bridie says:

    OH MY GOD That photo bright tears to our eyes!! That is so amazing!!! Talk about BEAUTY and the beast!! What a precious little girl!! We are so glad you are home john so that you may get a christmas with your family. How wonderful john, you deserve every minute of it!
    I personally don’t understand the alcohol thing either but such is life and it gives a great excuse as to why I cant make it to those kind of parties.

    Big Fans as allways,

    Frank and Bridie

  2. Crazy Cajun says:

    You can’t know how happy we are that kye Got her beautiful looks from you and not capt. underpants!
    Just kidding you john.
    May God Bless your whole family and a big Merry Christmas From the crazy cajun clan.
    Bob (crazy cajun)

  3. Elaine says:

    Thanx John, Heidi and Kye for posting that picture. As a mother myself, we know how important it is to protect our kids. So, I especially appreciate the fact that you showed us that one picture as I was getting Kye withdrawal!! She is seriously a cute kid… you both did a great job….

    I hope that the 3 HEALDS Have A Very Merry Christmas… 🙂

    And to Linda, thank you for that contribution and also the help/advice you have shared/given us during the year.

    My Chanukah is almost over and I hope that every single one of Johns bloggers either had a very Happy Chanukah or a very Merry Christmas.

  4. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    David and I are so blessed that DJ is healthy.
    Yes, he has some issues….but there are so many children that have life threatening battles; that they face bravely every day.

    It is our hope that one day St Jude’s will put themselves out of business, by curing all the cancers and diseases that these innocent children must endure.

    Until then, it is the responsibility of every parent with a healthy child to do what they can to help those who are less fortunate. It was an honor for David and I to able to participate in this small way.

    I am sorry that Dan missed out on all the Blogger’s festivities. However, I can not imagine how someone could read the Blog every day and not know that all they had to do was email Stephanie.
    The directions were clear and repeated often. It was all over this Blog, Cruise Critic, CruiseMates and Cruise-Chat. Hopefully next time Dan can join in with our activities….because we are a HOOT! But beware….IF I am in charge of karaoke again on the next Blogger’s Cruise….there will be more than one person “More Sexy than their Shirt”. (Yes, Big Ed…I am talking to you!!!)

    To Mr. Fernley….we have sailed on Carnival many times during the Holidays and Carnival has always had a Menorah and usually a Star of David in their celebration. Club O2 is wonderful. DJ has had the pleasure of enjoying almost 20 times….before he turned 18 and is now to old to attend.

    I may have done an ok job as Brittney….but the highlight of my cruise was getting to sing Happy Birthday (in my best Marilyn Monroe voice) to Captain Queirolo. (and I was rewarded with a sweet kiss on the cheek)

    Hugs to Heidi and Kisses to Kye.

    Linda (Mom of your friend ~ ready for his next cruise in less than 3 weeks~ DJ)

  5. John, if you want to do a photo-shoot with those Latvian women in Santa hats, the Mirror is ready and waiting.

  6. Big Ed says:

    Heidi, You are very welcome. The Evil Crew was very enthusiastic about making that gift towards Kye’s future.

    I have a great caption for that picture “A Rose And A Hemorrhoid”, LOL. Only three days at home and you look 100% better John.

    John, I think you should put another log in the fire place. Your inside wearing a zipped up hoody and Kye is in a Sherpa coat. Turn the heat up.

    BIG ED

  7. Deby says:

    Thanks so much for the pic of Kye- such a happy girl to have her daddy home. Merry Christmas to the whole family. Deby

  8. Kevin J says:

    My goodness John, you certainly cant denie that beautiful baby. Congrats and see ya on Feb. 20th. We will be the group that all are wearing T-Shirts that will say Maine Family and Friends Cruise on OUR Carnival Dream. Thank you for all that you do….

  9. James and Bobbi says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for being brave and sharing. Kye is a living doll.



  10. Ashley says:

    Oh that is an adorable picture of Kye! She has such a gorgeous smile!

    I’m loving Mahogany Bay and can’t wait to travel there myself. I think we’re going to make a beach day out of Roatan when we sail on the Carnival Dream.

  11. retirementman says:

    Oh how wonderful Heidi that you did allow us the opportunity of a photo of John and Kye. It shows that they both were happy to see that he was at him.
    John, spend a wonderful time at home with your Beautiful wife Heidi and lovely daughter Kye. Forget about all the cruise problems and if you want to stop writing the blog for a few days you have my permission, as if you would listen to me. Ha,ha,ha. Enjoy my friend and please REST as much as you can, laugh and sing to your daughter and please spend quality time with Heidi. Hint.
    See you soon.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  12. Dear Heidi, John and Kye
    Thank You Thank You Thank You for the Photo
    One Tired Dad, One Beautiful Baby, One Lovely Wife= ONE GREAT FAMILY
    One Great Blog
    Take Care
    The Tuckers in Florida
    Elizabeth & Arnold
    of Big Ed’s Evil Krewe

  13. Roxianne says:

    This came in my email from the Vacations To Go Cruise Newsletter, I thought everyone might enjoy it.

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and far out at sea
    Our vessel was sailing, as smooth as could be

    The stockings were hung from the balcony chairs
    With hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there

    The children were nestled all snug in their uppers
    Having just settled down from a Christmas Eve supper

    And ma and myself, we were covered in aloe
    A bit too much sun, in a pool, warm and shallow

    When up in the sky, there arose such a clatter
    I leapt from my bed to see what was the matter

    To the sliding glass door, I flew like a flash
    Well, more like a saunter, and less like a dash

    And what to my skeptical eyes should appear
    But a great shiny sleigh, and eight flying reindeer

    They circled our ship, from starboard to port
    As the moon lit the driver, a jolly old sort

    Who called to his team, in a happy retort
    “Now Dasher, now Dancer,” so on and so forth

    We raced through our cabin and into the hall
    To the very top deck, in time for us all

    To be awed by the sight of Old Santa’s sleigh
    As he lightly touched down, by the midnight buffet

    With a bundle of goodies thrown over his back
    He rose in the air and dropped down the smokestack

    Santa went straight to work, and later we learned
    He found every child’s cabin, from the bow to the stern

    Insides and oceanviews, balconies and suites
    Santa filled every stocking, with toys and with treats

    Until all his deliveries had been handled with care
    Then he noted he still had a minute to spare

    So he surfed the wave rider, with nary a fall
    While Dasher and Dancer scaled the rock-climbing wall

    And Prancer, who had always been fond of the cold
    Tried the ice-skating rink, a sight to behold

    And then with a whistle, Santa summoned his team
    And he bade us farewell, silent nights and sweet dreams

    And I heard him exclaim, as he flew out of view
    Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good cruise.

    Written by Alan Fox, with appreciation and apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, author of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

  14. Leslie says:

    John please reply

    How would I go about getting pins of the Carnival ships I had been on in the past which were: Jubilee, Celebration, Festivale, Spirit, Holiday, Destiny, Triumph, Fascination, Fantasy, Splendor, Ecstasy, and Inspiration. I would appreciate your help in this. Thanks. Leslie Auerbach

  15. Hello John, Heidi, & Kye!!!

    Love to see the great picture of you and you little Kye, she is so cute. Glad the bloggers cruise when well even if Nanni had to miss saying “Hi” to all here Krewe… Hoping one year we will be able to join in on a bloggers cruise.

    I do hope you enjoy your time home as it is (im sure too short)

    always reading and looking foward to the next Carnival Cruise

    the one
    and only 1

  16. Mark from Alberta says:

    John please reply.

    John in response to many of those that have expressed concerns that they have missed your response, when indeed you have replied, has the 343 Stephanies ever considered not only posting your response but also replying by the supplied email?

    This is one extra step for me or you, but perhaps the 343 Stephanies or other computer folks (women and men who wear beards) can find a way that the response is sent via email without too much trouble. There is a checkbox below the comments box that says, “Notify me of follow-up comments via email”.

    One last comment, have you considered putting additional pages on the blog thingy where for example pictures can be found that have been previously posted, another page could provide more detailed information on the Carnival Fleet etc. etc. This probably would require work by others as this would be a large undertaking!

    Thanks John, wishing you, Heidi and Kye a wonderful Christmas.

  17. flipflopcruisequeen says:

    Our Christmas wishes have been answered! Thank you so much Heidi for the blog and to you and John, a HUGE THANK YOU for the ADORABLE picture of Kye with John!!! My goodness, you can see the personality in her eyes. John, you look so happy!!! You are where you belong, and I know you can’t wait till Heidi and Kye can be sailing with you. The very best wishes to all of you for a wonderful holiday season! Thanks again,

  18. Clair says:

    Hi Heidi, John & Kye,

    What a wonderful picture! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    John – Enjoy your time at home.


  19. Linda Hernacki says:

    Wonderful blog as usual, great photo’s of the Dream, can’t wait to see some video’s and like Paul said enjoy Heidi (hint, hint) and who knows, next year at this time you could have a daughter and a son! Merry Christmas to you 3. Kye sure is growing up, and I see your lips and nose, and Heidi’s eyes, and it looks like Kye has strawberry blonde hair? Glad you are home for now, where you need to be! Your friends, Mike & Linda

  20. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Hey John:

    Next time….don’t use a picture that makes me look like I have been on a 9 day drunk….

    oh wait….it was a 9 day drunk….. LOL

    just kidding….that is the look of exhaustion from 9 days of having such a great time.

    woo hoo….can’t wait to do it again!!!

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

  21. Deborah says:

    What a beautiful picture.

    Merry Christmas John, Heidi and Kye!!

    All my best,

    Deborah (Debs)

  22. Linda Leach says:

    Heidi, thanks for sharing that gorgeous photo of John and Kye! Your hubby is responsible for my finger thingy punching out a reservation for the Freedom in September and now today my hubby surprised me with a last minute date with the Glory on Jan. 3! Getting close to VIP! Thanks to all of you for sharing your family and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

  23. Austin says:

    John, **PLEASE REPLY***

    We recently cruised on the Carnival Liberty back on November 7th. During that cruise, we won a cruise in the free cruise raffle.

    We were told that the actual certificate would be mailed to us within 2 – 3 weeks.

    To date, we have not received the certificate. Should we start to worry? We have the “temporary” certificate that the social host gave us. Is there a number I should call, or should I continue to wait?

    Austin & Tiffany Carroll
    (actually, my wife won it…I do not have such luck!)

  24. nanetteali says:

    Kye it’s beautiful! I’m glad you are home John!

  25. Jennifer says:

    I love when a photograph captures the moment, like this one did. Such joy in that picture. Thank you for sharing your special moment with all of us. I hope you all have the Merriest Christmas ever!

  26. Host Mach from Cruise Critic says:

    I’m sorry, John. The only thing I can comment on is that picture of you and Kye.

    Stitch and I sat transfixed looking at it. She is her daddy’s girl. You two have exactly the same smile. What a fantastic picture and thank you, Heidi and Kye so much for that present.

    All the best to you fantastic folks!!


    Host Mach

  27. Lynda Ulrich says:

    Dear John(please reply)
    I’m so glad you’re home with your family. Thanks for the picture of you and Kye. It’s priceless.
    I too read your blog every morning. And on the days you don’t have one it’s hard to start the day. I have a question that I have not seen on the blog before. After 30 plus cruises I have heard the rumor many times that people retire on cruise ships. I am retired, but not 60 yet, and have been dreaming of this for years. First, is this true and second, is there someone to contact if you want to do this.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    Love, Lynda

  28. Larry Meador says:

    That picture speaks a thousand words…..

  29. dwa76 says:

    Hello Healds!
    I love the Kye/John picture. It is so adorable!
    I think its great that the Honduran president showed up to the ceremony.
    Radu takes such fantastic pictures.
    Looking forward to reading the new article this weekend.
    Take care!

  30. Cheryl says:

    What a cute photo of you and Kye! Radu’s photos are nice too.. It appears a good time was had by all bloggers and I’m still sad that I couldn’t work it out to go.

  31. Peg Dunbar says:


    I am so happy that you are finally home and with your girls. I loved the picture of you and Kye, now that is a happy Dad and daughter.

    Now on to my problem or the problem of a lovely women that is in our group on our cruise next month.

    I received a phone call from Florence. She was a bit upset as she had contacted Carnival about her diet which can not include gluten. After explaining her problem she was told by a Carnival Representative that she should just ask the waiter what is in the food. She felt that was not the right answer as she wanted to let someone know that she would be needing a special diet or at the very least a diet that is gluten free. She then called me and I told her that I would contact you and hope that you could help her before we board the ship.

    I know how busy you are enjoying time with your girls and I really hate to keep bothering you about this cruise but I do not know who else to go to. I also told her that I would send a note to Steve Cassel when we boarded the ship although he may not get that note before dinner as he will probably be very busy that first day.

  32. John, Heidi & Kye
    It is wonderful to see the joy on the faces of your family. What a wondrous start to a joyous holiday season. John, take it all in, you will blink and wake up at her wedding.
    As for the office party mania, I totally agree. Why do I want to party and socialize with people who ignore me all year!!
    Happy Holidays!

  33. Sharon says:

    Great pictures! Hope we have a chance to
    go on another cruise with you and Heidi;

    Any news on Magic or Dream iteneraries for Europe for 2011?

    Merry Christmas

  34. David Davison says:

    John, Please reply.

    Just wanted to say how much of a pleasure it was for Diane and me to finally meet you on the Dream Bloggers Cruise. It added alot to an already fun honeymoon. A big round of applause to you, Stephanie “Go Hooters” and the rest of the gang for the events on the ship and the surprises we got in our cabin (wish I could have gotten a gold plated plastic ship on a stick, but hopefully another time). I must say, the Dream lived up to her name. She is a wonderful ship with a great crew and captain and we are looking forward to sailing on her again. From Todd to our waiter (Camillo) to our room steward, we were pleased beyone means. The food was fantastic. I really enjoyed the pasta bar and the pastrami/corned beef sandwiches we got at the deli counter at the stern. We went to the Steak House twice and the experience was fantastic and well worth the extra money. Diane and I are looking to book our one year anniversary cruise for the Western Caribbean and it will either be on the Dream or on the Legend. Since you take requests, could we ask you to be the CD on one of the above ships when we sail next September?

    I know you will hear loads of people complain about various things and conspiracy theories about Carnival (and the Dream). I know I heard one lady saying we didn’t go into San Juan because Carnival wanted to make more money from the bars and the Casinos. We could have put her in the life boat (if necessary) that would have been damaged by us docking there. Our feelings are, it’s Murphy’s Law and if something doesn’t go wrong (no matter how small), it is not a vacation or an adventure. For instance, we were in the elevator when the Captain came in. We of course asked him who was running the ship. He pressed the button, the elevator door closed and it sat there unmoving for about 30 seconds. He said “interesting” or maybe it was bullocks in Italian. He pressed the button and opened the door, closed it again, and then the elevator moved off. Had we been stuck there, at least no one could say it was the Captain’s fault.

    My only issues with the Dream would be The Air Supply elevator music in the Scarlett Dining room and the uncomfortable bar stools at the Piano Bar. Can I put in a request for some some Jimmy Buffett (or Ken) and some Preparation H and a chair donut for our next trip? lol.

    Thanks again John and we really look forward to sailing with you again. Give Heidi and Kye a hug for us.

  35. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear John Heidi and Kye,
    May God Bless you all with his peace and contentment this Holiday Season. May you enjoy the time together and Heidi thank you so much for sharing. I know is was hard and scary but I wanted to thank you as so many here care about you three and to see John with his precious daughter sharing the same smile. Well to quote John………… “It is just Awesome”
    Blessings to all,
    The Cruzin2some
    James & Nancy

  36. KathyG says:

    Loved the pictures, especially the one of you and Kye. She’s such a cutie. 🙂
    Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  37. joyce geraci says:

    Thank you, thank you for your note. And especially thank you for the picture. Christmas is now complete!
    Thank you also for sharing your family with us. Christmas is all about giving, and you both have given us a wonderful gift!

    Hope to see you all on a future Carnival cruise. Maybe the C. Magic in the Med!

  38. Ann Wilson says:

    Thank you for another wonderfully fun blogger’s cruise! Thanks also to Stephanie Mead for the activities.
    John mentioned frequently how he missed his girls. To hear and see him sing the bouncy song to Kye on the phone brought tears to my eyes. Also, to hear Kye laugh and coo was precious.
    It is obvious that Kye is loved and such a happy baby!
    Can’t wait to finally get to see her and you (Heidi) on the next blogger’s cruise! Hope that’s a promise by John that will not have to be scrapped!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
    Ann Wilson

  39. Catmama044 says:

    Love, love, love the picture! Thank you so much for sharing. We were really needing a Kye photo “fix”. And bonus for us….Daddy was in the picture as well. Heidi, we are happy you have your hubby home with you (he looks marvelous). I understand our gift had John at a loss for words. (Unbelievable.) I wish I could have been there to see him. Again, I am glad your family is all together for the holidays. Merry Christmas.

    We are now counting down to 28 days to our Carnival Miracle! Merry Christmas to us.


  40. PipergirlKerry says:

    OH John!!!!

    How wonderful to see Kye in your arms again!!! I KNOW how glad you are to see her again. She’s gotten sooo big from all the photos you showed us last week! Cherish every moment with her and spend lots of time being that “Tickle Monster”!

    I’m literally off to my office Christmas party now! No paper hats and rumpy pumpy for me though!

    Have a MERRY MERRY Christmas to you Heide and Kye!


  41. Pat says:

    Thank you for posting the wonderful picture of John and Kye. You both look so happy! I want to wish the Heald family as well as all of the bloggers a Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

  42. Mike & Lori Drew says:


    Absolutely love the picture of you and Kye! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Mike & Lori

  43. Judy and Andre says:

    Loved the photo. Have a wonderful Christmas and relax and have lots of fun times with ‘your girls’.
    Thanks for the great blogger’s cruise.

    Judy and Andre (O Canada)

  44. Joko Joan says:

    Dear John, Heidi and Kye:

    Ho-Ho-Ho!! We will departing on Saturday for our Christmas cruise aboard HAL’s Eurodam to spend the holiday in Aruba and Curacao. This is why I’ll now wish you all a blessed Christmas and a most joyous, happy and healthy 2010. The joy of watching your little daughter oohh and ahhh at all her presents will soon be upon you. If I can remember correctly, at Kye’s age the big deal will ultimately be the boxes and wrapping paper. May you always cherish these memories as you’ll find out soon enough how time will fly by. Thank you for having us all as part of your cruising family.


    Joko Joan

  45. Michele Maragni says:

    Hi John, Thank you so much, for making our cruise on the Dream, so Super Special! Mom and I enjoyed every minute we got to share with you,Thank You for the Beautiful Gifts, and also Thank You So Much, for getting me to work in my Beauty Shop so early!, my customers and my husband Claude were very grateful! ha! ha! and now you are finally home, with your beautiful family, How Wonderful! Kye is absolutely precious, as we can see in the picture, so happy to see her daddy! Please Rest and Enjoy, the Holidays with your Beautiful family, with Much Love From Ours To Yours, Merry Christmas, and a Very Happy & Healthy New Year! Michele, Mom(Eleanor), and Family!

  46. The Bears - Princess Barb says:

    Hi John,
    Glad to see you made it safely home and are catching up with the girls. I love the picture of you and Kye! She’s getting big to fast. She sure is a little doll though! What a smile!

    And Thank you Heidi for you message. Good to hear from you!

  47. Princess Susan says:

    Thanks for the picture…that picture is worth a thousand tears!

  48. Mike says:

    John and Heidi,

    Kye is so very beautiful!!! I, like most here on the blog have missed the photos of her, but as a father I completely understand your decision not to post them.

    Treasure her while she is still a baby. Spoil her outrageously and revel in her youth. My own baby girl is 10 now, and is seems like it was only yesterday that she was Kye’s age.

    Merry Christmas to all 3 of you, and may God bless your litle family and give you all a wonderful new year!!!

  49. Kathy says:

    Hi – we are set to leave for our third Carnival cruise in just over two years – this time on the Splendor. We have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the wo previous cruises and see no reason not to do the same this time around. Only one concern – the need for gluten free food this time aound and I am finding conflicting answers from special needs folks telling me from everything can be made to gluten free to only bread and pasta is gluten free to bring your own perishables on board!!!! Any input would be appreciated! With seeing the accomodations made for diabetics (estimated 850, 000 in the US) and not much concern expressed for celiacs (estimated 2.1 million in the US) – well, please – any input or suggestions are welcome!

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