Catching Something

January 11, 2010 -

John Heald

As I sit here in my underpants on January 11, 2010, snow is falling again, a wet, sleety wind is whistling through the trees in our back garden and the whole world, it seems is telling Al Gore and his mates to bugger off …….by introducing us to a new ice age.

To make matters worse, it grew just a little light barely an hour ago and in fifteen minutes it’ll be dark again. …………that’s winter in the UK.

But the dull, Tupperware-grey January skies are not the only reason why most people in Britain choose this time of year to get divorced, commit suicide or watch re runs of Jerry Springer.

You’ve reached for your cigarettes or cigars but with a heart stopping moment of pure, unbridled despair you’ve remembered that you made a pact with yourself on New Year’s Eve to give up. You decide to have a beer instead but, this being January, you’ve given that up too. Just to see if you can do without for a month.

Food? Oh, dear, no. This is the time of year when you are on a diet so instead of a nice bacon sandwich with gallons of tomato ketchup and a dollop of mustard, your lunch will be a bag of green stuff garnished with some lightly grated celery and various other weeds. And, of course, you can’t sit down in front of the television this afternoon and watch your collector’s edition of West Wing that your wife got you for Christmas because you also decided, in a moment of New Year madness……………………..that you ought to get fit.

As a result, this afternoon you must squeeze your stomach(s) into a silly T-shirt and, despite the snow, run around the neighborhood, looking ridiculous. One thing’s for sure though, I do not make New Year resolutions because I simply cannot see the point of deliberately choosing the most gloomy month of the year to make my life a little bit less pleasant. Nobody ever says: “Right. This year I’m going to have rumpy pumpy with more women, eat more chocolate and be rude to everyone I don’t like”………..OK…………..nobody except the French maybe.

But why not? Because nobody ever lies on their death bed thinking: “Thank God I didn’t have rumpy pumpy with all those Latvian women.” As we grow old, we tend to regret the things we haven’t done rather than the things we have.

The fact is that our lives are short and I can’t see why vast numbers of people waste a twelfth of them by spending January beating themselves with twigs.

I therefore recommend you to try to make every day a Carnival kind of day. To laugh as much as is possible. To combat the miserable weather by joining me on one of our fun for all ships.

Time for today’s questions, here we go.

Annette Kamps Asked:
Hi John (reply please)

I was writing you a note last week when I lost it in the vast internet domain that I like to call NeverNeverLand. So, if you have received a half written post from me, I apologize.

I have mentioned to you before about my B2B Dream cruise in April 2010. I am very excited about that and am not paying any attention to negative reviews!!! Thank you for all your posts and info you have provided on the Dream. It certainly has whetted my appetite!! That brunch menu sounds fabulous!!! Is this only offered on the Dream or is it going to be fleet wide?

My last cruise was on the Liberty in April 2009 and the wait between then and my Dream cruises proved to be too long and I was fortunate enough to be able to book a short cruise to the Bahamas on the Sensation leaving January 10th. I am doubly excited because friends have decided to join me who have never cruised before and I am looking forward to introducing them to cruising and aiding and abetting in their soon to be addiction 🙂 . When I originally booked I asked for the late dining and when they booked and had our bookings linked, they also received late booking. A couple that I met on the Liberty cruise are also on this sailing and their booking number is linked as well. So, we have 5 booked for the late dinner. I have since been made aware that one of my friends has some stomach issues and problems with digesting the food properly if he eats too late and this causes a very uncomfortable night. I have tried to change all of listings to the early seating but am told that it is full and we have been waitlisted. If we don’t get on the list for the early dining, what recourse do we have? Will speaking to the maitre ‘d when we get on board help? We don’t really want the anytime dining and my PVP says that we would probably not get to sit together if we did take it. I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

Also, just to let you know, the problem I was writing you in the past about my Dream cruise on April 24th has not been rectified. I did write a comment and labelled it STEPHANIE AS JOHN REQUESTED, as you asked me to in your Sept. 10th “A Blog to Chew on”. My question was why I was booked as an “Early Saver” with all of the potential penalties while I was in a group cruise but was not given the going Early Saver rate and I wondered why and suggested that maybe they should say that Early Savers are not allowed in conjunction with group cruises and it would save a lot of headaches. Anyway, no one ever got back to me but I wanted to say that I do appreciate you trying and I have resigned myself to the fact that it is costing me a bit more and that hopefully all will go well and I don’t have to cancel for any reason and face any of the penalties.

Thanks John for the service you willing and freely (well, I do hope Carnival is paying you something 🙂 give to all of us bloggers!

Enjoy your time at home yet and Best Wishes for a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Heidi and Kye!
Daag

John Says:
Hello Annette

Well, you boarded the Carnival Sensation yesterday and I hope your dining requests were met. I had sent a request to the Maitre D and hopefully he was able to accommodate you and your friends. I am so sorry that nobody has contacted you regarding your Early Saver concerns and I promise that as soon as you return home that someone will. I have sent this to one of our Vice Presidents and I know she will make sure someone does call you to have a chat and hopefully sort your concerns. Thank you for your kind wishes and I hope you had a brilliant time on the Carnival Sensation.
Best wishes to all.
Dooeee
John

Mary Asked:
Dear John, (Please reply)

It’s Mrs. Shy again as you nicknamed me on the Bloggers cruise but after reading so many of my comments, you might re-think that.

I really did not want to write again so soon as I know how backlogged you are with so many of us writing to you. However, I am really bothered by all the comments re the long lines in the buffet areas on the Carnival Dream.

Since when has there not been lines in buffets whether they be on cruise ships or on land? On over 20 cruises (with several cruise lines), I have never been on a ship which did not have people lining up to get food from the buffet areas? If there was no line, you’d wonder if the food was bad or something was wrong.

Yes, there were lines on the Carnival Dream but none that were unreasonable. Here are my experiences and/or observations during the noon period. The longest lines I saw were the ones in the Mongolian Bar so I avoided them as I found it too long on the Splendor ( the cooking takes a while after it’s finally your turn) On the Liberty, I decided to try it on a port day when the Lido was not so busy. The Burrito Bar lines were never long……wait for 2 or 3 people ahead of you. Sometimes I only wanted a basket of nacho chips so I would not have waited if the line was long but it never was. The Tandoori was never long lines either. The one time I lined up on the Deli line, it seemed long but went very fast as there were 3 cooks taking your order. In the Pasta Bar, you place your order and sit at a table to wait and your order is delivered to your table. A short wait but you’re sitting, not lined up. There were many choices so if you see a line is too long for your liking, go somewhere else. BTW: We never had trouble finding a place to sit.

When people eat in the main dining room for lunch, they are served but they also have to wait for their food so why all the complaints about lines and waiting on the Lido buffet areas, especially on the Dream?

It seems to me that people these days are all about “me, me” and want instant gratification.
We really enjoyed our cruise on the Carnival Dream and do not understand all the negative comments on Cruise Critic and here on the blog (hearsay).
Hope you are enjoying your visit at home with Heidi and Kye.
Mary

John Says:
Hello Mrs Shy

I want to thank you and Annette who wrote the comment above for not paying attention to some of the comments that have been unfairly posted on the cruise boards.

When you put 4,000 people on a ship or in the food court of a shopping mall or anywhere for that matter, there are going to be lines. And yes, at peak times we have lines on your Carnival Dream as you would have at a food court in a big shopping mall. Most people eat lunch and breakfast and roughly the same time and when that happens there are times when a little patience is called for. However, in the beginning of the ship’s life, I think we learned that we could control the flow better and we did. We also added the brunch menu and the mobile barbecue stations on the Lanai which have really helped. There are still times when lines are inevitable though. What makes my hemorrhoids glow are the comments that I have read on the cruise boards from people who say their cruise was ruined because they had to wait 30 minutes at the Mongolian Wok station. What a silly comment………your cruise was ruined because you had to wait half an hour to graze! Come on! And anyway………the wok station is where food is cooked to order as is the pasta bar so obviously it will take extra time. So………..yes………….there still may be lines ……. we all know that but the food is worth waiting for and as you stand in line waiting for your freshly worked plate of spicy beef and shrimp just remember……it could be worse ……..you could be on a ship with 6,000 people.

Thanks for taking the time to write.
Best wishes
John

Kathy M. Asked:
Dear John, Please reply.

I just had to let you know of some information that I found out about Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Car (well you know that other company). I happen to come across an article about Sanitation on passenger ships and it gave a reference to The Center of Disease Control Center. It lists every ship that each company has and the most important item is the score. Well out of the 22 ships that Carnival has 3 got 100%, The Carnival Splendor, Carnival Freedom and the Carnival Miracle, but out of all the ships the other company has, they only 1 (yes, I said ONE) that got 100%.

I just thought that you would be interested in this information. Give my love to Heidi and Little Kye.

From your #1 Bloggy Thingy Friend.
Kathy M.

John Says:
Hello Kathy M

Yes indeed, all the industry has these quarterly United States Public Health inspections where upon the team will check the cleanliness of the vessel, food preparation and storage, the ships water as well as many other areas. Each ship is then given a score and it’s important to remember that if the inspectors find a major problem they can stop that ship from sailing. I thought some of you might like to read more about what it is they do and so if you have a beard you might like to click on this web site.

http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/desc/about_inspections.htm

Now to score 100 is very difficult indeed because trust me………these inspectors are tough ……….. very tough. However, some ships do score the magical perfect 100 mark. And to see which have achieved that lately have a look at this link thingy.

http://wwwn.cdc.gov/InspectionQueryTool/Forms/InspectionWith100Score.aspx

As you will see the list is saturated with Carnival Corporation & plc vessels including the Carnival Freedom, Carnival Miracle and Carnival Splendor, Carnival Glory as well as the Diamond Princess, Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2, and other Carnival Corporation & plc ships from AIDA, Princess, Holland America and P&O.

Thanks Kathy for allowing me a chance to share this with everyone.

Best wishes
John

Debbie Asked:
PLEASE REPLY:

My husband and I will be on the Freedom on 1/16. This will be our 2nd trip on the Freedom in less than a year. If I read the CD schedule correctly Wee Jimmy will still be the CD that week. Is this correct? We have had Wee Jimmy for CD before and loved him.

John Says:
Hello Debbie

Yes indeed, you will have Wee James as your Cruise Director and he is a great Cruise Director whom I know you will once again enjoy. Please send him my warm regards and tell him that he owes me one pair of underpants because of his ummmm……….blow through. He will understand.
Best wishes
John

aplato Asked:
John – Please reply

First off, I would like to say that I really appreciate your blog. It helps make the times between cruises go faster 🙂 I am sailing on the Miracle January 23 out of Ft. Lauderdale. Sailing with me are my mom, best friend, sister-in-law, her mom, and her brother. We are all travelling together because we are celebrating my college graduation and my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday! We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than a cruise together on Carnival. My mom and I are the only “cruise veterans” all the others in our group are first timers and I am excited to see how much they enjoy it! I have a couple of questions for you if you don’t mind responding. We are going to be in St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts, do you have any suggestions for shore excursions? Also, we have two separate cabins and I was wondering if you could make sure we got to sit together at dinner? And, one last question. My sister-in-law’s mom has a few health problems and is not restricted to a wheelchair but has a difficult time walking a lot and standing for a long time. I am wondering if there is anyway we can get a wheelchair for her to use during the embarkation process? Thank you SO much for all your help! 🙂

John Says:
Hello Aplato

I will post my shore excursion recommendations in a moment. It is though very important that you send me a post with the heading STEPHANIE- PLEASE SEND THIS TO JOHN with your surname and cabin numbers so I can ask the Maitre D to help you with your dinner reservations.

I highly recommend the following excursions in the ports of call.

ST. MARTEEN
Simple……..The Golden Eagle Catamaran……………it is one of the best I have ever been on.

On this excursion you will:
• Ride aboard the “Golden Eagle,” a 76-foot, winged mast catamaran.
• Enjoy an open bar and light snacks while sailing at speeds up to 30 knots.
• Count the Flying fish or watch the dolphins while you lie in the nets or laze in the shade of the 80-foot sail.
• Stop at a quiet cove to snorkel in the crystal clear waters or bob around on a beach float.
• Explore caverns or dive through coral formations teeming with fish.
• Stop on a fabulous pink sandy beach, one of the finest you will see in the Caribbean.
• Cruise downwind while listening to great music and enjoying cocktails and snacks

Then in St Lucia I have recommended two excursions that I think you and your family might enjoy. Again, I have done both and they are outstanding.

BREATHTAKING SOUFRIERE & WARM MINERAL BATHS
• Drive through the outskirts of the rain forest. Stop at lookout points for photo opportunities while your guide provides a narrative of the island’s rich history.
• Visit Soufriere’s warm Piton Falls, a natural blend of two mineral rich springs, one very hot and one very cold.
• Explore the 60 foot falls which are fed by the nearby Sulphur Springs and are said to have curative and rejuvenate powers.
• Take a short walk from the entrance of the falls to a pool with steamy mineral rich water.
• Be surrounded by rich tropical vegetation. Soak away your cares for half an hour in a warm mineral pool surrounded by nature.
• Continue to the Beacon Hill Restaurant for a cool drink. Enjoy views of the town as well as the majestic Pitons.
• Continue your journey through beautiful banana plantations set between undulating hills.
• Stop for a brief visit at Anse-la-Raye, a typical fishing village with colorful dug-out canoes and tiny wooden houses.
• Stroll along the waterfront before reboarding your motorcoach for the drive to Castries’ harbor.

St. Lucia’s wilderness comes alive in the rain forest canopy, experience it for yourself on this amazing excursion.

Then we have the RAIN FOREST AERIAL TRAM ADVENTURE

On this excursion you will:
• Board an air conditioned motor coach to travel through the capital city of Castries to a village in the mountains.
• Enjoy magnificent views of St. Lucia’s countryside as you ascend to over 2,000 feet.
• Arrive at the base station for a brief orientation and safety instructions.
• Board your open air gondola for your aerial tram journey into the rain forest. Glide through the rain forest and over the tree tops.
• See the knotted woody vines wind to the tops of old growth trees. Take in the cascades of flowers, lavender stars, orange bursts, yellow berries and white lace thrive on the branches of fragrant flowering trees.
• Marvel at the Giant “Chatannier” and “Gommier” trees towering as high as 90 feet over the landscape.
• Enjoy a refreshing drink at the Hummingbird Café after your bird’s eye view of a truly mature Caribbean oceanic rain forest.

Now, while I have been to your first two ports many times I have never been to St. Kitts. Therefore I would suggest you speak to the shore excursion team onboard and see what they recommend. Also the Cruise Director Malcolm will hold a fun talk about all the ports of call which I suggest you attend.

Have fun and don’t forget to send in your information.
Best wishes to all
John

Jason Asked:
Reply requested please…

Hi John,
I went on my first cruise on the Paradise quite some time ago. Recently, I convinced the most beautiful girl in the world to marry me, and we’re going to celebrate by taking our honeymoon on the Legend on April 11, 2010. Would you mind pulling some strings to get us seated near a window in the dining room?

Thanks for the interesting blog and any help you can provide,
Jason

John Says:
Hello Jason

Are you marrying Megan Fox…………you lucky bugger! Seriously, congratulations and if you send me a reminder on March 1st I will be happy to make your requests for you.
Best wishes to you both.
John

linda hartwick Asked:
Please reply

Happy Holidays to John, Mr Jerry Cahill our ceo of Carnival and to all the employees and staff who works for Carnival. I just got off the Carnival Liberty!!!! The best time on a carnival cruise ship. ALL the staff was wonderful all the guests on the glory said it was the best cruise. Our maitre d Paul in the Golden dinning was the best. I have now sailed 35 cruises on Carnival Paul would come to everybody’s table have a little chat with us just incredible I vote Paul the very best I wish all the maitre ds would do this, I am aware they have a tough job and they are extremely busy. Awesome job, well done Paul. I cant wait to go back on the Glory again in feb 2010 I heard that its going into dry dock (it looks good to me right now) The staff told me there will be a new television on the lido deck way to go carnival Lets hope 2010 will be a better year (no swine flu) I want my carnival stock to go up. Off on to the Imagination then back on the liberty Yipee.

John Says:
Hello Linda

Thank you for those glowing words for Paul who I will make sure sees your words of praise. It is quite extraordinary that you have now been on 35 cruises and I hope you enjoy many more with us.
Best wishes
John

Timothy Croker Asked:
John Please Reply,

Happy Christmas to Your whole family.

We will be in Southend January 14th, I just love the train ride on the pier. The Last time I was there was Easter 2007, it was very warm then for that time of year.

We just missed you on the Freedom due to the CD conference in 2008, and have been reading the blog since its first week. I remember when you were at 25 000 Hits!
My Family and I will finally get to sail with you on February 6th cruise, on Our Carnival Dream.

This time I have convinced my sister to come along with her husband and their two girls (8&10) also, so the four girls (mine, 5 & 7) will have a great time with their cousins. Could it be arranged for the four girls to get a tour Back stage by one of the dancers?

Our party of 14, have all been confirmed on the early dinner, which is what we what, but are unsure of how it sit together. I was put in charge of setting sometime up.

Can I request from you please (or Ken), two tables. One for my family of 10 at a ROUND table
** (Croker, Croker, Norman)** and have a small table of 4,**(Zavits, Graham)** just right next to us. We would like to be with Ken to hear his amazing voice in the dining room.

On the Carnival Freedom we had G’Day and assistant Alvin in the dining room, and wow the way they looked after us and the girls, Wow!

Enjoy your dusting of snow, and I am glad that a little snow does not shut down a Carnival Ship, like it does to the Chunnel trains!
Happy Christmas
Timothy

John Says:
Hello Timothy

Are you really coming to Southend? If you are, bring a coat because it’s cold…..and snowing ………… again. I will be seeing you and your party on your Carnival Dream in February and I have sent your dining requests to the Maitre D who I know will make sure he looks after you. Ken is unfortunately on vacation and we will miss him very much. Have fun walking the pier. My friend Alan will be at the end of it as he is the commander of the life boat. Push him in the sea and get a free fruit basket.

See you soon
Best to all
John

That’s all for today. As you can see, those questions were submitted around the Christmas holidays so I am still someway behind. Please therefore bear with me and I will answer more questions tomorrow.

Just a quick follow up to a question about Isla Roatan and Mahogany Bay. A blogger had asked about a place where guests could go snorkeling on their own and the shore excursion manager on the Carnival Legend has told me the following: “West End – is a touristy village with two beaches, West End Beach and Half Moon Bay Beach. Half Moon Bay is a great place for snorkeling. 15 Minutes from the Pier and $25.00 a person approximate taxi fare for round trip. ”

There you go, and don’t forget if you are going to Isla Roatan not to miss out on one of our excursions to Gumbalimba Park. You must see the monkeys and the wildlife and soak up the spectacular scenery. The park also has hundreds of parrots that although wild, will come and shit………..sorry…………..sit on your head.

It’s a great excursion and my top recommendation for your time in Honduras.

Time for today’s photos. I mentioned the other day what a proud moment it was for Peter Shanks and everyone at Cunard who were in Italy to witness the float out of the new Queen Elizabeth. Peter has sent me some spectacular photos which I am honoured (spelt correctly) to share with you and which one of the 343 Stephanies will now put in one of her slide shows.

Brilliant photos and it will not be long before she has her Cunard colours (spelt correctly) and her White Star Service ready to thrill thousands of people. And no doubt, like her royal predecessor and her sisters Victoria and Mary……….wherever her voyages take her……………she will be met by throngs of people eagerly waiting to catch a glimpse of her.

Don’t forget that I will be sailing on the Queen Victoria in July and I know some of you have booked to join me. I am looking forward to sharing that extraordinary experience with all of you here on the blog thingy.

I also want to share with you some highlights of Holland America Line’s blog. There is a new panoramic video of the Niew Amsterdams Midship Pool and dynamic photos from the Veendam’s trip to Antarctica……which I might add looks rather like Southend on Sea, Essex at the moment. As usual Holland America’s blogs represent each of their vessels and are worthy of a read. Here is the link thingy.

http://www.hollandamericablog.com/

Seabourn is to luxury what Megan Fox is to bottoms. Congratulations therefore to Seabourn on naming their next new ship the Seabourn Quest. There was a contest to guess the name of the new uber-luxury ship. The lucky winner of their Guess the Name Contest was Kevin Staub, who won a complimentary seven-day cruise for two aboard Seabourn Quest during the yacht’s maiden year………..lucky sod.

I wonder what it must be like to enjoy a world cruise…..not just any world cruise but one on the Seabourn Odyssey, the first ever Seabourn ship to undertake such a journey. The 450-guest vessel will visit 42 ports in 26 countries on six continents and there will be full coverage on their blog thingy at http://blog.seabourn.com

Tomorrow………look out for some unbelievable photos taken by Radu. I can’t wait to share those with you.

Well, Heidi and I made a decision last night for the first dates that she and Kye will be joining me onboard. My tickets arrived to fly back to work yesterday which prompted this conversation and made me feel……..well………let’s just say it’s gone far too quickly.

Anyway, she will join me in late February and her and Kye will be sailing for three weeks in March with me on my Carnival Dream. Heidi is as usual taking the whole thing in her stride even though deep down I think she is a little nervous about how Kye will react to 9 hours of flight time. I now have to decide which airline will be best and to try and stop worrying about them being on a plane with someone wearing explosive underpants. Seriously though, I feel somewhat guilty asking Heidi to travel on her own with Kye, yet we both know that 4 months is far too long a time to be apart and so…………this is a must.

Oh by the way………..I fly on January 22………my 45th birthday…………I wonder if American Airlines will see that it’s my birthday and give me an extra bag of peanuts…… somehow though …….. I doubt it.

Occasionally cruise directors will send me some of the more unusual incidents that have happened to them and I have one I would like to share with you now that comes from the good ship Carnival Splendor where as you know our friend Stephanie Meads, the cruise director is.

Here is her e-mail to me as received on Friday evening.

John, you should share this with the people on the blog. It is from our incident log.

Guest: Mr. ———–Ref: 829010413A
Cabin: ____Booking#: ____Added-Changed: 01/08/10 – 01/08/10

GUEST WANTS TO USE FISHING EQUIPMENT
Mr. ——– came to the GSD to say that he was very angry that he had been told by ship security that he was not allowed to use his fishing equipment. GSA contacted ACS who said that Mr __ had been found fishing at 6 am from the deck 3 area port side of the lobby. Mr _____ said that he had been allowed to do this on other Carnival ships.

GSA apologized to the guest that ships rules did not allow for this.

NOTE: Housekeeping removed some shrimp from the mini bar which Mr ____ had been using to go fishing with.

Well, thanks to Stephanie for sending me this and its tough to no where to start. How about we start with the overall subject of fishing. I know that most men have hobbies………I don’t……. apart from writing to you every day ………..I have no hobbies…………unless you count fantasizing about Megan Fox’s bottom a hobby. Then there is golf. I understand absolutely why someone would play it once…..and then decide to play it again. It’s because they dislike the company of their wives and because they are secretly having an affair with a dozen nightclub hostesses…. nope …….. It’s because they think that if they keep playing the game….. They might get a bit better.

Luckily, I was born with a body that renders me quite incapable of doing anything very well. Which means I never suffer from this. Nope……..I really don’t like golf. I don’t like the way it consumes both a man’s life and his wardrobe. I don’t like the stupid rules and the etiquette.
Squash? I’m crap. Tennis? I’m so spectacularly bad that I can only just beat Kye. DIY? For me this is simply impossible. Even if I attempt something simple, such as hanging a picture, I end up in the ER, the painting ends up ruined and the wall ends up looking like Tulum.

There are those men though who can be seen on ESPN3 who like to spend all their time standing up to their testicles in dirty water trying to outwit a fish…….. a creature with less brain capacity than someone who appears on the Jerry Springer Show.

I no one blogger who is reading this who will instantly disagree with me because I know he thinks fishing is the best thing in the world. On the recent Bloggers Cruise he told me all about his new carbon fiber fishing rod. He had spent a fortune on it and I remember him being a little peeved at me when I told him what I thought you see, I told him that having spent $500 on a new rod that it would indeed make him look serious and keen among his fellow fisher people. “But one day,” I said “you’re going to snag it on an overhead power line. And as you lie in hospital afterwards, with no face and a melted thingy, you’re going to wish you’d stuck with a bamboo cane and a piece of string. ”

You see, I tried fishing in my early twenties. My best mate Alan is a very keen fisher thingy and persuaded me to buy all the equipment and on Saturday mornings spend a few hours on a riverbank in the company of a few maggots and some other sad people like me. So I bought a packet, tied them to the line and flicked them into the sea. Where they became attached with ferocious limpet tenacity to a piece of seaweed. I pulled and tugged and yanked until the line broke, so then I went back to the shop and bought some more.

We also had to use feathers ……….bloody feathers to catch the damn fish. So my Saturday’s used to consist of…….Get up. Go to bait shop. Buy feathers. Throw them into the river. Lose them. Go back to the bait shop. Eventually, however, I met a man who said I’d be better off with live bait and a float.

This involves a lot of tying things to other things, but soon, with a lot of making everyone stand back, I made my cast and watched as all the knots I’d tied came undone and the whole bloody lot sank quicker than Rosie O’Donnell in quick sand. Then I went back to the bait shop again.

Honestly, it would have been easier and cheaper to have thrown my wallet into the river every Saturday morning. Alan said that he’d never known anyone lose so much equipment. And that was before the whole reel came off on one vigorous cast and was lost as well. And that’s when I said bollocks to this…………..and never went fishing again.

Anyway, back to the Carnival Splendor and our guest who was not allowed to fish. Now, the first thing is the picture we all have in our minds. We can see this guy…..6 am on a beautiful Mexican Riviera morning dropping a line from deck 3 to the water. This is actually something our 344th best comedian Al “Emmitt Lee Tutwiler” jokes about in his show. I can also see one of our security guards gasping with astonishment and telling this chap to reel in his line.

However…..let’s think about this for a moment. Why…..why can’t he fish? I mean……it was 6 am and apart from a few crew I doubt there were too many guests about so he wasn’t disturbing anyone. OK…..keeping shrimp in your mini bar all cruise long is a no no but he could ask for shrimp from the dining room the night before. And obviously we aren’t going to cook his catch for him so he will have to throw them back…….which from three decks high will probably kill the poor buggers anyway. But if he was to follow these guide lines…….. why not let him fish? Am I missing something? I know the bearded health and safety people will put on their high visibility jackets and tell me why this cannot be done……..but……right now…….I can’t think of a reason why not……..can you?

Saying that…….fishing is not for me…….and anyway…………it’s much easier, and tastier, and less bony, to buy fish from a shop………..preferably with chips!

Goodnight
Your friends
John, Heidi and Kye

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.