Keep It Down Tiger

January 27, 2010 -

John Heald

Morning everyone. I can’t sleep……so here I sit at 5:45am in my cabin………… my underpants. And while I sit and write in cabin 8325, CNN tells me that Tiger Woods is at a special clinic to try and be cured from wanting to have Rumpy Pumpy with anything that has a pulse.

Now doubtless there is no shortage of private clinics willing to take in a multimillionaire golfing legend with deep pockets and a seemingly incurable condition. But do you think he has ever considered the possibility – and I’m just running an idea up the flagpole here – that he is not an addict, but simply a rich, horny bugger?

I wonder because everywhere now people seem to be passing off behavior which once would have been described as merely gross or sad as “addiction.” When I was home I watched the UK version of those shows that feature other people’s misery…….you know…….Jerry Lake and Ricky Springer type shows. Ours is called the Jeremy Kyle Show and Heidi unfortunately has been sucked into his world and will have it on while she feeds Kye. One such show featured a 15 year old girl with bright orange crocodile skin from lying on too many sun beds. We used to call these girls “idiots”……not today though…….nope…….they are now called “tanorexics”…… what a load of bollocks.

A person who gets edgy if they are not within two feet of their cell phones is not a pathetic sod ……..nope………..apparently they are a “nomophobe”……and I guess I may have become one …… bugger !

There are shopaholics, chocoholics and antibulemics who are people who binge……..but forget to purge………….bugger……………..I am one of those as well.

Of course, it is nice to have these labels I guess. Why bother with unfashionable willpower when you can have others tell you that it’s not you………………… it’s an illness, see?
I am sure that in a few months time we will see Tiger Woods on The Oprah Walters show and he will claim that rumpy pumpy addiction is comparable to compulsive alcohol and drug use. Mmm, but you don’t see many rumpy pumpy addicts homeless, do you?

I am sure that Tiger will say that “he should have been stronger in resisting the temptations of those dozens of Nightclub Hostesses.”

I am no expert but if Tiger really, really wants to be cured may I suggest he gives away all his fortune to charity and gets a job working as a garbage collector. I’ll almost guarantee that the rumpy pumpy opportunities will dry up instantly. There! No need for rehab…… And his rumpy pumpy problem is solved. ……………….Dr. Phil my arse.

Time for today’s questions. These are older ones that I seem to have missed answering so my apologies in advance ………… we go.

Marissa Ortiz-Mena Asked:
Dear John, (Please Reply)

Let me begin by giving my two cents on the subject of announcements. I personally, like to listen to the announcements. Often they tell of activities which my family would like to participate in and I do not like the fact that we cannot here them in our cabin. I find myself telling my kids, “Hurry, open the door so we can hear what they are saying.” I think having the option of having a switch in the cabins to allow one to listen or not listen is a great solution. I hope it gets implemented soon.

Secondly, my youngest daughter who turns 8 on January 22 decided to rally her 3 other siblings and 16 year old aunt to join forces and ask Santa for a cruise for Christmas. She has been working on selling them on this idea for months. On Christmas Eve morning she jumped up on Santa’s lap at the local market and made her request on everyone’s behalf. She even made sure to tell Santa that it had to be a Carnival cruise because they were the “Fun Ship” that could help her to “make her other memories jealous. (Yes, she has memorized all the Carnival commercials.)

Well, lo and behold Santa came through and the kids opened a package on Christmas morning from Santa that contained Fun Passes for each of the kids and even Aunt Chelsea to board the Conquest on January 17th. Iliana was so excited that Santa not only came through but arranged for a cruise the week of her Birthday.

So, now that Santa’s part is done I guess I need to take over and am looking to you for suggestions. Aside for the traditional cake presentation at dinner and the singing of “Happy Birthday”, can you suggest any other ways we may be able to celebrate her birthday on board on the 22nd to make it all just a little more special. (Given, celebrating her 8th birthday on the Conquest is already exciting for her.) Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

Marissa Ortiz-Mena
San Antonio, TX

John Says:
Hello Marissa Ortiz

I am sorry for the late reply to your posting and I also hope that your daughter received the little gift I asked the Cruise Director to send her. After all, we share the same birthday and I truly hope that you all had a terrific time on the Carnival Conquest. How wonderful that your daughter asked Santa for a cruise and it came true. I must ask Santa for an Aston Martin DBS next year then. Once again I hope you had a great time and my best wishes to you all.

Heather Asked:
Please Reply.

John, I was on the Carnival Triumph this past New Year’s and had a great time with my friends like I’ve had the past 3 cruises I have taken with you. This trip we had the privilege of talking and hearing Dean Gaines stand up. We absolutely loved him, but forgot to get his information about tour dates and how to purchase his CD at the end of the night. Is there any way you can put us in contact with him (email, website, etc.), or someone that would have that information?

Thanks and Happy New Years!

John Says:
Hello Heather

I am so glad that you enjoyed Dean Gaines’ entertainment. He is a very funny man indeed. I took the liberty of sending him your e mail address through our entertainment office and hope that by now he has been in touch. If you need my help again please let me know.
Best wishes

Beverly Curtiss Asked:
Hi John

I am taking my 14th cruise with Carnival on the Dream April. 17th- This is my retirement cruise, and am taking my Sister with me. Can you tell me who the cruise director will be?

Was hoping it was going to be you. Have had you 3 other times, on the Fantasy and Ecstasy. I tried pulling the new 2010 Cruise director schedule up, but it did not work.
Thank you
Beverly Curtiss

John Says:
Hello Beverley

I hope you have seen that the CD schedule has been fixed. We did have some problems with it opening on the Internet Explorer thingy as it apparently was having an affair with a FireFox squirrel or something. Anyway, the Cruise Director on your Carnival Dream will be Todd Wittmer whose vacation I am covering here until March 20th when I go to the Carnival Conquest. I hope that you have a great time here and that one day we will get to cruise again.
Best wishes.

Ernie Asked:
Welcome back John, (reply if you wish)

I also listened to the clip of the Carnival ad and have to agree with the flipflipqueen: Instead, it sounds like something that would come out of a remote controlled fart machine.

I as well as others certainly enjoy the sound of the ships horn and would like to hear more of it. I do realize maybe the beards think the horn doesn’t promote Carnival, but maybe if it was before the commercial started it would get people’s attention to watch the commercial!!!

John Says:
Hello Ernie

Thanks for kinds words of welcome. The ships smoke stack or funnel has always been so very iconic yet it’s only recently that we have decided to make it our official logo and you will see it more and more on our merchandise and in our advertising. I will certainly pass your comments on to the marketing beardies and I will add my suggestion that we make the ship’s horn a down loadable ring tone. Now wouldn’t that be fun?
Best wishes

Lidolounger Asked:
John please reply!! Sailing Jan 22

Happy New Year John – how fun it would be to celebrate New Years on a ship with you! Until then, we are sailing on the Spirit Jan 22. I’m hoping you can help – we are sailing with two other families who we have met on previous cruises. We have sailed Princess before and used anytime dining and were able to eat together. When we booked on the Spirit, your time dining wasn’t offered yet so we all have late dining, but obviously not linked together with our bookings – how do we get a table or two together? Can you help us? Silly question, I know of course you can “King” John…I have faith LOL. Hope you see this in time.

We also have a meet and greet planned – can you give the cruise director fair warning…we’re on our way!

John Says:
Hello Donna

I see that you are currently onboard the Carnival Spirit and I did send an e mail to the Maitre D which hopefully meant he was able to help you with your dining request. I am so far behind with the answers to postings that this may be one that arrived too late. Would you let me know either way? Best wishes to all and I hope you had a brilliant time.

Kathy M. Asked:
Hi John. Please reply.

John you will be surprised how much exercise you get by walking around those big ships. Get yourself a pedometer and it will show you exactly how much walking you are really doing without realizing it. If you walked the promenade just a couple of time and with all the other walking you do, I think you will be surprise at how much of the best exercise you are really getting. Maybe even set up a daily passenger walk-a-thon, I know I would do it if I was onboard any ship that offered something like that. I know when I worked in the hospital I did not think I was walking that much until I got a pedometer and I was amazed, I use to walk maybe 2 1/2 to 3 miles a day. Hope this helps to make you feel like you are more exercise then you realize.

John, I am so sorry for the way that I have treated you in the last few weeks about a bloggers cruise on the West Coast. In 2008, I was diagnosed with Cancer, I went through all of the chemo and radiation, well when I was going through all of that, my two brothers asked me what I have always wanted to do and I told them to go on a cruise like we did as kids, but not on a Dutch freighter, a real cruise ship. So my two loving brothers and their wives paid for a 7 day cruise on the Carnival Pride for me. I never had so much fun in all of my life, like I have written to you the crew was fantastic, but then I got another surprise when my younger brother and his wife took me on my 2nd cruise on the Carnival Paradise, now I was definitely hooked. As Christmas present my brothers once again have paid for my cruise next week Jan 10, but, about 6 weeks ago, I started feeling bad again and at first they could not find out what was causing it, but long and behold my nemesis was back in full fury. So when you said that you might do the bloggers cruise on the West Coast I thought that since I don’t have much time left on this world, I was at least going to be able to do one of John’s (my older brother’s name as well and a good Irish name it is) famous bloggers cruise. So with hearing that I am now terminal and then hearing that you would not be doing the bloggers on the west coast, it was just more than I could handle and I took it out on you and I feel like a fool for doing that. After reading my post to you today 01/04/10, please accept my sincere apology for the way that I treated you and talked to you. I know it is not up to you as to where you are assigned and I should have never asked for Chris P’s address. I promise I will drop this and we will get back to having fun on your blog.

Give my love to Heidi and Kye!
From your #1 Bloggy Thingy Fan!

Kathy M.

John Says:
Hello Kathy M

I have a new strategy this contract….no elevators…none at all and so far it seems to be something that I am able to stick to. So a message to any guest who is sailing with me here on your Carnival Dream and sees me panting like Tiger Woods at a Sports Illustrated swimsuit photo shoot ………. I am sorry………………but I just climbed the stairs.

Thank you Kathy for your continuing support of the blog thingy and for thinking of me and there is absolutely no need ever to apologize for expressing your feelings. This blog is here for that. We might not agree on everything and there may be times when I say things that others will not like but…..I truly believe that we are all friends and friends should always be able to say whatever is on their mind.

I am so sorry to read about your illness. I hope you know that I am thinking of you and wishing you a very quick recovery and that this New Year is one where you are blessed with health and happiness and that we get to finally cruise together.
Best wishes always

Shenika M. Asked:
Dear John, (Please Reply)

I have had the pleasure of meeting you on the Carnival Freedom on June 20, 2009 and love reading your blog thingy. My family is thinking about taking a cruise this September or October and since we live in Maryland are considering the Carnival Pride. I would love to be able to be able to cruise with you again so I was wondering how long you will be the Cruise Director on the Carnival Pride?

Best wishes to you, Heidi and Kye!

John Says:
Hello Shenika

I am so glad that you enjoy the blog thingy and that we shared some great time on the Carnival Freedom. I will be on the Carnival Pride from mid September all the way through to the end of October so I hope that you will be able to join me so we can create some new fun for all memories.
Best wishes

wil-da beast Asked:
John (please reply)

So sorry to bother with a question that you have answered. I have tried to find the answer on my own and can’t locate it. But I think I heard you mention that you would be CD on the Conquest…if this is correct, could you give me the dates as my husband and I would like to join you as we have not been on the Conquest. When you asked about our favorite Carnival ship, it’s always the one that we just departed. We were on the TA Carnival Dream and just loved it. Of course meeting you was the icing on the cake. Then a month later we were on the Ecstasy for the 4th time and had a fabulous time…..We send our best wishes to the Heald family for 2010 to bring you much happiness and good health…A&W

John Says:
Hello Wi-da-beast

It’s nice now to be able to put a face to that great screen name having met you on the Bloggers Cruise. I will indeed be the Cruise Director on the Carnival Conquest starting March 20th when I have a handover with the CD there and then take over the ship on the 27th. I will be there until the end of April when I then go to the Carnival Fantasy to take her up to Charleston. Thank you for all the kind words and hope to see you again very soon.
Best wishes

Bernard Hathaway Asked:
Mr. Heald please respond

Having just returned from the Ecstasy ship I wish to tell you of my disappointment at the total lack of entertainment designed for people like myself. My wife and I don’t drink, don’t gamble and are proudly religious. Yet we were seated at a table with a couple who not only drank excessively at dinner each night but were loud and obnoxious. We demanded a different table and were then seated for the last two nights at a table on our own which was unfair. I must also comment that the shows featured degrading costumes or jokes that certainly were not suitable for a family audience. The entire boat seemed to be based on drinking and gambling. This is our fault as it was our first cruise and we should have realized that the Carnival line is all about this but surely you can arrange to seat people at dinner who have the same interests and beliefs.

I write to you because I see that you are in charge of your customer satisfaction department and will be expecting a prompt reply.

Thank you
Bernard and Loretta Hathaway

John Says:
Hello Bernard and Loretta

Thank you for taking the time to write to me here on the blog. Just before I respond I wanted to point out that we do have a customer service department whom I will be sending your comments to. I am I guess, an extension of that department and I am therefore disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy your first Carnival experience. Our dining room team does their best to seat guests together according to age demographics however with 2,000 plus guests each cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy this is not always possible. I am sure you will understand that it would be impossible to arrange seating based on any other parameters such as religious beliefs however, saying that, I am sorry that your table companions were not to your liking.

I hope you do try cruising with us again and if you do may I suggest our Anytime Dining option which as it says allows you to eat at anytime between 5:30pm and 9 pm. This will also give you the option of either eating with different guests each night or if possible, having a table for two.

I am also sorry to hear that you did not appreciate the entertainment which unless advertised as an adult comedy show is I feel certainly family oriented. But I realize that not everyone has the same tastes and again my apologies that you did not enjoy the shows. Hopefully you did enjoy the activities, food, friendly service and the ports of call.

Thank you again for taking the time to write and I will forward your comments to our guest care team.

Best wishes

Dorothy Asked:
John, Please reply.
Hope you are enjoying this time with your lovely girls.

We had an ok holiday here. I’m looking forward to my cruise next month.

I’m cruising on board the Carnival Imagination the first of February.

Let see what you can do for me hmmmmmmmmmmm, can’t think of anything, it’s all cover, got my dinning time, don’t care where I sit, my stateroom is more than what I usually get, can’t wait to see it, got VIP boarding, wow make me wish I was on a cruise ship now. The only problem I have is deciding what new clothes to take.

Oh now I know why I was writing to you, need to know if there been anything said about bumper stickers, window clings, and etc. I’m still waiting; hope they don’t keep us waiting too long.

I love this blog, your humor keeps me laughing, crying and a smile on my face, it makes my day. Thanks.

John Says:
Hello Dorothy

I am sure you are looking forward to your cruise on the Carnival Imagination which is one of my favorite ships. You will enjoy your VIP status and I hope you will have the time to write a review of your cruise here on the blog thingy. I just wrote about how fantastic a Carnival ships horn ring tone would be and I agree that bumper stickers and cling thingies would also be a great form of advertising for us. I will again pass this along to our marketing department.
Have a wonderful cruise.
Best wishes.

That’s all for today and there will be more tomorrow. By the way, talking to Kathy M there made me remember to mention Bee and Charlie (Southern Dreams) who are here on their 22nd Carnival cruise. I have spent the last two nights chatting with them and they have said how much they love this ship and that’s great to hear.

Charlie has been through some tough times this past year as he went through many different chemotherapy treatments and has radiotherapy as soon as he gets home. He told me that although he is very, very tired that nothing……..nothing was going to stop him from cruising here on his Carnival Dream…….and that is very humbling indeed. I don’t know if you are aware but Bee has her own blog which she has still been writing whilst she is onboard. It is her account of her time here on her Carnival Dream and I thought you might like to pop on over and have a read. Here is the link thingy………..

It’s great that people who have been reading my blog thingy have started their own and write about life and their love of cruising. Here are a few more you might like to take a look at: – written by my great friend Big Ed and comments from his Evil Krewe all of whom are true Carnival fans. ………………… mate Bill is a brilliant photographer and in case you missed his photo journal of his Carnival Dream and much more, have a look at his great site.

Those are just two and I am sure there are more so let me know if you have one.

Thanks for all your replies on the subject of the sports programming on the big screen. I think that Todd did the right thing though. There were other areas on the ship to watch the game. However, I think that if we are going to show the game on the big screen it should be done with the sound and limited to those games that do not affect the ability for us to entertain other guests with live music and fun activities. Still………….you live and learn right?

Well, it’s Belize today and the weather is better than yesterday in Roatan when it was mostly overcast. I did get off the ship for half an hour just to look around the new facilities. I went with my assistant Craig (hello Craig’s Mum who reads this blog) who is, despite being as ugly as a boil on Judge Judy’s bottom, a great help and I am sure will one day soon he will be an excellent Cruise Director. Craig brought his camera and I thought I would share with you some random shots of Mahogany Bay which one of the 343 Stephanies will put in one of those slide show thingies.

As you can see the slide show featured the chair lifts to the beach. These cost $5 and are very popular. Now, Carnival and the folks from Roatan have done a great job in creating the man-made beach area but there are some other truly stunning natural beaches on the other side of the island and in particular the Taromind Beach which is gorgeous. There is no doubt that the Mahogany Bay has massively enhanced the Isla Roatan experience and I hope you all get a chance to visit soon.

There are lots of changes here with Captain Carlo Queirolo having left on vacation and replaced by Captain Massimo Marino. There is also a new Chief Engineer, Staff Captain, Food and Beverage Manager and some fat guy who thinks he is a Cruise Director. This Saturday (30th) 178 crew will leave the Carnival Dream to go on vacation and 178 new crew will join. Did you know that each and every week across the fleet between 500 and 1,500 crew leave on vacation and the same number of crew arrive to replace them? That’s a staggering operation involving hiring, contracts, agents, hotels, flights and immigration paperwork. I am inspired therefore to post an interview in the coming days with our vice president in charge of all of this. His name is Stefan and I will ask him to provide us with facts and figures as I know that this operation will be one that interests you all.

Well, three days to go before I try and remember how to be a CD and quite honestly it can’t come soon enough. I really need to get back on stage and entertain again……it’s been far too long. There is no doubt that the shows here are quite extraordinary and last night was the “piss de la résistance” as the white flag waving Frenchies would say..…and that of course is Dancing In The Street” …….sorry……I wasn’t hip enough there……that should be “ Dancin’ In The Street.”

This show features the cast of dancers and singers and our Fun Force chaps who spin and break and pole and bounce and …….well..…do things that are jaw droppingly stunning. It is no surprise that both performances received a standing ovation. Also probing very popular is the Comedy Club. This features 4 performances on 4 nights of the cruise by 4 different comedians and is a mix of PG and R rated comedy. I am though going to change this R rating thingy to “Uncensored” as I think this gives a clearer indication of what to expect.

I had my first walk up to the steakhouse last night although I resisted the huge temptation to scoff down half a cow ………or the Porterhouse as it’s called. It was very busy and the staff will serve approximately 500 covers there this cruise. Last night I also enjoyed a totally new dining experience that I will be telling and showing you all about that in tomorrow’s blog.

Overall……I must say I love this ship. I keep asking the many guests who recognize me from the water slide video or who have sailed with me before or who read the blog if they like the ship. Having read the negative comments that seem to have appeared on the cruise boards, I expected to hear some complaints …..but honestly…..I haven’t. Yes, there are some who have said the ship is too big and that prefer the Spirit class ships…………..fair comment. There have been one or two who said that the waiting time to get food on lido is too long and again …. yes……………….at peak times on a sea day it is definitely busy and a small dollop of patience is required. But honestly, this comment is something that I have heard only a few times and is usually followed by the acknowledgment that the food we serve on lido deck at lunchtime is definitely worth waiting for. I need to make sure that I get the message across though that the lunchtime brunch menu served in the aft dining room is something that guests should experience as well as the barbecue on the Lanai.

There are challenges for sure. Today in Belize we have 4,000 people to tender ashore and that is not easy especially when we have 5 ships in port. That’s 15,000 cruise ship guests who are using tenders to get their passengers ashore…………..and that is certainly a challenge for sure.

So yes, we still have areas in which we can improve…….and I will do all I can to make sure that happens while I am here but………honestly….hand on heart……this ship is truly brilliant ….. not because I say so………but because that is what the guests are saying.

I just want to mention one last thing before me and my underpants say goodbye. Yesterday I shared a cup of coffee with bloggers Helen and John Ferdinand. They told me about their cruise on the Oasis of the Seas and that while the ship was certainly impressive there were a few reasons why they would never go back. I am not going to mention that they said how disappointed they were at the quality of food or the fact that the crew were not as friendly as on Carnival because that would be unprofessional……………so I won’t mention it.

Seriously though they did say something that I had actually never thought of until now. They said that the main reason they wouldn’t go back is………..because they couldn’t see the sea. There were loads of shops and bars and features……..but to the Ferdinands…….it just didn’t feel like they were on a ship……………..and that’s a real shame.

OK, the CNN loop has gone back to the Tiger in therapy story and quite honestly I am bored of this story now. Money and rumpy-pumpy are the twin engines powering everything we do. Yes he is a great golfer but is he good looking………..nope………..I don’t think he is and of course what can you say about the effect this has had on his wife and kids.

But if you’ve got more than a billion in the bank, Tiger can have whatever blonde nightclub hostess that takes his fancy from now until the end of time. He doesn’t need to be funny, or passionate …….he just needs to yawn, give her something with the word Cartier on it……… and presto, Tiger will be playing bouncy bouncy till dawn.

Your friend

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.