Kids And Women, Parents And Kids

February 18, 2010 -

John Heald

Let’s start with this very interesting comment from a guest who is currently sailing on the Carnival Destiny as sent to me by Gary Brierly, the cruise director…….who by the way is doing a fantastic job and is becoming a bit of  a star. Anyway…………..have a read of this.

Guest: Mrs…………Ref: ______
Cabin: _____ Booking#: _____ Added-Changed: 02/16/10 – 02/16/10

C—————Not any female officers
Guest came to the GSD to state that she was just coming from the Senior Officer presentation and that she was angry that there were no female officers. Guest claimed that this was sexist and that she would be writing to Carnival about this.

Let me have a think about this……is sexism alive in the cruise industry? Hold on, before I start typing this blog I need to turn off the Steven Segal movie I am watching, have a good scratch around my dangly bits and have a quick look at

Ok, now where was I…….oh yes…….sexism in the cruise industry……. well …….how about bollocks! Women haven’t just walked up the gangway ceiling they’ve taken over and furnished the Promenade Deck with lots of cushions and painted the smoke stack pink.

Well………….ummmm……….then again…………….actually………….no they haven’t.

I just had a look at our fleet wide senior officer list and you know what………. we don’t have any. The highest ranking senior officer we have are the nine female guest service managers. This means we have no female captains, staff captains, chief engineers, staff chief engineers, hotel directors, food and beverage managers or chief security officers. Now, we do have female doctors and two female housekeeping managers and of course we have four female CD’s plus a few metro sexual ones….. but that’s it……I wonder why?

Now, off the ships over at Carnival HQ things are a little different. The sales department is run by a woman. Then you have the second in charge of hotel operations who’s a woman as is the vice president of our Care Team who has long dark hair, big brown eyes and answers to the name of Vicky. And one of our top executives is a man Monday to Friday but at weekends he puts on a dress and make up and calls himself Loretta……so that counts as well doesn’t it?

I know many of the other cruise lines have top female executives, look at Seabourn and P&O for example. So as far as women in the cruise industry are concerned……all is well as it’s obvious they are jumping up and down on the genitals of anyone who happens to be a man. And this is good news because women have and continue to contribute much to the industry we all love. Plus it doesn’t hurt that one or two are really hot! ……… sorry ….. that was sexist.

So, the lady who complained is correct………….and it doesn’t look like we are going to change much in the future either. We have no female bridge or engine officers although we do have one lady in hotel director training at the moment and I should mention that one of our most successful hotel directors ever was Shahnaz Kashanipour who now works at Carnival HQ.

I understand that another cruise line does have a female captain though and that’s great to hear and I wonder if she will break the obvious male-dominated role and we will see more captains in skirts. Maybe one day we will have a female captain here at Carnival ………… maybe on the M/S Carnival Fantasy……….although once a month the boson is going to have to paint a “P” in front of M/S.

Time for today’s questions……….away we go.

Wyn Asked:

Dear John, in the comment section of your NOV. 19 blog, the third person down (Kathy) had a question regarding OBC for solo cruisers. You asked that any other single cruiser with the same problem let you know.

So here is my question in regard to that same issue: My son is cruising solo in a 4B cabin aboard the Carnival Liberty on February 27. The last price adjustment (he is booked Early Saver) gave him a price reduction down to $408 pp. This results in a cabin price of $878.63. With the special being run at that time, Carnival also offered $50 pp OBC.

Based upon the text above, it seems from this that my son should be getting $100 OBC credit rather than the $50.

I am booked thru a travel agent. She was very nice when I sent her the info, but when one of her representatives called Carnival, she was met with a “John Heald….never heard of him.” They were unwilling to give any additional OBC.

It is a small matter, but it seems that we may have a bit more OBC coming to our son’s cabin!!

Thanks, John…..I didn’t know where else to turn.

John Says:
Hello Wyn

It seems that the original posting from Kathy that you referred to has prompted others to contact me over this issue. And it seems that there are certain complications that may indeed make the assumption of the on board credit thingy a correct one. As you can tell I don’t know too much about it but I have sent this directly to our CARE team and I promise you will be receiving a call from someone very soon. Please let me know if you can that this has happened and the outcome.

Best wishes and I remain at your service.

carold Asked:
John, Please Respond

Thank you sooo much for responding so quickly to my post. I honestly don’t know how you do it. DH and I are really looking forward to hopefully seeing you on our cruise. A few things have happened since my last post and unfortunately we are down to 10 in our group. But I wanted to tell you about Charlene Stockman our PVP with Carnival, canceling our son and daughter-in-laws reservation was one of the most difficult things I have had to do, and Charlene was such a big help, her professionalism and customer service is outstanding! I am just not sure who I should contact to send my Kudo’s on this very valuable customer service ambassador of Carnival.

You asked if there was anything we needed, well no, not really. Like many others it would be great if the 10 of us could sit together at dinner, but being a past cruiser, I know we will enjoy dinner time no matter how or where we sit. I will be checking with the Maître D (sp?) when we board. (This is another position with carnival that sure takes the heat; I can’t even imagine what they go through trying to make all guests happy with seating arrangements!) Thank You again for all that you do for us Carnival lovers.

Del & Carol 52 days and counting!

PS: If you have some free time and want to hide away you are welcome to come join my hubby for a cigar on the balcony.

John Says:
Hello Carol and Del

It is always nice to read words of praise about a Carnival employee and in this case a shoreside one at that. I will make sure that Charlene Stockman’s managers get to read your posting and I thank her also for her help with your concerns.

Please can you send me your cabin numbers and date of sailing and I will do my best to honour (spelt correctly) your dining request.

See you soon.
Best wishes

Glen Asked:
Good Day John, (please reply)

I do not know how you keep up with the “normal life” of a cruise director and then still have time to answer emails.

Our family, including my parents cruised last year on our first Carnival cruise on the Carnival Freedom. Since then our 10-year old daughter, Erika speaks of nothing else excepting cruising. She is counting down the days until we sail with you on the Carnival Dream on March 6. (37 days to go.) Her grandparents too are joining us, along with some good friends, a total of 10.

This year her 12-year old cousin Rachel will be cruising with us on her first cruise. Since they are in two different Camp Carnival age groups, do you think it is possible that Rachel could attend the younger 9-11 Camp, so that they can spend the time together? I am sure that between Camp Carnival and the water slides, we won’t see them very often. If there is anything additional that you can do to make it more special for the two girls we would sure appreciate it.

Also, I can’t remember but are their tables that seat 10 in the dining rooms? It sure would be nice if all in our party could be seated together.

We cannot wait until we board the ship for a delightful 7-day vacation. We look forward to meeting you. Thanks for all you do.


John Says:
Hello Glen

Well I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we do indeed have tables for ten and I have asked the Maitre D Ante to try his best to make sure you and your family are accommodated. The bad news is that my hands are tied when it comes to the rules and regulations of Camp Carnival age groups. This is a very sensitive area and I know that it can sometimes be a bit disconcerting. However, the girls will both have fun I promise, one in Camp Carnival and the other in Circle C and of course they have the water park, the shows and so much more to look forward to.

I will be here to make sure you have the best time and please drop me a line when you are onboard so I can send the girls a little gift.

Best wishes to you all and see you soon.

Lexi Asked:

I loved the Magic schedule. Is she going to have a transatlantic? If so will you be the CD? When will the fall CD schedule be out? Would love to do a cruise with you. I am tempted to do the Fantasy with you in May but have plans with my Mom for mother’s day later in the month.


John Says:
Hello Lexi

Thanks so much for those humbling words. I am very excited that Carnival is returning to Europe and on our new ship the Carnival Magic. I am going to be the CD for much of the time she is in Europe and that could quite possibly include the trans-Atlantic. We have yet to announce details on this but PA 007 our super spy is on the case to find out details on this and which lucky port she will call home. I will let you know as soon as I can and I hope we do get to sail with each other soon.

Best wishes to you and the family

Fraser Asked:
John Please Reply,

John love the blog, you are hilarious as always. BTW talking to your self is normal at least that’s what I tell myself.

What an honor for Captain Casula, enjoy the next chapter.

Been a while since I posted but I have something I wanted to share.

I just spoke with a friend who just got off of the Dream last week (just before you got on it).

She told me the smoking was terrible, people were smoking everywhere on all open decks and hallways.

The smoking in the cabin next door which had adjoining doors was so bad they had to have the door taped and sealed shut. (Glad I am not the one smoker who is going into that cabin on the next cruise).

When she asked about allowing all the smoking, she was told it was because there were not enough bookings with limiting the smoking so much.

I Love Carnival and the product that is offered but I cannot understand the devotion to smoking. A land based hotel does not allow smoking, yet on a cruise where you can’t leave smoking is still allowed. Maybe it is time to make 1 side of the ship smoking and the other not (cabins and balconies included). BTW I believe less than 20% of the population now smokes, and I support their right to do so (I have enjoyed a few cigars from time to time), just not when they are affecting others ability to breath.

They were also very unhappy about the show lounge, only made 1 show, because of how many people vs. how many seats. I hope in the Magic and the “Thingy” this has been corrected and there have been seats added to the show lounge that can accommodate enough people to see the shows.

Now John I consider myself an open minded person and this is one person’s opinion, I really want to see the Dream myself; I just think it is now going to be very difficult to get my family to cruise on the Dream.

I look forward to what you have to say about the smoking issue and when Carnival will finally really limit the smoking on the ships.

Thank you for all you do John,

John Says:
Hello Fraser

Thank you for taking the time to write and there are quite a few issues you mentioned there so I will crack on with answering them. Let’s start with the smoking issue. Now, I can’t answer for what happened during your friend’s recent cruise on her Carnival Dream but I can assure you that I am very strict about announcing the areas which are non-smoking. I do this at the safety briefing through the emergency system so everyone gets to hear it.

I remind guests that smoking is strictly forbidden in guest corridors, lobbies, elevators and most of the public lounges. I then list the lounges where smoking is allowed and they are the piano bar, dance club and the port side of the Lanai. 90% of the casino is non-smoking and I can tell you that honestly……..the ship does not have the odor of cigarettes at all. We even canceled the cigar bar here as well and allow that only outside on the Lanai.

Now yes, we do allow smoking on the balconies and that’s a whole other issue but generally I think we have a balance at the moment that for the most part…..keeps smokers and non smokers happy…….or if not happy……..contented.

You know, we used to have a totally non smoking ship, the Carnival Paradise but of course that is no longer the case. It would be silly not to admit that the part of the problem with the non-smoking angle there were revenue implications involved. Group business was impacted as if a group had one smoker in the party they would book another ship. Plus, right or wrong, the bar and casino revenue was not what we would have hoped for. I know you questioned Carnival’s policies on this but seeing as no other cruise line has banned smoking completely from any ship, well, that tells us something doesn’t it.

We really have limited smoking here and I do not foresee a policy change in this area anytime soon either at Carnival or any other of the lines. But you should come here ……… 90% of the ship is non-smoking and that’s a fact.

The show lounge seats 1,500 people and we have two performances of both shows plus the 5 nightly comedy shows. Now I will admit that I have to do a better job in stopping people saving seats and I promise to give this my full attention.

Thank you so much for allowing me to address this subject and as always I invite other bloggers to write on this subject as well please.

I truly do hope that you will sail her………she really is a brilliant ship.
Best wishes

Randall Ponik Asked:
John, please reply

How come you never responded to my December 14th post regarding the December 14th sailing of the Fantasy (which was my 15th cruise with a Carnival Company… and probably my last)?

John Says:
Hello Randall Ponik

I didn’t respond because I did not see the posting sir. Please can you take the time to resend it to me and I promise I will give it my immediate attention. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes

Dock at the Bay Robert (attention John Heald) Asked:

What do I need to do in order for you to send my wife a gift when we sail on the Valor boat in March? There is lots of discussion on the boards as to what the free gift is. Some are saying its champagne and some state that’s its one of the plastic ship trophies.

Robert Barnstaple

John Says:
Hello Dock at the Bay Robert

I would be happy to send your wife a gift so please write back to me with your sail date and stateroom number and I will make it so. As for what it is……well, it maybe one or both of the above or it may be a photo of me in Speedos lying on the beach in Cozumel. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you which one I will send her.

Best wishes

cruisingeagle Asked:
Hi John, (Please respond)

I would like to respond to the comment by Bernard and Loretta. This couple was disappointed that their tablemates drank excessively and they don’t drink, and that they felt there was nothing on the ship for non-gamblers, non-drinkers to do.

My family does not drink and we do not gamble. But we love to cruise on Carnival. Two of my children have cruised for their honeymoon. Most recently our daughter and son-in-law on the Carnival Triumph. My husband and I will be taking our ninth cruise on Carnival on June 5th on the Carnival Triumph. We love getting away and relaxing. We love the food. We love not having to clean and cook for a week. We do go to the shows. They are very good. We normally do not go to the “uncensored” R rated comedy shows but it doesn’t bother me that others do. I choose not to but I still have a wonderful cruise. I would cruise more often if I had the time and money.

A cruise is a wonderful vacation, even for non-drinkers, non-gamblers who are Christians. I have never felt like I had to compromise my beliefs in order to have fun on a cruise. Counting down the days until June 5 and I get to cruise again.

Hope all is going well for you.

John Says:
Hello Cindy

There is very little I can say to that except thank you so very much for giving the perfect example of how Carnival appeals to guests of all walks of life and how they can have the most wonderful vacation ever here on the fun for all cruise ships of Carnival.

I appreciate your support so very much.
best wishes

DBA Asked:
Hey John, (You can reply if you like)

You wanted to know about blogs:

As you know, my blog was started because of a combination of the Holland America Blog (formerly the Eurodam News blog) and also the personal touch you put on it as “one employee of…”

I have also branched out… have a Twitter Feed linked to my Facebook page, an average of 7-8 posts a week, recently celebrated my blog’s first birthday with over 86,000 hits and 400+ posts.

I also post on Cruise Critic in the HAL Forums where my blog has achieved “sticky” status for being frequently used, and to date I have had over 1150 replies on that thread and more than 66,000 visits. I answer anything and everything I can when folks have questions about HAL policies, procedures, itineraries, rooms, etc. My colleagues consider me to be walking/talking deck plans. (Can you tell I like my job at Holland America Line?)

I even have a sort link for interactions I’ve had with you:

(And I’ve since dropped the “blogspot” in my website as I purchased the Dutch By Association domain.)

So yes, you could say I have a blog. 🙂

The accomplishments I’ve made in the previous year are astounding, especially considering people have to discover me through Cruise Critic, word of mouth or on Facebook and/or Twitter. Since I’m not operating the blog in an official capacity the blog is not mentioned on Best Blogs at Sea or the HAL Website.

Here’s to many more hits for both of us. Happy belated birthday as well my friend!


John Says:
Hello DBA

I wanted to take the time to congratulate you on the continuing success of your blog and website. I have seen it myself and the photos and details that you place there show your love for the brilliant Holland America Line. I hope by reading this post that many of my blogging faithful will pop on over to your site and have a look for themselves. I wish you continuing success.

Best wishes

RonRythm Asked:
Hello John ( Please reply)

I was on the wonderful Carnival Splendor for New Year’s Eve and had a great time. As usual, Carnival’s people are the best. There is one thing I’d like to comment on and I hope you’ll pass it on. The lounge entertainers, instead of being in one place for the cruise were moved around each night. One night Jeff would be in the casino the next night he’d be back in the Cool lounge and the salsa band would be in the casino. The next night everyone would be moved again to new locations. This was just plain a pain. Even the Capers had it wrong and Goose, the CD had trouble keeping track of it, announcing one thing and having to correct it. It was like your favorite TV show was on a different channel at a different time every night. Plus since these are musical acts, the sound set up for each would have to be re-done every night, so they didn’t sound right to start the night, until the sound tech could make her way to that venue to re-adjust the EQ and levels. Please tell me this is just an experiment (that’s a failure) and when I’m on my cruise in July it will be back to keeping them in one place.


John Says:
Hello Ron

This is a very interesting comment indeed. I know that we started to rotate the musicians and bands around the ship last year to provide more people with a chance to see and enjoy them. This especially applies to the Lido Deck where we were trying to give as much variety as possible up there. This is the first time I have seen a comment like this and I wonder if others feel the same? I apologize that the Carnival Capers were wrong; there is no excuse for that. I will copy this to the folks in entertainment at Carnival HQ and this is a great forum for others to express their opinions on this subject.

I am so glad you had such a wonderful time.
Best wishes to you and the family

grizel robertson Asked:
John. Please reply when you have the time.

I would love to convey my best wishes to Captain Casula who was captain on my BtoB cruises on Victory in May/June 2009. One of my passions about cruising is watching the bridge crew safely berth the ships in ports of call & so I have always selected a balcony cabin immediately above & behind the bridge to enable me observe the maneuvers required to dock a giant vessel (I used to do the same when on Stenna ferries from Stranraer to Larne but by hanging over the side as there were no staterooms). Throughout the duration of my 14 days on C Victory in 2009, I was on my balcony by sunrise/departure viewing our approach/departure to & from the island ports & watching the pilots approach/depart safely to & from the ship & the hive of activity on the port side of the bridge.

Cpt Casula docked the ship with “the hands of a midwife & the feet of a ballet dancer”, an expression described to me by the Police A1 driving instructor who steered me to the accolade of being named the top Scottish Police Civilian Driver in Roadcraft & equated his quotation to someone who is extremely capable of handling a vehicle or vessel without causing any danger or discomfort to his/her passengers or other users of transport systems that he/she might meet en route.

John, Cpt Casula is a handsome man who deserves a well earned long vacation without the stress of satellite navigation aids, dependence on metrological data & men with forked beards that, quite frankly, have never lived in the real world of human interaction or the global cooling that we have experienced in the UK since mid-December 2009.

I still await confirmation that I have secured my selected cruise & stateroom on Magic in August 2011. It was impossible to book on my PC from home in the UK as everything kept freezing on me & I had to resort to contacting my travel consultant in Winnipeg, Canada to do the needful for me.

However, God willing, I will be on Victory on 16 May for 14 days for a fun filled energetic trip that will refresh my body & mind.

In conclusion, I have told you on several occasions directly or via Ralph Valente that I love all the staff on all the ships, in particular the ones who carry out seemingly menial jobs but are more highly qualified, educationally, than the majority of passengers & you or me.

My regards to Heidi, Kye & you & I do hope that your Internet connection with Southend-on-Sea is working well. With any luck, I shall meet you in Europe in 2011.


John Says:
Hello Grizel

This is an absolutely fabulous way to end today’s Q&A session. Your true words of kindness for Captain Casula were a joy to read. I hope you do not mind but I have sent them on to our recently retired and much missed Captain and I am sure you will be receiving his personal thanks soon.

I hope that we can be together next year on the Carnival Magic. To sail the beautiful waters of Europe would be sensational and if I can do anything to help make that so please let me know.

Best wishes to you and all your family.

That’s all for today. Those questions were posted on the 27th of January. Thanks to all of you for the wonderful comments, please keep them coming and may I kindly remind you that if you need me to answer a question or assist you with anything that your mark your comment “John, please reply.”

I know many of you love to follow the building of a new ship and therefore I know you will continue to enjoy Holland America’s coverage of their new ship the Niew Amsterdam which can be found on:

I am not sure of the date of the delivery but as I have never been to an inaugural of a Holland America vessel maybe I will be able to see this ship christened and report back to you all here on the blog thingy.

Carnival Fascination just returned from her dry dock and as well as the internal changes and upgrades she of course received new balcony cabins like some of her other Fantasy class sisters. Here are two photos sent to me by Jaime from the Carnival Pride which was docked next to the Carnival Fascination in Nassau today.

Now Jaime also has one of my youngest blog readers onboard who drew this picture.

Now Craig, that’s a great drawing and if you were on my ship I would give you $100 and a Playstation 3 game for that brilliant drawing. I am sure Jaime will do the same and not try to palm you off with a cheap fake gold trophy.

Thanks Craig and have a fun cruise.

We have close to 1,000 kids on this week and I have to say that where as usual I would be saying “it feels like we have close to 1,000 kids onboard” …….here on your Carnival Dream, it really doesn’t. I have mentioned before I think what a great idea it was to place the Club O2 and the Circle C clubs off the promenade deck and instead put them on deck 4. This way you don’t see the kids as much and there are not groups of them hanging outside the teen areas as on other ships. Not that the kids hanging around was doing any harm it’s just that on the Dream class their facilities are superb and they are as I said, out of eye and ear shot of the rest of the guests.

It is always superb to meet the kids and often they are as enthusiastic about cruising and about Carnival as their Mums and Dads……..and in some cases sometimes more so. Have a look at this letter I received for my Morning Show.

So, he doesn’t care about his driving license but he does want his Platinum card as soon as possible. When I spoke to him he could name every Carnival ship, in order of age and he named every captain and cruise director he had sailed with so far and…….he went on to tell me the cabin numbers of all his cruises. Now considering when I was his age I had problems remembering where I lived let alone all those details about his cruises is quite remarkable. But then again……when I was his age the only vacation I went on was a camping holiday during which I had to poo into a bucket. Yet here is Tanner at 11 years old already on his way to 10 cruises. When I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up he had no hesitation in telling me……”He wants to be a Cruise Director for Carnival.”

I told him he should follow his dream……..but be prepared to become fat and poor and have hemorrhoids……..but he didn’t care…………he wants to be a cruise director…….. and you know what………….I bet his dream will come true.

So after the two glorious days of weather we have had in St. Thomas and St. Maarten today is a grey as the hairs on my bottom. Plus we have high winds again which seems to have been all too common place these past few weeks. The wind though has resulted in the inevitable.


Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2010 9:31 AM

Subject: “Twister & Drainpipe” slide is closed.

Good Morning to All,

Please, be advised that big slide is closed due to strong wind (41.9 mph) until further notice. “Racers” and Kids slides – open.


Olena Ginzhelyuk

That prompted this comment

Guest: Ms ———- Ref: _______
Cabin: ____ Booking#: ______ Added-Changed: 02/17/10 – 02/17/10

Guest was very angry at the slide being closed and said that her three children had nothing to do. Guest demanded that she receive compensation because the reason she had chosen the Dream was because of the slides. Guest refused GSA’s offer to go through the Camp Carnival and Circle C program. Meeting with GSM arranged for 2:00pm.

Now one thing more than anything else jumps out at me from that comment……. it’s CARNIVAL Dream…….not Dream. Honestly, I am fighting a losing battle here in getting everyone to call the ship by her full name. And it’s not just here but across the fleet that people are dropping the Carnival. As for the lady …….well I have tried to call her but so far there has been no answer. I don’t know how high the slide is but I do know that as I write to you at 11:48am we have 45 knots of wind on the bow and that means that closing the high slides is absolutely the right thing to do. I must admit though it is frustrating as the Twister and DrainPipe slides are incredibly popular and with the recent high winds they are closed more often than we would like. The racing slides are open though.

The weather has once again forced us to cancel the barbecue and that’s frustrating as well. I have therefore promoted the brunch and I will pop on down there to see what’s happening once I have finished this blog thingy.

Apart from that, all is well. The bedtime story was fun last night and the audience really laughed out loud and overall I think it’s been an OK week. However, there is one topic that I really need your help with.

Here is the subject.

Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 8:57 AM

Subject: Cabin ____ – Slamming doors

Good morning John,

Please see below comments received from the guest. Would it be possible to ask our guests during one of your talks or shows to be more considerate and keep quiet especially during late hours as their fellow guests might be having a rest? The guest insisted on taking some action as the noise of slamming balcony and cabin doors is extremely loud and disturbing. Guest wants the people who are doing it warned and action taken.


Gst called to report loud from above. As per Gst kids were jumping and screaming above. FS verify and there was no noise present. Above the cabin are no cabins with kids. Guest wants a security guard patrolling his cabin area throughout the night

Now, I already make safety announcements through the cruise about not running and being considerate to your fellow guests but I am not sure what else I can do. We did have a security officer patrol the area and he found no problems there but obviously this guest is upset and that’s not good. I did make the announcement as requested again this morning and hopefully this will help. Here is my question though. Is there anything else I can do here and is it worth saying that “kids will be kids?”  What’s your view on this?

I seem to have been talking about kids a lot this blog and so it continues. I was impressed with Tanner’s desire to be a cruise director and although at age 11 that is what he wants now …………I am sure once he is older his ambitions will change.

When I was Tanner’s age I wanted to be a police officer tearing around in my red sports car with the big white stripe down the front like Starsky and Hutch shooting criminals with my big gun. Obviously that would never have happened because I lived in the UK and police drive Ford Escorts and as they don’t carry guns the only way I could have stopped the bad guy from stealing something would have been to threaten him with a good nipple flicking.

Anyway, as I got older I wanted to be a vet, a spy, a soldier, a long distance truck driver and then back to being a police officer again. My mates were the same. They wanted to be a stockbroker, a pilot, a lawyer and one guy I went to school with called Jeffery Grace wanted to be a dancer and despite the verbal pounding he took from Shane Ibrahim and the other school bullies, he did in fact become a dancer for the English National Ballet.

Now obviously even back then my mates and I and I all had rock star fantasies but they involved singing into our sisters hairbrushes in the privacy of the bathroom. I remember my sister Suedrip getting quite mad at me one day as she was busy looking for her hairbrush only to find me singing into it, in my underpants, doing my best David Coverdale (Whitesnake lead singer) impression.

But it was only a dream then and one that none of us kids honestly believed would be a dream that could come true and so we never took it seriously.

Fast forward to today and bloody hell……what a difference. Kids today don’t only want to become famous actors or pop stars instead of doctors or lawyers  it’s that they want to be these things even if there isn’t a tiny hint that they actually have any talent. You only have to look at the evidence of the American Idol auditions to prove that statement to be true.

Last night at the talent show I had a Mum and Dad so, so mad at me. They wanted ……. strike that……….they demanded that their 12 year old daughter sing in the adult talent show. I have been through this before and I think mentioned it on the blog about “Stage Mums” and how they push their kids into believing that they WILL be famous one day.

Anyway, I didn’t give in. I couldn’t. We have close to 1,000 kids onboard and how can I let one and not the rest. This 12 year could be the next Mariah Carey or the next Lady Gargar or she could just be a 12 year old with a pleasant voice. Her parents believe that she is destined for stardom and that I am an evil bastard for not allowing her to reach her destiny by singing in the talent show. Of course I know have Kye and I wonder what I will be like when she tells me she wants to be a model or an actress.

We think we’re being kind, loving and supportive when we tell our children they can be anything they dream of being, but it’s not exactly telling them the truth, is it?  Maybe she will love cruising so much that she will become Carnival Cruise Lines’ first lady captain or maybe she will just stay home and look after her old Dad who by then will be performing the Bedtime Story at the retirement center. I will still be writing my blog though even when I am very old.

Here is what the blog will look like when I am 80 years old.

Good Morning

I peed at 7 am

I pooed at 8 am

I got out of bed at 9 am.


Your friend in Depends

ummm……bugger…..what’s my name?

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.