Queen Victoria…King Peter…Sorry, Tiger

February 22, 2010 -

John Heald

So the whole world watched as Tiger Woods went before a carefully selected group of friends, family and friendly press and poured his heart out to the world. Good then that we were here, sailing the Caribbean and nobody gave a bugger about a man and his wandering thingy……………..actually.

Guest: Mr. ———-Ref: 846003180A
Cabin: ____ Booking#: _____ Added-Changed: 02/19/10 – 02/19/10

C – WANTS TO SEE TIGER WOODS NEWS PROGRAM ON THE BIG SCREEN
Guest called the GSD from a phone on Lido Deck saying that we needed to stop the band playing and put a program about Tiger Woods on the screen. Guest stated that everyone on Lido was waiting for it. GSA called the AV Manager who informed that after telling the CD that he had said that we would not be showing this on the big screen. Guest was very upset and after using swearing words hung up the phone

I always try and respect the guest’s opinion and analyze the situation carefully before making a decision but this one took bugger all analyzing. Let me see, should I tell Tropic Sounds to stop in the middle of their rendition of Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier and instead we put Tiger on the screen so that everyone on Lido can listen about his libido.

And why…………why………..swear at the Guest Services Manager………and why talk total bollocks by saying you have spoken to “everyone on Lido?” No you haven’t, that’s a lie. You want it on and maybe one or two of your golfing mates do, as well. But do you really think Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their three children want to see it…….nope………of course they don’t.  It’s comments like this, the small ridiculous ones that get under my skin the most and I hope that whatever this man does for a living that the people he comes into contact with at work treat him better than he did by swearing at the GSA. There is no call for bad language………….the bastard!

I didn’t even know Tiger was doing this. As you know I wasn’t feeling my best on Friday following my stupidity of not eating the night before and my resulting low sugar levels. However, curiosity did get the better of me and I watched the world’s greatest’ golfer and his apology. I wasn’t sure what he was going to say. I wondered if he may deny it all.  “The idea that I am addicted to rumpy pumpy is just plain ridiculous. Ask anyone about it. Ask Jodie. Ask Channel or Brittney or Tiffany. Ask Tiesha, Helga, Ling Ling, Olga, Su Pong, Megan, Bob or Miss Whiplash.”

But actually he was very humble and as I watched I realized that Tiger Woods was the lead item on most news channels and what had he done?

He was saying sorry for sleeping around. Afghanistan, the continuing relief efforts in Haiti and the Winter Olympics all take second place to his press conference as did all other much more newsworthy stories. None of which had been requested to be seen on our Seaside Theatre Big Screen either. I am not sure where he goes from here but everyone deserves a second chance. If I was him I would fire his managers, fire the hangers on, give up the endorsements, therapists and look at your wife and children and realize what a lucky man you are……oh yes……… go have a game of golf with a couple of mates……………. just for the fun of it.

Just before we move on to today’s questions and answers and to talk about this week I wanted you to see these letters from last cruise which truly sum up the diversity of the job I have and how we at Carnival please most of the people most of the time…….but there are always exceptions. These letters were read at my Morning Show.

I admit that some kids today don’t know the elevator laws of allowing people out before they get in. However, they are kids and to shout at them for doing it….well….maybe that’s a little excessive don’t you think? As for the church services….well……I don’t quite know what to say about that one. The two letters of appreciation are what keeps us all going and they are always a joy to read.

Lets crack on with a double load of questions……..off we go.

JAS1178 Asked:
John – Please Reply

We (through a small miracle) were able to book our next cruise for 3/28. We were planning on booking to be on Conquest with you & Sexy Craig, but all of a sudden the 8 Day Miracle Cruise price dropped substantially.

So after booking, we are telling our kids where we are going. Little Emma (4) asks “Freddy will be there right?” – We told her, of course. What about that funny man? – who? She runs to her room and pulls the picture of you from our last cruise photo album – HIM! We tell her no, he’ll be on a different ship. She busts out crying. Our oldest (17) said she was disappointed and that she really enjoyed your humor on the morning show / and on stage. Fortunately Noah (1) doesn’t understand that his future father-in-law won’t be on board 😉

Thank you from the bottom of our heart for all of the smiles you share to your guests, and also to your blog family.

John Says:
Hello JAS1178

Oh no. I made your daughter cry, I am so sorry. I just showed Heidi this comment as it was so touching and of course I wish I could be with you all. I have sent a note to the Cruise Director Josh (Big Sexy) to ask him to send little Emma a little surprise. I know those tears will turn into smiles and laughter when she sees Fun Ship Freddy.

Have a wonderful cruise and my best wishes to you all
John

Eric Asked:
John– Please reply, and post if you like.

Back in October, I had written you concerning our March 14, 2010 sailing on the CARNIVAL LEGEND with a few questions and requests. You asked me to write again in February. Since you’re a little swamped these days, I thought I’d write a few days early. 🙂

We’re traveling with a group of 10 family members. My wife and my third cruise with Carnival. Our daughter Sophie (taking her first cruise) will turn 4 during the week. First cruise as well for my wife’s parents.

I have four requests, and if you can help with any or all of these, that would be fantastic!!

(1) You had mentioned that you could pre-arrange for the balcony dividers on our three balcony cabins to be opened, so we don’t have to bother the steward with that on embarkation day. Still possible? Very excited to combine all 3 into one big balcony.

(2) Sophie will turn 4 on March 17. Any “little something” you can do for her is greatly appreciated!

(3) We have all requested early seating in the dining room, and of course are hoping to be seated at a single table. I understand that tables for 10 are somewhat scarce. Can you ensure that we have a table for 10? If it’s a table with a view and/or in a nice location, so much the better!

(4) My oldest younger brother (make sense?) Patrick will be celebrating his 32nd birthday on March 16. Anything you can do to surprise him would be great. We’ve already ordered cakes for dinner on both the 16th and 17th from the Bon Voyage department.

Thank you so much, and hope you don’t think me greedy for asking for so much. As I said above, anything you can do — anything at all! — is hugely appreciated.

We are so excited for this cruise. I’ve just looked at the CD schedule and was pleased to see “Wee Jimmy” will be our director. After the stories you’ve told, I’m eager to see him in person!

Happy 2010. I’m sure you’re counting down the days until Heidi and Kye are with you!

Eric

John Says:
Hello Eric

You will indeed have Wee Jimmy as your Cruise Director and I know you will absolutely enjoy his unique sense of sill humour (spelt correctly) and the hospitality of the rest of the crew there. I have sent you dining request to the Maitre D as well as a note to the Hotel Director for his assistance with the balcony dividers. I am sure you will have a great time and please let me know about your cruise when you get home.

Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes.
John

Kathy M. Asked:
Hi John, Please Reply.

Please tell me how I can get one of your boggle heads. Is there a place that maybe sells them or if you know of anyone that would like to sell theirs please send my email address to them.

Give my love to Heidi and Kye, and btw, you need to start marking a calendar as to when they arrive, it will make the time go faster.

From your #1 Bloggy Thingy Fan

Kathy M.

John Says:
Hello Kathy M

The bobble heads were given out during the last two bloggers cruises and unfortunately they are not for sale anywhere. However, someone did put one on eBay last year and it was bought for $47 …………I think by my Mum. However, hopefully I will be on the West Coast near you soon and if that is so maybe I will see you onboard and can hand you one personally. How nice that would be.

Best wishes
John

Kevin Branning Asked:
John,

I am prepared to cancel my four cabins on the Independence of the Seas cruise in 2011 in Europe if you will confirm that you will be the Cruise Director on the Magic in June. We had already booked when we read that Carnival was putting a boat back in Europe and if you are going to be the Director then I will change my family’s bookings. Please let me know. We sailed with you on the Triumph in 2000 and nobody has come close since then in providing laughter the way you do.

Enjoying your blog
Kevin Branning and family

John Says:
Hello Kevin Branning and Family

It was great to read this posting this morning. It’s very early to be writing a blog and me and my underpants truly appreciate your offer to swap your cruise vacation over to the Carnival Magic. She is going to be a superb ship with brand new features never before seen on a Carnival ship and I hope to be telling you more about them in the next few months. The plan is that I will be the CD on the Carnival Magic from her inception and throughout the European season. This includes July and short of unforeseen circumstances or my hemorrhoids flaring up……….I will be welcoming you onboard and sharing with you the wonders of Europe.

Please let me know if you have any other questions and my best wishes to you all.
John

David & Sue Pilotte Asked:

Hi John We loved your comments and pics. We will be going on our first ever cruise on Feb 27 on the Dream. Hope you are our CD. You and my hubby could be twins…We are booked on 7C and have a cove balcony…Do you think we should upgrade??? How far away are we from Pools, We are now thinking we should have gotten a stateroom with seating right outside on the deck??? But we surely want the balcony and ocean view?? What do you think?? We are in our 60’s don’t want to be where there are a lot of “kids” …We love them but want peace and serenity…Is there a pool on the adult only deck??

Thanks for your response can’t wait to see you and the dream…We are soooo excited …coming from the White Mts way up North In NH this is a dream come true for us..

John Says:
Hello David and Sue Pilotte

I am glad you are enjoying the blog thingy and I will indeed be the Cruise Director when you join me here next week on your Carnival Dream. Your cabin is beautiful and the cove balcony views are tremendous. You are 8 decks away from the pools but it’s a short elevator ride to deck 10 where the slides, pools and restaurants are located. Trust me ……….. you will love your cabin and you have not got a thing to worry about except whether to have yet another chocolate melting cake. If you are looking for serenity then you will find it at Serenity which is our adults only deck ……..actually…….that’s adults only decks. There is no pool there but there are extra wide sun loungers and shaded deck chairs that make this a slice of heaven at sea.

Please drop me a line when you board at the Guest Services Desk would you please. Big Ed from the blog will also be sailing.

Best wishes and see you both soon
John

jeanie rockwell Asked:
Dear John,

I am a fan of Carnival and always will be! I am booked on the Dream April 10th for my 50th B-day and I can’t wait.

I have an idea for Carnival and I am not quite sure where to send it. I own a Pet Salon and we donate all of our pet hair to an organization than makes the hair into mats that soak up oil spills in our oceans. They also accept human hair from hair salons. What a perfect public relations for Carnival since you use the oceans every day. Have your salons donate their hair to this cause. Please reply.

John Says:
Hello Jeanie Rockwell

I am intrigued by this as I did not know that you could use animal hair for this purpose. We are committed to environmental protection here at Carnival and anything we can do to enhance that further is of course a good thing. So, I will send your comment along to the right people and thank you for taking the time to write and for thinking of us. I hope you have a great time on your birthday cruise and if you can remind me via the blog three weeks before you sail please so I can send you a birthday wish.

Best wishes
John

Jennifer and Daniel Asked:
Please answer.

Hi John, I haven’t written in a while. Still read your blog though.

When you said you would be on the Pride mid Sept. what date are you talking about? We are thinking about booking for the 12th to the 19th. Will you be on then????

Jennifer

John Says:
Hello Jennifer

I am currently scheduled to join the Carnival Pride on September 2nd but that may change. I am working with Chris Prideaux from our head office on my schedule for August – December and as I know some of you want to know I will make sure I confirm everything within the next 2 weeks. Please forgive the delay and hope to see you in September on the Carnival Pride.

Best wishes
John

Todd Asked:

John, I sent you a message a few weeks ago inquiring as to whom I might speak with about getting assigned a window table in the dining room. I didn’t hear back and since then have discovered that our traveling party has grown by 2 additional folks. They were told that not only could they not sit with us, but that they would be assigned to the late seating while the rest of our party is assigned to the early dining time for dinner. What, if anything, can we do to get us all assigned to the same table and dining time, and hopefully be assigned a window table as well. Any advice you can provide would be helpful. And thanks again in advance for reviewing our request.

John Says:
Hello Todd

I am sure by now you have seen my reply to you. There is a delay in me answering them and if you can send me the state room numbers of all who are traveling, the sailing date and ship, I will promise to do my best to help you.

Hope to hear from you soon

Best wishes
John

Catmama044 Asked:
John, reply if you like:

Having just returned from our Carnival 1/15 Miracle cruise (and trying to get back into work mode/an actual schedule)….I must reply to Diane above. Please, please, please do not take away our “Hairy Chest Contest”! My husband won the last contest (as well as bean bag/corn hole toss) and I must add that the area was crowded. People seem to really like this contest. Although adding another contest would be fine….just, please, keep what works. I would also like to give a shout out to Malcom Burns. Woo Hoo….he was great. Not as good as you, John. But he really kept the fun going. I only have one complaint and they have nothing to do with Carnival. But RUDE people. This cruise was the worst as far as entitled/rude people. I’m certain they were having a convention somewhere on the ship. I didn’t mind the rude behavior toward me and/or my husband…we can handle rude people. But, we did observe one instance where our waiter, Manolito, was treated horribly. It was during the Mexican midnight buffet…as he was cleaning up one of the horribly rude had the audacity to ask him if the scraps he had in his towel was going to be his dinner. I will give Manolito credit…he handled the situation amazingly well, and although you could tell he was crushed, he continued doing his job. My husband did say something to Mr. /Ms Rude….they were completely oblivious. We also apologized to Manolito for the rudeness of people. I just don’t understand some people and I guess I never will. However, “the rudes” did not ruin our vacation…we decided we had the best cruise in years and are looking forward to the Carnival Glory in June and more 24 k gold, plastic ships on a stick!!! Keep up the great work Carnival.

John Says:
Hello Catmama44

It never ceases to amaze me, even after 23 years at sea how a tiny minority of guests feels that they have the right to say things like that to the crew who trying their best to provide fun service. Thank you so much for sticking up for Manolito and hopefully those guests who said that will realize how degrading their comment was……but somehow…….I doubt they will.

I am so glad you had fun and the Hairy Chest isn’t going anywhere.

Best wishes.
John

Chillaxx46 Asked:
Dear John, (PLEASE REPLY)

This is my first time posting on here…but I always read your blogs!!

We booked the magic for July 3 2011 and are really excited and cannot wait that long!!!! Are you going to be the Cruise Director then? I know that is probably a stupid question but I thought that I would at least ask!!

That cruise we will be celebrating my high school graduation so I bet you can tell that I am the most excited and to have you as our cruise director would be even better because ever since we started cruising 3 years ago I have always wanted to meet you since you!!

Sincerely,
Nina

John Says:
Hello Nina

How brilliant that you and your high school class will hold their reunion on the Carnival Magic. If my high school class would have a reunion we would have to hold it in the local prison as that’s where many of my class mates now are.

I am indeed going to be the CD and it will be a true honour (spelt correctly) to be with you and your friends and as the time gets nearer, please let me know if you have any questions about the ports etc.

Thanks for the kind words

Best wishes
John

Ann W. Asked:
Hi John. (PLEASE REPLY)

Thanks for keeping me laughing. We are looking at Carnival for my son’s HS graduation cruise, but I am worried about the Carnival smoking policy. I know this is a touchy subject, so I didn’t want to post my question on Cruise Critic.

I am very sensitive to smoke and I am worried about finding evening activities where the smoke won’t bother me. I read your response to the Casino question, but I was wondering if there are any discussions about making some the night dance or music places non-smoking?

Thanks for your enjoyable blog.

John Says:
Hello Ann W

Thank you for saying how much you enjoy the blog thingy that means a lot. Please don’t worry about smoking. Remember, the restaurants, the theatres and most of the public lounges are totally non smoking. Please can you tell me the ship you are looking at for your son’s graduation cruise and then I can give you a more detailed description of where smoking is allowed on board?

Hope to hear from you soon

Best wishes
John

DaDiva Asked:

There is a thread on Cruise Critic that says that the Dream will be tendering guests ashore in St Thomas for the stops in March and April dues to lots of ships being in port. Is this true. My family will be cruising on March 14th with you.

Thanks
Gretchan

John Says:
Hello DaDiva Gretchan

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell you and my friends at Cruise Critic that this information is totally incorrect. Your Carnival Dream will be anchored at the West Indian Dock opposite the Havenside shops and will not be tendering. Please may I ask that you add this to the thread thingy.

See you soon and best wishes
John

Alice H. Asked:
Hi John,

Happy New Year to You, Heidi & Kye, hope you had a good one enjoying your girls. I wanted to tell you that I just booked the 12 day Carnival Magic cruise for August 2011. My husband and I are very excited and hopefully time will go fast till then. I wanted to ask you if there is any type of pre cruise package in Barcelona, Spain. I would like to book so we can see some of the sites there also. I am planning to be there like 2 or 3 days before the cruise. This will be our 5th Carnival cruise and we enjoyed every one of them. I am a true Fun Ship cruiser. We cruised with you on the Carnival Freedom July 4th, 2009 and enjoyed you and it would be great if you were on the Magic in Aug 2011 also.

Let me know about the pre cruise info.

Happy Cruiser
Alice H.

John Says:
Hello Alice H Happy Cruiser

I was very excited to learn that you, like many other bloggers, have booked a European adventure with me on the Carnival Magic. I will check on the pre cruise stay in Barcelona. I am not sure at this time if we are doing one but I will certainly check and get back to you as soon as I can. Barcelona is a fun, vibrant city and seeing Gaudi’s cathedral, exploring Las Ramblas and taking a trip out to Montserrat and the extraordinary mountaintop monastery are just some of the highlights. Anyway, I will be back with any information I have very soon.

See you next year

Best wishes
John

JANET Asked:
Please reply.

I was on the Carnival Dream Transatlantic. It was wonderful. I look forward to the Carnival Magic Transatlantic.

When does Carnival plan to announce the date and open it for bookings? Or will the ship stay in Europe?

One disappointment while on the Dream cruise (which I hope I don’t’ experience while on the Magic) was the gift shop. I don’t understand the buyers for the ships stores. While we were on that cruise, they were putting out Caribbean T-shirts. I know they were for the cruises out of NY, but why put them out so soon? We had no reason to buy one. And the shirts for the transatlantic cruise were not very good at all.

We find this on every cruise we take. Everyone wants cruise shirts, but they could be a lot nicer and better designs and selections than was given.

There is great room for improvement in the stores merchandise.

Thanks
Janet

John Says:
Hello Janet

I know that like you many bloggers love the longer cruises and that Trans Atlantic voyages are some of their favourites. We will be announcing the Carnival Magic‘s Trans Atlantic voyage details at the same time we announce her home port in North America once she returns from her European season. I will let you know as soon as I can about this and our Super Spy PA 007 is on the case for us.

As for the T-Shirts I will mention this to the Gift Shop Manager here who is the senior manager in the Carnival fleet. I agree, we should have more logo wear representing the ports we have been to rather than the Caribbean ones.

I hope to see you next year

Best wishes
John

Kathy Asked:

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

John Says:
Hello Kathy

I am glad that you took the time to write. Obviously being diabetic myself I am well aware of the need to look after our guests who have dietary concerns. We do indeed have the ability to provide a gluten free menu for you and I have asked one of our special needs associates to contact you so that you can discuss your concerns and provide the help you need.

Have a wonderful cruise

Best wishes
John

Eric Asked:
John, Please Reply.

Thank You for your reply a few weeks back in regards to how the auto-tips work when utilizing Anytime dining. Some rumors had surfaced on CruiseCritic that when you do not go to the dining room the tip ends up in Carnivals pocket, not the staff. After your response I was pleased to post to CORRECT information. The service provided by ALL Carnival staff is always top notch and I cannot imagine reducing your auto-tip because you have elected not to go to the dining room one or two nights. The staff counts on these tips and should not be penalized (my opinion of course). We always end up tipping extra because of the superior service we always seem to receive. The nicest restaurant in my local area cannot begin to compare with Carnival’s service.

Now on to the other reason I am writing this time around. As I have previously told you I will be traveling with my 7 year son on the Carnival Pride 2/14. This is his first cruise. He always looks forward to me sharing the “kid appropriate” sections of your blog and especially looks forward to the videos. To him, you and Carnival are one and the same. I was wondering if you may be able to send him a little welcome message for when we sail. He would absolutely treasure this!

My best to yourself, Heidi, and Kye. I know you are told on a regular basis, but I must reiterate how many smiles you bring to so many via this blog. I truly look forward to reading every day. We just booked 6 cabins for another sailing on the Carnival Legend in August — they wanted to go on the MallofTheSeas, but after some prodding they came to their senses!!

Thanks so much.
Eric

John Says:
Hello Eric

I am sorry to start my reply to your posting by being negative but some of these rumors that start on the cruise boards are such bollocks that I often think that there are some people who sit naked in their attics posting crap like this just because they have nothing better to do with their lives. Of course the money does not go to Carnival, it goes to the hard working dining room staff and I thank you so much Eric for bringing this to my attention. Hopefully most people realize when occasionally the postings are based on rumor or are deliberately meant to paint Carnival Cruise Lines in a negative light in some form or another.

I had asked Jaime to send your son a gift from me. I am sure as always she delivered it and I hope that you all had a great time. I also hope that one day we can cruise together. Please make sure you let me know a month before you sail on the Carnival Legend.

Best wishes to all
John

Rachel Asked:
Hi John (Please Respond)

I’ve only been reading your blog for a couple of months but I find I can’t go a day without reading it. I find it to be entertaining and often burst out laughing (something that a librarian shouldn’t do in the library). In 105 days (May 15th on the Dream) I set sail on my 9th cruise and would be very much interested in the Behind the Fun Tours. I have a rather silly question to ask. Is there some sort of break during the four hours of the tour? If not, and I find I can’t do the tour is there some other way for me to get a picture with the Captain? (I would also want a picture with Todd.) Usually I can’t get a good picture from the seats in the lounge at the Captain’s Meet & Greet and would like to have some decent pictures this time around for my scrapbook. The only decent picture I ever have of a cruise director is with Wee Jimmy last year on my 40th birthday. There is nothing like a cute Scottish guy wearing a kilt to help a woman to overcome their shyness. (I also adore his accent.)

And another thing…I wish Carnival would do cruises around the U.K. I would love to combine my two favorite things into one trip. I promised my nephew I would take him abroad for his Bar Mitzvah present but that means giving up on cruising for the next two years…sigh!

Rachel

John Says:
Hello Rachel

I have this picture in my mind of you laughing out loud and everyone reading in the library telling the librarian “sssssshhhhhh.” Brilliant. Thanks so much for the kind words. The Behind the Fun Tour is a long one but there are times when you are seated and can rest although I should advise that there is quite a bit of walking involved. You can always meet both the Captain and CD Todd at the Captain’s Celebration on the first elegant night. They will both be at the Ocean Plaza and will be honoured (spelt correctly) I am sure to meet you.

One day I hope to hear that Carnival will host a round the UK cruise. We did a one off of these on the Carnival Legend and it was truly superb.

So, have a think about the Behind the Fun tour and if you have any other questions please let me know. Until then remember……….”sssshhhh.”

Best wishes
John

JeannetteMN Asked:
Hi John~

I’ll be on the March 20th sailing of the Carnival Dream. How does one get reservations to the Chef’s Table??

John Says:
Hello JeanetteMN

The Chef’s Table is superb and since I have been here on your Carnival Dream I have enjoyed selling it out immensely. I would suggest that you book as soon as you board and you can do this by calling 1178 which is the Steakhouse reservation number where the bookings are also made for the Chef’s Table. Let me know what you think if you decide to book.

Best wishes
John

Cassandra Asked:
Please Reply.

I want to start with that I love your blog and I think that everything you do for the guests is awesome! My cousin has a little boy who has food allergies (allergic to milk, eggs and peanuts) and she was wondering what you all do for someone like that. Thank your for taking the time to blog and answer questions!

John Says:
Hello Cassandra

Thanks for those kind words and I hope you will continue to enjoy the blog thingy. We have a brilliant staff ashore and a first class crew onboard who will make sure that this little boy’s allergies are well protected. If and when you book you can always contact me here on the blog so I can advise the special needs desk and the ship itself so please let me know if I can be of any help.

This is something we do each and every week for our guests so he will be in the best hands I promise.

Best wishes to all
John

LadyJag (Laura) Asked:
Dear John, (Please reply if time permits.)

Thank you for highlighting the Chef’s Table experience! It looks and sounds wonderful! Looking at the menu, however, I see several items that would aggravate my husband’s and my seafood allergies, which would then require we get some immediate intensive medical care.

So I was wondering if the chef is made aware of guests’ food allergies BEFORE he creates the menu, or if it’s just one of those things where guests seated at the Chef’s Table just need to speak up and ask if some sort of substitution can be made. I have no problem doing the latter, but in some cases, not all ingredients (e.g. – oyster sauce) are listed on the menu, and there is also the possibility of cross-contamination if say, a piece of chicken is grilled in the same spot that an order of shrimp occupied minutes before.

Thanks again,
Laura

John Says:
Hello Lady Jag Laura (do you drive a Jaguar. Sorry…….Jagwar as they say in American)? Have I asked you this before?

I asked the Chef about this and when the guest books they should let him know about any allergies they may have or if they are a vegetablists. If so replacement dishes can be made. All precautions will be taken to protect any allergy that you may have. It is a great experience and I hope it is one you get to enjoy soon.

Best wishes
John

Just one last thing on the Chef’s table…………..I asked our F&B VP Cyrus if I can add a pre booking thingy on the blog thingy and the 343 Stephanies are working on it and it should be ready soon.

That’s all the questions for today. I would like to thank you all for the kind words and the many bollockings about my lapse that resulted in my sugar levels dropping. I know how stupid I was and it will not happen again I promise.

Time for a look at something very special and for that it’s time to check in with our “Man in London” and Cunard Lines President Peter Shanks. Except Peter is not in London …….. he is standing on his head………….he is upside down………….yep…………..he is in the Land Down Under…………..Australia. Let’s say G’dday to Peter.

Tickled Pink Down Under in Sydney……………… and then I climbed the bridge

It was with a real sense of excitement that I set off from Heathrow for Australia last week. I was on my way to Sydney to see our ship Queen Victoria. Excitement changed to a sense of being rather knackered – it really is a very long way and you lose all sense of which day it is and where you are. I flew on the new Qantas Airbus A380 – it’s a terrific aircraft but any aircraft loses its appeal after 22 hours. Nonetheless I arrived safe and sound with two objectives in mind for the visit – To catch up with my friends and colleagues onboard Queen Victoria and to give a well deserved shot in the arm for our colleagues in Carnival Australia who are doing so much to grow Cunard’s awareness in the Australian market.

I thought I would share with you three remarkable things I got up during my short visit.

Turning Queen Victoria Pink – We worked with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to host an event to launch their fund raising efforts for the year ahead. The champion of the foundation here in Australia is Sarah Murdoch – and what a delightful and famous Australian she is. Many of us find ourselves contributing to charities – but very few people are passionate enough to drive and champion a foundation as brilliant and well deserving as Breast Cancer – so hats off to Sarah and her colleagues. Our little bit to help was to offer Queen Victoria for a reception on the aft deck at sundown. It was an awesome setting – on the port side the Opera House and on the starboard side Sydney Harbor Bridge. But being a Cunard event we had to give a twist. So we thought – how about we turn the ship pink to support such a famous ‘Pink’ charity. Well the pictures speak for themselves – not only did we turn the ship pink; the resulting media pictures went right around the world. That gives us so much pleasure – of course it helps to see a Cunard ship a part of such a fabulous event but to help the charity in a small way is jolly satisfying for all of us.

Climbing the Bridge –The next afternoon I had a few hours to spare prior to setting sail for Melbourne. I thought the only view to have of Queen Victoria would be from the top of Sydney Harbor Bridge. It is something I have always wanted to do. Well – I can now recommend to everybody who visits Sydney to climb the bridge if they can. It is the most well organized I have ever seen. They are meticulous in preparation – medical checks, complete kit of overalls, harnesses, headgear, hats and radios. We were a group of 14 strangers from all over the world – but over the course of three hours became friends through the adventure. I tried not to remind myself that I don’t like heights. Once you get up the ladders onto the top structure – it’s a walk in the park and you climb up the beautiful curve of the bridge. It did not take long till we were right at the top – looking down on one of the most beautiful vistas in the world. But today that vista was even more special because below us was Queen Victoria.

Ok – so I stand accused of going to any length to gain positive coverage for the Cunard brand – but I have to admit that having a picture of our President and Managing Director and Queen Victoria from the top of Sydney Harbor Bridge is pretty cool. In fact why don’t I lay down a challenge to see if any of our competitor cruise lines can better that – I very much doubt it?

To the real reason for my visit to Queen Victoria – Many of you will know just how special White Star Service is to Cunard Line – to our staff and to our valued guests. As we sailed from Sydney to Melbourne we launched the new and revitalized White Star Training Program to the ship’s company. Over three presentations during the day I was able to share our plans face to face with every member of the ship’s company. We are investing I new training programs, new personal development opportunities, awards for ‘Star of the Month’ and for ‘Staff Suggestions. At the end of the presentations we also gave every member of the ship’s company a small gift to thank them for their incredible efforts in looking after our guests on the world voyage. Later that day – another highlight as we launched the new Cunard Long Service Awards. Along with the senior officers we presented 33 awards to staff who have been with Cunard for more than 20 years. This included bedroom stewards, able seamen, waiters and many others. They each received a special White Star Pin, a certificate and an award commensurate with their length of service.  The longest serving officer was awarded for over 38 years and 7 months of dedicated service to Cunard Line – how special is that?

So we arrive in Melbourne today – another chance to share Queen Victoria with travel agents and media guests. Tonight we have our famous World Cruise Dinner in the National Gallery in Melbourne to that those guests who are travelling right round the world with us. Then it’s back to London for me – suitably knackered (technical term) but immensely proud of the team we have onboard. What was the highlight – no question – it was seeing the pride and delight on the faces of our staff when they received recognition for their dedicated service to Cunard good for them.

We will be back in Australia next year with both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth in Sydney on the same day. And to make it special – it will be the 70th anniversary of when Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth met in Sydney in 1941 – can’t wait…………..

Best Regards

Peter Shanks

Thanks Peter for that wonderful report and how beautiful, how simply stunning did the Queen Victoria look bathed in that pink light. And it was a pink light that I know means so much to many of the readers of this blog thingy all of whom I know support the ongoing battle to help those with breast cancer and to continue the fight to find a cure. So congratulations Peter on not just providing us with those spectacular images but for providing hope to many.

And off we go again on another Western Caribbean cruise adventure. Last week went all too quickly and I am now getting used to having Heidi and Kye here with me. You cannot imagine the joy of opening the cabin door and seeing my daughter’s face light up when she sees her Daddy. Having Heidi here is like old times although I have refused her many offers of help with paperwork etc…….this is her vacation and nobody deserves one more. The last cruise was busy with a high count of guests and close to 1,000 kids. Let’s have a look at who is sailing this week:

GUESTS – 3981

HERE IS THE BREAKDOWN OF WHO IS FROM WHERE.

KID COUNT

Under 2 Years 14
2-5 Years 59
6-8 Years 65
9-11 Years 103
12-14 Years 111
15-17 Years 71
18-20 Years 51

We also have 178 Platinum and Milestone guests this week with Mr. Robert Valon the winner with 33 cruises.

And the cruise has gotten off to a great start. The weather in Port Canaveral was warmish and sunny unlike last week and that nice weather has continued. Here then I sit …….in my underpants…..in Cozumel, Mexico. It’s now 9:50 am and Heidi and Kye are in the play room. There are only a few under two’s this week so on port days the Youth Director has allowed guests to bring the young ones in for a few hours in the morning. Kye loves it and continued to be the most content of children and I continue to glow as her proud father. As for Heidi…………well she is the role model Mum.

As always it is the Welcome Aboard show that sets the tone and as always here on the blog thingy I like to share some of the characters who I shared the stage with.

First there is this little princess whose name is Kayleigh………..aged 4.

Kayleigh shared the stage with me and melted hearts. She is here with her Mum and sisters and her cute “yes sir” reply to my questions was so polite and so cute that she became an instant star.

Next up is Abbey.

Abbey is on her honeymoon with her husband Josh. They got married on Oct. 1, 2008 and couldn’t go on their honeymoon as Josh left on Oct. 4 to Afghanistan with the United States Airborne Division. He returned last week and here they are celebrating their honeymoon at last. Abbey spoke of her joy at finally being on their honeymoon and spoke also of her pride in her husband Josh who by the way received a standing ovation from the audience. By the way……..their last name is Dawnbush and I kept saying Morningbush…………it was a honeymooning thing.

Toward the end of the Welcome Aboard show my assistant Craig brought a note onto the stage. As soon as he did I knew that it probably wasn’t going to be good news and indeed it wasn’t. It was from the Captain telling me that we had elderly gentlemen who had been taken seriously ill and we needed to get him ashore and to a medical facility as soon as possible. This meant that an hour or so later we would be stopping of the entrance to the Miami cruise ship docking area where this guest and his wife would be taken onto a Miami Fire and Rescue cutter and taken back to shore and on to hospital. I decided to tell the 1,500 guests in the lounge this as I am sure that they would probably be the ones who would still be up during this operation.

I informed them as to why the ship would be stopping etc and asked them to send their thoughts and prayers to this guest. So, thanks to the professional work of the Miami Fire department and the Captain and crew of your Carnival Dream we had a successful operation. It wasn’t easy though as not only was the guest on a stretcher and attached to various medical devices but his wife was confined to a wheelchair and getting both of them into the cutter was not easy. The latest news is that the gentlemen is in ICU at a Miami hospital and he is there thanks to the doctors and nurses onboard who saved this man’s life and kept him stable until help arrived. I will keep you informed as to his condition.

One footnote to all this. As the Miami Fire and rescue boat came alongside I noticed that there was a film crew onboard. Two Cameramen and a sound guy. They were making one of those fly on the wall documentaries. I found it strange that were filming this because obviously the man on the stretcher couldn’t give or deny permission to film him. Anyway, I informed our public relations department and we will see what happens with that.

I have been thinking about the Tiger Woods thing and his rumpy pumpy therapy he said he was returning to. I have been trying to imagine what goes on in that exclusive clinic. I would think Tiger’s room will be a little different than he is used to. There will be a TV but it won’t be showing anything that encourage Tiger to get his wood out. That means 24 hour a day re runs of Judge Judy and fishing shows. There will not be a bed in Tiger’s room …………nope……….he will just have a plank of wood to sleep on. And nothing to read except a few copies of Porthole Magazine with the sexy shots of cruise ship guests on the beach and on Lido cut out. He has to have something to keep his mind of going bouncy bouncy and so the clinic has given him a project of building a scale model of his Carnival Dream out of toothpicks.

What about the therapy itself. Does it involve a man or a woman therapist with a beard telling him in a soft voice that “rumpy pumpy is bad” or does it involve implanting an electronic device into Tiger’s thingy so that anytime he gets excited 20,000 volts tasers his 7 iron?

Tiger got loads of rumpy pumpy because he was rich and famous. He is not particularly good looking……. I was and still am as ugly as a wart hogs scrotum and not rich or famous and therefore got bugger all rumpy pumpy.

It’s the same for all famous people. I mean look at the Rolling Stones…….all the band have been hit with the ugly stick yet they had more rumpy pumpy than a field full of rabbits.

Do you know what Mick Jagger would have been if he hadn’t become a rock star?  I do….. he would have been a virgin.

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.