The Morning News

February 24, 2010 -

John Heald

During the past 24 months the credit crunch has made us behave very strangely. Sales in luxury goods like Aston Martin, Rolex, and Lalique crystal sculptures of Megan Fox’s bottom fell to an all time low. This meant that slightly snobby people, people who until now have paid $40 for some Italian mozzarella from the local deli, while trying to ignore the fact that the owner of the deli is driving a Ferrari, were forced to buy their cheese from Publix, Winn Dixie or whatever their local supermarket was called.

I remember a conversation Heidi and I had last year pre-Kye and just after those nice chaps at AIG had pulled down my trousers and given me the good news.

It was all over a bottle of ketchup. We have always had Heinz, ever since I can remember but because my AIG investments were worth about as much as a book called How To Win Wars by French General Jean Pierre La’Surrenda………….Heidi had been budget shopping.

The conversation went like this:

Me: “I haven’t eaten no-frills ketchup since I went round to my Aunty Mad Maggie’s house………… and I don’t intend to start now.”
Her: “Don’t be childish. There’s no difference. You’re a snob.”
Me: “I’m not. I just think there are limits.”
Her: “The only difference between no-frills and normal food is the packaging. You’re just a hopeless victim of marketing.”
Me: “Am not.”
Her: “Are.”
Me: “Am not.”
Her: “No rumpy pumpy for you tonight.”
Me: “You win.”

But she was right, Heidi always is and the next time we went shopping I thought about the fact that I had lost 75% of my life’s savings and that I should cut back and who cared if the ketchup wasn’t Heinz or the chicken hadn’t been corn fed or the prosciutto was from Taiwan rather than Tuscany.

I did draw the line at value toilet paper though. It was amazing value if you’re okay with chocolate fingers and a machine-sanded scrotum.

My point is this. It has been a difficult time for you and for me and for those with beards who have to make executive decisions at Carnival.

But really, if you think about it……….that’s it and despite the rumours on the cruise boards about us charging for ice tea on Lido deck and in the dining room or doing away with the complimentary drinks at the past guest party or taking away the Platinum laundry service and taking away the bidets in the suites forcing guests to do hand stands in the shower instead…………. and other bollocks………but despite the scaremongering……..none of it happened.

What Gerry Cahill and the gang did do, though, was keep prices affordable and when you really think about it…….I mean when you take away the comments about lines or the time it takes to check in or that you didn’t like the comedian……………..when you really think about it ……….the price you pay and what you get is absolutely jaw droppingly astonishing…………….it really is.

And if you want proof of this and proof that the economy is on an upturn then have a look at these facts.

Carnival is telling me that they are reporting record wave season bookings and that the reservations are looking as strong as Popeye after eating a whole barrel of spinach.

In fact bookings from January to this morning are at unprecedented levels……….by the way………..someone from marketing wearing sandals gave me that word to use “unprecedented”………..which means that bookings for all of our 22 ships are as high as they have been in quite a while.. This means that you and your friends have realized that Carnival’s affordable fun is unmissable and are booking passage on a Fun For All Carnival ship in record numbers. And that is just brilliant!

Now, our pricing has yet to return to those of 2008 before the bankers of this world took our money and spent it on Latvian lap dancers but Carnival does need to try and recover the cost of the cruise a little bit and that’s why they are raising their prices up to 5% for June, July and August sailings. The 5% increase stars on March 22.

Now I am not supposed to tell you this but thanks again to our Super Spy PA 007 I am able to tell you this morning. My advice then is book now, tell your friends to book now and e-mail, Twitter and Facespace this news as quick as you can. Save money and book now and the money you save by doing so you can spend onboard when you order a steak in the dining room…………..oh bugger ……….wrong cruise line…………..or order room service………..nope, that’s not us either. What are you going to do with all those savings then…….mmmm…………..well there is the Buy John an Aston Martin Fund which so far has raised ummmm………bugger all ……or just use it as a deposit for another fun for all cruise vacation.

So, the good times seem to be back and on behalf of Gerry Cahill and the many thousands of shoreside and shipboard employees at the world’s most popular cruise line, thank you for your loyalty. Now, stop reading this and pick up the phone or click on the mouse thingy and tell the world………….book before March 22. There is a free photo of me in a thong for everyone who does.

I will be back tomorrow with a regular blog including news on Ken Byrne and how hand washing got me in serious trouble

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.