BC4, Aliens And The Seascream Theatre

April 27, 2010 -

John Heald

I don’t believe it!

Guest: Mr. ———-Ref: 830301379A
Cabin: ____Booking#: ______Added-Changed: 04/26/10 – 04/26/10

Guest called the GSD from his cabin to say that he wanted to make a complaint about the Cruise Director. Guest said that at the presentation on the ports this morning he made lots of jokes and guest he wanted information not jokes. Guest then said that we should not be showing the ship movie Poseidon on the big screen as it is not appropriate.

Tasked to Cruise Director

I often joke at one of my shows that we will be showing The Poseidon Adventure on the Seaside Theatre Big Screen. This is always guaranteed to get a laugh despite the joke itself being older than dirt. And it got a laugh again at my travel talk this week, yet for some reason it got me in trouble with this guy. I called and explained that we actually were not showing this movie and that I was joking which was a mistake. That’s because it opened the door for him to tell me how much he hated my humour and that he had been on a cruise on Celebrity where the cruise director was a dance instructor. He then spent the next ten minutes telling me how crap I was and how he preferred Celebrity and then he changed subjects and started to talk about the design of the Carnival Conquest and how as an “architect himself” we should have built her.

I had two choices here. 1) Tell him to bugger off back to Celebrity so he could have a tango with the dancing CD or 2) Put the phone on speaker, say “yes” and “mmm” every 40 seconds so he thought I was listening. I went with option number 2. Eventually, he stopped talking and I apologized again for trying to be funny and promised it wouldn’t happen again. Joking aside he did my confidence bugger all good at all and it was all triggered by a stupid joke about a movie.

It got me thinking though — I could come up with a week’s worth of movies that I probably shouldn’t play on a cruise ship… You see, according to Hollywood the weather is unpredictable, the depths of unexplored waters harbor killer creatures, misfits and miscreants. What a load of bollocks. Anyway, the best form of attack is defense so I intend to order the following movies to show on the Carnival Splendor’s Seaside Theatre when I go there in August and I can only hope that Mr. Celebrity will be there to see them.



What’s the number one rule of taking a road trip? Never pick up hitchhikers. Well, the same is true for hitchhikers at sea. Apparently Nicole Kidman and Sam Neil have never seen a road trip movie because these two idiots are let Billy Zane on their boat after he claims that all his shipmates died from eating bad food. Oh come on. Everyone knows Billy Zane looks like a potential axe wielding maniac so why let him on your boat? And it turns out surprise surprise that yep………….that’s exactly what he is. It takes Sam Neill a while to figure that out, and before you know it, there’s a cat and mouse fight for survival on the open seas. Remember that if you use your supply of flares to cook marshmallows faster, you won’t have any to be used as weapons later. Should be a good movie to start the cruise with.


Yep, has to be the remake of the original. They were, on New Year’s Eve drinking champagne and listening to an overweight English Cruise Director with a bent tooth tell them that they are going to have a happy new year. The mood is great and everyone is having a spiffing time ………  until a rogue wave hits the ship and knocks her on her back quicker than Paris Hilton on a Saturday night. Luckily, Snake Plissken AKA Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss (even with a bigger boat you would think old Richard would have learnt his lesson after Jaws 1 and 2), are the men who know how to lead an escape from a watery grave. As rooms flood and the good ship Poseidon continues to sink, the two wise men join forces with a few other survivors to climb their way to the top of the ship by walking on the ceilings. Better than the original although I miss Shelly Winters who as everyone new, if you got on a plane or a ship with Shelly……….you were doomed………..doomed. The perfect elegant night movie.


In Speed 1 a terrorist held a bus at ransom by installing a bomb that would detonate if the bus dropped below 50 miles per hour. In Speed 2 the terrorists turn their sites to Seabourn. So, the bad guys got onboard and held the ship at ransom and instead of simply jumping off the ship from the lower decks, the passengers are taken hostage and the ship is directed toward an oil tanker. Luckily though a chap who looks like Keanu Reeves (but with more emotion which isn’t hard as Keanu Reeves has as much emotion as a piece of wood) is there to save the day. Unfortunately he can’t save the script which makes the Mary Kate and Ashley movie I was in look like Gone with Wind… The movie was crap, the script was crap and not even Sandra Bollock……..sorry……….Sandra Bullock could save the day.


The ocean is an unpredictable place so now you have to worry about drifting buoys as well as rogue waves, serial killer sea hitchhikers, and giant killer squids and in this movie you also have to worry about freak storms called white squalls. In the movie White Squall, a summer school sailing trip led by Jeff Bridges is overwhelmed by a sudden and violent storm that kills some of the less good looking students. Moral of the story……. ugly students should never take a boat trip and if you are the fat one, you will survive right up until the last moment when just as you reach for a celebratory chicken leg……..the wave washes you overboard were sharks dine on you for weeks.


OK, the boat in question may not be a cruise ship but there is no doubt that this movie would look sensational on the Seaside Theatre big screen. And obviously the female variety of guest will no doubt ooh and ahh about George Clooney and his beard. What makes this movie special though is the fact that it is based on a tragic true story and the special effects, especially of terrifying tidal waves are guaranteed to insure our guests sleep with their life jacket on.


According to a friend of mine, if you want a bit of a thrill stay on the Queen Mary which as you know is a hotel in Long Beach and is moored next to where the Carnival Splendor docks. That’s because it is supposedly haunted by passengers of old……..right! Well, if it is true and something goes bump in the middle of the night at least you can bugger off as down the gangway and check into a Marriott.

But if you want to stay board a haunted ship in the middle of the ocean, where you can’t easily escape and lots of weapons are present then book a voyage on Ghost Ship. It’s about a rag tag group of salvagers who have no idea how much deep doo doo they are in when they claim ownership of an abandoned old cruise ship in the Baltic Sea. Of course, strange things start to happen and people end up dying bloody deaths. That’s because the ship was the site of a brutal massacre forty years prior where an evil man cut a metal cable that sliced through a crowd of dancing passengers. I wonder if they sent the guests who had been sliced up by the cable a fruit basket and a solid gold plastic trophy. Hardly an “epic” this one although the ship they use in the movie is damn ugly.


Of course………….it had to be and nothing is going to put the finishing touches to our week of sea going films more than Titanic……………..a movie which by the way a Captain once threatened to disembark me over. Yep, he made it quite clear; if I played it………….I would be told to sod off. But this is the mother of all ship disaster movies and one that we have all seen right?

We all know the story so I won’t go into details. All I can hope is that the sinking of the Titanic taught you many things. First, if you are a man, you should always pack one women’s outfit in order to disguise yourself in case of emergency and circumvent the “women and children first” protocol. Second, I hope you learned this from Dead Calm, but do not trust Billy Zane. He is a bastard. The end.

Third, if you’re going to jump off the back of a ship, make sure you don’t jump in the direct path of a giant metal propeller.

Finally, although Kate Winslett is hot she is also a total bitch in this movie. Honestly, watch that last scene again and you will see that the debris she was floating around on was big enough for her and Leonardo De Crapio. At minimum, she should have offered him her enormous breasts as flotation devices to keep him buoyant.

So these are my movie picks. They are perfect to watch on a giant screen, on a cruise ship, in the middle of the ocean and should be enjoyed with popcorn…………..and in brown pants.

Time for today’s Q and A ……………..let’s get on with it.

Victor M Asked:

John – Reading your comments about Royal Caribbean?

I was wondering if you have ever cruised on their ships. I am a total RCI supporter and you will never find me on one of the Carnival boats. Your constant recapitulation of tired references will never stop Royal Caribbean being a better cruise line in every regard than the company you work for. My question again is have you ever cruised with Royal Caribbean?

John Says:
Hello Victor M

I have to be honest and tell you that I ummmm……….ummmmm……….I am embarrassed to admit this ……….but…………..I had to look up what the word recapitulation meant. The answer to your question is no, I have never been on an RCI cruise. I also apologize if you find my humour  “tired” and I certainly don’t want to get into a cyber argument about which cruise line is better because you would lose because that would be impolite. I wish you happy times on your future cruises and thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog so often.

Best wishes

Aaron Asked:
Hi John, (Please Reply)

I’ve been a long standing quiet member of your Blog Fan Club and still reading. Please don’t change a thing. My Carnival experiences have been limited to a few industry events onboard and I was lucky enough to attend the naming ceremony on the Carnival Dream in NYC. We met briefly outside the theatre and it was definitely a highlight to my 18 hours onboard.

With the persuasion from a friend of mine we are taking our 1st Carnival cruise on the Carnival Paradise for Mothers Day. I have been on other cruise lines before; everyone else is a cruise virgin. Our plan is to surprise his Mom with the cruise and she thinks we are only going to California for the week with a drive down to Mexico. (Why she needs to bring her Passport) We will be staying on the Queen Mary the night before and watching the Carnival Splendor sail away and the Carnival Paradise sail in Monday morning (Mother’s Day in Mexico). That is when she will find out the Carnival Paradise will be her “Paradise” for the next four days. She has been a wonderful “Mum” and works very hard for her family and grandchildren. There is no steakhouse onboard but we will be sending her to the spa. Is it possible for you to get her a Ship on a Stick for being a #1 Mum or something special to treasure for years to come?

As a Cruise Critic junkie I have been pulling all the details about the ship and information about the trip. Today Carnival.com reminded me we only have 35 days to go.


John Says:
Hello Aaron

It is always nice to hear from people who do not post much but are frequent blog readers and thanks for being just that. I had so much fun in New York at the naming ceremony of your Carnival Dream and I am glad that you were able to be there as well. What a wonderful surprise for Mum and you can expect her to receive a gift from me. I hope you have a brilliant time all together and please write back here on the blog thingy if and when you have time to tell me all about it.

Best wishes to all

Lori Asked:
Good Morning

I am thrilled to be cruising on the Carnival Freedom on June 5th with eight girlfriends. Is there a piano bar and if so, please say Peter Brenner is the piano man. I cruised on carnival 18 years ago and he was absolutely wonderful…..would love to hear him again.

Thanks for your response

John Says:
Hello Lori

You are very excited it seems to be sailing on the Carnival Freedom. She is a great ship and I know you will have a brilliant time. The piano bar player is a chap called “Rob.” I have not worked with him but maybe someone reading this (Laura) has and will be able to tell you a little more about his entertainment style. It is great to read that our piano bars continue to be so popular.

Best wishes and have a great time

Juan & Maria Santana Asked:
John please reply

Dear John,

Unfortunately, it seems that a couple of bloggers who read our “irreverent” comments to you re our 2-wk. Princess cruise were hurt and their replies show it. Please let us clarify that we did it as a joke. We have already replied directly to them to let them know that yes, we are very frequent cruisers, and that we are not young…. we are Seniors: Juan is 67 & I’ll be 65 soon, so they can see that what we wrote was not about making fun of/discriminating the elderlies. We are already there! It was meant to be, as you said it yourself, a humorous posting. They found it offensive. Well, sorry about that…. Unfortunately, that couple of bloggers didn’t read our earlier review – a few days earlier, March 26 – of the very same 2-week Princess cruise….it was excellent. They read the April 1 comments only. If they would have read both, they would have realized that the whole thing was a joke to you. Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.

The Santanas of Miami Beach

John Says:
Juan & Maria Santana

Please don’t worry. I know your sense of humour and I also know how upset you both would have been to read that a few bloggers thought your comments inappropriate. This is a wonderful community here on the blog thingy and the fact that you have taken the time to apologize shows that you are wonderful people.

I hope I get to see you soon

Best wishes to you both

Rick Hoover Asked:
Hi John – Please Reply

We are booked, along with our immediate family (10 in total) on the Splendor on August 1st for our 40th wedding anniversary. We cannot believe it has been this long! This will be our 5th cruise, one of our daughters will be on her 4th, the other daughter on her 3rd, her fiancé will be his 2nd and the rest (including our foreign exchange daughter) will be “newbies”. We can’t wait for the “WOW” factor when they see the ship and everything it has to offer. Everyone is getting really excited!

Now to my questions for you:

1. This is the most important. Is there any way you can check to see if all of our staterooms can get a table for the 10 of us on the lower level of the Black Pearl dining room. We are in staterooms 6201, 6202, 6207, 6215 and 6219. We were on the Valor last year and for the first time on the upper level. It was great but so much more can be seen at the main level.

2. When we were on the Valor, Big Tex had Gary as an assistant CD (sorry, I don’t know Gary’s last name). This was in May of 2009. We were just curious if Gary would be on the Splendor with us. The reason? When we took our two daughters on the Pride, Gary was working the ship. When we took our one daughter on the Triumph, Gary was working on the ship. When we went last year on the Valor, Gary was working on the ship. Either he is stalking us or we are stalking him. Not sure about that. The main reason that we remember Gary is that when we were with him on the Pride, one of his “buddies” convinced him to taste a big spoonful of “lime pudding”. He told us this story because it wasn’t lime pudding but a big spoonful of wasabi!

3. Since this will be our last cruise on Carnival (we figure that we will have so much fun that we will be banned from all future cruises) we wanted to know if, since the main theme color of the Splendor is pink, would pink duct tape blend in enough to have us duct tape ourselves to the ship so we do not have to leave?

We are also starting a pool to see how many wait staff we go through. We figure after a night or two at our table they may just say “you know, the Lido Deck has a wonderful buffet”.

Thanks for taking the time to look at this. What better way to celebrate 40 years being married to the same person than on a Carnival ship!

In another posting coming later I will tell you about the funniest customs agent ever (yep, hard to believe) and how he got my wife and daughter laughing uncontrollably in Miami (and got me completely red-faced).

Rick from Boise, ID

John Says:
Hello Rick Hoover

It seems a long time away but August will be here soon and in fact the day you board I also join as I am on my handover with Gosse before spending 4 months on the west coast. I will be happy to ask my great friend Miguel the Maitre D to help with your table request.

The young man you are talking about is Gary Brierley who unfortunately will not be with you because he has been promoted to Cruise Director and is currently in the big chair onboard the Carnival Valor. He is already doing a brilliant job and will definitely become one of Carnival’s best. I will make sure he sees your words of praise………….like the wasabi joke……..must try that on Ugly Craig.

Pink is certainly the mainstay of the lobby area and I suggest that rather than pink tape you buy a pink tutu and this will blend you nicely into the artwork and you will be camouflaged completely and will never therefore have to leave.

I look forward to your next posting and hearing what sounds like a great story. Please let me know if I can help further.

Best wishes to all

Rick Swanson Asked:
Dear John,

I am suffering from a severe case of post-cruise blues. (My first cruise, on Conquest, 1/24-1/31/10) I know that the best cure would be another cruise, ASAP, but that’s not possible right now. I am fascinated by the whole process and can’t get enough information about cruising. I have a ton of questions for you, but I’ll save them for future blogs. To get started, here’s an ice breaker: just how many TV monitors are used in Henri’s on Conquest? Oh, if it’s possible, can you give me contact information for Jason Martin, the extraordinary talent in the Blues Bar on Conquest. And, if you run into Reinzi, our room steward, (Lido, forward, port) tell him Rick and Marcia Swanson say “Hi!”. He was the absolute best, a real asset to Carnival. Thanks…and here’s to fair weather and calm waters.

Your truly,

John Says:
Hello Rick

I will also be suffering from the same when I leave the Carnival Conquest next week. She is a great ship with great crew and the guests are just wonderful and love to have fun. I am standing by for the “ton of questions” and I will also tell you that there are 500 monitors in the Henri’s disco…….good question, I don’t think anyone has asked me that before. I have sent your e mail information to Jason who is as you said a great entertainer and does us proud each and every night in the Blues Piano Bar. Reinzi is on vacation at the moment I am told but I have given the Housekeeping Manager this comment for his file so thanks for the words of praise. So, please let me know when you need a question answered and I will be happy to try and help with an answer.

Best wishes to all

Jeff smith Asked:
Dear John, (please reply)

We are so excited about our cruise aboard the Carnival Dream July 17th 2010!!!! Our summer will be very busy. We have 2 of our sons getting married within a month of each other!!! For our wedding gift, we thought nothing could be better, than a Carnival Cruise. Our middle son’s fiancé wanted something a little more cozy. (What could be more cozy than a staterooms bathroom!!!) Our oldest son & fiance are all for the cruise! They will be in cabin 6264 if you could have the CD sent them a note of congratulations. This will be Hope’s first cruise, so we would like it to be very special. As only Carnival’s wonderful staff always does!!! We love the Blog!! Thanks for keeping us SMILING!

Jeff & Annette

John Says:
Hello Jeff Smith

What a wonderful month of celebrations you have forthcoming and we are honoured that you are going to celebrate them on your Carnival Dream. Please can you remind me on June 12th via a posting on the blog thingy that you are all sailing so I can send the newlyweds a gift? Thanks for all the kind words and I hope to hear from you soon to remind me.

Best wishes to all

Tracy Asked:
Please respond

Some people should not be parents. And yes if that happened on land she would of went to jail. That’s crazy. Hope Heidi and kye r good.

And please tell me who the cd will be Sep 4 on the liberty. I finally booked my cruise this year lol

And when it gets close again can I ask u for a booth?

This yr we r cruising with Cheryl and her family she’s a carnival vacation planner we became friends. She’s my carnival planner lol. Hope u r good john? and ty

John Says:
Hello Tracy

It is always difficult when I see or hear about children who are not looked after and in the case that you refer to this is definitely a parent whose priority did not seem to be her children. And that’s a shame.

The CD schedule will be posted by the end of this week Tracy so you can see who will be your CD on the Carnival Liberty.

Thanks for all the kind words and your support of the blog thingy.

Best wishes

That’s all for today and thank you all for the continuing comments here on the blog.

Congratulations to Alistair Greening the superb Entertainment Director of Queen Victoria and soon to be the lucky sod who will be the first ever Cruise Director of the Queen Elizabeth. The congratulations are for his new look blog which features more interactive links and has a bright new look about it. There is a brilliant story on there this week about the Queen Mary 2 and her world voyage and how the passengers raised an extraordinary $18,000 for the following charities:

The Haiti Emergency Relief Fund

The Prostheses Foundation of Thailand

The Seaman’s Institute of Brooklyn, New York

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution

One of the ways they raised this money was by doing an auction entitled “Things Money Can’t Buy” and you should read some of the fantastic prizes that people were bidding on. It’s a great idea and one I think we should do on our Trans Atlantic Carnival Magic voyage. Have a read and tell me what you think. Here is the link thingy www.wearecunard.com.

Talking of charity, yesterday I posted a link to a video hosted by Katie Couric highlighting the work of Dr. Green and his colleagues in Haiti. Unfortunately I slapped on the wrong video link and my thanks to the bloggers who wrote and told me, especially the Duke of University who sent me the correct link which is as follows.


Once again, please have a look at this amazing man and the work he and his fellow superheroes are doing and remember that much of the money that enables them to look after the people of Haiti is provided by the cruise line you all love so much.

As quickly as RCI said “sod of California” Carnival has announced some more exciting voyages from San Diego starting in November.

Here is Vance to tell you all about it.

Carnival Spirit to Launch New Five- and Nine-Day Sailings from San Diego in December

Sounds superb. I know that some of the west coast folks were disappointed to lose the Carnival Elation but remember you still have the Carnival Splendor and Carnival Paradise and now these brilliant new voyages that include the much wanted two day stay in Cabo. I can’t wait to see these ports and to return to the Carnival Splendor and to hopefully meet many of my west coast blog friends.

And now it is time to unveil the destination and date for the Bloggers Cruise #4 and here to tell you all about what ship, when and how to book is one of the 343 Stephanies……Stephanie H.

Hi bloggers. Thanks to all for being so patient. Here’s the information all of you have been waiting so anxiously to hear.

And drum roll please………Carnival Glory, February 27, 2011.

The seven-day voyage will operate round-trip from Miami, Feb. 27 – March 6, 2011, calling at Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Grand Turk

Click here to book your cruise and sail with the infamous John Heald. You must use the farecode “PBL” when booking.

Don’t tell John but I might just be joining you on this one. **wink**wink.
Stephanie H.

Thanks Stephanie.

So as you can see it was decided that we would all be together in February on the Carnival Glory. It was a tough decision and certainly we looked at other ship’s including the Carnival Miracle. I know that there is a big Cruise Critic group that is sailing on there around the same time and it would have been nice to have everybody together. However, those with beards have decided that the Carnival Glory will be our home. Obviously I hope many of you will come along and I want to make this the best bloggers cruise we have ever had. There will be some new in cabin gifts and some of the old favorites will return but I have some ideas for this cruise that I know will make it the best ever.

The one question is though……..should I be the Cruise Director? The upside of that is that I get to entertain you all and host all the shows. The downside is that I won’t have the one on one time that I have enjoyed the last two times we were all together. Regardless of if I am the CD or not there will be many private bloggers only events but the time I can be at them if I am CD may be more limited.

So, this is a decision I want you to make and so with that in mind here is a poll thingy.

Anyway, I am truly excited and for those of you who may not have been on one of these events I will be telling you more about them during the weeks ahead. I hope many of you will join me and I promise that it will be a brilliant cruise and everyone who books is guaranteed the most fun ever……………and a photo of me ……………in a thong. Have you booked yet?

Back here on the Carnival Conquest it is another beautiful day and just like last week everyone is having a brilliant time. Well, just like last week there are a few exceptions.

I am with you on this one. I hate feet. I hate yours and I hate mine. Every time I pass through airport security and the security people with the iron on badge ask me and my fellow flyers to remove our shoes I shudder. Don’t look down…….take my advice; keep your head up otherwise you are in for some vomit inducing horror shows.  Flying from Houston to Miami I saw a businessman with a hairy big toe poking through a hole in a sock, a clear case of nail canker in a middle-aged woman and one blokes foot was so dirty he could have grown potatoes on it.

And this guest is right. We (I) need to do a better job in asking guests to wear shoes of some description when walking into the Lido restaurants from the open decks. There is nothing that will put you off your Mongolian Wok quicker than a pair of feet that smell like a factory and with toes so grizzled and hooked that they look like their own could swoop over a river and pick a fish up out of the water. Anyway, it’s a good idea and I have now added it to the dress code flyer and the Fun times and have suggested all the CD’s do the same.

Finally today I have to talk about Professor Stephen Hawking who said yesterday that Aliens do exist…………..and they may be dangerous. If you didn’t read the story here is the link thingy.


Now, next to Micky Arison, Simon Cowell and me, the professor has one of the sharpest minds in the world so we should listen to him ……..right? If aliens are out there and they are pissed off at us earthlings why the hell do we keep sending Voyager thingies and satellites to contact the little bastards? Stop it………….stop it now.

Yet people with beards have become bored they know every last detail about our own planet, even the nastier bits like Paris. And so they ignore Professor Hawking at send yet more probes out there hoping that a Judge Judy type creature from the planet Zog will return the call. I asked Uncle Google what was on some of these probes sent to discover new life. The answer it seems is various musical greetings written by the Greek composer Yanni. What a load of bollocks. Professor Hawking has said aliens may be already pissed off and ready to invade and eat us for breakfast and what do we do ……..we send them some hippy tofu music composed by a long haired Greek. Sod that. If aliens are out there………….somewhere…………..we want to make them feel welcome so that rather than want to eat us they will want to join us for some earth type fun. So I am writing to Professor Stephen Hawking to suggest the next probe carries a copy of the new Carnival brochure, a DVD of my bedtime story and a photo of Megan Fox’s bottom.

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.