Conspiracy Theories And Rescues

May 25, 2010 -

John Heald

As I mentioned yesterday we sailed late from Charleston yesterday because we needed to pump in lots of fresh water as there are no facilities in either Half Moon Cay or Grand Turk. This meant that instead of 4 pm we sailed at 5:40pm…….and I made an announcement explaining that this was the case. Then just as we were ready to leave a big thunderstorm sat over the ship so the captain decided to wait another 45 minutes until the high winds calmed down.

Well, it appears that a guest has his own opinion as to why we left late.

Guest: Mr. ———Ref: 802012075A
Cabin: ——– Booking#: _____ Added-Changed: 05/23/10 – 05/23/10

Guest called the GSD from cabin ___ to ask to be put through to the Captain. GSA asked what the concern was and guest said that he did not believe that we left Charleston late because we needed water. Gust said that he knew that we had problems with ship engines and that we would not make the ports and Carnival wanted to make money and keep guests onboard and not tell them. GSA explained that this was not true and that we did need water. Guest became very angry wanting the Captain.

I couldn’t resist calling the guest. This is actually the Guest Services Manager’s responsibility but as I had made the announcement and as I felt like I could calm this chap down a bit I called him. Our conversation was very one sided as he continued to give his conspiracy theory about our engines and that “he had heard from others” that we were not going to make our ports. I then calmly explained that we were, as we were talking doing 19 knots and were heading on schedule to Nassau and that only unforeseen situations like bad weather or the ship being attacked by a giant squid …..called Colin …… would stop us being where we were supposed to be, when we were supposed to be there.

After the conversation finished I knew deep down that he didn’t believe me and that his conspiracy theory was correct. I wonder if he is part of a conspiracy theory club. There must be conspiracy theory clubs around the world. I bet they have a secret handshake and I bet you have to wear a plaid shirt to get in. I am sure he and his mates sit at their meetings, drinking Dr. Pepper telling each other that Princess Diana was killed by the Association of World Florists so that they would make millions as the world mourned and bought flowers. Another plaid shirt wearing theorist would have told him to bugger off saying that she was killed by MI6 on the orders of the Queen who sent James Bond to have her whacked.

Some people’s desperation for conspiracy theories seems to be as great as ever and people like my engine friend truly believe that JFK was the victim of a CIA assassination plot. The moon landing was faked. September 11 was a Jewish plot to turn world opinion against Muslim countries. And although not obviously on the same level there are the conspiracy theories that believe Carnival will next week be charging for ice tea on lido and doing away with stateroom stewards forcing guests to make their own beds and design their own towel animals. Actually, that might be fun. Each guest has to design a towel animal for the cabin next door. I wonder if we did that how many rolled up towels would appear with guests declaring …………………..”It’s a snake!”

I was very respectful to the guest and thought he might like a basket with fruit in it……so I sent him one along with a brief note wishing him a fun cruise. But when I am not wearing my Carnival name tag I have to admit that I have a pure dislike for conspiracy theories. The smug, self-satisfied, arms-crossed demeanor of those who would have us believe that Neil Armstrong didn’t walk on the moon or indeed anywhere more exciting than a sodding sound stage in Nevada invariably fills me with an uncontrollable need ……………. to flick their nipples……..really hard.

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

Mary Ann Taylor Asked:
Dear John (Please Reply),

• Thank you so much for giving me a laugh each morning.

• My husband & I have returned from our 9th Carnival cruise. This cruise was extra exciting because my poor husband had an accident during an excursion. He is fine but will be wheelchair bound for a few more weeks (the accident happened six weeks ago – both legs were injured). I want to say Thank You to the great staff on aboard the Miracle. From the golf pro (yes, a golfing accident), to the medical staff, guest services, housekeeping (getting all that extra ice), our great server (who seated us in the dining room just before the crowd) to the fellow who escorted us off the ship to the bus transfer. Everyone went out of their way to help us. Having Luggage Express was a great help as well.

• Well, believe it or not we are scheduled to return to the Miracle July 2 (out of NYC) with his whole family (yes, this is my effort to convert them to Carnival cruising, his brothers have cruised other lines). This will be our 10th (Yeah – VIP Platinum status here we come!) There will be 13 of us: my husband’s parents & his three brothers w/families (3 children), a total of 13. I know we will be getting our VIP gifts, but any possibility that a small token could be sent to the others? Our cabin is 7299, but their cabin numbers are: 7105/7107/7227/7147/8266.

• We are all scheduled for late seating. Do you have any idea how the dining staff will seat us? Are there tables that accommodate 13 or will we be split up? I have told them all about how the wait staff entertain the guests during meals & hope that we are seated where we can “see the action”.

• We are planning a night at the Steakhouse but don’t want to go on an Elegant Night, would you be able to tell us which nights are Elegant?

• Last, but not least a thank you to our wonderful PVP, “Sam” Welsh who has lots of patience & has helped me many times.

John Says:
Hello Mary Ann Taylor

Thank you for the kind words and I was so sorry to hear about your husband’s accident. It sounds like he must have really been in some pain and I hope by the time you get this reply that he is out of the wheelchair and back on his feet again……I never knew golf could be so dangerous………..unless you are Tiger Woods of course and you are being hit by a 5 iron by your very angry wife.

Thanks so much for taking the time to tell me about the people who made a difference to your cruise vacation and I will make sure they all see your words of praise. Despite your husband’s injury I am glad to see that you will be returning to the Carnival Miracle in July and thanks so much for bringing your family with you. I know that they will love Carnival fun for all cruising just as you have done and before I forget many congratulations on reaching Platinum status.

Now, as requested, here is your itinerary with the elegant nights marked and my recommendation to eat in the fabulous Steakhouse.

There you go. I have e mailed the Maitre D who will make sure you are on two tables next to each other as there are no tables of 13… that’s unlucky as well. So, you will be right next to each other in the best configuration possible. I will also ask the CD to send each cabin a little welcome gift.

Thanks so much again for the kind words for the crew and Sam the PVP all of whom I will copy on this.

Have a great cruise

Best wishes to all

Leanne Asked:
John, Please Reply

I can’t help feel a little sad for you when you miss important “family” days, like Heidi & Kye’s birthdays.

As adults, we like to say that birthdays are no longer a big deal; however, I’d be very disappointed if I didn’t see my boys, or get a card or even dinner with my husband. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it would just be nice to have them there.

So, here’s my question…Isn’t there some way that you, being Senior Cruise Director & Brand Ambassador, and general “go-to guy”, could plan your vacations as well as Heidi and Kye’s visits to the ship around these important dates? It seems that would be the best of both worlds!

I truly hope that as Kye grows up, you will be able to find a peaceful coexistence between a job you love and your family, which you obviously love, a whole bunch, too.

I’m sure that Heidi LOVED the flowers and balloons, but I’d start shopping NOW for that super special gift for Kye!

Take care and be well,
Leanne Banks

John Says:
Hello Leanne Banks

It feels strange replying to this after the comments I read from Lady Corvette yesterday. Maybe she is correct and you don’t want me pouring my sadness upon your day. However, as you asked I have made a promise to myself that this birthday, Kye’s first, will be the only one I ever miss and regardless of whether she comes to me or I go to her…………I will never miss another.

She did love the flowers and balloons and she loved all the wonderful birthday wishes that everyone sent. These are now in her scrap book.

Thanks so much for the kind words of support, they mean a lot.

Best wishes

April M Asked:

Just wanted to send you a note and let you know how much you are appreciated by everyone you come in contact with whether it be in person or on this blog. You make us poor sods in the cubicle realize there is more to life than being stuck in an office for 8 hours a day and there is life actually going outside the office. This gets me through many days and I think back to all the wonderful Carnival cruises I have had the pleasure to be a part of.

I have a question, it may be silly but I don’t know the answer. My husband and I were on the Carnival Sensation shipped out April 22 and Skip and you were wonderful to send us some birthday presents to our room. One of the gifts was a DVD that had a label on it that read “Gourmet Cooking” – I was very excited about this because my teenage daughter loves to cook. So she and I sat down the day after we got back from the cruise popped it in the DVD player and there was nothing on the disk. Do you have an address or someone I can contact about this? I am clueless when it comes to this type of stuff.

Thanks again for all the wonderful things you do and I know you miss your family and hate going back to your empty room, I will say a prayer that you will get to see them very soon.

John Says:
Hello April M

Goodness me…….there has never been a better time to read the opening statement of your posting. Once again, even though I tell myself not to, I have found myself wondering if I should stop blogging. These thoughts arise when I read comments from people who seem to hate the fact that I do. But then I read the many who tell me to keep going and your words have come at the perfect time so thank you for writing them.

That is very strange. I am glad that you got the gifts but I have no idea about the DVD which of course we can replace. I have just sent an e mail to the CD Skippy and I will ask him what the story is. Meanwhile, please can you send a posting to one of the 344 Stephanies marked private with your address and I will get him to send you another copy.

I hope you both had a wonderful cruise and many thanks again for your kindness.

Best wishes

Big Foot Cruiser Asked:
John Reply Please:

Me and the wife just got of the Sensation boat and we had a good time. During the cruise though I was told I could not come into dinner because I had a shirt on with no sleeves. Carnival did not tell me about this when we booked. I had to buy a shirt from the shop on the boat that cost $29. I feel I should be having my money back for this. Can you help me as I did not know and only bought shorts and wife beaters? I was on vacation. The food was good and the karaoke place was a lot of fun


John Says:
Hello Big Foot Cruiser /Aaron

Thank you for writing and I am glad you had so much fun on the Carnival Ecstasy. I have to be honest and tell you that I didn’t know what a “wife beater” was and had to ask Uncle Google. I must say, that’s an awful analogy.

Anyway, the Maitre D’s are instructed to enforce various dress codes on our cruises and we do not allow Tank Tops or wife beaters as you call them (although it seems a rather cruel description) in the dining room. I am sorry that you had to buy a shirt in the on board shops but the dress codes are written on your ticket information which you receive before you sail so I am not in a position to refund the money for you. I hope though that the shirt is a wonderful reminder of your cruise and the next time you cruise and you have any questions beforehand please let me know here on the blog thingy.

Best wishes

Lexi Asked:
John-Please Reply

My husband applied for US citizenship in Sept 09 in March he was sworn is as US citizen. On the day of the ceremony he was asked if he wanted to change his name. He said yes and changed his name to Mike Miodrgag Pejnovic. From Just plan Miodrag. Everyone knows him as Mike. I thought no big deal. We are booked on the Dream again for Oct 23. I started doing my fun pass and there was an asterisk by the name change part on my husband’s part. So I sent an email to my TA about this. Because we have a Non refundable cruise Carnival wants to charge us an extra $50 to change his name. I can understand if it is a different person in the cabin but he is one and the same person. His last name did not change just the first and middle. The cruise is a gift from my Mom for my husband getting his US citizenship. My booking number is ****. I hope you can help with this problem.

Alexandra (Lexi) Pejnovic

John Says:
Hello Lexi

Many congratulations to your husband, I am sure you must both be very proud.  Regarding your question about your husband’s name, I will certainly pass this along to someone at our Miami HQ and they will be in touch soon. Please leave this with me.

Thanks for letting me know and best wishes to you both

Lisa Roach Asked:
Hi John – (would love a response, please)

My fiancé and I were on the Conquest the week of April 11. This was our second cruise. We were in stateroom 7340 which had a balcony. LOVED the balcony and will never cruise without one again!!! We also thought that you were a fantastic CD. We loved your humor, your jokes and the fun we all had with Longview. Tell all of those complainers to take a hike…lol. We are very grateful for Carnival having a home port in Galveston, TX and would love to have some different itineraries from which to choose. We took the five day cruise last year and the only other cruise from Galveston is the one to the Bahamas. We are planning to book that vacation soon. From the welcome show with Dick and Anita Little to the Bedtime Story, our cruise was filled with laughs, good times and lots of memories. We can’t wait to cruise with Carnival again and we definitely look forward to sharing another cruise with you. Thanks to you and all of the Conquest staff for a wonderful vacation!!! PS…..I know it’s a little late, but I thought of a couple of names for the new ship. How about the Exhilaration or the Temptation?

John Says:
Hello Lisa Roach

Ahhhh yes, the Longview cruise. What wonderful memories I have of that and indeed my entire time on the Carnival Conquest. Since my time in Galveston I have written to all the top people at Carnival and told them how amazing the support for the Carnival brand is in Texas and I know that they are looking to continue supporting Texas by looking at different ships and itineraries from there.

Did you see the name of the new Carnival Dream class ship is “Carnival Breeze?” I think the name has been very well received although I like the “Exhilaration” suggestion.

I am so glad you had a great time and I hope you and I will get to sail with each other again soon.

My best wishes to you and all the family

Donald Asked:

I am sailing on the Carnival Triumph on July 5th and have a couple of questions:

1. Any idea who the cruise director will be for this sailing?

2. Where would the best place to sit in the restaurants to get the maximum entertainment? We will be eating during the late seating. Also, could you get us a seat there? I will be glad to send my booking # if you need it (and I’m sure you will).

Unrelated question:

We sailed on the Carnival Ecstasy in July 2005 and 2006. Both times our cruise director was Rebecca Llewellyn (sp?). I do not see her listed on any ship now. Is she still around?

John Says:
Hello Donald

The CD for your Carnival Triumph cruise will be Kevin Noonan………here is his photo

He is the one being strangled by the way. Please send me your booking or cabin number and date of sailing and I will request a table for you in the center of the dining room. Rebecca is not a CD with us anymore.

Please send me that booking number and I wish you a brilliant cruise

Best wishes

themnms Asked:

Hi John..

Love the blog and look forward to my laugh everyday! I wanted to thank you for forwarding my Dream aft wrap balcony issue to the right department and all was resolved. In fact we booked the Miracle leaving May 7th from New York with ten of our family members. We wish you were sailing with us but I am sure we will have a fabulous time.

Thanks work wonders!!

Mel and her gang!! lol

John Says:
Hello Mel and her gang.

I am glad you like the blog and I hope it continues to make you laugh and thanks for taking the time to tell me that it does. I am also glad that we could help you out as that is what I am here for.

My best wishes to you and all the gang

Jim Riley Asked:
John (please respond if you have a chance),

We’re going to be taking our 4th Carnival cruise on July 18th on the Carnival Miracle. I remember that on our first two cruises, our honeymoon on 6/7/92 on the Carnival Ecstasy and 8/22/99 on the Carnival Triumph you were the CD. I also remember an older gentleman, I believe named Sebastian, who performed piano at the guest talent show and you presented him with a key to all of the fleet-wide pianos. Do you happen to know what his background was and if he’s still with us? Also, do you know who our CD will be on the Miracle?

The Riley Family

John Says:
Hello Jim

Oh how I just smiled at the memories of Sebastian. Yes indeed. He was 91 years old and cruised 20 times a year and when he did he would insist on being in the talent show. The problem was he would insist on playing a medley that would go on and on and on and on ………..and how the audience used to laugh and give him a huge ovation. The last time he sailed was when I gave him the master key to all the pianos and unfortunately 3 months later he passed away. He used to travel with a nurse/companion called Lorraine who wrote to me and told me playing the piano at the talent show was the highlight of the later years of his life. He was one of those great characters who made such an impression on me as obviously he did you as well.

The CD on the Carnival Miracle when you cruise will be Malcolm Burn. Here he is.

Thanks for giving me a chance to remember one of the great characters I have met over the years and I wish you a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes to you all

That’s all for today and there will be more tomorrow. I see that we had lots of comments last week and I really enjoy reading them so please keep them coming. It’s time for me to take  a break and while I munch on my breakfast of a Granny Smith’s green apple and half a toasted bagel and low fat, low salt, bugger all taste cream cheese…….it’s time to for you to meet an old friend from whom we have not heard from in ages…………the lazy sod.

Here is Assistant Cruise Director/Acting Cruise Director/Mrs. Benning…………….. Jaime.

Dear John,

It has certainly been a while, hasn’t it? Let me do my best to update you, and the blogging family about what has been going on over the past few months, but before I rewind, I will let you know about today.

Currently, I am on a United A320 flight, sitting in a window seat with a beautiful view, overlooking snow topped mountains and clear blue skies. I am sitting beside a cute 95-ish year old man with outrageously think Coke bottle glasses (Kirk is not flying with me he is still on the ship… it is ANOTHER old man)! Unlike John’s stories, this man is not too obese and doesn’t want to start a conversation about my childhood, however he does smell like prunes and I am hesitant to go to the bathroom at anytime throughout this cross country flight because asking him to stand up may just put him into cardiac arrest. To his right is a lovely fake blonde, fake nailed, fake chested Pamela Anderson lookalike. I am confident that all three of us wish we were in first class, or at least Economy Plus. In case you have not flown United recently, Economy Plus is an option for a 39 dollar charge you are entitled to approximately 8 additional inches of leg room. I may choose to upgrade next time I fly United since I am unable to pull my “personal item” out from under the seat back here in Economy Minus.

Regardless of the lack of leg room or personal space, I am elated to be flying back to Baltimore after an extremely relaxing and productive vacation. My cousins who I have not seen for years are picking me up from the airport and tomorrow I will return to the Carnival Pride. The Pride truly seems like home now, as I have been going back and forth to that ship since December of 2008. It is a good thing it is my home and I could leave many of my possessions on the ship, since the TSA rep wanted to charge me $100 for my 54 pound suitcase, I can only imagine if I would have brought all my belongings on vacation. Put it this way, it would have been less expensive if I chartered a jet. Just ask Heidi about when she picked me up from the airport in Italy before the Carnival Splendor came out of the shipyard! Thank you Heidi!

While at work, guests often ask “What do you do while you are on vacation?” Unlike Kirk, who travels to the tallest mountain he can find. I actually spent 2 of the 5 weeks on a lovely Carnival cruise! Man, I must love that guy… or maybe I love the diamond anniversary ring he bought me… or maybe I love his big… cabin! Regardless, when I signed off the ship in Port Canaveral on May 5 I traveled to Miami to co-host the Block Party at the Carnival headquarters with one of my favorite people Josh Waitzman aka “Big Sexy” (who apparently detoxed and lost 20 pounds. Needless to say, we may need to change his name to “Regular Sized Sexy” soon).

The block party was a huge success! There was an incredible Latin band all the way from Fort Lauderdale… since they were unable to find one in Miami. We had line dancing and Carnival deck party classic activities. And of course no party would be complete without Fun Force jumping over the President and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, Gerry Cahill’s head – on skips. Gerry introduced the party and actually said “don’t think about work for the rest of the day” this elicited the biggest applause he has ever gotten! The party benefited Carnival’s partnership with the extremely commendable charitable organization St. Jude Children’s hospital. This fund raising endeavor has already proven to be an incredible success on board the ships and now the home office will follow suit! Also in attendance at the block party were the 343 Stephanie(s), Vance, and Peter The Hair! It is always a great surprise to see them as well.

Rewind back even further, I believe the last time I wrote I was having a stressful day in the big chair. I am pleased to report the remainder of my stint as cruise director was a great success the guest satisfaction ratings were very high. Making my experience even more memorable I had a very special visit from my mother and father celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary! It was so wonderful to see them, and they were very proud of their favorite daughter… I may be their only daughter, but I’m sure if there were more, I’d still be the favorite =).

After 10 weeks sitting in the big chair I was extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to take over. The experience helped me grow on stage immensely, but off stage even more. Truly taking to heart the training videos about how “every guest is a gift” and how much I enjoy contributing to each person on board having a fun and memorable vacation. When Kirk returned as cruise director I was undoubtedly happy to have him back!

I am now returning from vacation, positive, rejuvenated and ready to work hard. I’m reading the book 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player by John Maxwell. Actually right now I’m writing to you, but I will be reading the book in about 3 minutes. I am trying to set both professional and personal goals so that I continue to still learn and grow and my job does not become stagnant. By the end of this contract, I will have been working for CCL for 3 years. Hah so much for, just doing one contract and get a “real job.” Why get a “real job” when you are happy about going to work each morning?

Thanks for letting me share my update!

Talk to you soon!
Your friend,

Great Dear John Letter as always Jaime and thanks for the report on the Carnival block party. It was super to hear about all the Carnival employees giving their time and money for our continuing work to help provide urgent and immediate care for the children at St. Jude Hospital.

I heard you did a great job as CD and I am very proud of you. I am sure the cover of the book you are reading says 17 Essential Qualities Of A Team Player by John Maxwell …… while inside the cover the real book you are reading is 17 Steps To Stealing All Of John Heald’s Jokes.

Have a fun vacation and don’t forget to write.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the CD’s under the guidance of Chris Prideaux our Director of Entertainment had been discussing ways we could improve our activities for the somewhat challenging age group of 18 – 21 year olds. These young adults are of course able to take part in all the ship activities (except buying alcohol unless they are 21) yet it was felt that while many made friends easily some of this age group did not and that we needed to do more. So, some of the CD’s have been discussing what we can do for them and henceforth some if not all of the following activities will be implemented on some of the ships as a test to see how the attendance is and how they are received.

Bathrobe Bash

Toga Party

Hawaii  Beach Party

College Sports Trivia

Air Hockey Tournament

Sun Set Basket Ball Jam Competition

Soda Pong

These, coupled with a meet and greet on the first night will be the basis of this endeavor. I will let you all know what happens.

So here we are in Nassau and it is a beautiful day. There is a tropical depression though that we are keeping an eye on and it is a reminder that it is indeed just about Hurricane season. And while all is peace and sunshine in Nassau today over on my favorite island Jamaica ………. As you may have read or seen on TV the Jamaican authorities have put the capital Kingston under a state of emergency because of some confrontations over the possible extradition of a drug suspect to the United States.

At the time of writing the problems have been confined to Kingston and have not affected ships’ visits to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, which are on the other side of the island. Hopefully this situation will be resolved soon. As I have noted numerous times on the blog, to me Jamaica is the most beautiful country in the Caribbean with welcoming people serving the best food in the best weather, complementing the best scenery. I hope that things get better and that once again the island of Jamaica can be “irie” once again.

Yesterday I held my Fun Ashore and Onboard thingy presentation to a packed lounge of 900 people. However, after being on stage for just a few minutes I only had eyes for one guest. He was seated in the front few rows of the lounge and he had no shirt on……….and for some reason he kept scratching his ummm…….man boob thingies. Let me tell you, it is bloody hard to concentrate on arrival and departure times and gangways and snorkel excursions and tenders while a man play with his nipples.

I could not take it anymore and so I came down off stage and brought Mr. Nipple to the front of the stage.

Here he is.

It’s not a good photo as it’s taken from a screen shot of the video but there he is ………… Mr. Nipple………….and our conversation went like this.

ME                              SIR, YOU HAVE NO SHIRT ON AND YOU KEEP                                                             SCRATCHING YOUR NIPPLES AND I CANT                                                                    CONCENTRATE

MR.NIPPLE                MY WIIIIFFFEEE PUT SUN TAN OIL ON THEM AND THEY                                         NEED SCRATCHIN’

And while the audience laughed I ran to the……….OK, I walked quickly to the gift shops which are just outside the lounge………….and grabbed him a Carnival Fantasy shirt.

ME                              MR. NIPPLE……….PLEASE PUT THIS ON

He then puts it on and returns to his seat to applause from the audience……..The shirt cost me $20…….but it was a small price to pay not to have to talk about the Nassau Island tour …………while watching a 50 year old man scratch his nipples.

And later that afternoon I was called to the bridge. It was about 4:30pm and when you get these calls you are never told why you are needed. The officer of the watch calls and says “Ahh, you ze, de Capitan wanta youa on de bridgea.” You know it’s not because one of them has made a delicious pizza and wants you to have a slice and you know it’s not because there is a party going on there with Latvian strippers and cigars……..all you know is that something is up.

My immediate thought was to the conspiracy theorist I had spoken to yesterday ……… bugger me……..maybe he had been right………maybe the engines had stopped……..maybe we were being attacked by a giant squid……….called Colin.

But we weren’t. One of the officers had spotted a small boat drifting in the middle of the ocean and as Carnival ships always do, we changed course to investigate to see if someone was in peril upon the sea.

I informed the guests what was happening.

The staff captain and his crew prepared one of the rescue boats.

The medical center was put on standby.

And hundreds of guests armed themselves with cameras, video cameras and camera phones eager to record what was going to happen for You Tube and CNN.

Maneuvering a 70,000-ton ship next to a randomly drifting little boat is very difficult in deed yet as all our Captains do, Captain Costi made it look easy. We scanned the water around the boat and could see nobody…….and thank goodness……we saw……… no one.

Then the boat got closer and closer and finally we could see inside it. Here it is.

As you can see there was nobody inside and it looked like it may have become off its moorings and drifted out to sea. And so we reported the position of the small craft to the United States Coastguard and off we went. I reported the outcome to the guests and they went back to the sun and fun. I hope that the boat’s owner is somewhere cursing and swearing at his or her inability to tie a good reef knot………..and nothing worse.

As a child I used to go to church every Sunday and I remember two things. The sermons were boring and the man in the funny uniform that gave it looked like the big one from Laurel and Hardy. I also remember one or two of the hymns and how remarkable that as a 12 year old lad in an Southend on Sea Church one of the few hymns I remember were  “How Great Thou Art ” and one other. And as I stood on the bridge today I found myself humming the tune and thinking of these words.

Eternal Father, strong to save,

Whose arm hath bound the restless wave?

Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep

Its own appointed limits keep;

Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,

For those in peril on the sea!

Like most music, hymns have revivals every so often. I hope any revival brings back some of the beautiful hymns I remember as a kid and as someone who has been at sea for 23 years this August…………these words have always and will always be with me.

But the story is not over because while I am sure many applauded the captain’s efforts to make sure that nobody was indeed in peril……….one chap had something to say.

Guest: Mr. ……….Ref: 802012875A
Cabin: ___ Booking Added-Changed: 05/24/10 – 05/24/10


Mr……came to the GSD to say that it was good that the ship looked for the small boat and that nobody was inside that the ship should have taken it and towed it to Bahamas as it belongs to fisherman. Guest said that he was born in the Bahamas and knows that it is a fishing boat and we should be thinking of returning it to the owner.

GSA said that Mr___ comment would be documented

Yep, he’s right. We showed have dragged that little boat behind us all the way to Nassau ……still…….thinking about it………I have always wanted Ann Martin to come on a cruise.

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.