Apparently I Am Full Of Sadness

May 28, 2010 -

John Heald

Let’s talk about tips.

Guest: Mr. ———–Ref: 802012819A
Cabin: ——- Booking#: ______Added-Changed: 05/27/10 – 05/27/10

C –  – GUEST REMOVED ALL GRATUITIES

Mr.____ came to the GSD to request that the gratuities for he and wife be taken from his S & S card. GSA asked if there had been a problem with the service and guest said that he did not feel that it had been good. GSA asked for more information on this but guest said he did have time and to take off the gratuities immediately.

OK, so this intrigued me so I called the Maitre D and asked him if the guest had made a complaint during the cruise about the service or food. He had not, in fact Sam told me that two nights previous he had visited the table and they had laughed and joked with him. The guests are at a table of 6 and no other guests had removed their gratuities. I then asked the same question of the housekeeping manager and received the same answer ……. nope………no complaints. In fact I know the stateroom steward in that section. He was with me on the start up of the Carnival Freedom and has been with us for some years and is a great employee.

So, why did these guests remove their gratuities? Well, first of all let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the service they received from the dining room staff and stateroom steward was bad and that they truly feel that these crew do not deserve any gratuities. If that’s the case though I wish they could have told us what was wrong. Complaints can highlight the deficiencies at Carnival, show where we are lagging and help us to improve. We offer so many ways to do this including the guest services desk onboard as well as numerous ways once home including via this blog thingy.

Many organizations and companies seem to be making it more difficult these days to make a complaint. Take my bank which these days seem to always give my hemorrhoids reasons to flare and itch. I have to call a number and end up spiraling through Dante’s nine circles of hell, being transferred endlessly from one department to another or, worse still, being left on hold as an irritatingly chirpy voice repeatedly reassures you of the value of being a customer………customer my arse.

We want to know what we did wrong and if the service has been less than expected that yes ………remove the tips ……….tell us and we will act accordingly. But……..and this is just my opinion………..you can’t help but wonder whether these folks removed their gratuities just……….well………..you can fill in this blank ______________.

I wonder if this happens on land. I have never removed the gratuity that is included in many restaurants these days and trust me………..that includes the worst service location in the world……….Venice. Seriously, why don’t more people do runners from Venetian restaurants? Heidi and I often though about doing this. We imagined taking a walk outside to have a serious conversation on our cell phone and then run away and never return. The problem for me though with this option is the word “run!”

So, there is nothing I can do about these guests removing their gratuities and if they did receive dreadful service, I sincerely apologize. That’s the Cruise Director and Brand Ambassador in me talking………the John Heald normal non-Carnival employee person thinks though that they are actually “Crabs Pad Heats.”

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

Mary Fairbanks Asked:
Dear John; Please Reply

When are we going to hear about Carnival Magic Trans-Atlantic? We were on the Carnival Dream T-A and loved it. We had a brief conversation in the comedy club and you showed me Kye’s photos on your eye-phone thingy. She is just a beauty.

We really want to book back-to-back in 2011 on the last Med and T-A. Our Carnival cruise planner said it will be announced soon….I’m getting antsy… I want to book. I want to cruise with you again. Will you announce it?

Oh by the way I have been on two Princess cruises and they were wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, I love Carnival. Since Princess is a Carnival brand I’m not being disloyal. We did a 10 day Tahiti cruise on the Tahitian Princess, in 2003 for my retirement present. We had a wonderful time and have returned to Bora-bora 5 times since we just fell in love with the islands of Tahiti.

We also did a 10 day Deep South Caribbean which Carnival was not offering at the time, again, many great times and ports. It is looking like we may do another, around 2013 or 2014 on the new ships, wow.

What a wonderful man you are to do such a great thing for Chad and Stacey. We were on a cruise once and all my & my hubby’s formal wear was trying to catch up to us the whole cruise. Our bag missed us in every port by a few hours. When we got our bag 3 months later, yes, 3 months, it had so many inspection cards in it was funny. It traveled more than we did!

They did give me a dress to wear and all the things that want with it, as a loan. Hubby got a rental tux. Not being in your own clothes was different. In fact, I got out nice slacks and pretty blouse the next formal night and hubby wore black jeans and a floral shirt. We had a blast. It was the last time I packed a long formal dress! Talk about enlightening! I always dress a little fancier on formal night, but not as formal as I used to. A nice black cocktail dress goes a long way as well.

I love the blog, and hello to all the Stephanie’s

I am anxiously waiting for info
Mary

John Says:
Hello Mary Fairbanks

Just before I answer your question I want to make it very clear that I do not have an Eye Phone and I showed you my photos on my Raspberry. I don’t have a beard, I don’t eat tofu and I don’t like the Lady sodding Gar Gar thus………..I don’t have an Eye Phone.

Right, now that’s cleared up let me say a big thank you for writing and I remember our conversation well. I never thought I would be that kind of Dad who shows photos of his kids to anyone and everyone whether they want to see them or not. Now, there is absolutely no need to justify you taking a cruise on the super Tahitian Princess. I have been on a Princess cruise and make no apologies when I say that I had the most brilliant time and I can imagine who gorgeous a cruise to Bora Bora must have been.

I know that you and everyone else are waiting with baited breath to hear news on the Carnival Magic‘s trans-Atlantic voyage and where her home port in the USA will be. I was hoping that this was the week when PA 007 could break that news to me but unfortunately it seems we will have to wait a little while longer yet.

I want to thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to say “ooh” and “ahh” when I shoved photos of Kye in your face.

I hope we see each other again soon

Best wishes
John

Bill (Zydecocruiser) from ZydecoCruiser.com Asked:
John, Please reply

Elizabeth and I are booked on the first two Carnival Magic sailings. According to Carnival.com, our sailing is 360 days away. On the Carnival Magic page, it says the first sailing is in 391 days. They both can’t be right. Which one is it?

http://www.carnival.com/cms/fun/ships/carnival_magic/default.aspx?shipCode=MC

Also, on the itineraries page, it indicates Carnival Magic arrives in Venice at 2am on the May 10th sailing. The previous port is Dubrovnik. I know it isn’t a long way from Dubrovnik and 2am might be possible. 2pm doesn’t seem right, either. Surely it doesn’t take that long to get from Dubrovnik to Venice. Sooooo. What time is Carnival Magic really scheduled to arrive in Venice on the May 10th cruise?

http://www.carnival.com/cms/fun/ships/carnival_magic/itineraries.aspx

Thanks,
bill

John Says:
Hello Bill Zydecocruiser

Oops and bugger seem to be the right thing to say here. Thanks for pointing this out Bill. I will check on the number of days thingy with the 344 Stephanies and ask them to make the change. I can tell you that following our departure from Dubrovnik the ship will reach the entrance of Venice at noon. The landmark here is the huge underwater dam they are building to stop the dangers of flooding. It is called Project Moses and from there we have about an hour or so transit through Venice and pass St. Marks Square to our docking facility at the Maritima Port. Once the gangways are open it will be around 1:30pm – 2 pm. This means that the website is wrong and again well spotted Bill and I will ask them to make the changes.

It will be an honour to share Europe with you both

Best wishes
John

JimC Asked:
John Please Reply-

I just read your response to my comment to you about maybe actually getting to sail with you on the Carnival Splendor. At this point we already know that we will so I am not writing about that. The Carnival Splendor cruise is the second cruise of the summer, our first will be the June 12th sailing of our Carnival Dream! We are very excited about being able to sail on the new ship. It will be our first Platinum cruise. And we have been forced to wait until summer vacation season to be able to get onto the Dream. My wife is a school teacher so we typically can’t get to cruise during the school year. The school break weeks are normally very expensive so we tend to have to wait until the summer months to cruise.

Sorry for the rambling, so on to my point. I’m not writing this to ask you for anything. BUT I do have a couple of questions- My first is related to the information I just provided. Why do the new ships always seem to start sailing in the fall? Most families are then forced to wait until the following summer to take a new ship cruise. I know you don’t have any control over the build schedule of a new ship, but I wonder if they plan deliveries for the fall.

Second question- Our first cruise was on the Fantasy in August of 1990. It made us feel really old to hear that she is now the oldest ship in the fleet. You mentioned you had memories of being on the Fantasy… when was that? Would you have been a CD or assistant CD at that point? We were trying to remember who the cruise director was but it has been too long and to be honest we really were not paying that much attention to the rest of the ship…. 🙂

John Says:
Hello Jim C

You will love your Carnival Dream and it is the perfect ship to celebrate your Platinum benefits on……..congratulations. Your question on deliveries is a good one and I know your Carnival Dream was launched in the fall but then the Carnival Splendor had a spring arrival. Obviously the main aim is to get the ship built and with so many being built by the same yards it is not always possible to get the launch date that maybe the company wants. Carnival Magic will also be a spring delivery. The memories since I have been back on the Carnival Fantasy have been crystal clear despite the fact that I was last a CD here 18 years ago. However, the ship looks great and her upgrades have meant that she has been born again. There are still memories of the old days though including a booger I left here under the desk in 1993.

When you were here in 1990 the CD would have been the one and only Gary Hunter. Ask any long time Carnival employee who the best Cruise Director Carnival has ever had and they will all tell you “Gary Hunter.” His ability to be funny, sincere and simply the guy next door was incomparable. He was a ventriloquist and his act had you laughing one minute and crying the next. I am sure he would have been your CD in 1990 and some skinny young chap called John would have been one of the Social Hosts.

I hope this answers your questions and I look forward to seeing you in a few months on the Carnival Splendor.

Best wishes
John

Little Nan Asked:
**John – Please Reply**

John,

Thank you so much for the wonderful gifts you sent. Not only did I finally get to meet you Elegant Night, you took the time to speak with my Dad and Mother-in-law (both recently widowed). Then you read my husband’s letter on your Morning Show. You even called us in our cabin! Now you have posted his letter on the Blog. I can’t thank you enough for helping make this cruise the best one so far.

I would also like to mention our cabin steward, Javier and his assistant (sorry, I can’t remember his name). They were so great, and the towel animals were especially cute this time. I sure miss them picking up after us. Can we bring them home?

Also, our Wait Team in the Monet Dining Room were the most entertaining we have ever had. Iggy and Putra were so much fun. Dinner was more than just great food this time. Maybe we could just park the ship in our back yard?

Anyway, now you see why we love the Conquest and we see why you are Senior CD. We didn’t want to go to bed for fear of missing something. We need a vacation to recover from our vacation! Haha.

Hope we get to cruise with you again. Until then, I will continue reading your blog, waking my husband with my laughter.

Thanks again,
Love to Kye, Heidi and you!

John Says:
Hello Little Nan

Thank you for those gracious words and yes, I see why you and so many people love the Carnival Conquest and why so many people love sailing out of Galveston. It was an honour (spelt correctly) to meet you and the family and I will send on your words of praise to Javier, Iggy and Putu.

Please send my kind regards to all the family and I hope that you continue to enjoy my little blog thingy.

Best wishes
John

Justwannacruise Mason Asked:
DINNER TIME RESERVATION ASSISTANCE

John

I will be on the Destiny in September and want a table for 4 confirmed by the window on the late dinner timing. There is a chapter on Cruise Critic that suggests I get this from you. How do I do this?

John Says:
Hello Justwannacruise Mason

I will be happy to ask the Maitre D of the Carnival Destiny to help you so please write another posting here with your full name, sailing date, ship and cabin number and I will do my best to help you.

Best wishes
John

slickabrina Asked:
Hi John ~ Please reply

Out of curiosity, on average, what percentage of guests on the ships are past guests? Platinum?

Call this my random thought for the day. LOL

Hope the Carnival Fantasy is treating you well!
Colleen

John Says:
Hello Slickabrina (Colleen)

That’s a good question. I have sent it to the Stephanies to answer on a fleetwide basis as I don’t have that information. I can tell you that this cruise here on the Carnival Fantasy there are 23 Platinum and one Milestone card holders and the average age is 51.

I wonder what the fleet average will be. I will let you know.

Best wishes
John

David Asked:
Hi John Please reply

Hope all is well with you and the family.

I am excited to be booked on the Carnival Magic for the May 1st, sailing from Venice to Barcelona. Please tell me you are going to be the CD on this cruise. You have been avoiding us and we have just missed you on the Carnival Dream (1day), Carnival Freedom (1week), Carnival Dream (1week), and Carnival Splendor (2weeks). Was it something I said?

Anyway here is my real question….On the Carnival website it shows the Carnival Magic sailing in 392 days. I may not be a math wizard but my calculation is we are sailing in 361 days. Why are they listing the June 3 sailing as the first cruise and not the May 1st date? I hope they are not behind schedule.

As always we appreciate your help and we love your thingy…..Did that sound weird?

John Says:
Hello David

Congratulations on booking the Carnival Magic and I will be honoured to share this great European adventure with you as Cruise Director. I have purposely been avoiding you as I owe a man called David $20……….is it you?

You and Bill Z should come and work for us as you are correct, the sailing day clock is buggered up and I have already sent a note to all 344 of the Stephanies to change it. In fact, by the time you read this it should have been done.

I will see you next year and I think it is quite normal for everyone to talk about my thingy

Best wishes
John

Scott Nickle Asked:
John please reply,

Thanks so much for your reply. Well, I can certainly stand a bit of hot weather for a chance to meet Heidi again and Kye for the 1st time! Just make sure there’s lots of cold Samuel Adams beer on the ship, OK?

You invited me to give details of why I have a dim view of the customer service staff in Miami. I actually wrote you all the details at that time but it never got a reply. I guess it got lost somewhere in the “intertubes”.

Here’s what happened – I usually cruise solo, but I had a friend who was very interested in cruising, and since it’s basically the same cost for 1 or 2 people in a cabin, I invited her to come AS MY GUEST. So, I booked the two of us onto the Carnival Splendor in May of last year USING MY CREDIT CARD ONLY. Then the H1N1 happened and I wasn’t interested in a cruise to Canada, so I received a credit to be used on a future cruise. I was quite satisfied at this point. (I realize that, legally speaking, Carnival was not obligated to issue me a credit, but I had contracted for a Mexican cruise and I do feel that Carnival was MORALLY obligated to provide me a Mexican cruise. So, while I feel that Carnival had met their obligations at this point, I don’t feel they had exceeded their obligations.)

So a couple months later, I booked a replacement cruise. My friend couldn’t come so it was just my name on this new booking. To my surprise (and my travel agent’s as well) Carnival wouldn’t release my credit unless I provided a notarized statement that my friend had no claim to the credit! My TA tried to talk them out of this, but they wouldn’t budge for her, so I tried to talk with them. I spoke with Jennifer Herrera, Dolores Long, and Josephine Bermudez. Unfortunately, I don’t remember who I spoke to first, so I can’t pinpoint which one said what, but these are the issues that made me so upset with Carnival Miami:

-I knew this problem would require some kind of higher-level handling, so I asked the 1st woman I spoke to transfer me to her supervisor. She asked what the issue was, and when I told her, she didn’t transfer me as requested. Instead she basically told me to just shut up and send in the form. I had to be very forceful to get her to transfer me as I wanted.

-I never got a straight answer to WHY this form was needed. I was just told that Carnival could be sued if my friend were to claim that she had paid me for half of the cruise. Let’s just think about that – if my friend and I have a private agreement to go halvsies on a cruise, CARNIVAL risks being sued? If that is truly the case, Carnival should fire all their lawyers for incompetence!

-Let’s stipulate that Carnival can be held liable somehow. In that case, why wasn’t I asked to provide this form when I booked the original cruise? My friend and I have different last names and we aren’t related in any way, so shouldn’t Carnival have established who could claim what at that time?

-EVERY booking involves a legally binding contract, and I have always been asked to verbally confirm this, which is recorded and held by Carnival in case of legal entanglements (or so I have been told, every time I’ve booked). So why couldn’t I assert my claim to my credit over the phone as well? Why was I forced to find a Notary, make a special trip, pay a $10 Notary Fee, and fax the form to Carnival?

-And finally, since I was being forced to jump through all these hoops just to cover Carnival’s corporate ass, I thought Carnival should at least pay the $10 Notary Fee. In other words, I would make the special trip and fax them their damned piece of paper and I would be satisfied if they would just cover my $10 out-of-pocket expense. John, they actually laughed at this!

-At this point, I was quite angry (but never obscene, loud, or abusive) and I said if they forced me to do this, I would stop cruising with Carnival. And whichever woman I was speaking to at that time said, “I don’t care!”

So, that is why I am so down on Carnival. But, I do love the way the shipboard staff has always treated me (during my six cruises – and I have ONLY cruised with Carnival up til now), and I really want to see you and your family again, so I will book a cruise on the Splendor. I just wish there was a way I could do it without any of my dollars going to those **** in Miami!

John Says:
Hello Scott

This is the first time I have seen the details of your frustration and obviously it is very disappointing to read your comments. At the start of today’s blog I wrote how important feedback is to this company and comments like this are indeed invaluable. Obviously I am not in a position to comment on the specifics but the fact that you are so upset means that I will act as the go between and pass this up to the VP of our Care Team. Please let me know what happens and please remind me before you sail with me on the Carnival Splendor

Best wishes
John

Sean Asked:
John – Please Reply

Our Roll Call group for the Carnival Victory Dec. 19/10 Christmas cruise is growing in numbers and we might need a room for a Meet and Greet on the first day. Could you help us arrange this when the time comes- I can remind you one month ahead of the cruise. Also, I saw on the recently posted CD schedule that the Carnival Victory is in dry dock in Nov. /10- do you know what is being done during this dry dock? Thanks for all you do. It is always greatly appreciated.

John Says:
Hello Sean

It would be a pleasure to help you with your cruise Critic meet and greet. May I please ask that you send me another posting on November 19th with the number in the group and your cabin number for contact details and I will make it so?

Carnival Victory will indeed be in dry dock and will have new carpeting, furniture and other interior changes completed as well as the usual dry dock work on her technical areas. I will find out if there are any other major changes and let you know.

Best wishes to you and all on Cruise Critic
John

Gary H Asked:
John – reply please

Hello John

I have been reading your blog for the last few months and boy are you a funny man. What surprises me is that Carnival lets you write what you do. My question is then how much of what you write is checked and is there anyone else in the cruise business who writes a blog? I will be sailing on the Spirit to Alaska in August and I wish you were going to be the Cruise Director. Can you tell me something about Stuart who I understand will be the Cruise Director?

Thanks

John Says:
Hello Gary H

Thanks for discovering the blog thingy and I am glad you like it. Let’s start of with saying congratulations on booking your Alaska cruise on the Carnival Spirit. I know you will be amazed at the last frontier and that the crew will make sure you have a brilliant time onboard. Stuart Dunn is from Australia………..here he is.

Stu has the most diverse background of all the CD’s including being a miner working hundreds of feet down under looking for gold. He is a fitness fanatic (rather like me) and he has more energy than most CD’s put together. He is therefore the perfect bloke to lead you around Alaska.

As for my blog, well I do send it in to Vance in our public relations office in Miami. He checks my spelling and anything that I might have said that needs grammatically changing. As some of the press reads this blog it is also good that a second pair of eyes looks over it. However, the content is mine and what I write about is always my choice and as I hope I have shown it includes the good, the bad and the ugly of what happens onboard and ashore in my mostly ordinary life.

There are indeed many other blog writers in the cruise industry and all the best ones can be found at www.bestblogsatsea.com

Hope this answers your question.

Have a brilliant cruise and thanks for the kind words

Best wishes
John

That’s all for today and I will return with more on Monday. The blog has had 6,505,000 slaps as of yesterday so as always a huge thank you to you all for your continuing support.

By the way, please join me in congratulating the Captain and crew of the Carnival Freedom who were yet another Carnival ship to earn the perfect 100 score during last week’s examination by United States Public Health…..This is the third consecutive time that the Carnival Freedom has achieved its perfect 100 score………brilliant.

As you know we had a lot of pomp and circumstance when the Carnival Fantasy first arrived into Charleston but we also had a lot of fun to. Here’s an item from our employee newsletter with some great photos of the special event.

Thanks Vance and thanks again to everyone who helped mark the beginning of what I am positive will be a long and successful relationship between Carnival and the beautiful city of Charleston.

Let’s take a break and while I go to the loo and blow my nose on the shower curtain (I have run out of tissue and toilet paper) you have a look at some photos of the contestants in our sand castle building contest at Half Moon Cay.

Here I am……..and the winner was……….The Mermaid…………..for two HUGE reasons ………..no, not those……..because she spent an hour buried in the hot sand waiting to be judged and that she was on her honeymoon.

So, good morning. Here I am in my underpants writing today’s blog. It’s 7:15 am and I think my cold fever broke last night because I woke up feeling a little better. My headache has gone but I am still sneezing a swallowing bowling balls. I never used to get colds…….I mean never………but then I started eating an entire cow with fries every night washed down with lashings of potato chips and gallons of BLT’s and my reward ……… type 2 diabetes. This means my immune system has gone from being the British Army, defending off colds with honour, it has become the French Navy which means one sneeze and it runs away……..very quickly.

This morning I had a difficult decision to make. You see, next week is my last cruise here on the Carnival Fantasy and when I leave the Cruise Director for 6 weeks will be the current ACD Hennie Vane Heerden from South Africa.

Here he is:

This will be his first time as a Cruise Director and the office have asked me if I will let him be the CD next week so that I can watch him and help him. Now, there were some factors for me to consider here. Firstly, when I am on the ship and not CD I do tend to get bored as you know. But then I had to look at it from his perspective as well.

Currently there is no system in place where a new CD will take over a ship and someone experienced is there to watch and help them through that first cruise. And the Carnival Fantasy is not an easy ship, especially with the complications of the embarkation and debarkation systems here.

Honestly……..I really wanted to say “no, I want to be CD” but Hennie really wants me to help him. He is at the start of his career and I…….well I am an old fart and if I can help him become a better CD then I guess as the Senior CD thingy ………..that is my role.

And so for the next 5 days I will be watching and helping Hennie and probably giving him a few bollockings along the way. I am sure there will be times when I will be bored but there will be many more times when I know I am doing a good thing by teaching him how to become the best CD he can be.

So, I will be blogging of course each and every day next week. I really was hoping that PA 007 would be able to break the news to y’all about the Carnival Magic’s home port and trans-Atlantic voyage this week. But it looks like we will have to wait a little while longer as our super spy keeps his/her ears wide open.

Well, this seven day cruise has been a huge success and the comments from guests have been brilliant. It is nice to see a Fantasy class ship do a seven day cruise again and I think we have found a nice mixture of 5, 6 and 7 day cruises for the people of Charleston and the surrounding area to enjoy. Yep, if you live within driving distance of Charleston or a short flight away I highly recommend this fantastic ship and this very special seven day cruise…….Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk are simply stunning ports of call.

Despite feeling like crap last night because of the Eboli cold thingy I have, I managed to host the Bedtime Story which was very funny because of the 3 characters who were hilarious. The adrenalin got me through it and as I said, this morning I felt a little better …………right up to the moment when I got this e mail.

From: FANTASY GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Friday, May 28, 2010 10:59 AM
To: FANTASY CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: FANTASY GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; FANTASY GUEST SERVICES; FANTASY GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR

Subject: Would like to speak with CD

Good morning John,

Please be advised that Mr. ______ in cabin ___ would like to have a personal chat with you, as per gst he said he has some advice for you but he doesn’t want to let me know what it concern about. Could you please call?

Thank you,
Jenny
GSA

I have seen this kind of request many times before and honestly, when I called the guest I was expecting him to tell me that I needed to lose weight and that he could help me. It’s funny but this has happened so many times before that I now have a sixth sense for this.

And that is exactly what he wanted……yep……he was a Herbalife chap and he was so kind to tell me that for just $55 I could have the starter pack that he just happened to have with him. He told me his magic herbal tea was the answer to my problem — and I quote him exactly here…..he said it would help my “Days of sadness and obesity to come to an end.”

Sadness…………my arse.

I mean, there was no polite pretense to this conversation. As soon as we started talking he pretty much told me I was a fat bastard and that I needed to get my wallet out. As many times as this has happened I still cannot believe the audacity it takes for a stranger to talk like this.

I also know from experience that these teas would make me lose weight only because drinking the sodding stuff would make me sh*t 20 times a day and thus drop the pounds.

I politely refused…….. and politely……. I didn’t go round to his cabin and insert a toilet brush up his bottom either.

This weekend is of course Memorial Day weekend and that means all of the 344 Stephanies will be out of the office and that’s means there will be no blog thingy.

Memorial Day is of course the day we honour or honor those who have given so much so that you and I can blog, cruise and live a life of freedom.

I often read reports in newspapers and I often see programs on television that say today’s generation are a bit soft. Certainly most of us don’t understand what bravery means any more. I know for a fact that if I was to be attacked by what Wolf Blister and his network news mates always call “massively superior forces,” I’d run like hell. Or play dead. Or hide. And ruin a good pair of underwear.

I have interviewed many WWII veterans on the ships at marriage shows and at various events and shows. One thing that most of these men have in common is that they will not, under any circumstances, talk about what they did or what happened. They say they proudly serve…but that’s it. The end.

Next month is the soccer World Cup and the team that wins will be called heroes. They always are. But when you see what it took for those young men of WWII and Korea and Vietnam and what it still takes for those men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq……………… “heroes” is completely the wrong word.

So for all those blog readers who have served and are serving and especially for Tim Kriebel MCPO USN retired who is in hospital as I write facing another battle, I say thank you.

And to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice these words are as true as they were when they were written

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

I will see you all here on Tuesday

Goodnight
Your friend
John

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.

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