Unto Us A Child Is Born

June 1, 2010 -

John Heald

At 7:20am this morning I sat down at my computer………in my underpants………..and read my e-mails……….here is the one I received from my wife Heidi.

From: Heidi Heald
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 2:06 AM
To: FANTASY CRUISE DIRECTOR
Subject: Morning Husband.

Very excited now, only 6 days until you are home. Was thinking this as I loaded the dishwasher knowing that you will be doing this next week

H and K
xx


Well that’s bloody charming isn’t it? Not “I can’t wait to drag you into the garden shed for some rumpy pumpy or I can’t wait to cook you your favourite meal or I can’t wait until your home so I can look after you and wait on your hand and foot” as it should be. Oh no ……….it’s I can’t wait for you to come home so you can load the sodding dishwasher.

The thing is she knows I hate loading the dishwasher. Hate it. In fact I’d even go so far as to say that I would rather go up a climbing wall, naked into a nest of starving rats, with a porterhouse steak tied to my thingy ……………than fill the dishwasher

I have and never will obtain full knowledge of the BOSCH 300c with top-loading cutlery tray. And this is a new machine, part of the new kitchen my wife hand installed last month which I have yet to see and which cost loads of money which means that I can’t ever afford cigars or to rent myself a week in an Aston Martin DB9. It was, apparently, more important that we got a new kitchen

There is though absolutely no point to me loading the dishwasher anyway because I always get a bollocking for doing it wrong. I just shove the stuff in there but just as I am about to close it and try and figure out which of the 297 buttons to press to make it start …….Heidi appears out of nowhere and says: “No…You idiot…….how many times do I have to tell you? Wine glasses go on the bottom shelf to the left. The large plates go at the back to the right. Bowls can go on either the bottom or the top shelf, but must be stacked two slots apart, not one. Kye’s spoons and plates rest neatly above the bowls at an angle that in no way disrupts the movement of the upper spray arm. The big pan will go happily on the upper shelf on the left, but the soup pan must go on the right or there will be hell to pay. Wooden spoons are fine, they’re absolutely fine, even on the 75C intensive with prewash setting but do not put my best china Wedgewood tea cups in there……do them by hand…they cost $34 each you know!”

That’s not the worst bit………..oh know……….the joy of emptying the damn thing is still to come. I would rather eat a huge bowl of chitins all washed down with a big glass of liquefied baboon poo ……then empty the sodding dishwasher.

First of all when it has finished washing the bits of spotted dick off the pots and pans it makes a beeping noise. And if I don’t empty it immediately it beeps again. And then again and then I want to take an axe and smash it to pieces………but we don’t have an axe ………apparently an axe is not part of today’s modern kitchen.

So there I am. I have just spent 45 minutes loading the thing and then another 45 minutes re loading it to Heidi’s specifications before nodding off in front of the television, when I hear the electronic summons.  Then and only because I know it will go on until the end of time, I haul myself out of my chair (making old man noises as I do), waddle into the kitchen ………in my underpants, open the door and discover, as jets of superheated steam gush into your face, that the beeping was not, in fact, coming from the dishwasher at all but the thing that Heidi bought to sterilize Kye’s bottles. But by then it’s too late as the hot steam has left my face looking like Freddy Kruger’s.

So, thinking about it………I think I will stay here for another few months and let Ketut and his mates empty the dishwashers.

Let’s crack on with some Q and A……….away we go.

Tracy Stoltz Asked:
Hi John. (Please reply…if you want!)

First off I am sure you know my parents Rus and Nina Franklin! My husband and I have had the pleasure of learning so much about you from the cruises they have taken with you. We were lucky enough to be married Oct 2008 on the Pride and this Oct we will sail on the Splendor for our 2nd anniversary. Much to my surprise I saw on your schedule that you will be on the Splendor then also! I had to call my mom right then and tell her my excitement. After all this time we were finally going to meet the Man, the Myth, the Legend…..the great John! We knew this would be a great cruise, but now we know this will be a fantastic trip! Thank you so much for everything you do and bringing such joy to all of us. I hope you have a wonderful day 🙂 Thanks from Tracy, Daniel and Alexis

John Says:
Hello Tracy Stoltz

I indeed do know your parents and have shared some great times with them onboard, please send them my kind regards. I am honoured (spelt correctly) that you are excited to cruise with me and I will do my very best to make sure you have a great time. Please drop me a note at the Guest Services Desk when you arrive on the ship with your state room number so I can say hello.

I will see you soon.

Best wishes to all
John

Susan Rita Myers Asked:
Dear John (Please reply)

We just got off the Dream (we were on the 5/1/10) sailing. It was our 12th Carnival cruise and just like every cruise we have been on, it was wonderful, the ship is great, and the service impeccable. We are looking forward to sailing with you on the 9/26 sailing of the Splendor and the 5/10/11 sailing of the Magic. We did run into a concern that we have not seen addressed. The Muster Drill held on the Dream. We have sailed on 11 previous Carnival cruises and we were glad to see them get rid of the dragging of the life jackets to the drill. We did believe that a demonstration by a crew member was enough for even the most simple minded to be able to put one on. Our concern was how the drill was handled on the Dream. We went to the dining room where it was difficult to hear and they made a rundown of the muster stations quickly that was hard to follow. For the first time on a ship, when we left the drill we had NO CLUE where our station was or where to go if there was a problem. We simply were not given enough information and like I said we have been to a lot of these and always walked away with a mental picture of the plan if something went wrong. We had also physically stood in our muster station and actually went to the area. This is important for people to know and going to the dining room is no substitute for standing there looking at a life boat aware of the fact that this is where you need to go. After 7 days on the ship, we still never had a feeling that we would be able to find our way in an emergency. Some people voiced relief that this was the “new safety drill” but all it does for us is raise red flags that there are over 3000 people that will be clueless to even where their station is. I believe it would be better to go back to the drill where everyone went to the muster station and stood there, it is necessary to be physically there at least once to even have a change to find it in an emergency, Maybe you should try an experiment and randomly pick someone from the Dream and ask them where there muster station is and how they would get there right now. I think you would find that reading the muster station off your sign and sail card (that is a good idea) is not going to help them find their station if they went to the dining room and not the actual location.

Could you bring our concern to the right people?

Thank you and we look forward to sailing with you in September.
Foster & Susan Rita Myers

John Says:
Hello Foster & Susan Rita Myers

I am very glad to hear that your Carnival Dream cruise vacation was so enjoyable and thanks so much for taking the time to express your concerns about the new style safety briefing on the ship. I have, as you may know, been the CD on my Carnival Dream recently and so I am very familiar with the procedure. Instead of going straight to the embarkation stations of the lifeboats and life rafts guests go to muster station lounges which include the dining room as well as the main theatre and other areas of the ship. This would be the first place to which guests should go wearing the lifejacket as we showed you during the safety briefing.

Then, if the captain thought it necessary to abandon the ship the crew would lead you to the embarkation stations of the lifeboats and life rafts. Each guests muster station location is written on their sail and sign card.

However, if we have problems with the sound system in one of those muster stations which you mentioned was the dining room then that is indeed not good enough and I will take immediate steps to inform the ship and the Miami office as well.

I truly appreciate you taking the time to write and I thank you for bringing this to my attention.

I am looking forward to seeing you on the Carnival Splendor and please drop me a note when you board the ship.

Thanks again and best wishes to all
John

Dan Asked:
Dear John (PLEASE REPLY),

I have been on many cruises with Carnival and both my wife and myself are platinum members. But as rules have changed with carnival we have learn to accept it, even when we do not agree with them. Starting with the ice chest, lock on bags and so on. They make no business since to have such rules. However the latest rules with the power strip has no merit from the beards. The amount of amps that each power strip is pulling in order to power a net book, camera chargers and iPod is so so low. No way on this green earth would it overload? After all isn’t that what circuit breakers are for? What has changed in 2010 with the power strips that was not an issue in 2002, 2003 and so with the SAME ship? Did power strips overload the ship when it was new? Did it over load it 3 years ago, 2 years ago? So why do you think it would overload the system today.

The fans and even extension cords I could see as a possible issue with fire. But to limit all users not to be able to charge their electronic items which make OUR vacation enjoyable it not acceptable. If Carnival is worried about a fire issue, why do the beards allow folks to smoke in the rooms? I wish I could understand the reason and get onboard with Carnival on this one. But overloading the electric system is a pile of bull and you know it.

Carnival beards have being sending message after message to Carnival customers. These messages are making it more and more difficult to work with the corporation in Miami. The staff on the fleet of ships always are top notch. They carry out direction from Miami.

I have a cruise booked for this summer. But depending on the outcome on these “household goods” ban. It will make my decision on who I sail with next.

John Says:
Hello Dan

First of and most importantly thank you for being a loyal Carnival cruiser and becoming a Platinum member. Change is never easy and I know that even as an employee that I don’t always agree with some of the changes that have been made of recent times. I support them and adhere to them but I may not always agree with them.

The power strip issue is not as I first thought a power drain on the ship. I know I said that in a blog when this new regulation came out because that is what I had wrongly been told. And I said the same as you, surely not…….how can someone’s Eye Pod and cell phone disrupts the power of the ship? It then though became clear that the reason Carnival had decided to ban these units was because that some had been found to be old, badly wired and therefore they could start a fire. This I understood. A fire in a cabin on the Carnival Triumph back in 2003 was started this way……..that was in a crew cabin and since then power strips have not been allowed for the crew either.

So you are right……..it will not over power the ship’s system. However, if the chaps with beards say that power strips are unsafe then I have to believe them and support them in the same way I do when a flight attendant tells me that the $90 cell phone I bought from Radio Shack can seriously disrupt the flight controls of a 747.

Individual chargers are permitted of course as you saw recently when we posted the list of approved and banned items. As for smoking in the rooms……..well that is something that is being discussed and examined at the highest level as we speak

I think the most important thing here though is to return to the fact that you are a Platinum cruiser and that you chose Carnival 10 times or more because of the affordable value for money and brilliant fun. I truly hope that you will not jeopardize that over a power strip.

I thank you for your time and please, if you have a follow up question please let me know.

Best wishes
John

njoyndride Asked:
Hello John (please reply)

Hard to believe I’ve been reading this blog almost from the beginning. The other day I was marveling how you manage to always have fresh material than realized with society (or lack thereof) as your inspiration you can do this forever!!!!

If you don’t mind I would appreciate your opinion. I am the group leader for my in-laws 60th Anniversary cruise. My in-laws are treating 22 children, grandchildren and yes great grandchildren to Carnival Splendor in June 2011. Because of the diversity of ages we would like to do Your Time dining as early is too early and late…well too late. Group sales tried to talk me out of this due to the size of our group. My plan is to visit the Maitre’d upon embarkation and set up a standing reservation. Would love your feedback if you think this is doable for a party our size.

By the way I want to give a shout out to the most wonderful PVP Gary Anderko who held my hand through the group booking process…he was outstanding.

Thanks John!

John Says:
Hello NJOYNDRIDE

There are a few people who have read the blog all the way from March 2007 until now and to you and all of them I say a big thank you for your support and for your staying power. How brilliant that your in laws will be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary on the Carnival Splendor and with their loving family with them. It is funny that you should mention a large group requiring Your Time Dining as I arranged for a group of 18 to have this option here on the Carnival Fantasy next cruise. Please don’t worry, all will be well. I will send this to the brilliant Miguel the senior maitre d and my good friend so that he is aware before you sail of what you require. Please can you send one of the 344 Stephanies a post this week marked for their attention with your name and state room number just as a reference.

Thanks also for taking the time to mention Gary and I will make sure he sees this as well.

If you can also include the names of the couple celebrating 60 glorious years together in your next posting as well please so I can send them a little something.

Best wishes to all
John

Harry from Ontario Asked:
John, Please Reply.

Can you tell me why I cannot charge my phone on a Carnival ship? I guess you want me to go back to Royal Caribbean then.

Harry

John Says:
Hello Harry from Ontario

Hopefully Harry you have seen the list of what is allowed onboard and you will know that you can put your cell phone charger in your carry on and use it onboard. You said in your posting that “I guess you want me to go back to Royal Caribbean then” which of course I do not. However, it seems from that statement that you were cruising with Royal and then came to Carnival. Hopefully the fact that you can charge your cell phone and more importantly the fun and value for money that a Carnival cruise brings were the reason you left that other line in the first place. None of these have changed and therefore please come and sail with us again and enjoy another fun for all cruises.

Best wishes
John

Judy Sharum Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY!!!

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LIST OF PROHIBITED ITEMS YOU WERE GOING TO PUT UP????

I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR IT!!!

John Says:
Hello Judy

I see I have reached a batch of questions that are about the prohibited items. Anyway, hopefully you have now seen the list and if not, I will post it here again one more time.

Best wishes
John

http://www.carnival.com/cms/faqs/default.aspx?faq=prohibited

Joan Asked:
Please Respond

John,

Love your blogs … they give me a cruise “fix” when I have to be on shore (works, kids ….)

I have a couple of possible solutions to what seem to be common complaints: people who ask you for things, and cruisers who “save” deck chairs.

1) How about if you continue to help people, but just not write about it in your blog? I have to say, I understand that you want to help people – but there are lots of times I read the blog and think to myself “Oh, there’s another person wanting a table change at dinner or …”

2) What if people leaving their deck chairs have to get a number from a crew number to leave on the chair? The crew member can record the time the number was handed out and then, 30 minutes later if it isn’t returned, they know which chair they can remove items from. This will also reinforce to cruisers that they can’t save chairs for hours and hours.

Just a thought.

Keep up the good work, have fun.
Joan

John Says:
Hello Joan

I am very glad you have been enjoying the blogs and hope you continue to do so. I know that the deck chair savers are a bane of other cruisers and indeed I am frustrated that as of now we have not been able to find away to stop them.

The idea of a ticketing system is one we have looked at in the past but unfortunately it is a simple point of us not having the manpower……….sorry person power………to get this done. Yes, we have the crew to hand out the tickets but the open deck space is one heck of a big piece of real estate and I guess that’s why each and every one of the big cruise lines have yet to find a way of making this go away. Short of tasing anyone who saves a seat, I don’t see it changing. We cruise directors must not give up and keep making announcements to appeal to the guests not to do this. Some will listen and understand and many will simply say “bollocks” or the American and Canadian equivalent of bollocks ………and save the deck chairs anyway. We won’t give up though.

As for helping people, well I answer the 10 questions each day the Stephanies send me and I don’t have the time to answer them in a separate area. I do know that people ask me for things and most of the time I am happy to help, I truly don’t mind. It is when people seem not to be able to use a simple “please” or “thank you” that my hemorrhoids flare up.

I will mention the ticketing idea to the beards again because there is a new group of beards in the office these days so maybe they will re visit this.

Thanks for taking the time to write and best wishes to you and the family.
John

jkparrish Asked:
Dear John, (please reply)

Who do I have to have hanky-panky with to get the Miracle to have the special chefs table dining experience on my Nov 2nd Miracle Honeymoon sailing? I’m a total foodie and I think my future husband would look the other way in these special circumstances. (kidding…)

Thanks

John Says:
Hello jkparrish

You have to have hanky panky with nobody…..I am working on it and hope to have news on this very soon. The Chef’s Table has proven to be a huge hit and therefore we are going to try and get it on as many ships as possible as soon as possible.

Of course if your husband is indeed looking the other way…………..ummm…………me?

I will write more on this soon

Best wishes
John

David Templeman Asked:
Hi John (Reply if you like),

I’ve been waiting with baited breath to hear more about this new policy that would prevent people without “Medical necessities” from bringing power strips aboard.

Being a hopeless techno geek, I usually travel with various gadgets…. Netbook, Crackberry, iPhone… multiple cameras… etc. And one of the most frustrating things for me is when you get to your destination and you have to “share time” with the one plug in the room. Especially on cruises, as invariably there is one plug for the entire cabin. I was recently on business in Laguna Beach, CA and the room that I was in had maybe 2 accessible outlets in the entire suite… I was moving furniture around to get to things (quite comical if you ask me).

While I understand the concern as a fire hazard if you are carrying a power strip without an internal circuit breaker…. or if you daisy chain a few, etc… but one power strip does not a fire hazard make… Is it a question of power consumption?

🙂

We’re so looking forward to our upcoming cruise on Carnival Dream on July 10th. (I’ll drop a quick reminder of my cabin number 7259… as you asked from your previous response). All of our group is looking forward to a fun filled week. We have 21 people travelling in our group… (Hopefully we won’t make too much noise).

As it is Mother’s Day this weekend in the US… I would like to wish Heidi a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Your Friend,
David T.

John Says:
Hello David T

First of all I think the fact that we only provide one solitary plug socket in the staterooms rather silly and while on the older ships you can sort of understand because there were no cell phones and Eye Paddies etc then there are now and yet we still have only one socket.

I am told that the issues with power strips are based purely on safety and as I said before, while you or I may not agree it is what it is and I never argue when the word safety is used. The people who make these decisions know much more than I do in this regard and as a sailor if they it’s in safe I have to and want to believe them.

I know you will have such a great time on your Carnival Dream and you can expect a little something from me………….and it’s not a power strip.

Best wishes to you all
John

Maureen Fairservice Asked:
Hi John (Please reply)

OMG you are a riot…I just love your blog…Long Nails…HAHAHA…

We cruised on the Carnival Dream with you on Feb 27; I am the one whose father passed away the night before we got on the “Daycare on Water” then the Dream. Hubby had written you a note for your morning show and we had a nice surprise when we came back in our room that night – kid’s sure treasure their beautiful gold ship on a stick and the picture you signed with a beautiful note. You are the best.

Came home and within 10 days called my wonderful – the best – PVP Booked next Feb 2011 on the Victory – a new itinerary for us.

2 weeks ago, my girlfriend says to me – wanna go on a cruise on July 4th – this time no kids and no husbands we have all turned 40 in the past year and a bunch of women are going. Called my PVP again – she is a riot – we are actually gonna meet on July 3rd we chat from time to time as she calls me with the deals going on and just to say hi – I luv to hear from her as she isn’t pushy Can’t wait to meet her in Miami. She arranged a surprise for 2 of the women who have b-day around the time of our cruise.

We are on the Valor July 4th cabin 1037. (3rd time on the Valor) We were wondering who is at the late show – comedy that week? And also, last time I was on Valor with you as our cruise director in 2009, we were able to take advantage of the future booking certificate thingy, is that still available on the Valor?

Hope to cruise with you soon again and soon you will be with your beautiful Kye and Heidi – do send some pictures – when we disembarked the Dream, Heidi and Kye were in the elevator, she was getting ready to go home, got to say goodbye as we say Kye in the camp.

Take Care and sorry for the long note, but you are the best and so is Carnival,
Moe

John Says:
Hello Maureen Fairservice

I remember you and the family well and once again my sympathies to you all on the passing of your father.

I was glad to see that you have booked the Carnival Victory for next February and you will love all the ports. If you have any questions about them please let me know. I think your girls-only cruise is going to be brilliant and I have already alerted the chief security to keep an eye on you all. The Loyalty Desk is indeed on the Carnival Valor and the certificate you mentioned is available and remains a great deal.

It looks like you will have a great week of entertainment – here is the rundown for you.

Percy Crews and Jim Brick are your comedians and both are absolutely hilarious. Manuel Zuniga is a superb juggler and of course Rand Woodbury is a fantastic Illusionist. Marcus Anthony was just here with me on the Carnival Fantasy and his Motown show is not to be missed.

Nightclub Express journeys the nightclubs of the world and of course Far From Over is our 80’s show and features our Fun Force team.

I hope you all have a great time and I will indeed post some photos of the family when I am home

Best wishes to all
John

Well that’s all for today and back with 10 more questions tomorrow.

So a very good morning to you and I hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend. All the cruise directors were encouraged to acknowledge those who have served with this message in the Capers………sorry…….Fun Times.

On behalf of Carnival Cruise Lines, we would like to wish everyone a happy Memorial Day and take this opportunity to acknowledge and honor the contributions of all the brave men and women who have served in the armed forces.

I also suggested to Hennie that he invite everyone at the welcome aboard show to stand who has served in the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy to take a round of applause from their fellow guests.  He did and the response was magnificent.

That seven day cruise we just did went superbly. It was a perfect week of weather and those that may have been concerned that a Fantasy class ship would not provide a successful seven-day cruise have nothing to be worried about……….it was a massive success. Half Moon Cay was the favourite port of call and Grand Turk a close second.

Now as I explained in a blog last week, the terminal building here in Charleston is not exactly ummmm……..large. And so I was under instructions to promote the self assist option as much as possible. That is not always easy on a seven-day voyage but considering that many of the guests drove to the port I was hoping for around 1,000 to take the self assist option and take off their own luggage.

I actually surpassed my own expectations and had 1,505 on self assist. This made the embarkation staff very, very happy indeed and in fact they were so happy they presented me with a box of Dunkin Doughnuts. I didn’t have the heart to tell them I was diabetic ……but the entertainment staff was very happy I am diabetic………and scoffed the lot.

I will make sure that Hennie has all the information on this complicated but smooth debarkation operation for next cruise.

We will talk more about Hennie’s first two days as cruise director in a moment but let’s find out who is sailing with us this cruise and where they are sailing to and who will be entertaining them

VOYAGE FA6053010

TOTAL GUESTS – 2421

NON U.S – 31

PAST GUESTS – 1024

PLATINUM – 27

MILESTONE – 2

Under 2 Years 6
2-5 Years (Camp Carnival) 38
6-8 Years (Camp Carnival) 51
9-11 Years (Camp Carnival) 75
12-14 Years (Circle “C”) 64
15-17 Years (Club 02) 93
18-20 Years 104

And here is where they are going and who is entertaining them:

Thien Fu is a comedy juggler. I have not seen his show before so I am looking forward to that. Dean Gaines is a very funny comedian/entertainer and Yolanda Barber is a dynamite vocalist.

As you can see we also have Al Ernst with us again who as you know is Carnival’s 349th best comed………….oh hold on…………..I just heard that we have hired a Russian woman called Nora Titov who tells a very funny knock knock joke……… we also have Al Ernst with us again who as you know is Carnival’s 350th best comedian.

So as I mentioned on Friday, I have been asked to watch Hennie Van Heerden who is going to be the acting cruise director here on the Carnival Fantasy for 6 weeks until Risa Barnes returns. My role here is to support and advise him, something that most new cruise directors do not have when they first start. Usually the cruise director leaves and the first week the new one is in the big chair ……….there is nobody to get advice from.

Hennie is from South Africa. He reminds me of Jim Carrey when Jim Carrey was funny. Hennie has a rubberesque face which he uses to perfection and his facial antics are definitely something I have encouraged him to use to the maximum. His Welcome Aboard show was very good and I though he did really well. We spoke a bit about time management on stage and as all cruise directors do and have done, myself definitely included, that you can never speak slowly enough on stage. He is doing well though and I am glad I am able to be here for him. But as always……..I want the microphone back.

Let’s talk babies. Every now and then I read about how it is becoming more and more fashionable for women to give birth at home, surrounded by friends and family. Usually the ladies who say this are wearing sandals, long green flowing dresses and will have some Enya or whale music playing when the contractions begin and who will breast feed until the kid is 11 years old. She is also likely to ask her “partner” to video the entire event for the kid to be traumatized with later.

Having been through the wonders and the utter terror of child birth I have to say that for me, hospital is the only place to have a child. It’s what we do. It’s in our modern DNA. We do so because experience tells us it’s safe, it’s reliable and, apart from anything else Who the heck is going to clean up afterwards?

Anyway, I just wanted to relay a certainly unusual situation on the Carnival Paradise last week as it gives new meaning to the term “baby on board.” Here is a firsthand report from Doctor Prakesh on the Carnival Paradise who will explain what happened next.

We were heading from Ensenada, Mexico to Long Beach, California on 27 May 2010.

The next moment when the grandmother walked to our medical center on board and said, “I think my daughter needs attention” turned out to be an adrenaline event.

Full emergency resources were placed in action and we were all on a war footing. The ship’s command made sure all resources were placed at our disposal to deliver the baby. It was a tricky situation and our true skills were tested to its best but it all turned out to be a smooth ride with her sheer determination to make her arrival an impact on our lives.

The medical complaint we received, which initially we thought was a routine one turned out to be a sheer bundle of joy in the form of a baby girl — Cara Paradise was born at 10:20 AM on 27 May 2010 Pacific Daylight Time.

Cara Paradise just was there being cuddled by her aunt, grasping the nurses chain, filling our hearts with her shrill pitched cry, her mother was all smiles and tears, while the family was a bit shaken but ecstatic about the surprise arrival.

We were in International waters and this was surely going down as a memorable day in my 11-year medical career.  After initial stabilization and making sure the mother and child were health, Captain Pierluigi Lanaro who promptly diverted his ship toward San Diego where we were met by a U.S. Coast Guard boat.  Here, the mother and child were promptly transferred to the boat.  For the Captain, this was a first time incident in his 30 years of marine service diverting his vessel for a newborn on board.

From then on, for the baby it was a fast ride to a waiting ambulance and she was on her way to a hospital in San Diego.

The nurses sure missed the brief period of attachment they had with this tiny star for about three hours.  Tears trickled down our cheeks too as we said goodbye to this star of our super liner.

An overhead announcement was made to announce the arrival of the new baby.  She was a true international citizen and I was proud to sign her birth statement. She stands to be welcomed back again anytime on this floating resort.

Nature is full of surprises.  What a fast paced ride for her in the first few hours of life.

For those keeping score, that’s cruise ship; motor boat and ambulance to the hospital.  This kid’s destined for action movies.

Dr. Prakash Harischandra, Senior Physician
Carnival Paradise

Thanks Doc for sharing that amazing story with us. And how right you are, the baby seems destined for the movies……..I mean…… . How brilliant that Mum decided to use the ship as her new daughter’s middle name……..Cara Paradise is a beautiful name … I wonder though if she would have done that if she had been on the Conquest…or Ecstasy.

But the fact that she shortened Carnival to Cara is a permanent reminder to her that her place of birth was a Carnival ship. Good job therefore that she wasn’t born on a Celebrity ship otherwise she would have been called “X “or even worse…………..she could have be born on Easy Cruise!

Anyway, congratulations to everyone involved for making sure that this little lady’s arrival into the world was one with a happy ending.

I think I documented here on the blog thingy how Heidi and I agonized over what to call our daughter and as I was sitting here this morning….in my underpants…….I thought I would ask Uncle Google what as of June 1 the most popular baby names were?

Uncle Google was kind enough to tell me that the Bible is still a source of inspiration for many, but in the US as of now the No 1 names are Jacob and Emily. But look beneath the top 10 and it’s a great big bag of lunacy where children are named after movie stars and American Idol winners.

This past week in my Marriage Show I had a lovely honeymoon couple from Greenville, North Carolina. When I asked her to tell us who she was she seemed embarrassed to tell me that her name was Chardonnay. Now, that’s OK if her last name was exotic which her maiden name actually was. She was Chardonnay Mercado……..but now she is married …….and she is Chardonnay Jones. The audience all laughed and so did Chardonnay. I asked if she liked her new last name…she said “no“…….I told her not to wine ……….. get it………Chardonnay…….wine………..sigh……….the audience didn’t get it either.

I grew up laughing at Frank Zappa for calling his daughter Moon Unit, but today people are naming their kids after remote African villages and sports cars.

Before naming a child Diet Coke or Armani, it’s important to remember that the name you choose will have a huge impact on how the poor sod’s life will turn out. In the land of see through people and exploding volcanoes…..I am talking of course about Iceland ……. your last name is your Father’s Christian name with “son” tagged on the end. So mine would be John Nevilleson and Megan Fox’s would be Megan Sexybottomson.

Of course naming the kid after where it was conceived is also common place and based on that fact ………..Kye’s name should have been Lifeboat Number 4.

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.