Welcome To The Hotel California

August 2, 2010 -

John Heald

I sometimes think that the big blogger in the sky thinks to herself…..right…….I am God and it is my duty to make sure that fat cruise director has something to write about so let’s make sure that every time he travels he has a story to tell. God then goes back to watching re runs of Little House on the Prairie leaving me in the crapper.

My flight yesterday was on Virgin, flight 007, to Los Angeles and using the last of my air miles I upgraded myself to business class. And I have to say that while his trains are leave a lot to be desired, old beardy knows how to run an airline.

Business class on Virgin is called Upper Class which is a ridiculous snobby way of saying that for an extra few million dollars you get to stretch your legs out and enjoy a complimentary glass of something. And in the case of the passenger opposite me in 12D…….many glasses of complimentary something. Because by the end of the flight this chap was, as we say in Essex …. totally wankered. Most of the bloggers reading this have a memory of a drunken incident so mortifying that we could pull out the hair on our bottoms and run screaming into the night at the memory.

Well my mate in 12D whom we shall call Mr. Lucas because that’s what the flight attendant referred to him definitely had his nightmare moment on the plane yesterday.

He had been drinking quite a bit during the 11-hour flight and I am guessing he had been enjoying some Jack Daniels with his breakfast early that morning. Half way through the flight he suddenly started singing. Yep…….he had his headphones on and he decided to share the song he was listening to. And he sounded like a cat being castrated with a knitting needle, with no anesthetic……by Stevie Wonder.

Even through my own noise canceling headphone thingies I could hear him butcher the Kings Of Leon song. The flight attendant handled the situation very well though and asked him not to sing. He complied but when Lucinda told him that she would not be serving him any more alcohol he started swearing and was warned that his behavior would not be tolerated.

He returned to his headphones but a few minutes later he was making more noise as he entertained most of the plane by cradling the business class toilet bowl like a long-lost lover. He emerged sometime later and for some bizarre reason he did so while playing an imaginary trombone!

And so we landed in LAX and I spent just under two hours getting through United States Immigration. No point me mentioning again how cruise ship crew are treated because nobody cares and it will never change. I will say that Los Angeles was better than the Miami experience which is though, like saying syphilis is better than gangrene.

Long Beach was very, very full on Saturday night, according to the lady at the Renaissance Hotel, who said there was something called an IT convention in town. This meant that Long Beach was full of tofu and sandal wearing beardies. It also meant that there was no room at any inn. Not a single little cupboard, not a George Hamilton style penthouse…. Nope …….. there was bugger all.

I had wanted to stay in Long Beach so that I didn’t have to have a journey on Sunday morning. Even the Queen Mary was fully booked.

So in the end I had booked one of the airport hotels near LAX. A quick Google and the Hilton popped up with five different options. I could have an executive room, or a room with WiFi, or with breakfast, or with both. For a few extra dollars, I could even have the honeymoon package, complete with celebratory bottle of bubbly. There was, sadly, no option of a Latvian woman called Nora waiting for me in my room.

It wasn’t my honeymoon so I booked the basic option for $159. I used their flashy online check in service thingy. I clicked here and clicked there, requesting a room as high as possible. And non-smoking. And with the New York Times rather than the Washington Post, thank you very much and see you later. And that was that………or so I thought.

So I catch my flight to Los Angeles, land at 4 pm (midnight my time), stand around for several thousand hours at immigration with all the other tired cruise ship employees, and finally get to the hotel shuttle pick-up point. There is a phone and a button with the Hilton logo next to it. I press the button and the hotel-shuttle guy on the other end of the phone says a shuttle will be there in ten minutes. What else was he going to say?

The bus arrives and I notice two things….. First, the driver has put a sign on the dashboard outlining the extent to which any food must not under any circumstances be consumed on the bus; second, he has an enormous burrito looking thingy on the passenger seat. This wouldn’t normally annoy me but I’m so tired and crabby and my underpants have disappeared so far up my arse from the 11-hour flight that it does………a lot. I just want to go to bed.

Halfway to the five-minutes-away hotel, the hotel-shuttle guy walkie-talks to the burrito driver guy. We have to go back to the airport to pick up another passenger, who turns out to be imaginary. So we turn back again, and it’s very frustrating but I can live with it because I must by now be literally seconds away from nice, crisp Hilton sheets. I shall wake Heidi up to say I am safe and brush my furry teeth, peel off my sweaty clothes, turn my underpants inside out ready for tomorrow, power shower myself to within an inch of my life, then pass out.

Finally, we arrive at the Hilton and I sprint……..OK, I walk quickly up to the reception desk. The woman couldn’t be less enthusiastic, which isn’t what you expect from a reputable international hotel chain. At the very least I want an artificial smile and a “Good evening, sir, Mr. Heald, sir. Good to have you with us.” I just get a grunt as she snatches my Carnival credit card.

She types my details as if she’s trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records as World’s Most Pissed Off Employee……currently held by the climbing wall attendant on the Something of the Seas.

Then…………..I was suddenly in Crap Street.

“Sir, we’re overbooked. We’re moving you to another hotel just around the corner. Go in that minibus.”

While I’ve been experiencing Delores and her hospitality, the minibus I got off has now been filled with grumpy hotel guests who clearly already knew the bad news. Our conversation continued. I was the angry guest……..she was the Guest Services Associate…..minus the service bit

“But I’ve got a reservation.”

“Sir, please get on the minibus.”

“But I checked in online.”

“Sir, get on the minibus.”

“But why didn’t the shuttle guy – “

“Sir.”

“But -”

I wanted to scream. I didn’t, of course, and just got on the minibus.

The other hotel was not just around the corner. It was 15 minutes away and we arrived at a junction where a sign read “Holiday Inn Express, Free HBO Meeting Rooms.” We all got of the bus and had a look at the place Hilton had deemed a suitable alternative for its guests.

Inside, the receptionist sat defensively behind thick bank-teller glass that had a gap at the bottom small enough to slide a credit card but not to point a gun.

I gave the man on the other side of the AK47 safe glass my name and he said. “That’ll be $103.” Nothing else…………just………that’ll be $103.

Room 218 overlooked the busy freeway thingy we had just driven on.

I have no idea what California’s hotel room smoking policies are but I knew room 218 was or had been a smoking room not just because of the smell but also because of the holes in my blanket. The remote control for the TV was moist and sticky and the shower had no water power at all. A baby deer can pee more power that that shower did.  The sheets were as smooth as a piece of sandpaper.

It was, quite simply, the worst place I have ever stayed. But it was now 8pm (4am for me), I had no idea where I was and I was exhausted.

I slept fitfully waking up every hour expecting to find some local gang members had broken into the room and were about to make me their west side bitch.

The next morning, I stepped out of my room, edged past a man with tattoos on his face leaning against a drinks machine and went downstairs to establish where I was and how I could escape. I called a cab to take me to the Carnival Splendor and hummed the theme from the Great Escape as we drove away. My adventure it seemed was over…..except it wasn’t because the cab driver decided to spend the entire journey spitting huge bursts of phlegm out of his window as we drove along.

We arrived at the ship and I had never been so happy to see the Carnival funnel. That’s a totally true story and if this was arranged by God just for the entertainment of my bloggers …………. Well ……..all I can say that she has a very strange sense of humour.

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

Dutchman Asked:
John, please reply

Hi, Question on the Spec Coffee Shop. How about Carnival putting the items on the room service menu. We would love to have a great coffee early on our deck without somebody getting dressed to go get it. Like me.
The beards should like that.

Thanks
Dutchman

John Says:
Hello Dutchman

I just sailed on the Niew Amsterdam and I have to say that their room service menu was brilliant and included many hot items. I know that we are looking at adding some items to ours as well at the moment and I may have news on that in the near future. What I can say is that your idea is excellent and I am sure many would love to have a crapafrapacino delivered to their stateroom upon waking. I am not sure with have the staff power to do this but it is certainly an interesting idea. However, I will as I do with every idea I receive from the people who read this little blog thingy send it up the line for the beards to read. Thanks for posting it and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

Best wishes
John

The Cruzin2some Asked:
Dear John & Bloggers, PLEASE REPLY:

John, good luck with the Dutch winning the World Cup, and nine months from now we can look forward to the announcement that John Jr. has arrived.

Now to my question.

Does the Carnival Destiny have the Chef’s Table? Planning a trip next year and would love to have my family all go to that dinner as I know that they do not have the “STEAKHOUSE” on that ship. One my son’s is a chef in Minneapolis and would just go out of his mind.

Now for my stupendous idea!

Since the announcement that LeBron James will be joining D. Wade and CB4 next year I think that Carnival should offer to their passengers sailing out of Miami, Florida an Onshore Excursion package that no other Cruise line can offer. Tickets to a Miami Heat game. I think it would be great to arrive a day early and have a package setup to stay in a local hotel, go to a Miami Heat game (Preferably against the Back to Back World’s Champion Los Angeles Lakers) followed the next day by a cruise on one of the beautiful Carnival Ships.

I think for coming up with such a money making idea Carnival should award me with tickets on the half court line next to their award winning Senior Cruise Director and World’s best cruise line blogger and number one Miami Heat fan and athletic supporter, when we cruise next year out of Miami aboard the Carnival Destiny.

What do you say John?
The Cruzin2some

John Says:
Hello Cruzin2some

I have sent around 200 reservations for the Chef’s Table these past three weeks or so and it is obvious therefore that this new addition to our dining options has been met with much applause and anticipation. Unfortunately the Carnival Destiny has not gotten this yet but they will soon. I asked my F&B mates and they hope to have a date for the implementation of this on the Carnival Destiny very soon. I will of course let you know as soon as I do. I am sure it will be in place by the time you sail next year though.

Loved the Miami Heat idea. However, since signing the Holy Trinity every ticket seems to be selling quicker than if Gerry Cahill and I announced we were playing Royal Caribbean’s CEO and Senior CD at naked beach volley ball.

Seriously though it is a great idea and I shall present it forthwith. Carnival has a brilliant relationship with the Miami Heat and maybe we should offer a pre-cruise package for our Miami and Port Everglades passengers.

Tell you what, I am so confident that the Miami Heat will win the NBA championship this coming season that if they don’t I will wear my Dolly Parton dress for an entire cruise on your Carnival Magic. That’s every show, every talk, elegant night and even during boat drill.

Thanks for the great idea and I will let you know what happens. Hope to see you soon.

Best wishes to you both
John

Debbie Stubblebine Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY

Hello John,
I have just finished my 5th cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines and 3 of them have been especially booked so I can enjoy the entertainment provided by certain members of your team. I don’t want to place any names here as I know your blog is read by your crew and I don’t want any of them to feel put out…. cough cough cluck cluck cough cough.
I will be planning a trip on the Carnival Magic in Europe as my son lives in France so I will be over there any way. I was wondering who will be with you on the Magic as in your staff.

I would love to see my favourite poultry (hint hint) over there but am hesitant about booking until I know. When will you be announcing your team? I just sailed on the Dream with Todd and he was okay. I went on the Liberty 3 months ago with Butch and had a blast, he needs a raise.

Thank you for your swift reply in advance, keep doing a great job, Butch is catching you up!
Also if you have understood the clues you will realise who I am talking about. He is very good at what he does and if you’re not going to promote him give him a chance to shine on a shiny new fun ship.

Stay safe
Debbie Stubblebine

p.s your British cursing keeps me and my daughters laughing for hours.

John Says:
Hello Debbie Stubblebine

I have no idea who you are talking about. Anyway, it’s time for my lunch. I am having Chicken a la George today. Seriously………..he is definitely on the short list.

As for Butch…………..well he is an absolute star.

I hope to see you on your Carnival Magic.

Best wishes
John

Carol Asked:
John

So I will be sailing on the Dream on 9/4/10. This will be my 5th cruise, and 3rd with Carnival.

I am taking my BF with me, and he is a first time Cruiser. Do you have any suggestion what I can do to make this sailing a good impression for him?

He don’t go to vaca much, and he have a lot of responsibilities (family and such), took me a long time to convince him its time he deserve vaca and not to have to worry about others.

Thought about decorating the stateroom, but he don’t like that. He doesn’t drink…so can’t pre order wines and stuff.

I really want to do something to surprise him, and something to make this vacation the best for him.

And of course, I want him to like cruising, so he can go with me at least once a year from now on.

Any suggestion?

Thanks!
Carol

John Says:
Hello Carol

Thanks for bringing your BF on his first ever Carnival cruise and I know for sure it will not be his last. Tell you what — why not book a table for 2 at the Steakhouse. Keep it a surprise and then at the table why not give him a card……a friendship card says a lot. I know this because Heidi sends cards for every occasion and I must admit that in these days of e-mails and texts, a card says so very much. The Steakhouse will provide you both with a great night out and if you send me his name and cabin number I will send him a little something as well.

Best wishes to you both and have a brilliant time
John

Susan Cox Asked:

I was given this site to contact someone that can help me set a surprise engagement proposal on our upcoming cruise. We will be on the Carnival Triumph 9/2/10. Could someone please contact me at my email address above as soon as possible? I would appreciate hearing from some quickly. Thank you in advance for your help

John Says:
Hello Susan Cox

Thanks for taking the time to write. I will alert the CD on the Carnival Triumph to expect you. What I need you to do is to write a note and leave it for the attention of the cruise director at the guest services desk. You should do this as soon as you board. The CD will then contact you making sure as not to spoil the surprise and give you some choices. I hope it all goes well and has a happy outcome.

Please let me know if you need anything else

Best wishes
John

AryMay Asked:
Dear John (Please Reply),

One year ago at this time we were aboard the Carnival Freedom with you! Now we are anxiously awaiting our next cruise on the Carnival Legend on August 15th. This will be our 5th Carnival cruise…we are half way to Platinum!! We have never sailed on a Spirit class ship but from what I’ve read they are extremely popular.

I just spoke to a friend who was on the Legend a couple of weeks ago and she stated that there are no lounge chairs on the exterior promenade deck (deck 3). I also recently read a review of the Freedom that stated there were no chairs on the outside deck by the lobby of this ship as well. (I know there were lots of chairs last summer.) The outside promenade deck has always been our favorite spot to spend sea days on our past cruises…it is quiet, shaded and a perfect spot to relax and watch the that beautiful blue sea…and it was always easy to find an available chair. Is this a change that is happening fleet wide? If so we will REALLY miss being able to use this area.

The same Freedom review also stated that the Piano Bar was becoming non-smoking…is this true? How about the piano bar on the Legend? The only time we have enjoyed being in the piano bar was back on the Paradise when it was smoke-free so this would be a welcome change for us. (Sorry…don’t want to get a controversy going…just looking for information.)

This will be a very special cruise for us…we are taking our three adult sons, a daughter-in-law and a future daughter-in-law (in fact the wedding is 2 weeks after we return…yikes!!) This will be the first cruise for my daughter-in-law and she is so excited. She and my son will be celebrating their 2nd wedding anniversary on August 16 (our first sea day). I know it would be a wonderful surprise for them if you could arrange for a little something to be sent to their cabin. Their names are Matt & Marji and they will be in cabin #4142. Since it is just about a month away I hope this is enough notice. Thanks so much for whatever you can do!

I also want to thank you for the great job you do on this blog! I marvel at your witty (and sometimes strange) sense of humor! I enjoy it even more now that I’ve had the chance to sail with you and witness how you love your job. You are one in a million, John!

A faithful blog reader,
AryMay

John Says:
Hello AryMay

Let me start by saying a big thank you for being such a faithful blog reader and for your kind words. As you may have read here on the blog thingy we recently tried some smoking experiments on our ships. Oops………..smoking experiments……….that sounded like a bunch of us were sitting on promenade deck smoking a palm tree listening to Frank Zappa songs. What I mean is that we tried some different smoking and non-smoking options. These tests have finished now and all lounges have returned to their previous state. This means the piano bars still allow smoking in them. We shall see what the future holds. Now, the deck chair thing is a mystery and I checked with the ships. They told me that during a high count of families sailing that some of the chairs were moved to the Lido decks but there were still chairs available on deck 3 and there are certainly still many chairs available on the deck 3 areas. I checked with the Carnival Legend and that is also the case there as well.

I will be honoured (spelt correctly) to send your son and daughter in law a gift and will ask Wee Jimmy your CD to do so.

My best wishes to you all
John

Jeanette Asked:
John, Reply if you wish

John Reply if you wish yes, you are handsome, which is why Heidi married you. I have to admit, Alex is well, in a different category altogether….I’ll definitely be asking to be in that dining room ……My cabin mate will be tickled too….It’s also my birthday too, so it’ll be yet another seven day party and a belated 50th birthday for my cabin mate…..
fuzzypeach@shaw.ca
Jeanette

John Says:
Hello Jeanette

Sad news. Alex the Maitre D was savagely attacked by a pack of wolves while relaxing in the crew bar. His face was badly chewed and so he is now ugly making me the best looking crew member at Carnival.

Make sure you remind me before you sail so I can send you a little birthday something.

Best wishes to all
John

Tanya Brooks Asked:
John,

We absolutely love Carnival Cruise line and are now addicted. My 8 year old son is on a mission to collect a “GOLD” ship from every ship we go on. We are going on the Dream 10/30/2010. Is there any way possible that you could maybe leave him a special “GOLD” Dream in our room?

John, we absolutely love Carnival Cruise line and are now addicted. My 8 year old son is on a mission to collect a “GOLD” ship from every ship we go on. We are going on the Dream 10/30/2010. Is there any way possible that you could maybe leave him a special “GOLD” Dream in our room?

Tanya Brooks

John Says:
Hello Tanya Brooks

That is a very healthy addiction your son has and I will be honoured to help him. Please can you send me a reminder on September 20th and I will make sure one is left for him.

Best wishes to you and the family
John

Randy and Laura Asked:
John, (Please Reply)

I miss cruisin’ with you! It has been since our honeymoon cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy waaaay back in June of 1992! Can’t seem to catch you again. Perhaps we will meet again on the Carnival Magic out of Barcelona next year.

Just a quick review of the Carnival Splendor cruise departing June 27 from Long Beach and a couple of questions.

My wife and I are Platinum Guests and enjoyed the VIP check-in lounge and bypassing the lines! The VIP line merges with the regular line at the x-ray machine and it was a little uncomfortable pushing our way in but no problem really. Shouldn’t a Carnival representative be at that point to help in this regard? Anyway, outside of that, boarding was quick and painless.

As we have come to expect the service, food and staff were fabulous. Our Steward(ess) Jenny was great and to be commended as were our dinner staff Roel and his assistant Wilfredo.

I won’t bore you and your readers with the rest of the glowing remarks except to say the vacation value, as always, exceeded our expectations.

One quick question though. In an effort to start some discussion with Gustav (Goose), the cruise director, I told him (in a joking manner) that “John said hello and to quit stealing his material” during the past guest reception. He responded with a rather angry look and said “I know you are kidding because I would never use his stuff”. Maybe that left a sour taste in my mouth, but I have to say that Goose was probably our least favorite CD of all of our cruises. He just seemed to have more interest in mingling with the crew than with the cruisers. At one point, after the Rock and Roll Party, he had a group of crew enjoying cocktails behind the bar, laughing and joking with them, while ignoring all of the cruisers surrounding him. Anyway, certainly not something that ruined our wonderful vacation, but we just found it a little odd compared to our previous experiences.

John thanks for the blog and all you do. We hope to see you in a Magical way.
Randy and Laura

John Says:
Hello Randy and Laura

1992………….wow……you may have found I have changed a bit since the last time you cruised with me. It would though be brilliant if you could join me on your Carnival Magic next year. Thanks for the review of your cruise. As you know I am on the Carnival Splendor now and I will make sure I go out and look at the embarkation process and see if we can do something about the VIP line as it appears from what you wrote that we need to.

I will be watching Goose a lot this week and I will make sure he sees your comments. I know that he takes his job very seriously and will feel very upset about your comments. I hope we see each other soon.

Best wishes to you and the family
John

Francis K Asked:
John – REPLY IF YOU CARE

Thanks for nothing Mr. Heald. I had asked for a table for 2 to be organized for our Valor cruise but we arrived at the ship only to find we had been seated with other passengers who were from Canada. I guess service means nothing to you and maybe you should do more service and less stupid jokes.

Francis

John Says:
Hello Francis K

I am very sorry. I try very hard to organize everything I am asked to do. Maybe your request arrived after your sailing date as I am 3 weeks behind or maybe I missed it completely. Either way I apologize and hope that despite this you had a great cruise.

Best wishes
John

Bugger………and that Q and A was going so well. Anyway, that’s all for today and I will be back with more tomorrow. Well, here I am on the Carnival Splendor and let me say how good it is to be here. Before I talk about that lets do the news.

A couple of weeks we spoke about the brilliant addition……………BLOODY HELL THIS CURSOR THINGY KEEPS HOPING UP A FEW LINES AND I KEEP TYING OVER WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN……………..Dell my arse.

Anyway, as I was saying. A few weeks ago we told you about the brilliant addition of the Punchliner comedy clubs on our ships and now here is Vance to tell you about the next exciting addition to our entertainment lineup…………..Vance…………over to you.

Guests Take Center Stage with Carnival’s New Superstar Live Karaoke

So how about that. And to let you know how it’s going already let’s pop over to the Carnival Pride and hear from our friend Jamie who it seems feels very happy to have Superstar Live.

Hey John.

Here are some photos from our newest activity Superstar Live!  Last night was the first time offered to the guests on board and it was a huge success!  The guests get the opportunity to perform with the Mighty Pride Showband.  It is a great combination between a rock concert and karaoke.  The whole event is hosted by our showband singer, which on this ship, is a young lady with an incredible voice named Christina.  She really gets the crowd going and sings back up to the guests appearing on stage.  One more thing, I am not sure why they put the drummer behind that shield, but no one threw any fruit at him… don’t worry!

Anyway, everything else is great around here.  Beautiful weather, lovely people, and Kirk is going on a work break Sunday so I am getting ready to take over as cruise director for 2 weeks!

Hope all is well

=) J

Jaime Deitsch
Assistant Cruise Director

This is going to be a huge hit for sure. I wonder though what the purists of the art of karaoke think about all this. Linda (Mom of DJ)………….what are your thoughts? This will be with me on the Carnival Splendor at the end of September………………..it’s going to be great.

Imagine………..you and a few mates are trying to break a world record by rowing across the Atlantic in a tiny boat. You have survived rough seas and over friendly whales when out of the mist comes the extraordinary sight of the incomparable Queen Mary 2. Well, this is not fiction, it’s fact. You must now go over to Cunard’s blog and see the video of this event with a superb commentary by the ship’s captain. Here is the link thingy and the video is half way down the page ……………it is an absolutely must see.

www.wearecunard.com

Did you see that video? If you skipped it thinking it won’t be worth looking at, think again ……..it’s truly brilliant.

And since then the four rowers have smashed a 114-year-old record by crossing the Atlantic in 43 days, 21 hours and 26 minutes. I imagine meeting the Queen Mary 2 was both inspirational and unforgettable. Congratulations to all of them.

Yep, here I am. Unfortunately there were no guest cabins which is good for business but bad for me as I am in a tiny single crew cabin and so are my three suitcases. I had forgotten how small these cabins are and how lucky I have been in the past and how the shower is so tiny that the shower curtain sticks to me like a super hero’s cape……………I am Butt Naked Fatman.

Apart from that it has been brilliant to be back here and the first of those the memories bare all flooding back. I have some ideas that I want to try here and will be telling you more about that tomorrow.

And joining me here is my new assistant and yes……..her name really is Stephanie. She replaces Ugly Craig who I shall miss a lot. Stephanie though is bright and on the ball and nowhere near as ugly as Craig……….then again an inside out baboon is not as ugly as Craig. Anyway, she has everything ready for me and I shall enjoy working with her. For those who don’t know her ……. here she is.

Over the next few days I shall be introducing you to more of the people I shall be working alongside these next few months and of course on Sunday I will be CD again. Listen, do me a favor………..the next time I tell you I am doing a one week handover I want you all to write “John, don’t do it, you will be as bored as Tiger Woods at the annual Nuns Convention” ………. because ………..I am. Oh how I wanted that microphone last night at Goose’s welcome aboard show. But I sat at the back of the theatre resisting the temptation of getting rid of the Goose and letting Big Bird up there. Goose though did a great job and he really shows how much he loves the job. He told me he was nervous having me out there……he shouldn’t be because he did a brilliant show.

I do have one concern already though. The extra 3 hour difference between Miami and California may be a problem for posting the blog. You see I write early in the morning and then add the end piece during lunch. Usually the 344 Stephanies would have the blog around 2 pm Pacific time which is 5 pm at the Miami office. That’s far too late for them to do what they do to post it and stuff. Now, I will try my best to get it to them ASAP but there may be a day or two when I can’t and as they can’t post from home there may be a few occasions when the blog won’t appear until the next day. As I said I will do my best not to let this happen.

Well, that’s about it for today. It’s nearly time for Goose’s fun ashore talk and considering I know bugger all about these Mexican Riviera ports I had better go and watch and learn.

For those of you who can’t stand those sentimental moments I sometimes burden you with I suggest you click off now and before the mass exodus begins let me say as always thanks for reading my little blog thingy.

For the 5 people who have remained I want to say this. As I drove away from the house yesterday I saw little Kye standing at the window. Her hand was waving and she looked so, so sad that at the end of our street I had to stop because I couldn’t see to drive through the tears that were filling my eyes and streaming down my cheeks.

I don’t know when I will see them again. And I don’t know if I can handle that thought or not. If Heidi feels that Kye is OK to fly then we maybe they can come out but 11 hours on a plane is no fun for a 15 month old. She will have to come in business class as I can’t see Kye sitting still on Mummy’s knee for 11 hours……..and a business class flight is ridiculously expensive.

Next year will be so much easier as we will be in Europe but for now I feel an absolute bastard for leaving her. I know the show must go on but what must Kye think……her Daddy isn’t there to play with her and to sing her bouncy bouncy songs before she goes to sleep. Dada has left and she won’t understand why and that image of her sad face and her tiny little wave has me feeling so very sad.

Being a cruise director for Carnival is the best job in the world……..but seeing Kye waving from the window as I drove away made me realize that the best job in the world comes with massive sacrifices.

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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