The Pits

August 23, 2010 -

John Heald

Guest: Mrs.  ————Ref: 843070992A
Cabin: _____Booking#: _____Added-Changed: 08/19/10 – 08/19/10

INJURED ASHORE

Guest reported that her son had been injured ashore in Mazatlan while riding moped by falling off. Mr ______ age 17 has broken wrist and seen by Mexico hospital. Note: Guest was injured on private tour not on CCL recommended one.

Good morning everyone. As I mentioned during recent blogs, last cruise was somewhat difficult and while most had the best of times there were some interesting comments…………..like the one above. And while I feel very sorry for the 17 year old lad who broke his wrist, we always stress the dangers of renting mopeds in port.

What I don’t get is that at home, this family like most families probably make sure their kids wear cycling helmets when they go for a bike ride along with thigh pads, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves and of course a high visibility jacket. It often appears that the kids of today are dressed to ride their bikes in downtown Kabul.

Yet, for some parents, as soon as they go on vacation, they seem quite happy to let their kids do pretty much anything they want. Ask Uncle Google about “moped accidents” and he will tell you that there have been many serious injuries…………………and worse.

Riding a moped, it seems, is more dangerous than rubbing your thingy with an old piece of fish and dipping it in a tank full of piranhas.

I am sure the parents of the lad with the broken wrist make sure he is safe at all times back home in California, so why then on vacation would they let him ride a sodding moped.

Over the years I have been onboard when many terrible accidents ashore have occurred involving hired transportation…………particularly in Cozumel. At home, you have your car serviced regularly and put through service and allow the PEP Boys to make sure it’s safe. You like to know that the brakes work.

So how come on vacation you are quite happy to rent something from a company called Las Hurtz (spelt correctly) Rent A Jeep who makes you sign all sorts of forms you can neither read nor understand before you race away from the ship heading for adventure. Or you rent an amusing scooter that you ride much too quickly in shorts and a pair of sodding flip-flops. Most people understand the dangers of drunk driving and would never ever do it at home. So why then do so many jeep and moped accidents happen after the driver has consumed 23 shots of tequila at Carlos and Frogs?

What is it then, I wonder, that makes us become so very different as soon as the ship docks? Why do we take leave of our senses?

Some may say that on vacation and on a Carnival cruise we become thrill seeking, fun filled, spirited people. And that when we go home, to everyday life. There is nothing wrong with being thrill seeking, fun filled, spirited people………………just make sure you chose carefully what you do ashore…………so that you get to do the coming home bit.

Erik & Sharon Valentine Asked:
Dear John (please reply if you can),

I just wanted to write a quick note to let you know that, after our wonderfully Maiden Voyage last January 2010 on the Conquest, my wife and I are confirmed Cruise Addicts and will be sailing with Carnival as often as we can.

Along those lines, I wanted to let you know of an exemplary and highly skilled Personal Vacation Planner named Gina Agosta who I will recommend to any of my friends and co-workers who are thinking of cruising as well.

She was not only invaluable in getting us on our first cruise, but she also worked tirelessly with us to get just the right cruise package for us so that we could afford to take a *second* cruise this December. Being able to take two stress-free, week-long vacations in the same year is definitely a dream come true!

In fact, when I was explaining our vacation plans to my Mother, she wanted all the details and it now turns out she will be taking her first cruise with us as well!

I just wanted to not only thank you for the Blog and all the information therein, but also thank you (and Carnival) for their skilled employees and excellent customer service.

Sincerely,
Erik & Sharon Valentine

P.S. – You may edit this out if you wish, but I do not understand why people are so upset over a Customer Service Personage such as yourself using your Blog as a filter-point for helping people. Please keep on doing what you’re doing, since it’s obviously working!*grin*

John Says:
Hello Erik and Sharon Valentine

What wonderful news and I am so happy that you have discovered the joys of cruising. I will make sure that Gina gets to see her name here on the blog. I have read her name here before as others have posted how good she is so I will make sure she sees your words of praise. Please let me know if you have any questions about your next cruise and maybe one day we will get to sail together.

Best wishes to you both
John

Betty Lewis Asked:
Dear John (please reply),

First off, let me say that I am (relatively) new to your blog thingy. But I am now HOOKED  🙂 I want to apologize for the idiot poll thingy over at CC. I am a loyal, long time member of CC. It is a great site with lots of helpful info, but every group has their idiots (rolling eyes now). My opinion is that if you don’t like what a blog says or a tries to do, THE WHY THE @$%%^$$%%^% DO YOU READ IT? IMHO any and all help is greatly appreciated.

DH and I are loyal carnival cruisers. We started cruising when DS was 6 on that ship that has a mouse as a CD. After 2 voyages, we switched to carnival and have never looked back. The value is outstanding and while some cruises are more memorable than others, we have ALWAYS had a fabulous time.

But I do have a? And a favor to ask of you. DH and I are booked for our 7th carnival cruise this OCT. 21 on the Fascination out of Jacksonville. This is a quickie get-a-way, just DH and I (wicked grin). I wanted to book the chef’s table, but wasn’t sure what night (or if it is possible) and if it runs on a 4 night cruise. This is to be a surprise for DH (another wicked grin). We both love fine dining and are wine drinkers, so this appears to be perfect, spec. since the Fascination doesn’t have a supper club. Is it possible to get reservations for the 2 of us? We are in cabin M-3. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Hugs to you and yours. I think Kye is a CUTIE! But just wait till she becomes a mouthy teenager (hehe).

Sincerely,
Baf (aka betty)

John Says:
Hello Betty Lewis

I am also a huge fan of the people who read Cruise Critic and while I never have time to read the sites I know many of the people who do as they cruise with me often. Like any public opinion site there are going to be those who don’t like something and will have no problem in voicing that opinion………..and they usually do so louder than those who are happy. Such is life. I will make sure that you get a quick confirmation for your Chef’s Table reservation request and I can promise you it is something you will truly enjoy. Thank you for finding the blog thingy and thank you for your loyalty to Carnival Cruise Lines. I hope we sail together one day very soon.

Best wishes
John

Mary Ruppert Asked:
Dear John (please reply),

I returned from my 18th Carnival cruise on the newly-renovated Carnival Fascination this past Thursday. I spent a wonderful birthday at Half Moon Cay very thankful for the beautiful weather.

I asked you before the cruise if you could arrange for me to receive a ship on a stick and you replied that you would do so. However, it wasn’t long after I requested and you replied, that I read a couple of comments about people (like me) asking for s-o-a-s, and I felt really bad and guilty about asking for anything. I considered writing back to you and un-ask for the ship, but I REALLY, REALLY wanted one so I didn’t.

Well, this was the first cruise I’ve taken that was a combination of small disappointments and inattentive service staff and conditions that just made the whole cruise seem a little ‘off.’ I’ll try to explain as briefly as I can. I guess when someone says that, you can count on it not being very brief, right? I’ll do my best, though.

We have enjoyed our meals in the dining rooms a great deal and look forward to the experience of dressing up for dinner every night. We were just under 10 minutes late the first evening and I guess it annoyed our head waiter because he didn’t smile or say hello or anything really, just handed us the menus. I ordered fried shrimp (everyone else ordered shrimp cocktail) and when he brought me shrimp cocktail I said “oops, I wanted the fried shrimp.” He snapped at me and said “THAT’S WHAT YOU ORDERED.” Not another word from him. Just kind of clumped off and acted mad at me the rest of the meal. Never saw a drink waiter after asking twice. We didn’t return to the dining room the rest of the cruise. We did, however, enjoy the buffet on the Lido deck. Different experience, but suited us anyway.

Our cabin steward was either very forgetful or had too much to take care of. We had to order ice from room service and clean glassware because he couldn’t remember to refill or provide.

I visited Guest Services about 3 days into the cruise and explained my disappointment with the two areas that important to us. I was asked if I spoke to the maitre d and I said no. I was concerned that if I had an issue with the head waiter being rude and embarrassing me (and the other people at our table DID think he was rude to me) and said something to his boss, what in the world kind of service would I expect the rest of the cruise. I’m just saying…

So, we made do with what we had. I kept the cabin clean, stocked with ice and clean glasses and enjoyed our time in the casino and shops and ashore.

My biggest disappointment? Didn’t get a ship-on-a-stick. All I could think of was the guy who keeps complaining about us asking for stuff and thought how happy he would be to know that you are unable to grant every request. Anyway, I decided that to have one given to me instead of earning it wouldn’t be the same so it’s okay.

I am going to spend my next cruise (in October) trying my very best to win one legitimately. I will enter every contest (well, except for maybe the hairy chest contest) that I can, and maybe, just maybe…

John, I look forward to reading your blog every day and I hope that one day I am on one of your cruises. I think your brand of humour (he-he) would be even funnier in person than on paper. Thanks for a great job.

Mary
P.S. I don’t want anything this time! So there, guy on CC who dislikes all the requests!!

John Says:
Hello Mary Rupert

You see the big problem with me saying yes to people who ask me for things is I have to rely on others to follow through with what I ask for and for 99% of the time my colleagues deliver. But when they don’t as in your case. I get so very, very upset. Please forgive me and I shall insert something in the person who let me and you down.

Thanks for your comments regarding the Carnival Fascination – feedback such as yours is invaluable. I can assure you that your comments will be passed onto the right people and very quickly and in this case I will be asking the guest services team in Miami to contact you accordingly. Please again accept my sincere apologies and if you here a loud “ouch” it will be the sound of my foot entering someone’s bottom for not coming through on your request.

I hope you had fun and I hope you will continue to enjoy the blog thingy.

Best wishes
John

Ron1001 Asked:
Reply Please

I have never read your blog but I see some of the cruise critic members like me do and that there has been some discussion about smuggling booze onboard. Hundreds of people are getting away with it because they tell their stories on cruise critc posting boards ALL THE TIME. I just got off Liberty and I had a bottle of jack Daniels confiscated. Why is not one rule for everyone?

Read this http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1006131

What do you have to say?
Ron

John Says:
Hello Ron1001

Thanks for taking the time to write. I haven’t had time to open the link thingy and besides, I am pretty sure what it will be all about. The Carnival policy is that guests are not permitted to bring one bottle of wine on board the ship and anything else will be confiscated. If people are managing to get their liquor onboard then we need to do a better job in making sure they do not. Whatever your opinion or my opinion is on this….it’s a Carnival rule and it’s going to be enforced as best we can.

I will certainly let the people in Miami know that there are stories on the cruise boards about successful smuggling operations. I know I wrote this the other day on the blog thingy so apologies for saying it again but…….why would anyone want to write on a public site that they have managed to get liquor onboard. I am sure Carnival has people monitoring all the cruise opinion sites so why do it. Personally I think it’s like saying “look how clever I am…… can everyone tell me how fantastic I am please”…….. There is just no need for it……..just my opinion.

I do hope you had a great cruise though and if you have a follow up on this please let me know

Best wishes
John

Beth Flynn Asked:
John, Please PLEASE Reply –

I don’t remember if I added Please Reply to my request a few days back. We are sailing B2B leaving August 21st on the Carnival Liberty. We have 22 of our closest friends and family traveling with us. Our group consists of 10 years old through 87. My son’s best friend is cruising the second week with us and so is my sister. This cruise is special for us because we have talked so many first time cruisers into going and we can’t wait to share this with them. Anyway, on to my request…great day for it, eh? LOL Anyhoo…my sister is turning 45 the last day of the cruise and I was hoping you could send her a little something to make her feel important!! She is! In the last 2 years she has lost 140 pounds. She is a size 6 and is very healthy. We were very worried about her for a while as her health was truly suffering from the weight. She made a really brave decision to have gastric bypass surgery and has lived an entirely different life since then. I plan on ordering her a sugar free cake from BV when I get on board, but I thought a nice little happy birthday from you would be very nice! Also, my 10 year old son reads this blog with me and is billing himself as THE cruise expert to his best friend. It would thrill him if you could have Kyle Post acknowledge his as well. Kay is in cabin 7394 and Cameron is 7386. Oh WAIT! but this is for the second leg of the cruise August 28th sailing!!!

As always John, Thank you so much for trying to do all this for people to make their vacation just a little more special. Just reading you blog makes me feel special and privileged, like I am a part of your ‘inner circle’. Also, you never fail to make me smile. 17 days and counting!!!

Just wait til next year when I have the Girls Only cruise booked (June 5th). Can I ask for something REALLY special to be sent to my cabin this early? Oh well, that is probably inappropriate anyway. 🙂 I’ll just have to find my own. Have fun on your fun Ship and I will have fun on mine. Thank you so much John!

John Says:
Hello Beth Flynn

Wow – 106 pounds……….that’s fantastic. Please send her my congratulations, I wish I could lose 106 pounds. I know this will be a fantastic cruise for you all and a chance to celebrate with the family. I am going to ask your CD Ryan to make sure something is delivered as requested. And your 10 year old can look forward to getting something shiny as well. I wish I could be there with you all. I know you are getting on tomorrow and won’t see this probably but I wanted to say have a brilliant cruise and please tell me all about it when you get home.

Best wishes
John

Chris Brito Asked:
John (Please Reply),

On behalf of all my fellow Long Beach residents, Welcome!

I am very happy that you made it to the west coast and hope that this won’t be the only time you come visit us. I had the honor of sailing with you when the Triumph made its first call to Miami so long ago where you awarded me my first 24 ct. piece of ship on a stick! I still have that on my desk.

As a travel agent, I pride myself and with honor to sell my clients cruises on carnival. Why, because carnival has given me many wonderful vacations and last year marked my 14th cruise on carnival. I really hope to make it on the splendor when you are here in long beach. But the men in beards at my second job might frown on me asking to take a 2nd vacation this year. I cannot wait to introduce my wonderful girlfriend Cynthia to you and let her see why I send my clients your way. I took her on her first cruise on the paradise, and she loves cruising now. She has 4 CCL cruises under her belt and can’t wait for more.

Word of advice, Long Beach is a wonderful place. I was born here and have been proud to call it home for over 30 years. If you value your life, don’t shop at the wonderful place that offers” low prices every day”, if you catch my drift. The place is worse than Harrods the day after Christmas.

If I don’t make a sailing this time around when your on board, I hope to make it to one of the travel agent functions on board they have now and then, and I hope to get to meet you and shake your hand and just say “Thank you” for giving myself and my clients such a great time. I know how busy Sundays are for you. John, thank you again…and best wishes to your family.

-Chris Brito
Long Beach, Ca

PS: One thing that bugs me that you might want to share with the beards in Miami. I am a big guy, and I would love to bring home a Carnival shirt…4xl and 5xl shirts in the gift shop would be great!!! Cheers!!!

John Says:
Hello Chris Brito

I have wonderful memories of the Carnival Triumph and I hope the real gold trophy hasn’t tarnished ………or melted.

I am having a great time here on the Carnival Splendor and I hope that we get to sail with each other soon and I want to thank you also for the sterling work and support that you give Carnival. Travel agents continue to be our best friends and without you and your colleagues we would not be where we are today. I shall stay away from that shop you mentioned although I am in desperate need of hemorrhoid cream. I am with you on the shirt thing. It drives me crazy that we don’t have big sizes………..they would sell………….so why don’t they make them. I just don’t understand but I am going to renew the fight to get this done.

Best wishes to you and your girlfriend and I hope to see you soon
John

Deborah Rosato Asked:
PLEASE REPLY – SEPTEMBER 5 – SAILING CARNIVAL PRIDE

Hi John, I hope you had a wonderful rest/vacation homecoming with Kye and Heidi. I’m sure they miss you terrible now and feel bad that Kye cannot travel right away. I hope Kye is doing well after her shots – OUCH!!

I need your help. I decided to try the Any Time Dining on our Sept 5 cruise…but I keep forgetting that my parents are not as young as they were when we started to cruise some 10 cruises ago. Now that they are in their 80′s and Mom has a slight walking problem, I should have known better. It’s not a good idea to have them wait for a table, even if it is only 5 – 15 minutes. So I called Carnival to get our time changed to early seating and now I’m on a wait list. I’m sure it will clear, but just to be sure, would you please ask the Maître-d’ to confirm us for early seating.

Since I won’t be seeing you on the Carnival Pride as you had originally scheduled, I had to join Big Ed’s Evil Crew and sail on the BC4 cruise. I just hope there are no blizzards and I can get to Florida to make the ship – 🙂

Good news is I got an email from Kim Harrison, one of the funniest comedians I have seen, and she told she will be on the Sept 5 Pride sailing – I hope you have had a chance to see her – she is a hoot!!!

Take care and enjoy California!!!

All my best to you, Heidi and Kye,
Deborah (Debs)

John Says:
Hello Deborah Rosato

Don’t worry, I am sure I can help. Let me pass along your concerns to the Maitre D on the Carnival Pride. Although most of the time there shouldn’t be a long wait for a table I totally understand that your Mum and Dad need to be seated as soon as possible. I will certainly do my best to make this so.  Congratulations on joining Big Ed’s Krewe. There is no doubt that during the bloggers cruises his group has brilliant fun and I encourage everyone to think about joining his group……….. be prepared for some shennanigans though.

Kim Harrison is our first lady of comedy and it is my intention to have her with us for BC4 on the Carnival Glory.

Have a great cruise and best wishes to you all.
John

David and Ruth C Asked:
John, (reply if you want)

There is a link on cruise critic that you get chefs table’s reservations. I want one for the Dream on October 2 for 2 people. Cabin is 7324. How do I know if this has been done.

John Says:
Hello David and Ruth C

I will make sure a reservation is made for you and you will receive confirmation soon.

Have a great cruise and enjoy the Chef’s Table experience.

Best Wishes
John

Brittany L. Asked:
John Please Reply,

First I want to say it’s been a very long time since I’ve written you! Probably because I had nothing to write about but now I do. I just booked me and my best friend on my 4th (her 2nd) cruise along with a few of my other best friends (all 3s first cruise). We will be on the Triumph on the 12/16 sailing celebrating my birthday and one of my friend’s grad from college. Anyway I do have a point in writing. I wanted to know if you have any ideas on how to make this cruise special for my besties. I know the Triumph doesn’t have a steakhouse, are there any other ideas you can think of to make a great trip? Maybe an excursion? Half want to go to the beach and the rest want to so something active. (Aren’t we all just in perfect sync?)

I want my friends to see the wonderfulness of Carnival and want to book many more cruises.

As far as people asking for things. (Hot topic on CC I’ve noticed) In all honestly, I don’t care. As long as people aren’t snobby or rude about it why should anyone care what they are asking for? Everybody’s not going to like everything and John, I commend you because a lot of people would have said No a long time ago. But you are a kind person with a kind heart.

Thanks for reading,
Brittany L.

John Says:
Hello Brittany

Thanks so much for taking the time to write again and for booking you and your friends on another Carnival cruise. Let’s have a look at where you are going.

Thursday, Dec 16 New Orleans, LA 4:00pm

Friday, Dec 17 Fun Day at Sea Saturday,

Saturday, Dec 18 Cozumel, Mexico 8:00am 5:00pm

Sunday, Dec 19 Fun Day at Sea

Monday, Dec 20 New Orleans, LA 8:00am

As you can see you are heading to Cozumel which is one of the most popular ports of call with a wide variety of excursions. Now judging by what you have said I have to recommend straight away that you think the Playa Maya Luxury Beach Break which has all the brilliant facilities of a private beach plus a full open bar and a huge lunch all included. Now, if you remind me one month before you sail I will make send something to your state room as well.

It is going to be a great cruise and if you have any other questions, please let me know.

Best wishes to you all
John

Host Mach Asked:
John, please reply ASAP!

Please let me apologize for SJK (whoever SJK is…) and the link to the thread on Cruise Critic. I’m sure this person never read the entire thread. Had he or she read it they would have instantly understood that the VAST majority of CC members who participated think that you should do exactly what you want to do. If you want to grant favors… grant favors.

I have no clue where these folks come of thinking that they know better than you do about how to conduct your business.

I’m sure that there are some ingrates out there who will never offer you a thank you or act like you owe them something but they are a very small percentage.

You keep on being you. That’s why we love you.

All the best to you and the girls. Say hi to Goose for me!

Ciao
Host Mach

John Says:
Hello Host Mach

Mach – I know that me helping others have some of your readers up in arms…..including SJK. However, this subject is closed mate, I am not going to change. I enjoy it. It makes me feel like I am giving an extra bit of customer service and I also know that the majority of CC readers who read my blog are OK with me doing so. I hope that things are well with you and with Stitch and I send you both my very best wishes and my thanks for the hard work you do and your support of the blog thingy

Best wishes
John

That’s all for today and I will have more answers to your questions tomorrow.

Let’s see who is sailing with us this cruise……….voyage SD7082210

TOTAL GUESTS – 3644

298 – Canada

55 – Mexico

48 – Trinidad and Tobago

29 – Australia

PAST GUESTS – 1,423

Under 2 Years 22
2-5 Years (Camp Carnival) 110
6-8 Years (Camp Carnival) 153
9-11 Years (Camp Carnival) 201
12-14 Years (Circle “C”) 203
15-17 Years (Club 02) 168
18-20 Years 123

With the blogs being as busy as they are I sometimes forget to tell you about the less exciting but nevertheless important sides of my job. And each day brings the unexpected…………like this,

From: Larson, Kevin (CCL)
Sent: Saturday, August 21, 2010 6:29 PM
To: SPLENDOR CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: SPLENDOR ASSISTANT CRUISE DIRECTOR; SPLENDOR DANCE CAPTAIN; SPLENDOR ENTERTAINMENT TECHNICAL MANAGER; SPLENDOR ENTERTAINMENT TECH; SPLENDOR STAFF CHIEF ENGINEER; SPLENDOR CHIEF ENGINEER; SPLENDOR MUSICAL DIRECTOR;
Subject: Splendor Pit Lift
Importance: High

Evening All,

Today aboard the Splendor we had a MAJOR problem with the orchestra lift. Below is a recap of what happened and what the plans are to follow.

During Legends rehearsal today while moving the lift down there was a large “thump” heard at the exact time the lift was at position and I had released control on it. At the time I assumed it was the break engaging and thought nothing of it. When rehearsal was complete while bringing the lift to the full up position two more louder noises where heard and I stopped movement and instructed the band to exit from the position it was in as I needed to investigate the source of the noise.

After inspecting the serapid chains, and saw nothing wrong, we began to move the lift again and this time noticed that there was a towel wedged in the gear box that the chain passes through, and that one of the link pins had snapped off. I called a all stop on movement and a e-stop was pressed. We informed the Engineers of a problem with the lift and requested their assistance.

In total four (4) rollers / pin ends have been severed from the stage right up stage side of the serapid chain. The lift has been brought to the full up position and is flush with the stage, a lockout tagout form has been filled out and all power sources to the lift have been shut and locked off to prevent movement.

The Staff Chief Engineer, here in copy, is in the process of creating a shore side request for the parts needed to replace the damaged pins. An idea that was brought up to replace the broken pins with pins from a section on the chain that never bends or passes through the gear box has been discussed with the on board Engineers and has been determined by them to be unsafe.

With that said this limits us greatly on the entertainment we can provide (one production show) until the problem is resolved.

I have attached a few pictures of the broken off pins and will follow up as we resolve this issue. I am currently onboard and can be reached anytime through email or ship phone.

Thanks,

Yep……..the important words there are “limits us greatly on the entertainment we can provide (one production show) until the problem is resolved.”

How did this happen? Well there is a small gap between the edge of the orchestra pit and the stage and we think that during the towel animal presentation where guests are shown how to make lions and tigers oh my…..a towel must have accidentally been dropped down the side of the stage.

A towel.

Can’t do too much damage right?

Wrong.

So, the pit has to be in the down position for the Fiesta Latina and Vroom shows but at this time and to give it a technical term……….the pit is buggered….and we can’t move it. We are waiting for spare parts and hopefully they will be here as soon as possible. Meanwhile, I have asked the Miami office to send more high energy entertainers to compensate for the loss of these two shows. Vroom especially will be much missed. I will let you know what happens.

So off we go again on another cruise to the beautiful Mexican Riviera. I am writing today’s blog in a rather different position. Yes……I am wearing only my underpants………but instead of being slouched down in my office chair I am sitting up straight and upright as a meercat that’s just swallowed a few Viagra pills.  Here’s why.

Yep…….the Bedtime Story. I know it’s not necessarily a sign of aging ……..young men have bad backs too………… but as I got out of bed the following morning I realized there was a difference between old men’s bad backs and young men’s bad backs.

I realized this when one of the staff asked me how I injured my back. Now, a young man would have been able to give him an answer like “Oh, I was working out in the gym and during my fourth round of power lifting, I felt a twinge……or……..I was having rumpy pumpy with 3 Latvian women and while I was hanging from the chandelier I pulled a muscle………… instead I simply said “getting old mate………..getting old.”

Anyway, here I am. I am actually writing this at 11:30am on Sunday. We finished debarkation by 10:30am and the new system I put into place is going well even if I do say so myself. Most of the staff, including my assistant Stephanie are ashore and I guess I should be as well. I really should see something of Los Angeles……..all I saw so far was the Holiday Inn Express.

I know very little about L.A. I know that Rome has its architecture. Sydney has its bridge. Venice has its canals, New York has it all and Paris has its smell and thanks to many television shows…….. LA is known for Hollywood and the wonderfully cheesy 1970s shows I used to watch as a kid.  Anyway, my favourite of these TV shows was of course Starsky and Hutch.

Me and my Dad loved this show and the fact that my sister Suedrip hated it gave me extra pleasure every time that brassy funky wah wah tune came on. And we’d never seen cops like Starsky and Hutch on the TV before. They were undercover officers in tight jeans, leather jackets and cool shades.

They looked cool, talked tough and, best of all, kicked arse……….sorry………ass. The show also had that red Ford Gran Torino that tore through the streets and flew through the air with the greatest of ease. It was a show that for the most part made you smile. But the best thing about the show for me……………the relationship between the two guys.

I guess me and my mate Alan had a similar kind of relationship as Starsky and Hutch…… without the fast cars, tight jeans and of course the women. But we were great mates and we still are. Alan hasn’t been well but thanks to the wonders of medicine and Mrs. God looking down favorably on the ugly sod he has miraculously been given the all clear. He and his family were due to sail a few months ago. Unfortunately that bastard volcano farted and their flight was canceled. They have now re-booked and will come out here to the Carnival Splendor at the end of October. Alan has just opened a Facebook page and as in the real world he has bugger all virtual friends. So as everyone needs a friend uglier than they are can I ask a huge favor and those on Facebook thingy be his mate…..here is his address link thingy ……

http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&ref=mb#!/profile.php?id=557770932&ref=ts

Here is a photo of my best friend Alan

Now let’s talk videos. First of all here is a quick video of me presenting a chap with a bag of prizes. He had been jumping up and down, dancing and proclaiming his love for his wife all cruise long. On my morning show I gave him his gifts and got him to admit who was going to win the NBA championship this time around.

Now the main thing is that you all come back here at around 8 pm tonight…..that’s 8 pm Eastern Standard thingy…………….for something quite magical

See you then.

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.