Calm Cruiser…Makes Me Smile

September 8, 2010 -

John Heald

I have been thinking about what Calmcruiser wrote about the photo of me on this blog’s header and how angry she was that my teeth and chin(s) had been photo shopped. And to be honest it rather upset me, not just because she and a few others seem to be taking as many chances to kick me in the bollocks as they can……but also because with the teeth thingy….she was right.

Years of smoking cigars, drinking coffee have left my teeth looking as though an elephant had wiped its arse on them. Heidi mentioned this some years ago just before we brought out the Carnival Liberty in 2006 and she booked me in for a teeth whitening procedure as a sodding Christmas present. Now I have written so many blogs over the past three years that I can’t remember if I have mentioned this story before but in case I have I apologize. One thing I do know I have mentioned is my hatred of dentists and that I would rather sandpaper my own nipples off then go sit in that torturers chair ever again.

Anyway, Heidi told me that this had nothing to do with a dentist and that it was a painless thing that would be over before I knew it. I thought I knew how cosmetic tooth whitening works. A sexy nurse (hopefully Latvian) would smear goo on my teeth, shine some sort of laser at it and that would be that… I would walk out with the nuclear smile like someone named Stone from The Bold and the Bollocks.

My first disappointment was that she wasn’t pretty or Latvian but instead she was a he called Graham. When I opened the door to go in I remember emitting a small amount of oily discharge into my underpants because the room I was having this done in looked like a dentist’s room complete with the Spanish inquisition style chair. The dentist explained my teeth might feel a bit sensitive during the procedure, but so what? I’m no nine-year-old girl. Honest, I’m not. How painful could it be?

The process itself consisted of three 15-minute sessions under the magic light.

Session one passed was OK. I felt a strange tightening sensation in my teeth, but that was it. Shortly into the second session, I felt a sharp, sudden pain. Have you even bitten into a ice lolly (or popsicles I believe you call them) with sensitive teeth? Take that sensation and multiply it by 1,000. Then imagine it lasting far longer, and occurring without warning. I writhed in the chair, tears filling my eyes ruining yet another pair of underpants.

“That’s the sensitivity I was talking about,” said the dentist, patting me on the arm. I wanted to see how sensitive his mouth would be if I put my fist in it bit then another shot of pain made me with in agony. The pain gradually ebbed away. “Be a man,” I thought.

By the end I was no longer thinking about “riding this out.” I wasn’t thinking at all… I was a confused animal. I was not of this Earth and the only thing that I vaguely remember was asking myself what I had done to piss Heidi off that was so bad that she had bought me this trip to hell …………. for Christmas.

As Graham took the light away and removed the clamp holding my mouth open he said, “Don’t worry, your teeth will only do that for a little while.”

How little? “About 48 hours,” he said. “I’d take some Ibuprofen if I were you.”

I staggered across the road to the drug store. While begging for Ibuprofen, another tooth went off, which meant I actually asked for “Ibuproaaaaaaaaaaaah” instead. For the rest of the day I sat at home, demented, oral firecrackers exploding at random intervals. I contemplated shoving my head into the microwave and ending it all. Anything to make it stop. And the end result was that yes, my teeth were whiter and I could smile guests without making them vomit. But that was 4 years ago and more cigars and coffee later they have lost their sparkle.

After reading Calmcruisers posting I thought about having another treatment so I could smile at her and say “ha ha ha” but frankly, I’d rather smash my teeth out with a hammer then ever do that again.

Time for today’s questions……….lets smile and crack on.

Diane Scheliga Asked:
Hello John Please Reply,

Thank you so much for the fantastic week and being with you on your first Cali cruise (8-8-10). The Splendor was truly awesome! Thank you also for sending my parents the gifts for their 50th wedding anniversary. This cruise was special for us and with our group of 21 even more fun. My parents have had struggles with their health. My mother’s surviving stage 2 cancer, and my father’s diabetes and heart attack. We are so blessed that they both are here with us. I sent in a note, but I guess we were having so much fun, we always seemed to miss seeing it on the morning show. Thank you for their gifts they were so proud to show them off and thanked me. Which I will always remember.

We had an awesome time on board. The food was the best we have ever had and Shane in the Golden Pearl Dining room was great too. Our Servers at table 230 especially Kitute (sorry I am not sure on the spelling) was always there when we needed him. Both servers even knew sometimes before we did that we needed something else. The magic man was also entertaining. My daughter still has the card he autographed. I Say Hello….

This cruise marked my 10th and my husband’s 9th. We along with our three children Amanda 23, Melissa 18, & Danny 12 were so happy that you were our CD. I can thank you now for not having to do the laundry, since we utilized the Platinum laundry services. I can put away clean clothes! On another note, you must have missed my cabin with my free photo of you in the thong. I guess the demand was so high you must have run out. LOL. Having the concierge desk to use was a nice service. We did avoid a super long line a few times. As for the Priority Tender in Cabo San Lucas, it was not available on the way back. I asked a Carnival uniformed officer, but he said they did not have it for the way back.

I think my only thing that I would have changed would have been the music that played till 12:30AM or later every night from the Oceanview Promenade band/person with the large drum set and no volume control on the guitar. I sleep with earplugs, but when your bed is beating with the music, it’s too much. I did call down to the concierge desk, and they said they would ask them to turn it lower. It never did. I would have never booked this floor, but when you need a triple and they don’t have them across a balcony room we did not have too many choices. We did stay up some nights late and did not hear them, but on the days we needed to get up early it would have been nice to have sleep before the band stopped playing.

We love the beautiful pictures, as you can imagine getting the whole family together for a photo and everyone looking so good, only to leave them in a trash can. I wish they could have more reasonable photo prices. $89.00 for only 3 (8 x10’s) and two small ones. I am sure we could have purchased all of them if they were more affordable. I was a waste to throw them away. I know don’t take them or don’t go on a cruise. After paying for 6 people to go on this cruise. It can get expensive. I wonder how much money was made from the photos in the trash. Maybe the Beards know?

Okay, on a more happier note. We did love the shows and all the fun times, we can always remember you being ridden like a pony, Mr. Little, or course we will always have Bakersfield. We never did hear what they received.

We loved seeing us in your pictures, we are on the stage dancing and your descriptions of our menus. I will print these out for our scrapbook!

We have to sail with the Mouse before we have our next Carnival cruise in 2011 on the Miracle. We did buy the future cruise certificates, and the staff at that desk are so nice and very informative. So we are all set!

I will enjoy the blog as always and until next time, Cheers!
Diane Scheliga

John Says:
Hello Diane Scheliga

Thank you so much for that great review and I am so happy I got to share my first cruise on the Carnival Splendor with you all. It was my pleasure to send your parents the gifts and I hope they had wonderful anniversary cruise and are ready for another 50 years together. I want to thank you for telling me about the tender situation coming back from Cabo and I have no rectified that situation for our Platinum and Milestone guests, my apologies for that.  The concierge desk is a huge benefit as well and I am glad your found this useful. Bakersfield received a whole bag of goodies including a beautiful diamond and sapphire pendant. He was a real sport and became truly famous that week. Thanks too for the kind words and the note about the photos. It was a real honour (spelt correctly) to be with you all and I hope you have a great time on Disney Cruises. Did you hear the news that one of their ships failed the United States Public Health inspection…….. yep ………..apparently the ship was overrun with giant mice! Seriously, have fun there and I hope it won’t be too long before we see you on a Carnival ship once again.

Best wishes to all
John

See2Sea Asked:
John respond

I want you to have a look at this link to a poll that is ongoing on Cruise critic. It shows that over 500 people feel that Carnival should stop immediately the dancing and music in the dining halls. On my carnival cruise I hated the constant interruption and it shows that hundreds of others do as well. To make the servers dance and look like performing monkeys is disgraceful. I am sure you know what a driving force Cruise Critic is in your industry so I felt you needed to see this: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1156125.

I look forward to your immediate action.

John Says:
Hello Sea2Sea

I have responded recently to another question about this poll but this is the first time I have seen the actual results so thank you for taking the time to send it. It does indeed show that 566 readers want the dancing and parades to stop but it also shows 835 readers do not. I must tell you that the crew truly enjoy doing this and while some are certainly more capable at dancing and singing then others they all enjoy the freedom of expression. I can tell you now that as much as myself and Carnival realize the importance of all Cruise Critic members that have absolutely no intention of stopping what is something that I truly believe that the vast majority of our guests truly appreciate.

Thanks again for taking the time to write

Best wishes
John

Leslee Asked:
Dear John (Please reply, if possible),

Back on your June 7th blog posting you asked me to post a reminder to you with our stateroom number on the 9/16 sailing of the Sensation. This is the Mom & Daughter cruise with me and my 17 yr old daughter, Julia. We are in our first balcony room ever (M114), with our anticipation growing by leaps and bounds as each day passes! Actually, you had said our sail date was 9/17, but according to all my documents, it is, in fact, 9/16. Last year (2009) the Sensation did sail on 9/17, but not this year. I’m guessing you were looking at an old schedule when you looked up the elegant night for me… no worries though!

Thank you again for your help and maybe someday we will be fortunate enough to join you on a voyage somewhere. My husband and I are contemplating the Magic Transatlantic currently and would absolutely LOVE to be on that sailing! All my best to you, Heidi and Kye.

Thank you for your kindness, it is very much appreciated!
Leslee

John Says:
Hello Leslee

Just wanted to wish you a wonderful cruise. Please tell me all about it when you get home.

Best wishes
John

Ben Clayton Asked:
John, Please reply

I have discovered via cruise critic that you will reserve tables for dinner at the Chef’s table. I want such a reservation so what do I do?

Ben

John Says:
Hello Ben

Yes I am indeed happy to do this for you so please complete the following information and post it once again on the blog thingy.

Mark the posting Chef’s Table reservation please

NAME

SAILING DATE

SHIP

E MAIL ADDRESS

NUMBER OF SEATS

We won’t post your e mail address but we need that so the ship can send a conformation e mail to you. It is a wonderful experience and I am happy to help you reserve your place at The Chef’s Table.

Best wishes
John

Susan Garoutte Asked:
John

I really enjoy reading your interviews with the crew members – as a former tech crew person I applaud the skill and perseverance that these folks must have to do the awesome jobs they do! Thanks for giving them a well-deserved recognition!

My hubby and I are cruising on the Carnival Dream September 11. I know we are close on time but would it be possible for you to send a little something to our cabin? If there isn’t time I understand – you were already wonderful to help with our Chef’s Table reservation and I appreciate it! We’re celebrating several milestones and it would be such fun to have a little something special from my favorite blog thingy writer!

I hope that your lovely family is doing well and I’m sure you are all looking forward to being together again!

John Says:
Hello Susan Garoutte

I really must make the effort to include more crew interviews here but I keep finding time is in short supply. I will though do this for sure as I know like you so many enjoy reading about thee iconic young people. Have a wonderful time on your Carnival Dream and please pass along my best to your fabulous Cruise Director Butch.

Best wishes
John

Randall W Asked:
John Please Reply

We had the joy of having you as our CD last year on The Legend along with about 300 Gothic Cruisers and had a ball. This is the only cruise where we have actually purchased the DVD because we laughed so hard at the “Dirk Dastardly Show” the little old man saying “I’m gonna kick your ###” was priceless.

We are booked for the Dream this year but unfortunately we won’t be there with you. The CD is listed as Josh Waltzman. Can you tell me anything about him? We haven’t sailed with him before.

Also, this is our first time on Dream and we are taking my Mother in Law with us for her 60th birthday. This will be her first time on Carnival and we want to make it memorable. Is there anything you can recommend for us to do for her??

Thanks in advance.

John Says:
Hello Randall W

Ahhh the Gothic cruise. I had so much fun on that voyage and met some amazing people and one or two or were nice by day but truly bizarre by night. Josh is known as Big Sexy and at least one of those is true……….and it isn’t the sexy bit. What is true though is that he is one of our up and coming stars who has been given the chance to be the CD on our flagship because we really believe he is that good. He is full of fun and I promise he will give you the best of times. Please can you send me the sailing date and as well as you booking. I recommend you book a special meal at the steakhouse to celebrate this special occasion but if you do send me your details and her name I will also ask Josh to send her something for her special day. Please send this one month before you sail. I am glad you had fun with me on the Carnival Legend and I know for sure you will love your Carnival Dream.

Best wishes
John

Peter J Asked:
John, reply needed please

We will be cruising with you on September 19th. We booked this cruise specifically because you will be the cruise director as I am sure many Carnival passengers do. I wanted to know if cigar smoking is allowed and if so where. I have read you are a cigar aficionado so I am bringing you one and hopefully I will get to share one with you. See you on the 19th

Peter and family

John Says:
Hello Peter J

I am very humbled indeed that you and your family have decided to cruise with me on the Carnival Splendor and I promise I will do my very very best to make sure you have a brilliant time. The Robusto Cigar bar on deck 4 is our lovely cigar bar and hopefully you and I will have time to enjoy some long ashes together. Please would you leave me a note when you arrive at the Guest Services Desk with your stateroom number on it.  I will see you all soon and thanks again for taking your valuable vacation time with us here at Carnival.

Best wishes to all
John

Lynn and Dave Asked:
John, please respond……. please help.

We are sailing on Carnival Legend, room 4141, on September 26. We have been confirmed for an 8:15. Our request is a table for two, preferably in the middle or front of the dining room on the main floor. This will be a special cruise for us because we will be celebrating a special occasion.

Since there is only one dining room we are excited about the possibility of being entertained by Ken Byrne. We sailed with him on the Carnival Glory, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor, but missed him on the Carnival Dream since he left for vacation on the day we embarked. Will Ken, the best singing (and only one that I know of) maitre d’, be still on the ship for this sailing? He always makes the dining experience special. If he will be there, please send him our request. We are looking forward to seeing him again.

Thanks for any help you can give us.
Lynn

John Says:
Hello Lynn

You will be so looking forward I am sure to cruising with the incomparable Ken Byrne. I have sent him your details and I am positive he will do all he can to accommodate your request. Have a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Legend and please tell me all about it when you get home.

Best wishes
John

Golfmom98 Asked:
Dear John,

(Please reply. Even though it’s not necessary I wanted to make sure you read this)

I simply cannot thank you and the crew of the Carnival Ecstasy enough!!! My son and I cruised the Ecstasy August 7-12 and I had asked you to arrange a small surprise for my son who was celebrating his 5th year post brain tumor, which you did and my son and I are so grateful he loved his ship on a stick and his medal! The crew of the Ecstasy were simply FABULOUS!!!! You will have to forgive me as I forgot to write down the names of our state room stewards and our dining staff but they were simply amazing!!! From the always crisp fresh sheets to the towel animals to the bar waiter who knew what sodas we liked and always had them for us at dinner the whole experience was fantastic!!! I would like to especially thank Monica I believe she works with the hotel director or guest services but she was fabulous in arranging the surprise you had for him!!!! Cruise Director Steve was amazing on the fiddle and funny as always. My son had a fabulous time with the kids and directors of Camp Carnival!!! The whole experience was surreal and amazing. Please pass my appreciation for them on as I know so many of the staff is never thanked at all let alone enough!! The whole crew was great and accommodating I simply cannot say enough about all of them. Please let them and all of the Beards in Miami that the Ecstasy staff is amazing and they all deserve a raise. (You do to for arranging the little surprises for us.) I look forward to sailing her again in May for our second annual Belly dance Cruise to Cozumel. I still cannot thank you and the crew of the Ecstasy enough or give them a glowing enough review this cruise went way beyond my expectations. Thank you again John without you this trip would have still been perfect but because of you it was absolutely astoundingly beyond perfection! Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times thank you and the crew of the Carnival Ecstasy!!

One final thank you,
Golfmom98

P.S. Sorry about all of the exclamation points, but I had to make sure you saw the enthusiasm that I have for the crew and what you do!!!

John Says:
Hello Golfmom98

The perfect way to finish today’s Q and A and all that’s left for me to do is to say thank you for taking the time to write and all of us here on the blog wish your son continuing health and happiness. I will make sure the ship gets to see your amazing words of praise! Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

Best wishes
John

That’s all for today. Please let me know if there is something I can do for you.

So far the cruise is going well but during my welcome aboard show a curious thing happened. Just ten minutes into my opening monologue a whole row of guests stood up……..and walked out. Now I am used to one or two or three buggering off but not a complete rows. Now obviously I made fun of this happening suggesting that maybe they had not eaten in nearly an hour and were heading up to the Lido Deck to graze again. But while the audience laughed I got no reaction from the folks who were walking out which set alarm bells ringing and so I backed off, wished them a great night and carried on with the show. Well, the following morning I realized who these 40 people were who left because I received this e mail.

From: SPLENDOR GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2010 9:44 PM
To:    SPLENDOR CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc:    SPLENDOR HOTEL DIRECTOR; SPLENDOR GUEST SERVICES MANAGER
Subject: Jehovah’s Witnesses Group – Group Leader Mr _______

I had a meeting with the group leader of the Jehovah’s Witnesses group of guests. Mrs.____ is very unhappy with the shows and with the activities and wants to talk to you about them. Sorry John but she also said that your show was not suitable and the dancers costumes were so revealing that she and her group left. Please can you meet with her when you can?

Thanks and regards
Guest Services Supervisor.

Oh joy.

So my meeting didn’t go to well. The group leader didn’t shout or scream but quietly told me that my place in hell had been reserved and apparently I would be joined by many of the guests sailing this week. I want to say at this point that I have total and utter respect for every religion, whatever their beliefs. I was brought up in a Christian family and I cannot imagine how many different religions are represented amongst the crew and of course the guests themselves. I was told that my sexual innuendos at the show and my talk of margaritas in Mexico and my promotion of the casino and bars, etc., would mean that I was on my way downstairs. Yep, she told me that I was going to hell. I was going to ask if Megan Fox was going to be there but I thought better of it.

Seriously though while I would never ridicule their beliefs I just do not understand why they would chose a fun for all cruise for their church’s vacation. She told me they don’t drink, don’t gamble and that the comedy shows were the devil’s work and that the costumes of the dancers were too reveling. I asked Mrs. JW Leader what her expectations had been. And you know what; she really couldn’t answer me so she went back on the attack again. I asked her what I could do to make the group happy. The result of this is that I have given them a private meeting room each morning and each evening so that they can meet and do what they want. She asked for board games and trivia games etc which I have supplied plus I offered a staff member to come and do private activities for them which she refused.

My frustration is not with the fact that I will be apparently having my bollocks roasted over a spit by Beelzebub but that there is little else I can do for them to make them happy. I had a comment from a friend of mine on Facebook.

His name is Zac and he told me that he was a Jehovah’s Witness and that he had read this blog and enjoyed my humour and that he had cruised Carnival before and that he had a great time. His comments spurred me into checking on something and I am so very happy I did. You see, I went down to the room where they have their private functions and in the conference room there were just 10 people of all ages from the group sitting playing cards and board games. I spent 20 minutes there talking to them all and everyone said they were having a great time. One couple even said they thought the welcome aboard show was funny. So my suspicions were correct and that’s thanks to Zac’s posting on my Facebook thingy. You see, I think it’s the group leader who is the most upset at what I (we) do and that she has influenced the rest of the group. Maybe I am wrong but so far, the only one who thinks I am the sperm of the devil…..is her. Anyway, I will continue to work hard to do my best for them.

One other slightly bizarre request was from a gentleman who asked his stateroom steward to cover all the mirrors in his cabin. Now, he didn’t say why and when I read this report I wondered what this was all about. I asked my friends on Facebooky if they knew and there were answers suggesting it was a religious thing and ones that suggested he was a vampire. Turns out though the answer is rather more obvious. He has a mirror phobia and that’s why our ever accommodating staff has covered them for him. So since I have been here on the Carnival Splendor we have had a lady with a coat hanger phobia and now this.

Each time we were able to help ……..I wonder if most hotels would have done the same. Oh and I wonder if their front desks get asked if they know where the local house of pleasure is. Yep, one of the entertainment staff was asked this by a guest yesterday during the past guest party. He wanted to know where the “ladies” were in P.V. As one of my Facebook friends suggested ….. to exceed his expectations I am going to knock on his door wearing my Dolly Parton costume.

The Welcome Aboard show is always the place to make stars of guests and here is one such chap. There are so many Asian American guests here this cruise and there is one who the entire ship is talking about. His name is Mr. Chen and in this video you will see he has no idea where his wife is or how long he has been married and the results of this are hilarious. With apologies for my lame “wong name” joke again, I invite you to meet the incomparable Mr. Chen.

By the way, I am on a mission. I went to the dining room today for lunch. You know, more of you should do this. I know that the fare on Lido is excellent but so is what we have in the dining room. Heidi had the Californian roll and the pepper Pot soup which she described as “fantastic.” I had the steak sandwich which used to be a feature at the lido grill didn’t it. Then it disappeared and today I decided to write to the beards and try and get it back. Festooned with onions it was one of my favourite things…….so I am as I said on a mission……to bring back the sensational Carnival steak sandwich.

With apologies in advance to those who hate the family segments of this blog thingy, today’s last word is from Heidi.

We are here!

Kye and I did a 10 hour and 15 minutes flight and she slept for most of it.  Being a big Bold and the Beautiful fan (I am sorry if that lowers your opinion of me ), I was excited to go to LA, I expected all people who live here to look as good as the characters in the series and all the people in the baggage hall to look as good as Victoria Beckham when she flies back and forth between LA and blighty….well, they say the U.S.A. is the land of “dreams” and in this case it was …….the line at customs and immigration was full of sweaty and tired looking people with creased clothes and no pearl white smiles in sight.

Kye and I got to the hotel to find (once again) no crib in the room. After the crib was sorted, Kye washed, fed and in bed, I took a shower myself. Whilst in the shower (men bloggers, don’t get any illusions about what’s coming next), I was thinking that the “no crib” situation happened the last time we came to visit John and then I realized that the hotel we stayed in then was a Hyatt as well and to confirm this was the case I only had to open the soap provided in the bathroom and I was sure I stayed in a Hyatt hotel before. I am sorry if anyone works for Hyatt or for the brand of soap they provide but it stinks. It smells so bad that I rather not wash my hands then wash them with that. The shampoo is just as bad and the conditioner too. I think it was called something like Portico…yak!  It is white ginger based and it’s just horrible. OK, enough about the soap, I am starting to sound like John, “moaning after traveling,” I am sure you all want to know how Kye is doing.

Well, she is her usual great self. Of course she is completely thrown by the 8 hour time difference, eating a huge breakfast this morning, thinking it was dinner and having no dinner tonight, thinking “why on earth are you feeding me at this hour??” She was so pleased to see John as they walked hand in hand in the lobby of the hotel this morning.

Walking onto the Carnival Splendor gangway today was strange but in a good way. I walked off that same gangway pregnant with Kye and to now come back and see lots of ex-colleagues as a “mummy” was very special.

John had bought every toy from El Walmarto and must have spent a fortune but Kye loves all her new toys, the attention and being with her Daddy.

Thanks to you all for being so kind to me and Kye and for looking after John. I think he was feeling down these last few days as he was missing us a lot and he told me about some people writing some horrible things about him on the blog so thank you all for looking after him. As I am writing this, John is doing his show and I can hardly keep my blood shot eyes open so I am going to join Kye in dreamland.

Bye bye for now.
Heidi and Kye

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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