Sally……Your Fired

September 23, 2010 -

John Heald

For you North American and Canadian bloggers there are a few names that are known as British quality products. Rolls-Royce. Cunard. Lynn. Harrods. Aston Martin and of course…….Amstrad. OK……well maybe not Amstrad because there is probably not one of you outside the UK who has ever heard of Amstrad. Well, let me tell you about them. They made computers…….. cheap, ready to use totally 100% sh*t computers.

Own one and within weeks you were deciding which window to throw it out of.

The man responsible for Amstrad was a chap……….with a beard…………called Alan Sugar, who today heads a huge UK-based business empire, owns 13% of a soccer team (not a good one I might add) and a few years ago was knighted by the Queen………he is now Sir Alan Sugar.

Just before I went back to work here on the Carnival Splendor I was forced by she who must be obeyed…….or Heidi as she is sometimes called……to watch that total bloody awful backstabbing reality show The Apprentice on the BBC. Yep………we have our own version. In the US  Apprentice you have Donald Trump, a man so obscenely rich he could afford to buy all the toilet paper in the world, then rent it back to us at a profit if he so chose.

I know many of you love the show and now……..so does Heidi because she has been watching it here.  Honestly…….it’s a load of bollocks. Trump’s hairstyle (which looks a baseball cap made of rusting steel wool) is of course a huge star. How can anyone watch 14 odious, over-confident wannabe entrepreneurs, every single one of whom you will learn to hate twice as much as Al Gore or Long Tall Sally, have given up their day jobs in order to dance to Mr. Trump’s tune?

While Sir Sugar can’t trump Trump in the preposterous haircut stakes, he is mentioned in the same breath as other famous celebrity bollockers like Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay. I hate these shows, I hate the way Trump and Sir Sugar glare at the line of hopefuls like they have just trodden dog poo into their boardroom carpet.

Once these two tycoons set the weekly task….this week was selling sodding ice cream in New York the focus shifts to the candidates themselves, as we watch them bicker, argue, scheme, moan, boast, brag, grandstand, plot and spout marketing bollocks until you want to squat on their chests and beat them to death with an Eye Phone. By the end of the show, I wanted Trumpy to fire the lot of them………..preferably into the crater of an active volcano.

I wonder if Carnival will ever have another reality TV show onboard. Maybe we could do a show where wannabe CD’s are filmed learning to host shows and deal with the Long Tall Sallys of the world. The winner gets a contract to be cruise director of a Carnival fun for all ship and the losers are fired……by Micky Arison…….who every time he is ready to fire a contestant has to put the Fun Ship Freddy head on. The losers are then filmed leaving in a tender…….. disconsolate with their hopes and dreams shattered………..heading off to be a climbing wall attendant on the Buggerallfun of the Seas.  The show will be called Do You Have the Fun?

Time for today’s Q and A………tally ho.

Norm T Asked:
John PLEASE RESPOND IMMEDIATLEY!!!!!!!!!

Tell me if you will be showing the Monday night football games on the giant screen on the Liberty. I will be cruising there in October and it’s a big game that I do not want to miss.

John Says:
Hello Norm T

I checked with the CD on the Carnival Liberty and he confirmed that as we do here the ship will also show the game on the Seaside Theatre Big Screen. I hope you are ready for some football and loads of fun.

Best wishes
John

Kevin and Heidi-Beth Asked:
Hey John

Please reply when it is convenient.

Been silent for a while, but we have still been reading faithfully.

We are looking for some advice. I am thinking about booking the Carnival Fascination to go to Nassau and Half Moon Cay. We were just wondering what is really offered at Half Moon Cay. We are kind of waffling between this and the five day on the Carnival Inspiration going to Grand Cayman and Cozumel, which we have done previously. In particular, our oldest son, who will be 18 when we go, is wanting to go snorkeling, and we were hoping you could give some insight into this at Half Moon Cay.

We are still enjoying the blog, and hope you continue to go in the same direction that you have been. Don’t want you to change anything, especially your opinion of ianythings. I need my pc more than an igadget.

Til next time
Kevin

John Says:
Hello Kevin and Heidi-Beth

It is so good to hear from you three again as it has been a long time since you posted a comment. Well, I can tell you that Half Moon Cay is a true paradise. If you want a stunning beach that goes on and on and on and want a day of nothing but sun, relaxation and fun then this is for you. There are cabanas to rent as well as non motorized water sports and excursion packages that offer brilliant snorkeling, horseback riding and more. The crew will provide a huge barbecue lunch and the entertainment staff will hold loads of fun contests that include the famous sandcastle building competition. What Half Moon Cay does not offer is loads of shops and hustle and bustle. So, if that sounds like you…….then yes……..Half Moon Cay is somewhere you must visit. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

My best wishes to the three of you.
John

K.W. Ohio Asked:
Reply please

A discussion has been happening on Cruise Critic about the stopping of comment cards at the end of our cruises. Being handed a piece of paper before debarking make it easy to write whatever comes to mind at that point. But having to remember all the details so that you could go hunt down the electronic form later on (once you had time to get home and, most likely, cool down) – many would say is not worth the time, and that comment would go unsubmitted. It is hard to complain when time has gone by. Is Carnival trying to stop us telling them what is bad and what needs to be better for us to consider coming back?

K.W

John Says:
Hello K.W.Ohio

Well I should start by hoping that you are able to find many positives out of your cruise experience and not just the bad as you have mentioned in your posting. Certainly we are not trying to hide from anything at all, in fact it is the opposite. What we have done is give you a much simpler review card to complete and this way we can better understand what it is you like and what you feel we can do to continue to improve. Obviously cutting down on paper will make the trees of Brazil happier as well. The response from the guests to our electronic reviews has been excellent and I encourage everyone to complete them. I detect from your words “cool down” that you had something on your mind from your last cruise so if that is the case and you wish to discuss this or need my help please let me know.

Best wishes
John

Al Rossi Asked:
John – Please reply to this

I am considering booking a cruise with you to go to Europe on the Magic in July. My two main reasons would be that you are there as CD and that I can get to see where my family is from which the island of Ischia. Is this possible from where the ship goes and can you confirm you will be the cruise director. I read your blog each night before I go to bed and the laughter it brings me after a hard day as a NYPD Detective is so welcome.

Al

John Says:
Hello Al Rossi

Thanks mate for those very kind words and of course let me say thank you for the service you provide the people of New York each day. I know that police officers need the most relaxing and fun vacations and so as I will be the CD for your Carnival Magic in July I promise to do my best to make sure you get lots of both. I have never been to Ischia but it is from what I hear a beautiful island. The ship will dock in Naples and from there you can catch a ferry that leaves pretty regularly right next to where the ship docks. It takes about 45 minutes to go from Naples to the island. I truly hope that you book a cruise on your Carnival Magic so you can see where your ancestors are from and enjoy a brilliant cruise on what will be a brilliant ship. If I can help you further please let me know.

Best wishes
John

Susan Asked:
Dear John – PLEASE REPLY!!!

My husband and I just got back from an amazing 7 day Alaska Inside Passage Cruise on Carnival Spirit. During dinner on the sixth night (Ketchikan to Victoria), I had asked Larisa (the Assistant Maitre D’) if I could please have a copy of the Empire Dining Room’s Dinner Menus for the entire week. I usually make this request on any sailing whose menu deviates from the “normal” Dinner Menus on the Caribbean or Canada cruises. She said that she would make sure that a copy was delivered to our stateroom (6226) by the last night of the cruise (8/23).

We checked our mail slot upon returning from Victoria (which is the topic for another message that I will leave after this one), and there was no copies of the menus.

We checked our mail slot before closing the door to our stateroom for the last time, and unfortunately, the menus were not there.

Could you please see if a copy could be emailed to me? I would be eternally grateful!

Thanks!
Susan

John Says:
Hello Susan

Thanks for the e-mail and I will later today contact the maitre d on the Carnival Spirit and ask him to scan me copies of the menus and I will send them to you. It sounds like you had a wonderful cruise and once again I find myself promising that I must see Alaska for myself one day soon. As soon as we get the menus one of the 344 Stephanies will attach them to an e-mail and send them to you.

Best wishes
John

Andrue Asked:
John (Please Reply),

My wife and I are sailing on what appears to be the inaugural cruise of the Carnival Glory from the port of Charleston on November 1, 2010. This will be our first cruise without our son, he is going on a school trip to Washington DC that week, and we are looking forward to a chance to relax with just the two of us. When we were looking at what to do during our son’s class trip we looking into getting a hotel for a few days and discovered that we could not beat the value of a Carnival cruise. As you have stated many times before Carnival really is the best value for the money. I was wondering if there was going to be anything special done for this cruise since it is the first time for this ship departing from Charleston. Could you tell us anything about or CD, his name is Gary Brierley.

Also, we recently sailed aboard the Carnival Dream (July 3, 2010) and had a wonderful time. We were able to do the Behind the Fun tour and had a blast. We do have two suggestions; first, it would be nice to be able to see a crew member’s cabin during the tour. Second, it would be nice to have the ships photographer follow the group during the tour and snap pictures in areas that would not be considered a security rick. Other than that we had an absolute blast and recommend it to anyone. Our tour guide was wonderful, unfortunately I cannot remember her name at this time but her knowledge and genuine love of the people and her job was fantastic. I could not believe that she knew everybody, and I mean everybody, we passed during the tour.

Finally, just keep doing what you are doing with regards to your blog and your humor. You don’t get 7 Million hits by doing this wrong. You have a successful formula and those of us fortunate enough to have sailed with you (Carnival Freedom July 18, 2009) appreciate everything you do for us. We would not want it any other way.

All the best, looking forward to your response.
Andrue & Christine

John Says:
Hello Andrue

First of all let me promise you that you will love Gary as your CD. He was my ACD when we delivered the ship we are on now and you will find him to be as energetic as the Energizer Bunny with 200 batteries strapped to his back. He comes from Manchester in the UK and he is both funny and passionate about his job. We thought long and hard about showing guests a crew cabin but really felt that this was an invasion of the little privacy they get. Besides, there is not much to see apart from two bunk beds, a shower, a TV and DVD player, desk, chair and refrigerator. They are very comfortable but the crew spends little time there and when they are they are mostly resting. I will certainly bring up the photo idea as that makes total sense, thanks for letting me know that this wasn’t happening as I really thought we did this already. Carnival Glory’s first call from Charleston will be very special and it would not surprise me if when you sail away there is a parade of boats following and the fireboat shooting jets of water into the air. Have a fantastic time and thank you especially for the kind words about the blog thingy and the brilliant value for money that Carnival cruise brings.

Best wishes
John

Irene Garner Asked:
Dear John…..please reply

I am sailing on the Carnival Imagination with my family (Mackenzie the Wave included) on November 29th. I am wondering which night will be elegant night so we can plan our excursions accordingly.

Thanks….Irene Garner
Hooked on Cruising

John Says:
Hello Irene

First of all please give Mackenzie my best and I wish her the best of luck as she looks for a job in cruise ship entertainment. Here is your itinerary.

Miami, FL 4:00pm

Key West, FL 7:30am 2:00pm – ELEGANT NIGHT

Cozumel, Mexico 1:00pm 10:00pm

Fun Day at Sea Friday,

Miami, FL 8:00am

There you go. I know you two always have fun together when you sail and please remind me before you cruise.

Best wishes to you both
John

Susan with the bum knee Asked:
Dear John (Please reply if you can)

I was all planned to go on the Carnival Dream with my sweetie for the Nov. 27th sailing. Instead, it turns out that I will sadly be having knee surgery on Nov. 22, making it impossible to go on the Dream like we had planned. I was told that my rehab can take 6-9 months, so hopefully when I have my next vacation in June, I’ll be all set to go on the Dream, only a few months later than I wanted.

Shortly after we started planning the original Dream cruise, my boyfriend started getting a little sneaky… starting asking me if I would like getting proposed to on a cruise ship, the most romantic way to do it, etc. Let’s just say subtlety is not one of his strong suits. Now I know I wouldn’t want some crazy proposal in front of everybody, but I’m sure being a cruise director for as long as you have been, you’ve probably seen a fair few public proposals. So what has been the wildest, most outrageous, memorable proposal you have seen onboard a cruise ship?

Thanks,
Susan with a bad knee

John Says:
Hello Susan with the bum knee

So sorry to hear about that knee and I hope the surgery goes well and that you are fit and well enough to go cruising again soon on your Carnival Dream. Well, with regards to proposals I guess the most memorable was the one where a chap proposed in the talent show in front of 1,800 people……and she said no……and ran off the sage crying her eyes out. There is little to say when that happens except “Are there any single girls in the audience?” I also remember the one where a man had arranged for a plane to fly over the ship during us sailing away from Miami and the plane had a banner behind it asking the girl to marry him. This one said yes. If your future husband needs my help will please let me know and I will assist him.

Get well soon

Best wishes
John

BoooBooKitEFk Asked:
Dear John (Please Reply),

I am booked on the Carnival Legend scheduled to depart October 31, 2010. I know that Carnival usually has holiday celebrations when the holiday falls sometime during the cruise. My question is this: Since we sail ON Halloween, will the “costume party” happen that first night or on another night during the week? Since luggage is often not delivered until later in the evening, I wonder how many people will actually have their costumes if the party is that first night.

Thank you in advance.
Boo

John Says:
Hello BoooBooKitEFk

It’s a bit awkward this year with Halloween happening on the Saturday but as luggage will be with you no later than 6 pm and the festivities happening later that night we will be continuing the Halloween tradition and hosting the event on the Saturday. I hope you have fun and wonder what you are going to dress as. Have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes
John

Jeff Norris Asked:
Hi John, Please Reply

My wife and myself took our first cruise back in Oct. 2008 on the Carnival Elation, and will have the honour of taking our 6th cruise with you on 10/31/2010 aboard the Carnival Splendor. This will be our second cruise on the Carnival Splendor, the first being last May when the Captain made a wrong turn leaving Long Beach and the next thing we knew we were in Canada!

My question concerns the popcorn on the Lido deck during the movies. Carnival provides an excellent value, no charge for a steak in the dining room, great tasting plentiful food and no excuse for going hungry 24 hours a day. So why is there a charge for the bloody popcorn? It cannot be because of the cost, other foods on the ship cost a whole lot more. The only reason I can think to assign a real value to it to hopefully keep people from tossing it all over the lido deck during the movie.

Anyway thank you for the daily blog entertainment and we look forward to sailing with you in a couple of months.

Cheers
Jeff

John Says:
Hello Jeff Norris

Most of what we do as a company I agree with as the beards we have making the decisions are the best in the business. However, I do disagree that we should charge for the popcorn. Yet, while I have been successful in getting other things changed so far I have had bugger all results here. However, I will bring this up again and see what the beards have to say. I will see you soon and get ready for a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes
John

That’s all for today…….more tomorrow.

Yesterday a blogger was asking for a description of the ThirstyFrog Red beer we will be serving at the RedFrog pub on your Carnival Magic. Well I did some investigation and discovered that the beer is made from the gastric juices of the Mongolian red backed frog. The frogs are placed into blenders and although they put up a bit of a fight they eventually croak……… OK……….just kidding animal lovers. Here is the official description:

“ThirstyFrog Red is a well balanced medium bodied lager with a rich red color made   with Noble Aroma Hops, Caramel & Black malts and a slightly sweet aftertaste. Served only on draft with a fine head, it is very drinkable and very refreshing.”

From what I understand there will be a souvenir glass that will be available for purchase as well so I look forward to sharing a pint of ThirstyFrog Frog (OK, mine’s a Diet Coke) with you all next year. Keep looking at www.carnivalmagic.com as there will be more and more details about your new flagship and all she has to offer very soon.

We are in Mazatlan today and the weather is much like yesterday in PV with lots of sun and bugger all breeze. The Marmalade of the Seas has followed us here as well as she is on a reverse itinerary due to tropical storm Georginabastard. I think the week is going well. I have only been herbalifed three times so far, we have debarked a couple who decided that after 19 years of marriage that they hated each other and this morning we had to page for a 17 year old lad who didn’t return to his parents’ cabin.

They were very worried when I paged him this morning at 9am and that worry turned to anger when he showed up with his hair looking like he had just rented a moped. I can only guess where he had been and in some ways it was good to see that after the initial question of “are you all right son” that the lad would experience some good old fashioned discipline when his dad got him back to the cabin. It is always worrying when someone reports a family member missing but this time there was a happy ending.

Now here is something interesting.

Guest: Mrs.——-Ref: 842029157A
Cabin: ——- Booking Added-Changed: 09/23/10 – 09/23/10

Mrs.——- came to the desk in order to state that none of the shops in P.V. would take United States Dollars. The guests were very angry and said that the dollar is taken everywhere and they wanted to buy jewelry but could not

And of course they are correct because there is a new law that was passed by the Mexican government that shops and establishments would not be able to take cash in US dollars past $100. I checked with the ship’s agent today and asked the destination shopping chap to do the same and both confirmed that this law is now in total affect. This means that all purchases over $100 in a Mexican port will have to be done by a credit or charge card. I have made sure that everyone at Carnival is aware and that the CD’s and I inform all the guests. If you have any questions on this please let me know.

Now yesterday I went to the ship’s medical center for my monthly check up. This is something I do voluntarily and have them do my sugar level and my blood pressure…….oh my sugar level was excellent, I need a proper eye test and my blood pressure 121/81 which considering what I had been doing before is pretty good. So what had I been doing before? Well I had been in the waiting room because the Doc was seeing to a guest and while I was waiting I was reading a  “men’s magazine” and as I had my raspberry with me I thought I would jot down a few comments ……..here they are.

Hello everyone……it’s 8:30am and I am looking at the FHM magazine which is here in the waiting room. It says it has a circulation of 400,000 and amongst the pages about   fashion, gadgets and sport you can feast your eyes on a horse with two extra legs             growing out of its neck, and a man who was born with his head on back to front. Also,    there is a boy of 9 who has been accepted into Princeton which I guess is a university, a    bloke with testicles the size of two water melons and a man with what appears to be a           sack of red potatoes growing out of his face.

However the highlight is that there are women in various states of undress…..and some men as well all of which seem to be staring at something in the distance…..probably at the person who shoved a cucumber down the front of their underpants.

On the cover of the magazine is some woman from a program called Lost who for some reason has forgotten to put her clothes on……this is very strange because she is photographed cooking in her kitchen………something usually done clothed. And it is no        good turning the page because whoa, it’s a double-page spread of Lady Ga Ga wearing nothing but a coating of baby oil…. holding a small dog……..called Lucky …… sodding right he is. My favourite though is the centerfold which is some Latvian tennis player who is wearing only a tennis racket.

Should this magazine be in the Carnival Splendor’s medical center waiting room? Well, I can tell you isn’t any longer…….because I have stolen it and am taking Nora Bollockov and her tennis racket ……. back to my cabin.

So, here I am back in my cabin in my underpants getting ready for the day. I want to apologize to those people who have been trying to enter our Carnival Magic contests and found that if they were born after 1950 they were unable to do so. I am so glad that some of you told me about this and I have asked one of the 344 Stephanies to take care of this. In fact, by now it should have been done and my apologies to that this happened.

I may be completely wrong here but I have to say this anyway. I have noticed that these past few weeks the blog has had more than its fair share of negative comments. A few are personal attacks on me which used to bother me but these days……..all I say to myself is “Am I bothered though?”……..and move on.

No, it’s not those ones I am talking about, it’s the negative reviews and debates that would lead some to think that maybe there is some naughtiness going on and that these comments are posted by people who have their own agenda.  Now as I said, I may be talking bollocks here but I do find it strange that suddenly, as this blog of ours continues to get more popular that we are inundated with comments that we have not seen before.

I have learned from my many many many Cruise Critic friends that they use a word called “troll” which it seems is the perfect word to describe someone who just pops up now and then for a little Carnival bashing. I don’t know if some of these people have fallen of a climbing wall and bumped their heads but I am not going to give them any blog time anymore.

Obviously, we are not perfect, far from it and if someone has a legitimate complaint then I am here to act on their behalf. But somewhere, I honestly believe, there is a man or a woman sitting in their basement scheming about how best to write derogatory remarks about the company I love. If I am right……and I hope I am not……then they are very sad people.

Unfortunately this has left having to do a first……and that is banning someone officially from commenting on this blog.

I will say this then very clearly. Everyone who posts a comment stating that something happened that they were not happy with during their cruise or even someone who posts a request without the words please or thank you…….they will have their comments posted.

If someone wants to call me a bent-toothed fat bastard and thinks I am as funny as a bleeding hemorrhoid……..then they will have their comments posted too.

But there’s one person who I don’t believe has ever sailed Carnival and is simply out to smear Carnival’s name.

So, Long Tall Sally, as the Trumpmeister would say…………you’re fired.

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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