Didja Have a Happy Christmas?

December 27, 2010 -

John Heald

I remember reading an article recently by someone with a beard who wrote that Playstationxboxing is dangerously addictive, and that those who spend hours and hours on them each and every day will eventually end up on top of a tower shooting passers by in the head. I sort of laughed this off thinking that the report was probably commissioned by the makers of Lego or Barbie who sales cannot compete with games like Zombie Cannibal Eaters 4 and the new NBA Miami Heat Xbox game “We Beat Your Arse You Punk B**ch Lakers. ”

I write this because yesterday was Boxing Day and we had my parents, Heidi’s Mum and my sister and brother in law and their two kids round for roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Heidi did a brilliant job creating a scrumptious meal but I think she was a little disappointed. Heidi you see had images of us all taking a long walk after dinner but she was never going to get that to happen any more than I was going to not fart after eating 11 Brussels sprouts. So instead of a brisk walk I spent the afternoon spend around the fire, stabbing my niece and nephew before shooting them with a rocket propelled grenade.

It was my suggestion actually to get out of going for the sodding walk. When I suggested that we could go for a walk as Heidi had suggested or that instead we could kill each other…… well …….. the answer was obvious.

But my Mother had other ideas and decided we would play charades. The kids, initially, were alarmed. My niece and nephew are 8 and 10 years old and they think anything that doesn’t run on electricity is “like whatever, totally boring.”

So the idea of standing up in front of the family and acting out a book or a film excited them in much the same way a photo of me naked would excite Lady Ga Ga.

Anyway, all was going well until I got a massive bollocking for giving my nephew the movie title “Meet the Fockers” to mime and then got an even bigger bollocking from Heidi and my Mother for pulling my pants down during my mime of “Free Willy.”

Anyway………..better crack on with some Q and A………here we go.

Susan Asked:

JOHN PLEASE RESPOND! I would love to publicly thank you and the billions of Stephanies that work for you! Our Freedom 8 1/2 day Western Caribbean Cruise was an absolutely life-altering experience! I was positively blown away by the creations that Chef Andrew and his team served us at the Chef’s Table, Branimir and his amazing staff blew us away nightly during Your Time Dining (and came to our rescue a number of times, which resulted in many positive experiences for our friends, whom were going on their second cruise – first one on a Conquest Class ship!), Ian our Cabin Steward literally bent over backwards to ensure that our cabin was neat, our ice bucket was filled, our linens were crisp, our towels were soft, and our Towel Animals were happy playing with their new friend (and our travel mascot), Jumbo the Elephant (or J-to the Umbo as the Entertainment Staff dubbed him)!

We usually don’t cruise for the Cruise Director (it’s the destination/journey that gets us), but we do wish to send big kudos to Ryan, Just Jack, Syreeta, Kim, and the rest of the Entertainment Staff! They literally bent over backwards to ensure that the ship was rocking and rolling as we were recovering from an unexpected diversion to Grand Cayman on 10/28-10/29. A passenger fell ill, Captain Giuseppe made a very sharp right turn around 11:00pm/laid in a course to GCI, and dropped off the pax. We later found out was in stable condition, and during our glide up the Atlantic towards Port Everglades (and a very late debarkation), found out that they, along with their family, were successfully transported to Miami and a local hospital).

My little travelling Mascot Jumbo was on The Morning Show during our last day at sea, and this brings me to my request, if and only if you can perform this miracle. I spoke to someone in the Video Department, and asked if I could get a copy of the show, as nobody in my family would believe me if I told them this happened. The person responded that he could not do this, as the programs are copyrighted and then archived for the Miami Beards. I was very disappointed, and then I decided to do something totally out of character.

You know me, I very rarely ask for anything. John, would it be possible for you to send me a copy of the show? I will make a solemn promise that it will not show up on the YouTube thingy, my Facebook page, or anywhere else. We just want to have the ability to share this with our friends and family when they come over. If you can do this, great; if not, then we’ll have to share this with our friends and family via the couple of photos we took.

You are the best John, and we wish that 5/10/2011 would come quickly so that we all can get started on our Carnival Magic Moments!!!

Thanks for everything you do for us!
Susan and Cary from Tampa, FL

PS – no ships on a stick for us! We won three of them playing trivia, as well as two medals of honor!

John Says:
Hello Susan,

What a fantastic review and just what I need to get me smiling today. I will certainly pass on your best regards and thanks to all those who made your vacation so very special and I want to acknowledge your praise of Ryan and his team because it mirrors the praise we’ve received over the past few weeks about the entertainment staff on the Carnival Freedom.

It seems that The Chef’s Table is growing in popularity. I sent off another 29 reservations this past weekend to the fleet and I am sure every time someone reads a report like this that they realise that this is a must attend event and book the experience for themselves.

The beard who told you that you could not get a copy of the Morning Show because of copyright was wrong and I am not sure why he would say that. I give loads of Morning Show DVDs away and we sell them onboard. God it makes me so mad when we give false information like this. I am very sorry and will make sure that someone in Miami is aware that this happened. Now we do have problems with people putting segments of our shows featuring the dancers and our comedians on YouTube and they are indeed subject to copyright…….but the morning shows and audience participation shows are certainly not. I apologise once again that you were given the wrong information.

I would send you a copy of the show but unfortunately the ships do not keep copies that far back. It’s a shame because I am sure that your family and friends would love to have seen Jumbo as start of the show.

So thanks again for this great review and I will make sure you get a 14kt gold solid plastic trophy on your Carnival Magic whether you win trivia or not.

See you soon.

Best wishes
John

Gillian Fink Asked:
John, Please Reply

I read your blog about not having Jewish Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Aseret Yemei Teshuva, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah. I find this to be a huge slap in the face for your Jewish passengers. Holland America and Celebrity both have a Rabbi on the ship and it seems that Carnival only cares about the Christian passengers does it not?

John Says:
Hello Gillian,

I am in a bit of a cranky mood so please forgive me if I sound somewhat obtuse here but honestly to suggest that the world’s most popular cruise line cares only about guests of one particular faith is absolutely bonkers. We do in fact not have for the most part a priest or minister onboard the vessels during Easter and Christmas and as I have said here on the blog before, our religious program for all faiths is limited at best. I should point out also that we offer a Hannukah menorah lighting service every night with guests of the Jewish faith attending. A Hannukah song is included in our holiday show as well.

Thanks for taking the time to write and my apologies if I sounded flippant.

Best wishes
John

Tammy Jensen Asked:
Dear Mr. Heald,

Attached is a letter I have written to Carnival Customer Service today. As stated I have also posted it on several blogs and have gotten several “hits” already. I just thought you might like to know that the general opinion out there is that customer service is poor at best. I have also sent a copy to Mr. Arison, but as stated in his letter I highly doubt he will ever see it or care if he does. I also wanted to say that we are not travellers that need our hand held through out a trip. We have over the years travelled thought out Africa, Asia and Europe several times on our own, and as stated in the opening of our letter I have never written a complaint letter before. I hope you will understand the customer service training issues that Carnival has and begin to fix them. As for myself and my husband, this will be the first and last time on Carnival.

We booked this cruise to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We have cruised before several times with Princess, RCL, Holland America, and Regent Seven Seas, so we are not new to cruising or travel, but this was our first time with Carnival. In all the years that we have been travelling, I have never written in to complain until now.

We were on the Freedom for the October 31st sailing. I am sure that you know that our cruise was late getting off due to a medical emergency on the cruise coming in. This is not the issue. We realize that things happen that are out of the control of the line, and this was one of those things. However, what really makes a company really good is their response to problems when they arise, and Carnival fell far short with our experience.

We were at a hotel waiting to go to the cruise ship and advised that it was not in yet and as soon as they have word that it is in we will go. Around 1:00 PM our shuttle service advised us the ship was in and they wanted everyone to check in at terminal 26 – which was the Holland America terminal. They also gave us a sheet of paper saying that a lunch would be provided in the waiting area, so we were glad that we had not gone and picked up something to eat, which we were about to do just as the shuttle service said we needed to go.

We got to terminal 26 and checked in. There were a number of people after us checking in and we were not the last zone to board that was checked in, but we were the second to last one there.
When we got into the holding area there was no food or water available. I asked several Carnival people where the food was only to be bluntly told “it’s gone”. What do you mean it’s gone? We just checked in and have not eaten since an early breakfast which was light knowing we would be served a large lunch once aboard. No apology. No concern for the passenger, just not here anymore, you missed it.

We also needed chairs which were not available. One Carnival person tried for a minute or so to find some and sorry no chairs, I guess you have to stand for the next 4 hours or sit on the dirty floor in your white pants.

There we were with no food or water and no chairs for a wait of 4 hours.

Every time a person with a Carnival shirt came into the room we went over to them to see if we could at least get some water. We were told every time with no feeling from them at all, “it’s gone.” Nothing else.

It would not have cost Carnival one red cent to have said “I am sorry” It would not have cost Carnival one red cent to instruct us that we could leave the area – which we found out later after the experience – to buy with our own money water past the guarded doors. But no help at all from any of the several people we asked and no apology. This is basic customer service. This was in Carnival’s control. Shame on Carnival!

We did find out later that people being picked up at the airport were shuttled to a hotel with a huge buffet. As they told that to us we were even more upset. I would say to them “well, how nice for you. Let me tell you our experience with Carnival.” We were also told that in our terminal before we were there they did have lots of food and water, but about 1PM or so they hauled away about 100 lunches. Hello! If you are still checking people in, don’t you think it would be wise to still have food and water that you promised them (which I still have the written paper stating). But by that time we had realized that Carnival only cares about the 80% who are happy. Too bad we were in the 20% that you don’t give a hoot about. Just let them go hungry. And you need a drink – well too bad! Not to mention no offer to clean our white pants after our 4 hour sit on the dirty floor. What a way to start off the cruise! Along with missing out on our first day of vacation!

We have found that Carnival lacks greatly in customer service training of their personnel. I don’t really expect anyone to give a fig about our experience. After all we are in the 20% that you don’t really care about.

However, I will be posting this on several travel blogs along with any response you might give – so those reading this please check back to see if and when they respond. Just a thought – how many million hits did Utube get with “United Breaks Guitars”?

At the least I hope that this causes Carnival to begin to give basic customer service training to its personnel. I know that the person I was talking to at the time did not cause the problem, but they are the face of Carnival and as basic customer service trained people know the least they could do was give basic instructions and say “I’m sorry”. I know that the delay of the ship was not in Carnival’s control, but what really makes a company stand out from the pack is their response when problems arise. This is in their control. This is customer service 101. Maybe instead of “United Breaks Guitars” we need a song stating “Carnival doesn’t really care”.

Thanks for your time and have a great day!
Tammy and Aaron Jensen
Carnival Freedom October 31
Cabin 7445

John Says:
Hello Tammy and Aaron Jensen
It would be very easy for me not to post this on my blog. You said you had posted it somewhere and that it got “several hits,” well posting it here will mean that your comments will be viewed by many thousands of people which shows I think that without doubt that Carnival truly does care. I am not in a position to comment about the specifics of your review but I will certainly apologise to you as it is so disappointing to read that you have such a negative opinion of the Carnival experience.

Mr Arison is the chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc and although you may not hear from him directly I can promise you that he does care as does everyone at Carnival. If he or the rest of us did not…….then we wouldn’t be the market leader. So, I am directing this review to a senior person at Carnival and you can, I promise, expect to hear from someone very soon.

Best wishes to you both
John

Patty Byrd Asked:
John, please reply

I copied the recipe that appeared at the end of the video of you and the executive chef preparing the warm chocolate melting cake. Well, I have to tell you that if you swayed ever so slightly while eating it you would swear that you were aboard a Carnival ship! The recipe is perfect! The best thing it that it makes four servings instead of the 25 servings that past posted recipes would make. So easy to make. I recommend it to anyone who loves that dessert.

Thank you for just a little taste of Carnival.
Patty and Rich
Oh-hi-a

John Says:
Hello Patty Byrd,

Fantastic. And I am now just a few days away from announcing (finally) the addition of a sugar free version of this iconic dessert. I am glad that you enjoyed it. Best wishes and keep swaying

John

The Cruzin2some Asked:
Dear John, PLEASE REPLY,

Someone just told me that they saw my Avatar (Picture next to my posts) on Facebook and mentioned that Cruzin2some (James & Nancy Enslow)& could be found on your blog. Do you know anything about that?

Like you when you found out that your daughter’s picture was used without your permission you wanted to know how this happened. I could care less that my picture was used but Nancy was a little troubled that it was put on the site without us knowing about it. She is on Facebook all the time but I only have blogs for you. No Problems just curious.

The Cruzin2some

John Says:
Hello Cruzin2some.
I am not sure exactly what they are talking about. I had a quick look at my Facebook page and couldn’t see anything. Please let me know if you come across it and need it removed. I hope that nobody ever posts the photo of me dressed as a French hooker on Facebook. Let me know if I can help further.

Best wishes to you both
John

Isit22 Asked:
John (Reply)

I saw on Cruise Critic that you are taking table reservations for dinner. Here is my request

VALOR JANUARY 23
TABLE FOR 4 BY WINDOW LOWER LEVEL NOT TOP LEVEL
AFT DINING ROOM NOT FORWARD DINING ROOM
SUITE 7300

I also need the cabin boy to empty the mini bar refrigerator before I board the ship.

John Says:
Hello Isit22

While I will ask the maitre d to do his best to reserve your table as requested I am sorry that I will not be able to ask your stateroom steward to remove the items from the mini bar. You can certainly ask him or her when you arrive but if I start honouring this request via the blog I will no doubt be inundated with requests to do so. I hope you have a brilliant cruise

Best wishes
John

Joe Kyle Asked:
Please reply WHEN YOU HAVE THE TIME!

Thank the good Lord every one came away from this ordeal with out serious injuries. I cannot wait until tomorrow to read part 4. The Carnival Magic is coming to Galveston next November 27 2011 to enjoy our wonderful Texas winters. I want to cruise on the Magic out of Galveston while it is here. My questions are — what ship and port will the next Bloggers cruise be sailing from? HINT, HINT, The Magic out of Galveston would really be NICE late 2011 or early 2012!

John Says:
Hello Joe Kyle,

It seems weird…….very weird to be answering questions about the Carnival Splendor fire from the UK but I want to thank you for taking the time to write your words of support. I am getting very excited about your Carnival Magic and hope that we get to see you onboard. Certainly a bloggers cruise on that ship and out of Galveston would be a brilliant idea. Let’s see what happens next.

Best wishes and hope to see you soon.
John

Ernie/cruizer4662 Asked:
John (Please Reply):

DW & I just returned from the Carnival DREAMin’ with the Crazies. Thank you and Josh for the gifts that you sent to our room to celebrate our 51st Anniversary.

We had such a great time on the Carnival DREAM and it was because of the staff, “Pookie” & Ali Table 462 in Scarlett DR. Lloyd and his helper our stewards (Cabin 1662). I did mention to the Maitre de, that the wait staff had so many “stations” to take care off that they don’t seem to have time to interact with the passengers. To me, the crew interaction with passengers is part of what makes the cruise memorable. Our wait staff never complained but was kept hustling with the orders, very professional. The Mai’tre de agreed with me, and I realize that it is the almighty dollar is the bottom line. CREW INTERACTION is very Important!!!!!!

John Says:
Hello Ernie/cruizer4662,

It always makes my heart burst with pride when someone takes the time to mention our brilliant crew. Interaction is indeed important and we will this New Year be undertaking a massive reinforcement on hospitality, fun and friendliness on all of our ships. Thanks to people like you we will know if we are successful and that our crew continue to be the best in the business.

I know that the waiters are very busy indeed and that stations are bigger these days. I will make sure that the right people get to see your comments.

I hope you and my friends from the Crazies all had the best of times

Best wishes to you both
John

Andrue Asked:
John (Please Reply),

First: I am so glad to hear that there were no injuries. It is nice to hear directly from you, I am sure the news agencies are looking forward to find those angry passengers and will pass-up those that, while disappointed, are satisfied that Carnival has done everything that they could. Your report on the happenings have been spectacular.

Second: A while back I wrote to you asking about our CD on the Carnival Glory cruise from Charleston. Well I want to tell you that Gary is a wonderful cruise director. You should be proud of him and his staff. They really added to the energy of the cruise, and we quite entertaining. I finally won my first ship on a stick then won my second one on the next day. I wrote a review and posted it to Cruise Critic

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=74700.

In summary the cruise was fun, and the shore side and shipboard staff were all wonderful. In particular our dining room staff of Jose, Ida, & Adi and our stateroom steward Junior and his assistant (unfortunately I can’t remember his name). They were so much fun and should receive kudos. As soon as I receive the survey I will note the positive impact they had on our cruise.

The city of Charleston is a beautiful city with a lot to do downtown. One thing I wish Carnival had done was to provide more information about the parking situation in Charleston. Despite that, the Charleston Police were so nice and helpful in getting everyone where they needed to be.

Keep up the good work.

John Says:

Hello Andrue,

I just finished your excellent review and I am indeed so very proud of Gary. He was with me on the delivery of the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Splendor and I knew as soon as I met him that he would become the star of the show. He is now firmly established as one of our excellent team of cruise directors. I know that parking in Charleston is limited and I thank you for pointing out that we need to do a better job in making sure we get this message across beforehand. Thanks then for your report and also for your kind words of support. I hope we sail together one day soon.

Best wishes
John

That’s all for today and once the New Year thing is over I will crack on in an effort to catch up. Remember please that if you have anything that is time sensitive to mark it so when you post here on the blog thingy. Thanks for all the wonderful Christmas wishes and I hope you all had a wonderful festive season with family and friends.

Let’s take a break and continue with a look at our brilliant piano bar entertainers. Today we are off to the Carnival Conquest

Name: Milburn Dumas

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Short Bio: He started playing piano as a child and has performed with various bands throughout the Southeastern United States. He’s been with CCL for 5 years. He plays a variety of music from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.

Most requested song: “Piano Man”

What’s the best part of being a Carnival Piano Bar entertainer? Interacting with the guests.

I am realising more and more that this blog thingy of ours is read by many people from within the cruise industry and that was highlighted by a post from a cruise ship captain last week that I replied to. I have no idea what line he works for but his kind compliments regarding the blog were most welcome. Well, the other day I received an e-mail from someone senior at Princess Cruises. Here is an extract from his e-mail to me about a great friend of his who was sailing on the Carnival Valor.

Justin was wounded in Iraq (sniper shot to the head) and after countless surgeries he’s back on his feet and trying to get on with his life. He lives with a pretty major deformity but having seen him not that long ago I can attest to his positive attitude which is remarkable.

Justin now runs a charitable foundation to help out fellow soldiers injured in battle. His blog can be found here:

http://www.iraqandback.com/

Well, when I read this I wrote…..oh bloody hell……I almost typed “reached out” instead of wrote …….I think I am suffering from marketingitus. Anyway, I wrote to my friend and Cruise Director Goose and thanks to him and the captain and crew, Justin and his wife Dahlia had a brilliant time.

Here they are on the bridge with Captain D’Angelis.

I hope you will take the time to read Justin’s blog as it is a reminder that our troops on the front line are too often out of mind. Sometimes it is not until they return home in flag draped coffins that we become truly aware of all that we are asking of them. Justin’s blog makes sure we never forget.

Well, it looks like the snow is getting worse in New York and a state of emergency has been declared. I have therefore decided not to take the girls. It would be ridiculous to put them into that bad weather and a potential delay at the airport. It was a tough decision to make but I have to think of Kye as nothing is more important than that and I can’t do what it is I am about to do if I am worrying about Kye and Heidi being stuck in a hotel room. I saw the blizzard you had over there and as I also have seen that all the flights from London to New York today have been cancelled. This means I have no idea if our scheduled British Airways flight tomorrow will be going or not and if I am actually going to be able to get to this Times Square event.

I know lots of people love snow but I am not one of them. Snow does not make me come all Bing Crosby………… it makes my haemorrhoids flare up.

I think the next person who says how wonderful snow is and how beautiful and romantic it makes the scenery look may find my foot in their bottom.

Heidi and Kye were all set to join me in the Big Apple but as I said, thanks to the white stuff I am seriously thinking they shouldn’t come. Apart from the fact that I don’t want Kye hanging out at Heathrow’s terminal 5 to see if the flight will go, pushing Kye around the snow bound streets of New York in a stroller will be very difficult……and she already has a bit of a cold.

The tofu eaters of the world will no doubt say “Oooh, but what about the crackling fires and snowy landscapes?” Crackling fires my arse. The minute one snowflake falls they pretend that they are living in a Victorian Christmas card in which a gentleman in a frock coat ice skates across a frozen pond holding aloft a tray of mulled wine. The reality is that snow means that thousands of people sleeping on the floor at JFK Airport and that as it stands….I will be away from my loved ones when the sodding ball drops. So, weather permitting I will be heading across the pond tomorrow and there will be constant video updates each and every day here on the blog thingy.

Let’s talk TV.

I think it would be safe to say that some folks are not big fans of TV advertising as they think it barges into our homes like a drunken yak and interrupts our viewing of America’s Next Top B**ch. But then there maybe some that say “the ads are better than the programmes” and this suggests that many of us enjoy the best commercials, especially the funny ones. Yep, its humour and fun that can sometimes have people talking about the product which is of course what they want.

Here’s ones I remember from my childhood.

Then there is billboard advertising which certainly these days catches the eye. I remember the famous “Wonderbra” adverts featuring the supermodel Eva Herzigova and the slogan “Hello Boys” that probably led to countless car accidents. Home depot allegedly has a new billboard campaign using the catchphrase “You get a better screw at the Home Depot.”

In the UK, humour (spelt correctly) plays a big part in advertising and some is pretty outrageous. Have a look at this one currently being advertised on the London Underground (subway) walls.

Some may say that this in inappropriate……..me…….I think its sodding hilarious and it certainly has people talking because as I just said……..isn’t that the point.

And so this segues into our new advertising campaign and a catchphrase that I think is going to become very, very popular indeed. Here’s Vance to tell you all about it.

“Didja Ever” zip line across a rain forest? Catch air on a wave runner? Jump into an impromptu performance of Thriller between courses at dinner? Well, mark your new calendar for more fun and firsts! Carnival Cruise Lines unveiled its “Hey America, Didja Ever” campaign that inspires people to try new things to add more fun – and ultimately, happiness and satisfaction – to their lives. Carnival will help consumers share, fulfill and celebrate first-time experiences throughout the year, driven by the “Didja Ever” campaign headquarters on Carnival’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/carnival) and promoted through exciting and interactive broadcast, online, social media and local marketing efforts.

Carnival is collecting the Top 100 Firsts from its more than 420,000 (and growing) Facebook fans and all of America. The company is encouraging people to check things off their lists, share experiences through photos and video, and create once-in-a-lifetime events and memories. Of course, the Fun Ship company will also help to fulfill many firsts for participants that will include everything from giving away monthly cruise vacations for four to offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like appearing on-stage as the opening act for a favorite band, and many other fun activities online and in major markets.

“As a company that is built upon fun and memorable vacation experiences, we thought that it was time to help Americans put fun on the front burner,” said Jim Berra, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Lines. “The ‘Didja Ever’ campaign reminds people it’s time to make their list and start living that list to the fullest. And we’ll provide a little help along the way to fulfill some of these wishes in surprising and unexpected ways throughout the year.”

According to a consumer survey commissioned by Carnival earlier this month, nine out of 10 adults have a list of things they wish to accomplish in their lifetime. Robert Mack, author of the bestselling book, “Happiness From the Inside Out: The Art and Science of Fulfillment,” and celebrity life coach explains, “If you want to live your best life, start by setting a goal that deeply inspires and excites you on a personal level so you’ll stick to it. If you can stay engaged and keep it fun, you’ll be more committed.”

Mack added that another important element of success is sharing your goal with other people who will support you and cheer you on. Studies have shown people are up to 10 times more likely to accomplish a goal when they write it down.

“The ‘Didja Ever’ campaign is all about sharing and fulfilling firsts, so Carnival’s page on Facebook made perfect sense to be our home base for people to share, track and cheer others on,” said Roger Baldacci, EVP, executive creative director of Arnold Worldwide, the advertising agency that developed the campaign with Carnival. “We’re bringing elements of the participatory fun experienced by guests on Carnival’s vessels to anyone who wants to build a list of things they’ve always wished to do and maybe get a little help to make it happen.”

On The Air Waves and Online
To promote the new “Didja Ever” campaign, Carnival today debuted the first of its newest television spots that continue the popular “Fun For All. All For Fun.” theme. The ads utilize stunning slow-motion to capture Carnival cruise fans enthralled in first-time moments. The first in the series features a mom who awes her young boys when she catches air on a wave runner. The spots feature the familiar voice of actor John Krasinski who notes “Now, there’s a first,” and the rock anthem “Bang the Drum” by Todd Rundgren.

The new TV spots will air on major networks and top-rated daytime and primetime shows including NBC’s Today Show, Parenthood and The Office, ABC’s Good Morning America, Grey’s Anatomy and Extreme Home Makeover, and CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, Mike and Molly and Undercover Boss. The full creative team at Arnold Worldwide that developed the campaign includes: Chief Creative Officer – Pete Favat; Executive Creative Director – Roger Baldacci; Creative Directors – Will Chambliss, Rob Kottkamp and Tom Morhous; Director – Christian Loubek, and Production Company – Anonymous Content.

In addition to new TV spots, Carnival is helping to ring in the New Year as the official confetti sponsorship of the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2011 celebration, and also promoting the “Didja Ever” campaign through online advertising and video which will appear on leading sites such as YouTube, Yahoo!, Hulu and ABC.com.

Didja?

Brilliant!

Here’s Eric the Beard to tell you how you can join the Didja world……………Eric……over to you.

Hey bloggers! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!

I have a quick video I’d like to share with you, and then I’ll fill you in on how you can join the Didja world.

So I’m sure you’re all raring to go make that list, enter to win the first month’s cruise… or at least knock off a few ‘firsts’ you’ve always wanted to accomplish, am I right?!?

Well, all you need to do is click this link, which will take you to Carnival’s Didja app on Facebook. Once you’re there, click the “Make Your List Now” button (you’ll need to accept the standard terms all Facebook apps require). Once you click “Yes,” create your list, share it with your friends… and don’t forget to enter to win our first monthly cruise giveaway!

I’ve already created my list, with my absolute top first being “Swim in a pool full of liquid tofu”! Mmmmmmm….. 🙂

Looking forward to seeing all of your lists!

Eric the Beard

So ………..Didja ever sail into Venice?

Didja ever eat a seven course meal at a private Chef’s Table?

Didja ever sing some rock and roll with a live band?

Didja ever stand up with 1,000 passengers and sing Queen’s We Are The Champions while waving your arms in the air?

Didja ever stand by the railings on deck11 of your Carnival ship, gaze at the stars listen to the sound of the sea and realise and grasp the hand of the one you love and realise that life is good?

Didja ever dream of burying Megan Fox in the sand on a Caribbean beach with only her bottom left uncovered?

Didja ever think why the UK just doesn’t invade France. It’s right there and it’s not like they are going to put up a fight.

A poll in a Sunday newspaper here on my side of the pond carried out a survey where they asked 250 retired people to look back and evaluate their lives and you know what…..the main emotion that emerged was regret. Most of them wished they had taken more risk.

Less accountancy, more parasailing…. that sort of thing. So I have to ask — what’s on your list of yet-to-be-achieved Didjas?

Well Christmas is over for another year and Kye had a wonderful time ignoring all the presents we had bought her, playing instead with the empty boxes and wrapping paper. It won’t be too long before I will have to do what all parents do at this time of the year………lie to their children.

“Is Santa real?” And all we’ve preached about telling the truth buggers off in a heartbeat as we parents reply “Yes he does and if he hears you say that you won’t get that new bike and instead Santa will leave you an orange, one sock and a photo of a climbing wall so behave.”

This is one of the many lies that I will tell Kye along with:

“If the wind changes you’ll stay like that”

“Don’t sleep with your head under the pillow because the tooth fairy will take away all your teeth”

“Yes, of course Harry the Hamster’s in heaven”

And of course the biggest lie of them all……..”Kye…….go and play with your toys as Mummy and Daddy want to take a10 minute nap.”

See you in New York.

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.