Blogs, Facebook, Twitter… all are thingies in which people are prepared to share anything from sadness, what they had for dinner and a diagnosis of syphilis to where and when they are taking a vacation. I have been very careful though when it has come to writing about my daughter.

When Kye was first born this blog was full of stories and new Daddy anecdotes that were accompanied by photos and the occasional video. Then in February 2010 we discovered that someone had taken the photos of Kye off the blog, copied them and then entered them into a baby model contest. Heidi and I were very angry indeed. For sometime after I stopped putting photos of Kye on the blog and it’s only recently that I have started to put them back on. Yet now I am worried that this may have been a mistake and this worry was brought on by this comment I received.

Jessica T.N. Asked:
Hello John – you can reply if you feel you need to

I saw your Christmas video of Kye and the photos that you shared with your fans. I love your blog but I am questioning the wisdom of which you share the facts about your family so easily. When you make your private life public, when you seek attention as you do John, you’re inviting not just the cool and the loving, but the angry and aggrieved. While you may be OK with this I think you should seriously consider the dangers.

Just my opinion
Jess

John Says:

Well Jessica, let me say straight away that I truly appreciate that you care enough to write to me and you have certainly got me thinking……..am I surrendering our privacy too easily? You know this blog has changed so much since it first started. I mean, have a read of my first ever blog entry and you will see what I mean. Here’s the link thingy.

http://johnhealdsblog.com/2007/03/04/day-one-aboard-the-carnival-freedom/

See, there was no mention of bottoms or bollocks or Latvians in suspenders and stockings or my hatred of the French. Certainly there were no deep family secrets that I shared with the people who were reading the blog back in 2007.

But then things changed and I have to admit that along with the addition of humour (spelt correctly) and other style changes I found myself enjoying the feeling that writing the blog gave me. Telling what was on my mind to a vast on-line audience felt wonderful. There are undisputed health benefits I am sure. But where does it end? I guess my mind set is that the more personally revealing the blog, the higher the number of regular readers I will get. I am not paid on the number of readers that click on my daily musings so why should that matter then? Is there then a temptation to expose more and more of myself, like a Latvian lap dancer peeling off her clothes?

And there’s a danger that you can spend more time on your blog than with your family. Last night I found myself sitting in my chair with my computer on my lap updating my Facebook page and my Raspberry in the other pounding off e-mails to the Carnival Elation to check on the status with a technical problem they were having (all is well by the way) and to various ships asking for table requests etc. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy doing this I really do and I know how much it means to all of you and it got me out of watching Real Bitches of Orange County with Heidi…..but it also meant that I wasn’t paying attention to her and that’s wrong…… isn’t it?

So why do it? Why have we spawned a generation of people with a constant need for exposure? Young people will meet their friends for a drink in a bar and the next day the photos of them drinking slippery nipples and some showing their nipples are all over Facebook. Is blogging just another form of attention seeking? Is that what I am doing? Well yes………..I guess it is.

By the end of January the blog thingy will have had 9,000,000 views which is extraordinary. I know much of the success is because I don’t just write a blog about another happy day Carnival never does anything wrong and neither do I. I try and write what’s on my mind and what we do well and the mistakes we make. The trouble is that, unlike face to face conversation, I have no idea how my words are being received. Yes, I read every comment but that only represents a tiny portion of the readership.

Am I going to change…………….probably not? Am I going to continue to be careful with photos of Kye? Yes, absolutely. And although not directly associated with all of this I have to tell you what happened last Thursday night.

At 11:15pm the phone rang. Not my cell phone, my house phone. Heidi was in bed asleep and I was reading a book. I answered the phone and the conversation went like this:

“HELLO”

“HI IS THAT JOHN?”

“YES, IT IS”

“HI THIS IS ***** *************”

“YES”

“WE READ YOUR BLOG”

Now at this point I didn’t no what to say. At first I thought it was my mate Alan who loves to play tricks on me. The problem was the voice had a strong American accent and any impression Alan does always ends up sounding Indian………..so I knew it wasn’t him.

“OK,” I SAID

“WE ARE BOARDING THE DREAM TOMORROW AND YOU HADN’T ANSWERED OUR QUESTION FOR A TABLE FOR TWO SO CAN YOU MAKE THIS HAPPEN?”

I was shocked. By now Heidi had awoken and I put the call on speaker phone so she could hear. Now had Heidi taken the call this guest would have heard the sound of my wife putting the phone down but I decided to ask them for the information and much to Heidi’s disgust I took the details down. I then asked.

“HOW DID YOU GET MY NUMBER?

“AHHHH, IT’S EASY WHEN YOU KNOW HOW”……………WAS THE REPLY

What got me mad though was that there was no “Sorry to disturb you” or “We feel so guilty about calling you at home”………..yes they said thank you once I had said I would help but that was it, they said thanks and hung up.

I was flabbergasted.

Our home number was not private. It was available from online phone books and I guess Heald is not that common a name plus I have advertised that we live in Essex. My fault then. Heidi was truly angry and I can understand why of course. I have since changed my home telephone number which is now not published in any directory.

I love writing this blog and please don’t worry I am not going to stop. There may be a time soon that with my Facebook page becoming more and more popular and with a new ship to deliver that I may have to go to a three times a week blog, we shall see. But one thing is for sure. Having someone write and tell you they are worried that you are revealing too much on the blog and then have someone call you at home to acquire a table for 2……well you do start to wonder what the hell you have gotten yourself into.

Those guests are on the Carnival Dream right now. They do have a table for 2 and the professional, caring Carnival cruise director hopes they have a wonderful time. The fat bastard whose wife they woke up when they called him at home however hopes that they get sea sick and lockjaw at the same time and that in the cabin next to them are honeymooners called Mr and Mrs Rabbit and upon returning to Port Canaveral that Customs and Border Patrol single them both out for a close encounter with some latex.

I know they are probably going to read this but honestly……………I don’t care. You called my home and that changes the rules, doesn’t it?

Time for today’s questions and answers………………here we go.

Harry C Asked:
My wife has decided to spend some time in Disney with the grand kids and having served my time in Hell on numerous other occasions, I decided to have some REAL fun and booked my 15th cruise with Worlds Leading Cruise Lines – my 4th with Carnival. And rather than sail alone, I’m bringing a friend along on his first cruise. I have 2 questions for you about our sailing.

First, is there a designated cigar smoking area on the Fantasy – or is it out on the rear deck? It has been a while since I’ve been on the ship and I honestly don’t remember, or it may have changed with the refit. Of course, Risa is welcome to follow her senior cruise director’s lead and join us for a cigar some evening.

Second, can you tell me if we will get a chance to meet the Captain because my friend was in the US Coastguard for 34 years and I would like them to meet?

Thanks John

John Says:
Hello Harry C,

Congratulations on booking your cruise and while your wife has a wonderful time with the mouse I know you and your mate will have the most fun on the Carnival Fantasy. Let me answer your questions and I see like me you are a cigar smoker so you will be happy to know that the port side of the Majestic Bar which is reserved for cigar smoking. I will forward this to the captain and will let him know that you will be sailing. Please though can you tell me when and what cabin you are in so that I can let the captain know and so he then can acknowledge your friends time in the United States Coast Guard. Please thank him for his service. Have a brilliant cruise and hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes
John

PAUL TUCKER Asked:
PLEASE REPLY-

I am sailing on my Carnival Dream in January. This is the first ship I have been on with the Seaside Theatre. My question does Carnival ever show sporting events on them and if so, what is the chance that we can catch the NFL playoffs? Thanks John, love the blog!

John Says:
Hello Paul Tucker,

I am sure you are already onboard and that you have seen that we do indeed show the games If not………and you are still waiting to sail ………let me say……..”Are you ready for some football? We will all the games and of course all the ships will as always have a big Super bowl party as well. Once again my apologies for the late reply.

Best Wishes
John

BVCRUISER Asked:
John, please respond to this question.

On the Cruse Critic board, some are complaining that the Carnival Pride has NO heating system built into the ship. I am sailing there in January 2011 and it will be freezing. How come there is no heating. Too cheap?

John Says:
Hello BV CRUISER,

Thanks for giving me the chance to answer this thread thingy question. I spoke to the ship this morning and the Chief Engineer confirmed that the ship does indeed have heating for the cabins. Have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes
John

Torias Asked:
John reply,

We asked for a table for two from you which we didn’t get. You also said in your reply please tell me all about your cruise when you get home. You will not like what I am going to say and I have copied what I have written on Cruise Critic below so others know never to cruise from Galveston with Texans an on the Conquest.

There isn’t much to do unless you’re a gambler and enjoy smelling like an ash tray. 🙁 The day time hours on the boat are very long and boring… we were at sea 2 and 1/2 days before we reached the first series of ports. The activities they provide that are included are random info sessions on things like weight loss, detox, herbal remedies – which are really sales pitches to get you into their spa for a “free” consultation. They have silly games that they do on board which were not really appealing to me. You can only sit outside by the pool so long before that gets boring too. A lot of people seemed to be reading as a way to pass the time.

The evenings are better they have a few shows none that I thought were just soo awesome. Of course they have live music spread through out the ship as well which is ok. I felt bad for the singers having to sing 80s and classic rock tunes night after night can get old I am sure.
The food was DISGUSTING!! I felt like I was in college eating at the cafeteria surviving on cereal and fruit as the only descent options to eat. I am a picky eater but my husband is not and he also did not care for the food. In fact he was sick 2 days which I think was food poisoning because he rarely gets sick. I was sick one day and I am sure it was food poisoning – stay away from anything they label as Mexican food…. The evening meals which are supposed to be better than the buffet were not much better. The service was awful most people can’t speak English well enough to answer your questions and they usually can’t help you anyway! Our steward and the housing keeping crew for our room were the exception. Their service was top notch!

We had a lot of fun at the ports but the time on the ship was endless- I now know why it was so cheap- kinda like the Walmart of cruises you get bad service and cheap products. The Texans were a nightmare and had no manners, chomped their food down like cows and were loud and dressed like farmers!!!!!! I have written to your customer service department asking for a refund as this was not what your brochure advertises but had no response. We never got our table for 2 and I doubt we will get any help from you in this either. Remember this is going on Cruise Critic so I suggest you act fast John.

John Says:
Hello Torias,

I am so sorry to read that you did not have a good time on the Carnival Conquest. It would be easy for me not to publish your review but I promised myself and all of the readers that I would not sweep anything under the carpet. There are many who will disagree with you and say that the Carnival Conquest is their favourite ship so it was a surprise to me that you did not enjoy your cruise. I won’t comment on the specifics but I will make sure that I send your thoughts directly to someone at vice president level and she will direct one of her staff to contact you. I will say that the ship carries people from all over the United States, Canada and beyond so I don’t think its fare to categorise your fellow cruisers as Texans. Anyway, I’m sorry you didn’t have a good time and someone will be in touch soon

Best wishes
John

JOHN JO Asked:
Dear John, Please reply

Reading through your blogs and other’s comments, I see you are a cigar smoker. I too enjoy a nice cigar and have been known to bring some pretty good ones home from some of my cruises. I keep a humidor well stocked and try to never rush through a cigar smoking experience. After reading that you enjoy the pleasure of a cigar, I wondered what is your favorite. Do you have one or do you try lots of different brands? I would think with your travel you have found some great ones. I will be on the BLOGGERS CRUISE with you and certainly looking forward to that. I hope you will be having a cigar night and if so can you tell me when?

Thanks so much
John

John Says:
Hello John Jo,

Ahhhh……a fellow cigar lover. I have been enjoying cigars for 15 years now and have been fortunate enough to be smoking them before they became trendy. Anyway, I have been lucky enough to enjoy many brands and these days I rarely get to smoke one as it should be smoked. By that I mean, slowly, either in solitude with your thoughts or joined by other cigar smokers who appreciate the art. When I am on a ship, this is mostly impossible as either the phone rings, a guest wants to talk to me or both at the same time. Also, I am very aware that not everyone appreciates the odor of cigars and as someone whose job it is to make sure that each and every guest has the best cruise possible……I often refrain from smoking onboard.

However, I will be hosting a cigar night on the bloggers cruise and I think I will be doing this on the Wednesday evening either in the cigar bar or weather permitting outside. We did this on Bloggers Cruise 3 outside on The Lanai and it was a lovely evening. These days I tend to smoke robusto cigars as time does not allow for a grand corona or torpedo……anyway, as you asked here are my top ten favourite cigars:

10. Partaga Serie D number 4
9. Monte Cristo #2 Torpedo
8. Hoya De Monteray Epicure #2
7. Trinidad Robusto Extra
6. Cohiba Robusto special edition 2000
5. Monte Cristo Edmundo
4. Artoro Fuente Opus X Robusto
3. Monte Cristo Petit Edmundo
2. Hoya De Monteray Double Corona’
1. Cohiba Siglo X1

There you go, see you soon and long ashes to you.
John

Denver Dan Plus One Asked:
Hi John, Please Reply,

First, I would like to say that you do an amazing job and I can’t imagine your busy schedule. Your blog is a joy to read every day. Second, I would like to ask for a favor. My wife and I will be sailing on the Valor on February 6th in cabin 7283. We have a baby boy who will be 10 months old when we sail, and he will be staying with grandma and grandpa. I know this will be hard on my wife to be away for 7 days, but what better place to be than on a Carnival Cruise! This cruise will also be taking place over my wife’s birthday and I could think of no better gift then if you could possibly send her a signed photo or some other personal message. She and I both think the world of you, even though we have never had the chance to meet, and I know that this would make her cruise.

Thank you!

John says:
Hello DENVER DAN PLUS ONE

I am so glad you enjoy the blog and hope you continue to do so. I know how your wife feels leaving the baby and although Heidi and Kye are with me now I am already dreading having to say goodbye next week. Have a wonderful cruise and I will ask my friend and CD Goose to send her a little something. Best wishes to you both and have a brilliant cruise.

John

Grace Martins Asked:
John – please reply.

I am a travel agent and have just taken out group space on the Carnival Magic for June.

We loved our Mediterranean cruise on Dream although we were disappointed that you were not the cruise director. We are so looking forward to seeing Barcelona and spending more time in wonderful Venice!! Will you be the Cruise Director for all the Magic sailings??

Hope so, love your blog, and would love to meet you one day!!

John Says:

Hello Grace Martins,

I am very excited that we are returning to Europe with a full season on the Carnival Magic sailing the Mediterranean. I will indeed be the cruise director for most of the time although I will have to take one 12 day cruise off some time as I am on the ship from April all the way through to December. However this will most probably be in July or August so I am sure I will be with you in June. If you or your clients have questions about the ports please let me know via the blog thingy as I am very familiar with them. Thanks for your support and I hope I see you next year………….bugger……….I mean this year.

Best wishes
John

Jan Modritch Asked:
John please reply

I will be on my first ever cruise with Carnival in April on the Liberty. I have been reading that it is advisable to tip the porters who take your bags at Miami port. But then I read on cruiseopinion.com that it is not needed. Please can you help me as I want to do the right thing?

I like your blog a lot and wish you were going to be the cruise director.

Thanks a lot
Jan

John Says:
Hello Jan,

Welcome to the blog and I am sure you are getting very excited about your first cruise with Carnival. The subject of tipping the stevedores (porters) is a bit of a tricky one. Let me just say this. In my opinion you should tip them a few dollars when you hand over your luggage as they indeed work hard for their money and deserve it. So, there you go and if you have any other questions before you embark please let me know here on the blog thingy. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes
John

CareCruiser Asked:
John Reply Please

I read your blog when I can but have noticed that you have fallen behind on answering the important requests and questions your customers send you. I suggest that you take one full 7 day week in answering questions and not writing all the other stuff. I am sure if you were to poll other readers they will agree. In 7 days you could answer say 20 a day and that would get you back on track and keep people happy. My DH and I are going to be on the Dream on April 23rd 2011 and will need a table for 2. I will remind you about this after the holidays. I hope you take my suggestion as an important one.

Ruth.

John Says:
Hello Care Cruiser,

I am not sure if the Q & A section is the most popular part of the blog thingy but I certainly will agree that I am way behind. I will do my best to catch up but I don’t think I will spend an entire week answering questions though. However the good news is that I have taken note of your request and to save you from writing again I have already asked the Maitre D to do his best to help with your request. Have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes
John

SAMSONG Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY

I am embarrassed to ask this but better for me to do this now than face the embarrassment on the ship as last time on the Fascination. John, I weigh 430 pounds and my wife a similar weight and we cannot sit in a booth or in a chair with arms in the restaurant. Please can you let the ship know now so that we don’t have to go through what happened before? I know you will understand. We are in cabin 2329 on the Destiny on February 17th.

Thanks John, you are such a wonderful person

John says:
Hello Samsong,

Please don’t worry. I will later today personally communicate with the ship to make sure you are seated comfortably. If you can think of anything else I can help with please let me know.
I wish you both a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes
John

That’s all for today. I continue to answer as many questions as I can both here and on Facebook but please forgive me if I haven’t gotten to yours just yet.

Spending New Year’s Eve in New York was an extraordinary experience and one that it would be difficult to match. However, I bet if I had been there last week I may not have been writing those words because last week New York fell in love with Cunard and Cunard fell in love with New York……..again.

I never take for granted that this humble blog thingy has, as its London correspondent, the President of Cunard Peter Shanks, and here written in his own inevitable style are his recollections of something very special indeed.

My first job in travel was in 1976 as a 17 year old, fresh out of school working in an airline reservation office in The Rockefeller Centre in New York City. As a young British  chap in the rough tough business world of New York it made a lasting impression on me. So I love coming back to New York City.

Cunard’s first experience in New York was in 1845 when The Hibernia sailed into New York Harbor with 126 First Class passengers. New York clearly made a lasting impression on Cunard Line as since that day in 1845 we estimate that over 10 million people have sailed in to New York with Cunard. So Cunard love returning to New York.

The stage was set for our Three Queen Event. Boy was it cold when I arrived in the city –   I flew out a day early as a major snow storm was due in the city. The storm duly arrived      dumping 8 inches of snow overnight. Fair credit to the city though – the next morning    most of the roads had been cleared and the city was open for business. Good job it was,  we had Three Queens on the way.

Having arrived a day early, I decided to go and visit the original Cunard Line Building at 25 Broadway as I had not seen it before. I was amazed – it is an absolutely beautiful building, one of New York’s traditional buildings. ‘Cunard Line’ stands out proudly       carved into the fascia of the building and in the polished brass doors.

Cunard Building

Cunard Building

Up early when the big day arrived. As we drove over Brooklyn Bridge I was greeted by the sight of Queen Mary 2 berthed in glorious sunshine. You know she is the most beautiful ship in the world – a true Ocean Liner and striking when seen across the New York City skyline. By 07:15 I was having a coffee with Captain Wright and Hotel     Manager John Duffy. The ship had returned from the last voyage of her Caribbean season and there was a good feeling around the ship. Knowing how hard the ship’s company will have to work on the upcoming world voyage, whilst in the Caribbean the officers delivered a number of events and treats for our hard working ship’s company     including some parties, Bridge Visits and massages given by the Canyon Ranch team. I hope this was well received – it was certainly well deserved. We had arranged for later in the day to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange and I was collecting the     small original Queen Elizabeth Bell from Queen Mary 2 for the event. Overnight the ship’s carpenter had created a beautiful stand from which we could hang the bell. It was a very impressive wooden stand – perfectly finished, varnished and good enough to grace any furniture shop. It reminded me as to what a talented set of people we have in our company.

After rushing across the city, welcoming an Investors Event on Queen Elizabeth and    saying hello to the team on Queen Victoria, it was time for our press conference. Well –  we had over 60 media people turn up which was terrific. As I was giving a brief presentation on the Three Queens Event, I noticed out of the corner of my eye the gleaming British Airways tail fin of Concorde. Concorde sits on a barge next to the Aircraft Carrier Nimitz Exhibition. I could not resist mentioning to our American Colleagues and friends ‘How cool is that – to my right a past icon of British innovation in travel – Concorde, and alongside us here to our right – an enduring and modern icon    of all that is best about British Travel, the third and latest Queen Elizabeth’.
Micky Arison and Peter Shanks ringing the New York Stock Exchange bell
I need to tell you about ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Firstly    it is an honor for Cunard to be given such recognition. But they do it so well. After going     through strict security (and explaining the Queen Elizabeth Bell and Wooden stand was a     new quirk for them I am sure) we were warmly welcomed into the Stock Exchange Board     Room. It is an enormous high ceiling room with a vast board table. We were in a very historic place and around the room were a number of video screens that they had set up with Cunard logos and a video of the Queen Elizabeth Naming Ceremony was playing. We were then taken down onto the trading floor and spent some time at one of the trading stations being shown how it works these days. Gone are the days of shouting, gesticulating and pieces of paper all over the floor – today it’s about technology. Up above us was the famous balcony from where every day the opening and closing bell is rung – with the Cunard Logo in fine evidence. Our group was then shown up to the balcony. And here is how it works.

First you decide who is going to play which role. Our Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison was with us along with his wife Madeleine. Micky asked if I would like to push the button to ring the closing bell, Commodore Bernie Warner would ring our Queen Elizabeth Bell and then Madeleine would complete the fun by crashing down the famous wooden hammer.

At exactly 15:59 and 20 seconds we all started to applaud. At exactly 15:59 and 45    seconds I pushed the button and the closing bell rang.  At the same moment Bernie     started to ring his bell rather vigorously. At exactly 16:00 Madeleine crashed the hammer down with some style and we were done.  Marvelous – and fun as well. We are so lucky to get to do these exciting things. We were then presented with commemorative     medals to mark the occasion and we presented the Stock Exchange with a model of Queen Elizabeth.

So next it was off to watch the main event, the meeting of the Three Queens. As darkness    fell, I caught a glimpse of the Empire State Building – the city had turned it Cunard red for the night in our honor. Imagine that – a small British Business honored by the giant New York City. Today was turning out to be very special indeed.

We gathered along with 120 of our travel agent partners, media guests and dignitaries at a reception on the 14th floor of the Ritz Carlton. We had a panoramic view of where history was about to be made with the meeting of our Queens. Now we do like to set     ourselves these challenges at Cunard. Those of you who may have read my blog of the Queen Elizabeth Naming Ceremony may remember me describing what it felt like to stand alongside Her Majesty in front of 2,000 people with the world’s media watching and all thinking the same thing – will the bottle break. Thankfully (actually it was never in doubt) it did – but now I had a familiar feeling but the question this time was – where are the Three Queens and will they all be in position at 18:45 for the fireworks?

It sounds pretty simple – just get the ships in position and off we go.  Well in order to do that we had to:

  • Make sure all three ships arrived at 06:30 that morning
  • Safely Disembark 6,600 guests
  • Make sure the ships were spotless and conduct US Coast Guard Inspections
  • Conduct travel agent press visits around Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth
  • Welcome around 300 rejoining crew across the three ships
  • Embark provisions and stores for world voyages
  • Load more luggage than you could possibly imagine
  • Safely embark 6,600 guests
  • Ensure all three ships let go their lines at 18:00 and move to position
  • Co-ordinate the three ships line up in the River between Battery Park and Statue of Liberty
  • Ensure guests on all three ships are kept informed of where to watch the show from
  • Co-ordinate the music to start on the three ships and at our venue at the same time as they are timed to the famous Grucci Firework show.
  • And start the fireworks at exactly 18:45

Simple.

Well clearly it would be a miracle if all that worked. It didn’t of course, we failed in one regard – it was not 18:45 it was 19:00. Well I hope everybody will forgive us 15 minutes even though it was cold. It is hard to describe my feelings and those of my friends and     colleagues from our US sales Team as we huddled in the freezing cold on the balcony of  the Ritz Carlton. In front of us were our Three Queens, the New York Skyline, surrounded by music in time to the sensational fireworks bursting above the Statue of  Liberty. At that moment we could have said – ‘We are Cunard’. But tonight the thought that was going through my mind was ‘Only Cunard’. I was thinking of the experience our guests on the three ships must be having at that moment, thinking of us as a small modest     British Company being honored throughout the day by the giant New York City – you     just don’t get these special experiences anywhere else – you only experience them with Cunard – and today will go down as a very special experience indeed. We will be posting     a video we are producing soon, but in the meantime – below is a fantastic video created by one of our blog readers, Karl Junkersfeld.

Cunard's Three Queens Sailaway

Forgive the length of the blog but on writing up the day I guess I got a little carried away.  I hope it helped share with you what was a unique and remarkable event for Cunard and New York City. If you have not experienced that special partnership – then please do take a Transatlantic Crossing on Queen Mary 2 this year – it’s simply the only way to arrive or leave New York City.

Best Regards,
Peter Shanks
(A very Proud) President and Managing Director
Cunard Line

Please join me in thanking Peter for those wonderful and passionate words. I can understand your passion and excitement Peter. It’s exactly what I felt when I saw the QE2 and the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria together in Southampton. Seeing them in New York must have been absolutely epic. Seeing these three beautiful Queens together represents the union of everything man knows about technology, machinery and excitement.

If you would like to find out more about the incomparable Cunard experience then please visit www.cunard.com or www.wearecunard.com.

Tomorrow I will continue with our look at the Carnival ACD’s and later this week I will let you know the details of the bloggers cruise activities and the excursion in St Thomas.

I mentioned in today’s Q&A that I will be hosting a cigar night on BC4. I know this will annoy some people though and that makes me sad. As you know I like the occasional cigar but with Kye here and the ban on smoking in public places and the misery of being forced to stand outside like a cocker spaniel that has been punished for crapping in someone’s Nike…. has found me smoking only in the car.

I remember the days when smoking my cigar in a friend’s house was commonplace just as if they wanted to smoke a cigarette at my house. Saying to your friends that you are not allowed to smoke would have been as alien as not being allowed to use the toilet. Now, most people I know run a fresh-air policy and they would rather have you wet yourself on their new couch than smoke a nice Monte Cristo. Anyway, more bloggers cruise details this week.

Just before I go I want to mention the Golden Globes thingies last night. I recorded them as it was on very late here and this morning during breakfast I watched the highlights. I did this because they were being presented by Ricky Gervais who I find truly funny. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea but personally I think his timing and his ability and willingness to say what others will not makes him truly brilliant……….in my humble opinion.

It appears though that he slammed the organisation that runs these awards the, Hollywood Foreign Press Association. These ummmmm……..journalists who own the Golden Globes and have all the Hollywood power. Apparently according to the newspapers this morning he pissed a lot of people off.

I don’t know much about them but I have always seen these things as pure self indulgence by a crowd of people with perfect teeth patting each other on the back. Gervais sees it that way too but this morning is getting a major bollocking for doing so.

I started this blog off by talking about how I have been thinking that maybe I divulge too much and speak my mind too much here on the blog thingy. But like Ricky Gervais who aimed some very sharp but very true darts at Hollywood last night………I have no intention of changing. Oh by the way………..my favourite line of Ricky’s last night was “It’s going to be a night of partying and heaving drinking ……….. or as Charlie Sheen calls it………. breakfast.”

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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