Fat White Men Can’t Dance

January 18, 2011 -

John Heald

It is only today that I can officially say that after three weeks of feeling like death warmed up that I finally……..feel better. Yes I still feel tired and the only exercise I could manage would be to rip a tissue or crush a grape and maybe just maybe I could manage to jump over Kye’s dollhouse…….but that’s it though. But the cough has gone and my chest doesn’t feel like an elephant is doing its best Michael Flattery impression on it. Speaking to my colleagues who all came back with this, we all think it must have been something in the hotel air conditioning or the water. Whatever it was………..it was a total bastard.

It made my throat, ears, teeth, eyeballs, and the actual hair on my head throb like Tiger Woods’ thingy in a Latvian Lap dancing bar. Something that turned my nose is so foully red and bulbous that Kye and Heidi had to look away when eating. I don’t know what I had but I know what it wasn’t. It wasn’t the flu. I had that some years ago when I was on the Carnival Triumph. There’s no comparison. You may as well liken leg amputation to an ingrown toenail.

And yet on the Carnival ships and in restaurants on land people are theatrically blowing their noses and saying, “Oh, I’ll be all right. I’ve just got a touch of flu.” No, you haven’t, you big girl’s blouse. You don’t get a “touch” of flu, just as you don’t get a “touch” of pregnancy or the plague. What you’ve got is a cold and not a very bad one since you’re sitting there filling your face with your second chocolate melting cake.

There are “flu scaremongers”……. those who take a few days off the second that the temperatures drop and noses start to drip and then there are “flu claimers,” people who come into the office sniffling mainly to claim that they have influenza so that they get some sympathy and hoping that Jennifer from accounting will rub some Vick’s on their chest. But as we know with genuine flu, you can’t drive a car, take a cruise or raise your monstrous skull from the pillow at all since green slimy discharge is oozing from at least four of your orifices. With real flu all you can do is whimper with self-pity under germ infested blankets longing for a gun.

It’s amazing how we give ourselves free upgrades when we are ill. Sore throats are upgraded to tonsillitis, headaches to migraines and the words “norovirus” bandied to describe one loose bowel movement. Norovirus can be easily diagnosed. If you can poo through a straw…….. you have norovirus. Anyway, all this is leading up to one thing. Please, if you are cruising these next few weeks, wash your hands as much as you can and use the hand sanitisers every chance you get.

Time for today’s Q and A……………away we go.

Barb Britt Asked:
Please reply!

Hi John,

I am one of the new readers since the miraculous journey of the Carnival Splendor. Something has been bugging me since the start of my reading…you seem familiar. But, until today I didn’t put it all together. Our first cruise was with the Carnival Triumph in January of ’03. The cruise director was hilarious. We thought it was just because it was our first cruise, but no, after 6 more cruises, we still thought that one was the best. Mind you 4 were on other lines…sorry. But thankfully we are back with Carnival. And after the Splendor, I feel truly blessed to be back on Carnival. Anyway, on the Triumph you did a bit with a “newlywed” all during the cruise whenever he heard something (I can’t remember what) on the announcements, wherever he was, he had to go down on one knee and say to his bride “_____ I love you, I want you, I need you, let’s have a yabba, yabba do night…” or something like that. When I saw the video today, I finally realized it was you that was that cruise director. My question is this…we are booked on the Feb 15, 2011 sail of the Carnival Miracle. Could we possibly be so lucky that you are going to be the CD on that cruise???? When will you know? How can we find out later if you don’t know yet? Your blog is fabulous. I still feel that Carnival is best. The crew is friendly, always greeting us, making our cruise great. We tend to TALK TO THE CREW. (imagine that, ha!) I can’t wait to go on the cruise. Keep up the blogging, I Love it!

John Says:
Hello Barb Britt,

It sounds like we were indeed together back on the Carnival Triumph as you described my audience participation bit featuring the non-romantic husband perfectly. I am so glad to read that you are returning to Carnival and I am hoping that your Carnival Miracle cruise will be one that will keep you with us forever. I am sorry that I won’t be your CD. That honour goes to Malcolm who you will find to be very funny and very personable indeed. Talking to the crew is something that I feel will always enhance your cruise. They all have their own stories to tell and some of those stories are truly fascinating. Anyway, let me say welcome home and I hope that you have a brilliant time. Thanks so much for all the kind words

Best wishes

Barb Dillon Asked:
Dear John, (Please reply)

Thank you for an amazing first cruise on the Splendor! You all did an exceptional job. Please read a positive article that Paul Motter did when he interviewed me – by the way I am from Clovis, not Corliss – I should be your next spokesperson LOL – I also did two positive radio interviews on Rudy Maxa’s radio show – I hope you enjoy;

Interview with Carnival Splendor Passenger

My subject for this interview, first-time cruiser Barbara Dillon. I just came back from the San Diego Pier where passengers were disembarking the “dead” Carnival Splendor. At first it was a media feeding frenzy. Vice President of Carnival Public Relations Tim Gallagher came out for just a second and people mobbed him just because he walked off the ship. By the time they figured out he was with Carnival six cameramen had pushed me out of their way. No matter, Tim knows me and made sure I got to hear what he had to say.

We watched a number of motor coaches moving people from inside the gated area, but the place where we were allowed to stand was the point where passengers who had local friends or family waiting were leaving the security area to get picked up. I saw a number of local San Diegans meeting their families and I talked to a few briefly, but the prize was Barbara Dillon who came into my midst directly off the ship with her friend Jan Holland. Barbara was delightful – a young 50-ish single lady from Corliss California. And here is her impression of the cruise…

“This was my first cruise and I would do it again in a second.”

See my picture album here: Carnival Splendor Pics

“Really?” I had to ask. The local news reports had been full of phone interviews with people saying it was “awful and stinky.” “Well, it was a little stinky, especially the first day, until the toilets were fixed. I’m a little stinky now, I haven’t had a shower since Monday,” she said.
But she looked delightful. “Yes, I am wearing my cruise clothes today because people can see me.” The ship was fairly dark a lot of the time. “We really got to know each other well, we passengers,” Barbara said. “We all got to see each other the way we really look, like when we first get up in the morning.”

“Do you know what everyone was wearing?” she asked me? “We all wore our ship-supplied white terry-cloth bathrobes around the ship.”

“Really?” I asked, “Everyone?”

“Almost everyone – everyone we were hanging out with anyway.” Barbara and Jan turned their deck nine balcony cabin into something of an oasis for several cabins around them. When the first mate came and unlocked all the minibars the fun really started, she said. There was beer and wine available all the time, and other liquor as well, depending on where you went on the ship.
“I really have to say, the crew was fantastic,” Barbara said. As regular cruisers we already know that, but they really stepped up in this case. “And the cruise director, I forget his name, he was so funny. His regular announcements just kept us laughing the whole time.”

The cruise director was John Heald, Carnival’s top cruise director and a celebrity in his own right, especially for regular Carnival cruisers. It had to be serendipity that he happened to be the cruise director on this cruise since John usually takes only the newest and best Carnival ships. Splendor is a newer Carnival ship, but not compared to the newer and bigger Carnival Dream sailing out of Florida.

Word is that John said something on his blog last Sunday like “I hope everything goes smoothly on this cruise.” Not that he knew anything, it was just a tossed off remark, reportedly related to someone looking at the engine room before he left. Anyway…

See my picture album here: Carnival Splendor Pics

“When the ship had been dead for awhile John announced at first that we were going to go to ‘Enchilada, Mexico,” Barbara told me. “Everyone cracked up about that, especially when the first Mexican tug arrived and it was called the ‘Chihuahua,’ we died laughing,” she added.
As we all know, the line eventually decided to tow the ship to San Diego, “but that little Mexican tug could pull, I’ll tell ya,” Barbara said.

So, what was the most dramatic part of the trip for Barbara? There were reports that when the first announcement of a fire came out, about 6 am Monday. That many people were very upset, crying and praying out loud. (See bottom video this page)

Barbara, “Like I said, this was the experience of a lifetime and I actually feel lucky I got to experience it, seriously. But the best part was when the U.S. Navy arrived in an aircraft carrier. I thought ‘God Bless the United States, I am so proud to be an American. I mean, can you imagine a country where the Navy comes to rescue people on a vacation? That is a great country.” I agree. “And when we saw them unloading food and water we wanted to cry,” she added.

I asked her what the mood was like onboard. She said “Everyone was really cool about it, really, we all got along great. And when someone complained I told them to keep it to themselves. After all, the crew was doing everything possible for us and how can you fault that?” Barbara even tipped her crewmembers when she left. They must have been impressive.

I asked her about the meals and the reported two-hour wait for cold food. She said, “Yes, but we didn’t mind because the crew was trying so hard. The elevators had stopped working and to get the food to us they had to form a human chain all the way up to deck nine. They never stopped working for us, and they were still nice to us the whole time.”

I asked her about the reported seasickness. This was her first cruise and Barbara replied, “What? The ship wasn’t even really moving. I don’t know why anyone would be seasick.” I asked her about the lack of air conditioning and Barbara said, “We didn’t need any air conditioning. If anything it was too cold sometimes. But we had a balcony cabin so we could air out our cabin whenever we wanted.

“What about people acting scared and just not having any fun?” I asked her. Barbara said that with previous reports they knew what the problem was. They had been told there was a “smokeless fire.” She said it was scary at first, with thoughts of possible terrorism, etc. I overheard another passenger tell a reporter that when the report first came over the loudspeaker she heard people crying and praying out loud. “There were people with conspiracy theories, of course, and when the that aircraft carrier showed up those conspiracy theory tongues really started wagging, but John Heald kept us updated every hour, and he told us why the Navy was there, to bring us food. He also started making fun of the “smokeless fire” because that does sound like a conspiracy theory. ‘Who ever heard of a smokeless fire? Sounds like a government plot to me,’” Barbara said John Heald said.

“Then he made up a word, ‘disississipated’ to explain what the smoke was doing. He just really knew how to keep our spirits up.” Barbara really restored my faith in the cruiser mentality – a first-time cruiser converted to cruise lover by what Carnival president Gerry Cahill described as “the worst crisis in Carnival history.”

“I will definitely be taking advantage of that free cruise – and I got all of my expenses reimbursed for this one, totally, and I had a great time in my bathrobe for three days. It was awesome.” I believe her.

See my picture album here: Carnival Splendor Pics

Here are a few other thing I observed while on the scene:
A reporter asks Tim Gallagher “I hear we are going to have a lot of new babies named “Splendor” appearing in nine months, Is that true?”

Tim (deadpan): “Right… I’ll try to track them down for you.”

Signs hanging over the side of the ship from people still in their balcony cabins say “Thank You US Coast Guard” and “USA” and “Rie Mon?”

An ABC News film crew was paying passengers for exclusive interviews and buying pictures of the interior of the ship – it looked to me like the worse the ship looked the more the pictures were worth.

One lady had an idea to sell T-shirts that said “I survived the Carnival Cruise SPAMcation.” She ordered them to be printed up in San Diego, put up a web site, and flew in to San Diego from Tennessee. I did not see her sell a single shirt, but maybe she will from the web site. Most passengers coming off the ship were just tired and looked like they wanted a cup of coffee.
Some reporters claim they saw people led off in handcuffs (Tim Gallagher said he knew nothing about that) and two different people in stretchers. This is in this video below. But the second video is the much scarier one describing people’s initial reaction. It just goes to show you that two people can experience vastly different things.

Read more: http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/feature/splendor2-111110.cfm#ixzz15PYUlzy1

John Says:
Hello Barb Dillon,

Well I must admit that with everything that has happened over the last few weeks that I have sort of put the whole Carnival Splendor incident out of my mind. However, reading your wonderful interview it brought the memories flooding back. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this out for us all to read and a huge thank you to Paul Motter who is a great journalist and a good friend to me and the blog.

Overall the guests faced the challenges that this incident brought about with calmness and understanding. I also have to repeat myself again and praise the crew who were quite simply extraordinary and it was their hard work and total dedication that had the press stuttering to find a negative angle to this story.

Thanks again for your kindness and support and let us all hope that nobody in the entire cruise industry ever has to experience anything like this ever again.

Best wishes and hope to see you soon

Cruisin Sue Asked:
Hi John (Please reply)

I am glad you had a safe journey across the pond. I know those meetings are tiring, but they must be done. I just want to say thank you for all you do for us out here in blog land. Although I am going to miss BC4, it sounds like a great time for all. George Salano is a great CD and I am sure everyone will enjoy him.

I just wanted to thank you belatedly for your assistance on the last 2 cruises I went on. First, was October 1st on Imagination. We got our large table for 11 on the main floor dining room as requested. Thank you!! Second, the Miracle on October 18. I received a nice fruit basket, champagne, and a ship on a stick for mom and me. Also we got the table that was requested by my friend Carolyn. There also was a picture that I most appreciated.

I did not receive a comment form by email for either cruise, nor did my cabin mates. I just went to Carnival.com and sent my opinion on the “contact us” link. I am not sure how effective this route is, but I did get a prompt response. I am not sure why I didn’t receive a comment email, since I made sure my email address was on my registration.
Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you for your assistance, the gifts and all you do for everyone.

I hope you have a great visit at St. Jude. I work with children and there are many, many special children out there. They are little fighters for sure. Take care and have a safe trip back across the pond. Give my best to the girls.

Gloria aka Sue

John Says:
Hello Cruisin Sue,

I must admit that I am getting somewhat frustrated with our current review card system. Not a day goes by that someone does not write to me here or on Facebook that they to checked the “receive e-mail” box but did not get a review card. I know this program is in its infancy but surely we must improve. I will once again make sure the beards are aware of our shortfall.

I am so happy things worked out for you and that I was able to help make your voyages even more fun and my thanks to my colleagues for their follow up. We will miss you on BC4 and I hope to see you soon.

Best wishes

Lady F Asked:

I have just read that Carnival is going to allow electronic cigarettes on their ships. This is not right. These contain the same nicotine poison that kill hundreds of innocent lives everyday. Your boats should all be non-smoking like hotels and restaurants. In my state of California we have the most aggressive non-smoking laws in the world which is why Californians will live longer. They do not allow electronic cigarettes here and I was shocked and disgusted that Carnival allows them. This means you have cigarettes in smoking areas and electronic cigarettes in non smoking areas. Never will you see me then on a Carnival boat. SMOKING KILLS!!!!!

John Says:
Hello Lady F,

I totally understand that the issue of smoking is one that fuels emotion as you have shown in your posting. I was under the impression that the electronic cigarettes let out a totally harmless water vapour. I am sure that the beards at Carnival would have checked this before allowing our guests to use them. I do understand that California has very strict rules and on board we are constantly trying to find a happy medium to keep both non smokers and smokers happy.
Thank you for taking the time to write.

Best wishes

Marta Summers Asked:
Hi John (please reply)!

I took my first ever cruise on the Legend (2/7/10). Had a GREAT time & cruising is my new favourite vacation destination. While onboard, we bought one of the future cruise certificates. When we booked our next cruise (Fascination sailing on 2/19/11), I got the certificate out to send it in. Well somehow I managed to misplace it & have spent the last 6 months searching for the thing. I called Carnival’s customer service dept & was told there was nothing that could be done as no records were kept of the certificates sold. Is that really the case? Seems to me since I paid with a credit card there should be some way to help honor my lost certificate. Is there anything that can be done? We’ve already paid for this cruise but I would love to have it for our yet to be booked 3rd Carnival cruise. If not I’ll just chalk it up to a lesson learned.


John Says:
Hello Marta Summers,

We must keep a record of sale, surely we must. Please allow me to check this out for you and I will send this to someone in our office in Miami and ask them to help you. I am so happy to know that you loved your cruise on the Carnival Legend and someone will be in touch with you very soon.

Best wishes

David Davidson Asked:
John Please Reply.

Hi John, just wanted to say thanks for the extra special gifts you had waiting for us on the Legend for our Halloween Cruise. We sure did appreciate it. We are displaying our gold plated ship on a stick proudly. We had a wonderful time on our Carnival Legend. She is an awesome ship. Wee Jimmy was a hoot and made our trip all the more special. Granted, seeing him do jumping jacks in his kilt was a bit frightening. Just kidding. Luckily he didn’t do cartwheels down the Lido Deck. I wonder if it would be possible to get Jimmy the “Weeeeeeeeeeeee” wordage from the Geico commercial that runs on the television. It would be great to have that play whenever he did an announcement.

We were not disappointed with the quality of service Carnival once again delivered. Our room steward Murtono “SRI” was fantastic and head waiter Heinkee (sp) and asst Michael were great as well. They knew all our names by the second dinner. And Ken’s singing was once again amazing. Several people at our table were sure the music was piped in. I told them no, Ken is live and not Memorex. The entertainment was great as usual and the comedians were a riot. The piano bar was lively and hopping most nights too.

Unfortunately, I think you are always going to hear complaints on a ship. Hurricane Tomas did throw a bit of a curveball at us. We had several at our MDR table saying that us missing Grand Cayman was a conspiracy by Carnival to make more money from us in the casino and the bars. I guess safety of all on the tenders doesn’t count for anything? I would have loved to have seen Grand Cayman, but not at the cost of someone getting hurt. I would have hated to hear what they would have said had they been on the Splendor.

The Chef’s Table was beyond compare and we hope to do it again on a future voyage. Some people may think it’s a lot of money to spend, but it was well worth the cost. Seeing the kitchen in full operation was pretty amazing. Our dinner was served in the disco area. The Chef’s food was great and his explanation of how it was made and what went into it was so informative. I forgot to ask if the meal was the same for each ship. People definitely need to bring their appetite. I read message on your blog a few days after our cruise where someone was saying the Chef’s Table was horrible. They must have been on “Something of the Seas” as I don’t think that would be possible on our Carnival cruise line.

We purchased two of the future cruise certificate and we hope to book our next cruise soon. I would suggest purchasing those to anyone on an upcoming trip. They definitely will pay for themselves. Again John thanks for everything and I hope we get to see you soon. Hope you and the family have a wonderful holiday season.

John Says:
Hello David Davidson,

Let’s start with the comment about missing a port and it being a conspiracy to make money onboard. I have been listening and laughing at this comment for 20 plus years now. It is one of those statements that listening to and taking seriously are like a broken pencil….. pointless. Thank you David for this great review as its one that truly describes what a Carnival cruise vacation is all about. I shall make sure that everyone onboard gets to see your words of praise and I know they will be thrilled. Please don’t worry about what Wee Jimmy has under his kilt …………..it’s no big thing. I hope we see you again soon and if there is anything I can do for you please let me know

Best wishes

Keith Asked:
John, (please reply)
What about a petition to have you host SNL-Saturday Night Live. You have 7 million bloggers that follow you. It worked for Betty White. Thoughts?

John Says:
Hello Keith

What a thrill that would be. If not that, maybe I should enter America’s Biggest Loser. Ummmm, who’s Betty White?

Thanks for the support mate.

Best wishes

Mary T Asked:
I was told to send this to you by one of my fellow Cruise Critic members. I don’t know who you are but was informed that you are the Carnival Corporation Ambassador. If this is true then you should be ashamed because. Not only have I had no reply to this letter which was written to your President Alan B. Bukelew and his boss Mickey Arison but also because as you will see from it’s content that you employ degenerates to entertain your passengers. I expect and demand a reply by return.

Good day, Messrs. Arison and Buckelew.

From October 25 to November 14, 2009, I was a guest, for consecutive ten-day cruises aboard the Ruby Princess. It was an opportunity for me to travel on one of your ships for the first time in my life — so that I could evaluate the experience and determine whether I would become a “loyal” passenger aboard Princess vessels and those of her sister lines in the future.

I am writing to you to report two experiences of a seriously negative nature and to ask you to take action of a reparative nature. I am not asking to be compensated in any way, but rather to be assured by either of you (but preferably both) that you have sent directives to all ships of your eleven lines (and to your training schools), in order to prevent the kinds of deeply offensive actions that I experienced and witnessed.

Even before I began my October/November journey, I had already made a reservation on another of your corporation’s cruises in April of 2010. If I now receive from you a prompt response, giving me an assurance that I will not encounter similar improprieties on future cruises (regardless of line), I will refrain from cancelling my April reservation, and I will refrain from passing along any negative comments about my autumn cruise to my many contacts who are potential future passengers.

Here are the specific facts about my two major negative experiences:

I. the Ruby’s crew included a group of about four women and four men in their twenties, serving as an entertainment staff for daily activities of many kinds (e.g., trivia, bingo, etc.). While the women were marvellous (mature, respectful, friendly), two of the young men were too immature to encounter the public (i.e., guests who were indirectly paying their salaries). At times they were haughty, directly disrespectful, and (worst of all) filthy-mouthed. Apparently, their hormones were raging and they had learned no self-discipline, because — whether in the morning, afternoon, or evening — their banter frequently turned to sexual matters, forcing passengers (including elderly women) to have to hear many off-color remarks and even one long “dirty joke.” These men needed to be better trained and absolutely forbidden to speak in this fashion aboard your ships.

II. Early on embarkation day (October 25), I went to the Passenger Services Desk and gave a crew member an envelope that I had addressed “To the persons who manage the content of the ‘Princess Patter'”. She assured me that it would be delivered immediately. Enclosed was a letter in which I offered to lead a brief, daily “[name of religion] Travelers’ Prayer Service” (with Bible readings, hymns, etc.). I explained that, although not a clergyman, I was qualified to perform this task, because of my experience as [… snip words about my church-based duties over decades …]. I stated that I had come prepared with printed materials for distribution to attendees of the services. I also included two potential announcements of the services that could be copied into the “Patter.” I asked that I be notified of the official decision (positive or negative), either in writing (delivered to my stateroom) or by phone (voicemail message).

I then proceeded to wait through the twenty days of my consecutive cruises … without ever receiving any word at all from the crew! This grave insult, coupled with the offensive behavior described in part I, above, gave me the distinct impression that key members of the crew were generally anti-religious or specifically anti-[my religion]. Now I wonder if something similar may be true throughout Princess and even throughout the eleven Carnival lines.

Gentlemen, if my entire cruise experience had been predominantly negative, I would not have taken the trouble to contact you. Instead, it was because my experience on the Ruby Princess was otherwise overwhelmingly positive that I have made this letter’s appeal to you — i.e., that you promise to clear away the stumbling blocks that I could not bear to encounter again. My otherwise mainly positive experience on the “Ruby” was demonstrative of a potential for greatness that would make me a loyal future guest and a source of encouragement to my cruise-minded contacts — but only if I have your assurance that the desired behavioral and procedural corrections have been mandated by you.

John Says:
Hello Mary T,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I do want to point out that I am the brand ambassador for Carnival Cruise Lines and not the other family lines including Princess Cruises. However, I have sent your letter to someone at a high level at Princess and I know that he will make sure that you receive a reply as soon as possible. As I am not an employee of Princess Cruises it would be wrong to comment on the content of the letter. Thanks again for taking the time to write.

Best wishes


My wife and I just got back from a great time on the Fascination. The food was delicious and the cabin service lady Tatiana made our cruise so extra special with her towel creatures. The only complaint is that my wife went to the spa to have her hair done for dress up night but none of the people there knew how to do African American hair properly. Considering 70% of the ship were African American I find this really bad. Please look into this situation.

Apart from that we had a great time and we will be back.

John Says:

I am very glad you and your wife had so much fun on the Carnival Fascination and I will pass this to the Steiner organisation who manages all our brilliant spas on our ships and I know that they will look into this accordingly. Thanks again and I do hope we see you on another Carnival cruise very soon.

Best wishes to you both

Terry r Asked:
John; please respond,
We will be on the freedom in Feb, and I was wondering about the “Chefs Table” is this offered on the freedom and how do we go about singing up for this? This will be our fifth cruise all of them have been on Carnival ships thanks for your support and friendly manner
terry r

John Says:
Hello Terry & Peggy Rummler
Yes indeed it is and it is a brilliant concept that continues to get rave reviews. Please can you send me ASAP the following information should you wish to pre book.

Regardless, I hope you have a brilliant cruise.
Best wishes

That’s all for today and a big thank you for all the great comments.

I started talking to all my colleagues yesterday via e-mail and told them that one of the projects that I would be needing their help with is the posting here on the blog thingy of the Carnival Capers. This will…………….bugger……the posting here on the blog thingy of the Fun Times. This will be something that I will update once a month in a folder that the beards are working on for me at the moment. I aim to have this ready for your viewing pleasure as soon as I take over as cruise director on the Carnival Freedom which is the cruise of the 6th of February. Now, it will come as no shock to learn that since my last blog there has been a change to my schedule. I was all set to go to the Carnival Elation to see the new show Win. This though will have to wait.

There is a saying that a man cannot serve two masters. Well try serving three…… Heidi ………….. Carnival entertainment…….and Carnival marketing. Anyway, marketing have asked me to go back to Memphis to visit St. Jude Children’s Hospital again for a special project we’re working on. Obviously I am glad to help here and so my new schedule looks like this.













Bloody hell, I am tired just writing that. Still aside from leaving the girls I am looking forward to being a CD again………………….it’s been too long.

Let’s take a break and meet today’s assistant cruise director and today we are off to the Carnival Victory to meet Hennie Van Heerden.

Hennie Van Heerden Hennie Van Heerden

I am currently on the Carnival Victory then go to the Carnival Valor from 9 – 20 March then to the Carnival Conquest. I started Working for Carnival in 2005 as an assistant waiter serving the crew on board the Carnival Inspiration. I was about 2 months into my contract when I saw a host performing a trivia and I thought I would enjoy something like that. I was made a host 2 months after that. I did a few contracts as a host but soon I wanted more responsibility and started working toward ACD. I got promoted in 2007 and have been floating around ever since. Before I worked for Carnival I played video games professionally and worked part time at an internet café. The one activity I love the most is Battle of the Sexes… it’s 45 minutes of pure mayhem. The best thing about being an ACD is being challenged often and figuring out how to face them as best you can.

I met Hennie of course when I was on the Carnival Fantasy. He did a great job and took over the ship as acting cruise director when I left. Reports were that he did a brilliant job and I have seen his name mentioned many times here on the blog thingy. I am sure he is destined for the job of CD very soon and I wish him all the very best.

Time to nip something in the bud.




I learnt today on Cruise Critic that Carnival is pulling out of all Mexican ports due to the drug wars. You have already taken the Spirit away from us and now you are canceling Mexico ports as well which totally screws us on the West Coast. Why is Carnival doing this?

John Says:

Hello Simon Desborough,

Mexico is certainly having its problems, that is for sure but this is another rumour based on bugger all fact. While we will keep a very close eye on the situation in all the Mexican ports, there are no plans to stop going there. I know how disappointed our loyal guests on the West Coast were at hearing the Carnival Spirit is leaving in 2012 but I ask them to stay positive and see what the future holds. Please can I ask Host Mach to post this on the link thingy where this ridiculous rumour started. Thanks Mach and thanks Simon for bringing it to my attention.

I hate sodding conspiracy theories like the ones that say turndown service has been cancelled or that Carnival new spokesperson is Judge Judy. I often wonder who starts these rumours and why ………it just upsets people.

Maybe it’s the same people who have tried to break the hearts of everyone who watched the first moon landing by saying it wasn’t true and that Neil Armstrong was on a Hollywood stage. Or the people that proclaim Princess Diana was whacked by their Royal Highnesses Elizabeth and Philip Soprano and that Elvis did not die in 1977 but faked his own death and is currently working as a cabin steward on the Carnival Destiny.

Reading things like this fills me with an uncontrollable need to find out who starts these dreadful conspiracy theories……… and shove their gentlemen’s sausage in a sandwich toaster.

Going back to my illness I have to admit that I was kind of hoping that it would linger just a bit longer so that I don’t have to go to a friend’s wedding this Saturday. I should be spending Saturday sitting in my underpants in my Lazy Boy watching the football……..sacccer….. But oh know…..I will have to put a suit on and pretend to enjoy meeting the bride’s Aunty Betty. Who gets married in January for God’s sake? People who forget to put a sodding condom on when they have rumpy pumpy………….that’s who.

I don’t like weddings also because of the cost. I’ve have had enough of wedding lists that contain nothing costing less than $1,000.

I’m only coming to your wedding because Heidi has been friends with you for a few months so I don’t see why I should buy you a Wedgewood dinner service or a Cartier toaster. And of course we will have to eat the bad food, the 5:30 pm lull, the 9:30pm lull or the 11:45 pm lull. My God, couldn’t the bride and groom (“Don’t they look lovely?”) leave just a tiny bit earlier? I can’t stay up this late any more. I’m not a student. I’ve been here since 2 pm; talking to people I don’t know.

Then it’s time for the terrible speeches with stuttering jokes, appalling anecdotes, oblique references to a not-so-naughty stag weekend “I won’t say what happened in Amsterdam, but Tim won’t be welcome at The Banana Bar for a long time to come”… yawn ……. who is this chap …………an RCI Cruise Director?

But what I hate most about weddings……….is the dancing, which I have always found to be an unpleasant and unavoidable part of any wedding. I have hidden in the bathroom while everyone else is doing The Chicken Dance, Dancing Queen, The Electric Slide and Lady Ga Ga’s Poke Her In The Face.

But at the last wedding we went to Heidi made me dance and after a while I guess I started to get into the groove……but something was wrong. So I put in a bit more effort, swinging my hips harder. Still no mojo, so I tried a few more exuberant steps and did something new with my arms. I swayed from side to side, clicked my fingers and winked at Heidi. I may have said “Yeah!” while pointing a sexy finger-gun at her, and firing. She looked frightened. Then I caught sight of my reflection, and reality dawned: I was dancing like someone’s Dad….….and now I am a Dad………and that’s why I don’t like weddings any more.

If you want to see what I look like dancing………..here is the video from the Carnival Splendor. We were in the shipyard and I was trying to work while the Italian shipbuilders tested the PA system by pumping crap music loud and proud through it. Here is the result and that’s Heidi’s giggles in the background…………get the vomit buckets ready.

Your friend

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.