January 19, 2011 -

John Heald

Today’s blog starts off with an apology……………….well…………..sort of.

J.J. Asked:

I have been reading your blog off and on since the fire on the Splendor. I have never cruised on a Carnival boat but was intrigued as to how you were handling the situation. Apart from the unnecessary sexual overtones your commentary was well written and that has kept me coming back on occasion to read your blog. Then tonight I read your praise of Ricky Gervais and that has prompted me to write to you.

I am an actor myself and have a regular part in a popular soap and although not yet a household name I am certain that one day I will be. Ricky Gervais is a cruel person. It was a night of cheap shots, from a cheap man. How embarrassing to have this loathsome individual representing you Brits in the USA. And you supported him in your blog. Gervais deals in a type of cheap humor that I loathe and that you honor. This must mean that you are the same when you perform on your cruise ship then and that means that I will make sure myself and all my many friends in Hollywood know never to cruise with you. Gervais is now the most hated man in Hollywood and anyone that supports him is not far behind. I cannot believe a major corporation allows you to write what you do. The American press has ridiculed this poisonous man and you insulted me and my fellow actors. You are as disgusting a man as he is if you think that he was funny.


John Says:
Hello J.J.,

First of all J.J. I want to thank you for taking the time to write and for reading the blog which in your busy schedule must be difficult. I would like to first of all state that although I do write about my life as a Carnival employee and their brand ambassador this is my own personal blog. It is also a place where opinions are written. Not just mine but anyone who wishes to share their views on life, cursing, Carnival and of course…….me. You know………we Brits are an aggressive species. Nowhere else on earth, with the possible exception of Judge Judy’s court room, is highlighting people’s shortcomings so accepted. British humour (spelt correctly) is based on sarcasm but I admit it can sometimes come across as cruel.

And Ricky Gervais may have come across as cruel at times but……and again…….this is just my opinion… was a cool place to be cruel. However wonderful the massed ranks of Hollywood royalty might have felt as they sipped Cristal champagne and nibbled on little caviar thingies, by the time Ricky Gervais had finished with them they may have realised that like fat people, bald people, Muslims, Jewish, Christians, the Irish, the Polish and pretty much everyone else in the universe, they can be the subject matter for comedy.

Gervais’s speech wasn’t designed, in award ceremony tradition, to flatter or to have Hollywood fall in love with him it was straightforward comedic carnage, designed to deliver a quick kick up Hollywood’s glamorous arse and bring a group of people who live with their heads in the clouds back down to earth. A friend of mine Al Ernst who is a stand up comedian once said to me that the best comedians only say the things we dare not. That’s exactly what Ricky Gervais did. I guess he bit the hand that feeds him………but I think he will survive. I wish you much success in your career and hope you will still find time to read the blog thingy.

Best wishes

Let’s crack on with some more Q and A

Bobby C Asked:
Hi John…please reply

I am, indeed, one of your many fans and an avid Carnival traveller. I’ve been on 12 Carnival cruises and I must say… Carnival’s the BEST! We will be celebrating our wedding anniversary on the Valor on March 26th 2011 and I need some advice. There are 38 of us on this cruise that “met” each other on one of the websites and we are looking for a gathering place on the ship. What area(s) do you recommend? The bar on Lido deck is always so busy… I’ve been going over the deck plans but I don’t know if there are any areas off limits or closed. I believe Monday 27th, would be the best day for everyone to meet… like maybe 2:00 pm?? But I just can’t figure out where. I talked to Guest Services about a private area but I have to guarantee a specific number of people and pay for 1 hour open bar… can’t quite afford to do that!! So… what do you think? I’m open to suggestions…

John Says:
Hello Bobby C,

Please send me the name of your group and I will organize something for you. I suggest you meet in the piano bar or the conference room and I will see what is available. So, please send me the info plus your cabin number and I will make sure you have a place to meet. Please send me this information the week before you sail and I will make sure you are all happy. Best wishes and thanks for your loyalty to Carnival.


Cynthia Sanders Hood Asked:
Hello John – Please Reply,

First a huge THANK YOU for all that you do! I wrote to you back in March regarding my cruise on the Carnival Paradise out of Long Beach, CA, on November 29 – December 3rd. I was concerned about my food allergies, and you had someone from the CARE Team contact me regarding them. I want to comment about that, and also about our experience on the Paradise.

Embarkation – We did early check-in on the Queen Mary, and it was ridiculously painless! We had our Sign and Sail cards, and luggage checked-in in less than 20 minutes. After our number was called, we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. It was a wonderful experience, and I want to say kudos to everyone on the ground there.

Our Stateroom – We had an Inside Cabin with Porthole Windows. It was a huge room that was extremely clean, and very comfortable. Our cabin attendants were excellent! I can honestly say that it was perfect.

The Main Dining Room – We had Your Time Dining in the Elation, and we loved it! We were able to get a table for two each time we went, and the food was wonderful! We ate breakfast and dinner there each day and here’s where I have to say that Carnival exceeded my expectations. My allergies were listed in the computer, and Petra, (who says “Hello,” she sailed with you on the Conquest) was an absolute delight to work with! I could not have been in safer hands. My expectation was that Carnival would say, “You can’t have that because it has an allergen in it, let’s pick something else” but instead, Petra said, “you tell me how you want it made, and we’ll make it that way for you!” I was able to eat everything that I wanted off of the menu, tailored to my allergies. It was the best dining experience I’ve had since being diagnosed with food allergies. I also want to say that Edgar was an outstanding waiter, and an absolute delight! He is simply wonderful, as were the other dining room staff. The Table Magicians were also excellent, and we really enjoyed them!

The Comedy Club – We went to the R Rated Comedy Show, and enjoyed it immensely. I was at first a bit concerned about the R Rating, but soon realized that it was for language, and not uncomfortable subject matter. It was a lot of fun, and I think it’s a great addition to the night time entertainment.

The CD – Felipe Couto – I had previously sailed with Felipe on the Fantasy out of Port Canaveral about 5-6 years ago, and loved him then. I was excited that he was on the Paradise, and I have to tell you that he is still doing an excellent job! He is brilliant!

Behind the Fun Tour – We took this tour on the last sea day, and I have to tell you that it’s worth every penny, and more. It was truly a wonderful experience, and Erin, our tour guide, was absolutely perfect. We enjoyed every moment of the tour, and it was evident that Carnival put a lot of thought and time into tailoring the tour to what guests are interested in. We had a blast, and will recommend it to everyone.

There isn’t really any constructive criticism that I can give you regarding the Paradise, and that’s a plus in my book! We had an excellent cruise, and are already booked for next November on the Liberty out of Miami for the Eastern Caribbean.

Please accept my gratitude for helping me with my food allergies, and please do let the Paradise staff know that they were simply the best!

Cynthia Sanders Hood

John Says:
Hello Cynthia Sanders Hood,

There really isn’t much for me to write here except to say that this was an absolutely brilliant review. You have no idea how much joy it brings me and the senior beards who read this blog thingy everyday when they see that both shore side and shipboard employees made this such a brilliant experience for you. I will make sure that everyone mentioned gets to see your words of praise. I hope you are already thinking about what ship to cruise on next and when you do please know that I remain here at your service should you need me.

Best wishes

Charlena Bryant Asked:
*Please Reply*

I will be sailing on the Legend 2/27/2011…will there be the opportunity to donate to St. Jude on that cruise? Your blog had me in tears! I am so thankful that I had 2 healthy girls!

John Says:
Hello Charlena Bryant,

Yes Charlena there will be. At the moment we have something called Groove for St Jude which invites everyone to donate $10 to the children’s research hospital. For this money you get a T-shirt and a wrist band. I am in the process of working out a new onboard activity and will put this in place when I join the Carnival Freedom. I to give thanks each and every day that my daughter is healthy and I remember each and every day the poor children I saw whose young lives hang in the balance. Thank you for your kindness and I hope you have a brilliant time on the Carnival Legend. Best wishes to you and the family.


ITCruiser Asked:

I don’t know if you read the discussion boards on Cruise Critic but if you don’t you should. The big topic today is how Carnival is going cheap on us with more and more cutbacks each week. Calypso bands, chocolates on the pillows, pins at the past guest reception and now the coupon book has gone as well.

John Says:
Hello ITCruiser,

I have seen a lot of these comments in the past weeks and I guess that someone started a rumour over there that others have picked up on. We still have the chocolate mints on the pillows and we have a Calypso duo playing on the lido deck. I want to point out that the change from a four piece band to a duo was not a cutback but a reutilisation of resources. You see, we can only hire crew subject to the number of beds we have onboard. It was felt that we needed a new duo or extra soloist on Promenade Deck and in the lobby. So a decision was made to hire these people and so that we could accommodate them onboard we changed our four-piece bands on lido to duos. Now I am very confused about the coupon book you mentioned. I am not familiar with this so please can you let me know more so I can look into this further?

Best wishes

Dana T Asked:

I’ve seen so much about St. Jude lately, not just from Carnival, but hadn’t really followed it all, so thanks to your blog thingy, I am now a bit more educated. Thank you. Now, for my request and then a bit of a review (though my writing is far from all the eloquent reviews I’ve seen on here, so please bear with me):

Request: I’ve not seen a request like this before, so I’m getting it in (probably too) early, and will send it again sometime in 2/2011, unless I see a response from you before that…My hubby & I just sailed on the Spirit and our waiters were (of course) wonderful. It turns out that the asst. waiter, I Putu Epi, will be moving to the Triumph out of New Orleans soon and it just so happens we’ve got another cruise planned on that ship leaving 3/12/2011 (Room 6266). Is there anyway the maitre d can make sure we get a table assigned to I Putu? We have late dining confirmed and we never care what table or how many seats, so maybe this is do-able?

Review: We sailed on the Spirit (11/12/2010, Room 8191, Table 231 late seating) out of San Diego, so we got to see the Splendor docked next to us after it was towed to port. I’d been following your blog, and found myself tearing up when I got my first glimpse of the Splendor. What a story…I almost wished we’d been on the Splendor for the experience, to have sailed with you, and certainly for the generous compensation those passengers received afterward. Then again, we had such a good time on the Spirit, I’m glad it worked for us the way it did!

We pretty much loved everyone we came in contact with on the Spirit, guests and Carnival staff alike, but especially want to recognize: 1) Sergio & I Putu, our wait staff. They were efficient, friendly, and good sports when our new friends at the table next to us got crazy. 2) Kade and Made, who kept our room spotless and made the best towel animals. One night we thought they’d forgotten our animal, but then there it was–a hanging monkey. 3) Calvin–I don’t know his title, but he introduced the comedy acts and also called bingo games and trivia contests. His sense of humor (spelled correctly) is so endearing. 4) Weezey (sp?) the asst. CD who was also personable and fun. 5) Jen Baxter, CD, who was a crackup in the Dolly Parton skit, and I loved the queen’s wave thing. 6) Victor in the casino, who was so friendly during the slot tournament (where I actually got to the finals!!!).

We went on the Behind the Fun tour on our last sea day, and boy-oh-howdy, that was fun. Seeing the bridge and meeting the captain was probably the most impressive part of the tour. But all the other areas of the ship were just as interesting and I’ve decided I want one of those sheet ironing machines, though I don’t know where I will keep it.

The food was excellent–I can’t even pick just one favorite meal–and as much as we want to try the Steakhouse, we just haven’t because we always know the food in the dining room will be wonderful.

All in all, another great cruise and we can’t wait for our next one.

John Says:
Hello Dana T,

That’s two great reviews today and all the people you took the time to mention will soon be reading this posting and will have huge smiles on their faces for sure. It is so important that we hear when we make mistakes or when our guests see opportunities for improvement but is absolutely brilliant when people like you take the time to write a testimony of praise. I have sent your request to the maitre d on the Carnival Triumph so that he can do his best to have I Putu Epi assigned to serve you dinner. I hope you have a brilliant time and I shall look forward to reading that review as well.
best wishes

Matt Torey Asked:
Hi John, Please reply

My wife Kerrie and I recently did our 4th Carnival Cruise on the Liberty. We realized that with so many staff on board there must be a whole world below decks that we never see. Are you able to shed some light on the typical day of a staff member, time off, roster etc and a little about the staff that serve the staff??

John Says:
Hello Matt Torey,

I am so glad you enjoyed your cruise on the Carnival Liberty. You asked about the crew and their hours. Well, every crew member has to clock in and out just like many work places on land. We do this through a system called Fun Time which keeps track of crew members’ work hours. One of the reasons for this is because we have to make sure that crew are not over worked and too exhausted to assist in an emergency. Let me explain. Before the waiter is a waiter, before a dancer is a dancer or a cruise director a cruise director we are seamen….that didn’t sound right ………let’s try that again. Before the waiter is a waiter, before a dancer is a dancer or a cruise director a cruise director we are sailors and the safety of the guests is every crew member’s primary concern.

Therefore, if a crew member has worked so many hours that he or she is exhausted and then the ship gets into difficulty (touch wood) then that crew member will be too tired to help the guests or themselves. This obviously was put to the test last November on the Carnival Splendor and it was a test that the crew passed perfectly.

Now don’t get me wrong. Working on a cruise ship regardless of the position still requires some long hours however we always make sure that the crew do get time off. For example: The waiter has to be there to serve you dinner of course but at least once a week that waiter will not be scheduled to work breakfast or lunch thus giving them a big chunk of time off to go ashore and do what the crew do .
As for who serves the crew? Well there are three dining rooms on board each of our ships. There is a crew dining room which is self-service, the staff and entertainment dining room and the officer’s dining room which has waiter service. This is where the waiters are trained before they go to the Lido or main dining rooms. On my last ship I was served by a young chap from Jamaica called Raul. Next week Raul will be going to the guest dining room to work as an assistant waiter. However, this week I noticed as he was bringing in my dinner that he had his thumb in the middle of my steak. I said, “Raul, you have your thumb on my steak.” He said, “Well, I didn’t want to drop it again, mon.” Whatever the position the crew on a Carnival ship are the best there is and I am proud to work alongside them.

Best wishes

SgtGlenn Asked:
John, (Please Reply)

Thank you for all you do, I read some very nice comments from passengers on the Splendor. It’s nice to see there are still people out there that can find the silver lining. I am writing to because I was told that you are the person to contact in reference to making a reservation for the Chef’s table on an upcoming cruise. We are sailing on the Carnival Dream April 16th 2011, I would like to see about possibly getting a reservation for two (2) for the Chef’s table on Thursday April 21st 2011. This will be our fourth cruise with Carnival, I was not aware about the Chef’s table until I joined the Cruise Critic board and was told about what a great experience it was.

John Says:
Hello SgtGlenn,

Thanks for those kind words sir and I am glad to read that there are still so many positives about reading the boards on Cruise Critic. Moist of the time I only get to reply to the comments and rumours that are of a negative nature that come from there. However, you have shown that by reading the reports about the brilliant Chef’s Table, you have decided to book it for yourself. I will make sure I reserve you 2 places for your Carnival Dream cruise but need your cabin number and your full name please so can you send that via the blog? Thanks so much.

Best wishes and have a brilliant time.

Eve Lawrenson Asked:
John Reply Requested,

I will be sailing with my husband on the Splendor on April 23rd. My husband does not like talking to strangers and so I will need a table for 2 min a quiet place in the restaurant. We had an awful experience on the Legend when the people at the table with us were loud and drunk alcohol with every meal. This ruined our cruise. We must have a table for 2. We are in cabin 1377.

Eve and Martin Lawrenson

John Says:
Hello Eve,

I have written to the maitre d of the Carnival Splendor even though he is not onboard as the ship is heading to San Francisco for continuing repairs. He will be back though before the ship sails again on February 20 and I know he will do his best to get you a table for 2.

Best wishes

Carolyn in NC Asked:
Hello John, Please reply!

I have good and bad to share. I just returned from my first Carnival cruise on the Fantasy on her 7 day 11/20 sailing. Our family of four had a MARVELOUS time. Rodney, our room steward, was tip top, as was Gerardo, Meynard & I Kadek who served us most nights in the Celebration dining room during My Time Dining. The MDR food was OUTSTANDING, especially Chef’s Table, which I thank you VERY MUCH for helping us get a reservation. In addition, I came home with many fabulous photos of my kids & family thanks to the staff photographers. Some people have a bar bill, I had a photo bill. My youngest and I did the Behind the Fun tour, and Kitty was a great tour leader.

The not so good. I am the one who booked our cruise, paid for it, filled out all the documents. I was so looking forward to the emailed customer survey so I could share about those who made our vacation so special. Imagine my annoyance when I discovered I didn’t get one, but my husband did. He filled it out not realizing it was our survey, before I knew about it. I’m angry that Carnival picked the “man” on the reservation, instead of the person who booked the cruise, and paid for it. Why didn’t both adults get one? I’m all for going green and keeping up with technology, but Carnival blew it on this one.

Last, our PVP booked us as both adults in one cabin, and both kids in the other, connecting cabin. She offered this, we did not ask, but agreed as it was how we planned to sleep, and saved us a trip to the guest services desk to swap folks. The negative? Since there was no adult on the kids’ reservation, I was unable to register them for the Camp Carnival & Circle C in advance. I called Carnival, and they were unable to assist. Please send this to the beards — I would have much preferred to do that paperwork prior to vacation.

In summary, we had a great time, and plan to sail with Carnival again; I hope my comments will help Carnival improve on an already great experience. Thanks for listening.

John Says:
Hello Carolyn in NC,

Yesterday on my Facebook page I wrote how frustrated I was at our current review card system. It appears that despite checking the right boxes on the booking form too many people are not getting the forms e-mailed to them. I will talk to the beards about this again and I will also mention the point you raised as well because it is an absolute valid one. I was so glad that overall your first cruise was a positive one and that you had fun. I was glad to have been able to help and will be here again to do so the next time you cruise with us. Thanks again for the great review and I will pass it on to all the right people.

Best wishes to you and your family.


William Steadman Allen Asked:

I wanted to thank you for arranging for me to scatter my wife’s ashes at sea. A special thank you goes to Iris at the guest services and Luca the environmental officer both of who were so kind.

Carla and I were married for 43 years and had been on 9 Carnival cruises together and this one on Inspiration would have been her tenth and she would have been a platinum cruiser. It was very hard being on my own and I am not sure if I can cruise again as the memories are too clear of the wonderful times we had together. We cruised with you John on the Triumph in 2001 and you were the best cruise director of course and my wife always said how the others did not compare to you.

She loved cruising, loved Carnival and loved being at sea. Sea days were her favorite part and that’s why scattering Carla’s ashes at sea was so special. Thank you John for allowing me to do this. My world is now one only of sadness, Carla was my everything and I feel so alone without her.

William Steadman Allen

John Says:
Hello William Steadman Allen,

This was a very difficult post to write I imagine and in all honesty it is not easy to find the right words in my reply. All I can do is hope that the memories of the fun and laughter you shared in your 43 years together remain with you always and that you know that today, thousands of blog readers are thinking about you. I will let Iris and Luca know how much you appreciated their help. We are all thinking of you and we all send you our very best wishes.


And that’s all for today.

I think we all need to take a break so while I go off and write an e-mail to William I will leave you in the company of the ACD on the Carnival Triumph. Here then is Cory Rogers.

My name is Cory Rogers but because I look like the offspring of Drew Carey and Peter Griffin from “Family Guy,” I am known as Cory “Family Guy” Rogers. I am from Memphis, Tennessee, Born and raised and I am the only child of John and Laura Rogers. My mom is a “stay-at-home-mom” and takes care of our 5, yes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Chihuahuas named: Halo, Harley, Heidi, Holly and Heather and we have little Hannah on the way. My dad is a writer/safety trainer for the Valero oil refinery, and he has been down there for over 40 years.

I attended the University of Memphis aiming for a degree in biology and then nursing school. And while in school I went on many Carnival cruises with family and friends, and that’s when I fell in love with the ocean. Yes I wanted to be a dolphin, but when I realized science could only take me so far I decided to work on a cruise ship instead.
The last cruise I took before working for Carnival I was in the Carnival Legends show as Ricky Martin. While I was backstage goofing around with the entertainment staff and cruise director, I knew that this was my calling. Three weeks later I was on my first ship, the Carnival Ecstasy, out of Galveston, Texas.

During my first Welcome Aboard Show, literally seconds before my first host introduction, the cruise director tells me that I remind him of Peter Griffin from Family Guy, and I have played off this ever since. Back when I was in high school I was member of a club called HOSA. (Health Occupations Students of America) I was our high school chapter president and during my junior year I was elected Tennessee State President which was a huge honor. That year the HOSA National Conference was held in Nashville, Tennessee and it brought in over 15,000 students, adults and sponsors. I was given word 2 weeks before this that I was responsible for giving the welcoming speech to the entire conference. I WAS FREAKING OUT!!!! I had never been on a microphone before. So I prepared night and day for 2 weeks for this speech and when my time had come to shine I took the stage started the speech and in front of 15,000 people I locked my legs and passed out cold. After this I was in charge of holding leadership conferences and team building meetings and all of this is the reason for who I am today.

So now I have been an assistant cruise director since June 2010, and I love everything about this job. I love to meet thousands of different people every week and then have the challenge of being “entertaining.” My favorite thing to do on ships is “Cory’s Thriller Dance Class.” Listen, don’t judge this Drew Carey look alike by its cover, I can SHAKE IT!!!!! My dance class takes place on the main stage and has an attendance of about 200 people every week. I meet repeat guest who have sailed with many times before and they still attend and love every minute.

The one thing I look forward to is working my way up to becoming a cruise director. I had my first chance during Halloween for 2 weeks this year and it was amazing. I had so much fun doing it I cannot wait do be doing it for real. One of the best times to cruise is during Halloween. I was Iron Man for Halloween this year. The Iron Man suit itself was bought at Wal-Mart made for a child ages 10-14 husky, I can honestly say that it was a tight fit.

The overall moral of what I am trying to say is that I cannot wait to become cruise director. I have had the pleasure of working under some of the best cruise directors in the fleet. My best friend Kevin Nooooooonan, Butch Begovich, Mark Price, Jeremy “Big Tex” Mayes, Steve Knisley, Ryan “Guitar Hero God” Fitzgerald, Kirk Benning, Goose Neuman and Tory Secoy. I have learned so much from them and look forward to learning more and more every day.

I am currently on the Carnival Triumph until January 22, 2011, and then I am going on vacation. I will then join the Carnival Conquest on March 27, 2011 for a 7 month tour of duty. So far in my many adventures with Carnival Cruise Lines I have been on many ships and travelled all over. I have been on the West Coast out of San Diego and travelled all up and down the Mexican Riviera, travelled most of the Caribbean; East and West and in January of 2010 I had the amazing opportunity to be docked in downtown Vancouver, Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics. I was on the Carnival Elation at the time and we were just housing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP’s) for 6 weeks. I had the chance to attend many of the events ranging from the games themselves to victory ceremonies both in town and up at Whistler Mountain. I went skiing for the first time up at Whistler after watching a hour long tutorial on “How to Ski.” From personal experience I recommend taking lessons instead of just watching YouTube.

I love working for Carnival Cruise Lines and look forward to many more years of FUN!!!!!!!!!!!

I have not worked with Cory but from what I have heard that is a real shame. He has a fabulous reputation and is known as someone with boundless energy. All the makings of a great future cruise director.

Just a couple of things that I mentioned on Facebook yesterday. Firstly the Cabanas at Half Moon Cay. As you may all now realise you can book these online which is something that I know many have wanted for some time. A question arose on Facebook which I checked with our vice president of shore excursions. The question was could specific cabanas be reserved online. The answer to this is no….but I was told by my colleague in Miami that if you do reserve one online that you can go to the shore excursion desk onboard and the staff there will do their best to note and reserve the one you want. Now this is done on a first come first served basis and they cannot always guarantee that you get the one you want but…….they will certainly try. If you have any questions of thoughts about this please let me know.

Secondly there is the subject of the Carnival Spirit. I was asked repeatedly on FB since announcing the ship will head to Australia in 2012, if there will be a repositioning cruise that gives our guests a chance to sail from North America to exotic ports of call before arriving in Australia. The answer is yes, there will be but I don’t have any other details just yet. I don’t know when and I don’t know what ports she will call at on the way. I do know though that this will be one heck of a special cruise and for those who like the longer voyages………..well this will be perfect for you. As soon as I know more……… will you.

I couldn’t sleep last night. There are no reasons why. Sleep avoided me like movie offers will no doubt ignore Ricky Gervais. So I went downstairs and at 2:40am I turned on the TV. I flicked through dozens of infomercials including one self help thingy that for a moment I thought was being hosted by Richard Kiel who played Jaws in the Bond movies of old…turned out it wasn’t him. Not wanting to pay £99 for a series of DVD’s that would help me to become a better person and a millionaire all in three months I flicked over to the Home Shopping Network where the actress who played Bobby Ewing’s wife, Pam, was selling me some face cream that would make me look younger and if that didn’t work she suggested that I take a shower where like her husband did in Dallas I would find that I wasn’t really an ugly fat bastard hated by soap opera actors….. but in fact…… was just a dream.

Finally during my channel hoping I struck gold….Laurel and Hardy gold… a film called Sons of the Desert. I have always loved Laurel and Hardy and that look of despair that Ollie gives the camera is pure genius. In Sons of the Desert our buddies try and get some time away from their domineering wives or “bitches” as they would be called today in street slang. They feign illness to get to go to on a boys trip to Honolulu and chaos obviously follows. As I watched I learned that men of today could learn from Laurel and Hardy …. for example kicking your wife in the arse was acceptable and never marry a woman who is a crack shot with a rifle.

It’s been a strange sort of blog today hasn’t it. And as I write this nonsense about what was on TV in the early hours of the morning all I can really think about is poor William Steadman Allen and my answer to his posting was so short and I feel it wasn’t enough. How do you cope with such a loss? So many happy memories that are now such sad ones.

William, I do have one suggestion. Why not write a posting here on the blog all about beautiful Carla and tell us everything you ever did on a Carnival cruise?

Why not tell the thousands of readers what made her the most fantastic wife who ever lived. We would love to know more about her and the one thing I know from my own experiences is that writing things down………really helps. I know you are sad William but I believe that one day the sadness will ease. You haven’t got there yet………….but you will.

Today’s blog then is dedicated to the memory of Carla Steadman Allen who like everyone here loved cruising, loved Carnival…….and loved the sound of the sea. We think of her and William tonight.

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.