Larry the Dentist From Boca

February 11, 2011 -

John Heald

The last two days have been very interesting on Facebook with discussions on seat saving, balcony door partitions and whether or not I am talking out of my large white arse or not. With the addition of Facebook I now have even more to occupy my mind and the reality of this suddenly slapped me in the face and I had to write about it here on our blog thingy.

You see I had phoned my wife Heidi first thing as I always do and as she was telling me about her day so far and how Kye was teething again and….well it was then that I realized…..I was writing e-mails throughout the conversation. Clickety click clack, I went while making vague sounds of feigned interest such as “Mmm, mmm, oh dear” when she could have just told me she had decided to leave me for the window cleaner or that my best mate Alan had trapped his thingy in a woodworking vice……..and this is my wife….. and after thinking about it …….I realized ……….what a complete and utter bastard I am.

I’m like this with my Raspberry as well……in fact…I am no better than one of today’s teenagers whose distracted look says “If I don’t read that text which probably says something really important like ‘Gr8! lol x’ I might actually die…………dog.”

It’s the way of the world and I see it here on the Carnival Freedom. I see younger guests, usually in their late teens who get so frustrated by ambling older guests who block the line at the buffet slowing them down on their way to the Mongolian wok, Some probably imagine they are evil sea monsters in a computer game which they could zap with a laser guided harpoon because “They’ve got all day to get their lunch whereas I need to back on Lido deck in the sun looking at the babes, OK?”

I cannot judge them though for I frequently fantasize about tasering people who hold the elevator doors open while they finish a conversation with a friend.

Anyway…….I made a promise to myself that I would never talk to Heidi or a friend at the same time again. I used to think I was just multi tasking……….I wasn’t……..I was just being rude.

Time for some Q and A……………off we go.

Patricia Asked:
John *Please Reply* Thank you.

Hi John,
I am a first time Carnival Cruiser (though I’ll admit to sailing with the mouse once).

I’ve booked back to back cruises on the Carnival Dream for March 12th and March 19th 2011. I was wondering if I’ll be invited to the Past Guest Party on the second cruise (as I will be a past guest having just sailed the same ship the week before). I guess what brings this to my mind is there is no “past guest” number listed for my cruise when I check the Carnival website.

On another note – I’m taking my 16 (turning 17 year old god daughter) on these cruises for her birthdays. I’m mean and I’ve made her wait a whole year as the cruises were a gift for her 16th birthday to be taken on her 17th birthday. I’ve preordered the room decorations, a bottle of bubbly (well, that’s for me, not her – wish me luck sailing with a teen who isn’t even mine!), beverage coupons (both alcoholic and soda). My question relates to ordering a cake through Bon Voyage. We have “Your Time” dining and I guess I’m a little concerned about them actually bringing the cake on the evening that I ask it for. Will they be able to find us in the dining room when we don’t have a set table or a set serving team? I’m sure your response will be “yes” I guess I’ll just feel better hearing it directly.

I’m sure the cruises (Eastern and Western Caribbean) on the Dream will be smashing. I chose Carnival over “the mouse” due to a couple of things – Carnival seems like a fun line with more chance of “non families” (though I know that there will be loads of families travelling during March break) and I like that the teen club (Club O2) is for 15-17 not 13-17 (which seems like such a huge difference at those ages).

Anyways, I am so looking forward to our B2B cruises on *My* Carnival Dream. I love the blog and find your humour very funny. Being Canadian, I take the “u” for granted in many words and it took me a bit to figure out why you were saying “spelt correctly” because I admit I just though “well of course it’s spelt correctly”.

A Canadian Blog Fan (not to be confused with Log fan because I’m not that attached to wood).
Patricia Todd
Cabin 1206

John Says:
Hello Patricia Todden,

Congratulations on booking your Carnival Dream cruise and yes, you will be invited to the past guest party, just check the box when you fill out the information when you check in. Please don’t worry about the cake but to get some peace of mind may I suggest that the day before you speak to either the restaurant hostess or at the Guest Services Desk just to make sure. Your daughter will love the facilities of the Club O2, they are the best in the fleet. I will also send her a little birthday gift. Have a brilliant cruise and if you have time please tell us all about it when you get home.

Best wishes to you both


LornaT Asked:
John (Reply if you wish),

This is Lorna and Jessica from California (Stewarts Diet Root Beer) and we have been on the 12/21 and now on the 12/29 sailing of “Our” Carnival Miracle with Malcolm ………. what a kick ….. Told him to let you know we were here if he e-mails with you.

Anyway ……… Question? Capers had it “Fun Times” doesn’t ……… no note of what the “Taste of Nations” is for Lido Lunch each day ………….. Why?

John Says:
Hello Lorna,

The Taste of the Nations should be listed in the Fun Times, it is here and it in the Fun Times on some of the other ships I have seen. I will send this on to Malcolm because it must be included of course. I am glad you like him so much and thanks again for the root beer………I could do with a can right now.

Best wishes to you both and thanks so much for the kind words


Eric Cottrell Asked:
John (please reply),

First of all, thank you for your help in securing Chef’s table reservations for us on the Dream back in October. That cruise was our first cruise and served as our long delayed honeymoon/10 year anniversary gift to each other. We’re hooked and will be Carnival customers for life. We’ve already booked our second cruise next month on the Fantasy out of Charleston and we can’t wait. We’ve also requested Chef’s table reservations for next month’s cruise as well as it is an experience not to be missed.

I do have to ask, where can I purchase a couple of the Carnival jackets that you’ve been wearing on the video blog entries from NYC?
By the way, my wife Joelle was the first to comment to be a part of today’s (12/30/2010) activities in NYC with you and other blog fans. We really wish we could have made it up there to meet you. We hope you have a blast in NYC.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

All the best,

Eric and Joelle Cottrell

John Says:
Hello Eric and Joelle Cottrell,

I was glad to read how much you enjoyed your honeymoon/anniversary cruise and especially The Chef’s Table. I hope it is not too long before we see you again.

The jackets were made especially for me by the company and are not for sale in the onboard gift shops. Do you think they should be? They are by a brand called GEAR and were certainly keeping me from freezing my bollocks off in the Big Apple. Maybe we should sell them….what do you think?

Best wishes to you both and thank you for all your very kind words


Mike Davis Asked:
Reply when possible,

John, we are on the March 27th sailing of the Splendor. Many are dropping off our CC roll call. I think they are not sure the ship will be ready by then. We are believers and it is our 25th anniversary that week and no kids this time! Hoping you can help out and schedule us for the Chef’s table. Our Cabin # is 7400. Enjoyed you spending the time everyday while the ship was smoking in the water keeping all advised of status. I also wish Carnival would do at least a bi-weekly update on the repairs to reduce people fears they will get cancelled!

Thanks John

Mike and Mary Davis 25 Years and just getting going!!!

John Says:
Hello Mike Davis,

I realize that this comment was posted some time ago so by now I hope everyone’s concerns have been laid to rest as the ship will be in Long Beach on the 20th as scheduled.

I have sent your Chef’s Table request to the ship. You will get an e-mail confirmation by this time next week and I wish you a brilliant time on a brilliant ship

Best wishes

Julie Asked:
John (please reply),

First off, wishing you and yours a wonderful new year!

My husband and I were on the Valor back in March and had a fabulous time. So wonderful in fact that we are considering the exact same itinerary this coming March. When we were on the ship, we had an amazing waitress whom we both thought very highly of. After many dinner chats, we assured her that we would be back with our girls so she could meet them….and we are doing exactly that. I am somewhat confident that she is supposed to be on the Valor again this coming year. (We chatted on Facebook when she was on vacation a few months back but I can’t recall the timeline she gave.) Is there any way you could find out for us for sure if she’ll be onboard…and if possible help us arrange for her to be our waitress again? I know this is a tall task but I figured if anyone could help, it would probably be you.

Thanks in advance!

John Says:
Hello Julie,

I would be glad to try and help you and see if she is indeed still on the ship. Do you know her name? I am glad whoever she is that she made such an impression on your cruise experience. Please let me know

Best wishes


Mary (Mrs. Shy) Asked:
Dear John (Please reply),

Another great cruise on the Carnival Dream and this time as Platinum. We were on the Bloggers cruise with you last year and went back this year to do the Western Caribbean itinerary. I could go on and go about all the great attributes of the Dream but will only touch on the two outstanding differences of this cruise from last year. We booked a spa cabin (not usually a spa person) to try out the spa amenities. We loved it! The thermal suite and thalassotherapy pool were wonderful places to go to relax. This confirmed for us that a spa cabin is the right choice for us on the TA on the Magic. With so many sea days on the TA we will certainly have lots of time to take advantage of the all that the spa has to offer.

The best part was having Butch as our CD. We had him as our CD on the Carnival Liberty last October and we were very impressed with him as I noted to you on this blog. We were impressed that he would remember all the passengers he had one on one contacts with by name during each cruise. …but after 13 months? He remembered us! He met my husband and his 2 brothers up on the Lido Deck and when my husband said “Hi Butch”, he replied with “I remember you, Serge.” Later, as he was coming out of the Burgundy Lounge, I saw him and waved. He ran and hugged me and wished me a Happy Birthday for the next day as Serge had told him this was my birthday cruise. He sent a bottle of wine (our choice of red or white) to our table for my birthday. Ante, the Maitre D’ also sent a bottle which we had the next day. The other 5 got to enjoy the wines as I do not drink…lol

Serge had sent him a dedication note for my birthday the next morning on his Morning Show. As he started reading it, he realized who it was from and recounted his previous night’s meetings with us and expressed how we were such special people and certainly worthy of remembering (although we did nothing special on the Liberty cruise besides having a few conversations with him). It brought tears to my eyes when I watched the re-run of the Morning Show in my cabin later that day. We never made any special efforts to see him as we are aware of how busy CD’s are and Butch, maybe more than some as he is so involved in so many on board activities but we did run into him a few times during the week and have a few words with him before he had to run off to another commitment.

Carnival is so lucky to have such a fine young man as one of their CD’s and you have to give yourself a pat on the back too as I know you had something to do with his training and for setting such a good example.

We went on the Ruby Princess right after the Carnival Dream and the CD on her was such a disappointment after having Butch the week before. My brothers and sisters in laws kept making comparisons and that made us miss Butch even more and showed them how much they really appreciated having a brilliant CD like Butch. I didn’t have to comment as I already knew. This was both sets of in laws’ first Carnival cruise and they are all 4 now Carnival fans, thanks to the Carnival Dream and Butch.

We loved all the benefits of being Platinum except for the so called Carnival logo gift. We got 4 coupons for soda. Luckily for us, Tom and Jane (your personal airport greeters) gave us a picture frame last year on the Bloggers Cruise, so we got one early. We will have to get the new pen and pad set on our next cruise. Someone posted a picture of it on Cruise Critic and it looks very nice…at least it’s a Carnival souvenir. However, I did come home with a very nice souvenir – my Grove for St. Jude t-shirt. I was honoured to be able to participate in that event.

Looking forward to seeing you again on the Carnival Magic for the TA. Will Heidi and Kye be with you? I have not had the pleasure of meeting Heidi or Kye yet and would love it if they are with you on the TA.
Mary aka Mrs. Shy (as you called me)

John Says:
Hello Mrs. Shy,

I had to quickly say a huge thank you for taking the time to write this review of your Carnival Dream cruise. You have no idea how proud I am when I read words like this about Butch and I will make sure he and the rest of the ship know how much you enjoyed your vacation.

Thanks for your loyalty as well to Carnival and I am very much looking forward to seeing you and showing you your Carnival Magic

Best wishes to you all

Beverly Asked:

Every day I read your blog and Facebook comments and truly appreciate all you do. And I know you like helping people, so I will get right to the point and just ask……this is my husband’s and my 5th Carnival cruise—going on the Carnival Victory March 6, 2011. Two other couples are joining us and this will be their 1st cruise ever. We all have confirmed late dinner seating and we are asking if you could please help us have a table for 6…We will be celebrating 3 birthdays…my husband’s (Jim) is actually during the cruise on March 8th, one will have turned 50 the week before and another turns 50 in April…… so plenty to celebrate. Thanks, John. We are so looking forward to this cruise……..oh, and thanks for bringing the countdown back on the Carnival site! Nice to see that number getting smaller! Happy New Year to you, Heidi and Kye!…….


John Says:
Hello Beverley,

I had no idea how important the countdown clock was to so many people and I am happy to see that bringing it back made so many people happy. I will certainly ask the maitre d to help you with your table request and I wish you all a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes to all

Travis Cameron Asked:
John, Please Reply,

Hello John. I hope that you had a wonderful holiday with your family!

My family will be taking our holiday aboard the Splendor on March 13th, 2011 (booked over a year ago and my fingers are still crossed). We are booked in cabin 1101 on the Spa deck. We have cruised with Disney before and my wife is worried that the dining experience on Carnival won’t be enjoyed by our kids like it is with Disney.

Is there any way you can make a request for us for a table for 4 people (early sitting), with a team of servers who are better at interacting with children? Near as I can tell, that’s all it would take for us to have a fine time and for my wife to say we can cruise Carnival again, rather than Disney who are going to make me go broke. Well that and for the Splendor to actually be sailing

Thank you for your help.


John Says:

Hello Travis Cameron,

There is no doubt that Disney ships are brilliant for children and their interactive characters I am sure are a huge hit at dinner. While we won’t have large rodents wandering the dining room I can promise you that your kids will love the interaction with the waiters and the various parades and dances. I will ask for a table for 4 for you and I wish you all a wonderful, mouse free cruise

Best wishes


Tinto Cruiser Asked:

John, I am a Carnival platinum cruiser and this gives me the right to say that the standard of the passengers you cater to has gone to its lowest class ever. I am a single cruiser and last month was on the Elation where I was seated at dinner with people who had never seen carpet before and drank beer with their lobster dinner OUT OF THE BOTTLE.

I suggest that you take a ship and advertise it to the lower classes and leave the rest of the ships to people who dress correctly, eat properly and can have who can partake in intelligent conversation. I will be sailing on the Liberty in June and am tempted to demand a table for one!

John Says:
Hello Tinto Cruiser,

I am not sure if there is anything I can say except Carnival ships are class free and meeting people from all walks of life is something that most of the time I think our guests appreciate. Please do let me know if you would like a table for 1 for your next cruise as I would be very, very, very glad and happy and willing and ready now, immediately to arrange this for you.

Best wishes,


Don in Kentucky Asked:
Dear John…please reply,

I’ve had the pleasure of cruising with you in 1991 on the superliner Fantasy. We have finally made it to our Platinum cruise on the Splendor in April. Our final payment is due fairly soon and I have a logistic issue.

We booked a flight out of LAX at 12:30 PM and had the port to airport transfers added. Now our flight has been changed to 11:55 AM and now we’re worried about the timing.

What time is typical for the self assist on the Splendor? What is the earliest the Carnival transfers begin? I’m now trying to make alternate arrangements on either a taxi to the airport or taking a different flight. The only issue is the few connecting flights at our final destination.
How I get the pleasure of cruising with you in the future. Thanks in advance.

John Says:
Hello Don in Kentucky,

Congratulations and I will be writing all about the Carnival Splendor next week so make sure you stop by the blog thingy. Self assist starts at approx 8 am so you should, traffic permitting be at LAX at 9 am and in plenty of time for your flight. I am hoping that you will see this as I know I am way behind in my replies here. Have a brilliant cruise

Best wishes,


That’s all for today. Just as an FYI…….although I am still 6 weeks behind here on the blog, I still have answered 50 questions here this week and around 150 more this week on FB. I am doing my best…..honestly I am.

I hope you are finding the posting of the Capers useful and here……….bugger……… hope you are finding the posting of the Fun Times useful and here then are the ones for the Carnival Sensation.

(Download the Carnival Sensation Fun Times here.)

That’s all for today, I will be back with more next week and with much more on Sunday on Facebook. Right, in case you have missed all the latest news on Facebook, here is a recap of what’s been going on.

1. First of all lets head on over to Half Moon Cay and hear from our good mate Vance about what sounds like a fun addition to paradise.

Half Moon Cay – the crescent-shaped private Bahamian island that is one of Carnival Cruise Lines’ most popular ports of call – now features a truly unique watering hole called Captain Morgan on the Rocks.

Inspired by the adventures of real-life privateer Captain Henry Morgan, the nautical-themed bar resembles a 101-foot-long twin decked, three-masted schooner that appears to be “washed up” on the island’s sand-swept beach.

With a capacity of 326, the two-level Captain Morgan on the Rocks features engaging maritime and historic references, including rum casks for seats, cannon barrels for bar stools and palm leaf-styled ceiling fans.  The mid-deck features another bar that is surrounded by cannons that release mists of water to keep guests cool in the Bahamian sun.  The crafted wooden walls, decks, surfaces and fittings also include logos, messaging and images that are “burnt” into the wood to tell the story of the famous captain, who sailed Bahamian waters 350 years ago.

Outdoor seating is available on two awning-covered, themed decks, with the open upper deck offering sweeping vistas of Half Moon Cay’s turquoise waters, a beautiful white sand beach, and an unspoiled migratory bird sanctuary.

Naturally, the bar features different varieties of Captain Morgan rum products as well as a wide selection of premium drinks from across the Diageo portfolio.

Located less than 100 miles from Nassau, Half Moon Cay is a 2,400-acre private island offering the quintessential Caribbean experience, with a 700-acre lagoon, private cabanas, a children’s water park, and a wide variety of shore excursion opportunities.

Half Moon Cay is currently featured on itineraries of six Carnival “Fun Ships” — Carnival Fascination from Jacksonville, Carnival Destiny, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor and Carnival Liberty from Miami, and Carnival Legend from Tampa.

The new facility is a joint project between Carnival Cruise Lines, Diageo and sister cruise company, Holland America Line.

You know, I just haven’t spent enough time at Half Moon Cay and everyone I speak to tells me it is at the top of their favourite destination list. I wonder if any Carnival ships will ever go to Princess Cay which I hear is also stunning. You see, most of the beautiful Princess fleet bugger off to Europe and Alaska and beyond during the summer so I wonder if any thought has been given by the top most beards to allowing one of our ships to dock there?

2. We all got in a bit of a tither on Facebook about the balcony dividers on the Spirit class ships with Mr. A. Troll posting on Cruise Critic that we had stopped allowing them to be opened should guests from the same group or family request it. This of course was correct in the same way that saying hanging out in the center of Cairo is a fun and safe thing to do. Yep……it was bollocks and when I mentioned this on Facebook I was told that I was lying and that some knew better than me.

This made me mad and I had a bit of a rant about it which I sort of feel silly about now. Anyway, I cleared this up by speaking to each Spirit class ship’s hotel director who all confirmed that with the exception of a few aft cabins where it is not possible to do, we can and we will assist with this request. Some on Cruise Critic still didn’t believe me and continued to say nasty things….. why? ..…..I have no idea …….but honestly………..I gave up caring why.

So I said that if someone wanted my help in getting this done to let me know and I will inform the ship ahead of time. I should point out that the ship’s command has the final say of course and that opening them without permission will not be allowed. I say this because someone posted a photo of the tool they used to achieve this and obviously this cannot happen. Anyone caught doing so will be tied to the smoke stack and their buttocks flogged with a wet pair of my underpants.

3. Carnival Valor is in dry dock and she is receiving some special additions to the usual dry dock maintenance work. Here is exactly what is happening in the words of the hotel director.

We updated the disco, added serenity deck, updated the pools and hot tubs. Spa all new cardio machines and updated look. Added captain’s suites and a new category scenic view on deck 9 forward. Also all new upholstery on lido restaurant. Looks very nice. Oh updated sports bar with new TVs, and adding a pool tables in the casino next the sports bar. New carpet in corridors and almost every lounge and renewed running track

For now though here are the deck plans and the new category cabins that will go on sale very soon .

New Staterooms

• 9196 – Category 6J
• 9197 – Category 6J
• 9198 – Category 6J
• 9199 – Category 6J
• 9200 – Category 6J

Re-Categorized Staterooms

• 9201 – Previous Category: 4J New Category: 6J
• 9202 – Previous Category: 4J New Category: CS
• 9203 – Previous Category: 4J New Category: CS

When I read this my immediate thought was……….we have a running track onboard?

But it all sounds great doesn’t it and of course that will make one of our most popular ships….. even more brilliant. I will have photos for you soon.

4. Also in dry dock at the moment is the Carnival Legend and she is also having a new Serenity adults only area, children’s pool and other work done. I listed the furniture that would be at Serenity and the addition of cabana type seating, love seats and double wide sun loungers seemed to go down a treat over at Facebook. Again, I will have photos of this soon.

We also spoke about chair savers and this was also a very interesting and passionate conversation. The bottom line is that the Facebookers all agreed that we have to do a better job in stopping people saving seats by leaving shoes, books, towels and goats on there. And they were right…….we must do better. Certainly though our Serenity areas are brilliant and they are, unlike other cruise lines………free. Oh yep, the Carnival Pride has Serenity too.

5. The Platinum Gift…………well this has been another hot topic and so I decided to ask the senior vice president exactly what is going on with this and so here was the answer.

Last fall, we had a miscommunication about inventories of picture frames and we ran out a bit sooner than we originally anticipated. Thus, while we awaited a supply of our new standard gifts, we’ve had to substitute a number of different items for the gifts over the last few months. In a few instances we had to provide complimentary drink coupons.

However, we should be on track now with our new primary gift for 2011. It’s an insulated cooler bag that holds a six-pack size of soda/beer or a few sandwiches, etc. The back-up gift for those that don’t want a cooler bag and/or already have a cooler bag is a small notepad and pen set that we refer to as the “note jotter.”

Now I am sure that many of our loyal Platinum guests will like this and maybe some will not. But it’s a free gift and I hope you see it and then let me know what you think.

6. Another SVP beard also told me that he wanted me to mention here that he is looking to make some immediate changes to our Bon Voyage site to make it friendlier and to stock better and updated merchandise. In the same conversation I mentioned a blogger had told me that the drink coupon price had remained the same while the drink prices had gone up. This had been overlooked by us and he is on it and will make the change very quickly.

7. Finally the very popular “On Us “ program that involves slot players reaching a certain score level and then receiving a free drinks card for the rest of the cruise while playing in the casino is being rolled out to other ships in the fleet on March 1. These ships are:

  • Carnival Glory
  • Carnival Liberty
  • Carnival Pride
  • Carnival Conquest
  • Carnival Victory
  • Carnival Triumph
  • Carnival Fantasy
  • Carnival Legend

And in May your Carnival Magic.

Oh and by the way, for those on the bloggers cruise the beards have brought forward the ships “On Us “ program to the 27th and……I am told there will be a very special slot machine …….. just for you…………and a bloggers only slot tournament.

Oh, bugger………….I also revealed the new Carnival Legends show characters that will start on your Carnival Magic followed by the Carnival Elation to start. …………..they include:

  • Tina Turner – What’s Love got to Do with it
  • Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time
  • Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
  • Shania Twain – Man, I Fell Like A Woman
  • Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA
  • Michael Jackson – Billy Jean
  • Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline

Dolly is gone……..her breasts have been laid to rest. I saw my new dress………..I feel sick.

So lots of great news there. One thing is for sure. The senior beards are realising more and more that the core group of Carnival loyalists, the people who love the product and the fun we provide all read this blog and the Facebook page. They are all being brilliantly transparent and allowing me to post the latest news…………just for you.

Yes, we are still all waiting for news on the whole loyalty program but overall I think that Carnival is unique in allowing me to write this blog and communicate the way I do on Facebook. Now the only problem is……….can I keep up?

Time for a quick break to allow Vance to announce the winner of the Name the Mini Golf Course Contest on your spectacular new Carnival Magic.

Congrats to Shaun Mullins of Justin, Texas, whose highly creative entry of “Turf on Surf” has been named the winner of Carnival Magic’s “Name the Mini Golf” contest.   It goes without saying that the moniker fits Carnival Magic to a “tee!”

“Turf on Surf” will be among the many fun-filled features available on the new 3,690-passenger ship, scheduled to enter service May 1.

“Turf on Surf” will take center stage in Carnival Magic’s expansive SportSquare open-air recreation complex.  Other features within this active cruiser’s paradise include the first ropes course at sea, cruising’s first-ever outdoor fitness area, an 800-foot-long jogging path encircling the entire area, a lighted multi-purpose space for basketball, volleyball and soccer, a six-station Vita exercise course, ping pong and foosball tables, and a full bar with a large flat-screen TV.

In addition to having her name “linked” to the Carnival Magic’s mini-golf course, Shaun will receive a prize package which includes a digital camera and a variety of Carnival-branded golf paraphernalia.

Carnival Magic’s “Name the Mini Golf Course” contest also raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, with Carnival donating $1 for each entry and vote, as well as for each Facebook fan who “liked” the contest.

Carnival Magic is set to debut in Europe with a series of seven- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 1 – Oct. 16, 2011.  Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Magic will launch seven-day Caribbean service from Galveston, Texas, Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round cruise ship.

It’s nearly time for me to go. I have to finish Dan’s training and then sodding pack……again. Dan though has done a great job on this his first-ever cruise. He looks and sounds very comfortable on stage and he has remembered the golden rule that all a microphone does is make your voice louder; it should never ever change your personality. He has had a medical emergency to deal with and at 8:15am this morning he had to make another difficult announcement.

It started with a call from the chief security at 8:05 am. A husband (married only two months) had not seen his wife since midnight and had now reported her as missing. Now, under the current climate Dan needed to make an announcement through the ship’s emergency system asking for the lady to please make contact with the guest services desk I wrote this out for him and Dan did it clearly and in perfect tones…..and after a tense 10 minutes, she walked into the lobby safe and well where her husband was waiting for her. I can’t comment on where she had been but I can say that her actions had Dan waking up the entire ship and had all of us very worried indeed. I am sure she now has some explaining to do. Judging by the state of her hair she hadn’t been reading a book.

So the Carnival Freedom has an excellent CD in Dan and I congratulate him and wish him a wonderful career. Watch out for his ACD Calvin………….he is ridiculously funny.

So it’s time for me to go. Tomorrow I will allow Delta Airlines to fly me to Atlanta and then to San Francisco where I will arrive late on Saturday evening. I know I was uncertain if I was making the right decision to go or not but now I have no doubts and I am excited and honoured (spelt correctly) to be returning. I will of course tell you all about her starting on Monday and as always I hope you will join me here on the blog thingy and on Facebook.
Well I have had some great friends on this cruise with me which has been nice because after being screamed and sworn at by Mr. and Mrs. Yousaidyouwouldbethecdyoubastard…….it has been good to have Carolyn and Don and Tom and Jane and Linda and many more who read our blog and Facebook pages.

However last night I finally took some time to have a cigar in the cigar bar where smoking is allowed and sat down with Jose the hotel director and Dan the cruise director. There I was puffing on my Monte Cristo Edmundo when I heard this very excitable voice say “Larry!”….… now because my name is John I ignored it and carried on smoking my Cuban goddess.

Then the excitable voice got much louder…….”Larry!”………”Larry!” and this time I looked up to see a lady in her fifties walking toward to me at 90 mph. Now, my first reaction was to look over my shoulder for a Larry but I then realised….…….she was talking to me.

She now stood right next to me, so close in fact that I could tell that she and Colgate had never been best friends.

This was now getting weird.

She started to look me up and down like she was considering buying me and that’s when I had to say something as I was getting concerned that she was a possible axe-wielding maniac and any minute now her head would rotate and green pus would shoot out of her mouth.

I was about to say something when she said…..oh my goodness, it’s really weird and kind of scary. I was about to say “Yes, you are” when she carried on “You are the spitting image of Larry Weinstein our dentist…..….are you from Boca Raton?…….are you a dentist?”

OK, at this point I considered telling the old cruise director joke where you say “No ma’m, I am a male prostitute” but as this situation was already strange enough I didn’t want to exasperate her in any way. So, I said no I am from the UK, etc. etc. and then I spent the next 10 minutes explaining that I wasn’t Larry the dentist from Boca but John the senior cruise director.
She then started to tell me that Larry Weinstein was a brilliant dentist and all the time she was telling me this she was fanning her face to make it obvious she didn’t appreciate my cigar smoke.

And then……..if that wasn’t bad enough she then took a camera out of her bag and took a photo of me to show the tooth doctor when she got home and said with a giggle “Dr Weinstein has a big stomach as well” and turned and walked away leaving my colleagues laughing and me with a desire to stub my cigar out on Dr. Weinstein’s thingy.

So, is there some poor unfortunate creature out there who looks like me and I know everyone is supposed to have a double?

But saying that……..I have never met anyone who is like me. And you have never met anyone who is like you. But it’s a mathematical certainty that there are several of you out there and several of me…….scarily, that means there are several Judge Judy’s as well and bloody hell ………..several Lemurcats
And so I guess I look like Larry the dentist from Boca Raton, Florida. It’s just my sodding luck that I am apparently the doppelganger of someone who has a profession that makes me soil my underpants……why can’t I be the spitting image of someone Megan Fox wants to have rumpy pumpy with? And for those who may remember a blog of a few years ago……..I was once told I was the spitting image………….of Gomer Pyle.

See you on the Carnival Splendor ……………here she is.

Carnival Splendor

Carnival Splendor

Carnival Splendor

Carnival Splendor

Carnival Splendor

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.