That’s Not Funny…..Is It?

February 22, 2011 -

John Heald

OK, it’s time for me to come clean about something…………I’ve wanted to tell someone for the last month or so……… but I have been too embarrassed…..too ashamed to tell you ………. but I cannot take it anymore. And so today, Tuesday February 22, 2011 I openly confess to you all……………that for the past 4 weeks…………I have been …………..Oh God the shame …………….. I have been……………using……………an Eyephone.

There, I said it and I feel free at last of the burden which has been crushing me as though my head was trapped between Rosanne Barr’s thighs.

For those of you new to our blog thingy you may not know that my hatred for anything with an Eye in it is equaled only by my hatred of anything French, bleeding hemorrhoids, nose hair, flying and high visibility jackets. I hate the way Eyephone users see that you have one and flock to you to talk about apps and if you have the VPN on or off and data roaming and WEP, WPA or WPA2. I wish there was an App you could buy that anytime an Eyephone disciple talks starts boring you to death with Eyespeak that you could press which would make their pants and underwear drop suddenly to the ground leaving their lady gardens and gentlemen’s sausage exposed to all.

Anyway, I have been teasing Eyephone owners for some time and last month to try and prove that I was talking total bollocks Eric the Beard, Everett the Beard and one of the 344 Stephanies presented me with an Eyephone while I was in the Miami office. Carnival supports Eyephones as well as Raspberries so I was given a new Eyephone which I was tasked to use for e-mails and Facebook updates. The beards thinking that after using it for a month I too would be converted and become a disciple of the Eye.

But the beards will I am afraid be disappointed and when I meet with them later this morning I will return my Eyephone and reclaim my Raspberry with a huge sigh of relief. I’m tired of the crappy camera which I have to say is not as good as the one my Motorola phone had 35 years ago. Then there is the battery. As you can imagine I am always e-mailing and updating Facebook and need a long lasting battery for this. The problem though is that the Eyephone has the life expectancy of a veal calf in Italy or a frog with four nice legs in France. I have had to keep it plugged in most of the time, which defeats the object of a “mobile” sodding phone. Also the alarm doesn’t go off when it’s meant to. My calls drop more than Paris Hilton’s knickers and last week the bastard Eyephone nearly got me fired during the Carnival Splendor press and travel agent function.

Honestly, it was awful. It was an e-mail exchange between me and Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill in which I asked where he was on the ship so we could meet up and discuss what was going to happen. It went like this:

JOHN: GERRY, WHERE ARE YOU SIR? I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A FEW MINUTES SO WE CAN CHAT ABOUT THE PRESS THINGY.

GERRY: I’M IN MY CABIN – 7300

JOHN: CAN I COME OVER?

GERRY: SURE

JOHN: OK, I WILL COME OVER FOR A SEC

But the bastard Eyephone auto-corrected to “OK, I WILL COME OVER FOR A SEX.” I went to Gerry’s cabin. His door was locked. He wouldn’t let me in. I want my Raspberry back.

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

Janice Longthorn Asked:
John – Please reply.

My husband Tom and our three children just returned from a wonderful time on the Imagination and the table you arranged for us was just perfect and the champagne and the trophy you sent each of the children was a nice touch although it would have been nice to have gotten one of the famous fruit baskets I have read about on your blog. Why did we not get one of those, just curious as well feel a bit slighted. The waiters singing and dancing was an intrusion to our dinner as well. Most passengers I spoke to said they HATED this.

Janice Longthorn

John Says:
Hello Janice Longthorn,

I am so glad that you had fun on the Carnival Imagination and that the table you asked for was made available to you by the maitre d. Maybe next time I will see if I can send you one of the famous fruit baskets. I have rarely heard anything but positive comments about the parades and dancing in the dining room Janice so I was surprised to read your comments.

Best wishes to all
John

Robert (Bob) Dennard Asked:
Dear John,

Sorry if that sounds like an impending break-up between lovers. Let me assure you that it is not… my love affair with Carnival continues. But I do have a “bone to pick”… actually a couple of them but I’ll only address this one for now.

I’m writing this from an Internet Cafe ashore in Tortola… and you’ll see why in a second.

I am currently on an 8 day cruise on the Carnival Freedom. I am having a very, very great time. I have been posting a running commentary on the cruise on “Cruise Critic”. You can see my comments at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1330342

Well, I finally got fed up with the ship’s internet and I wrote a “rant.” Here’s what I posted:

A Rant

It’s time for a bit of a rant. I know Carnival reads these boards and it’s time to speak up and let you know that in one area the “King wears no clothes.”

I’m a pretty reasonable person. I don’t expect miracles from the cruise lines. But there is no excuse for the miserable excuse for an internet service they provide. I tried to post my report on Day 3 this morning. The first attempt it took me 5 minutes for nothing to happen and then for the network to completely crash out… and I didn’t get to log out so the clock was still ticking.

I recycled my wireless connection off then back on and after another couple of minutes got connected again. After a couple more drop offs I got my stuff posted. The bottom line is that it took 17 minutes for me to log in, copy and paste the text into Cruise Critic and then to log off.

The rate plan I’m on is $89 for 240 minutes… that’s 37 cents per minute. That in and of itself is outrageous. Add to that the exceptionally slow and grossly unreliable function; this internet service is an unacceptable way for Carnival to rip off their customers. It cost $6.29 for less than one minute of actual access to put up my post this morning.

I understand that a moving ship at sea may having problems getting high speed internet… so I accept that it might be slower. But all of my problems I’ve described here have been while we’re stationary… docked in St. Thomas. It is now 2011. The technology has gone way beyond what is Carnival is providing and there is simply no excuse for it.

I’m going to post this on the John Heald blog too. I know the Carnival “beards” see and respond to that.

Sorry for the rant… Now if it doesn’t take too much time and aggravation to post this, it’s time to go ashore and get my smile back.

Bob
Memories of Naked Fanny

I’m sending this to you because I know you want to do whatever you can to improve Carnival. I also know the “beard” will read this. (I’m sorry I’m probably posting this in the wrong place, but I couldn’t figure out where else to post… (I know Eric “the Beard” will probably move it to an appropriate place.)

Before I go, I want to make it clear that I’m not asking for anything for myself… I’m not asking for a refund… I’m not akin for free lifetime cruises to anywhere in the world… I’m not asking for anything like that. What I am asking is for Carnival to fix this. I am an engineer and I have designed satellite communications systems, so I know it can be better than this.

If nothing else, I can recommend a reasonable “flat fee” for unlimited internet use while on the ship. (The key here is reasonable).

Thank you for listening. Now back to some serious cruisin’ stuff.

See you on “The Bloggers Cruise”

Bob
Memories of Naked Fanny

John Says:
Hello Robert (Bob) Dennard,

First of all let me apologise for the delay in me replying to this post. As you may know I am a long way behind in answering my blog questions but I am glad I saw yours today. You know, I saw a similar complaint from a guest who wrote to me here a few days ago. He had been on the Oosterdam with Holland America and also had comments about the internet service onboard.

Indeed, I have shared your pain when writing blogs last year whilst on the Queen Victoria and the Nieuw Amsterdam and the sending of photos and text took forever. The entire industry you see is reliant on one satellite which is called MTN and the bandwidth it provides for multiple numbers of guests to use at one time means that it is slow. I can tell you that it’s not a Carnival issue as there as the shipboard internet prices are pretty standard throughout the industry. The problem is of course that unless technology leaps forward very quickly, there is unlikely to be a change anytime soon.

Regardless I will make sure someone important with a beard sees your posting and I thank you for taking the time to write it.

I hope you had a fun cruise

Best wishes
John

Chantelle K Asked:
John, (PLEASE REPLY)

I just read on cruise critic that the Inspiration is a training ship. Why was I not told about this when I booked the cruise. I called to cancel but they won’t let me. How can carnival get away with this? Please help.

John Says:
Hello Chantelle,

Judging by the fact that I am 6 weeks behind now in answering these questions I am thinking that you may have already cruised on the Carnival Inspiration and if you did or your about to I promise you will have a brilliant time. What you have read on Cruise Critic is not correct. Like many other Carnival ships, the Carnival Inspiration hosts two “colleges,” one for entertainment staff and one for floor supervisors. A cruise ship is certainly a unique job and we take these opportunities to train our personnel in the shipboard environment (FYI – other “colleges” are on other Carnival ships, i.e. the pursers college on Fascination, the housekeeping college on another ship). As in the case with all of our colleges, there no trainees are ever placed directly into guest areas. The same brilliant service levels that you will find on all our Carnival ships can and will be found on the Carnival Inspiration and the other ships that have colleges. I hope you have or had……………fun.

Best wishes
John

SIMON + 3 Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY,

Well I did it. I booked 2 cabins on the Magic in Europe in August and if we don’t have a good time I will blame you. My family (Molly age 8 and Marcus age 11) wanted to go on Disney but me and my wife have told them that we will have more fun with Carnival. No pressure John but this is because of your blog which I have started reading during the Splendor fire. You are an amazing writer and you should seriously write a book. I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next part. Since then I have not missed any of your blogs and so we have decided that our second ever cruise (first was on Princess) should be with you. So no pressure John. Thanks for the great blogs and we will see you in Barcelona.

John Says:
Hello Simon + 3,

No pressure………my arse. Seriously I am both thrilled and humbled by your kind words and I will do all I can to make sure that we exceed your expectations and that by the end of your cruise Molly and Marcus say “Micky who?”

They will love the water park, the rope swing course, the huge Camp Carnival play area while Mum and Dad enjoy a meal at The Cucina del Capitano and a drink at the RedFrog Pub. And of course there are the ports, the brilliant ports. So I will look forward to seeing you soon and if there is anything I can do please let me know.

Best wishes to all,
John

The Norlands Asked:

Reply

I need to organise all the mini bar items to be emptied from our cabin #6256 on the Valor March 5th. Also a table for 4 in the center of the lower level is my other request

John Says:
Hello The Norlands,

While I will be happy to ask the maitre d to assist with your table request I cannot do anything about the mini bar. This is a door here on the blog that I don’t want to open as once I do it for one I will have multiple requests which I won’t be able to manage. Please ask your stateroom steward and he or she will see if this is possible. Have a great cruise.

Best wishes
John

CruisinSue Asked:
Hi John and Heidi, Reply if you feel need

Thank you Heidi for the update. Was so nice of you to keep us posted.

John,
I hope you are feeling better soon. I just got over that kind of crud myself. Just take care of yourself and get well soon.

I am a bit late in acknowledging your kindness from late October. Mom and I were cruising on the Carnival Miracle along with my friends Don and Carolyn. A bit of a review, we thought Malcolm was hilarious. I had cruised with him as CD a couple of times and he is still as funny now as was then. Overall the cruise was really good. It was nice to be a part of the celebrations of CCL’s return to Aruba and Curacao. I spoke with some of the Island officials in the terminal and I could see the excitement on their faces. The welcome celebration and gifts from there were a nice touch. There were a couple of sea days than seemed a bit boring, but for someone like myself with 48 CCL cruises, I have done most of the activities. There were plenty of activities available, but it seemed I had done or seen them all. We still enjoyed all the shows and Malcolm’s silent comedy routing was hilarious as usual.

I want to thank you also for the nice gifts you sent and the photo. Mom was surprised and it made her feel really special to get a gift from the “man” himself. She was on the Freedom Grand Med cruise with us in 2007 and she and my step-dad thought you were terrific.

One more comment….I have read the comments about Jen as CD. I have never cruised with her, so as of now I have no opinion. I am booked on the Carnival Spirit on March 27 and noticed that she is the CD. I will let you know at the end of that one what I think of her…LOL I have only had one cruise that I thought the CD was not good. It was on the Fantasy several years ago and her name was Val. I don’t think she is CD with CCL any longer though. I hope you don’t mind, but I will have a dining seating request later. There is only 4 of us cruising but I don’t have final cabin numbers and such yet.

Please take care of yourself and enjoy your time home with the girls. I am going to miss the BC4 on the Glory, but I do hope to cruise with you again soon. Give hugs to the girls.

Gloria aka Sue

John Says:
Hello CrusinSue,

Thanks for that great review. I was very pleased to hear that you received a little something from me and that you had fun. I was very pleased to read that you enjoyed Malcolm as your CD and I will make sure he sees your words of praise. Carnival is so pleased to be going back to Aruba and Curacao and one day I hope to be back with you soon. Please let me know about Jen and your cruise in March and I am sure you will have a brilliant time. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Best wishes,
John

Violet Roussel Asked:
Dear John,

My husband and I are booked on our 3rd Carnival cruise on the Glory leaving Miami for the Western Caribbean on March 20, 2011

Recent past cruiser reviews have left me with serious concerns and doubts about the Glory. I have noted that you will be cruising on the Glory in February 2011. Please help put my concerns to rest. The reports of sagging lumpy beds and bad shows have me wanting to run to RCCL!! Thank you……..

John Says:
Hello Violet Roussel,

May I kindly ask where did you read these reports? Wherever you did I promise you that they are incorrect. I am sure there are many here who have cruised on the ship and can tell you the brilliant time they had. However, one thing is certain. Opinions are based on individual thoughts and should not be the basis of you worrying if or not you will have a great time. Just go on there with an open mind and I promise you will have a great time. Please let me know what you think when you get home.

Best wishes
John

Amy O Asked:
John reply please before my cruise starts!!! Urgent !!

I want to reserve a table for 2 for me and my boy friend. We are in the cabin 1427 on the Dream on 26 Feb.!!

Amy O

John Says:
Hello Amy O,

I was very pleased to get this from you before you sail. Yep, it pleased me a lot and I asked the Maitre D saying please, please, please can you organise a table for Amy O please. Have a wonderful cruise and please please please tell me all about it when you get home if you please.

Best wishes
John

Joe Kyle & the Polecat Asked:
Please Reply

Joe & Brenda Kyle and Pat & Bill Fairbanks just returned on the Carnival Conquest going to the Eastern Caribbean. As always, we just love the ship and crew on the Conquest.

We missed the new number one desert Crème Brulee that is served ONLY on the first night sailing. This is the night everyone goes after the “warm melting chocolate cake” but our Matrade, Hatem, came to our rescue and asked the chef to prepare each of us one on our last evening and it was great!

I was surprised when I went to the internet café and typed in http://www.carnival.com which has free access; BUT, when I tried to click on the link to your blog I was informed that since that it is a “personal blog” and I would have to log in and pay to read it. Shame on you Carnival! I decided to save my money for the casino and read the blogs when I returned home. Sorry to hear you have not been well while we were out having fun at sea.

What happened to the comment cards at the end of the cruise? We did not get the chance to brag about JJ our room steward, Hatem, Watson, Virgil and June in our dining room and Bojana who kept our drinks form the bar coming, along with Andrew and Tere the ship shoppers, and Audrey, Valantini and Santosh in the gift shop. There were several others but forgot to write down their names. Each of these folks went out of their way to make us feel like we were the only ones on the ship!

See you on the Magic Nov. 14th. Will there be any fanfare in Galveston on the 12th or 13th that we four (4) can join in? PLEASE REPLY

John Says:
Hello Joe Kyle and the Polecat:

If you could see me now you would see a huge smile on my face as the memories of our time on stage together return. I am so glad you had fun and that the Crème Brulee was a feature thanks to Hatem. I will make sure that he and the others you mentioned receive your words of praise. The comment cards or review cards are now sent on line and if you checked the box about receiving e mail on your booking form you may have gotten one. If not please let me know. I will see you soon and be prepared for a repeat performance.

Best wishes to all
John

That’s all for today.

So here I am in a hotel room that looks exactly like the other dozen or so hotel rooms I have stayed in these past few months. Honestly, I love my Brand Ambassador role but I really, really need to be a cruise director again……….. and soon…………..so roll on your Carnival Magic.

I am in Miami now until Thursday when I shall fly to Grand Cayman to join the Carnival Glory for the bloggers cruise number 4. Later today I shall drive down I-95 and if I make it off there alive I will head to NW 87th Avenue and Carnival’s HQ to finalise everything with Eric and Everett the Beards and the 344 Stephanies.

The problem is that after being on the Carnival Splendor where I was surrounded by shipmates and 1,200 travel agents, some of whom were sponsored by Budweiser….….here in Miami …… I am pretty much alone. Take last night for example. I left the Carnival office and drove the 15 miles back to my hotel. Three hours later I arrived having realised again that Miami drivers have yet to discover the things on their cars called indicators.

So after eating a room service burger that with fries and tax cost the same as dinner at our steakhouse I decided to watch a pay per view movie. No……I did not……how dare you suggest I watched Hot Latvian Rumpy Pumpy 4……..because I didn’t………I’ve see it.

No, instead I thought I would watch something called Knight and Day……a good action movie with fighting, explosions and death and destruction……and maybe a glimpse of Cameron Diaz’s knockers. But it was a load of utter bollocks and proof positive that we are living in a woman’s world and there is no greater example of this than Hollywood’s continuing down wood spiral as they make films about kissing, love and other vomit inducing subjects.

In days gone by, we had Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, John Wayne……real men who didn’t cry ……they shot you in the head before climbing into their Mustang or climbing on their Mustang and drove, or rode off, into the sunset to have rumpy pumpy with anyone they wanted.

Who’s their modern-day equivalent? There’s nobody. Segal has smoked his own underpants and is now making a reality show about being a sherriff………which if you haven’t seen you must ……….it is surely the funniest show on TV. Schwarzenegger is a retired Govenator. Gibson (the idiot) is too busy pissing off everyone and Stallone who is now aged 103 is about a believable an action figure as Judge sodding Judy. And in this Knight and Day movie I watched, I’m expected to believe that a dwarf like Tom Cruise could knock someone out with a single blow from his hair product.

Well, one of the things I have had to do is to talk to the senior beards in entertainment about a joke a comedian told while I was on the Carnival Freedom two weeks or so ago. The person who wrote a letter to someone very senior was complaining about a joke which was said at the Punchliner comedy club during the Uncensored/Adults Only show at midnight. Now I am sharing this with you because I was asked my opinion as to whether I thought this to be offensive or not and honestly…………I don’t know.

You see, comedy is a very difficult subject to write about and performing it is truly very difficult. I mean, you know you are going to offend someone…..fat, thin, black, white, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim…….it’s virtually impossible not to offend especially when you have the security blanket that a Uncensored show rating brings.

Now I am going to share the joke with you and just in case there are some people who think that I shouldn’t ……well my apologies in advance but this is a subject so worthy of discussion. Anyway, here is the joke as said by one of the Punchliner comedians during the Uncensored comedy show on the Carnival Freedom.

A Muslim man was arrested today by the NYPD for walking with a sheep through Times Square. When questioned he said it was Islam and he could do what he wanted.

OK, I softened the language up because in the joke the man was not walking with the sheep. But regardless it was a play on words……Hislamb…………..Islam.

So one man out of the 400 present complained. And I can sort of understand why. But should we tell this comedian he can never tell this joke ever again and if so if I make a fat joke about myself and someone gets upset should I not tell that joke anymore. And when eventually……….and it will happen……the French Tourist Board find my blogs and threaten me with guillotine unless I stop……….should I comply? What are your thoughts on this?

By the way, if you want true comedy you should come to my hotel room which has a toilet so low down I might as well be crapping on the floor. And I need a block and tackle to heave my large white arse up again. My thanks to the designers who have not only built a toilet inches off the ground but have placed a full length mirror on the back of the bathroom door so you can watch yourself doing so.

Goodnight.

Your friend,
John

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.