Two Jugs Of Milk

March 10, 2011 -

John Heald

Yesterday I went to London to meet with a lovely lady from Carnival UK called Carly who had asked me to do a welcome video for their new UK website which will be up and running in April. This was followed by an interview with a lovely lady called Sue Bryant from a British national newspaper called The Daily Telegraph. She has also written for Cruise Critic UK and is not only a brilliant writer but an expert on travel, cruising and Turkish wine. Anyway, there I was in London so after the interview I walked back over Tower Bridge, past the Tower of London where the crown jewels and Prince Charles’ bollocks are kept and that’s when I saw something strange.

I saw a long line for one of those old fashioned red British phone boxes. Why, I thought, are people lining up to use a phone box? Everyone has a cell phone these days. And why is the Japanese woman who’s actually using it not using it at all? She was half in and half out, with two fingers in the air doing the Winston Churchill victory salute.

It was then that I realised that she was a tourist posing for a photograph in the only slice of olde worlde England she could find. And what’s more, all the people behind her were also tourists queuing to have their pictures taken with it as well. This made me quite sad.

How far have they travelled, I wondered? And how much have they spent on this journey to one of the greatest cities in the world? And this…… this urine stained red phone box is the only evidence that they were in London at all.

Heidi, Kye and I live about 60 miles from London and with me travelling so much we never seem to go. So yesterday I was drawn to the fact that London had really changed. The policemen have replaced their tit shaped helmets and cheery demeanour with body armour and machine guns, no one is allowed to feed the pigeons in Trafalgar Square and the absolute last language you will hear spoken in London……………….is English. Even my taxi driver had the letters “ski” at the end of his name.

I got the impression that if some banker-type bloke actually walked around Piccadilly Circus wearing a bowler hat swinging an umbrella he’d be mobbed by a mob of Japanese tourists armed to the teeth with Eyephones.

And sodding heck……….it’s bloody expensive as well. Heidi and Kye were with me yesterday and we went to Harrods to show Kye the huge and very impressive toy department at Harrods. Building up a thirst after telling Kye that she couldn’t have the £700 ($1100) rocking horse, we went to the tea room there. And I kid you not………tea for two and some cucumber sandwiches and some little cream cakes cost £39……….that’s $63. That is not a misprint. That’s $63 sodding dollars. I just served 200 bloggers…………….yes I did serve them………..tea time on the Carnival Glory and the cakes and sandwiches were better by far…………..and free. Harrods my arse. I didn’t leave the waiter a tip……………..I left him a cucumber sandwich.

London is now further away from its image than any other city in the world. The postcards still paint a picture of the day when Britannia ruled, but the reality is a city where tourists are greeted at reception by a Romanian and shown to their room by someone from Poland. I am not being racist here……….I realise that it might sound like I am and I promise I am not. It’s just that neither my taxi driver, my waiter, the train station announcer nor the people on the street had that Cockney accent that used to be what London was all about. You are more likely to hear ” ‘salam Aleikum ” than ” ello govner “.

Coming to London now is a bit like tuning in to an episode of The Antiques Road Show to find it’s being hosted by Richard Simmons……….in a pink thong. It’s not wrong…………..it’s just not what anyone is expecting.

Sill, we have the Royal Wedding to remind the rest of the world that nobody pomps and circumstances like us Brits. But that could be bollocks as well because I haven’t met anyone who is “counting down the days” to April 29.

The Government here have now said that everyone will have a day off work when Willy and Katie get married. Now they may have the notion that the streets will be lined with flag-waving people who want to wish the couple all the best in the hope that Will doesn’t sneak out of the royal bed at 2:00am to have rumpy pumpy with a woman who looks like a horse. They may be right, I am sure there will be many thousands lining the streets waving tiny British flags but I bet most of those will be tourists because everyone I have spoken to here intends to sleep in, go down the pub, get drunk and maybe watch the highlights on the news later that night.

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

Charlene Perry Asked:

John. I demand a reply. Why is Carnival the only cruise ships that doesn’t allow someone under the age of 21 to be in a cabin with somebody who is 21 years old? You call yourselves the party boats but you don’t want party people on who will spend money. I am really mad cause my friends and I wanted to cruise but were told no and so now we are going to Cancume. instead. You lose.

John Says:
Hello Charlene Perry,

You ask a really good question and I can understand why you are so upset. The fact of the matter is that while I am sure you and your friends are upstanding and well behaved, I am sorry to report that this cannot be said for many young people your age. I have spent many years at sea before this rule was enforced and each year I dreaded spring break when groups of 20 year olds would be four to a cabin and would cause so much damage in and around the ship. I could tell you many stories of the things I saw and eventually Carnival realized what a detrimental effect this was having on the other guests. And so, the rule was changed where any groups of younger people who wanted to sail must have someone of 25 or older in the cabin unless they were married….and this has made a huge difference. I hope you have a wonderful spring break in Cancume.

Best wishes

John

Nadine V Asked:
Hi John! (PLEASE REPLY)

There is a Cruise Director we sailed with many years ago called Dave. He was British like you and used to say the word tinker a lot. He was very funny and we wondered if he was still with Carnival.

Hope to sail with you one day.

Thanks,

Nadine

John Says:
Hello Nadine V,

You are talking about the incomparable Dave Armor who sadly passed away 5 years or so ago. He really was as you said very funny and a true gentleman of the stage. We all miss him very much.

I hope we get the chance to sail together soon.

Best wishes,

John

Judi Mkam Asked:

Somehow I was dropped from the blog when you switched blog hosts, but alas, I have found you. Reading your posts helps me by, a) providing at least one chuckle a day which assists me with coping with my current plateful (you don’t want to go there, and b) helps increase my anticipation and excitement for our upcoming cruise on the Carnival Magic’s May 10th Mediterranean cruise. My husband and I have chosen to celebrate our 25th anniversary with you (our first Carnival cruise was 20+ years ago right after Hurricane Andrew decimated South Florida!) We’ve enjoyed cruises on almost every major cruise line but the itinerary for this trip fulfills a lifelong dream of mine. I booked this trip for us immediately after losing my dad this past July. Not only did I need something positive to look forward to, but I didn’t want to reach the age of 92, like my dad did, and still be saying maybe next year, as my dad had. So I have been spending much time researching the ports, the tours and getting info from both Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic. I’ve met friends to share our excursions with and am so looking forward to having you as our CD!! The only question left was whether to do the Steak House or the Chef’s Table? There are so few sea days that I figure that if we did both we’d lose an elegant night, and I do love them. So after weighing the pros and cons (could there really be any cons? Well maybe only that for the steak house one chooses the night and for the chef’s table we are assigned the night) I would like to splurge on the chef’s table. We will be in room 11231 and are hoping that you could arrange this special evening for us.

Thank you,

Judi & Mike Mkam
Bob Aulgur

John Says:
Hello Bob Aulgur,

Even though this was a Chef’s Table request, I wanted to post this because it was written with so much passion that I wanted everyone to read it. I am looking forward to meeting you on your Carnival Magic soon and because there is nobody on board until April, I can’t take any Chef’s Table bookings until April 10th when I will remind everyone who wants them to re-send them here on the blog. I am sorry to you and everyone else who has made them already but I will promise to honour them once you send them again next month. I will also be telling everyone when the elegant nights are, etc.

Thanks so much for the kind words about the blog thingy and if there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes to you and the family.

John

Drychi Asked:

My wife and I just returned from our 1/1/11 cruise on Carnival Dream. I have posted a review of our experiences on Cruise Critic which should be published in the next few days. We had a wonderful time on the ship and found it to be in good condition. It was a nice start to our 20th anniversary year.
The reason I am writing to you is to thank you for the information you gave me about the thermal suite and the thalassotherapy pool. I followed it, got the weekly pass, and it added to my enjoyment of the cruise as I have some problems with arthritis in my joints.

I also wanted to commend several crew members to you by name and hope that you will pass my comments on to the appropriate persons on the Dream. We were seated in the Scarlett Dining Room – Table 505- Early Seating. Our waiter: I Nyoman and Asst. Waiter Chayaya were friendly, efficient, and worked very hard to give us a pleasant dining experience. They handled any of our requests quickly and efficiently with a “can do” attitude which was impressive and a credit to their ship. I would also like to commend Areeya, our bar steward, for her prompt and courteous service throughout the voyage. She always had my diet coke waiting at the beginning of the meal and always checked again to re-fill it as needed without being asked. I would also like to commend the Behind the Fun Tour host Melito, just call me Mel. He was a trainer who had just been on the Dream a short time, but he was very informative and conducted our tour with grace and humor. Despite his relative short time on the Dream, you could tell by the way the crew treated him on the tour that he had made friends quickly.

The Behind the Fun Tour is a wonderful tour. It really brings home to you the many people on board who work very hard to create the Dream experience for those passengers on the upper decks. They were all friendly and genuinely seemed proud to see us in their workspaces and living quarters taking an interest in their activities. We applauded them at every stop and told them how much we appreciated their hard work on our behalf. I wish I could commend them all by name as I did with the above employees I saw every day. I hope this program is expanded to as many people as possible; it is a very interesting and valuable experience for those who love ships, the sea, and cruising. I suggested to “Mel” that participation in this program should be a part of the revamped loyalty rewards for frequent Carnival cruisers.

Sorry for the length of these comments, hope you will continue to produce your great blog for many more years and will give these employee comments to the proper persons.

Bob and Linda Aulgur

John Says:

Hello Bob and Linda Aulgur,

And thanks again for this great review of your Carnival Dream cruise. I have made sure that everyone you wrote about has received a copy of this so that they can see your words of praise, I know they will be thrilled. The Behind the Fun tour is a huge highlight for many and your review will I am sure persuade many to take it.

Thanks again for taking the time to write and I will see you on your Carnival Magic.

Best wishes to you both.

John

Hank Suster Asked:
Reply John,

I don’t know how you find the time, John, I really don’t. How do you manage to spout off so much garbage on a daily basis? Your parents must be so proud!!! Looks like your smoking debate will be re-opened after P&O’s decision to make three of their ships smoke free in all inside areas. Carnival and you must know that smokers bring death upon themselves and others and have no more right to be on a cruise ship then a pack of rats and as a cigar lover yourself you then are the leader of the rats. You should be ashamed

John Says:
Hello Hank Suster,

I was not aware of P & O’s new smoking rules, so thanks for telling me about them. The smoking rules that Carnival has at the moment are designed to try and accommodate both smokers and non-smokers but I realise it remains a controversial subject.

By the way………..it’s a horde………..not a pack…………..of rats.

Best wishes,

John

Jackie H Asked:
John, (Please reply….Time Sensitive)

I need an immediate reply as I am sailing on March 13th on Splendor. I want to get a table for 4 not with other passengers. We are in cabin 1377 and 1391. The waiter MUST speak Spanish as my parents speak no English so we will have to have a server who speaks Spanish. This did not happen on the Paradise and it was very upsetting. Can you e-mail me with confirmation as soon as you get this.

John Says:
Hello Jackie H,

I am sorry for the delay in replying to this but I am way behind in my replies. I have asked the ship for help and they will do their best to give you a table for 4 and provide you with a Spanish speaking waiter. Io wisho youo ando youro parentso a bueno cruiseo.

Besto Wisheso,

John

PS – How do you say “please” in Spanish………..I can’t remember?

Juju75 Asked:
Hi John!

This is a random message. I am looking into booking a cruise for the first time. It is my husband and my 15yr anniversary and our daughter’s 13th birthday. I saw your blog tab and noticed your last name. My maiden name is Heald. Just find it ironic. Wonder if our bloodline is connected somewhere??

John Says:
Hello Juju75,

Indeed it would be ironic. Our name is not very common and I have only ever met one Heald passenger who cruised with me on their Carnival Dream. It would be great to trace our family history and see if we are related. Are you rich? If you are, then I am your cousin……………hello.

I hope you booked that cruise and hope we get to meet one day soon.

Best wishes,

John

Sue Alaimo Asked:
Please Reply John,

I woke up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea….
Wouldn’t it be great if Carnival coordinated the repositioning cruises in 2012 so that the different cruises could go B2B.

For example: Carnival Breeze does the TA crossing to Florida (that’s the first leg). Once the Breeze arrives in the USA , the ship going to replace the Spirit in CA (the Breeze or another ship) leaves FL and heads to Calif. (either through the Panama Canal or around South America). This is the second leg. Once that ship arrives in Calif, then the Carnival Spirit leaves for Australia (the third leg). And then there’s another cruise to Australia (to see the area). Most people would book only 1 leg, but I think a lot of cruisers would be interested in booking 2 or more legs. Maybe they could promote it as a “Two Ocean Crossing Cruise” (or something like that) and offer some type of discount for booking multiple legs.

That would be a cruise of a lifetime!!!

We have talked about doing something like this in 10 years or so, but if Carnival does this in 2012, we are all over it! (We’d rather do it on the Carnival ships.)
Please pass this idea on to the beards.

Thanks.

John Says:
Hello Sue Alaimo,

Wow, usually when I wake up in the middle of the night it’s because the smell from my own bottom has woken me or Heidi has pulled all the covers off me. You wake up with thoughts of Carnival cruises and this great idea. It certainly would be a wonderful cruise and I have sent this to the beards. Who knows…………….one day this dream may become reality.

Thanks for taking the time to write and anytime you wake up with another thought like this, please let me know.

Best wishes,

John

Cindy B Asked:
Hi John,

I love your blog and all you do for everyone. Even though I have been reading the blog for years, this is my first experience with asking a question or favor. My entire family sailed with you on Our Carnival Dream 3/6/10 and you and Stinky Creek were too much fun!! My husband and I are booked for our 8th (Spirit 4/1/11) & 9th (Valor 5/29/11) Carnival cruise. I have a special favor to ask. We are going with my sister and brother-in-law on the Sprit (4/1/11) to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. We celebrated their 40th anniversary on the Carnival Victory in 2011. I am hoping that you will be able to have something special set-up for them (a little gift or something) to help them celebrate. They will be in stateroom 7182. Thank you in advance and Happy Carnival Sailing To All.

John Says:
Hello Cindy B,

Yes, of course, it would be my pleasure to help celebrate that wonderful celebration. I will need their name of cabin number so maybe as it’s close to sailing, if you could post that information either here marked TIME SENSITIVE or on Facebook.

Stinking Creek will remain one of my most favourite cruises………ever.

Thanks for all the kind words.

Best wishes,

John

Tami Stillson Asked:
John please reply

Can you tell me how many female Cruise Directors you have as it seems Carnival is biased towards hiring only male ones?

John Says:
Hello Tami Stillson,

Good question. Currently we have: Jen Baxter, Risa Barnes and Stephanie Meads. Tori is retiring very soon. So while we are not biased in any way, I promise, there are definitely more men than women Cruise Directors. I wonder if this is the same statistic across the industry? This may change soon at Carnival, though, as we have some brilliant young ladies working with us who one day I am sure will be great CD’s. Are you interested in the position, Tami?

Best wishes,

John

That’s all for today and I will be back with more here on the blog thingy tomorrow and on Facebook later today.

Just before we talk about your Carnival Magic, let’s do the news and we start with putting to bed a rumour that three people have asked me about today on Facebook and here on the blog. It all has to do with Pizza and this link thingy they sent me.

And so I thought I had better reply now rather than have to do so multiple times in the days ahead; so here is the official answer from a senior beard……..she said:

“There was a special arrangement made for a recent music-themed full ship charter for cabin pizza delivery for a $4 charge. This was done by special request specifically for this charter and is not something we are planning to implement on our regular cruises.”

There you go………..but the person who posted that rumor does ask a good question………….would you pay? And we could do a great job delivering it………..we already have the uniform……………..the Entertainment Staff uniform is rather Dominoes……….isn’t it?

Now let’s talk about fuel surcharges as that is another question I am currently being asked a heck of a lot here and on Facebook. There is no doubt that the current situation in Libya is dreadful and Colonel Sheen………I mean Colonel Gaddafi is stark raving bonkers. This morning I saw a news story on the BBC about alleged war crimes committed in a small town outside of the capital, Tripoli. This is the heart of the story but obviously it’s the oil price that has everyone worried. Please, though, don’t let me hear any moans about petrol prices………here in the UK it costs $8 per gallon. Anyway, to answer everyone’s question………..I am not aware of any immediate plans to bring back the fuel surcharge and I hope that this remains the case. However, it looks like things over in the Middle East are going to get worse………..before they get better.

Now Mazatlan is another question that I have been answering a lot about on Facebook. And so as we continue to look carefully at this situation we have for the meantime cancelled the call for the next cruises for the Carnival Spirit. Here then are the new itineraries.

REVISED SAILING 3/11/11 – Carnival Spirit

  • 3/11/11 Fri SPIRIT SAN DIEGO, CA 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
  • 3/12/11 Sat SPIRIT “FUN DAY” AT SEA At Sea At Sea
  • 3/13/11 Sun SPIRIT “FUN DAY” AT SEA At Sea At Sea
  • 3/14/11 Mon SPIRIT MANZANILLO, MEXICO 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • 3/15/11 Tue SPIRIT PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO 7:00 AM 4:30 PM
  • 3/16/11 Wed SPIRIT CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO 9:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • 3/17/11 Thu SPIRIT LA PAZ, MEXICO 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • 3/18/11 Fri SPIRIT CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO 7:00 AM 3:00 PM
  • 3/19/11 Sat SPIRIT “FUN DAY” AT SEA At Sea At Sea
  • 3/20/11 Sun SPIRIT SAN DIEGO, CA 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
  • REVISED SAILING 3/20/11 – Carnival Spirit
  • Date Day Ship Port – City(Port), Nation Arrive Depart
  • 3/20/11 Sun SPIRIT SAN DIEGO, CA 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
  • 3/21/11 Mon SPIRIT “FUN DAY” AT SEA At Sea At Sea
  • 3/22/11 Tue SPIRIT CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • 3/23/11 Wed SPIRIT CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • 3/24/11 Thu SPIRIT LA PAZ, MEXICO 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • 3/25/11 Fri SPIRIT “FUN DAY” AT SEA At Sea At Sea
  • 3/26/11 Sat SPIRIT “FUN DAY” AT SEA At Sea At Sea
  • 3/27/11 Sun SPIRIT SAN DIEGO, CA 8:00 AM 4:00 PM

The Carnival Splendor has also canceled the call at Mazatlan and they now have two days in Cabo San Lucas instead. Let’s see what the future holds for Mazatlan and Mexico in general and I will keep you informed as best I can.

So all looks good for the grand unveiling of our new blog format on Monday and I am very excited about that for sure.

Let’s talk about your Carnival Magic which is currently undergoing her sea trials in Italy and the Master of our flagship sent me a brief e mail. Here it is:

Ciao John,

I am sorry if I could not send this before but we have been very busy with the first and very successful sea trial.

Here attached please find some pictures taken while the baby is in the dry dock in Trieste and one picture which is very unique, with Captain Chiarella.

Hope to see you soon; we will go back to the sea for the 2nd and final sea trial on March 17th to 20th.

See you soon, and very best regards to your bloggers.

Giovanni Cutugno

Thanks, Captain, for the update and I can’t wait to join you. Now, let’s see the photographs he was talking about. Here they are:


The last one of all the officers in white uniform has Captain Cutugno as a young officer. He is on the end of the front row on the left-hand side. He hasn’t changed a bit. I will be posting a full interview with the Captain very soon.

I was talking about London at the start of today’s blog and you won’t believe what one of the trends here is now………………are you ready for this………..it surely has to come from the States…………….yep………………it’s ice cream made from breast milk……………..human breast milk.

Why would anyone want to lick a cone full of milk that some woman has squeezed out of her knockers like squeezing water out of a pair of old socks. Why would anyone say…..”No……….I won’t have the Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey…….give me two scoops of Bev and Jenny’s Raspberry Nipple, please.”

Then again……….Megan Fox…………….mmmm………..if she decided to give her milk, then I would be up for that. As long as I can drink straight from the bottle!

See you over on Facebook.

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

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

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