Jaime’s Pride

March 31, 2011 -

John Heald

Here in her own words is what happened on the Carnival Pride.

March 31st, 2011

Dear John,

I am sure you are absolutely delighted to be receiving play by play reports of the Kirk and Jaime saga as of lately.  Even though it may seem like I am trying to boost Kirk into a position to take over for Regis on the Regis & Kelly Show (I mean they ARE practically the same age).  I think the truth is, we really miss you, we don’t want you to be lonely since you are going to be parting from your lovely ladies soon and… after such a long stint with no Dear John letters, I think that it is time to start refilling my imaginary quota.   We have had quite a few exciting events to share within the recent days, and even more of an action packed past 24 hours to share!

As you know, having a few hours to get off the ship and enjoy a port is a special treat that all crew members eagerly await.  Yesterday, while docked in Port Canaveral, Florida Kirk and I had the opportunity to enjoy one of my all time favorite excursions – the Wal-Mart Tour :-).  We stocked up with groceries and toiletries for the next few weeks.  We purchased the bare essentials – Fiber One bars, pita chips and shampoo.  It is not like when I was YOUR Asst. Cruise Director and I had to get sugar-free candies, hemorrhoid creams and the latest edition of COSMO.   As Kirk and I returned from our shopping expedition (which Kirk definitely LOVES and never complains about at all) we found extremely windy conditions and gloomy skies overhead.   The time was approximately 5:40 pm and we wanted to get back on board as quickly as possible to prepare for the evening activities, the shows and the Rockin’ Under the Stars (which were slightly covered by clouds) Deck Party.  Unfortunately this desire became merely impossible when an 85+ knot gust of wind pushed the ship away from the pier.

First instinct:  Ensure that no one was injured.  I am happy to report that not one single guest or crew member was injured. Thank goodness.   The next challenge would be getting the 460 guests and 57 crew members that were still on land onto the ship.

The goal was to get everyone on board as quickly as possible and get ready to sail.  As assistant cruise director, I felt it was my duty to make sure the guests who were waiting to board the ship were OK and reassure them that we were going to board as quickly as we could.  I thought about calling a taxi to return to Wal-Mart to fill up with SPAM and Pop-Tarts, but no one else thought that was funny!  How soon is too soon?

I informed the ever so patient, friendly and delightful group of guests about the incident  and I was happy to report no one was injured and we would all be back on board as soon as humanly possible.  The vast majority of the people waiting recognized me from the ship and thanked me so much for keeping them informed.  They were grateful that no one was injured.  But there is always someone who chooses to be a spoil sport regardless of the situation.  This time it was a fifteen-year-old girl with her arms crossed who yelled to me “I am cold, I am hungry and when are we going to get to Nassau?!?!”  Initially, I wanted to laugh, since we had recently left Baltimore which was about 30 degrees, and now we were standing in Florida where it was 65 degrees.  I delicately put my hand on her shoulder and calmly explained I was hungry too, I offered to give her a dollar for the vending machine, and then I told her we were going to worry about getting back on board first, and then we will figure out our arrival into Nassau.

We all waited outside in the slowly dropping temperature before security allowed us to board the vessel.  By now, it was about 7:45pm, security had been reestablished, and all of the crew waited until all the guests were through security before we were screened.  As guests returned to the ship, people lined the outer decks applauding their return.  That was quite endearing and a wonderful sight to see.

All guests and crew made it back on board safe and sound.  Of course there are always a fair share of upset guests, this was one of the highlights from the incident report:

______ called and stated that he extremely upset as Captain and Cruise Director are lying to the gst’s. As the announcements that they were making regarding the latest updates are all lies. Gst was in the group of people that  were not able to come back on ship as due to strong winds ship had moved away from the pier. Mr. _______ used curse words to demand that GSM calls him immediately and provide some kind of compensation. Gst was advised that his comments will be documented and one of GS supervisors will contact him.

The evening’s entertainment proceeded as usual, including activities, show time, deck party, and it was after deck party at 12:15am the entertainment team noticed – we were still attached to the pier.  Apparently when the ship drifted away it was necessary to lower the anchor.   The anchor was now having mechanical problems and could not be raised properly to its correct position.  Captain Garuccio, Chief Engineer Antonelli, Staff Chief Engineer Gargiulo, and Staff Captain Bovino, worked hours and hours to repair this issue.  The ship’s Senior Officers, including Hotel Director Renil and of course Kirk, were all on the bridge until 6:15am this morning when the ship finally set sail from Port Canaveral.  In my opinion, all of these gentlemen, as well as the port agents, are all true heroes in this situation.

As I write to you now, it is 2:45pm, and we’re on our way to Freeport where we will overnight.   Good friends and hilarious comedians Kim Harrison and Lewis Nixon have just flown from Nassau to Freeport to join us for the back half of the cruise.  What an exciting adventure.  Since the length of this Dear John letter in comparable to a second edition of Moby Dick, I will sign off for now.  9 more days until my vacation begins, I will be here sailing with Kirk on the Pride for two weeks before we head back to San Diego!

Wishing you all the best,

Your Friends =)

Kirk and Jaime

PS:  THERE IS NO BUN IN THE OVEN!  Why are you calling me fat!?

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.