A LITTLE TEASER ABOUT YOUR LOYALTY

November 3, 2011 -

John Heald

I am feeling very, very grumpy today. It all started with a movie I ordered on the TV in my hotel room last night. No, it didn’t involve Latvian women doing naughty things with a man called Foot Long Tom…….I have seen that one already…….twice. What got me hopping mad was that I ordered a movie called Margin Call about the debt crisis. I was hoping that this movie was going to give me an insight into how AIG spent all my savings at lap dancing clubs and that the movie would show the bastards all losing their jobs and living in a box under a bridge. So I settled down to watch some fine acting from Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons when twenty minutes into the movie it froze. Bugger!

I called the front desk and Jose told me that as it was late (10:50pm); there was nobody “on property” who could fix the system. So that was stage one of my bad mood. Stage two came when I checked my bill and found that despite Jose’s promise that I wouldn’t be charged for the movie that $14.95 plus tax had still been charged to me. I called and spoke to Jose’s brother JoseB and he promised it would be taken care of. So far it hasn’t been.

You know, life is indeed full of dangers and none of those dangers are as terrifying as driving in Miami on a road called I-95.I know I have mentioned this a lot in the last few days but living in Miamio as I have these past few weeks has me waking up each morning knowing that I am about to stare death in the face. Now we Brits have this image of the average American driver. They are wearing cowboy hats and boots and drive cars the size of a small African country. This is based on TV programs we all watched as kids. The one I will always remember watching is Frank Cannon who drove a car longer than the street we lived in.

This image does not apply however to I-95 where the pleasant amicable driver in the cowboy hat turns into a machine gun-wielding maniac. This is mostly applicable when you try and turn off I-95 when your exit suddenly appears. In the UK we are overly efficient and signs will tell you your exit is 79 miles ahead and on I-95 the sign tells you “Turn now you bloody idiot, it’s here.” Now, God forbid that you are in the wrong lane and you indicate to move over because the fierce creature that is gripping the steering wheel with its claws will not slow down and will not let you in. If you dare try and move over regardless you will be treated to a symphony of horn blowing and a varied number of hand gestures some of which to this day I do not understand. This morning was even worse. I had managed to get off I-95 without being shot or damaging my Dodge Journey rent a car but then I had to turn off 87th into a plaza to get a coffee at Starbucks. I guess I positioned my car incorrectly at the cross over junction thingy because I was subjected to a volley of abuse from the driver who was trying to cross over the other way. He leant on his car horn and started to stick one finger in the air at me. As we crossed he made a gesture that involved him making a cutting symbol under his chin. What a charming man.

So that was me in a grumpy mood and then the fun really began.
Let me ask you a question. Why is it these days so sodding difficult to order a cup of coffee? It should be simple but it isn’t. It should take only a few words but it doesn’t. What should happen is I say, “Can I have a skimmed milk cappuccino please?” and the coffee person to say, “Yes sir. That will be $5 please.”

But that only happens in dream world…….These days you have to reserve 30 minutes or more for the interrogation that you have to go through. This morning at Starbucks I felt like I had been cross examined by a high profile lawyer.

My first mistake was not saying what sixe of cappuccino I wanted and rather than say “What size do you want?” she went and narrated each of them, small, grande and bloody huge. Then came the up selling and I stood at the counter explaining wearily that, no, I didn’t want any muffins, pastries or a toasted f*****g bagel.”

And then just when I thought the Spanish Inquisition was over she asked me “Do you have a loyalty card?”

A loyalty card? For a bloody coffee? Would you like to join today, then? No, I wouldn’t and if you don’t serve me my cappuccino I will take one of those muffins and place it somewhere that will instantly turn it into a chocolate one.

I am all for great service, of course, I am but there are times and there are places that I think back to the days when you would be served by someone who would say nothing and indeed would be rather rude and obtuse. But today, as I stood in my bad mood waiting for my cappuccino and saying no to loyalty cards and breakfast sandwiches that I longed for a place where service comes with nothing but a rude and flippant shrug and where the customer is looked on as an inconvenience. And then I realised…………….I needed to move to France.

Times for today’s questions………here we go.

ANNABELLE KENNEDY asked:
Hi John:

After sailing 28 YEARS on Carnival I am wanting to ask about the “the loyalty program” I see people have sent comments and the “beards” have asked questions but where do I go to see what changes or questions are being asked? I have no problems with what we have now-just treat me like I have always been treated and given the service I enjoy so much. Seems some people are never happy—just keep Carnival “my home away from home.”

John says:
Hello Annabelle Kennedy,

Your comment shows perfect timing as I am meeting with the chap in charge of the program this afternoon. I will make sure he sees your comment in my meeting with him. Thanks so much for your loyalty and I hope we see you on board very soon.

Best wishes.

John

Becky Morrison asked:
Hi John,

Love the blog! I found it very interesting & informative as I prepared for my very first cruise – Carnival Elation, 8/27/11. My mother & I had a fabulous time! Cory Rogers was a fantastic cruise director! Loved the shows! We thoroughly enjoyed the enthusiasm and humor from the Entertainment Staff – Stephanie, Caitlin, and “Showtime” and “Irish George” certainly love their jobs! They were great! Sherwin and Edgardo took good care of us each night in the Inspiration Dining Room – they were absolutely terrific! We loved the Behind the Fun tour – everyone was so kind! We experienced the perfect vacation! We can’t wait to cruise again – next time, we’re bringing the whole family!

John says:
Hello Becky Morrison,

I am now smiling like a Cheshire cat. What a wonderful review and I am very excited that this cruise made such an impression on you that you are going to come back with the whole family. I will be sure to pass on to the ship and all those you mentioned what a wonderful job you thought they did and they of course will be thrilled. Thanks again and if there is anything I can do before you all sail again please let know.

Best wishes.

John

Martyn N asked:
John,

I feel very offended by your comments today about Christian Scientology. I have been a proud member for 11 years and I am a Carnival customer having sailed three times in the previous four years. If you took your time to discover that Scientology can help with mental constraints including but not limited to emotional scarring then you would not be so quick to judge. Scientology is a religion and therefore you should afford it the same courtesy as you would Judaism or Catholicism. Thank you!

John says:
Hello Martyn N,

I have to say that I am totally flabbergasted by this post as at no time can I remember writing about Scientology at all and certainly not in a negative way. I know very little about your beliefs and I wonder if indeed you have posted this comment based on something that you may have thought referred to them. Please could you let me know what I said that upset you so much as honestly I can’t remember doing so.

Best wishes.

John

Catherine Redfield asked:

I am platinum and will be with my husband and daughter and four other cabins for our cruise on the Carnival Magic on November 20. These cabins are my sister and husband and my parents and best friends. I asked Carnival if we could check them in as VIP but was told no. This is not good business as I have paid for them all to cruise and having spent $9,000 I think I should have all the cabins on VIP check in. Can you get this done for me? The booking numbers are ******, ******, *****, and ****** and are linked together for dining purposes. Do platinum guests get free steakhouse? I have booked the whole family in there so it would be nice gestures if you gave me mine on a complimentary basis.

John says:
Hello Catherine Redfield,

Thank you so much for your loyalty and I am sure you are very excited by your forthcoming cruise and how generous of you to pay for the family like that. I am very sorry that while VIP check-in is only for you and your husband and daughter and the rest of the family will meet you on board. And while I can’t give you a free meal at the steakhouse I can send you a little something for booking the family on our new ship. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes to all.

John

Amber Kallberg
Dear John,

Please respond: My husband, a flight mechanic in the U.S. Coast Guard, and I are sailing with you on the Carnival Magic on 11/20/2011. We are going on this trip to celebrate our 4 year anniversary. My husband is a HUGE Ohio State football fan and never misses a game. I had to twist his arm to go on this trip as he knew that there would be a game the Saturday we are on board. After we booked, he found out that Ohio State plays their rival Michigan in the biggest and last game of the season on 11/26/2011. Do you know if the ship will be able to show the game in any of the bars or lounges? I was thinking it would be really neat if it was broadcast on the big screen on the lido deck, or perhaps even on the big screen in the main show theater (I know it’s highly unlikely). I appreciate you looking into this for me and letting me know where we can catch the game, as my name will be mud if he can’t watch it live. Also, if at all possible, could you please send something to our room to help us celebrate our anniversary, it would make my husband’s day (and mine)!

Thanks so much.

Amber

John says:
Hello Amber Kallberg,

Please thank your husband for all he does in the US Coast Guard and I am sure you are both looking forward to a wonderful cruise. We show the college games that are broadcast by the network stations so if it’s an NBC, CBS, ABC or Fox game then I am sure you will see it at the sports area on Promenade Deck 5 and or the cabin TV. Obviously this is subject to satellite transmission but there is an excellent chance you will see it Amber. We won’t broadcast this on the theatre on Lido as we already have a full schedule of movies and live music there. Can I kindly ask that you drop me a note on my Facebook page on the 20th with your cabin number and I will send you something to wish you a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes to you both.

John

Brandon Langer asked:

In July I broke my arm in a car versus pedestrian accident. I had my arm in a sling for six weeks and was told by the doctor that I should have it taken off at the end of six weeks. The sixth week came when me and my girlfriend Tara were on the Carnival Sensation ship and I went to the hospital on the ship and the doctor refused to cut the plaster off my arm. I was very angry as he was a doctor and refused to help. I wrote to Carnival but nobody has gotten back to me.

John says:
Hello Brandon Langer,

I am sorry to hear about your arm and I hope you have now made a full recovery. I can’t answer as to why the ship’s medical team refused to remove the plaster but I would think that it was because they believed it would have been best to wait until you got home and saw your own doctor. I hope you had a great cruise.

Best wishes to you both.

John

Shannon Cochrane asked:
Hi John,

I’ve been reading your blog for the past few months, around the time that myself and my girlfriend booked our first cruise on the Carnival Dream (Western Caribbean Sept 3-10).

First of all, I’d like to say your blog is hilarious and the things that people send you and ask of you sometimes are funny and sometimes even plain crazy. Anyways, I’m not asking for free gifts or a table for two near the window (haha). Rather, I would like to pass along compliments to yourself and ‘the beards’ about three outstanding Carnival Dream employees.

Thithinan, our dining room head waitress in Lower Crimson table 133 was great. She was very friendly and helpful and made sure that we enjoyed every minute in the dining room. Her assistant, team waiter – I Nyoman – was equally commendable. He always kept my water and lemonade full and delivered sodas and beers promptly every night. Lastly, our stateroom steward, Ricardo (deck 2 port aft) provided awesome service. He met us on the first day and remembered both of our names from that point on. He always said hi to us in the hallway and he provided everything that we asked for including extra ice. One time I called to get new blue towels and he showed up within one minute. The room was always kept clean and we thought the towel animals were neat. Prompt, friendly, and overall excellent service from all three of these employees. Also, I mentioned to the matire’d, Elvis, that I read your blog and he said to say ‘Hi!’ Great job by him as well running the busy dining rooms on the Carnival Dream. Thank you, and I look forward to reading more of your blog and booking another Carnival cruise in the future.

Shannon

John says:
Hello Shannon,

What a brilliant review and I am sending it straight away to the beard in charge of the Carnival Dream and the ship as well…….they will all be thrilled. There is a lot of talk at the moment about gratuities and the crew so it’s wonderful to see them praised like this. It seems you had a brilliant time and thanks also for the kind words about the blog. I hope we see you on board very soon and thanks for taking the time to write.

Best wishes,

John

Taylor Pierce asked:

I am eight years old and love Carnival ships I have been on the Carnival Glory and Carnival Valor and Carnival Dream and my first time I was four I was on the Carnival Fantasy but I can’t remember anything because I was little. Thank you.

John says:
Hello Taylor Pierce,

That is one of the best things I have ever read here on my blog. I am so proud that you like our ships and you have been on so many for someone who is only eight years old. Please tell your Mummy and Daddy that the next time you come on a Carnival ship to tell me so I can send you a present. Thanks Taylor and hope I see you soon.

Best wishes.

John

Colleen French asked:
Dear John,

My best friend, Tracy Maddux and I will be on the Carnival Breeze inaugural sailing on June 3, 2012. After I booked the cruise, I discovered your blog thingy and I’m hooked! Love it! Your blog helps me take life less seriously (I run a secure custody facility for juvenile delinquents so my life is way too serious at times). Thank you for bringing, at minimum, a smile and more often, out loud laughter to my world on a regular basis. I was thrilled to learn that you’ll be our CD and that Calvyn will be your assistant on the Carnival Breeze. My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting you and Heidi when we sailed on the Carnival Glory in 2004. You were such a wonderful host and I’ve been telling Tracy how lucky we are to be sailing with you on the Carnival Breeze. Calvyn sounds like a super guy and we can’t wait to meet him. Tracy and I are both counting the days until our girl’s get-away vacation. The Carnival website is also counting down the days for us. However, the section of the website telling about the Carnival Breeze shows its first sailing as 28 days following the Inaugural sailing. Is there something the beards aren’t telling us? Are there troubles at the shipyard? Why else would our cruise countdown say, “You cruise in 263 days,” and the Breeze page say, “First Sailing in 291 days…”? Please help me to avert a panic. Thanks again for the blog and please know that for each complaint you receive there are certainly many, many more happy cruisers out there thanks to your hard work and the wonderful Carnival crews. Now stop reading – you’re supposed to be on vacation!

Kindest regards.

Colleen French

John says:
Hello Colleen French,

Thanks so much for those wonderful words and I am happy that you enjoy the blog so much and that it makes you laugh and smile. You will love Calvyn, he is eccentric and he is funny and I hope you will enjoy our morning shows. The clock was wrong, in fact many of them were but they should have been corrected and the ship I promise is on schedule and there are no concerns or problems. You are going to love the ship and all that we have planned and I will be focusing more on her at the turn of the year. Please let me know if you need anything.

Best wishes to you both.

John

Bobbi asked:

Do the Carnival ships have dinners served on our balcony?

John says:

Hello Bobbi,

While we have 24 hour complimentary room service we don’t offer a balcony dinner served from the dining room.

Best wishes.

John

That’s all for today.

So yesterday I met with Rob who is the vice president beard in charge of our new loyalty program. He has been at Carnival for nearly two years now and this was my first time actually meeting him. His background is loyalty and he was in charge of the program for one of the world’s leading airlines and, along with Jim our chief marketing officer beard, Rob has been working diligently to get the new program started.

One of the first questions I had to ask and did so on your behalf is “Why has it taken so long to launch the new program?” I know that this has been a question that has been asked here on the blog and on Facebook and on some other sites as well and has lead to some sarcastic comments here and there. And I admit, I wanted to know why as well and when Rob explained to me I totally understood. It isn’t because Rob takes three-hour lunch breaks and spends his afternoons playing Solitaire on his computer (well, except on Friday’s) but the reason is one that after it was explained to me I totally understood.

The new loyalty program will roll out next year and it isn’t just a case of changing someone’s Sail & Sign card…………this is the largest information technology project Carnival has ever taken on. Now this leads me into the part where you boo and throw fruit at me or indeed if you are from Iraq you will throw your shoes at me. I received a post from someone called “Parrott Head” yesterday about the new gratuities which I won’t post because it was so hurtful to the crew. I wish Parrot Head had stood behind a microphone and said it live as I have a pair of steel toe-capped Timberlands with his or her name on it.

Anyway, I digress. The reason one or two may boo me is that I can’t give you too many details about what’s happening because it will be released with fanfare and naked dancing Latvian girls. OK, maybe not the girls but we will be making sure we give our own trumpet a big blow as its going to be something special. I can tell you this. You are going to truly appreciate what we are doing for you, yes you really will. Here is, just for you bloggers then an aperitif before the main course is served.

1. The information we will be placing on our systems wont just as it does now contain your past cruise history but will have so much more. It will provide us and you with better guest services and will have many more features that I promise you will appreciate so very much. This is a massive project for the tofu-eating Apple-worshiping techs who are working hard to get this done.

2. There will be more levels as opposed to the current ones and let me state this that I was told that those who are “close” to the next level under our current loyalty program will have this grandfathered in and you will not lose out. The end. Now I say the end because I know you are all going to bombard me with questions about what level you are and what level you will be. Well please don’t because I don’t have the ability to answer you. One of the questions is — will we be basing our new program on the number of cruises or the number of days cruised and I was told I could give you a hint and as many of you received the survey it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the answer to that can be found in one of those annoying soap operas my wife watches where people marry their own sisters and have the acting capabilities of a washing machine. So, the new levels are super and they are very fair and again if you are close to one level now your grandfather will take care of you.

3. Pins……….well this is great news for the many pin lovers out there. The current rule is that only Platinum members get the pin and indeed the current pin looks like it was made in China. That’s because it ummmm……..was………..and it’s not very pretty is it? The new one really is or should I say the new ones really are. That’s because certain levels will now get a pin that looks really great and is ship specific. The Platinum and Milestone pin will be very special and will be both ship and year specific, they look brilliant. More details to follow.

4. There will be added benefits for each group and while I can’t tell you what they are just yet I can tell you that I know you will be smiling. There is also going to be a complete revamp of the Past Guest Party and we will have some exclusive events for the higher tiers. We spoke about the Platinum/Milestone gifts and how they are inconsistent in availability and quality. So beginning December 1 the interim Platinum gift will be a luggage tag and key chain set and the next year I made a suggestion for the new program that I think you will enjoy.

Rob told me that the aim of the program is to make our loyal customers very much a part of the Carnival community and to allow them more memorable experiences and I know that I haven’t been able to tell you too much and I know there will be some skeptics and some quite frankly miserable sods who are as negative as one end of a battery who will pour scorn on this.

These are the same ones who poo pooed the Carnival Liberty changes and then when we announced them suddenly went quiet. So to them and indeed to all of you I want you to know that this loyalty program is going to do exactly what it says in the title……..keep you loyal to Carnival and with our apologies sincerely for the extra time it’s taking to start, I can’t wait to tell you more.

Let’s have a look at what’s happening on the Carnival Magic and we will start with more beautiful photos from our senior photographer Mr. Radu. Here he is in his own words.

Good evening John,

We left Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and we had absolutely good weather, and I think everybody did enjoy it. Most of the people took the tour of the island, The Best of Gran Canaria, tour I did myself. After we went to the South part of the island to see the sand dunes, we went up the mountain, the road was narrow and a lot of curves, and we ended up on the top, almost 2000 m, and here is the image we saw. I have a lot more to share but I am too tired now to edit them, I will do it tomorrow. But I have few images since we did the crossing with the Carnival Dream, pictures of the city, place that I didn’t visit today. Here they are:

Have a great evening

Radu Ursu
Senior Photographer

And now let’s turn things over to Calvyn and find out how things are as the ship starts her six-day Atlantic crossing, heading to Freeport.

Hello John

Well here we are embarking on the first of six sea says in a row and it is a rocky one. Now I am not talking about a small list I am talking like……well I have never actually been to a country bar before on account I’m afraid I might be hurt; however I would liken it to riding one of those mechanical pony things where the ocean is the pony and the ship is its latest victim.

Am I being dramatic? Am I blowing it out of proportion? Actually I am not. It is really rough out and the ironic thing is that there are little white caps in the ocean. I see blue sky in the distance so I am assuming that we will smooth out soon. The guests are in a great mood though and so many send their best wishes to you John. On a more positive note, John, I have had something very interesting happen to me. I had a gift sent to me with spa products and the card said it was from Bette Midler. Now I know that I have never talked to Bette Midler, so I have to give a huge thank you out to whoever is using the pseudonym Bette. Although I have my suspicions, I don’t want to speculate just yet. And of course another shout out to the Steins from Nebraska who have showered me with everything Canadian: Canadian Mickey ears, Canada leaf pants (which I wear all the time!) to name a few.

John today is the first of my Ribbon Rose seminars and if you are rolling your eyes at that one, you should check out Ryan’s make-up seminar, that’s right I said it! Make-up Seminar by Ryan. Oy-vay!

Another activity that is going well is ‘Magical World Cruise’ a week long activity where guests have to participate in different activities for points. All I have to say is how many points for drinking a martini?!

Well I look forward to possibly seeing you in Freeport. I already have our couples massage booked!

Couple’s massage ? I would rather have one with Judge Judy. Let’s see what the guests are doing today.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011

MORNING
7:00am Sunrise Stretch…………………………Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
7:30am Total Body Conditioning……………Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
8:00am Yoga +………………………………….Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
8:30am James’ Walking Club……………..SportSquare, 12 Mid
8:45am Daily Puzzles………………………………….Plaza Café, 5 Mid
9:00am Samurai Sudoku…………………..Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Bridge for Beginners Series….Northern Lights, 3 Fwd
  • Library Time……………………..Books & Games, 4 Fwd
  • Indoor Cycling +…………………..Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

9:15am James’ Morning Show..Channel 16 & Seaside Theatre
9:30am General Knowledge Trivia….Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
10:00am Photography for Beginners..Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd

  • Bean Bag Challenge…………….Magic Lobby, 3 Fwd
  • Intermediate Bridge Lessons……Northern Lights, 3 Fwd
  • AquaFun………………………………….Beach Pool, 10 Mid
  • Arts & Crafts…………………….Conference Center, 4 Mid
  • Look 10 Years Younger…………….Ocean Plaza, 5 Fwd

11:00am Audio 101 Seminar………….Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd

  • Mahjong Players Meet…………Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
  • Dodgeball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SkyCourt, 12 Aft
  • Burn Fat Fast Seminar……………..Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

AFTERNOON
12:00pm Harry Potter Trivia…………………..Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Free 3 Minute Make-Cvers………..Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

12:30pm Lightning Art Auction & Preview..Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft

  • Scrapbookers Meet……………..Conference Center, 4 Mid
  • Blackjack Tournament +……….Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid

1:00pm Horse Racing Fun……………………Beach Pool, 10 Mid

  • Bridge Play (Duplicate & Social)….Northern Lights, 3 Fwd
  • Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet……….Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid

1:15pm Beary Cuddly +………………Camp Carnival, 11 Mid
2:00pm A Magical World Cruise……………..Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Basketball Tournament…………….SkyCourt, 12 Aft
  • Arts & Crafts…………………….Conference Center, 4 Mid
  • Back Pain Solutions……………..Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
  • Library Time……………………..Books & Games, 4 Fwd
  • Friends of Bill W. & Jimmy K………..Escape Bar, 4 Fwd

2:15pm Turbo Trivia……………………Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
2:30pm 6 Game BIngo +…………….Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
3:00pm Bean Bag Challenge…………….Magic Lobby, 3 Fwd

  • Ribbon Roses Seminar………..Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
  • Spot the Fake Amber Drawing…….Fun Shops, 5 Fwd
  • Tea Time……………………………………Southern Lights, 4 Aft

3:15pm Blackjack Tournament Finals +……Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid
3:30pm Guess That Song: 1970’s………….Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Dance Class……………Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
  • Movie Matinee: Shrek 4……..Seaside Theatre, 10 Mid

4:00pm Charades…………………………Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Cardio Blast…………………Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
  • Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet……….Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid
  • Military Veteran’s Meet………………Play It Again, 5 Aft

4:30pm Culinary Trivia…………………….Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

Evening
5:00pm Cruise Elegant Celebration……………..Promenade, Deck 5
7:00pm Cruise Elegant Celebration………………Promenade, Deck 5

  • Library Time……………………..Books & Games, 4 Fwd

7:45pm Decades Trivia – 1970’s……………Vibe Nightclub, 5 Aft
8:00pm Karaoke Party……………………..Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft

  • Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet……….Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid

8:30pm Showtime (Early Seating)…………Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
8:45pm Dance Hits & Mixes……………..Vibe Nightclub, 5 Aft
9:30pm Twilight Golf………………………Turf on Surf, 12 Mid
10:00pm 1970’s Hour……………………….Vibe Nightclub, 5 Aft

  • Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet……….Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid
  • Singles Meet……………….Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
  • Friends of Dorothy GLBT Meet……..Play It Again, 5 Aft

10:30pm Showtime (Late Seating)………Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd

  • Carnival Legends Auditions..Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft

So she is beginning her journey home where Maroon 5 and I will be ready to welcome them. I hope I will see many of you in Texas.

Last night I had a wonderful dinner with my great friends Mr. and Mrs. Bentley at a restaurant called Gotham Steak and it was a fun night and my bone in fillet steak was brilliant. Now this restaurant is within one of Miami’s most famous hotels, The Fontainebleau which has had millions spent on it and I cannot imagine how the conversation went to get the money.

“Hello, is that the bank manager? Oh good, I’d like a quote from you to renovate my hotel.”

“OK, what are you looking for, some new shower curtains, maybe a new sofa in the lobby?”

“No, I am going to need marble, lots of marble and oh yes, huge chandeliers and gold walls.”

“How much are you looking to borrow?

“$1.2 billion dollars please. Can I get that in 50’s please?”

I wandered in through the doors and into an American hotel built on American dreams and American ideals. Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley sang there. James Bond had a game of cards with Goldfinger by the pool and Sylvester Stallone had rumpy pumpy with Sharon Stone there before blowing half the hotel up as they jumped into the pool.

The hotel is stunning, it really is but my visit last night was coincided with a convention. I am sure if you stay there you will have a convention there and mine was one called “Fit For Life” …………..brilliant. In walks this fat British cruise director into a crowd of gorgeous fit people. They were everywhere, with their annoying badges and their extensive knowledge of diet and muscle. They all had EyePods and good hair and white teeth and cells and perfect clothes and energy, lots and lots of energy. Many looked at me as if to say “Who let Shamu in?” …..I wanted to kill them all. Later, they would be out in the glamorous pool area, chatting animatedly to each other sipping on Cosmopolitans, before another workout and dinner and then another workout.

Apparently the hotel has the number one night club in Miami . I should probably use a more hip expression. The Fontainebleau has the “hottest” night club in Miami right now. It’s called LIV. It features supermodel waitresses, superstar DJs and massive Russian bouncers. There was apparently another kind of Russian bouncers on Halloween night. I saw this on one of those entertainment programs on a local Miami TV station when the rich and tanned drank expensive vodka all night and took photos with models dressed as naughty nurses. Lucky bastards.

It is though a most impressive hotel full of perfect looking people and for an overweight ugly sod like me it was quite intimidating. One last thing about the restaurant. While the steak and the company were so wonderful it was spoiled slightly by the people at the tables next to us.
On one side there was a short arse guy in a loud shirt with a huge logo on it. He spent the night talking loudly in his cell phone trying to impress the rest of us that he was top of the world. Then he continued talking even louder to his table mates as though he was Joe Pesci, swearing every other word. He definitely had short man syndrome and although he was obviously rich judging by the huge gold Rolex on his arm he was probably pissed off because he had banged his head on a coffee table.

But he wasn’t as annoying as the woman on the table behind us who was sitting with a man and was speaking to him as though he was sitting in the sodding parking lot. “Oh my God, that’s totally awesome” she thundered. The man she was with was well to do and again his watch and expensive suit showed he had money in the bank. But this woman, well I doubt she had seen carpet before and as she screamed and heckled like a demented witch and judging by the way she was kissing and groping the guy it was obvious to me that the only reason she was wearing knickers was to keep her ankles warm.

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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