Apologies and Other Horrors

June 15, 2012 -

John Heald

It used to be easy to be a man. Work. Eat. Sleep. Have rumpy pumpy. Fart. Men never had to worry about anything really. The wife would cook dinner and us men never had to be worried about what designer label was written on the waistband of your underpants.

But these days, it has all gone tits up as we say where I come from. Here on the Carnival Breeze, I am surrounded by men with names like Butch, Ryan and Kyle. These are not normal men and neither are many of the men you know. That’s because these days it’s all changed. Farting and having rumpy pumpy over the washing machine have been replaced by far more important things. Men are expected to rub conditioner into their hair, polish their nails, buy things to make their teeth shiny and white, use moisturizer to keep their skin smooth and join a gymnasium to stay fit. And gone are the days when you bought a wristwatch so that you could see what time it was. Open any GQish magazine and it’s full of perfectly formed men advertising watches while usually wearing a leather jacket and pointing to some mysterious object in the sky.

The Butches and the Ryans of today’s world all wear Brietlings. I think this is because if you wear a Breitling and you are no longer Ryan the project manager who sits in a cubicle devising spread sheets, you are Jack Power who sits in his Aston Martin and doesn’t spread sheets, he spreads Latvians.

But the one area where I am completely confused is men’s fragrances. I have never been one for splashing it all over but even if I was, how the heck would any man know what to buy? The new fragrance department here on the Carnival Breeze has a huge “men’s fragrance ” section which I walked through last night. Pausing, I looked at the near 100-plus bottles of all shapes, sizes and prices. Should I buy the Davidoff Blue Water, which the label tells me will enable me to smell “clean, fresh and professional.” What!? Our captain is a professional but he doesn’t smell of anything. It’s like smelling happy or angry or horny.

Oh, hold on, here’s one that’s just right for me. Channel Man. This it says “smells of the ocean.” What ocean? The Mediterranean? The Indian? Or a river in Paris that smells of urine and French bathers?”

This is, of course, bollocks and the Ryans and Butches of the world will tell you that you have to layer on fragrances, starting with shower gel and then expensive brand name deodorant followed by aftershave, and then some eye gel that says it was made from a rare plant in the Amazon when it was actually made from bits of old soap by a lady in a Chinese factory and sold to us mugs for $100 plus. Again, it’s all bollocks. I want to smell of whatever I’ve eaten or done. If I have just done the bedtime story, I smell of sweat. If I have just eaten a curry, I smell of well…..curry. I’m a man, eau de toilette de perfume is for women or Calvyn.

Shopping is also just for ladies. I realise that some men like to waste their free time mooching about in town, having their hair styled and buying designer clothes. They have scrotums and dangly bits but they are not men. A real man would have to think long and hard if offered the choice between being stuck in an elevator for seven hours with someone with explosive diarrhea and going into a cubicle to try on a pair of pants. Trying on pants is, without doubt, the worst thing that can happen in a man’s life. It is like going to the dentist and having Stevie Wonder try to pull your tooth while you are forced to listen to Kenny G’s greatest hits.

They say it’s a man’s world. It’s not. It’s a metrosexual world full of creams, lotions, perfumes, oils and clothing they don’t make in my size. I am a stranger in this world. I am Frenchman in Bath and Bodyworks. I am an Amish guy in Best Buy. I am H82Seaugo on a web page called www.ilovecarnivalandjohnheald.com.

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

 

T. Kennedy asked:
I wanted to let you know we had a fabulous time on the Carnival Valor on 3/17. The staff was great. Our dining room staff was excelent. Leilana and Khristen(sp) are a great asset to Carnival. Also, I have to mention the Assistant Cruise Director Everson(sp). He was always very invloved in everything on board. Please let all the staff on the Carnival Valor know they did a great job.

John says:
Hello T.Kennedy

Thanks so much for this wonderful review which I have sent to the ship. They will be thrilled and I hope that this means we will see you again very, very soon.

Best wishes and so glad you had fun.
John

Laura asked:
Hi. I’m hoping you can help me with this. We are looking at taking Carnival’s transfer service from Galveston to IAH after our cruise. Our flight doesn’t leave until 3:30pm so we are in no hurry to get off the ship. Do you happen to know what time we would need to get off to catch the last bus to IAH? I’ve asked, called and emailed and still haven’t received a good answer so I was hoping you would know.

🙂 Thanks

John says:
Hello Laura

The last bus will leave the port to go to Houston at 9:00am so you will, I am afraid, be at the airport at around 11:00am. I am sorry you have had to wait for an answer for so long and I am sure you will have a brilliant cruise. Please let me know if there is anything else you need.

Best wishes.
John

John Lavelle asked:
John, I have booked a client on Breeze Oct. 1-13 this year and I told him that I think you will be his CD and I think he will absolutely love that experience. You were our CD on Glory a few years back when we got sandwiched between Ivan in the Western Caribbean and Jeanne in St. Thomas while we were in St. Maarten. I thought you were magnificent in a very difficult situation. We had the pleasure of cruising with you again on Liberty once since then and you haven’t lost your magic. Will you be aboard Breeze in Oct? Can you drop a note or a hello to John (Jack) Jupin and Karen Rosenberg stateroom 7434? This will be his third Carnival cruise (both previously aboard Spirit). The CD schedule doesn’t show that far out.

John says:
Hello John Lavelle

I remember that cruise so very well and thanks so much for the kind words. I will indeed be here and will look after your clients and make sure they have a great time. Please, so I don’t forget, can you ask them to drop me a note at the Guest Services Desk when they board just mentioning they are here and clients of yours. Thanks again and I hope we see each other again very soon.

Best wishes.
John

Simon Knapp asked:
I hear from Cruise Critic pages that you hand out free stuff for birthdays. My girlfriend will have hers when we are on 7/26, booking number ******. Can you send her something? This is our 3rd Carnival cruise!

John says:
Hello Simon Knapp

I will indeed send your girlfriend something and how nice of Cruise Critic to point you in this direction so I can wish you a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes to you both and have fun.
John

Adriane McClain asked:
I will be sailing on the Breeze on August 14 and have a big concern about the ship. I read that this is Carnival’s least smoke friendly ship and that smokers have been hung out to dry on this boat. Why is that this happens? The non-smokers complain and spout all this garbage about second hand smoke and that it causes cancer which has never been proven. So because of these jerks, we get punished. I would cancel my cruise if I could because it’s my right to smoke on my vacation.

John says:
Hello Adriane McClain

I am glad you have written to me as I can tell you we do have smoking areas on the Carnival Breeze. There are plenty of places to sit and relax and smoke on most of the open decks as well as in parts of the casino. You can also smoke on your balcony, should you have one. I have been here for a full cruise and I have not had one complaint about smoking or non-smoking; the issue has simply not come up which is a good sign indeed. I will see you here and please get ready for a fantastic cruise.

Best wishes.
John

David F.Grossman asked:
John, I need your help! I am considering making a booking for two cabins on the Splendor for the 46-day South America cruise to New York but need guarantees from you/Carnival before I do. I want a guaranteed table for 4 as we do not wish to be seated with other passengers for 46 days! My credit card is ready to be used so I hope I get a timely response to this request and that I do not have to write to your President Mr. Cahill to get this done!

John says:
Hello David F. Grossman

Thanks for taking the time to write to me and while I cannot 100% guarantee this request, I can promise to do all I can for you to make it happen. I hope you book this brilliant voyage as I am sure it will be something so very special. If you do book, please write to me here one month before you sail and, as I said, I will do all I can for you.

Best wishes.
John

Kathryn Chesnut asked:
I have cruised 9 times on Carnival– all were 7 or 8 days. Soon to be Platinum I hope. We love the dining room for breakfast, lunch and set time for dinner but we hate the back dining room; wish they would use the center dining room for set time. Also on the chair hogs, we sailed on the Freedom in Jan 2012 and had a really bad confrontation with some chair hogs. We had sat down in 2 chairs my husband and I and we moved them so we were facing the sun we were still in the line not aisle not in any one’s way and there were 8 eight chairs behind us saved for 2 hours when these people came and sat finally they wanted us to move and we refused we had been there all morning and we were not in their way, they didn’t like the way we had our chairs turned we informed them we did not like the way they had hogged the chairs for 2 hours and they got a Carnival employee and told them we would not move our chairs which they informed them we did not have to; we were not in the aisle. They cursed and were very ugly and we told the Carnival employee that they had hogged the chairs for 2 hours and he did nothing; they continued to hog the chairs the whole week. I hate this. I understand that you leave your chair to get a drink, lunch or restroom but to go down early in the am and stay in bed or wait 2 hours to go sit, then that is wrong.

John says:
Hello Kathryn Chestnut

I am sorry that this happened to you and it is a prime example of how complicated an issue the seat saving problem is. We are, at the moment, working with other cruise lines in the Carnival Corporation to see what they do and how we can implement the policies they have. Some have none and have the same problem we do but there is one line that seems to have a plan that works and the beards are studying this at the moment. Thanks so much for telling me about this and, once again, my apologies that you had to go through it. I will keep you informed as to what is happening.

Best wishes.
John

Bruce Henthorn asked:
Hi John,

First time poster, first-time cruiser. I’ve been reading your blog for several months now and I love it. I’ve definitely got that “first time” cruise anticipation. This year will be my wife and my 25th wedding anniversary and we’ve never cruised before! How did we manage to miss out on what I imagine will be our favorite vacation ever?

So, we are traveling on the Conquest out of New Orleans Oct 28 for a 7 day cruise. Do you have any recommendations on what I can do to make it even better? I know you’ve pretty much seen it all so I truly value your opinion. We don’t have a ton to spend, but we did get a balcony on Deck 7. Also, I don’t see Conquest come up much in conversations (I assume because it is an older boat. I hope I didn’t make a mistake when I chose that one).

As always, I enjoy reading your blog and can hardly wait to read your next entry.

Bruce Henthorn

John says:
Hello Bruce Henthorn

You are most welcome here and I hope that this will be the first of many posts from you. The Carnival Conquest is a great ship and you will really enjoy all she has to offer. The steakhouse would be my tip as it’s a beautiful area to enjoy a special meal and some magical moments together. The most important thing is that you go ready to have fun and relax and allow the brilliant staff to serve and entertain you. Please let me know if there is anything else you need and I promise that you will have the best of times.

Best wishes.
John

Kristie Rochford asked:
Can you tell me who the cruise director will be when we cruise on the Pride in August? Last time we had this annoying woman whose voice would drive the passengers to cover their ears every time she spoke on the public speakers. Please tell me it’s not her !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Kristie Rochford.

Your CD for the cruise on the beautiful Carnival Pride this August will be Kirk Benning. Have a wonderful time.

Best wishes.
John

 

And that’s all for today.

The other day I posted a Q and A about the new loyalty program and of course it was met with a lot of positive comments, some praise and some criticism. Most of that came from the Milestone guests who were upset at my over use of the word “brilliant” because simply, some did not think it was. I want to apologise for this because quite frankly I did not clearly understand what the Milestone program was all about. I have been discussing this with many of the beards and with one in particular, Mr. Jim Berra, our chief marketing officer, who would like to say these words to you.

Thank you for that, Jim. I know that this was written sincerely and may I add my own apologies again to anyone who felt I misled them. This was obviously never my attention and I will continue to work hard to help as many guests as I can.

What a fantastic cruise it was and as I have documented here and on Facebook, despite the itinerary change and despite a few areas where we need to improve, it was a great cruise. I was an idiot and let one bigot spoil my jubilant mood but apart from him, I think it’s safe to say that for a first cruise, everyone was happy. And so we start again and this is who is sailing with us.

GUESTS 4,263

FRENCH CANADIAN 194

DUTCH 36

RUSSIAN 256

ITALIAN 9

PORTUGUESE 15

JAPANESE 79

GERMAN 25

SPANISH 56

Total Under 18 – 808

 

So a real family cruise and one I am looking forward to every month. This season, each cruise seems to be different in terms of the rotation of the ports so let’s have a look at where we are heading these next 12 days and who will be entertaining them.

Fri, Jun, 15 Barcelona Welcome Aboard / Motor City Barcelona Sail Away Party 5am-5pm

Sat, Jun, 16 Marseilles Hasbro/Divas/Latin Nights Mark Simmons/ Mutzie 7am-4pm

Sun, Jun, 17 Livorno Brits/ Motor City Mark Simmons/ Mutzie 7am-7pm

Mon, Jun, 18 Rome Hasbro/Latin Nights Deck Party 7am-8pm

Tue, Jun, 19 Salerno Claire Gobin (Violinist) Tom Pepper / Austin Knight 8am-7pm

Wed, Jun, 20 at sea Brits, Motor City, Divas Tom Pepper / Austin Knight

Thu, Jun, 21 Dubrovnik John Lenahan (Magician) 7am-4pm

Fri, Jun, 22 Venice Divas/Brits 10am-11pm

Sat, Jun, 23 at sea Motown, Hasbro, Divas SSL Deck Party

Sun, Jun, 24 Messina Hasbro / John’s Bedtime Story Smiley Joe Wiley / Jason Blanchard 10am-7pm

Mon, Jun, 25 at sea Brit’s, Latin Nights Smiley Joe Wiley # 437341/ Jason Blanchard

Tue, Jun, 26 Mallorca Latin Nights/ Divas SSL 8am-6pm

 

As you can see, we have a great line up of entertainment with multiple chances to see the four brand new shows, two superb variety acts, six different comedians performing 24 comedy shows and comedy brunch shows as well and oh, yes, some tired old fat bloke performing his bedtime story. Looks like a fantastic cruise………wish you were here. Oh, we also have a very important press group sailing so look out for articles in USA Today, Daily Telegraph and Latvian Women In Stockings Weekly.

It’s 1:08pm as I write this section of today’s blog thingy and everyone is so excited to be here on this Carnival Breeze……..well, nearly everyone.

From: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2012 12:27 PM
To: BREEZE HOUSEKEEPING MANAGER; BREEZE ASSISTANT CRUISE DIRECTOR; BREEZE CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR
Subject: _______ unhappy with female stateroom steward and music

Good day,

Mr_________ has been to the GSD to state that he will not have a female stateroom steward and wants a male steward or a different cabin. Mr _________also states that when he boarded the ship, there was loud rock music playing in the lobby and guest states he had been expecting classical music as on other cruise lines.

 

Thank you and kind regards,
Senior Guest Services Supervisor

 

So Mr. Happysod boarded the ship at 11:38am and less than an hour later, he is making two comments at the guest services desk, very impressive! Anyway, we won’t be changing his stateroom but we have a male stateroom steward who once finishing his own section, will make up Mr. Happysod’s stateroom and I feel so bad for the young Thai lady who was ready to give him and his family wonderful hospitality and service and one cannot help wondering why a man from Anaheim, California, would demand that his wife and two young children have a male stateroom steward. As for the music, well, we have the DJ playing and welcoming people and they have a pre-agreed song list which includes the Gypsy Kings, Jimmy Buffett, Kool and the Gang and Beeoncehay. There is no Moterhead, no Iron Maiden, no Jazzy Jay, no M and Ms and no Throbbing Gristle. I have a feeling that Mr. Happysod may, just may, provide me with further blog entries this cruise.

This cruise we will present another brilliant selection on the Seaside Theatre of our Dive In movies complete with free popcorn and warm branded snuggle blankets, if needed. We have chick flick nights, action nights and movies like Captain America, Sherlock Holmes 1 and 2, When Harry Met Sally and the vomit inducing Ghost. Yep, Carnival Breeze’s deck 10 has a wonderful feel to it at night as we sail the Med. Now we also have a “Twilight Night” which, when I saw this on the movie menu, I had to ask a metrosexual colleague what this is all about because last cruise it was one of the most popular nights up there.

I honestly didn’t have a bloody clue that it was a romantic fantasy aimed at teenage girls. That’s two reasons not to see it and two reasons to feel nauseous.

I went up to watch a bit with Calvyn and from what I saw, it appears that the heroine, Bellend or something like that, is contemplating whether she wants to have rumpy pumpy with a vampire or a werewolf.

I have a few questions and comments then. Why not try them both out, or get to second base with one and third with the other as modern teen girls do these days? And she’s certainly not allowed to date them both at once, although that would clearly make for a far better film but not one that we could probably show on the Carnival Breeze Lido Deck.

Whichever one she picks is the one she’s stuck with forever. So how come this movie is so popular then because as far as I could see, Bellend is essentially deciding whether she’d rather have rumpy pumpy……..in a forest………with a bat or a wolf. She’s got bugger all interest then in old fashioned human on human action……..if it doesn’t have fur or flies……..she isn’t interested. Don’t let this girl loose in a zoo for God’ sake.

I asked Calvyn what happens and apparently she chooses the bat in the end, which is the worst possible choice, because being a vampire, he’s not just any old bat, but one that’s hundreds of years old and isn’t even properly alive. What a load of pointless bollocks.

Horror movies have never been my thing, especially these slasher movies where a man in a hockey mask saws the limbs off some Z list actress. But I also never saw the fascination in these old horror movies either that had the least scary monsters ever created.

Take The Mummy for example. Mummies are just zombies in medical gift wrap and are as threatening as Richard Simmons threating you with a tooth pick. Since their teeth are covered up, they’re reduced to stumbling around with outstretched arms trying to hug you to death. But ghosts, well they just moan and complain about their own misfortune, like someone writing complaining that the music was too sodding loud when they walked on board or that their stateroom steward didn’t have an Adam’s apple and dangly bits, FFS!

And they usually don’t even manage that. Instead, they make intermittent knocking sounds or slam the odd door in a huff. I’ve had neighbors worse than that. In fact, there’s an Italian officer who lives opposite from me whose girlfriend makes more noise than that most nights………maybe the officer is a bat……Marco Batto. Anyway………I would gladly swap them for a ghost because some nights it’s like Old MacDonald’s entire farm is living in the cabin opposite me.

But vampires……..well, they are the worst because they are the only monster that’s actually grown less frightening since I was a kid. Early vampires were the Peter Cushings and Christopher Lees. They were truly creepy bastards who would have rumpy pumpy with a beautiful virgin and then bite a chunk out of her neck and throw her off a castle tower. These days, vampires have got bloody feelings. Two people who should never have feelings are vampires and James Bond …… now both are as touchy-feely as Calvyn in a dress. They’re lonely and tortured and all messed up inside and are probably getting vampire therapy at some clinic in Arizona. They spend more time crying than killing people. These days it seems vampires come in two sorts— totally big girly wimps or swingers.

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing used to make me hide behind the sofa and crap myself………..but after seeing some of Twilight ………………my underpants remained totally clean.

You want to be scared out of your wits………..well, try watching Calvyn and I recreating the nude wrestling scene from Borat. Now that is truly horrific.

 

Goodnight.

Your friend,
John

P.S. Please enjoy today’s Fun Times, direct from your Carnival Breeze.

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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