RUSSIAN ABOUT ON A BUSY EMABARKATION DAY

June 27, 2012 -

John Heald

Heidi and Kye left for home today and I feel sad. I will miss not having them here more than words I am capable of writing can ever describe.

Obviously, I asked Heidi just before she left if she was OK because I know how it affects her and how she hates leaving me here on my own. Her answer of, “I’m fine” is a stock answer that women give to questions when they really are anything but “fine.” This is one of Heidi’s most annoying habits along with wanting to talk after rumpy pumpy. If I am silent for more than 30 seconds, she will ask me, “What are you thinking?”

Then comes something all women do and that’s bitch to their husbands or partners about their so-called female “friends.” Then the old favourite which to those of us with dangly bits is hell on earth and that’s expecting us to go clothes shopping. I would rather allow H82SEAUGO find a very angry squirrel who has not yet found any nuts for winter and put it down my underpants…than go shopping for clothes.

Then there is the texting 40 times a day about absolutely bugger all and may I add texting 40 times a day about bugger all to the friend she was bitching about to me the night before.

Then there is the wearing my T-shirts as a night shirt so I have no clean ones to wear the next day, talking to me while I am watching TV, talking to me through the toilet door when I am trying to have a pony and trap (cockney rhyming slang) and expecting me to notice when she has had half a sodding inch cut from her hair.

But none of the above matters because she is the best wife in the world. She puts up with my moods and my underpants being left on the bathroom floor and she puts up with being alone at night and raising our daughter for much of the time…on her own. Heidi can cook dinner, pacify a demanding three-year-old and text her with friends on her Blackberry all at the same time. And not once has she ever put the Blackberry down to find she’s inadvertently cooked our daughter and helped some Shepherd Pie to draw a picture of a Wonder Pet.

Heidi is the best wife in the world and I love and miss her so very much even if the fact that I leave horrendous yellow streaks on the toilet seat says otherwise.

Time for today’s Q and A…off we go

Robin Jackman asked:
John,

Would it be possible to see the entertainers who will be on my cruise? My dh and I will be on our fourth time with Carnival on the Triumph 7/2. We were not impressed at all with any of the comedians or shows on the Magic and found them to be no better than high school shows so I hope that this time we will be in for something better. We are staying in the penthouse again!!!

John says:
Hello Robin Jackman

I am surprised to read that you did not enjoy any of the shows on Carnival Magic and if I may say, I would hardly call the Dancin In The Street show a high school production considering the talent of the dancers, break dancers and acrobats and the $1.2 million dollars it cost to produce. However, I respect your opinion and thank you so much for coming back for another Carnival cruise on the Carnival Triumph. Here is your list of shows and comedians and I wish you the very best of times.

  • Mon, Jul, 02 Galveston – Welcome Aboard Show
  • Tue, Jul, 03 at sea – Wonderful World; Chas Elstner/Donnell Grey
  • Wed, Jul, 04 Progresso – Talent Show; Deck Party
  • Thu, Jul, 05 Cozumel – Kevin & Caruso Magic Show; After Dark Magic Show
  • Fri, Jul, 06 at sea – Big Easy; Chas Elstner/Donnell Grey

Best wishes.

John

Donna Wareman asked:

You recently started posting CD bios on your blog but to locate these, we have to scroll through the blog history and they are easy to miss. I thought I might make a suggestion to add a special link on your blog to a list of available CD bios. We are on Legend in July with James Dunn…can you work up a bio for him if it’s not been done already?

John says:
Hello Donna Wareman

We actually have this…well…sort of…on our www.carnivalentertainment.com site which is in need of drastic updating and is currently under orders to have just that. When it is, we will have all the CD bios there and that includes James Dunn who you will be proud to know just got promoted and who I will be talking about later in this blog thingy. So thanks for the great idea and I will have news on the updated bios soon.

Best wishes.

John

Germain K asked:

There are not many cruises I think that are from where I am from which is New Zealand and I am looking forward so much to Spirit coming to Australia as getting there will be easier than flying 18 hours as we did on the Dream and as we will do on Splendor next month. I have one question and that is will the food be the same as the Dream when the Spirit comes to Australia because I have heard that it will be a simple plain menu for us and not what you have now. I hope this is not true as we like the food on Carnival and don’t want what we can get at home. Thank you, John.

John says:
Hello Germain K

You do indeed have to fly so far to get on one of our ships and I am so thankful for you in doing so. You said you are cruising next month and as I see you posted this in late May, I have a feeling you may have already been on the Carnival Splendor and, if so, I hope you had a great time. We are very excited about the Carnival Spirit coming to Australia and I have been told that although we will make a few changes to the menu, most of the current favourites will remain, as will the multiple choices on Lido deck as well. So lots for you to look forward to and if there is anything you think I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes.

John

Jan asked:

Re: Entertainment…Trivia Games on Valor…
This is a trivial matter (no pun intended) but the answers to the Animal Trivia on the Valor were just plain WRONG. A female elephant is a COW, not a Bull; Lassie was a COLLIE (actually a Border Collie), not a Sheltie, and they are NOT the same; and a camel’s hump is full of FAT, not water!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Jan

So noted and I apologise to you on behalf of the staff on the Carnival Valor for not checking their answers carefully enough. I will make sure this is immediately rectified and, again, my thanks for telling me. I do hope you had a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes.

John

Tony Lau asked:
John,

I read your blog and love how you give your perspective on things. Our family is considering the final Destiny cruise to Italy since it’s such a smoking deal. Do you think that staff will be extra friendly and excited to go home and give us the best service ever, tired and not care so the ship is dirty and yucky, or just an average sailing?

John says:
Hello Tony Lau

Good question and I am glad you asked. The crew will be very excited as many will never have done a TA before and they are wonderful voyages for sure and I can assure you that the ship will not be dirty and I can assure you that the crew will give you outstanding service. I hope you do book and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes.

John

Tom Bryant asked:
John,

We just came back from our Carnival Freedom Southern Caribbean cruise. It was a wonderful trip. We had eight days of amazing fun. (Except for the norovirus 24 hours.) We were promised fun and that promise was fully kept. Our room attendant, Clive, was amazing. We have never had any attendant as good as he was. After having been on 17 cruises (most with a competitor), this was truly the best in terms of excursions and fun on the ship. Despite what we had been led to believe, the food was the best of any cruise we have been on. I love escargot, but the replacement mushroom plate was every bit as good. We went on Carnival based largely on the fun we have had reading your blog thingy. It lived up to our hopes! Thanks!

John says:
Hello Tom Bryant

Thanks so much for the kind words and I will now pass on to the ship these wonderful words of praise. We still are having problems sourcing escargot but, hopefully, this will change soon. Thanks so much for saying you enjoy the blog and I hope that you will continue to read and that if there is anything I can do for you, that you will let me know. Hope to see you all soon.

Best wishes.

John

Mary Klicsu asked:

We were booked on the Spirit to Hawaii on 4/13/2012, under booking #99T4T1, cabin 4114. Worst cruise ever been on (18 Carnival, total of 44 cruises). We did have bad weather (high winds), but is no reason for the lack of entertainment and things to do. Shows were cancelled with no replacement or notification. You went to showroom to see show but nothing was happening. Stu, cruise director, had no alternative entertainment. Thing about it, 15 days with limited entertainment– other than that provided from other passengers. This cruise should have been special, two years in planning our 44th year anniversary, Well, Carnival let us down. On a positive side, Jay, karoke DJ, was outstanding. Again, passenger entertainment. We could have stayed home in Las Vegas and had a better time. I should mention that seniors were line dancing on stage during this rough seas that professional dancers were not permitted. What is wrong with this picture?

John says:
Hello Mary Klicsu

I have read from quite a few posters here and on my Facebook page that the weather during this cruise was not good at all. I had not though heard about the cancellation of shows which in bad weather is really something we have to do. Respectfully, may I say that there is a huge difference between people line dancing and high energy dancing and acrobatic performances during bad weather. The stage is literally moving and this of course is a dancer’s career and a serious injury could affect that which is why we have to consider their safety. We always try on the rare occasion when shows are cancelled to find alternative things for guests to enjoy and I am surprised that Stuart did not, so I will make sure he sees your comments. I am so sorry you did not have the best of times and I will pass your comments onto all the right people. I hope we will see you again in calmer weather.

Best wishes.

John

Deanne Samosky asked:
Hi John:

Just wanted to ask if the Carnival Breeze will keep the “you can smoke on the balcony” policy as we want to book the Breeze for next year and we smoke. I just want to be sure before I book. Thanks a million. Keep on doing what you’re doing – you’re awesome!!!

John says:
Hello Deanne Samosky

Yes, indeed, this is a fleet-wide policy and we have no plans to change this. You will really enjoy the Carnival Breeze and I hope we see you here soon.

Thanks for the kind words and best wishes to you both.

John

Elise and Angela asked:
Hi John,

My life partner and I will be cruising with Carnival for the first time and we are both very excited. I have read that you have FRIENDS OF DOROTHY meetings on some of the ships and as we are a proud Lesbian couple in our 50’s, I wondered if you will have them on the ship we are on which is the Magic.

John says:
Hello Elise and Angela

I am sure you are going to have a brilliant cruise and that this will be the first of many. Yes, indeed, we do have FOD meetings each and every night and please check the program which we call the Fun Times for details of where and when. I hope you have a wonderful time.

Best wishes to you both.

John

Clarence asked:

Were you the CD on the Fasination in June 1996? It was our first cruise.

John says:
Hello Clarence

Yes, I was there in the first half of 1996 when we cruised to Venezuela and Aruba amongst other places. That feels so long ago, Clarence. I hope we will sail together again soon though.

Best wishes.

John

And that’s all for today.

We were just talking about cruise directors and I wanted to say a big congratulations to James Dunn and Jaime Dee who today were promoted to full time cruise directors and for those who don’t know who they are…here they are:

JAMES DUNN

JAIME DEE

My congratulations to them both and they join an impressive list of CD’s who continue, I think, to be an important part of your cruise.

It’s 5:55am and as I sit here in my underpants disembarking guests, I realise how annoying my announcements for guests to leave must be and I am really going to work on the silent debarkation that works so well on a couple of our ships. This is where guests are sent information the night before as to what time they will leave the ship and when that time comes around, they do exactly that and disembark the ship. Now each ship has different complications regarding debarkation and each home port is different but this is something I really think we have to push forward with. I was thinking about airports and how many of them no longer call flights and use the silent approach because probably, like me, when boarding calls are constantly broadcast, you become overloaded with information and consequently ‘switch off’ from hearing your flight call announcement and I wonder if guests on our ships do the same thing?

But it is surely the annoyance factor that is the most important reason to stop me being cheerful at 5:30 in the sodding morning and it was as I sat here in my underpants eating my breakfast burrito from the BlueIguana Cantina that I decided to work this cruise on a system that would allow us to try a silent debarkation system here and I will let you know how it goes.

We have about 1,000 on self-assist which is where guests take off all their own luggage rather than have us manage their luggage for them. This is when you see just how much luggage some people bring with them and it is quite extraordinary. I know this is a 12-day cruise but, come on, really, you need all that luggage? And at this point, I am going to blame the ladies because men, we are happy with a tote bag, right? The ladies are not and they of course have been out shopping the weeks before the cruise and have bought an entire new wardrobe…but why? Ladies, please do not buy any new clothes based on the assumption that once on board, you will become a completely different person and will, say, go to the gym every morning and practice yoga on deck and must, therefore, pack seven different sets of gym clothes. This of course is bollocks. You will sit around eating and drinking and having fun so pack accordingly…please.

Anyway, guests are on their way home and I think it’s been a good cruise. Yes, we have had some interesting comments but outside of the strike in Italy that caused some concerns which I must say we handled very well here, it was, as I said, a good cruise with beautiful weather the entire 12 days.

So as I mentioned, Heidi and Kye left today and I will miss them so very much. It is a joy, you know, to come back to the cabin at night and find your wife and daughter waiting for you because that’s one of the hardest things for me, being alone in the cabin after a show with nobody to talk to and I have noticed that at times…I start to talk to myself out loud a lot. Well, not all the time. I don’t sit at home on my own like a character in a sitcom. I’m also not having a chat with myself that involves question and answer. For instance, I am not looking in the mirror and asking myself how I’m doing, responding with, “Not good, look at yourself, you fat bastard.” I’m not that kind of crazy. But there have been a few times where I have caught myself talking out loud, as though I’m participating in a conversation. And that’s bothering me. I will be getting ready for a show and find myself discussing with myself what I should wear.

“A suit…nope..too formal…has my blazer been pressed…Oh, yes, I will wear that then.”

I can hear myself talking and then to make matters worse I tell myself to “shut up.”

It’s OK, I guess, to do this in the cabin but what if I start talking to myself while walking down the Promenade Deck of the Carnival Breeze. Still, thinking about it, I shouldn’t worry too much as thanks to the world of technology, all the guests would probably assume I was on my Bluetooth. Everyone looks like they’re crazy and talking to themselves, who’s going to notice you don’t have a phone?

Right, enough of this rambling, let’s concentrate on this new cruise and see who is sailing with us and where they are going.

TOTAL GUESTS – 4,400
US – 2,522
RUSSIA – 179
CANADA – 402
FRENCH CANADIAN – 122
AUSTRALIA – 159
UK – 400
SOUTH AFRICA – 75
ISRAEL – 229
MEXICO – 63

Here is the itinerary:

(click to zoom)

As you can see, we have two overnight ports this cruise in both Rome and Venice. You will also see that we have a very international guest count as well with only 2,522 out of 4,400 coming from the U.S. and once again we have over 200 Russian guests and that will, as always, be ummmmm…interesting.

From: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 6:57 PM
To: BREEZE CRUISE DIRECTOR; BREEZE FOOD AND BEVERAGE MANAGER; BREEZE MAITRE D
Cc: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; BREEZE HOTEL DIRECTOR; BREEZE ASSISTANT CRUISE DIRECTOR
Subject: Comment on Russian guests from cabin________

Good evening,

Mrs_______ called from Lido Deck and said she was very upset because a group of Russian-speaking guests had pushed into the line at the alternative dining and that this had been going on all cruise. Guest wanted us to know that she was upset by this and suggests that an announcement be made advising guests to stand in line.

Thank you and best regards,

Guest Services Associate, Carnival Breeze
Carnival Cruise Lines

Yep, here we go again. It was the same last year on the Carnival Magic and so it is here on Carnival Breeze. And this comment is not isolated because I hear it all the time. I do wonder what we can do about it and I also wonder why some of the Russian guests do this. Maybe the ones who remember the cold days of communism where they would have to stand in line for hours to collect a piece of coal and a slice of bread think, “Buggerov this, I am not standing in line for a flat iron steak and some broccoli.” and they head to the front and, obviously, this does upset a few. The Russians have money, lots of money, and we are happy to have them here. However, rules mean nothing to them on board and it is a challenge for us to try to pleasantly have them understand those rules. It’s difficult as well for the Lido waiter Ketut to tell an ex-Spetnaz commando, complete with a tattooed forehead, not to push in line. Honestly, some of the Russian men are huge and you get the impression when they look at you that they’re imagining what you would look like with no head. Calvyn and I were eating dinner with Heidi and Kye on Lido last cruise when we saw two men with no shirts on standing at the Sweet Spot dessert counter. So being brave, I went over to ask them to put a shirt on. They ignored me and continued to scoop huge portions of Key Lime Pie onto their plates while I am sure thinking, “Fatov bastardov, I niet putov shirtski on Britishov Pigov.”

I should have insisted or called for Russian-speaking backup but as I didn’t want to be stabbed in the arse with the poisonous tip of an umbrella, I did what any self-respecting cruise director would do and sent Calvyn to deal with them. And I haven’t seen him since!

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.