KIDS IN THE FROG

November 28, 2012 -

John Heald

It’s strange to think that I won’t be a cruise director for a few months after spending seven months in the chair on the Carnival Breeze. I won’t be the CD for BC6, although I will be hosting a Marriage Show and Calvyn and I will host live morning shows for the audience to enjoy. It never gets easier being an older cruise director and especially during the conference last week when I was surrounded by youth and vitality and more hair product than a sodding beauty salon …………..and that’s just the male CDs.

There are other ways that being a CD these days makes me feel so very old. Take being back stage on the Carnival Breeze for the Playlist Productions shows and the bow finales I have to do on the microphone for Divas and Brits, our two new shows. Yep, when a 19-year-old dancer gets undressed right in front of me, I have to turn my head and bury it in shame…..because I feel like a dirty old man. It’s hard to explain because the dancers don’t care, they really don’t, for them, it’s just part of the job. For me, seeing the people I work with naked is embarrassing. Imagine seeing Tracey from sales standing by the photo copier naked except for a tiny thong thingy. I am supposed to manage and guide these people through their time on the ship. It’s difficult to chastise someone because they were late for sodding bingo when you have just seen them in their birthday suit the night before.

 

Anyway, seeing the girls is one thing…..well, actually, it’s two things but that doesn’t matter …. what I am trying to say is seeing the girls breasts and bottoms is bad enough……….but when the male dancers run past you with everything in full view…. leads me to the main subject of this portion of the blog thingy……. underpants.  There were four male cast members on the Carnival Breeze and their underwear ran the entire gamut of underpants on display backstage. Some wore tight briefs while others wore boxers which I have to imagine leaves the wearer living in dread of having to run across the stage. There was one performer, who will remain nameless who, if he had run naked, surely have given himself a tattoo of his own thingy across his forehead…..the lucky bastard. Many women will say that these types of underpants are sexy and that the giant diaper ones I wear are not. But to me these are comfortable and the ones the male dancers wear surely cannot be. And what matters to women? Well, ask my wife and Heidi will tell you only three things really matter to women about underpants…… cleanliness, cleanliness and cleanliness. So that means I fail on both counts — the sexy part and the cleanliness part. But, hey …..I am comfortable ……. and bollocks to everything else.

 

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

 

Linda Parsons asked:

I had a wonderful time on the eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. Gary was CD and also a Sparkles on the bingo games. A beautiful ship and such friendly courteous crew members. I now want to try the western Caribbean cruise Dec 2013. However, I have seen a lot of complaints recently pertaining to after dry-dock time. I don’t believe everything I read and still want to travel on the Carnival Dream. Will it be fine?

John says:
Hello Linda Parsons,

Thanks for the kind words on the staff and crew of the Carnival Dream and they will see your words of praise. I am not sure what comments you have seen because I have seen many excellent reviews both here and on my Facebook page. I am sure you will have a wonderful time and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes.

John

 

Paul Antrim asked:

I keep reading here about Carnival cracking down on drink smuggling but on Cruise Critic, there are lots of stories about folks not getting caught. I have never done this but if Carnival puts the prices up anymore which is a result of these rum runners who boast what they have done, I may join them, John!!!!

John says:
Hello Paul Antrim,

I do not have time to ever spend on CC but I can tell you that there are indeed rules against smuggling alcohol on board. Of course, we miss some but we do catch more than not and so we will continue to work hard on this. Overall, I think our bar prices are very competitive and I thank you for resisting temptation and not smuggling in alcohol. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.

John

 

Mike Kocik asked:
John,

Your blogs are great comic relief for my week as well as highly informative. We are cruising on the Carnival Fascination Dec 8 and are VERY distressed over this recent post from Cruise Critic: “The entertainment was very much lacking on this ship. Sure, they had the hairy chest contest, the sail away party and the mega deck party, but that was it the entire rest of the cruise. NO LIVE MUSIC EVER!!!!!!!! Not even DJ music for most of the day and night. I really did not understand this at all!!!!!! Who does not want music on the lido deck?????” Please tell me this is all a big mistake! I time my trips to the bar by number of songs. I will be COMPLETELY off my game!! Seriously, will we have music or not?

Thanks,
Mike

John says:
Hello Mike Kocik,

Please ignore. Press delete and keep calm. Here is what you will find on board as noted in last cruises Fun Times. Let’s start with live music and the DJs

GET YOUR GROOVE ON

ISLAND SOUNDS CARIBBEAN ECSTASY
11:30am – 1:00pm & 2:30pm – 5:30pm Lido Stage, 10 Mid

PIANO MUSIC WITH ROBERT
12:00pm -2:00pm – Grand Atrium, 7 Fwd
3:00pm – 4:00pm – (Tea Time) Club 88, 8 Fwd
6:00pm -7:00pm – Grand Atrium, 7 Fwd

CHILLIN WITH BRIAN
5:00pm – 6:00pm – Grand Atrium, 7 Fwd
7:00pm-9:30pm – Grand Atrium, 7 Fwd

PARTY WITH THE SHOWBAND
5:00pm – 6:00pm – Stars Bar, 9 Mid

FUN TIMES WITH MUSIC MIX
7:00pm – 8:00pm – Stars Bar, 9 Mid
9:30pm – 1:15am – Stars Bar, 9 Mid

KARAOKE WITH VICTORIA
8:00pm – Late Passage to India, 9 Mid

ROCKIN’ PIANO MUSIC WITH WALLY B
9:30pm – Late Club 88, 8 Fwd

DANCE SOUNDS
10:15pm (70’s & 80’s) – Diamonds Nightclub, 9 Mid
11:30pm – 3:00am – Nightclub, 9 Mid

Fancy some comedy, Mike?

PUNCHLINER COMEDY CLUB

We are now offering more comedy than ever before.
Adults Only (18+) Comedy 10:15pm – Mark Hawkins
Adults Only (18+) Comedy 11:00pm – Happy Cole
Adults Only (18+) Comedy  – Midnight – Mark Hawkins

And in the main lounge…

HEY MAMBO
Presented by your Cruise Director Paul
Starring:
The Fascination Dancers and the vocal dynamics of Michelle & Clint

Live music by Kevin Lower & The Fascination Showband
7:00pm Late Seating – Palace Theater, 8 & 9 Fwd
8:45pm Early Seating – Palace Theater, 8 & 9 Fwd

And here is what’s happening on the first sea day afternoon, activity-wise.

9:30am – Trivia: Fun Challenge – Palace Theater, 8 & 9 Fwd
10:00am
Half Price Bingo – Palace Theater, 8 & 9 Fwd
$10 Madness Sale – Promenade Deck, 9 Aft
Bridge Players Meet (Unsupervised) – Stars Bar, 9 Mid
Body sculpt boot camp – Spa Carnival, 12 Fwd

10:30am – Fun Ashore & Fun Aboard – Palace Theater, 8 & 9 Fwd

11:00am
TV Tunes Trivia – Lido Stage, 10 Mid
Slogans Trivia – Stars Bar, 9 Mid
Inch of Gold Sale – Fun Shops, 8 Fwd
Detox for Health & Weight Loss – Spa Carnival, 12 Fwd

11:30am General Knowledge Trivia – Stars Bar, 9 Mid
Mini Golf. Big Fun – Sun Deck, 14 Fwd
Texas Hold’em Tournament – Casino Royale, 9 Mid

11:45am Fun Finds Shopping Show – Palace Theater, 8 & 9 Fwd

12:00pm
Digital Scavenger Hunt – Stars Bar, 9 Mid
Puffy Eyes Seminar – Spa Carnival, 12 Fwd
Relieve Back Pain with Good Feet Seminar – Spa, 12 Fwd

12:30pm
Master Mixologist Sign Ups – Lido Stage, 10 Mid
Sports Trivia – Stars Bar, 9 Mid

1:00pm
Master Mixologist Competition – Lido Stage, 10 Mid
Secrets to a flatter stomach – Spa Carnival, 12 Fwd
Get your Ping-Pong on – Verandah, 11 Fwd
Beary Cuddly – Camp Carnival, Deck 11 Fwd
Blackjack Tournament – Casino Royale, 9 Mid

1:30pm
Champagne Art Auction – Diamond’s Nightclub, 9 Mid
Crazy 80’s – Stars Bar, 9 Mid

2:00pm
Showcase of Stars Sign up – Beverly Hills Bar, 9 Aft
Hairy Chest Contest – Lido Stage, 10 Mid

2:30pm
Bridge Players Meet (Unsupervised) – Stars Bar, 9 Mid
Spot the Real Tanzanite – Fun Shops, 8 Fwd
Name That Beatles Tune – Stars Bar, 9 Mid

3:00pm
Diamond and Gemstone Seminar – Passage To India, 9 Mid
Wine Tasting Seminar – Imagination Dining Room, 8 Aft
Ultimate Mind Game – Stars Bar, 9 Mid
Tea Time – Club 88, 8 Fwd
Bean Bag Toss Contest – Lido Stage, 10 Mid

3:15pm 5 Game Bingo – Palace Theater, 8 & 9 Fwd

3:30pm Name That Comedy – Stars Bar, 9 Mid

4:00pm
Thriller Dance Class – Palace Theater, 8 & 9 Fwd
Scategories – Stars Bar, 9 Mid
Pathway To Pilates – Spa Carnival, 12 Fwd
Swarovski Sale – Fun Shops, 8 Fwd
Military Veterans Meeting (unsupervised) – Passage To India, 9 Mid

4:30pm Elegant Evening Portraits – Deck 7 & 9

So then…nothing to be stressed about. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes.

John

Scott Bosma asked:
John,

Wanted to drop you a line about our experience with Carnival.  Stunning pretty much sums it up!  My wife and I went on Carnival Fascination in March 2012, we just booked Carnival Dream for Feb 2014. Joey Hernandez (our Carnival booking agent) has been extraordinary! She is not only knowledgeable but kind and encouraging. You have one hell of Carnival ambassador on your side!!  She is one of the reasons we have booked this second cruise….next to how wonderful your staff is from booking to boarding to state room to Lido Deck to casino to restaurant to debarkation. Thank you for everything Carnival stands for!!!!  We will be VIP before you know it!

John says:
Hello Scott Bosma,

I must admit that your post was a bit further down my list to answer but I wanted to post it here because of the question above from Mike who was worried having read a negative review about the ship you had so much fun on. I am thrilled that you did plus I will make sure that Joey sees your kind words as will her supervisor. I hope you will let me know if there is anything I can ever do for you.

George Fecowycz asked:

Cruising December 13 out of Galveston on the Carnival Triumph and I am wondering if there is any chance the “awesome bar” program will be available on the ship? Thanks for any info.

John says:
Hello George,

The program has been changed to be called now Cheers. I have no news on this starting on the Carnival Triumph before you sail but as soon as there is any news, I will, of course, let you know.

Best wishes and have a great time.

John

Robert Rushikey asked:
John,

As you are so am I am very obese and can’t fit in a normal seat in the dining hall. I need one with no arms and need to know if the Carnival bed in cabin E124 on the Carnival Fantasy can hold my 358 pounds so need you to respond immediately so preparations can be made by you guys if you see any problems. I also want to know if, like NCLm you can get fresh pizza sent to the cabin!

John says:
Hello Robert Rushikey,

I checked with the housekeeping manager and you will be fine on the bed there so please do not worry. I have also made sure that the maître d knows that you will need the chair with no arms and this will be ready and waiting for you next week. I am afraid we don’t deliver the pizza but it is complimentary and available 24 hours a day.  Have a wonderful cruise and loads of fun.

Best wishes.

John

Lee Galant asked:

I have heard that a new drink option is being tested where you can pay a set fee. I will be sailing on the Carnival Breeze in May.  Is this test period being offered on the Breeze? Also what is the cost and can you prepay before you leave home. This will be our 13th cruise on Carnival and would not sail on any other line.

John says:
Hello Lee Galant,

Yes, the new program is called “Cheers” and is available on the Carnival Breeze for each adult in the cabin to purchase. I hope you enjoy it and may I also say a huge thanks to you for your wonderful loyalty.

Best wishes and please let me know if you need anything.

John

Judy Saunders asked:

My husband and I are booked for our fifth cruise in April 23, 2013.  We have tried over and over to win a “ship on a stick” but so far no luck.  Could we purchase one while on board?

Also – we just want you to know WE LOVE YOU.

John says:
Hello Judy Saunders,

They are not for sale but I am sure I can help you out so send me your sailing information one month before you sail here or two days before on my Facebook page and include your cabin number. Thanks for the kind words and have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes.

John

Barbara Murphy asked:

Will you be on the Carnival Legend 9-13-2013 for the British Isles cruise?

John says:
Hello Barbara Murphy,

Yes, indeed, I will be and what a fantastic voyage this will be. I hope you are ready to have a great time and see you soon.

Best wishes.

John

Colin Hanstanton asked:

I read that you do not have church services at Christmas on your ships and I am surprised if this is correct. At this time of year I would think it would be a gimmie that your company would provide this for the passengers. Can you tell me if this is true or false, please?

John says:
Hello Colin Hanstanton,

I am afraid we do not have religious services on board our ships during the Christmas cruise. What we will do is ask the cruise directors to put an announcement to the ship asking if anyone would like to hold a service and if that person is responsible and we think they are OK to do this, then we will provide them with all they need. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.

John

Sandy Kendall asked:

I have been trying to purchase the Faster to the Fun for our 3/30/13 eastern Caribbean cruise on the Liberty.  When I go to shore excursions for Miami, I am not allowed to purchase the Fun Pass nor any other Miami excursions.  Am I doing something wrong?

John says:
Hello Sandy Kendall,

No Sandy, it just isn’t there yet. Please try two to three weeks before the cruise and it should be there for you. Please let me know if you have any questions and have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes.

John

And that’s all for today. I had a week or so away from the blog because of my travels from the Carnival Breeze to Miami and then of course the conference and back here to Miami. One of the things I did not have time, therefore, to write about was this incident from the Carnival Breeze.

From: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES

Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2012 8:35 PM

To: BREEZE CRUISE DIRECTOR; BREEZE BEVERAGE OPERATIONS MANAGER; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES MANAGER

Subject: Incident in RFP: Cabin ****

Hello John

Mr ———– approached me at the GSD to make a complaint about kids being in the RedFrog Pub. Guest says that one was running around and bumped into him making his drink spill. Guest wants dry cleaning done free of charge and John he has asked to meet with you as he says kids should not be allowed in the pub. Thanks John

Guest Services Associate

Carnival Breeze

Well, I did speak to the chap in question and we did not charge him for the cleaning we did on his clothes. He was adamant that we didn’t allow kids in the RedFrog Pub for the remainder of the cruise but it wasn’t something the hotel director or I were prepared to do. It’s a tough question, should we allow kids in the pub? Well, first things first, we really don’t get a whole lot of people who bring their kids to the pub actually, especially when you consider we have all the kids play areas, video arcades, water parks, 24-hour pizza, you name it. On the trans-Atlantic crossing we had 70 kids on board total, that’s all and of course what happened with the drink spill was just an isolated incident but the subject of children being allowed there is one worthy of discussion.

Things are certainly different in the UK as pubs close to London seem to be the most child-hating places in Europe. I’ve found out when Heidi and I have been trying to find somewhere to go with Kye and seeing staff react with a panic that suggests I’ve just brought a bag of scorpions on to the premises. Then they ask us to leave. I have mentioned before that the best treatment (if you could call it that) we got was a bar manager pointing at a dark, smelly corner of the pub we were in and we said it would be OK if we all ordered food and stayed out of sight. We told them to sod off……well I did………Kye didn’t because she is three years old, obviously.

Now I know there will be a lot of differing opinions when people read this. Some would say no problem so long as the children are well behaved (and the vast majority are) while others will say that noisy children in a pub, bar or restaurant easily ruins the experience. On the other hand, some feel that kids are OK in pubs and bars as long as they are “seen and not heard” and gone by 8 pm or so.  Me, what do I think? Well I like the family atmosphere we provide at the RedFrog Pub and Kye loves the little sliders we serve there. But I can understand both points of view but personally it hasn’t been a problem but perhaps we should look at adopting a rule as we do in the piano bars and have it adults only after 10 pm. It’s an interesting topic so please let me know what you think.

So I am working in the office here in Miami and have meetings and using the entertainment and operations offices to work from. There are lots of new faces here and some who have been here for some time who I don’t really know that well and that means I have to be careful. Let me explain why.

You see, Calvyn is here with me and that means we have our usual arguments and name calling sessions rather similar to those we have on our live morning shows and those who have seen them will know what I mean. We don’t really argue but I guess…..well……..we are like a married couple who bicker and fight and most of all………….make fun of each other’s ……….. well ……….. everything. This kind of behavior is commonplace on ships and nowhere more so than in the cruise staff department amongst the dancers, entertainment staff and the musicians. I suspect that this is not just the case at Carnival but on other cruise lines as well, it’s part of who we are and part of life on board.

Just like other places of business, what we say and do these days is very tame now though compared to where we were when I first started on ships. You see back then it was a massively male dominated industry, especially on board. There were no female crew members in the dining rooms, no female bar staff and no female housekeeping personnel either. It was the dancers, the spa and a few casino and pursers. And back then before the PC world which we now live in was born the stuff we said to each other was of a much stronger variety. Did it offend? Possibly but most thought it to be funny and was often what got you through the day. Anyway, there are times when I forget this and yesterday was such a time. There we were in the entertainment offices. I was using one of the vacant offices and trying to concentrate on answering Facebook questions which for those who with me there yesterday you will know it was not an easy day. Calvyn was there as well, doing nothing except annoying me by listing all the things he didn’t want to eat for lunch. “I don’t want salad. I don’t want a burger. Maybe I will have a pizza…..no, I don’t want a pizza.” He said this over and over again in a voice that sounded like a mixture between Pee Wee Herman and Elmer Fudd and, quite frankly, he was getting on my sodding nerves.

It was when he said, “Maybe I’ll go to Wendy’s and have their number six combo spicy chicken ………..no, I won’t have that.” That’s when I lost my mind. Picking up my half-drunk bottle of Dasani water, I flung it at him with all my might and as I did so I yelled, “Will you just piss off you stinking $@#$#$^^*()()(%#@.”  I have no idea where those words came from or what they mean when used in a sentence together but it’s what I screamed as the Dasani bottle hit Calvyn square on the nose. I was about to gloat at my perfect aim and my brilliant use of profanity but all this was cut short by the sight of a certain senior vice president standing in the doorway ……………….oh, bugger.

There are many people who make the transition from ships to shoreside easily and there are those who find it difficult. I think I would be one of those who would find it difficult because the name calling and joshing we have on board for the most part just does not exist in the corporate politically correct world we all work in. It’s the same at schools today. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about bullying, that’s a completely different subject and has no place anywhere. No, what I am talking about is good old fashioned ribbing. I worry that Kye and others of her generation will grow up to live in a world where there is no fun, no silly harmless name calling and no simply being a kid. Kids are endlessly creative in inventing new and hilariously un-PC insults with which to tease each other. It has always been this way. That’s what growing up is all about isn’t it? Some will say there is indeed no place for it at all at school or in the workplace. Maybe they are right, maybe I am a dinosaur but it would, I think, be a shame if we got rid of it completely ……….. that would make life very dull indeed.

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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