The lunch hour is dead here at Carnival Cruise Lines. Yep, I have been here a few days now and I can honestly say that no bugger takes an hour away and heads out for a nice lunch. In fact, I would say, from what I have seen, the average lunch break is just 30 minutes. Forget shopping and a visit to the local sushi restaurant. Everyone here is eating at their desks, continuing with work or surfing Amazon and maybe this blog……all Latvian web sites have been blocked …….. I wonder why?

These days it seems the beards only go out for lunch as an excuse to get some more work done. And so is dinner and so, increasingly, is breakfast. In fact, we’re running out of meals to have meetings during. I am waiting to get an e-mail saying that I have a meeting scheduled over a midnight buffet.

 

And given everyone’s late schedules it doesn’t seem like anyone grabs a drink after either. Having a beer or drinking a glass of wine after work seems as taboo as admitting that after work you put on stockings and some Victoria’s Secret lingerie and work as a cabaret act called Loretta. But the no drinking thing is just part of how things used to be. We worked to live — now we live to work.

 

A few years ago, you finished at 5 pm regardless of what was happening. Shops were closed on Sundays. You always took your vacations and would never finish the year with your company owing you vacation days…….and if you sneezed ……you went to bed for a month without fear of having to get a signed paper from the Center for Disease Control to prove that you were ill.

 

Things are a bit different now though. People go to work even if they wake up with a disgusting wound on their arse or projectile green and purple vomit everywhere. Work must continue. If you catch swamp fever, you must get the deal done before your skin turns purple and your dangly bits fall off.
Everyone at Carnival I know goes out at night with their Eyephones in case the senior beards want to get in touch, and, of course, even if we are in throws of making mad passionate love to Megan Fox and Jessica Alba is waiting outside for her turn………if the Eyephone rings and it’s our President Gerry Cahill on the phone, you tell Megan to get the hell out of there ………and Megan and Jessica will be playing Twister for the rest of the night.

 

The Italians have it right, naturally. Three-hour lunches washed down with gallons of wine followed by a three-hour nap………and………..if they must………a few hours in the office before dinner………but never………never on the weekends.

 

Here, though, at Carnival HQ as I said, every bugger eats at their desk but that causes problems some of which I have noted these past few days. Eating at your desk is one thing but the person in the cubicle opposite me sounds like something from The Walking Dead.

 

But the biggest problem, I am told, is that people steal things out of the entertainment department’s massive fridge in the break room. Passive-aggressive signs and food labeling  aren’t enough, my colleagues tell me so as I am in the office for some time and I don’t want anyone stealing my spicy chicken low fat microwavable curry, I will play dirty – which is why my plastic container in the fridge simply says “stool sample.”

 

Time for some Q and A…………….here we go.

Mikael Santiago asks:

Latin music is the most popular music in the world to dance to. Obviously, Carnival hasn’t discovered this fact because there was no Latin band on the Carnival Splendor where there is a large Hispanic population, many who I saw were on the ship with us. Shame on you for having no Latino music and no live music for us to dance to.

 

John says:

Hello Mikael Santiago,

I had no idea that Latin music was the most popular in the world so many thanks for letting me know. I do hope you enjoyed the other live music offerings from the party band Music Motion who were there along with other music offerings. You will though be pleased to know that we do in fact, have a Latin band on the Carnival Splendor called Fandango. I hope you get to see them on your next cruise. Best wishes.

John

 

Roddy Holmes asks:

Hi John: My wife and I will be on the Feb. 16 cruise with friends that I was stationed with in Germany 35 years ago in the Air Force (the Littlejohns and the Mavis’) and wanted to get on board early with them in the Faster to the Fun excursion but it says sold out. Do you have any clout to get us on at the same time they get on by purchasing a Faster to the Fun excursion?

Thanks,
Roddy

 

John says:

Hello Roddy Holmes,

What a wonderful way to meet up with these great friends and we are truly thankful to you for doing this on one of our ships. The FTTF for that cruise is indeed sold out. We only have between 15-30 people on each ship who can take advantage of this program. However, please do keep checking back and see if anyone has canceled or if we need to add more openings. If there is anything I can do for you before you sail please let me know and I hope you all have the best of times together. Best wishes.

John

 

Cea Herbert asks:

Good afternoon! We will be cruising in February with extended family. We have connecting staterooms but is it possible to have the balconies connected as well? Thank you.
Cea

 

John says:

Hello Cea Herbert,

If you send the cabin numbers and the ship and sailing to my facebook.com/johnheald page two days before the cruise, I will contact the ship and see if it’s possible for you. Thanks and I wish you all a great time. Best wishes.

John

 

David E. Simmons Sr. asks:

I am taking my son David Jr. on his first cruise to celebrate his outstanding achievements. He is 14 and has already achieved the eagle rank in the Scouts of America which, John, is the highest level you can get. David Jr was also invited in June this year into the prestigious Young Mensans which focuses on gifted children like my David most defiantly is. The reason I am telling you this is in hope that you will recognize him during the cruise on the stage to the other guests. I would wish also an invitation to him accompanied by me, of course, to dine with the captain which would be an experience I am sure the captain of the vessel would never forget. We are going to be on the Carnival Magic sailing of 12/08/13 and by reply can you inform me what will be planned for David Jr., one of America’s brightest and best.

David E.Simmons Sr

 

John says:

Hello David E. Simmons Sr,

How very proud you must be of your son and it’s great to see that you will be spending some father and son time together on the Carnival Magic. While I won’t be able to invite you both to dine with the captain, I will arrange for the captain and your son to have a photo at the captain’s celebration night which is elegant night. I will also ask James, the cruise director, to mention David on his morning show and send him one of our famous trophies. I am sure you will both have a brilliant time together. Best wishes to you both.

John

 

Eugene Goings asks:

John, why don’t they put the Dive In Movies Big Screen ………… on all the ships?

 

John says:

Hello Eugene Goings,

Unfortunately, there is no space on the Fantasy- and Spirit-class ships which is why they don’t have them. We do have them though on 12 of our ships and I hope you get to experience the fun of watching movies and events under the stars soon. Best wishes.

John

 

Vanessa Davey asks:

Hi John, can you pretty please pass on our congratulations to the crew of the Carnival Ecstasy? I do not see many reviews of this ship, maybe because she is older but we have just completed our second cruise on there and it was, as you would, say, John, brilliant. Special mention to Svetlana our waiter. She was so funny and her Russian lessons were so funny and hearing my husband in his southern accent from Georgia trying to speak in Russian had us all crying with laughter. All the crew was so friendly and we had nonstop fun and have booked again for the New Year’s cruise which we are so excited about. Thank you for doing this, John, we love your blogs.

 

John says:

Hello Vanessa Davey,

Picturing your husband trying to speak Russian in his best Southern accent made me smile and I wish I could have been there to see it. I will pass on your kind words for Svetlana to her supervisors who I know will make sure she gets the praise she deserves. How wonderful that you have booked again for this New Year’s cruise which I know will be brilliant as well. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know and thanks so much for taking the time to write.

Best wishes

John

 

Natalie Sorrentino asks:

Can you please help me, John, and tell me who the comedians will be for our honeymoon cruise. Erik and I will be on the Carnival Breeze November 23. We loved the comedy club on our last ship, Carnival Victory, and hope we have more laughs on the ship this time. Thank you, John, and if you happened to send us a little something for our honeymoon, it would be super cool of you.

 

John says:

Hello Natalie Sorrentino,

I am sure we can do that. Could I ask a favour and that is to send me this again to my facebook.com/johnheald page the day before you cruise and include your cabin number. I wish you many wonderful and happy years together. The comedians for your cruise will be Just June, Percy Crews, Tommy Drake and Scotty K, four very funny people indeed. Have a great time and enjoy every moment together.

 

Martha Coleman asks:

John, please listen to what was written here about the word master being offensive because it is to so many people in the United States of America. Captain is good but master should be banned on your ships.

 

John says:

Hello Martha Coleman,

I totally understand that there is an uncomfortable connection for some to the word “master.” However, I would like to say that this term has been around on ships for hundreds of years and it’s part of maritime tradition. I will say that most of the time we use the word captain and it is rare that you will hear the word “master” on board these days and we try to use captain as much as we can. I hope this explains things better and let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. Best wishes.

John

 

John Pelt asks:

I just got an email about an itinerary change on the Carnival Glory for my Jan. 19 cruise next year. We are still scheduled to go to the same ports but in a different order. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal except for in Belize. We went from having one other ship in port to four. This doesn’t sound good with this being a long tender port. The same thing happened last year and we went to Costa Maya instead. I would much rather go to Costa Maya than Belize anyway especially with five ships in Belize at once. Maybe you could suggest a port change? Thanks.
John

 

John says:

Hello John Pelt,

Please don’t worry. While the tender ride in Belize is longer than most at approx. 20 minutes or so there will be more than enough tenders to get all the guests ashore. There won’t be a port change, I am afraid, but I know you will have a great time there and please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. Best wishes.

John

 

Tamie asks:

Hi John
My husband and I have immensely enjoyed each of the many Carnival cruises we have been on over the last 15 years. Our most recent was our first time in Europe, last fall we boarded the Carnival Breeze for a most memorable 12-day Med cruise. We have decided to venture back over to Europe in 2014 (possibly a Baltic cruise) & went to the Carnival site to see what was available. To our dismay, Carnival has no cruises planned in Europe in 2014? Can you provide any insight as to why not? Deeply disappointed – do not really want to use another line.

 

John says:

Hello Tamie,

I know how you feel and understand and share your disappointment. But for operational reasons we did have to leave Europe for 2014 and I hope there will be better news soon. Thanks so much for writing and I do hope we will see you on one of our ships soon. Best wishes.

John

 

And that’s all for today and I will be back with more next week. So tomorrow, I fly to New York for some filming on the Carnival Splendor and before I leave tomorrow, I wanted to post this quick blog for you. One of the things I have been working on these past few days is Blogger Cruise 7. I have chosen the comedians already and the special fly-on act who will be performing an exclusive show just for us. But one area I have decided yet is who will entertain in the Piano Bar. Usually we have the wonderful Ron Pass and I shall miss him this time around but who indeed can replace him? Any suggestions?

Meanwhile here is the latest schedule of our wonderful Piano Bar entertainers:

Roster ID SON

 

SOFF

 

ShipCode

 

Ben Gentry

 

 

02-Jun-13

 

 

03-Nov-13

 

 

BR

 

 

Tom Grable

 

 

08-Feb-13

 

 

04-Nov-13

 

 

IS

 

 

Shea Michael Duncan

 

 

16-Sep-13

 

 

07-Nov-13

 

 

PA

 

 

Marty Gast

 

 

12-May-13

 

 

10-Nov-13

 

 

FD

 

 

Robert Cozma

 

 

18-Jul-13

 

 

16-Nov-13

 

 

FS

 

 

Seth Gibson

 

 

18-Aug-13

 

 

17-Nov-13

 

 

SH

 

 

Jim Morris

 

 

29-Jun-13

 

 

23-Nov-13

 

 

LI

 

 

Steve Burks

 

 

19-Oct-13

 

 

07-Dec-13

 

 

MI

 

 

Justin Abrams

 

 

03-Nov-13

 

 

07-Dec-13

 

 

BR

 

 

Natalie Carboni

 

 

17-Oct-13

 

 

21-Dec-13

 

 

SP

 

 

Dana Honey

 

 

28-Jul-13

 

 

29-Dec-13

 

 

FS

 

 

Greg Alcock

 

 

25-Oct-13

 

 

10-Jan-14

 

 

IM

 

 

Milburn Dumas

 

 

12-Aug-13

 

 

13-Jan-14

 

 

EC

 

 

Walter Boik

 

 

14-Oct-13

 

 

16-Jan-14

 

 

EL

 

 

Billy Reid Zimmerman

 

 

18-Nov-13

 

 

17-Jan-14

 

 

IS

 

 

Jordan Heppner

 

 

15-Sep-13

 

 

19-Jan-14

 

 

MC

 

 

Michael O’Quinn

 

 

08-Dec-13

 

 

19-Jan-14

 

 

PR

 

 

Michael Geier

 

 

02-Dec-13

 

 

01-Feb-14

 

 

TI

 

 

Kyle Bronsdon

 

 

10-Oct-13

 

 

02-Feb-14

 

 

LE

 

 

Trevor Jones

 

 

21-Dec-13

 

 

10-Feb-14

 

 

SP

 

 

Robert Crucilla

 

 

16-Sep-13

 

 

16-Feb-14

 

 

FA

 

 

Liz Strauss

 

 

23-Nov-13

 

 

08-Mar-14

 

 

LI

 

 

 

There are a couple of ships missing that we are still working on and I will add those as soon as I can. Meanwhile, I send my thanks to all of the piano players for the brilliant work that they do and my usual thanks to Laura aka Divetrash for her support with them on her page. As always I ask you to let me know who shines from that list and who you would like to see on BC7.

 

Well it won’t be long until the Carnival Sunshine starts her journey home to the Big Easy and here are her crossing details for you.

 

Nov 01, 2013 (Fri)       Sunshine          BARCELONA, SPAIN     5:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Nov 02, 2013 (Sat)      Sunshine          PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN    7:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Nov 03, 2013 (Sun)     Sunshine          At Sea

Nov 04, 2013 (Mon)    Sunshine          MALAGA, SPAIN    7:00 AM   4:00 PM

Nov 05, 2013 (Tue)     Sunshine          at sea

Nov 06, 2013 (Wed)    Sunshine          LAS PALMAS CANARY ISLAND    11:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Nov 07, 2013 (Thu)     Sunshine          at sea

Nov 08, 2013 (Fri)       Sunshine          at sea

Nov 09, 2013 (Sat)      Sunshine          at sea

Nov 10, 2013 (Sun)     Sunshine          at sea

Nov 11, 2013 (Mon)    Sunshine          at sea

Nov 12, 2013 (Tue)     Sunshine          at sea

Nov 13, 2013 (Wed)    Sunshine          GRAND TURK    10:00 AM    6:00 PM

Nov 14, 2013 (Thu)     Sunshine          at sea

Nov 15, 2013 (Fri)       Sunshine          at sea

Nov 16, 2013 (Sat)      Sunshine          at sea

Nov 17, 2013 (Sun)     Sunshine          New Orleans

 

I have seen the entertainment schedule and the shows will be superb and they have someone called Magic Micky who is the guest lecturer and who was very popular on the South America voyage as I understand. Anyway, should be a wonderful voyage and having just been on the ship I know the superb crew will make sure that the guests have the best of times.

 

So while I am flying to New York and spending the night in my hotel, 90,000 guests will be on our Carnival ships celebrating Halloween. In fact, as I sit here fully clothed again (bugger, my writing is so much better when I am wearing only my XXL white Fruit of the Looms) the ships are being decorated into full Halloween mode and I will have photos of this and photos of the costume winners next week which should be fun.

 

Tomorrow the Camp Carnival staff will start their trick or treat sessions. Now, rather than have the kids randomly knock on cabin doors asking for candy and waking up Mr. and Mrs. Moody-pants from their afternoon nap, we do this in the public lounges. Each lounge has a department head and staff manning it ready to hand out the candy.
I have been on ships many times during Halloween and there is nothing more ummmm …… fun ………than waiting for the little darlings to come and threaten me with kicks to the ankle if I refused to give them yet more sugar. Now you also expect the kids to be dressed in the usual assortment of Harry Potters, ghosts, Dora the Explorers, Spiderman(s), fairies and princesses of which there will be many this year I am sure.

 

I remember the Halloween I spent as CD on the Carnival Splendor a few years ago. There was a six- or seven-year-old girl who was definitely not dressed as a princess. I will try and describe what I saw. She was wearing a boob tube, leather miniskirt, platform heels and glitter eye-shadow and lashings of pink lipstick.

 

“Hello,” I said.

 

“Trick or Treat,” she replied in a very confident voice and with her hands on her hips.

 

As I placed a generous amount of chocolate in her Carnival bag, I asked her what she was dressed as. “I’m a Bratz!” she declared.

 

“Oh”…….I declared, having no bloody clue what a Bratz was.

 

I learnt later f that a Bratz is a modern day kids doll and is apparently a cartoon as well. I am sure she looked like a Bratz to the trained eye ………..but to me………..she looked like a well, you don’t need me to say do you?

 

The other thing I don’t understand is this trick or treat thing because today’s trick or treaters leave a lot to be desired when it comes to the childish tricks and pranks and we should allow the kids to play tricks on random guests when they ask for candy. I can just imagine a kid on the Carnival Breeze asking a guest for candy and the grumpy old sod grunting, “I’m giving you nothing, now **** off.”

 

If this happens we should allow the kids to put super glue on their cabin door handles or a fake dog turd in their chocolate melting cake.

 

Maybe it’s because I am a Brit but I personally don’t see the sodding point of Halloween. I can see the kids thing about demanding candy with menaces from little old ladies but the whole thing about celebrating being scared……..I just don’t get it. Then again, when it comes to being scared and watching movies like Saw and the Evil Dead, well…….I just can’t watch them. Then again, this probably comes from the time Heidi and I tried something in London called Cellar of Horrors Live. You pay an absurd amount of money to go into a dingy basement entrance and you do so with certain “it’s not real” swagger.

 

A kindly staff member pointed out that we shouldn’t go any further if we have a heart condition ……….I say bollocks……. and we stepped inside, past a waxwork of a Victorian police officer on the beat. Except it’s not a waxwork, it’s a drama student who explodes in my face with a piercing yell, forcing me into an out of skin leap that Tom and Jerry would struggle to match.

 

For the next twenty minutes we wandered through dark, echoing corridors, being chased by all manner of ghouls, from a huge bald bloke with an axe to Jack the Ripper, who emerged from the shadows to rattle chains, groan, dribble and spurt blood at us from various gaping wounds. The actors were truly impressive, and by the time we stumbled out of there, Heidi had a huge lump in her throat ………and I had one in the back of my trousers.

 

Happy Halloween everyone.

 

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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