Dream By Night

September 11, 2009 -

John Heald

You may have read in yesterdays Q and A section of the blog thingy that a blogger was asking about Skype and its availability on the ships. As I mentioned it is not normally available due to something called “bandwidth” people with beards tell me that reception is more up and down than Paris Hilton’s knickers.

And that’s a shame because it would be just perfect for me if Heidi and I could talk via video phone and I could look at Kye and Kye could look at me going “fluba luba poo poo nicky nacky noo noo” ………….yes……….I now speak fluent baby.

Freedom Ends

August 22, 2009 -

John Heald

Like Superman, Batman is a superhero but he is different from the others. He doesn’t have any superpowers built in but instead uses gadgets and a secret cave, a bit like James Bond in Lycra. Most superheroes have something wrong with them. Peter Parker was bitten in the bollocks by a radioactive spider and acquired its thingies to become your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

He moaned at the time but he could have just as easily been bitten by a radioactive dung beetle, thus merely inheriting the power of floating on the surface of a pond or borrowing into a huge pile of elephant poo…….and in a fight with the Green Goblin that is next to useless.

Your Dream From On High

July 17, 2009 -

John Heald

I have a busy day today……..the last day of this six-day cruise. Here is my schedule:

6:45am – alarm sounds to start blogging
9:00am – 10:30am – Captain and senior officers meeting
10:30 am – Photo with a family whose 12-year-old is here as part of the Make a Wish foundation
11:00am – 11:30am – Debarkation talk
11:30am – 12:00pm – Q and A
12:00pm – 1:00pm – Production team Meeting (this is with the dance captain, musical director and all the entertainment technicians to discuss the shows etc)
1:30pm – Capers and schedule planning for my first eight-day western Caribbean run
2:30pm – Newlywed game
3:30pm – Wedding renewal
5:00pm – Afternoon show
8:30pm and 10:30pm – Host show

This of course does not take into consideration the phone calls and other distractions and it also does not take into consideration the time I will spend on the toilet either.

A Blog From Heidi

December 30, 2008 -

John Heald

Hello Everyone.

It’s Heidi here. I thought I would write to you to wish you all a very happy new year as I am sure John will forget in tomorrow’s blog. My tummy is getting bigger and the Thingy feels like a flock of butterflies live in there with the Thingy especially at night. It is a wonderful feeling though. I wanted to thank all of you who sent Christmas cards and baby gifts. I have sent you all cards, as well, so I hope you get them soon. I read the comments you write on the blog everyday and so many contain such kind words for John and I so thank you so very very much.

John has a cold or if you listen to him he is “extremely ill.” He has a runny nose, a sore throat, a bit of a cough and every few minutes his eyes fill with water: He is currently in bed telling me and anyone else who will listen that he has the flu. He does not have the flu. He has a cold. The same cold that I have had and hundreds of thousands of other people here in the UK have had. John refuses to say that he has a cold because that is not manly enough. So John says he has the flu because that makes him sound less of a wimp. Is that how you spell wimp or is it whimp? In Dutch we would say “zeurpiet.” It is also an excuse for him to stay in bed, watch re-runs of the Sopranos and West Wing and for me and the Thingy to feed him poached eggs and chicken soup all day.

Honestly, you would think you are in the Caribbean heading for the Virgin Islands. But we are not ………we are heading to Marmaris, Turkey, and with 80 degrees of sunshine and tanzanite blue water it certainly could be the Caribbean Sea. It’s been a long time since I have seen a totally perfect day like this and if we were carrying anyone under the age of 70, I am sure the water slide and splash parks would be very popular. As it is though many are playing bridge, trivia and, of course, bingo………because that’s the law.

The Lido roof is open, the bands are playing and this afternoon there was the very strange site of my Asian friends from Canada………dancing………..or should I say………ballroom dancing on the Lido ………..in shorts, T-shirts and swimwear. Whereas the duo on Lido usually get requests for Jimmy Buffet, country and light pop music, today they were inundated with requests for “standards” that gave people the chance to foxtrot and the other stuff.


Rules — there are lots of them in the world today.

You can’t land unless the tray table is up, you can’t smack your children, you can’t smoke in a pub, you can’t take shampoo on a plane, you can’t climb a ladder unless three other people are holding it, you can’t eat more than six grams of salt a day, you can’t talk on the phone or eat an apple while driving, you can’t sell food unless you explain on the packet precisely what’s in it and where it came from, you can’t go to work unless you have a highly visibility yellow jacket, you can’t bring a German WWII officer’s pistol or a dagger on board a cruise ship. Most people accept these rules and abide by them……………..some do not.

Heidi Says Hello

August 13, 2008 -

John Heald

This morning as I wandered with Heidi to host the morning show we passed a herd of deck hands washing and cleaning and polishing the lifeboats. This seemed strange to me……..we hopefully never have to use them and if we do I am sure nobody is going to refuse to get in one if its a bit on the dirty side or has a bit of bird poo on the bow. I said these very words to Heidi and as soon as I did I knew I had immediately relegated myself to the doghouse………because one of Heidi’s favorite things to bollock me about is washing things…..especially our car.

Now, I love cars, I love the feel of the leather steering wheel as I open the window and listen to the orchestral sounds of the engine……….but one thing I don’t care about is if its clean or dirty. In the UK and I am sure around the world part of the Saturday and Sunday ritual is washing the car…………………..What a meaningless way of passing the time. You don’t wash your vacuum cleaner or your television set, you have a machine to wash the dishes and you employ a man to clean your windows. So how much do you have to hate the sight of your wife and children before you think, “I’d rather go outside into the cold and spend a couple of hours polishing my wheel nuts?”


"Thank You"

April 29, 2008 -


It has been a while………I couldn’t not wait any longer…..

I had to write to you all after reading your comments and birthday wishes.

I have never before received over 100 birthday wishes in English, Spanish and even my own language.  A poem, songs and so much more.

Thank you!


It’s Tuesday morning.

John and I went over the plans for the rest of the day after he had his haircut. There is nothing he likes more than having his hair cut…..not. Fussing is not one of his favorite things, so the quicker it gets done the better. The lady in the spa did a nice job, so I am happy (which is most important anyway, right girls?)

It was really busy with guests on tour this morning, their spirits were a bit down as the weather hasn’t been too great the last few days and today it has been raining almost non-stop. The guests came in with raincoats and umbrella’s in hand ready to go and explore Mount Etna, Taormina and, of course, Messina itself. Everything just looks so much nicer if the weather is better…

I have started to throw things in bin liners and separated “garbage” from “let’s give this away.”


[First part written earlier by John] . . . Good Afternoon from Napoli ….it feels like I have said that a lot this last few months but anyway……here we are again and the start of another wonderful Carnival Freedom vacation. It has been a busy but oh so enjoyable day and I, as always, would like to take you along for the ride.Let’s start with this morning where we sent 2100 people on tour, the most ever this season and that included 700 plus to Capri. The first morning is always very confusing with guests not totally understanding what is happening, where they are supposed to be and sometimes who with………….by that I mean ………”where is my wife”………..”have you seen my family”……….”Is this where we meet”………. “what tour am I on”……………..”do I need my tickets”……………”what do you mean I need a Sail and Sign Card to get off the vessel”…………”do you speak Russian”………….”Who am I”…………..etc, etc.

All of the above is understandable as it can be a little confusing the first time and, as much as I explain in my talk, over the PA system and in the Carnival Capers, there are always a few people who do not know what to do.

One thing is for certain. The ship was designed to put so many people through its lounges for tour distribution. The lounges are entertainment spaces and no matter how organized we are (and we are) there are always going to be lines when you move that amount of people at the same time. Today, was no exception and yes, there were lines, but I still think we could do better……I will not be happy until I discover a better system.

I wanted to let you know that some people are a little ……ummmmmmm confused, some do like a good moan and then there are those who are just plain nasty……….now that is not a word you have ever heard me use in this blog before but this applies to the guest, who when asked by a dancer to put on their life jacket, she was treated to “what are you, the Gestapo”………no further words are necessary.

We are still in Naples awaiting 400 people who were supposed to be back from their tours but due to a landslide on the road to Sorrento they will not be back until 6:30pm……….30 minutes late. I am now making sure we keep the dining room informed so anyone on the early sitting dinners will be able to go straight to dinner if they want to or, of course, our dining options on Lido Deck.

The guests have just arrived 45 minutes late back to the ship and off we go, sailing to Dubrovnik.

Anyway, back to today in Naples and I will tell you what Heidi and I did a little later.

So, as you saw from the press release that I was sent by PA 007, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall will be dedicating the Queen Victoria……………this now has me thinking about the Carnival Splendor and her Godmother. I started this blog thingy wishing that Angelina Jolie would fulfill that role but as the days and weeks went on this became more and more unlikely. So, that now that leaves me with Catherine Zeta Jones as first choice………………..hold on a moment……….who I am kidding……..it is not like it is my choice…………in fact it isn’t………….at all………….but maybe……….just maybe I, sorry, we can influence my friends in Miami to consider her for this role. My quest will start in earnest in the weeks to come…………..I hope I have your support.

I have seen lots of bloggers this cruise wearing the bloggers t-shirts, which is great to see…….although a little strange in the fact that it makes me feel a little inadequate and I hope I live up to their expectations.

The KZST Radio group seems a lot of fun and they certainly were enjoying all the bars and lounges last night…..especially the Disco where we played lots of their kind of music…….70’s and rock and roll etc. The group leader asked if I would come to their private party tomorrow which I of course will do………I hope they don’t ask me to dance.

I hate dancing. I am rubbish. I look like a drunk flamingo as I faff around hopping on one leg to another. Many years ago when Roger Blum and I worked together on the Carnival Sensation we used to have lots of Quincinera….Quincinyera………Quincinears…….anyway, 15-year-old young ladies from Latin America and Cuba who were celebrating their coming of age with a cruise along with their whole family…………..when I came of age I had a pint of Bitter and a Pork Pie but that’s another story.

Anyway, the girls look stunning in their gorgeous wedding style dresses and the ceremony that took place in the main lounge was wonderful and oozed tradition. The final part of the ceremony would involve the daughters dancing with their fathers to the Blue Danube Waltz by Strauss. Then, Roger and I would go on stage and propose a toast to all the young ladies and then it was time for the 30 minute disco party……….and that was me and Roger hiding in the bar pantry behind cases of Heineken as the young ladies and, worse still, the mothers looked for that handsome man in uniform and the Cruise Director to dance with………we still laugh about that today……………I should have danced since, if there is one worse dancer than me………..it’s Roger.

Here are some photos for you which Heidi took two nights ago as we sailed from Livorno……….it’s a beautiful Tuscan sunset and one of the Carnival Freedom.

it’s a beautiful Tuscan sunset

it’s a beautiful Tuscan sunset

it’s a beautiful Tuscan sunset

Here is a photo of me and some of the dancers from 1992, Christmas in Cozumel……………what the heck is that shirt!

Here is a photo of me and some of the dancers from 1992, Christmas in Cozumel……………what the heck is that shirt!

Here are the letters for today’s In Their Own Words Section:

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

I am very excited that tomorrow I will be able to promote the ON DECK FOR THE CURE walk. I have decided to hold this on the second sea day at 4:00pm. We will take a group photo on deck before the walk itself………..we have 400 shirts to give for a $10 donation and if people want to donate more, they can…………I know I will.

Lets do some Q and A.

LAUREN – Nobody……………nobody………….needs to see me in a dress…………….it ain’t pretty.
MR.VANQUISH – I am not certain as to why the insurance company would be trying to work out whose fault it is that your Aston Martin is now well and truly knackered. I had a nightmare about that last night and I hope that things get resolved quickly so you can consider buying yourself another example of Beauty, Passion and Soul. Please keep me informed mate and hang in there mate.

Well, that didn’t last long did it? Time has escaped me and now I am off to the Welcome Aboard Show, see you tomorrow.

Good morning. It’s 8:18am and I thought I would sit and use my two fingers to continue the Q and A before my Morning Show at 9:30am. I feel very tired this morning and I have ignored the urge to have a coffee so I am having tea instead and just made myself a big mug (LA Lakers …………..don’t tell anyone at the Miami Heat organization) that I am drinking from this………hold on………am I an idiot?……….yes is the answer…..like Shaq and the boys are reading the blog and are now mad because I am drinking from a Lakers Mug!……………can you tell I am tired……..I am waffling today.

Come on John, snap out of it and get back to the Q and A.

Just in case you are reading…………Hello Shaq, stay injury free this season, use the pick and roll more and win that trophy again.



You need help

I know

I need someone to slap me

Thank you, Heidi.

KATHIE – More beautiful words Kathie. Thank you for recognizing your travel agent Jeannie Castro (I wonder if she is any relation to Roberto?). I will certainly make sure that her boss gets to see your words of praise and I am sure she will be thrilled. Carnival Cruise Lines is where it is today thanks to the hard work and dedication of thousands and thousands of people who devote themselves to making sure that people like you and millions of others have the best vacation ever.
Thank you Kathie for mentioning just one of them and you will be happy to know that my computer is behaving so far and following my threat to spank it with a large stick I expect it to stay that way. I am glad you are still laughing at and enjoying the blog so much and thank you again for such kind words.
KAZ – OK, here we go. For those who read KAZ’s posting you will obviously notice she knows a little about me and that’s because she is a stalker! Just kidding, actually we have never met but I used to ummmmm……….well……….lets just say her sister Helen and I were friends…………….you know ……………we…………kissed once which, for me was a huge achievement. Anyway Kaz, please tell Helen I still love Jethro Tull and as for the other incidents I have deleted those from my memory banks. My Mum and Dad send their best to all of you and if Helen would like another trombone lesson I will be happy to oblige.
Now, lets chat about your WORLD CRUISE ON THE QUEEN VICTORIA. Did you see that the Duchess of Cornwall will be the Godmother? You must be so excited about this cruise of a lifetime and I was wondering which portion you are looking forward to the most, is there one country you are most excited about seeing?
Please keep writing and tell Helen I will be round for tea. Oh, I thought you might like to see this photo of the Queen Victoria returning to the shipyard after her successful sea trials.
Please keep writing and tell Helen I will be round for tea. Oh, I thought you might like to see this photo of the Queen Victoria returning to the shipyard after her successful sea trials.
A CRUISE BY ANY OTHER NAME – Thank you for the great link thingy for Ephesus and you are correct that it is well written and gave me some new facts that I can use. I am sorry to hear that you have canceled your cruise but I understand the reasons and following your trip Down Under I hope we will see you on the next Bloggers Cruise. I have been trying to get Heidi to go to Australia but with her fear of spiders I am sure that is never going to happen. As for Fatima and her pipes………I don’t know where they come from. I just know where they are never going………..again.
It was great to see a posting from you and I hope that you continue to read the blog thingy.
CATHERINE EBERT – My fall from grace on the pier in Livorno bruised my ego more than anything. I am constantly warning the guests about the danger of the raised rails on the pier so what a complete prat (good English word for idiot) I looked when I tripped over………….at least I provided some pierside entertainment while the guests were waiting for the shuttle buses.
I never saw the man who dropped his phone overboard again but he really was heartbroken that it contained the last photo he had taken of his beloved dog and best friend. I am glad that you are excited about sailing on the Carnival Splendor and Russia, as you mentioned, will be a highlight. Later in the year I will start slapping on some port information which I hope will help.
Thanks for your posting and my best to you and your husband.
MRS MISSINGTHESMOKEFREEPARADISE – What are the RED ARROWS, I hear you ask? Well, this is in reference to the naming ceremony of the Queen Victoria in England on December 10th. The Red Arrows are the world’s foremost jet aerobatic team and part of the British Royal Air Force. They are often to be found at Royal events and their display is flabbergasting. The garden program you are referring to is called Ground Force and the brass band music is played the Black Dyke Mills Band who are part of a big mining corporation in the UK and probably the most famous brass band in the UK along with Chelmsford Citadel. Anyway, my dad still plays his cornet but I sadly have not picked up a trombone in years…. I really miss it but my neighbours do not. Thanks for the hug and one big one right back at you.
BOB MEANS – hello Bob and I am so happy that you continue to enjoy the blog thingy. What a lift your posting gave me and I appreciate that during your words of congratulations you also mention Heidi, Roberto and PA 007. These three people are pivotal in the blog’s success so thanks again for those rewarding words. The blog is getting bigger every day and I wish I could write more every day but I still have a job to do here and that of course is the most important thing. So far, I am managing both and I hope I will be able to continue to do so. Anyway, must go as I am off to my travel talk but not before I say thanks again mate and we all wish you and your family well.


Here I am back again and lots to tell but first the Q and A continues.

BIG ED – I thought we were friends and then I see you slap on a photo of me in a dress. Right, the gloves are off and I am determined that on the Bloggers Cruise, somehow I will have you in one too!…………when I say have you I mean that you will be wearing one not that I want to have ……anyway, watch out :)…………can I borrow one of Mrs Big Ed’s dresses?
I loved your photos of the holiday home. Alan asked me if you rent it out and if he can join you ……….he likes a bit of camping does Alan. I am sure Wendy’s will miss you and it won’t be long to January and you in that dress.
GREG AND CINDY COURINGTON – When you arrive onboard just go to the Chic Dining Room and see Dino the Maitre D between 2:00pm and 4:00pm and he will assist you with your dining room change. Now, as for a restaurant recommendation in Venice, it depends if you want a traditional trattoria or something a bit more up market. If money is not an object then you have to try Harry’s Bar. The place is full of tradition and the menu, although ultra expensive, is exquisite………they recently changed the Risotto recipe but it wasn’t as good, and a famous food critic had them change it back……..it is extraodinary.
If you are looking for something a bit cheaper, I suggest Il Piscatore a small pizzeria and fish restaurant which I know you will love. So, the choice is yours and wherever you decide to eat, I know you will have a wonderful time in Venice. Please let me know if I can help further.
LTTNSFCF – It’s Heidi here………It is now 7:20pm and as the Captain’s Cocktail Parties are going on, the guests are having lovely drinks and hors d’oeuvres, are dancing, having dinner and getting ready for the show…… my husband is in bed.
He is sick and let me put it this way, I have done a lot of cleaning in the last few hours……and I will leave it at that.

So, I saw he only just started the Q & A and didn’t get very far yet.

Most of you who have cruised before know what a busy day the first day at sea / formal night is for all of us.

There are 13 pages of comments on the desk and I am afraid they have to wait until Sir is better.

I thought I would just tell you about the highlight of my day………..

We (Carnival Cruise Lines) participate together with Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn in something called “On Deck For The Cure.”

On Deck for the Cure

Today, myself and other Entertainment Staff Members gave the guests the opportunity to donate to this wonderful cause.

It didn’t take long before all the boxes with t-shirts and wristbands were empty. I spoke to a few guests who told me they were breast cancer survivors and to some guests who had a sister, mother or other family member with breast cancer. I was thinking about my Auntie Aartje, a breast cancer survivor. How strong she was and what she had to go through.

There were a few tears from guests and a lot of smiles but all had the same thought, what a great opportunity it was to join in and walk on the deck together for this great cause. What a better place to do this, at sea on a beautiful ship like the Carnival Freedom on her way to Messina, Italy.

Heidi at the Desk for On Deck for the Cure

I suppose as a good wife, I need to get away from the desk now and look after my husband and make sure that the festivities along the Promenade Deck are going well.

He feels so bad that he can’t write to you and I told him to stop moaning…….this is one of the very very few times that he has ever been sick on the ship and wasn’t able to do his job. I really need to go, I am so sorry…but he needs me.

We’ll be back soon.

Your friends,

John & Heidi

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.