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John Heald’s Blog and Bloggers Cruise

Written by: Kuki

This is my blog about John Heald’s Blog and his Bloggers Cruise. John’s Blogger’s Cruise is also a CruiseMates cruise I am hosting with about 200 people going. But please let me start at at the beginning…

It was Dec. ‘96. I was a young man. Well OK, I wasn’t quite a young man, but I did have young children. Well OK, they weren’t all that young either. But then all of that is totally irrelevant to this story.

It’s just, I’ve always wanted to write a book, and I always wanted to start that book with by … I was a young man. To do that I’d have had to write that book in the late 60s or early ‘70s. But, of course, as a young man in the late ‘60s or early ‘70s the last thing I wanted to do was write a book. It was a time of “free love” and commune living. The “sexual revolution” was in full swing for everyone but me. Thanks to the opinions of the girls around me I seemed to in the “sexual revulsion” rather than revolution. I was just off by a couple of letters in the alphabet.

So, instead of writing books I was busy trying to find a female who believed in free love who wasn’t a hooker. But then, once again this is all irrelevant to this story…

In Dec. 1996 I first encountered and met a young Cruise Director, by the name of John Heald, on the Carnival Destiny. This was my third cruise, and of course, the first evening of the cruise we attended the Welcome Aboard Show in the Theatre, and our first “Heald Experience”. I hadn’t laughed that hard since the night I thought I finally found a woman who believed in the sexual revolution, and didn’t find me revolting.

The connection John made with the audience of strangers was immediately obvious. I knew right then I was seeing a display of a very unusual talent. Unlike many other well know Cruise Directors, John didn’t sing and dance, or do a magic act. Nor did he do Cirque-style acrobatics. John’s “act” was being John and talking to people.

Since that time it’s been my pleasure to sail with John Heald several times, and I’ve had the opportunity to do interviews with him several times as well. In fact I think I personally have announced his retirement 4 times since 2002. Any time you get to sail with John it’s a treat. You get to watch a master craftsman at work. Only to him, most of the time it’s not work. He loves interacting with people, and he loves sharing his sense of humour. Sometimes I think that while he’s working he entertains himself as much as he entertains us.

Like many of us, during 20 years of a career, we have our ups and downs in regard to our enthusiasm towards our job, and I don’t think John is any different. However in March of 2007, almost by accident, John began a new career within his career. John became a part of the growing techno movement known as blogging.

John’s Blog immediately grabbed the attention of cruise enthusiasts world wide enthralled with an insider’s look at the what they may have initially thought of as a glamorous industry. But what keeps people coming back to check in daily are John’s daily ramblings that display his personality and humour, weaving in stories of past friends, today’s escapades, and experiences, which combined, offer an explanation of all the little moments in his growth that have made him the person he is today. He has allowed all those who follow his blog to get to know him, much more so than one would ever expect to know someone they have perhaps met once, or perhaps may never meet.

In January of 2008 the first John Heald Blogger’s Cruise was held, and approximately 700 fans of John’s “Thingy” (as he refers to his blog) came onboard for a week of fun, and special blogger’s events.

Since that cruise John’s blog has continued to grow, with enthusiastic support from the constantly growing community of Carnival and John Heald fans- with his Blog having just passed the 3,000,000 views milestone.

Over the life of John’s Blog Thingy we’ve heard about lots of characters who’ve cruised with John, and some of the amazingly funny complaints he’s forced to deal with as Cruise Director, as well as the utterly frustrating ones. We’ve also heard touching and heart wrenching stories of the lives of various passengers, and how John has touched them, and them him.

We’ve followed along with John and his wife (and assistant Cruise Director) Heidi as they have shared their most intimate thoughts while they’ve have attempted to conceive a child . In “his way” – with words that only John could tell the stories. And the entire blog community showed their delight via comments on the blog when John announced recently that the deed was done, and Heidi was pregnant.

It had taken me until the age 30 to find someone who took me out of the “sexual revulsion” categorization. John must have been an even uglier sod, as it took him until almost 40 to climb his way out of the same category and find Heidi.

Aside from Heidi’s pregnancy, the “Thingy” (now used to describe the baby) is bringing other changes to John’s life. He’s leaving the job of Cruise Director at the end of this current cruise, at least temporarily, to take part in some special projects, designing some new initiatives for Carnival ships. I am not surprised that Carnival Corp. has decided to tap into his talent, and I congratulate John for his accomplishments, and have no doubt that via his blog he’ll continue to entertain and inform us. I believe, and it’s only my guess, that as well as his involvement in the upcoming “special project” John will be come Carnival Corporation’s International Ambassador of Fun, traveling from ship to ship within the corporation telling the world all about the ships through his blog.

If you haven’t followed John’s Blog Thingy I highly recommend you begin to. It’s about the best free entertainment you can find on the Internet!
http://johnhealdsblog.com/ –Note to John “ If you are going to become a traveling cruise writer, maybe I need to get an application to become a Cruise Director“.

After the enormous success of the first Blogger’s Group Cruise, due to popular demand, John set out to organize a second Blogger’s Group Cruise. From live on the 1st Bloggers Cruise CruiseMates was the first web site to announce (and announce our support for) Blogger’s Cruise 2, which we’ve affectionately tagged as The John Heald & CruiseMates Blog2NOLA Group Cruise.

John chose the Carnival Fantasy because it has just recently completed a massive refurbishment, including the addition of the “Water Works”, and because it sails out of New Orleans. John chose to combine the cruise, with a pre-cruise effort to show support for the citizens of New Orleans by bringing cruisers back to the community, as well as to show that support doing some volunteer work for a local New Orleans charity… http://lakewoodbeacon.org.

Shortly after the official announcement of this group cruise there was quite a rush of CruiseMates booking to join this group…. There’s presently just shy of 200 members of the CruiseMates community booked for this Blog2NOLA group cruise.

The really great news is there is still time for you to book to join John, CruiseMates, and all the bloggers already booked on what just has to be one of the most FUN cruises you’ll ever get to participate in. Keep reading for all the information on rates and how to join in.

Booking info:
Nancy S Bogert, MCC
Cruise Planners
900 Grampian Blvd
Williamsport, PA 17701
570-323-0112 (local)
Toll Free 1-800-561-0802 Fax 570-323-0702
Web sites: http://www.planningcruises.com & http://www.cruiseplanning.net
American Express Representative

Blog2NOLA Group Cruise Feb. 7 – 12 – Carnival Fantasy

Inside Cabins

(Category 4A) – $359

(Category 4B) – $399

(Category 4C) – $409

(Category 4D) – $419

(Category 4E) – $429

3rd & 4th person – $239 each
$38.56 government taxes
$25 fuel surcharge are additional. 3rd & 4th do not pay fuel surcharge.
Ocean view cabins:

(Category 6A) – $409

(Category 6B) – $449

(Category 6C) – $489

(Category 6D) – $529

3rd & 4th person – $259 each; 3rd & 4th do not pay fuel surcharge.
$38.56 government taxes and $25 fuel surcharge are additional
Inside and ocean view cabins require $50 per person deposit for guarantees,
$200 per person for assigned cabins. Suites:

(Category 11) – $809

(Category 12) – $1009

3rd & 4th person – $279 each
$38.56 government taxes are additional and $25 fuel surcharge are additional.
Suites require full $200 per person deposit, 3rd & 4th do not pay fuel surcharge.

Additional Amenities Include:
$75 per cabin shipboard credit
CruiseMates complimentary cocktail party
As well all the Bloggers gifts and activities

PRICE INCLUDES port $119 charges. Government tax of $38.56 is not included

For those who don’t want the fun to end after only 5 days, CruiseMates has added the option of the

CruiseMates Intense Post Thingy Therapy & Group Cruise
Rehab for 4 Days
(nothing but FUNatical Therapy)

Stay onboard the Fantasy until Feb. 16 and earn your
Blogger’s Rehab Graduation Certificate.

Amenities: $50 Per cabin Shipboard Credit & A Bottle of Champagne along with chocolates for each cabin. – to get you through the first night – just like Britney.

After this entire program it will feel as though you had been on the same ship for 9 nights!

Prices include all taxes and fees- including gasoline surcharges

Inside Cabins:
4A-$350.08
4B-$370.08
4C-$390.08
4D-$400.08
4E-$419.08

Ocean view cabins:
6A-$400.08
6B-$431.08
6C-$460.08
6D-$490.08
$50 pp person deposits

11-$690.08
12-$780.08
Suites require full $200 per person deposits

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Comments

Comment from BIG ED
Time October 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Kuki, With your humour you may as well fill out an app for a CD job. I was laughing almost as much reading this as when I read John’s blog

Comment from Kuki
Time October 16, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Big ED:

Thank you. What a nice compliment. Especially since it’s from John’s #1 Blog fan, and the guy who came up the excellent idea for the 1st Bloggers Cruise.

Now the stretch drive to Blog2NOLA is soon going to be within sight. C ya there!

Comment from Princess Susan
Time October 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Kuki,
I agree with Big Ed, I think you should take over John’s CD job for now. You have a great way of entertaining people through your writing and you did a great job up on stage during the BC1!

Comment from Mark from Alabama
Time October 16, 2008 at 11:24 pm

Kuki…You do a great job of keeping us informed and entertained ! It has been a pleasure sailing with your family and JOHN and Heidi over the many years..we will continue to treasure our Cruising family adventures together !!

Comment from Kuki
Time October 17, 2008 at 8:43 am

Susan… How kind you are, you now have me blushing.
Mrs. Kuki finds I supply her lots of laughs too, but only when she sees me naked.

She saw your comments, and said she too would love me to become a CD …. and go away to sea….. or just go away.

Comment from Kuki
Time October 17, 2008 at 8:46 am

Mark…Ah Mark. We’ve been chasing each other on ships, and on the internet for a long time. LOL

You, Amanda (the weather girl) and Katie are amongst the nicest people I’ve ever met cruising. And it will be wonderful to see the three of you again on the Blog2NOLA cruise!

Comment from ulmann
Time October 23, 2008 at 4:54 am

I wish we could start a blog. to fine people we meet on a cruise. I feel very bad I did not get her e mail

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