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Carnival’s John Heald: Blog kept me from quitting high seas

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 8 - 2009

Sometimes you get to witness something extraordinary – today was my lucky day. I was fortunate enough to watch loyal followers of John Heald and his blog throw a party in his honor. The 70-plus member group is known as “Big Ed’s Evil Crewe” and boy did they make the normally loquacious Heald speechless. The celebration was part baby shower (Heald and his wife Heidi are expecting their first child in May) and overall appreciation of John.

The group showered John with speeches of genuine affection and gifts that ranged from hilarious (thong and bobble head statue) to truly amazing – a custom-made quilt with photos of the “crewe” lovingly sewn amongst photos of John and Heidi along with patches with joke sayings. Needless to say, things became a bit emotional and some tears were shed – I among them. It’s clear that John means a lot to all these terrific people.

But what transpired afterwards showed the feeling was mutual. John relayed some surprising news – he had given his notice to Carnival two years ago. He had decided to quit after twenty years at sea. John says he and Heidi hit a “rough patch” and decided it would be best to live a “normal” life on land. “Living on a ship is not the real world,” said Heald. The decision came after a particularly hectic year of launching numerous new ships for Carnival. “I was burned out.” After he gave his notice Carnival approached him about doing a blog. An intrigued Heald thought it would be a bit of fun before leaving the high seas. He was unprepared for what happened.

“Two years later who would have thought of this.” He was referring to the blog’s popularity and bloggers’ cruises. In doing the blog Heald discovered a whole new way to be creative. “The blog gave me a new lease on life.” He discovered he didn’t want to stop being a cruise director and decided to stay onboard with Carnival.

(click photos to view larger images)

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2 Responses to “Carnival’s John Heald: Blog kept me from quitting high seas”

  1. John obviously means a lot to his fans, I’ve been reading his blog for a few months now and it’s a great read. I think it’s his honesty and great sense of humour that people warm to and I’m sure he’s even more pleasant in the flesh.

  2. Mike Brown says:

    Thanks Anita for a great article. See you do make it to the IMPORTANT things and the places were the drinks are free! Look forward to sailing with you again! John has inspired something that I don’t think anyone could have every imagined with his blog, and I am not sure something like this will ever happen again! From strangers to a Family via the blog(s)!

    Good Travels!

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