Monday, January 21, 2008

On Board the Carnival Freedom bloggers cruise

Greetings from the port of Cozumel: I’m on a Carnival Freedom week-long cruise in the Western Caribbean. This cruise has a special theme: John Heald’s bloggers cruise, and SmarterCruising will appear on an onboard panel later this week to talk about the joys and pain (well, joys) of blogging.

Many of you who have sailed on Carnival are familiar with John Heald, the cruise line’s Senior Cruise Director, bon vivant and storyteller extraordinaire. John’s catchphrase, “Life’s too short not to have fun,” shows up when he’s holding court on board and in his robust waistline as well (sorry, John!).

John launched a blog last spring and has garnered a million and a half readers who enjoy his tales of life at sea, which provide inside glimpses into what it’s like to live and work on board cruise ships. You can read his blog at

The Freedom’s week-long itinerary is taking us from Miami to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Today we’re in port in Cozumel, where I explored the town for the first time post-hurricane (recovering nicely) and took an interesting Atlantis submarine ride 100 feet below the sea to view a tremendous variety of coral and colorful tropical fish.

It proved to be a good choice of excursions: a light rain was falling as we submerged and the overcast weather made it not much of a beach day. The sky is looking better at the moment and, we hope, sunshine will prevail the rest of the way. In any event, it beats the 10-degree weather I left a few days ago in upstate New York.

I’ll have more on the Freedom cruise in the next few days. Don’t forget to check out John Heald’s blog in the meantime.

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