For Crying Out Loud

December 9, 2009 -

John Heald

Every day I call Heidi. She puts the speaker phone on and I sing my “Bouncy Bouncy” song to Kye. Today I did the same as I always have done and when I had finished Kye said “agga goo gag goo gagga goo”…….and I don’t know why……….but I cried…………just like I had cried when I saw Kye’s photos on the big screen during the bloggers welcome aboard party………….that’s twice this week I have tears in my eyes…………..I am not a girl…………so what’s wrong with me?

I have always felt that there are two things us men should be afraid of admitting……… One is that we are lost………..and the second that we enjoy a good cry now and again.

The night I flew back from your Carnival Dream in New York back to Miami I took out my little portable DVD player and saw Spider-Man 3. Something about the Sandman character made me feel sorry for him. A throwback to Frankenstein’s monster or my attempts to get girls to like me, perhaps, or maybe the fact that underneath that lowlife hood was a father trying to help his sick kid. Yes, he was blessed with superpowers but still he cut a tragic figure throughout the film, and at one point I found myself choking up. Big, snotty man tears came and thank goodness the woman in the seat next to me was asleep………..how utterly embarrassing.

I told Heidi, expecting her to throw huge dollops of sympathy at me for showing my sensitive side. After all, the last time she saw me shed a few tears was when I saw Kye for the first time which was just before I saw the placenta which when I vomited in public for the first time ……… but………… do you know what she did?…… She laughed at me………..and called me a soppy sod. (www.urbandictionary.com)

I was surprised about this because sometimes when I am having a poo I spend hours flicking through Heidi’s magazines………Glamourpolitan………Vogue…………Men Are Bastards Weekly etc……………and that’s where you’ll find countless articles asking, “How sensitive is your man?” They want us to be more emotional, but they don’t know what to do when a man starts blubbing, do they. Why is it that even in these open-minded times crying men are taboo?

Whatever people say in public, in private they think that males who cry are to be avoided because they aren’t dependable. Trusty, reliable things don’t break into sobs. Dogs, for example, don’t cry. And even if they could they wouldn’t, for fear of showing their weak side. In dog world, showing weakness means being reviled by the rest of the pack. If your dog knew you were a bawler he’d start to take liberties right away – such as eating food straight from the fridge, sleeping on your side of the bed, maybe even trying to hump your wife.

And lastly, my Father never cried. I estimate more than 90% of men have never seen their Dad’s cry. And rightly so. Dads are supposed to be rock hard. My Dad accidentally cut most of his index finger off while making a cabinet for his steam train collection, but he didn’t even moan about it. He just pushed it back on, stuck a bit of gaffer tape round the join and then growled at it.

There are a couple of exceptions though when it is OK for a man to cry. Seeing the Miami Heat crash out of the NBA playoffs………tears of sadness can be cried here……….telling a joke as a young Cruise Director on the Carnivale and hearing nothing but silence….. Tears of humiliation …………………. and the spectacle of Laurel and Hardy moving that piano……..tears of laughter.

Rocky is also an exception, and only those with stone hearts could fail to be moved to tears at cinema’s saddest death, that of Apollo Creed.

Oh, and men…………..of course it’s OK to cry if you get kicked in the bollocks……. or………… you see Megan Fox’s bottom and you realize that it will never ever be yours.

Time for today’s questions and the Stephanie that sends me the questions has returned from her well deserved break and so we can get back on track. Today’s questions therefore are from the 20th of November……………here we go.

Meredith Asked:
Dear John, Please reply.

My mom and I have a situation I hope you can help us with, as we have no idea how to make this happen.

My brother is getting married on the Carnival Ecstasy on Dec 12. His twin was to be the best man, but he joined the Army 6 months ago, and we found out about a month ago he wouldn’t be able to make the wedding.

Fast forward to this weekend, where I get a call from my brother telling me there’s a possibility he will be able to make the wedding after all. He would REALLY like to surprise our brother and his bride with his appearance. The problem is that he won’t be able to go on the cruise, and they’ve maxed out their non-sailing guest count. We wouldn’t even know who to contact anyway, and if they’d talk to us, as the bride has been handling all of the planning.

Is there ANY way to make this happen without letting my brother and his fiancée know? It would really mean a lot to all of us if we could find a way to make this happen.

Many thanks in advance,
Meredith

John Says:
Hello Meredith

I am glad I caught this question today as I see you are sailing on Saturday. I am not sure I totally understand what it is that you want but I think you are trying to get him to sail but are saying the cruise is sold out. I have sent this comment to the CARE team and I will ask someone to contact immediately so we can see what we can work out. I know it would be a wonderful surprise for your future sister in law and so I will do all I can to try and help. Please would you let me know what happens?
Best wishes to all
John

Kathy M. Asked:
Hi John, Please, Please Reply.

I am wondering if you know when you will be doing your bloggers cruise for 2010. I am waiting to book my cruise for the fall of 2010 until I hear when your bloggers cruise is going to be so I can maybe book that cruise. Do you also know when the CD’s schedule for 2010 is going to be out? I would like to know who is going to be the CD for the Carnival Splendor in Jan and who will be the CD on the Carnival Paradise in May, 2010.

Can I give you some advice about your hemorrhoids and that is, when you know that you are going to have to sit for long periods of time, take a small travel (they even have ones that you can inflate) pillow with you or ask one of the stewards to put a small pillow in the conference room for you, it will take the pressure off of your toosh. Another way to help them and that is if you can sit in a bathtub of warm water for 20 minutes a day, you will be amazed at how much this will help you as well. As a retired Registered Nurse, this is the advice we used to give our patients.

Give my love to Heidi and Little Angel Kye.
From your #1 Bloggy Thingy Fan,
Kathy M.

John Says:
Hello Kathy

I have not yet decided when the 2010 Bloggers Cruise will be held and on which ship. I have narrowed it down to a few choices and as I was explaining to the bloggers here on your Carnival Dream a few days ago I am seriously looking at the Carnival Conquest……in late September.

Nothing is set in stone but I will concentrate on this before the end of the year as I know many are wanting to book. The CD on the Carnival Splendor this coming January will be Stephanie Meads.

Thanks so much for the advice on my bottom and its problems and I will take a cushion with me for sure to see if this helps…..you are as always so kind. Thanks for your support and best wishes to all.
John

MIKE Asked:
John, Pls reply.

Can’t believe you have time for Blogging with all your other duties. Quick Question. Is the Dream coming into Port Canaveral empty on Dec 3 from NYC? If so will we be able to board early and have our rooms ready earlier?? Really looking forward to 9 days on the Dream. Purchased our tickets last Jan. Have an aft Balcony room. Many Thanks Mike

John Says:
Hello Mike

Once again here is the perfect example of me answering a question far too late after it has been posted. I apologize for this but let me answer it anyway. The ship did sail from New York to Port Canaveral with only crew onboard to allow the ship to get ready for her Caribbean cruising which we are doing now of course. We couldn’t have had any guests onboard because of the Jones Act which states that guests cannot sail from one US port straight to another. I know we have spoken since you have been here and I hope that you continue to have a great time and if you are reading this after the cruise I hope you had a brilliant cruise.
Best wishes
John

Melissa Jurgensen Asked:
John please reply.

I don’t believe they were offered on the Dream in October, but will the Where Next certificates be available on the ship in January? I wanted to get one for my brother Christmas, so maybe it will now have to be a belated gift.

My condolences to Mr. Zonis’ family. He sounds like a very charismatic, fun, but serious character.

Best to you as always.
Melissa

John Says:
Hello Melissa

Let me start by saying thank you for the kind words for Mr. Zonis whom we all miss very much.

The future cruise experts will be joining your Carnival Dream this coming Saturday (12th of December) and they will have the certificates you mentioned available for purchase along with other great cruise deals. Have a wonderful time and please let me know if you need anything.

Best wishes to all
John

Eric Thayer Asked:
Please reply:

John, I had asked you a few months ago about the possibility of Carnival Cruise Lines purchasing a Carnival Chopper Bike from Orange County Choppers (American Choppers TV show). Many large corporations/companies do this now, mostly for marketing. I suggested that Carnival may be able to rotate the chopper on its cruise ships (I’m certain everyone would pay a fee to have their photo taken with it). You told me at the time that you would inquire about it. Any news?

John Says:
Hello Eric

I am so glad that you wrote again mate as your suggestion was one of my top ten marketing ideas I presented to the team during the recent Cruise Directors conference. It was well received and just like Costa has their Smart Cars and Holland America too we all thought that your idea of a Chopper was interesting………and most importantly so did the people with beards. So let’s see what the future brings and I promise if it is forthcoming you will get all the credit …………. well ………….. most of it.
Thanks again and best wishes
John

Mark from Alberta Asked:
John please reply

John, not sure if you were able to put forward a song that should be played at sail away. I know Anchors Aweigh is your favorite and has angered others.

How about this one, it is called “Heave Away”. Originally an English Chantey originating from Liverpool and has been made popular by a number of Newfoundland bands. The Fables being one.

Take a listen….I think this would be marvelous followed by the Caribbean sound of the pan drums…Sail Away should be all about party and happy times!

John, I was quite disappointed on my first cruise last January on the Liberty. No CD nor ACD in sight. The two man calypso band just played on perfunctorily. Really Carnival is the Fun Ships – Sail Away sets the tone for the cruise.

Have you considered in addition of the lido party to follow the same format at sail away?

Just some thoughts…but do please listen to “Heave Away” many Americans and Canadians share ancestry with the English, Irish and the Sea…the song is a natural! ; )

John Says:
Hello Mark

I love this song and have not heard it in many years. It is well known in the UK and I remember my Dad always listening to a group called the King Singers. They were a ” barber shop” quartet and one of the songs on the album (the old scratchy 78) was “Heave Away” and thanks so much for bringing this vivid memory back, I fully intend to start playing music on departure again next year when I am once again a CD and this ………alternating with Anchors Aweigh……….will be the song I play. I will make sure that all the CD’s realize the importance of the sail away because it does indeed set the tone. Thanks so much and I do encourage everyone to have a listen.

My best wishes to you and the family
John

Debbie H. Asked:
Hi John, (Please reply)

For Christmas 2007 my Dad purchased a Carnival Cruise certificate for he & my Mom (they were on the Fantasy I believe back in 2004 and loved it), unfortunately my Dad passed away in August of 2008 and was not able to take the cruise. My Mom having this cruise certificate and no one to go with asked me to go. I had never cruised before and my job schedule was funky with travel and everything. But FINALLY earlier this year we settled on the October 10th Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean sailing.

Unfortunately in September I was laid off from my job (like so many other people) but I was looking forward to the cruise and the hope that employment would come soon after.

FINALLY we drove to Port Canaveral and boarded the Glory. I had an amazing vacation, we enjoyed everything on the Glory, from the Daisy & Lu-tuh our servers in the Platinum Dining room, the service and spectacular food in the Emerald Supper club (which I have been raving about to everyone I come in contact with) to Ryan the CD and his staff, our room steward, everyone was wonderful!!!!! (I knew we had picked the right ship after boarding and going up to the Lido deck and heading towards the front of the ship I spotted the Joe Namath NY Jets Jersey hanging on the wall, he was my Dad’s favorite (American) football player, and I looked like an idiot crying on the Lido deck while everyone else was celebrating the boats departure.)

While on Orient Beach in St. Martin I got a text message from a friend that an employment lead was calling me and couldn’t understand why I didn’t call back.

To shorten my story, the employment lead a few weeks later actually became employment. So yeah!

So, after reading my story you may be wondering why I’m asking you to respond.

Well first I would appreciate if you could relate to whoever takes compliments at Carnival that the Glory and the people I mentioned previously were AMAZING!

The second thing is could you please see if the marketing staff could have commercials run either on shows I do not watch (I’ll be happy to provide a list :) ) or between 8 AM & 5 PM when I am at work. Every time I hear the abbreviated “Anchors Away” and the horn blowing I think, “It’s time to go on another Carnival Cruise.” I head to the website and look at cruises (the new route to Aruba looks so tempting). I don’t know if my new employer would appreciate me putting in a time off request after only 2 weeks (since I’m not eligible for vacation until February) to go on another cruise, and I don’t think the phrase “suggestive advertising” would influence them in changing their minds.

All joking aside, I hope later in 2010 I’ll be able to go on another cruise and have many more wonderful memories, pictures, and coconut monkey cups to share with friends.

Thank you so much for taking the time to blog, and best wishes to you and your family during the upcoming holiday season, and Safe Travels.

Debbie H.

PS as a resident of Florida the so called “rodent” brings many visitors to our beautiful state and helps keep the state of Florida Income Tax Free. Since I live outside Tampa on our way back from Port Canaveral we stopped at Downtown “Rodent” and enjoyed some of the shops and food (begins with “G” ends with “hirardelli”) there. Of course the “rodent” is not my favorite, I’m a fan of the “fowl”.

John Says:
Hello Debbie

First of all please let me congratulate you on your new job and I hope you are enjoying it. I will be honored to pass on your words of praise to those you mentioned as well as Anuj the Hotel Director who will be thrilled. It seems like our advertising is doing its job and you will see some brand new ads next year so keep an eye open for them and an ear open for the ships horn signaling people to pick up the phone or click on a mouse and book that fun for all cruise.

I hope it’s not too long before you sail again and thanks so very much for the kind words.
Best wishes to all
John

J Asked:

Dear John, please reply.

Hope all is well. Avid reader of the blog. I would like to see a rotation of

1. CALYPSO BAND OR DUO– This means the duos or bands we have now on most of our ships. They play a variety of island and popular music but using more modern music, etc

and

2. PAN PLAYERS – This is the true island music played only on steel drums and other ethnic instrumentation

Especially on 7 day sailings. Maybe the Calypso Band or Duo would take tropical music requests, like reggae or bob marley. Also mix in a little Salsa or Meringue if guests want to be adventurous and dance to new music since they are coming from all over the country. Maybe a dancer from the ship that knows how to dance Salsa may provide fun dance lessons on the lido deck.

Last, if it’s possible for you to ask Radu Ursu what type of camera he uses to take all these wonderful pictures. Thanks.

John Says:
Hello J

I think you will be very happy with the rotation of live music on our Lido Decks. we have decided to keep the Calypso Bands and or Pan Players and will rotate them with other live music such as our duos, party bands and Piano Bar entertainers……it’s an excellent mixture and of course on some of our ships you also have the video concerts on the Seaside Theatre Big Screens.

I will be doing a full on interview with Radu next week and I will make sure we include the information on what equipment he uses. He is such a talented guy and as I will be featuring more of his photos later today.

Thanks for the comment and I promise the fun is alive and well on all our Lido Decks.

Best Wishes
John

Cindy Wagner Asked:
Hi John, (Please reply if you want)

Have a safe trip to Port Canaveral. After reading all your choices for the music, I would pick #1 Calypso Band or Duo.

I am looking forward to my very first Carnival Cruise aboard the Carnival Dream in February. It will be my second cruise. I look forward to see what you have in store for us. I can’t wait to board the Dream. It is going to be a great cruise.

My oldest daughter is going to celebrate her birthday on our cruise. She will be turning 15 on the last night of the cruise. I am planning on getting a birthday cake for her. Do they deliver that to our table or to our room on the night I request it? Should I plan on the cake earlier in the cruise or is the last night okay? Do you have any suggestions I could make it a special day for her?

Thank you for this blog. It is so nice to read the daily life of a cruise director.

Best to you and your family.

John Says:
Hello Cindy

Here I am safe and sound on your Carnival Dream and as I was just saying to J we listened to everyone’s suggestions and will continue to use the Calypso and or Pan players on our Lido Decks along with all the live musicians having a chance to entertain the guests. If you desire the staff will indeed deliver the cake to the table and the waiters will sing the traditional “happy birthdays two shoes” song around the table. You can let the Maitre D know this or the lady who works at the shop we used to call Formalities and which is now called Celebrations and they will arrange this for you. If you need my help you can write to me here on the blog thingy and I will be happy to help. Thanks again for the kind words and best wishes to you and the family.
John

Joyce geraci Asked:
John-Please reply

I had written you earlier about a Mediterranean cruise for me & my GD. After checking the itineraries of various lines, we chose Costa. It goes everywhere we want, at a price that is less than the others. Now I am having second thoughts. Many of the cruisers I’ve talked with say that Costa is difficult for English speaking people to sail. Is this true? Are they rude to Americans? Are the shows only in Italian? Do the shore excursions not have English speaking guides? I want this to be a memorable trip for her, but don’t want to be struggling with language barriers all the time. I know it will be difficult for you to honestly answer these questions for me, as Carnival is Costa’s parent company. But please find out what you can, & advise me.

Can we have some more Kye updates?
Thanks!
Joyce

John Says:
Hello Joyce

Oh I wish I could meet the people who told you that Costa staff is rude to Americans as I would like to poke them in the eye. Costa does Europe like no other cruise line and having been on their ships I can tell you that their service levels are right at the top of the tree. The Cruise Directors speak English, French, Italian and Spanish and will repeat their announcements and jokes and all they do on stage in all four languages……….they are truly talented men and women. I have problems being funny in one language.

The food on Costa is extraordinary and enjoying Italian service and hospitality while sailing the Mediterranean is a truly incomparable experience. So simply put ………….no…………….you have not made a mistake…….and I promise that you will meet wonderful people from all over the world and enjoy living La Dolce Vita Costa Cruises style.
Tell you what – remind me a few weeks before you sail would you that you are going.

Until then, best wishes to all.
John

That’s all for now, there will be more tomorrow.

Talking of Europe I know many of you are anxiously waiting for news to see if in 2011 Carnival will return there. Well, I have PA 007 on the case and I promise that as soon as he or she hears anything………..we will be the first to know.

Let’s do the news.

We start with welcoming a new chap to the Carnival family and one that many of you will be excited to read about……………….lets meet him.

Carnival Cruise Lines filled a newly created position, vp customer marketing, to oversee direct and email marketing efforts aimed at growing ticket and on-board revenues across all distribution channels.

Rob Borden is an accomplished marketing executive with a track record in customer and loyalty marketing. He reports to Jim Berra, Carnival’s chief marketing officer and svp.

Borden’s duties also entail customer loyalty programs, including the company’s co-branded credit card.

Prior to joining Carnival, he held executive roles at Microsoft Corp., as well as Delta Air Lines, where he served as the head of Delta’s SkyMiles loyalty program.

Most recently, Borden was the chief marketing officer for Points International, a loyalty systems and services provider and operator of the consumer-facing site, Points.com.

“Rob brings a unique combination of direct and digital marketing skill, combined with deep experience in operating loyalty programs,” Berra said. “His expertise will be a tremendous asset as we continue to build our customer marketing capabilities and expand our co-branded credit card program”.

I think the important words there for many of the blog readers will be “customer loyalty programs.” I will give him a few weeks to settle in and then I think a blog interview will be good don’t you? Anyway, welcome aboard Rob and enjoy your time here………oh and one more thing ……………please don’t grow a beard.

I will be summing up your Carnival Dream later this week but not only is the ship making a huge impression in North America but also around the world…………..have a look at this from the Thomas Cook magazine.

http://www.thomascookcruisemagazine.com/2009/12/first-look-carnival-dream/

Thomas Cook are one of the largest vacation (or holiday as it’s a Brit company) providers in the UK and I hope that the words spreads around my home country just what a brilliant ship your Carnival Dream is.

Our Chairman and CEO Micky Arison chooses which publications he gives interview to very carefully. In fact there is more chance of him giving an interview to Latvian Lap Dancer Weekly than to this humble blog.

But here’s a synopsis of his interview with Travel Weekly as reported by Gene Sloan of USA Today’s widely popular Cruise Log:

It’s been a tough year in the cruise business as the economy has stumbled, no doubt. But Carnival Corp. Chairman and CEO Micky Arison isn’t wallowing over the downturn. In fact, he’s upbeat.

“We think the business model is as strong as it’s ever been,” Arison tells Travel Weekly today in one of his first interviews since the company’s surprise order last week of a $738 million ship for its Carnival brand.

The order, for a 130,000-ton sister to the Carnival Dream to be delivered in 2012, is the first for the brand since 2005 and breaks an industry-wide dry spell for new orders that stretches back to 2007.

As Travel Weekly notes, Carnival drove a hard bargain with the struggling Fincantieri shipyard, agreeing to pay just $200,000 per berth for the new vessel. That’s more than 10% less than the $224,000 per berth the company paid for the just-unveiled Dream.

“They, and all the yards today, are anxious to make a deal happen,” Arison tells the news outlet. “The reality is there is a global worldwide shipbuilding and shipping crisis going on.”

Arison tells Travel Weekly the decision to order was simple, noting the Dream — the line’s largest ship to date — already is proving a big success with prices “at a nice premium” to other Carnival vessels.

The move surprised industry watchers who had expected Carnival’s next order to be for its Princess brand, which currently has no ships on order (Carnival is the parent company of more than half a dozen brands including Carnival, Princess, Holland America and Cunard). Arison tells Travel Weekly that a Princess order still is in the works and could happen in the coming weeks.

So, the future is bright and that’s great news for you and me. It’s great news for you because you have another new ship to dream about and the magic of a Carnival cruise will be available in 2012 on the soon to be named Carnival Thingy.

It’s good news for me because a new ship means I have more to write about and one more chance to get Megan Fox and her bottom to be a Godmother. And it sounds like there may be a possibility of some good news for Princess Cruises fans………….of which I am certainly one.

And here is some great news for P&O Cruises………have a read of this press release thingy.

P&O Cruises is bucking the industry trend towards ever larger vessels by introducing a ship to its fleet that will accommodate just 710 passengers and will be able to visit the “off the beaten track” destinations that are inaccessible to some of the bigger ships of today.

The new ship will be named Adonia and will join the fleet in June 2011, to become the smallest of P&O Cruises seven ships. Along with Arcadia she will be an adult only ship.

Built in 2001, over three-quarters of her 355 well-appointed cabins have balconies, whilst Adonia’s public rooms will have a traditional feel and feature wood panelling, leather armchairs and fine artwork. She will have an extensive library with over 4,000 titles and a grand lounge with an intricately inlaid wooden dance floor and stage to host a range of entertainment, from after dinner speakers to shows by P&O Cruises Headliners Theatre Company.

Adonia will also have the signature P&O Cruises features of a forward Crow’s Nest observation lounge with a nautical feel, and Anderson’s, a centrally located traditional club style lounge bar.

P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow said:

“I am delighted to announce this great news in response to our passengers’ comments to me that some prefer smaller ships. The addition of Adonia will deliver an elegant and welcoming ship with real small ship charm. She will offer a truly intimate and traditional cruise experience, yet with all the comforts you would expect from a modern vessel. With this size of ship our passengers will be able to get to know their fellow cruisers and crew easily as they travel to some of the most intriguing destinations on the map.

“Whilst larger ships have their own appeal, with the spectrum of bars, dining and entertainment choices they can offer, others really enjoy a smaller ship, with its more intimate ambience. No other cruise line offers this breadth of choice specifically for the British cruiser.”

The new Adonia is in fact the sister ship to a ship that I had the chance to visit last year……….. the Pacific Princess…… while she was hugging the coastline of Portofino, Italy. In case you missed that blog I thought I would post it again only this time I have changed the name to Adonia………..so in fact…………….I have written the first ever review of the ship ……………. wow ………….I wonder if Ms Marlow will let me visit now.

There must be some people who read my blog occasionally and probably get fed up with the blizzard of mega ships, water slides and stories of 3,000 plus people having fun all explained in a babble of preposterous superlatives.

Of course it’s not hard to see why this might be so. Cruising used to be about a ship, a captain and crew, ports of call, a comfy chair to sit in and meet Mr. and Mrs. Smith from California. Then it was off to dinner followed by dancing, a walk on deck under the stars and a bollocking from the wife for staring at Mrs. Smith’s bottom.

For those who miss those days and thought that they had gone forever ….. well ……..I am happy to tell you…..they haven’t…..and these values can be found alive and well onboard the Adonia.

This is not a ship that is all loud and shouty with “look at me” features………no………..it doesn’t need to………..this ship is quiet and dignified yet like when a Rolls Royce pulls up outside a hotel lobby you immediately know that the car and the people inside are both very special.
The ship was built in 1999 for Renaissance Cruises in a French shipyard and while I am not going to submit my normal attack on the French I do have to say something about the name they choose………..the M/S R3. Now, either they had absolutely no imagination or they ran out of paint…….R3…………that’s a cabin on the Holiday and Fantasy Class.

Unfortunately Renaissance built too many ships too quickly and before you could say R2D2 ……………the company was broke and the R ships were scattered to the four corners of the cruise ship world. Princess took 3 R’s which became the Tahitian, The Royal and the Pacific.

Today, I traveled to the surely one of the most beautiful spots in the world …….. Portofino. When God made Paris he stood back and said “bugger, I messed that one up” and realized he had better make something incomparable ………….he did ………………..Portofino.

I had been collected by that huge Mercedes limo again and this time Maurizio drove me right down to the Picola Harbour. As the huge V12 engine purred down the quayside I once again felt guilty that the tourists armed with Canons and Nikons ready to snap the star of stage and screen stepping out of the car to head to their yacht would be disappointed to discover it was just a fat bloke who needed a pee.

If Portofino is Catherine Zeta Jones then the Adonia sitting in the harbour was the Cartier Diamond Necklace draped round her perfect neck and as the tender which took me nearer to the ship I once again felt like one very lucky chap.

I was met at the tender station by a group of men whose uniforms had obviously just returned from the laundry and the only things that were brighter were their smiles of greeting. I met the Passenger Services Director Peter who has been at sea for 41 years. He was guide and not just around the ship but through a veritable history of the industry which he has seen change so much in his many years of service. He talked about ships I had read about in history books and ones that I have never heard of. He must have many stories to tell and I will therefore in the days.

And so, the tour of the Adonia began.

You may have seen a photo of the ship but you don’t really get a sense of scale from the pictures — and nor do you get an impression of just how beautiful she is. The ship has an extraordinary blend of presence and tradition.

The ship had 600 plus guests onboard……600…………let’s say that one more time ……. 600………when was the last time I said that about a ship?

These days ships are often referred to as floating hotels…….something by the way that makes me mad. Well, just for the sake of argument let’s continue with that analogy. Hotels these days are mostly the same……revolving doors………..a bit of tired red carpet to stand on while you wait for the 12-year-old behind the desk to tell you that your room won’t be ready until Friday and when you do finally get there the furniture was bought from Hotels R Us ………….you sit in your room trying to decide if you can afford to pay the $89 they want for a bottle of water from the mini bar before going to the hotel’s restaurant where the 12 year old receptionists sister is ready to serve you something with fries.

The Adonia could not be more different. This is a English Country hotel where Jeeves and Wooster are ready to serve. Deep brown woods, deep luxurious carpets and huge sofas invite you to stop and stay a while you enjoy a cocktail and listen to the music in one of the bars and lounges. The cabaret lounge, the library in fact all the public lounges made me feel like I should kick of my shoes……..put on a big pair of comfy slippers…….light my pipe and watch the world go by.

The dining room was massively impressive. The seating is assigned and although most of the evenings are smart casual the restaurant gives off an unparalleled sense of tradition. We enjoyed a beautiful lunch prepared by the ship’s Executive Chef.

We also toured the open decks with loads of space in which to worship the sun, the fully equipped spa and beauty salon and a visit to life below stairs to visit the crew only areas. The crew is International and all had that special camaraderie that comes with working on a smaller vessel. Everyone knows everyone and that in turn bears fruit to a unique bonding between all the crew which I am positive is noticed by the crew…… Peter the PSD and the Captain called most if not all by their first names as we walked the ship…..that’s not something you see every day.

And this must be the same for the passengers as well. I experienced this togetherness years ago as Cruise Director of the Carnival…………you saw the same people throughout the voyage and each night on the Pacific Princess I am sure stories of the day are shared and plans for the days to come explored.

I have nothing much else to report. There are no gizmos or gadgets no icons……… why …….. it doesn’t need one…………..the ship IS the icon……….it’s simply a luxurious way to see places other ships cannot………….it’s what cruising has and should always be about …….. the perfect way to meet new friends, see the world and stand on the deck under the stars holding the hand of the one you love and remember how much you love them.

Walking aboard the Adonia is like climbing into your Tuxedo or Ball Gown ……….there is a sense that you’re about to do something very, very special.

I hate to blow my own trumpet but that was …………certainly by my usually awful standards …….. a decent bit of writing. And if it indeed was it due to how inspiring I felt having visited the ship. So congratulations to P & O and while they may be Britain’s favorite cruise line………….for those who miss the halcyon days of small ships…………the Adonia could mean that P & O becomes your favorite as well.

Yesterday we were in St. Thomas today and the Mall of The Seas was over in Crown Bay getting lots of pomp and circumstance while our guests get off the ship quickly and without fuss knowing that their Carnival Dream will be waiting for them when they return. The comments from bloggers continue to be excellent and I honestly wish I could tell you that there have been some negative ones…………but aside from the fact that Lido deck has been very busy at times and the wait to get served at the various stations has been longer than we would like …………..there has been nothing.

Last night, at midnight we hosted something called The Quest. This is an adult scavenger hunt and during this bloggers only event something happened that is quite indescribable………I always try to paint a picture here on the blog thingy but this …………this ………well it’s impossible to put into words. Luckily we caught it on camera and next week I will be posting it here …….. I can’t wait to show it to you.

However this morning things did not go well. We arrived to San Juan and headed to our assigned pier which was designated as Pier 3 West. However, even though plans and simulations had been made, Captain Queirolo realized that the steel cable that was part of the canopy on the pier would cause damage to and possibly puncture the lifeboats and life rafts. We then tried the other piers but due to our length and draft we were unable to dock.

I helped the Captain and Todd with the announcement which we made at 8:10am………..this is what the Captain told the guests over the PA system.


Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is your Captain speaking form the Navigational bridge.

We regret to inform you that we have been forced to cancel our scheduled call today in San Juan. Our Assigned Pier 3West has overhanging wires and metal canopy structures alongside the pier that will have caused damage to the ship by piercing the ships lifeboats and safety rafts. This is because of the size of the Carnival Dream and the location of the terminal structure and technology.

We have also tried two alternative piers with no success as they in some form would have put in jeopardy the safety of the ship and that of our guests and crew.

We do apologize for the inconvenience this has caused in your cruising experience!

We are currently putting together an alternative schedule for a Fun Day At Sea.

All excursions for today will automatically be refunded to your sail and sign accounts and there is no need to stop by the guests services in regards to shore excursion refunds.

Ladies and gentlemen the most important thing is always the safety of our guests, Crew Members and ship. As today proved to be an unsafe environment for all three, we have made a decision to cancel our call in San Juan.

We are proceeding to our next port of Grand Turk where instead of an arrival time of 11 am tomorrow we will be alongside at 7 am tomorrow morning.

Once again we apologize for any inconvenience caused and we will do our best to make sure the staff and crew onboard do their best to provide you with a fantastic fun day at sea.

Thank you for your understanding and your support.

So there you go…………..the best laid plans, etc.

I feel particularly sad for one of our bloggers Nani. She and her family were due to visit the ship today and meet with Big Ed’s group for a breakfast that would have included a special surprise for her. I won’t spoil what that surprise was because we are still going to find a way to do it but sorry Nani……….I truly am.

I feel sorry for all the guests. A missed port is never a good thing of course but it’s even worse under these circumstances. And it’s our fault. Regardless of all the checks we made to see if the ship did fit against the pier those checks were not sufficient …………and for that I sincerely apologize to all the 3,800 people onboard.

So far though the guests seem to be OK with the news and are enjoying the sun and the sea day activities that Todd and his staff have arranged. I hosted the Morning Show with him and we had a lot of fun and hopefully gave the guests some morning cheer. I will see if there is room on the schedule to perform a show, maybe the Marriage Show or bedtime story…………I don’t want to tread on Todd’s toes though.

I know how much you have been enjoying the recent photos I have been posting on the blog thingy and here then are some more featuring your Carnival Dream and the amazing tranquility and paradise of the Caribbean……….we start with Radu’s photos of Tortola and more specifically the Virgin Gorda excursion …………………..have a look at these.

Breathtaking……………absolutely breathtaking.

And now we go to Jordan and some shots we simply call……………Dream by Night.

Well tonight I will be hosting a bloggers only karaoke event and I am sure that I will be forced into singing something myself………………I can already hear the dogs howling here in St Thomas. I will send a report and photos and …………..God help us all…………….video tomorrow.

I know this has been a busy blog but I must get one thing of my chest. I was watching an interview with Kate Moss on CNN’s Larry King last night and she said something like this ……… “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Now, I happened to be getting ready for dinner at the time and I remember sitting at the end of the bed………in my underpants…………about to try and bend down to put my socks on…………and hearing Miss Moss say this made me as mad as hell.

Because the super model is talking………in my fat and humble opinion……..total bollocks. Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and a chocolate melting cake all taste much better than skinny feels. Heidi’s chicken satay – that also tastes better than skinny feels. A big fat, juicy Porter House steak from one of our Steak Houses tastes better than skinny feels……….I am already salivating just writing these words. My local Chinese takeaway and a Diet Coke and a hot dog while watching the Miami Heat win………………. all of these taste much better than skinny feels.

Listen you skinny thing………..your job it is to wear dresses that nobody else can afford and which cant ever be practically worn in the real world. You are not paid for your intellect. ………so shut up and go eat a piece of lettuce and some air………oh and one more thing……. Megan Fox’s bottom tastes better than skinny feels………….probably.

Goodnight
Your friend
John

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36 Responses to For Crying Out Loud

  1. Hi John,

    Funny how RCCL spoiled the Carnival Dream stop in San Juan. You do know they helped design the port?

    http://www.caribbeanbusinesspr.com/news03.php?nt_id=38046&ct_id=1

    One would think they would know better – especially with the Mall of the Seas now dredging the oceans.

    Cheers,
    bill

  2. Cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    Fabulous Blog today!
    I don’t worry about what we eat onboard, as we are always so busy with all the activities onboard that neither Nancy or myself have gained any weight on any of our cruises, and we try everything. There is nothing like trying dishes from far away countries that Carnival brings to the table. They are all soooo good! We also take the stairs instead of the elevators. Helps with the flow of people and the waistline at the same time.
    Great photos of Virgin Gorda Baths and of the Dream at night. These are sure two very talented photographers. Awesome!
    We haven’t tried the smallers ships yet but I think that they would be even better due to the smaller size and the fewer passengers.
    I’ve decide to write a song for the crew of the CCL Dream since they are going to be away from their families for the holidays. Its a version of the holiday classic ‘I’ll be home for Christmas.”

    I’ll be home on Carnival.
    You can count on me!
    Please have SNOWcrab
    and Melting Cakes and
    a bathrobe waiting for me!

    Christmas eve will find me,
    sailing in the Caribbean.
    I’ll be home for Christmas
    On the Carnival DREAM!

    A very special holiday wish to all of the crew members who make us always feel so very welcome. You are the BEST!

    The Cruzin2some
    James & Nancy Enslow

  3. Good evening John. As far as a man crying I have no problem shedding tears when necessary. I mean I don’t mean balling my eyeas out, but a few tears of enjoyment or of losing a good friend or even laughter is good for the heart and mind. It also makes you a better man and I mean that.
    That song ” Heave Away ” sounded excellent.
    I’m sorry to hear that the Carnival Dream was unable to stay in PR. I know that Nanni had to be disappointed. She was hoping to see all of her friends and especially you John. Oh well, that’s life.
    I sent a Christmas card to you, Heidi and Kye. I do hope that it arrives when you get home for the holidays.
    January 23rd is coming very soon and I’m so excited for my cruise. It seems that Bee and Charlie will be able to be there. We all are looking forward to having dinner seeing and hearing Ken the Maitre’d. I hope to be able to have another photo taken with Ken like I had when he was on the Carnival Freedom. Maybe we could have a photo of the three of us. What do you think? Well continue enjoying your blogger’s cruise. See you soon.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  4. Stitch says:

    John, don’t you worry for a minute about those tears. In my opinion, a man that cannot shed a few tears for the right reasons has no heart. I know for a fact that you, my friend, have a big one!!

    Look forward to our next meeting! All the best to you and your ladies!!

    Stitch

  5. James and Bobbi says:

    John,

    Another wonderful blog. I so look forward to read every day after work and fueling my Carnival cruise addiction. Thanks again so much for sharing Radu’s wonderful photos. I simply can’t get enough of their stunning beauty. I really think they should be on sale on board ship.

    As always, thanks for all you do for your loyal followers. Looking forward to our Feb. 27th cruise with you.

    Bobbi

  6. Carol says:

    John, there is nothing wrong with you! You are a loving, caring daddy who misses his little girl and little girls have that effect on their daddy! Please don’t ever apologize for crying over your daughter! Merry Christmas and enjoy your time with your girls.

  7. Mike Brown says:

    John Please Reply!

    Another wonderful blog today! No worries about the tears mate! The only men who don’t shead one from time to time are telling a story! LOL! Sorry to hear that the ship missed Nanni! I know the Evil Krewe will be planning some evil now.

    No to my please reply portion…I say in one of your responses to a guest that you said ” We couldn’t have had any guests onboard because of the Jones Act which states that guests cannot sail from one US port straight to another.”

    How can this be true as we just sailed the Dream from New York with our first port being Port Canaveral and the Pride was with us leaving Baltimore and stopping in Port Canaveral with us. Is that not one US Port to another. I know we joke that Miami has moved from the US, but Port Canaveral too?

    Hope the rest of the cruise goes without incident and that the Evil does not get to bad for missing San Juan!

    Happy Holidays! Our love to Heidi and Kye! Cheers my friend!

  8. Hi John,

    I thought the food on Carnival Dream was great…

    Here is my guestimation of the 7 day menus:
    http://www.zydecocruiser.com/CarnivalDream/TA/Menus/MDR/mdr_7day.htm

    Regards,
    bill

  9. kiciaski says:

    Hi John,

    George and I were on the R3 when it belonged to Renaissance and did a 10 day cruise from Tahiti. That was a great trip and the ship felt to be the right size.

    Sorry about the canceled stop in Puerto Rico. I know Nanni was disappointed in not being able to see you and Ken.

    Enjoy the rest of the cruise and soon you’ll be home with Heidi and Kye.

    Linda & George

  10. Vila Restal says:

    Actually that would be Jeeves ready to serve you. Bertie Wooster was the upper class fop and man about town. The only serve he’s ever done was with a Tennis Racket in his hand :-) (I’m a great fan of P. G. Wodehouse. I have a lot of his books on my E-Book.)

  11. Lisa says:

    Thank you for telling us about the Adonia. She sounds absolutely wonderful!
    We may have to look into sailing on her in the future. My husband and I prefer the small ships. The Carnival Elation, our first ship, was great, but smaller would be better.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles in San Juan, but such is life.

    Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year to you and your family!

    Lisa

  12. Courtney Harper says:

    My husband and I will be celebrating our 5th anniversary aboard the Glory 1/3/10. Is there a way to get contact the Maitre d’ beforehand to request a table for two, as I was told there are usually only a few available? Thanks so much :)

  13. Brooke says:

    Dear John, (Please reply before we leave)

    I posted the following on the Valentine’s day blog, but somehow it seems to have gotten lost. There are quite a few people waiting for me to give them some plans for our meet/greet. Please help us…

    November 17th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Dearest John (please reply),

    Let’s start today with a great big thank you. You are the epitome of customer service in a world where basic customer service is a challenge to find. CCL does a great service to cruisers by allowing us the opportunity to laugh and celebrate with you every day as we read your blog. I can honestly say that my life would not be complete if I could not read the blog thingy first thing every morning. So John, thank you for all that you bless us with each day.

    First order of business, I somehow managed to become the designated arranger of the meet and greet for both Cruise Critic and Carnival Connections for our upcoming cruise on Dec. 19 out of NOLA on the Carnival Triumph. (Side note: I am so excited I love her beauty and can’t wait to see her again) So as a member of both sites and roll call advocate I made mention that I was so excited I packed for this cruise in early October. A little early maybe, but I don’t think so. So my enthusiasm has landed me this duty to arrange a gathering for my friends. Through discussions we have come to an agreement to schedule a meet/greet on Sunday, December 20, which will be our first Sea Day. Embarkation day is too hectic to cram one more thing in so we would like to meet on the Sea Day. I believe that Mr. Solano will be our CD for this cruise, and I can’t wait to meet him. But, until I am on the ship and able to do so I was wondering if you could drop him a note for me to ask him if there is any possible way he could set us up with a meeting place and time. Also, if we could get that info before we leave for the cruise that would be awesome. I’m a planner and would like to be able to share it on our roll call before we leave.

    Secondly, I asked you several months ago about the status of 5 cruises. I was disappointed to learn that my 2 Princess cruises didn’t count towards that number because the upcoming cruise in December will make my 5th cruise with Carnival Corporation. As part of your response you asked me to remind you shortly before the cruise so that you could send my hubby and I a little Christmas gift in honor of our 5th cruise.

    With just barely a month to go I am counting down the days until I will again be at home aboard a cruise ship sailing the Caribbean. Thank you for providing me with photos and stories to pass the time and give me a piece of that life every day. I hope that you and Mr. Solano will be able to assist with my requests, even though I know people don’t like you doing so. But, I think this a great service that you give to people that is rarity in our society today.

    Best wishes to you, Heidi, and adorable Kye. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season.

    Brooke

  14. John,

    Thanks for answering my question about the ‘Where Next’ certificates!

    Best to you and the girls!
    Melissa

  15. Peg Dunbar says:

    Ah John, you cried when you heard your baby because you have not seen her or Heidi in quite a while. Soon you will be back home with them.

    Very busy getting packed for Texas. We have snow up the ying yang and can not wait until we get to the sunshine and sea.

    The pictures were breathtaking.

    Keep smiling smiling John, you truly are one of the good guys.

    My best to Heidi and Kye.

  16. Sharon says:

    John

    Is this article referring to the Magic? I thought it was debuting in 2011.
    The order, for a 130,000-ton sister to the Carnival Dream to be delivered in 2012, is the first for the brand since 2005 and breaks an industry-wide dry spell for new orders that stretches back to 2007.

    Thanks

  17. Kathy Roxo says:

    Hi John (please reply)

    Was a little sad to see that my question from your November 20th blog was the only question not replied to in today’s comments :( I had posted as well on November 27th and my post never appeared in the comments section :( I am not sure if I am doing something wrong when posting blog comments (some appear, some do not) or if it was a simple oversight because everyone involved is so busy and carries the weight of many responsibilities on their shoulders.

    At this point, it is probably to late to re-ask for my favor but I, of course, will still comment :)

    Having a child adds a whole new level of emotion to our systems that I don’t think any of us could really put into words – Becoming a ball full of tears when you talk to Kye is to be expected! You miss her so much and I am sure that when you do talk to her the true level of how much you miss her shows through and if you cry, then you cry, so be it. Kye is your heart and soul and your whole life, and to be a ball full of mush around her is not only normal but also a sign of what a magnificent father you are!

    The pictures of the Dream are amazing as always! We will be visiting Tortola on our Freedom cruise that sails on January 2nd and I can only hope to get pictures that are half as beautiful as the ones in today’s blog!

    Take care John!

    Kathy Roxo :)

  18. Host Mach from Cruise Critic says:

    First things first. There’s not a thing wrong with you. You miss your family, you miss you little girl. A smile like hers and bring great joy and great longing. Tears are nothing to be ashamed of, even President Bush, a tough guy if there ever was one, shed tears in public.

    Next, the Dream in San Juan… Lots of talk about why didn’t anyone know in advance about the problem at that particular port in San Juan. I don’t know what kind of information regarding a port and surrounding structures are provided to a cruise line but this one looks like a tough call under the best of circumstances. One of the folks on Cruise Critic posted images from an X ship docked at that pier and I swear you could spit to that sculpture thing and reach out and touch the cables. Fortunately, San Juan isn’t a part of the ongoing itinerary.

    I have decided that I hate Radu… well… not really hate but I’m really jealous of him! ;) I love his pictures.

    I can’t wait to see the video, especially considering the LAST video from a Blogger’s cruise that got out on the internet… I don’t think I’ll ever live that one down.

    By the way, I think LATE September of next year and the Conquest are EXCELLENT choices for the Bloggers… Perfect!!!

    All the best to your lovely ladies, the 343 Stephaines (congrats on the Splendor Stephanie 02!!!) and the hair patrol!!!

    Ciao!!!

    Host Mach

  19. Katiel53 says:

    John,
    The tears you shed just go along with your personality. You have a huge heart and the tears come from your heart. I’m sure that Heidi loves that part of you more than she will admit.

    Did you ever notice that the men who are the kindest are the ones who cry? I do believe they go together.

    Take care and enjoy your time at home.

  20. Cheryl says:

    I know you are missing your girls…that makes me want to cry too!

    I LOVE all these beautiful photos of the ship and beautiful caribbean ports. I have been to the baths at Virgin Gorda and it is quite a spectacular sight to see when you exit the rocks. I look forward each day to the photos…keeps me dreaming until my turn in April on the Carnival Dream.

  21. if the person asking about costa in europe is reading this, do not be afraid, it shall be wonderful. we did the mediterranea a few years ago and the transatlantic. i love costa. carnival is my favorite but costa is second. the food is wonderful too and the ships are clean and the crew friendly and helpful. relax and enjoy!

    (hi john, sorry to hijack your blog my friend.)

    smiles, bonnie and prince charlie

  22. Cheryl says:

    CAPTAIN SCALA–PLEASE REPLY

    I loved the photos that you posted. My question is about the ship’s horn. What is the protocol for using it? I love hearing it and yet there are some ports that I never hear it used when departing. Why is it used or not used when arriving or departing from a port and what do the number of blasts mean? While on the Carnival Splendor in St. Thomas last year the Carnival Victory was leaving at the end of the day and it seemed the two ships were talking to each other with the horns and the passengers on both ships were loving it! Thanks for blogging and taking our questions. It gives us a rare opportunity to get some nautical facts.

    Cheryl

  23. Marshall says:

    John (Please Reply)-

    My wife and I absolutely fell in love with cruising a couple of years ago, and will be taking some first-timers along with us as we take our third Carnival cruise in the past two years this coming April. We’ll be on the April 19th sailing of the Carnival Fantasy, and I have a couple of questions for you.

    First, I saw somewhere that you take over as CD in May. Will you be on the ship by then?

    Second, I was curious if the Fantasy has started the Behind The Fun tour or if it will have by then?

    Thanks!

  24. dwa76 says:

    Hi John!
    What a shame about missing the San Juan stop due to overhanging wires. That is just awful.
    I love Radu’s pictures and I wish I had his skills. They are fantastic.
    The Adonia sounds lovely and so intimate with only 600 passengers.
    Hope today works out better for you.
    Take care!
    David

  25. Thia says:

    Hi John,

    Great blog today. The pictures are beautiful. I can’t wait to be sailing on the Carnival Dream.

    Reading your blog is getting me more and more excited about my upcoming cruise. :)

    I think it is really sweet that a guy shows his emotional side. It shows that they care. Plus I think you are more emotional since you are away from your family and missing them.

    Best to you and your family.

  26. Ken Stevenson says:

    John, Reply, please.

    Has Jen Baxter retired from the gay, mad whirl that is the life of a CD for life in Liverpool or will she be rejoining the Carnival navy?

    Ken Stevenson

  27. Hi John,

    As for Blogger’s cruises, I’ll vote for Carnival Triumph or Carnival Magic out of New Orleans.

    As I recall, attendance on the Blogger’s cruise on Carnival Fantasy out of New Orleans was pretty good.

    On another note, Elizabeth and I thank you, Stephanie, and Carnival for the article on Raimondo. I have added it to the webpage.

    http://www.zydecocruiser.com/CarnivalDream/GrandMed/08Messina/RaimondoNicita.htm

    Regards,
    bill

  28. Peg Dunbar says:

    JOHN PLEASE REPLY

    Carnival Ecstasy – January 14, 2010

    John, I had asked you about reserving a room for the group that I will be sailing with on the Carnival Ecstasy leaving on January 14th.

    If we could have a room for 60 on Friday January 15th @ 2:00 pm it would be much appreciated. It is our first sea day so I think that would be a great time to have it. If you could make the arrangements for me I will also send a note to the CD when I board the ship.

    Thank you for all you do for us and thank you for taking care of this for me.

    We have never cruised in January so it will be a lot of fun and being able to drive to the port is a plus too.

    Thanks again John, you truly are one of the good guys.

    I hope by the time you reply to this you will be home with your girls and your daughter will be celebrating her first Christmas. You are truly blessed as we are for you allowing us to be in your life.

  29. Peg Dunbar says:

    STEPHENIE(S) PLEASE EDIT MY NOTE TO JOHN ABOUT MY REPLY:

    I just received a note from the secretary at the church that is arranging the cruise for all of us. She has informed me that she has scheduled Mass for January 14th from 1:30 – 2:30. I am not sure there will be time for us to all meet on the 14th as there may be other people on the ship that would want to go to that Mass. Since it is the first Sea Day and that is our first “formal night”, or whatever they call it now, it may be too late to have something then. Could you PLEASE change the date to the 16th at 2:00pm?

    Thank you Stephenie for editing my note to John. And thank you for all you do for us.

    Could you reply to me in an email that you have done this, it would be appreciated?

    Peg

  30. Peg Dunbar says:

    STEPHENIE:

    HELP!!!!!!!

    I feel so stupid, I do not remember what date I asked you to change the date for my gathering on our January 14th cruise. It can not be the 16th as that is when we are in port so it HAS TO BE THE 17, our last sea day.

    Sooooooo, once again please edit my request. I deeply apologize for all this confusion. Please forgive me and please send me a not saying that you did indeed get the stupid Bloggers request for her change of date.

    Peg

  31. Lynda Ulrich says:

    John (please reply).
    Hi John, we just got off the Fantasy this morning and couldn’t wait to tell you how great the cruise was. I would like it if you could pass this on to the people who should know about it.

    1) First time on your time dinning. It was wonderful. We never had to wait. The second night we got “Made”, yes that’s his name, as our head waiter and his team. We asked for him all the other nights. When he saw us he’d call us by name. He would stand next to the table and talk to us. And the food was great. Our last two cruises were on the Holiday in Sept. and Nov. and they didn’t offer your time dinning.

    2) The social hosts, Dave, Lewis and Brandon, were some of the best we’ve ever had. We told them our names the first time we saw them and they called us by name at all activities. We will be back on The Fantasy in Jan. and are happy that Lewis and Brandon will still be there. But sad that Dave will be on vacation. We were happy to see that Brandon will be on our Panama canal cruise on the Elation in May. I know it will be great.

    So please John, make sure these wonderful people get the recognition the deserve.

    Have a great time home with the family.

    Lynda

  32. Hi John,
    Awww… you miss your girls! Soon, soon you will be there for Kye’s first Christmas!

    BTW, when Kye is a teenager – believe me – you won’t be crying away from home — you’ll be crying when you have to be home amongst the hormonal turmoil. :)

    It’s all good!

    Best
    Anita

  33. Kathy M. says:

    Dear John,

    Please Reply,

    I guess today, was not a good day for me to read your blog. I was under the impression (as was some others) that you were going to do your next bloggers cruise on the West Coast, but I see once again, we are as what some would call, we have been pushed to the back to the bottom of the list. You have done 3 bloggers cruises to date to the Caribbean, don’t you feel it is time for you to finally do, at least one bloggers cruise, on the WEST COAST before you are transferred back to Europe. John, you know I am one of your biggest fans, but I just can’t travel to the East Coast, so I beg you to please reconsider this and maybe try and do it when you are on the Carnival Spirit. I know that all of your West Coast fans will be eternally grateful and will fill that ship. Just in the town where I live I did a poll in our local forum of how many people would go on a John Heald’s bloggers cruise and I got 76 people that said they would go and only 4 that said that the would not, 10 said maybe,so I know that your West Coast fans would fill that ship and you would probably have to have a waiting list for people to book the cruise.

    Please give my love to Heidi and Kye.

    From your #1 Bloggy Thinggy Fan
    Kathy M.

  34. Petal says:

    Just loved this blog today, John – like all your blogs, it is full of honest humanity and kindness.

    Happy Christmas to you and Heidi and Kye.

    Looking forward to my first cruise in May…
    Petal

  35. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    My Mother always said….. “keep it short and to the point”.

    I should have listened to my Mother when I called into Todd’s Morning Show about the San Juan incident.

    I was “trying” to convey to other passengers that YOU did understand the disappointment that they were feeling ….. because YOU also had been making plans for over a year.

    Hopefully, that was the message they got and not just someone else complaining about missing the port.

    If I had listened to my Mother, I would have said on the Morning Show….

    “it is a cruise ship….not a bus. If you MUST be at a particular port for an event…..FLY THERE!”

    But the reason they do not FLY THERE is because (in most cases) it is CHEAPER to cruise to a port then fly there (and have to pay for hotels and meals etc).

    The man who called in saying his wife had sat in her cabin all day crying was an idiot. (and if she really did this….she is a bigger idiot) They both need to GROW UP and learn to be travelers….not bus riders!!!!

    This is the site you were talking about where ship Captains (cruise and freight) can go to train. These simulators allow Captains to practice docking at docks all over the world BEFORE they get there.

    http://www.starcruises-scss.com/

    Unfortunately, it appears this piece of artwork was added AFTER the San Juan program was written and San Juan never notified Starcruises to update their software.

    Someone also asked why not use the lifeboats as tenders (since San Juan had not tenders)…. and tender folks in.

    I am assuming this would not be possible because the dock would be to HIGH to unload passengers from a lifeboat.

    Captain Carlos also did try another dock…but it was to shallow for the Carnival Dream.

    No Captain has physically docked every ship at every port…..which is why the Starcruises Simulator is SUCH an invaluable tool.

    But it is only as good as the information it is sent from the individual ports.

    True travelers (while a bit disappointed) will understand…..bus riders will not understand…but they should just stay home!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  36. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Captain Scala: (please reply)

    We have had the wonderful pleasure of sailing with you several times.

    (and I was honored to get to sing to you on the Fantasy earlier this year…..sorry it was the Titanic Song. I promise that was not planned …. it was just the next song up on the karaoke rotation.)

    My question is: is it more difficult to navigate the Mississippi River out of the New Orleans port (which I know you have done many times) than sailing from other ports that open directly into a bay or into the ocean?

    My father was a river boat pilot on the Mississippi River for many years (before he started his own shipyard) and loved the unique challenges of the river.

    We look forward to sailing with you again!!!

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

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