July 2, 2010 -
Good Morning Everyone
This is Kye writing the blog today as Mummy and Daddy are upstairs shouting at each other. I think it’s about packing for our trip to the big boat called New Amsterdam tomorrow. Daddy is shouting at Mummy that she has put too much stuff in the suitcase. I heard Daddy say that he isn’t going to pay any money for having packed too much stuff. Mummy called him a cheap bastard. I don’t know what that means but as long as I have my toys and my diapers I am OK.
I don’t mind flying even though Daddy says this time we are flying on Easy Jet which makes Daddy very mad. I do know that I will have to be in the car with Mummy and Daddy for a long time though to get to the place where the airplanes live. When I get into the car with my Daddy I know I will have to listen to really silly music and that the car will smell of something called a cigar which Daddy had when Mummy and I were not in the car with him. Daddy will also get very angry at other drivers and will shout out the window at them. Sometimes he plays counting games with other people in cars by holding 1 or sometimes 2 fingers in the air. I don’t think my Daddy can count past 2.
We have a lady that lives in our car that tells us where everything is. I never see her but I hear her voice telling us when to turn left and what roads have lots of cars on it. Daddy doesn’t like this lady very much and won’t talk to her and ask her for help. He should do though because we always get lost and I have to wait and wait and wait to have my diaper changed and get out of my car seat to play. It takes him such a long time to admit he is lost that we could have got there, turned round and have gone home again. I wonder why Daddy doesn’t like the lady that lives in the car. Maybe she’s French because my Daddy always tells me that he doesn’t like French things and Daddy also tells me neither do I.
I want Daddy to be buy me an Eye Pod. Mummy listens to hers when she is the car with Daddy but I can’t have one because my ears are too small Mummy says. This means I get to listen to Daddy singing along to his sad 80’s rock music. I am glad that the windows of our big car are dark as I don’t want other babies to know that the man screaming something about smoke on some water is my Daddy.
There are strange things next to my baby seat. When Daddy is away on his boats the car is always clean and shiny but when Daddy is home there are CD cases, bits of cigar and lots of empty Diet Coke cans on the floor.
Thank you all for being so nice to me.
Thank you Kye. I had better press on with some Q and A. Off we go.
Dear John, (please reply)
I love Carnival cruises, in fact, I’m 19 and I am booked to take my fifth Carnival cruise for my Spring Break next year.
I took a Dream cruise for my Spring Break in March (3/6/2010) and had an absolute blast, but there is one thing that is troubling me… Exactly how many “Dick Little” cruises have there been. That performance the first night was a hoot, but I was rather disappointed that there was more than one “Dick Little” cruise! Was there someone from stinkin’ creek also?
You are one amazing cruise director!
Congratulations on having cruised so many times already and before you know it you will have reached Platinum status. Were you on the Stinking Creek cruise? He was a total original and although there may have been one or two Dicks there will only ever be one Stinking Creek. He has gone on my all time top ten list of favourite characters that I have met on the ships. I hope we get to sail together again soon and I have a feeling that your Spring Break cruise next year will be your best yet.
I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy
Hi John (please reply),
I have a question, something I’ve always wondered. And I figured you’d be a good chap to ask. Why doesn’t Carnival (or most other cruise lines for that matter) do long cruises to nowhere? I’m talking 5 to 7 days. I love sea days, and would absolutely love a cruise to nowhere for that long. If they go that long on a transatlantic cruise without having to re-stock supplies, why can’t they do a cruise to nowhere that long? I mean, if the casino were open for 7 days straight Carnival would make a fortune!
If you would be so kind as to share your knowledge with me, I’d appreciate it.
That’s a great question and the answer has nothing to do with supplies because as you said we can stock our ships for 6 days at sea during the trans-Atlantic voyages we do. The simple answer is that they wouldn’t sell which is why no cruise line does them. Many passengers book their cruise based on affordability and value for money then after that I am pretty certain that destination is the next important subject that families will discuss before booking.
Yesterday I highlighted the Carnival Victory which has a seven-day cruise with no full sea days and six ports. This sells extremely well but if we were to sell a seven-day cruise with no ports………well I think you may have the ship to yourself. But hold on….. because I could be totally wrong here. I can see why you would want to spend 7 days on the ship and not go to any ports. This would enable the cruise to be priced without any taxes and fees for visiting the islands wouldn’t it? We would have to make sure we offer enough entertainment onboard to keep guests occupied but we already do this on those TA voyages. As I said, I don’t think it would sell but maybe there are many more people who think the ship is the destination. Let’s find out with a pole thingy.
Let’s see what others have to say Dave and thanks for the opportunity to discuss this topic.
Eric T. Asked:
Hi John, my question concerns the Carnival home page where the “counter” is that counts the number of days to your next cruise. Is it possible for Carnival to display more than one counter if you have two cruises booked??? As you know, many of us are like little kids and enjoy watching the countdown to our cruise(s).
It’s only recently that I have, thanks to the bloggers, discovered these countdown clocks and have seen just how popular they are. I will certainly ask one of the 344 Stephanies to look into this and I will let you know.
Carolyn Jane Asked:
Dear John (please reply):
You are asking for suggestions about longer cruises, so I am going to give you an earful. I have ten cruises on Carnival, but I also have two long HAL cruises, three long Princess, and two Celebrity as well a spell on the QE2. What your CDs and the people with beards have to understand is that the longer the cruise, the closer the demographic will be to those other lines. I was on the TA of the Carnival Dream, and the passenger mix was more like HAL than Sensation…Keep an eye out for what is different on your upcoming Cunard cruise. What do they have that you don’t have on Carnival? Well, the library. I don’t mean that you have to have a big one, but as your ships get larger, the libraries get smaller. Holiday class had a lovely library space, Fantasy class does also. Elation should have had a jigsaw puzzle or two for the large table…The library on Carnival Splendor was always well used, with several puzzles in progress, as well as readers. But it was small…And the library on Carnival Dream is just pitiful. And to make it worse, every evening as we went by, when my sister would probably have stopped in to work on a jigsaw (if there had been one) it was occupied by Friends of Bill W. or Friends of Dorothy…While there were empty conference rooms right next door.
People who sail longer cruises to new places want to know more about their ports than what tours the ship offers and what shops are paying to ship to promote them. You need enrichment speakers, talking about the history and culture of the area with a more thorough suggestion of what to see. You need maps of ports, whether or not there are approved shops there. Some of us want to get off and do our own walking tours without shopping, and would like a map with basic landmarks. Daily trivia quizzes (paper) and crossword puzzles. HAL delivers a daily NYT puzzle in their daily newspaper. Princess has them in the library. HAL has a daily trivia that you answer and deposit in a box in the library. You put your name and cabin number on it, and the time you submit. The person who submits the most correct answers at the earliest time gets a prize, such as a luggage tag or keychain…or perhaps a ship on a stick…
You need more dancing…Sail Princess or HAL and you might be surprised how many white haired couples there are rockin’ and rollin’ on the dance floor.
Our Carnival Dream TA was my sister’s first on Carnival. When I asked her if she would sail Carnival again, she said certainly, but not on a long cruise.
Hello Carolyn Jane
Thanks for the earful. I am the first to admit that companies like Cunard and Holland America are better than we are at trans-Atlantic voyages. The only defense I have is that while our ships do one of these voyages a year on their return to America from Europe their vessels are on longer cruises all year round and therefore are designed for this. Certainly we would love a bigger library but building one for just one cruise makes no sense because on our regular European and Caribbean voyages the libraries we have are more than big enough and do not get used nearly as much as they do on a 16-day TA that includes 6 straight sea days. What we have to do therefore is stock more books and when the shelves are empty replace them with more.
Scheduling private groups when there are other venues available isn’t the best use of this space so thanks for letting me know that this happened. There are plenty of places where the groups you mentioned can meet and I will make sure that this does not get repeated on your Carnival Magic.
I spoke yesterday about our need to improve our onboard programs by having guest speakers and lecturers and while I think the CDs do a great job in providing the information on what to do ashore I do think that guest lecturers on the history of the ports may be worth looking into.
I know that Cunard and Holland America has these programs and I know that their voyages are therefore more expensive than a Carnival one. However, I promise that I will do all I can to make your Carnival Magic‘s trans-Atlantic the most fun 16-day cruise we have ever done. Thanks again for the observations.
Jennifer & Shawn Asked:
We met a little over a month ago on the Fantasy when you first got on board. (We were the couple that got engaged during the Showcase of the Stars)
Since we’ve been home, we have been reading your blog whenever we get a chance! You are just too funny! (The one with the naked guy complaining about his TV was my fave! I work in a health club and I can relate!)
The more that we read your blog, the more we talk about working on the ship. I of course couldn’t find your email that you gave me to save my life! So, I’m trying here!
We would love to come and work for Carnival in the Entertainment area. We would be interested in just about anything! Can you please contact us and let us know what we need to do as far as applying with Carnival?
Thank you again for making our vacation so much fun! Between you and Risa, it was the most memorable vacation so far in our (hopefully) long lives together!
Jennifer & Shawn
Hello Jennifer and Shawn
It’s great to hear from you and many congratulations once again on your engagement. I wish you many happy years together. I know you mentioned to me your desire to work onboard and so I would first ask you to look at our entertainment website (www.carnivalentertainment.com). It contains full job descriptions and requirements and will help you decide which position you would like to apply for. So go ahead and have a look and then contact me again here on the blog thingy and I will see how I can be of help further
Best wishes to you both
Mike & Lori Drew Asked:
John, (please reply)
I have written twice with no response. I would like to know you are receiving our emails. We sailed to Alaska on the Spirit on May 11 and we had no problem with seeing the entertainment staff on board especially Mayer and Wheezie. Stu was everywhere and so kind and gracious! We had lost our birth certificates somewhere in Ketchikan and he took time out of his ever busy schedule to talk with us and assure us everything would be fine. Then every time he saw us after that he would say “Remember! Everything will be ok and you will get home!” He and his staff were constantly working to make our cruise enjoyable. True, there was no deck party which was disappointing because they have a way to cover the lido deck so it was warm and they could have made improvisions for the party. I don’t think anyone would have minded the cold anyway. We were having too much fun! I agree that the glacier in Endicott Arm was much better than Mendenhall glacier even though at Mendenhall we saw ice calving. The Deadliest Catch Bering Sea excursion in Ketchikan is the best thing we did. It was awesome! They don’t take you out to sea but into the calm waters and show you what they do on the show. They also take you to a bald eagle preserve which was beautiful. I highly recommend it for anyone. Whale watching was ok but not the first week in May. There were no bears, salmon, or deer visible at this time of year. So, John, you really should go to Alaska and tell Stu he and his staff are doing an amazing job. I do think they should do more Alaska type activities on board. After all, the Alaska cruise is like no other and it should be exceptional. In support of what they did, it is the first time most of the staff has been on this cruise and they are just learning what works and what doesn’t. Stu did an amazing job though and we would cruise with him and his staff any time! We had a wonderful time and memories to last a lifetime!
Mike & Lori Drew
Hello Mike and Lori Drew
I remember specifically replying to this brilliant post and I am sure that since posting the one above you will have seen my response. I am 3 weeks behind so please forgive me for the delay. I sent your posting to the ship and made sure that Stuart and his staff got to read your words of praise. I am sure they were thrilled.
I also remember writing that your posting made me promise myself that I would cruise Alaska before I stop doing this CD thingy and experience the last frontier for myself.
Thanks again for the great review.
Best wishes to you both
Dear John, (Please Reply)
After reading today’s blog I have a question. Why doesn’t the Carnival Paradise have the water park?
I don’t think I am alone when I say that I enjoy reading about you and your family. Your stories are always interesting so please continue to write about your everyday life as well as what’s going on with Carnival.
All the best to you and your girls,
That’s a great question and I honestly don’t know the answer. I guess someone with a beard decided that when the Carnival Paradise got all her brilliant upgrades that the water park would not be one of them. Let me see if I can find out for you.
Thanks so much for the kind words of support. They mean a lot.
Best wishes to you and your family.
Mary Richardson Asked:
Hi John (please reply)
I have to tell you that my husband and I enjoy your bloggy thingy and your gift for painting word pictures. There is nothing sweeter to me than to hear my husband chuckling over something you’ve written. Usually he will read that portion out loud to me, but sometimes it is so funny, he just passes me his computer because he is still laughing and wiping his eyes. Nothing like humour to keep a marriage happy. Now here is my request. Our family of ten (which includes a 12 year old, an 11 year old and a 6-month old infant) is booked on the Triumph the week of October 23rd for our second annual “entire family” cruise. Milton and I sailed on the Triumph May 8th (Carnival cruise Number 22) and had table 335 in the Paris Dining Room–at the very back next to the windows. We could not help but think what a perfect location for a family with pre-teens and a baby. We asked our Maitre’D about reserving that table or the one next to it for our Oct 23 sailing, but were told it was too early to put into the computer at the time. He also said he would be leaving for vacation in 2 months and did not know where he would be assigned when he returned. He suggested we contact our PVP, but she cannot assign tables and said we would need to talk with the Maitre’D on the Triumph but she could not tell us specifically how to do that. So, here we are asking the expert for help. Please, Sir, would you contact the proper person to request one of the back tables (335 or near it) in the Paris Dining Room be assigned to our family–or tell us who, when, and how to it ourselves? We really appreciate the personalized attention the Carnival staff offers each cruiser and that is one reason we keep coming back to Carnival cruise after cruise. Keep on blogging–it helps pass the time between cruises . Thanks for your help.
Hello Mary Richardson
Nothing pleases me more than to hear that despite the blog being over three years old, my silly musings still make one or two people laugh occasionally. Thanks then for telling me how much you enjoy the blog and it sounds like you are getting very excited about your cruise in October. On September 20 would you please post again your table request including the ship and cabin info and I will ask the Maitre D to assist you if possible.
I am sure we will be able to help.
Until then I send my best wishes to you and the family
David Rossberg Asked:
John reply needed
Cruise Critic member Waterboatman told me that you can get me a table for 2. I will be on the Liberty in December and want this to be the best cruise. It will be our first with you guys and I need the best server and best table to match our experiences with Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean. So how do I get this done?
Please send me your cruise date and stateroom number here on the blog a month before you sail and I will do my best to help you with your table request. All our servers will offer you the most fun and most excellent service and thanks for taking your first ever cruise with Carnival. I have no problems in saying already that it will be your best cruise ever.
Princess Susan Asked:
It’s been awhile since I have written a reply to your blog. But I have been a lurker.
This is a “please respond” post.
I have had many, many, many, many, let’s just say I’m tired of my friends asking me to ask you this…so I decided to go ahead and ask.
I talk a lot about my wonderful Carnival cruises, and how excited I am about the BC4. Well, since I have joined Weight Watchers my Weight Watcher friends have been asking if there is any way of having a “Weight Watcher” cruise. Believe it or not, at least once every meeting someone just returned from a cruise and gained weight. I have several instructors begging to be included in this idea. I have no doubt if it became a National Campaign you could fill a cruise ship in no time! Is there any way you could get this message to the right people to make this happen?
Now…before you just say Weight Watchers on a cruise….…why? They would all gain weight! Well, a lot of my friends still think of Carnival as the party ship, only for young people. What a great way to get more people introduced to Carnival.
Now….before you say no….just remember a couple of years back when I suggested the “cut and paste” scrap booking idea! That worked well for Carnival.
There is sooooo many suggestions I would like to make about Weight Watchers and Carnival. But I won’t take away any more time you have with your girls!
Hello Princess Susan
This is actually a good suggestion and one that I will certainly pass along. I will tell you that although we have our world-class spas and guilt-free cuisine dieting on a ship for some as easy as learning Mandarin Chinese and we have in fact had dieting groups on before. For many years we had the incomparable Richard Simmons and his “Cruise to Lose” groups on. They would attend all of his seminars and fitness classes and eat his deal a meal card stuff.
I know though that the weight loss industry is huge business and it would make sense if we tried to get involved. I will send this up the line and lets both try to avoid the chocolate melting cake on BC4. I will look forward to seeing you then and I will let you know what the beards say about your super idea
Oh, by the way I was on Jenny Craig for a while but she kept on shouting “Get off me fat boy, you’re crushing me”…………….silly joke…………….it’s George Solanos.
Best Wishes and I really am looking forward tom seeing you on the Carnival Glory.
That’s all for today and there will be more of course next week. Talking of next week there will be a slight change to the blog. First of all there will be no blog on Monday as it’s 4th of July weekend of which I will talk more of in a moment. On Tuesday I will write live from the Niew Amsterdam and tell you all about the ship. Also next week I will feature more of our ships including the Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Splendor. I will post the new piano bar schedule and there will be a few surprises as always.
One of the things I am hoping is that Heidi will get a chance to meet the godmother of the Niew Amsterdam. She is a member of the Dutch Royal family and her name is Princess Maxima. She is loved by all Dutch people and for Heidi just to get the chance to shake her hand or just to say hello would have her as thrilled as if I go to say hello or shake Megan Fox’s bottom……………….even though it’s married. I doubt this will be possible though as the ship will be full of very important people. Still, maybe if I offered Princess Maxima a solid gold plastic trophy and a fruit basket she would agree to having her photo with Heidi. Anyway, it will be fascinating to see the Holland America product up close and one of the things I will feature will be the Culinary Arts Experience. Have you heard about this? What a fabulous activity this is and here is a little foretaste for you:
Anyway, I know that you all love cruising and I hope that you will come along with me on Tuesday for a very special and perhaps “royal” blog. You can also watch the ceremony live online and hopefully you will see me, Heidi and Kye in the far, far distance. It should be a spectacular event and here is the link thingy
Just before I continue I wanted to apologize to someone called Rebecca whose post yesterday said that she had to explain some of my more adult references to her young son. This upset her very much for which I apologize. I know now and then I do get naughty and so I can’t promise that it won’t happen again. You see Rebecca, I type what I think and sometimes…….well………naughty things happen. Please accept my apologies.
Do you remember the inaugural festivities of your Carnival Dream? Well, during the lead- up to this we launched a special contest during which an aspiring journalist had a chance to be our very own Kid Reporter. The winner of that contest is sailing this weekend on their Carnival Dream. Here is Vance to tell you more.
WINNER OF CARNIVAL’S KID REPORTER CONTEST TO FILE REPORTS FROM CARNIVAL DREAM NEXT WEEK
Thirteen-year-old Deidra Shores, the winner of last fall’s NBC Today Show Kid Reporter contest, will be sailing on the Carnival Dream next week and filing video reports directly from the ship on the line’s social networking site, www.carnival.com/funville.
Carnival sponsored the Kid Reporter contest, and the grand prize was a weeklong Caribbean cruise for Deidra and her family aboard the line’s newest and largest ship.
Throughout the voyage, the aspiring journalist will document her week-long adventure with exclusive videos of the Carnival Dream and footage of her experiences ashore.
Be sure to check back next week to view Deidra’s exclusive reports from the Carnival Dream!
Thanks Vance. Well as you can see Deidra is very lucky and obviously a Wolf Blister in the making. Deidra will be reporting on all things Carnival Dream next week and you will see them here on the blog thingy.
I apologize that this blog will be rather shorter than usual but as Kye said at the start of today’s thingy…………we are packing. By the way, did you see this news that really defies belief? Here is a link thingy.
I can’t believe that. Sixth percent of the people interviewed said they wouldn’t mid standing. Who are these people? And surely in a world of high visibility jackets and beards someone say that unlike cars, trains, buses and underground transport, planes travel through the air at several hundred miles an hour and experience turbulence or slamming into tarmac a little too hard. It makes the “making sure your tray table is up
sound utter bollocks. Anyway, it will happen and that will mean Ryanair will be able to charge an extra £10 if you would like the “seat option.”
Now, listen to this. Ryanair and Easyjet say you can go on vacation with nothing but hand luggage. What a load of bollocks? Mr. O’Leary, the vertically challenged multimillionaire and CEO of Ryanair, is threatening to stop us taking more than 10kg of hand luggage on holiday. If we want to put a suitcase in the hold, it could cost £50 extra. That’s $90 per suitcase……$90! Now I know we have to make revenue onboard our ships but can you imagine us charging for every suitcase and power strip you bring on the vessel?
Anyway, in an interview recently the Ryanair bastard……sorry….I meant the Ryanair boss … described our need for luggage as nothing more than a “state of mind.” We are allowed one suitcase each for this trip and anything over 15kg will mean a charge…a huge charge.
Now packing may be a state of mind if you have a butler to do it for you and a private plane to put it on but reality is a different story. For this three-day cruise we have to look the part…. A cocktail dress or two for her, a suit for me. Nice shirts. Nice shoes. And then there’s sun block and a diapers and baby food and toys and a camera and some underpants. You wouldn’t begrudge us a change of undies, now, would you, Mr. O’Leary? By the way…..you might want to think about selling underpants onboard your planes as I am sure the ones who are standing will need new ones after some nasty turbulence.
Let me finish with a special wish to my American friends for a very Happy Fourth Of July……I hope you have a great family day celebrating killing my great, great, great, great grandfather. Personally, I wish we had won…….then I could get a decent cup of tea on the ships.
The Queen, The Mad Duke and the blind Prince with the jug ears and his horse…….sorry ………… wife………… would be living at the White House
The letter “U” will be reinstated in words such as “colour,” “honour,” and “Splendour.” Likewise, you will learn to spell “doughnut” without skipping half the letters, and the suffix “ize” will be replaced by the suffix “ise”
You would all say “bugger” instead of “daaaaamn.”
You would drive on the correct side of the road and eat with the fork in the left hand
The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Only proper British Bitter should be called beer. Budweiser should be referred to as “NearFrozenCamel’sPisseiser.”
The national sport would be cricket and Denny’s would serve Yorkshire Pudding and Spotted Dick………………. for breakfast.
I will see you in Venice on Tuesday and have a wonderful and fun holiday weekend
God Bless America