So I came back stage ready for the Marriage Show and was horrified to discover that one of the entertainment staff was playing some hip hop rap crap drum and arse bollocks as pre-show music. I rapidly inserted my foot in his bottom and then asked why he was playing Pee Diddly and Snoop the sodding Dog before a show about love and honeymoon and romance. The excuse of “it’s all we have got backstage” resulted in my other foot finding a resting place in his chocolate starfish.

So, after the show I called the DJ and asked him for some more appropriate music. He then told me that this would take a day or two as he needed to “burn some CDs.” Now, I know that “burn some CD’s ” doesn’t involve pouring gasoline over Todd Wittmer, George Solano and Wee Jimmy and setting them on fire, but I have no idea how you burn a CD and I have no idea why it should take so long to do so.

I know I’m about to sound like some grumpy old man living on past memories, but I remember the days when carefully compiling a C90 cassette of personally selected tunes was as easy as operating your television used to be. And in fact, I remember doing this for Heidi when I first met her back in 1994, it was a key bonding moment in our relationship.

I would assemble a collection of my favourite tunes, then spend an hour painstakingly writing the titles and artist names on the inlay card thingy, which never had enough room on it. It took effort and patience. It was a gift that showed I cared and that I wanted to have some rumpy pumpy.

Making a compilation for yourself was one thing. Assembling a tape for someone you wanted to see naked was something that took true thought.

I remember that if I had opened with something really mushy and romantic I would mark myself as a bit of a girl. So, I remember opening Heidi’s tape with ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky……. A song I had sung along to when we had heard it on the car radio. Then I moved onto songs that got more and more personal and included True by Spandau Ballet, Falling in Love with You by Simply Red and my favourite rock ballad ever “Just Between Me and You” by a Canadian band called April Wine. The cassette worked because…….well……….you know. Anyway, compilation tapes were brilliant. But then progress buggered it all up. First CDs smothered cassettes and then finally everyone got Eye Pods……………….compilation tapes were dead.

What do the youth of today do when they “burn CD’s” for someone they want to fall in love with. I guess they would include some explicit rap in which the rapper shouts about 1,000 assorted tricks he can perform with his thingy.

Oh my how things have changed.

Time for today’s Q and A……..away we go.

Debbie Love Asked:
Hey John,

We are booked on the Magic on Nov. 27th of next year. We have heard that you will be doing the Magic transition to Galveston. Is this true or just a rumour that has been put on CC board? If it is true, will you still be on when we sail on her?

Please reply!!
Debbie Love

John Says:
Hello Debbie Love

Thanks for taking the time to ask this. The rumor is true as it is my intention to be the CD on your Carnival Magic during her Trans-Atlantic and to host the first few cruises out of Galveston. I will be leaving in early December so it looks like we shall be together. Congratulations on booking the ship and I am sure you have seen the video of her on www.carnivalmagic.com

Best wishes and see you next year
John

Jen Wilson Asked:
John- Please Reply

I just found your blog. I have spent the last three hours or so reading (this is attributable to both your engaging writing style and my desire to avoid the dishes that are waiting for me in the kitchen). I have to say in a world where customer service is basically nonexistent it is amazing that you take the time to write back to so many people. We love Carnival and this is just one more example of why we almost always choose to spend our vacations on your wonderful ships.

I do have one quick question. We are sailing on the Spirit on 9/7/10. My two little boys are coming with us and will both be in Camp Carnival. My oldest is so excited about “camp.” He loved it so much last time that I had to beg him to hang out with me now and then. I frequently hear him giving his two year old little brother pep talks about how much fun they will have. His 5th birthday is the second to last day of our cruise and he says he can’t wait to spend it with his “new camp friends”. Having told you all of that here is my worry as his mommy…I’m a little concerned that there may not be any other kids in camp carnival that cruise. I have cruised to Alaska twice before and I know it isn’t traditionally highly cruised with children. In addition, school will be back in session then. Anyway, I wanted to ask if it happens that there aren’t any kids in a specific age group? I know we will love the cruise either way but I would like to manage his expectations beforehand.

Thanks so much for reading and again I am so impressed with what you are doing here.
Jen Wilson

PS- I am sending this from iPad and for some reason the stupid thing won’t let me scroll up to check for errors in spelling and such before I send this so so please ignore any crazy typos :)

John Says:
Hello Jen Wilson

I have never been used as an excuse not to have to do the dishes before but congratulations on finding any excuse not to have to do them. Thank you for the kind words and for expressing your love of this great cruise line. It sounds like your whole family is very excited about the cruise and I know that your time on the Carnival Spirit will be both fun and relaxing. It will be relaxing because the kids will be able to have fun in the safe environment that is Camp Carnival. I asked the ship for the kid count for your cruise in September and there are a total of 170 children of which 48 are in the Camp Carnival age group. This means that they will I am sure make many new friends. So have a wonderful time and I hope you saw my blog thingy yesterday about Eye Pads………which considering your P.S. ……..I think you might enjoy

Best wishes to you all
John

CruisinSue Asked:
Hi John (Please reply)

I love the picture of you and Kye. She is a beautiful little girl and she is getting big fast. I know you miss her and Heidi more than words can say.

My sympathies to the family of Alex. I have to know though, if he was on the Carnival Freedom during the European season of 2007. I was on a cruise in October 2007 and it seems he was the one dancing on the tables with flashing glasses. My mom loved him. If it is the same one, my Mom will be saddened, as am I, to hear this. She just a couple of days ago asked if he might be on the Carnival Miracle on October when we cruise.

Also, I am going to be one of those with a special dining request. I am booked on the Carnival Imagination on October 1st with 10 of my friends. We would like to sit in the middle of the main dining room at one big table if possible. Our cabin numbers are E17, E35, E47 and E55. Any assistance with this will be most appreciated.

I will be waiting for your response about Alex. Give my best to Heidi and Kye. See you on BC4, if not sooner.

Gloria aka Sue

John Says:
Hello CruisinSue

It is always so sad when one of our team members passes suddenly as Alex did. I do know he was on the Carnival Freedom but I am not sure if he is the one you were referring to having fun on the podium. I do know that we will miss him very much. I have sent your request to Marian Gobeaja the maitre d of the Carnival Imagination and ask him to do his best to assist you.

Have a great time and I am looking forward very much to BC4.

Best to you and Mum
John

Wallisha Asked:
John, Please respond

Not sure if this is the right page but here goes. I’m currently booked on my 2nd cruise on Carnival Valor 08/29. I’m booked with a group of 13 people who cruise range from vacation, anniversary, and a few of us including myself this is our birthday gift to ourselves. My question I’m hoping to get a reply on is there anyway that we as a group can get the Behind-the-Fun tour in anyway if possible. Thanks for the time to read my question/request. Love the blog and most of them just have me cracking up. Keep up the good work and I wish nothing but much love and happiness with Heidi and the girls. Once again thanks for the time.

John Says:
Hello Wallisha

I hope you get a chance to see this before you sail on the Carnival Valor. Unfortunately while I can reserve spots and The Chefs Table and can help with steakhouse reservations I cannot do advance bookings for the Behind the Fun excursions. However, if you go directly to the shore excursion desk on deck 3 when you board, I am confident you will get you and the family booked on this. The desk opens at noon. Thanks so much for the kind words and I send my very best wishes to you all

John

Brownsfanbill Asked:
John to reply

Just got off the Liberty and was disgusted at the costumes of the dancers and had to take my twin 10 year old boys out. This was my first Carnival cruise and I want to know if this is normal for all the Carnival shows. Showing bare behinds is not family entertainment and it wasn’t like this on Royal Caribbean.

Thanks

John Says:
Hello Bill

I am very sorry that you were offended by the showgirl style costumes. While at no time are the dancer’s bottoms bare they do have one or two numbers that have the cast in more revealing costumes. Some, not all of our ships have shows where some costumes similar to what you saw. I will make sure that all of the CDs announce the fact that the shows do contain showgirl style costuming either in their pre-show announcements or in writing in the Fun Times. Once again please accept my apologies and outside of your displeasure with the shows I hope you had a great time nonetheless. Best wishes to you and the family

John

Kathy M. Asked:
Hi John,

Please reply,

Every time I read about how Americans treat the waiters and waitresses in the dining room I think of the book “Cruise Confidential”. I know that you call it fiction, but the crew of the Carnival Paradise and a few that I talked to on the Carnival Splendor who read it told me that what he wrote was 100% accurate. The book tells us how hard they work, the long hours they put in and also how many in the dining room treat them. I do have one question though, how many Brit’s (besides yourself) have worked for Carnival. Just wondering. I will say one thing for this book, John, and that is, it made me APPRECIATE these hard workers even more. They could be dead tired, but they will still have a big smile and treat me like royalty

One last question, John do you like to read? If so, what kinds of books do you like.

Please Give my love to Heidi and Kye.

From your #1 Bloggy Thingy Fan,
Kathy M…

John Says:
Hello Kathy M

Thanks Kathy. I have not read Cruise Confidential as you know. I have been sent extracts from it and those have been total works of pure fiction. However, there is no doubting how hard the service staff work and there is also no doubt that the standards of service in the cruise industry outshines the service levels in other areas of the travel industry such as hotels, resorts and of course airlines.

I love to read………I read one chapter of a book every night before I go to bed otherwise I can’t get straight to sleep. I read 2 kinds of books, autobiographies and thrillers. My current book is called War Torn by an author called Andy Macnab who writes with such flare and knowledge because he was a Special Forces soldier for many years. Heidi is bringing me Tony Blair’s autobiography …………..which will also be a work of fiction! As always thanks so much for the support of the blog thingy

Best wishes
John

Ron Pope Asked:
Hey John:

(Please reply) – Being new to this blog thing – I did not know that I had to put that (please reply) in if I expected you to answer me. Anyway – I am the Guy who stopped you in the Queens Room hall way on board the Queen Victoria a couple of weeks ago. We discussed our being on the Liberty (Rome / Med ING Cruise) where you showed “The Titanic” as the movie on the Lido big screen our first night at sea…. HA

We are booked on the Magic 10/28/2011 for the T/A – and YOU said to keep in touch so that when the time gets closer you may be able to help me out with “something” for my wife – as this will be our 30th

Wedding Anniv. cruise… Pope – Plano, TX..

John Says:
Hello Ron Pope

I remember our meeting in the beautiful Queens Room on the Queen Victoria. I hope you had a wonderful voyage and I was sorry that I couldn’t stay there longer. I am so glad you found the blog and you are most welcome here. Please do stay in touch and I will be with you onboard your Carnival Magic for that cruise and I will be honoured (spelt correctly) to send your wife a little something for your anniversary.

Best wishes to you both
John

Shelly Conlin Asked:
Dear John:

PLEASE REPLY

Having read all the negative publicity regarding the granting of special favours (spelled that way for you and my Canadian friends), I hesitate to ask for one myself, but it is a small one.

My SO and I met in the piano bar on the Glory in 2007. At that time, I was cruising with my mom and sister on my third Carnival cruise. It was his first. Even though there are 900 miles separating us, we have still managed to hang in there, and have since been on three more Carnival cruises together. Being a single mom, I wasn’t going to go on any more, but he decided that he loved me and loved cruising so much, that he has paid all my expenses on the last two and the next one coming up on October 17th on the Carnival Splendor. He rapidly caught up to me in the cruise count by going on two without me (darn him!).

Without getting too sappy (he breaks out in hives when I get all emotional), I wanted to make this one special. I have already called the Bon Voyage department and picked something he would like (the beer/cooler/mug/cap package) and made sure to swap the Budweiser for Coors Light, and we have made our Steakhouse reservations because he just can’t wait to get a grip on that monstrous t-bone they serve. We sit with our group, so I don’t need a special table either.

Now for the special favour part. I was wondering if you would leave him a brief note in our cabin welcoming him aboard and maybe tossing in a little hint that our platinum cruise would be even more special if it were our honeymoon. That would give him at least three years to get used to the idea. Come to think of it, maybe I should order a few more beers to revive him after he reads it.

Oops! One more favour – let me know where you ate the seafood ceveche. I live for that stuff and they just don’t know how to make it right way up here in MN.

Keep up the good work, John. I love reading your blog, especially now that you are on the Splendor. The Inner Sanctum of the Saints and Sinners are looking forward to seeing you again in October. You truly are the best in the business!

John Says:
Hello Shelly Conlin

Please don’t ever be put off from asking me for something because of what a few say. They have an absolute right to their opinion just as I do to continue to do my best to help when I can. It sounds like that despite the distance involved your relationship that it is becoming more special every day and I hope that your cruise here with me will be a chance for you both to truly have fun and relax together.

Please can you leave me a note at the Guest Services Desk when you board. Write me a few words as to why you love him so much which I will read out at the morning show. This along with a subtle hint from me may be enough to get him on bended knee! I will of course I will be honoured to send him a little something. I will also let you know the place where I had that great ceviche because right now I can’t remember………….getting old I think. I will see you soon and my best wishes to you both.

John

Jen van Leeuwen Asked:
Hello John, (Please reply)

I am fairly new to your blog thingy and I LOVE it. Please don’t listen to those evil people who knock the work that you do for so many! You are the highlight of my day!! Thank you…Thank you….Thank you

Since you have graciously helped so many, may I suggest a home remedy for your heartburn and acid reflux problems? I too was a long time Acid Reflux sufferer! I found information online that Apple Cider Vinegar helps reduce the acid therefore calming the heartburn (1 tablespoon in a glass of water 1 to 2 times a day). It tastes like crap but IT WORKS. It usually takes a couple of weeks to get the full benefits. I am now med free and enjoying things like hot wings once again!!!! Now I only take the “remedy” once or twice a week and live heartburn free. ACV is also great for weight loss (I have dropped 25 lbs) and is good for diabetes too.

I actually found your blog quite by accident while searching for information on our November 12th sailing on Carnival Spirit. My husband and I are celebrating our 5th Wedding Anniversary and some friends are coming along for the celebration. I have cruised before on another line but my husband has never cruised before.

I am hoping you can answer a couple of questions for us. I have contacted Carnival’s Customer Service but unfortunately no one seems to know the answers to these. Can you please shed some light on the following….

• Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo – We are 98 days prior to sailing and only 3 excursions have been available for booking in Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. When I check the carnival general Shore Excursion information, 95% of the excursions offered are showing “inventory pending” so it doesn’t look like any sailings are able to book for this destination. Do you know when the inventory will be loaded so that we can book these? (We booked Acapulco and Manzanillo excursions 4 months ago)

• Allergies – One of our friends has a severe allergy to Strawberries. Is there anyone prior to sailing or on board that we should be contacting regarding this? I want to try Your Time Dining but she is quite hesitant.

• Chef’s Table – I would love to surprise my Hubby with this as an anniversary present. Does the Carnival Spirit offer this and if so who do I contact regarding making reservations?

Thank you once again for all that you do! Hoping to meet you in person one day soon.

Your Canadian Fan,
Jen

John Says:
Hello Jen van Leeuwen (good Dutch name that)

I am very glad you found our blog thingy and have written in with your questions. Thanks for the information on acid reflux and I will certainly be giving that a try. It’s a horrible feeling isn’t it?

Anyway, I hope you are excited about your Carnival Spirit cruise as the itinerary looks fantastic. I checked on the shore excursions and I think since you wrote your post that more have been added. Here is the link thingy to the page and you should have no problem booking them now. If you do, please let me know and I will help you. http://www.carnival.com/Itinerary.aspx?embkCode=SDG&itinCode=SDF&durDays=8&shipCode=SP&subRegionCode=MR&rateCode=PCD&sailDate=11/12/2010&sailingID=54363

Your Time Dining is becoming more and more popular and I think it is a great option to have especially when you have long days in port with lots of busy excursions. Not being tied down to a specific dining time is something I think you will appreciate. I am going to forward your posting to someone at our special needs desk so that they will alert the ship accordingly regarding the strawberry allergy. Someone will be in touch with you to confirm this information has been received. The Chef’s Table will be available so if you want to book please send me another post with your full name, cabin and sailing date and I will be honoured to reserve you both a place. I also hope we get to sail together again one day very soon. Have a brilliant time on the Carnival Spirit.

Best wishes
John

That’s all for today and thanks again for a great week of comments.

I read with interest the continuing comments about poolside seat saving. Cruise ship guests have long complained about people who reserve seats and use stealth tactics in the struggle to secure those precious poolside sun loungers. And I admit that we seem powerless to stop it……as indeed does the entire industry it seems. I still don’t have the answer…….or do I? We don’t have the numbers of staff to walk the deck and move on anybody trying to reserve a chair so why don’t we give guests the option of reserving their loungers in advance when they book their cruise. We could have a chart online and just like you can chose a seat on the airplane……… you can chose a chair as well, thus relieving you the early morning stress and you can have a lie in bed instead …… just a thought.

Every now and then I like to feature a crew member who may never get any recognition. Someone who may never get to take a bow. The ship’s physicians always get introduced at the Senior Officer presentation and obviously they are very important. But it is the ship’s nurses that do most of the…..ummmm……dirty work. So let’s welcome one of the Carnival Splendor’s angels of mercy…..Amy Bruinsma. Here she is moments before checking on my Hemorrhoids.

What is your name? Amy Bruinsma

Where are you from? Michigan, USA

What is your position onboard? Ship’s Registered Nurse

How long have you worked for Carnival? Two years

What is your favourite port? Antigua – its beautiful and has fun water sports

Which is your favourite ship? Carnival Splendor – I like the run and it has cuter male crew members than on other ships :)

What is your favourite way to relax after work? I like to socialise with friends, or watch a movie. And when I say watch a movie, I mean actually watch a movie. Not just use that line as an invitation to come to my cabin, like some people do!

What is your favourite movie? Sex & the City – I only like it for the fashion and the cute men!

What is your favourite music? I like country music. My favourite artist is Toby Keith.

If you could do any other job here onboard, what would it be? I think entertainment staff. It looks fun and I would enjoy helping the guests have a great cruise!

Thank you Amy and thank you to ship nurses everywhere. I salute your wonderful work and the fact that you continue to work here despite many of you having seen my bottom…very close up.

Here is some news from Entertainment Director Chris Prideaux.

Good day to all,

Let it be known throughout the realm that Joshua Lee Waitzman has proven himself worthy and from this day forth shall be known as Cruise Director, Joshua Lee Waitzman. Arise Cruise Director Joshua Lee and enjoy the rights and responsibilities of the lofty position to which you have ascended.

Let us all sing…………………… (no Josh, not you)

Chris

Many congratulations to Big Sexy aka Josh on his promotion and I know that he will be a great addition to the already superb team of CD’s we have working for us. For those of you who don’t know Big Sexy……..here he is.

Josh Waitzman Bio:

I was born one miserably cold Chicago day, January 5th, 1977 and still reside there as do my entire family and friends. The ironic thing about my position is that I come from a family of teachers, lawyers, and doctors, and have the privilege of “playing” out at sea and being the black sheep of the group (you know there’s always one).  I can confidently say though that my career choice didn’t come as easily to me as it did the rest of the Waitzman clan…

I fell in love with cruising and being out at sea when I was 14 years old.  My parents took myself, my younger brother, and two younger sisters on a cruise down to the Western Caribbean.  I loved the experience of being on the ship, and when I somehow managed to sneak into the disco one night with a group of 18 year old girls, unfortunately, it was my mother who walked in, busted me, and threw me out!  It was at that exact moment where I learned how to play blackjack in the casino…

Later on in life, I attended Illinois State University. It was there where I joined and became a social chair and house manager for Sigma Chi fraternity, took all sorts of theater and drama classes, and went through the other monotonous daily routines of college life.  While on paper I was a business major, deep down in my heart I knew that the corporate world just wasn’t for me.  I never could have imagined that the skills I acquired then would be essential for my inevitable career later on…

After school, while trying to start a “real” life, I spent five years as an executive pension and employee benefit recruiter, bought a house, and got married (and divorced… long story).  That entire time, for the mere fun of it, I was hosting karaoke shows at night for a friend who owned a DJ and Karaoke company. It was then where I realized how much I enjoyed hosting, performing, and being in front of a crowd. Still, I never had any idea of what my future held until I went on another cruise with the family in February of 2004 and my Grandmother mentioned that since I was a natural performer and love being at sea so much, I should work on cruise ships (or “big boats” as she called them). It was shortly afterwards where I applied to Carnival and was thrust into my first positions at sea as a karaoke and social host on the Holiday in the Spring of 2004.

It was only at that point where I had an epiphany of what I TRULY wanted to do with my life….

Since the Holiday 5 years ago, I’ve had the honor of doing contracts as part of the Entertainment Staff on the Destiny and Elation, and as an assistant Cruise Director on the Elation, Victory, Miracle, Ecstasy, and Freedom. I have taken over as Cruise Director on the Elation and Miracle and Imagination and am currently celebrating my promotion as cruise director of the Carnival Freedom.

My Grandmother has since passed away, but I’ll always remember her saying that if you sincerely love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life… well, if that’s true, I haven’t worked in a very long time.  I honestly believe that I have the best position in the world, and I am honored to be able to work for this company.  Ultimately, I am looking forward to many more years (and “big boats”) to come!

Big Sexy

Now for reasons that may or may not become clear, I am writing this at 12:40am. And so it’s time for bed as my alarm is set for 6 am. So, see you then. Goodnight.

Don’t you think it’s strange that staying up late at night is somehow regarded as “cooler” than getting up at the crack of sodding dawn.. Any bugger can stay up until 3 am drinking Fun Ship Specials and slippery nipples washed down with some pizza from lido deck aft.  But dragging your arse out of bed at 6 am to write a blog requires a level grit normally reserved for those blokes from Dangerous Catch.

By the way……on a cruise………….. when does the night officially turn into morning? I’d say when you wouldn’t have to apologise to those in the next cabin if you accidentally bang on their door asking if they recognize you……so 8:30am maybe. Anything earlier than that is still night ………..right?

Here on the west coast I have had to get up very early every morning because of the 3 hour time difference. My alarm on most mornings kicks me in the bollocks at 7 am because if I don’t write then the time difference and my day job as a cruise director would mean you would all be staring at a blank space. I’m not a natural morning person.

If it were up to me with no work commitments or blog thingy or before Kye, my sleeping pattern tends to drift into student mode, eventually getting to the point where I’m waking up at noon and hitting the sack around 2 am in the morning.

I could, given the chance eventually become fully nocturnal – like a vampire, but more of a loser, and without the ability of turning myself into a bat, flapping around a castle having rumpy pumpy with Latvian virgins. But as I said, since coming here to the Carnival Splendor I have had to get up very early each morning which has lead me to meet a whole new breed of person …………. early Carnival risers.

I meet them by the coffee shop because you won’t believe this……but my assistant Stephanie refuses to get out of her bed at 7 am to get my coffee…….the lazy, idle bugger.

So that means I have to get my own coffee and that’s where I meet this rare breed of passenger. Now I can understand getting up early to take an excursion in a port of call but on a sea day ….. why?

I’d always thought of the mornings as essentially uninhabitable, like the Paris. But no. I head out the cabin at 7 am and there they are – actual live guests!

It’s like lifting a rock and seeing life unexpectedly teeming below. Although it’s not actually teeming most of the time. Some are like me, getting coffee, some are reading and yet the most common denominator the early morning Carnival guest is ummmm……sitting. Yep……. Sitting ..…on Promenade……staring out of the window at the sea. One or two are doing serious laps in the swimming pool and if I knew where it was I am sure that there would be one or two in the gym as well………but most as I said……..just sit……alone….starring out to sea. It’s all rather sad. Maybe I need to start scheduling activities at 7 am to give the starters something to do.

Anyway, here I sit at 6:25am now and as much as I have wished for an Aston Martin or a ride on Megan Fox…..right now if a big fat Genie gave me one wish……it would probably be for a bed to lie in.

So why am I up even 1 hour earlier than usual? Well that’s because the captain called me last night and said that thanks to Tropical Storm Bastard….sorry ……Frank……..the sea conditions may not allow us to tender the guests ashore safely. We are due into Cabo San Lucas in 20 minutes and therefore I am off now to the bridge to see what the situation is. So, I will be back in a moment to let you know what is happening………better put some clothes on first though.

So here I am back in the cabin. So last night the Captain called me and said that there were some doubts as to whether we could tender our guests ashore because of the swells caused by Tropical Storm bastard…..I mean Frank. In fact last night the ship was rolling quite a bit which for this particular itinerary is very unusual indeed. So the team and I prepared a missed port Carnival Caper and we……bugger….a missed port Fun Times and we were ready for what seemed the inevitable.

However, I just returned from the bridge and we have remarkably begun tendering operations. The downside is every single one of our water based shore excursions has been canceled for the safety of the guests of course. There is even a red flag advisory at the beach suggesting swimmers take caution. But the sun is shining and it is a beautiful day and we are here and ……. oh my……..how my bed is calling me. However, sleep it appears is for wimps because I have the senior officer meeting now and then an afternoon show and e-mails and Facebook and two shows tonight.

What’s keeping me going at the moment? Well…………….this

They will be here on September 5.

See you all on Monday and on Facebook over the weekend.
John

P.S. One more thing, one of the 344 Stephanies and Peter the Hair are in Italy and in-between stuffing their faces with Pasta De Tofu they will be filing the coin ceremony of your Carnival Magic. So stop by the blog thingy tomorrow for a sneak preview.

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37 Responses to Big and Sexy… Normally Two Words That Don't Go Together

  1. TeddyN says:

    I am an early riser and LOVED sitting on the Lido deck drinking coffee and having a morning smoke as the sun rose of the Gulf of Mexico. The quiet time was great. I also met some fantastic people at that hour that are still friends to this day.

  2. Jan "Peaches" Silvius says:

    John,

    Your Kye is the spitting image of you! Heidi is simply beautiful! You did something right John, You are very fortunate to have these two beauties in your life.
    I’m sad for you most of the time, though, as I can tell how much you miss them. It has to be hard for you and Heidi to live this way, and even saying, ‘well, they will be with you Sept. 5th doesn’t help, does it.
    My heart goes out to you and your family. I want you to continue the wonderful job you are doing, but I also want you to be happy. And family is what makes you happiest isn’t it.
    Not asking for anything, just wanted to tell you that I sometimes get sad for you, even though you are a riot on you blog thingy and facebook

    Peach

  3. Big Ed says:

    John, in the time it takes me to type this comment a computer can burn a CD.

    Love the new pictures of Kye. Looks like she has command of your office chair while your gone.

    I’m one of those guest you will see on the Lido in the early morning. I’ve already had the coffee that was delivered to my cabin via the door tag system. Now I’m on the Lido for more coffee and danish. Then it’s back to the cabin to wake up Pat and get some coffee into her. Then back up to the Lido for a full breakfast.

    BIG Ed

  4. peggy222 says:

    Oh John, what a beautiful baby, your Kye is growing up so fast. September 5th will be here before you know it, you must be so excited.

    You had some great letters toady. I hope the young lady that wants you to nudge her boyfriend into a proposal gets it.

    I wanted to thank you for the link to the Carnival Magic. She looks absolutely amazing, I can not wait to board her on September 25, 2011. It will be a fabulous ship, thank you again for giving us the link:

    http://www.carnivalmagic.com/#/home

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

    My best to Heidi and Kye.

  5. Jill says:

    Hi John and Jen (previous poster),

    Thanks for checking on the excursions for Spirit in November. I am also on that same cruise, Jen. I just checked and still there are only two excursions available for Zihuatanejo. I have called about it but still don’t have an answer. I check every day and there remains just two. Thanks for posting this Jen and John thanks for checking on it. Jill

    • Jen from Canada says:

      Hello Jill,
      I think I will have to contact John again, unless him or one of the 344 Stephanies reads this. The link he supplied showed the exact same thing, “Inventory Pending” on all the shore excursions for Ixtapa. I am sure between the two of us we will get this worked out!

      There will be a group of us getting together for a Meet and Greet. We would love for you and your cruise companion or party to join us.
      Carnival Spirit
      Saturday Nov 13 (First Sea Day)
      Fantail Aft Pool
      11AM

      Thanks,
      Jen from Canada

      • Jill says:

        Hi Jen,

        Thanks for the invitation. I am so excited about this cruise and hope to meet you. There are 4 of us and we are all excited. I just checked again and there are still no more excursions. I have called and emailed them (Carnival) and don’t get a good response. About two weeks ago, in response to one of my emails, I was told they may put the ports in a different order was the reason for the delay. We are getting closer and closer. It will be alot of fun. Jill

  6. Steve O says:

    Love the pictures of those Heald girls. Wow, they’ll be with you in just one more week.

    Good to hear that “Frank” has mostly missed you this trip.

    Until reading this blog I ALWAYS wondered why I didn’t see you paddling around in your bedroom slippers at 5am when I go out on deck to watch the sunrise and enjoy the quiet…..NOW I know!

    Steve O

  7. hostmach says:

    John, I beat you. I am nocturnal. Well… sort of both. I’m up extraordinarily late and early at the same time. I’ve wandered the ships many time in the 5 AM time frame. It’s easy to discern the early risers from those who have yet to make it to their bunk. The early risers tend to be quiet and contemplative. Those who have yet to sleep are on the boisterous and obnoxious side.

    It’s a wonderful time of the day, buried in confusion between dark and dawn, full of promise and happiness. I’ll meet you on deck for a cup.

    Congrats to Josh!!! I’ve been wanting to meet him and perhaps eventually I will

    Thanks so much for the wonderful pictures of the girls and all our best to them.

    Ciao, my friend!!!

    Host Mach

  8. Susan says:

    Thanks for highlighting some of the medical staff! I never gave the medical staff a second thought myself, until I needed to use the infirmary on my Liberty cruise. I’ll never forget the way the nurse told me “I have never seen THAT before” when I showed her the bright red, burning hot bug bite looking things on my leg. At least she assured me that I had a legitamate reason to see the doctor, as whatever it was on my leg was not like any bug bites she had seen in all her years of nursing. Oddly, that made me feel better as I was putting off going to the infirmary because I didn’t want to see a doctor for some mosquito bites.

  9. Kathy B says:

    Congratulations to Josh on his promotion! We sailed with him on Miracle last year.

    On reserving deck chairs – years ago, some lines did reserve chairs. We have pictures of DH’s grandparents on board Monarch of Bermuda in 1938 with their reserved chairs – the chairs had a frame for a place card with their names on it. Of course, this particular cruise was in February, sailing from NYC to Bermuda, so any of the photos of them in said deck chairs show coats, hats and blankets….

    Beautiful photos, and so glad Heidi and Kye can join you next week!

  10. Sandra says:

    Kye is absolutely precious….. I can’t believe how fast she is growing up. I know you will be thrilled when they arrive on Sept. 5th.

  11. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    You know that I LOVE to sing. I have a computer software program that will rip a song from a CDG (karaoke CD), alter the key (to the key I need it in) and burn it ….in the correct key with lyrics.

    I love technology!!!

    It comes in handy to have these songs in the key I need them in, when we cruise on ships where the key control is broken.

    (like the Triumph in January)

    We are sailing on the Triumph again on a back to back in October and HOPEFULLY the key control is fixed!!!

    I know most folks that sing karaoke don’t know the song (much less what key they sing it in)…but for those of us who are key dependent….a working key control is very important.

    Fingers crossed……

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  12. elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the pictures. They are both beautiful!

  13. IndyMichelle says:

    So glad to read that your girls will be joining you sooner than later, John! I’m sure you’re counting the days. :)

  14. Hi John,

    Amy snapping that glove on probably brings back memories for you! :-)

    About 10 days until Elizabeth and I board Carnival Triumph out of New Orleans!

    WooHoo!
    http://www.zydecocruiser.com/CarnivalTriumph/index.htm

    regrds,
    bill

  15. Julie Mendenhall (jrmende63) says:

    Awe John…those are great pictures of Heidi and Kye!

  16. Janet Sammons says:

    Hi John, I am getting pretty concerned about you and your future. Do I hear hints of a move to a land position for you maybe? You have been really missing your girls as of late, and I feel that you are not happy being away from them anymore. (Not that you were HAPPY being away from them before…you know what I mean. :) )

  17. Ernie/cruizer4662 says:

    John:
    We sure like the new picture of you on your banner, looks like you lost weight in your face.

    And the pictures of Heide and Kye, just delicious, by the time you read this you will have them with you, hope the time is enjoyable.
    Your friend,
    ERNIE

  18. Susan Stewart says:

    Please Reply,

    Thanks for making so many cruises special for so many people, me included. You do a great job!

    I have a dear friend and co-worker celebrating her honeymoon on the Carnival Victory on Sept. 26th. I really want this to be special for her. This will be her first time on Carnival, but I have already built up her excitement since I took this same cruise in June. She is a wonderful young lady and any special surprises will be appreciated. I don’t know her cabin number, I don’t even think it has been assigned yet. Her name is Chloe Johnson and her soon to be husband is Jeffrey Pope, getting married Sept 25th.

    Thanks again for any help,
    Susan

  19. Maria & Juan Santana says:

    JOHN PLEASE REPLY

    Yesterday, we submitted the comments appearing below and apparently, by accident, they were not directed to you for reply (as we clearly indicated on top of them). Instead, they were included with the responses at the end of the blog (which you don’t need to reply). Accordingly, we are once again submitting them with the hope that this time they show up in the correct section & you can read them before we depart on the Sept. cruises that we mentioned and that, if possible, we would like to get your reply. Here we go again! Thanks.
    Maria & Juan Santana

    John, please reply…

    Hi, John! We just got off the Emerald Princess in Ft. Lauderdale this past Sun., 8/22 & wanted to report that to our surprise, there were lots of children/teenagers/younger adults onboard and, as far as we know, everybody behaved well. Up to now we thought that Princess only attracted adults & seniors, but by what we just experienced, Princess has won over the much younger crowd & now it seems just as any of Carnival Fun Ships. Maybe it was because of the Caribbean itinerary of this cruise & this was the last or next to the last cruise before schools started & parents wanted to take advantage of the great special deals being offered. Without a doubt, value for the money is once again the answer.

    As we previously told you weeks ago, on Sept. 11 we’ll be boarding the Caribbean Princess in Brooklyn, N.Y. & on Sept. 18 (the same day we return), we’ll be boarding the Carnival Glory in Manhattan. We’ll keep you posted if there is anything interesting you should know. By the way, we will be celebrating our tenth Carnival cruise once we board the Glory…. Aleluya!

    Regards to you and Heidi and lots of kisses to Kye.

    The Santanas of Miami Beach

  20. Janey (OKGIRL) says:

    John,

    I find sitting nearly alone on the Promenade early in the morning to be one of my most favorite parts of the cruise.

    It’s quiet, the sea is beautiful, the flying fish are fun to watch. It’s not a sad thing so please don’t schedule early activities that will disrupt that time.

    The pics of your girls are great. I’m sure the next 8 days can’t pass fast enough. I look forward to seeing you on BC4 and you and your girls on the Magic TA.

    The TA will be a 1st for me and sister! We’ve never been to Barcelona so we’re planning on flying over several days in advance.

  21. Jeri Green says:

    I love getting up early and going to the Lido deck to get coffee for Larry, take it back to the cabin and return to the Lido for my coffee, watching the sunrise and working a crossword puzzle. Nice way to begin the day!

  22. Clair says:

    Hi John,

    My husband and I are on those guests you would see up on the Lido early in the morning. We both are naturally early risers. Early morning is the perfect time to enjoy the ship before the day fully begins and gets too noisy. It can also be a good people watching time…summer cruises down to Mexico figuring out who is an early morning riser vs. those who have not yet made it back to their cabin!

    Thanks for posting the pictures of Kye.

    Clair

  23. Julie Kurkowski says:

    I am also one of the early risers, since we get up at 345 am for work every day I cannot turn off the internal alarm clock. But I do love getting up having a coffee and reading while the sun comes up, sometimes it is the only quiet time on the ship. Watching the sun come up is almost as nice as watching it set.

    Love the pictures of Heidi and Kye, thanks for sharing.

  24. Larry Meador says:

    Great to hear about Big Sexy. We had the pleasure of having him as our cruise director this last year on the Carnival Miracle. He was great. He is big, but “sexy”, well maybe not…….Sorry Josh!

    Your friend in Texas,

    Larry Meador

  25. BC says:

    Hi, John. Thanks, as always, for the entertaining work.

    You can’t possibly be serious about allowing people to reserve the lounge chairs on the Lido, right? Talk about making a problem worse! As bad as it is now, the chairs are only reserved from say, 7:30 until 3:30 or 4. There is a chance, however slight, that somebody may vacate one and another person could fill the spot. Reserving an otherwise vacant seat for a person who does not plan to or is unable to use that seat just seems plain silly.

    If Carnival is to give up, they ought to just add a bold face paragraph to the Funpass and on the Carnival Website saying something like, “Seating near the pools on the Lido deck is extremely limited and is granted for the day on a first come, first serve basis. Guests should have no expectation of obtaining such seating, although other loungers are available on the Lido and other decks for the enjoyment of our guests.”

    BC

  26. Joe (blog thingy junky) says:

    Great new picture of you on the banner

  27. Frank and Bridie says:

    Wow john I am so happy to hear Big sexy got promoted!! Woo hoo he was great. Now if we can just get Malcolm Burn up here on the dream???

    big Fans As Allways,
    Frank and Bridie

  28. Amanda says:

    Dear John,

    (Please reply)

    We just returned home from a wonderful week in Alaska on the Carnival Spirit! The staff & crew were fantastic. I’m already counting the days until next year’s vacation on the Miracle.

    My question is regarding the category 6J (formerly 6E) Family Staterooms with the floor to ceiling windows. I understand they have been removed from all ships except the Liberty. We stayed in one on a previous cruise and it was my ALL TIME favorite cabin. (I just did not feel comfortable in a balcony cabin with 2 small children and only 1 adult. I can’t even shower without worrying!) I wonder why Carnival has removed them all? And is there any plan to get rid of them on the Liberty? That would have been an awesome cabin to have in Alaska! I’m hoping I can snag one of these cabins one last time before they are gone forever.

    Keep up the good writing and your girls are beautiful!

  29. LadyJag (Laura) says:

    Dear John,
    Just a couple of thoughts before I get absorbed in another busy day at the grind:
    – Great new banner on the blog thing! You’re looking good, my friend.
    – I was actually up and about at around 5am on a sea day on the Carnival Inspiration back in April. I went to the gym…because I didn’t want the shower in my cabin to wake up hubby and my little one. LOL! It was eerily quiet out on deck that morning, and I didn’t see many signs of life until I was heading back to my cabin for more Z’s.
    – Kye is just adorable! Enjoy the visit from your girls!

    Laura

  30. Sarah says:

    I tend to be an early riser on vacation, which is funny because I have to drag myself out of bed any other time! Having a nice breakfast with a view of the ocean is something I really look forward to. I guess I don’t like to waste the sunlight that streams in from my balcony.

  31. Lynn Fargo says:

    Hi John,
    Thanks for posting some weeks ago about Super Star Live. Could you possibly post all the songs available so that future cruisers might see the entire selection before sailing? Also, do you know if the band would be able to change keys to accomodate the singer? I’m sailing in early October and might be interested in participating.
    Thanks in advance, Lynn

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Hello John,

    I am booked on the Legend and Miracle,sailing October and November. My 19th and 20th cruise with Carnival !!!
    The reason for this writing is to ask the question…..when are the Maitre d’s in the main dining rooms going to start enforcing the dress codes? This has become SO lax that I feel that on Elegant Evenings, as well as any evening in the Main Dining Room, I’m eating at a truck stop off of I95! I realise that many people do not want to take off their flip flops and tank tops nor wash their hair so that a ball cap needs to be worn so therefore they need to be shown where the buffet is located. When the standards are lowered, IHO, the standard of the product is lowered as well.
    You may as well have the dining room staff wear jeans and ball caps so they blend in with the guests.
    Thanks for your time. I love your blog and you make me laugh every day.
    Cheers,Elizabeth Tomor

  33. Jen van Leeuwen says:

    Hello John, (Please reply)

    Thank you for your response to my questions on August 27th.

    I have forwarded you my Chef Table Reservations for my husband and myself. Thanks!

    We also look forward to being contacted by the Special Needs department so that our friends Strawberry Allergy can be documented on her booking. We REALLY appreciate this!!

    The only other outstanding issue are the shore excursions in Ixtapa. There are still only 2 available to be booked for our sailing but on the main shore excursion page all but three are stating “inventory pending”. So this seems to be an issue not just for our sailing but for all excursions in Ixtapa.

    Can you please have someone look into this? We have been given numerous reasons, from possible change of port, supplier issues in Ixtapa to lack of staff to program these excursions by Carnival Customer Service Department. No one seems to know the reason why.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Here is the link to the carnival site that shows this issue.
    http://www.carnival.com/ShoreExcursionsSearchResults.aspx?region=MR&portcode=ZJO&portname=Zihuatanejo%2fIxtapa%2c+Mexico

    Thanks again for all you do,
    Jen from Canada

  34. Monica B. says:

    Hi John, please reply!

    First I would like to thank you and the 343 Stephanies as the mystery of the Decadence of Chocolate dessert was solved! (I wrote to you asking about it a while back and within days I had my recipe! THANKS!!!)

    But what I’ve really come for today is something Uncle Google hasn’t been able to help me with…let’s see if Uncle John CAN!

    I have noticed a random coincidence… The Jackson 5 have three albums which came out in 1978, 1980 and 1984 named “Destiny”, “Triumph” and “Victory” … CCL has the same ship names in that same sequence! …Is this just a coincidental coincidence or are the beards HUGE Michael Jackson fans?? ;)

    Hope you can solve this one! Thanks in advance and hope you’re enjoying the West Coast!

  35. Gerry says:

    Last year I was on the Carnival Glory and had Josh as the Cruise Director and he was great. In fact, I’ve taken the time to write a review of him on my website. It was the second time that we had him as our director, and were pleasantly surprised when we realized that we had him again.

    http://cruise-dude.com/cruise-lines/carnival/cruise-director-josh-waitzman/

    Overall, a great cruise director!

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