Here I Am

November 10, 2010 -

John Heald

I don’t smell of roses at the best of times but as the laundry is not working and I only have two pairs of underpants I smell like Paris on a hot summer’s day………that’s Paris the city not Paris the …….person.

So here I am with a very quick hello. I am so sorry that I have not been blogging or Facebooking but we have had no internet and only now just got limited e-mail which an I/S beard has let me borrow for a few moments to say hello. Obviously it has been a challenge but let me tell you the most important facts and those are that the ship is safe, the guests are safe and that nobody was injured in what was a very difficult situation. I also want to tell you that the guests have been magnificent and have risen to the obvious challenges and difficult conditions onboard.

I am making continuous announcements from the bridge to keep them informed and sometimes when there is nothing new to tell them I just use the PA system to say hello and hope everyone is OK and try to keep some humour (spelt correctly) alive as well, which to be honest, I have no idea how that’s going over.

I have to say that the crew has been absolutely epic and I am so very proud of each and every one of them. There have been high points and low points throughout the last few days and I will tell you all about those in the days ahead. But for now the most important thing for you and the world’s press to remember is that everyone is safe and well and we will all be home soon.

There will be those who will say this has been “the cruise from hell.” However, when you see the local news reporter with the huge hair talking to Mr. Angry remember that there are many many many many more who will tell you what they have been telling me and the crew and that is that Carnival as a company have done everything they can and continue to do so to help them through this difficult situation.

One thing is for certain though……I doubt anyone onboard will ever ever want to eat a sandwich ever again.

Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts and I will write more soon.

Your friend

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.

293 Responses to Here I Am

  1. sue shiny says:

    i lov u john best friend take care

  2. Terry de la Mare says:

    Hi John,

    Nice to hear from you again. Glad to hear everything seems OK or as OK as it can be under such stressfull Situation.

    Glad your keeping everyone’s spirits up. They are lucky to have you to make an unpleaseant situation better.

    Hopeto hear from you again soon.

    Take Care.

  3. Frank and Bridie says:

    Oh john is is so great to hear from you! We are all worried sick about you and the wonderful crew! I am glad you are ok! Please take care of yourself. On the other hand you and the blog have been mentioned of several Tv outlets. I heard CNN talk about you once allready!

    Worried About You Fans,
    Frank and Bridie

  4. Ducky says:

    Hang in there John and God Speed to you, the crew and the passengers.

    P.S. So much for an incident free week.

  5. Big Ed says:

    John, Glad to hear from you. Been following on the internet and TV. From what I hear your doing one heck of a job. Though your moving a little slower then usual at least you are moving now. Can’t wait to read all about this week once you get a clean pair of underwear. Take care and keep up the good work.

    BIG Ed

  6. Kathryn Morrison says:


    What an ordeal you all have been through! I know there will be some very negative comments from a few, but from what I have read, Carnival Corporation has been doing and continues to do all they can within their power to get everyone home safely and try to make up for the passengers “lost” vacation. I know this has to be difficult for the crew just as much as it is difficult for the passengers. I will anxiously wait to hear more about this in the days to come from your blog. I don’t trust the media version and I know you will tell us the good, the bad and the ugly!


  7. Cheryl Killian says:

    Thanks for making the time to update us John. I hope that you are taking care of yourself. I know it must be difficult in this situation but you need to be careful now more than ever.

    I know the news media is anxiously waiting to get to the passengers to find Mr. Angry. I’m sure they will find him and ignore those that have anything positive to say. I would agree they probably won’t be having sandwiches for awhile when they get home.

    We are keeping all of you in our prayers.

  8. Kay T says:

    I am glad everyone is ok. If I were in the passengers shoes right now, I would be just glad to have toilets that work, otherwise it would be nasty. I could deal with the sandwiches..LOL..Carnival is doing everything they can and your guests are in good hands! Hang in there and keep your spirits up! This too will pass and things will eventually get back to normal Praying for safe uneventful trip back to San Diego. God Bless and keep your humour! (spelled correctly)

  9. michelle mann says:

    thinking of you John

    Hope all the crew and passengers are ok, i am sure you and carnival are doing everything possible to get everyone home safe.

    please take care, look after yourself

    micheel and gang

  10. Miranda says:


    So great to hear from you! Thank God you are all safe. If this had to happen, the passengers are very lucky that they have you there to take care of them.

    God Speed,

  11. Georgie T says:

    It is so good to hear from you, and that all are safe. For the passengers, this will be over soon, but for you and the crew, there is a lot more to come. Hopefully a hot shower will be in the beards priorities for you all! God bless you all!

  12. Eileene says:

    John, it’s good to hear from you directly. Keep up the good work! The CD can make such a difference in these situations, as I know from my Conquest cruise during Hurricane Ike (we still love Jen Baxter!).

    So many positive, supportive comments on here, on Carnival, and on related sites… it’s heart-warming! Too bad so many of the under-informed watch the media coverage with all the negativity, but WE know the truth.

    I know you’ve been too busy to feel the real stress of this situation, so take care once it’s over. That’s when it hits – I know from experience.

  13. Marjorie says:

    Don’t worry about the announcements John. At least one passenger texted relations the following, “Cruise director is amazing keeping everyone informed and even making us laugh over the innercom.” I know that you and the crew are doing the best you can and I hope once you reach shore that all of you are treated to any hot meal you’d want (as long as it wasn’t a sandwich.)

  14. Kim OBar says:

    John!!!!!!!!! We have missed you so!!!! So happy to hear from you and know that things are going as well as can be expected! Can’t wait to hear about the adventurous week you and the crew have had. What a lucky group of guest to have this happen when you are the man in charge! Kudos to all of the crew and you for a job well done!

    Kim OBar

  15. pete says:

    good to hear from you again John. All the best from good old blighty, chin up and all that…. Stiff upper lip..

  16. So happy that everyone is safe!! That is the most important thing.

    I am sure you are doing a fantastic job and honestly, good thing YOU were the CD!! The guests have no idea how lucky they truly are!

  17. Carrie says:

    Only two pair of undies, John, I am sure one of us would be glad to stock your dresser. I am also sure Ketut would appreciate those two pair going to the trash!! LOL Keep your sense of humour.

  18. Janet Sammons says:

    Hi John, It is so great to hear from you. It takes a little bit of the edge off knowing that if you have time for a quick blog, everything is going as well as can be expected.
    As far as the cruise from hell? I gotta tell you, I wish I were with you! This is an excursion nobody could pay for!!! What an adventure!!
    I am scheduled for the Nov. 28th sailing and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a go!
    Take care, remember to test your sugars and be safe!

    • Helen Gillispie says:

      Which ship are you going on? We are going on the Glory on the 28th out of Miami. Maybe we’ll be sailing together, what fun. Let me know if you can.

      Helen & Rick G.

  19. Cheryl Donofrio says:

    Hello John!
    I’m so glad to hear everyone is all right. I heard that you were eating cold food, so I assumed they meant sandwiches. I think you’re right. It’ll probably be a cold day in Hades before anyone (including you) says, “oh, boy. I would love a sandwich right now.” You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

    Your Friend,
    Cheryl D.

  20. Jan "Peaches" Silvius says:

    John, glad to hear from you and know that all if OK. God Speed, friend and hugs to all of you.

  21. john,

    we are very glad to see that the ship is being returned home. with the navy & coast guard nearby, everyone onboard should feel comfortable knowing that they are in the best of care!

    we were on the splendor just 3 weeks ago, and we were delighted to find out that you were the CD…we had met you back in 2001 on the triumph just one month 9/11. you made everyone onboard feel relaxed and safe during such a tragic period, so we can speak first-hand by saying that we know you are the right guy to be there during this incident.

    we were planning on sending “thank you” letters to members of the crew who helped us during our cruise on october 17th. will they be available to receive mail? should we send our greetings to the long beach terminal and have the staff there deliver our envelopes?

    keep doing your job. we are quite confident that there are thousands of people on that ship who appreciate everything that you and the crew are doing.

    denise gooden
    ken webb
    splendor – october 17th-24th, 2010

    p.s. we really do think that you should add a performance from monty python’s “SPAMalot” to your stage show!

    • ROFLOL!! Selected scenes from Monty Python’s Spam-a-lot can replace the despised Dolly Parton outfit!!

      • Vila Restal says:

        “You can have spam and eggs, spam, eggs and chips, spam and chips. Chicken, chips and spam. Spam, chips and spam”. “Do you have anything that doesn’t have spam in it”. “Well the Spam and chips doesn’t have a lot of spam”. “Could you give me the chicken, chips and spam and just leave the spam out.” “You mean you want Chicken, Chips and no spam”. “Yes.” “Weirdo”

  22. Anne E. says:

    Dear John,

    I’m sure you’re running on adrenalin, caffeine and sheer will-power (much like the ship herself!). Please take care of yourself and take some time off from the blog once you get back to California. We can wait for your reports. We’ll be itchy & twitchy without our daily updates, but we can handle it!

    Anne E.

  23. Laura Gallagher says:

    The absolute priority is the safety of the passengers and crew. Thank goodness all are safe & sound, if not inconvienenced (sp?). Spam to the gills, non-flushing toilets and lack of A/C are minor in comparison to ‘what could have been’, had the crew not reacted the way they did to get the ship safe – maybe not seaworthy, but safe all the same. I have only cruised w/ Carnival 7 times, but I can say, each and everytime, the professionalism of the crew shined through, even if it was less than perfect ‘below the waterline’ , the crew ALWAYS tried to appear happy & upbeat, attempting to set the over-all tone. Surely, it is what is expected of them, by the “carpet people”, but, they do their job & do it well, no matter which crazed or irate passenger is up in their face. No, I have NOT sailed on the Splendor…..yet…. but judging from what I have witnessed in the past, I would not hesitate to to cruise on ANY Carnival ship, based on the caliber of employees I have hadf the pleasure to interact with.
    In closing, I say that they (CCL crew) from the PVPs I have used to the crew bussing tables on the Lido, and all those between, have been the bomb! And my thoughts and prayers go out to them on the Splendor (and every other ship in the fleet) and thank them for all the hard work they do to keep things running as smoothly as possible, no matter what the situation.

    Thanks for letting me vent MY soapbox……..Laura

  24. john and patty says:

    good to hear from you john, have watching the news about the splendor, they are looking for bad news, when they find out who the cruise directoras in john heald , they will get to know how lucky the ship is to have such a wonderful , caring, and just the kind of person that is needed at this time! we are confident that you have the situation under control take care john&patty

  25. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear Smokey,
    We are all so glad that the fire was contained and then extenguished. That had to be terrifying to those who had the lives of four thousand five hundred passengers and another thousand Carnivalites. A BIG way to go to all concerned.

    We got to see the Coast Guard bringing cases of SPAM to the CCL Splendor and thought to my self that the chefs onboard a carnival ship could still make that taste better than the food on the RCCL Bleech of the Seas food.

    Glas to hear from you and hope to read all about it later.
    The Cruzin2some

    • Jim D says:

      I thought the Navy was delivering the SPAM, and other necessary supplies to the Splendor???

    • Dale B. Carr says:

      John: Job Well Done to the crew of the Splendor!!! I have sailed on Carnival cruises nine times and really had a great time on each and every one of them. In fact I was on a 12 day MED. cruise about three years ago where you were the Cruise Director. What a blast. I know that the passengers on the Splendor were much better off having you as the CD. Your sense of humor and patience is priceless.

      We are looking forward to our next CARNIVAL CRUISE.

      Dale and Jo Carr

    • I’d like to say that if I had to go through an experience like that I wouldn’t have wanted to go through it with anyone ‘at the helm’ but John Heald.
      Having been on this boat (the Splendor) not two months ago, my husband and I loved having John as the cruise director. He is a real pro…so funny…what a leader! He could make any occasion easier.
      I feel for all the other staff and crew on that boat that made our trip a winner…

  26. Roger Tollerud says:

    My wife and I left the C. Splendor last Sunday (the 7th of Nov) after spending a wonderful week. We were there because you were the CD and we were not disappointed. You are a very funny man and I know you have used that gift this week to help make a difficult situation better! We wish you,the wonderful crew and your guests a speedy and safe return!
    Roger T

  27. It is Great to hear from you, and thank God all of you are safe. I am sure this has been a very trying time for you and everyone on board. Carnival and all of the passengers have been magnificent through this frightful time. I am looking forward to my upcoming Miracle Cruise 11/27/10, and many more to come. Carnival will always be my first choice in cruising. John take care of yourself, and hope to see all back to normal soon.


  28. cruisinggrandma says:

    Glad to finally hear it from the best source on the Carnival Splendor, you. I know that all the bloggers have been praying for you and everyone on that ship. You be sure and take care of yourself too. Thank goodness you will be on holiday soon and home with your girls so that you will have the time to rest and recover.

    Bless you and all on the Splendor.

    See you in 150 days.

  29. Nanetteali says:

    JOHN!!!!! Amazing!!! That’s the word that they are using to describe you! We are so proud! You have been in our thoughts this days. Doing great friend we didn’t expect any less. You are the best!!! Hang in there and take care please

  30. George says:

    Good to hear from you. The news reports where very negative about Carnival ( at least those I read) . I’m glad everything is OK.
    The crew needs a big thank-you from all the passengers.
    Especially for all the extra work they had to do.

  31. Tonie Chess says:

    Glad all is well with your great sense of humor ,we had a great time on Splendor last week.

    I will ask Marks and Spencer to drop some undies on Lido deck for you.

  32. Heather Grottke says:

    Yay! So great to hear from you and all is well! Love ya! Keep up the awesome work!

  33. Dan Carrr says:

    John, so glad you are well!! Stephanie has done a great job keeping us up to date! I know you have your hands full we are all glad everyone is safe! Looks like Carnival istaking care of every passenger as well. What a class act!! Setting the standard for other cruise lines to follow!!!
    Travel safe!!

  34. Linda Hernacki says:

    I am so glad you are able to write, we have seen news clips on Fox and CBS, and your humor (spelled correctly) was mentioned even on Cruise Critic, and that you have been great with the passengers. Someone asked me today since they know I am a cruise fanatic, how I would react to what happened on the Splendor IF I had been on that ship. I told them, YES I would definitely be scared, BUT with you as the CD I would feel comforted in knowing you are there. Can’t wait to hear more about what your week was like and where you are headed while the ship is in dry dock. Heidi even wrote the Bloggers Crew about how proud she is of you, and she expected nothing less from you, because that is the kind of man you are. We love you and anxiously await seeing you in February on the BC4. How about washing your underwear by hand, like our grandparents used to do, and hanging them up in the bathroom to dry? HA! HA! Your Florida friends, Linda & Mike

  35. Pam Wagner says:

    Hi, John,
    It’s so good to read you again! We were on the Splendor 4 weeks ago, so we have been following this very closely. My husband says that he loves adventures and wishes he was on this cruise, so please let him know in advance when this type of thing is going to happen again (LOL).
    We are glad everyone is well and wish you all safety (and sanity).

  36. Michael Hester says:

    John, Hang in there. Everyone that has ever been on a Carnival cruise knows that you and the rest of the crew are doing everything that is possible. I think that how Carnival is handling this situation is great. Other cruise lines would just tell their passengers sorry about this problem and just send them home without paying them back and giving them another cruise. As I and my brothers have always said Carnival is the best cruise line that there is.

    Your friends in Nashville, TN always

  37. Eric Holen says:

    My wife and I are headed out on our 7th Carnival Cruise in December. While one can never be sure how they would react in a situation similar to the Carnival Splendor, we hope that we would treat it as one of life’s adventures. We wish the best for the passengers and crew and hope that there was some complimentary alcohol to was down the sandwiches.


    Hey John:
    YOU ARE A REAL TROOPER!! I have only heard good positive things from the passengers who called back to the news in Los Angeles…the passengers appear to be appreciative of the Crew & of Carnival & have said that they cannot wait for the next cruise…we all
    ‘Luv Ya” ..and can’t wait for the Ship to return…
    Take Care…..Your Fan, Jacqueline

  39. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Good to hear that everything is ok AND that YOU are ok.

    Remember to eat properly and watch your blood sugar levels…. (ok “cruise mom” is off her soapbox now)

    Yes indeed you will have those who will call this “the cruise from hell”. There is always a few bus riders in every group.

    But it sounds (from your post) that the vast majority are true travelers who are up for an adventure and will have a great story to tell…..

    The most important thing is that no one was injured….
    and Carnival has “exceeded expectations” with their resolve to handle this situation.

    There is one lady whose parents are onboard. She posted on here yesterday and we all reassured her that they were in wonderful hands.

    Thanks for doing such a great job under such difficult circumstances….

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  40. Aimee says:

    John, All I can say is if I were stranded at sea I would want you as the CD. 12 yrs ago we took our first cruise on the Triumph from NYC and since then have been on 28 cruises with Carnival and all the other major cruise lines. We always remember you as being the BEST CD out of all our cruises. I am sure that both you and Carnival are doing the best you can with the situation. When hearing about the Splendor i just had to look up your blog. I knew you would keep everyone informed 🙂 Hang in there, come back to NYC and we will surely cruise with you again! Aimee

  41. Dr Prakash Harischandra says:

    Hi Mr Heald ,
    Its so nice to see your familiar quotes.
    We received the Email fromthe Medical Center.I realise how fishy the sandwiches were. Praise the lord.
    I just Quote somethign what I received from the fellow staff on the Splendor.
    “Water back up and running, no electricity except in medical centre and bridge. No cooking and no coffee!! Living on little sleep, lots of fishy sandwiches and cold showers. ( sandwiches made with fish on them – that why we call them fishy)
    So far been very lucky, no injuries because of the fire, no other serious medical problems on board and low GI count”

    “But all is not over yet. We still have to disembark all this people with no elevators. We have been cursing every time we had to run up the stairs with the emergency bag over the shoulder, but I am sure that is nothing compared to what the poor housekeeping guys are going to feel after debark. ( funny how everybody that are sick are on deck 8, 9 and 10, and obviously all the falls are on lido) This will be a cruise to go down in the history books of Carnival. ”
    Dr P Harischandra.
    from the Elation.

  42. Sharon says:

    Glad that everyone is safe and you are on the way to San Diego. I can’t even imagine what you all are dealing with and hope that you get a chance to unwind a bit next week.

  43. Maria C says:

    John it’s is nice to hear from you. We are all glad to hear that your crew and passengers are all safe. Don’t worry about the media they always share the bad things never anything positive. God Bless you and the crew and I will keep you and your family at sea in my prayers.

  44. Susan and Cary says:

    JOHN!!! So glad that you were able to spare a couple of minutes and update the blog! We’re all sending love, light, and positive thoughts, and hoping that this ordeal will be over soon.

    I can just imagine the stories that you will be sharing with us… well those that you choose to share that is!

    Godspeed, and we look forward to the next update.

    Susan and Cary

  45. Rhonda says:

    Thanks for the update John. I am boarding a Carnival Ship (Paradise) at the end of this month and also the Splendor in February. I have no intentions of changing my plans. I believe in Carnival. See you soon and thanks for being an amazing friend to those on board. See you soon!

  46. John says:

    Chins up John!!! It is so nice that no one is blaming Legendary Journeys for this!

  47. John,
    Glad to hear from you and that everyone is safe! I’m sure you have a lot to write about when time permits. We’ll be here! Wish None Of You Were There

  48. Peg Dunbar says:

    Thank you for checking in John. We can only imagine the stress everyone is under. My thoughts and prayers are with you, the guests and the crew. May you come home soon.

  49. Daniel says:

    I actually think that this situation provides an opportunity for Carnival to demonstrate their strengths in good customer service and public image. The fact that the crew seems to have demonstrated the safety and well-being of the passengers as a top priority coupled with the fact that Carnival will refund all who were on board AND give them a free cruise makes me want to do business with Carnival all the more! This incident gives me the peace of mind of knowing that when I spend hard earned and hard saved money on a cruise vacation and something like this happens that Carnival will make it right! I have been on several cruises and took my first cruise with Carnival last March and this is one of the many reasons that I’ve been saying since March that Carnival will always be my first choice when shopping for a cruise vacation.

  50. Beatriz says:

    Jhon!!!!!!! It`s soooooo nice to hear from you!!!!!! My prayers are with all of you onboard the Splendor.!!!!!

  51. tamara says:

    hey John,

    it is so nice to hear the good news from you – thank you for blogging and keeping us informed. well done to you and the rest of the crew i can only imagine how hard it is for you – always real troopers on Carnival ships. keep up the good spirits and may you keep safe. God bless you xxx

    please send my love to dance friend Jessika T and crew member Carol Gibbons xxx
    thank u

  52. Trev says:

    Glad to hear from ya, John!

    • Cindy Forgione says:

      I would think a bad day at sea is still better than a good day at work.
      P.S. If Mr Angry doesn’t want his free future cruise I will be happy to oblige him.

  53. Welcome back online John. The passengers and crew can not complain because they have the best CRUISE DIRECTOR ever to sail the 7 seas.

  54. Chris says:

    Great to hear from you John…..Glad everyone is doing well I have sailed with Carnival 8 times and never once would have any doubt about the safety while on board the crew at Carnival Cruise is always amazing and this event just goes to show….Keep up the good work and your journey is just about over and you will all be home safe and sound soon!!!! Great Job to the Crew at Carnival Cruise Lines as always!!!!

  55. Judy says:

    JOHN!!!! Thought maybe some of your undies exploded in the laundry and caused all this trouble!!!
    Keep the spirits up! Like they say SHIT HAPPENS!

  56. Sandra says:

    Sending Lov to John.Hiya Sue…John!!Sue and I are waiting feedback from Miami about the nude cruise!!!LOL

  57. Kirstin says:

    Good to hear from you John! Kudos to Carnival for doing everything they can to make the guests as comfortable as possible….these things happen. I hope the first time cruisers will give it another go so they can see what a wonderful time you really do have on a Carnival cruise. I wish you all a safe journey home.

  58. Fran Cooke says:

    Hi John,
    I love Carnival and have confidence in the crew. Wishing you the best! Safe travels. Looking forward to my next cruise!!!! Great job!


  59. John says:

    You are right the news will put there own spin on this and the crew will do the same/if not more than they do everyday on the crews. Look forward to our next crews.

  60. Maggie says:

    Hi John,

    Glad to hear that everyone is safe. Everyone is anxiously awaiting your and everyone’s safe arrival.

    Take care,


  61. Mutzie says:

    I am a comedian and just got off of the Conquest today. I’ve performed on 7 carnival cruise ships in the past 2 months. EVERY SINGLE CREW member from top to bottom is 100% the REAL DEAL. These men and women are absolutely the best. I’m sure they all went above and beyond the call of duty for those passengers.

    There is no question that a carnival cruise is the best vacation anyone can take.

  62. John if I were on a ship in distress I would rather be on a Carnival ship than any other cruise line And of course I would hope to be lucky enough to have you as cruise director.
    We’re just so thankful that the passengers, crew and you are okay.
    Take care of yourself and get some rest and don’t forget to eat even if it is Spam sandwiches…
    Carolyn and Don

  63. The Dons says:

    We have to ask, how many mirrors have you broken, ladders you’ve walked under, or black cats have crossed your path, for you to have the ‘not very likeliest of things to happen’ occur when you are onboard a ship? We were with you last year on the Legend when the weather kicked her into the RCCI ship in Cozumel. Things then were handled great, and I’m sure you’re taking care of things now on the Splendor. Glad to read everyone is safe.

  64. Princess Susan says:

    John I know you are doing everything possible for the crew and the passengers, but please take care of yourself too! You are such a giving man!
    At least everyone has sandwiches to eat and they are safe.
    It sounds like Carnival is doing everything they can and we don’t care about what Mr. Angry has to say when he gets back!
    I can’t believe no crew members were hurt….that shows that training works and everybody knows there job.
    Keep up the good work, and try to get some rest.

  65. Doing a great job according to all the TV reports. Everything we have seen has been positive. I’m sure you are glad “your girls” are not on this cruise with you. Take care of yourself, and when you get a bit down, you can think ahead to the first warm shower you get to take. Funny how little mundane things become a yearned for quest in situations that these.

  66. joyce g. says:

    Thank you, thank you, for taking the time to post. I can now breathe a sigh of relief. You are Awesome!!

  67. Terry Marshall says:

    I just wanted to comment on the news conference that Mr. Cahill and Mr. Berra just completed in San Diego. I want to commend them and all of the Carnival staff for the fantastic way they are addressing such a horrible experience.

  68. Jennifer Roy says:

    John – so glad you and all onboard are safe. There are all kinds of crazy reports out here – the Chinese have attacked the ship – there are people “crammed” on onboard – all the “poor rich people” are complaining about no a/c – but Carnival has responded very well to the situation and think of all the free publicity – and as you know, bad publicity is still better than no publicity – I should know – I’m in the mortgage industry (yikes – did I actually admit that?)!

    Take care of yourself and your crew – hopefully you’ll all also receive a free vacation while the ship is under repair! (with pay, of course – are you listening, you beards?)

  69. Sheri James says:

    John!!!! SO glad to hear from you!! So much for an un-eventful cruise, huh? Glad to hear that everyone is well and that people are making the best of it!!

  70. Bonnie Ham says:

    So glad to hear everyone is safe and sound. I have no doubt that your being the CD has made this awful situtation somewhat better.

  71. Kathy Reilly-Berman says:

    I was so glad to read John’s blog!!! Happy to hear he is doing ok in such a really hard situation. Praying for everyons safe return. Also, looking forward to reading John’s first blog upon his return to port.

  72. T C says:

    John, glad to hear from you… I know you’ve had your hands full the past several days. Sometimes things like this just happen, how an individual responds to it is what makes the difference. I have sailed on the Carnival Splendor with you and would not hesitate to do it again. The passengers on this cruise are lucky to have YOU as their CD, although I’m sure all of Carnival’s CD’s would do a fantastic job. You and the crew really deserve something special once you’re back in San Diego, I hope the beards think so too!

  73. Jennifer says:

    Hi John,
    So nice to hear from you. We have all been worried about you and all aboard. I am very happy to hear that everyone is hanging in there.
    Much Love and Hugs

  74. Toni Bourn says:

    Carnival cruises are always amazing and memorable, though not for the reasons that this cruise will be remembered…
    I wish you and the rest of the crew, and of course the passengers, the best in this trying time. I’m sure the humor helps. Keep laughing!
    Hey, at least if the meals are mainly sandwiches (instead of molten chocolate cake and lobsters as big as your head and amazing buffets of everything under the sun), some of your cruisers are actually NOT going to gain “the Cruiser Five” (pounds, that is). Yay for that, right? 😉

  75. Craig Bunyard says:


    My wife and I are extremely happy to hear that you, the guests and the crew are safe and doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. After just crusing with you on the magnificent Splendor (Oct. 24-31), we know all too well the amazing depths of you and the Splendor staff’s incredible hospitality and professionalism. We know that the comfort and care of the guests onboard could not possibly rest on the shoulders of a more considerate and capable crew. Continue to be safe, and, we wish you, the crew and the guests, a safe and happy return. Thank you for making our cruise a fond and memorable one as well.


    Craig Bunyard

  76. qns1980 says:

    I am so glad that everyone is safe!

  77. Optiron says:

    Maybe you can start referring to this cruise as the (Subway) Jerod’s Diet Cruise. LOL!
    If your getting all this free(???) Media
    coverage maybe CCL can recoup
    some of the huge losses with a bigger
    BC4! WIWT I like sandwiches and think I
    Would enjoy a slow ride on a calm sea at
    FUTURE CRUISE!! I’m sure there must
    be someone there who thinks that’s not
    sufficient but WHATEVER! The manner in
    Which CCL has handled this makes
    me all the happier I chose CCL and you
    For my first cruise- see you there.

  78. jo2310 says:

    Bonjour John,

    Toi et les passagers sont dans mes pensees…. Hi John, you and the passengers are in my thoughts….keep up the good work entertaining the passengers – they need you for sure and they are very lucky to have you!! prends soin de toi, take care! Thinking of you from Quebec.

  79. sam woodward says:

    keep up the good work John. sailed with you twice and know your doing everything possible. with a little luck and the ships fixed we will be boarding on the 28th. hopefully see you then.

  80. Tracey says:

    John! So good to hear from you!

    All I can say is to echo everyone else in their messages of support. We have been following along and hoping that everyone is ok. Also THANK GOD you’re there! There is no one from Carnival I’d rather be stuck at sea with.

    I wish you all safe travels, and I agree – while the situation is obviously difficult and unpleasant, that’s sometimes how life is. Stuff happens and we deal with it. Is it the worst vacation of their lives? Maybe – but one could also choose to look at it as an adventure – a story they will tell for the rest of their lives, that their friends and family will tell…Carnival is stepping up and taking good care of them (and hopefully all the employees too) and they will vacation again because they weren’t hurt and that in the end, is all that truly matters.


  81. Deborah Rosato says:

    Hi John,

    We are so glad no one was injured. No elevators – ugh. I feel bad for the crew – God Bless them!!

    Sending positive thoughts and lot’s of love,


  82. Mary Pat Sullivan says:

    Great for your voice to be heard John! Thinking of you all.
    Your Long Island Friend, MP

  83. Janet Horock says:

    John wonderful to hear from you! Stephanie has been doing a great job with the updates but you are truly missed. Never had a doubt that the crew would handle everything in stride. Just hope that along with arrangements for the passangers the “beards” book hotel rooms for the crew also as I’m sure all would like hot water, a/c and a warm meal. Take care.

  84. John, Francine & Anthony says:

    JULIO!!!!!!!!!!! JOHN! Glad to here all of you are doing well, The guests are so lucky to have this happen with you on board! Be well and may God Bless all of you for a safe trip home.

  85. SgtGlenn says:

    Thoughts and prayers for you all. I know that you have been spending all your time trying to honor everyones requests all the while keeping things calm and trying your hardest to keep even the most obnxious guest comfortable. Keeping all this in mind I have one request.

    Can you PLEASE be our CD on our upcoming cruise on the Dream?!!!!!!!

    Keep up the great work and thanks for all you do.

  86. Andrew Bruemmer says:

    As someone who will be sailing on the Imagination and the Miracle next week and on a B2B on the Splendor starting in February, I want to say that I think Carnival has done the best it can under the circumstances and I have no less excitement for my upcoming cruises then I did before “the event”.

    Not only for the passengers onboard to make sure they were safe and as comfortable as can be with what you have, but the almost immediate announcement that the passengers would get a refund for the cruise and transportation as well as credit for another one.

    I also appreciated the use of Facebook and this blog to give updates as information was known.

    It appears to me that Carnival understands that even though there were no injuries, the loss of the current cruise was a significant disappointment and warranted more than just a refund of the fare and transportation for this cruise.

    I cannot wait to board the Imagination and Miracle next week and the Splendor in February!!

  87. Liz says:


    No more wishes for an uneventful week. This one turned out to be the MOST eventful!!!


  88. Christi says:

    I know this is not what people expected when they set sail – but things happen, and sometimes you have to make the best of it!. Many years ago my husband & I were on one of our many Carnival Cruises and encountered a hurricane – Isis. The captain and staff were fabulous! A good percentage of the passengers complained no matter what – but it gets you nowhere – just enjoy what you have and be happy! We sure did! I would never boycot cruising – no matter what horrible situation might occour! I wish all involved good luck, and keep up your good spirits!

  89. The Flying Dutchman says:

    Sir John,

    It is most excellent that the all of the guests, the crew, and ship are safe. I caught news on the internets and TV that the fabulous Splendor was stranded at sea and needed some tug action. As expected, you being ever the cruise director extraordinaire, I knew the guests would be in good hands even in the most unfortunate circumstances. Bravo to you and all of the crew on the Carnival Splendor!

    Mark (yah it’s me)
    The Flying Dutchman

  90. Jolly Martin says:


    Glad to hear you are ok. My family and I have sailed with you on 2 cruises. I have to say out of my 9 cruises you are the best CD we ever had. Thank you for the care you give your passengers and my you have a quick safe trip back.

  91. Caryn says:

    John, so happy to see the post! The best news – all are safe……. This too shall pass just as most other awful situations in the world today – it will get better. And we will remember what you said when we see MsFussyPoo belittling CCL on the news.

    I think that all should look at it like an adventure – one that must be endured, consideriing the alternative (swimming with the fishies), an adventure no one wants to repeat but an adventure just the same……..

  92. Nanette says:

    I’m so glad to hear from you! Our new media has been nothing but kind to Carnival! I tweeted the news anchor this morning and told that our favorite cruise director was on there and he’s the best at making everyone laugh and have a great time! I know that Carnival has gone to great lengths to ensure everyones safety and to make them as comfortable as possible. They only negative thing I’ve heard in the news reports was that you received SPAM as one of your provisions!! You poor man!

  93. Susanne says:

    It is so good to hear from you and that all is as well as can be expected. The guests were certainly in the hands of the best Cruise Director. Take care of yourself.

  94. Flo Walton says:


    Sooo good to hear from you!!

    You might be interested to know that you have a passenger onboard who is a TV reporter from Denver. He was interviewed via telephone & he gave a very upbeat interview……….not all gloom & doom you might expect from a reporter. Not that he painted a rosey picture but he had an extremely positive attitude.

    Thinking of you, the crew & passengers & hoping your ordeal is soon over.

    • Mike J. says:

      He’s not a reporter actually a technician. But he works for a TV station in Denver and called his bosses to give them a report. The only negative things he said was that they have to stand in line for 2 hours to get the food because everybody has to go to the same place and that the inside cabin passengers have to sleep with the door propped open because of no A/C. Other than that he said the passengers are chatting with each other, playing cards and being nice. Which is a good thing.

      I’m very happy that no one was hurt and that John is keeping the passengers and crew upbeat. Still looking forward to our family cruise in Jan. on C.Inspiration. Take Care!

  95. Lexi says:

    I am so glad that everyone is safe. Sometimes things like that make you stronger. So sad for you and all the crew and next weeks guests. I hope they can fix her quickly.

  96. Dreama says:

    So glad to hear from you! I am sure that everyone is eager to reach the port but they couldn’t be in better hands right now than with you and your crew.

  97. Sage56 says:

    So very thankful no one was hurt. Having met so many of the crew on the sailing the week before, I know there are some outstanding people aboard helping to keep the passengers as comfortable as possible. In a very trying time, I can just see you shining and at your very best. Kudos, to you, the Captain, and all the crew on board as well as the ground staff.
    Bet you are wishing right about now…. “maybe I should have tried on that disposable underwear!” All my best, to everyone on the Splendor. And John, make certain you take care of yourself!
    Your fans and your friends…. Sage… (and Julie and Marlene,… and Linda… and (up)Chuck….)

  98. Jan Bode says:

    John – I am so glad everyone is safe and well. My sister and I were so sad when we had to leave the ship Sunday morning. But……..I am sure glad now that we had last week. Good luck with the rest of the ‘cruise’

    Jan and Elaine

  99. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Btw, I say the first person who starts that “cruise from hell” cr@p should be asked by a reporter…..

    “so then, you do not intend to take advantage of the free Carnival cruise?”

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

  100. Jay Edie says:

    Hey John,

    So glad to hear from you!
    It is also good to hear most of the guest are being good sports about the whole situation.

    If any of them complains too much, tell them there are a lot of soldiers in the middle of Afghanistan that would Gladly trade places with them.

    Question. Will you now be able to take some time off and fly home to see the girls, or will “The Beards” find other duties for you while the ship is being repaired?

    Hang in there, and know the guests had the best possible CD they could have in this type of situation.



  101. tracy says:

    hi john glad everyone is good. and no other problems.and have a save trip back.i been watching for updates on the tv and internet.

  102. Barbara says:

    Glad to get an update from you John–I’m sure that you and the rest of the crew must be exhausted. Please–take care of yourself–not only for Carnival–but esp for Heidi and Kye. We’ll hear from you when you get caught up with everything. Yes, I agree, there will be some passengers who will complain–but it certainly sounds like Carnival is doing everything possible for its guests! You know that you have many repeat cruisers who are anxious to see you again!

  103. Shari seibert says:

    Glad everyone is safe. One more thing I have to say ” I love Spam”

  104. Stan says:

    Awesome, Im taking my first cruise with Carnival next week so I have been watching this story very closely and I think you guys have done the best you can do. The openness is refreshing and tells you about the kind of company you are. You guys have my vote and I hope all on board make the best of the worst..

  105. Terri says:


    So far, the news reports have been of very positive passenger comments, even specifically saying what an fantastic job their Cruise Director is doing! And — my favorite — “What a crazy adventure!”

    We have all been thinking of you, all the crew and passengers. Thank God has only been a “crazy adventure” and not a tragedy!

    Terri & Larry

  106. Past Dream Guest says:

    I would gladly be stuck at sea with you! Sailed on the Dream with you and LOVED you!

  107. Jeanette says:

    Excellent to hear from you John! I hope that those passengers who are being difficult realize it could have been far worse and they could have had to try and remember what to do when a full evacuation of the ship was called for. I may not look like I pay attention at muster, but I do listen while watching others goof off!

    That being said I hope everyone liked eating as much ice cream (before it all melts), fresh fruit, salads, an sandwiches that they could. I am sure the fish are going to appreciate the feast of meat, fish, and chicken they will get when all of the food stores have unthawed–that is if the ship can get back to port quick enough to salvage as much of it as it is sad to see food wasted.

    Underpants–well, you need to pack like me, bring more and that way when you leave and still have a bunch of fresh underwear all is well *BG*…

    Wishing you and the crew well!

  108. D. Coffman says:

    So glad you are the cruise director John. Some of your assistants on other ships are afraid to talk on the PA.We had a problem last year in San Juan on the Dream and were not told anything.You will always be the BEST in my book.

  109. Well, my friend, I think you will be running out of Ships on a stick, because every passenger is going to want one to prove they were there and added a little camping experience to their cruising expectations May I suggest a special free picture for each family who wants one to commorate the event and give them one of the beautiful silver frames that go to platnumn guests and get that supply depleated as well. It sounds like the staff have all rallied and will deserve employee of the month after this is over. Seriously, some sort of reward needs to go to this crew who will lose a lot of tips due to adventure for this week and the next. ( the pics could be made with the green background and cans of spam, loaves of bread, bottled water, etc that the coast guard and aircraft carrier have provided. One more little perk that that folk like to receive–and the cruise will still count toward that magic 10 needed for platnumn card perks. I think that is a win-win situation. Your Staff and crew from top to bottom deserve a sign of appreciation from Carnival. Perhaps a calling card good for so many minutes to call home and an extra amount of off time within the next month to use it would be something they would appreciate. You would know more about that than me, but Praises to all. I hope these people appreciate seeing the special services and dedication from Aircraft carriers, US Coast Guard, and Tug Boats coming to their aid. They have ring side seats to adventure in the making. They are having a Huck Finn/ Tom Sawyer “roughing it” on a little fancier raft moment so play up these rare opportunities and be sure they get on the video that only they can buy… Played right, this is the modern day MardiGras hitting the sand bar story just for them. Have a beard fly in to welcome them back, Pray the Coast Guard will make this the easiest debarkation in the history of the Coast Guard. (everyone who makes a positive post and makes sure it is on your face book page, blog, or other widely read cruise critic type page, and can prove it later, will get a $100 on board credit–I love those on board credits) Good luke. I know you and your staff will get every positive feeling from these passengers. I’d like to suggest one more thing–Perhaps if you could hold a litte meeting for all the first time passengers and you personally reassuring them what a freak accident this was–how prepared the staff was, they had just passed the Coard Guard check, etc and that even with all the inconvenience, they have been kept as safe as possible. Since everyone is getting their cruise back anyway, tell them if they use theirs withing the next ____months, they will be given a one time VIP pass so they see what they have to look forward to in 9 more cruises– People love “personalized” and when you are doing this for that small group, even have the Captain down, let them meet the dancers in costume and take their personal photos with them, etc. Whatever you do to make them feel special and protected and pampered is going to be remembered and rewarded I think. We are sailing Carnival Cruise 25 on Dec 11 on the Triumph andd can hardly wait. Sorry you are going to buried in work for the next little while when power is reay resotred..Hang tough John, You can do it.

  110. MrDerek says:

    Do you think this is an omen and you really should have let Mr. Endoftheworldintwoyears have a room for his talk! It could have been worse… but it will be a story, that’s for sure. Glad to hear that everyone is safe and is headed for home.

    • Ross says:

      That’s funny Derek! Someone should tip off TMZ to interview the Professor for his comments on the significance of the incident would likely be entertaining.

  111. retirementman says:

    Congratulations to all, the officers, crews and you John for handling a serious situation in a proud manner. It doesn’t sound like a cruise to hell but a cruise to challenge what God gives us and it sounds like you all should be given an A+. Carnival once again comes up number #1 in knowing how to deal with a serious situation. I commend all of you for what you’ve done.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  112. Sal says:

    Hey John,

    I’m glad to hear that things are looking up from such a difficult moment. My wife and I were shocked to hear that this happened to the very same ship we vacationed on only three weeks ago! But rest assured that the apparent professionalism and courtesy of all of the crew aboard the Splendor, as well as the act of goodwill by Carnival has made us that much more committed to cruise with Carnival in the future. Carnival as a company has done what few can barely muster to do out of fears of losing some money. It is nice to see that Carnival looks out for their customers the way they do. While the situation is disappointing in so many ways, so many more positives can be drawn from this, the highest being that all are safe and sound, and while they may cringe at the sight of a can of Spam for years to come, they can at least take comfort in the fact that they have been served to the fullest by a most professional crew, and a cruise line eager to make amends from a trying situation!

  113. Lynn and Mike Sagara says:

    We are so glad everyone is safe. After this is all over we will meet you in the cigar bar. Lynn and Mike

  114. Vivienne says:

    Thank you for taking the time to let us know that you are okay. We have all been quite concerned.

    Great to have you back Congratulations to you ane all the crew for doing such a splendid job keeping the passengers safe and calm. We missed you.

    God Bless.

  115. Barbara Parkes says:

    Hi John,
    We are wishing that we were on the present cruise. It would be the only cruise we didn’t put a huge amount of weight on. You don’t get fat on Spam – do you??These 2 Aussie nurses will never forget what a brilliant CD you are. We sailed on Freedom in the Mediterranean Sea 2007. Laughed so much!! Hope you’re still on Splendour next year when we come over.
    Keep on being the best CD in the world.
    Barb & Jane.

  116. WaterNut-CSAL says:

    As a long time CCL fan, considering the effort CCL has invested in the brand and the quality of its line, if they sailed the Splendor next week (and I had a ticket) I’d be on it! Simply stated…CCL is a quality line, I’d expect nothing else.

  117. Debbi Walker says:

    My family and myself were on the Splendor just last week. We were very impressed with the crew. They have been the best crew we’ve had. I know the guests this week are being well taken care of despite the conditions. I hope everyone gets back quickly and safely.

  118. Dave says:

    I’m glad to hear everyone is doing as best they can. I believe all the crew onboard the Splendor should get some sort of bonus from Carnival for doing their best to keep the customers happy during what must be an extraordinarily hard time.

  119. Beverly says:

    Good hearing from you, John! Take care of yourself! We are all worried about you, the crew and passengers! Glad to hear things are going as smoothly as can be in this situation.

  120. Steve O says:

    Dear John,
    Just got home from work. So happy to hear that you, the crew and the guests are okay. I’ve sure been thinking of the beautiful Carnival Splendor a lot this week. Sending my prayers that you all stay safe and get home as soon as possible. I wish I could be in San Diego to meet you with a big box of your favorite Marks & Spencer underpants…..I’m SURE you need them by now 🙂 Take care kind John. I know the guests are with the very BEST CD for this, or any, situation.
    Your old mate,
    Steve O

  121. Brenda Crabtree says:

    Best news was that all were safe; 2nd best was that they had the number one cruise director on board. All of our thoughts and prayers have been with everyone on the ship. Those that are the loudest and most negative will be put on the news; they will be few in comparison to those who have a great attitude and make the best of the worst circumstances. All of us at home, safe and with a/cor heat, are eagerly awaiting your safe arrival in San Diego.

  122. Monte says:

    Fire? All I heard was SPAM was being served and just figured the ship had diverted to Hawaii.

    Glad to know that everyone is well—that’s what really counts

  123. Geoff & Bethany says:

    John, glad to hear from you! We have all been following along with the updates and sending our thoughts and prayers to you and the ship. Can’t wait till you get back to share all the stories.
    Big hugs to you and all the crew and guest!

  124. Marlene says:

    All I want to say is the whole ship is extremely blessed that you are there!

    Love you and stay safe.

  125. Sandy L says:

    So good to hear from you, John. And it’s good to know that everyone is safe….that’s the most important thing.

    Hope you made everyone sing a chorus of “row, row, row your boat”.

  126. Sis says:

    John Heald, you are a class act.

    Be well, dear friend.

  127. Rena says:

    So good to hear from you! I have missed your blogg… I am so happy to hear everyone is ok, I am sure they will be so happy to go home! At least they will have a free Cruise coming up plus their money back… That’s Great! We all missed you John! 🙂

  128. Tammi Flannery says:

    Delighted to hear from you directly, John, and I’m so glad that every soul on board is safe and well. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, the crew and the passengers.

    May the seas be with you.

  129. Pingback: Carnival Splendor Fire Update [Wednesday PM] | CruiseInd

  130. Ed Digman says:

    John—just wondering if the crew will still make any money on this abbreviated trip. It’s a shame as they work extremely hard and seem to be the forgotten ones.

  131. ZackAttack says:

    John, so good to hear from you and glad everything is OK. I’ve been thinking about you and everyone aboard the Splendor and I can’t imagine how difficult everything must be and how some people must be feeling, but also pleased with how Carnival has handled it all and how they are taking extra-special-everyday care of their paying guest. I Hope you’re keeping your smile on (and unfortunately your underpants) and hope you know that every one of your readers is thinking and praying for everyone on the Splendor.

  132. Scott Nickle says:

    John, I am so glad to hear that all guests and crew are safe. If I had a magic wand I would “zap” everybody from the Splendor to Carnival’s air-conditioned Miami office and simultaneously send all the “suits” in Miami to the Splendor. I would love for you to have it easy for a bit and for those arrogant rotters in Miami to suffer a little bit.

  133. James and Bobbi says:


    So good to hear from you again. Glad most everyone is keeping good spirits.

    Love you!!


  134. Jan Reem says:

    Hey John! Sure is good to hear from you, and please tell those angry people that we have seen on the news “That will never cruise again” that we would be happy to take that free cruise off their hands! LOL!!


  135. Valerie says:

    You are one heck of a man to keep us up to date like this when you must have been through so much in the past three days. Thank goodness everyone is safe and hope for safe return to San Diego. Hope to hear and see you soon.
    Much love to Heidi and Kye who must be as anxious as we all are for more good news.
    Val. in Canada.

  136. Michael says:

    I can only echo the sentiments of the other posters. It is the best of news to hear that no crew or passangers were injured. Someone was surely watching over all of you.

  137. Helen Hoskin says:

    Hi John glad to hear from you and we would of waited to hear from you… You have one heck of a job that you and the staff of Carnival are doing. I know from what i have read that this can not be easy, keep up with all that you are doing. But please keep up your health your girls need you. I do think you will need a well deserved holiday after this. What a lesson to learn i bet there were not a lot of plans in place before this all happened..

    take care of yourself, thinking of all that are on board.

  138. Francie says:

    Hi John, I’m glad to hear everyone is safe on board. I was on the cruise that began on October 31st and ended Nov 7th, just the day before the fire. There were two people removed from the ship on that trip due to illness. I was in shock when i heard it was the Splendor out there. You, all the crew, and passengers were in my prayers. Stay safe. My husband and I have been on 4 Carnival cruises in the past 3 years and even through all this we are already planning our next carnival cruise for next year. 🙂 BTW- You were THE BEST Cruise director Ever! We know you and the crew are making all the best out of this situation. Take care, stay laughing, and we’re keeping everyone in our thoughts.

  139. Naomi says:

    Hi John Please Read.

    I’ve Been Keeping A Close Eye On The Carnival Splendor And I Want You To Know That I Have Been Praying For The Safety Of The Ship And Her Passengers and Crew. Keep Everyones Spirits Up. And I Can’t Wait To Hear All Is Well And The Ship Is Back Home. Hugssssssssssss.

    Love, Naomi Garza.

  140. Robert Phillips says:

    John, Bless you. This has certainly been a challenging experience.

  141. Krista says:


    If you receive this, please let all the lovely ladies of Camp Carnival know that their coworker Krista from Canada says Keep Up The GOOD Work!!!!!!!! I was on the Splendor for a total of a year and it feels like my home!!!!!!!!!! All my love to all the crew members on board!

    God Bless

    Krista Cartwright

  142. Emily Perna says:

    hang in there! Take care!

  143. James (from MN) says:


    So glad to hear that you, and all souls on board, are OK, and will be back in San Diego tomorrow!

    My wife and I have anxiously followed news about the Splendor since Monday, particularly concerned about our favorite CD! Hearing that you were in charge, we knew that the passengers were in the best of hands, and that your humour (spelt correctly) would carry them through, and make the best of current circumstances!

    The news coverage that we listened to was NOT negative about Carnival; in fact it was mainly informational, expressing gratitude that everyone was safe, and that Carnival was doing all that could be done to bring everyone home, and already detailing the company’s offers to passengers to refund the cruise, pay travel expenses, and give a future complimentary cruise – what more could be asked?

    Stay well, my friend, and may God keep you all safe and get you home quickly! We look forward to hearing from you again when you have time!

    Your Friend,
    James (from MN)

  144. Mary says:

    So good to hear from you John, and also that the guests are making the best of a bad situation. If it’s not too late tomorrow night, we’ll head down to the embarcadero to wave you in!

  145. Marqueta says:


    We have missed your posts on facebook all this week at my office. You make us laugh and lighten the stress of our day. We have been so worried about you the crew and of course the guests. We are so glad that everyone is making the best of a difficult situation. After this time in California, you should have enough material to write a book about the adventures of the Cruise Director of the Carnival Splendor and the west coast MIexican Riviera itenerary. We were talking today about all the odd events and strange people that you have met while you have been on the West Coast. You will have stories to tell your grandchildren for sure after you retire. I am so glad you are okay, because what would I do without John Heald and his witt and stories to make my day go by a little less stressful.

    Thank You for being You,

    From Oklahoma

  146. Boston Kat says:

    Miss you John! Good to hear from you again old chap! Sorry you are having such trials but those passengers couldn’t be in better hands than yours!! Keep up the great work!!

  147. Doug Parent says:

    Glad no one was injured, yes there will be nay sayers but life will go on and it will be a lifetime of stories for all the crew and passengers to tell…. WIWY 🙂

  148. Good to hear from you our friend
    We know you are doing your best and cheeriest for the crew and the passengers of the CCLSplendor.
    Stay safe and keep up with your health “sugar” checks.
    and when you get to land ‘Ill send you some receipes that you can use for spam other than sandwiches…
    Take Care
    the Tuckers
    Arnold & Elizabeth

  149. Steph aka Hockey Addict says:

    Good to hear from you John! Please dont say that you are sorry that you havent posted! We all understand and want you to focus on your issues there! Im glad you are all safe! Continue being safe!

  150. Jennifer Weston says:

    So glad to hear from you John!! I was beginning to have withdrawals from not getting any Facebook posts or blogs from you! Glad to hear that all are safe, and as of now……getting along. I am just wondering……did Ketut start that fire by trying to burn your underpants?!?! Sorry, just trying to lighten the situation.

  151. Trip says:

    Everyone who has ever cruised, knows how devoted the crew is to their passengers..Kudos to Carnival! To say this is a tough situation for all involved, is an understatement, & all that could be done, is being done…safe travlels to all onboard, once they port.

  152. Ellen Schonbach says:

    John, So glad to hear from and know you and everyone is safe. I know some people would think I am nuts but I WIWT with you. I am sure you are doing everything in your power and beyond to make the best of things. God Bless you and all the crew and passengers. Take care. Ellen

  153. Maria Weems says:

    John, It is so good to hear from you !!!! We have all been worried about how things were going for you. Sounds like you are doing a great job under the circumstances, keep up the good work, KUDOS to Carnival everyone is pitching in and doing wonders with this trying situation.

  154. Susan says:

    I’ve missed you on FB, John. Even through challenging times like this, your humor (spelled correctly from VA/USA) shines through! I am sure you make all the difference to many on the Splendor.


  155. Sandra Hussey says:

    Hi John,

    So glad to hear from you and to know that the Splendor with all of you are heading back to CA. I was on the Splendor in 2008 for the Baltic Cruise, and it was a wonderful time. I am sure that the majority of the passengers will just chalk this up as a “bump in the road (ocean)”. Hopefully this time tomorrow everyone will be on land and will have had a hot shower.

    Take care.

  156. Karen Rasnake says:

    Dear John,
    So glad to hear everyone is safe. I saw a picture of your blog thingy on a news story about the ship’s situation. You’re famous now!
    God bless you,

  157. Sally Dagon Head says:

    Aw, John, thank you for the update. Everyone on the Carnival Splendor is in good hands having you as their leader. Keep up the good work, friend. Safe travels to all of you.

    Our thoughts and prayers,
    Rich and Sally

  158. sharon says:

    I was on the carnival splendor 2 weeks ago, and had the best time of my life. I really enjoyed you John and your shows and you made me laugh so hard during that week. All my stress just melted away during that time

    You hang in there and tell everybody on board to hang in there too. We are all thinking of you all.

    Have a safe trip back home, and I know you will make their trip a good one despite the conditions. Your humor will help them through this, and they will have an adventure to remember forever.

    As one of the comedians said on my cruise, there is probably 101 things to do with spam.

  159. Jill Fritz says:

    It’s so great to hear from you John! We are all so glad to hear that you are safe and still have your humor about you!!

  160. Mary C says:

    Great to hear that you and everyone on the Splendor are safe and heading to port.God speed.

  161. John and Lorna Reese says:

    We have been thinking of you especially and all of the crew. We were on the Spendor in July and my boys loved you. Jared called in to your morning show and got him and his brother a Carnival Cruise trophy each. In anycase, we live in San Diego and we LOVE you. You made the trip fun and exciting for our kids. They still talk Dick Little all the time and Randy with the chubby cheeks. We would love to take you out to dinner here when you arrive or even have you at our home for dinner so you can just relax. Truly! We will come and get you. So send us an e-mail and we will send you our contact info.

  162. Donna Bulington says:

    Wow what a week you’ve had. We have sailed with you twice and I know that if it were to happen on one of my cruises I’d want you to be the CD. You’ve had many experiences – bet this is one that could be a book vs a blog! Hope you are getting some rest between all the announcements and hidden moments with some Pop-Tarts.

  163. Marissa Ortiz-Mena says:

    I’m sorry that this did not turn out to be the cruise that everyone expected. I’m from Texas and I know living without AC can be harsh and sandwiches morning, noon and night can become difficult to swallow, but I’m so please to know that everyone is safe. There will be those who feel that this was the “cruise from hell”, but luckly they do not have to remain there, they will be returning safely home. And while spam sandwiches may not be the meal of choice, thanks to Carnival and the Coast Guard they are having meals and albeit a sandwich, no one has to go without eating. These are not the type of conditions that one expects to have when on a crusie vacation, but given the fire and how tragic it could have been….well, kudos to Carnival for training your crew well, because they kept a difficult and unfortunate situation from becoming a tragedy.

    My family and I are booked on theTriumph on 1/15. We will set sail with Carnival knowing that we are in good hands and are traveling with a company who values their guests, care about the cruise experice we have regardless of whether we have an uper level suite or are traveling in an interior cabin on the Riviera deck. We know that when we board a Carnival ship the staff and crew will be welcoming us “home” and Carnival will have our comfort and safety as their top priority.

    John, there are people who will have said that they were on the “Cruise from Hell” even if the Splendor didn’t suffer a fire and had made each port destination on time. But as I remain greatful that everyone is safe, i will pray that thoes that can only see the “awful” in the situation will look around and hold their family tight and think, “this whole expericence could have turned out differently…much worse. I still have my family to hold on to. I still have people to love. I still have the ability to see, and hear and touch and talk. I can walk and run and breath, and I still have all necessary to sit and tell others how blessed I am to be alive to tell the tale of my cruise vacation that for a moment seemed like the cruise from Hell.”

    God Bless John. I know that your girls are greatful to know that you have escaped this unharmed, as am I.

    Mariss Ortiz-Mena

  164. LadyJag (Laura) says:

    What can I say other than I am glad you and everyone on board are safe. In all your history with Carnival, i bet this is definitely a story for the ages.

  165. Carl Rice says:

    Thanks for doing a great job!

  166. Dave says:

    Glad to hear you and the passengers and crew are all ok. They are lucking to have you as a cd during these trying circumstances.

  167. Sandra says:

    Glad to hear that all were ok then to hear that John was the CD on board. I knew that you they were going to be ok as well. You would make the next two day with them.

  168. Bob says:

    It this had to happen I can’t think of a better cruise director to have on the ship than John. Carnival Cruise Lines maybe feeling very unlucky about this whole event but they should be very thankful a cruise director the quality of John is there. He can make things seem a lot better for all.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone but especially the crew of the Carnival Splendor for all you are doing to make everyone feel better and truth is you folks are in the same discomfort too but chose not to complain but do your best to make other feel better.

  169. Rita Thomason says:

    Just a quick note to say that I’m glad you, the crew, and all of the passengers are safe. I’m so happy that Carnival is handling the situation the best way that they can. When life give you “lemons” you need to make “lemonade”.
    Said a prayer for the entire ship full of crew and passengers, and hope you get back to dry land really soon. God Bless, Stay positive. You’ll be able to shower soon…………….

  170. mary & gary says:

    See you in San Diego tomorrow.

  171. Nathan says:

    John I’m so glad to hear from you. Know that my (and the rest of the world’s) hopes and prayers are with you and everyone else aboard the Splendor. I have an enormous respect for you and your crew. Bless you and the entire cruise industry for all you do to keep the millions of people who have traveled on a cruise vacation safe and happy!

  172. Matt Headley says:

    John! I was shocked (or should I have been?) that you are the cruise director on this ill-fated cruise! I’m reconsidering wanting to someday take a cruise with you again, lol! You see, my wife and I were stuck with you for 3 or so extra days in July of 2002, our first cruise, out of Port Canaveral. One of the few hurricanes went up the coast of Florida and we had to go back to Miami and were bussed back to Orlando. I remember being elated at getting another few days out at sea, hearing all the nervous passengers worried about their flights having to be re-scheduled. We were OK for a while and had a lot of extra fun, but we JUST missed our regularly scheduled flight and had to re-schedule a later flight. We also ran out of clothing, but we were able to dock at Cozumel for the second time and there we bought a small box of laundry detergent and did some hand-washing in the sink of our stateroom! We weren’t the only ones stuck out at sea. The night before getting back, we circled off shore of Miami over and over along with a bunch of other cruises. On the way back to the airport on the bus we saw a lot of trees and signs down. The rest stop only had reserve electricity and they were selling whatever sparse stuff they could for absurd amounts of money.

    But John, your humOUR made the extra days at sea so much fun for us! I remember your story of deciding to park your new car under a tree instead of a parking garage and really regretting it! I’m sure the bad conditions were made better by your spirit!

  173. Thanks for all you did for everyone. Carnival always takes care of their guests!

  174. Missy says:

    Thank u John for your update…Our prayers are with you all on the ship..I know it has not been easy, but I know that the crew will go the extra mile to make it okay…I hope that that guests will appreciate the efforts and you all will arrive safely soon. May you all stay calm, peaceful and enlightened to relevance of life and what’s really important….each other. See you soon!!

  175. Robert Fry says:

    To all that read this blog.

    Thank God cruise ships have the capacity to take care of such emergencies. To all those who will say it was a cruise from hell and they will never sail again: Think about it. You are alive to say those words. Enough said? God Bless to All.

  176. Dwayne says:

    Thanks for posting! Thinking of you, the guests and crew.

    Your friend,

  177. Mona says:

    So glad all of you are safe…Love Carnival…The news is making such a big deal…rather than focusing on the heroics of the crew!!!

  178. Tom Knoth says:


    Thanks so much for getting us reserved for Chef’s Table on our Jan 30th cruise on the Splendor. We read more than a few blogs where people are asking for you to give them something when they cruise. But after reviewing your blog for a few weeks we feel tht it is YOU that deserves to get something! Especially after your ordeal this week.

    1) Do you know yet if you will still be on the Splendor for the Jan 30th cruise?

    2) If not, is there an address where people who appreciate you as much as us can send you a gift??

  179. Maurice says:

    Great hearing from you, John.. We are very proud of you and the crew for ensuring the safety of others… With you leading the fleet, I expected nothing less… Can’t wait to hear some of your other stories that im sure you will tell, and I know being hot and having limited laundry Ketut will expect a nice tip… lol.. Talk to you soon…

    your buddy,


  180. Thank you for the update John! We cruised with you last week. What a difference a day can make. Glad everyone is safe. How fortunate to have John Heald as the CD. God bless you all!

  181. CruisinSue says:

    Hi John

    It is great to hear from you at last and knowing everyone is safe. Strange, this is the cruise I had considered before I settled on the Carnival Miracle. I know that the crew and staff are doing everything possible to keep your guests safe and comfortable as possible. Kudos to CCL for all they are doing to compensate the guests. I am sure everyone is tired of sandwiches and water, but it could have been much worse. I am thankful that no one was injured.

    As for the Spam and Crab meat, maybe there could be a new menu item for formal night. It could be called the Carnival Splendor Surf and Turf special. It could consist of Fried Spam and Grilled Crab Meat, followed by a Pop-Tart for Dessert…..LOL

    I just thought I would throw a little humor into it. I am sure all those on board never want to see Spam or Pop Tarts again.
    It is great to hear from you and I am wishing you a safe arrival in San Diego tomorrow. Take care of yourself.

    Gloria aka Sue

  182. Claudia Delgado says:

    I’m glad to hear you and all others are okay. Hang in there. Those passengers are lucky to have during this time. Thank you for making my cruise in SEP 2010, one of a kind.

  183. Patrick Armstrong says:

    good to hear a live update about what is actually happening. I think carnival have been morr than generous with compensation offered, a UK based line would offer anything near.

    can’t wait to hear the positive stories that come from this.

  184. Kara says:

    Thank you very much for taking the time to give us an update. I was quite concerned about you and the rest of the crew. I am very glad to hear you and the passengers and crew are ok.. I’m sure I speak for many in saying that. I had the pleasure of cruising with the Splendor less than 24 hours prior to the fire, and from that experience I know that the passengers and crew are being well taken care of and entertained by you. I’m sure you could use a Fred Flintstone right about now to help you with the entertainment though. ;-)You’re probably so tired.

    Hang in there, and get some rest once you’re ashore!
    (Yes, Kara as in Kara and Travis. 🙂 Thank you very much by the way for the very kind words and for the gift. It meant so much.)

  185. Lazar Linda says:

    My thoughts and prayers are for Splendor Team… let’s pray for them…from the very first moment. God bless you All, I know All Team members been working very hard and i’m so very proud… I’m sure everyone did their best, as we can see the results. Let Housekeeping Team and everyone on board that i’m with you All every minute…and every moment.
    God bless you All with many, many, many days and happiness.

  186. JP Kraus says:

    Hi John,

    It’s wonderful to hear your voice again (so to speak). Reports of the Splendor have even reached the tv news in Holland. They said conditions were “less than optimal”, which is a euphemism for klote (you know that word, right? If not, ask Heidi.)

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You and the team are doing a heck of a job out there! And that’s on a normal cruise! This sailing, you’ve rising above and beyond and you should all be commended. So, smoke if you got ’em, enjoy the cold cuts and get home safe.

    JP Kraus (The Hague, Holland)

  187. Andreas Goedde says:

    Hi John,
    We just learned that you are on the Splendor. What on earth are you doing there? We thought you’d be working only European cruises. Well, we are happy to know that you and everyone else is safe.
    Poor Splendor… she has some stories to tell. We were there for may of them. The passenger muggings in Fortaleza, the old timers kicking off on the way to San Francisco, the fender bender in Puerto Vallerta, and the captain’s illness 12 hours out of Cabo. But we were also there when she got a fire boat spray reception in Vigo and when she parked next to that floating beer barrel, the Aidabella in LeHavre — all great experiences to be sure.
    When everything is said and done, a million guests will have fond memories of the Splendor and people like you. Take good care. Our bests to Heidi.

  188. Marsha Breen says:

    John – please make sure to take care of yourself through all of this! If this kind of an accident hand to happen, it’s a blessing that you were on the ship to keep everyone going. You are such a pro and I’m sure Carnival is thanking their lucky stars that you were the CD during this event!

  189. Beth Flynn says:


    *glad to have you back* 🙂 missed you

  190. Carl Froehlich says:

    I cruised the Caribean back in ’03 aboard Carnival’s Triumph Fun Ship. John Heald was the Cruise Director. Based on my experience, The passengers on board The Splendor have THE MAN to keep morale high during this trying ordeal. Best of luck to all aboard!

  191. Canuck Cruiser says:

    Hey John,

    By now you should be back in San Diego. Hope all passengers and crew are safe and healthy. I know this must have been a very stressful and trying time aboard the SPLENDOR but try to see the positives that may come out of this dilemma. You will have topics for blogs for weeks.
    I couldn’t get that stupid Monty Python “SPAM ” song out of my head as I watched the coast guard loading the pallets of supplies onto the helicopters. I believe that Carnival acted quickly and concisely in spelling out how the guest would be compensated. Well done!
    Despite this ……….I’m sure there will be the few who will try to get even more because they will claim that they were traumatized by the situation. Let the men with beards deal with them John and concentrate on moving forward and getting back into the swing of being the best CD in the fleet. We all support you and maybe with the SPLENDOR in dry dock for a while you could go home for a week or so. Would mean flying …..but Heidi and Kye are certainly worth it. Right?

    Keep a stiff upper lip ( as you Brits are famous for saying) my friend and know that all will be fine soon.

    Your friends from Stratford ( in Canada)


  192. Sharon Dover says:

    This could have happended on any cruise line;
    Carnival is an excellent company and yes as one blogger put it, the passengers on board the SPlendor are indeed lucky to have John as the CD. We have sailed on the Splendor and many other cruises with John and look forward to seeing you in June on the Magic.

  193. dwa76 says:

    Great to hear from you John!!
    Been thinking about you and everyone onboard.
    Glad to hear that spirits are up all things considered.
    Good luck getting back to normal and looking forward to hearing more.
    Sorry that everyone had to go through this ordeal. Truly a fluke incident since you never hear about these things happening.
    Take care,

  194. Faye Marrocca says:

    Dear John: We have been on three Carnival cruises and you were CD on two of them. I’m sure your up-beat attitude did a lot to keep everyone calm in a bad situation. My husband and I have traveled a great deal over the years and were caught in Europe when the 9/11 incident occured. People only need to remain calm and patient. I would not hesitate a moment to sail on any Carnival ship in the future, from all I have heard the crew and the company have been wonderful through all this.

  195. Diane says:

    Good to hear from you. I just wanted to say that I am still looking forward to my cruise in 114 days on the SPLENDOR!!!

  196. William Simmons says:

    This just goes to show how inferior carnival is. The beautiful mariner of the seas gave the not so splendid a nice honk as she sailed by her offering far superior accommodations than CCL can’t offer given a working vessel. Way to already cover for the pax who might bad mouth carnival – you’ve been in the industry of lies many years and one thing you haven’t learned – “the customer is always right” should be a nice carnival commercial out of SD harbor; the world will be watching.

  197. Josette says:

    So sorry for you and the 4500 guests and crew.

    The Splendor is front page news here in Houston and on national TV. DH is taping every bit of coverage while I am at work so I can watch the towing of this beautiful ship and anything mentioned when I get home from work.

    I have to say that I am impressed with your great sense of humour (spelled correctly)! I am sure everyone is counting on your every breath and your next friendly public address.

    In this blog, you reminded me of a time, in the 70s when we went to Paris… we were in our late 20s then and we took this tour of the “egouts de Paris”…the sewers of Paris for about 50 cents.

    When I got out of there, my hair, my clothes and my husband just stunk like…well…Paris on a hot summer day!

    Keep up the spirit and the announcements! It will all be over tonight and then you get to be home with the family for a week at least.

    Seriously, you will think we are crazy/adventurous but we wish we were there with you to share this experience. I could live on stale bread, cheese and a little (or a lot of) red wine to dunk it in.

  198. Lanie (TexasCruzrs) says:

    John, as others have said, we’re so glad that everyone is o.k. I believe that God put you in the right place at the right time. We’ve sailed with many CD’s, but if I were put in an emergency situation……I would hope that you were with us. We are all very proud of you and the crew. God bless.

  199. Jan Holle says:

    Hi John,

    Glad to hear you and everyone onboard is safe and closer to home. We had just got off the Splendor on Sunday, November 7, 2010 narrowly avoiding the difficult time you and the passengers are experiencing now. I can still remember all of their faces anxiously awaiting to board as we were leaving the ship. I must say we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise the week prior and hope the passengers will be able to do the same on a future cruise. Kudos to you and the crew for doing everything possible to get your passengers through this difficult time. Can’t wait to hear about your experiences over the last few days. I hope a break for you is in store. Take care.

  200. Janey - (OKGIRL) says:


    Welcome home and I’m glad everyone is safe and being cared for. I can’t imagine how stressful this must have been for everyone, guests and crew alike.

    I’m so very proud of everyone at Carnival and the care that they have shown the guests this week. Hopefully during the time that it will take for the ship to be repaired you and the crew can have a more than deserved holiday.

    All my best to you and the superb crew of the Carnival Splendor.

  201. ronsmoak says:

    Hi John,
    We are all so glad all are safe. As my Grandmother always said, this too shall pass. DW and I sailed with you years ago on the Destiny and I have to say after 12 more cruises on two other lines since then, We still laugh at our experiences with you and your Bedtime Story. Those folks aboard, while under very trying circumstances, have no idea how bad it could have been without you aboard.

    Take care and we hope to sail with you again sometime.

  202. Caroldlr says:

    John, wow I feel so much better now that you have blogged. We miss you and thank you for all you do. Prayers and thoughts are still with you, the crew and the passengers.

  203. Big Ed says:

    I think we will need to do a pool to see who can guess how many different interviews John will be asked to do for TV.

    BIG Ed

    • Mary Fairbanks says:

      Watching you come into our lovely harbor in San Diego right now on T.V. There will be a Veterans Day parade at 11 a.m. downtown one block over, pretend it is just for you…lol..hope to hear from you soon

  204. Patty Byrd says:

    So happy that you’re all safe. What an adventure! This is when you’re happy you sprung for a balcony or oceanview and not an interior cave, eeerrrr, I mean cabin! Too dark for my taste.
    Patty and Rich

  205. Donna says:

    If the ship I’m on ever gets stranded, and if it does, it does, I simply hope that John’s on board. (Sorry to wish that on you, John, but….for those of us who have met you and experienced your passion and you simply being you, I’m sure we’d all agree.) Looking forward to being back on ship in ten days!

  206. Jake says:

    John, excellent blog and great job keeping everyone up-to-speed.

    glad everyone is safe and ok.

  207. Jeffrey M says:

    Good job John!
    I know you and the crew are doing all you can. I just sailed on the Fascination for the 2nd time a couple weeks ago and I know that Carnival is doing everything possible. I feel priviledged in having met you on the Liberty when I sailed on her in 2006 in Europe. Keep up the blogs!

  208. leah blickensderfer says:

    I am so glad all is well with everybody on board. It just a testement to all of Carnival and its wonderful crew. we have been on 4 Cruises with Carnival even got married on the Victory. we have a cruise booked for Feb on Splendor and can’t wait.

    luck to everyone on board

  209. Pingback: Carnival Splendor -- Carnival tweets, cruise director blogs | Tnooz

  210. David Davison says:

    Keep up the good work John. If anyone can keep peoples spirits up, you can John. There are always going to be haters. Throw those underpants at them and move on!

  211. Suzanne Hope says:

    Dear John, I’m so glad that you all made it through this experience intact. I’m sure it was hellish but the truly important thing is that no one was hurt. Someday, most of the people on the ship will laugh about it and tell it as a funny story at a cocktail party. That may be a ways off yet, but it’ll get there :).

    Glad you’re back. Check into a hotel, get a shower, a not meal and some sleep. I’m sure you’ve more than earned them.


  212. Bill Heck says:

    Hello John, Please Reply

    First of all, Carnival is making the right choices to minimize the negative aspects of the fire, well done.

    I was wondering what is done about the guests that have medical needs involving electricity. Some require CPAP machines when they sleep, and some have oxygen concentrators that have to be recharged periodically,

    It is puzzling to me that this fire should occur so soon after the Coast Guard inspection, Perhaps there is some procedure that needs to be corrected as far as the emergency shut down of the power or whatever was done that left the elevators not working during part of your embarkation on Sunday.

    It is Thursday, November 11, and we hope today will see the ship safely docked and the passengers getting some hot food and showers on shore.

    Hope you get some clean underpants! Carry on!

    Your Friend

    Bill Heck

  213. alex says:

    Glad to hear from you John. We’ve all been following the updates on the situation. So glad that no one was hurt and you all seem to be coping admirably, do let me know what the galley staff managed with the spam. (cue monty python-esque singing) Of course there will be guests who had the cruise from hell, but I think there will be more who make friendships for life having all been in such an intense situation together.
    We look forward to hearing from you once you are all back on dry land. Take care and stay safe,
    The CunardCritic team.

  214. Liznphil says:

    What and adventure !! Had I been on that ship I would be happy for every moment ! Just think of the bragging rights…and all for FREE !!
    Good to hear from you John, take care of yourself as you have been taking care of all the others on that ship

  215. Ruth Jamison says:

    John Glad to get a message from you. You have been in our thoughts. Hang in there.

  216. Wendy Wilson says:

    If I were going to be stranded on a cruise ship for 4 days, I can’t imagine a better cruise director to be on that ship than John Heald. It was fate that you were on that ship John to lead the team and the passengers to make the best of a bad situation. It will be a loss to lose the Splendor as it is repaired, but this event will not deter those of us who are loyal to Carnival and loyal cruisers to stop cruising. Accidents happen. but you may want to have a priest come on board and bless the Splendor before she sails again! Amen!

    Praises to your crew and the Lord that everyone is alive and well. that is all that matters.

  217. Y.R says:

    “I don’t smell of roses at the best of times but as the laundry is not working and I only have two pairs of underpants I smell like Paris on a hot summer’s day………that’s Paris the city not Paris the …….person.”

    Your snide remark about Paris is both vulgar and ridiculous. Paris has a lot more appeal and class than your crude humor.

  218. C&J says:

    Glad all is well with you, the passengers and the crew. We just got back on 11/7 our first cruise on the Splendor and we absolutely loved it!! The crew really made our trip better. Looking forward to your updates and to cruising with you and Carnival soon!

  219. Hi John,

    Just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you and everyone on-board and sending love! My husband & I have sailed with Carnival several times – and you guys are our faves, hands-down. I have no doubt that all the staff are doing the absolute best they can (which to my amazement, always exceeds expectations!).

    Sending you support and cheers from Minneapolis!


  220. Gary B says:

    Hi, John,
    We are very thankful that everyone is safe. The crews on Carnival truly exceed all expectations, and I have no doubt that they worked tirelessly to make a harrowing time more comfortable for all. Thanks to you and all of them for making the cruise experience cherished moments of a lifetime.

  221. Good to hear from you John. As a Travel Agent I have been following this story since it first broke on Monday morning. I can’t even begin to fathom what all these people have gone thru. I agree that the most important thing to remember is that the passengers and crew are safe and that Carnival is doing it’s best to take care of everything. It really could have been alot worse. John I’m glad you are ok and I will be looking forward to seeing more of your blog’s on what happened in the upcoming days. BTW I would have Ketut burn those underpants!

  222. Michele and Matt Richards says:

    We feel like the Splendor is our second home..We love that ship and the crew is fabulous..We were just on it the week of 10/10/10 and had the time of our lives!! Our daughter and her best friend wanted to know how Tyler Bubba Lou was doing..Lizzie and Kenzie had the time of their lives also!!! You were hilarious..always taking care of us through challenging times on that particular cruise and also hilarious times when that honeymoon couple had their jeep submerged in the Mazatlan…..We know you are doing your best to take care of the people…My daughter said she wished she was on the cruise so she could have had a free cruise…We hope to be back in October again!! We love the Splendor…we hope those visitors go back to experience and have the sensational time we had!!

  223. Timoneer says:

    John, you and Carnival are doing a wonderful job under difficult circumstances. I don’t see how passengers can have many valid complaints – accidents happen. And they get their money back, a free future cruise, and an adventure story to tell family and friends for years to come.

  224. Diana Fry says:

    My friend who is going on a Carnival cruise with me in February to celebrate her retirement responded with the following when told about the Carnival Splendor’s troubles:

    “I am not worried. Think how limited life would be if we never did anything because we were afraid we would have to be towed home.”

    Yes…I LOVE her : )

  225. Jan "Peaches" Silvius says:

    Thanks again for the update John! Was wondering about the crew being compensated for the no tips and the extra-ordinary service that they must be performing for the passengers? It must be hell for the large crew and I am sure that CCL will help them. They go above par in every day service, and this must be terrible for them.
    I know this is an odd question, but I always worry that the crew is taken care of. Silly of me, I know, but after all of these cruises, you get personally involved with the wonderful people that go out of their way to make you vacation a wonderful experience.
    I have faith in my one and only cruise line (granted, I strayed a few times, but common sense slapped me upside the head) that they are doing the right thing.
    Sorry for the rambling, it just struck me last night that it’s not just the passengers suffering through this. Although I hope they look on it as an adventure!

  226. Andy says:

    Hello John, I’ve lurked in your blog but never really posted. I’m a 4 time Carnival cruiser (all from New Orleans since I live in the New Orleans suburbs) and I know that the passengers are in good hands with you as the CD. If I was on board this cruise, I would have thought about what the once trapped Chilean miners had to go through and know that it’s just a very big inconvenience.

    Take care.

  227. Steve says:

    Nine months from now when newborns are named “John”, “Splendor” and “Aircraft Carrier” we will know what the passengers did to pass the time in the dark.

  228. Karen says:

    The emp on a cruise ship have a very hard job…. I do hope the People on the Ship give Carnival another try…. You do a very good job… That has to be a very trying time out a sea…. We have been on 4cruises with you and will go again…. Glad everyone is safe…

  229. Donna Gregory says:

    John, it is so wonderful hearing from you! I hope you and everyone else on board are able to have a shower, a hot meal, and find some much needed PEACE today.

    We’re hearing the things Carnival’s doing to help the Splendor’s guests, but we haven’t heard about the Splendor’s crew (other than the fine job everyone’s doing in reassuring and taking care of the guests). As a crew, you guys have been through so much lately. You all work so very hard every single day even without the stress of the dramas of late. I can only imagine how much harder your jobs have become in recent weeks, especially this week. I know the next cruise has been cancelled. I hope this allows you and the crew to take some time off to de-stress, breathe, and heal.

    I also know Heidi must be worried sick about you. All I can say is you should let Heidi know you and everyone on the Splendor have been in so many people’s prayers worldwide, and that energy has surrounded you like a safety blanket. I hope she can find some comfort in this.

    Finally, and I apologize for this already too-long comment, but I wanted to say that my sisters and I are cruising on the Conquest on December 12. As the Splendor’s made the news, I’ve had so many people this week ask me the following questions:

    a) “Is this your ship?”
    b) “Are you worried?” and
    c) “Wow, you’re still going?”

    My answers are:

    a) It’s not my ship, but she has a fabulous cruise director who I know is taking the best care of his guests that he can!
    b) I’m absolutely not worried!
    c) Of course I’m still going! Are you nuts? Why would I not?!

    I’ve then explained to these inquiring minds that Carnival has shown the utmost concern and care about the Splendor’s guests, and that I trust Carnival completely.

    Ever the deep thinking philosophy major (because that degree is so marketable), I paused about the third time I told someone I trust Carnival. I trust Carnival. What does this mean?

    The Splendor’s incident has made me realize the depth of my trust in Carnival Cruise Lines. We, as guests, don’t even think about the great faith we place in Carnival when we put our families, friends, and ourselves in your hands. We entrust Carnival with our most precious assets–our lives and the lives of our loved ones–and we do so without hesitation.

    But there is a flip side to this. I’ve also come to know this week that Carnival takes this trust very seriously. Behind all the the excitement of talking with my PVP, eating my way through the ship, the fun and games, and my near obsessive pursuit of a ship-on-a-stick, there is an army of people I will never know, both aboard ship and on land, who are working diligently and respectfully to ensure all of us are safe at sea.

    I am humbled by this. And I am so very, very grateful.

    Thank you, John and crew, for a job well done. And thank you, unsung heroes of Carnival, for going to extreme measures to keep us safe and for doing it in such a way that we don’t even realize it. You are all so very, very wonderful.

    With sincere and humble gratitude,

    P.S. Thank you to the Stephanies, too, for updating the blog and keeping us apprised while John was out of pocket! You (both collectively and individually) are awesome!

  230. Mark Rosenthal says:

    Good morning,

    My best to all the crew who probably have been working 24 hours a day to make the guests feel as comfortable as possible during these trying times. It is good to hear from you as I know we all were worried about everybody onboard. I see your now in SD and hopefully the guests will be able to leave shortly and then it’s back to Long Beach for repairs. The best to you and all your crew family.

  231. Tom & Jane says:

    hi john

    we are sailing on the Freedom 02/06/2011

    I hope we have “Lobster Nite” & not “Spam Nite”

    we guess you will glad when the ship gets

    to San Diego !!!!

    hang in there buddy,,,,,,,,,,

    tom & jane

  232. we have been following via internet, watching and praying to all on ship, keep up the amazing work!

  233. Louis says:


    W E L C O M E H O M E !!!!!!

  234. Crazy cajun says:

    Spot On job by everyone from the capitan on down the chain.
    John , I believe your new name from here on out
    is and forever should be SMOKEY!
    P.S. It wasn’t all bad, You could have had the nutty professor on board this week instead of last!

  235. Jake Geffre says:


    I am glad that everyone is safe, that is the number 1 thing. So much for a calm week! Take care.


  236. Paula Whiting says:

    we were on the cruise 2 weeks before, the 17th – 24th of October… and my heart sunk hearing about this. #1, glad it was not me, but #2 concerned for everybody on board as it could so easily have been us! John, you are an amazing man… your humor surpasses most, and now you have something else to share in your shows! you’ll be pulling from this experience for years to come!! Thank you so much for being you, and hope to find you on another cruise sometime in the future. We will be back!!

  237. Kathie (kaperino) says:

    Can think of no one I would rather be stuck with on that vast ocean.,,, except maybe….. No. Can’t think. Stay safe. Come home soon!! Love & prayers to you!

  238. Chris Smith says:

    My family and I were on the previous cruise. We had a wonderful time. The professionalism of the staff and crew were obvious and comforting. The ship is amazing and it breaks my hear to see this happen to such a great company. As for my family and I, well we can’t wait for the next cruise! And John, I want to extend a personal thanks to you! You made our voyage extra special, all thirty-six of us!

  239. Angie H says:

    If I was on this ship, I would have felt lucky to have you as the CD. Have been on 15 sailings with Carnival and you have been CD on two of them! Most recent was the innaugural cruise back to Aruba on October 16, 2010 with Malcolm CD and he was ALMOST as much fun as you! Anyway, I am sure there is going to be a lot of negative to come from passengers who had to go through this experience but it will not taint my feelings about Carnival and the great things this company does. Hopefully these people will all be able to see the brighter side of this experience and give Carnival the chance they deserve in the future.

  240. Tammy Butikofer says:

    If I were stuck on a cruise ship I would want John as our cruise director! HE’S THE BEST!!! Glad to hear everyone is safe!! Hang in there John…Soon this will all be over with!

    Mary’s sister… Tammy (Carnival Dream 2009)

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  242. Michelle Meyer says:

    Hi John
    So relieved for those passengers when we found out that you were the director. We were with you on the Dream in February. I’ve been dealing with cancer for several years and a cruise was on my “bucket list”. I was so glad that the one I chose was one with you!
    You were nothing but kind and…uh..entertaining. lol (hope the bruises from Mary healed But I will repeat what so many have said on this blog. People need some perspective. Yes, I am sure the non working toilets and laundry would push up the anxiety level, if not the aroma, but really people ? You are safe and being fed. There are people in this world who don’t know if they are going to live or die as they fight diseases. There are parents who don’t know if their children are dead or just missing. These same news crews that like to report on the “cruise from hell” are also the ones that should know that there are much , much worse things that happen in this world than a little SPAM. They like to show it to us every night, but are now conveniently forgetting about them ? I went through 12 hours of surgery and chemo and months of recovery to hope to have a chance to live beyond 43 years old. Some people in this world need to suck it up and put their big girl panties on. Get a grip. Inconvenient ? Yes , most assuredly. End of the world …most definitely not. And yes, John, I am hoping to be around for another cruise, and yes I will pick Carnival again, and I will look for a cruise with you as the director. You take care !!

  243. Alex G. says:


    I am glad to hear that everything’s ok and that the Carnival Splendor arrived safely in San Diego! I can’t imagine the workload the crew has right now, but I applaud each and every one of you. I hope you get to enjoy a nice warm dinner. Take care and give everyone my best!

    Alex G.

  244. Maria Morales says:

    Hi John,
    You’re a great CD! Crews that I had met during the time I was there few months ago were really great, made sure that their clients were well taken cared of.

    I know that some of those crews are in their 2-month vacation right now, but glad to hear that everyone’s fine.

    BTW, the cruise that I had taken was my first and hopefully not be the last…looking forward to do it again in the future!

    Take care & give my regards to the rest of the crew!

    Maria Morales
    Splendor-Aug15-22, 2010

  245. Tom says:

    I hate to be negative but I’ve been to Paris in the summer and your odoriferous comparison is unfounded. Insulting a world class city that (generally) does not smell even in the summer is slightly out of line. One or two Metro cars might get a bit whiffy, though.

    Following up on your sandwiches comment, perhaps this might have made a nice theme song for the difficult voyage:

  246. Ellen T Horan says:

    Hi John,
    Thank God, all is well and you are safely docked in California.

    It was amazing to see the tug boats pulling that enormous ship.

    This is one cruise in which no one gained any weight.LOL

    The passengers were very luck to have you as CD. I am sure you kept them laughing.

    As always Carnival showed what a great cruise line they are, their passengers are always number 1.

    Hopefully you will get a chance to relax for a few days.
    Ellen Horan

  247. Splendor says:

    Glad that all are ok. Waiting to read your account. Linda

  248. Bob says:

    The person who made the comment on RCL Mariner of the Seas,,,,,,,,,,,well I have been on it several times and been on RCL overall 15+ times and Carnival 25+ times. I don’t rate one above the other each has its own thing. RCL is a bit more this or CCL is a bit more that,,,,,,,,etc. To me I would not pass up a cruise on either that was affordable.

    BUT if this situation had to happen and drifting at sea for several days we can’t think of a better CD to take our minds off of the current and try and have a good time than John.

    I bet too the entire CCL crew on the ship was the same professional and dedicated folks we have all known…..and lets face it they faced the same and maybe more hardship than the guests on board. Bet you didn’t find a crew member sitting around and feeling sorry for themselves either. Hats off to all those CCL crew.

  249. Robyn says:

    So glad you made it back safe and sound. I am sure Heidi is thrilled. I am sorry your journey was so rough. Thank You for everything you did for everyone. You are truly a special person. Godspeed, Robyn

  250. Rena says:

    YAY!! you guys got back to Long Beach this morning!!! hope all is well… Big HUGS… Rena

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  252. NYT Observer says:

    Interesting the way the New York Times reported on this event :

  253. Kathy Smith says:

    John, not sure if you remember me but I was “your favorite” on the Halloween cruise. I am so sorry about the mishap this week but I am sure you and your crew have made the guests feel as comfortable as humanly possible. I have been on several cruises and have to say that this last cruise with you and your crew had to be the best. Carnival really knows how to put on a show, we loved it, all 36 of us in our party. Good luck on ship repairs and smooth sailing in the future.

    Kathy Smith

  254. M@tt says:

    John, we were on the Splendor – and if it wasn’t for you, we would have jumped overboard holding our sandwhiches. You made life good again.

    I will never look at a cheese sandwhich the same way again. Or you in a thong.

    Honeymoon Cruise ’10 (and soon to be ’11).

  255. John,
    I know that the past week has been horrible for all the crew, but I just want to say that I am the wife of the guy who went to the bathroom during your show on the trip before this one. I wanted to tell you before we left t he ship, but couldn’t find you. My husband and I have gone on several cruises and you are by far the best cruise director we’ve ever had. You made the cruise for us. It was great.

  256. Frankie Ford says:

    As a former Cruise Director for over 15 years with 20 years at sea total, my heart dropped when I heard the news of the ship dead at sea. Having experienced a myriad of issues during my tenure, nothing compared to the “challenges” you faced on this voyage. Although discouraging, disappointing and I am sure very frustrating, I am encouraged but not surprised to know that the majority of the passengers accepted the unfortunate circumstances and made the best out of a bad situation. We leave home to experience a new adventure and sophisticated travelers recognize and adapt when the experience they expected is not always what is received, due to circumstances beyond their control. It appears you handled this “challenge” with great confidence and much needed humor. Congratulations to you, the Master and all of the ship’s company and may this soon become a colorful memory in your book of Life at Sea.

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  258. Charlie Seng says:

    From reading these posts, it is apparent the feeling from the poster’s comments that they strongly support the cruise line and workers. However, while needing to support the crew, I saw not one word of criticism, questioning or demands for explanation of the fire that cause this tragedy. Granted, until a full investigation is done, full details will not be forthcoming, but in all honesty, with a ship costing millions if not billions of dollars, surely there could and should have been backup systems and some kind of emergency food supplies in case of this type of tragedy. Second, what kind of cruise line doesn’t have systems in place in case of a fire? Here, I speak of some kind of quick release water hoses and second, why didn’t the ship have a duplicate control system to take over in case of just this type of disaster? Without unnecessarily blaming the cruise line for unavoidable tragedy, still you cannot have a ship carrying this many passengers that is unprepared for just this type of thing, This easily could have been worse than the Titanic without the supreme efforts of the crew.

  259. fran evans says:

    hello john, I was on a cruise when we heard the news it was not carnival but another line and I just want to tell you I would have prefered to be stuck on the splender then the the 13 days I was on this cruise it was 80% european pax who did not speak any english who were rude and pushy and all over the age of 70 with walkers and scooters, I would have traded that for cruise for anything, we spent more time in the cabin then out to avoid them and there were really not activties for the younger people not like carnival I must say, the only good thing I can say was the crew and shows were great but that will not convence me to ever cruise with them again I will return to carnival next cruise!! hope all is well and soon things will be back to normal

  260. Lidia says:

    Hi John

    Welcome back. Glad to hear from you.. I was very worried about you… Was checking the TV to see if I saw you…
    I know these last few days have not been easy for you and the crew.. I know you all tried your best to make the best of a terrible situation..
    I knew that with you as the cruise director onboard that every passenger was well taken care of and well informed and entertained during the difficult ordeal.

    If I ever had to get stuck on a ship with no power I would want you as the cruise director. I know that I would of been well informed daily, taken care of and entertained daily & kept busy and happy as you did for the passengers onboard the Splendor…

    Your happy smile and humor everyday on the PA can cheer up anyone during any difficult times. That is what makes you the best cruise director….

    I applaud you and the crew for a great job….

    Get plenty of rest now you need it……
    I am glad that everyone on aboard are all OK..

    Take care of yourself and can’t wait to hear from you again..


  261. Paul says:

    Great job, John.
    I’ve done one cruise in my entire life and you were the cruise director. When I heard about the Splendor situation I thought that will be a tough job for the cruise director but thought John ought to be there! If I were on the Spendor I definitely owuld have wanted you there to keep me laughing, as you always do.

  262. Kim Stewart says:

    Just want to say a quick thank you to John Heald and the entire staff of the Splendor for doing an outstanding job during our crisis at sea. Your humor kept us laughing John, but honestly I’m not missing the early morning announcements here at home. We’re looking forward to our next Carnival cruise with hot delicious food, nice hot showers and all of our ports of call! Thanks again!

  263. Miriam says:

    We are scheduled for a 9 day cruise on the Spirit in January. We are looking forward to meeting you, John, and are sure it will be a memorable voyage. Hopefully there won’t be any more fires. 🙂 Although it looks like the cruisers on the last run were well compensated for any inconveniences.

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  265. Mitch Melfi says:

    You got a bad draw with that engine fire but it was handled well and no one was hurt or starved. I read the NY Times article and was laughing at the passenger comments. It’s amazing how people can make the situation sound so horrible. There are people dying and starving everyday in the world and then there is a bold American complaining about the toils of being a vegetarian and how he did not get extra fruit. I would use your free vouchers any day. Keep up the good work!

  266. Aaron says:

    With all due respect to the crew (who are just working there), the complaints from passengers of enormous hardship are simply mindblowing. In a world where many Americans (forget about those in 3rd world countries) don’t have safe drinking water or shelter, these people talk about how they had to sit by the pool but couldn’t go in, or how they had to eat cold food. Oh GOD! How HORRIBLE.
    Sorry but my heart bleeds purple kool-aid. There are thousands of people who are poor enough that they would relish the opportunity to live in a safe bunk, with plenty of free cold food, and then get a reimbursement and cruise voucher on top of that.
    People you don’t know how good you’ve got it.

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  268. Mike Lewis says:

    One of the great sea stories.
    I can’t wait for the next installment.
    Best Wishes

  269. BrendaAgain says:

    I love how the people in the photos are mostly smiling in spite of it all. Ok, not so much on the bridge, but the other ones are. Thanks for posting all these pics.

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  272. andy kennedy says:

    Hi John, I’m Malcolm Kennedy’s (former Carnival Cruise Director) brother. I’m trying to contact anyone who may have access to any video footage of any of Malcolm’s stage shows on board. I would be delighted to hear from you if you can help.
    All the Best
    Andy Kennedy

  273. Freddie says:

    Hi John, just wondering if Carnival was planning a 10 year anniversary cruise on the Triumph for 9/11. We where on that cruise with you, sad, but a speial time and memories for all on board. Thanks Freddie & Tess, remember us?

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  275. Lucretia says:

    Please sign my husband and I up for the Chefs table May 23 2011 0n the Ecstasy He is in a wheelchair and I am a travel Partner with Carnival. I am so excited to be a part of the chefs table group.

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  277. Carol Hoefs says:

    Hi John, My husband and I will be doing a back to back cruise on the Destiny in October. We have done The Chef’s Table on two previuos cruises and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was wondering if you could get us signed up for The Chef’s on the Destiny. Our sail date is October 17th, Booking #897GF3, and Cabin #7194.
    I appreciate your help with this.
    This will our 10th & 11th cruises with Carnival. We are looking forward to the experience of back to back cruises.

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  279. The real thing is it’s nice to hear that all crews are safe. Maybe because of proper training.

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