I Am Definitely Not a Dancing Queen

March 21, 2011 -

John Heald

Let me get this over with at the start of today’s blog and I say this with apologies to the many, many Abba fan’s out there, especially my friend Mr Bentley. But my night at the theatre watching Mamma sodding Mia was bloody awful. I was there because of my hippopotamus sized gob (www.urbandictionary.com for the word gob) that in a moment of weakness and a promise of rumpy pumpy I had told Heidi that I would indeed go to the theatre with her. We then had rumpy pumpy and three minutes later when it was over, so too was the memory of my promise.

But Heidi had not forgotten and a few weeks ago she told me she had, without warning, paid for 2 tickets to see Mama Mia in London and that the tickets were expensive and non refundable.

And that was me then………on my way to London to pay outrageous prices to park the car and to sit on an uncomfortable chair listening to a bunch of thespians burst into song for absolutely no reason.

I dislike musicals as much as I dislike explosive diarrhea or the LA Lakers. The Sound of Music could have been a good film but it was ruined by Julie Andrews running around on a hillside taking 20 minutes to sing what could have been said in five minutes with by hiding a machine gun under her habit and just as she started singing “The Hills Are Alive” she would whip it out and shooting the Nazis dead. Now that would have been a great movie. We have to watch it every Christmas in the Heald household, it’s the law. God I hate that film and I am sure those smiling perfectly teethed Von Trapp children are the great grandparents of the little buggers I have to watch every day with Barney.

The difference with a movie to a live show at the theatre is that they are worse, much worse because the actors are actually there, and good manners means you can’t fall asleep or use your Raspberry……..although I did use it to post something quickly on Facebook and got daggers from Heidi and the lady on the other side of me looked at me as though I had just whipped my gentlemen’s sausage out and was dipping it in her popcorn.

I have to admit that I had read what many of you had written on Facebook. You had all said things like “It’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be. You will enjoy it John, it’s fun.”

I consoled myself with these thoughts as I drove the Polar Bear killing machine to London, paid the same as a 3 day cruise on the Carnival Imagination for a parking space and headed listlessly, like a Frenchman into the shower to the theatre.

Yes, there was a surprise in store because…….it was indeed, just as bad as I’d feared and in places it was whole lot bloody worse. I don’t see the point of the story at all. A woman had massive amounts of rumpy pumpy with three men now the daughter was determined to find out which one was her dad. I wanted to stand up and shout “Go on Jerry Springer and get a DNA test done, love, and spare us the misery.” But she has never met her Dad in much the same way it seems that her Mother’s legs have never met.

I was so bored. Yes there are loads of Abba songs and yes the rest of the 1,000 people in the theatre seemed to love it and stood up at the end. But why? There are no jet fighters. Maybe I would have given it a standing ovation if one of the people on stage while singing Waterloo got his arm stuck in his guitar and had to cut it off with a pen knife. I maybe would have stood up if while in the middle of Gimmee Gimme Gimme a Latvian girl enters stage left and does indeed give it to him right there and then. None of this happens. This, then, is a production aimed exclusively at women, metro sexuals and my friend Mr. Bentley.

Oh and it’s a dangerous place as well the theatre you know. Because during the singing of Volez Vous the old lady next to me stood up and started bouncing up and down in time to the music and as she bounced……….that piece of meat that hung down from under her arm would slap me round the side of my head. Then she sat down half way through, exhausted from all that flapping and just as I thought my ordeal was over her huge thighs started banging into my leg in time to Dancing Queen.

So my review of the show is this. If you have breasts and like Swedish pop music then this show is for you. If you have an Adam’s apple…………..go see a Jerry Bruckheimer film.

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

Marcus H Asked:

We recently were on the Carnival Dream where because the Captain could not get into the port of Roatan we had to spend a hellish day at sea and all we got back was a pathetic $20. The sun was shining and the sea was calm so why didn’t we dock. The Royal Caribbean ship made it into port ok but because Carnival wanted to make money in the casino we all got screwed. What kind of BS is this!

John Says:
Hello Marcus H,

Not a very happy way to start our Q and A today is it and I am so very sorry that you are so upset. I realise that you are disappointed in not being able to call at Roatan, however, please understand that cancelling this destination was done in the interest of your safety and because of the high winds it meant that calling at the island simply was not an option as there must have been a genuine risk involved. Now when this happens Carnival strives to provide guests with an alternate port of call. However, since we were unable to find a substitute port, you were provided with a $20 missed port credit as per company policy. As for the Royal Caribbean ship, well I do know that she was docked in a completely different area of Isla Roatan but what her Captain decides to do and not do is not for me to comment. All I can do is apologise and hope you had a great cruise.

But hold on…….I have to say that I was astonished by your use of the phrase “hellish day at sea” which respectfully is nonsense…….pure and utter nonsense. A hellish day at sea ……….. mmmmm ……… great food, fun, entertainment and all the iconic features that we have onboard……. sorry mate ……..but while I am truly sorry we missed the port and I totally understand your disappointment……….to suggest that we did this on purpose to make money in the casino or that your day onboard was hellish. Well that is something that is beyond ridiculous.

Best wishes,


Nick Howell Asked:
Hello John, Please Reply,

I have a comment, and potentially something that you may conduct a Facebook survey for. I have had the Carnival Mastercard for about 2 years, and from day 1 Barclay’s has been a joke. Do you think the senior beards would ever consider changing banks? Here is my story.. Day one applied on board, and only received a lower 5,000 credit limit….I promise I am not a snob…LOL But I can be proud of excellent credit, and kind of expected more…anyways whatever, I’ll take it, and I did…I am mostly interested in the points.. Well I just use the card for Carnival related stuff as I can get triple points… Well last April I had a payment that missed the online cut off, and was posted the next day (a day late) well this triggered a crazy 30% interest…and although Barclay’s removed the late fee, they didn’t do anything on my interest…I paid it off and so it sat.. a few months later in Sept it returned to the normal APR…well late December it went back up to the 30% not having missed a payment or anything, and still having excellent credit called and was told that when it reduced it was an accident, that it should have remained at 30%… I will add all of Barclay’s customer service people are from India and have no clue what the real situation is, kind of like United Airlines… well as you say bugger to Barclay’s… So now I plan to use it for expenses while on BC4, then cash out my points, and close it… I’m not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me, or to get you to have a beard write a nasty letter to them…LOL But rather to see maybe if others go through this too.. I compare that card with others I have say from Chase, and its a night and day difference…Low APR’s, they wont screw me…well maybe if given the chance…LOL but honestly they are fair.. See many people don’t relate the bad experience with Barclay’s, but rather with Carnival….I’m just wondering if anyone has been upset, and not known the difference and actually stopped doing business with Carnival based on their experience with the Barclay’s.. I look at me, great credit, pay my bills, yet of all my cards this has been the worst experience… Don’t worry about me, although I don’t think highly for Barclay’s, I love Carnival, and continue my quest for 10 cruises by end of this year….okay maybe early 2012… Anyways just food for thought and maybe a worthy topic on Facebook, and something for the beards to see.

Well thanks again John, I can’t wait to meet you on the cruise!!

John Says:
Hello Nick Howell,

You know, I have banked with Barclays for many years and our relationship has been tempestuous at best. It is now very strained and bordering on separation because my local call centre has moved from London to Bombay. I don’t know the specifics of the MasterCard thingy that Carnival offers. I do know it’s very popular so thank you for letting me know about this and I have sent this to a senior beard for her attention. I will ask someone to contact you to discuss this. See you one day on board I hope

Best wishes,


Barbara McQuillanPlease Asked:

Will there be a Behind the Fun tour on the TA cruise this Oct? And is this something that needs to be requested in advance? What is the price–I’ve heard many positive comments about it–so that I’m planning it in addition to the Chef’s Table. Thanks so much! I’ve learned so much here on your blog–in addition to having many laughs!!

John Says:
Hello Barbara McQuillan,

I think we are going to need two or three of these because I am sure they will be very popular. I wish I could reserve them for you ahead of time but they will have to be booked onboard and I suggest you do this as soon as you board. It is going to be a great cruise and I look forward to seeing you onboard.

Best wishes,


Catrin Asked:
John (Please Reply),

To the Guest who asked about what life is like as a Crew Member….. I suggest she take the “Behind the Fun” Tour!! This tour was recently a highlight on my 11th Carnival Cruise. We not only got to visit the Crew Areas, Dining Rooms, Lounges, Storage, Galley, Engine Control Room… and most impressive …. The Bridge!

Although my husband Steve and I considered ourselves to be knowledgeable and experienced Carnival Cruisers, we learned so much and gained much more appreciation for everyone who works so hard to make our vacations perfect! We are getting ready to book our 12th … for this August… and then our “LUCKY 13th” for our 20th Anniversary in 2012. Our 1st was on our Honeymoon in 1992 – on the Ecstasy… with you!!

Cathy from Rhode Island

John Says:
Hello Catrin,

Another wonderful recommendation for the Behind the Fun tour which as you said really does give you an insight to what happens behind the crew only door. Congratulations on booking cruise number 12 and I thank you so much for your loyalty. If there is anything you need please let me know.

Best wishes,


BayonneNJ Asked:

We will be going on our 7th Carnival cruise on the Conquest May 8th. Need a table for two arranged. My wife does not like loud obnoxious people and from what I have read on your blog and on cruise critic that this describes the Texans who vacation on this ship. So need that table for two and it’s our 10 year wedding anniversary so if you can it would be good if you sent us something to celebrate our special occasion. We are in cabin 6349.

John Says:

Well, please do not believe what you have read. I know there have been one or two comments portraying the guests of Carnival Conquest in a bad light but I promise you that these comments are not true……….absolutely not true. You will have fun and if you allow yourself to you will meet many new friends and discover that Texans and the other guests who vacation on the Carnival Conquest are brilliant fun. I will send you something and do my best to arrange a table for two for you.

Best wishes and happy anniversary.


Paula Majerus Asked

Hi, just found your blog searching for carnival cruise stuff. I am looking for old commercials. Like from the mid 90’s. I am doing a project on marketing for my high school exams and am talking about Carnival. Do you know if they are online somewhere?

Thanks so much

John Says:
Hello Paula Majerus,

Welcome to the blog thingy we are all glad you joined the 9 million plus readers who have clicked on the blog over the past few years. I think you may be referring to the Kathie Lee Gifford commercials and if so maybe these are the ones you are looking for?

Good luck with your project and let me know if you need any more help.

Best wishes,


Jason Asked:
Hello John (Please Respond)

We are booked on the Magic for its transatlantic voyage. We recently got off the Dream and Butch told us that he might be on the ship, but for the transatlantic voyage only. After looking at the cruise director schedule, it looks that you are probably going to be the cruise director.

Is there any possibility of Butch being on the ship with us? I have always had a fantastic experience with him. If not, we are looking forward to doing the transatlantic with you.

Thanks and see you soon.

John Says:
Hello Jason,

Yep, I am afraid you are stuck with me mate and I can understand if you are disappointed because Butch is a brilliant CD. I will do my best to make the voyage a very special one for you though. See you soon.

Best wishes,


Sean Asked:
John, Post if you feel like it!

I wanted to compliment your response to the pinhead from Hollywood JJ. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to maintain the civility that you did answering to this moron who thinks, like all of Hollywood, that his opinion somehow matters more than yours because..After all…he’s an actor. I love the way he suggested that someday his name will be a household name. What a frickin egomaniac. Pardon me, but as he was so willing to point out to you what’s wrong with one British comedian… I feel compelled to apologize for what’s wrong with America. Very simply….…we’ve become a nation where by the opinions of actors carry more weight than the individual. But because we don’t appear on television, our opinion can’t possible be worthy.

So let’s put Mr. JJ in perspective. He’s probably as talented as some of the low life “reality” stars of our time. People, who help waste our lives by having us sitting around getting fat eating Bon Bons, watching their hapless attempts at creating meaningful entertainment. John, your blog is yours. And because my opinion matters as much as that twits, I’ll spread the word to the people I know to go and enjoy a Carnival cruise with you. Bathroom/underpants humor and all. I’m sure I can reach as many people, and in a more meaningful way, than this “actor”! You may now kiss my ring!!

John Says:
Hello Sean,

I just had to post this as it gives me a chance to say a huge thank you for your kindness and I hope that you and get to sail together one day soon.

Best wishes,


That’s mostly all for today with the exception of one more which I will post at the end.

Now and then I get the honour of sharing the stunning work of our senior fleet photographer Radu Ursu. He will be joining me on your Carnival Magic and that means you will see some spectacular photos of the ship and the ports of call. Radu is currently on the Carnival Glory and I wanted to share the photos he took of the moon three days ago from the top deck of the ship. I think you are going to be flabbergasted by these……………….so here they are.

Brilliant photos …………I hope you enjoyed them.

And here’s my mate Vance to tell you about some exciting news that took place over the weekend in Jacksonville.

An Arkansas eighth grader starting her spring break vacation with her family on the Carnival Fascination became the one millionth passenger to embark on a cruise through JAXPORT’s Northside terminal this weekend.

Emily Wilt of Siloam Springs, Northwest Ark., drove 12 hours with her parents and older brother to board the ship and was identified as the one millionth passenger by the terminal customer service crew shortly after embarkation began.

Emily received a number of gifts and perks from Carnival and JAXPORT, including a commemorative plaque and special VIP treatment throughout their five-day cruise, which includes stops at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

“I was really excited about our cruise before, but now it’s going to be even better,” Emily told reporters following a short ceremony outside the cruise terminal.

Carnival Fascination Hotel Director Andrew Mace welcomed the Wilts aboard, recognizing Emily and the important milestone being reached. JAXPORT Senior Director David Kaufman thanked Emily and her family for choosing to cruise through Jacksonville and JAXPORT’s cruise terminal.

The JAXPORT cruise terminal opened in 2003 and the Carnival Fascination launched the port’s first year-round cruise program in September 2008.  The 2,052-passenger ship offers four-day cruises to Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas, and five-day cruises to Nassau and Half Moon Cay or Key West.  Carnival carries an estimated 170,000 passengers annually from Jacksonville.

I got a postcard today from a friend who is on holiday in Australia. You remember postcards don’t you and it reminded me to tell you some news one of the beards told me last week. It appears we are seeing more postcards being mailed through the guest services desk than we have for many years. I find this brilliant news.

Most of the people writing out the postcards could e-mail instead, or send a bloody text on their sophisticated Eye Phones but no…… they choose the postcard instead.

Perhaps it’s a form of bragging ……..“I’m on a cruise and you’re not” type of thing but it is also a long overdue and welcome return to the poetic art of putting pen to paper. There is nothing nicer than receiving a communication that involves ink and a stamp – it’s like finding a tiny present in the mailbox of a morning and it hardly ever happens any more. Even love letters are delivered via e-mail and all the mailbox has to offer most mornings are bills and menus from the local pizza joint.

I hope that this newfound love of the postcard eventually translates into a rediscovery of the joys of letter writing because whatever you can say in person, or electronically, is 100 times more wonderful if it’s written down – even if it’s only………”Wish You Were Here.”

Now I want to turn things over to my friend and fellow CD Big Tex who has a wonderful tale to tell…………over to you mate.

Hey John,

First off, let me apologize for the tardiness of this e-mail. I probably should have done this a week ago, but, it’s been a busy time. Nevertheless, I had to tell you about two very cool ladies I met last cruise.

As always, on the first night, I work my way through the crowd meeting and talking to people at the Welcome Aboard Show. There are always lots of interesting stories and lots of interesting people. But as I got to the end of the front row, I met Jan and Carolyn. Jan and Carolyn are two friends, whose sons grew up playing sports and going to school together. After their boys grew up, they became travel buddies. That’s not what made them interesting though. What made them interesting, is that there last cruise was on the Carnival Splendor leaving Long Beach on November 7, 2010. As you know all to well, that cruise was, well for lack of a better term, quite eventful.

Almost instantly I got a lump in my throat as I readied for an uncomfortable moment in front of 1,200 or 1,300 people. Instantly, as a defense mechanism, I made some joke that wasn’t very funny, and just made things more uncomfortable for me.

But, Jan and Carolyn began to talk, and as they talked, all the tension eased. Because even though these women had plenty of reason to be upset, all they could do…..…was brag. Brag about the crew of the Carnival Splendor, brag about how Carnival handled the whole situation, and of course brag about the great job the cruise director had done in the face of crisis.

When the fire happened, I (selfishly, I admit) was glad that it hadn’t happened on the Carnival Triumph. Of course, I thought about you, Captain Cupisti, the crew and the guests onboard the Splendor. But even though I knew many people over there, the whole thing seemed very distant. Throughout the course of the voyage, I spoke at length with my two new friends. Not once ……. even one tiny, little, bitty time…did Jan and Carolyn have anything negative to say. That’s when I realized (again) why I love working at Carnival. Meeting people like Jan and Carolyn. They’re why we do the job. To make people happy. And finally, the Splendor fire seemed not so distant anymore.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that even now, months after the event, the spirit of the crew, the generosity of the company and the calm of the cruise director still lives on. But what’s surprised me even more, is how the spirit of our guests…….still inspires me. In fact, it’s inspired me to not complain about not being able to grow a proper beard! I’ve attached of photo of the ladies and me (which will help you understand the beard comment, which has since been shaved).

I would like to tell you one last thing though, Jan wanted to let me know, that she never, not once …..….even one tiny, little, bitty time…had to eat Spam. She did say that she had a Pop Tart, but she wished it would have been strawberry because that’s her favorite flavor.

OK, I’m lying, she didn’t even complain about that.

Take Care,


Thanks mate. I am truly humbled by what Jan and Carolyn had to say and thank you so very much for taking the time to share their story with us all. I hope you stay inspired for many years to come and thanks for all the brilliant work you do as CD. Cheers mate.

Well, I have one more question I need to answer and here it is.

Oliver K Asked:

I am an occasional reader of your blog and would like to suggest that during all the sadness and misery that has happened to the Japanese people that you think about refraining from your normal talk about bodily functions etc. There is a place for humor but is there not a time and a place when it is inappropriate? This is not a statement it is a question and here is another. Where you on a Carnival vessel during 9/11 and if so did you continue your shows? I have never sailed with you but I am guessing your on stage persona is similar to your writing style and if that is the case, did you continue to try and be “funny” then? I would be grateful for an answer.


Oliver K
Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States

John Says:
Hello Oliver,

Well obviously I have moved your posting to today’s blog as it is certainly relevant and I thank you for taking the time to write it. I have been sitting here at the computer for the last 30 minutes typing my answer and then deleting it again because I was not happy with my answer…..because your question deserves the best answer possible.

You know, last week my newspaper had a photo in it that I cannot get out of my mind. It was of an elderly Japanese man. He was probably in his seventies. About my Dad’s age. The camera lens had caught him in close up. I could see every detail of his grief and despair as he faced a life that would never ever be the same again…..a life that was for the most part…….over. I don’t know him but it really got to me and writing about bottoms really didn’t seem the correct thing to do.

Yes, I was on the Carnival Triumph during 9/11and it was a quite impossible decision whether or not to try and continue with the shows and entertainment. Do so and be branded as inappropriate and offensive. Cancel the shows and well…….the bastards have won. On land late night talk show hosts cancelled their broadcasts and the comedy clubs were deserted. I think it was the first time I had thought there might be a moment when people gave up on smiling. In the end, we carried on and the response to the shows and the feeling of togetherness on board was to this day, incomparable.

I remember visiting the ground zero about a year after that terrible day and amongst all the other emotions I felt I remember seeing a sign in a nearby restaurant. I can’t remember the name of it but I remember the sign in the window that simply said: “Osama Bin Laden missed us. Don’t you make the same mistake.”

So Oliver, there is no definitive answer to your question. The earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, the conflict in Libya and the mostly unreported hell that happens each and every day in Africa are terrible………but should we stop laughing at ourselves and each other? No. Not in my opinion. I grow more serious as I get older as I worry for Kye’s generation, but I doubt I will forget about the need for laughter. It is the most universal of languages……….. and one we should all try to speak more fluently.


Your friend,


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89 Responses to I Am Definitely Not a Dancing Queen

  1. Ryan says:

    Keep being yourself John and don’t change a thing about you. I love reading your blog and Facebook post. We all need comedy these days.

  2. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    How ironic that Bayonne NJ’s wife does not want to sit with obnoxious people at their dinner table? Could it be because she is already married to one and doesn’t want anyone else competing for his “title” as Mr. Rude Obnoxious 2011?

    So just in case BayonneNJ can’t figure out why someone would think him rude….let me give him a hint….BayonneNJ learn to use the words PLEASE and THANK YOU!

    John…you are correct to continue with your jokes and laughter. Sadly, in the world we live in today, there will ALWAYS be some spot in the world that is having hardship.

    Just because we carry on with OUR lives, ONLY means we APPRECIATE LIFE….it does not mean we don’t care.

    Had we been on a ship during 9/11, I would have expected Carnival to keep us informed, assist with people who may have had family affected and carry on as most reasonable people would have wanted. For as you said, if we did not, then that was yet another small victory for those bastards.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • Doug says:

      I second that Linda, you just beat me to it 🙂

    • Diane Shepherd says:

      Well said Linda
      I was on the Splendor the day of the Earthquake. The TV and Lido screens were there for us if we needed to keep updated and I did. Felipe and the Captain both made sure that we knew that we weren’t in danger (being on the Pacific as we were). Going to shows and smiling didn’t mean I wasn’t concerned and sad for the Japanese.

  3. Hi
    It is only within the past few months that I have started to read your blog site. The array of humorous comments and witism is uncanny. You truly do have a committed staff and family to allow you the license to carry on the way that you do- I appreciate it and obviously they do as well.
    John, I will be going on my third cruise this summer (all with Carnival) on the Splendor this coming July 17. One couple joining us will be on their third cruise (all with Carnival too) as well.The other couple joining us will be on their very first cruise.Hopefully we will hook them on Carnival too.
    To enhance this cruise I was wondering if it were possible for you to book a table at the Black Pearl Dining Room for the six of us-this gesture would be greatly appreciated. Our names are as follows: Ricketts (6271), Prettys (6269), Penneys(6251). The surnames are correct- I hope the staterooms are as well.

  4. Penny says:

    Dear John,

    In response to your answer to Oliver K, I can only say one thing. You ROCK.

  5. Marty Paul says:


    I have now seen it all. Someone from Bayonne, NJ looking down his nose at Texans? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Last time I checked, there were JUST A FEW loud obnoxious people in Bayonne, NJ.

    Hey Bayonne, I know exactly how you feel. My wife does not like loud obnoxious people either and when I sail out of New York, I have to ask for a private table for 2.

    A little advice for you troll, when you are trying to knock Carnival’s customers who sail out of Galveston, pick a better place for a pen name than BayonneNJ. Maybe you need to go back to Troll School and retake Troll 101.

    Oh, by the way, we loud obnoxious Texans have the CARNIVAL MAGIC coming here and YOU DO NOT. Also, MAN UP (or WOMAN up) and sign your real name troll.

    Marty Paul

    • Debbie James says:

      I totally agree. My DH is originally from Tony Soprano country in North Jersey and I was born and raised in Philadelphia. We have lived in TX for 27 years and cannot stand to sail out of NY or Florida because of so many obnoxious people from the NE. The crew of every ship sailing out of Galveston (even the other cruise lines) tell us that the Texans are the friendliest people they ever deal with. And did you note that Bayonne wants a table for 2 and a present too and I sure didn’t see please or thank you in there. John should put them at a table for 10 with nothing but Texans. We weren’t born here, but got here as fast as we could.

    • Linda Janke Leach says:

      YEA, Marty!! Thanks for your words to him/her! I couldn’t have said it better!

    • 4shee says:

      Marty as an other Texan I want tosay right on. The feeling across the board is we are all old west cow boys it seems.
      On another post one person stated that they don’t like to pay the fare to come to Texas. Well I don’t like paying to go some place else but I do to see sometime new at times. I have enjoyed all ofthe cruises out of Galveston an New Orleans ( were we loud obnoxious Texans have also sailed ) right on.

    • Sherry R says:

      Way to go Marty. I am a native Texan and thought it absolutely horrible that someone would post on a blog that all Texans, or all Californians, etc. are loud and obnoxious. Some people just like to complain. Know what I mean? Why are all these people writing to John asking for stuff? I have been sailing for years and never have asked for anything buy my bill!! lol

  6. Nancy Bradford says:

    Love the photos of the moon, especially the one with the reflection on the water.

  7. Marie Wolff says:

    Hello John:
    I am sorry you did not like Mama Mia. I saw it for the first time in the London Theatre, and just loved it. I guess you might say it is a girl thingie, but, my husband also enjoyed it. We did see it again in Florida’s Broward theatre too. You of course are entitled to your opinion, and, I do respect that. You still got a laugh out of me with the story of the lady seated next to you and her arm flaps.
    I agree with your answer regarding the tragedy in Japan. It has caused a most horrible life for all of Japan. While we morn for their loss, we must also go on with life everywhere. There is always sadness in this world and we have to do our best to survive.

  8. Very well said John, when we give up laughter, even in times of trouble or problems we have lost our sense of humor.and dammit, there are times we must have a sense of humor, its what keeps us going when times are bad….Stay who you are John, a warm caring man who cares about people…well maybe with a few exceptions lol

  9. Michelle says:


    I think your reply to Oliver K is absolutely spot on. The tragic events of the last 6 months are truly horrible. The flooding in Austraila, the New Zealand earthquake, the Japan earthquake and tsunami they are heart breaking. On the news yesterday they showed the rescue of a 16 year old young man and his very elderly grandmother. She had been trapped for 9 days in the rubble of their home. It was inspiring to see the joy of the rescuers faces. There needs to be moments of joy and yes laughter in the tragic moments too. Because without them our souls would not survive. So thank you for continuing to be your wonderful humorous (spelt your way in honor of this being your blog)special self.


  10. njoyndride says:

    Great pics of the moon, it was quite stormy this weekend in the SF Bay Area so we didn’t get a chance to see it. By the way do they not have the words please and thank you in Bayonne New Jersey?

  11. Susan says:

    Your response to Oliver K was very well said! Thanks for all you do to make us laugh 🙂

  12. Dan Kriwitsky says:

    I would have to disagree quite a bit with Oliver. While what has happened in Japan is terrible and they need our prayers and support, but I don’t think life as we know it should come to a halt because of it. Jokes don’t stop being funny just because of a tragedy, but you don’t tell jokes at a funeral. This web site is John Heald’s blog and not the Japan Tsunami blog so jokes here are appropriate and will still be appropriate the next time there’s a tragedy someplace. There is a tragedy, large or small, some place every day in the world. But, it doesn’t mean that every web site on the entire Internet needs to discuss that same subject. There are plenty of appropriate places for that and I suggest until Oliver wants to read some jokes he refrain from reading John’s blog. A blog about cruises and Carnival cruise ships is not the place for such discussions beyond how they directly affect Carnival cruise ships. They are the Fun Ships™ and John’s blog is a Fun Blog™. Let’s keep it fun.

  13. Sharon says:

    You had me laughing so hard, I cried reading your Mama Sodding Mia review. Like I said, after seeing the movie I have no desire to see the stage show. As for Sound of Music, sorry dude…that one I like. I remember seeing it at the theater as a small child and loving it from the first minute and I still do. Do I think it’s nuts that they break out in song every so often, yep…but they just don’t make movies (more like productions) like that anymore. Although I bet Julie Andrews could handle a machine gun with no problem! I won’t comment on the rude guy about his rude comments about Texans, geez…we are a friendly place and I’ve met rude and obnoxious people when I’ve sailed out of Tampa and Long Beach so believe me it’s not exclusive to Texas. Oh, well some people just don’t get it. Lastly, please thank Radu Ursu for his “brilliant” pictures of the moon. They are fabulous! I wish I was going on the Transatlantic but alas, hubby can’t get off that much time from work so we’ll have to settle for the Dec. 4th cruise out of Galveston (you know where the rude Texans are…LOL)!

    • 4shee says:

      Sharon you will have fun with us Texans. Hope you enjoy your cruise. My wife and I will be going out of Galveston again on Noverber 14.

  14. Angela Dun says:

    Well well said John to Oliver….My other have died overseas after 9/11 in Feb….and I take 9/11 very serious…but we all need laughter in the world it is the best medicine and the best healing…..I have been on a few cruises with you including bloggers cruise number 1 and 2…..you are the best and change for no one…..I am sure I speak for many bloggers you are sometimes the reason we turn the computer on on down days just to see what you have to say….it always brings a smile to my face….Thanks for being you….

  15. karen (krhpee) says:

    I too have a hard time deciding to continue to use barclay’s. If they raise the interest then DH will say bye bye faster than—- John pulling off his underpants when you know what happens– something to do with curry. (Sorry could not resist).We changed once and went back but it is for points only. We don’t use credit card other than travel but there are lots of them out there. Beards– talk to them please.

    Regarding world situation– we have to keep on living in spite of world situations but at the same time– no comedian, entertainer or anyone should at any time make light of the world problems cause there are HUMANs attached to all of the goings on. love ya John muwah

    • Valerie says:

      I agree with the Barclays comments, I have not missed a payment and my interset rate was raised to 23%. I have never missed a payment and I have a great credit score. I called to have a chat. India. They graciously agreed to lower it to 22%. I thought they were joking. I told them there was no reason for my rate to be raised based on my history with them and my credit score. Since they wouldn’t budge,I paid it in full and haven’t used it. I’ll get around to cancelling it but I take pleasure in knowing that it costs them every month to send me a statement in the mail yet I do not use the card. They are losing money on me now. I’m very happy with my two other credit cards. One is 11.25% and the other is 15%.I hope Carnival will drop Barclays.

    • Bob Green says:

      I have the Barclay’s card – started with the old SeaMiles card – I have to admit I don’t know what my interest rate is, we don’t carry a balance. The points are not very good for non-Carny travel & we use a different card ashore because it does not charge a currency conversion fee. I’d smile bigger with a card that covered the Carnival umbrella lines.

    • Kelly Utsinger says:

      I also have had the Barclay’s card since it was the FunPoints card. I haven’t had any problems with them and my interest is fairly reasonable (15.24%). I have lower ones, but the points add up pretty quickly for us. We have $600 OBC coming for our Oct. Magic cruise!

  16. Bill Heck says:

    Dear John:

    Well said. There is a plenty of pain and suffering in the world. But, its hard to believe that sitting around crying is going to help anyone. I am not of course referring to those involved. Donate some money, lend a hand, read to a child, do something to make this world a better place. Then relax and enjoy the entertainment on a Carnival ship and take your mind off of all the hurt for a few days.

    You know John, you have made a difference to St Jude and to many of the children that need a miracle. As for your comedy, your delivery and timing are as good as I have seen. Don’t let them drag you down.

    Hope you and your girls are having a ball.

    Your Friend

    Bill Heck

  17. Nancy McQuarrie says:

    John – Post if you wish – or not

    Hi John – You know, it really bothers me when folks write for your help with such a sense of entitlement (ala BayonneNJ above). Not only is it extremely rude, but takes advantage of your generous heart. Might I suggest that, henceforth, any request without the simple manners of the word “please” be totally ignored?

    Thanks again for all you do and for the daily laughs.


  18. lisa kilmartin says:


    Another brilliant response…I agree wholeheartedly to your thoughts on sharing laughter in the most difficult of times. It’s what gets us through. Keep doing what you do…you have great instincts.

    The Kilmartins

  19. Sharon says:

    Ah Roaton, a great Island. Face it, the pier/port Carnival built is perfect for missing a stop. The ships back in, through narrow channels, with wrecks,cays and isles on both sides. I remember doing the behind the scenes tour on the Carnival Triumph and I asked the Captain about the difficult docking in Roaton. Never received a straight answer from him, just how he loved the port. Wanted to say, “Thanks, but that is not what I was asking”, but I did not. I know ship happens, but if one ship can dock and the other cannot, there is a problem with the port.

  20. John whenever there is a tragedy remember it was your humour that got the guest and crew through the Carnival Splendor.

    BIG Ed

  21. Dana T says:

    Good for you John, love your responses in particular to Marcus H., and also to Oliver K. I love reading your blog, the good, the bad, and the humor (spelled correctly).

    To Nick Howell…we had almost the exact same experience with Barclay! I always pay the bills early, but the hubby messed up and paid the bill on the due date which was a Sunday, so it didn’t post till Monday. Barclays raised our interest rate to 25%. We, too, have excellent credit, so I figured I would just have to call them and get the rate lowered again–I mean really one day late on a balance of $200 and we paid the late fee of $40 so they’d already gouged us. Well, ha, they generously lowered it to 23%. Whatever… We had a zero balance by then, so we used up any points we could and closed the account. We would have used that credit card for the cruise we just took, but Capital One got my business. You and I both realize that it’s Barclays making these stupid decisions, but you’re right that some folks may associate with Carnival. Maybe Carnival should consider a better provider…

  22. Starr Willaman says:

    I am going to start with the end. Bravo!! We need to keep on keeping on as an old saying goes or yes they do win. I lost one of the best jobs I had due to 9/11. I continued in the same business for years after but it had it’s effect. I never gave up. The truly great ones didn’t. And in this time of hard knocks we can’t give up. The laughter of a comedy show is one of the best medicines in the world.

    Butch’s letter is very touching and I think the picture with the ladies is grand. The ladies seemed wonderful, and it truly shows the wonderful job Carnival Crew can and always do.
    Speaking of pictures the ones of the moon WoW!!! I am so envious. I tried to take a picture as that was my anniversary and couldn’t get anything I loved as much as those.
    Sorry you didn’t like Mama Mia but the women around you loved it and for you that was Heidi. So John you did a very good thing!!
    I will always enjoy your blog thingy. Please don’t ever let anyone dampen your humor.
    Thank you so much for the entertainment and information. I sail the Freedom this Saturday and looking forward to the wonderful life on board a Carnival Ship, even if it is only for 8 days.!

  23. kathy with a k says:

    “Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” — George Bernard Shaw.

  24. Siobhan says:

    Hello John,

    I just had to comment and let you know first of all how much I enjoy reading your blog thingy and facebook postings. You make me smile everyday.

    Secondly, I am writing because I became a little irate after reading the letter that Marcus H wrote to you regarding his “hellish day at sea” on the Dream. My family and I were in fact on that same cruise with Marcus that missed Roatan. And yes, we were disappointed that we didn’t get to spend the day on the white sandy beaches there. However, we knew that the captain had to make the decision due to the weather. I was on my balcony that morning prior to the announcement and noted to my husband that the it was quite choppy that morning. I applaud the captain for making the tough decision and making certain that we were all safe.

    And as for that hellish day at sea…I think I remember Marcus, he was the one making it hellish by requesting ABBA songs all day! LOL

    Anyway, I truly believe that Marcus should be taking a lesson from Jan and Carolyn in today’s blog. They had much more rights to complain about a hellish day at sea and what did they do? Shake it off and applaud Carnival! As I do!

    Again, thank you for being you!

    Siobhan W.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Thank you for reminding cruisers to be TRAVELERS….not TOURIST!!!

      Linda (Mom of DJ)

  25. Barbara Shugart says:

    I must throw my 2¢ in because of the accusation thrown in by Marcus H. Marcus, in the 10 cruises I’ve sailed on with Carnival, they have misses 0 (that’s ZERO) ports. When possible, they will shuffle the order in which we call at ports or substitute another port, but they NEVER have just put us out at sea to make more money from us. You are being ridiculous throwing around those kinds of accusations when I have seen Carnival do nothing but try to accomodate their passengers whenever possible!

    • Linda Bigus says:

      I couldn’t agree more Barbara! Poor Marcus! We just got back from the Carnival Miracle on this past Sat. The first 3 days of our cruise were ruined because Continental Airlines had mechanical problems, and the ship left at 4PM. Because, the first 2 days were sea days, our only option was to meet up with the cruise in Curacao. So, Sunday we traveled all day to get to Curacao to make sure we got on that ship first thing after they docked! Poor MEEEEE…no! I was so saddened to have missed the first 3 days. But, Carnival was EXCELLENT to deal with in our *Mess* that day. They wanted us to keep them informed at each new update. I don’t blame anyone but the airline, an trust me, those people were the nastiest people walking this earth. No, we could not get another flight..it was spring break. No, we live in Chicago, and couldn’t just drive on down to Fort Lauderdale. Now we have mountains of Insurance issues with the carrier we used from our Travel Agent. But, All in all…I expect nothing from Carnival. They treated us like family when we finally arrived. I turn Platinum my next cruise, and, I will not allow myself to sit in self pity for the lost days. It was the wonderful days we had once arriving, that I prefer to remember!!! Thanks Carnival for all your help!

  26. Chrissy says:

    To the people that think all Texans are rude, disgusting and obnoxious… please don’t think that because the ship is in Galveston that everyone on it is from Texas. We are Texans and are NOT rude, disgusting or obnoxious; but the opposite! We have found that the Texans we met on the cruises out of Galveston were very polite and nice people. People from other states sail out of their too.

    Just wanted to say that you can’t judge a ship or Texans by what a few people have said.

    • lil'Mike says:

      Went out of Galveston last October. A lot of Texans on the ship. Made watching the Rangers fun, fun, fun. People from Texas are great, out going and just plain fun.

  27. I totally agree with the guy that commented about the horrible service from Barclays Bank for the Carnival Mastercard. If Carnival has a way to switch to a different bank for that, I would love to see it happen.

    The web site for accessing your Carnival Mastercard account information has been down for one week. I called their customer service line this afternoon to see what was happening with the web site and when it might be restored. They said that their web server had gone down, and that it would be another day or two before they expected to have it restored. Can you imagine a web hosting arrangement that is so lame that they experience a 9 day service outage? Any decent web hosting arrangement would have multiple servers in multiple cities to avoid just this scenario.

    Anyway, the long web site outage is actually only the tip of the iceberg. As the original poster mentioned, Barclays has outsourced their customer service to India… which makes speaking to a customer service representative very frustrating. They read from a script, and their ability to communicate is incredibly limited. Here’s an example… when I called the customer service line to inquire about why their web site had been down for so long, the customer service representative started reading a script which reminded me that I could access my account information FROM THEIR WEB SITE. I reminded her that the whole reason I was calling was that their web site had been down for a week.

    Anyway, trying to talk to a customer service representative about my Carnival MasterCard is an exercise in frustration. Carnival should look in to other arrangements with other banks.

    • Carrie Weaver says:

      I called Barclay also about the same issue and got the same “canned” response. I too had to remind them that the website was not accessible when I was told to access the website. BTW you can access through juniper.com which is the “old” website. I too will be canceling my card after my points are used on the Magic TA!

  28. Helene Barnes says:

    Brillant as always! I read your blog now outloud to my husband who has a sight problem. He laughs so hard and it really is the highlight of our day – well that and rumpy pumpy – of course that lasts less time these days than it takes to read this blog outloud to hubby. 😉 I loved loved your review of Mama Mia and while I’m sure you loved spending the time with your wife, I can see you were very uncomfortable. HOWEVER please remember(and this ties in with your last line of the blog) that even though you were miserable at the show the laughter you provided to my hubby and I tonight describing your experience is exactly what we all need right now! With all the horrors around us – with all the stress of work and the economy – with worries of medical issues and disasters – LAUGHTER is and will always be the best and most universal cure for despair. THANK YOU for helping and please continue your writings as you write BRILLIANTLY!

    Helene Barnes
    Spirit 2002
    Paradise 2010
    Splendour 2011

  29. Rita says:

    Laughter is the best medication. I hope to sail on the same ship as you some day, until then keep us laughing. You rock.

  30. Wade Woodard says:

    I cruise enough to know that missing an occasional port of call will happen. But the new dock built by Carnival at Roatan has issues. The passage into dock through reef is too narrow and if it is at all windy, the ships can not make it through. Carnival is well aware of the problem. It happens all too often, especially this time of year when windy conditions are prevalent. The truth since it is a known issue, Carnival could very well inform passengers prior to purchasing this cruise that what the odds of making it to Roatan actually are. Without this disclosure, Carnival is guilty of much more that simple missing a port of call.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Yes, to get to that marvelous area, Carnival had to build the port in a difficult area. But missing ports is part of cruising….

      we have missed Grand Cayman several times(to rough to tender) and Grand Turk (to windy to dock without a tug which Grand Turk does not have)and Cabo (to rough to tender). We have missed ports due to medical emergencies, fog and hurricanes.

      It is not Carnival’s responsibility to list everything that “might” cause the ship to miss a port.

      It is the individual’s responsibility to educate themselves properly before making their vacation choice.

      Does an airline explain everything that can go wrong with your flight before you book it? I don’t think so…and airline tickets per person can cost more than a cruise.


      • Dana T says:

        Hear, hear! I’m with you Mom of DJ!

      • Wade Woodard says:

        Actually airlines do post % of on time departures. I started post by saying missing port of calls does happen and I fully understand this. But when a cruise ship misses the same port for the same reason over 50% of the time, something is wrong. Prospective customers should not have to dig through blogs like this to found at why. The cruse should do the right thing and tell customers of the true issue with port.

        I was just in Roatan 6 weeks ago on another cruise line and we docked at old terminal. We watched as Princess (owned by Carnival) sailed away without being to make it to new dock.

        • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


          Sorry Wade…the % of ontime departures MEANS NOTHING. It is useless information.

          There is no where in the world where an airline lets you know the chance of missing your connection. THAT is what is important.

          My husband flies every week and the number of times he does not arrive at home when he is suppose to is ridiculous.

          During one 3 month period, my husband’s connections caused him to miss a flight 75% of the time. Again, there is NO WHERE on the airline’s website that provides that kind of information.

          Any traveler knows the risks of flying and curising.

          Just like it is common knowledge that connections can be missed for a variety of reasons……it is common knowledge that no port is guaranteed. It isn’t Carnival’s fault if cruisers do not make an informed decision before booking a cruise …. to any port.


      • Hi Linda, I am now back at work in Scotland after BC4 & the following 7 days on C Glory in the Western Caribbean.
        Your comments are to be commended. Despite the long hours I have spent travelling & the huge costs I incur to sail with Carnival, I have never considered seeking compensation for missed ports of call in any of my 21 cruises since 1992.
        In 1994 my marriage took place on the beach in Magen’s Bay, Charlotte Amalie,St Thomas courtesy of C Celebration arrangements so I considered it a sacred place that held special memories.
        Despite booking BtoB cruises (East & West Caribbean)on C Sensation in 1995 & 1996 which included St Thomas, I had to sail the West itinerary for 2 weeks both years because of hurricane conditions in the East. Was I disappointed? Yes, I was, but I had a ball visiting 3 of my favourite ports of call twice each year, Cozumel (Carlos & Charlies where crew & guests mingled) Grand Caymen (with Stingrays & a British Pub) & Ocho Rios ( Cool Runnings,Dunn’s River Falls, Bob Marley & Calypso). Every Cloud has a Silver Lining! However, a minority of loud mouthed Americans demanded full compensation.
        I finally made it back to Magen’s bay in 1997 when sailing on the C Inspiration as part of a package, arranged with British Airways/American Airlines that included a transfer to Pineapple Beach in Antigua for 4 nights before returning to the UK.
        That was a disaster because a combination of a hurricane disrupting St Maarten flights & volcanic dust spewing from Montserrat meant I was stranded in Puerto Rico following disembarking while my main bags were flown to Antigua on their own (now a huge security risk). I had no accommodation & American Airline ground staff apparently lost their command of the English language & Spanish is not one of my chosen foreign languages.
        I could write a book about my experiences on this trip & the aftermath. However, what I must stress to any Carnival negative people on this site is that British Airways & American Airlines were utterly useless.
        It was Carnival that rescued me from my nightmare experience despite the fact they were not responsible for any of my problems. I have never forgotten the considerate way the UK staff treated me & that is why I shall stick to Carnival & fully endorse your comments.
        I hope to meet you again on BC5.

  31. Cyndi says:

    I saw Mama Mia on a girls night out. As everyone raved about how wonderful it was, I kept thinking, “That sucked!” Like you I am not a fan of any musical. Ever seen Chicago? UGH! Your wife should be very appreciating of your willingness to see it and that you stayed!
    As a wonderful positive, great photos!

  32. Cheryl K says:

    Awesome pictures of the moon. Love the first one. Great seeing Big Tex again too..hardly recognized him without the hat.

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy the theater John but spending the night making your wife happy was “priceless”.

    I was very happy that you told Marcus the way it is. I am so sick of hearing the same whining every time a ship misses a port “they didn’t get compensated and Carnival did it to make money in the casino”. Well Marcus on my Carnival Dream cruise last year we made it into Roatan but couldn’t leave due to high winds so we were there overnight along with the Crown Princess. Since we weren’t at sea the casino wasn’t open. So what would you determine Marcus was the reason Carnival made us stay there since the casino wasn’t open? A “hellish day at sea” is laugh out loud funny. Get over it..safety first.

    The situation in Japan has been horrible and our hearts go out to those people. They have suffered so much loss with such dignity that is makes it all the more heart wrenching. Humour (spelt correctly) puts smiles back on sad faces and we all need to be able to smile again.

  33. Tina Goodwin says:


    Please don’t ever change the way you are or how you write. The world is full of saddness and tragedy but we cannot let laughter and fun go away because then our childrens generation is doomed.
    Thanks for the laughs – and the wonderful pictures. Enjoy your time with the girls!!

  34. j c w says:

    I agree with you John and Big Ed. Keep the laughs coming in life, your blog and everywhere. Without laughter what do we have??? All I can say is keep it up and keep the rest of us laughing as well. Thanks again for all the good work you do.! And for taking one for the team and sitting through Mama Mia. Yikes. The unintended slapping of areas is out of control. Hang in there.

  35. A need for laughter. You have it correct there John. Some days after reading what is going on in our world I feel very down. I read your blog and even though tomorrow will not change anything, those few moments that I read your blog I can sit back and relax for some of the silly things that occur. People just don’t laugh any more. You John, makes me laugh everyday and I thank you for it. Someday your daughter Kye will find out just how great a person you are and what you did for all of us cruisers and friends. Don’t change your ways in any way my good friend.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  36. Erin says:

    I applaud your answer regarding Japan & 9/11……though we will never ignore or forget we still have to live and appreciate each and everyday.

    As for the Carnival MC (Barclays) I do have to agree, they are horrible! I have great credit and even called to see why the rate was so high. The operator verified I had no lates but I would have to “request” a rate decrease and there were no guarantees they would do it. I have simply decided not to use the card and booked our most recent cruise w/another card. Oh well….such is life!!

    Glad to see you enjoyed Mamma Mia! But my nephews have a perfect name for those “meaty” arms the lady next to you had, they call them “Bingo Arms”! Probably not a good term to use during one of the many games on the ships!!LOL!!

  37. nancy says:

    Hi John
    just got back from a terrific 8 day cruise on the Miracle. What a wonderful time the staff were fantastic friendly and helpful…..the only negative thing was the icy cold reception I recieved when I went to the medic for a bandage. I work in the medical field and even under pressure you should respond to a GOOD MORNING, not continue reading a book and not acknowledging you even exsist. This was topped off with a charge for the bandage. So John could you please pass on some of your good humor and cheerfulness to the two ladies in the medical office of the Miracle and ask them not to be so rude. Thanks Nancy

  38. Theresa Martin- Taylor says:

    Dear John…… you answered Olivers question with the most heart felt, honest, caring way . It brought tears to my eyes. You are so right that we need laughter at times of great distress just to cope. I hope he gets what you were saying, cause you said it all! God Bless.

  39. Alana Owen says:

    To Nick Howell –
    I had the same problem with Barclay’s and my Carnival MC. I was late on my payment ONE time and my interest rate was raised to somewhere around 30%. (I don’t remember exactly, but it was OUTRAGEOUS!) I ended up paying off the account and closing it.

    The old Carnival MC (I believe it was with Jupiter?) was much better. It was easy to redeem rewards and a great card. I never was happy when they changed it, but the interest rate thing really chafed me.

    RCL has a really great card through Bank of America, in case some of the bean counting beards want to check that out and compare. I totally agree that a change needs to be made.

  40. Nan says:

    I DO hope you get that couple a table for two. I have never met anyone, in particular young people, who were anything less that polite and courteous, so you shouldn’t subject our Texas brothers and sisters to people who obviously have no manners 🙂

  41. Hi John – This is in response to Nick’s post. I to have a Carnival Mastercard and though I didn’t experience quite the same things as Nick did, Barclay’s lowered my credit line – stating – it was due to my spending habits. My spending habits were and is that I pay my balance off monthly. This made me laugh a bit as they were “punishing” me for being a good customer. It wouldn’t bother me in the least if Carnival were to switch banks.

    As far as Oliver is concerned. There is always a time and place for laughter. I believe laughter is the only healing medicine we should take in the face of all of life’s harshest moments. So saying that John, please keep us laughing in spite of what some people think.

  42. dctravel says:


    On comedy in times of tragedy. Sometimes I think that laughing is the only way to get through tough times. I sailed with you on the Carnival Triumph for the Christmas cruise in 2001, just after the shoe bomber tried to strike. Did we consider canceling, only briefly, but then we realized that we wanted to have fun, even in a sober time. We also realized that Carnival was taking every precaution to protect its passengers and staff.

    We had a great time on the cruise, and my Dad and I still laugh at the memory of Emmitt Lee Tutwiller Jr. on stage with you.

    Keep it up!

    dctravel (Jacob)

  43. terri says:

    Dear John,

    In response to Nick Howell, I use my Carnival Mastercard a lot. I’ve used it to book crusies, and have recently added my points to our next cruise in June for on board credit. I have a generous credit line, have paid it off in full every month, and was one time late for a payment, never any interest added, and was only 24 hours late. I’ve used customer service once, and for the most part was very happy. It was just a little hard to understand the person on the other end, but that was nothing to get fussed about.

    Was glad to see “Tex” again, we were on Carnival Triumph while you all were having your adventure on Carnival Splendor. I’ll never forget seeing the Today show on the big screen when we were having our breakfast. I almost felt guilty having a good time and thinking to myself how I would react should that have been our ship. My heart went out to you when I saw your interview televised. I knew that all would be well, and the passengers would be in good hands with you on board.

    As for missing a port due to weather related conditions…I would rather miss the port and have a LOVELY Day at Sea. That is my favorite part of cruising. We have always been very well entertained, and just laying around watching the water is so relaxing!! We don’t do a lot of shore excursions, and mainly find a beach or just shop a little, then go back to the ship early and enjoy the quiet time.

    I so love your blog and your humour. Even my husband likes for me to read it to him as he is trying to keep up with the depressing events of the world around us. I love smiling and laughing and hearing about your wonderful girls.

    Thanks for all you do, and I sure hope to sail with you one day.
    Stay Safe!

  44. jgeraci says:

    We too missed Roaton on our last cruise in Nov. We were disappointed, but had been there before when Carnival first started going there. I know Carnival spent a ton of money developing Mahogany Bay, but the old pier was just fine with us. It gave us the opportunity to experience the real Roaton.

    I do find it very difficult to keep a positive attitude with all that is happening around the globe. But that’s what makes us human. We feel for each other. We need humor to keep us sane. Laughter is indeed the best medicine.

  45. Penquin2100 says:


    Just wanted to say that I have had a lot of issues with Barclays too. I have grown to dislike the company and after being a loyal customer redeemed my points and closed my account moving to Chase. This is something that someone needs to look at because it does reflect on Carnival. Altough I still love cruising and just returned from one in mid january it would be nice to know that the management is aware that we are having issues with this company.

  46. Mike says:

    Great answer to Oliver. I work for a Japanese company. We have people constantly traveling from the USA to Japan for meetings, training and the like. Over the many years I have been here, I have made many friends in many countries. It was only a couple of days ago that I finally heard from a friend who lives outside of Tokyo (she and her family are fine). Until the company was able to account for everyone, we all had a great deal of concern for our friends and co-workers in Japan. In the mean time, we’ve had birthday celebrations, we went to the movies once (not a musical!) and have continued to live, laugh and love. This does not in anyway diminish our concern, even our on-going concern, for our friends in Japan. What it does, is to put things into perspective. While something like the earthquake may be tragic, and while we all grieve for what our friends continue to have to deal with, our lives continue. Our spouses, children, friends and co-workers here in the USA deserve our love and attention as well. Life does not go on hold because of tragedies. We should learn from this to squeeze all we can out of every day, and enjoy life to the fullest. As for me, I will continue to do my best at home and at work to honour those who cannot currently do so. Don’t miss your life because something bad happened. It’s all a part of the human experience.

  47. Jeff says:

    Johm, please don’t let humorless, PC people like Oliver K influence or change you. It’s particularly important in insane times like these that we need humor, and your humor is fantastic and helps us forget all of the problems for a few moments. So thank you, and keep doing what you’re doing!

  48. Marilyn French says:

    John,. Thank you

    What a wonderful answer to John

  49. Marilyn French says:

    Correction – my comment was directed to Oliver’s post and your reply. Thoughful and wonderful reply. Thankyou again

  50. Jodi says:

    John – I so appreciate your professionalism and your dogged percistence in being of service to others. So I say PLEASE remain yourself and stay humourous. I have been through and am going through some tough stuff these days and your blog really helps me keep smiling, Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.

    Please indulge me a couple of comments though, re: obnoxious ‘Texans’ on the Carnival Conquest. Does anyone really beleive Carnival Cruise Lines makes money on any ship based solely on the passengers from the State/Country of the ships home port. The idea that all passengers on the Conquest are Texan is ridiculous, perposterous even, Are all passengers on the Spirit or the Splendor from California? Let’s get real here people, are you thinking of going on Conquest? Are you Texan? If not, and you are worried about Texans you are a hipocrit to suggest that any passenger on the Conquest is an obnoxious Texan, even if they are.

    Second comment re: asking favors from John with an outragous lack of manners. Come on people, because the man is a consummate professional doesn’t mean it is okay to be rude, not using please and/or thank-you is RUDE, and might even be considered obnoxious.

  51. Janice Avery says:

    As a wife of a former crew member (another line that pulled out of Los Angeles, with out naming names!) I saw how hard the crew and staff work on a regular basis. I am looking forward to the Behind the Fun tour that everyone talks about on my cruise in April with Carnival just to say thank you to the people who make our cruises so special.

    Heidi… Is it time to see Phantom of the Opera? Enjoy your time with John and don’t let him complain too much about spending time with you at the theatre… It is precious because they are out to sea so much.

  52. michelle mann says:

    Hi John
    loads of blogs to catch on, thanks for all the laughs, been away for a few days. Think yourself lucky you only had one eve in london….dave took me to london for the whole weekend (birthay treat) fOUND A lovely dutch pub in middle of chinatown..had a couple of pints of guniess..then dinner in a nearby italian followed by les Mis a fantastic day..the next day loads of shopping, folowed by a lovely showcase dinner along the thames and dave kept that smile on his face the whole time..thats why he got rumpy pumpy!! roll on next year.
    love to the girls, hope all is well.
    michelle and gang.

  53. Sandra says:

    As a reply to Nick Howell about the Barclays Card. I too have great credit, and I too have had my interest rate jump to 30%. Long reply short, Carnival can find a better bank to represent their company! I canceled mine what is points worth when you are paying astronomical interest rates!

  54. Diane Shepherd says:

    OK – who thinks Marcus lost in the casino and that`s why he is so crabby?

    • Linda Bigus says:

      ME!!!!! I think Marcus could use a chill pill! Poor Sod as John would say only to be compensated $20….sniff…sniff…Get a life! I loved my 5 days at sea that could have been 8 🙁
      But, life is life..it happens…Make the best out of things and don’t sweat the small stuff…trust me….Marcus may have bigger battles to conquer than missing one island! Best wishes to all the negative thinkers…I prefer to be positive…at least for this week! LOL Linda Bigus

  55. Alana Owen says:

    Dear John –

    I’m sure you know you are appreciated by many, but people like Oliver K. need to put things in perspective.

    I wonder how many people have thought about how difficult it must be for you, and others in the entertainment business, to put aside your own feelings and put on a happy face to help make people feel better when times are rough. I HAVE thought about it, and I just wanted to say thank you.

  56. Colleen Roe says:

    Hi John, first I want to thank you for the wonderful table arrangements, champagne and the “solid gold” ship we proudly display. We were on the Carnival Dream in January and had a wonderful vacation. I will write a short review later when I have time to pull all my names to thank for their wonderful service. Anyway, I just wanted to comment to you about the Barclay’s Bank credit card as the blogger did here. We also have had the Juniper/Barclay’s card since our second cruise several years ago and have used up our points during this last cruise. However, our interest rate has went up to almost 29% for no reason. We have never missed a payment, nor have we been late. This card will be the first one we will now pay off and close. I will not even request a rate decrease from Barclay’s because I have heard they are impossible to deal with and they will never reduce it to where it should be. I wanted to keep it for Carnival points, etc., but the interest rate is ridiculous. It won’t affect our vacations with Carnival, but it is disappointing that we won’t be able to anticipate using the bonus points for the cruise. Just wanted to let you know of another disappointed Barclay/Carnival credit card customer. Maybe if Carnival receives enough complaints, they might look into using a different provider? Good luck on your bottom procedure tomorrow! The side effects don’t last too long, but Heidi may not want to be in the recovery room with you!
    –Colleen from Green Bay

  57. Dwayne says:

    John, What Nick Howell posted about Barclays happened to me as well. One payment registered in their system as one day late. They socked it to me with a much higher interest rate. They didn’t care when I actually made the payment, only when it was clocked in their system. They have been the most unreasonable bank I have ever dealt with. As an original Points Card member I think they have been the worst with customer service. Granted the points are better now than the other two banks that previously handled the program. On the positive side the points are applied in a timely manner now, and we can book through whomever we choose.


  58. Mel says:

    Dear John

    Those pictures taken by Radu are amazing. I love that first one especially. Tell him to keep up the good work!

  59. Sherry R says:

    I am responding to the guy who is celebrating his 10th year anniversary and has requested a table for two for him and his wife. I really take offense in his comment about Texans. How can one be so shallow? They were probably just having a good time which is something that probably doesn’t happen very often with this guy. I feel sorry for the both of them that they would even want to sit by themselves. Hey guys you go on a cruise to have fun. I am 62 and will be cruising with Carnival the 30th of April and I am certainly glad I won’t be bumping into him or his wife. Everyone that’s cruising on the Conquest May 8th, please stay clear of cabin 6349.

  60. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    Loved Radu’s Pictures as always. What a talented man he is.
    I agree with your answer to Oliver K. Yes the things in Japan are terrible but to give in to dispare is not what I ever do. Laughter is the best medicine in every case. As a comedian and an entertainer you should never give in to. As a CD your job is to make everyone time onboard the ship as much fun as you can. If you can’t escape the world events on a cruise ship then where in the worl can you. It is not bad taste to try and make someone who is hurting smile. It is the human thing that we all do.
    The Cruzin2some

  61. ann mccleskey says:

    i’m with linda!!!!ann from texas

  62. Cheryl D says:

    Hello John,
    Thank you again for your blog, and for all that you do for us Carnival “guests.” I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time now; we met on the Bloggers Cruise 2 out of NOLA. (I sang New York, NY in the talent show.) I’m writing about the Carnival Mastercard. My husband and I are TAs, and every year we do a fund-raiser cruise on Carnival to raise money for our church. When Carnival started the Barclay’s Mastercard, our friend (and customer) signed up onboard and was approved right away. She used the card for all of her charges, and racked up a lot of points toward what she hoped would be a free cruise. A few months ago, she tried to get a free cruise with her points, only to be told that she lost most of her points because she didn’t use them in time. No one ever told her that her points were going to expire. Needless to say, she is upset! Barclays told her that she would have to speak to someone at Carnival, as they were the ones who changed the program. When she called Carnival, they told her that there was nothing they could do, and tried to sell her a cruise. Why am I telling you all this? Because she is totally disgusted….with Carnival! We are planning another fundraiser on the Carnival Ecstasy out of New Orleans in November. This will be her 9th Carnival cruise. She doesn’t even care about being Platinum anymore. Is there anyone she can appeal to about getting her points back? Before this fiasco she was a very loyal Carnival customer. Thank you for any help or advice you can give.

    Your Friend,
    Cheryl D.

  63. jaded99 says:

    The Barclay Card thing… I have to say, I am not a fan of them either. I have called customer service to ask a question, gotten an answer I could barely understand, and then found out the information they gave me was wrong and cost me money. They don’t seem to understand English very well, honestly, because when I ask them a specific question they keep giving me canned responses to different questions than the one I asked. And they also recently (last year or so) reduced it from 3x earnings on Carnival purchases to 2x. Not very happy with them at all 🙁 Love Carnival though!!

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