Oh joy. It’s Wednesday which means at 2 pm I, as a crew member over 40 have to go to see the ship’s doctor for something called a wellness check. This is a mandatory Carnival procedure and despite the fact that just last month and I had a complete medical at home with Doctor Ramitin, I have to have another one here on board. Yep, I am old and so the doctor has to see me and take my blood pressure and check for diabetes (bit late for that) and check my heart and other stuff to make sure that I am well. I know it will be a simple procedure compared to my medical at home but I am a man …………………..and that means I hate going to see a doctor.

My hatred has grown over the last two years because I honestly believe no doctor’s day is complete without finding excuses to slip a gloved finger up my bottom. Now some of my blogging faithful may say that this may be the very least favourite part of a doctor or nurse’s job but I am convinced it’s the sodding highlight of their day. “Doctor, it’s about my big toe, it hurts.” “Well Mr. Heald, that’ll be rectum related, sir. Get your underpants off and bend over.”

Men are brilliant though and ignoring medical conditions and I know I love seeing stories in newspapers about wine making you live longer and or how Winston Churchill smoked 5 cigars a day everyday and lived into his nineties. I mentioned this to Heidi and some weeks later she pointed an article in one of her lady magazines Hello, Goodbye, Slim Hair, Fitness & Garden, Health & Enquirer or something like that that said smoking cigars doubles your chances of cancer. I told her that “all these studies are bollocks” and she then accused me of having something called “selective deafness.”

As a fat, unhealthy, smoking lazy bastard I am constantly seeing stories about fitness fanatics, marathon runners, people in business who get up at 5 am to go to the gym before work and eat nothing but tofu and soya who drop dead suddenly. This confirms my theory that you shouldn’t put too much pressure on the body and that going to the Miami Heat game or a Latvian lap dancing club with your mates is healthy because it’s de-stressing.

I am not alone and my friend Mr. Bentley and I are exactly the same when it comes to doctors. Even if half his colon had dropped on the RedFrog Pub carpet, he would simply order another Scotch and say “I’ll take a Tylenol before bed and see how it is in the morning.”

So It’s off to the doctor’s I go and as I said on Facebook the other day, considering the laundry hasn’t been in operation for the last two weeks I might as well just give them a pair of my underpants as they contain everything the doctor needs.

Time for some Q and A……………..away we go

Jgeraci Asked:
John, please reply

I’ve heard over on Spirit message boards that the Spirit repositioning cruise to Australia is to be announced March 28. The info was posted on Facebook, they say. Please, please post that announcement here on your blog. I do not do Facebook, but have been a faithful blog reader from the beginning. I don’t know about other blog readers, but I’m beginning to feel like an unimportant stepchild! My children & grandchildren advise me that I should steer clear of Facebook!


John Says:
Hello Joyce G,

I wanted to make sure that I answered this mostly due to the last statement because I sometimes take it for granted that everyone who reads the blog thingy also does Facebooking and that is obviously not the case. We haven’t announced Australian itineraries just yet but I am told today that it will very soon by the one of our senior vice presidents and yes of course I will announce it here. Most major news stories will get coverage here Joyce and if I forget please kick my bottom and remind me that not everyone reads Facebook. The blog is where it started and is still the most important to me. Thanks for taking the time to write.

Best wishes,


Psalm 23 Asked:

My husband and me are going on the Inspiration and would like to have a bible study class which we will be hosting for the other passengers. I suggest we do this each day at 9:00am and 5:00pm and all we will need is a big room and a microphone and I would think about 200 bibles. We did this with much success on a recent Princess cruise and are now going to be on Carnival spreading the gospel and helping your passengers enjoy their vacations even more. Our Travel agent told us to contact you so please make sure all is arranged for us when we board as we would like to start the first class after your life boat drills have finished. Here are our cruise details and please can you put “Blood of the Lamb Bible Study Group” hosted by Pam and Steven Lorimar. Thank you for doing this John and God Bless You!

John Says:
Hello Psalm 23,

I wanted to start by mentioning that I deleted the cruise details as you had your booking number and your telephone numbers and address there which obviously I didn’t want to publish. Now I see that you are sailing next week and I have contacted the cruise director on the Carnival Inspiration who will certainly do her best to accommodate you. I can tell you that unfortunately we do not have 200 bibles onboard the ships’ libraries but we do have them in the cabins so guests I am sure who want to go will know that we have a Gideon Bible there and they can bring that. I know that the cruise director will be in touch when you board and I wish you a great cruise. Thanks so much for the kind words which I return to you both.

Best wishes,


Brett R Asked:
John, Please Reply!

I am planning a cruise for my 30th birthday, and hope for you to be our CD. We are looking for late March/earlyApril of 2012. Any ideas when the cd schedule will be posted so we can make reservations? Thanks John, You’re the best!

John Says:
Hello Brett,

I wish I was 30 again. I am honoured by your request and will have the new CD schedule for the remainder of the 2011 posted here in early May. I am not sure yet about my schedule in 2012 but there is a good chance it will involve the ship I am on now the beautiful Carnival Magic. I hope to see you there to wish you a happy birthday in person and I will post my schedule for next year as soon as I can.

Best wishes,


San Fairy Anne Asked:
John Please Reply,

The Cruise Director position is very important to the enjoyment of my cruise experience and I have completed 34 cruises and around the world voyage. I thought then that you should know about one of your other directors. Paul was cruise director on the February 29th cruise. All he did was lot of dancing at the departure deck parties from ports but my partner and I saw little of him until the night we saw far too much of him! You see he did a partial strip tease at the Chip-n-males show with the some of his male cruise staff. This was disgusting and my partner and I left as did many passengers. Is this something you condone?

John Says:

Hello San Fairy Anne,

Thanks for writing and I am a little puzzled here because the only CD we have called Paul is Paul Santley who was not on any of our ships in February as he was at home due to the sad passing of a family member. I have no way of looking up what ship you were on either but nevertheless I am so very sorry that you are upset you and I will pass on your comments to the right people. I do hope you and your partner enjoyed your cruise and my apologies once again.

Best wishes to you both.


Wendy E Asked:
John – Reply if you want

As someone who is terribly obese I thought you should see how others who are on cruises are losing the weight thanks to a special diet THAT WORKS! We are all talking about this on Cruise Critic and are getting help. As someone whose life expectancy at your weight is minimal and as a 3 times carnival cruiser I feel you MUST read this.

John this will save your LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


John Says:
Hello Wendy E,

I will reply to your very kind posting shortly but first I have to pause to eat a huge plate of chicken wings from the RedFrog Pub and wash that down with a massive bowl of pasta with clams from Cucina de Capitano. OK, I am back after a delicious snack and I have just a few moments before lunch to wish you and everyone else on this diet much success, health and happiness and thanks for your concern, you are most kind.

Best wishes


Mr.Fancypants Asked:

Hi John, (Please Reply)

Just off the Elation’s March 3rd, 4 day from Mobile to Cozumel. On Saturday the 5th, about 3 hours after leaving Cozumel to head home, a PA was made and we were advised the ship had turned around and we’re going back to Cozumel for a guest with a medical emergency. I had the “Behind the Fun” tour the next morning, and while on the bridge with the captain, another tour member asked about this situation. Apparently, the water was too rough to tender at Cancun which was much closer and the Mexican navy would not send a helicopter, so our only option was to head back to Cozumel.

Just curious about this kind of thing. How common is it to divert a ship?

Also, wanted to say that this was #10, and enjoyed my new VIP perks! One suggestion (wish) — how about free sodas for Platinum guests? I’d much rather have that than a free gift and canapés one night.

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Mr. Fancypants

John Says:
Hello Mr Fancypants,

It’s not all that uncommon to divert a ship because ships are like small towns and that means like small towns each and every week someone needs medical help and often urgent and immediate care. I doubt that there is ever a week that goes by when someone on cruise ship doesn’t require assistance and that’s when we call on the help of our maritime partners such as the U.S Coast Guard. When we call for that help we have to adhere to their requests and while oftentimes (especially when dealing with USCG) they are able to send a helicopter or a cutter to evacuate the guest. However, there are occasions where these modes of transport are not available and the ship has to divert to a port. More often than not the Coast Guard will come to the ship but as you experienced, that is not always possible. I am very glad you enjoyed the Behind the Fun tour and eventually we will announce our new Platinum program and I will certainly pass on your thoughts about the free sodas to the beards. I hope you had a wonderful cruise and congratulations on your Platinum status.

Best wishes,


DocF Asked:
Hello John, (Please Reply)

There seems to be some confusion amongst the PVPs regarding the number of Cruise Elegant nights for the transatlantic voyage of the Carnival Magic. When you get a chance, if you could advise me of this detail, I will be eternally in your debt. We are excited to have booked this wonderful adventure as Dear Wife and I love the relaxed atmosphere of sea days.

Thank you,


John Says:

Hello Doc F.
Well I have no idea how the PVP’s would know the answer because I haven’t even had the time to look at the transatlantic cruise yet. However, I think there will be two and no more although we will have a Halloween Party as well of course. I will promise to confirm this as soon as I get your Carnival Magic delivered and I am looking forward to sharing those wonderful sea days with you both.

Best wishes


Peg 541 Asked:
John, Please REPLY

There will be five of us on the Valor on 24th of April and we need a private table and not with other passengers sitting with us. Also we need a special request taken care of please. My wife has a horseshoe that she needs to hang on the inside of her cabin door and unless this can be done she will not sleep at all. This sounds strange too many but not to me or my wife. A horseshoe hung in the bedroom will keep nightmares away and since something terrible happened to her she had constant nightmares until we hung this horseshoe on her bedroom door and the nightmares stopped.

Thank you John.

John Says:

Hello Peg 541,

I have asked the maitre d to help you with the table assignment and I am glad I saw this email in time because you are sailing on Sunday. I have also spoken to the ship and I ask that you give the lucky horseshoe to your stateroom steward when you board the ship and are in your cabin and when you return from dinner it will be fixed to the inside of your cabin door…..the horseshoe that is ………..not the stateroom steward. I wish you a wonderful cruise and care fee nights

Best wishes,


Meghan Jones Asked:

Hello John, (please reply if possible)

I just want to send you a quick review of the carnival freedom trip I was on (2/26-3/6) and start off by saying this has become my number 1 cruise ( I have only taken 4 so I guess it’s not that hard to do).

I also want to take this time to thank you for sending champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to our room…I believe we got it because of the Facebook comment I posted while we were in St. Thomas. My husband and I were surprised and most appreciative that you took the time to send something to us.

Now onto the review, and my only negative comment- San Juan at night, just not for me. I feel that there is not many tours that take place that interest a wide range of people, and while you can get off and go to senor frogs (and I think the entire boat did!) I would have preferred something different….but that’s the only “negative” so to say.

As I said, the Freedom became my favorite cruise. I spent many nights in the piano bar with Dave, who managed to write out the keys/lyrics to a song I had requested night one and finished by Monday (which happened to be my birthday so that was awesome of him). He really took time and effort to make sure the guests were happy and enjoying their time on the boat.

The food was good as always, and the staff was great, we did anytime dining, and while I liked always getting a table for two- I did miss having the same team every night getting to know us.

The punchliner comedy club I think was a great addition! I love comedy shows, so having one almost nightly was an added bonus.

The weather was okay, but for the first two days it was so windy the upper decks were closed! – so if you could please tell the captain to slow down next time, that would be great. (kidding…I think!)

In order to give me quiet time to get ready, my husband spent many nights starting at the sports bar where “Z” took good care of him, and myself when I finally showed up.

Lastly, is my favorite person on the boat Amy R. the shopping specialist. She started by answering my quick question during a night in the piano bar, and turned into a friend I plan to keep in touch with! She was so genuine and just an all around great person. I know other guests that met her also felt the same way.

I guess I just wanted to send this to you so that I know for sure someone at Carnival hears it. I have only cruised carnival and find no need to go elsewhere (what’s the saying, if it isn’t broke don’t try to fix it?)

Anyways, thanks again!

John Says:
Hello Meghan Jones,

Thanks so much for the great review of one of my favourite ships. I will make sure that everyone onboard sees this and you are the second person this week to mention Amy the shopping specialist to me and how wonderful she is, I will make sure she sees what a great impact she had on your cruise. I understand that San Juan isn’t for everyone and it’s a shame we don’t spend the daytime hours there as it really is a beautiful place. Thanks so much for writing and thank you for all the kind words and I hope that we will see you onboard again soon.

Best wishes,


Dennis Moore Asked:
Hi John, (reply if you wish)

The wife and I just returned from our 4 day Carnival Inspiration cruise to Cozumel. What follows may seem like a commercial for Carnival. However, I can assure you that it is simply a review of our vacation aboard our Carnival Inspiration.

First of all, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I wrote to you before our cruise and asked for your help in obtaining a table for two for my wife and I. This cruise was a chance for us to put all of our cares behind us for a few days and just spend time together. The first night we were shown to our table and sure enough it was a table for two in a perfect location in the dining room. Within 5 minutes our Maitre’d Roland was at our table greeting us. He said a very good friend had emailed him and arranged for our table. He was more than happy to oblige and sends along his best wishes to you John. Roland greeted us every evening as we entered the dining room by name. We also ran into him several times around the ship and he always took a minute to ask us how we were doing. A true credit to Carnival!

Our head waiter was Damir. I can’t describe to you in words how wonderful he was. We just loved him! He was beyond fantastic in the way he took care of us each evening. But more than that we were able to get to know him on a more personal level by speaking with him outside the dining room. What a kind, caring and passionate person he is. By the end of our 4 days he seemed like family to us. And just a little plug for him…he is hoping to be able to work aboard our Carnival Magic. He is from Croatia and would love to be able to be closer to home and his beautiful wife. Wherever he is assigned next the guests aboard that ship will love him!

Our assistant waiter was Steven. He was attentive and anticipated our every need. Damir was quick to point out that Steven deserved much of the credit for our dining room experience. Kudos to you Steven!… We had the same bar waiter each evening in the dining room. He was a kind young man named Marco. After ordering a Sprite and Ginger Ale the 1st night we never had to ask again. Each evening when we arrived in the dining room Marco was there within minutes with our drinks. And 3 or 4 times each evening he would make sure we had a refill. He was fantastic. Overall, our dining room experience was the best we have ever had!

Our cruise director was Stephanie Meads. We had Stephanie on our last Carnival Inspiration cruise as well. She did not disappoint! When we arrived in our cabin on embarkation day we got a knock on the door. To our surprise there was a crew member there delivering a bottle of champagne, a coveted 24kt plastic ship on a stick and a personal note from Stephanie. The note was to welcome us back to the ship and to let us know she would be there for anything we should need. Such a nice surprise. We saw Stephanie several times over the 4 days and she always said hello and asked how we were. I was also very impressed with her as she had to handle some unruly passengers during the cruise. This included one who walked onstage during the Welcome Aboard show and tried to grab her and the microphone. Assistant Cruise Director Nick quickly came out and escorted the man from the stage. A situation that could have been uglier was handled as tactfully as possible and Stephanie never lost her composure. I believe Stephanie has grown greatly as a cruise director since our last trip in September 2010. She is becoming quite a star and we love her!

We had a lovely time on this cruise John. Again, thank you so much for you kind help in getting the table for two for us. It was more appreciated than I can tell you. Every time I go on a Carnival cruise I leave thinking that the experience cannot be beaten. Then I go back and I am proven wrong. I have been on the Carnival Inspiration 3 times in 10 months and it just keeps getting better. I can tell you that I am sad to see that she will move to the West Coast in December. We are hoping for one more cruise aboard her before the move. If not I am sure that the Carnival Paradise will be lovely as well. In the meantime, we have already booked a September cruise on my Carnival Legend. And as of this date we have 10 family members joining us. Only 185 days until we sail again!

Thanks again John for all that you do. I hope you realize how much you are appreciated by those who read this blog. And it isn’t just because you have helped so many of us with requests. It is because you bring us into your world and share so much of yourself with us. Your musings and stories are required reading for so many of us. I look forward to one day sailing with you and getting the opportunity to thank you in person for all of the kindness you have shown me and for all of the laughter your blog provides. Thanks again John!

Please pass along my best wishes to your lovely girls!

Dennis Moore (no….not THAT Dennis Moore)

John Says:
Hello Dennis Moore…………no I won’t sing the song this time.

I loved your Carnival commercial because it was written by someone who obviously had a brilliant time on board. I will make sure that as always all the people you mentioned get to see this and my thanks to Damir for all his help. He and all the people you mentioned are indeed a true credit to Carnival. Poor Stephanie, I am glad it all worked out and of course it is part of her learning curve. She is doing a great job and I am very proud of her. Please let me know if there is anything you need before you cruise again and thanks for always reminding me about that brilliant Monty Python song.

My best wishes to you both.


And that most eclectic group of questions is over for today. I had better press on with this blog as my life expectancy is minimal and I could die any moment so let’s crack on.

And now one day later than expected……..here is Vance with the official word on BC5.

The new 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic has been selected as the venue for the fifth annual “John Heald Bloggers Cruise,” which brings together fans of the senior cruise director’s blog (www.johnhealdsblog.com) for a week full of fun activities, exclusive giveaways and unforgettable memories.

The seven-day western Caribbean voyage will sail round-trip from Galveston, Texas, March 4-11, 2012, visiting Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico.

The Bloggers Cruise brings together hundreds of readers of the popular on-line site — which has attracted nearly 10 million page views since its launch in 2007 – providing an opportunity to make new friends and reacquaint with others in the blogging community.

Carnival Magic is the ideal venue for this cruise, offering an atmosphere of spirited fun that has made the Bloggers Cruises a must-attend event. With an engaging interior design and a host of unique and exciting spaces that foster social interaction and create a sense of community among guests, Carnival Magic will provide a truly memorable setting for such signature Bloggers Cruise activities as “Tea Time with John,” lively Q&A sessions, unforgettable game shows, welcoming and closing receptions, and other fun events.

An exclusive bloggers-only shore excursion will be offered and a number of keepsake items will also be provided to all participants. Of course, Heald will be blogging throughout the weeklong cruise.

“Five……five Bloggers Cruises! That’s absolutely brilliant and a testament to the people that read my blog. I am excited that Bloggers Cruise 5 is going to be held on Carnival’s newest flagship and I am delighted that I will be able to share all her wonderful and innovative features with my readers. See y’all in Texas!” Heald said.

Heald’s blog has attracted a loyal following for his willingness to provide readers with a unique perspective on the cruise industry, a veritable peek behind the “crew only” door, with humorous and often poignant tales of the people and places he comes in contact with on a daily basis. Heald also answers reader questions and profiles his cruise industry colleagues both at Carnival and the company’s other brands.

In addition to the exclusive activities and giveaways, Bloggers Cruise participants can experience all that the Carnival Magic has to offer, from island-inspired drinks and snacks at the RedFrog Pub, which will also feature its own private label draught beer called ThirstyFrog Red, or a delicious meal of Italian favorites at Cucina del Capitano, which brings the heritage of Carnival’s captains to the table. There’s also action-packed SportSquare, an expansive open-air recreation complex featuring the first ropes course at sea, along with cruising’s first outdoor fitness area

Other features include Ocean Plaza, a stunning indoor/outdoor café and live music venue; The Lanai, an outdoor wrap-around promenade with whirlpools that extend over the ship’s sides and an open-air barbeque area; and WaterWorks, an expansive aqua park with a 312-foot-long spiral waterslide, the longest in the Carnival fleet. A variety of accommodation categories, including five-berth, two-bath staterooms that should be popular with families and cove balconies located closer to the water line, are available, as well.

Carnival Magic is set to debut May 1, 2011, in Europe and will launch year-round seven-day Caribbean service from Galveston November 14, 2011.

Reservations are currently being accepted for the fifth annual John Heald Bloggers Cruise. Fare code PBL must be referenced during the reservations process.

For additional information and reservations for the Bloggers Cruise or any other Carnival voyage, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

Vance truly has summed up just why this could be……the best Bloggers Cruise ever. I hope you will join me and let me show you this gorgeous ship that oozes fun. Here she is..…your Carnival Magic as seen through the lens of the one and only Radu, our senior fleet photographer.


Naming ceremonies for cruise ships come and go but some raise the bar so very high. Have a look at the night of the proms that AIDA Cruises hosted for the launch of the beautiful AIDAsol. The stars were out and so were 50,000..yep..…50,000 people to enjoy the music of the stars and to welcome their new ship.

The German people love AIDA Cruises and this video shows just how much they do. I know none of you will probably ever get to see their ships but I wish you could. They are truly wunderbar.

Yesterday I spoke about excursions and today the beards have informed me of a new review thingy that they have set up on the website…………..here is the Bearded Everett to tell you all about it.

Hi everyone, we’re really excited to let you know about this really cool thing that some of the beards on our team have been working on for the last few months.

Think about the most fun shore excursion you’ve ever been on. Remember how you got back to the ship and couldn’t stop talking about what an amazing time you had. Then, when you got home, you told everyone you talked to about, oh, how amazing it was riding ATVs in Cabo san Lucas. Or ziplining in Ocho Rios. Or… whatever it was.

There’s a new feature on Carnival.com that lets you do just that, and share your opinions with everyone who cruises Carnival. Be among the first Carnival cruisers EVER to rate and review your favorite shore excursion — and read what others have to say about theirs — right now at carnival.com/Activities… just find your shore excursion to get started. You can even share your fun photos and videos, check prices, schedules and more! Head over there now and choose a shore excursion to get started.

– Bearded Everett

I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of magic shows. I know that it is impossible to make the Statue of Liberty disappear or turn a white tiger into a hamster as it is impossible that Megan Fox will wake up one morning and realise she wants me to cover herself in sugar free chocolate, call me and say bon appetit. But there is no doubting that our guests love it and over the years we have had some brilliant magicians who perform on our ships. Rand Woodbury, Justin Illusion, Bret “The Straightjacket” Alans, Booby Borgia, Jaime Allen, Tim Starr and of course the creators and producers of our new magic show on the appropriately named Carnival Magic ……. Kevin and Caruso. You may have seen their elaborate shows on the Carnival Triumph but as the old saying goes…………..you ain’t seen a sodding thing yet.

Magic it seems is more popular than ever and of course we have to thank the world’s most famous magician for that. Yep, Harry Potter has had an impact and kids want to see real magicians at their parties not some guy in a clown suit pulling a stuffed rabbit out of his arse ………sorry…………I mean hat.

But apart from the bespectacled spotty Harry who else is there? Well, I remember at home in the UK and in the States that magic used to be on the TV all the time. Prime time Saturday night acts like David Copperfield seem to have disappeared from our TV’s. But thanks to people like David Blaine……..like him or love him………magic is making a massive comeback. And that comeback is going to be completed by Kevin and Caruso’s new show……Destination Unknown.

As our Entertainment Production Manager Preston Bircher said recently “This is the most complicated and largest show we have ever put on any of our ships” and that’s saying something when you think of some of the shows we already have. Magic has I think to stay surprising to survive and here on the Carnival Magic those surprises are going to be….absolutely astonishing.

As I mentioned the other day here in the blog thingy I am in the process of writing the new script for the life boat………bugger……..the safety briefing for the Carnival Magic. I mentioned that I intend to make it as fun as possible without diluting the obvious importance of safety onboard. But these days it’s not just about lifeboats which by the way on your Carnival Magic are huge and can accommodate up to 185 guests! Anyway, the life boat drill used to be just about just that, the life boats, which one is yours and which one you are assigned to, etc.

These days however it’s also about smoking and the areas you must and must not do this ………. washing your hands to prevent gastro illness……the environmental rules and regulations and even tips on saving water when you brush your teeth by turning the tap off and talking of turning things off I will be explaining about the new key system which controls the cabin lights now.

The latter part about the key card was, respectfully, explained pretty badly in the briefing I received and I am in the process of re-writing it because even when I explained it on Facebook the other day, I had loads of people either not fully understand or think that this was the work of the devil and started crossing themselves. So, I will be explaining that it doesn’t affect the air conditioning, the 110 power and that if you left the light switch in the on position when you left the cabin, the lights will automatically turn on. This is an energy saving device that keeps the fuel usage down which is of course very important. But, the safety briefing is now a list of things guests must do and I am a little concerned that on vacation it’s not what they want to hear. Sea is no different I guess to land. It’s only when you add up the number of new laws that have come along that you realise just how many laws there are these days.

I was speaking to the staff captain here on the Carnival Magic who told me that in Italy you may not legally fix a broken window pane in your own home unless you are a qualified broken window pane mender and that when the work is done you must get it inspected by a broken window inspector from the local mafia……I mean council.. Furthermore, I learned from Heidi that in Holland it is against the law to change the electrical sockets in your own kitchen.

There’s so much more to come as well. Horse racing will be banned, you will not be allowed to tread on a cockroach, you will not be able to have rumpy pumpy except on Fridays. Red meat will have to be marked with a government health warning and you will be prevented from telling jokes about yourself, men, women, Muslims, Catholics, the Irish, RCI, Polar Bears, fat men with bent teeth, the French, The Norwegian Epic and Wendy E.

Naturally you will also be banned from smoking cigars anywhere except Uranus, owning a copy of Latvian Bottoms Weekly and sending Christmas cards that feature the nativity. Happily, you will be allowed to cruise but only on a ship that uses camel piss for fuel and serves a tofu melting cake at dinner. I’ve had enough.

I’ll carry on telling jokes about myself and when the ship is in Marseille next month I shall stand on the gangway and hand out surgical masks to the 4,000 guests. And then, when I go to bed tonight, after I’ve altered all the wiring in my kitchen and eaten a whole cow and smoked a cigar in the middle of the RedFrog Pub………….naked.

Well now it’s the moment you have all been waiting for. I know many of you have been anxious for information on the Carnival Breeze’s homeport and I am not going to have you wait any longer because I am proud to tell you the Carnival Breeze’s homeport is………ugghh……..it’s …..,,,,,aagghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……………………she will ……………. ughhhhhhhhh …………… aggghhhh………….sail……. aggghhhhhhhh …….. from ………. agghhhhhh……….. aggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh ……………….Wendy E was right ………….. agghhhhh ……………….. goodbye

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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.


  1. You nut!!!! Thanks for not telling us where Breeze will be homeporting! Guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s blog?

  2. richard hawkins says:


    Sorry for the 2nd exam. Hopefully they won’t be too tough on you.
    Now for the serious stuff: trying to purchase a Grand Suite on the Magic transatlantic crossing. Informed that my dining choices are 5:30 or 8:15. don’t want to eat at either of those times. I am not sure why when someone wants to reserve a Grand Suite that anytime dining should not be available vs. simply booking early. Seems to me that that should be one of the benefits of paying as much as one does for a Grand Suite should be the option of dining time. It is a deal breaker for me.

  3. Joe Kyle & The Pole Cat says:

    Yea for BC5! Already asked for vacation and making reservations!

  4. Jared Sessum says:

    Carnival Conquest Issues
    1. Safety Muster: It seems that there should be a better way to conduct this drill rather than having everybody all crammed into one confined area. We were told to meet on deck 4 in our designated area at 3:30. We were there on time but people continued to arrive until after 4:00 and they kept us all standing shoulder to shoulder and weren’t able to move around. It was extremely hot and stuffy and they would not allow anybody to have any drinks.

    2. Cruise Director: We only saw him once during his opening speech. On previous cruises the CD was always out walking around and speaking with passengers. It was almost as if we didn’t even have a cruise director. It seemed as though the Assistant CD, James, conducted most of the activities.

    3. Maître de of Monet Restaurant: He did an absolute terrible job. He never was noticed walking around speaking to his guests. On our previous Carnival cruise our MTD would make a point to speak to every table (or his assistants would) to ensure that we were having a good dinner and enjoying ourselves.

    4. On the first “Elegant” night on the cruise there was a broken pipe that caused a small electrical fire. No details were passed on to us explaining the delay. All that they did was have the wait staff continue to pass out bread to everyone. After an hour they informed everyone that dinner would not be served and told everyone to go to the Lido deck and dinner was available there. Upon our arrival at the Lido deck they were serving cold turkey and cheese sandwiches. The only consolation that was offered was a free soda or glass of wine at the next evening’s dinner. Unfortunately, Jennifer and I already had reservations at the steakhouse and we were not given enough time to reschedule the reservation to take part in the “Elegant” night menu.

    5. The staff of the jewelry shop seemed more concerned on making a sale and making their commission than they did about getting us what we wanted. We purchased a wedding ring on the ship for myself and the salesman told us that Carnival would be able to have the ring sized for me for free. They provided the information and told us to mail it when we returned from the cruise. After we were home Jennifer was looking into mailing the ring and saw on the website that Titanium rings cannot be resized. We took this to a local jeweler that we have used for previous alterations and they confirmed that Titanium cannot be resized. There was a sign posted on the ship that all sales were final, no refunds or exchanges. Lets just hope this will not be the case when their employees are at fault. If they are not experienced on the products in the store they should not be selling them, and they definitely should not be telling people information that is not true. Now we are waiting a reply from Carnival on what we can do with this ring, since it does not fit I have no use for it at all.

    6. The staff overall was not as helpful or friendly as on previous ships and cruises. Most of the cruise felt like it was a sales pitch to get us to spend money. From the bartenders constantly walking around trying to get us to buy drinks, to the sales people in the gift shops trying to pressure you to buy things. Jennifer did not even want to make an appointment at the spa after I told her about my experience and them trying to get me to buy all of the products they used during my treatment.

    Overall, we still enjoyed ourselves. It was just not as enjoyable as we had hoped. If this would have been my first experience on a Carnival Cruise Ship it definitely would have been my last.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Jared: I may be able to help with number 5 (the ring).

      All purchases onboard the ship are guaranteed for one year. You can return it for any reason (including just changing your mind) for a full refund.

      We returned a watch that we purchased for our son. (It stopped working after 9 months) And they refunded our money in full..no questions asked.

      Here is the contact information.

      Starboard Cruise Services
      Customer Service Department
      8034 N. W. 14th Street
      Miami, Fl. 33126

      Hope that helps.

      Linda (Mom of DJ)

  5. Joe Kyle & The Pole Cat says:

    Booking this ASAP

  6. Stefani says:

    I booked group space on the Bloggers Cruise… my plans are to go… this will be my first Bloggers cruise. Can’t wait!

    Looking forward to meeting you in just under a year.

    Stefani (yes, I am a Stefani with the proper spelling LOL)

  7. Bill Heck says:

    Hello John:

    I laughed at the part about the doctor feeling your prostate, and when I read the closing paragraph, where you should have put the Breeze homeport, I laughed even harder thinking you bring it on yourself!

    Your Friend

    Bill Heck

  8. Marivonne says:

    to Wendy E

    • Mike says:

      Agreed. While we would all like to see John as a CD for the next 50 years, that sort of “help” only deserves a specific gesture in response. Well, I guess being in Italy it might be a different gesture that the one I’d use, but John has the decency to be nice about it.

  9. Leon Biesiadecki says:

    We going to learn about the Breeze’s homeport about the time we learn what the new Platinum program is (that was promised to us the first of the year)?

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Actually, we first heard “talk” about what the Jim Berra was going to do with the Loyalty Program on BC2 (February 2009)….hopefully the Breeze announcement won’t take that long.


  10. Sharon says:

    In response to this question today:
    ” Paul was cruise director on the February 29th cruise. All he did was lot of dancing at the departure deck parties from ports but my partner and I saw little of him until the night we saw far too much of him! You see he did a partial strip tease at the Chip-n-males show with the some of his male cruise staff. This was disgusting and my partner and I left as did many passengers. Is this something you condone?”

    Which ship was this and where do I sign up to be in the audience? Seriously, it’s about time the women have an equal opportunity show! Again, if the show was truly called Chip-n-males did you truly not understand what the show was going to be? Did you think it was about two adorable chipmunks and the “males” that handle them? Use common sense, if the show is something you don’t think you’ll enjoy, don’t go! If you get there and you realize it’s not your cup of tea, LEAVE but let the rest of us have our FUN!

    • Betty says:

      I agree with you on this, Sharon.. On ALL counts too!! I woulda STAYED.. But if this person had read the FUNTIMES before going to the show, this wouldnt have been a problem, that and the fact that not EVERYTHING was removed from his body!! Come on!! Get real.. Should have just stayed away if that be the case.. GEESH

  11. John,

    I had a lot to say so I broke this up into a short and long version. These two versions make essentially the same point with more context and detail in the long version…

    Short Version…
    I am writing to thank you, my Personal Vacation Planner Sarah Elizabeth, and Carnival for a wonderful cruise experience on the Carnival Freedom. Any attention you might give to my story is appreciated.

    A decade ago, my beautiful new bride and I cruised on the Carnival Holiday. The crew was great and the food spectacular. We cruised in February. The weather was bearable, but always too cold to enjoy the decks in anything less than a sweatshirt. Over the last ten years, we have often recalled our short cruise on the Holiday.

    We decided to take a cruise for our tenth anniversary. Sarah Elizabeth answered the phone when I called to begin planning our cruise. Sarah listened for what we enjoyed on our last cruise and she listened to the reasons why we had waited ten years to book another cruise. Sarah exceeded my expectations as my Personal Vacation Planner, thus contributing substantially to a great cruise for my family.

    John, I am writing to thank you and Sarah for a great cruise even though we will not board the Carnival Freedom for several weeks. I am thanking you in advance, because I sincerely appreciate the authentic picture I believe you offer of the Carnival cruise experience. You have prepared me and my family for some of the imperfections that are part of every vacation. For instance, if we are unable to find a chair on deck, I will think of how you have handled complaints of chair hogs. I will not be demanding a dime of onboard credit for our inconvenience should we learn our itinerary has been impacted by a medical evacuation. I do understand that problems arise on the most well planned vacations. I appreciate how responsive you, and in response to legitimate issues, Carnival is in making changes when there is a valid concern. I trust that any problems will be handled fairly.

    Kathy, Patrick (9), Sam (7) and I are taking an eight day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Freedom. We sail July 16. We are booked in adjoining rooms 2340 and 2344. You have already contributed so much to our experience. Still, your encouragement to ask for a little gift has not been lost on me. On behalf of my family, if there is any little thing you can send along to make a great cruise even better, it would be much appreciated. I acknowledge that you are very, very busy getting ready to sail on Carnival Magic. If you do not see this until after our cruise, or you do not respond, I will take your lack of response as a sign you are too busy involuntarily contemplating Luigi’s arse and observing the ritual mating habits of crew members preparing to sail from within a cloud of fine cigar smoke. Of course, I am kidding. Whether or not you respond, please know how much you have already contributed to a great cruise.

    Long Version…
    I am writing to thank you, my Personal Vacation Planner Sarah Elizabeth and Carnival for a wonderful cruise experience on the Carnival Freedom. Despite your incredibly busy schedule no doubt complicated by involuntarily contemplating Luigi’s arse and observing the ritual mating habits of crew members preparing to sail from within a cloud of fine cigar smoke, I do hope you have a few minutes to read these words of sincere appreciation. Seriously, I do acknowledge how hard you must work and the pressure you must sense in preparing for the maiden voyage of Carnival Magic. Any attention you might give to my story is appreciated.

    Eleven years ago, my beautiful new bride and I cruised on the Carnival Holiday. We were married at my home parish in Boulder City, NV. We spent a few days in Las Vegas before driving to Los Angeles to board the Carnival Holiday for what we expected to be the highlight of our honeymoon. Please understand the cruise was too short, but nevertheless wonderful. Neither of us had cruised, so we had no frame of reference for what to expect.

    We had a great time on the Holiday despite the exhaustion of spending most of our time in a Las Vegas hotel room prior to the cruise. We remember some of the offerings that intrigued us on the ship although we had no energy to take advantage of those opportunities. Here I am thinking, for instance, of the midnight buffets. We remember offerings of Mexican and Italian buffet themes. One night, we even set our alarm to get up and go see who would partake in a feeding frenzy on cream sauce or pasta and meatballs at midnight. We enjoyed the shore excursions and still have a couple of cherished souvenirs prominently displayed in our home that remind us of our experience. The crew was great and the food spectacular. A decade ago, we cruised in February. The weather was bearable, but always too cold to enjoy the decks in anything less than a sweatshirt. Getting off the ship was a bit tedious, but not stressful.

    Over the last ten years, we have often recalled our short cruise on the Holiday. Every year we make a decision on where to invest our limited vacation time and dollars. Nearly every year we have at least considered another cruise, but never took the step in booking another. Then, for our tenth anniversary we decided that it was time to again cruise with Carnival. We thought long and hard about our experience, and reflected upon why we would wait ten years to take another cruise when we had such a nice time on our first cruise. In our family, I am the planner. We decided to cruise with Carnival for our tenth anniversary, but that is the only decision we made. We did not decide on the duration, the ship, or the itinerary.

    It is it at that this point I contacted Carnival. Sarah Elizabeth answered the phone. Sarah listened. She took personal interest in the story I just told you. More importantly, in her role as our Personal Vacation Planner, she listened for what we enjoyed in our last cruise and she listened to the reasons why we had waited ten years to book another cruise. In short, she exceeded my expectations and prepared me for a great cruise experience. Through her interest and competence, Sarah reminded me of what makes Carnival one of the world’s premier companies. She cared about our past experience. Sarah took a personal interest in ensuring that we would not wait another decade before booking another cruise by planning our impending cruise. The care that Sarah took in helping me plan our cruise allayed the fears I was beginning to experience from reading those forums unabashedly oriented to criticism. In short, my Personal Vacation Planner, Sarah Elizabeth, contributed substantially to a great cruise for my family.

    Sometime after booking our cruise I discovered your blog thingy. We are very busy, our lives too often stressful, and our vacation dollars are invested with great care. My family seeks to wring as much fun from a vacation as possible. By this I do not mean that we are demanding. Rather, I mean that around our dinner table following a vacation, we relive the experience and extend our fun. For months prior to our vacation, we learn as much as possible about where we are going and what we will be doing. Your blog thingy contributed immeasurably to our experience. I often read excerpts from your blog thingy when we are gathered around the dinner table.

    John, I am writing to thank you for a great cruise even though we will not board the Carnival Freedom for several weeks. I am thanking you in advance, because I sincerely appreciate the authentic picture I believe you offer of the Carnival cruise experience. I often read some of the more negative questions you receive with reaction ranging from embarrassment to outrage. Nevertheless, I always appreciate your responses no matter how caustic or vitriolic the tone with which you are sometimes addressed. I have also read with great interest some very touching stories as well as a wealth of eminently practical advice you offer past, present and future cruisers. Humor and wit are always present in your writing. Although, I must say that images of Luigi’s arse in tight leather pants and you in your underwear now haunt me.

    I can thank you for a great cruise several weeks before we sail, because you have prepared me and my family for some of the imperfections that are part of every vacation. For instance, if we are unable to find a chair on deck, I will think of how you have handled complaints of chair hogs. If we do not make it into a port, I will not be in line demanding a full refund for our cruise. Certainly, I will not be demanding a thin dime of onboard credit for our inconvenience should we learn our itinerary has been impacted by a medical evacuation.

    As a PhD student, I have learned to work poorly with five languages. I know how difficult it is to learn a second language. I cringe when I read a complaint written to you by someone whose own use of English grammar and syntax is lacking while complaining of a crew member’s English skills. Naturally, that same complainant would hardly consider learning another language given the scant evidence they have learned to master their own. Indeed, one is sure to get much further with a Latvian, if they at least attempt to learn their language. I know from experience and from logical business sense that many of the complaints you receive represent a vocal minority view. Notwithstanding, the overtly negative complaints you field in your blog, I appreciate how responsive you, and in turn, Carnival is in making changes when there is a legitimate concern.

    The examples of what can go wrong on a cruise, as with any vacation, are too numerous to cite with the example of the Carnival Splendor being among the most extreme. Your blog thingy has helped prepare my family for our cruise by helping us anticipate some of what may go wrong with no expectation that anything actually will go wrong. Without reading a single word of your blog thingy we would have boarded the Freedom and treated the crew with the respect and appreciation they deserve. Reading your blog thingy and interacting with Sarah Elizabeth, however, has deepened our appreciation for how hard the crew works and how much they are sure to care about our experience. If they get busy, or in some way are distracted by a more demanding fellow cruiser, somehow I think I am more likely to laugh by recalling something you wrote to address that specific situation than I am to get upset.

    Thanks to you and Sarah Elizabeth, we are going to have a great cruise. The very fact that Carnival not only lets you write so openly and honestly, but supports your endeavors only underscores what a great company with whom I have entrusted the precious resources my family is able to invest in our vacation. No vacation is perfect. Our cruise will not be perfect. Thanks to you and Sarah, whatever our experience we are sure to enjoy our cruise so much more thanks to you.

    Kathy, Patrick (9), Sam (7) and I are taking an eight day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Freedom. We sail July 16. Thanks to the recommendation by Sarah Elizabeth, we are booked in adjoining rooms 2340 and 2344. You have already contributed so much to our experience. Still, your encouragement to ask for a little gift has not been lost on me. On behalf of my family, if there is any little thing you can send along to make a great cruise even better, it would be much appreciated. I acknowledge that you are very, very busy getting ready to sail on Carnival Magic. If you do not see this until after our cruise, or do not respond, I will understand. Whether or not you respond, please know how much you have already contributed to a great cruise.

  12. April S says:

    Love your blog.. this is the first time I’ve responded to it… mostly to let the powers that be know that I LOVE that I can read reviews on excursions now!!!
    But the systems not working right. I just tried to write a review on our excursion to the Xunantunich ruins and it’s telling me I already wrote a review for it and showing me someone named Terry’s review???

    I can’t wait until we find out where the Breeze will be.. WTH does “Wendy E was right” mean!!!! You’re killing me!

  13. Jeanette says:

    John, you are diplomatic on how you handle those kooks who want to offer advice on losing weight and then use the scare tactic that your life expectancy will be shorter. They don’t know your family history, health history, and that if you are diabetic you really have to follow a doctor’s plan for weight loss. They mostly mean well, but c’mon think before you say anything….Anyone who suggests it to me get the usual answer, not everyone is fluffy because of eating, no sometimes Mom n Dad don’t give us the best genes and you can’t do much to change your DNA. Now if someone offered cosmetic surgery to help, I’m sure to jump on that offer cuz starving myself does nothing!!!

    Bloggers Cruise–I was on BC4 and had a great time…oh well, my finances are a slight disaster right now so it looks like, at this time, I won’t be able to be on BC5 and have a chance to meet the others that were on BC4…alas, now if I get lucky enough and win some money, I’d be there in a heartbeat!!!!

    I’ll be on the Magic at the end of November, so I do hope you’ll still be on the ship, and Hedi and Kye are with you!

  14. don branson says:

    John , what is this train in Venice to the boat ? where to meet it? I applied though you for the chefs table for 2 when will I know?

    Thanks don b 2289

  15. Sallie says:


  16. Zack Goldford says:

    What homeport is it?

  17. Loretta Wampler says:

    Please send a nice fresh Breeze to San Diego!

  18. LadyJag (Laura) says:

    Cruel, John! Very cruel!
    What’s the phrase? Oh yeah – “cheeky sod!”


  19. John, that’s not fair. I’ve been waiting for a long time to find out about the Carnival Breeze’s homeport. Since I have to fly to go where ever the homeport is I want to know now please.
    As far as checking on with your doctor and having a finger placed up your rectum, that’s nothing. Try a bioposy to check your prostate. They place a large needle up your rectum and at the same time they shoot 12 needles in your prostate. Now that is pain my friend. The finger job is nothing.
    I just sent a birthday card to Heidi and I’ve created a birthday card for Kye that will go out next month. I love creating these birthday cards for my friends. Well have a great time on the Carnival Magic.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

    • An Aussie with itchy feet says:

      You guys are all soft.

      I have 2 words for you “child birth”

      • Diane says:

        Are you kidding me??? I compare any and all hardships in life to childbirth. Nothing compares to the PAIN, exhilaration, joy, amazement, and pure happiness in childbirth. The years after offer up many other emotions that only a parent can relate to.

  20. Jean Paul says:

    Hi John….please acknowledge.

    I posted this on your FB page twice without you acknowledging you passed it on or even read it.

    I want to give kudos to Carnivals Special Needs PVP Kathrine Richmond. She has gone above and beyond for Me and my special needs. As in a cabin and other info. Please let her ‘beards’ know, she deserves it. She is the very very best.

  21. Julie Mendenhall (jrmende63) says:

    John…I happened to notice that San Fairey Ann sailed on FEBRUARY 29…there was no Feb 29th this year! Was this post written perhaps on April Fools day? Just sayin…….

    • Julie Mendenhall (jrmende63) says:

      And you are about to Kill Mrs. Carnival with the Carnival Breeze homeport news…she is dying to know! Wendy E my ARSE!! LOL

  22. Catherine Thomas says:

    I was really excited and waiting to find out about the BC5 but I am having trouble finding a room or catagory that we want available. Almost everything I am trying to book says that it is unavailable. I will go to my TA tomorrow and see if she has any more luck than I am having with it.

  23. Karen says:

    Good evening, John-

    You said “The German people love AIDA Cruises and this video shows just how much they do. I know none of you will probably ever get to see their ships but I wish you could. ”

    Oddly enough, one of their ships makes regular stops at our local cruise terminal, in the small city of Sydney, Nova Scotia. We get a lot of ships (mostly in the fall for our spectacular autumn colours around the Cabot Trail), but the AIDA ship is a new addition. I have to say that its most unique design attracted quite a crowd to the dock. Quirky and cute.

    My sister and her hubby will be traveling with you on on the Carnival Magic on May 10, and I must say, I do envy them. I expect that I will be regaled with amazing stories of this wonderful new ship and its incredible ports of call. (And the food!!) Oh well, next year I will be having my own adventure on the Carnival Freedom. 🙂

    Wishing you smooth sailing from eastern Canada …

  24. Joe Kyle & The Pole Cat says:

    We are all excited about the Bloggers Cruise 5 coming to Texas March 4th 2012!

  25. annette says:

    John-Another great blog. I love when you respectfully decline “advice” from others regarding your diet. It is the way they go about it that is all wrong. Instead of asking if they can share something with you and you accepting the offer, they impose themselves on you assuming you want/need their advice. So self-serving of them. It is all about them.
    Keep on telling them to “bugger off”!

  26. Larry Meador says:

    I just booked a cruise on the Dream for March 10, 2012… DANG IT!!!!!

    John, I wish you would tell people who comment on your weight to bugger off. You are far too nice.

    For most of my younger life I could turn side ways, stick out my tongue and look like a zipper. I was just bone skinny. I at like a horse, as my mother and friends will attest, but I could just never gain weight. I even had neighbors try to bring me food because they thought I didn’t have any. Subsequently, my metabolism has slowed down a little, although my appetite hasn’t.

    Don’t let them razz you about your weight. I’ve found that most people that concentrate that much on others, are really doing it to avoid critiquing themselves.

    Your friend from Texas,

    Larry Meador

  27. Jeff says:

    Come on, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel again? How about something new and different.

  28. million bells says:


    I worry about having to put your key into another slot and then having to remember to take it out of that slot before leaving the room. We have something similar here at work, and people routinely forget to take their key with them and lock themselves out of their offices. If we still do this after months of having this be standard, how will people on vacation remember? How easy will it be to get back into your room, if you leave the key in the lightswitch?

  29. mike sanford says:

    again I ask the question about the Legend passing under the bridge as itr leaves the port of Tampa and if Weee Jimmy will be the cd aboard the Legend. The question is what time wiil the Legend pass under the bridge we would like to know so we can have the experience to view this

    • Linda Janke Leach says:

      Mike, it’s about 90 minutes after you leave the Port of Tampa that you will go under the Sunshine Skyway. When we have 6pm dinner, it’s always during dinner, so now we do 8:15 dining so we can be up on deck. We live in the Tampa area and the Skyway is a beautiful sight! The CD schedule through mid-year is here on the blog. Wee Jimmy was on the Legend in October when we were there.

    • Dennis Moore says:


      I have never sailed on the Legend but have sailed on the Inspiration many times out of Tampa. If the ship leaves port around 4:00 as scheduled we have been going under the Skyway a little after 6:00. I hope this helps.

    • Kim says:

      Was on the Legend 4/3-4/10. We wanted to see this as well but, alas, we had early dining. Fortunately we had a table by a window so I was able to get a pic from the dining room as we went under. That was pretty cool. So to answer your question, it was around 6:30 when we went under. An announcement was made when we were about 40 minutes out.

  30. Mike says:

    FREE SODA for Platinum…. Yes! Agree! Here Here! It would cost Carnival very little, especially if they’d get machines, and make us quite happy. I’d probably also drink less of this crap than when buying a card! 🙂

    What would be really great would be a soda machine where I could swipe my card to get my own soda. I’d love to avoid the poor service for ‘non-paying’ customers, which many people claim doesn’t exist. Don’t get me wrong: there are many good servers but more than enough bad ones to make this a real problem.

    • Linda Janke Leach says:

      Mike, maybe it’s all in our “attitude” when we get our sodas. We’ve been on 15 Carnival cruises and hubby has a soda card (I don’t drink soda but I’m with him) every cruise. Never have I seen a problem with a bartender getting him a soda. Not once.

  31. Jessica H says:

    You are such a dork! Thanks alot for not telling us. Now, looking on carnival.com where do I enter the fare code for this bloggers cruise?

  32. Diane Shepherd says:

    JOHN – no wonder you were confused about San Fairy Anne — since the last February 29th cruise would have been back in 2008 — she was a little slow to send her post, don’t you think?

  33. Fairy Godmother says:

    ROFL – too funny. I am nominating myself your Fairy Godmother John. Wendy E was wrong. You may rise.

    Now tell me where the Breeze will be home-ported or I’ll send you back! *giggle*

  34. Mikey Brown says:

    John – A reply is appreciated Mate:

    OK – 1-800-CARNIVAL I think likes giving the run-around at times or maybe they are just bloody clueless. Call them to make sure my reservation is connected to BC5 and the first person says what is that group, then I get asked for a Group Booking number, not having one (I have a std booking number), I get routed to group booking, then to customer service, then saying I have to go through Travel1 (who ever that is) and then had audacity to ask me after this HOW CAN I HELP YOU TODAY. Frustrated and about to jump through the phone, I ended the call till I chilled and also so I wouldn’t say something stupid. OK – I’m good now. Exactly how does one make sure a reservation is associated with BC5? Gotta tell ya, my excitement yesterday was deflated when I called 1-800-Carnival today. If this were May already I would’ve thought this was Friday the 13th. OK off to the GYM I go!

  35. John – PLEASE REPLY

    Sadly, your choice of dates again precludes me from participating in the Blogger’s Cruise. Once again, you (or more probably the beards at Carnival) have chosen to have the cruise around the first of the month, which is a critical time for finance types like me.

    Please be sure to schedule BC6 later in the month so that I may attempt to join the festivities.


  36. Denise in Canada says:

    Hi John,
    I was showing pictures to my co-worker yesterday of our first, recent cruise on Carnival Inspiration out of Tampa. My dear husband took a photo while at port of a container sitting on the dock full of mattresses. We presume that they are perhaps going to the landfill. So it prompted a question… what do they do with these items when they are swapped out? If they are going to a landfill or being incinerated or something, do you think Carnival would consider maybe donating to the local shelters instead? I am sure there are very needy shelters as well as less fortunate families in these locations that would welcome such a comfortable matress to sleep on. Just a thought. 🙂 Happy cruising!

  37. Loretta Wampler says:

    If they send the Breeze to San Diego I will make you and Heidi a king size quilt.

  38. Duane says:

    Carnival is a joke. But like my wife, I can’t do without her. Truth of the matter is the Breeze does not exist.

  39. Alana Owen says:

    Hi John!
    I cannot understand why people think they need to tell you that you need to lose weight. I’m tired of these “well meaning” people who stick their noses in other peoples’ personal business! I think they need to look inward and concentrate on their own problems – one of which is their obvious need to impose their unwanted opinions on others. Ugh! Sorry to vent, but this issue is a real sore point with me.

    • Patricia "Carole" Holley says:

      Hi John, please forgive the length of this review but there are so many things I wanted to say about our B2B on the Elation. Here we go, you might want to “poop downstairs” first.

      Our group cruise on the Carnival Elation (sail date 4/9/11) was fantastic. My husband and I also did a back to back with the second sail date of 4/14/11 (by ourselves). The cruise started late but Carnival was great to help keep us updated, give us secure parking at the Civic Center, bus service to and from the Convention Center where we had a lunch served. We were able to spend the time in an air-conditioned building, had movies to watch, and people to talk to. It could have been much worse sitting in a hot car, waiting in line to park in the terminal. Carnival provided a very nice touch with the champagne and orange juice upon arriving on board, although I told the new cruisers this wasn’t normally served but they were all impressed by this gesture.

      We were with a group of people that included past cruisers and many new cruisers. All the new cruisers were “hooked” on cruising by the end of the cruise; all them want to go again. Everyone I talked to in our group understood about our delay. We know that the Elation had a medical emergency and then was delayed by fog. These are things beyond the control of Carnival and the captain. I know if any member of my family, or myself, needed to be taken into port due to a medical emergency, we’d be in good hands. The fog was Mother Nature’s way of showing us who’s boss.

      On board, we had great food, great entertainment and a wonderful time. We enjoyed the cruise director (Steve), Punchliner Comedy Club, disco, deck parties, tea time, casino, and many more things on board. We took the “Behind the Fun” tour and loved it. It was so interesting to see those places you never get to see. We enjoyed all of it. The picture on the bridge is a fantastic souvenir. I want to go on the other ships now and see their behind the scenes. In Cozumel we took our favorite shore excursion to Playa Mia Beach (Deluxe). We had 5 others with us who were new to cruising. They all had a great time and want to go back. We met so many people who were awesome. They represented the best of the best for Carnival. There are now more cruisers who love Carnival since we sailed. I’d like to shine a light on some “team members” and others who made this a memorable trip. I’d first like to say everyone on board always had a smile, asked about our day and made us feel so welcome-from the room stewards (even ones from different parts of the ship), Lido Deck wait staff, and even maintenance workers riding in the elevator with us. I’ll review several departments below and please forgive my spelling:

      Guest Services (Pursers Desk to me): I really feel for these people for doing their jobs in such a gracious way. When our embarkation was delayed and we finally boarded, I noticed these people were swamped by passengers complaining about the delay, complaining about their accounts, about the lunch (which Carnival didn’t have to provide) and many other issues. “Miss Joan” Sterling is beyond professional. We met her last October and she was very good at solving a problem for us on board then. She was no different with both these cruises. She even printed out a schedule of some future sailings on the Elation when me asked some questions at the desk. This is extraordinary because she wasn’t waiting on me at the time and I left before I knew what she was doing. I went back to the desk the next day and when she heard my voice from the back office, she came out quickly to give me the printed information. This is only one example of her “above and beyond” attitude. She also had 2 colleagues working there named Ria Steenkamp and O’Neil King who were a pleasure meeting. Ria was a very sweet young lady who helped me over the course of the cruises, including taking us through customs and back unto the ship in the middle of the B2B. We also had to move to another room and she was very good at explaining the procedure for this. O’Neil was a funny guy who was a “people person”. I noticed some passengers who just came up to say “hi” to him. Guest Services is a job I have great respect for.

      Main Dining Room (Inspiration , Table #310 and the table for two by the staircase): Venod Concessao, our Maitre D’ was outstanding. He was always smiling, calling you by name, asking about your day and truly professional at the same time. He spent much of his time talking to guests throughout the dining room and made us all feel special. It was a pleasure meeting him. He was kind enough to send us some wine and really made our day. The Restaurant Hostess Natalija Toulbert is one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever met. She is perfect as a hostess. It’s is such a good feeling to enter the dining room and see her smiling face, happy disposition, and the ultimate hostess to welcome passengers into any room. Ahmet and Remberto were a great wait staff. Ahmet would make sure I had coffee with my meal and my husband would have ice tea. Remberto was such a nice guy and he could sing. In fact, all our wait staff and those others who cared for our group did an excellent job serving the food and providing us with good memories. Carnival has a knack for finding the right people.

      Casino (where we spent many hours): The Casino Hostess, Anna Mosweu, was excellent. It was wonderful to see her again. She is probably one of the friendliest people we’ve met on our cruises. She is good at her job while making people happy. She makes everyone feel special. She was very nice to several of our “new cruisers” and impressed them a great deal. She helped make them yearn for another cruise again on Carnival. Paul Hicks, the casino manager, was a wonderful person to meet. He was a professional but he still had time to stop by and chat with passengers. Thank you, Paul, for the bag. I used it the next day. A Slot Attendant, Angel Hristoskov, was very good with people playing in the casino. He always smiled and asked about our day. Another person who worked in the Cashier’s Cage named Jennifer Dela Cruz needs to be recognized. What a shining personality. She was always smiling (and I saw her a lot) and seemed to make everyone around her happy. She is one of the most pleasant people we met on this cruise. A special thank you goes to Mike Martinez, Casino VIP Coordinator, at the land based Carnival Players Club. Mike has done so many wonderful things for us in the past but he topped himself for this cruise. We appreciate everything and didn’t let a thing go to waste. He always makes us feel special. One item we received had casino money (which we used promptly) and a reduction for a cruise that we plan to use this week to book another Carnival cruise. Mike Martinez is good about answering questions and providing information quickly and in such a personal way. Mike certainly “exceeds my expectations” every cruise.

      Lastly, John Heald: Thank you, John, for everything. So many goodies we shared them with our friends. The new cruisers were extremely impressed when we had many of them in our cabin to enjoy everything. We loved getting a ‘ship on a stick’ to add to our ‘fleet’. Everything you did was wonderful. It made our cruises full of good memories with good friends. Loved getting the towel-folding book.

      I hope that all the people above can get the recognition they deserve. Please thank them all again for making this time memorable for many others and us.
      Patricia “Carole” Holley

  40. Paul Ivanauskas says:

    Hi John!
    Thought you would love this story as much as we love carnival! Back in 2004, my wife and I sailed on the Miracle out of NY. We went with two thoughts in mind. 1) Have an extremely FUN vacation….2) It was time to finally start a family! *g*. Well, several weeks after the cruise our doctor told us the good news….we were having TWINS! (Guess we were upgraded with our own “miracle”? 🙂 ) Well, this year, our twins turn 6 next week and its our 10 year wedding anniversary….so….we are celebrating by going BACK to the Carnival Miracle this June 7th! And it will be in cabin 7178 which I remember was on the same level we were back 9 months before our children were born! Don’t know if I want a 2nd set of twins, but I do know I can’t wait to have a ton of fun about and in port! So thank you very much, not only for providing the best in entertainment and travel….but, indirectly, providing me with a family 😉


    Paul Ivanauskas

  41. debbie says:

    I am not sure if Mr. John will receive this but if you do. My family and I have been on Carnival Fascination several times and as a matter of fact we will be sailing on her twice this year,September and also November. Well the November 7 trip is going to be extra special because it will be my daughter, Selena’s VIP cruise. She is 15. So I was hoping you, Mr.John could the the Cruise Director know and maybe they could do something special for her. I was also wondering if there are any others her age that I have reached VIP status at this age. I would like to thank you for any help. Thanks alot.

  42. debbie says:

    I am not sure if Mr. John will receive this but if you do. My family and I have been on Carnival Fascination several times and as a matter of fact we will be sailing on her twice this year,September and also November. Well the November 7 trip is going to be extra special because it will be my daughter, Selena’s VIP cruise. She is 15. So I was hoping you, Mr.John could tell the Cruise Director know and maybe they could do something special for her. I was also wondering if there are any others her age that I have reached VIP status at this age. I would like to thank you for any help. Thanks alot.

  43. cclmary says:

    Hi Katie,

    All request must go through “ASK JOHN” page.

    Have a great time!

  44. cclmary says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    All request must go through “Ask John” Page.

    Have a great day!


  45. fuelflea says:


    My wife and I had a canvas portrait made on the Glory for our 25th anniversary. This portrait has faded severely in the 4 years since the cruise. We are now planning our 30th anniversary cruise to Hawaii in December on the Spirit, and were wondering if the quality of these types of portraits have gotten any better, and if there is any way of having this portrait remade.

  46. future doc says:

    Ill use two fingers if you will be our CD on the Magic January 1st 2012.

  47. Jeanette & James says:

    We are sailing for the 8th time on Carnival in just a few short weeks on Ecstacy. But already have our 9th book on the NEW MAGIC first sailing out of Galveston. We are looking forward to meeting you after reading all..well…many of the postings on this site. We are very excited about having Carnivals newest ship comming to us. We only wish we were able to make the transatlantic crossing. But we cant take that kind of time off. Told husband maybe after we retire if we are not to old we can go to work for Carnival. We see how hard the staff/crew work and not sure we could keep up. Here is wishing yu smoothing sailings.

  48. Pingback: 5th Annual ‘John Heald Bloggers Cruise’ In March 2012 | nauticTRAVEL

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