Taking The Liberty

May 19, 2011 -

John Heald

This morning I received two phone calls and this e mail all on the same subject.

Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2011 11:11 AM


Good morning,

Sorry to bother you, but we got a few phone calls about the content on the big screen which is showing lions killing other animals having sex. One call was from a guest who was very upset and said she was very angry. Please can you remove or reschedule this as she said children were on the deck as well.

Kind regards,


And we did remove it, immediately because for the most part the guests are correct, this is something we should not have been showing. You see, we have live music playing but what we call “filler” or background shots on the Seaside Theatre Big Screen and while much of it is beautiful, some is not and it is far too graphic for a morning in the Mediterranean sun on Lido Deck and as I sit here now in my underpants at 1:05pm…….we have had 4 complaints including the lady from today who has asked for a meeting with me………….oh joy.

This could have been avoidable. We should have checked the footage before it was played but like with so many other things, time just didn’t allow.

What is interesting is that I am told by the audio visual team that we played the same footage last week and received no complaints at all. It is also interesting that we play the news on the Seaside Theatre big screen but have received no complaints about the war in Libya or any of the other human disaster stories that CNN shows while guests are munching on their breakfast burritos.

Look, we shouldn’t have shown it, that much is obvious but I wonder why a few people get upset when they see a lion having a nibble at a gazelle’s bottom. I know some folks think that nature is a fluffy place full of big-eyed meer cats and baby birds and that nothing nasty ever happens there. But it does: Most of God’s creatures go to animal heaven via the intestines and stomach of another creature.

Now as to the complaint about having a film showing animal rumpy pumpy…..again, this is something we shouldn’t have had playing and I will be apologising to the guests who commented but all that birds and animals do is eat, sleep and mate. If you take rumpy pumpy and killing out of the equation, what’s left……a two hour National Geographic on animals that sit ….. or add an “h.”

So we can’t show animals having lunch these days because a bird wrenching a worm from the ground would have vegetablists wanting to have me whacked. Anyway, the buffalo porn, the rampant meat eating and the zebra orgies have all been removed and replaced with the movies Saw 1, 2 and 3, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and back to back episodes of The Sopranos.”

Now usually at this point I would slip quietly into some Q and A but time doesn’t allow today because it’s a glorious sea day and I have shows, events and of course tonight we open the first ever performance of our 70’s based show……The Groove Line. I will tell you all about this on the next blog. So instead of the Q and A let’s meet another of your Carnival Magic officers and our Chief of Security.

Here he is:

NAME: Ramachandra Kurup O

TITLE: Chief Security Officer


I was born in the State of Kerala in India and studied and graduated from Indian Navy and University of Kerala. At age 19, I joined in Indian Navy as Naval Police and worked in the regulating & intelligence department. I was assigned to carry out all kind of investigations and become qualified in use and maintenance of small arms (firing weapons). I completed special training at National Academy of Customs Narcotics & Forensic (a government of India organization) in Mumbai and am qualified in self defense (judo). In 1994, I took a voluntary retirement from Navy after rendering my final assignment as residential area Naval Police station in Mumbai where nearly 10,000 uniformed personnel, defense civilian personnel and their families reside. I joined in Carnival security services department in 1994.


Handling rude and aggressive guests


The appreciation of my hard work and dedication from guest and crew.


I would say an HR director


Venice, Italy


I really like to work out in the gym and watch TV


Man of Honor is my favorite movie and I like listening to love songs


I really miss spending time with my kids

Obviously security is as important today as it’s ever been and on our ships we have a dedicated team who you see at the gangway and around the ship. But their job is far, far more than checking ID at the gangway or telling you that they know that’s not mouthwash but vodka! Nope, they do far more and it’s a job that is so very important.

OK, let’s talk about me. No, not my underpants, or my hemorrhoids but my schedule. Before I do let me first say how honoured I am that so many people ask what ship I will be on next so they can consider cruising with me. This always rejuvenates me and between being called fat man and being asked if I am covered in lamb’s blood it makes me realise how lucky I am to have so many people who appreciate ………..well you know.

Anyway, the problem with this is of course as much as I want to and as hard as I try to, I know it’s impossible to please everyone and I know that I am about to let a large group of people down and I will apologise for this and beg for your forgiveness in a moment.

But first……for those who care……….here is my schedule. For those who don’t care, please turn to Animal Planet where you will find a documentary about a blind porcupine having rumpy pumpy with a hair brush.

JULY 3 CRUISE – This will be my one and only break from your Carnival Magic. Heidi and Kye will be sailing with me a few times before then but I need seven days at home to do bugger all rest a bit. During this time James Charlton will take over and more on him in a moment

And now the major change. July 10 will be my only break during my time here on the Carnival Magic and then………and now it’s time to disappoint some of you. As you know I have two jobs, cruise director and brand ambassador and my schedule is set by the beards. And the beards have decided that I am not going to be the CD for the trans-Atlantic voyage of my Carnival Magic and so this is what is happening.

OCTOBER 7 – I will say goodbye for now to my Carnival Magic and head home to the UK for 10 days. Then on or around the October 17 I will put on my brand ambassador hat and fly to Miami. After sitting in the suspected terrorist/illegal immigrant/cruise ship employee welcome to Miami Customs and Immigration room I shall head to a hotel and write a blog about how I hate flying. Then on October 20 I join Carnival Liberty for one week, her first out of dry dock. Why Carnival Liberty?…….Well I can’t tell you much but I can tell you that during the dry dock period she will have some brilliant and so very new and exciting features added and the beards are so exuberant about what’s going to be taking place that they want me to tell you all about in both on the blog thingy and on video. I wish I could tell you more but the beards have threatened to tell Customs and Immigration that I have three pounds of an illegal substance in my bottom if I do. So as I don’t want a date with Inspector Longfinger…..all I will say is that if you are looking for a ship to book a Caribbean cruise in 2012….Carnival Liberty should be a major consideration.

Now I have to tell you I was not happy when I was told I would not be here for the trans-Atlantic because I was truly looking forward to doing it and I know that some were looking forward to me being here and I sincerely, truly sincerely apologise for letting you down but……..like most of you, I have a boss and I am told where to go and what to do.

So as I won’t be here James Charlton will be your CD. James is a fantastic guy, full of energy, funny and determined to be the best cruise director in the fleet and I think he can be just that. I will make sure he has all the support he needs and the team of Christian, Katie, Lionnie, Calvin, John, Mel, Mellissa, Ryan and Kevin will all give you some wonderfully fun days at sea. There will be dance instructors, bridge instructors, arts and crafts instructors and some surprises as well as the very best in entertainment. I will also make sure that there is a bloggers party for which we will do a roll call and that even though I am not there, I will buy you a drink or two to say thank you and to say sorry.

So after Carnival Liberty what’s next for me? Well, I get off the Carnival Liberty on October 29 and then have a week before my next brand ambassador role. So, what to do? Well I am thinking of joining the Carnival Ecstasy for a few days. That’s because on or around the November 8 I need to be in Galveston because there will be…… ssssshhhhhhhh….. something special happening when your Carnival Magic arrives in Texas and I will be very much a part of that. Now I would love to tell you more but if I would be as popular as The Dixie Chicks at a Republican rally …….. so I will just promise to tell you all about it soon so that as many of you who want to come and say hi y’all…………can.

Then after the big event I will hop back onboard my Carnival Magic and take off my brand ambassador hat and put my CD hat back on again and resume my role as cruise director until December 4 when I return home for a proper vacation. During my absence the ship will once again be covered by James who will remain until January 29. On that day a fat bloke from the UK will return and I will remain as CD until the end of March pausing only for the Bloggers Cruise 5.

So that’s about it then…….I am sad about the TA, excited about what’s happening in Galveston, amazed by the plans for the Carnival Liberty and thrilled that next year I get to be CD back here on my Carnival Magic and out of Galveston…….now that’s a brilliant combination.

As for the rest of 2012………..well that’s easy…………my life will be a Breeze.


Your friend,


Comment Policy

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

118 Responses to Taking The Liberty

  1. Jennifer "the twin" Pazmino says:

    Boy am I glad I didnt book the TA…Now maybe I will do the inaugural out of Galveston.

  2. debbie marino says:

    I am soo excited to know you’ll be CD on the Breeze and pray you will still be on her for the inaugural out of POM! I can’t wait to meet you-Thank You for all you do! XXOOXX

  3. MrPete says:

    At least you have a Miami cavity search to look forward to! LOL!

  4. James Keesler says:

    Thought we were going to have the fat bloke as our CD on the October 7 cruise. Our 17th Carnival cruise and still have not met Mr Heald. Geez! We have even met Gerry Cahill aboard the Carnival Glory in 2008. So, looks like we will have James Charlton as CD. Oh well, can’t miss what you never had. We are looking so forward to the Carnival Magic, that even without you I am sure we will survive and have a great time. And here I sit in my underpants just to make you feel at home…

  5. Cheryl Fuller says:

    I got so excited when I saw the name of this blog…I thought maybe you had decided to sail with the Troublemakers aboard the Liberty on Feb. 4…

  6. Nancy Letchford says:

    SOOOO happy you will be with us on the Breeze next summer! Can’t wait for the kids to meet the person who makes their parents laugh so hard each day.

    • mary fairbanks says:

      don’t be so sure he will be with you, i thought he was going on the Carnival Magic for the TA

  7. Michele Tancredi says:

    Yeah. So, I’m planning ahead (need to save Money) and will book the Breeze December 16,2012. Can I hope to see you there?

    • John R says:

      From what I understand John usually wraps up his year the first week in December and then goes home to be with his family so i don’t think he will be the CD on 12/16.

  8. Bruce B. says:

    Well life is just full of growing experiences for us, brought on from the boss.
    Today I had my own, I was just picking up the phone to book the June 3rd inaugrual Breeze cruise, when even after talking about the cruise with the boss (DW) I remembered that my son’s graduation will be at that time. So the question is will the first cruise out of Barcelona be treated in any special way. I don’t recall you saying any thing about this on the Magic this year.

    Thanks John

  9. Carol G. says:

    Can’t wait to hear about the exciting changes for the Liberty as I plan to board her for a group cruise on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary at the end of January 2012! It must be a big change if John is going to be there for her first week out after dry-dock. Oh I so hope for a Red Frog Pub!!

  10. Angela Hunter says:

    Can’t WAIT to meet you on the January 29th sailing. We booked yesterday…lol!

  11. Dana T says:

    Wahoooo! I just this very day booked a European cruise out of Barcelona on the Breeze! I know nothing is written in stone, but I’m sure hoping that your last sentence means you’ll be the CD on MY cruise! Whooopeeee!

  12. "Tricee" says:


    I had to cancel the TA voyage of the Carnival Magic. Now you won’t be on there. However we may meet after all on the Carnival Breeze.


  13. len susman says:

    The only reason I booked the TA was for you as CD. I wish to cancel my rese4rvation and seek a full refund of my deposit , my airfare Mia to Barcelona, my hotel in Barcelona and my flights from Galveston to RSW in FL

    I am not kidding.

    Without you I don’t want to spend this time on the magic.

    So what will Carnival DO!!!!!!

    • Betty Baldock says:

      First thing you should do is call Carnival Customer Service and ask them this question.. Second thing you need to do is please be kind to them. They try to help people without losing their jobs..

    • Len- SO SORRY……I feel your pain, but there’s a reason for everything- maybe you should keep all your plans the same and go have a FABULOUS TIME? Sigh….I know we’re probably talking around 9large for the TA cruise when all is said & done? Hmmmm….Okay- PLAN B- if you DO CANCEL: You might only be out $500(airline change fees $250×2?)If Carnival agrees to do a no-fee cancel/re-book on your TA? Most hotel bookings have refundable deposits. You never know- wouldn’t hurt to also try getting some OBC on your cruise re-book to offset the airline fees….GOOD LUCK with everything 🙂

    • Jacqueline says:

      Dear Len, Carnival will do nothing, sorry. You are responsible for your booking, you signed up for this cruise, not Gerry Cahill.
      What you CAN do is cancel and rebook on another cruise. Hotels and flights can be cancelled too. You are not leaving tomorrow.

      Good luck on changing the cruise!

    • mary fairbanks says:

      i booked because of you not the ship or the itinerary please know we are very upset

    • John R says:

      A lot of people book certain cruises where John is the CD but as in the past and as in the future his schedule is subject to change.

      I feel for you but don’t expect Carnival to refund you all that.

    • I see nothing in the ticket contract the says John Heald will be your CD. Maybe you better go read it again before you fall off your high horse.

      BIG Ed

    • vivienne says:

      Nothing!! Read the contract.

    • KCMiller says:

      What a whiney brat!

  14. Debbie says:

    I’m disappointed you will not be our cruise director on the TA. We did the TA on Splendor and didn’t get to have you as the CD then either. But we will be waiting on the announcement regarding the ship as she comes into Galveston.

  15. Kara says:

    Sad for you about the TA but happy that you won’t be lectured by Lambchop…

  16. Rev. Robert J. Gruber says:

    Thank you very much for the Chocolate Covered Strawberries and the Ship on a Stick. We appreciate your thinking of us.
    Another matter now: We are now on the Fantasy. Our luggage was held by Security, and when we went to them to open the case, the Security Officer, Deepak, confiscated a power strip (in perfect condition). According to info you put on Facebook that should be a permitted devise. There seems to be conflicing interpretations of what is allowed.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      There is some gray area about power strips UNLESS you have medical equipment that requires it like a CPAP machine.

      We always CARRY ON anything like that so these kinds of issues can be addressed immediately. Hubby uses a CPAP machine and has no problem bringing his extention cord.

      In the future, carry it on….don’t back it in your suitcase.


  17. theeviltwin says:

    John would you consider two weeks on the Liberty? We have a very large group (100+) for the 10/29 sailing. We are all very excited about the upgrades the ship will get in drydock and having yuu as the CD would be the icing on the cake!

  18. Bonida Kimbrough says:

    Sorry, there is a time and place for everything and some things you just don’t want to look at on a drive-in movie size screen. Would you want Kye to watch it? Just saying…..

    • Jas says:

      While you make an excellent point did you not read that John said it wasn’t an appropriate to shoe that film on the seaside?
      Also, we need to remember that people from the UK sometimes have a different view on things such as this than do Americans. Not saying either is right or wrong, just different.

  19. Sharon says:

    Looks like we will need to re-book our Dec. 4th sailing. Hope we’ll be able to sail with you at some point this year. Schedules change, it’s a fact in any job and yet…you do need to go where your boss tells you. HUGS John, I’m sure you’ll be fielding a lot of angry emails. Keep your chin up!

  20. Cheryl K says:

    You are a busy man…I love that name..Carnival Breeze!

  21. Cheryl K says:

    Oops, forgot to say that I am anxious to hear about the Carnival Liberty as she took me on my first cruise in the Med!

  22. William Cook says:

    John, I am very sorry to hear you will not be on the cruise, me and my family were on the fence about booking this but once we heard you were going to be the CD for the TA we went ahead and booked. Now I know that one should not book a cruise because of who the CD is but we were sooooo looking forward to meeting you. I know on our way to milestone we will probably be lucky enough to get to sail with you (TA will be our 5th Carnival cruise) and we look forward to meeting you on our arrival into Galveston.
    Thank You for all that you do for us John!!!

  23. Kyle says:


    So glad you will be the CD on the Magic for the Valetine Days cruise. Since we wont be joining the BC5, this is the next best thing. As such, here are my requests/demands. LOL

    1) I will need you to send me a gift. Not just once, but everyday. And also send one to my wife and anyone else I might see while on board.
    2) I will need to have a table of a different size for each night. I can’t tell how many for each night, so you will need to find me every day and make sure that you have the correct table for me.
    3) I will need someone to do my laundry daily. If it rains, I will need it done twice that day.
    4) I am certain that the littlest thing will upset me. So I need you and the Captain to meet with me every night so I can tell you what went wrong and every morning so I can tell you what I expect for each day.
    5) I will be needing you to reserve the main theatre and make it mandatory that everyone attend whatever it is I do (although I really have no special talent).
    6) I need to be the star of your morning show. Please have the camera follow me around for the duration of the morning show and capture my every moment.
    7) I need to have my own private excursions (these should be part of the gift package).

    Actually I want nothing. Zero. Zilch. Other than to actually meet you and shake your hand and tell you what a great job you do here on the blog and as a CD.

    • Dana T says:

      Extra funny! I was laughing almost as hard at your comments as I do sometimes at John’s comments!

    • Jes R says:

      That was great!!!! Had to stifle the laugher as I’m at work!!!

    • Shipyard Cruiser says:

      Now that is really funny.

      Thank you for a really great post.

    • Debra says:

      Love it!! We will be on the same cruise Kyle and we feel the same way. A good ole handshake will suit us just fine!! However, I might have to teach John a little Texas slang!! Can’t wait!!!

  24. sherry brown says:

    Well just great…I’m sailing on Dec.4th. I was SO excited! Now I’m bummed. This just sodding sux!!!! Ok, I know you need a vacay,but,I’m still bummed…

  25. Henrietta Bellows Lala says:

    I am so excited that you will be coming to Galveston and stationed there. It’s an incredible port and island and you are just going to have a fabulous time. Too bad you couldn’t get here for Nov. 3-6th, because that is when there is the HUGE Lone Star Rally for bikers on the island, and you might have taken an hour or so to try out a hog! I remember how well you did on that scooter in Italy. 🙂

  26. Kim says:

    YAY!!! You will be the cd for my Valentine’s day cruise!!!

  27. DougieFresh says:

    Mr. Heald,

    First and foremost allow me to express my appreciation for your blog and the services you provide to Carnival. I would like to comment on your blog post today in reference to your MGS complaint you received of the content being displayed on your Lido deck theatre screen. In my humble opinion an area that has such a high traffic trend and or a place that is probably a focal or meeting point, for many guests, should have more discretion provided to prevent such an occurrence. Honestly, I wouldn’t care if they showed a taping of an execution. But I do recognize that the Lido Deck in the morning (or anytime during daylite) will have kids present. Children shouldnt be subjected to scenes that would have the potential of having a negative impact on their current state of “vacation”. Obviously parents have a responsibility of monitoring the content their children view and some dont do a very good job. The theatre display allows no control for anybody, thus, what you see is what your going to get. I wouldnt want to be on a vacation and have to explain to my children the play by play and what they are seeing. There really is a time and a place for it but sincerely it is not on a cruise ship on the lido deck while hanging near the pool. Then to justify the viewing by mentioning what CNN shows, is not a public relations move I would have made. I have made (not blaming the viewing on YOU) mistakes but I own up to them. I explain that I have made a mistake, used poor judgement and we will all now move on. You dont base your achievements on what CNN or National Geophraphic displays….dont excuse a poor judgment call on them either (whomever is responsible). Again, I really appreciate you and your work….. just my take.

  28. Samuel Dickinson says:

    Hi John,
    I start my exciting career with Carnival May 30. I will be on the Inspiration. I will be in the Entertainment department. Under Cruise Staff. I am very excited and plan on working my butt off to become a Cruise Director. Any words of Advice before i start next week??

    Samuel Dickinson
    Birmingham Alabama

    • PipergrlKerry says:

      Darn! so close…..we sail on the Liberty on Nov 5! Cant wait, but it would have been awesome to have you there with us again!

    • Betty Baldock says:

      CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU, SAM!! Just keep plugging at the job you are given and work hard, stay strong and remember your ultimate goal!! Glad you were finally hired.. Some day I will be on a ship that you are on and give you a hug and congratulate you in person!! But until then, work hard, and you can achieve ANYTHING you do!! 🙂

    • Jes R says:

      Good luck! Hope to be on one of your cuises in the future

  29. John,
    Your life will be a Breeze only if the bearded …… will let you.
    Right now they are about as popular a polecat that has just sprayed its perfume in the middle of the room
    What else can I say. Fortunately we don’t fly so we aren’t being disappointed about you not being on the TA. At least the Brand Ambassador title will bring you to Galveston where a lot of us are going to cruise with you on the first cruise out of Galveston, the Magic’s new home. That is IF the bearded gents don’t change their minds about that too.

    • mary fairbanks says:

      it is not just the TA but cruises before that we booked back to back thinking that JH would be the CD. Carnival has screwed us and we cannot change our plans without taking big hits to our deposits and fares. It is not fair to change what was offered. I have never asked for anything and never will but this SUCKS

  30. themnms says:

    You have just made part one of my perfect cruise aboard the Inaugural Breeze sailing!!

    Now i would love Ken and Karen!!

    I am so so happy to finally get to sail with you!!

  31. Jeanette says:

    I am happy to say that I will be on the Nov. 27th sailing and we might even run into each other in the airport waiting for our flights home…maybe be on the same shuttle bus to the airport!!!

    Some may be upset, but evne you need some time off!!!!

  32. Carrie from ER says:

    John, you are right. If I didn’t have my airfare paid for I would cancel the whole darn trip:( As you said many scheduled because they wanted you as the CD. Sorry I won’t have a chance to meet Kye and Heidi too. Maybe we will meet again some day. Tell the beards I said they messed up!

  33. Annie says:

    @ Len Susman,
    Wow really?? You seriously need to get a grip! You expect Carnival to pay for all of that? The audacity! Wow!

  34. LadyJag (Laura) says:

    Well, this is bittersweet news for me, John. I’m happy for you to be CD of the newest ship next summer, but deep down (and I knew it would be a long shot), I was hoping you’d be on the Carnival Freedom with us next year in June.
    Ah well! One of these days I’ll get to finally meet you and thank you personally for all the nice things you done for us these past few years.


  35. kathy vicchiollo says:

    john i’m so sorry to hear you will not be on the Magic for our Oct 16th cruise, we were so looking forward to meeting you. I guess the 4 crazy old women will have to catch up with you on another cruise…..But we still love you!!!! LOL

  36. Billy Joe Bob in Texas says:

    I know its tentative but you just said you are going to make it back to the Magic in time for my January 29th cruise….

  37. bazarr2 says:

    It looks like you will be our CD for our Feb.19th cruise on the Magic. I am curious what is in store for the LIberty because we did just cancel that to be on the Magic. 🙂 Oh well 😉

  38. Kelly Horton says:

    December 4th on the Magic is our cruise 🙁 I was looking forward to meeting you. I’m really sad..:( 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 I’ve been reading your blog everyday for the past 4months and was sooooo exited. 🙁 🙁 Mannnnnnn 🙁 🙁 🙁

  39. Tim Limbach says:

    Gutted that you will be missing for the TA. I think it wrong for the Beards to ‘play’ with guests, but that’s life.

    • mary fairbanks says:

      It is never right for the beards to play with anybody’s money as we have deposits that are non refundable. We booked based on what they promised and yes, I am a multi platinum cruiser and am pissed.

      • mary fairbanks says:

        and I waited 5 hours to respond and I am still mad

        • Dana T says:

          I get being disappointed, but really mad? Come on…life is full of disappointments, and I just can’t believe that the only way anyone has a good time is if John is their cruise director. Yes, his presence may enhance the trip, but as much as I love John (reading John actually!), he’s not the only reason I cruise. Right now, it sounds like he’s going to be on my Breeze cruise, and I will be disappointed if he’s not, but I’m still going to have a blast.

  40. Mal & Lex from Western Australia says:

    Maaaate, great news! We were all but sold on doing the last Breeze Mediterranean run back-to-back with the Transatlantic next year (mmmm, 27 days onboard, get on in Barcelona, get off in Miami, yes please) with a cove balcony for the whole thing, and now we’re definitely sold! It’ll be very nice to say g’day again, so here’s to October 2012.

    Cheers, Mal

  41. Jean Paul says:

    What a rip off this. I Booked the TA because you where on it. So now I’m stuck with it well what bullocks is this. This is an outrage and an unforgivable thing the so called beards have done to us on the TA. what is the matter with them?? I think I will cancel My Dec 2011 on the Liberty and never go CCL again. will still do the TA only because of losing both the airfares. Good bye CCL.

    • Ron I. says:

      I think you mean “bollocks” and not bullocks, also the correct phrase would be “what a load of bollocks”.

  42. Michael says:

    John, I am booked on the Dec 4th CC group cruise on the Magic. You being the CD was one of the top reasons that I booked this cruise. I am disapointed that you will no longer be onboard. I will take a loss but thinking of canceling now.

  43. Vincent Schuijt (Vinkeveen NL) says:

    Hello John,

    At first I was really disapointed, The same thing happend to us, a few years ago on the TA (Freedom).
    But that’s life, can’t have it all. We were really looking forward to meeting you again. And yes, we loves Carnival,( 12 cruises ) BUT when you are our CD, our cruises are so much more FUN.

    Das this mean we are going to meet you in Galveston? Really hope you can tell us all more about that.

    I’m really thinking about booking the Inaugual on the Breeze, out of Venice next year.

    Hope hope hope, meeting you again one day,

    Regards from Vinkeveen,
    And give our kind regards also to Heidi.

    Vincent Schuijt and Family
    The Netherlands

  44. Jes R says:

    I am soooo excited by your news & feel terrible for those missing you on the transfer cruise. We’re celebrating out wedding on the Liberty the 22-29 of Oct. w/30 of our friends & family. Knowing you’ll be on board I know it will be the best cruise ever!!!

  45. Karen Lian says:

    We are also very upset that you will not be on the TA or the last 12 Europe please let the beards know from long time cruises.

  46. Shane says:

    John, like many others, I am disappointed, and a little irritated. We are doing B2B Magic cruises starting Oct 7. We were very much looking forward to having you as the CD as that is what you told us a year ago would be your schedule, then the “beards” change it. Now you are saying you are going to be on the Breeze, people will book it, then the “beards” will change things. You know from reading your own blog and the comments, many people book cruises based on you being the CD. Once the beards allow you tell your schedule, it is very unfair to change it. Its almost as if they dangle you to get some to book, then move you where they need bookings next. As far as advertising the new changes, ships go in and out of dry dock all the time, and you aren’t there for each of those. Sounds hokey. my two cents. No I am not canceling my cruises, just …

  47. MrDerek says:

    It seems to me that since Carnival is the only cruise line to announce the schedules of the Cruise Directors in advance, the best way to solve the “I booked just for you” problem, would be for them to stop the advance notice. That way when you got to the ship, you would get the CD you got. No advance notice, no problem.
    Think about it…..

    • Dana T says:

      I think you are so right! It’s a courtesy, and it seems lots of folks lose sight of that. Poor John, it seems no good deed ever goes unpunished.

    • Rita Presnell says:

      Wonderful idea….why would anyone book a cruise based solely on who the CD is….John is a wonderful person and obviously a great CD. I am sure he makes the cruise more fun, buthe does not make the cruise. Get a life, people!!!!!!

    • Jen B says:

      I agree! There must be a reason that none of the other cruise lines publish their’s…I think we’ve found it!

  48. Sara says:

    Ok I am not happy with your schedule!! I was so looking forward to sailing with you on our Dec 4th sailing on the Magic and now I see that you will be on vacation starting that week. I am so very bummed. 🙁

    • Lea J says:

      Those of you who want to cancel their cruise because Carnival ‘changed a schedule’ sound like 5 y/o children who have been told they cannot have chocolate on their ice cream, and therefore will ‘never eat ice cream again!’ I feel sorry for you! I think John is a wonderful man, however I would never base my own personal happiness or enjoyment of a vacation solely on his being there, or not! Threatening legal action? Seriously?! Wow!! It’s a schedule, like anything else, it is always subject to change. Maybe Carnival will think twice about publishing it in the future.

    • bazarr2 says:

      Wow, are you guys serious? That you are so pissed that you would cancel your cruise because John is not your CD? There are worse things in life than having a different Cd on your cruise. Think about how immature you guys sound!

  49. Rhonda says:

    Will u still be CD on Magic March 25. If u are getting off that week my family will surely kill me. We got on Dream the week u left. Hmm maybe I shouldnt tell them u will be on there at all, just in case, so I dont have to live through that again….lol. We were on freedom when u had ur episode w palsy and have been dying to be with u again. We have loved all our Cds but none compare……fingers crossed

  50. Sharon says:

    John – Come with us aboard the Victory October 30th! When is the last time you have sailed out of San Juan and seen all these wonderful islands!

  51. Nancy McQuarrie says:

    Very, very, very disappointed, was so looking forward to meeting you….but I do understand. Certainly hope what you said about the entertainment staff remaining in place for TA is correct….if not, please tell me now. Thanks, John.

  52. Lynn in VA says:

    Sorry to hear so many people giving you a hard time John. I don’t remember that happening when you had to cancel being the CD on the TA for the Carnival Splendor. I was disappointed when that happened…but that’s life.

  53. karen says:

    sorry you won’t be on the Magic TA. we were looking forward to seeing you. we enjoyed you on the Dream TA

  54. Jill Wells says:

    Been reading your blogs for years but never had the pleasure of seeing you on any of the ships we’ve cruised on. But now, since we have booked our cruise on the Magic for Nov 27, 2011 out of Galveston, Yay!!!! We will get to hear you and see you and enjoy your wit and ‘wisdom’ first hand. See you on board!!!

  55. Dear John: I was very sad to have read that you won’t be on the transatlantic sailing of the Magic. I was looking so forward to you being the CD during that time. Avie and I will say hello to you once the ship arrives in Galveston. Best regards, Leslie

  56. Cathy Burk says:

    Hi John,
    (Please Reply)

    My father and I will be taking our second trip on the Carnival Splendor August 14, 2011. The first trip was in September/October 2008 in the Mediterranean with you as our cruise director. My father will turn 90 during our cruise (8/19/11) and I was wondering if you might do something special to commemorate this milestone birthday? While on our first Splendor cruise (and our first Carnival cruise) my friend Janey (OKGIRL) wrote you about us but not knowing my father’s first name just called him Mr. Burk. You of course wondered if he was in the witness protection program. Well he was not and still is not, but his first name is still Bill. We had a wonderful time and have cruised each year since and will continue to do so as long as he is able!

    One other request, please. If possible we would like a table for 8 (this may be 10 as 2 people are currently on the fence about the cruise) by the window for late dining. We will be joining a great couple we met on our Baltic cruise last year (wish it had been Carnival) and friends of theirs. Our dining is all linked together and a table by the window would be extra special. We will also be partaking in the Chef’s Table, which you already helped us secure reservations. Thanks!

    We are looking forward to sailing again on 8/14/11 and then planning our cruise for 2012. Thanks for your help, John! We are in cabin 7327.

    Finally I apologize for posting this on the blog comments, but the Ask John area would not take my submission. I kept getting error messages every time I tried.

    Cathy Burk

    • Jes R says:

      I saw you comment and think its great your dad is still traveling, my grandmother is only in her 80’s but would never consider cruising which saddens me as I’d love to go with her to see the sites. Happy early birthday to him.

      • Cathy Burk says:

        Thanks very much! We are very fortunate he is in such great shape and has the desire to go to new places. As I said, we will continue to go as long as he is able. The memories we are making are priceless!

  57. Mary ( Mrs Shy ) says:

    Dear John,

    Like many others I am disappointed that you won’t be our CD on the TA. Disappointed but not upset.

    I have a compromise to suggest. Instead of going to Galveston on Nov. 8th, could you not fly to Grand Turk on Nov 9 and join us on the Magic to Galveston? You did this on the Dream by joining the ship in Bermuda to New York. This way, at least your blogger and facebook fans would get to spend some time with you during the sea days from Grand Turk to Galveston.

    If not, we will see you on the Breeze Inaugural. We are booked!

    All the best to you,

    • Jo Myerly says:

      Mary. This is a wonderful suggestion. We are on the 10/16 and 10/28 Magic. John it would be a good idea. We are also doing the Breeze 6/03 first cruise. Maybe we will all be there. Jo

  58. Jodi says:

    Wow! Sounds like the next year to 18 months are going to be busy and I bet the beards will find stuff to add yet! It’s exciting to hear about all the new things Carnival has planned, but it also makes choosing cruises a bit of a delema at times! That’s a good thing though! Thanks for the news John. I’m really looking for to the blogs about the Carnival Liberty and your flying experience. I always get a good laugh out of that. But now that I read that it seems a bit cruel to laugh at your misfortune. Happy Sailing!

  59. Michel Bouvrette says:

    Thanks for your nice web site,We will be on the Magic September 25 th. sorry for my English.
    Michel from Gaspé Péninsula Québec Canada

  60. Dana Winfrey says:

    I am a little confused about this statement
    “JULY 3 CRUISE – This will be my one and only break from your Carnival Magic….July 10 will be my only break during my time here on the Carnival Magic and then………”.
    So will you be on the Magic July 10-17?
    Please say “Yes”!

  61. Eileene says:

    John, sounds like a full, hectic, challenging & exciting schedule. You move around on your job a lot more than I, and I’m not envying you that. We’ll be there to greet the Magic in Galveston, and hope to see you again then.

    For those disappointed about John not making the TA sailing, making John feel badly about it isn’t going to change things – it’s not his decision. If you truly like him, you’ll support him.

  62. Barbara says:

    Hi John.

    I was so looking forward to sailing from Spain to Galvistan with you and the captain at the helm. The Captain to akeep us safe and get us where we are to be on time, and yourself to keep us laughing, entertained, and happy. We have been on the last 3 years and you have been there and you have be right there with us. Seems like it’s never going to happen. I do love you since of humor so much but one of the things I like best is the way that you know automaticly when and how to move the shows and such for when everyone is just too tired after being asure all day. I really was so dissapointed and had to fight the tears back .The TAs which we love run too close to the bloggers cruise for us to even attend that.

    I think that I will tell David ato not tell me who the cc is going to be that way it I won’t be so dissapointed.

    John I do realize you have to go where the beards tell you too but David and I have a little whiskers our chins from our purchased stock and I vote no change. Stay with us on The Carnival Magic, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

    We Love you
    David, Barbara, and Valentine my Platinum Service Dog

  63. jgeraci says:

    I am truly sorry that you will not be able to meet all us great folks on the Magic TA. I will miss your Bedtime Story, but understand. Could you please put an interview with James on this blog, so that we may acquaint ourselves with him? I for one promise to welcome him with an open mind & open arms. Who knows, he may just be the next Carnival star!
    I remember what a great job Todd did on the Dream TA.


  64. Brandon Battle says:

    The man has a job to do on the Carnival Liberty and he’s going to do it.Obviously this special event is important enough to the leadership in Miami to make this last minute schedule change so lets accept it and move on.

  65. kristine slough says:

    John, I cant wait for you to be in Galveston again!

  66. Chuck says:

    John, sorry you will not be on the July 3rd cruise. I was hoping to meet you. Have a nice vacation and don’t do too many honey do’s.

  67. Stacey Creech says:

    Dear John,

    I just wanted to write a note about the wonderful service my husband and I received in the Scarlett Dining Room this week on our cruise on the Dream. Our waiter, Sumartha, and his staff, Ida Kade and Dawim, were AMAZING!! They were attentive, caring, funny, and thoughtful. After the first night, Ida Kade and Dawim knew our drink orders by memory and NEVER let the glasses go empty. Sumartha was attentive and was always asking us if there was anything he could do to make our dinner experience better. But how do you make something that’s already perfect better? These gentlemen worked very hard and always had a smile. I know they have tough schedules and work constantly, but they have an amazing work ethic. They all inspired me to go to work more often with a smile no matter what the stress that may occur. Please pass on my utmost regards to the kitchen staff as well. Let them know that their hard work is greatly appreciated. We will miss our wait staff so very much but we will always have memories and pictures!! Oh, and those extra few pounds we gained!

    Stacey Creech

  68. Erica Hart says:

    Stuff happens! Sure there will be some to complain, but oh well! Yes, it may have been too graphic to show, but they will get over it and it will not hurt for long. You guys are extremely busy and life is not perfect (no matter who you are). My first cruise is coming up in 47 days (on the Elation) and I cannot wait! Do I expect perfection…no. Do I expect to have a great time…YES!!! And that is what it is all about! So I say, Bring it on BABY! Mama’s coming!!! LoL!!!

  69. cclmary says:

    Hi Marianne,

    All request must go to ASK JOHN page.

    Thank you,


  70. KathyG says:

    I do feel bad for those who were looking forward to having you for their CD. Yet I’m very happy that it looks like you may be our CD for our cruise on 2/26/12. 🙂
    Since your schedule changes faster than a flea on a hot plate, I won’t get my hopes up until I actually get on board and see you with my own eyes.

  71. Allie says:

    Ah John, (Please Reply!)
    I’m sorry you’re missing the trans-Atlantic cruise. Will you ever, ever be on the Fantasy? Please? I’m a HUGE fan of that ship! I know it’s the oldest ship in the fleet but it extremely charming and has an AMAZING crew. And also will any other ship be getting dry-docked besides the Liberty? And outta curiousity why that ship and not a older one? Wasn’t the Liberty built in ’05? And dry-docked in ’08 ? (Not extremely positive on those years).

    Thanks John!

  72. CruisinSue says:

    Hi John
    I am so sorry that you are having to deal with the comments that some people are leaving here. I just want to add my 2 cents worth.
    I agree that no one should book a cruise dependent on the CD. What if these changes were due to a family situation or some other personal reason, would you be angry and lashing out at John for not being there?
    If you want to be assured of refunds, then you should not book with the non-refundable fare. The fare rules are written for a reason and those rules have to be adhered to, otherwise why have them?
    In my 49+ CCL cruises I have never had a bad CD. I have cruised with John many times and he is wonderful, but there are other CDs that are really good too.
    John is one man and he does a great job: putting up with the trolls here on the blog and on the ship. He tries to accomodate everyone’s request for freebies and dining arrangements. He has a job and he does it well and that is why the “beards” depend on him to go where he is needed and promote the company, not to position him because a “few” have booked a cruise because of him being CD. If everyone booked a cruise to be with John as CD, CCL would only need one ship and can you imagine the wait list?
    Keep up the good work John and I agree that maybe you shouldn’t post the CD schedule. As we all know, schedules are apt to change and frequently do. I hope to cruise with you again soon, but in the meantime, Risa will be the next CD I cruise with and I am looking forward to seeing her again.
    Give my best to Heidi and Kye.

    Gloria aka Sue

  73. Lisa says:

    John, I found the little info on the security head interesting. We just returned from the 5/15 Splendor cruise. While several of us were going through security we saw that they had pulled apart a bag and that there were a couple sleeves of bullets! Of course, a person can’t stay and watch what happened – but it really bothered my husband (who is a NRA card holder). I think what bothered him most was that someone was trying to get them on a ship that was going to contain his 2 year old. While, I don’t expect you to tell me what happened, can you reassure us that if the guest was allowed on board the bullets stayed ashore or locked in security?

  74. Stephanie Stella says:

    Dearest John,

    I was so excited for a few moments until I realized you won’t be on the Liberty for my cruise October 29 – November 5. I have over 80 family members and friends coming to see me and my fiancé get married November 1 in St Thomas and having you as cruise director would have been AMAZING! Nonetheless I understand and am sure we will have a great CD!

    When will more information be available on the Libertys dry dock updates?! I’m anxiously awaiting details! I am so happy we booked the Liberty. I thought it was beautiful when we chose her in March 2010 (yes we booked that long ago!) but how lucky are we to be sailing on her post dry dock! I definitely need to know that Harrys will remain unchanged as we have booked the entire restaurant for our wedding reception!


    • Jes R says:

      Congrats to you both we’ll marrying the week before when John’s there (hoping sched. dont’ change again) on the Liberty and I too am so excited to hear what they have planned for the ship.

  75. Sharon says:

    GET A GRIP, PEOPLE! While I love John’s blog and think John is awesome on a number of levels, (and yes, I was on a cruise on which he was CD) he is and never shall be my reason for booking a cruise! If him being CD is why any of you book a particular cruise, it is quite sad, as cruising itself is amazing..seeing our beautiful world while being pampered in route to the lovely ports is a dream come true! So many folks would love the opportunity to take a cruise and never will have it! We’ve always had great CDs on our Carnival voyages! How do you think your whining makes them feel? They all work hard and deserve your respect and appreciation! Ever hear of ‘go with the flow’? Happiness lies within each of us, or conversely, unhappiness. Choose to enjoy your cruises…it is up to you, not your CD to see that you do!

    Thanks for all you do, Mr Heald. You deserve some time to yourself, just like all of us! Do not feel responsible for the happiness (or unhappiness) of others on cruises with different CDs…

  76. Sue says:

    speaking of the breeze, when with the rest of 2013 sailings be posted? We just got off the glory and Catherine the future cruise person advised us that the breeze will be visiting Aruba, Curacao and Grand turk…..these are 3 ports that I really really want to go. The papers she gave us ended in April of 2013.

    Any word on this yet?

  77. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    I am a little confused about the uproar over you not being on the Trans Atlantic.

    Anyone who knows you well enough to book a cruise “just to sail with you”; knows that your schedule is NEVER set in stone.

    While I understand the disappointment (you are kinda fun to have as a CD) …. the level of “outrage” is ridiculous.

    I suggest that, in the future, you continue to post the CD schedule..but in BIG BOLD PRINT write…”ALWAYS SUBJECT TO CHANGE”.

    Some people just need every possible scenerio spelled out for them.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  78. OMG!! John, thanks for letting me know Liberty is going through some exciting changes… If I could only get you to tell us more DETAILS!!! We are booked on the Liberty June 16, 2012 and couldn’t be more excited until now!!! We took the Victory last year and has a BLAST. Hopefully you will give us FULL details while you are one the ship for a week!! i will anxiously check to see if you are filling us in!! TAKE CARE!!!

  79. Chris Benson says:

    Please advise some of your gusets stay well away from Africa. It is full of lions lunching on lesser animals who have most probably atempted to breed just before their demise. Please do not tell them this is real life, their kids will be much more grounded watching 2&1/2 men.
    Do you know will be CD on Pacific Princess on K120A, Europe / Transatlantic ?

    • Marius says:

      Just booked the cruise on Liberty departing Oct 22nd this past Friday (due to great rates I could’t pass)and today I found out about the dry dock schedule and as a bonus we get you as our CD for that week, the deal just got much better.

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