A Brilliant Reason to Sing

May 27, 2011 -

John Heald

I have a brilliant team of entertainment staff here on your Carnival Magic and overall they are by far the best I have ever delivered a new ship with. There is James who will take over as CD here and Christian, Ryan, John, Katie, Leonnie, Melissa, Eli and my PA Mel. Together they are a magical team. However…….they all make me feel so, so old with the talk of Justin Beaver, Eye Pods and staying out until 3 am.

And there is another thing. The male staff members are metro sexual which means sometimes I have absolutely no idea what the hell they are talking about. Take the conversation I had with one of them earlier today. We had just finished tour departures in Messina and afterwards the team gathered for a debrief before going ashore etc and when I asked one of them…….I won’t say which one but it could have been any of the male staff chaps…….what he was doing.

It went something like this:

What are you doing today?

I’m going to do some manscaping.



Is that like gardening?

Well, sort of.

I don’t understand?

Tending to my garden.

What, like, flowers and stuff?

No. Down under.


No you idiot…….Your man hair, for God’s sake and then he pointed to his gentlemen’s sausage.

Oh…………….I said

Oh FFS is what I wanted to say! I found it impossible to believe that any self respecting member of the male sex no matter how bloody metro sexualized or how much he worshiped Liza sodding Minnelli, would engage in such a ridiculous thing. I would have to be stone cold dead before anyone would get near my thingy with a lawn mower……………….manscape my arse.

Time for today’s questions………….here we go.

Darren and Lizzy asked:

I have to tell you that we just returned from a wonderful cruise on the Freedom and amongst all the many highlights one thing stood out more than anything, our State Room Steward Marianito. He was so kind and funny but one thing really made me want to tell you about him. One day we returned from ashore in Costa Rica and decided we would have a nap. We were woken at 6:00pm by screaming outside in the corridor by our cabin. I went outside and saw a passenger screaming and shouting and using all sorts of bad language with another passenger. They were standing close to each other and it looked like a fight would break out any minute. Then along came our steward Marianito who is from the Philippine and he stood between these two big men and managed to calm them down and they both went back to their cabins. I am sure it was not his job to do this and he was so calm. I spoke to him and he said they had been shouting because one was smoking on the balcony and the other passenger did not like it. That’s the story and I wanted to tell Carnival but we did not get a comment card this time so I hope you will tell the “beards” this. We love your blog and are booked on the bloggers cruise with you and are very excited about that.

Darren and Lizzy

John says:
Hello Darren and Lizzy,

Thank you so much for telling me about the brilliant Marianito. Smoking on the balconies does involve a bit of consideration to those around you but coming to near blows about it in the hallway is ridiculous. I will certainly make sure that he sees your words of praise as will the shipboard management and the shoreside beards. I am very happy to read that you will be joining me on BC5 and thanks so much for taking the time to write about yet another one of our brilliant crew members. See you soon.

Best wishes to you both.


Karen W asked:

Hello John (reply appreciated)

I really enjoy your blog and your Facebook posts. They are very helpful and enjoyable at the same time. I thought I read somewhere that there were plans to update the Bon Voyage pages. Am I mistaken or have I missed something? The reason I am asking is because currently it isn’t possible to order alcohol, other than wine, via the website. It would be wonderful for your international customers to be able to do it some way other than having to phone. Looking forward to Carnival sailing out of Australia also. Are you planning on making the trip at all? I’m sure Kye would love a swim at Bondi 🙂



John says:
Hello Karen or should I say G’dday,

I am glad you are enjoying the blog and Facebook posts and you did indeed see a mention from me about a change to the bon voyage site. In fact the senior vice president who is setting this in motion was just with me here. We spoke a little about it and he certainly has big plans for the on line store and if it is anything like the new Cherry on Top store he has introduced here on your Carnival Magic, I think it will be excellent. As always these things take time and so I don’t know exactly when it will be ready but of course I will let you know as soon as I can. We are all very excited about the Carnival Spirit coming to Australia and I will at some point absolutely be there and if I can persuade Heidi that she won’t see any spiders then she and Kye might come as well.

Best wishes to you and the family.


Carla asked:
Hi John,

Just wondering who are the maitre d’ on Carnival Magic?

John says:
Hello Carla,

The maitre d’s are Ken and Kris. Ken manages the Southern Lights Dining Room while Kris is in charge of the Northern Lights. Together they provide our guests with a lot of fun and fantastic hospitality in the dining rooms.

In fact…………..here they are:

Here is Kris:

Here is Ken:

I hope you get to meet them personally here on your Carnival Magic very soon.

Best wishes,


Rachel Bonsor asked:

We have decided to book the Magic for our 25th wedding anniversary in the PENTHOUSE. This will be our first voyage on a Carnival vessel and normally we cruise Celebrity Cruise Lines. I discovered your web page and having read some of the requests that are made I have one which needs to be looked at. We are Captain’s Club members at Celebrity and always book Concierge Class and this would mean automatic seating at the captain’s dining table. I do trust that you will take this into consideration and invite us to the captain’s table and concierge cocktail hour on the Magic. I am sure the captain will enjoy listening to our tales as we are world travelers. Can you tell me if this can be accomplished and pass this request directly to the captain?

John says:
Hello Rachel Bonsor,

I am delighted to read that you are going to experience your first ever cruise with Carnival and you could not have picked a better ship that the Carnival Magic. Unfortunately we do not have a captain’s table as much as we used to and when we do the assignments are made by our Miami office and not by the captain himself. I will keep a note here onboard and be sure to send you something to wish you a very happy 25th anniversary and I am positive that you will have a wonderful time.

Best wishes to you both.


Joshua T asked:

Having just returned from the Liberty ship I wish to tell about the lack of entertainment for people like us. My wife and I don’t drink, don’t gamble and are a religious African American couple. The first problem was that we were put at a table with people who drank alcohol with every meal and were loud and had little manners even when we said grace before dinner. By the 3rd evening we asked the manager to move us to a different table which he did. The show performances featured near naked dancers and the comedy was all sexually based which made us feel very uncomfortable. I would also like to mention that there were no black persons in the dancing shows which I find discomforting. I think you need to look at the kind of people who are on vacation on the Carnival ships and try to provide a service and a ship for all not just one specific kind of party cruiser.

John says:

Hello Joshua T,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me here on the blog. Our dining room team does their best to seat guests together according to age demographics however with 3,000 plus guests each cruise it is not always possible. I am sure you will understand that it would be impossible to arrange seating based on any other parameters such as religious beliefs or if or not people drink alcohol or not, however, saying that, I am sorry that your table companions were not to your liking and I hope that the rest of the time in the dining room was enjoyable.

I hope you do try cruising with us again and if you do may I suggest our Your Time Dining option which as it says allows you to eat at anytime between 5:30 pm and 9 pm. This will also give you the option of either eating with different guests each night or if possible, having a table for two.

I am also sorry to hear that you did not appreciate the entertainment which unless advertised as an adult comedy show is I feel certainly family oriented. But I realize that not everyone has the same tastes and again my apologies that you did not enjoy the shows. As for there being no black dancers in the cast again this is only because we hire the best that come to our worldwide auditions and do not hire based on creed or colour. I do hope that you can take many positives from your cruise and I hope we see you again soon.

Best wishes to you both.


Renee Dubarko asked:
Hi John,

My Mother and I were on the Carnival Conquest last year when you were the CD and you absolutely made our trip!!!! I don’t think there is any better medicine in the world than laughter and we definitely got our share of medicine on that trip. We would sit in our room and watch you on the TV and laugh so hard we just about peed ourselves. I only wish you were the CD on our cruise this year to Alaska. If our CD on that cruise is half as good as you we will be very lucky. Ok, now for my question. Do you have any more information on the Breeze? When it is coming out, where it will be sailing from, when we will be able to start booking for that ship? I am hoping it is going to start out in Europe and that we might be able to do the repositioning cruise back home. Any chance you will be on that cruise? Keep up the good work and hope to be on the same cruise with you again someday.


Renee Dubarko

John says:
Hello Renee Dubarko,

Thank you so very much for those kind words. I had such a brilliant time on the Carnival Conquest and am looking forward to some fun in Galveston with your Carnival Magic. I am sure by now you will have seen that the Carnival Breeze will be sailing in June and spending some months in Europe before home porting in Miami and then sailing on some six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises. All the information can be found at www.carnival.com/breeze and I truly hope we meet again there. Have a brilliant time in Alaska and I am sure the CD will have you laughing out loud once again.

Best wishes and hope to see you soon.


Victoria J.L. asked:

MOVE THE INTERNET CAFE AWAY FROM THE CIGAR BAR!!!!!! Did that get your attention? I know you are a cigar lover and if you want to kill yourself go right ahead but you and all the other murdering smokers are stopping me and the majority of the passengers enjoying a safe cruise. On the Conquest it was disgusting and I had to walk through the cigar bar with a blanket over my head to stop myself breathing cigarette and cigar smoke. This is 2011 and Carnival’s smoking policies are stuck in the 1960’s. Smoking kills and people who smoke are stupid and selfish but why John should the rest of us, the biggest majority have our cruise ruined and possibly our lives to by you smokers.

John says:

Hello Victoria J.L.,

I can see how passionate you are about this and there is no escaping the fact that it is unpleasant for non-smokers to have to walk through the cigar bar on the Conquest class ships to get to the internet cafe. This was a bad design, of that there is no argument. We will continue to look at the smoking situation on our ships and continue to see what changes if any we need to make. Meanwhile I sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and I truly hope that you had a great cruise.

Best wishes,


Yvette Fimbres asked:


I will be sailing on Magic beginning June 12. The excursion to Florence/Pisa is not inclusive of entry into the museums. I have read that the lines are long as well as the wait for entry without pre-purchased tickets. I don’t see tickets being offered for sale in advance. The description only states that you will be guided and view the outside of the museums. And, I would like to view inside (especially, Academia). Will Carnival Magic provide the purchasing of these tickets on the ship only as I do not see them as a selection to purchase on the excursion website?

Thanks for your help.

John says:
Hello Yvette Fimbres,

The only tour we have that has pre ticket purchase is Best of Florence. This excursion includes VIP entrance to Academia and of course that gives you the chance to see the incomparable Statue of David. The excursion you have is also not going to give you much time to see the Museums and the whole of Florence as you have the mooring at Pisa, the journey to Florence and then lunch. After lunch the guides will give you the choice of staying with them and seeing The Duomo Cathedral and shopping district etc or spending the afternoon on your own. You could then go to Academia but you will have to line up and yes, the lines can be long. It’s a difficult choice isn’t it and the best advice I can give is that if you want to see Academia and the Uffizi museums then take the best of Florence excursion. Hope this helps and of course we have a dedicated team here to help you as well.

See you soon and best wishes.


Doris Stahl asked:


I saw the video today of you at the naming party for the Magic and you look tired and drawn and unhealthy and of course you know I am sure that you are overweight by what I would guess is 100 pounds. I say this because I can help you. With a product I sell called Apidexin. I am now 55 pounds lighter and I feel AWESOME!! I feel like a totally different person, I can’t believe how much better I look and feel what a difference 2 months makes! I am not quite to my goal weight yet but I definitely couldn’t have done this on my own. Apidexin has made a world of a difference. I am so passionate about this product, I want to tell EVERYONE about it! Apidexin is the real deal John, don’t waste your money on other products! I have enclosed details and my e mail address and ordering information. I have the cure for you John; take it before it is too late. I have never cruised with you John but have done 3 Carnival trips and I hope to cruise with you one day soon and see a healthy and happy John and not the obese exhausted John I just watched on the video.

My pills can change your life John.

John says:
Hello Doris Stahl,

Thanks for the kind words of help. I probably looked tired on that video because I was and still am. Bringing out a new vessel is a big job and add Facebook, the blog and numerous other requirements to that and it is indeed a very tiring process and I don’t mind admitting that. Thanks for your kind offer and while I know I have to lose more weight I need to do it my way which I am sure you understand. Thanks for thinking of me and I hope we sail together one day soon.

Best wishes and congratulations on the weight loss.


Rebecca Cavanaugh asked:

Hi John,

I just returned from my graduation cruise on Carnival Miracle. I would like to thank you for everything you did to make my graduation cruise memorable. I had no idea that my mom had written to you before we sailed, so my week was full of surprises. I truly appreciate everything you did. This was definitely my best cruise yet and one that will never be forgotten.

Thank you again!


John says:
Hello Rebecca Cavanaugh,

Your Mum is obviously very proud of you and I am too. I hope you have so many great memories of your cruise and I wish you a bright and successful future. Thank you for taking the time to write.

Best wishes.


That’s all for today and I will return on Tuesday with more and over the weekend on Facebook. Please keep the great comments coming.

Let’s take a break and while I pee you choose what you want for dinner tonight once we leave Messina…………mmmmm…..grilled tofu steak………..lovely.

  • Potage saint germain, peas soup with baby tomato salad, petite marmite
  • Clear beef broth with beef, chicken and vegetables
  • Gazpacho blanco, chilled yogurt soup with diced cucumbers, peppers, onions and celery
  • Langoustino cocktail, salad of crayfish and vegetables, served with American cocktail sauce
  • Thai beef salad, sliced prime beef, onions and peppers, marinated with oriental dressing
  • Crepes filled with spinach and ricotta cheese, parmesan and cold pressed olive oil dressing, cucumber confit
  • Mixed garden and field greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots with lemon vinaigrette dressing
  • Linguini with Italian sausage, bell peppers and mushrooms, served with freshly grated parmesan cheese (also available as a starter)Blackened fillet of tilapia, topped with shrimp and seafood, jambalaya rice, scallion and cured tomato stir-fry
  • Coq au vin de chamberlin, supreme of chicken marinated cooked in red burgundy wine garnished with silver onions, gratin potatoes and wine dough crisps
  • Broiled Australian lamb chop, served with braised lamb leg meat baked in traditional puff pastry
  • Grilled New York strip steak from aged American beef, served with a green peppercorn sauce
  • Grilled tofu steak, vegetarian entrée; served with scallion and cured tomato stir fry
  • Amaretto cake, almond flavored chocolate cake
  • Baked Alaska, vanilla sponge with assorted ice cream and baked with meringue
  • Diet New York cheesecake, prepared with a sugar substitute
  • Warm chocolate melting cake, served with vanilla ice cream
  • Fresh tropical fruit plate
  • Vanilla • chocolate • strawberry • butter pecan ice cream (Sugar-free ice cream is available upon request)
  • Orange • pineapple • lime sherbet
  • Port Salut • brie • Gouda • imported swiss • Danish bleu cheese

Well, it’s been a good cruise so far with a high international count making it interesting of course. We also have some ummmm………interesting guests onboard as well. We have the older couple who have refused 12 days of cabin service and don’t want the linen changed, towels changed and don’t want the stateroom steward to enter at all. He gives a courtesy knock twice a day and they are apparently very pleasant but they don’t want him in there. Both are in their seventies so I doubt they have turned it into a crack cabin or that it’s become some sort of swinger’s paradise………not without clean towels anyway. It is though apparently for religious reasons, which I honestly can’t fathom unless they have sacrificed a lamb in there and the towels are covered in blood……..sorry Henry O.

The other day I spoke to you about the benefits of leaving your children with Camp Carnival so Mum and Dad could concentrate on sun, chocolate melting cakes and making little Johnny a sister. Well now those chances just increased as we roll out our exciting Camp Carnival’s Night Owls program. From what I hear, we’re putting out the official press release on Tuesday, but here are some of the details of the program.


What are the hours of Operation? 10:00pm-3:00am (every day of the week)

What ages can participate? All kids age 6 months to 11 years of age

What is the price? $6.75 per hour plus 15% gratuity per child –

What is offered at Night Owls? Options to play video games, watch movies, play with toys, enjoy snacks from room services, pillow and blanket available for the kids to sleep on etc.

Camp Carnival’s Night Owls Program will also offer late night parties for the kids. However, days and times for these parties may vary,so be sure to check with your Camp Carnival staff for more information on them. Here is what they are:

Owl Jams

What ages can participate? 2-11 Years

What are the hours of operation? 10:00pm-12:00am

What is the cost? $13.00 per party plus 15% gratuity per child (all activities included)

Special Prizes/Gifts: These will be given to each child who participates in the party.

Fun ‘Til One

What ages can participate? 6-8 Years

What are the hours of operation? 10:00pm-1:00am

What is the cost? $20.00 per party plus 15% gratuity per child (all activities included)

Special Prizes/Gifts: These will be given to each child who participates in the party.

Fun at Sea… ‘Til 3:00

What ages can participate? 9-11 Years

What are the hours of operation? 10:00pm-3:00am

What is the cost? $33.00 per party plus 15% gratuity per child (all activities included)

Special Prizes/Gifts: These will be given to each child who participates in the party.

So Mums and Dads………I hope you take advantage of this. Leave your kids with our wonderful and professional Camp Carnival staff while you both enjoy a meal at the steakhouse, a walk on deck under the stars or just head straight back to the cabin for some……..well you get the picture……..safe in the knowledge that your children are having brilliant fun.

Well, we are in the middle of our third cruise and I am surprised it has taken this long to get this comment………………but it was always coming.

Guest: Mr ________ Ref: 007129511A Owner:

Cabin: ______ Booking#: ________ Added-Changed: 05/026/11 – 05/26/11


Mr._______ came to the GSD and wanted to know if the basketball game would be shown later tonight. GSA called AV manager who explained that we would not be getting it here in Europe. GSA told the guest and guest shouted and wanting to speak to someone in charge. Cruise Director and Hotel Director informed and CD will call guest.

I did call him and explained that nobody wanted the basketball game on more than me because I am a Miami Heat fan. I then went onto explain that the European stations we have don’t carry the NBA and unless we had a satellite dish the size of …….well……the ship, we were not going to get it. Now I would like to tell you he understood or was disappointed but I can’t because I have no idea how he was because after I said that there was no way we were getting it and had just started on my apology when he simply put the phone down on me……..yep………he hung up on me in the middle of a sentence. I called Mr. Hangup back immediately just in case me telling him that he wouldn’t get to see the game had caused him to have a heart attack and when he answered and I said “Hel”……..he hung up on me again.

I have long stopped taking things like this personally and apart from the woman who thrust a bag of wet laundry into my chest last week, I have learnt to take a deep breath and move on. By the way, Miami won and are playing Dallas in the finals. It’s Miami vs. Dallas, Dick Norshitzki vs Dwyane Wade, Brendon Harwood vs. LeBron James, The Arisons vs. The Ewings………. and me and Mr. Hangup…………won’t see a sodding moment of it. Bugger!

So I have to finish with a tale that left me feeling like a total and utter bastard. My cabin here is on deck five forward and just in front of the crew deck. This is an outside area where the crew can sit and smoke and chat etc. Well last night I was woken from my bed by the sound of singing. I looked at my watch and saw it was 1:05 am. You may have noticed that I posted on Facebook last night at 1:45 am because I was up because of this. Well, it took me a few moments to work out where this singing was coming from. It wasn’t one voice it was a sodding choir. I lay in bed for a few moments hoping it would stop but it didn’t. Now I was in a grumpy mood already due to mass bollockings I had received on Facebook from some readers about the Boston announcement.

And as the singing continued I decided I had to do something. So I got out of bed, put some clothes on and walked out to the deck and down the stairs. When I got to the bottom I found a group of crew members in the 20s from various departments all standing with their arms around each other’s shoulders singing with much gusto. Suddenly one saw me and stopped and gestured to the others all of who suddenly looked embarrassed and nervous that the grumpy old senior cruise director was standing there.

And the conversation that followed made me feel like a piece of crap. You see, one of the guys explained that the choir was made up of waiters, housekeeping and other departments all from the Balkan countries who were celebrating the capture of someone called General Mladic who had masterminded the 44 month siege of Sarajevo in which 10,000 people died. He was a butcher and had been caught and this was the reason the young men were singing and that’s when I felt so bad for storming down to stop them. None of these crew fought in the Balkans war and yet I am sure their fathers and brothers did and as young children the memories of what must have happened there will I am sure be everlasting. And so just as us westerners rejoiced when Osama Bin Laden was killed so to were these Carnival crew celebrating that “The Rat” as they called him had been captured and were celebrating by singing national songs.

Thinking about it it’s been a good year so far. Not even five months in and Bin Laden is dead, Mubarak and Ben Ali overthrown and now the Rat is on his way to The Hague. Hopefully Gaddafi, Assad, Gbagbo and that bastard from Yemen will be along shortly to keep him company. I think we should put them all in one cell with insufficient food and water, set them tasks and televise it. Now that would be much better than Survivor.

Anyway, I left the choir and headed back upstairs and as I did I saw Donato the hotel director on his way down. He lives next door to me and had been awoken as well. I explained to him what was happening and we both returned to bed………to our own rooms, that is, not to each other’s.

And as I sat at my desk, in my underpants adding a last few comments on Facebook I listened to the choir start up again and read some more on the BBC internet site about General Mladic and how he had ordered the killing of so many thousands of men women and children. He was truly an evil person and you know what? Having read what he had done and if I had known the words ……………I would have gone back down and sang with them.


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.

72 Responses to A Brilliant Reason to Sing

  1. Sharon says:

    As always loved the blog but one thing mate, don’t knock manscaping until you try it. Believe me, Heidi will thank you for it 😉

  2. wes and liz manchester england says:

    Ok John, I’ll ask. will the England v Switzerland football(soccaaaar) game be available on the Magic next Saturday the 4th June, if not no big deal.

  3. SUSAN CURTIS says:

    Hi John,
    Enjoy your blog as always. I have questions pertaining to two different entries. 1 Doris Stahl, I personally would love her info on her magic pills, can you send me her email, please?
    2. I am not sure I understand the differences in the different night owl groups. The ages seem to be the same on most. So either I am a little slow, (entirely possible) or it is quite confusing. Thank you

    • Barb says:

      Susan, you can google the name of the drug Apidexin and find numerous sites to buy it from. It sounds like many other ‘quick fix’ pills and has the fat burning and speed-up your metabolism claims. The biggest turn-off at least for me, is that from googling it, I found out that it costs $99.95 per bottle (a one month supply) WOW!! I’ll pass!!! (and, no, I don’t take it OR sell it! LOL

    • Lissete says:

      The way that I am understanding it, is that the Night Owls program is an hourly basis babysitting svc with no planned activities. You choose how many hours you need. Ages 2-11

      The other 3 options are parties. The Owl Jams is for ages 2-11 as well but for a 2 hour party. Then the last 2 party options are for specific age groups (6-8 & 9-11).

  4. Doris Stahl,

    That 55 pounds you lost was it all right between your ears.

    BIG Ed

  5. Marty Paul says:

    Hi John (no need to reply; except I would still like an autographed photo of Megan Fox’s bottom. Surely, you can spare one from your collection?…),

    I’m sorry you will not be able to see our Miami Heat play in their second NBA Championship and a rematch with Dallas to boot (no pun intended). I’ll try and keep you updated with humorous musings on your FB page!

    I believe that good will always prevail over evil. It is God’s will. The facts on Earth seem to be bearing this out, with Bin Laden receiving a well-deserved bullet through the eye and now “The Rat” being captured. And hopefully, the youth in the middle east will continue to force change in those countries with tyrants as leaders (e.g. Libia, Yemen…).

    Very inspiring about your young crewmembers out singing national songs to celebrate The Rat’s capture. Similarly, I was inspired with the sight of the many American youth out celebrating the lead lobotomy delivered by one Navy Seal (lucky sod). It is encouraging to see our youth take pride in their countries, know what is going on and demonstrate passion & patriotism. BRAVO!

    It is hard for me to type the above words because it means I may now be an old sod. Not really, but I sure not in my 40;s, errrr, I mean 30’s anymore (ahem..). On the bright side, I will be able to retire at a relatively young age of 56 which will free me up to sail on those wonderful white ships with the Farcus Whale Tail!

    Take care my friend and I’m glad your girls with be back with you very soon! When you get down about some of the idiots you are required to deal with in your job, just rememebr your girls’ smiling faces 🙂

    Fair winds & following seas…

    Marty (& Jeanne) Paul

  6. Victoria J.L.,

    I’m glad you ended your BS by saying “possible our lives”. Because the possiblity of you losing your life just walking through the cigar bar is greater then getting hit by lightning on a sunny day. You might get the “C” if you live with a 3 pack a day smoker in a one room apartment for 30 years. You have a better chance tripping over the blanket you have over your head and falling overboard.

    BIG Ed

  7. Sharon says:


    I seldom comment here, but, your entry about the crew singing/rejoicing has touched me deeply.

    Too many times, I read replies about why the crew doesn’t speak “English” and how dare a port be missed for a medical emergency of a crew member.

    I have never encountered ANY crew that wasn’t the best at what they did. I have listened to many stories from the crew about their families and their homelife and the countries they come from. I have to tell you, the crew makes me feel so extremely fortunate and very humble. I have seen guests treat them like dirt and look down on them.

    If guests had to go through what many of the crew have had to endure and give up-do you think it would make them kinder?

    Bravo for the Balkans and thank you for sharing a heartwarming story.


    • Nicole says:

      excellent comments. I agree so very much. It’s shocking to see how the staff is often treated. If only the roles were reversed for even a day. Imagine the effect that would have.

    • Diane says:

      Great post Sharon!!! I couldn’t agree with you more

  8. Sarah Oxfurth says:

    You’re good people, John. The end.

  9. Nicole says:

    Hi JOhn!

    I love the Night Owl idea…basically it’s babysitting en masse so the parents can go out and dance the night away.

    Speaking of, are there any Night Owl activities for the adults, besides dancing at the nightclubs? I know you mentioned a week or two ago about wanting to put the Serenity area to use “after hours”. Anything come of that?

    To Victoria…. really? I’m all for protecting my lungs from second hand smoke, especially since i have asthma, but…. really? If you want to be taken seriously and have the subject of your letter discussed, instead of dismissed, try a little kindness.

  10. beth russell says:

    I just read about the new nighttime activties for kids. Looks great. My question is is there a discount for more then one. My son has 5 kids and it would cost a fortune for all 5 to participate . Thanks Beth

    • Darlene Higgins says:

      I’m new to cruising so that explains this question I was wandering how do you know what dinning room we are in ? Does it depend on which end of the ship we are on ? Also do you have to go to the same one every night ?

    • Lynda Ulrich says:

      Hi John, I thought Calvyn was on the Carnvial Magic with you. He gave me a nice little Candanian pin last time I sailed with him. I still have it on my light jacket I wear around the ship. I wanted to show it to him again in Oct. Is he gone?

    • Helen says:


      What an awesome blog today (as always) Reading about the crew members singing in celebration, brought tears to my eyes….
      My family was from the Ukraine and some of the horror stories that were shared were mind boggling.
      Keep up the Fantastic work!!
      (aka – the gal whom you made red wine shoot out of her nose from laughter)

    • pollywog72 says:

      beth russell says:
      May 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm
      I just read about the new nighttime activties for kids. Looks great. My question is is there a discount for more then one. My son has 5 kids and it would cost a fortune for all 5 to participate . Thanks Beth

      Well Beth why would you think with more children there should be a discount? I think he should be charged extra. More children equals more work for the care givers. It was you son’s choice to have 5 kids, and they are his responsibility. If he wants to leave his children and go party the night away, then he should have to pay someone for taking care of his responsibility. If he cannot afford the very reasonable rate per child, then he should not be out all night spending money on himself.

  11. Rita Presnell says:

    Joshua T…I have many friends who join the Christian cruises offered by several cruise lines and they experience a wonderful time. Perhaps that would be best for you. I say this out of the utmost respect and desire for you to enjoy the cruise experience to your liking.

    Doris Stahl….this is not a source for free advertising and a means for you to make money selling diet products. Keep your diet “junk” for yourself. I have asked my physician about these sort of remedies and his comment was “forget about that kind of stuff,, noone has discovered a true weight loss secret. Other than healthy eating and exercise, there is no magin potion.”

  12. Phil & Liz says:

    John & the beards,
    You can share this with the folks on board who want to see the basketball games can see them here..

  13. John M says:

    Rachel Bonsor is pulling your leg. My DW and I (both Captain’s Club members)cruise on X in Concierge Class a lot. That is in no way an automatic ticket to the Captain’s Table. 100 cruises would be a winner but every other seat is the luck of the draw.
    Enjoy your blog!
    John from Boston

    • Jnun says:

      Am I the only one that heard Hyacinth Bucket’s voice in my head as I was reading Madame Bonsor’s letter?

  14. JoJo says:

    Victoria J.L aren’t you a bit overreacted? I’m ex smoker and I admit I’m avoiding places where people can smoke, as its still kind of temptation for me. But as I said, I’m avoiding those places, I’m not asking anyone for changing rules there. If you can’t stand smoke, just avoid places where smoking is permitted. And stop calling smoking people killers, as its kind of discrimination.

  15. Karen says:

    I would have sang with them too John. Don’t feel bad you didn’tknow and as soon as you found out you acted more than appropriately so no reason to feel bad 🙂

  16. Tom says:

    About the inability to watch your Miami Heat play in the NBA finals… talk to your bearded techie people about streaming the game via your internet connection. There ARE ways to do this, albeit some more clandestine than others. If a legit way can be found to do this, you may wish to consider offering this as an option on one of the TV’s in one of the bars. All it takes is a cheap computer and an internet connection. Could make for some very happy guests. Cheers!!

  17. Karen Lian says:

    You make us laugh and cry, Thank you!!!!

  18. Laurie says:

    Love the Night Owl set up – we will be sailing on the Dream with friends who have a youngster and this will a great benefit for those nights we want to stay out a little later.

    Karen – Bondi? I thought that was only for tourists and Kiwis? just kidding… beautiful beach but terribly crowded….. Manly is so much better!

  19. DINKS says:

    Hi John,
    Post if you wish,
    & to: Rachel Bonsor:
    as you will be new to the Carnival experience, I would encourage you to make immediate reservation for the Chef’s Table. (… our chef wants to change the event name to Chef’s Experience because it’s much more than the ‘table’ alone.) This is one event you will be sharing with your Celebrity Captains for sure.

  20. Katie says:

    So this will be replacing the existing 10 PM – 3 AM group babysitting? What is the effective date? We are cruising on Glory in a few weeks with our 10 month old and were thinking of trying the group babysitting one night.

    It’s a little moot for this cruise since she will likely sleep the entire time and is too young for any of the special parties. However there is a cost difference for Night Owls versus the old group babysitting and we’re just wondering which version it will be (and which fee we’ll have to pay)

  21. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    As you know, I am not a smoker.

    And I avoid cigarette and cigar smoke so that I won’t get throat and bronchial ulcers that can last for 2 months. (Ed: You don’t have to get the C word to suffer terribly from second hand smoke.)

    BUT : I was rather sit in the cigar bar with you, Ken, the Camel and the Marlboro Man for 6 weeks straight, then have to endure one single evening on a cruise ship with Victoria J.L.!

    Smoke hurts the body, but that woman hurts the soul!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend~ who is so thrilled about the Heat~ DJ)

    • Linda, Yes, I understand those with allergies. It’s those that think just seeing a person with a cigarette or smelling a whiff of smoke is going to put them in a grave that get me going.

      BIG Ed

  22. GeckoGal says:

    Please tell the beards to weed out these people who are trying to sell you miracle skinny pills. Why waste a precious Q&A on spam that most websites delete automatically?

  23. Sharon says:

    Have to say I think the new “Night Owl’s” program is a huge disappointment, (actually my first thought was “that sucks”).

    First, Carnival is raising the price from $6.00 per hour after 10:00 PM for the first Child, ($4.00 for each additional child), to $6.75 per child, (does not appear to be a discount for additional children). Second, forcing a tip? An extra tip should be earned, not forced. Third, the “Night Owl” party on the Carnival Triumph in January of 2011 was only $26.00, 10 PM – 3 AM, which actually saved a cruiser $4.00. My daughter had a blast in January; she loved the gifts as well. I loved they brought her to our room at the end, which was not indicated in the announcement.

    I understand the price increase, but with the tip, it’s just not worth it, sorry.

  24. Hi john,

    While the order may vary, here are the 12 day Carnival Magic menus and Food Porn:

  25. Lynn and Mike Sagara says:

    A big hello from AZ. Reading Darren and Lizzy comment brought up a question. What happened with the comment cards? I don’t know of anyone including ourselves who has seen one since Carnival went to the online version. Lynn and Mike

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      We finally started receiving one…but I had to contact Guest Services to make it happen.

      Now we get ONE after every cruise.

      Linda (Mom of DJ)

    • cruisin'lovebirds says:

      We received our online survey within 3 days of returning from the Inspiration. For us, the system worked well. I know others have not experienced the same. Janet from Orlando

  26. Loretta says:

    I have to disagree with this new night owl set up. When camp calls me to pull my child out for crying am I going to still pay the whole fee? I can only imagine the long lines at pickup time. No incentive to pick up the kids at a reasonable hour.
    I pick up the younger one at about 11 and husband picks up the older one at about 12:30.

  27. ingrid joyal says:

    @Victoria: You are WAY more likely to die of stress than smoke. Seriously woman, do you stress this much over absolutely everything? A blanket over your head? Really? Murderers? really? Wondering how you handle REAL problems in your life. Perhaps anxiety medication could be in your future?

    @Manscapers: Admit it, you love it because it makes your man bits look bigger.

    @ John: Love ya. Mean it!

    @ the African American really religious couple: Wondering if African American T&A look any different from Anglo white T&A. If there were black women in the shows, you wouldn’t want to see them either…right? Am I right? HA! A nice table for 2 will keep you safe from us sinners. Henry O. could be your best pal.

  28. pete morris says:

    absolutely brilliant reason to sing!!
    thats all.

  29. boaterette says:

    John, Just a question but who is going to be watching these kids when the parents are sleeping the next day. I have seen little ones as young as five in the buffet in the morning by themselves. I actually asked one of them where their parents were and they said they were sleeping. I sure hope it doesnt become a problem.

  30. Lee Toleman says:

    JohnO…..so let me get this right…….after reading your blogs…….you are Carnival cruise lines head CD….and you run several blogs…….and while each day you are making sure several thousand passengers on the ship you are currently on are taken care of….you are inundated with many thousands more that somehow expect you to magically make their individual vacation happen………I have laughed with you for a long time mate, but you must have some really magical powers………but what I see is that there is a whole lot of self centered people out there who think that they can get a whole lot more “bang” for their buck………….by requesting you (and by requesting I mean demanding) you meet all their out of this world needs…….

    for me I find cruising to be a total all inclusive experience……..one complainer today was pissed because people were drinking at their table etc……..hey it is the “fun” ship……maybe they should have chosen another line……..why is it your problem that they are unhappy………I want nothing from you except to tell you………that I am so excited to find out you will be CD for the Liberty out of dry dock……..must be some good stuff…….hopefully an adults only pool zone……..fingers crossed……..if not…..I can live with it…..Thanks for all you do mate…….seriously listening to these boards you are not making enough………..

  31. Cheryl K says:

    I just clicked the “Like” button…:-)

  32. Kathy M says:

    Hello My Friend,

    John, your blog today (May 27th) was fantastic, as usual, but I do have one question. You were talking about the new Night Owl Programs for kids and that got me thinking about Camp Carnival. Do parents have to pay extra for their children to attend any of the Camp Carnival functions or is that part of the price for the cruise. I love this idea of having programs for the kids at night, because now there should be no excuses for the parents to leave their kids in the cabins alone to make all the noise that they want and disturb the other passengers around them. When I sailed on the Carnival Pride, every night the parents would leave around 7pm and leave their 3 kids in the room by themselves and the noise from that room was unbearable. They would fight, scream, yell at one another, in fact one night I was really scared for one of them, because their older brother threatened to throw one of his siblings overboard if they did not shut up. The reason that it scared me was they, like myself, were in a cabin with a balcony and the brother had actually taken him out on the balcony and again threatened him there.. Well it shook me up so bad, that I called the Purser’s desk and told them what was going on and I guess they had someone come up and talk to the kid’s because it was quiet for the rest of the evening.

    Now my next question, when you show us what is being served on the Carnival Magic, is that them same Menu for all the ships or doe’s each ship have their own Menu’s. I have trying to find this out for awhile, but since I couldn’t find the answer, I knew you would know.

    One more thing John, I just want to let you know how proud you make me feel when Doris Stahl tells you about her quick weight loss program and you turn people like her down. It is a proven fact that when a person loses their weight slowly and over a period of time, they will have a less chance of gaining the weight back and more weight with it. I know how hard it is losing weight, (I have now lost over 200 pounds), but I have lost mine the same way you are doing it, slow. Sometimes I think it is even harder and more tempting for you to go off of your diet then it is for me, and that is another reason that I am so proud of you, because you have learned to say “NO” to certain foods that you know will put your weight back on. John, I don’t know if anyone has told you this, but it is a known fact that some people who are diabetic’s, that once they lose their weight, they don’t have to take insulin or the pills anymore. I hope that when you have lost your weight, you will also be able to say “Goodbye Diabetes”.

    Please give my love to Heidi and Kye,
    From your #1 Bloggy Thinggy Fan and now your #1 Facebook Fan.

    Kathy M.

  33. Stephen says:

    Hi John
    We are from Sydney and we sail on the Magic on the 14th August. I loved that you posted the menu for today, it would be good if you could post the bar prices as well to help me budget. Is there a forum where people can post tips and advise on the ports that they have visted or anything specific to the ship. I would love to hear others experiences.

  34. Mary Pons-Perez says:

    Hello Jonh: We are on board the Magic right now with my wonderful friends the Bennett’s. Thanks to you, the blog and the first bloggers cruise we became very closed friends.
    Ken is absolutely awesome ..Martina the best server I have ever had ( 3 times in a row). and Alina they are wonderful. you and the cruise line are very lucky to have them. Hope we can see you before we leave.

  35. Lis 'Crazy4Koko' Buja says:

    Dear Rachel Bosner,

    Are you for real? If so, I would check between the sheets for a pair of large underpants before retiring each evening. It’s certainly how I would address your pompous requests.

  36. Janine Eveler says:

    Regarding adult comedy shows. I respect the cruiser who was offended by the comedy show but I would actually like to allow my almost 18 year old to attend these shows. How strict is the policy of no one under 18 at the adult comedy shows?

  37. Ralph says:

    Regarding the post by Rachel Bonsor on May 27th….I bet you 6 Monte Cristo Edmundo’s that she(and spouse) will be a HUGE pain in your arse when they sail on the Magic!!!

    Also, on a more pleasant note, I absolutely love your blog…one of the highlights of my day!! Hope to sail with you one day and shake your hand..and receive my cigars for winning the above bet!! You’re a GOOD MAN John Heald!!!


  38. Irene says:

    I just saw Ken, the maitre’d on the Magic. Did he sail on the Freedom in Europe in 2007 and does he sing every night for the guests? I am hoping to sail on the Magic next January if it is the same man I will be thrilled and request his dining room.

  39. Terrey Stafford says:

    Dear John,
    When we left the Magic just one week ago on May 22 after a marvelous time and after you were kind enough to read my little letter in the AM Show I thought one of the things I would so miss was listening to you talk and then I discovered your blog and have sent it on to everyone to enjoy after bragging you up very substantially. I have to say as we wade through the many pictures one will always have after such a marvelous itinerary, you remain a very large highlight along with all the tours and the many Magic offerings. The food was fantastic, the service was marvelous, and the ship is simply spotless! The tours were terrific and so very memorable. We thought the shows were well above average. I am certain your new passengers will have lots of wonderful things to say about you too because even when they might feel tried and jet lagged, you seem to brighten life fearlessly with a rare combo of humor and life learning’s. I really admire that. I hope you will someday write a book. I would buy it! Bravo to Carnival. They knew what they were doing when they asked for the privilege of your service to offer to us! Yours til our next trip somewhere on board. We would not hesitate to recommend you or Carnival. PS. We sing after I read your blog! Regards, T and B.

  40. Lissete says:

    Great post as usual. I, too, would have joined in the singing as well.

    Many moons ago, when my girls were young, they begged to do the Camp Carnival sleepover thingy. I believe it was on the Ecstasy around yr 2000. They had a blast! The next day, they were toast, but nothing that a little nap didn’t cure!

    These new programs should be a hit. Although I no longer have little ones, I’m sure many will benefit.

  41. Kelli says:

    Rachel. Really? “I’m sure the Captain will want to listen to our stories because we’re world travelers”. That is hilarious. You honestly think that you are so interesting that people want to sit and listen to you? I think I’ve heard it all. You might want to jump off that pedestal you have yourself on and come down here with all the little people. I’m can’t stop laughing at the gall of some people.

  42. James Bond says:

    Hello John,

    I’m a frequent reader of the blog and quite the fan. On my last cruise I made an observation regarding live music and would like to share it. Everyone loves being poolside and enjoying calypso music, but has Carnival thought of placing a live DJ poolside for a period of time on sea days? It would create the kind of Las Vegas/Miami pool party atmosphere if a DJ was playing house music. I would love to hear what you think about this John.

    Wishing you all the best! And LETS GO HEAT!

  43. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Btw, I did not see Calvyn’s name in the Entertainment Staff line up?????

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  44. Becky Howell says:

    Will the protests in Barcelona affect the Magic leaving port on June 3rd?

  45. Bob Ulrich (hubby of Lynda) says:

    I just wanted to suggest to passengers on the Conquest class ships who are anti smoking and want to use the internet Cafe to do it early in the day. On the Carnival Valor 2 weeks ago we visited the cafe most days (to read your Blog), and in the mornings there was seldom anyone in the cigar bar.

  46. Ingrid says:

    Hi John PLEASE RESPOND.. my family and I will be sailing on the July 24h Magic and we would love to have our own dinner table. Is that PLEASE possible. We can’t wait to see you again as we met on the DREAM Feb ’10. We are avid Carnival sailors! Thanks

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  48. Kathy Gizzi says:

    Carnival Legend – 5-22-2011 Sailing

    Cabins 7321, 7325, 7329, 7333

    Ports of call: Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman

    I purchased four cabins for my family in celebration of my mom’s 81st birthday. We looked forward to this cruise for over a year and a half, as our original cruise had to be cancelled due to my mother having open heart surgery in January, 2010. There were 7 of us total – my two daughters, their husbands, mom and stepdad (granny and grandpa), and me.

    Embarkation – Port of Tampa

    This is by far one of the best ports of embarkation. Drive in, the porters take your luggage, the valets take your car and you are off to the terminal. The woman who checked us in via ViP remembered me from September. She was so nice! I had 4 cabins to check in and she was very thorough and quick. Next thing we knew we were on our way to the ship. Stopped for the embarkation photo. There were 7 of us. I was so disappointed with this pic – we did not buy it – more on the photo process later.

    We were on the ship at 1:15 and the cabins were not ready, so we went to Lido to wait. There was no place to sit so we just stood around until 1:30. Went to our cabins and Mom (Granny) was really surprised when she saw the flowers we ordered from Bon Voyage. They were beautiful and lasted all week! Grandpa got the cooler with 4 beers and a Carnival baseball cap, which he wore all week too! Bon Voyage did a great job! Her birthday cake was delivered at dinner on Friday, just as ordered and it was yummy!

    I received a bottle of Champaign, chocolate covered strawberries, a photo coupon and 4 bar coupons from the Carnival Players Club. Because I drank enough for many when I was younger the bar coupons went to the daughter and son-in-law and the Champaign went to the cabin steward!! One suggestion, if you have non-drinkers a non-drinking perk would be nice! I made this suggestion in the casino as well, when I got my “On Us” card. They made out on me as I only ordered 1 beer and 1 bottle of water! LOL! But it is a perk so I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth!

    We went to guest services and requested that the balcony dividers opened between all 4 cabins. This was done on the first day at sea!! It was awesome out there!!

    MDR – YTD

    Love the Your Time Dining!! The first night all 7 of us headed to the MDR at 6:45. Perfect timing on our part! We were given a table aft, and our server was Elena from Bulgaria. Elena and her team were awesome! Each night we asked for her, and each night (except one) we were given a table in her station. On two nights we were given a window table, aft, and OH THE VIEW!! Loved that table! Elena was brilliant and exceeded our expectations! We wanted to take her home with us!!

    The food was good in the MDR. Everyone had more than enough, including the Warm Chocolate melting cake!! The lido food was also good. We ate there two nights and I was glad to see they served the same food as the dining room. One tiny problem – the baked potatoes were not baked and were hard. We had a laugh over that one as Granny said she liked raw potatoes. One suggestion – Lido might think about serving WCMC for dessert!! They do this on the Carnival Dream and I would like to see it on every ship!


    Panya and his team also exceeded our expectations! One thing he did for me that no other cabin steward has done: My son-in-law and I always carry an ashtray with a lid so ashes and such do not blow away on the balcony. I always take plastic baggies to empty the ashtray every morning so not to make a mess in the stateroom. For the first time EVER, Panya emptied and cleaned the ashtrays every time he cleaned the room! This might not seem like much to most people, but to me I was grateful and happy to see how he paid attention to the smallest detail! I was sorry we somehow missed saying goodbye to him at debarkation!


    One port needs a paragraph! ROATAN!! Mahogany Beach is awesome. This was our 2nd time there and we again rented a cabana for 5 of us. There was no other more relaxing day!!

    One suggestion – we are there such a short time. I would love to see a full day in Roatan!!


    My oldest daughter and son-in-law took their first (and I fear last) Carnival Excursion in Roatan. She was very disappointed, as the price they paid was high by her standards. As I stated above, we had a short stay in Roatan. Back on the ship by 2:30 for a 3:00 sail away. The excursion didn’t start until 10:30. It was a zip line and beach excursion. My daughter told me that by the time they got everyone to the zip line and suited up it was noon. She stated there were so many people on that excursion that they should have split people up, half to do zip line and half to beach and then switch. As it was, they never got to the beach, never got anything to eat, and were rushed back to the ship (no time for shopping) Of course when they got back to the ship they were starving and the lido was closing down lunch. She didn’t understand why they started so late in the first place when we got there at 8:00 am. Someone may want to take a look at this to see if it can be improved.


    Belize – again my oldest – has made friends with a private tour operator in Belize and for the third time he showed them a wonderful time. Nacho and Cynthia come highly recommended!! Carnival might want to contact them.

    Cozumel – Chankanaab National Park – awesome!! Our guide Philipe took the best pictures we got the entire cruise by using our own cameras!! I highly recommend this to anyone!! We took a short taxi ride there and back. Of course we had lunch at Pancho’s Backyard!! Yummy!!


    I have always suggested, after every cruise, that the way the photos are done by the ship should be improved. This time however – I have never been so very disappointed!! My whole family was there – and the entire week we only got ONE photo that was even slightly worth purchasing.

    Embarkation photo – come on – they have digital cameras – could they not see that someone’s eyes were closed? One shot and you’re done – with 7 people they missed a chance to sell a lot of copies, but the pic was horrible because of closed eyes. Did not get one for the first time ever!

    On formal night we posed for what we hoped would be excellent family pictures to commemorate our cruise. Only the Lord knows if we will ever get to cruise together again. We went before dinner, and the photographer was in a hurry to close down (which he did as soon as we were done) and he made this known to us. The lighting was terrible and I purchased one photo that we are going to try to photo shop as the lighting was so bad. We never went back for more…. So sad.

    Honestly – with the technology available today – this is one thing that Carnival does very poorly. As many complaints as I have seen about this on FB and the blog I would think that Carnival would take a close look and fix this immediately. I needed Mr. Radu – and I got Mr. I’m in a hurry so tough luck. Also – take a look at the hours these photographers are available – nearly impossible to get a photo – even if you wanted one. I won’t even mention the bad pics getting off at the ports. Sigh!!


    Serenity Deck – beautiful to look at but not a place to sit anywhere!! It was full all of the time.
    Bingo – such fun – no winners here though :-p – but we tried hard
    Comedy Club – first part of week were good – new ones end of week not so much
    Music – normally I wouldn’t complain – but here goes – there was a guy with a beard who sang in the lobby one night and in the casino – he was bloody awful. We really had to get away – thought it was karaoke at first. ACK! Not sure who picks the sound track for the map on the TV but it was worse than bad. Kept it muted when I wanted to see where we were positioned.
    Marriage show – hilarious!
    Casino – people very friendly! Some were lucky, I was not lucky at all…..!!
    TV – I think there were satellite problems – could not get NBC/ABC/CBS, Monday – Friday. Didn’t bother me but my parents were rather disappointed.


    I missed not getting a ship pin of any kind. Was sorry they discontinued this. Love the little notebook. Asked them not to deliver canapés. Would like to see some perks that are not alcohol related – but again, they are welcomed by most. Used my laundry service once – good job!! Used #1 debark tags for everyone one – loved that! Did not use my photo coupon, sigh (see above). Was so happy we got the ES discount and shareholder OBC! With 4 cabins that came in really handy!!


    I want to thank Carnival for changing its policy for single cruisers!! I bought two FCC’s on this sailing!!


    Again the Port of Tampa is awesome. With #1 baggage tags we were off the ship and in our cars in no time. I had tears as I didn’t want to leave my Fun Ship. I am so happy I have two more booked!


    The Carnival Legend is a fantastic ship with an awesome Captain and crew!! Everyone was so very nice and called us by name each and every time! Carnival is by far the best vacation value and loads of fun and relaxation were had by all!! This was my 3rd time on this ship and I have to say it was the BEST time on this ship! (Although the Saints and Sinners with John as CD was pretty excellent too!!)

  49. Jesa Walston says:

    Well Last year i went on the Triumph..It was a Blast,I had Lots of fun!Do you know when the Carnival Magic is Docking at Galveston?
    Please write back,

  50. Janet says:

    John, does the carnival spirit have trundle beds. I hope not as I picked fun saver and do not know what room I sill get. There are three of us traveling. I wish you were on our ship for the 5 day Cabo oct 2.I stared reading your blog when my cruise was cancelled on the splendor. Keep up the good work

  51. cclmary says:

    This needs to be requested under ASK JOHN’S page.

    Thank you,


    • Kathy Gizzi says:

      Mary – if you are referring to my Legend review – and I think you might be because it has disappeared – I have tried to post it under the ship reviews in the “Ask John” section. I keep getting an error that it is too long (1000 Character limit) I checked on FB and was told to post it here. If my post is not what you are referring to, then I apologize. I took a lot of time to write this review so I am not going to go back and start counting letters. In a nutshell – it was great. Sorry the people I wanted to commend won’t see it.

      • cruisin'lovebirds says:

        Kathy, I just read your wonderful long review – it has not disappeared! Thank you for taking the time to write such detail. Janet from Orlando

  52. Chris D. says:

    I am confused. The night owl program already exists. From the Carnival website:

    “Besides the complimentary Camp Carnival activities that are available every day, babysitting is also available every evening from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am. Infants to 8 year olds have their babysitting in the Playroom with movie-time, snacks and drinks. 9-11year-olds have Night Owls Rule with video games, movies, board games, snacks and drinks from 10:00 pm to 12:00 am. They will join regular babysitting from 12:00 am to 3:00 am. The charge for babysitting is $6.00 per hour for the first child and $4.00 for each additional sibling and will be charged to your Sail & Sign card. Please sign up with the Youth Staff in advance. All babysitting takes place in Camp Carnival. There is NO in-stateroom babysitting available.”

    So basically Carnival is just raising the price adding 15% gratuity? Not a fan of this announcement!

  53. hi john, seeing the picure of ken made me think about one of our all time favorite maitre d’s george the greek. he was on the tropical, and i think we had him on the sensation years ago. he was brilliant, and everyone loved him. i bet he hit every table every night, and i remember him helping his staff alot.sometime it’s nice to be remembered…

    • cruisin'lovebirds says:

      We had George as our Maitre D’ on the Inspiration a few years ago. What a personality! He was wonderful. To George I say OPA!

  54. josh says:

    john thanks for the great blog

    Dear people who hate smokers and for this blog i am calling out Victoria J.L.

    If you were to look at the freaking deck plans you will notice a door that leads from Outer Deck into “the Web” So its your own damn fault that you walked through the CIGAR BAR.

  55. In regard to “the” basketball game not being shown…
    I am a motor racing fan and while on the cruise missed several motor racing events:
    1) Spanish F1 Grand Prix
    2) Monaco F1 Grand Prix
    3) Indy 500
    4) Several NASCAR races.
    I looked on the channels on the Magic and could not find them.
    But this is where common sense prevails. Before I took the cruise I looked at what I would miss on the dates I would be away assuming that TV access would be limited.
    I told my wife “Hey we can’t sail those dates as I will miss the ”
    She replied something like “If you want me to change the dates of the cruise for the then rummpy pummpy will be limited for the remainder of your married life with me”
    I made my choice and had a wonderful cruise and great RP. I did not see any of the races but it was a good decision.
    So do your research and determine the importance of what you will miss while on a cruise.
    I am sure that John misses lots of TV shows he would like to see like Eastenders, Coronation Street and Emerdale Farm.

Copyright 2011 John Heald. All Rights Reserved