Purses, Volcanoes, and Underpants

June 1, 2011 -

John Heald

Heidi manages our money because left to me I would be the proud owner of an Aston Martin DBS. OK, we would be living in cardboard box under a bridge but I would have the car of my dreams. It’s Wednesday June1 and the time is 7:48 am and as I sit here in my underpants I have come to the realisation that I will never own my dream car. Yes, Carnival pays me well but the car is $187,000 so there is bugger all chance of it ever happening. I promised myself that when the blog hit 10 million views that I would rent one from www.dreamcarhire.com but I can’t afford it. But I have come to terms with it………….sort of.

Heidi and I never argue about money. She provides a wonderful home for me and Kye and of course very rarely spends money on herself……..except on one thing. And it’s one thing that drives me absolutely stark raving bonkers……it’s purses and handbags and during a pleasant conversation last night she casually mentioned she had bought another one. Purses are right at the sodding top of the list of things I find annoying about women apart from why more of the species wouldn’t have rumpy pumpy with me before I was married.

I get the make-up thingy, because it makes you girls look better for us men, and clothes, because us men can tell the difference between a full length woolen sack and a short silky black dress that allows us a Sharon Stone moment now and then. Heidi doesn’t have a shoe fetish although I am a big fan of high heels that show of a nice pair of Latvian legs. Handbags though are a total bloody mystery. I asked Heidi why she needs another sodding purse because you already have like 4 or 39. They’re just for carrying stuff around in so let me give you a Carnival plastic bag which would do the job just as well.

I just don’t get it ladies. Handbags don’t make you look sexier, or boost your cleavage, or make me want to have rumpy pumpy with you. Do you think us men look at a girl who looks like she has run a 100 yard sprint in a 90-yard gym and want to have rumpy pumpy with her because she has a Chanel bag over her shoulder. Bollocks do we? Yet I often see Heidi stroking the pages of Cosmovogue with eyes of pure desire as she looks at some stick insect model promoting the latest “it” bag.

And who, who came up with the pricing of these things? Heidi’s latest cost $175 which is bugger all compared with the thousands of dollars the rich and tanned pay for them. I may understand this if these people carried diamonds and gold and miniature ponies around in them but they don’t and neither does Heidi. On the inside of her handbag she has a BlackBerry, diapers, a pack of wet wipes, one of Kye’s toys, spare keys, tissues, half of Walgreens’ stock of pills and potions, glasses she never wears, three pairs of sunglasses, and 238 lipsticks. I genuinely don’t understand this need to carry everything you’ve ever owned around with you at all times.

When I go out I take keys for the house, keys for the car, my raspberry, some money, two cigars, a lighter and a packet of hemorrhoid cream……………………..Gucci my arse.

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

David and Miriam R asked:

I want a surprise for my wife whilst on our 5th June cruise on Splendor. It’s my wife’s birthday and last year on Royal’s Monarch they decorated the cabin so if you do that and a cake for her birthday on the 7th which is the Tuesday that should be fine. Our cabin number is 2445 but we are expecting an upgrade so can you check with our booking number which is ________ before you arrange this.

John says:
Hello David and Miriam,

I am sorry but I can’t arrange a cake or complimentary decoration of the cabin although this can be done through www.carnival.com/bonvoyage. I am sure your wife will be thrilled to know that you have arranged this for her. I will send her a little something to wish her a very happy birthday and hope you both have fun.

Best wishes,


Klaxon Gee asked:

I am a single man in my 50’s and someone who enjoys the thrill of cruising. I have been looking at Carnival and thinking of taking a cruise to Alaska with your line but was shocked when I saw just how much you charge for single occupancy. It is disgraceful and nothing short of prejudice against the single man. You seem to have the ear of the people who make these decisions so please tell them that they won’t get my business or that of the thousands of single men like me until such time as Carnival reduces the price we are expected to pay.

John says:
Hello Klaxon Gee,

Thanks for taking the time to write and I am very much aware of the extra cost that is placed on the single traveler these days. I will certainly pass on your thoughts to the right people and I hope that in the future we will see you on one of our brilliant vessels.

Best wishes,


Anthony Manacusi asked:

I am thinking about booking your bloggers cruise but I am worried that I cannot get to see my beloved college basketball and march madness. Can you assure me that the games are shown!

Thanks John and luv the blog.

John says:
Hello Anthony Manacusi,

It’s great to know that you are thinking of joining us on BC5 and I promise you it will be a brilliant time for sure. As for the basketball, well if the games are shown on major networks such as ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS or ESPN, we will be able to show them although I can’t promise exactly which ones will be broadcast and remember we are dealing with satellites at sea. The basketball and all the Carnival fun should make for the perfect cruise.

Best wishes and hope to see you soon.


Amanda Rodney asked:

FELLOW UK CITIZEN! I am so chuffed to note that you will be onboard the Magic this year. Yippee! We are travelling from Yorkshire to Barcelona on 14/08/11 as in 14th August (spelt correctly) to cruise for 12 days on the amazing Magic. We cannot wait. We cruised on the CC Holiday for our honeymoon 10yrs ago; Oct 2001, hence our anniversary cruise this year. My hubby is convinced you were our CD on that cruise – Is he right? This will be our 3rd cruise with Carnival-we would recommend your cruise line to anyone who is considering a cruise – especially English folk. We have always been blown away by the level of service provided to us by the amazing staff on board. Love reading your blog thingy every day – really brightens my day. Keep it up! PS if you would like any English treats bringing to you – please let me know. People ask you for stuff – so why not get your own back! i.e. real Cadburys/pg tips/branston pickle/vimto/shortbread etc so please ask!

Thanks again,


John says:
Hello Amanda Rodney,

Thank you, absolutely perfect timing as I had a British couple who are used to cruising with more intimate small 5 star lines tell me tonight that me and the company I work for are and I quote “common.” There is nothing worse than a British snob. They are a minority of course because most of my fellow Brits believe as you do that the service and brilliant value for money we provide is absolutely brilliant. I look forward to meeting you and if by accident a chicken curry Pot Noodle fell in your suitcase then that would be amazing. If there is anything I can do for you please let me know and I will see you soon.

Best wishes,


Steven Michael (Mike) Malone asked:

I am writing to thank you and my Personal Vacation Planner Sarah Elizabeth for a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Freedom. Sarah listened to the reasons why we have waited ten years to book another cruise and contributed substantially to a great cruise for my family. I am actually thanking you in advance of our sailing on July 16 (Rooms 2340 & 2344). I sincerely appreciate the authentic picture I believe you offer of the Carnival cruise experience. You have prepared me and my family for any slight imperfections that are part of every vacation and helped us to look forward to a positive cruise experience. If there is any little thingy you can send along to make a great cruise even better, it would be much appreciated. I will take any lack of response to this request as a sign you are either still too busy involuntarily contemplating Luigi’s arse. Of course, I am kidding. Whether or not you respond, please know you and Sarah are greatly appreciated by our family.

John says:
Hello Steven Michael (Mike) Malone,

It’s always great to read about our PVP’s that help our guests and I will pass your thanks to Sarah and her supervisor as well. I am glad you have found the blogs and Facebook updates useful as you planned what will be a great time for you and your family. Can I ask that if you can, you post this request two weeks before you sail here or a few days before on Facebook? If I send your request to the ship now I know it will get lost and I don’t want that to happen. Thanks for the fun post and the kind words and I hope you send me that reminder.

Best wishes to you and the family.


Wendy Horton asked:

I read on Cruise Critic an alarming thread that some cruise lines keep a percentage of the gratuities that we leave the workers. Please tell me Carnival does not do this. They work so hard and it makes me sick to my stomach that a huge company like Carnival would keep money back from their employees like this.

Please let me know the truth John.

John says:
Hello Wendy Horton,

I am so glad you took the time to write to me so that I have the chance to absolutely assure, promise and swear to you that 100% or every dollar you leave for gratuities for the crew goes to them and that Carnival gets nothing, niente, zero and bugger all. I hope this makes you feel better and thanks so much for being concerned for the crew as that is most kind of you. I wonder if you could post this on the subject board about this on Cruise Critic please so others can see the truth. Thanks so much.

Best wishes,


Ian Cryer asked:

I was horrified to find that on my Legend cruise last week that Carnival openly advocates the promotion of lurid sexual behavior by advertising in the Fun Times Daily Program that gays and lesbians and transvestites can meet and do who knows what. You often talk here John about Carnival being family friendly but how can you say that if you allow this. Was this a one off for this cruise that myself and my wife and three children were on or is this something I can expect to find if I return to Carnival. If the answer is in the positive then I won’t be back and will look at other cruise line companies and Branson, Missouri. Now they know what family vacations are all about. I expect an immediate answer to my concerns and I bet if others were brave enough to admit it, many more would feel as I do.

John says:
Hello Ian Cryer,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write and I hope you had a wonderful cruise. Please allow me to correct you on one part of your post before we start. We advertise Friends of Dorothy BLT which stands for bisexuals, lesbians and transgender……..not transvestites although they are welcome as well. This gathering is indeed offered on all our ships each cruise and it does not in any way, shape or form advertise any “lurid” behavior. It’s just a place and a time for one particular group of guests to meet and make new friends. We arrange Rotarian and Lions Club meetings on request and despite me apparently being an atheist, I also arrange bible study and prayer meetings when asked. Starting next week we have Friends of Johns Underpants which will be the code word for bloggers to meet as well. The world is made up of many different types of people. Short, tall, thin, fat, straight, gay, believers, non-believers, polite and kind people, French people and all are welcome here at Carnival. I truly hope that we will see you again and oh by the way………I had to ask Uncle Google about Branson, Missouri. I had never heard of that before.

Best wishes,


Daniel P asked:

I just read your blog today that had a request for a room reservation for a bible study where 200 bibles were requested. You poured scorn upon this and I as a Christian found this highly offensive. I am surprised Carnival condones such behavior. You may be an atheist but many of your passengers would have enjoyed this and it would have enhanced their cruise tenfold. You should be ashamed.

John says:
Hello Daniel P,

First of all while I am very sorry that you are mad at me I absolutely did not pour scorn on this request and did my best to offer assistance. And may I also kindly ask how you came to the conclusion that I am an atheist? Please accept my apologies for making you angry at me although I truly believe I said nothing that should have had you feeling like this.

Best wishes,


Jordan M asked:
John Please Reply,

Hi John. I’m avid blog reader and Facebook follower. I’m looking forward to my ninth cruise on Carnival. We are taking the Freedom on June 4th. Is there a chef’s table aboard? Secondly, I believe that you were the CD on the Pride in May of 2002. Is there any way you could confirm this? Could you pass along a comment to the beards, we would love to see the fresh Crepe buffet come back to lido deck!
Jordan Marchbanks Room 2346

John says:
Hello Jordan Marchbanks,

Thanks so much for being such an avid blog reader and fan of my Facebook page. There is indeed a Chef’s Table that you will love it I promise. It looks like as the cruise is just a few days away that you will have to book it onboard. Actually, I have never been on the Carnival Pride so no, that wasn’t me Jordan. If you have the actual date I may be able to see who it was. I had forgotten about the crepe buffet and I will certainly mention this to the beards. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes,


OK, time to open a huge can of “Whoop John’s Flaccid Arse” because I am going to talk about elegant night again. I know this subject may bore some people and for that I apologise. I also have to point you in the direction of the disclaimer thingy because this is my opinion, not Carnival’s and in this case I am speaking for me, the big fat Brit cruise director with a bent tooth and hemorrhoids the size of Pamela Andersen’s knockers. You see, this cruise and on previous cruises I have received bollockings about our Captain’s Celebration on formal night. You see …….I personally don’t like it….. and judging by what you tell me, you don’t like it much either.

So, let’s talk about it shall we? Well, there are positives. The captain, myself and the senior officers walked around meeting lots of people and taking photos, the atmosphere was excellent and we utilized the Ocean Plaza, the casino bar and promenade and overall the atmosphere is ummm………nice. But there are problems. You see we have the RedFrog Pub which is supposed to be and is as casual as French rumpy pumpy. This means you have people going out and coming in who are far from elegantly dressed and we will talk more about that in a moment.

Then there are the expectations. You see I had many guests who expect something else, something better and most of these guests are past guests. Now what they are saying is that they don’t like where we do it and how we do it. But……..if you really examine everything there is only one thing that has changed…….complimentary cocktails. We still have the music, you still meet the captain, you still are invited to dress elegantly and you still have 309 different photo stations from which to have a beautiful portrait taken. All that’s missing…….is the free drinks. Everything is exactly the same. So one has to ask, is that what this all about, the free drinks? The atmosphere, the music, the place, the photos, the meet and greet the captain is the same ……… without the free drinks. The reason I ask this is because if that is what would make people happy then a) they need to admit that and b) we need to go back to what we used to do or c) reconsider other alternatives. And let me be clear, this is just me ………waffling……..passing on my opinion because you all know my thoughts on dress codes.

I also think we should have to get the captain and senior officers back into their white formal uniform. I understand why we did this when we changed from formal to elegant but having them in blue uniform makes it harder for the guests to tell who is the captain. You see, from the back, it looks like a blue business suit which was fine when the captain was static and the entrance to the lounge, shaking hands, but when he is wandering, people I think do not realize he is the captain. And, I think the captain should be dressed differently to other management. The white uniforms looked great in photos and truly show that yes….….he is the master of the vessel. So those are my thoughts.

We played around with elegant night with mixed results. The people who complain to me dress it all up but if you look through the dressing what they are really saying is…….we want the free drinks again. And if that’s what the guests want…….maybe that’s what the beards need to give them. And so today I officially announce my intention to do all I can to get the free drinks back and return to the old style elegant night parties which means keeping everything the same ……. except we pay for the cocktails. But don’t get me started on dress codes……I still hate them.

We are at sea today and heading to Palma de Majorca which means we are in the Gulf of Leon and after last night’s lake placid of a sea, today we are bouncing up and down like a hamster on a pogo stick. Still, most of the guests seem happy and are having fun but one or two are not. I seem to be highlighting this a lot these past few blogs but the level of negative comments I am getting seems higher than I can remember in a long, long time. Some are justified. Last night we had only one performance of the Talent Show and that upset a guest who wrote me a letter in two halves. One half was that he didn’t pay to come on the ship and have the passengers provide the entertainment. And maybe he is right you know. While I never ever get this kind of comment in the Caribbean and people love the talent show and Bedtime Story, maybe with a much more international clientele I need to bring in another variety act, a more visual kind of entertainer. In fact I have decided next cruise to do just that because I actually had two more comments about this as well last cruise. So as much as I love the talent show and bedtime story and as much as I hate reacting to one or two comments, I am while the international count is so high, going to replace the one talent show with two variety shows. You see, that was the guest’s second complaint, the one performance.

Then there are complaints that baffle me, completely and utterly baffle me. I read the incident report and there are very few if any negative comments about service and the friendliness of the crew. There are a few about food but I think that’s more based again on international guests wanting more as one comment said “less American food” despite a Tandoor and our daily Taste of the Nations. Overall, the comments are minimal but we seem to be spending all our time dealing with 10% of the guests.

The first three cruises the complaints were few and far between and the comment review cards that “some” are sent have been returned with glowing praise as have the comments made on the blog and on Facebook. Yet this cruise we seem to have had some comments that are……..well ludicrous. It’s not just that the comments themselves are strange it’s the fact that people walk from their cabins and stand in line at the pursers offic….. bugger……stand in line at the guest services desk and spend their valuable vacation time actually making them.

Take this one for example:

Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 9:52 PM
Subject: Cabin ——/Guest not happy with Stromboli Pass

Good evening John,
Mr___ was very upset that we showed Stromboli on the port side of the ship and not the starboard side. Guest states that the Captain should have done a circle around so that both sides of the ship could see it. I explained that all guests could see it from the open decks but guest is upset as he paid the same as guests with balcony on the starboard side and wants to talk to you.

Normally, I would attempt a bit of humour here but there are times and this is one of them when you really don’t need me to because there really is little else to say except……..”Oh FFS!”

Well, in case Mr., Wrongside sat on his balcony and out of spite stared at an empty sea……. here mate is what you missed as shown through the lens of Mr.Radu

Still, most everyone has had fun and that is the most important thing. I think we need to lighten the load and so what better way than to talk about my underpants. Let me explain why.

On the Morning Show I read a letter from a guest who had put some clothes in the guest laundry on deck 9 midship and had returned to find that someone had taken his clothes ……I mean taken them away, not just out of the machine but had……well to put a finer point on it …….stolen them.

Now in the letter the guest said that there had been a very elderly man in the laundry putting his clothes in the machine next to his and he thinks that he may have returned and emptied the wrong machine. So, he was appealing for me to ask if everyone could check if they had the right laundry. Amongst the missing socks, T-shirts and underpants were a pair of pajamas. This took me by surprise because the chap with the missing laundry was only 29 years old……and he wears pajamas. This shocked me because I thought all me were like myself and wore underpants to bed. I asked my staff and they all wear pajamas with entertainment staff member Calvin adding that a person’s “private bits” should be “aired” at night, like an old blanket. And the elastic in underpants will “cut off your circulation” causing yeast infections. Bloody hell………..who knew?

My problem though is that I can still remember the school yard stories about spiders crawling into your pajamas and into your gentlemen’s sausage forming a super race of mutant spiders that would one day conquer the world. What about hygiene? I don’t….but if you are weird and change your underpants every day, you should, arguably, change your pajama bottoms daily, right?

And ladies, what if the doorbell rings and you sleep in a T-shirt with nothing else down below and you forget this and run down to answer the door and it’s a Jehovah’s Witness who is standing there staring at your, well you know. I never told anyone about this until now but during the fire on the Carnival Splendor, when the alarm sounded, a certain very senior officer ran to the bridge in his pajamas. It had a flap in the front and trust me….its sodding difficult to speak on the PA system to 3,500 guests in a calm reassuring voice when there is a giant Italian thingy waving at you through a hole in the front of his blue silk pajamas.


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.

108 Responses to Purses, Volcanoes, and Underpants

  1. Barrick Ryan says:

    Klaxon Gee asked: About the price of a single cruising alone, I have 30 cruises with Carnival and have always cruised alone, the first number of times I cruised at 1 and 1/2 the rate, which is why I chose Carnival in the first place, then somewhere along the way Carnival started charging double the rate for a single, I agree with Mr Gee, I think double for a single is too steep, how about going back to the 1 and 1/2 rate Carnival?

    • Ramona Williams says:

      Right after I booked my last cruise, about 2 years ago, Carnival just stopped the single rate, with no announcement to anyone, not even their PVP’s. I only found out because I was looking at booking another one, and couldn’t because the rates were too high. Now, it costs me as much to cruise as 2 people, and I can’t afford it anymore. I would dearly love to see the single rates return so I can start cruising again. I really miss it!

    • Nancy McQuarrie says:

      Agree single supplement is much too high. On cruises when that cabin would be empty except a solo cruiser wants it, why should there be any extra charge at all? CCL isn’t losing one customer, it’s gaining one! Perhaps a certain percentage of solo travelers could be counted in when setting all rates, making it the same for one or two cabin occupants. General overhead, so to speak. Or, with dry docks and new builds incorporate accommodations for solo travelers at 1/2 double occupancy rate. This 200% single supplement is all that is standing between me and a Magical Grand Med cruise b2b with TA :-(. You help with so many things John, can you help us with this?

      Thanks for the daily laughs – love the blog.

      • Tim says:

        There should be some consideration, in Carnival’s pricing policy, for single cruisers.
        True, multiple occupancy of cabins might lead to higher per diem spends, but single travellers could spend equally well and lucrative revenue could be lost if they transfer to other cruise-lines.
        Perhaps low season cruises could have an allocation of cabins with no single supplement?

    • BarB says:

      I agree.

      I’m a single woman who cruises alone 99% of the time. Exceptions are once a year I take my little grandson and once in a blue moon, a friend might come along.

      The double price has just become the norm for me and doubles the time it takes for me to save enough to cruise again.

      Complicating this is my choice of buying a balcony. The balcony is as much a part of my cruise experience as dining and ports.

      How nice it would be to go back to the 1 1/2 pricing…and maybe, on soft sailings, a special price once in a while…

      It won’t stop me from cruising….I live to cruise….but sure plays the devil with savig for it.

    • Maurie Morgan says:

      As a single woman, I agree. The other thing I feel discrimintes is the future cruise certificate. If there is one person in the cabin you only get half the amount of shipboard credit.

  2. jerry calvert says:

    John: for me the “fun farewell” is adequate replacement for the captain’s party free drinks.
    The way you hide it seems like maybe U R trying to eliminate it. I believe giving the PP’s a couple of free drink coupons would do, and not tie up a showroom,

    • Nancy McQuarrie says:

      I love meeting the Captain at the cocktail party, and certainly will continue to enjoy this custom of cruising without free drinks being offered. I purchase a drink whenever I want throughout the cruise, and certainly do not need this tiny enticement to have the honor of meeting the Captain and Sr. Officers who keep the ship safe so that I have a wonderful cruise. Perhaps those who demand a free drink at this occasion just don’t “get” it and are unaccustomed to expressing appreciation? Pettiness, me thinks! JMHO

  3. kimberly Walker says:

    So did you find his clothes??? LOL

    I have to admit I am getting a little apprehensive about my oct 25, 2012- Nov 21, 2012 Italy then TA cruise. I mean if the European cruisers are this flippin ridiculously mean, and stupid….

    Hmm, a plan….while onboard with you, any complaints about dress code, contact me. I will make it a priority to be near these people daily, and sit me with them at dinner and I will wear my port t shirts, jean capri’s and sandals the entire time and charm them so much that they will rethink complaining about “those low class people”
    and complaints about getting wet, send them my way..I have lovely photos of our recent tornado victims I would like to share with them. Oh and the people who have dumb ass attacks…send them my way and I will demonstrate how stupid they are with some like antics directed toward them.
    BETTER YET, I will be taking LOADS of photographs and will add them all to the wall of shame.

    John, I have been on the lookout for you some Opus X for when Im on the Breeze, since I dont and have never smoked anything, its been a learning experience…Did you know in Niagara Falls Canada you can buy all the cubans your heart desires, but not Opus X? BUT they have them right here in cow town Columbus Ohio! I will give you a reason to look forward to seeing me one way or another!! LOL

    By the way, I demand that YOU give me something, The promise that YOU will have a good evening

  4. Angela Johnson says:

    John, please don’t take away the bedtime story! I’ll be on the Magic in June, and I’ve been looking forward to seeing your show for months. So please, please, will you do the bedtime story during the June 12 cruise?

    BTW, funny story about Mr. Wrongside! The things people find to complain about. Geesh!

    • GarettsNana (AKA BobsNana) says:

      My thoughts exactly Angela. I’ve waited 3 years to see the bedtime story. Please don’t discontinue it until AFTER the June 12 cruise.

    • Jes says:

      I’ve been reading the blog thingy for a while, but haven’t cruised yet, what is the Bed time Story show? Sounds like it’s a good time.

    • vera says:

      I agree I will be on June 12th and am looking forward to the bedtime story too!

      • JJoseph says:

        For sure, we must hear it again on the June 12th cruise as it’s been over 3 years since we first heard it on the Spendor. We laughed so hard seeing it and still do, as we have it on our Cruise DVD.

  5. Ashley says:

    I personally liked the way the elegant night used to be and not because of the free drinks. I felt the atmosphere was a lot better in the main lounge. They had a band and we were invited up on stage to dance. On the promenade, there’s not really too many places to dance (depending on the ship). Also, on the Inspiration, we felt awkward going up to the captain and crew to introduce ourselves as they seemed to be having their own conversation. I personally think it should go back to the main lounge.

    • Linda Leach says:

      Ashley, I agree with you and was going to post almost the same thing you did. IMO, John is misinterpreting what people don’t like about the Captain’s celebration being on the Promanade Deck. For me, it’s not the drinks missing, it’s the massive crowds, photograpers, etc. that make it not fun anymore.

  6. Phil & Liz says:

    John, I kid you not….there is a FB page called “What Bloody Happened to Hot Chicken Curry Pot Noodle “. !!!!

  7. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Everyone has an opinion, so here is mine.

    I like the way the Captain’s Celebration is done now.

    I can not imagine for the life of me why someone would want to stand in yet another LINE to shake the Captain’s hand. (especially after he has shaken the hand of the 2,500 guests in front of you)

    I remember the old Captain’s Celebration Party and the Fun Farewell party (where WE STILL GET THE FREE DRINKS) is MUCH more fun and MUCH more suited to Carnival.

    And yes, it would be nice if the Captain was dressed in his white uniform.

    Btw, Daniel P. should be asking the Lord for forgiveness himself for “bearing false witness”. You did not “pour scorn” upon anyone. You did what you could to assist this group (as you do for everyone group). AND you let this person know that every cabin already has a Gideon Bible in it. Daniel P. acted worse than an atheist. He would be well advised to read what God thinks of those who drape themselves in righteous indignation.

    If Mr. Wrongsideoftheship is so set on seeing Stromboli blow, I suggest you eat an extra large portion of curry and give him a show!!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • Lynda Ulrich says:

      Ditto about the Captain’s party. The new way you can stand and talk to the Captain , the ACD and CD for a bit of time without people trying to get into the lounge behind you.
      Love the Farewell Party. It’s less crowded and more people dance. And it’s easier to get drinks.

    • Delia McLaughlin says:

      Linda good answer!! Let her rip John 🙂

  8. beth russell says:

    Just wanted to add my 2cents about formal night. I liked it the old way and not for the free drinks I thought it was just nice to see everyone all dressed up in one place. I would not even mind paying for drinks. It was fun to people watch and be able to go up and danceand just socialize with others.

  9. Kelly Yeamans says:


    Tell your wife that I am sorry but I have to go with you on this one. Being of the female race I do not get the obsession over handbags. I have never paid more than $50 for a purse and most are under $20. I buy one and carry it until it falls apart and then I buy another one. The women I work are always hounding me. I tell them all the time that I would rather take and extra vacation than to spend needless money on a bag for useless junk.

    • Kay O'Hara says:


      I agree with you completely but I must admit that when it is time to purchase a new purse I spend a great deal of time looking for just the right one. Both form and function are very important to me. In my wildest dreams I can’t imagine paying more than $50 for a purse. In fact I rarely spend more than $30.

    • Charles Forshee says:

      Kelly I am like you. I buy the chapist purse I can find. I love being on a cruise because I neverhave to carry a purse while on ship.I can’t see why they coast so much. Linda

    • Jes says:

      Kelly, I wish I was like you, but I’m like Heidi, though my most expensive is probably $60.00. I have tote full and everytime I bring another home I get the eye roll. Maybe another cruise will be my motivation to stp purse shopping.

    • Peg Lorenzon says:

      Totally agree….I will not pay more than $20 for a pocketbook and I use it daily until it fall aparts! Much rather save monies for vacations!

  10. Martha says:

    Dear Ian,
    Other cruise lines and yes even Branson Missouri cannot discriminate against anyone for their sexual orientation. I pitty people who are small minded.

  11. Sharon says:

    Every day, I read your blog and go through a range of emotions most of the time it’s happiness and I find myself laughing like with tonight’s ending. A lot of the time though, I find myself fuming and this is all due to how narrow minded and petty so many people seem to be. I seriously wonder about the world we live in. Because I have promised myself I won’t let some of these people get my blood pressure up, I feel the need to address them.
    Ian Cryer: Did you bother to attend a Friends of Dorothy meeting? If you had you probably would have met some of the nicest people on the ship. Seriously, you need to get a grip and realize just because someone is gay, lesbian, bisexual or whatever doesn’t make them lewd. I’ve had the PLEASURE of meeting many g/l/b people on my cruises, some I still keep in touch with, and they are always very welcoming even though I am happily married for 24 years. What really disturbs me is that you probably call yourself a Christian but your remarks were very un-Christian like!
    Daniel P–I read John’s blog and FB posts daily and he did not “pour scorn” on the gentleman asking for meeting space and 200 bibles. He simply told him he couldn’t help him with the bibles and would send a message to the CD on the ship to arrange meeting space. Again, shame on you and YOUR un-Christian like behavior as well.
    To VolcanoNONwatchingMan–get a grip and get off your lazy bum next time…GEEZZ!
    That’s all for today, I feel so much better 🙂

    • Carol G. says:

      Ditto to everything you said!

    • Pam says:

      Agreed! I just got off the Legend week before last and there wasn’t anyone at the FOD meetings, anyway. My traveling companion was gay (well, he still is :)) and was hoping to meet new friends. That said, since Ian feels that Branson is a hotbed of heterosexual activity, perhaps he SHOULD confine his vacations to Missouri.

      And while Daniel should be ashamed of himself for lying, I’m sure he isn’t. As you pointed out, all John said was that he would be unable to provide the bibles.

      Why are people such morons?

  12. Ruth Dunn says:

    John, I love your blog and facebook and will miss seeing you on the Magic TA cruise.
    I have to let you know that I totally get Heidi’s love of purses!! I am addicted also!! My purse of choice now is Coach. Every once in a while I will let my daughters and granddaughters shop in my closet!! Then I don’t feel so bad buying more new purses!!
    I also have to ad a comment about your adorable little Kye, she is gorgeous and would she like to meet my 3 yr. old grandson?

  13. excuse me, sir! says:

    “i just don’t get it ladies. Handbags don’t make you look sexier, or boost your cleavage, or make me want to have rumpy pumpy with you. Do you think us men look at a girl who looks like she has run a 100 yard sprint in a 90-yard gym and want to have rumpy pumpy with her because she has a Chanel bag over her shoulder.”

    john, not everything that women do has to be for guys! the reason why we do things or dont do them is not based on whether a guy likes it or not!! sorry!

  14. John says:

    We were on the carnival Dream and experienced the “new captains party” it was great.They had many drink specials and we had what we wanted, not whatever was on the servers tray.

  15. Carrie Weaver says:

    John, my only comment is “please tell me that you change your underpants every day”! I can’t imagine a pair of your undies with curry from one day, and spicy chicken wings the next! Still love ya though 😉

    • Maurice says:

      Sharon, you go girl… smiles.. Im a Carnival Cruiser and im proud of it… I love reading John’s blogs daily… Some of the people who subscribe to this blog seriously need to look back and remember why it is that they subscribed… If they don’t like this blog, it’s respected but be respectful to leave the blog and not Demand things, or spit out some of the most negative remarks… Klaxon Gee… Im one of the single men who cruise carnival. I understand that you don’t like the increase on our cabins, but it’s not John’s Fault… A little Please and Thank you goes a very long way… I agree it’s unfortunate that we have to now pay double occupancy, and I would like for things to go back to the way they once used to be… Ian C. You are one sad soul.. I say this because you obviously need to learn as well as you should try to raise your family to love everyone. Not frowning your face up with diversity.. Im a Gay man, and I go to the FOD meetings to find other FOD potiential friends… Now the meetings are often poorly attended, and part of it in my opinion is because people aren’t as accepting of our lifestyles… It’s not easy being in our shoes..

    • Jacqueline says:

      kimberly Walker says:
      June 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      So did you find his clothes??? LOL

      I have to admit I am getting a little apprehensive about my oct 25, 2012- Nov 21, 2012 Italy then TA cruise. I mean if the European cruisers are this flippin ridiculously mean, and stupid….


      Kimberly, seriously ……. Europeans stupid???? Read again and think who is really stupid. Please stay on your side of the pond if you cannot comprehend that there is a whole other world outside the USA.

      Your post offended me hugely.

      Jacqueline, a proud European

  16. Stuart Zaikov says:

    We wish you would bring back the old style capts celebration. Much better than the boring 3 hr happy hour you now have.
    Everyone seems rather bored including the ships officers.
    Have two cruises booked and greatly looking forward to them.
    Yor friend Golfadj from CC

  17. Eileen says:

    John…I won’t lie I would love the free drinks back! However, what I miss most about the “old way” when it was Formal Night is exactly just what you pointed out in your Blog! Many folks don’t even know who the Captain is especially dressed in their blues and standing in the middle of Promenade by the Casino (or where ever). Last Fall on the Valor I actually saw a woman ask the Captain to move because he was blocking her view of the Guitar player playing by the Casino Bar. She had no clue who she was asking to move. Back when it was “Formal” night the Captain greeted us all as we walked into the lounge where he then got up and said a few words, etc. With the changes that came with “Elegant” night a cruising tradition has been lost!

  18. Nancy says:

    This is for Daniel P. Why do you think that Carnival should supply 200 Bibles for a group function? As a Christian myself, I believe if reading the Bible is what will make you feel good and enhance your cruising experience, then you should bring your own with you. I never leave home without mine. I certainly don’t expect anyone else to supply one for me. Do places you go to supply a Bible for you? I think not !!

    You need to go back and read John’s reply and get his real response on the subject.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Nancy: The Good News (pun intended) is that Carnival already provides a Gideon Bible in each cabin!!!

      John graciously pointed this out….but apparently Daniel did not bother to read that part.


  19. Deborah Rosato says:

    Hi Heidi,

    Congrats on the new handbag – I just love handbags and John has no idea how lucky he is you didn’t purchase a Louis Vuitton!!!

    I have fallen in love with Brahmin handbags, don’t know if you have them in the UK – if you do, check them out –

    Happy Shopping – Deborah

  20. Eileen says:

    My dear, sweet John, perhaps I can clear up the handbag issue. I along with Heidi, I love my handbags. But I have to say you are getting off cheap. $175? It must have not been couture. Heidi, I would be happy to show you my favorite purses. They are Prada and Marc Jacobs. Marc also has another line called Marc by Marc Jacobs that has lower priced handbags that are still awesome. I recently received a Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag for Mother’s Day from my understanding husband. (Hey Heidi I also got this enormous heavy zip lock bag for free. It will make cruise/beach days nice). He gets it John. I think mainly because in his day of employment he would carry a briefcase. When a gentleman walks into a big meeting and opens his briefcase, other guys look to see if its tattered or lined in cashmere. A woman’s handbag is the same thing. It isn’t about impressing a man, it’s about how she wants to represent herself.

    Oh and John, right now Heidi is at the toddler stage. Once the kids get older the need to carry stuff for them goes away. The purses get nicer and more expensive. My husband wanted me to warn you of this fact. Mine are in college now, so imagine how far he has too reach into his pocket. There have been times he has asked me, “do you want to go on a cruise or a new Prada?”.

    Just realize it is a girl thing dear. It makes marriage easier.

    Hope to sail with you again soon.

  21. Ryan says:

    Being back the free drinks (and formal attire). That’s what I really want.

  22. Jeff Taylor says:

    John, I really miss the old style Captains party. On the Conquest class ships they did it in all the aft lounges, now the thing it done in the flippin atrium. I hate the free drinks at the end of the week as well because it is right whenever everybody it getting packed up, depressed after a exciting full filled week and they are worn out and don’t feel like a party. The full and well dressed lounges with the free cocktails and snacks was an exciting start to the week. I would have to guess that Carnival does not give away as many free drinks at the end of the week as they did the start of the week. Was this a cost saving feature?

  23. Jes says:

    Another great blog thingie. Quick question, will there be a bloggers meet & greet on all the cruises you on? I’m sailing on the Liberty w/you in Oct and would love to meet you and any other of hte great ppl we see and interact with here. I hope to one day partake in a bloggers cruise, seems like a great group of ppl.

  24. Kelly says:

    John, I rarely comment but am an avid reader, fan and friend.

    Often I sit and shake my head at the comments you receive. I am in the hospitality industry and “get” the position you are in on a MUCH larger stage than any of us can imagine.

    Every day I think “I couldn’t love that John Heald more than I do today”.

    THEN you respond to “Ian” with the greatest and most profound smack down I have read in well, forever.And then I love you more.

    Bless you, love you, admire you and adore you.


  25. Mona says:

    @Ian What on earth makes you think there are no GLBT’s in Branson?? You really should go to one of their M&Gs..they would be very welcoming and they sure know how to party!

  26. Alicia L. says:

    I’m another vote for the of the ditching the old captain’s celebration and keeping the Fun Farewell party. I enjoy elegant evening, and I always dress nicely, but rarely get to the promenade to do the whole meet the captain ordeal. I always feel that this seems awkward and forced – I think this part of it could be MUCH better structured. And yes, I think the white uniforms would be a very nice touch. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

    I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with so many um, challenging, passengers lately, but we sure do enjoy reading about them!

  27. Sarah Oxfurth says:

    Hi Sweet John! (reply if desired)

    I am reading today’s blog (6/1) and I note the discussion on Captain’s Celebration. John, I will be the first to say I like free drinks!! But, free drinks for Captain’s Celebration or free drinks for Fun Farewell, makes no nevermind to me (i.e., I don’t care! :D) But I am one that “complained” about the new Captain’s Celebration. It truly is not about the drinks to me. On my two prior cruises before teh change, we got to meet Captain, shake hands, have a photo op if desired…then we sat and listened to music, comfortably talked to fellow guests, then Captain came on stage, said a few words, and I THINK that is where they had all the crew come up on stage to be recognized for a job well done.

    So, NOW, in my last two cruises, since the change, I have awkwardly wandered down Promenade, where most of the normally happy people working for Carnival seem a little unhappy or annoyed, standing uncomfortably, talking amongst themselves such that I felt intrusive to say hello. I n these two cruises, I have been pointe dthe direction of the Captain, only to find no Captain–now maybe that does have to do with the business suits, but I was looking at everyone’s nametag–and I am pretty sure that the Asst Cruise Director was not thrilled that I had to check his nametag to know who he was! 😀 Nonetheless, this was an uncomfortable, awkward, intrusive feeling I had, and I was not comfortable walking and standing to chat in my high heels with my formal dress. Sitting in the lounge enjoying a cocktail with new friends, listening to the orchestra, was just way better.

    Truly, though, it is not about the free drinks-I can have those at the Fun Farewell! And I really, really like the Fun Farewell! Please keep it going. But even without free drinks, I would come to the Captain’s Celebration like it was before. Now, honestly-I doubt if I will go to any more. This is truly one of the only areas I think Carnival has not improved since my first cruise in 1999. Keep up the good work, John! We love you and we love Carnival! See you in January, my friend (well, Carnival anyway-maybe you will be on Conquest then!)

  28. John & Cindy says:

    My 2 cents…

    I miss the free drinks, bring them back.

  29. Bring me free drinks says:

    I couldn’t care less about meeting the captain. Tell him to get back to the wheel and get me some more free drinks. You can do the same with your “if you don’t clap we know you snuck in here” video that has been playing godawfully long. Just give us free drinks! The fun farewell is actually nice…get to order any drink we want in a relaxed atmosphere since you hide the information on it so no one shows up. That one works for me! Keep up the good work.

    • Sarah Oxfurth says:

      I don’t get people saying it’s hidden. In my two cruises thus far that had the Fun Farewell (Ecstasy and Triumph) it was listed in a corner of the inside pages of Fun Times AND listed in the tearoff showing the times of all events.

      • Hiding the Party says:

        The Captains party, even the one that no longer exists, gets a big write up in the bulletin, and is held at a time that does not contradict with most activities. The current “party” is mentioned in the first day bulletin and not noted again until the last day, held at the same time as something else. On one cruise, it was during one of the popular hypnotist (sp) workshops and I bet there weren’t 20 people in there. There is absolutely no comparison between the two. Pretty easy to forget it by then.

  30. Good evening John. I agree with you that the captain and his officers should be in their white outfits. I want to see the captain but as far as free drinks, really doesn’t mean a bit to me. It seems that people just want something for free all the times. You can never seem to please everybody. It’s always a very special evening to get dressed up, have that wonderful photo and an opportunity to meet the captain, his officers and of course you, John. I”m planning my Elegant evening on the Carnival Freedom in February and I can’t wait until my wife & I get our photo in the remembrance of our cruise. Thank you.

    Paul F. PIetrangelo

  31. Cathy Jarr says:

    John, I am with Heidi.There is just something about a new purse whether I need it or not.I lost count on how many I have.Oh Boy ,just wait untill Kye get the Purse bug.Have a great day , Always love reading your Blog.


  32. Clair says:

    Hi John,

    I like the way the Captain’s Celebration is now. I do agree that it would be nice if the Captain was in his white uniform. It would make him stand out more.

    Big Thanks to Radu for the wonderful pictures!


  33. Henrietta Bellows Lala says:

    Oh, how we love to be considered one of the ‘Common Man,’ until someone points out just how common we are. I don’t think I ever kidded myself that Carnival was anything like the cruises my parents and grandparents took on the great liners, and I’m 72. They were elegant. Everyone took their furs and diamonds and it was formal every single night.

  34. boaterette says:

    Ok John,

    I admit it freely. I like the old way because fo the free drinks. I can’t say why exactly becuase I certainly can afford to buy my drinks. Which I do. Quite a lot. But just getting free drinks along with meeting the captain has just been a special touch. I miss it.

  35. stephanie says:

    Thank you for finally directing someone to the bon voyage dept. I think its great u send everyone all these gifts but the majority of requests the people should purchase themselves! My family cruises a lot…. my parents have 5 cruises booked this next year on carnival. I go and buy them gifts online every cruise…..it gets annoying some of the requests and attitudes from some people..go buy something yourself!

  36. Henrietta Bellows Lala says:

    Why be surprised at how strangely people can behave on what are bargain-basement cruises with a few lame occasions when we can pretend to be elegant, as a passing nod to the good old days? The same people have trouble behaving in a WalMart. I think the word ‘cruise,’ should be replaced with something else, because what it implies is what people used to do at great expense (and some special ships still offer if you have the bank roll). This just creates unrealistic expectations in people’s minds and they get frustrated. It’s really just a marvelous party boat with thousands and thousands of people in a mass-marketing machine. I’m not knocking it, I love it-but we need to get over the old images of ‘cruising’ and the expectation that we are going to get a truly posh experience on this type of ship.

  37. Tim Limbach says:

    Your wife probably keeps the keys to your Aston Martin in one of her ‘bags’! As for the pot noodles, I’m sure you’ll soon be deluged with them.
    Now for the party, we’re not at all fussed about sucking up to the captain, but we lurve the free drinks and the jolification they bring. Long live the free cocktails!
    Whilst we’re on the subject of drinks, why are they so expensive, considering the ship mostly enjoys duty free status?

  38. Kelli says:

    David and Miriam – YOU ARE RUDE!! How about a please and/or thank you. And I don’t even know where to begin with Ian Cryer. Lurid, sexual behavior? The 1940s called and they want their stupid idiotic behavior back. They also advertise Friends of Bill W.(which I attend). Does that mean it’s a chance for us alcoholics to get together and drink? You, sir, are ignorant (and an idiot). I’m not even going to try and reason with you. You are beyond that.

    John, how do you put up with the garbage that people say? I read your blog everyday and have never seen such rudeness in my life. What happened to common courtesy and a please and thank you? I have to stop now. I’m getting myself all worked up. LOL. I don’t have time for this. I’m getting ready for my cruise on the Victory in 10 days.

  39. Dwayne says:

    John, You knocked it out of park with this blog! Or in Heatville a 3 pointer!

  40. Dave says:

    I’m sorry John, but for once I have to disagree with you.

    Every cruise line that goes to Hawaii circles the ship so people on both sides of the ship can see the active volcanoes from their balconies. This include Carnival, so why can’t it be done in Europe.

    The guest is correct, yes it’s a pain for the staff navigating, but the pleasure of sitting on your balcony looking out at a volcano (or glacier..whatever) is a lot higher than fighting a crowd on open deck.

  41. Diane Shepherd says:

    I like the formal nights – for one very selfish reason – I have this long black gown that I get to wear once a year – on the second formal night! The other night, I have this cocktail dress that makes me “swish” which is fun!!!

  42. John John John … How long you been married? And you Don’t get the Purse Thing.(or in my 30.5 years of marriage it’s a shoes). Yet you understand the makeup and clothes thing. WAKE UP JOHN! The Purse (and Shoes) are the lead in to the Female Species logical (or illogical) reasoning for needing to buy new clothes or different make up to MATCH THE PURSE or Clothes. It makes sense to them … Seems weird to us but if it weren’t for purses in shoes … It would be a flannel house coat and curlers!


  43. Carol says:

    My opinion is that the old “Meet the Captain” parties were much, much better. There was something special about all being together in the lounge, the introductions, dancing etc. I find the new, less formal format disorganized. It’s hard to find the captain, even if he was wearing white…you’ll have to search for him. The free drinks don’t matter to me..they weren’t things I’d drink anyway. I’m fine with the Happy Hour prices, which by the way I’d like to see more of.

  44. Ron I. says:

    John please, please, please reply.
    I think in this day and age in some respects Carnival are doing a great job in accommodating and providing facilities for groups such as FOD, FOB etc, or people with special needs.

    But what iritates me the most is that he/she who shouts the loudest get the attention and can have things changed an example recently the lady who compalined the music was to load as she went to bed at 9:00 pm. Were the rest of the 3650 passengers consulted before any changes? NO! Bands moved times changed for just one person, how many of the SILENT Majority were did not like this changes.

    In the words of our blog guru:
    “Thats a load of bollocks”.

    Can’t we get back to where Carnival looks after the silent majority and if someone does like something then tough shit go and try the Norwegian Epic. That is one ugly ship, I showed my missus a photo of it, her comment “Do they grow their own tomatoes in the greenhouse on top”.

    OK, if it is only a mild complainer instead of the Epic (save that for later), then they get a 7 day cruise on a Costa ship. Standing all the time at the pursers desk (now I know why Carnival changed the name, probably at your request as it sounds to much like purse and you didn’t want Heide buying everyone she saw). So back to Costa guest relations desk, the complainer states their requirements and get the Italian answer “shoulders raised, arms moved to 90° angle to the body with open hands” giving the body language equivalent of I don’t understand. Little does the complainer realise that the 27 county flags that the purser is wear are the languages they speak.

    PS: Thanks to your blog, I rediscovered the word bolloks, can be used in so many situations. During the 70s, driving to work in East London, I daily passed a signsaying “Bow Locks”, it started the day off with a smile.

    • Dutchman says:

      John, you pay way to much attention to the complainers, and you wounder why there are more and more, they read and find out if they find something to complain about they can get something, some think the world rotates around then and there thinking, they could give a rats petute about anybody else,its the me thing and how they think they can force ther stupidness on other people. When you start changeing things because of one are two people who complaine you just sh_t on the other 2000 to 3000 that are on the cruise having a good time. Elegant night is not what it was, our last 3 cruises its down to 50% who dress up. So its whatever they want, the world does keep changeing. I would love to see the dress code just go away. I don’t need to impress people with what I wear or do I need to be judged by people who think they are better then you because of what they wear. Cruisers come from all over and the dress styles are different. People can’t quite handle that.

    • Cindy56 says:

      @Ron I, After going on 6 Carnival Cruises, my sister wanted my mom, myself and her daughter to go on the Norwegian Epic on April 30th. Since I wanted to go with them, I decided to give Norwegian a try. I loved the Epic. The cabin was smaller but the food and entertainment were fabulous. True, the outside of the ship isn’t the prettiest to look at but inside she’s gorgeous. So why don’t you give her chance?

  45. hi john, i read your facebook page, and had a thought about entertainment in europe, the one thing i noticed when on the three cruises was the lack of entertainment for the different countries. only on the freedom did we have any greek music in the atrium one night. i actually led a huge group in a greek dance, and there were people hanging over three floors to see this. i just thought people want to emmerce(sp) themselves in the countries they visit. think how fun to have people dancing the trantella in italy. the freedom had one little girl from chicago who was greek, but the audience had greek, lebonese, egyptian, andetc. and all did middle eastern dancing. how cool would that be. just saying.. well your friend kathy (from the mellow yellows)

  46. pollywog72 says:

    To Daniel P ~ If they are requesting a bible study for 200 people I cannot figure out why they would not carry their own bible’s on the ship or the group that wants to have the bible study should supply the 200 bibles. Reminds me of something I heard before. Why should you always bring more than 1 christian fishing with you? Because if you only take 1 christian, then they will drink all your beer. If you take more than one, then they won’t touch your beer.

  47. BarB says:

    Dear Ian:

    You must not get out much. …and, you are teaching fear and ignorance to your “family”….which perpetrates the bigotry and discrimination from generation to generation….

    It’s a parents responsibility to teach their kids to respect others..and to let them know of the great diversity in our world.

    Not everyone is just like themselves-You need to let them know that.

  48. Jodi says:

    John – perhaps you could arrange for the captian and his senior officers to wear blue silk pajamas for his party. That ought to compensate for the lack of free drinks! (at least for the ladies and some of the FOD) OOPS! My bad, would that be considered promoting ‘lurid’ behavior? At any rate I am certainly glad you have a sense of humor, it always lightens my day up and gets me to remember whats really impportant! Here’s to smooth sailing and a great day for you!

    • Ron I. says:

      Why not let the captain and officers go naked, they would still be immaculately dress Italian style.

      The officers rank could be determined by the number of rings on what John calls their thingy.


  49. Lauren in Oregon says:

    Silly John – Women don’t buy new handbags (proper name) to impress men, they do it to show off to other women!

  50. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    You know I have to chime in about the Talent Show.

    I do not understand WHY some people think that Carnival is somehow “cheating” then out of proper entertainment when they offer the Talent Show?

    This is ridiculous. The Talent Show is an opportunity for cruisers to participate in something they truly enjoy.

    There are many activities that I don’t go to (like the Hairy Chest contest)… but I would never complain that it should be stopped, just because I am not interested in it. While Carnival could be using that time to PAY someone to teach an instructional workshop…..I do not feel “cheated” because they do the Hairy Chest Contest instead.

    Your Bedtime Story at the end is a perfect finish to the Talent Show. What I would recommend is that since you only use 4 acts…that you audition them so that you have the best 4 people. This could be done at karaoke and the KH could handle it.

    That way, passengers get to participate in something they love to do….AND passengers get GREAT entertainment AND your bedtime story.

    If Europeans don’t like it….to bad….

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  51. Rich and Patty says:

    Ummm…wouldn’t sailing a circle around Stomboli still present to the port side?
    Just saying…

  52. Pam says:

    we have booked a cruise on the magic next year and we are so excited about it, we have only cruised once before with a different company and we loved it, I’m sure we will love this cruise as much. I was dissapointed to see I couldn’t purchase a liquor drink package. We did on our last cruise and loved it as I wasn’t worried about our bill at the endof the cruise. If you offered this package you wouldn’t have to worry about complimentry drinks as they would already be prepaid. We would love this as an option

  53. Peg Dunbar says:

    A hole in his jamies, well what a wake up call 😀

    Ah Elegant night or as I still like to call it Formal night. I love it no matter if Carnival has fee drinks or not, but I sure would not pass any up.

    The passenger talent show can go as far as I am concerned. The only one I loved was you John as Dolly Parton. I honestly do not like to see a bunch of unprofessional guests trying to act like a star.

    On to single cruisers. Well, since Mike is not going to be with me on the September 25th cruise on the Carnival Magic, it is what it is. I sure would not cancel my cruise because Mike is being an idiot and does not want to go to Europe again. Well I do, so a single I will be. I won’t be alone, my friends that we always travel with will be on the ship too.

    Great blog again John, thank you for sharing your stories with us.

    Keep smiling John; you truly are one of the good guys.

    My best to Heidi and Kye.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I wonder why European guests don’t expect American food? If I were going on an Italian cruise I would expect Italian food. If it were an English cruise I’d expect Spotted Dick, et al.

    • angie says:

      Funny thing is, I am sitting at the Branson RecPlex as I was reading John’s blog. NOT on vacation. I spend my vacations on carnival cruises (Have yet to meet a friend of Dorothy or Bill). If Ian Cryer had spent anytime here he would know it is kind of BORING… I am only here because my son is at a basetball camp. Yippee The Landing is ok. Silver Dollar City is known as Steal Your Dollar City.

  54. Yvette Fimbres says:

    Since you have a friend of Dorothy group. Can you advertise and arrange a meeting place for 18-20 year olds?

  55. Virginia Anderson says:

    John we are onboard the Legend right now and though they never did receive your request for a Russian speaking server for us we did make a special request with the maitre de and got an incredible server named Terras late seating for dinner. He is wonderful! I just thought we would let you know the Legend came thru for us on this. He is hysterical and had us laughing till our stomach’s hurt. He has made the cruise for us all and though we didn’t get to enjoy him the first night it has been wonderful!!! Big shout out to Terras from the Legend!!!

    • Mike says:

      Terras is the best. We were on the Legend and sat in his area. My wife and sister-in-law danced each night. Then he got me up there. It was a great time and he is the best.

  56. MarkDavd says:

    I really can’t tell for sure in context. Is the remark about starting a Friends of Johns Underpants meeting on each cruise real or a joke?

    It would be great for the John’s blog readers and facebook friends to be able to meet each other during a cruise.

    • Ron I. says:

      It certainly isn’t a joke, infact there was talk on FB about setting up JUAS or John’s Underpants Appreciation Society, but John beat them to the gun and is now forming FOJU which will eventually be rolled out to all ships.

      FOJU members will be taught secret hand shakes, signs etc. (along the lines of Free Masons).

      Once a year John will be auctioning off a pair of his underpants for a good cause. Don’t know if they will have been through Ketut hands or not. Heard a rumour that an up market sailing ship cruise line is interested in obtain a pair of said underpants to be used is case their main sail is damaged.

      Stay tuned for more details.


    • cruisin'lovebirds says:

      This would certainly invite a lot of comments…maybe something more tame, but that we would all know, like Friends of Heidi.

  57. Jeff L. says:


    Please do not replace the talent show and bedtime story. The bedtime story and your interactions with guests are some of the funniest and most memorable moments on a Carnival cruise. I am sailing on the Magic next week and will be very disappointed if you do not do the bedtime story. Do not let the negative comments of a few complainers change the funny moments that make a cruise with you an exceptional experience for the majority. The complainers sound like they should be on a cruise on a more stuffy line. Your personality and skills onstage work perfectly for what you are doing. Don’t let the complainers change it. Keep up the great work.

  58. Phil Imbesi says:

    Hey John,

    My wife and I just booked a cruise for my 40th birthday on the Pride next July (2012) and I had a question about the Disney excursion.

    We will have a 14 month old with us and I was wondering do we have to pay the excursion price for him? We’d like to book the excursion now but weren’t sure how to proceed.

    Oh and anyway you can swing being the CD on that cruise? You know, as a 40th birthday gift for me?



    Thanks in advance.

  59. Douglas Berry says:

    Rumpy Humpy, that’s a first. Love your blog

  60. Doug Robertson says:

    Hi John, Please Reply.

    Looking forward to our June 18th sailing on the Carnival Triumph! Just wanted to touch base and see if have had a chance to respond to a question I asked on the “Ask John” Thingy. It was about my son and asking about jobs onboard playing drums. I try to check the blog daily and have not seen a reply, but I very well could have missed it. And, I not only look for a reply, but always enjoy each and every blog very much. Thanks for all you do John!
    Doug Robertson

  61. Cyndi says:

    Dear John,
    I was just catching up on your blog and saw your thoughts on Heidi’s new purse. As a wife and mom who enjoys nice handbags let me see if I can help you with this one. Heidi is such a great mom and wife and spends a large majority of her time and energy focusing on other peoples needs, kind of like a cruise director. So for her that purse is something that she can buy for herself that no one else is going to want to share with her or have just a taste of it or borrow it. It’s totally just for her and it makes her happy. Purses for women are essential, they carry all the things we need to take care of ourselves when we are out and about taking care of our families. I don’t know about Heidi, but half the time I end up carrying things for my husband or one or more of my children in my purse, so oops she does end up sharing it. :-)Anyway, purses are very important to women and they help us function in our day to day lives, kind of like Stephanies and Eric’s. After all what would you do without them to help you. So, if you have to carry around a handbag it’s nice to have it be just what you really love, kind of like your own personal Latvian dancer.

  62. Donna Littlepage says:

    I’ve been a CC member for several years and have read a few of your blogs but I’m thrilled to read more here on the FB! After the loss of my father 5 years ago, I decided to do one of the things I said I wanted to do “one day” and the JSCruise was born. We call it the JS Cruise because that’s what we do the whole time, Jack….:-). Me and my friends appreciate the value of Carnival,we roll with any punches and adhere to “how bad can it be, we’re on a Carnival Cruise!” philosophy! One day I hope to sail one of the ships you are on.
    I never liked The Captain’s or Past Guest parties because you hit the nail on the head…it’s about the free drinks and I got better things to do than ‘rassle someone for a vodka gimlet. I do like to see the Captain, in his dress whites, though.
    I used to worry about things like being in my underwear at inopportune times but around the time of the JSCI, I let that go as well but I may grab a towel to cover my private bits when room service arrives.
    Rock on, John Heald, I look forward to following you on FB! And, FYI, the JSCruisers will be on the Ecstasy, October 8!

  63. Lee Toleman says:

    Still laughing my arse off…..funny stuff……gotta say thought that I remember the christian “request” for bibles…..the way I remember it, it sounded very “demanding” and didn’t he believe he receive some sort of $$$ compensation for giving up his time…….now that offended me…..because as a christian I felt disgusted by the whole way the “request” was written………..firstly if you want to use your talent and preach the word while on vacation to others….and you feel lead to do that…….I’m guessing God isn’t wanting you to be paid……$$$ but in the knowledge that you are ministering to others……

  64. Victoria Barker Langford says:

    PLEASE REPLY!! Dear John, Me my husband and my parents will be sailing on the Elation on Sept 19th..i was wondering if maybe you could get us a table for 4 we have the early seating..and maybe just maybe a plastic ship on a stick…i asked for one my last cruise but you didnt get my message before last cruise…if not its ok!! Hope all is well!!

    Sincerly, Victoria B. Langford
    P.S. Our room number is E1!!

    • Diane says:

      I’m sitting here in my hat and underpants reading your blog thingy and the reply thingies. What a bunch of weirdos there are in this crazy world. My hat and underpants go off to you for your ability to respond to these nut cases in a calm and “corporate approved” manner. So, now that my hat and underpants have been removed as a tribute to your ability to appease the mentally and emotionally deranged, I’m now sitting here naked and responding. Lordy, I have now probably entered a whole new realm of responders who are inappropriately dressed to post on a blog while wearing not a stitch of cloth.

      Oh well…

      Stay Calm and Carry On

  65. Leslie says:

    Let’s get another perspective on the purse debate. I don’t spend tons on purses but I really want the ones I carry to be nice ones and here is my reasoning.

    We women love our men and families, so not complaining really, but we tend to be a bit overburdened with articles that do not belong to us that are placed in our purse.

    Though the men compalain about them, how many time have we heard “Honey, could you hold on to my glasses?” Honey, could you hang on to this? My shirt has no pocket.” “Honey, do you have any asprin?”

    Even John admits Heidi carries a diaper, wipes, and a toy for Kye. Those don’t belong to her. I bet her chapstick has come in handy for him more times than one.

    So we are the keepers of all things needed for our men and our children. Rather than feeling like a pack mule, we would prefer to carry all these needed things in something stylish and attractive and preferable something that matches the rest of our attire.

    I admit some things are not needed, but we are always prepared, and if we as keepers have to carry the bag anyway, what is the harm in a few extra things. And what is the harm in carrying a bag that makes us feel better about the task we willingly bear?

  66. cruisin'lovebirds says:

    Thank you John – no reply needed and no requests included!

    Gary and I had a wonderful long weekend on the Carnival Inspiration 5/26. Stephanie Meads is a gracious and professional CD and we enjoyed our cruise very much.

    Lovie and Komang were terrific servers at Table 212 late seating, just behind the Maitre D’ station – were you responsible for this superb assignment? Thank you again!

    Agnes was a woonderful cabin steward, with a sunny personality and a greeting, by name, every time we passed. And a new towel animal: a rapper dressed in a hoodie with sunglasses! And she noticed my new tat (airbrushed within an hour of boarding).

    Still love Serenity Deck, and this time with my new Kindle it was great. Not having to bring five books was a treat! Definitely recommend for readers who cruise.

    This was our first try at the Digital Scavenger hunt – so much fun! We came close, with Motown Trivia and Super Duper Team Trivia days 1 and 3. Gary won two Sports Trivias and together we won Cartoon Trivia (we know a lot of junk).

    In September we and two other couples will see Risa on the Fantasy and in December, we’ll see Butch on the Dream. Thank you for your personal touch in making our cruise so much fun! Janet from Orlando

  67. Sherry_T says:

    I haven’t been to the new style formal/elegant night. Perhaps try just changing to the Formal Whites for the officers and see how that feels and the feedback you get.

    I admit the formal nights are the only times I’ve gotten my husband on to a dance floor, so if the dancing doesn’t exist any more that would be a shame 🙂 We enjoyed the free drinks but wouldn’t miss them.

    As far as the Talent Show — if it’s that “Legends” thing that takes the place of paid professionals, then YES, please yank it!! Holy cow. If people want to pretend they have talent and others want to watch them, then surely there’s another venue for it than the main stage. “So you think you can dance” “so you think you’re an idol” “So you think you’re a Cruise Ship entertainer.”
    NO thank you!

  68. Victoria Ryder says:

    Speaking of the elegant night with no more free drinks reminded me of something that happened on our last cruise, the Fascination out of Jacksoville for 7 days. AT the past guest party the champagne tasted terrible- I know it was a different brand than before (after 35 cruises I know what the free champagne tastes like – not the best but certainly not the worst)…..I couldnt even drink it. So the last night was the Fun Farewell party and I tried the champagne again- again terrible. So when a waiter came by, I asked for a glass of red wine0 cant mess up wine right ? Wrong- tasted and smelled like paint thinner. We left and went to the aft bar and I gladly paid for a couple of glasses of champagne there.

    I guess changing brands of champagne is just yet another cost cutting measure by the bean counters. Thanks Mr Cahill .

    I also miss the salty little snacks that are not served at the bars anymore–the goldfish, party mix etc. Seems to me if you are eating something salty you need something to wash it down with.

    All in all it wasnt the best cruise, had some issues that I wont bore you with. Met one of the RUDEST customer service (haha in his case) people ever.

    I wrote a letter to customer service after returning home addressing my concerns as well as heaps of praise for our room steward- one of the best ever. All I got back was a form letter, nothing personal. I wasnt expecting ANY type of compensation, but I did expect a more personal letter.

    We are sailing on the Dream this Oct and I hope it will at least “live up to my expectations”

    Thanks for listening.

  69. I was eating dinner in the southern lights dining room with a rear window view the volcano but alas did not see anything. After dinner I strolled to the back of deck 5 where there were a group of about a dozen people. All were about ready to call it a night (10:30pm ish).
    Suddenly I saw a bright red glow off in the distance that lasted a few seconds. It was an eruption.
    Everyone cheered and we all went to bed, disco, casino, etc.

    Great cruise now at home with post cruise blues 🙁

  70. DennY Johnston says:

    John, I have m,ention this before I am serious. The more I read of your written situations etc. the more I am of the belief that you need to write a book. Simply one day of your activities is worth a full chapter. I also believe that there is a contest here…Naming the book…”My life on the High Sea’ or People you would like to see walk the Gang Plank….. whatever it is it’s a best seller you have quit the wit about you mate…it’s great fun to read.

  71. Bruce Camiller says:

    We were on the 22nd May cruise and you were very considerate for another reason. However mate! What did you think of the Vegemite? Love from the poorest Aussie after three cruises in succession.

  72. Steven Michael (Mike) Malone says:

    On June 1, you responded to my post which included a humble request for a little something that will make a great cruise even greater. You mentioned I should send along the request again two weeks before we sail. The timing of my expected response, of course, corresponded with your own much needed and deserved vacation. I originally submitted my post primarily for the purpose of thanking you and my PVP Sarah Elizabeth in advance for a wonderful cruise. We sail July 16th. We have waited over ten years to cruise again for a host of reasons. You and Sarah have contributed substantially preparing us for a great time. One example since my original post is the sudden disappearance of the cigar bar. I know you have withstood a fecal blizzard for a decision that impacted you too. As usual, reading your blog helped me work through what is finally a minor disappointment. I will not get to smoke just one fine cigar in celebration of my tenth anniversary. I am not a smoker, but about once a year on a special occasion I do enjoy as fine a cigar I can procure. On the one hand, this is a little thing. On the other hand, it seems that it is the little things that people seem to allow to become big things that ruin an otherwise great trip. No vacation is ever perfect. Your blog offers a wonderful perspective from an authentic point of view that I appreciate. My wife and our two boys ages 9 and 7 I will be in rooms 2340 & 2344 on the Carnival Freedom out of Ft. Lauderdale. So, if you do receive this on time and you can send something along, I just know it will really add something special to what I know will be a great cruise. Ten years is just way too long to wait between cruises. While I know you cannot possibly read every post in response to your blog I have tried to respond thoughtfully, but sparingly as a means to offer my own very small contribution to the “community” around your blog.

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