Save Me

June 9, 2011 -

John Heald

This morning as the staff came in to the office for a meeting I noticed that one of them, my PA Mel, was reading a book called “100 Things To Achieve Before You Die.” I had a look at this quickly and it was full of the usual bollocks such as seeing the pyramids and showering naked under a waterfall, joining the mile high club and bungee jumping in a thong. You know, I have often thought about writing a book based on the blog thingy and if I ever get around to having the time to do this I will also write one called “100 Things You Shouldn’t Sodding Well Waste Your Time On Before You Die”……because apathy is my specialist subject.

Here are just a few:

1. Drink 5 tequila slammers at Carlos and Charlie’s in Cozumel. The most overhyped drinking experience ever, which merely makes people pull a stupid face before, eventually, vomiting over their best friend and looking a total twit as they try to walk down the pier back to the ship.

2. Have a consultation with a “life coach.” Unless, that is, you want to sit on a couch listening to someone charge $300 an hour for stating the bleeding obvious.

3. Be in Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Yes, Carnival got some great publicity out of it and it was a true honour for me. But why any other bugger was there I have no idea ……….. unless you really enjoy drunken jollity and being forcibly kissed by strangers with breath straight from Satan’s underpants while freezing your bollocks off.

4. See the Sex and the City movies. That’s two and a half hours of my life I’ll never get back

5. Eat at Harry’s Bar in Venice. Has anywhere been so gobsmackingly overrated? Only go if some other bugger is paying

6. Attend a spin class at Spa Carnival. The horror, the horror

7. On elegant night ask the captain “If you’re here who is driving the boat?” You are not the first person to ask so don’t do it but if you do the captain should have the right to punch you in the face.

8. Telling me I am fat and obese and that you love me, you really love me when all you want to do is sell me some bloody diet pills

9. Try to construct anything from IKEA unless you have a degree in physics.

10. Call Carnival’s Special Needs Desk and tell them your cocker spaniel Ruby is a medical service dog and she needs to cruise with you to warn you and those around you with a bark …….. when you are about to crap yourself.

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

Karen L asked:
John, please answer, if you can.

I just booked my 41st Carnival cruise, the 9/30/12 transpacific sailing on the Carnival Spirit (cabin 4206). Cruise # 39 is the upcoming 5/10 sailing on the Carnival Magic (cabin 1211), and # 40 is the 11/28 Panama Canal transit on the Carnival Paradise (cabin U17). I have 2 questions: First, is there any way to get Carnival to credit me with the proper number of cruises? Carnival doesn’t seem to count anything before 1990. My first cruise was a western Caribbean cruise on the Holiday in mid-Jan 1987. Second, is there any special ceremony when we sail across the International Date Line on the transpacific sailing – like the special ceremony when sailing across the equator? Looking forward to seeing you soon on the Carnival Magic.

Karen L

John says:
Hello Karen L,

The first thing I have to say is a huge thank you for your obvious loyalty to Carnival and many congratulations on booking your cruise number 39 here on your Carnival Magic and number 40 on the Carnival Paradise and of course 41, the magnificent sailing on the Carnival Spirit to Australia. Now there will be a ceremony for the crossing of the IDL as this is very much a sea going tradition and as we get closer to the time I will let you know what has been planned. With regard to your pre-1990 cruises, do you have any photos, tickets or any mementos that show you were onboard. If you do please let me know or you can contact your travel agent or PVP and this will allow them to change your status. Please let me know if I can help with this.

Best wishes and once again many, many congratulations.

John


GATOR L.P.H. asked:

John,

It’s always interesting reading this blog and how you always blow your own trumpet. Today you wrote that you have 12,000 friends on your Facebook as if that’s something special. Considering you have 3,000 pax every week then 12,000 is nothing is it. This blog is controlled by Carnival, that much is obvious and as a Carnival Platinum Member I think you are a bad representation for Carnival Cruise Lines. Read this and amongst the sad people you have brainwashed there are some true comments about how people feel.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1412376&highlight=john+heald+blog

Hang up the microphone John and let a younger more professional person in. Yes, I have cruised with you and no I have done and never will ask you for anything.

John says:
Hello L.P.H.,

As there was nothing on TV and against my better judgment I read the link here and I have mixed emotions from doing so. First of all my thanks to everyone for writing kind words and to those who expressed they didn’t like my style of writing I sincerely apologise. I am what I am and there is bugger all I can do about it. Many wrote nice things and some suggested I was “looking for sympathy” which I can absolutely see why they said that because it could have appeared that way. I want to assure you it was not my intention. I was angry and rightly or wrongly that anger manifested itself in my writing. I hope we do cruise together again and we get a chance to sit and discuss your opinions and hopefully leave that discussion as friends.

Best wishes,

John

Yvonne Fletcher asked:
Hi John,

I have sailed with carnival once before on the Elation and had such a wonderful time. That was with my husband of 48 years but he passed away last year and this will be my first vacation without him. I am traveling this time with my fried Grace who also lost her husband on the Miracle ship and we have the early sitting dinner. Please can you ask for us to be seated together at a table for 2 people? You see while I know we will have a good time Grace is much stronger than me but I still get very emotional when I see couples together. Robert was my everything.

Thank you for anything you can do.

Yvonne Fletcher

John says:
Hello Yvonne Fletcher,

I am sure I speak for everyone here when I say how sorry I am for your loss. I know there will be difficult times during your cruise when you remember the fun and laughter you shared with Robert. But I also know that there will be fun times as well as the staff and crew serve and entertain you. I have asked the maitre d to help you with your table request and I will send you a little something as well. Have a great cruise as I am sure that is exactly what Robert would have wanted. Thinking of you and your friend Grace.

Best wishes,

John

Leonard Cascorino asked:
John,

I did The Chefs Table on the dream. The food was good but it was ruined by the people at the table who were both common and drank too much wine and became obnoxious. I suggest that if Carnival is going to sell this upscale event then it should be sold to people who will appreciate the food and the culinary arts and not use it for an excuse to talk loudly, drink to excess and had some decorum and table manners. My request for a 50% refund has not been replied to hence my message to you and trust you will do the needful.

John says:
Hello Leonard Cascorino,

This is a very unusual comment and not one I have ever heard of before. Not sure what you mean by “common” people but I realise that sitting and eating with people you have never met before can be an interesting experience and it is not always going to end in a hug and an everlasting friendship. However, it seems in this case it was the other extreme. I am very sorry that your meal was spoiled by behaviour that you found inappropriate but having asked our guest services department in Miami I can confirm that we cannot offer any compensation. I do hope that your memories of the excellent food and service will allow you to try The Chefs Table again one day and thanks so much for taking the time to write.

Best wishes,

John

Barbara asked:

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW, AND MAYBE I AM WRONG. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS HAVE ITALIAN CAPTAINS?

John says:
Hello Barbara,

Yes, you are indeed correct. Carnival has a rich Italian heritage with many of our ships having been built in Italy. We have always had Italian captains as well and as we promote through the ranks that heritage will continue. Carnival believes that Italians are among the best navigators and sailors in the world which is why all our ship’s masters are indeed captains.

Best wishes,

John


Alice Linton asked:

John,

My husband retires from 37 years in the USAF in July and we are celebrating by taking the whole family (18) on a cruise on the Splendor. Is there anything you can do to recognise a man that served his country with honor? His name is Lieutenant Colonel Mark Linton and we will be in cabin #7312 on the cruise July 24th. Thank you John for being such a special person. I wish you were going to be our director

John says:
Hello Alice Linton,

Absolutely. It will be my honour (spelt correctly) to ask my colleague Felipe to make sure that your husband is recognised and that I send him something on behalf of all of the blog readers who appreciate the extraordinary service he has given. I wish him a long and happy retirement and I wish you all a most wonderful cruise.

Best wishes,

John


Brad Weston asked:

I am a single 38 year-old and for Christmas last year, I was blessed to be able to gift a cruise for my entire family of 16 ranging in age from 30 weeks to 69. I have cruised 10 times on RCCL or Celebrity, but when planning this special family vacation, I considered Carnival, but was unsure whether it would be able to meet the standards I have come to expect in a cruise line. Then the Splendor fire happened and I read the accounts on your blog. I cannot express to you enough how much I enjoyed reading your posts and how much it, the actions of Carnival towards the passengers, and the subsequent posts of the passengers have elevated the Carnival brand in my head. We sail out on the Legend on June 19th! If I may ask for one request… We took a family cruise 10 years ago and it was made most memorable by a spectacular ocean view for dinner. I’d love the same for the 16 of us on the Legend. Regardless… God Bless you John, and thank you for your frequent entertaining posts!

John says:
Hello Brad Weston,

Thanks so much for the kind words and I am very glad to know that you decided to be so generous and bring your family to sail with us on the Carnival Legend. I will ask the maitre d to grant you your table request and I know you will absolutely love the ship and the Carnival fun experience. I wish you all a brilliant time.

Best wishes,

John

Brad Getz asked:
John,

Will Carnival ever consider leaving Galveston and using the port in Houston? I am from there and we have far better facilities than the old port at Galveston. Have you or anyone at carnival seen what we can offer?

Thanks

John says:
Hello Brad Getz,

I have never seen the facilities at Houston but I know my colleagues the beards have and that they were very impressed but there are no plans to leave Galveston or to use Houston as a home port. Galveston remains a very popular and successful embarkation port for “Fun Ship” crusing as indicated by our decision to place your Carnival Magic there this November.

Best wishes,

John

Dana T asked:
Hiya!

I could probably try to call a PVP, if I had one, but I usually book for myself online, so I don’t have one! But I love hearing from you anyway, so what the heck you get my question! Do you know when we might be seeing Europe itineraries for 2012? I’m interested in August or September 2012 in particular, and am REALLY hoping there will be the same 12-night itinerary out of Barcelona with stops in France and Croatia that’s being offered this year. My sister & I had plans to go on the Magic in August 2011, but she’s had some rough times, so those plans fell through, and I REALLY (REALLY!!!) want to go on that itinerary when she’s up to it again. Right now, the Carnival site is only showing Europe through 2011. What can you tell me about when the 2012 cruises will be posted? Thanks in advance–From one of your loyal cheer leaders that loves, loves, loves your blog and anything you want to blog about!

John says:
Hello Dana T,

Thanks for those kind words and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog. Well by now hopefully you will have seen that the Carnival Breeze will offer a season in Europe in 2012 calling at ports in Spain, Italy, France, Croatia, Turkey and Greece. I was sorry to read that you were unable to join us here on your Carnival Magic but hopefully next year you will get to see the wonders of Europe on the Carnival Breeze. I certainly hope to see you there. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes,

John

John R asked:

I know you do table reservations but I have a different request. Stop doing them. I was on the Pride last week and did it the proper way and on embark day and told the maitre d’ that I wanted a table for 2 but they could not accommodate me. I suspect that this is because you had given them all to the people who had wooed you with kind words before asking for something. It is a very unfair practice

John says:
Hello John R,

I am so sorry you did not get the table change you asked for and I know our maitre ds do all they can to accommodate everyone which is though not always possible. I promise you that it wasn’t because of this blog. I maybe have a dozen or less requests a week for the entire fleet and that is certainly not affecting the inventory on the ships. It is also important to know that I never promise that I can do this and always mention that I will “ask the maitre d” to do his best to help. But it’s never a guarantee. I do hope you had a great cruise though and if there is ever anything I can do for you please let me know.

Best wishes,

John

And that’s all for today. Thank you all for the great comments, reviews and questions.

So finally a day at sea. This is a massively port intensive cruise with 8 days in port and this, our one and only sea day. It’s 7:45am and I just got back from the Coffee Shop and counted just 11 guests between my cabin and there and everyone else is sleeping in I guess after long days exploring Monaco, Livorno, Rome, Naples and Messina.

Later today though the Lido deck will be full of people resting, dancing to Blood Power our terrific band and enjoy pool games and one too many cocktails. Fun and sun……that’s what we are all about. The Russians will be out in force and I have to say that the Russian men love the pool. Now, what they like to do, and you’ve got to remember they’re all big lads, most look like ex-Spetnaz soldiers and what they do is dive off the side of the pool onto your head. And as you helplessly flop about with a broken spine, he orders another bottle of vodka.

Yesterday afternoon, I walked across Lido and was greeted by a Russian lady who had a chest that put the entire starboard side of the ship in the shade. I wanted to stay a while and chat to her but she was lying next to a man who had a body shaped like a door wedge and his look told me that he was ex-KGB and I should buggerov as quickly as possible. So I did. But as I walked away I took a last fleeting glance at one of the biggest chests I had ever seen and as I did so I embarrassingly tripped over something and fell on my arse. I looked to see what I had tripped over ……..bugger……it was my tongue I haven’t seen one of the Russian beauties at the Mongolian Wok in stockings and suspenders but it’s only a matter of time.

One thing about the Russians though is that they are late risers and it seems that despite their devil may care attitude the one thing that has yet to invade their culture is seat saving or chair hogging as people on my FB page seem to call it. I know this is a well discussed subject but I need to drag it out of the cupboard kicking and screaming once again as obviously it continues to be vigorously debated. So let’s recap what we are doing at the moment.

We have a no seat saving policy and the cruise directors are supposed announce these measures both in the Capers and the …BUGGER! ……..Fun Times and over the PA system. The cruise directors will stress that if a chair has a shoe, a towel, a book or a chicken on it and it is not occupied after a 30 minute period these items will be removed by ship staff and in the case of the chicken taken to the galley and turned into a delicious curry. That’s what is supposed to happen.

Yes the CDs, myself included make these announcements and yes it is printed in the Fun Times but there are challenges with regard to this policy. Take the Carnival Magic from where I write to you now. We have 1500 sun beds and 7 pool and deck supervisors working. How the heck can these guys monitor 1,500 beds and know who has had a towel on the bed for a few minutes while they poop over to get a burrito or who has had it on the lounger since 4 am? The answer is …… they can’t and to pretend otherwise is pointless. So along with announcements and printed requests we are for the most part relying on the good manners of our guests. Most listen but some definitely do no not.

Is it really a problem though? Have you personally had a situation where you could not find a place to lay in the sun because the chairs were saved? If so, please let me know and let me know what ship it was. Look, we like to think we do things right all the time and that we do things better than other cruise lines but occasionally, that’s not the case. Now I perceive this to be an industry wide problem but, if you have cruised on a mega liner that did not have this problem, please let me know what they did to stop it so we can steal it from under their noses.

My suspicion is though…….we are all in the same boat…….pardon the pun. This is of course not just a shipboard problem. There has been an ongoing battle here in Europe at the hotels. So is this really such a big problem? Is it one you have encountered? And if the answers to those questions are both yes………..then do you have any suggestions on what we should do next?

You know the average age of the dancers and entertainment staff here is 24, yep 24. There are also 2 dancers who were born in 1990, the year I was promoted to CD and the year a girl finally forced herself not to vomit and said yes to my offer of rumpy pumpy. 1990……..oh FFS!

Yep, I feel old and I have noticed more and more that I have no understanding of their world… Why, for example, must the dancers strut around with the words like “Love Pink” on their designer track jogging bottoms? Since when was it OK to advertise things on your arse anyway? And this “Love Pink ” they are all wearing…….I don’t get it……none of it is on anything pink …… it’s on black or white clothes or any colour in the world…….but not on bloody pink. Isn’t that like having “I Heart Cows” written on your McDonald’s wrapper? But there’s another thing that I just don’t get with the younger generation……tattoos.

For those who were with me this week here on the Carnival Magic you will remember a certain guest in the Welcome Aboard Show who was covered in tattoos. He was indeed a blaze of colour and explained a couple to us and that he had gotten them during his 18 years in the United States Army including 2 tours of Vietnam. We all understood why he had gotten them. Today though things are different. There is a young lady who works with us here on the Carnival Magic. I won’t say who obviously but clothed she looks a normal twenty something. Then the other day I saw her in shorts and a sleeveless tank toppy thingy and there were tattoos peeking out from under her shirt. I asked her about them and she pointed to one that was a dedication to her grandparents. On one level this desire to remember a family member is rather sweet and touching. But bloody hell……… why not write a poem, frame a photo, place flowers on a grave? Why inscribe your body so permanently, so painfully? Like in many other work environments these days, it is not uncommon to see a Carnival dancer or female entertainment staff member who lacks a butterfly on her shoulder blades, or some Chinese squiggle peeping over her jeans.

So there are two extremes. I had the proud soldier on stage this week with memories of conflicts and fallen comrades forever remembered on his body. And then I have a 21 year old dancer with a Chinese symbol on her back. I think we can agree that tattoos have officially lost their “underground” status. It is like finding out that the Navy Seal who shot Osama Bin Laden’s code name was Tinkerbell. Do you think it would be wrong of me to go up to a girl and say “nice tats?”

I have never seen the point of tattoos. The nearest I came was when my mate Alan and I talked the talk and went into a tattoo parlor. I didn’t get the tattoo for two reasons. First, the law states that you can’t get a tattoo unless you are drunk and we were both sober. Second, the tattoo artist once ran his needle over my forearm to show me just what a painless experience it was. He was lying. It felt like I was being stabbed in slow motion. Maybe it was also the fact that the tattoo artists were a 300 pound Hell’s Angel with most of Office Depot’s stockroom stuck through his nose.

So we have tattoos, the love of pink and designer labels on arses and 46-year-old cruise director who Gator L.P.H in today’s Q and A suggested should “Hang up the microphone and let a younger more professional person in.” Well, it was his or her comment that got me thinking about feeling old but honestly, it’s not his or her comment that has me thinking my time as a CD is up….nor is the tattoos and pink bottoms…..nope it’s because yesterday a 21 year old dancer called me……… “Big Daddy.”

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

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.

79 Responses to Save Me

  1. Donna Clark says:

    My favorite blog ever!! Love the things not to do before you die!! However~ BIG DADDY!! We love you regardless of age, weight, or affection for Latvian women..Keep up the good job!

  2. Jeff Dunlop says:

    Seat saving is an industry wide problem John. However, we have been on 13 Carnival cruises and have never seen it addressed on the pool deck. This past March we cruised in the shadows of a rock climbing wall for the first time and, sure enough, I witnessed MANY attendants scooping personal belongings on a continuous basis. Carnival needs to enforce their rules if they deem it necessary to create them and advertise them.

  3. Stefani says:

    I just got a tattoo on my arm… it is about 3 inches and it is of Mickey Mouse… why you ask? Not sure, maybe I just wanted to look at my arm and smile all the time because Mickey Mouse makes me want to smile. Would I do it again… HELL NO… that was painful LOL

  4. Tina Goodwin says:

    John,
    Another awesome blog. I was sitting here at camp giggling and looked up to the strange looks of “what is she looking at on that computer!” We all get feeling our age at times – it happens to me often at work. (These kids never heard of the dance the Hustle!) So, I go cruising. Thanks for the giggles.
    Tina

  5. Gina W says:

    Thanks John for always making me laugh every day with your blogs.

    I would like to address the comments made by Brad Getz, who obviously works for the Port Authority in Houston. Yes, the Port of Houston has a very nice facility, that has NEVER been used! (except after Hurricane Ike until Galveston’s damage was fixed) They went on the Field of Dreams plan of “if you build it they will come”, and guess what? No one did! There are many reasons for this…1 – The Bayport cruise terminal is much farther inland than Galveston, and it takes up to 2 more hours to get to it, and therefore get out of it than Galveston. This not only consumes more time, but fuel for the cruise ships. 2 – There is NOTHING out there to accommodate guests coming to cruise ships. There are no hotels, restaurants anything for miles and miles of this cruise terminal. And 3 – if you live in Houston (which I do), it takes just as long (which is really not THAT long) to get to the never used Bayport cruise terminal as it does to Galveston. And honestly this holds true for those flying in in and traveling from either airport in Houston.

    And while I would LOVE to see more cruise ships in our area, this terminal so far has been an EPIC FAIL for the City of Houston. As it has been sitting empty since 2008.

    So, Brad, get up off your arse and drive to Galveston, its a great cruise terminal and soon it will be MAGICAL there!!

  6. Rev Barb in Canada, eh? says:

    CHOG’s (Chair Hogs) are everywhere, on every ship and on every line, not just Carnival. However the WORST I’ve ever experienced was on the Carnival Dream last March when I walked around at 730 AM looking for a chair for an hour or so of sunbathing. I came across a young woman talking to 3 of her friends, pointing to a series of 10 or so chairs that she’d “marked” with various items and to my utter amazement she then pointed across to the other side of the ship and claimed to have 10 more over there because “I wasn’t sure where the sun was going to be later”. That’s the honest truth. How do you deal with that? I’ve given up and spend my time now in the thermal suites. Forget Serenity on a sea day…unless you sleep there overnight.

    It sure doesn’t ruin my cruise though, I save on sunscreen and actually get some exercise 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      I have seen this issue too. Watched a older teens early twenties girl use 3 pairs of shoes to save 6 chairs on my cruise last October. It was early and I was having my coffee watching this unfold. The young lady surveyed her steak and went off about her business. I waited about half a cup of coffee, I don’t wear a watch on the ship, and went and gathered all the shoes and dumped them in a pile next to the yet to open towel hut. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see her reaction when she saw my handywork but I can say that when I came up a couple of hours later it was not her butt that was in any of those chairs! Don’t be afraid to be assertive when you are RIGHT! : )

  7. debbie marino says:

    To Gator: I have to disagree with your assessment of John as not being a good representation for Carnival. I happen to believe he is the perfect spokesperson/ambassador for My Carnival. I, too am a Carnival Platinum Member and pray I never see you on one of My Carnival ships.

    • Julie Mendenhall (jrmende63) says:

      I agree with Debbie. John, You do a fantastic job and love the job. So keep on doing what you are doing! There is no need to a jerks words to heart. The day you stop loving what you do as a CD THEN you should retire.

  8. Elizabeth F. says:

    I have witenssed #1 on your list….not pretty!

  9. MaryC says:

    Hi John,
    I love reading your blog thingy and following you on Facebook. Please continue with both and let those negative people find a life.
    MaryC

  10. Kathy M says:

    John, Please don’t let some snotty 21 year old make you give up what you love to do. Give up the microphone ONLY WHEN YOU FEEL IT IS TIME, otherwise you will always feel “Why did I let them get to me, I am not ready for retirement.” You will know when it is time to say goodbye to the job you love, so please STOP, listening to these people.

  11. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Gator (mouth):

    Using your Facebook number analogy….John is doing very well.

    Dale Earnhardt, Jr has only a 1,000,000 (likes)… based on 15 million weekly tv fan and track attendance basis.

    John has 13,000 (likes) based on 3,000 adults on a weekly cruise basis. And most of John’s “likes” include more than one adult.

    In case you need some assistance in doing simple math…..John’s percentage is MUCH better.

    Now don’t you look foolish!!

    As for your Platinum status…big deal. My 19 year old has been MILESTONE since he was 17 years old…and he (and our entire family) thinks John is doing just fine.

    I suggest you stop letting your gator mouth overload your hummingbird arse!

    Linda

  12. Stuart Zaikov says:

    Chair hogs are a problem. Too many people will put stuff on a chair or group of chairs at 7 am and come back two hours later and feel they own the chairs for the day whether they are there or not..

    Why not let one crewman police an area for an hour or so at a time so everyone can have a chair near the pool.

  13. semctm says:

    John
    I’ve never had an issue finding some place to bask in the sun at some point through the day. It may not have been my first choice always, but there was always at least a table and regular chairs outside.

    We’ve only been on a few ships to compare and some are “poorly” planned and laid out.

    Something to consider perhaps – it’s not “the pool” that we prefer to be by. It’s some source of water to get refreshed and then go back to relaxing.

    If you were to take a poll of those that are anxious about the chair hogs – my guess would be that it is because it’s not convenient to water… maybe not, but if I had a gripe, that would be it.

    We all know that there isn’t sufficient space to do a one to one…chairs equal passenger count.

    But – maybe, try to determine stats on how many use the chairs for sun versus shade and try to increase and accomodate in that manner. It isn’t perfect, but for some of the ships, the number of chairs just doesn’t seem adequate.

    Other then that, folks just need to be more courteous, something that continues to deteriorate over time.

  14. Chuck says:

    I read a book called “A hundred things you should do before you die”…. Was absolutely amazed that scream for help didn’t make the list.

  15. Dana T says:

    Haha! I forgot about writing in asking about 2012 itineraries. I do believe they came out right after I wrote in, and here I was thinking they came out when they did just because I wrote in!!! It is always about me, ya know? Anyway, I did see that they were posted pretty quickly…and have already booked the 8/14/2012 cruise on the Carnival Breeze. Only 431 days to go!!! I won’t hold you to it (as if I could, and I wouldn’t complain about it anyway!), but am really hoping that you will, in fact, be the CD for that cruise. Did I already say only 431 days to go?

  16. boy john i sure don’t get the tattoos either. i have two beautiful granddaughters that have them. trust me i KNOW what your skin does when you get old because i’m old. what will these young beauties think of them then? and i always wonder about those chinese ones and if they really say what the ones getting them THINK they say.

    smiles, bee
    xoxo

    • Ring of Gold says:

      I have to admit that I do have a tatoo… a rather risque one that only my spouse sees.

      I’ve thought about what it will look like in a few decades. And then I just laugh to imagine what the person who’s preparing my body for burial will think!

  17. Brendac says:

    Tattoos – I knew they had become mainstream when my granddaughter’s Barbie came with “body art” appliques!

  18. Jean Morgan says:

    Listen very carefully I shall say zis only once…
    It is a reference to a British comedy show that ran in the 1980’s called ‘Allo,Allo. The show was set in occupied France during WW2. One of the characters appeared as a French Gendarme but was a British secret agent working with the French Resistance movement and the policeman was his cover. His character always mangled his words such as Good Moaning, I thought I would just poop in and lots of other double entendre. Even now some 20 years after the show ended British people still use phrases from the show which at the time was pulling millions of viewers every week. I got the joke right away but then I am British and watched the show plus countless repeats. It was a very, very funny program. My opening sentence is also a catchphrase from it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Allo_%27Allo! will explain a lot to you.

  19. Judy S. says:

    JOHN!!! 2 yrs ago I got my first Tattoo at 59!! Just did it and I’m deathly afraid of needles!!!! I had a Fairy put on with BELIEVE down the side of her. I have had sooo many compliments on it! My hubby thought it was a stick on until I said Noooo Its a real one! He likes it! If I can do it so can YOU!!
    Yes we had alot of SAVING SEATS in the theater! one lady saved a whole row! and Noo there were’t any more seats except nose bleed section! We have also encountered them on the Mircle and Freedom. I watched the clock(mircle) and after 2 hrs and no one showed up-removed the towels and took over chair by pool with the NICE pads! No one ever did come back! I have seen people save them at 7,8am and then go have breakfast! then come back when sun is out! People that are looking for a quiet place to read-CAN’T! They should also have more of the good pads for the chairs! Much nicer on the back for old bones!! Have a pool guy-usually handing out towels mark down time(WRITE IT) he sees it empty and after 30 min-if still no one-clear it! We always have to go up on top above pool to find chairs! THEN we have to watch for smokers!!!!

  20. Helene Apper says:

    About 10 years ago on another cruise line that starts with a C, they seemed to have the seat hogging thing under control. They empowered their drink servers. As they walked around and found a sun lounge empty for more than 30 minutes, they would flip the lounge forward. Then the person in charge of the towels would come pick up any of the stuff on the chairs. It was very effective. I don’t know if this is still the practice, but there was some screaming from people about it. They learned their lesson very quickly though.

    • JoJo says:

      Good idea. If there is not enough supervisors to watch chairs, waiters can do it. They walking around offering drinks anyway, they would spot it if some chairs were not used for long time.

      • Ring of Gold says:

        That’s the beauty of it – no one has to decide what a “long time” is! ANY chair (REGARDLESS of how long it has been since a body occupied it) with stuff on it but no human occupant is cleared and belongings are moved to a table by staff. If they see it, they clear it, making the chair available to a legitimate occupant.

        Stuff goes on a table, people go on the chairs, the end.

        You want to save a chair? Draw straws to see who’s gonna be the crispy critter.

        Don’t like the chair you got? Get your bottom there earlier next time.

      • Zoogrl says:

        Sounds like an excellent idea!

  21. Cheryl K says:

    Hi John:
    Answer to the pool chair question is yes it has happened. I’m Platinum with Carnival but have also cruised other lines and this is an issue on ALL cruise lines as well as most hotels. I was recently in Aruba and the Marriott gave you chair tags when you checked in with your name on them. The rule was you couldn’t tag a chair before 7 AM. When you put the tag on the chair if security didn’t see anyone in that chair during a two hour period (they had security that walked the same areas so they recognized people after the first day), your tag and belonging would be removed and you would have to go to the front desk to get your things back. I was surprised to see that this system seemed to work so well. People seemed to be pretty mindful of the time limit and if they weren’t the security guards would remove the tags. Obviously with only 1500 chairs and 3600 guests this won’t solve the supply and demand issue on sea days on the ship though. You can’t make people be considerate of others and that’s the problem in a nutshell!

  22. Martha says:

    At Gator L.P.H. one word for you TACKY! You and other CC members may not care for John – but I as a CC member…well I do. You are the type of person that is ruining CC.

    At Leonard Cascorino – when you use the word common to describe someone you reveal the type of person you are. Do tell how you would weed out those that appreciate the dining experience, from those that wouldn’t??

    Normally I really hate to target people for their bad behavior, but lately I just cannot help myself.

    Great blog John!! 46 years old is still young. I am just a little older than you and still feel young and vibrant. And, Big Daddy is a term of endearment.

  23. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    As I posted on your Facebook, I have dear friends who are Carnival Milestone members who also experienced a less than pleasant Chef’s Table.

    The bad news is that it does happen. (foul language, clearly drunk trash…)

    The good news is that it is the exception and not the rule.

    However, when that exception happens on your Chef’s Table…that is not much consulation.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  24. Host Mach from Cruise Critic says:

    Well, John, it appears as though our mutual friend is back this time with the nom de plume of Gator L.H.P. When is this cretin going to quit? All he does is galvanize your supporters and make himself look like the genuine twit that he is. True, there are a VERY few people on Cruise Critic who are not your fans but they hate puppies, Christmas and sunsets as well. Why in the world they would want to set foot on a cruise ship seriously baffles me.

    Regarding chair hogs… I’ve never had a real problem but I’ve also never been able to garner a lounge chair near the pool. I can always see it off in the distance but next to it… never. I know it’s a difficult thing to manage but it really is a sore point with a great many folks I know.

    Tattoos… humm… I have a few dozen scars on my body. I have no need for additional permanent marks so no tattoos her. None for Stitch either (thank God!!! :))

    Hope the girls get in on time and all goes swimmingly.

    Ciao.

    Host Mach

    • Shipyard Cruiser says:

      Of course Gator L.H.P. is still a proud member and poster on Cruise Critic.

      And from what I read on this blog Gator L.H.P. seems pretty typical of many (not all) Cruise Critic board posters.

      • Host Mach from Cruise Critic says:

        No, not true at all. If you spend even just a bit of time on Cruise Critic you’ll discover that there are a few souls for whom nothing is good enough. Though the claim to be Carnival Platinum Cruisers they bash the line constantly and anyone who supports and defends it in the face of their attacks. Such folks, myself included, are branded ‘cheerleaders’ and assailed as being puppets for Carnival.

        I can count them on one hand but what I CAN’T count is the number of personalities that they adopt to post here and a few other locations. The purpose is to make it appear as though many more Cruise Critic folks are critical of John and Carnival in general. Once a jerk always a jerk.

        Ciao

        Host Mach

      • cruisin'lovebirds says:

        I just have to disagree with the broad-brush view of CC members. Some terrific people post there and I have received great information from generous people who wrote back in with their experiences. Every public forum has individuals without manners, but it’s not the majority!

  25. Hey Big Daddy, you should be proud to be called that. Ha,ha,ha. Now that could be meant in two different ways.
    I’m looking forward to being on board the new Carnival Breeze in 2012. I hope that you might be the CD at that time.
    Rest my friend.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  26. Jeanette says:

    John, if you were single you could be someone’s Sugar Daddy……*LOL*

  27. Mark Thomas says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by the “chair savers.” Immediately around the pools there’s never a spot that hasn’t been “marked as my territory.” Go onto the deck above the pool, and you can find a chair on either side, forward or aft. For example, on the Inspiration you could always find a lounger by the water slide. Never could understand the draw of being right next to the pool.

    But, I confess, I’ve reclaimed areas that have been abandoned except for the stray flip flop or water bottle. It really is fun to act ignorant with the person comes back after an hour or so, and looks for “their” lounger.

  28. Chris Yust says:

    John, I think the “love pink” could be in referance to wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness and support. Of course it could be something “hip” and then I have no sodding clue!

    • MaureenR says:

      LOVE PINK is the Victoria Secret slogan.. if you check out their stores or website, you will see it everywhere.

    • Monica B. says:

      It’s actually Victoria’s Secret “Pink” Collection. All of their stuff has “LOVE PINK” on it. It’s a fun collection for younger women with bright colors, dots, fun designs, etc. 🙂

    • jes says:

      Pink is a brand line from Victoria’s Secret. Not sure why ppl want to wander around, with PINK written on their caboos, or other parts but they do.

  29. I really, really agree with the Harry’s Bar one. I went there on the May 22nd Magic Cruise. The bar downstairs seats about 4 people, the place is tiny, They put 5 of us at a table that Kye might use for a dolly tea party, charged me 44 Euros ( about $60) for a hamburger between two slices of bread and 15 Euros (about $25) for a Bellini about the size of an egg cup.

  30. Early in the day, it couldn’t be tough at all to watch chairs that have no people in them, but do have crap.

    Once it gets busy, I think they could watch the more popular locations such as Serenity and in the immediate pool areas. Heck, Carnival is now using facial recognition software – how about chair recognition software? If there is crap on a chair and no face has been associated with it for 30 minutes, send in the Terminator.

  31. mike garland says:

    what is the status of the Splendor today since thete is a major storm off the mexican coast?

  32. mike garland says:

    John, what is the status of the Splendor since there is a major storm off the coast of Mexico. My son is on-board for his first cruse. thanks.

  33. Ring of Gold says:

    Dear John,

    RE Chair hogs

    I’ve seen quite a bit about chair hogs and also many different suggestions – charging for chairs, etc.

    I believe I have an easy to understand and easy to implement solution to the chair hog problem:

    Instead of *just* chairs on deck, why not put out a good number of pedestal-like end tables (something about the height and surface area of a TV tray)?

    You could fit several in around the lounges without obstructing walkways, and they would be perfect for holding a towel, book, sunscreen, etc. (This would, incidentally, be perfect for those who aren’t trying to “hog” but are instead just trying to keep their belongings from getting soaked or kicked around while they spend an hour in the pool!)

    Then, instead of a time limit rule for the chairs make it a “bodies only, no belongings rule”. This way the crew would not have to time anything – except a schedule to police the area and move any belongings up to a nearby table!

    The only thing stopping you from having a chair is if they’re already legitimately in use! Best of all, it’s a solution that doesn’t put the crew in confrontational situations or “extract” additional payments from guests!

    What do you guys think?

    • Ring of Gold,
      That “bodies only” solution sounds like a WONDERFUL idea :)In the meantime, I’m not into confrontations, but I’ve been known to move people’s belongings if I haven’t seen a soul for over an hour…

      Ummm…as far as the “Big Daddy” nickname, it’s actually kind of cool…I wouldn’t be surprised if JH will be receiving many gifts branded with that title from now on!

  34. Andrea T says:

    John,

    I wanted to comment with regards to the chair saving on board. I have been on 4 CC cruises and this does happen on each one. The sun chairs out on deck this is not usually a big deal cuz a person can only sit in the for so long without becoming a lobster. But the chairs that suuround the pools (aft lido in particular) will have the same towel laying on it for hours with no person. I don’t really have a good solution except that like dinner people could sign up for early, mid or late day sun bathing. Thanks for your blog. I find it quite entertaining!

    • Shipyard Cruiser says:

      RE Leonard Cascorino:

      Please never sit at my table on a Carnival Cruise.

      I am a proud member of the “common” folks and we would, of course, have nothing in common.

  35. MaureenR says:

    oh my goodness John, I never laughed so hard! I can just picture you with your english accent telling a sweet dear that she has nice tats.. she just might think you told her she has nice umm.. yeah ! lol.. tooo funny.. 🙂

    I sooo enjoy reading your blog and had a scathingly brilliant idea ! One of my fav shows at night is Late Nite with Jimmy Fallon.. he has this segment where he writes fake thank you notes.. and they are always hillarious.. and he recently gathered them all together and put them into a book… so I got to thinking.. John.. what if you gathered your bestest moments from the blogs and put them together in a book? You could call it – Sails, Tales and Funnel Hats – With John Heald.. just going through all the funny and strange things you’ve heard or seen through the years.. I think would make an excellent read for any e-reader.. 🙂

  36. jax says:

    Until the Port of Houston has better parking and more to do around the port itself, (in case of delayed sailing, etc.) I’m glad Carnival isn’t sailing out of there. While the facility itself is very nice, (HUGE VIP area)the parking was horrible. We went out of there after Ike hit and with both the Conquest and Ecstasy sailing from there, you had to wait for almost half of the people debarking to leave before we could even get in to park our cars; some having to park in the grass (which with a good rain in Houston, can be trouble). Maybe if there weren’t 2 ships going out at that time it wouldn’t have been as bad, but that still remains to be seen as the city can’t seem to find any lines willing to make it a permanant home.

  37. Maurice O says:

    Gator L.P.H. You know, you and the many rude people who come to this blog (which is John Heald’s Blog by the way) and try to tear him down and run him away with your negativity make me sick.. You know, John never once said follow me. You chose to come on here and follow him. I happen to enjoy reading these blogs as well as the other several thousands of us. No, I didn’t bother clicking on your link to Cruise Critic because it’s irrelivant. If you want to attack someone, stand in front of the mirror you jerk. Nobody deserves it, especially not John. He goes out of his way to make sure we all enjoy our cruises… He is a wealth of knowledge about the brand, and there is no doubt in my mind why Carnival chose John to be the Ambassador of the Brand. Im just glad I haven’t run into you on a cruise.

  38. Marsha Breen says:

    I agree with others here that it is easy to spot the “chair hog” reserved chairs by the pool. All you have to look for is a chair with 1 flip-flop or 1 pair of sunglasses, etc. on them and it is obvious this is a chair being saved. Let’s get real – if you are really occupying a chair for yourself and just left to go to the bathroom or something like that, you would probably have several items on your chair that you were utilizing while sunbathing. I know that the few times I have been lucky enough to find a chair where I’m able to see the big screen, I usually have a book, towel, shoes, sun lotion, and my Ipod with me.

    I don’t think it would be that difficult for the people who patrol the area to spot chairs that are really being used vs chairs that are being saved. If we as passengers can spot them, so should the crew working that area. I’ve approached crew members a couple of times and stated that a chair has been unoccupied for more than an hour. Their response was “sorry we can’t do anything about that”.

  39. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    I have suggested for years that Carnival print on the back side of their beach towels…”I am not a chair hog. I will be back in 15 minutes.”

    This would “remind” people that hogging a chair is not allowed. Would it stop it? No…some people don’t believe they have to follow the rules.

    But it would be an inexpensive reminder that the issue exists….

    But the real problem (and the reason this will never be properly addressed on Carnival) is that Carnival still acts like a Mom and Dad operation. They are so afraid they are going to make someone mad, that they let way to many things slide.

    This isn’t the only issue that staff will not address.

    Another suggestion, is bring back the karaoke hosts (I know many have been cut to save money because they only work 4 hours a day) and add to their duties 4 hours during the day (from 7:30am – 11:30AM) to patrol the pool areas. One person CAN do a lot…

    This is one “Big Momma” that could handle it…I assure you!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  40. Donno says:

    Regarding the chair hogs, especially the sun deck chairs, the situation is horrible. Most often it’s on sea days and there is no chair to be had anywhere on the ship. There hasn’t been one cruise that we’ve been on and we’ve been on over 25 with more than half on Carnival, that there wasn’t a blatant misuse of saving chairs. You have the families that save them with young children who are running around and doing other activities and never on the chair. You have the older couple that the wife or husband is saving a chair for the other but when the other comes along, they don’t stay because it’s too hot for them but the chair is saved all day. You have the young couples who are touching and caressing until they finally decide to go to their cabin and have rumpy-pumpy but they leave their stuff on the chairs until they return a few hours later. You have folks that put their stuff on a chair and then go and sit pool side for hours while their stuff is occupying a chair. Then you have those around you who you hear tell the one they’re with I’m going to take a nap but they leave their items on the chairs. On a few ships I’ve witnessed folks going to the deck crew to let them know that the chairs have been saved and they seem powerless to remove the items. I’ve witnessed security being approached and they too are very reluctant to remove any items from the chairs. While we’re talking about following the rules how about the parents who can’t read the signs or the ones who think the signs don’t apply to them and let their children swim in the adult pools only. Again it’s by ship, some security enforce it others the security officers walk right around the pool with the children screaming and having fun in the adult pool. The rules need to be enforced and I feel certain once the word gets out that after 30-minute of no chair use the items are removed it will be less of a problem.

    • As for the chair hogs, on our most recent cruise on the Liberty May 14 we never found a chair, so we did the sensible thing, we went to the back of the ship and thats where we went on days we were sailing, it would be nice to be by some water, but no such luck, with the exception of going down one deck and cooling off and then back up to the higher deck..Whining and complaining wont change anything so we do the best we can with what we have!

    • Judi Mkam says:

      Couldn’t agree more about the chair hogging. Was on the 5/10 Magic sailing, and given only 3 sea days (the last of which was a wash-out) finding a lounge chair was next to impossible. I watched a woman hold 3 chairs for over 2 hours for a spouse and gown children who eventually showed up to switch sun hats and depart again, while I stood and then shared a chair with a friendc who felt sorry for me standing all the while. People threw down towels early in the morning, then went to breakfast and other activitiesm often returning just to check on the towel and then depart again. This was and the lack of robe hooks in the ceramic bed area of the spam however were my only complaints about my Magical trip. Would I do the trip again, you bet but I would never in a minute think of taking the Magic (or the Dream) to the Caribbean. Too few pools for so many people!

  41. Karen Lian says:

    We have not asked for anything before we are now Platinum guests can we please have a table for 6-8 with anyone by a window on the top level of the Magic for the 10162011 sailing and the TA, if possible, we thank you for any help you can give us Cabin 8416. Nick and Karen Lian, we will miss you John wish you were with us,but I know that you have do what the Company tell you to I just retired from the America Red Cross As a Nurse for the Blood collection working crazy hours and travel up and down the hwy but for a very needt cause. Thanks again

  42. BarB says:

    For Karen…early cruises.

    I suffered the same problem..having sailed with Carnival starting at the 2nd voyage of Mardi Gras when she was the only ship..continuing regularly though the 80’s 90’s, etc.

    I eventually was credited with 14…but not for 11 others I took during that time. Here’s what Carnival advised and what I did.

    First off, it’s up to you to PROVE you cruised. They will take just about anything as proof…a boarding picture, a table assignment card (before the zippy little plastic thingies), a photo with an entertainer or an onboard waiter. A paper boarding card which they used to give out. A copy of an invoice showing payment, stub of a shore tour ticket..when they used those.

    It’s a good idea to give them a time frame, too…like month and year or a spread of months or years.

    It will take a while, but eventually you will be credited. They even found one I had completely forgotten about — on the Fiesta Marina..which was going to be their Spanish division….

    They won’t just take your word for it but will be happy to credit you with even the most minimum evidence….

    Good Luck

  43. Lindsay (Tattoo-less and non-pink loving) says:

    Big Daddy,
    Just wanted to comment on the “seat-saving.” My answers are no and yes. No, it’s not such a big problem and yes, I have encountered it. I don’t think it’s a big problem because I am a big girl and can handle the fact that I didn’t get out to the lido deck soon enough to grab a seat. When I was on the Sensation in November of 2010, my husband and I would get up early most mornings to walk or watch the sunrise. Almost every morning by 6am there would be numerous people scattering various items across the chairs and then they would leave. I think groups of people would send out one person, a scout, to save the seats and then later the group would return to claim their seats. Each day the scout would change, I assume so that the previous scout could enjoy the morning to sleep since they had been up so early the day before saving seats. It doesn’t bother me all that much, because if I wanted to sit near the pool at some point during the day, a chair woudl eventually open up and I would claim it as my own. If I was really concerned about lounging near the pool all day, I would probably send out a scout in the morning just like everyone else or get there early enough to stake claim on my spot.

  44. jgeraci says:

    Sorry John,
    But I agree with all except the Carlos & Charlies thingy. You haven’t truly been to Cozumel unless you’ve gotten plastered & done the Chicken Dance at Carlos & Charlies. That’s one of my fondest cruise memories, if I could only remember it!
    JoyceG

  45. BarB says:

    John…with regard the rude and arrogant Gator…

    This is exactly why, after many, many years being a CruiseCritic member, I cancelled my profile with them.

    While there are still some old salts, seasoned cruisers and some who share knowledge and information, they are sure in the minority.

    The “Gator: and his ilk have run most of us out.. All they do is bash Carnival, brag about how much booze they can smuggle onboard or how many free drinks they can dash down in 45 minutes….and complain, complain, complain about all sorts of minutiae like a missed port or an underdone steak or “watered down” drinks (a particular favorite).

    That forum has become tiresome; dominated by the sorts of folks that rarely get out of Podunk, who think somehow being a CC member makes them king. They abuse everyone onboard with their arrogance..and some downright nastiness to Guest Services, the Wait staff, room stewards and every underling they can find. They send emails to Cahill and every other corporate leader believing in their hearts that they will receive personal responses immediately-because they are so very extraordinary. Then bash them and Carnival when they don’t get a response….

    Do yourself a favor, don’t bother reading when some ignoramus has sent you a link to some trashy, nasty thread. Nothing you say or do will change a thing with those people.

  46. Steve S. Chicago says:

    It’s always interesting reading this blog and how you always blow your own trumpet.

    Dude, I have been trying for years without luck. Good job John.

  47. P.Zanolini says:

    Hello John!!!
    You are only as “old” as you THINK you are.
    As Einstein said== It’s Relative!!!
    Now if you really “Cared” what people “Think” about you; you would never have become a Bloody Cruise Director in the first place!! Soooo because your such a nice guy. I’ll just have to tell Gator L.P.H. to

    “Bugger-Off”!!!!!!

  48. Jackie S. says:

    John, I am in my early 30s, and a lot of my peers have tattoos and wear sweatpants with words on their behinds. I have to tell you that I agree with you 100% on both issues. I am not against anyone else having a tattoo, but they are definitely not for me, and I find them unattractive. As far as the pants, when I have a daughter one day, there is no way she will be permitted to wear such things! Oh, and “Pink” is a line from Victoria’s Secret aimed at the 15-25-year-olds. So, those wearing “Love Pink” on their bottoms paid good money to do free advertising!

  49. Susan Myers says:

    About chair hogs, they are on every ship,and not just the pool. The serenity deck is a problem too. My husband and I wanted to relax on the Serenity deck in one of the double lounges. ALL 3 sea days on the Carnival Magic, by 9am all those loungers were taken with “stuff” I took pictures and 2 hours later the stuff is still there. So we cruise 4-5 times a year on Carnival and due to chair hogs, we have really never been able to relax on the Serenity Deck unless it is raining and the chair hogs don’t want there stuff wet. We are not complainers, but you might try wandering up to the Serenity deck on the Magic and see all the loungers saved with no people. You can go at any time, on the Magic, it was hours of stuff on loungers so you won’t miss it. By the way, I don’t know what the solution is to this problem and maybe it doesn’t even have a solution, but ship after ship, my pictures show just how much fun a solo book, towel or sandal can have on a Carnival cruise

  50. Dear John, a quick noe on the chair hogs, while on the Dream we had a terrible time getting a seat anywhere in the sun. the chaair hogs were out in force. i recently read that on one cruise line the pool staff have these little clock thingies. they put them down on a chair put the clock hands on a time, and when they come back in 30 min. if the chair is still not occupied they remove the items on the chair so that the chair becomes available.p.s. these things are cardboard, any child could make one…

  51. Sharon says:

    I’m a day late but to answer your question, no you should not hang up your microphone and just ignore people who are mean. As far as the “big daddy” comment, take it as a compliment as I’m sure that’s how it was intended.

    As far as the seat saving/chair hogs go…we’ve seen this especially on the Serenity deck. On our cruise last month on the Fascination we would get up, go to the Serenity deck by 9 a.m. at the latest and every seat would be “taken” but there would only be 5-6 people out there. At times, they sat that way for a couple of hours. So, yes it is a problem especially for those of us who do not want to be in a noisy area. There are times I enjoy the main pool area but a lot of times I want to be able to read and enjoy the sun without the games, parties, loud music, smoke smell, and kids. Honestly, the serenity decks are too small with too few chairs.

    Thanks John, have a brilliant weekend!

  52. Bob Boles says:

    John,

    Please reply. Don’t think about hanging it up yet, you are still the best. We sailed with you last year on the Carnival Splendor on the Labor Day cruise and it was great fun, and thank you for the gifts. I have a question, we are taking our Grand Daughters on the July 4th cruise on the Carnival Paradise, will there be any special activities planed for the 4th. Thanks John for being the Best!!!!

  53. Shelly Mahre Conlin says:

    While my sympathies are certainly with Yvonne and her friend, Grace, her sentence about Grace losing her husband really could have used a comma. I shouldn’t have laughed, but it was kind of funny that Grace lost her husband on the Miracle.

    As for chair hogging, and I firmly believe this, if Carnival cared enough about the problem they could fix it. The beards have created a rule, but neglected to create a process by which to enforce the rule. I think the current situation (rule w/o enforcement) causes more problems than if there were no rule.

    John, just because it is a problem at hotels, resorts, and other cruise lines, does not mean it is acceptable. Step up to the plate and do something about it – be a leader, not a sheep.

  54. CruisinSue says:

    Hi John

    Re: Chair hogs

    I have experienced several ships that you cannot get a chair. They sit there for hours with no one near. I know how difficult it is for the deck “police” to monitor. It is just ashame that people are so inconsiderate.

    As for the tatoos: I am not sure of the big attraction even though I got one when I was 20 and at a New Year’s party. Empress Bee said it right…age isn’t appealing to tatoos. In fact, when I got mine, it was a cute little butterfly on my hip….now..30+ years later, it is a Monarch. Not cute anymore…lol
    Have a great time with the girls. I am waiting for the Charleston news, since this is a port 2 hours from my home.
    Give my best to the girls and enjoy your time with them.

    Gloria aka Sue

  55. Renee says:

    John, We cruised on Dream on May 7th, it was a wonderful cruise as always with Carnival and Butch and Baby Butch was great! Seats on Lido wasn’t a problem at all. Cruise to St. Thomas and St. Maarten and Bahamas was great would definately recommend it to anyone. Great Food, great excursions and great fun! Love the Dream have been on her twice now. She’s one beautiful ship. Thanks for all you do for Carnival. Would love to sail with you again.

  56. Brice Jury says:

    John, you arrogantly asked if chair saving is a problem, well sir I can emphatically say Yes! Just the other day I got up from my lounge chair without leaving anything behind and when I returned my son was sitting in MY chair! So when I returned from the kitchen with a cold beer the seat was vacant but he was using his cell phone to “hold the spot”! Well I waited the 30 minutes and when I complained to the seating supervisor ” wife” she refused to remove the personal items and free up the seat! Bugger!
    John carnival must do a better job in this area 😉

  57. Peg Dunbar says:

    I am so late in responding to this, sorry.

    Seat saving, no big deal on the Lido deck but to me it is a very big deal when it comes to saving them for the shows, any shows.

    Great blog John, thank you for all you do.

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

    I hope you are enjoying your girls holiday with you. Have lots of fun.

  58. Sari B. says:

    Hi John, boy did at laugh at this blog… as I have been a patron at Carlos and Charlies in Cozumel on more than one occassion. It doesn’t take much for me to get schnockered and I had two margharitas in those tall glasses the last time we were there. I can remember my friend want to walk down that main street to look in the stores… I didn’t give a hoot what she was doing. The only saving grace is now the pier in Cozumel is about a 10 minute ride from Carlos and Charlies and I had a bit of time to sober up before walking down the pier back to the ship. Even in saying all that, I have so much fun when we’re in Cozumel or any port while cruising with CCL! My platinum cruise will be this September 2011 on the Freedom! Love you John always!

  59. Carol H. says:

    To Gator L.P.H. (whatever the hell that stands for), probably some stupid ass lame loser initials in the cruise critic world. Don’t like what John has to say, DON’T BLOODY READ IT.
    Keep up the good work John, I think you represent Carnival in the way they are, a great place to have a great time.

  60. cclmary says:

    Hello Rainer,

    Please send all request to ASK JOHN Page.

    Thank you,
    Mary

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