PUSSY GALORE

June 22, 2011 -

John Heald

Normally I start the blog thingy with a tale of attempted humour or of personal woe. But not today. Today we start with a tale of courage and the yet another reason to cruise and that’s because you get to meet people like Charlie Brogan. I met Charlie at the start of the cruise and spoke to him at the welcome aboard travel talk because of his smile. He has of those faces that always seem to be smiling and it was smiling again when I met him at our veterans meeting yesterday afternoon. My guess is that Charlie has been smiling since the day he was born on September 2, 1922, in a place called Muscatine, Iowa.

When we hold these veterans meetings I start by paying tribute to those serving and those who have served and then basically allow those who wish to say a few words. Sometimes few will say anything and sometimes, like yesterday everyone wanted to speak. One of the first speakers was a young man who had just returned from Afghanistan where he is a helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army and he spoke about his war and about his love, admiration and respect for his wife and two sons who had stayed behind and were here with him now on Carnival Magic. Then this young man whose name I embarrassingly can’t remember paid wonderful tribute to his fellow service men and service women. Then next up came Charlie and I will try and paraphrase what he said.

He addressed the young helicopter pilot and said words to the effect of “Afghanistan. Oh, no, I hate this war, I hate it,” he said “Sending our young men out there to get killed, and it’s nothing to do with us? Young men are dead and they’ve seen nothing of life yet. That’s not right, not right at all.” Now this wasn’t a political view, no not at all. If anyone has earned the right to have candid views on armed conflict, it is Charlie. He is 89 now and at the age of 21 he was at war himself, fighting on the beaches of Normandy knee-deep in sand and blood. He can remember the horror of it he told all of us sitting in the piano bar “as if it were yesterday.”

Charlie went on to tell us that he didn’t care much for that war either, but he did his duty. He was a trainee mechanic when he went to fight with the HHC, 90th Infantry Division. We all sat mesmerized as he told the 50 or so gathered there that “It wasn’t just confronting the enemy that was so frightening, but the occasional sight of colleagues succumbing to their terror and running back into the sea to try and swim back to the boats.” Charlie lost two great friends that day but said on the microphone “I will spare you the details but one minute they were with me, the next, they were gone.” He paused and as he told his band of brothers story tears flooded down his cheeks and looking around I could see he wasn’t on his own as others were also.

Charlie is on Carnival Magic with his wife Catherine of 11 years. This is the second time around for them both as Charlie, like Catherine lost his partner of many years and has found love again in Catherine and married her aged 78 years young. After the cruise Charlie and Catherine are going to London where Charlie’s few surviving comrades will gather for a final reunion and a boat trip from England to France. He has been to many of these reunions but sadly he told us “There are very few of us left and what started as a group of 200 plus is down to maybe a dozen or so of us. The thing about people who fight in war is that it remains with them for life, and it will be the same for these who are in Afghanistan now as it was for me,” he said. Charlie then rolled up his pant leg to reveal a long, scar that curves round his leg like the smile on his face. “This is where a huge piece of shrapnel from a shell embedded itself in me as I was running across the beach. I didn’t know it was there until a few hours later when I suddenly felt some pain in my calf,” Charlie told us. A medic offered to pull it out on the spot, but Charlie said he would rather wait to have it treated. The decision saved his life. The metal was touching an artery and he would have bled to death had it been removed.

By now the number of guests had doubled as people stopped to listen to Charlie and 100 people stood and listened enthralled at what they were hearing. He wasn’t being brash or saying “Hey look at me and how brave I was”………nope…….he was just sharing a story and was telling it brilliantly because it was a story told straight from the heart.

I wish I had taken a camera so you could have see Charlie Brogan who is without doubt a true life hero. This veterans meeting is important because I wonder if there is another environment where people like Charlie, ordinary soldiers who served their country get to talk in public about what they did. And for many of us it is maybe the first time we get to meet people face to face who were part of that “greatest generation” ……a generation that is sadly getting less and less each day. So if you see a veterans meeting in the Fun Times, why not go along. Not to glorify war but hopefully to meet someone like Charlie and shake his hand and say “thank you.”

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

Kiss27 asked:
Hi John,

I love your blog and I should mention that I work for NCL as entertainment staff. It makes me chuckle when I read your comments about other cruise lines and especially the Epic which I am currently on. She isn’t the most beautiful cruise ship but inside she has the best of everything and I wish you would come and see it someday. I would probably be in loads of trouble for telling you this but we had a meeting the other day with the “NCL Beards” and they mentioned you and that they were trying to find someone who had the ability to write a blog that would be as popular as yours. The y reoffered to it as the most popular blog in the travel industry so that should make you proud John. My question then is do you have any advice for me on how to start a blog as I really think I could do a good job. Thanks John and keep writing as I am sure there are many in the same line of work as you who really love it like I do.

John says:
Hello Kiss27,

Well, I am indeed honoured by those wonderfully kind words. I should start by saying that although the Norwegian Epic is as ugly as a boil on a baboon’s bottom I have heard many tell me that the ship’s facilities are fantastic, especially the entertainment options. Anyway, what advice? Well, there are two sorts of blogs I think. There is the one that talks about how wonderful everything is all the time or there is the blog that is honest and open and prepared to get its arse kicked every now and then. Now I am not the right person to say which is best as it would only come across as self pandering. However, I will say that if this blog has been successful it’s because Carnival has allowed me to be honest, open and frank, although the disclaimer in the top right corner helps them allow me to do this. Please, write a blog. As you and I know each day brings a story whether it’s here on the Carnival Magic (a non-ugly ship) or there on the Norwegian Epic (a ship that looks like the front end was designed by Stevie Wonder) and those stories deserve to be told to NCL’s many loyal customers. Be yourself, be honest and most of all …………write in your underpants………the words will flow so much better. We all wish you well and if we see an NCL blog soon we will know it’s from Kiss27.

Best wishes,

John

Lynn Guthrie asked:
John,

Is there a reason you have ignored my question? I posted this on the blog on May 2 and still no answer so I will try again hoping you will have the decency to back up your claim to helping people. I asked for a table for 2 for me and Mother on the Legend October 17 2011 in cabin 1289. Last time on the Legend we had the worst table and the people on it ruined the cruise for us and I won’t want this again as Mother was very upset. She uses a motor scooter so one by the door would be best. Can you respond?

John says:
Hello Lynn Guthrie,

I promise you I didn’t ignore your question. I am sent 10 everyday by Eric the Beard and answer whatever they put in front of me so please don’t think I didn’t answer yours for any specific reason. I see you are not cruising for a few months yet and also although I will ask the maitre d to assist you today I do suggest that you write back to me here on September reminder with a kind reminder.

Best wishes,

John

Linda Grayson asked:
John,

Can you tell me which excursion will be the best for my DH and me in Rome. We sail with you on June 24th and my husband and I both have walking difficulties. Is there something we can do that will let us see the city without too much walking?

Thank you John.

John says:
Hello Linda Grayson,

I am glad I saw this before you sailed next week and I will answer in the hope that you read this but just in case you don’t I will make sure I put this information in your stateroom when you arrive on Friday. There is an excursion called Easy Rome and it is basically a stop at all the major sites, Coliseum, the Vatican and more for photos with very little if any walking involved. I think this may be perfect for you and your husband. I will see you soon and please let me know when you are onboard if you need anything. Have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes,

John

Lou Ann Christiansen asked:
John,

We are on the May 13, 2012 Magic cruise out of Galveston. I was thrilled to see that both you and Blood Power are currently on the Magic. Any chance both you and Blood Power will be on our cruise? That would make our day. We think you are a special cruise director and Blood Power is the best band we have heard on board on any of our cruises. This cruise will be celebrating our 40th anniversary & my 65th Birthday–but you’re never too old to rock & roll!!! Look forward to hearing from you.

John says:
Hello Lou Ann Christiansen,

Thanks so much for those kind words. Yes, Blood Power is indeed a fantastic band and will be here until November and is then going on vacation. The bands 2012 schedule has not been completed yet but there is a very good chance they will be here again next year and I will of course let you know as soon as I can. I unfortunately won’t be here because I will be on Carnival Breeze. I do know that you will have a brilliant time and that you will love this great ship. Thanks so much for the kind words and I do hope we sail together soon.

Cheers.

John

Paul asked:
Hi John, Please Reply

The only reason I ask that you reply is so I can know that the correct people learn of our wonderful wait staff I Wayan Ramia (THW) and Jose Gallavdo (TW) on our recent Carnival Miracle Cruise (May 6 – 14). My wife and I travelled with our 22 month old son, and 10 other friends and family and we were all seated at the same table. Wayan and Jose went above and beyond anything we have experienced on any of our other previous 4 Carnival cruises. All in all, they made our cruise that much more memorable, and we will always remember them. It was our first time on this class of ship, and one word is WOW, we loved the layout and how it set up for us, the kids pool was fantastic and the ports (Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Nassau) were all fabulous. Malcolm and his staff were amazing as well, but Wayan and Jose stood above all. We look forward to booking our next cruise and will do so this week. Hopefully one day we will sail together.

John says:
Hello Paul,

It is with a big smile that I reply to you because I know that you will make I Wayan and Jose’s day when they read your words of praise. It sounds like you had a wonderful time and you can see why the Spirit-class is a favourite of so many. Thanks again for taking the time to write and I will make sure all the right people see this.

Best wishes to all.

John

Mikey Brown asked:
Sir John,

Like others a reply here will be good. I guess I am getting tired of hearing about the Mazatlan thing. I too spent two days in Cabo and yes I would’ve liked to go to Mazatlan or another port. But considering the circumstances of what is going on in Mazatlan, I applaud Carnival and the other cruise lines for pulling out until the situation stabilizes. And I feel like I am beating a dead sodding equine here but if one reads the cruise contract, the line has the option to alter the itinerary. I received advanced notification from Carnival as to the itinerary change and in my mind neither Carnival nor John Heald has anything to be sorry for. Ship- Passenger- Crew safety is numero uno. As far as the comment of John’s little doggies, all I have to say is – c’mon little doggies, its time party. WHO LET THE DOG’S OUT!!!

Sail on John, you rock!

John says:
Hello Mikey Brown,

Brilliant posting mate. You know, canceling a port as popular as Mazatlan is a huge decision for the beards to take and lots of study and thought went into it of course. Finally it was decided that under the circumstances it was decided to bypass the port for the time being and add an extra day in Cabo which I think for the most part has been well received. I appreciate your understanding mate and as for the doggies reference, well I don’t care what others think. The people who take their valuable time to read this each day are my friends and after all……..a man’s best friend is a dog.

Best wishes and hope to see you soon.

John

Debi Schwartz asked:
John,

My son and his wife left yesterday for a 5-day cruise aboard the Inspiration to celebrate their 1 year anniversary. Due to flight cancellations and delays, they did not get to the Tampa airport until 3:25pm. They were in touch with the “running late” crew at the port and I had placed a call to our wonderful cruise planner, Tyrone Robertson. Please pass on a very heartfelt THANK YOU to the captain and staff of the Inspiration in Tampa that held the boat until they boarded at 4:10pm! I know they didn’t need to, but their kind gesture and caring nature was beyond superb. Thanks again for re-confirming my belief that Carnival is the BEST cruise line in the industry. As a VIP cruiser with Carnival, I have always spoken highly of Carnival. This is simply a testament to your greatness. Please pass on my thanks. And be assured, they’ll listen to me next time when I say “go in the night before”. :)

John says:
Hello Debi Schwartz,

This is a great read and when I started it I wondered how it would end. While we’re not always able to hold the ship depending on a variety of factors, but I’m glad it ended happily for your son and his wife and with a loyal Carnival cruiser singing the praises of our shoreside staff. I shall make sure Tyrone gets the recognition and thanks so much for letting me know. I hope they had fun. Thanks then for all those kind words and for your loyalty to Carnival. Long may that continue.

Best wishes to all.

John

John Nunez asked:
John,

I have been trying to get someone at Carnival to respond to my letters. I was on the Dream when we missed Roatan because of high winds. This was a lie because the winds were not high and the Royal Caribbean ship docked. I have a wind gauge on my watch and it showed just 8 knots which means the Butch the “cruise director” lied to us. We missed the port and my family and I missed the one and only reason we booked a cruise which was Roatan and for that I should be compensated.

John says:

Hello John Nunez,

I am very sorry that nobody has contacted you although hopefully by the time you read this that will not be the case. While I respect your watch must be a complicated one to have a wind gauge on it I respectfully would say that the instruments we have on the bridge that cost many thousands of dollars and are linked to specialist equipment are more accurate than your Timex.

However, I understand it is always disappointing to miss a port and I apologise that this had to be so. I should also point out that the RCI ship docks at another area that has an easier entrance and while our Mahogany Bay area is fantastic, it does involve a passage through a narrow channel guarded by rocks on both sides. I know the captain would have gotten into the port if he thought it was safe but he obviously did not. I do hope you had fun though on the cruise and that you have some wonderful memories.

Best wishes,

John

Bearcol Cruiser asked:

What’s the story John? Is Carnival putting a ship in Savannah like they are suggesting on CC?

John says:
Hello Bearcol Cruiser
I have heard that Savannah is working on a beautiful new port complex and I hope to see it one day. However I can confirm that there are no current plans for us to place a ship there mate but it is a great city and I wish them all the best.

Best wishes,

John

John R asked:
Good Morning John,

Do all Carnival ships have the capability to heat all the swimming pools? Which ships (other than Alaska) do actually heat the pool? Cheers!

John says:
Hello John R,

The pools on the Spirit, Destiny, Conquest, Splendor and Dream classes can be heated and in fact the ones here on the Carnival Magic were for the first two cruises. They are heated in Alaska and they will be so I am sure on the Carnival Pride in Baltimore and on the Carnival Miracle now she will be out of New York year-round beginning next year. I am still trying to find out which ship will replace the Carnival Spirit in Alaska when she moves to Australia in October 2012.

Best wishes,

John

Gordon Harmon asked:
Hey John,

I have to get a few things off my chest. By the way, I’m a travel agent. A client just returned from last week’s Elation cruise. He had a fantastic time noting the great service and food on board. His only ‘downer’ comment was about his bar tab. Has Carnival considered a beverage package like Princess and Costa offer to include beer, frozen drinks, sodas, etc as one package?

Many of my colleagues are not Carnival fans. They complain about Carnival’s aggressive sales techniques. The perception is that agents are not important to Carnival. Honestly, I haven’t been overly excited to offer Carnival, BUT I’m changing my mind. I toured the Freedom last April while at CruiseWorld 2010. Your postings are insightful and entertaining. And now, I’ve had my first Carnival client return with positive reviews – and for an older ship to boot. Thanks again to Carnival for taking such good care of my client, and to you for helping build the relationship.

John says:
Hello Gordon Harmon,

Thanks for writing and I think the first and most important thing to say is that Carnival always has and always will care immensely about our travel agent partners. We simply would not be where we are without you. It’s also great that you are coming around to the Carnival way. It is so frustrating to us to read that an agent doesn’t like Carnival even though they have bugger all idea about what we provide. However, it seems that you may have some issues that deserve some instant communication and I will send this to someone if you agree and have them contact you for a chat. We don’t have any drink packages unless it’s for a large group. I am so glad your client had fun and if you allow us to, I promise more of your clients will have the same Gordon. Thanks then for your support and I am here should you need me for anything.

Best wishes

John

That’s all for today and thanks so much for the great comments.

Now, as you saw the other day, the men and women of Carnival’s internet market department have recently won a big award beating all the other beards across the land as they were voted the Best Brand Presence on Facebook. One of the many reasons this was achieved was due to the extraordinary success of Carnival’s Facebook page which currently has 880,000 likes or friends or hits or slaps or whatever they are called. So they are only 120,000 short of the magical 1 million mark. Well the beards have just launched a new sweepstakes on Facebook called the FUN-A-THON and it’s all about helping them them reach a million fans.

To celebrate they are giving away 24 Prizes in 24 hours on Facebook (every hour on the hour). The beards are keeping 23 of the prizes a secret……..though I wouldn’t rule out a free lap dance by yours truly…. However, I can tell you that the Grand Prize is: A trip for two on your CARNIVAL MAGIC. All you have to do is “Like” there Facebook page and then fill out the short form here. You must do those two things before July 5th to enter. So tell your friends, tell your friends friends and tell you friends friends friends but don’t tell the friend you pretend is your friend but who you really think is an idiot and has breath like a camel’s bottom. Don’t tell her. Good luck……….and let’s hit that million.

Well about three or so months ago I was approached by a gentleman from Cruise Critic and then another and then another all part of the Carnival Miracle’s sailing from New York on September 11, 2011. They had asked for the ship to be delayed in sailing so that they could be part of the ceremony at ground zero to mark the 10th anniversary of that tragic and unforgettable day.

Now this wasn’t just a case of saying “Yes, OK.” It involved meetings with United States Coast Guard, New York Port Authority and other agencies. You see, in order for this to happen we had to arrange a new departure time which meant that people like the ropes men (the guys who release the lines), the pierside security staff and other workers would need to stay longer. Then there is the Hudson, a very busy water way and they had to make sure that the Carnival Miracle’s new departure time would not affect any other traffic. So, there were lots of issues involved. I tell you this not to say “Look what we have done and look how good we are”…….well………maybe a little bit ……..but mostly to say that we agree with those who requested this that we should honour this date and stop the ship to pay our respects to those who lost their lives.

So this is the tentative plan that has been approved and how we expect this will go barring any changes from the various authorities involved. We are planning to delay departure and sail around 6:30 pm, with lighting of the memorial scheduled for 7:12 pm. We would then slowly arrive into the position near the ceremony location. When I was approached by the Cruise Critic group to do this I wrote to the beards and have to admit I didn’t think there was much chance of it happening as changing a ship’s itinerary is a huge deal. But the beards grasped it with both hands and met with the authorities in New York and here we have the result which I hope most will appreciate. My thanks then to everyone at Carnival who was involved with this and for the understanding of United States Coast Guard, New York Port Authority and other agencies for making this happen.

In yesterday’s blog I wrote about the fact that the medical centre here had asked me to mention in my announcements the dangers of sunburn and this morning I saw firsthand how awful this is. I had pooped (spelt correctly) down to the medical centre to grab some sugar-free throat lozenges as I have a sore throat and a bit of a cough and cold. I think I have eboli or swamp fever, Heidi says it’s a cold.

Anyway, while I was down there I me a chap in his early 20s. He was from “Up State New York” and while I won’t mention his name here I can tell you that he was the walking poster child for sunburn. His arms, stomach and face were a shocking red colour. And worst I could feel the heat emanating from him so much so that I was tempted to shove an egg and a few rashers of bacon on him and have breakfast. Obviously we would have to have a crew member serve the bacon from him rather than help ourselves.

Seriously though his sunburn was so bad in fact, that he was being given proper medicine and not just told to rub some of that green slime you often see people applying. Anyway, it was sort of ironic that I had met this guest after the request to announce and having met him and having read some of the comments on yesterday’s “Summertime Blog” about the seriousness of sunburn you can bet I will be giving it my full attention.

Just one more day with the girls then and on Friday Heidi and Kye will be flying home. Please don’t worry, I am not going to bang on about how much I am going to miss them. I will save that for another day. I do feel guilty about leaving the house management to Heidi though because it’s a lot of work. I don’t mean buying scented candles and scatter cushions, no I mean paying the bills, organising the upkeep and most of all dealing with the neighbour!

I mentioned him over Christmas and how he put up his Christmas lights in mid-November and how there were so many it illuminated the entire street. He is, and I struggle to come up with a better word for this……..weird. He never says hello, washes his car on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays even in the rain and as we haven’t seen his wife for a few months we suspect he has her buried under the patio. He seems to be devoid of any emotion and is known locally as “Tony” because that is his name. Now Tony does have one love and this brings me back to Heidi. Oh …….hold on, I don’t mean he loves Heidi……no, I mean it’s something Heidi is going to have to deal with and that’s Tony’s love…….his cats……all five of them……….and that’s the problem because his cats use our garden as a toilet and it’s disgusting. I have to admit of having evil thoughts about the gang of Crips cats that use our garden as a crapper. Cheeky bastards. I bought a sonic repeller when I was last home but the cat gang know that I’ve spent a lot of money on a it mainly because I keep shrieking out of the window “50 f*****g pounds this cost me” – so they leave steaming piles of poo beside it every day to mock me.

What a waste of money that was. We put it on its stick in the garden and immediately two cats gathered round to have a sniff. They must have texted all their cat friends because soon more of them were coming to have a look. It did nothing to scare them, in fact it seemed to make them even more relaxed. A check revealed that one had relaxed still further and had dropped a sausage right next to it

So I’m turning to you because I am not sure what to do. I’ve spent more time than is healthy worrying about this and sometimes when I’m inspecting the flowerbeds I hear the little sods sniggering behind my back and flicking one paw in the air. When I turn round they look away, whistling. They just don’t care and I am sure I saw one cat bring a copy of Latvian Cats in Suspenders Weekly to read while he was doing his number two in my garden.
Annoyingly, they don’t even bury what they squat down to produce. I thought cats were supposed to be proud? Tony’s cats are so lazy that mowing the grass throws up a confetti shower of sliced turds that takes the fun right out of the barbecue I was talking about in the blog yesterday.

It all came to a head just before Heidi and Kye came to the ship because one of the little bastards dropped a turd in Kye’s sandpit. I do not want to discover Kye playing with pieces of feline poo saying “Dada, Kye make face!” I need your help then. Do you have any suggestions?

Heidi being Heidi says she is going to confront Tony next week but I am worried that she will end up under the patio as well. I am only one step away from buying a high pressure hose. If it carries on much longer I shall repay Tony in kind and when I am home in early July I shall order an extra hot Vindaloo Curry and let him wake up to find a surprise on his doorstep. Maybe Heidi is right……maybe it’s time to buy a dog. I’m thinking rottweiler…..or maybe a lion.

Goodnight

Your friend,

John

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138 Responses to PUSSY GALORE

  1. Brendac says:

    In response to Charlie: Yes, there are programs around which allow people to tell their story. I work at a Hospice at which our wonderful teens record stories of our patients. We are also ending a year of participation in the storycore(?)project which is part of National Public Radio and those stories have been recorded for the families and placed in the National archiv es. I hope someday Charlie’s will be placed there also.

  2. sharon says:

    Hi John
    Try a little dog, they work a lot better or a hearding dog like a Border Collie…..
    Good luck with the Kitty neighbors
    Sharon

  3. Sarah Oxfurth says:

    Hello again John! I’m so glad to hear you will indeed talk to your guests about the sun!

    Tony sounds interesting…all the things you post-his quietness, his silence, his “weirdness,” his obvious need for routine (car washing) and/or OCD, and even his cats-sound a lot like Asperger Syndrome, which is what my son has (on the Autism spectrum)…it just caught my eye. :) But, like many disorders or issues, often when one has them or loves someone who does-suddenly EVERYONE who shows even a hint “might have XYZ Disorder!” lol Nonetheless, perhaps this man does suffer from a stunted social ability and perhaps his need for routine and such is related to a disorder of that type. :)

    As for the cats-cover Kye’s sandbox is all I can say. There are a few sprays that are safe on plants that I might try but you will have to spray them daily until kitties decide they dislike the smell. But I wouldn’t spray it in Kye’s sandbox and would simply cover it with a tarp (held down with bricks), a piece of plywood, or a lid made for it. :) Happy cruising and I wish Heidi and Kye a safe trip home!

  4. David says:

    Best blog ever. Loved the story about Charlie Brogan. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. Cruzin 1025 says:

    John –

    Thanks again for all the work that you and everyone at Carnival have done to let us see the 9/11 lighting ceremony on our Miracle cruise. I’m sure it will be a very emotional moment for all of us!

    Tracey

  6. Mary Knapp says:

    As part of the CC group who requested the delayed sailing, words can’t express how grateful we are to you, John, and everyone at Carnival for even CONSIDERING asking that we delay the September 11th departure — let alone making it happen! We appreciate the many many hoops you all have had to jump through and are humbled and honored to have the opportunity to witness any part of the memorial that day. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. Stuart Zaikov says:

    As a member of the CC roll call that has asked Carnival if the sailing of the Miracle could be delayed so we could take part in the observance of 911, would like to thank Carnival so much for doing this.
    We are platinum and loyal cruisers and continually recommend Carnival to our friends and associates.
    Thanks Carnival.

  8. Melissa Holmes says:

    I recommend sprinkling whole peppercorns about 3 feet outside the perimeter of the garden. For some reason the critters don’t much care for the scent. You’ll have to reapply every 10 days or after a good rain, whichever comes first. Good luck!!

  9. Shelly C says:

    John:

    We solved our cat problem with sprinklers that were controlled by motion sensors. As soon as motion was detected, the sprinklers turned on for a brief moment. See, your water cannon idea wasn’t too far off the mark.

    If that doesn’t work – try antifreeze for a more permanent solution. ;)

    Shelly

    (Okay, kidding about the antifreeze. You can stop typing now.)

  10. Cheryl says:

    Motion sprinkler seems to work for me to keep those nasty critters (cats) from doing there business in my garden. Had to replace mine this year and I could only find then on the internet. Good Luck!

  11. Carolyn Vela says:

    Just a comment…I LOVE Carnival..and have heard great things about you, John Heald, but I didn’t like the title of your blog for today 6/22/2011. Kinda’ tacky if I do say so myself… :(

    • Irene says:

      Pussy Galore is a fictional character from the James Bond film and novel Goldfinger. In the film, she is played by Honor Blackman

    • Ring of Gold says:

      Shhhhh! Don’t let Sean Connery hear you say that!

    • Sarah Oxfurth says:

      Come on!! Everybody knows what a pussy cat is, and anytime someone like John uses the word, you’ve GOT to know it’s referring to cats and is a play on words.

    • Mark Thomas says:

      Carolyn, you must be a younger person.Pussy Galore was a character in Ian Fleming’s series of books surrounding James Bond…Goldfinger is the one she was in, I believe. Sean Connery played Bond in the movie. John (Heald, that is) being knowledgable in all things British, wasn’t being tacky at all. It was simply a play on words. You would do well to get your mind out of the PC cesspool and see the fun that those of us who aren’t so bound up with PC have! (just kidding….maybe!)

  12. John have you ever seen a pile of rottweiler poop. I would rethink that idea. I think you better come up with a plan “B”.

    BIG Ed

  13. julie says:

    John, since you obviously don’t love the neighbors cats, you might try old fashioned ‘mothballs’. We had cat issues and a local (read that elderly native american gent) told me that if I outlined my yard, the cats would not cross. It worked wonderful! (at least here in the dry, empty desert of New Mexico)

    • Marivonne says:

      I did the mothball thing and my hubby almost killed me, he made me pick each and eevry one of them, he could smelled it as soon as he got out of the car

    • Mark Thomas says:

      Mothballs will do the trick, but you are in a dry environment. John’s house probably isn’t, and you will smell them all over the neighborhood. If you don’t mind your yard smelling like Great Aunt Louise’s footlocker, then mothballs are the thing.

    • DInks says:

      I asked my mum where she kept the moth ball, and she asked “why?” and I told her I wanted to press a shirt and that’s where I thought the iron would be.

  14. Sarah says:

    I have cat issues too. Ammonia. They hate it. As do other nighttime visitors. I have a spray bottle that I use in the evenings. I walk the yard, spraying ammonia around the perimeter. I would also spray around Kye’s sand pit. It seems to help my yard.

    Good Luck.

  15. Tom Pack says:

    About the excess of kitties in your garden… I have an easy solution.

    http://www.amazon.com/Havahart-5265-Detector-Sprinkler-Repellent/dp/B000BO71NY

    Note that this link is just one example of numerous products that get to the same goal. Find one that is sold in or can be shipped to the UK and have fun getting some wet… kitty. Cheers and good luck!!

  16. Fantastic! Thanks so much for the reply, John. Since that writing, another client returned from a different sailing with reports of good times! I’m looking forward to hearing from someone to discuss the options of beverage packages. I greatly believe that this sort of option can be a great alternative to a land-based all-inclusive. Happy sailing!

    • Dennis Moore says:

      I agree. I always buy the soda card but would absolutely love to be able to buy a pass for alcoholic beverages as well. I am not a huge drinker. But the predetermined price of a package would allow me a little more cost certainty. Then I could enjoy a beverage whenever I choose without worrying about the dreaded bar tab at the end of my cruise.

  17. Canuck Cruiser says:

    Hey John,

    Just tried to “LIKE” Carnival on their FACEBOOK page…………….and guess what?
    We Canadians are not eligible. Maybe the Beards need to rethink this valuable group of loyal CARNIVAL cruisers. Hardly seems fair that we are excluded….wouldn’t you agree? I’d appreciate your reply to this issue.

    Hope all is well.

    B &D from Stratford

    • DannyK says:

      Better talk to your government if you want to participate in contests with businesses outside of Canada.

    • Cindy56 says:

      I tried to “like” too and it didn’t work for me at the ZIP CODE part. Canadians have Postal Codes which are 6 digits. Please John have the beards re-think this as you do have a large Canadian clientele.

  18. Gayle Rich says:

    I would just toss the poo into his yard. You might also consider getting a dog who likes to chase cats.

    • Sharon says:

      Buy Tony a pooper scooper and take him to the yard to properly dispose of his responsibilities,

    • Marsha breen says:

      I’ve heard that if you sprinkle cayenne pepper in the flower beds, It acts as a deterrent.

    • Mary H says:

      You don’t need to be a rocket scientist John but get a cover for the sandbox. Stops the sand getting wet from rain too.

      2)Get a dog

      3)Get a cat. It won’t do it’s dirty in it’s own garden and will stop other cats doing it too.

      4)Plant some herbs. Rosemary, Rue, Lavender and Garlic. also another plant called ‘coleuscalin’ or scaredy cat plant!

      • Deborah says:

        Oh, that is just not true. #3 “a cat won’t dirty in its own garden.” My cats will dirty wherever they like and they especially “like” the soft dirt in my flower beds. Mothballs, ammonia or dry bloodmeal sprinkled around the gardens, a lid for the sand box and motion dector sprinkler heads all sound like great deterrants to keep the neighbor’s cats away.

  19. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    My Rotti is eleven years old and I can tell you they are a great breed. Ours was tied to our teenaged daughter for years to keep the boys away. Her now husband figured out that she really liked doggie treats and became friends with the dog and of cource Jessi.
    I was wondering just yesterday what ship will be doing the Alaska runs instead of the Spirit. The Mircle would be a good choice. She is still a Spirit class ship so you could go through the Panama canal rather than have to go around South America.
    The Cruzin2some

  20. Rita presnell says:

    Lynn Guthrie….you are one rude and hateful lady!! How about being a little nicer and you might get your request granted.

    John, cats are great but I dosympathesize with your problem. Build a fence!!!!

  21. Keith says:

    spread a little snail bait in the garden, the cats will eat it, have a seizure and that’s it they are done. Only good cat is a _ _ _ _ cat.

  22. oh my john, cats love sandboxes. not good. not good at all. sorry, no suggestions come to mind at all. i only have flat cats and they are pretty neat, not messy at all.

    smiles, bee
    xoxo

  23. Denny Johnston says:

    John, an easy solution to most “pest” problems believe it or not is “bounce”. Yeap that’s right the same thing your wife or you throw into the dryer to Freshn’ things up. In most case, of course not all, it will repel most small varments and critters. they hate the smell. Place them around the sndbox, gardern on your patio in your trailer, in your shed whatever. .
    I know that it sounds wierd but it does work.

  24. Debbie James says:

    John – by all means get a dog. Our yellow lab does a wonderful job of chasing critters out of our yard. She also keeps 2 legged critters at a distance. When she stands on her back legs she is nearly 5 ft. tall and she has a ferocious bark. Anyone who comes up to the door starts backing up immediately. They do not have to know my 80 pound baby is a kind soul and would likely lick them to death. Besides, kids who grow up with animals are more compassionate. Kye and Heidi would be happy and you would get the credit.

  25. JC says:

    Hello John, I do not like cats as I have three huge dogs. My neighbors have cats that often enjoyed coming over to our yard. My dogs would go crazy and it seemed so unfair that the cats would torment them in our yard. One of my sons told me of a remedy and it did seem to work. You take orange peel and place it in areas that you do not want the cats to go to. They hate the smell. Hope it works for you.

    • popcorngal says:

      I used orange peel in my Christmas tree one year to try and keep the cat out of it. He thought it smelled yummy! Didn’t work in my case.

  26. D says:

    First of all Lynn. John is not the social director of the dining room. When you go on board of the ship like everyone else go to the dining area and meet with the maitre d…John only does this as a courtesy from time to time. Please do some research before you cruise. This might just help your attitude! John is a very busy man and he is as nice as he can be to people. Please show him a little more respect. Cordially yours

  27. MarAnd says:

    On the cats, I find that pepper (black or cayenne) in the garden will help deter the cats. You may need to sprinkle it everyday at first. (I would cover the sandbox, I know that you probably don’t think you should have to do that, but your daughter’s safety & health are worth it.) I also think the motion sensor sprinklers, are a very good choice. Good luck!

  28. Starr Willaman says:

    Wow John, you make me wish I was there! Charlie sounds amazing! I have pooped in on the Veterans gathering and the men are worth listening to. They all have a heart-felt story to tell. The heroes are the families waiting for the men and women to return home as well.

    Kiss27 is a good writer so she should do well for NCL and I wish her luck as well. Your advise was stellar.

    I love the way things have turned out for NYC and the 10 yr commemoration of our world loss of great people to a horrific event. The way we honor our fallen heroes is proof that terrorism will never defeat those who believe in the pursuit of life, freedom and the truth in a peaceful society.

    As for Heidi and the War against Feline Poo, not to mention the urine smell…. a few ideas! Scatter pinecones in the areas the cats like to visit, especially under bushes. Ponderosa or other prickly cones work best.
    Sprinkle heavy coats of pepper in those areas (I use about one 4-ounce can) where they are leaving their calling cards.
    Last but not least desperate measures may lead to installing plastic forks stuck into the ground with the tongs up are very effective because cats find it impossible to dig around them. Also I’ve heard that cats dislike walking on aluminum foil.
    Hope this helps… Good Luck and I look forward to pictures of the fork garden….

  29. Lis 'Crazy4Koko' Buja says:

    I have two suggestions for the sodding cats..that have worked for me as I have a pair of poopers who routinely visit my roses…

    pinwheels..the ones that entertain Kye while Heidi shops for pillows and such… the movement and the shiny metallics seem to scare the buggers….. and mothballs scattered in the dirt.

  30. Beverly Bennett says:

    John I tried filling in the form the Facebook, but it will not take a postal code it is looking for a zip code. Is this contest only open to Americans? I hope not, because you have a large number of Canadians who cruise Carnival. I have been crusing Carnival since 1978, the Mardi Gras and Festivale.

  31. Marivonne says:

    to Lynn Guthrie
    You have NO manners! I would not give u any table just cause you do not even say please or thank you!

  32. MaureenR says:

    omg..that is too funny… they always say its best to kill with kindness John.. just a wee bit of Warfarin mixed into some sweet catnip might do the trick.. no no!! only kidding here, KIDDING ! just a joke…. don’t need to have PETA coming after me now.. lol..

  33. DannyK says:

    Cats apparently don’t like orange peels. Maybe give that a try.

  34. Kelly says:

    Love your Blog!!!! My trick with my cat is one of those cans of air for a computer. Seriously just air. It scares the Sh** out of my cat and has cured the cat from jumping up on my computer while working and from trying to eat the patio plants. It has gotten to the point where I just pick up the can and the cat’s eyes bulge and he runs away like his tail was lit on fire. It’s called Dust Off, it’s the original compressed gas duster! You can get it at any office supply store. As far as getting a dog, hmmmm. I got one and she is useless as far as scaring the cat. Try the air!

  35. MaureenR says:

    …continued.. or better yet.. you can use the pelts to make the newest most fashionable winter coat? lol..

    You can string their teeth onto a chain necklace and wear it to ward off other predators.. lol..

    you could always make catsup..lol..

    since most cats eat fish, you can use the cat turds as bait next time you go fishing..lol..

    cat turds in a box make the most wonderful gift for that ‘special inlaw’ of yours..lol..

    set up a giant rat trap right there under the peonies..

    Confusious says… if it tastes like chicken…. ;)

    you can take them to a tannery to make that cat-O-5-tails whip.. lol

    or… invite Tony over for that bbq..just tell him your closest chinese friends gave you a great new ‘chicken’ recipe…lol..

  36. Stacey W says:

    John- I’ve had the same problem in the past, and used coffee grounds and chopped up orange peels sprinkled around my flower beds did the trick nicely.

    • WannaBeABeard says:

      Stacey W already mentioned my best suggestion! A former work colleague had great success with used coffee grounds. Not sure about the UK, but the ubiquitous coffee chain in the States (rhymes with bar-bucks) will bag up their used grounds and give them away for free. They’re also supposed to be a dandy fertilizer for flowerbeds and gardens…

  37. Debra says:

    Mothballs scattered around your garden should get rid of the cats. They can’t stand the smell.

  38. Sharon says:

    Regarding Cats – A mixture of viniger (1 tsp) and water on the plants. It will repell the cats.

    • Steve KZ says:

      Just fill a clear plastic soda pop bottle with water and lay it in the garden (put the cap back on, thot you might forget that!), cats don’t like their reflection and the shape of the “fake” cat in the garden…very cheap and lasts forever…got cats doing the drop in our gardens too…bought a pellet gun yesterday…resorting to drastic measures…no pop bottle around!

    • Dot Libertore says:

      Sprinkle Cayenne Pepper..they wont forget where they picked it up! Might take a few times, but it works!

  39. Sharon Dunbar says:

    We had the same problem with cats and my brillant husband solved the problem with a fews dowel sticks, a piece of old inter-tube, some slim wire, and a fence charger. He cut the dowel sticks to be shorter than the plants and used the rubber to insulate them as he ran the wire on them. Hooked up the charger and the surpise they got when they squated cured them quickly. We only need to leave the elecric changer on for two days. It won’t do any permant damage. We left the wire in the flower beds and had no more problems. Just keep your litle darling, Kye out of the garden for a couple of days. We sailed on the Legend with you a couple a years ago and it was our best cruise which is saying a lot because all our Carnival cruise have been wonderful. We will be joining you on the Magic, February 26. Good Luck with the cats.
    My very best to Hedi and Kye. Enjoyed so much seeing Kye in the video during the Magic Launch week. It was clear how much she loves her Dad.

  40. Cheryl K says:

    The dog should do it for the cat problem and Heidi has wanted one anyway. The bigger the better.

    Thanks for the Charlie story too.

  41. Tammy says:

    Oh, I’m so sad! I went to like the Carnival Facebook page but since I’m from Canada I’m not eligible for the prizes. I know it’s probably due to some complicated US rules, but it’s still disappointing :(

    • Snoozeman says:

      Why blame the USA? It’s Canadian rules that prohibit it. Typical…

      • Cindy56 says:

        Duh….maybe because Carnival is based in Miami, Florida, USA…..you probably think Canadians are all Eskimos and we rub our noses to kiss……

  42. Shelly says:

    John,

    You could always try and use coyote urine around your whole yard to deter them from coming in at all keeping them from the garden and the sand pit. You can buy it at garden centers in the states but not sure where you would get it there. It might help. I use it in my gardens to keep out deer and rabbits. Good luck.

  43. Bill Heck says:

    Hello John:

    For the cat infestation try this:

    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/keeping-cats-out-of-the-garden.html

    The motion sensor controlled sprinkler sounds like a real hoot. And the flat rocks, now that would work for sure. I have had experience with hot pepper and mustard, that works well. Let Heidi experiment, as far as the sandbox, probably need a cover, because cats and dogs like to pee on things and that is not good for the kids.

    I lost my dad several years ago, he was 89 and served in the US Navy in Europe for the D day invasion, and then in the Pacific, and later in Korea. He didn’t talk much about it. He felt bad about the soldiers that died on the beach. He admired the bravery of the men in the landing craft. These experiences impacted these veterans for their life. So, I enjoyed the blog, but my eyes are misty right now.

    Your friend

    Bill Heck

  44. Rev Barb in Canada eh? says:

    Um, we Canadians cruise and like contests too :) we politely ask to have our own contest. Thank you!

  45. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    I think “Saving Private Ryan” should be required viewing for all high school students. We should never forget that freedom is never free.

    As for the cats….welcome to my world….

    our next door neighbor only had two but both loved our flower beds right next to our front door.

    Personally, David was leaning towards a more permanent solution when they both ripped our $400 RV cover. (and our patio furniture)

    And it is especially ridiculous because our town has a law against any pet being outside without a leash. (yes, even cats)

    Mothballs work, but they would be hazardous to Kye. Orange peels are suppose to work and not a hazard to anything…the cats just do not like the scent.

    Something else that I have seen on TV is a water sprayer that is motion sensored. When a cat crosses its path…the sprayer squirts them.

    Fortunately, the worst offender died (of natural causes) and the other cat is getting to old to be out of the house.

    The upside is that the cats do help keep moles out of your yard.

    We have dear friends who just sailed on the NCL Epic when we were on BC4 in February. In fact we all met up in St Thomas for an afternoon of visiting…..and yes, they said the ship was ugly…but that they were having a wonderful time. And that is what is most important.

    Linda (Mom of your friend ~ now on Facebook~ DJ)

  46. Jeanette says:

    John, that contest is a great idea and I would love to win the prize. However, there is a little problem, it isn’t open to Canadians……Oh well..

    Cats–tell Heidi to call animal control and make a complaint and they can deal with it. Tony will know who it is, but at least the city will have a logged complaint…

  47. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John Nunez:

    In case no one has told you yet.

    You made a HUGE fool of yourself.

    The next time you call someone a “liar”…

    it would be nice if you had a CLUE what you were talking about.

    I suggest you take your Timex and stick where the wind can’t blow!

    Linda

  48. Pnjkeith says:

    John, get a BB Gun! Shoot at the cats while you enjoy your cigar.

  49. Alicia L. says:

    This post had me all over the place. LOVED hearing about Charlie and I will need to make an effort to go to the Veteran’s meetings – just to say thank you for defending my freedom.

    Sigh. I am not a cat person AT ALL. I think the high power water hose could be therapeutic! just kidding. I like the motion sprinkler idea, and I have also heard about pepper being a deterrent. good luck!

  50. Barb Britt says:

    Try putting moth balls in the garden. Most of the time they are not too fond of the smell.

  51. Michelle says:

    For the cats in the garden, try moth balls scattered around. Worth a try right?

    • Peggy Dunbar says:

      Michelle, I had thought of that also but I was concerned that Kye may try and put one in her mouth. Granted she probably would not bite into it, but it could burn her fingers or mouth.

  52. P.Zanolini says:

    Hello John !!!!
    Thank you for Sharing Charlies’ story. God Bless Him,All our Vets and All our Soldiers around the world Protecting Our Freedom !!
    Also a Special Blessing to you for putting up with all the Rude , Obnoxious ,”Entitled” bloggers and passengers – EVERYDAY ! Your a better man than most.

  53. Janet says:

    A dog will be nice, but then you will have to worry about boarding it while the girls join you on the ships. We have a Bichon. Yes, it is a french dog, but loves to chase cats.
    Uncle google’s advise for your cat problem:

    http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/pets/catpoop.html

  54. Shari says:

    to get rid of cats, i have a few things that worked for us in brooklyn, ny. 1st try putting mulch over the soil. they hate the way it feels on their paws.cats havent pooped in my garden in 2months. 2nd I hear that the pepper flakes burn paws when moistened. put hot pepper flakes in sand box(as long as Kye doesnt eat the sand) GOOD LUCK

  55. dinks says:

    Hi again “ Mister John “ as your service colleagues say…

    I love it, just got back from “Paradise”,(i need a vacation from my vacation) The smoking policy in the casino is a riot. There is a ‘Majestic’ virtual line right thru and it cuts the CRAPS table in half. I gotta tell you, the dealers are having fun at work too. “ Sir, Mr. Andrew, you can’t smoke there, can you trade places with Mr. Daniel?“ I’m literally right next to him, on the other side of the stick man. And she says “Sorry folks, it’s the rules.” And the fun keeps going. Casino Pit boss Raskech(?) at the CRAPS table asked for my ‘room key’ (sail&sign card) and I got a free drink. NICE.
    I have had the opportunity to rest from my Fun filled vacation on the wonderful Carnival Paradise. So now a BIG thanks to you and your Carnival.
    Of eight total, this was our third cruise on Paradise. For me just thinking of getting #9 out of the way to reach Platinum is a sad though, as I have enjoyed each and every cruise.
    This… Marissa’s Sweet16 Birthday Cruise was awesome, Stan ‘the man’(maitre d’) was already aware of my daughter’s birthday and made it a special day for her, assigned us to table #300 right in front and gave us the best dining team, Tatiana & Noel, I really don’t know how they do it. With the 12 of us, who wants bread and what kind, water or tea, oh, lemonade? Sure! and then to remember it all the next night, amazing, and the coffee too.
    I brought 7 new Carnival customers, and along with me and my 4, we all melted along with the Warm Chocolate Cake : ). The girls were invited to join in SHOWTIME and several of them danced with Tatiana … Apple Bottom Jeans is still in my head. And it really brought the girls up to ‘cruise mode’ fast.
    We had 4 rooms (3 of them had 10 teenage) girls girls girls, and what a mess, but Adul (and his partner) was so gracious and never said a word about them. Our room was always clean and done, we hardly saw him, and never actually in our room, like he was hiding inside, it was always ready for guests, and the guests that week happened to be us. They did an awesome job, earned every bit of the gratuity especially for the two rooms the 8 teenagers had. It looked like Todd’s Beatrice was closing in on Main Deck Aft.
    On sea day, I met Keith in the Parris restaurant Dining room, really neat guy, Stan the Destiny MDR and Lido service staff does a really good job for him. Tonto in Paris restaurant, Lido Deck and his pal Dennis went above and beyond, offering extra service, coffee, spoons, great. I never got to visit him at dinner (YTD) as we had early in Destiny.
    All the awesome ladies at the Purser desk are wonderful. I was concerned of my issues but they used them as opportunity to help me. All in all, another great vacation cruise and no complaints from the time we stepped on the gangway till the time we walked past the security point and passed the Sail & Sign card for one last time for that one of a kind sound. (somebody spell it!)

  56. Paul H says:

    John (Please Reply)

    I was wondering why Canadians are not eligible to enter any of the contests Carnival offers. If you could please explain the reasoning behind this as I’m sure there would be many people eager to hear your response.

    • Mark Thomas says:

      Paul, it’s real easy…the government of Canada says you can’t. The US government says you can. It isn’t Carnival. Nuff said.

  57. SallyOwl says:

    Hi John

    We read recently that if you put orange peel on your garden (around the sand pit etc) then cats will stay away – it worked for us! Maybe Heidi will complain at the less-than-scenic appeal of orange peels, but anything’s worth trying. Good luck!

  58. Rebecca Rebrook says:

    To everyone who is suggesting pepper and garlic:

    Those are *toxic* to cats. They don’t just smell bad or taste bad or sting a little. When a cat gets the pepper on their paws they lick it off and ingest it. I causes a rare form of anemia that is (if a large enough dose of onion/garlic/pepper) often fatal. And it’s a slow, painful death at that. Jonsey and Leo were the victims of this kind of deterrent. Jonsey is in a pretty wooden box on my mantle- it took him a week to die. Leo will be sick for the rest of his life and required an emergancy transfusion- he was younger and maybe didn’t get as big a dose. But he will never be healthy again.

    And mothballs are very toxic…and NOT child safe- the smell itself is even toxic.

    The sprinkler system? Not only would that be effective it would also be kind of entertaining.

    Short of the cat deterrent fence-and who wants to pay to keep someone else’s cats out of their yard?-maybe a conversation with the human they own is in order. I know that if the neighbor who poisend my boys would have *talked* to me instead of tryng to teach them a lesson I would have prevented them from going to his yard.

  59. An Aussie with itchy feet says:

    What a wonderful promotion “24 Prizes in 24 hours” is but what a shame that it is only open to Americans.

    A great many of Carnivals customers & ‘likers’ are not from the USA.

  60. TwitchyGuy says:

    I know a way to get rid of the cats but for legal reasons you’ll have to contact me directly for it. Let’s just say it involves a stripped back drop cord (or extension lead, if you rather) and possibly a fire extinguisher. By the way, you guys use 220 volt systems across the pond don’t you? ;)

  61. Lizz Mehegan says:

    Thank you so much John for telling us about Charlie Brogan. My father (rip Dad) was a veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Hearing Charlie’s tale brought a tear to my eye.

    Thanks so much to Charlie Brogan, my dad and all the vets that have given so much for all of us.

  62. Maurice O says:

    John, another wonderful blog… Thanks for keeping us entertained, and also thanks for pointing out Charlie. Charlie, a Big Thank You for everything that you have done for me and our country… You are absolutely right, our men and women do NOT belong in Afganistan. We need them here protecting us. Let us take care of home.

  63. Lauren says:

    We had a problem with cats getting in our boat and spraying! We bought a live trap and put some bait inside! Once the cat was trapped my dad sprayed it with water and made it real mad! Let’s just say that cat doesn’t come to my house anymore! Oh and if you forget about checking the trap the cat may be baked! Just a warning! Haha not a pretty sight! :)

  64. Rebecca Rebrook says:

    John Nunez-

    You were compensated – when your port fees were no doubt refunded to your sail and sign account.
    I heard this same gripe the last time I cruised when Grand Cayman closed their port due to weather. “The only reason I took this cruise was because the ship was going to ___.” Which is frankly, bunk.
    If the *only reason* you have for being on that ship is to go to a specific port of call then why take a cruise?!!? Just go there and avoid the risk of port closures, etc. Fly to Roatan. They do have an airport…
    …and stopped with the entitlement whine. Read your cruise contract- Carnival never guarenteed you a specific port. And YOU agreed to those terms when you booked your *cruise* (notice I didn’t say trip to Roatan).

  65. Theresa Martin- Taylor says:

    YES YES John, a rottweiller is a lovely choice. They are good with babies/small children and says cats taste a little like chicken….and they love them smothered in BBQ sauce!

  66. Em Morris says:

    Re the cats/flowerbeds. Cats like the texture of dirt and mulch – they do not like rocks. I had a similar problem and used decorative stones to mulch my flowerbeds – that worked well.

  67. A solution to your cat issue is to get a horse. You will quickly forget about a little cat scat. :-)

  68. Dennis Moore says:

    Hi John,

    I had a similar problem years ago. Our neighbor whose house was directly behind ours walked her dog around the block every morning and evening. Every morning when I was leaving for work she would walk her dog into my front yard, let the little bugger drop a few smelly rolls, and then walk off. I asked her many times to please not let the dog do it’s business in my yard. She never said a word, stuck her nose in the air, gave me a dirty look, and walked away. I finally had enough. After another morning visit I waited for her and the poop machine to leave. I quickly scooped the droppings with my shovel, walked through my back yard to her house and dropped the steaming pile on her front door step. I never saw her again.

    All my best to you and the family!

    Dennis Moore

  69. Kerry Hataley says:

    First off, I love the name of the blog!!
    Very cute… As for the cat problem and I do love cats, but your best solution is a motion sensor sprinkler, it will keep them away.
    But if you want to get even with your best freind next door, sprinkle cat nip in HIS garden or flower beds, that way his cat will stay in his yard.

  70. Chris D. says:

    To John and the Carnival Beards,

    Thank you so much for your efforts to allow those sailing on the Miracle on 9/11 to pay tribute to those who perished that awful day ten years ago. I will be aboard with my wife and young son and we appreciated this!!

  71. Sandy Pickett says:

    Hi John Your cat story is hilarious.When your home and if you can spot the cats give them a little spray with hose when they enter your yard.It won’t hurt the cats but they don’t like getting wet.You better cover Kyes sand box.I tried to like Carnivals facebook and enter the contest but I’m Canadian so can’t be part of the liking or the contest.Oh well.Sandy

  72. John,
    A Lion is a member of the cat family!! They sell a product that has hot pepper in it to repel animals. You could probably find it on the internet. Just put it in your garden and around the yard.
    Or you could sit in your backyard and smoke cigars and blow smoke at them. You are allowed to smoke in your backyard? Aren’t you??

  73. larry awbrey says:

    I was some what taken back by the travel agent who has never taken a cruise on Carnival, I work as a part time travel agent and have booked many cabins on Carnival, back when the Triumph first came out I booked it as a travel agent (this was our first cruise) it was in late October out of New York city and were given a 6A cabin at a discounted price, for people who dont know thats on the bottom of the ship with a picture window, My wife and I made a film of the cabin and show it to everone it was a great cabin. Jonn was the CD on that cruise and what a great trip we had, the last day of the cruise we ran into some really bad weather with 60 mph winds and 30 foot seas. We were late getting back into New York by a few hours but Not one person had a bad word to say about that cruise, and thats because John and the crew did everthing to make it the best vacation anyone could have. Now when my wife and I sail we book as regular Carnival cruise clients, becasue I have falling in love with the balconys cabins. We will be on the Carnival Freedom July 3oth this will be out 15th cruise with Carnival. The only thing I can tell other travel agents is you have to try the product to know what it all about. John please continue to make peoples cruise vactions special… Larry

  74. Peggy Dunbar says:

    Fantastic blog today John, it is quite frankly your very best, thank you. What an amazing man Charlie is, I was crying and I was just reading what he said. It is sad that we have so few of our men and women that served during WW2. But time does march on. We should honor our Veterans and I am so proud that Carnival does this on all their ships.

    Ah you cat problem and a problem it is. Short of killing the little interlopers, I would put something out that would detract them from doing their job there. But everything I thought of was not good as your little Kye could put it in her mouth.

    I am so proud of Carnival and you John for making the decision to delay the sailing of their September 11th cruise in NYC I know it involved not just changing the time as you said on your FB page. This was not an easy task but they did it. I just hope the people on FB that give you so much grief will see that you do not only give people a table for two by the window, but you and Carnival go up and beyond in what cruises would like. Well done Carnival and John, you have done an amazing thing.

    Keep smiling John; you truly are one of the good guys. BTW, you can cry and feel bad when Heidi and Kye leave tomorrow, and tell us all about it. We love all your stories and not just about the ship you are on but whatever you want to tell us.

    My best to Heidi and Kye and may they have a safe trip home.

  75. Lew Wright says:

    OMG, John – first I was in tears reading about Charlie the veteran and now I’m in tears of laughter afer reading about the sodding cats! Good one today.

  76. Jeanette & James says:

    I to have a multi-cat problem with a neighbor. This is the same neighbor who walked her dog on a leash and it pooped at the end of my drive. Then my son while getting off or on the school bus would manage it step in it. I began scoping it up and piling it in her driveway daily. On with some solutions.
    Here are some possible solutions. There are plants that are suppose to repel animals but smell bad enough to repel people. My favorite and it also works for repelling snakes is mothballs. Just scatter them around I also use the crystals to get between the deck boards. They last a long time even in the rain. Another is spreading red/cyenne pepper around your garden. Here is why it works. They get it on their feet then lick their paws and WOW hot. They learn to associate the smell with pain and should go else where. 3rd is cottonballs sprayed with ammonia scattered around your gardens. the effects are short lived 2-4 days.
    John I hope one of these works for you and your wife and you get to live a poop free life.

  77. jes says:

    Thank you John for sharing Charles story. I want to thank him and all the other current and retired ppl that have served. I have been to Normandy and the knowledge of what had happened there along w/the site of the memorial and graves of those brave soldiers brought tears to my then 16 yr old eyes.

  78. jes says:

    oh and to the reader who had a problem w/the title of todays blog, you mustn’t watch many movies because if my memory serves me, it is a play on the name of a character in the movie Cats and Dogs.

  79. Dottie McCrary says:

    John, have you tried using moth balls to deter the cats. If you sprinkle them around your fence line, the cats will not enter. I had a problem with cats getting under my house and after placing some moth balls there the problem was gone!

  80. Maurie Morgan says:

    Maybe you could release your “attack hamster” into your garden and keep the cats away.

  81. BIG MIKE RHONE says:

    Well I do hate to post this but its effective. Get a good Squirt Gun, fill it with Ammonia and squirt the cats on their rectum. It does not hurt them but after a few applications they stay away. I don’t like mothballs around small children. Again thanks for all you do. Mike Rhone

    • Mark Thomas says:

      If you can get close enough to lift their tail to shoot them, why not skip the water gun and just swing them once or twice and let them fly home? Same result, safer and a whole lot more fun to watch!

  82. jgeraci says:

    John,
    I have cats. My daughter has BIG dogs. I’d rather scoop up cat droppings any day. Try putting a litter box near their favorite bathroom spot. Scoop daily & problem solved!
    JoyceG

  83. Julie says:

    John, I looked on the web and you can get motion activated dog barking devices. Those might scare the kittys away. Love to you and the girls, Julie

  84. Cindy56 says:

    Hi John,

    I was on the Norwegian Epic on April 30th for a week long cruise with family members. I would have preferred Carnival of course, but I didn’t really have any say in the booking of this cruise. My sister wanted to try the Epic because a friend of hers went on it last summer and loved it. This was the first time I had cruised with my mom, sister and niece and I really wanted to go, so I had to suck it up.

    The entertainment is outstanding compared to Carnival. They include Second City, Blue Man Group, Cirque de Soleil and Murder Mystery Weekend. Their cabins are much smaller than Carnival’s, however, the food was just as good, and the staff and crew very friendly. We are planning to go again one year only because the ship is so big, we didn’t get to see and do everything. Also we did the Western Caribbean and now want to do the Eastern. However, I still plan to go on a Carnival cruise next year with some friends.

    Now, about the problem with the cats. First of all, they shouldn’t be outside in my opinion. Too bad their owners don’t agree. We were told years ago by someone because we had the same problem, to put egg shells in our garden. Apparently, cats don’t like the crunch under their paws. Also cayenne pepper is effective by sprinkling it in the garden. But don’t put it in Kye’s sandbox for the obvious reason. Hopefully this will help but if not, then talking to “Tony” is the only other alternative.

    Good luck!

  85. Tim Limbach says:

    Nice competition if eligible to play!

  86. Vera Feldman says:

    Hi John, Read about your cat problem. Here is a very simple solution. Buy some moth balls and spread around in your flower bed. We have the same problem and it really works. There is nothing worse then digging in your flower bed and finding a surprise. Have fun! Vera

  87. Michelle says:

    John! Mothballs! That’s what my parents scattered about under their deck to keep the cats out.
    Also, you can go buy a box of plastic forks and stick them tines side up in the garden every few feet and the cats will get so annoyed with walking around them or getting poked they will go find someone else’s garden to play in.

  88. Virginia coady says:

    John, try this for Tony’s cats. Lay rose bush clippings all throughout your flower beds, the cats won’t step on the thorns, and then to really piss them off sprinkle the flower beds with black pepper or chili pepper, it will burn the pads on their feet. And if you really want to have fun sprinkle cat-nip in Tony’s garden…..drives the cats crazy and they will be his problem.

    Love your blog, and can’t wait to cruise again.

  89. Howard Graham says:

    John and all those involved in our request to delay sailing on the Miracle till 6:30 Thank You for all of your hard work and the efforts you put forth in turning a request to a reality.I am honored and humbled by everyones efforts. This will be a once in a lifetime event for not only those who are cruising that day but Carnival as well, this shows the character of the Greatest Cruise Line in the World and why we cruise with Carnival

  90. Jeff Hume says:

    Talking about Charlie Brogran brought back many memories of my father and his reunions we attended. He to was a soldier, a Marine in the 5th tank battalion on Iwo Jima. What you witnessed and heard was in a sence “magical” in itself. The only time my father ever talked about the war you had to listen in when he only talked about it with his friends at every other year reunion. It’s hard for most to relive this time in their lives. I will be sure to look for a veterans gathering in the Fun Times on our Carnival cruise on the Elation March 5-9, 2012

  91. LadyJag (Laura) says:

    Hi, John!
    While I understand your frustration, the thought of cats texting each other for a poop in your garden cracked me up!
    One suggestion I have is to line the perimeter of your garden with moth balls. Be sure you give the moths anesthesia first. Seriously, though, cats have very sensitive sniffers, and won’t want to go near the smelly mothballs.
    Good luck and keep up the great work!
    Laura

  92. Jodi says:

    Oh bother, I was so busy laughing at your issues with the devil’s minions I forgot to put in my 2 cents on missed ports and itinerary changes due to weather. On our very first cruise we arrived at the QM the night before in a downpour, and if you know So. Cal. at all you know how rare that is. In the morning the beautiful Carnival Paradise was moored in her appropriate place and the sun was shining. My hubby thought they were going to have to call the first “woman overboard” off the QM since 1967 I was so excited. But by the time it came to walk over to embark, the wind to rival the worst I’ve seen on that coast picked up and it was raining again. The wonderful Carnival staff dutifully informed us that with the worst storm Southern California and Northern Baja California had seen in 10 years coming in there would be an itinerary change, we would not be going to Catalina or Ensenada, we would be going to Cabo San Lucas: Would we like a refund?Unable to afford the 7-day Mexican Riviera Itinerary at the time, we said “Heck No, We’re going to Cabo Baby!!!!” We were refunded the port charges due to the extra sea day, we enjoyed a few extra drinks on Carnival! And I have to say though we bounced through that storm a bit, we never once considered that Carnival or Capitain Lanaro was “lying to us”. It was more than obvious that the high seas were indeed a problem. And I was grateful for such an experienced and capable seaman as he is, was making the decisions. These men have years of experience doing what they do, and we as passengers are lucky to cruise maybe a few times a year. We don’t have the charts and expansive (and expensive) navigation equipment they have at their disposal and if we did the far greater majority of us would have no idea what to do with it. We should be grateful that they do what they do with us as passengers in mind. They are the masters, they know what their ship is and isn’t capable of. What ever the reason an itinerary may change, be it crew or passenger health, weather, or port conditions we should NOT question their nor the companies motives. They have earned their stripes! As our loyal Veterans have earned our respect.

  93. Jes says:

    John,
    Hope that Heidi & Kye got home safe and sound, and on a positive note your vacation is in a few short weeks so you’ll all be back together soon. Look what you get to look forward to the BBQ & the cats. Have a great day!

  94. James says:

    John, try scattering moth balls around the garden. The moth balls keep the deer,snakes and squirrels away so maybe it will work with the cats. We put them near blueberries and tomatoes and this is the first year that the tomatoes haven’t been eaten by the deer and squirrels. Good Luck

  95. Larry Meador says:

    Solution for Cat Problem – American Boxer (great with children; short hair for being indoors if that’s what you want, and they absolutely hate cats! (at least mine does)).

    My 3 boxers stay outdoors mostly in a 1 acre fenced yard. They never leave the yard but occasionally a cat does find it’s way in. Unfortunately, some do not find their way out.

    No, I’m not a cat hater. However, cat owners just like dog owners have a responsibility to keep their animals on their own property.

    Your friend from Texas,

    Larry Meador

  96. Mark Rosenthal says:

    John,

    I know you disagree, but that is fine since we all cruise for different reasons. But for me and my family we cruise to rest, lay by the pool, and listen the the Calypso bands. Since they have been cut we choose to cruise less because our day time enjoyment just isn’t the same. But that is just our opinion, if they ever come back we will again cruise more often.

  97. Are you kidding me? says:

    I love cats, I love dogs, I love all animals really. (well almost) But a shotgun would be more enjoyable and more permanent. Quit fooling around John, sometimes you just got to be mean in order to be happy.

  98. cclmary says:

    Hi Fernando,

    Please make your request under “ASK JOHN” page.

    Thank you,
    Mary

    • Gloria and Brent Stevens says:

      Hi John: This was our first cruise and the Carnival Magic went beyond our expectations.12 days in the Mediterranean with family:) The shows were great,and the food was awesome,so plentiful and always served with a smile. We want to say that our dinning room staff were professional,patient, friendly and so accomodating. notheren lights table 296 Piotr was our head waiter and Jelena was our other waiter they both went out of their way to make our dinning pleasurable, memorable, and entertaining. we do not know how this trip could be topped but we are ready to try..

  99. Naven Doe says:

    *Lynn Guthrie* I’ll respond to your comment since John was busy. Stop being so inconsiderate end respect the man. He doesn’t sit at his computer 24/7 answering questions so if he didn’t get to yours chill out.

  100. Kirsten says:

    Hey John,

    Will there be a past guest cocktail on the Legend saling 7-24-2011?

    I’ve been on 4 cruises this year (Sensation twice, Glory and Destiny) and none had it..

  101. narcisa davila says:

    hi john i like to say that thank you for putting l atin bands on the ships,when my mother found out that carnival has latin band she jumped up and down and started to cry she really miss carnival,these pass year we was going on royalcaribbean and rccl is boring but they had latin band,but now carnivl the latin band we are so happy,please john keep the latin bands on these ship and you wiill see that the latin passangers from rcl will come to carnival.we love you john god bless you

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  103. Don Marfongella says:

    John:
    Solution for your cat problem, Moth balls seem to work all the time here in the states. Try them.

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