September 7, 2011 -

John Heald

With Bloggers Cruise 5 just a few months away and with everything I have to do next month in my brand ambassador role, I have been spending lots of time talking to the beards in the office. Among those with hair on their faces that I’ve had conversations with are Eric and Everett, the two young beards who have done so much to enhance the blog and my Facebook page.

Yesterday I was on a conference call and while we were waiting for two other beards to join us, Eric and Everett started to talk about fruit and specifically Apple. And while I sat here on the Carnival Magic in my underpants waiting for the call to start, I listened to them both dribbling and drooling about the Eyephone 5 that apparently is on the way and that this shiny thing, the Eyephone………is the world’s most important invention of the last 100 years – the Eyephone.

Now normally I don’t get involved in conversations like this but I couldn’t help myself this time. Really chaps, the most important invention in the last 100 years? More say than the flushing toilet? Let’s see how cool your Eyephone makes you look when you’re carrying your number twos around in a bucket. What about pain medication? Would every beard with an Eyephone who would like to have hemorrhoid surgery without anesthetic, please raise their hand? You’ll have your precious apps to take your mind off the scalpel slitting through your arse. And don’t forget your bucket. You’ll need it.

I wouldn’t be surprised that if I was to survey 100 kids that half would say that their Eyephones and Facebook were more important than their parents. They’d probably swap their mother for a Playstation 4 and a free Wi-Fi. The Eyephone thing has gone mad. Most Carnival executives have thrown away their raspberries and changed to Eyephones. One Carnival vice presidential beard who is in charge of the food and has been responsible for the brilliant innovations and steakhouses and who has taken our food from good to brilliant always had a raspberry (Blackberry) but even he has gone to the fruit basket and picked an Apple. I saw him with his new shiny Eyephone when he was here on the Carnival Magic and he drooled over it the same way I drool over Megan Fox’s bottom……..They’re just cell phones with silicone breasts and hair extensions. And as the conference call began, I imagined the beards sitting around the table. There would be people with names like Jim and Stephanie and Eric and Everett and a splattering of Jordans and each of them would have Eyephones and Eyepads. Jordan probably has underpants with that Apple sign on the front of them!

But what worries me is how much time people with Eye stuff spend to convert non-believers? They’re not getting paid. They simply want to spread their happiness. It’s the sort of thing aliens would do if they wanted to covertly and slowly make sure that all humans had an Apple product that when they were ready, would admit an app that would suck out all our blood leaving the little bastards to take over the planet. You know, when those who worship the sign of the Apple and start telling you how great the product is and what a loser you are for still having a raspberry, I often wish there was a button that as soon as you pressed it gives the Apple lover instant explosive diarrhea. Yep…….there should be an App for that.

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

Brian in Missouri asked:
Hi John…

I absolutely love reading your blog. I do not post insane requests on here or anything like that, and I have only been on three cruises (but booked on our fourth in February)! It is getting more and more annoying to read the stupid comments and requests on your blog. It has almost gotten to the point where I will stop reading because my blood pressure gets elevated by at least one or two posts a day. I suggest that you and/or one of the “beards” weed out the trolls and people who do not have “please” and “thank you” in their vocabulary.

Brian from Missouri

John says:
Hello Brian in Missouri,

It is always a great joy to read that people like my blog and I thank you for taking the time to tell me that you do. Good manners cost nothing, a rule my parents taught me and one that I intend to teach my daughter as well and it seems while most people who ask me for a request were brought up with the same principles, although some it seems were not. It is important I think to know that when I get a comment that I may think has been written by a “troll,” I always check to see if they are legitimate and the sad part is that with the exception of one or two……..they all are. Thanks for cruising with us, Brian, and I hope we see you many more times and remember if you ever need anything please do ask me and I will do my best to help you.

Best wishes.


Qu asked:

My wife and I are going to be taking our first Carnival cruise although we are veterans of over 20 cruises mostly with Celebrity and Princess. We are excited to be going on the Carnival Splendor and would like to ask a question about dress code on formal evenings. On Celebrity and Princess, my wife would wear a long elegant Vera Wang dress and I a tuxedo. We wondered if we would look out of place if we were to wear this on the Carnival Splendor. Thank you John for your help and for this funny blog and please can I say that as a Californian, I appreciate Carnival not abandoning us like other lines have.

John says:
Hello Qu,

I was very pleased to read that you will be sailing the Carnival Splendor for your first cruise experience with us and I have no fear or trepidation in saying that I am positive that you will have a brilliant time. There will be two elegant nights with the main one on the evening of the first day at sea and to answer your question, the answer is no, you will absolutely not look out of place. Yesterday on Facebook we were all talking about dress code (again) and so this post is very appropriate. I will admit that having spent four months as cruise director on the Carnival Splendor that many of your fellow Californians preferred a more elegant casual approach and I am sure you will draw comments of how wonderful you both look rather than anything else. So please, yes, wear your evening wear and enjoy the night. I really enjoyed my time on the West Coast and I hope that your cruise will be the first of many with us. Best wishes to you both.


Stargazer asked:

My cruise on the Carnival Freedom was my second with Carnival and the service was terrible from start to finish in every area. But the kicker was when I asked a photographer to take a photo of me and my three children with our camera using one of Carnival’s backdrops of the Titanic stairs on formal night I was rudely told that it wasn’t allowed. I am a single mother and can’t afford to pay the high prices Carnival charges for its photos. There should be provisions made for single mothers and to be told no and that it was not allowed was disgusting to me. The photographers name was______ and my booking number was ****** and I have written to Carnival about this and have gotten zero response.

John says:
Hello Stargazer,

First of all I am sorry to read that you were not pleased with the service on the Carnival Freedom and I have sent this to the ship and the people in our Miami office. I see you posted this a month ago so I am sure you have heard from them by now but as I said, I have sent it to them again just in case. I am sorry that the photographer (whose name I have deleted from the post) was, in your opinion, rude but I promise you he was just following instructions. The portraits are just for our professional photographers to use and, of course, we make money from selling the photos. I do understand that these high quality portraits have a cost associated with them and of course I have every understanding that being a single Mum must be difficult. So please accept my apology and I hope in turn that you can understand that the photographer was just following his duties. I hope that you did have fun together as a family on the Carnival Freedom and someone will be in touch soon.

Best wishes.


Carol Anne P asked:

I have a question about table reservations. I see that you are taking reservations for tables of two and that’s what I am writing for but there is a twist. I have emailed you in private twice but gotten no reply so I guess I have no other choice but to ask you here. I won’t state why but I need to make sure that my husband and I do not under any circumstances get seated with other passengers. It’s not that we are unsociable but more of a personal nature that if you had bothered to reply to my e mails you would understand. Our cruise starts from Galveston on 9/11 aboard the Carnival Conquest and our cabin is on deck 6299. I hope this gets done as it is so important to the two of us.

John says:
Hello Carol Anne P,

I am sorry that I didn’t see your email, what address did you use? It is difficult to keep up with all the correspondence I get here and on Facebook as well as email but I honestly do try my best. I see that you are sailing in a few days and so I have asked the maitre d to do his best to arrange a table for two. I can’t promise that it will be so but he will do his best. I hope you have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes to you both.


Kurt asked:

Settle a bet. The hot tubs on Carnival. Are they salt water or fresh water?

John says:
Hello Kurt,

I wonder who wins this bet and what the prize is? The answer is……drum roll please………fresh water. The pools are salt water but the whirlpools have fresh water.

Best wishes and hope you won.


Javier Macias asked:

I have been searching for some information about cruising for Spanish-speaking people but can’t find any and was directed to your blog. I want to book a big family group of 22 Cuban Americans many of which won’t speak English. Is there a Carnival boat that has shows and entertainment in Spanish and one that preferably sails from South Florida?

John says:
Hello Javier Macias,

Thank you for finding the blog. You know many years ago Carnival did operate a Spanish-only speaking cruise ship called Fiesta Marina which had been the Carnivale. However, these days all our ships have English as the spoken language at the shows and by the service staff. Now if you were to book one of our ships that sail from Miami or Port Everglades I could assist you with a Spanish speaking waiter and there would be a wonderful Latin band for you all to dance to but the shows and announcements, etc., would be only in English. I hope that you can book, it would be wonderful to have you on board one of our ships and please let me know if I can help further

Best wishes.


Paul asked:

I have been reading your blog for several months now. There seems to be a recurring comment regarding the rudeness of Texas passengers. As a Texan, I find myself completely dumbfounded by these posts. I have cruised out of Texas three times and October will be my forth. Sure I have encountered rude people, but there are no doubt rude people on every cruise and out of every port. The number of rude people I have encountered has been very minimal. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for taking up for us “rude Texas cruisers.” I also want to thank Carnival for bringing Carnival Magic to Galveston. We are looking forward to getting to sail her and I think Texas is very well deserving of this honor.



John says:
Hello Paul,

I think the best way for me to answer this is to simply say that I was “completely dumfounded” myself. Having been the CD on the Carnival Conquest for four months, I have nothing but wonderful memories of the guests who I tried to entertain. We are all excited to be bringing this wonderful ship to Galveston and I hope to see you there.

Best wishes.


Deb D. asked:
Hi John,

I’m a solo traveler and I really have to hunt, and hunt, and hunt for the absolute best bargains so that I can enjoy a cruise on my own. Even a lot of inside cabins are too pricey simply because I have to pay for two people. Although many think the Epic homely, to me she’s brilliant because of the Studio cabins for solos. The occupants of these cabins have their own lounge and even their own CD who arranges get-togethers and activities so you can meet people, etc. When will Carnival catch up with NCL in this regard? Also, I will be on the Triumph 9/17. Do you know of any activities, or get-togethers, etc. for the solos?

Thanks much.

John says:
Hello Deb D,

I found this post fascinating, especially the bit about NCL having a special activity director for single cruisers. When you sail on the Carnival Triumph there will be a meet and greet for single guests. There is no point in not admitting that compared to what you have described is available both in accommodation and in activities, as it seems we indeed have different ways of catering to single guests. Thanks for telling me about this and I will send this to some folks here at Carnival to let them know your thoughts on single cruisers.

Best wishes.


Bobbie Alex asked:

While I like the information your blog supplies, I think it’s time you entered the PC world and realize that many people could be and probably are easily offended, by what you mean to be a joke! You seem not to have any sympathy for people with physical, mental or other disabilities and while this may OK in the UK it is not OK here in the United States. Please take this to heart.

John says:
Hello Bobi Alex,

Please allow me to apologise immediately if I have written anything that has offended you which I guess from reading your post I obviously have. Could you write again and let me know specifically the things you have found to be offensive? I know that respect must be given to everyone but I also have to share my belief that there has to be some room for laughter. A travel writer whom I greatly respect described my humour as being “inappropriate” and I can see their point to a certain degree but I have to say that as we approach the end of 2011 and with all the problems the world has I think we don’t need more and more rules and PC regulations, we need as much laughter as we can get. I always make fun of myself first and then others and I know along the way that I may offend some and for that I sincerely apologise.

Best wishes.


Mike Hyer asked:
Hello John,

Thanks for all you do and I sure do hope you are enjoying having your girls on the ship with you this week. I have seen a few comments regarding on shore personnel. I wanted to give a shout out to our CVP. Omir “Alan” Hantem was awesome during our initial decision phase. I know at times he probably wanted to come through the phone and tell me to make up my mind but he was as cool as a cucumber and really assisted with pricing and cabin availabilities at three different ports and three different ships. When we finally made our reservations, it was on a Sunday afternoon, his off day but he wanted me to call him whenever we made our decision. He was very friendly and professional and deserves some recognition from the beards above him. We decided on the second to last Carnival Elation sailing out of Mobile in October and we are really looking forward to it. Alan was on top of things when our final payment came due and made sure he called and sent an email reminding me of when our final deposit was due. We have received nothing but excellent customer service when dealing with Carnival. This is our second Carnival cruise and our seventh overall. My wife and I actually met on the now-defunct Big Red Boat back in the mid-1990s and have enjoyed cruising ever since we got married. Hopefully this cruise is a carrot that we can dangle over our girl’s head as an incentive to really want to go to kindergarten this year. Thanks as always for what you’re doing and providing a voice and a face for the entire Carnival brand. You also give us an inside look at what working on a cruise ship is about. Hearing your stories about customers and their demands, I do not envy you in one bit but I certainly love hearing the tales that are thought of by the passengers to get something free out of nothing.

God Bless,


John says:
Hello Mike Hyer,

What a wonderful post on which to end today’s Q & A and I am thrilled to read about Omir. He will also be thrilled when I send him this and he is another example of how hard our shoreside team is working to provide the best in customer care. I remember seeing the Premier cruise ships docked in Nassau when I was there on the Carnivale and Carnival Fantasy. Goodness me, those days seem so long ago. I hope we do see you again and if there is anything you need please let me know.

Best wishes to you and the family.


And that’s your lot for today.

Time to meet the latest group of brilliant piano bar entertainers…………here they are.

Carnival Sensation: Adam Saxe – 09/01/11
Carnival Fascination: Larry Maconaghy – 09/03/11
Carnival Dream: Milburn Dumas – 09/03/11
Carnival Conquest: Walter Boik – 09/04/11
Carnival Victory: Tom Grable – 09/04/11
Carnival Ecstasy: Agustin Villarin – 09/08/11
Carnival Destiny: Seth Gibson – 09/10/11
Carnival Miracle: William Barclay – 09/11/11
Carnival Triumph: Lorraine Ingle – 09/22/11
Carnival Legend: Lizl Strauss – 10/02/11
Carnival Paradise: Jordan Heppner – 10/07/11
Carnival Liberty: Pollyanna Jones – 10/08/11
Carnival Valor: Robert Crucilla – 10/16/11
Carnival Elation: Bruce McGhie – 10/22/11
Carnival Imagination: Angela Johnson – 11/04/11
Carnival Splendor: Jason Davis – 11/13/11
Carnival Fantasy: Hrvoje Knezevic – 11/28/11
Carnival Inspiration: Jafar Curry – 12/03/11
Carnival Pride: James Quigley – 12/04/11
Carnival Spirit: Keith Turner – 01/06/12
Carnival Freedom: Marty Gast – 01/14/12
Carnival Magic: Jim Morris – 01/15/12
Carnival Glory: Tom Riccio – 02/26/12

Recently I spoke with Laura AKA “Divetrash” who is our President of the Piano Bar Entertainers Appreciation Society about who are considered the top three in the fleet and I know she is polling that information for me on Cruise Critic. I am sure that you have your own thoughts, as well, so please let me know who has impressed you in the piano bars and if you wish, who has not. Thanks to you and thanks to all of them for continuing to make the piano bars so much fun.

So the guests here are lovely this week and that’s despite 411 French Canadians and 268 Russians. However, I think it is safe to say that some guests are a little less well traveled this cruise. Here is one reason why I say that.

Guest: Mrs _______ Ref: 00886675119A Cabin: _______ Booking#: _________ Added-Changed: 09/05/11 – 09/05/11


Mrs ________ came to the GSD desk and said that she had walked into Monte Carlo and tried to purchase souvenirs but the shops would not accept US dollars. GSA confirmed this to be correct and guest got very angry saying that everyone took United States money on her last cruise which guest says was to the Baltic. Guest said that all she had was US dollars and if she changed them to Euros she would lose money on the exchange rate. Guest said that Carnival had misled her as passengers should have been told this when they booked.

This is not an unusual comment. It won’t be the first and it won’t be the last time that this happens. I talk about this at my orientation meeting and it is in print as well yet each cruise we have a guest or two that seem shocked and angry when stores in Italy, France and Spain won’t take the dollar.

Apart from the odd moan and groan everything is going well and we are in demonstration free Rome today. I was a bit cheeky yesterday and made sure that the big screen had a clip of the thousands of people in Rome yesterday crowding the streets demonstrating against the government’s budget cuts. We definitely made the right decision on this one.

I want to tell you about my left arm and about a girl called Helen. I remember vividly, back when I was at school, competing with a school mate to chat up this gorgeous girl. He was captain of the football (soccer) team and was therefore equipped with a wedge like torso, firm thighs and shoulders broad enough to land a 747 on. Me? Well, back then I was supermodel skinny with a face dotted with zits and a hairstyle designed by mum putting a cap on my head and cutting around the edges. The only way round this was to try and make Helen laugh so I told my best joke about the nun and the elephant and the result was that 30 minutes later the girl was behind the bike sheds playing tonsil hockey with the captain of the soccer team. This was proof that whoever said that, “Women don’t care about looks and prefer a man with a sense of humour” was obviously talking bollocks. Fill a room with gorgeous looking women and have me and Johnny Depp walk in and I guarantee that even though Johnny Depp is as funny as a bleeding hemorrhoid, it will be Mr Depp who gets the girls.

It’s true. A sense of humour is worth bugger all in the rumpy pumpy market. Ladies, do you look at Jay Leno and think “Phwoar?” Is David Letterman a sex object, was John Candy Johnny Depp in a fat suit……nope……they are the funniest of people but like me they have all probably lost women to people like that American Idol chap Ryan Seaweed. I think that the evidence is even more acute for women. Rosanne Barr and Joan Rivers. Notice anything they have in common? Yes, you’re right! They’re all much funnier than Megan Fox yet I know whose bottom I want to wake up next to in the morning.

Anyway, back to this young lady called Helen. I lost her to Carl, the captain of the school football team but a year or so later when I was around 16 years old I went to a party and thanks to the fact that Carl had emigrated to Australia with his family and that Helen was drunk on some cheap wine, I managed to walk her home and do a little fooling around. I was in heaven. But after that we lost touch and I never heard from her again. Until this morning.

I wasn’t feeling my best when I sat here to write to you in my underpants at 7:50am. I have had the most awful pain in my left hand and through the top of my arm and after ignoring it as men do I finally asked the nurse and she said I have something called Carpool Tunnel Syndrome. This apparently could be a side effect of my diabetes but more likely she said because I have been sitting at the computer incorrectly and have damaged the nerves. So she gave me an arm brace to wear although I tried it on and its sodding uncomfortable so its sitting in my sock drawer at the moment and I am working through the pain.

Anyway, I wasn’t feeling my best until I went to Facebook. I have 18,200 friends now and it’s growing so quickly. One thing I have noticed is that everything on Facebook is accelerated. Friendships are established, invitations are accepted, and opportunities are created. But also, dreams are crushed. I know this morning I decided to search for Helen as she had been on my mind, don’t know why, she just was. Anyway, I found her Facebook page and there she was, the girl who I had kissed passionately and squeezed parts of her like I was trying to get juice from an orange. I often wondered if she remembered that kiss and that stolen moment as we fumbled in the dark. Obviously the experience of being kissed and groped by me did indeed have a profound effect on her because her Facebook page proudly states ……….she’s a lesbian.


Your friend,


Comment Policy

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

81 Responses to APPLES AND ORANGES

  1. Travis M says:

    In reply to Bobbie Alex, if you find John’s blog or Facebook to be offensive, I have a simple solution. Don’t read them. Why should the rest of the readers be subject to what you consider offensive? I read the blog everyday as well as follow him on Facebook, and I look forward to every post from him as it brightens up my day. Too many people are over sensitive about everything and expect everyone else to change to please them. Why should John?

  2. Glenn R. says:

    Hey Boobi Alex! To be pc in this day and age means you will sell out and think what others want you to think and say. But you know what? Poop by any other name is still poop! I apaud John for having the guts to cut up, have fun and say what he thinks. I wish more would do it! I strive to go against the mainstream flow!

  3. Reggie Lekinala Harris says:

    I feel sorry for people like Carol Anne P. So wrapped up in their own little world that they miss the wonders around them. John, you are the pinnacle of the brand and I hope that you provide many more years of wonderful observations for Carnival. I really enjoy reading you blog thingy and Facebook postings. Please, please come back to the Fantasy Class ships at least a couple times a year.

    • Kathy M says:

      I agree with you Reggie, Carol P. is so wrapped up in her little world that she could not even ask him in a nice way. Another idiot that does not know how to say please.

  4. Dave Myerly says:

    PUT ON THE ARM BRACE NOW. If you don’t the pain will increase and you could eventually lose some ability to use your fingers due to nerve damage if it gets that bad.

  5. Michelle Hazelwood says:

    A sense of humour is the sexiest thing in the world to me. if you had met my husband before his passing(hard to do that after he passed isn’t it)and then the “man”(term used losely) that followed, you would definately understand why I can honestly state such. As a result of this affinity, I find you very alluring(eyelashes batting with come hither look). I know Heidi has you heart, and soul, (though your mind may belong to Megan Fox), so as my passenger request, please immdiately clone yourself in time for my Oct 17th Destiny cruise. (winking)

  6. Michael B says:

    With regard to the Q&A post about you being offensive and politically-INcorrect…I for one have grown very weary of PC and I have NEVER been offended by anything you have said. I think it’s great fun. Your is the only blog I take the time to read. Please don’t change a thing!

  7. Gina says:

    This is to Stargazer- I was a single mom for almost 10 years and never could I have dreamed of taking my sons on a cruise. I was more worried about feeding them. So pulling the “single mom” card about not being able to afford a picture is completely crap. Give me a break. If you can afford a cruise you can afford a $20 picture. Please get real

  8. wil-da-beast says:

    HI John
    I get so sad when you mention the next bloggers cruise because we can’t make this one…….BUT we will be on the Nov 14th sailing out of Galveston on the Carnival Magic, so please keep us informed if there are any special activities going on for the bloggers before or during this cruise. Tank u so much…A&W

  9. Josea says:


    Why do you think you are entitled to anything different because you are a single mother? “I am a single mother and can’t afford to pay the high prices Carnival charges for its photos.” Really, how did you afford the cruise if you can’t afford a $20 picture? Try Olin Mills and see how much they are. Pictures are a bargain on a cruise. Why is it Carnival’s responsibility to treat you differently? Funny that you can go on a cruise but can’t afford a picture? I am so sick of the American Entitlement mentality, I want to puke!! Carnival is in business to make a profit and not in the welfare state of mind.

    • Linda says:

      Perhaps she is on Welfare. Uses Welfare to pay for her cruises. I wouldnt be surprised.

    • Michelle Hazelwood says:

      Stargazer obviously hasn’t come to terms with being single and all that entails. Single mothers pay more, do, more and work hard, true, but the key is SINGLE when it comes to cruising. You signed on for it Stargazer! Just as much as I did as a solo cruiser. I just had the sense to save up for 8yrs and a year longer than meeting a goal, and understood the expenses because of the research I have done.
      Do I wish the status quo wasn’t so? Sure! So does John in his desire for Megan Fox!

      Deal with reality in a mature manner and your children will move out when they grow up, like they’re supposed to.

  10. Dear Stargazer,
    Stop whining and being so cheap. Next time bring your own back drop (and photographer). Sheesh.

    Dear Carol Anne P,
    No doubt your emails were as rude as your comment here, and were suitably trashed. Learn some manners you heifer.

  11. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Bobbie Alex:

    There are no words to express how completely WRONG you are about John.

    As the mother of a son with both mental and physical disabilities, we deal with this issue every day.

    We have read the Blog daily for years and have been on all but one Blogger’s Cruise.

    John Heald has NEVER made one single offensive statement.

    PC is creating a world of whimps and victims and my son refuses to be either.

    Despite the disabilities, our son LOVES the humor of comedians (especially Larry the Cable Guy) BECAUSE he is smart enough to know the difference between someone laughing WITH him and someone laughing AT him.

    Sadly, those that demand PC in public are usually the very ones that ridicule the disabled behind their backs.

    It is NOT what is said…but the INTENT with which it is said….and there is no one with a more pure INTENT than John Heald.

    This comes from someone who really knows John’s heart where this issue is concerned.


  12. mazy says:

    We will be sailing the Magic in Ocotber/November when it does it’s crossing. Sorry to hear you won’t be our CD. I was wondering after reading todays blog, should be bring Euros with us? Is there any stops on our cruise that will require them? How about C/Cs, could the woman not have produced one and paid with her visa perhaps?

    Thank you

    • Kathy M says:

      Mary, I would highly recommend that you do use Euros while you are in Europe. It is better to be safe then sorry.

    • mary f in CA says:

      Mazy, DH and I get a “cash passport” preloaded MasterCard. You can get them at currency exchanges ours was a Travelex at USBank. They charge a small fee and have a lousy exchange rate but it sure beats having a lot of cash on you.. We used them when we were on the C. Dream Trans Atlantic and they work just like a debit card, we got Euros at the atm’s. Plus if you don’t spend it all you get the remaining cash back. We too are going on the C. Magic T-A, see you in Spain.

      • mazy says:

        Thanks Mary i will suggest that to my DH. We are Canadian but will be flying out of Seattle. I perhaps will stop by the Bank of America (they work with our bank here that we deal with) and talk to someone. I have never heard of this but it sure would be easier. Is this something that also can be done at the currency exchange in the airport. Last time I travelled I used one of those to get pesos. Like you mentioned it may not have been the best rate but it sure was convenient.

  13. Jason says:


    In regards to the email sent by Boobie Alex (spelled correctly in my opinion), don;t change a thing!!! PLEASE!!! The world was a much better place when people just told each other the way it is rather than worried about being politically correct. If we spent as much time and effort on the economy, homelessness, and public education, as we do in being politically correct, the aforementioned would not exist. Keep up the great work and quit wasting space on your blog printing such nonsense from Boobie and his/her pals.

  14. David says:

    I’ve had a beef with those backdrops as well. They are placed in areas that negatively affect the traffic on the ship and the photographers sound worse than those that hawk their goods at a mexican market. They take up popular sitting areas, and as stated, those of us who refuse to pay the inflated prices of Carnival photos cannot use them for a lousy kodachrome, which would likely not cut in to your business of your high quality photos. There must be close to 10 of the things out. Can’t you at least give us po folks a couple we can use? How about moving the others out of the way so we can get by? Sharing space with the art auctions would seem more appropriate. I think that would be better for everyone, getting it out of the way and providing a more appropriate atmosphere to take formal portraits.

    • Michelle Hazelwood says:

      I want my JohnClone! I want my JohnClone! I want my JohnClone!

    • Easttex says:

      Seriously David, get a life and stop whining. Take your “kodachrome” or whatever you use and take your pictures using all the backdrops afforded you by Carnival already…stunning sunsets at sea, tropical beaches, awesome ocean vistas.

    • Cruiser Dave says:

      Why in heaven’s name would you think that any passenger is entitled to or needs a studio backdrop for their own “kodachrome” moment when you are on a freaking ship in Shangri La with stunning views around every corner. Just point and shoot, dude.

    • Eliot D says:

      I took so many photographs with the backdrops and not only are many of them awful, the nicer ones came out just as bad because the drops were not smoothed out and waves and wrinkles don’t look right on normally smooth and solid objects. We only found 2 pictures we purchased out of at least 100. If you go completely digital instead of printing photos, the money saved in developing could bring down the prices. I would have bought a third but the creases in the ship made it look bad!

    • Cruiser Dave says:

      I say old chap, I must disagree on the need or desirability for passengers to use the professional backdrops for their own use. When you are on a beautiful ship in exotic locations one only has to point and shoot at the vista around every corner for stunning photos of real scenes. I do agree that the professional photographers tend to clutter up the Promenade deck.

    • David says:

      Good points, except for the idiot Eastflex of course, who just has to bring the Cruise Critic attitude of criticizing and calling people names here to John’s excellent site. Get a life, Eastflex. As for the others, I agree there are plenty of pictures to take…but why not a couple of more? From what I’m hearing here, they apparently would not be of good quality anyway, so I could describe to my friends…”and this is a picture in front of a backdrop on the ship! Pretty crappy huh?” But seriously, wouldn’t it be better to get those things and the lines they cause out of the way? Wouldn’t the privacy of a more appropriate place to take pictures make the experience and the quality of the picture better? And trust me, I can afford any and all pictures I want. That is not the point. The way Carnival does stuff like this and the aggravation of photographers interrupting us at dinner, when we get off the ship, and taking up space making it hard to get by hardly encourage me to participate. Carnival should find another way to market their photography services; maybe they would get more business.

    • BarB says:


      Been cruising with Carnival since the mid-1970’s and, truly, I’ve never been inconvenience nor impeded by any photo backdrop….never.

      And, Carnival already provides you with more backdrops than any photographer could ever have. Every day, inside and out…..ashore or on the ship.

      Use your imagination.

  15. Kathy M says:

    To Bobby Alex, I don’t know where you got your information, but John is one of the most sympathetic people I know. He has always shown a lot of compassion to people with any kind of disability. How you could write that and be so rude to him is beyond me.

  16. Glenn Hughes says:

    John, love your blog each and everyday. We have communicated before – me 12 Carnival cruises and my wife 13… MANY years ago we were on a Carnival cruise and Mele’ was the entertainer in the piano bar. We (a group of 20) enjoyed the piano bar each night of our cruise. The last night of the cruise we all cried as we celebrated a wonderful week with Mele’. What has happened to her?

  17. Poorna says:

    Best blog I ever read John thanks for making me laugh so hard and what a stress reliever. I am one of those apple guys that just loves new gadgets. Take care of your carpal tunnel syndrome it is not good. Working on computers for almost a decade I know how it hurts and if Khoi don’t get it fixed right away you might have difficulty picking a mug lot coffee. The arm braced are very uncomfortable but they help you heal very quickly. I have been using them for some time now. Thank you very much once again for a great blog. Enjoyed it throughly….

  18. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Your friend DJ told me to convey to you…


    You have never been offensive in any way, shape or form.

    We know your heart and that is ALL that matters.

    Linda ( Mom of our friend DJ)

  19. Barb says:

    To Stargazer – maybe we were on two different ships both named the Freedom because our experience there was WONDERFUL!! Maybe the photographer who made you mad turned you against the whole staff but that staff bent over backwards to assure my party of 6 had a great cruise. Someone would have gladly taken a picture of you and your children if you had asked them to. There are plenty of places on the ship to take a family photo without using the professional photographers and backdrops. I fully understand your dilemma with money but there were alternatives to having a picture taken in front the backdrops. Wish you had taken advantage of your fellow cruisers as anyone in my family would have gladly taken your families picture.

  20. JG says:

    Dear Carol Anne. you should really consider anytime dining, or even better, an all inclusive vacation on land.

  21. Frank and Bridie says:


    Frank and Bridie

  22. David S says:

    John (about Helen),

    My ex-wife is a lesbian and I tell everyone that since she couldn’t have me, she didn’t want any men. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it….you should too!!

  23. spencer says:

    Stargazer, If a 20 dollar picture breaks the bank when on a cruise there are a few suggestions I can think of.

    1. Choose a more affordable vacation!
    Thousands of things to do in this world with a family that do not break the bank.

    2. Find a spot on the ship or in port and ask one of the thousands of people around you to take a family picture for you and the backdrop is FREE and unique! And I bet if you say please and thank you the photographer is also free!

    3. Find a sugar daddy and quit whinning about being a single mom!
    I hate to be mean but there are millions of single moms out there for one reason or another, but it is not nor will it ever be a dissability that deserves special treatment

    And just a final note if you do read this, I was raised by a single mother with 5 children because my father we never went on a cruise ship however we did go on many wonderful cruises in our station wagon to campgrounds all over the country and I have great memories of our vacations but I don’t recall of how little money we had on them.

  24. Sheila Harnden says:

    John, so sorry to hear you are in pain. I understand as I am currently 3 months post op after having a cervical fusion. I too had severe pain in my upper arm, no neck pain, and numbness in my hand and fingers that got worse every day. I had ruptured my C6-7 disc in my neck, have no idea how. If you start feeling tingling, numbness in your hand please get to a doctor for this can be permanent if not taken care of. Took me 6 weeks for my hand to get feeling back. It most likely is Carpel Tunnel but just wanted you to know just in case. I called Carnival to get permission to bring on a bone stimulator that I have to wear 4 hours a day. They had no clue what one was but I got permission. Hope you get to feeling better.

  25. Eliot D says:

    Hi John,
    As for Helen, that’s great that your old romance became an actress! Maybe she knows Megan Fox and can introduce you to her.

  26. cindy56 says:

    Hi John,

    I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome several years ago after putting up with the tingling in my fingers/hand for several years before that. I’m left-handed so that’s the hand that was affected. There is a procedure that you can have done and maybe you can check with your doctor when you get back to England. The procedure takes about 15 minutes to do and then you wear a bandage for about 5 days (there will be stitches)then it comes off.

    In the meantime, you can wear a special glove for right-handed people until then. The glove takes away the pain if you wear it all the time. It was a god-send for me as the pain would wake me during the night and therefore affected my sleep. It’s definitely worth looking into John, and I hope you do.

  27. flintg says:

    Javier Macias, you and your folks are either Cuban or American! Sorry, there is no such animal as a Cuban American, African American, German American, or any other hyphoneted American! Your roots may be from another country but when you became a citizen it was to America and
    America only! You should be proud of your background but as an American English is our language. When I lived in Germany I spoke German, not English. When my wife gained her citizenship she became an American!

    • Monica B. says:


      Sorry, but there *IS* such a thing as a “Cuban American” etc… that’s called bring proud of where you come from.

      I consider myself a Cuban American and guess what? I wasn’t even born in Cuba, my parents were. Yet, those roots are so deeply instilled in me that I am CUBAN and since I was born here of course I am AMERICAN.

      It’s not a huge deal to say you’re “Cuban American”, “African American”, etc. Think of it this way, at least they’re putting in the “American” in the title. They could just say they’re Cuban, period.

      Lighten up…it’s just a hyphen.

  28. Otilija says:

    Information for a future cruisers in Baltic – U.S. dollars will not be accepted in any of Baltic States, these countries has national currencies. Why doe’s americans think that U.S. dollar has to be accepted everywhere ? What will happen with U.S. dollar and debt crisis in a nearest future ? Just curious.

    Thank you for honest, funny and informative blog, John.

    • Luis R says:

      It is probably just a symptom of the this sense of entitlement thing we discuss so often in this blog. I sailed on Carnival Magic last July and prior to the cruise I made the proper research on what currency was used on the ship. I was atually a bit surprised to find that US dollars were used on board the ship. Being in Europe I expected that euros would be used even on a Carnival ship. So we had to have euros for the ports and US dollars for the laundry machines and casino. And even the, when we went to Dubrovnik, I asked in every place if they took euros. Most did but I didn’t get mad at that ONE place that didn’t and I had to exchange some of my euros into the local currency.

      That person that claimed she was on a Baltic cruise where US dollars were accepted was most likely in the Caribbean where they will gladly accept them. She is probably a bit confused.

  29. kendra says:

    I just saw this comment you made: <<I think we don’t need more and more rules and PC regulations, we need as much laughter as we can get.<<

    I am a new subscriber to your blog and we've scheduled our very first cruise next year. But, I wanted to tell you YAY!!! I agree COMPLETELY!!! This is what makes your blog special. I was completely shocked when I read the first blog post I read the other day– something about number 2s you forgot to flush. OMG, I was shocked! Sure it's juvenile, but it was funny, too. What made it even funnier is the fact that I've never once seen a corporate representative EVER post ANYTHING like that. Your personality comes through and you're not a corporate glom. Anybody who doesn't appreciate that should unsubscribe and write customer service instead.

    Don't get me wrong– I do like humor that doesn't involve number 2s in the toilet, but I'm amazed you get the go-ahead to write whatever you want which means that I already appreciate Carnival over these other corporate entities that, these days, micromanage, mismanage, and are run by a bunch of psychopaths that only see their employees as resources rather than the humans they are.

  30. Brice Jury says:

    The last line is freakin hilarious!

  31. R. Marr says:

    I agree John about the Eyephone revolution HOWEVER, technology is indeed wonderful! Every day I thank God for my Raspberry (bet you use yours same reason as me!), and Skype!. Being 6000 miles apart from my daughter, our Raspberries mean free communication several times a day, and Skype has given us shared Christmas Days, Hogmanays, and moments so precious they cannot be missed. So its not all bad:). Hope you get some comfort to when missing your girls to be able to communicate with them from ports etc. My Mum and Dad celebrated their Diamond Wedding last year. Having set up skype for them at the party, they wept with joy at my daughter on the screen..but of course, we did a “Cilla Black” on them, and she was not 6000 miles away, but in the next room. Yup..modern technology does have its precious features! Good luck on the “handshake” today, although if you really want rid of him, take a leaf our of Helen’s book and go in for the snog:) THAT should fix him:) xxxxx

    • BarB says:

      I agree with John.

      I have never had a cell phone, never wanted one, don’t need one and have never suffered from not having one. And, my landline bill runs about 25.00 a month.

      I cannot understand the fascination with these things in the first place. I’m not so important that I must be in touch and available anytime, anywhere I go.

      I don’t have a GPS either..nor would I ever. When I leave my home for a driving trip…I take a map or have written down directions.

      Frankly, I’m not crazy about everyone in the world knowing where I am and what I’m doing at any given time. It’s nobody’s business and it gives me the creeps to imagine that anyone can reach me at anytime by phone or that those able to track GPS might know where I am at any given time.

      Call me a risk-taker.

  32. Dave says:

    Ive stated before, I used to live in North America so this is an experienced comment. I love Americans, well the ones I have met anyway, but the problem is this. I have been asked before what Brits think of American and why some countries see them the way they do. Well the answer is simple, the world expands beyond America, if you go to another country, expect to speak the language, use the currency, etc. The problem is one or two give a bad name to the majority.
    As for Bobby Alex, have a word with yourself will you. I swear to God, some people are just out there to complain, unless they are moaning they are not happy. Man if you dont like pork you aint gonna eat a hot dog. If you dont like John’s posts, piss off and read something else !

  33. Debra Mann says:

    Good morning John. I am going on my first Carnival Cruise this Thanksgiving. I am very excited to go on this cruise line since I have heard wonderful things about it. I am one of those who can enjoy life no matter what. I have sailed on Princess, Costa and Celebrity and I would love to make Carnival “my home”.
    My question to you is, we are on the Valor over Thanksgivivng. My party is 11 and we are all any time dining. Would we be able to sit together in the main dining room or will we have to go to the buffet? We don’t mind sitting 5 and 6 if we could be next to eachother.
    Love your blog thingy!!! Enjoy your day.

  34. Rick W says:

    To Stargazer: I run a food concession stand to earn extra money. Every once in a while, someone will come by and think they can help themselves to my condiments (lettuce, tomatos, onions, etc.) to put on their store bought sandwiches. If I see them doing so, I tell them the condiments are for paying customers. You sound like one of those customers who figure you are entitled to use for free what others pay for. Do yourself a favor; take a prybar to your purse and pop for the photo. Stop trying to mooch off others by using the exucse you’re a single mother. You’re giving the majority of hard working single mothers (and fathers) a bad rap.

    • d says:

      Rick, you should charge them a quarter or something– tell them it’s free for customers who buy sandwiches with you, but you must charge others.

  35. Scott Hamlin says:

    Hi John – sorry to hear about your arm. I too suffer from this horrible affliction.

    For some INSTANT relief: Fill a big bucket or deep sink with ice water – lots of ice. Stick your arm in – go as far up your arm as the pain goes and leave it in there for about 5-10 minutes. The swelling and pain will be gone for hours!

    HINT: Make sure there are no wee ones around as you will be cursing up a storm until your arm goes numb.

    Also look at getting a neck adjustment from a chiropractor – sometimes the nerve is pinched in your neck and radiates down your arm.

    If all else fails, haul Calvin in to be your stenographer and dictate to him. (Insert your own joke here).

    Hope this helps. If not I have some Wonder Balm I can sell you 😉

    Get well and Godspeed!

  36. Mark Blei says:

    Ok John:

    So this all begs the question, what type of cell do you use?

    If you don’t think that one day you wont have a Raspberry or Eye-phone, well, I bet you also once said you would never use this “Internet” thing.

    We are both the same age mate, and I understand how it goes. But you can’t stop technology.

    One day your kid will be begging you for a cell, and oh bugger all, you’ll want to stay in touch .

    Who knows, maybe you’ll have an eye- phone cruise?


    • Diane Shepherd says:

      Mark – welcome to John’s Blog — I say this because you obviously don’t know he has a raspberry – at one point the Beards had him use an Eyephone but it didn’t take.

  37. jgeraci says:

    Sorry to hear about your arm. Are you sure that it is Carpal Tunnel? I just got off the Miracle, where the x-ray was so poor that the doctor could not tell if my elbow was broken or not. I was very satisfied with the medical department personnel, but very dissatisfied with the inferior x-ray equipment. By the way, I have a fractured left radius which will require surgery to replace the radial head. Oh well, I’m still ready to cruise with Carnival again!

  38. Dan Lathrop says:

    In reply to Bobbi Alex … First off, I AM handicapped and I have a number of friends who are handicapped. Never once has John offended me or my friends and we all read this blog and Facebook regularly. I do tend to be offended when so called PC police stammer around for a way to address or react to my handicap. You all embarrass me and yourselves. It’s as if you all want to shelter or protect us. That is NOT what a handicapped person wants.
    So as one handicapped person from the US I ask you too politely quit offending the handicapped by trying to impose your ineffective, inappropriate and downright offensive values on us. Please cease to pretend as if you speak for all US handicapped citizens as I can assure you … you don’t.
    John – Sir you have the patience of a saint and I hope that you continue on as you have in spite of folks like Bobbie Alex.

    • Michelle Hazelwood says:

      Dan, remember when the word cam into use “Handicapable”? Well some days I’m handy, some days I’m capable, some days I’m neither, and it never has anything to do with my disability! I used to have a sticker on the side of my wheelchair “I’M DISABLED, NOT STUPID!”

      The Nannys of Political Correctness in my town were offended. hahahahahahaha!!

  39. Deb says:

    Dear John,

    On Sept. 18th I will be sailing on the Conquest. This will make me a Platinum Member. As such I FEEL I’m ENTITLED to more than is offered currently by Carnival to their Platinum Members. I FEEL my family should be carried onto the ship much like Cleopatra, with an entourage of staff members heralding our arrival. I also FEEL that our luggage should be the first on the ship and should be unpacked and luggage stored for us by the room steward. I also FEEL that we should have something special waiting for us in our cabin upon our arrival and everyday of the cruise at no charge of course. I also FEEL that our presence should be announced wherever we go on the ship so that people will know they are in the presence of a Platinum Member. I also FEEL we should have priority seating in the dining room and no others should be seated before our arrival to the dining room. I also FEEL the chefs should prepare what WE want to eat whether it’s on the menu or not. I also FEEL that all drinks, photos, merchandise from the ship’s stores, spa treatments, casino, etc. should be free. I also FEEL that we are ENTITLED to a suite at no extra cost over the OV cabin we have reserved. I also FEEL that the Captain should make it a priority to come to our cabin every morning to ask us about our plans for the day and ensuring that our plans come off without a hitch. I also FEEL that we should have front row seating for all the shows, and our name mentioned because of our status. In other words I FEEL that Carnival should cater to our every whim because WE chose them over other cruise lines. If my DEMANDS are not met I will write a nasty letter to the “Beards” letting them know what a crappy cruise line they have and I will take my business elsewhere.

    Now. HOPEFULLY those of you reading this can see this is all in jest. IT’S A JOKE. So please, no flaming. I did this because this is exactly what I see when I read of other’s demands. Those are just as ridiculous as this post. I’m NOT entitled to anything just because I’m a platinum member. I choose Carnival because we like what we get. We like the ships, the crew, the food, the entertainment, and the fact that we have a ship close to home – Galveston. We love Carnival and have only been treated with respect and kindness. I have never seen a group of people go out of their way to make sure a passenger’s trip is the best it can be as does the staff of Carnival.

    In August of 2006 we were on the Conquest. It was the first formal night, we were at the Captain’s party and I had the misfortune of having a tray of drinks spilled on my head. Yes, a full tray of drinks. The poor waitress tripped and unfortunately I ended up with everyone’s drinks. Guess you could say the drinks were on me. LOL. She and I guess the head waiter came over, helped to clean me up as much as possible and apologized profusely. This was just an unfortunate accident. Nothing more. I asked the head waiter to make sure the waitress didn’t get in trouble. I went back to our cabin, cleaned up and went to dinner. I didn’t ask for any compensation (nor did we receive anything except a letter of apology, and that was fine.) because I knew it was an accident. We laughed our butts off about it then and now.

    Our everyday life is not perfect. Things happen that changes your plans for the day. What should we do when our day doesn’t go as planned when we woke up? Zip off a letter to a higher being? Ask for compensation? Of course not. You just go with the flow. It should be that way on vacation also.

    Thanks for your patience in reading through this long post. I hope those demanding things will see just how ridiculous they really are.

  40. Diane Shepherd says:

    Dear Bobbie Alex: here, for your “edification” is the definition of a BLOG: 1.A personal website on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis

    this means the person who is writing it is, basically, putting their diary or journal out there for persons like you to get all uppity about.

    if a Blog writer is not to your taste – find another!

  41. Robyn Parsons says:

    Hi John
    We have arrived safely back in Australia following our wonderful family cruise on Carnival Magic. I just want to extend a big thankyou to all crew on the ship. Especially our waiting team in Southern Lights Dining and those who looked after our suite so well. We all had a great time and the kids enjoyed making friends in circle c and camp carnival.
    Well done!!
    This was our first cruise and we all had a blast cruising and visiting the ports.
    Parsons Family xx

  42. Kym says:

    Seems Carol Anne P was a little rude. Don’t worry, John. We’re adding cabin 6299 to our cabin crawl on the Conquest this Sunday 🙂

  43. Jeff says:

    Once again I have to write and hope you completely ignore the liberal PC police who find everything offensive and make everyone a victim. You just keep right on being you! You rock!

  44. Mike and Lisa says:

    Without a doubt the best piano bar entertainer is Brad Alexander! So much so that we’ve been cruising with Brad our last two cruises and will do so again in 2012! Brad rocks!

    • Celeste says:

      Brad is the best!! Such a great entertainer! We *might* just plan our next cruise around his work schedule–he’s that good!

  45. Clcorwin says:

    I use my iPod touch to keep up with you when I can’t get to my computer but I wish carnival didn’t charge so much for wi-fi.

  46. Stefani says:

    One thing I love about a Disney cruise is that you can hand the photographers your camera and they will take pictures for you with it. Of course they use their camera too. Now… that being said… a Disney cruise is slightly more expensive than a Carnival cruise (except for the Pacific Coast Repositioning cruises). So you have to figure out what is important for you in a cruise and pick from there. I love Carnival cruises, but I also love Disney cruises because each one offers different things. I can’t expect Carnival prices and Disney service… that would be stupid. I like cruising with family because they can take pictures of me and my hubby then. Some people are so wierd LOL

  47. Larry says:

    There was a piano bar entertainer that was on Carnival a while back, her name is Laurie Anne Gardner. I really did enjoy listening to her play and sing, she is one of my favorite piano entertainers.

    I really wish she was back on Carnival.

  48. BarB says:

    Missy Stargazer.

    1. Nobody believes that your cruise was awful from start to finish. Nobody believes that service was awful from start to finish. If that were so, you would have used the “vacation guarantee” offered by Carnival and removed yourself and your daughters at the first foreign port. Besides, many of us here are lifelong Carnival repeat cruisers, most with Platinum or Milestone status. You seem to be in a twist because you weren’t allowed to use the photographer and his business…free.

    2. Photographers are on the ships to make money. Hence, the prices posted for the pictures they take. They are not there to take pictures of you with your own camera…nor are their professional backdrops there for you to use. Anyone of a couple thousand passengers or crew would be delighted to take a picture of your family…on the stairway, on deck…at dinner, ashore or almost any place other than the half dozen or so backdrops used by the professionals.

    There are signs all over the place stating that their backdrops cannot be used for personal photos. I assume English must be a second language and you didn’t understand the signs….or you are a leech who expects exceptions because you are a “single mother”..

    Sorry, millions of women are single mothers…you are not alone or even in the minority here.

  49. BarB says:

    For Deb D:

    So, why don’t you book the Epic?

    I’m a solo traveler and have been for over 20 years. Price is very important to me, especially when cruising. I remind you that no matter where you go, as a single, you will pay the full board whether it’s hotel or tour or resort.

    I know that when I cruise, I will be charged double for the cabin. I am very price conscience, that being my main concern..and I must have a balcony…which means I spend a lot of time keeping track of price fluctuations. However, I’d no more cruise in a dormatory set up like Epic than run the Boston Marathon. I don’t care if Epic was giving those cabins away, I’d turn it down.

    So, if you insist on the cheapest price..if that is of primary concern, stay with the Epic.

    I prefer to spend my money on Carnival, where the cabins is large, the balcony spacious, the food is excellent, service is wonderful and the ships are beautiful.

    Admittedly, that’s probably not what you are looking for.

  50. BarB says:

    Bobbie Alex:

    Oh, get over yourself.

    You have a choice: read the blog, understanding it’s purpose and it’s author…or don’t read the blog.

    Nobody forces you at gunpoint to come here….or may someone does.

    If you are being forced to come to John’s blog, I suggest you call 911 immediately.

  51. texaskit says:

    Ruh-roh John. Now you done pi$$ed off the lesbian community. 🙂

  52. Starr Willaman says:

    John, Once again I am playing catch up with the blogs as we took our grand-daughter away for a few days of play. I love your blog and may sorry to hear about the crappy-tunnel syndrome. I hope it gets better soon but the brace will help it more if it isn’t in the sock drawer. I wanted to write to tell you I sailed the Freedom and it was marvelous. The food, the staff, the entertainment, everything. I don’t know where stargazer gets off saying it was terrible. It is a wonderful ship and her biggest beef was wanting free photos. I am sure she got some lovely photos to take home so I would not worry to much over it. As for your old sweetheart, try blaming it on the soccer player and not you.

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