MAGIC MOMENTS

October 31, 2011 -

John Heald

I mentioned on Friday’s blog that people tend to for whatever reason tell me their problems and so it was on Saturday which in itself was a busy day. I had woken early to get off the Carnival Liberty so that I could go to Miami airport and rent a car from a 17-year-old man called Jose whose nose had been abused by a staple gun. Once in the car and if and only if I survived the journey on I-95 which in my opinion should be renamed Hell Road Of Certain Death, I would return to the ship and walk around with our Chairman and CEO Micky Arison and his entourage, more of which we shall speak soon. Anyway, by the time I got back to the Marriotcontinentalhyatt I was pretty tired. I had just started unpacking again when my raspberry started to ring and on the other end was a rather distraught beard from the Miami office.

I haven’t spoken to this particular beard for a month or so as he has been traveling nearly as much as I have and he thought I was on the Carnival Liberty and therefore could do something for him. You see that morning his wife had woken up and presented him with a beautiful anniversary card and a gift box with a Ralph Lauren something in it. And then she sat there at the breakfast table waiting. But he had nothing to give and the dreadful realization dawned…….he had forgotten their 18th wedding anniversary. He had to take decisive action. What should he do? Well, he called me.

Now it would be nice to think that he called me because I am an expert in marital advice but he didn’t. He called me because he is a cheap sod and thought that I was on the ship and that I could use my senior cruise director card in the on board gift shops and get his wife a Michale Koors …….or is it Coors?……..watch and some perfume. I told him I was off the ship already and he panicked and asked me what he should do.

“Emigrate,” I said thoughtfully “And then take an axe and chop of your thingy as you will obviously never need it again.” The beard didn’t seem to appreciate this advice very much so suggested an axe was too big and that he would need a more precision instrument such as a small Swiss army knife to perform the surgery with…. he didn’t appreciate that advice either.

I then suggested that dishonesty is the best policy and I then gave him three choices that I felt could help him.

1) Don’t say you’ve forgotten. Say you pretended to forget.

2) Hint that there’s a very big surprise you have arranged, but that it’s a secret you cannot reveal for the time being but all will be revealed soon.

3) Frantically arrange that very big surprise. Maybe take her on the Carnival Liberty yourself and let her have fun at the Alchemy Bar where if she drinks a few of those amazing cocktails she will forget she has married a cheap forgetful sod.

It’s all the fault of those wankers at Hallmark you know. There is so much pressure on us men to remember everything from birthdays and anniversaries to first dates, dates we first said, “I love you” and countless other cards guaranteed to get us men in serious s**t. Valentine’s Day is the worst. I have done and always will hate Valentine’s Day which is a day the President of Hallmark loves because it’s the day he goes out and buys himself a new Bentley which he drives away laughing at the idiots like me and you that bought it for him.

I have as I said always hated Valentine’s Day and at school it was a source of utter misery. I had a bent tooth and zits, so no mailman was going to have a bad back after delivering my mail on February 14. Men, it’s a scam, just like anniversary cards so please forget Wall Street lets occupy Hallmark.

My wife couldn’t be more opposite to me though. Heidi is one who loves cards and celebrations and dates and I knew if I ever forgot one of our “anniversaries” then I would be where the beard is today, in the doghouse with no thingy. So, I came up with a cunning plan to avoid the pain.

I told her that I’m hopeless at choosing presents, and I’d much rather she bought what she really wanted, but that I would still like to wrap it up and give it to her on the day. So she buys it, and says, “This is my anniversary present for Wednesday,” I remember the date, she gets the present she wants, and everyone’s happy.

So what do women think men should do if they forget an all-important date? I imagine women would want to hear something like. “You are constantly in my thoughts, every day with you is special and filled with my love for you.” This probably works only if the man looks away from the TV long enough for her to see the passion in his eyes. Red roses definitely help one for each year you’ve been together but don’t, whatever you do, grab a saran wrapped bunch of mixed carnations from the CITGO station. The language of flowers on that occasion is, “You mean as much to me as getting gas.’”

His anniversary is two days before Halloween and I have a feeling he has realised his life is going to be full of horror for some time to come and so this morning he is off to the Aventura Mall to get his wife an anniversary card and present grand enough to stop her crossing her legs for the rest of his life.. He is also buying flowers and chocolates and as per my suggestion he is going to rent a movie he would never ever rent to watch with his wife tonight. I suggested “The Lorraina Bobbitt Story” ……and you won’t believe what happened next…………he hung up on me……the ungrateful bastard.

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

Phil Medeiros asked:
Good lord John,

Carnival should be paying you extra for nursemaid service for having to deal with all these spoiled brat guests who are incapable of accepting any responsibility for their own actions or decisions. Either they don’t bother to check the calendar for when hurricane or football season is when they make their cruise plans or you need to stop making their decisions for them. Are you personally twisting their arms to take a cruise with a specific itinerary on a specific ship and on a specific sail date? If you are, then you are to blame but if they have made those decisions, then they should either shut up or walk the plank. And what would these football freaks do if they were home and the game wasn’t televised in their area?

Now that I have taken them to task for their infantile behavior, I would like to thank you for passing along my Chef’s Table request. I was hoping to get a reservation for the evening of our 42nd anniversary but it would appear that they don’t offer Chef’s Table except on particular evenings so I’ll have to settle for a day or two later. This is a 14-day relocation cruise on the Paradise through the Panama Canal, a ship that normally does much shorter cruises so this itinerary is quite out of the ordinary for them. I selected this cruise as it is one that my wife has always wanted to do and just so happens to fall over our anniversary. Thanks to our wonderful Carnival PVP, I was made aware of this cruise early on. So unlike many of those guests requiring baby sitter service I’m not about to complain to you that I can’t get Chef’s Table on our anniversary. Que sera, sera. Thanks again John. We’re doing the final 12-day Med and TA on the Carnival Breeze next year so I hope to meet up with you then.

John says:
Hello Phil Medeiros,

Thank you for those kind words of support. I think the one I don’t get are the one or two who are so desperate to see a particular sporting event that if is not shown during their cruise that it will ruin their overall vacation experience. Anyway, as I said thanks for your kind words and I see you are going to be on the Carnival Paradise during her wonderful relocation cruise which I am sure will be a brilliant experience. I am glad The Chef’s Table has worked out OK and sorry that it can’t be on your anniversary date. I see we will be together on the Carnival Breeze next year and I look forward to meeting you then. As always if there is anything I can do for you please let me know.

Best wishes.

John

Trudi Seales asked:

What a cruise. We have just got back from the best seven days of our lives thanks to the crew of the Carnival Legend. This was our fourth Carnival cruise and the best so far. Putu, our room steward, was so friendly and his towel animals were so fun that we kept them all in front of our cabin window. The waiter Glenroy and his assistant Mena were both so funny that they should have had their own show. The highlight of our after dinner time was the live music band called Music Celebration or I think that was the name. They were four men from China and they played everything from the beetles to country and we danced and had so much fun. We will be back for more as we have now booked on the Carnival Valor next March.

John says:
Hello Trudi Seales,

Thank you for that great review and its one I shall pass to the ship and when Putu, Glenroy and Mena see their names here they will be thrilled for sure. The band you are talking about are from the Philippines and they are indeed a wonderful quartet who are always guaranteed to get people dancing and having fun which I see you did Trudi. So much so that you have booked another cruise and I am sure you will have even more fun on the Carnival Valor. Thanks again for writing and I am so glad you had such a brilliant time.

Best wishes.

John

Dawn Trosclair asked:
Hi John,

First let me start by saying I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. My family and I are sailing out of New Orleans on the Carnival Elation on December 12. We have had a very tough year so far as we have had multiple deaths in the family in the past four months and we want this to be the perfect vacation for our family. We all could use a distraction from all of the sadness. This will be their first cruise and they are all so excited. I cruised on the Carnival Liberty, July 2010 and had an awesome time. One of our concerns is that our youngest son is 12 and is developmentally delayed. I was wondering if he would be allow to participate in Camp Carnival. I know that it goes to age 11 but, mentally his age level is more that of an 8 or 9 year old and would be lost in the higher age group. Would you please advise me of what could be done in this matter? I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks very much.

Dawn

John says:
Hello Dawn Trosclair,

I am so very sorry to read about your tough year and I truly hope that your cruise on the Carnival Elation will be one that will rejuvenate you all. I have sent your request for your son to be at Camp Carnival to the lady in charge of the program plus I have copied the youth director on the ship as well. It will be there final decision but I will certainly do all I can to help you and someone will be in touch regarding this. Thanks for taking the time to write and I hope that the future brings you nothing but fun and happiness.

Best wishes.

John

UPDATE: Dawn, I just spoke to the lady in charge of the program here in Miami and she as agreed for your son to attend Camp Carnival. Someone will be in touch very soon. Cheers

Steven Teed asked:
John,

Why have you banned Cruise Critic members from your blog and not members of other sites like Cruise Diva and Cruise Mates? Seems very unfair.

John says:
Hello Steven Teed,

I just wanted to point out that I absolutely have not banned any Cruise Critic member from the blog and if I have misled you and others into thinking this I apologise. All I said a month or so ago was that I wasn’t going to post anything that contains the words “I am a Cruise Critic member” or has a link to anything from the site. The reason I did this was the links were to discussions that were inflammatory or indeed were by people that were not in fact Cruise Critic members. Now this post is the exception to the rule because if I have mislead anyone to think they can’t post here if they are a member of that site then this gives me a chance to make sure they know that’s not the case. As for Cruise Mates……..well quite honestly Steven I have never had any concerns with that site in any way shape or form. As for Cruise Diva……..well I haven’t heard of that site before but it certainly has a brilliant name. I hope I will see many posts from you in the future.

Best wishes.

John

Wanda Goslett asked:

We were on the Freedom and the boat drill was made in English, Spanish and German. This meant it went on for an hour and we had to stand in the sun. I saw loads of passengers faint and the workers did nothing to help them. Why should we have to stand in the sun if people don’t speak English?

John says:
Hello Wanda Goslett,

The safety briefing is held under the strict guidelines of United States Coast Guard who insist quite rightly that ever single guest on board must know how to save their lives during an emergency. The rules are that if a cruise line carries large numbers of guests from countries where English is not the first language then we must conduct the drill in their own language so they understand. If there are small numbers of guests, say 28 from Germany and 70 from Spain then we will send printed material to their staterooms in their own language. However if the groups are large of say 100 or more then we are obligated to make sure that they understand our emergency procedures and I am sure that you can understand that every guest needs to know what to do should an emergency arise, right Wanda? Now I have to say that I was surprised when you said the drill lasted an hour because I have performed drills in three languages many times and it has never ever taken an hour. I do hope that you enjoyed your cruise Wanda and that we will see you again soon.

Best wishes,

John

Maryb,TA asked:

No Question. I know, from the years I’ve been reading the blog, you are smittened by Megan Fox. Here is some NEW (good) news about her: “Actress Megan Fox, 25, says she’s no longer a strict vegan. Fox says her diet was based on raw fruits and vegetables, and now she’s altered it to include a little bit of everything.” KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

John says:
Hello Maryb TA,

The one thing that always worried me about Megan Fox’s bottom was should I ever been lucky enough to be close to it that while it would be a beautiful thing to behold that it would be a smelly, beautiful thing to behold due to the amount of vegetables she eats. This is brilliant news and my dream can continue. Thanks for sharing this with me, you made my day.

Best wishes.

John

Kevin asked:
Hi John,

My table request is different because I don’t just want a table just for two but what I do want is a table for two as far away from the maddening dancing and perverted table top dances you make the servers do. I was on the Carnival Elation last month and while the new menu was good the dances and songs ruined the whole DR experience and that’s why I want a table as far away from all this. My mother and I will be on the Carnival Victory Nov 27th and our stateroom number is 6232. Note: We are both Platinum guests

John says:
Hello Kevin,

Thanks first of all for your loyalty and please also thank Mum as well for the same and I am sure you will have a wonderful time on the Carnival Victory. The dining room songs and dances are something most guests enjoy but obviously like everything in life it’s not going to be for everyone. I have asked the maitre d on the Carnival Victory to place you at a table on the upper level and tucked back from what’s going on. It won’t protect you fully from this but hopefully it will be Ok for you both. Once again, have a great cruise and thanks for writing.

Best wishes to you both.

John


Candice asked:

Hi John!

I have recently started reading your blog and really enjoy your humor. That being said I wondered if you could help me with what shows we will be seeing on our first Carnival cruise. My friends have being trying to get me to go on RCCL because they say that Carnival is the Wal-Mart of cruising and that everything is better there. They especially say that the shows on Royal are better and as we love live shows this has me nervous. We chose the Carnival Magic because we are from Fort Worth and it’s easier to go to Galveston plus the price on Carnival Magic was much better than the Royal and as there are me, my husband and two siblings then price does matter. Thanks John for putting our mind at ease.

John says:
Hello Candice,

I am so glad that you took the time to write to me and thank you for booking a cruise on the Carnival Magic which I will say right here and now is one of our best ships if not the best. I am sure your friends are loyal RCI fans for a reason and that the shows and service on their ships is excellent. You know, I never quite understand what people mean when they call Carnival the Wal-Mart of the industry. Maybe that’s because I am not American but what I thought is that Wal-Mart stands for value and if that’s what your friends mean then I guess we should be proud to be associated with value and certainly value as you said is why you booked a Carnival cruise. Anyway, the shows. Well you will love them and they are truly brilliant from the huge magic and illusion show called Destination Unknown to the 70′s disco show called Groove Line to the 28 different comedy shows at our Punchliner Comedy Club to the very best in variety entertainers and audience participation shows, I think you have nothing to be nervous about. Thanks then for choosing Carnival and I have a feeling you will be telling your friends that they need to come over to us and see how we do things. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes to you and the family.

John

Lori Stern asked:
John,

I’ve just subscribed to your blog and found you on Facebook and must say that I’m finding you to be so funny and honest. It’s great to have a way for us guests to have our voices heard by the “beards.” And even better to know that they actually listen. My husband and I will be celebrating our 11th anniversary on 11-11-11 on the Freedom. This is our 6th cruise on Carnival, third on the Carnival Freedom. My question is why is the furniture in the library so uncomfortable? I am an avid reader and love to chill out with a book in the library. I nearly spent an entire week in the library on the Carnival Triumph, which has much better seating. Of course, this being our anniversary cruise, we won’t have our kids in attendance so there won’t be as much library time… If you know what I mean ;)

John says:

Hello Lori Stern,

Thanks so much for the kind words and I hope you will continue to enjoy the blog and my Facebook page from a comfortable chair. Now while I don’t recall what chairs are in the library on the Carnival Freedom I will say as many will already know that uncomfortable seating is something that makes me quite mad. On a few of our ships it appears the chairs were chosen based on how they look and I am sure no bugger actually ever sat on them. This is changing and we are slowly going to replace the chairs that are as comfortable to sit on as a cactus with more suitable bottom welcoming chairs. I wish you a wonderful anniversary on that special date and if I were you I would put $11 on number 11 on the roulette table.

Best wishes to you both.

John

And that’s all for today, thanks as always for all the great comments.

So I had a brilliant week on the Carnival Liberty and you know that I think she is now probably one of the best ships in the fleet and certainly she has the best Lido deck on any ship in our fleet. The atmosphere there is something I have not seen before and something we must try and re create on all our ships, even before they get their Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades. I mentioned that our Chairman and CEO Micky Arison visited the ship on Saturday and remarked himself on his twit page about how fabulous the ship looked and of course that Guy’s Burger Joint served the best burger………in the world.

I had a brilliant time on the ship and it was wonderful to be back on boardafter three weeks or so on land or in dry dock. Sailing away still gives me a huge thrill and even though I missed being on stage it was just so super to be back at sea. It was fascinating that while many guests recognised me from a previous cruise when I was cruise director that nearly as many recognised me from the blog or the videos on carnival.com. However, many guests didn’t know who I was and especially in the days I dressed in sweat pants and a T-shirt they probably thought I was just some fat bloke waddling up to Guy’s for another burger. This though was a good thing because it allowed me to hear things that normally I wouldn’t hear if I was CD and not just from the guests either.

Before I explain what I mean let me say that having spent a week amongst the Carnival Liberty crew and spending that week as a guest in a guest cabin and eating in the Silver Olympian dining room that her crew is amazing and compared to other areas of the service industry such as hotels and American Eagle where standards are falling quicker than my trousers and underpants after eating a chicken vindaloo curry, Carnival Liberty’s service was exceptional.

However, in every barrel of apples there is one that is going to be one that’s gone a bit bad and it was as a guest that I came across one.

I was walking out of my deck 8 forward guest cabin early on Friday morning. As I did I heard shouting coming from ahead of me. As I approached I saw a junior manager giving a crew member quite a bollocking. She was really giving him a good telling off and doing so very loudly indeed. She was holding a clipboard as our section supervisors do and was banging the board on her other hand to emphaise what she was shouting about….and doing this at 8:30am in a guest corridor. Not good. And so I intervened telling the manager who I was and asked her to come with me for a walk and a chat. I don’t really think she wanted to but she came nevertheless and we went through a crew only door and talked about what had happened.

Now, I won’t go into why she was shouting at one of the stateroom stewards in her section but concentrated on the fact that to a guest it would have looked like she was bullying the stateroom steward. Now we all know how guests love their stateroom stewards and had a guest seen her behavior then there is no doubt that they would have taken the side of the cabin stewards regardless of the reason why she was shouting at him.

Now, I would have been happy to leave it like that and not tell the housekeeping manager but her attitude was so “I don’t care, who are you to tell me what to do” that I decided to report the situation to him anyway and I am glad that I did as this was apparently not the first time this had happened and that this junior manager had a reputation of being a bully and steps have since been taken to make sure she understands that this kind of behavior won’t be tolerated , especially in a guest area. It’s an isolated incident but bullying……..well there is no place for it on our ships.

So then, before we leave the Carnival Liberty let me say that the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades are brilliant and here are just some of the comments I received yesterday on my Facebook page and on the blog.

Erica Ahlman Lechner: John, we just got off the Carnival Liberty. I must say the 2.0 upgrades were great. We especially enjoyed the EA SPORTS Bar and Guy’s Burger Joint. The new bars were great also. We enjoyed a few evenings up there listening to the musicians under the stars.

Jan Piette Bode: On the Liberty and eating a Guys burger. Amazing!!!

Russ Gorman: On the Carnival Liberty and the lido deck looks so cool and off to try one of those burgers

Jessica Roberge: Great to meet you! Thank you for the gifts. What a terrific renovation to the Carnival Liberty. Wow.

Bruce Bradford: John, please also thank Butch and Amy for a great cruise. They are the perfect pair to entertain us on the ship. I can see why you brought them to the Carnival Liberty. The entire crew was the best yet. Not to fault the others I would also like to Thank Antonio in the Dining room for making our nights at Dinner fun.

Janet T: OK this for everyone who somehow sent me email questions. I’ll try to add some observations about the ship as John is busy and I’m waiting for my flight. The lido upgrades are about way more than just food it is also an entertainment upgrade. Too those people getting on the Carnival Liberty today or soon DO NOT miss the deck parties they’re the best that we’ve attended on the lido yet. This comment is for the beards and others who go on the ship. The music on the lido deck was almost just right for us a good mix during the day follow by the bar entertainers in the evening. I’ll try to explain myself here. If you love Ron the Piano bar player you will love Tim the singer and guitar player. His talent of playing and singing is top notch. The night that he had the crowd sing with him was a lot of fun. Please continue to have him getting the crowd more involved with the singing. I believe it will be a huge hit on the nights without beach parties.

Bruce: Other comments I heard people comment about was how great it was to have the hot tubs open later on the lidos. They watched the deck parties and movies at night from the hot tubs. I saw people standing up in the hot tubs and dancing along with the music. OK almost time to board the flights, everyone I talked to on the ship says this is just the beginning. If I can I’ll post Kyle’s comments in Atlanta between my connecting flights.

And those comments say it all. Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades have lifted fun to grade A plus
Let’s turn our attention to the Carnival Magic. She has begun her 16-day journey across the Atlantic and her 3,900 guests and two service dogs are in for a wonderful time. Along the way my friend and soon to be personal assistant and lover of all things Bette Midler Mr. Calvyn Shawn Champagne Martens will be recording what’s happening for us along the way.

Here is his report from their day in Malaga:

Hello John,

Well I am here on the second day of the cruise in Palma. It started off really wet and rainy but has cleared up to be a sunny hot day with scatterings of showers. This of course creates a rainbow and today, I think I even saw a double rainbow. Hot dog!

Today, Ryan is doing the daytime activities and the guests are happy. Someone did stop me last night to rant and rave because we use golf pencils for trivias instead of regular sized pencils. Not even four hours into the cruise and this guest had something to say; sometimes you just have to find the fun sir! Can you imagine if we did use regular sized pencils? James Charlton would make us sharpen them daily and I for one am not about to do that, I have better things to do with my time then to sharpen pencils… I mean those cosmopolitans aren’t going to drink themselves.

Other than that, the team and I have seen many recognizable faces and that is a good thing. It is so great when guests from the last cruise join you on the current cruise because we already have a rapport with them. The real test of the trans-Atlantic is going to come when all the sea days hit. Oy-vay. When will I get my naps in? At any rate, we all miss you over here John and I hope that today, you will see your own rainbow! I can’t wait to hold you in my arms John.

Love,

Calvyn

Hold me in your arms ……..my arse.

Now each day I have asked Calvyn to send us the breakdown of what the guests are doing, so here is that information for their day in Malaga.

SAT URDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2011

MORNING

7:00am: Sunrise Stretch – Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

7:30pm: Fab Abs – Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

8:00am: Carnival Magic Arrives in Palma de Mallorca

8:45am: Daily Puzzle Pick-Up – Plaza Café, 5 Mid

9:00am SkyCourse Open – Deck 14, Mid

  • Library Time – Books & Games, 4 Fwd

11:00am: Putt-Putt Challenge – Turf on Surf, 12 Mid

AFTERNOON

1:00pm: General Knowledge Trivia – Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

2:00pm: Cartoon Sound Clip Trivia – Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

3:00pm: Uno Challenge – Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Basketball Knock-Out – SkyCourt, 12 Aft
  • Get Your Bridge On (Instructor Led) – Conference, 4 Mid

3:30pm: Bean Bag Challenge – Magic Lobby, 3 Fwd

4:00pm: Carnivalaire – Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Movie Matinee: Little Fockers…Seaside Theatre, 10 Mid
  • Cardio Blast – Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
  • Library Time – Books & Games, 4 Fwd
  • Friends of Bill W. / Jimmy K – Escape Bar, 4 Fwd

4:30pm: Famous Faces – Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Spa Open House – Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

EVENING

5:30pm: All Guests Must Be Back on Board

6:00pm: Carnival Magic Sets Sail for Malaga

7:00pm: Guess the Price of the Painting – Promenade, 5 Mid

  • Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet – Hat Trick Casino,5 Mid
  • Library Time – Books & Games, 4 Fwd

7:15pm: Superstar Live – Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft

7:30pm Dance Class – Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
Secrets of Art Collecting Seminar – Conference, 4 Mid

7:45pm: Olympics Trivia – Vibe Nightclub, 5 Aft

8:00pm: Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet – Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid

8:15pm: Magic Squares – Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd

  • Guess the Price of the Painting………….Promenade, 5 Mid

8:30pm: Superstar Live – Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft

8:45pm: Dance Hits & Mixes – Vibe Nightclub, 5 Aft

9:00pm: Game Show Mania – Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
Piano Bar Party – Play It Again, 5 Aft

9:30pm: Twilight Golf – Turf on Surf, 12 Mid

9:45pm: $600 Jackpot Bingo  – Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd

  • Karaoke: Party – Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft

10:00pm: Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet – Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid

  • Motown Hour – Vibe Nightclub, 5 Aft
  • Mature Singles Meet – Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
  • Friends of Dorothy GLBT Meet – Play It Again, 5 Aft

10:30pm: The Welcome Aboard Show – Showtime, 3 Fwd

12:00am: Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet – Hat Trick Casino,5 Mid

And as we are a day behind here is Calvyn’s report from Sunday and the day at sea.

Hello John,

The weather here is overcast, but warm without being muggy. The sea looks angry…well let’s say slightly miffed; however we are not experiencing any roughness on the ship other than the odd gradual list. In other words, smooth sailing for the Carnival Magic.

I just walked past the Lanai hot tub and saw the hairiest shoulders, back, and upper arms I have ever seen on a man. I can’t imagine his wife liking this. I mean, John, it was so ridiculously hairy I actually wondered if they comb it!

Of course now that we have mostly North Americans on board the site of Speedos is far and few between which is a good thing; however the black socks and Birkenstock combo is getting stronger every day.

I do have to say how great the guests are this cruise! Even with the slight change of itinerary, I have not had anyone raising any concerns with me. People are just happy, and as your hero, Martha Stewart says: “That’s a good thing.”

As you can see below, we have so much stuff going on it is ridiculous! Ridiculous in a good way! First off James is doing his walk-a-mile walk every sea day, which is good as he could stand to lose a quarter of a pound! Another great thing that is happening is Kevin and Christian hosting the Taco King competition: guests try and compete for the title of Taco King by making what they think is the most delicious taco in the world. I believe that this activity was purely thought up so Kevin and Christian could have tacos for lunch!

Me, myself, and I are very busy walking down promenade. I like to pretend I have a wrist phone by talking into my wrist and saying in a slight panic something like: “I don’t care what you have to do, but stop that ice sculpture from melting!” The plan is working though as guests think I’m stressed out and offer to buy me a martini to relax! I have a feeling at this rate, there are going to be a lot of melting ice sculptures today!

Looking forward to shaving your back for you John

Love,

Calvyn

Shaving my back……….not while I have breath in my body.

Let’s see what the guests are doing:

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2011

MORNING
7:00am Sunrise Stretch……….Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
7:30am Fab Abs……………. …..Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
8:00am Yoga +…………………..Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
8:30am James’ Walking Club…………….SportSquare, 12 Mid
8:45am Daily Puzzles……………………….Plaza Café, 5 Mid
9:00am Ultimate Mind Game…………….Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Bridge for Beginners Series (1 of 8).Northern Lights, 3 Fwd
  • Library Time………………… ….Books & Games, 4 Fwd
  • Putt-Putt Challenge………… ….Turf on Surf, 12 Mid
  • Indoor Cycling Class +………….Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

9:15am James’ Morning Show……….Channel 16 & Seaside Theatre
9:30am General Knowledge Trivia…………Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft
10:00am Super Trivia!……….. Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft

  • Bean Bag Challenge……………..Magic Lobby, 3 Fwd
  • AquaFun…………………………..Beach Pool, 10 Mid
  • Arts & Crafts………………………Conference Center, 4 Mid
  • Intermediate Bridge Lessons…..Northern Lights, 3 Fwd
  • Gaming Lessons………………….Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid
  • Seminar: Botox Q&A……………Ocean Plaza, 5 MId

11:00am Dance Class…………..Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd

  • Dominoes………………………….Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
  • Dodgeball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SkyCourt, 12 Aft
  • Seminar: Secrets to a Flatter Stomach….Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

11:30am Cooking Demonstration…….Prime Steakhouse, 5 Aft

AFTERNOON
12:00pm Scrapbookers Meet…..Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Spa Raffle…………………………..Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

12:30pm Champagne Art Auction & Preview..Vibe Nightclub, 5 Aft

  • Slot Tournament +………………Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid

1:00pm Master Mixologist Competition……….Beach Pool, 10 Mid

  • Introduction to Acupuncture……..Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
  • Bridge Play (Duplicate & Social)…Northern Lights, 3 Fwd

1:15pm Beary Cuddly +…………Camp Carnival, 11 Mid
1:30pm Get Your Bridge On (Instructor Led)..Northern Lights, 3 Fwd
2:00pm Guess That Song: Movie Themes..Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd

  • Shipbuilding Sign-Ups……………Beach Pool, 10 MId
  • Basketball Tournament………….SkyCourt, 12 Aft
  • Arts & Crafts…………………….Conference Center, 4 Mid
  • Detox for Health & Weight Loss……Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
  • Library Time…………………….Books & Games, 4 Fwd
  • Cruise Critic Roll Call…………..Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft
  • Friends of Bill W. & Jimmy K………..Escape Bar, 4 Fwd

2:30pm 3 Game Bingo +……………..Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
3:00pm Uno Challenge……………….Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

  • Bean Bag Challenge……….Magic Lobby, 3 Fwd
  • Tea Time…………………..Southern Lights, 4 Aft

3:15pm Skin Care Clinic………………Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

  • Slot Tournament Finals +………Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid

3:30pm Dance Class………………..Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
4:00pm Taco King……………………Lido Marketplace, 10 Mid

  • Afternoon Karaoke………………Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
  • Movie Matinee: Secretariat…Seaside Theatre, 10 Mid
  • Pilates +……………….  …..Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

EVENING
5:00pm Military Veteran’s Meet………………Play It Again, 5 Aft

  • Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet……Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid

7:00pm Library Time……………………..Books & Games, 4 Fwd
7:30pm Family Friendly Comedy Special…Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft
7:45pm Sports Trivia…………………….Vibe Nightclub, 5 Aft
8:00pm Invisible Movie Trivia…………..Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd

  • Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet…..Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid

8:30pm Showtime (Early Seating)…………Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
8:45pm Dance Hits & Mixes……………..Vibe Nightclub, 5 Aft
9:30pm Twilight Golf…………………..Turf on Surf, 12 Mid
9:45pm Uncensored Comedy Special…….Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft
10:00pm Invisible Movie Trivia…………..Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd

  • Total Request Hour…………………..Vibe Nightclub, 5 Aft
  • Texas Hold ‘Em Players Meet…..Hat Trick Casino, 5 Mid
  • Friends of Dorothy GLBT Meet………….Play It Again, 5 Aft

10:30pm Showtime (Late Seating)……………Showtime Theatre, 3 Fwd
10:45pm Uncensored Comedy Special…….Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft

  • Up-Close Magic…………………..Escape Bar, 4 Fwd

11:45pm Uncensored Comedy Special…….Spotlight Lounge, 5 Aft

As Calvyn mentioned there has been a slight change with Grand Turk being replaced with an overnight in Freeport. We sent a letter to the guests and part of it said this:

We wanted to let you know that we are experiencing a technical problem with one of our stern thrusters (side propellers on the aft that help the ship move sideways). Don’t worry, this does not compromise the ship’s safety in any way and all other systems and hotel services are functioning normally.

However, in order to make the necessary repairs, we must remain docked in port for two days. Therefore, I’m sorry to say that we will not be able to visit Grand Turk and instead will visit Freeport, where we will have an overnight call. We’ll be arriving on Wednesday, November 9th at 9:00 AM and are scheduled to depart on Thursday at 5:00 PM. Please know that our arrival into Galveston will not be impacted.

So they have an overnight in Freeport and so far most of the guests I am told by James are all OK with this.

The one thing now is that I may…….just may……not definitely but may……… possibly……..be able to go to the ship and stay the night and meet the many guests I let down by not being there. I haven’t spoken to the beards about this yet but let’s see what happens. The fact that I am even considering lowering my flaccid arse into that American Eagle seat again and knowing I will have to face Bahama Hummer, the Bahamian security lady makes me very nervous indeed. I can only hope that she hasn’t read my blog about my thoughts on Bahamian airport security. If she did then I am in deep trouble and will no doubt get the latex treatment. And if she puts her massive hand up my bottom you will be able to home port the Carnival Liberty up there.

Happy Halloween.

Goodnight,

Your friend.

John

P.S Are you sailing on Bloggers Cruise 5 (March 4-11th on the Carnival Magic)? Fill out this form ASAP to make sure you are on the guest list for all of the events and to receive your onboard gifts! – Eric the Beard.

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. If it is something that's unrelated, please use the Ask John tab 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.

32 Responses to MAGIC MOMENTS

  1. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    Since tonight is Halloween I hope you don’t run into Count Flatula.
    The Cruzin2some

  2. Linda Pearl says:

    Hi John, Just wanted to say thanks for the nice words about CruiseMates. I know many of our cruise mates, will be with you on your innaugural cruise on the Magic from Galveston. I enjoyed The Magic in the Med with you, so I know how much fun they are in for..You are in for one bug Texan Hug,,,,

  3. Eilean says:

    Hi John!
    A while ago I had asked you a question and in doing so mentioned that our cruise was for a triple Birthday… My Mom, My Husband and My Daughter. You asked that I remind you when it was getting close that I was boarding. So here is your reminder! Our booking numbers are 128BR2 and 130BR7. All three Birthday people are in the 130BR7 room. We are all looking forward to the trip. I have now found a medication to make me more mobile! If you remembered my question. ~ if not… I had asked if I had to change to a handicapped room if I only needed my wheelchair occasionally and you answered very nicely that I would be fine if I didn’t need it all the time. I am still bringing my chair but (Thank GOD!) I can walk a good bit (although I look a bit like a drunk duck!) Thanks for your concern when I first asked and now!
    Eilean, Eilean, Matt, Alex, Lauren, and Julie

  4. KenSanDiego says:

    Cruise Critic members are welcome on John’s blog. I post quite a bit and have even had John reply to me on several occasions. I am also an avid Cruise Critic member.

    I do know that inconsiderate morons are banned. If they also happen to be Cruise Critic members then that is just coincidence ;-)

  5. Jarrett says:

    John, if you don’t want to fly American Eagle and their small planes. Take the drive to Fort Lauderdale and fly Vision Airlines to Freeport. They fly bigger planes.
    -Jarrett

  6. lester says:

    Just a a few not so random thoughts. Has Mr. Arison considered procuring the naming rights to American Airlines Arena where his Heat play in order to rename it Carnival Arena? You then could redo some of the concessions into Guy’s Burgers and Red Frog Pubs. Or maybe a food court based across all the lines food and beverage offerings. You could call it A Taste of Carnival. I believe the beards would call this synergy. How much better would it be to enjoy LeBron, Dwyane, Chris, et al while eating a chocolate melting cake or dare I say it- a shrimp cocktail?
    Lester

  7. An English Speaker says:

    “If there are small numbers of guests, say 28 from Germany and 70 from Spain then we will send printed material to their staterooms in their own language. However if the groups are large of say 100 or more then we are obligated to make sure that they understand our emergency procedures ”

    What????? People who do not speak english do not have to endure this dumb drill, but are allowed to sit in the comfort of their room and read a piece of paper and you declare this is sufficient to “made sure that they understand our emergency procedures”???? Doesn’t that sound dumb to you? I can read the same piece of paper (in english of course) and be just as prepared as they are. You are either aggravating us for no reason or selling them short. So which is it???? The fire marshall would not allow that many people squeezed in any space that small on land. Why is it appropriate that only primarily english speaking guests be required to do it on a ship?? Don’t claim it is the only way…I’ve been on ships where it is done in the comfort of a dining room.

    • Tonya says:

      He didn’t say that they didn’t have to attend the drill, only that they got the material printed in their primary language. I have been on cruises where there were people at the drill who didn’t understand a word of what was being said but they had to stand there so they could see where their muster station was and where their lifeboat was. Everyone has to attend!

  8. barbara says:

    Hi

    Want to book another cruise , and I was thinking ,Cozumel, Mexico ,in the end of sept. or the beging of oct. You know the weather , which is best ? Hurricane and all you know.We just missed the one in mexico this oct. .But we did love the rain, we were in.I guess You can say we like weather. We are in califronia , no real weather here LOL. Thanks for the help .Barbara

    • The Cruzin2some says:

      The Hurricane season is from June til October in the Caribbean. The end of October or first part of November is better.
      The Cruzin2some

  9. The Walmart of cruise lines…thats okay with me, I shop at walmart!

  10. Luis R says:

    This is for Candice. If you have never cruised before, don’t worry about what others say, specially if comparing one cruise line with another. Don’t come aboard with any preconceptions or prejudiced based on what others said. I bet your friends have never cruised on Carnival. Usually this kind of comment come from people who have actually never experienced what they criticize. Go enjoy your cruise in Walmart, I mean Carnival and when you are back tell your friends how wonderful everything was. I have only cruised twice, both in Carnival and when I get to cruise in some other line in the future I will try to make the best of the experience without trying to compare with Carnival.

    • thomas t. says:

      this is for candice
      the wife and i have been on carnival [ 7 ] times and on rccl once and the wife and i did not like rccl we liked ccl so will that we bought stock in carnival
      so go on the cruise with an open mind

      • Tonya says:

        I agree, Thomas! The hubby and I have been on two Carnival, one NCL and one RCL. Our next and hopefully all future cruises will be on CCL! The food is better, the activities are better, the ambiance is better, and the rooms are nicer and bigger! I LOVE Carnival! Hoping to be on one next May!

  11. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    Every time I read of some gentleman who “missed an important date”….

    I think of my own experience.

    Picture it….Long Beach, Mississippi
    (population…. 12)

    David and I had retired for the evening.. at little after 11pm.

    Before I laid my head on the pillow, I eased his FIRST Anniverary card out of my purse by the bed and laid it on the night stand….so it would be right there…first thing in the morning…..to give to him on our FIRST Anniversary.

    David caught a glimpse of the card out of the corner of his eye as he laid his head on the pillow to go to sleep….

    “suddenly” he gets out of bed and says “I will be back in a minute…” (as he is getting dressed)….

    Out the door he goes at MIDNIGHT to search Long Beach, Ms (population 12) for any store that might be open AND have a greeting card he can buy….

    Happy FIRST Anniversary my arse!!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  12. Mike J. says:

    Hi John! My wife and I just booked for our 12th anniversary and our 3rd Carnival cruise on the Legend in June. I’m glad to read above that Trudi had a great time on that ship. We had a great time on the Dream and on the Inspiration with our kids so we are looking forward to our time on the Legend. Cheers!

  13. Bill Heck says:

    Hello John:

    Well, you can imagine my excitement when you mentioned you may be able to join the Carnival Magic while we get a thingy fixed in Freeport. Come see us.

    We had a slightly late departure from Barcelona due to having to load mass quantities for the long run across the North Atlantic. It was a rainy day in Barcelona and there was a passing shower in Palmas, but it did little to interfere with a beautiful day. Then a nice Sea Day and guess what? Captain Giovanni Cutugno arrived at the Cruise Critic meet and greet. The Captain gave a warm welcome and guaranteed us a Sunny Day in Malaga. The Hotel Director and the Food and Beverage Manager were also introduced by James Charlton.

    The weather in Malaga was perfect, as promised, and the excursion to Alhambra was brilliant and we were reminded why it is best to take Carnival Excursions. Not only was the guide professional and knowledgeable, but we were an hour past departure getting back and the ship waited at the dock for us.

    So, a magical cruise for us, best ship ever, great food, great games, James is wonderful, altogether efficient and friendly staff. We transited the Strait of Gibraltar after dark and the lights of Tangier were visible to port and if you knew where to look you could make out Gibraltar, and a piece of England. A bucket list experience.

    Marjorie says thank you very much for the chocolate covered strawberries, they are delicious. In fact, we are both eating one, er three, right now. WYWH

    Your Friend

    Bill Heck

    • Bill Heck says:

      Hello John:

      Tonight we had the Chef Table onboard the Carnival Magic. Wow, too bad you missed it. The wines were excellent, a Pinot Grigio and a Shiraz. The meal started with some amazing appetizers in the piano bar, then we moved to the galley where they had a table for 12. The meal built and built toward the finale of Wagyu, beef and then Desert for total eight courses. My sweetheart wanted to lick the plate after the beef course. Words can’t describe how good this meal was. Dessert was Disneyland on a plate. Little bits of flavor, from raspberry to lemon, to coffee, to chocolate, to ginger, sweet to bitter. Textures, flavors, creamy, crisp, really good. And the whole meal was the right total amount, perfect portions so you could enjoy the entire meal without bloat.

      Best meal we have ever had, and we have had some fine ones, gourmet $300 per plate. And nice folks to eat with.

      Too bad you missed it, WYWH. Most of the people at the table were there because you booked the reservation for them. When we got on the ship, there were 24 people on the waiting list, and they are doing a total of six tables on the transatlantic.

      Tomorrow, Las Palmas. Then six days to Freeport, where you and Al Ernst will get on and have a ball. Say it, John.

      Your Friend,

      Bill Heck

  14. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    HEY CALVYN!!!!!

    Can’t wait to see you in just a couple of weeks!!!!!!!

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

  15. mary f (on the CarnivalMagic) says:

    Hi John,
    We are on the Carnival Magic and she is truly wonderful. Calvyn is a hoot and James is a great CD. Hope to see you in Freeport!

  16. Judy Charbonneau says:

    Hello John from the beautiful lobby of the Carnival Magic. I have just lost at ‘Bean Bag Toss’ so have been sitting here at the ‘FunHub’ reading your blog. Yes, come and join us in Freeport – it would be great to see you.

    Judy (OH CANADA!)

    • Steve O says:

      Judy promises she WILL sing “Oh Canada” as you board the ship in Freeport…btw, she’s VERY good at the Bean Bag Toss.

  17. Mary ( Mrs Shy ) says:

    Hi John,

    On the Magic currently. Hope you will be able to join us in Freeport.

    I have met James, the CD and find him to be very personable.

    Don’t forget to bring my package for winning the Maroon 5 Contest…..lol. Steve O is on board also so he would like his too.

    Looking forward to seeing you again… hopefully on board and not just when we get to Galveston,
    Mary

  18. John, a word form the Carnival Ecstasy were we had Halloween last night. The sea is a little rough to today but the cruise is great. The costumes last night were great and the ship had a great time.
    looking forward o seeing you on the Carnival Magic in a few days and on the pier in Galveston as she comes up the channel.

  19. Loretta says:

    Kevin,
    Change your dinner to Your Time dining and ask the Matre D for your dining room what time they sing and dance. Then go in to eat right after they are done with the show. That is what we do fine.

  20. Wil-da-beast says:

    Just a quick note. Try to read the blog as often as I can, but don’t always respond. When I met Calvyn he made me feel bad cause he didn’t know my name. Well, now I know him and I hope he knows my name now. There are so many repeat responses that I don’t feel the need to add my 2 cents. But I am still an avid reader of the blog. Maybe I’ll see Calvyn when the Carnival leaves Galveston for the first time and see if he remembers me. Love you all and you too Calvyn…W

  21. kk says:

    Why do so many responders think that it is wrong to criticize anything about the Carnival cruise lines and the various ships. I am a platinum member and I am on the TA with the Magic right now. However, even though I am a loyal Carnival fan, does not mean that Carnival does everything right. Magic is a great ship, but in my opinion many areas are still struggling to be organized. I have always enjoyed the Spa but aftr 4 days of complaining about various things, I had my money refunded.

    I want Carnival to remain the best. It is my opinion that Carnival can’t fix what they don’t know about. As for asking John for favors, apparently, as cruise ambassodor, it is part of his job. So quit berating people for asking.

    And it is not fair for Carnival to move him around when people book cruises to sail with him. I booked again on Magic for January 22nd when he was supposed to be back on, especially for my daughter, and his plans have been changed again. No fault of his at all, but aggravating non-the-less.

  22. Tracy says:

    John, it would be wonderful if you could join us in Freeport! When I told my hubby I was reading your blog he said to tell you to get your arse on a plane and come meet us! And then I read that you might do just that!

    We had a wonderful Halloween party last night. I don’t think I have ever seen so many costumes before.

    James and all of the crew are doing a wonderful job! Love the Red Frog Pub and have already made many new friends. WYWH!!

  23. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear Candice,
    The shows on Carnival are fabulous! The food on Carnival is better then RCCL and you will have so much Fun. A friend of mine sailed with his Aunt who picked RCCL for their first cruise. When he came back he said it was OK but the entertainment was not up to what he had expected. I told him for the next cruise to try Carnival and he did. Upon his return back to work he told me thanks that I was right. The Carnival cruise was alot more fun. Like everything it is all up to you and what you prefer. Some people like to pay more for the same items just so they can say they only shop at Macy’s or some other big name department store. Enjoy your cruise with an open mind and you will see what a great value Carnival is and how much fun you will have and don’t let others tell you where to spend your hard earned dollars.
    Have a great Time and please let us all know how much fun you had!
    The Cruzin2some

    • Dorothy says:

      John,
      I could less about getting cards, candy, or flowers for my birthday, anniversary, or any holiday, as long as I can spend a nice quite evening with hubby is worth more than any of the other stuff. I even tell my youngest son when he ask me what I want for my birthday, is that I want to spend a day with him and his family, not to buy anything, all I want is a nice dinner with them which I usually cooked myself. Family to me is more important than material stuff.

  24. Angie on The Magic says:

    John, the Magic is beyond words. I just have to tell you the amazing stories of the people we have met. Cruisers who have been faithful to Carnival for 33 cruises & 45 cruises! A couple from Germany who is building a home in Grand Turk- WOW! A couple from Australia who loves geo-caching (finding hidden treasures in foreign countries). An amazing couple from Dallas, Texas who we hope to reunite with after the cruise so we can talk about BMW car deals and iPhone thing-a-ma-jigees! I guess what I am trying to say is that we have met incredible people on the ship who have rich experiences to share with us. This will make the TA such a treat.
    Last night, we learned the cha-cha, samba, and tango. You will have to ask James to show you how well he dances! ;-) I went today and purchased some of the lovely Bliss hand cream that you delivered to Calvyn. Gosh, Richard and I are still smiling after a night of sitting around with “Amy Winehouse” at the Halloween competition.
    I don’t know when you will see this but thanks for the updates and for cheering us on. Love the Carnival logo– “Make your other Memories Jealous!” Check!!! Best, Angie and Richard from Dallas, Texas

  25. Jodi says:

    Hi John, This is a different question: Is the Amy on Carnival Magic the same Amy that was on Carnival Paradise as an entertainment staff member? If so, please give her an atta girl from me! I am so happy for her to be on that beautiful new ship. She deserves all the promotion she can get!

    As for Sir Calvyn and the Martini’s: well let’s just say he’s a clever buggar, but he may have just shot himself in the foot by revealing his “tricks”

    Thanks for another GREAT blog!

    Your Friend,
    Jodi

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