ROLLING IN THE DEEP

February 27, 2012 -

John Heald

It’s only now, on Monday, February 27, that I am starting to feel on the road to recovery following my Ebola/swamp fever and resulting pink eye. Once the doctor had told me my eye wasn’t contagious, I had to make the decision to carry on working and performing despite the fact that I felt like crap. It started off as a normal cold, a bit of a sniffle, and a feeling that the cabin air conditioner had broken because one minute I would be roasting the cabin to the point where Ketut was cleaning my room in a pair of Speedos and the next turning it into an igloo. Obviously when I called Heidi she was very sympathetic, saying “I suppose it’s man flu. Ha. You should try giving birth. Then you’d understand the meaning of true pain you bastard. Kye came out sideways and I was making you dinner 20 minutes later. So get off your arse and go host a show.”

It doesn’t matter what illness I have. A cold, bird flu, stomach cramps, gangrene of the inner thigh, shooting myself in the leg with a nail gun or my head falling off, nothing will ever be as bad as giving birth. Every now and then I read about how it is becoming more and more fashionable for women to give birth at home, surrounded by friends and family. Usually the ladies who say this are wearing sandals, long green flowing dresses and will have some Enya or whale-humping music playing when the contractions begin and who will breast feed until the kid is 11 years old. She is also likely to ask her partner to video the entire event for the kid to be traumatized with later.

Having been through the wonders and the utter terror of child birth, I do understand that it’s painful but come on, ladies, pink eye is no walk in the park either. In the UK the whole birthing process is handled by a midwife and her assistant. There is no doctor unless you have complications. The midwives are mostly middle aged or older ladies and look like Mrs. Doubtfire except that this being the UK they have a Polish accent rather than a Scottish one. I was a bit taken aback by this. I wanted machines that go ping and doctors cloaked and masked and ready to get my baby here now.

I do remember Heidi being in a bit of pain and that she was making loud grunting noises like one of those Russian tennis players Anna Getyourknickersov or something like that. Then as the contractions grew, her moans became howls. Was my wife turning into a werewolf? Kye was born in a strange position which Heidi did, if I remember rightly, blame me for. Her head was facing up instead of down or down instead of up……I can’t remember which. I had my back firmly to the show and as much as I wanted to help Heidi through the pain, I was going to be no bloody good having a quick look downstairs and immediately fainting. I don’t remember much except I really did try to help, honest. I said “Breathe …. in … out …….in……out.” And my normally non-swearing placid partner replied…..”I know how to f*****g breathe, you wanker.”

So from that day on every time I am ill, Heidi tells me it’s nothing how only she knows real pain after she pushed a seven-pound turkey through a mouse hole and my reply that I am surprised I am able to have rumpy pumpy with after witnessing childbirth……. Never strengthens my case.

Men, listen to Uncle John here. Your wife will tell you she wants you in the birthing room for your support and because she wants you to hold her hand and to be there to witness the birth of what will be the most important thing in your life. That’s not the reason, oh no. She wants you there so she can milk it forever and ever, especially when you’re complaining about having a cold. Heidi said men will never understand the pain of child birth. Well, obviously, she has never been kicked in the bollocks, has she chaps?!

Time for some Q and A….off we go

Kathryn Hall Allahyari asked:

Who will be the CD on the April 1, 2012 cruise of the Carnival Splendor? We are taking our three children, their spouses and our eight grandchildren on a cruise for our 50 wedding anniversary, and I would like to do something special for my husband – can you suggest anything really romantic????

John says:
Hello Kathryn Hall Allahyari

Your CD will be the wonderful Todd Wittmer who is one of our most experienced and finest cruise directors. As for romantic, well I would suggest that one night you leave the family and grandkids and just you and your husband go to the steakhouse and have a private meal for two. The food is exquisite and the atmosphere will complement your romantic night perfectly. You can book this through my blog and the ship will then send an email confirmation. Please let me know if there is anything else you need and I wish you all the best of times.

Best wishes.

John

Dennis Odent asked:

You know what makes me LOL? You, Mr. Heald. You pretend to be the friend of the people who read your blog and read your Facebook but be honest the day you leave Carnival you won’t care if they live or die. I am not going to blow smoke up your ass either to get some pathetic free gift but will come right to the point. Will you show March Madness basketball on the Carnival Liberty’s giant screen?

John says:
Hello Dennis Odent

While it is hard to remember all the thousands of people who cruise with me I do consider many of them friends and if Carnival suddenly decided that they needed a newer, slimmer, funnier CD and brand ambassador then I hope that my friendship with everyone would continue, it certainly would from my side regardless of how cynical you may feel. Anyway, let’s see, ahhh, yes, now that my arse (spelt correctly) is smoke free I will say that the some of the games will be played on board on the Seaside Theatre and some in the EA Sports bar. Have a brilliant cruise and I hope we can become friends one day.

Best wishes.

John

Helen De Veer asked:

There is an obvious short fall when it comes to Carnival and their brand ambassador caring about vegans. We cruised on the Eclipse and enjoyed Seitan main courses (Seitan, pronounced say-tahn, is a wheat-based Asian meat substitute), tomato pomodoro, tofu medallion piccata and many more exotic dishes. On Carnival there was very little that didn’t involve chick peas and it wasn’t for the vegetarian Indian dish in the dining hall then we would have starved. You may mock Mr. Heald but maybe a look in a full length mirror will show you that your perception needs to change and that Carnival needs to have two or three main courses for vegans each night at dinner.

John says:
Hello Helen de Veer

Thanks for the email but I thought I have always heard good things from vegetablists who cruise with us, especially about the dinner options including the Indian dish you mentioned. I do hope that you found some nice options and I will be sending your comments to our executive chef so that he can see what you would wish to see as enjoyed on the Celebrity ship. Thanks for taking the time to write and for the encouragement to change my diet.

Best wishes.

John

John Coren asked:
John —

Is it possible to request a specific waitress when you have any time dining? We were on Carnival Magic at Christmas and had a lovely lady from Romania called Allina (sp?) and she served us the last three nights. I have read since that if you like a waiter then you can ask for them when you enter the dining room. Is this true?

Thanks

John says:
Hello John Coren

Yes indeed it is true however I should mention that it’s not always possible because his or her section may be full. But if you time it right or you are prepared to wait until there is space then yes you can indeed. I hope this helps you and please let me know if you need anything else.

Best wishes.

John

Wendy and Richard George asked:
Hi John,

After sailing on Splendor (with Heidi and you as cruise director) and Carnival Spirit, we are absolutely delighted to know that the powers that be at Carnival are sending Spirit Down under. We are sailing on her first voyage out of Honolulu to Sydney next September and would love to know if you will be here for the arrival of the first Whale Tail into Sydney Harbor. It will be worth it. Bring Heidi and Kye too (No big crocs, dingoes or bird eating spiders here, they are all up north).

Regards,

Wendy and Richard George

John says:
Hello Wendy and Richard George

Thanks so much for those kind words and it’s great to hear from you both. I have seen the welcome that Sydney gives Cunard ships and it would be nice to think that we would get a similar welcome from our Aussie friends. I am looking at the possibilities of being there but we shall have to see what my schedule allows for. It certainly will be a memorable moment and one it would be great to share with you both. Thanks for writing and I hope to see you soon.

Best wishes.

John

John Vanecek asked:
Hello John,

It was nice to meet you on the inaugural cruise from Galveston on the Carnival Magic. I’m glad the mad waiter didn’t hit you with a stick. Please help me with an issue. This was our eighth Carnival cruise, and my daughter and son in law’s first, as they are big time RC cruisers. I did an on boardbooking the first day for 4/14/2013. This will make us platinum (finally) after we sail on the Carnival Triumph next October. So I convinced my daughter that Carnival is great, and to keep sailing with us. She made her booking for the same cruise the last evening. John, it was pure chaos. The poor loyalty rep had no help and the people were lined up in droves to pick up certificates, etc. It took us two hours to book her cruise, and my major complaint is that after several messages to Carnival, with no resolve, they have yet to add the $100 promotional credit to her billing when she logs in to Carnival. I am trying my best to convince them that Carnival will furnish some great cruises as they have for me. They are Wendi and Randy Baldwin and are booked on the Carnival Triumph 11/14/2011 Can you get this simple request done? One other issue is that a lot of folks would love to see Progresso removed from the cruise ports, as the water is no better than Galveston, and you can go to the ruins from any Mexico stop. If I had it my way, I would make the five-day sailings Cozumel and Costa Maya, or Calica, where we went some years ago on the Celebration. The beach there is gorgeous. It was not so bad that the Carnival Magic missed Costa Maya for us, as we are fairly seasoned, but we heard many complaints on the ship about it. I thank you for your assistance, and hope to see you again. Thank you for the wonderful cruises Carnival has taken us on.

John Vanecek

John says:
Hello John Vanecek

I am thinking that as I am so far behind in my blog questions that this has been resolved but just to make sure I have just sent off a note to my colleagues who will make sure that is the case. I am very sorry you had to go through so much trouble and we will do better with this in the future I am positive John. I will also pass on your thoughts re: Calica. Thanks again and please drop me a line if you can on my Facebook page a week before you sail and include your cabin number.

Best wishes to all.

John

Sandy W asked:
Hey John,

Need your help getting me and my wife a table for two at dinner. We are Mennonites and deeply religious and mealtimes are a sacrament for us. We are on the 3/1 cruise on Carnival Paradise cabin M101.

Thank you

John says:
Hello Sandy W

I am very thankful that I saw this in time as I see you are sailing next week. I have asked the maitre d to do his best to assist you with this and I wish you a wonderful time.

Best wishes to you both.

John

Susan Horn asked:
Hi John;

I was wondering if you could tell me when formal nights for the April 13, 2012 Carnival Spirit to Hawaii are. I heard they were both on the way to Hawaii and was wondering why they wouldn’t do one each way?? Also really looking forward to seeing the new Carnival Spirit after her facelift.

Thanks for any info.

Sue Horn

John says:
Hello Susan Horn

The ship looks great and I hope you have seen Mr Radu’s photos recently here and on Facebook. Let’s have a look at this brilliant voyage, shall we?

  • Fri, Apr, 13 San Diego dep @ 4pm
  • Sat, Apr, 14 at sea
  • Sun, Apr, 15 at sea ELEGANT
  • Mon, Apr, 16 at sea
  • Tue, Apr, 17 at sea
  • Wed, Apr, 18 Hilo 10am-7pm
  • Thu, Apr, 19 Kahului 8am-11pm
  • Fri, Apr, 20 Honolulu 9am-11pm
  • Sat, Apr, 21 Kona 8am-5pm
  • Sun, Apr, 22 Nawiliwili 7am-4pm
  • Mon, Apr, 23 at sea
  • Tue, Apr, 24 at sea
  • Wed, Apr, 25 at sea ELEGANT
  • Thu, Apr, 26 at sea
  • Fri, Apr, 27 Ensenada

I have marked the elegant nights for you and as you can see you have one each side of the ports. I hope this helps and I wish you a brilliant time.

Best wishes.

John

Gwen Smith asked:
John,

First let me say what isn’t said enough on this blog – THANK YOU!! I had posted a message to you on Facebook and you delivered, as promised! My parents really enjoyed the goodies you sent them. I promised I would send you a little review of our recent trip on the Liberty. It was the first trip with our children, ages 10 and nine. They are now hooked on cruising and can’t wait to go again! We just had the best time! Butch was fabulous as our cruise director. We listened to the morning show that he and Amy put on and my son actually won a teddy bear from Fun Ship Freddy. Let me tell you, nothing starts a nine-year-old’s day off right like having Freddy personally deliver a bear to your room!

I was worried that my son, who is a picky eater, would have trouble with the food on the cruise. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He loved the pizza and our waiters in the Silver Dining room spoiled him to death. They did everything they could; including tracking down my parents anniversary cake, to make sure that our experience was amazing. There were plenty of activities for everyone to do. I was glad I brought some post-its as that was the only way we knew where everyone was on the sea days. My parents had a great trip, a trip of a lifetime they said. However, that can’t be right, because they are looking to go again in February! We did have one small issue, and that was with our service staff at Harry’s steakhouse. We didn’t feel like we were as taken care of in regards to drinks. There were a couple of times during the meal that drinks were empty, even after a request had been made for a refill. This was a very small thing and in NO way ruined our cruise or will stop us from eating at the steakhouse again. There were no complaints from any of the six of us about the quality of the food. We left stuffed!

Finally, I have to let you know how hard our room steward, Jay, worked. We had four people in an ocean view room, so it was cluttered, by our own doings. My son also got sick one night. We had to call housekeeping at midnight for a fresh change of sheets. They were there in no time and happily took care of everything. Jay came in the next morning, freshened everything up, gave our son a new mattress and made our room good as new again! He was always leaving the kids’ bears in cute places and just couldn’t have been better. Sorry for making this so long, but please pass on our thanks to everyone for making this an excellent cruise and thank you again for all you do!

Gwen

John says:
Hello Gwen Smith

There is no need to apologise for the length of this review as it was just perfect and a joy to read. Before I forget, the post it notes was a brilliant idea, well done. I shall be sending this to the ship and those mentioned will be thrilled, I promise. I shall also make sure they the see note about the drink service in the steakhouse which sounds like we need to improve on and we will. Thanks again and thank you for the kind words at the start of your post. I hope we see you again very, very soon.

Best wishes to all.

John

Stephanie Oliveira asked:

We will be taking our daughter on a cruise on the Carnival Magic on March 11, 2012. So excited. She will be eight then but will turn nine in August and I would like to do a Carnival theme party. I will need Carnival balloons, and T-shirts, and some of those famous trophies enough for 30 of her friends. It would be a great promo for Carnival as well. Can you provide these and have them delivered to cabin 1377 on our cruise?

John says:
Hello Stephanie Oliveira

Unfortunately we don’t have party supplies available for this but it is a great idea I must admit. I will send your daughter something on the cruise which is just two weeks away now and I wish you all the best of times.

Best wishes.

John

And that’s all for today.

So off we go on a new cruise and let’s see who is sailing with us and where we are going.

TOTAL GUESTS 4,143
TOTAL GUESTS UNDER 21 483

Non US 81 Canadians; 19 Mexico

Sun, Feb, 26

Galveston

Welcome Aboard Show

dep @ 4pm

Mon, Feb, 27

at sea

Grooveline

Anthony Acosta/ Tony Esposito

Tue, Feb, 28

Cozumel

Activities / Deck Party

Anthony Acosta/ Tony Esposito

8am-4pm

Wed, Feb, 29

Cayman

Destination Unknown Jason Bryne

A Kiss Goodnight

9am-4pm

Thu, Mar, 01

Montego Bay

Marcus Monroe

 

9am-6pm

Fri, Mar, 02

at sea

Win

Al Ernst/ Mutzie

Sat, Mar, 03

at sea

Carnival Legends

Al Ernst/ Mutzie

I will tell you one thing, Carnival Magic guests love with unbridled passion our karaoke parties and I could have Lady Ga Ga supported by a naked Garth Brooks appearing at the Ocean Plaza and Ron Pass and Elton John on dueling pianos in the piano bar, but it would be karaoke that would be the busiest. There is no doubt that karaoke continues to be one of the most popular activities on our ships. Every day our guests come on stage and do horrible things to Adele, Mariah Carey and that awful Summer Nights song from Grease.

I cannot go into the karaoke lounges on the ship because people see me and try to get me to sing and honestly, I would rather have “I Love H82Seaugo” tattooed on my buttocks than sing a karaoke song. I bet though that next week on BC5 I won’t have a choice when we hold our private Superstar Live event which is of course even worse as its live karaoke with the band. Oh, bugger!

People think I don’t like karaoke because I don’t like music. On the contrary, I don’t like karaoke because I’m a music lover. Granted, there are some people who are genuinely talented but being subjected to a chap who has been enjoying the company of Jack Daniels all night singing some drunken version of Grooves Like Jagger is not my idea of a good night out.

I’ve concluded that karaoke singers collude with each other, ignoring how horrible their mates sound because they fear with good reason that they sound as bad. Me, I know it sounds horrible when I sing, I know that dogs will be howling back in Galveston and I know that my voice sounds as flat as Kate Moss’s chest. I make people vomit when I sing………so I don’t. Yes, occasionally you get some great singers and yet ask the guests and they will tell you that for some rather bizarre reason that they enjoy listening to the bad singers as much as the good ones.

Last night I went to check up on our Karaoke Host Melvin who, by the way, I promoted from photographer to now one of the best karaoke hosts in the fleet. Sure enough, the moment I walked in, I was spotted and guests started to chant my name and one tried to thrust the microphone at me. Making a break for it involved running the gauntlet through overexcited, slightly intoxicated women grabbing at me from every direction…..it was like a zombie movie.

However, now and then, as I said, you do get someone who is simply brilliant and the Musical Director Alan had seen this young man perform at karaoke and so we had to put him in the talent show last cruise. Here then is Ben, age 11, singing Adele’s Rolling In The Deep.

Now there is a young man who has a great voice, a sparkling personality and is going to ruin it all by becoming a cruise director. Still……better than becoming a lawyer.

As some of you know late Saturday night we had a man overboard incident.

Here is what happened as reported on my Facebook page yesterday: It was 10:25 p.m. Elvis was in the building and looked magnificent. He was thin Elvis and I was the fat emcee. There were 1,000 people in the audience and just as I was preparing to go on stage and introduce The King of Rock and Roll, the PA system suddenly shouted, “Bravo Bravo, Port Side,” which all of us crew know is the coded wording for “Man Overboard.” Oh, by the way, I am sure that someone wearing sandals and who will be eating tofu on toast for breakfast will tell me I should say, “Person Overboard” in these PC times, but it’s 6:45am and I have had just four hours sleep so bugger that.

I handed the microphone to my assistant Hennie who was backstage with me and ran to the elevator and luckily it was on the way up which is a good thing because by the time my fat arse had made it up the stairs from deck 3 to the bridge on deck 8, the guests would have heard nothing on the PA system except my labored heaving breathing and not even my wife likes that.

So on the bridge; the well-practiced rescue procedures for man overboard were underway. Details were sketchy and as the brilliant Captain Cutugno began to turn the vessel to head back to where the reported incident had taken place, I knew I had to let the guests know what was happening. The “Bravo Bravo” call had been made through the emergency system so they knew something was happening and I have always felt that information is king…….OK, Elvis is The King but the guests needed to know what was happening. And so I told them what I knew. “Ladies and gentlemen, the announcement you have just heard is that we have a reported man overboard. The captain and crew are now doing what they need to do in order to search and let us hopefully rescue this person. I promise to keep you informed.”

The next 15 minutes were very tense on the bridge as the captain turned this leviathan of a ship as quickly and as safely as he could back to where the man had reportedly gone overboard. While he did that I called the U.S. Coast Guard on my cell phone. This obviously was under the instructions of the captain who asked me to keep them informed. And I did and I want to thank the brilliantly professional petty officer who helped me as I gave our position and details. She informed me that a helicopter would be scrambled immediately to our position.

As the ship finished her turn I think all of us expected the worst because those of us who have been in this position before all knew that it was very rare that these events ever had a happy ending. However, suddenly the huge spotlights that we were using to search the still choppy waters suddenly showed a blinking light in the distance….hold on……..there were two blinking lights. We knew that one of the crew members who had seen this person go into the water had thrown a life ring in and that it would have an emergency beacon but the second light, what was that? I was then told that the person who had gone into the water was allegedly wearing a lifejacket which we all know also has a light on it designed to attract attention in the water and it was doing exactly that.

We were too far still to see if there was a person inside the lifejacket and even with the bridge officer’s powerful binoculars, we just couldn’t tell. The captain gave a precise course and speed and we headed toward the lights. At the same time Captain Cutugno gave the order to lower the portside rescue boat, just above the water level and ready to be deployed.

I made announcement number two explaining to the guests what was happening. What we knew they knew. During all of this, Elvis continued singing and even though half his audience had chosen to watch the rescue rather than listen to his great music and watch his pelvis gyrate, the show went on.

At 10:52 pm the captain ordered the rescue boat into the water and Officer Diego and his crew raced toward the lights. At this point the ship had come to a stop around 300 meters from the lights and remained stopped, the captain using the powerful thrusters to keep us in position. Now all we could do was wait for the rescue boat team to tell us what they found.

There were probably 400 guests or so lining the Deck 5 Lanai and hundreds more on their balconies all looking at what was happening, some looking for that YouTube moment no doubt such is the world we live in.

And we waited.

And then through the static of the radio we heard these words, “We see one person; I repeat we see one person, we will rescue from the water.”

And we waited.

“We have rescued one from the water, one from the water, he is alive, repeat he is alive.”

There was no time to jump for joy, not yet anyway. The captain ordered the rescue boat to return to the ship and for the starboard side shell doors to be opened and the automatic stairs to be lowered to accept the return of the boat and to bring the person back on board as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, I told the guests and then I phoned my new best friend at the Coast Guard and told her the great news. She canceled the helicopter and shared her good wishes to the captain and crew. Meanwhile the person was brought to the ship and taken immediately to the medical center where he spent the night in the excellent care of our doctors and nurses. I thanked the guests and wished them a good night.

And that was that. I can’t speculate why this crewmember jumped overboard wearing a life jacket but thanks to the brilliant work of the captain and crew last night and that little light on his life jacket, he is alive today. It was quite an evening……all to the soundtrack of Elvis Presley.

I know I posted this on Facebook but what I didn’t say was this. You know, the young crew member is alive today because of the brilliant work of Captain Giovanni Cutugno and his officers and crew. The code for man overboard is “Bravo Bravo” and today I stand up and applaud and shout “Bravo, Bravo” to the captain and crew of the Carnival Magic whose brilliant professionalism saved someone’s life. And it feels great to write that this story has a happy ending and it also feels great to stand up and shout the praises of our Italian captain and his wonderful and dedicated crew.

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

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54 Responses to ROLLING IN THE DEEP

  1. Dora says:

    My parents on the cruise with you now.(Room 10289)

    They are with the 99.9 KTDY group.

    I know for sure ya’ll are having a blast.

    Just scream AYEEEE and you will find them.

  2. Shawna says:

    As a passenger on the 02/19/12 sailing I would like to say BRAVO BRAVO to everyone! It was a great sailing in spite of rough waters and unfortunate incidents with happy endings. The service we received was outstanding. John while a bit under the weather was a true joy once again! For those passengers sailing for the first time with John they would not know that he was ill if he hadn’t mentioned it – he truly was brilliant! CalvYn was in true Isaac form (you would only understand that if you were onboard last week!) and we left counting down to the next sailing with him. It was a treat to have Melody onboard as well – we were pleasantly surprised to see her smiling and greeting everyone at embarkation. It had been a while since we cruised with Hennie and he was as entertaining and refreshing as we remembered. We feel like we were handed the Dream Team in entertainment! We were so fortunate to have such a great sailing and create new memories with our family at sea! Until the next sailing be safe our friends!

  3. Cheria says:

    Carnival continues to operate with integrity and always puts human life above all. Bravo indeed. Much thanks to the captain and you. !

  4. SheriL says:

    To Helen Vanderwhateveryournameis….what a RUDE thing to say to John! Being a vegetarian doesn’t automatically mean you are skinny, OR healthy…it DOES, however, mean that, like it or not, there won’t be as many choices of food on the ship…a ship can only do SO much….geez….

  5. Sharon says:

    I love to be at sea. I love the Spa.
    I love the Live Entertainment.
    And I love Karaoke.
    I am to young to have Champagne too.

  6. LAURIE Hopper says:

    Thanks for Sharing Ben with us, he is great and I feel we will be seeing him on American Idol someday!! We needed the happy voice to go with all the bad news we have been receiving these days. Your the best, keep up the great work!!!

  7. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    As you know I love karaoke, however even I have to admit that most folks come to karaoke for the same reason they go to Nascar races….to see the wrecks.

    I know because I was one of those wrecks on the Magic in November. Trying to sing while getting over laryngitis…..not good!!

    I cracked like a drug dealer on Hooker Street.

    Sorry I will miss Melvin on the BC 5. I have sailed with him many times and he is absolutely deightful.

    I am pleased to know that karaoke is still so popular on the ships.

    Getting to sing in a safe, smoke free venue is a main reason I cruise Carnival.

    50 cruises in April…that is a lot of karaoke!!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • Candace Rich says:

      Even though we have not met in person Linda, I feel like you and I have a bond that not many Moms share or understand. I hope you had a wonderful birthday! You’re awesome!!
      Candace (mom of DJ#2)

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

        Thanks Candace:

        I know you will rock Blogger’s Superstar Live on BC5 !!!

        Hugs to your DJ … I know he is sad missing this cruise, but I am glad Mom and Dad are getting the chance to recharge the batteries!!

        Linda (Mom of DJ #1)

  8. Leslie says:

    Wow! That kid was good! American Idol may be in his future! What fun!

  9. Ilean Bosworth says:

    I have tears rolling down my face at your childbirth comments. I say much the same to my husband. Often.

  10. Rita presnell says:

    Stephanie, call bon voyage and by all means look up the meaning of the words please and thank you. It’s bad enough to demand gifts for 1 but to expect that for 30 people is totally unrealistic. You are a very rude, demanding and entitled individual!!

  11. bravo indeed, great job rescuing the overboard person!

    bee
    xoxox

  12. Janet says:

    John,I will be on the Magic March 11 cruise.I was wondering, since we are doing “anytime dining” if we will be able to hear Ken’s beautiful voice in the main dining room? I am looking forward to showing my RCCL. friends (their first time on CCL)The beautiful Magic!Thank you for all the hard and extra work that you do.We are from Texas! Can’t wait to be on the Magic again!! Janet and her 3 best friends cruise!

    • Janey - OKGIRL says:

      Janet, I will be on the ship the week before you and I also have Your Time Dining. I believe that our dining room will be the forward Northern Lights. Ken is in the aft Southern Lights dining room so I’m not sure that he sings in both places.

      I’ve done YTD on my last 6 or 7 cruises and I’ve never timed it right to even get to enjoy the waitstaff singing. :-{

  13. Dave S. says:

    Hi John, I was on the Magic the night the person went overboard. What a day that was. My son was seasick all day. We were sitting in the middle of the ship all day near the mens room (just in case). You and Calvin actually walked by my family at one point and asked how we were. We really enjoyed the week up until that last day. It was somewhat frutrating that we couldnt get more informtation on the weather the last day. I dont think anyone on the ship realized how rough the seas were going to get. We were all wiped out at 10:30 at night when the “Bravo” announcement came in. I thought you did a great job keeping us informed about the incident. It was surreal to see the entire rescue unfold. From the speed of the boat being turned, the spotlights, the help from the Royal Carribbean Ship and the happy ending to it all it was unbelievable!

    Thanks John, Keep up the good work!

    P.S. You and Calvin had us howling every morning. I still get a chuckle about the “Billie Jean King” comment!

  14. Rich Mc Quillen says:

    I had a brain fart today while walking out of the bank and looking at the front of my service vehicle and thought, why doesen’t have a carnival licenses plate for sale. I’m proud that I cruise with Carnival and want to show it, rub it in to everybody. I sure Carnival could sell a lot. Just share the first Million dollars. Good luck. Glad you feel better.

  15. Nanette Hurst says:

    Dennis;
    You don’t have a clue of how wrong you are. You don’t know what you are talking about. I know.
    Your lost.

  16. Loretta says:

    Mennonites going on a cruise? Just slip the Matre’ D a $20 and get your table for 2.

    • Cruiser Dave says:

      Yeah, I thought that was way over the top too. I live in the heart of Ontario Mennonite country and know them well. A conservative or old order Mennonite wouldn’t pull their horse and buggy up within a mile of a cruise ship. Moderate Mennonites would be indistinguishable from the general crowd, but it was pretty rich of Sandy to say that mealtime was a sacrament to them. To my knowledge their theology doesn’t even hold communion to be a sacrament. When I’m with them in a restaurant they may say a private blessing, then it’s chow down time. If he wanted a table for two he should just say so without playing a dubious religion card.

  17. Stacy Wheat says:

    I love the video of you and Ben! You are so funny. Thanks for posting.
    Also, as for Helen deVeer, she’s just rude. The Carnival menus are posted all over the internet. She has a special diet and it is she who HAD to know before she sailed exactly what foods are available to her on board. She was just looking for something to say so she could insult you.

    Just remember, Carnival can adjust their menu, weight can go up and down, but you can’t fix stupid.

  18. Pam Beneke says:

    Hey John,
    I was wondering if you could tell me what ship you will be on Nov/Dec 2012 we are looking to book but want to travel with you.

    I was also wondering what ship James Dunn will be on at the same time If we cant book with you I will travel with james again.. thanks

  19. Shelley says:

    John,
    I have just finished reading your blog and have to say Thank you for all you say and do for your guests and the Carnival corporation. It just drives me crazy to read some of these letters you receive. I just don’t understand why people have to be so ugly when voicing a comment or complaint. I also read your comments on Facebook and find this to be true here also. Why people find everything in the world is your personal fault is an utter mystery to me. If the vegan selection on board is lacking why a simple can you please ask the chef to consider making some new vegan recipes turns into it’s your fault because you’re fat and only want to eat lots of red meat. Your answers to such derogatory statements are utterly professional. Bravo John! On a lighter note, we are cruising on your beautiful Carnival Conquest 5/20/12 and will finally be platinum. I’d love to send my husband a “Yeah we’re finally platinum” gift. Any ideas? Thanks again so much for what you do! We certainly appreciate you and your humor!

  20. Kevin Pfeffer says:

    John,

    I would like to thank you and the entire Carnival Magic crew for the wonderful cruise my wife and I had (Feb 19-26)…..

    It is good to know that the crew member who jumped overboard is OK – my wife and I were in bed when the PA announcement, and, given the fact that I had been pondering going out on deck for the evening, my wife was glad I did not, as she would have been a nervous wreck if I had been out on deck when the PA announcement was made…..

    We definitely plan on sailing on Carnival in the near future, as we put a deposit down for our next cruise – I just hope we are fortunate to have you and Calvyn on the same ship for our next cruise……

    Until then, smooth sailing…..

    Kevin Pfeffer

  21. Cathy Woodard says:

    Speaking as an obese vegan, I would love nothing more than to don a bikini and send Helen De Veer photographic proof that not all vegans are sticks! I really hate when people think that their personal choices are superior to those of others. I avoid animal products for the love of said animals but unfortunately I have no such issue with breads and pastas. Not every vegetablist is the blooming picture of health – I really don’t know how you manage to maintain your composure sometimes…

    • Cruiser Dave says:

      Amen to that. I hope I am around when John is heading off into retirement and he finally gets the freedom to reply to those people in a manner befitting their spoiled, smug, superior, self-entitled selves.

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

        I had not thought of that….

        wouldn’t we ALL love to be on that last cruise when John could totally remove the word “political correctness” from his vocabulary and tell it like it is….

        I would pay good money to sail on that one!!

        LOL

  22. Vicky Swenson says:

    Amen, John.

  23. angela f says:

    John, I’ve only been to Progresso once so far… and I look forward to visiting again. Please know that I had a wonderful time on the kayak tour and it remains one of my favorite excursions, even with it being 3+ years and 6 cruises (all Carnival) ago. I understand that many enjoy ports for their beaches as John Vanecek above, but there are plenty of us out there that enjoy a smaller, less developed area with the extra perk of $10 massages on the beach… at that rate, what does it matter what the beach looks like!?!
    Anyway, thanks for the blog- I love it. (And the FB, though I do not have my own account I check your updates often thanks to the link on the blog page.)

  24. Julie says:

    @ Stephanie Oliveira – this was a joke right ? You NEED 30 free ballons/Tshirts/Trophies ? Have them delivered them to my cabin ? Come on – who does that ? Demand 90 free items ?! This has to be a joke… And how exactly is a whole bunch of free loot “great promo” when given to a bunch of 9 year olds ? Are they booking cruises ?

    Entitled much ?

    • lisa says:

      Thank you! Just what i was thinking! Only Julie said it with MUCH nicer language. My goodness, the things people feel entitled to on a cruise… hey lady (and I use the term very loosely), you paid for a 7 day cruise, not an entire cruiseship!

  25. Paul E. Duckworth says:

    Hi John, I enjoy your blog very much. I to want to agree with the earlier comment from “John” about Progresso. My wife and I will not get off the ship in Progresso because we think it is not a safe town to be walking in. We to would like to see this stop removed from your cruises out of Galvaston.
    On a brighter note, we are looking foward to sailing on the Magic on September 9th. This will be our 8th cruise and have never been to Key West which I understand is a great port to visit. Keep up the good work and maybe you will be the CD on one of our future cruises.

  26. Bob says:

    Fantastic video of you and the kid on stage. You should show more of these…this kind of thing will sell a lot more cruises than all the hype stuff you do! Too bad you didn’t have something like this a couple of weeks ago. I was torn between choosing the cruise on the Magic next week or the Voyager of the Seas…knowing all the baloney on Carnival vs the features of RCCL, I chose the Voyager. Could you please send us a “little something” to our cabin to make us feel “special” at the beginning of the cruise? We would appreciate it and might even consider Carnival in our next travels! Thanks! :)

  27. Tonya says:

    30 trophies? Is that woman serious? LMFAO! I feel sorry for her daughter, probably just as demanding as her mother and has no chance because of her upbringing. How about a little PLEASE? THANK YOU, JOHN, for putting up with these idiots! I am cruising on May 27 on the Pride out of Baltimore and I promise you I won’t ask for 30 trophies or free t-shirts. LOL!

  28. Dennis Kline says:

    On our cruise in September aboard the Magic, we also had Allina, and she was spectacular.

  29. lisa says:

    Women always say that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts. Here is proof that they are wrong. A year or so after giving birth a woman will often say, “it would be nice to have another kid.” You never hear a guy say, “I would like another kick in the nuts.” Case closed.

    • Laura says:

      Lisa, I’m sorry, but when a woman goes thru the pain of childbirth, she gets a baby out of it and that is why women want more children. It’s worth the pain! A man getting kicked in the nuts gets nothing out of the experience, it’s painful for no reason. Plus childbirth can last for hours upon hours, a kick in the nuts is over pretty darn quick. Your theory is ridiculous!

      • Kim says:

        @Laura: I thought the same thing! But after I laughed at what Lisa posted, what a funny thought and I know a few men will probably use that in an argument. Absolutely hilarious. I’m sure Lisa intended it to be silly, so don’t be so hard on her!

        • lisa says:

          Yes Kim, Thanks. I meant it as a joke, just didn’t write haha at the end. Sorry Laura, didn’t mean any harm.

  30. John,

    I join you in saying “Bravo, Bravo” to the entire crew (by the way… that means you too) for the rescue.

    The media always makes a big deal about the “overboards” when someone is lost at sea. It’s a shame that they didn’t make a big deal about this rescue.

    Again… Bravo, Bravo to everyone.

    Bob
    Memories of Naked Fanny

    P.S. See you Sunday for BC5

  31. Kellee Iannucci says:

    Hello John, I have definitely enjoyed your blog since I have started reading it. We are cruise newbies and going on our first cruise March 24th on Paradise out of Tampa FL!!!! My husband and I are taking our two children, ages 10 & 12, and both of the Grandmothers!! We are very excited to finally be going on a cruise, I have waited a long time to get my husband on one! We are all so looking forward to it! I was wondering if a little “welcome to your first cruise” token-gift could be there for the kids (cabin M225) and maybe the Grandmothers also (cabing M211.) Thank you so much! We can’t wait to board and enjoy ourselves on the ship, not to mention Cozumel and Grand Cayman!! I will post when we come back. Keep up the awesome and amusing blog!!

  32. Heather Goldsmith from Maine says:

    Hi John:
    We are sailing with you on March 25th. We are currently waitlisted for the early dinner time. Will we be notified ahead of time if that can be confirmed or will we have to wait until we get on board? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Soooooo looking forward to this cruise! Only 25 more days!!!!!

  33. Laura says:

    It really amazes me how entitled people are! Stephanie you cannot just expect free gifts for 30 people delivered to your room! I love Carnival, they always go above and beyond and if you are not satisfied with their service – quit cruising and vacationing. Period!

  34. Kathy Haughey says:

    Thanks for the video, John. I love watching these videos of you and the passengers. It makes waiting for my next cruise so much easier.

  35. Nadine B says:

    John,
    We have sailed with you in the past and are looking forward to our cruise on the Liberty this week (3/2) but have a couple questions:
    1. Where is the link to the cruise director schedule?
    2. How old do you have to be to get into the disco? Our children are coming with us during their college break and we could not see if there was an age to get in, we know it is 21 for drinking (thanks for that!)
    3. What is the best way to show the man in my life how much I care about him during our cruise (remember we are on a budget, we are supporting college kids, thus the interior cabin!)
    Again, thanks for always telling it like it is!
    Nadine Burns

  36. Eric Bunch says:

    John , My family an I will be cruising out of new orleans on the conquest for our 2nd carnival cruise in room 8297 march 18th . It will be my wifes birthday march 19 th, She want to call her family what is the best way for us to do this ! And for me how can I make this really special day for her ! We gave up christmas and birthday gifts for this cruise ! I really want her to smile !

  37. ReGina says:

    Hello John,
    I enjoy your blog and facebook page. A while back I asked how I could purchase a ship on a stick for my son on our cruise in April. You graciously offered to send us one. We will be cruising on the Elation on April 2, cabin m156 and he goes by the name ‘Russ’.

    Thank you for this. Thank you for all you do.

  38. Monica Christie says:

    Wondering if you could help. We will be going on our First Cruise, April 29, on the Carnival Legend celebrating our 24th Wedding Anniversary. Word is I can ask you to get reservations for the Chef’s Table, and was wondering if you could help me out.

    Thanks for anything you can do for us.

  39. Laura Brown says:

    I just want to let you know how much I enjoy your comments. It seems like there is never a dull moment when you are around.
    I will be taking two cruises with Carnival this year. I am taking my new Daughter-in-Law on her first cruise in July. She is going to have some stressful months coming up since her adoptive mother has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I would like to make this a special time for her. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? We will be on the Triumph leaving Galveston July 7, 2012. I know it is a few months out but can you tell me who the CD is? She is such a wonderful wife to my son and grandson that I want to give her the time of her life.

  40. Jim Lindsey says:

    John,
    I witnessed this from portside deck 11. All I can say is job well done. Thanks Carnival for training your crew so well.

  41. themnms says:

    just wanted to say firstly, the 11 year was amazing!!

    also wanted to commend all the crew involved in the perfectly executed life saving procedure. That young man I am sure will say daily thanks for the rest of their life!!

  42. sara irvin says:

    It sounds like everyone did an outstanding job for something that could have turned out very bad. I commend the captain and crew for a job well done. As a many time cruiser it makes me feel good

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