NURSERY BOLLOCKS

April 11, 2012 -

John Heald

The race for the republican nomination is over it seems and that’s big news here in the UK where American politics still sets the tone. Mitt Romney it seems is your choice to challenge President Obama. Now don’t worry, I am not going to lob a huge dollop of my political beliefs at you this beautiful Wednesday morning but I have to say………..he is a bit ummmm…….robotic…….and may I say ummmm……a bit boring as well. And what’s with the hair. Surely he must know that his sculptured hairstyle is far to perfect. If I was him I would wear a crash helmet an hour before going on stage because look how perfect hair helped that John Edwards chap.

But Mr. Romney is like most politicians, my British Prime Minister David Camaboring included. They are bunch of people who go to bed at 10pm, only drink Evian water, never try to look up their secretary’s skirts and have to resign if they even think about looking at some Latvian bottoms on the Internet. We are therefore governed by bores and people with the personality of a washing machine. Why is this good idea? No one says of their friends, “I chose them because they are all so kind to animals and they do good works.” We like people who like to laugh, to have fun, to break the rules once in a while……or is that just me.

Trouble is, it’s hard to find people like that anymore . . . you see, times are changing and we have to change with them.

When I head to the Carnival Breeze I will not be able to smoke something that has been rolled on the thigh of a voluptuous Cuban lady because crew are no longer allowed to smoke in guest areas. Yes, I will probably cheat that law in the wee small hours of a Venice morning, not because I think I am better or more deserving than other crew but because……….well……..I need one when stress hits me and I will take my Monte Cristo into a dark place light it up. I shouldn’t but I probably will.

I still remember that when I used to smoke in the much missed by me cigar bars I would get looks of pure hatred and utter amazement from guests as though I was sitting there naked with a Shiatsu on my lap. And this brings me to my hero.

While Cameron, Romney and Obama may be excellent politicians and may be doing some good for their country they are boring, just my opinion but that’s what I think. Imagine then if we had someone like Winston Churchill in power today. A cigar smoker. A big, big drinker. A man given to saying what he felt in parliament with great quotes like ” I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.” Brilliant!

But sadly a politician like this, under the glare of the paparazzi and the press ………he wouldn’t last a week.

It’s the same for all of us. You can be ostracized by your neighbors for putting your refuse in the wrong-colored trash can, you can have your car vandalized if it has four-wheel drive and doesn’t have the word Hybrid on it, and slapping the back of your kid’s legs if after he has super-glued his sister’s face to the television and painted and painted his Grandfather’s false teeth black is guaranteed to get you 5 years hard labor.

As a Cruise Director, I have to not smoke in public, sit up straight, watch what joke I say in case I offend anyone of any age, any sex, any religion, any creed, any color, any nationality, any height, any weight, of any……well……..thing . It’s hard. That’s why when I am on vacation, I smoke a cigar every day and tell all the jokes I could never tell on the ship to my Mum and Dad…….they particularly like the one about H82Seaugo, the Nun and the Elephant.

There is obviously a time and a place for it but I do worry that naughty behavior is being erased from society, and that unless the trend can be reversed, somehow we’ll all have to go through life like those Stepford Wives………..robotic and all programmed to do the right thing all the time.

I yearn sometimes when I encounter man like Mr. Romney with his perfect hair and who has, before heading to an interview with Wolf Blister, spent hours in front of the mirror maneuvering each hair into place like a Marine drill sergeant . I just want to creep up behind him and go “woohoo” and using both my hands mess hair up so badly it looks like he has just had a cattle prod shoved up his bottom.

Politics, like Cruise Directors need to be characters but I guess these days we will never see a true character ever again, someone like Churchill who smokes, laughs, drinks and swears and doesn’t care what people thought because he knew that he was a bloody good politician and brilliant leader. And he is on my dream cigar smoking list, people I would love to share a cigar with and along with Winston Churchill I would invite Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Angelina Jolie ( yes she smokes cigars ) and as I am bringing a beautiful woman to our cigar party I had better invite Bill Clinton too.

By the way, tomorrow I have a call with the beards to try and sell my idea of a cigar lovers cruise. I will let you know what happens.

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

Lisa Wann asked:

I need to know about the gondola weight limit. The website says 250 pounds and I am 300 plus pounds and my partner is also the same weight and we want to know if i will be banned from going. My partner is very upset that we won’t be able to go and I think it’s very bad that carnival should discriminate against heavy people in this way. What arrangements can be made for me to go and we are on the July 9 sailing of breeze. I should warn you that I am a senior member of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (Naafa) and I will be addressing your answer with them. As an obese person yourself Mr. Heald I am surprised that you don’t stand up for our rights more. I hope to receive a favorable response.

Lisa Wann

John says:

Hello Lisa Wann,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope you are looking forward to the cruise on our beautiful new Carnival Breeze. The weight limit is variable because we do put 4 people in the gondola on our fantastic and very romantic night time gondola ride. This means that if there is just 2 of you and it’s going to be a total of 600 pounds it may be difficult. Now obviously it is not Carnival that sets these rules but the gondoliers themselves as they have to manage the boats. The best thing here I think is to see me onboard and let me make a call to the tour operator and see if any arrangements can be made. I won’t promise but I will promise to do my best for you.

Best wishes,

John

Julie Wasson asked:
John,

I am getting nervous because the new loyalty program hasn’t been release.
In 3/12 I will have 8 cruises and I have my 9th cruise booked for 10/12. Also, I’m planning #10 on the Dream for 2/13. How is the loyalty program going to affect me. I’m been dreaming of the day that I will have VIP status and I don’t want a new program to take it away from me.

Thanks!

John says:
Hello Julie Wasson,

First of all my apologies for the delay in responding as I can see you have just completed your ninth cruise which I hope was fantastic for you and loads of fun. Please don’t worry, you will have your number of cruises grandfathered into the new loyalty levels and I will have information on this as soon as I can. Thanks for your continuing loyalty and if you have any other concerns please let me know.

Best wishes,

John

Taylor Esplin asked:
Hello John,

We met on a cruise on the Splendor and I know you met lots of people but hopefully you will remember my husband Neil as the 6 foot 10 man you had on stage with you and who you called Lofty each day. You called him for the weather forecast on your morning show as you said he would be the first to know what the weather was doing LOL. The reason I am writing is… that we will be joining you again on Breeze in July and I have a dreaded dress code question. My husband likes to wear dress shorts and a nice golf or polo shirt for dinner and I thought this was acceptable. But now I am told by someone that this is not allowed. Please can you help confirm as packing is this gal’s nightmare and I want to make sure I pack the right things. We dress up on formal night but love to stay casual on non formal night but dont want to offend anyone. Thanks John. Neil and I are very excited to see you again and we have even booked a suite this time.

John says:
Hello Taylor Esplin,

How can I forget you? What a star your husband was and I will do my best not to pick on him this time…………..but will probably fail:)

I am very excited that you are sailing and you will love the Carnival Breeze and please don’t worry about the dress shorts, they are more than fine on casual nights. I actually posted this on my Facebook page last night and the comments were mostly all to say that nobody would be offended. So, pack accordingly and I will see you both soon. I wonder how the weather will be.

Best wishes to you both

John

John Eldard asked:
John,

Just returned from the Victory cruise and my wife and I agree it was the best of our 9 cruises. The Victory crew is the best. They are happy, helpful, and extremely friendly and hard working. Everywhere we went on ship we were greeted with smiles, hellos, and use of our first names to greet us. Thank you very much for the bubbly and strawberries in our stateroom.
They were delicious.

Karl with a K recognized our name during a drawing and came over to talk to us. He also made a special effort to see how we were doing each time he saw us. He is doing a great job. A few others doing great jobs were our stateroom steward and assistant Lindon and Budi. Our room was spotless and always full of towel animals. One of the things Carnival does that they need to keep on doing are the towel animals and mints on the pillows at night.

Our Waiter and Assistant Waiter Rama and I Nyomon went the extra mile to make sure our meals were a special occasion. And the entertainment by the waiters made our cruise.
Our Bar Steward in the dining room Ediz made sure my Caffeine Free Diet Coke was sitting at the table when we got the the dining room and was such a pleasant guy to talk to.

Victory has a great crew and itinerary and many people we talked to agreed.
This was a FABULOUS cruise. Thank you for making it special with the stateroom bubbly and strawberries. We are hooked on Carnival. The Victory is our kind of ship. The new ones are too Las Vegas like and lose the ship feel. We like lots of deck space and the feel of a ship not a Las Vegas Casino.

Thanks again

John says:

Hello John Eldard,

Thanks so much for this brilliant review and I know that the Carnival Victory crew will be thrilled when they see this. She is a ship that maybe does not get the praise she deserves so a huge thank you to you for taking the time to write this. I hope we do see you again very soon and I am here if there is anything you need.

Best wishes to you and your wife.

John

Bradley Isbell asked:
Hi John,

We just arrived back from a great weekend aboard the Carnival Elation.
Excellent service as always. This was number 5 – ready for platinum status!

I just wanted to mention the show “Win” aboard the Elation. We brought several new cruisers with us this time and we sorta embarrased at how terrible “Win” was. We have been bragging on everything Carnival but this show left a lot to be desired. Just felt thrown together. We have been on the Dream, among others, and the shows have always been excellent. Not sure what happened with this one.

Otherwise – great as always!

Thanks, next stop Europe!

Bradley

John says:
Hello Bradley Isbell,

Thanks for yet another great review. Win is a show that involves an audience member and I know while most of the guests really enjoy it some do not as I discovered on the Carnival Magic and I will certainly pass on your comments to those in charge of show production. I do hope you had fun and I hope to see you in Europe.

Best wishes,

John

Alistair Pethan asked:

I have read on the cruise boards how children on your ship ares running riot and spoiling the experiencing for everyone who does not travel with children. I think Carnival should be listening to what is said about this and provide a ship that is child free or at least apply a curfew for all children. This seems to be the opinion of the majority.

John says:
Hello Alistair Pethan,

Carnival will not be moving away from our policy of encouraging families to sail with us. I do want to reiterate that while we do have some naughty children at times your description of “running riot” is a bit harsh. Most of the time the children we have onboard are well behaved and cared for by the superb children and teen programs we have across the fleet. So while I appreciate your comments please know that we will not be banning children from any of our ships and certainly don’t think a curfew is in order or would be fair to the mostly well behaved kids on the ship. We will continue to work hard as a cruise line to keep any children that are misbehaving inline and more importantly I would hope that the patents whose responsibility it is to make sure this happens will do all they can to make sure their children abide by the rules. I hope you will consider coming onboard soon for a fun for all experience and if you have a follow up please let me know.

Deb asked:
Hi John,

First, let me preface this by saying I love your blog and I am also a Cruise Critic member. I use their tools and connections to make my own cruise experiences better; therefore, I don’t read any of the junk posts that harp on you or anything else.
I’m a firm believer in whatever you get out of an experience depends on what you put into it. Now, to my real point… I have seen several people post questions on your blog about the differences between the way Carnival treats CC members and the way other lines treat them. I have to tell you, I just read a review on CC that exemplfies just how Carnival is losing CC members.

Here’s a link to the post: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1542521

I know that Carnival excels in other areas (Chef’s Table is exquisite), but reviews like this will make CC readers think twice about booking Carnival over NCL. Anyhow, thought you’d be interested. Cheers. D.

John says:

Hello Deb,

Normally, I don’t respond to posts with links from Cruise Critic but I felt it important to do so this time as this subject keeps cropping up. While I truly appreciate the kind words I can only reiterate what I have said before and that is we at Carnival do not offer the refreshments and drinks etc that the link you gave me talks about. I know that Cruise Critic is a great resource for those who love cruises but we don’t feel that we need to offer anything else short of a lounge for the individual people who have booked to meet. I will happily arrange these meet and greets but the company policy is at that we don’t offer anything else besides that. I know that when time allows the Cruise Director will stop by as well.

Thanks for all the kind words and if you have a follow up to this please let me know.

Best wishes,

John


Sandy Dimitrov asked:

Hey John,

First thank you for taking the time to read this. My friend Deidre Hall is an actress on a daytime soap opera. Her friend Lynne is also well known to many. They both have written 2 books and are working on a third. my questions are. How could they go about having a book signing event aboard one of the ships out of Long Beach? They may also want to have a private PJ Party one of the nights onboard. Would they be able to have a private area for that? Lastly, they are well known to many and would they be able to have some privacy away from fans and other pax? Do they still have the VIP Suites on the ships? okay…I told them I would make the inquiries for them and let them know. Is there any way to find out pricing? or if it should be a group event/cruise? I remember a couple fan events on the ships before but, didn’t know how they worked. Any help would be much appreciated. thank you for your time. Hope to hear back soon.

John says:
Hello Sandy Dimitrov,

Thank you for getting in touch and I am sure we can help you. I am going to get a colleague to contact you so that we can sort some things out for you and arrange a special cruise for your friends. They will discuss pricing and a lot more with you and then if you need anything else I am here to help you. By the way, my wife loves The Bold and the Desperate. We will work this out for you and hope to see you all on board

Best wishes,

John

Chyrie Barbery Moore asked:

Thank you so much for tracking down my walker. I called the UPS store where the walker is….They tell me I have to pay shipping. I am so sorry, but the porters/workers put the walker on the wrong shuttle and we were not able to find it at the parking area. I feel the company that holds the contracts for the porters should be responsible for this. I was reminded by Sharon at Carnival Guest Care that it was MY responsiblity to see that we had all of property. We tried to find the walker to no avail and thought it had been stolen, but as I was trying to get a report from the port authority, one of the workers said they had seen it in storage. But then, no one, (and I made 31 calls) would return my calls. You kindly helped me locate it. I just don’t understand why we are required to pay the shipping.

Also, and I know you have no control over this, but you can pass it on to the beards….the porter and those workers loading the shuttes at Charleston were extremely rude. On more than one occasion while on my scooter, one of the porters pushed or bumped into my scooter without stopping to apologize or to see if I was okay. Once again, John, thank you for all you have done….if you remember, I am the Santa lady who gave out candy and gifts and it is not my nature to complain. This situation is just frustrating.

Thanks again!!

John says:
Hello Chyrie Barbery Moore,

I was glad to be able to help you find your walker and let me see what I can do re getting it returned to you without charge and I will work on this today. Please leave this with me and I will pass on your comments to the beards as you requested as we don’t accept any kind of rudeness to our guests either on board or in the terminal area.

Best wishes,

John

Traci Candaloni asked:

We sailed on the crossing cruise back to America on Magic and had a good time. What spoiled it for us was the other passengers most who were miserable complainers who made it hell for the crew and spoiled it for my husband and me. My question is that we are considering booking the crossing on the Breeze but we are worried that a similar type of experience will be waiting for us. Are people who book the crossing always so rude and miserable. I hope not as we really want to book this and the last 12 day as well.

Thanks John.

John says:
Hello Traci Candaloni,

Thanks for the post and I hope you do book as I intend to be there with you. There is no doubt that the 16 day cruise is a challenge and experience shows that during the 6 days at sea that some do get a bit ummmm……….grumpy. It’s our job onboard therefore to do our best to make sure that they have fun and never get the chance to complain about anything. I will certainly do my best to make sure that this happens and I truly hope that you are there with me.

Best wishes,

John

Victoria Sierra asked:
Hi John!!!

OMG how much fun we have had with you over the years, since then my dad has passed and my mom has Alzheimers:( …she cant cruise anymore so we live through her:) We are booking with Carnival again…they really are the best tried them all and come home to Carnival every time:) We really want to know what ship are you sailing now…that is if you havent got toooo big for ur britches…hahaha..u never know:) But if you are we would be soooo thrilled to see you again!!! You make the cruise!

John says:

Hello Victoria Sierra,

Thanks so much, I am humbled by those words and most importantly I send my deepest sympathies to you and the family at the passing of your Father and my best wishes to Mum as well. My “britches” are held up with a strong pair of suspenders and I still love being a Cruise Director and I hope that one day we will see each other again.

Best wishes

John

That’s all for today and thanks for all the comments.

As I mentioned on Monday’s blog I will be posting the bios and photos of all our Cruise Directors over the next few weeks as I strongly believe that they can make a difference to you cruise.

Here the is simply one of our best, the Carnival Splendor Cruise Director Mr. Todd Wittmer.

Name - Todd Wittmer

Born – Philadelphia, Pa
Raised – Annapolis, Md
Now Living – San Diego, California.

Started with CCL - In May of 1999 as a Social Host first ship was the Carnival Holiday.
Started as Cruise Director - In May of 2002. Received a full promotion in 2003.

Current ship - Carnival Splendor.

Fun Facts – I have been fortunate enough to work on 14 different Carnival Ships and 4 Start up teams.

Favorite Activity – Deck Party / Ultimate Couples Challenge
Favorite Sport – Surfing, Golf
Favorite Sports to Watch - Football, Golf
Favorite Hobbies – Reading, Movies, Food
Favorite song – Anything I can sing along to or find meaning in.
Favorite color – Light Blue.
Favorite food – Sushi, Pizza, Mexican
Best time of the day - Sunset
Favorite animal – Dog
Favorite Place – Hawaii / San Diego (Home)!

Last words – What a wonderful career Carnival has blessed me with. I have been awarded so many wonderful opportunities, close friends and priceless memories. This will be the ultimate chapter in my life and one that will always push me to continue to strive for my dreams. They do come true.

Thanks Todd and I know you have many fans who love to cruise with you and you should be very proud of the wonderful fun you have provided over the years and long may that continue.

So we have a library on the Carnival Breeze like all our ships do yet this one will be different, more on that in a moment. When I was a kid I used to love the library. It would supply me with my fix of at least a couple of a books a week which my Mum and Dad could not afford to buy. My local library was used by all sorts of people to read the newspapers, borrow books, study and in my case, have a crafty look at Lady Chatterley’s Lover page 77, yes, I still remember that page very well!

These days ship libraries are still popular despite the rise of the Kindle thingy. Indeed, Cunard ships have thousands of books on their shelves while on the Carnival Breeze we will have around 500. Now one of the things we have tried recently on the Carnival Dream was rather than have opening hours for the books we had an open door policy. This meant that we would have the books open for lending without a sign out policy and we implemented this hoping that guests would be honest and return the books. This I am afraid didn’t happen and in the first month we did this we lost over 200 books which cost a lot of money to replace. Needless to say that we didn’t do that again!

But on the Carnival Breeze we want to try something different so along with quiet reading hours where a staff member will sign out the books and games we will also encourage guests to use it in the evening. This encouragement will come in the form of a self-dispensing wine machine that will offer guests a glass and then a choice of wines. If wine isnt your thing then we will have a bartender there as well in the evenings because as you will see here, we have a small bar in the library as well.

Now we won’t have music or games there but if you fancy a large leather chair to sit in and a quiet place to read or chat with friends and enjoy a glass of something special then the library will be a place to enjoy just that. And just before I am asked a hundred times, it is indeed non smoking.

The Olympics is only 3 months or so away and plans are being drawn up by the beards to make sure we broadcast all the key events in the sports bars and other locations around the vessel. I was asked recently if we would show uninterrupted coverage on the big screens on Lido but as we have movies and live music there we wont be. Yes, we will show the opening ceremony and key finals but will pick and choose what we show.

The UK is going bonkers for the Olympics but I just can’t get excited and quite honestly I am glad I will be on the Carnival Breeze. I should explain at the outset that I don’t much like athletics. Running is fine when you are late for the ship and they are pulling the gangway, or when you are seven, but the concept of running in a circle for nothing but glory seems a bit ancient to me.

Speaking of which — the javelin. In the olden days when men ate anything with four legs and Mr. Smith had not yet met Mr. Wesson, I should imagine that a chap with an ability to chuck a spear over a great distance would end up with many wives and much rumpy pumpy. But now, watching a gigantic Russian lobbing a stick is really boring. Now if they only would release a herd of Yak into the stadium and the person who speared the most wins the gold medal and dinner then I would definitely watch.

It’s the same with the hammer. When some enormous troglodyte hurls it into row F of the stadium’s upper circle, do we think he is the best hammer thrower in the world? Or the best hammer thrower among those who’ve dedicated the past four years of their lives to throwing hammers? With the best will in the world, that’s not a terribly big accolade.

No matter. The Olympic Games are like Cruise Critic. Whether you like them or not, they exist and they are popular and we will provide as much coverage as we can for our guests.
Finally today I want you to know that I made a complete “plonker” of myself yesterday and yet it’s not my fault. It was parents morning at my daughters kindergarten school and each child introduced either their Mummies or Daddies to the rest of the class. So there I was with 18 children their Mums and only one other Dad as obviously the rest of the other lucky buggers were working. Anyway, the teacher suggested we all sing Nursery Rhymes together and after twinkle twinkle little star it was time for another one. And so we all started to sing and me being a CD sang with great gusto.

“Baa, baa,black sheep, have you any wool ” I sang proudly for all to hear. Except there was a problem and that’s because everyone else, the Mummies, the kids, the teachers all sang ” Baa, baa, rainbow sheep, have you any wool ?”

Woah. Stop there. Rainbow sheep? I was the only one singing the original version and the teacher flashed me a look of disgust and indeed so did some of the Mums and the other Father did as well. Should have known he would have sang “rainbow”………….he was wearing sandals and a polo neck sweater!

How the heck was I supposed to know that we now cannot say “black sheep” in nursery rhymes? Has there been some order from God? And if so, why? In what way might singing “black sheep” cause offence? After all wasn’t he an ideal role model, polite, helpful and generous with his wool to people of all backgrounds?

So is it because we don’t want to offend people with dark skin? I wondered this and asked two colleagues, both of whom are indeed black and their return e mails both basically told me I was an idiot for even thinking that

Then why, why has he after so many years suddenly become e multi coloured? And if he is changed to a “rainbow” sheep, we can no longer be sure that he will provide three bags full of wool because the rainbow symbol means he will be too busy listening to Cher records and watching Will and Grace reruns !

I am waiting for the high visibility jacket wearing, tofu eating censors who are messing with my childhood memories to decide that Winnie the Pooh can no longer be called a bear of very little brain but a “special ” bear instead.

Now, of course, “Black Sheep” cannot be used in the UKSSR for fear of reprisals. The we must now use “rainbow sheep” but the State cannot take my memories away from me. Time to kiss Kye goodnight and sing her another nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty……….who will be fine when he falls off the wall because he was wearing padding, a helmet and knee pads. He is of course also an organic egg.

Goodnight

Your friend,

John

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54 Responses to NURSERY BOLLOCKS

  1. Steven says:

    Traci candeloni- not sure which ship you were on, but my friends and I were on the Magic TA and had a grand time, and did not sense very many rude passengers at all. All I can say is if you thought that was bad, its a good thing you weren’t on the Freedom’s TA. THAT was a bunch of whiny people. Magic was our third TA and by far the best! Hope you get a better group an the Breeze, we won’t be on that one unfortunately but we are doing the TransPacific!

  2. Maribeth Kring says:

    Seriously…..rainbow sheep???? Wow. Maybe you should have pointed out that if there were indeed rainbow sheep that their owners would have been crucified for cruelty to animals for dying their wool whilst the sheep were still wearing it….

    • Carroll Savage says:

      Seriously, “crucified for cruelty to animals?”??? A bit harsh, don’t you think? Just for coloring wool? And what about those who dye a little patch of color on little dogs? Want to cut down on the population of little dog owners? Your hyperbole is not amusing.

  3. Rita presnell says:

    Chrye Barber Moore…I cannot believe that you would expect someone else to lay the shipping on your walker. They found you and you should be grateful to pay the shipping yourself. What a selfish person you are. Why don’t your just leave it UPS and pay for a new one instead?

  4. jgeraci says:

    John,
    It was nice to see Todd & read his bio. I remember him fondly from the C. Dream TA crossing. Will he still be on the C Splendor for the SA cruises? And whatever happened to his sidekick James?
    As far as being politically correct, wait til you’re my age. You don’t have to follow any of those silly rules anymore. Old people can get away with just about anything!
    JoyceG

  5. Looking forward to joining you in Breeze in June. We can smoke a cigar together and sing Baa Baa Black Sheep

  6. Henrietta Lala (Granny Lala) says:

    Dear John,
    You really must read up on Louisiana politics! We have a firm belief here that anything to do with politics must be either outrageous, amusing, and the more corrupt you are the more things get done and the more loved you are by the voters. The few truly honest men and women in office we have are cannonized by the Pope because only a saint would have overcome living and serving here uncorrupted. You’ve have made a great Louisiana politician and accomplished great things!

    • melinda Fain says:

      I’m om LaPlace. Yea You rite! The worst sin a politician can commit is to be boring. At least in Louisiana. Witness Buddy Rohmer. Honest and good at his job but he was dull so off with his head. Thank God for Bobby Jindal. I just couldn’t believe he got elected, Honest, DECENT, has a brown skin, Indian…He’s gonna give Louisiana a bad reputation LOL. We’re electing good men who aren’t “good ole boys”, what will people think?

  7. cindy56 says:

    Lisa Wann: If you and your partner are that heavy, you probably shouldn’t even consider going on the gondola ride. I hope John will have a positive answer for you but somehow I doubt it. Also have you ever heard of the words “please” and “thank you”. I hate reading posts that start with “I need”. You need to learn some manners too!

  8. Marty Mateer says:

    Still no Piano bar person for the Fascination?

  9. Don says:

    Hey, Alistair. Don’t assume you speak for the majority. Actually the majority of passengers with children book with Carnival because of their activities and programs for the children. If you are looking for a ship where there are no children, the children are the cast of The Stepford Children, or they are kept locked away in the steerage compartments, why don’t you shell out the money to jump on one of those other luxury ships that cater to self-righteous, pompous tight-asses. If you’re going to cruise on a cruise line that has a strong reputation for being a family-oriented cruise line, don’t be surprised to actually see children on board.

    • Steve says:

      Amen. What gives him the right to try to dictate something that caters to FAMILIES. If you dont like kids, fine, thats your choice. But dont demand that a company that is FAMILY driven to change their ways to suit you.

    • Barbie Parman says:

      Don,Well said and I couldn’t agree more! Most of the kids i have encountered are not nearly as rude and obnoxious as some of the adults!I wouldn’t deny my child to sail with us as often as possible!

    • C, Savage says:

      I was 15 on my first cruise (TA, 10 days), and had a wonderful time with other kids about that age.
      Note that some cruise lines are more or less “family friendly”, so if you would rather avoid kids, try another line, one that caters to people with tastes more similar to yours. There are cruise lines for everyone, and each generally has a target audience.

  10. Kathryn says:

    While you seem to find it so important that in your opinion Mr.Romney’s hair is too perfect, and that the man is boring, I must proclaim that many of your fellow cruisers from the USA could care less what type of hair style a nominee has as long as he can DEFEAT a person who is attempting to take away our HEALTH CARE, impose his socialistic viewpoints upon us, and “redistribute the wealth.” We do not take this as a humorous topic, nor should anyone who wants more Americans to cruise with Carnival. We do not think this is a laughing matter, as many of the educated are concerned with losing our rights under our constitution. Remember the Declaration of Independence? Our very liberties are at stake at this next election, and frankly my dear sir, we do not give a damn what Mr. Romney’s hair looks like as long as he gets Obama out of the office so that the middle class can afford to feed, clothe, educate their children, and if so fortunate, to cruise in the future. Michele Obama would never allow us to eat Lava melting cake. Smoke a cigar? Perhaps under the Obama plan they would decide that you do not deserve chemotherapy for your cancer since you have been a smoker.

    • Sue March says:

      Funny, as I was reading this I thought you were describing Romney as someone who doesn’t care about healthcare in America. Very surprised to hear you were talking about President Obama.
      Each to his own opinion, I guess…and I’d say that also goes for John’s expression of his opinion. It is, America still – isn’t it?

    • Allan from Canada says:

      I hope you don’t get hurt falling off your soapbox ranting like that on a cruise website….blah blah blah…

    • Dana T says:

      Seriously? I resent posters who use John’s blog to promote their own political agenda…get over yourself–I enjoy John’s humor, so you certainly do not speak for me as to whether he should joke around….

    • Minsk says:

      Wow. You DO realize that Mr. Heald is not an American, right? And that this is his personal blog? And that not only Americans (and Republican Americans at that) sail with Carnival? Oh, and were you also aware that he is a citizen of a country with free healthcare for all its people- what you call “socialistic viewpoints”- so your concerns about any future health treatments he may need (God forbid) are unfounded. But I am sure you didn’t mean to suggest that he deserves to become ill… did you?

    • Linda Park says:

      I totally agree with the woman that could care less about John”s opinion on Romneys hair. We want a leader that is not in bed with hollywood. The last thing we want is to see our nation turn in to a place where everyone lives off the government..like Europe.

  11. mary f says:

    are you kidding me Deidre Hall is a diva wanna be, tell her to book like everyone else

    • Crystal says:

      I would think that is Ms. Hall was really wanted this information her “people” could call Carnival and get it. Not send a question to a blog

  12. Luis R says:

    To the couple complaining aboutthe weight limit for the gondolas in Venice. You must take into consideration that gondolas are very small vessels and they DO have a limit. You should not blame Carnival since they don’t own the gondolas, nor any other cruise line for that matter. However, I think you should be able to get on one you the two of you but then there are load distribution issues which may or may not let you sit together. I went on a gondola ride last summer and I think that between the four passengers in there (my girlfriend and me plus another couple on the same tour from the ship) we were close to 600 pounds if not a bit above that. The hardest part may be getting in and out since they are so small and unstable. So you should be fine. But the gondolier has the last word anyway, not Carnival.

    You should take a look at this video to see what is it like. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-C7swZiAzQ

    John, be careful about that rainbow sheep thingy… next time you try to sing it they will look at you because the gay crowd will have complained about using the rainbow for that song…

  13. Mike says:

    Although I have nobody to compare him to (since he was CD on our first and thus far only cruise), he did a great job on the Splendor and I think it’s neat to see he was from Philly (where I lived for a decade).

    And the ‘rainbow sheep’ thing is stupid. We’ve gone completely insane. The sheep’s color is black, what on Earth is wrong with that? Heck, I don’t even think we should be censoring or banning Huckleberry Finn for “N-word Jim” because you know what? That’s what the author wrote and meant. But even if you want to say “Hold on Mike, we can’t use the n-word even in literature”, you can’t tell me that anything BLACK in literature, like that sheep, needs to be changed? Ugh.

  14. Eileene says:

    If it’s true that you had to sing, “rainbow sheep,” John – and admittedly, you never know with you! – then I’m disgusted with whomever made that decision. Censorship has gotten out of control!

    LOVED your comments on politics, and can’t wait to share them. :) Churchill is one of my favorite characters, and I wish we could go back to when a man’s leadership abilities won him an election, not how much money he spent.

    Can’t wait to sail with you on BC6, John!

  15. Ken says:

    The rainbow sheep was invented by god so that Jacob could make Joseph a coat.

  16. Sharon says:

    It is great that Carnival provides a meeting space for those who want one. But free refreshments and snacks? Where would you draw the line? How many people would constitute a “group”. What would be the criteria? There are only so many meeting spaces available. Would it be first come, first serve, or would reservations be required? Who would decide which groups are legitimately in need of a meeting space and who just put together 30 strangers they met on the booze cruise for a “meeting” so that they could get more free food? Puh-leeze!

    • Starr Willaman says:

      I agree totally, unlimited pizza, buffets, non stop ice cream and 24 hr room service is just not enough food for some. They have to have that special cookie. I am happy to meet and greet with new people but to expect more and more and then again more boils my butter. If I meet like minded people on a cruise I am very happy.

    • C, Savage says:

      Check out the link – it was a get together of Cruise Critics being welcomed aboard by the captain and some other cruise officers. CC’s post critiques of their cruises on that site.

  17. Bryna says:

    John I simply adore your humor! I get such a chuckle when I read your blog, it sets the tone for my morning and I thank you for speaking your mind in a most gentle yet in your face way. I do hope that my husband and I can cruise with you someday, and we can laugh together for a moment as we people watch :) Have a fabulous day!
    Bryna – Mpls, MN

  18. Mary says:

    Rainbow sheep? I’m with you. What happened to the classic version?

  19. Debbie says:

    Hi John,
    Regarding you song lyric episode,I had a similar experience as you while singing Margaritaville on Carnival Dream. Appararently it is no longer OK to sing Mexican cutie when singing about his tatoo. I forget what was substituted but you could hear me loud and clear “Mexican cutie” above the rest. Hey it’s the song lyrics written and learned many mnay years ago and that’s the way I sing them, especially when I have had a few drinks. I think folks get upset over silly little things. Im Pennsyvania Dutch and the phrase Dumb Dutchman is common around here. So What!?! It’s just a saying & I’m still PA Dutch. It’s a song with a good beat and cute words. Get over it people.

  20. James Yaklin says:

    I’ve perused the reviews and the message boards on Cruise Critc before. The are informative and nice but I don’t understand why the folks over there feel they are a priviliged class of people and entitled to special treatment. I guess somebody will explain that to me.

    Now about the children only thing. Seriously? Children are no longer allowed to have a vacation anymore? Get over yourself.

    My son has been cruising with us since he was two years old (he is now seven). My wife and I consider ourselves responsible parents and we do not allow our son to “run riot” over the ship. He is one of the well behaved children that John mentioned. Quite frankly being a family person I am very grateful that Carnival has gone to great lengths to accomidate families.

    I’m sorry there are so many irresponsible parents out there but while you are complaining about the children remember that at one time you were one too. So as I said, get over yourself and if you can’t stand it go cruise with one of those stuffy cruiselines.

  21. Lauren in Oregon says:

    There’s no such thing as a rainbow sheep. Now we’re sing about things that don’t even exist in nature?!?!

    • C, Savage says:

      Well, even the black sheep was a talking sheep. I don’t think there are any sheep in nature that could say, “Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Three bags full.” :D

  22. Richard Taylor says:

    One of the plus factors of our returning to Carnival cruising was not suffering the olympics on our 9th July Breeze Med cruise. Though we really did book it to celebrate my wife’s 60th & my 65th Birthdays whilst on the cruise!
    So please, if it must be shown, not too much, and somewhere small and away from it all………

    Richard (whos wife was born in Southend)

  23. Jane Saunders says:

    I love the option of having some quiet time in the Library in the evening with a glass of wine etc. Sometimes I just want to unwind before heading back to the cabin. When you had mentioned the bar in the Library previously, I couldn’t envision it. Now I think it is a fabulous idea.

    • melinda Fain says:

      Wish we had had a little wine bar on the Magic’s Library. I spent a lot of time there .

  24. Thomas Badcock says:

    Rainbow sheep? Flip Flops and Polo Shirts do not make one GAY!

  25. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    For the umpteenth thousandth time….

    PEOPLE. Get some self esteem!

    I am constantly amazed at the number of people who crave the attention of the Captain, Officers and Entertainment staff at these meet and greets.

    If your life is so void of any self worth that your cruise will be ruined if someone with stripes on their sleeves does not come pay you a little attention at a 30 minute gathering…..

    then you have bigger problems than Carnival not kissing your arse.

    Cruise lines like NCL MUST spend their money this way because they do not enjoy the amount of business that Carnival does.

    Thankfully Carmival does not have to waste money on this. I would rather have lower rates then fund someone’s EGO ISSUES!

    • Chris chase says:

      Ha ha, I love that u said that. Cracks me up why people even care about that. Ha ha

      PS, what is this loyalty program? Anyone know?

      • Rick Williamson says:

        I just don’t understand why you don’t know if you have been read these blogs and questions at all you should know. Here goes…… with your 10th cruise with Carnival you become a VIP. There is a VIP check in line to get you in faster. It toke us less then 10 minutes last week. And many other things that will take to much time for here. So try to check it out on your own on Carnival.Com

  26. scott says:

    Hi John I just wanted to know if your going to be the cruise director on the first carnival breeze sailing?

  27. Mary Utsinger says:

    This is a message to Lisa Wann. Mr Heald told me last year that he could work it out for my husband and I to go on a gondola ride thru Carnival. When we got to the Shore Excursion desk to confirm, we were told NO WAY! I told them of my conversation with Mr Heald and they said it didn’t matter! We went out to Venice and found a driver that was willing to take just the 2 of us. Cost was half of what Carnival wanted and it worked out great. Don’t forget the kiss under the last bridge. And PS. Don’t trust everything John Heald says. He can’t keep all the promises he makes.

    • Luis R says:

      Probably the shore excursion desk wants to put as many people as possible in each gondola hired for the ride. They only have so many gondolas on any given ride and they will want to put four people on each. Overweight people mean they can only put two riders on one gondola (therefore getting only half as much money form their cut of the excursion price). I can see why you were told no by them regardless of what you were told by John Heald. Your suggestion of doing it independently is probably the best way to go for this, except you are not guaranteed the price. Some gondoliers may want to charge higher.

  28. Jo Ann says:

    Hi, John – We are sailing on the 15-day Hawaiian cruise in January 2013 and can hardly wait. I had a couple of questions I was hoping you could answer. First of all, I noticed you published a 15-day Alaskan cruise menu. Will ours be the same as this? If not, could you possibly publish the Hawaiian menu? Also, we were wondering about entertainment — will there be different entertainment during most nights of this 15-day cruise? Thanks so much!

  29. Duane says:

    Why is that people that are Cruise Critic “members” think they are so special? Why should they have a special reception and expect the company of top ship personel just because they take part in a message board. There is no membership fee, there is no rules as what can be said on the board and for the most part it is a troll board now it seems. So, if I set up a Facebook page for people going on the same cruise, can I expect special treatment? No. As for Carnival losing people to the other cruise lines, well, it seems that Carnival is sailing full all the time so Cruise Critic is not having as much of an impact as you might think. For Carnival to set aside a room for you is enough. Cruise Critic members are no more special than anyone else on the ship so get over yourselves.

  30. Duane says:

    Lisa Wann do not blame Carnival because you have a weight issue. Two years ago, I was on a cruise and I wanted to do the zipline excursion. Unfortunately, my weight was over the 250lbs limit. Did I stomp my feet and cause a seen? No. I realised that it was a safety issue and that the only person to blame for not being able to do the excursion was the person I saw in the mirror each morning. I have struggled with my weight for the past 20 years and in part due to not being able to do the zipline excursion I have started to do something about my weight. I will do that zipline excursion by the time I do my next cruise.

  31. K Woodward says:

    Seriously, smoking in your room when it is not allowed? I am mobility challenged and do not look forward to a fire on board especially when it is caused by stupidity.

    • C, Savage says:

      That’s not why it’s not allowed. It’s not allowed because nowadays many people do not like the smell that clings to the fabrics and other stuff in the room.

  32. Tammara Goldsworthy says:

    Hey John,

    You are my kind of man! Funny, kind, and caring… Did I mention funny? ;) In our next life, “Will you Marry me?”

    I will be on the Breeze for a Christmas cruise with my sister… We are excited to cruise with Carnival again and look forward to meeting your newest funship and possibly you…

  33. Greg says:

    Hi, i just returned from a cruise on the Carnival Freedom. While aboard we ate at the Sun King restaurant and wanted to purchase the teal Versace chargers and the formalities shop was sold out and told me I could order them online at Carnival.com but I am unable to find them. Could you please direct me to them.
    Thank you

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