REMEMBERING THE BIRDMAN

June 19, 2012 -

John Heald

I should mention before I start that the start of today’s blog and indeed the end bit may be a different to the usual rubbish I write. That’s because I want to use this forum to talk about my friend and one of Carnival’s finest, funniest and most exuberant cruise directors Mr. Corey Schmidt who died last month.

For those of us who knew Corey, it has been difficult to comprehend his passing. Now, if I were to write this blog responsibly, with adequate research to confirm certain facts, I’d have to ask people about the last time they saw or spoke with or heard from my friend Corey. But I’m afraid to ask his family those questions. I’m afraid to talk with his wife or those who spent the last few years by his side; I don’t know why this happened.

The Corey I knew was a jubilant performer. He raised exotic birds, wore leather pants on stage, loved flash watches and fast cars and most of all, he loved performing , he loved striving to be the best and he loved, truly loved, being a cruise director and, thus, the guests loved Corey. Yet, he was a complicated man. A man who would be so upset, so disappointed when the weekly ratings came out and he wasn’t the number one CD in the fleet, which did not happen often. If ever there was a poster boy for what a cruise director should be, it was Corey.

Corey left Carnival in a blaze of glory, right at the top of his game. He planned to take his brilliant bird show to Vegas but things, as often happens in show business, did not work out. Eventually, he found his way into the movie business working behind the scenes as a location manager on big productions for stars like Adam Sandler. He found God, he found a beautiful wife and when I last saw him in 2010 when he visited me on the Carnival Splendor, I thought he had found peace and happiness. But I was wrong. I have no idea why he took his own life and it is wrong for me to speculate. However, knowing Corey as I did, I wonder if he missed being center stage and part of me can’t help but think that after years in the spotlight as one of the most successful cruise directors in the industry, he saw himself as being relegated to a bit part and that became his final act.

I send my deepest condolences to his family and to his wife especially and I hope they will in the difficult times ahead remember that Corey was loved by thousands of people, many of whom have said he was their favourite cruise director. I will miss you Corey, mate. I will miss battling to be number one in the fleet with you and I will miss the times when we would meet in ports of call and talk CD talk. And I will miss the last part of your amazing show when you would stand on stage, an exotic bird on your arm while you talked about your love of all God’s creatures and I will miss reminding you that you obviously didn’t love the sodding cow that was killed to make your leather pants.
I miss you, Corey……………. and I hope you have found peace.

Let’s do some Q and A

Tomas Weaver asked:
John,

Tell me it ain’t so! I thought I had read in one of your blogs that Carnival has done away with the cigar lounge. Is this true? Where shall I enjoy my Puro and a bottle of The Glenlivet? I so hope I misunderstood you. Please tell me it ain’t so!

John says:
Hello Tomas Weaver.

Yes, indeed, I am sad to report that the cigar bars are no more and have become non-smoking lounges. And while it allows a smoke-free passage for those who rightfully deserve this as they head to the Internet cafes, there are those like me and you who miss them.
Please do not worry though. There are still lounges and outside areas where you can enjoy that Puro and one day I hope we get to share a cigar together.

Best wishes.

John

Linda Bailey asked:
John,

When will the remainder of the schedule for 2012 cruise directors be available? I was curious if you will be on the Breeze at Christmas (12/22 sailing) or if it will be Butch? And I am really looking forward to my trip on the Glory next week with Trevor.

Thanks.

Linda

John says:
Hello Linda Bailey

The schedule should be updated in the next month or so but I can tell you that it will be Butch Begovitch who will be your CD for the brilliant Christmas cruise on this fantastic ship. Please let me know if there is anything you need and I hope you had a great time recently on Carnival Glory.

Best wishes.

John

Frank Hawkey asked:
John,

I have to complain to you about an experience that happened to me and my family on the cruise last week on Liberty. I had booked 7 cabins for me and my family and friends and as we left from Miami, we stood at the top of the ship. As the boat left, we all started throwing streamers in the time honored tradition of cruise ships leaving port and were suddenly told to stop by a rude security officer who said that we were not allowed and confiscated the streamers. My 8-year-old son was crying and my nephew also. We are allowed to do this when we cruised Independence of the Seas last fall so why not on Carnival? This ruined our cruise, Mr. Heald, and I think we deserve an apology and an explanation at the very least, something we never got from the captain as we had demanded!

John says:
Hello Frank Hawkey

First of all, I am very sorry that this was not explained to you during the cruise which I have to say, I am surprised at. It should have been explained to you that due to rules and regulations laid down by U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency, it is now forbidden for anyone to throw anything overboard unless it is biodegradable. This includes streamers, I am afraid, and while I cannot comment what happens on other lines, we are at the forefront of environmental protection which is why the security staff member took them from you. I am so sorry this upset your children and this, as I said, should have been explained to you. Please accept my apologies and I hope this explanation allows you to understand why this happened.

Best wishes to all.

John

Richard L. Williamson asked:

I just want to say I think the news about Destiny becoming Carnival Sunshine is just great news. The updating of a ship the way you are doing with her is the way to go. I have been on Sensation the first cruise after her refit in 2009. And all they really did was flat screen TV’s and new carpet on the ship. Otherwise, she was the same old ship. What Carnival is doing to Destiny IS making her a brand new ship in the need of a new name. Doing more of your ships that way instead of going with those super liners makes a lot more sense. A lot more home ports will get new ship over the years if Carnival does this with other ships for far less money. Thanks! We will be on Ecstasy starting 4/9/12 U75. And look forward to our 15th cruise with Carnival and our first on her.

Have a great day.

Richard

John says:
Hello Richard L. Willamson

Thanks for writing this because she really is going to be a ship reborn. We are spending lots of money on rolling out the 2.0 features across the fleet but there is only so much you can do in a two-week dry dock. The fact that Carnival Destiny will have seven weeks in dry dock allows us to do so much and when she finishes, she will be the Carnival Sunshine and I think she will be sensational. I will have more news on her soon and may I take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty.

Best wishes.

John

Wayne Crossman asked:
John –

I posted this incorrectly under the Brunch Blog, but I wanted to make sure you read this comment. It’s always nice to hear a compliment and you deserve it!

I want to thank you and Carnival for introducing our family to cruising back in 1999. We sailed on the Triumph and you were our fantastic CD. We still talk about our (then) 13-year-old son falling off his chair laughing during the Stormy Night skit.

We tried to spread the word by coordinating a couple’s getaway cruise in 2010 on the Glory. No surprise, we all had a great time.

We’re doing a family cruise on another line only because we’ve sailed all of Carnival’s routes out of NY and Baltimore as a family or as individuals. However, we don’t expect the same outstanding food as CCL. We agreed with both of our now-married daughters that other lines don’t compare in taste, quality, and selection of CCL.

My wife and I are planning on celebrating our 30th anniversary in September on the Miracle. We haven’t booked yet, but will be going with a suite for the first time. It will be our first cruise to make use of our shareholder benefit. Hey, that kind of make me your boss.

Anyway, our family’s love of cruising started with you on the Triumph. So thank you with venom.

Wayne Crossman

John says:
Hello Wayne Crossman

Yes, indeed, it is nice to read a compliment and before I forget, let me send a huge compliment to you for your amazing loyalty. Thanks also for introducing others to Carnival and we will continue to do our best to continue to provide affordable and fun vacations. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and your family before your next cruise with us and thank again for this very refreshing post.

Best wishes.

John

Trisha K and friends asked:

Can you arrange a meet and greet for us? We have a group of 50 plus who have become very friendly on the Cruise Critic boards. We would like to meet on the destiny sailing of 7/9/12 and will need a place to meet. We are thinking of two meet and greets, the first on the day at sea at 2:00pm and then another one on the Tuesday after leaving Grand Turk at 3:00pm. Both times we need a private place to meet. Are there any door prizes you can give us and how will we know what places we are to meet?

John says:
Hello Trisha K and friends

Thanks for writing and I am glad to see you are all having fun talking to each other on Cruise Critic and, yes, of course, I will be happy to arrange places for you. I have sent your request to the ship and they will arrange accordingly and there will be a mention in the Fun Times of the day where these meetings will take place. Although I cannot offer any “door prizes,” I will wish you all a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes.

John

Shirley asked:

Message: Please say it isn’t so !!! Carnival has stopped the hurricane glasses with DOD OH, MY, BOOO HOOO WHY WHY WHY?????

John says:
Hello Shirley

Yes, indeed, the old hurricane plastic glasses are gone and have been replaced with more fun souvenir glasses called the Twister and Tiki glasses and more. They are proving to be most popular and I hope you get to see one for yourself soon.

Best wishes.

John

Eli Arroyo asked:
John,

Has Carnival ever considered a Spanish-speaking ship because the Venezuelan social group I belong to in Miami, which is 8,000 strong were discussing how many more of us would cruise if Carnival had Spanish-speaking crew, Spanish entertainment music and cultural events and food. I have been on the Valor ship and at no time, despite the majority of passengers being from Miami, was any attempt made by the captain and workers to speak Spanish and provide a vacation for Spanish speakers. Myself and many others think this is a big mistake on Carnival Cruise Lines’ part and I would like this addressed.

John says:
Hello Eli Arroyo

In the early nineties we did have a Carnival ship that was dedicated to Spanish speaking passengers. The entire staff spoke Spanish and the ship was renamed from the Carnivale to Fiesta Marina and lasted for a few years before the ship was sold. We do realise that we have lots of people who cruise from South Florida and we are excited about adding the Carnival Breeze to the list of Carnival ships sailing from there. We won’t have a dedicated ship that speaks Spanish but we will have translated programs, menus and a Latin band for music and dancing. Fun is an international language and this Carnival Breeze speaks it fluently.

Best wishes and hope to see you soon.

John

Brenda Callas asked:

I did not get a review card on my cruise so I hope, John, that you will be able to pass on my thanks and admiration to the crew of the Magic who gave my husband and me the best cruise we have ever taken. Special mention to Abbi our cabin steward and Sarinda and Anton our waiters all of who never stopped smiling. We loved the ship and have booked another cruise on the Magic in december using our free credit certificates. Please thank the crew, John, and thank you also for all you do for us.

John says:
Hello Brenda Callas

Wonderful words and I will make sure that the ship sees this and as I always say with posts like this, the crew you mentioned will be thrilled to see their names here. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you before you cruise again on the Carnival Magic.

Best wishes.

John

Nita Patten asked:
Hi John-

Thanx for taking the time to answer the flood of questions you get. Is it possible to live aboard a Carnival ship year-round as a passenger? If so how does one go about doing it? Thanx in advance!

John says:
I apologise for the delay in my reply and what an excellent question. So far, we have no guests that do this but I am sure if it’s something someone seriously wanted to consider, we could look into this. If you would like, I will pass this on to someone to chat with you further and discuss options. If that’s OK with you, please let me know by return and I will make sure we help you. It would be quite a life to live on board as a permanent guest.

Best wishes.

John

And on that note, we finish today’s Q and A.

I have been thinking a lot about Corey and, of course, I have also been so very busy with the new ship, Facebook and blog. I am now just three years or so from being 50 years old and one thing I have learnt these past few weeks here on the Carnival Breeze is that bringing out a new ship and indeed working on a cruise ship, period………..is a young person’s game. I don’t mind admitting that there were some days during the inaugural cruise that I felt absolutely exhausted from a mixture of trying to please 4,000 guests, a flock of senior beards and keeping my Facebook page updated and writing blogs. I watch other CDs in their thirties bounce around like kangaroos with a sugar rush and I know that I will never again have the energy that they have, yep, those days are gone.

Hope springs eternal that Micky Arison and the Board of Beards will see what a brilliant ship the Carnival Breeze is and that Gerry and his own group of beards have for the first time been allowed to put their own signature on a ship and that it is indeed so perfect that Micky will give Carnival another new ship or, indeed, ships. And, yet, when we do get a new ship, I know that I will not be the CD because quite simply, I am too sodding old and mixing the brand ambassador work with a new ship is like putting Calvyn in a Jacuzzi with seven Playboy models. It just doesn’t work.

There are a few Cruise Critic members, who having read that my time is nigh, will be jumping for pure joy and inventing their own Heald Leaves Carnival Countdown Clock but I can’t ignore what my body and, of course, my family are telling me.
But what to do instead? I would, if I am honest, love to stay home, write a book and spend more time with the family. And, indeed, if those total and utter bastards at AIG had not invested all my savings in lap dancing clubs, then the credit crunch may not have happened and I would be in a better position. But I realise I am not alone and whereas most of us used to be able to look forward to retiring at 60ish, now we have to keep working until…well….we die. This means that in some shape or form, I have to keep working for Carnival and writing this blog until my carpool tunnel causes my arm to simply fall off. Sorry, then, to those on Cruise Critic whose happiness was short lived.

It is one thing for me to keep working and writing but what about other professions? Will lap dancers be forced to continue to work, being pushed around poles in wheelchairs leaving nipple drag marks on the stage?
My body is telling me that it just can’t keep up with the 17-hour days and the bedtime stories and is it fair to the guests that I haven’t yet stood aside and allowed a younger cruise director to take up the reigns? I know Carnival, or at least I would like to think Carnival would say, “Bollocks, keep going, John.” But I feel that that’s like that little old bald basketball referee showing up for the next Miami Heat Oklahoma Thunder game with a seeing eye dog. OK, extreme cases there, of course, but lately, that’s how I have been feeling.

Occasionally, you see, I get comments that say, “We only saw the cruise director on stage and TV, ” which makes me sad. Gone are the days when, after a show, I could wander the bars and lounges until 2:00am which most of my younger colleagues do for fun. My excuse is this blog and my excuse is my Facebook page but…………..the main reason is after a 6:00am start to write and all the other things that go into running a new ship is that simply, I am really, really tired. And that’s not good. That is not what you, the guest, deserves …………Cue the Cruise Critic gaggle to say, “Yes, you fat sod, you’re right, now bugger off and retire, will you?”

After 26 years of living on board, I am beginning to realise that it will soon be time to hang up the microphone. I cannot imagine for one moment how ridiculous it would be for me still to be earning a living by telling silly jokes on stage and listening to a guest shout at me because their clothes got wet when it rained on a tour and it was my fault, when I am 50 years old. It’ll be a young person’s job by then, and rightly so. You know you are old when some of the dancers you have to manage were born in 1990 by which time I had already lived on board for three years!

I have dreamt for some time now of the day when I can wake up without an alarm and spend my hours relaxing, taking Kye to school, drinking cups of tea all day and wearing underpants with holes in them. No more schedules. No more 6am starts. No more lonely nights. No more apologies for using the word “brilliant.” And, best of all, no more H82Seaugo and his mates writing on a public forum that I am a big fat useless bastard of a cruise director/brand ambassador.

However, there is another side to the coin. I am worried that without retirement will be the worst thing that will ever happen to me.

I am deeply concerned that I will spend all day thinking of things to do, and then coming up with reasons why it’s better to do all those things tomorrow. I look in the refrigerator every hour to see if by some miracle I missed a plate of Heidi’s left over chicken satay on my previous 17 visits. I look at naughty Latvian things on the Internet. And God help me, I may miss being at sea so much and I may be so bored that these two factors will force me to become a Cruise Critic member and give myself the screen name Underpantsman or Miserablesod.

Then there’s the cigars. If I’m on vacation, I’ll have a cigar when I drive my car. Heidi has her own car which we use when we all go out together as, obviously, I don’t smoke when Kye is in the car. I tend to smoke one a week on board but that goes up to four or five a week when I am home and I know that this is not a good thing.

And, of course, there is the money. It’s no good expecting to survive on half my Carnival pension when I am retired. With the world as it is, I will need seven times more than Bill Gates just to make it through till the end of the month.
In reality, then retirement is something that is simply the bit between stopping work and you sitting in a chair, wearing Depends, surrounded by others who are all doing the same.

Retirement may conjure up visions of Wurthers Originals, long walks in the countryside with your grandchildren but actually it’s a period of utter boredom that ends when the grim reaper knocks on your door.
So, I must then bear that in mind tomorrow morning when the alarm goes off as usual at 6:30am and I sit here in my underpants beginning the day’s work, how lucky I am to do what I do. I just know in my heart that long periods of time on board is not something I can do much longer and after the Carnival Legend next year, I will have to give serious consideration to asking Carnival to allow me to travel for a few weeks on the ships at a time rather than months at a time.

But let me say this loud and clear. I am lucky. I am so very fortunate and proud to do what I do. I am also aware that as the economic crap that continues to take jobs from people, it has not taken my job from me thanks to the brilliance of the product that Carnival Cruise Lines offers. This means I now have an excuse to keep working for Carnival until I am 75.

And we should all remember that even if your job is emptying the portable toilets at the International Curry Festival……………. it’s better than not having a job at all.

Good night.

Your friend,

John

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86 Responses to REMEMBERING THE BIRDMAN

  1. Jeff Thomson says:

    Oh yeah, that reminds me, in my cruise review yesterday, I forgot to mention how much it saddens me that those wonderful, beautiful former cigar bars on the ships are no longer cigar bars. I miss that terribly. Not only that, but now every time I go to those beautiful bars on the lower level, they are always empty. It seems a shame. And our next cruise is on the Carnival Sensation, and I just discovered there are no bars in which you can smoke cigars at all. Hmmmph. But I’m still determined that one day you and I will smoke a cigar together, as I missed the opportunity do do so with you on the Freedom in 2007.

  2. Hi John,

    I think you may have it about right. You have a family now.

    Glad to hear you are still planning on our Carnival Legend and hopefully for the British Isles cruise??? See you then, if not before.

    Best regards,
    bill

  3. Jason D says:

    John, Corey was a great performer and was the best cruise director other than you that we have ever sailed with.

  4. Martha says:

    Mr. Heald, you are far too young to retire. I, on the other hand, retired at 65 and feel it is the best thing that ever happened to me.
    Carnival would not be the same without your brilliant blogs and Facebook comments. So I hope that you continue to be the wonderful CD you have been, and are, for a number of years.
    Among your many fans (and your few but vocal critics) I read every word you write, and sometimes laugh out loud and wake up my sleepy husband who just nods and says, “Reading Heald’s blog again, are you?” Please, please, keep on keeping on. We love you.

  5. frances says:

    I would love to live on a cruise ship for an entire year if I could find a compatable person to do so with I would jump on the opportunity, I have met several solo cruisers that have done or are doing it and they love it, and have amazing stories to tell, I wish there was a way it would be affordable to do this as a solo traveler but it is not when you are retired and on a fixed income I would spend the rest of my days cruising the high seas and visiting all the ports!!

  6. Sharon says:

    Attention to Mr. Frank Hawkey: Throwing stuff over the side of the ship is called littering. Sheesh!

  7. Lori Homer says:

    Let me begin by saying that I went on my first cruise in March on the Miracle after saying for years that I would never go on one because I didnt like all the people and watching the time etc…I had a blast! You were on that cruise with us and I must say I cant wait to go again. I read your facebook/bloggy things everyday and if it makes you feel any better about having to work til you die we do love you and hope that the day doesnt come too soon when you retire but of course we would understand. I wish I could retire and cruise 2 or 3 times a year! Thank you for all that you do and for giving me a laugh every day!

  8. Debbie Hansen says:

    John, Thank you for the wonderful tribute to Corey. We only traveled with him once, but he was spectacular. His show was fabulous and his love for entertaining was evident in everything he did and said. You and I were just talking about him during the get together before the NY maiden cruise of the Carnival Dream. He will be missed. cMy deepest sympathies to his Carnival family and his immediate family.

  9. Brent says:

    John,
    I swear I will cry like a baby if you go. I work in criminal justice/law enforcement, specifically supervising sex offenders in the community, and I can honestly say that you have given me something humorous, light, and real that takes my mind off the garbage of the world and has both my wife and myself laughing from a dead silence as we read your ‘brilliant’ humor and wit. On the other hand, I understand how time flies by and family is so important. I look forward to seeing you on BC6, and I hope that you have had some time for your wife and daughter since they are with you. Take care and have a marvelous day!

  10. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    I agree that we remember those who touched our lives for the joy they brought us, not for how they left this world.

    Corey will always be remembered as the incredible man that showed what it meant to be the best of the best.

    As for your future plans, John, please know that 99.9999999% of the folks that know you; wish you only the very best.

    And the rest of them… well, they are just fodder for our entertainment and certainly not worth any serious consideration.

    Your “title” at Carnival is not important.

    Your presence at Carnival is all that matters.

    And we know your “presence” will be there at Carnival for many years to come.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  11. Julie Mendenhall says:

    I never met Corey; my condolenses to his family and friends.
    As far as you retiring John, I will be 50 next year. I am not retiring yet, Why?? I must make money to do my favorite thing, sail on a cruise ship!
    I hope to sail with you before you retire. My Brother in law and sister, Michael and Cheri rave about you. So don’t retire just yet!

  12. Joel says:

    I love being retired myself and can see how your hours can be brutal. A suggestion would possibly do as you say, visit different ship’s in your roll as Senior Cruise Director to watch how the Cruise Director’s and assistant’s work. Maybe two week’s a month and then two week’s land based. In other words, grow the beard and just travel as a supervisor :)

  13. Merl says:

    John,

    That was a hard blog to read, and I bet a even harder one to write. I understand how you feel completely. When my kids where young I could wrestle with them and jump right up, no problem. Now, at 53, I moan and groan just getting up off the easy chair.

    John, stop, take a breath, and charge forward. God bless my friend.

  14. Jeanne says:

    I am sorry for your loss, and on the retirement issue, I wish you the best in the future. We are on vacation when we cruise, and you most certainly are not. It is a tough job.

  15. Don Kraeft says:

    FFS Hawkey, your like must be miserable! Your cruise was ruined because you didn’t get to throw streamers. Really???

  16. Hi John my husband and I went to Australia and we were on the Princess Diamond for 13 days loved it. Had a wonderful Time and we were wondering are you going on the Breeze on Jan 19, 2013 for the bc6 cruise???? If So we will see you there. haven’t booked yet but will real soon.
    Tari

  17. Kristil Sahlin says:

    You will now always be “Underpantsman” in my heart. :-)

  18. AJ says:

    John…a while ago I posted on your FB page that you would know in your heart when it was the time to bow gracefully out.

    It’s when that damned smile just refuses to stay on your face, no matter how hard you try and when yet another silly complaint from a passenger makes you scream blue murder inside and you start to wonder “why am I here, doing this when I could be at home with family and being appreciated”.

    I worked with the public in tourism for 15 years and I loved it, it was a great experience…but as soon as it became a chore to deal with people and to try and be happy all the time when inside I was just falling to bits, I knew that the time had come to stop the carousel and get off.

    The passing of Corey has just reminded you of your own mortality…the method of his passing doesn’t make any difference, he has gone and his life and the memories that you have from your time with him will stay with you forever…as will all the good and bad times that you have had as CD with Carnival.

    You and your family should come first, above all else…people often said to me that working in tourism away from home is a single person’s heaven and a family person’s hell…well maybe it is, but as with everything it’s what YOU make it and what YOU put into it…and sometimes that just isn’t enough to make it enjoyable anymore.

    So if you are finding waking up in the morning is filling you with dread as to what someone will ask or say…and no matter how much superglue you use, that smile just won’t co-operate, then sunshine, it’s time to walk away with head held high in the knowledge that you have changed many lives and made thousands of people happy…but not it is YOUR time to be happy and to watch your daughter grow up and for you to be a daddy and hubby first.

    Good luck to you, I know that deciding to trim back what you are doing will be heart and gut wrenching, but you WILL know when its time…you will.

  19. Floatie says:

    Well I am stunned at this blog John on several counts, and I have to say very hurt as well. There are hundreds and hundreds of loyal CCL cruisers on CC every day happily planning cruises, not sure why you have declared war on CC and don’t really care, but you should not hurt all of its members who follow you AND enjoy CC like adults. I know that there are a few losers who make it unpleasant but there are FAR more wonderful cruisers there, simply sharing our love of cruising. If it wasn’t FOR CC, I would never have found the groups of people I so love to cruise with, or certainly not cruised as much as I have since joining in 2008… :(

    • Helene Barnes says:

      Hey John – great blog as always
      Hey Floatie – just had to get my 2 cents in! John hasn’t called war on CC in fact he knows he has support on CC and that there are folks on CC who are wonderful. Unfortunately as you and I both know there are also a select few who need a cranialrectumotomy. John just refuses to be involved in those people’s drama. He knows it isn’t EVERY person on CC, so lighten up a bit my friend and just enjoy the read!

    • DMI says:

      I certainly agree with you about CC as they do have so many good ideas and sharings It’s really not to nice to make fun of a few members so often and the site as it serves many purposes

      • jgeraci says:

        I also am a fan of both John Heald & CC. I’ve met many great people through CC. As with any site, there are those whose posts are offensive. But the majority of us just want to get the most out of cruising. I think that a truce is in order between John & his few detractors. OK, John??
        JoyceG(a new Diamond!)

    • Linny says:

      Ah, my dear friend, you took the words right out of my mouth…GMTA! John seems to think CC is just a bunch of Healdhaters, and that is truly not the case. CC is usually a good place as long as you weed out the couple of trouble-makers (as with any public forum). We also wouldn’t have become so active in cruising Carnival without CC.

      John, with regard to retiring, you need to do what is right for you, when it is right for you. You’ve spent a lot of time away from your “girls” and maybe it’s time to change things up so you can be with them more. My brother had a very sweet gig as Lady Gaga’s lead guitarist over the last 2 years, but he quit this year because he is missing his baby girl growing up. We all have to do what is right for us in life. I have to imagine that you are valuable enough to Carnival that they would let you continue your roll as Brand Ambassador, writing the blog, updating Facebook, consulting…without having the responsibility of being CD and bringing out ships. Time to start researching! Then you will have the best of both worlds…just don’t let your arm fall off! :-O

      • Richard Taylor says:

        I agree. John, you are a Celebrity and a huge asset to Carnival. They would be plain stupid to let you go. As a Celebrity CCL could have you continue with Facebook and the Blogs, and to answering queries. You could also appear across the fleet as you, flyng Business of course. How about inventing a blog show to do?
        And with a UK based ship there’s surely mileage in doing stuff to build that up?
        Then Carnival – you – are based in Southend, and you get to be with your family much more.

        Don’t leave Carnival, please!

  20. Debbie says:

    Oh my, John Iknow how you feel. I hope i get to cruise with you one more time before you quit CD.How about you give up the Brand Ambassadore and just CD.It’s hard to leave Heidi & Kye I know.Hope you will still do bloggers cruises. I haven’t been able to do one of those yet. Best wishes for your happiness no matter what you decide. And just for the record YOU ARE THE BEST CRUISE DIRECTOR EVER!

  21. Jon Bates says:

    John,

    My Wife and I will be taking our first ever Carnival Cruise.(3 Royal, 1 NCL) We will be on the “Halloween” Cruise on Carnival Dream this October! We have noticed that she will be getting a dry dock the month before we go and are wondering what will be removed from the ship for the upgrades? I do not see that anywhere on the internet…. The fun ship 2.0 additions do look nice but want to know whats going to be removed. Finally what can we expect on a halloween cruise and who will be our CD? Thanks for the information!

  22. Betty says:

    Hi John,
    My sympathy on the loss of Corey. We cruised w/ him & the birds & loved him.
    Your talking about retirement hurts. At 50 you will still be the voice of Carnival i hope.Your young,talented,well loved by most & have sailed w/ you 3 times & enjoyed you.Hope to cruise w/ you again soon.To me you are Carnival. Hugs.

    • Cruisin' Lovebirds says:

      John, I send my sympathies on the loss of your friend and colleague. I hope his family finds peace in your tribute to him. Janet

  23. Judy says:

    I haven’t thrown streamers since my Alaska cruise in 1992. Nowadays, the PC thing to do is to blow bubbles. Is it still ok to bring those small individual bottles of bubbles onboard?

  24. DMI says:

    A very good blog Perhaps one way your situation would improve stress wise would be to drop your facebook page and all it’s demands and requests Perhaps just continue th blog which is much less conterversial and doesn’t require your constant presence Even if you were just a CD for awhile that would be enough and allow your arm to rest You can only abuse your body so long and so glad you can be realistic Your grand accomplishments will always be present.

  25. Lynn Conant says:

    Dear John: My husband and I are on our 7th Carnival cruise. Our 8th is booked for this fall. We have 20+ cruises overall. For the very first time ever, on Carnival, we felt like an inconvenience to your staff. When our reservations were booked, only late dinner seating was available. We do not care for that seating and know that we can ask the matre’d to change our seating time, as we have done many times in the past.

    We also know that the first day of a cruise is demanding on staff – 3,000 new people have just boarded all making demands upon staff.

    However, we were embarassed by the Splendor’s matre’d angryresponse to our request for an early dinner seating. Simply put, she was arrogant. There was no one in line and at that time there were no crowds making demands upon her. It was just my husband and myself. But rather quickly I was told, in no uncertain terms, that 921 other people had also made the same request.

    How rude. I didn’t demand an earlier seating, I requested help. Frankly, she should be demoted back to kitchen staff with her attitude. I don’t care about anyone else, I don’t care how many other people requested earlier seatings, I don’t care how harried and busy you are, I don’t care what type of important executive you believe you may be, but my husband and I do not deserve to be treated as an inconvience that is interrupting your day.

    We did not get an early seating as requested and frankly, that is not the reason behind this e-mail. Two days later, I am still angry with the way we were treated. That is the reason for this email.

    We understand that some requests cannot and will not be accomidated. That’s not lost upon us. However, it’s not the inability to accomidate our request, but the rude response to our request that stings.
    Regards,
    Lynn Conant, Esq.

    • Ms. Conant,
      We have cruised with Dessi at least 3 times and, she is, without a doubt, one of the best maitre d’s. and we have been on 40 CC cruises in 6 years. She is always available and participates with guests each night. Your condemnation of Dessi is the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. She had 900+ requests before you. What was she supposed to do? She could not accomodate your request.

      She is a business person, not a sniveling puppet to fall down at the feet of guests. Her responsibilities extend far beyond the dinner in the main dining room, including breakfast and lunch in the main dining room as well as all of the Lido Deck. If indeed, 921 guests had already requested changes, that is about one third of the passenger list on the Splendor. (Yes, we have cruised on the Splendor 12-14 times.)

      Sorry that you felt that Dessi was rude, but sometimes people that speak English as a second language do not understand the subtleties of our dialect. Dessi is indeed a wonderful maitre d’. Your rant about attitude is puerile and probably does not reflect your dining experience, service given and the enthusiasm of staff, including Dessi.

      Have a nice day.
      Dennis and Gail Edmondson

    • Cruiser dave says:

      Esquire? That says it all about your attitude, doesn’t it?

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

        Good catch….

        one can only wonder if the rudeness was coming from the OP???

    • Barbara says:

      Having cruised with Dessie 3 times, I can say your impressions is completely wrong. She has been nothing but accommodating.

      You cannot expect to get what you want all the time. If 900 others have requested ahead of you, you won’t get what you want.

      Accept that.

      And, don’t take “no,it cannot be done” as rude.

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

        You make a good point.

        Far to many people start shouting someone was “rude” simply because they are not being told what they want to hear.

    • Mike P says:

      Wow people, she didn’t say she was upset that your BFF Dessi couldn’t get her dining fixed. 900 people or not, customer service is giving a smile and apology. Take a look as how John treats the hundreds of people demanding chocolates, trophies, etc. every week. Take a look at how John didn’t yell at the lady with the wet clothes who threw them in his face. Clearly Dessi needs a lesson from Mr. Heald on how to maintain her temper.

  26. Susan K Segars says:

    Hi there John, We are sailing on the Breeze August 26, 2012. We sailed with you in June of 2011 on the Magic. This will be our 24th cruise with Carnival. We are so looking forward to the adventure. Magic was so very incredible! We think the Breeze will be as much fun, if not more! We have never been to Florence or Croatia. We are so very excited…as we always are when we sail with Carnival. We have ALWAYS had a good experience with Carnival. We have cruised other lines, but our fave is Carnival. It is always a party!! Thanks for always making it fun. We hope you will still be on the Breeze when we get on….She should be a LOT of fun! Thanks, Jim & Susan

  27. Ted Atwell says:

    John,
    I agree with you about Corey. He loved being the spotlight. That is what made him so great. Sometimes when there was no stage he would still carry that.
    I had just within the last 2 years tried to get back in touch with him an was successful. He sounded happy and strong. It breaks my heart that he is gone. I was hope to see him when I am on the West Coast.
    Corey and I battled on ships. Mostly over women but I always had his back. I loved his birds and would even help him with the horrible job of trimming beaks and nails. I really earned a huge respect for him with his love for his animals.
    DAMNIT! I AM CRUSHED. He seemed to be so happy.
    Corey, YOU ARE ALREADY MISSED BY TWO PEOPLE THAT RESPECT YOUR ABILITY AND MOST OF ALL WHO YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS!
    John, if you need a friend to talk to, anytime.
    Love you my friend,
    Ted Atwell

  28. Annette LaFiosca says:

    John,
    You are truly the best CD a float. To think of you retiring is sad however its understandable as I look forward to the day of retirement myself. I had hoped that I would see you on the Breeze Dec. 8th but am waiting to see your schedule. My husband and I are celebrating our anniversary on this cruise. This will be my 10th carnival cruise and my husbands 6th. Carnival is the best cruise line no matter your age. When I started cruising, staying up until the wee hours was easy. Now I go to bed by 11pm to get up by 7am. Carnival has made it easy to cruise no matter what my age or stamina. It is truly the best and I hope to cruise with you as the CD in December. Annette LaFiosca Cabin 8434

  29. Capt Bill says:

    Hey John,

    First let me say how sorry I am to hear of the passing of Corey, I had the opportunity to see him once or twice in my many cruises with Carnival. He was indeed a wonderful CD and will be missed. Depression is a very serious illness; I deal with it every day with my wife who also has to deal with other health problems. It is tough to deal with and people can hide it very well. I wish he had reached out for help, but I have to ask myself is that something Corey would do?? I can’t say either way, but I will say this to all the people out there who suffer from depression please reach out and say something there are people there to help and listen.
    To comment on what you had to say about you’re continuing with Carnival, I have a suggestion, how about filling in for all the other CD’s when they go on Vacation?? I know you love the big ships- for me I prefer the smaller ones- but I think if you where to spend time on the other ships filling in for a month or 2 at a time, and failing that how about a brand ambassador program where you travel between several ships (like a fly on entertainer) and share your stage presence with the CD’s of other ships. This way you would not have to be the CD in charge you could be part of the entertainment, meet and greet passengers, get to be on stage one or two nights a week on different ships (fly on one ship for several weeks and move on to another for a few weeks) this would allow you more time off at home with your lovely wife and child, and allow you to be on stage and make people happy.
    I have one more question, how do you find assistants like Calvin and Wee Jimmy, I have cruised with you many times with Wee Jimmy as your assistant and I look forward to the time that I can see him in his role as CD. Please keep up the good work, and can you post more video’s maybe of the morning show?? I love how you and Calvin interact.

    Thanks for all you do, old friend,

    Capt Bill

  30. Bob McAdoo says:

    John, I sailed with you on the Triumph in 1999, and if God’s willing and the creek don’t rise, would love to sail with you again. Hopefully, the Beards will agree to allow you to sail a few weeks at a time, so those of us who enjoy your work and fellowship will be able to sail with you again.

  31. Dave Myerly says:

    John,
    We got home Friday aftewr a really long flight and both have bad colds caught during the last part of the cruise.
    We were along on the Inagural cruise of the Breeze and loved the ship. However we hoped to get a ships coin but were not able to do so.

    We were well taken care of by our friends Ken Byrne and Elena in the Blush Dining room and Martina Filapova with her team Joven and Srdjan at our table. Our cabin was well looked after by Moises, from Columbia. He was always avalable to help with anything we needed.
    We loved the way the ship looked and the nuetral color schemes. The tables and chairs on Lido with out the booths were a nice change. Did not really care for the tall tables near tyhe Mongolian WOK area. Overall the food was great and TOO TOO PLENTIFUL from the look at my new weight, but it was delicious with some new touches. I tried the Guy Burger and find I like our local NJ burgers better. Ana and the staff at Guest Services tried their best but could not track down my lost US Navy Ball cap I lost in Athens.
    Beds were OK but too hard just like the Magic, but we like them softer. We have a great SOMMA air bed at home. Moises tried putting two mattress covers on our bed and it helped a little.
    About the pillows – they suck – Same as those on the Magic. They are far too soft and offer NO SUPPORT. I usually put two in one pillow case to get a harder pillow so I can sleep. My wife takes her own pillows but we believe Carnival should offer Soft, Meduim and Hard pillows so we can choose.

    Ship was very sound and quiet and took the seas and turns well. The Thrusters worked well and the Captain did an excellent job getting us in and out. We love the Family cabins (ours was again 2420) which we have stayed in on the last several ships. We were on the Magic for 3 cruises (35 Days) Oct & Nov 2011.

    Give our Best to Heidi and Kye and enjoy your time together.

    We are already Diamond (VIFB) after 23 Carnival cruises and next cruise will be our 25th for Milestone. We might not be onboard with you again until the Legend in Sept 2013 when we will be b2b for Northern Europe and the Baltic.

    Thanks for everything and tell Calvyn he looks better in a jacket and tie.

    Dave and Jo Myerly

  32. CanuckKaren says:

    John, please accept my condolences on the loss of your friend, Corey. I pray that he has now found the peace that eluded him in life.

  33. Bill Heck says:

    Hello John:

    Sorry to read your thinking on your situation, but not surprised. At some point we get a glimpse of our mortality, and the every day activities sometimes seem less important. You have a grasp of what is valuable to you, and it is not always to be what you have been. If I could give you some advice, until the day that you hang up your CD pants, get some of the young ones to do your job. Calvyn seems to be pretty capable, give him a raise and make him some new type of Vice CD and you can be Senior CD or something, CD chairman of the board.

    Anyway, enjoy the family as much as you can, and have a great summer. I think you are H82seayougo.

    Your Friend

    Bill Heck

    ps. what happened to telling about some of the good things in the VIPF? Or maybe let a sleeping dog lie.

  34. Colleen says:

    Fun is an international language and this Carnival Breeze speaks it fluently.

    Well said!

  35. I’ve heard you talk about leaving before but never so serious like you are on this blog. I can understand your feelings and I wouldn’t even be angry at you because you have given your all to Carnival and to us, the guests you have worked to hard to satisfy and allow us a great cruise.
    If I were Carnival ( the big shots ) I would try to incorporate John Heald with the using and visiting of all the ships giving all the guests an opportunity to spend time with John Heald just sitting and talking with John Heald and Giving more home time so that he could visit more time with his family. It would be a semi – retirement giving everyone what they wanted, Carnival and us. What do you think?
    John, I’ve enjoyed the time knowing and loving the time that my wife and I have spent with you. It would be a shame that when I plan on my next cruise knowing that You, John might not even be there.
    Your health, welfare and being with your family is of utmost importance.
    See you soon my friend onboard the Carnival Breeze.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

    • Rick Williamson says:

      Seems like I too remember you saying you were leaving. This was on our 2004 cruise on Glory in Sept. of that year. You were talking about leaving in Dec of that year. Slow down maybe but don’t stop.

    • John, first let me pass on to you, Carnival and of course his family my deepest sympathy on the tragic loss of the Birdman. Bob and I have sailed on 14 Carnival cruises over the past 25 years and had never met him. Of course we always enjoyed your stories and memories of Corey and we shall miss him even though we never met him.
      I think you are saddened of course over his untimely demise, and, thinking to your future. I am also sure you are very tired as you have worked tiredlessy for the past few months. What you really need is a more appropiate schedule that will allow you to rest with at least one day a week that you do not act as a cruise director, blog writer, facebook poster, and, of course Carnival spokesperson. You need at least one day to just relax, think of your health and family. I think Carnival with your help, can arrange for you to be absent one day a week for John time. Also, your vacation time should be vacaion time, with you, your family and a shutdown computer and rasberry. just MHO.
      We all love you John, and, we want to have you around many more years in good health and of course happy.
      Marie aka Mary Ann

  36. Dave Friedman says:

    Corey was one of my first CDs, and really sold me on Carnival loyalty. It wasn’t just his “act” — he spent some of his downtime sharing stories with me. Since I was traveling solo in those days, those precious minutes resulted in several new bookings, and a lifelong friendship.

    The Bird Man will be missed here on earth, but somewhere he is reunited with his Mom, his birds, and other family and friends. And we all know he’s the life of THAT party.

  37. Renee MacLaughlan says:

    John, We’ve had the pleasure of cruising on Inspiration twice this year and have been impressed with the CD Stephanie (one of the Stephanie’s – LOL) and a young chap named Michael who works in Camp Carnival. When we sailed in April, Michael helped to make my daughter’s 10th birthday very special. We found out later that his birthday was the day after my daughter’s. On our recent cruise in June, Michael was still there and remembered our daughter and that it had been her birthday. With all of the children he must have seen in between those cruises, I was so impressed that he remembered her. He deserves some kudos for the hard work that he does, along with all of the other Camp Carnival workers, who keep our children happy while their parents are having fun.
    Stephanie was pretty fun as well and made just enough annoucements to keep us in the know about what was going on.
    I’d also like to give a “shout out” to our waiter, Louie. He was simply outstanding and we noticed that he was “Employee of the Month” when we visited Guest Services. Well deserved, Louie!
    We’ve got two more cruises scheduled this year so I can make it to Platinum! We really enjoy Carnival and the experience of cruising, and your employees make this such an enjoyable experience for us.
    John, thanks for all you do.

  38. Aida Fonseca says:

    John I know it is difficult to understand when somebody you admire and live take their own lives, it happened to me three years ago and my heart is still hurting, we met Corey once and he was a great person, I m pretty sure that God opened his arms as a gesture of forgiveness. I understand how you feel about retirement, I smiled as you described the aches and tiredness, I’m 62 yrs old, hoping to work 4 more years God permitting. I’m hoping to see your schedule soon and be able to book another cruise with you. After you being our CD in two different occasions we still remembered how much you made us laugh. My husband and I just returned from the famous Glory cruise June 3rd out of Boston. We had a blast and we will never forget that we celebrated our 40th anniversary on a cruise ship on “dry” land in the port of Boston :) as the ship was not able to leave that night. I woke up at 2am missing the waves! I bought my certificate for our next cruise hopefully in your company. Good luck and God bless you….

  39. Alex says:

    So what is the best way to ask you a question fir the blog?
    Also, very nice comments on your friend. That’s sad that he took his own life.
    Lastly, why does that Cruise Critic give you so much crap? I have had you as a CD before and think you’re the best! I hope you’re around for another 30 years!

  40. Chris Benson says:

    John do yourself and family a favour. Stop the web site, face book thingy and spend more time to relax. We may not like it initially but hey, I can get over not reading all the rediculus complaints and requests. May be it is time for Calvyn to “step up to the plate”. My God what have I said.
    The older you get, reduce the stress in proportion and you will find you and yours are happy.
    Do not stop doing a job you love because you have created an electronic monster that is spoiling your life. Hand the baton to someone else.

  41. Rob Rose says:

    John,

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your co-worker and friend. I can only hope he is at peace now.

    Regards,

    Rob

  42. Janice Cavanaugh says:

    Good Morning John: I felt I had to share with you after reading your tribute to Corey. John on 9/11/1995 my Dad took his own life. He was a brilliant successful man and my daughter was only 2 at the time and the light of his life. To say this was difficult for us is an understatement. I never thought I would make it through but had a lil one to raise. Someone told me something though that has helped me through. I was told it takes a very strong person to do what he did. My Dad was a strong person. I miss him so and could never “get” how he could leave us, especially my baby girl who is now 19 and ill but a fighter. My daughter is the girl with NDPH (you used Uncle Google) and were so kind to her on her graduation cruise. I needed to share about strength and please know this is something Corey had to do for himself and somehow in the mind of a suicide victim they feel it is best for everyone. It took me years to “settle” with all of this. I hope it helps you as well. Also you are by far the best at sea and a true and kind gentleman for all you do. You know when it is your time to enjoy your family. Kye will grow so fast. I know you will always be connected to Carnival. I hope I have the pleasure of sailing with you before you hang up your microphone. I would love to Thank you in person for how much you have helped my daughter and I through cruising and through FB and your blog. I hope I get the honor. Thank you and please be at peace that Corey did what he had to do for himself.

  43. Mike says:

    John,

    As I read your blog this morning I couldn’t help but be moved at what you were writing about. I can say that I have lost people in my life through one way or another and yes it does hurt and if indeed Cory found God then I’m sure he is in a happier place. Being the same age as you I to have thought about the retirement thing as well and my thoughts are the same as yours in this respect. I absolutely love what I’m doing and it is something that I can continue on with when I semi retire…..yes semi because I have seen to many family and friends retire with nothing to do and simply just slip away from life. One of our dreams is to semi retire near a cruise port so that we can cruise until we are no longer able to physically. Cruises are one of our fav things to do and we hope we are lucky enough to do this well into out twilight years. Anyways John I do enjoy your blogs and facebook thingy and hope that you continue to do these things well into YOUR twilight years. John remember 70 is the new 50 so you need to step back take a breather brother cause I KNOW you have lots left in you.

    YOUR FRIEND
    MIKE

  44. Linda Pearl says:

    One thing I wish, when people post about an issue they had on a cruise, is to stop saying that it,”ruined their cruise.” To the family who were not allowed to throw streamers, c’mon now.

  45. Sharon H. (TX) says:

    John,

    My condolences on the loss of your friend and former CD. I imagine this has something to do with your considering what is ahead for you. You will probably know when the right time to retire.

    On a different note, a group of 10 families are leaving in 3 days on the Magic to celebrate our kids’ high school graduation. We have been planning this for over a year and are excited that we will soon be onboard. We were lucky enough to have your help in obtaining reservations to the Chef’s Table and are looking forward to that.

    I’ve been reading your blog since the fire on the Splendor and know that we will be in good hand’s on board Carnival should the need arise.

    One final note, since you apparently are the man who “fixes” everything, would it be possible for you to guarantee us beautiful weather on our trip? If not, I know that I should immediately file a complaint at guest services demanding my money back!

    Joking aside, we are looking forward to what will most likely be a “brilliant” cruise.

  46. Barbara says:

    For Hawkey.

    Throwing streamers or anything else from a ship has been forbidden since about 1990. Any U.S. flagged ship or any ship that calls at U.S. ports cannot throw anything..including streamers.

    This is the LAW, and a Coast Guard regulation so, if you threw from a Royal Caribbean ship, it was a long, long time ago or you were doing it illegally.

    In addition, several ports around the world have also banned streamers including Southhampton in England and most South American ports, Italy and other European countries.

    There is also nobody to “throw” to except the dock workers. Visitors are not permitted on the dock or even in the terminal.

    When cruising was a luxury and only a few ships were moving about, it might have been easy to clean up. With the huge ships of today, it is impossible. Imagine the port of Miami, with 10 or more superliners leaving in a coupla days….the mess would be in tonnage.

  47. Rick Thorson says:

    John; Your apprehensions about retirement are unfounded. I have been retired for 15 years ( retired at age 56) and I have no idea how I found time to perform any work. My days start early in the morning, like yours, and go until 11pm at night. Granted, I no longer get paid to work my butt off but let me assure you that I still work my butt off as a volunteer to various community related activities. Just one example…..I pack backpacks every week so that homeless/food deprived children have 6 meals to eat on the weekend.This is for 125 children in my local county.Oh, and this summer I am raising funds for companion dogs for veterans who have invisible disabilities such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Such is my “boring retirement”!

  48. Steve says:

    Corey was our first CD on the Conquest back in December of 2003. For us, he defined what a CD should be and do. While we’ve had some wonderful CDs since then (Wee Jimmy), none have measured up to the bar that he set. We only knew him for seven days long ago but he still remains one of our fondest Carnival memories and gave us a first impression of Carnival that keeps us coming back. RIP Corey Schmidt.

  49. Donna Randon says:

    John,

    I am very sorry to hear about your friend Corey. It has been on my mind the last two days. And it is making me sad. :( I remember him being on our cruise in ’96 on Imagination. That was my first cruise with Carnival. I still have the picture with one of his Macaws on my shoulder. And of course I wasn’t scared since I grew up with exotic birds my mom owned. It’s too bad I didn’t get a chance to sail with him when he was cruise director. I do still have the VHS tape with Corey on it. I believe he was telling the guests about your Birthday surprise. I will have to get it converted to DVD. It is strange hiw a person can remember something life it was only just yesterday.

    I hope Carnival can put up some type of memorial in memory of Corey on all the ships. Maybe a statue with him holding his birds.

    God bless you, John for your dedication with Carnivak. I know it has to be difficult being away from your wife and your little girl. I do hope we can sail with you one more time before you do retire.

    Thank you, John for all you do.

    Donna

  50. LaRose Dean says:

    Oh, John,
    I understand so very much your feelings on getting older. I’m there too. Everything hurts these days. And it makes me very angry! I’m only 57, but some days feel 157. You apparently have truly loved what you do or you wouldn’t still be doing it for so many years. Hopefully, the CCL guys can work out a schedule for you that will give you more time with Heidi and Kye, but let you still be very involved with the ships.
    I haven’t seen yet whether you will be on Breeze for her Dec. 2, 2012 sailing—I so so wish and hope you will be for it would be my 1st chance to cruise on your ship with you as CD.
    I wish you the best and much happiness in your future decisions. Take care of yourself. And know that there are a lot of us people who have never actually met you, but feel we know you a tad just from reading your blog and comments. From those, I suspect you are one of the most warm-hearted, caring people out there–on a ship or not.
    LaRose

  51. Christina Paris says:

    Hi John, in response to your dilemma about what to do when you can’t be a CD anymore: you obviously love Carnival, so why dont you stay on with the company as a “beard”!? You would do a brilliant job, I’m sure, and you would be still doing what you love, but from an office instead, hopefully if they have offices in England, then you can be near home. Best of luck in whatever you do!!
    Christina

  52. Anne Reed says:

    I just read your blog on Corey Schmidt’s passing. What a beautiful tribute you gave to him. I have never sailed with Mr. Schmidt, but you brought hjm to life again with your wonderful words of tribute. He has to be smiling down on you and saying, ” Brilliant, John, Brilliant.” He will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew him,

  53. Dan VanWinkle says:

    John, I turned 50 this past November (celebrated onboard QM2). I have had the same thoughts. I think it is something we all do when we realize we have been there done that and do know what to do with the time we have left. You have a gift and a passion for what you do. Rather than retire, how about a different type of cruise director experience. Within the Carnival family you have options that would be less taxing. Less demanding customers (my days of hairy chest contests, red and blue teams, and beer bashing in the sun are long gone). Trying to muster the same level of enthusiasm and zeal is difficult when you see the mass market cruise experience changing so much (demographics, etc). I would love to see you onboard QM2 or, if I can save a gazillion bucks, on Seabourn. These would be great places for a man of your warmth and appreciation for your guests.

  54. beverly ann says:

    Will you be on 12/8 Breeze sailing? I have written to you a few times but you don’t answer. I am aware many people do however it is still discouraging. Perhaps I should just stop following your Carnival blot and facebook entries. I guess I need some affirmation that our decision to return to Carnival after 25 years is a wise one. Our first sailing on the Celebration in 1987 was our honeymoon. Now it is our 25th anniversary so we decided to return.

  55. David Stern says:

    John, Interesting end to your post. I have been thinking that when I retire mid 60′s I might like to go to work at Carnival as a Social Host to give it a try or become the karaoke host for a contract period. But I can see how the long days could wear you down. Do you think this is a good idea?

  56. wendy says:

    I was wondering if Carnival was going to put a different ship or itinarary in Charelseton South Carolina.

  57. dave j says:

    John, please tell me that you will be on the Breeze 12/08/12 sailing. Your blog and your videos are wonderful. You are both funny and “brilliant” in every thing you do. I would love so much to have the opportunity to see you onstage as CD and possibly meet you, even if only for a minute. I, myself am 51, work in construction, away from home alot because of work. Your blog helps me keep my sanity through your humor and your spot on outlook on life.

  58. cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    As we all get older we have those days where our jobs become too much for us. When this happens you need to book a cruise. Works for me and Nancy.
    You are not too old you just need more vacation time.
    James of Cruzin2some

  59. Eileene says:

    John, the thought of you retiring makes me very sad. However, I agree (from experience) that the older we get, the less energy we have. Have faith that with your ongoing weight loss & exercise, you will regain energy. That said, couldn’t you remain Brand Ambassador without doing the CD duties? Just a pretty face to represent Carnival, who writes wildly-popular blogs & uses FB to promote his company. We love you, John. I hope you’re still around the next time we take a Halloween cruise, or else my husband won’t be able to dress up like you again!

  60. Bob says:

    John, just want to say thanks for everything you have done for Carnival, and all of her customers over the years.

    Will be on the Glory again this December.

    Have a great day,

    Bob from Boston….

  61. Jim says:

    John, I am on “Cruise Critic” and there are those out there who find fault in everybody, and everything not just you. You are a better person then they could ever hope to be. You allow yourself to be yelled at and still smile, while others would yell back or worse. You have been “raked over the coals” for things that don’t amount to a hill of beans,Or what they think is a matter of Life or Death if it does not happen.Yet you continue to do this, all because of the love of the job, and to try to make people happy.
    So in closing, those that find fault in what you do, would not dare to do your job.

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  65. weissman says:

    Good morning

    I would like to go on Carnival Breeze on Sept. 7, in the Mediterranean but I am are very surprised that you do not have “sightseeing or city tour – Mild” (for example Palma de Mallorca, Rome), for older people with walking difficulties? Do you offer anything similar?
    from my experience with other companies, they offer easier tours.
    Thank for your reply

    fam. Weissman Israel

    • weissman says:

      I very much regret, not answer to my question
      fam. Weissman
      you send me ,the answer to others.

  66. Tom Watson says:

    John, thank you for your amazingly different and most informative blog. Wifey and I are die hard Carnies and in November will be taking two very good friends with us on our 11th cruise. It’ll be our first sailing on Valor and are looking forward to this ship. Next year we are planning a combined event including a graduation celebration, ten folks total will be sailing on Magic. Unfortunately due to the Summer time fare schedules this will add up to a small fortune so I want it to be the best vacation ever. I like planning as early as possible so now my question…I know we are able to book on a ship for future sailings but is it really worth the time and effort to do it then as opposed to using Carnivals web page. Will I save money booking it then? Also…You never have much to say about Steve Cassel…he is a fantastic CD in my view. Thanks John, maybe we’ll cross paths on a ship one day, It’ll be nice to meet the CD Chief,lol..

  67. Barbie Kline says:

    Dear John: I am a member of Cruise Critic, but unlike those of whom you speak, I love both you and your blog! I look forward to them every day, and tell all of my friends what a riot you are. when my husband was still alive, we sailed on RCCL and Carnival, and I just recently went on Princess with a friend. CARNIVAL BEATS THEM ALL! I especially love Carnival’s menu’s, which seem to cater to the North American cuisine At least it is the only cruiseline, to my knowledge, which includes fried chicken on their menu. Honest to goodness fried chicken, and it was delicious! All of my future cruises will be with Carnival, as I have purchased future cruise certificates while on my Alaskan cruise this year on the Spirit. I have not yet traveled on one of Carnival’s ships that feature the “Movies under the Stars”, and was wondering if you do the same as Princess and line up the chaise lounges, cover them with a comfortable foam pad, and furnish blankets? This was one of the greatest inventions ever! It was just like the olden days of my youth when we would go to the drive-in theater! Only more comfortable, and they brought us popcorn, and even cookies and milk on one night. I sincerely hope that someday we can meet in person so that I can give you a great big hug for making me laugh so often!

  68. Tonya Dorsey says:

    I will miss you my dear friend Corey! I cherish the time we spent together in Vallarta. I’m completely in shock to hear of your passing but even moreso how you passed. I enjoyed seeing your happy life and photos of you & Tina and sending you photos of my hubby & 2 girls. I miss you, I love you and I wish you peace. You are now with your Mom in heaven. I never knew you as cruise director or bird man or tv guy, just my dear friend who supported me through a terrible divorce many years ago and who was my rock! I rember how much fun we had that month with your friends on the house on the hills in Conchas Chinas, those great times will be my memory of you! (sorry for any misspelling, I’m typing through the tears)

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