A SEE DAY

November 12, 2012 -

John Heald

There is a young lady who works here on the Carnival Breeze as an entertainment staff member and her name is Stephanie Erb. In an ideal world, Stephanie would have everyone singing their hearts out and she is doing this by forming from amongst the guests something called a Glee Choir. When Stephanie first approached me with this idea, I was a little skeptical but straight away it is obvious that this was a brilliant idea.

We have 75 guests signed up and, as we speak, they are rehearsing and doing it with great gusto. I went down to visit them during their rehearsal and saw that there were men and women of all ages and speaking to them was inspiring. Some have sang in a choir before, most at church but some have never sung in a choir before but are excited to do so here on the ship. No one is more surprised than they are to find themselves at a choir practice then Gillian Olgin who is 71 years old and from Dayton, Ohio. I spoke to her and she told me “I’ve always liked singing but I would never normally have considered joining a choir. I have always wanted to sing but been too scared that I wouldn’t be accepted and this is really making my cruise special.”

I myself sang in a choir, yep, I was a tenor in a choir at church when I was in my teens but things are a lot different in today’s choirs from what I remember. My sister Suzanne and I and my parents all sang in the choir and we would find ourselves singing from ancient music books, their pages yellowed and curled up at the corners. It wasn’t just that the music was old, it felt old, it even smelt like it was old. But these days it’s all changed and the first time I noticed this was when we had a choir group sail on our ships. They were called Sing Live UK. There premise is that they can bring the joy of singing to everyone and provide extraordinary opportunities to sing in the UK and around the world and they don’t care if you are a fantastic singer or have the vocal talents of a cat being tasered. And that’s what our choir is all about. We have great singers, average singers and singers who ……well aren’t singers but all are welcome and all are having brilliant fun. They will be performing a disco medley and will close the talent show with We Are the World and I will make sure this is recorded and I will put the final results on a future blog. It really is brilliant and well done to Stephanie for putting this together.

Here is a photo of our Breeze Choir at rehearsals:

 

Time for today’s Q and A………off we go.

Jerri asked:
Hey John,

I’ve been cruising with Carnival since 1990, and waaaay back then, they had pre- and post-cruise hotel packages available for purchase in cruise port cities, like Miami. The only ones I see now are for Barcelona or Venice. Do they still offer “local” pre-cruise hotel packages? I leave on Carnival Destiny on Dec. 6 and would like to stay the night before in Miami to extend our “cruise experience.” If you could steer me in the right direction, or tell me that I have to fend for myself, I’d appreciate it!

John says:
Hello Jerri,

I am afraid we don’t offer pre- and post-cruise hotel packages outside of our European destinations. Wish I had a better answer but please let me know if there is any other way I can help you.

Best wishes.

John

Keri Fidler asked:
Hi John,

I love Carnival cruising and love your blog! My family and I (all 19 of us) will be on the Carnival Breeze for the Jan. 13 sailing. We are SO EXCITED! I have two questions. First, my mom is taking us on the cruise in honor of the 10-year anniversary of my dad’s death. Is there any way you could help us do something special for her while onboard? She is amazing and has gone through so much, and to voluntarily spend a week with all of us is pretty amazing in itself. Second, the first time we all cruised together was on the Carnival Liberty back in 2006. We had the most amazing server, Vlastimil (we literally still talk about him at family gatherings). Any chance he’s still with Carnival and/or on the Carnival Breeze? We can’t wait to meet you and spend a week of quality relaxation on the Breeze!

Thanks so much!!!

Keri

John says:
Hello Keri Fidler,

I will be on the ship for that cruise as I prepare for the Bloggers Cruise the following week and of course I will send her a little something and my sympathies at your loss. I see we have a lot of staff with that name including seven waiters but none are here or are heading here so it looks like you will have a another wonderful waiter to look after you. So I will see you soon and please get ready for a wonderful cruise and when on board drop me a note at the guest services desk to remind me about Mum.

Best wishes.

John

Pauline Enfield asked:
John,

We are just off the Pride and had our Cruise Critic roll call with 50 plus in attendance. We did receive your two bottles of champagne and two ships on sticks but I have to tell you that we found these door prizes completely inadequate compared to NCL. They offered T-shirts, mugs and every Cruise Critic member got a signed chart of the ships route by the captain. This leads me on to another disappointment because the captain or the cruise director took the time to come which we all commented on and will write in our reviews. I am just saying that if Carnival wants Cruise Critic members to cruise on their ships then they need to step up to the plate and do better things for us.

John says:
Hello Pauline Enfield,

I started giving the CC meet and greets the two trophies and two bottles of champagne some months ago. It was my idea as I tried to show that we do appreciate you sailing with us. However I have to say that we have no plans to increase gifts or incentives to those who travel as part of the roll call. I can say that I truly hope you had fun and that your reviews will be subjective, honest and most importantly that you had fun.

Best wishes to all your roll call friends.

John

Carl T Stearman asked:
John,

My wife is panicking because she has been told that she is not allowed to bring a hair curler to the ship and that it is prohibited, is this true.

John says:
Hello Carl T Stearman,

Please tell your wife not to panic because she can bring a hair curler to the ship. The only thing we ask is that before you leave the cabin that it is unplugged. Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any questions. Have a great cruise.

Best wishes.

John

Terri Lynn asked:

There is a young lady who works on the Carnival Liberty who to me sums up why I have 21 cruises with Carnival and her name is Adi. My husband and I normally have a routine when we cruise where after dinner we go straight to the piano bar with some casino slots mixed in but all that changed on the Liberty. We met Adi at the Alchemy Bar the first night and because of her engaging conversation and amazing smile her bar was our first stop after dinner. John I hope all your passengers get to meet her as she is what Carnival is all about. See you on BC6, can’t wait.

John says:
Hello Terri Lynn,

It is always great to hear from you and before I forget may I say again how much I appreciate your amazing loyalty. Yep, Adi is amazing and a sensational crew member loved by guests and her fellow crew. She is now on the Carnival Conquest opening the Alchemy Bar there and I am sure she is doing what she always does best — mixing superb cocktails and making everyone feel at home. I will make sure she sees these wonderful words of praise which I thank you for taking the time to write. I will see you in January.

Best wishes to you both.

John

Frank Dena asked:

We will be on the X-mas cruise on Carnival Imagination and my son will turn 15 on X-mas day. He always complains that he gets less presents than others as his birthday is on X-mas day so can you send him something special. Our cabin number is M112 and his name is Shane.

John says:
Hello Frank Dena,

I am sure this cruise will be very special for him and please can you send me a note here on the blog marked “time sensitive” one week before you sail or at the same time drop me a note on my Facebook page at facebook.com/johnheald and I will send him a little something to wish him happy birthday I hope you all have a wonderful time.

Best wishes.

John

Georgie Marino asked:
Hi John,

Well, our Sept. 7 – 19 Carnival Breeze Mediterranean cruise is over and we’re back to reality! Again, receiving your very thoughtful gift on-board helped made the cruise even more special. I am so sorry I didn’t get to see/speak with you personally, but maybe the next time. I will not book my next cruise until I know what your CD schedule is for 2013 so please let me know. I noticed on our cruise that the RedFrog Pub didn’t get anywhere near the attention that it got last year on Carnival Magic. If you recall last year on the Carnival Magic you couldn’t get into the pub every night, it was jam-packed! Please, please pay special tribute to our waiter in Blush, his name is Loubo (don’t know his official first name), he’s from Bulgaria – he and his two assistants were incredible – we talked about his wife and two children every evening and how he misses them and also our room specialist, Susanna, she was also from Bulgaria. She went above and beyond. So, please let me know your CD schedule for next year. Also Calvyn’s as well. Hugs and Kisses to Calvyn too!

John says:
Hello Georgie Marino,

Yes, while the RedFrog Pub on Carnival Breeze continues to attract lots of fans, you’re right – on your cruise traffic was slower than other sailings and I still can’t work out why that was. Maybe the international count was a factor and of course the other areas of the ship were busy as well and traffic was spread more I think. I am so glad you had fun and I will be honoured to pass on your words of praise to all those you mentioned. Calvyn and I send you our best and I hope we see you soon and as you will have seen by the CD schedule I will be on the Carnival Legend next year and I hope you will too.

Best wishes.

John

David Amerio asked:
John,

Just wanted to show you an interesting article I found in relation to your “Flat Iron Steak” whiner. http://news.ufl.edu/2007/11/28/flat-iron-steak/. It appears a team from my hometown of Gainesville, Florida teamed up with cattle industry to create the steak – “the researchers created a steak that has the tenderness of a rib eye or strip steak with the full-flavored character of a sirloin or skirt steak. It’s also perfect for grilling over medium high heat,” That said, I am one of the many people who have enjoyed the Flat Iron steak on my several cruises with Carnival as well as at home, off my grill.

Cheers and happy cruising, John.

Dave

John says:
Hello David Amerio,

Thanks so much, that made for fascinating reading indeed. The flat iron steak continues to be very popular on our everyday menu and this shows that it is indeed a very good cut of meat. Thanks again and I hope we see you onboard enjoying a piece very soon.

Best wishes.

John

Helen Stern asked:

Looking to find out if Carnival does kosher food. This will be important to know before we book a cruise which we are wanting to do in 1/13 so can you confirm Mr. Heald if this is possible or not and will you allow my husband to inspect the galley to make sure all is in order for our food.

John says:
Hello Helen Stern,

Yes indeed we do and please may I ask you to call our guest access services desk. Please tell them your sailing date and how many guests want kosher food and we will make sure it is so. I am sure we can let your husband see the galley although maybe not during operation as it is obviously a very hectic place. Rest assured we will look after you as best we can so I hope you will book your cruise. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with and enjoy your cruise.

Best wishes.

John

Adrian Vangard asked:
John,

I need to know what vodkas they serve on the ship Magic. This is an urgent matter and I need an urgent response!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Adrian Vangard,

I guess the fact that you posted this close to five weeks ago makes this a ummmmmm not so urgent answer for which I apologise. Here though is the list of vodkas we serve on the Carnival Magic: Absolut, Stolichnaya, Smirnoff, Ketel one, Grey Goose, Three Olives, Belvedere, Grey Goose, Ciroc, Finlandia, Skyy and Crapashitski Plus several of these vodkas have fruit flavor infusion inside such as cherry, orange, Bloody Mary, citrus, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, and blueberry. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.

John

And on that curious question, we end today’s Q&A. Thanks for the continuing questions and comments.

So today we start our five days crossing the Atlantic and so far the sea conditions have been favourable. The staff and I have done our best to make sure we pack the day full of fun and I thought I would share with you the Have a Great Time section of the Fun Times so you can see what is going on. Here it is;

MORNING

8:00am
All Day Card Game Area……….. Conference Center, 4 Mid
Sunrise Stretch……………………….. Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

8:30am
Fab Abs Class…………………………. Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
Library Open Until midnight………….Deck 4 Fwd

9:00am
Daily Puzzles……………………………….. Plaza Café, 5 Mid

9:30am
John & Calvyn’s Morning Show Channel 16 & Seaside Theater
Arts & Crafts…………………………. Limelight Lounge, 5 Aft
Big Screen Trivia: Celeb Double Take Ovation Theater, 3 Fwd

10:00am
Trivia: Slogans…………………………… Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
Punchliner Brunch……………. Sapphire Restaurant, 3 Fwd
Ping Pong Tournament………………………… Deck 11, Mid
Body Sculpt Boot Camp #2 + Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

10:30am
Trivia: Vacation Destinations………….. Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

11:00am
Super Trivia 1………………………. Ovation Theater, 3 Fwd
Match Game…………………………….. Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
Breeze Olympic Sports………………… Sports Deck, 12 Mid
Punchliner Brunch Sapphire Restaurant, 3 Fwd
How to Increase Your Metabolism……………………… Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

11:30am
Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament… Winner’s Luck Casino, 5 Mid
Noon Fun Finds Shopping Show………… Ovation Theater, 3 Fwd
Punchliner Brunch……………. Sapphire Restaurant, 3 Fwd
Behind The Fun Piano Bar 88,5 Aft
Slot Tournament Begins…….. Winner’s Luck Casino, 5 Mid

12:30pm
Jazz In Plaza with Eddie C & Band…… Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
Future Cruise Talk………………….. Limelight Lounge, 5 Aft

1:00pm
Punchliner Brunch……………. Sapphire Restaurant, 3 Fwd Art Gallery “Sneak Peak” Liquid Nightclub, 5 Mid

1:30pm
Bridge Players Meet……………… Conference Room, 4 Mid

1:15pm
Bear Cuddly +……………………….. Camp Carnival, 11 Mid

2:00pm
Trivia: General Knowledge…………….. Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

2:15pm
Veterans Day & Remembrance Day Ovation Theater, 3 Fwd

2:30pm
Trivia: Sports…………………………….. Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
Dive In Movie: The Kings Speech. Seaside Theater, 10 Mid

2:45pm
Slot Tournament Finals……… Winner’s Luck Casino, 5 Mid

3:00pm
Guess That Song……………………….. Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
Win A Bracelet……………………………. Fun Shops, 5 Fwd
Dodgeball……………………………….. Sports Deck, 12 Mid
TRX Rip Trainer + Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd
Tea Time…………………………….. Blush Restaurant, 4 Aft

3:15pm
Bingo: 5 Game +…………………… Ovation Theater, 3 Fwd

3:30pm
Sea Feud #3…………………………….. Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

4:00pm
Bean Bag Toss………………………….. Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

4:30pm
Seminar: Wrinkle Remedies…………. Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

EVENING
5:00pm
Total Body Conditioning……………… Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

5:15pm
Ballroom & Dance Hour……………… Liquid Nightclub, 5 Aft

6:00pm
Happy Hour Spa Specials……………. Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

7:00pm
Guess the Price of Peter Max…………… Art Gallery, 4 Mid

7:15pm
Ballroom & Dance Hour Liquid Nightclub, 5 Aft

7:30pm
Fab Abs Class…………………………. Cloud 9 Spa, 12 Fwd

7:45pm
Dive In Movie: Saving Private Ryan Seaside Theater, 10 Mid
Le Vian Seminar and Jewelry Sale Fun Shops, 5 Fwd
Win A Gold Bracelet……………………… Fun Shops, 5 Fwd

8:30pm
Karaoke Fun…………………………….. Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
Showtime: Brett Cave…………….. Ovation Theater, 3 Fwd

9:30pm
50’s & 60’s Hour…………………….. Liquid Nightclub,5 Mid

10:00pm
Night Owls +…………………………. Camp Carnival, 11 Mid
Friends of Bill W. …………………….. Library Lounge, 4 Mid
Friends of Dorothy (LGBT)…………… Liquid Nightclub, 5 Aft

10:30pm
Showtime: Brett Cave…………….. Ovation Theater, 3 Fwd

10:45pm
Punchliner Adult (18+) Show……… Limelight Lounge, 5 Aft

DECK SOUNDS WITH THE DJS
11:00am – 2:15pm Beach Pool, 10 Mid and JAZZ IN THE PLAZA WITH EDDIE C & BAND
12:30pm – 1:15pm Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

LIVE TUNES WITH CHRIS RAY
5:00pm – 6:00pm Breeze Atrium, 3 Fwd
7:30pm – 8:30pm Breeze Atrium, 3 Fwd
9:30pm – 11:30pm Breeze Atrium, 3 Fwd

MUSIC FOR DANCING WITH DIMAS
7:15pm – 8:15pm Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid
9:30pm – 12:30am Ocean Plaza, 5 Mid

TOP ENTERTAINER RON PASS
8:00pm – Midnight Piano Bar88, 5 Aft

GREAT GUITAR SOUNDS WITH ADAM
8:00pm – Midnight RedFrog Pub, 5 Mid

HITS & MIXES WITH DJ ALX & DJ T-LAKE
5:15pm – 6:00pm Ballroom & Dance Hour Liquid Nightclub, 5 Aft
7:15pm – 8:15pm Ballroom & Dance Hour Liquid Nightclub, 5 Aft
9:30pm – 10:30pm 50’s & 60’s Liquid Nightclub, 5 Aft
10:30pm – Late Liquid Nightclub, 5 Aft

The temperature outside is 61 degrees and that meant that we could show a matinee movie up at the Dive in Movie Theatre. Some were wrapped up in our super soft Dive In blankets while others just stretched out and enjoyed the movie. Weather permitting I will put one up here every one of the five days as we head to Antigua and if the weather dissapissatates (spelt correctly) I will move the movie into the Ovation Theatre instead. Today’s Matinee Movie on Lido is The Kings Speech which I think our older guests will appreciate and these next five days the Matinee movies will include War Horse, ET, Forrest Gump and Jaws.

Choosing the right evening movie is difficult with such an older crowd. We were going to show Iron Man 2 today as the evening movie but as yesterday was Veterans Day I decided we would show Saving Private Ryan. Now this may seem a little heavy for the Lido deck but with Veterans/Remembrance day in mind and with a warning in the Fun Times that the movie contains some upsetting scenes I decided to go ahead and show it.

The conference room has been turned into a card room with multiple tables of four, six and eight used for card players and bridge players to meet and from 8 am to late each day this has been packed. The older guests especially seem to love playing cards as they do trivia which we also have multiple times through the day.

Overall things are going well and most of the guests are very happy and tell me so as I walk the ship. Each day I spend 10:30am – 11:30am at the coffee shop meeting and greeting guests and just chatting with them which they seem to appreciate. As I said, most of the guests are really happy………..but one or two are a little grumpy as you will now see.

From: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2012 8:47 PM
To: BREEZE CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES;
Subject: Stateroom **** – reserve seats at show

Good Evening John,
Please be advised that stateroom 1411 stopped at guest services desk to comment on the show. Guest says that she is legally blind and wants a reserved seat at every show for her husband and the three other couples totaling eight people. I advised that we could reserve a seat for her and with her husband but not for the rest of the group but guest became very upset and shouted loudly at me. Please can you call her John because I know that we cannot do this and have told her but she wants to speak to you. Sorry about this John.

Thank you and best regards,
Guest Services Supervisor, Carnival Breeze
Carnival Cruise Lines

We will happily indeed arrange seats for her and her husband but not for the other eight people and I called the guest yesterday morning to explain this. All I can say is that it is that following the call I doubt I will be on her Christmas card list. I offered to have the seats for her and her husband but when I politely refused to reserve eight seats at every show she told me that it would “cost me my job.” The story is not over though…………….oh no it isn’t.

From: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2012 3:31 PM
To: BREEZE CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES;
Subject: Stateroom **** – Mrs________

John
Mrs ______ just called and is now stating that three of her friends who are travelling with her are also legally blind and need reserve seating. Not sure how you want to proceed here but I said I would pass the message on to you.

Thank you and best regards,
Guest Services Supervisor, Carnival Breeze
Carnival Cruise Lines

Well there you go, what should I do now? Short of asking the doctor to give them all eye tests how can I prove they are not? She never mentioned this at all to the guest services supervisor on Saturday or to me during her rant at me later that day and suddenly she remembers that the others are legally blind too. I can’t write too much else here because this could have ramifications in the future but I will close this bit by simply saying……….come on…….you all know what I am going to say so please join me in our own choir as we in unison sing that well known song “Oh FFS.”

By the time you have read this I will have hosted our Veterans Day service which will have featured a tribute to all those on board who have served their countries. I will include a minute’s silence, not ship wide, just for those attending the ceremony in the Ovation Theatre. Some people may question if there is a place for this on a fun cruise with Carnival so please allow me to say this. I decided to do this to give the guests a sense of perspective, and to remind them that whatever day-to-day problems they face, no matter how badly their steak is cooked or if suddenly their friends become Stevie Wonder that there that there are much worse things that can happen. Most importantly I do this so that we can remember that the people gathered in the room gave service to their countries to protect and sustain the freedom they have to cruise. It is, indeed, a case of “lest we forget” and to remind us that no matter how hard things might seem, previous generations endured such suffering of an altogether different magnitude. Veterans Day and Remembrance Day is a time to reflect, to appreciate the sacrifice of those who gave their lives.

Thank you to all the veterans reading this………….It is an honour to salute and remember all of you who put yourselves in harm’s way without question or reservation.

And here are those people who have served their countries so proudly and with such honour.

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

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70 Responses to A SEE DAY

  1. Linda Pearl says:

    After reading your blogs for quite a while now,it seems CC has a sense of entitlement, about their meet & greets. Do other groups complain,or are simply greateful for the gathering spot & comaraderie of the group?

    • Jose says:

      Many but not all Cruise Critic members are typical entitlement mentality Americans. They think they are entitled just because they had a cute little get together.

      With their mentality, shouldn’t everyone on the ship get a trophy and a bottle of champagne? My bad, half the passengers would have to pay for the other half that think they are entitled, just like American society.

      • Diane says:

        Jose -

        Not all Americans feel a sense of entitlement. I have been on only one cruise on the Destiny and felt uncomfortable with “pampering” that is standard from Carnival staff. For example in the MDR I do not need my chair pulled out for me or my napkin placed on my lap. Yes, I am educated and have manners and grace. This is not the kind of service I need.

        So please do not group ALL Americans the same way. Thank you

        • Jose says:

          Diane, My post was not for you. Glad to hear you do not have the entitlement mentality. However, I stand by my statement that Americans do have the entitlement mentality. Not all but too many. The others are hard working Americans that have paid their dues and deserve the respect for working. Unfortunately, this country is raising “entitlement mentality” generations now and it is unfortunate.

        • Tess says:

          Diane, I too am educated and polite and graceful (when necessary) and while I don’t ‘need’ my chair pulled out, or my bed turned down, or my towel folded into an elephant, or a cute young waiter to put my napkin in my lap… I sure won’t turn any of it down :)

          As an American, I’m entitled.. hell yes I’m entitled, I pay taxes!! But no, I’m not entitled to special gifts on a cruise just because I’m a CC member.

      • Steven Bouher says:

        half the passengers would have to pay for the other half that think they are entitled, just like American society.???????
        I am an American and I had to pay Social Security taxes that roughly amounts to 10% of my earned income.I had no choice. Where do you get off slamming us for using our so called “entitlements” when in fact we paid for it during our entire working lives. Yes I am an American, and yes I am on social Security, and you can bet your sweet ars i am gonna get medicare at 65. By God I earned it, paid for it, and I am gonna use it.

        • Jose says:

          Steven, I agree with you 100%. You earned it and that is the difference. You should receive your benefits. You paid for them. I am speaking of those that exploit the system. The ones that don’t work, paying for their food with food stamps while they talk on their I phone and then get in the new car. Good day mate,

      • Leber says:

        Not all Americans have the feeling of entitlement. It is the current generation of those that have been handed everything in life. Some of us grew up not having a silver spoon shoved down our throats, or any assistance even though our parents could not afford to pay the electricity bill, mortgage payment and put food on the table. We learned to get by on less and work harder for what we did get. It is offensive that you would post such a hate filled message about “Americans feeling of entitlement”

      • Elizabeth says:

        Some of us CC members are nice, polite and undemanding. I suspect that the expectations come because RCCL does do a party with souvenirs. We did have a very nice party on the Magic last year when Carnival provided the room and we did the souvenirs.

        • Jose says:

          RCCL should provide goodies since you pay a lot more for an RCCL cruise versus a Carnival cruise. If Carnival had to supply all the whiners, the rates would go up.

      • Thomas says:

        In reading CC cruise reviews, it seems most bag on Carnival as much as they can. I don’t see such negative reviews for the other lines. If you want more free gifts from the cruise lines, then pay more to go on the other ones.

    • Aaron says:

      Linda, not that I know who any particular posters are, but keep in mind that if *another* group of people does not like CC, it’s quite easy to write into this blog with outlandish requests and say they are from CC, to make CC look bad to everyone else. Why? Who knows? But that is what some people do for fun.

    • Phillip says:

      Linda,
      As an avid cruiser and CC member I am appalled at the nerve of some members to demand additional comps from the cruise line. My wife and I have been to many such meet and greets and have not noticed such blatant behavior before. The purpose of the meet and greet is just that, to meet your fellow cruisers and to get to know them. Well, I guess you pretty well know that particular person. We have always been satisfied with Carnival’s response to the cc groups we are part of.

    • Bob Baughan says:

      Linda I agree completely. I have been a CC member for several years. I can’t believe that these people cry over gifts. You are on a cruise that you signed up for. People never cease to amaze me.

  2. John says:

    John –
    I’m new to the blog. What the heck does “FFS” mean?? Sorry for my naivete. Also love your guest stories. I’m a Hotel GM and it’s nice to see we aren’t the only ones that have…. interesting guests. Hope to be on the Breeze next Novemeber, till then, fair winds and following seas.

    • Barb Shugart says:

      John, you don’t really want to know what that stands for, but if you cannot resist knowing then just google it and it will tell you.

    • English Tim says:

      Google FFS, as the answer can’t be printed here! :)

    • ben says:

      John, FFS stands for “for f**ks Sake”

      to JH, as the grandson of a (living, not sure about the others who have died) veteran, and the son of a Gulf War 1 veteran, thanks for taking the time to pay your respects on a cruise.
      i’m out every remeberance day (as we call it in Australia) and every anzac day to pay homage to these remarkable men. on a cruise i would do the same thing.

    • Steve S. Chicago says:

      For F**ks Sake…as in Gimme a break or whatever!

  3. Frank Dena,

    Even on a ship it’s spelt CHRISTMAS. I hope your son enjoys sharing his birthday with CHRIST on CHRISTMAS day.

  4. Natalie says:

    For the group of blind people, i would insist they each contact you individually for seating arrangements. You don’t have to allow her to appoint herself queen of all blinds. Its possible that the group she’s with doesn’t even know she is telling you that and they may not be open to lying to your face about this condition. Of course, if it is, in fact, a lie.

    • Rich says:

      From a public relations point of view, I know it’s a bitter pill to swallow but in dealing with people like this it is probably better to give them what they want (within reason) and move on. They will be gone in a couple a days.

    • Andre Peterson says:

      John,go ahead and give them seats if they say they are legally blind – just don’t seat them all together.

      • Cruisin' Lovebirds says:

        Just what I was thinking! You may be able to sprinkle four sets of two reserved seats around the closer seating without restricting access for all guests. It is a fact of life in accommodating individuals with disabilities that each must make a request, and it must be reasonable. Sitting closer is reasonable. Sitting together is not.

      • Cruisin' Lovebirds says:

        Just what I was thinking! You may be able to sprinkle four sets of two reserved seats around the closer seating without restricting access for all guests. It is a fact of life in accommodating individuals with disabilities that each must make a request, and it must be reasonable. Sitting closer with a partner is reasonable. Sitting together as couples is not related to the disability.

    • Thomas says:

      Or give them their reserved seating, but spread them out so they are not near each other. I bet you the other 3 groups will suddenly see the light.

  5. John, go up and ask to see their drivers license. If the reach for their purse of wallet you got them.

  6. Nelson S. says:

    Don’t you just love when people abuse the ADA to get special treatment. shame on them!!

  7. C. Christman says:

    Dear John,

    Re: Pauline Enfield’s comment to the sparse gifts her Cruise Critic roll call received on the Pride, compared to the generous offerings on her ‘NCL cruise’.

    I feel Carnival is being very generous to provide anything gratuitously, above a meeting place…champagne and ships on a stick are great door prizes! I don’t know on which NCL ship Ms. Enfield sailed, but our NCL experience was totally different.

    On our 11 Day NCL Dawn cruise last year, we had over 60 people, each sending money in advance to our CC group’s organizer for the various things we wanted to participate in. We expected nothing more from the ship other than to provide a meeting area. We were very surprised when an officer from each department of the ship, plus the captain came in, introduced themselves and mingled a bit before leaving to ‘run the ship’. There were no freebies, and none were expected. We had our own gift swap then proceeded down to the casino to ‘spin the wheel’ and so forth…at our own expense, of course.

    Love your Blog. I wonder how you can stay sane, doing what you do!

    • AL from Fl. says:

      Hi John. This is in Re. to: Pauline Enfield. CC Party. Call Carnival Group Planning to set one up. 1-800-438-6744 EXT. 70006

  8. Brenda Crabtree says:

    Well, the last photo just made me tear up. thank you John and CCL for honoring our vets. As my beloved husband pointed out, if one is legally blind they only need to hear not see the show. Hmmmm. FFS

  9. Carol Hoefs says:

    Love the group shot of all the vets.

  10. Richard W. says:

    John, please ignore Pauline Enfield and others like her. My mother taught her children to never look a gift horse in the mouth. When I see petty, greedy people like her, I’m ashamed to admit I belong to the human race. While you are too gracious to say it, so allow me. Pauline, may I recommend to henceforth sail only on a cruise line that will bow to your highness? Please say off Carnival – that way, we can enjoy ourselves all the more knowing that people as snotty as you won’t be there. Bye.

  11. what was their reasonining to cancel post and pre trip packages! These are one of the things that would drive people a way from Carnival.
    John I know you do not make these decisions but they these blogs of yours and their customers.
    I thank you for the time and space,
    sinceriy
    george

    • wayne t says:

      yes it is unfortunate, for those of us that travel a long distance from ice and snow to get to a port and want to get there a couple os safty days early. we had pre and post packages on our last Princess cruise in January but couldn’t get anything for our next carnival cruise in February, it is nice to have all of that taken care of when you get trhere.

      • Rick Williamson says:

        Well it is what it is. You can still go a few days ahead of your cruise like we did last year and this to Seattle and New York. And go a few days ahead of time just to see the city. You just have to do it on your own.

  12. terry mavis says:

    John tell they legally blind people you need to see some sort of proof such as drivers license showing disability

  13. John, please remember anyone who complains about your Verterans day salute is capable of complaining due to the sacrifice of those that have srved to protect their right to whine.
    thank you

  14. Bob Hatley says:

    CRUISE CRITICS, what a bunch of whiners. John if they want a free tee shirt, go back to NCL. I’m glad your not changing anything for them. Thanks Bob

    • Thank you!!! You are sooo right.

    • JTC says:

      What is so Funny about the CC whiners is that they forgot that they really paid for the “so-Called” Free t-shirt and give-outs by paying a higher price for cruising with NCL and door fee they forgot they paid on their account. NCL and some other lines have budget for those thing too (hence the higher price) and Carnival does not have to speak of.

  15. Ralph says:

    Pauline Enfield,

    If you find Carnival “inadequate” because they don’t give you what you feel “entitled” to….Please..cruise with someone else! Unfortunately…some Cruise Critic followers have an “inflated” sense of “self importance” that is…..absurd!!

    • Cruisin' Lovebirds says:

      Thank you for saying “some.” I find CruiseCritics a valuable source of information, but I want John to keep Carnival’s prices down! I will buy my own drink, if I want one. I just want to meet some other CC posters who may have helped me plan excursions of interest.

  16. June Stevens says:

    From the bottom of my heart, as a daughter, sister and aunt of military veterans, thank you for holding the memorial on the Breeze and the wonderful photo. My father served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam and never talked about his service until I was in my 30′s. He is passed on now, never making it to take my mother on that cruise he kept promising. I took her on her first cruise a year after he passed (and just took her again last month. 15 years later for her 5th cruise!). Please thank Carnival for providing wonderful times with my family that I will treasure forever.

  17. Alexis says:

    Richard w said it best! Please continue to sail on ncl and leave us carnival lovers alone!! John you do a fantastic job! I give you so much credit for putting up with all these ungrateful people!!

  18. meowsmurphy says:

    John if you do indeed reserve seats for these individuals I’d put them in the back row. Afterall, they only need to near the show as they can’t see it.

  19. Jeanette says:

    Good grief, that visually impared woman takes the cake!!!! C’mon, saving seats for her and everyone who is travelling with her is ridiculous. You could have asked her for the names of the guests travelling with her and they could confirm that they, indeed, are all visually impared and that yes, seats can/will be reserved for them…..If she is correct and they are, save em, but I sense she is pulling your leg…

    I remember a group of older Texans saving enough seats for six people when only two more people were left to join their group. I said there is enough for around six, and that seat saving isn’t allowed….We sat down…I think I scared my American friend…Canadians are supposed to be nice and apologetic…..

  20. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Pauline Enfield

    Fortunately, Carnival has one of the highest occupancy ratings….therefore (unlike other cruise lines) Carnival does not have to waste their advertisement budget in this manner.

    I am glad that my cruising rates will not be going up just so some “entitled children” can get their overinflated egos stroked with gifts.

  21. Robin says:

    John, the Stevie Wonder line made me almost choke on my soda! Hilarious. The sense of entitlement of some people is beyond ridiculous. Maybe you could tell the blind lady that you will need the names of the other three couples in order to reserve seats, and then have someone talk to each couple…they might have no idea that this lady is making demands on their behalf.

    As for Ms. Enfield…oh, FFS! I’m a CC member and Ms. Enfield’s complaints are just stupid. She should be happy she has the wherewithal to cruise at all, and be appreciative of the gifts her group DID receive. Please rest assured that not all CC members are overly-entitled idiots like she is.

  22. Joko Joan says:

    Enjoyed reading about the singing Stephanie. Wouldn’t it be a joy to have this incorporated on more ships? What fun it would be to participate and/or enjoy a chorale of fellow cruisers….

  23. Cruise Critic Sux says:

    Pauline Enfield, I’d love to know what makes Cruise Critic so special, so as to deserve extra recognition. It used to be a fun place to discuss all things cruising and many were proud to be members, but now with so many ex members tuning in to Facebook from their new Cabo homes and so many rules and regulations, it’s often good to know where the M&G’s are, so we know where to avoid. :)

  24. Janet says:

    John, ok what’s gonna be new on the Fascination? Gonna be dry docked January 5-19? My family and I are booked January 19-24 to the Bahamas.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      Not sure where you have been, but all ships going to dry deck are getting the 2.0 upgrades. Look at John’s facebook posts to the right of the bloggs on John’s home page. They are doing Glory right now.

  25. Veronica says:

    Hello John!
    I am a big fan of your blog!
    I wanted to know if the Choir idea will be making it on to other ships? I enjoy singing but was a little too shy to try out for the Legends show when I was on the Magic last year. In a choir however, it’s strength in numbers!
    Thank you for your reply :)
    Cheers!

  26. Craig "Bigdog"Johnston says:

    Dear John, Jose and mostly Pauline,
    Most of the Cruise Critic folks are quiet fun loving folk who are not of the mindset that they should get special treatment. Your gifts are much appreciated, especially since I won the bottle of the bubbly on the Breeze at our paid in advance meet and greet. As with any group you will always get those with an over inflated ego and sense of worth. Unfortunately for John it is his job to deal with these people. Jose has to put up with them because John loves to share his pain with us…….get over it Jose and please don’t paint us all with the same brush. As for you Pauline….FFS WOULD YOU PLEASE STFU!!!
    Cheers from the Ocean Beach, Deck 10, Carnival Breeze…..in the middle of the Atlantic. Ain’t technology wonderful:-)
    Craig.

  27. CLAUDE says:

    John on your blog yesterday a lady by the name of terri lynn commented on a staff member in the alchemy bar named Adi, I just got off of the conquest, and terri lynn is so right in saying how much fun she is, in fact there was one night there was a guy who obviously had to much to drink came in and was being very rude to her, and i was impressed the way she handled the situation. by the way had a great time as usually on carnival.

  28. Stephen Bumbaugh says:

    John : I would like to know the names of the red an white wines that was served at the Chef’s Table on December 22nd,2011.The dinner was put on by Executive Chef Gerhard,aboard the Carnival Miracle.I did write them down,now I can not find my notes,and wanted to pour some for the X-Mas family party.Thanks for any help you can give me on this.Love cruising Carnival and hope to meet you some day on a cruise.Thanks again.

  29. nickyplumb says:

    John, my wife and I are both Veterans and are sailing on the Legend, we sailed on 11/11/12. We greatly appreciate you anf the staff having a Veterans meet and greet, it was greatto see other V ets there, even met a gent from WWII, a humbling experience. And thank you for the gift you sent my wife and I, it’s been a great cruise so far with 5 days left to go. Thanks again to you and all the Carnival staff. Nick

  30. MaryJane says:

    Dear Pauline,

    Please stuff your ‘if Carnival wants cruise critic members to sail with us’ sideways thru a straw. Judging by the number of people who participated in our last roll call that was started over a year out, CC is NOT where Carnival is getting the majority of their cruisers. And here I thought it was just the YOUTH of America who were part of the entitlement generation..

  31. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    It is people like “arrogant blind woman” that make it more difficult for those who do indeed need a little extra assistance.

    Every since DJ got into the whole clapping for all his ships at the Past Guest Party, he really looks forward to it.

    But it was getting harder and harder to get him to go because of his many phobias like Funship Freddy and chaos.

    Hotel Director Jr Powell (all those years ago) came up with the solution.

    The Hotel Directors allow DJ to be seated about 5 minutes before the doors open…so that Freddy knows exactly where DJ is sitting (starboard side – 2nd or 3rd row) and DJ knows exactly where Freddy is going to be …Freddy stays on the Port side.

    Even after all these years, DJ and I are the only members of our party seated.

    David ( and Josh if he is with us or even the grandparents if they are with us) wait outside with everyone else until the doors open.

    Because the goal was to make DJ as comfortable as possible and we did not need our entire family there to do that.

    Carnival came up with a reasonable solution to DJ’s issues and we greatly appreciate it…because DJ LOVES clapping for all his ships.

    You can watch him start warming up his hands while the first 3 ships roll off the screen….and then look out…LOL

    In fact, DJ is looking forward to completing the fleet next week!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  32. Pingback: Two Letters | John Heald's Blog

  33. Nancy says:

    Hi John
    I am a member of Sing Live UK who sailed with you on the Carnival Glory in 2004 (and again to the Baltic). It was very good of you to remember us. Sing Live is still going strong with concerts throughout the UK,trips in the UK and abroad and also have been cruising every year since the first one (Carnival and Holland and America). Sadly, John Morris, Co-founder of Sing Live passed away in March this year, but his legacy lives on with “Ordinary people doing extraordinary things in exciting places”.

  34. Eileene says:

    John, I’m sorry you didn’t share the tribute with the entire ship somehow… they need to be reminded that there have been and are people fighting so they are free to cruise & have fun. It’s not a sad occasion like Memorial Day… I say a minute of cheering would be in order.

    Thanks to you & Guest Services for putting up with all the people who (undeservedly) feel entitled. The rest of us appreciate you!

  35. L.Valentine says:

    Crapashitski vodka???? Now that is a good one!

  36. Neels haasbroek says:

    I met two frends on the carnival breeze they are in the houskeeping department i dont know their last names but their first names are Sonya and Viktoria (from hungary and syria) i need to get in touch with them ergeantly please send me their email addresses just tell them neels and harvey from South africa needs to get in touch with them please sir i am depending on you!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Susan Taylor says:

    Hi John
    We sail on the Breeze on 12/8/12….46 family members and friends. I just noticed that you mention that you will be on board. Will it be in the capacity of cruise director? I sailed on the Triumph for my first cruise in 2000? or was it 1999? Anyhow, it was my first cruise and you so far, by far, have been my favorite cruise director! This will be my 19th cruise and I am hoping that you will be our cruise director?

  38. Angie Sheard says:

    Hi John, please reply.

    My husband & I are going on our first ever vacation out of Canada and have chosen to do it with a Carnival Cruise. We have heard great things and are sooo excited, we are booked in a balcony room to sail on the Valor on January 27, 2013. I want to make sure that it is special and I have heard conflicting stories that if you book the steakhouse the first night out that you get a free bottle of wine with your dinner, can you tell me if they are still doing that or if it is no longer offered? Is there anything else you would recommend for first timers cruisers/vacationers as a must do?
    Thanks John!
    Angie Sheard

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