Two Letters

November 14, 2012 -

John Heald

Five straight sea days and meetings with frumpy guests and hosting loads of shows and activities and meeting guests, so many guests who are having the time of their lives is both rewarding but ………….sodding exhausting, as well. Usually a cruise will have one or maybe two sea days and then a port here we have five straight sea days and my job is to pack as much in as I can to those five sea days and be visible as much as possible and that’s what I am doing. There are sacrifices with this such as now because as I sit here in my underpants writing this blog the clock says it’s 6:43 am and I long to return to my bed and to return to the dream I was having about me, a naked Latvian supermodel and Calvyn dressed as a French maid.

Yep, the energy level needed to be a CD on a trans-Atlantic is at the top of the dial and I am doing my very, very best. But there is no escaping it……I am 47 years old …and in two months’ time I will be 48 years old….oh, FFS! And examining myself this morning it is quite obvious that age is not being a good mate. My hair is as grey as an elephant’s scrotum and now I seem to have forests of hairs of the same colour sprouting from my nose. In fact there are enough hairs to have them braided in Nassau or for Rapunzel to use to escape from her tower. Sigh…..I guess it won’t be long before my bladder will cease to function. I am already making old man noises when I get out of bed in the morning or rise from a sitting position……”Ohhhhahhh,” I heard myself say this morning when I got up off the toilet, although in my defense I had been sitting there for 20 minutes.

But the greatest fear I face is not that I might lose the ability to reach the toilet in time or lose my hearing…….nope……..it’s that I might lose my sense of humour (spelt correctly). It’s all I have after all, and as a cruise director and as a husband, it’s the only weapon I have in my locker. After all, I know I’m as an ugly as a septic arse boil and if I lose my sense of humour…….. I am well and truly buggered. It was the same at school. I knew that as ugly as I was what with my hooked nose and bent tooth that my chances of rumpy pumpy with anything female with a pulse were probably bugger all. The only way round this was to try and make the girls laugh. And so, while the girls stood on the side of the soccer pitch staring at the muscles of the three-legged sports jocks, I was standing nearby telling a joke about Margaret Thatcher and a dwarf or doing my impression of Elvis taking a poo. This is the last, and, indeed only, resort of the ugly.

But it never ever got me any rumpy pumpy, in fact a Tibetan monk with syphilis would have gotten more than me back then. Funny is good. Funny will not get you rumpy pumpy. Seriously, let me ask the lady bloggers here. Ladies, do you look at Steve Martin or John Cleese and think “I want some of that”? ……….. No, you don’t…. and what about Jay Leno or David Letterman or Eddie Murphy or Ben Stiller? I mean come on. It’s nice that so many people enjoy reading this blog thingy……but do any of you think I am George Clooney in a fat suit? Luckily, despite the hair in my nose, the beach ball in my stomach and the hemorrhoids in my bottom I still have my sense of humour (spelt correctly) and despite the hard work that this trans-Atlantic cruise has brought I would not have wanted to miss it. I wish a couple of the guests had bloody well missed it though including this one.

From: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:44 PM
To: BREEZE CRUISE DIRECTOR; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES MANAGER
Cc: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES
Subject: RE: ****-Mr. **** upset about TV and BHTF

Good day,
Mr. ——– came back today, this time insisting to speak to you, John. This is the guest that was upset about the TV not working. I explained to him that there will not be any coverage until Wednesday night as there is no satellite in this area and now he wants free internet. Mr_____ also wants a full refund for his Behind the Fun tour because he says it was not worth the money. Please can you call him again, John?
Thank you and best regards,

Guest Services Associate, Carnival Breeze
Carnival Cruise Lines

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands!!

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

Brendan Maloney asked:

Can you tell me where Ron Pass will be in January? We were on Carnival Breeze with you and Ron in August and it was the best cruise ever. We are looking to know if Ron will be on your bloggers cruise because with you both there we would definitely consider booking.

John says:
Hello Brendan Maloney,

Thanks for the kind words and Ron really is fantastic, isn’t he? I can’t say for certain but it’s looking good for Ron to be with us for BC6. I certainly want him here and, hopefully, he will defiantly commit in the days ahead. I hope that means I will see you here and I promise we will have a wonderful time.

Best wishes.

John

Diane Shepherd asked:

I’m “Breezing” in April 2013 and am flying in the day before – are there any hotels within walking distance of the port? If not, I need to find one that does port shuttles. Thanks so much for any assistance.

John says:
Hello Diane Shepherd,

The ship will soon be in Miami and we will be ready to give you a great time. There are no hotels in walking distance but many have shuttle service to the port. I always stay at the Marriott at Biscayne Bay which has wonderful views of the port and is a five-minute drive to the terminal. I hope this helps you and please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.

John

Barb asked:

Love your blog!! I’m a Platinum cruiser. My first cruise was on the Mardi Gras…the second one ever. I owned a small travel agency in South Jersey and we were Carnival addicts. It was always our first choice for our clients…and we did at least two groups a year. As Carnival added more ships, we had more choices. Over those 12 years or so, I probably averaged three a year and at least two for myself alone. In those days, Bob Dickinson was the sales manager in New York…and his staff of reps was wonderful……always willing to help us smaller agencies sell cruises on their growing company. Those were the days when Micky Arison would show up once in awhile unannounced to “check things out”……..and a few times “drinks were on the house” for some hours… Anyway, I digress. When Carnival started its VIP program, I was thrilled. I dug around trying to find “proof” of past cruises figuring I was an instant milestone. Alas, I rarely kept momentos and such during those hard working years. I was able to come up with enough to push me into the VIP crowd…and boy, have I ever enjoyed it. VIP check-in has always been my favorite. Anyway, I think 14 or 15 are showing on my account .…….haven’t checked in awhile. Cruising two sometimes three times a year, was good……and I started taking my grandson once a year from age of about nine until 17…..he “grew up” in the kids programs and, boy, he enjoyed it all. He’s 22 now and on a different sort of ship serving in the Navy!

Here’s my question. For the past almost two years, family issues, a bit of a financial crush and a minor health problem has prevented me from cruising… My last was on the wonderful Carnival Pride in Jan 2011 with my daughter. “Things” have improved nicely and I am searching once again for my next cruise. I’m very price conscious, living now on a “fixed” income of retirement ……….and I must have an unobstructed balcony…and I travel solo…….so cost is primary. I’m looking for New York and Baltimore again. Saves airfare for me…and I really don’t care where the ship is headed; I just want to be ON it. I’m concerned about keeping my Platinum status and am asking you if I will be “kicked” out after going almost two years without a cruise under my belt. I’d HATE that….Can you assure me I’ll still be in there? Or will you disappoint me
by saying I’ll be gone…..Fingers crossed.

Barb

John says:
Hello Barb,

First of all a huge thanks to you for your loyalty and I am sorry to read of the bumps that have stopped you from cruising. I hope you have nothing but health and happiness in the future. I see that your records show that you have 14 past sailings with 85 VIFP points which makes you Platinum and you cannot lose that status. I hope you will look at Carnival Pride from Baltimore or even Carnival Splendor from New York next year. I will be here to help you decide if you need me and, again, I wish you many more cruises.

Best wishes.

John

Vicky Carmichael asked:
Hi John,

We are booked to cruise on the Carnival Splendor on April 23, 2013. My husband and I are taking our four kids with us, and they are not soda drinkers. Besides iced tea and water, is there anything else (lemonade/fruit punch?)my kids can drink, free of charge during the day? I don’t want to start a soda habit, if I can help it.

Thanks.

Vicky.

John says:
Hello Vicky,

Yes, indeed, there is non-carbonated lemonade, juice and water free 24 hours on Lido Deck. I hope that helps and I am here if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes to you all.

John

Rick Brensinger asked:
John,

I recently returned from the Carnival Freedom and I just wanted to tell you about the wonderful experience that I had. The crew was phenomenal and went out of their way to take care of our every need. James in the Habana Bar was great but there was one thing that really stands out to me. We sailed on the Carnival Valor back in April and met a great man by the name of Nenad Kerkez and he really made our sailing a great time. When we boarded the Carnival Freedom went right up to the pool bar and there was Nenad greeting my wife and I by name and it made us feel so special. Please pass along this note of his great service. We also participated in the Behind the Fun tour and Captain Bovo was great, as well. This is one of the many reasons why we continue to choose Carnival over the competitors (eight cruises in four years). Also, John, thanks for keeping us up to date on all Carnival news and I LOVE THE BLOG!! We hope to join you next year on the Carnival Legend!

Cheers!

John says:
Hello Rick Brensinger,

Thanks so very much for this wonderful review and I will take great pride in sending your kind words to the ship. I see you enjoyed the Behind The Fun Tour and that is also good news. I hope we will see you again very soon and if there is anything I can do, let me know and, again, thanks for taking the time to write.

Best wishes.

John

Wesley Bermudes asked:

My parents will be joining me when we cruise on the Carnival Paradise. They are originally from Portugal and speak no English at all which is why I need a Portuguese or Brazilian waiter and cabin service attendant. We are all booked under the reference number **** and in cabins M112 and M118

John says:
Hello Wesley Bermudes,

I see that you are sailing in December and so I have some time to arrange this however I cannot promise that we will be able to help. We have very few staff from Brazil and Portugal who work in the guest service areas. However, I will certainly do my very best to help arrange this. Regardless, we do have menus printed in Portuguese for your parents to order from. I wish you all a great time.

Best wishes.

John

Susan Doneus asked:

We have a large and important Cruise Critic group cruising on the Glory 11/26/12. Most of the members are very nice people but a few have invaded our roll call and are causing problems with their threats and threatening behavior. We are organizing a meet and greet and need the ship to provide a security person or at least someone from the Carnival staff to be present and to check members at the door and to be on hand to break up any problems. We are really concerned about this and hope Carnival will do the right thing and help us with security.

John says:
Hello Susan Doneus,

I think I answered a question about this on Facebook last week although I can’t remember if it was you or not. Anyway, I am sorry to hear that your Cruise Critic meeting is having problems and obviously I hope you can sort them out before the cruise. Unfortunately, we can’t have a staff member or security person pulled from their already full schedules to police a meet and greet. I am sure you understand and hopefully things will be OK. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.

John

Linda Nengel asked:
Hi John,

My hubby and I are sailing with three other couples on the Carnival Liberty, Dec. 8 sailing. We all purchased the FTTF a while back except for one couple because they just booked and it is sold out. I fear it will be a real issue if one couple in our group will always be waving goodbye to the rest of us, (embarkation, YTD, etc). If some other passenger cancels their FTTF will it show up again as being available to purchase? I keep checking Miami excursions to see if any have become available. Not sure if our three couples should all cancel so we can all be together or hope for a cancellation. Should I keep checking excursions?

John says:
Hello Linda Nengel,

I am sorry to say there is little I can do here as we only sell limited tickets for the Faster To The Fun option and checking my records I do see that the December 8 cruise is indeed sold out. I doubt anyone will cancel but I am sure once you are all on board that you will all have fun together so don’t worry too much. If there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know

Best wishes to all.

John

Walt & Betty Gallahan asked:
John,

Enjoy your column. We sailed on Carnival Freedom end of July. Last July while on Carnival Freedom, my wife lost her mother. Carnival treated us extremely well. We booked the same ship (diff destination) same cabin. CD Brad Calabrase was our CD, and we mentioned last year’s cruise to him. He was so kind and thoughtful, Carnival should be proud to have him! We are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary with a cruise on the Carnival Dream 12/1/12, our 8th. Keep up the good work and hope to see you sometime on the seas!

John says:
Hello Walt & Betty Gallahan,

Firstly, let me say how sorry I am to read of your wife’s loss and my condolences to you and the family. I am so happy to read that you are returning to cruise with Brad and I know he will be so proud when he sees these wonderful words of praise. I am sure this cruise will be the best yet and I wish you the most wonderful time.

Best wishes.

John

Carl McVicker asked:

My wife and I just returned from the Carnival Spirit to Hawaii, trip was great and Stu Dunn exceptional. Entertainment excellent, especially 10 piece show band.

John says:
Hello Carl Mcvicker,

That is wonderful to read. I know Stu has worked hard to get the ship ready for her Australian cruising so I am glad to see that this hard work has been recognized. I, too, love the big bands and I hope we see you again very soon.

Best wishes

John

Simon Woods asked:
Hello John!

Carnival does not seem to be a very gay friendly cruise line from what others have told me and from what I have read on line. I am cruising with my partner Gareth on the Carnival Splendor 12/16 and I need to make sure that you have organized activities for us. Other cruise lines have areas set aside only for gays and lesbian passengers and where people not of that lifestyle are not allowed entrance. I am interested to know if this is something Carnival does and if not why. I am sure carnival wants to dump the label of being a non gay friendly cruise company, right?

John says:
Hello Simon Woods,

Well it is hard to dump a label that you do not have because, respectfully, we certainly do not have that label and never have had. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago the wonderful Atlantis company had a huge group of gay and lesbian guests on the ship that you will in fact be on, the Carnival Splendor, and reports are that they all had a brilliant time. Each ship will have a nightly mention in the Fun Times which is our on board activity program and it will list “Friends of Dorothy” which will indicate where you should meet. I am afraid that we don’t have a place where we set aside a lounge or bar privately for gay and lesbian guests as we don’t have a lounge to spare for any one group and not allow the rest of the ship to attend. I am sure you will have a wonderful time and I hope that you enjoy this wonderful ship.

Best wishes.

John

That’s all for today.

It feels like all I have been doing this past few days is highlighting the negative comments from guests and I guess I should explain myself a bit. First of all, and most importantly, out of 3,649 guests on board, 3,600 are having a brilliant time. They love the food, the service, the shows, the fun and they love being at sea for five straight days. Second of all, and nearly as important, is the honest fact that if I was to write only about nice comments where a guest says “We enjoyed the show” or reported that their biggest complaint was a five-minute wait to get seated at Your Time Dining this blog wouldn’t have had 15 million plus views and you would all be reading 50 Shades of Grey instead. But there are some grumpy people on the ship, just as right now on an RCI ship or a Celebrity ship or a Princess ship that are all on longer cruises and crossings there are for sure some grumpy sods on board.

I am not going to comment further on this but instead just want to post three the other day I wrote in a blog about how different guests have different opinions about what we do on board and here be possibly the finest example of this. These two letters were written by guests to me here on the Carnival Breeze, both by ladies, actually, who have such different opinions on one specific event we did on Monday. Here they are:

I have to say that the negative letter is particularly upsetting to me because I know it meant so much to so many but is proof absolute positive that as a cruise director, especially it seems on a trans-Atlantic cruise, you are never going to please everyone. I am not going to comment further on this because this lady is entitled to an opinion so I will simply say in closing that it is an opinion that took me totally by surprise.

I will tell you that I met with the author of the letter about her son and we sat with her husband and I witnessed firsthand the tsunami of grief that comes with losing a son in such tragic circumstances and she and her husband will remain in my thoughts for a long, long time.

In Monday’s blog, I mentioned a guest who said she was legally blind and wanted a reserved seat at the shows. I was willing, of course, to do this but she wanted the rest of her party of eight to have reserved seats too at the show. When I said I could not do this she then said the other guests who were traveling with her were legally blind too. After much thought about this and short of me getting each of them to stand in front of an eye chart, there was little I could do. Maybe I should have had an eye chart at the entrance to the show room.

S
OD
B U G G E R
H 8 2 S E A U GO
O H F F S
B L I N D M Y A R S E

But I can’t do this so instead I gave them two lots of four on different sides of the showroom which they used last night, I really had no choice, did I?

So some may think, in this case, that my job is not very pleasant but compared to any jobs in the world I am still a very lucky fat old bugger to have this job. It could be much worse, I could be a basketball referee. I say that because the new season starts soon and, of course, the Miami Heat are attempting to repeat as champions. Now I love basketball and hope to be able to catch a game when I am in Miami and during the games I have been privileged to see I have always marveled at how much crap a basketball referee takes and how his or her ……there are female refs now …… job is not a pleasant and cheery one. First of all you have to tuck your shirt so tight into your pants that you can see the burger they had for lunch that day. Their pants are also tight, so tight that even from the top of the stadium you can see a herd of camels and their toes sweeping majestically inside them. Then if and when you make a mistake and call something for the other team you know that every single person in the entire stadium would like to see you tied naked to the basketball hoop while the teams mascot throws full bottles of Gatorade at your dangly bits.

Imagine if this happened in your job. Imagine if you were an accountant and everyone in the office working with you was allowed to scream at you the way fans scream at the referees. Imagine them telling you loudly and constantly that you were “s**t and screaming, “Call that a spread sheet, you f*****g idiot!

Yep, I have some unhappy guests this cruise who dislike me very much and one has even heckled me from balcony of the Ovation Theatre. But while basketball referees and I have little in common we do have one thing that binds us together and that is the indifference to the opinions of other people and carry on regardless with the decision that we think is right. So today I salute basketball referees and praise their decisions and their professionalism. Except if they make a wrong call against the Miami Heat which, in that case,……. they are total bastards.

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

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55 Responses to Two Letters

  1. Kodi Kuri says:

    In response to “Simon”, the gentleman who mentions the gay friendly aspects of Carnival, as a gay man myself, I must admit I REALLY never will get the people who ask for “Gay nights” or “gay meetings” or a gay area etc. Surely if you want equality, you’ll not want segregation? I mean, Carnival don’t offer Straight only areas. If they did, they would be committing a crime against equality. So why expect them to do things for gays? I’ve never gone to a gay pride event as I don’t believe I should be any prouder for being gay as a straight man would of being straight.

    In the 20 days of cruising I’ve experienced with Carnival so far, I’ve not hidden my sexual preferences, I’ve held hands, embraced and even been mentioned on the CD show as being gay with my partner, never have I seen or heard of any single bit of hompphobia or a lack of acceptance.

    Let’s face it, asking for “gay friendly” events and areas isn’t asking for equality like people have fought for for generations, it’s asking for SPECIAL TREATMENT which you have no reason to demand.

    • Easttex says:

      Well put. It’s folks like Simon who are actually part of the problem. You, on the other hand, reflect thinking that is part of the solution.

    • Barb Shugart says:

      Thank you, Kodi! I’ve never heard or read it expressed better!

    • Eileene says:

      Well put, Kodi! The gay people I know want equality, not anonymity. One of the best cruises we’ve been on included a Gayribbean group, and they made it more fun for most of us by being themselves and not hiding!

    • Very well said and that’s goes for all minorities. Groups yell for equality but then they ask for special treatment like “affirmative action”.

    • Linda C says:

      Hi Five Codi! Right on

  2. Lisa says:

    I’m really disgusted at that second letter regarding the Veteran’s Day ceremony. One does not have to approve of war, or of the people who make the decision to send people to war, or the reasons those wars are fought. Veteran’s Day is not about those things though. It’s about the men and women who signed up to protect the country and the freedoms we enjoy. Those soldiers may not agree with the wars either, but they sacrifice more than this whiner ever would or could and we should honor that.

    • Pam says:

      Thank you Lisa! This is the same way I am feeling after I read that horrible letter. I am proud of all the men and women who have fought for our freedom including my dad, uncle, and grandfather.

    • Sharon says:

      Well said, Lisa! That second letter is not even worth mentioning again, as it was obviously written by an imbecile! Perhaps since she has such disdain for our military HEROS, she might be happier residing in Iran or Afghanistan or any number of other countries…It is because of ‘warmongers’, both past and present, that she enjoys the blessings of the greatest country in the world, the USA! Or perhaps she is not an American; I hope not, as she is an embarrassment to herself and her country! And Lord knows we have enough disrespectful and ill behaved tourists from this country traveling the world and causing the rest of us shame with their behavior!

      The ships are quite large, so if she was ‘physically sick’ there are many areas she could have gone to ‘recover’! I imagine those around her were ‘sick’ as well if this was her behavior!

      Also, when I do not enjoy a particular event onboard, I do not attend. Perhaps she might have done likewise, rather than ‘suffer’ physical illness!

      I sincerely hope I never have the ‘pleasure’ of cruising with this individual; it would not be a pleasant encounter. My husband served PROUDLY in the Army; I WAS AND AM SO PROUD OF HIM; as I am the members of our military who currently serve! God Bless them!

      And to think the parents of a fallen Marine had to be in the company of this woman! THAT makes ME ‘SICK’!

      Three cheers for Carnival for their respect and honor of these very deserving HEROES!

  3. Glenn Rutledge says:

    Mr. Simon Woods,

    If there wad a ship that was straight only, or even areas that were labled “heterosexual only”, it would be discrimination. Yet you can demand and expect a “gay only” area?

    What a joke! I have always been indiscriminate and strongly believe people should learn from people different from them. Non communication is an open door to narrow views and ignorance. Meet with straight people, other gays, and any other group you can find, AMD enjoy what you learn. Even if they don’t agree with you, you can learn how to defend yourself ny their limited vision!

    • Barb Shugart says:

      Amen, Glenn!

    • Kodi Kuri says:

      Exactly. I’m gay because I’m romantically attracted to other men, not because I can’t socialise with straight people! Christ. If you’re gay first and a “person” second, you have issues!

  4. Zehra Kundak says:

    Dear John,
    I don’t believe you will ever loose your sense of humour… You must have been born with it.
    You make so many people laugh and touch lives that one or two odd ones are not worth thinking about!
    I dream of coming back on Carnival again thanks to you. Thanks you for all the laughs

    • Joan R says:

      Linda Nengel,

      You won’t need to worry about waving goodbye to your friends while you’re waiting for a table for YTD. They’ll be right there with you as the priority dining reservations do not apply to YTD.

  5. Joe Smith says:

    Hi John,
    It amazes me how so many people can be unhappy when floating on a cruise ship when not having to work, cook or make their damn beds for 2 weeks. I am afraid that man complaining of the tv signal must be very boring person that he has to be in his cabin worrying about the tv when he could be out and about the ship enjoying himself. I would be out enjoying the lido deck entertainment or the lounge shows at night

    • Pam says:

      Very good points Joe! Gosh I wish I can be in the complainer shoes right now. I want to be sailing away from reality at this time (I work retail and we are smack in the middle of hell season)!

  6. Ken Spahn says:

    I kind of know how you feel. On our nov 4th sailing on the magic the four of us went to the theater and found a row with only two people siting on one side. When we sat down we where told that the whole row was saved. When I objected to seat saving we were physical attacked by the woman. We just left and found another seat. When we left the seats were still open. Guess her party didn’t want to set with her either. Grumpy is not the word I would use.

  7. Penny Clark says:

    I am on the Breeze crossing right now. I have been having a good time. Not everything going on is for every person. I have found the dive in movies to be awesome. Some of us wonder if the Avengers is going to play since we are seeing some of the ones leading up to it. Quite a few people thought that would be really great. This ship is truly amazing. The food has been really good and I just don’t understand how people could be unhappy on this ship! Having a great time onboard!

    • Pam says:

      Thanks Penny for the first hand review. Im so jealous since I have to wait 66 more days before I get to sail on that ship with John! Enjoy! Have you tried a Guy burger yet? If you have what is your favorite. :)

      • Kodi Kuri says:

        They are ALL good. My favourite was the simple one with lots of the salad and toppings bar stuff :)

      • Penny Clark says:

        Pam,
        Yes, I have been to Guy’s burgers, actually tried them immediately after getting onboard. Fabulous, reminds me of hamburgers my mom would make. And the toppings are great, onions, mushrooms, etc. One thing you will find on this ship is many many places to eat! Tandoor Indian food is wonderful, Blue Iguana has handmade shells for buritos and tacos including a fabulous breakfast taco! The salsa bar is really good. Now also, deck 5 has taste salad, soup bar and sea days they have outside barbeque. And more options like the comedy brunch, etc. The food has been top notch!

        This is a beautiful ship and always a lot going on, weather it’s the piano bar, dive-in movies (my favorite around the pool), comedy shows, production shows, dancing, etc. We loved the two floor miniature golf and I have yet to do the water slide. A lot to do and we have 15 days, can’t imagine doing it all on a 7 day cruise! I think you will like it!

  8. Robinola says:

    John,

    One word that has never entered my mind when I look at your pictures is “ugly”. I am sad to think you would describe yourself that way. I’m thinking it is just a temporary sad feeling you have today. It will pass. You are a handsome man. Fantastic eyes. Great smile. NON UGLY.And you have a cute little curl on the top of your hair. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And beauty is within. I see it. And I know many others do, too. As things get tougher in the world, be prepared, and not surprised how badly people will be behaving. Do not let others discourage you.

    • Marsha Breen says:

      Robinola – I couldn’t have said it better myself. I hate it when John puts himself down.

    • Rose Perez says:

      Well said Robinola, I bet John will be walking straight to the mirror to take a look at himself and agree with you, especially about the curl in the hair.

      • Linda C says:

        Sometimes I want to pick up the phone and call John when he downs himself like that! Makes me want to shake him, smack him around a bit, then give him a hug. You are not ugley my friend! Please stop declaring that!

    • Fern says:

      John, what Robinola said! I know you use humour (spelt correctly) for many things, but please don’t use it to put yourself down :(. In my eyes you’re very attactive and good looking.

      I think Heidi and Kye agree and are incredibly lucky to have you :) !

  9. Phil Hale says:

    Hey buddy, Glad you’re still you! Whenever I get besieged with negativity I think of Bobby Mcfarren’s wonderful song “Don’t worry…be happy!.” Always makes me feel better. I often change the lyrics to suit the occasion….soooo
    “Here’s a little song I wrote while you are out there on big breeze boat don’t worry, be happy.”

  10. Frances Vickerstaffe says:

    John please stop putting yourself down. People are like books just the outside cover is different. You have the kindest, warmest heart possible. Perfect sense of humour, that some of the most so called “beauties of this world” would die for, that goes far furher than looks. You put up with crap, with a smile on your face like no one else would. People think the cruise industry is a free for all with all the special things they want anymore, they want something for nothing. Plus you cannot please everyone, there are moaners no matter what you give them

  11. candace says:

    What is sick, is the person who can not see that there are people in all countries who fight for our freedom, and that it needs to be recognized because we can not forget the ones who came before us who have lost their lives, or some who have given up much from their bodies and minds, so this one frieken hoo hoo can make a comment like that! So there ya go, freedom for all, enjoy it while you can hoo hoo! War monger that! Thank you john for allowing people who understand where their freedom comes from to give their gratitude to all Veterans who fight everyday and do not complain. Ironic isnt it?

  12. Larry says:

    John,

    With regards to the second letter, I find it reprehensible that you required the whole ship to attend this event. Obviously that’s what you must have done if this person could not find somewhere else to be where she would not be offended.

    Some people just need to complain, I guess that is their “vacation”. But, of course, that is also their life.

  13. Chris Benson says:

    Wow what a short trans Atlantic voyage exposes. FFS.
    Perhaps when you accept bookings you add advice re lack of satellite reception for those who think a voyage is 5 days return out of Miami.
    What complaints did you have with the Carnival voyage to Australia with 5 days between ports and then another 5 days to the next port. There is NO US TV satellite coverage which is a blessing to those who want a holiday. Your complainent could always pay rediculus amounts to surf the internet and pay with their on board accounts.
    Stop responding to these “waste of space” so we can enjoy your cruise news.

    • Laura Brown says:

      Well Put. I am so looking forward to our next cruise in December. One of the things I am really ready for is no TV and no PHONE. I will be able to have 7 days of fun and relaxation. I have my Ereader and I am looking forward to spending some time on the balcony reading.

    • Robin Eubank says:

      What does FFS mean?? It is a new acronym to me.

    • LisainSC says:

      Reading Johns posts from Guest Services and seeing some of the letters on here make me hope that if mankind every develops the ability to travel to other planets and the stars, that we also develop a VERY ACCURATE screening process before allowing humans on the spaceships. Can you imagine being trapped on the Enterprise for months or years travelling to new and exciting frontiers with some of these cruisers???

  14. Terry Mavis says:

    no one forced the lady of the second letter to attend the veteran day salute. as a vet I THANK everyone for the great comments. The eight saved seats because they’re seeing impaired is rediculous. Yes they should have had some sort of proof, a Id verus drivers license because if seeing impaired can’t drive. They other comment from person being told seats saved shows what can happen

  15. Elliott says:

    Thanks John for the biggest Veterans Salute that I seen at sea!!! Thanks also for the “Ship on a stick thingy”…

  16. Eileene says:

    John, God blessed you with your attitude in dealing with the morons you occasionally enounter. Otherwise, you MIGHT be a basketball referee! :)

    On the other hand, how unfortunate are the people like the gay man, who felt he had to threaten Carnival’s reputation, and the woman who hated the Veteran’s Day tribute. Thankfully, they are few – just noisy.

    Keep up the good work – looking forward to seeing you again on BC6!

  17. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    The letter from the war protester is obviously one that does not have the intellectual ability to understand that without those “warmongerers”….they would be writing this in German …
    IF they survived the Nazi’s determination that they were worthy of living.

    How sad that someone who is enjoying the sacrifice has no appreciation of it.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • Richard Taylor says:

      Absolutely!
      Here in the UK the 11th November is called Remembrance Day and is marked by a 2 minute silence at 11am. With a Father (long dead) who fought in the desert campaigns it does mean something to me. And I’m glad to say that it is becoming bigger each year, with shopping malls marking it too.
      And it is a reminder that, thanks to those who fought, we are not, in Europe, part of hitler’s dictatorship.

  18. Ann-Marie says:

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. We will be cruising Nov 25 on Conquest cant wait!! Thanks for sharing;-)

  19. Lisa Piratzky says:

    OH FFS,,, YOU are younger than me??!! Now I really feel old and decripid LOL!!!
    If it’s any consolation, you are one of a dying breed, the English Gentleman. Gentlemen, in general, are few and far between these days. If you think you are old now, just wait until Kye starts dating and pushing your every button in her teen years… BTW, I can recommend a good wrinkle cream… LOVE U!!!!

  20. dave j says:

    To the ignorant person who wrote the “second ” letter. Please never cruise on Carnival again, you are not worthy of any type of freedom, let alone the total enjoyment of a cruise. People lost their lives during wars, not because those individuals were war mongers, but because they were asked, maybe demanded of their country to protect the freedom of all of the rest, who did not have to go. To the families who have lost members, please accept the appreciation of those of us that your lov ed ones protected. “second” letter writer, you are an ignorant and very misguided person.

  21. Ann-Marie says:

    I was just wondering why Carnival doesnt send ticketing and luggage tags anymore. I really missed getting them in the document pack along with the info books. I am still sitting here trying to figure out how I am going to attach the luggage tags from using printer paper. I will be printing tmrw and figure it all out then. But I do miss the old way of doing things..it always got us extra excited like it was official.

    • robert says:

      when you print out your tags fold on the line as instructed and seal with clear packing tape that`s what i have used and it works well. have a great day and a great cruise . i have to wait till sept. to go on the breeze.

    • JTC says:

      Ann-Marie – Use Clear packing tape to cover the tags and wrap them around the handle. it’s that easy. Tape $1.50 at dollar stores.

    • Laura says:

      I print mine out and then laminate them (if you don’t have access to a laminatior I have also used wide packing tape) and then I staple it and then tape over that…haven’t lost a bag yet!

  22. Jenn says:

    My wife and I (so, yes, we are lesbians for the slow) have never had an issue on a Carnival cruise. Our steward the first time didn’t blink an eye when we said “king bed please.” Sometimes, we are asked if we are sisters but when we answer, “no, she’s my wife,” no one as so much done anything but treat us equally.

    I am a bit nervous about visiting Jamaica this December 2 but I am sure we will be ok in one of the least same-sex tolerant countries in the world. We booked our excursions through Carnival for that reason!

    Anyway, I think Carnival is an excellent line and you did good answering him John!

  23. John Hilderbrand says:

    I’m going on the Breeze with my family December 22nd. Reading the reviews I am not getting a warm and fuzzy feel. Is there a list of changes Carnival will be making? Entertainment, meal preparation, adult only pool area deeply discounted cruise for bald men traveling in a car for 20 hours with 4 women just to get there. I just need to make sure the casino will be open, so I can escape.

  24. ben says:

    I want to agree with the poster above about the Spirit. I’m currently on board, day 3 of an 11 day cruise with my wife and 20 month old daughter. The staff have all been fantasic with her, in particular Dessi in the main dining room. We were worried about cruising with my daughter but the staff have been so good.

  25. john stehman says:

    Having just crossed the “Pond” with you & Calvyn I don’t care what any of the winers say…I’d follow you guys for 10 sea days to the edge of the earth (even if it was flat). You put the fun in FUNSHIP. My eyes are still wet from laughing so hard. Keep spreading the smiles…we all need that.

  26. Nicole Novesky says:

    John,

    My wife and I (yep that makes me gay!) have been on two carnival cruises, with a third quickly approaching and a fourth being planned. I just want to say that we have only ever had wonderful experiences on our cruises. Our stewards have ensured that we have a king bed, without even a hint of negativity. The wait staff has always been incredible, even after they learn that we are gay. We do not hide our relationship in anyway, and have always been treated with courtesy and respect, just like any other couple. I don’t know where this ungay-friendly reputation has come from, but I can personal attest to the fact that it is not accurate. The staff onboard has always treated us equally, which is all we want.

    Quite frankly, I don’t want a little “gay space” to hang out in because I don’t feel a need to separate myself from all non-gays. That’s ridiculous and not the real world. I like diversity in people and opinions. Plus, if I’m always in my little gay bubble people will continue to view me, my wife and our relationship as something different. I would rather people learn that we are just like everyone else. How can they do that if they don’t meet us?

    I just want to thank you and Carnival for providing exceptional and friendly service for ALL of your guests.

    Best,
    Nicole

  27. Judy Barbour says:

    John…..
    My husband, son and I have a combined 54 years of service in the United States Navy husband and I are retirees). Thank YOU….and Carnival…..for honoring veterans on Veteran’s Day. I think that you will find that the majority of people would support that choice.

  28. jim Foubister says:

    John;
    along with family members, I mwas on the “Breeze” Nov. 6 Transatlantic, along with it being an “Excellent Trip,” one of th crowning moments was the time spent in the Oasus theatre as part of the “Rememberance Dasy” Ceremonies.
    My father and Uncle[who was wounded in Belgium] served in the Canadian Army in w.w.2, We also lost a very dear and much loved young friend serving in the Canadian Forces to an I. E. D. in Afganistan on Easter Sunday 2007.
    My eamily nmembers and I were were were especially honoured and proud to be present among those who served and were present to honour those who made the Supreme Ssacrifice, it certainly reiterates the fact that Freedom is not Free when you consider “They Gave Up All Their Tomorrows For Our Todays”. They paid a terrible price for us all.
    I have if you will allow me just two questions for the Woman who saw the Recognition Ceremony in such a negative light, Why were you there? Did you ever give any thought to to the fact that without there commitment, you might be living in a society that would not allow you to critisise.

    Regards;

    Jim

  29. Anne says:

    I was on the Carnival Breeze for the trans Atlantic crossing. My husband and I just loved everything you did and said John. We thought you and Calvyn were so wonderful together. When we got back on the ship after a day out in Antigua and discovered you were on your way to Miami we were sad but we really appreciated that we got to experience your wonderful sense of humour (spelled correctly). Just ignore the tossers John. . . and watch out for those pre-boiled eggs.

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