18 – 20 YEAR OLDS AND A DUEL OVER SOME PIANOS

February 8, 2013 -

John Heald

Just a quick blog today because I have loads on Facebook to catch up on and this weekend I have to drive to Liverpool to film this TV show thing for the beards at Carnival UK. Now many of you from North America drive for days to get somewhere and have no problem doing so. Britain is a small country and it takes around seven hours to drive the length of the country from Lands End in England to John O Groates in Scotland. The drive from my home in Essex to Liverpool will take around five hours and I shall have to use the GPS system or “Sat Nav” as we call it here. That’s because here in the UK we have something you don’t have in America……… corners. I wonder sometimes with immense roads like I-95, why American cars bother being fitted with steering wheels.

 

Anyway, I digress, as I mentioned, I will have to use the GPS system in my car and the GPS system in my car is, quite frankly, as useful as a snooze button on a smoke detector. It is utterly hopeless and the female voice truly gets on my nerves and never ever does it get me to the destination I typed in the sodding thing. The more I got lost, the more she gets angry with me and I start imagining the female bossy, impatient slightly Germanic voice is, in fact, my wife. “In 100 meters, you are going to shut your window because I am freezing.” And: “I know you’re a man, but it’s been 45 minutes, why don’t you admit you’re lost?” And “If you fart again, you can get out and catch the bus” followed by……”I am going to insist you stop the car, then I will get out, slamming the door behind me, walk away and wait for you to come and apologise, even though you haven’t got the faintest sodding idea what the matter is.”

 

Let’s try and find today’s Q and A shall we………ahhhhh, here it is. Off we go.

 

Jean Laviolette says:
Hi John!
I’m trying to plan my Italian and steakhouse dining but don’t want to miss lobster night in the main dining room. I’m on the Carnival Breeze eight-night eastern Caribbean in March.
Thanks!

 

John heald says:
Hello Jean Laviolette,
The elegant nights on your cruise are on the Monday (first sea day) and the Friday so I hope this helps you plan your evenings at the Fahrenheit 555 and the Cucina del Capitano. Please let me know if I can help further and have a brilliant time.
Best wishes.
John

 

Joanna Duncan asks:
John,
Just finished my first Bloggers Cruise. Wonderful! A shout out for Pierre who helped me personally at every turn. We watched him unload a sick passenger very late at night and show up for us at breakfast early the next morning. From showing me the closest bathroom, to making sure we had all we needed, he was wonderful. This was my sixth cruise with three different lines. I have never seen a staff member work so hard and smile so much! Tell the beards he needs a raise!! Also two wonderful sights — the zoo in Nassau where the flamingoes and peacocks roam freely and the flamingoes put on a show. Also, the Botanical Gardens in Tortola were beautiful and a wonderful walk around after too much sun at the beach! More should be said about the
non shore excursion sights. Loved the comedy club. Sometimes it was so full we couldn’t get back in for the next show. How about using the big theater. The last juggler in the big theater was fantastic! Loved it all!!

 

John says:
Hello Joanna Duncan,
I wanted to bring this review forward to the top of the pile because it mentions Pierre, the hotel director, who was such a brilliant support to me during BC6. I will be passing this to him and all your comments and I thank you for taking the time to write. I know the comedy club gets very busy and hopefully doing four or five performances allows many of the guests to see it but moving the shows to the main lounge would mean we lose the comedy club feel that the comedians and I think the guests enjoy. I am so glad you had fun and I hope we see you on BC7 for more of the same.
Best wishes.
John

 

Rita Schenk asks:
John,
while on board the Carnival Magic with my granddaughter I made the mistake of letting her go to the Circle “C” club. One night I passed by the place where they were doing a disco party and heard the person in charge playing rap music and there seemed to be no control at all John on what the kids were doing. My granddaughter is 14, not 24, and I expected there would be more cultural activities and arts and crafts not something that involved provocative and sexual music. I am really upset about this and for the last three days of the cruise I did not allow my granddaughter to go there. Is this normal practice, John?

 

John says:
Hello Rita Schenk,
I am very sorry that this situation upset you and I am glad you have brought this to my attention so I can ease your concerns. Please know that the teen director is given very important guidelines on what is and is not allowed and they will always make sure that the teens are happy and safe. We have a whole variety of activities there and that does include a dance party. Now I have no understanding of today’s modern music but I can tell you that we will never play any music that contains bad language of any kind. So please do not worry, your granddaughter was I am sure having fun and I hope the next time you sail, you will allow her to go back to Circle C safe in the knowledge that she is secure and happy and dancing to music that her generation loves. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.
Best wishes.
John

 

Alice and Jo asks:
Hi John:
We are a proud lesbian couple. We live in Piedmont, California, and are used to being part of a normal liberal society. But during our cruise with Carnival we were on the Carnival Elation and we saw that while gay men are entirely were accepted on the boat and gay women are not! The looks we got from the passengers and crew were looks of disgust. Lesbians, just like all your passengers come in all shapes and sizes. I wish Carnival would do what most of society by making sure that gay women are simply treated the same as every other passenger. This did not happen on the Carnival Elation!
Johns says:
Hello Alice and Jo,
I have to admit that I am confused by your post, Alice and Jo. We have a proud tradition of welcoming guests from all walks of life, including gay and lesbian couples, so please write me back and let me know specifically what the problem was so that we can explore this further. Rest assured that your experience is certainly not the norm here at Carnival and I do hope you had fun though on the cruise. Best wishes to you both and I look forward to hearing from you.
John

 

Ron Cassidy asks:
We are sailing on July 19 on a nine-day Med Cruise leaving from Barcelona and returning from Venice on July 28. My question is — we have a late evening flight that leaves Venice at 11:30 p.m. local time. Is there a means that we can store our luggage for a period of time so we can enjoy additional time in Venice once the ship leaves Venice? I don’t know if our luggage can be sent to the airlines prior to checking in, or if there is a place to store it dockside and pick
it up later before proceeding to the airport.

 

John says:
Hello Ron Cassidy,
I am afraid that all the guests have to disembark by 9 am at the end of the cruise but may I suggest that you head to the airport because they can leave your luggage there. This means you can store your luggage for a small charge and then come back after exploring Venice, check in and then fly home. I hope this helps answer your question and please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
Best wishes.
John

 

Ralph Boulanger asks:
Hi John, can you tell me why Carnival does not have any policies on breast feeding? There should be rooms on the ship where the ladies can do this because seeing this on Lido at breakfast and other times was disgusting and none of the workers did anything when I complained. I am sure you would have other passengers agree with me on this.
Thanks.
Ralph Boulanger

 

John says:
Hello Ralph Boulanger,
I am sorry you were disturbed by this. I have myself seen ladies breast feeding and, mostly, I do not find this upsetting as they usually cover up while doing so. As far as I know we do not have a rule that says ladies cannot do this as I am sure other cruise lines, hotels and restaurants do not stop ladies from doing this either. I hope you had fun on your cruise and please let me know if you have any other concerns.
Best wishes.
John
Susan Kalinowski asks:
I just booked the Carnival Glory from Boston to Canada for July. I tried to add Faster to the Fun but was told it’s not available out of Boston. Do you think this might change and it will in fact be offered closer to sailing?

 

John says:
Hello Susan Kalinowski,
We have recently added more ships and home ports to this program and while I have no news yet for Boston, I will keep you informed here and on my Facebook page as well. I hope you have a great time and let me know, please, if you need anything.
Best wishes.
John

 

Molly Freeman asks:
Why are these so-called VIP platinum passengers so up on themselves? When did people stop cruising for the cruising experience itself and not the perks? My next cruise will be on the Carnival Glory and it will be my 38th cruise with Carnival and I keep coming back for the fun and the crew and the chance to relax from the day to day stresses of life. I wish others would do the same. Thanks, John, and keep up the great work.

 

John says:
Hello Molly Freeman,
I just wanted to thank you so very much for your amazing loyalty and I hope that we get to cruise together soon. Have a great time on the Carnival Glory and enjoy all of the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades she recently received. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
Best wishes.
John

 

Christine Ann Playdon asks:
Me and my DH are on the Dream on 3/23/13 and I need to know what the shows will be and what comedians are there. This will be our first vacation in three years as my husband has been involved in a new business venture and so it would be wonderful to have you get us a private table with no other passengers and by the window so we can enjoy the views. We both deserve this vacation and have chosen Carnival for it and if you can send us something to our cabin. We are in cabin 6288 and read your blog!

 

John says:
Hello Christine Ann Playdon,
Let me start by saying I have asked the maître d for a table for two for you and while I am sure this will be OK I can’t promise one by the window as all the window tables on the Dream class ships are the larger tables. However, I am sure we can seat you together so you can celebrate this much needed vacation. Here is your entertainment line-up:

 

Sat, Mar, 23

Canaveral

Welcome Aboard Show

dep @ 4pm

Sun, Mar, 24

Nassau

Get Ready

Hal Spear/Sheila Kay

8:30am-2pm

Mon, Mar, 25

at sea

Max Winfrey – juggler

Hal Spear/Sheila Kay

Tue, Mar, 26

St Thomas

The Street/

Deck Party

11am-7pm

Wed, Mar, 27

St Maarten

Activities

7am-5pm

Thu, Mar, 28

at sea

8 Mores Seconds/ Jimmy Hodge

JR McCollom/Craig Diamond

Fri, Mar, 29

at sea

Carnival Legends

JR McCollom/Craig Diamond

 

I hope you have a wonderful time and Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for choosing to spend this special vacation on a Carnival ship.
Best wishes.
John

 

Holly asks:
Carnival Sunshine — I am so excited about cruising on this ship after all the changes. Just like you did with the Carnival Liberty, will you be posting on YouTube, videos of transformation?

 

John says:
Hello Holly
Yes indeed, a series of videos are being produced that are scheduled to begin February 22 and promise to be something special. More news on that soon. She is going to be a great ship, for sure, and we are all very excited by her.
Best wishes.
John

 

And on that note, we will stop there and thank you all for your comments and questions.

 

There are many things in the world that when I see them, I can’t help but think why on God’s green earth would someone invent that and why do people actually use the sodding thing. Let me give you a couple of examples. Let’s start with the massage chairs that we had on some of the ships. Now they may still be there on some of the Fantasy-class ships and if they are there does anyone actually use them? All I can remember from when they were on board was when guests actually did use them they sat on Promenade deck in the big leather chair sitting straighter than a meer cat that has just swallowed a Viagra pill shaking like someone had attached their private parts to an electric fence. Most of the time, guests would sit in them and be too cheap to actually put coins in the slot and would use them just to……well……..sit. The upgrade of the massage chair is, of course, those horrendous massage things in shopping malls. Why do people think that putting their shopping bags down in the middle of the mall, shoving their head in a hole and allowing a 20-year-old man with most of Office Depot’s inventory stapled to his face to massage their neck and back while hundreds of shoppers walk by.

 

Sometimes we put things on our ships that we think will work and that after a few months we realise they don’t. Here is an example: We all love the piano bars and the brilliant fun and entertainment they bring. Well back on Carnival Destiny and Carnival Triumph in 1999 we tried something called Dueling Pianos. This was in conjunction with a company from Las Vegas and we turned the back lounge into a dueling piano bar. We brought in two grand pianos and put them back to back and then hired two professional dueling pianists to entertain there. The idea was for them to go against each other with songs and audience participation and, on paper, it sounded brilliant. It wasn’t!  I was the CD on the Carnival Triumph when we tried this and I don’t truly understand why it didn’t work. We certainly had two excellent entertainers there but their egos were hard to manage and they found living on a ship difficult. Also the piano bars are smaller and more personal and the back lounges’ theatre-style seating did not help either and so, in the end, we pulled the idea and went back to the piano bar style you all enjoy today. Dueling pianos didn’t work back then…………..I wonder if it would work now?

 

I have been talking about the Punchliner Comedy Brunch on Facebook recently and a few times have had to pour a huge bucket of ice cold water over some posts on you know where that suggested we had completely done away with lunch in the dining room. We haven’t obviously. Some of the ships have the Comedy Brunch which from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. serves a brilliant menu that includes breakfast items such as eggs Benedict and other breakfast traditions and one of my favourites “huevos rancheros”…………I love huevos rancheros and so does my assistant Calvyn. Oh and the little Yorkshire pudding things they serve as pre-meal bread are historic, do not miss them. The menu also has lunch items such as pasta, salmon, steak and much more so have we stopped serving lunch in the dining room?  Yeah, right, just like how we now offer guests free use of the slot machines in the casino. I have to admit that there are some inherent challenges of doing comedy while people are stuffing their faces full of bacon mac and cheese. The brunch is fantastic and the comment card scores we receive on this backs that statement up completely but what do you think about the comedy aspect? Do you appreciate it, do you enjoy it? Let me know, please.

 

Later today I have a conference call with all the cruise directors and the beards. One of the subjects we will discuss is an immediate refresh of our program for the 18- to 20-year-olds. At the moment we really don’t have anything specific for this age group but that’s not for want of trying but we need to try harder for sure. This is a difficult age group to entertain as they tend to come in two types. Some spend spring break catching syphilis on a beach in Cancun. But some are shy and need us to help them make new friends and have fun and that’s why we are working on this and I will let you know what we decide to do because, as I said, we really need to improve here.

 

Talking of spring break there is still some misconception that our ships are some sort of mini Daytona Beach. OK, go back 20 or 30 years when we had no age restrictions in the cabins and our security team consisted of a chap called Jose and a Paul Shark-wearing junior officer called Rocco then yes, it was ummmm……….interesting. These days, spring break is completely different.  Granted there are a few people with names like Britney and Summer who drink too much and that’s actually not a bad thing because we don’t see them again until mid-week as they hibernate under the Carnival Comfort Bed duvet promising, “I will never drink again.” I don’t know how some of these young people afford the cruise though and some seem to be from a less privileged background and have decided to spend the family money on a cruise. This means that there is no money left over to buy the boys new pants that fit so they were wearing Dad’s instead which meant that their underpants are in full view at all times.

 

Still, I know how they feel. I come from a poor family and my parents could not afford a school uniform so they bought my school uniform from an Army surplus store. This meant between the ages of seven and 12, I went to school dressed as a Japanese admiral. We couldn’t afford laxatives either. If my sister or I were constipated, my mother would sit us on the toilet and tell us ghost stories. Those two jokes were from the joke book of the much-missed and brilliantly funny Carnival kilt-wearing cruise director, Malcolm Kennedy.

 

Anyway, we will work harder on the 18- to 20-year-old age group and more on that soon. Oh by the way, is it just me or is it difficult for you as well to tell how old kids are these days. When I meet a kid on board, I have no idea if they are 18 or 11. Do they read Harry Potter books or 50 Shades of Grey? And what’s with the way kids dance, grinding and twisting like that at just 14 years of age? The only time I moved like that when I was 14 was when my sister Suzanne put itching powder in my underpants.

 

And, on that note, I need to crack on as I have a busy day and then off I go to Liverpool where no doubt, I will get lost trying to find the city itself, the hotel and the TV studio. As I mentioned the GPS system in my car is crap and, as I am a man, there is no way I am going to pull over and ask someone for directions because this would imply that I am as thick and that they are more intelligent than me.

 

Women, on the other hand, will always ask for directions just as they will always read the instruction manual that comes with any electrical appliance. Forget the, “We just want to be held after having rumpy pumpy,” it’s asking for directions and reading instructions that make them so very different. I expect even Oprah Winfrey can be found lying on her stomach in front of her TiVo thingy recording device with the manual ensuring that when she gets back from making Lance Armstrong cry, she will have recorded Jersey Shore, Family Guy and the Jerry Springer show to see if Pete really did marry his own sister, Lucinda.

 

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

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35 Responses to 18 – 20 YEAR OLDS AND A DUEL OVER SOME PIANOS

  1. Linda ( Mom of DJ ) says:

    John:

    I have to admit that we are a “road trip” family ( as well as a cruising family)…

    when Josh graduated from Naval Officer Candidate School, we did indeed drive 1,269 miles one way (instead of flying ~ even though we have free airfare~ that is how much I HATE flying)….to Newport, RI.

    We are headed out next week for 700 miles one way to move him to Charleston, SC to start Nuclear Propulsion School.

    And then in March, we have another 700 mile one way to take DJ to the Nascar garages (after a little side trip to Nashville~ he loves OLD Country music).

    Thank goodness our next cruise in May is a short 7 hours down to New Orleans!!

    woo hoo

    We also wonder if the 18-20 idea would go over better IF it were labeled “young adults” which would include those who are 21 – 23….because there are a lot of young adults who do not drink or gamble and are in the same “boat” (pun intended) as the 18-20 year olds wanting additional ways to meet others.

    Just an idea….

    Linda ( Mom of your friend DJ)

  2. Donna Clark says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! For taking a positive approach to doing something for the 18-20’s~ It is certainly a tough age. My son is 18 will be 19 in March.(platinum kid LOL!) He has very much enjoyed and participated in all levels of the clubs since we started cruising in 2002. He is by no means a shy kid~ He was voted most school spirited in his senior class, plays baseball ect.. I think it is really a matter of having a place to go and hang out and meet other young people their age. He has been fortunate enough to have Club O2 Directors that let him participate the last 2 cruises, but is really to old now. Thanks for all your help with this~ I think a great idea that was suggested was to send a survey out to some of your active participants in the Clubs or their parents and see what they would like to have. Some may not need it, some may be embarrased to admit they need it but by and far it would be a bonus for those kids aging out of Club O2. Thanks again John for all you do and being a voice for us.

  3. wendy wallach says:

    I think you should ask the 18-20 year olds themselves. My daughter who is 19 but who has been cruising since she was a few months old can give you great suggestions since she also was an active participant in every level of the lids program.

  4. nicole says:

    the dueling pianos sounds like a great idea. Recently they have become very popular in the midwest and I would love to see this on the ship!!!

  5. Arthur says:

    Re: the 18-20 year old crowd. Like you said, there are two totally different personalities, plus a few individuals which has neither. Maybe someone should ask specifically that group what they would like to see/do, before they even leave the house to sail, and/or what they would have liked to have seen/done, after they sail.

  6. Christian Lechner says:

    I’d love dualing pianos and would use the piano bars a lot more. We don’t go to them anymore because the format is not our style and they aren’t very busy.

  7. janet cartwright says:

    Please John, NO DUELING PIANO’S. Please!
    The ship is loud enough, just give us nice
    relaxing entertaining piano, just 1 piano.
    Thanks

  8. Tom says:

    John, I recently read that Todd Wittmer has left Carnival. I’m a bit surprised that you didn’t mention it since you always said he was one of Carnival’s best cruise directors.
    Care to wish him well in his new career?
    Thanks,
    Tom

  9. Steve S. Chicago says:

    Rita Schenk,
    I do not know you but I am guessing you are in the 55-65 age range. If you are that means you heard “The Beatles look like girls with the long hair”..”My kids don’t listen to that hippie crap” or “The kids today and the blue jeans and long hair”

  10. Beverly "Janey" Winford says:

    John, I was on a B2B on the Breeze which included our great time on BC6. I enjoy eating in the MDR, every chance I get. The service is always great and I’m just not a fan of buffets.

    The Punchliner brunch on the Breeze was actually from 8:30 to 1pm on Sea Days. I adapted to not being able to have breakfast until after 8:30 by getting my morning coffee on the Ocean Plaza, which I must say is a very relaxing place to start the day.

    I really enjoyed all of the selections that the new Punchliner menu has to offer. I’m a creature of habit though and for the most part, when there during normal breakfast time had my favorite combination omelette with a side dish of hollandaise sauce. People seemed to really enjoy the pancakes and other breakfast options.

    I found myself going back just before closing to enjoy the more typical lunch items. The pasta was really good, the steak was one of the best that I’ve had on a cruise and the salmon was cooked to perfection. I do wish that the brunch lasted until 1:30 though. But the wraps and salads on the Taste bar were a welcome alternative to lunch up on the Lido.

    You are right that the popovers are a great treat during the later meal times.

    The comedians don’t start performing until 10am, so many of my breakfasts were without this entertainment. I was hesitant at first thinking it would be intrusive or disruptive, but it really wasn’t and I found myself wishing they were there a bit longer.

    I think it was Tommy Drake that put on the most successful show by encouraging everyone to continue with their meal and instead of applauds to simply “clink” our flatware on the side of our plate when we enjoyed a particular joke…..there were so many clinks I was starting to worry about the rims of the plates chipping….

    Sister and I are cruising on the Conquest April 7th, but even though she has had her 2.0 upgrades I’m not sure if she has the comedy brunch….something to discover when we get there….

    Also, to John Laviolette questioning about Lobster night…in my experience Lobster is only served on the 1st Elegant Evening, so on the Breeze that would be Monday night.

    • Beverly "Janey" Winford says:

      That is to say the Conquest has had her 2.0 upgrades….I’m afraid Donna needs much more than the human version of 2.0 would have to offer!!!!!!!!

      • Donna Clark says:

        @Beverly~ What did I say that peeved you? I am totally supportive of Carnival and the fact they are looking at the 18-20 age group.. Sorry I offended you.

        • Beverly "Janey" Winford says:

          Donna, I am so sorry……..I was refering in jest to my sister Donna…..my original post made it sound like I was saying something about my sisters 2.0 upgrades and I was talking about the Conquest….

          I wasn’t even commenting about any of the 18 to 20 yo issues……I’m way to far beyond that age group ( and I don’t have children) to know what they would or wouldn’t like in this day and time….

          E communication is so hard when you can’t see the expression on someone’s face or hear the tone of their voice……:-{

  11. John: I’m not up to date on today’s music, my dance tastes having come from the late 1970s era of disco (and early 80s as well) having mastered the “New Yorker” and “Bus Stop” back then.
    But I venture to say that today’s teen dancing (sadly) resembles simulated rumpy-pumpy than anything resembling dancing that we might remember.

    I long ago left behind my teen and 20s but I can say that back when I was that age range (18-20), in many states the drinking age was 21 and many discos and dance clubs were 21 minimum as well (though in Ohio back then, drinking age was 18 and you could find a disco or two that let you in). So it could be a little tough for the 18-20 set; too young to drink but too old to hang out with 14-15 year olds in Circle C.
    If Carnival isn’t ready toYou might try opening up Club O2 to 18-20 year olds as the teen clientele there is closer to their age range and yes, dating does go on (it did in my day) between say a 16 year old and 19 year old. And of course no alcohol is served in the teen clubs so that is covered as well. Alcohol consumption might be a problem if the main disco on board were opened to 18-20 year olds (what is the min drinking age on ship anyway?).
    Oh and could you find the recipe for the vanilla cream garnish that the main dining room serves? That cream topping was absolutely to die for and I’m going nuts trying to find the recipe (I did find the warm chocolate melting cake one).

    Finally, if dueling pianists is your thing, you might check out a DVD or Blu-Ray of the Disney movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” as it includes a dueling pianists scene between Donald Duck and Daffy Duck.

    Sincerely
    Brad

  12. Sarah Oxfurth says:

    Ralph Boulanger, you are a prudish man. The end.

  13. grace says:

    My daughter was 18 a few years ago when we went on a cruise and she was bored. She has said that she would have liked a dedicated area to her age group with dances and other activities. She also suggested doing a poll of the 18 to 20 year olds on the cruise and seeing what they would like to do.

  14. Robin says:

    I read many reviews of The Punchliner’s Comedy Brunch on this website and many others. Overall, what I have concluded is that the Punchliner’s Comedy Brunch is good, but could easily be better. It needs more entertainment throughout without interrupting personal experiences for dining. Basically, a non invasive approach that is fulfilling is best. You have to have the perfect balance.

  15. T F says:

    John,
    I’m so happy to see that you are coming up with a plan for the 18-20 yr. olds. My son is 18 years old, but still in high school. His peers are high school students, not adults in clubs on the weekends. They are bagging groceries an flipping burgers.

    Maybe some cooking classes, dance (real dance lessons) games etc that are more for that age would be fun for them. Video games and computers are what’s important to them too.

    Anyways, I’m just glad to see that they have not been completely forgotten.

    Thanks,
    TF

  16. Sue M says:

    John, I aplaud you and Carnival for finally taking a look at something for the 18-20 year olds. Yes technically they are adults but mentally most of them are not. On a recent cruise last month on the Freedom this would have been ideal, but to tell you the God’s honest truth, I dont think that it would have made a difference. I contacted Mischelle behind the scenes so that I could explain to her why someone was blogging the hell out of Carnival on thier FB and Funville. As I was they “platinum member” who talked this mother and daughter to join my son an I. Everything seemed to be going well until the night we left Jamaica, when all hell broke loose. The following sea day was drama filled and anything but relaxing. I drove back from the cruise port with a raging migraine and it actually took two days for me to get my blood pressure under control. My co-workers asked me how my cruise was and for the first time in 11 cruises my answer was “It Sucked, but thanks for asking .. it wasn’t the ship or the crew, it was too much damn drama” I was still to upset to do the survey for Carnival and it upsets me that I never gave the crew members the recognition they deserved.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Lunch in the Comedy Club was the most disappointing thing on the Magic. The 5 minutes of comic convinced us that we did *not* want to hear him again. I prefer the old style lunch in the dining room.

  18. Diane H Rosser says:

    My first and only cruise was with Carnival. I’ll forever remember what a wonderful time we had. I’m so sorry for the recent troubles with the Carnival Triumph and want you to know that as soon as I can afford another cruise IT WILL BE ON A CARNIVAL SHIP! Best wishes to the Carnival line!

  19. tom kubeck says:

    Dear John: We will be on the Breeze for the Ky.Derby in May,can we watch the horse race on board?This is cruise 11 for us,can not wait to see the new ship.Thank You.Tom K.

  20. James says:

    Hey John,
    I believe you were our cruise director on the Carnival Destiny the week before Christmas in 2000. It was our honeymoon cruise and we had a wonderful time! I do remember the duelling piano bar; however the pianos were hardly ever played during our cruise. There was a slow jazz band playing in the room instead. We LOVED it and would go listen to the band almost every night.

  21. Mary says:

    Is it true that Carnival Splendor is having trouble with its propulsion system?

  22. Cecelia says:

    My daughter was 17 on our cruise over Thanksgiving and she was a bit bored and frustrated with Club O2. The employees weren’t doing anything interactive with the teens. It was essentially just a hang out spot. She said she really wasn’t sure she wanted to go on Carnival for awhile since she didn’t want to be in an 18 and over club. She said she would rather have one for 18-20 year olds. Less likely to have free flowing alcohol around those too young to drink!

  23. Kirsten says:

    John,

    Good reply to the breastfeeding question. I’m a new mom who just took my 4-mo-old son on the only cruise line we found that would accommodate a baby of his age. Anyway, while I primarily fed him in our cabin, there were times when he demanded to be fed while we were out and about. I would try to find as discrete a location as I could…and yet, I saw a lot more by way of female body parts just looking at some of the skimpy bikinis on ship!

    I’m sure the moms to whom Ralph was alluding were trying to be discrete – I had an older man ogle me while I was nursing once, and it disgusted me. Perhaps he can ogle the girls in bikinis instead?

    • Karen says:

      Yep! It’s ok for boobs to be hanging out of a string bikini, but not ok to feed a child…hmmm…
      As a woman who’s breastfed two children, I have always made a conscious effort to be out of public viewing, but these comments from the “offended” makes me laugh. Something tells me they are jealous of the baby! ;D

  24. Ken says:

    John

    How are you doing my friend? As a follow up to a past post you received from a past guest, I have to agree. Rap music is played a lot on Carnival at the clubs. It is like every dj on every carnival ship is programmed to play for the 21 year old crowd.
    It would be great to hear REAL music. I am a guy in my late 30’s and love 70’s funk, 70’s disco and some 80’s hits. It makes sense that the club would cater to a slightly older crowd. After all, we will spend more money buying drinks. Why turn us away with the god awful rap? which in all reality is not music.

  25. Karen H. says:

    Love reading your blog! I wanted to take a moment to tell you about my wonderful PVP, Alanna Hermes. I have been keeping her very busy with our two reservations and she is so responsive, professional and kind. I truly have never met another travel agent like her. I read about terrible travel agents all the time and it is wonderful to be able to say what a pleasure it is to work with her. Please pass these kudos on, she really deserves it!

  26. Kellie says:

    Thanks for supporting breast feeding women on the cruise ships! I was saddened to read that a passenger thought it was “disgusting” to see a mother feeding her child. Way to go John!!! Thanks for your support!!

  27. Nancy says:

    Hi, John. I was pleased to read that CCL is addressing, and I wonder if there has been any progress on activities for the 18-21 (or Young Adult)group? I have a just-19-year-old daughter who has been cruising on Carnival since she was 12, we’re hoping to go this summer, but it would be wonderful if there were a couple of ice-breaking meeting places for these kids. Thank you. –Nancy

  28. Katie says:

    Hello John,

    I was just sent a picture of me on my first Carnival cruise on June 26, 1988 I was 6 years old. Is there anyway to get credit for this?

    Thanks Kathryn Hyslop

  29. David Stern says:

    Say it is not true. Just sailed on the Carnival Legend and there is no sushi. One of the highlights has always been the sushi bar. Please let the beards know this is a bad change. Thank you.

  30. Ken says:

    Hi John,

    I went on the Carnival Breeze in August 2012 and I was 21, I made some great friends during the cruise which we still keep in touch with. We all met up on the 18-20s meet and greet and from on then we had a great time together.

    But we wished we had met up earlier in the cruise as the 18-20s meet and greet was held on half way through the cruise which was the first day at sea. Before that I was very bored myself and especially the evenings which I was either with family or on my own.

    I think the 18-20s meet and greet idea was great but IF ONLY THEY DID IT AT THE START OF THE CRUISE!! There was 10 of that attended the meet and greet, we eventually met more and more people everyday and we ended up with a group of 30!

    The meet and greet changed my cruise from a boring cruise to the best cruise I’ve been to by far! (It was my 7th cruise). Without the meet and greet I would had been totally different. Also the staff that undertook the meet and greet event was Taylor or Tracey, she did a great job with the icebreaker.

    Once again the Carnival Breeze 2012 was the best cruise by far and met some great friends!!

    Thanks

    Ken

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