Since I returned from Russia last week, I have had a cold. It was inevitable that I would get one because it was -12C outside and Boris the driver that was taking me around had the car heater set at 1,200C and I was in and out of the car all day long for four straight days. My nose is so clogged I am thinking of hiring Bruce Willis and the team from that Armageddon movie to build a tunnel up my nose and drill a hole.

So last night, the last thing I was in the mood for was polite conversation but Heidi told me to “man up” because she had promised some friends of ours, Danny and Nadia that we would go for dinner with them at their new bar where many of the UKs famous reality TV program hang out https://www.facebook.com/BarBlancoEssex – there is your free advertising Danny and I am sure a few of my friends here will like your page as I have a bet that he will get 500 new friends in 24 hours and if so…….I get a free meal :)

Anyway, despite them being great friends, at the start of the meal, I tried to conceal that I really didn’t want to be there. Everyone else at the table was having fun. My wife and friends were all laughing and joking while Shrek continued to drop dry bits of constipated poo in my nose and LucindaJimpete and others who despise me continued to hold an orgy of complaints in my head which was pounding. I really wanted this evening to be over quickly but it wasn’t and that’s not because of slow service but because there were two ladies at the table.

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely bonkers in restaurants and that’s women…..yes, you ladies. Let me explain why. Along comes the waiter and asks you what you want and the reply is always the same, “Er, what, me? Oops, I haven’t looked at the menu yet as I have been gossiping with my friend about our other friend Nicky who has just had plastic surgery and now has lips that look like she has swallowed a canoe.” Why is this? It’s not your first time in a restaurant and it’s not like you don’t know that the ladies will be invited to order first.

The men have always decided. Why haven’t the women? How did it become law that the person that is invited to order first is the one that never knows what to bloody well have? And that’s what happened last night. As my head pounded and my nose strayed blocked and my throat felt as scratchy as a 1950′s gramophone record all I heard was, “Why don’t you go first, while I decide?” Any of you who have eaten in the steakhouses on our ships know how true this is and that’s why I think we should start a new rule where the ladies will always be the last to be served. The women will get asked last once they have had another three hours to look at the menu before they say “I’m not very hungry, is it okay if I just have two appetizers and a salad? Do you think that’ll be enough…. If it’s not, I can always have some of yours dear.” OH FFS!

Time for today’s Q and A, off we go.

Kelle Bartels asks:
Hello John,
I just wanted to send you and Carnival a huge thanks for the pricing of your cruises. My husband and I have been saving for five years to afford a cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary this coming summer. Because he is in the military and I stay at home with our children, we don’t often have extra money, but always put some away each month so that we could really have a great anniversary trip. At the beginning of January, we started looking for cruises, thinking that we would really be spoiled if we were able to afford a balcony room. Amazingly, we found a weeklong cruise to the southern Caribbean where we could afford an ocean suite! We booked it immediately so that it wouldn’t disappear. I cannot tell you how excited we are! We are eagerly looking forward to our June cruise, and even before we
sail I know that it will be a trip to remember. Thank you so much for providing cruises that are affordable for everyone! And thank you also for this blog…it brings a smile to my face every time I read it!

John says:
Hello Kelle Bartels,
We were talking about suites in the blog on Monday and now I see this message which is full of excitement and happiness and I am so glad that you have written. The suite will be the most fantastic place from which to base your cruise from and I know you will have a brilliant time. I hope you will let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I wish you both the most fantastic cruise vacation full of laughter and fun.
Best wishes to you both.
John

Lee Yang asks:
My family and I are from Hong Kong and have cruised with Marco Polo and Orient Lines I have been following your blog and your humor is addictive. Is there any chance of Carnival Cruise Lines sending one of their “Fun Ships” to Hong Kong and beyond? I know that many of the professionals I work with and many of my circles of friends would enjoy a carnival experience. I certainly hope that this dream becomes reality soon. Until then I will continue to live vicariously through your blog.
I send your warmest wishes from Hong Kong.
Lee Yang

John says:
Hello Lee Yang,
Thank you so very much for these very kind words. You know, five years ago if someone had asked me if Carnival would have a ship in Australia, I would have laughed and said, “No way.” So while I have no specific news on is sending a ship to your amazing part of the world I will say “never say never.” I therefore hope to see you soon.
Best wishes.
John

John Lynch asks:
Big John –
Just finished my second cruise with Carnival, both on Carnival Dream. The first time the deck party had 1,800 people, a laser show, the Dream dancers in leather and a 1,250 person conga line CD was Steve. This trip was with Jamie and Gumby – much better trip and it was because of them, however, the deck party was kinda lame – no lasers, no dancers and a fourth the amount of people – Why? Couldn’t you mix the old party with the Blue Iguana stuff…. I think Jamie is great and would have been much better with the dancers and lasers. BTW, I plan on doing the Breeze in Feb 14 – Can you move Jamie and Gumby there for my trip?

John says:
Hello John Lynch,
This is very interesting as normally Jaime’s deck parties are very busy indeed. The lasers were really a great idea but in reality, they just didn’t work well enough. You see we could not generate enough fog through the hazer machines to show off the lasers. The haze would be shifted by the wind and unless the wind was nothing more than a gentle breeze they were not able to be what we wanted them to be. I will certainly pass this on to the ship for their comments. It maybe that guests didn’t want to participate, this happens from time to time but for sure I will make sure it is looked at. I am sure you will have a wonderful time on Carnival Breeze and if there is anything I can do for you please let me know.
Best wishes.
John

Rona Watts asks:
Finally made Platinum. Just got back from my cruise on the Carnival Dream. Great week. Loved being platinum. Early on, early off was awesome. I want to give kudos to a few that made our cruise a pleasure. #1 goes to Elliott for morning puzzles and trivia. He was so entertaining. On Valentine’s Day, he was giving away “free hugs” I got mine. Luv ya Elliott. The waiters we enjoyed the most were Harris and his peppermill and cheese grater sound effects. Cute…Plus Alaikcea, always smiling and very attentive to our needs. Cenon, so very professional. And also to Budi, Gusti, and Raymus. Sadly, I cannot remember our cabin steward’s name. She was awesome. If you can figure out her name, I was in 10203 the week of 2/9/13. She took excellent care of us. Carnival Dream was breathtaking. So big and bustling. While on it, we booked our next cruise on Carnival Sunshine. Now all I can do is wait another year. Can’t wait….

John says:
Hello Rona Watts,
What a wonderful review and I know that all those you mentioned will be so very happy when they read your words of praise. It is great to read that they made such a difference and it is also great to read that you had such fun. I hope your next cruise comes quickly and please let me know if you need anything.
Best wishes.
John

Sam Wollard asks:
You have a rule I believe that prohibits rug rats from jumping in the pool. Well I am here to tell you that this rule was not enforced on the Carnival Freedom. I was in the pool one morning when a child jumped in and almost landed on me and if he had I could have been seriously hurt. There was no lifeguard on duty and no officer to expel the child off the deck. Why have this rule if it is not enforced?

John says:
Hello Sam Wollard,
I am very sorry you were subjected to this and my apologies for any anxiety it may have caused you. Our deck stewards are there to make sure that all pool rules are enforced and in this case it looks like he or she must have missed this and again I apologise. We don’t allow jumping in the pool and while it is virtually impossible to control every child on board, we do stop it when we see it happen. I do hope you had a great cruise despite this and that we see you again soon.
Best wishes.
John

Eddie Westfeld asks:
I read your blog today where you said that Carnival does not supply snacks at the bars. How cheap are you Carnival? RCI ships offer three different bar snacks each night at all bar locations. You have lots to learn on so many levels.

John says:
Hello Eddie Westfeld,
Thanks for taking the time to write and while I have no idea what other lines offer, I can say that with all the food we serve, including 24-hour complimentary room service, we don’t feel the need to add bar snacks. There is also some public health concerns with serving them, as well. I think all cruise lines can learn from each other and Carnival will continue to learn and to work hard and to use forums like this to listen to our guests and what they are saying. I really hope to see you on a Carnival cruise soon and if you do I promise to leave a huge bag of Goldfish in your stateroom.
Best wishes.
John

Janice De Monde asks:
I want to arrange a meet and greet for our Cruise Critic group of 20-plus for the Breeze May 25, 2013. I was told that Carnival does not support Cruise Critic and will not help arrange this. I cannot understand this and would hope you could offer up an explanation and see fit to help us find a location and provide door prizes. Our request is for the first sea day at 2 pm in the piano bar. Hope to hear from you with a positive outcome.
Jennifer De Monde

John says:
Hello Janice De Monde,
I would be happy to arrange this for you and would ask that as it is some time away that you remind me here on April 25 or even better a week before you sail via my Facebook page. I will be more than happy to block a room for you and although I cannot guarantee the piano bar I will make sure you all have somewhere to meet. I would also ask that you send me your cabin number so I can send you two trophies and two bottles of champagne to raffle or use as you need. I wish you all a wonderful time together. Best wishes.
John

Charlie Siblenson asks:
Hello John,
I cruised with you to Istanbul in 2008 and had an amazing time. Since then I have brought 11 members of my family on more Carnival cruises and now I want to introduce them to Europe cruising. I do not see any cruises on carnival.com for 2014 and Europe so can you point me in the right direction and tell me what’s what? I hope I get to cruise with you John because I want my family to enjoy your zany humor. Thanks.

John says:
Hello Charlie Siblenson Thanks so much for the kind words and I thank you for introducing your family to the joys of Carnival cruising. I’ll have to check to see how our 2014 itineraries are shaping up and, as soon as I know, I’ll post it here on the blog and Facebook. Hopefully we will sail together soon.
Best wishes to you and the family.
John

Martha Jones asks:
John,
can you get me and my brother a table for two as we must eat alone and not with others. This is really important so I hope you can help. Our cruise will be on the Inspiration 6/17 and our cabin is booked and is R104 on Rivie
ra deck. I hope this message does not get ignored as it is urgent!

John says:
Hello Martha Jones,
Thanks very much for writing and I am sure I will be able to help you. Your cruise though is still three months away so can you write this again to me here on the blog on May 17 and I will make sure I send it to the ship. I hope that is OK and I wish you the most wonderful cruise.
Best wishes.
John

Michael Dominiczak asks:
Hi John,
There are thousands of people who cruise with you on a regular basis that want steel drum music back. Listen to your customers, get rid of the DJ and the big screen and the useless guitar players and get the steel drums back. You may hate them, thousands don’t!!!

John says:
Hello Michael Dominiczak,
I truly do not hate steel drum music and I also do not agree that the guitar soloists are useless, in fact they are very talented and bring a wonderful atmosphere to everywhere they play. I like steel drum music but I do think that after a while it becomes monotonous and each tune sounds the same. I do think we should have more live music on deck and I would like to see Caribbean bands or four-piece party bands as these are able to play in other areas of the ship and play a wider variety of music which steel bands really cannot. Our live music options are being looked at carefully and I will let you know as soon as I have any news on this.
Best wishes.
John

And that’s your lot for today with thanks from me to everyone for your questions and comments.

I hope you have been enjoying the videos from Carnival Destiny as she becomes Carnival Sunshine. There will be another video on Friday as the excitement builds. Speaking of new additions, one of our most successful additions to all the ships has without doubt been the Punchliner Comedy Club which is about to get even better. We have a new manager of comedy working with us now working with the beards at Carnival HQ. He has many years of experience working and managing and booking comedians for a famous chain of comedy clubs across North America. He is dedicated to making sure we have only the funniest comedians and working on the scheduling of the comedy shows. I received a very strong post on my blog this week which I discussed on Facebook and it produced a lot of opinion for sure and for those who missed it, here it is again.

Andi wrote:
This week we got off the Fascination which was my wife and my second Carnival cruise. The room steward Lana was the best we have ever had as were Anoop and Thomas our servers in the dining hall. This was my first experience of the comedy club you have on the ship and the language and sexual topics used by both the comedians was so disgusting that we left. As we did we were mocked by the comedian and left very embarrassed and upset. I complained at the front desk but they had no sympathy explaining that it was an R-rated performance. Yes it was, we were told at the start of the show but the language used was so disgusting and hearing the F bomb every other word and talking about sex is not comedy. Why do comedians you hire need to offend and cuss so much because it is not funny and I know that other passengers we spoke to in the dining hall all said the same thing!!!!!

John said:
Hello Andi,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write and your comment deserves an immediate apology from me because we never want our guests to be upset and certainly not over a comedy show. I hope the following paragraphs will explain somewhat how our comedy clubs work and how our comedians think and again my apologies to you and hope you did indeed enjoy your cruise.
Best wishes.
John

This is a very interesting comment and as I said, the opinions on Facebook about this made for excellent reading. It seems that from the opinions mentioned there that most agreed that as long as we warn guests both in writing in the Fun Times and that the same warning is given by the comedy club host before the show that the performances will contain adult material that we should continue to take the comedians leash off from the family shows and allow them to say what they wish. There were some who felt that the use of swear words was not necessary when performing comedy and this is an interesting point. Now I am not a standup comedian but I do try to make people laugh using improv and audience members as well and I guess this gives me a platform from which to give you my thoughts on this. Like most of our Punchliner comedians I sometimes don’t give enough thought to offence. It’s not because I don’t care who I offend. It’s because there isn’t always time to think if a joke will be offensive before you say it. You think it and have a split second to decide to say it or not.

Comedy is, after all, a tricky thing as what offends one person the other person thinks it’s hilarious. When I first started with Carnival the comedians could fill the room with jokes about every ethnic group imaginable. Things have changed somewhat, the world is now obsessed with not causing offence. And because of this there is a genuine fear lurking amid today’s Punchliner comedians and amongst some CD’s who dare to be funny that someone, somewhere will complain. And, of course, when they do the people back at Miami HQ have a difficult job because they have to be aware that nobody should be offended but comedy is so popular that we need to keep guests entertained too. The problem is, like I said, that people are offended by very different things. While 300 people in the Punchliner on the Carnival Breeze may laugh, two may get up and walk out. With comedy, I would suggest that it is really quite impossible to please everyone

There is the argument that if a joke is funny enough, people often forget to take offence. It used to be the case that if something offended a guest, they complained and you said sorry. Everyone considered this fair enough, and everyone shook hands, forgave and forgot. But today the age of political correctness has removed any such compromise and there are days when I think it may be safer to write factual, non-opinionated blogs and not even try to attempt to be funny on stage. I know many of my comedian friends who are constantly second guessing themselves about it or not they should say a particular joke.

Life is, of course, too short not to laugh at our Punchliner comedians that have been put on God’s Green Earth for one reason only…..to try and make our guests laugh. Most of the time, I think they succeed…….but as someone who tries to be funny and not offend anyone……it’s getting harder to do each and every day. Comedy, I think, has a greater chance of causing offence than anything else. And let’s remember that the guests on our ships cross so many generations, everyone from young adults to older retired people, so finding material to suit everyone is very difficult indeed.

Also, the thing about comedy is, it’s an “I could do that” thing. When our guests see Al Ernst, Happy Cole, Percy Crews, Kim Harrison and others stand on that stage, it’s basically one large mouth and a microphone and anyone who may make their friends laugh at work thinks “I can do that.” Well again as someone who tries to make people laugh, I can tell you that it is far more difficult than you can imagine. There are bugger all cue cards. Our Punchliner comedians must adapt and edit continually according to the demographic of the guest and to the current events of the day. It is harder than any other mutation of the ancient art of oral narrative. If you’re billed as comedian and they don’t laugh, failure is immediate and the CD will call the office and make sure he or she never sets foot on a Carnival ship again. Yep, it’s that instant so please spare them a thought.

One last thing that came up on Facebook and that was how the comedians deal with hecklers. Now it would be nice to think that in our comedy clubs everyone should sit down and listen but as we know it doesn’t work like this. That’s why any decent comedian will have a whole series of heckler put-down lines and any comedian that doesn’t is probably going to have a very short shelf life in the world of comedy. Then there is the fact that during the show (Andi who posted above) got up and walked out to some kind of comment from the comedian. This happens and while I certainly apologise to Andi for this but I would hazard to guess that she was sitting close to the front. Our stages at the Punchliner comedy club are close to the seats and if in the middle of a set up to a joke, or worse a punchline to a joke, guests stand up and walk right past the comedian it is natural for them to make some kind of comment.

So do I think we should stop our comedians from swearing? No, I do not but I will say that many of our best comedians use swear words sparingly. Yes, their material is very adult based but they use swear words to accent a point. My best advice is that if you are unsure about our adult shows please sit close to the back so if you don’t like the material you can casually get up and leave unseen by the comedian. There are definite improvements we need to make to the Punchliner not only on who performs there but schedules and seating etc and that is something that will happen as we now have a brilliant new comedy manager who I know will keep the Punchliner Comedy Club at the highest level and keep you all laughing out loud.

OK, time to bugger off and play with my daughter who is as I speak sitting here with me in my office at home playing with my EyePad. Actually I shouldn’t say play because she is operating it, properly going from the Barbie movies I downloaded to the various apps that feature pissed off birds and a chance to ride on a unicorn.

She loves her eyepad does Kye and I am sure she is joined by millions of others. I see them on the ships, sitting at dinner, playing with eyepads, gameboys and their PMS thingy. How things have changed. When I was four as she will be in two months gaming meant playing Monopoly. And if you wanted to watch your favourite TV program, you had to be home when it was on even if you had a VCR because only a rocket scientist was clever enough to work out how to use the sodding timer. It’s a beautiful day here though, crisp, sunny and cold so I will take Kye’s EyePad from her hand and get her outside to play on her bike. This will though involve dressing in shoulder, knee and elbow pads, and Kevlar helmet. This means she can either ride her bike around the front area of our house or join a Special Forces platoon searching for the bad guys in Afghanistan.

Goodnight.
Your friend,
John

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74 Responses to SHOULD WE CENSOR OUR COMEDIANS? BOLLOCKS, SHOULD WE!

  1. Snoozeman says:

    Don’t miss the steel drum music at all….

  2. Bev Dagman says:

    With all the new safety measures for babies and kids, I often tell my 3 ikids it is a miracle they made it to the adult stage. Yet I would never want my granddaughters to ride a bike or ski without a helmet. Yes, times have changed.

  3. Charlie says:

    “Eddie Westfeld asks: … You have lots to learn on so many levels.”

    That’s TOO funny. Carnival is the cruise industry leader. I think they know what they’re doing. If you’re going to get so upset over a bowl of pretzels or mixed nuts, by all means, enjoy RCI.

    • jj walters says:

      charlie if by ‘leader’ you mean ships that break, sink, or don’t speak good english, then yes you are correct.

  4. Tina Goodwin says:

    John,

    The question about the May 25th Breeze cruise M&G may be a set up. I am part of that group and we are actually having a paid function at Liquid through Carnival the first sea day. Plus the name that was listed isn’t part of our group that I can find. Please accept apologies for the tone of the message, we all appreciate what you do and how much you help people and NOTHING negative has been said about you from our group. We appreciate your insights, humour (spelt correctly) and assistance.

    Tina Goodwin

    • MarkinFL says:

      I have often wondered at some of these supposed, over the top, obnoxious CC requests. I have never experienced such things on CC though there are always a few bad apples everywhere. I’m sure some are real, but some seem to be quite contrived caricatures of the CC stereotype.
      We are all here for the same reason. To have a good time on a fun cruise and we love Carnival because they try to do it in an affordable way. That takes a balance of service/features and cost. They may not always get it perfect but they seem to be trying hard and that counts for a lot with me. My take-away from the Triumph problem was how well the crew was commended by the passengers. I’m not surprised, I have always been impressed by the crew’s dedication to the passengers.

  5. Jose says:

    Eddie Westfeld, Stop complaining about a few snacks missing at the bar. You paid more for your cruise than you would have on Carnival so, you should get a snack. By the way public snacks in a bowl aren’t healthy. How do you know the person that grabbed a snack out of the bowl, before you, didn’t just pull a booger out of his nose, or took a leak and didn’t wash his hands after handling the one eyed monster. Just sayin”

    • MenBobbyMcGee says:

      EXACTLY-not sanitary (norovirus)Ye, it would be nice to have snacks, but they would have to be small, separately wrapped packs that create MORE trash… OR the waitstaff would have to bother with individual bowls etc.

  6. Kim Harrison says:

    Thank you for the inclusion with Percy, Happy and Al! We do our best to make sure the Audiences are having fun, but we have been told to make it a true Comedy Club Experience, some times the content and the language can get iffy. So Come to the All-Ages show! I know i worked really hard on my All-Ages show. I am proud of it. Do you know how hard it is to be clean when you are a dirty old lady? Keep Laughing! Mama Kimmy

    • Charlie says:

      Two of my favorite comedians are/were Larry Miller and Richard Pryor. So I like it both ways (clean and dirty). Hope to catch your act someday.

    • Teresa Cooper says:

      We love the comedy shows on board! We go to both the family and the adult shows and actually find them tamer than the comedy clubs on land. Checked you out on YouTube and you are doing a great job. Funny song! Love it!

  7. Donna LaFitte says:

    When do we get to register as a member of the blog cruise. I already have my booking but I want to get er done.

  8. Luis R says:

    Caribbean music is not just steel bands like many people in the US tend to think. There is a whole lot more and you should look into adding more of these such as salsa, merengue, bachata, plena, cumbia, reggae, regueton and many many others.

  9. Paulette Brochet says:

    Hello John,
    It has been 2 years since our last cruise-our eldest son’s high school graduation gift. Now we will be going on our 8th Carnival cruise with our youngest son who just loved you on our last cruise on the Freedom. We will be on the March 30th cruise on the Breeze. He was hoping you would still be on the ship, but we see you will not be aboard.:( We will miss you and your stories aboard the Breeze. We hope to see you again real soon on another cruise. WE are very excited to have the opportunity to be on the Breeze. Kevin received a “trophy” for his drawing of you on the ship in your underpants! But he was disappointed because another staff member gave him his trophy because I believe you had already left the ship the morning we arrived back in port..he was so sad, because he thought he would be presented with it by you on his way off the Freedom…next time for sure! We enjoy your blog, and as a teacher, believe me I enjoy a good laugh and just love the stories you tell. We love Carnival and always have an enjoyable time aboard. Being on the Freedom with you as our CD was the best so far. My two sons have learned so much from cruising and having the opportunity to visit so many ports/places. Thank you again for what you do as a CD with Carnival, and for all the smiles you give us with your wonderful stories.
    The Brochet Family

  10. Frances & John Windolf says:

    Dear John
    What a S-M-O-O-O-O-T-H talker you are! Here we are in Australia, one week after a trip from Hong Kong to Sydney on the Queen Mary 2, and your St Petersburg blog made us book TWO separate trips on the Carnival Legend – 20 August to Russia and then the Trans-Atlantic on 25 September. We had absolutely no plans to cruise again soon (having found the QM2 well below Carnival standards in very many areas) but now we’re flying around the world, just to travel with you, and to celebrate another wedding anniversary, this one our 28th – on 28 September, as our Hawaiian 25th anniversary on the Carnival Spirit was so memorable.
    We didn’t write this to ask for favours (spelt correctly!) but would like to ask you when we should request seating – we would really love seating at a table for six in the centre of the dining room on both cruises, as sharing with other Carnival guests enriches our vacations, and because John (who wears hearing aids)can follow conversations more easily at a round table. We do hope that we’ll finally get to meet you, after following your blog daily (well, every day that you write one!) since 2008. Thank you for the joy that you, and Carnival, have brought to our lives.
    Frances & John (Room #6147 on both cruises)

  11. Ralph says:

    Janice De Monde

    You’ll do yourself a big favor if you stop drinking the Cruise Critic “Kool Aid”.

  12. Gary says:

    Perhaps I have just grown too old. I remember Milton Berl, Jack Benny, Bobe Hope, Don Rickles, Jerry Lewis, and Red Skelton to name a few. These great comedians did not need to resort to sex, vulgarity, or even bodily functions to elicit great laughter. Instead they had what todays comics do not. Talent.

  13. ROB says:

    I Like the comedy clubs have been to many of them. and i don`t mind the foul language but some of them do get carried away with the f. word. when that is the bulk of the show it gets old fast. all jokes don`t have to begin with and end with f this every other word.

    steel bands are very nice but not as an exclusive type of music mix it up a little
    thanks just my opinion
    happy cruising

  14. Jimmy says:

    I can buy a years supply of snack mix with the money I save by sailing on Carnival. Enjoy your RCI cruise

  15. Allen Fuesting (Racerdude) says:

    Hello John,

  16. Allen Fuesting (Racerdude) says:

    Hello John,
    I think you are amazing. I’m sure your job is way more than 40 hour work week and you still find the time to answer so many comments and posts with professionalism. Even the small request like the siblings who want to eat at there own table. I beleive most people would pass the buck and say here call this number. Then you have people that have complaints as small as “there are no snacks on the bars” and “I was ALMOST jumped on by a kid in the pool” and yet you still have the decency to reply with kind knowledge. I even wrote to you about an marketing idea I had and you responded that you passed it along to the appropriate department.
    I mean come on, people bother you with this stuff all the time and you are great at dealing with it. I think community snacks are bacteria infested bowls and a kid ALMOST jumping on you, well kids are kids and it’s not Carnivals fault it’s the parents not watching. Also don’t you have customer support to help with table requests. Then my message to you should of went to the correct department in the first place instead of bothering you.
    I’m just saying you are a Gentleman and a Scholar. Carnival better know what kind of gem they have on their team!! I think a raise is in order.
    Racerdude

  17. Dawn says:

    John- We try to sample the comedy on each cruise, and there are definitely some comics who are just crude and not “funny”. Loved Magic’s comedy- the comic we saw (Chad) knew where to draw the line… jokes were “smart”. We are part of a cohort of folks who enjoy comedy shows like “Big Bang Theory”, “Fraser” and “2 and a 1/2 Men”, which are definitely adult themed shows which manage to get laughs by being smart and not vulgar.

  18. Jennifer N says:

    Hi John! We just returned from the 5 day on the Victory! The family had a wonderful time! I just wanted to give a special thanks for the BEST waiter I have had on Carnival and this was my sixth cruise. His name was Budasaya(nickname Budda). His attention to each guest was amazing and the food always seemed to come out quickly. Also have to give a shout out to Rosy in the shops. Carnival has quite the salesperson there, she could sell ice to an eskimo! Great Girl! One more thing why isn’t Emma on the entertainment staff a cruise director? She was so full of energy and FUN! Non-stop the whole cruise, personally thought she was more fun then the actually Cruise director! All in all a good time was had ! Thanks to these particular indivuals! please send then our thanks!

  19. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    I personally do not attend most “adult” comedy sessions because I do not like the foul language….

    however, having said that, comedians should not be “censored” in any way.

    Just because it is not my thing, does not mean there are not others who do enjoy it …

    no way should anyone get in the way of them having a good time….

    nothing should be off limits…. as long as it is funny.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • Stefani says:

      I totally agree…i found some of the comedians way to foul…so we left. No biggie…it is what it is.

  20. Chris says:

    Hi John,

    Commenting from the deck of the marooned Carnival Dream. Why did Carnival think it was a good idea to have a Mexican buffet last night when the toilets were broken?

  21. A. Howard says:

    Are you seriously the senior cruise director? Wow- I’m surprised and pretty turned off by your blog post today.

    “I think we should start a new rule where the ladies will always be the last to be served. The women will get asked last once they have had another three hours to look at the menu…”

    Is this your attempt to be funny? I sure hope the comedians on the ship aren’t taking tips from you.

    Mr. Carnival Senior Cruise Director, you just made me extremely unexcited to come dine in your steakhouse (or any of the other restaurants) on the Dream in 16 days (despite your anti woman jokes, my fingers are still crossed my vaction isn’t ruined by the recent issues with the Dream).

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      With your sourpuss attitude…. your vacation will be ruined no matter who you sail with or what kind of vacation you take.

      Take that rather large stick out of your derriere.

      • Lisa A says:

        LOL. I love you mom of DJ! I love reading Johns blogs. Very funny and entertaining! Keep it up! Love carnival. Looking forward to my 4 cruises in 2013/14.

  22. Dennis Cox says:

    Censorship is never a good thing. On all of the 13 cruises I have been on, the adult-only comedy show has always come with a warning about content. Yes, some will be offended by language or gesture; they have the right to vote with their feet, or, better yet, attend the earlier, family-friendly comedy show.

    I haven’t yet experienced the Punchliner but look forward to doing so on our upcoming B2B on Magic 4/14 and 4/21

  23. Jessie says:

    My comment is unrelated, but I can’t find the Ask John tab above. Where is it?

  24. Hi my friend. I’m so sorry to hear that you have a very bad cold. Rest, take warm tea and have a great supper and back to bed.
    Comedians are comedians. Either you like what they say or don’t go see them. Some may be vulgar but many don’t apply the vulgar terms. The comedian I love the best is Al Ernst. He also is a wonderful man. When I was on the Bloggers Cruise, I was lucky enough to speak with him and he spent time with me. He didn’t have to but he did. That meant a great deal for me just as you have done with me. People like you make our days because when we get back to our everyday humdrum, we can still remember the great times we’ve had with you John. Have a great time my wonderful friend.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  25. Vic Chiasson says:

    Re- Meet & Greet.
    Janice De Monde, setting up a M&G is fairly easy, as John has stated. I have only had one cruise,with Carnival 2002. I simply called and was transfered to Group Event’s Planning. We are sailing on the Miracle Sept/13. We already have approx 80 people on our roll call. Carnival has been great in helping me set all this up. We have the name of the Group Event Co-ordinator,she will be in contact with me,with all the info we need as we get closer to sail date. Hope this help’s. Enjoy your cruise
    Vic

  26. William Rose says:

    John,

    On Legend at the moment, another ill fated cruise! With Triumph, Legend and Dream all experiencing problems witin the past month, when is it time to cancel some cruises and pull a full maintenance evaluation. Also, just “how much” experience and equipment is available to perform maintenance at sea?

    We believe each trip is what you make of it and the port changes and cancellations are part of cruising, but Carnival’s reputation is at stake and besides being a Platinum Guest, I am also a stock holder.

    William Rose

  27. Donna R says:

    John
    As you stated Carnival works hard to please everyone and this is not an easy task. In regards to the Comedy Club I want thank Carnival for having an early show that is safe for children of any age to attend. Even at the age of 60+ we can feel comfortable laughing at clean fun subjects at the early show. I will look forward to a few healthy laughs on our next cruise this Dec. 2013.

  28. Rhanna Gotzfried says:

    No the comedians should NOT be censored. That is what the adult shows are all about. If you don’t like the uncensored shows – then go to the earlier ones. I LOVE the comedians – my husband and I always go to the adult shows. And we look forward to them. Really – there are choices available. But some people just think everything should be about them… it’s like buying a house near a gun range and complaining about noise… UGH!

  29. Bill Hanousek says:

    John,

    Just read that Micky Arison is worth $5.9 Billion and that he was at the Miami Heat games when he knew the Triumph was adrift at sea with no toilet facilities or food.

    So, in your humble opinion, does he care?

    • Jose says:

      Mickey is not the CEO of Carnival Cruise lines. He is the CEO of Carnival Corporation. He has a CEO and others to manage this specific cruise lines. The President of the US doesn’t show up at every catastrophic event that happens in the US does he? dah

      • Stethescoper says:

        Yes but if 5000 Americans were stranded somewhere in a country or at sea, the president would not go to a basketball game either.

        • Stacey Otten says:

          You are right…the President wouldn’t go to a game, he would be sleeping or on his way to a fundraiser in Vegas!! (Benghazi ring a bell??)

  30. Beth Belensky says:

    Hello, I’m sorry I couldn’t find the ask John tab to post my comment, but hopefully this will be ok. I’ve never posted here before, but have sailed on Carnival 4 times and have read you blog frequently. We just got back from our latest trip on the Dream, Mar. 2, and I wanted to tell you what a wonderful time we had. Jamie was our cruise director, and honestly, she was the best we’ve ever had. She has a wonderful way of connecting with the passengers and made everyone feel like part of her family. Every crew member onboard was extremely friendly, as they always are, and the service was wonderful. Well, I just had to write and tell you what a fantastic job Jamie is doing and how much we appreciated her. Thank you for all you do for everyone.

    • Nancy Houchens says:

      We were on the same cruise (as well as the week before) and I agree 150% with you. In addition, Nikola Donadic (Maitre’d) and his staff were EXCELLENT and made sure our dining experience both weeks was wonderful. Keeping 16 people happy for 2 weeks is not always an easy task but they rose to the occasion and kept even kept a smile on the face of our biggest complainer in the group!

  31. Susan says:

    I will never understand why a comedian thinks it’s funnier to use foul language. Taking the Lord’s name in vain should not be allowed.
    I don’t go to the adult rated shows. I find the family ones much funnier

  32. Katheryn Martin says:

    What in the world is going on with Carnival and all these problems with the ships? One is just random, two is a concern but three?

    Even though I would make platinum on my next cruise, I booked a Royal Caribbean cruise instead. I figured I could wait and see if you all fixed things from another cruise line.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      ONE (count that ONE) ship had an accident.

      The rest were PRECAUTIONS….

      So if you use your logic, you will not be cruising RCCL either, because they also had ONE ship with an engine fire…Allure of the Seas.

    • Stethescoper says:

      One constant that everyone seems to overlook, the Splendor, the Dream and the Triumph, all with fires in the engine room were all built by Fincantieri.

  33. Fun day at sea says:

    With all the problems lately with Carnival, why is Carnival adding New cruise booking dates to the existing ships left? Is it normal to not have at least 1 day to clean, check mechanical functions on the ship? Please reply. Thanks.

    • Teresa Cooper says:

      Cleaning and maintenance including safety testing is a continual process and does not require taking the ship out of service unless there is a major repair or overhaul.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Actually that is exactly what Carnival did with the Dream.

      The Dream did NOT break. In their maintenance INSPECTION they found a POSSIBLE problem that MIGHT cause an issue with the BACK UP generator…and they immediately pulled the ship from service.

      Carnival spent millions and put passengers first AS A PRECAUTION.

      The tug following the Elation was a PRECAUTION…. it was NEVER hooked up to the Elation.

      Seasoned cruisers understand that rarely does ANY cruise ship from ANY cruise line sail without a “technical issue”… the other cruise lines just do not tell you about it BECAUSE it is not a safety issue.

  34. Lynn says:

    Hi John:
    We are booked on Carnival Magic on 3/31/13 (those numbers or magical for us). I was wondering how to get dining at the Chefs Table during our cruise? If you would be so kind as to point me in that direction, I would appreciate. This is our 4th cruise (3rd with Carnival). We will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary.

    Thanks in advance, Lynn Schlegelmann

  35. James says:

    Good Morning John,

    I didn’t know where to write this but I wanted to let you know that I was not pleased with the Cruise Director (Gary), the assistant director (George), and some of the entertainment staff on board the Carnival Conquest this past week. They seemed a bit immature and lacked leadership. On Grand Cayman day, it was a total mad house when it came to the tender process. I know that it was hard because we couldn’t dock in Georgetown and had to change to Scott’s Bay but a little bit of leadership would have been nice. Then debark day back in New Orleans on Sunday was another mad house. I want down stairs with my luggage trying to get to the Renior restuarant where the VIP’s were to gather. The letter said to meet down there at 7:45am. I went down at 7:15 when they started calling for self debarkation. I saw George and asked him about the VIP debark and his comment was “all VIP guests are already off the ship.” Maybe most were but I wasn’t so that couldn’t have been true. Thanks for listening I just wanted to let you know. It didn’t ruin my vacation by any means and I will continue to cruise with Carnival, but I will make sure to check the CD schedule on your webpage before booking.

    • Linda Turnbull says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I knew ahead of time that Grand Cayman tendering would be very busy, so my friend from CC and I stayed on board until the clearance. As for George, I think he is more concerned with make up, drinking and partying than hospitality and customer service. I didnt think the disembarkation was that bad.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Interesting to hear that comment about Gary since there are no less that a dozen complimentary comments on various sites this week praising him.

      We have cruised with 80% of Carnival Cruise Directors and found him to be one of the best.

      What George probably meant was that the VIP “self assist” had already debarked.

      VIP Self Assist debark first.
      Then regular self assist…
      Then the VIP who left their luggage out…
      Then the rest of the cruisers who left their luggage out…by number.

      Yes, tendering and debarkation can be a pain sometimes. That is what happens when you are trying to get 4,000 people off of a ship.

      But in reality … 90% of the confusion and “issues” are passengers NOT following the rules….. and sadly until you change human nature and the “it is all about me” mentality; that will never change.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Just one example of the dozen or so I have read on Facebook just this week….all praises for Gary and George…..

      Melissa Ferrell Parnell

      On the Carnival Conquest right now getting ready to get off and it was WONDERFUL!!! No Problems at all and Carnival Gary and George NEED A RAISE!! BEST CRUISE AND ASSISTANCE CRUISE DIRECTORS!!!!!! — at Carnival Conquest Cruise Ship.

      Like · · 3 hours ago in New Orleans, LA

  36. Toni Vitanza says:

    I will once again implore you to give your on-board staff members the necessary training and BACK UP to actually enforce on-board rules. I am especially concerned about rules prohibiting kids in adult-only areas (even if their parents are IN those adult-only areas). I’m also VERY concerned, from a HEALTH standpoint, about kids in diapers (of ANY kind) and those of an obvious age to need diapers not getting into hot tubs and pools on board. Parents seem ignorant of the rules or to believe that somehow the rules don’t apply to them and that the fun of the cruise is figuring out how to sneak their diapered kids into the pool. (Go online and just look.) Perhaps have the parents sign a form when getting on the ship. The form would inform them of the rules and all parents would be required to sign. The form would also tell them the cost that will be charged to their on-board account should a draining and cleaning be required. On signs near the pools and hot tubs, right below the rule about “no diapers or non-toilet-trained children in the pool” put a statement: “Costs of draining and cleaning will be assessed to parents’ accounts.” When I see staff fail to enforce the rules in the front of the house, rules that affect my HEALTH, I wonder what’s going on behind the scenes, what rules are being ignored in the back of the house, rules that affect my SAFETY.

  37. Carrie says:

    I do not believe that the comedians at the adult shows should be censored. Our experience at CeeJay Jones show on the Victory was wonderful. His adult show was a riot, as it should be. The times we ran into him at port or on the ship, he was hilarious, but appropriate.

    Frankly, being offended by language or a sex joke at an ADULT comedy show is like being pissed off at people for drinking in a bar.

  38. Wesley says:

    I dont think comedians should be censored at all but also if a person or people want to leave it SHOULD be out of bounds to mock them and make fun of them on the way out. That is crossing the line.

  39. Bill Hasty says:

    No!! they are clearly stated as adult shows!! Common sense here folks, that’s why they have Camp Carnival

  40. RobertHuckleberry says:

    You asked if anyone is excited about their next Carnival cruise? I for one am VERY excited. After a rather lousy midwest winter and our fair share of health issues we are ready for the next (5/5/13 Glory) cruise. Tell the beards that I like the way they make me feel! Nuff said
    Bob Huckleberry
    Ashland Ohio

  41. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear John and Bloggers,
    The Comedians don’t need to be more responsible the guest that go to a show knowing that it is rated for adults style comedy and that they would probably be offended by it should be. Quit blaming everybody else because you can not figure it out for yourself. FFS!!!
    Hit the casino or the Jazz club and dance your dinner off. It’s not like you don’t have plenty of options on a cruise ship.
    The Cruzin2some James & Nancy

  42. Michelle Beaver says:

    Hi John! Love your blog, and my family and I love sailing with Carnival. My little dd still talks about her very first cruise on the Fantasy, and how she felt like a princess every night at dinner. We will be on the Paradise in just 16 short days and we are beyond excited. This cruise is for my oldest dd’s 16th birthday. She chose a Carnival cruise over a Sweet 16 party! Just wondering if you could make it a little more special for her? We are also taking her BFF on her very first cruise! We are staying in cabin E168, and it’s the Paradise out of Tampa leaving on April 6, 2013. Hope to sail with you one of these days! Thanks for all your wonderful posts!

  43. Grady Reese says:

    John,
    While I don’t agree with all of Michael Doniniczak’s views, I do agree that the steel drum band play on the Lido deck. It only seems fitting that ships cruising the carribbean use a band that plays live music that reflects the “flavor” and sounds of the region. I think that the DJ’s that play urban hip hop on the LIDO do not reflect this “flavor”.
    Grady

  44. Maria M says:

    This is probably a silly question, but is this how we ask John a question, or is there a different spot to do that? I have been reading the blog for a while now and cannot figure out how to email him a question lol
    Thank you,
    Maria

  45. John Cutchis says:

    I was wondering if the comedians are censored from poking fun at Carnival with all of their recent mishaps. I would think this would be amusing and I have taken many cruises. I don’t feel that the comedians should be censored since like anything else, if you don’t like it you can leave and go to one of the many other activities onboard. But I could see how Carnival would frown upon someone making fun of these events.

  46. Dave Battson says:

    Censor the comedians…..filth is not required to be funny. Using the “F” word in every sentence really isn’t needed to be funny.One an be dirty and funny without being vulgar.

  47. Randy Starner says:

    John, you already made the point that the comedians are censored. Ethnic jokes are off limits. R rating is a pretty broad range. If I don’t find it funny I leave. Its not like there’s nothing else to do on the ship, or I have $50 tied up in ticket prices. Like your original letter writer, we were called out by the comedian when we left (from near the back, as you suggested). I just waved, and left to continue the evening. I suspect that part of the show is to see how disgusting the guy can be until someone leaves. Mock the person leaving for a few laughs, and then move to part 2. Perhaps he told funny jokes after that. If my leaving gave a laugh to a few morons, then I’m happy to provide entertainment. I’m not in favor of censoring them. Just ignoring them. Love your Blog, by the way.

  48. Deborah Day says:

    I just wanted to tell you how glad that I am they promoted a guy like you so far up the ladder. I was on a cruise in Aug 1992 out of Miami. My group was on the Ecstasy and you were the cruise director. You were the best cruise director we ever had. Still to this day we remember you.

    That was my first Carnival cruise. I had to pick one right before Hurricane Andrew hit. I am now going on my 11th in Aug and taking my teenage daughters(their 3rd Carnival cruise) and my husband (his 4th Carnival cruise).

    Thank you for making my first trip so rememberable.

  49. Lorna Rivard says:

    I have been on 9 cruises with carnival and just booked the Imagination for 16 days through the canal. I think you should not sensor the comedians, it is enjoy at your own risk. I too miss the steel drums. What I would like to see is a beverage inclusive plan. We love the Punchliner Comedy, please don’t change it.We love Carnival, keep up the good work.

  50. Dannette Flint says:

    I would love the opportunity to share my comedy on your stage, but have no idea how to get there.
    I’m a sassy southern LADY who wants to make you laugh!
    To sum up me, please look at:
    Dannette Flint Standup Talks – You Tube

  51. Jane says:

    Hi John, I was on the Carnival Magic Feb 3-10 of this year (my first cruise) and I loved your comedians!!! They were great. I went to both the adult and family shows. I don’t think you should censor them. Just my .02. :)

  52. sarah says:

    I cruised Carnival Triumph out of Galveston in January 2012 and absolutely loved the Punchliner Comedy! In fact, it’s the activity I enjoyed most on-board and it started so late in the evening that I could hardly wait for it to be on again! I would be happy if they had stand-up comedy going on throughout the day. Normally, I don’t appreciate foul language, but I had my adult beverage and sat through the adult show and laughed A LOT! Please keep it up, Carnival, and don’t censor, except for the family shows! thanks

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