I am in a foul mood and not just because of Minnie who, as you will see later, has continued where she left off. No, my foul mood is based on the fact that I have lost my credit card. Somewhere between the hotel in Tampa where I stayed before joining Carnival Legend and the guest cabin I stayed in for the cruise before I took over as cruise director, I have lost the sodding thing. I haven’t used it at all but this morning went to reach for it to pay for my wife and daughter’s cabin when they join me in 12 days……………and it has gone. Bugger!

 

Obviously, I have to cancel it. This meant phoning a very happy phone system that asked me to say my 16-digit number. I read it out. But it didn’t understand. So I swapped my now English-American voice that 26 years crossing the pond, has left me sounding like a cross between Robin Leach and Gomer Pyle and used my best Hugh Grant voice and tried again. It still didn’t understand. And then the ship’s satellite phone decided to drop the signal. And so after kicking Calvyn in the bollocks, I had to start again. Eventually, after tapping 700 sodding numbers into the phone, I was transferred to a nice man in India, who asked me my mother’s maiden name, my date of birth, my postal code (zip code), what I had for dinner on March 28, 2009 and how big my gentleman’s sausage is and he eventually said he would cancel the card immediately…….along with all the others in my name.

 

“Excuse me,” I said. “What? No, you can’t do that.” Canceling all the cards would include cancelling the card my wife uses for food shopping and for petrol (gas) and for important items like milk and dog food and gossip magazines and scented candles. My local banking associate from Mombai said he was very sorry but went on to say that if I cancelled my card, then my wife and my daughter and my dog would starve and there was nothing he could do about it as the computer only allowed him one option, cancel everything.

 

So because of a computer program, my card was either lost or stolen, and someone could use it to buy a 50 Shades of Grey starter kit or a jet ski. I complained using the skills Minnie had taught me these past few days and a supervisor came to the phone………..and told me there was nothing he could do. And so both my wife and I now have to wait five days before a new card comes. It was my fault I lost it and yes, I have to accept the rules but the inflexibility of my bank and the flippant attitude that the person I spoke to showed me was quite a shock. I have been a customer of the bank for 20-plus years and yet I didn’t get a fruit basket and they certainly never offered to do my laundry for me. I got “orgatz,” as they say in parts of Italy – “bugger all” as they say where I come from.

 

There was no social media page for me to write to and no Mischelle or Mary or some fat cruise director with a blog to write to. It does make me think that at Carnival we give you so many different ways to tell us what you enjoy (or what you didn’t) and many ways for you to ask for help and I know you all appreciate that along with our help desk and guest services people in Miami who truly do care that in Michelle, Mary and myself you have a place to ask for help, vent your frustration and, of course, to tell us why you love sailing with us (and one of the three mentioned answers wearing only underpants).

 

Time for today’s Q&A – here we go:

 

Meghan asks:
Hi John. I posted earlier, in the wrong area. So sorry. Question: May I take a bottle of wine on the ship? I’ve heard we may but I haven’t read anything on the web site that indicates we may or may not. Thank you :)

John says:
Hello Meghan,
Yes, indeed, you may take one bottle of wine or champagne on the ship with you. This is a per person amount as long as they are 21 or over. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Best wishes.
John

Colleen Falcone asks:
Just returned from the Carnival Breeze and have two big complaints that I want to bring to your immediate attention. The towels our cabin girl placed in the cabins were so new, that it was impossible to get dry with them after we took showers. I explained this to her but her lack of basic English, which was a problem we found with many of the workers, prevented her from understanding and replacing the towels. Then to an even bigger complaint and it is a complaint that many other passengers also were overheard saying, the smoking. Why should I have to breathe in the smoke of the degenerates who seem OK about assigning themselves to an early grave? The smoke was overbearing and wherever we went, we had to walk through a death cloud. Carnival is years behind other cruise lines when it comes to smoking that be warned, I will consider them over Carnival based on smoking alone and go to RCCL which has a completely non-smoking ship. So many places for smokers so few for the clean living people like me. I was told this was the channel to use to get my complaints heard and I await conformation of this to be a fact and I wish to be contacted by some one of high importance. My booking number for this very disappointing cruise was ******

John says:
Hello Colleen Falcone,
Thanks so much for writing to me and, yes, this is one of the places where you can express your views freely and, yes, they will be sent to all the right people. I have never come across this comment about the towels before but I can understand that a new fluffy towel may not be the best way to get dry and I apologise that this was the case. I am surprised though by your comment about the state room stewardess as they all must speak English based on SOLAS  (Safety Of Life At Sea) regulations as stated by United States Coast Guard as do all the crew.  Maybe something was lost in translation though and, again, I apologise. Smoking on the Carnival Breeze is limited to the port side of the Lanai open deck, the starboard side of Deck 11 which is also an open deck and a small section of the casino. All the other bars, lounges and restaurants and open deck spaces are all non-smoking. I am not sure where you found the smoke to be overbearing but I apologise for the fact you did. I don’t think it’s fair to say that we are “years behind” other cruise lines as most of us have very similar policies when it comes to smoking and please do correct me if I am wrong here but I don’t think RCCL has a non-smoking ship, does it? This all sounds very defensive on my part and I don’t mean it to be so the most important thing is that I am sorry that you found these concerns and that yes, they will get sent to all the right people. I hope you can look back on your cruise and see many happy times and that we will see you again soon. Please let me know if I can help in any way.
Best wishes.
John

Mary Ellen Geick asks:
Hi John!
Just wanted to say we had a wonderful time on BC6 and just booked BC7. We cruised on the Destiny several times and are awaiting the transformation to the Sunshine.  Only 353 days until BC7!!   Where do we officially sign up for the BC7?  Say hi to Heidi & Kye and not to forget Calvyn also!
Joe & Mary Ellen Geick

John says:
Hello Joe and Mary Ellen Geick,
That is fantastic news and I am so thankful to you for booking what will be a superb cruise. I will be holding a registration here on the blog around November so please stand by for that. Meanwhile, if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.
Best wishes to you both.
John

Michael asks:
Hi John,
Firstly, this is not one of those comments that say my booking number is ***, my room number is ***.  I expect you to give me something because I am special. I just wanted to comment to you with my thoughts on how Carnival is keeping everything fresh for frequent cruisers.  My wife and I decided that after sailing on the Carnival Splendor, Carnival Dream, Carnival Magic, and Carnival Breeze (among many ships before those), that we’d take a break from cruising since we’d conquered all of the new ships. Then 2.0 was announced and we booked the Carnival Sunshine in June. Now I’m reading your post today about the different ports and itineraries you are adding to the Carnival Dream. Great job by the marketing folks at Carnival for keeping things fresh, new and overall holding our interest (which is generally hard to do). We are booked on the Carnival Breeze in March, the Carnival Sunshine in June, and look forward to future new adventures with Carnival. I also wanted to acknowledge Mary Hirschman, my PVP. She has booked half a dozen cruises or more for me, and is very good at what she does.
Thanks,
Michael

John says:
Hello Michael
I am glad you have posted this and thank you for doing so. There are indeed some great new itineraries for the Carnival Dream and I am glad to see you are really pleased with your PVP and will pass your kind words onto her and her supervisor, as well. I will see you soon and thanks for the support you give me and Carnival and I am here should you ever need anything.
Best wishes.
John

Edwardo De Silva asks:
Nothing for us Latinos on Carnival Breeze. No Latin dance band, no Spanish shows or announcements from this Butch guy or the captain in Spanish. AND THE SHIP IS IN MIAMI! Your passengers were all complaining and you need to have a good think about this or the city will only cruise on other ships that are not Carnival

John says:
Hello Edwardo De Silva,
Thank you for writing and giving me the chance to explain. Even though the ship sails out of Miami we still have English as the spoken language by our staff and crew and all the shows and announcements are in English as you mentioned. The majority of the guests each sailing do not come from Miami and are English speaking so we do present everything in English. However, there is a duo on board from Argentina and we do have translated written information and menus in Spanish. I hope you had a wonderful time despite your concerns and I hope we see you again very soon.
Best wishes.
John

Ricky Garrido asks:
Can you tell me who the comedians will be for our cruise on the Carnival Dream May 4? The last cruise we did on the Carnival Fascination, the comedians sucked and everyone said so. I hope they are better quality this cruise coming for me!!!

John says:
Hello Ricky Garrido,
I am sorry you did not enjoy the comedians we featured at the Punchliner Comedy Club on your last cruise and, while I am sure many of the guests did enjoy them and found them very funny, comedy certainly can be a personal taste. Anyway, the funny men this time will be Percy Crews and Ken Rogerson, followed by Rob Little and Thomas Brown. I know three of the four and I know you will really enjoy them. Have a brilliant cruise.
Best wishes.
John

Karen Hayes asks:
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!

I would also like to THANK YOU for your thoughtfulness on our last cruise.  I’m not sure you remember, but we had to take some time off from cruising because we both had to have multiple major surgeries. We were so excited to cruise again last summer and celebrate our anniversary (and health) on the Carnival Liberty!  It meant so much to us. It was so fun to come back to our cabin to find a special gift and note from you and Karl with a K. Thanks so much!

We are so excited to be cruising again this summer on the Carnival Conquest. We are taking along our son’s girlfriend who has never been out of the country and has only been to a few neighboring states.  We can’t wait for her to experience all that Carnival and the ports have to offer. Cheers and thanks again!

John says:
Hello Karen Hayes,
That’s two fantastic comments today for the PVPs and I will take great joy in sending this on. It is so good to hear that after the surgeries that you are cruising again this summer and I hope it will be a rejuvenating and fun time for you. Please let me know if there is anything at all I can do for you and I wish you all the best of times.
Best wishes.
John

John Prouser asks:
I need the e mail address of the dining manager on the Carnival Conquest as I want to book my family a good table for our reunion. Can you tell me what it is and the name of the person in charge?!

John says:
Hello John Prouser,
I am afraid that I am unable to give out ship email addresses and even if you did send him one, they aren’t in a position to reply to guests who contact them directly. However I am happy to try and help so please send me your request and the cabin numbers, ship and sailing date as soon as you can here or even better on my Facebook page at Facebook.com/johnheald.
Best wishes.
John

William Burgess asks:
I think yáll need to take a look at the Bahamas culinary excursion in Freeport.  I did enjoy learning how to cook conch and eating it but, this is not an excursion for families (with kids) or
for people who do not want to listen to cussing and sex talk the whole time, I’m not a prude but a person can only take so much before it gets irritating. I was on a cruise with a Christian group, and wasn’t expecting that.

John says:
Hello William Burgess,
I am so very sorry to read this and I apologise most sincerely. I am not familiar with this tour or this particular situation, so let me forward your message along to the appropriate beards here at Carnival to investigate this further. Once again, my apologies and I do hope that, this aside, you had a wonderful time on the cruise.
Best wishes.
John

Diane Kirkpatrick asks:
This is not a question, merely some observations. I completed my cruise survey thinking there would be a chance to make final comments, but there was not. So here it goes. My husband and I sailed on the Carnival Glory on Feb. 17. Despite flight issues and barely making it in time for sail away, we were so looking forward to our 20th anniversary cruise. We had such a great time on the Carnival Liberty a year ago with Karl (With a K) and wanted to relive some of that fun, treat ourselves to a balcony stateroom on the Lido and the Cheers program. I won’t bore you with how financially challenging that was after an unexpected and extremely expensive surgery for our dog (we have a real dog, a golden retriever, not a shiatsu).

Did we enjoy our cruise this year? Yes. We make our own fun. But something was missing. First of all, the ports. I really do not enjoy the man-made outdoor mall experience that was three of the four stops. The ports, while quite ugly from the ship, are lovely inside but lack an authentic feel. I want real people, not a compound where locals are on the outside and cruisers on the inside. It explained why we did not see any local children……..everyone was an employee. Side note …….. each day we were served perfect weather. Yes, I know I could take an excursion to get to the real thing, but what happened to just being dropped off in it?

Now let’s go to the ship. We loved the beautiful decor on the Carnival Liberty and felt the Carnival Glory was, how should I say, cold. Very wanna be 80′s retro…lots of plastic. And the grand wall as you ascend or descend Old Glory, was such a disappointment – just a couple of projections floating around. I guess that’s art. You either love it or you don’t. Entertainment- even though I hate to compare Carnival Glory against Carnival Liberty yet again, I must say Carnival Glory’s entertainment (and entertainment director) were lackluster. We are the kind if people to expect others to make our fun, but some acknowledgment, interaction and energy would have been nice.

Karl, quite unexpectedly, entertained us every possible moment. He was boarding the ship at a port one minute, making an announcement the next and then on the lido leading the next party, all while making everyone feel like they were his favorite guests that week. I can’t tell you how much of an unexpected surprise he was.  Alternatively, Josh “Big Sexy” was nowhere to be seen. We heard he was at the main show, which we never attend, and we saw him pass by us three times, in full suit, looking rather elegant (and awfully sweaty in 28 degrees Celsius).  He quite literally was announced on a sail away in the Lido, waved a presidential wave to the onlookers, and moved on. As a cruise director, he should not only start the party, but should keep it going, rather than passing it off to his staff who obviously don’t have enough experience to hold a ships audience captive (just yet) but watch it Josh; there is a couple on your team who would surpass you one day. That said I will give no credit to the fun I had to the director. Thank goodness I don’t need anyone else to have a great time. My husband and I always meet interesting people and enjoying our time.

But while I am at it, let me tell you about the live entertainment. I really enjoyed the men who played on the Lido deck. A little guitar, some humour, decent skills. But the bands that moved from the lobby to the casino bar did not hold a candle to our time on the Carnival Liberty. The Mexican band was OK but not great. The other band was a disappointment. The lead singer did not know her lyrics and sounded as though she was in rehearsal the whole time. Hesitating, reading sheet music, off tempo, off key……..off-putting. So now that I have had my rant eight days after returning and making sure I really did have fun, my husband and I agree that we will not cruise the western Caribbean again but would instead visit Grand Turk on our own.

We will not likely sail on the Carnival Glory again. And unless I got a personal guarantee that we and everyone on board that wanted it experienced much more engagement from Josh, we will not sail with him again. We have recommended Carnival to many friends, eight of whom are sailing for the first time at the end of this month. I shared with them how jealous I am that they are getting what is probably the best cruise director in the world. We can’t all win. I will travel Carnival again and hope you might at that time be the CD from Puerto Rico. I think we will enjoy those ports more and are guaranteed at least a great day before and after sailing.  Wow, quite the rant.  Know deep down I love you and only want Carnival to be better because of these comments.
Diane (and Jim)

John says:
Hello Diane and Jim,
Reviews like this are very important and some may wonder why with 40,000-plus views for each blog that I would post it. You see I have always promised that I would post everything, the good and the bad because I have never wanted this to be anything that shouts “we are perfect” because we are not. Yes, we will work hard to reach that level but we are not there yet. That’s why constructive criticism will always be so important. I have taken this review and sent it to some people who need to see it both on board and shoreside, as well. We only want to get better and so that’s why I thank you for writing and I hope that your next cruise with us will be the best ever. Thanks for your support and I remain here to help in any way I can.
Best wishes.
John

 

And that’s all for today.

 

Would you join me please in congratulating Troy Linton, Jacques DeLange and Matt Mitcham for their promotions to full-time cruise director status.

 

  • Troy first joined the company in 1992 as a social host on board the Jubilee. After many years as cruise director Troy left to pursue other endeavors. He’s been back since last year and is doing an outstanding job.
  • Jacques started off his Carnival career in the spa aboard the Carnival Imagination in 2002. He first covered as cruise director in 2008 and continued to master his craft in a more permanent role over the past year.
  • Matt brought his energy to Carnival as a social host aboard the Carnival Ecstasy in 2007. He’s moved quickly through the ranks and established himself as a very popular CD amongst our guests

 

Well done to all three and I am sure I will be reading your reviews of the fun they bring to their ships in the days ahead.

 

And so after arriving safely from our very successful trans-Atlantic cruise, we are here in beautiful Barcelona ready to start our first 12 day voyage. Here, then, is who is sailing with us and where we will be sailing to.

 

GUEST COUNT                                2,272

 

NON US CITIZENS                          292 CANADIANS

 

208 UK

60 – SPANISH

 

126 FRENCH CANADIAN

 

79 RUSSIANS

53 AUSTRALIANS

22 ISRAEL

 

2 WYOMING

 

Kids Under 21                                    50

 

Mon, Apr, 22

Barcelona

Welcome Aboard Show

dep @ 5pm

Tue, Apr, 23

Palma

Brett Cave/Piano Ent

Donel Keith Grey/Jimmy Carroll

8am-5pm

Wed, Apr, 24

at sea

Magic Show/JUSTIN ILLUSION

Donel Keith Grey/Jimmy Carroll

Thu, Apr, 25

Marseilles

Jonathan Stamp/Juggler

7am-4pm

Fri, Apr, 26

Livorno

Jazz Hot

John Lory/Anthony Scott

9am-7pm

Sat, Apr, 27

Rome

MOVIE NIGHT

John Lory/Anthony Scott

7am-9pm

Sun, Apr, 28

Olbia

Danny Buckler/Comedy Magic

9am-6pm

Mon, Apr, 29

Naples

Joe West/Multi Inst

7am-7pm

Tue, Apr, 30

Messina

Guest Talent Show

8am-5pm

Wed, May, 01

at sea

Big Easy

Lance Montlalto/

Thu, May, 02

Dubrovnik

Carnival Legends

Lance Montlalto/

7am-5pm

Fri, May, 03

Venice

Kyle Morgan – Big Band singer

12pm-

 

 

So here we go with a very international group as is usual in Europe and the Russians are back. Normally, that makes me shudder but not this cruise because I have something far scarier than a Russian ex-KGB guest who is upset that we won’t let him walk down promenade deck with a bottle of vodka in both hands……………..and here is that scary thing.

 

From: LEGEND GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR
Sent: SUNDAY, April 21, 2013 7:53 PM
To: LEGEND CRUISE DIRECTOR

Cc: LEGEND GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; LEGEND GUEST SERVICES; LEGEND SHORE EXCURSION MANAGER
Subject: Miss_____ Cabin________

 

John

Miss______wants to meet with you again.  Can you call her cabin? She says that because of her bad experience on the excursion in Malaga and the other comments she has made she should get free excursions. She has given me this list to give to you for her and her travel companion, Miss______

 

Palma City tour

A Day in Provence

Florence and Pisa

Olbia Highlights

Amalfi Coast with Lunch

Rome at its Best

Best of Dubrovnik

St Georges, Gondola and Murano

 

I have already spoken to the shore ex manager _____- and he has said he can’t do this and now she is at the desk again. Sorry JohnL

Thank you & best regards,

Guest Services Supervisor, Carnival Legend

So that’s only $1,000 worth of complimentary excursions then. Let me consider this for a moment. Ummmm…….considering I haven’t even sent her a single piece of fruit yet, I don’t think I will be giving her $1,000 worth of tours. And her reaction when I politely told her that we would not be doing this was as to be expected. She wagged her finger inches from my nose and as she told me that I was “worthless.” I explained that while we took her comments seriously her comments about the tour she had not been happy with were being investigated but that there were 108 others on the same tour and there had not been a single other negative comment.

 

I really don’t have anything humorous to say about her anymore and I also have to remember she is a paying guest, of course. But it has as you can see all come down to “I want this for free.” The guest received brilliant service from her stateroom steward and waiter yet removed all her gratuities and I checked with them to see if she may have given them cash but alas, she had not. I have 2,200 other guests to entertain and to take care of this cruise and my full attention will be given to them.

 

Minnie is one of the most difficult guests any of us here have dealt with in recent times and she is obviously a major topic of conversation amongst the guest services desk and other departments. I am clinging on to the fact that she is eccentric which explains how she is and while all of us will help her as we would any other guest, her comments and actions will all be noted so that if she does sail Carnival again (she says she never will), the ship she sails on will be prepared.

 

For some reason, whenever I get a guest like this I have the urge to post a link to this video. I know I have posted this before but watching it helps me get through the day.

 


OK, it’s time for me to go and host the orientation talk on Palma de Majorca, Marseilles and Livorno and then we have the safety briefing and then my welcome aboard show. We have 151 guests who like Minnie, we’re here last week and will be spending a wonderful 27 days with us and tonight I am sending them all a plate of fresh chocolate and pistachio cookies which I hope they will enjoy.

 

We now have all our TV stations and thank goodness we have CNN International and SKY news as well as BBC1 and their superb news broadcasts. For five of the last days of the TA we had little or no TV and so I was keeping the guests informed about what was happening in the world. This made me realise that we really have to bring back the daily news sheet we used to print. Yes, I know we offer a free news service on our Fun Hub stations which by the way are heading out to other ships in the weeks ahead and I will tell you more about that later. But for now I shall be impressing on the beards that we should print off these news sheets and make them available once again. I will let you know how I get on with that. Certainly, after the tragedies in Boston and West, Texas, it would have been nice to have had them here and, as I said, it’s my intention to try and get the news headline sheet back.

 

There was some good news at the end of the trans-Atlantic and that concerned the gentleman who was seriously injured on the motor bike he had rented in Bermuda. While his condition is still serious, he was well enough to be flown home back to the U.S. on an air ambulance. Our wonderful shore side care team is with him and I hope that he will make a full recovery very soon.

 

I guess renting a motor bike is a thrill to some and a thrill I have never understood. You see, being a fat and lazy old bugger, I have absolutely no understanding of thrill seekers. I don’t get why anyone would want to seek adventure by doing things that could end in a phone call that says “Sorry to disturb you in the middle of the night Mrs. Heald, this is the police and I have some disturbing news. Your husband was found alive following a skydiving adventure but did have to saw off his own thing with a mini Swiss Army knife but it was only a tiny snack that quite honestly wouldn’t have given enough nutrition to feed a baby Meercat.”

 

I guess the most dangerous thing I do is smoke a cigar. This will have many hating me and bollocking me saying I am putting my life in danger. But while I get a bollocking, climbers, extreme skiers and the chaps that jump off mountains and high rise buildings are applauded and cheered and have many girls waiting for them at the bottom wanting to have rumpy pumpy with them.

 

Much has changed over the years on the ships and nowadays we also offer a heap of exhilarating, albeit much tamer thrills for adrenaline junkies. Rope swing courses, climbing walls, zip lines, see through water slides that hurl you through a trap door screaming in terror and wait until you see the one on the Carnival Sunshine! There is a thing that hovers high above the new Whatever of the Seas and goodness knows what the Carnival beards are planning for the new ship in 2016 and indeed ………beyond.

 

There are now many chances to ruin your underpants on a cruise and more are on the way. It used to be that most dangerous thing you could do on a ship was sitting on the toilet and flushing at the same time….. especially for men. But now thrill seekers can come on a cruise and get their daily dose of adrenaline.  Whatever happened to just sitting on deck, sipping a cocktail, soaking up the sun, reading a book and deciding if it would be just too dangerous to have just one more of those Guy’s burgers before dinner?

 

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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52 Responses to MINNIE THE MOOCHER* (*Any lawyers reading this – please note, it’s a song.)

  1. Steve H. says:

    John – The Captain, Hotel Director and Head of Security need to have a “chat” with Ms. Minnie and let her know her behaviour is NOT acceptable.

    Jeez – if I tried any of this crap I would end up in the brig and off-boarded at the next port… I got a stern warning from some man in white for stalking the grill and making a fuss when it didn’t open on time..

    PUT HER OUT!

  2. Kristy says:

    Wyoming – 2

    Ha. I think I pissed my pants.

  3. Dave Bowman says:

    I am SO sorry that Carnival is using new towels and you can’t get dry with them :-)………What can you say??

  4. Edwardo De Silva,

    What is meant by “THE SHIP IS IN MIAMI”? The last time I looked Miami was still in the USA an english speaking country. In the past I never heard the Jewish people that live in Miami saying the ships should have crew speak and entertainment in Yiddish.

    • Jose says:

      I agree 100%. They want all the rights and benefits of America but don’t want to learn the language. If you don’t like it, get the he$% out. Nobody is making you live here, other than your entitlement mentality.

      • Alda Moreira says:

        When we cruise the Med we don’t have to learn french or italian to understand the muster drill instructions. They do it in several languages because it’s too important. When we cruise sailing from one US port, everything is in english. Fortunately we understand several languages.But we think that even the people who don’t speak english have the right to understand the safety muster drill.My 2 cents. =)

  5. Frank & Bridie says:

    I just want to respond to diane kirkpatricks comment. As a seasoned cruiser and over 14 on carnival I have never had more of a amazing cruise than with Josh Big Sexy Waitzman!!! We are entitled to our opinions of course but my wife and I are glad you wont cruise with carnival espically with Josh. We are at the point now we WILL ONLY CRUISE WITH JOSH so take your complaining elsewhere so those of us that love josh can enjoy one of carnival top Cruise Directors!

    • Jacki H says:

      I couldn’t agree more. We have sailed many times, on many cruise lines, and have sailed on the Glory, western route, with Josh 3 times. He is the best, and now we book cruises we know Josh is on. I believe everyone has a right to their opinion, but I also hope Carnival knows what an asset Josh, Everson, Dee, and the rest of the entertainment crew on the Glory is. There are many of us of love them and think they are the best!!!

    • BB from VA says:

      about Josh…getting ready for my 3rd cruise within the last year with Josh he is a delight!! I guess though, I don’t rely on the cruise director to make my vacation–just being on the ship is vacation enough for me!!!!

  6. Karrie says:

    Hey John!
    This is just a little comment about the CD promotions. Carnival totally hit the jack pot with Matt Mitcham! He was our CD last month on the Ecstasy and he was fantastic! We saw him everywhere on the ship(and at Half Moon Cay :)) and he always had a smile and some crazy funny greeting for us. His shows were hilarious- even his Q&A session! He said it was his first official cruise as CD which was hard to believe. One would think he’d been a CD for years! He truly acted like he was happy we were all there, even if it was his first “spring break” cruise of the season! Would not hesitate to cruise with him again and hopefully will get a chance to do so in the future. Congratulations to him and kudos to Carnival. Can’t wait to sail again!!

    Karrie

    • Alan & Gayle D. says:

      We have had the opportunity to cruise with 2 of the newest full time CD`s. Troy Linton last week on the Liberty, then Apr.2012 on the Freedom with Jacques De Lange. Very good funtimes with both. Congrats to both.

  7. Sandy says:

    John,
    I SOOOOO feel your pain on dealing with Minnie. As the Director of the housing program I work in, I have recently been dealing with a client much like Minnie. She is the main reason that I so desperately need my cruise! Which, thank goodness is only 55 more days away with my husband and son & my sister and her family! I am counting down day by day. I hope you never have another Minnie.

  8. jonathan says:

    I would put the auto tips back on minnie account.. tell her tough shit…. and if she doesnt like it she can get off at the next port…

  9. John,

    I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog, you have moved me to tears of happiness on more than one occasion.

    I have several loyal Carnival clients and I am happy to say that I have never seen any of them on here asking for free stuff. I feel that they are already getting some of the best prices and value that’s out there compared to most other Cruise lines. While no cruise line is perfect,Carnival tries hard to please all guest.

    You are a Saint for how you handle all of the guest that just want something for nothing and ask you for free stuff, much like the Minnie’s of this world. I too have clients that often display that kind of behavior but on a much smaller scale than what you get hit with every week.

    I’ve bought bottles of wine and chocolate covered strawberries out of my own pocket for guest and sometimes that kind of stuff is just taken for granted. Bravo to you John for your great attitude, you inspire me!

  10. Horace and Deb says:

    How dare u Diane Kirkpatrick and Karl with a K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Josh Waitzman AKA Big Sexy is the BEST cruise director Carnival has or better yet any cruise lines has!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope u dont ever cruise with Josh again because that gives more room for the rest of us that only cruises with Josh more room!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I have never John to post any other neg comments for any other CD on her. Same on u for this!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. bonida k says:

    I can’t see how any amount of training could prepare you for dealing with such a hateful old bat as Minnie. Would be interesting to know her “story”. It might explain some things. Then again she may just be “hateful old bat” and beyond understanding and beyond anyone making her happy. Sorry for you all having to put up with her. Makes me wonder tho, have you checked out her cruising history, has she cruised with Carnival on other ships and if so how did they handle her? Would also wonder if she is ‘so not having a good time’ why did she book such a long cruise?

  12. Lee says:

    I could not agree more with Karen Hayes. My wife and I have had the pleasure of having Allana Hermes as our PVP for the last several cruises and she is the very best in all respects. One other thing, John, is there a way to contribute to a fund for tips for the staff that Minnie stiffed. I would certainly be glad to help out.

  13. Pat Nordmark says:

    Dear John, I’m so sorry you’ve had one of those days our mothers warned us about. I do hope tomorrow is much nicer for you.

    As for Minnie, it must truly suck to be such a miserable creature.

  14. grace says:

    Hi John,

    I loved your count of who is on board. But, I must ask, that knowing the United States is going broke did we really sell off Wyoming? Has it become its own country now? Our news doesn’t tell us anything. lol take care

  15. Ted says:

    John-
    It is too bad that Diane and Jim didn’t leave their room or were too busy sticking their noses up in the air on their Carnival Glory cruise. I have sailed twice with Big Sexy Josh Waitzman and he is the best CD in the fleet. Why? Because he will never have too much time to get to know people and the man never forgets a name. He is out and around the ship constantly. He is personable and so good at what he does. What a shame that they have so many negative things to say. It must be a sham that Josh is up for Crew Member of the Month on Facebook then. Such a shame.

  16. Linda Leach says:

    John, we were on the Breeze for ten days in November. I don’t understand what this woman is talking about with walking through smoke all the time. That was never a problem. I think Carnival has done a superb job on the Dream class of ships with providing smoking areas outside and away from the eating areas. Maybe this woman loved the casino and the only games she liked were in the smoking area? Her comments are ridiculous. I feel so sorry for all your Guest Services people and for you having to cope with “Minnie.” Poor thing, she’s so unhappy and tries to make everyone else as miserable as she feels. Good luck with her for another 12 days!

    • Alda Moreira says:

      My husband always had to smoke outside and only in designated areas…never saw smoke anywhere too :) (and I hate smoke, I know what I’m talking about) ;)

  17. Mark says:

    I love your candor about “difficult” guests. I think one of the nightly shows should be all the cruise staff relating their stories about unreasonable guest demands. I’m sure it would be funny for us and cathartic for the crew. I get to listen to guest service complaints and its often hard to not start laughing at the stuff they come up with.

    Mark

  18. kathy farmer says:

    no complaints..we love carnival.we were on fantasy last year,in may,and dec.,and will sail on her again may third,in uone forty one.we enjoy your writings,and your little girl is beautiful!best wishes…the farmers from nc

  19. Jeanette says:

    OMG, Minnie is beyond ridiculous….I wonder if she is secretly well-to-do and purposely does this for fun. She might also like to pinch pennies and screw people around. I fear for the waiters at restaurants she goes to……

    Oooh, and the cookie your sending to her cabin, rest assured she will not appreciate them and will comment on them….

    As for wanting free excursions…good grief. One cruise I booked and paid for an excursion and my mom didn’t feel up to going so we forfeited $120 in costs…we did not complain…..

  20. Baloney Ripper says:

    P.S. – Big Sexy is bar far thee best cruise director Carnival has to offer! Thank you for him!

  21. James "Bear" McClellan says:

    Carnival has a right to refuse service for that guest that might have had too many adult beverages, then why not have a right to refuse booking a cruise to someone that is more trouble than she is worth. I would black list “Minnie” from this time forward!! Just my thoughts.

  22. Carla G. says:

    Minnie is being beyond ridiculous!! & you & the other staff on the ship are handling everything so well & with professionalism! I would have told her to get her head out her bum & stop being so darn miserable!! (ok i probably wouldnt have because ive worked in customer service for yrs but still what a frustrating situation to be in!!) Sorry you lost your credit card. Hope your replacement gets to your wife quickly!! Glad to hear the will be joining you soon :)

  23. ELIOT d says:

    JOHN, CALL MIAMI AND GET ONE OF THE BEARDS TO CONTACT THE HOTEL, THE TAXI COMPANY, THE PORT AND ANYPLACE ELSE YOU MAY HAVE LOST THE CREDIT CARD!… iF BY SOME STRANGE CHANCE THE CREDIT CARD SAYS ROYAL CARIBBEAN, SEND ME A PRIVATE NOTE AND I’LL TRY YO TRACK IT DOWN SINCE I AM NEAR TAMPA!

  24. Jean Paul says:

    Was really suprised by the person that didnt like Josh Big Sexy. I sailed with him last Dec and he instantly became my favorite CD, along with his staff. They were all great fun. Thanks for the blog and for all you do for us cruisers!!

  25. Marsha Breen says:

    Don’t you all love the comments from posters that complain about something and say “all the passengers agree with me”. I find it amazing that these people honestly think anyone believes that they talked to “all” the passengers let alone 10 people. Sheeez…

    About Minnie – I think people like her feed on any attention they get and the more you listen to them, the more they will continue to complain. It’s time to tell her you are finished listening to her because she is never going to be happy and her complaints are without any merit. If she is that unhappy, she should be “reminded” that she can leave the ship at any port and fly home. I’m glad you didn’t give her the proverbial fruit basket because that would probably just open the flood gates for more complaints.

  26. Margaret Leola says:

    Thanks, John for another great laugh. I am recovering from surgery and can’t go out for a few days.I will be on an amazing Carnival Breeze cruise in May, doing the Southern Caribbean. I can’t wait and in the meantime I really enjoy reading your comments on “interesting” cruisers. Can’t wait for my cruise so I won’t be complaining about every little thing that doesn’t go my way. I just want to experience the amazing Caribbean waters from my extended aft cabin. This cruise will celebrate my husband”s and myself’s 40th wedding anniversary, his 70th birthday, my birthday and Mother”s Day. I am so euphoric to be on the Breeze for 8 glorious days that I have no concept of what Minnie is thinking!

  27. Eileene Plummer says:

    John, I’m glad to know that “Minnie’s” behavior will be documented & referenced should she cruise with Carnival again. Hopefully, for the sake of all the CDs we love, she won’t! Soon Heidi & Kye will be with you and you can be better distracted. Glad you’re loving being CD again. :)

  28. Gordy says:

    Saw your shoutout to Troy and just want to say he did an awesome job last week. Between James and him, they are our favorite CD’s. We haven’t had the pleasure of sailing with you yet though!

  29. Elizabeth Tollerud says:

    John,

    Sounds like Minnie needs a Mickey to get Goofy with. Ha, ha, ha!!!

  30. robert says:

    Edwardo, you obviously read and can understand english. and we are still in the U S A and english IS still the primary language spoken. there are many passengers that are not from MIAMI or even from any part of the USA and dont ask for it to be in any other language. get over it. happy cruising

  31. Carnival should just pay back MINNIE THE MOOCHER and get her off the ship. She’s not really enjoying her cruise or is she? Maybe doing what she does, is her way of enjoyment but definitely not for everyone else’s. There must be a way that she is NEVER allowed to cruise again on Carnival.
    John is the best CD as far as I’m concerned. See you my friend.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  32. Howard says:

    John,

    Just think, this cruise will be over soon and you can say to “Minnie” adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, caio, or simply GTFO! (Get the F%^& Out). My family on the other hand will not be looking for handouts and will be stoked to have another great cruise experience especially for our autistic son. Can’t wait to cruise on the Breeze and hopefully have you as a CD someday. BTW: Thank you so much for the chocolate strawberries on our last cruise on the Conquest in December for our 10 yr anniversary. They were delicious.

  33. Roger Tollerud says:

    John
    I can’t let Colleen Falcone’s smoking comments pass without a response. We are frequent Carnival cruisers. My wife smokes and I don’t but both of us feel that Carnival has struck about the best compromise possible on this contentious issue. A statement that uses terms such as “degenerates” and “death clouds” is probably beneath comment but I couldn’t let it pass.
    Best wishes and regards,
    Roger T

  34. Jules says:

    Dear John,
    a little assistance to brush up your Italian expressions and Sicilian phrases, as you are now descending to this country and the island itself – which is as big as Wales.
    In reference to ” bugger all” meaning nothing to non Brits…
    Italian for nothing “niente”
    Italian for “bugger all ” Cazzo
    Variants on the 1,600 IT dialects for ”
    bugger all ” = “stu cazzo!)(pronounced cotzo)
    Sicialian dialect the one I think you’ve picked up on from your aquaintances… is “stugotz” which literally meanks your favourite word “bollocks” or simply “gotz!”
    Hope this is of use to you, as I once was getting those capers out in a timely & accurate manner on the Destiny set up.
    Ciao for now!
    L’inglesina.

  35. Susan and John Parlo says:

    John, we have been on the fabulous Carnival Legend..back to back..and just want to say the crew,

  36. Mike says:

    Faulty Towers…a great show that had too short of a life.

    I’m surprised that no Canada cruises out of NY added for 2014 year yet. I keep checking for them.

    Oh and because you haven’t added them yet I expect you to pay for all my excursions…joking!

    Cheers John

  37. Richard Taylor says:

    We’ve been on the Breeze and like it’s name the air movement does tend to make the smell of cigarette smoke move some way from the smoking areas. Even sitting on deck the smell can waft down from the balconies. A very simple thing to do would be to make one side smoking, one not?!
    As for credit cards, why haven’t you and Heidi got more than one? In fact I’m surprised Heidi hasn’t wanted a BHS and a M & S one!! (two big UK stores). Then she’d get vouchers to reduce the cost of shopping! And BHS have very regular discount days……..

    • grizel robertson says:

      Have sailed a BtoB on Breeze, starting with BC6 in January. I simply can’t understand how anybody can claim that the smell of cigarettes drifts (or breezes) around the ship. In the first instance, smoking is restricted to deck 11 (above Lido) & smoke rises & dissipates so quickly when sailing at 15-20 knots. The only other areas where you can smoke are on balconies, the Lanai port side(an outside area that extends beyond the normal girth of the ship) port side of the Casino bar, Disco & a small area of the casino itself. It was so windy for most of my 14 nights on board, I did not consider it safe to smoke on my balcony or on deck 11, so I retreated to the Casino Bar or Disco to partake of my, so described, murderous activity. All I can say is that the anti smoking brigade need to digest the fact that the taxes smokers contribute to health care worldwide creates a massive fund to enable various countries to treat obesity a “huge” problem for ambulances, airlines etc. I am not promoting smoking but I am sick of smokers being described as the scourge of the earth. I find it sad that the Smoking issue is creating so much debate when other health issues such as Obesity shold be sharing central stage.

  38. Christie M says:

    I can only hope and pray that Minnie will NEVER be on a cruise with me, on ANY cruise line!!! John, you must have the patience of Job!!!

  39. Susan says:

    Look who won Employee of the Month at Carnival Cruise Line! :D

    You voted and the results are in. Your Crew Member of the Month is…(drum roll) Josh “Big Sexy” Waitzman. We bet he’ll be happy as a clam. Get it?…because we’re a cruise li…nevermind. :)

    http://on.fb.me/13pZ2kE

  40. James O'Leary says:

    Dear John, My wife and I sailed with you on the April 6th Trans-Atlantic on the Legend. First we had a blast! We met some very interesting people and many have become good friends. I will start with the shout outs – Aswar the room steward was the absolute best…please clone him. Tomislav our head waiter was also the best, he made every meal special that we had with him. Katie the assistant to the assistant cruise director was the sweetest ever and made us feel like we were her favorite cruisers on board but others told me the same thing so I think she was 2 timing us, lol. Calvyn the assistant was very funny on the morning show and he made us feel special even when you know he was very busy. ALL the crew members were very polite and had a smile on their face. The only negative thing on the whole cruise was the “ME FIRST” actions of some of the guests at the past cruisers party. We thought we would sit (like you should in civilized society) in our chair and wait until it was our turn for a drink. The waiters were overwhelmed by the people running up to them and taking drinks off their trays. We arrived early and sat up front and literally waited til the end of the show before we got our first drink. Some right behind us kept going either husband alone or wife alone to fetch drinks off the trays and were on drink 4 or five before we got one. Shame on the cruisers for acting this way. I guess civility and courtesy were left back in their American city. I was appalled at their actions and I have been an American my whole life too but come on people, civility should be shown to the whole world not the “you owe us” attitude that so many Americans show everyday. Even on the way home (I won’t mention the country) a woman at the airport told me they dislike Americans account the majority are impatient and rude and think raising voices gets more done. Another note – John you did an excellent job on the entertainment on this cruise for the clientele you had. My wife and I did not fit the demographics of the average member on this cruise but still did not require any other person or you or Carnival to make us happy. We were treated like we were very special and it was funny at 8 pm we went to the hot tub on the high action lido deck and WE WERE THE ONLY ONES UP! This was a very different cruise than normal but should have been called the retired person cruise. Stil had a great time and Love Carnival and yours and everyone there on Carnival’s efforts….Thank you to all.

  41. Jeromie says:

    From RCCL’s website, “For the comfort and enjoyment of our guests, our ships are designated as non-smoking; however, we recognize that some of our guests smoke. Therefore, to provide an onboard environment that also satisfies smokers, we have designated certain public and private areas of the ship as “smoking areas.”"

    So, they claim to be non-smoking, while allowing smoking at the same time. On the same note, I keep RCCL in mind because of their “friendliness” to cigar smokers. A place such as the Connoisseurs Club should be on every Carnival ship.

  42. james and gloria stultz says:

    we were very disappointed with the carnival dream. this was our 7th cruise with carnival and our worst crowded elevators,pools,dinning room also some very rude guest. our last time on big ships. thinking about trying another cruise line. our dinning room service was really poor waiters did not have time to give us personal service took us 20 minutes one night to get a menu they forgot us. we cruised on the dream april 20 2013

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