April 29, 2013 -
From: LEGEND GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 9:41 PM
To: LEGEND CRUISE DIRECTOR
Subject: Comment about the big band dance from ____ Mr_______
Good Evening John
Guest came to the desk to state that during the big band dance in Satchmo’s at 7:30pm a small child was running around the dance floor bumping into Mr_____ and his wife. Guest states that the staff did nothing to stop this and the parents were encouraging the child to do this. Mr____is wanting the Fun Times to state that these dances are adults only. Guest has asked to speak to you John, and please know that guest was very loud and shouting at me
Thanks and regards,
Guest Services Associate
Aren’t young children bloody annoying when they run around? Why can’t they sit quietly on Promenade reading a book rather than falling over on the slippery dance floor and looking cute while doing so? There are only 40 children on board this cruise and only 11 in the two to five- year range. I can understand how this could be slightly annoying but you have to really dislike kids a lot to stand at the Guest Services Desk to sodding well complain about it. Running around without a care in the world is what toddlers do, I know this because I have one. Children today are forced to grow up way too quickly, it seems to me, but regardless of what my feelings are, I shall push the “professional CD button” and call the guest and apologise.
So good morning everyone from Naples where in the sight of mighty Mount Vesuvius, I sit here in my underpants writing to you. Yep, as usual and as on every cruise ship sailing the Seven Seas today, there are a few grumpy people who will find fault in the strangest things. There will be those that complain and I myself try really hard, both in the social media world and in the here and now on the Carnival Legend to help understand people’s complaints. I’m not very good at complaining in person and, as someone who worked in this business for 26 years, I hate seeing guests shout at perfectly nice guest services associates and other crew who are powerless to do anything. As I said, I shall listen and I shall apologise but I shall also ask that he refrain from shouting at the crew. Shout at this fat British CD but not at a 120 pound junior guest services associate. More on this later
Let’s crack on with some Q&A, shall we?
David Wesley Karolic asks:
Can you tell me if Carnival has the laser tag game on the Carnival Imagination? I am taking my kids there in July and I know they would love this. Can you tell me if it’s there?!
Hello David Wesley Karolic,
I am happy to tell you that the ship has laser tag and will be available a few different times during the cruise. Please let me know if you have any other questions and I wish you the most wonderful time.
John: Big fan and have had the pleasure of having you as our CD on one of our trips. Absolutely love Carnival (15 cruises under our belt with Carnival). Anyway, enough blubbering…….just a general question about length of cruises. We (with a group of friends) always sail in February and would like to spend a little more time on a cruise. We noticed that Carnival does not have any 10-day cruises in the Caribbean. Do you know of any plans to start having some of those? We had to book on another line (BOO!) because we wanted some extra time in the Caribbean.
Thanks for all you do – is appreciated.
Thanks for the kind words and I do hope you had a great time on your last cruise – loved the “boo” by the way. Carnival’s bread and butter have always been the three- to eight-day cruises and for now we don’t have any plans to bring on a 10-day Caribbean cruise. Our longer voyages are usually trans-Atlantic, Panama Canal, etc. I realise though that the longer 10-day cruises are popular with some and I wonder in future days if we will have them. I will certainly make sure the beards know that this is a wish of yours and maybe others as well. Thanks again for the kind words and I do hope we see you again very soon.
Lorrie Davids asks:
Hi John: We love our Carnival cruises! In 2011, we took our first seven-day cruise on the Carnival Magic. We very much enjoyed The Morning Show with James and Calvyn. In 2012, we sailed on the Carnival Triumph for the first time, but were disappointed when there was no morning show. Is this show something the each ship’s CD decides? If so, how can we convince the CDs that these shows are great fun? By the way, Jen was an excellent CD. We sail on the Triumph again in December. This will be our sixth cruise in six years and we are hooked! Thanks for all you do,
Hello Lorrie Davids,
The morning show was something I started back on the Carnival Triumph when the ship came out. It was the first ship that had the ability to have live feed and I thought it would be fun to have a morning show as you do when you are home of course. It is really up to the CD if they do it or not and most do and enjoy presenting them. I am sure Jen will have them when you return to the Carnival Triumph in December and thanks by the way for the kind words about her, she really is a fun and caring CD. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you and I wish you the most wonderful cruise.
Janiece Collins asks:
Just off Carnival Conquest – what a great ship! As always, I had a great time even if the weather wasn’t great. Our waitstaff of Shylesh, Adhya and Adolfe were the greatest. Our room steward Iryl was an absolute sweetheart. Anything we needed she saw that we got and always with a smile! We couldn’t wait to see her smiling face every morning-what a gem! Don’t care about the Carnival “naysayers.” We have already booked our next cruise – a back-to-back on the Carnival Breeze. My friend will be platinum and I am gold but we are as excited for this cruise like it was our first!!! GO CARNIVAL!!!!!
Hello Janiece Collins,
Thanks so much for this excellent post and I am thrilled you had such a great time. We are continuing to work hard to make sure our guests have the best of times and it seems the crew of the Carnival Conquest did indeed make that happen. I hope we will see you both again very soon and thanks so much for your loyalty. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.
I am due to sail on Carnival Victory on July 13 western Caribbean. Please can you reassure me that myself and family will be safe? I am worried after reading reports of Carnival Dream and Carnival Legend problems.
It is natural to be concerned when you read what the press has been saying and so I simply want to say this. Each and every week Carnival carries tens of thousands of guests, all of whom have a brilliant time. Nothing is more important than the safety of you and your family and that is exactly then what you will have, a safe and a fun time. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and get ready for the best cruise vacation you have ever had.
Best wishes to you all.
Cindy Thomas asks:
Hi John: I have sailed with you as cruise director 4 times….. Carnival Magic June 2011, Carnival Breeze, June 2012, Carnival Breeze Nov. 2012 trans-Atlantic……until they kicked you off at St. Maarten? That was weird……I forgot fourth time, but it was good as well… I have booked 8-8-13 on Carnival Legend out of London…Will you be on that cruise? I am hoping you and your precious sidekick will be on board. Please stay on for this date. If you are booked for Carnival Legend, PLEASE do not take a vacation from the 8-8-13 cruise…You really do make the cruise “extra delightful!!” I have cruised on Carnival 15 times and you are the best…thank goodness, I am well anchored as a Platinum guest…Hope to see you in Aug. I will be on Carnival Valor 5-19-13 out of Puerto Rico. Guess there is not a snowball chance in hell you might be on that cruise huh?? Would be awesome…….but I know you cannot be everywhere, but it is too bad you cannot be cloned, because you are the best Carnival cruise director!! One of your biggest fans from TX….
Hello Cynthia Thomas,
I am so very humbled by those very kind and generous remarks. I am excited that I will be here to take you on this wonderful voyage and I look forward to showing you all those wonderful ports and having fun along the way. I hope you will let me know if there is anything I can do for you and I will see you here on the Carnival Legend very soon.
Waiting for information on ships where Faster to the Fun is scheduled to be added. Last info I saw was it would be available for all ships by the end of March. Thanks.
The Faster to the Fun program will be added to another seven ships starting with two more in May. I will let you know more details in the days ahead. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Joy Manzi asks:
It will be our 12th wedding anniversary and we want private time together. This is because my husband has been on two tours of Afghanistan in the USAF and we never get quality time. A table for two then is a must for us and I am getting different answers from your wrongly named customer service folks who tell me that this has to be done on the boat and then another person says it can be done with you on this blog. So which one is it and, if it is here, can you actually get this done. I sound frustrated because that’s what I am. I just want this to be a special cruise for us. Can you reserve a special table for two (by a window) for our cruise? It is on the Carnival Conquest for May 12 under the name Joyce and booking ref num is *****
Hello Joy Manzi,
Normally table requests are done on board by seeing the maître d’ so the customer service representative you spoke to is indeed correct. However, I do try my very best to help people with their requests which is why I will do my best for you. I have spoken to the maître d and I know he will do all he can to reserve you a table for two. I am afraid the two-tops are not by the window but I am sure we will be able to get you a table for just you and your husband. Please thanks him for his service and I wish you both the most wonderful time and a really fun seven days.
And that’s all for today
Each time we have a show that involves the dancers and singers and, therefore, the moving orchestra pit that rises and falls during the performances, we have two entertainment staff seated at the front of the show room to make sure guests don’t actually wander up on the stage. We also have on the Spirit class ships stairs that come from the balcony onto the stage area. I really dislike this design because when we delivered the ship and during the inaugural cruise, a guest came down the stairs during the show, walked straight into the pit and broke several bones. These days we have barriers and announcements are made and all safety precautions are taken and since that fateful day this ship has not had any similar incidents. However, to make sure that continues we have two entertainment staff on duty. And so it was that during the big Magic and Illusion show on Friday night that one of the staff was approached by a guest who wanted action taken immediately because someone was doing something that was, in their opinion…… “disgusting.” Let me explain
The first time I saw one was when I was in the Miami office with the beards. It must have been three or four years ago now but I remember it well. I was walking out of the office to go back to my rent a car to fetch something when I saw my mate Eric H who is a brilliant technical manager and responsible for all the show installations and much more. Anyway, as I walked past him I saw something in his hand. It looked like a cigarette, but it wasn’t a cigarette. It was a tube and the end glowed with blue light. Bugger me, fake breasts, fake names on Facebook and now my mate Eric had a fake cigarette. He had an electronic cigarette and I wanted to know more. “I’ve tried everything,” said my friend. “The gum. The patch, all of it. But then I realised it wasn’t nicotine I was addicted to. It was cigarettes. So now I just do this. And three or four years later Eric still doesn’t smoke, the E Cigi thing worked for him.
These days I see more and more people with them. I know very little about them except you suck on them and they glow red or blue. Then you breathe out and the stuff that comes out looks like smoke. Is an electric cigarette still a cigarette or isn’t it? And if it isn’t, what is it then? Since I saw my pal, Eric, smoking one, I have seen guests do so as well including long time blog reader and friend, Big Ed, but for many guests they are seeing one for the first time. So “What do I think about them,” I hear you cry? Well, you’re not setting fire to anything and breathing in the smoke so that’s two really good things right there. They don’t smell of cigarette smell. You can keep one in your pocket and forget about it. You never need a lighter. You won’t burn a hole in your clothes if the ash falls off. And tight fisted bastards won’t come along and beg one from you because they are too cheap to buy their own. Now what is surprising is that I see guests using them outside or only in the smoking areas on the ships. Maybe because some feel that because it looks just like a cigarette, they cannot be bothered explaining to other guests that it wasn’t one.
So this leads me to the guest at the show who was using an electronic cigarette which had prompted another guest to complain. You see, this is I think the problem with electronic cigarettes. It’s not that they are unreal, it’s that they are too real. They are, from what Uncle Google has told me, harmless and they are getting more and more popular. In fact we now sell them in the Fun Shops on board. Our current policy as to where and when they are allowed is murky and personally I don’t want to jump in and demand a clarification from the beards. I know that there are expectations that these electronic cigarettes should only be used in smoking areas which considering the vast majority of people who use one are trying to quit smoking seems cruel and unusual. It’s like sending a vegetarian to eat dinner in a slaughter house. Anyway, e Cigs – what are your thoughts? Would you have a problem with someone using one in a guest lounge or any area on the ship with the exception of the dining room? Please let me know
You know, I have been at sea 26 years and like Ivor the stateroom steward I interviewed in Friday’s blog, I have seen so many changes during my time including smoking. I don’t just mean that in the 80′s and 90′s that you could smoke everywhere, the dining rooms, all the bars and lounges and even in a lifeboat if you wanted , no I mean that people’s tolerance to smoking was far greater back then. I was speaking to a colleague about this the other day. He is now a beard with a VP title but worked on ships with me for many years as a food and beverage manager and during our conversation neither of us could ever remember a complaint about smoke or another guest smoking. These days it’s different. I guess research and society has proven that without a doubt smoking is only slightly less dangerous that crossing the border between North and South Korea on a pogo stick. I don’t want to give you the impression that I support smoking because I think that we have to continue to make sure that the majority of the inside of the ship is non-smoking and right now, for the most part I think we have a plan that most of our guests accept.
I love cigars. They have yet to invent an electronic cigar and, even if they did, I would never use one. Cigars are smoked in times of stress; cigars are smoked to impress the women into thinking you are rich and in the hope that seeing one in your mouth will lead to rumpy pumpy. Cigars are smoked to send a signal to other cigar smokers that we would like to sit and talk and meet new friends. Cigars are smoked in celebration and in contemplation. These are just some of the reasons why it’s so sodding hard to stop.
Cigar smoking these days, on land or at sea has become like a cult or a Masonic Lodge. We have our secret signs. Our equivalent of funny handshakes and code words. We use tricks and nods and winks to establish a bond with other smokers. We coerce them into lighting up first, to gauge the reaction, and then we huddle around the lone ashtray outside feeling somehow strengthened by one another’s company. But tonight I will give my fellow cigar smokers two hours of paradise as I host Cigars Under the Stars on Deck 9. We have large ashtrays, comfortable seats, a fully stocked bar and of course what cigars were made to be with……..live and extremely cool jazz. It’s a great word that isn’t it “cool” but it’s a word you would never associate with me. But I know that nothing I do in my life could ever be considered “cool.” I would love to learn to do something that was” cool” though and learn it in secret without any bugger knowing.
Then, one day to my surprise my colleagues here on the Carnival Legend by coming on stage and playing Mozart’s 876th piano concerto during the talent show. I would love to suddenly burst into fluent Italian on the bridge or cooking something worthy of a few Michelin stars. As it is though my piano skills consist of the first few notes of chopsticks, I can’t even operate a microwave and the only words I know in Italian are hello, goodbye and some naughty words that won’t get me an invitation to the captain’s table. Cool, is something I am not and there is more chance than finding my dancing friend who I wrote about at the start of the blog today offering his services to teach the kids how to waltz. By the way, I had a follow up call with him and I knew that I was going to have a difficult time because within the first few seconds of my attempt to apologise that a small child had “ruined his dancing” he used the word…… “curfew.” Bugger.
Anyway, the guests are having a great time and today they get to explore surely the most masculine city in the world……..Naples. Yep, Naples is one of the last places on God’s green earth where a man can actually be.…..a man. OK, he may love his mama but outside of that, Naples is a city for men where staring very obviously at a lady’s bottom is considered by most to be just part of living here. Neapolitan men all carry “man bags “in which he keeps his man-scaper razor, a photo of mama and 77 condoms. All men from Naples drive mopeds because in this part of Italy they are considered an instrument of extreme manliness, especially when revved excessively at traffic lights. Road signs in Naples are just suggestions and it is law that these mopeds can be used to batter down tourists as they cross the road.
I haven’t been off the ship since I got on in Tampa but this morning I think I will get off in Naples. I will blend in with the men from Naples. I shall sit at a cafe and order an espresso and gently pat the bottom of the waitress that brings it. And then I shall head to a Lido beach where I shall wear tight black Speedos that look like they have a small bird living in them.
Il tuo amico
Giovanni Culo Puzzolente