BILL IN A BAR…………….JOHN, YOU IDIOT!

September 12, 2013 -

John Heald

Sometimes we make mistakes………….embarrassing ones……………like this:

From: LEGEND GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 7:09 PM
To: LEGEND CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: LEGEND ASSISTANT CRUISE DIRECTOR; LEGEND MEDIA COORDINATOR; LEGEND GUEST SERVICES; LEGEND GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR; LEGEND GUEST SERVICES MANAGER
Subject: Schedule Friends of Bill W

 

Good evening John,

Mr_________from cabin _____ called about the Friends of Bill W meeting which in the Fun Times says it will be at 5 pm at the Atlantis Bar. Mr._______feels that it is not appropriate to have this meeting at a bar and would like to discuss this with you.

Thank you & kind regards,

Guest Services Associate, Carnival Legend
Carnival Cruise Lines


And he is absolutely right and so that will be me apologising later today, an apology this guest totally deserves.  However, let’s look at how this massive mistake happened, shall we? Most cruise directors, actually, all cruise directors do their own Fun times now with the exception of ummmm………..embarrassingly………..me. It’s not that I am better than my colleagues or deserve special treatment, it’s just that with this blog and Facebook and my other brand ambassador duties, I simply don’t have time to do them. Oh and there is another reason………I haven’t a sodding clue how to do them. I could in days gone by when we all used a program called PageMaker but now PageMaker has been thrown in the garbage along with 8-track stereos and laser discs and instead we have a program, called In Design. This may as well be written in Klingon and, while all my colleagues are experts in this program, I am an expert in the same way Stevie Wonder is an expert at golf and Calvyn is an expert about the Die Hard movies.

And so the beards created a position called media coordinator and I have an excellent one here who does all the Fun Times for me. Now I give her the schedules for activities, music, shows and other areas that I need to be in your daily program but Leanne does all the hard work and does it very, very well and I would have been lost without her. She has had to do many new Fun Times with 12 day-Mediterranean, 12-day Baltic, 12-day Norwegian and 12-day British Isles cruises plus two trans-Atlantics – she has been a very important member of the team. And the fact that I still call the bloody things Capers should show you that I am defiantly out of touch when it comes to making the FTs.

It is my job to proofread the Fun Times and I do and, occasionally, I miss things and that’s nobody’s fault but my own. You may have seen a comment recently on the blog by someone who had found mistakes in another ship’s Fun Times and was a bit put out that he did not receive the proper thanks for doing so. Should there be mistakes? No. Are there mistakes occasionally? Yes, as indicated in this comment from the Friends of Bill W clearly shows. I missed in the final check and so it is 100 percent my fault and that’s why I will be saying “sorry” to him in person. But I am not sure this will be enough. As a word, “sorry” is a useful get-out-of-jail-free card when you’re having an argument with your wife and there’s only 10 minutes before your favorite television program starts: “Yes, I know I’ve accidentally pissed all over the toilet seat. I am a useless husband on every level and I’m sorry. Now can I watch the football, please?”

Sorry works when you stand up and accidentally fart in front of the captain and senior officers at your weekly meeting………..oh, the memory of that one still haunts me. Sorry is for minor indiscretions, like being a bit late when you need to squeeze past someone in the Follies Lounge to reach a seat. But sorry is not good enough when you have scheduled a group of recovering alcoholics to meet……..at a bar. Elton John once said that sorry seems to be the hardest word to say and I shall do my very best to apologise to this guest and send him loads of fruit and a whole fleet of solid gold plastic trophies. It was a stupid mistake and one I sincerely regret.

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

 

Steve Fitzgerald asks:

Thanks for the updated CD schedule. Always nice to know who the CD is on our upcoming cruises. How about including the incomparable Ken Byrne on the schedule too? We love cruising with him, and would love to know where he will be. Thanks.

 

John says:

Hello Steve Fitzgerald,

I was just talking about another crew member who is one of a kind to the poster above and here we have another one in Ken. He is currently on vacation but will return to the Carnival Sunshine for the Trans-Atlantic cruise and will remain on the ship through the New Year and indeed for our bloggers cruise on February 16, 2014. He truly is superb and he will appreciate your very kind words. I hope you get to see him again soon. Best wishes.

John

 

Shawn Lucas asks:

I asked you a while back about getting me and my cousin plus size shirts. You asked me to email you back around July 21, 2013. I sent you that email just emailing you again. I asked you about getting us one 4X and 6X Carnival T-shirts as you already know we are large people LOL and, as you know, it is hard to find plus-size things. We are hoping you can help us get a Carnival shirt so we can show it off to our friends and family. Like I said before we are not asking for a free hand out, we will be glad to pay the tent maker that we make us the shirts.LOL. You asked for are info so here it is Booking #****** sailing on Sept 21, 2013 on Carnival Fascination room #E195 just like to see if you can get something done for us so we can have them to wear on our cruise. If not then thank you for your time. Be safe.

 

John says:

Hello Shawn Lucas,

Well I have to apologise because I have let you down. I asked the people we work with who run our ships and so far the biggest size they will do is 3XXX. Yep, not good news and despite my request and my mention that you are happy to pay, they have not been able to do a 6X shirt. I won’t give up, I will keep trying and until then, I wish you a wonderful cruise and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. Best wishes.

John

 

Kathy asks:

Hi John, I have been a member of Cruise Critic since 2009 and here recently I have come to find out that Cruise Critic is become more monitored and several of my friends have gotten several notifications for someone else’s comments and actions so therefore I have decided Cruise Critic isn’t for me anymore but your blog and Facebook have become my source for cruising.  I love to read your comments so keep up the good work.  Hope to cruise with you someday …..Any idea where you may be in September of next year?  I’m going on the Carnival Sunshine then and would just love for you to be on her then, hint hint….

Kathy

 

John says:

Hello Kathy,

I am very glad you enjoy my blog and the Facebook page and I hope that you will continue to do so. I remain here to help you and to provide you with information and some silly fun. I will be in Alaska from May to the middle of September on Carnival Miracle. It will be my first time there and of course it would be wonderful to see you there as well. If you have any questions, please let me know and I will be here to help you.  Best wishes.

John

 

Jeff Lutz asks:

Hi John

First I would like to say thank you for taking the time to write this blog I find it interesting and helpful. Now on to my question, we’re cruising on the Carnival Miracle in January to Hawaii, 15 days can’t wait.  My question has to do with entertainment. We love the shows and hit Punchliner every chance we get so, being a 15-day cruise will we be watching a lot of the same entertainment over or do they have different shows? Thanks again

Jeff

 

John says:

Hello Jeff Lutz,

I am so glad you like the entertainment. I will post the full schedule for this great cruise in the weeks ahead but I can tell you that you will see different shows every night from specialty acts as well as the cast of dancers and singers. There will also be six different comedians as well for you to enjoy and laugh with at the Punchliner Comedy Club. Have a brilliant cruise and please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.

John

 

Gerry Gerber asks:

On Carnival Fantasy 9/26 booking number is ***** party of three. No table with others this time because last time on the Carnival Fantasy (this will be our 3rd on Carnival Fantasy) was the cruise from HELL and the people we were forced to eat with ruined our cruise. Not going to mention details here because will be flamed for sure. This time want to make sure we have a private table party of three. Cruised with you in 2007 on Carnival Freedom!!

 

John says:

Hello Gerry Gerber,

I am sorry that your last cruise was not what you had hoped and I have asked the maitre d’ to do his best to seat you at a private table and I know he will do his best for you. I wish you a wonderful time and I am sure this cruise will be the best cruise yet. Best wishes.

John

 

Jennifer Price asks:

Hello John,

I wanted to write this to bring a staff member to your attention. My husband and I took our three children on their first cruise on the Carnival Dream this past April.  While on the plane, my eight-year-old began talking to the young woman next to us.  Imagine our surprise when we learned that she was an entertainment host on the very ship we were headed to!  Alyssa Ramont went out of her way, starting on the airplane, by showing my daughter pictures of the ship and different ports and telling her about all the fun things in Camp Carnival. Alyssa knew our entire family’s names and room number before we even landed.  She went out of her way the entire week to say hello and to involve our children in the dance parties and other activities. Alyssa is one of the reasons that my children now want to go on a cruise more than going to Disney World! She is also one of the reasons that my husband and I will be taking our fourth Carnival cruise on the Carnival Liberty as an anniversary present on August 17. I hope we can meet more outstanding employees on that ship!

 

John says:

Hello Jennifer Price,

I am so sorry that I missed your latest cruise before I answered this and I do hope that you had a great time. Thanks so much for these precious words for Alyssa and I will make sure she sees this and indeed that her supervisors do as well. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and I do hope you all had fun on the Carnival Liberty and that we will see you all soon. Best wishes.

John

 

Tom Pippen asks:

John, please, please, please stop the ridiculous loud and demeaning dances the waiters do during the meals. Having spoken to at least 100 other passengers on the Carnival Splendor which I am just off. I can tell you that 90 or so agreed that there should be no entertainment in the dining hall and that passengers should be able to have good conversation with their families and friends. I am from New York as were many of the passengers on this cruise. New Yorkers love to talk and you would never find a top restaurant interrupting conversation with juvenile dancing by the waiters. As I said, so many of the people I spoke to agree with my assessment. If this is what the passengers want, why is Carnival not listening?

 

John says:

Hello Tom Pippen,

Respectfully I have to say that the vast majority of guests that I have spoken with on board love the entertainment, songs and parades that the waiters perform. I do realise that, like anything, it may not be for everyone but the response and cheers from the guests do show that they remain a very popular part of what we do on the ships and are very much part of the “fun” we advertise. There are no plans to stop this but I certainly do understand your point of view and I apologise for the interruption to your meals. I do hope you had fun, though, and that we see you again. Best wishes.

John

 

Michael Delvento asks:

John, please tell the beards that, for the first time in eight cruises, the coffee on the Carnival Valor’s Lido was not just drinkable, it was very good. Is this a new recipe just on the Carnival Valor or all ships? Thanks.

 

John says:

Hello Michael Delvento,

We have changed the coffee recipe and the way it’s brewed on all the ships now and that’s wonderful news that you noticed. I will pass this to the beards and I know they will be very happy to know that you enjoyed a good cup of coffee. Hope we see you again very soon. Best wishes.

John

 

And that is all for today. Many thanks, as usual, for all the comments and questions. Tomorrow we start another cruise.  In fact, this is our last cruise of the European season and the last before our trans-Atlantic crossing. And what a brilliant itinerary it is, have a look:

9/14/2013 Sat “Fun Day” at Sea
9/15/2013 Sun Stavanger, Norway

8:00:00

18:00:00

9/16/2013 Mon “Fun Day” at Sea
9/17/2013 Tue Edinburgh (Leith), Scotland

8:00:00

18:00:00

9/18/2013 Wed Invergordon, Scotland

8:00:00

18:00:00

9/19/2013 Thu “Fun Day” at Sea
9/20/2013 Fri Glasgow (Greenock), Scotland

8:00:00

18:00:00

9/21/2013 Sat Belfast, Northern Ireland

7:00:00

18:00:00

9/22/2013 Sun Dublin

5:00:00

22:15:00

9/23/2013 Mon “Fun Day” at Sea
9/24/2013 Tue Le Havre (Paris), France

7:00:00

20:00:00

9/25/2013 Wed London (Dover), England

5:00:00

17:00:00

And this is who is sailing with us.

TOTAL GUESTS                                                                   2,135

Guests on back to back from last cruise                    188

USA                                                                                        1,436

CANADIAN                                                                          412

BRITISH                                                                                90

FRENCH CANADIAN                                                         57

GERMANY                                                                           19

RUSSIAN                                                                              15

ISRAEL                                                                                  32

AUSTRALIA                                                                         27

JAPAN                                                                                    11

 

We have four clock changes to stay on local times and I have organised both Scottish and Irish entertainment, plus we will have the grand sights and sounds of the bagpipes playing us into and out of Scotland. I do, though, have some concerns about the weather as there are some low pressures creeping around the North Sea, something we will have to keep an eye on for sure.

Let’s quickly change course and show you the latest piano bar schedule which, as always, is subject to change:

Carnival Breeze Ben Gentry
Carnival Conquest Larry Maconaghy
Carnival Dream Rick Yerkes
Carnival Ecstasy Milburn Dumas
Carnival Elation Darrin Isaacs
Carnival Fantasy Robert Crucilla
Carnival Freedom Martin Gast
Carnival Fascination Robert Cozma
Carnival Glory David Filsinger
Carnival Imagination Michael O’Quinn
Carnival Inspiration Tom Grable
Carnival Legend Bruce McGhie
Carnival Liberty Jim Morris
Carnival Magic Jordan Heppner
Carnival Miracle Justin Abrams
Carnival Paradise Shea Duncan
Carnival Pride Roger Concepcion
Carnival Sensation TJ Kuenster
Carnival Sunshine Seth Gibson
Carnival Splendor Frank Glenn
Carnival Spirit Tim Mitchell
Carnival Triumph Augustin Villarin
Carnival Valor Dana Honey
Carnival Victory Derrek Robertson

I will have another schedule soon with the dates these great entertainers will leave and who will replace them but this is current as of today. I have been asked by the musical beards to please post your feedback on the last piano bar entertainer you experienced so please feel free to do so here. My thanks, as always, to all of you who support them and to Laura aka “Divetrash” who continues to be such a help to them all.

What’s in the news? I have to comment on the extraordinary sight of Dennis Rodman in North Korea to meet with Kim Chubby Chops – now that is world diplomacy in the making. Now, there may be a method in his madness but as I watched his visit on TV, I had to laugh out loud. The former Chicago player who has Office Depot’s entire stock stapled in his face then said he would organise a basketball game between North Korea and the USA. After many years of starvation, I would guess that most North Koreans are shorter even than their neighbors in the south. What sort of basketball game would that be against LeBron and his mates? You can bet that the tallest children in North Korea have been taken away from their families, placed on steroids and will be trained for months, ready for the big match.

And then we have the new iPhone, or Eyephone as I like to call it, only because I know it annoys the crap out of the Apple Disciples when I do. Yep, the world is waiting for the new Eyephone that will have fingerprint recognition and will be called the Eyephone ummmm………actually I haven’t got a clue what it will be called but I seem to be in the minority. I am a dinosaur, I have something that will probably end up in the same pile as the Laser disk, Betamax and Vanilla Ice …………..yep, I have a Blackberry.

Everyone else here on Carnival Legend and most of the beards at Carnival have Eyephones. Honestly, I think it’s just Gerry Cahill and I who still have a Blackberry. Even our chairman tweets using an Eyephone. Ask anyone with an Eyephone and they will tell you it is the biggest jump forward for mankind since the invention of fire. You can choose from a billion apps including ones that tell you how large your thingy is by actually measuring it. Have you ever been out for a meal with someone who has an Eyephone? Sure, they’re in constant contact with the office, tweeting, downloading apps and holding the phone under the table to see if it’s grown another inch during dessert, which is great for them, but they’re not in constant contact with you.

Every time you get to the interesting part of a story, the Eyephone disciple will have a new app to look at or a Facebook message to reply to and you can see they’re not listening any more.

Go out with someone who has an Eyephone and you’ll not get a single word out of them unless you have an Eyephone too and so you can sit in a huddle discussing the latest attributes of the eyphone77FFS.

Anyway, time for me to go and plan the final schedules for our cruise to Norway, Scotland, Ireland and Paris………it’s almost the perfect itinerary.  All have wonderful things to contribute in the world of food and beverage. Reindeer, haggis, Guinness and garlic.  All have wonderful things to contribute in the world of amazing beauty spots. The fjords, Loch Ness, Cooley Mountains and the Eiffel Tower. All have had great warriors, Vikings, Mel Gibson, Bono and Napoleon. And three of these countries will show the Carnival Legend guests amazing hospitality and will be as friendly as a Labrador puppy, while one country will show the Carnival Legend guests a welcome as warm and as friendly as a constipated baboon. I will leave you to decide which one.

 

Bonsoir

votre ami

John

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29 Responses to BILL IN A BAR…………….JOHN, YOU IDIOT!

  1. debbie says:

    John, I understand this is out of your control but I was so looking forward to sailing with Joe Hollywood Nagy as my PBE on the Victory Oct 10 to the 19th….disappointed! Joe has a huge Carnival fanbase and I believe Carnival should get him back onboard…Thanks John

  2. Diane says:

    Tom Pippen,
    You said you spoke to about 100 people regarding the dancing in the dining rooms. Of the 100, you said 90 agreed with you that it was demeaning and that it iterrupted your conversation. The last I knew, the Carnival Splendor holds approximately 3000 passengers. That leaves your 90 very much in the minority!!! DH and I have been on 22 cruises and not once have we heard anything bad about the singing and dancing in the dining rooms. However, we are always busy having FUN and we don’t have time to conduct a poll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Barb G says:

    As much as I hate to say this, Robert, the piano bar guy on the Fascination on my August back to back, was/is actually a talented vocalist and piano player… but unfortunately, he is not very entertaining. He was even a little bit whine-y. The piano bar is one of my favorite things to do during a cruise (Lord, how I miss sorely Ron Pass!). I knew I wouldn’t find anyone as good as Ron Pass but off to the piano bar I went and I spent the entire first evening in the piano bar until he closed it down at midnight. There were only 4 other people besides me in the piano bar. People would occasionaly peeked in but quickly left. In fact, in the 9 nights of my cruise it was pretty much always empty. Sorry to say so but there it is. No doubt, the bar accounts reflect this. I don’t know how long his contract is but he should be replaced by someone who can perform well in this type of venue.

  4. Robert says:

    Hi John, just a quick note to say that I have heard so many wonderful things about the pianist Roger on the Carnival Pride from friends who have sailed with him. I love a good piano bar and that was part of my decision to book on the Pride.

    I would like to add a small comment, if I may, to the Friends of Bill W. thing. I understand why people may not want to advertise what these really are (I mean, there’s an “Anonymous” in it for a reason, and I have had several family members and close friends who have stuggled with these issues) but I don’t understand why Carnival continues to use the archaic term “Friends of Dorothy” for GLBT meetups. There are now gay and lesbian people at the highest echelons of power: United States Senators, ambassadors, Hollywood celebrities. I have not met anyone under fifty who still fetishizes Judy Garland. It’s time to do away with “Dorothy” and just call them the LGBT Meet and Greet; I suspect many more of your gay guests would attend if the thing didn’t sound like one of Liberace’s cocktail parties. Just my two cents.

    Thank you for all you do. I love your blog and Facebook page.

  5. Sue Morton March says:

    So, on our last few “non-Carnival” cruises we have noticed that waiters dance at dinner time and there are towel animals in the rooms at night. The sincerest form of flattery…..

  6. ThinkingWoman says:

    I feel your pain about the massive faux pas with the location problem. Sooner or later, everyone makes a mistake such as that in their working life. All you can do is apologize and learn from your mistake and, hopefully, keep others from making the same one.

    A more important question is where did you move the meeting?

  7. Brenda Crabtree says:

    John, our last PB entertainer was Joe Hollywood Nagy on his last cruise on the Victory. It has taken us two weeks to recover from all the fun we had interacting with Joe and fellow piano bar guests. Like with Ron Pass, we will be traveling to where he is performing. This was a true loss for Carnival. I will send you more praises for the staff as well says disappointments in the near future. My survey told it like we saw it.

  8. DrDeany says:

    Gerry Gerber:

    Just ask the Maitre D’ to put you at another table! I was on a cruise where my life partner and I were seated with a group of very religious people who were speaking negatively about the changes towards giving same sex couples more rights. I knew we couldn’t stay at that table and asked the Maitre D’ to move us. He very graciously seated us with another group with whom we had a great time for the rest of our cruise.

  9. Ken says:

    Keep up the waiter/waitress singing and dancing. Not being from NYC, we enjoy this entertainment on every cruise.

  10. Travis Maxfield says:

    My last Piano Bar Entertainer was Ben Gentry, and he was awesome. We ended up spending all night every night in the piano bar. Now my cruise on Destiny in Sept 2010 was a dif story.

  11. Marianne Gilmore says:

    We look forward to the dancing waiters on every cruise. Even when we are on the first part of a b2b I get misty eyed when they sing their farewell song. If the singing is on a night when we have chosen to have our meal elsewhere, we drop in for the waiters’ performance.
    Is there any way to find out the number of people who work at the Purser’s desk? (Yes, I am old school and still call Guest Services Purser.)I would also like a head count for the CD’s staff and laundry staff on Carnival Magic. I’m trying to figure out how many candy bags I will need to bring.
    Thank you.
    Marianne

  12. Floatie says:

    Our last piano bar entertainer was Joe Hollywood, and not since Ron Pass and a few precious others have we seen a better entertainer, and a more fun PB….
    HORRIBLE to hear that poor management on Victory and some bogus “charges” have lost him to CCL…
    Our group on Victory Oct 10 and 14 B2B was counting on him being there, shame on CCL for poor judgment all the way around, John :(
    Never thought I could feel this bad about CCL :(

  13. Daryl McCulley says:

    Favorite Piano Bar musician? Brad Alexander – hands down – the BEST! On two cruises with him! Just got off the Imagination and Hrvoje “H” Knezevic was fun! He kept us entertained and coming back every night!

  14. Linda Leach says:

    John, you asked for feedback on the PBE’s. Hubby and I have been on 29 Carnival cruises and Rick Yerkes on the Dream was the worst we’ve had. I really hate saying that, but I was so disappointed on our May 25 cruise. We are back on the Dream 9/28 and I guess we won’t be spending any time in the piano bar again. There was never anyone in there, he’s not personable at all and his voice? Uh not so good. Maybe there has been some improvement. I guess I can hope.

  15. Patricia Bowler says:

    John,

    I just want you to know that we love love love the dining room parades by the hard working waiters. I do feel sorry for them as they do work so hard then have to entertain us too! My last several cruises have been on another line (not my choice) and I am always watching and waiting for the waiters parade and dancing,carrying things on their head, etc. I have even joined in the parade on Carnival ships. Sadly no other cruise lines we have been on have the parade. Keep them up! I am in the process of begging my hubby to take me to Alaska again on The Magic so I can meet you! Hope I am successful!!

  16. Terrie Reuvers says:

    Now that the coffee is better, how about doing something about the iced tea! Fresh brewed is the only way to go. Please!!!!

  17. Lisa Beshears says:

    My husband and I have been on 6 carnival cruises and go to the meetings a couple of times on each cruise. The meetings are usually in the Library, but one time the meeting was scheduled in a bar, which would be fine if it had been closed. I walked in and looked around and asked someone if they were there for the AA meeting and got a very shocked reaction from one man. I didn’t let it bother me and just laughed about it later. I just appreciate that you guys have meetings scheduled for us. Thank you.

  18. Mike Kane says:

    Don’t beat yourself up over the location of the Friends of Bill W. meeting. I’m one of his friends, and IMHO, it’s the message of recovery and the fellowship that makes the meeting, not the location. I truly appreciate Carnival providing space, any space, for our meetings. I’ll take any space offered. Except your bathroom of course.

  19. Rick Williamson says:

    Gerry Gerber, on the last two cruises we went on this summer on Carnival Sensation the main dinning room WASN’T near full. In fact our table had 2 empity seats every evening. And other tables around us had even more seats empity. Not sure why (maybe the anytime dinners?) Anyway, you should have just ask them to seat you at a different table if it was really THAT bad. Why put up with it for a whole cruise?

  20. Peggy Arenburg says:

    Hi John,

    I just wanted to say that you are the BEST & I love reading your blog. You always make me laugh! But I also have to say I do not know how you keep your cool with some of the stupid things people ask you, want you to “fix” for them because they don’t like it, etc. For instance, the person who wrote today & doesn’t want entertainment in the dining room. It is a “FUN” ship like you said & there are other places to eat or they can sit stuffed in their rooms & call room service! And I also like it when you admit to your mistakes like the meeting in the bar! But hey, you are only one person with loads to do & only human! So sorry will have to do. But my favorite thing I read in today’s blog is that you will be on the Miracle next summer. My family is sailing on June 3 & I almost wet my pants when I read you will be on that ship! I was excited before but overjoyed now. Only got to sail with you one other time! :)

  21. Mary says:

    While you are at it, could you also NOT have the singles AND the LGBT at the SAME BAR within 30 minutes of each other??? It is kind of difficult to meet straight singles, when you don’t know if some are coming early for the next “meet up” which happened on the liberty in July! I think the singles was at 10 and the LGBT was at 10:30 at the alchemy bar….just saying! Thanks John, for all that you do to make our cruise experience the best that it can be!

  22. Laurie Dexter-Jones says:

    Dear John,
    I wanted to post comments as you requested about last piano entertainer. We were on the Legend 8/20/13 Baltic. I must say Bruce was the best I’ve yet encountered. The gentleman was very talented and even more personable and he was the first piano man in the fleet to have an inkling of who Johnny Mercer was. Most play just pop songs. Bruce (McGile?) Played from classical to classics, ballads, romantic songs, and yes, some fun pop too. We sang and laughed till closing a few nights. Keep Bruce around as long as you can. He was terrific. It’s the live entertainment that makes a cruise great. Thank you for inviting comments.
    Laurie Dexter-Jones

  23. Bernard "Barney" Fergus says:

    John,
    I’ve just read some of your recent blogs
    & as usual they are informative and humorous.
    Is there any way of knowing who will be the CD on the Dream for the November 16th cruise? The best CD in our estimation, barring you of course, was on the Triumph in Jan. 2004. Cannot recall his name.
    All the best

    Barney

  24. Having worked extensively and closely with my graphic designer at work, I know just how problematic InDesign can be…and also how frighteningly simple it can be and is to make wretchedly glaring mistakes. We’re all human and we make mistakes, and the Friends of Bill bloody well know that better than most.

    I suppose you could offer each offended person a bottle of free wine, or perhaps Crown Royale, but somehow I’m not sure that will indicate the proper note of penitence.

  25. Jennifer Fusciardi says:

    Just off 6 days from the Breeze. Musical talent was great. We loved I believe it’s Ben, the guitar player in the red frog bar our last night, from Canada (?) (sorry we purchased the Cheers program which I love as well)

  26. Scott says:

    Mike Dardis was the best piano player I have seen any cruise I have been on. Saw him on the Carnival Conquest last January.

  27. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    If you want to know how well a Piano Bar Entertainer is doing…..all you have to do is ask the PB Wait Staff.

    They know who draws the folks in and which ones leaves you sitting there to the sound of crickets.

    I do have a complaint to register where the Piano Bar Entertainment is concerned…..

    they should not be in Red “Ask Me” Shirts giving directions on Embarkation Day.

    That goes for the solo entertainers, duo and band members as well.

    These are the folks that Carnival is promoting as the “musical stars” of the cruise.

    There is a reason that you will not see Carrie Underwood at the door of her concert taking tickets.

  28. Elaine Mather says:

    Dear John: my mother and I just concluded our Alaska cruise on the Miracle. Just wanted you to know how excellent all the Carnival employees were. The day before the cruise, I tore something in my knee in Seattle. I bought some crutches to use but thought my vacation would be me missing all the fun. How wrong I was! The excursion operators took good care of me and accommodated my limitations. As I struggled to use two crutches and carry a dinner tray or beverage cup, offers of help always materialized. This was my second cruise on Carnival and I cannot wait for my third. We booked for the Eastern Carribean on the Sunshine in Jan 2015.

    Please let the beards know they have excellent people working for them. That is what keeps me coming back.

  29. Teresa Cooper says:

    About the dancing in the MDR…
    If you show up for dinner at the BEGINNING of your dinner time you won’t have your main course interrupted with the waiters ENTERTAINING you. We always show up promptly (there’s a reason your time slot is I think approximately 2 hrs-it’s supposed to be leisurely) and the dancing always seems to happen around dessert time. People who don’t enjoy the show-and they are entitled to their opinion-are sailing on the wrong cruise line. Stop trying to ruin it for the rest of us.

    And about the t-shirts…

    I would have loved to have had a 4X on my last cruise. I dug through all the t-shirts and could not find a single one. :-( Now I have joined the more common sized folk and wouldn’t have any trouble finding a size to fit me. I am glad to know that Carnival is starting to carry a bigger size, but keep working on that manufacturer to make those 4X and up. Big people have money to spend too and they want their t-shirts just as much as a regular sized person. Having been morbidly obese for many years I have endless empathy for the difficulties faced by big people.

    Instead of a t-shirt I went home with Carnival towels we ordered on the ship that were delivered to our cabin by our steward. We use them all the time and the quality is superb. They are big and thick and absorbent. The caveat is I can’t go out wearing just a Carnival towel!

Copyright 2011 John Heald. All Rights Reserved

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