It’s quite comical, really. You see, Carnival Legend has, these past few weeks, docked in ports we have never been to before such as Oslo, Edinburgh, Belfast, Reykjavik and others. In all of these ports, we have been met with wonderful hospitality and upon arrival and departure, there have been locals who have come to see the famous “whale tale” that is Carnival Cruise Lines. But here is the comical bit. Every time I spoke to our ship’s agent or some local people or the local entertainers and mentioned how nice it was to see people coming to take photos of the ship, they all said the same thing: “You should have seen it when the Queen Mary 2 was here, hundreds, maybe thousands, came to see the ship!”

Yep, try as we might, try as the Massive of the Seas might and try as any sodding ship in the industry might, nothing attracts the attention in ports around the world as the Queen Mary 2. OK, maybe me standing on the pier with a set of bagpipes shoved up my bottom playing Scotland the Brave may create a crowd but short of that………only the Queen seems to bring out the masses. She is surely one of the greatest ships ever built and, certainly, she is the ship that saved Cunard. Indeed, people with much greater understanding of this industry have said that, without Carnival’s purchase of Cunard and the courage to expand the brand with spectacular new ships, then Cunard would become like Concorde and spoken only in the history books.

There will, speaking of Concorde, be one of them on that aircraft carrier we will dock next to in New York next week and it makes me wish I could have seen Concorde take off and land and, of course, like many, I wish I could have flown on her. Actually maybe not considering I would have had to ask for a seat belt extension. But whenever the hook-nosed, sleek machine took off and landed from, you knew there would be crowds of admirers and people who would be standing on the observation deck dreaming that they were one of the pop stars or business beards who would experience the thrill of traveling faster than the speed of…..…well…….everything else. But now………it’s gone.

I don’t feel sorry for the people with beards who now need eight hours of breathing in my farts to get across the Atlantic. I do, however, feel sorry for the plane itself. It’s sitting in some shed now, wondering what it has done wrong and why it has been put on the naughty step. Why did it not fly yesterday and why is there no sense that it will fly today? Why is nobody tinkering with its engines, filling its refrigerators with expensive champagne and vacuuming its bespoke leather seats in case Megan Fox puts her gorgeous bottom on one?

There hasn’t been anything to replace Concorde in the sky. But there is one mode of transport that has the same effect on people as Concorde once had and that, is indeed, The Queen Mary 2.

She has taken on the role of the most iconic mode of luxurious transportation. Yes, there are bigger ships but bugger all can compare to the Queen Mary 2. Like her sister, the Queen Elizabeth 2, and Concorde before her, wherever she goes she is joined by a new breed of dreamers and well-wishers who stand on piers in Australia and Scotland, New York and Norway all wanting to catch a glimpse of the Queen. It is said that the sight of the Queen Mary 2 entering the harbour is enough to make some ship fanatics wet themselves. Anyway, this leads me on to a thank you to a good friend of this blog and someone who has served Cunard so brilliantly for many years. His name is Peter Shanks who this week will retire from his position of president and managing director of Cunard. He has given blog readers some wonderful insights into the Cunard way over the years and I wanted to wish him a wonderful retirement full of relaxation and fun.

Time for today’s Q and A……………… we go.


Conor Castleberry asks:

Hi John: I’m Conor and I’m going on the Carnival Fantasy on Oct 18. It is going to be my first cruise! I’m super excited. I have a twin and we are turning 13. Do you know what I can do to have the room decorated? I want to surprise him. Thanks



John says:

Hello Conor Castleberry,

I can see how excited you are and I am sure this will be a brilliant experience for all the family. If you go to, you will find how to have the cabin decorated. I would also ask to see if you can ask your parents to contact me on my and on October 17 you send me the ship and cabin number so I can send you something. I hope that you all have a wonderful time and I wish you both a very fun birthday. Best wishes.



Vanessa Lakritz asks:

We are just back from our cruise on the Carnival Dream and as platinum VIPs have to gripe. Why should we have to stand in long lines to get back on the ship in the ports in sweltering heat? Other cruise lines have VIP-only gang planks and so should Carnival. We had some issues with our suite and the balcony door which made a rattling sound and when we stood in line at the platinum only section of the front desk there were people in front of us twice who were not platinum. I paid thousands of dollars, mostly in suites to get to my 11 cruises so Carnival should acknowledge this with better advantages.


John says:

Hello Vanessa Lakritz,

Let me start by saying that, despite your concerns, I do hope you had a great cruise. I also want to apologise for the problems you had with the balcony door and I am sure our crew got this fixed quickly. There may have been guests who have purchased the Faster to the Fun program who were using the concierge section of the guest services desk as they are permitted to and, again, I am sorry you had to wait. And while bringing guests to the front of the line or having an extra gangway just for our VIFPs is not something that operationally we can do, we are looking again at the loyalty program to see what we can do to make it better. I thank you for your loyalty and hope to see you soon. Best wishes.



Donna Mollett asks:

Dear John,

I’m just devastated.  My husband and I will be sailing on the Carnival Conquest November 9, first leg of her repositioning, and then hopping onto the Carnival Valor November 17 for another seven days.  I was trying to take advantage of the grandfather clause to become platinum by the end of the year, I just learned that it may not be recognized on our 10th cruise while on the Carnival Valor.  Carnival customer service said it takes up to seven to 10 days to register your cruise.  Do you have any suggestions on how I can get the platinum status recognized before I board the Carnival Valor or at least while I’m on it?  Additionally, I want to express how much I enjoy reading your blog, I know after a rough day at work, I can look forward to them and usually have a laugh or two.  Thank you.


John says:

Hello Donna Mollett,

There is absolutely no reason for you to be “devastated.” You see, you will receive your Platinum cards at embarkation and while the sailing itself may take a few days to be added, you will have your well-deserved Platinum benefits. So I wish you both a brilliant cruise and thank you for your fantastic loyalty. Best wishes.



Katherine Napier asks:

Traveling with my new husband on our honeymoon on Carnival Sensation November 3 and wonder if you do anything for honeymooners? Are there any freebies? We are in the cabin R74. Both of us are National Guard if that helps.


John says:

Hello Katherine Napier,

Thank you for your support of your country in the National Guard and if you could please send me this again on my page on November 2, I will see what we can do. Have a brilliant time and a wonderful life together. Best wishes.



Denise Gregerson asks:

Hello John – Is there a new Chef’s Table menu coming anytime soon. Enquiring minds want to know before or cruise on Carnival Elation in October.


John says:

Hello Denise Gregerson,

There is one coming but it won’t be here until the end of the year or perhaps even beyond I am afraid. I hope you have a brilliant cruise and enjoy the table again so please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Best wishes.



Constance Koenes asks:

We are platinum cruisers and on February 23, 2014 and March 1, we have booked our 24th & 25th cruises. I have sent a letter to Gerry Cahill asking him to please allow me to have credit for my husband Richard’s 24th and 25th cruises. The reason is this: Richard, the love of my life, passed away suddenly after being diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, bone cancer, and lymph node cancer. He was diagnosed on 7/18 and passed into heaven on 7/25 – Richard never missed a day of work in his life, so we are in deep grief over this. I have my best friend to travel with me on the 2/23 cruise and my two daughters will join me on the 3/1 cruise. Normally, if Richard had lived we would have been entitled to a 25% discount or on-board credit which Carnival’s Milestone desk denied. I would like to ask for your help. Second request, I want to change from cabin #8374 to a spa cabin #11226 and they are now telling me all three of us cannot use the spa amenities, only two per room. Is there any way there could be an exception made as I really want to be with my daughters to have them experience the spa amenities? I do know one can pay extra, but am on limited funds due to my husband’s death so that would not be possible for me. Please let me know as soon as possible as that will be the deciding factor in our decision to switch from balcony to spa balcony.



John says:

Hello Constance Koenes,

I send you my deepest sympathies for the terrible loss you and the family have suffered and my thoughts are with you as I write this. I will pass this on to some of my colleagues to see if anything can be done. Thank you for writing to me and, again, my condolences to you all.



Marion Beninger asks:

We had an emergency call that woke us in the middle of the night on our last cruise on Carnival Fascination. It was bright star and folks on Cruise Critic are saying that it’s when a passenger has died. Is this true because, after that announcement, nothing else was said so we are in the dark. What happened, John?


John says:

Hello Marion Beninger,

First of all, I hope you had a great cruise and enjoyed all the fun. The call “bright star” is made, not when someone has died but when a guest or a crew member needs immediate and urgent medical assistance. It alerts the medical team, stretcher team and others to the location. Now, obviously, we don’t give medical details of how that person is doing after the call so I will simply say that I hope they made a full recovery. Thanks for asking and if you have any other questions I am here. Best wishes.



Thomas Kennedy asks:

Hi John, I am cruising on the Carnival Sunshine December 1 — my fourth cruise, all on Carnival.  I know you will be at the renaming in NOLA in November but I was wondering if you were going to be on afterwards. My cruise group missed you on the Carnival Magic after it started in Galveston and would really like to meet you. Also, I was wondering, I have worked in the food industry for many years (during high school and college), why does Carnival serve can sodas? The reason I ask is because fountain drinks have a higher profit margin and produce less waste. This is just an observation not a complaint as I usually get the endless bubbles so this doesn’t really affect me.


 John says:

Hello Thomas Kennedy,

I won’t be back on the Carnival Sunshine after the naming ceremony until the Bloggers Cruise on February 16. I really hope we get to sail together though one day very soon. As for the soda fountains, you’re right, profit-wise, they are better but there are two reasons we don’t use them anymore. Firstly, guests feel the taste is vastly different but the main reason is that they are a heck of a job to keep clean and, with such strict USPH laws we find, overall, cans are better. I hope this helps and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Best wishes.



George Ellmore asks:

John – My wife and I don’t sail again until 3-30-14 on the Carnival Sunshine.  We always sail two to three times a year but she has had two bouts with cancer over the last year.  Thank God she will be OK.  I will e-mail you when it is closer to our date.  My question is:  We sail on the Carnival Sunshine on 3-30-14.  Will you be the CD?


John says:

Hello George Ellmore,

Please send my best wishes to your wife for health and happiness in the future. And while I won’t be the CD, please do get in touch a couple of days before you cruise either here or on my .com/johnheald page. I hope you both have a brilliant time. Best wishes.



And that’s all for today.

OK, as you know, we have the naming ceremony of the new Carnival Sunshine on November 17 in New Orleans. There will be a grand naming ceremony, concert and overnight function, including shows, dinner and lots of Carnival fun. And so I thought we would have a little contest for those who live in the area and would like to come. The prize is a stateroom for two, seats at the naming ceremony, dinner, wine and fun staying overnight and disembarking the next morning. I can’t pay for transportation of flights or any hotels on other nights but 20 winners will be able to bring a guest (one guest only) and join me for a great night.

How do you enter? Simply answer this question:

A day without sunshine is like………………………..

For example, a day without sunshine is like a garden with no flowers………….etc., etc.

The beards will choose the 20 best entries and you will be informed by the end of next week.

Please submit your answers by e-mailing All entries must be in by 12:05am EST on Wednesday October 9, 2013.

Good luck, hope to see you on board.

Now as requested and in some cases demanded……… is the latest piano bar schedule:


Carnival Miracle

Justin Abrams


Carnival Legend

Bruce McGhie


Carnival Spirit

Geoff Davies


Carnival Victory

Derrik Wayne Robertson


Carnival Imagination

Michael O’Quinn


Carnival Conquest

Larry Maconaghy


Carnival Dream

Rick Yerkes


Carnival Sensation

TJ Kuenster


Carnival Breeze

Ben Gentry


Carnival Inspiration

Tom Grable


Carnival Paradise

Shea Michael Duncan


Carnival Elation

Darrin Isaacs


Carnival Sunshine

Seth Gibson


Carnival Liberty

Jim Morris


Carnival Freedom

Martin Gast


Carnival Triumph

Augustin Villarin


Carnival Pride

Roger Concepcion


Carnival Splendor

Frank Chase Glenn


Carnival Valor

Dana Honey


Carnival Ecstasy

Milburn Dumas


Carnival Fascination

Robert Cozma


Carnival Magic

Jordan Heppner


Carnival Fantasy

Robert Crucilla


Carnival Glory

David Filsinger



Now, before anyone asks – no, I don’t know who is replacing anyone once those dates arrive but I will update the schedule again in a couple of weeks. I thank Laura — “aka Divetrash” — for the continuing support on her piano bar entertainers’ page and, of course, I thank all of the entertainers themselves for all they do.

So today we are in Greenland — a place most of us have only possibly seen from 32,000 feet. It’s the big nothing on the way to and from the United States. You look out of the window (from economy, in my case) and there’s Greenland. You watch a movie, let one fly, try to stretch your legs out, get a cramp, fart again, eat something that the flight attendant says is chicken but tastes like yak testicle, look out the window again and Greenland is still there. Look at a map and you will see it’s just a huge dollop of white.

Considering this, it has been amazing to listen to so many guests who told me the reason they took this cruise was to go to Greenland.  When I first heard this I thought that’s like saying the only reason I booked dinner at the steakhouse is for the bread they serve. But as we started to tender guests ashore today, there was definitely excitement in the air along with a cold biting wind that would have had a polar bear running in doors looking for his North Face jacket.

But guests don’t seem to care. They don’t care either that there is bugger all to do here. I made that very clear in my travel talk. There are no tours, no taxis, nothing. Someone asked me for a map but there are no maps because there’s sod all here to draw, just hundreds of miles of ancient ice.  “How about shopping?” the guests asked. Well, there is a shopping center in Qaqortaq. OK, shopping center maybe a bit of an overstatement because there is……. ummmm………well, one shop in the visitors’ center. It sells souvenirs. And can fit about five people in it at a time. Oops.

The guests will see that on the waterfront where the tenders dock there are two warehouses where ships come from Denmark to bring everything that the Greenlanders have that isn’t made of fur or wood.

It’s cold today, around 0 degrees, but this is mild. In December and January, the temperatures get down to -30 degrees and just a few minutes outside will turn your tongue into a Popsicle.

There are some Eskimos on the dock doing a demonstration for our guests of their way of life. This includes showing how they eat seal and use the entire animal for food or to make clothes and even shoes. I saw how they lived when I went to post the cards yesterday for the guests and the crew and what an extraordinary place this Eskimo village was. I was told yesterday by one of the men who met the Carnival Legend tender as it arrived that all Eskimo men hunt and only the women fish. The seal is the staple of their lives – it’s their food, heat and clothes. Look, rather than me ramble on about how extraordinary it was, why don’t I let the photos tell the story.



legend stoped


close town


legend in water 2

At first, I couldn’t understand why Carnival had chosen Greenland as a port of call and I couldn’t understand why our Carnival Legend guests were so excited to come here. But…… we sailed through the fjord yesterday and as I stand on my balcony today breathing in the clear air I can see far, far across the packed ice. The ice refracts the light and some of the water around the huge glaciers is azure blue from the inside. It is the most stunning phenomenon. Cameras never really capture it and Mr. Radu, who probably could have, was on vacation. The ice floes sail past the Carnival Legend across the water and yesterday in Prince’s Sound fjord we saw huge ranges of mountains that glisten against the never ending sky and that tower over a place that is still, silent and without noise of any kind.

We just have to come back to give you a chance to see Greenland, a country that is eerily spectacular and as beautiful as any place on Earth.



Your friend,

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.


  1. Clark Bearden says:

    A day without sunshine is like living in a world with no color!

  2. Bob Rowan says:

    Miss you and Wee Jimmie as the original team. Sailed with Wee Jimmy this year on the Sensation and Jamie on the Dream (both your trainees and both fantastic. We are sailing on the Dream again (No. 21) and read your Facebook about a Chef’s table. Never heard of it and just once would love to sit on a guest table (Chef/Captain/CD). We sail 11/30/13.

  3. Nice pics thats as far as we would go to get there…….

  4. Maureen Baeck says:

    John, following your posts has inspired us to take this itinerary in the future. When will it be offered?

  5. Lorraine says:

    Please tell me Carnival will be going to Europe again!! I love Carnival and we are planning a family cruise to see Italy in 2015. I’m really hoping the beards will reconsider their decision. I really don’t want to go with another cruise line!!!
    Please post on here or Facebook what Carnival’s plans are!
    Thank you

  6. Jose says:

    Katherine Napier,
    First thank you for your service in the Guard! And, congratulations on your marriage. But why the entitlement mentality asking for freebies? That is not the way working people act, or if you do, say PLEASE!

  7. Darlene says:

    We will be sailing on the Legend 21 Oct celebrating our honeymoon. Hope to see you!

  8. Alma Fancher says:

    We will be on the legend on 10/26/13 will you be our CD at that time. I have heard such great things about.

  9. Joyce Loomis says:

    John…we were on the Legend for the Sept 1st cruise, as you called it, the Norway cruise. You must live in a bubble cause we were on the cruise for 12 days and never laid eyes on you !!!! This was our 16th cruise with Carnival and as always was great. We had Olena as our waitress and we exchanged email addresses but I think she left something out of hers …Lol..cause it’s undeliverable. :(..I am SO disappointed we did not get to see and meet you in person!!!

  10. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Please say Carnival will return there….

    DJ was not up to flying across the pond this year, so we did Alaska instead.

    But he has been warming up to the idea of Europe, when we agreed to fly him First Class.

    He loves First Class!!

    And a HUGE thank you to Laura who has volunteered for years to keep us up to date on the Piano bar. She ROCKS!!

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

  11. Greenland was an unbelievable port. The people were so nice. We could not believe that there were no native shops. These eskimos have so much talent in crafts. I bought some native Greenland wool–now I need to find someone to knit me something. I think that there should be a store devoted to their crafts–knitting, painting, doll making etc.–there were crafts from Iceland and of course–China–unbelievable–
    The air here is so clean and the picture taking was fun. My husband & I enjoyed today–was sorry that we couldn’t see more of the island–

  12. Gary Frenson says:

    Hi John, This comment is about the VIFP program. I disagree with Vanessa above in that VIFPs should have a separate line to get back on the ship but i do agree with her about the line at guest services.I feel she is right about paying a lot of money to get the perks she deserves. Faster to the fun should be eliminated.Paying $50 for a cabin of people to get MANY of the same perks as someone who has spent thousands is just so wrong.We are not Platinum yet but are working are way to earn it.This program is a slap in the face to your LOYAL guests. We love Carnival in almost every way but this is just so WRONG…Thanks for listening Gary

    • Liz and Steve says:

      Wow… I guess money does talk! Sometimes words can smack someone in the face just as hard as a hand. How about if you always have suites you get a different gold speckled VIP line and if you only have inside cabins on the way to Platinum that you get barbed wire? We are days away from cruise number 6 and in the planning stages for cruise #7. We purchased FTTF for this cruise as well as the last and we have a balcony on the Panorama Deck. Just in case you didn’t know…it costs extra. On this cruise I may or may not be in the VIP line with my Gold card and my only hope is that I am in front of you. If I am, I will really take my time.

      • Jose says:

        I smell a hint of jealously. People have earned their rewards and they simply want them. When you get to Platinum or Diamond, your thought process will change as well. I agree, people should not be able to buy them when others actually earned them. Happy Cruising

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

        He did not say it did not cost extra…..he said it was $50 per cabin.

        His point was $50 for a cabin of up to 5 people is not enough.

        He thinks It makes it looks like loyal Carnival cruisers are being sold out for a very cheap price.

    • BillJ says:

      I find people with these attitudes both sad and funny. I didn’t spend one dollar to become Platinum and I doubt anyone else did either. I booked one cruise with Carnival and thought it was well worth the cost so I booked another and another after that, I was spending money on Carnival because it was what I wanted to do not for some white Card. I’m thankful that Carnival says thanks for being a repeat customer. As far as FTTF goes if Disney (the 800 lb Gorilla of entertainment) can change extra to people so they can join in the priority line, why is it such a big deal that Carnival does. And so many view that as being betrayed by Carnival.Talk about the me first mentality.

  13. Sue Kurovsky says:

    Thank you for the warm birthday wishes you read from my husband on your morning show with Calvyn . We are with you on the Legend, and I had a wonderful birthday in Greenland even though our shore excursion boat blew an engine and only 7 of our group got to go walk on the glacier. You are making our cruise quite enjoyable! Looking forward to St. Johnzzzzzzzz!
    Sue K cabin 7212

  14. Donna Ryan says:

    John I agree with you that Carnival does need to repeat Europe in 2015 and hopefully with the Legend. We will be boarding her when she gets to New York City next week. This will be my 11th cruise with Carnival and plan of joining you in 2015 to see the sights of Greenland. I am a positive thinking person. And yes I wish I was there now.

  15. Cassandra Davis says:

    We just got off the Dream one week ago. I am a Platinum member and just wanted to let you know how ecstatic I was when I received my gift and it was a Carnival Trevis tumbler and not a ball cap (which is what I was expecting). Kudos to whomever made this decision! We had an excellent cruise. This was my second cruise on the Dream. I filled out my survey and gave the names of our waiter and asst. waiter in the dining room because they were so much fun. Possibly the best dining experience I have had in 13 Carnival Cruises. If you can pass this on to whomever needs to know I would appreciate it. Russell and Arthur, Scarlet Dining Room, late seating, table 528. Thanks!

  16. Jeri R Green says:

    My husband and I returned from the British Isles cruise last week and wanted to say what a great cruise it was. Rainy,wet and wonderful!! Our cabin steward,Pappas was one of the best. We are Diamond cruisers and felt that our dining room staff was also among the best ever. Please see that Headwaitress,Olena;Team waiter Ion Tiberiu; and Asst. team waitress, Maigorzala get our sincere compliments. We had great service and so much fun. If you ever do this cruise again we’ll be there!! Fantastic. Jeri & Larry Green

  17. K. Randall says:

    It was certainly spectacular. The fjord was a special surprise cooked up for us guests by John and the Captain. It was amazing, moving through a water filled canyon. We slid through one of the most scenic places I have ever been, surroundes by the most perfect U-shaped glacier carved valleys and jagged peaks of some of the earth’s oldest metamorphic rock. This excitement came he day after an amazingly stunning night of aurora borealis, in curtains of green fringed in red. Quaqatoq was great! The people were incredibly nice! Want to know why we loved it so much? It is not the shopping, or climate, or anything like that. It is that it was so authentic, so different. The cynical cruiser, afflicted with ennui, CRAVES the new and different. It is not always about the bigger ship, the shiny ice rinks or the mega-sportsplex onboard. Not for eveyone. To some, to the guests on the Legend RIGHT NOW, it is the sense of adventure, of reaching the pinnacle of the authentic human experience which drove us to a frenzy of euphoria. Many of us had a downright religious experience between the northern lights dancing above us followed by the magical fjord the next day and THEN followed by a village that was so REAL, so earnest and true. Carnival- can a cruise be more than a vacation? Yes. I never thought so before. But it can be a paradigm shift in the course of a persons’ own life. Thank you doesn’t cut it, all I have to offer is my testimony and fuure loyalty. Thank you.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Officially jealous!!!

      Sounds like an incredible experience that I hope ?Carnival will repeat !!

    • katherine says:

      Thank you for summing up my feelings,too! especially coming back from Mexico and running the gauntlet of hawkers. we cruise for where we never dreamed of going before and new scenery , not tanning, drinks, drinks and bingo.

  18. Shirley says:

    This is the best cruise ever. The people on the ship are kind and helpful and the view of the iceburgh’s are overwhelming awesome . The northern lights are a treat .. Many thanks to all who have made this possible .
    Thank you so very much!

  19. Alan Radomski says:

    Having trouble finding Social networking @ A day without Sunshine is like a Destiny, Not to a FUNSHIP I love your articles and pictures, Wish I was there. I be on the Splendor Oct 24, Wish you were there, I like to shoot the s**t with you.

  20. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    How amazing would it be to sail FROM New York this time and then do the British Isles….

    that would be an incredible Back to Back…

    we would be there!!!

    (and that way DJ only has to fly across the pond one way!!)

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  21. Christine Chudy Byler says:

    I am currently on Carnival Legend transiting the Atlantic Ocean. This has been the BEST of my 20 cruises. John, the “beards” should know what a resounding success this itinerary has been! We have been dazzled by the wonderful ports and so excited by the addition of the Prince Christian Sound transit, I can’t begin to tell you how amazingly, eye watering, brilliant the scenery! Then there was the beautiful light light show starring the Northern Lights! We couldn’t ask for a more wonderful cruise. Please do this whole Europe trip again, ending it with the same TA stops of Iceland, Greenland, and the astounding fjord! Thank you,

  22. Nicholas Crisp says:

    Beautiful treat for all of us on the ship! Truly this experience is once in a life time for my partner and I, and we have traveled the world and have been very fortunate to land on every continent. Thank you for making this adventure memorable and unique John.

  23. Billy Fuller says:


    First and foremost, thanks for the blog and Facebook posts. I’m an obsessive reader and I thoroughly enjoy them. My wife and I sail on our 6th awesome Carnival cruise in February. I came across a couple reviews about the newly refurbished ship and I wanted to as you directly instead of just believing everything I have read (and no I have not been on the cruisecritic satanic breeding ground website…lol).

    I found in the Carnival forums about some leaks on the Sunshine, as well as some drainage issues. I was wondering if you would confirm this.

    Also, it is said that there are no ship clocks on the open decks and you can not check your Sail & Sign account from the stateroom. Now this is a big deal and would like to know the reason why this is not available. I work in IT so I understand if its an outdated computer system, but I am curious to the reason you can’t check it.

    Lastly, is it true there are not mini fridges in any rooms besides suites? We have booked another balcony room and we usually rely on the fridge.

    Of course, none of these items would ever have me cancel my cruise. I looked forward to these vacations a year ahead of time and I truly believe there is no better vacation that a Carnival cruise.

    Thanks for your time and your dedication to such an awesome brand.

  24. Sharon Chandler says:

    First, I would like to thank you for sending the champagne and strawberries to our cabin on the Legend. Second, I would like to thank you for arranging the itinerary on this TA voyage, especially our visit to Prince Christian Sound. Never in a million years would I have dreamt that I would be on a luxurious cruise ship sailing along in an ice berg filled fjord! We took our first cruise last year on board the Fantasy, departing from Charleston, SC. Neither one of us had ever cruised before and we weren’t sure we would like it. Well, we did. Last spring, out of the blue, my husband said, what would you think about flying to England and then taking a 15 day TA cruise back? I thought he was kidding, but I am really glad that he wasn’t. Thank you so very very much for making this experience so stunningly beautiful. The Legend is an impressive ship and the friendly staff works hard to keep the ship immaculately clean. Bravo! Well done!

  25. Teena Comstock says:

    Dear John, We just wanted to tell you that we had a wonderful cruise on the Breeze! We have sailed with Butch before and Im sure we dont have to tell you what a talented guy he is. He is Fantastic! Im writing to you to dispel some of those rumors about sailing on a bigger ship. We never had a problem getting a lounge chair, the lines were not that bad either! we did get to enjoy the Serenity Deck. The food was AWESOME!!!! We had no complaints! The Punchliners Club was emptied out after each show. We saw people trying to record or take pictures in a show and they were promptly told that it was not allowed! The ship was clean and orderly! our wait staff and Cabin Stewards were top notch! A couple that we met on the cruise was well taken care of after the husband had an unfortunate accident on an Excursion. The Excursion was a Carnival one and they (Excursion company)paid for his hospital costs and The Breezes Guest Services checked on him daily and made sure he was comfortable with free in cabin movies! these are all reasons we will ALWAYS sail with Carnival! Thank you John for the forum to express our gratitude! we love your blog and someday hope to sail with you also!!! ♥

  26. Deborah Schwab says:

    Dear John we will be on the Sunshine on Nov. 1st for the TA and can’t wait . On our last 2 cruises we were seated with just one other couple , on our last the wife did not speak English so dinner were not fun please can you set it up for us to seat with 6 or 8. On this cruise we will be celerbrating our 45 anniversary is ther anything you can do for us. This may be our last cruise for Jim’s health is not good. We love Carnival and cuising we will be in cabin #7172 . Our booking #36LXS8 and we have early dinning. Thank you Deborah Schwab

  27. veronda russell says:

    Hi John,
    Thank you for your wonderful blogs and comments. You were the CD on my husband’s and my first cruise in 2003.(My husband, Tim, was sure he would hate cruising) You were a large part of the reason we became Carnival lovers!
    On Sunday, the 13th, we will be on the Glory out of Norfolk, where we will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. This is our fifth Carnival Cruise (seventh total), and we have always had a wonderful time with Carnival. We hope to cruise with you again as cd-you are the best!

  28. Maria & Juan Santana says:

    Hola John, Here we are in Messina, Sicily onboard the Sunshine. The ship should be leaving any minute now…As we told you several wks ago, we were doing 5 cruises and this is already #4. QM2 & QE3 were 1 & 2 and the Epic #3. On 10/11 we disembark from the Sunshine, stay 2 nites in Barcelona & 10/13 we embark on the Nieuw Amsterdam…she’ll take us back home to the US (14 day trip with stops in Cartagena, Malaga, Cadiz, Spain & Azores Islands, Portugo). We’ll arrive in Ft. Lauderdale 10/27 and the marathon trip will be complete when we get home to Miami Beach!

    The weather during all this 2 month + days has been excellent, with a little exception of the 2 days in Venice, which we had a little rain in the morning (stopped around noon time thank God!). The sea was a little rough last night after leaving Venice and the 2 Latin production shows were cancelled. Needless to say that we were all a bit disappointed, but that’s Mother Nature for you! There was another production show cancellation (the 8:30pm one) earlier on the cruise…it was the Rock & Roll show. That time was due to technical difficulties.

    Do you know that the Havana Bar on the Sunshine has been a great hit with the Cuban-american guests on board (and other latins too). The decor is beautiful: palm trees, beautiful tile (mosaics), etc. For breakfast the have the delicious cuban croquettes in different flavors and of course, the super delicious guava & cheese pastries and the cheese only pastries too! They also have the panish omelette…For lunch they have the warm & also delicious Cuban Medianoche Sandwich, empanadas (meat pies) and last but not least, cuban deserts like Flan de leche con ron (yes, the creamy flan with Rum liquour inside!). We hope they incorporate the Havana Bar in other Carnival ships soon. At night there is a musical group from Ecuador (So. America) playing latin music for dancing and of course drinking!

    There are 2 more cuban american couples from Miami with us. We didn’t tell them we were going to be onboard and when they saw us on embarkation day on the top deck…they started jumping and screaming! They were really taken by surprise. They are Platinum guests like us too.

    OK, I’ll leave you now, the Sunshine just left Messina and we’ll have a sea day tmw. and then we’ll disembark in Barcelona the 11th.

    Regards to Heidi and a big hug/kiss to Kye.

    Maria & Juan Santana
    from Miami Beach

  29. Mary says:

    Happy trails to Peter. I’ll miss his occasional posts on the blog.

  30. Joe Garofalo says:

    I have been a platinum guest for some time now I am booked on the Carnival Splendor for October 16 sailing cabin 8273. I got to catch up on your blog in the last two weeks and would like to direct these comments to those pain in the arse PLATINUM CRY BABIES they contact you ask you for favours and most times you do what you can for them. I as one have asked for dining arrangements and you were nice enough to get my request filled, but when they complain that they stand on line at the prusers desk and the service is not fast enough for them what in gods name is the rush they are on a ship everything is in arms reach so you had to stand behind someone and it took a little to long for you so you are platinum and want everyone around you to akowledge that you are someone special and if its not done quick enough its where can i go to complain and get something for free. From all the complaints i have read each and every one was looking for something for FREE are you kidding I never hear of anyone thanking you for the gifts in your cabin the hors devours sent to you cabin a couple of nights during the cruise the free laundry the priority boarding even if theres a delay in priority boarding its still a lot quicker than standing on the long lines the other passengers have to endure and the ship wont leave until your have boarded i promise. Dont worry about the lines on Lido Deck there is enough food to go around, dont worry about the fact you thought aa crew member was rude because they were probably very pleasant until you started on then because you dont like the way your towel was folded and please for gods sake stop reminding John of the thousands you spent to become Platinum you were not spending that money to become Platinum you were paying for your vacation and getting Platinum statue was a bonus for going away and having a great time. John I needed to get that off my chest I have been Platinum for some time look forward to Diamond status and am as satisfied as could be with all Carnival has done for me. I look forward someday to sailing with you John until then stay as you are.

    Joe Garofalo

  31. Karen says:

    The videos were beautiful and so well done. Who did the music on the second and third video? I love it and would like to find more of their music.

  32. Carolyn Perkins says:

    John, we are on the Legend and was on when she went thru Prince Christian Sound and visited Iceland and Greenland. I’m not a fan of cold weather and really not a fan of rain, but even with the cold and the rain…..I’d do it again. No way to describe the beauty of Iceland and Greenland and the day travelling thru the icebergs and glaciers in the Sound was absolutely incredible!! Carnival really does need to do this route again.

    • ALLEN CAPLAN says:

      PLEASE repeat this cruise in 2015!!

      In your opening you remarked that the person/people who named Greenland were “having a laugh”——actually it was an early marketing tool to entice visitors! Carnival is not unique in trying to attract customers. Here is WIKIPEDIA’s explanation.

      It was the early Scandinavian settlers who gave the country the name Greenland. In the Icelandic sagas, it is said that the Norwegian-born Icelander Erik the Red was exiled from Iceland for murder. Along with his extended family and his thralls, he set out in ships to explore icy land known to lie to the northwest. After finding a habitable area and settling there, he named it Grœnland (translated as “Greenland”), supposedly in the hope that the pleasant name would attract settlers.

  33. david garrod says:

    I’m on the sunshine, taking a mediterranean cruise prior to a transatlantic one ending in New Orleans on 11/17/13 and alas, will miss the renaming as I wing my way home. What is the name of the port in Greenland the Legend visited?
    Wishing you sunny sailings, David

Copyright 2011 John Heald. All Rights Reserved