The lunch hour is dead here at Carnival Cruise Lines. Yep, I have been here a few days now and I can honestly say that no bugger takes an hour away and heads out for a nice lunch. In fact, I would say, from what I have seen, the average lunch break is just 30 minutes. Forget shopping and a visit to the local sushi restaurant. Everyone here is eating at their desks, continuing with work or surfing Amazon and maybe this blog……all Latvian web sites have been blocked …….. I wonder why?

These days it seems the beards only go out for lunch as an excuse to get some more work done. And so is dinner and so, increasingly, is breakfast. In fact, we’re running out of meals to have meetings during. I am waiting to get an e-mail saying that I have a meeting scheduled over a midnight buffet.

 

And given everyone’s late schedules it doesn’t seem like anyone grabs a drink after either. Having a beer or drinking a glass of wine after work seems as taboo as admitting that after work you put on stockings and some Victoria’s Secret lingerie and work as a cabaret act called Loretta. But the no drinking thing is just part of how things used to be. We worked to live — now we live to work.

 

A few years ago, you finished at 5 pm regardless of what was happening. Shops were closed on Sundays. You always took your vacations and would never finish the year with your company owing you vacation days…….and if you sneezed ……you went to bed for a month without fear of having to get a signed paper from the Center for Disease Control to prove that you were ill.

 

Things are a bit different now though. People go to work even if they wake up with a disgusting wound on their arse or projectile green and purple vomit everywhere. Work must continue. If you catch swamp fever, you must get the deal done before your skin turns purple and your dangly bits fall off.
Everyone at Carnival I know goes out at night with their Eyephones in case the senior beards want to get in touch, and, of course, even if we are in throws of making mad passionate love to Megan Fox and Jessica Alba is waiting outside for her turn………if the Eyephone rings and it’s our President Gerry Cahill on the phone, you tell Megan to get the hell out of there ………and Megan and Jessica will be playing Twister for the rest of the night.

 

The Italians have it right, naturally. Three-hour lunches washed down with gallons of wine followed by a three-hour nap………and………..if they must………a few hours in the office before dinner………but never………never on the weekends.

 

Here, though, at Carnival HQ as I said, every bugger eats at their desk but that causes problems some of which I have noted these past few days. Eating at your desk is one thing but the person in the cubicle opposite me sounds like something from The Walking Dead.

 

But the biggest problem, I am told, is that people steal things out of the entertainment department’s massive fridge in the break room. Passive-aggressive signs and food labeling  aren’t enough, my colleagues tell me so as I am in the office for some time and I don’t want anyone stealing my spicy chicken low fat microwavable curry, I will play dirty – which is why my plastic container in the fridge simply says “stool sample.”

 

Time for some Q and A…………….here we go.

Mikael Santiago asks:

Latin music is the most popular music in the world to dance to. Obviously, Carnival hasn’t discovered this fact because there was no Latin band on the Carnival Splendor where there is a large Hispanic population, many who I saw were on the ship with us. Shame on you for having no Latino music and no live music for us to dance to.

 

John says:

Hello Mikael Santiago,

I had no idea that Latin music was the most popular in the world so many thanks for letting me know. I do hope you enjoyed the other live music offerings from the party band Music Motion who were there along with other music offerings. You will though be pleased to know that we do in fact, have a Latin band on the Carnival Splendor called Fandango. I hope you get to see them on your next cruise. Best wishes.

John

 

Roddy Holmes asks:

Hi John: My wife and I will be on the Feb. 16 cruise with friends that I was stationed with in Germany 35 years ago in the Air Force (the Littlejohns and the Mavis’) and wanted to get on board early with them in the Faster to the Fun excursion but it says sold out. Do you have any clout to get us on at the same time they get on by purchasing a Faster to the Fun excursion?

Thanks,
Roddy

 

John says:

Hello Roddy Holmes,

What a wonderful way to meet up with these great friends and we are truly thankful to you for doing this on one of our ships. The FTTF for that cruise is indeed sold out. We only have between 15-30 people on each ship who can take advantage of this program. However, please do keep checking back and see if anyone has canceled or if we need to add more openings. If there is anything I can do for you before you sail please let me know and I hope you all have the best of times together. Best wishes.

John

 

Cea Herbert asks:

Good afternoon! We will be cruising in February with extended family. We have connecting staterooms but is it possible to have the balconies connected as well? Thank you.
Cea

 

John says:

Hello Cea Herbert,

If you send the cabin numbers and the ship and sailing to my facebook.com/johnheald page two days before the cruise, I will contact the ship and see if it’s possible for you. Thanks and I wish you all a great time. Best wishes.

John

 

David E. Simmons Sr. asks:

I am taking my son David Jr. on his first cruise to celebrate his outstanding achievements. He is 14 and has already achieved the eagle rank in the Scouts of America which, John, is the highest level you can get. David Jr was also invited in June this year into the prestigious Young Mensans which focuses on gifted children like my David most defiantly is. The reason I am telling you this is in hope that you will recognize him during the cruise on the stage to the other guests. I would wish also an invitation to him accompanied by me, of course, to dine with the captain which would be an experience I am sure the captain of the vessel would never forget. We are going to be on the Carnival Magic sailing of 12/08/13 and by reply can you inform me what will be planned for David Jr., one of America’s brightest and best.

David E.Simmons Sr

 

John says:

Hello David E. Simmons Sr,

How very proud you must be of your son and it’s great to see that you will be spending some father and son time together on the Carnival Magic. While I won’t be able to invite you both to dine with the captain, I will arrange for the captain and your son to have a photo at the captain’s celebration night which is elegant night. I will also ask James, the cruise director, to mention David on his morning show and send him one of our famous trophies. I am sure you will both have a brilliant time together. Best wishes to you both.

John

 

Eugene Goings asks:

John, why don’t they put the Dive In Movies Big Screen ………… on all the ships?

 

John says:

Hello Eugene Goings,

Unfortunately, there is no space on the Fantasy- and Spirit-class ships which is why they don’t have them. We do have them though on 12 of our ships and I hope you get to experience the fun of watching movies and events under the stars soon. Best wishes.

John

 

Vanessa Davey asks:

Hi John, can you pretty please pass on our congratulations to the crew of the Carnival Ecstasy? I do not see many reviews of this ship, maybe because she is older but we have just completed our second cruise on there and it was, as you would, say, John, brilliant. Special mention to Svetlana our waiter. She was so funny and her Russian lessons were so funny and hearing my husband in his southern accent from Georgia trying to speak in Russian had us all crying with laughter. All the crew was so friendly and we had nonstop fun and have booked again for the New Year’s cruise which we are so excited about. Thank you for doing this, John, we love your blogs.

 

John says:

Hello Vanessa Davey,

Picturing your husband trying to speak Russian in his best Southern accent made me smile and I wish I could have been there to see it. I will pass on your kind words for Svetlana to her supervisors who I know will make sure she gets the praise she deserves. How wonderful that you have booked again for this New Year’s cruise which I know will be brilliant as well. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know and thanks so much for taking the time to write.

Best wishes

John

 

Natalie Sorrentino asks:

Can you please help me, John, and tell me who the comedians will be for our honeymoon cruise. Erik and I will be on the Carnival Breeze November 23. We loved the comedy club on our last ship, Carnival Victory, and hope we have more laughs on the ship this time. Thank you, John, and if you happened to send us a little something for our honeymoon, it would be super cool of you.

 

John says:

Hello Natalie Sorrentino,

I am sure we can do that. Could I ask a favour and that is to send me this again to my facebook.com/johnheald page the day before you cruise and include your cabin number. I wish you many wonderful and happy years together. The comedians for your cruise will be Just June, Percy Crews, Tommy Drake and Scotty K, four very funny people indeed. Have a great time and enjoy every moment together.

 

Martha Coleman asks:

John, please listen to what was written here about the word master being offensive because it is to so many people in the United States of America. Captain is good but master should be banned on your ships.

 

John says:

Hello Martha Coleman,

I totally understand that there is an uncomfortable connection for some to the word “master.” However, I would like to say that this term has been around on ships for hundreds of years and it’s part of maritime tradition. I will say that most of the time we use the word captain and it is rare that you will hear the word “master” on board these days and we try to use captain as much as we can. I hope this explains things better and let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. Best wishes.

John

 

John Pelt asks:

I just got an email about an itinerary change on the Carnival Glory for my Jan. 19 cruise next year. We are still scheduled to go to the same ports but in a different order. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal except for in Belize. We went from having one other ship in port to four. This doesn’t sound good with this being a long tender port. The same thing happened last year and we went to Costa Maya instead. I would much rather go to Costa Maya than Belize anyway especially with five ships in Belize at once. Maybe you could suggest a port change? Thanks.
John

 

John says:

Hello John Pelt,

Please don’t worry. While the tender ride in Belize is longer than most at approx. 20 minutes or so there will be more than enough tenders to get all the guests ashore. There won’t be a port change, I am afraid, but I know you will have a great time there and please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. Best wishes.

John

 

Tamie asks:

Hi John
My husband and I have immensely enjoyed each of the many Carnival cruises we have been on over the last 15 years. Our most recent was our first time in Europe, last fall we boarded the Carnival Breeze for a most memorable 12-day Med cruise. We have decided to venture back over to Europe in 2014 (possibly a Baltic cruise) & went to the Carnival site to see what was available. To our dismay, Carnival has no cruises planned in Europe in 2014? Can you provide any insight as to why not? Deeply disappointed – do not really want to use another line.

 

John says:

Hello Tamie,

I know how you feel and understand and share your disappointment. But for operational reasons we did have to leave Europe for 2014 and I hope there will be better news soon. Thanks so much for writing and I do hope we will see you on one of our ships soon. Best wishes.

John

 

And that’s all for today and I will be back with more next week. So tomorrow, I fly to New York for some filming on the Carnival Splendor and before I leave tomorrow, I wanted to post this quick blog for you. One of the things I have been working on these past few days is Blogger Cruise 7. I have chosen the comedians already and the special fly-on act who will be performing an exclusive show just for us. But one area I have decided yet is who will entertain in the Piano Bar. Usually we have the wonderful Ron Pass and I shall miss him this time around but who indeed can replace him? Any suggestions?

Meanwhile here is the latest schedule of our wonderful Piano Bar entertainers:

Roster ID SON

 

SOFF

 

ShipCode

 

Ben Gentry

 

 

02-Jun-13

 

 

03-Nov-13

 

 

BR

 

 

Tom Grable

 

 

08-Feb-13

 

 

04-Nov-13

 

 

IS

 

 

Shea Michael Duncan

 

 

16-Sep-13

 

 

07-Nov-13

 

 

PA

 

 

Marty Gast

 

 

12-May-13

 

 

10-Nov-13

 

 

FD

 

 

Robert Cozma

 

 

18-Jul-13

 

 

16-Nov-13

 

 

FS

 

 

Seth Gibson

 

 

18-Aug-13

 

 

17-Nov-13

 

 

SH

 

 

Jim Morris

 

 

29-Jun-13

 

 

23-Nov-13

 

 

LI

 

 

Steve Burks

 

 

19-Oct-13

 

 

07-Dec-13

 

 

MI

 

 

Justin Abrams

 

 

03-Nov-13

 

 

07-Dec-13

 

 

BR

 

 

Natalie Carboni

 

 

17-Oct-13

 

 

21-Dec-13

 

 

SP

 

 

Dana Honey

 

 

28-Jul-13

 

 

29-Dec-13

 

 

FS

 

 

Greg Alcock

 

 

25-Oct-13

 

 

10-Jan-14

 

 

IM

 

 

Milburn Dumas

 

 

12-Aug-13

 

 

13-Jan-14

 

 

EC

 

 

Walter Boik

 

 

14-Oct-13

 

 

16-Jan-14

 

 

EL

 

 

Billy Reid Zimmerman

 

 

18-Nov-13

 

 

17-Jan-14

 

 

IS

 

 

Jordan Heppner

 

 

15-Sep-13

 

 

19-Jan-14

 

 

MC

 

 

Michael O’Quinn

 

 

08-Dec-13

 

 

19-Jan-14

 

 

PR

 

 

Michael Geier

 

 

02-Dec-13

 

 

01-Feb-14

 

 

TI

 

 

Kyle Bronsdon

 

 

10-Oct-13

 

 

02-Feb-14

 

 

LE

 

 

Trevor Jones

 

 

21-Dec-13

 

 

10-Feb-14

 

 

SP

 

 

Robert Crucilla

 

 

16-Sep-13

 

 

16-Feb-14

 

 

FA

 

 

Liz Strauss

 

 

23-Nov-13

 

 

08-Mar-14

 

 

LI

 

 

 

There are a couple of ships missing that we are still working on and I will add those as soon as I can. Meanwhile, I send my thanks to all of the piano players for the brilliant work that they do and my usual thanks to Laura aka Divetrash for her support with them on her page. As always I ask you to let me know who shines from that list and who you would like to see on BC7.

 

Well it won’t be long until the Carnival Sunshine starts her journey home to the Big Easy and here are her crossing details for you.

 

Nov 01, 2013 (Fri)       Sunshine          BARCELONA, SPAIN     5:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Nov 02, 2013 (Sat)      Sunshine          PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN    7:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Nov 03, 2013 (Sun)     Sunshine          At Sea

Nov 04, 2013 (Mon)    Sunshine          MALAGA, SPAIN    7:00 AM   4:00 PM

Nov 05, 2013 (Tue)     Sunshine          at sea

Nov 06, 2013 (Wed)    Sunshine          LAS PALMAS CANARY ISLAND    11:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Nov 07, 2013 (Thu)     Sunshine          at sea

Nov 08, 2013 (Fri)       Sunshine          at sea

Nov 09, 2013 (Sat)      Sunshine          at sea

Nov 10, 2013 (Sun)     Sunshine          at sea

Nov 11, 2013 (Mon)    Sunshine          at sea

Nov 12, 2013 (Tue)     Sunshine          at sea

Nov 13, 2013 (Wed)    Sunshine          GRAND TURK    10:00 AM    6:00 PM

Nov 14, 2013 (Thu)     Sunshine          at sea

Nov 15, 2013 (Fri)       Sunshine          at sea

Nov 16, 2013 (Sat)      Sunshine          at sea

Nov 17, 2013 (Sun)     Sunshine          New Orleans

 

I have seen the entertainment schedule and the shows will be superb and they have someone called Magic Micky who is the guest lecturer and who was very popular on the South America voyage as I understand. Anyway, should be a wonderful voyage and having just been on the ship I know the superb crew will make sure that the guests have the best of times.

 

So while I am flying to New York and spending the night in my hotel, 90,000 guests will be on our Carnival ships celebrating Halloween. In fact, as I sit here fully clothed again (bugger, my writing is so much better when I am wearing only my XXL white Fruit of the Looms) the ships are being decorated into full Halloween mode and I will have photos of this and photos of the costume winners next week which should be fun.

 

Tomorrow the Camp Carnival staff will start their trick or treat sessions. Now, rather than have the kids randomly knock on cabin doors asking for candy and waking up Mr. and Mrs. Moody-pants from their afternoon nap, we do this in the public lounges. Each lounge has a department head and staff manning it ready to hand out the candy.
I have been on ships many times during Halloween and there is nothing more ummmm …… fun ………than waiting for the little darlings to come and threaten me with kicks to the ankle if I refused to give them yet more sugar. Now you also expect the kids to be dressed in the usual assortment of Harry Potters, ghosts, Dora the Explorers, Spiderman(s), fairies and princesses of which there will be many this year I am sure.

 

I remember the Halloween I spent as CD on the Carnival Splendor a few years ago. There was a six- or seven-year-old girl who was definitely not dressed as a princess. I will try and describe what I saw. She was wearing a boob tube, leather miniskirt, platform heels and glitter eye-shadow and lashings of pink lipstick.

 

“Hello,” I said.

 

“Trick or Treat,” she replied in a very confident voice and with her hands on her hips.

 

As I placed a generous amount of chocolate in her Carnival bag, I asked her what she was dressed as. “I’m a Bratz!” she declared.

 

“Oh”…….I declared, having no bloody clue what a Bratz was.

 

I learnt later f that a Bratz is a modern day kids doll and is apparently a cartoon as well. I am sure she looked like a Bratz to the trained eye ………..but to me………..she looked like a well, you don’t need me to say do you?

 

The other thing I don’t understand is this trick or treat thing because today’s trick or treaters leave a lot to be desired when it comes to the childish tricks and pranks and we should allow the kids to play tricks on random guests when they ask for candy. I can just imagine a kid on the Carnival Breeze asking a guest for candy and the grumpy old sod grunting, “I’m giving you nothing, now **** off.”

 

If this happens we should allow the kids to put super glue on their cabin door handles or a fake dog turd in their chocolate melting cake.

 

Maybe it’s because I am a Brit but I personally don’t see the sodding point of Halloween. I can see the kids thing about demanding candy with menaces from little old ladies but the whole thing about celebrating being scared……..I just don’t get it. Then again, when it comes to being scared and watching movies like Saw and the Evil Dead, well…….I just can’t watch them. Then again, this probably comes from the time Heidi and I tried something in London called Cellar of Horrors Live. You pay an absurd amount of money to go into a dingy basement entrance and you do so with certain “it’s not real” swagger.

 

A kindly staff member pointed out that we shouldn’t go any further if we have a heart condition ……….I say bollocks……. and we stepped inside, past a waxwork of a Victorian police officer on the beat. Except it’s not a waxwork, it’s a drama student who explodes in my face with a piercing yell, forcing me into an out of skin leap that Tom and Jerry would struggle to match.

 

For the next twenty minutes we wandered through dark, echoing corridors, being chased by all manner of ghouls, from a huge bald bloke with an axe to Jack the Ripper, who emerged from the shadows to rattle chains, groan, dribble and spurt blood at us from various gaping wounds. The actors were truly impressive, and by the time we stumbled out of there, Heidi had a huge lump in her throat ………and I had one in the back of my trousers.

 

Happy Halloween everyone.

 

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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49 Responses to CALLING TIME ON LUNCH TIME………AND THE NEW PIANO BAR SCHEDULE

  1. Melissa says:

    Ben Gentry – Piano Bar on the Breeze…. AMAZING!

  2. Susan Z says:

    Hi John,

    Just wanted to tell you that I am a travel consultant and have regrettably never sailed on Carnival. I will be anxiously awaiting my first cruise with you on 11/17 on the splendor. I was hoping to meet you on this but I see that is not on your roster for this cruise. Enjoy NY tomorrow! p.s hint: When you need a cab, either go with a doorman or step out into traffic so they almost hit you..seriously! lol (They will stop) No need to post this on your blog just wanted to tell you to enjoy!!

  3. Ana Malave says:

    Piano bar for BC7 it’s an easy one no brainer. Angela Johnson. She is the best. She is in touch with the people.

  4. Cheryl Ramage says:

    I want to mention the FTFF. As a long time cruiser and a person who has worked hard to get Platinum status and will have diamond before I ever stop cruising. I believe it is a slap in the face to all of us that have tried hard, been loyal and worked to get our FTFF status. For a cabin wether it be 2 people or 4 people to pay $50 a cabin to get priority boarding is not right. The last cruise, triumph – sept. 27th. I heard a lot of people complaining. Those of us who have worked to get there do not appreciate those that pay $50 to get on. Why did Carnival do this. It really is a slap in the face to those that have worked for it.

    • Jose says:

      I agree 100%. It cheapens the earned benefits that you payed for through loyalty. What is even worse is that it is not done consistently at the ports. Sometimes platinum, diamond and FTTFs are all together on go on to the boat altogether. From a Carnival business perspective, bottom line is profit and cash. That is absolutely the reason. If they upset a few, oh well.

    • Walter says:

      I so agree with you. If you look at an average of some 100 a day for a trip it costs around 10 grand to get to what is now the Platinum level. It used to be that when you showed your platinum card people gave you even better service. Now they just move on as if it isn’t a big deal. I am beginning to rethink my loyalty t Carnival.

    • mark hartung says:

      I agree what’s the point of being a loyal cruiser if you can just buy your way in?!?!?!?

      • Tim Visk says:

        I also concur. It has taken me a long time to get to platinum level for these so called special benefits. I earned it, not bought it! The BEARDS should rethink this cash cow. Loyalty brings in more money!

    • Kate says:

      I’d be willing to bet that almost every single platinum cruiser would have purchased it, has it been available before their status changed.

  5. Crystal Ridley says:

    Hi John,
    My husband and I got engaged on the Freedom back in 2007 with the very kind help of both yourself and the maître d and we were a part of your morning show , etc. We’ve been on a couple cruises since then and I’ve always been a follower of your blog. We are going on the Christmas cruise on the Breeze with some friends. Now all of this is great….one little catch; since we’ve seen you in 2007, we’ve had three darling little munchkins who will be travelling with us. It would be amazing if you could send some wine or champagne to our room!! We will need it…trust me! Three kids under the age of three!!

  6. Jennifer "twin" Pazmino says:

    You out left the FANTASTIC Bob “Piano Bar Bob” Berhalter from your list…he would be GREAT for BC7 if we can’t get Ron….

  7. Carolyn Bickel says:

    Hi John, Just got off the Carnival Freedom with Marty Gast in the Piano Bar. He is a great entertainer and I would suggest him for your bloggers cruise.

    • Karen says:

      We just returned from the Freedom cruise and had the pleasure of meeting and enjoying MARTY GAST at the piano bar….he is one very talented entertainer…witty, and inventive, and highly musically and comedically entertaining!

  8. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Mikael Santiago :

    Latin music “may be the most popular to dance to in the world” BUT Carnival sails from America where we love ALL kinds of music.

    Thank goodness Carnival caters to ALL their passengers and not a selected few.

    • Cheryl D. says:

      I just got off the Splendor. They not only had Latin music but also a Latin dance class. Along with disco, motown, and classic rock. Not much Country, except for Kareoke.

  9. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    This is one of the main reasons we love cruising.

    Hubby turns off the cellphone…no laptop…

    just fun fun fun !!!

    On our 10 day road trip last month, he answered emails every day and took conference calls…while ON vacation.

    That does not happen on the ship…which is why the ship is where we prefer to be!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend ~ still mudding~ DJ)

  10. Claire Smith says:

    Ha ha John as usual you made me laugh x just wanted to say how nice it was to meet you on the Sunshine recently and to thank you for our cabin gifts they were very much appreciated x good to see a local lad make good , well done with the dieting I know how hard it is and I cannot believe the things that people say to you on here ! All I can say is I am glad they are not my family or friends as they wouldn’t be for long ! Enjoy being land based for a while x

  11. Jose says:

    Martha Coleman,
    You write “John, please listen to what was written here about the word master being offensive because it is to so many people in the United States of America. Captain is good but master should be banned on your ships.”

    COMING FROM A MILITARY FAMILY, I AM OFFENDED THAT YOU ARE OFFENDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE WORD MASTER WAS AROUND LONG BEFORE YOU WERE BORN. GET OVER IT AND DON’T TRY AND CHANGE THE MEANING TO MEET YOUR NARROW SIGNTED AGENDA.

  12. Billy Holding says:

    I think Sir Elton John would be a good piano bar player…bet the Nov 13 pit stop will be Freeport instead of Grand Turk. Hope there are plenty of buckets onboard and that half a tank of fuel makes it across the ocean. Perhaps a few sails or dirty underpants would be a good backup!

  13. Cool!
    Halloween.
    Thanksgiving.
    Christmas.
    Then? Then?
    My New Year’s Eve cruise on the Miracle.
    60 DAYS!

  14. Ken says:

    “Young Mensan”?? You are jerking our chains, right?

    • KenSanDiego says:

      “I would wish also an invitation to him accompanied by me, of course, to dine with the captain which would be an experience I am sure the captain of the vessel would never forget.”

      This has GOT to be a joke. I understand the proud father thing, but this is just too over the top to be legit.

  15. marcus jones says:

    Dear John,

    Normally I would be writing right now to request that you send loads of goodies to our room and make sure that our entire vacation is not ruined by having “other” people at our dining table with us. (Because the reason we go on a cruise is to be by ourselves.) But, I have to put that aside to plead with you to please, please pull all of the strings you can get a hold of to make sure to book David Simmons Jr on our next cruise. I have never before read about any human who is as great as David Jr. We simply must have him with us. Maybe as a fly-on? I would just love to sit in the audience and listen to one of America’s brightest and best tell us about his amazing life in the Young Menses and the Scouts. I’m tearing up just thinking about this. I have to stop…

  16. Vickie Hickman says:

    Love Carnival, and love your sense of humor John. Turning Platinum next month on our back to back on the Victory. Keep up the good work!

  17. gus melchion says:

    to replace good old Ron try good old Brad Alexander or Gayla Smith.

  18. Kelli says:

    “Mickey Live” is the lecturer on the Splendor’s TA ~ we were on the SA (leg 1) with him and he is *FABULOUS*! Can’t say enough good about him, really. We were booked on the Splendor TA, but had to cancel ~ very sad. Everyone on the TA is very lucky and hope you all take advantage of EACH of his “lectures” (not really lectures!), especially about photography and make sure you participate in his “snapshot rally” ~ you WILL NOT be disappointed! Hoping that Carnival will contract with him for many more cruises in the future ~ we sure hope we will get to cruise with him again!

    • Kelli says:

      Sorry……meant “Sunshine’s TA”, starting tomorrow!
      We were on the Splendor’s South America cruise with Mickey.

  19. Marsha Breen says:

    So today we have David who thinks his kid is more special than anyone else’s; Martha who can’t understand that some words have more meanings than one, and John P who thinks you should change the ports for him because he doesn’t care for the number of ships in port….. Not bad for one day’s worth of whiners.

  20. Chris Benson says:

    Is David E Simmons Senior real? In my country he would be locked up for child abuse. How is he manipulating his David Junior to be something he is not. What an awful and rude person in my opinion.

  21. Pam Darby says:

    Hi John,

    I wanted to thank you for the “birhtday wishes” you sent me last week on the Valor – I have to say the ship is beautiful, the staff remarkable and the ports were the BEST – this was my 12th Carnival cruise and I think it was the best one yet. The next cruise is December 2013 on board the Sunshine for New Years and so looking forward to the ship – Cheers Pam

  22. jgeraci says:

    John,
    I too am very proud of the accomplishments of my children, and think they deserve special attention. They all have jobs, own their own homes, take good care of their elderly mother’s animals when I cruise, and they genuinely love me. I hope that Mr. Simmons’ son grows up to be as happy and productive an adult as they are. And I hope he is allowed to learn the lesson of humility from someone.
    JoyceG

  23. HEY HEY HEY … Been awhile since you replied to one of my emails. Thinking maybe you forgot about your SUBMARINER FRIEND. Anyway .. Funny you should mention drinks and business meetings … Research (which I can not quote at the time) shows that more productive results come from an evening meeting with co-workers or even with those that you call beards when downing a few adult beverages. Also experience shows that other things can happen at those meetings. But the bottom line .. Regardless of outcome of business … relationships between co workers and beards tends to end up being better whether you talk shop or stuff. And as far as your lunch thing goes … DOMINOS Delivers. Keep up the good work John, love your Blog .. and seems the only Friends that really really get what you write .. or my Brit Friends. And unless you want to read my highly pointed criticism of your blog … DON’T COMPALIN ABOUT THE HOTELS IN NEW YORK. ALL MY BEST .. CHEERS .. STEVE

  24. John,

    There is obviously no clear choice to replace Ron Pass… well, maybe Elton. But other than Elton, Ron can’t be replaced. I have seen almost all the other entertainers mentioned here and while they are good for an ordinary cruise, they simply are not Ron.

    So… do whatever it takes to get Ron. Send an emissary to Palm Springs with whatever it takes to lure Ron back. I’m sure they will need a wheelbarrow of money to pay off the hotel he is at, but just do it.

    Without Ron it just won’t be the same and I suspect lots of us won’t be making BC7 if he isn’t there.

    Your Friend,
    Bob (AKA Kokomoman) Dennard

  25. Kathie Schmitt says:

    Hi, John — regarding your request for ideas for the piano bar on the blogger’s Cruise, I would suggest “Dave” who is currently on the carnival Glory – he is great, and I don’t see him on your Piano Bar list. Thanks for the opportunity to make suggestions!!!

  26. Chris Robertson says:

    David E. Simmons Senior appears to be living in a different dimension from me. Yes, it’s great that he’s proud of his son; but his email lauding his kid was waayyyy over the top. He comes across as a complete bore, a little bit of humility is all it takes.

  27. Alice Nieburger says:

    I John…..we missed you on the Legend last week!!! I have to say I also missed the sushi bar. That was one of my favorites on the Carnival ships. Has it been taken off all the ships? I hope not. Also enjoyed the whirlpool in the beautiful spa area. Very serene and relaxing. Had a horrible experience with Security…but that’s another story! Happy Sailing…Alice N.

  28. Mike Sagara says:

    Hello John,

    Lynn and I are on the Breeze with about 22 of our friends that we have met through your blog. One of the things that I am writing to you about is the lack of handicapped accessible facilities in the ports of call. I know this issue has come up before, and I wanted to address it again. I do understand how several of the ports both in the Carribean and Europe lack handicapped accessible facilities. I would like to make an observation in that, my generation, the baby boomers has contributed greatly to the overall success of Carnival.. As our generation ages, we are going to need more handicapped accessible ports. While I understand what an undertaking for some of the ports to totally make these changes, it would be a good gesture on Carnival’s part to help alleviate this problem. One idea would be to have golf carts on the ship that could be operated by crew members to shuttle passengers with physical disabilities from the ship to the area where they can get transportation, whether it is taxi’s or tours. We witnessed today in The port of Aruba, several passengers with disabilities trying to walk the long distance from the ship to the shopping areas. A couple of the passengers after seeing the long walk ahead, turned around and reboarded the ship.

    • Marqueta says:

      It has been a long time since I have written a response to a blog. I am sad to say there is not a replacement for our friend Ron. Many of the bloggers have cruised this past year and said the piano bar entertainers were terrible. One trip to the piano bar and they do not return. You might want to visit some of the dueling piano bars in some of the cities across america and find a new Ron. I know Ron is doing well and is enjoying his life off the ship. He even has a little dog named Bella. Good luck with your quest for a Piano Bar entertainer for BC7. Looking forward to seeing you too.

      Marqueta Bentley from Oklahoma.

  29. Hi John, Just got off the Splendor this morning, I heard plenty of Latin music,perhaps too much, the beards should be happy. And Im a believer in work to live, not live to work, On this cruise, Carnival needs to keep the Funship a Funship. Its seems on this cruise (my 16 cruise with Carnival). The staff is being overworked. Not a happy Funship if the the staff is being abused. These are my thoughts. Feel free to contact me for more info.

    • Cheryl D. says:

      Funny, I, also, just got off the Splendor on Nov. 1. Not a one of the crew complained about being overworked. Most will happily talk about their experiences working on a cruise ship – I ask lots of questions. It is a different occupational experience. They don’t work standard shifts with weekends and holidays off, because the ship is always “on” – we guests require service 24/7. These are very special people who take great pride in making our experience “brilliant”. I think they’d be appalled that you thought this.

  30. Donna Gregory says:

    I was appalled to read this. Arrogant much? I’m on that December 8 Carnival Magic cruise, and I definitely don’t want my show time taken up by Eagle Scout Dad basking in the spotlight of his son’s accomplishments.

    John handled this very well. A congratulations on The Morning Show is appropriate. But my friend and I will definitely be mocking this kid’s dad when we hear it. I just hope the child isn’t as arrogant as the father.

    • Laurie Slawson says:

      I don’t see a reason to make any announcement at all about the kid. What does that have to do with being on a cruise? If the father wants to brag, let him pay for an announcement in his local newspaper.

  31. Donna Adams says:

    I’m a platinum member and quite frankly I don’t car who boards when so long as I don’t have to wait too long to get checked in and board. CCL cruise #12 on 11/09!!

  32. Lisa Perkins says:

    Just got off the Carnival Elation and Martyn Lucas at the piano bar was amazing. The place was packed every night he played…and he just started it was his second cruise

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