So it’s Tuesday, June 24, 2014, and I am sitting here in my underpants while the ship is docked in Victoria, BC, writing to you. Those underpants are quite baggy now because, yesterday, I finally reached the mark I have been working so hard on for the last seven months. Yep, I lost two pounds………..OK, two pounds plus another 50 pounds.  Yep, I have, as of today’s weight check, lost 52 pounds! Yipeee! Only another 50 to go. Oh FFS.

While I have had lots of congratulations from guests who cruised with me when I was a huge fat bastard and are now cruising with me again when I am not such a huge fat bastard but still definitely a fat bastard, there is one big problem……….my clothes are too big for me. I mean, really too big for me, to the point that I look like a clown. The guests are saying it, the staff is saying it, Heidi is seeing my pictures and seeing it and so I guess something has to be done. And so I will have to suck it up and get off in Seattle and go shopping. Now I may have lost 52 pounds but I am not ready to shop at JC Macy’s, so I will be asking Uncle Google to find me a Fat Bastards Clothing Emporium. I hate, hate, hate going into those shops. If I go to a normal clothing shop and find something I like, a T-shirt or a pair of jeans and then I go through the piles to see if there is one in my size. And even if by some miracle there is it’s still suitable only for a hamster.

I was in Miami in November last year arranging the Bloggers Cruise and I went to a shop in Las Dolphin Mall, which is in Venezuela. I found a casual shirt that had the right number of X’s on the label. Now had my assistant, Dee, not been with me, I would have purchased it right there and then but she was with me and had received instructions from my wife, Heidi, which meant I had to try it on. So I headed to the changing room which was the size of one of our cabin mini bars.  I tried on the shirt and surprisingly the buttons didn’t explode as I expanded my stomach. Hooray, it fit. Booo…….it didn’t. That’s because the designer of this shirt had thought that people with ample stomachs must have ridiculously long arms. My arms are, well, normal length and certainly guests do not point at me and make baboon noises when I walk out on stage. I was so pissed off.

The shirt fit over my stomach, it didn’t have “sleeps four” written down the side like most of my clothes, I had bought it from a normal store and not from Big Bubbas, yet the only person who could wear this shirt would have been that Mr. Stretch chap from the Fantastic Four. But after losing 50 pounds, it’s not T-shirts I need – it’s suits. Anyone who has seen photos of me here on Carnival Miracle will notice I am wearing the same two suits I was wearing when we brought out the Carnival Magic in……….ummm………….well, years ago. They look huge on me now, especially the pants which could be used to hold a wedding reception in. I hate wearing suits. It is fine if you are trying to get a job or if you are Micky Arison addressing the board of directors, but I do not see why the world thinks you are being respectful just because your pants match your jacket. It’s bonkers in my opinion. But the world does think this way and as we still have elegant night and because Carnival doesn’t want its brand ambassador turning up for elegant in sweat pants and an Aston Villa Football shirt, then I have to wear one now and then.

Now, whereas I may, just may, be able to find a T-shirt or casual shirt from a normal size person’s shop, I have sod all chance of buying a suit from there and so I will have to go to a big man’s shop. Maybe in another 50 pounds that won’t be the case but, for now, it bloody well is. I want to get my clothes shopping done at the speed of light, but this is not possible at all when you are buying a suit. First of all, the man in the shop will want to measure every single part of my body and I will have to stand my fat arse in front of a full length mirror being fondled by a man who will spend far too much time measuring my “inside leg” while talking about Cher.

Yep, I need new clothes and although I would rather dip my dangly bits into a bag of scorpions than go shopping for clothes, I am very proud of myself for losing 50 pounds. I have a feeling though that the next 50 pounds will be a lot harder.

Time for our Q and A – here we go

Carlos Marquez asks:
John sorry to bother you but could you please confirm who the CD is going to be on the Carnival Sunshine sailing of July 5?  Thanks!

Carlos

P.S.  FYI   we are trying to work a deal between Carnival and our hotels so next time you come to Miami hopefully you will be staying at our hotel.  We are the new owner/operators of the Hyatt Miami at The Blue. Cannot wait to have you as our guest!!!!

John says:
Hello Carlos Marquez

The CD will be George Roberts. This is a new change has Jamie Dee has taken some personal time but will be back soon. Thanks for the hotel offer – I might just have to take you up on that the next time I’m in Miami!  I wish you a wonderful cruise and please let me know if you have any questions. Best wishes.

John

Myssie Hanna asks:
Hi John: Please let me know the main differences between Carnival Liberty and Carnival Sunshine.  Our family wants to do a five-day cruise and I’ve really wanted to go on Carnival Sunshine, but not sure the dates are ones we can make.  So I was looking at the Carnival Liberty next.  I really want to be sure the water slides are awesome on the Carnival Liberty as I have two teenage boys.  I saw Carnival Sunshine looks like they have them, but just cannot tell.  Any input to help me make a better decision would be great.  Thanks.

Myssie

John says:
Hello Myssie Hanna

Carnival Liberty had lots of 2.0 upgrades that you will all enjoy so much. The main difference between the Carnival Liberty and Carnival Sunshine is that the Carnival Liberty does not have the WaterWorks but one single Twister slide instead. I have no doubts though that you and the family will have a brilliant time and, after the kids have enjoyed the slide it will be time for a Guy’s burger. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.

John

Lindsey Kranz asks:
Message: HEY!! WHO ARE THE COMEDIANS ON THE JULY 20 CRUISE?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Lindsey

I hope you are looking forward to your cruise and laughing out loud at the Punchliner comedians Carl Faulkenberry, Al Romas, Dwight Slade and Chris Wiles. Have a brilliant time and please shout if you have any other questions. Best wishes.

John

Jeanne Polanco asks:
Carnival must consider adopting what Celebrity Cruise Line does and have a special VIP gangplank in port. Just off the Carnival Liberty and saw in Cozumel and Costa Maya that there was a special gangway for the workers that had no line which could be used for VIPs. The lines to get back were horrendous so this could be the solution to getting VIPs back on the ships and not standing in line with everyone else.

John says:
Hello Jeanne Polanco

I hope you had a wonderful time on the cruise and enjoyed the fun and the service and the ports. Unfortunately, the crew line involves walking through a busy area we call the marshaling area and it’s full of provisions and it would not be an environment we would want our guests to pass through. Plus there are no elevators from there to guest decks. Thank you for your loyalty and I do hope that we will see you again very soon. Best wishes.

John

Suzy asks:
Shore excursion tickets – until the last two cruises on the last sea day you have been able to get a copy of your shore excursions tickets for scrapbooking – I was surprised when I was told that you no longer do that because people were getting them then asking for a refund saying that they did not go (unbelievable) – for those of us who like to scrapbook or just want a souvenir of their trip there is an answer.  Get a rubber stamp for each ship and stamp the back of the ticket that says “TICKET COPY of your Shore Excursion – Souvenir Only – NO Monetary Value.”

John says:
Hello Suzy

Yes, what a shame that, for accounting purposes, we have had to stop this. However, if you would like a copy please do ask and they will give you a ticket copy that has a stamp on it that says USED. I just spoke with someone who said this is definitely something we can do. Please remind me the next time you cruise and I will arrange this ahead of time if you wish. Thanks for telling me this and hope we see you soon. Best wishes.

John

Miguel Navarro asks:
John, my wife and I are both platinum cruisers.  We just got off the Carnival Breeze (May 24 sailing) and have been enjoying our new VIFP coffee mugs each morning at home.  Until a few days ago we noticed two problems: 1) the coffee liquid leaks from around the edges onto the table (we hand wash them and they were never dropped). 2) The logo on the cup has faded (not sure it is from the heat of the hot coffee or what).  Can you pass this along to Carnival so they

can notify the cup vendor.  My VIFP number is 5158364421. Thanks.

Miguel Navarro

John says:
Hello Miguel Navarro

I am very sorry to read this and I will get new ones sent to you. Please accept my apologies and thank you also for your wonderful loyalty. I hope we see you soon and I remain here at your service. Best wishes.

John

Bruce McDonald asks:
John, love your blog. Has Carnival considered a cruise that overnights in Port Canaveral (Disney World) then to the Bahamas?  I would enjoy something like that from Galveston.  Thanks

John says:
Hello Bruce McDonald

While we always look to stay late in some ports, we rarely overnight (outside of a few calls in Nassau and on select Mexican Riviera cruises). Overnights stop us from opening shops and casinos and some ports even have restrictions on bars and alcohol service. Also, an overnight port would mean one less port in the itinerary as you need the night passage to reach the next destination. I hope that helps explain and if you have any other questions, please do let me know. Thanks for the kind words. Best wishes.

John

Jade Joie asks:
John: Why doesn’t Carnival do Europe?  We will have to go to Royal next year :(  We just got off the Breeze and loved it…so many wonderful things to say about it!

John says:
Hello Jadie Joie

I am so glad you had such a wonderful time on Carnival Breeze. With air fares from North America to Europe expensive at the moment, we are keeping the ships closer to home. However, we hope that this changes in the future as the feedback we receive on our European cruises is incredible. I do hope we see you again soon. Best wishes.

John

Denis K asks:
Regular reader, first time writing to you. I need you to fix me up with a tour of the engine room and a sit down with your head/chief engineer. I am a senior logistics engineer at the Big Bend nuclear power station. I foresee that we both would benefit from a sit down and a discussion. We (my wife and two daughters) are in Alaska with you on Miracle July 8 under booking ref ****** It is also going to be my wife’s birthday July 12 in Juneau so can you do something special for her. My wife is a dietitian so she would be willing to sit with you and offer advice and guidance.

John says:
Hello Denis K.

You will soon be here ready to explore Alaska and I will, of course, send your wife a little something to wish her a very happy birthday. I will also ask the chief engineer if his schedule permits you to have a chat with him, he is a very nice man, so I am sure he will find time if you have questions. I am afraid though that the only engine spaces we allow guests to see is the engine control room and the only way for you to see it is to take the Behind the Fun tour. This is available for purchase on board and features the bridge and photos and Q&A with the captain, the galley, backstage, many other crew-only areas with, of course, the chief engineer hosting the tour of the engine control room. I hope you get a chance to do this and I look forward to seeing you all very soon. Best wishes.

John

That’s all for today and my thanks to everyone who took the time to post comments and questions. This past cruise was an excellent one full of fun and memorable moments. We had rain in Skagway and, unfortunately, all of the helicopter flights to the glacier were cancelled. My naked water aerobics class in the main pool was also canceled. The guests have rain and a mixture of sun and cloud plus a bumpy sea day but it was an Alaskan experience the guests seemed to truly appreciate.

Let’s have a look at who is sailing with us today as we start another wonderful voyage.

Total Guests                2,443
United States              2,100
Canada                                    62
French Canada            9
Bahamas                      27
UK                              17
Australia                      20
Guest Under 18          392
Ladies called Susan    11
Diamond Guests         3
Platinum Guests          121

One of the places many of our guests will be enjoying will be the piano bar with our young British entertainer, Adam, who really does a great job. Our piano bars continue to provide our guests with fun, music and great memories and, with that in mind, here is their schedule for the coming months:

Carnival Breeze
6/15/2014        8/16/2014         Jordan Heppner
8/16/2014        11/16/2014       Adam Sayer
11/16/2014      12/20/2014       Open
12/20/2014      4/12/2015         Ben Gentry

Carnival Conquest
6/15/2014        6/22/2014         Bradley Dean Alexander
6/22/2014        6/29/2014         Elizabeth Setzer
6/29/2014        10/26/2014       Open
10/26/2014      2/23/2015         Open

Carnival Dream
6/15/2014        9/14/2014         Kimberly Krohn
9/14/2014        12/14/2014       Barry Meijer
12/14/2014      4/12/2015         Open

Carnival Ecstasy
7/14/2014        10/10/2014       Elizabeth Setzer
10/24/2014      2/16/2015         Open

Carnival Elation
6/19/2014        7/26/2014         Open
7/26/2014        9/25/2014         Zdrazko Spassov
9/25/2014        12/13/2014       John Melnick
12/13/2014      1/15/2015         Open

Carnival Fantasy
5/14/2014        6/27/2014         Jeremy Ray Borders
6/27/2014        8/18/2014         Peter Zwerver
8/18/2014        12/12/2014       Roger Concepcion
12/12/2014      2/7/2015           Open

Carnival Fascination
4/24/2014        9/18/2014         Jonathan Thompson
9/18/2014        11/13/2014       Hailey Morgan Wiebe
11/13/2014      3/14/2015         Open

Carnival Freedom
5/3/2014          8/3/2014           William Seth Gibson
8/3/2014          1/18/2015         Open

Carnival Glory
6/14/2014        9/13/2014         Kyle Bronsdon
9/13/2014        12/13/2014       Edmond Holz

Carnival Imagination
7/10/2014        11/13/2014       Daniel Satterberg
11/13/2014      1/15/2015         Jafar Curry

Carnival Inspiration
5/5/2014          8/29/2014         Christine Hetfield
8/29/2014        11/17/2014       Open
11/17/2014      1/12/2015         Open

Carnival Legend
2/16/2014        8/17/2014         Todd Fugate
8/17/2014        9/24/2014         William Seth Gibson
9/24/2014        12/16/2014       Gary Pickus
12/16/2014      1/15/2015         Open

Carnival Liberty
4/12/2014        7/27/2014         Barry Meijer
7/27/2014        10/18/2014       Milburn Dumas
10/18/2014      1/11/2015         Open

Carnival Magic
6/8/2014          9/14/2014         Robert Berhalter
9/14/2014        12/7/2014         Ben Gentry
12/7/2014        2/8/2015           Martin Lucas Vince

Carnival Miracle
3/1/2014          7/1/2014           Adam Sayer
7/1/2014          11/2/2014         Bistra Mileva
11/2/2014        2/1/2015           Todd Fugate

Carnival Paradise
3/31/2014        8/18/2014         Tom Grable
8/18/2014        9/15/2014         Steve Burks
9/15/2014        11/15/2014       Gustavo Garcia
11/15/2014      3/15/2015         Open

Carnival Pride
3/30/2014        8/17/2014         Roger Concepcion
8/17/2014        11/16/2014       Reynold Senn
11/16/2014      3/1/2015           Open

Carnival Sensation
4/3/2014          7/13/2014         Milburn Dumas
7/13/2014        7/27/2014         Bradley Dean Alexander
7/27/2014        10/9/2014         Jeremy Ray Borders
10/9/2014        12/11/2014       Tom Grable

Carnival Spirit
5/18/2014        6/25/2014         Natalie Carboni
6/25/2014        7/23/2014         Timothy Mitchell
7/23/2014        9/28/2014         Karin Muiznieks
8/29/2014        10/25/2014       Karin Muiznieks
9/28/2014        11/2/2014         Geoffrey Davies
11/2/2014        12/18/2014       Natalie Carboni

Carnival Splendor
3/17/2014        10/16/2014       Dana Honey
10/16/2014      1/11/2015         Agustin Villarin

Carnival Sunshine
4/9/2014          8/16/2014         Sophia Robbemont
8/16/2014        11/15/2014       Daniel David

Carnival Triumph
2/1/2014          8/16/2014         Agustin Villarin
8/16/2014        10/16/2014       Alan Sheppard
10/16/2014      2/5/2015           Robert Berhalter

Carnival Valor
5/11/2014        6/22/2014         Greg Alcock
6/22/2014        9/7/2014           Edmond Holz
9/7/2014          12/14/2014       Greg Alcock
12/14/2014      3/22/2015         Open

Carnival Victory
4/14/2014        9/25/2014         Robert Crucilla
9/25/2014        12/8/2014         Jordan Peterson
12/8/2014        3/21/2015         Jeremy Ray Borders

There you go, I hope you enjoy them all and, as always, I appreciate you telling me who your favourites are and also I would like to thank Laura, AKA Divetrash, for looking after them on their Facebook page.

During my years as a cruise director, I have always had one big problem…..women. Last night, I had one banging like hell on my cabin door……finally, I had to let her out. OK, that’s not the problem I meant. The problem is that I have never been able to say “No” because I guess it’s not in my character. Of course, I have always thought that if I do say “No,” then not only will “they” not ask me again, but I will be in the deep and smelly brown stuff when I need some help.

One good turn and all that bollocks. Of course, some people and, indeed, some nationalities are much better at saying no than others. In France, hotel and restaurant staff says, “No” before you have even finished the sodding sentence! I would love to say “No” much more often, starting now, in fact.

“Can I have a trophy, please?” “No, go to trivia and win one, FFS!”

“Can you get me a table for two?” “No………no, no, no. Your husband finds you boring and doesn’t want to be romantic. Secretly, he is hoping he gets seated with a group of single ladies who will have huge knockers. So, no, you cannot. I am going to seat you with a bunch of cougars so your husband can consider being a cheetah.”

But, of course, I am not going to do that because I like helping people and, let’s face it, in life, saying “yes” is far easier than saying “no.” But that was the word I had to use when speaking to the guest who wanted to host a talk for guests about the “spirit world” and offer to contact people who had passed on. I said “no” despite the fact that she told me the different cruise lines that had allowed her to do it. I also said “no” to the guests who wanted $100 each because of our “bravo bravo” announcement. I am getting better at this “no” thing………but, most of the time, I just turn into Hugh Grant.

On Facebook last week, I explained that due to some very inappropriate behaviour by me some 20 years ago, I have not had an alcoholic drink since. Yep, it has been 20 something years now. For those that missed the story, here it is again in a bit more detail. I think we may have been celebrating someone’s birthday and I had drunk three or four cognacs …….large ones. Cognac was my favourite drink. I am not an aggressive drunk. I usually giggle a lot and tell jokes about nuns and yaks. Anyway, I remember going to bed around 2 am but then the phone rang at 4 am and I was told to come to the bridge.

There had been a report of a missing guest and I had to call a full muster. This meant getting on the PA system, waking every guest and crew member up and telling them that the stateroom stewards and department heads would be checking that every guest was accounted for. I was told this by a captain who I can’t name but who had a strong Italian accent.

This is what I remember.

“You zee”……the captain said……”Wake op de passengers and tell dem wea hava to check a them in de beds.”

“Ummmmm……….What?” I replied.  It wasn’t just his thick accent that I was having trouble with…..it was my head and my stomach and ……I have no idea how I managed to get through that night. My speech sounded slurred and I couldn’t concentrate and, luckily, the guest was found and it turned out to be he was …… well ……..in worse shape than I was. I have no idea how I got through that night and how the guests understood me anymore than I understood the captain but since that night I have never drunk anything on board or indeed on land.

I will leave this section with my favourite story about what people do when they have had too much to drink. My best friend Alan was working in the city of London some years ago. It was Christmas time and he had been at the office party. Now this was back in the early 90s when times in the city were good especially amongst the bankers of which Alan was one. Anyway, the champagne had been guzzled all night and Alan somehow caught the last train back to Southend on Sea. There were a few people on the train and most were in the same comatose state as Alan was. The train ride from London Fenchurch Street to where we live is around 50 minutes and it was halfway through the journey with the train rattling and rolling along that the 17 glasses of champagne and the chicken vindaloo curry started to curdle and Alan woke up knowing he had seconds to act. He knew there would be a toilet on the next carriage but he also knew he would never make it. Now remember, this was the early 90s. There were no lap tops and Eyepads …… everyone carried around something called a “paper” and they did that in briefcases.

And so Alan knowing he was about to give up his dinner reached up above him, grabbed his brief case off the rail, put his head between his legs, and deposited champagne de vindaloo into his briefcase. The other few passengers were either pretending not to notice and had their eyes tight shut because they didn’t want to see the contents of Alan’s stomach or……..they were as I said before in a drunken coma. Anyway, Alan closed his eyes feeling pretty sorry for himself and some 30 minutes later he got off the train, collected his briefcase and walked the short distance to his home. Once home and knowing that he would be as welcomed in his bed where his wife was sleeping as Donald Sterling is welcomed as a LA Clippers cheerleader……he went to the spare room and went straight to sleep.

The next morning he woke up and, as he began to rise, he remembered what had happened on the train and looked down at the briefcase knowing what was inside. He took the briefcase into the bathroom and prepared himself for the hell that was about to greet him as he opened it up. One click……two clicks……it was open. But….there was nothing inside apart from his paperwork. He couldn’t understand. Had he dreamt the whole thing? He then realised he hadn’t dreamt it. He had projectile vomited last night on the train…..into someone else’s briefcase. And that someone was probably thinking, “What the hell did I do last night?” as he scraped bits of diced curried carrot off his spreadsheets.

Goodnight.

Your friend,
John

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53 Responses to A MUCH LIGHTER BLOG……52 POUNDS LIGHTER, ACTUALLY (PLUS THE NEW PIANO BAR SCHEDULE)

  1. Lauren says:

    I find it funny that people from the Bahamas go on an Alaskan cruise. I mean, I get it, they see the Bahamas all day every day. It just must be a major adjustment going from those gorgeous warm beaches to the cool icy waters of Alaska.

  2. Elizabeth Flagg says:

    Hi John,

    Congratulations on your weight loss! Way to go! I’d be happy to go shopping with you in Seattle! :-)

    I am so glad that Dwight Slade will be on board for one of the cruises. I have known him for a while and he is hilarious!

  3. Jeanne says:

    First a big congratulations…you are on a journey that will be difficult but rewarding in the end. Might I suggest when you go to “Uncle Google” that you also check JC Penney online they have a great Big and Tall dept. and three stores in Seattle, after all these cloths will only be temporary. Hope you continue to have a fabulous season in beautiful Alaska

  4. Kelly Wolfsbauer says:

    John I love your blog and your Facebook posts. I have been on a weight loss journey too for the past 7 months. I am done 77 pounds with 25 more to go. I also hate to shop and put it off until I looked like a clown in my professional clothes. My boss finally took me aside and told me I had to shop. Ugh! I hope you get what you need with minimal fuss. Great job on the weight loss and keep it up! You will reach your goal and not be a fluffy person soon!

  5. Jennifer Weston says:

    CONGRATULATIONS John on your 50lbs lost! Sooooooo proud of you! Keep up the good work!

  6. Dan Rozewicz says:

    John who is the CD on the Glory for the Aug 18th sailing?

  7. Paul Salata says:

    52 pounds lost. That is great. I can’t imagine how hard that is. Resisting the lure of food, and doing the hardest exercise of all, the table push-away. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

  8. Vicky Daniel says:

    John, I saw the comment about the shore excursion tickets. When my daughter and I boarded the Freedom this week I notice a lady with a backpack with patches of shore locations she had visited. It just gave me a great idea for souvenirs!

  9. So glad you have accomplished 52 lbs so far. My husband was VERY overweight 12 years ago and was told he had to have baratric surgery or he wouldn’t live 6 mo. He did so and has kept 275 lbs off for 11 years. It took about a year to lose the weight but he is so much healthier. We will be cruising in December for the 5th time and this is something we couldn’t have done earlier on life. Keep up the good work. It takes a lot of determination. Also we love reading your blogs. He asks every day what John has had to say.

  10. Jan Reem says:

    Congrats!! Wonderful news!! Hope your shopping is as quick as possible.

  11. Leigh Jones says:

    Congratulations on your success. I have done this sort of thing several times during my lifetime. I believe you will discover that the next twenty-five pounds can be relatively easy — you won’t need to make any serious changes in your habits to keep losing weight now. I should say that the first 25 lbs has to be the hardest because you really have to change yourself and your expectations of what you can eat to get that initial success. When you are very near to your goal you will need to avoid congratulating yourself with indulgences. They lead right back to your original weight. Succeed at that and the second half of your odyssey may take longer than the first half but will be easier. Be sure to let go of the hope that you may return to indulgent habits and set both minimum and maximum weight limits with mandatory responses leading to total control.

  12. Vicki says:

    John,

    Congratulations on your 52 pounds of weight loss. It surely is not an easy thing to do. I have never had the pleasure of meeting you, but, just wanted you to know how proud of you I am. Maybe some day our paths will cross. Until then keep up the good work and take care of yourself.

  13. Gail Gerard says:

    Congrats on losing 52 lbs John! :) WHOOP WHOOP!

  14. Cindy Salmon says:

    Way to go on the weight loss John. So proud of you. You will do great at losing the next 50. Keep up the good work and I’m sure Heidi will reward you with lots of rumpy pumpy.

  15. Louis Mattioli says:

    We are wanting to plan an Alaskan Cruise next year, and wondering what is the best month to plan for it. Thanks for your help.

  16. Patti George says:

    Hi John,

    How did you lose the weight? I know you exercised but what did you eat, just salads? I’m interested..

    Thanks.

  17. Mary ward says:

    John – congratulations on the 52 pounds! The new clothes that fit will make you look much smaller than the baggies you are wearing -even if you do hate shopping. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing less of you in the future!

  18. jeri lyn rohde says:

    So proud of you! Way to go. I’m down 11.6 “guess you gotta start somewhere” ;)

  19. Nanci Hess says:

    John, Congrats on the 52 pounds and I feel safe in saying the next 50 will probably be easier actually. As for shopping I feel your pain, I had gastric bypass surgery 2years ago and have lost 142 pounds and still have to try everything on because sizing in whacked from ore to store and any thing in non-US or non-UK locales are completely screwed…keep up the good work.

  20. Fern says:

    Hi John, I’m very happy for you and your 52 lb weight loss :)! It must have been VERY hard to lose weight when you’re on a ship with all the “yummy” food!

    Hope we can cruise with you someday :) !

  21. Stephanie Murray says:

    Congratulations, John, keep up the good work, we’re all proud of you!
    Try to see if there’s a Men’s Warehouse near the port, they have great suits, reasonable priced and sometimes 2 for 1 sales. I don’t work there, lol! We cruise a lot on Carnival and a few years back, my man bought a tux there to wear on formal nights.
    Just got back from a quick cruise, number 21, on the Paradise, she’s an oldie but goodie, had a great time!
    Kudos to our cabin steward, Jean, he was wonderful. And our dining team, Prasad, Komar and Angelito were a pleasure!
    Also, saw 2 smiling faces from previous cruises, Steve the ACD, who we met on the Freedom 2 years ago and Ivan, the Dream Studio photographer, who took fabulous pictures of us last year on the Liberty. Also enjoyed Steve, that wonderfully talented fiddle playing, juggling cruise director!
    John, just wondering why you don’t talk about the studio more. As well as pictures we took as a couple, Ivan came out to HMC with our annual cruise group ( we rented the private oasis) and he took some fantastic pictures which we will all cherish forever.
    And I can’t forget to mention our outstanding pvp, Jenifer Gulick, who is a joy to work with!
    Hopefully we will get to cruise with you one day, by any chance are you considering doing the Freedom repo cruise in February?
    Going on it for my 60th, (oh, FFS :)! when did I get so old????!!!!!!, lol! ) birthday and there’s quite a large group booked already with a lot celebrating birthdays, too. We all love your blog and fb page, what a delightful present it would be to celebrate with you!
    Ok, enough begging… enjoy Alaska, we’re loving the updates and pictures, thinking maybe my milestone cruise should be to there…..Stephanie

  22. Nancy Boatright says:

    Congrats on your weight loss! I know that it wasn’t easy. We were on the Miracle on the June 10th cruise and you were so gracious to pick me to be on stage on the Welcome show, along with with Dick Little and the others. That is an experience that I will never forget! I noticed that when I was on stage, that your clothes were very baggy Thank God for suspenders! Take care and keep of the good work!

  23. Beth Hanson says:

    John – my husband and I had our 25th milestone cruise on the Liberty in March. Had a GREAT time (as always!), but someone saw our card and asked if we’d gotten the 25% discount. We said no, and he said he thought we had a year to apply the credit. Can you tell me (or give me a link) how to do this….does it have to be when we book our cruise, how long do we have to use it? We’ve got a btb on the Breeze in November/December – can’t wait!! Thanks…..

    P.S. Our favorite piano bar entertainer is Seth Gibson – we booked on the liberty just to see him again after doing the 16-night transatlantic on the Sunshine!

    PPS: Love reading your blog – I read it out loud to my husband and we laugh till we cry!

  24. Marie Wolff says:

    John: Want to thank you again for another wonderful blog. Your stories never fail to amuse.
    Mostly, I want to congratulate you on your very serious weight loss. I know it has not been easy, but, you are doing a most important action for your future and health. So proud of you.
    Marie

  25. John,
    I am so proud of you and so happy for you regarding your weight loss. i know you’ve been dreading/hating that treadmill but i knew it would pay off and i hoped you’d continue on your journey to loose pants. It makes me so happy to see that you’re seeing such great results. Keep it coming! I also wanted to say that your journey inspired me to get on the treadmill today too. I plan to do it 3-4 times per week in addition to my playing american football on mondays :)
    i hope i get to share loose pants results soon too!

    congratulations. again, proud of you and happy for you… we can’t stop here, this is oversized clothes country…

  26. Patrick Rooney says:

    John,

    I’m a new follower and continuing Carnival cruiser. Enjoying your blog posts as well as your Facebook ones. Hope to meet you in person someday.

    I noticed that your Piano Bar list of entertainers included the following:

    Carnival Magic
    6/8/2014 9/14/2014 Robert Berhalter

    Would this by chance be the “Bob” that we enjoyed so much when we sailed in May of 2013 on the Magic? We’d love to enjoy his entertaining antics again when we sail on the Magic for our third time on August 31st.

    Thanks and safe, fun filled travels.

  27. Benita says:

    Congratulations on your 52 pound weight loss! It’s a tough road…this whole weight loss thing!
    Hyatt at the Blue absolutely made our stay in Miami!!! It’s a beautiful property with wonderful service and we loved the pool!

  28. cheryl key says:

    Congrats on your weight loss !! I too have lost almost 50 lbs so I can go on our anniversary cruise sept 28th-Oct 5th 2014 on the magic. We are 1st time cruisers and will be celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary with yall.(we are from texas) We are SOooo excited !!! Keep up the good work losing the weight !!!

  29. Janey Winford says:

    John, there is a Casual Male XL store in Tukwila, WA (a suburb of Seattle about 11mi away) the address is 17401 Southcenter Pkwy, Tukwila, WA 98188 (206 575-6099). They are open until 8pm.

  30. BB says:

    John, Congrats on your weight loss. I too fight the battle and after double knee replacement in Feb…fight it a little more!!

    Don’t spend too much on your new clothes because in a few months you’ll have to buy again!! remember….you have a new group of “friends” each week so no one knows you’re wearing the same outfits!!

    Looking forward to my 24th cruise in Sept on the Breeze!!! Can’t and i mean can’t wait!!!!

  31. Desiree says:

    YOU SHOULD BE sooooo proud of yourself! If I was on the cruise with you I would pat you on the back. As soon as I turned 50 I became an “Easy Keeper” anyone with horses will understand this saying. If you can lose weight and cruise almost everyday of your life….you are truly my hero! GOOD FOR YOU!!

  32. Josh M says:

    For the Sunshine The Piano player’s name is SONJA Robbemont, and she is FANTASTIC! Carnival needs to keep her around. John keep up the great work on losing those Lbs!

  33. Helen says:

    Congrats on the 52 lbs! Many of us who have lost weight will tell you that losing it is the easy part. It takes diligence to KEEP it off ;)

  34. Dutchman says:

    52 pounds on a cruise ship, you the man John

  35. Atoya says:

    Congrats on your weight loss. It’s certainly a lot easier to put on than to take off. Just a quick question. Why doesn’t the Triumph have a Serenity deck?

  36. OB Rock says:

    Congratulations John on your weight loss. You were a good person when you were larger and the same good person now in a smaller body. You might consider shopping at a consignment/used clothing store in Seattle while your in transition. Good Luck

  37. Peg Lorenzon says:

    Hi John,
    I just got off the Splendor today and had a great time. Atsawah (not sure of spelling) in the dining room (table 436) and his crew were awesome. My only disappointment was the piano player, Dana….he hardly interacted with the crowd and just seemed to sing for himself. I don’t know if you ever worked with Buster Freeze, I met him on the Miracle out of NYC and he was the best piano player I have encountered on my cruises. He interacted with the audience, had funny songs as well as regular songs and the piano bar was hopping every night. Most nights on the Splendor there were only a handful of folks in the piano bar (first night I wondered in there were 4). Due to Buster’s brilliance, I look forward to the piano bar and though no one has lived up to him, others have been good. So was disappointed with Dana. Maybe someone could coach him to interact with his audience (and know more songs…he spent a lot of time saying he did not know songs or took forever to find them)! Just thought I would comment since you were asking about the piano bar. I stopped in 3 times and only lasted a few songs. Still, I had a great time on the Splendor (but like the Miracle better!) :)

  38. Jewel Singleton says:

    Hi! John I love reading about your cruises that my husband and I being rednecks as they call us decided to take one.We are going on the Elation out of New Orleans in July ,your blog has made it easier for me to say yes after all these years of terror.But you make it sound so fun ! So I am going to do it finnally and hope and pray I make it back the same condition I left .This will be the 1’st real vacation for us in 32 years I hope we have lot’s of fun.

    • Julie Tyler says:

      Jewel, you’ll have a blast! Go on the excursions, participate in the seminars and offerings on board, play in the casino–you can win a lot of stuff there–and sample all of the cuisine the ship has to offer. Read John’s blog and PLEASE don’t act like a PLATINUM guest! (wink, wink)

  39. Alex Aguilar says:

    Way to go John, great to hear you have sheaded some weight and I hope you continue to reach your goals. I definitely want to see you around Carnival ships for a few more years so I can take a couple more cruises with you.

  40. Chris Herbst says:

    John,
    Bravo on the weight loss!! I also have recently lost 36 pounds so that I look better for my November cruise with my buddies. I appreciate how hard it is, especially to get started. I really don’t know if I could do it while working on a CRUISE LINE!!! Again, bravo

  41. John, congratulations on loosing 52 pounds. Quite an accomplishment indeed!
    My brother Terry and I are wrapping up our 8 day cruise on the Carnival Liberty.
    We are both celebrating our recent retirements.
    We have had a wonderful time! All of the ports of call were Great!
    The service has been fantastic as always!
    The entertainment has been absolutely fantastic! I love having a live band and different entertainment each evening. The other entertainment, singers, comedians, trivia, games, etc. have also been great!
    There was one glitch, where my luggage had an unfortunate accident and was damaged beyond repair. Natasha at Customer Service took care of it by offering to pay for replacement luggage. I was able to find a shop in Curaçao that had one very similar to mine. All worked out well.
    Now, I must say the food has been fabulous as well ( although not a big fan of the American Table concept) I have managed to only gain @ 4 pounds so far, thanks to the excellent exercise facility.
    I love cruising on Carnival and Good Lord willing, will continue to do so!
    I am a fan of your Blog and Facebook, keep up the great work and best success on your weight loss!
    Larry

  42. Rebecca Atkinson says:

    Good for you!!
    My husband and I are traveling on the Breeze October 25th for our anniversary and have also been on a weight loss mission. We are both down thirty pounds so far.

    Inspired by your blog. Keep up the good work!!

  43. charles spurlock says:

    When will Carnival have a concert cruise out of Galveston or New Orleans? We are 1000 miles from the nearest port that have concerts
    thanks for all you do

  44. Dan W says:

    John, I thought your job would be a blast, but after hearing all the complaints you deal with I think I’ll just keep my job as a police officer..less complaining, well to me anyway. My Wife and I will be doing our 4 cruise next week. One trip my wife fell on board and cracked a rib(the ship’s doctor treated her and didn’t even charge us) We once got ill in New Orleans days before departure, but a few days later we were OK and back into the swing of things. When asked about those trips we talk about the great fun we had not the minor issues that often accompany travel. Some people are just my glass is half empty kind of folks. Enjoy the Blog, keep up the good work & maybe we will bump into you on the Miracle next week.

  45. C Gagnon says:

    Hello John,

    This is a fabulous. I know how hard it is when you do it through eating and exercise.
    I started my journey 1 year ago and am down 20 Lbs.
    .
    Keep it up, ans if you are sometimes not as perfect. Just u-turn and keep going.
    Those 50 lbs are gone, and the 1st step is to ensure those don’t return. The 2nd part is to keep going.
    .
    Question – what is the policy on the ships travelling through different time zones.
    In my experience, sometimes carnival follows port time & other’s just stay on “ship time”. I which Carnival would come up with a standard ( either way) then we would know when trying to make plans.
    .
    Thanks for the great job you and Carnival do. It is a great value vacation, and I love that you are now trying to have people “count their blessings”, they are on vaction, can’t be that bad.

  46. Kim says:

    Congrats on yourweight loss! What an inspiration! would you consider sharing how you have achieved your goals?
    Trying to lose a few with hubby for Aug cruise on Magic :)

  47. Margi says:

    Congratulations on you weight loss. I’ve been struggling myself my whole life with weigh problem. I decided to go to the gym and I was feeling good, I had lost 20 lbs. Two years ago I injured my hips at the Gym and stopped going, so after losing 20 lbs I gained them back..My husband surprised me with a cruise for our wedding anniversary.. That was my motivation to start dieting and exercising so I went back to the gym and I have lost 9lbs so far. I also use my fitness pal app and count my calories everyday. We r cruising the carnival magic July 6 2014 and I’m very exited. We have never been on a cruise before so it’s our first time. I am kind of nervous but after all I have struggled I hope to enjoy our 9th anniversary together. I’m glad I found your blog.

  48. cohiba jim (miracle) says:

    Johnson
    what was the date/ship were you are bringing on the professional cigar roller? Thanks for two great alaska cruises old bean!!!

  49. cohiba jim (miracle) says:

    Johnboy
    what was the date/ship were you are bringing on the professional cigar roller? Thanks for two great alaska cruises old bean!!!

  50. Annabelle Brown says:

    Just wanted to congratulate you for the weight loss…you really show it in the picture from the former blog cruise!!! Keep up the good work…every pound lost is a win…(unless there are too many of them!!)

  51. Rick says:

    HI John, like the update for the Piano players. Sad that I don’t see Mr. H on the schedule. really enjoyed his show.

  52. Kelly says:

    I used to be a piano bar player on Carnival back in 1988 and loved it!
    Last week I sailed on the Ecstasy and frequented the piano bar and met Liz.
    She’s great. She let me sit in a bit and what a thrill to relive my Carnival days!
    If you see her tell her thanks and maybe I can sub for a week or two for someone at some point. That would be a great working vacation!

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