2 Family Guys

September 5, 2014 -

John Heald

As this will be my last blog for a while. I wanted to cram in as many questions as I can, so let’s start today with some immediate Q & A. Off we trot

Linda Corbett asks:
Hi John!  I am returned from a back-to-back-to-back.  It was wonderful!  My CD was Marcelo Alvarado and, needless to say, he was fantastic – great sense of humor, attention to detail, entertainment.  From the first week, July 26, I would like to recognized my cabin steward Michael. He was very detailed in taking care of me (I traveled solo).  He made me a towel animal zoo, some of which I moved to the next cabin that I had on the following cruise.  A birthday cake made of towels and a monkey bearing a birthday card were the cutest!  In the dining room, Reynaldo from the Philippines and Peter from Hungary, are to be commended. Peter in particular, was the one who ran off to pick up orders and to dance (boy, did he dance!).  But he also knew what I and the others at the table wanted and would note that I had did not have what I wanted and would correct the matter without me saying a word.

Although they were moved around at the end of the first cruise, I would still see these two gentlemen throughout the other two cruises and they would still be friendly and quite helpful.  Mr. V, my maître d’ was great!  He danced, he sang, and ran a tight ship.  Dinner was quickly served and dessert was normally ordered before the dining room entertainment began. The second cruise, July 31, Imade was my cabin steward.  He remained my cabin steward for the third cruise also. He exceeded my expectations.  Kept me supplied with ice, continued my towel zoo, and was always friendly, although he was busy, busy, busy.

In the main dining room, Merwyn, our head waiter, saw to it that orders were correct, and again dinner was normally completed by “showtime.”  Abigael, our hostess, was – the entire time, an angel. I think she knew my name the very first night! She was always very sweet and friendly.  When she thought I had left the ship and she did not get to say goodbye, she was sad; but, as it was, I had not left, and when she saw me, she greeted me with genuine excitement.  She always placed me at a window table for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. I look forward to seeing her on Carnival Freedom in Galveston! Third cruise – I had the same cabin steward.  The dining room crew was led by the funny and entertaining Leonardo.  He was attentive to us all.  When I did not want to eat more, he would take a utensil and spoon feed me.  He also did this to another table mate.  We enjoyed it and his dancing! 🙂

Now – overall, as I mentioned previously, the ship is gorgeous.  I look forward to seeing it after dry dock.  I fell in love with the colors and the decor.  The food was hot and it was good.  Inside and out, the ship was clean.  The first part of my cruise, the Past Guest party, just happened to fall on my birthday.  What I treat it was when Marcelo announced that no diamonds were present and that I was on my milestone cruise!  I was blessed to be the one to be photographed with the ship’s officers!  The entire 14 days were filled with special treats and surprises for me.  It was fantastic! Marcelo was terrific in his CD duties, the other officers and staff members were very kind throughout the cruises. But the one that really stood out was the captain!  He told me that he was going to sing down in the Latin Lounge and he kept his word!  It was fantastic.  I was sad that he was leaving before me, but the captain who replaced him is just as cool.  Please thank them all for making me feel like more than just a passenger – more than a guest – but a friend!

John says:
Hello Linda Corbett

What a fantastic review and what a brilliant advert for the Carnival Victory this is. I can tell you that there will be many happy crew indeed when they see this as will the senior managers, as well. I know how much joy and kindness you bring to them whenever you sail and for that I thank you. I hope we see you again very soon and, as always, if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. Best wishes.


Simon M asks:
Your KAN fans make me nauseous with their begging. What happened to earning a ship on a stick and buying gifts for family not getting licking the supersized cruise director’s backside to do it? Cruise directors are all the same, they sound the same and all do the same tired old jokes. Do not worry Heald because you are my second favorite cruise director AFTER EVERY OTHER CRUISE DIRECTOR CARNIVAL HAS – LMAO.

John says:
Hello Simon M

You’re right, we do have a brilliant group of cruise directors, so thank you for taking the time to mention that they are all your favorites. I am sure that will make their day. I will address the other part of your comment later in the blog, if I may, because I need to give that some serious consideration. I may not be your favourite cruise director but if there is anything I can do for you or your family, please let me know. Best wishes.


Sheila Ashby asks:
We just returned from the Alaska cruise and had a wonderful time. On both of our shore excursions, we were encouraged to give feedback to Carnival for further recommendations. I asked at the shore excursion desk on board how we give feedback and was told to log on to Carnival. However, I do not see a place for feedback. Thank you for directing me as to how I can do this. Finally, you are very funny and we enjoyed attending events you hosted and watching the Morning Show with you and your assistant.

John says:
Hello Sheila Ashby

I hope you did, indeed, have a brilliant time here and I would ask that you send me all the excursion feedback here to the blog. You can mark it as “not for posting” if you wish and I will then send it to our Miami beards in charge of this department. If there is anything else I can do for you, please do let me know. Best wishes.


Cristina Aldaco asks:
This request is for my booking ****** on 10/9 Carnival Liberty. I suffer from serious claustrophobia and have doctor’s letters and evidence to back me up. I have asked for an upgrade to a balcony but have had no cooperation from Carnival. This is terrible care and customer service. Can something be done for me because I just cannot stay in a cabin with no window or with a balcony and cannot afford to book an upgrade to one???

John says:
Hello Cristina Aldaco

I am sorry to read about this and I am sorry that we are unable to offer you an upgrade for free at this time. I do hope you will be able to enjoy the cruise though and if there is anything else you would like to ask, please let me know. Until then, I wish you a brilliant time. Best wishes


Sarah asks:
Can you tell me if the Carnival Magic will go into dry dock before June 21, 2015! We recently booked this ship, and we didn’t realize that it didn’t have a Guy’s Burger Joint. (A very tearful moment) it was our groups favorite lunch spot! I’m sure it’s already a great ship and we will have a blast regardless. Please let me know!! Thanks

John says:
Hello Sarah

At this point, Carnival Magic will not undergo a dry dock before you sail next June, unfortunately.  Regardless, the ship has lots of great places to enjoy wonderful food and I am sure you and your friends will have a brilliant time. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


Debra Longhany asks:
I am part of a group of 18 cabins booked on the Carnival Conquest 9/21. We are all huge NY Giants fanatics and need assurances that the boat will show the game with the Falcons on 9/25. This would have a serious negative impact on our cruise if you guys do not show this and there will be 32 very angry people. What assurances can you give me that we will have the game shown and shown on the giant screen?

John says:
Hello Debra Longhany

I am afraid I can give you no assurances at all right now. We can only show what our satellite provider sends us and while we do have Fox as one of our stations, it depends on what feed we get if the game is shown. I will be able to confirm if we can or not a few days before the cruise when I will post the NFL games the fleet will show on my facebook.com/johnheald.  As for the game being shown on the big screen, well that is at the cruise director’s discretion and sometimes we keep to the movie schedule as the movies are, for the most part, more popular with guests and so the game will be shown in the EA Sports Bar. I hope that you will realise that there is far more to look forward to on the cruise and not worry too much about the game.

Regina Washington asks:
My husband has a healthy appetite LOL. Are there any rules on how many items he can order from the menu? We are doing our first-ever cruise August 24 on the Carnival Sensation. I have been told the restaurant has booths. Please can we not sit in a booth? My husband is a big man 350 pounds. He will not fit in the booth. Thank you, sir, for answering and helping me.

John says:
Hello Regina Washington

Yes, indeed, let you husband order what he wishes and I am sure he will enjoy the wonderful food selections as I’m sure you will as well.  I will send a note to the maître d and ask that he put you at a table and not a booth. I hope you have a brilliant time and I am sure this will be the first of many. Best wishes.


Cara asks:
Hi John: Could you please tell me if there is going to be a pirate day on the Carnival Dream in September? I would love to show my pirate pride but will not bring the costume if not needed. Thank you for all you do. Love ya.

John says:
Hello Cara

It will be on September 19 and, if you go back to the blog a couple of weeks ago called Pirates of the Caribbean, you will find all the details there. Thanks so much for the kind words and please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


Augustus Melchion asks:
Hi John: I’m very proud to let you know that my next cruise on the Carnival Glory will be my 100th Carnival cruise. The caveat is since 1992, I have 65 officially. However, I’ve been cruising CCL since 1979. If I combine all of them, the total is 100. My wife and I have enjoyed every one of them and the special treatment afforded to diamond members. Thanks for your attention.

John says:
Hello Augustus Melchion

Many congratulations and many thanks for your amazing loyalty, it is truly incredible. Do you have any proof of the cruises before 1992 such as tickets, boarding pass, photos, etc.? If you do please let us know at cclsupport@carnival.com and we will be glad to add those to your cruise days. Please also let me know if there is anything at all I can do for you both and I wish you another brilliant cruise. Best wishes.


John Melvin asks:
I love Carnival and my son and I hope to continue to cruise every six months or so. But on our last cruise on Carnival Sunshine, my new luggage was destroyed in the transfer between check in and getting to my room. The damage and reimbursement was promptly handled by Carnival and I replaced the luggage buying a new replacement in Belize during the cruise. Then when I retrieved my luggage in the customs clearance area upon disembarking, the new luggage was also destroyed. Again, Carnival has promptly handled my complaint and reimbursed the full cost of the luggage. Question: can I cruise using heavy duty garbage bags? Will my experience with this damage be covered with baggage handlers? Are there any negative consequences for the handlers or perhaps some sense of accomplishment for the damage, especially damage going and coming for one guest?

John says:
Hello John Melvin

Goodness me, that is very unfortunate and I apologise for this. It is also very rare and, while I congratulate my colleagues for their fast actions to help resolve this, I am still shocked that this happened to you twice. The answer to your question, I guess is yes, although I cannot remember anyone ever doing this but if you feel comfortable doing so then I guess you can. The chances of this happening again must be minute, though. I hope your next cruise is incident free and if there is anything I can do for you before you sail again, please let me know. Best wishes.


Charles Santora asks:
Hi John,

I have a quick question. Can I buy the Cheers program for myself only? My wife dos not drink and it would be crazy for us to have to purchase two Cheers stickers. I will still drink and be merry either way but it would be nice to have this option.

John says:
Hello Charles Santora

Unfortunately the current rules do dictate that everyone over 21 in the cabin use the Cheers program. Therefore, in this case, it may then not be the best option for you. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes to you both.


Sherrie Talcott asks:
Can you find out who won the hairy chest contest aboard the Carnival Glory, May 31st sailing? We love Carnival and are Platinum members. Our next cruise in September 21 on Carnival Breeze. Thanks for your help.

John says:
Hello Sherrie Talcott

I am afraid I can’t. We don’t keep a register of the winners of this contest. Sorry, I could not help and I wish you a wonderful cruise and thank you for your loyalty. Best wishes.


Dawn Gerundo asks:
We are currently on the Carnival Legend and have just gone through the Panama Canal. I must say it is has been a wonderful journey. I did want to share, because I responded to your Facebook comment a few months back: Have you always been greeted by our cabin steward… and I said yes always. However, not that our room has not been up to par, because it has, it wasn’t until day six was there a card in our room announcing our cabin steward. I found that a little awkward to say the least. We have been well taken care of; just unsure which room service individual was ultimately responsible for our room. I hope this was just a drop in the hat and Carnival is not taking that greeting away, because it was that special touch that always made us feel like we were so welcomed to be here. Again, please note our room has been fine, we had to ask for ice and got a recycled towel animal (two nights in row), and I say that because it was on the counter when we left for dinner and then fluffed and put back on our bed that evening. Please this is not to get anyone in trouble or spoken too, I just thought I would share with you.



John says:
Hello Dawn Gerundo

Thank you for writing and I hope that you had the most wonderful time on the Carnival Legend during this special voyage. This comment is very unusual because we absolutely are not taking the embarkation greeting away as we feel it is a very important part of the service our wonderful cabin stewards provide. I am not sure what happened in this case but I assure you it will be passed on to the housekeeping manager and the hotel director for their review. I do apologise and, again, I hope you had the most superb time. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Best wishes.


Billie Ann Beard asks:
I am traveling with Bettye Sue Evans and cousins on Carnival Elation on September 6. We are “the next generation.” I sleep with a C-PAP machine and I need to know if I will find an outlet near my bed. Will I be able to order distilled water for my humidifier chamber? Thank you for any assistance you can give.

John says:
Hello Billie Ann Beard

We, unfortunately, do not have a power point next to the bed but please do not worry. You can bring a good quality extension cord with you or tell your stateroom steward and he or she will provide one for you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and I wish you the most wonderful time. Best wishes.


Diane Massie asks:
If Carnival were treating their loyal guests properly, they would not only show concern when service failures occur, but also show proper guest relations to all guests. If Carnival wanted to prove they valued us as a loyal consumer, they wouldn’t devalue your benefits or put a price on your loyalty via programs, such as Faster to the Fun. Get rid of Faster to the Fun and make us VIPS happy again. It is what your customers want if you take the time to ACTUALLY LISTEN TO THEM.

John says:
Hello Diane Massie

Thank you for your loyalty and I hope, on your way to achieving your Platinum card, that you have enjoyed the service and the fun that our crew have always provided and the affordability of the cruise. Faster to the Fun is offered to a limited number of guests so it really does not impact your cruise and please remember that when we added this, we added two more benefits to the Diamond and Platinum guests: express luggage service and your stateroom being ready as soon as soon as you board. We are listening, I assure you, and I am here if you would like to ask me anything at all. Hope to see you soon. Best wishes.


Kayla Turnball asks:
I was on Carnival Miracle with you John last week. I was one of the passengers who complained about the fog horn blasting all night I’m a very light sleeper and, due to my various medical conditions, not getting a good night’s sleep makes me very lethargic. I should have been told that there might be fog when I booked this cruise with my PVP__________. No money was offered to me which I think shows that Carnival does not care about me. I had two nights with little or no sleep which meant that those days I had to nap and miss lots of what was going on. Carnival needs to give this more thought because I am sure I am not the only one who had their cruise ruined by the fog horn and no sleep.

John says:
Hello Kayla Turnball

I am so sorry that your sleep was disturbed and I totally understand that with the medical conditions you have, this disturbance causes you discomfort. I wonder, did you try the ear plugs guest services gave you, did they help? The weather is unpredictable, as you know – fog can happen just about anywhere – and, obviously, we have to sound the horn every two minutes while in fog and do so under maritime laws. Again, I do sincerely apologise your sleep was disturbed and I hope that you did enjoy the fun and the incredible beauty of Alaska. Please let me know if you have any other questions or if there is anything else I can do for you. Best wishes.


Sean Maloney asks:
John: As a long time Carnival sailor coming up on cruise #12, we have never had any issues and loved every cruise. My question is this, a couple of months ago, my wife’s twin sister passed away. She was cremated and we have her ashes in a biodegrable shell urn. We would like to bury her at sea and raise a glass of wine to her in her memory. We will be cruising on 9/28 on the Carnival Dream. Does Carnival permit burials at sea? Thank you.

Sean Maloney

John says:
Hello Sean Maloney

I send my sincere condolences to you for the loss of your sister-in-law. Please know that I am able to help you organise this. I wonder if you would contact me on my facebook.com/johnheald page three days before the cruise and I will make all the arrangements for you.  Best wishes to you all.


Alysia asks:
Hi John! Just a few words of praise to maybe help balance out all the negatives you get. I met you on the last bloggers cruise on the Carnival Sunshine. Before meeting you and hearing you speak I had never read your blog. Boy, was I missing out! You were so kind, personable and funny when we met that it led me to check out this blog everyone was raving about. I want you to know just how much you brighten people’s day with it. I look forward to my daily giggles as I am sure many more do. I would LOVE to have you for a CD on all my cruises! Thank you so much for the daily bits of joy you bring to so many people. I’m not really sure why the negative people feel the urge to demand you live your life as they think you should. However, it really cracks me up to see your replies. I don’t know how you are so nice answering these people either. Not many would be. Just know that you have tons of people who love reading this blog. Carry on with the fun! Also, do you know who the CD and the comedians will be on the Carnival Dream the week of 9/5/14? My wonderful hubby and I are taking our first vacation, without any of our four children, for the first time in 18 years to celebrate our 20th anniversary! You, Carnival and all of your amazing employees always go above and beyond to make our cruises wonderful and give my family some very precious memories.

John says:
Hello Alysia

Those are wonderfully rejuvenating words. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write to me and I do sincerely appreciate them. I also hope we get to cruise together one day soon and meanwhile, you will be on the Carnival Dream in a few days. Your comedians will be Dwight Slade, Kyle Grooms, Jeff Jena and Bob Gould. Please let me know your cabin number the day before the cruise on my Facebook page if you can and I wish you a happy anniversary and loads of fun. Best wishes.


George Brust asks:
Would you be so kind as to reassign Ken Byrne, the singing maitre d’, to the January 31, 2015 sailing of the Carnival Breeze out of Miami. I know you have incredible influence with Carnival and we have sailed with Ken several times before and do so much miss his level of professionalism and crooning. Thank you John. By the by, you were our cruise director on our first carnival cruise. That was on the Carnival Triumph in 2004…perhaps you could join us also on the cruise along with Ken.

John says:
Hello George Brust

As it turns out, that is my annual Bloggers Cruise and, indeed, I can confirm that Ken will be the maitre d for that voyage and the one before it on Carnival Breeze. I will see you there for loads of fun. Best wishes.


Laura Oberg asks:
We have enjoyed Carnival but have a big complaint. My sons are 12 and 10 and both are platinum VIPS!!!!!! What am I supposed to do with a coffee cup for them? Kids do not usually drink coffee!!! Carnival needs to get a grip with this because my kids are VIPS too. I would suggest credit for video games and a VIP T-shirt with a cool kids design on it. These are things kids appreciate, not a stupid Made in China coffee mug!!!!

John says:
Hello Laura Oberg

Thank you so very much for the brilliant loyalty you have shown and how superb that your children are platinum at such a young age, how lucky they are. I agree that the coffee mug isn’t the most exciting gift a child can receive and with many younger platinum guests we do need to take a look at what we can do. Leave this with me then and I will chat with the beards. I hope we see you soon and thank you for your continuing loyalty. Best wishes to you all.


Steve McLennan asks:
Hi John: I’m on the Carnival Legend in Grand Cayman prior to the Panama Canal crossing. In August 1914, the Cristobel was the first ship to cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the canal, exactly 100 years ago. I’m disappointed that there is no recognition of this event on board (logo wear, lecturer, and even verbal comments by staff). Passengers are generally older and I’m sure they would be fascinated. Having read “Path Between the Seas” before this trip, and the fantastic story of the Canal (de lesseps, Eiffel, Teddy Roosevelt, intrigue, trickery, treachery, disease, engineering) a great opportunity is being missed!

John says:
Hello Steve McLeannan

First of all, I hope you are enjoying this amazing voyage and having the most wonderful time. Because this is a one-off voyage, I guess the company that runs our shops decided not to go to the expense of producing lots of logo wear that may not sell because, if it didn’t, they would be left with merchandise that we would have a difficult time marketing after the voyage. But I agree it would have been nice to have something that stated where the ship had been and I will pass on your comment to the right people. Best wishes.


Esther asks:
John: We just got off the Carnival Miracle today. I do hope new cruise directors learn from you as you have been the most engaging one I have seen so far. Huge thank you to the Circle “C” leader, Courtney, who made my daughter’s experience a blast and Denis, one of the supervisors on the Lido deck for tremendous customer service. In response to the gluten-free post from before, we have a son who is nine years old and was diagnosed with Celiac disease six years ago. One of the reasons we have continued to cruise with Carnival is the ease of feeding him on the ship and the selections he is able to get. When we go to the Lido deck, talking to any of the supervisors and explaining the issue, someone will bring you lunch (or dinner) that is not only tastes good but causes no issues with his diet. Dinner at the main dining restaurant, we saw the menu the day before, it would be ready for him when he arrived. Except for a few specific dishes that specifically are breaded, he was able to have whatever he wanted. A gluten-free chocolate melting cake was and has been his favorite dessert. I would learn how to make it but then we would not have an extra reason to cruise.

John says:
Hello Esther

Thank you, those are wonderful words of praise and I will make sure that Courtney and Denis see this. It is nice to read that our efforts to make those who suffer from gluten allergies have a more enjoyable cruise are appreciated and I will let the chef know how much you enjoyed the selections we served. If there is anything I can do to make your future cruises with us more enjoyable, please do let me know. Best wishes.


Beth Lasky asks:
I find it strange and, yes, insulting actually, that Carnival does not have a private return party for platinum VIPs like me and my DH. We were on the Celebrity Solstice last week and had our first cruise at Elite level and they gave us a private cocktail reception. Compare this with the one on the Carnival Freedom where we were herded like cattle into the big theatre with all the other cruisers who were not Platinum. I saw mostly gold colored cards which was unsettling. I think Carnival should do more for us like Celebrity took the time to do. Just sayin.

John says:
Hello Beth Lasky

Thanks, first of all, for cruising all those times with us and I hope you will keep doing so and therefore reach Diamond status. When you do, you will see that we have a private function for our Diamond guests with the Captain and other senior officers. Until then, we will invite you to join us for our VIFP party which I am sure you will enjoy. Hope to see you soon. Best wishes.


Bill O’Steen asks:
John: My wife and I have booked the Hawaii cruise for November 2015. We did this cruise on the Carnival Spirit in 2011, and, by far, this was one of our most favorite cruises. Our only disappointment was the lack of Hawaiian food offerings on the cruise. With the new American Feast/American Table menus, will more Hawaiian food options be available for this cruise? Also, will they plan a luau for this cruise? Thanks.

John says:
Hello Bill O’Steen

Part of the appeal of our new American Table menu is the variety and, included in that are the Ports Of Call selections. These feature traditional dishes from where the ship is calling but I’m not sure when the new pilot program will be on the Carnival Spirit, so I will have to check on this and get back to you. Have a wonderful voyage to Hawaii and I will let you know more about the activities and events closer to the time.

And that’s all for today.

I want to comment briefly on the subject raised by my good mate, Simon M, that too many cruise directors do the same jokes…….and he may, to some degree, have a point. There are some “stock” jokes that can be heard on most ships on most cruise lines, I would imagine. These usually concern the toilets; the top ten silliest questions asked by guests and other throwaway lines.  That’s why the best cruise directors are the ones who have learned that the star of the show should not be them……..but the guests. Take the Welcome Aboard show. For me, this show is the most important of the cruise. It sets the scene for the entire week and, for a cruise director, it allows a chance to sell ourselves to you…….what do I mean by that? Well, if a cruise director can sell themselves as someone fun, then the following morning, when he or she asks guests to come to the lounge to listen to them talk about the ports and the excursions, they will, hopefully, do so because the guest thinks, “Oh, that’s the fat man who made us laugh last night, let’s go and see what he is doing.”

Or, when the CD comes over the PA system with a rundown of the events of the day, then, hopefully the guest will listen because once again they recognise the voice and know they need to listen. By the way, nobody gives you any training in the use of the PA system and trust me, it’s harder to use than you might imagine. First of all, you can’t hear yourself so it’s hard to judge volume and finding the right time to make announcements and, even more importantly, the right length is also very difficult. Ultimately, you are always going to disturb someone. I don’t mean in the cabins as we only make announcements inside the staterooms when there is something we feel the entire ship needs to hear. What I do mean is that, with speakers in the guest corridors, you may disturb someone who is still asleep at 10:30 am or disturb someone having a nap in the sun or simply disturb someone who was seeking a little peace and quiet.

However, we need to get the information out there. Now, I read the occasional comment that says people think we should not use it all and they don’t care about what’s on sale in the onboard shops or what the drink special of the day is. “You are just trying to make money,” they say. Well, granted, we do like to advise people of the various specials and promotions so they visit our retail outlets, of course – it would be silly to suggest otherwise – but there are lots of people on board who use the announcements to keep up to date with what’s going on throughout the ship.

Now saying that, we should keep the announcements to around three per day. I tend to do mine on a sea day at 10:30 am……1:00 pm…….and 7:30 pm and try my best to keep them three minutes or less……sometimes……and I know this will be hard for you to comprehend ….. but sometimes I do waffle on a bit. I do, though, always try and keep the announcements entertaining and as well as promoting the revenue areas I try to add a big dollop of humor.

And please, either here or on my Facebook page, feel free as always to tell me if the CD on your last cruise was clear over the PA or if the announcements were too long or too short or ……. well, you get the picture. Just as they have been in so many other areas recently your comments are so very important and I look forward to reading them.

Back to the Welcome Aboard show which, as I mentioned, is so very important to me and so very unpredictable…….here is one of my favorite first night memories. So, there I am on the then Carnival Destiny 100 years ago and I have my usual eight people on stage. The show finishes with the spoon game but really it’s all about the interviews, breaking the ice and making stars of the people on board. Well, during the interviews, everyone was wonderful and I managed to find something worth sharing with the audience in them all and things were going well …… except one lady who gave me one syllable answers to every question and, honestly, was as cold as an Eskimo’s dangly bits.  Anyway, we had some huge laughs from the audience for the rest of guests on stage and things were going well. After the interviews had finished I started to explain to the guests how we play the spoon game. For those who don’t know, a spoon is tied to a long piece of string and we pass it down inside the ladies’ blouses and down the men’s pants……..it’s lots of fun. Now, just before I continue, remember each person on stage volunteered to come on stage. I went out into the audience and asked them to join me and they all said “yes.”

So, back to the game and, as I walked down the line and approached this lady and told her what I wanted her to do, she looked at me and said loudly enough that my microphone picked up her words, “This is why we should have cruised on NCL” — and walked off the stage grabbed her husband by the arm and out of the lounge to mostly silence sprinkled with a few boos from the audience. So, I made some joke…….can’t remember what but I think I recovered and then, of course, I was left with one person short for the game.

I have so many memories of the spoon game over the years. There was the time when one man got the spoon stuck in his pants, he couldn’t get it out so do you know what he did? He leaned on me and then he unscrewed his prosthetic leg and took the leg off! You see, the spoon was tangled in the framework and he untangled it and the rest is just one big blur of uncontrollable laughter and applause from 1,000 people.

The cruise director can, if he or she wishes, really set the scene and that’s why in my humble opinion we have the best in the business with some very young and exciting talent waiting in the wings and here is one of those men who is out of the wing and firmly has established himself as a brilliant cruise director. Here he is.

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What’s your name and where are you from? Cory “Family Guy” Rogers from Memphis Tennessee

Tell us about your work experience and your journey with Carnival Cruise Lines so far? I have been with Carnival almost eight years and have loved every minute of it. I started as a social host aboard the Carnival Ecstasy and worked my way to assistant cruise director and now cruise director. This is the best job I have ever had and I would love to do this for a long time.

What’s your favourite part of your job? Hosting events and shows and making people laugh and smile. You never know what people are going through and when you make someone smile who might be going through a hard time, it really feels good.

If there is one event, show or activity that you host that our guests must not miss, what is it? I actually have a few. My Harry Potter Trivia (I dress up in full Hogwarts gear and pack out the lobby) and Comedy Open Mic night are my two favorite events. I have a lot more that I do and love but those are my favorites.

Please share with us your favourite story from your time on our ships? A few years back, I had a group of patients from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on board from the ages of four to 12 and I made them all junior cruise directors and had them on the morning shows, they helped me co-host activities and events and they were amazing. Their smiles and laughter were so uplifting.

And now – about you

Favourite Movie? Step Brothers and Iron Man (I am a nerd!)

Favourite bar or lounge on one of our ships? I love the EA Sports Bar. Great fun, drinks and video games. What more could a man ask for?

How do you relax? In my off time, I like to take frequent “cat naps” and play video games.

And if you could meet any famous person in the world, who would it be? It would have been Robin Williams. RIP. He was truly an inspiration to us all. He was and still is my favorite Comedian. Nanu Nanu! I would now say LeBron James as I would love nothing more than to challenge him to a game of one on one. I would win!

Thanks, Cory. I guess I will have to watch an episode of this Family Guy as I have never seen it. What I have seen are many wonderful comments from guests who have sailed with you and I am sure that you made them feel part of the Carnival family. Congratulations, mate.

And from one Family guy…………to another………me.

So this will be my last blog from Alaska and how best to summarise my time here. There is so much I could say but in this case I think I will keep it simple and short. Why I never did Alaska before now is something I regret. I have been the cruise director for 12 new ship startups and because we never put a new ship in Alaska after Carnival Spirit, I never got to come here. It has taken 28 years for me to realise that cruising here is something that is quite incomparable. It is laid back cruising, it is whales, glaciers, bears, treks, trains, panning for gold, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, halibut, crab, Yukon, helicopters, sea planes and more WOW moments than I have ever seen from a cruise ship. I will be back here next year on the Carnival Legend……. why not come with me?

At the end of this eight-day cruise, I will hand over the reins to the very talented Troy Linton who will take the ship to Hawaii, California, dry dock and beyond and I wish him all the best. I, of course, fly home for a reunion with my girls and with Mum who needs me more than ever. This has been the longest period of time that I have been without my family since……..well, I don’t remember and I continue to feel guilty for being away from them so much. But this is the life, it is what every crew member faces and I now look forward to being home with those I love so very much.

I will have 10 days off from Facebook starting on September 9 when I have to pack and prepare my handover and reports for Troy. So I will not be answering questions on Facebook but keep the requests coming each day as someone will send me them along with anything urgent. My return date on Facebook and the blog will be September 22 but, of course, you can expect any news items plus some terrible attempts at humour by me each day but, for the most part, I will be on social media vacation.

This is the longest I have been away from my family and I miss them more than words can ever describe. I want to thank Heidi, Kye and Mum for allowing me to continue to do this job I adore so very much and the guilt I feel about being away from them is immeasurable. But this Alaskan season has been one I will cherish forever and I have enjoyed sharing all my adventures with you and I look forward to doing so here and on Facebook in the days ahead.

Thank you, then, for your continuing friendship.

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.

73 Responses to 2 Family Guys

  1. Sandra Muse says:

    John, I can sympathize with the claustrophobic lady who requested a free upgrade to a balcony room. I am also very claustrophobic and had a panic attack 5 years ago on the Elation. I was able to control it the rest of the week thanks to Xanax. 🙂 I always book a balcony room now and look forward to sailing on the Dream on October 6. However, she should not have expected to get a free upgrade. You’d be opening a can of worms with that one!

  2. Kathleen says:

    Have a wonderful time with the girls. So sad that we will not sail with you on 9/10. Was hoping for Calvyn but looks like Troy. Anyway, God Bless. You’re great!

  3. Ruby stine says:

    John thank you so much for your blog you make my day, I just wanted to say enjoy your time off with your girls and thank them for sharing you with us. Have safe travels!

  4. David Allum says:

    I noticed the CPAP question and I’d like to share my little discovery. On every boat I’ve been on, there are outlets underneath the bed that your bedside lights plug in to. They have always been 220V but almost every CPAP power supply these days is dual voltage. I keep a 220V adapter in my CPAP bag for this. Now, of course, you lose a bedside light but you don’t need an extension cord unless your cord is extremely short. Just a tip.

    • William Seyler says:

      @ David Allum, I would like to rebut your CPAP Answer. My CPAP shows only 115 VAC 50-60 hz and 115 VAC 400 hz nothing about 220. I believe that plugging it into the 220 VAC my actually do harm to your AC adapter.

  5. Marianne Gilmore says:

    Moan and groan. Complain. We don’t like white sheets or towels.Couldn’t Sleep. Lost money in the casino.We will expect to be carried off the ship on to tenders as we are not allowed to take our scooters…..This is for our upcoming cruises in October.Please credit our S&S with an exorbitant amount of money, an upgrade to the Captain’s Cabin, and arrange for a personal chef to prepare our meals from off the menu demands…..or else heads will roll.
    Hell’s bells, you know we love you. (We read your blog wearing our underpants and not much else. It is so liberating!)

    • Tim Smith says:

      Ms. Marianne Gilmore…. YOU ARE indeed too funny and I thin you are after at least assistant cruise director! You have my vote!

  6. Sue says:

    Please, please, John…I have “almost” cruised with you several times – but my timing is off and we are always on a week too soon or too late (picked the wrong year on the Miracle). We hoped you would be joining the repositioning of the Freedom as it makes the journey from Florida to Texas. 12 days of FREEDOM would be even better with you on board!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Jeff L says:

    To the person who asked for a free upgrade due to her medical condition…

    Um. No. Carnival is under no obligation to provide you with something you are unwilling or unable to pay for because of your condition, ESPECIALLY when you apparently knew your condition before booking. This would be like a 7 foot tall person buying a Mini Cooper then asking for a BMW because they can’t fit comfortably.

    People – if you know you need a specific, well, anything to cruise comfortably, contact the line BEFORE you book to be sure it will be available at a cost you can afford. If you don’t, its all on you.

  8. Pris says:

    Cory is THE BOMB: We cruised with him on Fascination earlier this year and then on Liberty in May and hubby is planning the next one to be with Cory as well; Hubby turns Diamond on his next cruise and said he wanted to do that on one of “Cory’s cruises!”

  9. Nick Palermo says:

    Oh Please with the platinum guests, get over yourselves, enough of this I earned it krapola, you earned nothing, you wnet on some wonderful vacations and as a byproduct get a few perks, if carnival wants to sell those same perks,so be it, you still get them, they removed nothing from you. As to the lady with the coffee cups for the kids, how about trying to be polite when you ask for something, again it’s a gift take it and shut up.
    Claustrophobic lady, why in the hell would you book an inside cabin knowing you cannot use it, then expect Carnival to upgrade you fo free, your sense of entitlement amuses me.
    And lastly to the fog horn guy, FFS grow up, ships do things like sound fog horns for YOUR safety. Maybe next time take a vacation in a cabin in the woods, of course the crickets might wake you up.
    John I booked a balcony but as I have needasuiteaphobia will need an immediate upgrade the owners suite, oh and free steakhouse meals for the length of the cruise as I am a Gold Member, also a shmoke and a pancake.

  10. Darrell says:

    Have a wonderful time with your family and come back refreshed. We were with you on the Miracle July 1 cruise and enjoyed it immensely. Actually grabbed a quick four day on the Sensation for next week just a few says ago because we just want to get back out to sea. Looking forward to your return. God bless you and your family.

  11. Mary says:

    Hiello John,

    Please tell Diane Massie that she is not speaking for all of us. As a Diamond, it does not bother me at all that that FTTF was introduced. As you stated, our perks were enchanced with this.

    Although as a Diamond, we do not receive much more in terms of perks, it is very curious that all these complaints from the so call loyal guests are from Platinums. I have not to date seen a complaint on Cruise Critic, your Facebook or blog from a Diamond. Only the Platinums.


    • Alan Radomski says:

      Yes I am a Platinum member of CCL, the fun ships I like perks, I like good customer service. Am I wrong? FTTF is just wrong. And yes, I had to wait for my luggage when I got to my room. Whats the other perk? Also I AM NOT A SMOKER, T don’t mind smokers, Just keep the fun ship a fun ship

      • Joe says:

        Love FTTF, it is the best thing around and we will no longer cruise without it. We book our cruises far enough out to be sure that we ca book the FTTF. Thank you Carnival for creating it and the second best thing, Behind the Fub Tour, love it also.

    • Tom says:

      My wife and I are platinum cruisers. We don’t mind FTTF at all. In fact we like it. Why? Because that extra income for CCL is paying for our perks, and goes to keeping our fares down. The more CCL makes from them the better off we are. 😀

    • Dutchman says:

      Diamonds know better, it is what it is

  12. Mary says:

    To Laura Oberg,

    Your complaint and recommendation to John re gifts for the young Platinum guests were very valid. However, did you have to be so rude about it? When trying to make a point, being civil gets your message across much better. Your suggestion would be met with a speedier consideration.


  13. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Another great blog with some questions that really leave you saying “did they really just ask (or say) that?”

    Geez…some people need to just stay home!

    Safe travels….

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  14. JB Dias says:

    Hi John, We have cruised 31 times for a total of 219 days, Diamonds. We met you on our last cruise back in July 1, 2014 to Alaska. I was reading your blog and found something interesting, 2 new benefits for the Platinum and Diamonds members. Rooms ready when you board and express luggage delivery. I would like to say that yes our room has been ready BUT our LUGGAGE shows up around fire drill time. We were traveling with new cruisers and they got their luggage shortly after we had lunch, we were only couple staterooms apart. We are currently booked on a cruise in October 24 NYC to SJU, November 29 Long Beach to Mexico (group of 14 cabins), January 17, 2015 Long Beach to Hawaii, and planning one for April on the Dream. Hopefully our luggage will be at our door after lunch.
    JB Dias

  15. Kimberlea says:

    You were my CD on my 2 nd cruise maiden voyage magic
    I’m now platinum and love Carnival
    Thank you so much for your blog
    I’m heading to the Valor sept 21/14 for a fun filled cruise with 3 girl friends
    I also have a back to back in Jan 17/15 on sunshine with my mom who is 93 and loves to cruise and my sister have a great time with your family and thank them for sharing you with all of us

  16. Well my good friend, have a great vacation with their loved ones, rest & relaxation but don’t each to much. You’ve done such a fantastic job in losing weight. Mary Lou & I are looking forward to our next cruise in January 24th, 2015 on the Carnival Liberty out of Port Canaveral. I wish you could join us but alas we know that you will probably be on another ship. See ya when we see ya again. Thank you again for all the assistance that you have helped me in the past. I never forget my friends especially someone like you who cares and loves everyone. Enjoy your vacation John.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  17. Diane says:

    To Simon M. Must be you have never heard of constructive criticism. Was it necessary to be so rude? I guess it is easier to be rude when your hiding behind anonymity.

    To Diane Massie, Laura Oberg and Beth Lasky
    You make me ashamed to be a platinum cruiser.

    To Cristina Aldaco, Please tell me your joking.

  18. Pam says:

    Karla – you need to do your research before you book. For goodness sake – a fog horn that is protecting your life? Sorry you lost a little sleep. Next time bring a white noise machine!

    Laura – put ice cream in the mugs and serve it. In the future they will enjoy them!

    John, enjoy your holiday! You deserve it!

  19. Beth Savko says:

    We had Cory as a CD on one of our recent cruises, and he was fantastic! Funny! Always socializing with “the people” and in general was never looking harried or stressed or tired (which i imagine he could genuinely be considering the long hours you all put in!). Kudos to Cory!

  20. Marylou says:

    Cristina Aldaco ~ I have claustrophobia as well and have stayed in an inside cabin 29 of my 30 cruises to date.. I just turn the TV station on to the bow web cam and it’s like my window to the world. GO, Have FUN and don’t sweat it!!!

    • Tom says:

      Marylou, I too am slightly claustrophobic and do the same thing! And having the TV turned to the bow cam also provides just enough light so I don’t trip over myself on the way to the bathroom a couple times per night (I am at that awkward age – too old to not get up during the night but too young for depends!).

      It also acts as an alarm clock to wake me up when the sun comes up so we don’t miss any of the good times! 😀

  21. Peggy says:

    Have many wonderful moments with your family. You certainly deserve many weeks away from the madness of pleasing everyone. How you put up with some of these folks, while being pleasant and even smiling, is beyond me. Take care!

  22. Mary Dagostino says:

    Thank you, John!!! Enjoy your vacation with Heidi and Kye! Thank them for all of us for sharing you with us.


  23. Marylou says:

    Diane Massie GET OVER YOURSELF!!!! I need one more cruise to be platinum and UNTIL then I purchase F2F and I don’t intrude on anyone’s space. take a chill pill !!!

  24. Gary Frenson says:

    John, My wife is a very “HIGH MAINTENANCE” woman and I can only afford to cruise in a Balcony. You MUST upgrade us to a Suite for FREE. Sorry just had to say how ridiculous many people are and I don’t know how you do it. Thanks for all you do. Have fun with your family next week..You deserve it.

    • Dee says:

      LOL. Thanks for the laugh. The claustrophobia and fog horn stories … sheesh, entitled First World Princesses.

  25. Holly Wright says:

    Hi John, Just a couple things:
    1. I just love reading your FB posts and blogs. They are interesting, funny and genuine.
    2. I just spent about 30 minutes on the phone with Kalid in the Carnival Customer Service getting hooked up with cruise insurance. It was a great conversation with him and I felt bad that I kept him on the phone since most companies time their agents and give them quotas on how many calls they have to take an hour. I apologized to him for taking up so much time and his response surprised me. He said that one of the reasons he loves working for Carnival is that he can be himself and doesn’t have to stick to a script. The main reson we sail on Carnival is the people/crew/staff on the ship, however, in the last few weeks I have spoken to 2 different people and both were not only courteous, helpful and kind, they were friendly and happy. I’m seriously thinking I should change jobs. Please tell the beards that their policies and team on shore are just as wonderful as the team at sea.

    Take care and enjoy your time with your family.

  26. Mary says:

    Already did but forgot to check off for follow up comments via email. Why is there no way on the blog to see the comments?

  27. Teresa Cooper says:

    John I hope next summer Heidi, Kye, and your mum get to join you for a week on your Alaskan adventure. I am sure they have been enthralled with your stories and perhaps your mum will feel up to it next year. That way you could all enjoy a little fun time together. 🙂

  28. paige says:

    So happy for you to be returning to your ladies!! Sad I wont have a blog to read for a while. Enjoy your time at home and I look forward to your next blog.

  29. Mari Errico says:

    We sailed on the Pride on 8/24 and Josh “Big Sexy” was our CD. I felt like the announcements were well-timed and of a great length. To his credit, his first announcement on embarkation day was to announce a change of itinerary due to weather. That couldn’t be easy to recover from as I’m sure most, like I, were looking forward to our original ports. He made Carnival’s apologies known and made the rest of the trip absolutely a blast. He and his assistant CD, Ben, were just hysterically fun all week. I watched them both deal superbly with a few guests during shows or activities who had indulged a bit too much in the cheers program. What started off a bit uncomfortable, was quickly diffused on more than one occasion. I can’t say enough about Josh and the rest of the crew on the Pride. We loved it so much that as first-time cruisers we were sure to book our next Carnival adventure while we were on board. While I’m giving some accolades I’d like to point out that Reynold Senn, in the piano bar, was magnificent, and I think spending late evenings with him was the most fun we had overall.

  30. kathy farmer says:

    very late in writing this thank you!!!we cruised in the spring,first time with two grands. we were on the fantasy. we asked that you send a note to welcome them to cruising..they had a note,and several other
    momentos from you. they were so happy.just wanted to thank you again.
    we love the fantasy,and cruising from charleston,although we hope to meet you someday(when we retire).our best to your wife,mum,and precious Kye.kathy and ronnie from nc

  31. Marie Wolff says:

    Hello John, I first would like to thank you for another wonderful blog. I also want to wish you a safe trip home to your loving family, who, I am sure are waiting to see you.
    I do have a few comments for some of the people who you addressed today in your blog.
    Simon M. there is no need to be nasty to John. If you are such a wonderful Carnival fan, you should appreciate what he does for Carnival guest. No need to get on to the blog to show how nasty you can be.
    Christina Aldaco, looking for a free upgrade because you are claustophobic (sorry I cannot spell this) The upgrade from outside cabin is maybe 50.00 more, and, if you can’t afford that, maybe you should not be sailing.
    Laura Oberg, your comments about the coffee mugs for younger VIP’s, was not nicely put, even if true. Do your sons drink cocoa? They will enjoy their cups with a nice hot cocoa and whipped cream. Note to Carnival: Put cocoa in the gift cups for younger passengers.

  32. Wanice Smith says:

    I will miss your posts while you are on holiday! I am so happy that you get to go home to your girls. I know you miss them so much, sure wish they could be with you all the time. I am glad you are going to be with your Mum, I do know she needs you very much now. Take care and have a wonderful relaxing holiday with your loved ones. We will all be anxiously waiting for your return her on FB! Love Carnival Cruises❤️

  33. Margaret Miller says:

    I normally don’t chime in on the completely ridiculous comments people write to you about but the one from Diane Massie about doing away with the faster to the fun deal just griped my goat!
    First of all we just booked our 10th cruise and under the old system that would entitle us to VIP or Platium status but for us it will only give us 69 days…..1 day shy of what the new system says we’re are required to have. We almost always cruise with a large group of family and friends, many of which are platinum already. So if by paying $49.95 means we can almost have the same treatment as a platinum guest then so be it. I’m not writing to you saying how outraged we are that we’re missing our platinum status by one flipping day and demanding you do something about it. Our (and by our, I mean Americans) have gotten such a giant sense of entitlement and it sickens me to see how it’s getting passed to our children and how greedy and selfish it makes Americans seem. Please know John that I appreciate what you do and the humor and humility you display on your blog in dealing with these idiots. If you want a cruise where they throw you special parties and give you trinkets for using their cruise line then get the hell off the CCL ship and pay for these on another cruise line. I would much rather get a great price and one I can afford to have an experience on a cruise than pay higher prices so those idiotic people can have their trinkets and premium seats at the shows. I mean really? And since I’m already fired up on here let me say that if you need 3 stupid mattresses to sleep or you can’t afford to get a room with a balcony because of a medical condition then stay at home!

  34. Lisa McLennan says:

    Hi John, I’m Steve McLennan’s wife and we were sitting together in the nice Library on the Carnival Legend on August 19,2014 when Steve wrote about the Panama Canal that you so nicely included in your Sept 5 blog. So on behalf of both of us I’m writing back to say “we spoke too soon”. Carnival had a wonderful lecturer get on before the Atlantic (Caribbean) locks of the Panama Canal and he talked us through the entire transit Fri August 22 from 6 AM through late afternoon when we passed under the last bridge into the Pacific Ocean in sight of the impressive Panama City! Carnival really hired a super guy who told us all about the canal widening going on all about us, the history and what to look for. It was truly a highlight. Also the crew were just fabulous – they brought chairs to the forward decks wherever they could squeeze them (it was hot, humid, sometimes rainy to boot) in and the Bartenders were swarming as they needed to be for the heat (and picking up after us messy cruisers who didn’t want to leave our seats and lose our viewing position for hours on end). The narration came over the PA but not in the rooms which was perfect as a balance. I
    For the souvenirs, there WERE T shirts that came at the time of the transit – they were’t really creative but maybe the supplier underestimated the capacity for cruisers to snap up anything logo! (the shirts didn’t say 100th anniversary of the canal or anything. Running race T shirts do better – I swear if you made them out of 2100 passengers or so, they would have been purchased). Some local crafts came on board and that was kinda special as well. Also, just kudos to the Lido deck team this cruise – they always opened a little early especially on the 4 port days between Tampa and Long Beach and kept Lunch open a little late on the crossing and sometimes left desserts out AFTER lunch was over. All nice touches. The BEST by far part of the Carnival provided “freebies” to all cruises no matter what “category” was the “THANK YOU ” Atrium 2nd formal night event.It was wonderfully laid out with the complimentary drinks appreciated. Thought I should set the record straight!

  35. Phil Hale says:

    Sorry mate but you were such a fabulous CD on this last Miracle cruise that I let Todd the onboard loyalty booker guy do his magic and you’ll have to put up with me too on Jan 31st on Breeze. I’ll register as soon as it opens up. Have an incredible time at home, you’ve earned it, and if I could I’d put in 100 great comments about this marvelous crew here on Miracle. Weather or not, it truly has been superb. Thanks for being you. Sandi and I truly do appreciate your friendship. Cheers mate!

  36. John fitzpatrick says:


    Thanks for a very entertaining post. You mention you will be in Alaska again in 2015. Can you say for sure when you will be on the Legend? This would allow us to kill two birds with one stone and get to do both Alaska and a Carnival cruise where you are the CD. Have a great time with the family and safe travels to you!

  37. Roger Singer says:

    Dear John. The September Alaska Cruise will be our 3rd creek cruise with Carnival. It has been outstanding. Thanks to you and to Calvin for the laughs on the Morning Show. I would like to ask of favor of you, and that is to say “THANK YOU” to the staff in the Bacchus Restaurant who were fantastic. Also to cabin stewards who made are cabin feel like home. We stayed in Room 6235 and they did a fabulous job. Truly a hard working group and I want them to be recognized for it. Looking forward to cruise number 4 in the Caribbean or somewhere where it doesn’t rain, although Alaska was on my bucket list and I’m glad that Carnival Cruise Lines was apart of it. Best wishes to your family. Cheers.

    Roger Singer.

  38. Nanci Hess says:

    Continued safe journeys and have a GREAT vacation, you deserve it!

  39. Audrey says:

    Is it safe to cruise right now? With all of the worldly things going on?

  40. Rachel says:

    To all you VIPs who keep commenting about how special you are and how Carnival needs to do more to accommodate you, offer you more perks, get rid of FTTF, etc…get off your high horse and stop being so arrogant. Just because you are wealthy and can afford to cruise multiple times a year and have achieved platinum or diamond status, doesn’t make you better than everyone else. Stop your whining and just relax, enjoy your time on the ship with family and friends, and have a great time like the rest of us do because we could care less what color your sail and sign card is.

    • Ann says:

      Whoah there Rachel, I don’t know who you’re talking about, but I am not rich, wealthy or any of the above. I am proud of my Platinum card, tis true, but I don’t know where you think I’ve done anything to you or anyone for that matter that gives you the right to clump me into your rant. I’m proud of my Platinum card for several reasons, one….laundry, which has nothing to do with you unless you want to wash my dirty drawers and two, the free gift, which is awesome, but also has no effect on you. I;m really sorry you had a bad experience, but in my experience, we are the ones that have the information that gives you a better, cheaper and more informed way to do things. We talk to everyone that wants to talk, we give hints and tips and we are not rude to anyone, because truly….we don’t care what color card you have. You owe a lot of very nice people an apology.

  41. Darnell says:

    Out on my very first cruise and I must say that I am impressed with the staff and service. The food has been great as well. One can’t forget about the fun activities that have the guest rushing to sometimes a hour before. I can honestly say I will be booking my next cruise very soon.

  42. Steven Hall says:

    Beth Lasky, I’m so sorry that you find Gold cards so “unsettling”. I bet you go into a complete panic when you see a Blue card!

    • Bill O'Steen says:

      My wife and I are gold, and we are taking our daughter and son-in-law on the Nov 2015 Hawaii cruise, and we all got the FTTF.

      Diamonds get free laundry, and Platinums get some free laundry. I can buy laundry service. Is there a difference? The FTTF says we board right after the Diamonds and Platinums. Someone has to board then, why not let someone pay to board sooner?

      • Tom says:

        Well said, Bill. This is what some Platinum and Diamonds don’t seem to understand. You (through FTTF) are paying for our perks! Keep ’em coming, Bill! Keep ’em coming! 😀

  43. Ginger S says:

    John, my husband and I have just returned from a week on the Pride and we encountered something that we’d like further clarification from you and the beards.

    Ken, the Maitre’D, sings before the waiters perform which is fine with us. It is the “light show” that happens during the waiters performance that is at issue. The lights flashing on and off was very painful and our table mates were concerned that someone with epilepsy might be affected.

    I asked at the desk if this could be discontinued and was told “no”. As a result, I simply closed and covered my eyes during the performance. I wouldn’t mind the raising and lowering of the lights themselves but to go from complete darkness to brightness so quickly was painful to me. This also disrupted service. I am all for entertainment in the MDR, however, it IS a dining room, not a night club.

  44. Terri Hunley says:

    Dearest Mr. Heald, I’ve been reading your blogs and face book pages for awhile now and so tired of the stupid things these people whine about..so here’s a story for them..On one of my cruises my car broke down in Tx. (I live in Louisiana)Took ALL my spending money to fix it while I was gone on cruise. Then on another cruise I got broncitus (sp.?) and was in my cabin for 4 of my 7 days. On my last cruise I had decided to quit smoking a few mos. before and just before the cruise I broke out in chicken pox looking sores all over my body. Paid 800.00 to doctors before discovering it was the e-cigg. doing it! I was apparently allerg. to it. But it still caused me to have to miss my beach days. And NOW..fixing to leave on a b2b Nov. 3rd. and 3 mos. ago something happened to my back and my sciatic nerve is damaged so I will have to be on a crutch! ffs! lol…Point being..I STILL go and thanks to the people of Carnival I still manage to have a good time! So to all the whiners out there…SUCK IT UP! Geeze.. having a good cruise is up to you. It is what you make it. They can’t fix everything, but they sure try to make you feel better! Thanks for listening! Love ya. and appreciate you dealing with these people!

  45. Bill O'Steen says:

    Thanks for the response John.

    Just to clarify my question, the Hawaii cruise in 2011 was on the Spirit. The upcoming one in 2015 is on the Miracle.

    By the way, if the lady can get a free upgrade for claustrophobia, can I book a 3 day cruise and get upgraded for free to a 15 day cruise? I do suffer from shortcruiseaphobia. LOL.

  46. Paul says:

    John I heard about problems with the AC on the Liberty. I understand that you claim there is none. Question I have are you willing to offer us anything if we have problems with the AC. I have seen a lot of cruisers complaining about the AC on the Liberty, so I ask this are they lying. I have now been on 2 cruises with carnival and this will be our third. It might be our last due to the smoking policy because I have heard from another cruise line they are going to change back there policy to a lot of complaints.

  47. Ray Bedwell says:

    John we enjoyed our Sept. 6 cruise with you on the Miracle. We are going again on the Miracle to Hawaii on Dec.6 All of the Pearl Harbor excursions have been sold out. Is Carnival going to offer any other excursions on Dec.12 to Pearl Harbor or should we book one on our own? Thanks hope to see you soon.

  48. Paul says:

    Its more of a comment than a question. I was SUPRISED by great quality of ice cream. Usually, at buffet style restayrants ice cream is descusting, but here on Carnival Magic its deliciuos!!! Also, thin crust pizza is very tasty, better than many pizzerias in the US!!!!!!!

  49. Well here I go again. What has happened with your blog? You no longer seem to care about what really helped you, JOHN HEALD’S BLOG. Facebook seems to be way it is today. I’m very disappointed in you John. Way back when your blog began it was very important. Not all of us are on Facebook. It seems that you have forgotten us, your friends that made your blog what it was. I miss the old John Heald who wrote the blog. I still love you John but where is the old John?


  50. Jonathan Berg says:

    Hi John,

    Writing this on the Magic as we cruise back into Galveston tomorrow a.m. This is my second cruise (first on the Magic as well) and we’re already looking forward to the next. We would like to do the Key West and Bahama’s route before giving the Alaskan route a try.

    Thanks for the goodies you provided our facebook group – that was really nice and for recognizing our special day – we got engaged in the Cayman’s on the last cruise. I have turned all my friends onto your blog and FB page and we brought two new friends along on this trip.

    Another great week, with super service. Our steward, Jenny from Peru (Deck 7) is the BEST ever!

    Thanks again,
    Jon and Jenna

  51. Jana Bowers says:

    Hi John,
    I am contacting you regarding a Door Decorating Contest on Carnival Magic for 11/23/14. Please advise me on how all this works for it to be a Carnival Sponsored Contest.
    Thanks so much,
    Jana Bowers (6 time CCL cruiser)

  52. Lori Obluda says:

    Dear John,
    I’ve been meaning to drop an email to you for several months. My husband and I cruised with you on the Miracle in May and July (the first time with our German exchange daughter; the 2nd, just the 2 of us). We were so impressed with your people skills — you truly have a special talent! Not until our next cruise (early September, aboard the Splendor from NYC) did we realize what a celebrity you are (when we had a chance to peruse your blog using the free internet during our Fun Days at Sea)… I guess we should have gotten your autograph and a photo together when we had a chance! 🙂

    Anyway — I wanted to share a special “thank-you” to our cabin steward from May (I-Wayan, who worked our cabins, # — and —). When we left on the —date, our German exchange daughter left behind her camera and a pair of expensive sunglasses. This oversight was completely our fault, and we would not have expected any help in rectifying it… But I-Wayan — despite being extremely busy turning over the cabins to prepare for the next bunch of passengers, and having a thousand other more pressing matters, I’m sure — took it upon himself to come and find us (still in line for disembarkation), 4 decks away, to return her sunglasses and camera. In addition to the price of the items themselves, as you can imagine, her camera contained irreplaceable and thus priceless photos from her American adventures; its return truly was a miracle aboard the Miracle. Our heartfelt thanks to I-Wayan and all the hard-working staff aboard the Miracle (and all the other Carnival ships we’ve been privileged to ride).

    Thanks so much to all of you for making our cruises a truly fantastic experience! My now-husband and I took our first cruise together aboard the Destiny over New Year’s 2008-09. Since that time we’ve sailed with our kids, our parents, and our friends, loving every minute aboard Carnival ships. We got married on the — while in port at St. Thomas in October 2012. We’ve become loyal Carnival cruisers and are excited to make platinum status on our next cruise! Thanks so much to you and everyone on the Carnival team for making vacations such a treat and a pleasure!!! Keep up the great work!!!!

    Love-n-Laughter, Lori & Bernie Obluda 🙂

  53. Tim Sanford says:

    I have been on two cruises with Cory as the CD, one on the Fascination and the other on the Liberty and all I can say is HE IS THE BOMB!! My family loves Cory! To us he is what a CD should be.

  54. Tim Smith says:

    I saw what you posted about the Carnival Magic and what would I do with $200 on board credit. After some thought, I figured I’d buy myself a drink, and have one for John Heald. Since I’m not on the ship, I will have one later this evening here’s a toast to you John.

  55. Daniel Fortado says:

    I’m going on a cruise friday with my wife and every cruise I go on I think of stinking creak mary and Iowa on the dream I never laughed so much my we r going on the splendor from new York. U also mentioned back on the dream that if we got married on one of the ships to let u know we did get married on may 26 2013 on a carnival cruise ship

  56. John Cook says:

    Hey John this is John. We’re 12 days out from our first cruise. I told my wife that when she finished all her breast cancer treatments we’d celebrate with a cruise so here we are just after the Ebola scare. I wanted to say that I think the steps that Carnival took on the Magic were above and beyond and look forward to being what is now the cleanest ship in the fleet:)My wife is a respiratory therapist so I said maybe you’ll get to do some therapy on the ship. Anyway just looking forward to the Magic and not scared at all.

  57. October 23rd is today. Let’s see, the last John Heald’s Blog was September 4th. Mmmmmmm.

  58. Eve Hopes says:

    Hello John. I just came back from a Halloween cruise on the Carnival Magic and it was wonderful. James was awesome as a CD! My only complaint is why did the ship only have 3 sign and sail kiosks. I put cash on my card as I go as a way to budget myself, but it doesnt work to well when all the kiosks are in use with people looking at their statements instead of printing them and moving on. This makes twice i was stuck behind an arguing couple about what was purchased and stuff. Just saying. Other than that I love carnival!

  59. Roger E Pedersen says:

    At 9 years old, my wife’s son Andrei became Platinum (one of the youngest I assume) and will be diamond by 2016 (age 11, possible just turning 12).
    I have often suggested on the post cruise surveys that Platinum and Diamond members get special seating up to 10 minutes before a show or comedy club session, a special welcome gift upon boarding, a plaque stating their membership level on the dining room table, a reserved area or special towel by the pool and serenity areas and recognized at dinner one night.
    I am a diabetic and often have to throw away the chocolate covered strawberries (a sugar free item would be much better). Also, you cheat us since we have 4 Platinum members and only receive one strawberry platter; a free Cherry on Top gift certificate would be better and the 2 Platinum boys (14 and 10) plus my chocolate loving wife would not waste that.
    Carnival cruisers should see how Platinum and Diamond cruisers are well treated, not just by attending a 7 day+ cruise party but throughout the cruise to encourage them to join our ranks.
    We cruise 6 to 8 times a year and with children, Carnival has no equal price-wise and offerings. We can’t wait till all ships are Fun 2.0 upgraded.

    The Carnival VIFP Platinum family welcomes our fellow passenger

    Past cruises Roger (only)
    08/24/2008 Carnival Destiny SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN + 7.00
    08/31/2007 Carnival Miracle NEW YORK CARIBBEAN + 8.00
    11/07/2002 Carnival Sensation COZUMEL + 4.00
    10/28/2001 Carnival Paradise EASTERN CARIBBEAN + 7.00
    01/07/2001 Carnival Destiny DUTCH TREAT + 7.00
    33 days

    Past Cruises for the entire family( Roger (33 days previous), MaryJane, Mark (age 14 in 2014) and Andrei (10 in 2014))

    12/22/2014 Carnival Victory………………….BAHAMAS + 5.00
    11/23/2014 Carnival Magic EASTERN CARIBBEAN + 7.00
    08/24/2014 Carnival Imagination BAJA MEXICO + 4.00
    07/01/2014 Carnival Miracle ALASKA + 7.00
    05/22/2014 Carnival Paradise WESTERN CARIBBEAN + 4.00
    04/20/2014 Carnival Valor SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN + 7.00
    11/24/2013 Carnival Sunshine WESTERN CARIBBEAN + 7.00
    08/24/2013 Carnival Freedom SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN + 8.00
    07/04/2013 Carnival Glory CANADA CRUISE + 5.00
    04/18/2013 Carnival Sensation NASSAU + 3.00
    04/13/2013 Carnival Ecstasy BAHAMAS + 5.00
    12/30/2012 Carnival Breeze EXOTIC EASTERN CARIB + 6.00
    12/22/2012 Carnival Ecstasy BAHAMAS + 5.00
    11/18/2012 Carnival Conquest WESTERN CARIBBEAN + 7.00
    08/25/2012 Carnival Dream EASTERN CARIBBEAN + 7.00
    04/15/2012 Carnival Victory SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN + 7.00
    12/24/2011 Carnival Valor EASTERN CARIBBEAN + 8.00
    08/28/2011 Carnival Legend EXOTIC WESTERN CARIB + 7.00
    142 days for Roger, 109 days for MaryJane, Mark and Andrei

Copyright 2011 John Heald. All Rights Reserved