A Beautiful Vista of Your Carnival Vista

June 18, 2015 -

John Heald

If you had been reading my Facebook page the other day, you might remember someone writing to me and suggesting that, when people are late coming back to the ship in Cozumel that the staff should walk down the pier and check the bars to see if we could spot someone enjoying a bucket of margaritas, oblivious to the fact that big white thing is sailing away without them and their clean underwear.

Yep, Cozumel, Mexico – a favourite port for the cruise industry and the many tens of thousands of guests who disembark there each and every week. I have been going to Cozumel for many years on the Holiday, Jubilee and Celebration, both in the early days and then later and before the word “Carnival” was painted on the hull of Ecstasy and Sensation and then every other ship throughout the fleet. Cozumel has been a port I have got to know so very well.

There have been many changes over the years, though, and the one small shopping complex of maybe six or seven shops has grown into a hundreds of duty free stores, jewelry shops, silver emporiums and T-shirt stores where signs proclaim that “everything is nearly free.” There are also a number of drug stores that some of you may have even visited. There are huge signs that state that you can buy just about anything over the counter, even Viagra. These drug stores seem to be do great business every time I have passed by and I always wondered exactly what people were buying. Back on the Carnival Triumph some years ago I saw one man coming out the shop looking very pleased with himself and I guessed that he and hopefully his wife would be happy with his purchase later that night………..I saw him later that night on the ship and said to him, “What’s up”? Needless to say, he didn’t laugh.

Every time I return to Cozumel, passing by the old shops that have been there since the late 1980s memories came flooding back. In those days the ships would stay until 2am and after I had finished pretending to know about wine in the dining room, my friends and I would rush ashore, jump in a cab and pay $1 per person to go to a club called Neptunos where entrance was free to all the crew and Corona beer was 50 cents a bottle. I have to admit those were different days back then. The sad fact is that now in 2015 I have very few people left to remember those wild times with as most who shared them with me have left the company.

Then there are the taxis in Cozumel, the same ones that will ferry guests to the beaches and downtown this year as they did back in the 90s. I love all things cars and I like to think I know a bit about them, however, over the years I have tried to work out exactly what make of car they use for Cozumelian taxis. I mean, they have four doors, four wheels and make a sort of a car noise but it is as though they have been made by a factory that was too embarrassed to put its name on the vehicle.

One thing that so many Cozumel taxis have in common is the seat covers because the plastic vinyl in so many of these cars have been replaced with old-style Carnival towels……. circa early 1990s. Now, these were given to guests to go ashore and to use at the beach and remember, there was no charge if they didn’t bring them back. There was no inventory back then. I cannot imagine how much money we lost in beach towels back then because many of these, pale blue towels are still in the taxis of Cozumel.

There are guests who sometimes scoff at the fact that we charge $22 for non-returned towels but here these cabs still today is proof positive that we are right to do so. These towels were left in the back of Jose’s taxi many years ago by someone who had just drunk 12 margaritas and was never going to remember who he was and what ship he was on, let alone remember the towel that Jose’s passengers’ bottoms now sit on. It’s strange but today we still have the odd guest who may drink a barrel full of margaritas and, like our 1990’s friends, won’t remember their name or cabin number but you can rest assured they will have that towel with them clutching it as though it had been woven from pure gold, determined never to have to be charged for losing it.

Many people have a favourite restaurant in Cozumel. There is Pepe’s Grill and La Chosa downtown and then on the Puerta Maya pier there is Three Amigos. Of course, Carlos and Charlie’s and Senior Frogs remain very popular. My favourite was always Pancho’s Backyard which can be found inside a massive souvenir store called Los Cinco Soles (they also have one on the Puerto Maya pier too). Los Cinco Soles is of course Spanish for “made in China.”

I have been going to this restaurant for many years simply because it has the best guacamole on the island. The only thing that has changed is the price. The cruise industry has helped Cozumel become a vibrant island full of enterprise. They have lashings of Hard Rock Café and McDonald’s and big gleaming five-star hotels. But the days of having lunch at a restaurant there for under $10 and the days of a lobster dinner for $20 with wine have long gone. Cozumel, like it or love it, has certainly changed.

I have digressed completely from the question at the start of my blog about we should send people to check the bars? Obviously, we cannot do that — time, resources and quite honestly the fact that people should be responsible for their own actions, mean we won’t do this. But even at Carlos and Frogs Amigos things have changed. Margaritas were $2 back in the early 1990s and now they are much, much more. Oh, and one other change, back in the early 1990’s, the legal drinking age in Cozumel was………. I have no idea, could have been anything. It is a fun island and still a massive favourite but if there is one island more than any that has changed in my 29 years in the cruise industry, it is Cozumel. And, honestly, I am not totally sure it has changed for the better.

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

Christy asks:
John: We are sailing on the Carnival Breeze June 28. Do you know the movie line up? We were curious as to what will be playing? Thanks.

John says:
Hello Christy

Not yet I am afraid as this will be the start of July’s movies and I do not have the list just yet. I will publish it on my facebook.com/johnheald page as soon as I do receive it. I wish you a wonderful cruise and loads of fun. Best wishes.


John Ryan Johnson asks:
I know it’s a long shot, but is there any way to get Robert Berhalter on Carnival Glory for the March 5, 2016, sailing? It would be awesome! Reunion cruise with several people who met on the Carnival Dream in March 2013 when it was stuck in St. Maarten. He played that week and we loved him.

John says:
Hello John Ryan Johnson

Obviously, moving crew around the fleet on the request of our guests is very difficult as I am sure you understand. However, I will be asking the entertainment schedulers to see if this is something they can consider. I don’t want to raise your hopes but we will try. I am glad to know that he made such a difference to your time on the ship and I do hope you get to sail with him again. If there is anything else I can do, please let me know. Best wishes.


David Mason asks:
On one level, I feel sorry for you, Heald. You are, obviously, going off the Carnival rails but mostly, I have disdain over your inflated ego. Case in point my request to you for a table for two on our cruise on the Carnival Imagination that was ignored. Maybe you did that because I did not stroke your ego enough, right? I will give you a chance to redeem yourself. My DW of eight years and I will be cruising on Carnival Magic in cabin **** on August 9. We do not want to eat with others so again I am asking for A PRIVATE TABLE FOR 2. Can you tell me who the maître d is and what time we can get a first tender to the shore as we have a private excursion at 9:15 am!!! How do we do this? I hope you will show me that you are able to help your customers like you always say you do.

John says:
Hello David Mason

I do apologise that I missed your request. I answer and help so many each week and, occasionally, some do slip through the cracks. I would ask that you remind me of your table request four days before your August cruise via my Facebook page and here on my blog so that this time I am sure to see it and I will do all I can for you to arrange your table. I wish you both a great cruise and my apologies for letting you down. Best wishes.


Christine asks:
Hi John: I have a question for you regarding the new policy and the VIFP party. In September we will be sailing on the Carnival Breeze for an eight-day cruise. When we board we will have 69 days, so during the cruise, we will make platinum. Pending on the date of the party, will we be invited if it’s on or after our 75 day, or because we boarded as Gold, will we have to wait till our next cruise (on Carnival Vista)? Can you clarify that on your Facebook page so others can benefit, as well? Thanks.


John says:
Hello Christine

Many congratulations. You will receive your Platinum card on the first day of the cruise and you will, indeed, be invited to our new VIFP party. Please let your friends know this and if you have any questions I will be here. Have a brilliant time. Best wishes.


Judith Shockley asks:
I wrote you two weeks ago and also to Carnival. I still have not got a reply! We were on Carnival Valor for eight days on April 17. I had an experience with another passenger who kept knocking on my door saying that his key fit my door while I was napping during the day because I don’t sleep well at night. This happened for a couple of days. I went to the service deck and their response was “Oh that must be Bobby.” So I guess I was not the only one he was bothering.  They could not move my room and I wouldn’t anyway but there was no other offer of any compensation for the inconvenience.

John says:
Hello Judith Shockley

I apologise for the delay in writing back to you and I will investigate this with the ship and see what the story is from their side. It sounds to me (and this may be an assumption) that the guest may have had special needs or been a little confused. I will investigate and I apologise if you were disturbed. I do hope you had a wonderful cruise and if there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know. Best wishes.


Walter Carr asks:
I have a request/question. Can you ask the powers that be to start carrying spray starch in the gift shop along with the laundry powders? We plan our travel so that we can generally get to a CVS or Walgreens before we board the ship. If we want to fly in the same day as departure this becomes a chore. You are not allowed to fly with a can of spray starch in your luggage for a reason that makes no sense to me. I guess I may try to break into the cockpit and iron the pilot’s shirts if I have starch with me.  I am one of those anal people who enjoys ironing (have ironed for drinks on a few cruises LOL) and always iron each morning for the day. This was just part of how I was raised.  For non U.S. departures it can be a chore to find starch in a store, and often requires finding a supermarket.  It would seem like this should be a natural to carry on the ship because of this.  I wouldn’t even care if I had to pay $10 for a can of it. LOL

John says:
Hello Walter Carr

I agree, there are some items you can’t fly with that are understandable and some that are absolutely not. I will ask if we can add starch to the laundry rooms rather than the gift shops as it might be easier to get them added there. Leave this with me and enjoy your ironing. Can I send you some of my underpants to press? Best wishes.


Hazel Geering asks:
I sent an email to the maitre d’ on Carnival Valor back in April to make a special request for my large group of 10, but have yet to get a response. I’m a Cruise Critic member with over 5,000 posts!! My request involves a large group, and our plans are on hold. I was told that they respond immediately but nothing has been returned after three e mailings to him. Is this the kind of service we can expect on the ship on our cruise? The booking is linked with ******.

John says:
Hello Hazel Geering

I am sorry that you are disappointed by this but as I have said here a few times now the maitre d is under no obligation to respond to e mails from guests and, with our spam system, there is a good chance that your emails may have gone into his spam box. The maître d gets a very complicated reservation file three days before the start of the cruise and he or she has to fit it all in so getting lots of emails from guests each voyage is not something they need and that’s why the company’s position is one where they are not expected to reply. I am sure having read this that you understand. Now, as you are sailing in September we have lots of time anyway so please on September 18, send me your request and the cabin numbers to my Facebook.com/johnheald page and I will speak with the maître d on your behalf and see what we can do for you. Thanks again for your understanding and I wish you a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.


Shannon asks:
I am looking at booking a cruise for my mom and myself sailing on October 31. She asked if there was going to be a costume party. I have no clue since I have never travelled on Halloween so I figured I should ask.

John says:
Hello Shannon

Yes indeed there is and I am sure it will be the best Halloween you have both ever had. Please let me know if you have any questions. Best wishes and have loads of fun together.


Lee Shelvey asks:
I think Carnival is letting all the veterans down because your meetings are now badly organized, badly advertised and this leads to a pitiful turnout. My last cruise was on Carnival Breeze. No attendance from the cruise staff member, cruise director or captain. On the Equinox we had free drinks for one hour and the captain gave all veterans a signed copy of the cruise map plus we got a cruise t shirt. I did two tours of Vietnam with the 1st Marine Division. Do I and other veterans not deserve better? Why are we not given the VIP offerings that we deserve on Carnival? I will answer my own question and say no according to what I experienced

John says:
Hello Lee Shelvey

The obvious starting point for my reply is to say a huge thank you to you for your service and the dedication to our country. While we will not be offering free drinks I do think that some of our ships organise this better than others, so very soon there will be a fleet directive issued to all the ships with standardized policies to follow. It is important that we recognise those who have served and are serving so I am sure on your next cruise you will see just that. Best wishes


Scott Shipley asks:
I turned Platinum about a year and a half ago before you changed the program. When I got my boarding pass and saw that I was demoted to gold it really upset me. After a few days on the boat I went and said something at the pursers’ desk. And they said they could note it in the computer. Still kinda sucks my wife gets all the benefits and I don’t and when I take my next cruise without her, I won’t even be able to into the VIP lounge to check in

John says:
Hello Scott Shipley

I am very sorry about this. I checked with a colleague and she said that your email address is not on file and we have a few guests who travel with the same name. Please, then, can you send me an email to cclsupport@carnival.com so we can get this sorted out. Apologies once again and hope we see you very soon. Best wishes.


Kim O’Neal asks:
Thank you for all of the laughs you send out. I am looking at Carnival Vista. Are the Lido balconies covered? Thank you and have a great day!

John says:
Hello Kim O’Neal

Yes, they are covered and I will be writing about your new Carnival Vista in just a moment. Hope to see you on board and thanks for the kind words. Best wishes.


Elenaor Delmege asks:
This fall my youngest daughter will be attending the International Culinary Center in California. This is a wonderful achievement. To celebrate we have booked the whole family on a cruise. We chose Carnival Miracle and our cruise date is July 11. There will be eight of us. I would ask that my daughter, Anabella, visit with the chef and then use the ship’s kitchens to cook her famous crispy parmesan chicken dish. What a thrill to have her cook for her whole family. We come from the four corners of the United States and it is very rare for us all to be together. The ingredients she will need are there. Thank you for making this important experience happen. Maybe the captain could join us. I bet he would love her crispy parmesan chicken. LOL.

John says:
Hello Elenaor Delmege

Many congratulations to your daughter and thank you for bringing the family on the Carnival Miracle to celebrate. I am very sorry, for insurance reasons, I cannot give permission to Anabella to cook in our galley but I will ask the chef to stop by the table one night and say hello. I wish you all a brilliant reunion cruise. Best wishes.


And that’s all for today. I will be back with more next week so please post a question or a comment and I will help you as quickly as I can. For a faster response you can contact me through my facebook.com/johnheald page. And now news on your Carnival Vista.


Largest and Most Innovative ‘Fun Ship’ Set to Debut May 1, 2016, from Europe

MIAMI (June 18, 2015) – Carnival Cruise Line is taking a fun and engaging approach to showcase the construction of its newest “Fun Ship,” Carnival Vista, creating a series of monthly behind-the-scenes videos shot at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, where the 3,954-passenger vessel is being built. The video can be viewed here (insert YouTube link).

Host Peter Gonzalez – who has traveled to 30 countries to create videos showcasing the “Fun Ship” fleet – takes viewers on his 5,132-mile journey from Miami to Monfalcone, Italy, to document Carnival Vista’s 26-month construction.

In the first video, “Birds’ Eye View,” Gonzalez dons a hard hat and ventures high above the Fincantieri shipyard to demonstrate the incredible size of Carnival Vista while highlighting the painstaking process for cutting and assembling the 150,000 tons of steel needed to build the massive 1,055-foot-long vessel – the largest in the Carnival fleet.

Gonzalez visits Fincantieri’s fabrication bunker where he follows workers as they cut, with expert precision, six-ton steel panels that are conjoined into 1,000-ton sections positioned via crane to form Carnival Vista’s superstructure. Once the exterior build-out is completed, workers will begin installing innovations such as SkyRide, a one-of-a-kind suspended cycling experience, a new 455-foot-long tube slide called Kaleid-o-Slide, and more.

Future segments in the series include preparations, both on board and ashore, to create the line’s first on-board brewery, a below-deck look at the ship’s technical spaces, and the logistics of installing the three-deck-high IMAX Theater, the first on a cruise ship.  

Carnival Vista is scheduled to enter service from Europe May 1, 2016, then reposition to New York for a series of voyages in November 2016 followed by the launch of year-round Caribbean service from Miami later that month.

Cruise fans, those new to cruising and travel partners can get a preview of Carnival Vista at www.carnival.com/carnivalvista and follow @CarnivalVista for regular Twitter updates.

For additional information, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

And I will be there next week and will have more videos of this incomparable Carnival ship. You know, I have been in the shipyards many, many times and seen the ships at various state of readiness but, even after all these years, I have no idea how these brilliant ship builders manage to construct something like your Carnival Vista.

All men are created equal so said some wise man who probably had a beard, wore sandals and meditated while sitting on a spike…………unfortunately, he was talking bollocks. You could give me the same ingredients our celebrity chef Guy Fieri uses and put me in the same kitchen with the same equipment and even though we have exactly the same number of hands, fingers and dangly bits, I can absolutely guarantee that I’d end up with a plate full of inedible crap that even a yak that hasn’t eaten in 17 days would turn his nose up at. Cooking is like painting. I know this because I used to try it at school. I would have a brush and some eyes but everything I tried to transpose onto paper ended up looking like a big ugly blob of coloured vomit And, as Heidi will tell you it’s the same story with DIY. My wonderful and much missed father could create an Edwardian cabinet out of two bits of wood and a rusty nail while anytime I have attempted to build anything, it ends up broken and on the floor.

So with just eight months or so to go before the Carnival Vista is ours and, indeed, yours, I salute the men and women who have and will continue to use their brains and their talents to design your Carnival Vista.

You know me, I don’t like to get all “corporatey” and yet I have to tell you this. Carnival Vista will be our best ship yet. Everyone from our President Christine Duffy on down feels that this is the case. There is a certain……..something….. that tells us she will be.

Yes, there will be some teething problems along the way; my experience of delivering so many ships for Carnival tells me that it would be ridiculous to think otherwise. But this ship and her sparkling new features check all the right boxes and when you’ve finished your cruise around the Med or the Caribbean and are back on dry land, you can look back and think to yourself, “That is the most brilliant fun I have ever had.”

Carnival Vista……………..have you booked yet?


Your friend,



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40 Responses to A Beautiful Vista of Your Carnival Vista

  1. Sarah says:

    I cannot believe the amount of comments and requests you get from people who seem so entitled. When a post starts with “I’m platinum” or “I run a blog with thousands of posts” I know the arrogance that will follow it. I’m sorry you have to deal with that. Someday I would like to see a response from you that simply says “F off”, 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      I was thinking the same thing!! Some of johns followers think they are so entitled! Get over yourself!!

      • Rick Williamson says:

        I agree also, why goes having 5000 posts make you think you are something above the rest of us. It just means you spend to much time of a web site that means nothing to the rest of the world.

      • Cynthia says:

        I completely agree.

    • Marsha Breen says:

      Entitlement…..so many people think they are entitled to say and request anything.

      Seriously David Mason – John has more class in his little toe than you would ever manage. It appears you are jealous of John and no one is forcing you to read his blog or Facebook page.

      Hazel Geering – Wow 5,000 posts. Now that’s an accomplishment considering being a “member” of CC doesn’t require anything other than signing up to join the blog.

      Lee Shelvey – You may be a Vet but you go too far in thinking the ships owe you free drinks and such. I come from a long line of family members who are/were Vets including a son who is currently in Afghanistan, a husband who’s a disabled Vet from Vietnam, a father who served in WWII and a father-in-law who was a WWII P.O.W. I can’t imagine any of them saying what you did the way you did it.

      And then there is Eleanor Delmege who thinks the Head Chef has nothing better to do than watch her daughter cook chicken parmesan. I’m sure all the kitchen staff have nothing else to do but give up space for the daughter to cook while they are trying to serve the oohhhh 2000-3000 meals they are responsible for.

      Good grief people………….

    • Blair says:

      Thanks John for all you do to keep up informed. I agree with everyone else…..what is with the entitlement?!?! We enjoy cruising on Carnival because of the affordability. If they granted everyone’s wish of free, it would cease to be so affordable. Relax, enjoy what you pay for and quit expecting hand outs!!

  2. Earl Higgins says:

    I look forward to trying to get to sail on the Vista. The Best vacation, of my life, was my first cruise, ever, it was on the Conquest. I am just sorry it took me so long, in my life, to discover cruising!

    • Charo Carrandi says:

      Love your FB page which I follow. My brother inlaw, sister and myself are booked for New Year’s in the Dream, sailing from NO. We will be arriving into Cozumel Jan. 1st. Do you know if everything in downtown is open that day? Normally in Mexico the 1st is a lazy, relaxing, hangover day and most places are closed. Thank you for all the help and for all the entertainment you post. Can’t believe how you can hold up With all the stuff we send your way. Counting daysu until I can be on a Carnival Cruise!

  3. Anne dawson says:

    Yes, I’ve booked. After reading your blog really looking forward to our first ever cruise which will be around the Med 16th August. Will fly into Barcelona fron Liverpool in the UK.
    Originally got an inside cabin as thought won’t spend too much in case we don’t enjoy. However have upgraded as could not resist the Havana Cabana with our own patio.
    Chose Carnival as the prices were really competitive, the reviews great and your Customer Services staff were lovely when I rang to upgrade my booking.
    So excited already.

  4. Minsk says:

    I have over 7000 posts on a message board about feline diabetes, so please give me a ship on a stick and a bottle of champagne.
    Sigh. Seriously, Hazel??

  5. Todd Hart says:

    All aerosols are banned on airplanes because they are explosive. There are non-aerosol starches such as http://www.amazon.com/Niagara-Aerosol-Trigger-PBC08580-Category/dp/B003AJZIB4

    But yes – might be nice for Carnival to have some on board.

  6. jgeraci says:

    Hi there. I too remember the old Cozumel fondly. There even used to be some Mariachi dancers at the pier to serenade us as we sailed away after dark. Carlos & Charlies was one of our favorites. Now we don’t even go into town. We just drink at The Three Amigos by the pier. A Pier Patrol would be nice, but I think we can make it back on board on our own. Thanks anyway!

  7. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    David Mason:

    You complained about John’s ego???

    Pot meet kettle…..

    • Mike says:

      So true. Not sure why Mr. Mason cannot contact the maitre’d himself for his private table. As to priority tendering for a private tour – good luck with that sir. Sometimes you have to wonder if questions like that aren’t just trolls trying to make John’s life hell.

      • Cynthia says:

        Mike,I sometimes think the same thing. On our last cruise we asked for a table for two in the dinning room by asking and we were given another table. Simple as that.

  8. GRANT AMILTON says:

    My favourite place in Cozumel is WET WENDYS. 2 blocks inland from the Hard Rock, turn left and you will see it. The frozen drinks are spectacular. The patio setting is relaxing, the food is good.

  9. Judy Myers says:

    John, I love reading your FB and your blog, I notice that a lot of people could solve their problems if they had a travel agent which could take care of these little issues and leave the good stuff to you.

  10. Dave Soreff says:

    Aloha John,
    Wow…Neptunos! I haven’t thought about that place in years…but I can still picture it in my mind VERY clearly. As you said, we used to race down there after the first show…and I can clearly remember sitting at those tables with full cases of Corona there. THEN, the orchestra would race back to play for…wait for it…Baron Buika! Remember him John? Ah the good old days.

    Hope all is well…I’m still with Princess and still loving your blog every time it pops into my mailbox. Stay well.

    Aloha No,

  11. Bruce says:

    John, you have a patience that most of us can only dream of. I wouldn’t even dignify a question with a response if the poster thought they somehow deserved special treatment because they have 5k posts on Cruise Critic. It’s people like Hazel that make the rest of us over there look bad.

    Don’t even get me started on Eleanor’s ridiculous request.

  12. Beverly Winford says:

    Re: Scott Shipleys Platinum issue.

    Check your cruise history, if you achieved Platinum with 10 cruises prior to the plan change you should be Platinum still. I don’t know of anyone who isn’t including my sister.

    But even if you are Gold again you will board along with your Platinum wife through the VIP lounge at every embarkation port assuming you are in the same cabin. This has ALWAYS been the way it worked. The S&S cards will be in the same envelope, therefore yours will be with hers.

    • David says:

      First I am Platinum. Have been on 19 cruises with Carnival. Will be sailing again in about 40 days and again in 60 days. Never never never had a bad cruise. Never ever.
      I here people talking in line to get on the ship and I can tell they will have a bad cruise. Some people just can not have a good time.
      I don’t understand these people. Give me, give me, give me. Our world these days. I guess
      John, thank you for all you do.

  13. Chris says:

    Hi John,
    Love your blog… you write so honestly I feel like I know you!
    We are booked on the Vista – July 1 2016, 378 days to cruising, and are sooo excited.
    In your notes about Vista (first paragraph) there is a comment “insert youtube link here” but you big tease… no link 🙁 Is this the correct link?

  14. Colleen Davis says:

    Hi John – Just a quick comment on David Mason’s post. Please for the love of God, do what you can to find he and his wife a table for two. That is one inconsiderate slimeball that I would NOT want to sit with. I just hope I am not on a cruise with him. I feel sorry for his wife, because the man has no manners and probably treats her with scorn as well. Have a great day.

  15. Robin says:

    David Mason and his wife should be put at the biggest table in the dining room, and as close to the kitchen doors as possible. What an obnoxious man.

    • alan webster says:

      Whilst the pier patrol may be impractical, have you considered asking the bars to announce that the ship will be sailing in 15 minutes ? I am sure you could find ways to incentivize them to do so.

    • Julie Tyler says:

      David Mason should wind up with YTD and be made to wait for whatever table is available. Maybe he will get his private table, maybe he won’t. One thing is certain; he has no manners. I wouldn’t want to sit with him and his wife.

  16. David Grampp says:

    Lee Shelvey may have been disappointed with the veteran benefits given to us by Carnival, but I say thank you! Being that he was in Vietnam, he may or may not have been a volunteer, but today’s service men and women are all volunteers. The United States has had an all volunteer force since the mid 70s. The vast majority of us don’t expect any extras because we served. We respectfully accept the recognition we are given and greatly appreciate the on board credit we get. As far as the meetings go, if you supply someone to host, great; but if you don’t, there are always leaders present to take charge and lead. Thank you very much Carnival!

  17. Christine Netcher says:

    Dear John,
    We sailed on the Carnival Sunshine on June 6-14 to celebrate several graduations in our group of 24. We had a wonderful time on the Sunshine. Jaime Dee is a great CD! Darnell was funny (he actually made me somewhat enjoy “Let It Go” – The Frozen song). James Sullivan had us singing in the piano bar. Samuel in the Red Frog pub allowed several in our group to “harrass” him during the night time trivia (USA, USA, USA). Dan the guitar player was amazing. Epic Rock show was awesome. One of my most memorable evenings that was a new experience for me on the Carnival ships was the night in the Red Frog Pub where many of the entertainers gathered… In Crowd, James from the piano bar (I think he enjoyed our greeting for him that night), the guitarist from the pub, Carnival show entertainers. They took turns playing different instruments and singing. Even Stewart and Shakera sang and were amazing. This was an incredible way to show off all of talents in a relaxed manner. Nothing was rehearsed but just what they felt like playing at that time. I would love to see more of this. It was such an enjoyable evening. Is this something new that will be added to all of this ships or is this something that is decided by the individual entertainment crews for each ship? Also, if I can “re” ask my other question about the plates in the dining room, any updates on the story behind the “ghost” images on the charger plates in the MDR? Thanks!

  18. tommy gayer says:

    First visit dont miss Chankanaab Park.
    Second visit Mescalitos on the opposite side of the island.Wonderful shrimp and coldest beer on the island. Rent scooters or take a cab over there.

  19. James Eager says:

    John, are you familiar with the term “plank-owner”? How many ships are you a plank-owner on now? (A plank-owner is crew on the inaugural voyage of a ship). I claim 2 ships – Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, but I’ll bet you may be close to a world’s record – check with the Guiness people.

  20. Cynthia says:

    John, We have not booked on the Vista but we have been talking about.

    David Mason, it appears to me that you are the one with an inflated ego. Just because your request was not fulfilled the way you expected does not give you the right to be so rude to John. On our last cruise I had written to John on the blog, not realizing I should have written to him on Facebook. Needless to say on our first DA on the ship we went to the dinning room, found out where our table was and it was not a table for two so we found the assistant Maitre D’ and asked if they could change our table. In less than ten minutes it was done. Be an adult and asking for help instead of whining and calling John out.

  21. Bill and Linda Schneider says:

    Suggestion. We think Carnival should consider having a money exchange on board the Vista. Carnival did this on earlier European sailings (e.g. Legend and Liberty). Makes it very convenient. It was a hassle on our last (Carnival) Med cruise to hunt up ATMs and/or banks to exchange money.

  22. Len says:

    I just read the comment from Shannon asking about costumes on cruise on which Oct 31 falls. We were on the Conquest one year during Halloween and many passengers and crew wore costumes. It was one of the most fun Cruises we have been on and we have been on a lot. If you are comfortable wearing a costume by all means do so.

  23. cynthia ball says:

    I was wonder if any of the ship have walk in pool have limited use of my left arm can’t get up a ladder without help took a 16 day cruises to Hawaii very limited use only 3 times want to take another long cruises but want to swim

  24. Raymond Routhier says:

    We are looking at a 2016 Cruise on the Mediterranean on the new vessel the Vista.
    Contrary to many of your readers we find you to much present on the Cruise and wish you were
    not the tour director . We have already taken 3 Mediterranean cruise and 1 North Sea cruise
    And you were TD on all 4 sailings.
    We have also sailed with Cunard and found it much more relaxing and very much enjoyable.
    Please let us know.
    Merci à l’avance

    Raymond Routhier

  25. Kenneth Spahn says:

    Hello John,
    We sailed on the legend repo from Tampa to Longbeach. We made some really great friends from NH and Australia. It was a bucket list cruise than will be remembered for ever. Our friends from NH and us have booked a return tirip on the
    legend next week (you were going to join us) and we get to sail with our very favorite Captain minus you. ( damn).
    My problem is that our Aussie friends can’t join us. They have ask us to hide a note on board for them beings they are sailing on the legend on Nov. 21st.
    Is there some way we could surprise them with a note and a bottle of wine? We will pay for the wine. But don’t know how to hide a note for them that would go undiscovered for three months. Any help in showing our love for them would be greatly appreciated. They are Robert and Debra Taprell. They will be in cabin 4190.
    We are getting together on the vista b2b Med TA, but that is so long to wait to see them again.
    And John, we really were hoping to see you in Alaska. Don’t disappoint us on the Vista.
    Love your FB and Blog.
    Ken and Pam Spahn.

  26. Ruth Ann says:

    I’m just excited to find out that my cruise in jan i’ll get my gold card…right now i have blue, but my next cruise is 10 days *granted day 10 will be day 25 that will make me gold!!!! caught up the to the roommate …who won’t be on this cruise lol

  27. Dorsey Resler says:

    where can I buy Carnival Vista ports of call map for the Mediterranean t Shirts?

  28. Dorsey Resler says:

    Where can I buy a Carnival Vista port of call map t shirt?

  29. Dorsey Resler says:

    Where can i buy Carnival T shirts with mediterranean ports of call pinpointed?

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