I, Claudia

July 21, 2015 -

John Heald

As you know, I have just returned from the Carnival Paradise and I have to say it was so good to be on a Fantasy-class ship again. I was part of the delivery teams for Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Sensation and Carnival Imagination so I have special feelings for this class of ship. I was also lucky enough to stay on in a guest cabin. On Carnival Paradise, I was in an ocean view cabin on Riviera Deck and was a big, spacious cabin for sure. I’ve been traveling a lot recently and I’m always quite surprised by the amount of noise some guests in make when they are walking down the corridors both in a hotel and yes, even on our ships.

Yes, the vast majority of guests are considerate but there are a few who walk to and from their rooms talking as though the person they are with is 400 meters away. And they do this at all times of the night. And then there is something else…..the slamming of doors ……. Again, most people are considerate but there are others who it seems have to shut the door as hard as they possibly can. Maybe the doors are thicker in hotel rooms – thus harder to slam – and hotel guests are just bored out of their minds returning from a conference or the dreadful, overpriced food rather than returning energised from a great show or some laughter out loud moments at the Punchliner Comedy Club as they do on our ships.

Whatever the reason, having been woken a few times by banging doors at 2 am by the Waltons saying goodnight to each other I mentioned to both cruise directors on the two ships that they should consider an announcement along the lines of, “Consideration for your fellow guests, etc., please don’t slam the cabin doors FFS”…………OK, maybe not the FFS bit but you get my drift. When I was a regular CD I always made that announcement and I do think it made a difference, it really did, and I am sure most guests, not all, remembered what I had said and were a wee bit more sotto voce as they walked back to their cabins.

What’s your first act on walking into a hotel room? Me……well after I’ve checked and inspected the bed sheets for ummmmm……..“below the waist shrubbery,” I switch on the air conditioning to full. On cruise ships, air temperature can vary since we’re always traveling outside in the elements and people are constantly moving and opening and closing their doors and balconies. These past few months, our teams have worked hard to get the temperature right and that is not always easy to balance a ship’s air flow especially in these hot and humid summer months. But for the most part we have gotten a lot better and have seen complaints that a cabin or, indeed, a lounge is too cold or too hot.

I love air conditioning because I am, despite my diet, still sweat like a polar bear wearing a North Face Jacket and cuddling a hot water bottle. But Heidi, my wife, has other thoughts about this entirely because to her…..air conditioning is hell. I have heard this speech so many times over the years. “If I want a sore throat and runny nose I will go stand in the rain,” she will moan. We even argue about this in the car. I have to have some air on, especially when I am driving a long distance but this means Heidi has to sit with a vicious jet of cold air drilling into her face. After any long car journey when we have had the air on, I know that the next morning Heidi will wake up and tell me she has glands the size of a yak’s testicles. When we are in a hotel together the air conditioning battle gets nasty. I turn it down and as soon as I am gone she will turn it up. I like a temperature that means I have nipples that could hang a dozen hard hats while Heidi prefers it Amazon hot.

This battle has raged for many years and I have always won. That’s because whereas Heidi can add more layers when she is cold, my promise to remove all my clothing and walk around the room naked has meant that I am the winner supreme in AC wars. That is until six years ago. Because Heidi has a new weapon — our daughter, Kye. According to my wife we need to turn the air conditioning down because apparently a rapid movement of air may damage my daughter’s growth.

Anyway, I would appreciate your feedback on the ship’s air conditioning and please, don’t let the cabin door slam……….and yes, I will add a FFS to that.

Time for today’s questions, here we go.

Shirley asks:
I am retired and like to cruise often. My husband will only take three weeks of vacation a year. We recently moved to Houston and so we don’t have many friends yet. Is there somewhere that I can connect w/other single cruisers? I need a cruise buddy or two. BTW, I really enjoy your blog AND Facebook posts.

John says:
Hello Shirley

I hope by reading this someone will see your post and contact you. May I also suggest you have a look at our Funville pages on carnival.com? I do hope someone can contact you and you can start up a cruise friendship and that we will see you soon. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Best wishes


Missy Reynolds asks:
I am a frequent cruiser with Carnival (11 now) and my husband (eight). I was wondering if you could tell me the BEST time to do an Alaskan cruise? I was told by several that September is a good time because of the wildlife. Something about mating season and more will be out in the open to see. Is this true? I personally don’t want to go on a cruise where I need to wear a light jacket or long pants. I want sun, sand, and to come home with a good tan. BUT my husband has always wanted to sail the Alaskan cruise. He turned 40 in May and I’m looking to book one sometime this year. Your help in the planning would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. Missy

John says:
Hello Missy Reynolds.

I have had the pleasure of doing a full season in Alaska and every single week was astonishing. We saw whales and other marine life every single week between June and mid-September so I really don’t think there is a time when you won’t see them. There is a naturalist on the ship who will tell you everything you are seeing and, personally, I like Alaska when it is colder so the early weeks in June and the last couple in September were my favourite times. I am sure regardless you will have an unforgettable experience and I hope therefore we see you soon. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


Ian Rees asks:
Hey Heald: I feel the same way about the loud music on Carnival Sunshine. There was a rock band with two VERY loud vocalists who play in the evening at the Ocean Plaza bar. It is difficult to get away from the noise without completely leaving the area and that sucks because we want to enjoy the Alchemy Bar. Get rid of the live music there; have piped in music at low volume. Why does everything have to be so frigging LOUD, Heald??!!!!

John says:
Hello Ian Rees

I am sorry you feel the music is too loud in the Ocean Plaza. I do know the band that plays there and they are so very talented and are a huge draw for the guests but I realise that their music plays right next to the Alchemy Bar. Please allow me to address this with the entertainment director on the ship and see what she can do to look at the volume. Please do let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Best wishes.


Cindy Larsen asks:
We have cruised with Carnival several times with a cruise director and his first name was Butch. The last time he was on the Carnival Breeze with us. Is he still with your fleet and which ship is he currently on? We are thinking about another cruise and would like to know which ship he is on? Thanks.


John says:
Hello Cindy Larsen

Yes, indeed, the great and so talented Butch Begovich. He is now a beard, meaning he works at our HQ in Miami and is a huge asset there but a huge loss on stage. I hope you will continue to cruise and enjoy some of our other so very talented CDs. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


Chad Smith asks:
Since we can no longer bring bottles of nonalcoholic beverages on board, can we bring the NEW 4.5-ounce pouches of Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix? We used to bring small glass bottles of the mix but now can’t. Thanks

John says:
Hello Chad Smith

Yes, these are fine to bring on the ship. Let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


Kelly Farago asks:
Carnival line is way behind current findings as I discovered on my cruise on the Carnival Valor just last week. Sales of gluten-free food have doubled in the past year in U.S. supermarkets and the number of people with an allergy to the protein found in wheat is said to be just 40 in 100. Your gluten-free products were few and far between and often unappetizing, Gluten free people are on the rise and Carnival should produce a menu for them or you will lose 40 out of 100 people who may have considered taking a cruise.

John says:
Hello Kelly Farago

I had no idea the number of people with Celiac or gluten allergies was so high so thanks for sharing that. We have come a long way with our gluten-free choices and I am sure we will get even better as more and more people request this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I will pass them on to the chef. Best wishes.


Paul asks:
Good day, Mr. Heald! I have a question that concerns something somewhat trivial. One of the friends I cruise with is rather addicted to Diet Mountain Dew. A 12-pack of Diet Dew is a mandatory carry-on item for him and his wife. Still, it’s not unusual for him to run out.

John says:
Hello Paul

I know this is a very popular drink but, unfortunately, it is not made by Coca Cola who we have an exclusive contract with. I am sorry but hopefully you can continue to bring this (cans not bottles) on the ship and maybe replenish in port. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Best wishes.


Breyanna Mikel asks:
I think it would be great if Carnival offered a Sips ‘N Stroke Step by Step Paint class as an activity on the cruises. Nothing would be more relaxing than painting a whale tail while cruising on the ocean. Perhaps, it could be available with an additional fee like the group exercise classes, The Chef’s Table, and Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast. The canvases could be about the size of a standard sheet of paper (8.5″ by 11″) to make it easier to pack, maneuver, get through customs, etc. Thanks for all you do!

John says:
Hello Breyanna Mikel

Yes, I agree and, in fact, someone else mentioned this and I have discussed with the beards to see if we should consider this on our longer Journey cruises. I will see what happens and, of course, let you know. Please do ask me if there is anything I can do meanwhile and hope to see you soon

Best wishes


Joe Head asks:
Hello, John. This is a request dealing with the new soft drink policy. Canned soda is not my favorite. The wife and I prefer to have twist top bottles for our stateroom so as not to waste unused portions or have it go flat. We normally bring our own (Ginger ale, diet Coke, diet Pepsi, and diet Mountain Dew are my favorites). Is there any way the beards in charge could offer us, and others, some cold twist tops for sale from one of the shops on the ship? I have seen some of the prices at local convenient stores hit close to $2 each, so I would have no problem paying around that price. It’s not that I would be drinking bunches of them; it’s just a nice option to have for that quick drink to take medicine or what not. Thanks, Joe.

John says:
Hello Joe Head

That’s not a bad suggestion. Please leave this with me and let me run this by the bar beard Eddie. The new policy is now in effect, so maybe this will help somewhat. Thanks for the suggestion and I will let you know as and when and if we move forward on this. Thanks again and best wishes.


Kristi asks:
Hi John! This isn’t a question, but a comment. I read a few comments on your Facebook post yesterday about the water bottle policy. I think it is smart that you guys are changing the policy. In all honestly, I have tried to sneak alcohol on in water bottles/iced tea bottles. I’m not proud, but I was young! Anyways… some people were saying it’s all about the money for you guys. I just want you all to know that most people don’t feel that way. There is a thread on the Carnival forums about this actually. You did what you could by dropping the price of water which was very nice! Thank you for your continued work and always keeping things fair!

John says:
Hello Kristi

It is very kind and a little brave as well to admit that you did what some others have done in the past and smuggled alcohol. Certainly we are seeing a huge dip in the number of smuggled items since the new policy came in to play. I am sure you speak for many when you say how much you appreciate the new water prices and we have just this past week changed our brand of water and I have tried it and can report that it is very good. Please do let me know if you have any questions and I am glad your smuggling days are over. Best wishes.


Claudia Crozier asks:
I have never read anyone who is more self-congratulating than you, John Heald. You are no different than ANY other Carnival employee. Your job is just visible for every one of your followers to ooh and aah over…that is the only difference. All this worship minimizes and belittles every other cruise director/hotel manager or other crew member that does there job quietly without all the adoration. I once asked you for a table for two by the window on the Carnival Dream and the table was so far from the window it was ridiculous. Stop blowing your own trumpet, nobody cares.

John says:
Hello Claudia Crozier

You are absolutely correct, having this page and my Facebook page does mean I publicly share all I try and do for all those who ask me for help. Yet the crew on every ship who helps so many guests each and every day do not have a forum like this to show off what they do. So I thank you for reminding me of that fact and I will say now a huge collective thank you to them all. Thanks for being kind enough to remind me of this and I hope you will let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Best wishes.


And we will leave it there for now and I will be back with more questions here soon and often on my facebook.com/johnheald page.

It was interesting reading Claudia Crozier’s post in today’s Q&A because it triggered a reaction I find myself doing often these days and that is seeing if this person is real, if they have a history with Carnival or if they are as fake as a Rolax and as real as breasts on The Real Housewives Of Orange Jersey. In fact, there is no record of her/him ever cruising with Carnival and his/her Facebook page has obviously been created to post on my page and for no other reason but that.

The Internet and, indeed, this blog and my Facebook page have spurned a few people who feel they want and the need to write under a false identity. They may be a suit-wearing stock trader and respectable person by day, but online, they dabble in yak fetish groups or write to tell me I am an idiot and that Carnival is their second worst idea of a great vacation after a camping trip to Chernobyl. ………….and they do so under a fake name.

This has had me thinking though and I am really torn by what’s right and wrong with this. One side of me says that if all posters were obliged to use their real names, it would put an end to most of the ummm………trolling……….I think is the right word. The obligation on Facebook and other sites to use one’s real name would prevent this, wouldn’t it? The vast majority of people who use false names do so cowardly and would shake and shiver at the thought of losing their anonymity that the interweb brings.

But the other side of me says that it would also prevent free and open speech. There are many reasons why people may wish to remain anonymous and some of those reasons could be very personable indeed. And indeed, with identity theft so prevalent these days, I can understand somewhat if people decide to use a fake name. I don’t care that much if they waste my time but I do care if they waste the time of my colleagues who I write to asking for help investigating a complaint or a comment only to find out that the person is a fake as is their complaint.

Yep, the Internet, how did we ever manage without it? Yep, my continuing relationship with the internet has caused me to think what it must have been like to live way back when before ……. well ……..anything was invented.

Imagine if I had wanted to wash my underpants which, back then would have been made out of a scratchy piece of sack cloth, this would have meant that I would have to walk to and from my shack carrying a pail of water back from the village well. And that’s before you’ve tackled the laundering process itself, which consists of hours scrubbing my soiled garments against a washboard and wringing it out. By the time I would have finished ……it’s dinner time…….so after a quick rat on toast, it’s time for bed. Yes, life was simpler back then and stress was a word that wouldn’t be invented for hundreds of years to come, despite the threat of dying of the plague. But in many ways, living back then would have provided a better quality of life than today.

Yes……….computers have helped us on the one hand, but introduced an equal amount of stress on the other. Oh and a quick message to Claudia, I do invite you to step out from behind your computer and shake my hand of friendship and, hopefully, we can work out why you seem to have ants in your pants about me and this great company I work for. You may be scared because some may think you are a troll but don’t worry, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.


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.

59 Responses to I, Claudia

  1. Peggy says:

    I keep hearing about the new drink policy? But not really seen it. What’s this about?

  2. Love the thought of selling cold sodas with twist-top bottles….maybe in a large ‘soda cooler’ provided by coca-cola in the shops.

  3. Joe Quimby says:

    My daughter sent me this – don’t know where it came from. Feel free to use it! Think it would be a great reply from John for a lot of the “junk” he gets!

    As you waste your breath complaining about “xxxxxxxxxx,” Someone else is breathing their last breath. Appreciate what you have. Be thankful & stop complaining!

    Live more, complain less, have more smiles, & less stress!

  4. David Grampp says:

    Kelly is another one who exaggerates numbers to make a statement. 40 out of 100, I call B.S. on that.
    “About 1 in 100 people worldwide has celiac disease. The only treatment is a gluten-free diet. When someone with celiac disease eats even tiny amounts of gluten, their immune system attacks the the lining of the small intestine. This can lead to malnutrition.
    Reference: http://www.webmd.com/…/celiac-disease-gluten-sensitive
    So, not 40 out of 100, but 1 out of 100. People like Kelly cause more harm than good because now people may totally disregard gluten problems based on her over stating a real problem. Shame on you Kelly!

    • Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen says:

      I think a lot of people have jumped on the gluten free bandwagon as a fad diet just as the Atkins diet was very popular years ago.

      It’s a fad..yes some people are truly allergic to gluten but the majority are just people who think it’s cool to not eat bread/other products containing gluten now.

    • Karen says:

      Exactly! People are using it as a diet fad because they don’t understand nutrition, especially those trying to lose weight. In the 80s it was fat, in the 90s it was carbs, and now it’s gluten. I wonder what we’re “all” going to be allergic to in 2025?

    • Edcroozer says:

      So, by your figures, (1 in 100 have celiac disease) 30 people on a 3000 passenger ship plus 10 crew members would be affected. I’d say they need special dietary consideration.

  5. Tom says:

    Suggest to mr, Head, no relation, that they bring a few empty twist top bottles with them and then pour the canned soda into the bottles. Keeps fresh, and ready to drink later.

  6. Geof Schwer says:

    John, your comnents about the AC on- board ship deserves a response. In the last year, we’ve sailed on the Magic twice and the Triumph once. All three times we wished we had sweaters to wear in the dining room, the theater and the Punch Liner Comedy Club. It was colder than hell! We weren’t the only folks bothered by this. The standard answer we got from Customer Service was “We’re working on it.” Fortunately, the line’s inability to effectively control the temperature didn’t ruin any of our cruises, but we will be taking long-sleeved shirts and sweaters with us in the future. Don’t even ask why we didn’t do that earlier. It’s a classic case of “Fool me once, shame on you…!”


    Geof Schwer

    • Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen says:

      Geof–we learned after our first cruise to always ALWAYS bring a light jacket or shawl (for me anyway) because it’s freaking freezing onboard ship. I usually end up sleeping in a bathrobe because my husband LIKES it cold in the cabin and I’m freezing.

  7. Eric Anderson says:

    Afternoon John, the AC is always an issue with me too. I love keeping it freezing. The cabins could never be cold enough but if my wife is hit then I know it’s not cold and she is usually hot in the cabins.

  8. Ken says:

    This is from the Celiac Disease Foundation website:

    Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.
    Read more at http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/#eymkx5cpJvjQq8B7.99

    1 in 100 and 40 in 100 are very different statistics. I believe I will believe the Celia Disease Foundation’s statistics.

  9. Adrian M says:

    Hey John,

    We have a few cruises planned this year and next year, but we would like to do a 15 day Hawaiian cruise as well. I see the last date currently is Nov 2016. I want to say on one of the previous cruises we were on with you, you mentioned “Miracle” getting an update. Do you know if there will be any other 15 day Hawaiian cruises coming possibly in Jan 2017 or later leaving from LA?


  10. Jan Thomasser says:

    As re the A/C – I’ll begin by saying I’ve only cruised Carnival’s west coast USA trips. On these ships, the air was difficult, if not impossible to regulate. It’s been a couple of years, but hope this has changed. ‘s all on this subject. J>)

  11. Paula- tierney -may -viehmann says:

    Dear John Heald. I totally agree with you that people should use real names. I love reading your Facebook page and your blog. I have yet to cruise on one of as you call it (your ships) I will be on the Drean September 13. Since I booked the cruise I found you on Facebook. You give lots of giggles and right out laughs. Thank you for all you do. I appreciate your hard work.Thanks again, Paula

  12. gene says:

    i’m not sure where Kelly Farago is getting her info on gluten allergic people…..but the actual number is closer to 12% not 40%…..maybe she is getting the number from the people who are eating gluten free products because it is becoming a fad…..the actual number of people who are truly suffering from Seliac is much lower…..

  13. Debbie says:

    Joe Head, you can easily solve your problem by bringing 2 empty/used soda bottles the twist type you and your wife like and fill them on board with the can soda
    your allowed to carry on board. If you don’t want to bring the empty bottles on board in your luggage then you could purchase Carnival’s reduced price water and use the empty twist type bottle to fill with your can soda. This will be almost just as easy as when you were allowed to bring your bottle soda on board.

  14. Pierce Gawne says:


    I agree with you completely on door slamming and noise.

    I travel for a living and typically will spend from 190 to 270 nights a year in hotels.

    The top 3 things that are poor form in a hotel, door slamming, excessive noise (from the room or the hall) and leaving food trays / trash, in the hall outside the door of the room.

    I can’t say any of them is worse than the other, they are all evil behaviours.


  15. Sandy says:

    I know that a few weeks ago you mentioned there were several places on board that people could smoke. In my own little head, I believed that this was in response to my fb post about the smokey casino on the Sunshine. However, I would still like you to address this issue. On many other ships, the casino is split in half between smoking and nonsmoking. On the Sunshine, it was a random mix of both. This caused me to smell like an ash tray any time I was in the area. Since it’s at the center of the ship, it’s hard to avoid, is there anything that can be done?

  16. Sue Marzonie says:

    I also have suggested that resealable bottles be made available for purchase since you no longer allow us to bring them aboard. One of the other cruise lines has vending machines with Gatorade, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, flavored waters available in multiple locations thus the passengers can even purchase while the ship is in port. If available in the shops,the shops are not open while in port, thus lost sales. Please consider the vending machines. Thanks, Sue

  17. Jonathan Ketcham says:

    John –

    The problem with anonymity is that people will say things anonymously that they would never say for attribution.

    Free speech is not the same as anonymity. Free specs means being able to say whatever you want to say – with attribution.

  18. Norm Connors says:

    Hi John,

    In the past when we have cruised with Carnival, we purchased “pop tops” for the cans of soda, which prevents them from going flat. They are an inexpensive alternative to switching over to bottles, so may be something Carnival should look into, and offer them in the gift shop.

    Your PA Funeral Director friend,


  19. Bob says:

    Fake names are necessary because you lie about not banning people who speak their mind. We all have something to say and frankly have a lot to lose if we lose access to your site because your dangley bits can’t take a little criticism. To avoid this possibility, sometimes fake accounts are used to tell you what you need to know. I dare you to unblock all the accounts you have blocked right now and discontinue that practice. I know several who are blocked and will know if you do it. I won’t hold my breath.

  20. Debbie Davis says:

    I need to meet Sirley! I’m in the same boat (and literally want to be more often)!! Am nearby on the MS Gulf coast.

  21. Paula Mohler says:

    John, In reply to Claudia’s message…I want to personally thank you for your blog and your daily communication on Facebook. Not only are you full of information, I completely appreciate how you attempt to get an idea of what is working with Carnival and what may not be working. You do this all the while with great humor and care for all of us that share the love of this cruise line. I truly hope to have the opportunity of meeting you some day soon. I am positive it would be a great addition to our vacation.

  22. Kathy M. says:

    This gluten free is just a new craze that the manufacturers are pushing so they can charge more for their food products. Now don’t get me wrong, their are people that do suffer from allergens that you find in food, but not the percentages that are being said out there. Think about it, when the food companies are behind food studies, the results are going to go in their favor. I have kept up on this issue for a long time and I just think it is another one of those food crazes that will pass just like in the past.

  23. Mr. Herald, I have just found out that as of September the Music Highlights Band will no longer be on contract & that there is no live entertainment scheduled for 2016. I am REALLY OFFENDED by this. We cruise Carnival Cruise Lines just to hear this band. Last year on the Magic, there was on older (late 8o’s)couple dancing to their music, now she was on a portable breathing machine & he on a walker which brought tears to my eyes, however they danced every song this band played.
    I understand that my husband & I are only 2 people out of thousands that cruise but this is not right to take away our live bands & put a damn DJ or karaoke singers in for entertainment. I will also put on Facebook about this. KEEP OUR BANDS

  24. Cyndi says:

    We sailed on the Breeze 6/6 and had the most amazing time with our family. We have sailed Carnival numerous times but this was our first time on the Breeze. Everything on the ship was just top notch. Great room steward, dining room staff, casino staff, and really just the whole ship staff. Our daughter went to Camp Ocean and loves that she get to pick what she wants to go to and check herself out (she is 11) when she is done and meet us wherever we may be on the ship. We carried walkie talkies and they come in handy with a group of people. The CD was the best we have ever encountered. He was everywhere on that ship where there was some sort of Carnival activity. Dr.E even made Muster fun with his impressions. No complaints just FUN!

  25. sandra says:

    I too, am extremely hot blooded and have to have my A/C full blast. I am pleased to hear Carnival has recently worked on adjusting the ships temps. We are platinum with Carnival, but haven’t cruises with you in a couple years due to, in my opinion, excessively hot cabin temps. The common areas would be freezing cold and our cabin like a sweat lodge. We even resorted to sleeping on the serenity deck on our last cruise which was a B2B. That was the final straw for us. I would love to come home to Carnival, but need to know our cabin will be able to stay at a comfortable temp. I am more than glad to provide our past guest number upon request.

  26. joe says:

    John, slamming doors. A large part of the problem is the automatic door closers, they can be quite forceful and loud.

  27. Mike says:

    In John’s response to Paul’s dilemma of running out of his favorite carry-on canned soda, John suggested that he maybe restock in one of the ports. There is currently a thread on CC wherein a person attempted to bring on a 12-pack of 12 ounce can in St. Maarten and the security staff confiscated it. Is this carry on policy of canned water/soda/juice only for embarkation day or is it in effect for re-boarding in a port stop?

  28. Lloyd says:

    Just came off the Dream and the AC kept our cabin very comfortable.
    Funny that you mention the slamming doors. That was a recurring problem the entire cruise, but just a minute annoyance.

  29. Dale Douglass says:

    I like John Head’s idea. Since we can’t bring bottles of soda on maybe it would be better if Carnival sold their sodas in bottles. Coca Cola makes all their drinks in 12 and 16 oz bottles and they are resealable so if I don’t want a whole soda at one time I can reseal it. I too take medication in the morning with soda rather than water.
    Plastic bottles are recyclable just as cans are and can be compacted.

  30. Karl says:

    According to the Celiac Foundation, the disease effects about 1 in 100 people worldwide. Many restaurants now offer a separate gluten free menu and, while some are good, they are still limited. My wife has Celiac disease and truly appreciates the efforts put forward by Carnival to accommodate her needs. One of our first stops, after boarding, is with the dining room. My wife lets them know she needs to eat gluten free and they go over that evening’s menu and prepare a special ticket for her choices. After the first night, our waiter handles this task. There are few limitations. On past cruises, she has enjoyed gluten free tiramisu and even an apple pie. Carnival is more than willing to accommodate her in the dining room, for the brunch, in the specialty restaurants (the Italian restaurants have a gluten free pasta) and even at the Chef’s Table. There is a gluten free beer available and when we discovered that most Vodka are now wheat based, the Alchemy bar had a gluten free vodka. When we travel, I often call restaurants in the area to see if they offer a gluten free option. On one call I asked, “Can you accommodate gluten free?” Their response was, “You want us to feed your group for free!” Hats off to Carnival for being a leader and taking such good care of their guests.

  31. Susan C says:


    Can you get me in-touch with Shirley? I cruise solo and would like to travel with someone. Tks.


  32. Cynthia Ravenscraft says:

    I have way too much to do than troll on the internet and use fake names to complain about something I have neither done or should expect compensation for.

    Some People really need to get a life.

    John, always have honest answers for you with my real name and profile picture of me actually on my first cruise.

  33. Jack Sanders says:

    John, Just read your blog. My wife, Susie and I are booked for a 40th Anniversary sail aboard Freedom in January as 1st time cruisers. I enjoyed and appreciated all the information in your blog and will put it to use. One question (for now!). Can we bring a full case (24 cans) of Diet Coke aboard? Didn’t know if there was a limit. Thanks, Jack.

  34. brian mclaughlin says:

    Just finishing cruise on the Valor, our first. Saddened there aren’t low sodium options clearly indicated on the dining menus. My traveling companion has been struggling with this issue all week. Our dining room staff is great but when you’re cooking for 3,000, it’s kind of tough to work in a special request. Many of the dishes served on this cruise don’t have low sodium versions in real life.

  35. Rachel says:

    We LOVED that the Ocean Plaza was right next to the Alchemy Bar on the Sunshine. It was a little loud, maybe, but they were so much fun that they were what we were listening to while enjoying our Alchemy drinks. Additionally, their sets were not terribly long, so there was still plenty of time to relax at the bar when there wasn’t a band playing.

  36. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    We have been at both ends of the spectrum where temperatures in the cabin is concerned.

    Unfortunately, if a cabin is to hot…we have not been able to get a reasonable resolution.

    This is not like a hotel where you can just check out and move to another hotel.

    The Carnival Conquest Class cabins on Main (mid ship) have been consistently hot…so we have learned to avoid them.

    As you know, we have sailed on every Carnival ship and the Conquest class are the only ones who have given us an issue.

    I also love the Fantasy class ships, but sadly the last few times we have sailed on them we had an issue with the cigarette smoke from the Casino bar to the Aft section of the Promenade.

    I assume it is because of the limited areas of indoor smoking available. Everyone ends up at the Casino bar.

    But this leaves a haze on the Promenade that kids have to walk through.

    If the Fantasy class ships could work on better ventilation, that would be wonderful.

    Btw, thanks for the note about Josh the other day. He is currently deployed. We have not heard from him since he left last month and it could be a month or more before he gets to email us.

    Linda (Mom of our friend DJ)

  37. Angela Kaniecki says:

    Personally I’m always super hot in the cabin. I wish there were better climate controls because even on the coolest setting its just not cool enough! Thanks!

  38. tim russell says:

    hi John, We have been cruising since 03. We like carnival very much! Last year we were lucky and won a free 7 day cruise. We took that cruise in Jan. 2015 best cruise yet cause we didn’t need to pay. We again took a cruise in june 2015 which we did pay for it was a great cruise. The thing I had a problem with in June is not getting a print out of our bill the night before the end the cruise, we usually will pay for the bill that night and do not have wait for the credit card statement. We just received the credit card bill today. The bill will be paid but it would have been easier to pay before we left the ship. Why have decided to change the billing?

  39. Steve V says:


    Regarding your air conditioning question. We were just on the Conquest. While the air coming out of the vent was cool, there was not enough volume to cool the room. After my wife takes a hot shower and then starts using the hair dryer, it just overwhelms the air conditioning. We had a similar problem a couple years ago in my daughter’s room on the Liberty. We were told over and over that the output met Carnival standards. Fine, you can point an electronic thermometer inside the vent and get a cool reading. But three feet away, the temperature is markedly higher.

  40. Ralph Nicholson says:

    I am a past cruiser with CCL. My future wife wants to go on the Mahogany Bay beach horseback excursion. A great deal if you book through Carnival. I read the reviews and I don’t think the 18 reviews had a cross word to say. There was one person who said that Carnival needed to update their web page. Review comments stated that the excursion does allow them to wear bathing suits and no shoes. Carnival web page still states long pants and soled shoes were suggested. Now for my question. My wife will go on this excursion. I want to go but I can not ride the horses because of weight (you can relate to this) restrictions. Can I just go to the resort area and relax while she rides at lets say a taxi fare? Or perhaps call someone and make arrangements. I understand this is a space available excursion and seating is limited.

  41. Roxi says:

    All the theaters are cold I bring a coat we have worn out robes and we’re not the only ones our room is cold we usually turn air off but one was unable too. I asked for a blanket the first day and was given one quickly. No our cruise was not ruined I just felt with it

  42. dave josephson says:

    The comment of the loud passengers and slamming doors, especially on the lower decks has been a b@#$h of mine to you, the particular ships staff, of the ship I was on, and in general, it needs to stop! Security roaming the passenger decks after 11 pm or so would most likely solve the problem. People want to play and enjoy their vacation, do so on the public decks! You have n right to ruin my vacation by being rude and obnoxious in the cabin areas. needs to be addressedimmediately!

  43. Robin Kubiak says:

    John, we always bring a travel fan on the ship because we’ve gotten used to sleeping with one for heat and white noise. IMO the ships cabins are too hot and seems to get hotter in the middle of the night.

  44. Jennifer Reddig says:

    John, you make me smile. 🙂 Thanks for doing what you do, and please keep on doing it.

    I’ll be a first time cruiser when I board the Pride next March, and I have to say that I am already in love with cruising and with Carnival as a company… and that is thanks in no small part to you, sir. I love the stories, the slices of cruising life that you share, and most of all I love your genuine concern for your coworkers and for the guests on each ship. Keep it up, sir!

  45. Cindy says:

    My husband and I have the same issue with folks slamming doors, talking too loud and unsupervised running, screaming children in the halls. I think an announcement would be good as well as service announcements on your TV screen reminding all that courtesy should be everyone’s priority. Some will be others not give a flip and think it is there right to do exactly what they want and not care about others.

  46. chet dodd says:

    My wife and I love cruising .We started 2004 on the Sensation.Currently our favorite ship and crew is the Sunshine.Jaime,Darnell,and The In Crowd are fabulous ! Our head waiter Sergei was the best ever. We are on Sunshine again Sept.6th and would like to request Sergeis table again.Can you help us ? We are bringing 4 new cruisers with us too,and want them at our table also. Thanks.

  47. Tonya says:

    I would LOVE to do a painting course on the ship! Count me in.

  48. “They do so under a fake name.” Maybe they are afraid of the hidden truth in that Q&A entry. lol.

  49. Matt Mendenhall says:

    As one other response mentioned, the slamming door issue is because of the automatic door closers, which have to make sure all doors are firmly closed for preventing fire from spreading quickly should one occur (again). Most people don’t hold on to the door as it is closing and rather let it do so on its own, thus all the noise. Even I forget sometimes.

    I can relate to John. The first thing I do when I get into a hotel room is set the air conditioning to 18 (65) degrees, winter or summer. The only time that didn’t work for me was when I was in Beijing in January with snow on the ground, only hot air was available so I had to open the window and let the smog in. Even in below freezing weather I will be outside in shorts and a T-Shirt.

    My wife on the other hand despises temperatures below 27 (80ish). Our last New Year’s Eve cruise was on the west coast and the entire ship was way too cold for her. If the ships had an air conditioner proper we might have been able to make it more comfortable, but what they have is a centralised air cooler that sends the same temperature to all the cabins, and you get to choose how much or little of that temperature to add to your cabin.

  50. Dani says:

    Back when I started to cruise i remember having to turn down the a/c when I walked into my cabin on the fantasy. Now on the last few cruises I have it turned all the way up and we have to sleep with no blanket, this is on the Elation and dream. I really do not sleep well when I’m sweating all night so I do hope carnival will give the passengers more temp control in our cabins. It’s hot! Also the slamming of the cabin and balcony doors is awful, anything you could do to make others aware would be great. Also smoking on the balcony is a big problem still.

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