DRESSING THE CAPTAIN

July 28, 2015 -

John Heald

I am going to start today’s blog by opening a huge can of “Whoop John’s Flaccid Arse” because I am going to once again and for the 708,757,877 time …… talk about elegant night again. I know this subject may bore some people and I know that the CC artist formally known as H82SEAUGO now rejuvenated as SeeBurd will enjoy sticking his tiny, miniscule sized pin in my voodoo doll again but here I go anyway. I also have to mention that this is my opinion, not Carnival Cruise Line (noticed we have now officially dropped the S so now it is just Line) and, in this case, I am speaking for me, the chubby Brit cruise director with a bent tooth and hemorrhoids the size of a baby yak. You see, on my Facebook page these past weeks, I have read lots of comments about elegant night and the changes that have been made.

So, let’s talk about it shall we? With the new system, the captain and senior officers walk around meeting lots of people and taking photos, The atmosphere can be excellent and most captains (not all, it’s fair to say) enjoy shaking hands, chatting and having photos taken with the guests. But there are some challenges as some of you have pointed out. You see, regardless of what you think about dress code, there are those who love dressing up and those who do not. It is certainly not like the old days when seeing someone not, dressed in formal attire would provide looks of shock and horror from the guests. These days, its split down the middle with some dressed like characters from a James Bond movie and some dressed as casual as French rumpy pumpy. I have read on line and spoken recently to guests during my recent cruises on Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend, Carnival Glory and Carnival Paradise who expect something different. And what is fascinating about that is the very vast majority of guests who were disappointed in new system and the way other guests were dressed were past guests who have cruised many times before. Now what they were saying is that they don’t like where we do it and how we do it.

But……….if you really examine everything, there is only one thing that has changed ……. complimentary cocktails. We still have the music, you still meet the captain, you still are invited to dress elegantly and you still have 309 different photo stations from which to have a beautiful portrait taken. All that’s missing…….are the free drinks. Everything is exactly the same. So one has to ask, is that what this all about, the free drinks? The atmosphere, the music, the place, the photos, the meet and greet with the captain is the same…… without the free drinks.
The reason I ask this is because if that is what would make people happy then a) they need to admit that and b) they think we need to go back to what we used to do or c) reconsider other alternatives. I am going to be in Miami on the August 4-15 and I will be talking to the beards and see what we can do to make this very special evening the best it can be.

Personally, I think we should also have to get the captain and senior officers back into their white formal uniform. I understand why we did this when we changed from formal to elegant but having them in blue uniform makes it harder for the guests to tell who the captain is. You see, from the back, it looks like a blue business suit which was fine when the captain was positioned at the entrance to the lounge, shaking hands, but when he is wandering, people, I think, do not realize he is the captain. And, I think the senior officers should be dressed differently to other management. The white uniforms looked great in photos and truly show that, yes.….he is the master of the vessel. And the good news is that, on our Carnival Journey cruises, the captain, chief engineer and hotel director will, on the flashback to 1987 elegant/formal night once again be adorned in those white formal jacket uniforms.

Would a free drink bring more people out on elegant night dressed in their Sunday best? Would people want to take more photos? Good questions and smarter people reading this and those who work for Carnival will have the answers and I appreciate, as always, your thoughts on this.

Meanwhile lets crack on with some Q and A……off we go

Cassandra Washington asks:
John: I don’t have an issue with purchasing water on board as we usually purchase distilled water each cruise.  I do however need to bring G2 aboard because I suffer with a couple if illnesses that require I keep my electrolytes in check.  IBS and SVT both require maintenance of electrolytes and being diabetic as well I cannot drink Gatorade.  G2 is a sugar free form of Gatorade.  Is there going to be exceptions for such required drinks?  Can there be exceptions for G2. I know I can’t be the only person who has to manage electrolytes but I really need to know before my 15 day cruise in November of this year. That will be too long to chance going without it and I will be asking for trouble.  Your help with this matter is appreciated.

John says:
Hello Cassandra Washington

Thanks for getting in touch with me. Although I’m not entirely up to speed on Gatorade/G2, I would ask you to please contact our special needs desk in Miami so that they can assist you in this area. If there’s anything else you need, please do let me know and have a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.
John

SeeBurd asks:
It appears to me and to readers of the Cruise Critic boards (still the most influential information pages in cruising) that you are often misinformed or don’t know what’s happening so you make it up as you go along. Look at the debacle with the BonVoyage liquor price which you said would not go up and then next week what do you know — it did. Then there was the “brilliant” loyalty program which was far from that and made you a laughing stock yet again, “mate.” I suggest that if you are going to continue to strut around saying you are the brand ambassador, then you should get your facts straight. If it were up to me, another member of Carnival would put your lightning back in the bottle.

John says:
Hello SeeBurd

Yep, I screwed up with the Bon Voyage thing and all, though it happened three-plus years ago now, I will once again publically apologise for that. I had asked a “beard” who told me there would be no rise and then a more senior beard decided there would be. No excuses though, it was a mistake on my part and I apologised then and will do so again now. I do my very best to pass on the information I have and will keep doing my best to help, assist and exceed the expectations of as many guests as I can both via social media and when I am on the ships. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Best wishes.
John

Timothy Matthewson asks:
After 151 days with CCL, I have a pain I want to get rid of. It’s wasting paper (Fun Times). Love the tear off section but there is only one rip part. Could a second one be added to it so my wife and I can have room steward brings us an extra Fun Times and can guest services provide only the rip off section by itself ? They have the regular paper but I hate to tear off just that 1 section and have them get rid of the rest.

John says:
Hello Timothy Matthewson

I want to say a huge thank you for your loyalty and I hope there will be many more cruising days ahead for you. There is a new Fun Times coming, a tri-fold with a tear out meaning that you will have the best of both worlds. Also, as we roll out our shipboard app, the information on the Fun Times will be available free of charge on your mobile phone. I do hope that you will enjoy this and I will let you know when we will start with all of this. Please let me know if I can help further. Best wishes.
John

Kerri Spencer asks:

I am cruising for my honeymoon on October 3, 2015 on Carnival Glory. We are officially addicted to cruising! Are there any perks for those celebrating their honeymoon? We took advantage of using the wedding registry on Carnival, so hoping the family picks up on that!

John says:
Hello Kerri Spencer

Many congratulations and many thanks also for choosing Carnival for this special part of your lives. Please would you send me the cabin number a day or two before you sail on my facebook.com/johnheald page and I will see what I can do to make you smile. Wishing you both much happiness.
John

Linda Farrell asks:
John: I have posted this to you on FB and asked my Carnival cruise planner. I’d like to order bottled water in advance of my cruise, however, my question is this: is this water spring water or purified water? There is a difference. Joe, my cruise planner, called Bon Voyage and they have no idea! Thanks, John. Have a good day!

John says:
Hello Linda Farrell

The new water we will be serving is called True Essence and it is purified water. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.
John

Julie Anne Husbands asks:
John: I have a couple of questions about an upcoming cruise. My father, sister, her boyfriend, and I are cruising on the Carnival Conquest August 2. We are wondering 1) will the new internet packages be available at that time and 2) will we be on the American Table menus, or the traditional? Thanks.

John says:
Hello Julie Ann Husbands

Your cruise will feature the new Internet plans which went live this cruise, actually. The ship will serve our standard menu, not the American Table, just yet. Please let me know if you have any further questions and I wish you a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.
John

Betty asks:

Hello John: First, I want to say that I am a true Carnival fan. I have been on eight Carnival cruises and two other cruises each with a different line. Carnival is by far my most favorite and is now the only line that I will cruise. That said, there is only one concern that came up on my February 2015 cruise on the Magic out of Galveston. It appears that the toilet paper is getting thinner and coarser. Have you guys changed vendors? I am looking forward to meeting you on the Bloggers Cruise February 2016 out of Galveston! Thanks for taking the time to address questions on the Blog and Facebook.

John says:
Hello Betty

Ahhh, finally a subject that I am an expert in………..toilet paper. I have to say that I have not noticed any changes in quality but I will certainly bring this to the attention of the right people and get to the bottom of this, so to speak. I can say that the texture of the paper has to be compatible with the suction toilet system we have on the ships so as not to cause a blockage of the pipes. I will be on a ship soon and will test this out personally, as well. Thanks so much for spending so many days with us on board and I do hope we see you soon. Let me check into this.
Best wishes
John

Libby Harsdorff asks:
Hi John. My daughter is about to take part in the National Baton Twirling Contest in Beaumont, Texas, both in the solo and pairs event. In August we will be on Carnival Magic. We have four cabins booked. I would very much like to have her show her talents to the passengers at one of the shows. I am not sure what form to bring her music on. I have it on an iPod and on disc. Hope that is OK. What night will she perform? So many questions LOL. Can your message me on _________. Would love to get this all squared away quickly, Can’t wait to cruise. Thanks

John says:
Hello Libby Harsdorff

Congratulations to your daughter, you must be very proud. I will speak to the cruise director on the ship and see if there is a spot to have your daughter perform. I make no promises as there is a full schedule of professional entertainment and there may not be a place for this. But let me ask and see what we can do and someone will be in touch when you get on the ship. Please bring both copies of the music just in case there is a place for her to do this and I wish you all a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.
John

That’s all for today. Thanks to everyone for all the comments and questions. I wanted to share my schedule with you for the next few months, here it is.

August 4 Fly to Miami
August 5-15 Miami offices

I will attend meetings to arrange the Bloggers Cruises. I will record video interviews with senior beards for you all to enjoy via the blog and my Facebook page. There will be meetings with the marketing department and assist them in some exciting new projects you will all be very much a part of.

August 16 – fly to the UK
August 16 – September 9 – Blog and Facebook from home
September 9-11 – I will be in Monfalcone shooting more video of your Carnival Vista and taking you inside the ship for the very first time
September 11-19 – Blog and Facebook from home
September 20-25 Fly to Miami to attend the cruise director/entertainment director conference
September 25-October 3 – Miami office, meetings and more video shoots
October 3 – Fly to New Orleans
October 4 – Join Carnival Dream for 24 days to host the first of our Carnival Journeys voyages

That’s the schedule for now. I am also going to host a Carnival Journeys cruise in November and January and am working on finalising those and will confirm them as soon as I can. Also, when I fly to Miami at the end of next week, sadly, I will have to hire and train a new personal assistant. That’s because my previous one, the lovely Emma, has decided to leave and set some roots down back in the UK. She really did a wonderful job and I will miss her and wish her nothing but happiness.

Now some of you who may be thinking, “Why does old chubby chops need a PA?” Who does he think he is, Micky Arison or Kim Kardashian?” Well, let me answer that if I may. I am very lucky that the Carnival beards allow me to have a personal assistant and over the years this has happened, I have enjoyed the company and appreciated the hard work of Ugly Craig, Stephanie Ackley, Mel de Dios, Stephanie Erb, Calvyn Shawn Champagne-Martens, Delia Brandon and Emma Charge. Those who were with me in this position are now cruise directors or knocking on the door to become one and, outside of Emma, they have all been past crew members and are all still there doing a brilliant job.

Now there are two schools of thought about the role of PAs:…… the first being that their duties should be strictly restricted to fixing appointments, making travel arrangements, screening phone calls, doing e-mails and so on. The second being that they should assist with anything and everything, up to and including washing my underpants and buying my Mum a birthday present. I thought I’d find it difficult to palm off menial tasks on someone capable of so much more, but by the end of the first day I had a PA, phrases like “Can you do me a favor?” and “Could you hold on to that?” and “A cup of tea would be nice” were tripping off my tongue as easily as “bugger and Oh FFS.” But for me it wasn’t having someone around doing menial tasks that made the real difference. The thing that made the real difference was simply having another human around. You see, I spend a lot of time alone. Yes, there were lots of people around but for most of the time I am working on my own when not at home. When I am on the ships or staying in the Intercontinentalmarriotthyatt in Miami, I am alone.

This is something that makes one prone to taking unnecessary daytime naps, having long, unnecessary conversations with anyone you can, going to bed early, talking to yourself, loneliness and watching reruns of Game of Thrones. But having a PA is not only an antidote to the isolation, not only does it mean there’s someone around to laugh at my jokes, but, crucially, it forces me to behave sanely and not spend hours with just Netflix for company. So who will my new PA be? Many years ago, two senior beards, Roger and Brendan, gave me a chance to improve myself and told me to put down my bar tray and handed me a microphone. So this time, I have decided to do the same for a crew member………..not from the entertainment department as before but from bar or food services or another on board department. I am interviewing currently and think I have made a decision and will announce the person to you all later this week.

I feel good about doing this. Whoever I choose will have a chance to travel, see so many different ships, visit your Carnival Vista in Italy and meet all the top beards plus get to work sometimes from their home with their family close by. I was given a chance and 29 years later, here I am……it’s time then for me to give someone else their chance to move forward. I hope whoever I choose will enjoy the job and I hope he or she doesn’t read the small print of their contract too carefully and notice it says they have to trim my nose hairs and rub Preparation H on my hemorrhoids.

Bet you wish you had the job………right?

Goodnight.
Your friend,
John

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.

54 Responses to DRESSING THE CAPTAIN

  1. Lisa Reid says:

    I have to tell you after sailing on the Valor in May, I was quite surprised how noticeable the lack of customer service was along with all the little things that were taken away from cruisers; i.e., the Drink of the Day glasses, the lanyards at the casino, the chocolates on the pillows, and the usual amazing service that used to be provided by waitstaff and bar servers. Too many cutbacks with absolutely no improvements make for unhappy repeat cruisers.

  2. Mary Johnson says:

    SeeBurd since you are so negative most of the time why don’t you just spread those wings and fly away.

  3. Whitecap says:

    John, first part of June this year we booked a Pride cruise for Sep 2016. This past weekend we were checking our planned cruises and noticed that the Sep 2016 cruise itinerary had been changed “completely”. Called Carnival and was told that the change took place several weeks earlier. Carnival has my email and that of my TA yet neither of us were advised of the change. To keep the original itinerary we had to change to a different date and in doing so lost the OBC offered on the original booking. Why no notification and when Carnival made the change, why do we lose the OBC?

  4. Hi John – Although I probably wouldn’t meet your specific requirements for your traveling PA I am somewhat confident that I could certainly be more than able to assist you as “Captain Carnival” beyond the role I fill now here in Tampa and perhaps as an aid as a shore side representative.

    I was great seeing you here a few weeks ago and I wish that we would have had more time together to talk about what I believe is a sincere and common desire of helping our guests have an even more incredible time starting at the port terminal too.

    Take care and thanks for all of your hard work and dedicated efforts to all of us.

    Brian

  5. Em says:

    I really enjoyed the old Captain’s party where we all went to the disco and were met by the Captain and the officers…but I understand that there are probably too many passengers for that to work. As for the drinks – how about a compromise – a glass of sparkling wine at the door – but just one per person to toast the Captain and the cruise.

  6. Laurie Slawson says:

    Please, leave the baton twirling at home!

  7. Eddie Peabody says:

    Good day mate,
    I have always enjoyed meeting the Senior Officers and staff as part of my cruise experience and taking pictures with them. It always makes it nice when I return for another cruise to find someone I know is on board.

    In the past, there have always been two opportunities scheduled during the celebration, usually lasting 45 minutes each, so the early/late diners and show goers could attend one or the other.

    A new trend I am not happy about is that on each of my cruises earlier this year, there was only one opportunity available. And it either conflicted with dinner or the show, so I ended up missing the M&G which was disappointing.

    I can understand that the officers and staff have their jobs to do, but if there is only going to be one M&G, could it at least be scheduled for a longer period of time. And when there are not major conflicts in scheduling, which makes it impossible to be two places at one time.

    Not sure if this is a Captain’s prerogative or a CCL change in policy. Either way, it needs someone’s attention and a bit of modification to improve the passenger experience for everyone.

    Thanks

  8. Nanette says:

    I would love that job! OMG! It would be a dream.
    Hugs
    Nanni

  9. Geof Schwer says:

    John, what a surprise…we’ll be on the first half of the Journeys cruise out of NOLA in October with you! We’ve been booked since CCL announced the new program. We were also delighted to see that Kirk B. would be our CD on the Triumph a week earlier. We were on a b2b with him last February when he had to leave the ship mid-way the trip to have surgery.
    Re: elegant nights…we live in a area of Texas where boots, jeans and a cap are considered appropriate for just about any activity or event, including
    church. So, the opportunity to dress up one or two times on board is the only justification we have for even owning a suit or formal dress!

    Sincerely,

    Geof and Kathy Schwer

  10. Bernie Haney says:

    John ..

    I sail on Carnival to avoid the whole formal dress crap. I have no problem putting on a pair of nice slacks, a button down shirt, and even shoes for elegant night, but it is in fact all bullshit to me. I sail Carnival to relax, have fun, have great food, and enjoy the staff and my fellow guest, NOT TO PUT ON A DAMN TIE. That is an event from years gone by, and I am sure that people would kick our assess if it ever came to pass. I wear a tie at work, not on a FFS cruise ship. I didn’t dress for elegant night on my cruise this March on the Valor, and nary got a stink eye at all in the dining room. I want the Captain and Crew to drive the ship not take pictures with me. Just not my thing at all. I was going to NOT Dress Elegant on the Miracle with you last August, but I figured that you would have probably thrown my arse overboard somewhere is asshole Alaska. Nice to see, not to swim too. My 2 cents .. Hope that you and the family are well, and keep doing what you do, it makes my day !!

    • John says:

      What moron comments! Why are you so angry!
      The Formal Nights were not created to make you angry. Do not dress up, no one cares about you, but there is no need to be rude, crude and uneducated about other people wanting to kick it up a bit. You do not seem like a nice person to us.

  11. Marie Wolff says:

    Hello John: In reply to your question regarding would a free drink bring more people to Elegant night to meet with the Captain, I have several opinions on this matter. I remember when the Captain’s night was changed from a huge crowd lining up to meet the captain in the theatre, all lined up properly, and, shaking hands with the captain and posing for a picture. When all that was changed to meeting the captain in the lobby, with discounted drinks, we, my husband and I did it and we waited for about two minutes to say hello to the captain and pose for a picture with him After we did it on two cruises, we found it boring, and, nothing was going on in the lobby to keep us there. It is my opinion that others felt the same and decided to say away, and, thus the down dress code. My DH and I dress nicely on Elegant night, he in a dark suit, vs, his Tuxedo and I in a nice formal dress or pantsuit. I doubt people will now change back into the old way of dressing very formally, sad to me. Now, I will tell you about two different formal night occasions on two different cruise lines, one of them being Princess cruise. They still have a formal night with champagne and several mixed cocktails served in the Atrium. The also have a champagne tier of glasses that are filled by passengers while being helped by the Major D and the Captain. A lovely tradition. On another cruise line, they also have the Captain dressed in White, standing at the end of their social avenue to say hello and taking a picture with the passengers while they were handed a glass of champagne. Everyone at these two different Formal evenings were dress formally. I do not think it is a great expense for the cruise line to implement something like this which makes the night special. A thin glass of champagne does not cost that much, and, I think they make some nice profit from the pictures they sell on these occasions. I know as I have bought them myself. It may not bring back the formal days of old, but, it is a nice tradition.
    Marie Wolff

  12. George Bell says:

    We dressed for formal night and we seen some of the officers dressed in their whites but I never seen any of them mingle with the crowd. They were just bunched up talking to one another and then they left together. I never knew you could meet the Captain. I would have loved that.

  13. Lynn says:

    John, You can give or offer all the free drinks you like. There is just some of us that don’t like or want to dress up while on vacation. Personally I’m not one to make a big deal out of meeting the Captain. Our last cruise this past June on the Splendor, there was more women wearing clothes that wasn’t exceptable to me for any MDR. When all their fat rolls are hanging out or their junk in their trunk is showing every divot and crack its not that attractive. My dress shorts and polo shirt looked 110% better. So maybe the dress code needs to be visited and reworked.. Anyways to me Vacation = Relaxation !!

  14. Judith Mkam says:

    You bet I wish I had the job, John. In my younger days I was a PA to a famous fashion designer and then to a billionaire’s daughter. The job is fun and the perks are GREAT provided one is a great multi-tasker (which, of course, I am) WIWT.

  15. Sheri Ryser says:

    I would love to have the PA job! Sigh…

    Formal night, elegant night… we don’t go.One of the main reasons is we don’t want to sit at a big table of people, and the other is… we don’t dress up. It’s a good night for the Casino though 🙂

  16. KIM HARRISON says:

    For Cassandra Washington:
    There are powdered G2 mixes that contain all the electrolytes and mix in your water bottles. So much lighter to carry. Hope this helps and Enjoy your cruise!

    http://www.gatorade.com/products/g-series/low-calorie-thirst-quencher-powder

  17. Joe Molina says:

    John enjoy ur blog. Will the Valor and Magic both get the 2.0 upgrade. Also our Valor cruise in January will be our 25th cruis with carnival, and only carnival, is there a special recognition for having 25 cruises? Carnival is (no ka oi) meaning the best in Hawaiian. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. Aloha

  18. Dan Wernery says:

    John here you go again! This has green cap & gown written all over it. Just say no. That nips it in the bud. This will not go well for the CD if she isn’t allowed to perform!

  19. sandie says:

    I have two comments:
    1) I really, really, really hope the Journey Cruise you’re going to be on in January is on the Miracle!

    2) Wouldn’t it be cheaper for Carnival just to purchase an apartment for you in Miami than have you stay at the intercontinentalhyatt all the time? Even if it were a shared corporate apartment, it would be better for you, better for Carnival, a good tax write off. It’d be a win-win situation.

  20. Karla T says:

    EMMMMMAAAAAAA don’t go!

  21. Stuart Zaikov says:

    John In my early days of cruising we were presented to the capt in a formal setting and thought it was very elegant and made us want to get dressed up. Now it is nothing special just wander around and say hi to a few people and perhaps say hi to a few officers and entertainment staff. You have lost the elegance.

    • Flo Hill says:

      Yes, Stuart…exactly! It used to be much more formal and special. Now it is a bit unorganized and not conducive to a feeling of elegance.

  22. Jodi says:

    I knew I should have tried to get employment with Carnival! Good luck to the new PA, can’t wait to see Vista and yes I think putting the Captain and officers back in their formal uniforms would be a great idea – but it does sort of change the atmosphere of “Elegant” night. I would then feel more comfortable a little more dressed up than usual I think.

  23. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John:

    Please tell SeaTurd that while CC can provide some good information….it gives out MORE INCORRECT information than you have.

    I have been a member since 2002 with over 25,000 posts….and I have seen ridiculously statements that only a moron would believe from those proclaiming to be “experts”!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  24. Catherine says:

    John where can I find the American Table and Feast menus for a 6 night and a 8 night cruise?

  25. Gladys Curley says:

    Can you check with the Beard about offering Lobster on a non-elegant night?

  26. Lee Ann Link says:

    Thankyou John for everything you do. Sure would be wonderful if it is Ken from Ireland on the Pride. He is a true gem.

  27. Marilyn Hertenstein says:

    Just looked at the new CD schedule. We’re sailing on the Sunshine on Aug. 8 and had hoped you would be the CD, but it looks like Tyler Ryan is scheduled. Is he new? I can’t find anything about him relating to Carnival. Hope the beards didn’t just put any old stand in for Jamie. What can you tell me about him?

  28. Jimmy Jones says:

    John,

    I am amazed by you. I could not deal with the barrage of negativity that you have to endure in such an upbeat and positive manner. You sir, are a class act.

    I hope you remember that those that consider themselves to be fans of yours (I am in that group) may be silent but we are the majority.

    Thanks for always giving me a laugh and something cruise related to read while I wait on my next cruise.

    You my friend are the best!

    Jimmy Jones

  29. Sherry says:

    I too must drink Poweraide… I have a prescription from the dr.. To get into stadiums, airports etc…. Will this allow us with medical issue like Cassandra mention above to bring poweraide along…. I usually bring 4 for a 7 day cruise.

  30. Bonnie Edwards says:

    You requested an honest answer regarding free drinks bringing people out for elegant night, so I will give you one. I am platinum with 19 cruises with Carnival. Many when free drinks were offered and many since they were eliminated. Although I always dress up for elegant night, and never missed a Captain’s cocktail party when free drinks and appetizers were offered. I have not attended any since they were eliminated. (The free drinks were a big incentive.) If you can’t bring back the free drinks, maybe offer them highly discounted or at least half price. And it would be nice to have it back in the showroom and have the staff introduced rather than on Promenade deck.

  31. Cynthia Ravenscraft says:

    John, some very interesting points today. I hope your new assistant does a great job for you.

    For Cassandra, your question got me to thinking. Are there options that would be easy to carry, meet the new Carnival requirements for carrying on water (or any liquid) in bottles. I happened to be in a shopping center with a General Nutrition store so I popped in. They actually have a powder that can be added to any water that replaces electrolytes but the cashier told me that running stores have a melt away type that you just put on our tongue or they may have a Gatorade single serve powders and she thought those migt be helpful and a lot lighter to carry on the ship. I hope this helps.

  32. Jenny Hall says:

    In answer to your question about elegant night, I enjoy it because there is no other venue to wear beautiful clothes such as the ones worn to elegant night. The free drinks are not the sort I enjoy, so that isn’t an issue. Mood music, such as big band music,mood lighting during dinner, and an opportunity to have fabulous pictures taken are all amazing features. Just think of it as a date night for adults and create that ambience. You do a terrific job.

  33. Alfred E. Neuman says:

    The only FREE food that is EDIBLE is the deli

  34. Marsha Breen says:

    Seeburd – you must make your family proud. NOT!

    Libby – We’re glad you think your daughter talented but the rest of the passengers are not interested in your daughter’s baton twirling. Everyone thinks their kids are the cutest, brightest and most talented so I’m sure you are proud of her. Leave it at home please!

  35. Flo Hill says:

    John, why would you allow the possibility of a baton twirler to perform when just a few months ago, you would not allow someone’s daughter to sing? Makes no difference to me as I won’t be on that sailing – but to even give the slightest bit of hope to allow a child to perform gives any multitude of other parents carte blanche to request the same treatment. Please just say no….to prevent controversy in the future!
    P.S. Never the less, still love you to pieces!

  36. Joe Quimby says:

    We’ll miss Emma – met her several times & enjoyed her! Great idea for a crew member – look forward to meeting her/him on BC9!

  37. Julie Tyler says:

    I see that SeeTurd, er, Burd is back to trolling again. He’s probably been banned at CC and has to come up with new names to continually post there. For some reason though, he’s obsessed with John. It’s not healthy–kind of creepy actually.

  38. Roger Tollerud says:

    John
    We would like the officers in their whites again.
    Regards,
    Roger

  39. Sue says:

    Hi we have been on about 8 carnival cruises and love them. Can’t wait to book on Vista. We have also been on 3 other cruise lines tho not as much fun as carnival they offer a tempting package that includes all your bar drinks including Pop and water. It’s so nice not to have a big bill at the end of the cruise. Carnival does offer a drink package but everyone in the cabin must buy it so VERY expensive especially since my daughter doesn’t drink bar drinks. So when we are comparing value the large group we go with can’t be talked into carnival because of the bar expense. NCL offer it. Celebrity offer it and now Princess please catch up on this new bar promotion and we will definitely bring our big group on board.

  40. Linda Cole says:

    You are amazing John how you can respond to the negative comments in such a positive way. I’m not so sure I could do it 😉 Hubby and I will be in Miami in September same time as you. It would be great to meet you in person. We may stop by Carnival Headquarters 🙂 Thanks for all you do for Carnival cruisers !

  41. marty says:

    how do i find a detailed list of the shows on “dream” when it sails on sept 6? first time on a cruise, seems they will nickel and dime us to death too, $10 drinks or $100 per day for drinks? WOW!

  42. Doc Holaday says:

    John,
    I figured someone like you would have a fairly aggressive travel schedule, but I was wrong. It’s much worse than aggressive. Not sure how you keep up the frantic pace, but thanks for all you do to ensure as many guests as possible have a great cruise experience. Meanwhile, you must continually contend with a limited number of morons who decide up front that, no matter what happens on their cruise, they are determined to have a bad time. I feel sorry for them. Life is too short to be a jerk. We always decide that we are going to enjoy ourselves and make the best of each cruise. We have not been disappointed — cruise number 16 is coming up next month and number 17 is booked for 2016. Keep up the great work!
    Doc Holaday

  43. Karen says:

    I absolutely love elegant night. I love getting dressed up and getting my picture taken. Quite honestly, it’s the one time during the week that I even enjoy going to the MDR for dinner. I typically go to the Lido Buffet, especially since on the last 4 cruises I have been on I have noticed the same foods in both…why wait in the MDR when you don’t have to? All the little things that other people are complaining about…well, I just haven’t noticed them to be much of an issue at all. I still laugh at how people’s cruises can be “ruined” because they don’t get free chocolate on their pillow at night. I mean, really? THAT is what ruins your vacation? I’m glad none of my family or friends are like that. 🙂

  44. Judi Mkam says:

    We’ve cruised on most of the major lines (except Disney) and find each excels in different things and have enjoyed each of our 15+ cruises even if we’ve had to miss a port, or our tablemates would never be our best friends. We cruised with you John on the Magic in Europe (best cruise EVER) and are about to return to CCL on the Splendor in December (to cheap to pass up!). Because we life in SoFla and our lives are so casual all of the time, we enjoy getting “gussied up” a couple of nights when on vacation. Flip flops and T-shirts are our daily norm, even at work so When we’re eating an elegant meal and being served by a professional wait staff, we find it’s nice to dress for the occasion and not as if we’re grabbing a Big mac with the grandkids. I don’t think it is/was just the free drinks that brought people out to meet the senior staff (though I am sure that it helped) but the drinks and hors doeurves helped to create a sense of a gala, or special occasion. When you take that away it’s just a bunch of people waiting around to take a picture or shake hands with strangers. On a recent cruise on one of your competitor’s ships, in addition to a formal cocktail reception, the senior staff made themselves available for coffee and meet and greet in the promenade area of the ship several times throughout the voyage. In an informal situation we got to not only take photos (I have one of me with all of the senior staff…who was commanding the vessel??LOL?) but to ask questions and engage in true conversation with them. I guess much depends upon how it is presented.

  45. Valeria Olmos says:

    John, Going on my first cruise in two weeks aboard the Dram. Do you know if the new internet and hub app will be available by then? Very excited and believe thrsetwo things will make it so much easier. Not to mention so much more fun!

  46. DJ says:

    I have a cruise booked on the Carnival Splendor during the week of Thanksgiving 2015. We dock in Puerto Rico on Thanksgiving day. There is very, very little to do on Thanksgiving day in Puerto Rico because most of the businesses will be closed. Meanwhile, we dock in Grand Turk the following day. Is there any way that Carnival can switch these two ports? I want to fully enjoy Puerto Rico, and I want to visit the Dominican Republic for the first time. Thanksgiving is the only week that I can cruise.

  47. Terry Shea says:

    My wife and I have 45 days to our credit on carnival. In October we will be on the Glory for 14 days. Now to my concerns, 1, you took away the party for the gold class, the last cruise I was on, only 15 people had a Plat, or diamond car, that’s going to be one great big Bash!2. I now have to buy bottled water from Carnival? I have seen the financial statements, do you really need the money? If so. reduce some of the Beards salary!3. and finally, I have tried to pay for a upgrade on this coming cruise, I can find no one to help me.. They all say : something is closed. Whatever that means

  48. Mindy Bower says:

    John, I read over and over again about the dilemma between people who want to be elegant on elegant night (why would you call it that if you weren’t going to dress elegant) and those that want the “anything goes” approach. I think I have come up with a fix. Currently, when we book, we need to say whether we want “your time dining” or assigned dining. Why not, when we book, have us choose “elegant” or “anything goes”. Most ships have 2 dining rooms. Why not assign the “elegant” people to one dining room and the “anything goes” people to the other dining room. We could each have the experience we want without being “bothered” by the other folks. While I am of the elegant minded crowd, looking at a cruise as a privilege as opposed to a right, it appears as though a compromise is in order. I realize this would necessitate “your time dining” in both rooms, but would quiet the discussion.

  49. Good Day John,
    My husband and I are booked on our first cruise which is on our first overseas hoiiday. We are on the Sensation leaving Cape Canaveral on the 18th October, 2015. We are concerned with what we should wear to the Captain’s dinner.?

    Also, my husband has asked if we could renew our vowes, which I would look at just us and our friends for witnesses, is there a cheap fee for that?

    Thank you and I look forward to our cruise.

    Deanne Lindsay
    Australia

    • charlotte says:

      John,one simple question.My husband
      and I will be on the Dream October 4,2015 will the BLACK JACK band be playing? I really hope so we had so much fun with them—-danced every night. Would very much appreciate it if you could find out for me.

  50. Going on Dream Carnival from Oct. 4 to 25, 2015
    Want to know what are the special dinner Theme
    dinners they are going to have? Would like to
    dress to match the theme. hope you can help me.

    P.S. I am also a real professional Clown at age
    86. I still Clown around for over 15 yrs.
    My Clown name is Betty Boop the Clown.

    Be waiting to hear from you.

    Betty Wanamaker from Laguna Woods, Ca.

Copyright 2011 John Heald. All Rights Reserved

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