August 1, 2015 -

John Heald

So next week, I will be back in the office, meeting my new assistant and meeting many, many beards. I am very lucky that, in my role as brand ambassador for Carnival Cruise Line, I am afforded health insurance through the company and for that I am very grateful although I hope that I will never need it. My only experience of American hospitals was when I was a cruise director and Heidi and I rented a villa in Orlando and she trapped her finger in the sliding doors that led out to the pool.After I had called her a clumsy bastard, I noticed that her finger looked like Tom’s after Jerry had given him the good news by dropping an iron on it. And so we went off to see if George Clooney was working at the Orlando ER. Heidi was denied treatment at the hospital because the receptionist’s computer refused to acknowledge that the United Kingdom existed. Even though I had a wad of cash and a wallet full of credit cards, she was prepared to let Heidi’s finger explode all over her desk because her stupid sodding software only recognised addresses in the United States.

I was very angry as you can imagine, and had to use all my charm and the promise of a free cruise on the Carnival Triumph and a fruit basket and a ship on a sodding stick to get her to let me see a doctor. I did. He told Heidi she had broken her finger, gave her some pain killers and put a peg thingy on her finger, smiled and gave me a bill for $475 ……..I kid you not…….$475.
After telling Heidi she could forget seeing Mickey and his mates at Disney, that week and writing my address as 25 Bollocks Street on the hospital payment form, I expanded my coverage to the U.S. The British National Health (BNH) system is brilliant and it is also bloody awful. When Heidi had Kye, I could not fault the BNH them in anyway and our Mrs. Doubtfire midwife was a true angel from heaven. She held her hand, and agreed while Heidi was “pushing” that I was a complete bastard with no more right to live on God’s green earth than a dung beetle.

With any huge bureaucratic system, there can be challenges like wait times — ask any Brits and they will tell you their own stories. My friend’s 12-year-old daughter fell off her horse and badly damaged her knee. Things started well. The ambulance arrived promptly, the knee was strapped and off she went in a big, exciting van with flashing lights. Now, we are all used to a bit of a wait at the hospital in a room full of people with swords in their eyes and their feet on back to front. But nothing can prepare you for the yawning chasm of time that passes in a British ER room (or A & E – accident and emergency as we call it) before the healthcare system actually does any healthcare. I do not want to get political here but I hope the outgoing president’s healthcare plan is good for the country. Obviously I am a cruise director and not a political commentator or don’t have a mind capable of understanding the complexities of a health care plan on the massive scale of the one in America. But I can say this. Britain’s National Health Service is truly brilliant but has its challenges, of course. Hopefully the U.S. can improve upon what we already have in place. We’ll have to see, I guess.

Time for today’s Q and A – here we go.

Paul Power asks:
John: We are doing a back to back on the Carnival Glory in September to celebrate our 30th anniversary and I was wondering if we are allowed to bring two bottles of wine each as we are doing a back to back.

John says:
Hello Paul Power

Yes indeed you are if you have both boarding passes printed and ready to show at embarkation. I wish you a brilliant two cruises on this wonderful ship. Best wishes.

Marilyn Hertenstein asks:
We are cruising in August on Carnival Sunshine. I have leg troubles and cannot walk long distances. I am thinking of buying and bringing a wheelchair along with us to use in the ports when getting around the towns to shop and sightsee. Will the crew be able to help me get the chair on and off the ship if we use a tender? Or is this a bad idea?  I can walk short distances, and my husband can push the chair, but I worry about getting it on and off the ship.  What are your thoughts?

John says:
Hello Marilyn Hertenstein

Yes, they will, so please, do not worry. Motor scooters are a challenge but regular wheelchairs will be able to be used on tenders and the crew will assist you as and when you need. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you either here or on my page.
Best wishes and have a great cruise

Bobby Pethan asks:
We have been loyal Carnival cruisers for eight years, and have taken 11 cruises on Carnival. We have had a blast on every cruise, and have made a lot of great friends… including two captains. We are taking our 12th, and, sadly, our last Carnival cruise in January 2016 back to Hawaii. Dawn drinks a sparkling water called Sparkling ICE, but, unfortunately, it only comes in 17oz plastic bottles… so, we will be saying goodbye to Carnival and going to Princess where she will be allowed to have her ICE. Carnival lost us because of this asinine rule – ashamed much?

John says:
Hello Bobby Pethan

I am so disappointed that after 11 wonderful cruises with us you have decided not to return. I hope that this was a kneejerk reaction to the new rules on bringing on plastic bottles and that you will have had time since writing to remember all the reasons why you cruised with us and were as you said “loyal” to the fun cruise vacation we provide. I did ask our bar beard if the Ice product you mentioned was something we could offer but, as it’s not supplied by the Coca Cola company, we have a contract with I am afraid we don’t have any plans to add this. I hope you will have second thoughts and I hope truly we will see you soon. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Best wishes.

Kathy Maiorana asks:
Dear Mr. Heald:
First off I’m not a diamond, platinum or whatever… I think I am jolly old red, maybe blue, I don’t know I can’t keep that craziness straight. But seriously it doesn’t matter. I just laugh at all the folks that start off telling you that they are platinum cruisers.  It has no bearing on what I’m about to tell you, frankly, does it ever? I read your Facebook posts every day. I know you probably get a ton of “unpleasantries.” I, too, have written you about a few “mishaps.” John, I have a happy story to tell you. Well somewhat happy. My husband and I were married June 15, many moons ago, well not too many moons. We always traveled on our anniversary; we vowed to never be home for our special day. We traveled from shore to shore, did a few cruises and hit Vegas too many times to count. Our favorite trips were always wherever the “salty air” was.  My husband died in 2003, after serving 17 years in the USAF. For the last 12 years our four kids have carried on mine and Mark’s tradition. Our two older boys, grown now, no longer want to travel with their “old mom.” But my two girls and I have found our niche. We’ve been cruising now the last 5 years, the last three with CCL on our anniversary. My girls, now 11 and 13 (I was pregnant with the baby when Mark died), understand the importance of our cruises now. It’s not where you go, but who you go with. We will be headed out again next week for a fun filled time, too many piña coladas, too much sun, and making some new memories. Hopefully not having the exploding toilet like we did last year on the Carnival Dream, but whatever it made for a memorable trip. I wanted you to know people aren’t all the complainers you probably normally get. We are firm believers in the old adage “a crappy day at sea is better than a good day at home.”   Cheers and happy cruising!

P.S. I hope your teeth aren’t still hurting. And I am glad you are getting to spend more time at home with your family. Enjoy every single minute of it. It doesn’t take but an instant for it all to change. Treasure the moments, sometimes that’s all you have left of them.

John says:
Hello Kathy Maiorana

Thank you sincerely for this wonderful heartfelt post. I enjoyed reading it all so very much and this quote is my favourite from it: “Understand the importance of our cruises now. It’s not where you go, but who you go with.” That is so true and so uplifting and I thank you again for being so kind and so positive. I do hope I see you on one of our ships very soon and if there is ever anything I can do for you, please do let me know. Best wishes to you and all the family.

Carl Birch asks:
Your anti-hunting comments were dangerous. Who the hell do you think you are? I am a hunter, if i need food, I have the right to go get it, in Mississippi. If I have a right to go get it, I’ve got to have the right to keep and bear arms. We have open carry protection in Mississippi too. Thanks to the Almighty. One thing is for sure, that if you don’t have a right to hunt or fish when you need to, it is cruelty to mankind, and to your neighbor.  No one should take that right from a man who is a citizen and you, Heald, are not a citizen

John says:
Hello Carl Birch

I guess you are talking about my comments on the dentist who killed the lion in Zimbabwe – I was not referring to hunting or hunters in general, only this specific case. I am not going to waste your time or the readers trying to reason with you or explain myself except to say that I was referring to this one incident and not hunting or hunters as a whole. Thanks so much and I am here if you need anything. Best wishes.

Graham Targus asks:
If you are going to have a ping pong tournament, then you should provide a professional referee or someone who knows the rules of the game!! I got through to the final round on my Carnival Paradise cruise but was cheated out of winning. My opponent had his hand on the table at 15 points all and won the next point. I complained to the dancer who was there. What does a dancer know about ping pong? I am 38 years old and the winner was not an adult and the daily program said it was an adult contest. He was 15 if he was a day! I complained to the dancer and he would did not care. A contest is just that — a contest — and should be run professionally by the ship. I deserved that ship on a stick and Carnival needs to make me happy and send me one. My address is ————————-

John says:
Hello Graham Targus

I thank you for writing to me and I can tell how frustrated you are and, for that, I do apologise. I will make sure that this is addressed by the cruise director on the ship. I will say that the ping pong tournament is based more on fun than it is a serious contest but if we say “adult” in the Fun Times then I agree, adult it should be. I do hope that this is not the only memory you have from the cruise and I hope we will see you again soon so you can win that trophy. Best wishes.

Moreen Culp asks:

John says:
Hello Moreen Culp

Yes, indeed you can. The new rules still allow for you to bring one bottle of wine per person. Have a brilliant time and enjoy beautiful Alaska. Best wishes.

Joanna Blais asks:
Question: I will be traveling w/ a large group, the Rontourage w/ Ron Pass, on the Carnival Dream 9/20. I am in charge of decorations, etc. for “Island Night?” What are we allowed/not allowed to do? What can be put up on the piano and around it? We don’t want to be in violation of anything and it seems other folks have done this sort of thing and had very different experiences, depending upon the ship. Some were allowed much more latitude than others. Please advise.

John says:
Hello Joanna Blais

I know this group is going to be lots of fun and I am sure it will be a wonderful cruise. Please contact me on my page three days before the cruise. Let me know what day you want to decorate and I will liaise with the ship. There are some rules so bring what you wish and I will have a staff member there to show you what you can and cannot do and lend assistance should it be needed. I do hope that’s OK with you. Have a great time. Best wishes.

Dana asks:
John, my father died on May 15 this year, 2015, just shy of 81. June 13 (his birthday) and June 21 were very sad days, could not even check email without the constant reminder. I feel your pain. My dad was a big Frank Sinatra fan, so is my mom (they were at one of his last live performances in Richmond, VA in March 1994). She is 74 and she and i cruise together often, as you know. I was wondering will Ken still be the maître d’ on the Carnival Pride’s September 13 sailing? Does he only sing in the dining room for scheduled seating or does he sing at specific times and venture to the Your Time Dining area? I don’t want my Mom to miss him, we have anytime dining, stateroom 7311. Thanks John, take care.

John says:
Hello Dana

I am so very sorry, I know and understand your pain and the sorrow you are feeling. Please would you remind me of what you have written above two days before the cruise? I will write to Ken and ask him to sing a song and dedicate to Dad. I know he will be honoured to do so. He rarely dedicates songs in the dining room but I know he will be happy to do this. Please then remind me on my page if you can three days before the cruise and let me take care of this for you. My sympathies go to you all

Kendra asks:
John I will be sailing on Carnival Dream in October and just found out that they do not have a Guy’s Burger Joint – my husband’s favorite lunch. I was wondering when the Carnival Dream will be updated to include a Guy’s?  Thanks and look forward to meeting you on the Journeys Cruise in October.

John says:
Hello Kendra

I am not aware of a plan to add a Guy’s Burger Joint to the Carnival Dream but I have no doubts you will still have the most wonderful time. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and I will see you soon for a brilliant voyage. Best wishes.

Orlando Suarez asks:
_________ (IN SPANISH). Bring on Latin music, the most popular music culture in the world. Next cruise on 8/23 Breeze – is there any?!?!

John says:
Hello Orlando Suarez

Thanks to Google Translate I understand that you ummm……..don’t much care for Caribbean music. It is good news, then, that there is a Latin band and they play some wonderful music in different areas around the ship so I know you will enjoy them as you will the cruise. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.

That’s all for today, more questions answered on the next blog and through the week on

I want to talk to you about our on board shops or “The Fun Shops” as they are now called. We think our onboard shopping experience is excellent but I wonder what you have to say about it?
The people at Starboard Services have recently brought in a huge selection of jewelry and fine luxury items while keeping faith with the old faithful like the charm bracelets, the watch sales, Inch Of Gold and other daily specials. So, with this in mind I wonder if you might take the time to write your thoughts about your onboard shopping experience. Now, I could ask specific questions but I don’t want this to be too regimented.

Maybe you could tell us the sort of merchandise you always buy when you cruise. Do you think they have a good selection and do you have any suggestions on what you would like to see for sale in the shops the next time you cruise? We want your onboard shopping experience to be the best and we can continue to make sure this happens through your comments and suggestions so let’s see what you all have to say.

Again, this will help us, of course, but ultimately, it well help you all enjoy your onboard shopping experience that much more.

I look forward to reading your thoughts………….oh and just FYI, you asked for bigger sizes and we now have 3X clothing and I am asking them to offer 4X as well. Anyway, let me know what you think of your onboard shopping experience and I will make sure the right people see it.

I can’t believe I am going to write this but there is serious, very serious discussion in the Heald household about getting another dog…………..a sister for our German shepherd, Breeze. When I say serious discussion, I mean Heidi is having it with Kye – I, obviously, am not involved.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Breeze, he barks and growls in all the right places and I feel happier when I am away knowing he and his razor sharp teeth are there………..but two dogs? Oh FFS!
When I was a spotty kid I owned two goldfish when I was young. They were called number one and number two so if one died I would still have two…..but they died within a week of each.
I had a hamster called Dave. He died when I was five years old – Dave the hamster died when he fell asleep at the wheel……so sad.

Yesterday I posted a question on Facebook about a couple who left their cruise on the Carnival Miracle early because their dog had sadly passed away back home in Philadelphia and I asked if others would do the same………………many said they would and I understand why. I love Breeze but I am not sure another dog is the right way to go…………..we shall see. Time for bed and I am really tired.

As I mentioned on Facebook, I didn’t sleep well last night. I counted sheep…………then I counted dentists……and I counted the lions that sprang out of the bush and ate them.

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.

56 Responses to PET-SHOP

  1. melanie hatter says:

    I think two dogs is a brilliant idea! We currently have 3 fur babies-all rescues! A Japanese Chin/terrier mix(comet), a pure white pekingese(princess Halley) and a Tibetan Spaniel (Gem). They are best buddies and the entertainment and joy they provide is priceless!

  2. Jay bell says:

    Bobby pethan is wrong. Sparkling ice is sold in cans. I saw them this week at our grocery store. The come in 6 packs

  3. Heide maginn says:

    I would like to see more. Swim cover ups in plus. sizes. A variety of lanyards i only saw 1 for sail n Sign card

  4. dixie white says:

    I love to buy Carnival shirts at the Fun shops, and trinkets such as novelty magnets, shot glasses, and post cards. Please keep stocking affordable items that I can use as gifts for friends. P.S. One dog is plenty!

  5. Brandon Avery says:

    Is this Graham guy serious? No American NEEDS to go out and hunt for food and if they did, I doubt lion would be on the menu. Secondly, the right to near arms granted by the Almighty? My atheistic beliefs not withstanding, it was not god that granted you that power. In fact, I’m not sure anything grants that power, not even the second amendment. Some key words often overlooked in the second are, well regulated miltia. Last time I checked, that was what the police force are.

  6. Rob Balmut says:

    John, in regards to you question about the Fun Shops. I enjoy purchasing fine jewelry for my wife, but have only bought one item on board a Carnival ship in our 35 cruises. She enjoys yellow gold, diamonds, and sea life. It is rare that I can find anything that meets her tastes. Can you start carrying Na Hoku or Kabana jewelry, or another line with similar selections. After all, we are at sea. Cheers!

  7. Patti Wright says:

    Spoke with Ken Byrne via Face book chat last week. Ken said he will be on Vacation from Sept 20,2015 until November 22, 2015. Hope this helps the man who wants his mother to hear him.

  8. Ken says:

    I had asked the other day about the kind of water that comes out of the cabin faucets. My wife uses a CPAP machine and it requires distilled water. Some of the other posters said that the water from the faucets is distilled. Is this true? The machine my wife uses will clog up if the water placed in it is not distilled. I am trying to avoid purchasing distilled water on board the ship (why use a small amount from the bottle and then have to throw it away). So I asked this question on your facebbok page and received no response from you or any of the others. Can you please tell me if the water from the faucets is distilled quality. Thank you.

    Miracle–November 2015
    Glory–February 2016
    Vista–January 2017

    Plus 43 other Carnival cruises in the past.

    • Matt Mendenhall says:

      The water onboard the ships is desalinated, not distilled. It will have various minerals present (that’s what gives water its flavor) and will not be suitable for a CPAP.

  9. Monica Barenz says:

    I mainly buy items from the fun shops that I do not want to bring with me. (Such as Tylenol, seasick meds., Antacid, etc.) Please, do not ever discontinue selling these items. I have no desire to bring a medicine cabinet “just in case.” We also purchase souvenirs every cruise- sometimes from the ports; sometimes from the ship. The fine jewelry is pretty to look, but no purchases.

  10. Alicia Murphy says:

    Good morning thank you for writing a new blog! 4X please bring to Carnival my son a wear a 3X but more comfortable in a 4X! Getting another dog it has to be right for the right family because of the added responsibility and added cost feed 2 dogs and health care for them as well! Housing 2 dogs when you travel together. I have 1 a white puff ball a 9 pound Pomeranian lap dog he is a handful Stitch is his name! My daughter just moved back in with me has a Jack shit Russel FFS I am not a happy camper 1 dog is enough in this household! Best of luck with this huge decision!

  11. Sharon Wolfe says:

    I love the letter from Kathy who isn’t concerned about what color she cruises under. The fact that she is keeping the tradition alive that she and her husband started, using a sense of humor where needed,I commend her and she is so refreshing to read. Instead of telling you that because she is platinum she deserves a ship on a stick, and for all who comes near should bow down and call her blessed because she has a platinum card.
    My hope is for her to have many more cruises for her enjoyment and to honor her husband. P.S. John, thank you for all you do.

  12. Linda says:

    John..regarding the wine on a b2b..we did a b2b..I had both boarding passes but they still took my wine for the second week. They returned it at the end of the first week. Not a complaint. .just fyi for you.

  13. Beverly Winford says:

    Thanks for another great blog John. I’m happy you are posting on a more regular basis.

    Moreen was also wanting to know what kind of clothing to wear in Alaska in late August. From what I’ve read a jacket and slacks are needed in the evening. But I wonder if it’s cold enough to need a heavy coat?

    Is there a specific list of prohibited decorations? Like Joanne, I sure wouldn’t want to bring a bunch of stuff that I’m not going to be allowed to use.

  14. Kathy says:

    John, my DH always buys the 2XL CCL t-shirts and we enjoy them for years after the cruises we take. The one that gets comments is “Live, Love, Cruise” and Carnival in small letters underneath. We look for clever sayings and bright colors. I usually look and don’t find ladies 2-3XL t-shirts with sparkles (sequins or printed). Please ask the buyer to look into this for us “fluffy” women. Thanks a bunch!

  15. Linda C says:

    Hey John: I have loads of guns. I live in Mississippi. But unlike your earlier poster – I am not a jerk. See you in February 🙂

  16. Johnny Wilmeth says:

    Regarding the FUN Shops, I understand they are not CCL units but vendors? We usually get T-shirts marking the stops r the cruise itself. While the quality of the shirts seems to be improving, the selections are not. But we will keep stocking the bottom drawer in the dresser. My big complaint is two fold; the loss of pocket books (other lines still carry them) and the outrageous mark-up. We had to buy cold meds after I started to get a cold and had to pay $17 for 4 ozs. and when we got home and went to CVS(not one of the cheapest drug outlets) we found a 6 ozs,. bottle for $6.95. This is unconscionable to me. But with over twenty CCL cruises I suppose it will not stop me from cruising but I will be better prepared in the future.

  17. Becky Blanchard says:

    I see we have a couple letters from some very special people today. first up is the couple who are leaving Carnival because they cant take their special brand of sparkling water on board. seriously? Really? Are they really that picky about water that they cant choose another brand that comes in cans or that they can order from Carnival? Its water FFS!!
    Next we have the grown man having a fit over a stupid game of ping pong!! Seriously is a stupid ping pong tournament win that important and is the ship on a stick that special that adults are pitching a fit over not getting one? Darn I am scareed for society if people are making big deals over such stupid things. I’m just glad to be on a cruise,nevermind the damn water or trophies

  18. Pam Spahn says:

    John, this is to help out Bobby Pethan.
    We recently found the Sparkling Ice drinks in 12 ounce cans that come in an 8 pack box. The Pethan’s may have to do some searching and or special order them but they are available in many different favors.
    We took an 8 pack on board with us on the Canival Legend to Alaska.

  19. Debi says:

    Good Morning John,
    You are so funny, informative and endearing! Reference getting another dog; my experience has been dogs prefer their own and may bond to the other dog, lessening the bond with Kye and Heidi. Just a thought. Hoping you have safe travels and good times!! Debi

  20. Ron Pope says:

    Great Blog…. What happened to EMMA ?? You said you were meeting your new assistant in Miami next week. Nancy and I loved Emma …. and will miss seeing her on the BC9.
    Ron and Nancy Pope -Plano, TX USA

  21. JT says:

    Dear John,
    Our outgoing (hopefully) president’s healthcare is a disaster; the only ones that like it are the ones making money off of it. Premiums have gone up, coverage has gone down, many doctors have quit practicing, wait times have gotten worse, and billing is a nightmare. Many people have lost their insurance that they were assured they could keep. Employers have had to lay people off because they couldn’t afford the new insurance. They’ve cut people’s hours from full to part time to avoid paying for healthcare. Meanwhile the Government that proposed and voted this monstrosity that they didn’t even read, doesn’t have to abide by it. As a little girl about Kye’s age was overheard in a dressing room saying yesterday, “Why do they even make these things if nobody likes them?!” I immediately thought of our healthcare.

  22. Anna Cornelison says:

    In regard to Kendra’s question, I thought I had read (somewhere) that the Dream would get a Guy’s Burgers in 2017 when it is transitioned to 2.0.

    In regard to the shopping, we buy inch of gold and alcohol. We would buy clothing but they never have our size. We would also like to see larger sizes. The 3Xs being offered now are still on the small side, more like a 1X or 2X. Would like to see even 5Xs.

  23. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    As I have mentioned to you before, you took Heidi to a private medical facility.

    (Just like Britian has private medical facilities)

    Had you taken her to a public medical facility (which most of them are) … They must treat you regardless of whether you have insurance or not. No one can be turned away for any reason.

    The U.S. has always had these emergency services where no one can be turned away. It is against the law.

    What the U.S. has to face is providing healthcare for 300+ million people vs 35 million in Britian.
    What the U.S. also has to face is 30% of the population on some kind of welfare….Britian does not.

    These are just 2 of the reasons that you cannot compare the U.S. to

    Btw, when most women in Britian go to have their children, there is no Doctor delivering them.
    This means no epidural. That makes a difference to American women……lol

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  24. larry says:

    Last cruise bought two carnival bags on wheels that extend, both of them when used the first time one of the wheels broke I took them to a shop to have them repaired the cost for one wheel was $60.00 , I only paid 29.95 for each bag. How can I get a refund or replacement bag.
    Thanks for any help you can give Larry.

  25. J Alexander says:

    Just a note on the fun shops… We cruise several times a year and it really does seem to get old seeing the same things year after year in the fun shops. Certain items like the everyday sundries that are placed by the liquor register is a must but many of the fashion items have remained the same throughout the years. May I suggest revolving new items through a couple times a year. i know logistically this is a challenge but give it a shot. In the high end jewelry/cosmetic shop I suggest you continue to carry a wide variety of brands and price points that appeal to everyone. As far as my family is concerned we spend roughly on average $100 per cruise in the fun shops unless I find a nice watch or something for the wife that I can’t live without. I understand on-board revenue is a large part of weekly income for Carnival so it is something that should be ever evolving to stay on top of demand. Take care and thanks for all you do!

  26. Jennifer says:

    To Bobby Pethan, I too like Sparkling Ice, not enough to need it on my cruise. I thought you might like to know that here in Columbus Ohio, it is available in cans. I think it is in a 8 pack in a box. I have seen it at Krogers.

  27. WK Greene says:

    I always bring my favorite brands of mouthwash and shampoo on a cruise. These only come in plastic bottles. Will I be able to still bring mouthwash and shampoo under the new rules about plastic bottles?

  28. Lavon says:

    Many, many years ago I purchased a
    Carnival Thermal cup on the Truimph.
    I still use this cup and it is the best cup
    in the world. I can put ice in it in the
    mornings and still have ice in the afternoon. I can not find another cup like this anywhere. Does Carnival still
    sale this cup? I need more! How do I send you a picture?

  29. Geof Schwer says:

    John, I’ve never purchased anything from a ship’s store; in fact, when I wanted a new swim suit, the store on the Triumph didn’t even have one in stock. They had hats, t’s, tote bags, footwear, all emblazened with the Carnival logo, but nothing as unusual or exotic as swimwear. And, seeing as I’m leery of buying $50 watches for $20, I feel I’m better off waiting ’til I get home to go shopping. FWIT, I would rather spend my “shopping time” lying in a deck chair wondering what the lovely young women across the way from me would look like with clothes on!

  30. Nanci Hess says:

    I always buy a bracelet of gold by the inch and love the tee-shirts..more in 2x-3x would be great. IN 2010, I purchased a pen on the Dream, that is made of the same material as the jewel toned globes. I was disappointed on both the Glory and then again on the Breeze when I couldn’t find another one. When I asked this time was told you don’t carry them anymore…..I think others would purchase them also if carried again…it’s special and yet practical for a gift or oneself

  31. James says:

    Great 3x and 4x clothes are a step in the right direction, but not there yet(try 6x). But please allow me to order large clothing, even if it is only direct from corporate, so you don’t have to tie up ship storage with it. Alternately, sell patches with Carnival logos! I could get some and my wife sews them to shirts I can wear next time. Patches do not take up much space and 1 size truely fits all!

  32. Rick Drake says:

    I am having trouble understanding how a cruiser will book Princess instead of Carnival because of the bottled water policy. That will sure be a lesson to the Carnival Corp stockholders?

  33. Peter greenbaum says:

    Over our 22 cruises I have purchased fine jewelry for my wife in the fun shops. Purchased a matching diamond set of earrings and necklace. Also a saphire necklace. For myself I purchased watches. Tissot rubber strap watch, Lambraghini bracelet watch, and Invicta limited edition “Liberty” number 005/952 (really a nice rememberance piece). Also like to mention that that ship prices were very competitive. Enjoy shopping in the shops for watches and jewelry. The associates were very competent and had gone out of his or her way to accommodate my requests (held pieces while I comparison shopped in port).

  34. Vince Gaudet says:

    Hey John,
    Just a question on the lido big screen. I enjoyed on past cruises as I am an early riser and not to wake my family up to go to lido and watch the morning news on the big screen and have a coffee and relax. On my last cruise in July this year on the Breeze no such thing nothing on till the CD morning show is there a reason for this. Also during events on lido they use to show them on big screen as in a lot of cases you can’t see (ice sculpture) but did not show live video on screen where previous years they always did. heard a lot of people say why is it not on the screen we can’t see.

  35. Helene Apper says:

    As to the Fun Shops – I would love to see more plus sized clothing. I hate t-shirts that go up to my neck – can’t we get a v-neck shirt which is tunic length (to cover our fat buns)? I would buy that. I’ve been cruising since 1978 (my college graduation present from my parents) and have been on over 80 cruises on different lines. No one has plus sized v-neck logo wear!

  36. Jennifer Hug says:

    New assistant? What did you do to poor Emma?

  37. dexter says:

    Sailing on the Freedom on Jan 9. Will you still be able to purchase single bottles of water to take on excursions? We started this on our first cruise and plan to continue doing so. On board we just drink tap water. Don’t really want to purchase more bottle than needed. I am assuming you don’t want people bringing their own re-useable water bottles on ships.

  38. Cynthia Carlotti Ravenscraft says:

    Good Day John, another great blog. We love the fun shops. We always get some type of souviners for the kids and grandkuds. We have purchase T-Shirts, travel mugs, toys, magnets, picture frames, my husband bought me one of the Bella Perini bracekets on our last cruise, my daughters boyfriend bought a watch on the cruise we took them on and if you count the Art Gallery as part of your fun shops we gave spent more onart than we did on the actual cruise fares.

  39. Nancy Cowles says:

    would love to see more post cards relating to the ship we are on and more scraping books stickers that relate to the ship and the ports we are visiting but all in all you do a great job, always get t shirs and have on occasion bought wraps, bags, and items from the $10.oo sales

  40. Roger Tollerud says:

    We like the shops but I have one issue. In June on the Miracle we could not buy a post card of the ship. Not a big deal but kind of odd we thought and also a missed opportunity as I expect others would have purchased them also.
    Did not detract one bit from how much fun we had!

  41. Dave says:

    John, sorry to hear about Heidi’s finger, hope it is better. But $475 is really very inexpensive for an ER room visit, you must have been given a big break. Most ER visits will run $1k or much more.

  42. Don johnson says:

    Hi John. Regarding this bobby pethans question about sparkling ice. I am account manager for coca cola and we carry a competitive product to ice called glaceau fruit water. Maybe you could have your bar beard speak to coca cola about it.

  43. Vicki says:

    I tried posting this on facebook but it got so nasty I deleted it. In your blog today you tell the gentleman stating he will not cruise with Carnival because his wife has a certain type of water she needs to drink, tat he is having a knee jerk reaction and he will be back. Well I wrote to you telling you I would not be back on Carnival due to not being able to vape on my balcony. I also wrote to the Royal ships the same information due to the same reason. I will tell you I have not, nor will I ever cruise again since the policies were put in place. I have traveled the country, vacationed at All Inclusive and have really realized how much I was missing being stuck on a vessel out at sea with a bunch of strangers. The point to my message is think before you tell someone they are having a knee jerk reaction, because I am betting they are not.

  44. Kimberly Jackson says:

    Hello John, just a quick question on the bottle of wine we are allowed to bring on. As we have had some wine made for us I am wondering if we will be allowed to bring it on. It has a homemade label on it as my mother in law gets it made by a friend at the winery here in town….thanks for any info you can give me.

  45. Aziz says:

    Sir I have been over going your ship and honestly it is providing good services. For that matter if their is any job opportunities can u plz let me know.

  46. Marsha Breen says:

    Wow, more entitled people you have to deal with! Won’t cruise because of a brand of water. Really??? And the guy who got upset about hunting. Not one time did you say anything about hunting in general. I’m so glad you didn’t apologize to him John.

    Now as far as the onboard shops – my husband used to buy me a piece or two of jewelry each cruise. Not anymore. Last year we purchased a necklace in the gift shop that we later on in the cruise saw at a jewelry store (Nahoku)in Maui. We took a photo of it and had the store manager write on her business card the price. When back on board the ship, we took it to the gift shop. The sales person agreed that it was the same necklace but said he was “powerless” to adjust the price (We’re talking a $700 price difference). He told us we would have to take it up with the company’s headquarters in Miami when we returned from the cruise. We followed his instructions and the Miami headquarters refused to do anything in the way of matching the price we saw it for in Maui. So, long story short…. we are no longer making any jewelry purchases in the gift shops on board the ships. We do continue to purchase other items but not jewelry, and now not any liquor because of the new policy. It’s just not worth the hassle to try and carry the liquor off the morning of debarkation and trying to pack it in the suitcases before we head for the airport.

  47. sharon hewitt says:

    Dear John Heald,
    Once again I was charmed by your wonderful writing… An eclectic montage and always a chuckle at the end to make me laugh! I suffer from insomnia…and will try counting those lions tonight and drift into sandman land with thoughts of justice served, a dentist’s face with whitened teeth…just desserts to some lovely feline of the jungle. Cheers!

  48. jackie watson says:

    Good afternoon John, I am a little confused about something. When I first booked our trip we had a ocean view cabin and I purchased Faster to the Fun. We decided to go to the Grand Suite and the agent for carnival told me to cancel the Faster to the Fun, which I did. They told me that we can go straight to our cabin, and that is really all we use it for. I called and the agent said yes we can go straight to our cabin but no priority for the tenders, which is not a big deal but the web site says no we can’t go straight to them. We are sailing 9-14 on the Paradise and we really like doing that. I don’t want to purchase it again if I don’t need to. So could you please find out if we need to? Thank you for all you do!!

  49. I purchase watches and we purchased my fiancé’s engagement ring on our cruises. 10th cruise coming up over New Year’s, turning platinum next cruise on the Conquest. We like the value and uniqueness of the jewelry, haven’t seen one like my fiancé’s yet. Keep up the good work and hope to see you on a future cruise.

  50. Lenny V says:

    In regard to no Guy’s burger joint on the Dream. We sailed on the dream last year and were very disappointed that there was no Guy’s burger’s. They should be on all your ships. I am sure it has to do with politics or money on Carnival’s part for not having them but put all that aside and remember you have a big hot with you passengers and what may seem like a little thing to you is a big thing to many of us, especially those of us who are past passengers and like Guy’s.

  51. Marcia seymour says:

    About shopping on board….more carnival t shirts, remember the”got fun?” Ones, they were my favorites.

  52. Pamela Hungerford says:

    Re. Shops onboard. I like to purchase charms for my grand daughters each cruise. I purchased the bracelet on a cruise,when they were with me, but there seems to be less and less charms onboard now. I am talking about the old fashioned charms. You still have inch of gold…but fewer charms.

  53. Cindy says:

    Hi John, I love reading your blog but this is mt first time posting. My hubby and I love cruising and are looking forward to our next one on the Freedom in October. My question is can Carnival start selling potato chips or any kind of chips? I am sure there must be a reason why we can never find any munchies like chips in the Fun Shops, but I can’t figure it out. Thanks John. Oh as for the dogs,I have two myself. They actually keep each other company. I would not recommend two males as they are prone to fight as they establish who the dominate dog is. Get a female.

  54. Hi John, I cannot understand why post cards from the ports we visit (on any ship) are hardly ever available in the shops. NICE post cards are sometimes hard to find on shore As well as appropriate postage.

    A word about the new (new to me)beverage policy. I can’t believe THE SUITS at Carnival truly believe every one reads every page of the doc’s EVER time we cruise. Could you please explain why plastic bottles are no longer permitted. I really do not want to believe it’s only for PROFITS sake. after all they could recycle The plastic bottles, publicizing it as a “SAVE THE EARTH” program of sorts. or they could charge $1.50 for soda and still make a PROFIT from the SMALL cans. We are Platinum cruisers and this is our very first time we felt irritated enough to write. John, do you think you can mention this to THE SUITS and ask them to reconsider this new Beverage Policy. How about limiting the amount to 6 bottles per person?

    Thank you Sir John. You are a hoot. Thank you for reading this tome. Respectfully, George and Nancy

Copyright 2011 John Heald. All Rights Reserved