August 18, 2015 -
So here I am back home again after two weeks of meetings with the beards and some very funny videos that we will have for you soon……at least I think they’re funny. I hope you will do, too. Kye is still on her summer holidays and I have been reading the newsletter (sent in an e-mail obviously) from her school listing the lessons she will be enjoying this fall term now she is six years old. Math, English, art, sports, sex education, music……..hold on ………. what?!…..sex education?! Yep, it’s true. I read it again and there it was in black and sodding white……..this year, they teach my daughter “a basic understanding” of where babies come from and learn “the correct names for parts of the body.” Oh, FFS!………..how ridiculous. Look, I know I am old fashioned but this is outrageous.
When I was six, I had just learnt to poo in the toilet rather than my underpants. How do the teachers do this, anyway? Do they all have to undress Ken and Barbie dolls or maybe this will be explained by a character the kids are comfortable with. My Little Pony and the Adventures in the Enchanted Lady Garden. I don’t actually remember sitting through any kind of rumpy pumpy education when I was at school. The closest thing was a biology lesson on rabbit reproduction when we were about 14. The class was taught by “Miss Evans” who had breasts like the Alps…..and we honestly didn’t care about the sodding rabbits when she was teaching a class. No way am I letting a teacher do this……..nope…….I am going to teach Kye myself. Where do babies come from……..well, Kye, they come from three minutes of exercise when Daddy used to, but not anymore, do push-ups on top of Mummy…….and then a baby will pop out of mummy’s tummy…….and that’s where babies come from……unless you are Madonna or Angelina Jolie ……. in which case they come by mail order.
Time for today’s Q and A……….off we go.
Can you share the most recent schedule for rolling out the American Table menus? I had been hoping to enjoy the new menus on Carnival Dream in October, but I heard that Carnival Dream might not be getting them this year anymore.
Yes that is right. We just added Carnival Triumph and soon after will be Carnival Pride. We’ll have to check on Carnival Dream and other ships as I’m only aware of Carnival Triumph and Carnival Pride. If and when that changes, I will let you know. Hope you have a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.
Hi: I messaged you about two weeks ago but I’m not sure if you got the message. If so, sorry for messaging twice. I lost a baby seven years ago and have my baby’s ashes with us. I would like to know if Carnival will let us take my baby’s ashes on board and release them into the ocean and if they do a small ceremony for just my family. Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.
I am so very sorry I missed this one earlier and my deepest and most sincere sympathy goes out to you and your family. I would be honoured to help you and please do write to me with the details here or on my Facebook.com/johnheald page two days before the cruise. Include your cabin number and I will make sure I arrange everything for you. Thank you and my thoughts are with you.
You seem to mention people you have blocked from the website a lot here…you can dish it out but not take it in?? Interesting.
I have, I think, become massively thick skinned to the occasional comment about me that in past years may have had me frothing at the mouth. I have blocked people and it is only a handful, not because of what they have said about me, I truly could not care less but more what they have said about people I work with as they did with my past assistant Emma and last week about my new assistant Jacinta. These “people” who all gather like beetles around a pile of yak poo on another site called Friendly Cruise C…..well, never mind, and then come to my pages do deserve to be banned. Say what you like about me, give me constructive criticism about this great cruise line, fine, but to say what they did about these two hard-working ladies was beyond disgusting so yep……I banned them. I hope that explains my decision. It would be nice if like every other question I have answered here today, you used your real name and not a screen name, it certainly would have given your post more credibility. Best wishes.
Terry Pippen asks:
Hi John: Hope you can pass on some feedback on The Chef’s Table experience. We did our first Chef’s Table on Carnival Magic. We are simple folk from Texas. I think the whole table was from Texas. All of us enjoyed the servers and the free wine but the food was far too fussy. Change up the menu for us Texans, give us wholesome home cooked food. Rest of the cruise was a delight.
Hello Terry Pippen
I am so glad you found the cruise so much fun and, yes, of course, I will be glad to pass on your comments on The Chef’s table. I must say that the whole idea of the experience there is to try adventurous foods that maybe you have not experienced before and, to dilute it to menu items that are more every day would, I think, be a mistake. The table sells out every cruise on most of our ships so we seem to have found something that so many enjoy. But like everything else, it is never going to be liked by everyone, such is the spice of life. I do hope we see you again soon and thanks so much for taking the time to write. Best wishes.
Sharon Hewitt and Tom Adams asks:
There are many people to thank for making our B2B cruise on Carnival Sunshine in May 2015 such a rewarding one. It was a wonderful family cruise for us enabled by the excellent professional and personalized touches by the staff and events that all made our trip more memorable. We will be exploring a Carnival ship, new to our cruising experience, on June 13 when we begin our next adventure aboard the Carnival Conquest for eight days. We will be celebrating my birthday and our anniversary. It is exciting to celebrate with our extended family, the Fun Ship’s crew and staff. Now to extend personal Kudos…..to all at CCL:
Lorelei Westberry: Our CCL PVP who is a pleasure to work with when planning our next adventures. Could not do it without you! Entertainment Staff/Cruise Director Jaime Dee: We are huge fans of this young woman and my daughter Ashley was impressed with her many skills She challenged Jaime to a Split Throwdown (attached pic). First saw J.D on Carnival Dream in 2013. From the Sailaway Party and then throughout the ship, Jaime is an inspiration to many and is a key figure in our enjoyment of each cruise spent in her company. Our cruise journeys will continue and made better each time with new vistas of cruising with her at the helm as cruise director. Darnell Brown: Kudos to him. He is a great part of your CD led events like the VIFP Parties and atrium parties. Brittany Boyd: You have put together a wonderful array of talent. We enjoyed many venues of entertainment throughout the two weeks and look forward to more in the future! The dancers/singers were outstanding in the five shows we attended. They have really come together as a well-choreographed and talented group since we were on board in February. They did a wonderful job of including the guests during and after the performances. I have not experienced such a display of energy in many years cruising on a variety of CCL ships. (Well, Lady Antebellum did rock the Carnival Breeze last November…so there was that!) Guest Services: Our trip would not have had the positive outcome it did without the assistance of members of the staff like Guest Services Associate Thelma Rustia, led by a wonderful, professional, caring, and proactive CCL manager Ana Maria Dumitru. Ana went beyond the call of duty as she worked to solve our stateroom concerns and assist with how the changes affected family members who were boarding during the second week of our stay. Our trip would not have been as successful and comfortable without her and her team. (see attached pic) Hotel Director: George Nelson. Thank you and we welcome you to the Sunshine! Global Casino Staff, Executive Casino Hosts and Premier Casino Hosts: Hope to see you sooner than later! Carlos, Lili, Gabi, Zanele, Troy, Martin and several others. I miss not being on board the most recent cruises and look forward to booking other offers soon so I can plan our cruise vacations for the rest of 2015 and the new year of 2016. I wanted you all to know in casino management your Sunshine casino team has been doing a wonderful job improving the casino areas. It is much more comfortable with an improved layout, much easier for every guest and staff member to navigate, especially those of us that are mobility challenged. I saw some work on ventilation which helps with making all guests more comfortable and a little bit cooler. Sunshine Casino Staff/Casino Hosts: Your efforts were so very much appreciated. Your welcome and care throughout our two week voyage was most kind. My children were glad to finally meet the people who take such good care of their parents Fashionista Filipe Duarte: Looking forward to seeing more of you young man! First Class! Angelic Inviting Inna Korol, our unique Ukranian. So very nice to welcome you to the Sunshine! Slot Manager: Ovidiu Unchesel. So glad you are Carnival Sunshine’s gain and a loss for the Carnival Breeze. You are very kind. Slot Attendants: Carina,Nina C. Sánchez and Dinu Florentina my lovely adopted daughters. I will miss you both! Drink Servers: Franco, Iketut Winaya, Where’s my Hurricane Wave? Bartenders: AnnaMaria Nagy, you are a doll! Saowaluck Clalay, Maria Oktavian, Irine Indriani, Lenny Luis, Larry Hilario, Rustam Alfiandi, Main Dining Room Sunrise: Maitre d’ Shane. Thanks for your diligence and attention to our needs and then the needs of our family of six during the second week. You are a breath of fresh air leading a fine staff. We really enjoyed chatting with you. Huge Salamat to all MDR staff especially Head Waiter MARIO Tellez Team Waiter Marsel Asst. Team Waiter Anson Sequeira Head Waiter …Alexander Team Waiters…Edwald Asst: Waiter…Win Zan Brunch was again very much improved in terms of wait time, service and food quality Specialty Dining: JiJi Servers Nian and Hing Kina from India
Cucina del Capitano: Matea. Lovely young woman.
Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse: Chef Jeffrey. Thank you for a delicious and wonderful family meal! My children and dates were impressed!
Madalina Covas and Nicoleta: wonderful service with smiles! Stateroom Stewards: Prompen Somruedee, Jebson Padma
Asst Stateroom Stewardess: Karolina
Thank you for being attentive to all of our needs. Dear Carnival Sunshine HVAC technicians please continue to work on improving the air conditioning for this old gal…I continue to be a puddle of global warming! Pretty Please! My sincerest apologies for anyone that I have neglected to mention. Please know it is not meant as a slight, just an oversight! I am also sad that many of you will not be on the Sunshine when we sail for 21 days in November and December for B2B Carnival Journeys. But I wish you all the very best and hope we cross paths again on another Fun Ship!
Kindest Regards, Sharon Hewitt and Tom Adams
Hello Sharon Hewitt and Tom Adams
That has to be one of the most comprehensive and superbly written reviews I have read and what a brilliant advert for the ship it is too. I will make sure that every single person you have mentioned sees your words of praise and your suggestions and each and every one of them will be thrilled. I do hope we will see you again very soon and I remain here at your service and with a big sunshine smile on my face after reading this. Best wishes.
Alicia Marquez asks:
Hello John, I had a question reference table size in the MDR on the Carnival Imagination. We will be cruising in Feb and there are approximately 11 of us cruising together. Are there tables in the MDR that can sit 11? I just don’t want one couple feeling left out of the group. On this cruise I booked two cabins as two of our daughters are in their own cabin and whatever happens it’s imperative that our daughters sit with us at dinner. Thank you for your time.
Hello Alicia Marquez
Well, the biggest table is actually for 10 but we can fit 11 if you don’t mind squeezing in a little. If you wish me to organise that, please do send me a note three days before the cruise with the linked booking numbers or all the cabin numbers and I will do all I can for you. Please send me this to my facebook.com/johnheald page. I wish you all a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.
Alicia Sandhei asks:
This has been bugging me for a while. On our last cruise (Carnival Liberty), we were made to stand in tight rows for a LONG time for the muster before things even got started. I am somewhat claustrophobic and this is hugely uncomfortable to me. But my complaint is that I was carrying my phone to send a few last minute texts and the staff kept telling me to stop. Which I will HAPPILY do. As soon as they start talking, about anything in any way. I am not saying the drill is not important (that is another subject and I realize not in Carnivals hands) but to just stand, close to other people sweating and miserable and not even be able to distract myself. Sorry, for the first time in my 56 years, I knowingly broke the rules and stepped behind my husband to continue to read my phone. I carefully put it in my pocket when something ACTUALLY started. Please can we do what we can to make things as easy on folks as can be? And how come on the Dream I got to sit in a comfortable dining room rather than crowded like sardines on the Liberty
Hello Alicia Sandhei
I am very thankful to you for raising this subject and I understand that sometimes it can be hot and sticky standing at your muster station. But the simple fact as well as this being maritime law, is that we hold this drill for 20 minutes or so and it can truly could save your life — it really is that simple. And when the announcements are being made and when instruction on how to wear the life jacket is being demonstrated by the crew, we need your total attention. Again, sorry it was so uncomfortable for you and I do hope this reply helps you better understand. Thanks so much, hope we see you soon. Best wishes.
Allan Tew asks:
Hi John. This is the second email to you and the fifth attempt to get an answer from Carnival. I am booked on Carnival Vista October 11, 2016. This will be my Diamond cruise. My question is: what can I expect for a “one time” cabin upgrade. I am currently in balcony 11270 and no one at Carnival is able to tell me what I can expect. Can you please help?
Hello Allan Tew
Thanks so much for your loyalty and many congratulations on reaching Diamond status. In answer to your question you can’t use the one time upgrade benefit until after you become Diamond. If you want to use it on that sailing, please do contact the Diamond desk directly to see if this is possible. It is a meta category upgrade meaning inside to outside, outside to balcony but I am not sure it they do balcony to suite. Let me check and ask a colleague to contact you. I do hope that is OK and I hope you have a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.
Amy Clayton asks:
Hi John: We will be on Carnival Sunshine on Oct. 10-18 and are trying to figure out which nights will be formal nights so we can make reservations for the steakhouse. Also, do you know if Jaime will still be the cruise director then? We have read many great reviews and are hoping to have her as our cruise director. On a recent cruise we had Karl with a K as our director and loved him too but have had a few that didn’t really interact with the guest like others from past cruises. We are excited and looking forward to cruising as a family of three leaving baby home since he can’t play in the pools along with four of our closest friends.
Hello Amy Clayton
The elegant nights will be held on the 11th (sea day) and the 15th after sailing from San Juan. Jaime is back as CD and, no doubt, like everyone else, you will truly enjoy her. Please do let me know here or on my facebook.com/johnheald page if there is anything at all I can do for you and I am sure you will have the best of times. Best wishes.
Marleen Kollenbeck asks:
I read your suggestion about letting a special needs kid on the Serenity adult deck and do so shaking my head at your sickly bleeding heart hypocrisy. You see, dear, a rule is a rule. It doesn’t matter how much or how little it impinges on others. It is there for a reason. Cerebral palsy, military, gold medal winner at the frigging Olympics. It does not matter. Under 21 – get out. That is the rule and the rule should be applied. Nothing else to say is there, dear!?
Hello Marleen Kollenbeck
You are right, rules are rules but there are times when our rules need to be flexible when special occasions arise. The request from the mother to have her child with cerebral palsy next to her on Serenity deck was one of those moments where we have to at least consider relaxing the rules which, of course, is our right to do. In this case, I have left it to the hotel director on the ship to decide with my recommendation that he does allow the child to be there. Thanks for calling me “dear” – that was very sweet of you, darling. Best wishes.
Amy Kobernick asks:
Hey John: Good morning. I just wanted to take the time to personally email you and THANK YOU for all you do. This morning, I am thrilled about the new club for the 18-20 age group. I had emailed you about needing something like that a while back. I cannot express how happy it makes me to know that our input makes such a difference. I know that I was not the only one that felt this age group needed their own thing but it truly makes me feel good knowing that I may have helped do something for these young adults. Again, thank you so much for always helping to make Carnival amazing and for fueling our cruising addiction. Have a great day!!
Amy Wilson Kobernick
Hello Amy Kobernick
You are so very kind. I know this is something you have been wanting for some time and I am glad to see we have it up and running. I will share the feedback with you and hope that you will experience it for yourself very soon. Best wishes.
That’s all for today…………..thanks to you all for your questions and comments here and on facebook.com/johnheald.
So for those of you attending the new VIFP party from next week, you will see a few differences. There is a new video, new food and drink offerings and contests including a “Name The Baby “ …………hope you all enjoy it and please do send me your feedback so we know what you think.
Just one more question for today, here it is.
Carnival has proven there is not bottom to their pit of declining standards by letting men in the steakhouse in blue jeans. It was not long ago that suits and ties were the dress code for gentlemen to eat there. I and many others miss those days.
Now this is an interesting comment, Michelle, and let me answer first of all from a man’s point of view………not every man………..just this one. Why would I want to eat a wonderful steak with a piece of coloured cloth tied in a knot around my neck, pressing against my windpipe and dangling in my lobster bisque? Having a meal should be unhindered, women always wear comfortable clothes, a jacket and tie is not comfortable at the best of times but in hot restaurants it can be quite uncomfortable. But hold on, there is another side isn’t there. Having a room full of elegantly dressed men and ladies does give a certain something to the occasion. Yep, I understand that. There is then the argument that jeans have no place in our steakhouses. But don’t jeans and steak go together? I think so. Jeans and a sports jacket look OK, don’t they? It’s ripped jeans, stained T-shirts and scruffy sneakers and we never allow guests to wear them. Yet there is still some push back form some of you who seem to hanker for the days when the steakhouse was the supper club and formal attire was a must every single night.
I am hoping that talking about my weight loss will not have a few of my readers reaching for the delete button but having lost the weight of a Mini Cooper I am now able to finally buy a pair of jeans, something anyone who is overweight will tell you are not comfortable to wear. The thing is though that when I last was able to fit into a good pair of jeans that back was when I was listening to AC/DC sing about the Highway To Hell (which I understand was a song about Miami’s section of I-95). Back then jeans were just…..well……..jeans. One type, blue. That was it.
These days is how many types of jeans there were then to how many there are now. Flat front. Pleated front. Slim Fit. Loose Fit. Oh, and to those who pay ridiculous amounts of money for jeans with holes in them can I say this……..holes in jeans are earned, not bought! And even if we do find a pair do we know what looks good without spending hours and hours in a cubicle trying the sodding things on? This – and I’ll take no argument on the matter – is the most miserable thing a man can do. Given the choice of trying on a pair of jeans in a shop or eating yak poo live on Fox and Friends …… then tell the women with the short skirt and manicured thighs that I am on my way over. But jeans are here and while I understand some don’t like it, they are being more accepted on land and at sea and I noticed even last week that some of our beards were dressed in jeans and, honestly, I am not totally sure what I think about that except it is very much part of the Googlefacebook world we live in.
But as far as the steakhouse is concerned, I don’t care and if I was eating in the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse and someone who looked like me walked in, all I would care about was that he wasn’t naked …….. now that would put me off my cowboy steak.