May 3, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning everyone and here we are in our first port of call, Dubrovnik, and despite it being a rather grey day, there is much excitement to explore this amazing port of call. Ever since we started coming to Dubrovnik on Carnival Liberty in 2006 (Oh, FFS, was it really 10 years ago), it has always been a port that has massively exceeded expectations and its history of surviving civil war and the stunning beauty of its coastline always surprises people.

There is now in 2016 even more excitement for some to visit because of the phenomenon that is Game of Thrones, much of which was filmed in there

As I sit here in in the Horizon Dining Room in my underpants writing to you at 10:05am, we already have 2,433 guests ashore, many of whom are on the Best of Dubrovnik excursion. I think more and more guests are realizing that these days and because of the world we live in, that it’s good to have that secure, cuddly feeling that comes with being on a Carnival shore excursion.

Matt the averagely good looking cruise director did a brilliant job with his travel talk and I can tell you that there is a vast difference from doing a talk about Nassau or Cozumel than doing a talk about some of the major cities in Europe. But he has a warm and trusting personality and, of course, he had the benefit of me giving him all my jokes — the lucky bastard! But, seriously, it is obvious why he was chosen to be here as CD and he is, well……..the future. Great job, Matt!

It was a busy day for the entertainment staff as all port day mornings are. When we first went to Europe on the Carnival Liberty, we spent the first few weeks of that season apologising over and over again to guests for the awful tour dispatch system we had where guests would just wander onto the pier to try and find their tour which, when in ports like Naples and Livorno, meant 1,000 plus guests at any one time would be there and it was…..bloody chaos.

And so Heidi and I came up with the stickering system we use today here on your Carnival Vista. Guests come to the lounge, we give them a sticker with a number on it and then they take a seat. When the tour operator has the coach ready, the staff leads them down to the pier and straight onto the bus. The bus has a sign in the front window with the Carnival logo and a number…….the same number of the guest’s sticker, which means they always know they are getting on the bus.

It’s easy to forget the hell Dubrovnik went through and the best way to appreciate this and its beauty is to take the excursion with the addition of the Ramparts walk and, from up high, our guests can appreciate the old and new terracotta roofs that show the scale of the damage inflicted by the Serbian bombardment in the 1990s.

Yep, Dubrovnik is a fascinating city and one of my favourite ports of calls of all time. It never ceases to amaze me that, as I sit looking out the window, that just a decade ago, this very place where the Carnival Vista is docked, was pounded by Serbian artillery. That was then and this is now and, even in the rain, Dubrovnik today is more splendid than ever before.




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6 Responses to JOHN’S VISTA BLOG – DAY 2

  1. Dorothy Strickland says:

    Hi John
    I have a question to ask please. Did I hear you right today on your live feed that you will be on the Dec 3 2016 sail on the Vista out of Miami please say yes please we have so longed to see you I hope this is true it would so make our day. Waiting for your answere on pins and needles to hear from you .
    Thank you
    Dorothy Strickland

  2. Ted Ross says:

    I am so looking forward to sailing on this new ship. My lovely bride and I have reservations on the July 1 sailing out of Barcelona. My 22nd cruise and my wife’s 24th. We are fond of saying we tried the rest and stuck with the best. It is our 25th Wedding anniversary and want to celebrate in the Steak House, as we have 10 of the last anniversaries. I hope you can help getting us a nice table, as last cruise they said we could not help as the tables were first come, and we had a less than happy table by the door to the loo, or the kitchen. Frankly I have forgotten which, as I over-served myself to forget. But that is another issue. Any help you can give, just drop a line. I know this is the best ship ever, and am looking forward to the best Western Med cruise since the 2008 out of Barcelona.

  3. Patricia Lieder says:

    Good morning John. Just came across your blog update on Carnival Vista’s day in Dubrovnik. My family was onboard the Liberty on her first sailing to Europe. It was in 2005 not 2006, so it is really going on 11 years. That was our most memorable cruise. The ship was beautiful, the staff was wonderful, and your guidance as cruise director will live in our minds always. You are right about the ports. Barcelona was a nightmare but we were in Europe and the transportation issue did not ruin anything. Enjoy sailing with Carnival.

  4. John will you be on the December 11th 2016 Cruise out of Miami we hope to see you you’re a blast to be with

  5. Faith says:

    Hello John..
    I heard you will be sailing on the november 5,2016 cruise on the vista..please let me know that would be would be able to celebrate my birthday 11.11 on the vista with my daughter and myself..


  6. Judith Williamson says:

    Hi John,
    I was in Dubrovnik and saw the Vista as we were leaving for a day trip. We then saw you as we returned and you were leaving port, then you sailed past our hotel room and we watched you go forward! We are sailing on the Vista from Barcelona in October and were so excited to see her in person. Enjoy reading your comments on the ship and look forward to our cruise. We will be on deck 2 and don’t know what to expect since we always travel with a balcony but wanted to get on the ship and that was all that was available.
    P.S. Any way we can get regular hamburgers? I really despise Guy’s burgers! Sorry!

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