May 4, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from beautiful Montenegro and Carnival’s first-ever visit here. Guests are being tendered ashore and enjoying lagoon-type conditions and stunning — I mean properly stunning — scenery. Mr. Radu is out photographing and Peter the Hair is out videotaping and they will both share their talents with you on our Facebook page. Me………well, I have been sitting in the Ocean Plaza since 8:30 am answering a huge bucket load of questions. I will stop now but will do the same on Friday (Thursday night leaving a marker from where I will start) and, hopefully, this will help with my schedule and the time difference.

I spoke with the ship’s agent this morning and he told me that Montenegro is trying to be the new Monte Carlo and building deluxe hotels, marinas and apartments to attract the rich and those who own mega-yachts to come here. I can see why — it really is WOW!

Anyway, before I head off to help Matt — the green-eyed fabulously talented and brilliantly funny and loved cruise director (lucky sod) — with his Rome travel talk for tomorrow, I will write you today’s Carnival Vista bits and pieces and, as always, tell you what is happening, including the challenges we have.

The mood of the guests is very good and I am speaking with so many who are raving about the ship. It is important to know that because, as always, the positive far, far outweighs the negative. However, we still have some TVs that are giving us a little trouble and the techs here are working diligently to repair them.

Last night, we had an issue in the galley which slowed food service at dinner. Again, this is a new ship, it must be remembered, and there will always be things that cannot be foreseen or arise until the ship has 4,000 guests on her and is in full operation. The concern has now been addressed and corrected.

The smoking section on the Deck 5 outside forward area is very popular and appreciated by those I have spoken to. What I need to do now is work on getting regular bar service there and that is now in the works.

The roving musicians, an accordion player, a brass trio and a string quartet are so very popular and so many guests have told me how much they enjoy them playing in unexpected areas and at unexpected times.

A guest complained to me last night about slow service in the dining room and asked for complimentary meals at our specialty restaurants for the remainder of the cruise. Myself and Ken the maitre d’ respectfully declined her wish and instead will work on getting her meals served in the one hour she feels is the maximum time she should be in and out of the dining room which, in my opinion, is too quick to really enjoy a good meal and conversation. Plus, of course, if we had given her a free meal in the steakhouse (which everyone knows is a delicious, yet leisurely paced meal), it would have taken at least two hours to serve her ……. so…………well, you get the picture of what’s really happening here, right?

Yesterday a lady aged 78 peddled her way on around the Skyride. Andrea M. from San Antonio is so far our oldest SkyRider. Will she keep that record? I will let you know.

Some of you are asking about the CD schedule for the rest of the year. I was about to post it but have been asked to hold on a few more days as we have two CDs who have left us and so more changes need to be made. I will post it though ASAP.

Yesterday we had four naked Russian men in the sauna and they seemed astonished when they were told they could not have their Danglybitsov on display. As always, the Russian guests are providing us with some jovial moments, although their lack of understanding that you have to go to the back of any line is frustrating to other guests, for sure.

Maybe the ones who remember the cold days of communism where they would have to stand in line for hours to collect a slice of bread think, “Buggerov this, I am not standing in line for a Guy’s burger,” and they head to the front and, obviously, this does upset a few.

We are happy to have them here on Carnival Vista, however, rules don’t have the same meaning to them and it is a challenge for us to try to pleasantly have them understand how we do things on board. It’s difficult as well for the staff to tell an ex-Spetnaz commando, complete with a tattoo of a tiger eating a snake on his massive forehead, not to push in line. Honestly, some of the Russian men are huge and you get the impression when they look at you that they’re imagining what you would look like with no head. Peter the Hair and I were filming live yesterday on Lido Deck when we saw two men with no shirts on standing at the ice cream machine.  So being brave, I went over to ask them to put a shirt on. They ignored me while I am sure thinking, “Fatov bastardov, I niet putov shirtski on Britishov Pigov.”

I should have insisted or called for Russian-speaking backup but as I didn’t want to be stabbed in the arse with the poisonous tip of an umbrella, I did what any self-respecting brand ambassador would do and sent Jacinta to deal with them. And I haven’t seen her since!


Cheers, wish you were here and have a brilliant day,




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.

7 Responses to JOHN’S VISTA BLOG- DAY 3

  1. Bryan says:

    Are there trainers in the gym to explain the different equipment

  2. Pamela says:

    First post I’ve read on your blog John, after following you on Facebook in advance of our first Carnival Cruise on Vista (1st July). Thanks for you updates which are fuelling the excitement while I slave away in work. (I’m like a kid at Christmas!) Am going to your ‘Ask John’ page now to enquire about transfers (and no I can’t the info online, honest!) Hope Jacinta makes it back alive and maybe you should avoid any future cruises to St Petersburg lol!

  3. John,
    Very much enjoying hearing all about Vista. I cannot wait to sail on her in August and I have clients, a young couple, first time cruisers on their honeymoon, sailing on her in September! Just FYI ~ your sail with john link shows you on a different ship.

  4. Brenda Blackard says:

    Your are crazy as a loon—but incredible entertaining!!–keep up the good work!!

  5. Margaret Miller says:

    I’m loving the details on the new Vista and your interruption of Russian is completely hilarious. I find myself reading it as I would imagine you saying it which cracks me up even more.
    On the subject of CD’s….. I hope to see Schwartz on the larger ships again soon. He’s truly awesome! Not since cruising with you several years ago as our CD have I enjoyed another CD as much. He’s got such a great sense of humor and young and energetic. AWESOME all around guy!

  6. Sharon Hewitt says:

    Dear John Heald!

    I am so happy to finally get back to reading your blog…and to coin your phrase…this was brilliant mate! Cheers! With Warm Regards, Sharon

  7. Konrad says:

    you really have to fight to grab a burger on your cruise?

    Usually russian people do not eat junk food, they prefere caviar and shellfish

Copyright 2011 John Heald. All Rights Reserved