Laid Bare

May 19, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from the Carnival Vista and our only day at sea on this Mediterranean voyage. This morning when I woke at 7:30am and left my cabin ( bugger, my state room) I saw a sea of red “ snoozing “ cards hanging on the doors as guests recuperate after long but oh so rewarding days exploring Rome, Pisa, Florence, Naples, Sorrento, The Amalfi Coast and Pompeii. Personally I would like to have seen another sea day on this run but this is destination cruising and today the guests can truly experience this brilliant ship and all she has to offer.

It’s now 10:20am and I am sitting here in the Reflections dining room looking at a steady flow of guests walking in for Brunch and who I know will enjoy wonderful service and great food served by the superb waiters on to a table with no table cloth. Yep, like the true village idiot that I am the subject of these sodding things up again. That’s because I posted an innocent view of where the Captain eats last night and was pounced upon bu some who felt it so very wrong that we give the Captain a table cloth, who how very dare we? .

I also want to mention two other facts if I may. One, I discussed this subject with our President Christine Duffy and while we are not returning to tablecloths she will sit with her beards and look at the possibilities of place mats to see if these are practical and appealing. The other fact is that most modern restaurants do as we do and have done away with the cloth. Yep, spare a thought for laundry businesses all over the western world. For decades they have been able to rely on the restaurant trade for income as posh dining rooms laid with table cloths so thick they could double as sails on yachts send them to be laundered.

Do we need status symbols like table cloths to make eating in our dining rooms worthwhile? Should we not look to the food and the service and the conversation rather than the table cloth be the focus of it? And I think many of our guests want to wear what they choose while doing it, not comply with someone else’s dress code. We want you, only you, to define what “special occasion” means and give you the choice on your cruise vacation that you worked so hard to pay for.

Here on your Carnival Vista things are going very well on this second cruise. One chap brought a table cloth to the ship and we kindly informed him that he could not unless he wanted to move ot a table for 2, he declined and was understanding as to why. The number of guests who have complained to the staff on the ship or on icare at the guests services desk about not having table cloths is………zero.

We had two guests who missed the ship in Rome and were refused compensation despite the fact they felt that they felt it was our fault they had missed the last train back to the ship. We had a comment (posted here on Facebook too) about someone smoking on a Havana patio which despite our teams looking for evidence of smoking and indeed a cigarette in a glass was notice on 5234 balcony. And as I write the guests are being spoken to and action is being taken

That aside and apart from the usual industry comments each ship gets every cruise everything here is going superbly and guests keep stopping me and telling me just how much they love the design of this brilliant ship. We still have work to do though and the team here are dedicated and hard working and I have no doubts that soon your Carnival Vista will be the number one ship in the fleet…………….yep, I really do think that.

I also think that in Matt Mitchum they have a brilliant Cruise Director whose energy is it seems everlasting.

I watch him early in the morning and late at night hugging people and hihg fiving them and yep, I am embarrassed to admit to you that I am …….well…………jealous. I want to be him. I want to have his thrity something energy and I miss the days when that microphone was mine, only mine and when my life was on stage making people laugh. Oh how I miss that exuberant feeling of making 1000 people laugh all at the same time

But as I have watched Matt here , sadly, I have realised that I am really not one Matt, not a Cruise Director any longer. My job has moved on, I am “something else” and, in some ways, I wonder if I even should carry the title of senior cruise director anymore. Yes, I can and I do offer guidance but I am more and more detached from the daily life of the CD and am wondering if the title of Senior CD should not be given to someone else, leaving me with my brand ambassador title only. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care about titles but seeing Matt in action here has brought this to my mind.

Anyway, regardless of my title I will continue to bring you the news, help as many people as I can and pass on all your thoughts to the beards and hope along the way you will forgive my transgressions and my stand against complete anodyne, grey and boring, political correctness.

As I walk around this ship I have found myself being reminded just how fantastic our product is. You see, I spend my time here talking about table cloths and dress codes and my dangly bits and……well…….sometimes I forget to write about the basic, simple fact that a Carnival cruise a brilliant vacation, affordable, incomparable value for money and loads of bloody marvelous fun……. the smiles and the laughter that I have seen here on Carnival Vista is absolute testament to that.

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

 

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5 Responses to Laid Bare

  1. John Wiggins says:

    John,

    Hello from Florida. Just got off the inaugural cruise of the Vista. Just an idea, no placemats are needed just coasters for the glasses are needed.

  2. Linda N says:

    Matt is an amazing CD: best with whom I’ve ever sailed on any cruise line (including 12 ‘mouse’ cruises) and I’m pleased he was given the Vista. He will go far with Carnival. You’re now the elder statesman of the profession and have set the bar very high for those now in the field. Be proud of your accomplishments and the entertainment standards you’ve set. I’m sad that I never sailed on a John Heald cruise and maybe I will one day.

  3. Tom Shaw says:

    Hi John: I will see you Nov 5th,my wife and son (The Fun Dude) will be with me and three friends.
    I prefer a properly cleaned bare table to table cloths. I have noticed that in on shore restaurants a lot of bus boys and waiter, waitress use the same dirty rag from table to table. I prefer disposable place mats to lay my silverware on.

  4. Marietta price says:

    John, I have read a posting on Facebook about all the cutbacks carnival has made and one in particular are no sugar free desserts being offered. Hope this is not true !

  5. Susan Davis says:

    I want to book a cruise on the vista…but only with Matt as CD. I want one of the European cruises and want to know which cruises he will be on before I book. Can you tell me? I wish the ship had the movie screen on deck. Loved that on the Breeze.

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