The Oscar Goes to….

February 26, 2008 -

John Heald

There are complaints that make you go “Wow, you know what, they are absolutely right; why the heck didn’t we think of that?” 

Here is such an example.

Guest: ______ Owner: JEAZ) Jessica Zanolari _
Booking#: _______ Added-Changed: 02/23/08 – 02/24/08

Sanitary Bag SuggestionMs _______ approached Purser’s desk stating that she had wanted a sanitary bag but had discovered that as per the notice in her cabin she should ask her State Room Steward for some. Ms __________ felt very uncomfortable doing this as her Steward is male. Guest was given some sanitary disposal bags and Purser apologized for the inconvenience.

I read this in our daily log report this morning and I realized that yes she must have felt very uncomfortable asking for this. Now, obviously we know why we need the bags as anything heavier than the regular toilet paper can easily block the vacuum system but surely we can put some of these things in the cabin…………..why make someone feel uncomfortable if it can be avoided?

Anyway, I discussed this with the Housekeeping Manager and Hotel Director and they agreed and we are now placing the bags in the cabins where female guests are staying with a polite sign asking them not to deposit them in the toilet. I personally called the guest and thanked her for bringing it to our attention and I wonder how many guests have left the ship having felt the same embarrassment but told us nothing. It is these sorts of comments that make us a better company.

Then………..well…………….there are ones like this.

Guest: ________ Ref: ________ Owner: (TAJD) Tamara Djukic
Cabin: _____ Booking#: _____ Added-Changed: 02/23/08 – 02/24/08

Unhappy that there are no African American Entertainers.Mrs ______ came to the desk to make a complaint about the show last night. She stated that the Cruise Director had all the entertainment staff on stage and introduced them all and none were African American. Then tonight at the show she also said that none of the dancers and singers were as well. Guest wants very angry and shouting at Purser. Purser asked guest to not shout, please. Guest said she would expect an answer from someone immediately and left the desk. E mail sent to Cruise Director.

Now, this is, of course, a very sensitive subject and please remember that the only reason I share this with you is that this blog thingy is all about sharing the good, the bad and the difficult.

We have 16 dancers and two singers in our cast and the lady is correct — none are African American. Auditions for our casts are held throughout the year all over the world and our production entertainment team employee the most talented…….it’s that simple. If the lady had sailed on here two weeks ago she would have found that our featured singer in the show was Lawrence Neals, a brilliantly talented singer who has been chosen from all of our vocalists to be the featured entertainer on the Carnival Splendor…………he is an African American.

So, armed with this information I met with the lady and told her everything I just mentioned and even told her that two of our fly-on entertainers Marvin Bell and Marcus Anthony who will both be performing this week were both African American………….it resolved………………….absolutely nothing. The lady even was bold enough to call me a “racist”…………….and I admit………it took all of my willpower not just to tell her what she could do with her comments……………..and walk out of her meeting.

But, I didn’t……………..

I sat there and took it on the chin (chins) and explained that her comment could never be true considering I have worked onboard for 20 years among crew members of every creed, colour and religion…………I said that and her response was to do what I felt like I had wanted to do……………she held her hand up stopping me in mid-sentence …….. and told me that she would not be coming to any of the shows and would be writing to somebody or some organization that I did not understand and she walked away.

I felt utterly deflated………….

I truly felt that after my explanation she would understand but I had failed miserably and, if anything, I had made the situation worse. I admit that as I walked back from the lobby to the cabin I did so through crew only areas as I really didn’t feel in any mood to smile and say “good morning.”

I have calmed down a bit now which is a good thing as I am due on stage in a minute to host “Battle of the Sexes” with Heidi but, boy, did I let that lady get under my skin.

I know many of you will feel you need to comment on this and let me tell you that I can never ever remember such a comment in all these years………… was a one of and I am sure for the lady in question it goes much deeper than the colour of our dancers’ skin.

I have not given up though…………….I am determined to win this lady around and have sent a personal invitation for her to see Marcus Anthony’s show which is a Motown review tonight. I sent a letter to her cabin asking her to please come and then I will follow up with her the following day………………I hope she does come because he is a great entertainer and I will not let her beat me………..I will have her giving me a hug by the end of the cruise………………I want to go from racist to a big cuddly teddy bear who she wants to take home with her…………………………I will let you know how it goes.

I feel a little better today. I took the Ibuprofen last night as well as some cough medicine that contains something called codeine and I love it……………………I took some, put my head on the pillow and the next thing I remember it was morning. It was the best night’s sleep I have had in three days but there are two side effects.

The first is something that only affected Heidi…………apparently it made me snore ………. and it was very, very loud. So much so that I awoke to find Heidi sleeping on the sofa………………I had no idea that she had got up in the night and moved to the sofa bed. Now, she said that she didn’t want to wake me but deep down beneath those pretty blue eyes I could see that she was debating if I belonged in the doghouse or not.

The second side effect is that my nose although not running had decided to grow crops in it. I delved into my nasal passage and pulled out various vegetables and one huge green thing that looked like a ship with a pointed end at the front and a flat end at the back…….. it was the “booger of the seas”………….I showed Heidi that it was docked on the end of my finger………………and that was me in the house of dogs.

Here are today’s random photos


While you are at the party, she is cleaning your home


Preparing hors d’oeuvres for the Elegant Night party


John and Captain D’Aita


Heidi and Captain D’Aita


A friendly smile


Cocktail Pianist Przemek


Here are today’s letters – “In Their Own Words.”







Time for the Q and A…………….and away we go.

SUZANN…………….Chicken soup………….I love chicken soup and it does indeed help. My favorite is my Mum’s homemade soup and I wish she was here to make it for me. Anyway, I am slowly starting to feel better and hopefully I will be fighting fit by the time you cruise. Best you both and see you soon.

BETTYBOOP1BIGKAHUNA………………I am glad you enjoyed Mr. Antonini’s interview and hope you also enjoyed the one with Pieter from Holland America Line. I am hoping that Heidi does not get my cold but the chances are of course are that indeed she will. Thanks for your kind words and our best to you and the family.

PRINCESS ELAINE……………It’s so funny that chicken soup has been mentioned by four different bloggists as a cure for my cold. You asked what happened to all the gifts I received on the Bloggers Cruise…………well…………it was all packed up and sent home and the scrapbook and birthday gifts will indeed become part of my Dad’s shrine. You also mentioned you hoped Alan would join us on the Bloggers cruise and I hope so to…………..there is certainly a good chance the way things are going. Thank you so much for all your kind words and hope we see each other soon.

JEFF…………….I have asked the Carnival Pride for a location and time for your Cruise Critic meeting. I will make sure you know very soon and I will also ask the Cruise Director to put this in his Capers. Thanks for the kind words and I will get back to you shortly.

JULIA BARNES…………..G’dday Julie and thanks for the update of the Queen Victoria’s whereabouts. It seems that this particular brand has an audience wherever the famous smokestack is seen. I know many people like you who would travel a long way just to get a glimpse. Imagine what sailing on her must be like. Anyway, I hope things are well down there in the land of Kangaroos and Fosters and please send our best to all the family. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!

GIRLDOC……………..Ah yes, the breakfast of champions……….Mimosas. You are I see sailing back to back on the Carnival Destiny and in answer to your question, yes, you will need to reactivate your Sail & Sign card for the new voyage. Fear not, though, as you can use it immediately and there is always a bar open for you to enjoy your champagne and orange juice. Try my favorite, champagne, tequila and prune juice for breakfast ………it’s called the Mexican Roadrunner……………….drink 10 and we will give you a free pair of Nikes …………you will need them. Thanks for the posting and your continuing support of my thingy.

JAKE SILVERBERG……………come and sail again soon Jake, mate, and we will run around together.

GINA………..Thanks for the kind words and let me know how the bubble and squeak goes.

DEBORAH ROSATO……………….Do you know we have a musician onboard called Frank Rosato?…………….Of course you don’t know that — but I thought I might tell you anyway. Thanks for the get well message and hope you are enjoying the blog thingy.

PATTI HOPKINS……………I was so happy to read your posting that said how much you enjoyed your Carnival Freedom cruise last week. It was an honour to have you onboard and I hope that until you cruise again that this blog thingy will keep you going. My best to you and your family and please come and sail with us again soon.

DAWN P………….Thanks to you as well Dawn for wishing my cold better. You asked about Supper Club reservations for the Carnival Splendor. I promise Roberto will add this to the link thingy on June 1 — one month before we sail to give everyone chance to book their choice time. Looking forward to seeing you soon and thanks again for the get-well wishes.

MARK…………..Thanks for link and loved the “Lego” reference. I hope one day you dream of touring the shipyard comes true…… is fascinating to see. I agree with everything you said and the “floating continent” remark was very apt. Cheers mate.

MARK CHAMBLISS……………….What date are you coming for lunch onboard mate?

LUCINDA MILLER……………..hello Lucinda and I cannot believe the last time we met was when you sailed on the Carnival Sensation when I was filming with the Olsen Twins…………goodness that seems ages ago. I am so glad you have discovered the blog thingy of mine and that you enjoy reading it along with the other 1.6 million visitors. I also hope that you will come and sail with me again, it has been too long.

KEN COOPER………………….I read the letter Ken proclaiming how great you thought Heidi was and you, of course, are right. She is so lucky to have me and …… oops ………….. sorry…………..I meant…………….I am so lucky to have her and I know I often take her for granted. Thanks for doing this and I hope you and your wife had a fantastic cruise. Cheers mate.

HEIDI – BETH – AND KEVIN………………….let’s make a deal. Come on the bloggers cruise and I will buy a bottle of champagne for each of you……………that’s 3 bottles…………………are you coming?

SUSAN B…………….The problem with eating Jelly Beans when you have a cold is that when you sneeze violently it causes an immediate explosion from the other end …….. wish you were here.

SHELLY…………….. How wonderful that you should write having just returned from your Carnival Freedom cruise. Of course, I remember meeting you and your husband. Yes, I walked out on stage to host the Marriage Show and your husband noticed that the mouth of the cave was open……………..I was so embarrassed but thanks to your husband he made sure that the entire audience of 1,000 people knew all about it ……… still…………..the cave was open but the beast was asleep. It was great meeting you both even under those circumstances and I hope that you come and see us again soon. My best to you both.

That is all the Q and A for today……………..there will be more tomorrow and as always I apologize if I have missed anyone’s questions and please send me them again.

Let us congratulate BIG ED on an amazing 50,000 slaps on his blog. We are all very proud of you mate and I know many people have become friends with each other through your site. Congratulations and here’s to the next 50,000…………Cheers.

I awoke this morning feeling much better. My head still feels like Rosanne Barr is sitting on it but at least my nose has stopped depositing pints of pea soup into my one and only handkerchief…………I must remember to have Heidi wash that by the way.

Anyway, last night we showed the Oscars on the Seaside Theatre big screen which, surprisingly, many people decided to watch in its entirety. I have never been a big awards show fan. They go on forever and after a while the speeches are so boring as they thank their sisters next door neighbors cousins brother who inspired them to act at the age of 3.

Heidi, of course, loves it………….she loves the glamour and the dresses and I of course have to sit there and answer the “Do you like that dress?” question a dozen times. Of course, like a good house-trained husband I pretended I care when really I would rather be watching anything but this……..eve Richard Simmons dancing in a pair of tight red hot pants.

Anyway, I did see a beautiful lady called Marion Coltillard who won Best Actress and was the Godmother to the Costa Serena…………good choice. I actually started to think of all the possible Godmother possibilities as I watched last night………..Cate Blanchett, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Garner, Elton John, Renee Zellweger …………. the list was endless. I keep thinking as well that we could hold a fantastic movie premiere on board our ships now they have the giant screens…………..sail with the stars ……….. watch the movie premiere…………..that would be superb……………….we could do it………………we really could.

In between listening to Heidi tell me how she wishes she had a dress that big and a bottom that small, I watched the Big Easy shows in the theatre and then had an early night and was in bed by midnight. I then remembered that the clocks went forward an hour as well………..bugger.

My day has been spent thinking about how mad that lady got me and how upset I was that I had failed to win her around and that failure has left me even more determined to do so. I was so upset that she had called me a ………you know what………..I cannot even bring myself to type the word. Anyway, I was just going to send this blog to Stephanie to post when yet again fate intervened and proof positive that the Carnival crewmembers are the perfect description of the words “United Nations.”

Last week we arranged a group of crew to go to a very small village 75 km west of Ocho Rios to help paint and decorate a new orphanage. We supplied all the materials, the paint and members of every department went to help.

Here are some photos





And the Oscar for the most generous, giving, caring, don’t-care-what-colour-or-religion-you-are crew in the world goes to…………………….Carnival Cruise Lines.


Your friends

John and Heidi

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.

78 Responses to The Oscar Goes to….

  1. Cassandra says:

    This question is way off subject to this blog but I am curious. I sailed on the Freedom Jan. 19-26,2008 and there was a 19 year old kid (can’t remember his name) that played the piano that wanted a job on a cruise ship playing and singing. I was just wondering if he actually got a job offer or not. Thanks for your time and I hope to hear back from you soon!

  2. Jimmie says:

    John, I’ve been looking forward to your post all morning when I should be concentrating on work. 🙂

    I just wanted to post some words of encouragement–you handled the situation with the impossible-to-please woman with class. It’s quite likely that nothing you could have said or did would have caused her to calm down.

    Anyway, as always, your blog is great!

  3. Kevin says:

    Martin Luther King Jr. Said it best once upon a time. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” Sometimes people need to be reminded of that. And they also must not forget that it’s a two way street. We all know you John we know you are not a Race car driver. But in todays day and age to be accused of something, that is not true and you were able to prove with written proof to another person. And to still be called a ……, is very disturbing to me. In a world of privilege, wealth, and poverty for a person to be so arrogant and opinionated it is a shame, And for someone to be so blind as to not look around at the giant united nations sailing on a cruise ship. Shame on them. So i know you won’t respond to this because well there will be 300 more like it but I feel I had to say it. I am so happy to hear from Nanni that you had such a great visit, and that your cold is feeling so much better. Heidi I’m still waiting for your latest blog, I know your busy taking care of everyone’s friend. Best to you all
    “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” MLK 1963

  4. millionbells says:


    I heartily second the sanitary napkin bags. I was embarrassed to ask. Fortunately, while roaming the ship, I found some in one of the Lido deck’s ladies’ rooms. I took those back to my cabin to use.

  5. PaulMedik says:


    I suggest you give the racist a wide berth. I wish you luck, but I’ve encountered them personally and they have the problem, not you.

    We’re about to elect an American who is black yet we still have ‘African Americans’ in our language. We really are moving beyond that and those who consider themselves as such will be left behind.

    I say we are about to elect an American who is black and I am a Republican who has NEVER voted for a Democrat in my life. What’s more, I intend to vote for him myself unless he somehow manages to loose my vote between now and election day.

    I do not imply that this country is not full of racism. We have way more than anyone realizes, but the future is looking brighter for race relations and we are constantly one day closer to being Americans of many colors, not Americans divided by race.

    It is most likely that the racist you encountered is looking for something for nothing.

  6. Tammie says:

    You know some people just cannot be helped. She had it in her mind that you were a racist and unfortunately I don’t think anything you do will change that fact. My question is does she write to Show Producers if there are no African Americans in the show? How about movies? TV shows? Just let it go and chalk it up to one of those people who can never be pleased.

  7. Elvira&Alexander says:

    Hello dear John, Heidi and other passionate cruisers!
    I completely agree with you, John, – Carnival is very friendly to everybody – no matter who you are. I remember our chambermaid – a young woman from Romania – she was very caring, very attentive, always smiling, always ready to help. For the first time it scared me a little – this readiness to work for 24 hours, but then I saw how her eyes changed after I gave her my wedding dress to drycrean – she was so amazed and admired, that first stood silent, and then carefully-carefully took my dress and walk out. All our things and our cabin were in perfect order – and I really don’t remember better service anywhere. And also we admired our African American singers – both lady and gentleman and, of course, many other crewmembers who greeted us every single morning and every single day, and every single evening – so many smiles we brought from our honeymoon on Carnival Freedom – so – forget all thу words this woman told you. You’re truly a very kind and human-loving person, one of the best we know 🙂 Cheer up :))) And get well!!!
    Your friends from Moscow.

  8. Eva says:

    “I want to go from racist to a big cuddly teddy bear who she wants to take home with her…………………………”

    Ah John! I admire your fortitude but caution you to be careful what you wish for….the lady in question (and I must question the lady part) is obviously unbalanced in an unfortunate way that sadly affects many of all colors….
    Now that said, and since the matter has been raised, did I mention that I have noticed a dearth of entertainers who are Italian, and I do hope the ratio of brown eyed to blue eyed is equal, and oh yes….you are DEFINITELY lacking in short chubby people like me up there on that stage…I mean really!!!
    I will be looking for improvements in this area forthwith…
    Love to you and Heidi!
    PS – I loved seeing the work done at the orphanage…BRAVO Carnival!! I think you might offer passengers an opportunity to participate when those good works are happening!!! Do you think that could happen??

  9. retirementman says:

    Good morning Mr. Heald. I’m shocked that that woman would call you racist. It seemed to you that she the was the racist individual in this situation. It seems today that at anytime, anyplace and anyhow if there isn’t an African – American person shown or mentioned you are called racist. What I’m very happy about is that it isn’t the majority of the African – Americans, Canadians, etc. They are the beautiful people in the world who would have understood your message, accepted it and went on to enjoy their cruise and definitely went to the show. I think that particular woman has a deep serious problem and no matter what you tried to do to help the situation, she was very negative to you and probably anyone else. I feel sorry for that lady. Life is passing her by blaming any and everyone. Way back I sent a message saying how difficult of a job you must have. Now with this one situation people will understand. Oh and by the way, on my cruise in February there was a comedian by the name of ” Percy Crews ” who was tremendous in the early show and the late show. Everyone was laughing so much that we had tears in our eyes. What a show and by the way, he was African – American. Thank you Percy for the entertainment you gave me on my cruise. Ciao Mr. Heald and don’t you worry. 99.9% of the people know what type of person you are, a very caring, positive and loving individual.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  10. Alex G. says:


    How dare that lady to think of you as racist! Some people just jump right to conclusions don’t they?? Cheer up and I hope you are able to resolve things with her before debarkation! Thanks for your responses regarding Nassau and the Funship Films. I greatly appreciate it! Glad to hear that you’re feeling better. The random photos are great! I especially love the behind-the-scenes ones. Coming in 2012, RCI presents the gigantic, enormous, “Booger Of The Seas”

    BIG ED: Congrats on breaking 50,000!

    Take care guys! Have a great day!


  11. "BIG" ED says:

    John, thank you for the kind words about my blog and it’s 50,000 slaps. Nothing compared to your almost 2,000,000 though. I read Nannette’s blog this morning telling all about her visit with you. You and Heidi made her so happy.

    John, you just said “I actually started to think of all the possible Godmother possibilities as I watched last night………..Cate Blanchett, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Garner, Elton John, Renee Zellweger …………. the list was endless”. Well Pat wants to know where is here name?

    John we don’t mind spraying our screens and keyboards with whatever beverage we’re drinking while reading this blog but when you start telling us about harvesting your nose for the “booger of the seas” the big chunks that a spilling out of our mouths are getting stuck between the keys.

    Captain ED
    of The Evil Crew

  12. TXLADYDI says:

    John, As to the sanitary napkin bags, my cabin was supplied on a daily basis without my having to ask – this was on the marvelous Carnival Ecstasy.

    Regarding the woman of color, unfortunately there are people of every race that want to fight about race everywhere they go. Doesn’t matter what you say, they deliberately twist it the wrong way. But you are a talented Gentleman, and I am secure in the knowledge that if anyone could change her opinion, you could. Have you thought of asking the African-American entertainers to call her, personally?

    So glad you are feeling a bit more yourself. And look, you had another picture of fries, with brocolli too!!

    Hugs to your blue-eyed beauty, Heidi. Take care,
    Diane from Texas

  13. Cindy Bruce says:

    TMI John! abooger shaped like a ship????

    You might want to get Heidi a sound machine. I put mine on every night. It sounds like a fan running and blocks out everything you don’t want to hear. It also has the sound of the sea, a river flowing, night sounds( no ,not your farts!!) etc.
    Also, you might have sleep apnea. I do. I use a C-pap machine at night that forces air down your throat to keep your air passages open. Even though it sounds most unpleasant, I feel so much more rested now that I use it.

    Cindy Bruce

  14. Lisa Rindler says:

    John – I posted yesterday and didn’t see a response, so I thought I would try just one more time. Some on cruise critic suggested that I forward this letter on to you – it went out in the mail yesterday to guest relations. My son asked me to write Carnival regarding our outstanding dining room servers when we were on the Valor. Any kudos you can give to them would be great. Or if you could just get word to them that we say hi. WE’ll be on the FReedom this Thanksgiving, sorry we’ll miss you.

    Dear Sir or Madam:
    We are a family of five currently planning our second Carnival Cruise. My oldest son asks that I contact you with a request that he has. Our first Carnival Cruise was this past November onboard the Valor to the Western Caribbean. We were assigned the early dining time in the Washington Dining Room and were completely taken by our two servers, Rolando (of Honduras) and Edwin (of Guatemala). These two servers made our cruise the most enjoyable vacation we have ever experienced. They went out of their way to treat my sons to an experience of a lifetime. Rolando would talk of monkeys under the table that had my four year old son Jason giggling the night away. Then to try to expand Jason’s dining experience, when he would order a hotdog, Rolando would holler off – “Chef – Jason wants hot dog… What’s that, no hot dog… Ah Jason, Chef say ‘No hotdog’ ”. Jason would giggle and then order something else. To this day when we are dining out, we use Rolando’s words on Jason. In return, Jason always talks of getting a monkey and sending it to Rolando on the big ship.
    Additionally, Rolando and Edwin would entertain the boys throughout dinner with their antics and wisdom. My older two sons were always able to participate in the dining room activities and were treated like royalty by Edwin. Edwin had their drinks waiting for them, their steak cut and their hotdogs covered with just the right amount of ketchup. Prior to our departure, we completed comment cards for them to express our pleasure of having them as servers.
    As we prepare for our next cruise, my oldest son Jared asked that I contact Carnival to see if by chance Edwin and/or Rolando will be on the Freedom this fall. As this is probably not likely, Jared’s second request would be for servers just as nice, special and fun as Rolando and Edwin were. I told him that I would pass this on to Carnival for their consideration.
    We are all exciting about our next cruise. I do believe Carnival has found a lifetime customer.

  15. Kuki says:

    Hey John,

    First thing I have to applaud the crew for donating their time (and Carnival the supplies) to help with the orphanage. People have no idea just how much (Carnival, and more so the crew and YOU ) charitable work you all do!

    I’m also very impressed with the restraint you showed to “Mrs. Sofasttojudge”! Something so few of us could us do.

    Back to being positive… in the Fun Ship tradition… I’m delighted to report we’ve cracked the 200 mark of people booked in our CruiseMates group for what we’ve dubbed the Blog2NOLA cruise.
    What a PARTY this is going to be!! The only bad part is the wait.

  16. cruzinsal says:


    I really do not have anything brilliant or witty to say except that I love reading your blog each and every day. I adore how you bring your world so colorfully to mine/ours and most of all, I love how you let your heart show.

    Please don’t ever change.

    See you in NOLA

  17. Shirley Cales says:

    John, twice now I have read of you and the Olsen Twins. Were you in one of their movies? Is it something that’s available on DVD? I would love to see it. Details please.

    Big Ed, I have always wanted to be “evil.” Can I join your group even if I haven’t been able to book a bloggers’ cruise? I was already booked on Liberty this past January so I missed the first one. And now I am booked for a Panama Canal cruise for early next February (it too was booked months ago), so I won’t be able to make that one either. I’m really hoping to make it for the third bloggers’ cruise and will book it as soon as it is announced, I promise.

    And I think it is a great idea to have a “bloggers'” get together on every cruise. Afterall, there are lots of John’s blog fans on cruises all year.

  18. kiciaski says:

    Hi John,

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better. Give it a couple more days and you should be good as new.

    Don’t let the racist lady get to you. Some people are always going to be that way.

    We were going to really shorten the London portion of the Splendor trip and take the 3 day cruise from Dover. When I talked to the travel agent desk at Carnival they told me the naming ceremony would be 7/2/08 in Genoa and that was the inaugural cruise. Please tell me what is correct so I can adjust our plans accordingly.

    We still like the formal nights and hope Carnival doesn’t truly lower itself to NCL standards. That’s why we won’t sail them ( besides the fact it looks like they’re painted with graffiti). We try to avoid the problem of having to deal with what we call inappropriately dressed people by getting a table for two. It does detract from the experience if one couple is dressed formally and others are dressed in blue jeans. That’s our way of dealing with it and if it doesn’t bother others that’s OK too. Maybe one dining room (on ships that have two) could be formal or at least elegant and the other could be casual.

    Looking forward to the info on the Splendor.



  19. Cheryl says:

    Hello John and Heidi,

    First of all, I agree with the other posters who said that SHE was the racist in that conversation. Second, I would like to point out that an African american would be someone born in Africa who is an american citizen. I know three individuals who really are “African Americans” and it was one of those three who told me this. Next I would like to commend you on your behavior, which was exemplary, and I agree with the others, that this lady seems to have a lot of issues which have nothing to do with you. She should probably seek counseling. It looks like you do a difficult job very, very well. This situation reminds me of the French-Canadian woman who expected you to look in your crystal ball and divine her birthday. Afterwards, there were a few posters who abused French-Canadians in general, because of this one lady. Hmm. Maybe this should be a reminder that we should all follow your example and treat everyone the same – be they French-Canadian, black, female, left-handed, or whatever. You are truly inspiring to me for your LACK of racism.

    I love what the crewmembers did for the orphanage. Congratulations to them!

    On a more pleasant note, I’m glad you’re cold is getting better. I’ve struggled with sinus problems all my life, and I’ve found that when you have, um, vegitation stuck up in your nose, the best thing is to spray some saline up there. It’s really just glorified water that they put in a plastic bottle. You can find it in any (american) drugstore, usually with all of the over-the-counter cold remedies. It only costs a dollar or two for a bottle. It really helps. Trust me!

  20. Carol Schoenberger says:

    Hi John,

    Glad the cold is a little better. And did you know that Chicken Soup is also known as the “Jewish Penicillan”?

    As for that woman, I think she is the real racist.

    There were sanitary bags in the bathroom when I was on the Imagination, in fact a good supply of them.

    Great photos of the paint crew. Carnival is always there for everyone.

    Take care,

  21. Mark Twain and a Half says:

    Excellent pix of the orphanage redecoration. My only question is – did any paint actually get put on the building? Looks like it was more of a body painting competition. 😉

    John, I know exactly how you feel about being falsely accused of racism. I used to own a video rental store, and one day one of my customers said I was a sexist because all of my employees were guys. I tried to explain that I had had several women workers in the past, that I always got many more male than female applicants (I think being a serious movie buff is mostly a guy thing), and in fact in my most recent round of hiring I had had no females apply at all, so what was I to do? But just like in your situation, it was a case of “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.”
    The sad part is, I think people who complain groundlessly like this muddy the waters. It makes it that much harder to point out true racism and sexism over the noise of these people.

  22. Sheryl says:

    I love your idea about the big screen movie premiers. Why not suggest a big screen be installed on the Fantasy so that this idea can be tried out on the Blogger’s cruise in February? What a great group to test it on…..I know, I’ll be there!
    Thanks from a star struck fan.

  23. Ivana says:

    I am glad you are feeling better. Let me comment on that “lady” – how rude! I wish she read this blog to find out about you and Carnival. I don’t want to be a pessimist but you will probably not change her mind unless …she gets something for free – like her next cruise! Sorry….:o))

  24. Jetskier says:

    Hi John,
    Dont let it get to you. First off it is an International ship. Secondly you dont have very many Americans working on it, regardless of race. Unfortunetely a lot of folks in the US dont have the work ethnic that it takes to work on the ship.

    If you were to point out those workers from Jamaica, Grenada, St. Lucia, etc, it probably still would not sway this lady. I do agree with you that the BEST qualified should be hired.

  25. I am sorry to hear of your problem with this woman but don’t worry about it is she that has not thought of where she was, she was not in the south of the US where there is still some problems with racism, but it is not what it was long ago, it is very different and very complicated. As a Yankee living in the south I will never get use to the racism that is here, but it is from both sides. This woman is thinking from a US standpoint and does not see that outside the US this is not nearly the same issue as she thinks, and it is a narrow as your statement of “over the world” and “most talented” this is what she does not want to see, they hire over the world and the truth is most Americans by chose do not choose to work on cruise ships “African” or not, what does she expect you to do, go back in history and force them on the ship? The sad part is she is missing out on a wonderful vacation over ego and missunderstandings.

    Oh John you should know I really appreciate the offer but Kevin and I don’t drink alcohol, it is a personal and religious choice, so the 3 bottle would be no use to us ….. as much as I would love to finally meet the Heidi …. Now I do love coffee and chocolate even together…… mmmm mocha…… nice try 🙂

    The one
    ……only 1

  26. Donna says:


    if you go to my link.. you’ll see him performing last October during my cruise (that i dutifully took without flash).. he was absolutely AMAZING.. Not to mention the nicest guy — he went on the same excursion i did (Mt Etna at 2900 Meters) — and everyone on the bus was asking him and the other dancer he came with LOTS of questions about the show and how they did it and he answered EVERY question and was very gracious.

    Since this guest was LOOKING for someone with darker skin.. maybe SHE is the one that is racist.. honestly.. Carnival Cruise lines is by its very nature a cornucopia of races, religions, ethnicities and she would have known that if she just opened her eyes during dinner at her waiter or thanked the person who cleaned her room for her…

    as for the first thing you mentioned about the bags.. yes I had the same embarrassment.. but i did find a female steward on my floor that I could ask instead 🙂

  27. Catmama044 says:

    John, I am sure you did your best to “win” this passenger over. However, there are some people who will never believe that times are changing. We now live in a very diverse world, where all should be trying to get along. All, ALL should be trying. You are definitely, as is Carnival, doing their part….I’m not sure this passenger will ever grasp that concept. Please don’t beat yourself up over this situation. The proof is in the pictures you posted. Big hugs to both you and Heidi!!!

  28. Jpublic says:

    So you might not be a racist but what is so funny about two guys, who happen to decide they fancy each other, skipping off together at the end of the Bedtime story?

    When you analyse the Bedtime Story a little closer it becomes quite apparent that the author obviously has some very deep issues. Factor in the said author’s need to publicly dress up as a woman every week with huge prosthetic breasts and in full make-up parade around the stage like some geriatric drag queen and suddenly the day to day problems of a regular Cruise Director pale to insignificance.

  29. Mark says:

    Sorry to hear that your nasal cavity has decided to give hydroponics a try and begin to grow zucchini in your schnoz. My suggestion …..procure more handkerchiefs and ……drink orange juice. 🙂

    I believe Carnival exhibits multiculturalism to a significant extent. The diversity of staff and entertainers was clearly evident during my most recent cruise. I thoroughly enjoyed the incomparable headliner Tia Thompson during my last cruise….she is extraordinarily talented and has an electrifying personality. Carnival’s diversity advocates a sense of community which extends equitable status to every cultural and religious group. Carnival clearly strives to embrace the strength of diversity and hopefully your concerned passenger will see that.

  30. Edwin says:

    Glad to hear you feel better. Tell the lady that maybe if Obama wins, he will make a cruiseline for black folks only, she’ll probably feel better and if not, well too bad… (just a joke) :o)

  31. Myra Bushnell says:


    Don’t let the turkeys get you down. Everyone who posted before me has said all that needs to be said about the “hair and face” issue. (Did I do that right?) Oh, I DO think you should have some chubby old ladies dancing in the shows.

    So will we have the pleasure of being sung to by Mr. Lawrence Neals on the Splendor TA? Will be looking forward to it.

    Glad you’re feeling better. And “snaps” to you and your staff for so quickly taking care of the “lady” issue!

    Enjoyed the blog entry, the pics, “In Their Own Words” and everyone’s comments. Could have lived a looooooong time without the picture you have put in my head of “the booger of the seas”!
    Thanks a lot, guy.

    Congrats on the 50,000 slaps Big Ed. Hope to meet you and Pat someday.

    Cheers John and Heidi,


  32. GregB says:


    Disregard the woman who ruined your day. It’s not worth worrying about. How could anyone walk aboard a Carnival ship and think that anyone in the entire organization could be racist? Every single ship seems more multi-cultural than the United Nations.

    Next, how wonderful of the crew to help rehab that orphanage in Jamaica. I know, through Cruise Critic, that many folks bring school supplies and whatnot when they visit Jamaica to distribute to the school kids who are in need. Bravo for the crew and the folks who give of their time and money for the less fortunate.

    It reminds me a great deal of what Capt. Scala and the crew of the Ecstasy was doing in Cozumel. Amazing.

    Anyone who claims that Carnival doesn’t have a heart need not look far before being proven wrong.

    Glad you’re finally getting over your malady. I’m sure that everyone else in the vicinity is, as well… 😉

    Please offer my howdies to the lovely Heidi, the Famous Roberto and the overly hard working Stephanie. Thanks so much for all you guys do.



  33. Roger Tollerud says:

    Have read your blog for some months now and look forward to each one. The racist “lady” is not worth your time. My guess is that she would be unhappy with something what ever you did. Save your time and breath for the 1000’s that obviously love and respect what you do.
    My wife and I are just back from our 10th cruise on the Pride (26th on Carnival) where we were entertained in grand fashion by Brrroooonson. We hope to be on the Splendor as soon as she comes to the west coast in 2009.
    Roger T

  34. Jeri Green says:

    John, Did the rude,impossible lady go see Marcus Anthony? If she did,surely she was pleased to see such a great talent on Freedom’s stage. (Larry and I were “pulled” on the stage with him one night on the Liberty regarding our 50th anniversary.) He is a fantastic entertainer but she would probably think he was only on stage to please the “African Americans.” Some people are incurably dumb.
    Glad your cold is better -finally.
    By the way, we both like formal night as Larry knows what to bring for two nights and it keeps it simple. Jeri

  35. terri910 says:

    John….the hardest thing in the world is to try and get someone to look at something from a different perspective.

    You tried — what else could you do?

    I do hope that you will be answering my question from yesterday in your next blog — it is very important to those of us booked on the Spirit’s cruise to Hawaii. Also, my in-laws are considering booking the same cruise, but obviously they don’t want to book a cruise that is rumored might not take place!

    Gald you’re feeling better.

    Terri & Larry

  36. dwa76 says:

    HI John/Heidi:
    Great pictures today.
    I especially enjoyed the ones of the crew doing the volunteer work. Very nicely done.
    Glad you are feeling better.
    Good luck in your recovery and satisfying everyone’s requests/complaints. Ah, the fun life of a CD. I guess its not all sun and surf for you 🙂
    Just kidding.
    Hope all is well!

  37. Susette says:

    You need to get some Zicam for your cold, if you start taking it when you get a cold it helps you get over the cold alot faster and makes it not be so bad. As for the lady who is a racist she has some deep seeded issues that she needs to work on. Some people are just not very happy in their lives and they take it out on others. I don’t know why some people always make everything about race. Don’t get upset because you know that you aren’t a racist and we all know that you aren’t. She wanted to upset you so don’t give her that satisfaction of doing that. Remember sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me. You don’t need to comment back, you are to busy. Keep smiling and happy thoughts! 😉

  38. Deanna says:

    Cassandra – Adam Mitchell. He was awesome wasn’t he? We were on the same cruise! I have gotten into facebook and have been talking with him. He hasn’t said ya or nay or much about it so that he doesn’t jinx it 🙂

    Perhaps John can tell us more? John please reply on that query if you can. Thanks!

    Booger of the sea…. um….. mental bleech, mental bleech….. yuck!

    As for the lady, I have to agree, some people just look for things to complain about and she sounds like the type. I hope things turn out but alas the chances are high they will not.

    Great job Carnival on the volunteering! It is always nice to see those types of pictures, they brighten the day.


  39. Melody says:

    Hi John!

    Just a quick note to say I’ve shared your cold this week and I’ve felt horrible! I’m better now, after some of the same cough medicine! Oh, and I’m not with Cruise Critic…..I’m with CruiseMates! I hope you checked on the kite flying! Also, Aaron Neville is more than a local performer….you can google him if you like. Also, I would like to suggest the following activities for our Bloggers Cruise #2…a Mardi Gras Ball (with a King and Queen), a group excursion to swim with the dolphins (plus a beach party with drinks and food), kite flying, we need to play the dating game (since we have so many single women in our group!) and a Second Line! If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. Are you doing the B2B with us?


  40. john steers says:

    john and heidi,
    a million thanks for the great time we had on the feb.16th sailing. and thanks for everyting you sent to our cabin. i have just wriiten a letter to guest relation at the main office and i am sending a copy to you at the address you have listed on the blog. would you please share my thoughts with your staff and crew i have praised in the letter.
    we had such a great time on the cruise but when we got home i was unloading the car when i heard my wife yelling some explicatives from the garage.
    it seems the circuit breaker on the freezer blew during the week and everything had defrosted. what a way to end a vacation. but i am laughing about it now.
    take care and feel better
    john and maryjane steers

  41. Princess Elaine says:

    The gentleman you are referring to is Adam Mitchell. I too heard him play and he is absolutely wonderful! I ‘m hoping to hear he will be part of the Carnival Crew soon!
    John, we know about your farts and boogers…is there anything you WON’T share with us…LOL!
    Nanni said to ask you about rotweillers???
    Princess Elaine

  42. nanetteali says:

    Princess Elaine:
    The rotweillers were Ken’s story ask John about bears. LOL John I didnt make fun of you. It was Ken. Im innocent.

  43. BigMike says:

    That’s right, I made the move of changing my ‘name’ to BigMike. That lady needs to get some insect repellent for the bug up her a$$. I am a big fan of diversity and there are people of all races working on those ships. Throw her in the brig!!!

  44. John & Cindy says:

    Excellent blog again mate… sure enjoyed reading it.

    Cindy and I are sailing on Freedom from May 10th-17th, just 70 some days away. While looking for our next cruise we only looked at Freedom cruises so we could sail with you and Heidi again (we did a 12 day med cruise last July) and we can’t wait. Will you be on this cruise too?

    please respond… we’re dying to know.


  45. Deborah Rosato says:

    Hi John,

    Gotta love that codeine – funny story, my prescription for my cough syrup with codeine told me to take 1 or 2 teaspoons at night. Well the first night, not knowing how it would affect me, I took one teaspoon at 11pm. I woke up at 4am coughing up my lungs, so I took another teaspoon at 4am. At noon the next day, I feel sound asleep at my computer and completely missed two conference calls. I then learned never to take codeine after 12midnight. But yummm – good stuff to put you to sleep and get over the cold.

    I will have to ask my Dad about Frank Rosato. We do have a distant relative who plays violin and was in the Phoenix symphony – I doubt it’s the same person. When my grandparents came to American from Italy, there were very few Rosato’s in the US. Now there are many – Did you know there is a Rosato wine!!! Fine name – fine wine 🙂

    Glad to hear your feeling better – now you can resume the smiley face thingy 😉
    Take care!!

  46. Linda Hernacki says:

    Hi John: Nice thing you did for Nani having her family on board, and spending time with her, and dinner in the restaurant, you are such a cuddly teddy bear, hope your passenger who called you a racist, apologized to you! How is your cold? Linda

  47. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    If this woman ( I refuse to call her a lady, she has not earned that title) was serious…the explanation is easy.

    Carnival sails 23 ships. Of the “entertainers” on those ships less than 1/2 comes from the United States. Since the black population (again I refuse to call them African American unless they were born in Africa) is 14% of the general population, this means (in round numbers) that Carnival should have “at least” ONE black Cruise Director (which they do)…ONE black ACD (which they do)..ONE black female production singer (which they do).. ONE black male production singer (which they do) and about 8 dancers fleet wide.
    I have not met every dancer in the fleet…but I doubt this is a problem.

    So you can tell this idiot that Carnival’s entertainment staff is in line based on the US population. They just did not happen to be on her cruise.

    To be perfectly honest, she is probably just looking for a reason to cancel her tips for the cruise.

  48. CruisinSue says:

    Hi John
    I am glad you are feeling better even though you are ship building in your nose. I am sure you can sell those ships to another line for they need improvements over there….lol
    You did a good job of handling the woman complaining about the color of the entertainers. as you are aware, I have been on more than 40 Carnival cruises and I have seen entertainers of all color and size on board. I think she is the problem, and not Carnival. Just wanted to have my say! Give my best to Heidi and see you on Blogger’s cruise #2

    Big ED Congrats on 50,000 slaps and thanks for welcoming me as one of your Evil Crew!! Thanks for all you do for the Crew!!

  49. Jake Silveberg says:

    John , all I can say is …..YES THAT IS FUN TO RUN AROUND A FUN SHIP!!!
    ( :

    FROM , Jake S.

  50. Susan B says:

    I always try to say something positive or funny (even if it’s just funny to me) but I don’t want to today. I like everyone else are coming to your defense about the …… issue. You of all pe0ple are the least ……person I know. You can’t please all the people all the time, even though we all know you want to. I believe you are waisting to much time on this one “lady, I use the word lightly” save your engery for the rest of the guests on board! You will never win her over no matter how hard you try. Just remember how many people you have laughed in your 20 years with Carnival! I for one will be forever greatful how happy you made my mom on the bloggers cruise…she hadn’t smiled for over a month since she had her eye surgery and went blind…on the way home from that cruise my mom said she had never laughed so much in her whole life as she had in the last week on the cruise. I will be forever greatful to you for that! How many other people have you changed their life around and don’t know about it? I’m sure a lot! So don’t change, just remember whenever you get one bad guest…remember my mom.
    God Bless you and Hedi,
    Princess Susan

  51. Canuck Cruiser says:

    Hello from Snowy Canada,

    Sorry to hear that small green things are coming out of your nose. Common occurence in the north.
    Glad you’re feeling better.

    RE: Mrs. foul mouth and her comment…..let her go on living in her world of grief. Life is too short to worry about pleasing her John. I know that her comment might have hurt your soul but really…….In all of our cruises with Carnival I am amazed at the diversity of the crew and the entertainment staff. If she wants to be that way don’t let her ruin what a great job you and the crew do in so many ways. Just chalk her up to a losing cause and move on to make the rest of us laugh!
    Great job on the volunteer work in Jamaica! Well done. So many worthy causes that do so much good.

    PLEASE REPLY- any idea who will be our CD on the Fascination in April?
    BTW………….agree with you on the codeine thing.
    Great sleep but I too tend to saw the log a lot louder for some reason when taking the medication. Do you get weird dreams as well?

    Busy times in our household with a new business opening this week and I must get downstairs to make some dinner for my hard working wife.
    Price to pay when launching a new venture.
    If you’re ever in Stratford Ontario…………come by our shop and you and Heidi can enjoy an ice cream on me……………we also have low fat yogurt ……but that wouldn’t be as much fun! Trust me!

    All the best to you , Heidi, Roberto and the ever popular Alan……….hope he’s feeling better every day!

    B&D from Canada

  52. How did you know that RCCL was doing a contest to name the next Genesis class ship? Do you want a free cruise? Yours is more clever. I was thinking about Carnival of the Seas. LOL

  53. thebloggerfkamissingthesmokefreeparadise says:

    John –

    Clearly, you are a racist – you are constantly racing from one activity to another, one doghouse to another, you never slow down. Oh, wait a minute – the term is racer. Nevermind.

    I am glad to hear that your cold is getting better, but watch out for any rebound symptoms. And be particularly concerned if that stuff you deposit in the handkerchief suddenly turns a shade of green – antibiotics are probably then indicated.

    As for little Miss “I want an entertainer of every nationality”, I can’t wait to hear her comment when you bring out the entire staff on the debarkation talk. She will probably complain that there is not a Falkland Islander on staff.

    Peace and Love.


  54. Deborah Rosato says:

    Hi John and Heidi,

    Question: Dec 27 or 28, 2008 – are you and Heidi going to be on the Splendor out of Ft. Lauderdale, the Freedom or vacation? We are thinking about a New Year’s Eve cruise and would love to see you again!!

  55. John Friedman says:

    John (Bro) – I have learned that people have different life experiences that shape their perspectives and emotions. My assistant is black and when OJ was acquited I was flabbergasted and he was not. He explained that the police could have planted evidence as that is what they did where he grew up. I respected that and backed off (except for jokes.) So this lady has her experiences also, and it sounds like she is miserable. Do not let her drag you to her hell. Keep inviting her to the good view and just keep smiling. If she doesn’t see the silliness of her thinking, it is her problem, don’t make it yours. Still can’t see you high fiving aas you fly through the air. Gads.

  56. John Llano says:

    Hey John,
    I am very excited this week……I will be joining you (and a couple thousand other guests) this week on the Carnival Freedom. I will be there March 1st. I have cruised on many different cruise lines, some of them owned by Carnival and some not, but I always come back to Carnival,this will be my 13th on Carnival. So here goes my question and maybe its more of a suggestion that I would LOVE to see on a Carnival ship. Here goes (don’t hate me), I tried a cruise line last year for the first time, don’t want to mention the name of the company (something Carribean!!!) but it was one of your competitors. Anyway, my parents, who had invited me, are Diamond Saphire members on this line and they have a concierge club for their premium members on board which offers a happy hour every day in their private club, long story short, free open bar with premium liquors and hor d’evours (Spelling?). It was great, I am a Platinum member with Carnival and would love to see this on your ships, have this ever been thought of?
    And on a different subject, I have been on a number of cruises over the years with you as the cruise director and I was truly excited to know that you will be my cruise director on this cruise, not to say that Carnival doesn’t have a great group of cruise directors, but you are tops!!! Please reply.

  57. Ray McTeague says:

    John my Friend, your blog today takes us once again from the mountainous high of great Carnival crewmembers devoting time and passion to help the orphanage…then all the way down into the depths of a deep valley by the comments directeed to you by a poor tortured soul. I hope all of your bloggers join together and say a prayer to help the lady who lost her way.
    Thank you, for being an example and sharing with us.
    Cheers mate, Ray

  58. CAROLYN AND DON says:

    Hi John and Heidi, What you have told us about the woman, notice I did not say lady, has weighed on my mind ever since I read your blog.
    My mother was a soft spoken lady. I lost her to cancer when I was 9 y/o. But during the time I had her I never saw her mad and not once do I remember her raising her voice. I remember a lot of things that she taught me. One of the things that I can remember her telling me was
    You can please part of the people part of the time, some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. So you might as well do your best and go on and not worry about what people think.
    I know this has bothered you tremendously, but this woman is one of the people you can’t please any of the time. She would find fault with Jesus Christ Himself.
    Please do not let her get to you. You are not a racist , you are a very caring, loving, giving person. A man that is loved by all……especially Ed’s Evil Crew………

    PS…. Don said to tell you there was one in ever crowd and to ignore her………. grin

  59. Sheryl Pelton says:

    John, Just got home from work and read your blog. Some people have a lot of nerve don’t they! The idea that anyone would even think to call you prejudiced just shows how ignorant they are!! I can’t wait to read your next blog to see if she showed up at the show or not. And, by the way, if you do manage to get her to hug you on the last night, watch out for that knife that she will probably be carrying–she sounds awful! John, I know I haven’t commented for about a week, which is so not me, but I have truely enjoyed reading your discriptions of your cold. You have had some one-liners in the blogs that I have written down to be able to use at an appropriate time. You see, as a nurse, some of those comments will come in very handy. Thank you! Well, I hope the smiley stick smiles for you this week–just think, more than one Thursday in a week if it does! Hi to Heidi, and hopefully she hasn’t caught your cold. Sheryl

  60. LambKnuckles says:

    John… you a racist??? give me a break…

    I’m sorry! First, you don’t really do all the hiring do you?? I know you’re important, but just how important are you?

    Second, Carnival as a whole does an exceptional job hiring all races and backgounds! Whoa… I’m glad you’re just going to try to win her over, and not take it personally. You don’t deserve the comment!!

    Your random photos are becoming a hit with me! I love the faces and places you find and share!!! They make me smile and cause me to remember great cruises I’ve had! Thank you!!

    Your Heidi is so sweet. I know you appreciate her, but WOW!!! She got up and slept on the sofa! She didn’t nudge you until you woke and then tell you to move. A wonderful wife you have there!!

    I am so proud of Carnival for being a repsonsible corporation!!! Whether it’s the crew donating time and energy, or the company as a whole sponsoring walks for the cure… it makes me proud to say I’m a stock holder and a cruiser on the BEST FUNSHIPS IN THE WATER!!!

    Hello and best regards to everyone! Until Feb ’09… you’re in my thoughts and dreams….


  61. Layne Morris says:

    Hello John….. I attended the night time show after dinner called the bed time story. I thought it was hilarious. I was wondering if i could find that film somewhere on the internet. Thank you. reply at my email (

  62. leasa says:

    Hi John and Heidi,

    Well, I have finally gotten caught up on the bloggs and may I say again, thank you so much for making me smile every day. John please, don’t let that 1 lady make you feel bad. It seems that some people just can’t be happy and since they can’t, they want others to feel bad too. I know you’ll win her over and if you don’t, don’t worry about it. All of us repete cruisers know what she said isn’t true. I was sorry to read that you are ill. I hope you get better soon. I want to tell you something that will make you smile. Do you remember when I asked you what Geoff and I should do in Jamaica during our Carnival Liberty cruise? You told us to do the swim with the dolphins and the Duns River Falls. Well we did and I want you to know it was the most awesome experience of my life! It was so cool. I have to hand it to the Dolphin Cove people. They earned my undying admiration and respect. You remember I can’t see very well? Well, the guide that took our group into the water took special care of me. Instead of just getting me into the water and leaving it to Geoff to help me, he took me buy the hands and lead me through all the activities with the dolphin. This was so wonderful for me and it allowed Geoff to have a wonderful experience too. So if you ever have a guest ask if they can do this if they are visually impaired, the answer you should give is a great big yes! Thank you John for telling me to do it. Anyway I have lots more to tell you but I’m on my way back to work. 1 last thing. We spent 2 fabulous weeks aboard the Carnival Liberty and the staff and crew were the absolute best. I’m writing to Carnival to tell them all about those wonderful people. Hi to all the other bloggers. I sure have missed you guys. Big ole hugs,


  63. ThePlaz says:

    John, I think a cruise ship is one of the most diverse working areas anywhere. Don’t worry about it.

  64. Mark Chambliss says:

    You asked what date I will be on the ship…CLIA’s cruise3sixty at the Fort Lauderdale Convention center from March 6-9th…. I will be on the ship from 11-2:30 I believe with other Travel Agents eating lunch and touring the ship….If you are on board I’d love to say hello…If you are busy..I’ll tell all the other travel agents what a great ship it is….
    I want to get with you and when you find out what the project is in NOLA for Bloggers cruise..I’d like to know…I am planning on blocking some TA space and chartering a Bus for my Alabama Gang to come a day or two early and help out in any way..In the planning stages..but we are only 5 hours away and could spend 1 night in Biloxi Ms..
    Anyway…Catie and Amanda say hello…..we enjoy the Blog between cruises….We cant thank you enough for our FANTASTIC Bloggers cruise 2008!!


  65. Mark Chambliss says:

    Did i put March 9th 11-2:30 onboard?? Thanks
    Say sello to FRANK & BEANS !!!! for me…

  66. Hi John,

    As long as we are having a Blogger’s Pool for when the Carnival Splendor naming will occur, I’ll guess June 30, 2008 in Genoa.

    It may be repeated later, but I feel confident something is happening with Splendor on June 30th!

    When I win, will my prize be a new Aston Martin????

  67. Julie Gantt says:

    Hi John,

    I’m so glad you’re starting to feel better. First off, you look great in that
    picture with the captain, it looks like you have lost weight. You certainly
    don’t look sick at all. As for the racist woman, don’t bother trying to win her over. Nothing you do or say will matter or make a difference to her. It reminds me of spending three hours opening my heart and explaining to
    my prejudice parents why I adoped a bi-racial (black/white) child, only to have them ask me why again after I was all done. When the second son came along, they said, “You’re not getting another one, are you?” Needless to say, they’ve never been close to my kids, which is a sad loss for my parents. There are some people who still don’t know my parents have
    grand children 26 years later.

    Congratulations to the Carnival employees on their work at the orphanage. Orphanage pictures kill me, I want to take all the kids home. It’s worse than when I used to work at the animal shelter and wanted to bring all
    the animals home. (A good many made it too)

    I wanted to mention the following to Mike L. about Carnival’s Italian officers. On my last cruise on the Liberty I had occasion to have a wonderful visit with the officer who was the head of housekeeping as well as a couple of other officers during the Captain’s reception. I asked them
    the same question, about why all the Carnival Captains were Italian. They told me that many years ago, Carnival was on the verge of bankruptsy and the Italian officers worked without a contract or salary during that difficult period in Carnival’s history. As a reward for their loyalty, Carnival hires only Italians for their senior officers. When I asked if there were any female
    Captains they doubled over laughing. I loved the arrogancy. I was told there was one female first officer, but, “She would never make Captain”.
    I know one cruise line has a female Captain. When I read up on her she stated that these days, being a captain is more about brains than brawn, as it used to be in days gone by. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more capable woman at the helm as time goes on. Just think, some day we could be hearing “Aye Aye Captain Heidi”!

  68. Ruth Jamison says:

    Good Morning John!
    I am glad you are feeling better. Thanks for the wonderful pictures. It was like getting a care package from home!
    Your response to the lady who had issues with the entertainers was wonderful. Sometimes we are in a situation where you just know there is no easy way out. I was in a similar situation recently. A lady informed me that she did not want to deal with me about a certain issue. She would come in and deal with it, but not with me. I finally told her I was sorry she felt that way, but I would arrange a meeting with a co-worker. It went well for the co-worker. In a few days I ran into the lady who did not want to deal with me and she actually apologized. Needless to say, I was astonished.
    SPLENDOR QUESTION: Is Agatha from Poland who works in the dining room going to be on the Splendor? Our daughter loved talking to her at dinner each evening. If you can find her, please let her know that Jim, Ruth, and Nikki send her their best and hope to see her again. She was such a wonderful waitress.


  69. estric says:

    Dear John,

    Enjoy your blog much. Found it after our very first cruise a couple weeks back.
    One thing I found to be very nice about the Carnival Family Members on the Freedom was that they were from everywhere. I enjoyed reading everyone’s nametags to see what place was to represented for the moment.
    Say hello to Israel, one of our amazing waiters in the Chic dining room.
    I wish I could remember every person we had the pleasure of meeting from the crew, but you already know how wonderful they all are and I hope they do too. No diversity?? I beg to differ.

    Take Care,


  70. Blanche & Dave says:

    “Booger of the Seas” OMG TOO FUNNY!!! Having worked the respitory unit in the past, I have heard that green stuff called many things but you have topped it off. Had to go get more coffee and a cleaner for the screen after reading that.
    As far as the rude lady, it really is a shame that she didn’t get to see Lawrence Neals perform……..he was truly awesome!!! What is that saying? You can please most people some of the time, you can please some of the people most of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Anyways, it was her issue not yours. You are a blessing to us all.
    Standing Ovation to BIGED!!! 50,000….applause….
    Thanks for posting the letter from the soldier also. I think we sometimes get so busy with everyday life that we forget all those young men over there being so brave for us.
    Until next time,
    Blanche & Dave

  71. Cindy56 says:

    John, I’m going to echo everyone else ahead of me and say that I wouldn’t let that comment bother me too much. She already had a “bee” up her behind to begin with. I have been on 4 Carnival cruises and the cast and crew are of every nationality. Glad your cold is getting better… is mine. Could I also recommend a product? It’s called Neilmed Rinse and you use it every night to clear your nasal passages……you can get it in any pharmacy.

    Hello to fellow Canadians, Paul and Canuck….I too live in Ontario near Toronto. Haven’t we just had the snowiest winter on record? LOL

    Heidi, we are still waiting for a blog from you…….

    Take care everyone,

  72. Deanna says:

    To anyone that knows the answer: Does the laundry room have an iron? Or do you just need to ask your steward to iron the things that come out wrinkled from the packing that you did to get to the ship 🙂

  73. Girldoc says:

    John I must comment on your racist guest! Yes, she is the racist one. All one has to do is walk 2 inches on a Carnival cruise ship to see the lack of racism on board! People like that will never be happy… I will now shut my trap before I get myself into trouble!!! Have a great day!

  74. joan carlow says:


    My husband Eddie and I cruised with Freedom around the “Med” in May of last year. It was to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, and my 60th birthday, which was celebrated in Dubrovnik. What a fabulous day it was too. We’re now looking at doing a Eastern Caribbean cruise in September coming. We were just wondering, are the ships doing that route up to par with the “Freedom”, which we thought was wonderful. Having sailed several times before we other cruise lines, we feel we’d like to continue travelling with Carnival, as we enjoyed our trip so much. We found all of the crew, and one dancer in particular, who I got chatting to in the Library, his name is Sergi, and he’s Russian. I had been on a Baltic Sea cruise the year before, and we had a great chat about that area. So I too would agree with all of the other bloggers comments re you NOT being a “racist”. In life you come across folk who no matter if they were on the “moon” they’d find something to complain about. “They’re more to be pitied than scorned”, is a well known saying in Scotland where my husband and I were born. But now live in New Zealand. I spoke to you at one of the meetings, and you said you’d been up in the Bay Of Islands. Well it’s as wonderful a place as you could ever wish for, but travel is my 2nd love, my husband being my first, along with our kids of course. So keep on doing what you do best. Make people laugh. I can commiserate with you re your cold. As a sinus suffer all my life, there’s not a lot I’ve not tried remedy wise. Even an op, which didn’t go too well.The person who reccommended you use saline, is probably right. Though hot salt water is just as good. I trust you will feel better as each day passes. Your “spirit” may be “wounded” but it’s not “broken”. Carry on doing your best. It’s all anyone can ask of a person. And after 20 years doing the job you do, you must be doing “something right”!. Regards, Kiwi Joan xx

  75. Maxine says:

    Please Reply

    John Llano’s suggestion in the above note is great. “Anyway, my parents, who had invited me, are Diamond Saphire members on this line and they have a concierge club for their premium members on board which offers a happy hour every day in their private club, long story short, free open bar with premium liquors and hor d’evours (Spelling?). It was great, I am a Platinum member with Carnival and would love to see this on your ships, has this ever been thought of?”

    Good idea John; better than repeated gifts and petite fores and hor d’evours brought to your cabin. It would feel like a real club and allow fellow travelers a chance to meet. After all, look at the response to the Bloggers Community.


  76. Sheryl says:

    Hi John,
    Could you please reply to my comment above? “The Oscar Goes To…”

  77. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    I have seen a few comments about Carnival not having a “private club” for their Platinum members. Yes, this perk is nice, but their cruise fees are a lot higher.

    While I prefer not to pay the higher cruise fees that the “other line that offers this” charges to have that perk, perhaps a Milestone Members Rewards party (in addition to the Past Cruisers Party) would be nice. Perhaps in the Crew Lounge with the Officers for an hour.

  78. Minnie Pins says:

    John – I thought the same thing about the sanitary napkin holder thingy when I was on the Holiday recently. If it’s a good thing for one ship, wouldn’t it be a good thing for the others? Curious if Carnival implements improvements across the fleet as opposed to only on one ship. Unfortunately the latter seems to be true in this case as the Holiday had the little sign up saying you had to ask the Purser! Keep spreading your good cheer and those good ideas, too!

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