John's Replies

September 19, 2008 -

John Heald

Michelle Asked:

Dear John,

My husband and I went on a 5 day western caribbean cruise aboard the inspiration from 6/30 – 7/5/08. We decided to get married on the beach in Cozumel , Mexico on our cruise. We were so excited to finally be married! We were happy to hear that we were going to have a Carnival photographer come along to capture our special day. Upon reviewing our photos the following day we decided that we just could not afford to purchase a photo package as it just wasn’t in our budget. Upon meeting the photographer, we had settled on purchasing the collection basic photo package (@ $499.00 )so we would have a few photos of our special day. Upon meeting the photographer, he convinced us that we should upgrade to the Colection Deluxe package (@999.00) so we would have the 2 memorable dvd slide shows, and the canvas. He explained how nice it would be to share these dvd’s with family & friends. Despite the fact that it was out of our budget, we purchased it anyway due to his pursuation. Upon viewing the dvd, and choosing our photos, everything seemed to be fine. We had no way to watch the copies of the DVD’s until we were home. One week after arriving home, we decided to watch the dvd with friends and family and when doing so, noticed that the music skipped and there were white spots on the pictures and also a big yellow blur on the right bottom of each photo. We immediately called Guest relations to complain and were given a reference number that was on 7/14/08. We had spoken with several agents and had requested that these dvd’s be re-done as this was NOT acceptable for the amount of money it cost us. We were told it would not be a problem they would re-do them and send them to us. After a few weeks and not hearing back from anyone , We called again , this time the agent knew nothing of our reference number and had no info. When we watched the original dvd that was on the photographers lap top, we did not see these imperfections. Upon speaking with a professional photographer in our area, he said that these imperfections were caused by the program that was used to burn these copies and the reason we did not see it on the laptop, was because that was the original. We feel like we were being pushed off by Carnival in hopes that we would just forget about it, and they would not have to make good on it. After numerous phone calls and a lot of inconvieniences, We just as of todays date (9/11/08) rec’d two new copies in the mail. I opened the package in excitement only to find that one of the cases was cracked and of course the dvd is cracked in half in the case. Very much disappointed in these copies, the very first thing we noticed upon viewing the un-broken copy, was that our names are spelled wrong in the beginning. There are several photos that were not rotated so they are viewed sideways, there are black and white photos that are not on there now, photos of us with our eyes shut and the yellow spots that were there before now appear as green spots, twice as bad as the first two copies we rec’d. Didn’t anyone preview these before sending them out to make sure they were correct? Or do they not care, after all they already have our money – right ! We had the same exact question for the first two DVD’s, why weren’t they previewed before giving them to us? We have been getting the run around for nearly three months and quite honestly, we are extremely disappointed in the customer service that we have rec’d from Carnival Cruise Lines , and the photo department. This was a very special day in our lives and we do not feel that it is too much to ask to have a decent copy of this dvd. Especially since we feel like we were talked into upgrading the package in the first place! What must our next step be? Where do we go from here? We would be more than happy to mail a copy to you ( or to whom ever necessary )for your viewing and get your opinion. We are certain that you will be extremely embarrased at the quality of this DVD. Not to mention the fact that Carnival Cruise Lines has a reputation to uphold. How would you feel if you were us? Please e-mail with a response of what you would recommend that we do now. We thank you in advance for any assistance concerning this matter.

Michelle & Steve

John Says:

Hello Michelle and Steve,

I was horrified to read your comment and I am sure that you must be very upset.
The photos of your wedding day should be a permanent reminder of that special day and regardless how much money you paid, they should be perfect.
I will personally forward this e-mail to someone at a Senior level in the office and I will personally follow up with you shortly.

Thank you for letting me know, I hope you had a wonderful wedding and please allow me to apologize for the stress this has caused. I will write soon.


Donna Asked:
In 1998 we sailed on the Imagination with you. Since then we cruise about twice a year. We hold you completely responsible for our addiction!!! Little did we know at the time, we were saiing with the best ever cruise director. Will be sailing the Valor in March and then looking at a Europe cruise – help us pick – which one and why?
We’d love to sail with you again!

John Says:
Hello Donna and thanks so much for the kind words.
Europe is full of stunning places awaiting your discovery and I would highly recommend the Baltic. having just completed this amazing itinerary and seeing places like St.Petersburg, Belin and Amsterdam I can honestly say they took my breath away.
In a few days time I will be posting some video footage about these places along with an introduction which will also go on the Carnival website. The Carnival Liberty will also be sailing there next year.
What do you think……sound good?
Who knows, we may even see each other again.
Please let me know if you need more information and I will post the videos very soon.

Micki Buck Asked:

I sailed on one of the ships you were on and you did a fantastic job! I now have one booked on the Liberty for Sept.27…hopefully no hurricane but if so I’ll just take a side excursion on a hurricane tracker plane…lol… can you tell me who is the chief cruise director on this cruise…we also had Karl with a K on one of our cruises. Got a call yesterday from Carnival with a fantastic offer for the penthouse…am older then dirt so will pay if off monthly or they can pay for it from my insurance if I crook…again lol. I love to get involved with karaoke and games so hope we have a good one.
Again let me tell you how much we enjoyed the cruise with you.
Micki Buck

John Says:
Hello Micki Buck – great name by the way:)
Your Cruise Director will be a young Canadian chap called Steve Knicley who is funny, energetic and someone who really will enhance your cruise.
Its sounds like you are going to live the high life in the Penthouse and I hope you enjoy every moment to the full.
Please let me know if there is anything else you need
Kendra Asked:
PLEASE REPLY – I was just wondering if you interviewed every cruise director. I read them all but know of a few more CDs that were not on the blog. Perhaps they have retired? Or maybe they did not want to participate in the interviews? Do you know what Bret Alans and Lenny Halliday are doing these days? Thanks.

John Says:
Hello Kendra,

You are right, I have not completed the Cruise Director interviews.
There will be more coming soon. Wee Jimmy is on vacation and Lenny Halliday, currently on the Carnival Triumph will be writing soon.
Brett retired in December, 2006 and we all miss him very much.
Please continue to read the blog and let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

Hi John
I don’t know if you remember us but we were on the Freedom back in February. I am just writing to let you know that we were booked to be on the Splendor in January. However, I am happy to say that we have cancelled our cruise along with my parents because Jeff and I are expecting our very first little baby girl at the end of January! We are still arguing about names, can’t decide between Cadence and Madison, but other than that everything is great! She is healthy and that is all that matters. So, while we were sad that we won’t get that one last vacation in, we couldn’t be happier!! Just wanted to let you know!! Hope all is well with you!
Best wishes
Amy, Jeff, and Baby Girl Burney!

John Says:
Hello Jeff and Amy,

Many many congratulations, I remember you being on board like it was yesterday and how proud I was to introduce you.
We are so very pleased for you both and I am sure the bloggers will help you chose between naming your little girl Cadence or Madison. Heidi loves Madison.
Me, I think you should go with Angelina……..or John.
Wishing you much happiness.

John & Heidi
I Hate Formal Night Asked:
I am about to go on a Princess cruise and I have chosen not to pack a suit due to the added expense of extra luggage.
Will I get into formal night? I have no idea
will I argue with staff? I have no idea
Will I reduce my automatic tips by $50 to $100? I have no idea
Will I book with NCL in the future? I hope not, but we will see.
Please relax or get rid of formal night. A lot of us do not like it on vacation and see no reason to waste $50 on an extra bag that we could use at the casino.

John Says:
Hello ?,

I think many cruise lines are relaxing their dress code and that seems to be the way the future is going.
However, for every person who tells me they don’t like to dress up I have 10 who tell me that they do.
Regardless of whether you are wearing a suit or a t-shirt, I know the crew on the Princess ship will provide you with a brilliant vacation.

By the way, I love SPAM, especially with chips.


Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.