More of Your Dream

June 10, 2009 -

John Heald

I hate feet. I hate my feet, I hate your feet and thought of sucking on one of Judge Judy’s toes makes me want to projectile vomit. I think my hatred began when I was a bar waiter on the Holiday and shared a cabin and dorm style shared bathrooms with various nationalities who all would shower in their bare feet…….me………….I wore my Nikes. That’s one of the reasons I hate summer. Yep………its summer and that means getting your feet out in flip-flops, sandals and open-toed Jesus creepers at the first hint of a break in the clouds.

Why do we do this? Heat rises. There is absolutely no reason why your feet, way down there at the bottom, should, in shoes and socks get any hotter in summer than in winter. Your top half, sure, but not your feet. And your feet are ugly……. Norwegian Epic ugly. They should stay under socks.

Men’s feet, in particular, make me squirm………..the color, the sparse hair, the little toe that has been crushed into the one next to it over the years so that it has turned and bent and cuddles up against it now like Kye does to Heidi’s bosom.

I hate the yellowed, cracked toenails, and the fully blackened one on the right biggy from where a Shaquille O’Neal sized chap stood on it a few years ago. How can bringing these out in public be considered acceptable?

The sight of such a foot in flip-flops, walking on an urban street, in a shop, or on Lido Deck, is just so wrong, the flappy plastic sole going slap, slap, slap against the sweaty arch. And sometimes you see people in flip-flops when I get guests on stage. Seriously, aren’t they worried that somebody will stamp on their toes – either accidentally or, if the somebody happens to be me……….. deliberately?

And I am no big fan of “man” sandals either. You know, the shiny Italian type with big lateral straps that during my recent Costa visit some men seemed to think it OK to pair with shorts and a suit jacket and tour the ship in.

And sorry ladies but your feet are not much better. They are usually smaller, at least, which is something. For when it comes to “plates of meat” (cockney rhyming slang for feet)…….. Less is most definitely more. And they are sometimes better kept, even pedicured, to make a place for nail varnish. Oh, how women love to paint a toe. For most of the year they can only slap brightly colored chemicals over their eyes, lips, nose, cheeks, hair and fingernails. Summer opens up ten new little canvasses for some Oriental nail technician at the mall to paint on. And what’s with all these women who don’t really have a toenail on their little toe, just the merest sliver of nail poking out in the middle. Sum Tin Wong the nail technician will though still try and paint the toe around it to make it look bigger? Please don’t do that………..I’ve just had breakfast.

Enough about feet and more about your questions…………….here we go.

msqpon – Jo Myerly Asked:
Hi John, I saw parts of the event. It was really windy. Was it really cold? Didn’t see you there. Hopefully you will post pictures.
I do have a question. I saw the presentation of that necklace to the ladies. It was stunning. Can you tell us about it and show us a photo? Who made it? Chimento? It looks like it. Who were the ladies? Did you get one for Heidi?

John Says:
Hello Jo
Hopefully by now you will have seen the photos of the amazing Costa naming ceremony. I was indeed there and you are correct when you say it looked breezy because it was. I felt for the musicians and singers who despite the best efforts of the sound technicians had to deal with their microphones picking up the wind noise. Then there were the dancers/acrobats who were being lowered from the roof of the stadium on the end of a crane…….not the easiest thing to do with quite a gale blowing. But it all went of spectacularly and once again a naming ceremony reached new heights. The necklace given to the godmothers were spectacular. The lady who christened the Costa Pacifica was a singer called Noah. She is a wonderful performer originally from Israel with Italy being her adopted home. She has done and continues to do wonderful work to help bring peace between Israel and Palestine. The godmother of the Costa Luminosa (whose name escapes me at the moment) was an eight-time world fencing champion and quite the star in Italy. When she came on stage the place went nuts for her………..who knew fencing was so popular. I don’t know the make of the necklace. It may have been a Chimento, a Cartier or something from the $99 section at Sears jewelry section…………….but I will find out. Heidi didn’t get one ………. but I did steal a Costa pen from the cabin for her though.
Best wishes to you and Dave

Tammy Spencer Asked:
Hello John!
I am just wondering when the Cruise Director schedule will be updated? We are cruising on the Glory in October and I keep looking for an update!

John Says:
Hello Tammy
Hope you saw the updated CD schedule which is now posted at the side of the blog thingy. Anyway Tammy, Ryan Fitzgerald will be your CD and I hope you have a wonderful cruise
Best wishes

Smoofdaddy Asked:
John, please reply:
Re: Damian Brell Piano Bar Player
Hi, John! Although I’ve never met you, I will soon on the Dec 3rd, Glory 9 Day Eastern Caribbean Bloggers Cruise. Damian Brell is a good friend of ours and we have specially booked cruises in the past that we knew he would be on.
Our last cruise with Damian was on the Glory 5/2 – 5/9. This sailing was a last minute sailing and we had an absolute blast! I will gladly email the pictures if you would like to see them.
Midway thru this past cruise, Damian finished up his contract and was able to just hang out with us everyday either in port, lido or in the disco and we all visited the Emerald Room Supper Club together. Great memories were had by all and on the last night, our little group “took” over the piano bar since no talent was scheduled for that night.
Damian put in his new CD and before long our little group of 10 became 30 – 40, all of which had enjoyed his playing all week. The wait staff from the disco quickly realized that bar service was needed in a “closed” bar! How often does that happen! LOL! I honestly would be willing to bet that the wait staff made more money in that “closed bar” than in the disco!
We had a blast on this past cruise and made memories that will last a lifetime; from the day we embarked to eating breakfast with Damian after disembarking. Some of our group even dropped him off at the airport to catch his flight back to L.A. and we have been in constant contact ever since.
I know it’s still up in the air as to who the piano player will be, but our two votes and I know of at least 8 others, would love for it to be Damian.
See you in 6 months and congratulations on the new addition!
Andrew Smith

Platinum Cruiser, going on # 13
P. S. “Stowaway Freddy” wanted me to say hi! You will meet him in Dec as well!

John Says:
Hello Andrew
Thank you for taking the time to highlight our brilliant piano bar entertainers. Did you read yesterday’s blog where I spoke about the new style piano bar on the Carnival Dream? I think you will absolutely love it.
Damian and I have never actually worked together but his reputation precedes him. Many of the cruise directors have told me how great a performer he is and I see his name mentioned on the cruise boards as well and it’s always positive. I can tell you that he will be considered for the Carnival Dream as I think Todd and I were talking about him while we were in Italy. I will make sure Rob King who is in charge of all the musicians in the fleet gets to read this and that your letter of recommendation is placed on his file.
As soon as a decision is made with regard to who will be the piano bar entertainer for the Carnival Dream and the bloggers cruises I will let you know.
Thanks so much and my best wishes to you and the family

Tony T. Asked:
Looking forward to the Dream blog.
A bit off topic and I won’t take a bunch of time…..what is the Halloween Party policy this year? Are all ships having one and when will they start? I seem to recall you saying last year that all ships will do one and start Oct. 1st. Is this correct info?
Mesa, AZ.

John Says:
Hello Tony
It won’t be long before we are all scaring the crap out of each other as we dress up in the scariest costumes we can find. The Promenade Decks will be full of witches, vampires, monsters and the French…….yep, it will soon be Halloween. Carnival is proud to make this a feature not just on Halloween night but throughout the month of October. I will soon be posting more details about this and each ship’s schedule so look out for that soon.
Until then………………………………………BOO !

Melissa Jurgensen Asked:
John please reply.
I have heard in various places that the Holiday will be decommissioned soon and that is why it has not had any recent renovations. Is that true?
If not, an interesting suggestion for the ship would be to refurbish it and put it into service in Europe. A smaller ship such as that would not be as difficult to fill with passengers AND it could go to some of the smaller, more special ports that the big ships can’t. (Especially in Italy!!)
Anyway… Just a thought. I know there are “other” cruise lines that have small ships in Europe but I do not ever want to sail with anyone other than Carnival. Too, even if I wanted to sail with a luxury cruise line on a smaller ship in Europe, I could never, ever afford it!
Should I send my suggestion to the CCL home office? After seeing the Holiday while in Key West on the Valor, the Holiday is such a cute little ship!
My best to you and your beautiful ladies.

John Says:
Hello Melissa
We will all miss the Holiday. I had planned to be the last ever CD on the ship as she was my first ship back in 1987 but unfortunately my schedule did not allow for this.
She is indeed going to leave the fleet and be handed over to our partners Iberocruceros who also now have another favorite from the past the Celebration……..or Grand Celebration as she is now known.
I miss Europe terribly and I had a long conversation about this with Gerry Cahill and Ruben Rodriguez, Carnival’s two most senior executives while we were in Italy. There is no doubt that they made the right choice in not placing a ship in Europe this year as the economy has meant that European bookings across the industry are not as strong as they have been in the past. However, moving ships like the Carnival Pride to Baltimore has been a huge success. I hope that Carnival will be back in Europe soon. This year we have Carnival Dream sailing three 12-day cruises there and while I cannot tell you to much more at this point I hope one day we will be sailing back in European waters
Best wishes

Uncle Doug Asked:
John, please reply
Given the popularity of the new Carnival advertisement Fun for All, All for Fun I have not noticed any logo items for sale either on the Carnival web site or onboard ships in any of the gift shops. I know the Fun for All, All for Fun party gifts for the Carnival party hosts was a big hit. Is there anything in the works as far as Fun for All, All for Fun logo items that will be for sale?
I see that from your new schedule that you will not be sailing on the Holiday in October. Donna and her group of 30+ now will be very disappointed.
Now my mini Carnival Holiday 6/1/09 cruise review. Thanks to all my Blogger friends who said that the Holiday was still a great ship with an exceptional crew. They were so right. For what the ship lacks in space and age, the crew more than make up for the difference. The ship was in great shape. From the stateroom steward Supar-man (–) on up, the service was excellent. Supar kept us well stocked in clean towels, ice and towel animals. Not an easy task travelling in a cabin with 3 women. Tory the CD and her staff were everywhere Whoo-hooing around the ship.
We were cruising with our 2 granddaughters Elizabeth 8 and Chastity 6. It was our 14th Carnival cruise, Elizabeth’s 2nd and Chastity’s, who had just joined our cruising family last year first cruise.
Camp Carnival was a big hit with the girls. From the very first moment they wanted to spend all their time at Camp Carnival. The staff for the 6-8 year old group was great. Every time we snuck past the lounge they were in, all the children were busy with games or arts & crafts. The only reason they would want to leave Camp Carnival was for supper to see Tina, our headwaiter. The girls were the only children in Tina’s section in the early seating of the Four Winds dining room (table 144). Tina shared with us that she has a 5-½ year old son back home in Indonesia and misses him greatly. Tina ensured that the girls tried different meals every night. Not an easy task for kids that age whose daily diet consist of chicken nuggets and hot dogs. The girls were surprised that they actually enjoyed many of the foods which they had never tried before. From the mixed fruit to the prime rib or pork chops to chilled soups, every thing was great to them. Tina even hand made a couple of hair berets, which she placed in the girl’s hair one night. More than once they wanted to have breakfast in the dining room for the chance to see Tina. There were a few tears shed the last night along with lots of hugs and photos. One last breakfast in the dining room on disembarkation day for one last hug. Donna (my wife) told Tina she would be requesting her section when she returns with her group in October and told Tina she knows just the man that can make it happen.
We found the food to be excellent in both the dining room and Lido buffet. The food was always fresh and the staff very polite.
This next comment is just an observation and not intended to be critical. On sea days lunch is not served until 12 noon in both the Lido buffet and dining room. Americans love their food. It does not matter that they finished off a 4 course breakfast at 9 am. Around 11 to 11:30 they will start looking for food again. Of course they began to line up on the Lido deck serving lines before 11:30 by noon when the buffet opened the line of people was out the door into the pool area. This caused a log jam of people in the Lido dining area, many who were just coming into the dining area to grab the few available tables remaining. It just seems that even if only one serving line opened a little earlier on sea days it would help to relive the crowded Lido dining area.
Embarkation and disembarkation went very smooth in the Mobile terminal and on the Holiday. Even with half the ship now days doing self assist disembarkation went very smooth. From the time the Platinum Zone 1 tags were called and we then merged with the self assist crowd the total time from Pursers lobby to car was less than 15 minutes. The funny part was the people we merged in front of we had just had breakfast with 30 minutes earlier and were explaining the Platinum perks to. We were pulling out of the parking area by 8:30 am, the earliest I have ever gotten off a ship without doing self-assist. I know the flow of people was aided by less total number of guests but all of the Carnival staff kept things moving. If only all ships went this smoothly.
After reading on Cruise Critic what a rough time of it the Holiday guests and crew had on the 5/18 sailing due to storms we were unsure of what to expect. We were greatly surprised. It was one of the smoothest sailings we had ever had. Even one night one of the cruise newbies commented about the ship really moving that night we just had to shake our heads and laugh out loud.
We did asked about past guest pins for the Holiday at the Pursers desk and flashed the Platinum card with a smile. The Purser disappeared behind the wall and returned with 3 past guest pins which she slipped to me.
Our only regret is that we live 8 hours from Mobile or we would be padding our cruise numbers like some of the other bloggers. Even with that we may try and work in another cruise on the Holiday before she is retired.

John Says:
Hello Uncle Doug
Strange isn’t it how on one set of blog questions the Holiday seems to be the center of conversation and I can understand why. Lets start by saying that while I cannot now spend a whole month as CD of the ship I am going to do my very best to sail one more time before we say goodbye to her and if I can I shall make that in October before I go to the Carnival Legend so hopefully we can say goodbye together.
Let’s talk about your review and I will start by saying how well it was written. I had read a comment recently that said the Holiday was the best ship in the fleet and another that said it was the worst. Well, it seems that your review shows that even though it is nearly time to say goodbye to her that the crew are determined to make sure that the high standards of service and fun remain right up until we pass the keys over to her new owners. I am going to copy Roberta Jacoby, our senior vice president of hotel operations, Roger Blum, our VP of cruise programming and of course the ship’s hotel director so each and every person you mentioned gets to read your sparkling words of praise.
I will also ask Roberta and her staff to see if indeed we can have some Fun For All All For Fun merchandise in the shops onboard………….it makes total sense. Mugs, T-Shirts and caps for example ………………I will let you know what they say.
Thank you again for this great review and I hope I do get a chance to say goodbye to the Holiday and hello to you very soon
Best wishes to you and all your family

Mark in Houston Asked:

John, please reply –
Fantastic blog today. i really enjoyed it and am looking forward to dream posts this coming week. a few questions:
1) the pictures of the costa ships are fantastic. They are gorgeous ships. do you think Joe ever might consider taking off his ‘fun’ hat, or even making the ‘theme’ of the ship ‘Italian’ something or another to achieve a simple elegance in decor as illustrated in the Costa ships, on a carnival ship?
Love carnival, but love the sophistication exemplified in the Costa decor, too. For what it’s worth, I think that it’d still be ‘fun’. I’ve also watched ‘queen marry 2: birth of a legend’ recently with Cunard’s belle of a ship… what a wonderful ship. I think a great theme for a carnival ship would be ‘great liners’, or even just ’simple elegance’. Given the rest of the fleet, that itself would be ‘daring’ I’d like to see it, if even just a one-off.
2) I noticed a few variations, I think, in the design and finish of the Costa ships… operable windows (for ventilation?) along one of the upper decks… shade structures near a pool, with tables & chairs below, instead of rows of loungers in the sun. I know that Splendor is a unique carnival ship for its Euro-influence (most notably, a huge spa!) – and you mentioned tonight how the different brands make entirely different use of the same basic class of ship – what sort of variations are most common? Or most notable / interesting? To you?
3) I’m totally looking forward to pics and new info of dream next week…
4) that leads me to my next question – is it ok to post information (cruise-related, not personal) from this blog, including ‘news-worthy’ pics (like of ships, or the new conquest itineraries past 2010 in a not so recent (1 mo or so?) post, thanks for that btw, I inquired previously), and the like, to third party sites (like cc) – in terms of copyright mumbo jumbo? I always figured if you’re relaying cruise-related info, that it’s for public distribution, and actually beneficial to ccl to be referenced / re-posted. just trying to be careful and get a clear answer.
It’s a bugger to try to say ‘click here’, then scroll down 5/8 of the page, and look for the word ‘conquest’.
5) any updates when ccl plans to name magic’s home port? Still rooting for Galveston – I’m tired of it making more sense to fly to Miami with people from other cities, due to airfare and cruise prices at a premium . I know everything magic is hush-hush, but just a ‘month year’ would quell some speculation, and actually, build enthusiasm – think about it that way?
6) With oil finally topping 70.00 per barrel the other day, when does carnival plan to assess / make a statement about how they will assess fuel surcharges?
Congrats again on the birth of Kye, and thanks for all you do. and I’ll just say, I’m kind of interested to see your posts when you’re back on a ship – it’s been a little while, and I really appreciate some of the ‘on board’ experience coming through.

John Says:
Hello Mark
I am glad you are enjoying the blog thingies each day and I hope you have enjoyed the Carnival Dream reviews. There will be another one in just a moment. Let me see if I can answer your questions.
1. I am certainly not one who could ever begin to second guess what the maestro Joe Farcus will ever do. His mind is totally unique and each and every time he designs a ship we all never are quite sure what imaginative ideas he will bring to life. Certainly the Costa Luminosa showed that he can produce a classic Italian/European vessel full of luxurious colours and simple earthy tones. Will he ever design a Carnival ship like that…….well, he could……………but personally I hope he doesn’t. We want our ships to stand out….to be different and to portray a sense of fun and for that there is no better chap than Joe. I have seen the program Birth of a Legend and indeed it portrayed the Queen Mary 2 for what she still is and always will be…………..the most magnificent Liner ever made. I know that the Queen Victoria has a lot of memorabilia of the Cunard line in her onboard museum and I would not be surprised if the new Queen Elizabeth pays tribute to the sister that bore her name the Queen Elizabeth 2.
2. I loved this question and I could spend a long time answering it. However I will keep it simple. Let’s take the Queen Victoria and the Luminosa ………the same class of ship and their main show rooms. The Queen Victoria has a very elegant lounge complete with “private boxes” similar to La Scala in Milan and the Royal Albert Hall in London. The same lounge on the Costa Luminosa has a more typical style of theatre with excellent sight lines and while the Queen Victoria’s lounge feels intimate and cozy the same lounge with the same dimensions on the Luminosa feels completely different ……it feels bigger……….but it’s not. Then there is the aft lounge on the Costa Pacifica and the Carnival Splendor. Each line was given the same space and each line designed the lounge so differently. Carnival has the bar tucked over to the side to allow for more seating as we hold our late night shows there. On the Pacifica there is a large rotund bar directly as you walk in that dominates the lounge. This is because Europeans like to sit and have after dinner drinks there and seeing the bar directly by the entrance to the lounge certainly attracts a lot of people. The thing is though………….both work. There are many other areas I could talk about and I will in future blogs.
3 and 4……I guess that this is a public domain thingy and what I write here is because I want everyone to know what’s happening in the Carnival world……….as far as copyright ………well I have no idea about such things so let me ask Vance from PR to add a few words on this subject…………….Vance……………….over to you mate. Vance can you add a few words please. From Vance: I wouldn’t think this would be a problem as people post news and other similar items on the Internet all the time. I think the problem is when it relates to advertising/marketing, i.e. using someone’s likeness to promote a product which certainly isn’t the case here. I’ll do some digging around but that’s my initial thought on the matter.

5. I know how you and everyone is looking forward to hearing about Carnival Magic and where she will be sailing. I can tell you that a final decision on this is being made as we speak and I promise that you will all know as soon as I do. It will be worth the wait I promise. I realize that flying these days is about as pleasant as wearing my underwear as a hat…….so I hope that placing vessels such as the Carnival Pride in Baltimore that Carnival is committed to making taking a cruise vacation as convenient, affordable and stress free as possible by allowing for shorter flights or for guests to drive to board the ship.

6. Thanks for asking this. I am going to ask that you give me some time to investigate this and hopefully before the end of today’s blog I will have some news for you. If not then I will have your answer tomorrow on the oil concerns.
There you go. Great questions and I hope my answers did them justification. Thanks also for the kind words for Kye and if there is anything else I ca do for you please let me know
Best wishes

Melenie Lambert Asked:
Hi John,
I was directed to you from the boards at Cruise Critic.
I understand there is a newlywed game type show on the ships. This is our 1st time on CCL but not our first time cruising.
We have a party of 10 cruising out of NY on the Triumph on 7/18/2009 to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. It is a 5 day cruise to Canada. Will the game be on our cruise? It was suggested for me to write to you to see if you could contact our CD to see about having them selected. Shhhh we aren’t telling them though.
We are also celebrating a high school graduation, a 50th bd, a 70th bd, and an upcoming wedding (next march and the groom isn’t going to be with us, just the bride). We all live in opposite parts of the Country, CA, CO, WA, WV. 4 of the folks have never been on a cruise. We are all so excited. Anything you can do to help us with our celebrations would be terrific.
Congrats on the new baby, she is beautiful. Sleep when you can and remember, you can not spoil a child with love.

John Says:
Hello Melenie
What wonderful celebrations you and your family and friends will be sharing together on your forthcoming Carnival Triumph cruise. Yes………the Newly Wed game will be part of the activity program and I would be more than happy to ask the crdise Director of the ship to have your parents who are celebrating 50 years of marriage take part. Please may I ask that your remind me a week before you sail and I will need your cabin number as well. I know you will have a joyous time and anything I can do to make it even better I of course will. So please let me know the details just before you sail.
My best to you and all the family

Karl Asked:
I just read one of the reply’s to other people’s questions and read this:
These invoked 2 questions, one: you told us you were going to be with us on the inaugural sailing of the dream… is this not going to happened?
Question2: Is this the 2nd time we are promised to be on the inaugural cruise and witness the ceremony and are we again going to miss it? Like with the Splendor?
I would be terrible disappointed
Hope you can clarify…

John Says:

Hello Karl
I am so very sorry if I have misled you. I don’t think I have ever mentioned that the naming ceremony would be in Europe as it looks like it’s going to most likely be in the U.S. I don’t have any details of the exact date or what the ceremony will involve but regardless the inaugural cruise will be for certain the cruise you are on. There was a three-day cruise originally planned before the first Med cruise but this was never finalized and we opted not to host this voyage …… so you will be on the inaugural voyage with all the pomp and circumstance that this involves. I truly hoped to be on the first cruise but after some contemplation I felt that my being there may be detrimental to Todd. He is the Cruise Director of the ship and he needs time to get things sorted out on board. I am so sorry I won’t be there with you but I do promise that you will have a brilliant time and remember……you will be the first to discover all that the Carnival Dream has to offer.
Please don’t be disappointed and if you can think of anything I can do for you please let me know
Best wishes

Susanne Asked:
Please Reply
I also thought you were going to be on the Holiday and was considering booking a cruise during this time frame. Also, it looks like the last public cruise on the Holiday is November 2nd, is this correct?
Please let me know so I can decide whether to book the Holiday or not.

John Says:
Hello Susanne
I was indeed and still am hoping to visit the Holiday before we say goodbye to her. From what I understand the last cruise is November 2nd and I will confirm this in the next blog or so. Please book the ship or rather please don’t not book a cruise on her just because I won’t be there. I hope you saw Uncle Doug’s review above and hopefully that will tell you what a brilliant time you will have.
Please let me know if you have a follow up to this
Best wishes

Zannett (Atlanta, GA) Asked:
We are already booked on the Dream 12/3, and could not change the booking code as we are in a spa cabin. We would like to be included in the Blogger’s Cruise Activities. Can you help us? Our booking # , cabin –. My parents are joining us and staying in the spa cabin next door, don’t know their booking #. Our names: Zannett, Brian, Linda, Eugene

John Says:
Hello Aannett
You and many others have asked me to do this and I know that the voyage is mostly sold out and many booked the cruise before we announced the bloggers cruise details. Therefore nearer the time we do a roll call and make sure that everyone who wants to be involved in the fun of our bloggers events will have the opportunity to do so. Please keep reading the blog and nearer the time I will be asking for your information again
Best wishes to you and the family

Ricky Venable Asked:
John…Please reply.
TABASCO guy here again. Great reports on the new ships. You asked me to remind you about our cruise when it got closer to sail date. Well, we leave Saturday the 13th of June for 5 days on the Fantasy. My boys (13 and 11) are getting pretty excited as is my wife. I noticed a couple of folks asking you to arrange particular dining setups. I wonder if you could do that for me as well. We would love to be just the four of us at meal time. The boys are looking forward to meeting new friends, but it would be nice if we could have our meals just the four of us to catch up on each days activities. Thanks for any help you can provide.
I hope that the diet continues to go well with TABASCO to liven things up. I know it can be tough to stay on track while travelling. Say hello to your girls for me.

John Says:
Hello Ricky
Thanks so much for the reminder. Have a brilliant time on the Carnival Fantasy and I know for sure you and the family will enjoy the evolutions of fun that make her such a wonderfully fun ………fun ship

Wes and liz, manchester, england Asked:
John, please respond.
Am I reading correctly from one of your responses up above, that you will now not be with us at all on the Dream inaugural.
Last time you commented you were going to be on board for the first few days before leaving on the 24th September. Has this now changed completely?
You don’t seem to be taking over your next posting on the Legend until 1st October.
Don’t say we are going to miss you completely now.
Wes and Liz

John Says:
Hello Wes and Liz.
As I was writing just now to Karl I realized that I had promised that I would be on board for a while during the inaugural cruise and how many I have let down by changing these plans. So…….I guess I have to go and re-evaluate this and if I can get a cabin maybe I will sail until Venice. Let me check with Roger and let’s see what we can do for you, Karl and my other friends. I will let you know very soon
Hope all is well in sunny Manchester
Best wishes to you both

Susan Asked:
(Please Respond)
this is the first time I have posted a comment, although I have been reading your blog since early last year.
First, I would like to thank you for all that you do to answer questions and help everyone out. I truly enjoy reading your posts everyday. I love your sense of humour!!
Second, I would like to thank the crew of the Liberty for giving my husband and I such a great vacation in April of this year. I did turn in my comment card, giving very high praise to our wait staff in the dining room, Tony “the tiger” and Visa. They were by far the best we have had on any of our four cruises to-date. Visa had to leave early due to sickness, I believe his mother had become ill, and I hope she is doing better.
My husband and I are taking my two boys and a friend on a cruise July 13th on the Inspiration out of Tampa. This will be my 5th cruise, all on Carnival, and the first for all the kids (ages 9, 16, and 16). We will be celebrating my 35th birthday as well. I am sure the 16 yr olds will not have any problems finding friends and having fun. The 9 yr old is a different story…he is sad he isn’t getting to take a friend and is afraid he will not find anyone to play with, but I know he will have a great time also. This is just a new experience for me with Camp Carnival. Any advice would be great!
Thank you for making families able to have a wonderful vacation. I have no doubt that this will be one my children will never forget…nor will I.
(We have adjoining ocean view rooms, R-R. Booking numbers and . could you possibly find a way to welcome the 9 yr old? He is very nervous about going, but excited too.)
PS. Keep the pictures and stories of Kye coming. We all think she is beautiful!!

John Says:
Hello Susan
What a wonderful review of the Carnival Liberty and your recent cruise. It always fills me with joy when I get to read about specific crew members who have made such a difference to our guest’s vacations.
Now, regarding your nine year old………….well please don’t worry. You tell your son that I promise he will make new friends and I am going to pass this onto the youth director of the Carnival Inspiration to call you on embarkation day and have a staff member take care of your son and introduce him to all his new Camp Carnival mates.
Have a wonderful family vacation and a very happy birthday. Please keep reading the blog and I will be here to help
Best wishes

Marc G Asked:
Hi John,
Just wanted to ask you, I will be sailing on the Liberty 07/04/09 and I wanted to see if you knew who is going to be the fly on board entertainment? I know your favorite comedian is Al Ernst but I personally enjoy Percy Crews, anyway you can make sure he’s on our cruise? LOL
Thanks a bunch.
-Marc G

John Says:
Hello Marc
Al and I are great friends and he truly makes me laugh…… does Percy whose laugh per minute ratio is as high as anyone’s. I love his stuff about the difference between kids today and yesterday. Anyway………..the acts you will have on your cruise will be scheduled soon. I have spoken to the office in Miami and as soon as it is published I will let you know. I am sure you will find the comedians hilarious and maybe Percy will be onboard with you.
Please remind me if you haven’t seen me reply again by June 21.
Best wishes,

That’s all for today. Please mark your comments John Please reply if you need my help.

I see that some of you have been asking here on the blog and on cruise critic about oil surcharges. Well, hot of the presses let’s see what Carnival Corporation’s Chairman and CEO has to say about it……………Mr. Arison……….over to you.

Carnival Corporation & plc Statement on Reinstatement of Fuel Supplements

At the time we suspended fuel supplements for our six North American brands, we reserved the right to reinstate them if the price of light sweet crude oil, according to the NYMEX, should increase above $70 per barrel. While we have now exceeded that threshold, in light of the economic crisis and resulting consumer weakness, we presently have no plans to institute a fuel supplement. We will continue to monitor the situation in the markets and review our position as the situation warrants.

So, I hope you will all give a big round of applause to Mr. Arison for not yet adding on any surcharges………………………..what’s stopping you?…………………… a cruise now.

OK, let’s have a chat with Samantha Brown. For those who are not aware of her Samantha hosts one of the most popular shows on Travel Channel. She recently sailed on the Carnival Freedom and had a brilliant time. Stephanie will tell you when the program airs so you can all see for yourself what fun she had.
I asked her a few questions about her life and her travels……… are her answers.

1. Your journeys have taken you all over the world, and I wonder if when you were very young that you realized you wanted to travel. When did you first get the travel bug?

I never believed I would have the opportunity to travel the way I do now, I just thought seeing the world was what other people did. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would have these experiences.
I first got the Travel Bug the second season of Great Hotels. It’s pretty wonderful getting put up in the most luxurious of resorts, but I remember thinking that I didn’t want to be in a hotel anymore. I wanted to experience the destination and hang out with the real people that made it great. I also didn’t want to do luxury travel, but show an experience that everyone could enjoy. I got my wish.

2. You are about to experience a cruise with Carnival again. I know you have sailed on a few ships, and having done this, what makes cruising one of the most popular vacations in the world?

The best thing about cruising is the ease of it all. Let’s face it, travel can be exhausting and frustrating especially with a family where everyone has their own idea of what a vacation should be. On a cruise, all the hard work is done for you so all you have to do is enjoy. Shooting a travel show has its long list of challenges, but the cruise ship makes it pretty effortless, as well.

3. What items do you never travel without?
Earplugs, energy bars, my favorite tea and a stain stick.

4. When the TV cameras aren’t following you, where do you go with your family for a relaxing vacation?

Nowhere! Or, I should say Brooklyn, NY where I live. My home is the most relaxing, wonderful place. It’s incredibly diverse: Polish, Mexican, Russian, Italian, Dominican… the list is as large as the world itself and yet we are all apart of the same community

5. Is there anywhere in the world that you have not been that you want to see?

There are so many places! The more you travel, the more you want to see and I never feel like I am nearing the end. I would say right now the place I want to travel to most is Japan. Travel Channel and I are set to do a series in Asia this fall so my dreams keep coming true

Thanks Samantha and I hope it isn’t too long before we see you again onboard one of our Carnival ships…………….hopefully the Carnival Dream. Talking of which…………lets talk some more about her.

While there are so many ways to have fun on board eventually you will at some point have to go back to your state room and get some rest. On the Carnival Dream we have a wonderful array of cabins including suites, spa suites and cabins, balcony and ocean view cabins and inside cabins ….and none have a sink inside the cabin itself like we did back on the Mardi Gras. As if a modern-day cruise ship would ever go back to prehistoric cruising times like that…….apart from some of the cabins on the Epic thingy that is.

Anyway, along with all of these cabins for you to choose from there are of course the new family cabins that include two………..yes two bathrooms.

One has a half bath with overhead shower …… while the other door opens up to a shower cubicle and toilet. These are perfect for the modern day family who need to get Mum, Dad and the two kids ready for dinner within a short period of time. It is also perfect for Dad who may want to spend 30 minutes on the throne reading the shore excursion booklet while Mum is in the other bathroom taking the three hours she needs waxing, exfoliating, moisturizing, straightening, polishing and plucking involved in getting ready for a night outget ready…………men……..we clean our teeth (sometimes) wipe our bottoms (sometimes) and we are ready to go.

Also new to us on the Carnival Dream will be the Cove Balcony cabins located on deck 2. These cabins have stunning close to the ocean views and give our guests even more choice when booking.

Now, I have seen a few comments about the balcony cabins on deck 6 and above overlooking the Lanai or walk around outside Promenade. Well, I was just on the ship and yes if you lean over your balcony (which for safety reasons you must never do) you can get a good view of life on the outside promenade. However if you are just sitting in your balcony chair with a morning cup of coffee or standing with the one you love hoping your wife doesn’t see you …….your views will be uninterrupted ones of the oceans and seas of Europe and the Caribbean.

Now I wanted to show you some photos of these cabins but because work was still going on in them I didn’t think that any photo I could take would do them justice. So, as soon as they are ready I have asked the yard to send me some to share with you all. I will make sure they include all of the above cabins plus as requested the aft cabins with the wrap around balconies and the Penthouse cabins as well.

Here are a few photos of the ship herself………………your Carnival Dream

Dream (Small)

Dream-ext aft (Small)

Dream-Family Close (Small)

Dream-Family room (Small)

Dream-Side (Small)

Tomorrow we have a video interview with Roger Blum who will be talking about some of the entertainment you can expect to see onboard.

The blog has now been read 4,300,000 times at this rate we should hit 5 million by October. It is read by people from all over the world including a young lady called Michelle who I met today at the Cafe she runs in my local shopping street called The Broadway. The Cafe is called “Ciao” and Starbucks can bugger off because they serve the best coffees and tasty treats anywhere. Anyway, she saw me today and it was though she had seen George Clooney………we do have a lot in common George and me but I have a nicer arse.

Anyway…………….I got some film star treatment today because I didn’t pay for my espresso …………thanks Michelle and if you are ever in Thorpe Bay Essex…………go to Ciao and enjoy a panini and a cappuccino and say hello to Michelle.

Here we are today


I am a little worried today because I think I may accidentally have taken one step closer to become a vegetablist and wearing those sandals I so despise.
I think I may have mentioned a few months ago about the pain I had in my upper back and neck. Well it’s been coming and going and from what I was told it was probably caused by being overweight and from stress. I was told to have a massage but as anytime that happens I end up farting on the therapist I refuse to have this done.

Then, a friend of mine suggested I had something called Reiki. Alison is a master or whatever the female equivalent is. I was going to say Mistress but saying I was going to see a Mistress for some treatment didn’t sound right.
I went to school with Alison and even though we were never close I always admired her from a distance………..I admired every girl from a distance as I didn’t want them vomiting on me.

I was though friendly with a chap called Carl who Alison later married. Of course, after school we lost touch as you do but a few years ago we were reunited. I was onboard the Carnival Destiny back in 1996 and during that time a British Television Company had been filming a “fly on the wall“ documentary about what was then largest cruise ship in the world. The program was called “All At Sea.” Anyway, the following year the program went to air and Carl was back in my home town of Southend On Sea and saw me on the program.
A few days later he mentioned to a friend of his from work that he had seen an old school chum on T.V. and that he was working on a cruise ship. Carl’s friend said “Is It John Heald?” Carl said, “Yes.” Carl’s friend from work and someone who lived just a few houses away was in fact…….. my ugly best mate Alan. So, upon my next trip home I met with Alan and we went to see Carl. I had not seen him for 15 years and it was wonderful to see him again.

It was definitely one of those “meant to be” meetings because, sadly, Carl passed away the following year. He was only 30.

Heidi and I are still great friends with his beautiful wife Alison and their two gorgeous kids Molly and Callum. Molly has inherited her Dad’s sparkling personality and no doubt one day she will be a star of stage and screen. Carl was every girl’s dream at school, and while he was around none of us stood a chance with the girls. Callum has those same looks that sent the girls crazy. They are a very special family and we always enjoy spending time with them and when we do, I think of Carl and how through a simple T.V. program and even if only for a short while, we were indeed Friends Reunited.

Anyway. Alison has become a Reiki ummmm……..thingy. Reikki, is an ancient form of hands-on healing. This works by opening the chakras, cleansing the body’s energy channels and by working in harmony with the body’s natural healing abilities…………what a load of bollocks ……….that was my first reaction but bugger me…… works and my back and neck feel amazing……..I can have rumpy pumpy again…………oh bugger………Heidi says another 3 months…….ok…….my back feels amazing …….I can have rumpy pumpy again….on my own.

I was never one who believed in all this stuff but bugger me …………it truly works………… and that’s me having tofu and organic fries for dinner tonight.

Your friends
John, Heidi and Kye

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.