Back on the Job

June 29, 2009 -

John Heald

One of the things I love to do on the first day of a cruise is have a walk around the ship….no name tag on………dressed casually…………so unless someone has cruised with me before they will have no idea that I am the cruise director.

I have done this for many years as taught to me by Carnival’s greatest ever CD Gary Hunter. I do this so I can a feel for who is onboard and the demographics of our guests. One of the places I always hover around is the Information Desk or Guest Services Desk as it is now called. Here you will see and hear everything from cabin upgrade requests to people who are just lost and can’t find……well…………..anything. That was the case today but as always there was one person or in this case one couple who stole the show.

They were in their 50’s and both the man and his wife should have been wearing T-shirts that read Born to Moan. The line outside to check in was “ridiculous” said the lady in a thick New York or New Jersey accent. It was “shocking.” It was “a joke” that everyone has to put their bags through the scanner because – really – did they look like terrorists? You’d think in this day and age they could invent a faster way to blah, blah, blah.

Of course no one wants to remove their belts and outer garments and stand, legs apart, to endure light petting with an electronic wand and as Mr. and Mrs. Moaner rattled on at the poor purser. I wondered if they had complained in similar fashion to the airport security staff ……..who am I kidding. It proved once again that the cruise industry is a pin cushion for complaints …….most of which are total bollocks.

Oh…..the very smart guest relations officer ……mustn’t call them pursers anymore …………asked the Moaners how long it took them from arriving at the pier to coming onboard……answer 40 minutes……….as I said………what a load of bollocks.

So……….here I sit once again in the office chair I bought from an Italian version of Office Depot called Offacia Depoto some two years ago. Nothing has changed much. The chair is a little out of shape and one of the wheels has broken from where Todd had rumpy pumpy in it and the booger I left under the desk is still there. ………although it’s a bit crispier than I remember it.

The computer, the couch, the plasma TV, the files, the telephones are all still here ………… the only thing missing…………..is Heidi.

And so it begins. Here is the guest count and information for this cruise which we assign the voyage number FD6062809.
Guest Count – 3625
Platinum guests – 38
Children
AGE GROUP TOTALS
Under 2 Years 15
2-5 Years 74
6-8 Years 116
9-11 Years 157
12-14 Years 228
15-17 Years 255
18-20 Years 206

The kids seem very well behaved so far and as always our Camp Carnival and Circle C staff is doing a wonderful job. I, personally, do not envy them at all……..I mean, would you like to spend all day looking after kids? I think it takes a very special person to do that and they are very much unsung staff members. I am sure there are many bloggers who are parents who will want to add some words of praise for them.

The hardest age to control must be the Club O2 teens aged 15 – 17. 17 is the new 25 and they just want a place to “hang” and “chill with their housies”……or is it homies ……… I get confused.

I just feel sorry for those young men who wear their pant-crotch between the knees . . . walking around all day with like they just filled their diapers.

We don’t have too many international guests. The largest Non US and Canadian group is from Venezuela with 46 although having just walked around the ship I hear Spanish being spoke quite a bit which means we have a lot of people from South Florida. I also see that we have new movies for our Seaside Theatre big screen starting this week. Here they are.

NEW ARRIVALS
Quantum of Solace
Burn After Reading
Slum Dog Millionaire
High School Musical 3
Nights in Rodanthe
Eagle Eye
Nick and Norah’s Infinite
Bolt

These are chosen by our Miami office and it will be interesting to see how they go over. I know some of them and there are one or two I have no idea about……Nights in Rodanthe? As for Quantum of Bollocks……….well…………..I was left utterly bewildered by what on earth Bond was up to half the time. Was Mathis a goodie or a baddie bastard? I have no idea, and if I have no idea, what chance is there for the small boys whose fascination with 007 has kept the brand alive for so long?

Even the car chase was impossible to follow. It was designed to be the longest, and best, in all of movie history, but what we actually saw in the cinema was a crap. Why was it cut down? Presumably so they could show more shots of Daniel Craig smoldering. And deeper insights into his inner being.

In the olden days, Bond would get some orders from M and then embark on a series of fights, interspersed with some light rumpy pumpy, until eventually the baddie and his entire operation exploded. It was as easy to understand as first grade math.

Frankly I wish he’d just get back to the days when he head-butted Curt Jurgens in the face, blew up Donald Pleasance’s volcano and went to bed with Pussy Galore ……… but that’s just me.

Well, it’s time for me to get ready for the Welcome Aboard Show. It has been nearly three months since I did this and I guess I am a little nervous. Nerves are not good for my sugar level and besides………I only brought 5 pairs of underwear with me so I can’t afford to ruin any.

On with the show then and I will be back soon.

So, that went well I guess. My goodness the show room was full and overall I had fun and I think the guests did as well. My comedy timing was as rusty as 1976 Ford Pinto but hopefully the characters we met tonight have set the scene for what will be a great cruise.

Here are three of the people who I shared the stage with.

1

This little girl was so cute and we had fun on stage as I told her silly jokes. However … this is one eight year old who has a lot to live up to because her name……is Perfect ……….. yep………Perfect. I can understand that when she was born her parents looked at her and thought……..wow she’s perfect ………..I know I did when I saw Kye for the first time……but to call her that……….well……that’s a whole other story. Anyway, she was certainly a perfect choice for the show.

Then we have this guy

2

This is Big Bill from Nashville. He was absolutely brilliant and very funny. I asked him where he met his wife Kathy ……..this is how the conversation went.

So where did you meet your wife?

At work

What did you do?

I worked at Burger King

So, she came in and saw you, was it love at first sight?

And then he paused…..and then said the line of the night ………yep, she looked at me and new she was at the home of the Whopper!

Brilliant!

Finally we have Stan

Stan is 81 years old and last night he became a hero. I asked him if he and his wife of 55 years Mildred would be romantic tonight……he replied “We already did it once today …….do you sell Viagra onboard?“

Here is the reaction from those on stage

4

7

Yep………….it was a good first night.

Time for bed………….see you tomorrow.

Good morning everyone. It’s 7:15am and we are just heading into Key West. It looks like a gorgeous day so far although there are thundershowers expected later. The tours here are very popular with the Discover Key West by far the most popular because not only does it all of the town’s highlights but of course it leaves ample free time for shopping ……………….sorry chaps.

I will actually try to go ashore myself later today. I have never been ashore in Key West. I haven’t actually been here more than a few times and each time I have the ship has been docked at the Navy pier which meant guests had to take the trolley train thingy to get into town…………..and that took a lot of organizing. Now tough the ship is docked directly downtown so I will bugger off and see what’s up. I hope to find a Walgreens as I forgot to pack any hemorrhoid cream……….actually Heidi forgot to pack my hemorrhoid cream and they have been itching like crazy. I told Jaime that as she is Heidi’s replacement that she will need to rub the cream in for me……………and you won’t believe this ……….. she refused …………that’s her fired then.

Looks like we won’t be opening the main pool today.

From: FREEDOM HOUSEKEEPING
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 11:45 AM
To: FREEDOM HOUSEKEEPING MANAGER; FREEDOM GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; FREEDOM GUEST SERVICES; FREEDOM HOTEL DIRECTOR; ‘FREEDOM SAFETY ENGINEER’; FREEDOM STAFF CAPTAIN; FREEDOM ROOM SERVICE; FREEDOM YOUTH DIRECTOR; FREEDOM HOTEL ENGINEER; FREEDOM CRUISE DIRECTOR; FREEDOM CHIEF ENGINEER; FREEDOM ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER; FREEDOM MEDICAL CENTER
Cc: FREEDOM HOUSEKEEPING
Subject: Main pool closed

Good morning,

Please be informed, main pool for today is closed due to fecal accident in the pool.

Thank you and best regards,

Pools & Decks Supervisor

A fecal accident……..brilliantly put. Well you may be thinking that we should just drain the pool and fill it again. Well we are in port so we cannot do this until we are out of the harbor and then a whole cleaning process has to take place. We still have other pools open of course but this is a pain to say the least. In the old days before public health and Coast Guard rules a deck hand would have fished the turd out with a net, thrown it overboard and everyone would have got back into the pool ….. I miss those days.
Time for today’s questions……………..here we go.

Canuck Cruiser Asked:
Hey John (Please reply),
Don’t know if my last post got lost in cyberspace.

Well we’re booked on the DREAM for Jan. 30, 2010 and understand that
you will be the CD. Will Heidi and Kye be with you? Would be great to meet them both.
That’s all for now. Summer has finally arrived and with avengeance …………….very hot now……but when you run an ice cream business ……….that is great!
Counting down to the DREAM.

B&D from Canada

John Says:

Hello B and D from Canada
Congratulations on booking your Carnival Dream voyage for January and yes indeed …………. I will be the cruise director. I am in discussion with Heidi about her and Kye coming to the ship with me and hopefully all will be well and they both will be with me. You will love your Carnival Dream and as an ice cream professional I will be interested to hear your opinion of our gelato which we will serve in the Ocean Plaza. Hope the weather in Canada stays hot and that business remains good.
Best wishes to you both
John

Alex G. Asked:
Hi John, (Please Reply)

Thanks for your brilliant response. I already knew that Mr. Solano didn’t teach you because your humor is unique and one of a kind…Anyway, my question is does Carnival still offer galley tours? I know you mentioned the bridge and engine room being off limits, and my friend who sailed with us wanted to see the bridge but I told him that
we can’t for security reasons. However, I did a galley tour on the Destiny post-9/11 in 2004, which was cool, and noticed that they didn’t have any galley tours scheduled in my past two sailings with Carnival. I know it would interest my girlfriend as she loves to cook and she’s never been on one of these tours.

Also, I noticed we had new Sail & Sign cards, which were white, had the funnel on it, and a design which was blue, gold or platinum depending on status. Are these the new S&S cards? If so, they definitely look much better!

I forgot to mention that the reason I wasn’t sure about you being on the Dream for the 2-day sailing was because it’s scheduled to leave on Friday, 11/13 and the CD schedule has you leaving the Legend on 11/15. Thanks for posting the photos of the Dream. The more I see, the more I anticipate booking a sailing on her.

Keep the French jokes coming! You pick on some crew members as well, but I know you’re only joking around with them. I do the same thing here at work. I looking forward to hearing an update from Kye & Heidi tomorrow… (Kye-day) Enjoy your day!

Cheers,
Alex G.

John Says:
Hello Alex
I am happy to read that you now know Mr. Solano did not teach me how to be funny. Being Colombian our Cruise Director George is wanted by the DEA ………… sorry …………..I meant wanted FOR DEA……………….Doing Everyone’s Act.

I have spoken to my friends within food and beverage it is certainly something we will be considering again. I have reinstated the cooking demonstrations here and having just seen the brilliant Culinary Arts Theatre on the Holland America ships I am determined to do something similar across the fleet.

The current crop of Sail and Sign cards were well received but we also heard some rumblings from past guests especially those at Platinum level that they were not so keen on them. So we listened and indeed I think everyone will appreciate the new cards. I hope to show you them very soon here on the blog thingy.

I will indeed be on the Carnival Dream 2-day cruise and this may mean I have to look at my leaving date for the Carnival Legend so I make it to New York in time. I will let you know.

I do make fun of the French don’t I and I will try my best to keep doing so ……………. they deserve it.

Best wishes to you and the family
John

Joe Asked:
John- (please reply)
Thanks so much for this blog thingy you do. The information you offer and insight you provide is amazing. I have a question, then some feedback to offer.

I am booked on the Dec 12 sailing of the Dream- and I am so excited!!!
Thanks for all the interviews and pictures you’re sharing. It is a neat experience for me- three years ago I took my first cruise on the oldest ship in the fleet- the Holiday. In January, I sailed on the Liberty. Now I am going to be on the newest, biggest ship.

I know this is the sailing after the bloggers cruise, and wondered if you would still be aboard?

And now, for some much belated comments stemming from my January cruise on the Liberty. She is a beautiful ship, and we had a fantastic time. The crew was absolutely unbelievable. One person that really went out of her way to make sure everyone was having a good time was Monica, the assistant cruise director. She was everywhere, extremely friendly and entertaining, and just a joy to be around. She certainly made my group’s cruise more fun and memorable. You could just tell that she loves her job.

I wanted to also offer some feedback on anytime dining. My group loved it, and would not want it any other way. The only constructive criticism that I have is that it was somewhat impersonal. We were certainly greeted by the hostess when we entered, but the wait staff never introduced themselves, and spoke to us very little. I am not speaking about casual conversation- I am talking about walking up to the table and just looking at us, waiting to be told what we want. It seems like with traditional dining, you meet the staff the first night and sort of learn who is doing what, and when. So, the staff is used
to everyone having a feel for what is happening, and probably not having to say much after the first night. For example- who is taking drink orders, etc. I was always confused about who I was supposed to ask for iced tea, etc.

And now for a suggestion that my friends and I had, for whatever it is worth. We think a waffle bar would be a fabulous addition to the breakfast buffet. Imagine freshly prepared waffles with a bar of toppings and ingredients to make however you want. Yum!! 🙂

Thanks for listening, and for all you do!

John Says:
Hello Joe
Thanks so much for the wonderful posting and although the affordable fun and principles of the Carnival experience are the same across the fleet you will certainly see many differences in the facilities we offer on the Holiday and will offer on your Carnival Dream. Unfortunately I will not be there for your cruise as I will be on my way home to see Heidi and Kye after the two Bloggers Cruises I am hosting. Hopefully you and I will get to sail together one day soon though.

I was glad to hear about Monica. I have worked with her in years past both as a dancer and entertainment staff and she certainly loves her job and loves life and I am so glad that to hear that she made a difference to your cruise.

As happy as I was about that I was equally saddened to learn that the dining room staff was not as friendly as you would have liked during your anytime dining experience. I must admit that this is the first time I have heard such a comment and that is why I am so grateful to you for letting us know. We want the anytime dining to be as fun as scheduled dining times and I promise that after I forward this to the folks in Miami that they will make sure that this situation is never repeated on any ship and that the anytime dining experience is exactly what you and your fellow guests expect.

As for the waffle bar – I know a certain Dutch girl who would love that and I will bring that to the table as well. I want a Spotted Dick bar.

Best wishes to you all
John

Katiel53 Asked:
John, (Please reply)
I just wanted to comment on the dress code. I have no problem with the code as it is; clean jeans and a nice shirt look great on a lot of men. I do, however, object to the baseball caps, sleeveless shirts on men, shorts that have seen better days, wife beater shirts etc. It appears that not only are these worn during casual nights, but on the
cruise elegant nights as well. If your code is not going to be enforced, why have one?

Whenever people post on Cruise Critic regarding the code, it is always pointed out that it is a suggestion, not a requirement.

To me, allowing the above mentioned attire shows a lack of respect to not only the waiters/waitresses, but to others on the cruise who take the time to dress appropriately.

I know Carnival is not the only line with this problem. I do believe that the Maitre D’ should not allow inappropriate dress in the dining room. I feel they don’t stop people for two reasons. The main reason is that if they do, there goes their tip, and secondly, no one at Carnival will back them when the comments on the cards state they weren’t allowed in the dining room.

Believe me, I am not one who has my nose in the air and I am very happy with the newer relaxed code. My husband hates dressing up, but he does do so on the cruise elegant nights. He is a shorts and cut off tee shirt person at home, but does wear a golf type shirt and dress shorts as well as long pants etc. for the more formal nights.

Perhaps if when cruises were booked people could be notified of what is expected so that they will be prepared. The more people are allowed to be sloppy, the more it will happen.

Thanks for your time and response.

John Says:

Hello Katie
I can only say this. While I value everything that is said on the message boards I ask everyone to keep an open mind about this as often not everything is fact based but opinion based. The same of course can be said about this blog but in this case I want to pass on some facts.

The Maitre D’s do enforce the dress codes we provide to guests. I purposely checked each dining room last cruise both on elegant and non elegant nights and found nobody dressed as you described has been written on the cruise boards. I saw no bathrobes, no sleeveless shirts or tank tops and no baseball caps. I apologize that I don’t know what a “wife beater” is so maybe you can enlighten me.

Anyway, as this has been a hot topic here on the blog recently I have asked our CD’s to check and they all report the same thing…………the rules are for the most part being enforced. Yes, there are guests who prefer to wear jeans on elegant night but we do not allow anyone to wear tank tops or ripped jeans in the dining room on any night of the cruise. I will make sure that the fleet is aware of what is being said and I promise you that we will continue to supervise that the dress codes we ask for are adhered to.

I encourage all of you to keep me informed on this subject please.
My best wishes to you Katie and if you have a follow up to this please let me know and thanks again for giving me the chance to talk to about it

John


LorrieB Asked:

PLEASE REPLYI was talking to a friend who said that she had heard that
the Carnival Magic will be based out of Galveston. Now please, please,
please tell me this is true.

John Says:
Hello Lorrie
Unless your friend is phsikick………physick………..unless your friend can see into the future I cannot confirm or deny where the Carnival Magic will homeport. I can honestly say that no final decision has been made and if you friend turns out to be correct can you ask her what the winning lottery numbers will be please.
I promise to let you all know as soon as I do
Best wishes to you and Mystic Meg
John

Spencer Asked:
Please Reply

John,

I know these questions won’t change my cruise experience, but I was just curious.

I am leaving on a Southbound Alaska cruise on the Spirit on July 1, 2009.

When you say the old cards, do you mean these?

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2965417170105042200tPVHYt

or do you mean the cards they have been using for years.

Or do you think they will be using the new card by then?

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2588129500105042200zSxDkC

Too see the pictures you will have to copy and paste the link into
your address bar.

Thank You for taking the time to answer my question.

Spencer

John Says:
Hello Spencer.
I am very jealous of your pending Alaskan cruise. I have never had the chance to sail to the last frontier and it certainly is on my bucket list.

For some reason I can’t open the attachment showing the sail and sign cards so let me try and explain. The ones that we currently are using are the ones that are red, gold and platinum. All three have a wave effect in the right hand corner. These are now being phased out and replaced with a new design which I hope to show you in the days ahead. There is a good chance that you will have the new cards by the time you board the Carnival Spirit as each ship will start using them their current supply runs out. I will be asking for everyone’s views on the new cards.

I wish you a wonderful Alaskan adventure and I look forward to reading your review

Best wishes
John

LorrieB Asked:
PLEASE REPLY

I was on the Carnival Conquest for the Hurricane Ike cruise, September 7 – 14, 15, 16….., 2008. I wanted to know…. how many times has Chicken Little (Assistant CD) turned 21? He had his 21st birthday on our cruise and then we were told by others who had been on the Conquest either previously or after that he turned 21 on their cruise as well. I know time runs differently on a cruise ship but…. really!!!!! When he is 80, will we still be celebrating his 21st? Inquiring Minds Want to Know!!!!!!

John Says:
Hello Lorie
Ummmm……..I am not sure who Chicken Little is and why he is 21 ………again. Let me find out for you and maybe it’s time he celebrated a 25th birthday.
I will be back to you soon
Best wishes
John

DocF Asked:

Hi John, (Please Reply)

this is a follow-up to my previous post about diabetes.

You asked why I use insulin rather than metformin or another oral drug.

Type 1 diabetes is a lack of insulin production. Type 2 diabetes is a resistance to the action of the insulin you body makes.

Actually, I started out on glipizide which makes your pancreas produce more insulin. This drug over-stresses the islets of langerhans and this eventually leads to less and less insulin being produced. At that point, I had to make a decision and I felt that I could maintain better blood sugar control by using multiple daily injections of insulin along with an oral drug than with oral meds alone.

I have been able to maintain an HbA1c score of under 6.5 since I have been on insulin. I suppose I need to explain to others that this is a long term score of your blood sugar. Normal folks have a score of about 5.0.

I have used several different oral drugs and am currently trying metformin. I think I will continue to use this as it seems to be helping me deal with my increased insulin resistance. I also am going to try adding Byetta, an injectable drug to my mix and see if I get enough better results to justify the cost.

It is all a juggling game, as you know.

There are several benefits to being on insulin. I can eat warm chocolate melting cake by just adding a bit of additional insulin to my meal dose. I can have a bit more flexibility in my eating and time my meals a bit less rigidly.

I must say that your latest videos and pictures are showing a slimmer you. Keep up the good work. If you are not using insulin, weight is your biggest enemy for maintaining good control.

I am always willing to help anyone who has diabetes in any way I can. The most important thing to remember is that either you can manage your disease or it will manage you.

Take care, my friend.

Doc

PS: Even though I should be pissed at you for stealing Jaime away from
us, I do love you.

John Says:
Hello Doc
I thank you so much for this motivating and challenging post. I monitor my sugar level three times a day and it continues to be between 5.0 and 8.0 which I am quite happy about. I am eating well and have cut out all the bad carbs. I truly thank you for this outstanding offer of help and support and I am determined to control my diabetes and not let it control me. I will be in touch soon.
Best wishes
John

Frank & Bridie Asked:
John please respond;

John those are beautiful photos of Kye, it looks like she is about ready to give her first shopping talk. As always we love hearing about her and your adventures on board. Our question for you is we have heard the carnival is stopping the past guest pins. Say it’s not so? I love showing off all my pins on my sail and sign lanyard when we cruise. If so has carnival considered possibly having them for purchase? Wow I don’t agree with this.

Big fans as always,
Frank and Bridie

John Says:
Hello Frank and Birdie
Thank you for the kind words for Kye and I am glad you are enjoying all the photos. We have been discussing the pins quite a lot here on the blog thing in recent weeks and yes, it is true, we have stopped handing them out. The reason was that as popular as they were with many they were equally unpopular with others and it seemed that many did not wear them or use them at all. And so we decided to stop handing them to our past guests and instead sell them in the gift shops onboard.

I can tell you though that many of our loyal past guests were not happy with this and some threw their toys out of the stroller in protest………and I can understand why. I personally love to see people wearing them with pride and therefore I went to battle on your behalf. Well, the battle goes on but I hope that in the weeks ahead to have some really good news for you. I can’t say anything else right now so please keep reading the blog thingy for the latest updates.

Best wishes to you both
John


LadyJag Asked:

Hi, John! Please reply.
I’ve been sort of studying (my hubby says it’s more like “obsessing over”) the deck plans for the Carnival Dream ever since I booked our May 2010 Dream cruise over a month ago.

I’ve noticed on deck 12, Spa deck, there is something labeled “Coed Sauna” in the Cloud 9 Spa that shares a wall with cabin 12201. I also noticed that the areas sharing the 2 walls that would allow for any possible entrance to the “coed” sauna are marked “Men’s Locker.”

So my rather smart-alec question is: how can this area possibly be a coed sauna, if the only way to access it is through the men’s locker room?

Thanks!
Laura

John Says:
Hello Laura
Wow…what a great question and one that I am sure has given you many sleepless nights. Well….the answer is that women will have to enter through the men’s changing rooms ……….still…..no big thing. Honestly ….and seriously……I have no idea so let me check with Boris who you may have seen I interviewed recently and ask him to help. I will be back to you soon and until then can you check the deck plans in case we have made any errors …….oops. Best wishes to you both and I think you have a very healthy obsession
John

OH – hold on…….we have late breaking news from Boris in the ship yard. Here is what he says. It seems that the deck plans on the web are wrong. There is a corridor in front of the coed sauna allowing the entrance from the communal area…

June29

Thanks.

Best regards,

Boris Ruskovsky
Thanks Boris…………..and happy birthday

Spencer Asked:

Please Reply,

John,

On your An Odyssey, A Peter and ….. A Dream blog you replied to a reader about a dining question. You said there will be even more dining choices on our next generation of ships. Were you talking about the Dream and the Magic or future ships after them? Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

Spencer

John Says:
Hello Spencer
Thanks for writing. I was talking about the Carnival Magic where plans are underway to offer even more variety when it comes to entertainment and food. I will promise to give you more details soon. Please let me know if I can help in any other way
Best wishes
John


Bob and Lynda Asked:

Dear John (please reply);
We booked the last cruise on the Holiday because you said you would be on it. I just looked at the CD schedule and you were not the CD on the Holiday for its last cruise. Please tell me that the schedule is wrong. Kye is beautiful.

Thanks, Lynda

John Says:
Hello Bob and Lynda
Thanks so much for the kind words for Kye. I still intend to sail for the final cruise of the Holiday. I may not be the CD but I have full intentions of being onboard as she is the last in her class and I think someone should be onboard to provide a fitting farewell. I will keep you updated and I am so very honored that you booked to be with me. I will confirm what is happening very soon. It would be so wonderful to meet you onboard.
Best wishes
John

Cruzin2some Asked:
Dear John,
Please Reply especially if you like the idea!

The video from YouTube really shows off the new ship and her size. Seeing her in the water…. just amazing.

The shots of the Seabourn Odyssey… also just brilliant. What a beautiful ship.

As for you idea about a Bloggers cruise on Cunard. I would go a step further, but then I usually do.

How about a Blogger’s Cruise on each of the Carnival owned flagships of each Cruise Line? The Carnival Dream is covered. The Ruby Princess…. The Cunard Queen Elizabeth … The Seabourn Odyssey… The Amsterdam of Holland America … The Costa Luminosa.

I think the blogger’s would love to see what the family has to offer.
If I got any of the flagships incorrect please excuse the oops! But
you get my idea. What do you all think?

James & Nancy

John Says:
Cruzin2some
WOW……..what a brilliant idea. I am not sure just how many readers would want to do this but it certainly would be a great way to introduce the amazing diversity that our brands have. I certainly think that we could do one on the Ruby Princess, The Niew Amsterdam and the Queen Victoria……anyone else interested say “aye.“

I have yet to sail with Cunard or Holland America and these are two musts for 2010. Maybe we will see you there. If there are any other bloggers interested in a Carnival Corp tour ………….let me know.

Thanks for the great idea and best to you both
John

Donna Asked:
If I Amy be so bold to ask…but could you do some detective work for me…I will be on Freedom 7/26/09…I have never been on Freedom and all I want is a simple answer and I am getting a mixed bag….I go onto Cruise Critic whenever I am going on a cruise…I just booked this cruise and took an inside cabin —…I asked if anyone had ever stayed
above the casino…as it looks like where I am if I can ever figure those diagrams out properly.I was told I will hear people cheering to one arm bandits going all night long to run away from the cabin as quick as possible…Then there are those that say they heard nothing in cabins nearby but that was on Triumph… So I called Carnival and asked…they told me the location was superb and not to switch to a higher deck as I could have done, since I am a previous cruiser…Plus I was told this was a connecting cabin and we will hear noises from next door…

I really need this trip to get some r & r it has been a very stressful year…I love Carnival and I truly need to rest and relax…plus it is our belated anniversary cruise and I want to have a great time…It is not I go to bed at 10 …we do late seating and go to the shows …Can you in anyway please help me with a more accurate answer. Are there a lot of
complaints…is noise a big factor

John Says:
Hello Donna
I thank you for coming to the source. As I said there are many different opinions on the cruise boards. Some are based on fact and some………well…………not. I have just spoken to Annie our guest services manager who told me the following. The cabin is indeed above the disco however since the ship entered service in 2007 we have received not one complaint……..not one complaint. It is a cat 4 (inside) cabin with a connecting door as you said but once again unless you have very noisy neighbors you will not have a concern there either.

I will be here to do my best to give you the relaxing and fun vacation you so richly deserve
Best wishes
John

musingsofjustjon Asked:
John – PLEASE REPLY
In the past, some commentators have pointed out that certain CDs are out, about and available to the passengers and other CDs can’t be seen except at the shows.

You have commented repeatedly that, having had Heidi before and now Jaime as your ACD to handle the “operations of the department,” leaving yourself time to be out, about and available.

These two points lead me to wonder about the importance of the ACD in the passenger’s experience. On our transatlantic cruise, we saw quite a lot of both Todd and Noortje – I have to wonder if some of the difference in the visibility of the CD is related to the quality of ACD.

JustJon

PS – I am still awaiting my contract for AACD on the two day cruise to nowhere. I am even willing to test all the alcoholic beverages before the cruise agents and guests imbibe, just to be sure that the drinks are not being watered down.

John Says:

Hello Jon
What a great question and the simple answer is yes. If a CD has a really good ACD who is not just good on the microphone but excellent behind the scenes as well, this will mean that the cruise director can spend more time where he or she should be………with the guests. Obviously with the trans-Atlantic cruise there are 16 days for the cruise director to spend with the guests which is a luxury of course.

To be honest, I could not write this blog unless I had an ACD or assistant who ran the department. There is no way I could blog everyday and be on stage, etc and run the department without help and that’s why Heidi was invaluable and that’s why Stephanie and now Jaime have proven to be so important.

I hope Carnival knows that I will always need a strong ACD to run things if they want me to be both CD and blogger……….right now with Jaime here………….all is well.

Your contract is in the post mate. Best wishes to you and Mrs. MTSFP
John

Stephanie R Asked:
John (please reply)-

I saw this posted on the CC Royal Caribbean board. http://www.rclinvestor.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=103045&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1302066&highlight=

24 dining venues??? Most of them are an extra charge! Not only are they making people pay up the wazoo for their cruises, but now they also have to worry about all the add-on’s in the price of their “all inclusive” vacation. NO THANK YOU! Please tell me that the Dream is not following suit of the behemoth Oasis who is turning ‘all inclusive cruises’ into ‘nickel and diming amusement parks’!!! I think Carnival is great the way it is, a cruise line for people who want a REAL CRUISE EXPERIENCE. We have had 7 glorious cruises with Carnival and are so excited for our future vacations on both the Dream and Magic. We are hoping to see some great new things on them… just not 24 additional-charge restaurants 😉

Thanks for your time… I really enjoy your blog!

~Stephanie R

John Says:
Hello Stephanie R
I read the press release and I guess any passenger who has booked a cruise on that ship should just go to the nearest shopping mall, sit in the food court and that will give them a true experience of what the ship will feel like. Unlike Johnny Bollocks …… sorry …….Johnny Rockets and the other dining outlets your Carnival Dream will have brilliant complimentary dining including the Grill, The Deli, The Tandoori, The Taste of the Nations, Grand Buffet, 24 hour pizzeria, and the fantastic Mongolian Wok.

Of course the food in our dining rooms is of the highest quality and unlike the food court of the seas there are no charges for steak at dinner. Yes, we have our alternative supper club (steak house) where for a $30 charge you will experience a dining experience that is worth every penny…….and then some. Room service is complimentary as well and unlike the Hidden Charges of the Seas we will not need flow signs informing guests how many spaces are available at each of the restaurants……….I mean…….can you imagine …….. is this a cruise ship……….or a parking lot?

Please therefore don’t worry………..all the things you know and love about the Carnival experience remain plus we have added some new ones and have done so without charge.

So, pop on down to the mall….and let me know what a cruise on the new RCI ship is like.

Best wishes
John

That’s all for today……I remain at your service should you need any questions answered.

Now, I realize that many of you have just tuned into the blog thingy after a weekend away so just in case we have some Monday morning bloggers I want to remind you one last time to check out a video. I know this is the third time I have posted it but for those who have not seen your Carnival Dream at sea……well…….you must….here she is.

I wonder if my Italian friends realize what a sensation they have caused by filming the ship…………………..grazie.

Oh yes……one more thing for the Monday morning bloggers……..don’t forget to go to Twitter/Seabourn for a brilliant look at the naming ceremony of the Seabourn Odyssey ………….luxury personified.

You will be very proud that Heidi and I’s friend Stephanie has done a wonderful job during her first ever spell as cruise director on the Carnival Destiny. This is her last cruise and then she goes to the Carnival Sensation as ACD for a while before taking over again as CD. Anyway……..the Carnival Destiny returned to Cozumel for the first ever time this week and Steph sent me this photo of the ship and a beautiful Mexican sunset.

P6270657-Destiny

Every now and then I will share comments made by guests here on the ship. It’s been a few months since I have been on board so just in case there are some newcomers I wanted to say a couple of things before I continue. When I post these comments I always hide the guest name, booking and cabin number. The reason I post them is to share with you some of the more …….ummmmm…..interesting stories of what happens on board.

Like this one.

Guest: _________ Ref: __________
Cabin: ———–Booking#: ________ Added-Changed: 06/28/09 – 06/28/09

UPSET WITH MUSLIM CLOTHING
Mr. _______ came to the desk asking to speak to a Supervisor in private. I spoke with guest in the lobby who stated that his young children were scared of the people in the cabin next door because the ladies were wearing Muslim dresses with their faces covered. Mr.________ said they found it very disturbing. GSS apologized but said that the ship was full and there were no open cabins. Mr.________ said he wanted to speak to the captain about this and walked away very angry.
Letter sent to guest and follow up call today

I wanted to talk about this comment which I must admit has rather shocked me. Before I do though I wanted to tell you about the time I was Fun Ship Freddy. I am sorry …….. I should have put a parental guidance notice on this bit and I apologize to anyone reading this who thought that Fun ship Freddy, The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and that RCI had better food than Carnival were actually real…………….oops.

Anyway, when Freddy first joined us I agreed to be the funnel headed one but only if no one knew that it was me inside……..and yes…..I can fit into the costume …. Just barely.

I’m obviously quite well known when I am a CD onboard so I thought that it would be novel to stroll around in front of 3,000 people and not be recognized.

The outfit was quite heavy and hot, with just a small slit at eye level to stop me walking into things. Before the show started, I wandered around the promenade deck and showroom, waving to the guests and having my photo taken with small children and some adults. Such is the role of the mascot.

For these photos, I adopted my regulation warm-hearted grin but after I’d posed for about 20 such shots, it occurred to me that this was completely unnecessary because I couldn’t be seen. I was getting a bit bored and hot by now and it was a real treat to not have to look happy and enthusiastic. Come photograph number 100 I was actually scowling ………………. But no one could tell. This was a truly liberating experience and I was thinking of my time under the veil of Fun Ship Freddy after reading the comment made about the guest wearing the Burka.

I know there are other connotations about women’s rights in the Muslim world etc but it must be quite the experience to pass unseen through the outside world with no obligation to smile or look interested ………. hidden in your own secret place.

Now, saying that also think it must be pretty awful walking around under a black tent just in case a strange man should catch sight of your ear and be overcome with passion. Anyway, even though he has not asked to speak to me I will call the guest and reassure him as much as possible.

I can understand that if you are not used to it these black-clad figures can look disconcerting, even sinister but they have nothing to fear and that’s what I shall be explaining ………..and thinking about it………… maybe it’s time for me to get inside Freddy again…….what a great blog that would make.

Oh by the way………….it’s great to be a cruise director again.

Goodnight
Your friend
Fun ship Johnny

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.

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