Missing A Touch of Class

July 7, 2009 -

John Heald

Good morning……………and before we start today’s blog thingy I suggest you reach for a dictionary.

Guest: Mr ———-Ref: 838007815A
Cabin: ———— Booking#: _______ Added-Changed: 07/04/09 – 07/05/09

Gst came to GSS and gave a letter with his comments as following:
Dear Sirs, I’m writing this letter for two reasons. The first being that to spend hours in a line only to complain about the standard of my cabin was the final stow. Its bad enough to start the cruise with being sold a 2 birth cabin where in fact its a two birth cabin if the two may be diminished in size, height and or other physical deformaties or irregulations, but to stand in line like a sheep must give your fun vacation rhetoric a rotten hollow ring to its voracity. The second reason follows on the total humility of having to stand in line and that it is; it was a stipulation of my taking this cruise that I wanted a two birth cabin. Not a two birth cabin with 3 beds crammed in it.
There is a reason arithmetically that 3 does not go into two. Two grown people with their luggage just does not work. Yes it can be done as we have had to endure to dale but not with any degree of comfort or enjoyment. Apart from a total break of contract, misrepresentation of its worst you are clearly the per spectators of misleading and deceptive conduct. It was a fundamental conduction of my booking for this holiday that of stipulated a proper three birth cabin with verandah and ocean view. There is no storage for two people and luggage. We have travelled half way around the world from Australia and started the cruise on one of your most important days in your history only to be absolutely humiliated. I wonder what your founding fathers would have thought. Whatever it would have been it would. I’m sure have been tinged with shame. Finally to add salt on the wound, in reliance with your representations and rhetoric I had booked a further cruise next week recapitulating on this fiasco. I could go on and on but would prefer a look you firmly in the eye and tell you exactly how humiliated I feel. I am a millionaire many times over and I am without doubt the most well to do passenger you have on your vessel and therefore that fact alone deems me immediate response .I look forward to meeting you to discuss this matter. Yours Sincerely, ______________.

I am embarrassed to say that the wordsmith of the above novel is British and that he is indeed a snob. I thought that the snob was a thing of the past but that is obviously bollocks………or balderdash as the aristocracy would bellow………..and not just in the UK

Snobbery is alive, kicking and leading an extremely healthy, happy life in your local Macys as the rich and tanned buy a new pair of Jimmy Phoo shoes.

Anyway, as this chap was a Brit I decided to interfere and have a chat ………and I did …………..and I wished I didn’t because it was definitely a master and servant conversation and there are no prizes for guessing which one I was. I explained (whilst bowing) that his cabin was one of the largest at sea and apart from the suites and penthouses he had one of our finest.

His Lordship then beat me on the bare buttocks with a Gucci slipper while telling me there was no where to store he and Lady McMoaner’s luggage.

And so I arranged for suitable storage, Grey Poupon to be served at dinner, a small Indonesian waiter to rest his feet on ……….and some fox hunting in Cozumel.

During the conversation he tried to steer me to talk about his wealth. He mentioned the numerous times he had cruised on Cunard and Silverpee or something like that. He mentioned he had a boat in Gasstad and a villa in Marbella. As all I have is hemorrhoids I just bowed again and told him how unworthy I was.

I not only helped him store his Louis thingy luggage but also got him a table for two at dinner as his dining companions were not able to talk about his Byzantine art collection or the Duke of Bollokshire’s summer party ………….and I also gave him my direct phone number should he require anything else …………I am Geeves I told him.

There was no thank you…………not sense of gratitude …………nothing …….except a sense that his behavior was normal……………..thus showing that wealth and class do not always go together

I wonder why with a yacht in Gasstad and a villa in Marbella and having cruised on Silverpee and Cunard why he was here on a Fun Ship. Maybe he wanted to see how the other half lives…….maybe he wanted a break from total luxury………..or maybe ………………. he was just full of crap.

Time for today’s questions………………..here we go.

missingthesmokefreparadise Asked:
Is it true that you sent the lady who complained about the closed poopy pool a bottle of French wine?
It only seems appropriate.
He who makes trouble for a living

John Says:

Hello Jon
Indeed it was French and you are so right that was very appropriate. She never forgave me for that you know……….the pool I mean not the wine or the joke about the cork. It was a very unpleasant incident and it never ceases to amaze me that 3,059 people understand while 1 guest wants to cause a stink…………pardon the pun.

Anyway, thanks for writing Jon and I send my best to you and Mrs. MTSFP
Best wishes

Larry Wheatley Asked:
Please reply if you want I was wondering about your home while on a ship could you take some pictures of your stateroom to share with all of us, as we are all family. Love the blog very much look forward everyday to see what goes on. Please keep the pictures of the apple of your eye coming. We all look forward to watching her grow up, it don’t take long. Catch you later

John Says:
Hello Larry
I will be happy to do so. I need a few days to tidy up first as without Heidi the place is a tip. I will need to pick my underwear up off the bathroom floor and one particular pair has been there for so long I may need a block and tackle to achieve this.I will take some photos later this week and if I forget please remind me
Best wishes to you and the family

Kathy Asked:

Hi John,
Please respond
Can you tell me why they only have Carnival Elation schedule of cruise until April 2010, when most of the other ships are now into 2011? My family would like to book a cruise on the Elation for next summer, but it only goes to April 26, 2010. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Your blog thingy fan,

John Says:
Hello Kathy
Thanks for saying you are a fan of the blog thingy and I hope you will be for a long time. The schedule for the Carnival Elation is now posted and available for booking with the ship complete with her Evolutions of Fun now heading to stunning Cabo St. Lucas on four- and five-day cruises, along with three- and four-day Baja cruises. Hope this brings a smile to your face
Best wishes

cindy56 Asked:

My friend Jean Evon and her husband Robert are going on Holland America’s ship Zuiderdam on Sat. July 4th on an Alaskan cruise. They were supposed to go on this cruise 2 years ago but were in a serious car accident 2 days before they were to leave. They are so looking forward to this cruise so I was wondering, could you please ask the CD on the Zuiderdam to send them a little something? Thanks so much!

John Says:
Hello Cindy
I just received this message and I am sure they are already having a great time. I will indeed ask the CD to do this for you and thanks for thinking of them. Please let me know that they received something
Best wishes

Lorraine Beggs Asked:
Hi John (please reply)
Congratulations on Kye. She is beautiful.
I wonder if you can give me your views on the following – having sailed on the maiden voyage of Independence of the Seas, I was truly disappointed with the lack of celebration at the sail away. I am going on the Dream on 21 Sept and wondered what Carnival do on their maiden voyages. Also, we were booked on the Liberty, then cancelled and moved to the Freedom, then cancelled and will now be on the Dream. We were given $50 per person obc. However when our travel agent called Carnival to enquire if there was any other good will gesture, given that my husband and I have had to use another days holidays, she was advised that this would be up to Miami. She also advised that we had previously sailed on Princess and again this seemed to make no difference (regardless of what the back of Carnival brochures say about past guests). I am not asking for free cruises and upgrades (if only!) but just wondered what you thought about this?
Many thanks

John Says:
Hello Lorraine
Well first of all I want to apologize to you in case I have not done so before. There were a group of guests like yourself who were booked on both the ships we canceled from their European cruises due to the credit crunch, etc. This was very unfortunate and even though it was the right thing to have done as bookings in the Caribbean have shown, we new we would be disrupting people’s vacation plans and that is something we never want to do.

So once again please let me apologize. I also want to tell you that having seen your Carnival Dream I can tell you that the ship will not disappoint you in any way. She is truly magnificent and her inaugural cruise will be very, very special. I know that plans on what will be scheduled for this voyage are on going so I really cannot say yet what will happen. I wonder………as you experienced an inaugural cruise that was disappointing please could you tell me what you felt was missing and what you would have liked to have seen. Maybe there are other bloggers who have experienced inaugural cruises who would like to jump in here.

As far as the on board credit is concerned, I will forward your comments to our Miami office and let’s see what we can do to help you. Please send me a comment the week before so I can send you a bon voyage gift as well.

Thanks for writing and I look forward to hearing from you with your further comments
best wishes

Mike Jurgensen Asked:

John please reply.
Hello John! Very anxious here as I and my adult son Brian will be taking our first cruise ever. On the 13th we’ll be on the Destiny sailing to the eastern Caribbean. My wife Judy and daughter Melissa are veteran cruisers with Carnival as they have sailed 10 times with their 11th coming up in October. They’ve given us advice and suggestions, but I wonder if you have any tips for first time cruisers. We’re really looking forward to having a great time and just wanted some tips to make it even better. Every time Judy and Melissa have returned from a cruise, they very enthusiastically tell us what a FANTASTIC time they had. We’re looking forward to the same!
Thanks! Mike and Brian

John Says:
Hello Mike and Brian
First of all the only thing you as a first time cruiser have to be nervous about is the noise of the suction toilets. Apart from that it’s fun and relaxation all the way. I could provide you with a huge list of what to do as a first timer but I will keep it simple. Pack as much into your day as you can. See all the shows, listen to all the bands, watch a movie on the big screen on lido, take a tour of the ports, and explore – just don’t’ go “downtown.”

Always carry a copy of the Carnival Capers with you. This will tell you what’s where and when. Take a walk on the open decks at night under the stars. If you are sitting next to a guest at lunch or at dinner or in one of the lounges be the first to reach out a hand of friendship. Do this and I promise it will enhance your cruise. And do the same with those who work on board. Find out who they are, where they are from and a little about their families. This is the spirit of Fun Ship cruising and I promise after this……….you won’t want to do anything else.

I wonder……..do any of the experienced bloggers have any “first time” advice they want to pass on?

Have a brilliant time
Best wishes to you both

CLT-Bryce Asked:
John, please reply
We had a great cruise last week on the Freedom (6/20 sailing) but I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to chat more. I’m assuming the mingle you were organizing for the last day fell through, as we never received an invitation in our cabin. Thank you very much again for the gifts!
We did have one issue, but it was not under Carnival’s control with the current policy. We were in a port side balcony, and our neighbors on the forward side were chain smokers. Not only that, but apparently they were a group of 4 adults and 2 children, with some staying in the inside cabin across the hall. Unfortunately, the adults were constantly congregated on the balcony next to ours and smoking their little hearts out…as well as talking (and coughing, hacking, choking) very loudly, until the wee hours of the morning. What was truly astounding was the amount of time they spent out there…I’m pretty sure they did it in shifts, because it was rare for me to be able to even go out onto our balcony, much less spend quality “ocean watching” time. There were a few exceptions, such as the afternoon in Antigua, when we enjoyed our own balcony without being fumigated, but unfortunately those times were few and far between.
Is there any chance that Carnival would consider making the cabins on one side of the ship non-smoking? Perhaps the Port side, since the outside port decks are already non-smoking areas?
Anyway, we had a fabulous time regardless of our neighbors, I just wish we had more balcony time
Regarding religious services…I think it is silly to demand that Carnival provide religious services for any specific faith onboard. If guests wish to have services, then {only if feasible, and given enough notice} perhaps a venue may be available for them to gather and conduct their own private service.
I hope you are enjoying your CD time, even though it has taken you away from your precious ladies.

John Says:
Hello Jay
I am so glad you received the gifts and yes I am sorry I didn’t get chance to organize the bloggers get together. Time ran away with me and I needed the six-day cruise to be a seven-day one. Now as to your smoking concerns I am going to give you my opinion. I must stress that this is not a Carnival Cruise Lines’ opinion…………it’s just mine. I think the time has come to try re-think our smoking policy when it comes to the cabins. I know that there needs to be places where smokers can go at night and enjoy a cigarette or in my case a cigar under the stars. I just don’t think the cabin balcony is that place for reasons you mentioned above. I am sure that if we offered a nice environment for guests to smoke in and not shove them on a windy open deck with no seating that they would understand if we were to stop smoking on the balconies as other lines have done.

Anyway, that’s just my opinion and I will certainly pass your comments up the line and I encourage others to post their thoughts about this as well.

It was great to see you and I hope you enjoyed the fun. I do indeed miss my girls.
My best to you both and hope to see you again very soon


Donna Bell Asked:
John – Please Reply:
I have been “stalking” your wonderful blog since the beginning and always look forward to my morning email letting me know a new entry waiting to be read. Your question several weeks ago about why/how people choose a sailing date really made me think about how our family chooses the cruises we do. Usually it’s price. There are 9 in the 3 families that sail together (me, 2 daughters, their husbands, and grandkids).My first thought was that I would never book a cruise because of the CD. Does Carnival even have any CDs that aren’t excellent? We haven’t experienced anything but great times with the 6 we have sailed with. However, I’m beginning to rethink how we book; maybe my original thought isn’t exactly true. We booked the Feb. 09 Bloggers cruise only because you were going to be there even though we were already booked on the Freedom for December. Two cruises in 2 months that will never happen again! While on the Bloggers cruise we booked another cruise for this December. However, now you are going to be on the Holiday for her last sailing on Nov. 2. A chance to sail with you again for such a reasonable price, can you pass that up? Maybe we do book our cruises because of who is going to be on the ship. We have never had the pleasure of sailing with you as our CD, but this will be our second time sailing on the same ship. Now to my questions: Will you be hosting any events? Will there be any time that you will be interacting at events with the guests, or are you sailing incognito (is that even possible for you?) as a passenger? The other concern, will all the amenities of a regular cruse be available? Since this will be the Holidays last sailing with Carnival, will anything be cut? Will Camp Carnival be available? My grandson has started packing his things now for our December cruise. He LOVES Camp Carnival! He’s the little boy that interrupted your lunch on the Fantasy to ask where Fun Ship Freddy was. You were so gracious to get up from the table and take him by the hand to the phone to call and make arrangements for him to meet Fun Ship Freddy. Something he still talks about to this day. You went way beyond what was necessary to please even the youngest of passengers. (Not to mention his Grandmother!) Thank you for being so kind to him. I have left a message with my PVP and he’s a really good closer, so I will probably be booked on the cruise before I see a response. Even if some of the features normally on a cruise are cut, I’m sure we will have a great time, and hopefully we will see you at an event or two.
Kye is beautiful, and I can’t even imagine how much you must miss her, and Heidi. Thanks for making the sacrifices you do, so we can all enjoy and benefit from your gift of service, and thanks for going the extra distance to make our cruises on Carnival so special, even if you’re not on the ship with us.
See you in November,
Donna Bell

John Says:
Hello Donna.
Thank you so much for those wonderful words about the blog. It’s nice to hear that amongst all the information and guest relation content that people still enjoy my poor attempt at humor.

I agree with you. I do not think Carnival has any bad cruise directors. There are some who are stronger than others in certain areas but overall I think the current group is our best for a long time.

Plans for me to sail on the Holiday are still on going and while I will not be the cruise director for sure if I do sail (which I will know for certain by weeks end) then yes I will host something for sure…………maybe the talent show. I can promise you that nothing will be cut. Camp Carnival and all the fun they provide the kids. Everything else will also be as usual except there will be a few sad goodbyes from those of us who have fond memories of the Holiday class.

I remember your Grandson so well and how polite he was. I am glad he got meet Fun
Ship Freddy and I truly look forward to meeting you all again soon. I promise to confirm by Friday about the Holiday.

Thanks so very much for the kind words about Kye
My best wishes to you and the family

Stacey Asked:
John (Please reply),
I swear, something or someone is eating my replies, as I have to resubmit them 2-3 times before it ends up on the blog and reaches you. Hrumph.
Anyway…I ask again…can you possibly get in touch with Ryan Fitzgerald and ask when the next few 90 Day Customs Inspections are going to be on the Glory (we’re cruising 11/29)? I ended up on the wrong side of one of them on our first cruise and ended up missing our 2:30 flight. Thankfully we had no kids with us at the time, and this time we’re traveling with a large group including several children. Needless to say, missing our flight would be a disaster.
p.s.–I was thinking it’d be a smart move to publish when these are, as obviously they’re not super-secret, and would prevent those getting off the ship from booking flights that are normally fine, but with the hold up, become too early. And would also prevent those who are embarking that day from arriving too early at the port and causing further chaos and confusion. Thoughts?

John Says:
Hello Stacey
It’s not me eating your replies…………I am on a diet. Anyway, I did in fact reply to your comment on the blog called Steaks, Bottoms and Heidi last Friday and just in case you didn’t see it……here it is again

I know that when the United States Customs and Border Patrol decide to do their intense inspections it can cause long lines to disembark and in extreme cases like yours, missed flights. I truly wish we could publicize when these spot checks occur but of course no cruise line can. First of all they are never on a specific date………..we never know when they are going to do these inspections until they start…………and I am guessing that even if we did and we publicized the event it would get Carnival in a whole heap of trouble. I guess my point is the whole reason to do a spot check is that it’s on the spot rather than pre advertised. I do feel for you though and as someone who has to sit in a holding room for hours on end every time I enter the United States I know how frustrating this can be. However………..they are just doing their job I guess.
My apologies to anyone who has to endure these checks but please be patient with CBP and the cruise line staff.

Stacey – they are indeed “super secret” and are not published anywhere. Hopefully your debarkation will be a smooth one. Please let me know how it goes and have a wonderful cruise
Best wishes

Stephanie Asked:
Hi John! – Please reply
I saw that Mary had kindly pointed you in the way of my sister’s blog of our vacation. I didn’t see a link so here is the link to both the blog and the thread with an overwhelming amount of great responses it has received over on Cruise Critic:


I had posted a comment here a few weeks ago with no response, so I will try once again! My mom, grandma, sister, and I had returned recently from a wonderful vacation on the Miracle (5/24-6/1). This was our third time on the ship and she remains to be our absolute favorite. What made this cruise even more special was that a lot of the staff members recognized us from our last minute booking on the Miracle in January, and so many of them stopped to chat with us and catch up. There are so many great people working on that ship, and it would be great to name them all but that would take all day. I would, however, like to alert you of two fantastic ladies that Carnival should be extremely proud to have working for them. Dewey and Karuna (both are upper dining room hostesses) went above and beyond their duties and made us feel even more at home on the ship. They honestly felt like members of our family for the short time we were there, and we were sad to leave them come disembarkation (although Karuna jokingly offered to hide us in her stateroom so we could stay). Carnival has two GEMS in these ladies, and I do not have enough kind words for them.
There is one other issue that I wanted to ask you about. Although we had a wonderful vacation, there was one thing that really troubled us. Grandma is completely wheelchair bound for almost two years now. She has been on every one of our cruises with us (7 on Carnival since 2004), and even though she cannot get around on her own anymore we can’t imagine going without her. This was the first time we were able to find her a handicap accessible balcony room since she started using a wheelchair (having previously booked HC interiors and ocean view) and she was so looking forward to being able to enjoy the sea from her own room again. We were assured when the rooms were booked that there would be a ramp to get onto the balcony and saw pictures of the same room on the Pride that had a ramp, but when we arrived there was no ramp to access the balcony. We had asked the pursers if a ramp could be placed in the room, but they informed us that not only was this not possible, but there had never been a ramp in that room in the first place. You can imagine our disappointment we felt finding out that while her room was completely accessible, the balcony we paid a premium for her to enjoy was not accessible at all. Had we known this, we would have saved ourselves the disappointment and money & booked an accessible ocean view room. My first question is has a ramp been placed there on the ship for others who need it since our talk with the pursers? If not, who would be the best person to contact to make sure this happens? I really feel like this is an important matter to clear up… Before Grandma was in a wheelchair we never knew how difficult it is to travel when someone is handicapped and Carnival has wonderful accessibility, which makes me wonder why this was overlooked. Thanks again!
PS—Kye is absolutely gorgeous! Keep the pictures coming; she has already grown so big!

John Says:
Hello Stephanie

That’s really strange because I did post a reply about this some weeks ago. I wonder if it accidentally disappeared as computer stuff sometimes has the ability to do.

In my reply I remember saying how I understood your frustration about getting Grandma onto the balcony and we checked with our guest access services department in Miami and have been told that while there are some balcony staterooms for the physically challenged, not all balconies are designed to accommodate wheelchairs. I know there are some issues regarding storage etc but we will do our best to provide this for our wheelchair guests.

Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention and as I said I did already pass it up the line and as soon as I hear anything I will let you know.

May I congratulate you on your amazing review and I know that everyone has enjoyed reading it. I passed your words of praise onto the ship and the office and everyone was thrilled by what you had to say. I again apologize for whatever happened to the reply and hope you see this one.

Best wishes to you and all the family


Melissa Jurgensen Asked:
John please reply…
I noticed you said in an answer to someone’s question that CCL was looking at the captain’s party experience.
You’re not considering stopping them like that “other cruise line” is you? Or charging/not offering free drinks? I hope not because I love the parties, seeing the officers and meeting the captain, cruise director, etc.

John Says:
Hello Melissa
Nothing to worry about Melissa. There are no plans to cancel the free drinks, etc. or the chance to meet the captain and senior officers. Why…….which cruise line has done that?
There may be some adjustments soon but they will be for the better I promise. I will let you all know soon
Best wishes

Phoenix Asked:
Please reply
I have been reading with great interest some people posting about the level of intensity at the muster drills diminishing.
First, I read wearing a life vest is no longer required.
Then I read that the general attitude of the staff has deteriorated, not keeping strict adherence to the drill, not enforcing the pax to attend, letting people walk away, and even allowing talking and general camaraderie.
Is this just another thing Carnival is letting slide, as to not upset the pax, or are these posts just fabrications.
What’s the scoop?

John Says:
Hello Phoenix
How do I put this…..ummmm…..oh yes ……I know…..what a load of bollocks. There …….got that off my chest. I wonder why people would write such rubbish.Anyway…..here are some facts. Recently we have changed one thing and that is instead of guests wearing their life jackets before and when the drill starts we ask guests to collect their life jackets and carry them to the muster station. The reason for this is by the time they get their most are not wearing them correctly and this of course wastes time. So, once that the muster station we show everyone the correct and proper way to wear them.

The suggestion that we are diminishing the level of importance we place in the drill is also far from the truth. Lets just say we did……….lets just say that we decided as a company that we weren’t going to take the drills seriously and adopt a couldn’t care less attitude to if the guests attended or not………well…….if we did that……our ships wouldn’t sail…………..period.

That’s because the drills are held within the requirements of United States Coast Guard regulations as well as those from the SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea). Each and every cabin is checked by the stateroom stewards as are the balconies. The security guards will walk the lounges and open decks making sure everyone goes and we stop all bar service and all activities until the drill is over. Guest safety is still our priority before anything else and if any crew member was ever found not making that so he or she would be in very deep trouble. I can honestly say that in my 22 years at sea the training myself and the all the crew receive regarding guest and personal safety has never been greater.
I wonder if you would mind posting this wherever you heard those ridiculous unfounded comments.

If you have any follow up to this I would be happy to help.
Best wishes

April Asked:

Dear John,
I just sailed on the Carnival Freedom with you, during the 6/28 sailing. I have to admit, after three previous Carnival cruises, I had come to expect a twenty-something, overly-chipper (sometime fakely so) Cruise Director. My boyfriend and I were pleasantly surprised to find you in charge, and haven’t laughed so much on a cruise before, or felt that the CD was as genuinely enjoying themselves. As former members of an improv comedy group, we couldn’t help but admire how quick on your feet you were (unless you were getting tackled) and how hilarious your comebacks were. I can’t count the number of times I said, “I wish this guy had a TV show so we could keep watching him!” and then we discovered your blog. I’m excited to keep up with your escapades and to keep enjoying your sense of humor.
During the past guest party, you spoke of the Carnival Dream, and how they were looking for names for future ships. I believe you said you wanted “-tion” names and came up with “Constipation – the ship that never moves.”
My boyfriend and I spent dinner brainstorming and there seem to be few good ones left. I came up with “Frustration – where no-one gets laid.” And then more seriously:
Illusion (I know it’s not quite right, sound-wise, but close!)
Celebration (but this seems cliche, I think)
Generation (maybe in an anniversary year)
Well, that’s enough of that for now. I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future!
Thanks again for a great cruise,

John Says:
Hello April
I know you didn’t ask for a reply but I wanted to say a huge thank you for taking the time to post and those wonderful words about me having my own TV show……I am honored……..maybe one day.

The ship names were brilliant , especially the Temptation…….love that one although under my current rumpy pumpyless world I would probably be better sailing on the Frustration.

I am so glad you both had fun and I hope we will get to sail together again very soon and meanwhile I hope you will read the blog thingy from time to time
Best wishes

Greg Carpenter Asked:
I just wanted to inform you that our cruise didn’t go well at all. First of all we went on the Highlights and Shopping tour in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and we almost got robbed by street people. We asked if it was safe to walk over to the water to take pictures about 110 yards from the Flea Market which was the last stop on the tour. The lady tells us sure Mon, No Problem. As soon as we got down to the corner to cross, Scott who traveled with us almost got run over by a bus while we crossed the road which the bus speeded up and to do this. We had 3 teenagers with us at the time as 3 men approached us and started tying these bracelets around our wrists and begging for money.

While this was going on they were trying to get the teenagers to buy marijuana from them. Scott handed one of the guys 5 bucks and I handed one of the others 5 bucks and they started saying that they wanted more money than that. By then my daughter was in tears and my wife and Annelise started a verbal screaming match with the one that wanted more money and as they saw the scene turn south we started to all run on my que and they saw that they had attracted a lot of attention down our way as their local police watched us running and told us we should have never gone over there. We made it back to the bus and we said something to our tour guide with the answer No problem Mon, You no hurt?

The next two days went a lot better in the Grand Caymans and Cozumel. Then hear it starts again. In between 2 and 3 Friday morning I feel water dripping on me from the ceiling. I got a bucket and trash bin to collect water. Got on the phone and got housekeeping up to assess the situation. They come up and I will say were very apologetic and helped as much as they could. I had to wake up my kids and pack up our room at 3:00AM and move my family to 2 separate rooms on 2 completely different floors. Since our kids are 15 and 13 they were not permitted to stay in a room without adult supervision my wife stayed in the room with my daughter on the 1st floor and my son and I went to the 6th floor where we were put as it got my wife and myself into a heated argument because of all the disarray and drama over the whole situation. They called my wife at 9:00AM and told her that the room would be ready to move back into by 11:00AM. I went down at6 11:00AM and they knew nothing about who called or anything. I asked to speak to whoever was in charge or a manager. She came back and told me that they would call me as soon as it was ready.

I went down and had another verbal lashing with my wife and turned around and went back down to the front desk to see what they were going to do for us for all the inconvenience. The lady I talked to was from Romania or Croatia and I told her again that I wanted to speak to a manager. On the way down to the desk I went back to the room with the water leak and nobody had done anything to the room at all. Half the ceiling was torn out the carpet was still wet and there were no blowers in the room trying to dry the floors or anything? So she comes out and tells me that for all the inconvenience that they had put me through that they would give me a $117.00 credit on-board and a letter that would give us 15% off our next cruise, when at that point to date I had spent right at $5000.00 dollars total to date for this trip. She went on to tell me that basically Shit happens and that’s all they can do for me.

After another argument with my wife I went back to the front desk after waiting in my room for them to call to let me know the room was ready till almost 5:00PM. On the way I checked the room again and the ceiling was put in and nothing else had been done to the room. I saw a guy in housekeeping and asked if he knew where our cabin steward was and he said he came back on at 6:00PM. At the front desk I finally was able to speak to a manager after the 3rd attempt. I told him that I had spent quite a bit of money for all this and he basically copped an attitude with me and told me he would give me some free drink coupons and that was all he could do for me in his foreign I’m better than you attitude.

Before I got to talk to that manager I saw a guy in Dress White Uniform and asked what he did on the ship and he said he was with Housekeeping so I proceeded to tell him what was going on with our room and he said he knew nothing about it and walked off and left me and my son sitting at the main elevators in the lobby talking to ourselves. We went back and found the Stewart (Ivan) and he had just come on and he would have our room ready by 7:00PM. Went back to the cabin we were camped out in and showered and got ready for dinner. We called and said that we needed a luggage valet at 7:00PM to move back to the room. At 7:10 I called to see where they were and they hadn’t sent anyone yet. At 7:30PM Ivan showed up at the door and with another housekeeper and proceeded to move everything by hand because no one bothered to tell them what they were ever doing. I asked Ivan about the guy with housekeeping and he told me he was with Guest Services. I have to say that Ivan did nothing wrong and did everything in his power to do us right and should be commended for the service he provided for us.

We were at table 229 in the Renoir Dining Room and our wait staff Aldoberto and Stevie also went above and beyond the call of duty to make our dining experience a memorable on and even bringing us a recipe on how to make one of the deserts that was to die for.

We had the letter in our box for 15% off the next cruise but has to be redeemed within 18 months. As you might not know we saved for 2 years to go on this trip and will probably won’t be able to afford another trip before 18 months. We have already sent another e-mail through the carnival website but could not put down the whole story due to the e-mail could only be 1000 characters. I am not happy with what happened on this trip and the service and all the I DON’T CARE ATTITUDE from the management that I encountered.

When we disembarked off the ship and picked up the luggage they had completely ripped the wheels off one of the rolling suitcases that we borrowed from my mother in law that we will also be replacing so we don’t have to here about that for the rest of our lives. I think something should be done to compensate us or I will start to forward this to news agencies national and local to get our story out there to warn other people about the hospitality we were shown by Carnival Cruise Lines and the risks that Carnival Cruise Lines are taking by dealing with these 3rd world countries putting passengers in danger on their shore excursions because of no quality control and lack of security. I’ll be waiting to here back from you. Can you see that this gets in the right hands? I can be reached @ Cellxxxxxxxxxx or Hmxxxxxxxxxx .
Thank you
Greg Carpenter
This is a copy of my letter back to Carnival. Someone told me about this site and said I should share my letter with the blogging community.

John Says:

Hello Greg
I want to start by apologizing sincerely for the situation in Montego Bay. We have been sending guests there on our excursions for many years as have all the major cruise lines with positive results. Readers of the blog know that Jamaica is one of my favorite destinations but I can totally see how this situation may have been unsettling. In this regard I will copy this to the head of our excursion department in Miami who will be in contact with the tour operator to make them aware of this situation. I do want to point out that safety is our number one priority here at Carnival and that includes the destinations we visit. We would never send guests to a destination that we don’t believe is safe.

Now, with regard to the cabin incident I have passed this on to a vice president who will make sure that someone from Carnival contacts you so you can discuss your concerns. I cannot get into compensation discussions here because I do not know all the facts but regardless I can assure you that we take your comments very seriously and as Brand Ambassador I want to make sure that you know that we truly do care about our guests and their concerns.

I am therefore grateful that you took the time to write and I will be passing your information on to the relative departments. I would appreciate you letting me know as and when you have been contacted and if you need any further assistance please contact me here.

I hope that despite your concerns you and the family managed to have some fun together on the Carnival Conquest

Best wishes

That’s all for today. Please remember if you need an answer to anything at all to please mark your comments John Please reply.

Here is a follow up to a question from David and my thanks as always to mate my Boris Neverpaidforadrinkinhislifeski for the answer.

John thanks for all the information and the reply regarding the new Sign and Sail cards. Ms Laura (LadyJag) wrote to you and asked about the access to the coed sauna on the Dream and of course you came through with the answer. Well, is just happens that my wife and I are scheduled for the same room in question for a January sailing and we noticed (thanks to the schematic portion gratefully provided by Boris) that room 1201 has a bath tub or something else included. Can you shed any light as to what it is? We are also scheduled on the Dream for its second sailing in October (room 7455) but doubt the room steward will let us in to room 1201 for an early peek. By the way, you mentioned your desire for an Alaskan cruise, well we are booked for the Spirit in July and it will be our Milestone Cruise. Just thought I’d rub that in….

Morning lad,

This is the “new” family or deluxe stateroom. The cabin consists of standard outside balcony stateroom with standard bathroom unit (shower, wc and sink) and in addition there is another unit with mini bath tub and sink.

Just as FYI a 7455 is a demi suite.

And as we are talking about your Carnival Dream, here is the latest deck plans for you to enjoy.


It seems that the sea trial video of your Carnival Dream has no crept over 5,000 views for which me and my wallet are very greatful for as this means I no longer have to pick up the bill for the cowboy steak at Miami’s premier eatery Prime 112. Kye can now look forward to some new clothes…………….or I may spend the money on some new underpants for myself………….it’s been 8 years since I last bought any.

The video is in fact so popular that even the press is writing about it. Here is an article from Cruisediva which I will ask Vance to slap on here please.

“Carnival Dream is a Vision at Sea”- read the full article here.

And it seems that even ardent fans of our competition want to shout about their brilliant Carnival experience. Here is a comment from Cruise Critic that I thank Host Mach for sending to me.

After cruising RCL for over 5 years we decided to take our daughter and grandkids on a mini cruise vacation and felt that Carnival would be a good choice as their first cruise and for us to take a look at Carnival once again.

First off I need to say that the overall experience was fantastic and whatever I felt about Carnival in the past is now in the past I really liked our experience.

We were at the port at 11:30 and were on board by 11:50 went up to the Lido deck which was not crowded at all and enjoyed our lunch actually the buffet was where we went for all meals since having a 9 and a 3 years old we did not want to go to the dining room with two kids in tow. It was much easier for them to pick what they wanted which was Pizza or a grilled cheese sandwich. I thought the buffet food was good for all meals and they offered a nice selection for all meals.

The ship itself it what I remembered about our last experience on a Fantasy ship. Our first Carnival ship was the Sensation this cruise we were on the Imagination. Vibrant colors everywhere and over the top decor it is a sensory overload for the first day but did get use to it. What set this cruise apart from our last cruise is Service which was incredible though out the ship except for the bar staff which we felt was a bit slow.

Our Cabin steward was incredible we never walked into our room without him being there and touching things up though out the day and our room was spotless. We were on the Rivera deck OV 199 and our daughter and kids were in 205. I also like the amenities in the bathroom, have not seen that on Royal in quite awhile. Toothpaste, razor etc thought that was a nice touch. The room itself was nice and spacious and also like the flat screen TV.

We registered the kids in Camp Carnival and they both loved it and felt they had good programs for both age groups and they kept both kids entertained though out the cruise…

The Imagination itself was spotless and saw the staff cleaning all the time all over the ship. For a ship that is 20 years old it sure did not look like it all though some of the areas of the ship looked dated I found that I was quite comfortable on it. I also found some nice quiet areas to just relax.

I did not see any difference in demographics from RCL to Carnival so those comments you sometimes read about Carnival being the Wal-Mart of cruise lines for us is out the window. I also found the other passengers I encountered on our cruise to be very friendly. I did not get the feeling once that I was on a party ship with drunks all around me it was quite the opposite.

I thought the production shows were great and liked that they had entertainment everywhere on the ship. It seemed to us that there was more entertainment then RCL.

Even though this cruise was for our daughter and her kids it gave us a great opportunity to sail on Carnival again to see how we felt about Carnival after a 10 year absence and I have to say it was a great experience and would take another Carnival cruise on one of their newer ships in the future. We walked away from this cruise saying we had a great time and would do it again.

Dale Thank you for taking the time to write this great review. I often say here on this blog thingy that if you cruise with Carnival and don’t like it……….tell us………we will listen and we will understand. As you mentioned other peoples blinkered opinion of what we do and who we are puts others off from experiencing a Fun Ship vacation for themselves …..and that is a real shame. So Dale, thank you for making your own mind up and discovering that today’s Carnival is better than ever………and tomorrow’s Carnival …….will be better still. We hope to see you again on a Fun Ship cruise and I hope I have the pleasure of being your cruise director…….oh one more thing as is tradition during reviews like yours and a message to those who pour scorn upon us……Wal-Mart my arse!

I think I have mentioned here in this blog thingy of ours once or twice about the people who work on ships who never get the praise they deserve. The nurses and the doctors for example or how about the dish washers and the poor sod who has to wash my underpants ……..these are true cruise ship heroes and they deserve a lot of credit. But what about IT IS people? They save hundreds of lives all the time and in various ways. If everything on your computer has buggered off and disappeared or has more viruses than the National Convention of Prostitutes……….you need a hero………and the IT or IS person is that hero.

I admit that I know bugger all about IT: I didn’t even know what IT stands for……. what I do know is that without the ones on the ship ……..the cruise would for the most part be over before it started………..that’s how much we depend on computers and the caped crusaders who fix them when they go wrong.

An IT guy or gal or IS as we call them at Carnival is like a best mate. Here is a person who will sit with me, give me their undivided attention, and help me fix what’s broken. They will answer all my questions and never get mad at me when they realize I am as thick as an elephant’s scrotum.

So for no other reason that I just called one to help me fix yet another problem on my computer ………today we salute all the Carnival IS Managers who behind that slightly nerdy grin beats the heart of a true professional and one we could not cruise without.

Here are a few letters left over from last week that I wanted to share with you in today’s In Their Own Words Section.





Time for some random photos

I have had lots of guests tell me they read the blog thingy this cruise and each and everyone who does will get a little gift from me. Two special people who are here are Carolyn and Don who are Platinum cruisers and have booked especially to cruise with me……….for which I am very grateful.

Carolyn brought me a gorgeous photo frame with a picture of Kye in it as well as some clothes from Dollywood for Heidi and Kye ……………… oh and some sugar free Brownies……..mmmmmmmm. Here is Carolyn and I at the elegant night party

IMG_1797-John and Carolyn who came to sail
John and Carolyn who came to sail

I mentioned that apart from a very unhappy Venezuelan chap the band playing the National Anthem during our Fourth of July celebration in the dining room was very well received. Here is a photo to show you just that

IMG_1787-The band playing the National Anthem during our Fourth of July Celebration
The band playing the National Anthem during our Fourth of July Celebration

And now a photo of me my 21st favorite assistant cruise director…….Jaime. And as you can tell from my face…………one of us had just farted…………and it wasn’t me.

IMG_1799-John with his 7,832,973rd favorite Assistant Cruise Director
John with his 7,832,973 favorite Assistant Cruise Director

This cruise is going very well and we have a great group of guests that have enjoyed perfect weather up until now. However, much of the late seating is taken up with two very large groups from Miami and it seems that the majority of them can’t or prefer not to speak English. It is therefore hard to gauge if they are having a great time especially at the shows and I have to say that while the early sitting shows are packed, so far the late sitting performances have been less so. That is because the Habana Bar where I have the Latin trio is full and remarkably the dance floor is also. It’s obvious that Latins really love to dance. And watching their hips gyrate is extraordinary…………I could never move like that ………….. unless someone shoved a cattle prod up my bottom.

Anyway, these two large Latin groups are primarily made up of Quincineras. According to Uncle Wikipedia “The Quinceañera, or Quince años (“fifteen years” in English), in Latin American culture, is a coming of age ceremony held on a girl’s fifteenth birthday. The term Quinceaños refers to the birthday of the celebrant, and the term Quinceañera refers to the celebrant herself.

Like many other coming-of-age ceremonies, the Quinceaños is associated with the Quinceañera “becoming a lady.”

It certainly is a beautiful sight to see as the girls dance with their fathers while Mum, the brothers and sisters and often the Grandparents look on. It was a bit different for girls back home in the UK. Sally Poole celebrated her 15th birthday by allowing me to squeeze her left breast…….well………….when I say allowed………..anyway, the Quinceañera tradition is a beautiful one and we are honoured to host many of them here on the Carnival ships.

Here is a photo of a group of Quincineras waiting to enter the lounge.

IMG_1801-The Beautiful girls celebrating Quince Anos

I just received the comment card ratings for my first cruise and I wanted to share my own personal cruise director rating with you and try and explain how it is calculated.

Out of 3,600 guests 1618 took the time to complete the cards. Here is the breakdown

1,477 people said I exceeded their expectations
133 said I met them
8 said I was as good a cruise director as Susan Boyle would be as a swimsuit model

This meant that using Carnival’s comment card points formula which is more complicated than the Mongolian phone book……..I achieved a score of 94.7% ……………. which proves that I am not past it yet…………and although I should be very pleased with this high score I am as always more bothered about those 8 people who thought I was a total bastard. What did I do or what did I say to make them hate me?

I haven’t been sleeping well these past few nights and have been having some pretty weird and nightmarish dreams. I put this down to missing Kye and Heidi, Mum and Dad, my mates and rumpy pumpy. I also think it’s because I have been watching an episode of series called Dexter each night which is about a serial killer and in a macabre way…. is totally enthralling.

Anyway………..before I continue I need to put my hand on my heart and swear what I am about to write is the honest truth…………..it really is.

Yesterday’s nightmare had me sitting up in bed sweating like Bill Clinton taking a polygraph. It was late, dark, cold and pouring down with rain. But even though I was soaking wet, I simply wouldn’t walk on board the ship docked in front of me. Heidi was screaming at me, saying the rain was ruining her hair and making her dress see-through and would I please stop being so stupid and walk up the bloody gangway. But I couldn’t.

Had I been at the annual general meeting of the Ugliness Appreciation Society, then things would have been fine. I would have been proud of the parking lot that was slapped on the top of the vessel as an after thought but there was something else lurking on board that was turning my nights slumber into this nightmare …………….a 100 square foot cabin with a sink in it……………………………….”Nooooooooooooo,” I screamed.

So, there I stood, staring at the Epic thingy ship. It had made me very wet, then it had made me very angry and now it was in the process of making me very divorced. It was as ugly as a tattooed bouncer and I wanted nothing to do with it…………but strange forces were pushing me up the gangway……..I resisted……….as hard as I could……………..and just as I was about to be enveloped in a Norwegian kind of hell…………..I woke up screaming.

It must have been a deafening sound and at a pitch that could shatter a newsreader’s hair. It was so loud …..and yes……..this is true……..that my next door neighbor Annie, the guest relations manager, called me on the phone to see if I was OK…….how embarrassing. What was I going to tell her? I could hardly say that my screams had been because of a cruise ship………..so I said the only thing I could ……..I told her I had seen myself naked in the mirror……..”Ahh,” she said…….I understand”…….and she went back to sleep ………………..bugger.

So then …………that is scientific proof that I am as ugly as the Epic………or the Epic is ugly as me.

Just in case the above gives you nightmares tonight………………..let me sooth you with a photo of something stunningly beautiful


Your friend

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.