July 29, 2009 -

John Heald

There is no doubt that our Carnival Spas are for many one of the highlight’s of their cruise and compared to the old days when your choice was a haircut or a massage ………..the menu from which you can choose is astonishing. Here on the Carnival Freedom there are 7 types of massages, including hot stones and deep thingy ones. You can have a facial or an ionathermie which uses galvanic and feradic current to get rid of the cellulite……..and it works.

You can have your nails ummmm…..done………and there is even a young lady who will spend all day touching feet doing pedicures……….surely she has the worst job on the ship………apart of course from the poor sod who has to wash my underpants.

And the spa menu continues with a teeth whitening treatment that is from what I am told the very best on the market and………there is even an acupuncturist……….who I truly believe helped send Monsieur Bells Palsy back to Paris last year.

On the Carnival Splendor and on your Carnival Dream the spa choices will be even greater with special one-of-a-kind treatments, private VIP treatment rooms and exotic saunas and steam baths.

Now, I have no idea what the breakdown is of the number of female guests to the number of male guests who use these services but I would imagine it to be quite top heavy in the ladies favor. However………it appears that those days are now over.

Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2009 2:14 PM
Subject: Caper changes

Please can you add some verbiage about the “man” treatments to the Capers?
Many thanks

“Man” treatments…….what the heck are “man” treatments? ………Well I asked and it appears there are man massages, man facials and a man’s barber on board and …..apparently according to the Spa Manager………………men “love treatments.”

OK…….well, you all know what happened the last time I had a massage …….I farted ……….. loudly. And I can understand that many men love all this cleansing bollocks but as I mentioned yesterday about the engagement and the man wearing a “management” ring…….it seems that the word “man” and it’s true meaning is slowly being lost. It seems that these days you can combine the word “man” with nouns we use every day.

For example………if Gerry Cahill Carnival’s President and CEO is seen going into an important meeting with a briefcase, many would say “Look, there’s Gerry and he is carrying a manbag.”

If I was going to the cigar bar with a male friend, some would say that we were having “a man date”………the act of greeting said friend is a man-hug…………the cruise you might discuss while supping on your mint-infused vodka would be a “man-cation” …….on which you would almost certainly lounge on Lido Deck wearing a man-kini………. and of course if you were ever to lose weight — rather than just obsess over calorie counts — that would make you a manorexic ………. what a load of manbollocks.

And that of course brings me to the final frontier …………….. “manscaping.”

I heard about this today from our entertainer Jamie Frasier who is a big band singer that many of you will have heard if you sailed with me in Europe……..I will be posting an interview with him later this week but yesterday we had an extraordinary conversation that went something like this.

What are you doing in Grand Cayman Jamie?

I’m going to do some manscaping.



Is that like gardening?

Well sort of.

Say again?

Tending to the garden, John.”

Like, flowers and stuff?

No. Down Under.


No you idiot……..Your …… hair, for God’s sake.

For the next several minutes I was flabbergasted………..I found it impossible to believe that any self respecting member of the male sex…….. no matter how bloody metrosexualized …….. would engage in such nether-region gardening. It may be OK if you are the boyfriend of a Miami Beach play girl or the Governor of California……… But I would have to be stone cold dead before anyone would get near my thingy with a lawn mower……………….manscape my arse.

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

LadyJag Asked:
Dear John, (Please reply.)
After reading about your 6 hour meeting, I promise myself that I will never again complain about the ones I attend that last only 3-1/2 hours. I always thought that since water-boarding is not permitted in the US anymore, the next best means of forcibly extracting information from an enemy would be to hold them captive in a long, drawn-out meeting with people who love to yammer on just for the sake of hearing themselves talk. But I digress…

Today I was wondering about the comment cards that Carnival guests turn in at the end of the cruise. Specifically, I’m curious about the section that asks if I’d like to mention by name anyone who helped make my cruise experience more enjoyable. Besides possibly receiving a pat on the back and an “at-a-boy” or “at-a-girl,” are these outstanding individuals rewarded?
I ask because there were several Carnival employees who really went above and beyond on my last cruise. I made sure to list them all by name on the comment card with details about their excellence, but I wonder if the individuals I mentioned were acknowledged and rewarded.

As a passenger, all I know about the Carnival comment cards is that guests fill them out, hopefully answer the questions honestly, then drop them into a box. Besides one prize-winning card being drawn from the box before debarkation, I haven’t the foggiest idea what actually happens to the cards after they feed the box or even if they are read by man or machine.
Can you enlighten me, please?

John Says:
Hello Laura
I hate meetings……especially ones involving people who speak strange and unusual languages like “marketing” and “sales.” Anyway…..let’s chat about comment cards. The back section of the card is one which we do encourage people to complete and although it says to please mention anyone who has done a wonderful job etc. etc …..some use this section to tell us their suggestions on ways we can improve …and we are grateful that they do.

However, others do write down the names of crew members who truly have made a difference. Much of the time it will be the waiter or the stateroom steward who is mentioned and that’s wonderful. However, it’s always nice to see other department names mentioned as well. The comment cards are all collected at the end of the cruise and our accounting department will collate them and using a formula more complicated than two centipedes having rumpy pumpy …….. a rating is produced for each category………friendliness of the crew, quality of food, etc.

The cards are then read by a team of department heads onboard the ship and the ones that offer suggestions are analyzed and the ones that praise specific crew members are copied and placed on the crew members’ file and…..a copy is given to the crew member, as well. I can tell you that it is a wonderful feeling for these ladies and gents to read that someone thought that they did indeed make your cruise experience more enjoyable. Now, a crew member who receives many such comment cards full of praise will certainly be considered for promotion as many promotions here at Carnival happen internally……so please ……fill these cards out carefully and remember that what you say on them is taken very seriously.

However……..I have said this a few times here on the blog thingy and I will say it again now. The wording we use is ridiculous. “Exceeded my expectations.”………what?

Many of you reading this blog are experienced cruisers and the reason you keep coming home to Carnival is that you know what you are going to get regardless of what ship within the fleet you sail on. It is surely hard then to ask a past guest if we exceeded your expectations when those expectations are ………..that you are going to have the best value for money cruise vacation in the world……………..we didn’t exceed them………..we met them.

OK, it’s different for first time cruisers but wouldn’t it be much simpler to ask if each department deserves a rating of
I know that’s not “marketing speak” and I know it sounds old fashioned…..but ……and this is only my opinion…….and not that of Carnival Cruise Lines……….just covering them and me there ……….. but it is my belief that the cruise directors should just say…………..”Here is the comment card please complete it and give us your honest opinion”……………….the end.

OK, sorry Laura…….I went off track there for a moment…….anyway……..please continue to complete the cards and the back section that asks you to tell us who did an outstanding job is one of the most important ways of recognizing a waiter……..who the next time you cruise……just maybe the maitre d.
Thanks for the great question.
Best wishes

Sheryl Asked:
John Please respond

Hi John,
As usual, I just love reading your blog and want to make one comment and one suggestion:

In regards to the Heather Mills/Disability joke……it seems to me that messing with an icon (Paul McCartney) takes precedence over disability. It’s a free for all when it comes to her. I am disabled and did not take offense at all.

While looking at today’s pics of the Carnival Dream, it dawned on me that the swimming pool will probably be as un-handicapped friendly as all of Carnival’s pools are.

Since I can only speak for myself, I would love to see graduated steps with a metal banister leading into the pool than just ladders straight down into the water. I cannot go into the pool because I cannot use those ladders especially to pull myself out. Could you make this suggestion to the powers that be? I’m sure it’s too late for the Carnival Dream but maybe not for future ships!
Thanks, as always, for all of the wonderful things you do for us cruisers!!

John Says:
Hello Sheryl
Thanks so much for the interesting thought on Heather Mills. It seems that she really is not well liked and I guess that when it comes to her not liking all the jokes about her money grabbing attitudes…..she doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

You know, it’s a strange world. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read your comment about the pools not being handicapped unfriendly………here is why.

Guest: Mr. ———Ref: 840009082A
Cabin: Booking#: _______ Added-Changed: 07/278/09 – 07/28/09

Gst came to comment that she was in a wheel chair and that the swimming pool was not built to have her able to get in. Guest said that she had been on another cruise line that had a wheel chair lift into the pool.

Now, this was made just yesterday and it seems that it is certainly an area that we should look into. I remember being on one of the corporation ships recently where they did have a lift down into the pool…..I want to say it’s Cunard or maybe P&O …….but I will have to check.

Regardless it seems like something we should consider and I will make sure I pass on your comments and suggest that we look at making some changes if we can. Until then let me thank you for bringing this to my attention and as I apologized to the guest today who made the above comment I apologize to you as well.
My best wishes to you and the family.

Jilly Asked:
Hi John (Please reply)
We are booked on the Dream for the Oct 15th sailing. We cannot wait. We booked a Cove Balcony cabin. I am somewhat concerned that these cabins are below the galley– Mostly that we will be awakened early in the morning with “kitchen sounds”. LOL Can you tell me what is directly above cabin 2414 and if we should expect noise?
Thank you so much.

John Says:
Hello Jilly
Just in case you missed my reply on yesterday’s blog….here it is again.

I spoke to Boris and he has advised that you should not hear any noise from the galley space directly above you. The soundproofing is excellent on your Carnival Dream plus you are far enough aft not to be directly under the center of galley operations. I have seen the cove balconies for myself and I have experienced the stunning views they provide and I promise you that this choice of cabin is an excellent one. If you have any other questions I will be here and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
Best wishes

Frank & Bridie Asked:
John please reply,
We can’t wait to hear about the past guest pins……Ok I’m dying to know tell us!!!!!!!!! We just love the dream photos and would like to ask when will we start seeing some of the cabins?? Mainly the suites, nudge nudge? I know they might not be fully done yet but we are curious mainly on the 11 how the new double pull out works? We are going on the basis of the normal 11 on the rest of the fleet.
Thanks as always,
Big Fans as Always Also,
Frank and Bridie

John Says:
Hello Frank and Bridie
I am glad you are enjoying the photos of your Carnival Dream and there are more coming in a moment. I would imagine that I would be able to post photos of the completed staterooms in late August so stand by for that. It will be much more beneficial for all if I photograph them completed rather that while still in the building process. I will make sure I include photos of all the categories including the suites and the pull-out beds.
I hope to see you soon and please keep reading the blog thingy.
Best wishes

White Family Asked:
This is my third letter to you and I am hoping for a reply this time! I know you are a busy man but a short reply would be appreciated. As I said in my last letter-myself, my husband and my daughters, ages 21 and 18 just got home from our first cruise on Carnival Freedom July 12th. It was AWESOME! We all agreed it wouldn’t have been nearly as GREAT without you! We will be cruising again next year and hope to find a cruise that you will be CD on? The shows that you were a part of as well as Happy Cole were WONDERFUL! The guests you had on stage for the Bedtime story were priceless-we laughed till we cried!

Our only regret is that we did not get a Bedtime Story DVD–Is there any way you can use your “godly” powers and allow us to buy one? You did state on your morning show that you were “GOD” on the ship? We didn’t miss a show and found ourselves watching them several times!

Also we were a little curious as to what happened to the couple who never made it back to the ship–you promised you would put it in your blog? I must admit I am hooked on this bloggy thing–I get up every day to read your new story! YOU ARE THE BEST! I hope that you will help us with the DVD and respond to my letter! Thanks again for the BEST vacation!

John Says:
Hello Mr. or Mrs. White
I hope you saw my reply in yesterday’s blog but just in case you didn’t I will post it again in a moment. I am sorry that my replies are not as instant as they maybe should be but answering 70 or more questions every week and being a cruise director means that there is often a delay from the questions being posted to them being answered by me.

Anyway……here is the answer from yesterday.

Hello White Family
Just before I continue can you please send me some details on the concern you had when you arrived in the cabin. I won’t post it but will reply privately and the information you provide will be really helpful.
I am tickled pink that you and the family had such a wonderful time and that you enjoyed my silly antics. I have taken the liberty of sending these comments to the maitre d who will show Widana and Kadek who much you enjoyed their service. Unfortunately there is some bad news. We don’t keep any copies of the bedtime story for more than a few days after the cruise has finished. They were for sale the last two days of the cruise but are no longer available…….I am so sorry.

I hope you have some memories of that silly show and they will keep you going until we see you on your Carnival Dream.

Once again thanks so much for the words of praise, they mean so much.
Best wishes to you and the family

There you go. I will hope to hear from you soon and regardless of how long it takes me to reply I will always do my best to help you. I hope we get to sail with each other very soon.
Best wishes

Debbie Asked:
Our group booking # is: ****** Faye G.
I am going on my 10th Carnival Cruise departing out of Vancouver August 19th on the Spirit. I am very concerned about the way my group has been treated and Carnival not working with us, therefore, hope you can do something to help.

We got booked at a group rate and in the past week we lost 2 CABINS. (due to family emergency)
I have friends that originally booked 3 cabins on this same Cruise through Carnival directly AND NOT IN OUR GROUP.

When we called and asked for their 3 rooms to be added to our group to give us our group discounts/rate back since we lost the 2 cabins, we were told NO. THERE IS NO COST TO CARNIVAL TO PUT THEM ON OUR BOOKING SO WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL. I would hope that Carnival isn’t that GREEDY…. There are several PEOPLE in our party that have cruised over 10 times on Carnival AND hope that Carnival will work with us. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Looking forward to our Cruise…

Debbie Kuchta booking # ******
Is there a way that I can get in contact with Chris the cruise director on this ship? Thanks again Deb

John Says:
Hello Debbie
I am glad you took the time to write to me as I can clearly see that you are upset. I won’t pretend to understand the complexities of our group booking system but I do understand that we need to try our best to assist you.

Please therefore allow me a few days to send this posting to one of our vice presidents and let’s see what they can do. If you have not heard from anyone within seven working days please let me know. As for Chris, the cruise director………well please send me your wishes and I will make sure he gets them as I am not permitted to post individual crew members e mail addresses here on the blog thingy……….I am sure you understand.
I remain at your service
Best wishes

Faye G. Asked:
Hi John – Please respond!
I realized I forgot to paste the cruise critic posting so here it is again:

Hi Cruisers, unfortunately, our group is losing two cabins. This presents a few problems; the biggest is that I lose the berth credit I gave to my daughter and son-in-law as part of their 10th Anniversary present. A group must have 8 cabins, min 16 guests SAILING to get the berth credit. With the cancellation of 2 cabins and 4 guests, we fall below Carnival’s minimums. As of the cancellations, we will have 7 cabins and 16 guests.

We had several wonderful people from this board volunteer to transfer their individual bookings to our group BUT CARNIVAL WON’T ALLOW IT. I have pleaded, begged, and so on to no avail. They want to charge a 50% penalty and then rebook them at current rates – ridiculous. Customer loyalty means nothing to them. Many in the group have cruised Carnival over 10 times – means nothing to Carnival – they are offering NO HELP to us in any way. We are frustrated, upset, and angry with Carnival’s greed. They are getting 50% penalty from each cabin which equals 100% which should count as our 8th cabin and then they are reselling the two cabins at the higher rate and collecting even more money, but won’t let us transfer in people who have already paid in full – makes no sense at all to any of us.

My only option is to try and get someone new to join this cruise and it is really too late – so we are “screwed” by the very cruise ship company we have been loyal to and that I talked 20 other people into going with me – so sad.

John, not sure if you can head bang these people and let them see the light and move at least one of these volunteers into our group and make everyone happy.

Again, the group booking # is: ****** Sailing Alaska Northbound Carnival Spirit Aug 19.
Thanks for anything you can do!
Faye G.

John Says:
Hello Faye
I have a feeling that you are part of the same situation that I just replied to Debbie about and as I said to her ….I can see how upset you are and as I promised Debbie ….I will do all I can to help. Please bear with me and let’s see what we can do.

Best wishes to all your group and I promise you will all have a great time.

Cruzn Buckeye Asked:
Hi John! Please reply…
Well, you have less than a month now before you head home to see your two ladies! I am very happy for you. I know the time must be dragging for you…

I have been watching closely the reviews on the farewell party and captain’s party on the Valor. And opinions. I have to agree with some about the farewell party. While there are complimentary drinks offered, there may be many not attending simply because it is the last day, people are packing, and trying to get those last minute things done before heading home from their home for the week. My personal opinion is maybe to offer the discounted drinks at the farewell party and keep the complimentary ones at the Captains party. I always enjoy going to the Captains party to see who will be taking care of us for the week. Maybe you should do a poll since it is still in the trial stages before it goes fleet wide. Ask people to respond to if they want the complimentary drinks at the beginning at the Captains party or at the end of the cruise before they leave? Just a thought.

Okay, I have to comment about the religious thing. We no longer have prayer in school. Some schools no longer say the pledge of allegiance because we are “one nation, under God.” I think we need to sit back and remember the values that our country was built upon. What happened to freedom of religion? Anyone can worship how they want , but yet they take away prayer from schools? And then there are some employees that have to let Muslims take extra prayer breaks. That is not freedom of religion. So, please keep the songs such as Jesus Christ Superstar in the shows!

I may have told you this already, sorry if it is a repeat. During the tragedy of 9/11 I was onboard a Carnival ship. One of the biggest memories that I have out of my 20 Carnival cruises was during that voyage. We were all feeling the sadness yet trying to continue our cruise. At dinner, the night of the attack, the dining room was full.

Our mait’re d
Started talking to us about the day. He said that there were 47 different countries represented by the employees on the ship “but tonight, we are all Americans”. At that time, the wait staff stood proudly and sang “God Bless America”. It was one of the most touching memories that I have. Everyone in the dining room stood and sang along.
Voices cracked, tears flowed. It also reminded me how I hadn’t heard the wait staff sing this for our past few cruises at the time. They had discontinued it. I do think they should also start doing that again. But then, that is only my opinion. I wonder how many others feel this way.
Thanks for all you do, Hope Heidi and Kye are doing well, I love her pics that you are posting and guess what, she is beautiful and I think I do see you when I look at her pics!
thanks also for our Carnival Dream pics, can’t wait to be onboard!

John Says:
Hello Edy
It was very interesting reading your summary of the comments made my people who have cruised recently on the Carnival Valor and what they thought about the switch over of the complimentary drinks from the first elegant night to the last afternoon of the cruise.

Comments from the ship seem to be good although it is never going to be something that everyone likes. The trial finishes soon and we will then have a look and see if we keep this going and move it across the fleet…….or not.
Certainly this decision will be made only after reading comments from people like you so as always I encourage you all to give us yours here on the blog thingy.
I have to be careful when it comes to talking about God here on the blog. I am a believer…..and I, like you, am horrified about the politically correct bearded idiots that run the world. Recently, a British Airways check in employee was banned from wearing a cross in case it upset non- Christian passengers. It wasn’t a huge cross……just a dainty little thing that belonged to her grandmother…….but she was told to take it off …….or be fired………..what a load of bollocks.

However…..I am a dinosaur…..I know many do not think like me and that’s why when we put religious numbers in our shows I know that I am going to get complaints………and for no other reason that not having them there would make my life as a cruise director that much easier…… why I mentioned it in the blog.

We did indeed stop singing God Bless America in the dining rooms and for no other reason that it is very rare that the whole dining room will contain only American guests……and so it was replaced. However, we do sing it on the 4th of July and let’s hope that we never ever have to sing it again under the circumstances you described above.

Thanks as always for the great posting and for the very kind words for Kye and Heidi.
My best wishes to you and the family

Simon F. Asked
John, Need You to Reply
I have started to read your blog these past few weeks. I have never cruised with Carnival Cruise Lines before and probably never will. I am proud to have cruised 11 times with Royal Caribbean and I am shocked that your company allows you to make fun of them as much as you do in your writing. It is unprofessional and as a Royal Caribbean cruiser it offends me.

John Says:
Hello Simon
Let’s start with the most important part of my reply……..the apology. I never like to read that anything I have said here in the blog offends anyone and I am sorry that I obviously did offend you.

I would like to point out that this is not one way traffic and that I have heard many reports of cruise……hold on……you know what Simon……..I am not going to get into the we said, they said thing. Let me just apologize again and say that everything I say here in the blog is done in jest and that being honest………I am not going to stop.

I hope you continue to enjoy your cruises and thank you for supporting the best vacation industry in the world.
Best wishes

Cruisenbabe Asked:
John, Please reply
Dear John,
Thank you for the effort you put into this blog thingy! I am a cruise addict. When my husband and I were married 4 short years ago, we made a vow to one another that every year we will have a romantic getaway on a cruise ship. Our honeymoon was my second and his first. We used Princess for that trip because my prior cruise with grandparents had been on princess. (Wow, this Christmas marks my 10 year anniversary since my first cruise) Since then we used another line because it was cheap. And then last year found ourselves on 2 Carnival cruises and have another planned for this Christmas.

About that…if we were to count my Princess and Carnival cruises then this would make my 5th cruise. Last year I was told Princess counted in the past guest numbers, but when aboard the ship I was treated as if it was my first cruise. 2 months later my parents cruised Carnival for the first time and were treated as past guests because of their previous Princess cruises. Could you please clarify this for me. Will Christmas count as my 3 or my 5th cruise basing it on my previous sailings of 2 with Princess and 2 with Carnival in 08 and the upcoming Carnival cruise for Christmas?

John Says:
Hello Crusinbabe
I am so glad you are enjoying the blog and thanks for admitting that you are a cruise addict ……… the only known cure is to keep cruising but hopefully this blog thingy will keep you happy until the next time you walk up the gangway.

It is great to hear that you have come home to Carnival and all of us here are honored that you have.

Unfortunately although Princess and Carnival are part of the same family their loyalty programs are individual ones. This means that you cannot use your Princess cruises as part of the Carnival loyalty program and vice versa.

I know that’s not what you wanted to hear but tell you what……if you send me a reminder a week or so before you sail this Christmas I will make sure I send a little gift to make your Christmas cruise your best ever.
Thanks for writing and my best wishes to you and the family.

Millie S. Asked:
Hi John
First of all thank you getting back to me so quickly with all my questions. I really do appreciate it. My next question is about embarkation day. We are traveling on the Carnival Spirit on September 16-Vancouver B.C. to Hawaii. We are wondering if it is possible to leave the ship once we go through the process of embarkation.

John Says:
Hello Millie
I asked Chris “Bubba” Roberts, the CD of the Carnival Spirit, about this and he said: “Yes, they can go back out, however they will have to process through U.S. immigration when they come back in through the terminal.”

If you need anything else Millie please let me know
Bet wishes

Rachel Asked:
*john please reply*
Hi John,
I actually have a question for you regarding a behind the scenes tour I read about, but first I wanted to let you know how much love your blog!! I read it every day while I should be working! I will be sailing with you on the Freedom departing 08/15/09, so excited!!!

I read about the Behind the Fun tour, and I was wondering if it will be available on the Freedom by the time I set sail. The person I am traveling with has been bugging my about any type of backstage tour on a cruise for years, and this would be perfect. I can’t wait to see you, 23 days and counting!!
All my best to you, Heidi and Kye

John Says:
Hello Rachel
The Behind the Fun Tour will be in effect here on the Carnival Freedom in September so unfortunately it will not be available for your cruise here in August. However, I will be happy to allow you to see the backstage area and when you get onboard, please drop me a note at the guest services desk reminding me and I will call you to arrange this.

See you in very soon and best wishes to all

That’s all for today.

I see we have quite a few readers who have just joined us and I want to say a special hello to those who have cruised with me recently here on the Carnival Freedom. It was an honor to have you onboard and I truly hope you had a fun time.

May I remind you all that if you need a question answered or a comment discussed, please post it with the heading JOHN, PLEASE REPLY. This helps the 244 Stephanies sort the ones that need my immediate attention.

This cruise the Mixology contest was a big success with 50 plus guests wanting to participate. The eventual winner was Nick Izod who invented something he calls “The Caribbean Turtle.” ……………….here is his recipe.

Vodka/Peach Schnapps/Dash of melon liqueur/dash of Blue Curacao/pineapple juice /float sprite on the top.
Served on the rocks

OK, let’s move on and pop over to see our friend Vance who has some news of a special designation earned by one of our shoreside employees………..Vance……….what can you tell us?

Carnival BDM First Cruise Industry Employee Ever to Earn Advance Certification from CLIA

That’s great and we all send her our best congratulations.

Just before we look at some letters from this cruise, there is one more I would like to show you from this last voyage. If you will remember we had torrential rain and thunderstorms in Nassau which resulted in all the sea based excursions being canceled and all those that involved the Aqua park, beach and Dolphin swims at the Atlantis Hotel…… with that in mind have a read of this letter.

Angry Letter

Well, I spoke to Mr. Benton as did the shore excursion manager but there was nothing we could do. Whereas the guests who booked a similar excursion through the vessel received a 100% refund the guests who booked through an independent operator did not. Now it may feel like I am saying “Ha, ha , ha …..that will teach you not to book an excursion independently”…..I really am not saying that at all. I am saying though to all of you, please read the small print and check if refunds apply due to weather, cancellations or other unforeseen circumstances. And, it would be prudent though for me to say that in situations like this and you had booked the excursion through the ship……you always will have peace of mind that we will look after you and your money. I have seen this so many times, not just in Nassau but all across the Caribbean and even in Europe.

What is a real shame is that Mr. Benton and family paid $183 for a Dolphin Swim and lunch and received only a $30 refund……so I asked our Shore Excursion Manager to see what the price difference was………here is her reply.

Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:53 PM
Subject: Atlantis prices

Dolphin Cay Deep Swim – 199.95 USD

The tour was fully refunded last cruise due to weather.

Magda Pawlowska
Carnival Cruise Lines | Shore Excursion Manager|

So, there you go. I wish there had been something I could have done for the family and they are left to fight this on their own while everyone else got a full refund.

The difference was $17 … the comfort of booking through the ship in this case ……..was to coin a phrase………priceless.

Here are a few of the letters from yesterday’s morning show.

Letters 1

Letters 2

Letters 3

Letters 4

Letters 5

Letters 6

As you will see, there are quite a few guests who have just returned from active service and we will be paying tribute to them tonight at the talent show as we say “welcome home.”

Time for some photos……..let’s start with a fantastic shot of the incomparable Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam…….and behind is the Holland America’s Rotterdam V…….the size difference is quite stunning. Here is the link thingy:

Also have a look at the great report of the Prisendam in the land of the rising sun and a lumberjack battle between the crew of the Golden Princess and HAL’s Amsterdam.

I must congratulate Holland America who now have blog reports being written from all their vessels which is very impressive indeed. Here is the link to the home page.

Time now for you daily live look at the work in progress onboard your Carnival Dream.

Dream 1

Dream 2

Dream 3

Dream 4

Dream 5

Dream 6

Dream 7

Dream 8

Thanks again to Boris for taking the time to send me these and there will be more of course tomorrow…….have you booked your Carnival Dream yet?

It seems that the credit crunch has moved people in mysterious ways. Last night I fancied a cigar. I have not had too many … fact, thinking about it I have had only four in the last month. The reason for this……..I have no friends. ………..I am Billy No Mates.

Obviously I have lots of people I am friendly with……but I have none whom I have anything in common with or with whom I am going to want to sit down and talk about anything but work with. And if I do…..well……they seem to think I am some sort of …..I don’t know how to describe it…they seem sort of cautious around me as though I am some sort of important person …. I’m not……….I’m me……..just me.

Anyway……….even though I didn’t have anyone to go with, I grabbed a cigar and after the second show I minced on down to the cigar bar to listen to the Latin trio and enjoy my Monte Cristo which a lovely senjorita had rolled on her silky smooth thigh.

Well, obviously I was not alone for long and was joined by two cigar smoking, elegantly dressed guests….and after a few minutes conversation they told me they were on their first Carnival cruise….but……..they had been on Princess, Cunard and most recently Celebrity and Silversea ……….. and the reason they had chosen Carnival…………….value for money.

Like some people when there is a full moon……….the credit crunch is making us behave very strangely. No one’s buying posh cars or branded food.

I had a discussion with Heidi about this when I was home last. I had been comfortable paying $20 for a chicken from the local butcher while trying to ignore the fact that the local butcher was driving a Ferrari. And so it seems that many are waking up and seeing that the value Carnival is giving its customers is truly unbeatable and as I sat with Doctor Simon Wiseman and his friend and Johnson & Johnson Director Josh Abrahams and smoked our cigars………..I listened to both tell me how amazing the Carnival product was.

They had eaten that night in the steak house and had laughed so hard at the welcome aboard show. They loved their state room steward and apart from the fact that they thought the ship decor was a little “over the top” ….they both said that they were having a brilliant time and value for money……..this could not be beaten.

So, there I sat with two Rolex-wearing professionals who probably would never had considered Carnival as a vacation choice. But because like so many people they woke up one morning and realized they also wanted value for money……..they gave us a try…….and as they both said “we will be back”…………brilliant.

So, spread the word. Value for money is what all walks of life deserve these days……….. Whether its food, cars or Carnival cruises………..but not toilet paper. ….don’t get the supermarket value packs……..$2 for 12 rolls………they are great value……………..but only if you’re okay with chocolate fingers and a machine-sanded rectum.

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.