15!

August 4, 2009 -

John Heald

There is a lot of stigma associated with eating at the captain’s table and I can understand why. It is something I avoid as much as possible and if the truth be told……I would rather pump gas into the crack of my arse and set it on fire.

It would be different if you were at the table. By the word “you” I mean……. well …. you……and not some boring halitosis sufferer with the personality of a washing a machine. It doesn’t help also that while being brilliant navigators and masters of the ocean, some (not all) of our captain’s and chief engineers have the conversational abilities of a mime artist. This usually means that I spend two hours trying to entertain the table and never actually end up eating anything.

Last night was just such a case. Now, obviously I can’t say who was at the table but I can say that by the end of dinner I was seriously considering beating myself to death with the oversized pepper mill.

The chap on my left was in his early 40’s……..a travel agent……..and had been invited by one of our shore side sales VP’s. Now, I am sure he must have a brilliantly successful sales staff because if he had been the one selling then the only table he would have been seated at would be one at the Waffle House……..honestly……he didn’t say a word……I tried to engage him in conversation but he would only answer with “Yes”………”No” ……. and “Oh”………..by the time the Caesars salad arrived I had given up and by the time the dessert arrived I was checking to see if he was dead.

Seriously……..he was either being rude or he had less intelligence than the toilet I had in my hotel room when I went to visit my sister in Hong Kong. …….I miss that toilet…….the seat is warm when you sit down. When you have finished, a control panel offers “front cleaning” and two different levels of “rear cleaning.” After the probing jets of just-right water warm air blows you dry. When you stand up, it flushes. My arse has never been so clean……….anyway, I digress………….as usual……………….and whereas Mr. Nearleydead said bugger all another guest made up for that…….and then some.

On my right was Mrs. Botox…….a group leader…….and who as you can tell by the name I have given her was in her early 60’s but through various medical procedures looked only 59. And for some reason she had decided to have two canoes transplanted onto her lips….. she looked like a cross between Joan Rivers and a sink plunger.

However, even though her face was pulled tighter than a Scotsman’s wallet she still somehow managed to talk……and the questions she asked were the other reasons that I hate the captain’s table.

“What do you do?”………obviously she hadn’t seen the welcome aboard show

“And how long have you been doing this?”

“So what did you do before?”
“Are you married?”

“Do you have a big cabin…..I’m in a suite you know.”

“What do you do?”

“You are quite fat; I am not surprised with all this food…ha, ha, ha.”

“Oh, I can’t eat that………………. I’m a vegetarian.”

And of course there is the standard question which by law someone at the table has to ask and that person always……..always thinks they are the first person ever to ask it…….. and it goes like this “So Captain, if your here…………whose driving the boat?” …… someone please pass the pepper mill, I can’t take anymore.

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

Marsha Breen Asked:
John – Please reply if possible.
We recently booked the January 23rd sailing of the Carnival Dream since you stated in an earlier blog that you would be the CD during Todd’s vacation. Then recently you mentioned that you would be on the ship for that sailing but not as the CD. Am I correct on this? If so….bummer…. I’m just not having any luck “chasing” you down in order to sail on a ship where you are the CD. This will be the 3rd time we’ve booked a cruise and your plans end up changing or we end up missing you by one week (LOL!) If you are on the ship January 23rd but not as CD, is there any chance you will be hosting any of the shows (bedtime story??? hint…hint…) As many of the posters have stated above, Ruth and Al G. need to go lurk on the “wearesnotty…oftheseas” ship where they belong. I understand your making “accommodations” for them at a table for 2 so they won’t make other passengers miserable during dinner, but honestly John – this just encourages people like Ruth to whine, be rude and end up getting their way. You do not deserve to be treated like that!

John Says:
Hello Marsha, Marsha, Marsha……………..sorry
I will indeed be on the ship in what is called a handover cruise where Todd tells me what’s been happening and I can plan for the days ahead. This means I won’t actually be the CD for which I am sorry indeed. I will ask Todd if he will allow me to host the Talent Show which if he does…….I will present the Bedtime Story. I guess the good news is that at least we will be together for a brilliant cruise on your carnival Dream. Let’s meet in Ocean Plaza and enjoy a cup of tea.

Thanks for your words of support and the reason I did indeed get them a table for two was exactly as you said……..thanks for saying it…………because I guess I really couldn’t. Anyway, see you in January and it will be a brilliant cruise for sure.
Best wishes
John

BIG ED KONEFE Asked:
John Please Reply
Have you heard anything from Chef Kevin McVeigh yet about the possible bloggers dinner at the Piccolo Restaurant in Bellmore, New York? It would be nice for the bloggers to show our support now that it’s reopen after that major fire it had during our last bloggers cruise on the Carnival Fantasy.
BIG ED

John Says:
Hello Big Ed
I have not made any plans with Kevin yet mate but I know how much he will appreciate your words of support and if we can……..we should all go and enjoy an amazing Italian meal at his restaurant. I know the heartache he went through after the fire and I will try to arrange it so we can all enjoy some great food and conversation together………….with a big discount I hope.
Best wishes to you and Pat
John

Kathy Asked:
Hi John,
Please reply,
When I was on the Carnival Pride last October, I had dinner in the Supper Club, the only part I did not like about it was having that large naked guy in front of you while you are having dinner. I know that is a famous statue, but really in a restaurant. That is the only complaint that I had the food now that was a different story. The waitress that I had treated me like a Queen, she was always coming back to see if I was happy with my meal or if there was anything she could get me. The steak that I had is the best I have ever had and the Lobster tail, I didn’t think they grew that big, it seemed like it took up the whole plate, that is how big it was and the taste was unbelievable. When I go on the Splendor next January (I will only be canceling if you decide to do a cruise on the West Coast next year), I am definitely going to the Steakhouse at least one night for dinner. It is so well worth the extra $30.00 just for the service that you receive.

John Says:
Hello Kathy
When you said that you “had a large naked guy in front of you” I thought you were talking about me……..because there once was this time when I took off all my clothes and ran around the steak house wearing only a Porterhouse steak………as a hat.

I guess though you are referring to the art work that is part of the theme of the ship and I know that while many love it……..some raise their eyebrows in distain. The review you have written of the steak house (as we call it now) is one that was a joy to read. You managed to capture all the elements as to why they are a must visit for anyone who sails on a Conquest, Spirit or Splendor class ship.

I will be working on my 2010 schedule soon and there is a chance that we will be together.
My best to you and the family
John

Sharon Asked:
PLEASE REPLY:
Been reading the blog off and on for about a year, very funny!! Kye is very pretty!!!

4 different, but I think simple questions:

1) Why are there no Alaskan Cruises scheduled for 2011?

2) Is it possible to get a certain nationality waiter/room steward? We are sailing on the Fantasy Sept. 24 (3rd one on my favorite ship), and the Triumph in April of 2010, (yes we live near NOLA). My DD has been in a Spanish Immersion program for 3 years and I would like for her to use the language as much as possible. When we were on the Conquest in March of 2008 our room steward was from Mexico and our waitress, Rosanna, was from Peru. My DD charmed them both and they only spoke Spanish to her. Rosanna was the best, which leads me to my third.

3) It is possible to follow your favorite server? My whole family loved Rosanna and has not had the same service from any Carnival Server since. It has not been bad, but it has not been the same. We filled out our comment cards praising her. I would love to know if she is still with Carnival and what ship she is on.

4) Camp Carnival – Love it, DD loves it, but can’t they change it up a little. The 3 cruises she has been on (two different ships), have the same schedule, in different years.
Thank you for your informative answers!!
Sharon

John Says:
Hello Sharon
Thanks for the kind words for Kye and also the blog. I appreciate you reading my musings very much.

As to your questions, as far as I know Alaska is on our itineraries for 2011. It remains a very popular destination and bookings for 2010 I am told by our Senior Vice President of Important Stuff Mr. Terry Thornton are going quite well. We haven’t released details yet but I am sure we will soon and I of course will let you know.

I am afraid that positioning a stateroom steward according to their nationality is more difficult than you would imagine. Each has their own section and to move one out of the rotation would cause manning difficulties for sure. I promise that your DD (tried to work out what DD stands for is but haven’t a clue) will have plenty of chances to speak Spanish to our many Latin team members. It will be interesting for DD to listen to all the different dialects as well. If she ever needs help please let me know as my Spanish is perfect.

It is always possible for you to ask me where a specific crew member is. Now, Rosanna is on the Carnival Victory and I will make sure she sees your words of praise as do her supervisors. Thanks so much for taking the time to write them.

Can you tell me what you mean by “change up the Camp Carnival schedule”…….do you mean different activities and if so maybe you can tell me what you would like to see as we would welcome any and all constructive ideas.

Our Camp Carnival program is an excellent one and we are always looking to make it even better. Please let me know your thoughts.
Thanks Sharon and my best to you and DD
John

Larry Meador ASked:
John, please reply.
A few weeks ago you told me to let you know when we are cruising so that you can send something special to my son who will turn 10 on August 8, 2009 (his 5th cruise).

We sail on the northbound Spirit on August 5, 2009. Our room number is #****. Thank you so very much for taking the time to do this for him.

I look forward to the announcement for the pins and the spring blogger’s cruise. My vote is for for the Eastern Caribbean cruise out of Galveston or New Orleans.

By the way, it always amazes me how you can remain completely calm (at least in writing), when some inconsiderate boar thinks that you owe or carnival owe them something special as if they were the Queen of England. Your humour (spelt correctly) is as sharp as a knight’s sword. I love it and keep it up.

I for one appreciate all you do on behalf of Carnival, and it’s just one more reason why all 7 of my cruises have been on Carnival and why my next two cruises will be booked within the next month on Carnival…… (Why try the rest, when you already have the best????)

John Says:
Hello Larry
I am sure you are going to have a brilliant time and your Cruise Director Chris “Bubba” Roberts will indeed send your son something for his special birthday. I am so looking forward to talking more about the pins and it will be soon……….very soon.

I always do my best to be patient and kind as that what my Mum and Dad taught me ………….. but sometimes………….it isn’t easy.

Have a brilliant cruise and I look forward to reading your review.
Best wishes to you and the family
John

Jrmende63 (Julie Mendenhall) Asked:
John,
Please reply
I know you are doing the Bloggers cruise on the Carnival Dream this year, but the September 2010 date caught my eye. Randall and I are booked on two glorious weeks 9-18-10 and 9-25-10 on the Carnival Dream. Any chance you would do the Carnival Dream for the Bloggers cruise again? Or does it have to be a different ship? I would love to sail with you. It would make Randall’s 50th birthday and my obtaining platinum status that much more sweet!
Julie and Randall.

John Says:
Hello Julie and Randall
What a wonderful back to back cruise you have booked on your Carnival Dream. I am seriously looking at all the options for 2010 and September is looking favorite at the moment and certainly I am considering all the ships. How fantastic that you reach two milestones….a 50th birthday and Platinum status and this is certainly cause for much celebration.
My best wishes to you both
John

Amy Asked:
John (Please reply),
I love your blog! It’s an amazing behind the scenes look at your job, and you are so funny!

Quick question: We will be sailing on the Fantasy on 9/24 with my family (7 of us total) and I will celebrate my 29th birthday (9/25) on one of our sea days. Any suggestions on something good to do for a group that includes a preschooler?
Have a great day!
Amy

John Says:
Hello Amy
Thanks so much for the kind words and I hope the blog continues to give you some fun and good information. The sea days are jam packed full of activities so you won’t be bored. On the birthday itself why not order a cake through our bon voyage department on carnival.com and have it delivered at dinner. And if you can remember to remind me I will be honored to send a birthday gift to you. Don’t miss the shows or any of the fun events and have a brilliant time together.
Best wishes to all
John

Dave Butler Asked:
Hi John
Glad to hear you are feeling better. I hope Heidi and Kye are doing well also.

Please reply
Just a quick question. How come the Steak house doesn’t offer Carnivals wonderful Warm Chocolate Melting Cake as one of their deserts? I was able to convince them to get me one from the main dining room last year on the Carnival Freedom TA. That cake is so delicious I just can’t believe it isn’t on the menu.
Thanks and have a wonderful Carnival Day!

John Says:
Hello Dave
It would be hard to include something that is free in a $30 menu in the steakhouse however I understand your passion about this iconic item. The signature desserts are incredible at the steakhouse and to a diabetic they are torture…….pure torture. Have you tried the four chocolate dessert thingy up there……everyone tells me it’s incredible.

Thanks for the kind words and dream of that CMC tonight.
Best wishes
John

The Ferdinand’s Asked:09
John
I will be sailing with my wife on the Valor on August 23rd. It is our anniversary and we read that we should write to you for our free gift and champagne.
We are in cabin ****
Brian and Magda Ferdinand

John Says:
Hello Brian and Magda
I have taken note of your anniversary cruise and will be happy to send you a gift as requested.
Have a great cruise
best wishes
John

Julia Levy Asked:
Please can you send a free gift to our son who will be 18 on our cruise on the Triumph on August 29th? Name of Max Levy.
Thank you
Julia – Max’s Mother

John Says:
Hello Julia
Of course. I would be happy to send a gift to Max on this special celebration. I will ask the CD to look up his cabin number and send it to him.
Have a great cruise
Best wishes
John

Melissa Brown Asked:
Dear John,
Please Reply
I know you are not mentioning Ruth on this blog anymore, but reading her nasty comments made me want to write to let you know how appreciated you are and to thank you for your help in getting us a table by a window.

I don’t know if you remember me asking, but my husband and I sailed on the Legend June 7th and I wrote you asking if we could be seated near a window. We had a wonderful seat and asking you to do this was a blessing as we have some of the best tablemates. We even dined with them in the steakhouse; we enjoyed their company so much. I have to say that the steakhouse on the Legend was an amazing experience. The food and service was amazing and we were beyond stuffed. So kudos to the steakhouse on Legend.

However, I was a bit disappointed in the service that we received in dining room. While I did grow to like our waiter it was certainly not the same experience as our first Carnival cruise on the Glory in 2005. On that cruise our waiter knew what we would like off the menu we only had to ask for something once and he remembered it for the rest of the cruise. We had our drinks waiting for us when we sat down, it was just amazing. He was just very attentive to our needs.

However, this time I didn’t even get a chance to order a drink until half way through dinner the first few nights. The second night our waiter was nowhere to be seen for the first 20 minutes and we were literally the last people to walk out of the dining room 15 minutes before the late seating started. We would often have to ask for things like a-1 or sour cream twice before we would get it. He did start to improve the next day, but I was just disappointed at such a major difference in the level of service. Now please don’t think this made me think any less of Carnival as we have already booked a Cruise on the Dream in June 2010. I even talked my parents into going (they have been Celebrity snobs the past few years). I just was surprised at the huge difference in service and thought it would something you would be interested in know about.

I must also add that Kye is just so adorable and has grown so much. I know you must miss her so much!
Melissa

John Says:
Hello Melissa
Thanks for taking the time to say “thank you.” I have arranged many different things for people on the blog thingy and don’t always get to hear if they enjoyed what I did so thanks again.

I was very interested in your comments on the service in the dining room and quite disappointed as well although it seems your waiter on your first Carnival Glory cruise set a very high standard and that’s a standard we expect from all the staff. I have taken the time to send this to the hotel director on the ship and the maitre d and I know they will want to thank you for taking the time to let us know. As I have mentioned many times here, constructive comments from our loyal guests are invaluable and this blog is a channel for us to learn more about our shortcomings.

Your Carnival Dream cruise will be very special indeed and I will promise that the service will be exactly as you would expect it.
Best wishes to all and my apologies for the disappointing service.
John

Matt A Asked:
John- (Please reply)
I don’t know how you do it…..Your energy and passion for what you do truly shows. I’ve read your blog from time to time, but I’ve been a daily reader of your blog thingy since my wife, daughter and I sailed with you on July 4th. Your humour (spelt correctly) ;O) had us all laughing for 8 straight days. We were all sad to see the voyage end.
On to my point….I realize people cruise to get away from life’s stresses and re-charge the batteries, but that doesn’t mean people need to stop being kind to others. My family and I met some terrific people on the voyage, but we also met some people that belonged on a raft rather than a nice ship. It bothers me that people treat you and other crew members as ’servants.’

We were impressed with the ’service-with-a-smile’ attitude that we received from every crew member. Everyone went out of their way to make sure that our annual cruise was one we’ll remember for years to come. We had such a great time that we are trying to get our extended families to join us next year.

John, I know that some of your rewards come in the forms of applause and laughter. On a personal note, your energy and passion have inspired me to work tirelessly. I picture you literally working around the clock. If I had your job, there would be less people returning to port at the end of the voyage than started out.

Thank you for your passion and sharing your stories on your blog thingy. I’m looking forward to many more cruises with Carnival.

Best wishes to you and your family…
Matt A.
P.S. If you get a moment, please tell our room steward, Rodney, that Matt, Sheri and Caitlynne say hello. We were in Cabin #****, and Rodney did a fantastic job.

John Says:
Hello Matt
What wonderful rejuvenating words you have written in your posting and I am so very honoured (spelt correctly) that you took the time to write them. I am also very thankful that you mentioned the crew whose smiles and friendly service are still the most important aspect of what makes a cruise……a brilliant Carnival Fun Ship cruise. I sent your kind regards and thanks to Rodney, Matt, Sheri and Caitlynee and they were thrilled as well that you wrote about them. Its little things like seeing their name in print that makes such a difference………..thanks again mate.
I hope to see you again and until then my best wishes to you and the family
John

James Gundy Asked:
John- Please reply
There is a thread on the Cruise critic site that is suggesting that Carnival Cruise Lines is lining you up to be president one day. Is this true? There are many who say that it is and that you would make the perfect President but some who are saying the story is a work of pure fiction
What do you say
James

John Says:
Hello James
I have to say I had a good giggle at this, in fact I laughed just as much as the thread thingy recently that said Carnival was about to buy Royal Caribbean……and their 20 plus ……..never used……….climbing walls.

I am sorry to say that this ……..along with the John for President thread is nonsense. While I would not say no and would be honoured to lead from the “big chair” I think there is more chance of Angelina Jolie calling me round to her house for a spot of rumpy pumpy and a pizza than me being asked to be Carnival’s president.

Thanks though for taking the time to write and ask and maybe you would be so kind as to add my thoughts to the thread thingy.
Best wishes
John AKA POCCL

Karen Asked:
John – please reply
Love to you and your family.
As a Platinum cruiser I have just comment regarding the perks that come with it. I think having the priority of boarding and deboarding are all I need. All the rest are fine but if only the line waiting time is involved I am still happy. All the other perks just get paid for in the cost of my cruise. Someone has to pay for the gifts etc. Sometime it is my time that is expensive and I appreciate the less waiting and hassle.

Thanks for all you do with the blog and for us cruisers. Can’t wait to cruise with you sometime. Hope to do the Dream next summer.
Love to all, Karen

John Says:
Hello Karen
I know many who have reached Platinum status enjoy the early embarkation and debarkation very much although the gift and the laundry benefits are nice as well. You can expect more news on our rewards program soon as we continue to make sure that our program remains the best in the industry. Thanks so much for the kind words Karen and I to hope we get to meet soon.
Best wishes
John

Amy Asked:
Dear John (please reply),
My family and I will be cruising on the Carnival Dream to the Bahamas and I have been reviewing the shore excursions in preparation. I have a couple questions about the Atlantis excursion in Nassau that I’m hoping you can answer.

I noticed there are a few options with Atlantis. First and most expensive is the plan where you can go to the beach and the water park. While that sounds great, two of my children will be less than 48 inches and I understand that you must be at least this height to ride the waterslides. So I’m thinking that this might not be the best option for us. I see another Atlantis excursion where you can use the beach and have lunch. Finally, separate from Atlantis, there is a beach excursion (I think it’s called Blackbeard’s Cove). I notice that the Blackbeard’s Cove outing is much less expensive than the Atlantis beach outing. Although lunch is included at Atlantis, I was wondering if there were other reasons to pay more for the Atlantis beach trip. I know you can’t use the water park but are there pools available or is there something else to do that would make it worthwhile to spend the extra money for Atlantis rather than going to Blackbeard’s Cove?

One more quick question – is Camp Carnival open on port days? I was thinking of having my husband take my older two the Kennedy Space Center in Port Canaveral and staying onboard with my three year old. It might be nice to grab some alone time by the pool if Camp Carnival is open that day.

Thanks so much for all your valuable information. It’s helped confirm to me that I’ve made a good decision for our family vacation!
Take care,
Amy

John Says:
Hello Amy
There is no doubt that the Atlantis Resort dominates the skyline and the excursion program in Nassau. Let me start by saying that the rules there are very strict. You cannot just turn up independently and pay to use the facilities unless you are a hotel guest. They are so strict that even on our organized ship excursions they forbid our guests to bring Carnival towels…………they have to use the hotel’s. I checked and your youngest one will not be able to use the Aqua Park and therefore I do suggest that you take one of the beach trips. Now, Atlantis Beach with lunch is exceptional and remember you have included the stunning aquarium and shark tank which is the best aquarium I have ever seen. However, if this does not interest you or the family then take the Blackbeard’s Cove tour which is excellent value for money and something everyone of your family can and will enjoy.

Camp Carnival is indeed open on port days so should you wish to leave your child but it is not open on homeport days……….although thinking about it maybe it can be. Tell you what, I wonder with the amount of back to back guests who will be sailing on your Carnival Dream if we can change this and have the Camp Carnival facilities open. Let me check on this and I will get back to you…….I take it you are doing back to back cruises as you mentioned Port Canaveral.

I promise that you and your family will have a brilliant time on your Carnival Dream and if you have any other questions please let me know. Back to you soon.
Best wishes to all
John

That’s all for today and as always a big thank you for all the comments. I do need to let you all know one thing though. I guess that recently my e-mail address was posted on Cruise Critic boards and thanks to Host Mach who told me that it has since been removed ………thanks mate.

However, I have started to get lots of e-mails requesting replies and gifts etc. I am not sure what was written on the boards but I am going to have to unfortunately say that if you would wish me to do anything for you or you need a reply to post that request here on the blog thingy.

I am afraid that time does not allow me to moderate questions via e-mail as well. I hope all the new people who have suddenly started e-mailing me understand.

I had a few of you asking for details on when the bookings will be open for the new and exciting Carnival Elation itinerary. I asked my friend and our Senior Vice President of ……ummmm……..Important Stuff………..when this would be ……here is his reply

John…Hope all is well. We are now expecting these cruises to open the week of August 17. Thanks Terry

And that’s great news for everyone who has been wanting to visit Cabo on a shorter cruise…………thanks Terry for the information.

Anyway, I survived the torture of the captain’s table and here I sit at 9 am in my underpants writing today’s blog. We are in Cozumel today and the sun is shining. I think I have become a troglodyte……..a cave dweller…..as I haven’t been off the ship since July 6 when I popped ashore in Grand Cayman to bollock the locals for not building a pier and to buy some cigars.

I should make the effort but what with the blog, the management of the department and the hundreds of weekly e-mails I just don’t have the time. And besides …………I have no friends so I don’t want to wander the streets of Mexico having the locals stare at me thinking there goes “Billyo No Mateso.”

However, the guests are having a great time so far although there have been one or two concerns as you will see in a minute. Oh, by the way, despite having a few problem children on last cruise the ship received its highest rating from the comment cards in long, long time ……..congratulations to the team here.

Now, let’s have a look what Boris has sent me…..ahh yes………as requested here are some photos of your Carnival Dream and her basketball court which as you will see is coming along nicely.

Dream 1

Dream 2

Dream 3

Dream 4

Dream 5

Dream 6

Anyway……………Let’s talk about 15 year olds.

First……………this letter.

Letter 1

Letter 2

Is it me or are so many parents obsessed these days with their kids being overachievers? Do they now regard the word “average” (regarded as quite good, i.e. normal, in my day) as now equal to “shameful?” Maybe they truly do believe that the formula of right school/right hobbies/right university automatically equals wonderful, happy life…… does her daughter really want to be paraded on stage…….on her vacation ……… aged only 9?

Every time we perform the Carnival Legends show I think about poor old Britney Spears, shoved into the showbiz industry from a young age. Brittney was not allowed youthful hi-jinks. Her job was to peddle the clean-living, God-fearing, virginal ideal to the masses while, strangely, dancing provocatively in knee high socks and a skirt shorter than Vanilla Ice’s career. So she had her drugs and alcohol backlash years later when she was a mother …………………I guess normal is….well………..not normal anymore.

Anyway, I will not give this young lady time on stage but I will give her a backstage tour and one of the entertainment staff is working on three ultra difficult trivia quizzes. I am sure Jennifer has an amazing future ahead of her ………but right now………at the age of 15……..I feel really sorry for her.

Now………….time to speak Spanish ………..or not.
Guest: Ms ————Ref: 840907248A
Cabin: _____ Booking#: _____ Added-Changed: 08/03/09 – 08/03/09

NO SPANISH SPOKEN
Gst came to GSA to complain about the Cruise Director and Captain that the announcements were not in Spanish. Guest said that at the cocktail party the Captain had welcomed everyone in English but not in Spanish and the Cruise Directors jokes were not in Spanish. Guest said that there were hundreds of Spanish speaking people onboard and that the boat drill should also be done in Spanish as there are many from Miami and Carnival should realize this.

Note: Guest spoke to GSA in English.

And so because they mentioned the Captain I decided to call the guest and apologize. The guests are from Miami and speak perfect English although they say many of their friends and family who are sailing do not. I apologized for not speaking Spanish and explained that English was the chosen language for the cruise line and that the majority of guests on the ship were North American and therefore spoke English. I am sorry to say that this did not make them more understanding even though I promised that the captain would repeat his noon message from the bridge in Spanish as well.

Please don’t think I am making fun or criticizing them. I know its frustrating listening to a language that you don’t understand. However, it was puzzling to talk to these guests about the fact that I don’t speak Spanish ……in English. As for the boat drill …… well ……. we get a list of non-US Citizens and if we have more than 50 who are say from Venezuela, we repeat the drill in Spanish plus flyers are sent to every cabin in every language so that regardless of where they are from, each guests knows what to do in real emergency.

The problem here is that the “hundreds of Spanish speaking guests” they referred to are listed as North Americans…..I guess we need to check more carefully.
I will tell you one other thing as well……..I have the utmost respect for the Costa cruise directors who repeat every announcement, joke and in three or four announcements. I have problems telling a joke in English ……that makes them pretty amazing don’t you think?

Talking of the Miami guests I was asked, along with the captain and hotel director to attend a small gathering of quinceneras which is as I mentioned recently where the young ladies of Cuban heritage celebrate becoming 15. The tradition of family at these events is extraordinary and the money the families spend on dresses and gifts is stunning. I think it’s a wonderful way for the family bond to be celebrated and I was proud to be there with them.
Here are a few photos.

Quincenera Pic 1

Quincenera Pic 2

Quincenera Pic 3

Luckily the captain did his toast in Spanish. I have been, since the welcome aboard show, been calling myself …….Julio. I do this sometimes if I have a man with a romantic name whom I have chosen to come on stage with me. This week I had a chap called Mario Del Fuego……..Mario of the Fire as he told me and the guests……….and so not wanting to be called John of the toilet…………..I changed my name for the rest of the cruise to Julio.

This helped me a little with the group and during my toast I said that as Julio I was proud to be here with them.
I spoke about family and tradition…. and even got a small laugh when I asked everyone to “puto upo youro glasseso foro theo beautifulo quesadillas.” ………. Now that’s perfect Spanish.

Buenos Nachos
Youro Amigo
Juan

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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