Questions, Questions, Questions

August 10, 2009 -

John Heald

If there is ever any doubt in your mind that about my dedication to this blog thingy is nothing but 100% then all I can say is “wish you were here.” It’s 5:30 am……let me say that again………it’s 5:30am ……….and having gone to bed at 12:30 am just 5 hours ago I sit here……in my underpants……….waiting for a delayed debarkation to start. I am here so early because I am so far behind in answering the comments marked for my reply and so the only way to catch up is to answer a triple load today……and so without further ado……….and after a quick fart……….OK, that’s better…..let us begin ……….here we go.

Gharkness Asked:
John (please reply),
Oh, how entertaining your blog is! I read lots of blogs, but I’ll have to admit, yours is the first one I look for every day! Thanks so much for the service (and entertainment) you provide.

Now for my question: some of us over at CC, planning for the September 13 cruise on the Conquest, “hear” that there may be a 90-day customs inspection before this cruise. We are wondering 1) is this a “customs” thing or a “Carnival” thing? 2) Is there any way to know whether this is actually going to happen and 3) how long will this delay boarding, if any? Now I am one of those people who believe that any day on a cruise is better than a day at work, but if I were to know that the boarding routine were to be delayed and by how much, I could plan accordingly, and I am sure my friends over at CC would appreciate the same information.

Can you help us out with that (I know you probably can’t tell us WHETHER it will happen, but give us some idea of what to expect if it does….)?
Thanks so much! 🙂

John Says:
Hello Gharkness
Thanks so much for the wonder compliment and I will continue to try and keep writing blogs that both serve and entertain. The only 90-day check is one for crew only and is something that every ship within the industry has to go through. Each crew member’s immigration status is checked and their passports examined. We just completed one here on the Carnival Freedom and in no way does it affect the debarkation or embarkation process of the guests. I checked with the Carnival Conquest and there is no crew check scheduled for the September 13 cruise. Hope this helps and I wish you and your fellow Cruise Critic members a brilliant time.
Best wishes
John

Texaskit Asked:
Dear John (please reply)
DH and I were on the northbound Carnival Spirit June 24th sailing. Gotta say….. We LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!! From the ship itself, to the food, the entertainment, food, excursions, food, room steward, food, and did I mention, food. We took your advice and ate at the Supper Club (now Steakhouse) one night. OMG, it was everything you described and more. Can’t wait for the next cruise to go back. Chris “Bubba” was outstanding. Especially enjoyed the Blues Brothers tribute. Marc can really shake his “asset” (if you know what I mean). We booked all our excursions online thru Carnival and didn’t have any problems at all. Small issue with the luggage tags for debarkation, but was quickly taken care of by Guest Services. Rained on us practically every day but, after all it is Alaska and it was expected. Did we let it ruin our fun? No way!! Still couldn’t quite bring myself to do the tender to the port. (Not a fan of trying to go from a moving object going one way to a moving object going the other way).

Bottom line…it was a great vacation and we are already looking to book the next one!!

Almost forgot…I have a design for a Blogger’s Cruise T-Shirt, but need a way to send it to you. Think one of the Stephanie’s can help me out? Appreciate it.
Hugs to you, Heidi and Kye

PS If anyone has a picture of the dude in the bright orange and yellow “pimp” suit from the 2nd Elegant night of the 24 June Carnival Spirit Northbound cruise, please let me know. No one believes us when we tell them about the outfit. =)

John Says:
Hello krj111
What a fantastic review of your Carnival Spirit Alaskan adventure and I want to thank you for taking the time to write it. I have just sent your comments to the ship and to the Miami management and I know all of them will be thrilled to read your words of praise. I am sorry the weather didn’t behave but it seems it did nothing to damper your fun. I am so glad you tried the steakhouse and it lived up to all I had said about it.

Stephanie will post the address so you can send your T-shirt ideas to me and I can’t wait to see them.
Thank you again and my best wishes to you both.
John

The address to submit your idea is socialnetworking@carnival.com

William White Asked:
Dear John, Please Respond.
We recently cruised out of Baltimore on the Carnival Pride (May 09). My wife and I were joined by my parents and my Aunt/Uncle/Cousin. We had a blast (as always). The casino host, Mr. Carlos Lopez, went out of his way to make the cruise even more enjoyable. The personal attention he gave to my mother was amazing and very appreciated. Please pass this along to his superiors as he deserved whatever commendation he can get.

My mother is scheduled to cruise on the Pride again departing Baltimore on 15 Nov 09. She would like to bring a gift to Carlos if he will still be the host. Could you please check on this? I know you are busy and I understand if you cannot.

We all will be sailing next May as well on the Carnival Legend, this time bringing my oldest son and my brother in law. We are looking forward to it as always.

Thanks so much for this blog thingy. I have only recently found it and I am hooked. You are providing a wonderful start to my day without even charging. Not that I want to give you ideas.
Thanks for everything you do.
Bill

John Says:
Hello Bill
Another glowing review and one that is no winging its way to the hotel director on the Carnival Pride and will soon be shared with the fantastic Mr. Carlo Lopez.

Carlo will still be there when your mother cruises again in November and how truly thoughtful that you should want to bring him a gift. It is so brilliant to read that one crew member can make such a difference and thank you again for telling us about him. I hope the blog thingy gives you many more great starts to the morning and I promise it will remain complimentary.
My best to you and the family
John

Diane Asked:
John, please reply for obvious reasons…
On the inaugural sailing of the Carnival Dream, there will be three members of the Colorado Springs reservation center on board. I believe I am the only one who has been lucky enough to have had you as Cruise Director. Although you will not be sailing with us, perhaps you could come by room 6492 on embarkation day to meet some of the folks who help to fill our ships. I am sure you will be anxious to see Heidi and Kye (by the way I just met a charming young lady from Hawaii with the same name) but if possible, please stop in for a short visit.
Best regards,
Diane Wrixon CCL service

John Says:
Hello Diane
It would be an honor to do this and may I kindly ask that you send me a reminder a few days before the cruise. Perhaps we can meet in the Ocean Plaza for a cup of coffee. Anyway, I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Best wishes
John

Jean Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY
I would like to know if you’re going to be the CD on Carnival Legend on 10/04/09 – 10/11/09. We have booked this cruise, first and foremost, because your cruise director schedule says it will be you as the CD, and secondly, because we want to cruise to Cozumel. We were on this cruise at the end of May this year but Cozumel was cancelled. We were excited to see you’d be coming to Tampa to be CD on the Legend. Please tell us your plans haven’t changed and we can count on you being there? We last sailed with you in the Med in September 2006 on Liberty and have looked forward to the opportunity again! Are these still your plans????

John Says:
Hello Jean
Yes indeed Jean, I will be the cruise director that cruise, actually it will be my first of only four I will get to do. I have not been on the Carnival Legend since 2002 so I am very excited to be going there again. Please make sure you drop me a note at the guest services desk so I can call you and say hello. Let’s hope you get to see Cozumel this time.
See you soon and best wishes to all
John

Kathy Asked:
Hi John,
Please Reply,
I know exactly what you went through with that rude lady about the weight problem. I used to weigh almost 425 lbs and decided I wanted to lose weight. I knew that I could not follow a diet per say, so I just started cutting my portions in half and I did this for about 3 months, then I cut those portions in half again, so now I am eating about 1/4th of what I was then and I have lost just over 200 lbs in 13 months. I still eat my meat; I still have goodies once in a while (as a treat not a reward). People used to be on my arse (I love that word) all the time about how my weight was going to kill me, how I was going to get diabetes, blah blah blah. I have come to realize that an overweight person will realize when it is time to lose that excess weight and they will lose it, but to be nagged by other people only makes a person want to eat more. After reading your whole story, all she was interested in was selling her books and items. She did not really care about you; she was only interested in what could go into her pocket book. I applaud you for keeping your cool, I don’t think I could have been so nice for so long, but I have come to realize that you, my friend have the patience of a Saint.

I want to say Congratulations on your weight loss and keep up the good work. I don’t know if you know this, but some diabetics that I have known, once they got their weight down they were able to quit the insulin and the pills, so maybe that can happen to you also.

I loved the picture of Kye; she is getting prettier and prettier every day. She is going to be excited to see her daddy, just like you are going to be excited to see her and Heidi as well.
Best Wishes from your boggy thingy fan,
Kathy

John Says:
Hello Kathy
Goodness me…..you have lost 200 pounds……….that is truly incredible. You must have incredible self determination to do this and I congratulate you. I am sorry to say the guest who offered her help was as you said doing so with obvious motives, namely selling her books, etc. The diet is going well and I hope that eventually I can stop the type 2 diabetes tablets. Thank you so much for the kind words of support and for being a true inspiration.
My best wishes for continuing great health and happiness.
John

Bruce Asked:
John – reply today please
I am sure some may not agree with them but I understand Ruth and Al’s anger that it takes a ridiculous amount of time for you to reply to questions which is why I e-mailed you directly with the address provided to me by Cruise Critic. Customer service is obviously not on carnival’s list of priorities and you could learn a lot from Celebrity in this regard.

I will be sailing on the Carnival Splendor on August 22nd. I also need you to reserve a table for 6 by the window for the three couples in cabin ****, **** and ****. This is our first Carnival cruise and you will have to go a long way to beat Celebrity.
Bruce Clayton

John Says:
Hello Bruce
I mentioned the other day that I wasn’t going to reply to the e-mails I am still receiving that have been sent to my e-mail address rather than posted on the blog thingy. I received 17 this week alone. However, I decided to post this one only because I love a challenge and ignoring the fact that that I am only one person who is trying to provide the best level of customer care I can lets concentrate on the fact that you think Celebrity are a better all round carrier than us….right.

I will assist you with your table request and all I ask in return is that you weigh up the value for money, the level of fun and service, the entertainment and then give me an honest opinion of who you think comes out on top. I wish you and your friends a terrific time and I also look forward to reading your review. I have a feeling your first Carnival cruise will not be your last.
Best wishes to all of you
John

Brkstutt Asked:
Dear John (please respond),
I have written this comment twice before, but never made it out of moderation, so my apologies if this is in fact the third time you (or a Stephanie) has seen it.

My husband and I will be joining Chris Roberts on the Spirit for the 8/19/09 cruise. It will be our 10th anniversary and our first vacation without kids or visiting family since our honeymoon ten years ago! I was wondering what kind of fun, romantic, couple-y type events on the ship might be great for two second honeymooners (who don’t drink!)

Second, my husband is, unfortunately, of the vegetarian persuasion, no matter how much I try to convince him otherwise. We have reservations for the steakhouse on the night of our anniversary (8/21!), and I was wondering what kind of vegetarian options there might be.
Thanks,
Robin

John Says:
Hello Robin
I am not sure if your saw yesterday’s blog but your comment did get posted and unfortunately it does take a few days before I get to answer it. Anyway, I hope you read it and saw all the ideas on how to make this cruise something very special. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Best wishes to you both and have a brilliant cruise
John

Juan & Maria Santana Asked:
John, please reply.
Hello John, is Juan and Maria Santana, we were in the Freedom with you recently …. about that lady that gave you 20 minutes of Poo speech about losing weight……tell her…that FAT IS BEAUTIFUL…..can you picture a JOHN HEALD, slender …… ufffff…he won’t be funny, will have a sad face, because of food depravation, etc…it will a disaster….kisses for Kye and Heidi….Juan and Maria

John Says:
Hello Juan and Maria
I cannot wait to show Heidi the beautiful clothes you bought Heidi; you are so generous that I have no words that will say thank you enough.

I continue to try and lose weight and eat healthier and so far I am winning ……… just ….. what is a very difficult battle.
It was great meeting you and I hope it won’t be too long before we see each other again.
Best wishes to you both
John

RonRN Asked:
John, please reply
Hi John,
I am sailing on the Carnival Inspiration on 9-7-09 and I want free stuff.

Ok, I don’t want free stuff; I actually want to offer you the chance to request something. Anything you would like to know about or get a special report on. This will be my second time on the Carnival Inspiration and looking forward to seeing how Skippy does as CD, he was the ACD on my Carnival Spirit cruise in ‘03 and as I recall he was always out and about and high energy. I will give you a full review when I return.

Re: Loyalty Program. I agree with an earlier blogger who said maybe adding bonus for longer cruises etc. but don’t change the 10 cruises milestone. I think the people who take short cruises just to get to platinum faster are few and far between. I take whatever cruise I can, and the shorter cruises I am usually solo, so pay a premium for those. This next cruise will be my 6th, three 5 day, one 8 day and two 7 day. I have paid the single penalty 3 times, and also had 2 suites. SO, for me it all comes out in the wash.

Re: Ship pins, I like them, I collect them. Free is better, but I would (and have) paid for them when available.
Re: rude passengers. When I started nursing school I worked at Wal-Mart, and one night I had a particularly rude customer, who at one point stated “the customer is always right”. I replied that “That is true, but there is never an excuse for rudeness.” She thought about it for a moment and then apologized.

I tried so hard to get on the Carnival Legend while you are CD, just couldn’t swing it; I am determined to sail with you one of these days. Thanks for all you do with this blog thingy and the 1001 Stephanies who support your efforts. And, all my best to Heidi and Kye.
Cheers,
Ron (cruising in 37 days) RN

John Says:
Hello Ron RN
Reading blogger’s reviews of their cruises is so important to me, the company and to your fellow blog thingy lovers so please, yes, send us your review and don’t pull any punches. We value everyone’s honest opinions as that is how we continue to learn and how we continue to be the Most Popular cruise Line in the World.

It has also been very interesting reading everyone’s opinion regarding the Platinum Rewards. I will have news on this program later this year but once again I wish to stress that our marketing department under the leadership of Jim Berra will make sure that we do whatever we need to do to make sure our loyalty program stands many decks higher than any other cruise line.

I meet hundreds and hundreds of guests each week I am on board and 99% are caring, fun and kind people however there is as they say……….always one ……..and I have learned to except that those who are rude to the staff are rude and unhappy wherever they are and that even though we must try to make them happy ………..sometimes we must accept that this is a mission impossible.

I am sorry I won’t be seeing you on the Carnival Legend but I hope soon we will get to sail together.
Have a brilliant time on the Carnival Inspiration.
Best wishes
John

Joesakic1999 Asked:
John please reply
Hi my name is mike hendrie i will be sailing on the freedom on aug 15th and am looking forward to seeing you in action as i have heard nothing but great reviews from others on this blog and on other message boards. This will be my first cruise in over 10 years and i am taking my mother with me and had a request. eventhough im aware that most people are social butterflies i am not and i would really enjoy my cruise better if i could somehow have a table for 2? i dont really have a preference to time or location just as long as i can eat my dinner in peace, i know some will think this isnt the way to enjoy life or i should share my experiences with others but its just not for me.i thank you in advance for any help you can offer me,and please let me know if you need any other information and i look forward to your directed cruise…

John Says:
Hello Hendrie
It will be an honour to welcome you onboard the Carnival Freedom and I understand your request not to eat with others. Please post another comment marked STEPHANIE – FOR JOHN ASAP BEFORE AUGUST 12 including your name and cabin number and I will do my best to accommodate your request.

Thanks for the kind words and I will do all I can to live up to the high praise you have bestowed upon me.
Best wishes
John

Mike Richardson Asked:
John,
PLEASE REPLY
You asked me to remind you a week before we sailed on our family reunion cruise. We leave on the Fantasy August 8th and our cabins are: ****, **** and ****. There are 10 of us and we were hoping to all be at the same table for dinner. Please and thank you very much for your help in making this time so very special to us.

We will be traveling with mixed emotions. If you remember, unfortunately my mother passed away in April. This was going to be our first family vacation ever. I always told my mother when I was growing up that I would take her on a cruise, and Michelle and I gave the entire family this gift last Christmas. Anyways, the rest of the family will honor Nana’s memory by having the best vacation ever!!!!!

Thanks again and hope to sail with you again someday.
Mike Richardson

John Says:
Hello Mike
I have sent this information to the ship and they will do all they can to make sure you and your family are seated together. I do of course remember the sad passing of Mum and I am sure throughout all the fun there will be tinges of sadness and I will be thinking of you. Have a brilliant cruise and please let me know how it was when you get home.
Best wishes to all
John

Brian Asked:
John – PLEASE REPLY-
John,
I just read your comments about the Ecstasy getting her upgrades to include the balcony cabins! I know everyone in Galveston must be VERY EXCITED to be getting an upgraded Fantasy class ship!

Now, according to carnival.com, 4 of the 8 Fantasy class ships have received the upgrades already, but only the Carnival Sensation has received the additional balconies. When the Ecstasy completes dry dock that will make 2 of the 5 that have already received the upgrades that included balconies.

The reason I mention this, is Mobile is my “home port”. Yes, my family and I are super excited about the arrival of the Carnival Fantasy in November and are planning on one of the new 7 day cruises for July of 2010- but with some of the Fantasy class receiving the balconies and most of them (so it seems) NOT getting them- maybe we are feeling a little “left out” if you will?

I could understand NOT adding balconies to some of the Fantasy class of ships if their home port is shared with another newer Carnival ship that has more balconies- but maybe adding the balconies to ships that are not sharing their port would be a wise move? True, the suites do have balconies, but sometimes the additional 4-700 per 1st and 2nd pax can be a bit of a turn off (granted you do get a wonderful suite).

And I do realize that Mobile is already getting an increase from just 10 suites with the Holiday to 48 suites with the arrival of the Carnival Fantasy, so maybe an additional 98 balconies might seem like a huge jump in numbers- but I know I would love to have the opportunity to sail in a CAT 8 cabin from Mobile.

So, for the question:
Does corporate plan on adding the balconies to the rest of the Fantasy class ships at a later date- even if they have already been into dry dock for the other wonderful upgrades- or is it dependent on whether or not the ship is located close to another port that has the additional balconies?

In the case of the Gulf Coast, New Orleans (Carnival Triumph) or Galveston (which by the way has 2 ships with additional balconies- the Carnival Ecstasy post dry dock and the Carnival Conquest) would be the alternatives; Florida has a lot of other ships to choose from; and the west coast has the Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit.
Any information would be appreciated John- and again, we can’t wait to sail Carnival again!
Thanks,
Brian and Katie

John Says:
Hello Brian and Katie
Both Mobile and Galveston are two very important homeports for Carnival Cruise Lines and thanks for being such a great supporter of Mobile and we hope you are looking forward to seeing the Carnival Fantasy. Now, I understand your disappointment on the Carnival Fantasy not receiving the balcony additions as on her two sister ships Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Sensation but ……..don’t forget you have the huge new water park, the upgraded cabins, the new promenade deck and lobby bar, the Mongolian Wok among other additions.

I can tell you that at this time I haven’t seen any announcements to add balconies to any other Fantasy class ships but I can tell you that having just sailed on the new Carnival Fantasy I can promise that you will not be disappointed. Myself and the bloggers who cruised with me were thrilled by the ship and her crew. I can also tell you that Mobile is a very important home port for us and who knows………who knows what ship or ships we will sail from there in the future. I hope one day soon that your dream of a balcony cruise will soon come true……the suites on the Carnival Fantasy are superb by the way.

I will keep you posted and until then thank you for your continuing support and my best to you and the family
John

Gale Mitchell Asked:
John, please respond.
After reading the blog thingy.. It appears you may be leaving the ship the day we sail Aug 23. I am sooo disappointed to read this as we plan this itinerary because you were the CD. We so enjoyed the cruise we did with you back in the late 90’s and have missed you on the past cruise’s we have taken. This will be # 17 with Carnival. We still remember that cruise as the best. Well we hope to see you on board but if not… I know you are missing Kye and Heidi very much. If it’s not too much trouble will you please request for us to have a table for two we are celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary this cruise. Our booking # is ****** Hope to see you soon Gale an Danny

John Says:
Hello Gale
I always feel so guilty when I read comments like this because I never want to let anyone down…..but in this case I am afraid that’s exactly what I am doing. I will be leaving the day you sail to head home to the girls. It would have been great to see you again as it has been a long time. However the good news is that the cruise director will be Wee Jimmy who I promise will provide you with laughs galore. I hope you have a fun cruise and look out for a little gift to say sorry for not being with you.
My best to you all
John

Fred Campbell Asked:
John Please Reply
I’m so glad to see from yesterday’s blog and others that you have not given up your Cigars .In one of your early blogs you said you thought you might be giving them up .A skinny, none smoking John might be just too hard to be around .You know how X smokers cannot stand you if you still smoke and skinny people make me bugger mad .Does that make since bugger mad .I’m from the USA and all the bugger stuff, imp not to up on .Ok the Question .I Cruise the Western Caribbean a lot. Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Progresso etc. Can you recommend a good place to by Cuban Cigars at one or several of these ports? Some place that sells the real Cuban Cigars not the fake ones. Also is there any way to tell if they are selling me a real Cuban or just some roll up brown paper made by a guy named Cuba. Thanks for any help in this area. I’m a travel agent and have 70 people in my group counting myself and my wife headed to the Western Caribbean in Oct 2009 on the Conquest. I also just wrote a article in my travel agency news paper praising Carnival and advising new agents that Carnival is my cruise line of choice and I would recommend they do the same .I try to book all my groups with Carnival .Keep up the good work .I read your blog every day .It helps me make it till the next cruise where I know I will have a bugger great time.

John Says:
Hello Fred
Congratulations on using the word “bugger,” I hope it is part of everyday language for many of the bloggers and you seem to have gotten into using it and using it well. I still enjoy a cigar occasionally but not as many as before. I also continue with my diet. I have no intentions of being skinny but do need to lose another pound or 97.

OK, the problem with cigars especially those from Cuba as most of them are as fake as Pamela Anderson’s breasts. Many of the cigar rollers will take the crap that’s left over at the end of the day, roll a few, stick a band on them and call them “premium Cuban cigars.” The most faked cigars are Cohibas, Monte Cristos and Romeo Y Julietas. They look real, feel real but like Pamela Andersen’s breasts ……….they are hard and taste of chemicals.

Cozumel and Jamaica have many shops selling cigars. Most are not fake……..pure and simple. The best places to buy cigars that are 100% real is at a Casa De Habana…….and the only one of those is in Grand Cayman. It is on the waterfront and owned by a great chap and a true cigar aficionado whose name is Emilio. Buy your cigars from there. Anywhere else there will be a good chance that you will smoke something that tastes like my underwear.

Thanks also for your great support of this great cruise line and I hope one day we get to smoke a cigar together
Long ashes to you
John

Chacooe Asked:
Hi John, Please Reply,
I have been looking back at all the pictures of Kye and I just have to say this, she has the prettiest eyes in a baby that I have seen in a long time. I would say they are perfect in every way. When she gets older, she will have a great pair of eyes to flirt with her daddy to get whatever she wants, I can see it coming. She is going to just turn those eyes just right and you are going to melt John.
Give my love to Heidi and Kye.
Your Bloggy Thingy fan always,
Kathy

John Says:
Hello Kathy
Heidi and I have been so lucky because while she is a very pretty lady I unfortunately have been hosed down with the ugly gun. It is therefore amazing that our baby ended up with Heidi’s looks and my bottom.

Thanks for the beautiful words, you have no idea how much they mean to us both.
Best wishes to you and the family
John

Shawn Granberg Asked:
Please respond John:
Hey There John ….
Shawn here you ask me to get back to you closer to my cruise date this year… So I hope this might help you… My Chap & I are sailing the Splendor on the Oct. 18th 2009 Sailing to Baja Mexico Cruise… My Chap will be celebrating his 31st birthday on Monday the 19th of Oct. we are in cabin 7202 Empress Deck and I would like to ask you to do me a favor… help me out to surprise him with a Happy Birthday wish from you on letter head or something please…. he is always getting me or please see that Goose gets the information to say Happy Birthday to him on the cruise … Our booking number is ****, This would be a great surprise from me to him to my chap of a friend.
Thanks John,
Shawn

John Says:
Hello Shawn
I will be honoured to make your chap’s birthday special and I will also see what we can do to have a bit of fun with him as well. I am however going to ask you to send in another reminder as it’s still two months or so away. Why not send in the reminder on October 5, this way I will be sure to get it and it will be closer to the sailing time.
Please don’t worry ……….we will get him.
Best wishes to you both
John

Louisiana Joe & Sue Asked:
Submitted on 2009/08/02 at 2:43pm
Dear John – PLEASE REPLY
First off, we have just returned from a 5-day cruise on the Carnival Fantasy on which our son was married on board. Sue (20 cruises CCL) and I (19 cruises CCL) are also stockholders and we enjoy the on board credit we receive each cruise. We traveled in a group of 23, of which 19 were first time cruisers, GROUP # ******. I wish we had a dollar for every person we have turned on to cruising with CCL! HAHA.

THANK YOU for having the additional rooms ready on board when we arrived. We had requested that from you prior to the wedding and I wanted to let you know that it was taken care of successfully.

Please pass on the following compliments to the people that need to know what a great job your staff has been providing.

Karla Mueller – She is our Carnival PVP. She is always there to assist and answer our questions. She was instrumental in getting the wedding cruise organized and a reality. Unfortunately she had to transfer us over to the Groups Dept because of our size. We have dealt with her for years and are very pleased.

Suzette – She is the on-shore Wedding Planner for Carnival in New Orleans. She took care of everything! She made the day stress free and successful. She was very attentive to the details while not being overbearing. She was great! The wedding was held in the Universe Lounge and the reception was in the Electricity Disco and both venues were perfect and the staff was excellent and took care of everything.

Julie – Carnival Fantasy Group Liaison. She was a lifesaver. One of Sue’s shoes broke just prior to the wedding. Julie was there and found some heavy duty glue to repair the shoe immediately thus avoiding what could have been a disaster.

Plamena – Formalities Shop. She was able to provide socks to 2 of the groomsmen who had pack their socks in their checked luggage – oops! She also had shoes on standby for my wife should she have needed them. She also assisted us throughout the entire cruise.

Corina – Anytime Dining Hostess. Very efficient! We LOVE the Anytime Dining option!! She took care of seating no matter what size group went to dinner together – groups ranged from 2, 6, 8, and 23. She always addressed us and the newlyweds by name and cabin #. Jogi was also excellent as our Maitre d in the Celebration Dining room. He was always receptive as we arrived in the dining room and made rounds about our table.

Ankur – Photographer. Simply the best! He put together a group of pictures that everyone is talking about – beautiful. We are very impressed with his work. He took the bride and groom under his wing and made the whole wedding photo experience enjoyable and stress free. The photo package shopping experience was stress free. His personality is great for the job that he has. In addition the wedding video was very well done also. I apologize that I did not remember the videographer’s name.

Zoltan – Head Waiter. He is from Hungary and that is where my grandfather immigrated from many years ago. We enjoyed educational information on the homeland and he even gave us a history of the Szush name and old world pronunciation. On top of that, he was also an excellent waiter that took care of everything along with a sense of humor. My 19th cruise and I just learned that I could get mashed potatoes every night in the dining room.
Needless to say, we were all pleased that the Carnival Wedding Cruise experience exceeded our expectations. The wedding ceremony was very personable and the vows selected were meaningful and made the day all the more special. Everyone commented on how wonderful the wedding and reception were. By the way, my brother overslept and arrived just prior to the wedding time. He told me that it only took 23 minutes from the time he parked his car till the time he was sitting in the Universe Lounge at the wedding. Upon arrival at the port, he explained to the parking attendant that he was late for a wedding that was about to start. She gave him a ride to the entrance and radioed ahead the situation. He was then escorted to the front of each line and all the way to the ceremony and walked in just as the wedding started. We are forever grateful to everyone involved in this task.
My son and his bride were so impressed that wherever they went on board, all of the staff knew that they had been married on the ship. Even the casino dealers knew and throughout the cruise, everywhere they went, they were addressed by their names before showing their Sail and Sign card. One of the girls in the wedding ceremony is engaged and they are seriously considering an onboard wedding in the future also.

On top of all the other positives mentioned, my mother, who attended the on board wedding but not the cruise, informed us last evening that she and dad would like to take a cruise in late 2010 for their 60th Wedding Anniversary and re-new their wedding vows! This is a woman who does not like the water and has always said “NO!”, when asked to come on a cruise with us. Miracles do happen!

My only question / concern is this. Can Carnival consider providing an option to purchase a CD of all the photos taken without having to spend $1500 on the entire photo package? The wedding photo packages under $1500 only allow you to get a CD of the hard copy photos that you purchased. That means that even though we spent over $1000 on the Wedding Photo package, we only received a CD with the copies of the 60 pictures that were purchased in hard copy form. There were many more pictures that we could not afford to purchase in hard copy form and thus were not included on the disc provided and lost forever. I understand that CCL needs to make money (as a stockholder, I am all for that). It would just be nice to be able to purchase a disc of ALL the pictures taken for a reasonable additional fee. We are hoping something can be done for the Renewal Wedding Vows Cruise in 2010.

Thanks for your consideration in this matter and more importantly, please make sure the individuals recognized are given their due compliments. Again, Carnival has exceeded our expectations which are why we have three more cruises booked within the next 16 months with another being planned as we work towards Milestone Level!
Louisiana Joe & Sue

John Says:
Hello Joe and Sue
This is a wonderful review and let me start by sending my congratulations to you and your family on what sounds like a simply superb wedding and a brilliant way to spend some valuable family time all together. Your words of praise were a joy to read and I have forwarded these to everyone you mentioned and I am sure they will be thrilled to see that you enjoyed their friendly service and their precise organization.

As a stock holder myself I know how important revenue is but as you said $1,500 does seem a bit high for the photos. I am therefore going to send your thoughts to one of our VP’s and let them analyze your comments and suggestions and I will let you know what they have to say. Maybe we can design three levels of packages and that way we provide our wedding parties with more choice. Anyway, let me send this on and let’s see what they say.

Meanwhile, please pass on my best wishes to your son and daughter in law and I hope your next celebration of an amazing 60 years is also very special. If there is anything else I can do please let me know.
Best wishes to all
John

Chacooe Asked:
Hi John,
Would you please reply.
A while back you mentioned that the new schedule for the Carnival Elation would be out for 2010, well as of today it still has not been posted on the Carnival Website, so I was wondering if you have heard of any new updates on it.
I have one other question, is it true that Carnival Stockholders get special treatment, kind of like the VIP treatment. If this is true, how many pieces of stock do you have to own to get this extra special treatment?
John, I want to let you know how much I appreciate the information and all the extras that you do for the Carnival passengers. If was not for employees like you, I don’t think that I would be so loyal to this wonderful and exciting company.

Thank you for the time in answering my questions and BTW, you have not said how your cold is doing, so an update would be nice, since I have been keeping you in my prayers.

Best Wishes to you, Heidi and the beautiful little Kye.
Kathy M.

John Says:
Hello Kathy M
I think this maybe one of those times when your posting has reached me after I have already posted the answer ………..sorry about that. The Carnival Elation’s new and exciting itinerary will be available for booking from August 17. I know many have been looking forward to this so I hope this is good news. Stockholders do indeed get an onboard credit and other rewards. If you are interested in obtaining more information on Carnival Corporation stocks and the stockholder benefit here is the address:

www.carnivalcorp.com

Maybe you will join me and many others as proud Carnival stock holders.

Well my cold seems to have disapissat……disapiss…….it seems to have buggered off which is a good thing as it was beginning to get me down and sap my energy. I am glad you appreciate all the work that writing daily blogs entails and I promise to remain here at your service. Have fun booking the Carnival Elation and my best wishes to you and the family.
John

Juan & Maria Santana Asked:
John please reply.
Hi, John! As other past guests have already expressed to you on the blog their disagreement about the way Carnival awards points to past guests for 12 or + day cruises, we join them by saying that we feel 100% the same way. We feel that whenever a guest completes a cruise of 12 or more days, that should be counted as two points and not one point. Would you please bring this subject to the big bosses’ attention? Other cruise lines do it, so why not Carnival? We would appreciate it very much. Thanking you in advance for your efforts in our behalf.
The Santanas of Miami Beach

John Says:
Hello Mr. and Mrs. Santana
I have read many comments about the Platinum rewards scheme and I know for many who take back to back cruises and 12-day or more voyages the feeling is that they should get double points. I will say once again that people like yourself are so massively important to us and that’s why we are currently looking at ways to continue to have the best rewards program in the industry and of course to keep people like your coming home to Carnival. I will have more news on this in the weeks ahead. It was wonderful to have you home with us recently here on the Carnival Freedom and I hope I will see you again soon.
Best wishes to you both
John

SallyOwl Asked:
John, please reply
Dear John
This is a combination message, as we’ve been away, celebrating (my own) John’s birthday in a suitably cheap manner – we’re busy saving for our next “Carnival Experiences”. Because we have to travel from Australia to catch a Carnival ship, it costs us between US$4000 and US$5000 just to get to the embarkation port and back. Consequently, we don’t travel on long cruises, and we prefer to travel b2b. This year we sailed around South America on the wonderful Splendor – 3 cruises, 49 days. Next year we hope to sail on the Freedom to Alaska, then b2b to Hawaii, then b2b Hawaii to Mexico – another 31 days. Under the current Platinum scheme, that would give us 6 points for a total of 80 days! Yes, we ARE loyal, but we can’t just hop a 3-day cruise any time we like! Maybe there shouldn’t be a point for every day, but somehow 80 days should earn more points than 6 x 3 days = 18 days!
The other reason for combining two messages is to tell you and Heidi (you lucky, lucky parents!) that this week’s photo is the best yet – Kye is BEAUTIFUL!
When will we hear from Jaime again? We miss her!
SallyOwl

John Says:
Hello Sally Owl
Here is a reason that we are looking very carefully at the current rewards program. Your posting sums that up perfectly and I don’t need to say anything else except…….we appreciate the trials and tribulations that everyone from afar has to go through in order to enjoy a Carnival cruise vacation.

This is proof positive that we need to re examine our rewards program and that is exactly what we are doing.
Your plan for Alaskan and Hawaii cruises sounds extraordinary and if there is anything you need from me please let me know.

As for Jaime……..well she is working hard for me here and when she finishes we lock her in her cabin……..it’s safer for the men that way. I will though ask her to write a Dear John letter very soon.

Best wishes to you and everyone down under and hope you have a Bonza time on your next cruise
John

Fraser Asked:
John,
Just read a fantastic review of your 8 day to Cozumel, Panama and Costa Rica. It is very long and detailed, Wonderful review.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1027676
She did mention that you were fantastic, so she must be a bit daft. If you get a change, I can only imagine how busy you are, I urge you to read this.

She also included a link of her husband on a zip line, I believe in Costa Rica, John you and I need to keep up the diets so we can both do this together some day.

Please Reply,
I had asked about a week back, for some reason my comment is still waiting moderation, oh well no rush.
I was wondering if the behind the scenes tour will be available on the Sept 29th cruise on the Carnival Freedom, also was wondering if there will be a chance to book prior to the cruise.

Also Thank you to Linda Mom of DJ for her response to my question a few weeks back.

John keep up the fantastic work you do.

Oh one more thing, you need to get off the ship and see dry land before your tour is over, I am sure most will agree that it will be worth it for you even if it means missing a blogging day.

John Be well and almost time to see your ladies.
Thank You
Fraser

John Says:
Hello Fraser
Sorry for the late answer to your question. I am getting about 100 comments marked “John, Please reply” every week and although I try and answer them as quickly as I can I have unfortunately fallen behind……..sorry about that.

I just finished reading Arymay’s brilliant review and I actually look like I lost a few pounds in the photo. As for the zip line……….well as brilliant as it may be there is little chance of me doing it…………not unless I am wearing brown pants.

The Behind the Fun tour will indeed be in operation for your cruise in September. I do suggest to you and all the bloggers that you book this as soon as you walk on board. I am talking about it here and its mentioned on the cruise boards but once its announced to the ship many will want to purchase it I am sure……..so as the saying goes……get there early to avoid disappointment.
I am glad you mentioned Linda who is indeed a very special lady and one whom always is ready to give to others. I have not touched dry land for some weeks now and I will try this coming cruise. Thanks for the kind words and I will be here should you need any further help.
Best wishes to you and the family
John

Valerie Asked:
Hi John,
Please reply:
I e-mailed you a couple of months ago about flight times for our trip to Europe. You probably don’t remember as I am sure you get a lot of e-mails. But first I just want to say big congratulations on the birth of your daughter. She is absolutely beautiful. You should be very proud as I am sure that you are. We were on the Liberty with you on the inaugural season and we are sailing on the Dream on the inaugural sailing on 9/21/09. I want to book the supper club for six people for four nights but I don’t want to book on the formal nights and I don’t want to book on the night the dining room is serving lobster. My husband really enjoys the food and doesn’t want to miss the really good nights. Do you know where I can see the menus for the cruise so I can book the supper club or can you tell me what nights you think are best to book the supper club? Also, I am booking tours for all the stops in Europe, is there a favorite of yours that you can tell me about keeping in mind that I have been on this same cruise with you a few years ago. Lastly, I just want to say Thank You for all the work that that you do keeping this sight going, I know that it must take many hours of out of your day. I guess from what I am reading here that you will not be on the inaugural sailing. I am sorry, we will miss you. Thank you again for all you do. Valerie

John Says:
Hello Valerie
Thanks so much for the kind words of congratulations on our daughter Kye’s arrival into the world. I can’t wait to see what see her and Heidi in two weeks time. Your Carnival Dream inaugural cruise will be very, very special and I wish I could be there with you. To help you decide when to book the steakhouse , here is the itinerary and I have marked the elegant nights as well for you ………..here it is………..oh and as requested. I listed my favorite tours for each port.

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy;
Naples, Italy; – POMPEII, SORRENTO AND CAPRI COMBINATION
Fun Day at Sea; – ELEGANT NIGHT WITH LOBSTER
Dubrovnik, Croatia; – THE COUNTRY HOME IN KONAVLE
Venice, Italy; Venice, Italy; – ST GEORGES, ST MARKS AND GONDOLA TOUR AND THE EVENING GONDOLA EXPERIENCE
Fun Day at Sea;
Messina, Sicily, Italy; – TAROMINA ON YOUR OWN EXCURSION
Fun Day at Sea; – ELEGANT NIGHT
Barcelona, Spain; – HIGHLIGHTS AND SHOPPING TOUR – OR A VISIT TO MONSERRAT
Monaco; – COLOURS OF THE RIVIERA
Livorno, Italy; – FLORENCE AND PISA TOUR – OR BEST OF TUSCANY
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

It feels so good to be reading those ports and I truly hope we will have a full season in Europe again soon. If you have any specific tour questions please let me know.
Thanks so much for al the kind words
Best wishes to you and the family
John

Mark W.Boyer Asked:
Hello John
Please Reply if able
Good Morning
I have been regularly reading your blog as we prepare for our September 26 cruise on the Freedom booking # *****. We have been cruising with Carnival since our honeymoon in 1988. Our first cruise was on the Carnivale ship. We loved it and have been cruising ever since. We have been on a few sailings with you and have always looked forward to seeing you again each time. So you can guess our disappointment when we saw you are getting off the ship a week before we get on. We always enjoyed your audience participation shows like newly Wed and The Bed Time Story.

So…We are traveling on the Freedom the end of September and are looking for little help. We are interested in eating at the Steak house at least one night is there a better night to reserve. Would it be better on a sea day or on a day we were in Port?

Also recently I have seen people talking about requesting a table for two in the dining room. If you could let me know how to request that we would appreciate it. We have main seating dinning. We occasionally have been seated on the main floor of the dining room in the center and have really enjoyed that.

Thanks again for all of the great entertainment on board and on the Blog.
Mark and Donna boyer

John Says:
Hello Mark and Donna
My goodness, things have changed since the Carnivale as you will see when you board the Carnival Freedom in September. I am sorry that I can’t be with you and as I said earlier in today’s blog……I hate to disappoint people.
The steakhouse here on the Carnival Freedom is simply brilliant and any night is good. However, I would recommend the Tuesday which is right in the middle of the cruise and the perfect way to spend the night after a relaxing day at sea. I would be happy to try and arrange a table for you as requested in the dining room. Please send me a reminder with your names and cabin number 10 days before you sail and I will make it so.
My best wishes to you both and hope to sail with you again soon.
John

Lisa F Asked:
John Please Reply…
John, I just sailed on the Freedom July26-Aug1, and I will never forget Willie Banger… what a great time I had and you were a wonderful spirit during the talent night…especially when you were pushed to the floor and then were rode upon… what a great sport… I do however have a question for you…I purchased the talent night cd… is there any way that I can purchase the first night cd?
Lisa

John Says:
Hello Lisa
I am so glad you had such a fun cruise with Willy and the gang……..it was a very special cruise for sure. Unfortunately the bad news is that we don’t keep master copies of each cruise and therefore I can’t get you a DVD of the first nights welcome aboard show…. I hope the memories you have of that will keep you going. I hope also that we get to have more fun together soon on another carnival cruise very soon………..maybe I will show you my Mary bruises
Best wishes to all
John

Stacey Asked:
John (please reply),
I know you say a lot in the blog that you’d like to be kept informed as to likes and dislikes regarding Carnival itself, John. That’s why I’m writing this particular time.

I was kind of sad to see the demise of paper docs, but understand the logic. That is, until I’ve been attempting to print the edocs off the Carnival website.

I cannot tell you the LITERAL hours it’s taken me to fight with the website, on several different days, in order to view and be able to download/print my docs (and those of my family members who don’t have access to a computer). It has been the source of massive frustration for me for days now.

I have cruised, and love, Carnival in the past. But it makes me wonder about the impression it’s giving to first time Carnival guests. I have to say, if it were me, I wouldn’t want one of the first impressions of my guests to be that of frustration in just trying to print simple documents. The additional cost of paper docs might be worth the potential loss of revenue if people continue to be so frustrated.

And this isn’t the first time me, or other cruisers (as evidence by many complaints on Cruise Critic) have had with the website. It seems to me that considering Carnival is in the hospitality industry, and as large of a company it is, they could find someone more suitable to run the website so that it is reliable, runs smoothly and reliably. I understand only too well in the world of internet and technology, there will be some hiccups. But honestly…this is getting ridiculous.
Thanks,
Stacey

John Says:
Hello Stacey
I do indeed want people to express their opinions here on the blog thingy………I do and I encourage every reader to do the same. I was disappointed to read this and I know there could be others who have the same concerns. ……….so….first let me say how sorry I am that trying to print the documents has caused so much frustration and therefore I will try and help.

I’ve done some checking on this at the highest levels and have been told that the process was designed to be fairly quick and user friendly. We regularly monitor feedback from our users and so far, the majority has indicated it has been a seamless process. In the event you get hung up for whatever reason, we do have a staff of service professionals in the office that support our web site. They can help you navigate the site so that you can print your docs.

I have sent this to someone with a beard who and asked her to send me some FAQs and troubleshooting help and I will then post that to you and on the blog.

I know this program is in its early stages and it seems we may have some teething problems. Please give me a little time and I will be back to you all to see what help we can give. Bloggers………..has anyone else encountered problems and if so can you let me know what they are?
Thanks Stacey………hang in there and we will get you the help you need and deserve
Best wishes
John

Laverne Ord Asked:
John-PLEASE REPLY My husband Harold and I will sail with you on Carnival Freedom Aug 15/booking 20JH65/stateroom 8438. Please see if you can obtain a table for two for us on our confirmed 6PM dining as we celebrate 80 and 85 year birthdays and 57 yr anniversary. Thank you for all you do and hope that cold buggers off soon.

John Says:
Hello Laverne
Wow……..what wonderful celebrations and I will do all I can to get your table for you.

Please can you drop me a note as soon as you board with your names and cabin numbers so I am reminded to send you a celebratory gift.

Many thanks and can’t wait to meet you
John

Angela Asked:
Dear John,
Please reply:
I will be traveling on the Carnival Ecstasy on its maiden voyage out of dry dock in October after the Evolutions of Fun makeover. I was wondering if you could tell me who our cruise director was going to be. I know there has to be a linky, a list, a blog, a page, or general thingy that lists them but for the life of me, I can’t find it.

I am traveling with my best friend, her mother and aunt. My friend has had a VERY rough year (health problems, financial problems, family problems, job problems– if it could go wrong, it did for her this year) and the cruise is to celebrate her turning 30. We were suppose to cruise in May on her birthday but due to the difficulties of life, we had to change it to the October sailing. She has never sailed and I want to make this cruise special for her. Any ideas?

And I just wanted to thank you for writing this bloggy thingy! I so enjoy reading it each day and look forward to seeing the beautiful pictures of your daughter (LOVE the name by the way!)

May the remaining 20+ days fly by quick and you have a safe journey home to your girls!
Best wishes and thank you for your help.
Angela

John Says:
Hello Angela
Congratulations on booking the new Carnival Ecstasy and you will be thrilled by her “extreme makeover.” The cruise director will be the incomparable Steve Cassel who is actually Carnival’s longest serving CD and is a brilliant juggler and ….. Well …… something else but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

I am so sorry to hear about your friend and her tough year. Maybe this cruise will be the start of better things to come and for sure if she attends all the shows and events she will be laughing for sure. Read the Carnival Capers each day and highlight want you want to see and do. Try things you have never done before and do something silly like trying the new mega twister slide….go on………..that will for sure put a huge smile on her face.

If you remind me a week or so before you sail I will also send her a little gift to cheer her up.

Thanks so much for all the kind words and I hope you and your friend have a brilliant time on the new Carnival Ecstasy.
Best wishes to you both
John

Jenn Asked:
John (Please Reply)
I just discovered your blog recently, and absolutely love it. I do hope that one day we get to cruise with you as the CD…your blog is hysterical, which makes me believe that you are even more so in person.

I have a question regarding the upgrades to the Fantasy class ships, as well as the adults only areas on the new ships….I am wondering why it appears as if there are no longer adults only pools, and only hot tubs in the adults only areas? I might be mistaken about this, but from what I have read, it seems as if the Dream (which we are booked on for Sept. 2010) has this amazing adults only serenity area, yet, there is no pool? Is there a way to find out why the decision was made to not offer an adults only pool?

Also, it appears that the aft of the Dream is quite different from the other Carnival ships. We are booked into our first aft wrap (yeah!), however in looking at the photos you have been posting (thanks for those, by the way), we are wondering what the new design means to the view from the aft cabins.

Will the balcony dividers still be able to be removed on the Dream cabins? We have quite a few cabins booked on different decks on the Dream, and are hoping to remove the dividers so we can all have some VERY large balconies!!

Thanks for all you do….the information and assistance you provide through this blog thingy is invaluable, and much appreciated!

I look forward to hearing from you, and to hopefully sailing with you one day soon!

Best wishes to you and your family (especially your adorable daughter Kye….she is an absolute gem!)
…Jenn

John Says:
Hello Jenn
I am glad that you have discovered my blog thingy and I hope it continues to give you lots of laughter, help and information.

You are correct that on every ship we do have adults only whirlpools and you are also correct that we don’t have adults only swimming pools. I guess the simplest way to answer your question as to why not is to say that we are a family cruise line. We carry more children than any other cruise line and therefore we are geared to family resort style pools on our ships. Saying that, the new Serenity decks which will be featured on the Carnival Dream (and currently on the Carnival Splendor and five Fantasy-class ships) will give you a chance to get away from it all………..and provide you with a little slice of heaven at sea.
I am so glad you have been enjoying the photos of your Carnival Dream and there will be more in a moment. The aft section of the ship is stunning and she has my favorite back end this side of Jennifer Lopez. Your aft balcony will provide you with stunning views and the wrap effect gives that added space that I know will be the icing on the cake. Your stateroom stewards will indeed remove the dividers if you so request. During my next visit I will be taking photos of all the different state rooms. I hope you are excited as this will be one very sensational ship.

I want to say a big thank you for the kind words about Kye and I am counting the days until I see her again
If you have a follow up question please let me know
Best wishes to all
John

MIKE HART Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY
I have been reading your blog regularly since my 7/12 cruise on Freedom. I was thinking…….since I have learned a new dance on my latest cruise…. maybe I could do my special dance for Ruth & Al at their private dining table that they keep requesting. I would be sure to include extra thrusts just for those 2. Only problem is I need to know their cruise date & ship…… CAN YOU PLEASE HELP?

Your wife & daughter are both beautiful!! ! Don’t see how you stay away.
Yabba dabba do

John Says:
Hello Mike
Mike……you were sensational. I know I keep saying that but honestly ……..you were brilliant and anytime I hear the “V” word I think of you. I will arrange a private dance for Ruth and Al and anyone else who wants to see your sexy groove thing.
Miss you both
John

Jake Silverberg Asked:
JOHN
A.S.A.P REPLY A.S.A.P
My friend Tyler is going to cruise aboard the Freedom next voyage or the voyage after. He is very loyal to Carnival and isn’t a kid who spits from the lido. Do you think you could maybe hook his family up with little embarkation gift or something if I get you his information? He is very nice, and like I said is loyal to Carnival/
A.S.AP
Jake Silverberg……. ( : ps. the dream looks great man!

John Says:
Hello Jake
Of course mate………I need his last name or cabin number and when he is sailing mate. Can you send to me ASAP? Keep writing your blog Jake….it’s brilliant
Cheers
John

Kathy Thomas Asked:
John (Please reply)
First of all I just got back from a cruise on the Inspiration. I have been on this ship before with my son Kevin (his first cruise) and he wanted to take his father (my ex-husband) and his cousin on the same cruise. Needless to say we had a good time even with the cousin and a few Jerry Springer events.

All of that aside I would like to say what a wonderful waiter we had on our June 29, 2009 cruise. His name was Linden. Linden was in charge of two tables of 12 and did a fantastic job. The suggestions he had made every night was wonderful. I cannot say enough good things about this man and his assistant. Now here is the bad thing. I love CARNIVAL to me there is no other cruise company (I have another one booked for September on the Destiny).

On the last night in the dining room I had a beef plate (which I don’t remember what it was called) as I was eating my food I looked down at my plate and there was something on my plate that looked like a bug! I picked it off of my plate with a knife and set it on a bread plate. My family asked at that time why I was not eating. I showed them what it was. This was a bug (fly with its legs still attached) that was cooked into my food. I tried not to cause a scene at the table and showed it to Linden (our server) after a couple of the server’s had seen it phone calls were made. The Manager for Hotel and Beverage came (Louis (?)) and went and talked to the chef. About 10 minutes later he had come back and said “The chef said it was a burnt piece of food” at this point I looked at the Manager and said “NO it was not” he continued to say well the “Chef said……..” and offered to bring me something else to eat. I declined. What bothered me so much was not only that there was a bug in my food, he was saying me and my table mates were lying! Our server was so upset by all of this. I am not trying to get anything from the cruise company and I will only cruise on Carnival! I know how hard the crew works to clean and the inspections they have to pass and things do happen, but I am not a lying about what was in my food.

I will be on the Destiny in September and I will not look at my food when I am eating it. The only reason I am telling you this is maybe the personnel can be trained on how to handle something like this a little better. Not everyone is out to get a freebie, but I did not like being lied to.

Some day Mr. Heald, I will cruise with you. I have heard nothing but great things about you. I am also a member of Cruise Critic and when someone has a question or a comment they contact you for the truth.
Happy sailing
Kathy

John Says:
Hello Kathy Thomas
First of all I want to thank you for taking the time to write and I am very thankful to you for writing such wonderful words about Linden. It is people like this that make Carnival the company it is today and keeps us proudly saying that we are indeed The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line.

As for the incident with the food………well I can imagine how disturbing this must have been for you. It seems the most important thing is to start with an apology………..and therefore let me say how sorry I am about the way that this was handled.

Anyway, I will be sending this to our VP of F&B for his information and also to the ship and I promise you that we endeavor to provide our guests with the highest quality cuisine and service. Most importantly let me apologize for this once again and if there is anything I can do please let me know
Best wishes
John

That’s all for now and that’s a good job because I have been sitting in my leather chair ….in my underpants………..answering all those questions…………..for the last two hours…………without a break………..and I just stood up…………and there is a nasty looking mark on my chair………”HEEEIIIDDDDIIIII”

Here’s one of the 344 Stephanie’s to remind you about the blogger’s cruise….


Hi everyone. Just a final reminder…Today August 10th is the cutoff date for submitting your information to me if you haven’t done so already for participation in the Blogger events. Email socialnetworking@carnival.com with your name, sail date, booking number, and cabin number. After today there are no exceptions, you must book with the blogger farecode. Happy sailing. Steph

Well that’s another cruise over with and it was one that threw up a few challenges. We had the delay in disembarking guests in Costa Rica…….we had the boat taking guests on the Panama Canal cruise break down resulting in a one hour delay at departure ……….. and we were late into Fort Lauderdale this morning. This was caused by having to save someone’s life.

On Friday afternoon I received a call from the captain telling me that we had to divert the ship immediately and head to Grand Cayman to disembark a guest who needed immediate medical attention ashore. And so at 10:05 pm, we arrived of the coast of Grand Cayman, lowered one of our lifeboats and under the watchful eye of the doctor and nurses we took the patient ashore to the waiting ambulance.

It was dark of course but the darkness was soon lit up by the hundreds of flashes from the guest’s cameras watching this poor chap being stretched onto a life boat. Honestly, you would think George Clooney was having rumpy pumpy with Judge Judy in a life boat from the way the guests were snapping away. I just don’t understand it ……….. OK ………..maybe the sight of a United States Coast Guard helicopter overhead is worth taking a photo… but of a seriously ill man …in a stretcher?…….unbelievable.

I mean, who is going to want to see this? There you are, sitting at home, showing your friends and family your vacation photos. “Here we are in the Jungles of Costa Rica …….. oh look at Mum coming down the twister slide and that’s our waiter, he was fantastic ……and look at this, it’s Ketut our stateroom steward and his towel animal …….. oh WOW…..look….these next ten photos are of some man who was sick……..we had to take him off in a life boat…………if you look carefully enough you can see the IV going into his arm.”………….I just don’t understand.

Well, the good news is that the patient is doing well after his surgery and once again we pause to thanks the medical team on board whose care and action resulted in saving this man’s life……..well worth being late into Fort Lauderdale.

I told the guests that instead of 6 am we would not arrive until 7:30 am and that the self assist program would not start now until 8 am. At this point I was going to post the one ………..why is there always one………..negative comment from a guest who was angry that we would be but you know what………..I just can’t be bothered………..it doesn’t deserve to be published.

Everyone else…..well they just accepted it and carried on having the time of their lives.

However, it seems that Murphy had his bloody law had also enjoyed his cruise because the trials and tribulations were not over yet. Last night during the Carnival Legends show the computer that controls the sound in the main theatre suddenly decided it was a bored and needed to piss me off………..so it turned off all the speakers …………..except two small ones at the back of the room. So few went from a sound quality to rival any theatre in the world………we finished the show with the performers sounding like they were singing through my arse.

I felt so sorry for Britney, Madonna, Elvis and Frank Sinatra and apologized to them over and over again. This had been there chance to shine and we had let them down.

And as I sit here……in my underpants…..at 7 am …….the sound is still not working. The technicians Shane and Mike have been up all night working on this. Now, what happens is that the bastard computer sends signals to the speakers and …. Ummmm …… they work.

However, since the computer seems to have buggered off on vacation and even our I/S people with beards can’t figure out where it’s gone, the techs are using something called “cable” to run from the sound board……..to the speakers. Let’s see if this works because joking aside……..as I write……we really need to get this fixed or there is a very good chance there will be no shows this coming cruise……….bugger.

I will keep you updated but for now I have to sign off ………it’s time for debarkation ……… I will be back soon.

And let me leave you with this immediate response from Carlos in our Miami office regarding the concerns that people have regarding the printing of the e-docs

John,
Here is the link to the Mydocuments website which allows guests/travel agents to print documents as long as the booking has been paid in full.

http://www.carnival.com/mydocuments

There is an FAQ link on the right hand side of the page that should answer most questions guests may have with Edocs.

We also provide a help desk that is available to assist our guests with any technical issues that may face and they are available at 1-800-845-2599 M-F 9am EST – 8pm EST. Sat 9am – 6pm EST.

Any questions or concerns that guests may have or recommendations on how to improve Mydocuments can be sent to mydocuments@carnival.com.

Let me know if we can help in any other way.
Carlos

Thanks Carlos that was very quick and truly helpful. By the way…..what do you call someone who has their automobile stolen?…………..Carlos !

OK, it’s really time for debarkation……….back soon.

OK, I am back and just before we talk about this cruise let’s see some last letters from the Morning Show from last week.

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OK, here I am. Debarkation finished and I would love to say that it went smoothly …….. but it didn’t. Unfortunately the delay in arrival meant that it took a bit longer to disembark and Customs and Border Patrol were being extra diligent which of course their job is. This meant they were checking ID’s very carefully and therefore debarkation did not finish until 11:10 am. This has embarkation starting later than we would like and that is not the best first impression to the guests joining us today. It is therefore my job to make sure that they know that now they are onboard the fun will begin and I will start that process with my Key West adventure talk in a few minutes.

And here is who sailing with us to Key West, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios.

TOTAL GUESTS 3610

AGE GROUP TOTALS
Under 2 Years 16
2-5 Years 71
6-8 Years 93
9-11 Years 163
12-14 Years 204
15-17 Years 273
18-20 Years 237

It’s going to be another busy cruise and I have to admit that this six-day voyage is my favorite of the three.

And now we return to Monfalcone, Italy and thanks’ to Boris we can take a look at your Carnival Dream’s lobby………….surely our most spectacular ever.

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The greatest thing I think about cruising with Carnival is the value…..pure and simple …… what you pay and what you get is quite sensational. The comfort level is also important as well because when you pay for the cruise you know exactly what you are going to get. Included in the price are the best shows in the industry, amazing food with more variety than ever before (and you don’t have to pay for a steak), the highest level of friendly and fun service, activities and music from the wee small hours to the ummmmm ……wee small hours……..towel animals on your bed, no cleaning, no cooking, relaxation, swimming, fun, and more fun.

I guess that’s why McDonald’s are so popular for tourists in foreign lands…….whether you walk into one in Moscow or Manila you know that your Big Mac will taste exactly the same………unless of course you are in Korea when that funny taste may be because you are eating a McSpaniel.

As I said, that’s what I love about Carnival. You know what the extras are ….. drinks ………shore excursions…..spa etc. But that’s not the same with other things in life.

For example……… It’s because companies have made it so impossible to find out the actual cost of their damnable products. Honestly, unless you have a beard and like tofu……..you are buggered.

Let me explain. Heidi called me and told me that our internet provider which is British Telecom has told us our contract is up for renewal and sent a whole menu of new …….. ummmm……broadband thingies.

In ancient times, you didn’t have to worry about broadband because it didn’t exist. But then it did exist, so you had to phone one of about two internet service providers who offered simple contracts at a fixed monthly rate. When they answered they were in the UK not Bombay and all you had to say was “Hello, I’d like the internet to be put into my computer,” and they’d say “Fine, that will cost $30 a month.” And they’d put the internet in your computer and you could start looking at Latvian women lying naked on pool tables.

Now, it’s impossible to work out how much anything costs. British Telecom is now offering Heidi and I broadband for 8.95 pounds a month (still can’t find the bloody pound sterling sign on the computer)………….. Woo hoo as my friend Mr. Bentley would say…………..oh, but hold on…….. Because that’s only for the first six months. After that, as it mentions in a significantly smaller and less colorful font, it’s 17.99 pounds. And you’re locked in to an 18-month contract. That means the average cost is 14.98 pounds. So why doesn’t it just say that………… Why doesn’t it say that?……..the bastards.

This trend has spread to cell phone contracts – and has mutated. You now require a crystal ball, several weeks of spare time and the mind of Professor Stephen Hawking to work out which deal is right for you.

I saw a commercial recently where one provider has resorted to animals in their TV commercials to show you the way. If you want unlimited texts, you’re a dolphin (even though dolphins don’t have thumbs). Beavers, as we know, enjoy unlimited calls to landlines and if you go for the premium package of unlimited everythings, you get to be a grizzly bear………….what a load of bollocks.
But how am I supposed to know whether I’ll need 500 texts a month? Or 350 anytime minutes? And then, there’s another worrying variable: you get more minutes/texts/hemorrhoids if you sign up for a longer contract. 20 dolphins get 75 texts on a 12-month contract but 300 on 24 months. Is that good? Is that even English? And if it is, will I need 300 texts a month in two years’ time? Will we still be texting in two years? Will cell phones and raspberry’s exist or will we all them implanted in our bottoms?

It’s only a matter of time before you won’t be able to read this blog thingy on a daily basis. We’ll give it to you free for three weeks, then it will be $10 a hit for a month, after which our 344 Stephanies will send you a John Heald bobble head if you send us photo of you naked…….. But only if you don’t have a beard ………and it’s a Thursday.

Carnival………..you pay one price…..you get the best vacation on earth …… the end!

Goodnight
Your friend
John

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.