Dream Weaver

August 28, 2009 -

John Heald

Just before I start with today’s jam packed blog I wanted to………..with your kind permission ………..just say this. I have seen that there have been a few comments recently that are quite frankly flippant and somewhat rude. I want you to tell me when we as a company do things that you do not agree with and if you have concerns I will always be here to help. But……..I have decided to, as of today, not to personally respond or reply to any comments that are written only to tell me that they don’t like the blog.

While I respect the opinion of those who don’t appreciate the blog, it appears that with 50,000 readers a week that many do enjoy it and I will continue to write for them.

I never intended to have this blog become a Carnival Customer Care branch but I am glad that I have been able to and will continue to help many people. I now have 343 Stephanies and a gaggle of vice presidents to help me with your comments and so please continue to let me know if you need help. If I write something you don’t agree with……tell me please………….if we do something right …………tell me please……………I don’t want that to change.

I think of all of you as friends……….not stalkers as the blog fans were so rudely called yesterday and that I promise was the last time I will post a reply to someone who is writing for the sole purpose of telling me that they don’t like the blog.

But this is……….my blog……..and its foundations must always be built around fun………..just as Carnival has been for nearly 40 years. And if you don’t like fun………… if you want boring, coma- inducing corporate bollocks…….. why not read the nation of why not blog………because one thing is for certain…………. you won’t find any fun there!

Good Morning.

Do you remember a few blogs ago I asked a question about whether or not I should add humor into my life boat drill? Well, I was thinking about this when I was flying back to the UK. The American Airlines drill was performed on video and at no point did the flight attendants interact with the passengers……something that didn’t change at all during the 8 hour flight. I can’t complain about the service………….. because there wasn’t any.

Anyway, I had been thinking about how many of you told me what Southwest Airlines do occasionally to make their safety drills more humorous and I wonder if this would settle my nerves or have them flare up along with my hemorrhoids.

A lot of people are scared to fly. They don’t like the idea that a metal pipe with wings is somehow supposed to get them from Miami to London.

They don’t like the recycled air or the cramped seats or the food or the fake grin of the air crew as they demonstrate, as one, how to self-inflate the whistle on a puny yellow vest. It was as the life vest was mentioned during the AA pre-fright……..sorry……..flight …….video that I got my first idea for a bit of humor at the Carnival life boat drill.

I say ……”There is also a light and a whistle for attracting attention should you find yourself in the water “………and I think it should be changed to ………”There is also a light and a whistle for attracting sharks ……..sorry……….for attracting attention.”

You could say that on a plane as well……. And add……….. “Before using the escape chute, don’t forget to remove high-heeled shoes, belts and other sharp objects, like red hot pieces of engine casing that are currently buried in different orifices in your body. Can you imagine the sharks swimming around after you have survived the crash………taking chunks out of your leg and spitting it out again saying “yuck……..airplane food.”

Taking a cruise and flying have very little if anything in common and certainly one thing that the cruise industry does differently is to put up with people who if they did what passengers sometimes do on a plane…….. would be denied boarding and thrown off before the ship departs.

Misbehave and you’re going to get slung off by stony-faced airport security chaps with iron on badges. In fact, over the past few years, cabin crew has taken to disembarking passengers out of planes in unprecedented numbers.

I had a quick chat with Uncle Google about this and found many stories such as a Dr. Paolo Tomasi from London was unceremoniously dumped off a Ryanair flight for the heinous crime of talking to his eight-year-old son during the safety briefing.

Can you imagine if we did that…….right………”You………put down the Fun Ship Special cocktail ……how dare you talk to your son while the I am doing the lifeboat drill”………..”Hey you ………. yes you with the beard………..I can see you on the monitor here on the bridge” ………….. right ……. “pack your bags and bugger off.”

Uncle Google also showed me that in November, a woman on an Alitalia flight from California to Rome refused to move her meter-long cuddly toy crocodile, which the crew said was blocking the emergency exit. All three were removed. Yes……..exits are important, but you’ve got to admit there’s something cool about a life-threatening cuddly croc. We say during our drills that “absolutely no bags or suitcases are allowed to be brought to the muster stations”…….I will now add “all cuddly or inflatable toys”………maybe I should in today’s world add “adult toys “as well.

Here is a brilliant one. Lorrie Heasley took her seat on a Delta Airlines flight sporting a T-shirt that featured pictures of George Bush and friends, with a slogan based on the hit film Meet the Fockers – but with one crucial vowel altered. Airline staff was not amused, and she was dumped halfway through her journey at Reno, Nevada.

I spoke about T-shirts a few days ago when a guest on the Carnival Freedom complained about a guest that was wearing an anti-Obama T-shirt. So………now I had better look at the monitor on the bridge before I start the drill……..can you imagine?………..”Hey you……….yes you with the beard wearing the Royal Caribbean T-shirt”………you’re out of here!”

Uncle Google spat out so many stories for me. Amongst them was the crime of Kyla Ebbert, a 23-year-old waitress at my friend Mr. Bentley’s favorite restaurant chain…….Hooters. She was removed from a Southwest Airlines plane in San Diego for being dressed too provocatively, in micro miniskirt the size of a belt that revealed her lady garden.

Can you imagine me doing this at boat drill?………”Hey you…….you with the beard ……… oh ………. sorry…………..that isn’t a beard is it……..ok………….Miss Alps……….report to the cruise director’s office directly after the drill so I can show you my muster station.”

On the other end of the scale is the story of a captain of a Northwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Detroit who was heard by first-class passengers making prolific use of the f-word on his cell phone as he boarded the plane. When they complained, he continued to swear…..at them this time. Eventually, the airline’s management removed him from the flight. A rare example of passenger power.

Our captain’s sometime swear but even if the PA system was accidentally on the guests would have no idea unless they spoke Italian. The Italian language is so beautiful and lyrical even “the bastard linesman aren’t fu***ing here yet” in Italian sounds like “the sun is shining and the world is a beautiful place.”

The last story is the unfortunate incident of a passenger who died……… but got upgraded. Last March, a woman who expired in an economy seat on a British Airways flight was immediately reseated at the front of the plane. One first-class passenger was understandably pissed off when he woke up to find that the vacant seat next to him was now occupied by a corpse. The airline later apologized.

So, hear this. If you do meet your maker and get promoted to glory during your cruise…as senior cruise director and brand ambassador I hereby promise you will get that upgrade that may have always alluded you and we will put you in the penthouse……..and I will send you a fruit basket.

OK, time for today’s questions………..here we go.

Shawn Asked:
Please Respond John:
Hi John… Shawn here I contacted you earlier this year about my Friend & I sailing aboard the Splendor this Oct 18 2009 sailing … Our Booking Number is … Well my friend is going to have his birthday on Monday the 19 of Oct. and I was hoping that you could help me out by surprising him with a birthday wish via a card or to pass on to Goose that he will be having his 31st birthday with the rest of us on the cruise.

John Says:
Hello Shawn
It would be an honour (spelt correctly) for me to do this for you. However, I will no doubt forget by then so on October 5 or thereabouts can you please post a reminder and I will ask Goose to arrange this for you.

Look forward to hearing from you then
Best wishes

Irene Garner Asked:
Dear John……… Please reply,
I wondered who I should contact about the mugs I purchased on board the Carnival Destiny and Carnival Paradise. I know lots of people collect pins, but I collect mugs, so that when I use them it brings back the memories from that place I visited. I have 2 different style mugs from the Carnival Freedom, but they are just as nice as the day I bought them. The problem is that with the mugs from the Paradise and the Destiny, the printing is wearing off. These are dark blue mugs with silver or white printing. I’m not sure how to add pictures to this email otherwise I would send you a picture, but the image of the ship has disappeared from both of them, and the Destiny only says “Desti now”. I don’t think I paid any less for these mugs, but the quality certainly isn’t there. Should I take these mugs with me on my next cruise in September on the Carnival Valor, and show them to somebody there? I would like to have the mugs replaced, but if the printing wears off them too, I would prefer the type I bought on the Carnival Freedom.
Thanks….Irene Garner (still hooked on cruising)

John Says:
Hello Irene
I am sorry to say that the ship will not be able to replace these lovely mugs for you Irene. I know the ones you are talking about and as much as the shop managers would like to help I am sure they will not be permitted to do so. However, may I suggest that you contact the on board shop concession directly. Tell them your problems and maybe…….no promises……..they may replace them for you. Here is the address and I wish you a lot of luck. Let me know how it goes.
Starboard Cruise Services, Inc.
Attn: Customer Service Dept.
8034 N.W. 14th Street
Miami, FL 33126

Best wishes to you and the family

Wendy K Asked:
Hey John!! (please reply)
I have been lurking here on your blog for about a year now! I love every one of your entries! You are hilarious! I even find myself laughing at all of your poo references.
I was wondering if you could help me out–I want a table for two next to a window–oh just kidding, I don’t care where I eat dinner as long as it is on a Carnival ship!!

Now for my real questions. I am sailing on the Victory out of San Juan next spring. Someone on Cruise Critic posted that shore excursions can’t be booked online ahead of time for the Southern Caribbean cruise. I hope this isn’t the case, as we prefer to pay before we go. Second, we are staying overnight in San Juan the night before the cruise. What is the earliest time we can drop our luggage to the pier porters and check into the ship? Again, there have been many posts about this with various answers.
Oh, and Kye is just such a cutie I am sure you are looking forward to seeing her soon! =]

John Says:
Hello Wendy
Welcome aboard Wendy Lurker and I am so glad you decided to write a comment thingy. I know sometimes I over do the poo……..that rhymes by the way……..but I am glad to hear the blog does give you some laughs.

I am not sure where that information came from but I just checked with the Miami office and they confirmed that you will be able to book most of the excursions on line. Please have a read of them on carnival.com and if you have any questions please let me know.

I also checked with the guest services manager of the Carnival Victory who confirmed that you can leave your bags with the porter from noon. Boarding starts at 12:45 pm and Zanet the GSM suggests noon is the perfect time to arrive, board and then go ashore again if you wish.

I hope this helps and thanks for coming to me for the right information I hope you will share with others on the cruise boards.
Best wishes

Stefani Asked:
Please Reply… no hurries though.
We are going on the Vancouver to Hawaii cruise on September 16… can’t wait. We have a great group of people on Cruise Critic already and I think we will all have lifelong friends after the cruise. I am a travel agent, and I work hard at selling Carnival. Still working on people on changing their mind about the “party” ships. It’s a work in progress.

My question. My mom needs a gluten free diet and I have used the form that needs to be filled out for such things. Is there a wheat free version of the molten lava cake? Just thought I would ask. It is my hubbies favorite dessert… not mine though because I seem to be one of the few females in this world that doesn’t like chocolate that much… yup, I am weird HA HA HA.

Thanks for all you do. Oh… we also have the Carnival Dream booked for September 2010… can’t wait to see the Dream.

Stefani (I have a better spelling than all the other Stephanie’s you know LOL)

John Says:
Hello Stefani………which is now officially the most common name……..in the world.

I wonder………..did you read yesterday’s blog about the conception people have of the word party? I hope this will help you sell our brilliant Fun Ship experience and if you feel that you need more help from our sales team or from me to accomplish this, please let me know and I will be happy to help you help send your clients to enjoy a Fun Ship experience.

I am not sure if there is a wheat-free version of this cake but I will find out so please look out for this answer next week here on the blog thingy.

Thank you for your continuing support and I wish you all a wonderful cruise……and remember …..let me know if you need some sales tools.
Best wishes

CruisinSue Asked:
Hi John (Please Reply)
I hope you are having a good weekend despite the tropical weather. Nanni is soooo disappointed that the storms kept you away from her.

I have a question. I have a friend that loves to cruise CCL, and on the last cruise she was on there was a band named Blood Brothers. She would like very much to cruise with them again. Is it possible for you to find which ship they are on, so she can book that ship? Thanks in advance.

I sure hope to cruise with you as CD again soon. It looks like we have Karl with a K on the Carnival Victory in 13 days. I saw him as an asst CD and he was super, so I am sure he will be a fabulous CD.

Give my best to Heidi and Kye. I know you are glad to be returning to your 2 beautiful ladies soon.
Hugs to all
Gloria aka Sue

John Says:
Hello Sue
This shows how terribly behind I am with the questions that are marked for my reply as I did in fact get to see Nanni and family and it was wonderful to sit and chat with them again. We had muchos hugos. Blood Brothers are currently playing on the Carnival Destiny.

Karl with a K is an excellent CD and I know you will appreciate his talent when you sail with him soon. I also hope to see you again and many thanks for the very kind words for Heidi and Kye.
Best wishes to you and your family

MrPete Asked:
I appreciate your research regarding my Bermuda question that Mr. Terry Thornton answered, but I do have one follow up.

I was half expecting that due to Bermuda building a second dock at Kings Wharf, this would have really opened the possibilities of Carnivals return. I watched it being built last year on my visit on one of the Envious of the Seas.

Did the other lines scoop that second berth all summer long?

John Says:
Hello Mr. Pete
I am glad you appreciated the answer from Terry Thornton our SVP of……stuff. He is a very busy man and I am honored that he is such a big supporter of the blog thingy. Terry is currently on vacation. Now, I think I know the answer to your question but just to make sure I will ask “the man” when he gets back and post his answer to you here on the blog thingy.
Best wishes

Jeanette Asked:
John, please reply!
I will be on the Glory in January (and it’d be nice if you were the CD…) and my friend will be Platinum and I will be one cruise away from Platinum. The problem is we are in two different cabins and two different booking numbers. We are flying down two days early and spending a day in Miami before the cruise to see a bit more of Miami. I’ll meet up with her in Denver and we’ll be on the same flight to Miami. Now, since she is platinum she has VIP boarding, but is it possible for me to get VIP boarding too as we are travelling together, just different cabins. Our booking numbers are linked for the dining room so we have the same table.

I know it is asking much and if I have to wait then I wait. I’ll send her to wait at the Shore tours desk to wait in line to book a cabana!

Bloggers cruise 2010–when will you know when the next 7 or 8 day bloggers cruise will be and which ship so I can go and finally meet you (and hopefully Heidi and Kye!)

Hurricane season and complainers–It happens each time and when I was on the Liberty last year it was no different. I was disappointed, but I had one hell of a time!!! So what if I didn’t get to go to Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk, but being able to go to two new ports was a treat! I’ll get back to Half Moon Cay in Jan 2010.

John Says:
Hello Jeanette
Please don’t worry. I will let embarkation know and they will of course allow you and your friend to board together. Please would you remind me a few weeks before you sail and will make it so.

I hope to announce the Bloggers Cruise for 2010 very soon. Everyone has been very busy with your Carnival Dream and now things are nearly complete there we will be able to concentrate on picking the right ship at the right time to appease as many bloggers as possible. So far ……..touch wood………it has been an OK hurricane season……….let’s hope it continues this way.
My best wishes to you and your Platinum friend

Irene Garner Asked:
Hi John….Please reply
I hate to keep harping on about something that, due to miscommunications between yourself and one of the Stephanie’s my grandson has never received the small gift you had planned to give him for his 18th birthday when we sailed on the Carnival Paradise last April. You had said that once you got back to the States you would make sure it was sent to him, and I wrote to you again with our new address as we have just moved.

I know you have not been onshore in quite a while, and the only thing you will be thinking of when you do get off the Carnival Freedom is your trip back to the UK to be with your girls again. As it happens we will be taking another cruise on September 13th from Miami, on the Carnival Valor. Our cabin number will be 2300, so I am just wondering whether you would be able to arrange with the CD on the Carnival Valor for the item you had planned to give to my grandson to be delivered to him there instead. If this is not possible I will understand.
Thanks…Irene Garner (counting down the days and hooked on cruising)

John Says:
Hello Irene
The gift will be delivered and I once again apologize that my colleague did not do this last time. Have a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Paradise and I know Jeff Brooooooonnnnssssoooon will not forget.
Best wishes

Chris Packard Asked:
Hello John,
Please respond if you have a chance.
My wife and I will be sailing on the Carnival Victory from 30 Aug – 13 Sept stateroom 1421. I have two favors to ask of you. First could you recommend a good place to purchase cigars on this cruise? My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Freedom in 2007 with you and we both thought you to be the most entertaining CD we had ever had. When Janet and I got the chance to meet you and spend a bit of time talking you just absolutely made her cruise…I must say I was a bit jealous but what can I say.

Now for the second favor. Janet and I don’t get to spend much time together with me working in Iraq so we have to celebrate all our holidays, birthdays, anniversarys etc. when we can. On this cruise we will be catching up with her birthday and our anniversary. Since she had so much fun meeting you, and you made such an impression, would there be any way that you could have an email delivered to our stateroom just saying Happy Birthday to her. I know she would get a real kick out of it.

Thanks for all the hard work you put into this blog and I want you to know that a lot of us over here read it every day and you sure do know how to keep us rolling on the floor.

John Says:
Hello Chris
I am so glad this reached me in time and I hope you get to chance to read this before you cruise this weekend. The best place to get cigars will be St. Thomas which although part of the United States and there not permitted to sell Cuban cigars they do have some wonderful cigar stores downtown including the Davidoff shop which has an amazing selection of Fuente’s and of course Davidoff.

I must admit I have never bought Cuban cigars from any of the ports that you are going to and please be aware of the many fakes especially in the more common brands such as Cohiba and Monte Cristo.

I hope you have a fantastic cruise and look out for that birthday card. I wish I could be there to hand it to you in person.
Best wishes to you both

Sandy T Asked:
John, this isn’t a comment on today’s (or any day’s) blog but a request to you, the Stephanies and your blog readers for help.

My husband and I plan to take my in-laws on b2b cruises on the Dream in January. They will be 87 and 88 at the time of our cruise. God willing, we will have an opportunity to take them on future Carnival cruises. But given their ages…. Well, you can understand how we would like to make this trip very special for them.

John, you have dealt with all kinds of people of every age. In your dealings with other elderly cruisers, is there something special you could suggest that we do for my in-laws?

Thank you John, the Stephanies and all readers of the blog thingy for your help!

John Says:
Hello Sandy
How wonderful. I know that you will do everything you can to make this experience very special ……….as will all the crew. They are all trained in dealing with our older guests and instead of me suggesting things for them that might make their time more comfortable why not send me your concerns…..maybe they have walking or dietary challenges etc……please let me know what you think we can do for them and I will do my best to make it happen.
Please though …don’t worry……..they will have the best of times.
Best wishes to you all

That’s all for today. There will be more on Monday and thanks to everyone for their comments.

OK, let’s do the news. First of all we must talk about the latest Fantasy-class ship to have her upgrades announced………..and she is the Carnival Fascination. Here is our mate Vance from Public Relations to tell you all about it.

Reservations Open Today for 98 Balconies Added During Carnival Fascination’s Dry Dock

Fantastic news. The Serenity deck, the Mongolian Wok and of course those new balcony cabins that have proven so very popular on the Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Sensation. How do they do that though? Just add cabins. Well…….next week I will be posting an interview with a chap called Peter who is going to tell us all about that and some of the other amazing refit projects he is involved in for Carnival Corporation.

On a more personal news front I discussed my 2010 cruise director schedule today with Chris Prideaux who is in charge of the CD’s going where and when. I will definitely have this finalized by next week and I will tell you where I am going and also what CD will be on what ship in 2010. And of course………..where the 2010 Bloggers Cruise will be as well.

I saw one of the brand new gifts that those of you who will be sailing with us on your Carnival Dream bloggers cruise will be receiving and…………it’s hilarious. Can’t wait for you to see it.

In the days before Kye, rumpy pumpy was a magical thing. There were whole acres of weekends and evenings to indulge. But when the stork does its worst, all bets are off. The windows of opportunity for any bedroom antics bugger off and the venues become limited. Heidi won’t have even have a kiss or a cuddle within 300 feet of Kye so last night that was us……in the garden shed stopping panickily every few seconds to listen to the baby monitor.

However it’s also the very last thing we feel like, because the level of sleep deprivation you’re experiencing makes us laugh hysterically every time we recall how easy life used to be. The prospect of trying to avoid a shovel-related rumpy pumpy injury is almost too much to bear. And so we just laughed……. clinging to each other like survivors of a shipwreck because that’s pretty much what life is once you are silly enough to reproduce.

It didn’t matter that that the soundtrack is not smooth jazz but the neighbor putting out the garbage. Nothing matters except that you and she are having a moment to yourselves. And that you are still together — despite everything. And that you love each other…….my apologies if some of you have vomited after reading that paragraph of luvy dovy mush.

Anyway…….time for today’s highlight and an interview about your Carnival Dream with a man who knows it better than most…….her architect….the man who turns dreams into realities of the seas…………….Mr. Joe Farcus.

Joe Farcus (horz)

1. I am sure that you have read the huge excitement that everyone is feeling about the arrival of the Carnival Dream and I am sure you are as well. When did you start planning your designs for the ship.

[Joseph Farcus] We are really excited! We last saw the ship last in mid June & there was plenty to be excited about. We have been working on her for about 2 years now. The first step was to design the changes we wanted to incorporate into what will be Carnival’s largest ship ever. The idea of course was not just to make the ship larger, but to add features which our other ships did not have so that she would continue the evolutionary progression that Carnival has adopted over the years. For example we know that our guests like to lay out on deck during the day. Making the ship larger does not proportionately increase the area of open deck traditionally located at the top of the ship. This was addressed cleverly by The Lanai, which is the addition of 2 lower sun decks at the sides of deck 5, off of the main public room deck of the ship, configured as overhanging extensions to the ship’s beam or width. I see these decks as being very popular, being used more by adults I think, who would like the much closer communion with the sea. We have added 4 half overhanging spa pools on this deck so that guests can lounge in them with spectacular & thrilling views of the sea. You’ll be able to hear the ship moving through the water at this location, which to those who appreciate it will be a very pleasant experience indeed.

2. People always ask me what the theme is for each of your brilliant designs. Is there a general theme for the Carnival Dream.

[Joseph Farcus] Normally I have begun the design process by envisioning what I have called a Central Idea from which the ship designs evolve. These ideas have mainly been a concrete specific characteristic, such as ‘The Impressionist Artists’ or ‘Colors’. I’ve tried to do this a little differently for this ship, making the ‘Central Idea’ much more abstract. I knew the name of the vessel was going to be Carnival Dream & with that in mind I began my thought process. The word ‘Dream’ began to take on an importance, which led me to think about a ‘Dream Cruise.’ That was it for me & my inspiration. My idea was to put this ideal into my creative thought process so that it would be the inspiration for each design. So when I began to create each public room I thought of how each function could be realized as an integral part of the Dream Cruise. It was a frame of mind really using all of my experience in creating successful ships & applying it to take the next step in the design process by consciously using this abstract concept of a ship where all of the designs stem from this ideal dream. Certainly the new spaces & areas of this vessel added to this concept, but even more so was my desire to create something extra special for her guests.

3.One of the most anticipated areas of the Carnival Dream is the Ocean Plaza so please tell us what we can accept from you with this Carnival first.

[Joseph Farcus] The Ocean Plaza is a new space on the main guest deck 5, which was added as a result of this ship’s increased length over her last sister, Carnival Splendor. When the ship was lengthened in the planning stages creating a new space to be defined & The Lanai open decks added there as well, it was clear to me that this new space was needed to connect these decks & to create a new nerve center for the ship. I believed that The Lanai decks were going to be very popular by day & also by night to a lesser extent. This area is for those who love the sea & want that added communion with it by virtue of being rather close to it. You will hear the sea as never before on one of our ships. Almost like being on the beach. With all of this in mind & working with Carnival’s management the concept was created & generically named the Piazza after the traditional Italian town center square where the people congregate to meet, talk, eat, & enjoy. Such is what we can offer in The Ocean Plaza & the adjacent Lanais. There is a café, bars, & entertainment to keep this town center active day & night. There is also a large computer communication facility here too. It is the new ubiquitous Fun Hubs, which will be located all over the ship for the guests’ pleasure in their desire to reach out to others onboard, all sorts of Carnival & ship information as well as normal Internet functions. “Meet me in Ocean Plaza”, will be a logical & pleasant expression on Carnival Dream & a new concept for Carnival guests. The décor is clean & modern featuring special blue & gray tinted wood walls punctuated with a dark blue mirror fashioned as a horizontal wavy sea horizon. Beautiful orange handmade glass mosaics, mirror-like stainless steel pillar coves, & Venetian Murrina circular lamps finish the décor. On the Lanai decks we have 4 overhanging whirpools with amazing views & the ability to circumnavigate the ship by foot for miles & miles of beach-like hiking. The Lanai has also been widen at the Ocean Plaza on either side to create large under cover seating areas for those who want to be in the shade to watch the sea go by on a beautiful day while they… enjoy a dream cruise!

4.First impressions are so important in life and I have enjoyed watching the guests first impression reaction when they walk into one of your stunning lobbies.
What have you created for us in the lobby of the Carnival Dream.

[Joseph Farcus]
I share your enjoyment of watching guests board the ship for the first time as well. First impressions are also something we agree on. Based upon my first impression of seeing the lobby & atrium on the Dream, even before she was totally finished was awesome. Awesome is a word that has perhaps become an overused. However in this case the first impression feeling will give new meaning to the word onboard a ship! I think the dreamy nature of this ship will be realized at this moment of entry. The space itself will seem larger than Dream’s sisters as the lobby is almost 30 feet wider. Also the opening in the deck above is significantly wider greatly adding to the space of the atrium. Then there is the main feature, the back lit antique mirror panels, walls, & ceilings. This material despite its ancient name is actually quite new & as far as I know never used on such a scale. One will see a sort of tinted mirror with veins as you might see in antique mirror, but the Italian manufacturer introduced veins of translucent glass, which results in its illumination breathing life into the panels. To that effect we introduced small colored glass lights with convex lens that are interspersed throughout the mirror with color changing L.E.D. lighting. The effect is a vibrant, yet peaceful space that is just awesome. In the atrium we created a new architectural feature that captures the scale of the space & provides a monumental jewel which begs a guest to explore. It is the main staircase, which has been made into a gleaming spiral of stainless steel with clear glass steps! Attached to it & flying over the lobby bar we have introduced a stage, which will be used for various entertainment & because of its mid level height will make the whole 3 deck plus lobby into a theatre for these performances. The atmosphere will be unique & the functioning will present a whole new major entertainment venue, which I think will also help bring the guests to their Dream cruise.

5. The promeande deck is also very different with a more open plan design which I am personally very excited about. Can you take us on a tour of Promeande Deck 5

[Joseph Farcus] Moving up the Dream atrium again we come to deck 5, where the Ocean Plaza & Lanai open decks are located. There are several entrances to the Lanai’s all along deck 5 for easy access & convenient use. Our shopping center is located here as in the past, with more shops & a completely new layout & décor. Rich woods of various colors are used throughout giving a completely new & contemporary feeling for shopping. Coming out of the Dream on the starboard side we come into Upper Dream Street, which in this area is combined with the Jackpot Casino. The casino is larger & follows the model successfully arranged aboard the Carnival Spirit Class ships, where one walks through it moving fore & aft on the ship. The décor here is dream-like wild with copper frames holding huge lenses, which gives one a different view of the world (you have to be onboard to understand) combined with black & white striped woodwork, & multi-colored handmade art glass wall panels. Running throughout are beams of light points creating an ever changing color symphony replicating the action of this gaming spot. Located at the aft corner is the bar, lounge area, & bandstand. The bar features large video monitors for sports & other event showings culminating this action center. Continuing on Upper Dream Street we come to Ocean Plaza at the midship position & described above, with the exception that a stage is located here as well fulfilling the entertainment function mentioned above.

Continuing through Ocean Plaza we come to a large seating area in Upper Dream Street, where the walkup Wasabi sushi bar is located in Japanese décor. Aft of that we come to the entrance to the Collection art gallery, which is our largest yet designed as a museum with many contemporary designed alcoves to effectively display the art for sale onboard. Just aft of this entrance is the Caliente dance club. Here we have gone with the South Beach model of upscale & very now in way of décor. Sofa seating encircled by diaphanous gold curtains form the main seating groups, along with many high boy tables encouraging meeting & having fun in this state of the art equipped dance club. The large dance floor is made ip of graphic LED displays with other LED graphic panels over it in a kind of cone-like shape. We even have an outdoor section on the port side of the Lanai, where groups can gather in the outdoors on beautiful nights with the feeling of being in a top spot club. The remaining walls & ceiling coves are painted with bi-color changing wall finishes & the pleated chrome ceiling is painted on one side black to give a now it’s here, now it’s not feeling. At the end of Upper Dream Street we come into the open piano bar, Sam’s. The homage to pianos is carried out through simulated ivory moldings & our traditional oversized piano keyboard bar where guest can imagine (or dream) they are talented piano players while enjoying the music. Rich woodwork is used for the walls & furniture accented with string-like red strip lights weaving through the room. Our traditional piano on a turntable will still be here & located in a much larger bar than previous ships with a large convex mirror above it giving those seated there an extraordinary view of the performer.

When you move through Sam’s you come to the aft atrium, which serves as not only the entrance to the Scarlet Restaurant, but also to The Song jazz/ karaoke bar & the Burgundy aft show lounge. The Song’s architectural style is lyrical as the music played there. The columns are tapered wave-like flutes finished in a heavy textured copper color with royal purple velour curtains festooned in the windows. The ceiling undulates with the music so to speak & the floors & bar area is finished with a mosaic made up of broken pieces of 5 different fancy marbles. The translucent dome over the dance floor has a similar finish replicated on glass & backlit giving a Tiffany glass effect. The Burgundy follows the new layout first used aboard Carnival Splendor, where the stage is located completely aft with a very large dance floor in front of it & tiered seating all around. This new layout is very conducive to performances, but also for conference seating making the aft show lounge a great venue for meetings, cocktail parties, & the like. Here is also the most themed room on the Dream, taking its inspiration from Carnivale in Venice. This is sort of my dream of remembrance as the Carnivale was the first ship I worked on for Carnival Cruise Lines. The walls are a Venetian design fabric wall covering above a quilted maple wood wainscot with gold leafed quatrefoil appliqués. In front of the wall covering are Venetian Carnival masks back lit with color changing lights creating a multi-color glow on the walls. Large versions of the masks are used behind the bar & in gold leafed domes in the ceiling. The main domes also have handmade Venetian glass chandeliers adding to the Venetian theme.

6. Obviously I have to ask about the main theatre. What is it called and what have you created for our center of live entertainment.

[Joseph Farcus] Well John, we couldn’t make a cruise ship for a dream cruise without making our great theaters even greater. Such is the case for the Encore! In the first place it is larger & obviously has a larger seating capacity. We worked closely with Carnival’s Entertainment Department to add the features, which would also increase the production capabilities. That would be better access to & from the stage, as well as more backstage facilities for more elaborate sets, costumes, & general operating space for the entertainers & technicians. So the groundwork for even better shows is an integral part of the Carnival Dream. From the audience point of view the auditorium portion of the room is improved. The lower deck or main floor if you will now goes beam to beam, which is considerably wider than the previous theaters. This has allowed me to add additional side tiers to the seating arrangement ensuring better sight lines to the stage for the audience. The addition of these areas has allowed the for the reduction in the side depth or projection of the balcony over the main floor. This result is a bigger ‘hole’ as it were in the balcony giving everyone in the audience a much larger sense of space in this theater. What had been a grand theater on the previous ships will be even grander aboard Dream. The décor is contemporary & features walls of a handmade finish consisting of a textured spatula applied reddish iridescent paint broken up into stone-like panels with joints of gold leaf. Flanking the stage are massive marble columns & the walls & ceiling are accented with Macassar Ebony wood columns & beams. The overall color scheme of the upholstery & carpets features mainly gold with dark red accents. The ceiling over the main part of the auditorium is a starlit sky creating an even more soaring effect to this theatre of the Dream.

7. And of course we have the dining rooms…….what can you tell us about them.

[Joseph Farcus] Moving aft one comes to the Crimson Restaurant. The name comes from the prevalent color used inside for colored glass lamps & chandeliers, mosaic tiles, ceiling coves, & the glass balustrades & privacy screens used throughout. All of these features are framed by beautiful light olive wood paneling evoking a warm & sophisticated, yet comfortable look. The layout of the room itself has been changed as well as being made larger. Our two level previous design has been kept, but reconfigured to give a more open & formal entrance. Additionally the upper level has changed by virtue of a new circulation space added to the Dream, which is a lower promenade on the starboard side called Lower Dream Street. This new configuration will allow for more open seating possibilities as we have the majority of tables there for two persons. The ambiance is casual elegance & just puts a smile on your face when you enter. It’s comfortable & the feeling is warm as one should expect on a Dream cruise. Just forward of the Crimson are two adjacent annexes, Crimson Lounge I & Crimson Lounge II, which are breakout rooms used as additional main restaurant seating, private party rooms, & card or game rooms. In these rooms the décor is overall lilac colored created by beautiful glass mosaics with elaborate multi-colored medallions, iridescent painted contoured wall panels, & fiddle back Movingue wood wainscoting. The aft restaurant, Scarlet, has the same overall design & materials with the same feelings expressed for The Crimson.

8. Are there any other areas of design on this amazing new ship that you would like to tell us about and can you tell us about the superb art work we will all discover.

[Joseph Farcus] Well it’s all pretty amazing. One of new features is Lower Dream Street. Guests who have sailed before on Carnival know of our successful promenades. We learned early on of the importance of this circulation space, which has evolved into a public room itself aboard Carnival ships. We also learned on our Spirit Class ships the improvement of having 2 promenades at 2 different public room levels. Well Lower Dream Street is the second promenade introduced on Dream. It provides complete fore to aft circulation on deck 4 in addition to Upper Dream Street on deck 5. It just makes getting around easier & more direct. On Lower Dream Street one can go from the atrium to the Crimson Restaurant, then onward to the biggest Conference Room we have ever had that can be broken up into 3 different spaces. In this promenade in way of the conference room is our second largest Fun Hub center. Moving aft we come to the young peoples’ area which contains Carnival’s signature Club O2 & Circle C Club, which are both adjacent to the video arcade, The Warehouse. The Warehouse as the name implies looks like an old brick warehouse with steel beams, bolts, & large atmosphere creating exhaust fans, not to mention the latest in electronic games. Finally Lower Dream Street brings you to the Aft Atrium & the Scarlet Restaurant. We have a small pre dinner lounge, Rendezvous, which features leather walls & furniture & Frederick Remington paintings & sculptures.

Moving to the top of the ship we have the Gathering lido restaurant complete with the international food bars consisting of the Mongolian, The Deli, The Tandoori, the Pizzeria, the Grille, & the daily special ones, not to mention the elaborate dessert & coffee bars. Here the walls have been covered with glass mosaic tile with real platinum tiles interspersed throughout the mosaic. These walls will be broken up by large angular forms on the walls & ceiling whose pyramid-like elements are polished stainless steel on one face & wood veneer on the opposite side They form really interesting geometric shapes half of which reflect angled views of the rooms creating an eye catching perspective from anywhere in the room. The ceilings are dark metallic lacquer panels alternated with bright red feature strips. Throughout are white wall & ceiling lamps with amber colored glass ‘buttons’ fused on creating a clean sparkling effect. The floor & walls in the serving lines are triangular tiles of pink & dark red granite. The banquets are trimmed in mirror stainless steel with the wall mosaic tile & orange tinted glass privacy panels. It’s a warm & pleasant environment with some visual reflective excitement for our informal dining experience.

Moving up one deck we come to our best restaurant onboard, The Chef’s Art. Our reservation recommended steakhouse. Here the décor is rich & beautiful. The main feature of the room is an almost full ceiling chandelier made up of hand blown violet glass sphere elements fixed on a black chrome background with small clear bulbs placed in between the spheres. The effect should be a dreamy evening sky when the lights are dimmed. The walls are mainly lavender tinted frosted & textured glass back lit panels framed with light wood frames accented with dark wood corners & pink & gray marble circular inserts. The remaining ceiling is coppery colored cassettes with a brushed in design framed with wood & marble strips as the walls. I think when a couple is dancing under the evening inspired chandelier a sense of relaxed style & satisfaction will be the effect.

Our public room tour will end in the Cloud 9 Spa. The décor will be Asian inspired as our new upgraded spa facilities on the Carnival Splendor, however everything will be larger. More treatment rooms, Asian themed cabins just below & associated with the spa, bigger gym, & special glass elevator strictly for the spa which goes from the Spa cabins up 4 decks to the Serenity Deck above for adult guests. It is surely our most comprehensive spa in our fleet. The facilities, services, & equipment are second to none & for those who book a spa cabin, a spa experience equal to the finest ashore.

Next we can go to the top of the ship & talk about the open decks. I have already gone into some detail about the deck 5 Lanai decks which forms a continuous connection around the sides & aft section of the ship. Additionally we have the Waves lido with the Seaside Theatre, which is the two deck high main lido area featuring our mega sized video wall for all sorts of performances, day or night. In fact this space with the video & bandstand make this the largest ‘public Room’ on the ship. So we have our normal swimming pool here, two Jacuzzi spa pools as well on the upper deck, plus bars & food bars. A great place to have fun in the sun or party down in the night.

The aft deck is a cruiser’s dream lido called Sunset. We also have two Jacuzzis here & the Sunset Bar. A magnificent view aft is the main feature here forming a perfect spot for lounging to watch the mesmerizing wake of the ship float on. Above this deck we have a basketball court & games deck. Also above Camp Carnival, which by the way will be Carnival’s most extensive facility in the fleet, will be the children’s play deck where the smaller children can enjoy playing on deck in Carnival’s super & supervised program. Carnival’s Mini Golf is located above this providing an interesting course at sea.

Above & forward of the Wave lido is Carnival’s WaterWorks, which is a great water park for all ages. Slides of different types & water jets & sprays are there for splashing fun in a self-contained area. Above & forward of the WarterWorks is the Serenity Deck, our adults only resort type sun deck. Upscale loungers, special Jacuzzis, cabanas, & sunshades complete this exclusive area located just above the Cloud 9 Spa.

The Wave & Sunset lidos are decorated in a yacht club style complete with sail boat masts complete with rigging, special lights, & signal flags. Large dished of Bougainvillea will adorn each mast as well. Garland light lines will also connect the masts giving a festive feeling at night. The walls around the bars will be a beautiful white ceramic tile with colorful confetti flecks on them. The decks are a new eco friendly teak wood resin. Beautiful bronze sculptures will be placed in both lidos with the one at the Sunset as part of waterfall feature that one can walk through. Surrounding the pools will be a wading pools fitted with amorphic shaped benches to lounge on in the shallow water.

9. It’s late July as I write. What is happening currently on board as far as your role is concerned.

[Joseph Farcus] Thank goodness this one is in the can as the film producers say. There are some odds & ends questions coming from minor problems onboard in the finishing. Fortunately Carnival has some great people working onboard watching all of the construction. They are our eyes so to speak as we cannot be there on a daily basis. I can report that everything is coming together well. Based upon my last visit it is not hard to believe. I am looking forward to my first impression that will occur on 13 September.

10. You have been leaving your incomparable mark on our Carnival ships for many years yet your designs continue to astound. Where does your inspiration come from and what does the future hold.

[Joseph Farcus] Thanks for those very kind words John. No doubt that designing & bringing that design to fruition is a difficult & tedious job. So many details, so many technical issues, so many budgetary arguments, so much to consider. The payback if you will is the opportunity to design & express myself artistically. It’s a potent & valuable prize for the effort. The fact is my inspiration is civilization. My motivation is to create my place in the whole of civilization by creating my art as I see & feel it. Of course it’s all done for the guests’ enjoyment & pleasure. I want my creations to be the fertile ground & the inspiration for each person to create their own cruise experience. The designs hopefully are fresh & even more so, new & different & conducive to the ability for one to shed that which makes life abrasive. I want my designs to do just that so when a guest debarks the Dream they are refreshed, ready for real life again, & most of all that they had their Dream cruise!

The future: more & better. Maybe even a Magical cruise. Thanks John for giving me the opportunity to talk about my ship again. Ciao.

Thanks Joe and thank you for making our Dream come true. I know that one or two people with beards may think of Joe’s designs as far too extravagant and I know that proper writers who don’t sit at their computers in their underpants have described just how brilliant and unique Joe and his designs are.

All I can say is that we are the Fun Ships……and his designs are the perfect way to remind you how much fun you’re having………..congratulations Joe and now let’s look at some photos of his and your Carnival Dream.
































Amazing photos that show Mr. Farcus still has the passion and the twinkle in his eye that has kept him at the top of the interior design tree for so many years. It takes him months and months to come up with the designs and make them reality……..however……I have him beat ….. because it took only three minutes………………for me to make this:


Goodnight and see you on Monday
Your friends
John, Heidi, Kye and Joe

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.