A Blog To Chew On

September 10, 2009 -

John Heald

Have a read of this comment.

The Henstein Family Asked:
Please reply

We just returned from our first Carnival trip on the Paradise and while we had a good time I do have one or two comments. The first is that we did not appreciate the loud over the top decor and much prefer the more subtle colors and designs found on Royal Caribbean. The second point may sound trivial but why does your shops on the ship not sell chewing gum. I am a dentist and so is my wife and all our family are constant chewers of gum. It isn’t digestible and it doesn’t promote decay. It does two things. First, it mechanically cleans the surfaces of your teeth as you chew. Second, and possibly the most beneficial, it promotes the flow of saliva. Here’s why that is good:

Saliva is great stuff. Besides having enzymes that digest carbohydrates, it has antibodies that fight decay-causing bacteria, it contains buffers that neutralize the acids that eat at your teeth, and it contains minerals that help rebuild parts of your teeth that have been attacked by decay acid. This repair process by your saliva is a very important part of fighting tooth decay. So when you chew chewing gum and stimulate the flow of saliva, you have all these good things happening in your mouth.

I write the above so you can speak to someone and have chewing gum available on board just as Royal Caribbean do.

Thank You
Dr Josh Henstein

John Says:
Hello Doctor
I want to start by explaining why I started the blog by highlighting your comments. I did so because I think this is a very good point and maybe other readers who may sometimes skip the Q and A section of the blog thingy to read as well.

I will add my own opinion on chewing gum in a few moments but the simple reason as to why we don’t sell gum on board is that it is a nightmare……a John Heald naked, lying on a banquet table naked with an apple in his mouth kind of nightmare. Even though we don’t sell it onboard we still find lumps of it all over the ship. On carpet, under chairs and in places that are hard to imagine just how it got there and what kind of human animal would have put it there.

So Doc, while I would never dare dispute the virtues of chewing gum being good for you I am surprised that other cruise lines sell it onboard but I am happy……..not sorry……to say that we won’t.

I do hope that you had a great cruise and when you and the family decide to cruise again I hope you will let me know so I can help choose the perfect Carnival Fun Ship vacation for you all.

Best wishes

OK, gum……Heidi loves it………….as do many others. Me…………ummmm………..nope. Heidi says it’s comforting…….. how is chewing gum “comforting?” It’s a tiny thingy that lasts five seconds before you’re left chewing a flavorless knot of horse hoof……….my underpants have more flavor. …………and lasts longer. Honestly, the taste of mint or spearmint or tofu lasts but a few minutes. Unless you sit on a discarded lump of it, then the stain on your best pants lasts a bloody lifetime.

You’ve probably noticed that I dislike gum (I know they don’t make it out of horse feet it just tastes like they do). It’s ever since, aged 12, I blew a bubble that popped in my face and stuck in my eyebrows for a week. A Cadbury’s Bar of chocolate – that’s a treat. Chewing gum is bugger all, as insignificant as Richard Fain’s blog. All it does is foul sidewalks. I just can’t understand who’s buying it. Kids don’t even bother anymore because they’re too busy smoking Marlboro Lights.

But I can’t argue with the figures which if I could be bothered would probably show me that I’m a minority. What I can look forward to now is more people chewing noisily with their mouths open, stretching the revolting stuff round their fingers and sticking it behind their ears for later.

Well, live and let live……… everyone’s got bad habits. So I won’t mind anyone chewing gum around me if they don’t object to a quick piece from my arse orchestra (in F Minor) ………… chewing my arse!

Time for the rest of today’s questions…….here we go……….oh bugger……………..need the toilet so while I go for an Eartha Kitt (rhyming slang), you stay here and read this.


Ok, I am back. Let’s crack on.

Brian and Joan Asked:
Please Reply
Joan and myself will be sailing on the Carnival Freedom out of Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 15 to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary and my 50th birthday. This will be our first Carnival cruise and second cruise overall since our honeymoon in 1991 and just can’t wait!

Tried to look elsewhere so as not to bother you but I was not able to find the answer. Would you please tell me when the Elegant Night is? Right now we are booked for the Sun King Supper Club (per your wise recommendation) on the 17th to celebrate our special occasions but if the elegant night is the same night we would like to change the day we go to the Supper Club so we can enjoy both.

Keep doing what you do and I bet people would be surprised at how many of us send comments to you in our underpants in honor of you just as I have done.
Wish you would be there to smoke a cigar with!
Thank you for your reply,
Brian and Joan

John Says:
Hello Brian and Joan

Having just returned from being the Cruise Director of the Carnival Freedom I know for sure that your first Carnival cruise will be the best vacation experience you have ever had. Please never feel bad about being a bother, I am here to help and with that in mind here is the answer to your question.

The first elegant night will be on the 17 which is the same night you have booked our fantastic steakhouse. So, if you want to change it I can do this for you or you can re-book using the online service. Please let me know and if you are meat lovers you must try the porterhouse steak. I am here writing in my underpants and I hope you are reading in the same attire. Best wishes to you both and if I don’t get chance before your cruise may I wish you a brilliant time.

Larry Asked:
We are very excited to be cruising on the Carnival Dream in February and even more so since we learned you will be the cruise director when we are sailing. I have a question about the timing of your bedtime story. From what I can determine, it looks like you do the bedtime story on the last night of the cruise along with the talent show. Is this correct? I have heard soooooo much about it that I don’t want to miss it. However, all of us in our group are early birds (early to bed). We sound like a bunch of old fogies and that is definitely not the case. But we do rise early and hit the hay early. I am already feeling disappointed that we may miss this bedtime story if it is only done once on the cruise and is at the late show. Can you let me know if this is the case? If so, would there be a chance you could also do it for the early show? Please consider this if you don’t already do it. Thanks in advance!!! Keep up the good work – we just love you, your blog, Heidi and of course Kye!!!

John Says:
Hello Larry

I am very excited to read that you and so many other bloggers are going to be sailing with me during my short time on the Carnival Dream. I will indeed be performing the Bedtime Story but it won’t be on the last night. I will do this mid cruise during the talent show and I hope this audience participation event lives up to all the hype. If for some reason you do miss it, the show will repeat on the cabin televisions….but…..I do hope you get to see it live. Thanks for all the kind words.
Best wishes

Mary M. Asked:
John…please respond,
I know any discussion on smoking/non-smoking areas can be controversial…but since you ask for input…I am more than happy to give you my two cents.

Our first cruise was on the Paradise…chosen primarily because it was a smoke free ship. What a wonderful cruise…we could (and did) go to all of the lounges and enjoy the entertainment…something we would not have done had they been filled with smokers. We had a great time hanging out in the piano bar!

Our second cruise…was on the Paradise…still smoke free at that time…only this time we invited friends to go along. They too enjoyed the clean air…our evenings were spent in the lounges and casino.

On our last two cruises…the Carnival Victory and most recently the Carnival Freedom (with you as CD!) we rarely even went on the Promenade Deck in the evenings. It was hard to breathe just walking by the casino or piano bar. Perhaps we are more sensitive to smoke than others, but being anywhere near cigarette smoke is irritating and will keep me away…no matter how great the entertainment is!
I think alternating the piano bar between smoking & non-smoking nights is a great idea. It would be a quick way to see which nights are more popular…and the more people that are there…the more Carnival makes on drinks!
I will be anxious to hear your responses to these comments. We are in the process of deciding on our next cruise…this one for the whole family next summer…possibly the Legend or maybe even the wonderful new Carnival Dream! It would be wonderful to once again be able to enjoy ALL of the ship…and not just SOME of the ship.

I can actually sympathize with smokers…I too have my own addiction now. Ever since we cruised with you last month I have become addicted to your blog thingy!! I’m not sure if there is any type of recovery program…but if there is I don’t want to know about it! Please don’t cut out the humour (spelt correctly)…the information is nice…but it is your strange (and sometimes perverted) sense of humour that keeps me coming back day after day!

John Says:
Hello Mary
Thank you so very much for taking the time to write such a comprehensive comment and don’t worry if it is controversial…it isn’t…………there is nothing controversial here on the blog, just opinions and yours is well noted. I think the smoke you may smell on the promenade does come from the casino as the promenade itself, the casino bar are non smoking as is the lobby, all the restaurants and the main theatre.

Smoking and gambling seem to go together and while the Paradise it was fantastic for those who were non smokers, the non-smoking angle made it difficult to attract large family groups or business incentive groups because if just one member of that group smoked…….then the group would not book the ship. I guess this is why no other cruise line has ever adopted a non smoking vessel.

However, the way the world is going smoking will soon be banned along with eating red meat, driving anything that might endanger a polar bear and having rumpy pumpy with the lights on.

On a serious note we at Carnival know how smoking effects our guests enjoyment and we are I promise constantly reviewing our policies onboard. We have come a long way already since the days of half the theatre and dining rooms being smoking and we will continue to do what we need to do to make sure everyone is happy.

One thing I can tell you is that the piano bar on your Carnival Dream is going to be non smoking as it is open plan and used as a walk through to get to the other aft lounges.

I once again thank you for your comments and I am hope we get to sail together soon. Please let me know if you have a follow up.
Best wishes

Deborah Rosato Asked:
John – Please Reply
I heard from Jamie that she may not be on the TA Dream. I bought some small gifts for her, if she is not on the TA Dream, where can I send them.
Thanks for your help – Deborah (Debs)

John Says:
Hello Deborah
How kind of you to think of Jaime. She won’t be on the Carnival Dream TA and will be working with her……ummmmm……friend….nudge nudge wink wink……..Cruise Director Kirk Benning on the Carnival Pride. I will give Jaime your e-mail address so that you can both communicate and Jaime can tell you her address.

Thanks again on her behalf Debs.

Best wishes

Katiel53 Asked:
John, (Please reply)
I know that everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, but I do think Trevor was out of line. If he doesn’t like your blog the way it is, he doesn’t have to read it. Obviously, there are many others who enjoy reading what you write. I know that if I didn’t enjoy it, I would just stop reading it. No reason to write to you to complain about it.
Glenn, why would you even think about putting a young child in a bunk bed? Why could YOU not sleep there?
Also, I guess I don’t understand why you couldn’t/wouldn’t have your 3 year old sleep on the couch instead of the bunk. Many times we have had a small child sleep on our love seat. It’s not like Carnival is telling you that YOU have to sleep there.

Somehow, I feel you were probably rude to the customer service people based on the way you posted on this blog. If you feel there isn’t enough for your child to do on the cruise, perhaps a different type vacation or at least a different cruise line would be more to your liking.

John Says:
Hello Katiel53
Thanks so much for those kind words of support. I am obviously a few weeks behind with answering questions so hopefully you will have seen my promise to myself not to post comments that just tell me that I have no more right to write a blog than Pamela Anderson does to use the words “keep it real.”

As I just said, opinions are the foundations of this blog along with my underpants and I thank you so much for giving us yours……….and thanks again for your support
Best wishes

Karen Asked:
John, please respond.
In a previous answer you gave re: trial change in welcome aboard party on the Carnival Glory in August, you asked me if we attended the trial of the Comedy Club.
YES we did and thoroughly enjoyed it …..
For the most part. Al Ernst, Happy Cole and the others were hilarious as usual and it was great to see them again.
The only negative was the host……Jeff “The Fun Dude” who said he was also a stand-up comedian and tried to start each show off with his brand of humor which was NOT well received by the audience.

And he just kept going and going to the point that several got up and walked out of the lounge before the headline act started. What a shame as those folks missed some great laughs. The comedy club concept is a great alternative entertainment venue and we look forward to seeing who will entertain us on the Carnival Dream on Dec 3rd……..we are hoping the host will be different though…..
John – This guest is responding to a previous response you sent her and also giving feedback on the new Comedy Club.

John Says:
Hello Karen
This is excellent information and I am so glad you liked Happy and Al, they are two of our very best comedians and always, always have people laughing out loud. I don’t know this chap Jeff but I will pass your thoughts onto Chris in our head office whose idea the Comedy Club was and who I know will be very interested in your posting. If I have my way both Happy and Al will be amongst the stars performing during the bloggers cruise on your Carnival Dream.

Thanks again for the posting.
Best wishes and see you soon

Annette Kamps Asked:
Hi John (please reply)
How very nice for you to be home again and reunited with your two beautiful ladies!!!

I am writing again in reference to my earlier posts – see June 30th – A Day at Sea & with Water in the Pool and also July 31st – Fat Friday.

I had written regarding wanting some information on the certificates that can be purchased on board and used for future cruises but more importantly I was writing about the early saver fares and how I am booked as an early saver but within a group and I did not get the true early saver fare and wanted to know why?

You had arranged for someone to contact me and I wanted to let you know that as of today (Aug. 28th) I have not been contacted.

I am very sorry to bring to your attention the July 31st blog – Fat Friday. I still cannot get over the audacity of that woman!!! And you can be commended for handling her in the manner in which you did!!! I’m afraid I would have reacted quite differently! As someone who tends to be a bit too “fluffy”, I take offense to the treatment you were given.

I also wanted to mention the negative posts you have been receiving. I know that they must irritate and hurt you a bit but please know that they are few and far between. For the most part your blog is loved and read by many and please keep it up for as long as you are able!!

To the negative posties – please keep your comments to yourself!!! All you have to do is not log on – simple!! As my mother always told me “if you can’t say nice things, don’t say anything”!!

John Says:
Hello Annette
And your Mother was right……if only others had listened to her and others like her. Thanks so much for taking the time to leap to my defense, that is so very kind of you and I am often thankful that God gave me thick skin and strong underpants so I don’t let people get to me.

I am though a little disappointed that you have not been contacted as I assured you someone would. However, I now have a new CARE team working alongside me and can I ask you to send me once again your booking number and full name and mark the post STEPHANIE AS JOHN REQUESTED and one of the 343 Stephanies will send this to Vicky one our VP’s whose team will be in contact . Please let me know what happens. I am so glad that you enjoy the blog and I will keep writing as long as I can. Best wishes and don’t forget to send me your details again.

Please reply
I am still fuming with the humiliation you put me through my Carnival Freedom cruise July 12-19. My arse is still boiling….. it’s bad enough to get called up on stage but then you put your 2 cents worth in saying I am as BIG as a house and then on top of that….. You required me to dance to the “Mexican Hat Dance.” I should make you dine with “Ruth & Al” at their window table for 2.

Now that the BS is out of the way……… I still laugh at the GREAT time I had on that cruise. It is 1 of the BEST if not the Best vacations I have ever had. Definitely the best cruise and I can say that I have had as a CD the BEST CD on any cruise line I have ever been on. I did make 2 mistakes before trying CARNIVAL. My 1st was on the SNOBS of the SEAS and then I tried Celebrity before I found my redemption and the FUN SHIPS. Thanks again for the GREAT time.

I have talking Carnival up to my bank teller who is getting married in September. I only know her from the bank and we have become friends. I finally talked her into a Honeymoon cruise after telling her about my GREAT cruises this year. That being said do you think you could do something for these 2 youngsters? I would appreciate it if you would send them a gift. They are sailing on CARNIVAL INSPIRATION on Sep 7 out of Tampa. Their booking number is 56km25 in cabin R202.

We are currently trying to plan a CARNIVAL DREAM cruise for early next year. WE are desperately working on platinum having 7 Carnival cruises since the 1st in 2006.
Thanks for all the comedy in the blog. Keep up the good work and give Ms Kye a BIG hug from me.
Yabba Dabba Do
Mike from VIRGINIA

John Says:
Hello Mike
What brilliant memories I have of you and your beautiful wife and the fun we had together on the stage throughout the cruise. My intention was to make you a star…..and with you………..it was easy because you were a natural performer. Thanks so much for selling the Fun Ship experience to your friends at the bank. I am sure they are having a great time and I am glad I got your posting today as I e mailed the CD on the Carnival Inspiration who will be sending our honeymooners a bottle of champagne from you and I.

I am sure you had a good time on the other ships but………….having seen you on the stage, wiggling your bottom as you did ………….I think I can say …………that you sir………….were born to cruise the Fun Ships of Carnival.

Hope to see you again soon
Best wishes to you both

Barb Emmanouilidis Asked:
Dear John and Heidi, (please reply)
This child is absolutely gorgeous! Yesterday I thought she looked like Heidi, but today in this picture I see you. She is definitely the most beautiful baby….that Dutch English combination is fantastic. Does she have a slinky yet, lol?
I am so enjoying catching up, reading the blog! Those who don’t like it and write to you must be idiots. If they don’t like it, they just shouldn’t read it, lol. Why did they go looking for it in the first place if they didn’t like it, lol.
Have you heard from Robert or Suzan? I am very concerned as I have not had a reply from him in quite some time and we normally communicated a few times a month, if not more often. I am going to write him snail mail and maybe cheer him up.

I wrote to you and Heidi asking where you’d be for October. Unfortunately when I didn’t hear back (probably Heidi is much too busy with Kye to be reading email, lol) I went ahead and booked a cruise on the Freedom for the Oct 18th sailing. I so wished you’d be the CD, John and I miss you and Heidi terribly. Is Ralph the CD now on the Freedom?

I also wanted to comment on how wonderful you looked in the picture holding Kye. I had a flash back when seeing it….you have lost soooo much weight, you handsome devil…you look like you did when I first met you on the Destiny back in 1998 when my company (you know the one) chartered the entire ship.

Are you on the Legend in October? If only I had known….are the ships in port at the same time? We’d love to see you even for a brief moment…well my friend, kiss that beautiful baby and Heidi for me…hope to hear from you, it’s been too long. If you’d prefer not to answer me here, you have my email address…I hope.
Barbara Emmanouilidis
Vice president of your fan club
(I let Robert be president, lol)

John Says:
Hello Barbara.
My goodness, I just showed Heidi your comments about Heidi and she is bursting with pride thanks again for those beautiful words about Kye. We are both blessed.

Barbara, I am so sorry but I guess you didn’t know. Robert Schneider passed away in June. I spoke to him a few hours after he was rushed into hospital and a few hours after that he passed away. I write to Suzann a lot a she is doing as well as can be expected and when I am in New York in November I hope to go and visit his resting place.

I will pass your kind words to Suzann and if you search back in Junes blogs you will find a memorial tribute page to a man who cruised 50 times with me and who truly loved his Carnival adventures.

Barbara, I am so behind in my answers to people’s questions and I am so sorry if I missed yours. I will be on the Carnival Legend during October while you are having a brilliant time on the Carnival Freedom with Wee Jimmy who I know will be so excited to see you.

Thanks again for your continuing support of me and the blog and you can be my president anytime.
Best wishes to you and your family

Pat Asked:
“John Please Reply”
Glad you are home with your beautiful family again! Today’s picture is just awesome!

We were on the August 9th sailing on the Carnival Legend and it was one of our best cruises yet #23 on Carnival. Wanted to say how great our dining room team were JT and Yasmine. They really made our dinners entertaining. We missed them the evening we went to the Steakhouse. The Steakhouse was top notch! The steaks perfect, the Wasabi Mashed Potatoes as good as you have stated, and the Chocolate Tart desert was just the best! Worth every cent and more of the up charge.

Now for my question – we are a group of 8 traveling on the Carnival Inspiration on September 17th. We have met up with a waiter named Kman on this ship several times. Kman (not spelled right) was our waiter originally when we sailed with you on the Carnival Triumph on 3/20/2004 and he still greets us with warm smiles and takes good care of us at breakfast or lunch when we see him on the Inspiration. We would love to be at one of his tables if he is still on the Carnival Inspiration in three weeks. Please let me know if you can help.

Thank you for all the great blogs, all the help you provide, and for sharing your beautiful daughter with us.

John Says:
Hello Pat

Thanks for the great review of your Carnival Legend cruise and I took the liberty of sending your words of praise to the Hotel Director onboard. I will be seeing the Carnival Legend for myself next month and I look forward to that very much.

I checked with the Carnival Inspiration and unfortunately the waiter we think you are talking about whose name is Kanamanatoro is currently serving on the Carnival Elation. I am sure though that your waiter will be just as good and if there is anything else I can do for you please let me know.

I want to thank you for those lovely words and there will be more photos of Kye tomorrow.
Have a great time on the Carnival Inspiration.
Best wishes to all

Slickabrina Asked:
Please reply…
Hello John –
Thank you for all of the Dream pictures! Wish we were sailing on her sooner than next November.

I just read through past blogs and was wondering if you will be our CD on the Oct. 18th sailing of the Carnival Legend? I noticed that you said you would be for a few weeks but wasn’t sure what date you were to start.
After the Blogger’s Cruise, we are looking forward to having the opportunity to experience you as the CD!
Thank you always –

John Says:
Hello Colleen

Yes indeed, I will be the CD for that cruise and I am really looking forward to being on the Carnival Legend again. I am also glad you have been enjoying the photos of your Carnival Dream and there will be more in a moment.
See you soon
Best wishes

Bill Asked:
John, Please Reply
A few weeks ago you posted a message from a VP of Can’t get the Elation schedule posted saying that they were looking at August 17th to post the Elation’s schedule. Well, it is still not up. Don’t get me wrong I am not bent out of shape over this but we are waiting to see it and hoping that someday the VP of funny as hell might come out to the left coast as a cruise director.

For what it’s worth, I agree that cabins should be non-smoking. The other idea is to make certain cabins smoking and non. Many hotels still run this way. Of course the other option is for smokers to meet with a fire extinguisher if they light up in the cabin. But bugger all who I, just a guy that hates dam cigs am.

Keep up the good work and I am counting down the 60 days left till we cruise on the Carnival Paradise. I am still trying to convince the wife to let me have a soda card. But there is bugger all chances of that happening. So enjoy yourself and your daughter. You should get her sea legs under her soon. Maybe out here on the left coast.

John Says:
Hello Bill

I know that there are lots of people waiting for news on the Carnival Elation. Between me and you I have unleashed our super spy PA 007 again to see what’s going on and I hope that he or she will be able to tell us soon.

I happen to agree with you about the cabins. It’s only my opinion and not that necessarily of Carnival Cruise Lines but I think it would be best to have non-smoking cabins across the board. Balconies……well that’s another topic all together but certainly we have to try and find a way to make everyone happen and when it comes to smoking………..that is not easy.

Thanks mate for the kind words and I will try and get you some news soon.

Best wishes to you and the family

Maggie Thomas Asked:
Who is this Trevor person calling people that are regulars “stalkers”….I do not think that people who are interested in writing about their cruise or remembering the good times…or seeking information from a knowledgeable cool bloke such as yourself would classify as a “stalker” type person. I like reading the comments and different perspectives from people……and as far as folks that ask you questions that have answers in the back of the brochure (SPELLING—SORRY)…….well….we all have different learning and communication styles. I think you do a great job promoting the product of Carnival by keeping it real. After all, it is reality that sometimes people take a crap in the pool…(and in the casino because they don’t want to get up from the stool) ….I guess you could keep it real and share a story about the morgue…..(maybe provide a story line for HBO’s Six Feet Under)….but my question for you since the blog is so honest about requesting comps…..fruit….drinks……..etc……could you send Trevor a complimentary DVD ad and Carnival Brochure? (That he could go ahead and order off the website or travel agent if he is seeking info…) I really want to make sure that he gets the info that he is seeking.
As far as the Piano Bar…..LOVE IT….LOVE IT….so awesome on Carnival and such a pretty room (on the Freedom)….and truly about the most fun I have had on a ship. Josh and Gereld and Nick working the room were great!!!! I don’t smoke and I wish that Carnival was smoke free in the rooms and the Piano….but people do smoke and that is a fact and we all live in the world together and should look for the Rainbows and love. No matter what you cannot please all of the people all of the time…..and we have to be accepting of our differences.

John Says:
Hello Maggie
Don’t worry about Trevor. He has been banished from the kingdom of blog and will spending his days commenting on blogs by other people within the industry ……call me names OK…..but call my dear blogger friends stalkers…….no way……….so I told him to bugger off and apparently he has…………because I haven’t heard from him since.

Thanks for the great words about your cruise on the Carnival Freedom. Smoking and our polices in this regard is very much “on the table” at the moment and we will continue to do all we can to make as many people as happy as we can, both smokers and non-smokers alike. As I mentioned already yesterday, the piano bar on the Carnival Dream will be non-smoking so that is some good news for non smokers who wish to enjoy this great entertainment area.

Thanks for being so understanding and I hope you continue to “stalk” me here on the blog thingy for a very long time.
Best wishes

Marilyn Pakarklis from New York Asked:
Hi John (Please reply)
I don’t know if you remember my son, Ventriloquist, Greg Pakarklis, who worked for Carnival for 15 years. Well, my husband and I will be sailing on the Freedom 10/10/09 with friends that we met on the Legend this past May. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to meet up with Lenny Halliday who was getting off the ship the day we were getting on. I was wondering if Happy Cole is still flying on to the Freedom. Would sure like to see him perform again. We also have another mutual friend, Lewis Nixon. If you talk to him tell him Greg’s parents said hi and ask him if he is still using the Voyage of the Damned joke that I gave him, many, many years ago on Carnival’s second Panama Canal run. We keep missing you as CD.

John Says:
Hello Marilyn
I remember your husband very well and I am sure there are bloggers who are reading this who will also remember his hilarious show. I know Lewis won’t be there but there is a good chance that Happy Cole may be performing as he is often on the ship. I will alert Wee Jimmy the CD that you are coming and I will pass on your best wishes to all.

I hope you have a great time and my best to you both and a big thank you to Greg for 15 years of great entertainment.

Doug Asked:
John, (Please Reply)
I know you are enjoying your time at home with your girls. As an Airline Pilot I know what it is like to be away from home. My trips only have me gone for a few days at a time, whereas you my friend are gone for much longer periods of time. I love to fly, and I love my job, but it is always good to get back home for a few days between trips. John thanks for flying American.

I received an E-Mail today from Stephanie Meads with the photo of the Carnival Destiny attached. She is an amazing Photographer! What an honor to have this beautiful picture on my wall. My thanks to you and Stephanie for making that possible and many thanks to you’all for everything you do for us Carnival Fans.

I have a long Tampa layover this Saturday. I will be having lunch at Bennigan’s, at the pier, right next to the Carnival Inspiration. I have done this for lunch a couple of times on Sunday layovers, when the Carnival Legend is in town. It is hard not being able to get on board, but it gives me a little “fix” until my next cruise. You can sit on the patio and look right into the ship! You can see the neon, hear the beep as the crew punch their card thingies to get off and on the ship, smell the melting cake…ok, sorry, I get a little carried away. There is no better place to have lunch, than beside a Beautiful Carnival Fun Ship! So, when you’re on the Carnival Legend soon, and you step outside, and someone says hello John, it may be me.
Thank you John for all you do! If you would pass along my thanks to Stephanie as well, I will be forever great full. Enjoy your time at home with Heidi and Kye. You have a beautiful family!

I will ask for a reply just to know you got this as my computer is old and my IT skills are lacking. Don’t worry; I do know how to program all those computer thingies on the flight deck.

John Says:
Hello Doug
I often look into the skies and think of you. I know that you also often fly over the Carnival ships and think of us as well. The Carnival Inspiration really is a great ship and the next time you are going to eat at Bennigan’s please let me know and I will have the chef send over a chocolate melting cake or five. I am happy to hear Stephanie sent the photo over and I will pass on my regards to her. I will be flying American again soon from London to Miami and maybe I will get lucky and have you in the Captain’s chair.
Please fly safe
Best wishes

Stef aka hockey addict Asked:
Hi John!
(Please reply)
I know…. some people will look down on me for this…. but I would really love a little help from you if possible. I sorta feel bad for asking but it would mean a lot if you could make a dining room arrangement for us. Last year we went on our very first cruise ever on the Carnival Fascination. It took me 13 years to talk hubby into going on a cruise.

We had bought dress clothes for the dining room for a few nights. We don’t have to dress up for work and we relaxed kinda people. (I hadn’t worn a dress in YEARS before then) So we figured we would try out the dining room the first night to see how it was. The moment we walked into the dining room and were greeted by the smile of Maitre ‘D Peter I knew it was a special place. As we were taken to our table all of the waiters welcomed us and smiled a genuine smile.

Then we were shown our table. And that is when we met Charnel and Samson. We loved every minute of dinner. We came to the dining room every night. One night we had to wear shorts and nice shirts but no one seemed to mind.

Charnel and Samson were the reason why we looked forward to dinner every day. They always asked how our day was and had funny jokes for us (especially Samson). On the last evening I was in tears leaving the dining room. (OK I am in tears right now too thinking about it) I was really going to miss that warm chocolate melting cake! Just kidding, it was Samson. As we were leaving we exchanged emails and Samson gave me a piece of paper and said I couldn’t look at it until we were out of the dining room. We said our goodbyes he told me to go ahead and look at it and ran away….. It said…. I will miss you all with a sad face and tears. Geeez the tears were flowing then (and now). We went to the Pursers desk or whatever it’s called now and made sure we told them how much we loved them!

Five days after disembarking we were booking another Carnival cruise. We booked the Carnival Inspiration. Then we got an email that Samson was off the ship for a bit before his next contract. He was promoted to head waiter and he would be back on the Carnival Fascination. So that was me, calling my PVP, Gina (who is AWESOME by the way) and changing our reservation to the Carnival Fascination with hopes of seeing Samson again.

Geeee, can you tell where this is going? I am sorry this is so long! If you could, could you please arrange it so we can be at Samson’s table? I promise, if I win the lottery I will buy you a Aston Martin right after I buy my Bugatti Veyron!!!!!! We love the TV show Top Gear shown on BBC America… do you watch it? They show Aston Martin’s a lot!

I know I am a little early in my request but I know you are a little behind in replies and we want to be seated at Samson’s table soooooooooo bad! We are sailing September 19th. Late Seating confirmed. Steve and Stephanie Badenhop.

I can’t wait to see your 2010 schedule. We want to meet & sail with you!!

Many many thanks! We would appreciate it more then you know!!!
Stef aka Hockey Addict

John…. (Please read)
Re: my comment above….. Samson’s last name is Lobo….

John Says:
Hello Stef

I am sure nobody minds you asking me for this special request. It’s what I do and where ever possible I will always try to help others.

I sent this to the Maitre D and I know he will do all he can to accommodate you. It sounds like Samson and Charnel were a brilliant team and if they are still on board hopefully you will get to see them. Please let me know what happens and I would like my Aston Martin DBS in black with crème leather please.

Have a great cruise
Best wishes


That’s all for today. I tried to answer more than usual today to get caught up…………did I bollocks ……so I will be answering more tomorrow. Thanks gain to each and every one of you for reading and posting comments.

Let’s take a break and enjoy some more photos of your Carnival Dream that were taken yesterday (Wednesday) by our friend Boris. Today…………more of the atrium.









Tomorrow we will get our first proper look at the completed piano bar…….have you booked yet.

Let’s meet another cruise director and one who is naturally funny. He was brought up in the working men’s clubs in the UK and his sense of humor is pure Liverpool………..please meet Mr. Paul Santley.



1. Please tell us about yourself and your journey to the Cruise Director chair.

Well I started with Carnival in 1998 after doing the rounds at the Holiday Camps in England. I thought why not try something different and off I went to America. It’s still great fun after nearly 12 years. I first joined the Carnival Imagination as Host then ACD and here I am in the big chair.

2. What ship are you currently serving on?

Carnival Sensation

3. Before we talk about you let’s talk about the ship. What are you favorite areas of the vessel and what is it that makes your ship the best in the Carnival fleet.

Now we have the new water park and brand new lido deck area on the Carnival Sensation it adds so much more for the guests these are probably my most favored areas. As for the Carnival Sensation being the best we have my favorite production show in the fleet. Far From Over plus a great cast and team through the entire ship.

4. Can you tell us about your itinerary and please pick your favorite shore excursion from each port and tell us why you like it so much.

We do 3 & 4 day cruises visiting both Freeport & Nassau lots of fine tours so don’t miss visiting Atlantis resort one of our regular tours and deep water swim with the dolphins or a great day out is the kayak nature tour in Freeport an excellent full day with lot’s to do.

5. If someone were to ask you “what does a Carnival Cruise Director do” how would you reply?

To share fun and laughter with as many guests as you possibly can.

6. What is your most favorite part of the job?

Making people laugh.

7. If we were to sail on a ship where you are the CD what would be the must not miss activity or show that you host.

Every one I am involved with. Welcome Aboard Show. Variety Shows & Newly Wed game

8. What is the hardest and or most challenging part of the job of Carnival CD?

When we get some unexpected bad weather some guests of course think Ughhhhhhhh but this is the time we all pull together with lots of extra stuff. Or New Years Eve when every Cruise Director has his or her fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain for the Party on Lido Deck.

9. If you could sail on any other cruise ship (not Carnival) what ship would you like to sail on as a guest and why.

The Mayflower and enjoy meeting Eddie Capone when he was cruise director – ha!!!!!

10. Finally – please fill in the blanks

Robert de Niro

Maureen O’Hara


Northern Soul Music. And Swing plus Fawlty Towers, Steptoe & Son (Which the American series Sanford & Son was taken from)

The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara

My Mum

Lenny Halliday He’s very talented and genuine with everyone he meets


Take the dog for a walk

He really is a totally unique character and I noticed the answer to what is his favourite part of the job is that he answered “making the guests laugh”………well Paul………you do.

Lots more CD interviews to come and one very sad one indeed.

Now, over the next few days I will start to concentrate on the bloggers cruise. I guess I should say bloggers cruises but unfortunately, the one we scheduled in New York on November 15 has been canceled. This was a very tough decision to make and when the people at the top talked to me about this I was very concerned but……it was the right thing to do. You see while we have a big group sailing on the Dec. 3 cruise we had less than 30 booked for the Nov. 15 voyage. I know I have let lots of people down but hopefully those folks scheduled to sail on the November cruise will be able to join us in December.

Now, I know those of you booked on the November 15 sailings have been telephoned personally about this and I wanted to also mention that I will be holding a New York meet and greet so that anyone from that area will come and have breakfast with me. I know I have let you down although I am told that following the telephone conversations you all had that everyone was fine and happy if that is not the case please send me a comment marked: PRIVATE – I WAS SAILING ON THE 15TH BLOGGERS CRUISE. Stephanie will send me this immediately and I will contact you directly.

I will send details of the meet and greet which anyone who can make it is invited to and I hope to see Carol, Robin, Kevin, Laura and as many of you as possible. Please accept my apologies again and I hope you can all join us for blog group fun on December 3.

Talking of the December Bloggers cruise, here are the two tours that we will be taking together. I hope that some of you will join me on these brilliant excursions. We will have bloggers only buses and of course I will be with you the whole time…….and so will my underpants.

Here is what we will be doing.

Best of Antigua: Sunday Dec 06

On this historical excursion you will:
• Learn that due to Antigua’s strategic location and excellent natural harbors, Antigua served as the naval base for the British Royal Navy in the Caribbean long ago.
• Begin your journey of discovery as you travel aboard an air conditioned motor coach and pass the remnants of old sugar mills set in the green rolling hills.
• Your first photo stop will be at the Block House. Standing 400 feet atop sheer cliffs, this overlooks the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
• Move on to Shirley Heights Lookout, the most southerly point in Antigua, this was the principal fortification of the British fleet stationed at English Harbor.
• Make your final stop at Nelson’s Dockyard, named after Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and built in 1725 to provide a base squadron of ships patrolling the West Indies maintaining England’s sea power.
• Discover that today this is one of the biggest attractions of the eastern Caribbean, being the world’s last remaining Georgian naval dockyard still in use today.
• Be provided a short walking tour to explore the Admiral’s Inn, museum, mystery pillars, bakery and admire the sleek yachts tied to the old stone quay side. A complimentary beverage will be offered at an 18th century Inn.

I choose this was as it’s a pretty easy going tour with lots of great sightseeing and photo opportunities and this also leaves lots of time for …………god help us all……….shopping.

Best of Tortola: Monday Dec 07

See Tortola’s beautiful coastal scenery and enjoy its most popular beach all in the same day.
On this excursion you will:
• Drive along the coastal highway to Cane Garden Bay.
• Enjoy lovely views of the surrounding British Virgin Islands, the famous Bomba Shack, Carrot Bay, Capoon’s Bay, Smuggler’s Cove and St. Thomas.
• Enjoy Cane Garden Bay’s palm trees, colorful restaurants, bars, and quaint hotels along the beach.
• Relax on the beach and or swim in the crystal clear water.
• Have an island-style buffet lunch.

I chose this one as it involves lunch………..and some beach time as well.

Both are great excursions and once again I hope you will let me be your guide. You can book online soon and I will let you know when and what to do.

More blog cruise information soon.

On the 16th I will fly to your Carnival Dream but before that on the 14th I have to do something that I absolutely hate and I am sure any man reading this will join me in saying “Yes, I hate it too”……….because it’s time for my twice yearly medical.

I am desperately trying to come up with a reason not to go because I believe no doctor’s day is complete without finding excuses to slip a gloved finger up my bottom.

Many will say that this may be the very least favorite part of my Doctor’s job but I am convinced it’s the highlight.

“Doctor, it’s about my nose, I seem to have lots of hair growing out of it,”

“Ah, that’ll be rectum-related, sir. Trousers off and bend over Mr. Heald.”

It’s a man thing I guess to think that each time you go to the doctors you will get to experience the touch, the feel of latex right up the chocolate starfish. Heidi says that me saying this gets on her nerves……as does………….why, as soon as I get up, do I have a below-deck scratch ……… well Heidi……………because I am a man…………and it’s the law.

It’s time to go home and on Thursday we will catch the ferry for the six-hour trip from the Hook of Holland to Harwich, Essex. These ferries are amazing though. They have casinos, cinemas and restaurants and cabins. The only thing that they don’t have are shows and cruise directors ….. oh and the one thing that does set them apart from cruise ships is the fact that they carry up to 200 cars and 50 18 wheeler trucks in their lower decks.

Well I have truly enjoyed my time here in Holland and seeing the joy on Heidi’s face as she showed our daughter to her brother and his family and as we walked around the streets of her small village I saw the pride on her face when old friends stopped her and said in Dutch “ze is zo mooi” which means she is so beautiful.

I also shared the tears with her as she stood by her Dad’s grave ……….wishing that he was still with us……………. To hold Kye in his arms.

Your friends
John, Heidi and Kye

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.