In The Interest of Public Health

October 19, 2009 -

John Heald

If you could see my right index finger you would notice that it has a large plaster on it. If you had been within 200 feet of my cabin yesterday you would have heard me scream “bugger” and “bollocks” over and over again.

My pain and my anguish and the resulting first aid was not due to some DIY work I did around the cabin, I did not trap my finger in the door and I wasn’t bitten by a vampire ………….nope………I was undoing a DVD…….yep………..and fittingly it was Dexter ……. season three………a show about murder and disembowelment that caused me to run around my cabin…………..in my underpants…………….screaming “aahhhhhh bugger, bollocks, bugger, bollocks ahhhhhh aahhhhhh bugger, bollocks, bugger, bollocks ahhhhhh. hotfa doma ahhhhhh”…………notice the Dutch profanity there as well.

I had managed to, with the help of a pair of scissors, break through the outer cauldron of plastic but as I tried to slice open the tape thingy that seals the top of the DVD, my hand slipped and that was me……blood pumping from my finger like an extra in a Samurai movie.

Packaging…….why……….why does it have to be like that?

I am sure many blog readers who are parents know that there is nothing more bloody ridiculous as the preposterous way in which toys are fastened to their boxes. Countless kids’ birthdays and Christmases are ruined by grown adults sobbing hysterically over the 289 plastic twists, 137 metal ties and 5 molding trays that fix a $7 Spider Bloody Man figurine to its cardboard landscape. They even sew Barbie’s hair on to the box…….. why?

Just before I left home I spent a rage-filled half-hour trying to release a teething giraffe toy for Kye from a plastic prison capable of containing Hannibal Lecter. It took all my will power not to stab the damn thing in its long neck with my scissors.

Are the manufacturers psychotic? Have they worked with toys and DVD’s so long they believe they’ll come alive, like in Toy Story, and escape to form a super-species with no genitalia? Or is it all a conspiracy by tofu eating beardies to break us……………or has it got something to do with global warming………..like everything else?

I am not going through this at Christmas ………..no way. I am buying Kye a snake ………… it’s much safer.

Time for today’s questions…………let’s crack on.

Don Billings Asked:
John Reply please

I wanted to add my opinions about smoking. I have taken three cruises, twice with RCCL and once with Carnival. While RCCL seem to have some kind of respect for us smokers it appears with the new policies that you have been talking about on the Dream, your cruise line could not care less about us. I am tired of being treated like a second class citizen because I smoke cigarettes and the garbage spouted by non smoking readers of your blog seem to have justified this turn around. Your ship Paradise failed because it was non smoking yet you do not seem to have learnt from past failures. This is why I won’t be sailing on the Dream or any Carnival ship if you continue the way you are going by alienating smokers who have rights as well.

John Says:
Hello Don

The smoking issue within the industry and within the modern world is a subject that continues to raise the hackles and spout forth honest opinions. I remember a posting a few weeks ago here on the blog that actually said the same as you except it was the other way round with Carnival getting praise for its consideration to both non smokers and smokers alike while RCI were mentioned as having few places where smoking was allowed. It seems though that you disagree and not being familiar with their policies on smoking I wondered if you could enlighten me as to what they do and not allow. I would find this most useful.

As for your Carnival Dream. Well, yes, the casino is mostly non-smoking although a section has been reserved for people to play and smoke while they do so. There are 2 other lounges where smoking is allowed — the back area of the piano bar and the dance club and of course the port side of the fabulous Lanai which allows for outdoor smoking.

I have said this many times before here on the blog thingy and I make no apologies for repeating myself yet again………..finding a happy medium that makes smokers and non smokers happy is never easy but at Carnival…….I think we do a pretty good job in doing so. It is though a shame that you are choosing a ship based on the smoking privileges onboard ………because you are missing a brilliant vessel that is your Carnival Dream.
Best wishes
John

Geri & Jack Asked:
Hi John,

I have a favour (spelt correctly) to ask you. We have been on 14 cruises (platinum on Carnival after the next two B2B cruises on the Carnival Dream in Nov 2009).

On board the Carnival Valor 3 yrs ago, I won a game of Golf Putting and all 2 people playing with me (who were losing) quit the game and buggered off. So I won, and never got my prize our ‘Carnival Coach’ said he would bring to me. He must have forgotten my cabin number.

So in my wildest dreams, can I pretty please, with sugar on it, possibly have a Golden Ship on a Stick for my Prize and my birthday Oct. 14th onboard Carnival Splendor sailing Oct. 11 this Sunday?

I am as old as dirt, LOL and this is our 51st year of marriage this year.

I’m soooo excited as it will be our Canadian Thanksgiving, my SIL’s birthday, and our DD and SIL’s 18th Anniv. Aboard also.

With all this and the social events onboard this will be a very special and fun cruise.
Thank you for listening and for all you do.

Your blogger friend,
Geraldine (Geri) Scott
p.s. see you on the ex-bloggers cruise briefly in Nov.
I will miss you on that cruise.
Splendor Oct. 11

John Says:
Hello Gerri and Jack

I hope the “pretty please with sugar on the top” worked and you got your trophy. I contacted the ship and hopefully they sent this to you. Would you let me know? I am sure you had a brilliant cruise and I will be seeing you in December.
Best wishes to you both
John

Kathy M. Asked:
Hi John, Please reply.

John I really do need to apologize to you. I have seen Kye’s pictures on (you know where) but since they were connected to your blog, so I thought you knew about it, but now I know you did not. I should have written to you the very first time I saw them to let you know that they were out there and it would have saved you some headaches. I think the only way that you are going to be able to let us see her pictures is to have a private website in which we agree when we sign up that we cannot use or copy any picture you post. I do know that there is a software program that puts something into the middle of the picture that would make it useless to anyone that downloaded it. So please accept my apology for not notifying you about the pictures, but I will promise you this, in the future if I see any of our little Kye, I will let you know immediately so you can do something about it.

As for Beauxdammit, forget about her, I just told my brother about her post and he told me to tell you not to stop playing Anchors Aweigh because of one person. My brother spent 35 years in the Navy and looks at it as an honor when someone plays that song. So like he told me to tell you, start playing it and keep playing it, Be***damm it if you stop playing it.
Your #1 bloggy thingy fan,
Kathy

John Says:
Hello Kathy

Please don’t worry and there certainly is no need to apologize. I know that the majority of people who read the blog thingy have nothing but wonderful intentions when it comes to the photos of Kye and it is such a shame therefore that because of the disturbing actions of one……..many are punished. Isn’t that just the way of the world though and isn’t that a shame.

One of the 343 Stephanies is working on a website like you suggested and only when we both know that it is absolutely safe to do so. Thanks as always for the kind words of support which mean so much.
Best wishes
John

Jane M Smith Asked:
Hi John. Please reply!

I received no reply for a previous email from August 31. My husband and I are booked on the Glory for the 10/31/09 sailing out of Port Canaveral. I have been on past Carnival cruises, but have a problem with the fun pass while I was filling it out. When it asked me if I was a past member, of course I said yes. It came back stating they could not find me as a past guest. After many hours and phone calls with many different people, the fun pass department and my vacation planner. I was told that they could locate my son, daughter and husband. He only took cruises with me. Someone said they found me with a different date of birth. I was hoping that you could check into this for me, so I don’t lose out on any of the past guest privileges. I have the card from my last cruise with my guest #, should I take this with me?

We are looking so forward to this cruise, it has been a very sad year. My mother in law and father in law were going to be going with us, but my father in law passed away and my mother in law has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, plus other family members have been ill. My husband and I hope to relax and recharge our batteries. We will also be celebrating our 24th anniversary.

So as you can see I want to make sure I don’t have any problems with my past guest #.
You do such a wonderful job on this blog. I enjoy reading each one you post. You always make me laugh.
Thanks
Hope to hear from you soon.
Jane M. Smith

John Says:
Hello Jane

I am sorry if this one slipped through the cyber world thingy net. Anyway, please don’t worry as I have updated your past guest information as requested and your new past guest number so I promise all will be well for your anniversary cruise. I know you have been through a lot and my condolences to you and your family for your loss. I hope this cruise rejuvenates you both.

Happy Anniversary and best wishes
John

Larry and Leah Asked:
Please reply

Hello John I understand your worries about your little angel and respect your decision, sure are going to miss her. We are sailing on Carnival Legend Dec 6 to 13 and are wondering when would be the best night to visit the Steakhouse. We are not wanting to miss any parties, shows or anything. I waited until you where on the ship so you would know firsthand. We really love the shows so much we have watched twice in the same evening and have watched again on back to back cruises. This is our Platinum cruise, still 9 WEEKS AWAY. Can’t hardly wait

John Says:
Hello Larry and Leah

Thanks for the kind words at the start of your posting and I do indeed miss my girls. May I suggest that you book your reservation for the steakhouse on Belize night? If you do this for 7:30 pm you will still be able to see the 10:30 pm Marcus Anthony show and the deck party. Belize is right in the middle of the cruise and will I think be the perfect night to enjoy this experience.

I hope this helps and I am sure you must be very excited to have reached Platinum status. This is a great ship, with a wonderful crew and I know you will have a brilliant time.
Best wishes to you both
John

CarolD Asked:
Please Reply

Hi John, Last year, after reading your blog for so long my girlfriend and I decided to go on a Carnival cruise. We had both cruised on other lines. We had a wonderful time! It was so great we decided to take another one this year. This time it is a mother daughter get away. We are all so excited. When talking to my pvp he said there was no guarantee that we could all sit at the same table for dinner as there will be nine of us. We have late seating confirmed. I hate to ask but do you think you can help us out?

Our daughters are all adults but still we would appreciate any help you can give us. We sail on the Valor on October 25. Thanks so much John. Love your blog.
Carol Donoghue

John Says:
Hello Carol

I am very pleased to read that you enjoy the blog and that it has encouraged you to book another Carnival cruise. I will indeed write to Pablo the Maitre D and ask that he tries to seat you together. Please don’t hate to ask. I will always try my best.
Have a brilliant cruise
Best wishes
John

Jetskier Asked:
John,

Keep playing Anchors Aweigh. It has already been pointed out to the Beauxdammit on Cruise Critic that the song is the “unofficial” song of the US Navy but one that is in the public domain. In actuality it is a Football Fight/March song for the US Naval Academy.
A lot of veterans replied to this person that we were not offended and felt it was used in a way that was not demeaning. It was also pointed out how Carnival goes out of its way to give all Veterans (not just active/retired veterans) discounts on cruise fare and for recognizing them onboard.

While we understand and wish their son well while serving on multiple deployments, there was no reason to be offended by its use. It is used in every welcome aboard show on Carnival ships.

Please respond,

We should be in Cozumel on the same day Nov 4th. You on the Legend and me & Michelle on the Holiday. You think we can drag you off the ship and treat you lunch? We have a two-tank scuba dive in the morning but should be freed up around 1:30pm.
Dave

John Says:
Hello Dave

I played Anchors Aweigh this past week and I received no complaints about it and in fact a couple of guests mentioned that it was great to hear this come back as they remembered the Cruise Directors playing it some years ago. I played this with due respect to Mr. Beauxdammit who posted the comment about it being inappropriate to the United States Navy and hope that if he is reading this that he forgives me.

Unfortunately and much to my disappointment I will not be on the Carnival Legend on November 4 as I will already be in New York for a top secret mission. I am disappointed because I wanted to say goodbye to the Holiday and hello to you, Carolyn and Don and anyone else I know who will be sailing on her last voyage.

What a shame. Please say goodbye to the Holiday for me. She was my first ship and I have many wonderful memories of her…………Samantha, Helen, Sarah and a Latvian girl named Babooshka.

Don’t tell Heidi.

Have a wonderful cruise
Best wishes
John

Carmen Lopez Asked:
Dear John

Please reply, I need to ask you a favor. A fellow nurse in my office told me about you and that maybe you might be able to help me make my daughters honeymoon a special one. This year has been a rough one on our family. This past Valentine’s Day I lost my husband, her father, to colon cancer. Just seven months before his death I lost my father to bone cancer. Their wedding has been canceled twice due to deaths in the family and on October 16, 2009 she will finally be able to have her day! If the deaths in the family weren’t enough on her she had a horrible slip and fall about a month ago and was hospitalized for over a week. She was paralyzed from the waist down and now they are saying she might need surgery. She is an amazing daughter and person. I don’t know what, if anything, you may be able to do to make this honeymoon (well deserved vacation for her) a little more special. She is sailing out on the Carnival Freedom on 10/18/09, this is her first time cruising with Carnival and her fourth cruise overall. She had a nightmare experience on the Princess cruise line and she is worried that something bad is going to happen (with her “luck” she says). I just want her to know how much she is loved and that although her father is not here to walk her down the aisle, she still has angels in her midst. I have their booking number and I can send you all the information. I know you probably get 101 requests for things but given the circumstances with our family I thought I would give this a shot. I don’t know how to email you so I hope somehow this reaches you. I have read a lot of this blog and I must say that I may just have to go on a cruise myself and experience the things you all have been talking about! Thank you in advance for anything you may be able to do for my amazing daughter and son-in-law.
Sincerely,
Carmen L.
(Mother of the Bride)

John Says:
Hello Carmen

Thank you for taking the time to write and my sincere sympathies to you at the loss of your husband. It sounds like your daughter has had some experiences that have, quite understandably, made her concerned about what is going to happen next. I can promise you though she will have a wonderful honeymoon. I would love to send her a little something to chase the blues away. Unfortunately you did not send me her name or cabin number. I am guessing its Lopez but having asked the ship it appears that there are 24 people sailing with that name. So, I have asked one of the 343 Stephanie’s to send you an e mail and if you could reply as soon as you can then we may be able to send her something special.
Once again, my thoughts are with you.
John

Janey – OKGIRL Asked:
John (Please reply),

Great blog today and thanks for posting the pics of the Carnival Legend. The reports of the incident made it sound much worse than it appears, though any damage to such a beautiful ship is a shame.

Thanks for profiling Kyle Post. As you noted he was our CD on the Cruise Critic Crazies cruise on 9/21, and I must admit he was very tolerant of my alternate persona (Tiffany) making a complete mess of his welcome aboard show.

I must say that I saw more of him out and about than any other CD I’ve sailed with since you. He appears to genuinely love interacting with the guests, and never seemed to mind the endless picture requests and just hanging out and chatting. It was a great week, made all the better by an excellent Cruise Director.

I do have a question about our upcoming cruise with you on the Dream 12/3. It’s been reported in a few news outlets that Carnival is canceling its Antigua port calls. We’re scheduled to be in Antigua on 12/6, so I’m wondering if this is true when the itinerary change is going to be announced.

John Says:
Hello Janey

Thanks for the posting and repairs are ongoing to the superstructure of the ship following the now infamous Cozumel incident. That reminds me, I should take some photos of the ship now ….after the repairs. Anyway, I was very glad to read that you enjoyed Kyle so much as your cruise director. He is part of a crop of young and exciting CD’s who are indeed part of a very exciting future here at Carnival. I will make sure your words of praise are read by Chris Prideaux who is in charge of the Cruise Directors. As for Antigua, I checked on this and while Antigua won’t be included in the Victory’s 7-day cruises from San Juan beginning next year, the island will continue to be featured on our other cruises, including the Carnival Dream‘s Dec. 3 departure as well as the Carnival Freedom‘s eight-day Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale.

Best wishes to you and the family.
John

Andrea Asked:
Dear John, I hope you can reply

I have just read in this blog that you will be our CD on our Cruise on the Carnival Dream January 30, 2010 – February 6, 2010 I hope I read that right That’s awesome, oh so happy to meet you I follow all your blogs all the time.

Hope the family is good the little one sounds so cute; our children are all grown but cruise with us often. Italy must be wonderful my family is from there and I have been there once when my sister took me for a Cruise holiday we also visited England our dad is from Essex, England.

Thank you so much for the video and blogs it helps us see the Carnival Dream we will be sailing her on January 30, 2010 can’t wait so excited, Fun ship Carnival Dream Yay…..

We loved seeing the video of you on the slide I am not sure if we will do it but our son said he will be sliding down it…..

I can’t wait to taste Carnival’s warm chocolate melting cake again, I had one every night on Carnival Liberty this February. It tasted like biting into a little bit heaven.
Thank you so much for the blogs.

All my love to you and your family
Andrea & Robert

John Says:
Hello Andrea and Robert

I am glad you have been enjoying the blogs, photos and videos highlighting your Carnival Dream. I will indeed be with you in January and that in fact will be my first cruise so I am very excited indeed. It won’t be long until you are enjoying the first of many chocolate melting cakes.

Thanks for the kind words for my family which I send to yours as well.
Best wishes
John

Amanda Asked:
Hi John (Please Reply),

I’m a newbie to your blog thingy, only been reading it for a couple of months now, but I have to say I am hooked! It is helping to make the time pass until our next cruise! Finally under 20 days until we sail the Carnival Valor! Yahoo! We can’t wait! We finally pulled out the suitcase this weekend to start packing. I have to say, I’m not sure I can take booking a cruise months and months out again, in the past we’ve booked no more the 6 weeks out and it was just right (the one time I booked only 2 weeks out I was a stressed mess getting everything cleared off my desk before I left work!), but this time we booked way out and it has been torture waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more, but I wanted to give the new ES rate a try.

And now to the question I am hoping you can answer for me. My husband and I are hoping maintain our status as coolest Aunt and Uncle by taking our nephew on a graduation cruise this coming May/June. Alas, since we are footing the bill completely (flights, spending money, etc…), we can’t afford for him to bring a friend along, so we are trying to squeeze the trip in between graduation(mid May) and his 18th birthday (mid June) so that he can meet new friends in Club O2. I know that the age cap for CLUB O2 is 17, but is it 17 at the beginning of the cruise or the end of the cruise? Meaning if our nephew TURNS 18 while on the cruise will he be still able to take part in Club O2? Thanks so much for taking the time every day to pass along your insight into the Carnival world, and also, for answering all the questions that come your way. Have a wonderful day!
Thanks,
Amanda

John Says:
Hello Amanda

I am glad you have found the blog thingy and enjoying it so much. I am sure you are ready and excited for next week’s cruise and having recently sailed on the Carnival Valor I know that it will be a wonderful time for you both and any stress will disappear the moment you step foot onboard.

What a super Aunty you are by looking after your nephew next year. He will be fine to attend Club O2 as he will be 17 when he arrives and even though his birthday is mid cruise we certainly will help him celebrate that rather than tell him he can’t attend anymore. So, as you can see you have nothing to be concerned about.
Have a brilliant cruise
Best wishes
John

missingthesmokefreeparadise Asked:
John – PLEASE REPLY

It’s a small world after all.

Buck up, bucko – part of being a papa is that you have to do what the baby wants. The baby wants Disney, so Disney it is. Buck up.

Actually, I am with you on this one – we were blessed that the Mrs.’ parents lived in Florida, so when the baby went to visit, she got to visit the House of the Mouse and I never had to stand in line.

Years later, we did enjoy, more than once, Kings Dominion in Richmond VA – it is a Hanna Barbara theme park with Yogi Bear, Boo Boo and all those great characters. Oh, and and Eiffel Tower to boot.

Now, onto my question – I know you have answered before, but what ships will you be on next year. I may actually get started planning a cruise for next year soon and the Mrs. is leaving clear indications of her interest in going haze grey and underway (an old Navy saying).

Jonny missing the cruise life

John Says:
Hello Jon

As always it’s great to hear from you. I know that my future includes Disney, Dora the bloody Explorer and the Teletubbies but I draw the line at Barney.

I am on your Carnival Dream from late January to late March. Then it’s off to the Carnival Conquest until early May and then finally the Carnival Fantasy until early June. It has been too long since I have seen the smoke stack on your head and so I hope I get to see you and Mrs. MTSFP then.
Best wishes to you both
John

Ernest Asked:
Dear John, Please Reply

I understand that Carnival has recently added a “inside the ship” tour. I was wondering if this will be available on the Carnival Dream, as we will be sailing on her for her first full cruise from Cape Canaveral on December 3rd.

How can something like this be arranged?
Thank you,
ERNIE

John Says:
Hello Ernie

Yes indeed, the Behind the Fun tour is proving to be very popular and it’s no surprise as we take you to the bridge, engine control room and other areas usually marked “for crew only.” The tour can be purchased from the moment you walk onboard the ship from the Shore Excursion desk on deck 3 forward. It is well worth the cost and I hope you enjoy this amazing look behind the scenes.
Best wishes
John

Steph aka hockey addict Asked:
Hi John! (Please reply)

On our recent Fun Ship vacation on the Carnival Fascination we went to the Pursers Desk. (I refuse to call it the guest whatever thingy, I like Pursers desk) They were all very nice. I wanted to find out if it were possible to purchase internet time for a crew member so he could “talk” to his family. They said we could leave cash for them or just give the cash with the person we wanted to do this for. I just thought it would be a nice surprise for him AFTER we got off the ship. Do you think the Carnival higher ups would consider this? What do you think?

The nice lady I spoke to about it told me that I had made her day and thanked me for thinking of the crew.

Just thought I would ask!
Steph

John Says:
Hello Steph

Your kindness is so wonderful to read and thank you for sharing this great idea with us all. We have a crew internet cafe now on every ship and I know many of the crew keeps in touch with their family via e mail from there. The Guest Services Desk (I miss the name purser as well) are the only ones who can handle cash so the way you did it is the best way short of giving it straight to the crew member you wish to reward.

I know that the crew member you were so kind to will have appreciated your gesture so very much and I know that your kindness will have left a lasting impression on him.
Thank you again and best wishes
John

Sylvis Asked:
Hi John, please reply:

I am a new reader to your blog thingy, though not new to Carnival since we sailed on our honeymoon on the Tropicale 5/29/1993, and I am enjoying it immensely! I have a couple of questions for you about our upcoming cruise on the Dream on 10/16/2010. My husband would like to do the “Behind the Fun Tour” how do I book this and on which days is it offered? My other question is on which nights are our formal evenings on the Dream, my husband and I would like to try the steakhouse as everyone seems to agree that it is worth the extra expense, but I don’t want to miss the formal nights with the rest of my family!

John Says:
Hello Sylvis

Welcome to the blog thingy, it’s great to have you with us. Time for some cut and paste action as I was just asked this very same question………the Behind the Fun tour is proving to be very popular and it’s no surprise as we take you to the bridge, engine control room and other areas usually marked “for crew only.” The tour can be purchased from the moment you walk onboard the ship from the Shore Excursion desk on deck 3 forward. It is well worth the cost and I hope you enjoy this amazing look behind the scenes.

You will be sailing the western Caribbean next year on your Carnival Dream and the elegant nights are on the first sea day and after sailing from Costa Maya. May I suggest that you consider booking a visit to the steakhouse on either Belize or Roatan night?

Hope this helps and please let me know if there is anything else I can do.
Best wishes
John

Rebecca Asked:
John – Please reply!

I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now, and I’m a big fan, but this is my first post. As such this will be long because I have a buildup of questions in queue, so hopefully you can get to all of them in one swoop!

First–I should mention that my husband and I will be on the Carnival Dream with you on the January 23rd sailing, though you won’t be the CD, which makes me sad. Hope you can arrange to do the bedtime story at one of the shows! That said, you WILL be the CD for my parents when they cruise with a group of 7 family members on February 6th just 2 weeks later. I should warn you, we’ve prepared a little surprise gift for you and Ken and I’m going to keep you in suspense beyond that! 🙂

My Questions:

1) Would you be able to get me an email address for Matt and Christian, the 2 art gallery rock stars on the Carnival Legend? We collected for the first time on our Legend cruise in July and wanted to send them some pictures of our new pieces hanging in the house as we really enjoyed working with them. Their contact info would be much appreciated.

2) Do you know which dining rooms will host anytime dining on the Carnival Dream, and then which dining room will Ken be maitre’d-ing? Anytime Dining is a lifesaver for us because we’re total introverts who cruise to unwind and the anxiety of finding out who will be your tablemates and/or requesting a table for 2 has always been a stressful part of cruising which isn’t meant to be stressful! I know we’re in the minority amongst your blog followers, and more power to the people who love to mix and mingle–it’s just not for us. I just hope we’re able to get anytime dining and still get to see Ken!

3) Our last time in Cozumel, we took the best excursion ever — Isla Passion by Twister boat! Second to our wedding, it was the best day of our lives. However, for medical reasons I won’t be able to ride the twister boat during our trip in January, and I was wondering if someone in your tours and excursion group can recommend another way to get to passion island through the same tour operator–i.e. can they arrange for a tamer boat ride over? That would make the trip for us again I’m sure. Please help me out because it’s probably a 12 hour swim over there, and I’m incredibly stubborn!

Thanks so much–I look forward to your responses and to saying hello in January! Happy blogging.

John Says:
Hello Rebecca

Thanks for saying you are a big fan of the blog. It will be great to see you on the 23rd and hopefully I will be able to say hello in person and of course I will do all I can to make sure your family have a brilliant cruise in February.

Anytime dining is becoming more and more popular and these days choice is king so we have been excited to add this to our dining program. Ken will be in the aft dining room the majority of the time and that’s where the anytime dining has been planned for your Carnival Dream‘s Caribbean cruising. This means you will get to eat when you want and enjoy his dulcet tones and fun hospitality.

Unfortunately Passion Island is only reachable by the fast speedboat which I don’t think you should try if you have some back pain. The other option is Playa Mia Deluxe Beach Break. The beach here is stunning and the tour includes all the facilities, an all you can eat Mexican Buffet and open bar as well as lots of organized activities. It’s a great place to sit in the sun and do nothing.

I hope this helps and as the cruise moves ever nearer please let me know if I can help you in anyway.
Best wishes
John

Kerry Asked:
Quick question….

Do you happen to know what night the surf and turf is scheduled on the Dec 3 sailing of the Dream? I want to make reservations for the steakhouse one night (any suggestions?) and would hate to miss out on the lobster night of the cruise. Thanks so much!

John Says:
Hello Kerry

The lobster is served in the dining room on the evening of the 4th which is the first elegant night. I hope this helps you decide which night to book the steakhouse which is a must visit of course.

See you soon and best wishes.
John

Gloria Asked:
Please reply

Hi John: We are a group of about 70 (+/-) cruise critic sailors cruising on the Carnival Valor Nov. 1-8. We would love to have a room reserved for our official meet and greet. Would you be so kind as to contact the CD aboard the Valor to arrange a location for us please? We will check the capers daily as I KNOW you’ll be able to make this a reality. Many thanks.

John Says:
Hello Gloria

I have sent your request to the Cruise Director and Groups Coordinator of the vessel. The CD will as you mentioned place something in the Carnival Capers stating that there will be a CC meet and greet on the first sea day afternoon.
Have a brilliant cruise
Best wishes
John

That’s all for today and that was a double load answered as I continue to try and get up to date with my answers. Please keep the comments coming as they make for great reading.

Spare a thought for the guests and crew of our ships over on the west coast who are probably going to have their itineraries affected by Hurricane Rick. We are closely monitoring the situation of course and the Cruise Director of the Carnival Splendor is Stephanie Meads who is known to many of the bloggers. This is her first real test and I know she will do very well. I spent some time with her on the phone walking her through what to say and do etc. Here is (at the time of writing) the new itinerary of the Carnival Splendor for the current Oct. 18 voyage.

Monday Ensenada 09:00/16:00
Tue Sea Day
Wed Sea Day
Thu Pt.Vallarta 08:00/22:00
Fri C.S.Lucas 07:00/15:00
Sat Sea Day
Sun. L.Beach

This of course could change and you can find out up to date information at carnival.com and here on the blog thingy.

Rick……….what an awful name for a hurricane………Rick is such a friendly, happy name ………I think they forgot the “P.”

Just a quick note on last cruise before we move on. Saturday afternoon, without warning, the weather changed and the ship began to pitch and roll in what many crew who have been on the Carnival Legend for some time described as the worst sea conditions they could remember in a long time. That’s not hard though as the weeks I have been here the seas have been calm throughout and this is usually the normal state of play in this part of the Western Caribbean.

For me and for many past cruisers the motion of the ship was nothing new, yet for many guests on their first cruise it was probably not too pleasant. This was the case for the first contract crew members who probably didn’t feel too good either. In fact one of our orchestra members had to run off stage during the show last night. He made it as far as the wings………and then redecorated the stage floor.

Last cruise was an interesting one. Individually most people were very nice but it remains to be seen if the guests became one big happy family. I found the response at the debarkation talk somewhat muted as I presented the crew. maybe it’s me just reading into things………but I must admit that I walked around and while many stopped and talked to me some and I should say ……….more than usual……….did not respond to my “good mornings,” etc…………strange.

I guess what makes me concerned is a letter written on behalf of 7 cabins. I was going to scan and post it but unfortunately I gave it to the Guest Services Desk to add to their incident report and it’s been sent off the ship with the voyage file.

Anyway, the letter basically said how much these 15 people disapproved of the shows, the gambling, the drinking and of course me…..the suggested that I…and I quote…. “remove myself from the gutter and repent.”

This has me thinking if there were others guests who may have felt the same hence some guests not reacting to my welcoming words as I walked around the ship. Anyway, we will see when we receive the review card ratings and compare them to my first cruise …………….I will share the results with you of course.

Yesterday was also a difficult day as we had a female guest who reported to her family that she wanted to cause harm to herself. She was restrained by her loved ones who thank goodness reported this to the ship’s command. Now, I won’t go into personal details about her. Obviously, when someone makes a threat like this onboard we take this very seriously and certain steps are taken of course to make sure that the guest does not harm themselves.

I will tell you that she asked to speak to me and so I spent the hours of 4:15 am – 6:00am with her and her husband. Again, I cannot tell you what we discussed. In fact, I didn’t say much………I just listened until we arrived into Tampa and she left the vessel with her family hopefully to get some professional help……….it was a very sad end to the cruise for me …………except……….that her pain and her gut wrenching anguish put my concerns into perspective. I hope in return I was able to help her and her very distraught family.

One very positive thing from last week was the On the Deck for the Cure Walk. I had read that there had been some comments that some ships were not doing this anymore. I think a lot of that has to do with supplies of T Shirts etc. Well, we are certainly doing it here and although we had to move the event indoors it was very popular and we raised another $1,280.

Here is a group photo

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Let’s move on to this cruise and see who is joining us.

GUEST COUNT – 2307
NON US AND CANADIAN COUNT
45 – GERMANY
29 – UK
24 – BAHAMAS
KID COUNT
AGE GROUP TOTALS
Under 2 Years 8
2-5 Years 21
6-8 Years 19
9-11 Years 24
12-14 Years 30
15-17 Years 36
18-20 Years 48

We also have a group of 200 who are all Cruise Critic readers and who call themselves “Saints and Sinners” joining us as well……………oh…………….and no vampires.

Also a new cast of 9 dancers and 4 singers arrived today. They will have a four-week rehearsal period and then the old cast will leave and the Carnival Legend will become their new home for the next 6 months. I had a quick look the names to see if I knew any of them and to my horror I noticed that two of the dancers were born……….in 1990 ……. 1990……..I had been with the company for three years then…………..I am so old.

Well, the ship continued where it had left off on Saturday night by pitching and rolling as the bad weather continued Sunday night. This meant that many were not feeling well and I could easily have held the welcome aboard show in bathroom of my cabin.

Yep, it was empty save the brave sailors and I struggled to get six people on stage for the audience participation event. However, the six I did get were certainly characters and I will tell you about some of them shortly. However, much of the audience seemed to have tried to compensate for the rolling of the ship by drinking as much as they could. This included a lady who right from the start of the show started screaming back to me words in a language which could only be described as more than a little tipsy.

I asked her name and eventually after getting her Mother who apparently spoke the same language as her daughter I discovered that Annie had gotten married that same day. I asked her where her husband was and she screamed “in the damn casino.” I asked her where she was from and she told me a town called Sulphur Rock, Arkansas ……….and then proceeded to stand up and do some sort of demented jig while screaming in delight …….maybe some of the sulphur had gotten to her.

The only person who seemed to be enjoying this was her Mum.

There comes a time when going back and forth with a heckler passes the funny mark and moves over to……well…..just annoying for everyone. And so it was that I sent my ACD Craig to get her husband from the casino. I asked her politely meanwhile to please take a seat…….she did……..but not quietly. A few minutes later her husband walked into the show lounge………the plan was for him to sit next to her and quiete her down. But to my horror I saw immediately that my plan had gone tits up……..because as he walked into the lounge he did so holding a bottle of beer in both hands…….bugger……..he was drunker than his wife…….and let me tell you………..that’s wasn’t an easy thing to accomplish.

The audience saw this and started laughing hysterically when I said that this was a marriage made in heaven and sponsored by Budweiser. I then asked Craig to give them a bottle of champagne. He went backstage, grabbed one and I whispered in his ear what I wanted him to do. He waved the bottle around and they both stood up and walked toward it……Craig started to walk faster and towards the exit of the lounge …….. they followed like puppy dogs chasing a rabbit……….and they left to more applause from the audience. …………Mum didn’t look pleased though.

Anyway, back to the show. The couples on stage were a mixed bag of age and demographics. However, three couples had one thing in common and it’s something it seems to be more and more common these days………….they met…………..on the internet.

It seems that dating has changed forever. Back in my day men and women were perfectly happy finding spouses by going out to the pub meeting someone, buying them a drink or in my case pouncing on the girl who was the drunkest and who looked least able to resist my charms and hoping they would date you. But now finding a partner has become a process similar to a job interview………….an interview that I would never pass.

Here is a couple that met on the internet. Here is a photo of a lady from Chicago ……… called Rose.

5

She told the audience and I that her husband is reserved and not very romantic …………. well, I gave him a chance to prove she was wrong. He did………my doing what can only be described as the whitest dance ever seen. Here are a few images of Steve shaking his groove thing.

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Well, Monday morning and not a great start to the cruise weather wise. It’s only 8:45am but the sea is still pissed off with the world and there will I think be an all day battle between the sun and the clouds. At the moment the clouds are Mike Tyson and the sun is Pee Wee Herman………….and that’s today’s forecast.

Here’s some great news for the team here on the Carnival Legend. This morning at 8:45am a team from the department of United States Public Health came onboard for an inspection of the galleys, food preparation areas, water facilities, swimming pools, hot tubs and much, much more. They did not leave until 4 pm. A pass or fail mark is given to the Captain and department heads before the ship sails and of course the inspectors can, if they want, stop the ship from sailing. Well, a passing mark is 86 out of a possible 100. A good mark is 90 ………the Carnival Legend scored a 98……….yep a 98. And after 7 hours of inspection, that is simply sensational. Congratulations to the Carnival Legend team.

We would have scored 100 ………but we lost 2 points………….and it was my fault …….. because they inspected my cabin……and found a pair of my underpants on the bathroom floor.

And that meant we lost two points………bugger!

Goodnight
Your friend
John

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.