October 22, 2009 -

John Heald

I feel angry at myself today and I need to admit that to you. Do you remember a comment I posted about a man who had complained that he had found ants in his cabin? Well if you missed that let me quickly say that a guest had stated that there were ants in his bed which after investigation turned out to be bits of fluff.

Well, I posted that comment and shared a little chuckle with you about it. Well, this morning I met the gentlemen concerned.

He is 30 something …….well……..he has…..learning difficulties as his Mother explained to me this morning and now…….I feel like total crap for writing what I did. His Mother is a lovely lady and was actually quite apologetic about the fuss he had caused and about an incident in the dining room that I won’t be telling you about. I shook hands with Greg and he said “You make me laugh”…….and I just wanted someone to beat me around the head with a baseball bat………how can I have been so stupid…………..I should have figured it out before I posted the comment and before I laughed about what I had read.

Greg’s smile could have melted the coldest heart and as he walked away from the coffee bar, holding his Mother’s hand………..I felt sick.

And this has been on my mind all day. So much so that I needed to start this blog with an apology to you and somehow I will find away to apologize to Greg and his Mother……….I should have done it today………..but I didn’t.

I have tried to make myself feel better by sending Greg a trophy, medallion and the Captain signed a photo of the ship as well…….but I still feel I must apologize, even though they are not aware of it.

So, please forgive me everyone……..and I will ask Greg and his Mum to do the same. Oh……..and while I am saying sorry can I also apologize to the guests who joined me on deck 7 in the elevator after I had joined on deck 10 and thinking I would be alone released what can only be described as hazardous material from my bottom……….sorry.

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

Jan Paratore Asked:

I was on the inaugural cruise for the Carnival Dream which was wonderful except…there seemed to be a cooking exhaust venting into cabin 7390 somehow – very unpleasant cooking odor starting around 10:30AM and going all night – not very nice with the balcony door shut at night and who knows what we were breathing in!!

When I left at the end of the cruise, they had the people from the ship builders on board, shutting down one ventilation shaft section at a time, trying to figure out what was wrong. If it was a hotel on land & they couldn’t move me, I would have checked out after (or probably during) the first night, but since it was a 12 night Med cruise, just tried to make the best of it. Guest Services just kept offering to send housekeeping to “refresh” the cabin…hey guys, it’s an engineering problem, not housekeeping. Carnival (after much complaining) gave us a 20% credit – I thought that was not terribly adequate but didn’t let it spoil our wonderful vacation. They also gave us a letter for 15% off a future cruise of 3-8 days, not a comparable 12 night cruise. I know you pay for the food & entertainment as part of your cruise fare, but the comp they gave us works out to $79 per night for a balcony cabin which was basically uninhabitable. Is there a higher authority I can bring this up to?

John Says:
Hello Jan

I am so glad to read that you had such a great time on your Carnival Dream cruise despite the obvious concerns you expressed above. I won’t comment further except to send you my sincere apologies and to tell you that I have sent this on to the vice president of our Care Team. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

Best wishes


I few of us “agents” were talking with customers and can’t figure out WHY the cruise ships can’t supply pop free???

If it’s served like the dining places-it’s just a cylinder of syrup mixed with carbonated water. Has to be cheaper than milk or the Hot Chocolate???? WHY can’t it be included as a free item?????

Myself-I always bring some back on with me after going ashore-I’m not about to pay 2.15 per can of coke! I know it’s a sore spot with people that like to cruise.

Please check on it and let us know why.

John Says:
Hello Judy

It’s a fair question Judy and let me see if I can give you an answer. First of all in days gone by we did indeed use the fountain soda guns but these days we pour straight from the cans. It should also be noted that having checked with the bar manager here on the Carnival Legend on our last seven-day cruise we served 2,680 cans of Coke and 3,384 of Diet Coke. So there’s a revenue issue involved. Remember we already serve tea, coffee, water, lemonade and ice tea complimentary which most hotels and resorts charge for. So, I guess the simple answer is that in order to allow Carnival to keep their prices the most affordable in the industry we must look at the bottom line when we can. Thank you for your continuing support and best to you and all the “agents” who read the blog thingy.

Best wishes

David Vigue Asked:
Hi John, (Please Reply)

You asked me to let you know how the cruise on Carnival Sensation went with my 2 grandsons. So here it goes. Wonderful!! Camp Carnival’s staff was outstanding; the new features on the ship were great. My wife and I took our chance with the water slide, and this is a big deal, as she is afraid of pools, and I, like you don’t do roller coasters. I did however leave my socks in the cabin. Now as for the shore excursion. We took the one to Atlantis with beach, lunch, water park, and aquarium. The boys had a blast. I however had the time of my life with the boys until the rapids tube ride (I thought might be a lazy river tube ride) flipped me over and the current dropped my trunks to my knees. The life guard kept yelling put the tube over your head, and all I could think about is getting my trunks up before I landed in the slammer, one hand on the tube the other pulling up the trunks. Good thing for me that I did before anyone could notice.

I have read that you are enjoying Carnival Legend, and having cruised on Carnival Pride this summer I know how you feel. But I want to take it a step further. We took our best cruises early, on Sensation, Imagination, Fascination & Carnivale. We fell in love with cruising. Now after sailing on the larger ships, and going back to the improved Carnival Sensation, I know why we fell in love. My 11 year old grandson and I ran into the Staff Captain on the Lido deck and after a short conversation about his job on board, he called the Captain of the ship over to meet us. Later, I got to meet our CD Paul on the same Lido deck, and he was just as friendly as you were on our 3 cruises with you. We got outstanding service from everyone, from the moment we got in to the line to check in, till the porter helped us take our bags to the car after the cruise. I have no complaints. The best endorsement is that our 7 year old when asked if he wanted to go to Disney World next year he said no, he wanted to come back on this ship. Both boys said they liked the Carnival Sensation better than Disney Wonder.

Now for the standouts. Hard to pick because the entire staff was great. Jorge from Peru, who works as a bar server in the Fantasy dining room, portrays such a love for his job. He smiles from ear to ear, and never let my soft drink glass get empty. It is the little things that mean so much. This guy acts like serving beverages to the guests is the most important job in the world. With people like Jorge from Peru on the ships, how can you not have a fun time? Could you get word to his supervisors how valuable he is to the company. (Sail Date Oct 4 Table #148)

The next person you need to be aware of is Shirley McCall, our PVP. I have now booked 3 cruises this year with her, and she has gone out of her way to resolve all my concerns. She even came in early one day to help us book our Carnival Sensation Cruise. I can only tell you that if all customer service sales people had her knowledge, and gave her service, there would never be a complaint. Please let her supervisors know how great she is.

Now, my question to you is this. The photo people on Carnival Sensation were also outstanding, they took more pictures of the boys that we didn’t know about, till we discovered them, or at least the boys did. Can the photo people put together a package of pictures that you can buy on line like they do at say, Disney World? After you get home, you may notice that you didn’t get enough copies, or wish you had taken some that you left in the refuse bin. Maybe they could get a scanner thingy that could route them by cabin#, Sail Date, and Ship, from the Sail and Sign card. I was lucky at the Atlantis Water Park that they gave one of the boys a number on his wrist band, we thought the ship took the picture, but on the way out, I saw the photo station, and she set it up for us to buy online. That led me to this question? Why can’t the Carnival Fun ships have a “Fun Ship Photo Club”?

Now that we have rediscovered the Carnival Sensation, I can’t wait to go on the Carnival Imagination this January.

Best wishes to you and your family, I love the “Blog Thingy”
Dave Vigue

PS: Thank you so much for standing up for our troops, you are right, we can’t thank them enough.

John Says:
Hello David

As you may have read at the start of today’s blog I am feeling quite upset at myself today but your brilliant review has put a smile back on my face. I am going to send this review to everyone onboard and the Senior VP of Hotel Operations all of whom will I know be just as thrilled as I was to read this. It is also great to read that our investment in the upgrades on our Fantasy class ships have paid such dividends. Just a quick note on the photos. We are very aware that our photo purchase system needs looking at and I can tell you that this is an ongoing project. So, thank you again and I hope one day to meet you and your family onboard one of our ships. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy.

Best wishes to you all

Roy & Terry Miyamoto Says:
Hello John,

We sailed on the first Blogger’s Cruise and are now looking forward to sailing again with you on the Dec 3rd Blogger’s Cruise.

Big Ed emailed to tell me that you had previously mentioned special Blogger shore excursions at Tortola and Antigua. Neither of them are on the Carnival shore excursion list.

We are in the process of booking all of our shore excursions for each of the ports, how do we sign up for the Blogger shore excursions?

Please have one of the many Stephanies email us to assist us in our planning.

Many thanks and see you soon.

John Says:
Hello Roy and Terry

I too am looking forward to meeting you again on BC3. Thanks for the info on the tours and thanks also to Big Ed. I did not know they were not there anymore. While you can purchase them onboard it should be possible to purchase them online as well. I will get right on this and post information as soon as possible. Thanks again and see you both soon.
Best Wishes

Sheryl Asked:
Hi John, Great blog, as always!

Will Carnival ever consider doing some repositioning cruises from Florida to New York and visa versa during the spring and fall? I think many people would be interested. I know I would! Can they at least give it a try and see if it’s worth their while?

John Says:
Hello Sheryl

The repositioning cruise of the Carnival Elation is the latest of these voyages and reports are that it is selling very quickly. Repositioning cruises are very popular indeed and while there are no current plans for one from New York to Florida, I am sure it is not out of the question. I will keep you informed of course here on the blog thingy.
Best wishes

Kelli Asked:
Please Reply

We just finished a wonderful cruise on the Dream. It was awesome! The itinerary was unbelievable. We like others after us, were led to believe that cabin 8473 had a couch, wrap around balcony so we paid for the upgrade as we were to be in room 8470. Much to our dismay, we had a tiny room, no wrap around balcony and not even a chair in our room. Carnival Dream customer service took pictures and agreed that this definitely was not an upgrade. They took pictures and created a case. When we got home we called our vacation planner, Charles, who was aware of our problem. Carnival sent us a letter stating that although it was not the room described, too bad. We were not going to get a refund on the upgrade. We were so disappointed as we and many friends and family, have cruised on carnival quite a bit. Anyway, I heard on cruise critic that a meeting was held and they would compensate us for this. Can you help? We would love to plan another cruise with Carnival.

John Says:
Hello Kelli

I am glad to hear you enjoyed the cruise so much despite the concerns about your cabin. I appreciate you letting me know and I have sent your comments to our Care Team. Someone will be in touch very soon. Please let me know if I can help further. Most of all please accept my apologies for this and I will make sure this is followed up on.
Best Wishes

Kiciaski Asked:
Hello John, (please reply)

I’m sure you’ll get many, many comments about the Carnival Dream deck 8 9A aft wraps. We have 7454, the aft wrap on deck 7. Is that a true wrap? We would all appreciate any info you can give us on those 6 cabins and even the two 8D on deck 9.

Thanks John and have a magical day!

John Says:
Hello George and Linda

It has been a long time since I have written to you and I hope you are both well. I am sure you have seen my blog of a few days ago where I apologized for this obvious mistake in our deck plans and the construction of these two cabins. The partitions are being removed as we speak and so by the start of the Trans Atlantic crossing the work will have been completed.

Best wishes to you both.

SallyOwl Asked:
John, please reply … some time!

Yesterday’s and today’s blogs took us back to our 49 days on the Carnival Splendor this year – and made us think of Przemak, the delightful Polish pianist who was everywhere around the ship, making our lives joyful. We know that he was continuing on the C-Splendor until September – will we be able to see him on other Carnival ships … maybe the Carnival Spirit, if we get to do the three b-2-b cruises we’re hoping to do next year? He was a definite bonus to Carnival!

John Says:
Hello Sally Owl

I had the joy and honor of working with the so very talented Przemak on the Carnival Freedom and the Carnival Splendor. His skills as a pianist and his love of the Carnival guests make him a very special asset. He is currently on the Carnival Splendor and I will see where he is due to go next and let you know. Thanks for praising him and I will make sure he sees your comments.
Best Wishes

Please Reply

You saying “I’m sure that Craig is a great chap but Stephanie Meads is much easier on the eyes…” won’t get you anywhere with Stephanie because remember she was on BC2 that night when your teddy didn’t cover all your ….uuummmm… parts. Next time you will use the robes from the cabin like I did. Even though I had to use 2 of them. One put on from the back and one from the front because John has still not got us BIG people the “THESE FIT THE REST” size robes.

Will there be the “THESE FIT THE REST” size robes in time for BC3 on the Carnival Dream??? Remember you said I would get one if I came on BC1, never happened 1. You told me in Philly that you and I would do a photo shoot for CURRENTS modeling the new robes, never happened 2. So what are you going to say about this for BC3???? So we can have a NH3


John Says:
Hello Ed

I have let you down so far and I have not given up. I want to get these robes made for two reasons. I owe you and…….Pat does not deserve to see Small Ed first thing in the morning.

See you soon mate

That’s all for today and I am about 8 days behind still………..bugger.

My apologies for the very late posting of yesterday’s blog. That was my fault as time ran away with me yesterday and I me and my underpants did not finish the blog until very late. I haven’t read the comments from yesterday yet but I am sure there are those who expressed their gratitude to Cunard’s eloquent President and Managing Director Mr. Peter Shanks for his superb telling of the story of the Queen Mary 2’s voyage around my home country.

Well today the story continues as the ship is welcomed in an extraordinary way by the people us Brits like to call “scousers”……..the people of Liverpool and judging by what Peter has written………you would think John, Paul, George and Ringo had returned home. There are some great photos to accompany Peter’s words and please go on over and have a read……….I will wait here for you. Here is the link thingy.

As I mentioned yesterday I have booked a cabin for the Queen Victoria’s UK voyage next year. It’s not a bloggers cruise but it would be wonderful to share the Cunard experience with you…….Heidi and Kye are coming…… would be spiffing to see some of you there with me.

Now, I need to ask you a question because there is something I don’t understand. Let me preface this by saying that last night due to the late sending of the blog thingy I missed dinner. I have been trying to eat at 7 pm to help my mertabalserm ……. metabioliserm …… metabolisam………my beach ball of a stomach get smaller. Anyway, as it was quite late I decided to pop up to the Lido Deck to get a sandwich from the deli. I was surprised to find so many people eating at the alternative dining there……..approx 100 people were enjoying the carvery and evening specialties. Anyway, I gathered my turkey and cheese sandwich on wheat bread and sat at a table ………once again I was Billy No Mates.

But not for long because a family of four saw me and asked if they could sit with me. I told them to bugger off because I needed to be alone with my thoughts of Megan Fox’s bottom. No I didn’t.

Of course I invited them to join me and so it was I got to know the Colin and Margaret Wilkinson and their two kids. Colin, a landscape gardener and his third grade teacher wife are from Boyzy, Idaho ………..I am sure that’s not how you spell it but anyway …….. they were a lovely family and while we munched I asked them a question thinking I already knew the answer. The question was “I guess you had a long day in port so you are having a quick meal here on lido deck.”

The answer surprised me.

“No, we eat up here every night.”

‘You mean you never go to the dining room?”


“Oh, may I ask why?”

Well, we like it and with two kids to get ready we can’t make the dining room on time and 8:15pm is too late for them.”

I then mentioned Your Time dining and they were surprised and had not heard that this was an option.

It didn’t matter…….they love to eat on the Lido Deck……..the end.

And so here are my questions for you to answer for me because I am a bit flummoxed.

1. Does anyone else never eat in the dining room and if so, may I kindly ask why not?

2. If you don’t read the blog or the cruise boards do travel agents and Carnival reservations staff offer you the anytime option? I guess my point here is, are we doing enough to inform our guests of all their dining options?

There is admittedly a lot of choice these days at dinner time on Lido Deck. Here is the menu for tonight.

Salad Bar
Mixed Greens, Tomato Wedges, Cucumber Slices,
Bell Peppers Julienne, Broccoli and Cauliflower Roses,
Red Kidney Beans, Shredded Carrots, Onion Rings
Red Radishes, Garbanzo Beans
Boiled Egg, Black and Green Olives,
Freshly Tossed Caesar Salad Ranch, Thousand Island, French, Blue Cheese, Honey Dijon (Low Cal)
Italian Dressing (Low Cal), Balsamic Vinegar, Raspberry Vinaigrette
Sunflower Seeds, Bacon Bits, Croutons, Raisins, Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar
Sliced Salami, Mortadella
Smoked Salmon with Purple Onion Rings
Cheddar, Provolone, Swiss, Gouda Cheese
Spinach & roasted Pineapple,Walnut in zesty vinaigrette
Sesame Snowpeas, Field greens , Bell peppers and Jicama in Tangy Sesame Sauce.
Japanese Omelet Maki Roll
Mackerel and Portobello Roll
Corn Chowder Maryland
Charred Half Spring Chicken
Grilled Jumbo Tiger Shrimps with Beurre Blanc
Cinnamon Pumpkin, Squash, Yam and Cheddar Pot Pie
Lemon Confit Topped Grouper Fillet
Honey glazed Virginia Ham — Carving
Penne Siciliana
Roasted Cauliflower – Steak Fries – Baked Potato
Amaretto Cake – Diet Cheesecake – Date and Walnut Cake
Raspberry Chocolate Gateau – Apricot Mascarpone Cream – Apple Gelee
Warm Chocolate Melting Cake
Sliced Watermelon – Sliced Cantaloupe – Sliced Honeydew
Sliced Pineapple – Orange Fillets – Whole Fruit

What a great choice and notice the addition now of the Chocolate Melting Cake.

I would be very interested to read your comments.

So it’s Belize today and finally………finally……….there is a golden ball in the sky shining down on guests who have had two days of rain and gloom. It is actually a picture perfect day and I am so very pleased for everyone.

Just to close the subject of Greg and his mother. I just called Mum in the cabin. We spoke for 30 minutes and I told her about my blog and what I had written. She was so gracious and told me not to worry about it and said that Greg likes to find excuses to use the phone because he loves to talk to people. Mum also told me how he loved the trophy and had not taken his medal off since he had received it.

She also said something that I don’t think I will ever forget. She told me that she has to deal with an anxious child, in a fully grown male body, and the emotional stability that goes with it. I asked her to repeat the quote I am going to tell you now and asked her permission to put it in the blog along with the rest of the story……..Mum agreed. And this is how she described living with Greg: “He can melt you with a smile, can touch your heart when he kisses your head, and can lift your spirits with his infectious giggle.”

I have invited Mum to join us on the blog, I hope she does.

It has been a strange day………have a read of this.

Guest: Mr. _______ Ref: 828011641A
Cabin: Booking#: ____ Added-Changed: 10/20/09 – 10/20/09


Guest called the desk asking to speak to the Cruise Director or Hotel Director. Guest stated that he needed another cabin as he and his girlfriend had been arguing since coming on the ship and tonight his girlfriend threw his laptop computer over the balcony and into the sea. Laptop was a Mac Book value $700.
Security and Environmental officer called.

Guest informed that there are no other cabins as ship is sold out.

I am not sure where to start on this one. I think though I should mention how wonderful that the Guest Services Associate took the time to find out the make and value of the computer just in case a passing dolphin were to see and return it to its owner. Good old Flipper…………by the way………did you notice we had to inform the environmental officer who will file paperwork accordingly and report this incident to various organizations.

Well, the guest asked to speak to me even though this is not really my jurisdiction I agreed and so just after midnight last night I went to the cabin with the Chief Security Officer. I can’t go into too much detail as it is very personal. I can say that poor Mac met his watery grave because he said “nasty things” to her. However, after 30 minutes of the “life is too short” speech and the “you have spent all this money and you obviously love each other” advice from John the relationship director they both apologized and I left the cabin feeling a little better after my grave mistake with Greg earlier.

Anyway, they seem to friends and lovers once again and so far there have been no further incidents……..I did give the lady a little tip as I left the cabin……next time he says “nasty things”……..kick him in the bollocks………it’s cheaper ………and much more effective.

Your friend

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.