Dude Looks Like A Lady

October 23, 2009 -

John Heald

So last night the crew held their Halloween Party. A bit premature I know but next week we have a busy cruise so we thought we should let them have fun………and they did. It’s wonderful to see them relaxed and enjoy some food, some crap hip hop bollocks and each other’s company. I normally do not go to these parties because I become the object of attention and am dragged onto the dance floor where I am expected to perform some whimsical dance to Pee Diddly’s latest hit. In fact, it’s safe to say that I would rather strap myself naked to a helium balloon and fly away.

However, I thought I would show my face as the Captain had “suggested” all the department heads attend and so because he is the Captain and Italian and because I didn’t want to wake up with a horse’s head in my bed………..I went.

Many of the crew was in costume and many of the costumes were wonderful and some were not. Those that were not were mostly the men who for some strange reason had decided to dress as women and looked like Judge Judy on steroids. However, I admit something to you all here. I was sitting, talking to my assistant Craig when a lovely young Filipino lady walked by wearing a very short skirt and my eyes were…..because I am a man and not dead yet………..drawn to her bottom.

However, after dribbling on myself for a few moments I heard Craig laughing next to me ………because she…………..was a he………….one of the waiters actually and wow ………. did he/she look fabulous. I wondered if some of the younger men who were staring new this. And I wondered if one of them was about to enter their own version of the Crying Game.

Anyway, I went and sat with some of the dancers and techs (hello to blog reader Nick’s – our head technician’s Mum) and they all seemed surprised to see me there at the party. One of the dancers said I looked like I wasn’t having a good time and asked what I would rather be doing. So I replied “reading books”………..and you know what…………this 21 year old laughed at me…….and her friend joined in……….”reading”………ha ha ha ha ha.”

I sat there and listened to their laughter and realized this was today’s young generation. If you are at school and admitting to your classmates that you play chess will probably result in your head being shoved down a toilet for being “a nerd.” Reading a book with no pictures in it will cause there to be no friend requests on your Facespace page.

I would like to host a serious debate onboard or interview people about their life and work, but this is a fun ship so unless my pants fall down at some point nobody will care.

Anyway, I left the crew having fun and dancing to a song mysteriously called “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me, don’t you” ………”not if she’s a he with meat and two veg “…. I sang to myself thinking of my Filipino friend. On my way back to the cabin I passed through the promenade deck. It was 1:10 am and the only place still busy was the casino and casino bar. I said hello to some guests and had my photo taken and all was well until I was accosted by a very “happy” lady. Actually, let’s tell it as it is. She was wasted. She was sozzeled, blasted, ripped, totally and utterly hammered. She wrapped her arms around me and told me that she loved me.

I told her I loved her to and at the same time unwrapped her arms from around my neck and looked for an escape route. But she was having none of it.

“My husband sis praying bwackjack,” she slurred, “Oh, that’s nice,” I replied and trying to be nice I added, “just the two of you sailing is it?” She looked at me as though I had asked her to describe the molecule structure of underpants and translate her findings into Mongolian. The answer though eventually came to her but only after taking a gulp of her cocktail
“Iave two chilerderen” she slurred …………and then…………….bizarrely …….she hooked her arms around my neck and said “I’m a yummy mummy.”

I looked at her and I am sure in the morning when she had sobered up she would indeed be somewhat yummy. But then and there, at 1:10am and sponsored by Grey Goose …… she was as yummy as a Yak Poo Pop Tart…………..and so……………I ran away.

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

Juan & Maria Santana Asked:
John, please reply…

Hi, John,
I think you misunderstood our message… We were away for a week & returned last Sat., Oct. 3 but we have not sailed yet on the Freedom with Wee Jimmy … The sailing date is Nov. 21. So, we would love to read his bio on your blog before that date. We have been several times on the Freedom but always different itineraries.

Regards to you and Heidi & kisses to Kye.

The Santanas of Miami Beach

John Says:
Hello Juan and Maria

I am sorry Juan and Maria, I thought you were sailing this weekend. Anyway, I have asked the wee Scotsman for his bio a hundred times and am still waiting. I will show him this e mail and see if this encourages him to put down the haggis he is nibbling on and send his bio to me.

Have another great cruise and I wish I was there with you.
Best wishes to you both
John

Pam Johnson Asked:
John and Heidi, Please reply

My husband and I went on a cruise with you 2 years ago. You were awesome. We are going in January on the DREAM. Can’t wait. Is there any way you could be on this ship. We have been on 5 cruises so far and I can only remember the cruise director 2 years ago. You kept us laughing, our spirits up, even when it rained. You are amazing. If you are not going to be there, who will? Please reply.
Thanks

John Says:
Hello Pam

Thanks for the very kind words and I will be joining your Carnival Dream on January 23 and will take over as the CD on January 30. I am so glad that you enjoyed your cruise with me last time and I hope we get to sail together again on Carnival’s newest Fun Ship.
Best wishes
John

Richard Sanders Asked:
Please Reply

Dear John, I wanted to something for my wife on our 26th wedding anniversary (I blew it on our 25th by not having a party or anything special) so I booked a cruise on the Dream this Nov, 15. When I booked last month I tried to sign us up for your bloggers cruise and they said it was filled. I am sure we will have a great time anyway, if miracle happens and my dream comes true and a spot should open up we sure would like to be included in the festivities. John thanks for all the fun and information you provide on your blog. Thanks again, Richard Sanders

John Says:
Hello Richard

It is always terrific to read comments that show people have booked a cruise with us to celebrate special occasions and so in case I forget ………..Happy Anniversary. Your Carnival Dream is a superb vessel to celebrate on and please make sure on the night of your anniversary you book a romantic meal in the steakhouse followed by a moonlit walk around deck 5 through the Lanai stopping for a nightcap under the stars.

I will be hosting a bloggers cocktail party before the ship sails on the 15th. I will give details of this on the blog thingy very soon and I do hope you will both join me.

Look out for an anniversary gift from me.
Best wishes to you both
John

Amy Fowler Asked:
John Please Respond–

As my very southern Grandmother would say… “Well, bless your heart. I’m so sorry.” I truly don’t know how you handle all the complaints (legitimate or not). You are the absolute standard of customer service. That’s why I enjoy cruising so much. Your personal pride in everyone’s enjoyment is to be admired.

As for the military complainers… some people just live in ignorant bliss of what’s happening in the world around them. Amazing really. I consider myself to be from a fairly Anti-War stance. However, I would be happy to see all the active military join the CD on stage on all of my cruises. They deserve so that… and so much more! They fight for our country without being asked to… because they want to. It’s our LEADERS who they need to take to task about not liking the war. Not the honorable men and women who are out there defending our country.

Enough political commentary on my part… on to more important matters… ME! (Just kidding)….. Sort of.

You have asked me to remind you that my fiancé and I will be joining you on the Carnival Legend on October 25th for our honeymoon. I’m so excited to meet you and enjoy this much beloved Carnival ship! I hope we get to be part of the Newly Wed game… I would LOVE to embarrass the heck out of him.

Anyway, thanks for all that you do on the guests’ behalf. It is truly appreciated!
Amy

John Says:
Hello Amy

Thanks so much for those shining words of support for the military personnel who I make sure I feature each and every week. A negative comment about this is highly unusual yet when it happened it shocked me completely. Thanks then for letting me know you feel I am doing the right thing.

Please make sure that you send me a note when you arrive. Leave it at the Guest Services Desk as I would like to send you a Honeymoon gift.
See you soon
Best wishes
John

DJsMommie Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY******

We are thinking about sailing on Paradise for New Year’s Eve. Can you tell me anything about possible planned festivities?

I see this sailing is quite pricey so I am hoping that means there is a lot of fun planned

John Says:
Hello DJ’s Mommie

Seeing in the New Year on a Carnival ship is always a spectacular and very memorable experience as it will be this year on the Carnival Paradise. The ship will have a wonderful New Years Eve dinner followed by a special show and then it’s up to the Lido Deck for the best party at sea including live music, party favors and champagne for all…..who are over 21.

I promise it will be something you will never forget. Happy New Year.
Best wishes
John

ges918 Asked:
John (please reply),

Last year at this time I had the good fortune of being able to sail with Gary Hunter in Europe. Even though that experience was certainly very different than sailing a Fun Ship, I know why you speak so highly of him. That said, I look forward to being able to be a part of one of your cruises.

So here’s my question. We live in Baltimore, in the neighborhood next to the cruise terminal and every Sunday we see the Carnival Pride from our house. At its 5:00 departure time there is a series of blasts from the horn. Then at varying intervals there are more soundings of the horn before one last set when the ship actually departs. Does each set mean something different (they seem to always be of different length), or is it as we expect that the ship is just taunting us for not being on it?

Hopefully we’ll get the chance to sail with you on the Carnival Pride next year.
Best Regards,
Gary

John Says:
Hello GES918

I hope you enjoyed sailing with Gary Hunter on Crystal. He was my mentor and taught me all I know about how to be a good Cruise Director and I have a lot to thank him for.

You asked about the horn sounds from the Carnival Pride and I guess it must be awesome to hear it every Sunday. The first time you will hear them sound it is for our Safety Briefing when the emergency signal is given. This consists of seven blasts of the ships whistle followed by one long blast. Then, at the end of the drill there is a shorter one blast only given. Now, the ship may also sound three long blasts of the whistle as it leaves port as a salute and a thank you to Baltimore. Some Captains do this and in some ports this is not allowed because as you have experienced………..it is very loud.

I hope that you do get to sail on the Carnival Pride soon. She is a wonderful ship and we are very proud to be sailing her out of Baltimore.
Best Wishes
John

Deborah Asked:
Hi John, Please reply

I am so teed off about Mr. Anti War and not showing respect to our young men and women who allow him to have his voice of dissent. What you should have done was send each service person a fruit basket and charge it to his sign and sail card. What a jack-ass.
I travel a lot for business and run into young men and women at every airport. Some are just starting their career in the military; others are coming home or going to their next tour of duty. I do my best to buy them a drink or give them a pack of smokes, a bag or two of candy or pick up a lunch tab. They deserve our support and our continued prayers.
Deborah (Debs)

John Says:
Hello Deborah

I appreciate your passionate response to the guest who complained about me mentioning our military personnel. As I mentioned just now, this is a rare occurrence yet it was one that took me by surprise. Anyway, I continue to mention them whenever I can and thank you again for showing your support.

The Shore Excursion department is indeed working on the logistics of a tour of New York once the Trans Atlantic is over on the 12th. I will chase them up now and provide a definite yes or no very soon.

Thanks you for the kind words for my family which I return to you.
Best wishes
John

JIMC Asked:
John Please Reply

Ok, you don’t really have to reply because I know how far behind you seem to be getting, but I do want to be sure you at least read this and I never know if you have time to read the comments that are not marked “reply”.

I wanted to thank you for helping with our recent Valor cruise. I had written and asked if you could arrange a window table for us. I do not know if you had anything to do with it or not but we did get our window table, much to the joy of my sister. If you did do that, thank you very much. If you had nothing to do with it, then go ahead and take the credit anyway.
2 comments for this wonderful cruise-

1) The loyalty desk. We bought 2 future cruise “coupons” at the loyalty desk. This is a wonderful program and it’s something Carnival should have been doing ages ago. The person helping us said that the Valor was one of the few ships that had the program and that Carnival was considering expanding the program to other ships. I think it is a brilliant program and you should urge those in the suits that they should have it on every ship.

2) The Steakhouse- We have eaten at the steakhouse on the Carnival Freedom as well as the Spirit and we had an unbelievable meal. The food was beyond anything I could imagine. So we booked 2 nights for the Steakhouse on the Valor expecting the same. I am sorry to say we canceled the second night after our experience the first time. The service was outstanding, but the steak was not up to the level set on previous cruises. My rib-eye steak was not great. Which in itself would not have been a show stopper. The bigger issue is that they sat a couple of very young children at the next table. One of which was an angel which made up for the other that was …well not so nice. We thought that there was a minimum age for the Steakhouse? Now don’t get me wrong, I like children, and I have 2 myself but I would never dream of bringing them into the steakhouse where they could have disrupted other guests. Is this a new policy? Or has there never been an age minimum? It turned an evening that should have been wonderful and peaceful into one where we had to listen to a crying child and a mother trying to appease it. If they are going to allow children, then they should consider setting hours for dinning with the family and hours that are “adult” only so those that want the intimate setting can eat then.

Well, we will try the steakhouse again on our Dream cruise in June. Hopefully this was an isolated incident. (Or we will know better and ask to be seated away from families)

John Says:
Hello JIMC

I do read each and every comment. In fact, it’s the first thing I do every morning ………… well……..second ………depending on what I had for dinner the night before.

Anyway, the 343 Stephanies then compile 10 questions each day that are marked for my reply and send me them to answer. I know the Future Cruise and Loyalty program is a huge hit on the ships that it is on and there are plans to see if we can extend it onto other vessels. I have to agree with you though………it is something we should have done long before now.

I am going to send your steakhouse review to the Executive Chef and the shipboard personal. It is quite rare that we get a comment like this and when we do it is one we must look into. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. There are actually no age limits in our steak houses but it is very rare indeed that you will find children there. I am trying to think if I have ever seen young kids there and actually, I don’t think I have. Anyway, although having kids in the steakhouse usually isn’t an issue, I will mention this to the VP of Food and Beverage.

Please don’t let this discourage you from eating at the steakhouse on your Carnival Dream. It will be just, if not better, than you expected. I hope you enjoyed the table I arranged for you in the dining room.

Best wishes and thanks for taking the time to post a comment. I hope you continue to read the blog thingy.
John

lmnielsen Asked:
John, Please Reply!

John I have just started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago and I love it. It’s always has many useful items concerning cruising with CCL. My Husband and I and our daughter and our foreign exchange student from Germany will be cruising on the Dream in April 2010. This will be mine & my Husband’s 10th cruise, my daughters fourth, and our exchange daughters very first. We are all very excited. We have been enjoying all the beautiful pictures you have posted! And I love your daughter’s beautiful name Kye, my daughter’s name is Skye like the Isle of Skye! They sound very much alike, they’re 2 beautiful girls. Now I have one question, who do we contact for help regarding something that I bought in the onboard store on my last cruise on the Miracle this past March? I have just a small problem with it and have not notified CCL prior to this as I did not know where to turn. In all the items I have bought over the span of 10 cruises this is the first time I have ever had a problem with anything. We love to cruse Carnival; it is our cruise line of choice. Thanks for your help.
Linda

P.S. We have had the pleasure to cruise with you on two of our cruises, the last being on the Liberty in April 2006

John Says:
Hello Linda

What a beautiful name Skye is and I am sure she is very excited to be cruising on her Carnival Dream. That’s one very lucky exchange student and I know that she will have a brilliant time. OK, here is the information you need regarding the concern you have with your onboard purchase. Please let me know if you need anything else and I hope to sail with you again in the future.

Starboard Cruise Services, Inc.
Attn: Customer Service Dept.
8034 N. W. 14 Street
Miami, Fl. 33126
Email: customer.service@starboardcruise.com
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-540-4785 or Outside U.S. Non-Toll Free: 1-305-728-4520

Best Wishes to you all
John

Phil Asked:
Hi John! Please reply

Thanks for the great work on the blog. I very much enjoy reading it.

My question to you is: how far in advance do you learn upon which ship you will be stationed and for what time period?

We are sailing on Miracle on Nov. 12 and would be thrilled to learn that you were cruise director. But in the unfortunate case you are not there, do you know who will be? Enquiring minds want to know! 🙂
Yours truly,
Phil

John Says:
Hello Phil

Glad to hear you are enjoying the blog so much and I hope you continue to do so. The Cruise Director schedule for 2010 is being completed as we speak and should be ready to post here on the blog by December 1. The Cruise Directors will know at least 6 weeks in advance where they will be going next although there are last minutes changes due to the many unforeseen circumstances that arise. I do though have my schedule for next year. I will be sailing on 5 different ships as CD but unfortunately the Carnival Miracle will not be one of them. Never mind though. I am sure whoever is will make sure you have the very best of times.

Best wishes and thanks again for the kind words
John

Jenn Asked:
Dear John, Please Reply- Sorry sooo long!

I wanted to write to you to tell you part of my husband’s and my story and journey to our cruise in January. I’ll start at the beginning with our wedding in March of this year; we were married in my hometown and quickly returned to Jacksonville, NC where my new husband is stationed on Camp Lejeune. He didn’t have much leave time left and so we only went away for a short weekend for our honeymoon. Two months later he was sent to Afghanistan and I was left here hoping and praying for his safe return. We are getting to the point where he will be coming home very soon and cannot wait for his return and, drum roll please…our honeymoon! We have made plans to go on a Carnival cruise for our honeymoon. Now the fun begins, we had plans to go the third week of December and had paid our deposit and fallen in love with the itinerary we picked. A few days later we found out that my husband’s leave had been denied so I tried to call our wonderful PVP who was unfortunately out of the office and ended up speaking with several other PVPs who were mostly helpful. We finally decided on a cruise on January 17th out of Baltimore. We are still crossing our fingers that his leave gets approved, but that is a worry for another day.

My main question for you is if you have any recommendations for things I should arrange for on this trip because it is a huge one for us! First off it’s going to be my husband’s first cruise (I took a Carnival cruise in high school), it’s our honeymoon, we’ll be celebrating his return and reconnecting from us being separated for so long, and we will also be trying to have a baby starting on this trip. Needless to say I want this to be an amazing cruise and the first of many. I have already picked out several things to have waiting in our room; the honeymoon decorations, a bottle of Champaign, toasting glasses, and a happy honeymoon cake. We’ve picked excursions in each port, and are very excited for them. If you can think of anything else we should do or that I should arrange please let me know! We plan to try a lot of things and explore the whole ship and I personally want to find the secret door! We are super excited!

Thank you for this wonderful blog, as a Marine wife I find it helps to obsess about happy things instead of sad things while he’s away, so it makes me so happy and stress free to have another thing to obsess over for this cruise because I’ve gone through almost everything on the Carnival website, and thought I was doomed to wander the internet searching for something cruise related to read, until I found your blog. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Can’t wait to hear your response-
Jenn

John Says:
Hello Jenn

What a wonderful story and I although the ending has yet to be written it will be one with a happy ending. It seems that you have a lot planned already to make it special and hopefully as he has not seen you for so long and because it’s your Honeymoon you have something’s planned that you did not tell us about……..nudge nudge……..wink wink.

May I suggest two things? Book a romantic table for two at the steakhouse. You can do this on line or ask me to do so for you. Then, the second thing is to send me a comment as soon as his leave is confirmed and send me your cabin and names etc. I will then take of some things from there. It will be an honor to have you both onboard and to wish you happy honeymoon ……………and to say Welcome Home and thank you to your husband

Best wishes and please send your husband my kindest regards.
John

Sarah Asked:
**Please reply**

John,
Great blog today! Since getting off the beautiful (even with her dents) Carnival Legend two weeks ago no, I am absolutely LOVING all the blogs from the ship. It was truly an amazing vacation. I don’t know how my Carnival vacations keep getting better and better and better, but they do! Now that I’m starting to recover from my Post Cruise Depression some, I thought I would finally post a mini review of my vacation! And I have a few questions for you too!

The “Incident” in Cozumel was just part of my exciting week, but I want to start by thanking everyone in charge when that happened. I thought both the Captain and Jen (as well as the rest of the crew) did a great job handling things! I never felt worried and thought the crew handled themselves with amazing class. And I loved that Jen came out in the life jacket. Though I think it’d be appropriate if she personalized her life jacket with glitter! (I got a great picture of it). I also want to say a special thank you to Nicoletta and Robin.

We had anytime dining and Nicoletta was wonderful. In 6 cruises, she has been the best waitress I’ve had. She is an amazing person and was so personable, funny, and a pleasure to be around. I would almost pick another cruise based on the ship she’s working on! If you get a chance, please pop into Truffles and tell her hello and thank you from our entire group!
Robin as our ACD was so much fun. I could tell that he really enjoyed his job and he always had time to talk to us. We enjoyed hanging out with him and seeing him around the ship. As you start sailing more often, you encounter lots of different hosts and ACDs, but Robin will always stand out for me and I just wanted to pass that along! The rest of the staff was GREAT too, but Robin went above and beyond.

And thank you to you! Words can’t say how appreciative I am of you helping me honor my dad. You helped me our cruise even more special and thank you for having Jen read my letter on her show. John-you’re really one of the good guys out there and I want to say it again- Thank you for all you do! It was great to see you again and though I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye, hopefully we’ll meet up again on the seas!

So, now for my questions! 🙂

Did you ever get the gift we left you at Guest Services? I wasn’t sure I’d run into you again on the ship, so we left it there later in the cruise. I’m hoping you received it since the Agent who helped me wasn’t really sure who you were. (Not sure how that happened!)

What days will there be events for the Carnival Dream in NYC? I saw today you mentioned the 7th. I really wanted to cruise on the 2 day, but it’s not looking like it’s in the budget. I will still be in NYC on the 13th of Nov and didn’t know if there would be anything going on. So if possible, could you list the NYC events and dates soon? I’d love if one of the events was a tour of the ship for bloggers and a chance to buy a Carnival Dream T shirt from the Fun Shop! (Hint. Hint. 🙂 )

Well thanks for your time John! Keep up the Fun and Fantastic Work! You make getting over Post Cruise Depression a little easier!
Sarah

John Says:
Hello Sarah

Thank you so much for the great comments and I will make sure everyone you mentioned here gets to see your words of praise. Jen did an outstanding job under the circumstances and having me close by I hope gave her some extra support.

Was the gift a cigar? If it was I did get it but it was strange because there was no name or note with it so I had no idea who to thanks. So, if it was you please let me say a very special thank you……it was most welcome and most enjoyed. The New York events will feature a bloggers get together at breakfast time on the 7th plus a cocktail party on the 15th. The ship sails on a 2 day cruise on the 13th. Can you join us for the 7th………it would be wonderful if you could?

It was an honor to meet you again and to shake hands with your Father and thank him for his extraordinary service.

I am very glad you continue to read the blog and I remain at your service.
Best wishes to all
John

Theresa Tamash Asked:
Attention: STEPHANIE

We have already booked on the Carnival Dream on 12/03 as you can see by the booking number below. We would like to be added to the bloggers cruise. The only question I have is we are already sitting with six of our family and friends at dinner (they are not bloggers) and we would like to continue to sit with them at dinner if possible.

Thank you for your help.

John Says:
Hello Theresa

Of course we can add you to the list of bloggers events etc. Please can you confirm the names of everyone in the cabin and e mail them to socialnetworking@carnival.com and say “bloggers cruise”? One of the 343 Stephanies will take it from there.
See you soon
Best wishes
John

Brett Asked:
Dear John, Please reply

I have been reading the cruise critic forum now for almost a year along with my mother who has always wanted to cruise but due to my father having a dislike to water has never been able to talk him into cruising until a year ago when she hit the 5 year mark of being in remission from cancer. (October 23 is the anniversary of that date).

My father decided to show her that nothing would stand in her way of doing anything.
So he booked for them a cruise on the Legend for October 18-25th of this year. Sorry such short notice.

Booking in January gave them the time to save for this trip.

Two months ago my mother had to have surgery again for active cancer cells and is making a good recovery. While posting a question on the cruise critic forums I had asked if anyone knew of any coupons, specials or things that would be within their budget that would make this more of a special cruise for them and it was suggested I come on here to ask you if you knew of any. As they stated you Know All (and that was said in a loving way).

Budget is tight for them now due to medical bills and being out of work with her being in hospital and recovery on sick leave without pay.

So if you do know of any suggestions to make this a very special time for my mother who is always doing and thinking of others, it would be greatly appreciated I can be reached at. if you address it to this e-mail with the title c/o Brett.
Thanks for your time,
Brett

John Says:
Hello Brett

Let’s start with the most important part of your posting and that is to wish your Mother continued good health and happiness. While there are no coupons we do have constant specials available around the fleet. I have taken the liberty to send this to a friend of mine who is a PVP. This stands for Personal Vacation Planner and he does exactly what his title suggests. Let him chat with you and let’s see what we can do. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and someone will be in touch very soon.
Best wishes to you and the family
John

Jane M Smith Asked:
Dear John (please reply)

Wanted to let you know that I love reading your blog. After a tough 6 months you really make me laugh! My in-laws were going to be with us on this cruise, but my mother in law had to cancel because of illness and my father in law passed away just after the booked.
Please see the below comment I sent you back on 8/31/09 and have not heard from you. I will be sailing on the Glory on the 10/31/09 and I want to make sure that I am all set with my past guest number. (Can’t let my husband get all the benefits of a past guest.)

Thanks
Jane M. Smith

John Says:
Hello Jane

I want to say how sorry I am to hear of the passing of your Father in law. Please send my deepest condolences to your family. I have confirmed that your past guest status is up to date so you have nothing to be concerned about. I wish you a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Glory and hope that after the tough few months you have had you have fun and rejuvenate as much as possible.
Best wishes to you all
John

Bob Haywood Asked:
Please reply….Hi John.

First of all thanks for posting the pictures of Carnivals Holiday. I am using it as my desktop background……yea!!! Recently returned from the August 29 cruise on the Liberty (third on Carnival) and we had a great vacation…they keep getting better, so much so that I can’t wait till the next one which is what I’m writing about. The highlight of our cruise had to be the day we spent on Half Moon Cay and I’m having trouble finding a 7 day Carnival cruise in April that visits there. I was hoping for the Carnival Dream but no such luck. Could you speak to the bearded ones who do the scheduling about stopping there for about 4 days so I can get it out of my system and cruise with carnival to other ports?

John Says:
Hello Bob

Half Moon Cay is fast becoming THE port of call that everyone wants to visit. It is perfect for our shorter cruises from South Florida being so close to home ports like Miami, Port Everglades, etc. I will indeed mention to those with beards that more and more of our guests want to see it as part of their itinerary and on longer cruises and maybe one day soon they will make it so.

Glad to hear you had a wonderful time on the Carnival Liberty and I hope it’s not long before we see you onboard one of our ships again
Best wishes
John

bobbyfk Asked:
John Please Reply,

Any updates on a bloggers meet and greet in NYC for those not going on the cruise? I think you said something about one? I live in NJ but would be willing to go up to NYC to meet you and the other bloggers providing the date/time works for me.
Thanks,
Bobbyfk (Robert)

John Says:
Hello Robert

I will very soon be posting the details on the bloggers breakfast in New York on November 7th. I will let you all know where and when to be there. I hope you can come.
Best wishes and hope to see you soon
John

RonRythm Asked:
John & Co. (please reply)

I was just on the Carnival web site to book some shore excursions for My Carnival Splendor 12/27/09 sailing and wanted to book the Off Road Bicycle Adventure. Then I noticed there is a weight limit of 200 lbs. Why? Nobody but me is going to have to haul the weight around. I really want to do this as bikes are the best way to actually see the country for me, and would prefer to do it through the ship, but as I weigh 230, I guess I’ll have to do it through an outside vendor. At least there wasn’t a weight limit when I booked my night at the supper club!

Enjoy life,
Ron

John Says:
Hello Ron

I agree…….that seems a bit odd………200 pounds? Please let me check on this as it seems rather a low weight limit. I will be back to you ASAP.

Please hold on before you book anything else.
Best wishes
John

Dave (please reply) Asked:
Hi John,

I just wanted to thank you for looking into the deck 8 Cat 9A matter on the Dream.
Based on what you have said and the pictures we have seen of the interior of the cabin we will be canceling the 9A and moving to a cat 8.

Even with the balcony extended to make it a wrap, after looking at the pictures of the cabin we know that we really would not be happy with it, so rather than be unhappy, we will switch to a regular balcony cabin and have a blast 🙂

All is not lost though; we will be using the money saved to move to an aft wrap on our cruise on the Miracle a couple of months after our Dream cruise, which happens to be my 40th birthday as well.

Thanks again for looking into this and for all the hard work you do to try to make Carnival customers happy.

John Says:
Hello Dave

Once again I apologize to you and everyone else who booked this cabin based on the ships plans which as you know by now were wrong. The partitions are now down and hopefully this will help matters. I am sure the cabin you have booked now will be wonderful as will the one on your Carnival Miracle cruise. Thank you for your kind words and I hope to cruise with you one day soon.
Best wishes
John

Shannan Asked:
Dear John. Please reply!!!

Hi John,
Great blog about the Dream. I am hoping you can help us. A group of us are booked for 9/11/2010 and we have deck 8 aft cabins. We are hearing that there is a problem with the deck plans not showing the right type of cabins. Could you please tell me which cabin on deck 8 is the actual aft wrap, is it 8473 or 8469? Reservations are in question until this question is answered.

Help from anyone who knows for sure what the aft wrap cabin # is would be appreciated!!!!!
Thanks, and keep up the great blogs!
Shannan

John Says:
Hello Shannan

Just in case you haven’t seen the previous blogs or indeed the above comment let me first apologize again for the concerns that this has caused. Our deck plans were wrong because the yard had mistakenly put partitions up…….these though are now down and so you will get exactly what you booked when you experience your Carnival Dream cruise next year.
I hope you all have a brilliant time
Best wishes
John

Paul Asked:
John – please reply

I just returned from a great time on the Elation. I noticed these meetings written in the program every day. Can you tell me what they mean?

Friends of Bill W
Friends of Jimmy K
Friends of Dorothy

I also wanted to tell you that my waiter Natalya was the best and most friendly we have ever had on our three cruises. Please can you tell her she made our cruise special?
Love the blog
Paul

John Says:
Hello Paul

Good question. Let me answer them for you.

Friends of Bill W – Bill Wilson was the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous
Friends of Jimmy K – Jimmy K was the founder of Narcotics Anonymous
Friends of Dorothy – This is an invitation for our Gay and Lesbian guests to meet. Dorothy refers to the character from the Wizard of Oz.

There you go. We also will by the way upon request arrange meetings for Rotarians, Lions and various other service clubs to meet.

I am glad you had such a great time on the Carnival Elation and I will pass on your words of praise for Natalya to her and the Hotel Director on the ship.
Best wishes
John

That’s all for today and that double batch has me up to the 11th of October. Once again my apologies for the delay in answering yours and thanks for all the great comments this week.

Let’s do the news.

I know that many of you are waiting for news on the New York events and the bloggers breakfast. I am ready to tell you what’s happening but I have been asked to wait by my friends at Public Relations who are busy drinking red wine………sorry……..busy writing a special press release about the event. I realize you all want to make plans and I promise to have this information to you next week………it’s going to be great. By the way, how’s the weather in New York? Is it cold, should I buy a coat? I didn’t bring one…………bugger.

It’s not often I highlight the world of Costa here on the blog thingy but having been at the naming ceremony of the Costal Luminosa and the Costa Pacifica I became an instant fan. Well, Costa has two more ships in 2010 and 2011 and they need your help in choosing the names. There is a list to choose from and they asked me for your help…..yes your help in choosing the names that will become proud additions to the Costa fleet. And what great names they are. Have a look and chose your favorites. The information is on

www.bestblogsatsea.com

When you have finished over there, pop on over to www.carnival.com/dream and have a look at all the new photos that one of the 343 Stephanies has placed there. What a brilliant ship.

Hi John and Bloggers. There are also a few new videos. Check them out and enjoy. Steph

The sun is shining in Roatan today and beginning next month the Carnival ships will be docking at the new pier built by the Hondurans and Carnival Corporation. The official name of the pier is Mahogany Cruise Center. Today, I met with Carnival Corporation’s Senior Vice President of Port and Destination Development Giora Israel who came onboard to speak to the Captain and I about this wonderful new facility. And from what he told us it is going to be a brilliant addition to the time the Carnival Legend, Carnival Valor and Carnival Glory spends on this gorgeous isle. I asked Giora to send me some photos and I will post them as soon as he does.

I spent three years in Europe on the Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Splendor and I must say the weather was for the most part amazing. However, if there was one night that it could get a little bumpy it was the later season crossings from Messina to Barcelona and from Barcelona to Monte Carlo…….across the Gulf of Leon.

I received a few e mails and comments today from eagle eyed viewers of your Carnival Dream‘s web cam that something had changed………and indeed you were all correct and very observant. Here is the news from the ship in the form of a letter we sent to guests.

October 23rd, 2009
Dear Carnival Guest:

We hope you are enjoying your Grand Mediterranean cruise aboard the beautiful Carnival Dream. We also want to provide you with an update for our itinerary plans for the rest of the cruise.

Due to adverse weather conditions, we have found it necessary to change the ship’s course. Unfortunately, this means we will have to cancel our call into Barcelona tomorrow. We know how important ports of call are in your vacation plans and regret that we were not able to visit Barcelona as planned. Please understand that the safety and comfort of all on board is my main priority and for this reason this change was the best course of action.

Tomorrow we will spending a day at sea and then proceed directly to Monte Carlo. The good news is we have obtained authorization from the local authorities to arrive earlier than planned so all of you can take advantage of the spectacular nightlife and shopping in Monte Carlo. Our arrival is now scheduled for 7:30pm. In addition, we will be extending our call there to include an overnight stay with our departure planned for 8:00 PM on Sunday.

We sincerely apologize for this itinerary change and thank you for your understanding. In the meantime, we have a full schedule of exciting activities and entertainment planned for you aboard the Carnival Dream.

My officers, staff and crew will continue to do everything possible to provide you with a fun and memorable cruise vacation.

Captain Carlo Queirolo

I know Captain Queirolo very well and I know that the weather must have been pretty severe for him to change course and miss Barcelona. I hope that for the rest of the cruise they are blessed with calm seas.

Well last night I hosted the bedtime story and I must say it was a funny one. My hero was played by a chap called Stan Edgard. He was so very funny and I am working on having video clips so I can show you next week. All I can tell you now is that he is 89 years old, married for 65 years and a bit hard of hearing……….it was a night of hysterical laughter.

Well, it’s Friday and once again let me apologize for not posting photos of Kye. She is doing well though and I sing to her twice a day every day down the phone. I think she recognizes my voice because she gurgles and giggles and I laugh and when I put the phone down sometimes I have to wipe a tear away.

Anyway, it’s autumn in the UK and even though I am thousands of miles away I am in the dog house. That’s because I am thousands of miles away and that means that the grass has grown, there are leaves all over the driveway and Heidi is far too busy feeding Kye and watching Bold and the Bollocks to take care of it. This means we have to have a gardener come and do it which is only just less expensive than chartering the Queen Mary 2 and filling it with Latvian women.

I should be there to do this. I am, after all, the man of the house. As I may have mentioned before in a previous blog thingy I have not exactly been blessed with gardening skills. However, cutting or mowing the grass as we say across the pond is something I can do………….and something that I actually find relaxing.

It’s wonderful, all you have to worry about is going in a straight line and not running over the flowers or a rabbit. With the sun on your back, a Monte Cristo #2 in your mouth and Deep Purple playing on my Eye Pod thingy I would be as relaxed as a Frenchman in the world’s smelliest man contest.

When I finish a show or indeed a blog there is no time to admire my work, I walk of stage or press send and then do my President Bartlett impression and say “what’s next?” However, when you cut the grass you have time to stand back with your hands on your hips and admire your work and praise yourself for having created a picture perfect lawn worthy of playing billiards on…

This is something I got from my Dad. Not only is he a master wood craftsman he is also a lawn master…….or when we were kids he was the Chief Inspector of the Lawn Police. My Dad is calmness personified but when we were kids playing on the lawn was as forbidden as setting fire to our dog “Ringo” and if we darted to walk on it or even think about playing on it we would see calm Dad turn into a Tasmanian Lawn Devil.

I often thought he was a bit over the top but having had a lawn of my own now I understand. The fact that I am not there at home now and Gary the Gardener is cutting the grass for me makes me very jealous.

I love my lawn and have morphed into my Dad. Just before I left for the Carnival Legend I discovered a patch of thistles and I was so angry if I had had a gun, I would have shot it. It was ugliness in a garden of beauty…..it was like having a photo of Megan Fox’s bottom photo shopped onto Judge Judy’s body.

Apparently Prince Charles is an avid gardener and says in his autobiography that all gardeners should talk to their plants. This is something that I have found most unrewarding. If I talk to them…….they die…….and if I ignore them………they die. It may work for His Royal Highness Prince Jug Ears but it doesn’t for me and anyway ….why should I listen to someone who has always been a bit “weird” in my book…..I mean it has to be said…he left one of the world’s most beautiful and sexy ladies……….. for someone who is only just better looking than the Norwegian Epic.

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.