Breakfast In New York

October 28, 2009 -

John Heald

You may have read in the blog of a few days ago a comment from someone who had recently cruised and had found that on most nights the parents of two children had left them in the cabin alone until late in the night. Of course…………the noise they made was worthy of a phone call to the Guest Services Desk. Strange then that I should wake up this morning and as I sat reading the incident report………in my underpants………..I should find this comment.

Guest: Mr. ____Ref: 828017137A
Cabin: ——— Booking#: _______Added-Changed: 10/27/09 – 10/27/09


Guest called the GSD at 12:10am to say that some children were making a lot of noise in the cabin next to them ( cabin —– ).

GSA called security who found two children Mr. ________ age 9 and Mr________age 12 without parents.

Now, there is more to this incident but I think its best I delete this but suffice to say Mum and Dad did not see what all the fuss was about…….honestly………I don’t know how they do it. I am not judging them in any way, I just know that I won’t be leaving Kye on her own until she is 43 years old.

I remember the time I left my sister home alone. I had been entrusted to look after her by Mum and Dad. I was 14, Suzanne was 10. Mum and Dad had gone to see some friends and would be gone until just before lunchtime……….2 hours away. However, just after they left my friend Carl knocked on the door and wanted to go burn ants and other insects with his magnifying glass…….so off I went………….leaving Suzanne………..home alone.

Unfortunately I was having so much fun burning the legs of a beetle that my parents got home before me……..and there was hell to pay…………I got to meet my Dad’s slipper up close and personal………….I couldn’t see what the problem was………..had they had come back expecting to find my sister had been sold into slavery in Turkmenistan?

So I was horrified to learn today that these guests had had left their kids in the cabin straight after dinner…..and they were on early sitting. What’s the world coming to? Something must be done.

However, let’s stop and think for a moment. The children left behind were 9 and 12 and, while this may seem young to those of us of a forty-ish disposition, we have to face the fact that today 12 is the new 18.

If I’d been left at home alone when I was 12, I’d have been dead of hunger or electrocution within the hour. Come to think of it, if I were left at home aged 44 there’d be the same result in the same sort of time frame.

We might like to think of a 12-year-old as some newborn foal, all slimy and incapable with wobbly legs, but it’s not that long ago that 11-year-olds were skilled in the art of mining and pickpocketry. And nothing’s changed.

Today, most 12-year-olds hot-wire a car, outrun the police, fight an entire army of aliens, drink a bottle of vodka without being sick and operate a digital satellite transceiver and have photos of Megan Fox’s bottom on their bedroom wall… So they should have no trouble at all with a microwave and a packet of Pop Tarts. I would think it may be more boring in the cabin but the more I think about it…………it is probably…………for parents of today…………a common occurrence.

You have to go back to the Home Alone movie with Macrawly Sulkin……..can you imagine if that really happened? At home. Alone. Over Christmas. For an adult this is not nice………but for an 11-year-old it’s about as close to heaven as you can get while your heart is still beating.

No hairy aunties queuing up to kiss you on the mouth…………… need to wait until Christmas morning to play with your new PlaystationweeweeXBox game, and no need to worry that someone might want to watch television instead.

No need to open presents which you know are socks and sweaters. And because you can eat what you want, where you want, with your fingers, while slouching, and with your elbows on the table, there will be no family rows and you can fart without Aunty Margaret calling you a “devil child.”

However, back in the real world…………….to leave kids as young as 9 in the cabin brings forth safety concerns as well as the noise problems……………but …………and again reminding you this is just my opinion ………not necessarily the opinion of Carnival Cruise Lines…………… I have to say……………….take them to Camp Carnival, let them have fun and make friends ………..because I believe to leave them for hours alone in the cabin ……. is apart from anything else……………very wrong.

Let’s do some questions…………….away we go.

Kerensa Asked:
Hey John-
Thanks so much! I’m sitting here belatedly thinking that I should have put on my 2nd post ‘no need to reply if you already have’ and seeing as how you won’t get this comment until you already HAVE replied then I suppose that this is a moot point 🙂 And bygeorgedam…n I think you’ve got it 🙂

PLEASE REPLY: Could you tell me how your F&F program works? (If you can’t post on the blog thingy no worries…maybe direct e-mail?)

Again thanks so much and sorry for the repeat question!

John Says:
Hello Kerensa

I hope I am reading you correctly when you ask about our F and F program which I take to mean “Friends and Family.” If that is what you mean then I can tell you that Carnival Cruise Lines has special cruise rates for employee’s family and friends. These rates are part of the benefits we receive as Carnival employees. We also have special “inter line” rates so if we want to sail with any of our sister line companies we can at a reduced fare.

I hope this answers your question and if you have a follow up or need anything else please let me know.
Best wishes

David Davison Asked:
Please Reply

Always love reading your blog. Thinking about you writing it in your underwear scares the heck out of me though. lol.

My wife and I will be sailing on the Dec 3rd Dream Cruise out of Port Canaveral for our Honeymoon. When we booked out cabin, we picked the type of room and we are waiting for Carnival to decide where they are going to put us. Hopefully not in steerage (but I guess if it has a balcony, that would probably count). We have had several people ask us what cabin we are going to be in and I think they want to send something to us. I also want to send some flowers (or some other form of nice pretty thing, wine, etc) to our cabin, but since we don’t have a cabin assigned, I cannot do so either. I think some flowers, candy, cake or whatever will win me big points with the wife.

When does Carnival finally decide where they are going to put us? We have spoken to our PVP and she cannot tell us anything either. Can you shed some light on this?

John Says:
Hello David

The fact that you are thinking about me and my underwear is also pretty scary mate ……….lets both try and put that out of our minds shall we? Congratulations on booking your dream honeymoon on your Carnival Dream. I will be there with the bloggers group so please try and say hello. I checked with reservations and you have been assigned cabin 11240 which is a balcony cabin. As far as your family wanting to order something special for you well you only need a cabin number if you wish to place an order online …………. you can call Bon Voyage directly and purchase items directly without a cabin number. You can reach them at: The Bon Voyage Department is open 9 am – 5:30 pm EST, Monday through Friday: 800 522-7648: Telephone Orders 800 764-7106.

So, there you go. All is set for your Honeymoon and I hope you have a brilliant time.
My best wishes to you both

Karen pee Asked:
John, please reply.

Well, this is the guilty Karen that went through the Panama Canal on that N cruise line. The traveling through the Canal was truly awesome and spectacular. The cruise line was less than expected. Way less. I won’t go into it here but did a review on CC. But I feel better cause last night my DH and I booked a Carnival Back to Back leaving in June. I think you will be on the Fantasy then right? Maybe I will finally get to sail with you as CD. We are back and probably will never stray again even if the price is right.

John Says:
Hello Karen

Welcome home. I won’t talk about your past cruise but instead concentrate on the fact that you have decided to come back to the Fun Ships and we are honored that you did. I will be on the Carnival Fantasy in June and I hope to see you both there. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
Best wishes

Genevieve Asked:
Dear John (Please Reply),

My first Carnival cruise was November 2004 with my family. You were the cruise director then and probably the main reason I have now cruised with Carnival six times since. I think you are awesome and I love the Carnival product. I learned about your blog thingy recently and now read it daily. I find your musings very clever and I think you are doing a wonderful service for Carnival customers/guests. I am in Marketing and I think your blog thingy is a very valuable tool for Carnival. I hope you will continue as long as possible. I love the notices you post from the Guest Relations desk. They make me laugh to no end. I think you should publish a book of just those notices. I would buy it.

I am sailing on Carnival Spirit to Alaska in June 2010. I am leaving from Carnival’s newest Port of Seattle. My question is an easy one: Seattle has two piers, (Pier 91 near Magnolia Bridge and Pier 66 near Downtown Seattle) which pier will the Spirit be using? I ask this because I would like to get a head start on hotel reservations as I will be flying up a few days before we sail away.

P.S. I am half French but I still love you
Dieu vous bénissent

John Says:

Knowing you are half French yet took the time to say such wonderful things about me has me feeling guilty………well……….un petit pe guilty. Seriously, I am glad your first cruise made such a lasting impression on you. Congratulations on booking the Carnival Spirit which since we announced would be sailing from Seattle has been massively popular. You asked for the pier information and so here it is:

Smith Cove Cruise Terminal 91
2001 West Garfield St.
Seattle, WA 98119


Travel Time: Approximately 30 minutes from the Seattle/Tacoma International Airport.
I hope this helps with your travel plans and if there is anything else you need please let me know.
Best wishes

Kimberly Garroutte Asked:
Dear John, (Please reply)

We will be sailing on the Spirit on Nov 11th and taking our four teens (their 1st cruise). It is a belated birthday present for three of them who have just turned 16. That’s right; I have 3-16 year olds!!! Could you send something special their way?

I’ve emailed my PVP/CVS (can’t remember which she is) with no response. Do you know if they offer a “Behind the Fun” Tour on the Spirit? I’d love to book this for me and my hubby as a surprise for him. If they do offer it, can I book it in advance or via the phone on the ship, or do I HAVE to wait in the long line at the desk?
Most Gratefully,

John Says:
Hello Kimberly

I will indeed send the teens a little gift to make their cruise even more special and having three 16-year-olds means that if anyone is in need of a cruise……it’s you.

We will indeed have the Behind the Fun Tour onboard and may I suggest that you book this as soon as you get onboard via the Shore Excursion Desk so that your husband is not disappointed. Your Cruise Director will be my good mate Stuart Dunn who I know you will find to be superb.

So, have a great time and my best to you and the family

Stephen Smith Asked:
John, (reply if you wish)

I just read the letter regarding you being away from your family. I am a father of two and have been married for twenty four years. Over the years my career has taken me in many directions including times when I was away from my family. I believe Mrs. Dezenski is missing one very important point. Love and devotion is not measured by the amount of time you spend with your love ones, but the quality of time spend with them. Quit beating yourself up. You are a loving husband and father who provides for his family and have a wife and daughter who obviously love you very much. You are a lucky man.
Stephen Smith

John Says:
Hello Stephen

I just have to say that you cannot imagine how important your words were to me.
Thank you so very much
My best wishes to you and your family

Dave (please reply) Asked:
Back to those Dream aft deck 8 wraps again.

So it appears that passengers approached the pursers desk to find out what the compensation would be, they were told that there is no compensation.

Seriously John, this makes you look bad, while those of us in the know, know that the back office of Carnival is a joke, YOU do have a good reputation, please ask them again so more passengers don’t jump ship from Carnival.

John Says:
Hello Dave

Thanks for your comment and I have no reference to which guests you are referring to. I can tell you that we made a mistake on our deck plans and that those guests affected have been looked after accordingly. If you know of someone who has not been happy with the outcome please have them contact me and I will be pleased to assist them as much as I can
Best wishes

John & Patty Asked:
John, (Please reply)

Glad to hear you had the opportunity to scope out the Dream and share some of the highlights with us. Weather is getting chilly here while my husband and I count down our days to our “Dream” vacation. As we previously shared, my husband and I did our last two cruises in Europe on the Freedom and Splendor inaugural European cruises. This year, we decided to take the inaugural Caribbean trip on the Dream. 2011, we will definitely book and be on the Miracle for a European cruise again (hoping for an Italy/Greek Island it). 2010 already booked on Alaska cruise out of Seattle. (Our PVP at Carnival always keeps us updated and informed of new itineraries).

Any event, now that the Dream is much closer, I am planning my shopping spree/wish list for our upcoming cruise on the Dream. This will be our 17th cruise on Carnival; 8 of them we were fortunate to have you as the cruise director, but I think you will have more fun hosting the bloggers cruise this time which we will be participating.

So, down to the important item — shopping. There are two specific items on my list for this trip. First, when we were on the Splendor (as we previously shared) we tried for the entire week during our trip through the Baltic’s to purchase two Cloud9 Spa robes. They were so impressive when we first saw them in our spa suite upon arrival, we contacted our room steward right away but needless to say there were no new robes available for purchase. The entire week the crew thought more were due to arrive, but at each port that never happened. So for this trip, I like to make sure we have the opportunity to purchase two new Cloud9 Spa robes. Several months ago you requested that I remind you prior to the cruise, so this is it. Spa Suite again!

Also during our most recent cruise in May 2009 on the Carnival Glory, I was unable to purchase my traditional ZamPavi clowns from the gift shop. Some of the staff thought Carnival was going to discontinue, do you know if this is true? It has long been a tradition to purchase 1 -2 clowns each cruise but was unable to on the Glory. Will the gift shop on the Dream be carrying these?

Looking forward to participating in bloggers cruise activities. Please let me know about the Cloud9 Robes and ZamPavi clowns.

Hope all is well with Heidi and Kylie. Will they be joining you soon?
Best regards,

John Says:
John & Patty

Thank you for the great posting and I hope you are getting excited about your Carnival Dream cruise. I know that in the beginning we did not have enough Cloud 9 robes to sell to the guests. The good news is that the Carnival Dream is fully stocked with Cloud 9 bathrobes and they are $59 to purchase.

The bad news is that the clowns have been discontinued by the company that runs our onboard shops. I am so sorry.

I also am not sure what your PVP has told you about the Carnival Miracle going to Europe in 2011 as I can assure you that this is not correct as there are no confirmed plans for the ship’s itinerary has been made. Certainly, I, like you am hoping that it will be so and I hope that you and I get to sail in Europe together.

Thanks so much for your continuing support of the blog and for Carnival.
I am looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks
Best wishes

megan0117 Asked:
Dear John, (Please Reply)

The husband and I as well as some family and friends are booked on the Dream for 2/13/10. We are absolutely thrilled that you will be on the ship us and are ecstatic about sailing on a newer ship. We have always booked a balcony suite and was wondering how the view is from our room (7272) on the Dream? The reason I ask, is that I noticed that the Promenade deck seems to stick out further on the side than the other decks do and it looks like the deck is what we will be able to see if we look over our balcony. We are used to looking straight down to water. If this is true, how much noise will we were hear if we leave our balcony door open at night to sleep, as we love hearing the waves hitting the boat? Are the people on deck 5 able to see us on the balcony or is there still some privacy? I have to admit, I like the privacy we had on our other balconies. If they can see us, I feel sorry for them because the husband likes to stand out there in his undies! Again, we can’t wait to set sail with you!!
I was advised to heck with the ship directly on this one.

John Says:
Hello Megan0117

I am also glad that we will get to share our Carnival Dream together. Please do not worry about the view from your cabin though. I have checked these personally and can tell you that despite the Lanai (outside Promenade) the view as you stand on the balcony will be one of the Caribbean Sea……a wonderful view indeed. Seated on your balcony you will get a view of both the sea and life on the Promenade giving you the best of both worlds. As for people seeing you…….well……..unless they are on stilts… will have nothing to worry about there either. However, I can tell you that if your husband does advertise the fact that he is on the balcony in his underpants then you may expect a crowd to form below.

See you both soon
Best wishes

That’s all for today. Those questions were posted on October 14 so as you can see I am still way behind so please forgive me if it takes time to answer your question. I just wanted to recap something that blogger Dave mentioned above regarding cabins 8463 and 8466. These cabins have now had the work completed and the partitions removed meaning that they are exactly as advertised. Our apologies once again for this but all is well now.

OK, as promised here is the information about the big bloggers event in New York and to tell you all about it is one of the 343 Stephanies.

Hello Bloggers. Steph 343 here. 🙂

Carnival is sponsoring a very special event at Rockefeller Center in New York in celebration of the North American launch of the Carnival Dream. First, on Friday, Nov. 6 we will be unveiling the world’s largest children’s book inspired by dreams gathered from children across the country who sailed on Carnival Cruise Lines Throughout the day, the book itself, along with larger-than-life, beautifully illustrated displays featuring the various pages of the book will be on view for all to read. Then on Saturday, Nov. 7, a variety of free “Dream Big” family-oriented activities will take place from 10am to 5pm including balloon artists, an acrobatic dance troupe, magicians and a coloring station, along with book readings throughout the day.

As part of the activities, John will be hosting a Blogger’s Breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 7 near Dean & Deluca at 8:30 am. If you would like to attend you can rsvp by emailing:

Subject: Bloggers Breakfast RSVP

Attn: Stephanie. I will be attending the blogger’s breakfast on Nov. 7th.

Please include the amount of people you are bringing and their names.

Let me know if you have any questions…and ENJOY!

So, breakfast in New York. Sounds fun doesn’t it? I know little about the Rockefeller Center. Will it be cold? Wasn’t that where Ryan O’Neil and the woman (can’t remember the name) went skating in the film Love Story? What I do know is that it will be an honor to be part of this special event and I hope that many of you will RSVP and let us know that you are coming……………….I hope to see you there.

I haven’t spent enough time in New York. I was talking to one of Carnival’s comedians about my forthcoming trip to the Big Apple and Frank, who is New York born and bred, told me something very interesting. In Los Angeles, everyone wants to be in show business so it’s a given the day job is temporary. You know your waitress is waiting to be an actress, the postman is writing a screenplay and the dry cleaner is also a producer…… that’s the law.

But in New York, it’s far more aggressive and people are judged by what they do. Frank said that if you are a comedian, you’d better be prepared for the next question: “Who do you write for?”……….or…………”Who are you signed with?”

He then told me that if you don’t have an answer then you’re made to feel as though you have no right to claim this as your profession.

Now, the reason I write this is I have a special filming project while I am there and I am a bit nervous who it will be received by the locals. I can’t tell you too much more but as I said…………November 5 may not be a good day to be my underpants.

I would like to tell you about a young man called Brett. Brett had written me a letter for my morning show. He told me that he was here with his Mother and his brother and his sister. They were supposed to be here with their Father as well but he was killed by a road side bomb in Afghanistan in May this year. This 17-year-old told me on the show that his Mum was sad but determined to give the family the fun cruise vacation they had planned as a family since last year despite the terrible tragedy of losing her husband.

The letter really touched me.

Here are two photos of Brett and I having fun onstage together



Brett is 16 going on 30 and is now the man of the house and in July 2010 he starts his training as he joins the United States Army…………his Mum told me despite her fears how proud she is of Brett………….and how proud his Dad would have been.

We are in Cozumel and the weather is just spiffing………..I love that word. The sun has brought out the usual range of spectacular Lido Deck wear as I discovered yesterday when I did my safety inspection around the deck 9 area. This is something that I have all the Cruise Directors have to do once a month. We lead a team of management around the guest areas to make sure that there are no hazards anywhere. Now, I must admit that while I understand the need for safety I don’t understand why the Cruise Directors should lead the team but somewhere in the cellars of our head office in Miami, men with beards have decided that we should…..and so we put on our high visibility jackets and off we go.

Don’t get me wrong, the Cruise Directors can make a huge difference to guest safety. One way I like to think I have done this is by making announcements starting during our boat drill (safety briefing) about the open decks being slippery when wet. I also mention that the condensation from the heat outside can make the marble floors of our Lido Deck restaurants slippery as well and the advice to be careful when walking and to remind children not to run across the decks has helped reduced accidents.

Anyway, off we went, myself, the Assistant Chief Security, the Guest Services Chief Information Purser Officer, the Food and Beverage Manager and the 1st Bridge Officer. It was difficult because every three minutes I was stopped by a guest who wanted to say hello etc and I know that this slowed things down considerably. Anyway, we saw one or two minor ways we can improve upon but overall everything looked good.

I don’t usually get to spend much time on Lido Deck on a sea day and I was reminded of some of the wonderful sun worshiping clothes our guests wear. There were men wearing Speedos but without the style, and a bit tighter. The thong bathing suit is the preserve of super models and Richard Simmons………on the Carnival Legend it is worn by people who are the same size as me…….or 80 years old.

Now, I do have to say that there was one safety issue we all saw yesterday………….and I will do my best not to be sexist here but I have a feeling I am going to fail terribly so my apologies to those tofu eaters amongst you who may not approve……..but it’s the truth and it’s worth telling.

There was one lady on Lido Deck who was like nothing on earth. Let’s start with her breasts, which were not vast. Vast is too small a word to convey the scale. When she choose them from the catalogue, she’d probably been tempted by the ones marked “massive.” But in the end she’d gone for the top of the range. The ones known in medical circles as: “Oh, my God”…………and they were moving towards us. The area underneath them had its own shaded area in which the 4 piece Calypso Band could have played sheltered from the sun…
Then there were her lips, which were so full of that Botox stuff she looked like a platypus. A platypus with long blonde hair and breasts the size of the beach ball we used in our TV commercial.

I spent such a long time looking at her that when I finally came out of my daze I saw that there were bodies lying all over the lido deck…………..I then realized that I had myself become the safety hazard………….because the bodies strewn all around me were men, women and children who had tripped over my tongue. ………………….oops.

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.