Rental Blog

November 3, 2009 -

John Heald

The lady at Enterprise Car Hire in Miami must have looked at me and thought “right, this fat bastard will never fit in a regular car.”……………actually………..I forgot……….this is Miami …………. so the lady at Enterprise Car Hire looked at me and thought “Claro…..esta grande bastardo nader fito ino el pockito auto.”

And so she gave me something called a Ford Flex.

For those of you who have no idea about this car…….let’s just say it’s the size of the old Mardi Gras and holds nearly as many passengers. Because this is a car that can accommodate seven people and their luggage and some dogs, even if the dogs in question have just won the Biggest Dogs in the World competition. It would also fit all the shopping a family of 24 could conceivably need for to survive the fall out of nuclear war. I can’t possibly describe how ugly it is except to say…………………. it is the Norwegian Epic of I-95.

I love hire cars though. As you drive off you’re jittery with nerves but you remind yourself it’s just for a few days, and you start to relax. You take risks…….drive faster, park less carefully; execute wild stunt maneuvers in parking lots. You treat this car badly. You do rude things you’ve always wanted to do but would never do to a car you respect………this Ford Flex now has some pedigree British Boogers under the dashboard. But I don’t care because I am a man……………and this is a rental.

Nobody walks here in Miami. The furthest you ever walk is from one shop to the shop next door or from the curb to your restaurant table. Every time I drive here I think of Miami Vice. Crockett and Tubbs in their white suites driving their Ferrari in search of the bad guys. There was one episode I remember where they drove down the causeway next to the Port of Miami,………the song Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits accompanied them………… there was no traffic on the road………. the wind was in their hair…….a Glock 9mm pistol by their side……….. And the absolute certainty that there would be lashings of rumpy pumpy for them by the end of the episode.

It was sort of like that for me this morning as I drove to my meetings at Carnival’s head office………it was just me and 2,000 other cars going bloody nowhere on I 95……………I couldn’t get the radio to play anything except Snoop Doogy Diddly Bollocks………the wind was in my hair and the rest of the car thanks to the sprouts I had eaten at dinner last night…………….and I was reminded not to honk my horn as yet another driver changed lanes without using their indicator lights unless I to wanted a Glock 9mm pistol……….pointed at my bollocks. ………….. oh……………..and obviously there was bugger all chance of rumpy pumpy either. So……….pretty similar to Miami Vice ……… arse!

Yet, despite having the worst drivers in the world………….I love Miami. There is a kind of gloriously confident ummmmm……something……. to Miami. That’s part of its appeal. This is, after all, the only city in the world where driving a yellow Hummer makes sense.

The brilliant combination of sun, art-deco architecture, the Miami Heat and hundreds of Megan Fox style bottoms……. make it one of my favorite cities in the world. Nothing quite beats sitting on Lincoln Road, cigar and diet coke in hand, watching a perfectly toned world glide by.

Let’s do some questions………here we go.

Beth Flynn Asked:
Please respond –

John, I love your blog thingy. It is the best. I have a quick question, if you don’t mind. I am putting together baskets for my first time cruisers on our family and friends cruise on the Liberty next August. My brilliant idea was to pack it full of things that people always tell you to remember to bring (lanyards and travel cups and such). I was going to add some drink coupons for the bar, but when I called they told me that these could only be delivered at the dining room the first night we sail. This kind of defeats my purpose of a great basket gift for our Bon Voyage party a week before we all leave. Besides, what if some of those couples don’t come to the dining room at all that first night? Anyway, is there any way to order something like this as gifts BEFORE the actual cruise? I was even thinking of adding them to ‘100 Day ’til We Cruise’ cards.
Thank you for your input. 🙂

John Says:
Hello Beth

The baskets are a great idea and how gracious of you to think of those who are sailing on the Carnival Liberty. The drink coupons have to be handed out as mentioned because the guests have to sign for them. I am sure your friends will attend dinner and will receive them so why not put a little envelope in the baskets with a card saying “hope you enjoy the surprise at dinner.” Just a thought.

There are of course lots of gift ideas on our bon voyage page on and if you need any help with this please let me know.
Best wishes

Paul Asked:
John, please reply/respond

I had to write about the absolute OUTSTANDING CREW, OUTSTANDING CREW of the Carnival Inspiration. It had to be the friendliest crew we have had the pleasure to sail with after 25+ cruises (15 on carnival). OUTSTANDING. We came back from the dark side (RCCL) last year and sailed on the Carnival Freedom and had a Great time. So for our 15th anniversary my wife and I decided to escape for 5 day alone. (Kids were not happy). We both filled out the comment cards but we felt the crew deserved allot more much deserved praise. In no special order Armando and Arnold from the Mardi Gras Dining room Table 243, Elek Futo, Bipul Guha, JoAnn Samonte, April Gaa , Dianne Roselt and I’m sure We missed a few. Please let them know from MR Paul a big thank you, they were all OUTSTANDING. I have a favor to ask, my wife and I met on the Holiday 3/91. We have not seen her in port since, but to our pleasant surprise (some sort of sign) she was sitting in Cozumel when we arrived. We would love to get some t-shirts of the Holiday before this lovely lady leaves Carnival in a few weeks. We went down to GS, and they did everything they could even volunteered to go over and buy the shirts, but since we were both in port and the shops were closed, we could not get them. Can you point me to someone so I can purchase 4 of them? Again all of the crew of the Inspiration did an OUSTANDING job with providing us a very memorable Cruise vacation. Thank you very much.

John Says:
Hello Paul

Thank you for sharing those great words of praise for the Carnival Inspiration team and I will of course share these with them and the management. Our crew continues to be the most important of our iconic features and testimonies like yours show that we truly do have the best crew at sea.

Now, with regard to your Holiday T Shirt the only thing I can think of is to send your request to the shop manager there and see if there is a way his company will provide a way for you to purchase some T Shirts. I will go ahead and send him your information and I hope that he or she is able to assist you. I have always said that they should have an on line logo store and I will be talking about this again during the upcoming CD conference.
Thanks again for the great posting
Best wishes

Glen Asked:
Hi John (Please Respond)

As always great blog, my wife and I love the stories you tell. Hope everything is going well at sea, and hope your two girls back home are doing awesome. My question to you is, I am trying to talk my wife into going on the new itinerary that carnival is offering. The one to Grand Turk, Aruba, Dominican Rep., and Curacao. This looks like four awesome places. I really want to book this, but my wife is hesitant because of the time of year this cruise is offered. What is your advice on the weather at these locations? I want to go on the first itinerary in October 2010. Looking forward to your opinion about this. Again great blog, and I hope my wife and I get to introduce ourselves to you the next time we are on the same cruise.

John Says:
Hello Steve

Carnival’s return to Aruba has been met with much excitement and I understand that bookings are very strong. It is no surprise though as these ports are so superb ………and of course Aruba is the icing on the cake. The weather in the Dutch Antilles in October will be great and having spoken just now to the Captain of the Carnival Legend it seems that there are no weather issues for you to be concerned with. Now obviously, I can’t promise uninterrupted sunshine but that is what is expected. I hope you and your wife do book this voyage as it is one that I wish I could experience again. If she has any more questions or concerns please let me know.

Thanks for the kind words and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy.
Best wishes to you both

Edward Zimmerman Asked:
Hi John, (Please read)

I am currently traveling on the Carnival Splendor this week, which was diverted slightly due to Hurricane Rick. Besides a few rollies here and there, for now the weather has held up well and it seems everyone (including myself) is having a great time. I wanted to write to you to tell you what a great job our Cruise Director, Stephanie Meads, is doing. She has only been on the Splendor for a few weeks, but has been terrific. While I have always had a wonderful time on all of my 13 Carnival cruises, I can think of one other time when I’ve had this much of a great time, which was on the Carnival Triumph in November ‘99. Back then, you were our Cruise Director and my friend and I had a blast. Anyway, Stephanie and her assistant Leslie are doing an outstanding job and I just wanted to share that with you and the blog readers.
Edward Zimmerman
Las Vegas, NV

John Says:
Hello Edward

This was wonderful news and the young lady from Virginia is smiling a huge smile right now. Stephanie is here with me on the Carnival Legend and will take over as Cruise Director when I bugger off on Sunday. She has come a long way since leaving her 12 brothers and sisters and the family trailer and apart from the fact that she has ruined the English language by using words like “y’aaaaaallllll” I think she will prove to be perfect for the job. I am very proud of her and I know Heidi is as well.

Thanks then Edward and I hope you had a brilliant cruise and I hope we get to re create the memories of 1999 again one day soon.
Best wishes

Selena Asked:
Hello John

I really enjoy your blog ALOT. Me and my boyfriend just missed you on the Freedom recently. He is a big fan of yours and constantly talks about the time he sailed with you a few years ago. A while back I got him the John Heald Bobble head. He loves it.

I didn’t know where to post this but many have directed me here. John I was on the Carnival Freedom doing a back to back with my boyfriend of 2 years and 2 days before our cruise his grandfather died. His grandfather was like his dad. We were due to leave Saturday 10/04 and the funeral was earlier that day. We still went as he didn’t have insurance on the cruise and this was planned since the beginning of the year. Every day he would talk about his grandfather and get very emotional. He carried a picture of his grandfather with him on the cruise. He hurt me so much seeing him like that as I love him very much and want the best for him as we all do for our love ones. The day before our grandfather died he was taking care of him that night in the nursing home. The next day the family was near his grandpa’s side and watched him die.

John I wanted to lift his spirits up and without him knowing as he is a shy guy I went and sent a letter to the CD explaining the situation and asking if he could lift up my boyfriend’s spirits as my boyfriend really enjoyed the cd and got a kick out of him. The next morning we were eating breakfast and the Cd happened to be there and came over to our table and talked to us. He mentioned that he is sorry for what happened and then went on telling him that he would get a phone call to call his family, that he would get a tour and a little something from guest services. He was very shocked and speechless. I thanked the CD as he didn’t have to do anything. I was just looking more at teasing my boyfriend and making a few laughs like you do with some of your guest. My boyfriends’ spirits were lifted up and he was happy. A few days passed and we hadn’t heard nothing from the Cd or guest services. Time was running short and nothing was ever done and promise was never kept. I now that the CD was very busy and I understand that and I then went and sent another letter thanking him for taking the time to talk to my boyfriend and I also hoped that we could chat for a few minutes as my boyfriend again thought he was very funny. I was very disappointed John that we never heard anything back and it was a broken promise.

John I hope I get to meet you one day. I keep up with your blog and enjoy what you do for the guest and for Carnival you are one of kind. On my next cruise we are going to arrange it to where we will be sailing with you and we will bring our bobblehead with us.
Thank you for your time

John Says:
Hello Selena

May I start by sending your boyfriend and his family my deepest sympathies at the loss of their grandfather. I am sure that the cruise must have been one full of mixed emotion and I hope amongst all those moments of anguish and sadness that there were moments of fun.
I must also say how disappointed I am in reading that Wee Jimmy did not follow up on his promise. I won’t offer up any excuses because there really isn’t any is there? I know Ralph (Wee Jimmy) very well and I know how upset he will be to read this. So, please accept my apology and please know that I will make sure that the next you sail I will make up for this.
Once again………….my apologies.
Best wishes to you both

MX Mom & Dad Asked:
~ Please respond ~ Thanks!

WOW John ~
We are counting the days! We have less than one week to go before we begin our transatlantic adventure on Our DREAM!!! Can life get any better? Sure it can! When we board the beauty! Move aside kids, the CA Heroes are taking over the slides ~ LOL!!!
Do you still plan on “hitching a ride” in Bermuda?
Larry & Angie

John Says:
Hello Larry and Angie

By now you are already onboard your Carnival Dream and just in case you are reading this onboard let me say……..”see you in Bermuda.”
Best wishes to you both

Geri & Jack Asked:
Hi John,

We have been away and returned from C Splendor ship yesterday and B2B on Freedom before that. I have lost track of your posts (I will have the time now). In an earlier email to you I asked very politely if there was any way we could attend the Inauguration of the Dream in NYC seeing that we will be in town the day before we sail B2B on the C Dream. Would this be at all possible? After these two cruises it will be Platinum status for us.

Miguel, maitre’d of the Gold Pearl – and oops! Forgot his name (the funny Maitre ‘d of the Black Pearl) were outstanding on the C Splendor. I have a real cute pic of them to send you soon. Everyone I met had nothing but praise for you. Plus we rec’d a really nice email from Captain Carlo. What a surprise that was. He is a very special person.

Take care and don’t put this email on the list please as it kind of personal.
Thank you,

Geraldine & John Scott
B2B Dream Nov 09
I would really like to know who beat who in football. LOL!

John Says:
Hello Geraldine and Scott

My goodness you have been busy cruisers and before I forget can I say thank you for your loyal support of Carnival Cruise Lines. It seems that you had a wonderful time and like me you think that Miguel the Maitre D is exceptional, personable and these and many other reasons are why he is considered one of the very best in the fleet. The bad news is that unfortunately the ship is not allowing any visitors outside of those with “official” invitations to explore your Carnival Dream. I really wished there was something I can do but this time my hands are tied.

If you can think of anything else I can do for you please let me know.
Best wishes to you both

JAS1178 Asked:

I sailed with you on October 11th. In catching up last week’s blogs as well as so far this week (19th & 20th), you are being really hard on yourself about our cruise. So I felt it was time to write and voice my opinion…

John – You were incredible. I am amazed at some of the stunts you pull off with such sincerity. From the lifeboat drill (where you tell the guest that you would like to show them how to wear it…speaking of which…why did WE have to take ours???) to every time you were on the stage, you brought smiles to the majority of the ships face.

You indicated that you hadn’t felt like you gave it your all at the bedtime story. If that was only a portion, I may have needed medical attention if you had given it your all. Even with seeing it before on YouTube….you did a fantastic show.

If I were to have felt cheated…it was not having you host the newlywed show or dress at Dolly Pardon. These were easily overlooked by the other entertainment you provided! BTW: Tell “Sexy Craig” that he did a great job assisting you…he truly is a rising star to be watched for.

Seriously, we look back at this cruise as truly one of the best we’ve ever had. We traveled as a group of 12 including: Grandparents (Celebrating 65 Years), Parents (w/ Foster & Adopted Kids), Rebecca & I (with our Natural & Adopted Kids – including Kye’s Future Husband….Noah).

So one last time, thank you for a brilliant time.

The only small area of improvement that I could suggest would be the timing of the past guest party when only doing a single party (assumably due to numbers). By doing it at 7:00pm, it forced early diners to rush dinner, and its effects were felt throughout the dining room for the past guests, and those that were not.

The only other thing (that has nothing to do with you) for the men with beards is the loss of the Free Cruise drawing for completing a comment card. Without that incentive, we probably won’t make time to fill them out unless we have something of extreme importance to document.

So for my fellow blog friends….here is a photo recap of our incredible week with John & Vampires 🙂

(Hopefully that worked).

John – You sent a photo to Rebecca’s Parents (Jon & Candy) – but they received someone else’s. They apparently tried to get it back to you via the purser, but didn’t get it back before debarking. Is there any way to make this happen (I realize that by the time you read this you may well be gone from Legend…but hey if not, let me know).

Oh and hey, if you need companionship we’ll meet you for lunch at Hooters…I mean Bennigans [Wife is reading] next Sunday before you drive to Miami 🙂 Just Kidding!

John Says:
Hello Jonathan

Thanks for the great review. I am so glad you had fun and I apologize that on the last day I was unable to perform my Dolly thingy. I hate not doing that but I was having a bad day felt really run down. However, I am glad that you loved the bedtime story and it was great to see you and your amazing family. I have already told Kye that she will be marrying Noah who I must say is absolutely gorgeous.

We made a big mistake in only having one party for the past guests. We did this because the Goth group had the lounge for a big party and time was limited. However, that no excuse and we now have two parties each cruise as it should be.

Thanks again for all the great memories and again let me say what a wonderful family and extended family you have and I hope we all meet again in the very near future.
Best wishes

Dave & Diana Asked:
Dear John (please reply)

Well now in 44 days we will be on our Dream and I for one can’t wait. John as you ask me to do I am writing to set something up for my loving wife of 35 year to be able to surprise her. As you may or may not recall I wish to surprise her one time in our 35 year marriage. She always seems to fine out before hand any plans I have for her. So with your help this time I know we can do it. If you have any good ideas to be able to surprise her with him all for them. We all look forward to meeting you for the first time John we read you Blog every day. And we can’t wait to see the new Dream.
Your Fez wareing mate
Dave and his mate Diana

John Says:
Hello Dave and his mate Diane

Dave, don’t worry, I will send her a surprise for sure. Can you send me your date of sailing and cabin number please and I will make sure this happens.
Best wishes to you both

Bill Ridenour Asked:
Please reply

We cruised on the carnival valor on 10/4/09 our 6th cruise my parents 10th cruise when we were on our cruise either the room Stewart or housekeeping stole 1 of our cell phones out of our carryon bag that was sitting on our couch we got the bill it was a whopping $3450.00 we called guest relations no help their they told us maybe we should cruise with another cruise line but there was nothing they could do and would do nothing.

John Says:
Hello Bill

I will make sure that I pass this onto someone to investigate your claim further Bill. However, I must say that having been at sea for 22 years I doubt very much that it was a crew member that stole the phone. Anyway, I am sorry that this happened and I will pass this immediately up the line.
Best wishes

Lynn & David Asked:
Hi John,

Could you please tell me how to unsubscribe to your blog – I am getting 10 or more messages a day and don’t have time to read them all, so I would like to opt out of your blog at this time.
Thank you,

John Says:
Hello Lynn and David

I am sorry to hear this and I am not sure what messages you are getting. Do you actually need to subscribe to the blog? Don’t you just click on the web page? Anyway, I will ask one of the 343 Stephanies to tell you how to do this and I hope you can find the time to come back soon.
Best wishes to you both

Techmon Asked:
John (please reply)

I just booked the Carnival Miracle for December 2010. I booked for price and Southern Caribbean but wonder if I should have picked the Carnival Dream instead. I have been on the Carnival Pride and will be on the Carnival Spirit in May and none of these ships have the upgrades. I feel like I may be missing the newer amenities. My question is-will the Spirit class ships be getting any the upgrades?? Just wondering.

John Says:
Hello Karen

Well, if you had asked me this a few weeks ago I may have tried to persuade you to go on one of the bigger ships. However, having just spent the last month here on the Carnival Legend I can honestly say that you shouldn’t second guess yourself at all. The Spirit class ships are truly brilliant. They may not have the big screens on Lido or the Evolutions of Fun water works but apart from that………there is little else they are missing. The design, the flow of the guests and the fact that there are only 2,200 onboard make this class so wonderful and perfect for cruising. There are no plans for upgrades at the moment but again, your Southern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Miracle will be sensational I promise. Maybe, next time you can choose the Carnival Magic in 2011 and then compare the two class of ships and see which you like best.
My best to you and your son

pnjkeith Asked:
John, Please Reply

Hey John, Great Blog. Just ran a poll on Cruise Critic over the weekend 10/16 thru 10/19/09 on smoking on Carnival ships. Here are the results. I for one was not surprised at the results but I think many were. I think you too might be surprised, by the way it was not intended nor implied to be a scientific poll. It was just for fun.

Yes, I smoke onboard 244 39.8%
No, I do not smoke onboard 316 51.5%
Who Cares 53 8.6%
Total votes, Poll Closed 613
Total views as of today 3,182

What you think? Surprised?

John Says:
Hello pnjkeith

Yes, very surprised. I think the 53.8% don’t care figure was the most surprising to me. I will pass these up the line and thanks so much for putting this poll into the field, I know many of my colleagues will find this very interesting.

Best wishes and you are now the blogs official polster.

Capt Fred Asked:
John please reply

I guess I’m a Right Wing Conservative.

I’m sorry for the bad report from cabin 7. I’m a travel agent you know and I bring groups on board all the time .I have people from my church and other Churches as well .I tell them what to expect and they should not go if this offends them .You can go on the cruise and not go to those events and have a great time. If you have a TV and watch it you probably won’t be offended or you can always change the channel. If it says Las Vegas type shows .DA… I have had Pastors of very strict churches go and have a great time .They are smart enough to know what to go to and what not .To [Marybet] who commented on this .Yes I am a Right Wing Conservative from the South who loves God,my Country and my Guns .[I had to put guns in there to keep Maryet happy ] Please don’t put all of us in your one conservative basket .You can be all the above and still love people and have a great time and cruise all you want. I would love to sit down with you[Marybet] have a Red Stripe ,smoke a cigar and talk about anything but religion and politics .I refuse to bring these topic up on a cruise. I’m on VACATION! John, just keep doing what you do. You can’t please everyone do what you know is Right [sorry or Left ]in your heart. Capt Fred

John Says:
Hello Captain

One of the things my Dad taught me was never to tar everyone with the same brush. I have learnt that to be something especially true during my years onboard. I also love the way people express their honest opinions on the blog and that one of the main reasons I think it has had so many readers.

Thanks again and my best wishes to you and Marybet.

April Z Asked:
Dear John (please reply),

A couple months ago I sent you a letter asking if you could help me get a “Ship on a Stick” to take back to my great-grandmother, who had sailed the MS Holiday back in 1987. (Maybe even earlier, but more about that in a minute.) And I wanted to take a minute to thank you and to tell you what happened after that on our cruise.

First off, our VERY FIRST cruise was fantastic; I am completely in love with cruising now and am trying to book another for March of next year. On elegant night, we met Torey, the fabulous cruise director of the Holiday, and introduced ourselves. Later in the cruise, she made sure we received our golden ship and after I begrudgingly disembarked and went home, I took the trophy to my great-grandmother. Upon further inspection of her older trophy, I saw that it said “MS Holiday, Inaugural Cruises”, so I believe that she may have cruised the very first year the Holiday sailed, and not 87 as I had previously thought. She didn’t quite understand what I had given her, but I did get a picture of the two trophies together so I could send it to you and show you the difference.

So John, I want to thank you and Torey so very much for helping me. While my grandmother might not have understood the significance of the trophy, I know just how special it is. Because in my family, there is now a trophy from the first year… and a trophy from the last year that the MS Holiday ever sailed. 🙂
Thank you again,
April Z.

John Says:
Hello April Z

I thank you so much for taking the time to write. It’s nice when people tell me that what I arranged for them has happened as this is not always the case. I depend often on my colleagues to do this and I am glad that the lovely Tory followed through. Thanks so much for sharing the photo and I hope that in some way it brings your great grandmother much joy.
I will pass on your thanks to Tory as well.
Best wishes to you and all your family

David Asked:
Hi John, (please reply)

I just completed my 6th cruise on the pink polka dot Carnival Splendor with Stephanie Meads. She was a fantastic cruise director and we had a great time on board. Our head team waiter Jeffrey in the Black Pearl and Rio our cabin steward were wonderful. The entertainment options on this ship were endless. The production shows and the rock and roll deck party with the productions singers and the dancers were amazing. One night the entertainment staff did a skit “What would I do if I were not at sea,” this was so funny. The 2 stars of the skit were Leslie our asst cruise director and Jeremy one of the dancers. Leslie always had a smile and willing to go out of her way to help in way she could. Jeremy is one of your dancers; he is a talented dancers and great with the guest. Leslie and Jeremy put the fun in funny. I know you do profiles of the cruise directors but can you do a profile on these 2 talented individuals? The behind the fun tour was great along with all of the extras we received. We used your loyalty program to place a deposit on our next cruise. Looking forward to another fun ship get away.

John Says:
Hello David

That’s two great posts of praise for Stephanie who as you may just have read is here onboard the Carnival Legend with me. I will make sure she sees this and I know she will be thrilled. I don’t know Jeremy but I will make sure he sees this as well and it sounds like he is a very special person indeed. I have never worked with Leslie but have heard so much about her and it seems everything I hear is true.

Thanks again for the great report and I hope to see you onboard one day soon
Best wishes to you and the family

That’s all for today. Can I ask that if you need me to send you anything or arrange something for you onboard that you write three weeks before sailing time so I can make sure I have enough time to make it so. Please don’t forget to mark your comments “John, please reply.”

I wanted to take a few moments to comment on this posting here.

Bruce Clayton Asked:
John, (please reply)

My wife and three children were recently on the Imagination and while most everything was good the final day at sea was a joke. The sun was out but because there was a breeze your stupid crew closed the water slides ALL DAY!!!!!!!. My children had been looking forward to this all cruise and it was the only reason we went on Carnival and not another line. What is the point of having a water park if it’s closed on the sea day? I complained to anyone who would listen but nobody did anything. I have my own business and if I ran mine like Carnival ran the ship that day my family would be homeless. There was no wind it was only a breeze and the people who made the decision to close the water slides ruined my family’s vacation and I expect many others felt the same. I doubt we will sail Carnival again.

John Says:
Hello Bruce

I hope you don’t mind me highlighting this comment but I think it is important that I do so. I would like to start by referring to the opening line of your comments where you say “most everything was good” and that is something that through your obvious frustration you will remember. I am sure when you take a pause, you will remember the great food, wonderful entertainment and superb service.

Now to your point. Let me generalize this first. Over the past few months I myself have had fun at the expense of the people with beards who are the safety inspectors of this world. It is their job to prevent accidents and provide a safe environment for us all.

However…………saying that ………….an accident is something which, by its very nature, cannot be prevented.

But no one has got that. Which means that everything now comes with a hand-rail and a luminous jacket and a hard hat and steel-toe-capped boots and a tofu sandwich for lunch and ear defenders and protective strips and beeps and warnings and notices and rules – and for good reason.

I know I blame health and safety people for everything that’s gone wrong. But, actually, that’s like shooting the messenger. Because let’s not forget that health and safety people with their clip boards and their brown ties and their sensible shoes are employed by companies like Carnival to examine and eliminate risks

So it’s not the company that’s to blame. Simply put – we don’t want someone injuring themselves onboard. And it’s not the health and safety beardies who are simply doing of them what is asked. We put our guests safety first at all times which is one of the main reason Carnival is at the forefront of providing the safest environment at sea.

Yes, I know it’s frustrating but it’s where we are in the world. And, may I say, that the slides are quite high and if the ship is pitching or rolling and the wind is enough for our team to close them ……….we will……………for exactly the reasons I stated above.

Please accept my apologies that we closed the slides but hopefully you will understand why. And I do hope that you will remember the good times and come and try Carnival again.

I will be here if you have a follow up to this question or need anything else.
Best wishes to you and the family

Here is one of the 343 Stephanies to remind you about the big bloggers breakfast event in New York.

Hello again 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!

There was a question asked about table assignments and how they are carried out by the Maitre D’s. I said that even I was not sure and that I would ask a man who could tell us how this process works……that man was Carnival’s Senior Maitre D………the one and only Ken Byrne …… here is his answer.

I relation to guests requesting a dining time early/late/open, priority is given to Platinum guests, they are grouped under a button ‘L’, indicating they are loyal guests, early/late/open will show once you open the button, all guests are then assigned to their time request, it is not a specific table request, guests are assigned as per various categories such as Groups which are pre-assigned from the office, then once completed the reservations are uploaded to the various ships, the Maitre’d will then assign the remaining guests, such as T/W ( traveling with ) FAM ( families) C ( couples) S ( singles) INT (international) O ( others) which means insufficient information from the T/A they comprise of single individuals T/W, age/cabin location are taken into consideration, it would not be possible to an option of guests requesting a specific table, otherwise they would all request the center for instance or the best locations, which would not work, hope this helps.


Thanks Ken, and I will see you in Bermuda.

Halloween, I must admit is as an event rather passed me by. In my family it was just not a big deal. Indeed, I can’t think of anyone, when I was a child, for whom it was any sort of deal at all …………but then again I am old. I still am not sure I see the point why children are supposed to run around dressed as ghosts and demons and be frightfully frightening. Anyway, there is no doubt that I am in the minority and as you will know here on the Fun Ships we have our “Frightfully Fun” promotion. Included in the festivities is the grand costume parade and I thought you might like to see the best of the costumes from the Carnival Legend.











Well, it’s been a whirlwind of meetings today and I will recap them on tomorrow’s blog. I will be telling you about the final arrangements for the bloggers cruise, the cocktail party on the 15th and will also have news on the Holiday’s last voyage and some great photos of your Carnival Dream‘s passage through the Straights of Gibraltar. Now though it’s off to Miami Airport and a flight to New York and I am sure I will have lots to tell you over the next few days……oh……also ………….tomorrow………I have photos ………….of me………… a dress!

I miss the Carnival Legend. She now has a new CD in Stephanie Meads. I did my best to prepare her for her new role and I am sure she is doing a great job. I am sure she is not happy with me though as before I left the cabin I had a huge poo…….and didn’t flush the toilet……instead I left a note on the inside of the toilet seat that simply read…… “Handover of the Cruise Director’s Log.”

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.