There Is Magic In The Air

January 18, 2010 -

John Heald

This past Saturday, January 16, two people sailed on their Carnival Dream……………to celebrate their Honeymoon…….here is how Louise Chatell met the man of her dreams…….Jim Bettencourt ……..told in her own words……..oh………you might want to have a box of tissues ready.

Dear John

I thought you might like to know that my new husband and I will be sailing on the Dream on January 16th and how we met.

I was a 30 something single average looking gal from Phoenix. Dating just wasn’t my thing. I kept bumping into the same men at the same parties and church functions. I just thought marriage was never going to be an option for me.

In October 2008 my friend and I booked a last minute cruise on the Valor. That’s where I met Jim. We first bumped into each other at the Captain’s formal evening. Delta Airlines had left me luggageless, and I was dressed very strangely, especially for a formal night. I was in high spirits, though — how could you not be on a ship sailing the Caribbean Sea, dancing and having fun? When Jim’s head appeared out of nowhere on at the stools next to me at the wine bar, my stomach lurched, my heart beat heavy and fast, it was as if I had tunnel vision. I was for the very first time in my 37 years sick with love.

We started talking and it was as natural as could be. Jim was in the United States Army was serving on his second tour in Afghanistan during which he received the tragic news that his wife had died of a sudden and unexpected brain hemorage.

As we talked he looked sad and dare I say as lonely as I had felt many times in my life. He was on the boat with his brother and sister in law celebrating their honeymoon. We sat and we talked and I knew that this might be something special when he suggested that we both miss dinner and eat together at the Lido cafe. We spent the next 5 days locked into a vacation romance and when we said our goodbyes I felt as sad as I could ever remember.

We had promised to stay in touch and sure enough we e-mailed and called each other every day. Jim was now based in South Carolina and it was hard for him to get away from the base. Being a teacher I was able to have more vacation time and weekends off so I spent lots of time and money flying to see Jim as many times as I could.

One afternoon, I was teaching my 6th grade class when suddenly and without warning in walked Jim in full dress uniform. He apologized to the class and then knelt down on bended knee and asked me to marry him.

We were married on Christmas Eve and now live together in South Carolina where I start a teaching job in the spring. We are celebrating our honeymoon on the Dream and we are both so excited. Carnival helped us meet and fall in love and it is fitting that we should spend our honeymoon cruise on a Carnival boat as well.

We both enjoy your blog very much and I thought that you might like to hear that vacation romances do happen and sometimes like ours are very special.

Louise and Jim Bettencourt

Dear Louise and Jim
First of all I want to thank you for taking the time to write to us and for sharing such a beautiful and certainly a very personal story. It is so gratifying to read though because often these are stories that we at Carnival never get to hear about. It proves that the holiday romance is certainly alive and well on our fun for all ships.

I also believe in fate and it seems to me that fate brought you together and after the tragic loss of Jim’s wife he found you. Meanwhile, there you were, wandering lonely as a cloud and suddenly Jim came along and it was obvious that this was going to be a very special love affair because you both gave up the opportunity to eat lobster in the dining room and headed off to Lido and alternative, non-lobster eating dinner………….now that is love!

I want to wish you both a very happy time on your Carnival Dream and I hope you enjoy the little extras that I have arranged for you.

Congratulations and best wishes to you both and……oh yes………don’t miss the lobster this time.

John and all the bloggers.

What a fabulous story and so well written. It is a fact that this sort of thing probably happens a lot so it is wonderful to actually get to read about it. Holiday romances were few and far between for me. No surprise there I guess as girls ignored me at home so why should it be any different anywhere else. Still, there were a few exceptions. I’m not going to count Hannah, the 15-year-old German pen pal who kissed me on my 14th birthday only to arrive at our ensuing date at the local swimming pool unaware that her left nipple had escaped from her bikini. I’m not going to count it because romance should last longer than one kiss and not end in the girl running away in tears, furious that no one (me) had been brave enough to point out her wardrobe malfunction. I’m not going to count it, even though I think I still love Hannah.

My first proper, proper holiday romance took place in on vacation with my best mate Ugly Alan. Helen was a 19-year-old trainee nurse from Scotland. She was beautiful, funny and one whole year older than me, so I naturally assumed she wouldn’t be interested. I was going through the middle years of a big eared, gangly…….yes……before a beach ball implanted itself in my stomach I used to be gangly………and was going through a uncomfortable in my own skin phase (stole that phrase from Jim Berra our chief marketing officer) that all girls find easy to resist. I was also spending a lot of time playing the trombone. Trombones aren’t like guitars or saxophones ………….they repel the ladies.

One night after drinking heavily she kissed me passionately and that was when I fell in love for the first time in my life.

A day later she was gone………… back home to Scotland. I gave her my parents’ phone number and begged her to call me and meet me. She promised to call. Alone again. Grumpy. Depressed with only Ugly Alan and some 16-year-old French thing called Bridgette who was obviously as blind as a bat for company. I thought about sending Helen a text but realized I couldn’t because texts hadn’t been invented.

Every night for the rest of my holiday I spent all my money calling my Mum and Dad to see if Helen had called…….she hadn’t. I convinced myself that she’d lost the number and was frantically hiring private investigators to find me. The truth was though that that our passionate kiss and swapping of saliva was in fact…….sponsored by tequila………and I never saw her again.

Time for today’s questions……… we go.

Kathy M. Asked:
Hi John, Please reply

Well I guess I am not the only one that feels like you have abandoned the West Coast. Someone on cruise critic started a poll to find out how many people would go with you on a West Coast Cruise and the majority that have answered have said “YES, in a heart beat”. Only one said that they could not afford the airfare to the West Coast. See that is what I don’t understand, you have such a following on the West Coast and yet in all the time you have been a CD you have never cruised here, maybe you could say you are going to do it just one time, at least give us fans who do live on the West Coast the same opportunity that you give the fans of yours on the East Coast. Think of it this way to, why do you always put the extra expense of your fans on the West Coast to have to travel to see you, when you don’t require the same requirement of your East Coast fans. Face it John, you are not being fair one bit. I know you mean well, and I love you for that, but we would like to finally see you do a bloggers cruise on the West Coast and by what the people on cruise critic are saying, I am not the only one that feels this way.
Give my love to Heidi and Kye
Happy New Year John!!
Kathy M.

John Says:
Hello Kathy M

I know that we have discussed this before here on the blog thingy and realize that you are very passionate about the blog and Carnival and dare I say it…… And I thank you so very much for being so. You are correct that during my years as a Cruise Director I have not spent anytime on the West Coast and that as you said is not fair. In my defense I will say that before I became Senior Cruise Director and Brand Ambassador I had no say which ship I was assigned to and even now I can really on suggest where I would like to go. However, that does not take away the fact that I need to spend more time on the west coast. I am currently working on the next Bloggers Cruise and maybe I need to hold a second one on the west coast. I promise I will give this much consideration. I will also be sailing on the Carnival Spirit at the end of this year so this should hopefully give us a chance to be together. Thank you again and I will write more on this subject soon.
Best wishes

Elizabeth Asked:
Hi John, (Please Reply)

I hope you and your family have a very Happy New Year! 🙂

This is the first time I have written you but I’ve always enjoyed reading your blogs. My family and I recently returned from the Christmas cruise aboard the Carnival Dream and I wanted to tell you about the fun time we had…although, I don’t think I can sum up everything. 🙂

As always, the crew and staff were wonderful. 🙂 The ship is absolutely beautiful and the holiday decorations and music put everyone in the Christmas spirit. This was our first holiday cruise and we plan on doing it again next year.

I have been on 4 cruises, all with Carnival, and there was 30 people in our group, including a few children. We all enjoyed the different activities aboard the ship such as the cooking demonstrations, shopping, holiday show, and miniature golf. Camp Carnival offered plenty of activities for the kids in our group.

I can’t name 1 favorite part of the cruise because it was ALL fantastic. Exploring the ship was a lot of fun and the promenade deck was one of my favorite locations on the ship. The Serenity deck was a great retreat to relax and enjoy some quiet time. It was a great time had by all. 🙂

At the end of the week, I completed my comment card and gave recognition to pretty much everyone, whose name I could recall, but I forgot one individual who was extremely helpful one day. I would LOVE to give praise to this particular individual. I would like to inform his supervisor of his hard work but I do not know his name. Could you PLEASE email me and let me know how I can identify this crew member? If need be, I can let you know what particular area he works and what country he is from…I remember that much. 😉

Thanks Again and Best Wishes to You and Your Family!!!

John Says:
Hello Elizabeth

It’s always a pleasure to welcome first time readers and posters and thank you for your very kind words for me and my family. It sounds like your Carnival Dream vacation was superb and your review summed up all that is brilliant about our flag ship. I would be very happy to help you praise this particular crew member who you forgot to mention on the comment card. Can you please send me more details? I need his department or his job position and if you know anything else about him. Please send this to me here on the blog thingy and I will see what we can do.

Meanwhile I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy and my best wishes to you and the family.

Stacey Asked:
John (**PLEASE REPLY**),

Quick question. Can you tell me which nationality each of the Carnival vessels is designated to host? I was speaking with Ryan on the Glory regarding the 550 Germans that were onboard, and he said that the Glory is the “German” ship that all the travel agents and such try to steer German passengers to (because it always has German speaking staff onboard, etc.).
I find this quite fascinating. Can you expand on it for me?

John Says:
Hello Stacey

What an excellent question. Carnival does have a good representation across Europe and while many Europeans will sail on AIDA (German) Costa (Italian, French, Spanish) and P&O (UK) many Europeans like to experience what they perceive as the “American Market” and therefore book a Carnival cruise. In the case that you mentioned we have had a few larger groups of Germans sail on the Carnival Glory. This was booked through a very large German travel agent called “TUI.” They advertise a cruise in Germany and then they book as a large group. We then make sure that we have sufficient German speaking staff at the Guest Services Desk to accommodate them. However, they won’t have German speaking dining room staff or a German speaking stateroom steward and the entire entertainment program continues in English……. well …………..American.

And they love it……………even though they may not understand everything they have a fantastic time. Each ship, each cruise, will have a number of European and International guests. However, the only other ship that has special contingencies for this will be a ship sailing out of San Juan where offer more of a Latin flavor with Latin music and entertainment. The San Juan ships also have a large number of British guests sailing. They join in Barbados following a pre-cruise stay there and we offer a good old British breakfast for them. That’s eggs, sausages, bacon, fried bread, baked beans and black pudding …………mmmmmm.

All of our ships have Guest Service Associates who are able to speak a whole number of languages so overall we are able to look after our guests and in cases like the larger German groups we translate the Carnival Capers into German for them.

Hope this helps answer your question.
Best wishes

Linda Asked:
John, Please reply–or perhaps one of the 343 Stephanies can–

I always enjoy learning more about the various CDs, Captains and other crew members through the interviews you do with them (and their letters or postings to you). Seems like those could be easier to find either by listing them as links on the side of the homepage or if we need to look using the search engine then having each entry in turn opening to that reference and having the reference highlighted in yellow. This would make it easier to locate! Thanks and enjoy your time at home. Sandra and I are heading back out in February and will be on the Victory this time meeting Karl and his merry band of entertainers. Linda

John Says:
Hello Linda

That is indeed a very good idea. A few months ago I posted interviews with all the Cruise Directors and a few Captains and Chief Engineers as well. This year I will be aiming to interview all the Captains of the fleet and any of our new Cruise Directors. I will therefore ask one of the 343 Stephanies to make a file thingy for this one I start and keep them available for you all to read. Don’t forget to stop by where you will find regular blogs from Captain Scala and Captain Cutugno.

Best wishes and have a great time on the Carnival Victory.

Wayne Tkach Asked:
Hi John. Please reply.

Have been a fan of your blog for about a year now but never have had a decent question to ask, but do have one now. We will be on the Carnival Dream with you on the January 30 sailing returning to Port Canaveral on February 6th, with our flight leaving Orlando at 3pm. What are the transportation options available from the ship to the airport so we can get there in plenty of time for an international flight home?

Have really enjoyed your humour and stories and your life experiences and possibly getting a chance to shake your hand during our holiday. Our first experience with you as CD was back in September of 1995 aboard the Carnival Imagination, our honeymoon cruise, when we enjoyed your bedtime story, so much so that we purchased that tape and have viewed it a number of times over the years, you had commented on the tape that it was one your best ever. We love a cruising holiday, but have only been four times, twice on Carnival (Imagination and Valor) and twice on NCL, Pride of America in Hawaii in 2008, like you say, not that pretty on the outside but very nice on the inside. We enjoy the free style dining very much and although it was an open seating arrangement we loved our servers so much that they wanted us back every night so we always had our reserved table every night (eight to twelve of us) with our great serving staff, pretty good service. We are not the kind of people that complain, we have nothing but good things to say about all of the cruises we’ve been on, just enjoy that fact that we are away from home, somewhere warm for awhile, as say this as it is -19C outside and going down to -33C tomorrow night new years eve, just hope its not windy. Yes those are about normal average temperatures here for this time of year. I can relate to your health issues also since I am too a somewhat well fed diabetic that struggles to keep fit, maybe we can meet up on the top deck some night and toss some old rotten eggs at the mall of the seas in St, Maarten or St. Thomas.

Cheers for now, wishing you and your family a very happy new year.

John Says:
Hello Wayne

I am very glad to hear that you will be with me for my first cruise on our Carnival Dream. Please can you leave me a note at the Guest Services Desk as soon as you board. Just say “we are here” and leave your cabin number would you………..I want to make you a star………….I will provide the eggs. You can purchase shuttle bus tickets from the ship back to Orlando Airport from onboard plus there are taxi and independent bus operators available outside of the terminal building should you prefer. I hope the weather is indeed sunny and regardless I know we will all have a wonderful time together.
See you soon.
Best wishes.

Brenda Waddington Asked:

Hi John, I recently returned from seeing my daughter who is working as a hairdresser on the Valor. I would like to say how impressed I was with everything. We had expected a “Butlins at Sea”, but we found a lovely ship with something for everyone. We were a little disappointed with the Steakhouse, but mainly because the standard of food and choices in the main dining room were so good! We were also amazed to hear that there were about 900 under 18s on the ship – the younger ones were so unobtrusive that the clubs must have been doing an excellent job.

My question is about tipping. I know that in the Spa they don’t get a wage, and if they don’t get clients they end up owing their employer money!

How does it work with Carnival staff? Is their share of the tips their wage, or do they get a good basic plus the auto-tips? We gave personal tips as well as the auto-tip, but would like to know for future reference. Thanks

John Says:
Hello Brenda

I am glad you got to visit your daughter who I am sure you must be very proud of. Our salons are operated by an independent contractor called Steiner who is responsible for the pay structure of their employees. All Carnival staff including the dining room waiters and your stateroom steward all receive a salary from Carnival Cruise Lines. Their salaries are compensated by the gratuities left by guests of course as is the case in most restaurants and hotels in North America. For my non UK friends I should explain that Brenda’s reference to Butlins is something truly British. It’s a holiday camp…….and…….well…….I really can’t think of an American or Canadian equivalent. However, while these camps are a massive success they certainly can’t compare to the fun for all ships of Carnival……as you discovered.

So thank you for taking the time to write and I hope you had a wonderful time and most of all I hope you got to spend some valuable family time with your hard working daughter.
Best wishes to all

Katiel53 Asked:
John, (Please reply)

I can’t imagine someone’s complaining because the staff couldn’t speak proper English. I’m sure it would be interesting for him to go to a foreign country where English is not spoken and see what it feels like to try to speak the foreign language.

Once when I went to Paris I tried to find a store to order a bottle of wine. I had a French/English dictionary and the word for wine is vin. You won’t believe how I pronounced a simple word like that. No one knew what I was trying to say until I showed them the word in the dictionary. Oh, vin (like bin). I felt like a fool, but I was finally able to get my bottle of wine.
I think the employees on cruise ships do a great job in speaking English. I know sometimes it’s hard to understand them, but our language isn’t that easy to speak either.

As far as having a service at Christmas, if I were on a cruise, I would like to have either a midnight Mass or a service on Christmas Day. I guess I am old school in that Christ is the reason for Christmas. My dad would never go on a cruise at Christmas if he weren’t able to go to a service. Then again, he is 96 and is quite religious.

I think there are many retired priests and ministers who would be willing to do a service or services if offered a free cruise or perhaps a lower priced one. JMO.
Frank & Gerri

John Says:
Hello Frank and Gerri

I must admit that I was surprised that someone would say that they would never cruise with us again due to the fact that the staff did not speak sufficient English. Your point of visiting a foreign country is therefore well made. I can tell you that this year we are all going to work harder to try and have more religious services onboard. As I have said before this is an area where we must improve on and your suggestions prove that this is something that our guests want. I hope to have more news on this soon. Thanks again and best wishes to you both.

Vivienne Paige Asked:
Hi John, Please reply

I am so tired of reading about, and listening to people (passengers) who make frivolous complaints. This is the main reason why I always ask to be seated alone. I have been on many cruises, dating back to the ‘Mardi Gras’ (yes I’m ancient) and, of course, I always celebrate my birthday by being on a Carnival Cruise (4 of which were on the Glory). For my next birthday, I will be on the Dream, Feb: 13th sailing date, and, so help me, if I hear anyone within earshot complain, I will demand that they be forced to “walk the plank”.

The man who complained about the fine staff who, in his opinion, were not English speaking, must have a vocabulary that is not extensive, or he would never have resorted to the ugly language that he used in his comments to you.

Yes!! I would love a chapel on board. They had them on the earlier ships. I was told that there is one on board the Dream. Is this true?
My regards to you and yours,

John Says:
Hello Vivienne

I see that you will be traveling alone when you celebrate your birthday on your Carnival Dream. Please would you leave me a note at the Guest Services Desk and that way we can talk and …………. I can send you a little birthday something. Thank you for your kind words of support and I will do all I can to make sure I speak good English during your cruise.
Best wishes and see you soon

That’s all for today.

Normally at this point I say “and there will be more tomorrow”…………..but with your very kind permission……………there won’t be.

You see, I am leaving my girls on Friday and would like to have three days off to spend with them, my Mum and Dad and of course pack and get ready for four months away. I know I am letting a lot of you down by doing this but I owe it to my family to spend the last three days here with them………..rather than in my underpants………..on the lap top thingy.

Now obviously there will be no more days off once I reach your Carnival Dream. I have a one week handover with Todd and starting this coming Monday 24th there will be full daily blogs as usual. I will write a raspberry blog from the plane on Friday which one of the 343 Stephanies will post when I land. Hopefully my flight will be uneventful and not include any exploding underpants………….apart from mine of course.

Next week I will also be unveiling the new look Carnival Capers which will have a new name as well. And then come Monday the 30th I will of course be the CD and will share with you my daily experiences and the comments of our guests. So, please allow me these few days and next week I will answer double sets of questions to get myself caught up with your requests. Thank you all so much on behalf of myself and the girls.

Talking of your Carnival Dream I wanted you to read this note that I was sent by some Dutch friends of myself and Heidi who recently sailed on the Carnival Splendor.

This is what Mr and Mrs B to say.

“So we had lunch with the notary who was on the cruise (young couple with 3 kids) the 18th of Dec on the Oasis of the Sea. They had the experience but will go in the future again with Carnival. There is no feeling with the sea he said, there are so many attractions. Many bars and many were not full! You have to pay a lot extra’s in some restaurants, sushi bars etc. Employees of Carnival much friendlier than on Oasis. He said the sheets on the bed of Carnival much better. Re: the park he said you are not making a cruise to walk in a park. On a cruise you want to have the feeling with the sea and not a park; the food was good, there was in the afternoon a big salad buffet which was very popular. The shows were also good. So all together a big plus for Carnival and I wanted to let you know.”

I posted this not to point out the negative aspects of the Oasis of the Seas….. well….. maybe a little bit……but more importantly to highlight what Carnival offers at extraordinary value for money.

I won’t harp on about the Carnival staff being more friendly and the extras you have to pay on the other ship because…………..that would be unprofessional…………wouldn’t it. But I think you would all agree………….it does make for very interesting reading……….doesn’t it?

I know our chocolate melting cake is massively popular on our ships and it seems that the down under in Australia they have their own version. It’s called the Chocolate Warming Volcano cake and the wonderful people at P&O Cruises Australia have placed the recipe for this on their blog. And as I know many of you out there are chocolate worshippers…… is the link to chocolate heaven.

Warm Chocolate Volcano, Chocolate Sauce, 6 Portions

* 250 grams dark chocolate, chopped
* 100 grams unsalted butter, cubed
* 2 pieces eggs, at room temperature
* 2 pieces egg yolks, at room temperature
* 55 grams caster sugar
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
* Unsweetened chocolate powder, to dust

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Brush 6 x 185 ml (6oz.) ramekins with melted butter. Place on a baking tray.
2. Combine 2/3 of the chocolate and butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir frequently until the chocolate and butter have melted and the mixture is smooth, remove from heat.
3. Beat the whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Add the chocolate mixture and flour and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in until evenly combined.
4. Divide the mixture evenly amongst the ramekins. Stick a small quantity of chocolate into the center. Bake for 12 minutes until puddings have risen almost to the top of the ramekins. There are slightly underdone.
5. To serve, turn the puddings out onto serving plates. Dust with cocoa powder and serve with vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate sauce.

Last week I shared some great photos of the float out of the Queen Elizabeth. They were superb but the video truly shows how extraordinary this ship is and how she already proudly wears the royal standard.

Have a look at

I will bring you more from around the corporation next week but please check out to discover a wonderful world of behind the scenes cruising.

Well, that’s about all for today……..except just one thing………….it’s time to bring you some Magic into your lives.

So, as you can see I am very excited and I am sure you are as happy as an Irishman is when he hears the words “open bar.”

My thanks to our Super Spy PA 007 who is now hunkered down in his or her cubicle making sure that he or she is not discovered as the one who leaked me this information?

Now, the fact that I have broken the news on this a day earlier will no doubt not best please some at Carnival and that strange feeling in the seat of my pants will no doubt be Gerry Cahill’s foot in my arse. However, I know that many, many of you having been wanting to experience the thrill of cruising to Europe and the comfort of doing so and returning each day to the service and fun of a Carnival ship that you all love.

As you know, I spent two seasons sailing in the Grand Med and over the next few months I will be looking back at some of the highlights. Sailing into Venice is incomparable and the splendor of this city on the water should and must be on everyone’s bucket list.

When I visited Dubrovnik, Croatia for the first time I had a huge surprise having had no idea what to expect. Sitting above the tanzanite blue waters of the Adriatic in the south of Croatia, Dubrovnik is arguably the best-preserved walled city in Europe and, ironically, that’s partly because of a war. Just a decade ago, those walls were under siege, pounded by Serbian artillery. Restoration was badly needed, and UNESCO stepped in but their funding came with strings attached: the character of the city was to be strictly preserved; facades would remain un-modernized, and shop signs barely visible. And it’s worked…………….Dubrovnik today is more splendid than ever before as our past passengers who sailed there on the Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom will tell you.

The main draw is the old town, a medieval fortress that was rebuilt in the baroque style after a violent earthquake in the 17th century. Freed of all motorized traffic, its pale limestone buildings, topped with their distinctive terracotta tiles, look so perfect that, from certain angles, the whole city resembles a film set. This was a place that our guests would return to the ship from all bar none saying it was a place they would never forget.

Naples……how do you describe Naples? It can be majestic and sometimes grubby monument to Italian industry with a chaotic sense of fun. Noisy………yep. Beautiful……..well parts are definitely that and of course Naples has one of the loveliest locations in the entire country of Italy. Most of our guests use Naples as a gateway to Capri. If Naples is gritty and real, Capri is a picture perfect magic (appropriate) island. You can catch the funicular up the hillside and remembering to look up to admire the spectacular views. The main square, Piazza Umberto I, is where you will find the Pradaversachearmani clad big spenders and where you can spot the Clooneys, Jolie’s Fox’s and of course George Hamilton at the Vila Verdi restaurant.

Then there is Sorrento, the Amalfi coast and the chance to explore Vesuvius. For some of our previous passengers the highlight was eating a pizza……… Naples. Neapolitans claim it was invented here and vie with Rome for pole pizza position. The Neapolitan version has a soft doughy base, while in Rome it is thin and crispy…………..I wonder who truly has the best.

Talking of Rome you will see that for the Carnival Magic we have switched home ports from Chittiavecchia………….Chivietervecia……….Chaviterveccea……….from the port just outside of Rome to Barcelona, more of which we will talk about in a moment.

This of course allows us to use the port of the place I can’t spell to transport our lucky Carnival Magic guests into the eternal city of Rome for a full day exploring the Coliseum, the Vatican, the Spanish Steps and so very much more. And while Rome and Naples fight for the best pizza in Italy both are the outright leader of the title “We Hate Pedestrians” and if you visit either place and intend crossing the road……… advice………….wear brown pants.

As I mentioned Barcelona is the new home port and the air travel options from the United States, Canada and Europe are excellent. The ride from the airport to the ship should take you about 40 minutes.

I haven’t had time today to talk about Livorno and the chance to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa or explore the stunning countryside under the Tuscan sun. Nor have I time to talk about the one and only Monte Carlo or the wonders of Sicily……oh and some place called Marseilles …………… which is in France!

I can tell you that the Carnival Magic will have all that your Carnival Dream has and some new and exciting features such as ………….bugger……..I have run out of time and will have to tell you about them another day. Mico Cascais, our vice president of shore excursions is as we speak putting together a fantastic program together to allow you to view these ports of call and I will tell you more about that soon.

While we do know her home port as yet we do know that our time in Europe on the Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Splendor provide jaw dropping experiences for all our guests and I want you to experience this immense thrill as well.

If you are a past Carnival guest you now have from January 19 to January 25 to use your past guest number and call to book this unforgettable experience………at a brilliant and exclusive price. Oh…….and if anyone wants to know who the Cruise Director is going to be…….that would me. There is nothing…..short of having a close up view of Megan Fox’s bottom ………that I would rather do. And……………..I hope some of you will be coming with me.

A brand new Carnival ship……….Europe……..and the chance for us to be together ………… now that’s Magic!

Your friends
John, Heidi and Kye

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.