While I love the names of our Carnival ships there is no doubt that some of the best names in the industry belong to Costa Cruises. They have the Fortuna, the Luminosa, and the Romantica.

Everything about Costa oozes Italian class and Italian style, even the people who work in the office. While Carnival executives are happy to wear a pair of chinos and a polo shirt it is not unusual to see Costa executives dress fabulously. When I was invited to the naming ceremony of the Costa Luminosa and Cost Pacifica I saw someone very high Costa forty something man wearing a bottle green, jacket with a black sweater, light shirt, yellow jeans, black shoes and – as a finishing touch – an ivory silk scarf. It sounds stomach churning……. but, as an ensemble, worked perfectly because he was Italian. If I had been dressed like that I would have looked like Elton John and Richard Simmons’ love child.

But Italians …well……….they are a breed apart and I make no apology for repeating a statement that to be born an Italian man is to win the lottery of life. OK, they may want to live with their “mamas” forever but they have that certain something that us Brits just don’t have.

Italian style and bravado is as you will see alive and well aboard Costa Cruises fabulously named new vessel…………the Costa Deliziosa. ………….hold on……….let’s say that again but this time in your best Italian accent while moving both hands up and down and say it slowly…….ready……..Costa De……… .lizi……..osa. There………that’s magnifico.

It is often forgotten that Carnival’s interior designer Joe Farcus also does wonderful work for Costa Cruise Lines and as you will see now, his contemporary Italian designs have made the Costa Deliziosa a stunningly beautiful ship.

Let’s have a look at one of the 343 Stephanie’s slide shows of the new Costa Flagship ….. and I think you will agree with me………….she is simply delicious and I can see why Costa is for many……….their favourite cruise line.

As I said…………..deliciously stunning. My thanks to Gianni for sending me those photos. Gianni Srtoopiard is the Assistant Cruise Director and is extremely handsome and all the girls want him……………the bastard.

Anyway, thanks Gianni for the photos and congratulations to Costa Cruises on their fabulous new ship. More information on where she is sailing to and from can be found on www.costacruise.com …….including voyages to India, the Maldives and Dubai. ……..wow ………Dubai…………..where if you are caught stealing they cut of your hand………and where playing hide the sausage with someone else’s wife can be very painful indeed!

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

Terri Asked:
John (please reply):

You said to send you our more detailed review of our cruise, last month, on the Carnival Spirit, so here it is:

We booked the Dec. 5th sailing of the Carnival Spirit to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We had sailed this exact same itinerary in 2005 and enjoyed it very much. Living in southern California, San Diego is a very convenient departure port and we like that it is an 8-day cruise – it’s always nice to have one more day on a cruise! Because this was a special celebration, we decided to splurge and booked one of the corner aft suites with the wrap-around balcony. We have been spoiled, now!

We decided to stay at a hotel in Oceanside, California on Friday evening. It was not as long a drive for us, since we didn’t leave until after work that day, and yet was close enough that the drive to the San Diego port the next day was a quick one. We pulled into the port around noon and unloaded our luggage and hubby stayed there to arrange a porter while I parked the car. There is a long-term parking lot directly across the street from the port; very convenient. There were plenty of spaces available; I parked and walked across the street and joined my husband. Going through security was normal. Once past security we found the check-in room for Carnival. Since we are Platinum, we went into the VIP check-in line (I believe that we’d have been in that line even if we weren’t Platinum because we were booked in a suite), which was super short. I think it might have taken 5 minutes total, even with their computers down! We were on the ship as fast as we could walk!

We like the Carnival Spirit. This was our third cruise on her (in 2008 we made the Vancouver/Hawaiian Islands cruise). The staterooms were not open, yet, so we made our way up to the Lido Deck for a bite to eat and then explored the ship again in order to re-familiarize ourselves with the layout. After that, we checked to see if the hallway that led to our stateroom was open yet, and it was. Woot! We would finally get to see our suite! We loved it. It had a separate living room and bedroom, each with its own TV. Hint for those planning to book one of these suites: if you have any VHS tapes you especially enjoy, the TV’s have built-in tape players…but there is no library of tapes available on the ship (we asked). There was also a separate vanity area, and a large bathroom, with double sinks, and a Jacuzzi bathtub with shower doors. The bathroom may have been the biggest luxury – it was so wonderful not to have the little corner shower with the shower curtain that sticks to you! There was also a walk-in closet. In fact, there was so much storage space there were actually a few drawers and shelves that we never even used and, as usual, we over-packed! We really enjoyed our balcony, which was an extended width – room for two chaise lounge chairs, as well as two chairs and a small table. There were also floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the living room and bedroom, looking out toward the aft and side of the ship.

We initially had booked late, assigned dining, and we loved our tablemates immediately! But we found that by the time we were finished with dinner, we had missed the first half hour of karaoke, which is one of our favorite evening activities on ship. We decided to try Carnival’s “Your Choice Dining” (or whatever it is called). We’ve always enjoyed assigned dining, and were unsure if we would like this, but it worked our perfectly for us. We were generally seated in the same area, so we often had the same wait team, and met many wonderful tablemates! We will probably choose this dining option again. The food was good. I thought it was a little bit better than on the same ship the year before.

We did not get off the ship in Acapulco. Having sailed this itinerary before, we didn’t care to disembark. I think this is the first time we have stayed on the ship while in port, and it was very nice! It is very quiet, and you feel as though you have the ship to yourselves! We enjoy both Zihuatanejo and Manzanillo. On this trip, we took a taxi to Ixtapa from Zihuatanejo. We went to one of the large hotels there, and were welcome to use their beach chairs and umbrella. There was a lifeguard station right there, but we did not go into the surf, as the black flag warning signs were out. There were a number of parasail vendors out (I don’t know what else to call them). For $20, you could get a short flight. I used to say that I wanted to do this, but over the years had developed something of a fear of heights. But…I have reached an age where I feel that I should occasionally go beyond my comfort zone and just “go for it” before I die! Bucket list, and all that! And, it was only $20, so…..I did it. I’m very glad I did it, but I will never do it again! We had lunch at the hotel restaurant….not particularly good, overall, although their salsa was good! In Manzanillo, we shared a taxi with another couple from the ship and went to the long stretch of beach north of the port. This beach also had lifeguards, but the flags showed that it was safe, so we enjoyed swimming in the surf. The water is as warm as the Caribbean, but not as blue!

Our gifts as Platinum guests on this cruise were very nice photo frames with a subtle Carnival logo. These are our favorite items we have received, so far. They are quite nice. Since we had photographs taken on the ship on our anniversary (which happened to be on the first “elegant night”), these picture frames now hold two of the photos we purchased – a perfect memory of our special celebration cruise.

We thought that the service and crew were something of a “mixed bag” this trip. We really enjoyed the karaoke host, Vinz Brown. We thought he was as funny as the comic that appeared at the Pharaoh’s Lounge – Carnival has a gem in Vinz! We loved the assistant maitre ‘d, Ekaterina, and the wait staff we encountered in the dining room. Our Room Steward was excellent. How do they always seem to be there when you want them, but never obtrusive or in the way? We thought that the cruise director, Stu was good when he was not dealing with passengers one-on-one. However, every time we encountered him or witnessed him in a one-on-one capacity he gave the distinct impression that he was too busy to bother with the passengers, at best, and, in fact, we felt he was inappropriately harsh during debarkation. Granted, we realize that debarkation day is stressful and that he has to deal with passengers acting inappropriately, but we both felt that he could have acted in a more professional manner than we witnessed. He was at his best either on stage or making announcements over the PA system – and at that he was absolutely marvelous. We always knew it was going to be “a cracker of a day!”

Debarkation is always somewhat chaotic. As Platinum cruisers, we met in the Club Cool lounge and were to be escorted to the debarkation point. It didn’t quite work as planned, but, still, it did not take an inordinate amount of time to disembark. Once we gathered our luggage, I left to get the car and my husband arranged a porter to assist him getting the luggage to the pick-up point. I paid the parking fee (note: they did not take American Express, so have either cash or MasterCard or Visa with you), and zipped around the block and into the port area. We loaded the luggage and we were headed home. All in all, it was a very nice cruise, and we remain fans of the Carnival experience!

Well, that’s it, John! It was a very restful, relaxing and romantic anniversary cruise.

John Says:
Hello Terri

What a great way to start today’s Q & A session with this superb review of your Carnival Spirit vacation. I was interested to read your comments and I know the one about having VCR’s in some of the suites yet having no video rentals has come up before. To be honest, I am not sure why we still have them in there and I will be bringing this up later today with my friends in our Miami HQ. It sounds like we also need to polish up our debarkation procedures and I will make sure the Hotel Director onboard gets to read about this.

I don’t know Vinz Brown but he sounds quite the entertainer and I know he will be thrilled when he reads this. So, thanks for the review which I hope others will take the time to write after their cruise as they are so valuable to us.

It sounds like you had a great time and I am so happy to hear that.
Best wishes to you and the family
John

Tom Asked:
PLEASE REPLY

Hey John, so glad that Heidi and Kye will be joining you on the ship. I was wondering how come the other cruise directors do 6 month contracts and you only do a couple of months?
Is the cruise director’s cabin just a cabin or does it consist of a living room and bedroom? Just being newsy.

I hear you all the time telling people to write back a short time before their cruise when they are requesting something. Wouldn’t it be easier if you or one of the 343 Stephanies put their request in the computer calendar? It would seem there would be less email to read/handle if you did this.

Hope to sail with you soon.
Tom

John Says:
Hello Tom

I am getting very excited about my girls coming to visit. You asked about my contract and I guess I am very lucky to be able to write my own and that’s thanks to my friend Chris Prideaux in the Miami office who makes the schedules. I have been at sea for 22 years this August and I guess if I didn’t have the girls I could still do a 6 month contract. But honestly, I miss them too much plus I have the added responsibility of the blog thingy and my brand ambassador role and writing the blog thingy that 4 months is about the right time before I need a break.

As for the cabin……well……I am not being a moaning old sod…… well…… maybe a little bit but here on your Carnival Dream it’s smaller than all the other Destiny and Conquest class ships. That’s because of the Lanai and the outside deck space on deck 5. But I still have a bedroom and an office space with a couch and desk so I mustn’t complain ……too much. Now, if I had the Penthouse on the Fantasy class as my cabin I would do an 8 month contract.

I know the requests are coming in thick and fast but even with the help of the 343 Stephanies I have to manage them myself as they also have other responsibilities.

Thanks for the great questions and I hope you continue to read and enjoy the blog thingy.
Best wishes
John

Shawn Asked:
John,

Thank you for all that you do! Really enjoy the blog thingy. Me, my wife, and 7 year old son will all be PLATIMUN cruisers on the Triumph on February 13th! We will be celebrating my son’s 8th birthday as well.

I’ve been reading the blog thingy for a while now and this is my first request and only request. We would like to have a particular server in the dining room. The only reason I ask you is that I did ask the Maitre’d on our last cruise and our request was not granted, in fact, we were never even contacted (not complaining, just explaining). I am hoping that you will be able to pull of few strings. We are in cabin 7382 and would love to have a small booth type table with Team Head Waiter Tommy Malang during early seating. We had him on our Thanksgiving cruise and he and his assistant (Rudi) were the best we have ever had. I would appreciate your help if you can.

Hopefully, we will have the honour (yes spelled correctly) of sailing with you one day soon!
Shawn
New Orleans

John Says:
Hello Shawn

Thanks for the kind words and I am sure you are looking forward to your cruise on the Carnival Triumph. I will certainly ask the Maitre D if he can help you with your request to have your favorite waiter. I hope he is able to accommodate you.

Please wish your son a very happy birthday and I will send him a little something.
Best wishes
John

David & Lucy Asked:
Please Reply

I just finished a my second cruise on the Carnival Dream but this time I was in a Spa Suite So I thought I would submit a review.

The Dream is still as beautiful as it was when we cruised in Europe but I must admit the Spa Suite made a great cruise fantastic.

The proximity of the room to the spa made working out very convenient, and the addition of the bathtub was wonderful, though I’m not sure if all the spa suites have them. Had a maintenance problem; the bath tub plug was not working. Of course maintenance was right on it and is working a fix.

The spa facilities were fantastic. The equipment was all “state of the art” and the different saunas were a perfect addition to a relaxing cruise. The Thalassotherapy pool was awesome!
I would highly recommend a spa suite even if you are not inclined to use the gymnasium equipment; the Thalassotherapy pool and saunas make it well worth it.

The crew was as professional and accommodating as they always are. Capt Queirolo is a true professional and is respected and admired by his staff and approachable by all the passengers. As an ambassador for Carnival Cruise lines Capt Queirolo motivates first time and returning cruisers to be repeat cruisers. Hopefully he will lead the crew on the Carnival Magic in 2011.

Ok, now the constructive criticism; hopefully the guys with beards will read this part.
In your spa suite you find a welcome letter, you take this letter to the spa desk and they will issue you your band to show you are authorized access to the private areas since you are in a spa suite.

To use the Thalassotherapy pool and the saunas (except the dry sauna), you need a key card to enter those areas. Every time you want to use the private areas you must line up with other customers to exchange your room key for the private area key card. I have wasted so much time just trying to exchange my room card for the private area card or return a card that it took a lot of the pleasure from the use of the private areas. Surely those in spa suites could have their room keys programmed to allow access to the private areas without having to wait in lines!

My wife had a minor problem with a spin class she signed up for. She signed up as soon as we boarded the ship; she was the first to sign up on the first of two classes. When she showed up for the class someone has crossed her name out. The instructor explained the sign-up sheets were not monitored and offered to remove the last person who had signed up. But she (my wife) felt that would be punishing someone else that didn’t deserve to be. She was offered the second spin class of the cruise but she wanted to take both classes so declined the offer.

We explained the issue to the spa supervisor, not to resolve what had happened but to try and ensure it would not happen to anyone else. I won’t give you her name as that is not necessary. Sadly, she was not very receptive. The problem itself was relatively minor but the lack of even feigned concern; rudeness and arrogance towards us makes it clear she needs remedial or more likely initial management and customer relations training. She tried the typical “what can I throw at you to make you go away” tactic, but when we shocked her and told her we did not want anything, only for her to tell us how she was going to prevent this from happening in the future it really threw her for a loop. At that point her rudeness really showed and we knew this was not going anywhere. A small problem has now become a big problem.

We were informed from guest services that that the spa supervisor does not have a supervisor on-board and is not accountable to anyone on the ship. I find this hard to believe but we confirmed it with two different guest services members, so it ended there. It takes more than one rude person to spoil a cruise!

The ship was very full so the food lines were long, totally understandable. Since Carnival has changed the bacon rules (not allowing self service) it really holds up the lines. The bacon is usually located after the syrups etc but not everyone wants syrup but most people want bacon. The line is held up waiting to get bacon behind the syrup. Could the bacon be moved to a location before the syrup’s? Just a thought.

Deck 5 on the Dream is a wonderful modification from the other ships however, be aware of the wind that can whip up as doors are opened, your cards and napkins will go everywhere.
These are all minor problems and I can’t wait until my next cruise is March!

John Says:
Hello David and Lucy

First of all many thanks for taking the time to write and many thanks also for your obvious loyalty to Carnival. I am glad that you like your Carnival Dream so much that you booked another cruise here. I love the spa suites yet it seems we need to re think the access to the Spa because I totally agree with you. If you book a Spa Suite then you shouldn’t have to line up with those purchasing day passes. As for the situation with the spa staff, well, I can’t abide rudeness and I know those who run our brilliant spa program can’t either and therefore I have written to those in charge.

The bacon thing is a bit of a dilemma as people were taking many more pieces than they could eat thus wasting so much. Yet, you are right it does hold up the process. I have been monitoring the lines carefully here and the busy time between 9 am and 10 am at breakfast there are some lines but they move very quickly and guests seem to understand. I have been promoting the brunch and that has really helped and the lines on lunch look as normal as they do on a Conquest class ship…….oh……except the Mongolian wok which due to the nature of the process does take longer to prepare and serve.

The review had some great points on which we can act and as I have said many times before here on the blog thingy, constructive criticism is worth its weight in Prime Rib.

My best wishes to you and the family
John

Cheri Bolchoz Asked:
Dear John (Please Reply)

Just back from Carnival Destiny We of course had a fantastic time, despite the weather. It was the worst weather we have ever had on all 17 cruises.

The Carnival Destiny being an older ship was still beautiful. You however could see some of the wear & tear in different areas.

The Your time dining is very successful. This was our 2nd time doing the Your time dining. It was great. Was a little disappointed that they did not serve Escargot or beef wellington any night on this cruise.

All of the shows were great. On little point, is that there were a couple shows (one production number & one comedy act that had a bit more Revealing parts & language that was not be appropriate for young children.) And it was a family show not the adult show. Maybe they need to post in the capers for all shows, that some parts of the show might not be appropriate for the young. They did post it in the capers for the last show (even though they were not able to do the show (due to the weather & high winds) Understandable for the safety of the dancers. They did put a great act together quickly as a substitution.
The crew was fantastic. Every crew member we ran into called us by our first names. The even interviewed us on the Captains Celebration party. It is on the Voyage tape, also showing all of Michael’s tattoos. You will have to see if you can get a copy for you, if not I will try to make a copy of ours & give it to you in May.

Michael Thanks you again for the name tag. Now what about the Christmas ornaments????
Chat with you later & See you in May 18th
Cheri

John Says:
Hello Cheri

Welcome back and I am glad you had a great time on the Carnival Destiny. She is of course going into dry dock for some need technical repairs which will also enable the crew to give her another bow to stern cleaning. Some of our shows do contain what we call “showgirl style costumes” as seen on Broadway and in Vegas. The Cruise Directors are supposed to mention this in their pre-show announcements and I will make sure that they are all doing so…….although I have to say…………that these days you see far more flesh on Lido deck……..much of which is far less pretty than what you see on stage.

It’s so strange that you should mention your husband’s tattoo today as you will see late on in the blog. I am so glad you both had such a wonderful time and I hope we cruise together again soon.
Best wishes to you both
John

Cheryl Asked:
(Please Reply)

Hi John, I wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful fruit basket and gold ship trophy and wine, on our December 17 cruise on Sensation. Mike was just so happy he was beaming from ear to ear, Look Honey what John sent me!! We were on your second bloggers cruise and were with you with Wii Jimmy a few years back. I can’t say how much I look forward to reading your blog daily. I know, you say you want reviews of our cruise. We have been on many Fantasy class ships and love the smallness (if that is correct. I think all ships are HUGE. Ok let’s say We have been on many of your smaller cruise ships) We wanted to see the Christmas decorations so just went on a three day cruise to Nassau, never got off the ship been to Nassau many times. I was surprised on how crowded the ship seemed? I have really never had to wait in long lines before, but no matter when we went it was a 20 minute line. No one seemed to get off the ship so it was always crowded. Which is fine, we met lots of nice people. I do have a few questions, Why is it, that only Lemonade and ice tea and water, are the only cold beverages throughout the day? The only time there was orange or apple juice was at breakfast. I asked a few people and it was like they didn’t know what I meant? ” sorry this is what we have; Orange juice and apple juice is at breakfast. I know that, for our first cruise we had to buy a soda card because we just don’t like lemonade or ice tea. Is it because it is a smaller ship? Will there be more juice choices in March when we cruise with you? (Our ninth) Also, Mike loves the roast beef sandwiches on the deli, and that wasn’t on the card to order? Again, hoping that it will be on the dream? We loved the shows and Paul the CD, Really great people, great food, and company. The Christmas decorations were pretty, but yes I agree thought there would be a huge Christmas tree in the atrium. We loved the Christmas show that they put on, I was in tears when Paul said that we were the crew’s family at Christmas, and a lot of the members came in with candles singing Silent night. It was priceless. I cannot wait to see you in March, we finally got my sister and brother in law to join us on their first cruise, and so happy that their first cruise will be with you. Can’t wait to hear the bed time story, will you be doing the Dolly Parton (we didn’t see that one?) Well John I hope you have a Wonderful New Year with your beautiful wife and Adorable Daughter Kye. What size is she in I would love to bring her something in March. Thanks again John for all that you do…. Oh ya will you go down the slide with me??? In Your socks!!??!! PLEASE!!

John Says:
Hello Cheryl

Great review and it sounds like you had a brilliant three days. Do you know, I am not sure about orange and apple juice but I am pretty certain we only serve it at breakfast across the fleet but I will check. I can’t check right now because it’s 6:10 am and the only people up are me and my underpants but I will find out for you and let you know. I guess Nassau is a port that many have been to although the fact that not too many got off the ship maybe testament to the fun, food and service we were providing onboard. I am looking forward to seeing you in March and hope that we have great weather and you get a chance to see Kye and Heidi.

Late news on the juice: Yes, it is only served at breakfast and at lunch we switch to ice tea and lemonade. However, apple and orange juice can be ordered free of charge 24 hours a day through room service.

Thanks again for the great review.
best wishes
John

bobby Asked:
john please reply:

I know the past guest pins are available for sale in the gift shop but could you tell me how much they are?

Thanks and hope all is well with the family,
Bobbyfk

John Says:
Hello Bobby

Yes indeed, the pins are available and are sold for $4.95.

They are larger than the ones we give the Platinum guests and a slightly different design and are proving very popular indeed.

Please let me know if you need anything else
Best wishes
John

Melissa Z Asked:
Please Reply

I am new to your blog but I have found it very interesting and very helpful in our planning. BUT I need some help…I will be taking a cruise on Dream in October 2010 with my family and two other families. We all have children the same age but we are confused about the Camp Carnival. Our oldest children will be 10 when we are cruising…the next set will all be 8 but the third set will be 6–one turning 6 on the second day of the cruise and the other one will be 6 a week after we return. We would like to keep the third set of children together in camp carnival but will the ages be a problem??

Secondly, what are our options for dining? We each have families of 5–two adults and 3 kids.
And lastly–I promise…my daughter and husband share a birthday which will take place during our cruise…Is there anyway beside a traditional cake that you have seen people make this day special. She is nervous that “it won’t be a fun 6th birthday” away from her extended family.
THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

John Says:
Hello Melissa

It is always a huge pleasure to welcome new comers to the blog thingy and I am glad you asked for help because as well as looking sexy …………that’s what I am here for.

Seriously though let’s chat about your kids. The six-year-old will be in a different group to the eight- and 10-year-old but………they will both be in the same place, at Camp Carnival on deck 12 midship. The eight- and 10-year-old will be involved in slightly more grown up activities than the 6-year-old which I am sure they will appreciate but will always be in the sight lines of each other so all will be well.

If you remind me one month before you sail I will be happy to send a little birthday surprise to your daughter.

I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy until then.
Best wishes
John

ann-marie Asked:
john Please Reply

It was so nice to talk with you on Dec.3 on my Carnival Dream, my husband and I had a great time, 9 days go by so fast so on Feb.8, 2010 we will be on the Carnival Destiny for a Back to Back, 10 days of Joy. Could you please help me get a table for 2(only) for dinner every night? Thank You for all you do. Happy New Year to you and your family. Ann-Marie

John Says:
Hello Ann-Marie

I am so glad that you enjoyed our little get together on BC3 and it did indeed go far too quickly. I will send this straight off to the Maitre D on the Carnival Destiny and ask for his help with your table request.
Have a great time and best wishes to you both.
John

Mocha Joe Asked:

I agree with Diane’s comments. I love Carnival – our upcoming Dream cruise will be our 8th with Carnival – but SOME of the things you do are a little stale … she pointed out the hairy chest contest and she’s right. Mix it up a bit. Bedtime story, though it’s funny, I cannot sit through it again. The first timer cruisers think it’s all spontaneous, but then we see it again…and again…and we realize it’s all rehearsed. You need some new material, John

John Says:
Hello Joe

Respectfully I have to disagree about the hairy chest contest as it is still massively popular with both past guests and new cruisers alike. While the premise of the activity is the same the characters it involves each week are vastly different. Also, the entertainment staff on each ship will run the activity differently so it’s always a fun spectacle. As for the bedtime story…….well…….maybe you are right there but unfortunately when I don’t do it I get many guests saying how disappointed that I didn’t even though they have seen it many times before. What does everyone else think?

The one thing I do know is that I am getting too old to have Mary do what she does. I hope I can still make you laugh as I have lots of new things planned and of course every time you get a guest on stage……..you never know what’s going to happen.
Best wishes
John

PeggyTC Asked:
PLEASE REPLY~~

Ok so I am not overly fond of people asking for frivolous little favors but I wanted to know what you thought of our problem. We will be sailing on the Dream for our Super bowl Cruise on the Feb 6th sailing. We are SOOOOOO excited. All 1200 hundred of us. We were informed the other night at our Bon voyage party that the first formal night is on Super bowl Sunday. They told us not to complain that there is nothing anyone can do that it cannot be changed. That’s fine…pretty much every husband won’t be there and some of the wives but I think most understand. While reading over things I had come across the fact that it looks like they do Lobster night on the 1st Formal Night. That is going to be such an issue for so many people on this cruise. The reason for the cruise is the Super bowl however Lobster night is something that MOST look forward to!! Will Carnival consider changing Lobster night to the 2nd formal night instead of the 1st to accommodate that fact that so many will miss it? I hope to hear back from you soon since we leave in 20 some days!!!!!!! Can’t wait to see your Bedtime Story show (hope you are still doing it) Thank you.

John Says:
Hello PeggyTC

I am dying for a pee so I hope you will excuse me if I answer this one quickly and tell you that I have changed the elegant night to the following night after sailing from Cozumel.
See you soon and I hope the Dolphins win.
Best wishes
John

Got to pee……….back in a minute.

OK, that’s better. That’s also the end of today’s Q&A and there will be more tomorrow.
I was just talking about Cherie’s husband and his brilliant Fun Ship Freddy tattoo. Well, yesterday I was stopped by a guest called Billy Ray Crane who is from West Virginia. Billy is on his 10th Carnival Cruise and before coming onboard his Carnival Dream he got this tattoo done to celebrate his Platinum status.

Now that’s true dedication to Carnival, congratulations Billy Ray.

Ok, I want to discuss a couple of guest comments with you, starting with this one:

Guest: Mr. ——-Ref: 846005669A
Cabin: ____Booking#: _____Added-Changed: 02/01/10 – 02/01/10

C – 2399 – SERVICE SO SLOW
Gst reported that the service in the Scarlett Restaurant was so slow. Gst stated that last night he had to wait 25 minutes between his appetizer and his main course. Mr ______ said that he expected to be in and out of the dining room within 1 hour and 15 minutes . Guest said that the service on NCL was quicker and he was not impressed with his first Carnival cruise.

Tasked to Maitre D for reply and response.

Now, before I start with this one I should point out that I am not posting this because I disagree with the guest but because I was surprised by his expectations of a full dinner service in 1 hour and 15 minutes so much so that I called him. I know that my job does not involve food management but I was …well…….intrigued. I called the guest and let me start by telling you that he thought the food was better here on Carnival than on NCL but I will admit he said that their late night buffets were excellent. What he expects though is quick service. At NCL the Freestyle thingy means that he is in and out within an hour which personally……..I found extraordinary. I don’t know how the Freestyle thingy works but serving a guest a 4 course meal in an hour would seem difficult……… wouldn’t it?

Personally I wouldn’t want my dinner served in an hour. I like to have a rest period between each course. I know this is more of a European way of eating but isn’t an hour too short? Too short to savor the food and to enjoy good conversation with your family and tablemates? The guest is also at first sitting which because of the older clientele this cruise is far more popular than the late sitting or anytime dining. I asked the Maitre D what the average time from the guests being seated to the time their desert is served is finished. He told me for main sitting dinner it was 1 hour and 30 minutes which for an appetizer, salad, main course and desert as well as the offer of coffee and after dinner drinks seems pretty good to me.

Anyway, I apologized and I know the Maitre D is going to have a Head Waiter assist the Team Waiter to see if we can get Mr. Eat Quick out of the dining room within the hour. We will be serving his desert with a side order of Zantac.

So…………I was wondering……what are your thoughts on this. Me and the people with beards at the top of the Carnival tree would really like to know.

I was talking to my great friend Doctor Dave who along with his gorgeous and brilliant wife are the ship’s physicians here on their Carnival Dream. They are not only wonderful and talented doctors but also have that old fashioned British bedside manner that always puts their patients at ease and……like all ship’s medical staff …….they are unsung heroes.

Anyway, let me tell you about today. They had been looking after a man for some time in the ship’s medical center and he left having been treated and as always well looked after.

Well, he then saw the minimal charge for medical consultation on his Sail & Sign bill and so he walked into the infirmary…….and threw an ice pack at Mrs. Doctor ……. yep …..he not only threw this bag of ice at a lady…….he threw it at the lady who had been treating him. Yet, Mrs. Doctor being Mrs. Doctor she simply calmed the man down ….she didn’t get angry and impale his thingy to a gurney with a scalpel…….she remained professional and calm.

It’s a shame in some ways because I personally think that any guest who assaults a crew member should be disembarked in the next port of call and banned from cruising with us again. I must stress that this is my opinion…….and I am certainly not speaking for Carnival Cruise Lines here although they are for the most part truly supportive in this area. Maybe we should hire “House” (Hugh Laurie) and have a ship’s a doctor curing people but being a total bastard about it.

Well, today we are in St. Martin and I got my first look at the Monster of the Seas which is docked next to us. I was going to post a photo of the two ships together which I must say does look impressive. However, the chances of RCI big chief Richard Thingystein’s posting a photo of a Carnival ship on his blog are bugger all………why should I put one of theirs?

But what I will say is that while I have heard continuous comments that you can’t see the sea and it feels as nothing like being on a ship and that yes…..having 6,000 people onboard feels exactly like it sounds………there is no doubt that she is massive and looks very impressive…….in a big, shout, look at me kind of way. She sort of reminds me of that man you see in the gym……..you know…….the one who is always looking at himself in the mirror and wears a shirt and shorts three sizes too small so his biceps and meat and two vegetables stick out…….. for all to see.

Still, as no doubt the women would look at the self admiring hunk in the tight shorts in the gym and think “wow” despite him having the brain capacity of an amoeba…….in much the same way……I can’t help look at The Monster of the Seas and give my own “wow” ………she truly is massive!

There is no point me getting into conversation about which ship is better because I know that the RCIheads on the cruise boards will take up arms and try and shove a climbing wall up my arse ………….but………….I do though want to share my thoughts.

I wonder that when people decide to book a cruise on the Monster of the Seas do they do this based on what they see on the commercials? ………..hold on……I am not sure I am explaining myself properly here. Let me try again. So you book your cruise because the ship has a climbing wall and ad an ice rink and a water thingy and 209 different restaurants and a park and, and, and. But I wonder how many people who do book a cruise based on this actually get to appreciate these clever touches……..just a thought.

OK, nearly time to go. I have lots to do today and of course I have my first bedtime story to perform which made the timing of Mocah Joe’s comment that I need new material just bloody perfect.

Still, bigger things to worry about than that. Like……I hope there is going to be a guest cabin open for Heidi and Kye when they sail. There is no way her crib and toys and stuff will fit in my cabin and of course it’s also my office so how will she sleep with the phone ringing all day and the general comings and goings of a CD and 80 staff. I am seriously considering buying a cabin for the three weeks. I know I could get a good discount but with three back to back cruises it will be expensive…..bugger….didn’t think that one through did I?

I could wait and hope that a cabin will be free that someone will wake up and discover they have a bad case of hemorrhoids and cancel their cruise. I might be lucky one week out of three but never three weeks in a row will there be a cabin that’s empty. So, that’s me tomorrow buying a cabin for three weeks……..at least I will send myself a fruit basket.

Naturally I miss Kye and worry that she thinks I have abandoned her but the pressure of Kye and Heidi sailing is getting to me. I have to spend hundreds of dollars on a cabin for them and today Heidi sent me a list. Because of Abdul the bastard and his exploding underpants there are massive restrictions on what Heidi can bring on the plane both in weight and substance. And so on Saturday that will be me …….off to Wal bloody Mart to get this lot:

– DIAPERS – 4 packs
Pampers baby dry no 3
(Kye weighs 8 kg’s)

– BABY WIPES –
Pampers

– BABY LOTION – 1 bottle
Johnson’s baby lotion

Breast Feeding Pads
1 box of 60 – Lansinoh

– BATH BUBBLES for KYE
Johnson’s bedtime bath (1 PURPLE bottle)

– SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER
L’oreal Vive pro (RED bottles)

– BABY FOOD –
Gerber 2nd foods
(2 in pack – 6 packs)
– Carrots
– Sweet potato

* Gerber 2nd foods
(2 in pack -5 packs)
– Banana yogurt dessert
– Apple, strawberry banana

* Baby mum mum rusks – 20

– Maybe they have a Little Tikes toy you like

– WASHING UP LIQUID –
Anything is fine.

I mean…..4 packs of Diapers…..is Heidi going to be feeding her Indian food every night? ………not even I need that many. And 60 nipple pads………..60 …….is she feeding 5,000 …….has she grown udders…..60 sodding nipple pads!

As much as I am excited about them coming I am beginning to stress and when I get stressed ……I sweat. And right now I am sweating like a stray dog outside a Korean restaurant.

Goodnight
Your friend
John

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.

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