Hard Boiled Egg

February 11, 2010 -

John Heald

I want to start today’s blog by saying that neither this cruise line nor I are perfect. There continue to be areas where we can improve and it goes without saying…….but I will say it anyway……that you can’t please all the people or in this case all the guests…. all the time.

We make mistakes and I always try to admit them here on the blog thingy. For example last night the volume of the band at the deck party was ear splitting yet no bugger on my staff had seemed to realize it was so and thus the two cabins below who complained at the Guest Services Desk had every right to do so. These are the sorts of complaints and comments that we learn from and that we can act on and that are justified.

Most comments are like this, sensible, fact-based negatives made by decent people. Then there are comments and complaints that are none of the above and that when received you scratch your head in wonderment at…………….and I feel I have to say at this point ……………I swear this is a 100% true comment…………you couldn’t make this stuff up.

Guest: Mrs. ————Ref: _________
Cabin: ___ Booking#: _____ Added-Changed: 02/010/10 – 02/010/10

Guest called the GSD to say that she did not like the boiled eggs served at breakfast on the lido restaurant. Mrs. ——– states that they are “pre – boiled” and not as good as eggs she has eaten on other cruise lines. Guest wants to discuss this with the Chef.

Tasked to F and B Manager and CC Chef. Note: Guest returned to the desk 20 minutes later with an egg wrapped in a napkin to show GSA.

OK…..what in the name of all that is holy is a sodding pre-boiled egg? I have no clue and having just spoken to our Head Chef………neither does he. The eggs are boiled early that morning and put on the service line and that’s that. They come out of the bottom of Charlie the Chicken and unless Charlie has a boiling hot anus…….I don’t think it’s going to pop out pre-boiled is it?

Speaking to the Guest Service Associate who took the comment from Mrs. Eggcritic she told me that the guest was really upset and quite mad….literally in my opinion. I mean, is her life that boring, that she will make a journey from Lido Deck 10 aft to deck 3 mid ship to state that an egg is “pre-boiled” and then go all the way to Lido Deck, collect an egg…..wrap it carefully in a napkin….and then walk very carefully back to deck 3 forward ………stand in line at the Guest Services Desk……to show poor Lydia the Guest Services Associate the evidence……….which by the way Lydia said looked like…….an…… ummmm ………..egg.

I am not sure what the Chef is going to say to the guest. I do know that he is a brilliant chap and hosts our Chef’s Table brilliantly. Maybe he will need to take her into the galley and let her watch his team boil the eggs. He might also want to mention to her is why she or anyone else for that matter eats boiled eggs at all. Along with watching Judge Judy and going to Paris on vacation………I don’t know why anyone would ever want to eat one…

Even with a sprinkle of salt, they taste like farts in a shell. I can only imagine that I’ll eat them when I’m 96, toothless and marinating in my own pee. I’ll ask, “How about a nice boiled egg, dear?” I’ll be unable to reply, “Bugger off and get me a pop tart?” so they’ll take my dribbling to mean yes, and my 17-year-old caregiver with a pierced eyebrow will shovel a mashed, boiled egg into my mouth……..and 20 minutes later it’s time to call in the Hazmat team.

We love constructive criticism here at Carnival. It’s what has kept us the world’s most popular cruise line……….but sometimes………well sometimes we prefer them scrambled, poached, benedicted or fried …………………………pre-boiled my arse.

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

Debbie browning Asked:
John please reply

I have just put the phone down to Carnival UK they said I was the first to book the Carnival Magic. I am so looking forward to seeing you. I am now counting down the days.

John Says:
Hello Debbie

What an absolutely fabulous start to today’s Q and A session. Thanks so much for booking the Carnival Magic and I promise you that you will have the very best cruise ever. There will be lots of new features on the ship about which I will be telling you about over the next few months. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about the cruise or the ports etc please let me know.

Thanks again for booking and I will see you next year.
Best wishes

Cheryl in FL Asked:
Please Reply

I am SOOOOO proud that Carnival is the cruise line that we are loyal to! That is so awesome!!!
While I have your attention – lol – I want to know if you can help me with a request! On our last cruise, our dining room seating was HORRIBLE to say the least- we were on the Victory and our seating was tucked away in a corner where there was no activity and we never even once met the maitre D – felt like an outcast (pouting)! lol I think were spoiled after 2 cruises on the Inspiration and being in George’s dining room! Can you help us get better dinner seating? There are 4 of us – my husband, our daughter and her husband. We are late seating and we would love to have the Scarlet DR with Maitre D Ken Byrnes – with a table smack dab on the main floor – where all the action is! ROFL! lol Now, I hope I’m not asking much!

Now to suck up a bit – I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog and I anxiously await every installment to pop into my email! I told my husband that our next cruise will be booked on whatever ship you are on!

Well, again, Bravo Carnival – well done! And hats off to you, John for keeping us informed!
(so did I suck up enough to have you help me with my request? hahahahaha)
Well, no matter what – Have a super day, John! Be Blessed!

John Says:
Hello Cheryl in Florida

The first line certainly got my attention so congratulations! However, with all the praise and adulation you were giving Carnival you forgot to tell me when you were sailing and your cabin number. Send it to me and I shall reward you for your ummm……was going to say groveling…..but I won’t. Thanks for the great posting and hope to hear from you soon.
Best wishes

Ken Z Asked:
Hi John, (Please Reply)

I’ve been a fan of the blog for awhile and get a laugh or a few while reading your stories especially those that begin with “… I’m typing this while in my underpants…”. I wanted to write to ask if you can spread a little of your magic for my parents and I on our next cruise on the Carnival Splendor sailing February 7th, 2010. We’ll be celebrating my 50th birthday and my parent’s 51st wedding anniversary and we want this to be a very special occasion which is why we decided to go for the gusto and book suites. Our goal is to make this a very memorable event one we can share with our family and friends.

Thank you for your funny and witty blog.

John Says:
Hello Ken Z

I just read your posting and I know you won’t read this but hopefully you will know I have read it when I send you your gift.

Hope you had a great cruise
Best wishes

LisaK Asked:
John, (please reply)

This is fabulous news. Any chance they will do any special British Isles cruises? That’s our dream cruise. However, if that’s not planned, we will likely see you in Barcelona.
Enjoy the rest of the week with Heidi and Kye. And, safe travels back to the US.
Lisa and George Kilmartin

John Says:
Hello Lisa and George Kilmartin

I am so glad that you and many others are excited about our return to Europe and now we are back I hope we never leave and that we are given the opportunity to do a British Isles cruise. I am lucky enough to be sailing on Cunard’s wonderful Queen Victoria on July 23rd on such a voyage. Interested?

See you soon and best wishes to you both

Marty Paul Asked:
John (Please reply);

First of all, congratulations on the announcement that the Carnival Magic will stay in Europe and homeport out of Barcelona! Most importantly, as the CD, it will enable you to stay close to your girls!

John, in your blog today announcing this, you mention the Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Splendor more than once, that have sailed the Grand Med. Don’t forget us pioneering Carnival “Dreamers” that were on one of the ship’s first 3 sailings, in the Med. Jeanne and I were on the 3rd (Oct 15, 2009) sailing, in which we missed Barcelona due to 70 mph winds and 40 ft seas! However, Carnival more than made it up to us with an extra over-night port stay in Monaco. We may have to book the Carnival Magic, so we can make up Barcelona!

I agree with you 100% on your assessments of the Grand Med ports. It was amazing that it seemed every port had their own version of pizza and while all a bit different, they were all fantastic in their own unique way. Dubrovnik, Croatia also had wonderful pizza.

We did 3 days/nights post-cruise in Rome. What a life experience (almost life-ending as a pedestrian)! I kept telling Jeanne (my fiancée) to keep her head on a swivel when leaving the sidewalk and trying to cross the streets in Rome. Heck, sometimes even the sidewalks we not safe, as mopeds & scooters routinely jumped onto the sidewalks to gain an advantage! I knew we were in “trouble” when I saw that the gas stations in Rome were built into the 1st floor of a building with the gas pumps on the sidewalks! Space seems to be of a premium in Rome. Another indicator were all the Smart cars, of which, I thought was hilarious when they would park the Smart cars in a tight spot with the front (or rear) bumper perpendicular to the curb, and the car still didn’t stick out into the street!

As you can see, your description of these Grand Med cruises and Rome, brought back some memories. It was a fantastic cruise on a beautiful, brand new ship…and, I’m sure Carnival will “up the ante” with her new sister the Carnival Magic. By the way, does Carnival and Disney have some kind of weird agreement on ship names? You build the Carnival Dream, Mickey Mouse builds the Disney Dream; Mickey built the Disney Magic, now Carnival is building the Carnival Magic. If this trend continues, the 3rd Dream class ship will probably be named the Carnival Wonder…

Sorry, went off on a tangent. Just wanted to drop you a line to congratulate Carnival and yourself on the new ship being positioned in Europe. A smart move by Carnival, as the ship is being built over there in Italy, so she’ll already be right there as soon as she is “born” (launched). And, I’m sure it will be easy for your girls to make the short flight to Barcelona and regularly sail with you on the Carnival Magic.

Happy New Year John & family & to the entire Carnival family!
Marty & Jeanne

John Says:
Hello Marty and Jeanne

Bugger! I am so sorry that during my trip down Carnival’s European memory lane I forgot your Carnival Dream and the fact that she did indeed sail on three wonderful Grand Med voyages. I have so many wonderful memories of Europe and quite honestly …………I can’t wait to get back there.

Finding the right name for a ship is so difficult not just for Carnival but across the industry. This is why there are lines that have similar names and it is easy to suggest that one has copied from the other. But in reality the name has to go with the product and in the case of Magic…….well I don’t think Disney have the exclusive on providing a magical cruise vacation.

Saying that, I hope that the ship after Carnival Magic………the ship I am currently calling the “Carnival Thingy”….is indeed given an individual name. This will be the first ship that our head marketing chap Jim will have a say on and knowing him I think he will choose the right name for what will be the third in the stunning Dream class of ship.

Thanks for the reminder about Europe and maybe we will have the pleasure of sailing there together one day and indeed meet Heidi and Kye as well.
Best wishes to you both

Julie Turner Asked:
Hi John,

My husband and I will be sailing on the DREAM March 27th with our 3 children. We have sailed on Carnival before and love it! The kids are so excited! In addition we have decided to bring along my parents to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday. Our decision to bring my parents was made because they have NEVER been on a cruise! My parents have always been there for us including when our son was born with Spina Bifida. (A condition which affects the nerves in the spine) I couldn’t think of any better gift for my father than to enjoy the DREAM on a weeklong cruise. Could you tell me if there is any type of special birthday celebration onboard?! I want this to be the best vacation ever for my parents! I love them so much and could go on for hours about how much they have done for me in my life! Thanks so much!
Julie- Cleveland, Ohio

John Says:
Hello Julie Turner

I am so disappointed that I won’t get to meet your family when you sail on the 27th. However, you will be in the caring hands of Todd Wittmer who is a brilliant CD. May I suggest you pop on over to carnival.com and our bon voyage page and order a special cake for your father’s birthday. This can then be served at dinner and the waiters will then sing their super version of Happy Birthday. I would also like you to leave a note at the Guest Services Desk to the attention of James, the assistant cruise director. Mention that we have spoken and that I promised a birthday gift made of gold and something with bubbles for your Dad……….he will know what to do.

I hope you all have a fantastic time.
Best wishes

flipflopcruisequeen Asked:

What wonderful news for all of us that Carnival will be returning to Europe, but especially for you so that you can be closer to your girls! Are you going to be there from the first sailing? Just wanting to make sure that you will be there so that we can book the grand med sailing when you will be on board. There will NEVER be another cruise director like you! My kids have heard me sing your praises for years now, and I can’t wait to book us all a trip on the Magic, both so they can meet you, but also so that they can visit the wonderful ports in Europe. My family always knows when I am reading your blog as I am usually laughing out loud at your comments.

Congrats to Louise and Jim on their marriage and knowing that they will have the best ever honeymoon on their Carnival Dream, where hopefully even more dreams will come true.
Thanks again for the great news, and the video blog. Great to hear Heidi in the background.

John Says:
Hello Sheryl

It’s strange being behind with answering the questions because it feels like ages ago that PA 007 broke the news about the Carnival Magic sailing in Europe here on the blog thingy. It is indeed very exciting and I will…..God willing…….be there for the season and I hope that you and many other bloggers will join me. I am so glad that the blog makes you laugh and as always I thank you for your kind support.

Best wishes and hope to see you on the Carnival Magic.

Ed Candelmo Asked:
Please reply

Hi John, I am going on the Dream February 20th with a group of 22 people. We were on the Valor last March with you as CD and had a great time. In the talent show I sang Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and you used in a ship video, as I found out later, by request from my mother-in-law Becky and her FREIND Ken. We look forward to seeing you again and are very ready to Cruise on the Dream. Take care and see you there!!!

John Says:
Hello Ed Candelmo

I remember you very well and please promise me you will sing again. Also, can you leave me a note when you board at the Guest Services Desk please so I can call and say hello.
Best wishes and see you soon

That’s all for today and I will be back tomorrow.

I still get a few e mails from folks who have figured out my address. I just don’t have time to answer them straight away but I do add them to the Q and A sessions of course. So, if you send me a direct e mail please note that for the most part I will answer them via the blog. I hope you understand. Here is one though that I wanted to answer immediately and publicly.

I thought you should see a thread on Cruise Critic that contains a comment from someone who is upset at some of the language you use on your blog. I am sure that there are other Cruise Critic readers who may agree. I personally have no problem with it and understand that it is your British sense of humor. Just thought you should be aware of this.

John Says:
Hello R J on the water

Thank you for sending me this e mail. I just had a quick read of the posting by the wonderfully named “pickelbongo” and I wanted to firstly apologize to him and anyone else on Cruise Critic who may be offended by the odd colourful remark in my blog. Carnival allows me to be me and it is the one condition that I have asked for since starting this back in March 2007.

Thanks again RJ for passing this along to me.
Best wishes

It’s Costa Maya today and while the sun is shining, unfortunately though wind has caused a problem and not because of mass boiled egg eating but because the sea conditions are not safe for kayaking and snorkeling. So, even though its 82 degrees and sunny, most of the water based excursions have been canceled. However, there is lots to do here and the downtown area, beach and shopping is only 15 minutes slow walk from the ship. I don’t remember posting to many photos of this port so next time I am here I will take some.

OK, my morning cup of tea has just kicked in and I need to go point Percy and the Porcelain (sorry pickelbongo) so while I do I will leave you with a look at a few letters that I received for my Morning Show.

That’s a small selection of the hundred plus letters I have received so far this cruise and they contained jokes, a comment that I need new jokes and a plea to recognize someone special. I read every letter out live on air and always take the time to send anyone.

It’s amazing how the Comedy Club has given our guests that extra entertainment option. Tonight for example we had 5 shows, each one of them sold out with 400 guests attending. That means we had 2,000 guests…….that’s half the ship see the comedy shows tonight while hopefully the other 2,000 will see the shows which are repeated tomorrow. Meanwhile the rest of the ship came to see the talent show and my bedtime story.

Let’s see what happened.

First of all meet John Ferdinand and Marjorie Roper

Marjorie sang a fun song called “Life is like a bowl of cherries,” complete with feather boa and boy did she have fun. I asked how long she and John had been married and her answer “We are not married…….we have been together for 21 years”…..I asked her if they were not married what were they………..her reply…..”shacking”……….and she added “We love each other so while spoil it by getting married”…………priceless.

Meet Jordan

Jordan is 5 years old and was with me on stage on the first night and has according to his Mum, become my biggest fan. Jordan was lifted onto stage with me and I sang a song to him to the tune of “If Your Happy and You Know It”……….it goes like this.


Hopefully Jordan will be singing right now and annoying the heck out of his Mum. It’s strange but since Kye was born I seem to be……I am not sure how to describe this….I seem to ……oh I am just a big softie…………let’s leave it there shall we.

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of Mackenzie as the photographer was late. He and his Nan are huge blog fans and Mackenzie opened the talent show by singing “I Have Friends in Low Places” and did a wonderful job. The highlight though was his wave….. which is now famous here on the ship……it’s called the Mackenzie Wave and everyone is doing it.
He currently works in a Starbucks but it his dream to be part of the entertainment staff on board and goodness knows he has the smile and enough happiness inside of him to make his dream come true. And I will be helping him as much as I can.

And then there is the bedtime story of which I promise to video one day soon. I think it maybe; just maybe time to retire this skit. Not because of anything anyone has said but …………well…………….it just maybe time.

Anyway, here is a photo slide show thingy of the show and at the very end you will see the entire cast doing the Mackenzie wave.

As I said, I think it may be time to write something else and retire the bedtime story …………….. I still love doing it and there is no doubt it is still very popular. But not only have many of you seen it before, there is another reason as well. And for that I have to quote Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon movies……..because like his character Sergeant Roger Murtaugh says……..”I’m too old for this sh*t “.

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.