I Need A Hero

February 17, 2010 -

John Heald

There is not much worse than a snob…….well actually there is……….it’s a British snob. In the UK most people who are not regular cruisers are unaware of the Carnival brand. Why would they be? We have P&O who are Britain’s favourite cruise line, Ocean Village whose tag line is “cruising for people who don’t do cruises” and of course the one and only Cunard who along with Princess, Holland America, and one or two other lines …….. the British have lots to choose from.

Our UK marketing department does a terrific job in getting the word out to my fellow countrymen that Carnival is a brilliant product and one that Mr. and Mrs. Smith from London would enjoy. And it’s been my experience that when the Brits do cruise Carnival they tell me how much they love the fun and affordability we provide. Indeed, the number of British guests we are carrying seems to me to be increasing…..we have 80 plus on this week here on your Carnival Dream. I love having the Brits on board …… well …… most of them.

Today I was sent on an errand to Lido deck to get some breadsticks for Kye from the deli. While I was there I was stopped by a couple in their 50s who asked if they could speak to me. I knew they were British straight away as their accent which like the Royal family sounded like someone had shoved a plum down their throats plus they had said…….. “pardon me,” which sort of gave the game away. Now, I like to consider myself a pretty good judge of character and something told me that this conversation was not going to be one which would leave me singing “Oh what a beautiful morning” once it was over.

I was wrong……well………….sort of.

You see, I met a British snob last year on the Carnival Splendor. I will never forget the conversation as it was during our beer fest party on lido while the ship was in Warnemunde, Germany. He took great joy in telling me that he only cruised with Silverseas Cruises…….which allegedly is a luxury cruise line. I won’t telling you what he said because it was all bollocks. Let’s just say I was not proud to be British that night and he was very lucky that I didn’t shove a bratwurst up his bottom.

And so when I met this couple today and because they sounded just like the snob I had met last year I expected the worst.

It didn’t happen.

What a wonderful couple. They had just bought a villa in Orlando as many Brits do and had booked their Carnival cruise just last week as a last-minute impulse buy.

They told me that they had cruised on the Queen Mary 2 and on the something of the seas and when they had called their so called “cruising experts” back home in the UK and mentioned to their friends they had booked a Carnival cruise the reaction was as if they had told them that they had been captured by Somali pirates.

Yet they were having a great time and could not get over the cost of the cruise and what they had received for their money. They also told me something I have heard many times and of course experience myself every day. And that’s how Americans love to hear us Brits speak and most will strike up a conversation with you as most Americans know someone who lives in the UK and………because it’s such a small country……..expect that we will know them as well.

So, I had misjudged this couple and their friends who had told them not to cruise with us had misjudged this brilliant product that we have. And I know that Lynn Narraway and her fabulous London-based marketing team will continue to get the message out that Carnival has fun for everyone.

Oh, one last thing……I met a great chap today who was also a Brit and is a reporter for the Daily Mirror national newspaper. Simon Mullock and his wife and two lovely children are here on a family vacation and to write a story about their time on their Carnival Dream. We met tonight and talked about the things us Brits talk about. Football ……….. sorry “saccccccer” he supports Manchester City which is our equivalent of the Miami Dolphins……….as in ……..they promise much……..but deliver bugger all.

We also spoke about the weather because that’s the law in the UK……oh and we discussed the fact that our country is being led by people who have the forward thinking leadership skills of a French General…..and of course the fact that were all having the most wonderful time.

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

techmom Asked:
John (please reply or add to the Alaska reply)

Patty and John, we are on the same cruise and having trouble deciding on Shore Excursions too. I know for our cruise we can’t book any of the excursions in advance so it may be busy at the Shore Excursion desk when we get on board. John, can you check if the booking will be available online prior to the cruise?

John Says:
Hello Techmom Karen

Can you remind me which cruise and what excursions you are trying to book Karen. I know I should remember but I want to make sure you get the right answer. Can you tell me the sailing date and what tours you are interested in and I will speak to the Shore Excursion department and find out what the story is?

Look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes

Laverne Ord Asked:
John please reply–

My husband Harold and I take our family every other year on a Carnival cruise- so Feb 27th we will all see you on the Carnival Dream. We had the great fortune of meeting with you last May on Carnival Freedom as we celebrated 80 and 85 years Birthdays and 57 years of marriage. Now- please help clear res for early dining so we can all enjoy fine food together-I have tried since Sept but nothing yet. We will have our 6and a half month great granddaughter with us for her first cruise with the family…please stop by -will Kye be cruising then? We so desire to expose our family to your style of entertainment-don’t want them to miss that. We so enjoy the blog and look forward to being with you on Feb 27th on the beautiful Carnival Dream.

John Says:
Hello Laveene Ord

I am looking forward to seeing you in a few days time and I have sent this to the Carnival Dream Maitre Ds Ante and Klaudio to see if they can help you with your request. I am sure you are all looking forward to this wonderful family cruise vacation and I will do all I can to make it very special indeed. I am sure Kye will be looking forward to seeing your great granddaughter, as well.

See you all soon
Best wishes

Cruising Noah Asked:
Reply needed.

I am new to the blog but I see from comments made on the Cruise Critic web site that you are the person to see for dinner reservations. I usually cruise with Celebrity but am trying Carnival in April. I will be with my wife and two friends. I want a table for four by the window and I need to know how you arrange this. I look forward to a positive and early response.

John Says:
Hello Noah………..no cruise jokes about your name……….to obvious!

Seriously though, welcome to the blog and I am grateful that you took the time to read it. Your friends over on Cruise Critic are correct; I do indeed help with dining requests but within certain parameters. I will always contact the Maitre D on the ship but he or she has the final say and I cannot guarantee that the request will be honoured, although I am happy to say that much of the time the requests are fulfilled.

I need your sailing date and cabin numbers please and I will do my best to assist you. I am most of all, very happy that you decided to cruise with Carnival and I am sure that once you experience the brilliant value for money fun that we offer………that it will not be your last.
I look forward to hearing from you soon
Best wishes

Gloria (Please Reply) Asked:
Hello John:

My apologies. Thank you so very much for replying. I was so excited that I forgot to provide you with my cabin and booking number.

Gloria Asked:
(Please Reply)
Hello John: Happy New Year. My husband and I will be celebrating our anniversary and our son’s 21st birthday on the Carnival Valor on March 7-14. We were just on the Valor in November celebrating my 50th birthday. Could you please request from the Maitre-D that we have a table for 4 for more intimacy than a more crowded table would provide? I sincerely appreciate your and the many Stephanie’s assistance.

John Says:
Hello Gloria
Thanks for sending the information and I have sent it on to Pablo the maitre d on the Carnival Valor.

Have a great time and a big happy birthday to your son.
Best wishes to all.

Tim and Diane Asked:
John, Please reply.

Have you ever read the book ‘Cruise Confidential’ Author Brian David Bruns?

I think it is recommended reading for all people wanting to work a cruise ship.

Oh BTW Megan Fox would have to be really really bored to be waiting for you in your cabin.
I have first time clients sailing with you on the 30th of January. I told them that they are sailing with the best CD in the cruise business.
Tim and Diane

John Says:
Hello Tim and Diane

First of all I hope your clients are enjoying their cruise with me this week. They have had amazing weather and calm seas and I please let me know what they thought of their Carnival Dream experience. I know of this book but I have not read it but it looks like maybe I should…..as I love a great work of fiction!

Thank you both for your loyalty to Carnival Cruise Lines and your friendship and support here on my blog thingy and I hope to see you both soon.
Best wishes

Dwight Rawlins Asked:
Please Reply.

My wife Chris and I, along with 8 more friends will be sailing on the Splendor Feb. 14th. This will be our 11th cruise, all but one with Carnival. We have had the pleasure of cruising with you on 3 occasions. Your answer about showing the NASCAR race on the big screen or in the sports lounge, will that be true on the Splendor also? Thank you.

John Says:
Hello Dwight Rawlins

This is one of those questions that I am late in answering and must therefore apologize. As I write this you are on the Carnival Conquest and I am sure having a brilliant time. I am sure that Chris Jefferson the CD made sure that the NASCAR race thingy was shown wherever possible onboard and I hope this added to the cruise experience.

Once again, my apologies for the late reply and I hope you had a brilliant cruise.
Best wishes

CruisinSue Asked:
Hi John (May reply if you wish)

Thank you for posting the article on Captain Casula’s retirement. I was on the final cruise of the Carnival Liberty with him. I experienced firsthand the respect the entire crew has for him. It was announced several times that he was retiring after that cruise and he was greeted by many passengers and crew with a look of awe. I, myself congratulated him and wished him well. What a wonderful man he is.

Just a quick overview of our cruise. First off, I met Butch and introduced myself. He knew immediately who I was…Thank You. I received a nice gift in my cabin…again…Thank You. Butch was a great CD and really funny and personable. We enjoyed him a lot.

The ship was fabulous just as I remember from my last two cruises on her. We had an Ocean Suite, and what a treat that was. Marut, our cabin steward was probably in the top 2 that we have ever had. Awesome steward.

We tried the Your Time dining and found it not to be for us. We had a group of 12 and the wait time was fairly extended. (Which I understand) On the first night, the service was lacking. Things that we ordered were never received. Our waiter would come to our table to take our order and before we were even finished he was grabbing the menu and rushing away. The next night, we split up for dinner, and it was much better with just a couple. Our waiter, Zelli (I think) was awesome. The dining room hostesses and Maitre D were as helpful and possible. They even sent a gift to our cabin in apology for the delay in seating. On our final evening, we wanted to dine together, so my hubby went to the dining room an hour in advance and gave them a heads up that we were coming…they had our table set up and ready when we got there. Overall, hubby and myself have decided that we prefer the assigned dining. It has a more personal feeling and I like to get to know my wait staff. It wasn’t overall a terrible experience, just not for us.

We enjoyed the Burrito Bar and the Fish and Chips. The only problem is that they were open for such limited hours. (3-1/2 hours on port days and 2-1/2 hours on sea days) If you weren’t hungry or were involved in some other activity, then you missed the hours. The food was excellent and usual and my “special” Eggs Benedict order was honored every morning in the Silver Olympian dining room. We met a waitress that we had on the Carnival Legend, named Monica, and she was fabulous as usual.

Overall, it was a wonderful cruise and we can hardly wait until we can cruise again.
Give my best to Heidi and Kye. I hope to see you in Charleston this spring or summer.
Gloria aka Sue

John Says:
Hello Gloria AKA Sue

Thanks so much for this detailed report. I was most interested in your comments about the Your Time Dining experience. I was disappointed to read that the first night started with such problems and I will make sure that the Maitre D and Hotel Director are made aware of this. Your Time Dining is getting more and more popular and therefore we must make sure that the service and experience is every bit as good as assigned seating. Your comments will help us do just that.

We will miss Captain Casula very much and from what I understand he is missing the sea because he is going to be taking part of the world cruise on the Queen Mary 2.

I am glad you got the gift and my thanks to Butch for making sure this happened.

Thanks you again for the review and the kind words for Heidi and Kye.
Best wishes

Pinkbarbie (Christy Richardson) Asked:
Dear John (please reply)

My husband and I will be going on the Conquest the week of April 25th to celebrate our 15th anniversary (on the 30th). This will be my third time on this cruise and his 2nd, but our first alone.

We want to do some romantic things as well as enjoy some of the shows. Here is where my question comes in. The last two times I was on the Conquest, they had the same shows. Do you know if the shows have changed? Our last trip was in Apr 09. If not, I don’t think we will want to watch the shows again. Is there anything else you can recommend for a couple that would be fun during this time?

Thanks for keeping the blog going. I love reading it every day and look forward to getting to meet you in person and see some of your stories live on this trip. I have watched many on YouTube, but I know they will be even better in person.
Thanks again

John Says:
Hello Christy

Thank you for cruising again on the Carnival Conquest. While the two shows featuring the dancers are the same there is a brand new magic and grand illusion show which from what I am told is absolutely breathtaking. Please make sure you see it. There has also been a change in the rotation of comedians and variety acts so most of those will be new as well. I also recommend that maybe one night you take a walk around the deck under the stars. Watch a movie on the Seaside Theatre big screen while eating an ice cream and of course dinner for two at the Steakhouse is a must. I think I am right in saying I will be the CD when you sail. It will be my first time on the Carnival Conquest and I will do all I can to make this a very special week for you both.

Please let me know if you need anything else
Best wishes

Kathy M. Asked:
Hi John Please reply,

Don’t worry about talking to yourself; I do it all the time. Do you find you do it more often when you are alone then when someone else is around you? I do. I think it is because you were single for so long and living alone that you just get into that habit and really do not realize that you are doing it. I know as a single person I will catch myself talking to myself, so I really think it has more to do with being single for so long, that it has just become a habit, so I would not worry about it too much.

Give my love to Heidi and Kye.
From your #1 Bloggy Thingy Fan,
Kathy M.

John Says:
Hello Kathy M

Just wanted to say as always thanks for the kind words of support. The girls are here so the talking to myself thing has stopped for now…….but when they leave……..I have a feeling I will be back to having full on conversations with me.

Best wishes

Brandi Asked:

My family and I will be boarding the Dream Christmas day 2010. There will be a total of 13 of us and we are so stoked! This will be my 4th cruise (all on Carnival, thank you 😉 ) and Todd Wittmer has been the CD on my past 2 cruises. I must say he is wonderful, and from what I can tell, he will be our CD for this cruise.

Although I am a past guest I have really just been introduced to your blog. I must say, I am in love with your wit and humour!! I have some of my co-workers reading this only because I was cracking up reading your posts (of course, during my lunch hour).

I have really enjoyed reading about the Dream. I find a lot of your information very useful! I do have a couple of questions, if you could find the time to answer that would be great! If not, that is ok too…seems (from other posts I have read) you are very busy trying to be Carnival’s Maitre’D, gift shop and customer service rep 😉 . Anyway, I would like to know:
1 – Who is scheduled to be the CD on the Dec 25 2010 – Jan 1 2011 sailing on the Dream?
2 – How many formal nights are on this 7 day sailing and will there be special happenings that we should pack for?
Thanks! Brandi

John Says:
Hello Brandi

I am so honoured that you and your co – workers are reading the blog and that my silly humour (spelt correctly) is being enjoyed. Christmas time on a Carnival ship is very special indeed and I know that you will have a magnificent time here on this beautiful ship, your Carnival Dream.

In answer to your question about the Cruise Director I can tell you that this is indeed Todd’s ship. However, we have not yet completed the schedule for the rest of the year so I can’t confirm if he will be the CD when your cruise later this year. I expect he will be and I will post the schedule to confirm this in a few weeks’ time. There are two elegant nights on a seven day cruise and I see that Christmas day falls on a Saturday this year which is embarkation day so that will not be an extra elegant night although some of our guests I am sure will dress for Christmas dinner.

I hope this helps Brandi and I am here should you need anything at all.
Best wishes to all

Sharon Asked:
Please reply if you have the time.

My Family is set for our cruise on Carnival Triumph April 10, 2010. This will be, for all of us, our 5th Carnival Cruise, (have done other lines, but Carnival fits for a whole family). My dear daughter will be 8. Since she has been to Cozumel 4 times before, I asked her what she would like to do when we go back. She wanted to ride on a dolphin and/or go horseback riding. So I go check the excursions on Carnival.com. Guess what, she can’t to either do to age restrictions. Even checked the Bacab Eco Park Horseback ride in Belize.

I checked to book it independently, and for a Dolphin swim and ride, (please note not the encounter), she was old enough and tall enough according to Dolphinaris, (who won’t let Cruise ship passengers booked on their own), and Chankanaab Dolphin Discovery, (who will). In addition, I can take her horseback riding in Cozumel through a trusted independent as well.
I can provide proof including her climbing the Water Iceburg at Paradise Beach, (and jumping off), which is in 12 feet of water. She’s been parasailing since she was 4, swam with the sting rays on Grand Cayman, gone down both slides several times, (Evolutions of fun on 2 different cruises), on Carnival Fantasy, (she wants to do her Carnival Dream slides), and even, oh dear, climbed a rock wall, at sea, (sorry).

Please do not give me a company answer. I understand about insurance and how Carnival has researched each company they work with for shore excursions. I also understand booking through Carnival I won’t miss the Ship, but I won’t either by getting a taxi on my own. I just need to know who to contact at Carnival to get an override on the “age” restrictions? I do not want them to change the age restrictions, but make an exception.

Hope Kye does not cause you to invest in AFLAC, (Supplemental accident health insurance), like my daughter as done. But I enjoy my little dare devil. Take Kye parasailing by age 4. She’ll love it.

John Says:
Hello Sharon

Thank you for writing such a passionate posting and I can see that you want the best for your 8-year-old daughter. There are indeed rules and restrictions when it comes to age, weight and height etc on some of our excursions and they are obviously in place for good reason. However, I certainly will make sure that I plead your case so please leave this with me for a few days and let me see what we can do.

I will suggest to Heidi that we take Kye parasailing and if you here a scream where you live it will be from me as Heidi’s foot enters my bottom.

I will get back to you on this as soon as I can
Best wishes

That’s all for today. Those questions were posted on January 26th and 27th so I am still three weeks behind………………….sorry 🙁

Many congratulations to Princess Cruises who must be very happy this morning…..here’s why:


MIAMI (February 17, 2010) – Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) has signed a memorandum of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of two 3,600-passenger cruise ships for its Princess Cruises brand. The agreement is subject to execution of a definitive contract, financing and other customary closing conditions.

The new ships – which will have an all-in cost of approximately €155,000 per lower berth – are scheduled to enter service in spring 2013 and spring 2014. At 139,000 tons each, the as-yet-unnamed ships will be the largest in the Princess Cruises fleet.

Additional details will be announced at a later date.

Fabulous news for Princess as it is for the industry as it is proof positive that the light at the end of the gloomy economic tunnel is shining brighter each and every day.

I have mentioned before that AIDA is one of my favourite cruise lines as they do truly think outside the box thingy that the beards are always talking about in their marketing meetings. Now, I admit also that technology and I have about as much in common as Tiger Woods and Benedictine Monks………but even I know that this is something that is a wunderbar idea.

Here to tell you all about it is my good friend Oliver.

Dear John,

Today I have some great news. AIDA is not just sailing on the seas, but from now also on the mobile internet. On Saturday we launched our first app for iPhone and iPod touch. Each of our ships will get its own app and AIDAvita, actually in the Caribbean, is the first one.

The key feature of our app are some detailed panoramic pics from the inner of the ship. You can move inside them with Your fingers. A world map with actual positions, webcam views weather conditions is also included. For guests onboard we putted zoomable deck plans in the app.

Thank You and best regards

Oliver Drägert
Senior Manager E-Marketing

Here are some screen shots of the App thingies

Danke Schon Oliver and I know right now that many of you who have an Eye Phone will be ripping off all your clothes and chanting naked in front of your Steve Job’s posters.

And I also know that once again AIDA have set the trend and that means that I know many of you who have Eye Phones will be asking me……to ask Stephanie Leavitt and her sandal-wearing, tofu-eating, Toyota Prius-driving (well not anymore because the sodding breaks don’t work not that you need breaks on a car that goes slower than a nun on a skateboard) computerist friends to see if we could have an App thingy for Carnival….in fact Dave Myerly already has asked the question. So……let me check this out and meanwhile….why not down loaden das AIDA app.

I wanted to give a plug to my mate Alistair the Entertainment Director on the Queen Victoria. His blog keeps getting better and better and it’s no wonder it is so popular amongst the worldwide fans of Cunard. His latest blogs include great shots of the majestic Queen Victoria in the South Pacific plus an interview with one of the many famous musicians who have graced the Cunard ships……an original member of The Byrds. There is also a tremendous article that I know many of you will want to read as it covers the life of the many dogs who sail with their owners. It makes for fascinating reading so pop on over to www.wearecunard.com ……….congratulations Alistair.

Back here on your Carnival Dream the cruise is going very well. Yesterday in St. Thomas was a day where those who had been annoyed at the cold weather in Port Canaveral and had wished for warmer weather probably regretted doing so……..because it was hot ……… how hot was it I hear you cry?…….it was so hot I saw a squirrel holding its nuts with a pot holder.

Actually it was 86 degrees and boy did it feel like it. I know this because I did something as unusual as finding someone who isn’t starting to think Al Gore is talking bollocks ……. I got off the ship.

Anyway, after putting three tons of factor 3000 sunscreen on every bit of Kye we ventured out into the searing heat. I couldn’t help but think just how fortunate these islands are that the cruise industry is thriving as much as it is. I mean, look at St. Maarten today. There is the Emerald Princess, The Monster of the Seas, The Norwegian Thingy and Carnival Freedom…….what is that?…….ummmm……..close to 15,000 people who right now are spending obscene amounts of money ashore.

Yet, there are no banners welcoming cruise ship guests, no local people handing out small gifts or anything special at all. And it’s not just St. Maarten of course but across the Caribbean……maybe once the islands should hold Cruise Ship Week where every passenger who steps ashore gets a memento for doing so. Oh……by the way……….I just noticed that the Monster of the Seas has a lifeboat number 13………….is that unusual?

Anyway, me and the girls had a nice time ashore but didn’t stay long as Heidi was worried that Kye would melt. Here as promised are some photos of the girls.

Every boy dreams of being a hero, I know I did. I remember I wanted to be Batman but when I look back at that now I wonder why. Batman is a super hero who is different from the others. He has bugger all superpowers built in but instead uses gadgets and a secret cave, a bit like James Bond with added Lycra.

Most superheroes have something wrong with them. Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and acquired its habits to become your friendly neighborhood Spider Man…….or is it Spiderman?……I think it’s one word, isn’t it? Anyway, I remember watching the movies and listing to him have a good old moan about how unlucky he was. Bollocks……. He could have just as easily been bitten by a radioactive Dung Beatle giving him the ability to burrow himself into other people’s poo…..which is pretty useless in a fight with the Green Goblin.

I tried watching that program Heroes but could never really get into it. For those of you who have not seen this program it’s about a group of everyday folks, who can walk through walls, paint the future and, in the case of the cheerleader with the nice bottom, put their own ribs back in if they come out. One can even stop time and appear in places he really isn’t supposed to be and do anything he likes why he is there……..he was bitten by Tiger Woods.

They’re all ordinary humans with enhanced DNA (imagine the exact opposite of people who live in Paris) but in truth humans are far too selfish to cope with superpowers. Think about it.
Let’s say our President Gerry Cahill has special super powers. He is in a breakfast meeting with Carnival Corp. & plc Chairman and CEO Micky Arison. Gerry is trying to persuade Mr. Arison that Carnival should get three more ships next year but….. Just as the deal is about to be closed, Gerry’s super senses start tingling because there’s a bus full of nuns hanging off a nearby bridge just off I-95. What does Gerry do? Hmmm. On the one hand perilous nuns, but on the other…….if I bugger off now he might give the newbuildings to Holland America.

You can’t hold down a proper job and be a superhero………..unless you are a cruise ship captain that is. Over to you Big Tex.

Hey John-

When I finish my time at Carnival, I will have a lot of memories, some good, some bad and some neutral. But what I saw last night, will stay with me forever and will always be one of my favorites.

At around 7:50pm, after we had sailed from Cozumel on our way back to Miami, I received a call from the Hotel Director, Dave Drier, telling me that we needed to go to the bridge. While walking up to the bridge Dave told me that the one of the officers on the bridge had spotted what they thought was another vessel in distress. When I arrived on the bridge, I was a bit taken aback. It was pitch black, as it usually is, but last night was particularly dark. There were no stars, no moon and even on the bridge it was difficult to see your hand in front of your face.

Initially, I thought everything going on was a bit chaotic as there were people shouting and running back and forth from the port to the starboard side. After a few minutes, I realized that this was CONTROLLED chaos and in the middle of all this activity, Captain Salvatore Rassello was cool as a cucumber. He was focused on what seemed like 10 different things, shouting out instructions to half a dozen people and guiding our ship toward the still invisible vessel.

The problem was that because it was so dark outside, it was impossible to see the distressed vessel. We could get an idea of where the other vessel was because every so often someone out in the darkness would flash a light. However, because the distressed vessel had no power, it couldn’t hold course, so as we would move to where the vessel was, it would move somewhere else.

Adding to the drama of the event was the wind and waves which were both forcing their will on the distressed vessel. The swells were large (I’m no expert, but they appeared to be 8-9 feet) and the wind was howling (gusting up to 40 knots). Captain Rassello had the searchlights on and the officers were scanning the stormy sea in front of us to find the vessel. Finally, in what seemed like forever…but was actually only about 40 minutes, we found the vessel and were able to hold sight of it with the searchlights.

As we approached the vessel, it was clear there was one man inside. The 30 foot sailboat was being tossed around like a rag doll. As we eased up alongside the disabled vessel, the man onboard was wet, eager for help and looked understandably frazzled. As he got closer he began yelling for help and that his boat was beginning to take on water. We then lowered a ladder to the man below, as he grabbed onto the ladder, the boat began to move away from the ship. It was amazing to see how tightly this fellow gripped the ladder. We then began the slow process of pulling him up. This, again, was one of those things that seemed to take forever…but was actually only about 5 minutes.

Finally, I had the great pleasure to announce to all of our guests that while we left Miami with 3198 guest onboard, we would be returning with 3199.

Once arriving onboard, the distressed, yet grateful man was taken to our infirmary where our medical team, in fact our whole team, did all they could to make sure he was healthy and comfortable.

He was OK. His boat, and all of his possessions were lost to the sea. But, because of quick thinking and immeasurable skill, his life was not.

Some stories do have happy endings, and that’s a lesson I’ll take with me always.

Perhaps one of my proudest moments at Carnival was the next day when I got to introduce Captain Rassello at the Debarkation Talk. The theater was standing room only and when the Captain came out onto the stage, the entire room immediately came to their feet to give the Captain a standing ovation. This too was one of those moments that seemed like forever…but was actually only about 10 seconds.


So, to the rescued man heroes do exist…….and in this case his heroes were Captain Salvatore Rassello and the crew of the Carnival Valor.

Oh, and if there is one Captain in our fleet who would look good wearing tight fitting Lycra, a mask and a cape………..it’s Captain Rassello!

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.