A Room With A View

March 2, 2010 -

John Heald

Is it me or are people getting more sensitive these days than before?  Yesterday I came across two prime examples of this. The first involved a lady who I spoke to at the Captain’s Celebration during Elegant Night. I was standing with Captain Marino and I sensed her…….yes…………I sensed her before I saw her and turned around and saw a lady bearing down on me like a heat seeking missile………and my arse was her target.

Anyway, to cut a long drawn out moan short she spent 5 minutes telling me what a mean man I was because during my orientation talk I had mentioned people from Canada, the States, the UK and one or two other countries………..I hadn’t mentioned South Africa and that is where she and her husband were from. I apologized and explained that I didn’t have time to mention every country and was doing it randomly. I even tried to laugh the whole thing off by saying that I had lots of South African friends amongst the crew. But it was pointless because she told me “I had hurt her feelings and made her feel like a second class passenger”……………..I was speechless.

Then, at last night’s show I was walking the room interviewing guests with the microphone. It’s just a new thing I have been doing before the production shows……it’s a 5-minute throw away bit but is often lots of fun and entertains the audience while they are waiting for the show.  Anyway, I was interviewing a male guest and the interview went like this:

Me                   “Who are you here with?”

Guest               “A group of friends.”

Me                   “Oh, and who is this lady next to you, is she a friend.”

Guest               “No, she’s my wife.”

Audience laugh

Me                   “I think you had better re-phrase that unless you want to spend the night                           sleeping on Lido Deck…..tell her you love her and promise her a night of                         romance.”

Guest               laughs and says “I love you”

Me                   “Is that it, hardly the most romantic words ever, what happened to the                               promise of a night of passion?”

Guest               “I’m tired”

Me                   “What do you do for a living.”

Guest               “I’m a Methodist Minister”

Much laughter

Me                   “I just suggested that a Methodist Minister have a night of passion ………..                         I’m going to hell.”

Much laughter

And then I received this note from the guest services folks:

Guest: Mr. ——–Ref: 846009041A
Cabin: _____Booking#: ______Added-Changed: 02/28/10 – 02/28/10

Mr._____ came to the GSD wanting to speak to John. Guest said that he was very upset that the Cruise Director had used swearing words at the show tonight and that his 14 year old grandson had been present. GSA called the CD who met with the guest.

My crime……….was the word “hell”………I hadn’t wished anyone to go there or added a swear word in front of it. All I had done was used it in conjunction with heaven as in heaven and hell. But it took all of my experience to persuade this man that it was said innocently. He insisted I apologize to his grandson in person and so I sat there in the lobby while he buggered off to get his grandson. Ten minutes later he returned with a bemused looking 14-year-old who looked like he would rather be any place in the world but here……..in the lobby of a cruise ship……with some fat English bloke saying sorry for using the word “hell.” But apologize I did and he just shrugged his shoulders and told his Grandfather he was going to get an ice cream.

I have found that in the last two or three years I have had to be much more careful with what I say onstage as more than I can ever remember people are taking offense at the drop of a hat. Why are we suddenly so easily affronted? I saw a woman burst into tears in last cruise because she thought the waiter in the Scarlet Dining Room was ignoring her because of her skin colour. Obviously, he wasn’t.

And last week one of our comedians received a written complaint by a guest because he had said that Barbara Walters the TV host “has the face of someone who’s looking at themselves in the back of a spoon.” The letter the guest wrote was three pages long.

It wasn’t a nice thing had Barbara been in the audience but isn’t this totally odd? I understand that Barbara Walters is a nationally loved, hugely successful journalist and TV thingy. Her self-esteem must be high enough to brush off a silly, cutlery based joke ……surely?

This guest wanted the comedian punished and he promised to make sure that me and Gerry Cahill our president and CEO would dish out that punishment……or else! I don’t know what punishment he had in mind for this very funny, long standing gem of a comedian ………… perhaps sticking his head down a toilet while calling him a “Southern redneck who lives in a trailer”?

I’m no fan of the Duchess of Cornwall (Mrs. Prince Charles) but there’s never been any kind of protest from Camilla when I have referred to her of as looking like a horse here on the blog. And Judge Judy has not sued me either……..neither have the French…….not yet anyway.

I am the first to dish out the sarcastic comments and pathetic attempts at comedy but never, never before making fun of myself first. And of course you all have the right to post your comments here on the blog thingy telling me I am a complete arse with a face like a bag of wrenches and a stomach the size of a giant beach ball.

And people do, just as they write things on the comment card. Take this cruise just gone. 1,987 people who filled out a card said I had exceeded their expectations. But 31 gave me the worst possible mark stating I had opportunity for improvement…….which let’s be honest …… having done this for 22 years, if I haven’t got it right now I doubt I ever will. Some comments are harsh especially those that rub my stomach and remind me that I am a fat bastard. But I just laugh it off — ha-ha-ha! Eventually.

Compliments are fantastic and when a CD gets one he or she feels marvelous but a single insult confirms what we all feel deep down is true……. that we’re rubbish, talentless and have no more right to be on stage than a performing slug.

So why am I saying all of this……..well hopefully having read this Jaime, the CD of the Carnival Pride, will feel a little better about herself. Because as you are about to read, she is going through what all CD’s feel time and time again.

Dear John,

Ya know, this job is simple when everything is going right and everyone is happy. But it is those moments that things start to stray from the norm when you can truly judge a cruise director’s character and know if he or she is right for this position. Today has been a challenging day, and with Kirk gone, I have no one to talk to and I guess I need to share with someone. Since I promised you a letter this week, you are the one that gets to hear about the excitement of the day thus far.

The last thing that I want is to be standing on the gangway on debarkation morning and hear from a guest about something that disappointed them was within my realm of control. As long as I know that I had done everything in my power to make their cruise as enjoyable as possible, then I can sleep at night. Only trouble I am running into is, if I do EVERYTHING in my power that does not leave a lot of time for sleep. Nevertheless, I am still smiling, working hard and trying to learn balance.

Exactly one year ago today I was on the Carnival Splendor as an Entertainment Host docked in Ushuaia, Argentina. Today, I am sitting in the cruise director chair on the Carnival Pride, still wearing my inaugural Carnival Splendor sweatshirt… which is a little more faded and not quite as soft as it was a year ago, however, I continue to wear it with pride =).

This morning, as we sailed in through the beautiful Nassau harbor, I stood on the navigation bridge and invited all guests up to the outer decks for some amazing photo opportunities. As we were pulling into the harbor, the wind was blowing incredibly strong, I could smell the Italian cologne in the air… no, John not from the night before… just being on the bridge, because that’s where the Italians work. Anyway, the wind OUTSIDE was blowing very strong that makes pulling in and docking a big challenge for the captain and pilot. It turned out the ship with the big mouse ears on the side took the pier that where we were supposed to dock. Rather than the wind blowing us toward the pier, we would now have the resistance of the wind working against the ship, which for the Captain, is a bit frustrating.

Once we were making our way toward the pier Captain Giacalone noticed that not only was the mouse ship in our spot, they had also tied ropes to every single post on the pier. There was a large machete-looking thing hung on a rope close to where our gangway was supposed to be located. While we were working out alternatives, one lady came down to the gangway, while we were still moving and said “my shore excursion ticket says that I need to be on the gangway at 11 am, if you do not let me off the ship NOW I will be calling your home office and giving them your name.” Unless her excursion was “Swimming with the Fishes, Forever,” it probably was not a good idea for her to get off at that time. Since the beginning of the cruise, we have been advising the guests that the gangway would be on Deck A forward, it was in the morning show, the announcements and the Carnival Capers.

At 11:20 am this morning, 20 minutes after our scheduled arrival time I needed to inform everyone that for safety purposes we would only be able to use the aft gangway for all guests to get off the ship. This may not seem like such an inconvenience, but for all of the guests who were now arriving late they were now perturbed and forced to travel through a crew area – which is not quite as nice looking as the typical guest debarkation area. We had all of our guest services team, the entertainment staff and many other helpers guiding guests to the correct gangway. People were not happy and the frustrating part was that none of this was Carnival’s fault. While I was helping to guide guests to the gangway and wishing them an enjoyable day in Nassau, my ship cell phone rings with a number from a crew area. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: Hi this is Jaime

Guest: (YELLING) Is this the cruise director? We need to have an urgent discussion because I am extremely unhappy with my vacation experience.

Me: Yes this Jaime, may I ask who is calling please?

Guest: This is “so and so” and I need to tell you the reasons I hate this cruise before I leave.

Me: Yes Ma’am I would be happy to sit down and have a chat with you, but may I ask how you got this phone number?

Guest: I will not disclose that information, but we need to talk as soon as I return from Nassau, I am going to own this company by the end of the day because of what I have been through.

Me: What time will you be back, and may I please have your cabin number?

Guest: I should be back around 8:00pm, give me your extension so I can give you a call.

Me: (thinking how did you call me, if you don’t know my number?). You can contact me through guest services at any time. I will call your cabin at 8 pm and leave a message if you are unavailable.

Guest: Guest services refuses to connect me to you.

Me: I will inform them that they can allow us to speak, either tonight or tomorrow once we sail from Freeport.

Guest: I am leaving the ship tomorrow because I am so upset. I will talk to you tonight ::click::

Right now, I am waiting to hear from her to find out what could possibly be so upsetting that would force her to call my direct cell phone and leave the ship early.

In addition, we have the incredibly hilarious fly on entertainer Will Marfori scheduled to perform tonight. First of all, I have been building up his show all cruise long because I remember seeing him my very first contract with Carnival and I remember him being hysterically funny. His flight was scheduled to arrive at 2:30 pm, it is currently 7:43 pm and he still has not arrived. I am working of alternative shows in my head.

All in all, I love this job. There is a solution to every single problem and all I can do is the best I know how. I am constantly learning from each new adventure and challenge. If I get the opportunity to continue, it may cause me to go gray at an early age, like John… It is funny because people always ask, “are you sick of doing the same thing every week?” The answer is absolutely not. No two cruises are ever the same.

Deep breaths and big smiles,
Jaime Deitsch
Acting Cruise Director
Carnival Pride

Jaime, you are a CD because you have worked hard and because the guests truly like you. People are more sensitive these days and that fine line of having fun and making fun of people is getting thinner and thinner so yes, we have to be more careful and have to realize that there is a chance that while 1,000 people will laugh at what you say……1 will not and that 1 will be the person who writes that letter that will have you thinking that you are a bad person.

So, chins up Jaime….sorry…..chin up Jaime…….and as you are using all my jokes anyway ……..you have nothing to worry about. And remember, in this job you need skin as thick as a rhino’s bollocks.

Time for today’s questions…………..let’s crack on.

Marsha Breen Asked:
John – please reply

Don’t stress so much about Heidi and Kye sailing. They will do fine. Kye will love all the attention she is going to get from both your staff and passengers alike! I was in the Orlando airport last week waiting about 5 hours for our flight. There was a little girl there about 9 months old with her mother. Their flight had been cancelled due to weather and they were trying to make other arrangements. The little girl wasn’t fussy at all because she had so much to look at and watch. People sitting around her were smiling and talking to her and she was eating it up! Now for my question: Did Carnival do away with the chicken fingers at lunch time at the grill? They didn’t have them on the Carnival Dream on our sailing so I was wondering if this was an item they are no longer serving????

John Says:
Hello Marsha Breen,

It was great meeting you and thank you for your kind words for Heidi and Kye. The flight went much better than we thought and hopefully the return journey will be ok as well. I checked on the chicken fingers and you are correct, we don’t serve them here on your Carnival Dream as we have the Lanai BBQ which features a similar item along with sliders, topless burgers and other great nibbles. Did you try the BBQ, if you did, I would like to know what you thought. Please let me know if there is anything else you need and best wishes to you and the family.

John

Lynda Ulrich Asked:
John-please reply

We are elated to be on the Carnival Elation 4/30/10 through the Panama Canal. This will be our 21st Carnival cruise in 5 years. It will also be our 40th wedding anniversary. I am so happy to be on a cruise for this wonderful occasion. The crew members of Carnival are like family to us. We already know that Brandon, social host on the Fantasy, will be with us. We love him. Could you please just send my husband a note because he has put up with me for 40 years? Our cabin is R12.

Love the blog, have been reading it for years. You start my day with a smile.
Your friend, Lynda

John Says:
Hello Lynda Ulrich

It was very impressive how quickly the Panama Canal repositioning cruise of the Carnival Elation sold out. It was further proof that many people love the longer voyages. I am sure you and your husband are looking forward to the experience and can I ask that you send me a reminder on April 1 with your cabin number and I will be honoured (spelt correctly) to send your husband a gift. Thank you for your kind words about the blog. Best wishes to you both. John

mort13ers Asked:
John, Please reply when you have a chance

2 quick questions

1 With the new ship pins, do you have any pins for the older ships, like the Holiday?

2 The Vance you talk about in the Corp HQ, Could that be the Vance that was a Cruise Director in the early 90’s?

John Says:
Hello mort13ers

Thanks for the questions, here are my answers. The pins are available on each and every ship and I am working to get the older ships, no longer with us, being made available as well. I hope to have news on this for you very soon. The Vance I refer to in my blog thingies is a different Vance to the one you mention. Vance from PR is a superb writer and someone I look up to as his press releases always brilliantly written. The Vance you are referring to is Vance Palm. Vance was from California and was made a cruise director just after me. He had all the qualities that guests would look for in a great cruise director. He was tall, blonde, athletic, good looking and funny……..the bastard. Unfortunately, Vance left after just a few years in the job and I have no idea where he is now. I just hope he is happy and healthy. Thanks for the great questions and let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

Best wishes,
John

Ange Asked:
Hi John (please reply),

I read on Cruise Critic yesterday that the Miracle and Spirit would both be getting Future Cruise Certificate desk (or whatever the right name of this is 🙂 in this month. I’m just wondering if you could confirm this.

Cheers,
Ange

John Says:
Hello Ange,

I checked with Miami and you are indeed correct. This program will be on both ships mentioned and eventually fleetwide. I will include more details on this very soon as it is an excellent and much needed program.

Best wishes,
John

Suzanne Asked:
Hello John.

I have my second cruise booked on the Liberty, and thought I’d write and see if Carnival’s room service has learned to make a real club house sandwich…for 8 days, I tried to get one of these bad boys made…I even spoke to the Manager of the kitchen…the Maitre D..The Purser…and apparently the head chef…who then assured me a proper club house sandwich would be available on my next order…I wasn’t hungry at the time but everyone was so nice and trying to help I ordered one…this is what I got two pieces of bread, mayo shoveled on like it was on sale…turkey, lettuce,tomato,fried egg, who puts fried egg on a club?, ham, and some other processed meat, two different cheeses, and the biggest insult no bacon..You needed to hold this monster together with elastic, just to pick it up to your mouth…acually there was so much mayo everything slid off…so that ended that…

So my question to you is have they learned to make a decent club house sandwich…just test it for yourself, and order one it’s fun on your next cruise, give no special details just to see what they come up with..And please could you slip a little note to the powers that be…if Carnival would like to know how to make one I will personally go on every cruise and teach them…or give them the recipe.

Is a club sandwich such a rare order in room service that they would not know what it is? Just sayin…

John Says:
Hello Suzanne,

I wonder why they call it a Club Sandwich?  I am sure somebody with a beard will be able to tell me. Your recipe certainly sounds delicious and I have sent it to the Executive Chef here. I will let you know how it tastes and if it’s good, which I am sure it will be, I will do my best to get it added to the room service menu. The fried egg is unusual, although I must say I am a bit partial to bacon and egg sandwiches. It’s an English thing. Looking forward to my sandwich tonight.

Best wishes,
John

Jason Herron Asked:
Hi John,
Please reply.

Long time reader, first time poster   🙂 By the way, it’s much too cold in Indiana to write this in my underpants.

I enjoy reading the blog and seeing all that you do to promote Carnival and help folks out.

I have a beer question/comment for you.

In reading Cruise Critic recently, it seems that Carnival is now charging $5.75 per 16 ounce American beer. I thought the $4.75 we paid last April was high, but I understand we are a captive audience and will pay a premium. We pay a premium at sporting events, concerts and in major vacation spots (hotel bars, theme parks, Vegas bars, etc). I think the difference is we are in a hotel bar, Vegas bar or ball game for a few hours and we are on a Carnival ship for 4-5 days in my case, some folks a few days longer.

I’m not suggesting “dollar beer night”, just that Carnival keep prices for a couple of drinks more affordable. My question is this: Can you mention to the bearded guys at corporate that $5.75 for a beer is a little high?

I don’t know what the other lines charge because I have never looked. This will be my 11th Carnival cruise, my wife’s 10th, daughter’s 7th and son’s 3rd.We love Carnival and we are not going on any other line. Last year we started an annual group cruise on Carnival and had 25 people. This year we are up to 37 people.

We’re on the Fantasy March 4th, booking # 81N7C8 cabin M45 in case you want to send a bucket of Bud Light to help ease the pain:))

The bucket aside, please do mention to the corporate beards that those of us that want to have a few drinks responsibly can only afford so much?

Best to you and your girls (and the 343 Stephanie’s!)
Jason

John Says:
Hello Jason,

A warm welcome to you as a first time poster in your underpants. I hope the weather is a bit warmer now in Indiana. Let’s talk beer. You are correct that bottled Budweiser and Bud Light are $5.75 However, the cans are $3.95. I realize that this may be a little bit more than what you may want to pay but I am told this is in line with the current cruise industry standard. We are currently doing a fleetwide offer of a bucket of 4 beers for $21 which is $2 off the price. I will certainly forward your comments onto our VP of F & B for their reading pleasure. Not to rub salt into the wound but I do remember that when I was a bar waiter in 1987 that Budweiser was $1.50. Anyway, thanks for showing some concern on this important subject and I will let you know any other specials that we start to offer. I want to thank you very much for your support of Carnival Cruise Lines and wish you and the family a wonderful cruise. Thanks so much for the kind words.

Best wishes to you all.
John

CJ Asked:
Hi John (Please Reply, Thanks).

So first off my name is CJ, I’m 15 years old and I went on my Fifth Carnival Cruise in July of 2009. My family and I sailed on the Carnival Freedom and had a very good time.

Lucky for me I happened to wander into the theater when you were doing something that involved the audience. So I took my seat close to the stage and watched.

You were telling a story and made us do all this “Pitter, Patter” and “Whoosh” noises, and then you invited someone up on stage. To my surprise it was a large black lady and she was supposedly asleep. Anyway long story short, I have a video of you being wildly humped on stage by a big black lady, every time I watch the video I burst out laughing.

A few questions:

What was it like being humped on stage?

How did you become Carnival’s senior Cruise Director?

What job position did you start off at?

Thanks very much Mr. Heald,

Sincerely,
CJ

John Says:
Hello CJ,

Did you know CJ is the name of my favorite character of my favorite TV show West Wing? I am glad you enjoyed the bedtime story and I will answer your questions.

What was it like being humped on stage?

– Embarrassing, painful and I am glad my wife didn’t get to see it.

How did you become Carnival’s senior cruise director?

– I was made senior cruise director in 2002. I was very honoured (spelt correctly) to be given this role. I try to mentor and help the cruise directors as and when they ask for it plus my job as brand ambassador keeps me busy, as does the blog.

What job position did you start off at?

– My first job at Carnival was as aerobics instructor………kidding. I was a bar waiter and a very bad one at that. I was also a wine steward a very bad one at that and an Asst. Bar Manager and a very bad one at that. I hope you had a great time on the ship and I hope you are enjoying the blog. I hope to see you soon.

Best wishes to you and your family.
John

lyleba Asked:
Hi John, so happy that Kye and Heidi are joining you. I know it will be a special visit for all of you.

I tried to handle the next matter on my own without pestering you but I wonder if you might help me. On the Swine flu cruise last year we shared time with Maitre d Ken and he gave us his card. He said he could help us with seating if we cruised again. We’re using our 2 for 1 letter from last year’s Splendor cruise for the March 7th cruise on the Victory. I emailed Ken to see if he could help us get a table for 2 in the center section of the dining room (early seating) but he never replied. I’m hoping he received my email. Is there any way you could check or relay our request to the Maitre d’ on the Victory just in case. It’s my husband’s bday cruise and after a year of our parent’s health problems we are looking forward to a relaxing cruise for the 2 of us. I’d appreciate any help with this matter. We’re hoping to hop on the Conquest if we can while you’re onboard since we live in Houston. Hopefully we will see you!!!

Thanks again!!!
Barbara

John Says:
Hello lyleba (Barbara)

Thank you for the kind words, Heidi and Kye are having a great time. Ken took an early vacation and he will return in April on the Carnival Legend. He is still the ultimate maitre ‘d. I will send your request to the maitre ‘d on the Carnival Victory just in case Ken did not get chance to. Maybe I will see you on the Carnival Conquest and have a great time next week.

Best wishes to you and your husband.
John

Chris deOgburn Asked:
John, (PLEASE REPLY)

I read your story regarding a guest being pissed when they got the medical charges on their sign and sail card for services rendered and tossed an ice pack at one of the staff members.

We were on the Carnival Dream on one of the Europe trips…the one where carnival cancelled the porters at the airport and we had to deal with a mess in getting luggage out….previous email to you.

Anyhow, getting off point, we had to use the medical services for my father and let me tell you they were just wonderful. The staff was so friendly and professional and they really provided great care for my father. My mother was worried it was going to cost a fortune but nearly dropped the bill in shock when it was handled over to her.

Why? It has barely $200 and included x-rays, blood tests, IV bags, doctor’s fee, etc. Here in the states that is what they charge you to walk in the front door. We were very pleased and impressed at the low cost and excellent care they provided my father as it was touch and go all day if he would be able to remain on the ship and not get transferred to a hospital in Messina, Italy which was not high on our list. The Doctor kept saying I am not going to let that happen and she came through.

So bonkers to the guest who got his medical bill and threw an ice pack at the medical staff…what an idiot. Just thought I would share that with you.

Best,
-Chris

John Says:
Hello Chris deOgburn,

I just wanted you to know how wonderful it was to read your words of support for Dr. David and Dr. Caroline. From having a bag of ice thrown at them one minute to reading your words of praise on how they took care of your father shows the diversity of the life of ship’s doctors. I will make sure they get to read this and I also know that some of the medical supervisors at Carnival HQ read the blog and they will be as thankful as I am that you took the time to write. My apologies once again for the bag confusion in Rome and hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy.

Best Wishes,
John

soxfan Asked:
John, please reply if you have time.

I am not sure Carla S should be speaking for everyone who was on the Carnival Dream when we missed San Juan. There were eight of us in our party and not one person complained, they were disappointed yes but got over it pretty quickly when we all realized we were still on vacation on a brand new ship having a great time. It’s not like the port was cancelled and we woke up at work or something equally unpleasant, we woke up in our cabins, which someone else was going to clean, to go eat good food that someone else was going to cook. I am baffled to think that could have ruined the whole cruise. It was a great cruise with one hiccup. If it hadn’t been the San Juan incident that “ruined” the cruise it would have been something else.

John Says:
Hello soxfan,

As you know I was on board when your Carnival Dream missed San Juan due to our very bad planning. I know it disappointed many and I know that I have apologized many times here on the blog and have no problem in doing so again. Thank you so much for showing us the other side of the coin and I am truly grateful for your most brilliant and positive comments.

Best Wishes to you and the family,
John

That’s all for today and I will have more tomorrow. Thanks so much for all your comments on the subjects I have been writing about these past few days especially all of you who took the time to write in memory of those poor crew members who passed away during the terrible incident on the Costa Europa. I know it will have meant a lot to their families as it did to those at Costa Cruises.

I see that while most of you like the Fun Times a few of you are not so sure. That’s OK; change is never easy but having asked the guests here on your Carnival Dream, most, not all seem to really like them. I wanted to reply though to this comment which caught my eye today.

Mitch, Said:
Dear John

While I can appreciate the fact that the Carnival Capers can take quite a lot of time to produce, I must however disagree with you about a generic Capers with insert your ship here.

I believe it takes some the flavor, the personality if you will out of an individual ship, and truly does bring carnival one step closer to being the Wal-Mart of cruising, in that you can visit any Carnival ship and get the same hamburger made the exact same way anywhere (BORING)

To me it’s kind of like the generic Carnival ship pictures Carnival uses in brochures and advertising (you know the ones with the ship name whited out) which I guess will probably be next for the Carnival post cards, and photo staff.

I will however grant you that most people are rather stupid cows, who can barely remember the name of the last ship they were on, and will probably enjoy the fact that they get the same thing while believing the burger king motto have it your way.

That’s my opinion and I am sticking to it
Mitch

John Says:
Hello Mitch

Thanks for taking the time to write and let me start by saying that the great thing about this blog is that it gives the chance for everyone to express their opinion of me, the cruise line I work for and anything else that you feel like writing about. And your comment is correct, yes, I agree with you actually…….well………sort of. You see, you mentioned that you can get the same hamburger on everyone of our ships and that is boring. Well, I think it’s an amazing comfort that our guests know that whether you take a three-day cruise on the Carnival Fascination or a 12-day cruise around Europe on the Carnival Magic you will get the same high quality and the same abundant variety of food regardless. This goes for the fun and the affordability we offer as well. Surely this is why famous chain restaurants are so popular because people know whether they eat in one in Birmingham, Alabama or Birmingham, England that the quality and taste will be exactly the same. That’s why Carnival is the world’s most popular cruise line, because people know exactly what they are going to get……………a brilliant fun, affordable cruise vacation.

That’s my opinion and I am sticking to it.

Best wishes
John

A few days ago I posted a list of those who had been chosen by Cunard to be the Senior Officers of the most anticipated new ship this year……….Queen Elizabeth. Well my friend Alistair Greening who himself has been chosen to be the entertainment director has just posted a brilliant interview with the future captain of this future historical vessel Captain Christopher Wells. Now, I have never met him but it seems we have one thing very much in common…………….I wonder if you can spot what it is.

Find out now by clicking on this thingy…. www.wearecunard.com

Did you find our common denominator?

Congratulations to Captain Wells and I hope to shake his hand when I get invited to the inaugural celebrations……………..was that rude………inviting myself?

Here are today’s random photos remembering that I am a terrible photographer. Also, these photos are random and have no pattern and well…………anyway…..here they are:

So here we are in St. Thomas and thankfully the weather is as I write beautiful. It’s 80 degrees and sunny and guests are flocking ashore to enjoy excursions, snorkeling and shopping. Heidi and Kye are on deck and once I have finished my work I will join them.

We arrive at 10 am so I host a 9 am Morning Show as you just saw from one of those rubbish random photos of mine. We are at the Havensite Pier with the Carnival Freedom, a Norwegian something and at anchor is the Costa Atlantica as seen here in photos captured by the bow camera.

I met a wonderful couple last night with a tragic story……..here it is.


They are from California and lost their home in a forest fire last summer. They lost everything and as they told me during the Morning Show they truly lost everything. Can you imagine losing everything that you and your family hold dear. What makes it an even sadder story was that on the day of the fire a firefighter who was trying to stop the blaze reaching their home died in the line of duty?

They are having fun this week though and I sent them some goodies to help cheer them up. But as they said in the letter……as they stood and watched 4,000 square feet of home and belongings burn to the ground……they hung on to each other and realized that they had each other….that everyone was alive….and nothing else mattered. These are the people who cruise with us each and every week and I am grateful that so many share their stories with me for my Morning Shows.

So, a few weeks ago I came out of my bedroom as naked as the day I was born, bent down to get something out of the fridge forgetting that after sunset guests walking the Lanai can see straight into my cabin. And as I mentioned in my blog a guest happened to be looking through the window as I bent over to get something from the refrigerator and the sight of John Heald’s Poo Bay……….changed his life forever.

Since then I have been very careful and always close the curtains at sunset. During the day it’s not a problem because unless the guests press their faces up to the glass…….I mean right up against the window…..they can’t see in as it is tinted. However, occasionally you do get one or two who are nosey enough to do this but yesterday it seemed that loads and loads of people were doing it. I mean dozens! Heidi was getting annoyed and so was I so in the end we closed the curtains was a shame because it is nice to let the sunshine in. Yet even with the curtains closed we could hear people outside and some even knocked on the window. This has never happened before.

I couldn’t figure out why until one of the staff members called me and then everything became clear. Stuck onto the wall above my cabin window was this sign.

Now that’s very funny and I have a feeling Lance (one of the bloggers and the designer of the Climb This T-Shirt) made this sign as it has his brilliance written all over it.

As for Big Ed……..well payback will be coming. I have a great friend at Customs and Border patrol in Port Canaveral and I hope Big Ed is ready……..ahhhh…….the touch and feel of Latex!

Goodnight
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.