Aliens, Elizebeth And Heidi

March 12, 2010 -

John Heald

I have to admit something to you which may change your opinion of me. Last night before I went to bed……….. I killed four men.

The first two I shot with a good old-fashioned shotgun, and then for the third one, who was 9 feet high and wearing body armor complete with alien technology, I had to use a photon cannon…….thingy.

I was able to do this thanks to my predecessor Todd who apart from leaving his metro sexual hair and body products in the bathroom cabinet and a copy of “Big Jugs” in the desk drawer………also left me his Playstation 3 game. I have written before I think that I am not a fan of these but these last few days since discovering how to turn the dam thing on I must admit that in a lonely cabin without the joy of Heidi and Kye……….they offer perfect antidote to loneliness.

I’ve been to strange planets, driven a car at 150mph into a wall (it was a Toyota and the brakes failed), killed a Zombie who spurted green pus out of the place where its head used to be, become a Shaolin kung fu master fighting alongside a fat panda and attacked and defeated the entire French Army…….that took five minutes by the way. I might actually consider buying one you know.

Heidi has the Wii Wii game and I think it’s a load of bollocks. She plays Wii Wii tennis, and exercise stuff and occasionally as a special treat while Kye is asleep she will go bowling ………why? What’s the point. You can play tennis in real life, so what’s the point of replicating it on a computer? You want to play golf? Then go outside and pick up a golfing bat, you lazy sod.

Proper computer games are the ones that let you do things you can’t actually do. I want to shoot an alien that looks like Judge Judy and Phil Spector’s love child right between two of its eight eyes but I can hardly pop on down to the shopping mall to have a go at that, can I?

I want fantasy on a games console. I want to pick up a plasma rifle at a far-flung outpost of the universe and kick some serious arse. Yes, I’m beyond terrible at it and don’t even get as far as the first checkpoint before I get killed, but, hey, rather than a game of “running and jumping” as Wii fanatics seem to enjoy.

Well, I am not 10 years old so I don’t want to run and jump. I want to take control of a stealth fighter armed with plasma torpedoes and go up against the Dark Star of the Seas in my quest to destroy the climbing wall network from the planet Epic. And what have they got on the Wii …………duck-shooting………….duck my arse.

“But the Wii keeps you fit,” says Heidi and people with beards. So what? The Playstation and XBox thingies are far more important than that. Come the day when the Earth is at war with real aliens I want Kye to be able to protect herself. We’ll need her skills in the future. Frankly, if she’d been playing on a Wii then I’m afraid mankind’s only hope when the aliens arrived would be that, rather than all-out interstellar conflict……..all they wanted was a bowling contest.

You want exercise? Okay, what you need to do is this. Take the Wii to an actual, real-life bowling alley. Put on those smelly shoes that someone with gangrene of the toes was just wearing….. line yourself up carefully, with the Wii gripped firmly in your hand. Now, when you’re comfy, run down the lane as fast as you can. Then, when you get to the pins, use them to smash up the Wii. And then take the bits to the park…….. and throw them in a lake.

Oh and one more thing. I wish I had a the photon cannon in real life yesterday afternoon when during my afternoon show a lovely and charming spring break type called the show from a phone on lido deck and shouted “we want some fu**ing party music on.” Unfortunately I didn’t have a photon cannon or a plasma rifle or even a pointed stick so I just told the guests that she was the perfect example of why some animals eat their young.

Time for today’s questions……… we go.

Paul Baranowski Asked:
Hi John, Please respond if you can.

My wife and I have been on 11 cruises. Nine of them have been on Carnival. The other two were before we knew better. Our last cruise was on the Dream on December 3, 2009. This cruise was, without a doubt, the most fun we have ever had on any cruise. We were seated at a table on the other side of the dining room from your table. Bryne Ken, “The singing maitre d” was a great addition to the dining room entertainment and a great maitre d’ as well. The dining room staff was wonderful. I have nothing but praise for the entire ship’s staff. After reading your blog thingy and having such a great time on the Dream, I would like to make two suggestions.

First, I would love to pick my future cruises based on Bryne Ken’s schedule. So posting his schedule with the CDs would be nice. The second is to allow PVPs to place cruisers in general dining room locations, i.e., aft dining room, large table, lower level, center, or some other scheme for seating guests. You are burdened with a large number of seating requests and it would make many people happy. It would also allow the maitre d’ the flexibility to arrange guests in the dining room since no specific tables were assigned.

I would also like to compliment my wonderful PVP, Michele Avins, who I have on speed dial, for doing an outstanding job over the last five years making all of my cruises memorable. Also, Lyndon Culiner is another great PVP who I have gotten to know.

We will become Carnival platinum cruisers on September 12, 2010 when we sail on the Pride with my sister and her husband (who we have converted to serious cruisers). I am hoping you will be our CD on that vacation.

If possible, could you please respond regarding my recommendations and if there is any chance that you will be the CD on my next cruise.

Hoping that many cruises are in all of our futures,
Paul and Laurie

John Says:
Hello Paul and Laurie

Thank you firstly for those nine cruises you have both enjoyed with Carnival. I remember you well from the bloggers cruise and of course you like many others are quick to sing the praises of the incomparable Ken Byrne. Ken has two more weeks’ vacation and then will be on the Carnival Legend from early April until the end of October. I will ask him to tell me his exact dates and post them for you here on the blog thingy. While it would be nice to have the PVP’s help with dining requests I am afraid that it won’t be possible. There are lots and lots of them and while I send maybe 15 or 20 requests a week they would be sending many more times that thus making an already difficult job for the Maitre D’s even harder. I should mention I suppose that my relationship with the dining room teams also helps get things accomplished if you know what I mean. Meanwhile I will be happy to help as many people as I can.

Thanks though for those great words for Michele who when I send her this will be thrilled to read your kind testament as will Lyndon. There is a good chance I will indeed be with you on the Carnival Pride and I am sure you are very excited about your Platinum status.

Please let me know if you need anything

Best wishes to you both

John Asked:
Hi John H, (Please reply)

Last year I had inquired with you – via your blog thingy 🙂 – regarding Carnival’s smoking policy in regard to the Piano Bars. I realize that Carnival periodically reviews these policies and has even tried out non-smoking piano bars, etc.

As far as I have been able to find out so far, it appears as though there are not any piano bars that are non-smoking on Carnival (please correct me if I’m wrong), so I am going to have to assume that the bottom line has something to do with the current policies. Realizing that in order for some policy changes to be successful, they must be done quite slowly.

In the meantime, it would be really grand if smoke intolerant passengers were able to experience the uniqueness of the piano bars without being exposed to second and third hand, yes, third hand smoke. LOL, there seems to be such a thing now.

Having tried to enjoy the piano bar on our 2 last cruises (another coming up on 2/21 and we will try again!) I realize that a big part of the problem is poor air ventilation in the piano bars. We tried to sit in a non-smoky location but the air was actually so still that the smoke from someone’s cigarette 10 feet away from us actually lingered almost horizontally towards us.

I would like to suggest that when Carnival is building new ships that additional ventilation capabilities be installed in the piano bars and perhaps the casino. Major land based casinos seem to do a great job of this. Of course, just like everything else, not everyone will be satisfied, but I think most reasonable non-smokers would be thrilled. I realize that it is impractical to modify current piano bars to drastically improve ventilation.

I would also like to mention that there is no information regarding smoking policies on Carnival’s site, except for information regarding Spa cabins. Realizing that the policy (along with others) may vary from ship to ship I am hoping that with the new “Capers” – FUNTIMES that there is a possibility that each ship could post their FUNTIMES somewhere for everyone to see. This would certainly help provide some of the ship specific information that doesn’t appear to be available anywhere else.

I always enjoy your blog thingy and your brilliant sense of humour (spelt correctly).

I would like to close in saying that I enjoy sailing with Carnival and would very much like to continue to do so in the future, but may consider some other lines with less interior smoking venues if I can find any that offer a similar value.

Thanks for your help!
John R

John Says:
Hello John R

Anytime I write about smoking I always start by saying that this is a very sensitive subject and that we as a company are very aware that we need to try and keep both smokers and non-smokers happy as both groups are vital to our business. With regard to the Piano Bars you are correct that they are all smoking and I am not aware of any plans to change this. Now I know that’s not what you wanted to hear and even if I balance this out by saying that all the other entertainment venues (except the dance clubs) are non smoking across the fleet …………that it’s not going to appease you.

You bring up a very good point about the smoking rules and regulations not being online …………mmmm…………let me see what I can do about that. By the way………..what’s “third hand smoke?” ………never heard of that.

I obviously hope you come back to us the next time you decide on a cruise and I think you will find that industry wide the smoking policies are pretty much the same. Let me see what I can do about getting the fleet wide information on smoking.

Best wishes and thanks for the very kind words

Agent Dotski Asked:
John, please reply:

Hey John! Long time no talk! I am so far behind on my blog reading!! As a travel agent in the middle of booking season, it’s not too hard to do, but I’ve started stretching out with the laptop in bed to catch up! Should start putting in my two cents more often shortly! Haha!

Just have a quick question for you – hopefully it is just as quick for you to find the answer! My band of fellow Canadian Travel Agents and I all sailed on the Splendor in May (during the whole swine flu issue!) and had the pleasure of travelling with fellow Canadians CD Brad and assistant CD Matt. They were both great to travel with and would do so again in a heartbeat!! We had great fun with them! Anyway, a few of us were chatting about the trip and were curious as to how “our boys” were doing. I see from the CD list that Brad is en route to the Ecstasy shortly, but was curious where Matt is located at the moment. For the life of me I can’t recall his surname. He was very personable, always visible and all of the guests (of all ages) that I saw him dealing with loved him. From our interactions with him, I and the agents that I was with thought that he would be great as a CD someday as he seemed able to adapt himself to every personality. So hopefully he is still with the company and doing well. I’m escorting a group of clients on the Freedom at the end of April so if he happened to be there…! Haha!

Thanks so much for your time and effort John! As always, you are very much appreciated!

John Says:
Hello Agent Dotski

Goodness me it must be a year or so since I added the letters “ski” onto the end of your postings. Welcome back. Thanks for highlighting Brad who did a great job during the whole sneezing pig thingy and in fact he was just here visiting his girlfriend who is a Carnival Dream Dancer and obviously blind as a bat. Yep……..Brad is doing well and is on his way to the Carnival Ecstasy where I know he will do a fabulous job as always. Now, as for Matt? Not sure who that is but will ask around. It’s been great to hear from you and please send my kind regards to all my Canadian travel agent friends and if you need anything from me I will be here…………eh!…….sorry, couldn’t resist.

Best wishes

Isabelle turell Asked:

My fiance’s name is David Stamper (if you want to see all his past cruises he has done 9 cruises so far and was on the very 1st ship the Mardi Gras on Oct 6 1991 lol. This next cruise is David’s 10th cruise. As a Valentine’s Day present I am booking a cruise for me and my fiancé’ on the Carnival Dream leaving February 27th coming back March 6th. I am writing you as David is a big fan of you Mr. Heald and hasn’t sailed with you since September 13 in 1997 on the Imagination. I got David a bobble head John Heald on Ebay. Don’t ask me how much I paid lol. You actually wrote about the ebay auction on your blog. I was bidding on that auction and got outbid last minute lol. won another one on Ebay a week later. David is a police officer and this will be a great vacation for him. We are going to I am excited about it as we have heard a lot of great things about the Dream and John Heald is on it right now which David would really love that. I haven’t told him yet about it but I know he is going to be very excited. I am booking through a Carnival representative by the name of Mary Hirschman, which we booked our Carnival cruises in the past. I love Carnival. We usually do the balconies but I wanted to get a deal and I am going to book an inside cabin. I have no idea what that’s like but as long as we are on the ship I am happy.

I am bringing the John Heald Bobble head for good luck and also in big hopes that you can sign it for David.

John Says:
Hello Isabelle Turell

I just wanted to say how wonderful it was to see you both last week. I hope you both had a great time and I was proud to sign your bobble head. You obviously are both very much in love which was wonderful to see. If there is anything I can do for you please let me know and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy.

Best wishes to you both

Luigi DiFazio Asked:
Dear John, (Please Reply)

(Am sending this a second time because I did not include my booking number the first time)

Apparently your last name has been changed from Heald to Please reply (correct spelling lol).

Happy Birthday! I hope you enjoyed this special day with your girls.

John it has been 2 years since the last time my family and I sailed with you on the Carnival Freedom. We first met you on the Freedom when you were being visited by Mr. Bell. We chatted about the Blog thingy and you mentioned that they were even working on a possible TV/Sitcom based on the blog and your life as a CD.

We are booked on the Dream for the March 13, 2010 sailing. Our family is looking forward to once again cruising with Carnival (4th cruise) and to have you as our CD. My girls love Carnival and we always have lots of fun. Even though this is our 4th cruise with Carnival my middle child mused that since we always have 2 cabins that we should be platinum members by our next cruise. I told her we would be honourary (spelt correctly) members until we had our 10th. However, I was wondering if you could pass on a request to the singing Maitre’d (Ken. B) to see if we could possibly be seated at a table of 5 as a family by ourselves.

Also, in the past we have brought walkie talkies with us as a way of keeping in touch on the ship. Some of the blogs say that the ship is too big for them to work. Do you rent any walkie talkies on board that are hooked up to the ship’s system?

I am also looking forward to experiencing the Dream for myself. Some of the reviews have been quite harsh in their assessment of the ship. I will be writing my own assessment when I get back. I will add however, that previous cruises on the Triumph, Liberty and Freedom were also met with many harsh words by the critics who proved for the most part to be unfounded, we had a great time. When reading reviews I am always suspicious of phrases like “my entire cruise was ruined” and “it was the most painful experience”. Really, just because you had to wait half an hour your cruise was ruined?

Experience has taught me that a good time is based on reasonable expectation and not absolute perfection. Those expecting perfection from humans are always disappointed.

See you soon

John Says:
Hello Luigi Di Fazio …..are you Irish?

Thanks for those kind words about your last voyage with me and my visit by that bastard Bell and his palsy. You know, I keep expecting him to pay me another visit as that apparently is the normal thing that happens but so far……touch wood………..that has not happened. Ah yes, the sitcom. Well I was visited by an LA agent type who said lots of nice things and said this and that and how funny I was and then………I never heard from him again. Oh well……it was a dream but unfortunately I had built my hopes up as usual so I was a bit disappointed to say the least when I never heard anything from him again. That I guess is show business.

The walkie talkies work fine on the ships and I see many guests carrying the Motorola things with them so they can be useful.

Well, you will be here soon and I am looking forward to meeting you. Unfortunately Ken is on vacation and instead I am going to put you with Ante or Klaudio who are brilliant Maitre Ds and will look after you for sure with a table as you requested.

Please leave me a note when you board.

Best wishes to all and see you soon.

Bonnie Boatner Asked:
Dear John please reply.

My husband and I, along with some dear friends are blessed enough to be sailing again, this time on the Legend in April. Can’t believe it has been over 2 months since our fabulous cruise with you on the Dream. My husband truly enjoys good cigars, and I recall you recommending a shop in Grand Cayman. Could you give the name/location again? That is the only thing Steve has said he wants to do this trip, buy some good cigars and smoke them under the stars. Thanks so much for your response and all you do for us.

BTW, you would not believe the offers I have received for our John Heald bobbleheads.

John Says:
Hello Bonnie Boatner

I always enjoy passing on good cigar recommendations and when you get off the tender in Grand Cayman you will see a parade of shops to your right situated on the waterfront. On the corner is a restaurant/pub called the Landmark and three doors down from there is the Casa De Habana’s where you will find the greatest selection of cigars in the Caribbean. I wish I could be there to smoke one with your husband.

As for the bobble heads………it was probably the Chairman of RCI wanting to buy it to use as a voodoo doll.

Have a great time on the Carnival Legend.

Best wishes to you both.

Tim Kriebel MCPO USN Retired Asked:
John: Please respond…….

Couple of your promises that need revisiting, if you can swing it.

First of all, the video that was shot on the Dream Blogger’s Cruise has never surfaced (or did I miss it?). I remember you saying that it would be up somewhere, but don’t recall seing it. ????

Maybe more importantly, at least a year ago (or so it seems) you spoke of the “brilliant” new guy at Carnival who was now in charge of the guest loyalty program….amidst promises that changes were possibly coming after his evaluation etc…etc… What has he found and where is the loyalty program headed. Certainly he has had time to assess the situation…..What say you?

John Says:
Hello Tim

You are correct about the video mate and do you know what….I had completely forgotten about it as well. Bugger. Thanks for the reminder though and I will get straight onto Peter the Hair and one of the 343 Stephanies and get that posted.

Did you see the interview with Jim our Chief Marketing Officer yesterday? He has been very busy with lots of projects as you may have read but the next on his list is the loyalty program which is already under discussion with all the big beards at Carnival.

It was great to meet you and I will be back to with regards the video.

Best wishes

Charlene Szwec Asked:
Please respond

Hello John, hope everything is well with you, Heidi and Kye.

I love your blog and try to read it as often as possible. I love it.

My husband and I are cruising on the Dream for a back to back 6/12/10 – 6/26/10 to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This will be our 9th and 10th cruise on Carnival. I made our reservations through Carnival and asked the rep since our 10th cruise will make us Platinum if we will get the perks for being Platinum. I don’t expect it for the first week but would look forward to it for the 2nd week. He contacted Carnival and was told this could not be promised because of our cruise being a back to back.

I’m not really interested in all of the perks except for our laundry being done by the cabin steward. Since we will be sailing for 2 weeks we don’t want to over pack and only want to pack for 1 week and have our laundry done for the 2nd week. With the cost of baggage on airlines going up all the time we would only like to bring 1 piece of luggage each. We would rather like to spend the extra cash on the ship.

Can you please help.

We have always sailed on Carnival and love it. Never had a bad experience with the personnel. We highly recommend it to all of our family and friends.

Thanks for your reply.

PS Can’t wait 121 more days till we sail.

John Says:
Hello Charlene Szwec

Thanks for the kind words about the blog thingy and I am sure you are excited for your back to back cruise on your Carnival Dream to celebrate that special anniversary. I checked with our loyalty team and I can confirm that on the second week of your cruise you will indeed be given Platinum status and that shiny card and all the benefits that go with it will be yours. So pack accordingly and if there is anything else you can think of before you sail please let me know.

Best wishes

Jerry Calvert Asked:
Pls reply:

John, I just got home from 8 days on Carnival Spirit, so I may have missed your response. My previous note was crabbing about the absence of the “Bannister Island tour in Belize and inquiring of its return.

Today you talked about Belize–what do you recommend in its absence?

John Says:
Hello Jerry Calvert

I hope you had fun on the Carnival Spirit. I think I did indeed reply but in case you missed it I would recommend that you try the superb cave tubing tour which has returned to our excursion program. I would recommend booking this on line though because since I have been here on your Carnival Dream it has been sold out before each cruise started. Please let me know if you have a follow up question.

Best wishes,

Abraham G Asked:
John – Reply to this please

Going on the Liberty on March 20th and am concerned that others on Cruise Critic have reported that the food is not as good as Royal Caribbean or NCL. I am most disappointed to read this and I am already perturbed before I even get on the boat. Is it true, is the food as awful as they say. I would cancel the cruise but it’s for my daughter’s graduation and I don’t want to disappoint her.


John Says:
Hello Abraham

I don’t know if the food is as good as what is served on RCI ships or on NCL. What I do know is that whoever this “they” is that you referred to but I wish I could meet them. Please don’t judge the cruise before you even get onboard and please don’t base your expectations on what others say. Remember that what is said on Cruise Critic and on this blog thingy are opinions…..not the facts and for every one person who writes that they didn’t like the food on Carnival ships I can find you the same number who says the same about other lines as well. More importantly, for every one person who says the food on the Carnival Liberty is not good I can find a dozen or more bloggers who will tell you the opposite………….right, bloggers?

So, go on the ship. Have fun. Enjoy this special time with your daughter who you must be so proud of and let me know what YOU think about the food when you get home.

Best wishes to all

That’s all for today and thank you all for all the hundreds of comments you write each and every week.

Time for a video break and once again we go to the world of Cunard and a look inside the ship that carries the name……….Elizabeth. In this superbly made video we meet the interior designer and get to see the famous “Grills”…….. here is your host Alistair Greening, the soon to be Entertainment Director of Queen Elizabeth.

Seeing that video makes me proud to be British. Yes, I know she is made in Italy and that’s our own fault as a country and a subject for a cigar and a Diet Coke with Peter Shanks. But this ship not only has the huge responsibility of being the Cunard flagship but to the Brits she will be the flagship of the nation, as well. She will demand the same respect her predecessor had as did the much missed Concord. Yes, the plane was a little bit French (they made the toilets) but to me, my mates and millions of Brits…….Concord was as British as Shepherd’s Pie, warm beer and David Dingle and that was what we all felt about the QE2.

I feel sorry a bit for the old lady. Much was promised by the sheiks of Dubai who were going to keep her essence yet turn her into an uber-luxury floating hotel. But the money ran out.  It’s sitting in Dubai, wondering what it’s done wrong. Why did it not sail yesterday and why is there no sense that it will sail today? Why is nobody drinking tea in the Queens Grill and dancing to the sounds of Glen Miller?  I hope something positive happens to her soon.

Meanwhile, Cunard has a new Queen that is getting ready to take on the role of the most famous ocean liner in the world although her sisters Victoria and Mary may have something to say about that. My thanks to Alistair and of course Peter for including us in the build up to the launch of Queen Elizabeth…………I can’t wait.

This week has nearly come to an end and it’s been a bit of a mixed bag. Obviously the low light was missing Roatan. Overall people have been mostly fine and understanding and I thought I would show you two letters at opposite ends of the spectrum written by people at opposite ends of the evolutionary scale.

Well there isn’t much to say is there? The first letter is one that shows the understanding and disappointment felt by anyone who does not get to go to a port that they choose although I am not sure what internet site they looked at as the gentlemen was wrong. This is the first time that your Carnival Dream has missed Roatan and although I know the Carnival Valor missed it once last month it is not by any means a regular occurrence. But again, I understand that this gentlemen like everyone wished that this had not happened and that the wind had not been so strong and that we made into the beautiful port of Roatan.

The rest of the cruise has been gorgeous though and I hope the guests remember that we have had glorious sunshine all cruise long. Certainly the mood on the ship for the most part has been excellent and apart from one or two obnoxious spring breakers, including the idiot who felt the need to swear on live TV……the guests have been fantastic. I doubt anyone who has been here this week will forget the characters we have met, including of course the one and only Stinking Creek who has made an everlasting impression with everyone and I wish he was here every week.

Yep…….even though we missed a port this has been one of the best weeks I have had here on my Carnival Dream. I have worked extra hard to keep everyone’s spirits up and we shall see if I managed to do so when we get the report cards back. By the way ……… there is some very interesting news about the comment cards coming your way very soon.

It’s 8:15am and I have been sitting here…….in my underpants……..writing since 6:40 am. I have had two cups of tea and I feel like crawling back into bed, but I can’t of course. I have my senior officers meeting followed by debarkation talk…….oh yes……there is some interesting news coming your way about that soon as well…….followed by a technical show meeting……followed by the afternoon live show where if that idiot girl spring breaker calls again I shall muzzle her with the pair of underpants I wore all day yesterday which are currently marinating on my bathroom floor…….followed by the Carnival legends show. So, it’s time for me to go but not time for the end of today’s blog thingy……….because………………here’s Heidi.

Hello Bloggers and John

We are back home safe and sound and had the best time on board.

I enjoyed it so much because I didn’t have to think of anything but John and Kye and it was great for Kye because she got to spend time with her Daddy.

Thanks again to Stewart, the Hotel Director, for letting us use his cabin. I don’t know how we would have managed in the Cruise Director’s cabin for 3 weeks without going crazy. His is three times as big and I am very thankful and so is Kye as she had room to play in.

After walking up the gangway for 12 years as a crew member, walking up the gangway pushing our daughter in her buggy was very strange and amazing at the same time.

Kye spent some time in Camp Carnival. I left her with someone other than John’s mum or my Mum for the first time and she had a great time. She loved all the staff in Camp Carnival and they loved Kye, how can they not 🙂 They called her “Happy Baby” and that is exactly what she is. Nothing seems to bother her, not even a 9 and a half hour flight across the Atlantic.

We bought her the typical souvenirs, the Mexican maraca and summer dress, a photo frame I could have made myself from St. Thomas etc. It was very hot for her most of the time but the Lanai was amazing, Kye had a lot of naps there in a nice breeze.

Of course she got so much attention from absolutely everybody. I want to say a big thank you to Carolyn and Don and Big Ed and Pat who came on the cruise because they knew Kye and I would be there. As always the time went to fast and we didn’t get to spend as much time with them as we probably should have but their generosity and love was so wonderful and I thank them all as does Kye. And a special thanks to the Evil Krewe for your amazing act of kindness from the last bloggers cruise. You are all amazing!

I bet she would have liked tinted windows in her buggy once in a while though ………. especially when she saw Fun Ship Freddy. The photographer managed to take a photo of her with the biggest smile and then she realized the big red and white head was looking at her (it belonged to Fun ship Freddy not the photographer) and started crying, which was the only time she cried in 3 weeks, so thanks Freddy 🙂

Saying goodbye to John after 3 weeks was very hard and driving away from the pier, the driver passed tissues to me without saying a word. It was almost like the last scene of Pretty Woman except that Richard Gere was nowhere in sight…..bugger!

The flight back was a bit harder than coming over, even though it was 2 hours shorter than coming over.

I was all settled in my seat with Kye when the man next to me approached, saw Kye and his face dropped. Not bothered about his childish behavior, Kye and I played and read books and she even fell asleep in her own special seat…..until the seatbelt sign came on and I had to take her out, thus wake her, and put strap her in on my lap. (not something that Kye was planning on at that hour of the day). Being a night flight it would have been great to just let her sleep as we took off at around her usual bedtime of 7pm but Mother Nature had different plans and with Kye on my lap the plane made us feel like we were on the Tower Of Terror ride in one of the studios in Orlando…….Of course, all babies, including Kye, started crying and Mr. I Hate Babies next to me started tutting and pulling faces. At one point, when I just had enough of his posh Surrey (a county in the UK where posh people live) self I asked him if he would like to hold Kye for a minute while I am going to use the toilet…..haha! His face………..MasterCard Priceless with capitol letters!

All together, Kye must have cried for 20 minutes but of course felt as a lot longer and at the end of the day….Am I bothered though????? We made it to the ground safe which is the only important thing and Kye was happy as ever after not sleeping at all during the night…….I put her in her Baby Bjorn carrier and she thought going through passport control was very funny as she smiled at the officer, then going down to the luggage claim area where luckily our luggage showed up really quickly.

But, as I have this opportunity to write…..what happened to men being gentlemen?

Really, standing there with Kye hanging in front of me, my backpack on my back, not ONE person offered to help with my 2 suitcases and Kye’s buggy, not ONE. I think after my Dad’s generation that quality in young man has just gone.

Where were Tom and Jane when you need them…….

Anyway, back in the cold and getting back to our routine at home.

Thank you to all the staff on board the Carnival Dream who treated Kye and I like royalty, especially the Chef ;-)) I will miss the chocolate covered strawberries and fresh fruit being delivered.

I know I don’t write much on John’s blog these days as Kye and her diapers keep me busy. But I do want to say how much I appreciate all of your kind words you write for me and my daughter each day and more importantly for all the love and support you give John. He works so hard on the blog. When Kye and I were there his alarm went off at 5:30 am every morning so he could write and spend time later in the day with his daughter. I don’t know how he finds the time to do this and be the Cruise Director he is. Thanks to you all for the support you give him

Here are two photos of Kye. One with me and one with her Daddy who sings his Bouncy Bouncy song to her every day

We hope to see you all soon


Heidi and Kye

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.

64 Responses to Aliens, Elizebeth And Heidi

  1. Mike says:

    John and Heidi,

    Kye is so incredibly adorable!!! Please enjoy and treasure her at this age, because they grow up so fast!

    My own daughter is 10 now, but it seems like only a couple of years since she was a baby.

    P.S. John, you are one lucky sod. Heidi is stunning in that picture!!

  2. Don says:

    On the January 23rd Carnival Dream cruise we weren’t able to stop at Costa Maya1 That’s cruising & it happens. No one that I talked to was overly disappointed. My wife just rolled over in bed and pulled the covers over her head and said good.

  3. LadyJag (Laura) says:

    Dear John,
    LOVE the pictures of you and your beautiful family. Many thanks to Heidi for sending them and writing.

    In answer to your question, third-hand smoke is the exposure you get from upholstery and the like that has absorbed someone’s cigarrette smoke. You know how you can tell if a smoker owned a car just by opening the door? Yep, that odor is from third-hand smoke and apparently a health issue for more people than just asthmatics.

    Take care,

  4. Renee says:

    John will you be on the Carnival Dream in 2011. We want to take another cruise on the Carnival Dream again because we really enjoyed the first one.

  5. Darn John now you have tears running down my cheeks. I miss your special girls. too. I just emailed Heidi earlier today and told her that we forget sometimes to thank God for answering our prayers, but I never forget to thank Him for the perfect little one He gave the two of you. You and Heidi are great parents and the love you give Kye shows.
    Heidi stick your fingers in Kye’s ears so she can’t hear me all the way in UK ……….. To the man on the plane with Heidi and Kye… ” $ ^*# you!”
    I can not believe people who do not take into consideration the safety of everyone on the ship.To think that the stop at a port is more important that keeping the passengers safe.
    I hope there aren’;t a lot of drunken spring breakers on our cruise with you on the Conquest. .
    Thanks so much Heidi ,for your addition to the blog and the pictures of Kye. even if you did make me sob.
    Cuddles to Kye
    Carolyn and Don

  6. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Abraham (concerned about the food quality):

    I have been on Cruise Critic many years (2003 I think) and since I have over 18,000 posts…I am very active on that forum.

    While food is subjective depending on personal tastes, it is the general opinion from folks who have sailed on all three lines…that Carnival’s food is as good (or better) than the other two.

    Now you will find the odd post now and then about someone who liked one or the other better….but overall, Carnival usually gets as high or higher marks.

    So go, enjoy and rest assured that you will definately get your money’s worth!!

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

    • Ross says:

      John, further to Linda’s comments regarding Cruise Critic, I thought you might be amused to know that yesterday a poster at that site’s forums refered to you as the blog guy who runs Carnival! While you probably could do that job, all your fans are glad you are a CD. Somehow I think running Carnival wouldn’t be as much fun.

      Regards, Ross (Prince Edward Island, Canada)

  7. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Please tell Kye that it is perfectly OK to cry when you see FunShip Freddy. DJ completely understands where she is coming from. We can cruise Carnival as long as we keep Funship Freddie FAR AWAY from DJ!!

    As far as where the gentlemen have all gone….I am afraid that “women’s equality” has chased them all away. We women have spent generations now telling men we don’t need them. I guess now, we have to live with the results. However, I would have hoped that a LADY may have come to your rescue. Equality means anyone can help us now…not just men.

    So glad you and Kye had a fabulous time and we will all applaud Stewart anytime we cruise with him!!! HE is a gentleman…and our hero!!


    ahhh, a missed port. I have to tell you that David and I are so tired of hearing bus riders complain that David actually had a tshirt made just for this occasion.

    On the back of the Tshirt it says…


    The PMC CLUB is on Deck 13 AFT.

    (piss, moan, complain)

    I will have him bring it when we sail with you in May!!

    As for the first complaint from the educationally challenged individual (those are individuals who don’t have enough brain cells to express themselves past 4 letter words) ….. this is why we do not cruise during Spring Break.

    If missing one port was so crushing to them, I sadly fear life is going to be filled with heartache and disappointment. This is a shame since they already have the burden of ignorance to bear.

    As for the second complaint, if missing one port meant this individual did not get their money’s worth….then they need to stay home. period!!!!

    It’s a cruise ship people…..not a BUS !!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  8. Elaine says:

    You truly are a very lucky man John… For all the wonderful things you do for all of us, you have been rewarded with 2 beautiful ladies in your life…

    Thnx so much for the pictures and letter from Heidi… Hope you have/had a great weekend…

  9. missingthesmokefreeparadise says:


    Seeing these pictures of Kye with the two of you makes me almost cry remembering our beautiful little girl (now 28).

    Pass the tissue pleases.

    PS – I hate to break the news, but she does look like you.


  10. Sharon says:

    Dear John and Heidi
    Thank you both for taking time out of your day to keep us entertained on the blog thingy. The pix of John and Kye at the end of the blog is priceless. Thanks again

  11. Cheryl K says:

    Thanks Heidi for the update. You look wonderful and Kye is just a little doll. It’s wonderful that you got to experience being a passenger on the Carnival Dream and you were a family again. I wish I could have been there too to say hello to you as well.

    It is amazing that common courtesy is nowhere to be found anymore. It is so rare when someone does help now it really calls your attention to the fact that people don’t seem care about one another anymore. It is very sad. So sorry you had such a rough flight home. It is bad enough dealing with those flights yourself without having to care for a baby too. I know you are glad it is behind you. I see from the picture that Kye liked the Intelitable. My grandchildren loved them too.
    Thanks for taking the time to write and even though John doesn’t like the Wii Wii, I agree with you..I have one and love mine and it is great for exercise!


  12. Bob Haywood says:

    I sailed on the Carnival Liberty last August ’09 and not only was the food throughout the entire ship superb but I have been on three other Carnival Ships and they all seem to get better as time goes on. Can’t wait to get on the Carnival Freedom in December. Hope you don’t mind but we are trying the Princess Crown in three weeks and will let you know how it compares to Carnival. Terrific pics of your family…you should be very proud. Love your blog thingy…don’t change a thing.

  13. Roxianne & Lon says:


    Thank you for the wonderful letter and great pictures. It makes me miss my children being babies (they are not 19 & 21).


    One of these days we want to cruise with you!


  14. Frank and Bridie says:

    Good job Heidi, that indeed must have been a mastercard moment.

    John its amazing how people will find anything and everything to complain about. I guess you should have just sunk the ship in the channel so these people would have been happy!

    You do indeed havea beautiful Daughter!

    Big Fans as Allways,
    Frank and Bridie (birdy)

  15. what a lovely letter from heidi!!! we sure missed seeing her and kye but at least we got to see you john a few weeks ago. we are all packed for the glory leaving sunday morning.

    smiles, bonnie and prince charlie

  16. John,
    Subject: You can please some of the people some of the time but not all the people all the time.
    Case in point. Di and I were on the Coral Princess in October of 2005. Hurricane Wilma decided to make her appearance in the western Caribbean and then come back across south Florida. I believe we only missed one port of call and that was replaced with Aruba. We arrived back outside of Ft. Lauderdale on day 10. Low and behold the port was closed because of dammage and because staff could not get to work.
    We then floated offshore for the day before the captain announced that we were extending the cruise by a couple of days. Passengers were give free telephone use to contact air reservations etc. Free internet to do the same. Now do you think all the people were happy that they got 3 extra FREE days of cruise? NO WAY. Some wanted a refund for their trouble…
    I beleive you as a CD have the thickest skin in the world.. Keep up the good work
    Tim and Diane

  17. Tom & Jane says:

    sorry heidi
    we waited for you and Kye at ” Heathrow”,

    maybe next time.

    tom & jane

  18. Steve O says:

    Dear John,

    I really can’t believe that YOU have gotten into video games……..they can be fun can’t they?

    Sorry to hear of the drunk that called and cursed on your Morning Show……that really does deserve her having to wear a pair, or two, of your underpants over her head for perhaps TWO DAYS! I don’t mean the ones that Craig laundered for you today, I mean the ones from yesterday!!! Ugh!

    Thank you Heidi for telling us about your weeks onboard Carnival Dream…….I know you and Miss Kye were the “Stars”…..wish I could have been there to meet you both. The pictures you’ve included are so sweet……love seeing Kye with her Mom and Dad. She’s a lucky little girl to have wonderful loving parents like you and John. Thank you again for sharing your time with us here on the Thingy. We love hearing about your life. Sorry about your seatmate on the flight home…….if I had been sitting behind him I would have kicked his seat back now and then 😉

    Love to the Heald family,
    Steve O

  19. retirementman says:

    Thank you Heidi and Kye. I know just being on the ship helped John spirits. I feel so bad no one helped carry your bags and baby carriage. It appears that people today no longer assist other individuals. My wife and I spent a week on the Carnival Dream, enjoyed some time with John which we thoroughly enjoyed and had a great cruise. The last two photos were great, the first how beautiful both you and Kye are and the last one, well all I can say it’s about love, the love of father and daughter. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity of seeing your family together.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  20. Eva Bartolo says:

    Hello John

    It looks like Roatan is getting to be a major problem for Carnival. When we were on the Valor we ran into the same problem of not being able to dock because of high winds. We were however lucky in that we were able to dock at the old pier and thus did not miss that port. While on a tour we heard the tour guide saying that alot of the captains hate the new pier because it is not easy to dock on it and after all the millions having been spent on it, cruise ship captains do not feel comfortable docking their ship there. I do hope they will get better with practise because we don’t want Carnival to get a bad rep because they are missing Roatan.

    Heidi what a wonderful blog and pictures, thank you so very much. It was so great to see that you and Kye had a great time with John and that he was able to spend some quality time with his girls. It cannot be easy for either of you at this time, espeically since Kye is growing daily. Hopefully by next year with the Magic in Europe you can spend more time on board. I do honestly hope so because we’re coming in May for one of the cruises and it’ll be great to see you both.

    Do drop us a line every so often so that we can keep up with the latest antics you’re into. Take care and God bless you always.


  21. Vicki says:

    Dear John and Heidi,

    I would cringe were it my son who wrote to blame the failure of his entire graduation on the decision to not berth at Roatan. He is well down the path to being a most disagreeable adult. More the pity!!!

    Heidi – I am reminded the one time I “forgot myself” and offered to hold a baby whilst the mother settled in with her 4 year old son. I had the aisle seat, they had the window/middle. You would have thought I asked if I could eat that child, from the horrified look I was given. I am a grandmother type, and not a Lizzie Borden look alike. Oh well – so just maybe the baby hater you encountered had some earlier blast back scars from when he tried to do the right thing ………. or not.

    Thank you for the photos of Kye with her adoring parents!!!!!!

  22. Marjorie says:

    Hi John. I agree with Heidi. The Wii Fit has great games to play and I don’t have a beard (at least not to my knowledge.) The games and exercises I’ve done it have helped me lose 30 pounds. Try the boxing one sometime.My husband however would agree with you that there is a certain satisfaction in blowing up things. We had a great time on the Dream during our cruise Feb. 27 – March 6 and my co-workers are tired of me talking about the fun we had. Tell Heidi that she writes very entertaining blog entries too.

  23. wil-da-beast says:

    Hi John..I feel guilty that I haven’t written lately, but have been trying to read the blog as often as I can and now getting caught up after weeks of computer problems. Just loved Heidi’s letter. Looks like she has really slimmed down fast. And the pictures of mom and dad with Kye are just adorable. Just a quick note for now, but just to let you know you and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks again and again for all that you for all the Carnival cruisers. Regards from Texas where it is finally warming up. By the way..remember to change your clocks……Beast

  24. To Heidi: thank you so much for sharing your hubby with us on The Dream Feb.13th cruise. I had a chance to speak with you and meet Kye while we waited for the elevator. She is a beautiful little girl who looks like her mummy but when she cooed, giggled and spat the dummy, I saw her daddy!! She’s certainly a charmer and she knows it! By a long shot, John is THE best CD we’ve ever had and I doubt we’ll ever experience. Our friends who were traveling with us (their first cruise) are already planning their second and taking their children along with them. I too share my husband with many people and I am amazed at how similar he and John are! Actually I’m a bit scared of how similar they are! 🙂 JK! Not sure if you had a chance to read my husband’s book we gave John (if he didn’t get it, we left a copy at GS) but their writing style is very similar!! A pleasure to meet you and Kye and I do hope you’ll be joining John on many more sailings. All the best, Angela Guptill 🙂

  25. SCarlow says:

    John, ( no need to reply unless you want to), I would just like to say thank you for letting all of us into your daily life. I would also like to thank you for sharing your wonderful family with you. I am sure as a husband and parent it is very hard to be a way from your family for extended periods of time.

    It was nice to see that Carnival was very appreciative to allow your family to spend time with you. I firmly believe that makes for a happier person at work..

    I personally have never met you but I hope to one day. I will be on the Victory in September and the Liberty in February and hope that I get that opportunity to at least shake your hand.

  26. cindy56 says:


    third hand-smoke is the smoke that stays in carpeting, curtains, lamps etc. Breathing that in is almost as bad as 2nd hand smoke they say.

    I wish Carnival would have a completely smoke-free ship but I understand they did once a few years ago and it didn’t work out. Could you tell me why?

    Cindy :0)

  27. Kadeycat says:

    Dear Heidi,
    Good for you in putting that man in his place!!
    I know exactly what you mean about there being a shortage of gentleman these days. However, a few years ago, actually it was on the Carnival Destiny in Oct. 2002, I had the privilege to go on a Southern Caribbean cruise. As it happens, it was our first time sailing with John and Wee Jimmy (I think). There was a lady on the plane that had ship tags on her carry-on. We started talking and she was sailing with her young daughter. My hubby ended up helping them with their bags at the airport and we spent alot of time together on the ship. I’m proud to be married to one of the ‘good ones for almost 30 yrs. She still is one of my dearest friends and we owe it all to Carnival. Welcome home! Glad you had a wonderful time on the Dream!

  28. Laura from UT says:

    Dear John,

    What sweet sweet pictures of your Kye! She looks more and more like you everyday and isn’t it wonderful to be a parent?

    Ever read the book Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card? I won’t give away the ending but just know that Ender knowing how to play video games really came in handy.

    Have two upcoming cruises this year and then taking a year off til my January 2012 Splendor cruise!! Maybe (fingers crossed) you might make it out to the West coast and spread some of your Bedtime Story around to us!

  29. tracy says:

    i love the wii its just not about golf and such their is a lot of cool games to play its more family orintated lots of cool games. john we r going on the liberty oct 16th this yr r u gonna be cd or someone else please reply

  30. tracy says:

    by the way i love the pics kye is so cute

  31. Jane and Tom says:

    Heidi –
    Tom was just joking about us being at the wrong airport to help you with all of your luggage, etc., although we certainly wish we could have helped.
    I can’t believe that some gentleman didn’t offer to help you knowing how much and how heavy your baggage was.
    Thanks for allowing us to help while you were in the Orlando airport and give that beautiful “Smiling Baby” a big hug for us !

  32. Juan & Maria Santana says:

    Hi, John! Just a note to tell you that Kye’s photos with you and Heidi are beautiful! I guess we don’t need to tell you that, right? You know! We can see that not only she is a very pretty girl, but also a very intelligent one! Her interest in books and the attention she is paying to you while you are reading the story to her, shows that! Double congratulations!

    We have been behind following your blog because we were away for 2 weeks (Feb.12-26) cruising the Caribbean on the Grand Princess (we already told you that). Since we returned, 2 wks. ago, we sent you a couple of comments and we know that you are also behind responding to everybody. So, don’t worry, we are even! One of these days we’ll catch up!

    Warmest regards to you and Heidi & hugs & kisses to Princess Kye!

    The Santanas of Miami Beach

  33. Dawn Kayton says:

    Hi John

    I have recently discovered and became addicted to your blog…it is great!! My husband and I took our first cruise for our honeymoon on Legend on 8/1/09 we had such a great time that we are already returning. We will be bringinh our 5 y/o son on the Triumph on 3/29/10 for spring break.(Iam a teacher and my hubby is a police officer). My son is so excited!! I was just wondering if you could send our son Bryan a little note to welcome him on his first cruise…he would love it. We are in cabin # 6358. I f you can’t I understand. I know how busy you are..regardless we can’t wait to give our son such a wonderful and exciting experience onboard a carnival ship. His very 1st real vacation!!!!

  34. mickeyspal says:

    Hi, John!

    Wii’s are fun…and how can Heidi play tennis, or golf, outdoors in the snow??? Tell the truth…you boys just like smash ’em up games because they make you feel powerful!

    I can understand the disappointment folks feel when a port must be skipped, but see no need for such abusive reactions. Obviously, the bad attitudes are few and most of your guests are happy to have their safety held as such a high priority. I suppose when the ship is already at the port of call and it’s discovered that docking will be impossible, it’s too late to go to an alternate port as may be done in case of, for example, a hurricane in the vicinity. Once, on a Carnival cruise (sorry, don’t remember the name of the ship), we were supposed to call at Cozumel, but there was a hurricane and the captain changed our itinerary to circumvent the dangerous weather and we ended up at Ocho Rios (spelling ?) and had a great time…got to climb Dunne’s Falls, etc. Anyway, after a number of cruises some of the ports start to look the same as others and staying on board becomes a welcome option! Unfortunately, there will always be complainers, and hopefully, nice guys like you to try to soothe them.

    To Heidi: Thank you for the lovely note and the pictures of Kye with you and John. She gets more adorable with every picture you post. I loved your asking the man to hold Kye! Did you REALLY do that?!? And as to where have all the gentlemen gone…I think you should probably ask all the feminists from my generation (sorry about that…I wasn’t one, though) who determinedly set out to prove themselves able to do anything a man could, and more, and to be totally reliant upon themselves. What a world they helped create!!! Maybe your generation can undo the damage by insisting on gentlemanly behavior (while being very lady-like, of course!).

    Love to all you Healds,

    Your pal, Myra

  35. Terry Alsop says:

    John – Please reply!

    Love your Blog thingy!! I was away for 2 weeks, and couldn’t wait to catch up! I find myself laughing out loud – and when I’m reading this at work sometimes that can look a little strange – but I do it anyway!

    I’m so glad Heidi and Kye had a wonderful trip and I know you miss them terribly! Loved Heidi’s blog segment.

    Your comments on scuba diving/snorkelling match mine exactly! Along with your views on skiing by the way. Are we related??

    Anyway, as I’ve written to you before, I’m a Canadian travel agent – specializing in cruises. We just returned from our 8 day on the Carnival Spirit to Mexico. The trip was awesome! Great weather and the crew were wonderful! Afterward, I ask all of my clients to complete a short questionnaire, to see how well I did my job firstly, and secondly to ask their opinions of the cruiseline and their experience as a whole. I will share some of their comments with you. But let me just say, it’s hard to believe we were on the same cruise!

    I had some cruise virgins with me this time, and one couple’s experience was above and beyond their expectations! They couldn’t stop raving about the food, service, etc. I also had 2 other first time cruisers who didn’t have as great a time. Personally I think a lot had to do with their dining experience. The ones who raved about it, sat at my table in the main dining room at the late seating. We had incredible waiters (Hi Peter and gang!) and our dining experience was awesome! The others did the anytime option, and encountered rude people (waiters included) and said they would never do it again.

    I’ve said it before, your dining experience can greatly influence your opinion of the cruise. The only negative thing my people had to say about it, was the times should be adjusted slightly. Make the early seating around 5:30 and the late seating around 7:30. They found finishing dining at 10 pm or later was just too late for them, and I have to admit I agree.

    There was also a suggestion from one guest, that they should offer a sample platter at dinner, of the various offerings. That way everyone could try a little bit of a few different things, without having to order the whole thing just to try it. I thought this was a great idea.

    The other suggestion of note was to do with the pictures onboard. His comment was: “The price of pictures is one thing, but also increase digital options. I hate buying prints so I can take them home to scan them into my online gallery. Why not just sell a digital version online. No media, just a passcode to access the picture online for a limited time. Then I could get the picture I bought, and do what I want with it. “.

    I think this is a great idea! Have a CD or something available for each guest, with all the pictures taken of them while onboard. Price it at around $50 and I know you would sell way more! Plus the guests could do what they want with them once they get them home.

    Anyway, I’ve rambled enough for now, just wanted to pass along the feedback!

    Keep up the good work!


  36. Julie Mendenhall says:

    John, Heidi and Kye,
    Thanks for all that you do for us bloggers and cruisers. I know it is difficult to be apart so many miles. I just wanted to say Thank You to all 3 of you.
    Julie and Randall, Soon to be platinum because of folks like you who truely care about Carnival and it’s guests.

  37. Kaperino says:

    I am not certain why men are not able to step up to the plate and help, or other women for that matter. It is always a pleasure for me to help when I not a fellow human in need of assistance. Drop something , give directions, help with a coat. Why the hell else was I put here on this planet? Nothing better than to take a listen or be a part of the day that gets a smile. That”s what I’m talking about. Your plane trip with Kye reminded me of one that I took with my oldest who carried a squeaky monkey…. That gents face did al types of contortions and solicited some unkind words too! Those few squeaks kept my baby from crying and so sour puss got some facial exercise. Good grief.

    Know you miss your man! 🙁


  38. Marina says:

    What a lovely message from Heidi, I found it quite moving, what a lovely family you all are. I confess to feeling guilty because in the past, I have scowled when seeing a baby near me on a plane, but I will never do so again. You are right about the lack of gentlemen around these days, what a shame. But hey, what a diamond gent you have in John. Do you know I might even cruise on Carnival one of these days, just to meet him. Take care and regards to all, Marina

  39. Jane M says:

    John (Please Reply)
    Can you believe my employer blocks your blog (all blogs) and I have to wait until the end of the day to read you?! How rude!

    I have been reading your blog every day since I found it in December. I love it! I am going on a B***** Cancer Survivor’s Cruise (arranged by “B” Cancer Wellness Magazine and Amoena) on the Feedom May 2-8. This will be my first time cruising on Carnival. I am rooming with 2 women I met in an on-line “B” Cancer forum. We were all diagnosed in the summer of 2008 and went through our treatments together.

    Juli is a single mother and works 4 part-time jobs. Her wonderful grown son is funding her cruise. Genia has been unable to work since her diagnosis. She and her husband are both on disability. I have worked my full time job and a part time job thorugh 2 mastectomies, chemo, radiation and a blood transfusion, so I am funding the cruise for Genia and myself. (Don’t tell my husband) The women I have met on the forum have become like a second family to me. These ladies have been through so much, I wondered if you might be able to arrange a little something special for them. We are in room 1367. Maybe you could send them a corsage for formal night or some fruit for the room or something? I would really appreciate it.

    My best to you and your adorable family. I’m disappointed you will not be our CD, I hope ours is 1/2 as good as you.

  40. Katiel53 says:

    Dear John, (Please Reply)
    It was so nice seeing Heidi write on your blog and I know you are missing them so much. I feel the same way every time I go to NY to see my granddaughter or she comes down here to FL.

    I can’t imagine how someone could be as rude as the caller to your show regarding the music she wanted to hear. I’m sure she thought she was quite the gal to be doing that.

    As far as Abraham’s comments on hearing that the food on Carnival is not as good as Royal Caribbean or NCL, I think he is listening to the wrong people. We have sailed Royal Caribbean many times and have sailed NCL three times and in no way does their dining room food compare to Carnival. Carnival is way above both lines. So, I don’t think he has anything to worry about, but if he goes with the attitude he showed in his post, I’m sure he won’t be happy with anything.

    I am curious to know if you ever got the note that I left with Big Sexy after our Glory trip in October. He said he was going to see you the next week. Also, I am curious to know if you received the package we left for Kye when we were on Dream. I left it at the guest services desk and I knew you were coming onboard the following week and I was assured you would get it.

    If for some reason you didn’t, please check with them as I left it there on January 9, just before debarking.

    We had such great times on Glory and Dream that we are going on Miracle October 18 to celebrate my dad’s 97th birthday and my hmmmmmmm, let’s just say it’s a major milestone, lol.

    We also booked a back to back for Dream for April 2011. I am hoping that you will be our cruise director for that, but who knows? If you aren’t going to be, I do wish it could be Butch as we really enjoyed him too.

    Frank & Gerri

  41. Susan says:

    John (please reply if you can)

    I have 2 weeks off this June, and for 1 of those weeks, I am booked on the Carnival Liberty leaving June 19. I booked with a friend of mine, and we will be celebrating both our birthday’s, as well as the end of my 3rd year of med school (I will literally finish my 3rd year on June 18), as well as the end of her 2nd year of med school and the completion of the first part of her boards (which she is taking on June 18). So as you can see, we will have ample reason to celebrate and relax and enjoy our vacation. It will be my 9th “official” Carnival cruise, I have been on a few others but for some reason they don’t show up under my past cruises, I guess because they were before the era of computer dominated reservations. In any event, it will be my 9th official cruise, but my friend’s first cruise, and as she says, it’s a dream come true for her.

    Now here’s my question. We get back on Saturday, June 26. My boyfriend, who originally didn’t think he would be able to vacation with me in June had his convention cancelled, and it’s not fair to my friend to have him join us on this cruise, so we were looking into a cruise the week I get back. I know, life is hard when you have to go on 2 cruises in 2 weeks, isn’t it? But since my flight back from Miami is non-refunable, we were looking into what’s leaving from NY, where we live. The only one that would fit our dates is a 5 day Canada cruise on Carnival Glory. Personally, I have no problems flying back to NY on a Saturday, and then repacking on Sunday to go on a cruise on Monday. And it would be my 10th official cruise, which would get me platinum status. But would there be enough time for my platinum status to go through? I remember when I got back from my last cruise, it took a few days before the cruise was listed under “past cruises”. I am really excited for getting Platinum status, there’s just something really exciting about getting that shiny card. So yea, if I get back from the cruise on Saturday, and go on another one on Monday, is that enough time for the computers to know that I get a shiny new Platinum card? Or am I going to have to wait until my 11th cruise to get the benefits?

  42. Bill Cooper says:

    Dear John,

    I am currently booked on the 11/3/2010 sailing the Carnival Miracle. Currently the only excursions available online are for Grand Turk. Do you know when excursions for Catalina Island, Dominican Rep , Aruba and Curacao will be available? I know these are not the normal ports and that is the reason we booked this cruise. I know there is lots of time before we sail but I really enjoy the planning.

    Also, do you know who the CD will be on this sailng?

    Thank you for taking the time to answer all the questions you receive and Iove the blog thingy.

    William Cooper
    Queen Creek Arizona

  43. Mel Grant says:

    Hello there John (please reply)

    I am writing this soley to THANK YOU very much for your help with regards to our Oct3 Dream sailing when our aft wrap balcony had no wrap! A lovely lady Martha from customer care contacted us and took great care of us. Consequently we just booked ourselves and some other family members on the Miracle sailing May 7th. We wish you were onboard with us but we are hoping to sail with you one day. In the meantime I will continue my daily reading of your blog thingy!!

    Hi to the family and many many thanks once again


  44. daytonadan says:

    john,please respond, guess what, i need a favor

    i would like to kinda prank my daughter christina, she will be sailing on Fascination May 15, she just graduated from U of Central Florida, early education major, and this cruise is her celebration. I would like to e mail the cd, sorry i’m not sure who that would be.. so you know, for years i’ve told my kids that i have spies everywhere. all i’m asking is to have the cd and matre’d and who ever that the cd could get to go along, congraduate her, i’d give them some little info they could use like some teachers names and that her sister worked for a short time on HAL’s ship zuiderdamn in the camp hal program, stuff like that. i can provide cabin and booking numbers and such. this is a secret let me know how to get this to work.

  45. Pinkbarbie says:

    Dear John
    Thanks for the letter from heidi. I love the pics of your guys with Kye. You look like a proud papa. So glad you got to spend tie with her and her mum.

  46. Maureen Fairservice says:

    Hello John,

    Just wanted to tell you how memorable the Dream (2/27/10) was and the opportunity to meet you. With my father who passed away before we cruised, It was hard to go, but for my kids I knew we had to go and my father would have wanted the same – kids to have a blast. Camp Carnival was amazing – even the assistant director Julie in the camp remembered us from last year – her home in Canada is a 5 minute walk from my house.

    When you called me on your morning show, I was so touched and to get to meet you WOW. On our way off the ship we got stuck in the elevator with the lovely Kye and Heidi. She is a beauty and Heidi tooo…

    All I wanted to say was thank you for making it a memorable week for me – with the sad times – you made it a dream.

    Also, our room steward 8442 and “Icky” table 186 Crimson – he told us to call him Icky – they were amazing and Carnival should be proud to have them as amazing hard working staff.

    My PVP Wanda F. called me to welcome me home – man what service I get. She sent me a sympathy card as well, we had a wonderful talk on the phone. I am getting ready to book my next one – possibly for the summer and for next March Break.

    Your Blog is amazing and I read it everyday!!!

    Thank you again, till next time, Maybe on the Magic…


  47. Frank DiVittorio says:

    John, just finished the Dream cruise 3/13, I wanted to thank you for reading my daughters letter on your morning show and calling and speaking to her. She wrote about how her Noni (grandmother) had just passed away on Jan 28th. It was a beautiful and heart felt letter, I stayed up all friday night watching Channel 5 and 6 because I had missed the original call, finally at 7am Saturday morning I watched it with tears in my eyes.

    What my daughter didn’t say was how wonderful her, my other two children and wife have been over the past several years. Ten years ago my mother and father moved in with us along with my mother in-law. They had become second parents to my children, sharing their lives together. But with this special closeness came the difficult process of losing not a grandparent but a friend. Five years ago they watched their grandfather passed away at home with hospice care. In Feb/2009 my wife lost her mother and this past Jan/2010 I lost my mom. So as she said in her letter it as been a very difficult year. My children were always there to support and comfort thier grandparents.

    During the past several months as my mom health was declining we would stand around her bed as we tried to feed her and say Mom you need eat so you can get strong so that we can go on another Cruise, she would smile and nod her head and we would talk about how much fun she would have.
    My daughter was right she was there in spirit, and I know she had a great time. I must say you and her would have gotten along very well, she would love your sense of humor.

    Again I want to thank you for making this cruise so memorable for us. I only heard of you the past several weeks as I began reading your blog, now my family and I have become members of the John Heald fan club. You truley are a remarkable person, you took us to a place this week where we needed to go. We will have many special memories that we never forget.

    My only regret is that I did not have the opportunity to meet you in person and to personally thank you and shake your hand. Carnival should be proud to have such a great employee.

    Thank you, John

    Frank and Cindy 9216

  48. Richard F says:

    I have cruised 4 times on Carnival and 4 times on Princess but I am still “gold” status on both. Seeing as these are the same parent company, why don’t they combine the previous cruises to get to platinum sooner? It still shows loyalty to the parent company.

  49. Angela says:

    John Please Reply…

    I must say Kye and Heidi look wonderful…..I regret not booking the dream while they were on board….However I did book the Feb 27th sailing of the Liberty….This being my 9th Carnival crusie…I must say I was very disappointed in the Entertainment staff….not the dancers and the singers mind you but Butch the cruise director and his assistants…..I am not sure if it is becasue I have been spoiled by having you on so many cruises and the cruise being jammed packed with activity….but I have been on other cruises as well that there was lots happening around the ship….this was not the case on the Liberty….and it was the first time ever that there was not a midnight gala buffett…..I dont eat any of it anyway but I bragged it up to people travelling with us and there was none….I will still always pick carnival to sail on but this is not the first time I heard complaints about this entertainment staff….I wish I had only listened….but I am not one to judge a book by its cover or others comments….Thanks and hope to see you on my next cruise….Angela

  50. Margo Wolfe says:

    Hello , John a year ago I asked if I could transfer my ship board credit we were given – to my parents who were planning to take a cruise . They unfortunately did not go cause my father had a heart problem , and so he is finally in the clear medical wise and they are going on the Carnival Dream – if you recall it was our special cruise in which our luggage went missing and we looked like the tacky tourist couple dressed in all the travel tee shirts with no formal wear at all .
    In any case Carnival was very kind to give us ship board credit – which we would like to transfer over to my parents – They travel on the Carnival Dream the end of this month – the 27th .
    This cruise is very important – as on Dec 30th my 31 year olf brother their youngest son was killed with his friend in a car accident in Riverglade New Brunswick . My parents reallt wanted us to go on this trip with them – however we cannot due to out financial situation . They need a break away – as this has been a rough 3 months. I can however offer them my ship board credit and would like if you can make this happen for me .
    Thanks Margo

  51. Frank and Andrea Gillett says:

    Hi John,

    OMG – Our group of 9 had the best time on the March 6, 2010 sailing of the Dream! Although we are not from Stinkin’ Creek (we’re all from Michigan), we laughed all week! YOU, above anyone else representing Carnival, made our trip so memorable.

    Our last half hour aboard, however, was really scary. As you called the last number to disembark (we were #35), we immediately left the pool area and made our way to the forward elevators on Deck 10. Although it took less than 3-4 minutes to get to the elevators,
    all but two of them had already been shut off. We got into one of the “working” elevators, pushed the button and it dropped down then came to a quick stop. We were trapped in the elevator for a good 10 minutes!! With the help of some passengers on the other side, we were able to pry it open and get off. They shut the elevator off on us while we were in it!

    By the time we got out (and calmed down) ALL the elevators were shut down. We alerted two of the staff members who happened to be passing by (one was in a white uniform with a phone in his hand), and they said we should just walk down the 7 floors with our carry-on luggage. That’s OK if you’ve got good knees and light bags, but that wasn’t the case… (we bought too much junk in the gift shop and our bags were HEAVY!) We asked the staff to have someone come up to the 10th floor and turn the elevators back on. After no one showed up after 10 minutes, my husband called 9-1-1. The person who answered the phone said they were from medical and she said the elevators were shut down for maintenance and we asked them to contact someone to turn them back on.

    We were concerned about another group who was going down in an elevator next to us….who knows maybe they’re on this week’s cruise again!

    The elevators were finally turned back on and we were able to get to the third floor. Out of all the excursions offered through the cruise line, we never saw the “Escape from the Cruise Ship Elevator” excursion!

    This experience won’t stop us from continuing from cruising Carnival. It’s the FUN! FUN! FUN! Ship. We just wanted to bring this to your attention, with the hope that the staff will wait until EVERYONE disembarks the ship before they shut the elevators down. Thanks again John!! P.S. Your wife and daughter are lovely!!!

  52. William Henley says:

    Dear John, please reply.

    I’m a huge fan of the blog thingie, and it’s a treat having an excuse to contact you.

    A group us on a Cruise Critic roll call are on the Carnival Legend for a week beginning on May 9. We’re wondering if the someone on board the Legend can help us to facilitate setting up a meet and greet for the first “fun day at sea”.

    We’re full of enthusiasm to do this, but clueless about how to go about it.

    If you can help us arrange this, I’ll arrange a private evening with Megan Fox for you. Well, maybe not, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?


    William and all the other Cruise Critic types.

  53. Kristie Bateman says:


    After 7 wonderful days on the Dream with my boyfriend and best friends, I am back to reality and preparing for a week of work and school work….what a bummer!! How tempting it was when walking out of customs to simply make a u-turn and re-enter the embarkation line. Oh if life was always a vacation…..

    A couple of weeks ago I had written you to tell you about my boyfriend, Chris – your biggest fan- and how our friends were surprising him for the cruise! I wish I could show you the video we filmed of his face when I pulled up in his driveway to start our journey to Port Canaveral with our friends – he was literally speechless for several minutes. And for the 7 hours it took us to drive from Atlanta, he would randomly interject “I can’t believe this is real!” Needless to say, he was one happy guy.

    This happiness, however, was matched, if not surpassed, by your genuine kindness and generosity shown to him while on the Dream. Because Chris tells me so much about your blog posts, I know that people are constantly asking you for favors and free stuff from; that was not, by any stretch, my intention for writing you. I simply wanted Chris to be able to meet you in person because you have his dream job (that I will never let him have because I couldn’t be that far away from him … and I’m guessing ships don’t have a high demand for teachers where I could join him!). You did too much for us this cruise; I say “us” because seeing Chris as happy as he was to be honored with a bottle of wine at dinner AND gifts at our door later that night was gift enough for me. There is nothing like seeing the one that you love being truly happy. Honestly, he was like a kid on Christmas morning!

    If he did not only think you had the coolest job on the planet, and was the best person for the job before, trust me, he does now. Not only have I been caught up to speed on all the blogs we missed while on the boat, but Chris has also informed everyone we’ve spoken to since being home that you are the best cruise director EVER! Although I have only been on two cruises, I would have to agree with him. Seldom in life do you meet people that are generous with a pure heart and aim only to make others happy – you are one of those people. Having never met us, and quite possibly never seeing us again, I still can’t get over how much our cruise was enhanced with simple gestures from you. As an English teacher, I generally seem to have a way with words, however, sometimes, all you can say is “thank you.” We appreciate your kindness and all the laughs you brought the guests of the Dream ( I’m sure even the idiots that think you control the weather conditions and are out for their money even laughed several times throughout the cruise!).

    This will be a trip we’ll always remember – and I can’t think of a better final spring break.

    Thanks again,

    Kristie Bateman

    P.S I hope I have not made Chris to appear as one of those freak-stalkers! You have my word, he is not!

  54. Beth Flynn says:

    Heidi, Congratulations on getting your pre-baby figure back already. You look fabulous!!! I’m still working on mine, but then the baby will only be 10 next month, what’s the hurry? LOL Kye looks a lot like John, but in a good way. 🙂 I’m glad you got enough of you in there to make her beautiful!

    I have a great baby hater story for you. I was out to dinner when the boy was little and he bumped his head and cried for like 3 minutes – tops. The man 2 booths over kept giving the baby hater faces and even said ‘Geez, can’t they shut him up.’ Then this same man proceeded to cough up a lung for the next 10 minutes and then had another bout of smokers cough for another 10 minutes during the dessert course. Hmmm….seems to me that his ‘interruption’ was much worse and much less appetizing than the little bumped head cry. I’m just saying….

  55. Ursula says:

    Your girls are so beautiful! I know that you must miss them terribly.

    Thanks for all that you do.

  56. dwa76 says:

    Hey John!
    Loved the Heidi/Kye picture. She is growing up so quickly.
    It was great reading Heidi’s letter and it seems like she had a great time even though she had to leave ;(
    I hope you had a better weekend and things are going well.
    Hope all is well and take care!

  57. David says:

    Please reply!
    John we are booked on the dream on 4-3-10. Which boat are you going to be on this week?

  58. Rick Sullivan says:

    My family sailed with you last week on the Dream. 3/6. My daughter stayed in cabin 11238 and Totok was her steward. She might have left a purse she bought in Belize along with several other souvenirs. Would it be possible for you to get this to guest services or Totok? I have emailed a request through the lost and found on the main carnival website, but figured this may be an option as well. Thanks
    Rick Sullivan (I stayed in 11214 and 11216 so you or someone should be able to get my contact info. My daughter was in 11238, which was in our friend’s name) Thanks so much

  59. Mary Jones says:

    Ah! what a bittersweet day March 12th was! The last day of a great vacation! We had a blast! From getting locked in the dry sauna during a spa tour to a great night at the Steakhouse, to laughs at the famous bedtime story, to fun at the casino, the comedy club, the cooking demo, on and on… it was a “Dream” vacation.

    So… as much as I hate to complain, as we were leaving the ship on the 13th, I realized we did not receive Our past guest pins! Did Carnival discontinue this?

    Then, oh then while I was pouting about not getting my pin. I realized I left my camera in Cabin 7253, a quick call to Carnival to ask if we could return to retrieve it I sadly found out this would not be permitted! While the camera can be replaced the pictures cannot! In that camera case was 3 memory cards with not only vacation pictures from the Dream but from Carnival Desitiny, Smokey Mountains, Branson Missouri, on and on….. I know it’s a long shot but John can you make a Dream come true for a second time and tell me if there is any lost and found that can be checked for my camera?

    • Mary Jones says:


      Ah! what a bittersweet day March 12th was! The last day of a great vacation! We had a blast! From getting locked in the dry sauna during a spa tour to a great night at the Steakhouse, to laughs at the famous bedtime story, to fun at the casino, the comedy club, the cooking demo, on and on… it was a “Dream” vacation.

      So… as much as I hate to complain, as we were leaving the ship on the 13th, I realized we did not receive Our past guest pins! Did Carnival discontinue this?

      Then, oh then while I was pouting about not getting my pin. I realized I left my camera in Cabin 7253, a quick call to Carnival to ask if we could return to retrieve it I sadly found out this would not be permitted! While the camera can be replaced the pictures cannot! In that camera case was 3 memory cards with not only vacation pictures from the Dream but from Carnival Desitiny, Smokey Mountains, Branson Missouri, on and on….. I know it’s a long shot but John can you make a Dream come true for a second time and tell me if there is any lost and found that can be checked for my camera?

  60. Karen Ondayko says:

    Hi John, Heidi, and Kye, Glad to see you had a wonderful 3 weeks together and the photos of you both with precious baby Kye are lovely.
    Thinking of you and our Splendor memories,

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