Healthy Blog

March 23, 2010 -

John Heald

I finally met some guests who recognized me here on the Carnival Conquest. They are Platinum guests who sailed with me on the Carnival Splendor in the Baltic. They also returned to that ship some months ago and were on the cruise when the governments of the world sounded the alarm about pigs with flu and their three-stop Mexican Riviera cruise was totally buggered.

And it got me thinking. It wasn’t too long ago that the world was in a total panic about bird flu, mad cow disease, climate change, SARS and sneezing porkers. Yet…….the panic was for the most massively overstated and with all these highly qualified beardies crying wolf every time some animal has a snotty nose, when something really scary turns up, we’re going to ignore it, and then we shall all be doomed.  My sympathies to those who did contract swine flu, but I don’t think it was hardly any more than those who caught the usual winter flu, and nothing like the wholesale decimation of the population that was predicted. In anticipation of the plague various government agencies told us that to go to a Mexican port was as dangerous as taking a three-week camping trip to Chernobyl. It wasn’t!

Anyway, I digress. Speaking with these nice people today they told me that this was their favourite ship, they told me they were proud Texans and they had no problem telling me how angry they are at President Obama passing his health care thingy. I wasn’t sure why they were telling me this. We had spoken for 5 minutes about the Carnival Splendor and Carnival Conquest and suddenly we were talking politics.

Now before I continue and so not upset those over on the cruise boards who already think I am the sperm of the devil, let me promise that what follows is not a political statement. This is a blog and not an avenue for me to express my political views……well……OK, maybe a little ……. but I was asked a question by these guests this morning and so I thought I would let you know how it went. The question was “Does the health care system work in the UK?”……… mmmmmm ……… that’s not easy to answer.

My only experience of American hospitals was pre-blog. I should explain that while crew members are onboard the ships they have full and fantastic health care. However, when on vacation and off the ship they are responsible for all their own coverage. This is an industry wide standard and understandable with 20,000 plus crew from every corner of the globe. So, before I became senior cruise director and brand ambassador and thus afforded full and comprehensive medical insurance (excluding hemorrhoid treatment) I had no health coverage while outside of the UK.

I didn’t think that was a big problem until 2001 when Heidi and I rented a villa in Orlando and she trapped her finger in the sliding doors that led out to the pool. After I had called her a clumsy sod I noticed that her finger looked like Tom’s after Jerry had given him the good news by dropping an iron on it. And so we went off to see if George Clooney was working at the Orlando ER. Well to cut a long story short Heidi was denied treatment at the hospital because the receptionist’s computer refused to acknowledge that the United Kingdom existed. Even though I had a wad of cash, and a wallet full of credit cards, she was prepared to let Heidi’s finger explode all over her desk because her stupid software only recognized addresses in the United States. I was very angry as you can imagine and had to use all my charm and the promise of a free cruise and a fruit basket to get her to let me see a doctor. I did. He told Heidi she had broken her finger, gave her some pain killers and put a peg thingy on her finger, smiled and gave me a bill for $475 ……..I kid you not…….$475. After telling Heidi she could forget seeing Disney World that week and writing my address as 25 Bollocks Street on the hospital payment form I called a company called BUPA in the UK and paid for worldwide health coverage.

So I had better try and answer the original question. Should America be dancing in the streets that they have affordable healthcare for all? Well, that’s a great thing and I doubt there is a single person reading this blog who doesn’t wish that. But saying something and meaning it are two different things all together………….a bit like Tiger Woods’ wedding vows.

The British National Health system is brilliant and it is also bloody awful. When Heidi had Kye I could not fault them in anyway and our Mrs. Doubtfire Midwife was a true angel from heaven. She held her hand, cleaned up things that had dripped from Heidi and agreed while Heidi was “pushing” that I was a complete bastard with no more right to live on God’s green earth than a dung beetle.

And of course there are negative sides to it as well. The government has found it hard to pay for this health for all care and thus standards have slipped and continue to do. There are long wait lists and ask any Brit and they will tell you their own stories…

A friend’s 13-year-old daughter fell of her horse and badly damaged her knee. Things started well. The ambulance arrived promptly, the knee was strapped and off she went in a big, exciting van with flashing lights. Now, we are all used to a bit of a wait at the hospital in a room full of people with swords in their eyes and their feet on back to front. But nothing can prepare you for the yawning chasm of time that passes in a British ER room (or A and E – accident and emergency as we call it) before the healthcare system actually does any healthcare.

Of course my Canadian friends also have a similar National Health system as we Brits and now my American friends. I have never experienced the Canadian version for myself but I will tell you that I asked our Canadian Back Stage Manager how it was this morning and he had his own story to tell. He had burnt himself quite badly on his hand while making pasta and went to a Canadian ER in his home town of Calgary. After two hours of nothing despite the fact that bits of skin were falling of his hand he finally stood up and said “Is anyone coming to look at my hand?”  “Quoi?” said the doctor, who had suddenly forgotten how to speak English. “Je ne comprends pas.” And with that, he was gone.

I guess I still haven’t answered the question of is Mr. Obama’s healthcare plan good for the country? Obviously I am a cruise director and not a political commentator or a mind capable of understanding the complexities of a health care plan on the massive scale of the one about to unfold in America. But I can say this. Britain’s National Health Service is a monster that we can barely afford…….I hope President Obama can.

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

Mr Derek Asked:
Dear John, **Please Respond**

I am in total agreement with you regarding the hypNOtist show. What a load of “bollocks” (I think that is the correct term!) We sat in the theatre for about 40 minutes waiting for the performer to do something entertaining. Aside from some people looking drowsey (me included) nothing happened. I was not the only one with this opinion as the theatre was emptying fast. They even scheduled him a second “late night adult show” that I only got about 20 minutes into before I gave up. For my two cents worth, invest in a Broadway singer and use the ships orchestra as back up and have some entertainment not just a good snooze.

Since we are on the subject of entertainment, and since the Carnival Glory just came out of dry dock and since I will be sailing on her June 19, do you know what production shows will be performed during the cruise? Also, is the Behind the Fun tour given on a 5 day cruise? I am taking my sister on this cruise for her 50th Birthday and I know she would love that tour. (I took my 50th Birthday cruise in the QM2 Transatlantic)This will be only her second cruise, (her first was Princess Alaska) but I have been telling her about all the wonders of the Carnival ships. She is really looking forward to the water slides. This is my second cruise with Carnival, but I am an Elite Captains Circle member on Princess and a Diamond Member on Cunard, so I do like the Carnival Brands and I’m looking forward to many more cruises on the Fun Ships of Carnival.

I have taken this Canadian itinerary many times, so I am always looking for something new to do in either Halifax or St. Johns. Any ideas?? Also what would be the best night for reservations in the Steakhouse?

Thanks for all you do and please keep up the good work. I know that sometimes you must wonder why did you ever start this thing, but the joy and information it brings to everyone (even the cranky ones) I hope is worth it. I look forward to the day I can finally sail with you (the next bloggers cruise??) instead of running from an angry mob in Philly!

Hello to Heidi and Kye

Derek (sorry for being so long winded!)

John Says:
Hello Derek

Congratulations on the correct use of the word “bollocks” and you are half way to becoming a true Essex boy like me. Let me see if I can answer your questions. Carnival Glory has excellent shows and includes a new and exciting illusion show which has just been redesigned and features a spectacular and very grand finale which will for sure leave your jaw touching the floor. This along with a show called Living in America and Just Rock give the ship a terrific mix of lavish entertainment. But please don’t forget the Comedy Club which takes place in the aft lounge and features 20 shows spread out across 4 nights featuring 4 different top line comedians. The Behind the Fun tour is now offered fleet wide. However on a 3/4/5 day cruises, we offer a shortened version of the tour will be approximately 2 hours and cost $55 per person.

The obvious choice for you in Halifax is to see Peggy’s Cove. This stunning and beautiful spot is a must see and Heidi and I have many happy memories of our visits there. If you have done this and being associated as you are with Cunard you may want to visit the resting place of many of the poor souls who lost their lives on the Titanic.

The town of Halifax has a very close association with the ship and we offer an informative and historical look at what happened to the ship, her survivors and those who perished. It has been a few years since I have been to Saint John, New Brunswick and I always loved the Cabot Trail. But I am sure since I have been there we have added some new and exciting excursions since then. So, please allow me to ask our Shore Excursion Department to pick their favourites and I will post this for you as soon as I get it.

As for the Steakhouse, well any night is a great night to enjoy this superb $30 menu. However, the night after leaving Saint John seems perfect to me but I would book online as this will probably be the most popular night.

I am sure you have many memories of your Cunard transAtlantic and your fabulous Princess cruise and I hope that your time on the Carnival Glory is also one that you will never forget. I will be back with information on St. John soon.

Best wishes to all

Suzanne Asked:

John, I fell in love with cruising after only one cruise on the Miracle, now I am heading for my second…I am a single gal in my very early 60’s and will be travelling with my daughter this time, and I was wondering is romance still alive and well on cruise ships..Is it really possible to meet other singles, and hopefully have a shipboard romance? You know what I mean…lol.. Or dare I say fall in love…the whole idea of cruising to me is romantic…Or will I have to be content with a Harlequin romance novel…

Question what is the best way to meet other singles on cruise…

John Says:
Hello Suzanne

What a great question and the simple answer is yes. Each and every week I hear of couples who do fall in love and whose love turns to marriage. I read out many such letters on my morning show and often post them here on the blog thingy. This time of year the spring breakers fall in love and then when they wake up and the Grey Goose fog lifts, they vomit……..and move on to the next baggy pant wearing twenty-something.

But Cupid and his bow are often found on our ships and don’t be ashamed of looking for love on a cruise ship because many people have that secret desire and many find that their dreams come true. I hope yours does and if you can think of any way I can help you before you cruise again please let me know. I hope you have fun and……….I hope you find love.

Best wishes

ERNIE Asked:
John, (please reply if necessary)

The lady who demanded A/C on the dock in Cozumel gets my nomination for “My PITA Award”. That is” Pain in the Arse” award.

What did she expect? I would have sent her a fan, you know the ones that you hold in your hand and wave in front of your face. All corporations are getting so afraid of a suit; they are starting to get jumpy at their shadows. Bollocks!!!

Love to the queen of the Carnival Dream Kye, Heidi and their funny and lovable Dad.


John Says:
Hello Ernie

Just wanted to say thanks for making me smile and for the kind words for Heidi and Kye which I return to you and your family……..air conditioning my arse.


Sheryl Asked:
John Please Reply…

Hi John, I recently sent an email to Carnival’s customer service to inquire into why I haven’t been receiving my Currents magazine, even though I have cruised recently. I received a disturbing response today that Carnival is no longer sending them. Say it isn’t so, John! I used to enjoy reading the magazine from cover to cover. Does Carnival have any plans to start up another magazine? I’m sure I’m not the only Carnival cruiser who misses Currents.

John Says:
Hello Sheryl

Thanks for reminding me to mention this in a blog because up until now I don’t think I have. Yep, it’s true. Carnival Currents has been replaced with the Funville Times, an electronic newsletter that is sent out every three months. I am not sure how this works but thinking about it I should post this here on the blog. Let me ask this question and I will get back you with more specific details.

Thanks Sheryl for mentioning this and I hope you enjoy the new Funville Times.

Best wishes

Dianne Asked:
John: please reply

I am a huge fan of your blog!! My nephew was lucky enough to sail on the Carnival Dream last week with you. He sent me a picture of the two of you together just to make me green with envy. He said he told you his crazy aunt was your biggest fan. Can you believe he had the NERVE to not know he was sailing with the greatest cruise director on the planet before I enlightened him the week before he left???

My family will be sailing on the Carnival Valor on March 28th to celebrate my son’s high school graduation. This will be our 8th Carnival cruise, and while I know you won’t be our cruise director, I will try not to hold it against Big Tex. 🙂 We are celebrating not only my son’s graduation but also the fact that he has received an Army ROTC scholarship that will provide him with a college education and then he will serve his country as an officer after graduation. We are so very proud of him and plan to enjoy every moment of our last family vacation before he goes off to conquer the world. I know he would love it if you could find the time to send a little note congratulating him on his accomplishments.

Many thanks for all you do here. I am a blog “stalker” and never miss a day of checking in with you. Enjoy your time with your family…the time flies by faster than you can ever imagine.

John Says:
Hello Dianne

Thanks so much for having the courage and strength to admit publicly that you are a fan of the blog. This is the first step to realizing that you may need a cruise and quickly. I remember your nephew telling me about you and it was a joy to meet him. You will love Big Tex and I know he will be a highlight of your cruise. Please look out for a note from me and a little something for your son. I wish I could be there with you.

Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes to all

Jeff Asked:
Please Reply

Hi John, love your blog. I have only been on one cruise (Carnival of course) and was lucky enough to have you or I should say Hulio as our CD. My question is my wife and I are looking at cruising in November of 2011 to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. I see the web site has 7-9 day cruises up but not the 4-5 day cruises. When will those be posted? Can we guess that they will be the same as the 2010 cruises?

Thanks for your help.

John Says:
Hello Jeff

The final 2011 schedule is being looked at while I write and I am told by people with beards that we have already opened up some of the shorter sailings and they advised me to tell you to please check again as they were released recently. More will be added soon and I will let you know the details of this very soon. There may be one or two surprises coming so please keep reading the blog thingy and checking

Best wishes

Colin Brown Asked:
Dear John. (Please reply if you have time)

Just wanted to say a big thank you to you and all the staff on the carnival dream. This was our very first cruise and to be honest before we had even stepped on board we were unsure of what to expect, the reason for this was some bad reviews on a certain website so with an open mind and fingers crossed we stepped aboard, the whole experience from start to finish was fantastic, the embarkation process was very smooth and then entering this 5 star hotel complex was a dream itself, I could not believe how beautiful this ship was yes I had seen pictures and read reviews but nothing can compare with being onboard, we actually got on within a half hour of arriving at port Canaveral so we had a couple of hours to walk around enjoy some lunch on board we even went to see our stateroom and even though it was not quite ready our stateroom steward let us put our day bags inside (stateroom 2453) apologies if I have not spelt his name right (wayvel) always had a smile and would be always available for our needs. when the ship did sail we then went to your introductory talk in the encore room and this set the tone for the whole cruise I cannot remember laughing so much that my sides hurt and this was every time we went to the encore room when you did any type of audience participation from dick little, Indian head to bob without his aide and of course Mary and many others, who would have thought that you would end up with someone riding you John and giving us the guests the best time ever. all the staff have to be congratulated John for their excellence to service from the cabin stewards to the dining room, all the food area’s and bars, also the entertainment staff on board were excellent in fact everyone I came across who wore a carnival badge. Our 13 year old son had the best holiday he has ever had and made some great friends my wife who unfortunately was not feeling too good the first 3 days once better she had a fantastic time too. As for myself well I had a great time and any worries I had from reading reviews all vanished within moments I had stepped on board. I want to say a personal thank you to Mouna who was brilliant and also for letting me be a part of the carnival legends show as frank Sinatra it was a night I will not forget and I am sure all the other guests on the show will not either. my only disappointment was not actually meeting you in person but hopefully we will do another sailing when you are on board again, one more thing John my 13 year old son was also in the room when you did your afternoon show from one of the kids club rooms and told us that everyone was in fits of laughter when you were on TV that just goes to show what a true entertainer your are John to get kids to like you as well as adults well what more can I say, a truly fantastic holiday we had and thank you for making it so special.

Colin Brown.

John Says:
Hello Colin‪‪

I am so happy that despite reading some negative comments on the cruise boards your Carnival Dream was everything you wanted and more. You and many more of our guests have said the same and that’s why I will never stop saying how important it is to remember that opinions are not always facts especially it seems in the world of cruising. There were problems at the start of the ship’s life for sure but they were resolved and while some of the negative comments were justified many were not. In fact I think many were written by the same person, in an attic wearing only a pair of flip flops and whose screen saver is a large blue anchor. Anyway, none of that is important right now, but what is important is your review and I will make sure the ship gets to read it. Making the kids of today laugh is not easy and I am happy to hear your son had a great time as well. Thanks for taking the time to write.

My best wishes to you and the family

CJ Asked:
Dear John – haha it’s like that move. (Please reply if you get a chance.)

Anyway, my name is CJ & I’m 15 on March 2nd. I’ve been 5 Carnival Cruises, and have loved every single one.

My most recent cruise was on the Carnival Freedom in July of last year on the week of the 26th. I had a great time, but my sister, who is turning 18 this August did not. Particularly because she missed her boyfriend so much that she had to go to a perfect spot in the hallway where she had full service on her cell phone & call him. She even missed him so much that she went to the top deck near the communications antenna and called.

Anyway, now she is stuck paying off a 3,000 dollar (I’m not exaggerating) phone bill. Although it really is all her fault.

So my question is: Why does Carnival charge so much for Cell Service & Internet Access onboard?

Thanks John,


PS: The best night on the cruise was when you were humped by that large woman in the “Mary had a little lamb” skit.

John Says:
Hello CJ

Oh that is such a sad story. And while your sister’s cell phone provider is rubbing their hands with glee your sister must be so upset. Unfortunately it is not Carnival who sets the rates or provides the service. It’s your home network who will determine the international roaming rates you pay for usage. I wish there was something I could do for your sister who is obviously head over heels in love. I hope her boyfriend is paying for some of the bill. Maybe you can contact the service provider and explain the situation?

As for the internet service well that is under Carnival’s domain (it’s actually provided by a third-party concessionaire that manages most of the internet cafes in the cruise industry). It’s more expensive than on land simply because we have to use a satellite to beam the e-mails to and that is expensive. We are working on making a really long extension cord that we can plug into broadband on land while the ship is at sea. I am though happy that you had fun and enjoyed the infamous bedtime story.

Please send my best wishes to your sister and thanks for writing to me.

Best wishes

Stacey Asked:
John (PLEASE reply),

Enlightening thread going on Cruise Critic right now. Regarding this article: that discusses children’s safety onboard a cruiseship and the supposed lack of a proper background check of the staff members employed in the kids’ camps (like Camp Carnival and such).

I’m normally not an alarmist, but being a parent, you can see where I’m coming from on this one.

Can you please explain to me the screening process for Camp Carnival staff and assure me that they’re screened for any crimes against children?


John Says:
Hello Stacey K Welsh

It’s an interesting topic an again I have to ask how the people who posted on the boards know the hiring policies of each cruise line and I would suggest that for the most part it is pure speculation. I can’t answer for any other cruise line but the one I work for but answer I will.  ‪All of our youth counselors have to meet important educational and professional requirements, as well as undergo an extensive background check. Every youth counselor is either college educated in education, child psychology or youth recreation – OR – has professional experience with children, such as teaching or daycare.‪The youth staff is international and all are professionally trained in CPR and are able to provide basic first aid for cuts and bruises. Additionally, should there be a medical emergency; all counselors are instructed to contact the parents immediately as well as the shipboard infirmary.

There will be many parents reading this who will wish to comment on the wonderful staff who work at Camp Carnival and as a Dad who just left the most precious thing in his life with them on Kye’s Carnival Dream…..I can honestly say that there is no better, safer of more fun environment for children on vacation. I would be grateful if you would add this to the thread thingy.

Best wishes to you and your family.

Bradley Walsher Asked:
John Heald – Please reply to this

I am a loyal NCL cruiser and have been told by others that you often make cruel and sarcastic remarks about NCL on your blog. This cruise line is so much better than the one you work for and I won’t waste my time trying to get you to believe that. So please stop this at once and concentrate on your job and the company you work for.

Bradley Walsher

John Says:
Hello Bradley

Your friends are somewhat correct as I have made the odd comment about the graffiti on the bow and down the hull of the ship. Oh yes…….and there may have been one or two comments about the design of the Epic. I have though never criticized the product and that’s because I have never been on an NCL ship. I am sure what they do is fantastic and it is hardly fair for me to ask people who have a poor opinion of Carnival even though they have never been on our ships not to slate us if I do the same about my Norwegian friends.

The comments I have made about the Epic are done with lots of my tongue in my cheek and I apologize if these comments have upset you. And maybe you are right; it is time to stop them.

Best wishes

That’s all for today. The comments have made for great reading these past few days and no doubt smoking continues to be one that tops the charts, please therefore keep this lively and sensitive dialogue going. Remember, everyone who is important at CCL HQ reads this and your opinions are therefore very useful and very prominent.

There was one comment on Monday’s blog about me causing a virus. I panicked when I read that as I thought it was Julie Edwards who I gave a vir……….never mind. Anyway, I truly had no idea what the lady was talking about and what this thread on Cruise Critic was referring to. And so I asked my mate Host Mach to let me know what was going on. He did.

Hello, John!

You might want to add this to your Blog thingy tomorrow:

I just saw the comment on your blog from the person that claimed that she read that you were giving away gifts to people whose computers were infected with a virus that was transported by an ad on Carnival forum at Cruise Critic.  There actually was such a post but as soon as I read it I stated in no uncertain terms that you were NOT giving away gifts for such an insipid reason. Shortly later I deleted the thread.

The author of the post meant it as a joke but I KNEW that someone would read it and misunderstand.  I guess I deleted it just a bit too late.

Please accept my apology for any inconvenience.


No need to apologize mate. I realize that while 95% of what is said on Cruise Critic is both valuable, fair and a vastly important to the cruise industry there is the 5% who daily enter the realms of fantasy……..they live in cloud bollock land. I am glad I didn’t cause the virus but if anyone thinks I did and expects a free gift I am happy to send the…………….some penicillin.

Well, on an entirely different subject, there’s some great news about the Carnival Victory on Sunday because while in St Thomas the ship was visited by United States Public Health and scored ……………100 %.

How fabulous is that? I wonder how many Carnival ships have scored the perfect 100 on their last inspections. I know Vance will be writing a press release on this and will no doubt share here with us on the blog thingy………Vance, maybe we could investigate if we are on course for a record with the most 100 scores. It would be interesting to find out. Anyway, congratulations to Captain Leotta nd the team on the Carnival Victory for obtaining 100 ………a score that United States Public Health do not hand out unless everything…..and I mean everything……….is perfect.

So back here on the Carnival Conquest it was a beautiful yet still fresh day at sea. The sun was out but temperatures will still only in the high 60’s but that didn’t stop many of the younger guests enjoying life on lido. I went to see many of the activities and anytime one of the entertainment staff asked where some was from………it seemed that everyone was from the south. Apart from Texas there were lots of Alabamians, Arkansasians and a big group from Oklahoma. Now you may read that list and think that maybe the guests would not therefore dress up on elegant night……….but oh my they did and that was very nice to see. And I would not be a real man if I didn’t mention that there are some fine looking ladies on this ship…….the southern belles were indeed well represented.

The cruise director of this ship is usually of course my friend Chris Jefferson who is home now with his beautiful but slightly sight impaired (she must be, have you met Chris?) Natalie. Chris is on vacation and enjoys some rest and since last week the ship has been in the hands of Mark ……. or Marky Mark as is his stage name. He is a young good looking kid from Hollywood, California and is doing a great job. His first week was quite a challenge though with bad weather in Grand Cayman effecting the tender service……..BUILD A BLOODY PIER……….sorry ………….a technical problem with the magic and illusion show and he had to fire a staff member. Not bad for your first week as a CD. But I am told he handled it all well and certainly seems very confident this cruise and his Mum who is sailing with him this week must be very proud.

Time for some random photos of the main lounge which is called the Toulouse Lautrec Lounge. For those of you who don’t know who Toulouse Lautrec was, he was the Frenchman who toppled the aristocracy and banned three things from the country. Royal titles, the English……..and soap.

The last but one photo is of my old friends Staff Captain Giuseppe Gazano and at the head of the table Captain Antoninio Sammartano. It is wonderful to be with them again and we share a wonderful dinner last night as a family. The last photo is of Walter Ambrogini who is the Chief Engineer and …..Carnival Cruise Lines longest serving crew member who this October will celebrate 38 years with this great company. He hasn’t changed a bit and it was great to see him again.

As you know I was very excited about the Chef’s Table experience where you get to dine in the galley which is at the time in full operation. The menu is exquisite and just 12 people will get to enjoy this unforgettable experience. Well, due to its popularity on the Carnival Ecstasy and your Carnival Dream I have been asked to let you all know that we will start adding the Chef’s Table to other ships as well. Here then are the lucky ships that will get to host this great event.

Carnival Liberty                                 Cruise of 3/20/2010

Carnival Sensation                             Cruise of 04/04/2010

Carnival Imagination                          Cruise of 04/19/2010

Carnival Inspiration                            Cruise of 04/24/2010

Carnival Pride                                    Cruise of 05/05/2010

Carnival Fascination                            Cruise of 05/13/2010

Remember you can only book this onboard and as I mentioned in a past blog thingy the guests who have enjoyed this experience have all said that it was a massive highlight of their cruise.

I am already desperate to start as CD here and continue to be blown away by how friendly every guest is. I mean last night there was a large gaggle of 15 year old spring breakers “hanging” around the Promenade Deck yet even they were really, really nice and said hello to me as I walked past………….and they have no idea who I am.

Well, it’s time to go. I have a meeting via conference call with the bearded one in Miami. The meeting revolution has taken a firm grip on my mates in Miami and they are constantly in one. To me, meetings are things where ideas get watered down and bad ideas are forced along because no one ever has the courage to stand up and say: “What the bloody hell are we doing here?” …….I suspect that’s what happened when they were designing the Norwegian Epic.

That’s me off Bradley’s Christmas card list then.

Your friend

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