Let's Be Frank

April 7, 2010 -

John Heald

Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 8:20 AM
Subject: Massage

Good morning John

I want to thank you for your help promoting our hot stones massage yesterday. Your refreshing style helped lots of people discover this excellent treatment and they all left feeling fantastic. I would like to offer you a complimentary massage to say thank you so please give me a call when you would like to have it so you can experience this for yourself.

Thanks John.

Best Regards
Spa Manager

Here is my reply:

Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 3:18 PM
Subject: Re: Massage

Hello Natalie

I am glad the promotion went well. I know many guests love this treatment and I will continue to encourage everyone to try it. Thanks so much for the kind offer of a massage but unfortunately my schedule is very busy at the moment so I don’t think I will be able to have one. Thanks though for thinking of me.


OK, that was the reply I sent. This was the reply wanted to send.

Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 3:18 PM
Subject: Re: Massage

Hello Natalie

I am glad the promotion went well. I know many guests love this treatment and I will continue to encourage everyone to try it. Thanks so much for the offer of a massage but honestly I would rather kiss Judge Judy with tongue while having my buttocks thrashed with a cactus.

Getting naked and lying prostrate in front of a stranger who’s younger and thinner than you isn’t what I call “chillaxing.” Neither is knowing that the entire focus is on my hairy arse and my fluffy exterior.

And of course, during my massage I was so tense that it caused me to release a long and resounding fart. The pretty, blonde masseuse said nothing, stepped across the room and lit a scented candle.

I hoped she would tell nobody…. ….but the farting noises the entire crew would make every time I walked past them was evidence that the entire ship knew.

Massage……………..my arse!


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

Journeyman Asked:
John, Please reply.

There is a big thread on Cruise Critic’s message boards about at a guest who died on the Ecstasy. It seems that neither you in your blog or Carnival on its website have reported what happened and why she died.  I find this strange as do others. Here is what’s being said


Please comment
Paul R

John Says:
Hello Journeyman

I am sorry to hear that one of our guests passed away and send my deepest sympathies to the family. I am sorry but I didn’t open the link to the thread about this. There are certain things that remain private and I am not going to discuss something like this on the blog. I am sure the family of the deceased would agree.


Sandy Pickett Asked:

Hello John My husband and I have been on one Carnival cruise. We took this in January 2009 on the Carnival Freedom. We had booked a cruise on the Eurodam and just wanted to get to Florida a few extra days ahead to enjoy some nice weather and realized going on another cruise was the least expensive way to enjoy some sunshine. We booked the six day cruise on the Carnival Freedom. We really didn’t know what to expect but we were very pleasantly surprised. It was a great cruise. We are hoping to book a back to back cruise next January on one of Carnival’s ships and I have one question. When the first cruise is over if we are booked in the same cabin for the second week do we have to pack all our stuff and leave the ship and then reboard? Also wanted to say I love reading your blog and enjoy your sense of humour. Thanks

John Says:
Hello Sandy Pickett

I am thrilled that your first Carnival cruise experience was so positive. I am also jealous as I really want to see the Eurodam but so far have never had the opportunity. Anyway, if you are staying in the same stateroom on a back to back cruise you do not have to pack and move. At the end of the debarkation process the back to back guests will be escorted ashore where you will quickly pass through Immigration and have your photo taken again for your boarding pass (Sail & Sign Card) and then you come back on board. Thanks for the kind words and if there is anything else you need please let me know.

Best wishes

Matt and Julie Asked:
John please reply:

We love your blog! Keep it up.

We recently sailed on the Valor out of Miami for the seven day Western Caribbean. While on board, I purchased two bottles of Sheridan’s to be delivered on the last day and taken home. We received our bottles, but I did not look closely at them until I got back to the house. When I pulled the bottles out of the delivery boxes, I noticed that the seal on one of the bottles is missing and there seems to be a little bit missing. We never opened either bottle, and I don’t want to drink something that I don’t know how it got opened.

What can we do to get this fixed?


John Says:
Hello Matt and Julie

Well, it sounds like the liquor fairies have had a quick sip of Sheridan’s. That is very strange. I am going to send this to our CARE Team and to the company that run our on board shops so you will be hearing from someone soon. Please don’t drink it and let me know what happens and if you need further help.

Best wishes

JohnR Asked:
Hi John, (Please reply)

We are starting to plan a Mediterranean cruise for 2013 and have been checking out what cruise lines offer different itineraries.

We have decided that a “must have” for this cruise is a stop in Alexandria, Egypt. This will be our only opportunity to be able to see the pyramids, since we would never go to Egypt any other way.

Any chance that Carnival might include Alexandria as a port of call on its Mediterranean itineraries in the future?

Please…don’t make us cruise with Royal Caribbean!!!!!

John Says:
Hello John R

I would never make you cruise Royal Caribbean. I am surprised that they have announced their 2013 plans already though. Anyway, Carnival is back in Europe next year sailing the Grand Med on the Carnival Magic. Bookings are strong indeed and this shows that Carnival guests like you are willing to travel afar again. So, while I have no idea what the fleet deployment will be in 2013 I do know that there will be lots of surprises and I shall certainly mention to the people with beards that places like Egypt are of interest. I wonder, does Costa, Holland America or Princess cruise there? Have you checked their websites? I am sorry I can’t give you any more details at the moment on 2013 but I will do everything in my power never to let you climb a rock wall.

Best wishes

Jason Asked:
Hey John, (no reply needed)

Thanks for the entertaining blog. I try to read it every day; it’s always good for a few laughs.

If you don’t mind, please drop a line to the Maitre’D on the Legend and ask him to seat my fiancé and I at a table for 2. Well be on the April 11th sailing, and our booking number is 11N5T9. We are really looking forward to our cruise.

We’re praying for Fair Winds (especially in Isla Roatan) and Following Seas!



John Says:
Hello Jason

I just wanted you to know that I have sent in your request.

Have a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes

Troy I. Asked:
John (please reply)

You are such an asset to this company, keep up the good work. Would you do me a favor, and ask Jim Berra if he is a Brave, I think I went to high school with him, and I’ve been wondering this for awhile. If he refuses to answer, I have some really good high school stories I feel are very interesting.

John Says:
Hello Troy I

Oh how I hope he refuses to reply. I would love to see these photos. Jim is a brilliant chap with amazing ideas…………..don’t know if he is a Brave though. Let’s find out.

Back to you soon.

Best wishes

Arlene & john Hintzman Asked:
HI, JOHN March 10, 2010

We just returned Saturday, March 6, from the best cruise ever! the DREAM. On Mon. March 8, we made reservations for the Dream, again, for Sept. 25. Being Platinum members, we’ve experienced many Carnival cruises, plus various others, for a total of 62 cruises. Our daughter and husband are thinking about going with us, hope “you will still be the cruise director then”. (We’ve raved so much about you) What’s the possibility? Also, they want to celebrate their 30th. Anniversary in May 2011, on the new ship, the MAGIC, departing from Spain. Will it be ready for the public by then?

Daughter, Keri-Lynn, also has a suggestion for entertainment that would be different, ever thought about doing a show for ladies only, like the Chippendales do? Of course, she wouldn’t want to leave her husband out, so how about a show for the guys only, too? Realizing, cruising is a family oriented vacation, this is only a suggestion, but could it be done in the adult comedy theatre, late at night?

We talked a lot about the new ideas you had for shows, on the Dream, the X-treme Country, the Dancin’ in the Streets, and the Get Ready, and we, personally can’t omit the Welcome Aboard show, with Dick Little and his wife, Anita Little, (who we are). It was a great way to “get to know your fellow cruisers”.

“Anita” will be celebrating her 80th birthday on March 27, 2010. Nothing is going to keep us “young at heart” folks down. We danced every night, plus sang karaoke. We don’t give these old bones a chance to get lame.

Exhausted and happy, we usually went to bed around one AM. We loved the variety of dancing that was available. We enjoyed all the musicians, particularly, the Blackjacks. We have danced to them before on the Celebration, they are very good, play a nice variety, and are accommodating with requests.

Thank you for the video of the Welcome Aboard show.

Sure hope to see you again, in the near future.

John Says:
Hello Arlene and John Hintzman

Thanks so much first of all for being stars of the cruise and it is great to see two people who are young at heart so spirited and enjoying life to the full. I am so glad that you enjoyed your Carnival Dream and I will be the cruise director on the Carnival Magic in September so it will be so brilliant to see you all there. Your suggestion of a Chippendale show for the ladies made me giggle. I don’t think that this is the direction that the company wants to go but…….I am more than happy to put on a Chippendale show that would exceed everyone’s expectations.

I thank you so much for your loyalty to Carnival and your kind words in the posting above and I truly hope we will all be together on the Carnival Magic next year.

Best wishes to you all

Paula Asked:
Dear John, Please respond

Thank you for your reply to my letter about not getting our Carnival Dream pins. We truly appreciate it and your response about Currents. Will someone be contacting me about the pins?

Glad Heidi and Kye are home safely and sorry to hear about their mole problem. Hope someone can get rid of the little (or should I say HUGE) buggers for you.


John Says:
Hello Paula

Someone will indeed be contacting you about the pins in fact I think with the three week time lapse between me replying to your posting that this has already happened. As you may have read, Carnival has canceled the Carnival Currents magazine and it has been replaced by the Funville Times.

Here is one of the 343 Stephanies to add the link thingy to the latest addition.


Please let me know if I can help further.

Best wishes

AA Cruiser Asked:
John please reply

I know that you will be able to provide the truth to the comments on Cruise Critic that Carnival has stopped serving the chocolate mints onto the pillows at night. As you can see by the web address here it is a hot topic.


Please let us know what is happening, this is such a treat and it would be a shame to take it away.


John Says:
Hello AA Cruiser (Tom)

I am happy to tell you that we are still (despite the rumor mill) serving the chocolate mint on the pillow at night. I would be grateful if you could add this to the link thingy.

Best wishes.

By the way, here is a question for you all……..how many of you actually eat the chocolate every night? Just curious.

Frank Asked:
Hello John, Please Reply

Your test is hilarious and I must say we both passed with flying colors. The birthday question is one of particular interest as my wife will be having a birthday on the first day at sea. We are sailing with you on Carnival Conquest on April 18-25. My wife reads your blog and I’m hoping that since this one is a few days old, she won’t see this post. She is on Cruise Critic a lot and is arranging a meet & greet for that sailing (her actual b-day). We have been on a few Carnival ships before but not on Conquest. Does Carnival have a tour that would take you to the Galley, bridge & other areas of interest? She would absolutely LOVE something like that. We are looking forward to cruising with you and are excited that you will be our CD. We also have a tradition when we sail. We bring a small teddy bear we have named Bo Bo and we give this to a crew member that we feel deserves a little something special. After all, the crew is an essential part of cruising! If you have any other suggestions for my wife’s b-day I would appreciate the info.
Thanks & we’ll see you soon!

John Says:
Hello Frank

I am glad you enjoyed the test on the blog and I will have to write another of those very soon. It won’t be long until you are here and I am glad to tell you that we do have the Behind the Fun tour onboard this ship.  Do recommend though that you book this at the shore excursion desk as soon as you get onboard as it does sell out quickly. The tradition of the small bear is wonderful. I have a feeling it may be a tough contest between the stateroom steward and the waiter to see who gets to have Bo Bo. I ask that you leave me a note at the Guest Services Desk when you board with your cabin number so I can say hello and send her a birthday surprise. Have you booked her a romantic meal for 2 at the Steakhouse yet?

See you soon

Best wishes to you both

That’s all for today. Thanks’ so much for all the words of support on the blog. I see the lady that left her two kids alone got under your skin as much as mine! I also want to say a big hello to those who have posted a comment that cruised with me last week here on the Carnival Conquest. Your kind words and praise for the crew who worked so hard during the fog incident were very gracious and I have shared them with all concerned. Please keep the comments coming and remember if you need me to reply, please mark the postings “please reply” and I will do so …….. three weeks later………….but reply I will.

One of the discussions some people have amongst themselves before they take a cruise is whether to take insurance and I often get asked if it is something I recommend. Well, yes, absolutely I do and if you want a reason why, have a look at this comment which was sent to me by blog readers Phil and Liz and comes from a reader of the Cruise Mates web site.

Here is the story:

Hi John….OK, here we go….. The cruise was horrible!! It didn’t have anything to do with Carnival though. Carnival is Rockin Awesome!!! My daughter thought she was having an allergic reaction the night before we left. She went to the ER in Galveston and he said that is what it was and he gave her some meds and said go on the cruise and have a great time, you will be better by the morning.

SHE DIDN’T GET BETTER……SHE GOT WORSE!!!! We went without passports because we figured that the person that would get hurt would be the youngest grandson, so we put him in Camp Carnival and figured we handled that problem…. So Jamaica will NOT let anyone out of the country without a passport, so that was out of the question and that was our first port….So my daughter laid in the hospital on the ship, they were having problems finding a vein to start an IV, and I said let’s look in her feet and if we can find one in her head you can put one in there. They finally did get one, but had to use a Peds Cath cuz her veins are so small. The doctor on the ship told me that the Cayman Islands will issue passports if the patient is admitted to the hospital, because that is what he did just the week before with someone else, so that is what he did. She was admitted to the hospital in the Cayman’s and her and her husband sat and waited to find out what they thought she had. They didn’t have a clue. The ship’s doctor didn’t have a clue, he took pictures and sent them to Miami and they didn’t have a clue. So Once the Cayman’s decided that they couldn’t diagnosis it, they got real scared and issued passports for both her and my son in law, up graded her status and called for a Medical Ambulance which turned out to be a lear jet, and said get her out of my hospital and out of my country !! She went to the Cleveland Clinic in Ft Lauderdale, and had Doctors swaming her, Infectious Control was there, Dermatologist were there and now her throat had started swelling shut…The wonderful ICU nurses came down and got 2 lines started so they didn’t have to put in a PICC line, and they started giving her high doses of steroids… They took a biopsy, and Wednesday they determined that she has a rare disorder called “Sweet’s Syndrome”. don’t know how she got it, how to prevent getting it again, but it is horrible. Thank the Lord we all did take out the insurance for the cruise, because they paid for all of her medical expenses plus her flight home here to Arkansas, and they are paying for all of us to go on another cruise because ours was interrupted. I was onboard with 3 grandchildren….so next cruise I am NOT taking kids…. S0, needless to say it was not very fun….next time will be thou….

There is a postscript to this story also:

I can’t remember if I mentioned, that Carnival went above and beyond anything I could have ever ever imagined. Then went to the hospital to visit my daughter and helped them with clothing and bought them lunch. I have received an email from a person from Customer Service on the Conquest checking on her, and one from the Doctor, so they truly do care!!!

We have all heard a lot of horror stories about different cruise lines, including Carnival but I think this one will go in the books as a great one for Carnival. Thank you for reading and I hope it changed the minds of some of you and for you that did not know, let this be an encouragement to buy the insurance and get your passports.

Well, that’s quite a story and lets all hope that she makes a full recovery. It is easy to say “it won’t happen to me”…….but when it does, it is comforting to know that the insurance coverage is there and that you and your family will be well looked after. Thanks for sharing that story and my best wishes to all.

OK, during the last few days I have highlighted Carnival’s amazing charity work in Haiti, the huge donations we have made there; the help we have given students and the ongoing assistance we are asking our guests to give the men and women who help the sick and needy children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Well, in the last of the series I am going to ask my mate Vance to highlight one particular Carnival employee who has done some very special things indeed.

Rachel Kram Named Carnival’s Employee Volunteer of the Year

Many congratulations to this wonderful lady whom we are all very proud of.

OK, time for my pee break and while I do so I will leave you with a letter to read. This is from my Morning Show where I encourage people to write letters of love and dedication. Sometimes they are very personal indeed………like this one which I shared with 3,200 guests and now I share with you.

Well that was certainly a story full of mixed emotion and I spoke to Paula and told her how I hoped that they and their family would have nothing but health and happiness in the future. It still amazes me that people would write such deeply emotional letters to share with strangers. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that they do and that I can give people the chance to express their love for others…….but goodness me, letters like that make you realize how lucky you are.

There are certain names in the cruise industry that we all know: Micky Arison, Gerry Cahill, Peter Shanks, Carol Marlow, Stein Kruise, John Heald and Richard Goldstein. Yet, there is one very important person who without a doubt has helped you enjoy your cruise and helped Carnival become the company it is today whose name you don’t know……he is the vice chair of Carnival Corporation & plc and his name…………….his Howard Frank.

Mr. Frank is the man behind the scenes but a man whose experience of the business world and the cruise industry in particular has meant so much to Carnival Corporation & plc and Carnival Cruise Lines in particular.

Legend has it that he is a brilliant negotiator……a sort of upscale Simon Cowell. Well, his experience is now being used to benefit the entire industry because he has been chosen to be the new Chairman of CLIA – the world´s largest cruise association which is dedicated to the promotion and growth of the cruise industry. Congratulations to Howard Frank……CLIA is in great hands.

Well, it’s time for news on the Bloggers Cruise for 2010. I apologize first of all for keeping you waiting on this but it has been a hard choice and there have been lots of factors involved, mostly listening to what you all have had to say and my schedule for the rest of the year.

Well, the news is that I have decided not to have another bloggers cruise this year but to do one in February 2011. I am sorry if that is disappointing news but I just haven’t had the time to arrange one for this year and with me being on the Carnival Magic in Europe in 2011 I think it would be nice to do one around Valentine’s Day. I have not decided what ship yet. I am looking at the Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Miracle and would like to know what you think. I want to make this the best bloggers cruise ever and I have decided to be the cruise director this time. You see, it was frustrating not being able to get up there and entertain you and this time I will find a happy medium between being your cruise director and spending time together. Anyway, let me know your thoughts on this over the next few weeks and I will look at what you have said and announce the date in February and the ship I have chosen very soon.

Now as for my summer and winter schedule, that will be finalized tomorrow with the Miami office and I will let you all know what I am going to do before the end of the week.

Back here on the Carnival Conquest it is all going very well. I did notice one important fact today. At the past guest parties I read out all the ships in the Carnival fleet encouraging guests to applaud and cheer which ones they have been on before. Well, recently I have been the CD on the Carnival Valor, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Legend and your Carnival Dream. That’s home ports of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Port Canaveral, respectively.

On those ships the applause is spread out meaning each ship in the fleet gets good applause. Not so on the Carnival Conquest. There is a splattering of applause, a golf clap as I like to call it for the other ships while the only proper cheers and applause is reserved for the Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Conquest. This is proof positive that the folks of Texas and surrounding states are fiercely loyal to the ships that sail out of Galveston and obviously love the fact that we have two ships sailing from there.

I am told that the economy in Texas is very strong as well which is great news, of course. I found this fascinating and at the past guest party I told the guests what an important market Galveston was for us and how we hoped they would continue to sail on the vessels we put there. I have spoken to one or two guests this week and last who asked for longer cruises, more variety of ports and a rotation of different entertainment and I have passed on their desires to the right people.

I see that one fly on entertainer has been coming here for five years. He is excellent, a brilliant performer but 5 years is too long and I think we need to swap him with someone else and the same applies to a comedian and juggler who have been here a long time as well. I will look into this straight away.

The guests seem very happy. The weather has been wonderful and the shows have been a lot of fun. Yesterday I did my Marriage Show and as usual I met lots of great characters.

Here are Devon and Lakisha.

Lakisha is not a tall lady as you can see but she has a very big job. She teaches 14 year old kids and told us that most tower over her. She met Devon who is a police officer and both are from Waco, Texas and were married on Saturday. I teased Lakisha telling her looked too young to be married…………and asked her if her reception was at Chuck E. Cheese?……..I love that joke.

Then there was Paul who has been home from Afghanistan for just a few days. He and his new wife Cheri were married on board the ship on Sunday but not of course at the time they thought because of that sodding fog! So instead of a ceremony at 2 pm they sat in the terminal waiting for the ship to arrive. By the time they got onboard and by the time Cheri had done her hair and make up the ceremony did not start to 11:15pm!

Yet once again that Texas easy going style was plain to see because they were so much fun on stage and said they were having a great time. Paul had, the day before received a standing ovation from the audience when I welcomed him home. He looked dashing in his blue uniform and the audience welcomed him in a splendid way.

I thought that I should welcome him back in a special way to……………so I kissed him.

He told me that a kiss from me was scarier than fighting the Taliban.

So we are in Nassau today and the weather is just gorgeous. I should be getting off the ship but I am just too busy and I know that when Heidi reads this that will be me back in the doghouse.

Carnival Triumph is docked on our portside and there is an older NCL ship docked on our starboard side…..I have a good view of their lido deck and it looks pretty drab and about as equipped for fun as an Amish barn. Funny isn’t it how you just look at a Carnival ship and you know that it’s fun onboard. Our ships have an identity………well at least I think they do.

A friend of mine is in London……you know the same chap that I wrote about yesterday that just flew first class. Well today he is in London and he told me that he is going out for dinner tonight …….to an Italian restaurant. Now why, in the name of all that is holy would he go all the way to London and have a bowl of sodding pasta. OK, the restaurant may be the posh Cipriani which is owned by the same people that run Harry’s Bar in Venice where mere mortals like me and you have to sell the children for medical experiments to pay the bill……..but come on….Italian..in London.

Why not go for the typical and traditional British dish ……..curry. Some of the best Indian restaurants in the world are in London and they all cook the spiciest Indian food you have ever tasted. There are 386 Indian Curry Houses in London means hundreds of people each and every night are playing fast and loose with their bowels which means that in London……….you are never further than a couple of yards from a turd.

That should be the slogan for the 2012 Olympic Games.

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.