A Love And Lust Blog

May 13, 2010 -

John Heald

As it was in Galveston and my time on the Carnival Conquest, the incident report of complaints here on the Carnival Fantasy has about as many pages as a book entitled “Great French Military Victories.” These guests do not seem to find much to complain about……………..well most don’t.

Guest: Mrs. ________ Ref: 002171710A
Cabin: ____ Booking#: _________ Added-Changed: 05/12/10 – 05/12/10


Mrs……arrived at the GSD stating that she had been trying to find the Jubilee dining room for the last hour and she still could not find it. Guest stated that she and her husband had asked lots of crew and they had sent them in wrong directions. Guest started shouting saying that the passengers should be given guides to walk them around as they do on other cruise lines.

GSA asked guest if she eaten in the dining room before as it was already 5 days in the cruise. Guest said that she had been eating on Lido but guest said she wanted a guide now. GSA left the desk and escorted Mrs.________ and her husband to the dining room. Guest demanded that GSA collect them after dinner to show them where the casino is as they could not find it either. GSA arranged for a deck plan to be given to guests but said she was busy and could not stay with the guests but would ask someone from the dining room staff to assist. Guest said that the ship was to big

Dining Room notified and GSAto follow up.

I don’t know about you but I had an image in my mind of a lovely sweet couple in their 80’s who maybe are a little confused. Ummmm……nope…..I checked…they are 51 and 54.

Now I know the first day onboard can be a little confusing, however, I am not sure what cruise line offers a personal guide to be with you the entire voyage. And saying that they asked “lots of crew” and nobody knew where the dining room was …………….. unlikely ………some would say “bollocks.” Can you imagine how this couple would fare on a Destiny class or Dream class ship. And how can you not find the casino? However, maybe her husband told his wife that he had asked when in fact he hadn’t.

Asking for directions is something that as a man I hate to do. Having to stop the car and ask someone implies that they are smarter than me which of course they are not because I am in my nice warm car while they are getting soaked from the rain. However, there have been times when I have to swallow my immense pride and ask someone for help. Usually this happens in Miami where some of the roads and highways and one way systems seem to have been designed by a 12 year old.

Over the years I have made up my own set of rules for this………………if you ask where somewhere is to a member of the carless society….. or in Miami the Carlos ….. society…………and they start with the word “err”……….bugger off immediately ……..just drive away…………because they don’t know and if you listen to them past the word “err” you will spend the next 5 hours driving around in circles ending up in some shanty town where you will be attacked by the local gang for driving through their turf.

The problem is that if you do find someone who does indeed know where you need to go and starts describing the route you are still buggered. This is because it is (as Heidi will tell you) a medically proven fact that when asking for directions men cannot hear anything past……….”you turn left at the Taco Bell”…………..and then our brain just shuts down………………we can’t take in the information because we are thick and to proud to admit that we had to ask some car less person where to go.

One of the reasons that the Germans never invaded the UK was not just the brave allied troops but because the German troops got lost……..”Wo is ze England”………….”Ich weissers nicht, ich bin lossen”………………..they couldn’t ask the French because they were all hiding. If there had been women generals at the front line then armies would be able to stop, ask for directions and have someone who could absorb the directions.

The subject of getting lost and refusing to ask for directions segues nicely into the subject of instruction books. Just before I got onboard the Carnival Conquest I bought a new portable DVD player. I did this because the laptop Carnival bought me has a DVD player which every time I try and play a DVD on it, a message tells me that the software is missing and that someone with a beard would need to come and install it. Well, that would mean sending it back to Miami and that would mean that I would never see it again and if I did that there would be bits of Tofu stuck between the keys. So, I bought a portable DVD player from the airport in Houston and last night I tried to play Entourage season 6 on it.

When the 17 year boy sold me it he told me how I could change the function so that it would change from the United States NTSC system to the British PAL system as I had demanded it be a multi system thingy. He then sold me a Toshiba player. It was shiny and white and he told me everything about how to change the mode using the remote button marked……………..then I lost interest.

Now, what I should have done is hit him over the head with my carryon bag and walked away but I was too polite so I stood there and pretended to listen to him while in fact I was thinking about getting the DVD out on the plane and if there was a way for me to look at my Latvian breasts and bottoms DVD without the passenger in the next seat knowing.

Anyway, I tried to play my British DVD and it tells me I “this type of disc cannot be played.” Now, at this point I should have got the instruction book out but being a man this is illegal. If I had been a woman I would of course have done so. maybe then the guest who complained that she could not find the dining room 5 days into the cruise had a husband who had said he had asked the crew………but didn’t…….and even though his wife is upset ……he didn’t break the man law …………………………and ask for help.

Time for today’s questions………..where are they…..bugger………I have lost them ………… oh….here they are……..off we go then.


I wanted to read what you wrote about EXCURSION PIRATES but could not locate it???? Check several of your writing and nothing about it-can you tell me where it is to read it?????

John Says:
Hello Judy

This was a specific piece I wrote about a problem some of the guests had with a tour company in Rome, Italy and is something that is happening more often, especially in Europe. I know it was on a blog this year so let me search for you after I have finished writing today’s thingy and then I will ask one of the 344 Stephanies to e mail it to you. All the cruise lines are now really stressing that their guests should take an excursion from the ships. Yes, it produces revenue but it also gives you total peace of mind, which is of course invaluable. I will be back to you soon.

Best wishes

Zabnee Asked:
Dear John, Please Reply

So, here I find myself again, sending you another message this week! I’ve found myself taking on the job of arranging a meet & Greet for our Cruise Critic group on our Carnival Dream sailing June 5, 2010. There are already at LEAST 25 CC members that have come along to say hi, a few of which have rather large groups booked with them!

We’d like to have a meet & greet set up, and I’m sure that many of us would be thrilled if you could pass it along to Todd as well, so he might be able to come and visit us when we’re all together. We’re all looking so greatly forward to this trip, and the ability to meet and put faces to the names of those we have been talking with over the course of time on CC.

What would be the best way to get this set up for us? None have really been too picky over a place, the entire ship looks like it’ll be beautiful for our time! (Though one of our cruisers has already been on the ship twice already… she’s been a wealth of knowledge for us!)

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and we know that you’ll be with us in spirit, and I’m sure glad you have this blog Thingy.

Zabnee, aka Kim G.

(Hubby and I were just talking about our cruise with you and Wee Jimmy in January of 2004 last night, actually!)

John Says:
Hello Zabnee

It is always my pleasure to set up a meet and greet for my Cruise Critic friends and I will make sure all is arranged for you on the first sea day afternoon. Please look in the Capers in the……..bugger……….please look in the Fun Times in the “have a great time section” and you will see that sometime in the afternoon there is a mention of “Cruise Critic Meet” there. I will certainly pass this along to Todd as well and if his schedule permits I am sure he will come along and say “hello.”

I also have so many great memories of my time with wee Jimmy and I hope one day you and hubby can cruise together with me again.

Best wishes to you all

Sarah (so excited about our upcoming cruise!!!) Asked:
Hi John,

Your blog inspired my husband and I to book our next Carnival cruise! It’s my 5th cruise, and my husband’s second. Last year, we went on a cruise for our honeymoon. It was at the height of the H1N1 breakout, and our cruise was re-routed. We had such a fabulous time, and my husband has talked non-stop about taking another cruise!

We have booked on the Destiny, and are visiting Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, & Nassau. Right now, we’re torn between snorkeling at Half Moon Cay and Nassau. What would you recommend? Any other suggestions of things we shouldn’t miss on this trip? We’ll be celebrating our 1 year anniversary and want to do something special…


John Says:
Hello Sarah

That is so humbling to read and I am very happy to know that this little blog thingy has inspired you to cruise with us again. I think you should snorkel in Nassau. You know the Bahamian water is some of the clearest and bluest in the Caribbean. I would recommend the catamaran and snorkel excursion there and when you get to Half Moon Cay……….well rent a cabana. You said you wanted to do something special and renting one of these certainly falls into that category. Can you let me know when you are sailing so I can send you an anniversary gift?

Please let me know if you have any other questions

Best wishes

Ben Brajcki Asked:
Howdy there John,

Let me start by saying I look forward to reading your blog thingy every day. It really makes the wait for the next Carnival Cruise shorter and more enjoyable. Oh, and sometimes I learn something.

My Sister and I, both young and single (20′s and 30′s) most recently cruised on the Carnival Freedom and had a wonderful time. On my comment card I noted that Ralph “Wee-Jimmy” and his staff put on the best entertainment of any of my previous 4 cruises. Not to mention, my sister won the “win-a-cruise” bingo. Woo-hoo. With her winnings we are booked on our Carnival Dream on July 3rd of this year.

I feel selfish for asking, but would like to make a simple request. Because my sis and I have the same last name we are usually seated at a table for 2 or four (they must think we are a married couple). I remember my first ever cruise, I was seated at a table of singles, and to this date I have lasting friendships from my tablemates. I wonder if it is possible to arrange a seating at a large table with “young” singles?

Thx, Ben

We are sailing the Carnival Dream on 7/3/10 and in cabin 2470.

John Says:
Hello Ben

Thanks for taking the time to say how much you enjoy the blog thingy and I hope you continue to do so. Congratulations to you and your sister on winning that free cruise and for choosing your Carnival Dream. I will certainly ask the Maitre D to note that you are indeed brother and sister and not husband and wife and sit you at a table with other singles if possible.

I know you will love the ship and do not miss any of the entertainment there, it is truly brilliant.

Best wishes to you both

Topman G Asked:
John (Please Reply),

There is a very interesting discussion going on the Cruise Boards right now about how RCI gives Cruise Critic members free drinks at their meet and mingles but carnival don’t.

Does Carnival not realize how important CC members are and that our reviews make others cruise. Why no free drinks at Carnival then

John Says:
Hello Topman G

I think I replied to this topic recently. I have no idea if or not RCI does provide complimentary cocktails at their CC meetings. I know that everyone at Carnival knows how important the cruise boards are and we cherish the fact that so many cruise with Carnival. However, we have no plans to have complimentary drink parties at these gatherings.

Thanks for taking the time to write

Best wishes

Waiting4acruise Asked:
John, Please Reply.

We will be sailing on the Carnival Legend on May 16. This will be our 9th Carnival cruise. It will be the time other than a back to back on the Carnival Ecstasy we will have a Cruise Director twice. We are looking forward in sailing with Ralph “Wee Jimmy” again. We sailed with him on the Carnival Conquest in October 2008.

As this will be our first time on the Carnival Legend I have 2 questions for you.

I heard one of the big happening is sailing under the Skyway Bridge as we leave Tampa. We want to be on the top deck for this. About what time would this occur as we will have early dining? How can we coordinate this with our early dining?

Speaking of dining we never had a table by a window for dinner. Would it be possible that you could ask the Maitre D if we could be seated by the window? We don’t care who we seat with?

John Says:
Hello Waiting4acruise

Twice with Wee Jimmy….mmmm…….you may need therapy after that. Seriously, you will love him once again and I know if you take the time to talk to him one on one you will find him to be a fantastic young man with a huge passion for what he does. Sailing under the bridge is indeed a big event and this happens about 40 minutes after sailing. The CD or Captain will advise exactly what time over the PA system. It really does feel like you can reach up and touch it.

I have asked the Maitre D to assist with your table request for you.

Have a great cruise.

Best wishes

FrequentFloater Asked:

I never have any complaints about any of my cruises that I go on with Carnival. The entertainment is top notch! I have a 25 year old son who does technical stuff for theatres around our town and he is interested in applying as a tech for Carnival. What is the age group range in the fleet for techs? Who is the oldest one? What is the youngest age that you guys have currently employed? These as you might say are the “Unsung Heroes” of the shows as many might say. Terrific techs and terrific shows!!!


John Says:
Hello FrequentFloater

Yes indeed Becka, without the techs there would be no dancers, music, lights or sound. In fact…….no shows. The minimum age to work onboard 18 but most come from college or other similar jobs aged from 21 upwards. If your son is interested may I recommend that he log onto www.carnivalentertainment.com and read more about the position. If he has any questions he can also contact me here on the blog thingy.

Thanks for taking the time to mention the technicians.

Best wishes to all

Oleg Kostromin Asked:
Dear John!

Thank you a lot for your blog. It really inspires us.

I have booked 7-day cruise from Barcelona Costa Pacifica from 20.04.2010 till 27.04.2010 for my mother Mrs. Larisa Kostromina, who’s a pensioner and me. Reservation number 7782922.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our aircraft tickets, of the volcano ash.

We planned this cruise for five years and it was my mother’s dream.

Please help us to carry over the embarkation date of our cruise from Barcelona on 30.04.2010 or 04.05.2010 or 11.05.2010 or 18.05.2010 or. 21.05.2010 or 28.05.2010.

My mother is 60 years old and she cried all day. We collected money for this cruise for two years and we want this trip very much.

Please help us to carry over our embarkation date, my mother and I will appreciate it very much. Please let our dream comes true!

John, I’m sure only you can help us.

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Oleg Kostromin and Mrs. Larisa Kostromina
Dolgoprudny, Russian Federation

John Says:
Hello Oleg

What a sad story and I know so many people were affected by this volcano and its ash. I see you are writing to me from Russia and I have sent your posting to my friends at Costa Cruises to see what they can do to help. Please would you let me know what happens? I am so sorry, especially for Mum and I am sure her tears will turn into laughter and smiles when she walks onboard the fabulous Costa Pacifica.

I am thinking of you both

Best wishes

Jim Eakins Asked:
Oops, I forgot the “JOHN, PLEASE REPLY”.

Well there at least four of us who want a grand tour so there may be hope yet. Mind you, if dear old (I say that in the nicest possible way) John does not grab this ball and run it up the corporate flag pole is probably doomed to failure because we all know John is the go-to-guy they listen to.


John Says:
Hello Jim Eakins

It has been run up the flag pole and is on our SVP’s desk. I know that many want a longer Caribbean voyage and a one off “Grand Tour” seems like a brilliant idea. I will let you know what happens.

Best wishes

That’s all for today and I will be back tomorrow with more. By the way, I had two more questions about the poor lady who passed away on the Carnival Ecstasy some weeks ago. The questions were both asking (as others have) in previous blogs about what happened. I have not posted these as I think I have answered this enough now and we need to let her rest in peace.

Right………time for a break and while I go put some clothes on I will leave you to look at some great wildlife shots from Radu who as you know is onboard the Carnival Elation. He went on an excursion in Cartagena Columbia…….this is what he saw.

Carnival Elation will soon be in her new home in Mobile, Alabama and talking of new homes, the Carnival Spirit reached her new home port of Seattle, Washington and our friend from Public Relations Mr. Vance Gulliksen was there to cover the story ………. Vance……over to you.

Carnival Spirit Arrives in Seattle, Hosts Charity Event in Conjunction with the City’s Maritime Festival

Brilliantly written as usual mate and I really must………I mean I really must cruise to Alaska one of these days and it looks like I really must visit Seattle as well. I know many of you have booked the Carnival Spirit from there this year and I am looking forward to hearing all about your adventures here on the blog thingy.

I know that one of the Ten Commandments is “thou shalt not covert thy neighbours ……ummmm…….thingy” but sometimes you can’t help it. For example, on Holland America’s new Niew Amsterdam……I guess saying new Niew is redudant…..a bit like The La Tratoria……anyway on the Niew Amsterdam Holland America have built something called “The Screening Room.”  I have often seen comments that remember the old days of the Carnival and Mardi Gras and the indoor movie theatres and if you like the sound of that, have a look at the photo of the “Screening Room”…………here is the link thingy.


So, here we are in Cozumel, 45 minutes later than advertised. We had a technical problem last night which meant we had to slow down. It was quickly repaired but put us 45 minutes behind schedule. I informed the guests accordingly, helped re-arrange excursion time departures and get the guests ashore as quickly as possible.

In fact it’s been a busy day. I had an appointment with a young lady from Serbia who wanted to change departments from housekeeping and become a singer in the show. She is so lovely and has a nice voice but does not have what we are looking for. When I told her that the audition she had done a few weeks ago in front of someone from our production department in Miami had been unsuccessful she started to cry. I felt so bad for her that I wanted to give her a big hug. But unfortunately these days you just can’t reach out and touch someone because …….well………that might be construed as sexual harassment. I am so conscious of this that I never have an interview, consultation or meeting of a disciplinary nature onboard with a female member of staff without another staff member there with me. Sad isn’t it, but that’s the world we live in. I really wanted to put my arm around this young lady and tell her everything would be OK. I had shattered her dreams and all I could do was pass her a box of tissues.

There is a saying that is all too common and is used in the cruise industry amongst those who work onboard and it is used as an excuse….a get out of jail free card……..and that saying is “Oh, it’s ships life.” This is usually used by people who have done something they shouldn’t and I hate it.

This is going to be difficult to write but write it I must. You see, there is a chap here who I have to work with. I also know his wife very well, in fact we are friends. He has been married for a few years and has two beautiful children whom I have also met. The problem is that he has a girlfriend and in Charleston he will have to send her back to her cabin as his wife and children are sailing. Now, I know her as I said and as I sit here writing to you part of me feels like I should put a huge sign over the gangway that says “Your husband is having rumpy pumpy with a twenty something crew member. He is a bastard……divorce him and take all his money.”

But, I can’t. I should. I want to. But I can’t.

I am sure if I were to ask him he would say “Oh, John, come on, everyone’s doing it, and it’s ship’s life.”

Except it isn’t.

It’s called cheating and it’s wrong on land and wrong at sea. The end. I know I am taking a risk writing this but maybe he will read it and change his ways…….then again….. who am I kidding?

I am sorry if that was a bit heavy but it makes me sick knowing that next week I will watch him play happy families…….bugger……….let’s talk about something else shall we?

It’s been a funny old cruise. I have been accused of being a pervert by a large breasted lady and accosted by a naked man with a small thingy. And so I think we need to end today’s blog on a happy note. As you know I host Morning Shows during which I read out dedication letters. Some are humorous, some are sad and sometimes tragic and some are inspirational.

Well, to close today’s blog thingy I want to share one letter with you. Now, unfortunately there is only one scanner here on the Carnival Fantasy and…….it’s broken. Also, the letter is hard to read so I think it’s best that I type this out for you………because it is a truly wonderful letter. It comes from a Sara who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dear John

You asked about romantic stories about how couples meet and here is our story for you.

It all started with a poke in my back from the boy sitting behind me in our classroom. He used a sharp pencil and it made me yelp with pain which had our teacher very angry.

He was very popular with the girls for miles around, but there was a sense I had that he felt something special for me but nothing really happened.

I got a scholarship to college and this meant that I didn’t really see him much until I joined the local church choir, to which he also belonged. The breathless feelings whenever I saw him got bigger each time, and I vividly recall the time when I was walking up the lane from the school bus and he came round the corner in his brown leather jacket. The bound that my heart gave as I recognized him nearly stopped me in my tracks, and I felt almost sick with the rush of emotion.

After that, he made occasion to sit by me on the choir outings, teasing me and showing his interest, while I stayed close to his sister, my best friend. A mother who disapproved didn’t help.

We kissed only once, when he walked me home from a dance, but the moment our lips met the skies opened and it poured with rain, which put a dampener on things.

We never had a date – I went to college and walked with him sometimes when we met by chance, but everything came to a halt when I was informed by a friend that he was having to get married. He had got a girl “into trouble”. That girl became his wife and eventually I began to forget him and after college I moved to Kansas City, married a wonderful man and we were together for 39 years until he passed away.

After his passing I decided to move back to Atlanta and went back to the church in which I had sung for the first time in over 40 years. And there he was, still singing in the church choir. He didn’t recognize me at first but eventually when our eyes met he knew it was me. His wife had also passed away a year before and as we started talking, 61 years later, I could see him as he was way back when we were teens a tall, fair, blue eyed handsome gentlemen. He has been my husband now for 2 weeks and we are here on the Fantasy for our honeymoon.

I hope you enjoyed our story and we both believe God meant us to be together.

Sara and Aaron

And on that beautiful and heartwarming note……..I will say

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.