One of the 344 Stephanies mentioned to me yesterday that I now have 3,300 friends on my Facespace page which is quite honestly absolutely bonkers. Anyway, it was mentioned that I need to pay a bit more attention to this which considering I have paid it bugger all attention should not be difficult to do. It was also put to me that I need to update my “profile” as apparently it was way out of date.

Now I never actually asked for this page…….but suddenly one was born and that was me with 3,300 friends. That’s nearly as many people as Tiger Woods had rumpy pumpy with ……….last week.

It seems to me that these days everyone is quite willing to post their most intimate details on Facebook and, providing you don’t reveal that you’re at a Latvian lap dancing club when you’re officially off work with a “cold,” nothing was taboo. I guess this blog thingy is a bit like Facespace because I pretty much tell you everything. For example ……. yesterday I farted in the Captain’s cabin….during a department head meeting………it was a silent one but certainly a nasty one. You see, I can tell you that and I know it stays between friends. OK, many thousands of friends but it stays just between us.

There is though a concern that was reported on the Larry King show last night that what Facespace users say on their private pages is being reposted on other public sites called “community groups” without their permission. The report also alleged that if you if you use certain words such as “President Obama” or “bomb” or ” I want to marry a sheep” a computer program automatically makes your remarks public……………oops.

Community groups are here to stay though and of course in a way this blog is one of them. However, have you noticed though that the past few weeks have seen an increase in the aggressive “I hate John, I hate Carnival” comments from some folks? I have and it made me angry and then I started to sulk and huff and puff and sulk some more.

Now I am not a man of great intelligence, but I realized that my sulking was making me and some of my replies to questions and comments look more prickly than a porcupine having some acupuncture.

But then I realized that it was just a few and not that many. And there’s certainly no need to be hurt because a few folks out of the mostly wonderful loyal Carnival fans who write on Cruise Critic and other sites and the 6,446,000 slaps on this blog ventures the opinion that I might not be 100 percent brilliantly fascinating every time I sit here in my underpants and write a blog thingy.

I spoke to Vance from Public Relations about this as he has an always calm and professional head on his shoulders. I discussed not posting these comments anymore but after a chat with him I decided that unless they really don’t have a particular question or issue and/or just written with the intent of getting me and my blogging friends all riled up I will continue to post them. I hope that people like Salty Dog, Ann Martin and D.N.A who have been in attack mode these past few weeks realize that nothing they say is going to make me cross or make me sulk anymore……… because I have developed skin as thick as a rhinoceros’s dangly bits.

Time for today’s questions……..off we trot.

LookingforwardtotheCarnivalGlory6June Asked:
John – PLEASE REPLY

You discuss “household items:” – what about extension cords. The reason I ask is that I use a CPAP machine for my sleep apnea and the only outlet in the room is on the opposite side of the room from the head of the bed.

I have been on two cruises since going on the CPAP and both times we have brought the extension cord (and duck tape to secure it to the rug) – it is the only way I can sleep without actually sleeping on the floor, as without the CPAP machine, I stand a pretty good chance of getting a lousy night’s sleep.

JustJon

John Says:
Hello LookingforwardtotheCarnivalGlory6June

Hopefully by now you will have seen that we have clarified what can and cannot be brought onboard. We didn’t make this clear as we should have done and for that I apologize. I know how important CPAP machines are too many and of course any medical equipment can be brought onboard. Please leave a note with the equipment indicating “medical equipment” and you will be assured of a good night’s sleep. Please drop a post to one of the 344 Stephanies a few days before you sail.

My best wishes to you and Mrs. LookingforwardtotheCarnivalGlory6June
John

Sherry AKA Katlady Asked:
Hi John (Please Reply),

I hear you are heading down to our way to hop on the Splendor. I will just miss you, because I cruise on the Splendor in 6 DAYS YEAH. I heard Goose is super so I’m looking forward to the ship. I hope you can answer a question for me. On the Cruises board there has been a lot of talk about the new show called “A Kiss Goodnight.” I hear it is only on the Triumph at this time. I also hear it’s topless and an R rated midnight show. I’m wondering if this is correct information or if someone is pulling my leg. If they are pulling my leg I hope it makes me taller. Thanks for your help I hope you like California.

John Says:
Hello Sherry AKA Katlady

Welcome back from your Carnival Splendor cruise and I am sure you will have enjoyed Goose as your CD and had a brilliant time. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to reply (sorry also to Tom) and let me tell you that yep………..your leg has been pulled …….. sort of. While we do have a show called “A Kiss Goodnight” it is certainly is not topless. It is a magic show performed by Kevin and Caruso and features the dancers some of whom are wearing at times rather skimpy costumes. But it is a magic show, there are no breasts on display….except Kevin’s……..and it is superbly staged.

I am truly looking forward to California and hope that we will get to sail with each other one day soon.

Best wishes and hope you had a brilliant cruise
John

Kristine Britsch Asked:
John, (Please reply)

My husband and I will be sailing on the Carnival Dream July 17th. This is our 20th Anniversary gift to each other!! A little late, as our actual anniversary is June 23rd, but we will be at a baseball tournament with our son Kyle. (You’ll soon learn how everything is scheduled around the kid’s sports, dance performances, school trips, etc!) It just so happens that during the week we do sail, it will be my daughter’s 13th birthday! I was told I can order her a cake to be delivered in the Dining Room – which I plan on doing. I was wondering if Circle C will recognize her birthday in any way. Do I need to inform the youth director, or will she/he know by her registration papers?

I can’t think of a better vacation for a family than a cruise – my 2 kids LOVED the Holiday and the Carnival Triumph, so I can only imagine what they will think of the Carnival Dream!!

Thank you in advance.
Kristine

John Says:
Hello Kristine Britsch

You have a wonderful family cruise to look forward to on your Carnival Dream and certainly the kid’s facilities are second to none. Now, I know that the kids who go to Camp Carnival and who have a birthday during the cruise do get a birthday card from Fun Ship Freddy. However, I am not sure that this applies to Circle C where your daughter will be going. So I checked and indeed it doesn’t but if you let the Circle C Director know she/he will make sure it is recognized. You can order a cake through our bon voyage department or onboard via our Celebrations shop. Please can you post again around June 10 reminding me of your daughter’s name and state room number so I can send her a  little birthday wish.

Best wishes to all the family
John

Angela Guptill Asked:
Please reply John:

I’m thinking of going on vacation by myself next Feb. but when I checked to see how much an OV is for just myself and then compare it for two people, the price was actually less for two than it was for a solo cruiser. Was just wondering why? Thanks so much, Angela Guptill 🙂 By the way, I haven’t left my hubby, I just want to go by myself and we are booked for our Alaska cruise in August /11

John Says:
Hello Angela Guptill

This is one of those questions that I am never sure how to answer. I know that most if not all cruise line charges a supplement for the single cruiser and that the industry is based on double occupancy. I am not sure though how or why it would be cheaper for two people to sail rather than one. Can you send me the cruise and state room you were looking at and I will make some inquiries. Regardless, I do hope that you sail. I will hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes
John

Mike Asked:
Hi John,

My family and I will be sailing on the Destiny on 11/25/10.

Could you please tell me who the cruise director will be? Keep up the good work, you make my job easier. Thanks and please reply!

John Says:
Hello Mike

Your Cruise Director will be Brent Loyer and if you need the full schedule it is listed on the left hand side of the blog thingy. Thanks for the kind words.

Best wishes
John

Marshall Asked:
John (Please Reply):

My family and I just returned home from our second voyage on the Carnival Fantasy, and are already planning to cruise her again once she moves to Charleston! We have truly fallen in love with that ship!

I hope that you have the pleasure of working with Henny, the Assistant Cruise Director we sailed with last week. He was the funniest person we’ve encountered in all of our Carnival cruises, and could make a wonderful Cruise Director for Carnival! My wife and I both agreed that we would choose a ship just because he was on it!

I also wanted to say that we had the two best dining staff, Marito and Ivanka, in the Celebration Dining Room. We never thought our previous cruise’s staff could be topped, but the entire family (all 7 of us) hated to leave them behind because they were so friendly and outgoing! We ran into them several times around the ship, and they always remembered us by name and seemed genuinely interested in how our days were going.

I only had one disappointment, though, in that we couldn’t find the ship pins in the gift shops. The shops were quite busy each time we stopped in, so I didn’t ask a staff member, but they were at the very least not easy to find!

I can’t wait to read your blogs from the Carnival Fantasy over the next few weeks! If you happen to meet Marito or Ivanka, please tell them hello!

John Says:
Hello Marshall

Well I can see why you love the Carnival Fantasy so much because here I am now and having a great time with the people of Charleston. Henny is here with me now and in fact he will be taking over as Cruise Director when I leave and before Risa Barnes returns to the ship. He is going to do a great job.

I am disappointed that you couldn’t find the pins. It seems they need to do a better job in displaying them because I checked last night when I read your comment and indeed they are in a box at the back of the logo shop on the port side. I have asked the shop manager to display them better. I have sent a copy of your posting to all those you mentioned and I am sure they will be thrilled to read your words of praise.

Thanks for taking the time to write and I hope you are enjoying the blog.

Best wishes
John

Kathy Phillips Asked:
Please respond.

John, my husband and I just booked a suite on the Splendor for the Sept 26th sailing. We did this because we have always wanted to cruise with you. We live in Texas but the have sailed the Conquest and did not want to do that itinerary again. We did the Splendor last year and loved it. We are looking forward to a great cruise celebrating my birthday early as November is also our grandson’s birthday and too busy to take a cruise for my birthday then. See you in September. We are really looking forward to your bedtime story show.

John Says:
Hello Kathy Phillips

I just wanted to say how thrilled and honoured (spelt correctly) that you have booked especially to sail with me. I promise that I will do all I can to make this the best cruise ever and we will talk again here on the blog thingy before you sail.

Thank you most sincerely and I will see you both soon.

Best wishes
John

Lesli Dreesen Asked:
Dear John, (reply if you will)

First of all, my husband and I sailed on the Carnival Destiny with you many years ago in 1998 and we both think you are great! I am not sure we have ever laughed so hard, or so much!

We are going on another cruise this July on the Dream, and for the first time, I am feeling a little “concerned” I guess. I do understand that for every negative comment, there is at least one positive, but I guess maybe hearing something about this from someone who works there would be helpful. I am referring to the “odor” people keep mentioning, and that the Dream rocks more than the others. If the “odor” problem is no biggie, then I won’t worry about it. Do you know if they have figured out what that is, and/or if they have been able to fix it? And, in your opinion, did you think the rockiness is THAT noticeable? Our cabin is one of the cove balconies and I can’t wait for that. Maybe having our cabin down low will help with the movement. Anyways, this is my 6th Carnival cruise (if you count going on the Cunard Princess) and my husband’s fourth. We love Carnival, and we don’t entertain the idea of going on any other cruise line! Thank you so much for all of the hard work you and your co workers do!

John Says:
Hello Lesli Dreesen

Thanks for the memories of the Carnival Destiny and I am glad that you enjoyed my silliness. I know that we had some concerns with odor early on and have taken a series of corrective actions to resolve it, the last of which I am told will be completed within the next few weeks.

As for the movement, well I spent 6 weeks onboard my Carnival Dream and I certainly don’t remember any excessive or unusual movement of the ship except when the sea was rough and even then nothing abnormal. I know that it is sometimes hard to ignore the negatives, however, as most of the reviews I have read have shown the positives far outweigh the negatives and I have no problem in assuring you that your Carnival Dream cruise will be absolutely fantastic.

Please let me know all about it when you return.

Best wishes to you and all the family
John

Paula Asked:
Hi John – Please Reply

I have a question about tipping. Someone on Cruise Critics said NOT to tip with a $2.00 bill (US) .They said that the crew were not able to use them! Is this true?

Thank you

John Says:
Hello Paula

I think I replied to this a few weeks ago but just in case you did not read my answer I am happy to tell you that if you do decide to tip with a $2 bill the crew will be able to use it. They can also change it onboard if they have any concerns. Any gratuity is gratefully received and thank you Paula for taking the time to ask.

Best wishes
John

That’s all for today. A few days ago my friend Host Mach from Cruise Critic told me about a concern one of his members had when trying to order something from our Bon Voyage department. I put my investigative hat on and it seems that we made a bit of a boo boo ……..here is the official statement thingy.

“An unfortunate mis-communication occurred between our Bon Voyage department and call centers which led to the dissemination of incorrect information to our reservations agents. To clarify, we have not ceased alcohol sales, either pre-cruise or during the sailing, through Bon Voyage and apologize for any misunderstanding or confusion.”

Good, that’s that then.

I hope you liked yesterday’s blog and that great video from Peter the Hair. It really captured the day perfectly and apart from the state of my underwear after my bottom was trapped in a woolen suit in 88 degrees of heat …….it was a great day. Here is Vance’s official press release and photos marking the day.

Carnival’s Launch of Year-Round Service from Charleston Highlighted by City’s First-Ever Water Slide Races

Everyone is very much aware of the exclusive royal connection that Cunard Lines enjoys. Well, this relationship has been expanded beyond the names of the ships and those who have launched the world’s most famous ocean liners because there will now a permanent royal fixture onboard the new Queen Elizabeth.

Here to tell you and to show you all about it is our man in London and Cunard’s President Mr. Peter Shanks.

John

Today it all started to get very exciting – we launched ‘The World Awaits – Queen Elizabeth’- and we did it the Cunard way with a very classy reveal in front of the press at David Linley’s Gallery in Chelsea. For your bloggers who may not know, David Linley is The Queen’s nephew and one of Britain’s foremost furniture and wood marquetry designers. He has partnered with Cunard to produce the main piece of Art in Queen Elizabeth’s Grand Lobby. It is stunning. I hope your bloggers enjoy the brief video highlights of what was a truly Cunard, British and Royal occasion.

Some cruise lines – like the one that names all it ships ‘Something of the Seas’ – announce very big, very glitzy, very expensive innovations – and they do it very well. As for Cunard – well for us the reveal of a stunning piece of artwork depicting our original Queen Elizabeth at Linley’s Gallery over a chilled glass of champagne is more our style – and that is why We are Cunard.

So we are up and running with ‘The World Awaits’ – look out for a series of exciting reveals and stories over coming weeks and months.

I am flying to New York in the morning to join Queen Mary 2 – I will send you a few daily blogs to let you know just what you can do on a transatlantic crossing.

Good Evening
Peter

Here is the link to some superb photos and to Peter’s video and that stunning center piece that will truly compliment this most anticipated of new ships.

www.wearecunard.com

There is also a new micro thingy just for the Queen Elizabeth and that can be found at http://queenelizabeth.cunard.com .

I am still in awe of the fact that Peter writes for our humble little thingy and as you can see by his reference to the “something of the seas” he reads our blog as well. Brilliant ……….or as Peter would say “Spiffing…….absolutely spiffing.”

I want you to meet a man simply known as Mr. Carnival. Before I show you photos of why he is called this I need to tell you a sad story about him. Mr. Carnival and his wife ………ummm………..Mrs. Carnival (real names Cheryl and Michael) have been blog fans for a long time but Carnival fans for even longer. They have done 18 cruises so far and Michael has a hat with all the pins form every ship he has been on proudly affixed to it. The hat is an Australian outback style hat as worn by Crocodile Dundee. Anyway, I need to change “has” to the past tense because last night while on lido deck……….his hat ………. and all 18 pins………blew overboard. And understandably very sad.

Anyway, I have contacted all the Cruise Directors and they are sending replacement pins to one of the 343 Stephanies and she will gather them and send them to Mr. Carnival.

Oh….by the way…you are probably wondering why they call him Mr. Carnival …………… here’s why.

So tomorrow there is a meeting of beards. The entire marketing and public relations department including all the Stephanie’s, Vances and Michelles will be attending something called “a retreat.” This is something that will no doubt involve talking about thinking outside of a box and a lunch of Tofu salad, tofu burgers and tofu ice cream. The fallout from this is that there will be nobody to post my blog tomorrow so I have been asked not to write one. So I won’t. I will be back on Monday when we will be underway with a seven-day cruise that includes calls at half Moon Cay and Grand Turk……………so I will see you then.

Well our first cruise from Charleston is going very, very well and the mood of the guests on the ship is brilliant. We are in Freeport today and the weather is befitting of our first cruise from Charleston with a clear blue sky and hot feel good sunshine.

It is obvious from the many comments I have received from guests how happy they are that Carnival has sent a ship to Charleston. I have met people from both South and North Carolina as well as from Georgia and other states where guests have enjoyed driving to the ship. This is going to be a great market for us and a fantastic vacation opportunity for them. It’s funny though that these past months have been spent in the south and having been in Texas, Alabama and now South Carolina…………even I find myself occasionally saying “y’all.”………..my father the retired teacher will not be impressed.

Like many British people I grew up watching and enjoying the adventures of them their folks in Hazzard County, the Dukes branded the people of southern America as rednecks and we all thought that was true. In the UK the program was insanely popular. The Heald family would enjoy a meal of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding followed by a big dollop of spotted dick and then sit around the TV and spend Saturday night watching the tales of two simple country good ol’ boys outwitting corrupt local lawmen with the aid of fast cars, strong morals, tight denim…….. and the notable contribution of Daisy Duke’s bottom.

Now, I haven’t mentioned this next bit yet on my blog because I wanted to wait until I was out of Alabama but I guess …….and I mean this respectfully……that from what I saw on my night in Mobile and my week and a half onboard the ship sailing out of there that while the people were so friendly and great guests to entertain……….they really expressed themselves in very open ways.

While parked at a stop light on my way to the hotel I saw a truck that had The Ten Commandments beautifully painted along the side. I was surprised also how many the flag of the Confederacy (have I called that the right thing?) which had famously adorned the Dukes’ car roof, flying in the yards of houses and buildings. But it was the bumper stickers that got me. On my 40 minute journey from the airport to the hotel I saw some that were so outrageous that I had to take note on my raspberry. I hope this is not going to upset anyone and I am only posting what I read and not saying I agree. Many seemed to mention guns……..I made a note of my favourite which said “God, Guns and Guts Keep America Free”.

However, my morning stop at the coffee shop today produced the trump card because I saw a chap wearing a T Shirt that had the following wording on the back of it …………. “Boycott Jane Fonda, American Traitor Bitch”

I am sure some of you may understand what that is all about but I haven’t got a clue.

But overall my time here in the south has been a brilliant one and certainly the people of Texas, Alabama and now South Carolina are people who us Brits may think spend their days relaxing on rickety porches or sipping whisky outside the Bait’n’Tackle shop beneath the shade of an oily baseball cap…….. But this is clearly just a stereotype and they are people who love cruising and love Carnival.

In fact I fell rather Southern myself. So much so that when I leave the ship in two weeks time I am going to rent myself a Mustang, grab Megan Fox and dress her fine looking behind in a pair of them there Daisy Dukes………drive up to the local “poooolice” flip Sherriff Roscoe P Thingy the bird…….and hope that if I really floored it……. I could hold him off all the way to the county line.

See y’all after supper
Your friend
John

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.

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