Anger Management

July 15, 2010 -

John Heald

Oh no………………….oh please God no.

My cry for heavenly help is not because I have discovered a wart on my thingy or that my first cruise on the Carnival Splendor will be a charter of French nudists. Nope………….my agony is because my daughter Kye has recently discovered ……………I can’t even bring myself to type this word…………….I feel sick……………come on John …………..try………………….OK here goes …………… she has recently discovered………………….Barney.

She gets one hour a day of TV. It is a time when she sits quietly on my lap before bedtime and is mesmerized by 50 inches of plasma TV. While waiting for her usual program called In The Night Garden she caught the last few minutes of Barney and she laughed, clapped her hands and waddled her feet………….it was obvious she loved it. Well, I don’t.

I hate Barney the sodding dinosaur. His sickly, purple and green skin tones, his creepy little arms and dazzling white Californian dentistry and his side-kicks Baby Bop and BJ who look like children created in a laboratory by men with beards.  But most of all I hate that vomit – inducing song “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family, with a great big hug, And a kiss from me to you, Won’t you say you love me too?” which is the musical equivalent of the Norwegian Epic. I hear it was used as a method of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

My TV life has changed so much and Sky News, Sports and Babestation have been replaced by Kye’s programs and America’s Next Desperate House Wife Idol Sex with the Stars.

Here are some of the others I am forced to watch. Let’s start with a program called The Fimbles.

Have a look at this:

What the hell are these bloody things? Were they created by someone who had just smoked my underpants? Their weird, waddling bodies suggest a zebra has had rumpy pumpy with a Teletubby. And those cutesy-wutesy voices that Fimbo, Florrie and Pom have make me want to stab myself in the head with a knitting needle. They have catchphrases such as “can you feel your topknot twitching,” “Can you feel your nose wrinkling?” and “Where’s my little one?” So they’re either cocaine users or perverts…………..just what I want my daughter to see.

Then there is In The Night Garden.  Here is a clip.

The characters in this one are called Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka, and the Ninky Nonk

Igglepiggle is a blue thing that can’t talk. He just squeaks and stares at Upsy Daisy……as if the only garden he wants to see is her lady garden. Makka Pakka, is my favourite because I feel sorry for him. That’s because he spends his days living alone in a cave. He’s like a fat little goblin (rather like myself) and spends his day washing Igglepiggle’s face with a sponge, which is really ………… ummm……..strange. Yet this program is the most popular on kids TV and my daughter loves it.

But now she has discovered Barney and this sodding song.

“I hate him, he hates me, we are not a happy family,” because I now have to listen and watch him every day. Here is my version of that song.

I love you

You Love Me

We’re A Happy Family

When A Shot Rung Out and Barney Hit the Floor

No More Purple Dinosaur.

And I am proud to announce that coming up on your Carnival Magic…….we will proudly present ………the UMF……Ultimate Mascot Fighting………featuring the world heavyweight championship between  Barney The Purple Dinosaur and Fun Ship Freddy. Freddy doesn’t love you Barney and you can expect him to open a big can of whoop arse!

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

Dan Asked:
John, Please reply

I have really become a fan of your blog and now get phone notifications when you post it. You have a great sense of humor and the reading is very interesting. Thank you for your blog thingy!!! We are sailing on the Conquest in Aug. I am one who enjoys an evening cigar. I have heard that the Cigar bars no longer allow cigars. Could this be true???? I try to avoid lighting up on the balcony as to not offend others on their balcony. If no smoking is allowed in CIGAR BAR then the balcony bar it is. Maybe the name Alfreds Cigar Bar should also be changed. Hers hoping it’s not true.

John Says:
Hello Dan

Thanks for the kind words about the blog and I hope it continues to bring you some useful information and a smile or two.

I have checked with the Carnival Conquest, Carnival Valor, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Triumph and all have confirmed that the cigar bars are indeed just that………cigar bars. However we are trying something on the Carnival Destiny where an outside location has been reserved for cigar smoking and on the Carnival Glory where it is allowed only in the sports bar. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I understand that for non-smokers it is not pleasant to enjoy the music there and access the internet cafe. On the other hand and as a cigar smoker it is a real shame that these lovely cigar lounges are not utilized for what they were intended. Let’s see what the future brings. I wish you long ashes and a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes

Allen Asked:

In regards to a proposal on Carnival Destiny. Okay here are the details–any suggestions or contacts would be greatly appreciated…..

There are four of us going on the Carnival Destiny-Labor Day weekend. Well my girlfriend has no clue I am going, she thinks it’s a girl’s trip. The friends are in on the entire deal. I have booked a room with one of her friends (the double occupancy thing). In the bookings my girlfriend will never see my name because we are own to different bookings. (just to say–the people at booking are WONDERFUL–well Claudie is great)
Anyway I have it planned out–so hopefully I won’t be seen on the ship until I pop the question–definitely the first night/day. I am pretty sure a huge public proposal would be fun, however I am pretty sure she would want it to be just me and her and maybe her friends or Carnival capturing it through pictures or video. So any suggestions with ideas for proposing? Has anyone ever pulled this surprise of being on the ship and proposing?


John Says:
Hello Allen

While proposals are commonplace on our ships there have been very few if any where the lady has no clue that her husband to be (hopefully) is onboard. I think it would be great if the cruise director called your girlfriend on stage as part of the welcome aboard show. He would do some audience participation with her and other guests and then hand out the prizes to everyone…….. except her. Then he could pretend they have run out of prizes and then ask if anyone backstage has a spare prize. Then you come walking out……………and the rest…………….again hopefully …… will be a night to remember. What do you think? Let me know and I will need your name and cabin please.

Best wishes and good luck.

Austin Carroll Asked:

You asked to drop a line when we returned from our Carnival Pride sailing of 6/20:

This was our 13th sailing, so obviously we are fans (and stockholders) of Carnival. Just a couple of areas of opportunity that I wanted to point out.

We sailed on Sunday and Sunday night we had to call someone to check our a/c in the cabin. Instead of sending the technician right away, someone from Guest Services has to come to check the temperature. It was 78.6, with no apologies, just “a technician will be up shortly”. The technician was pleasant, apologetic and attempted to correct.

On Monday, we had to call again due to a/c problems. Again, GSA came to record temp, and again, no apologies, and the same “a technician will be up”. This time the thermometer read 25oC, which we were told was around 74. Only to find out later the conversion is 77. Some adjustments were made/attempted.

On Tuesday, we asked our room steward her opinion if it was hot, or were we crazy, and she said she thought it was hot and would call in the request. A GSA came by and recorded 74.6, which she said is above the threshold of acceptable 74. This time we did receive a verbal apology, and the technician came by and did some work out in the hall. The technician checked back with us about 30 min later, and while it wasn’t as cool as other rooms, it was cooler; so we tolerated the remainder of the cruise. But never received any follow up from Guest Services, which was kind of shocking.

Another area I wanted to highlight was our experience with Your Time Dining. We had originally wanted early dining, but was waitlisted, so opted for YTD. The first night, we arrived at about 6:30, and was told that our table was being cleared and would be ready shortly. Not bad, about a 15 minute wait. The second night was formal night and we arrived at about 6:15 and had to wait about an hour. We ended up with the same server (Rosey – or Roselle) and she was GREAT. It was obvious that there were extreme circumstances because we observed Asst Matre’d’s clearing tables and setting up clean tables. The 3rd night we arrived at 7:00 and requested Rosey, and had to wait about 40 minutes. Our pager went off and were informed that Rosey still did not have any tables, so we were placed in another area. The 4th night, we thought we would be smart and arrive early, and it paid off, only about a 10 min wait to get to the podium, and we were immediately seated (around 5:50pm). The 5th night, we arrived at 6:00 and had to wait about 30 minutes to get to the podium. The line was backed up from the dining room back to Ralphael’s Lounge, and on down the hallway. Once we received our pager, we had about a 35 min wait. The next night was formal night, so we again thought we should arrive early. We got off the elevator at 5:50pm and the line was twice as long as the night before. It took about 40 minutes to get to the podium, but were seated immediately. And finally the last night had a 20 minute wait to the podium and about 45 minute wait for a table. The hostesses were great, and the service and food was great, however we will go for Early Seating next cruise. I do like the idea of not having to rush to get to dinner, but we found out that if don’t get to the Dining room to be one of the first ones seated, the wait would put us almost to late seating time, which is what we were trying to avoid.

And finally, another area of opportunity—sorry so long!!!–prior to disembarking at Half Moon Cay, we checked with Guest Services about priority debarking (platinum) and the GSA told us just to go on to the gangway, go to the front of the line and show our cards. And to do the same upon return. There is no possible way to cut to the front of the line when everyone has crowded the stairways to disembark on the tenders. No big deal, we waited. However upon return, we thought we would enjoy the island longer and wait for one of the last few tenders, thinking we would get priority boarding and not subject ourselves to the blazing sun while waiting in the long line. My wife went to the security guard and the front of the line, and asked about priority boarding and showed her Platinum card. He laughed at her and stated everyone has a card and said she would have to wait like everyone else. This caused the first 10 or so guests to laugh at her as well. No big deal, we went and got in line. After about a 10 minute wait, the security guard hunted us down and told us to come to the front of the line, and then let us on the tender. He apologized and said he wasn’t aware of priority boarding. We appreciated his apology, but wanted to point out to you, that there may be other officers unaware of this privilege.

Anyway, great cruise, Kirk was great, and the islands were great. Looking forward to our next cruise!!


John Says:
Hello Austin Carroll

Reviews from our Platinum guests are so very important so let me start by saying a big thank you for taking the time to post yours here on the blog thingy.

Let me start by apologizing for the concerns you had with the air conditioning. It seems that an apology is something you should have received from the GSA as soon as she came to see the problem. This by the way is standard procedure. When a guest calls and comments that they have a problem of noise or temperature in their state room a GSA (Guest Services Associate) will visit the stateroom and then report their findings to the technical department who will be responsible for doing their best to fix it. However, the first thing they should be doing is apologizing.

I know that Brian the hotel director of the Carnival Pride will be very interested in hearing about this and will make sure best practices are put in place with this regard. Once again, my apologies that you encountered this.

When we first started the Your Time Dining option there is no doubt that we had some teething problems (note the new baby reference there) and wait time was definitely a concern. However over the last months this seems to have been alleviated and that is why I was so surprised when I read that you had a one hour wait. I do not think this is normal and certainly I have not read about this on the blog or seen it myself onboard recently. It is disappointing to know that you had such a long wait and I can only think that many of the guests who had chosen YTD arrived for a table at the same time. So once again my apologies for the wait and I wonder if, as YTD gets more and more popular that we will have to start allocating more tables for this option. I will pass your valuable comments onto the right people and thanks for also pointing out how much you enjoyed the crew who served you……..that was very nice.

Now to tendering.  Telling Platinum guests to go straight to the gangway is absolutely not the way to do this. They should be collected from the guest services desk or a lounge and escorted by a member of staff to the gangway. Not doing this means that the guests just see other guests pushing in the front of the line. They have no clue that Platinum guests get tender preference and I will be copying some people on this who hopefully will set this policy as a fleetwide standard. I will confirm to everyone that this is so as soon as I hear back.

Now I must admit, I do not think there is any policy in place for our Platinum guests to come to the front of the line for the return tender ride in places like Grand Cayman, Half Moon Cay and others. I certainly can’t remember telling Platinum guests they may do so or if it is in print anywhere. Does our security staff know that when a guest presents a Platinum or Milestone card that they can board the tender immediately? Again, these are good points which I will raise today and let you know the answer.

So thanks for the review and thanks for your loyalty. I hope you had a fun cruise and we hope to see you again very soon

Best wishes

JimC Asked:
John Please Reply-

Hi John… by the time you respond to this we will most likely be talking on the Carnival Splendor (aren’t you proud as I didn’t leave the “Carnival” bit off???)

But on our Carnival Dream cruise we had a thought about another way Carnival could reward platinum guests without really having to spend any money. -Offer Platinum guests priority boarding in the ports. Maybe a secondary line or allow them to go in a different gangway? When returning to the ship (especially the larger ones) there are always long lines with everyone returning at once? A Platinum only line would make a great perk without costing Carnival huge sums of money. What do you think? I’m sure you know more about the logistics of boarding returning guests in ports, but is this possible?

See you in August!

John Says:
Hello Jim C

Thanks for adding the full name of the Carnival Splendor. You know, I was on a conference call yesterday and even one of the vice presidents kept dropping the “Carnival” from the ship’s name. I don’t know why but that really makes my teeth itch.

Isn’t it strange that directly after I write to a comment from Austin Carroll, the next question is on basically the same subject? I think it’s a great idea and I know that one of the main subjects being discussed by a special team at Carnival HQ is our loyalty program and how to improve it. I will therefore make sure they get to read this and certainly it is something that we can give serious thought to. Obviously gangway space will be a factor as will the manning of them by our security staff. But certainly, during peak traffic times this is something we should look at. I will see you soon and please leave me a note at the guest services desk when you arrive so I can send you a little something for being a blog fan.

Best wishes

grizel robertson Asked:
John, please reply, idc.

Firstly, I apologise for omitting to thank you for your thoughtfulness in ensuring that I had a bottle of Bubbly & a Gold Plated Ship on a Stick on my BtoB cruises on C Victory in May (immediately following my 60th birthday). I just felt that I needed to make some positive comments about my trip before being engulfed by 250+ e-mails that had entered my office mail box & all the other money wasting initiatives that had been construed by an administration that had destroyed every UK citizen’s hope of a comfortable retirement.
The people who are objecting to a 200% occupancy charge for solo travelling clearly do not understand that a UK citizen, travelling solo with Platinum Status, pays in excess of 200% when booking a balcony cabin & to boot pays exorbitant air travel costs to set foot on a ship.

I shall embark on my Double Platinum Cruise on BC4.

It will have cost me an arm & leg in comparison to those US citizens who demand cheap vacations with a short drive to their embarkation ports & believe that Platinum Status is their right by default. John, I shall never be able to embark on multiple cruises per annum on CCL as I live in Scotland & still work full time. Carnival UK needs to get its act together if it wishes to make an impact on the Cruise Scene. Currently, Cruise Critic, UK, never quotes Carnival on any of its sites.

John Says:
Hello Grizel Robertson.

How’s things up in Bonnie Scotland? It is always nice to hear from you and thank you for your thoughts. The single traveller is certainly finding the industries policies somewhat disappointing and of course when you factor in trans-Atlantic airfare it becomes even more expensive. I know you cruise as often as you can with us and it will be a true honour (spelt correctly) to have you with me on BC4 for your 20th cruise. I will do all I can to make it your best yet. Regarding Cruise Critic UK not promoting Carnival, I will forward a note along to our friends at Carnival UK. Thank you once again for your loyalty and I truly look forward to seeing you on the Carnival Glory.

Best wishes

Marty Paul Asked:
Hi John (please reply for us cigar smokers);

Please see the following thread on Cruise Critic;

A spirited dialogue on Carnival’s movement away from cigar smokers. Us cigar smokers are “banding” together (pun intended) and as a fellow cigar enthusiast, would like you to join us.

Please help us talk some sense into the bearded ones in Miami. I know smoking is a very sensitive issue but we feel Carnival has dropped the ball, as evidenced by cigar lounges being fitted on the ships and then cigar smoking in them being prohibited??

We are hoping Carnival will keep the designated cigar lounges, and in the case of the Conquest class ships, a solution would be simply to move the internet cafe, so non-smokers would not have to transit through cigar smoke to get to the computers. I’m sure the bearded ones can come up a better solution for us cigar enthusiasts!!

Hoping you are having a great vacation and enjoying your family!!
Marty Paul

John Says:
Hello Marty Paul

I am not sure where this came from because I can confirm that the following ships still allow cigar smoking in the cigar bars on deck 4 aft.

Carnival Splendor

Carnival Triumph

Carnival Valor

Carnival Freedom

Carnival Liberty

Carnival Conquest

As I mentioned earlier in today’s blog the Carnival Glory and Carnival Destiny have other areas for cigar smoking. Moving the internet cafe is something that is unfortunately easier said than done although it would be the most logical thing to do. This is an ongoing project and so I will keep you updated.

Thanks for all the kind words.

Best wishes

Geri & Jack Asked:
My Hospital Visit Onboard – John pl. pass on to the Glory Staff

Hi folks.

I want to share and tell you what a great job the Doctor in the hospital onboard did for me. I had a very bad pinched nerve, bronchial infection and a sudden asthma attack while on our recent cruise on the beautiful C Glory in April. Praises to all the C Glory Staff.

I went to the hospital where the Doctor gave me great medication to both ease the pain and something for anxiety. This made the rest of my cruise outstanding and free from worry.

They only charged me $90 for the visit and all the meds. I have nothing but praise for him and his staff.

I will be getting 80% back from my medical coverage.

You can’t beat that.

Happy Sailing
Geri (& Jack Scott)
p.s. John…..the Dr. was from England…!
Platinum cruisers -10 cruises in one year.Yea! Carnival!

John Says:
Hello Geri and Jack

The medical staff on the Carnival ships are always unsung and therefore it is always great to be able to pass on words of praise to them. I will do so here and thank you for taking the time to tell me about the great care you received. I hope you are fully recovered and will be ready to cruise again soon.

Stay well and best wishes to you both.

Katiel53 Asked:
John, (Please Reply)

I can understand raising the price on the 1A to 200% of the room cost for a single, as most of the time that’s how other lines handle the single cruiser. What I can not understand though is why port charges and other fees (as the Travel Agents call non-commissionable fees) are also doubled. The only thing not doubled for a single passenger is the government fees. I feel it is wrong to charge the single person 2x the port fees and whatever charges Carnival has in there. I know for a fact this is not done on Royal Caribbean but I don’t know about other lines.

My dad travels solo every cruise and he always has a balcony, so he expects to pay 2x the cabin rate, but paying 2x the port fees etc is just wrong. I know the majority of people don’t even realize this is happening, but some agencies give onboard credit based on the cruise fare. The cruise fare is lower than what the customer actually sees on the Carnival website or booking confirmation as the other fees are hidden. I know all cruise lines include these fees in what is posted as the cruise fare, but if your agent were giving you 8% as an example of the fare as OBC, you wouldn’t be getting quite as much as you would think.

I hope that you will be able to get a good answer from the beards, other than just because they can they will. Thanks so much.

John Says:
Hello Katiel53

Each time I receive a comment on this subject I promise you that I send them to the people who made this decision so they can see what our guests are saying. I had no idea that agent’s fees were doubled for the single cruiser and I thank you for letting me know. I will let you know what is said. Thanks again for letting me know and for reading the blog.

Best wishes

Mike Asked:
Hi John (please reply thanks),

My wife and I were on the Carnival Dream for our 10th anniversary 3 weeks ago and our 1st cruise together. It was my 1st time as a guest on any cruise line. We had a fantastic time! The entire staff worked hard to make our anniversary a success. The CD Todd was a neat guy to listen to and yes we did see him more in the evening than the day, but that’s his job right? Others should not expect him up at the crack of dawn. He has to sleep sometime! We can’t wait until we can go again, this time taking our kids. I want to go on the Carnival Triumph before it’s moved. We took a picture of it at St. Thomas during our honeymoon as I was wearing a shirt with the old Triumph cars logo. Being from the UK, you might appreciate classic British cars (of which there are many jokes) but I have been a Triumph Spitfire guy since 1981 as my first car and still have it 29 years later. I “motor” around in it several times a year going to British car shows in the southeast US, participate in a local club, and help a national magazine about these cars. So finally here is my question: are there any fare specials next year specific to the Carnival Triumph or other deals that a family would be able to use? Thanks for your efforts at information and entertainment in this blog thingy.

Cheers! -Mike & Cherie, Pensacola, FL

John Says:
Hello Mike.

My very first car was a Triumph Spitfire. It was a rust bucket and I had dreams of restoring it but it never happened. The gear lever was in the dashboard and the clutch was as heavy as a Sumo Wrestler’s jockstrap…….after he has had a poo in it. But when the top was down and as long as you didn’t over rev her………she was an absolute joy to drive.

I am so glad you had a great time on your Carnival Dream and I will make sure that you are put on the e mail listing for any discounts and specials that come up on the Carnival Triumph. One of our PVP’s will be in touch as and when. Have fun with your car……I still dream of my Aston Martin.

My best wishes to you both

That’s all for today. Thank you all for the comments so far regarding our beverage service on board and if you have a comment on this that you haven’t sent yet please do as they make for very interesting reading indeed. Yesterday I had the conference call regarding bingo and we spoke about your suggestions on scheduling and bingo prizes, etc. One thing we all agreed on was that we have to make it fun and that people should not be intimidated by this event. Yes, the reason people play is to win money but the CD’s have now been asked to make sure that it is done first and foremost as a fun-filled activity. You will start to see this soon. I will keep you informed as to what we are doing with our prizes as well. Thanks then for the input……as always it was most useful.

Let’s talk beer. Micro breweries are very much in vogue and if you have one in your area I truly encourage you to visit. There are many beers on the market but often those that are not massed produced taste the best I am told. When I was a beer drinker I drank bitter and drank it warm and micro breweries did not exist. Imagine though if there was a micro brewery at sea, on a cruise ship. Well, imagine no more because there is one and lets face it, there was only ever going to be one cruise line who was going to be the first to do this and that of course is AIDA Cruises, yep, trust the Germans to come up with something as wunderbar as this and I know that the beer loving bloggers would love to know more……so let me tell you all about the micro brewery on the AIDAblu.

Fresh beer will be brewed in the first floating brewery on Deck 10, with guests able to follow the brewing process with their own eyes thanks to the two glass brew kettles incorporated into the rustic design of the Brewery. The German purity law also applies on the ocean, with light and dark beers produced in cooperation with the Hövel Brewery. An experienced master brewer supervises the brewing process and demonstrates the essential elements of production – from the selection of raw materials to the actual brewing procedure – to guests in a brewing seminar. The highlight for beer fans is that they can acquire their own brewing diploma in a workshop and

prepare their own brew during their holiday cruise.

The floating brewery’s own beers, complemented by seasonal top-quality brews such as “Maibock” or specialities like “Oktoberfest” or Guinness, can be accompanied by hearty meals such as home-made stews for lunch or typical beer-cellar delicacies like crispy knuckle of pork roasted in the oven. Exclusive to the AIDAblu Brewery are specially prepared barbecue sausages (bratwurst) with sauerkraut and pretzels. Served in the ship’s own Distillery Bar, joined directly to the brewery, are fine varieties of schnapps, liqueurs and whiskies. The bar and the outside area of the Brewery are reminiscent of a beer garden under the shade of trees.

Guten Griefen…….isn’t that just brilliant and yet another example of just how superb a cruise line AIDA is. It is such a shame that none of you are likely to ever sail AIDA Cruises ….and why would you? It’s a German ship designed for German people with everything written and spoken in German. It means that you won’t get to see what is quite possibly the best designed and operated cruise lines in Das Weld!

It’s time for me to write about one of the Carnival ship’s that I have never served on, the Carnival Pride. As you know she has been a huge hit since arriving in her home port of Baltimore. Let’s have a look at where she is sailing to.


Sunday BALTIMORE, MD 4:30pm
Wednesday GRAND TURK 7:00am 2:00pm
Thursday HALF MOON CAY, BAHAMAS 9:00am 5:00pm
Friday FREEPORT, BAHAMAS 7:00am 2:00pm
Sunday BALTIMORE, MD 9:00am


Sunday, BALTIMORE, MD 4:30pm
Wednesday, PORT CANAVERAL (ORLANDO), FL 7:00am 7:00pm
Thursday, NASSAU, BAHAMAS 11:00am 10:00pm
Friday, FREEPORT, BAHAMAS 7:00am 2:00pm
Sunday BALTIMORE, MD 9:00am

Two excellent itineraries and as well as Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and some time at the theme parks while docking in Port Canaveral there is of course a new and exciting destination coming up for the Carnival Pride and that is of course……….. Bermuda. Here is an example of one of the cruises she will be sailing on starting on April 10th, 2011.

Sunday, Apr 17 BALTIMORE, MD 4:30pm
Monday, Apr 18 FUN DAY AT SEA
Tuesday, Apr 19 KING’S WHARF, BERMUDA 1:00pm
Wednesday, Apr 20 KING’S WHARF, BERMUDA
Thursday, Apr 21 KING’S WHARF, BERMUDA 5:00pm
Friday, Apr 22 FUN DAY AT SEA
Saturday, Apr 23 FUN DAY AT SEA

to walk all the way down the hill to the resort center to get another one…………….bugger.

I have read many times here on the blog thingy how so many people wished for more Carnival cruises to Bermuda and………well……….we listened. And like many people, I suppose, I had only the vaguest of ideas about Bermuda before visiting it. I knew it was pretty small, must, therefore, be much the same all over, remained part of the British Empire (hooray), but was otherwise populated by golfers (boo). It is a one day sail from Baltimore and did you see that there are 2 and a half days that the ship spends alongside………..that’s brilliant. It’s a beautiful place and not what you will expect if you are thinking it is a Caribbean kind of island. It isn’t.

The residents who wear the national dress of jacket and tie, Bermuda shorts, long dark socks and formal shoes and they do look just as ludicrous as this suggests…..although this fashion is also very popular in Germany and Austria as well.

Bermuda’s beaches are counted as being among the finest in the world, with long stretches of pink sand and warm blue water. The beaches, which are called “pink” but are more pink-tinged than strawberry milkshake, come either in intricate and intimate coves or in larger stretches and, either way, are gorgeous. The houses…. many of which are complete with gleaming white roofs and devices for capturing rainwater for domestic use. I know this because I watched a program on TV at my Dad’s house some years ago where his heroes Steve and Norm from This Old House were building a house there.

I know our shore excursion department are working on lots of fabulous tours for you some of which I will highlight in the weeks ahead. I have only been to Bermuda once……..and you may remember that it was memorable mostly for my experience with the world’s hottest hot sauce.

Anyway, I think the Carnival Pride has some great itineraries and her trips to Bermuda will be marvellous.

Let’s have a look at the ship and amongst the photos will be the Maitre D Andre Chessa, Chef De Cuisine Ramesh Selvam, Hotel Director Brian D’Souza and my great friend Captain Alessandro Galotto……….oh yes……..there’s one of the CD……some chap named Kirk something or other.

I am often told that the crew of the Carnival Pride are absolutely superb and certainly the reviews I read about the ship are very complimentary indeed. She is one of our most popular ships and moving her to Baltimore seems to have been a totally brilliant decision. I hope o sail on her myself one day soon.

I have been a bit grumpy these last few days and I think my blogs have reflected this somewhat. There aren’t many things that make me mad but when I find something that does, the blog thingy is a great outlet for me to express myself.  Take the e-mail I got last week. It was from my bank, claiming had been a computer glitch thingy and all my details had been lost, and would I be ever so kind and remind them of my account number etc.

What a load of bollocks. Do they really think I am going to be fooled this?  I e-mailed back saying: “Dear thieving bastard from Nigeria………here’s my account number F**k0ff – love John.”

Then there are the shops whether in America or in the UK that drive me mad. Let me explain by saying that I may well have to punch the next sales assistant who tries to shove a store credit card on me when I’m minding my own business buying some new underpants. This happened last month when I was shopping at the Aventura Mall in Miami for clothes for Kye. I was in Macy’s and as I arrived at the counter a bored looking girl asked me if I had a Macy’s card. I told her no.

Someone then pressed a button on the back of her neck which resulted in her automated response which included reasons why I should have one and while saying this her robotic arm presented me with an application form. I said “I’ve got 21 credit cards and am seriously in debt. I’m so worried I’ve considered throwing myself under a train.”

“Oh,” said the robot. “But you will save 10 per cent on your purchase today.”

These things may me angry and I have to admit that I am starting to get a little miffed at some of the ridiculous postings I am reading on Cruise Critic. We have the one about the iced tea, the one about cancelled chocolate mints as well as many other postings that are total works of fiction.

There is no doubt that the majority of people who read and post this site are really great people who love cruising and for the most part love Carnival and what they have to say there is so, so valuable. But it seems to me that there are those that lurk there who have one intention and that is to post absolute and total bollocks, designed only to try and sabotage and poor a big dollop of slander on the Carnival Cruise Lines name.

Host Mach is one of the moderators of this site and he sent me this today.


A thread started on Cruise Critic late last night that reported that ‘a friend’ had told this poster that Carnival was now going to charge $20 to watch movies on the Seaside Theatre.  I posted a resounding NO in an attempt to quiet the thread.

Minutes ago this nonsense surfaced again with people claiming that they KNOW that Carnival will be charging for these movies.

Thanks to Mach for letting me know and for deleting the thread. Obviously this is not true. We have no intentions of charging $20 for the Seaside Theatre Big Screen Movies…….it’s only going to cost $19.99. Seriously, of course there is no charge and as I said this kind of thing makes my haemorrhoids flare up.

The professional part of me should just ignore it and move on, but there is a little fat chap sitting on my shoulder trying to get me to shout to the people who star these ridiculous rumours……… ”would the Royal Caribbean loving Carnival hating bastard with the brain capacity of a lesser spotted Mongolian bog pig just bugger off before I find out who you are and dock a solid gold plastic trophy up your poo bay.“

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.