The Magic Frog

August 24, 2010 -

John Heald

I went to the Red Carpet Dance Club last night. Not the sort of sentence I get to write very often, because I enjoy nightclubs less than I enjoy having a colonoscopy. But because one of my staff had her 21st birthday and the entire department was going and because they expected me to pay for the drinks………..I promised to come for a few minutes

Obviously, at 45, I was more than a decade older than almost everyone else, and subsequently may as well have been smeared head to toe with my in yak poo.

Most of the guests there had not seen my welcome aboard show the previous night or anything else outside of the inside of their cabins, the Lido deck sun and the bottom of their 23rd Fun Ship special glass. Therefore most of the people in the disco regarded me with a combination of pity and disgust. I spent the entire time with the expression of a man about to be sentenced to 10 years in a Turkish prison…

“I am too bloody old to enjoy this,” I thought. And then remembered that I have always felt this way about clubs. And I mean all clubs from the awful ones in Essex that smelt like a sick bucket to the posh ones on South Beach. I hated them when I was 20 and I hate them today. I just don’t have to pretend any more.

Nightclubs are hot and cramped and play the latest crap tunes thumping through the humid air so loud you can’t even hear yourself or anyone else fart. And since we made the ships dance clubs non smoking the aroma of cigarette smoke has been replaced by the overbearing stench of hair gel. I know that they are some of the most popular venues on our ships……but not for me.

I watched the twenty something guests sharing panting pelvic thrusts with someone who they hope will be having rumpy pumpy with later.

Yes, everyone was having a great time. The guests, my staff, even the bar staff were having fun. Me…………..I felt old………….and I realised that at that moment I would rather be anywhere in the world than the hell I was in now. Except Paris of course.

Time for today’s Q and A……………….off we go.

Dave Asked:
Hi John. Please reply!

I have been curious about something. I know the crew has their own galley. Do you and the officers have to eat in the crew mess hall too? If not, what food do you eat while onboard (the same food as the guests or as the crew)? I’ve always wondered what the life of the CD and officers is like.

Any insight you could provide would be great!

Thank you,
Dave

John Says:
Hello Dave

We do eat the same food as the guests so please…………leave more on your plates. Seriously though there are five crew dining rooms. One for the crew where people like your waiter, stateroom stewards and the cooks, etc., eat. This is a self service restaurant and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a midnight meal as well for those coming off a late shift or starting work at that time.

Then there is the staff mess. This is where the dancers and musicians, shop and casino staff and others eat. This is again mostly self service although there are waiters there as well for special orders that I will talk about in a moment. Next up we have the Petit Officers dining room. This is where the bosons’ and junior officers eat. This is a waiter service restaurant. Then we have the officer’s dining room where the bridge, engine and guest relations officers eat. Again, this is mostly waiter service. Finally we have the captain and senior officers’ dining room where most of the senior officers will eat together, usually at 8 pm.

The menu is though the same for everyone. It is impossible to cook a separate menu for each of the above when you have upwards of 1,200 crew who are hungry morning noon and night. It’s an international menu with many of the dishes being relative to some of the nationalities onboard. However, in the staff dining room there is the always option of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken breast, fries etc. Then in the Petit Officers and Senior Officers dining room which is heavily populated by Italian crew, there is a special pasta dish served every dinner time. And the captain ………….well he and the senior officers also have special dishes each night because……….. well ………… that’s a tradition going back many years.

Me………I eat in the cabin. The maitre d will send me a Caesar salad and some meat and vegetables (no carbs) so that I can eat before the shows and not after them……which is the reason I now have an awning built over my thingy. The food is excellent but despite that …….. ask any crewmember what they miss most after their family……..and it will home cooked food.

I hope that answers your question

Best wishes
John

Sharon Sorlie Asked:
Please Reply

First of all I just want to say I love your posts and the Q&A – you make my day! Thank you for being you and not allowing “People” to dictate who you are and who you want to be. I have had the pleasure of meeting you 2x and Heidi (1x) and would love to cruise with you again someday. We were on the Splendor back in May and had a blast, Goose was an amazing CD too. If there is one excursion that I think topped the whole experience for us, was the Salsa & Salsa. The 3 ladies that run that know how to make your excursion adventure phenomenal. It was entertaining, educational and lots of fun. Definitely a DO NOT MISS excursion. John if you get the chance please try it – you will not be sorry. Now for my questions. We are going on another cruise in Nov. (thanks to future cruise cert.) and we are taking our son and his wife (27 & 25). We are on the Nov. 13th – Liberty – Who is the CD going to be (wish it was you) and if there is one or two shore excursion that you would highly recommend for a)them as a couple and b) us as a family – we are 60 & 54 (very young oldies hehehhehehe). We want Andrew & Emily’s first cruise to be memorable and exciting and hopefully not their last. I won’t ask you for dining arrangements, as I can go to the MD on day of arrival to make sure it is for 4 – but if you could recommend a shore excursion I would be forever grateful.

Thank you again for being John, and I pray that you will find all the happiness in life that you are giving to others.

Sharon >

John Says:
Hello Sharon

That is so weird. I just got off the phone with James the shore ex manager and he told me that one of the many excursions that was sold out was the salsa and salsa tour. I am so glad that you enjoyed that and your time on the Carnival Splendor and Goose as your cruise director. The cruise director when you sail on the Carnival Liberty will be Todd Wittmer. He was the first cruise director on the Carnival Dream and did a great job there and I know he will give you a great time. Here is where you are going

Saturday, Nov 13 Miami, FL 4:00pm

Sunday, Nov 14 Nassau, Bahamas 7:00am 2:00pm – ELEGANT

Monday, Nov 15 Fun Day at Sea Tuesday,

Tuesday, Nov 16, St. Thomas, USVI 10:00am 6:00pm

Wednesday, Nov 17 San Juan, Puerto Rico7:00am 3:30pm – ELEGANT

Thursday, Nov 18 Grand Turk 11:00am 5:30pm

Friday, Nov 19 Fun Day At Sea

Saturday, Nov 20 Miami, FL 8:00am

I love this itinerary and as you will see I added the elegant nights for you as well.

As for excursions, well I am going to give my recommendations in each port which should please both your son and his wife as well as you and your husband.

NASSAU — Well for me it has to be a visit to Atlantis. There are many excursion packages there including the use of the exclusive water park which they will love and for you, a walk around the property and a visit to one of the most impressive aquariums anywhere. You might also want to think about the Blue Lagoon excursion which is a morning on the beach, doing absolutely nothing.

ST. THOMAS — Well I am sure at some point shopping will rear its ugly head but I hope you will also find time to explore the island. There is an excursion called the Ultimate Island experience which includes a marvelous island tour, lots of shopping time and then a quick trip back to the ship to put the 5 carat diamond he bought you in the safe, before hopping back on the bus and heading for an afternoon at the most famous beach on the island……..Megan’s Bay.

SAN JUAN – Sometimes it easy to forget how beautiful Puerto Rico is and specifically how gorgeous Old San Juan is. That’s why I highly recommend the San Juan City Tour. It’s not the most exciting excursion in the world but it will give you a terrific overview of the old town and its gorgeous Spanish architecture. Plus there will be loads of time for exploring the cobbled streets and of course……..more shopping.

GRAND TURK – Well after those busy days in port a day at the beach maybe what you need. If that’s the case there is one right by where your ship will dock. Plus you have Margaritaville as well so your son and daughter……..and perhaps you and your husband…….may want to try the Flo Rider while you are there. You will also find great snorkeling as well plus the more laid back island excursions.

There are full details on all of these at www.carnival.com and Todd will host a Fun Ashore talk while you are onboard.

Please let me know if you have any questions and please let me know that you want a table for 4 ……… I would be honoured to try and help.

Thanks for the kind words.

Best wishes to all
John

Cherie Perron Asked:
Dear John (pretty please reply)

I’m about to set sail on my 6th cruise with my brother. We will be sailing on the Freedom August 28th and are SO excited. Plus this year I’m taking my brother to celebrate a job promotion!! We are really really hoping to get to do the behind the scenes tour. Any tips on how to ensure we get a spot??

I was also wondering, does Carnival ever do open houses, or anything where non guests can board the ship? I’m convinced my parents would love the cruise life with us, however no matter how much we tell them there is to do or how big the ship is they don’t believe us.

Thanks John!!!!
Chérie Perron

John Says:
Hello Cherie Perron

The Behind the Fun tour continues to be mostly sold out on all the ships. The secret though is because many of the guests are not aware of it until it is promoted at the CD’s Fun Ashore Fun Onboard talk to go to the Shore Excursion Desk as soon as you board. If you do this I am pretty sure you will get to experience this exclusive look behind the scenes.

You know, Princess Cruises launched a package where non-sailing family members could visit, have lunch and say goodbye. I have no idea how well it is doing but I do know that Carnival was looking at possibly doing this as well but I have heard nothing about it recently. It certainly would be a great way for people to say goodbye to their families and enjoy some special time together as well as it being a chance for people who have never cruised with us to see what all the fun is all about. Let me follow up on this for you. Have a brilliant time and tell me all about it when you get home

Best wishes to all
John

BOBBY D Asked:
John PLEASE REPLY

There are many god fearing folk who are troubled by Carnival not having religious services onboard. There is though much time and space given to the promotion of gambling, drinking and cavorting. A Sunday service would mean a lot to me and other passengers and what you give us now is as sorry as two dollar watch.

Bobby D

John Says:
Hello Bobby D

Thank you for taking the time to write and I will admit something straight away…….I have never heard that saying before………..the one about the 2 dollar watch.

Well, yes we have a less than frequent religious service program onboard our ships and we try to provide services as often as feasible.  I hope that in the future we can do better in this regard and that one day you will look at our program as more of a Timex……or maybe even a Seiko. Seriously though I do hope despite our lack of a religious program that you are still able to have fun when you sail with us.

Best wishes to you and the family
John

Linda Asked:
John, PLEASE REPLY.

John, want to ask your help in providing a special welcome onboard for someone who taught for me when I was a principal. She was one of those GREAT primary grade teachers; one you would definitely want Kye to have. She was such a nurturing person that her students felt that they just must learn everything they could in her classroom and pleasing her was certainly a goal of every student she ever had. I’ve talked her and her husband into not only taking their first cruise, but also into choosing Carnival for an outstanding experience. Her name is Chloe Gildberg and her husband is Barry. They’re both retired now and having some time for themselves and what they want to do. They are on the Carnival Spirit to Alaska, sailing August 31st. The booking number is 17N8R3 and cabin number 6222. If you could send them a note welcoming them to cruising and tell her how much I appreciated all she did for our students, I’d greatly appreciate it! She has no idea I’m contacting you (although she’s heard me talk of you and how much fun I’ve had onboard ships with you).

Thanks! Hope to see you soon.
Linda Morris

John Says:
Hello Linda

Everyone has a teacher who has made an impact on their lives and I salute all the teachers who read this blog thingy and who sail with Carnival. My Dad was a teacher for 39 years and gave his everything to so many children. Yet, we continue to pay teachers far, far less than they deserve. What a shame. I will ask Stuart to mention Chloe at one of his morning shows and to read out your words of praise and send her a little something as well.

Thanks for telling me about her.

Best wishes
John

Carl from Calgary Asked:
John, PLEASE REPLY

I love your blog. Can you confirm to me that you will be the Cruise Director when the Magic is in Europe in September? If you say “yes” then me and my wife will be there. We sailed with you on the Triumph in 2002 and want to do a Europe cruise and are thinking of emerald Princess or Magic. But if you are there then that will make the decision easier.

Please reply soon as air fares are going up again and we want to book.

Thanks
Carl

John Says:
Hello Carl

I am sorry that this reply is probably three weeks behind and I hope that you are able to read this. I will be on your Carnival Magic in September and it would be an honour (spelt correctly) if you would join me. I am humbled by what you have written and even though Princess has a superb operation in Europe it would be a true joy to see you once again. So, let me know what you decide to do and if you have any questions please let me know

Best wishes
John

Patricia Asked:
Dear John (please reply)

First of all let me say I hope you and your family are doing great. Second, I want to say that I’m a member of CC as well. I always thought it would be rude to ask for a favor or a special “something”, but I am glad that I read that post and this blog. Seeing as you enjoy it so much, bless you for being so nice and giving.

So now, I want to please ask you: I’m taking my bf on the Carnival Liberty on 9/11/10 room 8268. It will be our 2 year anniversary and, unbeknownst to him, I have upgraded us from an inside to a balcony cabin (can’t wait to see the look on his face, as he has never even looked inside a balcony!). However my request is this: I’ve been on 4 cruises, this is his second, and even though we tried and tried and would like to win it in the “proper” way, we can’t seem to be able to get our hands on a ship on a stick!

So if you could please provide us with one (or two), it would be much appreciated and it would make the surprise even better for him.

Thank you for anything you could do for us, and even though I’m a little embarrassed about asking, I’m doing it for love!

Thank you again!
XOXO

John Says:
Hello Patricia.

I am always willing to help anyone I can and I have sent your request for a limited edition solid gold plastic trophy (1 of only 3 billion made) to be delivered to your stateroom. I am sure your BF (is that boy friend, best friend) will be so surprised and so happy when he sees the balcony stateroom. Have a wonderful cruise and if you have time, please write a review on the blog thingy when you get home. Best wishes to you and the BF

John

Sharon Asked:
Hi John! Please reply.

My husband and I are on the October 17th sailing of the Carnival Legend – our 8th cruise, all with Carnival! We are looking forward to some different stops, including Roatan. However, when I look on-line under my reservation for the shore excursions available, there are only four! And not one of them is to Tabyana Beach, which Donna, my Carnival PVP, told me was wonderful! Can you please find out if there are other excursions that just haven’t posted? Thank you!

John Says:
Hello Sharon

I just checked and it seems the full list is now available. My apologies for the glitch there. Tabyana Beach is now up and running on the web and here is the main excursion that goes there:

TABYANA BEACH BREAK

Tour Duration: At Leisure

Spend some time at a place where the jungle meets a powdery white sand beach, with crystal clear waters and some of the world’s finest, most pristine coral at your feet.  You will have access to private sun loungers, fresh water showers with changing/restroom facilities, a local gift shop and a bar. Enjoy the sounds of great Caribbean music and snorkel in the inviting Caribbean waters. Take part in a friendly game of volleyball followed by a cool glass of iced tea or homemade lemonade.  An approximate 30-minute bus ride takes you to the beach with return transportation departing the beach every half hour. NOTE:  Snorkel gear is available for rent at the beach.

I hope this helps and if you have any other questions please let me know

Best wishes
John

Ernie/cruizer4662 Asked:
John, Please reply!!

I have an Acer computer and on my function key (F7) there is a picture of a hand pointing to a square. To turn the keypad thingy on or off I press down on the Fn key (lower left on mine) and the F7 key and it either turns the thingy on or off.

Love your daily blog and the descriptions of Kye and Heidi knowing that you miss them. You are a very fortunate man to have so many people enjoying you and your stories.

Your Friend,
Ernie

John Says:
Hello Ernie

Thank you so much. I have filed this away and the next time my lap top thingy starts jumping around I will consult the oracle that is Ernie. Thanks for the very kind words and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy.

Best wishes
John

Darlene Asked:

I have never needed to ask a favor from you, but thank you for being so willing to help everyone who asks. It is your personality that makes you want to help others, and one of the things that makes you such a great CD! I will be sailing with you on Aug 29 (Cabin 7369) on the Carnival Splendor! The group that I’m sailing with (Snoozeman, Phil&Liz, and others) met while on the BC2. This is our 3rd cruise together, and we are all booked for the BC4. You mentioned your parents today, but you haven’t mentioned your beautiful sister, Sue-Drip. I hope she is doing well. Maybe she can join you on the Splendor. How is Kye doing? Hopefully she will be well enough for your girls to join you, before long. Won’t be long until we sail! Looking forward to seeing you.

Darlene

John Says:
Hello Darlene

How wonderful that you will all be here next week. Please can you make sure that you leave me a note with your names and cabin numbers on when you come on board. You can leave this at the Guest Services Desk. Ahhhh…..Sue Drip. Well my sister and her family are in Barbados on vacation at the moment and she is back in the UK in Essex after three years in Hong Kong. She now commutes into London everyday and works so hard and even though I never tell her this (a brother and sister thing I guess) I am so very proud of her. She is a brilliant person and so outgoing which is why she is so well thought of at her work. She has a hugely stressful job but still finds time to be a great wife and a wonderful Mum to her two children…….my niece and nephew. Maybe someone who is friends on her Facebook Page could paste this there because I probably will forget to tell her how proud I am of her. I will see you next week and I look forward to sharing a brilliant cruise with you all

Best wishes to all
John

Lisa Thorne Asked:
JOHN- PLEASE REPLY

Dear John-

I have been a blog reader for the last 3-4 months and have thoroughly enjoyed myself! My husband and I will be cruising on the DREAM on Sept 11 this year- and will be our 2nd Cruise- (Our first was on the Holiday in 2008) My parents- who have barely been out of Tennessee will be cruising with us too for the first time!

I was hoping you could do 2 things for me PLEASE 🙂 My dad’s 58th birthday will be around that time and I would love for you to surprise him with something special–. The 2nd request is for him also (and a little for me too) We are huge TN Titans fans, and since the team coming to Nashville, my dad has never missed a game, will you please tell me that the game will be showing in the sports bar (or work your magic)!!! My dad is self employed and hit hardly by the economic downfalls, and has saved every penny to go on this cruise– even if it meant missing his first TITANS game. Any help will be appreciated. His name is Tommy Miles and his cabin number is 6347. Thanks so much!!

Oh — one more question- we are cruising with friends and our staterooms are supposed to be “linked” so that our table is together. How can we confirm that?

Thanks SOOO MUCH 🙂
Lisa Thorne (a daddy’s girl)

John Says:
Hello Lisa Thorne

Thanks for finding the blog and taking the time to write. Let’s start with Dad’s worry. Now, I don’t have the schedule here of the games but if it is a game shown on the networks…NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, MTV or the Weather Channel……….then yes……we will have the game shown on the TV’s on the Promenade Deck and in the cabins. If you can send me the two cabin numbers ASAP I will make sure you are sitting together. Please put the words “time sensitive” in the header of your next posting. Dad will have a great time and we will send him something of course. I hope my daughter Kye is a Daddy’s girl as well.

Have a brilliant cruise

Best wishes
John

And that’s your lot for today. More tomorrow.

Yesterday I received a note from two regular bloggers, Linda Mom of DJ and Carolyn and Don. They have just returned from the Carnival Elation and were full of praise for the ship, her crew and especially the CD Felipe Couto. They described him as a “natural” which is high praise indeed from these Platinum and Milestone cruisers who have seen many a cruise director in their time. I will make sure that the right people in Miami see what they have written and of course that Felipe sees them as well. I am very proud of him.

So a quick recap on what’s going on here on the Carnival Splendor. Well the weather has been good so far and today was a beautiful day with crisp blue skies and a temperature warming up to 75 degrees. But it’s the weather that we are all looking at here as you will see from this bulletin from the Captain.

Public Advisory # 8 “on Tropical Storm “FRANK” issued at 08 PDT by the National Hurricane Center. The official forecast calls for the center of “FRANK” to be at a distance of about 200 miles South/South East of Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday, August 25, 2010. At that time, the max wind speed is forecasted to reach 70 knots/h near the center and 34 knots/h winds are expected within the Northerly Quadrants at a distance of about 80/100 miles from the center of “FRANK”. As we stand, we will be able to call regularly at Puerto Vallarta. As for our call at Mazatlan on Thursday, August 26th, there shouldn’t be any change as well. However our call at Cabo San Lucas on Friday, August 27th could likely present some difficulties to our Tender Operations, mainly due to the high swells eventually created by “FRANK” on its passage over the waters South of Baja California. We will be closely monitoring the progress of “FRANK”. Should the need for it arise, we will let you know about any change of scheduled itinerary.

So what the Captain is saying here is that he is watching the situation very closely of course and while we expect no problems in P. V. or Mazatlan, the tendering of guests ashore in Cabo may be tricky. I have already let the guests know that we are watching the situation carefully and that their safety is obviously our top priority.

What surprised me was the number of people who said they had no idea that Frank was in the area. Anyway, the most important thing is that I keep them informed and it’s hard to even think about Tropical Storm Bastard ………. sorry…….. Frank ……..when the skies are blue and the sun is shining down on this wonderful ship. Let’s hope as we always do………………for the best.

Meanwhile the shows go on………well mostly. As you saw in yesterday’s blog we have this huge problem with the orchestra pit which means one of our main production shows featuring the dancers and singers …….Vroom…….has had to be canceled. We are awaiting a specialist team to come into PV and do an inspection and hopefully they will be able to do some rapid repairs. But the way my hemorrhoids are itching I have a feeling it may be longer than just a week. I hope I am wrong. I have an extra entertainer flying in, a brilliant juggler called Marcus Raymond who everyone tells me is superb. He will perform in the Vroom slot and to make up for the loss of seeing the cast perform………I will be dancing the Nutcracker…………in a G String.

The guests are having fun and so far we have had much less concerns than we had last week. I do want to say again though how surprised I am that so many of the Californian audience don’t dress formally on elegant night. They don’t wear jeans or anything inappropriate…..they are just…..well ………smart……but casual. I find this quite fascinating.

Well, today is the day and by now many of you will have explored the new Carnival Magic website and seen that fantastic virtual tour thingy that the beards at marketing have put together ……………….what a fantastic job they did. And let’s get all official now and read the official press release from our mate Vance.

CARNIVAL ANNOUNCES UNIQUE AND MAGIC WAYS GUESTS GET IN ON THE FUN ON ITS NEWEST ‘FUN SHIP,’ CARNIVAL MAGIC

Features Include New Italian Trattoria, Caribbean-Themed Pub,

Expansive Outdoor Sports and Recreation Areas and More

MIAMI (August 24, 2010) – With 249 days until its newest “Fun Ship,” the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, sets sail, Carnival Cruise Lines today revealed a peek through the porthole at some of the ship’s unique spaces and fun features.

From Carnival’s first-ever pub, featuring its own private label beer, to an authentic trattoria that brings the heritage of Carnival’s Italian captains to the table, to an expansive outdoor sports complex featuring the first-ever ropes course and outdoor weight-lifting area on a cruise ship – along with cruising’s first gargantuan water dump bucket – Carnival Magic is destined to be the most innovative “Fun Ship” to date.  Carnival fans can journey to the Carnival Magic’s new online home, www.carnivalmagic.com, to see and learn more about this 3,690-passenger vessel.

“The Carnival Magic is packed with opportunities to share exhilarating fun, celebratory toasts and fine dining, extraordinary entertainment and blissful relaxation,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “This ship offers a truly one-of-a-kind vacation environment with spaces and features designed to provide exceptional experiences that will create magical memories to last a lifetime.”

Carnival Magic offers vacationers a variety of innovative and inspirational opportunities for fun, relaxation and enjoyment including:

RedFrog Pub – An exciting new concept, the RedFrog Pub offers a laid-back Caribbean vibe with island-inspired snacks and drinks, including ThirstyFrog Red, a private-label draught beer brewed especially for Carnival Magic. Located on Promenade Deck 5, the 100-seat indoor/outdoor pub is a convivial place where guests can relax, meet new friends, sip a frozen cocktail, and nosh on Bahamian conch salad, grouper fingers, firecracker Jamaican chicken wings, and other Caribbean favorites. RedFrog Pub will also offer tastings of top-rated rums of the Caribbean and a collection of the region’s best beers. With a nod to Carnival Magic’s Caribbean itineraries which kick off in November 2011, RedFrog Pub’s décor is decidedly British West Indies meets Key West, evoking the warmth and friendliness of a local island watering hole. Nautical-themed interiors with rich wood details, vibrant tile work, portholes, and images of ships at sea, along with foosball and shuffleboard tables and a jukebox, complete the playful pub atmosphere.

Cucina del Capitano (“The Captain’s Kitchen”) — An homage to Carnival’s rich Italian lineage – all of the line’s captains are Italian and many Carnival ships, including Carnival Magic, are built in Italy – Cucina del Capitano is a delicious dinner-time option with made-to-order Italian favorites in comfortable, relaxed surroundings.  Here, guests can dine on hand-made pastas, risotto and fresh-from-the-oven Italian specialties – many served family style – complemented by a wine list specializing in Italian vintages. Many of the dishes and recipes were hand-selected by Carnival’s captains. Framed archival photographs, many from the captains’ personal collections, table arrangements that invite conversation, wood-beam ceilings, and ornate wrought ironwork recreate the ambiance of a cozy Italian home, while warm, attentive service makes diners feel like they’re part of the family. Truly an unforgettable dining experience. Dinner carries a nominal fee. During the day, the space is utilized as a casual made-to-order pasta bar with items offered on a complimentary basis.

SportsSquare – Sports junkies rejoice.  Taking Carnival’s popular outdoor recreation areas to an entirely new level is SportsSquare, which features the cruise industry’s first ropes course where thrill-seeking guests can traverse across nets suspended above Spa Deck 12 and offering spectacular views to the sea nearly 150 feet below. Surrounded by an eighth-mile jogging track, the expansive SportsSquare complex also includes the first outdoor weightlifting area on a cruise ship, along with Carnival’s first two-level miniature golf course, a Vita exercise course, a lighted multi-purpose court for  basketball, volleyball and soccer, along with ping pong and foosball tables. A full bar with a large flat-screen display is available for those who just want to relax and check out the sports action in the area or on TV.  Carnival Magic’s other top-deck amenities include the splash-tastic WaterWorks aqua park that will offer even more thrills with an exhilarating “Twister” spiral water slide, as well as the new Aqua Play splash park designed for youngsters and their families, featuring a gigantic, 500-gallon “dump bucket” and a host of other wet ’n wild features. Resort-style pool areas offer the perfect venue for catching rays or some Zs.

Cruisers will also find a variety of signature “Fun Ship” elements on Carnival Magic, including:

Expansive Family-Friendly Spaces – The ultimate family vacation, Carnival Magic offers more than 19,000 square feet of space catering to kids and families, including dedicated spaces for children (Camp Carnival), ’tweens (Circle “C”) and teens (Club O2), with organized activities and enthusiastic counselors for each group.

Serenity – The ideal space for some adult-only “me” time, Serenity offers comfortable      chaise lounges and chairs, hammocks, colorful umbrellas and two jumbo-sized whirlpools, along with full bar service specializing in frothy, icy concoctions.

Cloud 9 Spa – Guests in the mood for a workout or some personal pampering can visit this stunning and sophisticated facility.  At the Cloud 9 Spa, troubles melt away as guests soak in the soothing thalassotherapy pool, unwind in the elaborate thermal suite or just take in the elegant, serene surroundings.

Stateroom Innovations – With 1,845 staterooms, Carnival Magic offers a wide array of accommodation types, including two-bathroom/five-berth cabins and connecting staterooms that hold particular appeal to families; cove balcony cabins closer to the water line; and spa staterooms providing special access and benefits.

Food, Glorious Food – Whether its authentic delicacies from India and China, a full-service meal in an elegant, two-level dining room, a late-night slice of pizza, an exquisite meal in a classic American steakhouse, or just a burger by the pool, Carnival Magic offers a tantalizing array of international cuisines sure to satisfy every palate.

Dazzling Entertainment – From a laugh-out-loud Punchliner Comedy Club, live bands along the promenade, Superstar Live Karaoke where guests sing to channel their inner rock star fronting a four-piece band, or dazzling production shows incorporating the latest special effects, nights are truly special aboard Carnival Magic.

Carnival’s Seaside Theatre – This 270-square-foot LED screen and poolside seating is the perfect spot for guests to sit back, relax and watch classic and first-run movies, sporting events, news, concerts and other programming, either during the day or night.

Ocean Plaza – A place to see and be seen, Ocean Plaza is a stunning indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue where guests can dance to live music and enjoy specialty coffees and sweets – even freshly made milkshakes. Full bar service, specializing in martinis and mojitos, is also available.

The Lanai – Taking the traditional cruise-ship promenade to new heights, The Lanai is a half-mile, open-air promenade encircling Promenade Deck 5. Here, guests can stroll while enjoying spectacular ocean vistas, curl up with a good book, soak up some sun in a comfortable deck chair, or relax in one of four cantilevered whirlpools that extend out over the ship’s sides.

Fun Hub – Available on any guests’ Internet-connected laptop or at dozens of convenient locations throughout the ship is the Fun Hub, a social network and comprehensive shipboard intranet portal that provides access to a variety of information on Carnival Magic’s services, facilities and daily activities. Carnival Magic will also offer bow-to-stern Wi-Fi and cell phone service.

Carnival Magic’s many unique innovations are highlighted in an interactive micro-site, www.carnivalmagic.com, which features a full-screen virtual tour, exclusive images and videos, construction footage and more.  The site also contains details on a series of unique and exciting contests and promotions Carnival will offer for fun fans to add their personal touches on Carnival Magic leading up to the ship’s maiden voyage.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic is slated to debut in Europe with a series of seven- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 1 – Oct. 16, 2011.  Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Magic will launch seven-day Caribbean service from Galveston, Texas, Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round cruise ship.

For additional information and reservations on the “Fun Ship” vacation experience, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

Carnival also can be found on:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/carnivalcruise

Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/carnival

Flickr:  www.flickr.com/photos/carnivalcruiselines/

Journalists also can visit Carnival’s media site, www.carnivalpressroom.com.

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Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is a proud member of World’s Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World’s Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.  Visit us at www.worldsleadingcruiselines.com.

 

CARNIVAL UNVEILS CARNIVAL MAGIC’S ONLINE HOME AND INVITES FANS TO OFFER PERSONAL TOUCHES TO ‘MAKE THE MAGIC YOURS’

Newest Fun Ship’s Inspirations and Innovations Illustrated On Interactive Microsite

Fun Campaign Encourages Fans to Make Their Mark on Magic

Starting with RedFrog Pub Coaster Contest

MIAMI (August 24, 2010) – Let the magic begin!  As Carnival Cruise Lines unveils new details about its newest “Fun Ship,” Carnival Magic, fans and fun-seekers can now learn more and join in the fun, well before the ship sets sail next year.

Carnival today launched a new, interactive online home for Carnival Magic (www.carnivalmagic.com) that showcases the ship’s standout features through a full-screen virtual tour and more, as well as many ways for “Fun Ship” enthusiasts to add their own unique touches to the new vessel, set to debut May 1, 2011.

Through the Make the Magic Yours campaign, which includes a wild array of contests and promotions, Carnival is inviting fans of fun to “make the Magic theirs” by submitting ideas and voting on their favorites, while supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. The campaign will run Aug. 24, 2010, through Feb. 18, 2011, and Carnival will make a donation of up to $50,000 to St. Jude. The donation to St. Jude is based upon participation and voting.

“The interactive and informative site allows visitors to explore the Carnival Magic through an immersive online experience that spotlights her beauty and fun-filled features, while also taking our reputation for participatory fun for all to a whole new level, months before the ship enters service,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “Our Make the Magic Yours campaign offers Carnival fans the chance to put their mark on the Carnival Magic and see their ideas and personalities brought to life in some of the ship’s spectacular spaces.”

A Magic-Filled Site

From bow to stern, Carnival offers a comprehensive look at the new and exciting features of the Carnival Magic at www.carnivalmagic.com.  Visitors can view a full-screen virtual video tour of the innovative new public spaces aboard Carnival Magic including: RedFrog Pub, Carnival’s first-ever pub at sea; the line’s Italian captain-inspired Cucina del Capitano restaurant; an expansive indoor/outdoor café and entertainment venue, Ocean Plaza; splash-tastic Carnival WaterWorks aqua park; relaxing Cloud 9 Spa; and all of the fun and exciting youth-related spaces. More spaces will be showcased in the coming months. Guests can learn how they will enjoy each area with beautiful images, and behind-the-scenes videos, as well as share their comments via Facebook Connect or Funville, Carnival’s own on-line community.

Visitors will also find the latest Carnival Magic news, interactive deck plans, and images and descriptions of different stateroom accommodations. They can learn more about Carnival Magic’s Europe and Caribbean itineraries and explore the ports of calls, and view pricing. With the countdown clock showing 249 days and counting until Carnival Magic’s inaugural sailing, visitors can also enjoy exclusive views of the shipbuilding process and learn more about the vessel’s construction in Italy.

Fans Add Magic Touches To the Ship

Another great feature of the Carnival Magic microsite, guests can learn more about participating in a sea of fun monthly contests and other promotions that comprise the Make the Magic Yours campaign, which will continue up to Carnival Magic’s inaugural sailing in May 2011.  Beyond bragging rights, Carnival will be giving away great prizes – from digital cameras to a free cruise.  And by participating in many elements of the campaign, fans will also do good by generating monetary donations from Carnival to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

Carnival will be challenging fun-seekers everywhere to name some of Carnival Magic’s special features, including a gigantic 500-gallon water dump bucket, the largest at sea housed in the WaterWorks aqua park, along with the two-level mini-golf course in SportsSquare, and a delicious dish at Cucina del Capitano, Carnival’s first Italian trattoria. Other opportunities include creating fun toasts, coaster sayings and music playlists for its new island-inspired RedFrog Pub.  This winter, kids will be invited to get into the act with creative ways to make the Magic theirs, as well.

Carnival will provide updates on the latest Carnival Magic-related happenings at www.carnivalmagic.com, and on its popular Twitter profile, while the line’s more than 250,000 Facebook fans can check out the updated Carnival Magic tab with engaging videos, fun polls, and a new “meet the crew” feature.

Cheers! Give Us Your Best Pub Line

Raise a glass as the Make the Magic Yours campaign begins today with the RedFrog Coaster Contest, challenging grown-up fun-atics to submit their best pub line.  The winning sayings will appear on the thousands of drink coasters used each voyage in Carnival Magic’s Caribbean-themed RedFrog Pub as pints of the pub’s signature beer, ThirstyFrog Red,  Fun Ship Specials and other beverages are enjoyed by guests.

Through Sept. 7, 2010, Carnival welcomes those ages 21 and above to submit the pub-appropriate lines they believe best capture the magical moments experienced on a Carnival “Fun Ship.”  Entries must be 60 characters or less and Carnival coaster-worthy, as they’ll be judged by the company based on relevance, creativity and humor, then culled down to 10 finalists – nine chosen by Carnival and one wild card determined by consumer voting.

In mid-September, Carnival fans and fun-seekers will be invited to vote for their favorite sayings to choose three lucky winners who will be announced later that month.  Each winner will receive a special commemorative version of their RedFrog Pub coasters and other items including a digital camera, RedFrog Pub bartending items and more. Additional information and contest rules are available at www.carnivalmagic.com/contest.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic is slated to debut in Europe with a series of seven- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 1 – Oct. 16, 2011.  Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Magic will launch seven-day Caribbean service from Galveston, Texas, Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round cruise ship.

For additional information and reservations on the “Fun Ship” vacation experience, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

Carnival also can be found on:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/carnivalcruise

Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/carnival

Flickr:  www.flickr.com/photos/carnivalcruiselines/

Journalists also can visit Carnival’s media site, www.carnivalpressroom.com.

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About Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival is the most popular cruise line in the world, with 22 “Fun Ships” operating voyages ranging from three to 16 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Europe, and Bermuda.  The line currently has two new 130,000-ton ships on order – Carnival Magic, set to debut from Europe May 1, 2011, and Carnival Breeze, scheduled to enter service in spring 2012.

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. In 2010, St. Jude was ranked the most trusted charity in the nation in a public survey conducted by Harris Interactive, a highly respected international polling and research firm. St. Jude was also named the nation’s top children’s cancer hospital in the 2010-11 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, go to www.stjude.org

Well that should get the heart beating faster. And did you see that stunning fly through the ship that the beards made? It is quite extraordinary that they can do this and what a breathtaking way to discover what our new flag ship is going to be all about. Goodness me……..where do we start?

How about down the pub? Carnival Magic has a pub………brilliant. We have already hired a special entertainer for the RedFrog and I know that what he is going to do, coupled with the RedFrog signature beer and the other pub-style games, events and of course those delicious nibbles we will be serving from there will make this area surely one of the most popular onboard. The RedFrog Pub is designed for fun and relaxation. A chance to sip on a pint of beer and have a chat and with your new friends. And why then would anyone want to spend want to spend any time in the pub…….standing up, doing math…….or playing darts as it’s sometimes called. Because in the video it looked like there was a dart board there.

Did you know that Henry VIII invented darts? Yep the king who had six wives and beheaded most of them invented darts……. probably because he didn’t have cable TV or a Playstationxbox and he needed something to take his mind off an alarming collection of sores that were multiplying in his underpants.

In the UK darts is still popular but nowhere near as popular as when I were a lad. When my mate Alan and I went to the pub we would play darts because we had run out of things to say… But now, anyone who can’t think of what to say to their friends while in a pub can spend their time texting other friends who aren’t there. Even that is better than bloody darts.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m not very good at it……..in fact……..like most sports……I am bloody awful. Mostly, I fail to hit the board at all, or the dart bounces back and pierces my shoe. And then I’m expected to stand there, with my foot nailed to the floor, in absolute agony, trying to deduct 13 from 289.

There are calls for darts to be introduced as a sport in the 2012 Olympics in London. But darts isn’t a sport. A sport is something that requires special clothing and equipment and training and exercise and skill and dedication. All you need to play professional darts is a loud shirt that you don’t tuck into your pants, a stomach the size of beer barrel and an idiotic nickname. I guess then based on my own writing………I should fit right into the darts world then.

I am already thinking about what we can do in the RedFrog Pub because a pub isn’t just about the beer, it’s about the atmosphere……hey that rhymes. Games…we have to have games…. pub games are a lot of fun and I think we should have them in the RedFrog. The good old pub has long been the place for games. In olden times, the pub was the venue for a horrific sports such as cock fighting to ease the stresses of the day……..mmmmmmm…….not sure if we should bring that back. More recently, less gruesome activities like skittles kept punters happy while they awaited the invention of non-stop televised sports……..oh hold on……note to self ……. we will need some Plasma TV’s there…….pubs and sports go together like eggs and bacon or Latvian women and suspenders. How about chess and backgammon?

One game we must have in the RedFrog……..is dominoes. If you were to look at any Caribbean pub or indeed pop down to the crew bars on our ships you will find people playing dominoes. It’s as Caribbean as sun, palm trees and Diamonds International. But they don’t just play dominoes. Oh no, they slam the pieces down with all their might and ask someone from Jamaica, Bahamas or Latin America and they will tell you say “Dominoes is life……. a good game is when you can hear them slappin’ the table a mile away………..mon.” So, dominoes………..got to have dominoes and a domino tournament on a lazy sea day accompanied by some conch fritters and a pint …….. how does that sound?

It’s going to be a Caribbean style pub that as I mentioned will be called The RedFrog. Pub names are great. We have lots of pubs where I live. We have the Pig and Whistle, The Wild Duck, The George and Dragon and Alan’s favourite, The Cliff. But we also have one that has been around for years……it’s called The Queen’s Legs. The sign features a painting of Queen Victoria pulling up her long black dress to reveal a pair of hairy legs. It’s a very popular pub and of course the locals will always go a few minutes before service starts………just so they can say that they are “waiting for the Queen’s Legs to open.”

I thing the Red Frog looks brilliant in the video and I have to say…..I am very excited about this super new addition.

The whole competition aspect is I think superb and I love the fact that you…….yes you …….. have multiple chances to leave an everlasting impression on the ship. I hope you are all going to enter

That’s a lot to take in and a lot to excited about. The contests are brilliant and I hope you will all take the time to have some fun and enter them. Someone is going to leave a permanent mark on their Carnival Magic, it might as well be you. Go on……..have a go. This going to be a fantastic ship and along with the new features and of course the ones that were such a hit on your Carnival Dream such as The Lanai, Ocean Plaza, the huge children’s areas and of course the fact that we will be sailing in Europe once again, a Carnival Magic cruise is going to be just brilliant.

Over the next few weeks I will chat with you about some of the new areas including the water park, the Italian style family restaurant and indeed the ports of call she will be visiting.

One area I don’t intend to talk about though is that rope deck swing thingy. I am sure right now that hundreds of you are jumping up and down in excitement about this new addition and the first of its kind at sea. Yep, those of you who enjoy something I believe is called physical exercise, pushing your bodies to the limit and drinking Aligatorade. and there is no doubt that this will be an absolute hit with our guests. But of course there is a problem. That’s because one of those people who will love this is our President and CEO Gerry Cahill. Now that’s all well and good. If Mr. Cahill wants to go swinging from rope to rope than that’s fine.

But it won’t be will it……because just liked he dragged me to the top of your Carnival Dream‘s water slide and made me race him down and then had me do the Twister thingy that resulted in my shorts falling off…..I know already that he will expect my fat arse to be swinging on a sodding rope with him like some fat Tarzan in leopard skin shorts.

Oh joy.

Goodnight
Your friend
John

P.S. Over the weekend we reached 7 million hits on our blog. Thank you all so very, very much.

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.